The U.S. Housing Bubble– Yea, the Pinprick Cometh

I am now convinced that the housing bubble in The United States is about ready to pop. Once home sellers see that “the Spring buying season” does not reappear along with hay fever this year, they will get panicky. Up to 30% of the homes that have been sold in the past two years have been sold to over-extended speculators who were hoping to “flip” them–taking advantage of the rising house market. The old saying goes “A rising tide raises all ships.” But the inverse is also true. When the flippers realize that they are on a down escalator, they will start discounting their prices to make sure that their “spec” house sells before the music stops. Once this psychology sets in, it is just a matter of time before the mindset of “Get my investment back out of it” is replaced by “Dump it, and save part of my principal, while I still can.”

There are already reports coming out of Florida and Southern California of a “buyer’s market”, with prices being substantially discounted. Some of the big house builders are offering unusual incentives ranging from gym memberships to cruise ship tickets. One of them is even advertising a “selling at our cost” sale, in an attempt to break even. Methinks this smacks of desperation.

As quoted in yesterday’s Daily Reckoning (one of my daily “must reads”–BTW, I highly recommend that you sign up for a free subscription) economic analyst Richard Benson offered his insights on why housing is about to go to H*ll:
“Consumer debt is up to $2 trillion (not including $440 billion of revolving home equity loans and $600 billion of second mortgages). Not only do consumers owe a whopping $9 trillion in mortgage debt, but home equity extraction has reached $600 billion annually. Homeowners have basically received, and spent, in excess of $2 trillion that they never
earned (Just take a look at the increase in total mortgage debt in the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds Data since 2000).
“Home prices are under horrible pressure. There are probably a few million property owners, including speculators, flippers, and second-home buyers, who are in way over their heads. We’ve all heard stories about second-home buyers who really couldn’t afford the luxury and high expense of a second-home priced at $200,000, yet they purchased one for $250,000
and rationalized its affordability because ‘the value would only go up to $300,000 or more.’ Besides, they naively believed ‘It could always be sold quickly in a bidding war for a profit.’ In resort areas – given the number of days people actually use their second home – staying at the Ritz for $500 a night could be a much better deal. Do the math; it’s not pretty.”

My advice: If you have a second home, sell it muy pronto. And if you anticipate moving within the next two or three years, sell your house and rent. The hassle of moving to a rental is nothing compared to the mental anguish of being “upside down” in a house mortgage in a plummeting market. The next five years will be a great time to be a renter. One unusual approach that might be prudent: Sell your house to a property management company, and then rent it back from them. Let them watch the value of the house go down. meanwhile, you’ll sleep well.



Letter Re: Unintended Consequences of a Failure of Basic Services in a Disaster

Mr. Rawles:

I have maintained that next to water, food, medicine, and defense; waste disposal is going to be a BIG unexpected problem if and when any prolonged interruption of services occur after 9/11 part 2 or some other calamity eventually happens.
 
One of the reasons New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) is not rebounding is that garbage that piled up after Katrina is still rotting in the streets.
 
People that I have seen at my place of work from that area say that less than 5000 people showed up for Mardi-Gras this year because of the stench of rotting garbage and even corpses of dead animals that are still in the streets, waterways, and sewers. Many that showed up stayed a day and left Ricky-Tick because the air quality was so bad.
 
In my own back yard, we had no garbage pick up for nearly 10 days after hurricane Rita. People from other areas began to trespass dumping their waste in our area or putting it in the burn pile. The president of the homeowners’ association was notified and went to the dumpsters and burn pile and put up a chain link fence and notice in order to secure the area.
 
We tried calling the Sheriff’s department, but they would not respond to anything that was not considered “life threatening.” I can only imagine what would have happened if things had gone on for several more weeks, months, or if the entire State had been affected.
 
Most Americans take waste disposal for granted with curbside garbage pick-up, flush toilets, and sink disposal systems. Where I live, we have none of these “luxuries” and they can be a hassle at times.
 
During inclement weather, taking the trash to the dumpster is a hassle. Kitchen scraps have to be taken to the compost pile, and wastewater either goes to the septic system if it is blackwater, and to a cache for reuse if it is greywater. The septic tank has to be babied, and you have to be very careful what you pour down the sink, since the water is reused.
 
