The Organic Prepper: Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

As preparedness minded folks, we talk a lot about skills training and equipment. Not as often do we discuss the mental perils of desperate situations. Here is Fabian Omarr at The Organic Prepper with These Small Yet Vital Things Can Help You Survive the SHTF With Your Sanity Intact

Seeking comfort, convenience, and distraction during SHTF? Some might roll their eyes and think this is nonsense.  After all, all there is when SHTF are strategies, tactics, and challenging survival work, right?

Wrong.

Fortunately, there is more to be learned, experienced, and even shared that is not so challenging or tactical. 

To survive SHTF, you must keep your sanity intact and your spirits high

Preppers are all too aware of the “bad” aspects of SHTF. Admittedly, studying and discussing disasters and their consequences is at the core of prepping. I want to offer a take on another part of this reality, though: the role of good things and memorable moments during hard times.

The importance of keeping spirits high and a sense of sanity under distress is a constant in survival chronicles and for a good reason. Selco, Toby, Jose, Daisy, and many others frequently talk about this. Mentality and psychology are key survival factors.

Daisy wrote on mental resilience, “But to find moments of joy in the darkest of times, you need to tap into your mental resilience. This helps not only you but those around you. And to bounce back after these events and live your life again, mental resilience is, again, the key.”

When the context changes, the trivial become peculiar, unconventional, contrasting – which can turn the mundane into exceptional (and vice-versa). If you’ve never been through SHTF, I’d suggest staying open to the power and importance of these processes.

How I came up with the inspiration for this post

Not long ago, I met an elderly homeless man while practicing my street survival training. I was preparing a snack when the homeless man stopped by. We started to chat. He’s a nice man going thru adversity. After sharing my meal with him, I decided to test a portable espresso maker I purchased recently and took on the task of brewing espresso for us both. 

Suddenly he started crying. I asked what was wrong. He said one of the things he missed most since becoming jobless and homeless years ago was having a hot espresso after lunch. Just the smell made him feel that much better. He was crying tears of joy.

I share conversations and meals with the homeless and drifters in the streets quite often. But his reaction got me reflecting on the power of appreciation for the little things. In some contexts, little things can make our day. In the middle of a personal SHTF, this fellow found genuine happiness in having something as prosaic as a freshly brewed espresso. 

For someone who has nothing, something can be everything. 

The power of simplicity and the advantages of being adaptable

What defines SHTF is precisely the broad change in conditions and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if it’s abrupt or through slow transformation. What matters is when perspectives change, things take a different value and importance, and adaptability is crucial during these times of transformation.

Selco offers his advice in this article on adaptability and being ready to leave everything behind in order to survive. Selco writes, “Learn to operate in terms of “less is more” or in other words, try whenever you can to substitute dependence on things with owning knowledge of a particular skill. For example, owning a big stash of water is great, owning skills and means to purify near water sources is even better.”

Look at how much has changed in just one year since COVID-19 broke out. Compared to before the pandemic, life has become considerably more challenging, more restrictive, unstable, and limited in so many aspects. Welcome to our “new normal.” Judging by the signals, it’s bound to change even further. There will be a lot more to adapt to moving ahead.

Time passes, things change. We keep surviving. But honestly, when in history has it been any different? Think about it for a moment.

Things take on a new meaning during hard times versus normal times

If you do any longer-lasting or highly-demanding outdoor activity, or if you’ve been through difficulty in your life, you know how big a difference some small things and moments can make. Quite often, something as mundane as a hot meal, some music, or a candy bar can be pure bliss.

Another example: is there anything more ordinary than taking a bath? But it feels like heaven when we’re exhausted, dirty, smelly, and sticky. Likewise, when SHTF and times get hard, finding solace in everyday, trivial things helps us keep going. There’s an uplifting effect that can’t be denied. 

There’s history, and then there are stories of everyday life

Most books tell about great battles and pivotal instants. But common people (that’s us) live in a somewhat different reality level: the every-day and various moments. The telling of the quotidian is rare though life is 99% just that. Life can be turned completely upside-down by SHTF. Still, this dynamic of everyday life remains, even during wars, occupation, or natural disasters.

Even though a significant portion of the day or entire periods may be dedicated to ‘work’ (i.e., affairs like defense and dealing of resources), once a routine is re-established (it always is) and basics are taken care of, there’s need for play.

It’s not too different from life during normal times if we think about it. SHTF simple becomes the norm at one point.

Hardship has different effects on different people

When adversity hits, some enter survival mode almost instantly. Others take longer to understand or accept changes. Then there are those who never really come to full terms with the new reality and drag on. And that’s staying with the types who survive: a significant number of people can not cope. Unfortunately, we see that often.

Most people in developed/developing countries have been living in relative tailwind for most of the last 30 years. Sure, life is hard, but that’s a constant. I’m talking in comparison to most of history and also some places that seem to live in deep, eternal SHTF. We all know which these are.

Those younger than forty may not know or remember the 70s and 80s were such a hard time. The world slogged in stagflation. Low growth, Oil shocks, Cold War, and nuclear conflict threat kept us awake at night. During those times, separatists and radicals ran bloody conflicts all over Europe. Violent coups and dictatorships ravaged South America, and wars ran amok in the middle east. People suffered from inflation, unemployment, crime, shortages, blackouts, strikes, and protests at the everyday level.

It may seem like life was hell in the 70s and 80s, but it wasn’t

Life was hard but had many good sides to it too. Despite a difficult upbringing, I feel fortunate. Many others who lived through that period feel the same. There were lots of struggles, but people kept going and doing the best they could. We had fun in many ways as well. (Awesome bands, great music, classic movies, weird makeup, crazy hair!)

I have hope that, despite the various menaces currently threatening our lifestyle and eating on our liberties and privacy, we’re still going to make it somehow. Because, realistically, we’ve been through some seriously bad SHTF collectively, and we did all right. That’s what we do.

Back to the future, not a trip down memory lane

This is not nostalgia that I write. I believe we’re headed into times of similarly significant decreases in the standard of living for a broad part of the population caused by instability, mounting crises, low growth, joblessness, ruptures, and above all, changes in the world order. 

It’s already underway, and we can see it, sense it. I call it slow-burning SHTF. Nevertheless, we better find joy in the middle of struggle. What other options do we have? 

According to my own experience (and others too), it is possible to prepare for good moments and some measure of comfort during SHTF. Below is a list with a few initiatives and some practical measures to start. As always, adapt as you see fit.

Aim big, miss small.

In other words, think about comfort (big) to improve overall conditions (small). There’s a lot more to it than stashing a few comfort items.

Ambiance

Let’s start by highlighting the importance of environmental comfort. It’s an important factor because it defines well-being and, ultimately, survival itself. If we’re too cold, too hot, too windy, too humid or dry, too noisy, too smelly, too buggy, too dark, etc., we’re either in danger or already in hell. That robs us of energy and capacity to focus and perform. 

We instinctively try to improve our surroundings by actively working to balance conditions. Any measures that increase ambient comfort will automatically increase overall comfort, thus extending our capacities. Of course, contrast and perception influence that. For instance, leaving a super-hot place to a mildly-warm one will alleviate some. But once we get acclimated, comfort suffers again. Keep in mind: even though we tend to develop resistance, there are limits to adaptation. 

Practical Measures

  • Apply the many solutions available to improve ambient comfort. Starting with clothing: dress in layers and opt for versatile items and materials. 
  • Moving on to shelter: a roof means half-covered. Otherwise, finding protection is a priority.
  • The next part is applying ways to adjust the temperature to the best level possible (heating or cooling). Having plans and measures in place, backups if possible, is vital for those living in areas with extreme conditions.
  • Maintaining things clean and tidy helps with keeping bugs away. I find that very important, as insects can be a real pain, even a threat.
  • If out in nature, wear clothes, nets, and use the host of chemicals available to repel and/or fight pests. Those also work indoors if insulation is not possible.

Food and Drink

This is not about everyday food or “eating to kill hunger” but rather ‘comfort eating’: those occasional treats everyone loves and help elevate spirits. It’s entirely possible (and common) to live without these, but it’s something nice to have around when someone needs a morale boost. The good part is that even a little can go a long way in improving moods and making our day. During SHTF, these become even more effective.

Practical Measures

  • If preparations and stockpiles are considered, add some ‘comfort food’ of your preference. It can be something sweet or salty, a carbonated drink, alcoholic beverages, your favorite tea, candies, what have you. 
  • Overall, this is very personal, and once it’s gone, it’s gone, so give it some thought now. Ration to extend supplies. 
  • Don’t forget these items usually increase in value during SHTF. Meaning, you can use them to barter, too.

Hygiene

It’s easy to feel miserable once hygiene decays. This happens faster than most people think when the grid is down (see the situation in Texas). During SHTF, we start to care less and less for personal hygiene with time or cease altogether and become accustomed to the conditions, the smell, etc. If others around us live under the same SHTF, we tend to bother even less. But early on, being unclean doesn’t feel good. 

Depending on SHTF, it’s not even possible to care much for personal appearance. Nor desirable, as it can draw unwanted attention. Still, in most instances, a modicum of hygiene is attainable. Even with health as the main objective, this seemingly small thing can provide occasional relief and significantly improve well-being.

