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Showing posts with label Economic Collapse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economic Collapse. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are You Scared? I am!

This is an article by Bob Rinear and it hit a note with me as I can't help but have this feeling of dread. Other people that I talk to have it as well. Whether it's an investor thinking the stock market will collapse or it some parent who think there will be a great depression and he won't be able to feed his family, or it may be a parent who thinks there will be a total collapse and medicine for his diabetic son won't be available.

Whatever it is, I am heeding it as I have long ago learned to respect my gut instincts. It may be all that keeps you alive in the coming chaos.

Are you Scare? by Bob Rinear

When I talk to people that I consider to be “awake” they all tend to say the same things to me. Almost to a tee, they suggest that they feel something isn’t quite right, but they don’t know exactly what.

They feel like things are out of control, but can’t say why. They feel there’s some form of impending doom, but can’t explain what it is, or why they even feel that way. They just know things aren’t right,but for the life of them, they can’t elucidate just why they feel that way.

I understand that feeling and it is real. You know it in your mind, you almost feel it in your gut. It’s not just the rioting, it’s not just the crazy things like Jade Helm, it’s not just the soggy economy, it’s not just the loss of morals, it’s not just the mindless souls staring like zombies at their cell phones, it’s not just the insane Political Correctness, it’s not just the laws for the privileged versus the laws for the masses, it’s not just any one thing. It’s a combo platter of all of that and considerably more. In a word, many of you are “worried” and I think rightfully so. You just hide it well.

The old analogy is “whistling past the graveyard”. Popular in the 30’s, its definition is “To attempt to stay cheerful in a dire situation; to proceed with a task, ignoring an upcoming hazard, hoping for a good outcome.” I remember quite well using an example of whistling past the graveyard when I was a youngster. I was 12 years old and my neighbor Matt and I had walked to the movies to see a show. Slated to end at 9 pm, the theater was just half a mile from our house and back then kids could walk home safely in the dark.

After our movie was over, the theater announced that they were going to run a “sneak preview showing” of a brand new movie called “night of the living dead”. It was a Saturday evening and Matt and I phoned home quickly to see if we could stay and watch the “free” movie. We got the okay.

If you’re not familiar with the film, it’s about a group of folks that find refuge in a farm house after the population had been turned into flesh eating zombies. Well, it scared the Bejesus out of the both of us. On the way home, we had to take one short path through some woods, and we did our version of whistling past the graveyard by talking really loud to each other and making fun of the ghouls because they were so fake. Truth is we were scared witless and awful glad to get home.

I see a lot of whistling past the graveyard. You ask folks “hey, how are you doing” and they respond, “oh fine, thanks” but then later you find things aren’t so fine. They’re behind on their mortgage, the kids can’t find jobs, medical is eating them alive, etc etc. Every story is different, but similar. They aren’t fine in the classic sense that we all used to be. They’re whistling.

I wanted to write this to let you know, you’re not alone. If you have that feeling that things aren’t right, and you’re concerned about the future, you’re in fine company. You have every reason to feel that way because indeed there’s so many things going on that it becomes overwhelming. Let’s face it folks, the three biggest selling drugs in America are anti-depressants, anti-acids, and Erectile dysfunction medicine. That alone should give you a good insight into the stress of modern day living.

I think the key to remaining sane in this modern world is picking your battles. You can’t fight everything. If you’ve got one pet peeve chewing on you, then go after it with gusto. Maybe you can join forces with other folks bothered by the same topic, and get something done about it. But don’t try and take on all the ills, it will drive you crazy, exhaust you and make you miserable.

People often ask me why I don’t talk about such things as Ferguson or Baltimore. Why I usually don’t comment on the gay movement, or the lesser number of Christians in the past ten years. Well the fact is I have very strong opinions on such things, and many more to boot. When I see a child get expelled for chewing a pop tart into a “gun shape” don’t you think my head explodes? It most certainly does. I think the loss of common sense in America is one of the things that bothers me more than anything else. Where the hell did it go??? When I see the loss of Freedom’s we’ve experienced, it saddens me to the core.

But again, you can’t fight everything. We try our best to tell you what’s happening in global finance, who the elites are, what their angling towards and how best we can profit or protect ourselves from them. That battle alone is all consuming as far as time and energy goes. Why? Because what happens at the upper end of elitist banking will trickle down and affect virtually every aspect of your life.

From taxes, to interest rates, to employment opportunity, to wars, to politicians, to you name it. I have enough battle on my hands, that’s for sure.

I’d love to tell you it’s all going to get better, but alas, I cannot. Each day gets more bizarre than the next. The worst part is that from where I sit, most of it stems from the financial side of the story. The struggle going on globally to deal with a quadrillion in derivatives, and dozens of completely broke nations, tends to toss normality out the window in a big way. Governments can ram all sorts of things
down your throat when you’re more worried about your paycheck than keeping an eye on their criminal activity.

Just consider the abject insanity of this…on Wednesday we had the worst retail sales report since 2009. On Thursday the WSJ reported that we have just come through the worst month of economic reports since the great recession. So what did the market do Thursday? It ran to a new alltime high on the S&P. Are markets supposed to soar to new highs on economic reports this bad? No.

But in 2015 they do, because the market is broken. It’s all about Central planners, central bakers, Wall Street wizards. It’s all about selling debt to buy back stock, it’s about the Swiss National bank owning billions upon billions of US stocks.
You’re right to be confused, concerned and at times mad. The world has been turned upside down.

College costs more than my first house. Race relations are at an all time low. Despite the war on drugs and the war on poverty, we have more of both in huge supply. Civility is gone. Road rage is the norm. The police are being militarized, and scary joint exercises are being played out in 20 states.

The price of protein is out of sight, and chicken, and burger has hit yet another all time high. Seafood has become completely out of the question for tens of millions. I could go on for ages.

My point isn’t to be an “angry white guy” as I was called recently. Hell I keep collecting nicknames all the time. I’ve been Negative Nancy, an angry white guy, and that conspiracy nut Bob just in the past month. My point is simply to say to you all, it’s real. What you’re feeling is legit. Something is coming and only your imagination will limit what it could be. How do I know something’s coming?

Because we cannot keep spinning ever more out of control for ever. Something’s got to give.

I don’t know how we fix inner cities, I really don’t. I don’t know how we get politicians that don’t lie to us. I don’t know how to fix a justice system that has one set of laws for the Hollywood and rich, and another set for us peon’s. I don’t know how to get common sense back. I don’t know how to defeat political correctness. I simply have a feeling that it all has to play itself out, burn itself out.

And I think the spark that lights the fire is some form of economic reset. Something pretty big that shakes us to the core for a while and we collectively wake up and decide we’ve been going down the wrong path for too long and it’s time to rebuild. Empires that begin to lose control don’t tend to fix themselves and return to what made them great, they tend to be faced with something major that forces them to change. War, bankruptcy, revolt, etc. I think we’re on that path. And yes it hurts to say that.

So no, you’re not crazy and things are indeed strange and getting stranger. Everyone’s whistling past the graveyard. Something’s coming and it’s my job to try my best to figure out what it is, and how we can get around it. So far the only thing that makes the most sense to me is a global economic reset, and the disruptions something like that will bring. Maybe I’m wrong and imagining all this…but I don’t think so.

