I recently watched the latest installment of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series, “The Time of Reckoning,” which aired Tuesday night, November 27. Episode 4 of season 2 featured the prepping team of Dr. Tom Perez, a retired chiropractor, and Steven M. Vanasse, a radiation safety officer, both from Houston, Texas.
Dr. Tom Perez
The first part of the show focused on the Perez family. Dr. Perez is married to wife Monica and the couple have thee children, Katarina (17-years-old), Thomas (12), and Matthew (6). According to Tom:
I’m preparing for a terroristic attack.
From the show:
Tom fears the dirty bomb- an everyday explosive like dynamite or TNT packed with radioactive material. Once detonated, its blast can spread radiation anywhere from a city block to several square miles. But that radioactive debris could lodge in buildings, and chemically-bind with concrete and asphalt, making decontaminating a city difficult and possibly forcing affected neighborhoods to be abandoned… A single dirty bomb could contaminate an area 30 times the size of the initial blast site which could cover up to 20 city blocks. The radiation would not be detected by human senses, and the effect of exposure could be immediate.
In the event of a dirty bomb detonation in Houston, the family would bug out to their 700-acre compound- “The Alamo”- 300 miles away in Brackettville, Texas.
“Doomsday Preppers: Doomsday Alamo”
Nat Geo Channel Video
Steven M. Vanasse
Later on in the show viewers were introduced to Steven Vanasse, Tom’s prepping partner. Steven is married to Gobriella Gubimelli and they have a daughter, Victoria Vanasse. According to Steve:
I’m preparing for a dirty bomb blast in the city of Houston.
In the event of such an attack, the Vanasse family plans on bugging out of Houston and meeting up with the Perez family at “The Alamo.”
Tom is the firearms expert. Steve is the radiation expert. And both are training the members of their young families to be preppers.
My thoughts about Doomsday Preppers “The Time of Reckoning”:
• Both the Perez and Vanasse families plan on bugging out of Houston in the event of a dirty bomb explosion. A number of viewers probably wondered why they wouldn’t just bug in, seeing that this type of weapon is intended to cause fear more than casualties and fleeing Greater Houston and a good portion of its 6.08 million residents could be very difficult- if not impossible- in such a situation. From the show:
Tom’s bug-out route bypasses over 3,000 miles of Houston’s highways, and once on the open road, they travel due west to their safe house- 300 miles away in Brackettville, Texas… It’s normally a 6-hour drive to Tom’s compound.
I’m guessing that drive would take significantly longer with a lot of other Houstonians on the road after a dirty bomb attack, and that Tom and Steve would rather not shelter-in-place because of the perceived danger from civil strife and other sorts of chaos that could happen in Houston after such an event. Considering the extent these guys have planned and prepped, I’d be surprised if bugging in wasn’t a viable option for them.
• “The Alamo” is an impressive bug-out location. When I first heard that Tom Perez had stockpiled 46,000 rounds of ammunition, I was kind of surprised at the large number. However, upon thinking the situation through (the Perez family alone consists of 5 preppers and their firearms) and being familiar with a number of recommendations being circulated in prepper/survivalist circles as to how much ammo should be stored for a SHTF event, that amount didn’t seem so astronomical anymore.
• On the other hand, when it was revealed that the Perez family only had 9 months of food socked away at the retreat, I was somewhat shocked. Considering all the preps Dr. Perez had already taken care of, I would have thought he’d have at least a year’s worth of food stored- if not more- at “The Alamo.” I’d seriously-consider buying more food before an armored car, as Dr. Perez said they were looking into at the end of the episode.
• When I heard Tom say:
I also have taken the liberty of contaminating 10 percent of my food and water supply if it is ever compromised. I am the only one that knows which supplies are affected.
I was initially surprised (concerned?) here too. But once I thought the situation through yet again, should this prepper network ever get dislodged from “The Alamo” by raiders, it would probably just be a matter of time before the unwelcomed “guests” get sick, giving the Perez and Vanasse families the opportunity to retake their retreat.
