Shortages, old and new, are in the news again. You wont’ believe what they predict will be the next thing that’s running low.
Like we said Yesterday: They are Losing Control of the Narrative
This CNN story gives specific examples where the Biden Administration has lost control of the COVID-19 narrative, as we wrote yesterday. The article seems to blame the media, but the administration does not have a cohesive message and is not communicating effectively.
Ammunition Shortage Continues, Affects Law Enforcement, Too
Despite seeing a fair amount of common calibers for sale on my trip to Virginia last week, we are still experiencing an ammunition shortage. This article gives several examples of law enforcement agencies that have cut back on ammo consumption during training because of the shortage. It’s enough to make me want to become a commercial reloader.
The Next Shortage
Although it seems like a craft distillery or two is popping up in every city, ZeroHedge reports that there have been liquor shortages in the Carolinas and Midwest. Wow, maybe I should crank up the still in addition to reloading ammo.
Sometimes when the news is bad and it seems like every elected official is violating their oath to uphold the Constitution, you have to wonder how close the poop is to the impeller.
My mind is somewhat boggled. So much stuff is happening at once and very little of it is good. I have to ask myself, how far away is our SHTF moment?
When you have a parabolic curve, it climbs slowly, but before you know it is shooting straight up. I can’t help but wonder if we are at that inflection point. I hate to be an alarmist, but some days it seems like we must be approaching it.
There are protests in countries all over the world, including the U.S., France, Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Tunisia, Australia, and South Africa. I expect they will get worse as shortages increase, prices rise, and we go into more lockdowns. In the U.S., I expect we will see protests as the end of the rent moratorium results in upwards of 12 million people unable to pay their past-due rent and now subject to eviction.
The FDA has found that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine drops by about 19 percent to 84 percent over six months. That’s far better than the Chinese vaccine, which apparently drops below 50 percent after six months. The news may worry the vaccinated, but Pfizer’s shareholders are probably celebrating. This news could mean they get to sell booster shots. According to the wall Street Journal, Pfizer expects to make $33.5 billion selling the vaccine this year.
The Best Places for Survival
A study published in the journal Sustainability rated the top places to survive the collapse of society are island nations in this order: New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland. These countries were chosen for their ability to grow food, protect their borders from mass migration, and maintain their electrical grid. My guess is that the U.S. failed on the second point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your retreat a “collapse lifeboat” within the U.S.
The article is an interesting read for the serious prepper while the actual journal article goes into detail on the problems of a complex society and says it has determined “human civilisation that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.” While I do not agree with many of the assumptions and predictions of the paper, it is still worth reading and provides many ideas worth considering.
Flashpoints and Future Wars
We’ve talked previously about rising tensions between China and Taiwan and its allies, and how this could result in a war. Here’s an interesting article on flashpoints for World War Three, and Taiwan ranks at the top.
I don’t want to live on grains an greens alone. I am a omnivore unless given the opportunity to be a carnivore. But that’s difficult to accommodate when prepping.
I priced rabbits today at Rural King and they were about $42 each. Yikes! After buying chicks for just a few dollars each, I was shocked at the higher cost. Of course, rabbit pens would be cheaper and easier to construct than the chicken coop and run. I think three does and a buck should generate enough bunnies to butcher eat at least one per week. I figure my start-up costs would maybe $300 plus food.
I’m not ready to take that step yet. I want to get the chickens laying and butcher and eat a few birds first. They are my proof of concept, so to speak. Can we breed and raise enough chickens to help feed us during a collapse or food crisis? Will my chickens survive the weather and the predators long enough to lay eggs? Will they become broody enough to hatch their own eggs and raise their own chicks? Can we feed them if there is no commercial feed available?
Maybe I will consider rabbits next year. In the meantime, a dog is probably ahead of them on the list. (Don’t worry, the dog is not for eating. If I want to eat dog meat, I’ll just kill a coyote.)
The parallels between the years leading up to the Great Depression and where we stand today are hard to ignore. Is another crash in our future?
Have you ever looked back at the black and white photos taken during the Great Depression? People waiting in lines at soup kitchens. Displaced families living in a ramshackle one-room shanty. People unable to find work. Lines outside of banks during bank runs.
