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How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?

Posted by [email protected] on June 1, 2013 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (151)

Are You Prepared For What’s Coming?

 

 How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?

Be Informed
May 12th, 2012
SHTFplan


This article has been made available by regular SHTFplan contributor Be Informed.

Editor’s Note: You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be, because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences for not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.

I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep. People still don’t understand how important it is to put away. I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies. I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation. There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to. Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article I detail some hard core realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history. While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced. For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation. It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.

As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future. After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work, North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out, sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so, Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else, and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives. “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news, while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times. It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themsleves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives. Meaningless chatter. Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment. A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families. The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homesless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event. If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time? What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles. Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm. The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them, because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies. The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about. However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves. This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non prepper needs to understand:

Without power the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.

Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still need power to work, don’t flush without water. Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?

There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.

Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.

Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectant, or fuel and something to boil water with.

Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.

A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.

A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.

Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.

Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history during disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.

Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.

ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.

Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.

Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.

What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?

Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.

There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.

Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.

Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.

Travelling will likely be by foot or bicycle, as their will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.

Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE who moves becomes a target.

Non preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.

The non prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.

They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.

They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.

They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.

They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self defense stores or skills.

They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.

They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with. Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho hums the idea of prepping.

What horrors they will likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning? There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.

The (NP) that has no reliable self defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services, and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.

The (NP) that has no reliable self defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements, but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.

The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.

The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.

The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.

The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering with intense hunger pains in their stomachs.

The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.

The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.

The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly, because they have neglected putting away anything to make life more bearable.

The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper. Imagine the smell for a moment.

The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amongst the filth that will pile up. No pest control stored up along with no other supplies.

The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.

The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries. Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives. Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.

The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.

The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that taste so bad it gags them and comes back up.

The (NP) will likely have family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.

The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.

The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.

The (NP) will likely get into physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.

The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.

The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.

The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.

The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk, and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.

The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.

The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.

The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics. Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.

The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.

The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live. They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot. They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying. The (NP) will likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies. Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal hand outs and thrown-away items dry up. Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time. While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times. Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours. People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources. Even in well-to-do neighborhoods you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout. This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons. It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again. It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand. The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life threatening positions. Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period. When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever. Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare. This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away. People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of shear desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating. Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up. Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future. There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life saving routine or positive lifestyle habit. It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday. Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen. Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world falls apart around them.

To every action there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it. Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.

Author: Be Informed
Date: May 12th, 2012
Website: http://www.SHTFplan.com

After the Storm

Posted by [email protected] on September 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (918)

With all the study and thought that are required to make sense out of how the Great Unraveling will play out, we seldom take time to think of what it will be like on the other side. Those of us who are, by nature, long-term thinkers and/or optimistic, have a vague picture in mind of a rebirth of libertarian thinking, and a vibrant economy. However, we tend not to think too much more about these hopes than that, because we are caught up in the Great Unraveling itself - a very time-consuming topic.

 

The other day, an associate whom I like to think of as having a decent, if not holistic, view of the present depression, commented to me, "I wish we could just have the crash tomorrow and everything that goes with it, so that, next year, we can get back to normal."

 

Oops ... maybe his expectations are a bit more simplified than I thought. And, if others share his view, possibly the topic needs a bit of fleshing-out. While it may not be ready to be a prime topic of the ongoing conversation, possibly an outline of what may happen after all the fireworks have gone off would be in order.

Ten Years Down and Ten Years Up

 

Economic wizard (and favourite 'Uncle') Harry Schultz stated back in the early 2000's that what he anticipated was "ten years down and ten years up." At the time, many thought that his projection was extremely prolonged. I didn't think so. People do commonly seem to take the view that, once the various crashes have taken place, we simply walk out into the sun, brush the dirt off the knees of our trousers, and, with a spring in our step, walk into the bright new day.

 

However, a depression is not at all like that. It is more like a town after a hurricane has hit. The storm may have been swift, but the recovery is not. Power lines are down. Roads are blocked. Homes and stores have been destroyed. Having personally been highly involved in the reconstruction of a small country after the devastation wrought by a category five hurricane, I can attest that, even if the population is hardworking and motivated (which they were), the task of rebuilding is monumental, and the time period required to achieve it is prolonged.

 

I see the period after the various crashes very differently from those who anticipate immediate recovery symptoms. This is not because I imagine myself a visionary; my view is based on history. If we look at the economic collapses of the past, (inclusive of their possible knock-on effects, such as hyperinflation and destruction of the currency), from the fall of the Roman Empire to Weimar Germany, to Argentina and Zimbabwe - take your pick - the pattern is extremely similar.

 

So, let's have a look at that pattern and ask ourselves if the present situation might not play out much the same (except far worse and more prolonged, as the conditions that led to this particular depression have been more extreme). The various stages are likely to be a given, but the various factors within each stage are a bit more uncertain. In every major economic collapse, some combination of these factors takes place.

 

Also, consider that the stages themselves are like dominoes - they almost always fall in order. The reason? Details change in history, but human nature remains the same. The same knee-jerk reactions by people will repeat themselves over and over. (As an example, we are now experiencing a decline in exports from the First World. I believe that a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff of the 1930's will be passed in America, which undoubtedly would trigger increased hardship for Americans.)

Stages of The Crash

 

The stages are laid out below. The first three have already occurred.

 

1 INITIAL CRASHES

 

Crash of the residential property market

Crash of the commercial property market

Crash of the stock market

 

2 INITIAL KNOCK-ON EFFECTS OF CRASHES

 

Loss of homes

Loss of jobs

Inflation

 

3 IMMEDIATE ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENT

 

Bailouts for select groups

Dramatic increase of debt

Politicians going in the opposite direction of a real solution

 

The first knee-jerk reaction began immediately, with the Government attempting to "make the problem go away" as quickly as possible. Almost invariably, at this stage, the corrective strategy is hastily prepared and shortsighted, assuring further deterioration of the economy.

 

In this stage, the politicians on both sides fail to focus on a real solution. Instead, their primary focuses are, first, to avoid a painful real solution, and, second, to engage in finger-pointing, each political party blaming the other for the problem. The problem worsens steadily until one of the next series of major dominoes falls. This is usually sudden and triggers the toppling of other dominoes.

 

4 SECOND WAVE OF CRASHES

 

Major crash in stock market

Currency plummets

Increased bankruptcies

Increased unemployment

 

5 INTERNATIONAL TRADING PARTNERS REACT

 

Foreign countries refuse to accept more debt

Foreign trade slows dramatically

 

At this point, the Government introduces dramatic change, such as ill-conceived protectionism, which backfires almost immediately.

 

6 GOVERNMENT INSTITUTES DESPERATE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE MEASURES

 

Defaults on debt

Restrictive tariffs on imports

Currency controls

 

7 ECONOMY REACTS IN LOCKSTEP TO GOVERNMENT ACTIONS

 

Hyperinflation - dramatic increase in food and fuel costs

Massive unemployment

Extensive foreclosures

Extensive bankruptcies

 

At this point, the dominoes are tumbling quickly, and a rapid unraveling of control is about to take place.

 

8 SYSTEMIC COLLAPSE

 

Bank closures

Extensive homelessness

Food and fuel shortages

Electric power becomes sporadic, blackouts common

 

As these factors unravel, the public mood turns to a combination of blind fear and anger.

 

9 SOCIAL COLLAPSE

 

Crime rises dramatically (particularly street crime)

Food riots

Tax revolts

Squatters' rebellions

 

10 MARTIAL LAW

 

Creation of special army to address "domestic terrorism"

Random killings become commonplace

 

At first, the authorities focus mostly on violent subjugation and arrests; then, as prisons quickly become hopelessly overcrowded, camps become the norm. Soon, these too become unmanageable, particularly as a result of high cost of food and manpower. At that point, the solution turns to the killing of anyone who is suspected of a crime and, more frequently, anyone who is not submissive. (This will not resemble the Gestapo of the late 1930's. It will be less organized and more chaotic.)

 

11 REVOLUTION

 

If revolution is to occur, it will happen at this point. Many people will feel that they have nothing to lose, and anger will be at its peak. If revolution does take place, it will not be an organized movement as such. It will be spontaneous, and breakouts will manifest themselves like popcorn popping, largely at random, with ever-increasing frequency. At some point, it may possibly evolve into something more organized.

 

The above article concludes the assessment of the first phase of the Greater Depression - the downward wave.

20 Reasons Why America's Next Bank Holiday Will Be a Nightmare

Posted by [email protected] on June 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The world is on now on the brink of a global credit crisis that could be far worse than the tumultuous events of 2008. The ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the southern reaches of the Eurozone indicate that bank runs in the region will continue, and that more bank closure "holidays" will be declared. Under a bank holiday, virtually all deposits could be frozen and irredeemable for days, weeks, or even months. The key question is: Will this crisis spread to the rest of Europe and then even to the United States? I urge SurvivalBlog readers--particularly those in Europe--to be proactive, to stay "ahead of the power curve." While the Generally Dumb Public (GDP) wakes up some morning to hear news of a bank holiday, you will have long hence prepared yourself.