• I have to believe there’s a certain amount of distrust among the law enforcement community when it comes to preppers/survivalists. I thought it was a good idea for the Perez family to coordinate their preparedness efforts with local law enforcement. By doing this, not only did they establish a relationship with them- perhaps decreasing the chance they might be seen as dangerous “kooks” by the police- but they even received some helpful advice during their combined drill with the off-duty officers from the local sheriff’s department. For example, Deputy Ramon Gutierrez pointed out that the Perez family are less vulnerable if they stay in the limestone structures during an attack, and Deputy Forrest Spence emphasized family members need to be real aggressive when confronting a threat.
• I was impressed that Tom taught 17-year-old Kat, 12-year-old Tommy, and 6-year-old Matthew how to shoot, among other things. From the show:
Matthew, who’s been shooting since the age of 4, can hit a target from 100 yards away with his child-size sniper rifle.
Cutest little sniper you ever did see.
• Question- What’s up with Matthew’s boots? They look gargantuan on him.
• Another question- Is it just me or does Steven Vanasse look a lot like a younger version of actor Randy Quaid?
• The way the relationship between Steve and daughter Victoria played out in the episode was funny. Steve would say something about how proud he was of Victoria and how she’s coming on board with the prepping, and the young lady would indicate otherwise. In one scene, Steve brought her shooting for the first time at an indoor gun range. Victoria gave it a try- and it looked like she was a natural at it. Steve was just beaming about Victoria’s performance. Victoria tells viewers she probably won’t go shooting again. I had to chuckle when I saw that. A lot of my friends were just like that at that age. I was an angel, of course.
• The National Geographic Channel definitely got their shock value’s worth from this installment. If the Molotov cocktails and slaying of the goat weren’t enough (or Steve’s munching on its cooked eye), Tom Perez almost suffering permanent injury to his hearing from Steve firing his rifle in the hunting blind really took the cake. Cuidado, Esteban!
“The Time of Reckoning” was really interesting to watch, especially as Tom Perez and Steve Vanasse appear to be way ahead of most of their prepping contemporaries. This was apparent in the score they received from Practical Preppers LLC right before the show wrapped-up. But the episode was also painful to watch at times. Even more painful to make by the looks of things.
Last Friday, I blogged about FOX News Reporting’s “Countdown to Doomsday” and the part of the show where physicist Michio Kaku highlighted the real threat posed by solar superstorms.
Well, yesterday Mike Opelka over at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com also talked about the threat from severe space weather. Opelka wrote:
If Earth is struck by a large solar flare, some in the scientific community believe:
• The planet will be hit with a widespread loss of power.
• Air travel would be grounded.
• Nuclear plants would be crippled and without sufficient back-up power, dozens could meltdown.
• Satellites would be disabled, causing a serious loss of communication in all areas (military and civilian).
• Food and medicine would be in short supply, setting up the potential for food riots within days of an outage…
Over the next fourteen months Earth will be on high alert for a huge burst of electromagnetic energy from the sun… The peak time for the next big flare is sometime between now and the end of 2013…
We could have a real SHTF situation on our hands if these scientists are right.
I’m glad to see more attention being paid to such a potentially-devastating threat, but I wonder if we won’t be too late in protecting the nation’s power and communications infrastructure from the effects of a coronal mass ejection in the coming “solar maximum.”
If a CME does hit us square-on… well, here’s hoping that the science guys are wrong.
Anyway, Opelka’s article is a good read about what’s at stake here, and can be found on TheBlaze.com here.
Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with episode 3, “Bad Times All the Time,” which airs at 9 PM ET/PT.
One again, the Nat Geo Channel provided me with an advanced screening opportunity of the episode, and it didn’t disappoint. There were three prepper “groups” featured in “Bad Times All the Time.” First up were Jay and Holly Blevins of Berryville, Virginia. Jay, a former law-enforcement officer, told viewers:
We’re preparing for the breakdown of social order caused by an economic collapse.
