GCT MAG ADJUSTS TO THE WINDS OF CHANGE: Are You Prepared?Cork Graham | Category: Africa, Asia, Cultural, Equipment, Europe, Historical, Latin America, Mexico, Middle East, Military/LE, News, North America, Psychological, Sociological, Strategies, Tactics
Nuclear Holocaust. Past Peak Oil. Economic Collapse. Influenza Outbreak…ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! The list could go on. Unless you’ve been living in Mother Goose’s boot, you’ve noticed things are not as they have been. Things are much, much different…
A friend from college, who had been living outside of the country since he graduated, visited last week. He was from Southern California, and after serving in one branch of the military, he entered the US Coast Guard and retired as a chief, a year before our graduation. He had solid memories of the US. When I asked him if he also noticed the morose feeling in the country. He said, “Yes!”
There is a pall that has come over the country. Many think it’s just the poor economy and the way Washington plays with the numbers of how many are really gainfully employed. Yes, it is the economy, but it’s a lot more. The economy is really just the canary in the mine. The economy is dependent on supply and demand. In no time in history has the supply been so outweighed. It’s all about population and depletion of resources. What we’re going to end up with is an avalanche of hurt. And people are paying attention…
In the last seven months, from out of the blue, I’ve been commissioned by a number of people to do assessments. These are the kinds of assessments people request when they’re: 1. Wealthy and can afford it; 2. Fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones; 3. They don’t want to lose all that they’ve worked so hard for; 4. They want to keep their privacy secure, and in no way want anyone to know what they’re preparing for.
In the 1980s, we used to call them survivalists. We didn’t pay much mind to them, especially those of us who were actively fighting the Cold War and had much bigger, and much more real, fish to fry than the potential of having to survive a post-apocalyptic scenario that was so overbeat in films cranked out by Hollywood at the time.
Personally, I would have put these kinds of people in the same lot as those who believe global warming is somehow something new and totally the result of burning fossil fuels: just a bunch of demonstrators looking for a new cause for them to take up another city block in their need to picket something, anything…and make good money at it. In contrast, what I’ve learned is that those people who’ve sought my services in the last year, and those I’ve subcontracted to, are very intelligent, world-experienced, and much more importantly they’re well-connected. Insider trading would be the term used for this aspect of being “well-connected”, and could be accused of “insider trading” in the world of stocks. In the world of preparedness, it’s called getting forehand information—it’s led to victories in war. People who swim in this world learn of things long before peons like you and me. And what I’ve learned is that it’s not if it’s coming down, but when.
I’ve tried to get my mind around what’s happening, and how to best prepare for something like this, something for which there has been no precedence within the last 3,000 years. But, it wasn’t until I learned of the work done by Chris Martenson and his Crash Course, that it really became all clear: I was deeply depressed for two weeks after I went through the course…and then I got my head straight. I don’t see a world as bright and cheery after collapse, as an intellectual like Martenson (I’ve seen too many people react to fear and distress), but I see that aside from something as stupid as a major nuclear launch between two big players, there is an opportunity for not only survival, but thriving—who in the world wants to survive on bugs and rats like a hobo under a bridge, after all?
Now you won’t find this information of worth to National Geographic. Sadly, what sensationalism NatGeo is offering on their new, wildly successful program, DOOMSDAY PREPPERS is just a bunch of crap. Frankly, just about everyone on that show is just trying to sell you “stuff”. You will never see any of us on that show, nor any of our clients: That one of the guests had their generator ripped off, and another had his firearms confiscated shouldn’t be surprising. Getting on a show, other than to sell something, these days, is just nuts: one of the major contributors to your safety is not only having no one know where you are but also what you’ve got—operational security has importance for a very real reason! Public Relations budgets aside, nation’s militaries spend millions to keep anyone from learning anything at all about who they are and what they do, so why would “preppers,” those trying to protect themselves, even consider inviting a TV camera into their home, much less let viewers see what they’ve got?
Then there are some of the nuke prep baffoons on Doomsday Preppers, but I’m not even going to go there: If you drank the Kool-Aid from the 1980s and 1990s about surviving a nuclear attack in an NBC suit, well, you deserve to go through life in a post-nuclear apocalypse world. Me, I’m just hoping that I’m at ground-zero if we ever get into a ‘real’ nuclear war.
If you read my 2004 bestselling memoir about my political imprisonment in Vietnam from 1983 to 1984, you have read the scene where Vietnamese were scavenging the rusted shells of US and Soviet tanks on the on the highway between Saigon and Rach Gia. Those tanks were taken out with conventional weapons. The same style of scrap scavenging has been occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan. The difference, because ammunitions manufacturers have learned how well depleted uranium can burn a hole in armor, is extremely dangerous materials are all over the battlefields, along with many other pieces of extremely toxic materials. Those people who are trying to do replicate the example in Vietnam, and prior wars, are getting sick, very sick.
