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Old 02-08-12, 12:40 PM   #11
Lex Parsimoniae
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That old guy with the Weed Salad, seemed like he might end up being a Homeless Zombie's victim..
I bet he would love to visit this guy.. Salad Fixings - 2-2012.avi - YouTube

Walking Salad Man, and the Texas Girl-on-foot seemed to have some weird idea about
being able to march around semi-abandoned cities, carrying survival gear.
IMHO, that's a really dumb idea.

If you live in the city like I do, surrounded by millions of totally unprepared people,
(many of whom are living the entitlement lifestyle) I'm not sure that
having PV panels (or having a nice garden) visible from the street, would be such a good idea.

If you trying to remain at home, when thousands of desperate people are
streaming down your street. It just seems like a no-win situation.

I was also impressed by the Texas food hoarders, and I'll bet they didn't
reveal much about Plan B, C & D.. Serious folks.

But worrying about the magnetic poles switching?? That's a job for the FAA..

I'll try to watch the second show tonight. (It's on the DVR).

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Old 02-08-12, 07:17 PM   #12
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Just watched the second show and then started reading this, about food prices.
Looks like I'm going to be cutting back on Chocolates in the coming years..

I found the Liberal New England food hoarders very interesting.
They're obviously anti-gun (aka defenseless), and I have to wonder, who the
Practical New Englander is in that group?
It's not the nut who wants to poison the invaders from Beantown,
or cut their throats while they slumber.

Haha! I can just see them, a couple weeks after the 'Hit', trying to sell honey for guns and ammo..

Of all the worst case scenarios, the total financial melt-down looks to be the most likely.
The deterioration of civilization caused by lack of food and fuel etc, should be pretty slow,
if the local state and city law enforcement keeps running for a while.

But, once it starts, it might not be reversible.. We might end up with
50 or 50,000 little 'States', or non at all. Just complete anarchy.
Those States would try to protect themselves..

In various movies and books about this sort of thing, people in small
towns barricade the roads into their towns. They become an isolationist commune.

In many of these fictional stories, brutal gangs take over areas in the cities.
But when they run low on food, the worse of humanity will head out to those small towns..

Seems logical. (After seeing people get into fist fights over milk and bread
just before a snow storm hits).

It's a big no-win. IMHO, the best way to prepare is to try to insure that
we have a good government. One that will stay running in hard times,
but even better, one that will be smart enough to prevent us from going over the cliff.

A guy can dream can't he??
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Old 02-09-12, 08:26 AM   #13
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Yeah, I'm just thinking about all this "preparedness". Really, if something that bad happened, wouldn't having a garden or people knowing you have stored food or a generator make you a target? I think some of the best things to do would be to lay as low as possible because it would be anarchy out there as you say. Your so called neighbors will turn into your enemies unless you all band together to form a community of sorts. As much as I'd hate to say it, you'd need some kind of guns or weapons to keep you and your family safe. And you sure as hell wouldn't want to turn on any lights if you do have a generator. You'd be a huge target. Candles would be the norm. A house would need an actual fireplace. Really any of us who get hit with snow who have larger houses without a fireplace would kind of be screwed. It would almost be better to have a European type of house...small, with a fireplace and wood stoves to keep you warm in the winter. Some kind of cold storage under the house to keep food. And some kind of 10 foot barbed wire fence around your house. I'm not sure any of us could really prepare for something that crazy to happen.

It's funny to think that if we lost electricity or conveniences right now it would turn us all into a bunch of crazy people and we'd fall into chaos when not even 150 years ago they did just fine without all of these conveniences...for the most part.

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Old 02-09-12, 09:12 AM   #14
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Very loud Dynamite explosions are one of my first vivid memories as small child.
I might have been about 4 years old when the power company installed lines
down the farm road where my grandparents lived.
Within a matter of a few years, they also had phone lines. That's how it was in 1950 Texas.

There's a vacant house down the street from me. It seems like every time the
repair guys leave, the copper thefts come back again..
Maybe a cheap alarm system would save that family some bucks..
Or, maybe their insurance company hasn't suggested that idea??

