Organic Prepper: A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper writes A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers Who Are TIRED of This Apocalypse

Dear Friends:

2020 has certainly been quite a year so far, and a defining one for the preparedness movement. No longer are our stockpiles of rice, beans, and hand sanitizer objects that make us strange. Our stashes of TP would make us the envy of the neighborhood if, of course, anybody knew we had it.

So many of the things and beliefs that made us figures of mockery in the past are now proving their value. We’re learning, with a mixture of relief and perhaps dismay, that we weren’t so crazy after all.

When the first lockdown began, we weren’t out there emptying the shelves in the frenzied throng (even though we’re the ones who got blamed for it.) We were watchful but for the most part, comfortable with our preparations. We understood before things went sideways that extended events can result in civil unrest, crime sprees, and chaos. We realized that we could be facing shortages.

And then time went on.

And on.

And on.

This has been a year in which so many things have occurred that proved preppers have things right that it’s positively exhausting. We’ve had a pandemic, civil unrest, food shortages, increases in crime, exorbitant unemployment, and we’re facing an economic collapse, or at the very least, an economic crisis.

And we’re tired.

Maybe everyone doesn’t feel this way. Maybe you’re perfectly fine and you live on your back 40 and have been completely untouched by any of the above-mentioned crises. Maybe your finances are just fine, you never got out much anyway, and you’ve still got 8 years’ worth of food socked away to supplement the things you grow. Maybe you’re reading this as you spin goat hair into yarn from which you’ll make this year’s mittens. Maybe you have no relatives, friends, or loved ones in the path of danger. Maybe your area isn’t prone to a single natural disaster.

If this is the case, I salute you. I really do. Good for you.

But for most of us, this is not the case. A lot of us are tired.

And I mean tired.

I’m sure there will be plenty of folks in the comments who say, “Daisy Luther is such a whiner” but whatever. I’m just going to come right out and tell you how I feel about this.

This year has been difficult.

My life changed completely. The lives of people I love changed completely. I lost some people I cared for deeply to the virus. I watched people in my family frolic around blithely ignoring the virus for which they’re in a peak risk group for death. I watched my country get torn asunder by everything from the pandemic response to racial injustice to perceived insults or losses of rights. I have a family member who lives in a riot zone but due to work and finances, can’t just relocate. (Although those folks on the internet always make it sound so damned easy to just quit your job then up and move to the boondocks to raise sheep.)

I have friends who have developed such extreme political views on either side that I don’t even know what to say to them anymore. I still love them. I still know they’re good people or we wouldn’t have been friends in the first place. But what the heck, y’all?

Then we’ve got hurricanes and the worst wildfires ever in history and floods and droughts and snow in September and murder hornets and the Olympics got canceled and there was some radiation leak in Russia and police brutality, which you will say is alleged or real, depending on your personal perspective. Oh yeah, and the US Postal Service has gone to heck, a lot of kids can’t go back to school so they’re surfing the net while they’re supposed to be “distance learning” online, and Netflix is playing a child porn movie to prove that kids are getting sexually exploited. Our system is going downhill on a greasy slide.

Our presidential candidates are (in my humble opinion) like a choice between your favorite sexually transmitted infection, syphillis or gonhorrhea. And regardless of whether syphilis or gonorrhea wins, all hell’s going to break loose (or break looser because it’s already pretty freakin’ bad in a lot of places) before and after the election that may not even happen the regular way because of the pandemic.

And we preppers who were ready for an emergency are sitting here scratching our heads thinking, “Heck fire, I wasn’t actually prepared for ALL OF THE EMERGENCIES AT ONCE.”

And it’s going on and on and on.

And that’s the other thing.

This stuff is going on and on and on forever. Ad infinitum. We are still in the middle of a global viral outbreak that we don’t completely understand and lots of places are still under major restrictions. A lot of folks don’t have their jobs back and a lot never will. We have been dealing with this particular disaster since at least February and the mental toll of dealing with the restrictions, the loss of income, the isolation, and the loss of freedom has been harsh for many people. There are folks who are just plain mad that they didn’t get the apocalypse they signed up for and they haven’t gotten to shoot any marauders and quite frankly, lockdown is boring as heck.

Lots of us have family members and people in our inner circles who are chomping at the bit to get back to “normal” when things simply are not normal. We’ve got loved ones who want to head out to parties and who want to throw caution to the wind and who flat don’t give a hoot what they bring home to Grandma. We’ve got loved ones who are using this entire scenario to say how we’ve overreacted. We’ve got loved ones who still get aggravated when we bring home more toilet paper.

When we were prepping for all this stuff most of us never expected that our families who were also prepping for this stuff might not be on board with this specific scenario. We never thought we’d have to argue with children and spouses and friends and lovers about things like quarantines and masks and not eating all five years’ worth of the good snacks like Oreos in the first 6 months. We didn’t consider that we might not be able to replace our Bluetooth headsets or that we’d need them for work or that we’d have to have our offices in our homes or that our kids’ teachers might see their BB guns in their bedrooms and send the SWAT teams after us.

We can’t go to church but we can go to riots. We aren’t supposed to travel yet mysterious busloads full of “protesters” show up in other states and that’s just hunky-dory. The borders are closed except they’re not really and the restaurants can’t serve you except they can sort of and we can’t go to the beach but we can line up for a vaccine once the promised injection, untested for long-term side effects, is ready.

This is the worst apocalypse ever because it’s so dad-gum boring and it’s going on for-freaking-ever. That’s the thing that nobody warned us about. This monotony just goes on and on and on. It would be one thing if we were out there fighting for resources but in reality, we’re all just standin’ in line at Wal-Mart with our masks on waiting for our turn to get zapped with a thermometer to see if we are allowed to go inside. If it weren’t for wifi we’d all be crazy by now. Or – let’s be real for a moment – maybe it’s because of wifi so many people are crazy right now. Social media is a jungle – an outright vicious and bloody jungle – and may the most audacious mofo win because those of us who still retain our human decency are not going to be able to hang with the people out there flinging wild ungrounded insults like poop in the monkey cages at the zoo.

And folks – I hate to say it but we’re still on Round One.

We’re going to be dealing with this bizarre altered reality for quite some time. This virus ain’t over yet or if you don’t believe in the virus, then consider that this government response isn’t over yet. We’re never “getting back to normal” and we’re going to have to adapt. We’re going to have to hope our children who are going to school in personal bubbles aren’t going to have OCD and chronic anxiety for the rest of their lives. We’re going to have to learn to make do without all the imports that no longer seem to be populating stores.

We never really expected that a huge part of survival would just be waiting and adapting to the new world around us. Not this new world anyway. This isn’t one we can shoot our way out of or buy our way out of or wait our way out of.  We have to adapt to the new economy, the new precautions, and the new suspicions. We have to adapt to a different type of supply chain.  We have to move into survival mode as we watch civil unrest and riots break out in the most unlikely places, although it’s not really the survival mode we ever expected. We have to adjust to the nearly constant state of offense and unrest. We’re going to have to teach our children to be bold and fearless despite a system that wants them to be afraid. We’re going to have to forge a path through a labyrinth that is nothing like the one we expected when we began prepping for serious events because this event was so wildly unpredictable that nobody could have seen it happening the way it did.

But this is what we do.

We’re preppers. Preparing for the unexpected is our thing. Even when the unexpected is long-lasting, monotonous, boring, and stifling. Even when our family thinks we’re overreacting. Even when everything changes and things don’t get back to “normal.” Even when we’re just sitting there right on the edge of chaos wondering if today is the day that things will erupt in our neck of the woods.

Every.

Single.

Day.

For.

Months.

The way this unfolded isn’t the disaster any of us expected but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. How well we’re able to handle it will tell us a lot about how mentally prepared we actually are. How we manage our friends, families, and expectations will help us determine how things might go in a future, more Mad-Max variety of apocalypse.

Take this as the learning experience that it is. And don’t be lulled by the boredom into a false sense of security.

Because this is not over. Not by a long shot.

Hang in there, my friends. Whether we have to pull our loved ones along by their collars, whether we have to buy our supplies and stash them away on the sly, whether we have to prepare all on our own, we have to deal with the apocalypse we’ve been given, emotionally and physically.

It’s going to be a long haul, but we’ve got this. I don’t know if you’re feeling the same way that I am, but just in case you are, I wanted you to know – you’re not alone.

Daisy

The Organic Prepper: Eye-Witness Account Kenosha Riots

The Organic Prepper has posted an Eye-Witness Account of the Kenosha Riots which was originally posted to Facebook by the witness. People knew that no one would be there to help them. “Everyone in the city was getting ready for a war.”

…And now, a woman has shared on Facebook what her family recently experienced in the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots. In her post, the thing that stands out in my mind the most is that help was not on the way. The residents of Kenosha who stood their ground were completely on their own against the mobs rampaging through their neighborhoods. I’ve redacted some identifying information from her post – otherwise, the public post is exactly as she shared it on the social media outlet. All emphasis is mine.

The day of the worst destruction, fires, looting, assaults… all of us in Kenosha were able to watch live -via independent media. The entire start to finish. The worst of it happened on 22nd & 60th, and I live on [redacted], so to tell you I was terrified is an understatement. The majority of Kenosha was watching our two [redacted] live footage well until 3am… police scanners on… bracing for the worst. It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None. Structures burned to the ground, people hurt and attacked were loaded into cars and raced to any hospital they could get to, rioters just broke into businesses and took what they wanted.