One of the big problem during Katrina was that during the flooding, with waters up to 20 feet high, all the household chemicals that were typically stored under the sink contaminated the entire city and will never biodegrade. (At least not in our lifetimes.)
 
Again, I bring these issues up because most people do not consider them a high priority. In a situation where the service infrastructure fails, it is not going to be a matter of how your 401(k) is invested or how many guns you own. It is going to be a matter of how well you can deal with seemingly insignificant things like what to do with your own body waste.- RJL 

Letter Re: Unintended Consequences of a Failure of Basic Services in a Disaster

Mr. Rawles:

I have maintained that next to water, food, medicine, and defense; waste disposal is going to be a BIG unexpected problem if and when any prolonged interruption of services occur after 9/11 part 2 or some other calamity eventually happens.
 
One of the reasons New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) is not rebounding is that garbage that piled up after Katrina is still rotting in the streets.
 
People that I have seen at my place of work from that area say that less than 5000 people showed up for Mardi-Gras this year because of the stench of rotting garbage and even corpses of dead animals that are still in the streets, waterways, and sewers. Many that showed up stayed a day and left Ricky-Tick because the air quality was so bad.
 
In my own back yard, we had no garbage pick up for nearly 10 days after hurricane Rita. People from other areas began to trespass dumping their waste in our area or putting it in the burn pile. The president of the homeowners’ association was notified and went to the dumpsters and burn pile and put up a chain link fence and notice in order to secure the area.
 
We tried calling the Sheriff’s department, but they would not respond to anything that was not considered “life threatening.” I can only imagine what would have happened if things had gone on for several more weeks, months, or if the entire State had been affected.
 
Most Americans take waste disposal for granted with curbside garbage pick-up, flush toilets, and sink disposal systems. Where I live, we have none of these “luxuries” and they can be a hassle at times.
 
During inclement weather, taking the trash to the dumpster is a hassle. Kitchen scraps have to be taken to the compost pile, and wastewater either goes to the septic system if it is blackwater, and to a cache for reuse if it is greywater. The septic tank has to be babied, and you have to be very careful what you pour down the sink, since the water is reused.
 
One of the big problem during Katrina was that during the flooding, with waters up to 20 feet high, all the household chemicals that were typically stored under the sink contaminated the entire city and will never biodegrade. (At least not in our lifetimes.)
 
Again, I bring these issues up because most people do not consider them a high priority. In a situation where the service infrastructure fails, it is not going to be a matter of how your 401(k) is invested or how many guns you own. It is going to be a matter of how well you can deal with seemingly insignificant things like what to do with your own body waste.- RJL 



Letter from Rourke Re: A New Breed of Feral Dogs, by Buckshot

Dear Jim:
The article “A New Breed of Feral Dogs”, by Buckshot was excellent.  I think he’s right that far too many of us only have “Lassie” or “Benji” idea of dogs.  One generation back my family had labs and would have trusted them with their lives.  Remember the old dog lover vs. cat lover saying, “If you die alone in your home, your dog will die at your side, but if you have a cat, it will eat you”.  I certainly prefer dogs to cats, but I  was over to friend’s home who had a Doberman and felt very uncomfortable with that animal, and kept watching where it was. My aunt was once suddenly attacked at a friend’s home by their dog, and had to protect her with her left forearm, which the dog mauled before the owners could get control of the beast.  She had to have plastic corrective surgery and had to go to her only daughter’s wedding with a cast over it.  Was the dog put down for that?  Unfortunately this happened in California, so no, it wasn’t.  My Uncle threatened to kill the dog, and they told the police, and the police threatened him.
 
In the recent 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow, they had to make the giant leap of faith that a pack of wolves somehow escaped from the New York City zoo, but notice this is what they chose as the terrifying nemesis from nature – being hunted by a pack of wolves in New York City.  There is something about that, being the elk, being the moose, surrounded by the pack that is a scary thought.
 
