Sep 302006

I cannot begin to convey the extreme seriousness of what has just happened in America. President Bush has been authorized by Congress to become the United States first Dictator. This is NOT hyperbole, I wish it was.

The Constitutional guarantees, afforded to every single US citizen have just been utterly and completely destroyed. Under this new legislation, NO AMERICAN has any protections WHATSOEVER under the Bill of Rights or the US Constitution. NONE.

Never before in the history of this country (since we stoled it from the American Indian) has American liberties and freedoms seen such an assault. Even worse, no Court is even allowed to challenge this new legislation, making it a defacto law, irrevocable and forever permanent.

This legislation –

authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.

American citizens, at the whim of the President, can be held for life, tortured, denied all “rights”, and left to rot. Only a dictator would require such power (and a cowardly one at that).

The simple challenge of Bush policies (war protest, 9/11 investigation, VA funding, anything) – can now be labeled as terrorist act and you can personally be subjected to a lifetime of torture, detention and denial of all basic human rights.

Since with this bill, in the aggregate, Bush has declared himself to be above the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the allegiance of American citizens is no longer to the flag or the freedoms for which it stands, but to Bush himself, the self-appointed dictator, and any diversion from that allegiance will mandate arrest, torture and conviction in a military tribunal under the terms of this bill.

The bill also allows hearsay evidence (obtained via phony confessions after torture) to be considered by the military tribunal and bars the suspect from even having knowledge of the charges against him – making a case for defense impossible. This is guaranteed to produce 100% conviction rates as you would expect in the dictatorships of Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe.

Now let’s be calm for a moment. Why would the President of the United States need such powers? To what purpose? And why now? What particular threat is there that exist today that has never existed before?

The war in Iraq? We’ve had many wars before, and such power was never granted. Afghanistan? No, that can’t be the reason either. The war on terror? Hmm, maybe we’re getting closer. What better way to fight terror then to promote terror? Or put a little more clearly, what better way to promote terror then to perpetuate the war?

And why here? Why is this power needed against Americans? Because Americans have had quite enough of Herr Fuhrer already. They do not approve of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they do not approve of the use of taxpayer dollars over there, nor do they approve of the torture, rendition, and prison camps being used around the world, the secret military tribunals, nor the shame this monster in office has brought upon America. Nor do they approve of his Cabinet or his Administration or anything Bush does.  Most thinking, warm-blooded and concerned human beings around the world don’t approve of Bush of what Bush does. We all want him GONE, the sooner the better.

So that is why Bush demanded (and got, which is very, very upsetting and very strange) this power from Congress. Clearly, our cowardly Congress once again utterly failed to safeguard the American people. The Pearl Harbor event of 9/11 was nothing compared to what just happened. An entire nation of nearly 300 million people are now subjects and slaves to the whims of one man.  Correction – the entire world is now at risk to the whims of one man.  This legislation permits Bush to imprison and torture ANYBODY.

But it’s not just “one man” as many assume (and many also assume he’s going away in 2008). The President can give this power to whoever he likes.  And he will (don’t forget, he already HAS) –

if the Pentagon says you’re an unlawful enemy combatant — using whatever criteria they wish — then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to “hostilities” at all.

So far, nobody has yet blogged or seemed to “notice” another extremely ominous development here – the US military, prohibited by Posse Commitatus, can now act illegally under this legislation, within American borders, arresting, detaining and torturing Americans.  Under this new legislation, anything goes (just watch for it, you’ll see).
You can stop wondering about all those fine men and women in Iraq who are going to be coming home one day, the experiences they gained in Iraq are going to serve them well in America. That’s right. What do you think is going to happen? The blind obesience to the Fuhrer will continue right on down the line right here in America. You can already see it.

We have established that the bill allows the President to define American citizens as enemy combatants. Now let’s take it one step further.

Before this article is dismissed as another extremist hyperbolic rant, please take a few minutes out of your day to check for yourself the claim that Bush now has not only the legal authority but the active blessings of his own advisors to torture American children.

Hard to believe? You’d better, it’s already happening at Abu Ghraib. The only difference, now abolished, was previously, there was no legislation permitting this type of abuse (but notably, they did it anyway). Now there is – and it’s targeted right dab squarely at every single American.  This is no accident.
If you want to gain some idea just how horrifying and horrible our collective future in America is going to be, listen to one of those tapes as American soldiers sodomize children.

And now they’ve been given the power to do it here.

Pedophiles nationwide should rejoice – they can comfortably take a stroll down to the local swimming pool, grab whoever they like, drag them home, rape and torture them, and then in their defense cite the U.S. government as an example of how one should conduct themselves.

The bill also retroactively gives Bush, the Neo-Cons or any of their henchmen immunity from war crimes charges dating back to September 11. Ask yourself why they would be so careful to protect themselves from accusations of war crimes. Might they have had something to do with 9/11 and the ongoing coverup? Or the growing worldwide dissension that Bush & Co., are actively destroying the freedoms of peoples all the way around the world?

Do not forget – he is using Americans do to this.  These are Americans that are obeying and following his orders.  It is Americans who are involved in the torture, the renditions, the scandals and the coverups.  We cannot blame anyone but ourselves. 