And we all watched it happen. There was nothing we could do.

A sleepless night, we faced the next day with more fear. A massive clean up effort, we helped as many homes and buisnesses as we could, brace for the night, we started to get inundated with messages from individuals and groups … targeting violence to specific neighborhoods, schools, libraries.. with fires and destruction… lots of messages. Most specifically targeting LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS… families!!!

Cars and buses were coming in to the city with no plates… caravans of groups. Again, no extra police or national guard.

But the rioters came to Kenosha that night again.

Our PD and any help it had was standing ground at the PD building and courthouse… and many rioters did not know… our PD was trying to keep them from burning these down, not only because it was our infrastructure but because right between those buildings were A LOT of local inmates that were currently there due to Covid closing our jail (HUBER).

Again live, we watched hundreds of rioters throwing Molotov cocktails at these buildings and burning our city garbage trucks and dump trucks to the ground that we were using to protect these buildings.

I was afraid for the small line of policemen there that night.

Everyone was urging me and Jim to take all of my animals and to leave the city… and let my house burn. To run far away from Kenosha. I love my home. Those who know me, know the pride we have taken in buying an (as-is) house and turning it into a home. And my business! Could I let it be destroyed?? Absolutely NOT!

We have dear friends with a popular business just 4 houses away… we spend at least once a week there… they packed up boarded up and closed.. terrified … it’s on the main road.

All of us were now under now a state of emergency curfew. Get home and off the streets! gas stations ordered to close and turn OFF all gas pumps..
the sirens and alerts on all of our phones coming in non- stop.

So we pulled out every firearm we owned. Loaded them up. And started to get ready… We were not leaving… Jim’s job told him to stay home and protect his family and home. Everyone in the city was getting ready for a war.

Are you starting to feel anxiety reading this?

Getting a grasp of how desperate we all were?

Knowing no law enforcement was helping? And I’m telling you… NO ONE was there.

I have a dear friend who lives in Gurnee. Has a home and a buisness there, and if she called me and Jim and told me her city was under attack, she was afraid for her LIFE and her store … I would help her. We would go to Gurnee and help her. Armed.

And that’s simply what happened. The residents started to realize this was on us. And we organized. Groups and individuals-On rooftop businesses -in the neighborhoods. I felt a little safer that night knowing we had some help.

So we watched again that night …live. Beginning to end.

At the lakefront… there was a small police presence again, where our courthouse and Pd is…. but the PD was nowhere else in the city. It was just us left to fend for ourselves, watching live feed again, Listening to the scanners … lights off, house alarm armed. Curtains drawn – guns ready as we listened to where the rioters were, which way they were headed. Despite the state of emergency curfew the city was flooded with cars driving around with no plates on, groups of people destroying our city. Not enough police to arrest or stop not ONE SINGLE PERSON.

Until the guard came to help… the entire city was left to its own defenses.

Hell… we ran out of plywood to board up!!!

I had the crates ready to throw the animals in and run… guns at every window and door. Constantly texting neighbors and friends around the city for updates.

When we say, if you don’t live here, you could not possibly know what was going on.. do you now understand? How afraid the whole city was?

The national guard FINALLY was called out – and did not mess around. The people who terrorized and destroyed Kenosha were not from Kenosha. Of all the arrests… most were from 44 other city’s. After our IDIOT governor finally asked, we got the help we should have had from DAY ONE. We had FBI and all the surrounding PD’s come to our aid.

If…you don’t live here… you could not possibly understand what we went thru. People should wait before they jump to conclusions. I just am disgusted beyond words at the judgement that’s happening. DISGUSTED

For those of you with children to protect, a business you put your heart and soul in… a home you struggled to own and pay for.. you have got to understand what we all went thru. The fear and the instinct to protect what you love, and what you worked so hard for is strong. I hope no one ever has to go thru anything like this. (source)

The damage in Kenosha is astounding.

Kenosha isn’t a huge city. It has a population of about 100,000 people. Until these riots, it was not considered a dangerous city. But things changed fast.

Here are some photos of the aftermath of the riots. Minus the damage from shells and sniper rifles, looks like a warzone to rival things I saw in Bosnia when I met with Selco and took one of his survival courses.

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638834

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638841

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638827

Is this the new America? If it’s this bad now, what’s going to happen after the election, particularly if the results are contested?

This is spreading across the country.

So many people are convinced this can never happen where they live. I see the denial all the time in the comments on my articles about this subject. And while it’s true that some parts of the country are more resistant to the riots and arson than others, it needs to be clearly understood that these are not locals perpetrating the damage. These are people being bussed in from other places. Time and time again, we see articles with local authorities claiming most of the arrests made were people from out of town.

This isn’t something you see coming a week ahead, like a hurricane on the horizon. One injustice, perceived or real, is all it takes to throw gasoline on a fire that is blazing across the country. It CAN happen to you, too.

A number of people in Minneapolis armed themselves to protect their families, businesses, and properties because they knew they were on their own. The story above only underlines that point. Literal battle zones are erupting across the nation. Armed conflict is already occurring and the writing is on the wall.

Be prepared for civil unrest and riots because you won’t have much warning should violence mobs deploy near you. Have a plan to leave if possible. And if that’s not possible, it cannot be more clear that you must be personally prepared to defend your home, your family, and your business because the police won’t be able to do it for you.

The Organic Prepper: Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about how Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes.

Back in January, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to catch globe attention, Selco wrote an article stating, “It’s not the virus you need to worry about. It’s the system.”

Virus or illness on itself might not be a problem in its essence, but the impact that it brings to the system and people might be so huge through the media that it causes the system to stop working in the normal way. So you could find yourself in a collapse not necessarily because of a huge pandemic, but because of the reaction to it.

Another case might be the simple unwillingness from the system to admit how bad the situation is in order to stop the panic when folks realized the truth.

So, what might bring the system to collapse might be a real pandemic or a reaction to the pandemic (which might or might not be controllable) or simply the government’s poor or late response to the pandemic. (source)

As things were just beginning to unfold, the article took a lot of heat on social media, with people saying Selco didn’t understand how things would go because he is not American and doesn’t know how things work here. Whoops. I guess that’s rather embarrassing in retrospect.

Because here we are, seven months after Selco wrote his warning, and our system is indeed falling apart.

Our system is failing in many ways.

It’s indisputable that our system is now failing in numerous ways. Some of these things directly relate to the virus and the subsequent lockdown, while others are tied to the nonstop riots that have been going on in some areas for more than 100 days. The riots began after the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck until he suffocated.

From the economy to the justice system to the infrastructure, our system is grinding to a halt in a variety of manners that stand to completely change the American way of life. Let’s take a look.

The economy

As predicted, our economy took a massive hit when government-mandated lockdowns closed the doors to many businesses. Despite billions of dollars in relief (much of which went to large businesses in an act of crony capitalism), the new economy has been nothing short of disastrous.

Millions of jobs are gone and are never coming back. Millions of small businesses have fallen. Corporate landlords aren’t getting paid rent and mom and pop landlords are being forced by the CDC (that’s right – the Center for Disease Control) to house people who can’t pay their rent, while still maintaining their mortgages.

Obviously, this trickles down to the average American who just wants to go to work and pay his or her bills. If you’ve lost your job, you are now in a heated competition for the few jobs remaining. The effect on the economy was “swift and severe” according to a paper published by the Brookings Institute. Now that the CARES Act financial assistance has run out, more and more families are being pushed into desperate levels of poverty. (If this is happening to you, please check out this article for essential advice on surviving this situation.)

But it goes even further than that – in a puzzling turn of events, our country is running out of coins. Many stores no longer give out change that is less than a dollar. You can choose to donate your change digitally to the charity of the store’s choice or get it back on a store loyalty card. Many people are concerned that this is a push toward a cashless society, something that would cause even more day to day financial problems for people who are already struggling. (And this is not as far-fetched as it might seem – it’s happened in Venezuela, too.)

Consumer inventory

And what about the folks who do have money? Well, spending it might be harder than it used to be.

Remember when the first hints of a looming lockdown occurred and store shelves across the country were emptied? And remember when all the shortages were blamed on those selfish hoarder preppers? And remember when they said if you would just buy for the next few days or for the week all the inventory would quickly be replenished because the supply chain was A-OK?

Yeah. I remember that too. And guess what?

Store shelves are still pretty spotty in many parts of the country. Some places still have limits on how much meat or toilet paper you can buy. If you go to your local Target, it’s difficult to find things like bedding and certain cleaning supplies.

Food plants continue to close due to outbreaks. Canned goods are still in high demand. (source) And what is affecting us even more is that we still aren’t getting the shipments from China that we used to receive.  When all of this began, I posted a list of essentials that we were getting from China which might affect our supplies, and unsurprisingly, many of these items remain difficult to find.

When you can find supplies in your local stores, you may find that the selection of options is far more limited than before. This is pretty startling, but something that I noticed when I spent several months abroad was that most other countries don’t have chicken cut in 12 different ways or 47 different brands of laundry detergent. What feels like a “shortage” to us is somewhat normal elsewhere and this is something you can adapt to fairly well.

At the same time, limits on purchases make it incredibly difficult to stock up for the future, and you can also expect to see fewer and fewer choices in the months ahead unless something happens to change the situation dramatically.