 

Digits Lost in the Ether--Redeemable Mañana?

 

Most people don't realize that printed U.S. currency and minted coins amount to less than $800 billion, worldwide. That is just a small portion of the aggregate Money Zero Maturity (MZM) money supply that now exceeds $7 Trillion. So what is in your bank account is just electronic money, and there is absolutely no way that even a fraction of depositors could get physical cash to redeem the digits in their accounts. If there is a bank holiday declared, there will undoubtedly be severe restrictions on cash withdrawals when banks re-open. Given the precedent of the limits on withdrawals of a few institutions during the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, I predict that withdrawal restrictions could go on for many months.

 

Here are 20 Reasons why America's next bank holiday will be a nightmare:

 

A bank holiday will create a virtual blackout of information on not just checking and saving accounts, but also automated mortgage payments, CDs, and more. Our presently quite transparent banking system will suddenly become opaque. Your bank balance will become invisible. Your handy-dandy online banking web page will be replaced by a "Service Temporarily Unavailable" notice. The willingness to accept checks will evaporate in less than a day. The FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) will be overwhelming.

 

Most businesses will no longer honor personal checks, corporate checks, or bank money orders. Showing a merchant your most recent bank statement isn't likely to sway him. Again, the FUD factor will rule.

 

All checks in the U.S. are cleared through the automated clearinghouse (ACH) network. Most of this network is inside of banking system firewalls. Many Federal, State, and local tax payments are also handled through ACH. (A similar network exists for European banks--the Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH), under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) system).

 

Credit cards might not be accepted. The FUD factor will dictate that anything even peripherally related to the banking system will be suspect. (Even though the credit card companies have their own credit clearing mechanisms that are only attached to the banking milieu.)

 

Except for a few grandfathered recipients, Social Security payments are now made exclusively via bank direct deposit.

 

Military monthly pay, housing allowances, and ration payments are now made exclusively via bank direct deposit, in CONUS. That is true virtually across the board (Active component, Reserve, and National Guard.) Ditto for monthly military retirement payments.

 

Many State and Federal employees no longer get physical paychecks. They too, are trapped in the "direct deposit only" world.

 

Many Americans are now very dependent on bank debit cards (also known as a bank cards or check cards.) In fact, many people don't even carry more than a few dollars in their wallets. If our world suddenly goes "cash only" most people will suddenly be out of cash.

 

ATMs, debit card transactions, and online banking can be shut down in minutes. This huge vulnerability of banking customers has already been evidenced by a few minor glitches.

 

Online payment systems like PayPal will be sharply degraded, because they rely on their ability to move funds to and from banks. More importantly, online payments are inextricably tied to credit card processing. If credit card processing is suspended, then online payments will be "dead in the water."

 

Many regular monthly payments such as mortgages, insurance premiums, and some utilities are automatically debited from checking accounts. These will all come to a screeching halt.

 

SWIFT wire transfers will probably be suspended, freezing a good portion of global commerce. Similarly, International ACH transactions (IATs) will also be shut down, since they access the U.S. ACH network.

 

The ability to process credit card payments will be dubious, at best. Many merchants will wisely "just say no" to credit cards, even if their countertop POP terminals are still functioning and show available credit. And the fact that many credit cards are now just debit cards in disguise will only add to the reluctance of merchants to take any credit cards.

 

Point of purchase (POP) processing of credit and debit cards at gas stations has become ubiquitous. Nearly everyone now uses the "pay at the pump" option. Gas and diesel could become "cash only" transactions.

 

Most American families keep less than $300 in cash at home at any given time, including their kids' piggy banks. For most families, that wouldn't cover even one month's rent.

 

Formerly distributed as "Food Stamps", the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides benefits to low income families through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card payments. These cards look much like credit cards. And like checks, EBT payments are all routed through the ACH network. Again, this is a network that is inside banking system firewalls. If the banking system goes into holiday mode, then it may take days or even weeks to get EBT processing back on line. If the EBT payments stop, we can expect riots in metropolitan areas in less than a week.

 

Gift cards will be "iffy." There are now two types of gift cards: "open loop" (or "network") cards and traditional "closed loop" cards. Open loop cards are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed many places. It is likely that only closed loop cards will be honored by the issuing stores, because merchants will fear that open loop cards might have been zeroed out elsewhere. (If they can't confirm the available balance, the card will be refused.)

 

Most Internet vendors are almost entirely dependent on credit card processing. If that processing system is disrupted, then mailorder firms will either have to cease operations, or have them slow to a snail's pace, and be restricted to only non-bank money orders.

 

Reversion to U.S. Postal Service money orders (commonly called "PMOs") will only be partially viable solution. This is because many small town and rural post offices don't keep enough cash in their tills to be able to hand you $1,000 when you go to cash a PMO. You may be thinking, "Oh well, I'll just ask them to write me a blank PMO, in exchange. Nope. A recent change to postal regulations designed to curtail money laundering banned money order-for-money order issuance. Bummer. And if you are considering using "Forever" postage stamps, hold your horses. Under a hygiene regulation published in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), postal clerks are not allowed to cash out ("buy back") stamp booklets unless they are still in their sealed clear plastic master packages. So it might take decades to use up your Forever stamps, or you will be forced to liquidate them on the gray market at a slight loss.

 

Bank safe deposit boxes will probably be inaccessible. Plan accordingly.

 

Some Observations and Mitigation Steps:

 

Because so many pay and retirement benefit systems are now handled via bank direct deposit only, we could easily live through a frustrating "Roach Motel" period of several months when "Dollars check in, but they don't check out." Be prepared to ride through that period.

 

If the European credit spreads to the United States, then immediately visit your company's payroll office, and ask to be removed from their direct deposit system. This change might take a couple weeks. With a paper paycheck, you can probably cash it elsewhere, even if you own bank closes its doors--perhaps even at your local grocery store.

 

Keep plenty of well-hidden cash at home. Since it won't be earning interest, some of this cash might as well be in $2 rolls of nickels. That method will also give you a hedge on inflation, and also serve as insurance against a currency reform. (Where a zero could be lopped off the Dollar, overnight.)

 

Be prepared for times for when anything other than greenback cash or perhaps silver coins will be eyed with suspicion, or rejected outright. Even USPS PMOs and drug store money orders may be refused. In the era of bank holidays, cash will talk. Keep plenty of it on hand. Oh, and needless to say, don't store your cash in a bank safe deposit box. You probably won't have access to it during a bank holiday.

 

Be wise and circumspect in storing cash at home. Don't tell anyone other than your spouse about that cash. See the SurvivalBlog archives for suggestions on building secret hiding places, like this one.

 

A good portion of your "stash of cash" should be in the form of $1 and $5 bills. This is because during a banking crisis, many people will not be able make change for small transactions. And if your local power, water, and phone companies refuse checks, then you will need to be able to pay them the exact amount of your monthly bill. (They probably won't have much "change", either.)

 

Apply for at least one gasoline station chain charge card. In turbulent times when they won't take your check or your VISA card, they might still take their own chain card.

 

If you have to pay your utility bills in in cash or by PMO, do you know where their business offices are located? And consider the sort neighborhood where those offices are located. (Unless you live in a free state for open carry or Constitutional Carry, do you have your CCW permit, and plenty of pistol practice?) For safety, it might be wise to form a neighborhood posse to go pay those bills in a group of of six people once a month.

 

Your local supermarket may declare "cash only." This is yet another reason why it it is vitally important for every family to have a comprehensive food storage program. By the same token, fuel storage also makes sense, if your local fire code allows it.

 

At the tail end of a banking crisis--when the bank doors do re-open--the Federal Reserve will certainly have to crank up the printing presses. Even people that never had "mattress money" will want some. All this new cash will increase the velocity of money, locally. This will be inflationary, even at the same time that a the macro level, we will witness a huge dollar deflation. (This is because the multiplier effect of every dollar on deposit will work in reverse, as withdrawals are made.) These will be strange times, indeed. If you start to see any evidence of mass inflation kicking in, then be ready to spend your dollars as quickly as possible to parlay them into practical, barterable tangibles. Don't be the last one standing in the game of Dollar Musical Chairs.