Wake up America! If you don’t, you are going to experience the worst nightmare of your life. If you’re not preparing, somehow, to survive this, then your preparing (by simply doing nothing) to accept this. Is that what you want?  To stand silently by and watch 217 years of freedom to be stolen from you at the stroke of a pen?

Make your choice. The final line in the sand has now been drawn, which side will you stand on?

 Posted by at 12:25 pm
Sep 282006

AP Story

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday endorsed President Bush’s plans to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects, all but sealing congressional approval for legislation that Republicans intend to use on the campaign trail to assert their toughness on terrorism.The 65-34 vote means the bill could reach the president’s desk by week’s end. The House passed nearly identical legislation on Wednesday and was expected to approve the Senate bill on Friday, sending it on to the White House.
Torture, rendition, and retroactive/blanket immunity for BushCo from all war crimes are ‘alive and well’ (‘official’ policy and “legal”)

Habeas corpus, freedom, constitution/BOR, democracy, human rights ETC..- NOT SO MUCH
Hiel Fuhrer

War is Terrorism of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.
(If you don’t know this, then you haven’t been there.)
How can one ‘have’ a revolution against a government that is itself wholly treasonous?
BTW, hadn’t fully ‘believed’ the NAU ‘coup’ reports (J. Corsi stuff) on Rense until Lou Dobbs did a segment on it on CNN today
The “Founding Fathers’ must be rolling in their graves.

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.  George Washington, Circular to the States, May 9, 1753

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.  Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800

Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human Nature. George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political.  Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801     And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.  George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the “latent spark”… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference? John Adams, the Novanglus, 1775

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.  George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.  George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights. Benjamin Franklin, Political Observations

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens….There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends & books Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.  John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

The best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity is justice. George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, September 30, 1779

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them. Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking up Arms, July 6, 1775

Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.   John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

Human government is more or less perfect as it approaches nearer or diverges farther from the imitation of this perfect plan of divine and moral government.  John Adams, draft of a Newspaper Communication, Circa August 1770

Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.  Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dupont de Nemours, April 24, 1816

The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.  George Washington, letter to Gouverneur Morris, December 22, 1795

Happy, thrice happy shall they be pronounced hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous fabrick of Freedom and Empire on the broad basis of Independency; who have assisted in protecting the rights of humane nature and establishing an Asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions.  George Washington, General Orders, April 18, 1783

Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you… From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death. Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785


Originally Posted by kWolfe

Some days I wonder exactly what country I’m living in. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where every cowboy wears a white hat and the Marines landing means you’ve just been saved?
Or is this some Twilight Zone “bad America” alternate universe episode, where we hold suspects in secret jails without charge, spy on our citizens without warrants, and try prisoners in front of hooded military tribunals using testimony we got by hooking their testicles to a car battery?
My God – some days I wish I would just wake up and the nightmare where this country is losing its soul would be over.

The nightmare continues…

(above was submitted by Lonewolf, original attribution unknown)

 Posted by at 8:25 pm
Sep 282006

At least they didn’t stomp the cat.

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P.

No people, no matter where they reside, should have to live in fear of their own government. Nowhere should the midnight knock foreshadow a nightmare of state-commissioned crime. The suffering of torture victims must end, and the United States calls on all governments to assume this great mission. President Bush

This is America, you are innocent, and you have faith in American justice. You know your rights, and you ask for a lawyer. But no lawyer comes. Once again, since you know your rights, you refuse to answer further questions. Then the interrogators get angry. Then comes solitary confinement, then fierce dogs, then freezing cold that induces hypothermia, then waterboarding, then threats of being sent to a country famous for its torture techniques, then Guantanamo. And then nothing, for years, for decades, for the rest of your life. Senator Patrick Leahy

Under the Constitution, a suspension of the writ may only be justified during an invasion or a rebellion, when the public safety demands it. Six weeks after the deadliest attack on American soil in our history, the Congress that passed the PATRIOT Act rightly concluded that a suspension of the writ would not be justified. Yet now, six weeks before a mid-term election, the Bush-Cheney Administration and its supplicants here in Congress deem a complete abolition of the writ the highest priority – a priority so urgent that we are allowed no time to properly review, debate and amend a bill we first saw in its current form less that 72 hours ago. Notwithstanding the harm the Administration has done to national security with its mismanaged misadventure in Iraq, there is no new national security crisis. There is only a Republican political crisis. And that, as we all know, is why this un-American, unconstitutional legislation is before us today.

First of all, go back to sleep, nothing to see here….  I could have predicted this. Anybody could have. Part and parcel to the fascist police state, which makes my ‘predictions’ about our collective future that much closer to reality.

Prep.  Now.

 Posted by at 6:58 pm
Sep 282006


Modern home design has advanced in recent years to include super-efficient energy saving features. While this is really good, the cost of such a home is above astronomical. You will need high efficiency, but you don’t need a mortgage that drowns you in a sea of debt.

A better way is to build you own home. Many people who don’t think they can do this are surprised at how affordable and easy it can be. I’m a strong advocate of earth sheltered designs, using a combination of natural building materials. These homes offer the lowest cost alternatives to box houses and are much more personable and efficient and will last much longer.