Practical Measures

  • If taking baths has become an impossibility, wet towels and cleansing tissues can be used to keep body parts reasonably clean. 
  • Compressed ‘pill’ towels are a godsend if you’re on the move (bugging out, traveling, whatever). They work and have many different uses. 
  • Stock up on hygiene items. You may be sorry if you don’t. It’s really hard (yet very common) to run out of these when SHTF, and it happens fast. 
  • Avoid colognes and perfumes to avoid standing out. When everything around is smelling bad, even a little can make a difference (believe me, bad smell and insects are two of the most striking characteristic of SHTF).
  • One thing I put great importance on is dental hygiene: because it impacts overall health, I find it worth going the extra distance to ensure the mouth is always in good order. 

Farming & Gardening

“We may need a doctor, a priest, a policeman, and a lawyer a few times during our life. But we need a farmer three times every day.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25% of Americans were into farming when The Great Depression hit in the 1930s. Today it’s only 2%. This number has been growing (it’s more prominent in Europe overall and some other countries). But we’re still a long, long way from people understanding the importance and implications of becoming even slightly more self-reliable for food. 

Cultivating one’s own food can provide ‘food comfort’ through the consumption of the items. Reduction of food insecurity lowers stress levels and increases community well-being.

Practical Measures

  • Can be done individually or as a shared activity (with the added bonus of strengthening community bonds). 
  • There are thousands of videos. blogs and tutorials on how to grow pretty much anything even with limited space, time, money, etc. 
  • Takes time and dedication to show results, so start now.

Cooking

Cooking can also be highly rewarding and comforting. When disaster strikes, eating hot meals can become a real luxury. Even something as simple as a grid-down can impair conventional food preparation (lack of fuel, gear, time, etc. – again, look at Texas). When we spend a long time eating only granola bars and similarly bland food, a proper meal can be a real treat.

Practical Measures

  • Being able to cook in different conditions (grid-down, bug-out, full-SHTF, camping, etc.) is a useful skill. Use it to provide good moments and elevate the mood.
  • Stockpile on seasonings and other basic items with long shelf-life and can be used to prepare and spice up meals.
  • A backup cooking set (spirit or compact propane stove, camping cookware and gear, etc.) can provide flexibility and versatility.

Books & Music

No need for practical measures here as reading and listening to music are undeniably two of the most entertaining, abstracting, elevating, educating activities possible, SHTF or not. Read to learn, read to escape, read to have fun, read to ‘travel.’ Ditto for music, another powerful antidote to sadness and bad mood. Both are downright cheap, too, even free. (Here’s an article on building an SHTF music collection.)

Maintenance

How do fixing things improve comfort, you may ask. Besides obviously fixing things that can directly impact our comfort (clothing, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, cookware, etc.), it can be gratifying in itself. It builds confidence and self-reliance and can be applied to generate income (which in turn can be used to increase other comforts and conveniences to you, your family, and others around).

Practical Measures

  • Build a tool chest and learn/grow practical skills. 
  • Start with something basic such as sewing (very useful) or knitting, then move to more complex/demanding activities. 
  • Being a generalist is good, but sharing specific skills with others can amplify capabilities. That’s why having a community is important.
  • Woodworking, blacksmithing, plumbing, soldering: all that and much more can be learned through practical classes, online courses, tutorials, how-tos. 

Distractions & Abstractions

Let’s think in terms of ‘normal times’, certain forms of distraction, and entertainment such as gambling. Partying, smoking, or drinking (and others) can be seen as vices, bad habits, or “less than commendable” activities. But, do things change when the SHTF!

To start with, serious SHTF is unhealthy in so many ways just by itself. If you think differently, ask around or do some research on the subject. But SHTF is not a free pass nor an excuse to go wild or engage in destructive behavior. On the contrary: keeping discipline and good habits is essential for survival. Crime, drugs, and violence are bad in SHTF too. And not from a moral or ethical standpoint, but as to what it does to ourselves. It’s a dead end.

But keeping sanity is crucial too. Life can become hard at times. It’s OK to lead a regulated and healthy lifestyle, for the most part, and from virtue, religion or habit. The point is not being too rigid or too strict on ourselves – and keeping it under control, also, of course. It’s something very personal, so to each their own

Note: If someone is triggered by me talking about these things, know it’s the reality of SHTF. If you’ve been there, you know it; if you haven’t, then be warned and take it as you will. 

Practical Measures

  • Don’t go out and about stockpiling on booze, tobacco, or whatever – if you don’t think those things fit your taste or lifestyle (unless you plan on selling or using for barter). 
  • Meditate on how life would be in extreme adversity and how you’d feel and react in regards to things you currently don’t contemplate. Not as escapism, not as a vice. Just as to what would provide a little relief or boost to keep up with toughness and hardship.
  • It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to touch something, and it’s equally acceptable if you indulge, too. Just accept it’s a very human thing. 

Conclusion

A large part of being ‘comfortable’ during SHTF is related to accepting, abstract, being creative, and practical. And also the capacity to find joy and pleasure in the out-of-ordinary and trivial. It comes naturally for most people, but we can prepare some for that, too. Actively and voluntarily chasing discomfort and exposing ourselves to hardship in controlled manners is an effective way to learn about our own limits and how to adapt to changes that occur during SHTF. There are several ways to train for SHTF.

Camping, trekking, hiking are excellent to improve resilience, creativity, and adaptation. Away from the grid, we have to focus on the basics of life: shelter, food, water, cooking, insects, heat and cold, sun and rain, impaired sleeping, and lots more. If that’s impractical, you can train in the city and even simulate some scenarios at home to practice and develop useful survival techniques applied in various other situations. 

This exercise can also grow our appreciation for the simple things and the extreme levels of comfort and convenience we have available in The Grid. And that matters a lot.

 

The Organic Prepper: How to Prep in Short-Term Locations

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper describes How to Prep in Short-Term Locations for people who are traveling, homeless, living in RVs and campers, etc. If you’re interested in the concept of mobile preparedness, you might check into the book Locusts on the Horizon by Plan B Writers Alliance, which talks about the MASH concept – or Mobile Adaptable Sustainable Homestead.

More and more people are living in temporary or mobile locations as the economy continues to falter. As the moratoriums on evictions end, the United States could soon see a wave of homelessness the likes of which has not occurred since the Dustbowl. People will be seeking shelter in temporary locations, in their vehicles, in RVs, and in campers. Many will not be leaving their homes by choice, but due to dire economic circumstances.

While you’re in for a shocking change if a nomadic lifestyle is suddenly thrust upon you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be prepared.

I deliberately chose to be a nomad myself. After my youngest daughter left the nest, I decided to sell or give away most of my things and set out to live a nomadic lifestyle. Over the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to briefly live in Greece, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Mexico, and I have visited Kosovo, Albania, Austria, Canada, Bosnia, and Croatia, as well as many states in the US. My goal has always been to see the world and immerse myself in other cultures. Despite Covid shutting down many options, I’ve still been able to embrace my wandering spirit and am currently in a sublet in Mexico.

And this has a lot of folks asking me, “Have you given up on prepping?”

You can still prep in temporary locations.

It seems that every interview I do and in at least a couple of emails a day, someone asks me whether I still practice what I preach – preparedness. The answer is absolutely YES.

Prepping looks a lot different when you are in a temporary location or living in an RV/van but it can – and should – still be done.

One very important factor in living a nomadic lifestyle is that if you pay attention, you can avoid a lot of problems. If you live in your RV and you hear that a hurricane or a massive ice storm is coming in a few days, there’s a strong possibility that you can drive to a different location and avoid it altogether. If I was living in Europe when Covid hit, I could have relocated to a different country rapidly with more tolerable lockdown measures or, as I did, return to the US and stay with one of my kids to help her with the bills when she was unable to work. Location independence can really work in your favor.

As mentioned, I’m currently in Mexico, not because I’m trying to avoid a situation in the US, but because it’s very affordable and I get to stay in a place that is relatively warm right on the beach, something I could never afford if I was in the US. Since I’m here for about six months, I have more food stashed away than I would if I was only planning to be here for 4-6 weeks. But even if I was staying a shorter period of time, I’d have enough on hand to keep myself and my pets fed and hydrated for a minimum of one month.

How do you prep when you live in a temporary location?

You prep in a temporary location much like you would in a stationary location, except you pay more attention to space and transportability.

Depending upon space, money, and the length of your stay, your options may be rather different than what you’d choose if you lived in a home with a large pantry or storage room. I find that the fact my expenses are far lower than in the US allows me to donate food that I haven’t eaten without feeling like I just blew a whole bunch of money. For example, here in Mexico, a can of vegetables costs the equivalent of 12 cents US on sale.

When I was traveling around Europe from one country to another, I did not have a vehicle, so everything had to fit in my luggage. Items I always had with me were those little packets of just-add-water soup and oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and other lightweight, uncrushable items. With those and a water filter, I could keep myself fed for a few days without heading out to the grocery store. Is that an ideal diet? Of course not! But the point here is to have things on hand regardless of your situation.

Now that I have a place I’ll be staying at for a few months, as well as a vehicle, I have some larger, heavier items. I also bought an inexpensive dehydrator that is running nearly all the time because the fresh produce here is so incredible and I can’t get through my weekly farmer’s market basket before things spoil.