Education

One of the first casualties of the lockdown was the education system. Most schools simply gave up and didn’t continue the school year after the March lockdown. Colleges and universities turned to distance learning. Graduations were held virtually, if at all.

The new school year looks a lot different too. The schools that have reopened for in-person learning have stringent – and somewhat unsettling – social distancing policies. Many schools are only open for distance learning via Zoom or other online portals. (And don’t even get my started on the privacy issues this has unlocked – not to mention the overreaction of at least one school so shocked at the sight of a Nerf gun in a boy’s room that they called the cops and suspended him.)

Some schools reopened only to close again within a week when a new outbreak erupted. Huge outbreaks are occurring at universities as (big surprise) students party without a lot of regard for social distancing. Many colleges are fighting this by offering as many classes as possible in an online format. This is causing many families to question why they’re still paying the same exceptionally high prices for the education as they did when everyone spent time in the classroom, used campus facilities, and had the benefit of an active social life.

The postal service

The US Postal Service has been losing money hand over fist for years. After the COVID pandemic, it lost a whopping 2.2 billion dollars in the second quarter. In a recent Senate hearing, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified that they could not guarantee the ability to deliver mail-in ballots for the November election in a timely manner.

And it isn’t just the mail-in ballots that are a problem. There have recently been massive delays with the mail. These delays have led to mailed prescription drugs arriving late to patients who depend on them, thousands of dead baby chicks, and shipping delays that are causing unprecedented issues for small businesses that mail products to customers – and 70% of small businesses use the USPS regularly.

Many have blamed changes made by Postmaster General DeJoy, who donated to President Trump’s campaign, for the crisis.

The new leadership of the U.S. postal service has come under fire from lawmakers and advocates who worry that a slower mail system will affect the presidential election in November. But the impacts could disrupt everyday life for Americans in many other ways.

The U.S. postal service, which has suffered from financial troubles for years, has lost billions of dollars amid the coronavirus pandemic. But last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a number of orders aimed at cutting costs within the agency. Those changes include eliminating employees’ ability to log overtime and barring workers from making extra trips to deliver late-arriving mail. DeJoy’s changes have been blamed for reported widespread mail delays.

“Let me be clear about the reasons behind our restructuring and the need for our plan. Our financial condition is dire,” DeJoy said in a memo sent to USPS staff on Thursday, NBC reported. “Our critics are quick to point to our finances, yet they offer no solution.” (source)

Regardless of the specific cause, it appears a reliable postal service has been yet another systemic casualty. One recent video even came to light of massive bags of mail simply being dumped in a parking lot.

The legal and criminal justice system

After the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the country erupted. Protests were widespread. The organization Black Lives Matter reached peak popularity. The movement was quickly co-opted and groups like Antifa and the Occupy movement took over. Protests soon turned into violent riots that saw cities across the country turn into battle zones.

The unrest has lasted for more than three months and shows no signs of slowing down soon. Armed conflict has broken out in numerous cities. In fact, a demonstration promising to “lay siege” to the White House is planned for later this month through the election.

This goes hand in hand with calls to defund the police in many of the cities where the protests/riots are taking place. Massive budget cuts have already occurred in Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Portland, Philadelphia, Hartford, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, just to name a few cities. (source) It’s important to note that some of these cities have been the sites of extreme upticks in violence, looting, destruction, and arson.

And it isn’t just the criminal justice system breaking down. The court system in general has been on hiatus. Family court closures have halted divorce and custody hearings. Civil suits are at a standstill. Once the courts reopen, the massive backlog will mean even further delays.

The wheels have simply stopped turning.

The election

The upcoming election is the next broken element of the system. This year hardly feels like an election year in the first place.

Many people are hesitant to vote in person due to the virus. The postal service has said they may not be able to get ballots to people on time. Big rallies are a thing of elections past. We have yet to see a presidential debate between the candidates. We probably won’t know who won on election night. In fact, it could be weeks before a winner is announced, and even then, it looks as though Biden and Trump are both intent on questioning the outcome if it isn’t in their favor.

In short, it’s going to be a huge bone of contention that is likely to escalate the violence discussed above for weeks, if not months. We could have the fifth contested presidential election in American history. (And I’d say that isn’t just a possibility, but a likelihood.)

If an already divided country can’t agree on who won the election, would that be the final nail in the coffin of our system?

What can we do?

A lot of these are “big circle” things that are out of our personal realm of control. We can’t do anything about imports from China, we can’t stop the riots in Seattle, we can’t fix the postal service.

But we can focus our energy on getting as prepared as possible for what promises to be a bumpy road ahead. And we must also stop focusing on a system that is broken to solve our problems. Selco wrote:

Do not forget one basic fact: you as a prepper/survivalist, at your core, most probably do not trust the system.

I am not saying you hate it, but you just do not trust it completely.

So, watch the news and announcements. Help if possible, obey if possible (and if it makes sense) but always keep in mind that the system at its core has a very basic obligation: to keep that system running. If that means the system has to lie to you or let’s say, bend the truth, it will do it, because to the system you are an individual, and the system is machinery that needs to run.

So, keep some common sense, and trust your gut instinct. (source)

Pieces of the system are tumbling over like one domino after another. Every stressor added is knocking out more of the system as time goes on.

Do you think the system is fixable or do you believe it is broken beyond repair? What do you foresee for the rest of the year?

Organic Prepper: Battle Zones Erupting Across America

This article comes from Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper – Literal Battle Zones Are Erupting All Over America

Part of the “new normal” in America seems to be battle zones erupting across the nation. I’m not just talking about protests, but full-on sieges that may last for days, weeks, or even months. Some of these began due to acts of police brutality, while others have taken on lives of their own with wholesale looting and violence.

The United States of America we see today is incredibly different from the one we saw at the beginning of the year. We’ve been wracked by a pandemic, a subsequent economic catastrophe, and massive, widespread civil unrest.

Let’s take a look at these pockets of violent behavior. (WARNING: This article contains videos with violent content.)

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Yesterday, police officers shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back as he tried to enter the vehicle where his children were. Blake is in stable condition and expected to live, but the shocking video has spread virally across social media. You can see the cell phone footage below. (Violence Warning)

 

Kenosha, a city in Wisconsin of about one hundred thousand people, quickly erupted in protest of the shooting. (Never think these things only happen in large cities – here is an inside look at the Ferguson riots of 2014.)

 

 

Protests, riots, and looting are expected to continue in Kenosha.

Denver, Colorado

Not only is Colorado currently beset by wildfires, but it’s also plagued with violent civil unrest. Over the weekend, rioters set out to destroy property in downtown Denver.

 

One Twitter user reported that a group of protesters had gathered in front of a police department in Denver, and that a van pulled up to hand out shields.

 

The Denver “protesters” called for the abolition of police.

A group of about 40 people protested outside the Denver Police Department headquarters Saturday night and marched through streets in the area, blocking traffic. Some clashed with officers, set fires and broke windows…

…Chemical agents were deployed to control the crowd and eight people were taken into custody…

…Copter4 was over 13th and Delaware when people in the group were breaking windows.

People in the group set two small fires, which were quickly extinguished. (source)

Portland, Oregon

Riots have been ongoing in Portland for months, and this weekend, several notable events occurred.

On Saturday, rioters fought one another in the streets.

Protesters at Portland rallies to show support for police and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign engaged in physical combat repeatedly with counterprotesters Saturday without police intervention. Members of the chaotic crowd used an array of weapons, including baseball bats and firearms to beat and threaten those they opposed…

…Pro-Trump demonstrators, people carrying shields with references to the QAnon conspiracy theory and members of the Proud Boys — a self-described chauvinist group that regularly engages in violence — all gathered around noon, some carrying rifles…

…Counterprotesters from anti-fascist groups like Popular Mobilization PDX also gathered Saturday, and the two groups quickly began shouting at each other and engaging in tense, face-to-face confrontations in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center.

Within an hour of meeting, protesters began to push each other and throw objects. Some demonstrators on the pro-police side fired paintball guns and deployed pepper spray on counterdemonstrators. Other protesters used baseball bats. Many people wore helmets and body armor as they punched, kicked and tore at each other. (source)

This isn’t just a few people yelling and chanting. This is outright fighting – physical violence.

 

Conservative rioters left the area in the afternoon, but the remaining rioters continued to become increasingly violent into the night until teargas was released to disperse crowds.

The police did not declare an event because they “didn’t have the resources to handle one.”

In a press release distributed Saturday afternoon, Portland police said its officers did not intervene to stop the fighting because those involved “willingly” engaged, its forces were stretched too thin from policing 80+ nights of protests, and the bureau didn’t feel the clashes would last that long.

“Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene,” the release states. (source)

On Sunday night, the NY Post reported that rioters set fire to a police precinct.

Black Lives Matter militants set fire to a police station in Portland Sunday night during yet another night of violence in the Oregon city.

The march on the Portland Police Bureau’s north precinct had already been declared an unlawful assembly as police say they were pelted with “rocks and bottles” and had “powerful green lasers” pointed at them.

But a mob of at least 300 continued to advance despite repeated warnings by police — and lit an awning on the precinct ablaze… (source)

The fire was extinguished without injuries.

A week ago, a man was seriously injured when  he was pulled from his vehicle and brutally attacked during an “otherwise peaceful demonstration.”