You don’t have to do all the building yourself. There are plenty of people around who will work fairly cheaply and can assist you with all the heavy labor portions. It’s still far cheaper to hire this work out then to contract out an entire stick-built house project, or buy one pre-built. Another thing to keep in mind should you be flush with cash – simpler is better. Not putting all of your money into shelter or what is already proving to be a depressed real estate market is good advice.

When considering shelter, you will need to consider adequate storage requirements. Most homes are not designed with storage in mind anymore, although they offer large square footage. Empty space is energy inefficient and is not desirable. You’re going to need plenty of storage space. Supplies, gear, clothing, food and preparations areas (for processing garden and animals) all require a certain amount of space. Good home designs utilize basements, but these are not always possible. Earth sheltered homes don’t usually have basements, already being sunken into the earth fully or partly.

Really cool storage space “shelves” can be built right into earth sheltered designs (and straw bale designs), affording plenty of storage space right into the existing walls. Desirable are walk-in pantries allowing easy access to food stuffs. Inside “root storage” facilities are advantageous for energy efficiency and convenience.

Earth sheltered designs offer passive solar heating, thermal mass, non-combustible, custom design, low profile, natural building materials, energy efficiency and the best security of all designs. Ground temperatures remain constant year round at about 4 ft. down, heat pumps and cold air exchangers can be utilized to take advantage of this natural feature (if you have electricity, otherwise, design for convection / thermal exchange).

Earth sheltered homes also are aesthetically pleasing and low profile, blending in with their environment best over all other designs. They can also be modified for expansion with a little planning and forethought. Additional rooms can be added on as needed, blending into the overall design.

When considering shelter, actual site location is very important. One of the distinct advantages of doing it yourself allows you to situate the home on the best possible location given the terrain and land features, solar angles and existing vegetation.

Deciduous trees naturally lose their leaves in the winter, allow much needed solar energy at this time of year to help warm your home, while protecting against the summer sun. Roof systems can be designed to collect rainwater for recycling into gardens and animal watering. It’s very possible to build rain catchment systems that can meet your yearly water needs from the square footage your roof offers.

Earth shelters offer the best defensive shelters, similar to bomb shelters. Thick walls, low-profile designs and difficult forced entry (generally limited to windows and doors) make earth shelters “safe”, as safe as most housing designs tend to be. They are also highly fireproof, earthquake proof and even tornado proof. Designs utilized must take into account natural runoff and potentially unstable ground.

Earth shelters need not be “dark, dank caves” of mold and mildew, but can be bright, sunny airy environments that take best of advantage of the natural lay of the land, sunlight, passive heating and cooling and be aesthetically pleasing. Best of all, they can be cheap to build, although they are labor intensive. This is the only real drawback, but considering their actual advantages over stick-homes, this is well worthwhile, even if you have to hire out the hard work.


Collapse will create serious security concerns for individuals, families and entire communities. The potential for marauding bandits, corrupt “officials” and even military attacks are very real. Security can be broken down into personal security and home / community security.

Personal security will need to be maintained at all times, even while in a “safe” community. Of course, this is true today – most people lock their doors, cars and don’t carry lots of cash or valuables. Collapse will bring out a great many desperate people who will have failed to prepare adequately, or at all, and they won’t think twice about taking whatever it is that they need.

There is NO adequate protection for this unfortunate outcome. Vigilance, preparation and training is self-defense with and without weapons are extremely worthwhile and highly recommended, but having to be “on guard” 24/7 is very tiring and nobody can do it all the time. Even so, preparation is your best defense.

Weapons training, marksmanship practice and combat training are essential. Learning how to keep your head when under extreme stress and make instant and judicial decisions will help keep you and yours alive. There are a number of good schools that teach these skills, if you can go, do so now. Then practice what they have taught you, refining your response time and “muscle memory” to react quickly and decisively. You can be sure that any would-be thief or assassin won’t hesitate – you had better not either.

Training should including hand-to-hand combat, pistol and rifle training and marksmanship skills and drills. Not just punching paper, but combat techniques, rapid reloading and defensive drills against multiple aggressors. The confidence and skill you gain will help you in innumerable ways.

Such training can be highly beneficial to a community, where your best options for defense really lies. Individual homesteaders and independent survivalists are easy pickings for a marksman, who can eliminate you from a thousand yards or more. That’s 3/4 of a mile away, perfectly possible with today’s civilian weapons. A .50 caliber rifle can penetrate almost any defensive barrier or barricade, except several feet of solid earth, rock or concrete. .50 calibers are capable of 2000+ yards.

It’s unlikely that you’ll have to worry about .50 caliber rifles, but the point is clear – you may well run up against highly skilled, trained soldiers or ex-soldiers or skilled civilians. Your best defense is your own training and preparation.

There is safety in numbers – provided you can trust everyone else. Collapse will bring out the worst in people, and in some situations, the very best. You will quickly find out what everyone is made of and if they have the right stuff when they are put under extreme stress. The same can be said for you. This is where discipline and training come into play, and preparation. If you are suddenly subjected to a unknown, inexperienced situation, you may not respond properly, nor will anybody else.

