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Leeds on Finance

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Comments and Debate on the AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun

I received a couple more comments/e-mails from readers expressing their opinions on the better of the two rifles/carbines for the gun to have for the collapse.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun": "Wow! Have been putting together AR variants for 3 yrs now and have a hybrid BCM/LMT carbine in 5.56. This after years of owning a Norinco MAK 90 and "reconfiguring" Saiga IZ132 back to true AK form. Either AK variant or my AR will do. The civilian AK variant is NOT all 100% reliable (WASRS have proven that) and good ARs rarely "jam"( 2,300 rds through my BCM M4 style upper with SOCOM barrel and M16 bolt carrier-no hiccup or malfunction). For home defense or bug out to a safer community/ area, either will suit your needs. A realistic SHTF is a fast pandemic or katrina style disaster, where the government is crippled for several weeks, and the usual opportunists come out of their dung heaps! I don't believe in mad max gum battles (the idea of prepping for a disaster is survival, not playing "last man standing"-anyone preaching that mindset is DEAD during a disaster). If you need a long gun until Rule of Law is re-established, buying either an AK or AR/M4 clone will do. Lets leave the 400m + kill zone views to our troops who have to do it. Engaging past 100 ft isn't "self defense" or fighting for survival post disaster. "

UrbanMan's comment: The above comment was very sound. My take away is that the man behind the gun and his planning is as or more important. I somewhat agree with your 400 meter - 100 meter analogy. However, there are circumstances where engaging out an extended distances would make sense such there being two of you and a large group is approaching your cabin or structure. If it was unavoidable that this group closes with your cabin, and undeniable that your lives are in danger, why wouldn't you engage at an effective range rather than wait until this group closes with you, spreads out and makes it much more difficult to engage?

Neal dropped me an e-mail with his observations: "I have no problem with people who want to own an AK or a clone, but the man who has an AR (I have two Rock River M4 clones) is much better prepared for all contingencies especially living in a big city with all the crazies going bonkers when they can't find any food. I think you are doing people a disservice by recommending anything but an AR, apologies to those of you who have 7.62 AR's but 5.56mm is much easier to find and easier to carry. Right now I live in the city and drive a truck on a city route making deliveries. I always carry my Glock without my supervisors knowing cause I'd get fired. My wife is finishing up a nursing program and we'll move to whether she can get a job. But right now our plan is immediately leave our apartments each carrying an M4 and Glock, with our battle rattle and bug out bags, then go down the stairs of our apartment to the parking basement to access our car. She is going to drive and I'll be in the back seat to I can shoot out both sides. We have about 16 blocks to go to get into a non residential area then into the country. We're not waiting around at all. All of you who own AK's would go much better with an M-4 like my city situation."

UrbanMan's comment: Neal, I don't think I have "recommended" AK's. My focus is on regular people just getting better prepared for the collapse whether it comes from the dollar tanking, an EMP attack, a great depression or even zombies! Most people are just not going to go out and buy what they think are Military Weapons. I think a family who has a bolt gun, a shotgun and maybe a .22 pistol or whatever they have, can get the rest of their preps up considering food, water, necessary survival gear, shelter and defenses, and above all, a plan that covers the Bug Out. I applaud you on the plan you have leaving your apartment and getting out of the city at first chance. Maybe you and your wife and did a couple weaponless rehearsals, clearing hallways, stairs and basement. And what happens if getting to your vehicle is not viable or that vehicle craps out? Consider a plan to move on foot to another location whether it is a defensible short term hole up and/or a place to procure another vehicle.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Government Martial Law Exercise Exposing Post Collapse Plans

I received two e-mails from individuals worried about a Homeland Security and Department of Defense exercise involving martial law and targeting "anti-government patriots". Nobody sent me a link so I actually had to do some research, ha ha, which only involved calling a government buddy of mine who sent me a link to InfoWars.com on an article written by Paul Joseph Watson with the title: "Homeland Security Exercise Targets “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny”.

This is not spinning me up. The government can plan and theorize all they want,...martial law is going to fail, even in the "gun free" zones they have established in Detroit, Washington D.C., Chicago and Connecticut. But, just like Fox News, we'll post the info and let the reader sort it out and make their own determinations.

Homeland Security Exercise Targets “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny

Watson states that leaked Homeland Security documents obtained by Infowars reveal details of a joint DHS/FEMA national exercise set to take place this week (24-29 March 2014) and one of the components of (this exercise) revolves around an effort to counter online dissent by a group called “Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny,” which is disgruntled at the imposition of martial law after an earthquake in Alaska.