Jay and Holly somehow managed to forge a prepper network out of a number of other households in their cul-de-sac. It was real interesting to see. Also, Jay talked about something called the “Circle of Force,” which included his rifle, handgun, edge weapons, impact weapons, pepper spray, martial arts, and verbal commands. Emphasis on a battery of different weapon groups beyond the traditional battery of firearms- I like that. And as the Blevins family tested plywood sheets that would cover their home’s first-floor windows in a SHTF scenario, the importance of real, functioning window shutters became visually-apparent, although it wasn’t discussed.
“Prepper Profile: Jay Blevins”
Nat Geo Channel Video
Next up was Brian P. Murdock, a real estate agent from Somerville, Massachusetts. Murdock told viewers:
I believe there will be a Third World War in my lifetime.
Two things stood out in this segment of episode 3. First was his acquisition of a bug-out location- 50-acres in rural New York state- and a bug-out vehicle- a recreational vehicle, or RV- to get to it from the Boston metro area.
Second was his search for a “prepper wife,” which was fulfilled in the lovely Colombian national Tatiana Maria Cogollo Fernandez. When Tatiana told viewers:
I can’t believe that I came here to die.
I knew I was in-store for a little bit more “reality” TV than I prefer. Still, this second part of the show was palatable, and I found Brian and Tatiana’s story interesting and informative.
Finally, there was Bryan May and wife Lacey Simmons-May, small business owners living in Indiana. Bryan revealed:
We’re preparing for the New Madrid earthquake that will change the world as we know it.
I did some research on the potential threat to the Chicagoland area from a big New Madrid quake when I was working for a suburban fire department some years back, and it’s real. Deadly real, depending on where you live. Bryan and Lacey have a legitimate concern here. Two things to watch for in this last segment of “Bad Times All the Time” are the couple’s bartering and their willingness to pursue more income as a way of obtaining the preps they think they need but can’t afford. It was inspirational. Sextacular even. And no that wasn’t a typo.
Enjoy tonight’s episode. For more information, please visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.
Sorry for not posting yesterday. I’ve had a lot on my mind since Election Day.
I’m guessing that goes for many of you as well.
Anyway, in an effort to “Lean Forward,” I’ve been working on “Project Prepper” ever since announcing its launch last month. I wrote back on October 24:
As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with “prepping” via a sustained “hands-on” program of learning and doing, which I’ll call “Project Prepper.”
Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you.
By doing this, I’ll also be able to make more progress in providing readers of this blog those possible solutions I talked about earlier in the post.
Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that one major threat to life and lifestyle I’ve been warning about since Memorial Day Weekend 2007 is a U.S. financial crash.
And based partly on what I’ve witnessed locally and on the national level over the past several days, I think this has a good chance of materializing during President Obama’s second term in the White House.
Even if an economic crash doesn’t happen in this time frame (Washington and the Federal Reserve have been effective at delaying our financial “day of reckoning” so far), it’s something I’ll be taking into serious consideration as I continue putting together Project Prepper.
That being said, events that have unfolded at the local level on up for some time now have convinced me that my future lies outside of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Which is a shame, because as I’ve mentioned before, my family has deep ties to the area. So much so a number of family members are familiar with the tale of one ancestor who fought courageously to save his tailor shop (at least the contents of it) from the approaching flames of the Great Chicago Fire back in 1871.
141 years later, another looming disaster looks to be in store for me and my loved ones if I don’t take action, and soon.
It’s bad enough Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois was already overrun by too many residents that live their lives in pursuit of the Ubi East Mea (“Where’s Mine?”) mentality and politicians who have been quick to pander to these individuals with “free” things in exchange for votes- long before last Tuesday’s election results revealed the rest of America is now marching down this same path.
But combine this with poor financial health, a bleak economic outlook, and growing attacks on the finances and freedoms of productive, law-abiding residents as politicians rob Peter to pay Paul in their attempt to remain in office- and you’ve got one hell of a mess coming to this area of the Midwest in the next few years.