Run through various “scenarios” when considering your defensive options. You won’t think up enough of them – the “enemy” will.

Your weakest link is your weakest “member”, be it yourself, your kids or your neighbor. Anybody can be turned, compromised, kidnapped, or betrayed. The only real defense against this is training and discipline. You must not ignore these facts, because the enemy, whosoever they may turn out to be, will find the weakness.

Situational awareness is paramount. Understand and know what is going on around you. Loud music, drinking, drugs or any other distractions will make you vulnerable. So will simple carelessness or “blind trust”. Collapse will cause people to “seek the advantage” in all kinds of situations, because they are desperate, hungry, hurt or greedy. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

Security also includes community security. Food supplies, fuel, families, children and even access routes may need to be watched and / or defended if necessary. I fully envision communities posting guards to keep an eye on things (community police force) if necessary. Moreover, I fully expect a tyrannical police state to abuse it’s “privilege” and to take advantage of communities and individuals. This is a logical extension of the State-sponsored tyranny we are already experiencing now.

Some of this will have to be tolerated – some of it will not. Your best defense is to “know your enemy” (read Sun Tzu, The Art of War).

The patriot movement in America contains some highly trained individuals who will be potential assets, with some being downright dangerous. This is unfortunate, but ideologies sometimes override common sense. People somehow forget that we are all in this mess together, going through the exact same trials and tribulations, with the same fears, same needs and same desires. Most of us just want to be left alone, but this is predicated on some basic assumptions, which are no longer proving to be true. The world is changing very rapidly for the worse and what we’ve long taken for granted is no longer true. The opportunity to simply live your life in peace is rapidly dwindling away. It will be tooth and claw when the oil runs out, the food runs out, the water runs out and the planet heats up to unbearable levels in some areas. On top of that, the police-state apparatus will be increasing it’s reach and tyranny exponentially as documented on this blog.

Banding together in community is your best defense. You cannot do this alone. Outsiders will be distrusted, lack respect, lack awareness of community needs and operations and be “untried”. Communities will be forced to deal with many outsiders as immigration and mass migration occur. Communities should make plans for this as soon as possible. Not everyone is going to be your friend. That would be nice, but that is not the real world.


Trust is paramount. Personal security and community security will depend on trust. Trust only comes from experience. It isn’t what people say that matters, it’s what people do. That’s your yardstick, the rule by which you measure folks by. That goes for family, children, neighbors, long time friends. Betrayal is difficult to accept and deadly in certain situations.

Trust can only be built up and experienced over time. Collapse will force some extreme situations on everyone, and “instant relationships” will be forged that may or may not be reliable. Best if you can work out the trust issues now (which is why early relocation is so important). Get situated, integrated and involved in the community. Get known so you can build the trust that is needed and vice versa. You have to learn to trust other people who will quite literally, hold your life in their hands. These things take time.

Nordic Thora pointed out something that I’ve learned a lot from. The lack of “localness” is one of the primary reasons groups fail. Groups formed from distant parts lack local connections, which eventually shows itself in numerous ways. Lack of social structure, local income, connections to the community, connections to the land, investment in the future stability of the group or community, etc., groups more often then not “implode” from these “lacks”. They also implode because of family, pets, religion, ideology, work ethic, slothfulness, ignorance, belligerence and arrogance (sounds like the seven deadly sins to me).

Groups form “best” when there is personal involvement and investment. Not just financial (important), but time, labor, commitment and dedication. Buying your way into a survival community may work for some, for a while (what happens when your money becomes worthless?), but without your actual participation, you will be quickly isolated among your riches and distrusted. Maybe even destroyed. You need to become involved on a daily basis if possible. Contribute to the group / community and you will be valued as an asset instead of an ass. Offer nothing and you will be rejected.

I covered many of these points under the ecovillage sections on this blog and why I ultimately rejected the general “design” approach of ecovillages. Ecovillages are great in principle, but lack certain aspects of practicality. The relationship part of ecovillages are fine as far as they go, but they do not go far enough (in my opinon). Moreover, ecovillages fail to take into account some very serious aspects of collapse, including defense, the local community needs and requirements and mass migration. Essentially, this is why I’ve come to embrace the community solution, which is broader based, and much more similar to what we already have today without joining a bunch of villagers.

Don’t get me wrong – I approve of the ecovillage concept, but I don’t approve of the non-practical aspects I’ve read about. Collapse will be survival with no reliable existing support structure, and a survival approach with sustainability is what is needed. Communities offer this best.

Within your “core” relationship group (family, friends or survival group), getting everyone “on board” isn’t easy (at all). Consider yourself blessed if everyone IS on board (and stays that way). Dissension, disillusionment and disgust are pretty common. Just keep plugging away, there’s not much else you can really do. Time and events will prove you right and if not, then it won’t matter anyway. Some people will simply refuse to face reality, even when they’re being tortured or their situation has completely turned. There is nothing you can do for them. You will need to stay focused as best you can. Not everyone is going to make it. In fact, exceedingly few will over the next 50 years. Estimates run as low as 30% or lower survival rate. Some estimates are 5 out of 6 people will die violently, or starve, within the next generation.