Other laughable scenes in NatGeo’s DOOMSDAY PREPPERS are those revolving around “bugging in” in the city. Doesn’t anyone get that as the world’s populations have exploded, all governments have been doing their best to migrate people out of the country and into metropolitan areas?
They do this under the cover that it’s going to be good for you, that you’ll somehow benefit: you do financially in the short term, when there are actually jobs to be had. It’s no different from moving the Lakota and Apache onto reservations during the wars of the West, and “forced relocation” as part of the Strategic Hamlet Program implemented by the US during the Vietnam War. When you remove the independence of a people, as offered by private, family farming and ranching enterprises, and get them in the cities, either tied to working for a major corporation, or better yet, on the dole, they don’t speak up so much for fear of losing their sole source of sustenance. If you’ve been wondering why the present administration was in such praise of opening up funding for new “government” jobs, think about it…if you think the status quo was bad in the past, wait and see!
Macrocosm in the Microcosm
What do Saigon, Beirut and San Salvador all have in common? They were thought of as the Rivieras of their area. Before the crush of civil war, Lebanon and Vietnam were considered the Pearls of Asia and the Middle East. Considering my first memories of life began watching the May Offensive of Saigon in 1968, and then add later memories of fighting in Central America during the 1980s, you could say I have a little insight into wars in the Third World. And contrary to what all these bearded, whiteheads in college would like to smoke and mirrors on you, war, real wars begin when people get hungry. They don’t get to full strength because a few zealouts believe in Allah, or some romanticized stupidity about Che Guevara and how communism and socialism are somehow going to save the world.
Sure there are the nuts, who get picked off in the first onslaught, screaming “Allah be praised!” or “Venceremos comarades!” But, it’s not until the masses get hungry, really hungry, does the war actually get going.
Vietnam, Lebanon, El Salvador, these were lands of plenty. They were so rich they were able to support, though unhealthily, all variations of economic status: poor, middle-class, and rich. When supply depleted, as had occurred due to overpopulation, the middle-class shrunk, a small part going to “rich” status, and the rest to the “poor”….remind you of the United States? It should.
What made the United States great was the fact that we had a large and very strong middle-class. What has happened in the last thirty years is that much of the wealth has been scarfed up by increasingly shrinking wealthy class, and an increase in inflation.
Up until the early part of the last decade, the First World was pretty much living fat and happy. Things have a changed…
Remember: Just like when you see a meager truckload of rice in a population that has way over-run nation capacity, conflict arises when demand outweighs supply.
And do you, also, think inflation is really natural? Check this out: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-10-inflation
Peak Oil and Getting Blood Out of Stone
Peak Oil has been the catch phrase since the early 1900s. For the last thirty years, to those who’ve been paying attention, this isn’t news: not only was US Peak Oil Production reached in 1970s, but Global Peak Oil has been reached. Yes, in 2005, we reached what is called Peak Oil: GLOBALLY. The problem is that many confuse Peak Oil with “Depleted Oil.” We may never reach a time where there is no longer oil to be turned into gasoline. The question is, will you be able to afford it?
How many of you remember when our parents and grandparents were complaining about paying 25-cents a gallon for gasoline? It wasn’t that far in the past, and that was when oil production was still on a steep increase.
When people look at a graph, they see that there have been ups and downs in oil production since 2005. Many take the rises as an example that peak oil has not been arrived at. But, when you take a step back and look at the whole graph, you’ll notice that the graph is not a bunch of falls and rises. It’s really a plateau. So, how would you explain that plateau?
We’re not finding any more oil reserves and what oil we’re pulling up and process is oil that was found years ago, and it’s just now, as with every rise, that the latest technology has been made available to draw it up. The falls on the graph are when we deplete that reserve to the best of technical capability…rising again when yet another new technology comes available to squeeze more blood out of the stone.
Check out Martenson’s take: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-17a-peak-oil
Economic Collapse and The 5/10/15
Even those who hate the fact that our economy is totally reliant on oil, try to avoid the fact: we don’t have to run out of oil for it to effect our local and world economy. We just have to have a scenario that whether we have lots of oil, or not, the price of oil goes through the roof. It’s already nationally in the US at $4.38. How long before you won’t be able to make the commute to work, because the amount of money that you earn won’t be able to cover not only mortgage, your food, your utilities AND your gas tank?
