I happened to catch the first half of the fifteen minute interview between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones a couple of days ago. I actually couldn’t convince myself to watch the second half because every minute of the first saw the last ounces of respect I had for Mr Jones fade to none. I used to faithfully listen to his radio show, but over the past year I’d picked up the pattern that has been going on for years with one inescapable fact, we’re not closer to the end of the world.
That same story theme across the years has just gotten played out, but the deal was really sealed when I say Alex Jones for what he has really become, a loud-mouthed, vitriolic ass-hat who is concerned with nothing other than his own self interests. He used to promote a war against tyranny, now he acts like a tyrant; an immature one who is so scared of being proven wrong or having to back track on a position that he just shouts over anyone who disagrees.
The whole point of that interview was to give Alex a chance to have a sensible dialog with Piers Morgan, and it would have been the perfect opportunity to nail Mr Morgan with some tough questions, and Alex tried a tiny bit of that. That little effort at a journalistic dialog was lost in the noise and spit as Alex delivered syllable after syllable of less and less on-target information bordering on gibberish. He knows what “his” audience expects of him, and his megalomania self-induced cult-of-personality serving ego just couldn’t let that go long enough to become palatable to Piers Morgan’s audience, which would have been the really smart thing to do if Alex was at all concerned with ‘waking up’ more Americans.
Ranting at ones fans about all the things upon which you all agree is not as effective as tapping new audiences and introducing your message in a digestible format. I know my opinion matters little to Mr Jones or Mr Morgan, and it will have zero impact on Alex’s behavior or market share, but maybe, just maybe you, the one reading the post, will ask yourself why you listen to the people you do and how much of an impact their style of message delivery has on you and how you conduct your interactions with others.
I for one recognize the great importance of speaking with respect to those who want to understand what I’m doing and why I think and act the way I do. Even is they disagree with me, I can at least show that they’re talking to individual capable of courtesy and dignity despite our disagreements. I just think Alex Jones has become irrational from his unchecked ego, and will now end up hurting the truth movement, which by extension will end up hurting the prepper movement. What do you think?
I’m reading some stuff in the news about how those who were at least somewhat prepared for hurricane Sandy were clever for doing so, but does this really vindicate preppers or the movement? I personally think that if any credence was given to smart folks who stocked some food, water and a generator, it will be extremely short-lived. Most Americans will quickly get lulled back into their false sense of security with just a single giant, over-priced coffee from Starbucks. It’s just the nature of the beast unless we can use that little bit of credibility to wake people up without scaring the shit out of them.
So what’s helping us spend that credibility? The American Prepper Network is large enough now that it includes a wide gamut of examples of people who will both encourage the growth of the movement, and push people away from it. They’re the most prominent organization, and one I highly recommend anyone at all interested in ensuring the safety of your family and yourself in times of crisis. You don’t have to read too far back in my posts to recognize that I think the nuclear attack/zombie apocalypse end of the spectrum are freaks doing a disservice, but I don’t dismiss them entirely. Even a blind squirrel find a nut now and then, and these folks also have some a couple of good ideas in a vast ocean of really outlandish ones.
There are still plenty of people without power from hurricane Sandy, not an overly strong storm, but it just hit a susceptible area of the coast. FEMA and other organizations are doing what they can, but when you’re infrastructure is damaged, moving supplies and people becomes really tough and slow. So the way to avoid suffering as needlessly as some people are as a result of this is to have interim supplies on hand. Those will get you through until the cavalry arrives to set things right. If you own a home with a yard, you’ve got space to store it all. If you live in an apartment, you also have some space for supplies, you just have to be smarter about it.
A couple of observances from listening to interviews with people affected (I heard them by listening to DemocracyNow radio, the 4 major networks didn’t have anything remotely as valuable to say on Sandy):
According to the Associated Press, US production of liquid hydrocarbons will almost match Saudi Arabia by the end of this year. Most of that, not surprisingly, is coming from private land sources. This is related to something Mitt Romney said against the president regarding the reduction of public land drilling permits. Romney tried to blame something on the president during the debates that doesn’t actually matter. You see, production is up, way up, and that was with the revoking of those public land permits, which weren’t being used to drill anyways, they were just being tied up.