 Posted by at 10:57 am
Sep 272006

Essentials of Survival

I’m putting this pointer right up at the top, because it’s timely and important. If you’re still driving a gas hog of a vehicle, now is the last time to be the best time to sell it. You have about two months, tops to get rid of it. Gas prices will never be this cheap again. Dump it and move on into something highly economical. Gas prices will return back to their lofty heights.

Part of gearing up, is gearing yourself up. The human body was not intended to sit in a cubicle and type on computer screens for months on end. This type of sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Get up and get moving. Get that body active, daily.

If you’re not riding a bike yet, start. The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever devised. The best bike for the money and versatility is the mountain bike. These are just as capable and nearly as fast as a road bike with proper tires (highly efficient road tires are available, if needed) and can carry much more gear then a road bike if properly equipped and they are a lot more comfortable. They also have the definite bonus of riding off-road. You can take a mountain bike just about anywhere. Good riders can ride where it’s difficult to walk.

Riding a mountain bike regularly will get you in shape and build up your endurance. Endurance is exactly what is going to be needed to navigate the collapse. Riding is also less harsh on you then running. Biking also saves gas and gets you outside where you belong. Get a rear rack for it, they even make the kind that attach to the seat post and not the frame (if needed). For rear-suspension bikes, this works best. If you have a “hardtail” (no suspension) a frame rack is better (stronger).

I’m of the opinion that a mountain bike is worth it’s weight in gold. Simple is good, but technology is better – if you take care of it and have an adequate supply of spare parts (tires, tubes, spokes, derailleurs, etc.). A gas-piped bomber (single speed heavy bike) will last forever, but a gear equipped bike can also last a very long time if properly maintained and are much easier to use. Expect lots of biking due to higher and higher fuel costs. Collapse will pretty much dictate walking, biking, ride sharing or riding an animal. Cuba’s oil collapse in the 90’s demonstrated this fact, they imported and manufactured several million bicycles to deal with the problem.

Only the “rich” and affluent will be driving around much. Your bicycle will be your best and cheapest transportation, by far. Get one you like, one you can maintain (or learn how) and buy spare parts. Get two if you can (I have six and will probably get more).

If biking isn’t your cup of tea, exercise daily with hiking, swimming, racquetball or any other aerobic sport. Daily stretching is a good idea too, keeps you flexible and less prone to injury. Paintball is a lot of fun too, just be sure to wear protective equipment. Losing an eye now would be near-suicide.

You will need to mentally gear up too, in order to deal with collapse. It’s pretty hard to get your mind around what collapse signifies, but try. The best way I’ve found to do this is to not try and tackle everything all at once. Break it down into manageable chunks. Collapse will signify many things – economics, politics, transportation, preparation, relocation, social structure, family, trust issues, etc.

On the economics – get out of debt asap. You cannot do this fast enough. Collapse will NOT protect you from the creditors, or a debtors prison camp. Don’t even risk it. Do whatever it takes and clear out your debts. Simplify, reduce and downgrade if you have to – everything. Houses, land, jobs, cars, consolidate bills and get rid of superflous junk and simplify your life as fast as you can. Have a garage sale or a dozen and turn that junk into something else you need. Once debt free – stay that way. Giving support to the slave-system isn’t a good idea anyway. Pay cash for whatever you need. If you do use a credit card, pay it off before the interest comes due (every month in other words).

Restrict your gasoline bill deliberately by walking, ride sharing or biking to work, to the store, to visit friends and family. You’ll feel better and maybe somebody else will get the hint too. The money you save will add up.

Discipline is one of the hardest things to develop on your own. But activities or habits put into practice for 30 days can be become a lifelong habit. There are many areas in our lives where we can ‘improve’ our personal standing – health, exercise, diet, finances, study, education, involvement and contributions (volunteer work). Do any of these things long enough and they become a part of you and your habits, a way of life. The same can be said for negative habits, they’re hard to break because (duh!) we keep doing them!

Breaking the cycle of dependency of the predominant system is going to be of the utmost necessity. Self-reliance doesn’t come easy, but is essential. It is a combination of many skills and disciplines, put into practice daily. This is where discipline comes in, learning to deliberately withdraw from the system now while mistakes made are still survivable and affordable. Mistakes made during collapse probably won’t be. This is one of the primary ways that population reduction will be achieved. Most people simply won’t have any real idea on how to take care of themselves and will simply die.


Collapse in the face of global climate change means water will become the commodity of the future. Drought conditions will exist in many locations, especially in North America. Adequate supplies of potable water will be a matter of life and death. Governments and municipalities will be severely struggling with this issue as aquifers, rivers, streams and lakes dry up.

There is no simple answer on how to deal with the water issues. Most people will need to relocate as climate change impacts the regional water supplies. Being co-located to adequate catchment and drainage systems (such as the Columbia River Basin) will become extremely desirable. Cities and towns far away from their source of water supply may well dry up and blow away as hoarding of what remains takes place. A global drought is a very real possibility and adequate supplies of fresh water for agriculture and human consumption will be in extremely high demand. Rising ocean levels will force hundreds of millions to leave the lowland coastal areas and their abundant fresh-water river systems. Estimates are now already coming in that several hundred million people will be displaced due to rising ocean waters. Over 2000 islands alone in India will be utterly drowned.