Throw in the insanity of administration after administration spending like a shopping addict in a Walmart, not really caring because as far as they’re concerned it’s not their money, it’s the “government’s money”, and what does all the government do to cover these big bailouts of people who don’t need bailout, as seen with the banks CEOs and boardmembers? They print up money.
So, not only do you get patted on the head and told to go sit in the corner for thinking that you don’t know anything about money and proper spending habits, they actually lessen the value of that dollar that you worked so hard for. When you go down to the local supermarket to purchase your week’s worth of groceries and realize that while $100 bought you a week’s worth a few months ago (we can’t talk in years anymore…wait until we communicate about this change in weeks and then days), it barely pays for half a week. That’s just food. What about that tankful of gas?
What is 5/10/15? you might ask. You’re probably hearing it here first, because I came up with it. It’s my degrees of separation: when it costs $5 a gallon to fill a gas tank, you better be putting down on a nice five to ten acres-plus of good farmland; when it hits $10 a gallon, you better be spending 80-percent of the year at that site, making sure you’ve got a good crop of veggies going, perhaps a milk cow, goats, sheep, DEFINITELY horses; and by the time it hits $15 a gallon, you’ll need to be totally self-supporting at that site. Not only that, you’ll need to be well-armed and well-trained, and with enough ammo to fight off all those who didn’t prepare and will be escaping starvation and cannibalism (you’ll never find me running to Hawaii or some island when it comes down—overpopulation overcoming capacity happens on islands first, which is why there were so many instances of cannabilism in many islands’ histories) in the major metropolitan areas.
And you will need, as cute little stripper pole, party girl turned-prepper, Megan Hurwitt, said on the earliest NatGeo episode of Doomsday Preppers: bullets, LOTS of BULLETS! Yeah, it seems like some nightmarish horror flick with zombies, or a war movie where the base gets overrun, but when it gets that bad, don’t think that the restraints of civility will reign. If my memories of seeing hungry people rushing a supply truck, the stronger stepping on children and pregnant mothers, to get a bag of rice are an indication of how things will roll in a small country, perhaps you can imagine what it’s going to be like when FEMA and the National Guard throws up its hands, and unit commanders tell their subordinates (as has happened just within the last forty years in the former Soviet Union as one example), “Go home and do what you can to take care of your families–good luck!”
Chris Martenson has done a great job of showing how and why we got into this pickle: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-8-fed-money-creation
Third World Meets First World
Perhaps you’ve noticed that there is an increase in the number of kidnappings occurring in the the United States of late, most especially in California. What many don’t know, partly because so many law enforcement departments in the country don’t want to deal with this Third World public relations nightmare, is that those kidnappings and disappearances are the beginnings of a major trend across the United States, catching up with the prior trend in Europe: major slave trade rings.
Sadly, if the kidnap victim is between the ages of five and seventeen, that girl was likely stuffed in the trunk of a vehicle and delivered to a ship, 18-wheeler, or even an airplane headed for Latin America, the Middle East or Southeast Asia. She will never be heard from again: poor economies always lead to more people taking drastic action to make money…
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The USS Titanic has been well on its way to toward becoming a Third World nation since a bunch of college elites thought it a good idea to so heavily weave our national economy with Europe and the rest of the World’s—if only we had paid attention to Switzerland. Add to that a major increase in illegal immigrants coming to this country not hoping to become citizens and make the US better (as was the norm before), but to take what they can back to their country of origin and become part of the power elite there, laughing at us “Stupid Americans”, and we’re running down a rollercoaster that’s not going to stop: we had the chance in 1948…and that was it. If you think I’m just picking on Mexicans and Central Americans you’re wrong…illegal immigrants from Ireland and the UK have done it to us for years: making great money here, and then when they’re old enough to live well off not only retirement made here, but also the dole in London and Dublin, it’s, Adios US of A!
Ah, but, you say, what about all the money that was put into the national fund through taxes paid to fictitious IRS accounts? Well, thoughts aside about how you think our government best spends our money, it’s about allegiance. Paying for something isn’t as important as feeling great and strong about your country. Becoming a national means, you believe in this country, and that you want it to do well: you and your offspring have a vested interest, especially as we’ve learned a “global economy” is turning out to be a monster for the average citizen in every country. What took a long boat ride, across perilous seas, now only takes a jetplane ride—becoming an American doesn’t mean the same as it did, especially as our government destroys the very thing that made the United States unique and great, yes, above all others—the US Constitution. And it’s done with law after law that does nothing but make it easier for master after master to increase that control of the populace.