Keep in mind that when living nomadically, you may not have access to the same kind of gear that you would in a temporary location. I don’t have my Mr. Buddy heater, a generator, a Big Berkey, a pressure canner, or buckets and buckets of emergency food. However, I’ve devised workarounds for the things I need and I believe it’s made me a far more adaptable person.

Gear substitutes for mobile preppers

Here are some things I don’t have and what I use instead.

Camp stove: When I went to Selco’s Urban Survival Course in Croatia, I discovered that a lot of those little stoves are not what they’re cracked up to be. It’s very easy to create a makeshift camp stove if you only need to boil water with it. You can find two bricks or two rocks of a similar size, build a little fire between them on a fireproof surface, and set your cooking vessel on top of your rocks/bricks.

I have a cement balcony at my current location and two concrete blocks sitting innocuously on the end of it that could be quickly pressed into duty. Because I’m near the beach there isn’t a whole lot of wood, so I grabbed one bundle of wood sold for firepits from the grocery store and shoved it in the closet to keep it dry. Between that and dry plant material, I can easily build a fire and boil water right on my little patio. Other places I’ve stayed have had more access to wood or other materials I could burn so there, I didn’t need to buy a little bundle of wood.

Heater: The lows here are really not that cold – I think the coldest evening we had got down to 43. Central heating is extremely rare here in coastal Mexico. People use either electric space heaters or propane heaters similar to a Mr. Buddy with a tank the size of the ones you use for your barbecue.

I opted to spend this winter without heat and see if I could toughen up a little. Most days here in the winter range from low 50s to high 60s, so it’s not extreme. I just layer my clothing and use the dryer and oven in the mornings to take off the evening chill. I open the curtains on the southeast side of the house for solar gain and by early afternoon it’s sometimes so warm I need to open a window to cool things down a little. The floors here are tile, so slippers or shoes are a must to keep my feet warm.

On really cold days or during power outages, I take the layering further with fingerless gloves, a stocking hat pulled down over my ears, and I go into my bedroom and shut the door. I get under the covers and snuggle up with my two dogs and we stay cozy that way. When I had Covid, I did borrow an electric space heater from a neighbor because of the chills and fever.

Gravity-fed water filtration device: I’m not going to lug a Big Berkey around with me because it simply takes up far too much space in my vehicle. I have numerous portable options, such as a Sawyer Mini, a Lifestraw, and a Lifestraw water bottle. The one I use the most is the water bottle because I can take it anywhere and it doesn’t scream “prepper.” It just makes me look environmentally friendly.

I also store water. Here in Mexico, the big 5-gallon jugs are popular and they only cost a couple of dollars. I keep 30 gallons on hand and when I empty one jug, I refill it with tap water for my dogs. I also have other beverages on hand, as well as little drink packets. One thing that a lot of preppers don’t realize is that filtered water doesn’t necessarily taste like it came from a fresh mountain stream. Some powdered lemonade mix can help cover a less pleasant flavor.

Generator: I’ve written many times that instead of investing in expensive generators, I prep low-tech, and this has not changed being on the road.

I have a solar charger that is enough to power my laptop and my phone, as well as a portable charger that’s good for a few phone recharges. I can also recharge my devices using the USB ports in my Jeep (and I keep extra fuel on hand.)

Aside from this, I have a few different flashlights, a headlamp in both my backpack and my vehicle, an assortment of batteries, cooling cloths (these came in handy when my Jeep nearly overheated in the desert), a winter rated sleeping bag, and some winter cold weather gear even though I’m in a southern climate. As they recently learned in Texas, you never know when unusual weather might strike, and being prepared for those extremes can be as minor as keeping you comfortable or as major as keeping you alive.

When I’m not traveling in my vehicle, my kit is even smaller. You can check it out here.

What’s in my nomad pantry?

Now that we have the gadgets covered, what about food? When you are nomadic or living in a short-term location, you probably won’t have the same ability to stash away a year’s worth of supplies. I focus on at least a month and I pay attention to my surroundings.

Back when Covid struck the US, I rebuilt a food supply with a couple of trips to the store and about $500. Was it the same supply I would have had back when I had kids at home and a fixed location? Definitely not. I relied on food that didn’t require long cooking times and items I could acquire quickly. Because I did my shopping about a month before the shelves were emptied in the US, I had plenty of options and was able to get a good variety without major limitations. If I noticed an emerging crisis where I was and could not avoid it, I would stock up quickly. Remember, one of the most important parts of being a prepper is your awareness that puts you ahead of the crowd.

I have two different types of food supplies – items for consumption or back up while I’m in transit and items that I stock up on during my stay.

My In-Transit Pantry

When I’m moving more often or traveling lightly, my pantry looks different. I have the following as the basis of my mobile pantry.

  • Flavored instant oatmeal packets
  • Almond or coconut milk (shelf-stable)
  • Dry soup mix
  • Noodle bowls
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Tea
  • Instant coffee packets
  • Sugar packets

I can carry all of the above items in my luggage with no issues whatsoever. They’re lightweight, small, and easily portable. Aside from the crackers, none of these things are easily crushed by your other gear, either.

The quality you purchase of the above items depends upon your location and your budget. In some areas, you might be able to easily access organic versions, and in others, you may be looking at Mr. Noodle and Peanut M&Ms. Obviously, this is not a diet to sustain you for a long time, especially if you’re expending a lot of calories, but it would get you through a few days to a week. Your mileage may vary.

My Short-Term Location Pantry

When I arrive at an Airbnb or rental, I sometimes have a meal from the items above on the first night before I go out and search for heartier fare. Once I’m settled in, then I add perishables like fresh produce, bread, and meat. As well, if I’m going to be there for more than a few days, I pick up some inexpensive shelf-stable items at those locations that are too heavy or too fragile to carry around, like some of the items in the list below.

While living in Mexico, the area where I’m staying went “Red” (they have color codes for the level of coronavirus restrictions.). I went to the store the first day and stocked up on a few additional items because here they have checkpoints where you’re asked about your destination, and I was not confident enough in my Spanish to relish such an interaction. So, I’ve gone more than a month on my supplies here without another trip to the store and didn’t feel that I was deprived, although I probably would have chosen different food if going to stores had been viable.

My pantry here is similar to the quick pantry I bought during my covid quarantine prep, just with Mexican versions of the foods.

  • Canned goods
  • Tortillas
  • Pouches of refried beans
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Condiments
  • Tuna
  • Cookies or chocolate (If I can’t leave my condo, I need some joy in my life)
  • Long-lasting produce like potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, and cabbage
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Meat and veggies for the freezer
  • Seasonings to make everything taste better
  • Coffee
  • Almond milk tetras

Keep in mind that these items do not make up the majority of my diet. These are the things that I have put aside in case I have to hunker down – which certainly paid off here during the lockdown. I still visit the farmstand and bakery weekly and dine out to enjoy the local cuisine. Depending on your situation, you might hit the grocery store to supplement your basic supplies.

It’s all about being adaptable.

One of my major takeaways from my nomadic lifestyle is that adaptability and the willingness to be flexible are essential. And if these traits are essential just traveling, imagine how much more so they are when you’re going through difficult times.

While most folks prefer a full spice rack, a wealth of kitchen implements, and a giant storage room, the reality is that it might not be possible for everyone, particularly as the economy continues to wreak havoc on personal finances and the supply chain continues to erode. As I wrote earlier this year that prepping would look a lot different than before.

There are big changes ahead for many people and surviving may look different than you expected it to. Selco has written about leaving everything behind to survive. Fabian has written about the survival lessons to be learned from the homeless and from the Great Depression. Hopefully, we won’t see anything as extreme as these examples, but just know that even if the way things go is different than you had planned, you can still be adaptable, prepared, and resilient.

The Organic Prepper: Facial Recognition – Cashing in on Covid

Robert Wheeler of The Organic Prepper talks about how facial recognition companies are thriving during Covid in Cashing in on Covid: Facial Recognition and Thermal Imaging Techs Are Booming at the Cost of Your Privacy

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the biggest gift possible for tyrants all across the globe. From economic power grabs made by corporations and the incineration of basic civil liberties, the ruling class has introduced itself as the arbiters and dictators of virtually all human interaction.

And the surveillance industry has also benefitted massively from the pandemic.

What’s new in facial recognition?

For instance, facial recognition technology is being rolled out at an alarmingly fast pace. The tech is more and more exact in its capabilities and no longer handicapped by mask wearing or face coverings. In a report by the Department of Homeland Security released in early January 2021, the department admitted to having conducted tests regarding the efficacy of facial recognition technologies in relation to mask wearers.

The test was administered by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and were conducted as a part of STD’s Biometric Technology Rally, an event held during the fall at the Maryland Test Facility. DHS claims that the success rate for this technology could reduce the need for passengers or travelers to remove their masks at airports or ports of entry.

According to DHS,

The third annual rally evaluated the ability of biometric acquisition systems and matching algorithms to reliably collect and match images of individuals wearing a diverse array of face masks. Previous rallies show biometric systems can excel at rapidly processing high volumes of travelers using face recognition. This year’s focused on using such systems to detect and recognize travelers without asking them to remove their masks, thereby protecting both the public and frontline workers during the COVID-19 era.

