It only takes one idiot to f*^k it up for everybody

I saw an article this morning when I satisfied my daily news junkie.  Kansas man accused in bomb plot feared social collapse.  Two things struck me about the article.  One, the defense is bullshit and two, stories like this give preppers a bad name.  It reminded me of a saying we had when I was in the military; “it only takes one idiot to f*^k it up for everybody”.  The guy in the story is that one idiot.

This clown in the story is trying to use prepping and his irrational fears as an excuse for being stupid.  He proved his stupidity by the very plan he came up with and confirmed it by not vetting everyone he was conspiring with well enough. He was not a prepper but a member of a militia group calling themselves The Crusaders, just the name should tip you off that he is not a prepper so much as some type of political activist.  Further, he is not a prepper if he is planning on blowing something or someone up, he is a terrorist just as surely as is an ISIS suicide bomber or a BLM protester that decides to shoot at the cops or a SJW activist that starts a riot when a conservative speaks.  All such people deserve nothing but our contempt and derision and politics has nothing to do with it.  Those that actively hope for and/or work towards bringing about a SHTF scenario should not call themselves preppers, at best they are millennialists.

As preppers, we have to ask ourselves one question.  Why do we prep and if we prep out of some sort of political conviction are we really preppers?  My answer is to why is that I prep because I think learning the skills required is enjoyable and natural cynicism about the state of the world.

I grew up on a farm and loved spending time in the outdoors as a kid hunting, fishing, and hiking.  I also loved helping my grandparents and parents with things like gardening, canning, taking care of the animals, etc.  Those are things I think of as fun and therefore are not work to me.  Those are also things that being truly prepared are required skills so those things fit together.

As a historian and a natural cynic I look around at what is going on in the world and think it is better to be prepared as the modern world is more vulnerable to societal disruption than it has ever been before.  Little more than a century ago things would have been bad if the electricity stopped working or government collapsed but most people had the skills to get by and global population was not so large as to preclude feeding most people without modern agriculture.  That is no longer the case.  A collapse in modern agricultural methods alone through some sort of engineered attack would inevitably lead to widespread famine even in the developed world and all the societal issues that would arise as a result.  Therefore, prepping to me makes sense.

That being said, I hope a societal collapse never happens and I will work actively to try and prevent one.  I don’t romanticize a SHTF scenario as nothing good can come of such uncertainty.  I hope to die peacefully of old age many years from now with a full crisis storage that I never had to use.

I expect that my viewpoint expressed in this piece will not be popular with some, and I am ok with that.  I also hope that more people share my views.  Yes, society seems to be fracturing and there are plenty on both sides of the political divide that are not prepared to compromise on anything.  I think of myself as a conservative leaning moderate as I think as a nation and a world we would be better off focusing on the things that bind us instead of things that divide us and working to find common ground.  This leads me to reject political extremism of every stripe and most types of identity politics.  The guy in this story IS that one idiot that is going to f*^k it up for all of us preppers, because by appropriating the label he is going to let those that disagree with preppers and the prepping mindset paint us in a light that does not reflect who we really are.

Let us all ask ourselves, “Why do I prep?”  and if the answer is anything other than I would rather have and not need than need and not have, perhaps you need to examine your motivations for prepping a little more deeply.

Please discuss as I am more than willing to engage in reasonable debate.

 

The Importance of Reliable News Sources

I am a news junkie and always have been.  One of the reasons my wife says I am a cynic.  There has been much talk about how untrustworthy the media is in the past decade or so.  I agree with that as far as politics go but there is more to it than that.  There are plenty of other news sources that are also untrustworthy or at a minimum guilty of gross hyperbole.  It does nobody any good when a pedestrian news story is blown all out of proportion, you could even call it panic-mongering.  Among the prepper community I see this a lot.  Some simple story is blown out of proportion in order most likely drive sales.  One of the sites that I see do this a lot is survival life, they probably have the most aggressive and sensationalist marketing I have seen within the prepper community.  Other sites do it too and here is an example I found this morning while checking Drudge as I do every morning.

solar-weather-forecast

NOAA Space Weather Center 3-day forecast for 29 Sep, 2016.

Drudge linked to a story from the UK Daily Express about a solar storm.  The info in this story is so over the top it is unreal.  The story is here: Solar storm heading towards Earth threatening to break your Sky TV and mobile phones and just the headline is misleading.  Read the story and then compare it with the 3-day solar weather forecast from NOAA.

It pays to be both knowledgeable and skeptical when it comes to the news.  The last major solar storm that struck the earth and caused a power outage occurred in 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event.  A storm that powerful could happen and here is a good piece form National Geographic (What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?) about what might happen if it did, but if one were heading this way not only would the major media outlets pick up on the story but governments would get involved in warning people as well.  Our government may be incompetent at a lot of things and they may not serve the people well, but they are also not actively trying to destroy civilization either.

What is a BOB? and I am Back.

I ran across this piece on Task & Purpose not too long ago and it has a very down to earth appreciation of what a BOB is and is not.  There is a lot of confusion of what should and should not go into a BOB and the author lays out the planning considerations for a BOB very nicely.

Here’s the Link: A Survival Expert Lays Out What You Need In Your Bug-Out Bag

A Side Note: I realize I have been remiss in posting recently but I am going to try and get better at it.  I have some more reviews I am working on and hopefully life will get less hectic letting me post more here.  Simple Survival is my secondary site as I concentrate on my passion for history at Battles & Book Reviews, my main site.  I have not forgotten this site though and am starting to work on some more product reviews and some other stuff that should start going up soon though probably not with the frequency I used to have.

Two Police Officers and a Civilian Killed in Las Vegas

Killers of Las Vegas cops harbored anti-government ideology

Tea Party and other like-minded Conservative groups can not move fast enough to disavow the two idiots that killed two Las Vegas Cops and a Civilian yesterday.  If reports are true that they draped a Gadsden Flag on the bodies of the cops then they have sullied a symbol of freedom.  The media will take this incident and run with it and come politicians will use it a an excuse to claim they were right all along and the right are dangerous and should be slapped down.  Supposedly, white-supremacist and neo-nazi literature and materials were found in the killers apartment.  That right there is enough to prove they had no link to the Tea Party and other conservative movements.  As has been shown again and again, racism has no place in Tea Party/conservative philosophy.

The time for revolution may come, but it is not now as peaceful resistance to abuse of government power still workers as demonstrated at the Bundy Ranch recently.

My prayers go out to the families of the officers and civilian killed by these two.

An end to QE?

Pay attention to interest rates in the coming months.  If the Fed is really thinking about getting away from QE I expect them to mismanage it and inflation to skyrocket.  According to this piece in FT the Fed is starting to seriously consider stopping QE.  Given the Fed’s miserable job since 2008 expect them to fumble this and watch as inflation jumps to 5-7% year on year and perhaps even hits double digits.  All of this of course with no rise in average wages.