With our modern day veterinary science keeping dogs far more healthy, we forget about the image of a dog “foaming at the mouth” – and thus being rabid and dangerous.  I think people in very rural areas do have more of an appreciation for this article.  I had a friend who, as a young teenager in Northern Wisconsin got cornered on a dock alone while fishing by a smaller dog, literally foaming at the mouth.  He used his fishing poles to fend it off from coming toward him on the narrow dock, and considered jumping off and swimming for it, when the dog heard something in the woods and took off.  After a few minutes he ran to the cabin and called his father.  He, a few men then hunted it down as it was vacation area with a lot of children. The point one of the men made that my friend remembered was – “Once a dog goes wild, it’s different than other wild animals because it has no fear at all of man.”
 
My brother recently went fishing in Alaska and brought a .45 Winchester Magnum, an actual “Grizzly Mag” on an [oversize] 1911 frame.  The guides up there though used 12 gauge with Moose shot (OOO size buckshot, I believe) and aim for the face seeking to take out the eyes and have the shot go into the brain and take the big animal down.  For those of you who can’t walk around with a gun, remember the old postman’s remedy, pepper spray.  It’s an easy thing to carry, especially if you are just out walking or even biking in a rural area.  My sister in law loves to run in rural areas, and I have finally convinced not to do that without pepper spray on her, dogs being one of the main reasons is used.  Cheers, Buckshot, great article on something we all should consider. – Rourke



Odds ‘n Sods:

For those of you that own .223 AK-47s, I just noticed that the folks at K-VAR got in a batch of those nifty Bulgarian “clear” plastic AK magazines. Tell them that Jim Rawles at SurvivalBlog sent you.

   o o o

DEA Agent shoots himself in the foot during lecture–stupidity caught on tape

   o o o

The markets were closed yesterday for Good Friday, but the New York Access (“after hours”) Market was open, and the commercial traders bid spot silver up to $12.91 per ounce! With silver consistently holding over $12.70 and the launch of two silver ETFs just around the corner, a “short squeeze” in silver is looking more likely. If there is indeed a full scale squeeze on the short sellers, spot silver could jump to $18 an ounce (or higher) within the span of a week. Mark my words…





A New Breed of Feral Dogs, by Buckshot

The biggest myth is that dogs are your friend. People have been around tame dogs their entire lives. A dog is the friendly one, protects you, fights off wild animals for you. He is your best friend. Once a true collapse happens people well have that mindset. The mindset is: dogs are our friends therefore friends are not going to hurt me. Woman with their kind hearts are very vulnerable to attacks. Because in their world if you love enough the dog won’t hurt you. Nothing wrong with women thinking this way today, just a mindset based on a life experience with dogs all being good. What I truly fear is when a collapse happens and million upon millions upon millions of dogs will be turned loose. It will be done out of short-sighted kindness: “We’ll let Rover go, so he won’t starve. He can hunt rabbits.” They will revert back 10,000 years to a true wild animal. Disney will be a distant memory and life and death struggles will happen everyday. Packs will form, based on survival instinct. Just like man if you are going to survive you have to adapt. So will the packs. The dogs will learn what attacks that work and what causes death or injuries to them. This will result in a new breed of some very feral dogs.

Say you leave and your wife, or daughter who is going to work in the garden. To be safe you give her a .38 Special loaded with hollow points. A pit bull comes in to attack. She fires thinking it will be just like TV and the dog will fly off four feet and die. But instead the dog charges in for the kill. Now your wife, daughter, son or you will have a very good understanding of “fight or flight.” Your life experience base on TV is saying Dogs are your friend. TV has taught you that when you do shoot the dogs is supposed to drop dead. Right then a whole new reality is going to happen in seconds. What do you do? Are you thinking: this could never happen. One shot and the dog is done. Read one of the e-mails I received on this very subject:

In reference to your writings on dogs. I’m was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. And I am lucky to have had a grandfather who taught me all the advantages to learning about weapons for hunting and survival. When I was about 17 yrs. old I got a call from my mom about my older brother who seemed to always have disagreements with local law enforcement. Well, it seemed he was going away for a short vacation, if you know what I mean, and it seemed my mom was stuck with dealing with my brother’s large stock of pit-bulls and a couple of pit-bull-Doberman crossbreeds. Majority of the dogs I had no problem getting rounded up and taken to the humane society. Now a couple, mainly a crossbreed named Dragon, was going to be a different story. No one could get close to him because he was so vicious, even my brother had trouble with him. Well, I knew the humane society wouldn’t take a mean dog so I opted to put him down rather than have him hurt someone or God forbid a child. So I took a Charter Arms .38 caliber snub nose with hollow-points and proceeded to put him down. As I approached him he was snarling and trying to break the chain that was tethering him to a broken down ’71 Chevy pickup truck axle still attached to the truck. I shot him from about 5 yards away and hit him behind the left ear. To my shock and amazement he yelped once and proceeded to jerk the truck sideways sliding it about 4 or 5 inches in my direction forcing me to jump back about two feet, almost losing my footing. I hastily shot him two more times, once in the chest and another in the neck before he finally fell. The ordeal had me shaken up a bit to say the least. I knew that if he would have had less tied to him he would have easily jerked free and I’m not sure if I would have been quick enough with the follow up shots. I learned very fast the choice of a .38 caliber was not enough for a dog, and he wasn’t a very large dog either, I would say probably 65 lbs. tops. And I know of countless other dogs just in that neighborhood alone many from the same bloodline, and I would hate to even think of them getting loose and into a pack mentality. Thanks for bringing this very likely scenario to me as it never even crossed my mind once. I was only thinking of the 2-legged threat while not thinking of the obvious 4-legged one.

Now you are thinking: “My wife carries a 9mm Glock“. My answer, “So what?” There have been plenty of cases where police have shot attacking dogs with 9mm Parabellums and been chased on top of their patrol car, after the dog was hit numerous times from the 9 mm. I don’t want this to get in a huge debate over what gun to carry. If you are going to carry a sidearm its caliber had better start with “4”. But it is more than that. Okay, the gun is a .45 are you sure you can hit a charging, growling, snapping dog running at you at 30 m.p.h. with four of his friends behind him. How about your wife, how about your daughter, your son, your best friend? In a true life and death struggle most people go through a slow motion time frame, tunnel vision, and based on your life experiences you can make critical or even fatal mistakes. Our mind is a wonderful computer. It will fill in voids, your mind is going to open the dog folder, dogs are your best friend this causes hesitating, your next folder will open up this is a attack like a pack of wolves killing an elk. Right then you realize you have changed from being predator to prey, then your adrenaline dump will happen. perhaps 80% of untrained people will make a critical error next. They will freeze. Just like a computer that is getting conflicted reports it freezes up. Their mind will be screaming “This isn’t happening!” and like a deer in the headlights staring at the oncoming semi truck, the dogs will knock them off their feet.

The new breed of wild dogs will have a system to kill humans, base on past success. They have no natural fear of man, they normal get fed by man, it will be natural to turn to man for food, even if the food is man himself. They will work out a hunting system because they are pack animals. Like wolves circling a deer, like a single lion chasing the herd of impala into the main pack, like an alligator waiting for the Zebra to dip his head for a drink. You see, the predator’s job is to survive. In order for them to survive they must work out a hunting system. The new breed wild dogs will work out a hunting system, with humans as their prey. As I have stated previously in my writings, the normal American household has less then 50 rounds of centerfire ammo. [JWR adds: And roughly only half of households have a gun.] There will be millions of people walking around unarmed. The dogs will have a system worked out before they find you. In other words, you are dealing with seasoned troops. The troops attacking you are successful human hunters–otherwise they wouldn’t be attacking you.

The attacking force is successful, vicious, and is miles ahead of you in the thought process. They know what their goal is, to feed on you. They have successful stalked to within strike range. You have entered the kill zone. This is analogous to the hunting method of a dog I once owned: The dog was smart and hated squirrels crossing our lawn. The dog would sleep under a pine tree. This dog from past hunting experiences knew when the squirrel was in the kill zone. The kill zone was the point of no return for the squirrel. He would be too far from the safety of the tree he just left and too far from the safety of the tree he was heading to. The dog would charge out and before the squirrel reach the tree he was caught and killed. The squirrel made the critical mistake of entering the kill zone.