A crowd gathered around him and repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head until he was bloody.

Witnesses told police the man had been helping a transgender female who had an item of hers stolen, and he was dragged out of the car and beat by nine or 10 people. When police arrived the man was unconscious.

Portland police said their response to the assault was “complicated by a hostile group.” (source)

Shockingly, only one person has been charged in the attack, 25-year-old Marquise Love.

It’s important to note that Portland’s new district attorney, Mike Schmidt, has refused to prosecute protesters that commit criminal acts. The New York Times reports that since he took office on August 1 of this year, he has dismissed charges against half of the more than 600 people who have been arrested for crimes like interfering with the police, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Charges that involve assaulting officers will “require closer scrutiny, with prosecutors taking into account in filing charges whether the police fired tear gas into crowds.”

Unsurprisingly, local law enforcement believes that Schmidt’s policies are making matters worse.

Mr. Schmidt said Portland police leaders told him that they were concerned the directive would lead to more police injuries, though he said nothing prevented officers from making lawful arrests they deemed necessary. (The Portland police chief, Chuck Lovell, said the force “will continue to do the job the community expects of us.”)

The sheriff, Mike Reese, warned Mr. Schmidt in an email that some protesters were bent on “starting fires, damaging property and assaulting police, community members,” adding, “They may feel even more emboldened if there is a public statement that appears to minimize their activities.” In response to one of the sheriff’s concerns, Mr. Schmidt said he revised the policy to greenlight prosecutions for rioting in cases where a defendant was accused of serious offenses.

The Oregon State Police also took a parting shot at Mr. Schmidt as troopers pulled back after a two-week deployment at the protests this month, saying they preferred to put resources in “counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority.” (source)

The violence in Portland shows no sign of relenting.

Seattle, Washington … (continues)

The Organic Prepper: There’s No Such Thing as “Without Rule of Law”

Toby Cowern at The Organic Prepper writes about the idea of “Without Rule of Law” in SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situations and how it doesn’t really exist. Instead there is something he and Selco refer to as “Different Rule of Law.”

I want to address one specific point. This is a very general application across the preppersphere. But it’s also become a little bit time-sensitive in certain countries just now, so it’s a lesson well worth visiting. And for those that have watched my videos or read the articles or seen me quoted previously, one of my kind of most quoted phrases is “Words have meaning and meaning is important.” And I stand by that.

Selco and I constantly, in lectures or courses, preface everything with definitions and meanings and understanding so everybody’s on the same page. What I want to do here is address one specific phrase and then tweak it. Within the prepper-sphere, and wider world, we have this concept of W R O L

  • ( WROL) Which stands for: Without Rule of Law. This has been written about extensively and the principle is: as normal societal function slows down, or stops, the law is no longer applied. It becomes a Wild West in the classic connotation of it.

In our philosophy, Selco and I believe that WROL categorically does not exist. However, what we do work with is D R O L (DROL) Doesn’t sound like much difference, but it’s critical because of a slight perception and shift change in mindsets.

  • DROL is Different Rule of Law. No matter what the catastrophe is or how bad it gets, there’s always going to be a “law” of some sort. In fact, we could actually stop at the word rule: without rule or different rules. There are always going to be rules.

We can drop the word “law” because people get really hung up on the specificity of its meaning. As in these are democratically elected, government-monitored states that are sort of enforced. Let’s just look at rules instead of laws to understand what I mean.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Now, the simple fact is, we all know that nature abhors a vacuum. So as one system comes down or pauses or rests, another will immediately move to fill that void. And that’s what we have with rules. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a national or state level. This can be a very singular or on a small unit level: towns, cities, or even smaller than that, like neighborhoods, parts of cities, parts of towns.

And this isn’t theoretical. This is evidenced globally through the history of humanity and definitely within the modern era that this state exists. Quite simply, here’s one of the first things to understand: there has to be an infrastructure for new rules to be introduced and most importantly, enforced.

Rules are nothing without enforcement. The only reason any of us follow any rules is because of the threat of enforcement if we break them. The vehemence, the detail, and the pain of that enforcement govern our individual application of those rules within our own individual lives.

The infrastructure already exists. There are those who would love to implement new rules. The only thing is looking at their capability to enforce those rules. This is where it gets interesting. We can’t then say, “It doesn’t matter whether mob rule, or gang rule, or criminal rule, or warlord rule.” No, it matters very much whose rules you’re following, because of the vehemency and level of enforcement.

That is the small shift and key mindset difference, that so important. WROL, the Wild West, is basically alleging: Rules can be broken with no consequences. That’s the classic, “I’ll drive my car through an illegal vehicle checkpoint, potentially guns blazing because it doesn’t matter because nobody can stop me.”

Now Without Rule Of Law, all of that will be true. In DROL, the enforcement or the penalization of that action will vary but there will be consequences. So quite simply in Different Rule Of Law, there are always going to be consequences. Always. And those consequences may be way more severe than when we had our current rule of law.

It’s not there are no consequences. It’s more like, this may have previously got me a fine or a warning, or day in court. But now, that same action will going to get me hunted, tracked, and killed. Or worse still, made a public example of. These are the other factors to consider. Justice throughout the Western world, for all its flaws, for all its foibles, for all its humanity, tries to be as evenly applied across the populace as possible. (I’m not going to get into politics of different enforcement for different segments of society. Let’s keep it at that kind of higher-level perception.)

In DROL, there is no even application of the rules, not even a pretense of it. Whoever is making the rules and disseminating down to the enforcement capabilities speaks to how those rules are going to be enforced and how evenly and how equally. So, you might run a checkpoint, but because of your skillset or your stature in the community or your finances, you might get away with it. You might be able to pay them off. Somebody else may literally be executed. They may be executed on the spot.

The infrastructures are already in place.

It can be because all of the infrastructures are there already and they have an existing symbiosis with the structures in governance and enforcement. That is a given. Every gang and criminal enterprise has connections, cooperation, and collaborations with the people policing them. Because that’s how the dark system works.

If you don’t believe me, get online and do some research. Don’t deny that it exists because it does. In every country around the world. Quite simply, the poorer, the more third-world the country, the more corrupt the system.

And the more corrupt the system, the more that integration is already there…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

The Organic Prepper: Beware People with a “Perfect Solution”

Selco at The Organic Prepper has an article up certain dangerous people in trying times like these – People with a “Perfect Solution” Will Use Our Hard Times to Take Control

…In the last few weeks, I saw riots erupt every single day because people lost their confidence in how the situation was being handled here with all events. People went out in the streets in big numbers, kicking police, smashing windows… I think the main reason for it was the feeling that their lives are being taken away, or to put it more clearly their future is getting taken from their hands by the people who do not know what they do.

So folks went out on the streets, letting that rage out on the system

It is nothing particularly new. When emotions like rage and fear erupt after boiling for a long time, these things happen.

There’s always someone with a “perfect solution.”

What I noticed too is among a huge mass of those people there were movements with ideas that are very violent and radical, trying to take that rage and fear of the common folks and use it in their favor, in order to steer people. They want to “ride” on the common folk’s rage and fear, and they want to get more power.

So they can rule.

That is nothing new either. It happened through history frequently. In very hard times, a movement with a dangerous and radical agenda took all those people’s desperation, rage, and fear and used it in their favor.

Who would people listen to during hard and desperate times? A movement with radical ideas that promises a solution to all problems, of course.

Sound familiar?

It is the perfect time for movements, or people, or some man with “solutions” to everything. What you just have to do is to follow their ideas. Yeah, some of those ideas sound…hmmm… maybe weird, or a bit radical, but what the hell? I mean those folks will “save us”, right?

I am afraid of those “perfect solutions” that are coming, at least coming here in my region. Who knows, maybe those “perfect solutions” are coming everywhere.

It is not about conspiracy theories now. It is about how much people must be desperate in order to accept something which in essence could be even worse than the actual situation?

How desperate must a family man who has lost his job, home, health, and safe future be in order to accept something which is, at its very essence, wrong?

Is all this only a prelude to something even worse after which we will all welcome the “solution”?

I do not know.

What the future holds

As things continue to erode here, I feel like I know less.

Or maybe in a way, I want to know less about things that I cannot change, and I invest more in things that I can change.

And again, as much I do not know exactly what the future will bring, I am positive it is not going to be good. Too many things are happening. Too many people are losing everything, including hope.

I am kinda waiting for something that will be even worse than this…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

The Organic Prepper: What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

This article from The Organic Prepper complies short takes from seventy-five preppers on what they have learned during this pandemic and lockdown. Some are only a sentence, while others are a full paragraph. Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

The lockdown that recently took place due to the pandemic was like a practice run for a bigger SHTF event. Many of our prepper theories played out and were accurate, while others weren’t as realistic as we thought beforehand.

People who weren’t preppers already learned a lot about why they would want to be better prepared in the future, but they weren’t the only ones who learned lessons. These preppers took a moment to answer questions about the lessons they learned during the lockdown. (Here’s an article about the things I learned.)

What did you learn about preparedness during the lockdown?

Trisha…

I learned two main things. First, I was very surprised at how strongly the isolation hit me. I am a person who is “energized” by interacting with other people. I knew that already, but I was shocked at how MUCH it affected me. Second, I got a taste of normalcy bias. I kept trying to see ways in which our situation was still “Normal”. As a school teacher of little ones for thirty years, I was pretty much used to switching into action immediately to deal with a crisis and putting my feelings on the back burner. So, I was shocked that it took me a couple of months to “accept” the changes in our lives and start looking for creative ways to make life work and meet our needs.

