Why Do Government Officials Want to Ban Ham Radio? (HAM Radio is the single most reliable and effective means of communication in any emergency and has been for over 100 years.)

HAM Radio has been around since the very beginning of radio, back in the 1890s. A loose-knit, but globe-spanning group, they are brought together by their common love for what they do. They are not a club, but comprise many clubs together. While mostly ignored and left to their devices, HAM Radio operators provide several essential services, such as providing military personnel in hazardous duty postings overseas a means of talking to their families. When other communications fail, it is the HAM Radio operators who provide emergency communications to the nations.

Yet HAM Radio may be in trouble. It appears that there are those in government service who don’t like the idea of a group of people who can do things the government can’t do for themselves; and HAM Radio operators have a long history of doing just that. When Admiral Byrd led his expedition to the South Pole, the Navy couldn’t maintain contact with him. But a HAM Radio operator by the name of Collins could, leading that HAM to create the Collins Radio Company to build his equipment and sell it to the Navy.

The First Inklings of Trouble

In 2012 the federal government launched a $47 billion Cell Phone Network, called FirstNet. Intended to be a public safety nationwide broadcast network, FirstNet was already obsolete the day it was turned on.

Conceived in the wake of 9/11, FirstNet is supposed to provide police and firefighters with a means of communication in times of emergency. But like many government projects, it went overtime and over budget. Fifteen years after the event which prompted its inception and four years after the due date, all that FirstNet has accomplished is to create another government bureaucracy that has spent taxpayer money.

So, how did this boondoggle start? After-action review of 9/11 determined that police and fire commanders had problems in communicating with each other. Supposedly because of that, information from police helicopters, which reportedly could see that the buildings were about to fail, never got transmitted to fire commanders, so that they could pull their people from the buildings. That was blamed for the death of 120 firefighters.

But while the media-hyped that conclusion, anyone can see there are a number of large holes in that theory. First and foremost, who designated the police officers flying those helicopters civil engineers, able to make that determination? Even if they did and even if they transmitted that information to the various fire departments involved, why would the firefighters believe them. Firefighters run into damaged, dangerous buildings all the time, why would they suddenly run out, based upon such an unreliable report?

If you’re looking for an example of the government doing something wrong, then this could be it. Two years after congressional approval, the only accomplishment the quasi-independent agency could show for itself was hiring a skeleton staff. Even that was questionable, as many of the key people seemed to have issues with conflicts of interest. Another two years went by before this group of bureaucrats managed to issue requests for proposals (RFP), asking contractors to bid on building and operating the system.

That alone is enough to make one wonder why the agency is even needed. If the actual work of running FirstNet was going to be done by contractors, what were the government workers going to do? Even worse, if the government workers in question were that slow doing their jobs, how would they ever manage to get information to first responders in a timely manner?

Besides, technology has outstripped the FirstNet system in the years it has taken to develop it. Digital cell phone networks can far outperform what the FirstNet system is intended to do, providing interconnected user groups, which have a priority for communications in an emergency.

Many major metropolitan areas have already dealt with the problems that FristNet are supposed to solve; and they’ve done it for much less money. So why bother creating such a solution? Could it just be for smaller communities? The RFP makes this a very real possibility, since coast-to-coast coverage is a requirement. But then, why should those first responders have such coast-to-coast communications, when the people who would be calling them for help won’t have it?

Basically, the system was designed for failure, right from the start. Yet thanks to bureaucratic inertia, development of the system continues, gobbling up dollars which could best be spent elsewhere. But even worse, the push to replace the HAM Radio network with this non-working and probably unworkable network continues.

So California Gets Involved

California has seen the writing on the wall and is already preparing. Convinced that at some undetermined day, still in the future, they won’t have to depend on HAM Radio operators for emergency communications, they’ve decided they don’t need them now. Therefore, they have sent a letter to all HAM Radio operators in the state, informing them that their repeaters will no longer be allowed to be on “public” land or buildings for free, but would instead have to pay hefty fees to locate them there.

The repeaters in question are privately owned and operated radios that boost the signal of communications that will otherwise not reach their intended destination. They are not owned by corporations which have deep pockets to pay government fees, but by individuals who provide emergency communications for free. Yet the government is now expecting them to pay for that privilege.

The repeaters don’t cost the government of California one cent. They are totally funded by the HAM Radio operators; people who provide this as a public service, out of their own pockets, in order to help ensure public safety in a time of emergency.

Perhaps this is just one more way for California’s government to squeeze a few more dollars out of taxpayers’ wallets. If so, it’s the wrong way to do it; the classic case of cutting your nose off to spite your face. The individuals who own those repeaters will either be forced to shut them down or move them to other, privately owned properties, where they probably won’t perform as well.

But one of California’s biggest goals, politically speaking, is to be the most progressive of all progressive states. Therefore, even if it does require cutting their own nose off, they will make things harder for HAM Radio operators. Then, when they need help that the HAM Radio operators can no longer provide, they’ll blame those same operators for “sabotaging” the system.

If California is truly leading the charge against HAM Radio operators with this move, they are making the nation less secure, not more secure. HAM Radio is the single most reliable and effective means of communication in any emergency and has been for over 100 years. Cutting it off at the knees, in the name of progressivism isn’t progress, it’s putting your own people at danger, in the name of ideology. Oops.

50 Tips From the Great Depression (The Great Depression was one of the most traumatic events in American history)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2016. Given the recent events going on around us, I believe the information found here will be helpful to the people who did not get a chance to read the article in 2016, as well as to the ones who already read it.

The Great Depression was one of the most traumatic events in American history. Following the stock market crash of October 1929, industrial production crashed, construction shrank to a fraction of what it had been, and millions of people found themselves on short hours or without work. Until the economy picked up again in 1935 life was a real struggle for the average American.

To get through the economic collapse and the grinding poverty that followed it, people had to adapt and learn new skills – or re-learn old ones. For that reason, many people who lived through it looked back with a sense of, maybe not exactly nostalgia, but pride in how they managed to cope.

A lot of the things people did during the Great Depression still make a lot of sense today. With our own economy looking vulnerable, and the risk of a new collapse always lurking just around the corner, would we cope as well as our grandparents and great-grandparents did?

Here are some of the ways they took care of themselves and those around them through some of the hardest times the USA has ever seen.

Work

  1. Entire families moved in search of work. By staying together, they could support each other while not missing employment opportunities.
  2. Migrant farm work was a life-saver for many. Different crops needed harvesting at different times, so it was – and still is – possible to find several months’ work.
  3. People were willing to try any job. They didn’t ask “Do you have any work for a…?”, but, “Do you have any work?”. They were flexible because they had to be.
  4. Everyone in a family was prepared to earn money. Kids could make a valuable contribution too. Families worked for a common goal: earning enough to survive.
  5. great depression1Almost anything had some value. Driftwood collected from the beach could be split and sold as firewood. Almost any kind of metal can be collected and sold as scrap.
  6. Government “New Deal” employment programs provided jobs and taught skills. They also created a lot of new infrastructure, including many roads – and the Hoover Dam.
  7. There was no such thing as retirement age. Anyone who could work did.  When money is tight, everyone needs to contribute whatever they can earn.
  8. A lot of jobs became part-time, as employers tried to save money. Many people worked several part-time jobs, often putting in very long days.
  9. Many of the jobless spent all day going round employers, looking for any work they could find. Even an hour or two of labor would make a difference.
  10. People created jobs for themselves. Some women would wake early to cook dozens of meals, then sell them outside factories and construction sites.
  11. Flexibility helped. Someone who knew a little about several trades had a better chance of finding work, than someone who was an expert at one.
  12. Farmers would take on workers they didn’t have the money to hire, and pay them in produce instead.

Housing

  1. Many people lost their homes. Often, extended families – grandparents, aunts, uncles – ended up living in one house.
  2. Others were forced to live in their car or truck, buying cheap meals and washing at public gyms or swimming pools.
  3. homseThe homeless often lived in tents – or shack or lean-tos they’d built themselves. Having a place to live, even a basic one, was better than sleeping rough.
  4. To save energy, walls were insulated with anything that would help keep heat in through the winter: mud, newspapers or tar paper. It all helped cut fuel costs.
  5. Homes were kept cooler than normal. Wearing more clothes indoors reduced the need to burn fuel, and that left more money for food.
  6. In summer people hung wet sheets over doorways and windows. As the water evaporated, it drew in heat from the air, cooling the home slightly.
  7. Refinancing a home was one way to keep up the payments – and it could also free up cash for living expenses.

Money

  1. moneyLife insurance policies were a safety net for those who had them. If money ran out, the policy could be cashed in, helping keep the family afloat for a few more months.
  2. Many people rarely saw cash; barter economies quickly grew up. Small jobs might be paid with milk, fresh vegetables or fruit, especially in rural areas.
  3. With millions out of work, begging was common – and seen as desperation, not antisocial behavior. Outside restaurant was a favorite spot and only the rich could afford to eat there.
  4. People respected banks back then, but when banks started closing the trust soon faded. Nobody knew when their own might shut, so the wise kept cash at home.
  5. Many stores gave credit and let regular payments slide. They just kept track of what was owed and hoped it would be paid someday. Many stores went bankrupt because of this.