This is my point. Having watched dogs my whole life, hunt with me or by themselves I have an understanding based on reality. Even with me giving you these written warnings, people are still going to hit the critical kill zone from dog packs. The new breed wild dogs will allow you to enter their kill zone or stalk you until they feel you are in their kill zone. When you become aware of the attack you will have precious few seconds to react. Having read hundreds of true attack stories, people have reported essentially the same thing: “I could not believe it was happening to me. I froze not knowing what to do.” This is why I am writing this, hopefully to to open your eyes. Dogs are attacking. Hopefully your computer brain will hit the “wild dog attacks” file and you will react. But even if you clear leather of your holster in time, bring the handgun up and fire. The distance is already critical. Missed shots could be fatal. The first missed shot or not damaging enough to put the dog down is going to cause you to have a second adrenaline dump. Your heart rate is going to change from a normal 75 beats a minute to 150 beats a minute. You are now going into a panic as you try to fire faster, praying that one will hit the target. Police officers in shoot-outs have often shot the ground on their first shot trying to return fire too fast in a high stress situation. People have gotten buck fever and worked lever action .30-30s without firing–ejecting fully loaded rounds to the ground. (I’ve seen this happen. When asked later what he was doing, he replied: “I was shooting at the deer.” In his mind, he was shooting. But all around him are littered unfired cartridges. Yes, it happens!) Firearms training is crucial. You must be confident and competent with all of your defensive guns.

My point is that you don’t know how you are going to react. You have entered the kill zone of seasoned troops whose whole survival is base on successful hunts. Now wouldn’t it better if you had a working system to catch the new breed of wild dogs before you enter the kill zone? To start, the best thing you can do is put away 10 dozen medium snares at your retreat. You can easily surround all the main trails coming into to your area. It might not stop them all but if you have a pack of 30 coming in and only three make it through, then you just increased your survivability by tenfold.

There is no better survival tool for the new breed wild dogs then real professional grade self locking snares. Get the DVD. Learn how to use these wonderful tools for gathering food and for protecting your retreat, your livestock, your family, and yourself. See: http://www.buckshotscamp.com/Video-6-Sales.htm and http://www.buckshotscamp.com/Snares-Buckshots-Medium-Sales.htm.

Hopefully you will never have to see this threat first hand. But I know the city people mindset when it comes to their dogs. There are 100 million dogs in America. What if only 10% turn in to feral packs. That is still 10 million predators. Work out a hunting system. It will take years for them to get cleared out. There could be packs that breed that have even smarter and more vicious offspring. The pack teaches the hunting system the offspring learns what works and what doesn’t. Each time they will get smarter. Can you imagine how bad it could be 10 years after a collapse if these packs are not brought under control? That is enough to keep you up at nights. – Buckshot



Letter Re: Cell Phone E-911 Tracking

Jim,
I think this would come under the heading of privacy….or our losing more and more of it on a daily bases. I got a call from my cell phone company today (US Cellular) they told me that I was going to be required to bring in my old phone…the same one I have had for five years… and trade it for one that was capable of being tracked by 911 (these are the [E-911] ones with GPS chips in them.) I told them that I did not want to. They told me I had no choice. They said that continuing to use the phone would result in FCC fines. (Has anyone else heard about this?) It seems that the only choice they are letting me have is picking out my new phone. So I’m going to have to do this, and according to them everyone who has an old phone is also going to be required to trade. So, I guess I will also be building a Faraday cage to keep my phone in when not in use. Actually, I’m just going to keep it in an ammo can. Hey, it’s my business where I go and what I do, not the government’s. – The Army Aviator







TEOTWAWKI and the Life Events Stress Scale

I have recently been pondering the far-reaching implications of a grid-down economic collapse situation–commonly called The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) in survivalist circles. One of the under-emphasized implications of TEOTWAWKI will be the psychological stress of the situation–both upon you and upon your neighbors. For many years, psychologists have used the Holmes-Rahe Social Adjustment Scale (also commonly called the “Life Events Stress Scale”) to gauge the level of stress that their patients are experiencing. I can foresee that a TEOTWAWKI situation will be off the scale for any of your neighbors that are not prepared. In short, a lot of them are going to come unglued. If you live in a city or suburb, expect to see a lot of your neighbors become so profoundly stressed that they will develop manias, phobias,and compulsions. You can also expect a good portion if them to commit irrational and criminal acts. With both the land line and cellular phone systems down, even if the police are still on duty, they will not know where to respond. I anticipate that the stress level will be lower in rural areas, but still profound. Just the loss of access to the mass media will cause stress in a lots of individuals. Think back to the emotional trauma that the survivors of  Hurricane Katrina went through. Now imagine a nationwide crisis, with no relief in sight. It will be “YOYO” (You’re on Your Own) time, and it won’t be pretty.