If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know that the thrust of most of my articles is “what can we do about it?” It’s one thing to rant and rave about all the lunacy we see each day, but it’s something else to try and lay out real plans to deal with it. Well I tend to think that it always starts at “home”. All you can do is make your family the best it can be. That’s financially, educationally, defensively, etc. You’re not going to alter the tides of societal change. All you can do is alter
yourselves. Once your situation at home is as good as you can make it, can you then reach out and try and “fix” other things.

Let me leave you with this thought. The President is working on his pet trade agreement. So secretive is the content of that agreement, that word is if you’re in Congress and want to see it, you have to meet one on one in a basement office. You cannot take in a cell phone. You are given the pages one section at a time and must be returned after reading while you’re watched. You are then sworn to not discuss what you’ve seen. This is what passes today for our “Government for and by the people”. It’s nothing of the sort. This is Government for and of the elitist corporations and one world thinkers. You simply get in the way.

If your elected officials have to create pacts and agreements in total secrecy and then we have to “pass it to find out what’s in it” the idea of a free Republic is no more.

So you’re right to whistle past the grave yard. You’re right to have that ugly feeling in your gut.

You’re right to think that as much as you hope for the best you fear for the worst lately. In all the years I’ve been writing this, which actually started in 1994, some 21 years ago, I’ve never been as “worried” about our future as I am today. That says a lot because I’ve come through some big things in my life, from Vietnam to 9/11 to the 2008 crash.

95% of all my articles are designed to enlighten you to what we really see going on, and provide some path to profit from it, or protect yourself from it. It’s all I know how to do. Stay tuned.

Urban Man

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Americans and a General Lack of Preparing for Economic Collapse


Here is an eye opening article that a friend of mine sent me. Makes for some thoughful reading:

In the past few years, the job market has vastly improved and home prices have rebounded — yet Americans are becoming even more irresponsible when it comes to saving for emergencies - not to mention preparing for a economic collapse.

According to a survey of 1,000 adults released by on Tuesday, nearly one in three (29%) American adults (that’s roughly 70 million) have no emergency savings at all — the highest percentage since Bankrate began doing this survey five years ago. What’s more, only 22% of Americans have at least six months of emergency savings (that’s what advisers recommend) — the lowest level since Bankrate began doing the survey.

These findings mirror others — all of which paint an abysmal picture of Americans’ ability to withstand an emergency. For example, a survey released in March by national nonprofit NeighborWorks America also found that roughly one third (34%) of Americans don’t have emergency savings.

I would think that is 34% of Americans don't have emergency savings then that percentage of people who don't have emergency provisions and the ability to survive prolonged periods of minimal food and lack of utilities is much greater.

Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst for, says these low savings reflect that households haven’t seen their incomes ramp up and thus “household budgets are tight.” Plus, he adds “people don’t pay themselves first — they wait until the end of the month to save what’s left over and then nothing is left over.”

Many advisers recommend that most Americans have at least six months worth of income in their emergency fund — and more if they have children or other dependents. To build this up, most recommend something to the effect to “start an automatic transfer to a savings account and set a task to revisit and increase the amount in a month.”

Additionally, American consumers ended 2014 with $57 billion in personal debt, a historic high. An average of $7,177 and remember this is only counting credit or revolving credit debt, not mortgages, or car payments.

And if families don't have any money to pay off their debt, they don't have any money to pay themselves (savings) then they certainly don't have any money to start preparing for a much different world,..a world where food is not commonly available,...where fuel prices have skyrocketed. Utilities are on and off, then not on at all.

I know a gentleman,..well hardly a gentleman, but nonetheless he took out his 401K plan, paying a giant penalty because he thought preparing for dark times was more important then preparing for retirement 20 years in the future. He bought several guns, much ammunition, common OTC medicines and medical supplies, silver bullion, extra canned goods and survival foods. He stocked case upon case of bottled water and also bought outdoor clothing and boots, sleeping bags and other camping type equipment. About the only purchase I did not agree with was a large gasoline generator. I told him a solar power system would have been more portable and not dependent upon gasoline which may be very scare in any economic or societal collapse.

Then he started paying himself and using what he saved every few months to buy more silver. As I told him, that was nice but he should consider also holding some cash on hand for emergency purchases for right before and right after the collapse is apparent when only cash is accepted and before cash is worthless. This period of time would be before silver and gold bullion and junk silver coins would be readily bartered or used in exchanges for goods and services.

Are you prepared?

Urban Man

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 29: Expanding Knowledge Through Reading

Taking the advice from my Survivalist friends, I have been reading several good books on prepping and survival. Although most are fiction, they are written in such as way that the scenarios can actually take place or are taken from real events.

I recently read Liberators from James Wesley Rawles and found it to be riveting.

What I Learned From Rawles' "Liberators"

James Wesley, Rawles (really have no idea why the comma is before his last name) is the pre-eminscent author of Survival Prepper Books. His series of "Patriots", "Survivors", "Founders", "Expatriates", and the latest, "Liberators", are all educational as well as entertaining. If you simply read these books to get ideas on how to prepare, they are worth it.

This is what I have learned or think I have learned from the latest book "Liberators". I won't go into the story line so I won’t ruin it for some of you who haven't read it.

Precious Metals. I need more "junk silver". I has a decent amount of one ounce Silver rounds and a few ounces of Gold, but minimal junk silver. Junk Silver is older U.S. coinage which contain some percentage of silver. Some of these may have a collectible or numismatic value greater than the value of the silver content. But the idea for preppers is to have some on hand in order to purchase goods, material and services when fiat currency is in free fall or no longer accepted at all. These "junk silver" coins are:


Morgan (1878–1921) -- 90-percent silver
Peace (1921–1928 and 1934–1935) -- 90-percent silver


Liberty Head "Barber" (1892–1915) -- 90-percent silver
Walking Liberty (1916–1947) -- 90-percent silver
Franklin (1948–1963) -- 90-percent silver
Kennedy (1964) -- 90-percent silver
Kennedy (1965–1970) -- 40-percent silver


Liberty Head "Barber" (1892–1916) -- 90-percent silver
Standing Liberty (1916–1930) -- 90-percent silver
Washington (1932, 1934–1964) -- 90-percent silver


Liberty Head "Barber" (1892–1916) -- 90-percent silver
Winged Liberty Head "Mercury" (1916–1945) -- 90-percent silver
Roosevelt (1946–1964) -- 90-percent silver


Jefferson "Wartime" (1942 (partial)-1945) -- 35-percent silver

Manuals and Books on digits. 

I have a decent amount of books on thumb drives and can be opened and viewed on a computer,..e.g..laptop, pda, tablet, nook or kindle. I am lacking military manuals. I have some, but since many are free for downloading, I am going to secure many of these onto thumb drives. 