I have a few panels (1300watts) out in the backyard.
If the grid was to fail for a few weeks, I'll bet that PV would become a target..
Might be better not to have those things where they can be seen from the street.

In the city, if your whole roof was covered with PV, the best prep might be a good bug-out bag..

My family has a bug-out plan, but only because of the old nuke plant down on the south shore.
We get enough radiation from our Radon in the basement!!
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Old 02-09-12, 10:59 AM   #15
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Default Entitlement...

I formerly belonged to a local group that was originally interested in studying the effects of Peak Oil and find ways to work cooperatively to improve a future where oil (the life blood of modern society) would be in short supply.

I watched it evolve into a network of people who shared the understanding that the scenario of hard times ahead was a distinct possibility.

I saw the group grow in numbers and ultimately have a positive effect on the way our city plans for the future.

Then I noticed that the number of participants began to drop rapidly and I realized that a new mindset was driving out people who were interested in cooperative work toward a better future, considering scenarios of resource limitations.

The new mindset was the mindset of survivalism (distinctly different from surviving)... a mindset of fear and guns and food hording and razor wire barriers and guard dogs.

There was also talk about what to do when 'they' came to get our food and water and valuables. I came to understand that 'they' were dark and lazy and dangerous. In other words, 'they' were blacks and Latinos.

This was all around the time of hurricane Katrina, and in the aftermath of that disaster, there were shaded comments about the "lessons of Katrina".

It was racism wearing a very thin veil.

And always, 'they' had a sense of entitlement... (how ironic)

* * *

I came across a film called "Welcome To New Orleans", which was done by Rasmus Holm, a documentary film maker from Denmark who was visiting New Orleans when Katrina hit.

In the film, there is a segment where drunken survivalists are bragging about the (black) people they killed, for the crime of being out on the street.

* * *

I read a very interesting book about the San Francisco earth quake of 1906, and the subsequent fire that engulfed the city. It was very interesting the way people behaved in the face of a total actual disaster, that cut across racial and class lines.

The surprise was that people of all races and classes opened their hearts & homes to help others in need.

* * *

So I think that the real danger is not the starving, dark, pillaging mobs, but instead it is the more real threat of white people with guns who are ready and willing to kill to protect their own sense of entitlement.

* * *

I have wondered what is behind the survivalist bravado... I hear the very same talk, the same words over time, from many different locations.

I think it springs from a sense of social isolation combined with a sense of helplessness... a potentially dangerous combination. It is a combination where weapons replace vibrant social connections, and bravado and swagger attempt to fill the void where hope used to exist.

In many ways it strongly resembles a fixation on pornography... where an abstracted symbol is used as a stand-in for a complex reality. And I think that very similar forces are driving it.

I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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Old 02-09-12, 01:30 PM   #16
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The thing about this who idea of being prepared is, I don't think it will happen over night, it's going to start with $2 a gallon gasoline and with people not knowing how to grow their own food so they buy food that has limited nutritional value and takes very basic skills to prepare, it's going to be caused by young people going to get an education to be bankers and lawyers and in the end not having the skills the get by in life.

I'm not worried about people coming and steeling food from my garden because there are so many people who don't have a clue how to eat real food that the idea wouldn't even cross their mind, no one steels real food, but when looting a grocery store the microwave dinners and frozen pizzas will most likely be the first to go, same thing with solar panels, there many people who don't even have a clue what they are, how they work or how they would use them that if they did get stolen they would most likely be destroyed before they got used, I can almost see two houses from where I sit in my living room that have solar panels on the roofs, I'm one of a handful of people who even know that those people have them and if panic sets in people are not going to look at what they can do, they are going to focus on what they don't have and stock on up poptarts.
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Old 02-09-12, 04:28 PM   #17
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I think that you need to have a diverse range of food types. Making things from ingredients is great until water is scarce or undrinkable or you don't have the ability to boil or cook. Less of a doomsday thing and more of a 'I don't like going to the grocery store more than once a month' type thing, I take advantage of the sales on the chunky sort of soups that have the vegetables, burger, and potatoes. When they were a buck and I bought almost half a cart of that, canned fruit, and a bunch of 69 cent cans of ravioli. I got the weirdest look from the cashier. I didn't want to explain that I was buying food that will last a few years (in regular eating rotation, bring some to work since there is only a microwave, etc) so I told her that this was going to a food shelf. She seemed to be a little relieved that I wasn't some nutcase who only eats one thing. Since it is cooked it can be eaten right out of the can too so in the event of no electricity or natural gas and I want to conserve fuel, this isn't a bad way to go. Of course its not the healthiest thing(salt, etc) but probably better than what most of the general public eats.