Maria…

I learned it is so important to pay attention to what’s going on and stay ahead of the crowd. My husband and I were able to stock up two weeks before everyone else panicked. I also learned my plan of being stocked up and shopping only for replacements is a great system. For example I have 3 jars of mayo on the shelf, when I open one I put it on the list to purchase next time and replenish. Same with Costco TP. Every time I shop there I grab one package. We didn’t even go through half our stock pile and I was able to leave it for those who really needed it. I also learned to listen to your instincts, inner voice, the spirit, God or whatever you call it. I listened every time and we have made it through very comfortably. Also, look for opportunities to help others prepare. I have gotten several people to prepare seriously because of staying ahead of everyone else. I couldn’t have done what I did with[out] Daisy and her spot on articles. Like I said earlier, they kept me two weeks ahead of the crowd.

Angela…

That individuals mental state can be intrusive to yours. For me-it preteen having her 1st period.

Annabel…

That things happen really fast. If you act when things happen it is too late. Act now.

Judith…

That prepping is far more than one type of crisis. Organization of preps is vitally important ( I am still not where I need to be). Having a list of recipes and items needed helps with how and what to shop for. Alternative sources for cooking, cleaning etc. are important.

Angela…

Being in a lockdown during the spring was great. House was cool and could bake. Once it got hot, there was no baking. Need to learn to bake more via the fire, not just cook.

Maya…

I had anticipated shortages like food, soap, TP, and PPEs, but I underestimated how short in supply durable consumer goods would be – like the fact that freezers would pretty much become extinct, all gardening supplies, etc. Luckily, I had stockpiled seeds (although this year I brought veggie starts because everything started late this year.) It took until June to get the raised bed kits (industrial area, it’s not safe to grow anything you want to eat in the ground). Canning jars have also become in short supply. I anticipated has shortages, which did not take place – in fact, gas became dirt cheap with nobody able to go anywhere. I did fail to anticipate that the border would be closed for half a year! Living in a border city, I tend to rely on the much cheaper US prices for many things. I really should not have put off dentist and eye appointments, or a haircut! I will get that attended to before the next wave of contamination and lock-downs. I am working now on beefing up food growing and preserving supplies. Desiccants, oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, food grade buckets, canning lids, canning jars, and food saver bags are all likely to become harder to obtain as food prices rise and more people become aware of how to grow and preserve foods. I am also stocking up on organic fertilizers and indoor growing options. And sprouting seeds – I think I have at least 2 years’ worth of those…

Continue reading at The Organic Prepper by clicking here.

 

 

The Organic Prepper: Eye Witness Account of Seattle Riots

The Organic Prepper has an eye-witness account from a national guard member of the Seattle riots – An Eye-Witness’s Shocking Account of What’s REALLY Happening During the Seattle Riots. The takeaway? “You can’t depend on anyone to come and save you when unrest shows up in your neighborhood. The people who were there, willing, and able to defend Seattle were forced to stand down. You have to expect to be completely on your own.”

A social media post (which has been removed) by a member of the Washington National Guard has been shared more than 7000 times since it was written on June 12th. It’s a true education in mob mentality.

As Toby Cowern says, “Look how much ‘othering’ has been done already. Once that’s happening there’s a big problem.”

He’s right – and here’s the shocking truth about what’s really going on in Seattle from a person who had a front-row ticket to the mayhem.

An eye-witness account

I previously said I had a lot to say regarding my experiences while in downtown Seattle [Incoming VERY long post…]. When I came home, I was exhausted, angry, and saddened by what I had experienced. I said I needed to share what happened, but I also said I needed some time to rest and reflect. My unit was activated for 12 days. We worked long hours but we continued to stay dedicated to the state and the mission. I can’t stop that now. I’ve been up all night, trying my best to put into words what I experienced and observed. This is too important to wait. I rarely post on social media, but I’m making this post, hoping it reaches those that want to know the truth. I can imagine, given the current environment, this post may cause some controversy. That is not my intention what-so-ever. I agree the excessive use of force in Minnesota was inexcusable but reacting with hatred and violence is contradictory to the message of peace and change. Either way, people need to know what’s actually happening behind the guise of this “movement.” Whether localized or nationalized, what I witnessed NEEDS TO STOP!

Activation:

I was working nights and the day of my phone call, I had difficulties sleeping that morning. I had a lot on my mind, and I decided I was going to stay up and do some yard work. As I was preparing to go outside, I started receiving text messages and phone calls. “We’ve been activated! Hit time at the armory is 1700!” I looked at my watch and I had maybe an hour before hit time. “Well, I’m going to be late…” I thought. I immediately responded to the text messages and phone calls, telling them I would be there as soon as possible. Why was I going to be late?

My unit is in Western Washington and I live in Southeastern Washington… to drive, at a pace much faster than the speed limit, I’d be lucky to make it in three hours… Without hesitation, I grabbed all my staged military gear and threw it into the back of my vehicle. I figured, “Heck, if it’s an emergency, they’re not going to have time to put out a packing list… so, I mise well bring everything.” As I was throwing military gear into my vehicle, I received text messages telling me to pack for at least a week. “Wow, this is serious…” I thought. Being activated and expecting the mission to last a week or more, whatever the activation was for, it was going to be an uphill battle… I threw a few uniforms and a week’s worth of clothing in my rucksack and proceeded to drive to the armory.

Preparation:

I arrived at the armory in the evening and realized I had now been awake for over 24 hours. I contacted my chain of command and determined we’d leave at zero dark hundred for Seattle. I gathered my issued equipment, added it to my ruck sack, and tried to take a one-hour nap. I awoke to people on the move and bright fluorescent lights. It felt like I had just closed my eyes, but it was go-time. I grabbed my bags and met my unit in the parking lot of the armory. There was no time to waste! We loaded every cot we had, all our personal bags, and whatever we could quickly think of that we might need. We loaded our transportation and were off to Seattle in what seemed like minutes…

The Build Up:

On our way to Seattle, I had time to dwell and self-reflect. What’s so out of control that the Guard would be called up? Who and/or what am I going to be protecting? Am I going to be protecting rights, life, property, or all the above? I told myself that no matter what happens, I will do my utmost to remain impartial, to uphold the Constitution, to protect the rights of the citizens of the United States, and to protect life and property to the best of my ability. As a Soldier, we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Regardless of the political climate, a Soldier has the responsibility to remain impartial, to ensure all citizens’ rights are protected and that the Constitution is adhered to. As we approached Seattle, I did so with an open mind and a sympathetic heart. I prayed that I may understand whoever needs our help, that I may do my job to the utmost of my ability, and that the rights of all those involved would be preserved.

The Gear:

Per order of the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, the Washington Army National Guard went into Seattle COMPLETELY UNARMED. We had NO way to defend ourselves and HAD TO rely upon the SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT to protect us… Not all of us had vests or plates that would stop rifle bullets. In the beginning, most of us didn’t even have shin guards… A few Soldiers didn’t have batons… Shields were hit or miss, but we ended up sharing where we could…

The Riots:

Oddly enough, my first day was one of the hardest days. We touched ground and were immediately dispatched to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct near the intersection of 11th St and Pine St (Capitol Hill). This location would become very familiar for me, due to all of the “peaceful protesters” rioting here almost every night… Only one other unit arrived the day before we did, and they were sent to Westlake Center due to it being actively vandalized and destroyed.

Before I talk about the first day, I have to admit that my squad was later sent to Westlake. While I was there, I saw remnants of fire and broken glass everywhere I went. Almost all glass areas were boarded up and the area was devoid of business. What I, and most non-locals didn’t know, is that Westlake is a shopping center. It’s blocks upon blocks of popular businesses in downtown Seattle. It’s essentially an outdoor shopping mall… Due to the fact that not a single store was open, I was curious about the extent of damage to the area the night before. While I was looking through photos on Google while on break, one of the Seattle Police Department Police Officers pointed to an area down the street and said, “The bastards torched my patrol car right there.” As she said that, the newspaper headline photo lit my smartphone screen as I could see protesters celebrating around broken business windows and a couple vehicles that were aflame. I thought to myself, “Why would someone do this?” As I read through the headlines, I came to realize the businesses were broken into, looted, and then set ablaze… all in the name of “Black Lives Matter.” I tried my best to connect the dots… but how does social injustice relate to graffiti, theft, malicious mischief, and arson? If there was a specific political statement from these crimes, even the news media didn’t interpret or understand it… it was obviously a crime of opportunity…

Returning back to my first day at East Precinct, I was assigned as one of the squad leaders. My squad, consisting of primarily Soldiers from my unit, were fairly distinct. Like everyone else in my unit, we wore a black vest that distinguished us against every other Guardsman in Seattle. I could explain why, but it’s not relevant. If you want proof of where I was, find the Soldiers with black vests in Seattle… I was one of them.

Anyways…

On the first day, we were initially on the line behind the Seattle Police Officers at the East Precinct. The Officers weren’t carrying shields like us that day. During the protests, I observed Officers shaking hands with those yelling at them. I also saw one Officer approach a male crying in the crowd. The Officer asked the male if he wanted a hug and the protester replied, “Yes!” I watched as the Officer embraced and comforted the crying protester. Seeing these things, I thought to myself “Why am I here? Seattle PD obviously has a connection with the population, what am I supposed to accomplish or prevent here?” It didn’t take long for that to change.