The Life Events Stress Scale is a useful tool for characterizing the stress that an individual is experiencing. You’ve probably seen this scale presented in a high school or college course. Looking at this scale, can you imagine the cumulative level of stress that you will feel when the power grid goes down and the 18-wheelers stop rolling? Now picture yourself as one of your “Joe Sixpack” neighbors. Typically, he has: no food storage plan, no alternative home heating plan, no alternative power system, no stored fuel for his vehicles, no method for treating pond water (when water stops miraculously pouring from the faucet.)  Talk about stress!

Life Events – Scale of Impact Score
Death of spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation from mate 65
Detention in jail, other institution 63
Death of a close family member 63
Major personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Fired from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Major change in the health or behavior of a family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gaining a new family member  (e.g., through birth, adoption, oldster moving, etc.) 39
Major business re-adjustment  (e.g., merger, reorganization, bankruptcy) 39
Major change in financial status 38
Death of close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Major change in the number of arguments with spouse 35
Taking out a mortgage or loan  for a major purchase 31
Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan 30
Major change in responsibilities at work 29
Son or daughter leaving home  (e.g., marriage, attending college) 29
Trouble with In-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse beginning or ceasing to  work outside the home 26
Beginning or ceasing formal schooling 26
Major change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits  (dress, manners, associations, etc.) 24
Trouble with boss 23
Major change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change to a new school 20
Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation 19
Major change in church activities  (a lot more or less than usual) 19
Major change in social activities  (clubs, dancing, movies, visiting) 18
Taking out a mortgage or loan for a lesser purchase (e.g., for a car, TV, freezer, etc.) 17
Major change in sleeping habits 16
Major change in the number of family get-togethers 15
Major change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas season 12
Minor violations of the law (e.g. traffic tickets, etc. ) 11
This scale was first developed in the mid-1960s. In my estimation it is not useful as a tool for gauging cumulative stress levels, so don’t attempt to “add up” your stress level. Just consider it a tool in generalities. Also, parts of this scale are most likely out-dated.  For example, consider the category: “Taking out a mortgage or loan for a lesser purchase“. Our society has become so debt-addicted that additional debt is no longer considered stressful.  (Perhaps it will be when mass unemployment makes paying those debts impossible.) The scale also does not reflect the modern-day reliance on communications systems such as cell phones, e-mail, and instant messaging/text messaging. These days, “server crash “hard disk drive failure”, and “unexpected deletion of e-mail archives” should be added to the list.  More importantly, the scale does it address the potential psychological impact of the loss of infrastructure that would be concomitant with TEOTWAWKI. For some, life without electricity and indoor plumbing might rate as high as the death of spouse.

Looking at this scale and comparing it with the potential psychological effects of a grid-down economic collapse situation, you can see why I often emphasize:

1.) The importance of living at your intended retreat before times get bad.  Moving by itself is quite stressful.  Can you imagine the stress of moving under duress? How about the stress of having to leave the majority of your possessions behind?  Make the move now and you will obviate that stress.

2.) Communications– consider the stress of being out of contact with loved ones in the event of TEOTWAWKI. Invest in a HF ham radio transceiver. Someday you may be glad that you did.

3.) Food storage. If you have lots of food stored, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you can eat, or the stress of seeing your children go hungry.

4.) Storing extra for charity. Obviously you cannot store enough food to feed all of your neighbors. This is why moving to a rural agricultural area makes sense. Odds are that you will be living in an area where the majority of your neighbors already have a vegetable garden and do home canning. Many will already have livestock. So it will just be a minority that will have no stored food at all. If you have extra wheat, rice, beans, and gardening seed to distribute, then you will be doing your Christian duty, and you will probably be building valuable friendships in the process.