Of course fresh food is best, I do have a garden but the yield is small and dependent on the season for harvest.
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Old 02-09-12, 08:36 PM   #18
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<i>This was all around the time of hurricane Katrina, and in the aftermath of that disaster, there were shaded comments about the "lessons of Katrina".

It was racism wearing a very thin veil.</i>

I wish that people would stop with bandying about the racism card as part of a moral posturing game.

The people you observed were reacting to the reality that was seared into the nation's consciousness in the Katrina aftermath. Acknowledging reality doesn't make a person a racist and ignoring reality doesn't make a person an ant-racist saint.

Compare the community reaction to the Grand Forks flood in 97, the Kobe earthquake, the Christchurch earthquakes, the Boxing Day Tsunami, all catastrophes that equaled or exceeded the devastation of Katrina and the social decay wasn't present. Those victims pulled together. Even the Yakuza in Kobe were out in force handing out care packages and there was no violence, no queue jumping, no looting, etc.

<i>I think it springs from a sense of social isolation combined with a sense of helplessness.</i>

The Harvard scholar Robert Putnam has been at the forefront of research on community values and he's detailed what you're referring to - social isolation is growing in America and the primary culprit is increased diversity. As diversity increases people isolate themselves even more, not just from different ethnic groups but also from their own social circles. They cocoon. This is an interesting effect because one would expect that the pullback from unease with diversity would be to a point where one relies more on one's own community but Putnam was quite surprised by the correlation between social isolation/cocooning and community diversity.

Whatever is driving this rising survivalism phenomenon is an academic point - people can pass moral judgments on these people but that stigmatization effort doesn't really change what's going on, in that shows like this are actually mainstreaming the movement and granting it more legitimacy. There's no need to invoke the false boogeyman of racism and tar these people as racists. If it's not your bag, then just leave it at that.
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Old 02-10-12, 04:38 AM   #19
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Farmers markets are growing very quickly. CSA's are as well. Buy locally grown meat and eggs. The best thing is local food tastes *much* better than factory foods *and* it is more nutritious and lacks all the nasty hormones and antibiotics. Read "Animal Vegetable Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver and/or "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Learn about water use and erosion and how chemical fertilizers and pesticides are killing the soil. Watch "Dirt! The Movie" on Hulu to learn about the cycle of life.

Disposable plastic is an oxymoron.

Start composting all your yard waste and kitchen waste (except meat, of course). Dig a garden and start learning about what to grow. Stop using chemical fertilizers on your lawn. Learn how to knit or sew or spin yarn if you are so moved. Call up one of the solar installers that can put a PV system on your roof for $0 down -- you then pay about half of what you are now for electricity over time.

I am seriously considering buying a velomobile. Our next car will have a plug. Start a car sharing group. Help your neighbors learn about all of these things.

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Old 02-10-12, 09:10 AM   #20
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We just moved outside the city, so the first thing I have to do this spring is build a new garden. We're also closer to one of the farmer's markets that open in the spring to fall. And there's a honey guy just down the main road of the town that I'm going to get to know for sure. Now that we bought a new house I'm a few years away from solar paneling though. We've got to buy a new furnace/AC for the house, new toilets and eventually a new water softening system. I also need to start harvesting rainwater and have 1 barrel right now. And we also want to finish our basement, which includes making a cold storage area. So I'm hoping in 5-10 years all of this is complete.

You are right though, when disaster strikes, it's not all looting and vandalism like you see in the movies. We have a lot of issues here with flooding every year from the Red River (we're upstream from Grand Forks) and people always band together to help out.

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