I took up position on our right flank, recognizing a weakness in our line. A female quickly made eye contact with me, while recording me with her cell phone, and started yelling… “HEY! ARMY! Where are you from?!” I told her I was a Soldier with the Washington Army National Guard. She asked if I lived in Washington State. I told her, “Yes, I’m a citizen of Washington State, just like you.” She then abruptly said, “Why do you guys keep killing us?” I told her, “Excuse me?! I haven’t killed anyone…” She looked at me, befuddled, and said… “You guys keep killing us! You know, your training… don’t you have some sort of limitation where you can’t kill people?! You know, where you can only shoot us if we shoot at you?” At this point, I obviously knew she was referring to our Rules of Engagement (RoE) but it was obvious she was trying to provoke me. I tried to explain to her that what she was saying wasn’t true, but she kept interrupting me. Every time I’d try to speak, she’d raise her voice and interrupt me. As she continued to escalate, I recognized she was trying to provoke an exaggerated reaction out of me. I looked at her, shrugged, and proceeded to ignore her as I scanned the crowd. She grumbled and said, “You don’t even know your own regulations?!” I looked at her, shrugged again, and continued to ignore her… As I was scanning, I saw a male protester point out and move towards an African-American Police Officer.

The protester proceeded to yell, asking why the Officer was on the “white-man’s side.” He called the Officer an “Uncle Tom,” a “pretender,” a “race traitor,” and a N-word I’d prefer not to use. Every fiber of my being wanted to lash out. How can you use racist terms and protest racism while using it in a derogatory manner towards someone else? How can you even find fault in someone that is remaining peaceful, that is protecting your rights, and is obviously concerned for the community?! I was furious as the protester continued berating the Officer… We then got replaced by another squad for relief.

During their “protest” I observed multiple people tell others to “shut up” because of their “white privilege.” I also saw two protesters almost get into a fight because one wasn’t “letting the black man speak.” Another protester, when a male had a megaphone, yelled “Listen to him! He’s black!” I was raised, under the impression, that equality means treating everyone equally… Race won’t cease to be an issue until we stop talking about it. All my brothers and sisters are one color: green. It’s cool to honor your heritage, but no one gets special anything due to their skin tone… Everyone is treated the same and everything is equal. How is this (equality) a hard concept?

I talked to my Soldiers during our downtime. I had a few African-American Soldiers in my squad. I pointed out and talked to them about what I had just observed. I told them they may be focused upon, that the racists in the crowd might single them out because they’re African-American. It wasn’t long before we returned to the protest line...(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Unconventional Warfare in the US

Political warfare location within four implements of power

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about the use of unconventional warfare techniques with the US recently in her article There’s an Actual Playbook for Everything Happening Right Now and the US Wrote It. But Who Is Using It Against Us? Some of this echoes themes written of by intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer on low intensity conflict in the US, as you may have seen from articles of his that we’ve posted to this site.

While it might seem like everything that is happening is just chaotically bouncing from one shocking event to the next, that assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a playbook – a literal playbook – and we’re being manipulated toward the endgame that does not benefit the American people.

What’s the endgame?

Spoiler alert.

It’s widespread guerrilla actions and the destabilization of our country.

What’s this playbook?

The playbook I’m referring to in this article is the US Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual from 2010. These were methods that the United States military employed against Libya.

The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives. Historically, the military concept for the employment of UW was primarily in support of resistance movements during general-war scenarios. While this concept remains valid, the operational environment since the end of World War II has increasingly required U.S. forces to conduct UW in scenarios short of general war (limited war).

Enabling a resistance movement or insurgency entails the development of an underground and guerrilla forces, as well as supporting auxiliaries for each of these elements. Resistance movements or insurgencies always have an underground element. The armed component of these groups is the guerrilla force and is only present if the resistance transitions to conflict. The combined effects of two interrelated lines of effort largely generate the end result of a UW campaign. The efforts are armed conflict and subversion. Forces conduct armed conflict, normally in the form of guerrilla warfare, against the security apparatus of the host nation (HN) or occupying military. Conflict also includes operations that attack and degrade enemy morale, organizational cohesion, and operational effectiveness and separate the enemy from the population. Over time, these attacks degrade the ability of the HN or occupying military to project military power and exert control over the population. Subversion undermines the power of the government or occupying element by portraying it as incapable of effective governance to the population. (source)

And now this guideline is very clearly being used against the United States. It started years back, but recently, we’ve watched things escalate rather dramatically.

Here’s the guideline.

Consider this a pyramid that begins at the bottom and builds to the apex. This all begins with underground activities and the fanning of legitimate flames, like Selco mentioned in his article about defunding the police.

Does that stuff look familiar? It should because we’re more than three-quarters of the way through this escalation.

The causes are not unjust.

The thing that makes this technique so effective is that the causes themselves are not unjust. They are things that would rightly anger any reasonable, compassionate human being.

Most white people don’t want to see people of other races suffer indignities and violence based on the color of their skin. (I say “most” because there are always outliers and extremists.) Most Americans in general do not want to see police brutality. They don’t want to see families split up or people imprisoned for decades for victimless crimes.

Let me be perfectly clear when I say that it is not unreasonable or wrong to be outraged and want things to change. I hate some of the things I’ve seen our government and police officers do and have written about these misdeeds for years.

But this article isn’t about whether or not our anger is justified. It is an assessment of a playbook.

All of this outrage over injustice forms the foundation of something that can be used against us. The agitation has been building up for years – far longer than President Trump has been in office – so as much as people love to hate him, he isn’t the cause of all this. But he’s certainly not making things go any more smoothly.

An early timeline

Everything I’m writing about today is about how our government in the past has encouraged a resistance in other countries, and how a resistance is being nurtured here in the United States right now.

So what does it take to cause people to be angry enough to resist?

Resistance generally begins with the desire of individuals to remove intolerable conditions imposed by an unpopular regime or occupying power. Feelings of opposition toward the governing authority and hatred of existing conditions that conflict with the individual’s values, interests, aspirations, and way of life spread from the individual to his family, close friends, and neighbors. As a result, an entire community may possess an obsessive hatred for the established authority. Initially, this hatred will manifest as sporadic, spontaneous nonviolent and violent acts of resistance by the people toward authority. As the discontent grows, natural leaders, such as former military personnel, clergymen, local office holders, and neighborhood representatives, emerge to channel this discontent into organized resistance that promotes its growth. The population must believe they have nothing to lose, or more to gain. (source)

There can be more than one resistance going on at a time, too. Currently, everything that is in the news is about the resistance that has sprung up over the death of George Floyd. A few months ago, it was about the sanctuary cities in Virginia standing up against state legislators.

Resistance organizations have been around for years: Black Lives Matter, the NRA, Antifa, the Boogaloo movement, the Black Bloc, the Gun Owners of America. I’m just listing off examples of organizations here, not passing judgment whether they’re good or bad. I’ll bet that most people who join do so because of their own deeply held beliefs. They sincerely feel they’re doing the right thing and have the best of intentions.

But then there are the other people who join – the infiltrators – and they take these kinds of organizations to dark places. Much has been written about the involvement of the Communist Party, neo-Nazis, George Soros, and white supremacists in various groups. And while some of it may be the stuff of legends and propaganda, a lot of it is very likely to be true…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Reuters

Daisy Luther at The Organic prepper writes about How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest.

As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

Never underestimate the power, rage, and motivation of a mob. Never think it can’t happen where you are.

There’s a distinct pattern to civil unrest.

Civil unrest can be predicted to some degree. Jose shared some of the warning signs he has observed and they all share their part in this pattern.

Here’s how a protest turns into a riot:

  • A perceived outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Sometimes there are not-so-good people in the group, those who want to see violence.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The police and military get called in.
  • The city burns, and neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios.

The mob mentality and Freud

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off the normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrip the number of arrests in most situations, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

In his course, One Year in Hell, Selco recounts how quickly and shockingly the SHTF in his Bosnian city. He explains that any time a group of people becomes violent, it’s possible for it to turn into a longer-term event than just a few rough days.

Never think “it can’t happen here.”

Remember in 2015 when Baltimore, Maryland was a war zone? It may have given you a sense of deja vu, flashing back to the fall when Ferguson, Missouri was under siege. We’ve seen riots in Sacramento, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which the media lied about); Charlottesville, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and all over the nation after the presidential election in 2016.

And it didn’t slow down after the election. Portland has been the site of numerous protests that were really just all-out street fights and the police were ordered to stand down.

Some of the following information appears in my book, Be Ready for Anything, which has an entire chapter dedicated to surviving civil unrest.

How to survive a riot or unrest event

When you understand the patterns discussed above, you can make your plan with a bit more authority. But remember that no plan is engraved in stone in the survival world. You’ve got to be ready to pivot to Plan B in the blink of an eye if information arises that makes Plan A no longer the safest.

This article is about the safest ways to survive civil unrest. It’s not about making a stand or teaching those punks a lesson.  There’s always someone who chimes in with a snide remark about how cowardly it is to lockdown with your family in order to stay safe.

Blah, blah, blah. If you want to go get involved in a battle to make a political point, that’s certainly your prerogative. If you want to fight the police enforcing martial law, it’s your call.