UrbanMan's note: The title "Free Americans Against Socialist Tyranny" brings up mental images of cammie clad, rifle toting gents slinking about a government facility in order to effect some type of sabotage or ambush. However, the key pretend threat group for this exercise is a anti-authority, anti-government group who uses on-line ventures to conduct cyber type propaganda and may try to cyber attacking of the defense network including the NORAD grid.

Watson says that the (government exercise) document again underscores the federal government’s obsession with characterizing libertarians and conservatives as some kind of extremist radical threat.

The (exercise) document (PDF) was leaked by an individual affiliated with Stewart Rhodes’ Oathkeepers organization and passed on to Infowars. It is entitled National Exercise Program – Capstone Exercise 2014 – Scenario Ground Truth.

The document is intended for “U.S. Department of Homeland Security Trusted Agents Only” and is “disseminated only on a need-to-know basis.” Even the role players involved in the exercise itself are prohibited from seeing the files.

The exercise is designed to evaluate readiness in preparation for a catastrophic incident, natural disaster or major act of terrorism. Some of the scenarios which will be in play during the exercise include a series of earthquakes, tsunamis and a nuclear weapons accident.

On page 125 of the document, a scenario is outlined whereby a group calling itself “Free Americans against Socialist Tyranny” responds to “The U.S. Northern Command mission of Defense Support to Civil Authorities” (or the imposition of martial law) by launching a protest campaign on social media and potentially engaging in cyber attacks.

According to the scenario, the campaign is driven by suspicion that “the government is responsible for the Alaska earthquake and a “hacktivist” manifesto.”

And we they wonder why we view the government as the enemy. This only feeds the beast.

Another link: DHS-FEMA-National-Exercise-Program-Capstone-Exercise-2014-Scenario

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Domino Effect of EMP - Catalyst for Complete Collapse

This is an article by Bill White from The International Forecaster. I would have called the article "EMP is Forever". An EMP catalyst to the collapse is a viable threat, much easier executed by terrorist groups or enemy nations than people think. Nuclear devices coming into the sea ports could do it.

What are our counter measures or preparedness steps for EMP? Essentially the same as getting ready for any other collapse mechanism. Shelter, food, water and security and all the little drab, meticulous steps we need to take to ensure those vital and main areas are covered.

One neglected aspect to preparing for the collapse may be the initial steps we need to take, a checklist if you will, for those first couple of days when the collapse is beginning but it is not yet widely believed. Cash on hand and small denomination silver and gold are going to necessary to purchase or barter for last minute items when the banks and ATM's shut down.

Having some type of power generation, and not solely relying on fuel generators, is a good and really necessary idea. This means solar panels and wind mills for the most part. Having the ability to recharge batteries, store power in deep cycle batteries is going to be huge in a collapse, especially a long term collapse.

The long term side of things has to be focused on how are we going to feed ourselves once our stocked food is gone? We simply have to have the skills and material to grow our own food. That means skills, tools and seeds. Anyway, enough from me, read this excellent article from Bill White.

The Domino Effect of EMP, by Bill White

Of all the myriad of different disasters that could strike the United States, an EMP would be one of the most devastating. Our modern society depends so much upon electronics, as well as the computers that run just about anything.

Very little of this is protected from the effects of EMP, including the power grid that we need to run it all. It is even questionable whether our nuclear power plants could survive an EMP, without the possibility of catastrophe.

The United States has many enemies around the world, some of whom have blatantly declared their desire to destroy us. While not all of these countries have the capability of shooting a nuclear device into the stratosphere, in order to create an EMP over the United States, some do. What technology our enemies don’t have could easily be bought on the world market.

How It Starts

In the first few moments, the effects of an EMP will be just like a power outage. Actually, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between an EMP and any other power outage. There is no obvious sign that an EMP has occurred, other than the loss of power. In fact, most of the power generating stations and other services won’t even recognize what had happened, instead thinking that the problems they were experiencing were localized.

The first hours to a day of any EMP will look to everyone just as if they were having a regional blackout. People will be surprised to see that their whole city is blacked out, rather than just their neighborhood. They’ll probably speculate about what has happened, but few will think of suggesting an EMP.

With the power out, a number of things we all depend upon will stop working immediately. Most stores won’t be able to sell their merchandise, as their computerized cash registers won’t work. Gas stations won’t be able to pump gas and traffic lights will go out. City water will probably still flow for that first day, as most cities have water towers to store water for high usage times and maintain water pressure.