I am just going to re-dedicated myself to storing more as those 16 and 32 gb thumb drive can contain a lot! I need to store some more thumb drives even the very small ones, no bigger than a finger nail, that are easy to conceal. You never know when you need to conceal digital information through hostile people at check points.Some of the books and manuals I'm going to download (already have started) are:

FM 3-05.70 5/17/2002 SURVIVAL
FM 4-25.11 12/23/2002 FIRST AID

Caches. I've got to plan to have better cache material on hand and to upgrade the one Bug Out support cache I have emplaced. A roll of thick mil plastic, some pre-cut section of PVC with caps ought to do. I have many surplus GI ammunition cans on hand and I'll be on the lookout for more if they are cheap, but it push comes to Crunch, I'll be okay with what I have.

I have been getting some food grade feed buckets that contains some type of livestock feed from a friend of mine. It's been about 6 months since I last talked to him, so I'll make a mental not to drop him an e-mail and see if he has any more buckets to give away. These can be used for caches as well, but my biggest use is to storage. 

Plus, I have several 3 to 5 day food buckets ready, full of diverse food items, coffee, rice, beans, honey, peanut butter, hard crackers, bullion cubes, etc. So I don't have to unpack bulk storage items during movement. Besides these buckets work well as seats or small tables and the contents can be emptied to collect water in.

Gear. I need to up my cold weather gear. I have the sleeping bags, ground cloths, long underwear, gloves, hats, neck gaiters but I am lacking in heavier coats and tentage. During a significant enough collapse, you may face a long movement in order to get somewhere safe.

Safes places on your bug out route will likely be remote areas that don't offer much shelter. Cold camps,e.g. without a fire, will possibly be the norm and un-survivalable without decent cold weather clothing.

Ethics. Rawles, based on his pretty deep Christian beliefs, infuses his novels and characters with this belief. Makes for interesting ethical dilemmas. How you treat any refugees who are in need. How you feel about killing - about killing people who would kill you if they had the chance; or killing people who needed killing, but you could avoid killing.

What about lying? Is it okay to lie, perhaps imparting a cover story, to authorities?

Basically, the questions of ethics has to be raised within any survival group to find out what individuals beliefs are and what the group norms and procedures will be. Certainly, these may change after the onset of any collapse and the degree and type of threats facing the groups, but this needs to be an area of concern for any group. And it's not simply all having the same religion.

I have many deeply Christian friends, and I would venture that the spread of acceptable ethics are pretty wide between these individuals.

Anyway, while I enjoy the Rawles' novels and the series of novels from A. American (the Home series) and Joe Nobody (the Holding Their Own series), I always read the book from the perspective of placing myself in the character's positions and scenarios and think what would I have done.

It turned out to be a good exercise as I was able to develop the list above on where I should get better in my preps.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quarantine of Major Cities Possible

The below article, original titled "Quarantines among legal tools available if Ebola outbreak widens" came from Stars and Stripes on line. The 600 pound Gorilla in the room is how will quarantine be enforced? Martial Law within the requisite lethal force authorization and if major cities are quarantined, local law enforcement assets will not be used - they will be quarantined as well. It will be military units, mostly unfamiliar, and unsympathetic to the population they are controlling.

As the web of infection widens, questions about the U.S. government’s legal authority to contain the Ebola virus are increasing, even as federal officials attempt to keep public panic at bay by diverting the focus from the hypothetical.

Beyond the traveler screening mandates and medical support already underway, federal officials could take several dramatic steps to protect the United States if the virus reaches epidemic levels. That includes quarantines, a ban on travel to or from foreign countries, and the declaration of a public health emergency that would allow the Health and Human Services Department to waive certain federal requirements and tap into a reserve account to fund response.

The federal government’s powers are ultimately secondary to those of the states, which hold the police power function that gives them the legal authority to isolate infected individuals or force them to accept treatment — similar to criminal arrest or civil commitment. In Texas, health officials in Dallas have quarantined the family of the only Ebola victim, Thomas Duncan, in a house until they are sure they didn't pick up the disease, according to local news reports. His fiancee, her son and two men had to miss a memorial service after Duncan died.

If a state or local jurisdiction response doesn't prevent the spread of a disease to another state, HHS can step in under the Public Health Services Act (PL 78-410). But that would mostly be to provide resources and expertise — not to take over, said Gene Matthews, chief legal adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1979 to 2004.

“It’s not like a military situation, because your troops on this are primarily your state and local health officials, so it has to be collaborative,” said Matthews.

State health officials have the power to quarantine those who are only suspected of infection, and can take major actions such as evacuations or cancellations of sporting events. Governors can call up National Guard units to enforce actions or aid in anything from transportation to security.

A senior National Guard official said this week that he has heard of no direct plans or orders for the Guard’s role in any domestic response to Ebola. The Guard’s medical resources, as well as its experience dealing with bio hazards, could also aid in any response, the official said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau said the force has personnel and resources available to help combat Ebola, both internationally and within the United States. Indeed, the Guard is supporting the current U.S. military mission in West Africa.

“We stand ready to support the needs identified by U.S. government lead agencies,” the spokesman said, adding that the Guard is “actively involved” in the planning process at both the state and federal levels.

The National Guard’s highly trained Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams could be a particularly critical capability in the event of any stateside Ebola outbreak. The Guard has at least one of these teams in each state, territory and Washington, D.C.

The state-controlled units, which are made up of 22 full-time personnel, are trained for a range of missions, including providing immediate response to the release of hazardous materials or other disasters that could result in a catastrophic loss of life and property.

The scope of states’ power in health matters comes mainly from a 1905 Supreme Court ruling in which a Massachusetts man challenged whether a city could require residents to be vaccinated against smallpox.

The justices found in Jacobson v. Massachusetts that the collective right of self-defense prevails over individual rights, as long as due process is ensured, such as the right to challenge the government action.

“Upon principle of self defense, of paramount necessity, a community has a right to protect itself against an epidemic disease,” the Supreme Court ruled.

Much has changed since then. Dozens of states modernized their health codes in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Matthews said. Most states now have a game plan for how to deal with a health crisis, and have conducted training exercises for years.

“I’m not laying awake at night thinking about whether some state official has the legal authority, but whether they have the resources,” Matthews said. “It’s now about the money.”

Federal officials have those resources, and an HHS-declared public health emergency could start the flow of money to local health officials.

Although HHS will remain the lead in coordinating response in nearly every scenario, the administration could call on the Homeland Security Department and its Federal Emergency Management Agency to help wrangle resources, provide shelter and assist with transportation if the disease begins to spread.

A presidential disaster declaration, which would open up so-called Stafford Act (PL 100-707) funding through FEMA, is unlikely considering HHS already has the authority to declare a public health emergency and Congress would likely appropriate emergency funding if there is a need.

“That’s a ‘break glass’ and in extreme type of case,” says Marko Bourne, who served as director of policy and program analysis at FEMA during the George W. Bush administration. “There would truly have to be something that is incredibly widespread across the country that was over and above the additional resources and ability provided under the health declaration. Stafford at that point is almost redundant.”

However, President Barack Obama might find it advantageous to declare a disaster and elevate the emergency management agency to a leadership role if public confidence in HHS and state response begins to diminish, said James Jay Carafano, a vice president at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“When you lose credibility, you’re toast,” said Carafano. “You could potentially see situations where they jump the threshold pretty quickly because they see pressure that they have to do something.”