Eventually, I predict the productive residents will split town (this happened before in Chicago in the late 60s-early 70s in some neighborhoods), there will be no more money for “freebies,” and the “Where’s Mine?” brigade will riot. Athens-style.
As I’ve been telling those close to me for some time now, “First you’ll see the strikes. Then the larger protests. Until finally, the riots.”
History shows you don’t want to be in the city when the riots break out.
And I don’t plan on being here in Chicago when the coming civil strife erupts either.
In my next Project Prepper post, I’ll talk some more about my “quest” for sanctuary.
Gareth Emery feat. Lucy Saunders, “Sanctuary” (2010)
Not only is the global economic crisis that reared its ugly head in 2008 still alive, but its presence is clearly visible in Europe these days, where sovereign debt crises and civil unrest in places such as Athens and Madrid make the news on a regular basis.
Not surprisingly, the Swiss have taken notice.
And the wealthy nation of 8 million people that’s noted for its armed neutrality is preparing just in case things “go south” with their neighbors. And within.
Matt Clinch wrote on the CNBC website yesterday:
Switzerland launched the military exercise “Stabilo Due” in September to respond to the current instability in Europe and to test the speed at which its army can be dispatched…
Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag reported recently that the exercise centered around a risk map created in 2010, where army staff detailed the threat of internal unrest between warring factions as well as the possibility of refugees from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal.
The Swiss defense ministry told CNBC that it doesn’t not rule out having to deploy troops in the coming years.
According to Clinch, some 2,000 troops took part in the exercise that included eight different towns across the country.
“M&N PICTURES Video 149: CH Manöver ‘Stabilo Due 2012’”
Alex Newman wrote on the website of the biweekly magazine The New American earlier today:
“The Swiss are famous for preparing for everything and having an absolutely huge army, relative to their population, to deal with any eventuality,” observed U.S. Naval War College national security affairs Professor John Schindler, adding that Switzerland was “clearly on to something” as evidenced by its history. “The Swiss have stayed out of the EU — one more thing the very prosperous Swiss are gloating about these days — and they certainly don’t want EU problems spilling over into their peaceful little country.”
“Switzerland was ‘clearly on to something’”
As should we be.
Clinch, Matt. “Swiss Prepare Army for Euro Zone Fallout.” CNBC. 15 Oct. 2012. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/49385502). 16 Oct. 2012.
Newman, Alex. “Swiss Military Preparing for EU Meltdown Scenario.” The New American. 16 Oct. 2012. (http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/13234-swiss-military-preparing-for-eu-meltdown-scenario). 16 Oct. 2012.
In “The Land Down Under,” international gun “control” could soon be one of their more high-profile exports. Sid Maher wrote on The Australian website this morning:
AUSTRALIA will push harder for a tough new international gun control regime if it wins a seat at the UN Security Council, in a move to crack down on civil unrest, gang violence and criminal activity.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr told The Weekend Australian that under a draft treaty being pushed by Australia, all states would be held responsible for what happened to their weapons after they left their shores.
The Arms Trade Treaty failed to win the necessary backing last month amid opposition from the US and Russia. But Australia will use a UN Security Council seat to press for the adoption of the treaty, which remains on the UN negotiating table in draft form.
The treaty will also seek to limit the international movement of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and Kalashnikovs.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
“To crack down on civil unrest.” Interesting.
In 1996, the Australian government implemented a gun “buy back” program and placed severe restrictions on the public ownership of firearms.
I know what some readers are probably thinking right now.
Less “control,” more Foster’s please.
Maher, Sid. “UN council bid aimed at gun control.” The Australian. 29 Sep. 2012. (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/un-council-bid-aimed-at-gun-control/story-fn59niix-1226483780192). 29 Sep. 2012.
When I tell you people to be buying LONG GUNS and ammo, I’m not kidding. Assault rifles and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition is one of the best places to park wealth right now. And you better know how to use it, and you better sit your wife down, tell her to cut the sissy, whiny female bullshit and learn how to handle every weapon system in your arsenal. This isn’t a damn game or a TV show. Many, many women are going to find themselves as the ONLY THING standing between a hip-hop rape mob and their children.