Nobody is going to realize that anything more major than a localized power outage is going on, because communications will break down. At the beginning everyone from individuals to state governments will deal with the problem as if it is a localized problem.

It will probably take the better part of a day for the government to verify that an EMP had occurred and several days for them to get the word out, as all means of communications will be down.

Many hospitals and other critical operations will be able to continue functioning for at least a week, as they almost always have backup diesel generators with enough fuel storage to keep them operating for at least a week. Although the electronic controls to automatically switch on the generators won’t be functional, the manual controls will be. Of course, the electronic equipment in the hospital, which doctors depend on so much, won’t be working.

When the Panic Attacks

The panic probably won’t start until the second or third day. The first sign of that panic will be a run on the stores. Actually, we’ll probably see a two wave run on the stores.

The first wave will happen within a couple of hours of losing power, as people run to the store for flashlights, batteries and candles. The second wave will happen once they realize that things aren’t going to get better quickly and try to buy all the food, water and survival supplies they can.

As most people won’t have cash to use in the stores, being used to using credit and debit cards, they will steak what they want, causing riots and violence in the stores.

Stores will attempt to lock their doors to keep people out, but looters will break the glass in the doors and windows, stealing what they want.

This will start with food stores and quickly spread to liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and sporting goods stores. Within a few days, widespread looting will become commonplace, with no stores being safe.

By the end of the first week the news will have spread throughout the country that we have been the victim of an EMP. This will cause fear, as people misunderstand what has happened and wonder what will happen next. Companies will be shut down “temporarily” as it will be impossible for most people to work. This will begin to create concern as well, as people won’t be earning money.

Without the ability to pump gas our distribution networks will break down. This will cause widespread shortages, most especially of food. About the only food that will be available will be what people have on hand and what is produced locally. Even local produce will be limited, as there won’t be fuel available to get it to market.

When people’s food stocks start running out, we’ll see the next wave of violence. This one will start as public protests, but turn into mob violence. People will want someone to blame for their problems and will seek out those that they can accuse. Anyone could end up a victim, but the most likely are politicians, business owners and the wealthy; people who would normally be in a position to do something about the problem.

The fact that they are impotent to do anything won’t make a difference. By this point, we’ll see a general breakdown of society.

The End of the Society As We Know It

Most people will be unable to work and earn a living. Even if they could, they won’t be able to buy the things they need. People will have to turn to survival mode, seeking out what they can do to survive.

Those who are prepared will hunker down, trying to make the best of the situation and avoid drawing attention to themselves. Some others will turn to violence, seeking to steal what they need. The vast majority of people will sink into a quiet desperation, trying to find out a living in any way possible.

The EMP will not only cause a collapse of society, but a financial collapse as well. A huge portion of the population will be out of work. Everyone’s money will be frozen, as there won’t be any way to get to it. The small amount of currency that is available in the open market will quickly fall away to bartering, as people try to get what they need. Many will die, either of starvation or freezing to death when they can’t heat their homes.

Recovering from the effects of an EMP will be a long, drawn out affair, lasting years. It won’t be possible to rebuild the electrical grid quickly, as the suppliers for the equipment will be unable to work without power. Rebuilding will require replacing and reconstructing an enormous amount of equipment. In the time that the electrical grid is being rebuilt, people will gradually find other ways of doing things which don’t require electrical power or electrical energy.

Although repairs to the electrical grid will probably be completed in three to four years, the country as a whole will be set back by decades. People won’t be able to just pick their lives up where they left off, as much of what they did before will no longer exist. New companies will have to be started and people will have to find new ways to live their lives. The effects of an EMP would be with us for the rest of our lives.

Friday, March 21, 2014

TEOTWAWKI - The End of The World As We Know It

Received from Herbert who is prepping in Missouri. ”Have you thought about how much the interest rates will rise when the economy starts to go downhill? I think we’ll see rates going up and up and when around the 12% mark for homes and vehicles, which would make credit cards around 24%, there will be a food shortage, or maybe a money shortage, or maybe both and food riots will commence in the inner cities. The government will be forced to act with military forces occupying the cities and our enemies will act. The Russian’s can’t re-take Crimea but if they haven’t taken Ukraine by then, they will. Then Poland and Hungary. China will move to control the China Sea, Japan and the Philippines. It’s going to be a mess. Have you thought about the strategic move to by survival equipment on credit such as a new truck, plenty of spare tires and an additional fuel tank, a couple of expensive rifles and ammunition and long term food? A prepper could end up new long lasting gear and be better prepared and after the economy collapse, will there be any institutions to collect? Land could be bought also. A Bug Out site with a water source in an area with decent weather, decent neighbors and no big cities. What say you?”