As Daniel Webster said, one of the best interpreters of The Constitution, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
Self-interest is part of every human’s psyche: no human is an angel. The US writers of the Constitution understood this: if the people lost their heads, so did the leader. But, in the last 50 years, countering and trying to interpret the The Constitution to their own private needs through insane laws, the leaders of the United States have found a way to separate their welfare from the welfare of we citizens…a very dangerous place for all of us.
Man v. Food and The Walking Dead
We are consumers. We eat, we move and we eat. In ancient days, we moved because we needed to eat. Now we get whatever we want served to us. Perhaps you’ve noticed the number of overconsumption shows on TV. They’re the highest rated shows on the cable channels. You’ve got the skinny former-chef, travelling around the world eating and drinking whatever he can get his hands on…If it weren’t for his prior chainsmoking days that kept Anthony Bourdain thin in the past, I would have thought him an imposter former chef: I’ve learned never to trust a skinny chef—likely they don’t test their own cooking. And there’s Andrew Zimmern, a lot more believable as a chef, who also travels around the world in search of foods that will hopefully appall and titillate the culturally challenged armchair traveler, bringing even more ratings to the Travel Channel.
Then there’s the new kid on the block, Adam Richman, who goes around the country tackling the local food eating challenges. No matter how big the meal, Adam Richman is there to take it on. Can you imagine if EVERYONE engulfed as much as these hosts do on every episode? Can you imagine how much more rapidly whatever resources that are available to us now would suddenly disappear? All I have to do is look at the number of Bluefin tuna that in their increased scarcity just explode in price—a 593-pound Bluefin tuna went for $736,000!
That’s the human aptitude, folks: the organic, self-supporting farmer in Minnesota and northern California gets by with a few dollars a year, just barely, as he tries to grow something sustainable. And the rest of the world fights for, and pays the biggest fee, to be the last one to eat the last Bluefin tuna. Our reward system has flipped…The reason is that up until World War II we had to take care of ourselves. We grew our own food and we relied on ourselves: we didn’t wait for the government or the next big credit-accepting business to do something for us that we should know how to do for ourselves….as result of not taking responsibility for ourselves, WE’VE BEEN LIVING ON CREDIT FOR WAY TOO LONG!
We’ve been enjoying a status of living that any pre-oil king would envy. Like king and queens of old, we’ve had services provided to us that could not have been realized had it not been for the machines that run on fossil fuels. We’ve had an increase in population that is mindboggling in how massive it is and will continue to be as massive amounts of food, only available as the result of oil-based pesticides and fertilizers, are made available to nations that, if there were forced to live on local provisions, would immediately starve.
Instead, we pump food into places like Sudan and Darfur. And how do they reward us? They either end up shooting at us. Or, better yet, true to any animal species that gets more food, and thinks that the time of plenty is at hand, they double and triple their reproduction rates. And it isn’t just in Third World countries. Sure, there’s Singapore, which is more a culturally directed drop in reproduction (too much work and no play), but (except for New Zealand and Chile) just about every nation in the world’s natural resources capacity has been reached.
It’s no wonder that the mass subconscious has peaked interest toward the subject of “flesh-eating zombies”! The Walking Dead and all the other films focused on the potential of some crazed humans trying to get at you and cannibalize you are based on some very real past events, and some very intimidating upcoming realities—if you’ve never seen someone truly hungry, not just feeling a rumbling in the belly, easily fed by a Burger King drive-by, NO, I mean so hungry that the what’s left of body muscle is fighting the brain for glucose. Now when that person needs to eat, they’d be the perfect candidate for a role on The Walking Dead…and they won’t be acting!
Where will these walking dead come from? From just down the road. They’ll be the ones who ignore the store clerk at Safeway who says, “We haven’t received a shipment since last week.” They’ll then be the ones who stayed in town thinking that FEMA was going to take care of them. They’ll be the idiots who’ll “bug-in” in a city. They’ll run out of all their stashed food. If they don’t pass out from starvation sitting at their chair by the apartment window, they’ll probably put a gun to their head, or pop as many sleeping pills as they can. If they’re still alive, they’ll probably even run out of all the ammo they’ve got stored in their safe room. If they do have ammo, they’ll be the one’s who’ll trade their last bit of it, and the gun, for a can of rations, or even a freshly killed rat. They’ll be starving and when they’ll finally make their way out of the city, they won’t be alone…Here’s more from Martenson on carrying capacity, resources and exponential growth and the human population…and consumption.
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Cork Graham is the publisher of GCT Magazine and Cork’s Outdoors. A former CIA paramilitary operations officer and combat photographer, he wrote the international best-selling Vietnam prison/treasure hunt memoir The Bamboo Chest. For his latest books, writings, and appearances, follow him at www.corkgraham.com, Facebook and Twitter.