The event included 10 days of human testing which involved 60 facial recognition configurations (which used six face and/or iris scanning systems with 10 matching algorithms) and took advantage of 582 “diverse” test volunteers that represented 60 countries. The systems were then evaluated based upon their ability to take images of each volunteer reliably without masks, processing time, and overall satisfaction.

The results? According to the Biometric Rally website:

  • Without masks, the technology had an average 93% identification rate. The best system had a rate of 100%.
  • With masks, the technology had an average of 77% accuracy and the best performing system had a rate of 96%.

So much for the theory that “at least the masks will make it harder for them to use facial rec on us.”

Then there’s thermal imaging, too.

But that’s not the only technology that is booming as a result the meeting between the “pandemic” and the surveillance state. Thermal imaging is also in demand as governments across the world begin deploying the technology at airports, railways, and public gathering spaces. The technology is designed to measure a person’s body temperature. In this instance, it will be used to measure whether or not a person has a fever.

Although, a number of American companies are in on the act – Infrared Cameras, Inc. and Omnisense – Chinese companies are also making lots of money on the new rollout, including a company ironically from Wuhan, Wuhan Guide Infrared Co. In fact, the company is making so many that the Chinese military is having to wait for its orders for other products that the company makes.

And if Americans think their “representatives” are going to do anything to stop the rollout, they’re wrong. As TravelPulse writes,

On Friday, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Ranking Member Maria Cantwell of Washington and Senator Rick Scott of Florida introduced a proposal for bipartisan legislation that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement temperature screenings at existing airport checkpoints in order to enhance the safety of passenger air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cantwell-Scott ‘Fly Safe and Healthy Act of 2020’ (S. 4623) would task the TSA with ultimately deploying a uniform temperature-check program across the nation’s airports; but, first, to thoroughly test the technology in various scenarios as part of a pilot program prior to the final rollout.

Airport temperature checks would be conducted using innovative, contactless, thermal-camera technology capable of automatically screening large numbers of passengers passing through existing TSA checkpoints. It’s seamless and non-invasive, and such systems have already proven effective for identifying infected individuals and mitigating COVID-19’s spread in other countries.

Senators like Rick Scott have been advocating heavily for the technology. His argument, like the argument of others, is that the tech is needed to help our economy rebound. Of course, the economic crisis in the United States was not caused by a lack of thermal imaging but by government itself, specifically people like Rick Scott. But that’s another story for another time….

It won’t stop with taking your temperature.

Of course, we all know the surveillance isn’t going to stop merely at temperature checks. Back in 2011, an article was published by the BBC entitled, “New Emotion Detector Can See When We’re Lying.” The system, like the temp checkers, is one of interlocked video cameras connected to a “high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms.”

The idea is that, since humans give away their emotions through a variety of unconscious means, the ability to read facial cues enables security to interpret the motives of “potential terrorists.” Of course, the label of “potential terrorist” is one that has been applied to virtually every citizen within and without of a western nations’ borders. Nevertheless, in order to measure “emotions,” the system uses eye movements, dilated pupils, biting, nose wrinkling, pressing lips together, heavy breathing, swallowing, blinking, and other facial movements as well as swelling blood vessels around the eyes.

Keep in mind, this technology existed in 2011 and already took advantage of thermal imaging. We are not in uncharted territory here, we are merely witnessing the unfolding of an agenda that was planned long ago.

Privacy is a thing of the past.

Privacy is a thing of the past and has been for a long time. We’ve warned about how frequently Americans are being surveilled, about Ring doorbells, about Amazon’s servers storing government databases to identify us, and about Smart appliances. We’ve talked about Chinese “mind-reading” technology and their social credit system. The pieces are in place – now they’re just perfecting what already exists.

Organic Prepper: IMF Wants to Use “digital footprint of customers’ … online activities” to Assess Creditworthiness

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper reports that the IMF Wants to Use “digital footprint of customers’ … online activities” to Assess Creditworthiness

For years, researchers have warned of a system in which the government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Every citizen would have to rely entirely on the government to survive in this system. This system has been openly discussed for many years by the “ruling class.” Aka: those who have been allotted social credit (or not) and power based upon their views and opinions

The system has already begun in China and is now spreading globally

In a recent post, “What is Really New In Fintech,” on the IMF blog (International Monetary Fund), authors Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, and Lev Ratnovski suggest “rapid technological change” in the financial industry. Many social media and other online platforms are now creating and accepting payments. This revolutionary change in the banking world could change the face of finance forever. 

As a result of this rapid change, the authors bring up the following questions:

  • What are the transformative aspects of recent financial innovation that can uproot finance as we know it?
  • Which new policy challenges will the transformation of finance bring?

To answer these questions, the authors wrote: 

Recent IMF and ECB staff research distinguishes two areas of financial innovation. One is information: new tools to collect and analyse data on customers, for example for determining creditworthiness. Another is communication: new approaches to customer relationships and the distribution of financial products. We argue that each dimension contains some transformative components.

The authors mention the importance and functionality of “determining creditworthiness.” The method they want to use to do so can be found in the section labeled “New Types Of Information,” where they write (emphasis ours):

The most transformative information innovation is the increase in use of new types of data coming from the digital footprint of customers’ various online activities—mainly for creditworthiness analysis.

Credit scoring using so-called hard information (income, employment time, assets, and debts) is nothing new. Typically, the more data is available, the more accurate is the assessment. But this method has two problems. First, hard information tends to be “procyclical”: it boosts credit expansion in good times but exacerbates contraction during downturns.

The second and most complex problem is that certain kinds of people, like new entrepreneurs, innovators, and many informal workers, might not have enough hard data available. Even a well-paid expatriate moving to the United States can be caught in the conundrum of not getting a credit card for lack of credit record, and not having a credit record for lack of credit cards.

Fintech resolves the dilemma by tapping various nonfinancial data: the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches, and purchases. Recent research documents that, once powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these alternative data sources are often superior than traditional credit assessment methods, and can advance financial inclusion, by, for example, enabling more credit to informal workers and households, and firms in rural areas.

The type of browser used could potentially indicate a different ranking for browsers that heavily track users, like Chrome, vs. browsers that emphasize privacy, like Brave.

So what does this all mean for our financial future?

It means the IMF authors suggest the global banking network begin using a history of online searches and purchases to determine “creditworthiness.” In other words, do you read CNN and purchase sports memorabilia? You’re approved! Do you read The Organic Prepper and buy “conspiracy” or “prepping” material? We’re sorry, you can not be approved at this time based on your credit score.

In Brandon Turbeville’s 2019 article Social Media, Universal Basic Income, and Cashless Society: How China’s Social Credit System Is Coming To America he wrote: 

“Unbeknownst to most people, there appears to be a real attempt to create a system in which all citizens are rationed their “wages” digitally each month in place of a paycheck or ability to gain or lose money. This system would see any form of dissent resulting in the cut off of those credits and the ability to work, eat, or even exist in society. It would not only be the end of dissent but of any semblance of real individuality.”

Turbeville outlines a plan to create a Universal Basic Income (UBI). The scheme, tied to a social credit system, will essentially cut off the financial lifeline to anyone who does not entirely tow the establishment line. I encourage you to take a look at the article and see for yourself how this scheme is coming together. For more information, here’s an article that compares UBI to modern feudalism.

With Biden’s new administration that is openly more “global” in its outlook, the IMF has already stated that it will seek to reset its relationship with the United States and that Biden’s “commitment to multilateral institutions and his pledge to re-enter the Paris climate agreement should help the IMF advance its own targets.”

And you thought it was challenging to gain approval before…

The pairing of online history with credit scores is bad enough. Doing so has prevented many otherwise creditworthy citizens from accessing what they need to start businesses, buy homes, rent apartments, or buy cars. Some states have suggested laws that use your search history and social media when being assessed for your worthiness to purchase a firearm, and the Bank of America has made it incredibly clear just this past week that your purchases and financial records are by no means private.

However, pairing both of those with the Universal Basic Income is even worse. We are fast approaching a time where even the slightest difference of opinion from the norm (i.e., the ruling class) can result in a complete freeze out of the “offender” from the entire society.

Organic Prepper: Would YOU Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill?

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper talk about the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 and asks Would YOU Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill?  If you go looking for the bill, please note that there was a DTPA of 2020 and one for 2019, and 2018, and 2017… so be sure you’re looking at the right one. There are also news articles relating to some of the old acts saying things like “the legislation doesn’t mention MAGA rallies anywhere,” but we currently don’t have text for this years act.

After 9/11, the entire country collectively lost its mind in the throes of fear. During that time, all civil and Constitutional rights were shredded and replaced with the pages of The USA PATRIOT Act.

Almost 20 years later, the U.S. has again lost its collective mind, this time in fear of a “virus” and it’s “super mutations” and a “riot” at the capitol. A lot of people called this and to the surprise of very few, much like after 9/11, Americans are watching what remains of their civil liberties be replaced with a new bill.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

The DTPA is essentially the criminalization of speech, expression, and thought. It takes cancel culture a step further and all but outlaws unpopular opinions. This act will empower intelligence, law enforcement, and even military wings of the American ruling class to crack down on individuals adhering to certain belief systems and ideologies.