 

Conclusion

The threats of credit crunches, bank runs, and bank holidays are not new. No society is immune from them. We've been fortunate here in the United States to have not suffered any limits on bank withdrawals since the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. But don't expect this stability to be permanent. We live in a dynamic world with rapidly changing threats to our lives and livelihoods. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

The Economic Collapse Is Not A Single Event

Posted by [email protected] on June 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Michael Snyder

The Economic Collapse

June 12, 2012

 

Many people hype “the coming economic collapse” as if it is some kind of big summer Hollywood blockbuster. Many people out there write about it as if it is something that will happen in a single day or over a few weeks and that it will suddenly change how the entire world functions. But that is not how the financial world works. The financial world is like a game of chess – very slow and methodical. Yes, there are times when things happen very quickly (like back in 2008), but even that crisis played out over a number of months. Sadly, most Americans are not used to thinking in terms of months or years. These days, most Americans have the attention span of a goldfish and most Americans have been trained to expect instant gratification. They are simply not accustomed to being patient and to wait for things. Well, despite what you may have read, the economic collapse is not going to be a single event. It is going to play out over quite a few years. In some ways we are experiencing an economic collapse right now. When the next major financial crisis occurs, many will be calling that “an economic collapse”. But if you really want to grasp what is happening to us, you need to think long-term. We are heading for a complete and total nightmare, but it is going to take some time to get to the end of the story.

 

Yes, there will certainly be times of great chaos. The financial crisis of 2008 was one of those moments.

 

But the financial crisis of 2008 did not completely destroy us.

 

Neither will the next crisis.

 

I think it is helpful to think of what is happening to us as a series of waves.

 

When you build a beautiful sand castle on the beach, the first wave that comes in does not totally destroy it.

 

Rather, the first wave weakens the castle and it is destroyed by subsequent waves.

 

Well, that is what is happening to us.

 

The financial crisis of 2008 was a wave.

 

The epicenter of the next great financial crisis will be in Europe and that will be another wave.

 

For many, the next financial crisis will feel like “the end of the world” but it won’t be.

 

There will be waves after that one that will be even worse.

 

Yes, the waves are going to start coming more rapidly and will start becoming more intense.

 

In that way, they will kind of be like birth pains.

 

But these problems did not build up overnight and they are not going to disappear overnight either.

 

A lot of people that write about the coming economic collapse seem to suggest that we should just let it happen so that the “recovery” can begin.

 

Unfortunately, it is not going to be so simple.

 

It took decades to build up a national debt of almost 16 trillion dollars.

 

It took decades for American consumers to build up the greatest consumer debt bubble in the history of the world.

 

It took decades to gut the economic infrastructure of the United States and ship millions of our jobs overseas.

 

These problems are going to plague us for a very long time.

 

Sadly, a lot of people out there seem to wish for an economic apocalypse. They seem to think that if the global financial system crashes that the government is going to disappear and we are going to start fighting with each other using sharp pointed sticks.

 

Well, it simply is not going to happen.

 

The U.S. government is not going to help you survive when things hit the fan, but it is not going to disappear either.

 

In fact, the federal government will probably try to grab more power than ever in an attempt to “restore order”.

 

The governments of Europe are not going to disappear either. In fact, in the long run Europe is probably going to end up more “federalized” than ever even if the euro breaks up in the short run.

 

A lot of people out there seem to think that when the old system collapses that it will give them an opportunity to help put in a new system.

 

Sorry, but that is not going to happen either.

 

The powers that be are going to have their own ideas about what needs to happen.

 

They never like to let a good crisis go to waste, and they will certainly try to use every crisis to shape the world even more in their own image.

 

The coming economic collapse is going to play out over a number of years and it is going to be absolutely horrible.

 

Billions of people will deeply suffer because of it.

 

It will be unlike anything any of us have ever seen.

 

Personally, I believe that it will eventually be much worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

 

The United States is going to get hit particularly hard. The United States is going to lose its position as the leading economic power on the globe and the U.S. dollar is going to lose its position as the default reserve currency of the world.

 

If you thought that the unemployment crisis during the last recession was bad, just wait until you see what is coming.

 

We are heading for a complete and total unemployment nightmare in the United States. Unemployment is eventually going to soar well up into the double digits.

 

The U.S. government will try a wide variety of measures to try to “fix” things, and some will likely have some limited success.

 

But the debt-fueled prosperity that we are all enjoying now is going to come to an end.

 

Many communities all over America will degenerate into rotting cesspools.

 

There are going to be riots in our major cities, crime and looting will be absolutely rampant and it will seem like society is coming apart at the seams.

 

The U.S. government will likely respond by becoming more authoritarian than ever, and that will truly be frightening.

 

But all of this is going to play out over time.

 

Right now, things are not as good as they were five years ago.

 

A couple of years from now, things will be even worse. Many of us will look back and wish that we could return to the “good old days” of 2011 and 2012.

 

We are on a decline that is not going to stop. There will be little false bubbles of hope like we are in now, but they won’t last long.

 

But just because the economy is falling apart does not mean that your life is over. Many that are busy preparing right now will be greatly blessed even in the middle of all the chaos.

 

And it is when things are the darkest that the greatest lights are needed.

 

Make the decision right now to be a light during the times ahead.

 

You can choose to let the times that are coming destroy you, or you can choose to make them the greatest adventure of your life.

 

The choice is up to you.

Defiance: A Lost Virtue?

Posted by [email protected] on June 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Brandon Smith

Alt Market

June 6, 2012

 

It was August 19th, 1920. A military detachment of Red Army soldiers led by Bolshevik authorities steamrolled into the Russian town of Khitrovo to implement a policy known as “Prodrazvyorstka”; resource allocation in the name of national security which led to the confiscation of vital grain supplies and the starvation of millions of peasants. To be sure, multiple excuses were used to rationalize the program, all in the name of the “greater good”. But in reality, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw the farming culture of Russia not as human beings, but as mechanisms for feeding city residents and the army; the power centers of the newly formed Communist government.

 

This attitude of collectivism (and elitism at the highest levels) and the treatment of the food producing subsection of the populace as slaves to the machine predictably generated the desire for civil unrest and even rebellion. By the time the Red Army had entered Khitrovo, the region was already a tinderbox. After they had taken everything of value and began to beat elderly men in public view as an example to the rest of the town, a war had ignited.

 

At the height of what was later called “The Tambov Rebellion”, over 50,000 – 70,000 Russian citizens had taken up arms against their oppressive government, including Red Army soldiers who left their posts to join the cause. Vastly outnumbered, and technologically outclassed in every way, the guerrilla fighters managed to infiltrate multiple levels of Bolshevik society and government, and had struck debilitating hits against Russian infrastructure. So great was the threat, that Lenin along with Red Army leadership ordered chemical warfare to be used in the forests where guerrillas were thought to be dug in, as well as summary executions of civilians, many of whom were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Concentration camps were built, mostly to house women, children, and elderly people thought to be related to insurgents and to be used as bargaining chips. Eventually, the rebellion diminished, but not before Lenin was forced to end the policy of Prodrazvyorstka along with many other directives that had angered the Russian public.

 

The Soviets later attempted to erase all memory of the event, destroying records and removing public figures who might recount what had happened. However, the fight against collectivist control and state power continued through numerous movements until the break-up of the empire decades after.

 

Now, many historians and cynics of today would label the Tambov Rebellion an overall failure. They did not succeed in removing Lenin and the Bolsheviks. They did not defeat the Red Army. They did not directly put an end to Prodrazvyorstka, though they did trigger a chain of dominos which forced Lenin’s hand. There was no glowing victory as there was during the American Revolution centuries before. The freedom fighters were mostly forgotten until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of documentation that had survived the purge. However, what these men and women did accomplish was to set an example; to remind us of the ongoing and inevitable battle between oppressive establishments and the people they seek to dominate.

 

Even in the nightmare world of communist Russia, from the conquests of Lenin, to the terrors of Stalin, even in the face of organized and energized tyranny, people decided to fight rather than quietly live in servitude. The lesson we are taught by the Tambov Rebels is that there is no such thing as unassailable empire, that free thinking people will ALWAYS exist, that the drive for independence is inborn and inherent, and that no oligarchy will stand unopposed for very long.

 

Another lesson we learn, is that defiance is a virtue unto itself. It is its own means, and its own end. Wherever people seek truth, and honor, no consequence is foreboding enough to stop them. Defiance takes no notice of the threat of death.

 

Some may question the example of the rebellion described above and its relevance to our times. “Surely”, they will say, “the days of concentration camps, martial law, food confiscation, and general war against the people by most governments are long gone.” We are living in more “civilized times”, where technology and reason prevail. The gullibility of this world view is hard to ignore…

 

In fact, Americans today may very well bear witness to similar or far worse tragedies in the coming years if current presidential directives and congressional legislation are any indication. It has become obvious that the Patriot Acts which many in the public rolled over for (under some protest) were a mere warm up to policies like the following:

 

FISA: An overarching domestic surveillance bill which joins the cooperative efforts of corporations and government agencies.

 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/07/senate-approv-1/

 

The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act: A Bush supported action which allows the president to unilaterally declare a “public or national emergency” for any reason he wishes without congressional consent and institute martial law policies aimed at suppression of the populace (the president is requires by the act to “inform” congress of his intentions after 14 days, but does not give congress the power of oversight). Also solidifies the erasure of Posse Comitatus.