-Ann Barnhardt, referring to Matt Bracken’s urban riots piece, on her blog back on September 4. Barnhardt made waves in the investing world last November when she closed Barnhardt Capital Management in response to the shenanigans associated with the collapse of MF Global
Authorities: Man Denied Food Stamps Gets Rifle Out
Authorities say a Louisiana man who got a loaded AR-15 assault rifle from his pickup truck after being turned down for disaster food stamps has been jailed.
-Associated Press, September 14, 2012
Speaking of urban riots, I recently came across an interesting read on the Western Rifle Shooters Association blog. Matt Bracken, an ex-Navy SEAL of Enemies Foreign and Domestic trilogy-fame, wrote about a vision of the future where an economic crisis leads to widespread, large-scale urban unrest in the United States. As the situation deteriorates, Bracken asks what would happen if food benefits via the national Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system are suddenly cut off? What he pictures happening is disturbing to say the least.
You can read “Bracken: When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence” on the Western Rifle Shooters Association blog here.
Just don’t read it before you go to bed.
Well here we are.
Post number 1,000 on Survival And Prosperity, “Protecting and Growing Self and Wealth in These Uncertain Times.”
It feels like it was only yesterday when I launched this successor to Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street.” In fact, it’s been almost 22 months since its debut. My how time flies. Especially when bad economic news keeps piling on. The Pollyanna gang might argue that Keynesian strategies pursued by Washington and the Fed successfully ended the “Great Recession” and have put the United States on a sustainable path to recovery. I’m of the approach that when a lot of money is poured into the financial system you’re bound to see some sort of pick-up in activity. At least initially. And, as we’ve witnessed, only temporarily, as more “stimulus” is required to keep the whole thing afloat.
But where has that left the country? As of last week, over $16 trillion in debt. And on the verge of yet another “quantitative easing.” And anyone who really believes debt doesn’t matter is in for a rude awakening when the nation’s “financial reckoning day” finally does arrives.
Since the launch of Boom2Bust.com back in May 2007, I’ve been warning about a coming U.S. financial crash. As much as some might credit me for calling it, the maelstrom that blew through the U.S. and global economies back in the fall of 2008 was only a part of the collapse that I still see heading our way. Somewhat surprisingly, Washington and the Fed have managed to “kick the can down the road” for the time being. But the road only goes so far. Will the crash happen all it once, or will it be drawn out over several years? I don’t know. I just know that my interpretation of the available data leads me to believe its coming.
To complicate matters, these days Americans must take into account other threats besides an economic crash. Depending on what one believes, these could include:
• Global warming
• Nuclear terrorism
• Peak oil production
• Resource shortages
• Solar flares
There are others. Nevertheless, a lot of threats exist these days which endanger our survival and prosperity.
So in 2012, are we looking at the end of the world? Probably not. But most likely the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), particularly as it relates to the U.S. economy and larger financial system. Accordingly, life in America is about to get a whole lot tougher for most (if it already hasn’t). A number of really smart individuals who predicted the 2008 global economic crisis and “Great Recession” suggest we could see:
• Civil strife, including rioting and looting
• Currency controls
• Martial law
• Much higher taxes and fees
• Rampant crime
• “Second Great Depression”
There’s more, but I think you get the picture.
Despite all this, I must remind you that I’m not talking about the end of the world here. Remember, even at its worst unemployment during the Great Depression ran somewhere around 25 percent. While that really sucked for those without a job, not everyone found themselves in a soup kitchen line. The economy and society, though hobbled, still functioned.
I’m a big believer that, despite the coming crash, things will turn out okay for America in the long-run.
I also believe that focusing on one’s personal and financial safety and growth right now will go a long way in helping you and your loved ones come out on the other side of the approaching storm in reasonably good shape.