Food

  1. Having a vegetable plot made a huge difference. In 1929, 20% of Americans still lived on farms. Most of the rest had big gardens and the skills to grow their own food.
  2. Hunting and fishing were major sources of protein. Meat was expensive, but if you could harvest your own, you had a better diet. Surplus was great for barter, too.
  3. Foraging was also popular. Nuts, berries, and wild greens helped put meals on the table, and kids and older people could forage as well as anyone.
  4. In the country, canning was an essential skill. A well-stocked pantry was both a source of pride and a life-saving reserve for the winter.
  5. foodPeople learned that you can eat almost anything, if you’re hungry enough. Tumbleweed was used as fodder for cattle, then people found it could be eaten. Young plants are best.
  6. No part of an animal was wasted. Offal was fried, boiled or turned into ground meat. Even chicken feet could be boiled to add some taste to a broth.
  7. A little bit of bacon would add flavor to almost anything. The hard rinds or dry ends of a piece of bacon could be boiled – and butchers sold them for pennies.
  8. Communities divided vacant lots and parks into family vegetable plots. Housewives and kids spent much of their time growing extra food.
  9. To keep some variety in their diets, people traded the produce they grew with friends and neighbors.
  10. Meals were cooked from scratch – there were hardly any prepared foods in the shops. Recipes were usually simpler than today’s. That mean they were cheaper to make.
  11. Stores closed on Sundays, so fresh produce that would go bad by Monday would be sold off cheap late on Saturday. Shopping at that time was great for bargains.
  12. Livestock was a great asset. If you had a cow or even a few chickens, you were sitting on a wealth creator. Milk and eggs helped your own diet, and could be bartered.
  13. Meat and dairy products were expensive; bread, potatoes, and noodles were cheap and filling. People bulked out meals with carbohydrates. Lard or bacon fat added flavor.
  14. Soup was a popular meal. It filled you up, and the main ingredient was water. Almost anything could be made into soup – beans, potatoes, even stale bread.

Clothes

  1. Shoes were mended over and over. Holes in the sole were patched with leather from scrap belts or purses. Complete soles were cut from old tires.
  2. Dustbowl MasksPeople learned to make and repair clothes. Any fabric could be used. Rural families made clothes from feed sacks. One woman turned a casket’s fabric lining into kids’ dresses.
  3. Fashion was canceled. People preferred to get more use out their old clothes and spend their money on food.
  4. When kids outgrew their clothes, they were handed down to younger siblings or given to people who could use them.
  5. Really old clothes were cut up for rags to get some more use out of them. Why spend money on dusters and cleaning cloths when rags worked just as well?

Society and Attitudes

  1. Nobody felt entitled to be supported. People knew that they had to work as hard as they could to survive; if they didn’t, they could expect nothing.
  2. On the other hand, people were willing to help those who were trying but struggling. They knew they could be the ones needing help next, so most gave all they could spare.
  3. kids for sellCommunities became closer, giving mutual support and organizing donations of food or cash to those who needed them the most.
  4. Many towns set up welfare loan schemes. Money could be loaned to people who needed it, but it was expected to be paid back. Detailed records were kept of what was owed.
  5. Willingness to work hard, and to do what you could to support the community, was more highly valued than individualism and independence.
  6. People learned to keep a positive outlook on life. They learned that they could lose a surprising amount – almost everything – and keep going.
  7. Positivity was essential. There was no point in complaining how bad things were – they were just as bad for almost everyone. What mattered was trying to make them better.

The Final Straw: What Is America’s Tipping Point and What are You Prepared to Do When it comes?

Have you ever wondered what makes a person snap? What causes a normal, quiet, everyday citizen, loving mother, or doting father to lose it all and fight like a caged animal? What can cause a small village to rise up and rebel against an oppressive police force and start killing them? What is the switch that gets flipped that causes a city to pour two million people into the streets, chanting and demanding to be heard by their government?

Lately it feels more and more as though we are on standing on the edge of some yawning precipice peering over the crest into darkness. What is more troubling to me is that we have been down this path before. The sense of unease is almost palpable to me sometimes; it is more evident if you are paying attention. If you are able to eliminate the white noise of the world for a minute; hit the pause button on the playlist of daily life for a while and look around, listen, you may start to recognize that you too are caught up in events that will soon change all our lives.

For several years I have felt an unsettling sense that we need to be prepared, that life is going to throw us a big, fat, greasy curve ball soon and we better not be caught napping. To try and proactively address that warning voice I started planning and taking steps to prepare my family to be able to weather events in the future. I am certainly not alone in this concern as you can easily see by the tremendous growth of the prepper movement. In the spectrum of probable events, there are a lot of potential scenarios. Natural disasters and emergencies occur every day all over the world, but you have to broaden your gaze and look to current events and history as well. One of the things that I think is a valid potential event to consider is a collapse of our way of life which leads to an authoritarian oppressive government.

You might be living in one of America’s deathzones and not have a clue about it
What if that were you? What would YOU do?

In the next few minutes, I’m going to show you the U.S. Nuclear Target map, where you’ll find out if you’re living in one of America’s Deathzones.

Are we reaching a tipping point?

 SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.
SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

We have seen in recent events, by now almost too numerous to mention, the effects of a rising frustration with the way things are. It isn’t necessary to go into all of the individual reasons, but as a society there are more and more outpourings of frustration on a global scale. There are increasingly tightening restrictions against people. There is a manipulation of markets and the economy. There is a great increase in the loss of freedom and there is a more open antagonism and almost outright animosity by Government towards their people.

Governments exist either because they have come to power through force and violence or they have been elected and given power by the people. The force and violence crowd usually have their roots in the military and we like to call them Dictators. There have been a ton of them throughout history; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong iL and now his son, Saddam, Gaddafi, the list goes on and on. Dictators don’t care about the people and usually kill anyone who gets in their way. It is a fact that government has killed more people than any other cause, disease or reason.

The other side of the coin is what is usually called Democracies. I am lumping a lot of governments in here I know, but the democracies are usually elected and formed with the consent of the people with the noble goal of securing rights or protecting the people over whom they govern. Almost without fail however, Democratic Governments eventually do not want to answer to the people and at some point they most certainly will not be told what to do by the people to the point of ignoring the will of the people (for the people’s own good of course). Now these governments that are supposed to secure the liberties of their people are becoming more openly hostile to the same people they have sworn to defend. Funnily enough the democratically elected governments now seem to want to hang on to power with the same methods of force and violence as dictators. How else can you explain arming themselves with ammo, ignoring the constitution, purchasing assault vehicles and preparing to confiscate firearms?

When governments will steal money outright from the citizens in order to pay bills that were not incurred by the people we have a problem. When government spies on its people and uses that information against them punitively we have a problem. When Government uses the force of the military that was supposed to defend the people that was paid for by the people, for the purposes of killing the people, we have a big problem. When someone brings to light crimes by the government and is labeled as the one who is a danger, we have a problem.

The problem is that governments around the world are viewing their people as the problem and there really seems to be only one way throughout history that this is ever rectified. My fear is that we are already set on a course that won’t be changed with laws, great political leaders, or a return to the values of a golden age in time long past.

The Fine Line – The Straw that breaks the camel’s back

The fine line between someone who is a law-abiding citizen and a murderer is one that exists purely in our souls. There is nothing physical that is different from a person who follows the rules and someone who breaks them. The urge to pull the trigger isn’t something you can see and it isn’t a trait to test for, so it must be our own individual sense of right and wrong. Of good and evil.

I know that some will argue that a psychopath is definitely recognizable by character traits and maybe even brainwaves or chemistry. That may be true, but you can be a psychopath (clinically) without ever hurting anyone. By the same token, you can take a life while being perfectly “sane”.

If you hold a knife in your hand, you are just as capable of using that to stab or cut someone as the murderer in the next town, but that thought never enters the mind of an overwhelming majority of people. A baseball bat in your hands can easily be swung with great force connecting it to the back of a skull, but this thought never appears in our heads; that is unless we are forced into a corner. When a person is in desperate fear for their lives, the unspoken rules of right and wrong are broken. The processes that we follow every day are overridden in the cause of rage or self-preservation. What was unthinkable before is now very real, necessary and even righteous with the right circumstances.

When the right buttons are pushed, anyone can lose it. When the fear of dying or of losing someone you love is so overpowering, the “fine line” that has been keeping us sane, law-abiding and good is easily shattered. When this happens, all bets are off.

We as a people, a country are still rather firmly attached on the good side of this line. We have not yet completely been driven to abandon all hope and lash out. We have not yet been so harmed, have not gotten to the point that we have nothing to lose and are ready to lose it, but this may be coming in the future.

The force and violence that is being used now to quell the dissatisfaction of people globally is increasing. The methods to cease the complaining of the rabble has been relatively minor with some exceptions. Tear gas, rubber bullets, mace and batons only work up to a point though. When the time comes that people can no longer abide, there won’t be enough police to stop them using riot control techniques. The military doesn’t have enough people to stop the entire population unless those people peacefully agree to surrender, so what will they do? Do you believe any government will quietly step down and admit that they are obviously not speaking for the people anymore? No. They will resort to more force and violence and people will die. Either that or you have a coup like they had in Egypt and guess who took over to “restore order”? Yep, the Military.

What will be the inevitable response by the authorities?

The Chinese people who started to revolt against the police in their town did so because the authorities were “placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion”. China is no picnic compared to America and we clearly know they have lived through far worse oppression than we have, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for them?

The protests which turned into an estimated two million citizens of Brazil had started simply enough with a protest over a rise in the rates of public transportation.

In America, what will be the trigger that causes people to rise up and say we aren’t going to take this anymore and more importantly what will happen when/if we do?

What will happen if we don’t change the path we are on?

The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen
The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen

There is a quote that has always struck me as very sad and telling from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who was sentenced to 8 years in a Soviet prison camp for essentially writing things about Stalin that the government didn’t like. During this time in Soviet Russia, to stifle dissent, millions were killed or sent to prison camps. In this passage Solzhenitsyn is talking about regret that everyone felt because they simply went along with this tyranny and didn’t oppose it.