Regardless, the US is going to be at least the #2 producer of oil by 2013, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. First, because the sources of oil the US has, meaning the private companies that sell to us, is expensive to get, so we will not see a reduction in gasoline prices because of this fact, buy might because of the news, since both facts and speculation control the price of commodities. We won’t even see a reduction if we hit the 15 million barrels per day by 2020 that analysts think we may, so what’s the big deal? Well, it would be a chance to reduce out dependency on foreign oil, at least for a while, and that time should be spent swapping our energy demand to something renewable and cleaner, period.
Even at 15 million barrels we wouldn’t make enough to cover our consumption, but what’s interesting is that we sell oil to Canada, who then sells it to China. Why aren’t we selling directly to China to reduce our debt to them? We also buy oil of Canada at a higher price than we sell to them…I’m not sure why we even have that swap in the first place. It seems logical to me that we should not put in the Keystone XL pipeline, something even Texans don’t want, and if anyone knows oil, it’s those guys.
All of this brings home an excellent point for preppers…stock your fuels, build your own grid, get energy independent at your homestead level. Forget the politics, logistics, and wishful think about low fuels prices. Instead, keep your nose to the grindstone, practice your plans, make your preparations, and set the example to those swayed by short-term news.
I’ve really slacked off on this blog, as with everyone else, I’ve got too many irons is too many fires. The current wildfires rampaging in my old stomping ground, literally, have convinced me to write this post today. As of right now, 32,000 residents of Colorado Springs, roughly 10% of the cities population have been evacuated from their homes and dozens of houses have been burned on top of the 3200 or so acres of land. Thankfully no lives have been lost thus far.
I don’t normally post a lot about policies and politics because they’re such hot-button topics that they end up in “flame wars” in the comments section, but this issue is so important that it’s one for which I’ll make an exception. When the “Farm Bill” was first envisioned, it was created to “address rock bottom prices (corn prices actually hit $0), national hunger, soil erosion, lack of credit and unfair export practices”, according to the Farm Aid website. Since those glory days food production has become an industry with only a handful of giant players, i.e. factory farms, leaving the remaining actual family farms to scrape by without the protection originally afforded within the farm bills.
In fact, in the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act enacted a system of direct payments to farmers to create a free market system, but it’s now a drain on our federal budget and has made it much tougher for the real family farmers to keep going and even tougher for new farmers to get into the business of growing food. Most of the money now ends up going to the few giant factory farms who are already earning record profits. I think it’s partly from manipulating commodity prices.
The illegal Congressional “Super Committee” has seen fit to keep most of the details of the latest Farm Bill a secret and is apprently just going to sign it without reading it. That worked out so well for the American people the last time Congress rubber-stamped legislation, didn’t it? (PATRIOT ACT)
So what does this mean for the average prepper? That depends on how you approach food in your preparations. If you prep like we do, you still buy fresh produce as part of your weekly intake of food, if we get a good deal on something, we can it or dehydrate it. Nothing packs as much nutrition, however, as fresh, raw, whole foods, so we’re always sure to eat plenty of them as we can through out the year. We grow some of our own, but by the rest from local small farmers. We make a point to go out and visit them to see how they raise and grow the food too, I call it a chance to “meet the meat.”
We also have purchased storable foods on hand, which are also part of our regular weekly food intake, not just tucked away for emergencies. That storable food is made from the commodities which are price controlled, in part, by the same system which has corrupted the Farm Bill. Pressuring your representatives in Congress to get there act together on this, as well as just about everything else it seems, is the only way to correct this horrible change which threatens small, family farms and rural communities.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the farms that actually needed the assistance were the ones getting it. The best advice I can offer is to offer none, but tell you what we’re doing. We’re contacting our reps and asking that they stop handing our tax money to giant corporations which don’t need nor deserve it. We’re also putting them on notice that our vote for them next election is based upon them representing their constituents and not big corporations. We also try to combat some of the food price fluctuations by purchasing storable foods in large quantities, usually no smaller than 6 month supplies.
How do you deal with fluctuating food prices?