According to MI Congressman Fred Upton: 

“The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it,” Upton said. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

Congressman Upton’s website gives the following information on DTPA:

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint, biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.

DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Those who read the bill aren’t so gung ho to shred the Constitution

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has some serious reservations. In a recent interview on Fox News Primetime, Gabbard stated that the bill effectively criminalizes half of the country. (Emphasis ours)

“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.

She continued: “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.”

Gabbard, stating her concern about how the government will define what qualities they are searching for in potential threats to the country, went on to ask:

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this”

Tulsi said the bill would create a dangerous undermining of our civil liberties and freedoms in our Constitution. She also stated the DPTA essentially targets nearly half of the United States. 

“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the only one to criticize the legislation

Even the ACLU, one of the weakest organizations on civil liberties in the United States, has spoken out. While the ACLU was only concerned with how the bill would affect minorities or “brown people,” the organization stated that the legislation, while set forth under the guise of countering white supremacy, would eventually be used against non-white people.

The ACLU’s statement is true.

As with similar bills submitted under the guise of “protecting” Americans against outside threats, this bill will inevitably expand further. The stated goals of the DPTA are far-reaching and frightening enough. It would amount to an official declaration of the end to Free Speech.

Soon there will be no rights left for Americans

In the last twenty years, Americans have lost their 4th Amendment rights, and now they are losing their 1st. All that remains is the 2nd Amendment, and both the ruling class and increasing numbers of the American people know it.

Dark days are ahead.

Here is also an interview with Tulsi Gabbard on the issue.

Organic Prepper: The Global Supply Collapse Continues to Get Worse

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper tells us that The Global Supply Collapse Continues to Get WORSE: Shortages of Clothing, Appliances, Food, and Other Essentials.

The United States and the world have been suffering under a slow-burning economic depression for three decades now. Although the US began inching slowly out of the clutches of depression under the Trump administration’s quasi-Americanist tariff policies, COVID mandates, and the government’s war on independent businesses, personal finances, and the economy thrust both the United States and the rest of the world straight back into a financial and economic hole.

This time, however, that hole is much deeper than even the most negative predictions could have foreseen.

While PPE loans, stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and a terrified shut-in population, as well as a mainstream media that peddles nothing but 24/7 propaganda, are hiding the real effects of what has taken place, there will soon be no way to cover up the economic fallout from the Great Reset.

The global supply chain is overwhelmed.

For one example of what is lurking under the surface, an article published in the Washington Post entitled, “Pandemic Aftershocks Overwhelm Global Supply Lines,” details the fast arriving price increases, inflation, and scarcity. The article states,

One year after the coronavirus pandemic first disrupted global supply chains by closing Chinese factories, fresh shipping headaches are delaying U.S. farm exports, crimping domestic manufacturing and threatening higher prices for American consumers.

The cost of shipping a container of goods has risen by 80 percent since early November and has nearly tripled over the past year, according to the Freightos Baltic Index. The increase reflects dramatic shifts in consumption during the pandemic, as consumers redirect money they once spent at restaurants or movie theaters to the purchase of record amounts of imported clothing, computers, furniture and other goods.

That abrupt and unprecedented spending shift has upended long-standing trade patterns, causing bottlenecks from the gates of Chinese factories to the doorsteps of U.S. homes.

In other words, money that was once spent on luxuries such as eating out or going to the movies, entertainment, etc. is now being spent on necessities.

The price of everything will continue to rise.

This is, of course, due to the fact that many good jobs were sent overseas already before the COVID mandates took hold but also because the lockdowns and fearmongering of media outlets have now driven many of the businesses that were left into extinction.

Unemployed people and business owners who no longer own their businesses are faced with rising costs for the items they need and have no money left over for the items they want, something that has driven many more people to steal food and other necessities in an alarming trend.

The article continues,

Glimmers of sticker shock are starting to vex corporate planners. The cost of imported industrial supplies jumped 4.2 percent in December and is up 27 percent since April’s pandemic low, with manufacturers complaining of shortages of materials such as steel.

Shipping issues are affecting familiar brand names such as the Gap, where an executive recently told investors that “port issues” were hamstringing operations. At WD-40, higher freight and warehousing costs dented profit margins last quarter, Jay Rembolt, the chief financial officer, told investors this month. Bang & Olufsen, a maker of music systems and televisions, said it had resorted to more expensive airfreight to compensate for a lack of seaborne options.

“These challenges have put inflationary cost pressures on our and many businesses and, as the market is anticipating, will put further inflationary pressure on transportation rates in 2021,” said Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer for J.B. Hunt Transport Services, on a recent earnings call.

Shortages will continue to emerge.

Just in case you were somehow unaware of the crisis, you might notice that there have been shortages of household appliances as well as clothing in recent months with many of those items costing more than they did pre-panic. In fact, many of those imported goods have risen by 0.9 percent since August. So much for those cheaper goods that you were promised for sending your high wage jobs to China.

In fact, we’re seeing shortages and higher prices of many essential products that come from China, as well as Chinese-made parts to maintain our own goods.

And it’s not just shipping costs. Higher oil prices, inflation from “stimulus” checks, and other factors are all combining. In fact, the Washington Post article surprisingly addresses this by writing,

By themselves, shipping cost spikes are likely to have only a modest effect on inflation, according to Neil Shearing, chief economist for Capital Economics in London. But they will reinforce the effects of other factors, such as oil prices and ample fiscal and monetary stimulus, that are expected to drive the current 1.4 percent inflation rate higher, at least for a while.

“All of these temporary factors come together at the same time the market narrative is primed for a post-covid inflation surge,” Shearing said.

This new spiral is not just a temporary hiccup.

If you read closely you will find that it is not merely a question of the market catching up with demand or resetting itself. Chinese goods are flooding the US market with Chinese companies fighting one another over cargo shipping space while American imports have taken a nosedive.

Essentially, what is happening is that a totaled American manufacturing sector is now being flooded with foreign goods while exports are stuck at the docks. Things are about to get very bumpy in this country and if you haven’t started preparing, now would be the time to do so in earnest.

To assess your preparedness level for this type of event, go here to get a copy of The Prepper’s Workbook absolutely free. Also check out this article for advice on how to perform an objective self-assessment.

Preparing isn’t as easy as it once was due to shortages of both goods and money, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Here are some tips for getting prepared now that things have changed dramatically. Pay attention to the items that are currently in shortage and stock up if you can. Items like clothing, footwear, appliances, electronics, computers, and food are all likely to continue to be affected. (While computers wouldn’t have necessarily be seen as an essential before, an ever-growing number of Americans are working from home as their children are “distance learning.)

This crisis has been apparent since day one to anyone who understands the basics of economics and anyone who is capable of reading the writing on the wall…

The Organic Prepper: How to Start Planning Your Garden

It may be just starting to get into the season season, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your garden. If seeds are as scarce as last year, hopefully you’ve already been making some plans. Here is Joanna Miller at The Organic Prepper with Growing Vegetables Is Back in Style: Here’s How to Start Planning Your Garden to get your thoughts moving in the right direction.

Whether you celebrate St. Bridget’s Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, or Groundhog Day, February 2 is coming up. For those of us active in gardening and raising animals in the Northern hemisphere, this means it’s time to think about spring. And that means garden planning!

The pandemic has caused one very positive resurgence: growing food is back in style and no longer the purview of hippies or those crazy preppers.

Last year saw a record amount of people start gardens

Between the cost of food, grocery shortages, and sheltering in place, it comes as no surprise that many Americans have turned to gardening. And they’re doing it not only to keep themselves busy, but also to keep themselves and their families fed during these turbulent times. More people than ever are learning that not only does gardening produce food, but it also soothes the soul.

However, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in an article about wannabe homesteaders, many people found out that gardening was a little more complicated than Michael Bloomberg said. ( “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, to be a farmer. It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” 2016-Bloomberg)

Thousands of quarantined Americans planted vegetables last spring, striking a blow for hope just as their World War II-era forebears did with home-front Victory Gardens.

Six months later, many are admitting defeat.

“My tomatoes look like a Dr. Seuss plant,” said Doni Chamberlain, a 64-year-old blogger in Redding, Calif. “It might not have helped that I planted them in a kiddie pool.”

Daisy has an article about the year she and a friend tried to raise a homegrown Thanksgiving, and some other tips for what you can do if the garden you’re relying on fails.

Garden planning varies widely based on your location.

I have gardened with varying degrees of success in the Chicago suburbs, Houston suburbs, and now on the High Plains in Colorado. What works in one area will often not work in another, and the first thing to do is to ask yourself what will grow well in your area.  

For example, some tomatoes will grow just about anywhere, but timing and varieties will vary greatly between regions. In Illinois, you start tomatoes from seed in March, then plant them out sometime between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. We grew all kinds of tomatoes in Illinois. We could grow cherry tomatoes or those big beautiful slicing tomatoes.

I soon realized I needed to change my view when it came to tomatoes

When I moved to Houston, the tomatoes I planted in May didn’t produce a darn thing the first year. I did some reading and found that tomatoes won’t set fruit if the temperature is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and doesn’t drop below 75 at night. Well, in Houston, that’s at least from May to October.

So the next year, I started the seeds in January and put them out on Valentine’s Day. Sure enough, the fruits set in March and April, before the heat hit, and we spent June and July picking tomatoes.