Because water will be such an extreme issue, this needs to be addressed in conjunction with relocation. Many of us will need to relocate for this one issue alone – adequate water supplies. This will dawn on millions and millions of people as they scramble enmasse for this essential need. Get their first if you can. It’s totally unknown how communities will deal with the influx of new immigrants. It’s possible that they won’t – immigrants will be forced to live elsewhere (prison / slave camps comes to mind). Also, the demands created by a mobilized “army” of millions of displaced people will be stupendous on land, transportation, food and housing. Get “there” first makes good sense.

Where? That depends on several factors. Existing topographical terrain, climate patterns, population base, infrastructure (or lack thereof, which can also be highly desirable), regulations and police state presence all have to be taken into account. I would avoid all cities (personally) over 10k – 15k. For you, this may be far too small and will have to be adjusted accordingly. Larger populations have advantages and disadvantages, which I’ll briefly mention.

The bigger the population, the more diversified the labor force (potentially, but not always in practical application). They also have a higher police presence, more regulations and rules, restrictions and covenants, and greater resource demands and importantly, usually rather high resource inputs (food, water, materials, energy). Nobody “knows” if larger towns and cities will be able to adequately feed themselves during collapse. Theoretically, much is possible, but realistically? It’s a crap shoot. So far, I’ve seen no evidence that this is going to actually work.

Smaller towns are less restrictive (usually, not always), more co-located to natural resources, especially water (oftentimes, but not always), have smaller police presence (but watch out for the corruption, it’s as much there as anywhere else), more self-reliant people as a general rule (percentage of population), and are oftentimes the “generators” of essentials like food, water and electricity for larger towns and cities. Some smaller towns are exporters of these items, meaning they have an abundance, while some are not.

They are however, just as dependent upon outside inputs too for those things (many) that they cannot and do not produce themselves. “Sustainable” isn’t a concept in vogue (yet) anywhere except in tiny enclaves (ecovillages) and survivalist retreats.

Picking a location isn’t going to be easy, but doing it early if possible will be better then doing it later. Water will be on the top of your list. Higher elevations can be desirable as global temperatures continue to rise. Lowland locations can turn into sweltering sweat-boxes for the same reason. Cropland and whatever growing season climate change allows will be something that fluctuates with each location. The ability to locally grow most or much of the community food supply will be a top priority (don’t forget peak oil and what it means to the global food supply and transportation networks) and adequate water supplies for crops will be absolutely essential. Most crops should be grown in highly intensive, water saving methods, unlike modern agriculture today. This will enhance water recycling and conservation.

Another method of growing crops is with forest gardening, the practice of creating edible forests. This will work for some people. Sheet mulching and it’s cousin, composting will be essential as poor soils are turned into highly productive soils.

I would relocate to a major river drainage system that has adequate elevation gains nearby (so you can move up higher if needed), small population (under 2,000), self-reliant mentality, existing agriculture or potential, arable land, low land prices, favorable climate and good soils.

Watch out for small-town mindedness (non-progressive, hatred of outsiders, survivalist groups, etc.) These can turn out to be as deadly or difficult to overcome as any other issue. Newcomers won’t be trusted – so arrive early.


Adequate food supplies are going to be extremely problematic in the future. Food will be the weapon of choice by the State, more so then debt is now. The solution to this is obvious – grow your own. I’m not an advocate of growing all of your own – just some of it. Barter, exchange and share with others who will (hopefully) be doing the same for all the rest. Specialization will still be very helpful, provided you can engage in a farmers market or some sort of exchange (safely).

This includes animals (unless your a vegetarian) and crops. Start learning how to do this now while mistakes are easy and survivable. Seasonal crops are an easy way to try out your green thumb. Learning to grow things isn’t hard, but it does take time to learn from your mistakes, so get started now.

You will also need to learn food preservation techniques, how to can, dry, store and process foodstuffs. There are many books available on these subjects. If you haven’t started a self-reliant, self-sufficiency library, do it right away. It will take several years (minimum) to put into practice what you can learn from these books. There is a huge selection of essential books listed on the Survival Acres Sustainable Forum Library.

Growing food can be fun and rewarding, and it taste far better then what you can buy in the stores today. Learn intensive gardening techniques and water conservation (get the books on this). Agriculture will be essential. While I admire Ran Prieur’s approach to forest gardening (gleaning sustenance from natural forest surroundings and those plants that were planted and left to fend for themselves), I do not believe this will be remotely adequate for the vast majority of people. I like the concept, very much, but adequate calorie requirements cannot be met in most cases using this method (and you will be in direct competition with every other living creature). Eventually, with the natural environment (that’s a big “if”) stabilizes and the human population is reduced by 90%, this might work out just fine. But mid-collapse with starving hordes? I can’t see it working very well (or at all).