The federal government can clamp down on travel to and from the United States for public health reasons. That includes stopping American citizens from visiting certain countries, as well as barring foreigners from entering the United States, according to a Congressional Research Service report on Ebola issues.

The secretary of state can prevent Americans from boarding flights to specific countries under the authority to grant and issue passports. The Supreme Court recognized that power in a 1965 decision, Zemel v. Rusk, upholding travel restrictions to Cuba after the United States cut diplomatic ties with the nation in 1961.

The government can’t criminally charge those who do not comply with the travel ban, however. A second Supreme Court decision in 1967, United States v. Laub, threw out a conspiracy indictment against people who arranged travel to Cuba for dozens of American citizens.

Obama could issue a proclamation to deny entry to any class of foreigners if they “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the CRS report states. Government officials can prevent foreigners “with a communicable disease of public health significance” from entering the country under immigration law.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies could issue directives to airlines, which can refuse transportation to anyone posing a direct threat to the health under Transportation Department regulations.

The Department of Homeland Security and the CDC maintain a public health “Do Not Board” list, the CRS report states. Airlines cannot issue boarding passes to people on the list, who are considered likely to be contagious with a communicable disease, may not adhere to public health recommendations, and are likely to board an aircraft.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola gives U.S. 'preppers' another reason to prepare for worst

Here is a story is just read on and wanted to share it with my readers. It makes good points as to why we Prepper's should not be concerned with what others think about us. I constantly hear in the news about how Prepper's are just a paranoid group of people always thinking the worst. 

We were told that this issue concerning Ebola would not ever happen here in the U.S. We were deceived and are still being deceived. How many more cases will pop up that we won't know about until the uncontrollable out break begins? 

Doctors are given gag orders not to tell the public about what is happening. Police and emergency crews are being forced to use code words when responding to a possible Ebola incident. Our Government is not protecting us. We must do this ourselves.

"Ebola gives U.S. 'preppers' another reason to prepare for worst
By Jonathan Kaminsky

(Reuters) - With the closest known U.S. cases of Ebola diagnosed about 160 miles away in Dallas, Cary Griffin is taking no chances.

If, as the former correctional officer fears, the virus spreads to hundreds of people, Griffin is headed to the woods.

"I'll do what the English royalty did to survive the bubonic plague," Griffin said, referring to King Charles II's flight to the countryside during the Great Plague of London in 1665-66. "I'm going into the country."

Griffin, 27, of Huntsville, Texas, is among a growing if loosely-defined segment of Americans, known as "preppers," who plan, train and stockpile in preparation for a natural calamity or societal breakdown.

For many, the three cases of Ebola diagnosed in the United States so far since late September represent a new potential disaster and a reason to run to the store.

Preppers are at the extreme edge of concern over Ebola, which has led to a series of false alarms driven by fear. Government efforts to stop the virus spreading from the three worst-hit West African countries, where more than 4,500 have died, include some travel restrictions and enhanced screening at airports.

Chad Huddleston, an anthropologist at the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, who studies preppers and estimates their numbers in the United States in the low hundreds of thousands, said those he has talked to are more concerned with undue public fear than with contracting Ebola.

The virus was diagnosed in a Liberian visitor who was infected in his home country and two nurses who treated him at a Dallas, Texas hospital when he was dying and at his most contagious. Both nurses have been moved out of the state for treatment in hospitals equipped to treat Ebola patients.

U.S. preppers have their roots in Cold War-era civil defense programs, said Vincent DeNiro, editor of Prepper & Shooter magazine.

The movement's profile rose thanks in part to the National Geographic Channel TV show "Doomsday Preppers," and includes strains as disparate as off-grid homesteaders in the Great Plains, wilderness experts in the Mountain West and suburbanites across the country with caches of food and guns.


For many of them, gearing up for Ebola has meant fortifying their stocks of freeze-dried food, water, filtration devices and hazardous material, or hazmat, suits, which experts say can be useless if not taken off properly.

Some are also honing plans to meet teams of fellow survivalists at prearranged locations, or, like Griffin, who has no spouse or children, preparing to go it alone in the wilderness.

Stockpiling has led to shortages of a range of survival gear, from food with a shelf-life in excess of 20 years to impermeable medical suits, according to vendors. At Cheaper Than Dirt, a leading online survivalist retailer based in Texas, dozens of varieties of freeze-dried meals are out of stock, from packets of cheesy lasagna to 60-serving buckets of mushroom stroganoff.

Supplies such as hazmat suits and protective gloves - sometimes called Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) gear - are running low, said Richard Smith, general manager of The Survival Center, an online retailer in Washington state, about 1,500 miles from Texas. Smith boasted of snagging last week the final wholesale personal protection suits and respirator masks to be had on the West Coast.

Using hazmat gear without proper training is of limited benefit, said magazine editor DeNiro, who has encouraged his readers to stock up on at least six months of food.

"Buying NBC equipment and not learning how to use it properly is like buying a gun and ammunition and never practicing with it," he said.

Many preppers, who have focused their planning on everything from solar storms and earthquakes to nuclear holocaust, are skeptical of government - a view that dovetails with concerns, voiced by lawmakers and medical experts, that U.S. authorities mishandled the response to the virus when it emerged at a Texas hospital.

At a prepper and self-defense school in south Florida, fear over Ebola has meant a rush of students, about 54 in the past two weeks, to take a primer course on how to avoid contracting the virus, said David D'Eugenio, founder of the HomeSafety Academy in Lake Park.

"For the past week, I can't even tell you what our hours are like with all the people coming through," he said.

An avid prepper and retired firefighter in West Palm Beach, Florida, Bob Boike, who attends D'Eugenio's school, believes that an Ebola outbreak in the United States will likely be averted, but he is taking no chances.

Boike, 58, who co-leads of a team of 32 preppers and their families, with multiple secret locations provisioned to last them a year or more, has stocked up on water and canned food, having already socked away an ample supply of masks, gloves and other medical supplies, he said.

“This is our insurance for if and when there is societal breakdown,” Boike said."

Urban Man

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Collapse Calendar

This article, by Mike Adams, appeared in The International Forecaster under the title: "The Collapse Calendar reveals when failures likely to occur in banking, agriculture, nuclear power, pandemic disease and more". You'll be tempted to shoot yourself in the head after reading this, but don't!  Adams obviously put a lot of work into this article, but it is still his opinion and not preordained. Use it to fuel your will to survive and your commitment to prepare for the collapse.

Adam's article:

In the movie Knowing, starring Nicholas Cage, the main character is faced with the burden of comprehending a written code revealing the exact dates and GPS coordinates of large-scale catastrophic events. The movie is outstanding and well worth watching, by the way, but could it ever be true?

Not at such precision, I would submit, but we can know when certain catastrophes are likely to occur based on an understanding of human behavior, historical patterns and modern-day trends. In fact, much of modern-day human behavior is pushing us directly into a long list of catastrophic, systemic failures which are mathematically inevitable. This article aims to help sort out the likely calendar years of likely emergence for such events, which include things like the irrigation aquifers running dry, the world's oil supply running dry, nuclear energy disasters, a global banking collapse and more.