 

http://www.bordc.org/threats/hr5122.php

 

Presidential Directive 51: Signed in private by George W. Bush. Allocates further power to the president to declare a national emergency for any reason he sees fit and to institute Continuity of Government Policies (martial law, among other things). This directive was only partially released to the public, but the entire document remains classified, even to members of congress!

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/7566901/PDD51

 

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2012): Incorporates policies outlined in John McCain and Joseph Lieberman’s thoroughly rejected “Enemy Beligerents Act”. Allows the president along with the Department of Homeland Security to label anyone, even an American citizen, and “enemy combatant” under the laws of war. Opens the door to the complete dismantling of Habeas Corpus, giving military authorities the ability to arrest U.S. citizens without warrant, without due process, without trial by civilian jury, to be held indefinitely. In other words, rendition and black-bagging of U.S. citizens regardless of civil liberties or the Constitution.

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-national-defense-authorization-ruling-20120518,0,2046039.story

 

Assassination Programs: Obama has not only claimed the right to assassinate American citizens, he has executed such orders. This policy works as an extension of the NDAA, meaning, anyone can be labeled an enemy combatant without trial, and, that person can be detained, or killed, as such. These actions have been opposed by civil liberties unions and politicians alike, but because they have so far only been used against U.S. citizens working with “Al Qaeda”, the general public remains on the fence or oblivious to the dangerous precedent. The Constitution specifically outlines what is to be done with Americans who aid the enemy in times of war in the Treason Clause. The Treason Clause allows NO assassination or detainment without trial. In fact, it REQUIRES a trial by jury along with two witnesses testifying to the overt criminal act. The Treason Clause has been utterly ignored by the Obama Administration thus far.

 

http://www.peoplesworld.org/kucinich-bill-aims-to-stop-assassinations-of-u-s-citizens/

 

National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order: Obama recently signed this executive order which allows the president and the DHS to commandeer or confiscate public and private resources (any resources) in the name of national security, and, even allows for what essentially amounts to forced labor of U.S. citizens in the name of the “national good”. An almost exact replication of the powers claimed by Lenin and the Bolsheviks that triggered the Tambov uprising.

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

 

http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/07/is-serfdom-an-executive-order-away

 

Internment And Resettlement Operations: A secret Department of Defense document recently leaked to the public outlines extensive planning on the part of the government to use DHS and FEMA to “relocate” U.S. citizens and detainees to internment camps for processing. Triggers for such a policy could include natural disasters, man-made disasters, and terrorist attacks, among many others. The document specifically requires “special exceptions” to Posse Comitatus, allowing for military operation of the camps in question.

 

http://info.publicintelligence.net/USArmy-InternmentResettlement.pdf

 

The response to many of the disturbing provisions listed above has so far remained in the legal and political realm. A considerable portion of those aware of the dangerous path our government has taken over the past decade alone is to approach the problem from the top down. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize or understand the greater crisis at work.

 

As matters stand, there is very little recourse politically outside of full state nullification under the 10th Amendment. At the pace these executive orders and draconian bills are being churned out and slapped with a stamp of approval, the American people would have to unseat the president, not to mention almost every sitting Senator, and every Congressman, replacing them with true Constitutional statesmen and revamping Washington D.C. in the span of a few years in order to prevent the inevitable totalitarian abuse of the legal powers that now exist. This is not going to happen. Given that almost every president and presidential candidate for the last few decades has supported identical policies as far as expanding government power, voting in one party or the other (at least at the national level) does not appear to make much difference anymore.

 

Legally, every avenue is being explored, but with little progress. The recent block on the NDAA by 4th District Court Judge Katherine Forrest was a moment of hope amongst anti-NDAA proponents, but the end result was obvious to some of us in the Liberty Movement who know the history of legal action against such legislation. So far, the Obama Administration has stated that her ruling is basically of no consequence to them, and that they will continue to implement the NDAA as they see fit. Apparently, the Judicial Branch now only has a say in matters of government when it agrees with the position of the president or DHS. This shows conclusively that the government intends to ignore court based decisions that are contrary to desired policy, and that while the legal fight should be pursued, we should not expect much in the results department.

 

So, where does this leave us? If we cannot redress our grievances through elections, or through the courts, what is there for a freedom loving American to do? Though the thought causes some to shudder, it is not only logical but imperative that we look at the existing alternatives seriously. Invariably, if a government was to widely enforce any or all of the policies listed above, the result would be citizen dissent, peaceful and militant.

 

When a social system becomes so corrupted that its only prerogative is its own survival and self perpetuation, even at the cost of the life and liberty of the people it was originally tasked to defend, the populace has no choice but to question whether that system should continue to exist any longer. Conflict, is unavoidable.

 

As clear as this fact is to anyone with any sense, though, I find that many seem to treat the idea of physical action as astonishing, or shocking. Some even laugh as if the concept is outdated and absurd. Yet, they never seem to have an answer to the primary underlying question: What else is there? If working within the system only results in wasted effort and wasted time, what do the naysayers plan to do? Curl up in a ball and die? Or perhaps join the venomous establishment they could not subdue?

 

As discussed earlier, the Tambov Rebellion and examples like it impress upon the narrow-minded visions of failure. To them, defiance, real defiance, leads only to death and disaster. The key to their extraordinary mistake is that they assume that defiance is about the “assurance” of victory. There are never any assurances. There were no assurances of victory for the Founding Fathers, there were no assurances for the Tambov Rebels, and there are no assurances for us if we one day have to draw a line in the sand against the very system we were born into.

 

At bottom, the debate over solutions within the system versus solutions from without is irrelevant. On our current course, there is no other choice for the average American but to say no, regardless of the law, or the threat of its violent enforcement. Rebellion, in all its forms, is as natural as the cycles of the Earth. It reoccurs time and again, sometimes suppressed, but not for long. The horrors of governments gone rogue are no secret. We have so many examples in history to draw from it is hard to imagine any crime despots have NOT visited upon innocents. Frankly, if control thirsty elites can refine tyranny down to a science by examining the mistakes of the past, there is nothing stopping us from refining defiance down to an art form as well. Again, what other choice do we have, but to take heart in the knowledge that though there is no assurance of victory, there is also no assurance of defeat.

Were all Branch Davidians Now

Posted by [email protected] on April 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

April 19, 2012

 

Anthony Gregory

 

Nineteen years ago, just outside Waco, Texas, the FBI demonstrated once again that the state at its core is a killing machine. Monarchy, democracy, or republic – any government as conventionally defined is a legal monopoly on violence. The state is always inclined toward oppression, division, conquest, and bloodshed, because these are its tools of trade.

 

Matters are no different here. The myth of a free America was always seen with bitter irony by those not blessed by such freedom. In the founding generation, as half a million labored in slavery, many who fought in the Revolution genuinely believed in liberty, but for the ruling elite who chided them on, liberty was hardly more than a slogan. This has always been true of our political leaders. The Father of the Country was a centralizing slaveowner. Old Hickory talked up freedom as he threatened war on South Carolina and forced the Cherokee to flee from their ancestral land on a barbarously murderous walk of shame. The Great Emancipator turned America into a military dictatorship and abolished the revolutionary right of secession. Wilson’s New Freedom was cover for a Prussianized war machine generating revenue for his profiteering buddies on Wall Street. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms failed to include the freedom not to be drafted or interned in a concentration camp. Ronald Reagan threw the word freedom around as he trained Latin American torturers and raped the Bill of Rights in the name of fighting drugs. The United States has never lived up to its rhetoric.

 

But the events from February 28 through April 19, 1993, still stand out in my mind as a watershed. It was the post-Cold War regime’s coming of age, signifying a major event in cultural history.

 

Everything about Operation Showtime was brazen, and it seemed like an overreach even by some of the government’s establishment defenders. Yet today Washington’s fixers must look back at these embarrassments as a hiccup at most, as growing pains on the way to establishing a militarized law-and-order apparatus of nearly unlimited power. That this stepping stone was reached on the eve of the Internet era, right before the old media began its decline in influence, was most convenient for the police state and its solidification.

 

The propaganda against the Branch Davidians was perfectly tuned to appeal to the masses, each adjustment in frequency coming just in time to keep the people listening. Religious fanatics with a meth lab, armed and dangerous, abusing their children – few wanted to stand up for these people during the siege. Even fewer wished to identify the Davidian response to the original raid for what it was: self-defense. The Davidians fired on the ATF so long as the ATF fired upon the Davidians, and when the ATF ran out of ammo, the Davidians held their fire. The government’s officials were the aggressors. What followed were fifty-one days of psychological warfare designed to isolate the Davidians – from water, from food, from the press, their lawyers and family – and break them down like any wartime enemy.