 “AND HOW WE BURNED IN THE CAMPS LATER, THINKING: WHAT WOULD THINGS HAVE BEEN LIKE IF EVERY SECURITY OPERATIVE, WHEN HE WENT OUT AT NIGHT TO MAKE AN ARREST, HAD BEEN UNCERTAIN WHETHER HE WOULD RETURN ALIVE AND HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO HIS FAMILY? OR IF, DURING PERIODS OF MASS ARRESTS, AS FOR EXAMPLE IN LENINGRAD, WHEN THEY ARRESTED A QUARTER OF THE ENTIRE CITY, PEOPLE HAD NOT SIMPLY SAT THERE IN THEIR LAIRS, PALING WITH TERROR AT EVERY BANG OF THE DOWNSTAIRS DOOR AND AT EVERY STEP ON THE STAIRCASE, BUT HAD UNDERSTOOD THEY HAD NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE AND HAD BOLDLY SET UP IN THE DOWNSTAIRS HALL AN AMBUSH OF HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE WITH AXES, HAMMERS, POKERS, OR WHATEVER ELSE WAS AT HAND?… THE ORGANS WOULD VERY QUICKLY HAVE SUFFERED A SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS AND TRANSPORT AND, NOTWITHSTANDING ALL OF STALIN’S THIRST, THE CURSED MACHINE WOULD HAVE GROUND TO A HALT! IF…IF…WE DIDN’T LOVE FREEDOM ENOUGH. AND EVEN MORE – WE HAD NO AWARENESS OF THE REAL SITUATION…. WE PURELY AND SIMPLY DESERVED EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTERWARD.”  – ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN

Will this be our fate too? Will we slowly be conditioned to accept atrocities like this and to be completely defanged so that we can be herded into camps without so much as a whimper as well? That’s crazy you say! Is it? Right now, our government is hunting down someone who simply exposed how they (government) were illegally spying on all of us. Our government is buying arms and stockpiling weapons for use domestically not in some war. Our government has the IRS actively harassing a single political/opposition party. Our government has shown that they will lock down a town and go door to door while making the citizens stay cowered inside. Our government has stated that they can imprison anyone without cause for an indefinite amount of time.

Can you seriously argue that we aren’t headed down the same path as others have in our not too distant past?

This is not a call to armed Revolution, but I do think we should all be very wary of this course we are on and the echos of history. We should not be silent in the face of increasing oppression. We should not simply go along quietly because of the fear that we may get in trouble, or worse that we believe the government is only looking out for our best interests. You only need to look at the people in Poland who quietly went into the Warsaw ghettos. You don’t have to look any further than the Holocaust to see what quietly going along will get you.

This is not a fate that I will be bringing on my family.

During a SHTF situation, pain could become an annoyance for some, but unbearable for others.

If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.

Dutch Oven – The Lost Art Of Scratch Cooking: A well-seasoned Dutch oven is so valuable it is often a family heirloom, creating nutritious meals from scratch and nourishing your loved ones. (Dutch ovens have been a part of the American economy since the 1700s)

There is nothing on Earth quite like cooking in a Dutch oven over an open fire. A well-seasoned Dutch oven is so valuable it is often a family heirloom, creating nutritious meals from scratch and nourishing your loved ones.

Cooking from scratch inside a Dutch oven is an art that is slowly becoming lost due to modern conveniences. People short on time or money might opt for a frozen processed meal instead of cooking a meal from scratch. The frozen meal is easier to prepare, but has significantly less nutrients and more chemicals inside than a homemade meal.

Dutch ovens have been a part of the American economy since the 1700s. They are made of cast-iron from molds that vary in size, usually 8 inches to 16 inches. The matching lid has a lip attachment on top to keep coals securely in place, should you want to cover your Dutch oven for more heat. The steel handle allows you to remove it from the fire or wood stove without touching the hot pan.

A well-made Dutch oven will last centuries. Generations can pass down their skillets to their kids and the cast-iron flavor will improve with time and use (just be sure to never use soap when washing it!)

It’s time to bring back a delicious, healthy, and peaceful tradition of cooking scratch-made meals inside a Dutch oven.

Cooking Over a Fire

Dutch Oven – The Lost Art Of Scratch Cooking

A Dutch oven is made to use over an open fire or woodstove.

This means it works inside or outside, depending on where your fire is.

The oven is made to withstand high direct heat, so it can be placed and buried directly under hot coals or in your fireplace.

The seasoning from the pan mixed with the smokiness of the fire creates dishes that are unique and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

To get Dutch oven scratch-cooking perfectly right, there are a few tool recommendations to help you out. You are working with hot coals, so having long barbecue tongs help to move the coals around the oven to control the heat.

I also like to keep a whisk broom on-site so that any coal debris on top of the lid can be swept away and not into the food. It makes opening it much cleaner.

Get the Most Out of Scratch Cooking

When making stews and soups, or meat with lots of connective tissue, you want a cooking vessel that can accommodate one-pot cooking. All of the Dutch oven recipes of yesteryear were done in the same pot and cooked all day long.

The fruits of your labor were celebrated at dinnertime when you’re rewarded with a smoky, slow-cooked dish that will keep you satiated until morning.

Building a flavor base is super important when cooking from scratch in a Dutch oven.

Seasoning cast iron

The pot itself lends a lot of flavor to what you’re cooking, but having a foundation of flavor from aromatics is the best way to start a recipe.

By sweating onions, garlic, freshly picked garlic scapes, carrots, and celery you are building flavors that will permeate the rest of the dish.

In that same realm, it is important to sear your meat inside the Dutch oven before leaving it to cook. Searing the meat inside the cast-iron provides a deep flavor that you only get from deeply browned meat.

Your dish will still be delicious if you simply throw all ingredients into it at the same time, but if you can spare the extra time, it’s worth it.

The Best From-Scratch Foods to Cook In a Dutch Oven

There was a time when all meals were made inside the Dutch oven over a fire. Eggs and meats or potatoes were cooked for breakfast, soup or stew for lunch and dinner. It is truly a historical staple in open-fire cooking.

With the mainstream kitchen having many modern conveniences, there is no longer a need to cook over an open fire anymore. Us preppers and campers are the folks still holding on to this awesome tradition.

Rabbit stew

Call me old-fashioned, but my favorite meals in the Dutch oven are foraged, hunted, and caught meals. When my rabbit trap is set off, I know cast-iron rabbit stew is in my near future.

During deer season, a venison stew is best cooked in a well-seasoned Dutch oven with whole carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions, and garlic.

Using foraged mushrooms and garlic scapes also will make a tasty and nutritious soup.

For a cheap and filling meal while off-the-grid, make a large pot of beans over the open fire. Dried beans last a long time, are usually kept stocked in your pantry, and are a healthy meal that fills you up. Add some bacon, carrots, onions, or whatever aromatics you may have.

Another great scratch-made meal to make in a Dutch oven is breakfast. Adding some bacon and eggs to the Dutch oven is cheap and filling. You could also bake bread or biscuits inside for a really warm and comforting treat.

Bread inside of a Dutch oven is the most delicious bread you will ever eat.

Bread in cast iron

The cast-iron pot has very even heating, so homemade bread can bake inside with the lid on!

Simply make a dough, allow to rise, add to the skillet with a lid, and place over the fire. Add coals to the lid to add head all around the pot. In an hour, you have fresh crusty bread to last through the week!

The options are limitless when it comes to cooking in a Dutch oven.

The Dutch Oven – Your Next Prepper Purchase

All preppers and foodies alike should have a high-quality Dutch oven in their home. It not only creates the most delicious dishes from scratch but also provides you with a tool for cooking over an open fire.

Dutch oven cooking over the fire is a lost art that should be revived, not only for survival purposes but because the process is fun and worthwhile in terms of flavor. Old-timers will know that the longer you use your Dutch oven, the more flavorful it becomes.

Don’t waste any more time, get to cooking in your Dutch oven!

The Final Straw: What Is America’s Tipping Point and What are You Prepared to Do When it comes? (IT’S HERE NOW – PIX ILLUSTRATES OUR DIVIDED NATION ACCURATELY-THE ONLY ONES STANDING BETWEEN FULL ON BATTLE-LEO’S,THATS WHY THE DEFUNDING PUSH )

Have you ever wondered what makes a person snap? What causes a normal, quiet, everyday citizen, loving mother, or doting father to lose it all and fight like a caged animal? What can cause a small village to rise up and rebel against an oppressive police force and start killing them? What is the switch that gets flipped that causes a city to pour two million people into the streets, chanting and demanding to be heard by their government?

Lately it feels more and more as though we are on standing on the edge of some yawning precipice peering over the crest into darkness. What is more troubling to me is that we have been down this path before. The sense of unease is almost palpable to me sometimes; it is more evident if you are paying attention. If you are able to eliminate the white noise of the world for a minute; hit the pause button on the playlist of daily life for a while and look around, listen, you may start to recognize that you too are caught up in events that will soon change all our lives.

For several years I have felt an unsettling sense that we need to be prepared, that life is going to throw us a big, fat, greasy curve ball soon and we better not be caught napping. To try and proactively address that warning voice I started planning and taking steps to prepare my family to be able to weather events in the future. I am certainly not alone in this concern as you can easily see by the tremendous growth of the prepper movement. In the spectrum of probable events, there are a lot of potential scenarios. Natural disasters and emergencies occur every day all over the world, but you have to broaden your gaze and look to current events and history as well. One of the things that I think is a valid potential event to consider is a collapse of our way of life which leads to an authoritarian oppressive government.

Are we reaching a tipping point?

 SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.
SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

We have seen in recent events, by now almost too numerous to mention, the effects of a rising frustration with the way things are. It isn’t necessary to go into all of the individual reasons, but as a society there are more and more outpourings of frustration on a global scale. There are increasingly tightening restrictions against people. There is a manipulation of markets and the economy. There is a great increase in the loss of freedom and there is a more open antagonism and almost outright animosity by Government towards their people.

Governments exist either because they have come to power through force and violence or they have been elected and given power by the people. The force and violence crowd usually have their roots in the military and we like to call them Dictators. There have been a ton of them throughout history; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong iL and now his son, Saddam, Gaddafi, the list goes on and on. Dictators don’t care about the people and usually kill anyone who gets in their way. It is a fact that government has killed more people than any other cause, disease or reason.

The other side of the coin is what is usually called Democracies. I am lumping a lot of governments in here I know, but the democracies are usually elected and formed with the consent of the people with the noble goal of securing rights or protecting the people over whom they govern. Almost without fail however, Democratic Governments eventually do not want to answer to the people and at some point they most certainly will not be told what to do by the people to the point of ignoring the will of the people (for the people’s own good of course). Now these governments that are supposed to secure the liberties of their people are becoming more openly hostile to the same people they have sworn to defend. Funnily enough the democratically elected governments now seem to want to hang on to power with the same methods of force and violence as dictators. How else can you explain arming themselves with ammo, ignoring the constitution, purchasing assault vehicles and preparing to confiscate firearms?

When governments will steal money outright from the citizens in order to pay bills that were not incurred by the people we have a problem. When government spies on its people and uses that information against them punitively we have a problem. When Government uses the force of the military that was supposed to defend the people that was paid for by the people, for the purposes of killing the people, we have a big problem. When someone brings to light crimes by the government and is labeled as the one who is a danger, we have a problem.

The problem is that governments around the world are viewing their people as the problem and there really seems to be only one way throughout history that this is ever rectified. My fear is that we are already set on a course that won’t be changed with laws, great political leaders, or a return to the values of a golden age in time long past.

The Fine Line – The Straw that breaks the camel’s back

The fine line between someone who is a law-abiding citizen and a murderer is one that exists purely in our souls. There is nothing physical that is different from a person who follows the rules and someone who breaks them. The urge to pull the trigger isn’t something you can see and it isn’t a trait to test for, so it must be our own individual sense of right and wrong. Of good and evil.

I know that some will argue that a psychopath is definitely recognizable by character traits and maybe even brainwaves or chemistry. That may be true, but you can be a psychopath (clinically) without ever hurting anyone. By the same token, you can take a life while being perfectly “sane”.

If you hold a knife in your hand, you are just as capable of using that to stab or cut someone as the murderer in the next town, but that thought never enters the mind of an overwhelming majority of people. A baseball bat in your hands can easily be swung with great force connecting it to the back of a skull, but this thought never appears in our heads; that is unless we are forced into a corner. When a person is in desperate fear for their lives, the unspoken rules of right and wrong are broken. The processes that we follow every day are overridden in the cause of rage or self-preservation. What was unthinkable before is now very real, necessary and even righteous with the right circumstances.

When the right buttons are pushed, anyone can lose it. When the fear of dying or of losing someone you love is so overpowering, the “fine line” that has been keeping us sane, law-abiding and good is easily shattered. When this happens, all bets are off.

We as a people, a country are still rather firmly attached on the good side of this line. We have not yet completely been driven to abandon all hope and lash out. We have not yet been so harmed, have not gotten to the point that we have nothing to lose and are ready to lose it, but this may be coming in the future.

The force and violence that is being used now to quell the dissatisfaction of people globally is increasing. The methods to cease the complaining of the rabble has been relatively minor with some exceptions. Tear gas, rubber bullets, mace and batons only work up to a point though. When the time comes that people can no longer abide, there won’t be enough police to stop them using riot control techniques. The military doesn’t have enough people to stop the entire population unless those people peacefully agree to surrender, so what will they do? Do you believe any government will quietly step down and admit that they are obviously not speaking for the people anymore? No. They will resort to more force and violence and people will die. Either that or you have a coup like they had in Egypt and guess who took over to “restore order”? Yep, the Military.

What will be the inevitable response by the authorities?

The Chinese people who started to revolt against the police in their town did so because the authorities were “placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion”. China is no picnic compared to America and we clearly know they have lived through far worse oppression than we have, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for them?

The protests which turned into an estimated two million citizens of Brazil had started simply enough with a protest over a rise in the rates of public transportation.

In America, what will be the trigger that causes people to rise up and say we aren’t going to take this anymore and more importantly what will happen when/if we do?

What will happen if we don’t change the path we are on?

The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen
The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen

There is a quote that has always struck me as very sad and telling from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who was sentenced to 8 years in a Soviet prison camp for essentially writing things about Stalin that the government didn’t like. During this time in Soviet Russia, to stifle dissent, millions were killed or sent to prison camps. In this passage Solzhenitsyn is talking about regret that everyone felt because they simply went along with this tyranny and didn’t oppose it.

 “AND HOW WE BURNED IN THE CAMPS LATER, THINKING: WHAT WOULD THINGS HAVE BEEN LIKE IF EVERY SECURITY OPERATIVE, WHEN HE WENT OUT AT NIGHT TO MAKE AN ARREST, HAD BEEN UNCERTAIN WHETHER HE WOULD RETURN ALIVE AND HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO HIS FAMILY? OR IF, DURING PERIODS OF MASS ARRESTS, AS FOR EXAMPLE IN LENINGRAD, WHEN THEY ARRESTED A QUARTER OF THE ENTIRE CITY, PEOPLE HAD NOT SIMPLY SAT THERE IN THEIR LAIRS, PALING WITH TERROR AT EVERY BANG OF THE DOWNSTAIRS DOOR AND AT EVERY STEP ON THE STAIRCASE, BUT HAD UNDERSTOOD THEY HAD NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE AND HAD BOLDLY SET UP IN THE DOWNSTAIRS HALL AN AMBUSH OF HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE WITH AXES, HAMMERS, POKERS, OR WHATEVER ELSE WAS AT HAND?… THE ORGANS WOULD VERY QUICKLY HAVE SUFFERED A SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS AND TRANSPORT AND, NOTWITHSTANDING ALL OF STALIN’S THIRST, THE CURSED MACHINE WOULD HAVE GROUND TO A HALT! IF…IF…WE DIDN’T LOVE FREEDOM ENOUGH. AND EVEN MORE – WE HAD NO AWARENESS OF THE REAL SITUATION…. WE PURELY AND SIMPLY DESERVED EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTERWARD.”  – ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN

Will this be our fate too? Will we slowly be conditioned to accept atrocities like this and to be completely defanged so that we can be herded into camps without so much as a whimper as well? That’s crazy you say! Is it? Right now, our government is hunting down someone who simply exposed how they (government) were illegally spying on all of us. Our government is buying arms and stockpiling weapons for use domestically not in some war. Our government has the IRS actively harassing a single political/opposition party. Our government has shown that they will lock down a town and go door to door while making the citizens stay cowered inside. Our government has stated that they can imprison anyone without cause for an indefinite amount of time.

Can you seriously argue that we aren’t headed down the same path as others have in our not too distant past?

This is not a call to armed Revolution, but I do think we should all be very wary of this course we are on and the echos of history. We should not be silent in the face of increasing oppression. We should not simply go along quietly because of the fear that we may get in trouble, or worse that we believe the government is only looking out for our best interests. You only need to look at the people in Poland who quietly went into the Warsaw ghettos. You don’t have to look any further than the Holocaust to see what quietly going along will get you.

This is not a fate that I will be bringing on my family.

The End Is Near: Here’s The Gear You Need- Preparing For The End Of Civilization Or The World is Serious Business.

Preparing for the end of civilization or the world is serious business.

Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, an economic collapse, or a natural disaster, you must be ready when the time comes to survive the event. Let people make fun of you and call you a doomsday prepper, but be proud of that title. The hecklers won’t be laughing when society falls and they’re not prepared.

What Disasters Can Heavily Impact Society?

There are a variety of disasters that can cause terrible damage and break down the distribution of community resources, wreak havoc on commerce, and crush society. World history records disasters in the past and shows us where we went wrong. Don’t think these events can’t happen again. They can and they will.

Earthquakes strike with no warning and, even though we prepare for hurricanes, the devastation can be catastrophic. All we need to do is look back at Hurricane Katrina to see this. There are also volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, flash flooding, tornadoes, and more.

During a SHTF situation, pain could become an annoyance for some, but unbearable for others.

If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.

Economic disasters cripple the economy. The most severe financial crises in the world include:

  • 1772’s Credit Crisis in Europe
  • The Great Depression 1929-1939
  • The OPEC Oil Price Shock –1973
  • The Asian Crisis –1997
  • The Financial Crisis of 2007-2008

These economic disasters brought down some of the largest companies and banks in the world. The International Money Fund stepped in to develop bailout packages to help some countries avoid default.

The zombie apocalypse speaks for itself. Then there’s the nuclear holocaust and an asteroid strike—although we’re not sure any supplies can save you from an asteroid strike.

Survival Gear and Supplies Needed to Survive Disasters

To survive a disaster, you’ll need reliable survival gear and plenty of necessary supplies. Here are the main supplies and gear essentials that will keep you out of ration lines and increase the odds of your survival. Experts recommend stockpiling at least a 30-day supply of essentials for disasters of epic proportions.

Water

Water should be the number one priority on your list of survival supplies. You can go about two weeks without food but only 72 hours without water. The key here is drinkable water. Each person requires approximately one gallon of water each day, so, for a family of three, that’s 90 gallons of water.

