Let’s Talk About “What IF?”

31 Mar

Today, I’m going to talk about “WHAT IF?”…

Originally, I wrote this for my other blog, but I’m going to run it here, too. I think it’s so important, that it needs to be “aired out.”

Now, I’m not all “ego-driven” (unless you ask my wife), and I don’t have any insight that comes “from above,” I’m just “standing by the shore, watching the storm come in.”

We get email.

Yeah, people actually take the time out from their busy schedules, to let us know that we’re:

(And I quote)

(a) crazier than a bag fulla cats (or even “Crazy Harry”),

(b) just miscreants stirring up trouble,

(c) “Closet Supremacists” looking to start a fight so we can watch the chaos, and…

(d) Republicans eager to throw stones at a President who inherited a mess, and made some changes…

Okay, here’s our reply:

(a) We like cats too much to shove them into bags. That’s just mean.

Do that around me, and I WILL punch you in the eye, or worse.

(b) We choose our fights very carefully and we avoid confrontation as much as possible. This precludes “causing any” whenever possible.

It’s important to LIVE without stress or drama.

(c) We don’t find ourselves aligned with the dogma’s of Aryans, or Extremists, or Fundamentalists (or even Baptists, for that matter). We’re just people with families who want to safely navigate any peril we’ll encounter, and get thru any storm that comes our way.

At some point, you need to look to your own house, before you look to everyone else’s.

(d) We don’t see ourselves as being “politically aligned” or even “politically correct” anymore. It’s far too late for that. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, a Liberal or a “Tea Bagger”… the perilous times we now live in have twisted themselves into something that affects every single one of us adversely, at some level.

You don’t need a “Magic 8-Ball” to see your unemployed neighbors, or friends with homes in foreclosure.

Things aren’t getting better.

It’s time for US to look after ourselves, since the U.S. Government doesn’t seem to be doing much in the way of “positive action” to make things better.

That government, that Congress that was supposed to provide for our security is too busy negotiating “riders and attachments,” “give-aways and bribes,” to get landmark legislation passed that will surely bring all of us to our knees. When even the analysts unite to tell us that something is really, really bad… well, we’d better start listening.

The times, they are a’changin…

It’s time to see things as they are, and then return to “Ground Zero.”

The problem is having real security in the basic things that are true necessities — air, water, food, shelter, and clothing.

Air – Although it’s quality is declining in most of our metropolitan locales, it’s still free and plentiful.

The multinationals have not figured out a way to control it, and Congress hasn’t figured out a way to tax it… yet.

Water – Hello? There are places in America where you’ll get a ticket for watering your lawn, or even washing your car.

Potable water is becoming more and more of a problem in more and more places on earth, due to overpopulation, pollution, drought, and waste.

Shelter- Well, Renaissance Ronin and The Bubba Effect are both basically just “Family Survival blogs” that talks a lot about creating safe shelters.

In fact, that is “part and parcel” of what we are chartered to help solve here. Our roofs won’t fall in tomorrow if everything else comes to a screeching halt.

Building an affordable, sustainable home that works with you on a daily basis to insure your family’s security and well-being just makes sense, especially NOW.

Clothing – Have you been to Walmart or Target lately? In the US, very little clothing is being made here.

There’s a reason that there are huge mountains of empty shipping containers stacked up in every major shipping port and railyard in America.

Everything is imported from overseas!  There is probably very little local sustainability of clothing supply anywhere within our borders, except in isolated places where commerce is still based on “the local Mom and Pop store” that Walmart hasn’t managed to kill yet.

People will say: “But wait… we have stockpiles! This is America! We have huge excesses of clothing on hand for the short to medium term.”

Sure we do, but how are you going to actually GET them? Commerce will come to a screeching halt if there is anything that resembles a collapse. Trucks may dare venture out on open roads, but I’m betting they won’t. Why? Those trucks will become huge 18 wheeled targets…

I’m hearing that old “Country Western” song in the back of my head right about now (I forget who sang it… CW McCall, I think… wait, I’ll “Google” it):

Get a load of that old stereo! I remember having one just like it in our living room…

I’ve left the best for last…

Food – is the “Elephant in the Room” that nobody seems to want to talk about.