However, if your priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, the goal should be to avoid engaging altogether. This article is about surviving, not about How Things Should Be.

Get everyone together

If your area is beginning to devolve, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to get everyone in the family home or to a safer secondary location.)

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  The reality is, family members are likely to be at work or school when things start to break down. You need to have a plan laid out in advance to get everyone together and you need to be flexible enough to know when to move on to Plan B.

  • Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
  • Find multiple routes home. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
  • Find places to lay low along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
  • Avoid groups of people – it doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.
  • Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. The police won’t stop to ask you questions nicely in a tense situation. You’ll be treated as a threat.

Know when to abandon the plan to get home. Sometimes, you just can’t get there. Going through a war zone is not worth it. Find a different place to shelter. Pay attention to your instincts…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers

This article from Diane Vukovic at The Organic Prepper is adapted from a chapter in her book Disaster Preparedness for Women. This is an excerpt from Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers.

Building a Go Bag for just yourself is challenging enough. When you have to calculate family members into the plan – especially babies or toddlers – things can get really complicated.

There’s no one perfect solution. You have to think about what makes sense for your family and what disasters you are preparing for. Here are some insights and things to think about when making Bug Out Bags for babies and small children.

Planning a BOB Bag for Babies or Toddlers

If you have small children, it’s even more important you make a solid evacuation plan which includes a safe bug out location. You need to be prepared to leave quickly and early so you can avoid crowds and worsening weather and travel conditions. Hopefully you have your own vehicle so you can keep it packed and get on the road quickly.

But even the best-laid plans can go to hell.

Always keep Bug Out Bags ready to go. Pack them with the idea you might have to ditch your vehicle and walk, potentially through rain, deep water, at night, or in other really terrible conditions.

Bug Out Gear for Babies and Toddlers

Ideally, a Bug Out Bag should weigh no more than 20% of your body weight. Otherwise the bag will be too heavy to carry, especially if you have to go over tough terrain or run. However, there’s really not a good way to travel light with a baby in tow. They need supplies like diapers, wipes, creams, bottles, and formula.

I personally found it easier to travel with infants than toddlers. Infants might cry a lot and use up more diapers, but they are content to cuddle in a front carrier. By contrast, my toddler wants to constantly run around. I worry about losing her in crowds as well as keeping her clean when she decides to run through a giant puddle.

If you aren’t sure what items you really need for evacuating with your small kids, I recommend going on a family camping trip. Even better, go on a backpacking trip. You’ll get a crash course in what it’s like to get by with minimal supplies as well as what’s essential versus what’s nice to have.

Below are some of the key Bug Out gear you need for babies and small children. At the end of the article, you can find a complete list of baby BOB items.

Strollers and Carriers

My younger daughter is currently 18 months old. She’s already over 20lbs. Combined with the weight of my Bug Out Bag, it’s a lot to carry! Luckily I’ve got a pretty tough stroller I could use to push her as well as haul her supplies. But strollers aren’t exactly the ideal solution for evacuating.

In 2015, I witnessed firsthand the Syrian refugee plight in Europe. I remember seeing Syrian refugees with children trying to roll strollers through thick mud and over rough terrain. Many ended up abandoning the strollers and carrying their kids instead. Others were forced to abandon the strollers when entering cramped boats or buses.

I’d recommend getting a good baby carrier for your child to have as a backup to a stroller. Most carriers are backpack style, which means you’d have to wear your Go Bag on your front. Or you could get a front carrier for your child and wear the Bug Out Bag on your back. Neither option is ideal because you easily get off-balanced and can topple over.

After carrying my heavy baby on many hikes, I’ve learned that trekking poles are a Godsend. They allow me to stay balanced even when carrying a heavy weight and help redistribute the weight so there isn’t as much strain on my back.

Even with a good stroller, be realistic about what shape you are in. Can you actually carry your child and a Bug Out Bag for a long distance? This illustrates how important it is to have a solid evacuation plan and leave as soon as you can and hopefully won’t end up carrying your child.

Clothing

For clothing, choose items that can be worn in layers to regulate temperature better. It also makes it easier to keep kids clean.

Backpacking with my children taught me that rain suits are a parent’s best friend. You can let your kids crawl or run freely without having to worry about them getting wet and covered in mud. When you only have three changes of clothes packed for your kids, you definitely don’t want them to get wet or dirty!

Formula

Even if you exclusively breastfeed your child, you’ll still want to stockpile infant formula. There are scenarios where you could end up injured or separated from your baby and unable to breastfeed. While it isn’t common, there are also situations where a mother’s milk “dries up,” such as from stress, illness, poor diet, and certain medications.

The main issue with formula is that you need to sterilize the bottles and nipples. You’ll also need to make sure your hands are clean beforehand. This is especially important in disaster situations where contaminants are all around.

You could pack a stove, pot, and extra water for sterilizing bottles. However, it takes a lot of time and water to get the bottles and nipples clean. An alternative option is to pack “bottle sterilizing tablets.” To use the tablets, you put the clean bottles and nipples in clean water then add a tablet and let everything soak. Yes, this method still requires extra water, but not nearly as much as with traditional sterilization methods.

You can also avoid sterilizing completely by using pre-sterilized bottles or bottle liners. While these are more expensive, it is probably worth getting at least three days’ worth for your Bug Out Bag.

Diapers

You’ll want to pack at least three days’ worth of diapers in your Bug Out Bag. You can save space by vacuum sealing diapers.

You might end up needing a lot more diapers than this though. As a backup, you could pack several cloth diapers and covers. It’s really impractical to try to clean cloth diapers while bugging out, but it’s better to have them than risk running out of diapers.

Consider packing diapers or Pull-Ups for potty-trained children too. The last thing you or your child wants to worry about during a disaster is potty accidents.

Baby/Toddler Bug Out Bag Gear Checklist

These items are in addition to the other BOB gear you need, such as food, shelter, a knife, and survival tools.

  • • Baby formula or food
    • Pre-sterilized bottles and nipples, disposable bottle inserts, and/or bottle sterilizing tablets
    • Baby medications
    • Diaper changing kit
    • Disposable diapers
    • Several cloth diapers and covers
    • 2-3 changes of clothing for layering
    • Extra underwear for potty-trained children
    • Rain suit
    • Plastic bags for soiled clothes
    • Sleeping bag or sack
    • Toys/comfort items
    • Pacifiers with clips
    • Child harness and leash (for walking children; useful so you don’t lose your child in crowds)
    • Stroller
    • Carrier and trekking poles
    • Child-sized N95 respirator or hood (talk to your pediatrician about this)
    • Multivitamins…

Organic Prepper: Have You Learned These Lessons?

Selco at The Organic Prepper asks Have You Learned These Survival Lessons During the Pandemic?

There are some skills and strategies that survivalists and preppers keep bashing on over and over again as important ones for hard times.
Some of those are good, others are simply wrong, or miscalculated, or let’s say “built” on wrong the foundations for whatever reason.

There is nothing better than learning from your own experiences (other than maybe learning from other folks’ mistakes). We all went (and still going) trough very turbulent times, hard times, so let’s check which of those “strategies” you learned and already experienced, or simply check about those that you did not see yet, but that you might see in the future.

It really can happen anywhere

The core of my writing, teaching courses, and everything else – the core of my survival philosophy is that “it can happen anywhere“.
It is something that you need to adopt as a first step of understanding how the world of survival works, and actually if you cannot adopt words “it can happen anywhere” you’ll never be a survivalist.

Sure, you can call yourself a survivalist, but if you cannot comprehend the fact that “it can happen anywhere” you will never be fully ready.
There are numerous reasons why the S can hit the fan anywhere no matter in what kind of modern country and society you live, and actually there are numerous reasons why the “fall” can be deeper and more painful in more modern societies, but that is a topic for some other article.

The system is fragile.

I think you all by now understood how the system can be fragile in an unexpected situation, and it is true no matter how advanced the system is – it is fragile.

And no, for this particular revelation it is not important at all whether you support the political system that rules, favor a political party or not, or any other personal opinion about the “parts” of the system. Discussing and wasting time about why the system is fragile and why it failed to cope with properly handling the event is simply wasting time. No system is built for huge events, at least it is not built to sustain and cope with largescale events in a way that your lifestyle (freedoms, rights, way of living that you use to, etc.) will stay intact.

A large scale event will affect the system, and depending on the duration and severity of the event, it may do so to the point that the system actually disappears.

The greatest danger when SHTF

Tornadoes, asteroids, dirty bombs, viruses, pandemic, wars… you can not be ready for all of that, and if you concentrate efforts to be ready only for a particular scenario based on a particular danger in that scenario, you’ll very easily fall into the trap of forgetting something extremely important.

Prepping (when it comes to what danger you should prepare for) in your philosophy, should be the simple fact that you are preparing for danger from other people.

In most survival scenarios, other people will be an immediate threat or will become the greatest threat very soon after the event happens.
Yes I know, a tornado does not have anything human in its nature, but if a tornado or serious storm brings the city to halt, it will soon bring a situation where there are more people than resources. Without a system to control it, then those people fighting for resources will become your biggest problem, not the tornado.

So if you are prepping for serious weather only without taking into consideration that actually other people might become a bigger problem than the event, you are doing it wrong.