Herbert – I just cannot advocate going into a contract planning to default – however I think you’re point is valid is that if you need something expensive that you have to buy on credit, and is vital to your survival plans, then get it now before you can’t afford it. And if the interest rates rise and/or the institutions collapse, money is going to be your last concern. Unless you are counting your gold and silver as money.

However, on your point that the coming collapse will be based or begun due to economic issues, such as the collapse of the dollar and influenced by world events,....well, that is pretty valid. A recent article from Peak Prosperity gives us a little more insight:

Economist Warns of Collapse Risk: “Will Not Allow Life to Continue As We Know It”

Earlier this week we noted that an invasion of the Ukraine by Vladimir Putin would likely lead to a complete destruction of U.S. stock markets. It’s not so much the invasion force itself, but rather, the economic maneuvers that would come with it should Russia take this course of action.

Well known economist and founder of the Shadow Stats web site John Williams seems to agree. If Russia were to begin unloading US Dollars it would almost instantly lead to a collapse of not only our financial markets, but our entire way of life. And while Russia alone may not have the economic power to single-handedly crush the U.S. economy, if their trading partners and allies like China got into the mix, coupled with front-running investors who may suspect the move is about to happen, it could well be a blood bath on a global scale.

This wouldn’t even be an issue if the U.S. economy were operating at healthy levels, but as Williams notes in the following interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog, it’s anything but:

What you have to keep in mind is that back in 2008 we had one of the greatest financial crises the United States ever faced. The system was on the brink of collapse at that point in time.

What the Fed and the federal government did was spend every penny they could, anything they could create or anything they could guarantee. They did everything they could possibly do to keep the system from crashing. They guaranteed all bank accounts. So, they saved the system, but now what they did has not borne fruit. We have not seen an economic recovery. We have not seen a return of health to the banking system.

So, the system is very vulnerable; and if the Russians carry through with their threat, you have, indeed, the risk of it collapsing the system.

It does have the effect of creating a hyperinflation, which I think it would. It’s the type of circumstance that will not allow life to continue as we know it because the U.S. is not able to handle hyperinflation.

We’re not structured for it. Zimbabwe had one of the worst hyperinflations that anyone has ever seen. They were still able to function for a while because they get paid in a rapidly depreciating currency. It was so rapid it became like toilet paper overnight… they would go to a black market and exchange it for dollars. We (the U.S.) don’t have a black market to escape from our dollars. Gold is probably the closest thing to that. Gold will tend to rally here as the dollar sells off, barring very heavy intervention by the central banks which you may see.

The fundamentals will eventually dominate, and you will see a very weak dollar and very strong gold coming out of this. As it stands now, even without Russia and China, our economic system is, once again, on the cusp of a serious deleveraging. John Williams highlights that January retail sales, a leading indicator of economic health, gave the strongest signal since September 2007 that a recession is looming, if not already here.

One huge indicator of this is that Staples, a leading supplier of office supplies nationwide, is shutting the doors on 225 stores. And, they aren’t the only ones getting hammered by a pullback in consumer spending. The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, saw sales drop over 20% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013. And as trend forecaster Gerald Celente once noted, “as goes Walmart, so goes America.”

So, in reality, Russia can probably sit back and watch the U.S. economy slip into a coma over the next couple of years. Of course, if their intention is to return their nation to super power status, an attack on the US economy by dumping the dollar would speed up the process and amplify the fall-out, causing a multi-generational depression.

Last year Barack Obama faced off with Russia over Syria, a situation that could easily have led to a much wider conflict. Now, the same players have taken the game to Ukraine. In both instances we’ve heard warnings of a potential collapse of our economic system in the event of an escalation. The point is that it really doesn’t matter if it’s Syria, Ukraine, Iran or some other periphery conflict. It should be clear that eventually this is exactly how it’s going to play out with respect to the US dollar. China and Russia will make their move when they are good and ready. When that day comes the implosion will be so fast that most Americans won’t even realize what has happened or know how to cope.

UrbanMan's comments:

1. It is a fact that we are not prepared for Hyper-inflation. We do not even grow enough food to support our own country. We (as a country) and we (as prepared individuals) must be able to grow and harvest food to support our survival. If you are not planning or prepared to grow your own food, then you are a fool.