Wishing you all the best now, and down the rocky road I see in store for us,
Christopher E. Hill
One area of literature that seems to be gaining in popularity these days is survival fiction. And what Lubbock County, Texas, Judge Tom Head recently said about President Obama handing over U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations sounds like something out of those novels. From the FOX 34 News (Lubbock) website on August 21:
Judge Head said he and the county must be prepared for many contingencies, one that he particularly fears, is if President Obama is reelected.
“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN, and what is going to happen when that happens?,” Head asked.
“I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.
“Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
The U.N.’s response to Judge Head? Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols wrote on the Reuters website on August 24:
The United Nations scoffed on Friday at claims by a judge in Lubbock County, Texas, that U.N. troops could invade the southern U.S. state to settle a possible civil war, which the judge warned could be sparked if Obama is re-elected in November.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, when asked if the United Nations had any plans to invade Texas.
He later added: “No one, not even the United Nations, would ever mess with Texas.”
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
Texans must be loving that answer.
But, Judge Head’s assertion may not be as “ridiculous” as it sounds. A number of elected leaders, including U.S. Senators James Inhofe (OK) and Jim DeMint (SC), claim that efforts to sell out U.S. sovereignty to international authority not only exist, but more are on the way. Inhofe and DeMint wrote in a joint op-ed piece on the Washington Times website on July 25:
The American people’s God-given and constitutionally protected right to self-government must be protected. The fact that our people remain skeptical toward the schemes of international diplomats is a sign of their enduring wisdom.
LOST is dead, for now. But new efforts to hand over American sovereignty to international authority already are under way. Only with the ongoing help and vigilance of the American people can we hope to defeat the next generation of unnecessary, unrepublican and undemocratic treaties.
“Lubbock Co. Judge warns of potential danger if Obama is re-elected.” MyFOX 34 News. 21 Aug. 2012. (http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/Lubbock-tom-head-tax-rates-president-obama/PeO4Q8GeGEiy_FpxheUnmA.cspx). 4 Sep. 2012.
Charbonneau, Louis, and Nichols, Michelle. “U.N. to invade Texas? “Ridiculous,” says world body.” Reuters. 24 Aug. 2012. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/24/us-un-texas-duel-idUSBRE87N14A20120824). 4 Sep. 2012.
DeMint, Jim and Inhofe, James M. “INHOFE AND DEMINT: U.N. treaties mean LOST U.S. sovereignty.” Washington Times. 25 July 2012. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/25/un-treaties-would-separate-americans-from-the-cons/?page=all). 4 Sep. 2012.
Former Delta Force, Green Beret Commander: ‘Situation In America Could Be Such That Martial Law Is Actually Warranted’
A couple of days ago I came across something disturbing on WhatReallyHappened.com. Last Tuesday, July 31, Rick Wiles of the Christian radio program TRUNEWS RADIO had retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin on the show, and the two discussed (among other topics) martial law in the United States stemming from economic collapse, and the resulting disruption to the distribution of food. From their exchange:
WILES: I’m concerned General, that regardless of what happens in the election, Mr. Obama, you know, between November and January, may create a scene in this country that he has the justification to declare martial law.
BOYKIN: Well, I think that’s a very real possibility. And I will be very honest with you- the situation in America could be such that martial law is actually warranted. And that situation, in my view, could occur if we have an economic collapse. Now this is, you know, the dam is just about to break on our economy. And I think that when it does, there’s going to be a major disruption of the distribution of food. And I think what you’ll see particularly in the inner cities is you will see a riot, civil unrest, that ultimately might justify martial law. I think those people that are not in the major cities are going to be far better off. But it could actually justify martial law, and I’m praying that we will not see that kind of collapse, we will not see a disruption of the distribution of food in America- that’s probably the single biggest problem. If people can eat, they can survive for some period of time while we get through the economic crisis and, you know, re-establish currency and systems and all that. But if they can’t eat, you know, they’re going to fight. And that’s my big concern.