There are short-term solutions, such as water bricks. They take up less space than other containers. You can also use a 50-gallon drum, as long as it’s for food. Don’t just purchase gallon water jugs and put them in your basement or garage. Over time, chemicals in the plastic leach into the water, contaminating it. Always look for food-grade plastics to store food or water in.

You don’t know what will be polluting your water supply. Keep bleach on hand because one gallon of bleach can cleanse about 3,000 gallons of water. It eliminates things such as pathogens, parasites, and bacteria from water, but not oils, poisonous substances, sewage, or chemicals. You can also purchase water filters, disinfecting tablets, and other methods to purify water. Boiling water also kills parasites, pathogens, and bacteria.

There are other long-term solutions to your water problem. You can set up a rainwater catchment system quite simply with a rain barrel.

Food

A 30-day supply of food is a lot to store at once, so you may need to stockpile food over time. Five-gallon buckets with gasket lids are excellent for storing dry, staple, and bulk foods. You can also purchase mylar bags for food storage. Just make sure that you get oxygen absorbers to drop in them before sealing them up.

Bulk, staples, and dry foods to store include:

  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Legumes/beans
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Flour
  • Powdered milk
  • Pasta
  • Powdered cheese
  • Canned cheese
  • Canned butter
  • Energy/power bars
  • Peanut butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Freeze-dried foods for variety
  • Baking soda/powder
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy sauce
  • Spices
  • Apple cider and white vinegar
  • Canned food

You’ll also need things to cook with and some other necessary items for food preparation, such as:

  • Can opener
  • Paper cups, plates, utensils, and towels
  • Cast iron cookware
  • Camping stove or wood-burning stove
  • Solar oven
  • Pet food

Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are also critical for survival, especially when no more community resources or stores exist. Keep in mind your family’s special needs when storing medical supplies. There are some basic supplies that you’ll want to keep on hand:

  • Band-Aids
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • An antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin
  • Steristrips or butterfly bandages
  • Tape, pad, and burn gel
  • Duoderm
  • Rolled gauze
  • ACE bandages
  • Material for splinting
  • Shears/scissors
  • Blister treatment
  • N95 masks
  • Alcohol pads
  • Surgical gloves, preferably Nitrile
  • Aspirin/Tylenol
  • Snakebite kit
  • Mercury-free thermometer
  • Vaseline
  • Benadryl
  • Needles/sutures
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers
  • Syringes
  • Quikclot
  • Q-tips
  • Chapstick
  • Insect repellent
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescriptions/vitamins
  • Potassium/iodide tablets for radiation poisoning
  • Sunblock
  • First aid manuals

Security

You’ll need to protect your family and property if things really go south. People may know that you stockpile supplies and, in desperation, they may try to hurt you or your family or break in to gain access to those supplies.

Purchase a handgun and a shotgun if you don’t already have one. Shotguns can be quite intimidating when you rack the slide. That sound makes people stop in their tracks. You may want to add a rifle to your collection. If the end truly is near, hunting for food may become a necessity. Don’t forget to stockpile extra ammunition.

You’ll need a knife for various reasons—perhaps for protection or for processing the animals you hunt. Good tactical equipment can also give you the advantage when the end is here.

Here’s another tip: Get to know your neighbors. If there is complete anarchy, your neighbors will be your closest enemies or friends. Get them into prepping for the end of the world and develop a plan for keeping your neighborhood and family safe.

Regardless of what others think, prepare for the worst but hope for the best—that’s an excellent motto to live by. If you prepare and nothing happens, then that’s okay, but if something happens and you’re not prepared, it’s too late. Stock up on important items such as medical supplies, food, and water. Create a defense plan with neighbors and stock up on ammo for your guns. Preparing in advance increases your chances for survival during whatever natural disaster or apocalypse occurs.

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Shotgun for Prepper: Be Ready for Home Defense, Riots, and Looters- If your area was hit by a hurricane before, then you already know how differently people act during these times.

Anyone who wants to prepare themselves for home defense, riots and looting will want to own a shotgun. There are many reasons why someone should have a shotgun available in their possession for preparation of such events. Even if you are not interested in hunting or recreational shooting, a shotgun is always good to have for home defense purposes no matter who you are. No one likes to think that their family or property will ever be in danger, but there is always the possibility of someone trying to break into your home for whatever reason.

As a prepper, you need to be ready for anything. Someone could break into your home no matter where in America you live. There is an even greater chance of this happening if there is a natural disaster or riot taking place in your area. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in the number of hurricanes that strike the North American states and territories each year. This trend is likely going to continue as the years go on.

If your area was hit by a hurricane before, then you already know how differently people act during these times. One real problem that emerges in the middle of this chaos is looting. These looters see a time of natural disaster as the perfect opportunity to break into people’s homes and steal their belongings. They figure the property owners will have already vacated their premises and the police will be too busy or unresponsive to deal with a break-in situation at someone’s home.

Of course, if you are like many people, you will not leave your home during a time of chaos. You will hold down the fort and protect your home at all costs. Looters won’t typically target homes with people inside, but sometimes they will if they think the police won’t show up because the power’s out and the cell phone signals aren’t working. There is also the chance that looters will think no one is home when there really is someone home.

When there are riots, the main targets are typically businesses and commercial property. But there is always the chance that residential property could become impacted by looters too. Regardless of which type of property you own, a shotgun can still be useful to keep angry rioters and looters out of your property. Just make sure you don’t go shooting them on the outside of your property if they haven’t threatened you. Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, you need to be careful when shooting an unarmed intruder or trespasser and understand the legal consequences of what could happen if you do.

In most cases, if someone actually breaks into the structure of your property, the owner is allowed to defend their property with whatever it takes. You can’t rely on alarm systems and smart security technology to save you, especially if there is a natural disaster. The only thing that can save you and protect your property is a good old-fashioned shotgun. For over a hundred years, property owners have used shotguns to protect their property and they are still just as useful today as they were back then for doing so.

If you were to surprise a looter by pointing a shotgun at them, they will likely run away as fast as they can without putting up a fight. Looters are usually cowards who are not looking to engage in a gun battle with a property owner. They’re just looking to loot a property quickly without any resistance. If they see you with a shotgun, they will give up on looting your property right away. The same goes for anyone looking to break into your property, even when there is not a disaster.

It helps for you to practice shooting your shotgun in preparation for such events. You certainly don’t want to end up in a situation where you must protect your home and are not sure how to fire your weapon when you need to. That is why it is recommended that you go practice shooting at the nearest firing range or open field so you can feel confident in your shooting abilities. Then, if the time comes when you must use the shotgun to defend your home, you will be able to do so without hesitation.

You should choose a shotgun that you are most comfortable with using. I have always liked pump shotguns for two reasons. First, there are few sounds that are as bone chilling as the sound of a round being chambered in a pump shotgun. Day or night, this is one of those sounds that snaps everyone to attention. Just the sound could be enough to make the intruder turn and run and, in most cases, leaving a trail of DNA in their retreat.

Second, even a 12 gauge Magnum Express Slug fired from a shotgun is going to fall safely to the ground in less than a few hundred meter meaning, unlike your Glock 21, the round is not going to go through the intruder, your wall, your neighbors teenage sons car parked across the street and on into your neighbors house possibly doing great harm there as well.

Most people will choose the Remington 870 Express pump-action shotgun because it is affordable and reliable. If you practice enough with the weapon and get good with it, you could always upgrade it to a Remington 870 Police version. But don’t think you have to do this to protect your home. Any working and reliable shotgun will do a good enough job of deterring looters and thieves. Again, it is very rare that you’ll ever need to shoot your weapon at them.

6 Survival Guns You’ll Need After The End Of The World

With all the different makes and models of guns, it can seem impossible to decide which ones you need in your disaster arsenal, especially if you’re new to guns or prepping.

But in reality, selecting the right guns doesn’t have to be difficult. Not all guns (or calibers) are created equal, and the result is that there are several factors to keep in mind that will help you narrow down your selection.

In this article, I’m going to share my list of six guns every prepper should have after the SHTF, but first I’m going to explain how I came up with the list.

What Do You Need Guns For?

In a survival scenario, you will need guns for a variety of different reasons, such as…

  • Hunting (small and big game)
  • Home defense
  • Property defense
  • Target shooting/plinking
  • Pest control/general homestead use

Each of the above applications is pretty self-explanatory. They all demand different calibers or types of firearms, as there is no one gun that fits all uses (just as there is no tool that can fix everything).

Calibers You Need

Ammo Calibers Lined Up

Now let’s talk about the best ammo calibers to have by handgun, rifle, and shotgun:

Semi-Automatic Pistol Calibers

There are three primary pistol calibers out there: 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Yes, there are plenty of others such as .45 GAP or 10MM or .357 SIG or .380 ACP, but the first three are by far the most popular. Well, .380 ACP is actually fairly popular too (especially for concealed carry), but it’s also on the low-end of the stopping power range and isn’t the best caliber choice for a general purpose sidearm.

Remember that a major consideration for any SHTF firearm is ammunition availability. While the shelves are going to be stripped clean and ammo of all calibers will become a precious commodity after a major disaster, your chances of finding more ammunition (such as through bartering with somebody) will be significantly higher if you’re looking for the most common calibers.

Hence, 9mm, .40S&W, and .45 ACP should be the only three semi-automatic pistol calibers that you should consider.

But we can still further narrow our selection from here: Go with 9mm and 9mm alone. In all honesty, .40 S&W is sunsetting and may not be as popular down the road. The FBI and numerous police departments are swapping from .40 to 9mm, mainly because .40 S&W is a higher pressure round and inflicts greater wear on pistols than 9mm does.

.45 is a solid round and is about as American as you can get for a pistol round. In fact, it’s arguably the most American pistol caliber in existence. But it’s also far more expensive than 9mm, and pistols chambered for .45 almost always hold fewer rounds due to the fact that it is larger in terms of diameter.(Here are 23 survival uses for honey that you didn’t know about.)