I found that I needed to explore different varieties and experiment

I tried both cherry and slicing tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes exploded; I’m not sure if I ever grew a slicing tomato. While living in Houston, I assumed it was too hot to grow the slicing tomatoes and contented myself with the cherries.

I gardened for five years in Houston before moving to Colorado and became very proficient. We only had a little suburban lot, but it was quite productive. When we moved to Colorado, I wondered if I’d be able to grow bigger tomatoes, like I had growing up in Illinois. I planted the same cherry tomato variety I’d grown in Houston, and also some Brandywine tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes did okay, but I didn’t get one Brandywine.

I went back to online searches and gardening books.

It turns out bigger tomatoes need relatively constant temperatures to set fruit. The 85 degree days and 65 degree nights in Illinois were perfect; the 90 degree days and 55 degree nights in Colorado, not so much. A certified organic vegetable gardener lives two miles away from me, and she grows beautiful large tomatoes, but she grows them in a hoop house, which moderates the temperature.

It took me a few years of experimenting to find that Principe Borghese are the tomatoes for me to grow. They do well in the hot, dry weather and are perfect for sun-drying. I now get plenty of tomatoes every year, but it didn’t happen right away. It took some research in the form of flipping through books and asking neighbors. It took a lot of patience.

Gardening is a skill learned by trial and error.

It takes time to find what works in your area, and even then, disaster can strike.

We had a warm, wet spring in 2020. Our last freeze was in April, and we didn’t get one May snowstorm. I had plenty of fruit set throughout June and thought the year would be great. Well, early in July, we had twenty minutes of marble-sized hail and 50 mph winds. My garden was in tatters. The hailstorm knocked my tomatoes and cucumbers off the vines and tore my corn and squash to ribbons.  

I say this not to discourage anyone, but to show that gardening always turns into more of an adventure than people expect. If you stick with it and find what works, you will usually come out ahead in terms of food and fun versus time and energy. But like any sincere endeavor, there will be occasional spectacular failures.

However, I have had occasional unexpected successes as well

This year, the hailstorm didn’t affect a new plant I had tried. I had read about ground cherries in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Ground cherries are native to North America, and they look kind of like tomatillos though they taste very sweet. The fruit grows underneath thick leaves in a papery husk. So while the hail bruised the thick leaves, they protected the fruit underneath. I didn’t lose fruit in that hailstorm and was pleasantly surprised later in the season by the plants’ heavy production.

Gardening is a worthy endeavor. If you felt the urge to garden last year and it just didn’t come together the way you envisioned, now is the time to revisit what worked and what didn’t.

Where should you plant your garden?

Decide where to plant your garden first. You will need to check your local rules and regulations. (Here are some tips for growing food when you”can’t” have a garden.) Wherever you intend to plant, make sure there is enough direct sunlight.

If you live in a place like Texas and find it is too sunny for some of your plants, it’s a lot easier to put burlap over your plants to provide partial shade than it is to trim tree branches overhead if the garden isn’t getting enough sun. So start by finding a sunny spot, and go from there.

If you use containers, read the instructions. Many larger pots will recommend placing a layer of rocks or pea gravel in the bottom to assist drainage. If you live in an area with a high water table, it may be worth your time to build a raised bed. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. When we lived in Texas, we just bought cinder blocks and tore up the grass inside, then added some compost. I want to conserve as much moisture as possible in Colorado, so I haven’t raised the beds. The water drains just fine on its own.

What kind of soil do you have?

When I lived in Illinois, we had just about perfect soil. It was black and rich and loamy, and we had productive gardens without adding much in the way of specific soil amendments. In many other parts of the country, however, that is not the case. 

What you decide to do depends on how much money you have available. It may be worth your time to get a soil test. In Colorado, this costs about $30, and it is useful. You send in your soil sample, and they tell you not only the pH but also any nutrient deficiencies your soil may have.  

If you have some money to spend and are confident in your ability to add the proper amendments to your soil, the soil test is worth your time and money. It can save you a few seasons’ worth of trial and error. However, if you are distressingly tight on cash, don’t despair. If you eat, you can still improve your soil.  

What can you do to improve the soil?

Many useful guides exist on composting. All you have to do is enter “How to make compost” into your favorite search engine, and plenty of sites and videos will pop up. Much of your food waste can be used for compost. Lawn trimmings and downed leaves can go in as well. If you want to build up a lot of soil, you can ask neighbors for their leaves and other yard waste.

My kids and I volunteer at a park, and we took their Christmas tree home after the holiday to feed our goats. Organic waste is all over the place. Your neighbors might tease you for being a hippie with all the compost and garbage collecting; tell them sticks and stones. Building your soil with compost alone will take time, but it’ll be free.  

Remember to do your research first

A green bean that grows well in New York will not necessarily grow well in East Texas, which won’t necessarily grow well in South Texas, which won’t necessarily grow well in Oregon.

Don’t just grab whatever they have at the hardware store. The major chains usually source from large nurseries that ship nationwide; if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may find something inappropriate for your area. If you have a smaller, locally-owned nursery, browse that instead. They may sport higher prices, though not necessarily. But staff at locally owned nurseries have often gardened in that specific area and can offer a great deal of information.  

Once you’ve picked out varieties, look carefully to find when and how to plant. For example, I plant peas and potatoes in April. We usually have freezes into May, but peas and potatoes survive if they have a thick layer of mulch. Peas prefer cooler weather and come out of the garden at the end of July. Tomatoes don’t go outside until all danger of frost has passed. In my area, that’s usually mid to late May. Corn doesn’t go in until the soil has warmed in June.

You can’t just toss seeds into the ground whenever, wherever, and expect them to thrive. Take time to figure out your gardening zone and read the seed packages carefully. This Garden Planning Calculator from Seeds for Generations provides you the following for 46 types of crops:

  • Germination timelines for all crop types
  • Germination temperatures for optimal results
  • For plants that need to be started as seedlings, then transplanted into the garden, the Indoor Start Date
  • For plants that are direct seeded, the earliest date to plant them outdoors
  • For seedlings, the earliest transplant date relative to the last frost
  • AND, it provides you with forecast earliest harvest dates based on the days to maturity for each crop

TIP: Now that more people are gardening, it’s a good idea to order your seeds early to ensure the best selection. Last year, many sources ran out of seeds quickly so do not delay your purchase. Seed shortages could occur again.

Gardening is ultimately responding to the needs of other living things

It requires patience, willingness to get dirty, and the ability to recover from failure. These are not skill sets that our society typically values. I found the stories of successful professionals who couldn’t keep a plant alive for a few months disturbing. 

The nation that won the World Wars was the same nation that produced over 40% of its produce in the backyard and rooftop Victory Gardens. I suppose it’s not shocking that the nation that now cannot wait three days for a package from Amazon cannot be bothered to learn about where its food comes from, but I don’t think it’s a sign of its progress. I think it’s a sign we all need to do some soul-searching.

Of course, the nation that grew Victory Gardens was also much closer, generationally, to a society of mostly farmers. Most people 80+ years ago still had relatives in the country to whom they could turn for advice. More people kept livestock. Parenting was typically more hands-on. In general, more people spent more time in their lives as caregivers...(continues)

The Organic Prepper: I Had Covid. Here’s What It Was Like

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes I Had Covid for 17 Days. Here’s What It Was Like.

A lot of folks are out there saying that COVID is a myth, that viruses don’t exist (wth?), or that the whole pandemic has been a scam. While I strongly disagree with the lockdowns and restrictions on our ability to make a living, there truly is a pretty bad virus out there. And I know this from personal experience.

I had Covid and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was brutal and I had what would be considered a “moderate” case. This article isn’t meant to be used as medical advice or political fodder. This isn’t a treatise about a magical cure being kept secret by Big Pharma nor is it about the Deep State, some villain who cooked up a bioweapon, or any other theory du jour. My medical and treatment choices may be different than yours. I’m simply relating my experiences.

This virus hits people very differently. If you were fortunate enough to have a mild case, don’t disregard your next door neighbor who ends up with permanent organ damage. Some people are asymptomatic, some have minor symptoms, some are moderately ill, and some die. This is definitely not “just the flu” for many people. I never had a case of influenza that took me down like this, particularly not for this length of time.

I don’t think that there is a “typical” case of Covid because there are so many variables.

The only thing notable about the week before I began to have symptoms was an insatiable thirst. This hasn’t been mentioned in any of the literature that I’ve read but anecdotally, several other people I spoke with who had a case lasting a few weeks agreed that they’d never had a thirst quite like it.

I generally drink 4 liters of water per day. I was up to 6 liters a day (that’s a gallon and a half of water!) as well as electrolyte beverages and still I felt parched. I was waking up in the middle of the night and guzzling a water bottle. It was a little weird but I didn’t think too much of the sudden dehydration.

How it started

First of all, to answer the inevitable question, I have no idea how I got Covid. I work from home. I have been following the local rules and staying on my property aside from trips to the grocery store. I haven’t been to any gatherings, I wear a mask as required by regulations in the city where I’m staying, and I wash my hands at the appropriate times.