2. Zimbabwe indeed had hyper-inflation,....what they also had was rampant violence from the starving and pissed off poor on those who owned farms and manufacturing. That will happen in this country. The government is certainly creating a base for it with all the class warfare and themes that the rich are creating the havoc in this country.

3. "The U.S. does not have a Black Market to escape to....." Yes we do. It's called Gold, Silver, Fuel, Food, other commodities,.......it's called ammunition, tools and services. But it is only valid for those who prepare.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

15 Reasons Why Your Food Prices Are About To Start Soaring

This article came from Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog, posted on Zero Hedge, and highlights to end to not only stock food but to become food self-sufficient. Growing and harvesting your own food - that may mean greenhouse throughout the year. It may mean being in a community where livestock are prevalent and the ability to barter for meat on the hoof; trade produce for other food items, etc. The other point is to try and make yourself recession or depression proof. Consider having some level of gold and silver on hand. Items for barter are good too. Cash on hand for when the banks or ATM's run dry or have "holidays" or withdrawal restrictions....all things to consider.

Did you know that the U.S. state that produces the most vegetables is going through the worst drought it has ever experienced and that the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is now the smallest that it has been since 1951? Just the other day, a CBS News article boldly declared that "food prices soar as incomes stand still", but the truth is that this is only just the beginning. If the drought that has been devastating farmers and ranchers out west continues, we are going to see prices for meat, fruits and vegetables soar into the stratosphere. Already, the federal government has declared portions of 11 states to be "disaster areas", and California farmers are going to leave half a million acres sitting idle this year because of the extremely dry conditions.

Sadly, experts are telling us that things are probably going to get worse before they get better (if they ever do). As you will read about below, one expert recently told National Geographic that throughout history it has been quite common for that region of North America to experience severe droughts that last for decades. In fact, one drought actually lasted for about 200 years. So there is the possibility that the drought that has begun in the state of California may not end during your entire lifetime.

This drought has gotten so bad that it is starting to get national attention. Barack Obama visited the Fresno region on Friday, and he declared that "this is going to be a very challenging situation this year, and frankly, the trend lines are such where it's going to be a challenging situation for some time to come."

According to NBC News, businesses across the region are shutting down, large numbers of workers are leaving to search for other work, and things are already so bad that it "calls to mind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s"... In the state's Central Valley — where nearly 40 percent of all jobs are tied to agriculture production and related processing — the pain has already trickled down. Businesses across a wide swath of the region have shuttered, casting countless workers adrift in a downturn that calls to mind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

If you will recall, there have been warnings that Dust Bowl conditions were going to return to the western half of the country for quite some time.

Now the mainstream media is finally starting to catch up.

And of course these extremely dry conditions are going to severely affect food prices. The following are 15 reasons why your food bill is going to start soaring.....

#1 2013 was the driest year on record for the state of California, and 2014 has been exceptionally dry so far as well.

#2 According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 91.6 percent of the entire state of California is experiencing "severe to exceptional drought" even as you read this article.

#3 According to CNBC, it is being projected that California farmers are going to let half a million acres of farmland sit idle this year because of the crippling drought.

#4 Celeste Cantu, the general manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, says that this drought could have a "cataclysmic" impact on food prices...

Given that California is one of the largest agricultural regions in the world, the effects of any drought, never mind one that could last for centuries, are huge. About 80 percent of California's freshwater supply is used for agriculture. The cost of fruits and vegetables could soar, says Cantu. "There will be cataclysmic impacts."

#5 Mike Wade, the executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, recently explained which crops he believes will be hit the hardest...
Hardest hit would be such annual row crops as tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, cantaloupes, garlic, peppers and corn. Wade said consumers can also expect higher prices and reduced selection at grocery stores, particularly for products such as almonds, raisins, walnuts and olives.

#6 As I discussed in a previous article, the rest of the nation is extremely dependent on the fruits and vegetables grown in California. Just consider the following statistics regarding what percentage of our produce is grown in the state...
-99 percent of the artichokes
-44 percent of asparagus
-two-thirds of carrots
-half of bell peppers
-89 percent of cauliflower
-94 percent of broccoli
-95 percent of celery
-90 percent of the leaf lettuce
-83 percent of Romaine lettuce
-83 percent of fresh spinach
-a third of the fresh tomatoes
-86 percent of lemons
-90 percent of avocados
-84 percent of peaches
-88 percent of fresh strawberries
-97 percent of fresh plums

#7 Of course it isn't just agriculture which will be affected by this drought. Just consider this chilling statement by Tim Quinn, the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies...
"There are places in California that if we don’t do something about it, tens of thousands of people could turn on their water faucets and nothing would come out."