The legacy of human civilization and its tragic self-destruction

To date, the legacy of humankind is a tragedy of chemical poisoning, nuclear weapons, short-sighted resource extraction and corporate-driven war. Humans are a species suffering from astonishing tunnel vision interwoven with insatiable greed and a thirst for violence. The fall of human civilization from its current unsustainable exploitations is not in question... only the timing of events remains unknown. As the final chapter of human civilization seems to draw ever closer with each passing crisis, many of the more observant people wonder what's going to spark the collapse first. Pope Francis (yes, the Pope) recently warned that the global economy is approaching a moment of collapse.

At the same time, many of our world's most brilliant computer scientists are warning about the rise of AI and why super intelligent machines will soon make humanity obsolete.

Those concerned about global warming say climate change will collapse the food supply (due to weather radicalization) and cause mass starvation while drowning the world's largest cities under ocean water. This scenario, fortunately, is one of the longer term predictions, taking centuries to fully unfold.

Peak Oil observers point out that the petroleum economy upon which the world is based is rapidly heading to "EMPTY." Once the oil runs out, what will power the transportation system upon which nearly everything in the economy is based? (Food, medicine, manufacturing, agriculture, employment, etc.)

UrbanMan's comment: Oil and therefore gasoline will become unaffordable long before the world run's out of it. We may see that this year for some people as gasoline is projected to hit $5.50 a gallon, which of course will drive up every single commodity,, clothing,...everything, and perhaps fuel a food crisis and economic collapse.

Independent economists warn that the global debt-based banking system is headed for imminent collapse that will shutter the world's largest banks and cause all customer deposits to be forfeit.

Meanwhile, environmentalists rightly warn about genetic pollution from engineered crops, the mass poisoning of our farms and oceans with toxic pesticide chemicals, and the dumping of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and hormone disruptors into the environment. How can life be sustained on a planet that's increasingly covered in industrial poison?

In truth, every one of these groups has a valid point in one way or another. But each of these risks for humanity has a very different likely timeline of likely emergence. So for the "Collapse Calendar" shown here, I've put together a "best guess" of the likely times in which each of these issues might become a legitimate concern. These years are not entirely my own personal guesses but rather an aggregate extrapolation of trends and predictions I've observed across many fields: the scientific community, environmentalists, alternative economists, geologists, astrophysicists and so on.

The Collapse Calendar: when the events are most likely to unfold. This list is ordered from the most near-term to long-term. The year range indicate years in which the named events MAY occur (are most likely to occur based on current trends).

2014 - 2025 World's debt-based banking system suffers catastrophic debt collapse due to wildly over-leverage derivatives combined with endless money creation by central banks.

2014 - 2034 Over the next 20 years or so, the odds of either a major nuclear power disaster -- or a catastrophic worsening of the Fukushima Daiichi facility -- is shockingly high. As we've already seen, nuclear disasters can be set off by natural disasters such as earthquakes. Nuclear power plants can also be compromised by power grid failures and EMP weapons (see below).

2015 - 2035 Over the next two decades, the chances of a deadly global superbug rising out of the failed medical deployment of antibiotics is extremely high. We have entered the "post-antibiotics era," medical authorities have now admitted, and superbugs are widely circulating in hospitals and among the public that have no known treatment or cure. Just this last week, over 75 scientists working at the CDC accidentally infected each other with anthrax, proving that even the government's own infectious disease experts can't reliably contain these diseases even under strict laboratory conditions.

2015 - 2035 Nuclear war: The risk of nuclear war or nuclear terrorism is higher than ever, with new conflicts now taking place in Ukraine as well as Iraq. Tensions are heating up between America, Russia and China, in large part over the choice of which global currency will be used for petroleum exchanges (presently it is largely the dollar, but Russia wants to change that). There's also the ever-present wildcard nation of North Korea, which continues to possess and test nuclear weapons.

2018 - 2060 EMP attack on America's power grid: Once North Korea manages to figure out how to affix high-yield nuclear weapons to long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, it will be able to fire those missiles into high-altitude detonation patterns over North America, causing a voltage cascade that will destroy the entire power grid across the nation. It's called an "EMP weapon," and the threat is very real. Fortunately, North Korea is still several years away from successfully deploying a long-range missile. Should it ever get close to actually being able to deploy such a weapon, I have full faith that the American CIA will find some covert, off-the-books method of nuking the North Korean government back into the Stone Age (and maybe even setting the Korean people free from the "Kim Kult" in the process).

UrbanMan's comment: Nuclear war, nuclear disaster, EMP attack are all very possible and doubly so if radical Muslims gain a caliphate in the Middle East. Imagine these ass wipes gaining control of Syria, Iraq and Jordan. Access to weapons of mass destruction and drawing the U.S. and a host of other nations into a giant middle eatern war - well, sounds like Aramgeddon to me.

2020 - 2120 Peak Oil kicks in, causing a century-long steady decline in global oil production combined with a steady rise in oil prices (which translate into more expensive food and other consumer goods). Look for massive socioeconomic changes across the Middle East, and especially in Saudi Arabia which is likely to experience a popular revolt and violent government overthrow before the year 2040.

2025 - 2090 Many of the world's water aquifers that irrigate the mass food supply run out of water, turning agricultural lands into deserts. The map on the right shows the Ogallala aquifer that provides irrigation for much of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and even New Mexico. Once this water runs out, it can take centuries for it to be replenished.

2029 - 2099 Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that 2029 is the year AI machines become "smarter" than humans. Right now, Google and DARPA are developing advanced humanoid robotics that can walk, climb stairs, run, carry weapons and track humans. Once AI systems take command of these hardware platforms, many experts predict humanity's days may be numbered. If true, the remainder of this list is irrelevant unless you are a machine reading this for the historical record.

2014 - 2114 The Earth is struck by a massive space rock that destroys a major world city. Technically, this prediction timeframe is not a true indication of the situation. The reason I chose to show 2014 - 2114 is because a very large meteor strikes the planet (actually, exploding in the atmosphere and causing widespread devastation) roughly once every century. In 1908, for example, a meteor exploded over Tunguska, Russia, devastating nearly all complex life across an area of 1,000 square miles.

2030 - 2100 The chronic loss of farming top soils starts turning once-arable lands into Dust Bowl deserts. As Eddie Albert wrote in 1980 (yes, over 30 years ago!) In the past 30 or 40 years, the heavy use of synthetic fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia, nitrates, pesticides and herbicides, DDT, etc. have doubled and tripled the yield of grain per acre . . . but at the expense of the organic matter in the soil. Rotation of crops has been replaced with monoculture: corn, corn, corn, or wheat, wheat, wheat. Everyone knows this method exhausts the soil and increases pest infestation, but people are hungry and the cash register is jingling. Yet for every bushel of corn we harvest, we lose two bushels of topsoil.

2040 - 2140 Environmental collapse accelerates after tipping point of chemicals and heavy metals is reached. Mass extinction events ravage the planet, collapsing the fragile web of life and leading to the widespread emergence of infectious disease (Mother Nature's "CTRL-ALT-DEL" for rebooting civilization).