Why should anyone bother listening to what a retired Army general has to say about such things? Well, I understand Jerry Boykin was one of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force- and ultimately commanded them. Later, Boykin commanded the Army’s Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School. He also served at the Central Intelligence Agency as Deputy Director of Special Activities during his thirty-six years in the Army, with the last four as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
You can listen to the broadcast on the TRUNEWS website here.
Speaking of self-reliance and Texas this morning, I happened to stumble on an interesting article about a McAllen prepper family by their local newspaper. Madeleine Smith wrote on The Monitor website Monday:
The Sepúlvedas are by all appearances an average family. They have a house filled with the warmth and bustle of three kids and the family dog. Their home is tasteful and modern, looking for all the world like a normal, suburban abode — but not every home has a secret room. The Sepúlvedas (we’ll call them Raul and Marissa) are what are known as “preppers,”— people who are stocking up for the collapse of civilization, or the end of the world as we know it…
Note what dad “Raul” Sepúlvedas had to say about why they prep:
“We’re not prepping just because it’s 2012 — we are preparing for very human stupidity and desperation,” Raul says seriously. “Whenever there’s a hurricane or things like that, within an hour, the stores are cleared out. If you were in trouble, if your kids were hungry and you knew the people across the street had food, you would try to get some for your family. It’s human nature. People go a little crazy during scary events — it’s just smart to be prepared.”
“Very human stupidity and desperation.” No shortage of that these days, right? And leave it to some emergency or disaster for it to really shine through in a lot of people.
You can read the entire article on The Monitor website here.
Speaking of the Army, by now you might have heard all the buzz about a training exercise involving military vehicles on the streets of north St. Louis. From the website of St. Louis’s FOX 2 last night:
If you live in North St. Louis, you may have noticed military vehicles on some streets this week, it’s all part of an U.S. Army training exercise…
They’re often used in urban settings, so putting them on the streets of North St. Louis is a cost efficient way for local army reservists to train and stay proficient in the big machines.
Capt. William Geddes/U.S. Army Reserve says “the unit is stationed in St. Louis so rather than transport the vehicles and soldiers hundreds of miles away, say to Wisconsin. It makes a lot of sense for them to use it around their reserve center.”
“Army Vehicles Training On North St. Louis Streets”
FOX 2 Video
Some people are claiming that this is actually training for future civil unrest and martial law. My question for Survival And Prosperity readers is this:
Do you know of any other instances recently where military vehicles conducted training on city streets?
Knowing this might help answer whether such training is routine these days- or if something else could be going on.
I eagerly await your responses.
“Army Vehicles Training On North St. Louis Streets.” FOX 2. 26 June 2012. (http://fox2now.com/2012/06/26/army-vehicles-training-on-north-st-louis-streets/). 27 June 2012.
Last night I blogged about the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers. And before I forget, I recently came across a piece on the website of CBS affiliate First 12 News in northeast Texas in which Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales talked about the prepper movement. Kristen Shanahan wrote on May 10:
“They’re worried about the dollar collapse, civil unrest, food shortages,” Scott Bales, owner of Deep Earth Bunkers, said…
“A dirty bomb could happen,” exclaimed Bales.
Those who believe the worst is yet to come are getting ready and they are known as “preppers”. For the past 14 years, Scott Bales has been in the business of building bunkers, shelters that can withstand just about anything designed to keep unwelcome guests out – including zombies.
“Zombies are people that didn’t prepare and then the world does whatever, and they’re the ones trying to get in your bunker to get your stuff that will kill you for your food and water. They go from procrastinators to zombies instantly,” Bales said.
Shanahan got a taste of operational security (OPSEC) while putting together the article. The KXII reporter and weekend anchor added:
Preppers come in all shapes and sizes. You could have a prepper next door to you and never even know it. Secrecy is just another tool for survival that is why none of the preppers we talked to would speak on camera.
“If you spend about half a million dollars on a bunker and you were going to hide there if there was a collapse, you wouldn’t want anybody knowing where it is because they’re going to know you have food and water in that bunker, and they’re going to come and get it,” Bales explained.