#8 The Sierra Nevada snowpack is only about 15 percent of what it normally is. As the New York Times recently explained, this is going to be absolutely devastating for Californians when the warmer months arrive...
Experts offer dire warnings. The current drought has already eclipsed previous water crises, like the one in 1977, which a meteorologist friend, translating into language we understand as historians, likened to the “Great Depression” of droughts. Most Californians depend on the Sierra Nevada for their water supply, but the snowpack there was just 15 percent of normal in early February.

#9 The underground aquifers that so many California farmers depend upon are being drained at a staggering rate...
Pumping from aquifers is so intense that the ground in parts of the valley is sinking about a foot a year. Once aquifers compress, they can never fill with water again.
It’s no surprise Tom Willey wakes every morning with a lump in his throat. When we ask which farmers will survive the summer, he responds quite simply: those who dig the deepest and pump the hardest.

#10 According to an expert interviewed by National Geographic, the current drought in the state of California could potentially last for 200 years or more as some mega-droughts in the region have done in the past...
California is experiencing its worst drought since record-keeping began in the mid 19th century, and scientists say this may be just the beginning. B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks that California needs to brace itself for a megadrought—one that could last for 200 years or more.

#11 Much of the western U.S. has been exceedingly dry for an extended period of time, and this is hurting huge numbers of farmers and ranchers all the way from Texas to the west coast...
The western United States has been in a drought that has been building for more than a decade, according to climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“Ranchers in the West are selling off their livestock," Patzert said. "Farmers all over the Southwest, from Texas to Oregon, are fallowing in their fields because of a lack of water. For farmers and ranchers, this is a painful drought.”

#12 The size of the U.S. cattle herd has been shrinking for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that it has been since 1951. But our population has more than doubled since then.

#13 Extremely unusual weather patterns are playing havoc with crops all over the planet right now. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Lizzie Bennett...
Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia have experienced rainfall heavy enough to flood fields and rot crops where they stand. Volcanic eruptions in Ecuador are also creating problems due to cattle ingesting ash with their feed leading to a slow and painful death.

Parts of Australia have been in drought for years affecting cattle and agricultural production.

Rice production in China has been affected by record low temperatures.

Large parts of the UK are underwater, and much of that water is sea water which is poisoning the soil. So wet is the UK that groundwater is so high it is actually coming out of the ground and adding to the water from rivers and the sea. With the official assessment being that groundwater flooding will continue until MAY, and that’s if it doesn’t rain again between now and then. The River Thames is 65 feet higher than normal in some areas, flooding town after town as it heads to the sea.

#14 As food prices rise, our incomes are staying about the same. The following is from a CBS News article entitled "Food prices soar as incomes stand still"...
While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it's on sale.

#15 As I have written about previously, median household income has fallen for five years in a row. So average Americans are going to have to make their food budgets stretch more than they ever have before as this drought drags on.
If the drought does continue to get worse, small agricultural towns all over California are going to die off.

For instance, consider what is already happening to the little town of Mendota.......
The farms in and around Mendota are dying of thirst. The signs are everywhere. Orchards with trees lying on their sides, as if shot. Former farm fields given over to tumbleweeds. Land and cattle for sale, cheap. Large numbers of agricultural workers continue to hang on, hoping that somehow there will be enough work for them. But as Evelyn Nieves recently observed, panic is starting to set in...

Off-season, by mid-February, idled workers are clearly anxious. Farmworkers and everyone else who waits out the winter for work (truckers, diesel providers, packing suppliers and the like) are nearing the end of the savings they squirrel away during the season. The season starts again in March, April at the latest, but no one knows who will get work when the season begins, or how much.

People are scared, panicked even. I did not write this article so that you would panic. Yes, incredibly hard times are coming. If you will recall, the 1930s were also a time when the United States experienced extraordinarily dry weather conditions and a tremendous amount of financial turmoil. We could very well be entering a similar time period.

Worrying about this drought is not going to change anything. Instead of worrying, we should all be doing what we can to store some things up while food is still relatively cheap. Our grandparents and our great-grandparents that lived during the days of the Great Depression knew the wisdom of having a well-stocked food pantry, and it would be wise to follow their examples. Please share this article with as many people as you can. The United States has never faced anything like this during most of our lifetimes. We need to shake people out of their "normalcy bias" and get them to understand that big changes are coming.