For about 50 years following World War II, that life disappeared. Manufacturing boomed, providing jobs for most anyone who wanted one. Millions moved into the middle class and bought cars and homes, something that once would have been considered impossible. Government brought electricity to rural areas, as was the telephone. Radio and then TV allowed news and information to be broadcast across the nation, and the news was objective. We eradicated diseases like polio and smallpox. Segregation ended. Food was plentiful and children grew larger and stronger. Lifespans lengthened and infant mortality dropped. President Eisenhower created the Interstate highway system. Jet airplanes connected distant cities, and our military won the Cold War.
Today, I look back at the past 50 years, and I wonder what happened to that era when every generation did better than their parents? What was the turning point? When did our country’s arc reach its peak and turn downward?
The Western U.S. is experiencing a record-setting drought. How can you survive if your water source dries up? What options are there?
Note: The purpose of this article is not to debate the science or the politics of climate change or global warming; its purpose is to help preppers prepare for weather-related natural disaster, including drought.
Unprecedented Natural Disasters
This year the Western states are experiencing what is or will probably become the worst drought on record. The snow pack in California is almost non existent. Reservoirs are at record lows, and hydropower generation may come to a halt as water levels sink lower. Farmers have had to let fields lie fallow because there is no water to grow crops.
The West is also seeing some of the highest temperatures on record with temperatures over 100 in places like Montana and Washington State. These high temperatures cause evaporation, which means even less water in those reservoirs, lakes and rivers.
The Pfizer vaccine may be less than 40 percent effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19. We hit 49,746 cases on July 23. Are people around you panicking, or is it just the media?
We went to a restaurant the other day when my daughter was visiting and we brought my baby granddaughter, which means there’s always the chance of a screaming baby ruining our dinner and the dinners of everyone else in the restaurant. I am happy to report it went smoothly. She charmed the wait staff by smiling and waving at everyone. Service was good, the food was excellent, and by the time we left, almost every seat in the place was full. There was no sign of COVID concerns.
After the kids headed home, I dropped off the garbage, got the truck its 7,500 mile service, went to the post office, and ran a couple other small errands. Everybody I saw was friendly and helpful, and I didn’t see a single person wearing a mask. The only place that had a sign about masks was the post office, and their employees were not wearing one.
No one where I live seems to panic about the possibility of another COVID-19 wave, but I get the feeling that may not be the case in other parts of the country. Just reading the headlines about “breakthrough” cases that happen in the vaccinated and the failure of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variation in Israel is enough to cause some people to panic, and the echo chamber effect of mass media and social media is making the problem sound worse than it is. It’s also causing the anxiety levels in our society to increase, which will inevitably lead to more panic and over reactions.
Delta now Responsible for 83 Percent of COVID Cases in U.S.
The Delta variation is spreading rapidly in the U.S. This article from Yahoo Finance also reports that 99.5 percent of deaths-related deaths in the U.S. are now in non-vaccinated individuals.
I have not endorsed or recommended vaccines, recognizing that people should make their own decisions based on their own beliefs, but I have to admit that the decision not to take the vaccine is looking riskier and riskier.
Some Popular Restaurants Facing Shortages of Food
Not too many weeks back, we warned you that some restaurants were facing shortages of chicken. Restaurant supply chain problems seem to have spread to Taco Bell and Starbucks which have both warned customers of some food outages. Taco Bell, for example, is reportedly experiencing issues keeping hot sauce in stock.
The CPI is up, headlines are blaring about inflation, Wall Street is worried, yet when we compare prices for prepper pantry staples now and in January, inflation seems to be missing.
Despite the hue and cry about food inflation, preppers looking to stock their pantry with staple items that have a good shelf life can do so without spending more than they would have in January. A summary of our results comparing the prices today with those we recorded 22 weeks ago on January 24 follows:
Clearly, Amazon is an outlier here, with prices well above the others. If we remove Amazon from the equation, we get the following:
Note: full details on our methodology are at the bottom of this article.
Guns play a role in preparedness, especially in this day and age. But where do they fall in your priority list? Before or after food?
I was watching YouTube yesterday afternoon, and I fell asleep in the middle of a video on beekeeping and woke up about an hour later to a video from a prepper about things that can kill you. (Thank you, YouTube algorithm.) Interestingly, the first and second things on the list were a lack of food and water.
So I restart the video and am surprised to learn that the theme of the video seems to be that prepping isn’t all about guns and you should take some of that cash you spend on hardware and invest it in survival food.
It served as a good reminder that not everyone approaches prepping in the same perspective.