2100 - 2500 Oceans rise enough from global warming to start flooding lower elevation cities, but this disaster, if it turns out to be true at all, will happen in slow-motion, with ocean levels rising only fractions of an inch per year.

2014 - 202,014 Yes, the window of this prediction is 200,000 years, during which time the massive caldera known as Yellowstone National Park is likely to violently explode, blanketing much of North America in ash and causing extreme global dimming for 1-3 years which would result in a global food supply collapse. Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years and is currently understood to be "late." But in terms of a human lifespan, the odds of Yellowstone erupting while any of us is alive remains extremely remote.

Year 2,800,000,000 Approximately 2.8 billion years from now, the sun will balloon into a massive "red giant" whose diameter is so large, it will physically engulf the entire orbit of planet Earth.  As this happens, of course, all life will be extinguished on our planet. But don't worry... humans are far more likely to have already destroyed themselves before then.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Social Breakdown - Societal Collapse

This is an article by Bob Rinear, titled "Social Breakdown", published in the International Forecaster. Rinear is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine and while this article is long, it is a good read,...even with my comments. So keep reading. I'll think you'll see how it pertains to not only the "whys" of the collapse but the threats that will be released during the economic collapse which will in turn collapse society as we know it.

Social Breakdown

Maybe I just didn’t pay attention to it when I was in high school, but we didn’t seem to need diversity training, and endless classes telling us how we’re supposed to view other people. I don’t remember grief counselors when one of our classmates jumped off the roof and killed himself. I know for a fact we didn’t have all this racial tension and “fat shaming” and all the rest of the 2014 Social bugaboos that we have now. The word “intolerant” was unheard of.

My personal social policies taken in today’s atmosphere; probably lands me in the column of being some form of a terrorist. I really don’t care if you don’t like black people. I don’t much care if you don’t like white Scottish Newsletter writers. I don’t care if you think I’m fat. I don’t care if you want to live in a neighborhood of like minded and like colored people.

But today, considering that the social engineers have been pushing for a homogenous, one size, one thought, one color fits all…if you have the slightest difference from what they consider the “norm” you’re a racist, homophobe, hater, terrorist. Thus they have to make the biggest shows out of someone that doesn’t toe their line. Chew a pop tart into the shape of a gun?? You’re expelled and placed under Psych care. Don’t approve of gay marriage? You’re forced out of your job, your name in the paper as a hater who gives money to anti gay groups. Say in private that you don’t like your girlfriend bringing black people to basketball games, and you’re headline news…24/7…and forced out of your position.

Hey, lets talk. Let’s cut the crap for a few minutes and as they say in the “hood” lets keep it real. People are “fulla crap”. The same preacher that on Sunday morning screams of you burning in hell for being gay, just happens to get busted for child porn. That upright political candidate that kisses babies and shakes your hand gets busted for tax evasion, larceny, insider trading. That woman leading the “family power” workshop, gets caught cheating with her spa manager. On and on it goes. Hypocrites. Liars. Cheats. Nasty people. Bullies. Criminals. You can dress it up like a Thanksgiving Turkey, smother it in gravy to hide it, but it’s still there. All the classes, all the political correctness, all the “goody-goody” talk is a cover up for the rot that continues to fester below the surface.

So what brings up this little rant today? Well, as you might guess I am not impressed by the untold millions that walk around all day with their face planted in their phones. They’re all so busy texting and “apping” and being so techno cool that they have become true social idiots. No one talks to each other any more. If you go to a local pub, half the youngsters are all sitting at a table that is dead quiet as they’re buried in their phones. And one of those “aps” has been making a real mess of things. Enter Yik-yak.

Yik Yak is a smart phone application that lets anyone post anything they want in message form, and here’s the cinch…there’s NO identification. You don’t need a user name or anything else. You are completely anonymous. Well as you can imagine, when it swept through a High school recently, the REAL feelings of people were everywhere to be seen. People being called fat, people called sluts, people called the dreaded “n” word. (yawn) people called worthless, hope they were dead, who gives good sex, who’s a loser, yada yada yada. Yep, a bunch of our sweet little environmentally aware, non hater, upright diversity trained, precious children just “going off”. They had the freedom to say what they really feel because there’s no way to trace them. And “say” they certainly did.

This is reality. This is how people really are. When given the chance to go off with no ramifications, a huge percentage do. What does that tell us? It tells us that just about everyone has opinions that differ. It tells us that all this sensitivity training is a patch for a deeper underlying problem. And just what is that problem anyway? Or better yet, is it a problem? If it is, where did it come from? Could it be all this social engineering we’ve been exposed to is actually backfiring? You bet it could…because it is.

Stick with me here folks. I understand that I’m wandering off into a bit of pshyco babble on you. But there’s a point, you’ll see. I just want to set the stage here. There has always been “haters”. There’s always been homophobes, nasty people, opinionated bigots, cheaters, liars, whores, pimps, fat people, Rich jerks, nerds, rednecks, the whole gambit. So why are things “worse” now in 2014 after all these years of good-goody social engineering, than in 1970 when one of the most popular shows was “all in the family” with “Archie Bunker?” A show like that today would land the producer in jail. In 1970 it was something to laugh at. Expose our differences, see how goofy they were, try and mend some of them and move on. But today, no. Today you can’t talk about it. You can’t humor it out. You can’t just leave it alone and let it hide. Nope, you have to drag everyone into it. Force it. And the results? Escalating madness. Lack of civility. Rudeness. But most of all… violence. All the icky stuff bubbles to the surface.

As you might know, I’m involved in a company that trains folks for their concealed carry permits. We also offer a wide range of self defense classes on proper use of firearms for self protection. From the person that’s never held a weapon before, to tactical response SWAT training, we teach it all. And, just what do we see? As you can imagine, we hear a lot of stories. When we ask folks why they are interested in obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon, it is rarely just about “being robbed” like it was many years ago. Now the big concern is “violence”. Too many people have seen too many instances of wicked violence that endangered them or their loved ones. They’re scared and rightfully so.

Road rage. The “knockout game”. The tough guy looking for a fight. The rape attempts. Car Jackings. Random shootings. The list is endless. For all the social engineering to make us a big happy family, the fact is we are creating more violent people than we ever did. That in itself is more than enough reason for you and your loved one’s to be trained on proper firearm use.

But you’ve all waited long enough for “the point” to this whole article. That point is that violence is escalating despite all the social engineering to make us all “happy”, and this is with the economy still functioning. What happens when things really get tough? Last week in Chicago 44 people were shot. However the EBT cards were still functioning. What happens if they didn’t? If we can see the levels of evil we are seeing when things are still “working” so to speak, what unspeakable evils will we see during a melt down?

Last week in the IF there was a wonderful article about the amount of ammunition that Uncle Sam has been buying. Every Federal agency, right down to the post office has been buying hundreds of thousands if not millions of rounds of very lethal ammo. Why is this? I have always believed as the author has, that they feel there could be serious societal breakdowns when the wheels come off our fake economy and they’re stocking up for the eventual shoot outs that very well will occur. I think they know that the economy is doomed, the currency situation is doomed and when it fails, if things don’t go well on the work around, all manner of hell is going to break loose. They’re buying up these billions of rounds of ammo…to shoot US citizens if society breaks down. Read that over a few times to get the full effect. It isn’t pretty.