Sure, it has more stopping power on paper, but there are still a plethora of 9mm self-defense roads that are incredibly effective.

9mm is simply the most versatile pistol round in existence, and it’s also the cheapest and most popular. Double stacked pistols chambered for 9mm carry a lot of rounds and recoil is very moderate. It’s simply the best pistol round there is, and by the looks of things, it’s going to stay that way for a long time.

Revolver Calibers

You can say revolvers are antiquated all you want, but they have a distinct appeal in their simplicity and inherent reliability.

If you are seriously considering a revolver for your SHTF arsenal or for home defense purposes, there is only one caliber that should really be considered: .357 Magnum.

The reasons for this are as endless as the number of revolvers available. For one thing, .357 Magnum has a solid reputation for excellent stopping power and as a one-shot man stopper. It is a little expensive, but it’s also widely available. Plus, revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum round can fire and shoot .38 Specials as well, which makes them highly versatile.

The fact that a .357 can chamber and fire the lighter .38 Special load makes it an attractive offering for smaller statured shooters as well.

Rifle Calibers

A handgun is a defensive weapon and nothing more, and it’s a last resort weapon at that. All pistol calibers are notoriously underpowered. In fact, out of all people shot with a pistol, around 80% will survive.

In contrast, only around 20% of people shot with a rifle survive. The lesson here is obvious: rifles are more effective. They have more stopping power and they have a much greater range and velocity as well.

By all accounts, a rifle needs to be your primary arm in an SHTF scenario. It’s the weapon that you must rely upon for defending your homestead, house, property, and family against multiple attackers. Your pistol is simply a sidearm on your hip for last resort use or for ease of concealment.

The old saying goes that a pistol is the weapon you use to fight your way to your rifle. You never want to knowingly go into a gunfight with just a pistol. You need a rifle, too.

So with all that said, let’s talk calibers. There is an abundance of rifle calibers out there, and many of them you are no doubt familiar with, even if you are a beginner to this subject.

But for disaster preparedness purposes, there are two that stand out among all the rest: 5.56x45mm NATO and .308 Winchester.

These two calibers are like the 9mm of rifle rounds: they are both widely common and available, prices are not obnoxious, and they are incredibly effective.

The 5.56 is lighter, and it’s what is used for AR-15s. It can be used for hunting game such as deer or wild hogs, but larger game such as elk or moose will undoubtedly require the larger .308.

Think of it this way: the 5.56 is the caliber you will use to defend your family, while the .308 is the caliber you will use to put food on the table. .308 can also be used for anti-personnel use at long distances as well.

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Shotgun Calibers

12 gauge or 20 gauge. Either of those options will work. The 12 gauge is slightly more common but it also has considerably more recoil. The 20 gauge is much more manageable to control (so long as the weight in the shotgun itself is not reduced), and this may make it more appealing to a multitude of people who don’t desire a gun that’s hard to manage and not that fun to shoot.

Both the 12 gauge and 20 gauge are enormously effective for defense. Shoot an intruder with a buckshot round from either of them at close range (such as in a home defense situation), and they’ll be sorry, to say the least.

Don’t feel like a wimp for opting for the 20 gauge over the 12. A 20 gauge is more than powerful enough to bring down a home intruder with just one shot, and the fact that it is much easier to shoot may actually make it a better option.

A shotgun is arguably the most important firearm you can own. Some would say that a pistol is more important because you can conceal them, but a shotgun is just so versatile it’s not even funny.

Buckshot rounds are used for home defense at close ranges. Birdshot loads are great for bird hunting and small game hunting, also within reasonable close ranges. And slugs can be used to bring down larger game such as deer at moderate distances.

There is no other type of gun in the world that can do each of these things for you. For these reasons, a shotgun may be the firearm you use the most in an SHTF situation.

.22 LR

Finally, how could we not mention .22 LR at all? This is the bestselling round on the planet. Every gun collection needs to have at least one .22 rifle in it, regardless of whether you’re a prepper or not.

.22 LR has a seemingly unlimited number of advantages, and the following list of benefits is really only scratching the surface:

  • Low noise.
  • Low recoil.
  • Excellent for plinking.
  • Can be bought and stored in bulk for low prices and limited storage space.
  • Great for general homestead use.
  • Great for small game hunting.
  • Can be used defensively if needed (though far better options are certainly available).

It really goes without saying that a .22 rifle is an absolute necessity for your gun collection.

Survival Guns You Need

Man With Survival Guns and Gas Mask

Now we can begin to talk about the specific makes and models of guns you need based on those calibers:

Semi-Automatic Pistols: Glock 19 (or a Reliable 9mm Pistol of Some Kind)

There are a plethora of reliable 9mm semi-automatic pistols out there for you to buy, so we can’t talk about each of them in detail. We can, however, outline some of the best models for you to consider.

As a golden rule, you will want your 9mm pistol to have a minimum of 12 rounds in the magazine. This is simply to reduce the amount of reloading you have to do should you have to defend yourself against multiple attackers. The exception here is if you live in a state that is limited to ten round magazines at the most.

Furthermore, you need a pistol that is completely reliable and has an acceptable trigger. Also, make sure your chosen pistol is ergonomic and fits well in your hands. You want something you’ll enjoy shooting and holding.

Something you will likely need to replace on your pistol are the sights as few production pistols ship with night sights and instead ship with your standard polymer three dot sights, which aren’t very durable.

Examples of pistols that meet all of the above criteria (except for the ergonomics part, because that’s a personal preference) include the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Beretta APX
  • Beretta M9/92FS
  • Beretta PX4
  • Canik TP9SA/SF
  • CZ75
  • CZP10C
  • Glock 17/19
  • Heckler & Koch P30
  • Heckler & Koch USP/USPC
  • SIG Sauer P226/9
  • SIG Sauer P320
  • Smith & Wesson M&P9
  • Smith & Wesson SD9
  • Springfield XD9
  • Taurus PT111 Millennium G2
  • Taurus PT92
  • Walther P99
  • Walther PPQ

Out of those choices, many survivalists would claim that the Glock 19 is the best choice for more than one reason: it’s compact and easy to conceal, simple in operation, holds 15 rounds, is very reliable, and has lots of spare parts and accessories. It will also accept larger 17 or 33 round magazines for added firepower too.

But again, it comes down to what you like. Don’t get a Glock 19 just because someone told you to. Get a Glock 19 because you like it. And if you don’t, get one of those other options instead.

Revolvers: Ruger GP100

A .357 Magnum revolver with a four-inch barrel and stainless steel finish is quite a versatile, reliable, and easy-to-use handgun. Literally, anyone can pick it up and shoot it whereas a semi-automatic will require practice to learn the controls.

As with semi-autos, there are plenty of revolvers being produced today that fulfill the above criteria, but the GP100 from Ruger stands out among the rest of its biggest competitors for one reason: extreme durability.

The GP100 is built like a tank and was specifically designed by Ruger to fire an unlimited number of full-powered .357 Magnum loads without pause. In contrast to this, many competing revolvers such as those from Taurus or Smith & Wesson may need to cool down after a few cylinders. Otherwise, the cylinder timing could get messed up.

For an end-of-the-world revolver that can do literally anything and everything you ask of it, the GP100 should definitely be your top choice.  3-inch and 6-inch models are available as well, and Ruger has recently begun producing them with 7 shot cylinders rather than the standard 6.

Rifles: Ruger AR-556 and Ruger American Rifle

Not to be heavily biased in favor of Ruger here, but the AR-556 is one of the highest quality budget AR-15s available on the market. Routinely available in the $500 to $600 range, it’s a basic AR-15 that can have all of the normal AR accessories added onto it.

NOTE: Another excellent budget AR-15 would be the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II. Both are excellent.

You can spend more money on a nicer AR-15 if you want to. One example is the Colt LE6920, which is widely considered to be the industry standard for AR-15s. It’s routinely priced at above $900, and for just an ordinary citizen, you won’t notice much of a difference between it and the Ruger AR-556 or S&W M&P15.

And for a .308 rifle, the Ruger American rifle gives you a lot of gun for the money. Routinely available for around $400, it often ships with a Redfield scope and is also available in practically any other rifle caliber that you can possibly think of.

Another similarly priced and well-valued rifle is the Mossberg Patriot, which is available at the same price and ships with a Vortex scope in some deals.

If you do desire a higher quality rifle, meaning you would be willing to spend the money on something with a smoother bolt action and nicer finish, then the Remington 700, Ruger 77 Hawkeye, and Winchester M70 are all viable options. Just be aware that for each of those rifles with a good scope, you’ll be spending over a grand.

Finally, there are semi-automatic options for a .308 as well. Examples include the AR-10 and Springfield M1A.  While you will definitely be spending over a thousand dollars for either of those two (especially for the M1A), having a semi-automatic in .308 could be highly desirable, especially for engaging enemies at longer distances.

Standing in Tunnel With Gun

Shotguns: Mossberg 500/590

For shotguns, the Mossberg 500 and 590 series take the cake. They are both widely popular with a limitless number of accessories, and the controls are more user-friendly than the competing Remington 870. The Mossberg utilizes an ambidextrous tang safety whereas the 870 is not ambidextrous for instance.

Another argument in favor of the Mossberg is the fact that it is the only pump action shotgun to pass the military’s torture test back in the 1980s. Mossberg 590A1 shotguns are still used by the military today.

If you truly want a do-it-all shotgun, the most versatile shotgun that you can possibly own, then go with a Mossberg 500 with a 5+1 capacity and buy two barrels for it: an 18.5 inch and a 28-inch barrel. The barrels on a Mossberg 500 are incredibly easy to swap out and can be done in less than thirty seconds once you get the process down.