I fully expect a massive depopulation of existing animal herds, both domestic and wild. Domestic animals are extremely water-intensive (wild animals are not) and may or may not be permitted at current levels for this reason alone. They will also be in high demand for food. I don’t know what this means for future animal populations, but I fully expect a massive depopulation of wild animals (poaching) to occur. This is happening right now as food prices continue to skyrocket, which is only going to get much worse. Food is cheap today compared to what it’s going to be in the future. Climate change will make gigantic impacts on food availability, price and distribution. Enjoy it while you can!

The World Health Organization, US Government and other leaders around the world are now proclaiming that an adequate supply of personal food preparations is essential. They’re justification is the bird flu pandemic, but there are a great many other reasons to have food preparations.

I am a strong advocate of food storage. A food storage program affords you time and the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Food storage will NOT sustain you indefinitely, unless you are very rich and can stockpile a 30 year supply. But a good food storage program will definitely save your life, many times over, while the transition from a dependent lifestyle to independent, self-sufficient lifestyle takes place.

If you haven’t got your food storage program started yet, get going. Dehydrated and freeze dried foods can keep up to 30 years when properly stored. And it’s comparatively cheap right now while abundance still means something (it’s cheaper then buying food at the supermarket!). Those days are numbered, so get started as soon as you can.

Set aside as much as you can too. I have a five year food storage plan. It’s inadequate and I know it. Many people call me and ask about how much food they should store, thinking they need to survive 3 months of bird flu or something. Well yeah, you’ve got to start somewhere, but three months is a tiny span of time. Collapse signifies massive shortages, especially in food. Most people have no idea that petroleum produces almost all of our food today. When the petroleum runs out, the food will be gone forever. What we haven’t learned to grow, locally, will be what we will do without.

The only other remotely similiar shortage items will be water and fuel. However, food (and water) will be the real weapon of choice used against you. Examples abound throughout history of food as being a strategic asset and a weapon used against invaders or defenders. Having adequate food storage will be paramount to your chances of survival – or somebody else who hasn’t properly prepared and thought this through.

Don’t forget, none of us are going to “be alone”. There won’t be any Lone Rangers out there that will survive very long. Even the most dedicated survivalists get sick, injured or need help, or just plain lonely. We’re all in this gigantic mess together, like it or not. And we all need to eat – daily if possible. Food will give you your own sustenance, and even barter material for other goods you will require (clothing, fuel, transportation, materials, housing, water – anything you need). Everybody needs to eat – but not everybody will be able to eat. The rich men of the future will be sitting on a pile of food – and will be controlling all the rest.


Obtain sturdy clothing. I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores, have done so for years. I have a reasonably large stack of stored clothing, gotten on the cheap. I can’t find everything there, but I can find quite a lot. I make exceptions for boots, shoes, socks and underwear, which I buy new. Everything else, I buy used, for pennies.

Wherever you buy, you will need good outdoor clothing. You’re going to be working and getting dirty with all that gardening you’re going to be doing. Buy clothing appropriate for this. Clothing can be stored indefinitely if properly stored. I simply use cardboard boxes, folding up my supply and putting it away. Moths are not a problem here, but wool will attract them. Use a moth repellent. A natural moth repellent is cedar.

Wool is an excellent natural fiber for clothing. Wool pants last an extremely long time and are much better then cotton jeans. They also will keep you warmer when wet. Shrinkage of wool garmets is a problem, wash in cold water and air dry them to avoid that.

Wool hats are good – 80% of your body heat is lost through your head. A cap with visor keeps the sun out of your eyes (sometimes!), good to have. Wool shirts can be worn over something else if your allergic. Cotton T’s are cheap at thrift stores and I go through several dozen a year. Pick the ones with tiny logos on them, those big giant walking billboard type with the large silk screen imprints are horrible, they make you sweat.

A wool coat is also desirable for colder weather. They wear a long time, much longer then nylon or Gortex. Advanced fibers such as these (and there are many others) are great, but they are not cheap (and don’t last as long). Again, you can find a lot of this stuff in the thrift stores, or just buy them from wherever you can afford them. I have a lot of Gortex gear, which works very well. Foul weather isn’t really much of a problem if you’re properly clothed.

You have to take better care of synthetic fibers and blends then natural fibers, they’re more easily damaged, burned, ripped, torn, scraped and penetrated, all the things that happen when your out-of-doors more often then in. I’d expect there to be a high demand for these “high-tech” items as they dwindle in availability during collapse (that’s a hint). They do look better, dry faster, are much lighter, oftentimes better waterproof (as long as it lasts), and can be gotten dirt cheap at the thrift store. A $100 jacket can be purchased for $4.

One of the most important items you can obtain is a good pair of work boots. These should be leather uppers, Gortex liner is fine. I avoid all insulated boots, if I want insulation, I wear socks. I can always wear two pair of socks if needed… Non-insulated boots can be worn year round too, not just in winter.

Protecting your feet is paramount. This isn’t something many people think about, but they will. Climbers and hikers and outdoorsmen know that good footwear matters. Proper arch support, strong uppers and good soles are essential. Every soldier knows that his feet are his life. Dress shoes, high heels and other “useless” footwear will be utterly useless. Tennis shoes are great to let your feet and legs relax (lighter weight), but for real work, quality work boots cannot be beat.