I don’t say this stuff to scare you, that certainly isn’t my goal. I say this stuff to wake you up. Shake you up a bit. When some lunatic high on bath salts drags you out of your car and starts trying to eat your flesh as happened in Miami last year, it seems other worldly, like that is just too bizarre! So, it makes the news. It makes the late night comedy circuit. But the road rage guy that drags your son out of his car and beats him into a coma because he pulled out in front of him, ( as happened here in Sarasota) is quickly stifled. Why? Because unfortunately things like that are the norm today. They don’t want that on the news. The other thing they don’t want to tell you, is that base line fact that the head of the NRA stated after the Sandy Hook situation. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But I think it is more than that. The only way to stop some cracked up lunatic with a tire iron, is indeed a gun. The only way to stop the rapist with a knife is a gun. The only way to stop the home invasion is…with a gun.

Look across the pond folks. Don’t just watch a few news clips, go on line and watch some real video’s from people that live in Ukraine. Mobs cutting off a mans leg, burning people alive, beating someone to death with a metal bar. It can’t happen here right? That’s what you want to believe, what we all hope. But look at the yik-yak posts. Look at our inner city violence. Look at the hostility. We are not immune. We’re one banking holiday away from the same thing. We’re one failure of the EBT system from the same thing.

Look folks, here’s the bottom line. I’m not talking about acting like Rambo with a knife in your teeth swinging through trees on a vine, with a 50 caliber strapped to your back. That isn’t my goal. But I do want you to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. It starts with home protection, then a carry permit if you live in a state where that’s possible. Then onto some advanced training on how to properly use that tool. Even if we never see the true melt down that I do think is ultimately coming, just this incredibly violent society we live in dictates that you really should be proficient at personal protection.

I’m going to expand on this theme for Sunday. I don’t care if you’re the most gun hating pacifist that ever was… please read it. If just one of the things I happen to mention helps you or your spouse survive a bad time, I’ve hit the proverbial home run. A few years back, just after the Colorado Incident I ran a few articles about weapons and self defense training. It inspired quite a few people to write in and tell me they had finally “done what they wanted to do but never got around to….” And that was great. They went out, bought their first weapon, went to a good range and got some safety training and target training. Bravo! Congrats! One couple; Beverly and Dan, actually got so into the shooting sport they’ve become members of a target team in Texas. Pretty amazing, considering neither had previously fired a weapon in their lives.

While I love the shooting sports, whether target, clays, timed, etc…what is most important for me to express to all of you is the personal safety and defense side of things. What good does it do, to amass a small fortune in the markets or in business, only to have your life shattered by violence? So, we’ll be stressing the protection side of the equation. I think you’ll find it interesting.

UrbanMan Comments: I recently had an experience like Bob mentioned above. I worked with a older, married couple, 72 and 66 years old, respectively. Not your average senior citizen. They participate in walks, hikes and swimming, and appeared to be in good shape and health, but neither one had shot a gun more than twice in their life.   They asked me to help select a couple guns for them.  I picked out a S&W M&P in 9x19, a used Taurus .38 Spl revolver, and a 12 gauge Savage-Stevens pump shotgun. Before I get hate mail on these selections - this couple are on social security and a little savings. Back on point,....I gave them three separate 3 hour blocks of instruction at the range, culminating using cover and fighting as a two person team. I started them on a .22 LR Ruger Mark II to work out the fundamentals then they shot their new gun purchases.  Over three days they each shot all the firearms expending over 600 rounds of 9mm, 200 rounds of 38 Spl and 50 rounds of mixed Buckshot and Slug. I have since been told that they plan on buying a .22 LR rifle, stocking more ammunition and shooting more rifles at a local gun club to see what center fire rifle may work for them. They also adopted a mixed breed, medium sized dog for security purposes and are also planning on stocking pantry food,....just in case.  What drove them to this point in the evening of their lives?   Well, that would have to be fear and concern over what is likely to happen to this country in the near future.  Even if a collapse isn't likely, it is certainly possible.   

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Americans Fleeing to the Cities?

Wait a minute,'re heading in the wrong direction!! This is an article from the Daily Ticker, by Nicole Goodkind. That discusses the economy based reasons why the trend of the population fleeing the cities is now reversing. Those same factors are making a coming economic collapse likely in the next couple of years if not sooner. If you click on the link above you should still be able to watch the short video associated with this article.

I understand that having a means of support,..e.g.. a job, is necessary to live most places, however moving into a high rise apartment or condo in a city places you at much greater risk when the collapse, from whatever angle, hits this country. I would make every effort to secure the safest lodging even if it meant a commute from there to your place of work. The safest off site or out of city lodging while still having a job within the city should include determining and staying off the likely refugee routes. And this out of city lodging while you work therein, should be considered a temporary rally point. A Bug Out plan to a secure location is still required. This makes the stockage of supplies and materials problematic.

Not that staying in the suburbs is safe. As it is not. The only common advantage to living in the burbs is perhaps having just a little more time to make a decision, like to execute a controlled and planned Bug Out,....but we're not talking a week or even days, it may just be a 24 hour advantage. Anyway, without further rant, this is the article. At least the reader can understand the economic issues forcing moves back to the city and these economic factors are what is helping drive the U.S. train to collapseville.

Americans Fleeing to the Cities?

The American dream: a white picket fence and a patch of grass to call your own. In 2002 President Bush declared “owning a home lies at the heart of the American dream,” and wanted, "everybody in America to own their own home.” Twelve years and a housing crisis later, it seems as though that’s no longer the case: Americans are packing up and booking it to the city.

“The American dream is fundamentally about opportunity,” says Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University. “It’s not so much where you live but whether you can do better than your parents and grandparents and a lot of young people today are finding those opportunities in cities. The data are very clear, we’ve seen an enormous migration to every urban area in the country.”

The nation's urban population increased by 12.1% between 2000 and 2010. According to the Census, urban areas accounted for 83% of the U.S. population in 2012. And The Brookings Institute notes that "among the 51 metropolitan areas with more than one million residents, 24 saw their cities grow faster than their suburbs from 2011 to 2012-- that was true of just 8 metro areas from 2000 to 2010."

Single-family homebuilding is at its lowest rate in decades, as only 600,000 single-family homes were built in 2013, down from 1.7 million in 2005. The purchasing of single-family homes is also down 13.3% year-over-year. High-rise apartment buildings now make up 40% of all new construction and metro areas are growing more quickly than the U.S. as a whole. According to The Nielsen Group 62% of millennials would prefer to live in urban centers.

And it’s not just millennials; baby boomers are also leaving their suburban homes for apartments with much less square footage. So why this exodus from the suburbs?

People want to closer access to health care facilities and culture, says Chakrabarti. Gas prices are a factor too.

“Most people have been hit really hard by this last recession and are worried about mortgage debt and auto debt, so this is a pocketbook issue at a significant level,” says Chakrabarti.

The tightening of purse strings is a prevailing issue but there’s more to reurbanization.