A long barrel will be more suitable for hunting and clay pigeon shooting, while the short barrel is obviously the best option for home defense.

And why a pump action shotgun and not a semi-auto? Because semi-auto shotguns are more finicky and you have to pay a premium price for one that will run reliably, in most cases. A pump action Mossberg 500 or Remington 870, meanwhile, can be bought at a fraction of the price and will feed literally everything you give them.

.22 Rifle: Ruger 10/22

Yes, it’s another Ruger, but the 10/22 is one of the most customizable firearms on the planet and easily the most popular .22 rifle.  It’s popular for a reason: it’s reliable and it’s dependable, not to mention accurate.

Standard magazine capacity is ten rounds, but 25 round and higher magazines are also available too. That’s a lot of firepower even if it’s only a .22.

Decent alternatives to the 10/22 include the Marlin Model 60 and the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22. The latter option is a good choice if you also own an AR-15, so your training will be virtually identical between the two weapons. And while the Marlin 60 is definitely a great rifle, it’s also tube fed, meaning you have to load the rounds individually and cannot do tactical reloads like you can with the 10/22 or M&P15-22.

Conclusion

So to summarize, your disaster preparedness arsenal consists of the following six survival guns based on the above suggestions:

1. Glock 19 9mm

2. Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum

3. Ruger AR-556 5.56x45mm NATO

4. Ruger American .308 Winchester

5. Mossberg 500 12 Gauge

6. Ruger 10/22 .22 LR

With each of those guns, every single one of your needs for a firearm in a prepping situation is fulfilled, which is pretty cool.

But remember, you don’t have to follow the above list verbatim. Who says you can’t have a Walther PPQ instead of a Glock 19? Or a S&W 686 instead of a GP100? Or a Winchester Model 70 instead of a Ruger American? Or a Remington 870 instead of a Mossberg 500?

The point is to have the above categories and calibers of guns instead of those specific makes and models. Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you already have some guns in your closet or gun safe right now that fall into the above categories. And if so, then, by all means, there isn’t any real need to replace them.

Why Does Appalachia Need A Gender? (J.D. Vance’s critics are so intent on crafting a new narrative for the region that they lose touch with reality.)

Iimmediately hesitated at the idea of Leah Hampton’s recent essay in Guernica Magazine, “Lost in a (Mis)Gendered Appalachia.” There’s the title, of course, the simple contention that, in Hampton’s estimation, Appalachia has somehow been misgendered. And then, in the first paragraph, the author tells us that Tryon, North Carolina is “more genteel and diverse than the rest of the region.” That’s an arbitrary and subjective statement, at best, but the rest of Hampton’s rant might also be categorized as subjective. In the wake of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a best-selling book that has been turned into a film by Ron Howard, a cottage industry has sprung up among academics and authors: let’s try to destroy Vance and his book because his version of Appalachia is, well, just too damn conservative.

In 2018 historian named Elizabeth Catte wrote an entire book in response to Vance, What You’re Getting Wrong About Appalachia. Vance’s first sin, according to an essay Catte wrote for The Guardian early that year, seems to be that he was a venture capitalist—you can hardly read about Vance without those two words showing up. For her part, Leah Hampton calls Hillbilly Elegy a “low-key eugenics manifesto,” which, on its face, is rather funny: eugenics was always a pet project of the American left (Margaret Sanger, anyone?). And if one can be certain of anything with Hampton and Catte, it’s that they are far to the left on the American political spectrum. And that doggone J.D. Vance is a conservative, firmly on the right; the obvious conclusion is that he must be cancelled at all costs.

The stuff Vance wrote about—you know, his life, his perspective, his truth—doesn’t fit the leftist narrative, so Mr. Vance falls into the same category as, say, Donald Trump. Just like Orange Man Bad is a kind of manifesto, Hillbilly Elegy Man Bad is a worthwhile subheading for Hampton, Catte, and many others. That’s why it’s not surprising to see that Guernica published Hampton’s essay on the day before the Netflix release of Howard’s film.

Catte and Hampton are on a mission to show that Appalachia is Woke and radicalized, with pink hair dye, a healthy population of LBGTQ and POC, and, in Hampton’s words, “granny-witches…the sacred feminine,” and a “thriving and statistically outsized trans community.” Hooray for those trans folks in Appalachia, I suppose, but Hampton would have you believe that there’s a trans on every dirt road between Georgia and Upstate New York; he (or she) lives next to a Latino who hates Trump; and just up the holler a piece, there’s a Black Lives Matter rally under the big oak tree. See? Hampton seems to say, we are not white trash here in Appalachia! And please, don’t blame us for Trump, all y’all in the American media!

Hampton is a pronounced misandrist, though—if she doesn’t hate men, I’ll have to see some proof—and the anger that lives in every paragraph quickly dilutes her essay and her argument; there is no center for Hampton, no common ground she might find with men or Trump voters. And that’s where my problem begins: hate oozes from every paragraph of Hampton’s rant, and she’s unwilling to acknowledge anything positive about her neighbors who might lean right. It seems fitting that her first book (from Henry Holt) is called F*ckface. She’s angry about the “Truck Nutz ethos” and “gun-totin’ Bubbas.” Her feminist, coke-bottle-thick lens sees the world in a fiery rage because, “Indeed, to be American is in many ways to live in response to, or as an invocation of, backwoods swinging dicks.” One senses that, if she had the chance, Hampton would take a Bowie knife to every one of those dicks and hurl them into the forest of western North Carolina, where she lives.

Hampton wages an uproarious battle against Appalachian stereotypes, even as she utilizes them to make a point: “Tryon is still a town with shocking wealth disparity and de facto segregation, where rich white residents still live high on a hill…” Like Catte, Hampton is out to prove something when she talks about socialist and pro-union roots in the mountains. But dang it, she can’t stand the fact that there are folks up in the holler who buy into capitalist definitions! How dare they? And don’t forget about “unregulated corporations and himbo charlatans.” Like everyone else on the left, Hampton wants to throw out the baby with the bathwater. But at some point, you have to accept the idea that “evil” capitalists who mined and timbered gave Appalachia an economy. They brought jobs, houses, schools, and—dare I say it—pickup trucks. Expensive pickup trucks.

But anyone who’s not in lockstep with Hampton must be reminded that not all straight men are interested in extracting stuff from the land—not interested in pickup trucks and work boots and rifles. Goshdarnitmen in Appalachia read Wendell Berry poems and play folk music and run organic farms. They meditate and learn crafts! Meanwhile, the guy who hunts and works in the mines and goes to church—he’s been “constructed” by the GOP to justify the same ideology that J.D. Vance glorifies in Hillbilly Elegy, what Hampton calls the “bootstrap ideology.” Shame on the GOP, and shame on Vance for succeeding! And that brings us back to hate. Hampton writes, “No good can come from seeking common ground with the misguided dudebros of Appalachia.” No, we should focus on the “non-binary folkways.”

But all along, Hampton comes off as disingenuous. She says she’s confronted with “the white male experience” of Appalachia on a daily basis. She’s constantly bumping into people with kayaks and Harleys who ask her about the “real” Appalachia: moonshine and banjo lessons. Her neighbors are “flag-waving dipshits” who “vote and behave abominably.” But is she really approached, daily, by people seeking some mythological version of Appalachia? And though she claims to “know Tryon well,” and that her family has populated the North Carolina mountains for seven generations, Hampton freely admits that she had never visited the childhood home of Nina Simone in Tryon—not until this August. By then, it seemed necessary for Hampton to see Simone’s house, so she could use Simone’s mountain heritage as a basis for her article: mountain folk are artsy and radicalized! Just look at Nina Simone! She didn’t play a banjo! And she was Black!

Leah Hampton wants us to believe that extractive industries in Appalachia are a kind of insanity—that’s her word. The wrong version of Appalachia is capitalism and white supremacy on steroids, a “narrow, hyper-masculine view.” And her poor nieces, supposedly, can’t find “reproductive health care” in western North Carolina. Unless we read “reproductive health care” as abortion, or as a Planned Parenthood outpost, can we believe that the female members of Hampton’s family can’t find a doctor?

I wonder at the world of Leah Hampton. While she says Appalachia ends somewhere in West Virginia, I view myself as a product of Appalachia—the coal mining towns of the Allegheny Mountains in Western Pennsylvania. It’s just that my version of Appalachia doesn’t look like Hampton’s. And neither does J. D. Vance’s. So, what? The other, more important thing that strikes me is that my Appalachia isn’t so mean-spirited as Hampton’s.

Northern Cambria County was all (or mostly) white when I grew up there. My dad was a miner, and my grandfathers, too. It’s strange, though: my dad might have called himself prejudiced, perhaps a byproduct of where and how he grew up. And yet, he left me with an important message when he died in 2012, something he’d taught me all through my life: I’m no better than anyone else, and I should treat everyone the way that I’d like to be treated.

Sometime in the late ’70s, my older brother brought home a black friend. I remember that day, not because it was an anomaly, but because it held a certain truth about my dad: his door was open to everyone. Just as he would for any white visitor, Leo Stanek grabbed the whiskey and a couple of shot glasses. There was a guest in our kitchen, and we had to do this right.

It’s strange to read essays by Hampton and Catte, voices for the tolerant left. Hampton makes it clear in her essay for Guernica: her door is open, but only to the people who agree with her worldview. If that’s Hampton’s version of Appalachia, maybe I need to opt out—turn in my Appalachian membership card. My version is a lot friendlier and much more tolerant—I prefer my dad’s example. And I’m okay with the things that are familiar to me, the pickup trucks, the coal mines—and the women who hunt and shoot high-powered rifles, the women who like to blast a clay pigeon out of the sky, the women who will gut a deer this December.

