A Cautionary Tale From The Fringe

The biggest reason most of the folks we come across in our daily lives have no idea what is coming (the basic collapse of the American infrastructure) is the fact that they are "still sleeping." The iPods, Lady Gaga, American Idol, and You Tube silliness all work well to keep the masses sleeping. This might be a good thing, in a way. If nothing else, it buys the rest of us time to continue to prepare. And if enough people do wake up, it will actually accelerate the inevitable. But that is okay, since it is going to happen anyway. And perhaps more people will survive to rebuild our nation.
I personally believe it is too late to turn this sinking ship around. The Euro will crash literally any day. The Dollar and Yen will fall right behind it. The best we can hope for is that the crash and subsequent reset won't last too long. I think at least one generation, maybe two, will really be in the hurt locker. I believe the current administration wants a partial crash so they can more fully seize power and instill their way of life.
But I think they underestimate how bad the collapse will be. Even if they thought of calling Chinese Troops to quell rioting, the rest of the world (probably China, too) will have their hands full.
I still find myself reeling (mentally) when I contemplate the probable loss of life that will occur in such a scenario. I've been trying to plant seeds with folks I come in contact with. But it seems to have little effect. But I am also careful not to sound like a right-wing nut job. Not because I care what people think about me, but I don't want to make myself a target.
It is my hope that those of us who survive will keep some historical records, so when the country (world?) rebuilds it can be on a more mature, more stable foundation. I have hundreds of hours of lectures on CD about world history, religion and philosophy that I acquired from a company called "The Teaching Company" And while I am not an overly religious man (I'm nearly an atheist but enjoy Buddhist-style meditation, my wife is a Christian.) I do see the positive aspects of Christianity on a society. Or, as is the case these days, the negative effects of its absence.
But my point of today's piece is how I became awake of the dangers coming our way. In the process of talking about that, I will point out why I think most people remain asleep. It's worth noting that radio and TV personality Glenn Beck is a great source of information. It seems he knows what is going on. And I wish to point out, I developed my opinions about the world before I had even heard of Glenn Beck. Once I woke up, I began searching the AM radio dial to see if anyone was talking about this sort of stuff.
My life has been an interesting one. Heck, I could (and hope to) write a book about it. But I'll try to keep the background info brief. My biological father abandoned our family of five when I was seven (and the oldest of the kids). I started cutting grass and washing cars at 8 years old. I'm sure I wasn't very good, but I made lots of "pity" money. And it helped install a good work ethic. I was also a scared kid who turned to drugs and alcohol to try and quiet my mind at a young age. By 28 years of age, I was a washed-out bum who couldn't get (or hold) a job.
So I cleaned up my act, and by 41 years of age had mortgages on four properties in Southern California. One being a beachfront condo, the other being a cabin in the mountains (Yes a "cabin in the mountains". But don't get ahead of the story.).
All was going well, not a cloud on the horizon. Aside from the two above-mentioned properties, our other two properties were preschools. Our flagship operation had been full, with a waiting list, since 1978. I was dabbling in Restaurant Consulting and Real Estate. We rent out our beach condo weekly to folks who want to vacation on the beach in Southern California.
As a part-time Realtor, I knew the housing bubble was going to pop. But hey, I was not going to be selling anything for 15 to 20 years, so I wasn't worried. I had no idea of the world-wide consequences the bubble bursting would have.
Then September of 2008 came along. My previously full school was now 20 children under-enrolled. At an average of $800 per month, per child, I was losing $16,000 a month! Needless to say, we tanked badly. We just barely stayed afloat.
Now believe it or not, this didn't wake me up! I still had no idea of the world I really lived in. My view of Washington and Sacramento had always been this – "Oh, they are all crooks. As long as they leave me alone and let me make a living, what do I care?"
But now that my life had fallen apart (financially speaking), I found myself searching for answers. I couldn't understand how I had been so blind-sided. How did I not see the collapse and recession coming? What else didn't I know? It was really this exact sort of fear and worry that had led me to drugs and alcohol when I was 13 years old. Obviously that wasn't an option now, but still I had to figure it out.
In August of 2009, my wife and I needed a break (A few years back we had been going on two cruises a year. My how times change. At least I can say I saw a lot of the Northern Hemisphere, Hawaii and some of the Caribbean.) So we took a week to drive through the beautiful state of Nevada.
Well, the night before the trip I had been reading an article about the [then] upcoming movie 2012 with John Cusack. The article was about "survival nuts" in Montana and Texas and their radiation suits and all the other survivalist stuff. At the time, I thought of them (now me) as fringe nut-jobs. But one sentence caught my attention. It was a fellow in Texas who was telling the interviewer how he was stashing gold and silver to barter with "when the economy collapsed."
Since my own "economy" had collapsed 14 months before, I knew all about that.
So as my wife and I hit the road, over our Starbucks Coffees I said, "So honey, if the U.S. and/ or world economies collapsed, what would we do?" She didn't answer for a long minute, maybe two. Then she said, "Well, we'd just go to the cabin." To which I answered, "Yeah, then what?"
For the rest of our week driving through the beautiful, but desolate and remote state of Nevada we began to talk-out all of the things we would need to live a life even remotely like the one we live now.
Fast forward to now. We are nearly set. We've spent $2,000 or so on canned goods at Costco. Our deep-freezer is full of meats I've gotten on sale. At my current residence I have 20 gallons of frozen citrus juice from my orchard ready for bugging out. We have vitamins for 12 people to last a year. We have enough non-hybrid seeds to plant four acres. We've had solar power installed at the cabin. We even have a couple of portable solar generators. Since I am not handy, I've gotten a carpenter and an electrician to join my tribe. I also have a friend who hunted a lot in his youth. He provided all the "lead rations" and "high-speed delivery systems" that we'll need. We are still a little light on medical / first-aid stuff. But I'm working on that. And we did all of our prep a little at a time, on a shoestring budget. The solar was the only thing I had to max out the credit cards for. Unfortunately I couldn't afford gold, but I found a coin shop that sells silver at a buck over spot, so I've gotten 200 ounces of that. I also have about 10 gallons of cheap store-brand liquor that I have bottled in little pint-size water bottles for bartering.
But none of that could have happened if I had not "woken up". I hope this article might wake up someone who hasn't had the rug pulled out from under them yet. Because those are the people who are still sleeping. And the main-steam media isn't going to wake anyone up. The current administration certainly isn't going to do it. In fact, they need us to stay asleep.
Now, you might be saying, "But Lew, I don't have a mountain cabin to flee to." Most don't, so you're not alone. I would recommend getting some canned food, bottled water, and some firearms for defense. Look at how you can best fortify wherever it is that you call home. Gently "feel out" your neighbors to see where there heads are at. A small, tight community of a few houses will fair better than trying to go it alone.
In closing, I hope I have at least caused someone to "wake up" to the dangers that surround our current Western Society. And don't just take my word for it. Do your own research. The web is full of info on this subject.