 

So preposterous was the standoff that eventually even the mainstream media began asking questions. A New York Times exposé on March 28 raised all sorts of troubling issues, which only multiplied in the days that followed. Federal agents said that supervisors had known they had lost the element of surprise, but decided to go ahead with the February 28 raid anyway. Agents were reportedly unhappy with their equipment and communication methods. The poor planning and lack of contingency options were exposed. No medical assistance had been prepared for the ATF's raid. Reports emerged that some of the ATF agents had injured or killed one another in friendly fire. There were hints that other agents might have even been captured and let go by the Davidians. The ATF intelligence chief stopped holding press conferences as the heat continued to mount.

 

On April 19, tired from the boredom and bad publicity of just standing around outside the "compound," the FBI drove a tank through the Davidians’ home, pumped it full of CS gas, launched incendiary devices at the building, and watched it go up in flames. As soon as the stakes became higher, as soon as questioning the feds meant implying they had committed mass murder, the media stopped barking defiantly and jumped back to the government’s lap.

 

The Democrats, home of America’s center-left, oversaw this exceedingly important event in the development of the police state. Unsurprisingly, every respectable liberal defended the government and believed Clinton’s people when they demonized the Davidians. The entire respectable right went along with the bloodletting, too. Why wouldn’t they? It was a raid planned by George H.W. Bush’s ATF, carried out by the Clintonistas, and ultimately rubberstamped by the Republicans in Congress, and so everyone could get behind it. Some libertarians wavered, including Randians and other proponents of violent national secularism, and much of the radical left went limp too.

 

The Oklahoma City incident two years later was spun by the media as an example of anti-government extremism somehow being a greater threat than the government itself. It became increasingly un-PC to bring up what had happened in Texas. The election of Dubya and 9/11 washed away the paranoid anti-statist instincts of much of the Clinton-hating right.

 

Waco, from the raid’s planning to the cover-up and show trials, taught the U.S. government what it could get away with – which is to say, practically anything. It can gas innocent children with internationally banned chemicals. It can hoist a federal flag atop a torched American home, claim victory, and see its public image improve. It can throw grenades at people trying to escape a building and claim they are being held hostage. In the name of protecting these "hostages" and children, it can watch as they burn and keep the firefighters away. And the massacre will be tolerated, even applauded.

 

Dozens of people of color died at the hands of the federal government, and the official Civil Rights movement hardly spoke up. Dozens of people were targeted for their religion, and it hardly bothered many of the very conservatives who allege a war on religion waged by DC. The largest federal-military killing of civilians on U.S. soil in a century has now become one more notch on the progressive left’s timeline of major events in anti-government extremism, as opposed to a principal example of government extremism where a tiny minority community was virtually exterminated.

 

Indeed, in 1993 the Davidians were only the most conspicuous and recent example in America’s long history of the demonized Other, the marginalized underclass in the official hierarchy of human worth. Slaves, Indians, Mexicans, Southerners, Catholics, Irish and German-Americans, Chinese immigrants, Japanese-Americans, Mormons, homosexuals, alleged Communists, rightwing extremists, and many others have played the role, often for their imagined association with the wartime enemy, but always for being out of step with the government’s accepted definition of legitimate humanity. Many look back at incidents of intolerance with disbelief that Americans could be so blind to oppression. Yet when the topic of Waco comes up, they will think only of those nutcases who, according to the government and media, attacked federal agents and then killed themselves.

 

In the nineteen years since Waco, we have seen the police state explode in every direction and now we are all ensnared. Some groups are always more threatened than others, but no one is truly safe. The prisons have swollen to the largest detention system since Stalin’s gulags. The police conduct three thousand SWAT raids a month. The war on terror has made a total mockery of what remained of the Fourth Amendment. Torture has lost its taboo. So has indefinite detention. The feds irradiate and molest airline passengers by the millions. People are jailed for taking medicine, buying Sudafed, sharing songs, and selling milk. The Kafkaesque regulatory state threatens people of all economic classes with crushing fines and a fate in a cage. The public schools, always authoritarian institutions, have become explicit adjuncts of the criminal justice system and military recruitment offices. Every major police department has tanks and battle rifles and drones are being used for surveillance and God knows what else. Each federal department has enough firepower to conquer a small third-world country. DHS alone has ordered enough ammo to shoot every American man, woman, and child. The president claims the right to kill American citizens anywhere on the planet on his say-so alone. And he exercises that power.

 

Why do some of us continue to fixate on Waco? If for no other reason, because April 19, 1993 was a squandered opportunity if ever there was one. The people could have risen up and said, "Enough!" They could have demanded the military occupation retreat from their own neighborhoods – both the federal presence and its satellite jackboots in the city police. They could have demanded an end to the gun laws, drug war, and federal war on crime, each of which was instrumental in ending the lives of more than twenty children at Waco. They could have turned against the media whose elites stood and applauded the White House as it announced and defended its latest killing spree. They could have seen the federal government for the clear and present danger it obviously poses – the only government that had militarily mass murdered American civilians on American soil since the collateral damage at Pearl Harbor. They could have turned their backs on the killers in DC, refusing ever to believe in their lies again, saving the lives of uncountable Americans, Serbians, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Yemenis, Palestinians, and so many others who would bear the wrath of an unhampered imperial executive in the nineteen years to come, sparing the priceless liberties we have seen shredded on the altar of state power.

 

Instead, they looked the other way, they yawned, even cheered. There might still be time to turn things around. But the tanks are closing in.

A Cashless Society May Be Closer Than Most People Would Ever Dare To Imagine

Posted by [email protected] on April 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Economic Collapse

Friday, March 30, 2012

 

Most people think of a cashless society as something that is way off in the distant future. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. The truth is that a cashless society is much closer than most people would ever dare to imagine. To a large degree, the transition to a cashless society is being done voluntarily. Today, only 7 percent of all transactions in the United States are done with cash, and most of those transactions involve very small amounts of money. Just think about it for a moment. Where do you still use cash these days? If you buy a burger or if you purchase something at a flea market you will still use cash, but for any mid-size or large transaction the vast majority of people out there will use another form of payment. Our financial system is dramatically changing, and cash is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We live in a digital world, and national governments and big banks are both encouraging the move away from paper currency and coins. But what would a cashless society mean for our future? Are there any dangers to such a system?

 

Those are very important questions, but most of the time both sides of the issue are not presented in a balanced way in the mainstream media. Instead, most mainstream news articles tend to trash cash and talk about how wonderful digital currency is.

 

For example, a recent CBS News article declared that soon we may not need “that raggedy dollar bill” any longer and that the “greenback may soon be a goner”….

 

It’s what the wallet was invented for, to carry cash. After all, there was a time when we needed cash everywhere we went, from filling stations to pay phones. Even the tooth fairy dealt only in cash.

 

But money isn’t just physical anymore. It’s not only the pennies in your piggy bank, or that raggedy dollar bill.

 

Money is also digital – it’s zeros and ones stored in a computer, prompting some economists to predict the old-fashioned greenback may soon be a goner.

 

“There will be a time – I don’t know when, I can’t give you a date – when physical money is just going to cease to exist,” said economist Robert Reich.

 

So will we see a completely cashless society in the near future?

 

Of course not. It would be wildly unpopular for the governments of the world to force such a system upon us all at once.

 

Instead, the big banks and the governments of the industrialized world are doing all they can to get us to voluntarily transition to such a system. Once 98 or 99 percent of all transactions do not involve cash, eliminating the remaining 1 or 2 percent will only seem natural.

 

The big banks want a cashless society because it is much more profitable for them.

 

The big banks earn billions of dollars in fees from debit cards and they make absolutely enormous profits from credit cards.

 

But when people use cash the big banks do not earn anything.

 

So obviously the big banks and the big credit card companies are big cheerleaders for a cashless society.

 

Most governments around the world are eager to transition to a cashless society as well for the following reasons….

 

-Cash is expensive to print, inspect, move, store and guard.

 

-Counterfeiting is always going to be a problem as long as paper currency exists.

 

-Cash if favored by criminals because it does not leave a paper trail. Eliminating cash would make it much more difficult for drug dealers, prostitutes and other criminals to do business.

 

-Most of all, a cashless society would give governments more control. Governments would be able to track virtually all transactions and would also be able to monitor tax compliance much more closely.

 

When you understand the factors listed above, it becomes easier to understand why the use of cash is increasingly becoming demonized. Governments around the world are increasingly viewing the use of cash in a negative light. In fact, according to the U.S. government paying with cash in some circumstances is now considered to be “suspicious activity” that needs to be reported to the authorities.

 

This disdain of cash has also grown very strong in the financial community. The following is from a recent Slate article….

 

David Birch, a director at Consult Hyperion, a firm specializing in electronic payments, says a shift to digital currency would cut out these hidden costs. In Birch’s ideal world, paying with cash would be viewed like drunk driving—something we do with decreasing frequency as more and more people understand the negative social consequences. “We’re trying to use industrial age money to support commerce in a post-industrial age. It just doesn’t work,” he says. “Sooner or later, the tectonic plates shift and then, very quickly, you’ll find yourself in this new environment where if you ask somebody to pay you in cash, you’ll just assume that they’re a prostitute or a Somali pirate.”