Thanks to Hampton’s objections, I’ll purposely sit down to watch Hillbilly Elegy this weekend. Afterward, I’ll take a ride in a pickup truck. Maybe I’ll shoot my 12-gauge, just for the hell of it. Something tells me it’s going to be fun. And maybe I’ll get a little extra satisfaction knowing that some people just don’t like the way I live.

The Final Straw: What Is America’s Tipping Point and What are You Prepared to Do When it comes?

Have you ever wondered what makes a person snap? What causes a normal, quiet, everyday citizen, loving mother, or doting father to lose it all and fight like a caged animal? What can cause a small village to rise up and rebel against an oppressive police force and start killing them? What is the switch that gets flipped that causes a city to pour two million people into the streets, chanting and demanding to be heard by their government?

Lately it feels more and more as though we are on standing on the edge of some yawning precipice peering over the crest into darkness. What is more troubling to me is that we have been down this path before. The sense of unease is almost palpable to me sometimes; it is more evident if you are paying attention. If you are able to eliminate the white noise of the world for a minute; hit the pause button on the playlist of daily life for a while and look around, listen, you may start to recognize that you too are caught up in events that will soon change all our lives.

For several years I have felt an unsettling sense that we need to be prepared, that life is going to throw us a big, fat, greasy curve ball soon and we better not be caught napping. To try and proactively address that warning voice I started planning and taking steps to prepare my family to be able to weather events in the future. I am certainly not alone in this concern as you can easily see by the tremendous growth of the prepper movement. In the spectrum of probable events, there are a lot of potential scenarios. Natural disasters and emergencies occur every day all over the world, but you have to broaden your gaze and look to current events and history as well. One of the things that I think is a valid potential event to consider is a collapse of our way of life which leads to an authoritarian oppressive government.

Are we reaching a tipping point?

 SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.
SS soldiers guarding the column of captive Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

We have seen in recent events, by now almost too numerous to mention, the effects of a rising frustration with the way things are. It isn’t necessary to go into all of the individual reasons, but as a society there are more and more outpourings of frustration on a global scale. There are increasingly tightening restrictions against people. There is a manipulation of markets and the economy. There is a great increase in the loss of freedom and there is a more open antagonism and almost outright animosity by Government towards their people.

Governments exist either because they have come to power through force and violence or they have been elected and given power by the people. The force and violence crowd usually have their roots in the military and we like to call them Dictators. There have been a ton of them throughout history; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong iL and now his son, Saddam, Gaddafi, the list goes on and on. Dictators don’t care about the people and usually kill anyone who gets in their way. It is a fact that government has killed more people than any other cause, disease or reason.

The other side of the coin is what is usually called Democracies. I am lumping a lot of governments in here I know, but the democracies are usually elected and formed with the consent of the people with the noble goal of securing rights or protecting the people over whom they govern. Almost without fail however, Democratic Governments eventually do not want to answer to the people and at some point they most certainly will not be told what to do by the people to the point of ignoring the will of the people (for the people’s own good of course). Now these governments that are supposed to secure the liberties of their people are becoming more openly hostile to the same people they have sworn to defend. Funnily enough the democratically elected governments now seem to want to hang on to power with the same methods of force and violence as dictators. How else can you explain arming themselves with ammo, ignoring the constitution, purchasing assault vehicles and preparing to confiscate firearms?

When governments will steal money outright from the citizens in order to pay bills that were not incurred by the people we have a problem. When government spies on its people and uses that information against them punitively we have a problem. When Government uses the force of the military that was supposed to defend the people that was paid for by the people, for the purposes of killing the people, we have a big problem. When someone brings to light crimes by the government and is labeled as the one who is a danger, we have a problem.

The problem is that governments around the world are viewing their people as the problem and there really seems to be only one way throughout history that this is ever rectified. My fear is that we are already set on a course that won’t be changed with laws, great political leaders, or a return to the values of a golden age in time long past.

The Fine Line – The Straw that breaks the camel’s back

The fine line between someone who is a law-abiding citizen and a murderer is one that exists purely in our souls. There is nothing physical that is different from a person who follows the rules and someone who breaks them. The urge to pull the trigger isn’t something you can see and it isn’t a trait to test for, so it must be our own individual sense of right and wrong. Of good and evil.

I know that some will argue that a psychopath is definitely recognizable by character traits and maybe even brainwaves or chemistry. That may be true, but you can be a psychopath (clinically) without ever hurting anyone. By the same token, you can take a life while being perfectly “sane”.

If you hold a knife in your hand, you are just as capable of using that to stab or cut someone as the murderer in the next town, but that thought never enters the mind of an overwhelming majority of people. A baseball bat in your hands can easily be swung with great force connecting it to the back of a skull, but this thought never appears in our heads; that is unless we are forced into a corner. When a person is in desperate fear for their lives, the unspoken rules of right and wrong are broken. The processes that we follow every day are overridden in the cause of rage or self-preservation. What was unthinkable before is now very real, necessary and even righteous with the right circumstances.

When the right buttons are pushed, anyone can lose it. When the fear of dying or of losing someone you love is so overpowering, the “fine line” that has been keeping us sane, law-abiding and good is easily shattered. When this happens, all bets are off.

We as a people, a country are still rather firmly attached on the good side of this line. We have not yet completely been driven to abandon all hope and lash out. We have not yet been so harmed, have not gotten to the point that we have nothing to lose and are ready to lose it, but this may be coming in the future.

The force and violence that is being used now to quell the dissatisfaction of people globally is increasing. The methods to cease the complaining of the rabble has been relatively minor with some exceptions. Tear gas, rubber bullets, mace and batons only work up to a point though. When the time comes that people can no longer abide, there won’t be enough police to stop them using riot control techniques. The military doesn’t have enough people to stop the entire population unless those people peacefully agree to surrender, so what will they do? Do you believe any government will quietly step down and admit that they are obviously not speaking for the people anymore? No. They will resort to more force and violence and people will die. Either that or you have a coup like they had in Egypt and guess who took over to “restore order”? Yep, the Military.

What will be the inevitable response by the authorities?

The Chinese people who started to revolt against the police in their town did so because the authorities were “placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion”. China is no picnic compared to America and we clearly know they have lived through far worse oppression than we have, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for them?

The protests which turned into an estimated two million citizens of Brazil had started simply enough with a protest over a rise in the rates of public transportation.

In America, what will be the trigger that causes people to rise up and say we aren’t going to take this anymore and more importantly what will happen when/if we do?

What will happen if we don’t change the path we are on?

The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen
The execution of the last Jew in Vinnytsia, made by an officer of the German Einsatzgruppen

There is a quote that has always struck me as very sad and telling from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who was sentenced to 8 years in a Soviet prison camp for essentially writing things about Stalin that the government didn’t like. During this time in Soviet Russia, to stifle dissent, millions were killed or sent to prison camps. In this passage Solzhenitsyn is talking about regret that everyone felt because they simply went along with this tyranny and didn’t oppose it.

 “AND HOW WE BURNED IN THE CAMPS LATER, THINKING: WHAT WOULD THINGS HAVE BEEN LIKE IF EVERY SECURITY OPERATIVE, WHEN HE WENT OUT AT NIGHT TO MAKE AN ARREST, HAD BEEN UNCERTAIN WHETHER HE WOULD RETURN ALIVE AND HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO HIS FAMILY? OR IF, DURING PERIODS OF MASS ARRESTS, AS FOR EXAMPLE IN LENINGRAD, WHEN THEY ARRESTED A QUARTER OF THE ENTIRE CITY, PEOPLE HAD NOT SIMPLY SAT THERE IN THEIR LAIRS, PALING WITH TERROR AT EVERY BANG OF THE DOWNSTAIRS DOOR AND AT EVERY STEP ON THE STAIRCASE, BUT HAD UNDERSTOOD THEY HAD NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE AND HAD BOLDLY SET UP IN THE DOWNSTAIRS HALL AN AMBUSH OF HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE WITH AXES, HAMMERS, POKERS, OR WHATEVER ELSE WAS AT HAND?… THE ORGANS WOULD VERY QUICKLY HAVE SUFFERED A SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS AND TRANSPORT AND, NOTWITHSTANDING ALL OF STALIN’S THIRST, THE CURSED MACHINE WOULD HAVE GROUND TO A HALT! IF…IF…WE DIDN’T LOVE FREEDOM ENOUGH. AND EVEN MORE – WE HAD NO AWARENESS OF THE REAL SITUATION…. WE PURELY AND SIMPLY DESERVED EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTERWARD.”  – ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN

Will this be our fate too? Will we slowly be conditioned to accept atrocities like this and to be completely defanged so that we can be herded into camps without so much as a whimper as well? That’s crazy you say! Is it? Right now, our government is hunting down someone who simply exposed how they (government) were illegally spying on all of us. Our government is buying arms and stockpiling weapons for use domestically not in some war. Our government has the IRS actively harassing a single political/opposition party. Our government has shown that they will lock down a town and go door to door while making the citizens stay cowered inside. Our government has stated that they can imprison anyone without cause for an indefinite amount of time.

Can you seriously argue that we aren’t headed down the same path as others have in our not too distant past?

This is not a call to armed Revolution, but I do think we should all be very wary of this course we are on and the echos of history. We should not be silent in the face of increasing oppression. We should not simply go along quietly because of the fear that we may get in trouble, or worse that we believe the government is only looking out for our best interests. You only need to look at the people in Poland who quietly went into the Warsaw ghettos. You don’t have to look any further than the Holocaust to see what quietly going along will get you.

This is not a fate that I will be bringing on my family.