Having a number of preppers among his bunker clients, Bales talked about their gravest concern. From the piece:
He says people are preparing for all sorts of situations, but the most common is the potential crash of the worldwide economy.
“If we ran out of food right now and everybody ran to the store, there would only be three days of food left on every shelf and warehouse in the country. Three days,” Bales said.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
A worldwide financial crash? That’s just plain crazy.
Seriously, when was the last time the global economy was in that degree of trouble?
Shanahan, Kristen. “‘Preppers’ preparing for the end.” First 12 News. 10 May 2012. (http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Preppers_getting_ready_for_the_end__150874255.html). 6 June 2012.
I mentioned some time ago that one of the podcasts I like to listen to on a regular basis is The Survival Podcast, hosted by modern survivalist Jack Spirko.
And two recent shows of his have been alarming as it concerns a coming SHTF event. Back on April 26 I wrote:
Last week, I listened to the April 19 episode of The Survival Podcast, which is hosted by modern survivalist Jack Spirko and which I selected as my “Resource Of The Week” back on March 4.
Episode 646, “The Big Bugout,” stood out from prior episodes in two ways:
1. Spirko was podcasting for the first time from his new homestead in the Ouachita Mountains near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Excellent.
2. Spirko suggested to listeners that now might be the time to bug out
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
And just last week, I was listening to episode 912, “Two Possible Futures Over the Next 4-12 Years” (released May 31), where Spirko sounded yet another alarm. From that show:
I don’t want to spend the whole show telling you how bad it is because I’m a solutions guy, right? But I do want to wake people up today that maybe think, “It’s all going to be okay.” It’s not all going to be okay. We can all be okay. But it has to fall apart. The numbers don’t show any other option.
I agree with Spirko here. As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity (and before that, Boom2Bust.com) probably know, barring some miracle, I believe the writing is on the wall for a coming financial crash in the United States. He continued:
But what I really want to talk to you guys about today is what your two possible futures with this are. There’s one that I won’t spend much time on because it’s pretty dark and bleak, and I would think most people wouldn’t choose it for themselves- and it is a choice at this point. The first one is, pretend that this isn’t happening. Pretend that’s it’s just not a big deal.
Here I disagree with Spirko. I think most Americans have chosen denial. There’s more:
The future for the person that ignores this is going to be a really harsh reality when reality sets in. And this is the really bad part. The ship will have completely sailed. Right now it’s already happened, but there’s so much time in my view, right? Even if it’s two years, that’s a lot of time to get your stuff together. And I think there’s more than that personally, but, again- I don’t forecast these things, I just guess. But when that happens, and it’s really obvious that it’s too late, most people will continue to deny it, and continue to deny it, and they’ll just close their eyes and close their ears, and the more they’ve been asleep, the stronger they’ll try and stay asleep. And the more they’re eventually going to get hurt.
And I do think we’ll see riots in cities. You know, I tell you not the roving horde thing and all. The powers that be will come in and squash that crap. They really will. They’ll use it as an excuse to squash you too. You know, so be on the lookout for that.
Spirko went on to highlight the dangers of residing in major urban areas in a period of upheaval, and warned listeners:
So my view is, the way that you combat this, is you get yourself into a neighborhood, or a community, or a smaller rural area- now. You do that now. If you are in a city and you have to work there, you find yourself as far out as you possibly can and still run your job. Try to get some telecommuting time- even if it’s 1 or 2 days a week, that will make that move easier. But, I don’t even think you have to be 5 hours away from a big city. I think if you’re an hour away it’s a big help because that’s not where the people that are going to cause the most problems are going to be…
But get out of the urban areas and get out of the high-density suburbs. I think we’re there now. I always said, if you want to be in these places, that’s fine, make your way there. I think we’re getting to a point where that’s going to be a really bad place to be. There’s going to be a lot of hardship.
The host of The Survival Podcast also noted that he’s not a big fan of isolationism, and identified other priorities that he thought should be acted upon before TSHTF.
Incredibly sobering. You can listen to episode 912 on The Survival Podcast website here.
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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