As far as risk factors go, I have mild asthma, the cough variant kind, where instead of wheezing I sound like I’m dying of bronchitis. I’m pretty fit and active and walk 3-5 hilly miles most days, rain or shine, so my lung capacity is good and I don’t get winded going up hills or stairs, generally speaking. I’m 51 and could probably stand to lose about 20 pounds but I have no health issues for which I require regular medication. I rarely eat processed food, get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit caffeine to one (okay two) cups of coffee per day.

Day 1: On Monday, the 7th, I started feeling kind of “off” for lack of a better word. I was tired – very, very tired – and I went to bed ridiculously early, at 7 o’clock because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Day 2: When I woke up on Tuesday, I realized that I was sick and brushed it off as the flu or a cold. I figured a day with chicken soup, peppermint tea, and a nip of Jack Daniels for a stubborn cough would have me right as rain in no time. At that point, my symptoms were a dry cough, body aches, a very mild sore throat, and an all-encompassing fatigue. Later in the day, I got so cold that no amount of blankets and heat could warm me up. I was running a high (for me) fever that kept going up during the night.

What it was like to have Covid

Days 3-5: Over the next three days, chills and fever were almost constant. My joints and muscles hurt. Getting up to go to the bathroom felt like an expedition up a mountain.  I was tired and winded. I had very little appetite and even less of an inclination to cook food so I existed mostly on peanut butter and crackers and leftover soup. I was absolutely exhausted and so cold that I shivered violently when I got out from under my bed piled high with blankets. I had super-weird dreams. My cough worsened, my head hurt, and my throat was still mildly sore.

I drank lots of water and electrolyte beverages. My thirst remained unquenchable regardless of how much I drank. I took vitamins (C, D3) and took Zinc supplements. These are my regular supplements but I doubled that.

Days 6-9: The line to get a test at the local clinic was long and filled with people who were coughing up a lung. There was no way I’d be able to stand in that line for an hour, as sick as I felt. Besides, I figured if I didn’t have Covid, I’d get it standing in the line so I opted not to be tested.

This part made me think of the worst case of the flu I ever had, except intensified by about four times. It was terrible.

I usually let a fever run its course but by Saturday I felt so awful that I gave in and began treating symptoms. My normal temp is in the 96s and my temperature throughout these days stayed between 101-103. I staggered ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and I also used a mild muscle relaxant and my Ventilyn inhaler. The meds didn’t get rid of my fever but reduced the chills to a tolerable level. I slept almost around the clock, waking up for a couple of hours here and there to check on website stuff. Fortunately, I have a wonderful team who kept things running for us. One day blurred into the next and I considered going to the doctor again, but couldn’t muster the energy. I felt like if I just got a little more sleep I’d be okay.

My cough was getting far worse and now my ribs and abdominal muscles hurt. It was a deep painful cough that caused me to clutch my chest every single time inhaled deeply.

Day 10: I woke up feeling slightly better. My fever had finally completely broken and I was no longer feeling chilled to the bone. My cough, however, was even worse than before and I recognized the wheezing sound that meant I was headed for a bout of pneumonia. I’ve got mild asthma and quite often upper respiratory issues end up with pneumonia for me so I know the signs. I upped the vitamin C and hoped for the best.

Day 11: I hadn’t been drinking coffee, just peppermint tea and I was really looking forward to a delicious cup of coffee now that I was feeling better. Unfortunately, the Keurig at the rental where I’m staying seemed to be putting out tinted water. I was bummed that the coffee was bad but I just refilled my water bottle and went on with my morning.

My cough was horrible. I decided that I’d put it off for as long as was safe and that I was going to need a steroid inhaler to heal my lungs. I planned to visit the doctor as soon as I finished my morning work on the website. I made myself some toast with peanut butter to eat before I left because there’s nothing worse than going to the doctor hungry and grouchy. I was texting with my friend while eating and thought, “This tastes awful. Why is my toast so bland and sweet? Ohhhhhhhhhh…….”

I had lost my sense of taste. I could pick up slightly sweet or slightly salty flavors but that’s it. Eating only sweet or salty styrofoam is probably the most effective diet ever…(continues)

Organic Prepper: Timing Is EVERYTHING When the SHTF

Florida residents bugging out ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Selco Begovic, writing at the Organic Prepper, talks about the importance of timing when the SHTF. Just recently we briefly posted about the immense traffic jam caused when people in Paris tried fleeing ahead of the most recent lockdowns. Just this morning after a work meeting with my boss we briefly segued into the state of the country and that we both considered moving to other countries but weren’t sure which could be considered “better” right now. But we also recognized that you don’t want to wait until it is too late to leave. If/when a government crackdown finally comes, it will probably be too late to leave, so you have to try to read the signs of descent.

Timing or the importance of perfect timing in SHTF can be a matter of life and death.

For a starting point, you need to understand something that I mentioned in previous posts. When SHTF occurs, the situation is fluid – it can change quickly, and you need to recognize those changes so you can react in time, and in the proper way.

The real danger is other people

I like to say that when the SHTF most probably your enemy is not going to be some foreign invaders, UN troops, or people that are very different than you.

It’s very possible your enemy will be the people that today live around you.

What will make them your enemy?

Well, a lot of things. The SHTF itself, the lack of resources, hate, polarization, absence of a system, absence of repercussion for their actions…

But always the main reason will be the lack of resources, and it is something I wrote about a lot in my book. That makes every person your possible enemy.

How does the importance of timing come into play here?

Well, it is on you to time your plans and actions based on the situation around you.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Are local criminal gangs going to go completely wild and storm your home?
  • Can you feel absolutely free to shoot anyone who is a possible threat to you?
  • When you are bugging out are you gonna run over whoever stands in your way on the road, or are you driving like a law-abiding citizen?

Answers to those questions are quite different based on the time (or timing) when you are answering them. Simply if there is no system still working, everything falls apart. The timing of your action is important. You must understand what the rules are so you can choose how (or how hard) your response will be.

And do not forget, since it will be fluid the difference can be as little as a half-hour of time. Or even minutes.

A law-abiding citizen

Yes, I know, most probably you are a law-abiding citizen.

But, you cannot be a law abiding citizens in a situation where there is no law at all.

So what are you gonna be?

I am not suggesting anything here, but, again, your actions should be different in normal times and world without law and order. I am talking here not about violence, but about your feelings of who owns what when all falls apart.

If you recognize in time that there is simply no system, and there are things that actually suddenly do not “belong” to anyone, you can make good decisions about acquiring things you need. And trust me if you do not make it then, you will make it later. Only later you are not gonna have so many choices or opportunities.

No, I am not talking about stealing from other folks or looting your local mall during a bad weather event or riot.

I am talking about your acts in the first days of an event that is gonna be complete and prolonged world without a regular system of law and order.
Timing there also means that you need to recognize when some things are more important than others…for example, food is more important than some big-screen TV.

Actions on the ground

Timing also means a lot while certain things are happening when SHTF, especially in the very early stages of SHTF.

The early stage is important, because most of the people in that stage are not sure of:

  • what is exactly happening
  • how serious it is
  • how long it is going to last
  • what exactly they should do

You, as a survivalist/prepper, should be ahead of those people and you should know, or at least have an educated guess about the 4 questions above so you can time your actions appropriately.

Looting/scavenging

There is nothing too much philosophical here, and here is one example:

Something happens, and people are looting the mall.

What are you going to do?

Well, the most obvious answer is that you’ll stay at home because it is safest.

But let’s say you need medicines, food, or whatever.

Well if it is a real and serious SHTF, I would say you are gonna go there and “loot.” Only it is technically not looting anymore, because there is no law and order. It is not coming back for a long time or ever. So if you are smart, you’ll go there and stock up with important medicines, or food, or lighter fluid or similar stuff.

The timing is perfect because the answers to all of the above questions are “satisfying” for that. And you as a prepper for sure are not gonna loot stereos and TVs.

Most of the other people gonna be stupid and loot that useless stuff, because they completely missed the understanding of what is going on.

The timing here can be tricky too because you need to check if there are other people who understood how serious the situation is (based on the above questions). If they did, then you might lose your life there looking for food or medicines, simply because a lot of other people could be doing the same.

And do not forget, criminal organised groups WILL eventually figure out what is important, so they will eventually come to control that.

So, the timing is important, but again, the timing of your understanding of the term “law-abiding citizen” here is something that you need to figure out first when something serious happens.

You also need to know when to leave.

I have said before if I had realized what was coming when the SHTF for me, I would have left. But I waited too late. I missed my time.

You must be ready to leave everything (physical) in a split second if that means survival and life.

Learn to operate in terms of “less is more” or in other words, try whenever you can to substitute dependence on things with owning knowledge of a particular skill. For example, owning a big stash of water is great, owning skills and means to purify near water sources is even better.

Be ready to alter your plans – do not value your current plan so much that you are ready to die for it. Have an open and flexible mind so you can recognize that moment when your current plan becomes worthless. Do not act like “my plan (bugging out, or bugging in) is so good that I am ready to die for it.

Timing is everything when the SHTF.

A lot of things and actions in the world of survival are simply words. Those words will have different meanings when SHTF, based on the moment in time and based on when you are taking your actions. You as a prepper need to time your actions according to the events around you, and you need to be ready to kinda bend based on the events unfolding.

The most adaptable will survive.

