Is the Sh*t Hitting the Fan Yet?

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.

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In Search of Meat for my Survival Stores

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.)

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Prepper News Update July 20

Posts may be sporadic or even absent for the next few days as my daughter and her family is visiting and I’m busy spending time with them.  Consider it my vacation.

Be safe and be prepared.

Here’s a few headlines for you:

India COVID Deaths Off by “An Order of magnitude”

India reported 414, 482 deaths due to COVID-19, but the real figure could be between 3 and 4.7 million, according to a recent study.

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.

How to Handle Shortages and Outages in an Economic Collapse

When things start to disappear from the shelves, when it becomes hard to find your medication or the gas pumps run dry, this advice could help.

Shortages are one of the early signs of an impending financial collapse. If they grow from a shortage to an outright outage, then you know you are in the throes of a collapse. When you see purchasing limits, you know shortages are here, but when rationing starts (where the government allows you to buy only a certain amount per week or month), you will know we are in the proverbial “deep doodoo.”

Let me give you an example:

When there was a gasoline shortage, we had to go to multiple gas stations to find gas or might have to buy a different octane rating than they wanted. If there was no gas to be found, people would ask the station when they were expecting a truck. If they expected the truck within an hour or two, drivers would wait for it. In an outage, not only will there be no gas, there will be no hope of gas anytime soon. Before that happens, someone in authority will be give you an app with a QR code that allows you to buy 30 gallons of gas per month (or some other, artificial limit).

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Three Reasons to Stock Up Early

Some say its never too late to start prepping, and that’s generally true. But start now; there are some advantages to beating the rush.

So you’ve finally decided that prepping makes sense and now you have to decide what to buy, how much to buy, and over what time period you will buy it. This will be determined largely by your budget and how much money you have to spend on prepping. Because prepping can get expensive, most people build up their supplies over time by setting aside a certain amount to spend per paycheck or per month.

When you go down the list of things you need to feel prepared to withstand a disaster, food will probably be a big expense and the one that takes the most storage space. Sure, you could put together a bug out bag, buy guns and ammo, or even invest in a big four-wheel-drive truck or SUV for bugging out, but food is more likely to save you than almost anything else you could acquire. Yes, water is critical, but you can spend $500 and have water pretty well taken care of. Food is going to demand more money, more thought, and more preparation.

I’ve written about what to buy and how to get the most for your money’s worth in an earlier article. So let’s talk about when to buy, as well as when NOT to make large bulk purchases.

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Imagine a World Without New Semiconductors and Microchips

A slowdown in the production of new cars due to a lack of microchips may be just a taste of what the future holds. Chips are a huge potential weakpoint in the global supply chain.

The Wall Street Journal just published the article “The World Relies on One Chip Maker in Taiwan, Leaving Everyone Vulnerable” about how Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) makes most of the chips in use today, and 92 percent of the world’s most sophisticate chips. They frequently manufacture chis for other companies, including Apple, Qualcomm and others.

This quote from the article gets to the cusp of the matter:

“Its dominance leaves the world in a vulnerable position, however. As more technologies require chips of mind-boggling complexity, more are coming from this one company, on an island that’s a focal point of tensions between the U.S. and China, which claims Taiwan as its own.

Analysts say it will be difficult for other manufacturers to catch up in an industry that requires hefty capital investments. And TSMC can’t make enough chips to satisfy everyone—a fact that has become even clearer amid a global shortage, adding to the chaos of supply bottlenecks, higher prices for consumers and furloughed workers, especially in the auto industry.

The situation is similar in some ways to the world’s past reliance on Middle Eastern oil, with any instability on the island threatening to echo across industries. Companies in Taiwan, including smaller makers, generated about 65% of global revenues for outsourced chip manufacturing during the first quarter of this year, according to Taiwan-based semiconductor research firm TrendForce. TSMC generated 56% of the global revenues.

Being dependent on Taiwanese chips “poses a threat to the global economy,” research firm Capital Economics recently wrote.”

In other words, TSMC is potentially a weak point in the supply chain for millions of products we rely on every day.

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Transitory Hyperinflation is Here and More Bad News

I head down the mountain to revisit society and the news isn’t good. Gas is more expensive, food is costly, and the word “hyperinflation” is no longer just used to describe other countries,

I am on the road today, and after spending seven hours in the truck, I don’t think I have an original essay in me and I really need to get some sleep. So, instead I am giving links to important stories and adding a few comments.

Hyperinflation

The Bank of America’s new Inflation Meter is pointing to transitory hyperinflation, according to this article in ZeroHedge.  I have been writing about inflation or months, but this was still a “WTF” moment for me.  If we have already moved from inflation into hyperinflation, transitory or not, things are pretty bad.  Read their article and if it freaks you out a little, read these recent posts of ours:

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Bread and Circuses Only Work When there’s Enough Bread to go Around

funny how a tactic developed more than a thousand years ago still works today. It must be human nature to be easily distracted at the expense of long-term problems.

The Roman Poet Juvenal coined the phrase “bread and circuses” to complain that the citizenry were distracted by cheap food and entertainment and no longer did their civic duty. Roman Emperors would feed the populace a steady diet of gladiators and other violent entertainment to distract their citizenry from the worsening state of the empire. You could argue that this was a contributing factor in the fall of the Roman Empire.

For years, politicians in the United States have used the same tactic, offering voters freebies so they would vote in their self-interest rather than for the interest of their country. Largely employed by the Democrats to attract under-educated and poorly informed populaces, the results can be seen in Democrat-run cities from Baltimore and Los Angeles with high poverty rates, poorly run inner-city schools, burned out building, high drug use, rampant homelessness, gang problems, and rising murder rates.

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Prices are Rising, but Inflation is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Inflation is going to be bad, but the broader economic and social disruption it can kick off are even worse. Are you prepared?

With some ammo manufacturing leaders stating that they are back ordered anywhere from 12 to 24 months, most shooters have admitted to themselves that high ammo prices are here to stay. About the only thing I can see that would send prices down would be the election of a Pro-Gun Republican president combined with a recession that causes commodity prices, including lead and brass, to drop.

I used to reload to save money on ammo prices. Now you can no longer get powder and primers. Even the hardware is in short supply; good luck ordering something like 9mm or .300 black out reloading dies. Even simple equipment is often back-ordered three months or more.

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One Hive Down, Two to Go; Plus Cyberattacks on Essential Services

After a clandestine meeting in which I slipped a woman a wad of $20s and she handed me a small, carefully built wooden box, I was the proud owner of some bees.

The first bee hive is up and running. I picked it up early Thursday and brought it home, dodging raindrops. I waited until about 11 a.m. and installed them in their new hive quickly and easily.

Funny thing: By the time I got my jacket and veil on and marched out at the bee yard, my hive tool had fallen out of my back pocket. There I am with the nuc open and no way to pull out a frame. I unfolded my trusty pocket knife and used it to separate the frames and pry them out.

I don’t recommend prying with a folding knife any more than I recommend digging with it, but it held up well. Good knives, like good tools, are worth every penny.

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