“If you look at the millennials they grew up with Hurricane Katrina, Deep-water Horizon, a lot of things that were around the environment—it’s a socially conscientious generation and they are interested in driving less and walking more,” Chakrabarti explains.

There’s also a social aspect to living in a city that people in the suburbs tend to lack. “People like the amount of diversity they find in cities," Chakrabarti notes.

According to Chakrabarti, it’s the perfect storm of economic, social and environmental issues that are driving the suburbs into extinction.

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,'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.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What the U.S. Economic Collapse May Look Like

An interview between Chris Martenson (of Peak Prosperity) and Fernando Aguirre, a source of expertise on the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001, occurred which may give us an insight on the U.S. economy will collapse. The interview and comments are below, however this interview was preceded by an article, titled "Watch Out, It's Coming" by Bob Rinear on International Forecaster concerning the impending U.S. Economic Crash. First selected comments from Bob Rinear's article, then the interview between Martenson and Aguirre.

Bob Rinear: This are Bob's comment's about the recent Fed taper where the Fed injected (printed) less money than in previous months which affected the Stock Market.

"I’ve said many many times to you all that a global “reset” is coming. The IMF World bank knows that there’s too much debt in too many countries for it to ever be repaid. Global currency fluctuations are so extreme and so rapid, it is sometimes impossible to carry on continuous trade. Just recently when Turkey’s currency was imploding, one carpet manufacturer had to call for currency pricing every 20 minutes so he could quote customers. This goes on world wide, every minute of every day Because of huge disparities over the amount of debts outstanding, versus the “value” of each countries GDP, it is evident that to have a continuous world where things stop blowing up every six months, it has to be changed."

"Countries all over the world are tired of the US in particular, as they’ve destroyed the value of the dollar for years, making it virtually worthless. No matter where we look, the evidence suggests “they have to do something”. Well, they’re doing something as we speak. In the background, in the shadows, outside the spotlight they’re working on a “replacement” for the US dollar as the global reserve. But more than that, they’re working out a complete rebalancing of all Countries debts, versus their “worth” in natural resources, Gold and Silver reserves, output per capita, productivity, demographics, etc."

UrbanMan Comments: The U.S. may be in a slide that is completely irreversible as the national debt continues to soar abve $17 Trillion and the debt limit for annual budgetary spending is suspended until 2015. China actively working to dethrone the U.S. dollar, which will in and of itself devalue the dollar tremendously, as well as all economic indicators - housing prices, unemployment, entitlement spending and stock market instability that will add weight to hyper-inflationary period that seems to be unavoidable. That is the "Watch Out, It's Coming" that Rinear talks about. Now let's look at the history lessons, albeit only a few short 13 years ago, in Argentina:

Background: Argentina is a country re-entering crisis territory it knows too well. The country has defaulted on its sovereign debt three times in the past 32 years and looks poised to do so again soon. Its currency, the peso, devalued by more than 20% in January alone. Inflation is currently running at 25%. Argentina's budget deficit is exploding, and, based on credit default swap rates, the market is placing an 85% chance of a sovereign default within the next five years.

Want to know what it's like living through a currency collapse? Fernando Aguiree speaks to Chris Martenson and gives us good look:

Chris Martenson: Okay. Bring us up to date. What is happening in Argentina right now with respect to its currency, the peso?

Fernando Aguirre: Well, actually pretty recently, January 22, the peso lost 15% of its value. It has devalued quite a bit. It ended up losing 20% of its value that week, and it has been pretty crazy since then. Inflation has been rampant in some sectors, going up to 100% in food, grocery stores 20%, 30% in some cases. So it has been pretty complicated. Lots of stores don't want to be selling stuff until they get updated prices. Suppliers holding on, waiting to see how things go, which is something that we are familiar with because that happened back in 2001 when everything went down as we know it did.

UrbanMan Comments: The U.S. annual average inflation rate since 2009 lays between 1.4 to 3.0% depending upon which government source you use. However, the government also says the unemployment rate is around 7%. How many of us can deny that their grocery money goes far, far less now days than years ago?

Chris Martenson: So 100%, 20% inflation; are those yearly numbers?

Fernando Aguirre: Those are our numbers in a matter of days. In just one day, for example, cement in Balcarce, one of the towns in Southern Argentina, went up 100% overnight, doubling in price. Grocery stores in Córdoba, even in Buenos Aires, people are talking about increase of prices of 20, 30% just these days. I actually have family in Argentina that are telling me that they go to a hardware store and they aren't even able to buy stuff from there because stores want to hold on and see how prices unfold in the following days.

UrbanMan Comments: What would you do if grocery store and other comodity prices doubled within, say even a month, let alone one day? The majority of us living within a budget would have to priotize what we wanted as opposed to what we needed. However, the average American household has something like 3 to 4 days of food in their pantry. Many people would be calling in sick to work in order to be at the grocery store before they opened. Think of the riots when stores would refuse to open or sell until prices were set that day. Who would be setting those prices?

Chris Martenson: Right. So this is one of those great mysteries of inflation. It is obviously 'flying money', so everyone is trying to get rid of their money. You would think that would actually increase commerce. But if you are on the other end of that transaction, if you happen to be the business owner, you have every incentive to withhold items for as long as possible. So one of the great ironies, I guess, is that even though money is flying around like crazy, goods start to disappear from the shelves. Is that what you are seeing?

Fernando Aguirre: Absolutely. Shelves halfway empty. The government is always trying to muscle its way through these kind of problems, just trying to force companies to stock back products and such, but they just keep holding on. For example, gas has gone up 12% these last few days. And there is really nothing they can do about it. If they don't increase prices, companies just are not willing to sell. It is a pretty tricky situation to be in.

Chris Martenson: Are there any sort of price controls going on right now? Has anything been mandated?

Fernando Aguirre: As you know, price controls don't really work. I mean, they tried this before in Argentina. Actually, last year one of the big news stories was that the government was freezing prices on food and certain appliances. It didn't work. Just a few days later those supposedly "frozen" prices were going up. As soon as they officially released them, they would just double in price.

UrbanMan Comments: When there are price controls, you will see several things,... 1 - a burgeoning black market; bartering and alternative currency transactions,..... meaning gold and silver. Again, food riots would ensure.

Chris Martenson: Let me ask you this, then: How many people in Argentina actually still have money in Argentine banks in dollars? One of the features in 2001 was that people had money in dollars, in the banks. There was a banking holiday; a couple of weeks later, banks open up; Surprise, you have the same number in your account, only it's pesos, not dollars. It was an effective theft, if I could use that term. Is anybody keeping money in the banks at this point, or how is that working?

Fernando Aguirre: Well, first of all, I would like to clarify for people listening: Those banks that did that are the same banks that are found all over the world. They are not like strange South American, Argentinean banks – they are the same banks. If they are willing to steal from people in one place, don't be surprised if they are willing to do it in other places as well.

UrbanMan Comments: Hyper inflation and impending economic collapse would force the government to implement banking and other financial controls. This could be banking holidays; could be limits on transaction amounts; could/would be a government order to turn in gold and silver bullion; may be government take over of all retirement accounts. So ask yourself how prepared are you for hyper inflation and a economic collapse?