 

Do you see what is happening?

 

Simply using cash is enough to get you branded as a potential criminal these days.

 

Many people are going to be scared away from using cash simply because of the stigma that is becoming attached to it.

 

This is a trend that is not just happening in the United States. In fact, many other countries are further down the road toward a cashless society than we are.

 

Up in Canada, they are looking for ways to even eliminate coins so that people can use alternate forms of payment for all of their transactions….

 

The Royal Canadian Mint is also looking to the future with the MintChip, a new product that could become a digital replacement for coins.

 

In Sweden, only about 3 percent of all transactions still involve cash. The following comes from a recent Washington Post article….

 

In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

 

“There are towns where it isn’t at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash,” complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden’s National Pensioners’ Organization.

 

In Italy, all very large cash transactions have been banned. Previously, the limit for using cash in a transaction had been reduced to the equivalent of just a few thousand dollars. But back in December, Prime Minister Mario Monti proposed a new limit of approximately $1,300 for cash transactions.

 

And that is how many governments will transition to a cashless society. They will set a ceiling and then they will keep lowering it and lowering it.

 

But is a cashless society really secure?

 

Of course not.

 

Bank accounts can be hacked into. Credit cards and debit cards can be stolen. Identity theft all over the world is absolutely soaring.

 

So companies all over the planet are working feverishly to make all of these cashless systems much more secure.

 

In the future, it is inevitable that national governments and big financial institutions will want to have all of us transition over to using biometric identity systems in order to combat crime in the financial system.

 

Many of these biometric identity systems are becoming quite advanced.

 

For example, just check out what IBM has been developing. The following is from a recent IBM press release….

 

You will no longer need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins. Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye. Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet.

 

Each person has a unique biological identity and behind all that is data. Biometric data – facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files – will be composited through software to build your DNA unique online password.

 

Referred to as multi-factor biometrics, smarter systems will be able to use this information in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile and the attempt is authorized.

 

Are you ready for that?

 

It is coming.

 

In the future, if you do not surrender your biometric identity information, you may be locked out of the entire financial system.

 

Another method that can be used to make financial identification more secure is to use implantable RFID microchips.

 

Yes, there is a lot of resistance to this idea, but the fact is that the use of RFID chips in animals and in humans is rapidly spreading.

 

Some U.S. cities have already made it mandatory to implant microchips into all cats and all dogs so that they can be tracked.

 

All over the United States, employees are being required to carry badges that contain RFID chips, and in some instances employers are actually requiring employees to have RFID chips injected into their bodies.

 

Increasingly, RFID chips are being implanted in the upper arm of patients that have Alzheimer’s disease. The idea is that this helps health care providers track Alzheimer’s patients that get lost.

 

In some countries, microchips are now actually being embedded into school uniforms to make sure that students don’t skip school.

 

Can you see where all of this is headed?

 

Some companies are even developing RFID technologies that do not require an injection.

 

One company called Somark has developed chipless RFID ink that is applied directly to the skin of an animal or a human. These “RFID tattoos” are applied in about 10 seconds using micro-needles and a reusable applicator, and they can be read by an RFID reader from up to four feet away.

 

Would you get an “RFID tattoo” if the government or your bank asked you to?

 

Some people out there are actually quite excited about these new technologies.

 

For example, a columnist named Don Tennant wrote an article entitled “Chip Me – Please!” in which he expressed his unbridled enthusiasm for an implantable microchip which would contain all of his medical information….

 

“All I can say is I’d be the first person in line for an implant.”

 

But are there real dangers to going to a system that is entirely digital?

 

For example, what if a devastating EMP attack wiped out our electrical grid and most of our computers from coast to coast?

 

How would we continue to function?

 

Sadly, most people don’t think about things like that.

 

Our world is changing more rapidly than ever before, and we should be mindful of where these changes are taking us.

 

Just because our technology is advancing does not mean that our world is becoming a better place.

 

There are millions of Americans that want absolutely nothing to do with biometric identity systems or RFID implants.

 

But the mainstream media continues to declare that nothing can stop the changes that are coming. A recent CBS News article made the following statement….

 

“Most agree a cashless society is not only inevitable, for most of us, it’s already here.”

 

Yes, a cashless society is coming.

 

Are you ready for it?

There Is Not Going To Be A Solution To Our Economic Problems On The National Level

Posted by [email protected] on April 25, 2012 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Economic Collapse

April 19, 2012

 

For those waiting for our economic problems to be solved, you can quit holding your breath. There is simply not going to be a solution to our economic problems on the national level. So why is that the case? Well, it is because the economic policies of both major political parties are very, very similar when you take a close look at them. Yes, that statement may sound downright bizarre to many Americans, but it is true. Both major political parties supported the Wall Street bailouts, both of them fully support the job-killing “free trade” globalization agenda, both of them have dramatically increased the national debt when in power, both of them fully support the currency-killing policies of the Federal Reserve, and neither major political party would get rid of the income tax and the IRS. And that is just for starters. Yes, there are some minor differences when it comes to taxing and spending between the two parties, but the truth is that they are a lot more similar on economic issues than they are different. What we desperately need on the national level is a fundamental change in direction when it comes to economic policy, but we simply are not going to get that from either the Democrats or the Republicans. That means that there is no hope that the economic storm that is coming will be averted.

 

So why are the Democrats and the Republicans so similar on these issues? Well, a big reason is because of who they are trying to please.

 

The reality of the matter is that most politicians do not really care about what you or I have to say. Instead, what they are really concerned about is getting as much money for their campaigns as possible so that they can keep getting elected.

 

When you take a close look at the results of federal elections over the past several decades, it quickly becomes apparent that the candidate that raises the most money almost always wins.

 

So most politicians have learned to please those that fund their campaigns so that the money will keep rolling in.

 

Yes, there are a few candidates that are willing to rebel against “the system”, but they are few and far between and the major parties tend to marginalize them.

 

Once again in 2012, political races will overwhelmingly be won by those that raise the most cash. The following is from Politifact….

 

In congressional races in 2010, the candidate who spent the most won 85 percent of the House races and 83 percent of the Senate races, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a large percentage, but it’s lower than what the sign indicated.

 

Indeed, the percentage for 2010 was lower than it had been in recent election cycles. The center found that in 2008, the biggest spenders won 93 percent of House races and 86 percent of Senate races. In 2006, the top spenders won 94 percent of House races and 73 percent of Senate races. And in 2004, 98 percent of House seats went to candidates who spent the most, as did 88 percent of Senate seats.

 

Once you understand how Washington works, it becomes easier to understand why our politicians do such stupid things.

 

For example, big corporations tend to donate large amounts of money to political campaigns and they love the “free trade” globalization agenda.

 

They love to import massive quantities of super cheap foreign goods so that they can undercut the prices of goods made in the United States.

 

They love to set up manufacturing facilities on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers.

 

The “free trade” agenda is great for the largest corporations, but it is horrible for the average American worker.

 

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy losesapproximately 9,000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.

 

Trade with other countries can be good as long as it is balanced. Unfortunately, the U.S. trading relationship with the rest of the world is tremendously imbalanced.

 

In 2011, the United States bought more than 550 billion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they bought from us.

 

This trade deficit has enormous consequences that most Americans simply do not understand.

 

Over the past decade, tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars have left our country.

 

Our industrial base is being dismantled and we are rapidly becoming poorer as a nation.

 

According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.

 

Just think about that.

 

Every single day we lost 23 more.

 

Overall, America has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

 

Why do you think cities like Detroit are dying?

 

The truth is that we killed them with our idiotic policies.

 

America has a trade imbalance that is more than 5 times larger than any other nation on earth has. We are losing wealth, jobs and businesses at a pace that is absolutely astounding.

 

It is neither “conservative” nor “liberal” to commit national economic suicide.

 

Our trade imbalance with China is particularly bad. The U.S. spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

 

Does that sound fair to you?

 

China slaps huge tariffs on many of our products, they deeply subsidize their own national industries, the brazenly steal technology from us, and they manipulate currency rates so that their products end up being significantly cheaper than ours.

 

Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was nearly 300 billion dollars. That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the world.

 

Yet both major political parties refuse to do anything about it.

 

Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was only 6 million dollars for the entire year.

 

In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger.

 

The consequences of this trade deficit with China are being felt all over the United States every single day.

 

For example, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

 

Do you support losing more than half a million manufacturing jobs a year?

 

If not, then you should be for “fair trade” instead of “free trade” where other nations can cheat us blind as often as they want.

 

The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.

 

Do you think that the U.S. economy could use an extra 2.8 million jobs right now?

 

Sadly, if current trends continue things are going to get a lot worse.

 

According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.

 

So why won’t our politicians do something?

 

The United States has run a trade deficit every single year since 1976.

 

During that time, America has had a total trade imbalance of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.

 

That 7.5 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. jobs and U.S. businesses.

 

Taxes could have been paid on that 7.5 trillion dollars.