Organic Prepper Closes Facebook Preparedness Group

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about closing her emergency preparedness group on Facebook over Facebook’s arbitrary and capricious “moderation” practices. Here’s Why I Voluntarily Closed My Preparedness Group on Facebook

For several years, I ran a very popular emergency preparedness group on Facebook called Prep Club. A couple thousand members and a great team of moderators kept the group free of hot-button topics, and the core members of the group became extremely close-knit. Today, I voluntarily made the decision to permanently archive all my preparedness groups on Facebook despite the high quality of the content.

The short version is this:

By archiving the group, the years’ worth of high-quality content remains available to members. They can’t interact but they can still go in and search for recipes and tips. If I had waited, Facebook’s moderation team was extremely likely to have deleted the entire group and all that information would be lost forever.

Now, if you have questions, stick around for the longer version.

What is Facebook doing to groups like mine?

Yesterday, I woke up to some messages that appeared to be right out of Orwell’s classic, 1984. I redacted the members’ names and images for privacy purposes. Here are the redacted messages.

So right off the hop, Facebook had decided content in our extremely well-moderated group was composed by “dangerous individuals and organizations.”

What did the removed content say? Well, we have no idea whatsoever because Facebook is “unable to show content that goes against” their community standards. But they want us to manually approve or discard all the posts that person makes for the next month so she doesn’t “re-offend.” Except we have NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK SHE POSTED.

And that’s not all.

They’ve been “fighting false news” in our group since September and never even notified us that they’d removed some of our content. When I clicked on “see details” I got the same message as above. “Y’all posted such bad stuff we can’t even show you what it is.”

In an effort to save the group – which was extremely busy and popular – I turned on moderation for all posts so we could try and keep things running.

But then we learned that Facebook was going to continue to “clean up” groups.

Then this morning, my friend and prolific author, Jim Cobb from Survival Weekly, shared an article explaining how Facebook was going to “clean up” groups like mine. Most worrisome is the highlighted comment:

In addition, group members who had any community standards violations in a group will now require post approval for the next 30 days. That means all their posts will have to be pre-approved by a group admin or moderator. This could help groups deal with those whose behavior is often flagged, but it could also overwhelm groups with a large number of users. And Facebook says if the admins or moderators then approve a post that violates community standards, the group will be removed. (source)

I took a screenshot too because y’all know how things like this have a habit of vanishing into the ether of the internet.

Just so we’re all singing from the same songbook, let me break this down.

  • Facebook wants us to moderate everything a person who has broken any rules posts.
  • But they won’t tell us what the person in trouble did wrong.
  • We are supposed to guess.
  • If we guess incorrectly, then the entire group gets nuked and all that information is gone forever.

Sorry, but the only way to win that game except not to play it. So, I opted not to play it and I archived all of my preparedness groups so that no further content is able to be posted or commented upon. I warmly invite you to join our forum instead, which is on my server and cannot be moderated by outside entities.

We don’t have to like it, but Facebook has every right to do this.

Before anyone starts hollering about free speech, please note that I believe Facebook has every right to make their own rules. I built my group on their platform, not the other way around.  The right to free speech applies to the government – they cannot crack down on you for saying whatever unpopular thing that is on your mind. At this point, it does not apply to private platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It’s important to note that the FTC is debating anti-trust actions against the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon over concerns they’ve become monopolies and hold too much power.

But for right now, these entities have the right to approve or delete whatever they want to on their own platforms.

I think what they’ve done is awful but it isn’t unconstitutional to be awful.

I think it’s censorship, but that is also not unconstitutional if a private platform is doing it.

I joined their club and agreed to their rules. My option, if I don’t like their rules, is to go to a different playground with guidelines that I like more. But keep in mind that Facebook used to allow our posts and conversations and then things changed.

That’s why I will not ever be moving my groups to any other social media outlets. Rules that may be palatable today could change by tomorrow and then I spent all that time and energy again, building a house on borrowed land. That’s why I am building my own playground here in our forum.

I figured this day was coming.

A couple of years ago, Selco and I put our heads together and started a small forum on my server. We focused on privacy, a few rules to keep things civil, and a platform that I own. I knew that the day would come when I needed to have this up, running, and to which we could seamlessly transition.

You can now find us at our forum, where you don’t have to use your real name, prove your identity, or bow to Big Tech. If you have ANY problems getting your account set up, please reach out to us at the email on the image below or use the contact button at the top of the home page. We will be making improvements to our forum over the next few weeks but right now, the most important thing is to get signed up and start talking to each other.

I’ve been covering censorship, technological surveillance, and attempts to control the narrative for more than a decade now. I knew this entire time that while social media was great for helping me build my website, I would not be able to use it forever. In a world where people who approve of censorship hold most of the microphones and most of the power, it is only a matter of time before those with controversial opinions that fly in the face of political correctness no longer have a place on these platforms.

Today was that day for me.

I would rather do it voluntarily and on my own terms than to be unceremoniously booted off because I believe in liberty.

Organic Prepper: Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper writes The Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE.

If you are a reader of this site, you might be more interested in the food supply chain than most, at least when things are good. So, if you have been paying attention recently, you might find that there have been some severe disturbances in that supply chain.

Several months ago, the immediate disruptions began at the beginning of the COVID-19 hysteria, when factories, distribution centers, and even farms shut down under the pretext of “flattening the curve.”

As a result, Americans found necessities were missing on the shelves for the first time in years. Items like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes were, of course, out of stock.

Soon other items became noticeably missing as well.

People began to notice meat, and even canned vegetables and rice were soon missing from the shelves. Most of this was simply the result of mass panic buying, although “preppers” were blamed for “hoarding.” Therefore, people who had not been prepping all along and were suddenly caught with their pants down.

But that’s not the whole story.

Manufacturing and packaging facilities and slaughterhouses shut down due to intrusive totalitarian government reactions to an alleged pandemic. Combined with panic buying, those facilities’ ability to replace what was bought up was drastically reduced. As a result, consumers were forced to wait weeks before buying what they needed (or wanted) again. Even then, they had to show up in the morning.

We are still experiencing those shortages, though better hidden. As anyone who shops regularly can tell you, you can find what you need, but you may have to go to three stores to get it, where one would have done in the past. In this article, you’ll find some advice about dealing with the limited varieties of inventory that people are currently noticing at stores.

War launched on the economy by state governments put millions of Americans out of work.

Now, when most rational people would be happy to have a job at all amid such high unemployment, they were prepared to stop the machine’s wheels from working.

Workers suddenly started to organize, strike, and walk off the job conveniently when the food supply was already broken. Of course, these workers had not organized or initiated a strike at any time before when working conditions were bleak, and wages were low.

While extraordinary times beget extraordinary reactions, the timing of the newfound sense of workers’ resolve cannot go unnoticed.

At the same time, we witnessed farms dumping thousands of gallons of milk down the drain, meat producers slaughtering animals and burying them, and farmers destroying crops all over the country and the world.

The reason for this is two-fold.

First, many major producers would not want a glut of their product on the market and see their prices dropdown.

Second, with the totalitarian measures forcing the shut down of restaurants across the country, many farms and producers lost a massive part of their market, thus destroying it.

A government genuinely concerned with its people’s health would have bought that produce and either distributed it or freeze-dried and stored it for the coming apocalypse.

Indeed, the Trump administration attempted this with some very minor success and high cost. Food banks at least benefited. But the damage to the food supply was already done.

And then came the winds.

As time moved forward, we saw devastating straight-line winds blow across places like Iowa, destroying massive amounts of crops and farming infrastructure, effects rarely advertised on mainstream media outlets.

Following those winds, we saw massive wildfires along the West Coast’s entirety from Washington to California and as far east as Colorado, South Dakota, and Texas.

One need only take a look at the map at fires seemingly heading east, burning up prairies and farmland all along the way to see that the food chain will experience yet even more hiccups once the smoke has cleared.

But while leftists claim the fires are the natural result of “climate change” and conservatives blame lack of adequate forest management (which has some merit), both completely ignore the fact that close to ten people were arrested for setting these fires.

Repeatedly, arsonists are being arrested for starting blazes though the motive is unclear. Those of us who have studied history, however, can speculate with some certainty.

But these problems are not unique to the United States.

Countries all over the world are experiencing supply chain problems. Australia, for instance, is about to run out of its domestic rice supply by December entirely.

Now, here we are, with winter fast approaching and the food supply decimated. The world’s population is walking around masked and terrified of getting within six feet of another human, and the cities all across America are on fire with violent riots.

Communists and the inevitable response are clashing in the streets and threatening to turn in to a possible American Civil War 2.0. What role will hunger play in this scenario?

At the moment, we can’t say for sure.

But what we can say with certainty is that this will be a very long, very trying winter.

Food shortages are coming, and they aren’t too far away.

You do not have much time left before the items you can grab now are gone and gone for good. Here are some tips for shopping when there aren’t many supplies left on the shelves, and here’s a list of things that are usually imported from China that we haven’t been receiving in the same quantities (if at all) since the crisis began.

Many of the readers of this website will be prepared, no doubt, but others won’t. Not only do we advise you to prepare – but we also advise you to be ready for the unprepared.

Have you seen shortages in your area? Do you still have quantity limits on certain purchases? Some areas seem better stocked than others.

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)