People carry viruses in a pandemic, weapons in war, hate in a political clash, or they need resources after an economic disaster. Start your prepping for every scenario with the consideration that “other people” will most likely become a problem and threat. At best, simply factor that you will be forced to deal with them, for example through trade, and plan your prepping philosophy from that point.

As I mentioned it is not only the fact that other people may become a threat. It is also the fact that you’ll be forced to interact with people on other levels (trade, negotiations, mutual agreements, alliances…).

It probably will not be a situation where you need to shoot everybody else. You’ll need to interact with those people, to live with those people around you under the new circumstances.

Timing is everything.

Survival could be explained as “being ahead of others”.

Do not mix this with up “looking different than others” which survivalists often think is necessary. It actually can be dangerous to look and act differently than others when the SHTF.

Being ahead of others is about being different, not necessarily looking different.

Timing and “being ahead of others” is not some complicated thing, because if you are into prepping you should already know that you need to keep an ear on the ground all the time and seek information that you can use in your favor before the majority of other folks get it. The run on supplies in America was a perfect example of this…(continues)

Organic Prepper: Dirt Cheap – The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

This article from Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper is a link-fest, bringing together numerous articles across the internet – Dirt Cheap: The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

With the price of healthful groceries going no place but up, lots of thrifty folks are starting a garden to save money on their bills this year. But what about the money to start a garden? It can be a very expensive undertaking, especially if you’ve never gardened before in your particular location.

I’ve been researching ways to start my own garden as inexpensively as possible and thought, “HEY!!! I know some other folks who would absolutely love frugal gardening ideas!” So…here they are.

Step One: What Kind of Garden Are You Going to Grow?

Of course, the very first thing to decide is what type of garden will work best for your situation. This will depend a lot on your soil, your climate, your skillset, and what you have easy and inexpensive access to. Following are some articles and books that will help you make your decision.

Pallet Gardens: Simple, Easy, Free

Straw Bale Gardens Complete

Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful

Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

DIY Super Easy Raised Garden Bed for Under $30

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for $12

For those who aren’t build-y: Big Bag Fabric Raised Beds (I have used these with great success for veggies with shallow roots and as a bonus, you can use them on concrete if you’re gardening on a patio.)

Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space

15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Grow in a Bucket Garden

PVC Drip Irrigation System for Your Garden

How to Save BIG on Lumber Supplies for Your Square Foot Garden

Step Two: Plan Your Garden

Now that you have figured out how you’ll grow your food, you need to figure out what to grow. A lot of that depends on your goals. Are you just hoping for salad this summer? Or are you planning to grow an entire year’s worth of food for your family? These links will help you make some decisions!

FREE Garden Planning Printables

How Much to Plant for a Year’s Worth of Food

An Inspiring 5000 Square Foot Garden Plan

Last Frost Date Seed Planting Worksheet

Step Three: Start Your Seedlings

While it’s easy and less hassle to buy your seedlings already started, it costs a whole lot more. One plant can be the equivalent of an entire package of seeds!  Starting your own seedlings is not that difficult and you don’t need an indoor growing operation that marijuana drug lords would envy.

Seed Starting 101

Frugal Seed Starting Station

10 Seed Starting Hacks

20 Frugal Repurposed Seed Starting Containers

How to Make Newspaper Seed Starting Pots

Another Way to Make Seed Starting Pots from Newspaper

Chicken Manure Tea for Seedlings

Why Your Seeds Aren’t Germinating

Step Four: Amend, Create, or Prepare Your Soil

No matter how sturdy your seedlings or how efficient your beds, your garden is only as good as your soil. These tips will help you, whether you’re amending what exists, creating soil, or preparing your soil to receive seedlings…(continues)

Some seed sellers on the internet are starting to take orders again, like Seed Savers Exchange.

Organic Prepper: Pandemic Preparedness

Daisy at The Organic Prepper has an article up about the Wuhan Coronavirus and what you can do now to prepare. From what is currently known, this coronavirus has approximately a 2% mortality rate. That is considerably lower than some other viruses that have made the news over the years, but while it is low it is about the same as the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed millions around 1918. Should you be worrying? It’s too early to tell right now. We don’t know if containment will be achieved or how easily it may spread. But if not this one, at some point another pandemic will sweep the world causing mass casualties, so it is good to have some preparation for the event.

…In Wuhan, supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

“When I saw the news when I woke up, I felt like I was going to go crazy. This is a little too late now. The government’s measures are not enough,” said Xiao, 26, a primary schoolteacher in Wuhan, who asked not to give her full name.

Few pedestrians were out and families cancelled plans to get together for the new year holiday. Special police forces were seen patrolling railway stations. Residents and all government workers are now required to wear face masks while in public spaces. Most outbound flights from the city’s Tianhe airport were cancelled. (source)

Those who wish to be prepared should note the speed at which quarantines were put in place in China. Don’t delay placing orders for supplies, fueling up your vehicle, and adding last-minute preps to your stockpile. You may already have many of the supplies you need, so be sure to do an inventory before panic-buying.

However, if you discover you do need supplies, get them now. If you wait until a quarantine is announced, you’ve waited too long and you’ll be out there fighting for resources with everyone else in your area.

Whatever your plan is, don’t delay taking action. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the same situation as 20 million Chinese people who were suddenly quarantined.

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: How to Render Tallow

Here’s an article from Sandra Lane at The Organic Prepper on how to render tallow and a mention of several uses for it – soap, candles, moisturizer, balm, cooking.

While some recipes call for removing or cutting off the fat from meats, a few require the addition of fat. Whether it is oil to coat a soft ball of bread dough, or solid fat cut into a pie crust, sometimes added fat is needed for cooking. Recently I came across recipes for well-circulated survival food, pemmican, that called for tallow, and I had no clue what they were talking about. Being from the South, I knew what lard was, but not tallow. So off to do some research.

What is tallow?

I discovered tallow, real tallow, is the product of rendering suet, which is the white fat layer surrounding an animal’s organs; namely the kidneys and loins. But it’s also been the more modern name for the product rendered from basic beef fat and/or lamb fat as well.

Tallow has been, and still is, used in everything from soap to candles, moisturizers to lip balm, and is a source of nutrients including niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and riboflavin. From my own personal experience, I can tell you it’s pretty darn awesome.

My tallow experiment

When I was making pemmican to write my article about it, I decided to render some tallow, too.

The first thing I did was pull a few roasts out of the freezer. I’d been wanting to cook a roast anyway and, needing the fat for the tallow, I figured I’d carve the fat off the other one and can some stew with the rest of the beef. It wouldn’t be the good stuff; the fat from the organs, but it would be tallow. And since it was frozen, the fat was easy to work with and remove from the outside. The marbling inside was a bit more difficult to get to so I had to let it them thaw some to get to the rest of it.

After cutting all the removed fat up into smaller pieces about a ½ inch to an inch in size, I put them in a small saucepan and then started to cook them down. It’s recommended that this part of the recipe, making the tallow, be done in a crockpot. But I wasn’t making very much pemmican and so didn’t expect I’d need much tallow. It didn’t take me long to figure out I should have started making the tallow the day before. Turns out the fat has to be melted down slowly so as not to burn it. So, I had hours at minimum to kill.

After a little over 4 hours, I had rendered enough tallow to finish the pemmican (almost 2 cups). I only knew it was done because there were some funny looking things floating on top of a clear yellowish liquid. I was surprised it was a yellow color. Using a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer (that was in turn over a metal funnel sitting in a clean mason jar), I poured the tallow into the jar, leaving out enough for the pemmican.

It’s said that the ‘cracklins’ that are left can be seasoned and eaten, or fed to pets, but honestly, I just threw them away because there wasn’t much, to begin with, and they were mushy. I’m thinking if I’d cooked it longer, or maybe even fried them up, they might have been crispy.

Then I made the pemmican, which was easy, and began wiping my hands off on a paper towel. It was at that point I noticed the little jar of tallow I’d poured.

It was no longer yellow but almost white, and hard, at room temperature. Now, I keep my house cool – right around 69 degrees, so I totally understand that room temperature for me is cooler than it may be for others, but the grease hardening that fast was amazing to me. I then looked down at my hands and realized the paper towel just wasn’t going to cut it. Does anyone remember how an older person would tell us as kids not to pour grease down the sink because it would clog it up? This was the stuff they were referring to. Not the canola oil or the vegetable oil, or even the Crisco. Nope. It had to be Tallow. It was coagulating on my hands. Either I was dead, or this stuff was solid at 98 degrees F.

Turning the hot water knob on I squirted some homemade foaming soap on my hands and start to rub, and ended up making a soapy greasy paste. With a big sigh, I squirted some more, then some more for extra measure. Nope – not gonna cut it. My hands felt like they do after I’ve mixed up a meatloaf and put it in the pan; only they smelled like lemon instead of ketchup. I usually use food handlers gloves when I play around in food but I just had to see how that pemmican felt, and now I regretted it.

Then I spied the Dawn dishwashing detergent, remembered the slogan, and thought ‘What a wonderful time to test that!’. Twice with Dawn and some hot water and my hands were clean. At least Dawn takes this grease out of your way. My hands were clean. And soft… I cannot describe to you how soft and supple my hands were at this point. They weren’t greasy – they were soft. And – I kid you not – they looked like my daughter’s hands who’s 20 years younger than me. This was some miracle stuff!..

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.