 

Instead, it went out of the country and made foreigners wealthier.

 

So what is Barack Obama doing about all of this?

 

Well, Obama has been aggressively pushing for even more “free trade” agreements. The Obama administration has inked deals with Panama, South Korea and Colombia and the Obama administration is making the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“the NAFTA of the Pacific“) a very high priority.

 

Well, Mitt Romney must be criticizing these moves, right?

 

No, Romney has actually criticized Obama for not pushing for more “free trade” fast enough.

 

Mitt Romney wants to make it even easier for jobs to go out of the country and for other countries to drain our wealth. The following quote comes directly from the Romney campaign website….

 

Access to foreign markets is crucial to growing our economy. We must reassert American leadership in international negotiations, follow through on commitments we have already made, and push aggressively for advantageous new agreements.

 

So we are not going to see a change in direction in trade policy no matter who wins the next election.

 

Well, what about the national debt?

 

Are there differences between the two parties on this issue?

 

Sadly, there are only minor differences.

 

Both major political parties are packed with big spenders that have beenspending us into oblivion.

 

Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

 

That comes to $16,043.39 for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

 

What the Obama administration and the Democrats are doing to future generations is absolutely criminal.

 

So what about the Republicans?

 

Well, when the Republicans have had control of the White House they have run up debt “like a drunken sailor” as well.

 

If the Republican Party wants to have any credibility when it comes to fiscal issues, it needs to publicly admit that George W. Bush was a horrible failure when it came to the federal budget.

 

George W. Bush was a “big government” politician that dramatically increased the size of the federal government and spent money like it was going out of style.

 

He was not a conservative when it came to fiscal issues, and that is the truth.

 

Sadly, neither political party is proposing to balance the federal budget any time soon. There are a few politicians that have suggested doing this, but they have been marginalized.

 

So why don’t our politicians support living within our means?

 

Well, the truth is that if the federal government balanced the budget today, it would result in a catastrophic drop in living standards inside the United States. We are currently living in an era of debt-fueled “false prosperity”, and if that false prosperity were to disappear there would be riots in the streets of our major cities within months.

 

It is much easier for our politicians to continue to pile up more debt and to continue to kick the can down the road.

 

But this party cannot go on too much longer. Already, the United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

 

As you can see from the chart below, we are in a whole lot of trouble….

 

There Is Not Going To Be A Solution To Our Economic Problems On The National Level National Debt 2012 440x264

 

Our foolishness will catch up to us in a big way eventually.

 

Another area where the two major political parties agree is that they both fully support the Federal Reserve.

 

The Federal Reserve is supposed to keep inflation low, but the truth is that the Fed has absolutely killed the value of the U.S. dollar. Just check out the chart below which was produced by the Fed itself. It shows how dramatically the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has declined over the years….

 

There Is Not Going To Be A Solution To Our Economic Problems On The National Level Purchasing Power Of The Dollar 440x264

 

Keep in mind that the chart above is using official government numbers which actually downplay how much the U.S. dollar has been debased.

 

If inflation was measured the exact same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent right now.

 

By any measure, the Federal Reserve has been a colossal failure for the American people. Since the Fed was created, our currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

 

The current Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, has a track record of failure that is legendary. If you doubt this, just read this article, this articleand this article.

 

But Barack Obama just loves Bernanke. He nominated him for another term as Fed Chairman and he never criticizes anything that he does.

 

Thanks Obama.

 

So will things be any different under Mitt Romney?

 

Of course not.

 

During one Republican debate, Mitt Romney actually had the gall to try to explain to all of us why “we need to have a Fed“.

 

Mitt Romney says that he is “not going to take my effort and focus on the Federal Reserve“.

 

But the Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems.

 

Doesn’t Mitt Romney understand that?

 

The mainstream media is already telling us not to expect any significant changes at the Fed if Romney wins. A recent Reuters article had the following headline….

 

“Analysis: A Romney win would likely change little at Federal Reserve”

 

Are you starting to understand why I am saying that there is not going to be a solution to our economic problems at the national level?

 

A great economic cataclysm is coming, and there is very little hope that it can be averted.

 

So what does that mean?

 

It means that we all need to start preparing to weather the coming storm on an individual level.

 

The nation as a whole may not change course, but as individuals and as families we can change course.

 

All of us can work to reduce our expenses, get out of debt, build up a six month financial cushion, learn to grow a garden and slowly become more independent of the system.

 

Both political parties are leading us down a road that will only end in economic disaster.

 

Instead of waiting for a “national solution” that is never going to come, you need to focus on being your own solution.

 

Time is short, so you better get ready.

Understanding The Slave Mentality

Posted by [email protected] on April 2, 2012 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Understanding The Slave Mentality

Brandon Smith

Alt Market

April 2, 2012

In the initial stages of nearly every recorded tyranny, the saucer eyed dumbstruck masses exhibit astonishing and masterful skill when denying reality.  The facts behind their dire circumstances and of their antagonistic government become a source of cynical psychological gameplay rather than a source of legitimate concern.  Their desperate need to maintain their normalcy bias creates a memory and observation vacuum in which all that runs counter to their false assumptions and preconceptions disappears forever.  It is as if they truly cannot see the color of the sky, or the boot on their face.  The concrete world of truth becomes a dream, an illusion that can be heeded or completely ignored depending on one’s mood.  For them, life is a constant struggle of dissociation, where the tangible is NOT welcome…

This is the problem that we in the Liberty Movement deal with most often in our writings and films.  Our confrontation with willful ignorance has been epic, even by far reaching historical standards.  The gains in social awareness have been substantial, and yet the obstacles are incredible.  Unprecedented.  As an activist trend, we have an almost obsessive drive to draw back the curtain so that the public has at least the opportunity to see what is on the other side.  Unfortunately, there is another danger that must be taken into account…

It is one thing to bear witness to the rejection of truth in our time and the oblivious attitudes of many towards the growth of totalitarianism.  Eventually, though, a second phase in the development of oligarchy arises.  I am speaking of the point at which tyranny becomes so blatant that the skeptics have to acknowledge its existence, but after doing so, they choose to rationalize it as necessary.  Yes, there are many in this world that will laugh at the prospect of the Orwellian nightmare only to happily embrace it when it arrives in full color.

I was recently looking into the divisive issue of U.S. Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, whose position has come under threat due to his criticisms of Barack Obama and his founding of the ‘Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook Page’.  What I discovered was a large number of Americans in support of Stein’s right to speak as a citizen (even under Marine regulations) against the unconstitutional actions of any president or presidential candidate.  I also discovered a considerable number who wanted to see the soldier dishonorably discharged, or even set upon a noose as punishment.

Now, we all know that the Department of Defense monitors web news and social networking activity, and they have been caught red handed in the past posing as regular citizens with strangely militant pro-authoritarian views (look into their organized propaganda attacks on websites dealing with the levee failures during Katrina, for instance).  It is by no means a stretch to suggest that they would also troll the comments sections of mainstream news articles in an attempt to engineer a fraudulent consensus that Sgt. Stein’s actions have been negatively received by the majority of Americans.  But that aside, the underlings at the DOD are still Americans, and the views they espouse are still expressions of a subsection of this country (a small elitist one).  Also, sadly, there are plenty of non-government-paid people out there who believe exactly as they do.

Surely, we can debate over the details of Marine regulations until our ears bleed, and I could point out several facts that the mainstream media did not cover in their hit pieces on Stein (like the fact that he went to his superiors and asked them to advise him in the handling of his political position long before the present charges against him were ever formulated, and the fact that he followed many of their suggestions…), but ultimately, the regulations of the Marines or the Federal Government are irrelevant.  Such laws are transitory, and are usually written so broadly that the authorities of the day can execute them however they wish to fit their needs at the moment.  The real question here is one of principle, moral compass, and Constitutionality (a document which is a reflection of eternal natural law).  We have to set aside the pointless legalese of defense standards in the case of Sgt. Stein and ask ourselves an important question; do U.S. troops have a right to free speech?

If you believe so, then their rights are not limited or exclusive.  They are free to say whatever any other American has a right to say.  If you believe they do not, then you have relegated the troops to the position of second class citizens, or even property of the state.  There is NO in-between.  Discipline and military coherence be damned.  Either these men and women have First Amendment protections and are full citizens or they are mechanisms of the government whose civil liberties have been erased.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Even though I understand the psychology behind it, I am still shaken with raw electrical astonishment when confronted by those who support the latter notion that American soldiers are indeed property of the state, that their actions must be dictated by the president and not the Constitution, and that this is required for the military to function.

Very few of these absurd multitudes ever ask what “function” such a military, populated by ethical robots who are blindly subservient to the dictates of a single man, would actually serve?

What good is an unprincipled military?  An unprincipled government?  An unprincipled society?  What reason is there for these constructs to exist?  The Nuremberg Trials solidified the reality that soldiers will be held accountable for following criminal orders, and still, there are some who claim that our troops must adopt a shoot first pay later methodology.