Don’t scrimp here. Good boots take a fair bit of time to break in, so allow for that. You will develop horrendous, crippling blisters if your demand of your new boots exceeds their “break in”. Wear them around the house and to work, give them a month or so to mold properly to your foot and they’ll treat you right.

I have seven pairs. I wear out at least one pair per year. I fully expect to need two pairs per year during collapse. They get damaged, easily. I hit them with chainsaws, rocks, sharp objects, etc. Good boots will cost you too. Sometimes you can find really good end-of-season sales and save, but expect to pay $150+ per pair for leather. Avoid all “artificial” uppers, your feet will hate you as they swelter in a pool of your own sweat.

Don’t forget gloves. You will wear out a LOT of gloves if you’re really working. Wool gloves are great for simply keeping your hands warm, but do not wear well, snagging on any pokey object. I prefer surplus military wool gloves with fingers (not mittens). They’re perfect for hiking, driving or light duty work and dirt cheap. Leather gloves (not mittens) are essential for everything else. Protect your hands. Gloves can make the difference between life and death. Not just frostbite (a very real problem), but injuries. A mild, now festering sore can cause gangrene and kill you.

I buy gloves in packs of twelve, destroying a dozen or so per year. Since I haul my own firewood and do lots of other things, I’m really hard on them. You will be too, so get plenty. I’ve never found used gloves that were worth buying anywhere, so I wind up buying these new too. They do come in various sizes, so try to buy what fits if you can, your dexterity will be much better.

An Army / Navy surplus store is your friend. Lots of good, cheap, durable supplies there. Avoid all the cheap import crap, most of it is junk. Get US military issue gear, surplus. What your looking for is durability, versatility, quality and price. Other military gear from other countries is often very good too (Swiss, German, etc.). This is where you can find boots, pants, gloves, hats, coats, jackets, liners, thermal underwear, sleeping bags, tents, etc. They’ve also got some really cool “bug-out” gear such as packs, fire starters, flares and such like, although I am NOT an advocate of the “bug-out” scenario. Remember, refugees fair poorly, around the world. Bug-out is a last resort, a desperate and suicidal attempt to stay alive. It’s also a sign of poor planning (that’s another hint). Don’t bug out. Move.

More to come on shelter, security and relationships. I will also be posting some information on primitive lifestyles and survival that will appeal to some.

 Posted by at 5:28 am
Sep 272006

The news isn’t good these days, except for the temporarily falling gas prices.  There will be gigantic, global repercussions to the US torture scandal, particularily felt here at home, by Americans. What the US government has now done is made it permissible to torture whoever it likes, whenever it likes, as long as it likes, without absolutely NO accountability to anyone, anywhere. Now codified into law, the US government has finally received the sanction it wanted to stop pretending that it cares about human rights – or humans at all. James Bovard, author of Freedom in Chains (read it while you still can), declares that America is a Banana Republic in the United States of Barbarism. This is exactly what I have warning about – the US government will now have ‘legal authority’ to detain, torture and silence anyone that it declares a ‘threat’ for any reason with complete impunity.
Top Ten Signs of a Police State  And this little gem – Real I.D.

It’s pretty easy to see what the focus of all these things are. YOU. Having nothing to to whatsoever with real security, the lockstep march to a totalitarian police-state continues unabated. Isn’t it comforting to know how you government approves of you, the American?

 Posted by at 3:08 am
Sep 262006

(This is a belated post I’ve had sitting around for a little while, but still applicable)

Good stuff here – THE US ADDICTION TO WAR, MAYHEM AND MADNESS – PART I and Part II. The proof of US ambitions through an endless series of wars is there for anyone willing to accept the historical facts. Lendman tells it like it is. This reveals exactly what you can continue to expect from the US Government, irregardless of which “party” is in power

 Posted by at 4:37 pm
Sep 262006

John Batiste quit back in November 2005, but this is a recent speech given, which sounds right – at first.

Bottom line, our nation is in peril, our Department of Defense’s leadership is extraordinarily bad, and our Congress is only today, more than five years into this war, beginning to exercise its oversight responsibilities. This is all about accountability and setting our nation on the path to victory.

Underlying all the patriotism is something rather ominious for Americans –

Our country has yet to mobilize for a protracted, long war.

Third, we must mobilize our country for a protracted challenge, which must include conveying the “what, why, and how long” to every American, rationing to finance the totality of what we are doing, and gearing up our industrial base in a serious manner.

This new strategy must include serious consideration of federalizing the country,

Batiste is all gung-ho to continue this war under new leadership, but his “plan” as it were, is to demand the acceptance of every American. Funny how he mentions Afghanistan, which has increased opium production 60% this year alone. The war on terror has enabled the war on drugs apparently.

Reading between the lines of Batiste and you can see that this ex-military man isn’t ex at all, but rather a firm supporter for war and more war. While I am not the least bit surprised, I am saying that let this be a warning to all Americans. What the US Government wants and what it’s military seeks is to have complete control.

 Posted by at 8:33 am