5.) Addictions. What will life for your family be like without cigarettes, alcohol, junk food, and television? The more addictions that you can eliminate now, will equate to less stress after the onset of TEOTWAWKI. The side benefits will be that your family will be healthier and able to withstand the other stresses without succumbing to disease.

6.)  Alternative power and heat. Having no power will be a huge stress.  You can judge how stressful it will be to your family by their present-day reactions to local short-term power failures. How will you cook without power for the stove, oven, or microwave? How will you keep warm? Lights?  What about recreation?  Our kids are book worms but vast majority of children and teenagers that we know de-stress by watching DVDs, playing electronic games, and listening to their music.  Can you supply alternative power for electronic de-stressing devices?

7.)  Long term “house guests.” Odds are that you will have relatives arrive on your doorstep on TEOTWAWKI+1.  (You are the member of the family that they tease for being “over-prepared.”  But guess where they will go when the Schumer hits the fan? Your house. Think in terms of storing extra gardening tools, gloves, bedding, linens–and even more blankets or tarps to improvise privacy screens, et cetera.  Think this through, folks.

8.)  Life without television. We only owned a  TV for two years of our 18 years of marriage. We sold it before our last move because we concluded that it was a huge waste of time. There is an old saying: “Its easy to get along with what you’ve never had.”

In addition to the major sources of stress that I mentioned, ponder the umpteen minor stressers that will come with TEOTWAWKI. Do your best to eliminate as many sources of stress as possible, in advance.

Reference: “Social Readjustment Rating Scale” – Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Published in Journal of Psychosomatic Research,1967, Vol. II, p. 214.



Letter Re: Illegal Alien Invasion in the United States

Jim:

I noticed that you have remained relatively quiet on the millions of illegal aliens that have been demonstrating in dozens of American cities this past week..was wondering if you considered the Marxist led demonstrations that call for the death, expulsion of Americans on our own soil by foreigners a threat or a concern? I find it disheartening that so many are chiming in about potential asteroid strikes yet no comments about the very real and present threat posed by so many millions right in our own midst. Hope American wake up, its seems that the 12-20 million illegal aliens are quiet awake, hope to see the 280+ million ‘legal’ Americans as well shake themselves from their slumber and start taking this ‘reconquista’ as the threat for what it really is. I myself have contacted my representatives here in Idaho, recounting my experiences of living amongst illegal aliens in California and recounting the utter devastation that their presence has proved to be in California (overcrowded schools, overtaxed hospitals, highways, insurance problems associated with non-legal residents, the travesty of a people that largely refuse to learn our language, do not embrace our culture, except for the basic concept of making money.) I find it odd that so many in the survivalist community have largely ignored this ‘clear and present danger’ and instead are scurrying to renounce supposed racial bigotry when that is not the point. The point is we have been invaded by a foreign people and the flow continues at the rate of a half division of people a day! When I lived in southern California I had several illegal aliens tell me to my face they were planning on ‘taking back’ the southwest. I was hearing this rhetoric nearly 20 years ago! It is now being said rather publicly and MUCH more frequently. The Marxist leaders of these mass demonstrations have even had the Mexican flags removed and replaced with American flags. (Better to fool the gringo with, I’ve been told!) The ‘Plan of San Diego’ has even been trotted out, a plan to ‘kill all males 16 and older’. You can Google that as well as all the other key phrase’s like ‘reconquista’ and see for yourself the seriousness of the threat. I hope that the ‘survivalist’ community decides to comment on this threat and plan accordingly. Best Regards! – JD in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho

JWR Replies: Thanks for your comments. You summed up the situation very succinctly. OBTW, when Googling “reconquista” , I recommend also doing  a search on “Aztlan.”)

Although I agree with you that illegal immigration is a big issue, you have to consider that not everyone reading SurvivalBlog lives in the United States.(We have readers in 60 countries–see our hit map.) Our readers in England and Australia probably could care less about U.S. domestic political issues. I have noticed that the immigration issue has been well-covered in other media outlets. Trumpeting the illegal immigration issue on SurvivalBlog probably would not accomplish a lot. (Ditto for a lot of other political issues, which I consciously de-emphasize.) You can see that on a gazillion other blogs and web sites, such as The Barnes Review and American Patrol. Instead, I try to cover the survival-related topics that the MSM overlooks. Scroll through the subject lines for the past three or four weeks of SurvivalBlog postings. (Try finding those topics on CNBC or even on WorldNetDaily!)