I bring up the circumstances of Sgt. Stein to illustrate the situation our nation is currently facing; we are on the threshold of total despotism, where the naysayers who shrugged off the threat of rogue government yesterday suddenly embrace it and support it today.  When Stewart Rhodes first formed the Oath Keepers organization, the same talking point was consistently used in an attempt to derail it; “The orders you would refuse to obey could never occur in this country…”  And yet, many of the warnings of Oath Keepers have come to pass, including the unlawful disarming of peaceful U.S. citizens during the disaster in New Orleans, the institution of government directed assassination programs of U.S. citizens under Bush and Obama, the passing of NDAA legislation which includes provisions for indefinite detainment of Americans without trial, warrantless wiretapping, surveillance, and even home invasion by authorities is becoming common, and the Obama Administration has put into place several executive orders (including the The National Defense Resources Preparedness EO) which pave the way for Martial Law to be declared.

The cold hard reality is, the Oath Keepers were right, and Sgt. Stein is right.

And, now that this is becoming undeniable, the opponents of their tenets are switching gears to fight for the implementation of unconstitutional laws which they used to deny were even possible.  Can this situation be any more insane?  Oh yes…

There are no limits to the surrealist hell that can be unleashed when dealing with what I like to call the “Slave Mentality”.  The slave mentality takes many shapes.  It is pervasive in times of social distress, and, it can be infectious.  The psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his book ‘The Undiscovered Self’ that the cruel sociopathy seen in the populations of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia is actually latent in many of us.  All it needs is the right set of sociopolitical circumstances and a weak enough will, and the shadows in the hearts of lesser men are given license to come out and play.  This is just as true in America, where people now operated on assumptions that the state is an absolute provider in the event of national calamity.

But what are the signs of this unconscious desire for collectivism and control?  What makes a slave do what he does?  Here are just a handful of explanations to consider…

The True Slave: The true slave is not a person who has been shackled, beaten, tortured, and made to comply under threat of death.  As long as that poor soul has the spirit of rebellion and is ever seeking freedom, they are not imprisoned fully.  The true slave is a person who enjoys their subservience, who is weighted with fear by the very idea of independence from the system, and who would actually fight and die to maintain the establishment which enslaves them.  The true slave is not able to imagine living any other life beyond his micro-managed existence.

The Facts Lose Value: The worst flaw of the slave is not necessarily his ability to overlook the truth, but his ability to see it, comprehend it, and then shrug it off anyway because it is contrary to his mission to fulfill his private delusions.  For the slave, the truth exists, but is no longer useful.  Lies make his universe turn, and facts are a tool to be used or cast aside at his leisure.

 

The Obsession With The Law: The slave mentality, though illogical and psychotic, still requires a certain foundation to hold it together.  The laws of governments tend to suffice.  These laws may go completely against the force of inherent conscience, but because the slave has already abandoned listening to his inner voice of reason, this does not bother him much.  If you have ever wondered why modern tyrannies always feel the need to put their horrific enforcements in writing first, THIS is why.  Oligarchs understand that the law provides the slave with a means to rationalize his participation in the crimes of the state.  After all, if some gut-bloated bloodthirsty elitists in government etch their mad inbred ramblings into law, then we have no choice but to follow them, right?

The Need To Be Accepted: A slave seeks harmony not within, but without, even when that “harmony” is with a system that is designed to destroy him.  The viciousness of collectivism lay in its ability to comfort converts with atrocity.  As long as the slave feels as though he is a part of the machine, and accepted by the group, he cares not what the machine does to others.  Common arguments include; “We all have to live together, and so we must sacrifice our selfish individualism for the greater good…” or “Governments are here to protect us and we should do everything we can to make their job easier…”  Rarely if ever do they question if the system is legitimately helpful or harmful.  The system just “is”, it fulfills their need to be coddled, and that is good enough for them.  For all their talk of “unity” and the “greater good”, collectivist are for the most part deeply selfish.  They do not support or participate in the collective for the sake of others.  They do it to satiate their personal desires.

 

The Need For Control: I suppose it’s ironic, but the average slave loves tyranny because it affords him a perceived seat at the table of power, perhaps for the first time in his entire life.  Collectivist slaves are often people who have felt weak and inadequate since childhood.  While honorable human beings fight this personal uncertainty by strengthening themselves physically and mentally, and improving upon their own character, the slave takes the easy route by joining with bureaucracy and living vicariously through its conquests.  Through the state, the hollow, cowardly, and stupid, have the ability to “show the world who’s boss”, and get revenge for a life filled with meaninglessness.

 

The Need For Structure: An individual takes responsibility for himself, learning over time to provide his own structure which works at his pace and serves his unique needs.  A slave does not have the energy or the drive to do that, and so, he asks the establishment to tell him how he should live.  He will hold at face value the word of nearly anyone in a position of petty authority.  When confronted with those who go their own way, or who rebel against the cookie-cutter template for social participation, the slave sneers in disgust.  Independent rebellion is abhorrent to him, because the system provides him with his very identity.  To insult the fabric of the system is to insult who he is.  It’s pathetic, but common…

The Need For Vindication: Sometimes it is not enough for certain people to have their own world view.  The slave seeks approval for his world view at every turn, even if that world view is twisted by bleary eyed logic, and will go so far as to force others to agree with it so that they can feel safer in their beliefs.  It is natural for people to seek out others with similar views and ideals, but, it is not natural or healthy for those same people to use the government apparatus as a weapon to frighten the rest of us into submission just so they can become more confident in their ludicrous slapdash philosophies.  Slaves want a world without contradiction.  Laughably, everything they do is a contradiction.

What I have seen in a number of the reactions to the honest activism of Sgt. Gary Stein is a knee-jerk bias that reeks of the slave mentality, but it offers us a window in gauging the leanings of the general public.  Now that the once theoretical dangers of federal fascism are breaking the surface of the water and circling the American sinking ship, the great test is to watch closely where the masses place their priorities.  Will they take the path of the individual, admit to the laboratory mutation that our government has become, and try to make things right again?  Or, will they take the path of the slave, forget their past follies and empty arguments, and jump on the totalitarian bandwagon?  Certainly, it is not as if the cheerleaders of the state usually get out of the tumult with all their limbs intact.  In most cases, they are lucky to get out alive once the smoke clears.  One might think that the lessons of history would be guide enough, but then again, the average slave has taken every conceivable measure to ensure that his particular fantasy land is magical enough to withstand substantial examination.  The system is their drug, and the upheaval that free thought brings is such a buzz-kill…

 

Declaration of War

Posted by [email protected] on January 15, 2012 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Whereas, on the 14th of December, 2011, the House of Representatives of these United States voted in favor of indefinite military detention, without charges, of any American, anywhere, anytime, without due process of law, at the discretion of the government alone;

 

Whereas, on the 15th of December, 2011, the Senate of these United States voted in favor of the same bill;

 

Whereas, the proscription against the use of military force to police the populous has been an essential feature of American civic life and civic liberty since the arrival of our civilization upon this continent;

 

Whereas, the wanton violation of this proscription was one of the chief causes of the separation of the American peoples from their government in Great Britain;

 

Whereas, the Constitution so chartering the government of these United States does not grant this power;

 

Whereas, the Constitution forbids the addition of any power not enumerated to the general government;

 

Whereas, the use of such draconian measures has been an essential feature of the enforcement of tyranny by totalitarian governments of the 20th century, including, but not limited to, the Nationalist-Socialist government of Germany, the fascist government of Italy, the government of the United Soviet Socialist Republics, and the government of Vietnam;

 

Whereas, the use of such draconian measures is carefully calculated to quash all political dissent amongst a captive people;

 

Whereas, the codification of such draconian measures effectively nullifies all civil liberties the people may hope to hold;

 

Whereas, the codification of such draconian measures are the last act in the quest to hold a people captive to the rapacious will of their government without recourse;

 

And whereas, the codification of such draconian measures is an act of war against the populous at large;

 

Therefore, be it declared that a STATE OF WAR formally exists between the Government of these United States and the People of these United States.

 

We, the People of these United States, declare any and all attempts to enforce the provisions of HR 1540 to be unlawful, void, and of no force.

 

We, declare ALL WHO voted in favor of HR 1540, and ALL WHO attempt to enforce HR 1540 to be traitors to these United States, punishable under law.

 

We, SHALL DISOBEY, APPREHEND, OR RESIST WITH DEADLY FORCE, in our discretion, any person who attempts to enforce the provisions of HR 1540.

 

We, SHALL NOT aggress against any employee of any American government who shall not attempt to enforce or aid and abet the enforcement of HR 1540, they being as trapped as the rest of the populous.

 

Such STATE OF WAR shall continue until HR 1540 is stricken from the code of law, and all who had hand in HR 1540 are brought to justice under due process of law.

 

Signed and witnessed by we, the individual citizens of these United States, below:


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