It’s a big, big issue. You don’t have to turn on Cable News to figure out that world stockpiles of food are at the lowest levels since records have ever been kept.

And “Worldwide distribution of food?” Forget about it.

THAT is utterly beyond anyone’s control. This beast is barely still chained in the yard, and it’s a largely unmanageable system that barely seems to function as it keeps “working” so far…

Look, we are totally at the mercy of the globalized markets for our food.

Check the vegetable aisles in your local stores. All the produce seems to be from Chile, or Peru, or Mexico. The system might seem robust now, as you pay several dollars for a pound of tomatoes, but the reality is that it’s a supply system that can be shut off in a heartbeat. THEN, what will you do?

When we were stationed in America, I grew up in Southern California, in the middle of a huge farming district. We literally ran out our back door, and into neighboring fields, to pick enough produce for dinner, with the landlord’s blessings. (He was an “Ex-Marine” and a big fan of my father, who ran a local US Marine Air Station.) Alas, commerce and progress reared their ugly heads, and most of California’s produce production moved north, to places like the Sacramento valley, which represented a huge breadbasket.

Sacramento is famous for tomatoes, a huge trade crop, but even with that  seemingly unlimited availability of tomatoes and nothing else, you are certainly going to starve to death.

I mean, tomatoes are great, all mashed up into condiments, but you still need proteins. And sauce… we eat a LOT of pasta around here. But, many of the other vegetables grown there are similarly without vital components needed for survival.

Fortunately, there are also huge rice paddies and fruit and nut orchards within bicycling distance of the biggest towns in the region.

Now,  if you could harness all that… you’d be talking about real “Grass Roots” subsistence!

The problem there (beyond the fact that the State is in utter chaos and bankruptcy, as I type this) is that the million or more people have absolutely no clue how to provide for themselves on a basic level.

The few that do? Well, they won’t have a chance against the mobs.

Many of us grow gardens, and incorporate that produce into our families diets. However, unless that garden is pretty “intensive,” the vegetables that we grow in our backyards is not nearly enough to provide the calories we’ll need to live.

And we’ll burn calories bringing those crops in, unless we can talk the kids into doing it. Here’s how I’m gonna do it, when Joshua gets older:

And, there’s the grim reality that those very same gardens may actually pose a threat to us, as “those without seek out those with,” in mobs.  We grow gardens for the fresh food, the education, and the knowledge that we are creating a real “sustainable environment” in our own space, and we work hard at it.

There’s a lesson here:

Members of the LDS Church figured it out a long time ago. Now, as most of you already know, I’m a Jew, but I’m not afraid to “tip my yamulke” to those who have the foresight to create communities where security is provided by insuring the food supply.

They store, can, and dry. And then, they stockpile food as they pray, to the very same G-d I do, for guidance, and calm, and “divinely granted” insight…

Why don’t others do this??

Well, it’s because we’re not taught from the beginning, that times can get hard. If we’re out of something, we jump in our SUV  and race to Walmart or Winn-Dixie. We’ve outgrown conversations in the house about the “Great Depression,” or WWII Rationing.

What will you do, when Walmart or other grocery stores can’t be relied on to fill your shelves and pantries?


I suggest that you have something important to think about. And, it’s a great topic for family discussion over the dinner table.

The real answer here, in my view, isn’t to buy guns, or bottled water, or MRE’s.

It’s to “gather the masses,” getting people together at the local level, to discuss and then understand the very real and imminent dangers that we face, as the American Economy falters. We need to go back to the times when communities actually had dedicated spaces, for purposes like Community Gardens.

We need to face the fact that “things are changing” and then work together as friends and neighbors to achieve local food security.

To people who find themselves living in places like Phoenix, AZ, where there is a large population, essentially no local food production, and no excess water or decent land to grow food with if they wanted to, I have some advice…

Consider your “needs,” and then consider your “haves.”

And then, act on it.  You may figure out that you “need” a moving van in your driveway…

Stay tuned…

And be nice to animals. The eye you save may be your own… 😉


2 Responses to “Let’s Talk About “What IF?””

  1. Morgan April 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    As someone in Phoenix and planning to move to Oregon to build an ISBU home.. this post is relevant to my interests.

  2. how much should i weigh May 1, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    lmao fun stuff dude.

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