Letter Re: Letters on Asteroid or Comet Impact in 2012? by Rourke

Jim:
It was funny that the majority of the criticism to my last writing had to do with the Mayan calendar and the Bible Code since I didn’t consider that my main focus and was meant as a lead in. I will say most prophecy is simply too vague to be useful, and the only time it really catches my attention is when separate sources, separated by thousands of miles, hundreds or thousands of years, and of different religions and cultures, somehow reach the same conclusion. My real intent was more so to play “connect the dots” with what NASA and the US Federal Government are doing along these lines. Do you realize that Yucca Mountain is a $48 Billion dollar project, meaning of course it will actually cost several times that (private sector utilities can only dream of that cash outlay). The drilling machine doing it is like the one that made the Chunnel between England and France, and the initial tunnel is 10 miles long. Since the US government won’t allow the reclaiming of spent nuclear material (like France does and we should too IMHO), presently all nuclear “waste” is stored on site with each reactor (a method which seems to have been working). If anyone would ask the private sector, I’m sure an above-ground facility on government land in Nevada (since nobody wants it in there back yard and the Federal government owns most of Nevada) could be done for a couple hundred million, and it could then be watched. Bury and forget for 10,000 years doesn’t sound like a good strategy, but it does allow for justification of building such a deep and gigantic underground system which could be used for other things. Presently we know about NORAD and Weather Mountain, and presume there are other such huge underground secret government facilities. (http://www.sauderzone.com/ubtlinks.htm -that one is the least UFO-based, so don’t start in on that please) Thanks in particular to Michael Williamson for that great link, which really makes the point it happened before, thus it will happen again. Remember, those are just the land strikes. Since the Earth is 2/3 water, statistically twice as many as shown on that site on land – have hit water and no doubt made tsunamis that made the 2005 tsunami one look like nothing. This should be a concern to anyone living anywhere near the ocean, and not on very high ground. Also, I am aware of the propulsion ideas, where land craft would land on an inbound asteroid and then apply thrust to send it off course. The problem there is we currently we lack the technology to do this to a sufficient extent. Comets (or “giant dirty snow balls”) are real wild cards, and according to many scientists impossible to stop (but they’ve been wrong). Remember the Near Earth Object Program has a stated goal of identifying 90% of objects one kilometer or larger, though they are identifying basically everything they can find. The fear is one sneaking up from behind the sun, or some viewpoint we can’t see very well, thus giving us almost no warning. The only thing I hope people take away is two fold: 1.) This is a serious threat with a long term proven history of catastrophes, and 2.) Keep an eye on what NASA is doing. If you knew, would you tell people? I agree with the comments that the general pubic (especially considering world wide) would probably not be as cooperative and well-behaved as portrayed in the movie Deep Impact. I’ll close this with another movie reference: Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind? When the Piggly Wiggly semi-trucks start pulling into Yucca Mountain, worry and prepare.- Rourke http://groups.yahoo.com/group/survivalretreat



Odds ‘n Sods:

The Army Aviator mentioned this great article by Bob Carter in England about the global warming issue.

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SurvivalBlog reader “KYPD” mentioned that Mel Tappan’s book Survival Guns is now back in print. You can get a copy at Delta Press for only $24.95. Delta Press also has many other very handy books such as “Nuclear War Survival Skills”, “Where There Is No Doctor”, Where There Is No Dentist”, “Ditch Medicine” and other hard to find titles.

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Of interest to home schoolers–and anyone else interested in U.S. history: The story of the Gadsen (“Don’t Tread on Me”) flag.

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The dates for more rifle matches and clinics for the RWVA Apleseed Tour have been inked in:
Indiana, Evansville: April 29/30
Wyoming, Guernsey: May 13/14
Wyoming, Worland: May 27, 28, 29 (in conjunction with Boston T. Party’s Free State Wyoming Jamboree– but open to everyone!
Idaho, Coeur d’Alene: June 10/11
Alabama, Birmingham: June 24/25

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From Gold -Eagle: Philip Barton’s Commentary on Market Fundamentals.