Wednesday, March 11, 2009

from Jenna Orkin:

The A-Word (Apocalypse)

US Banking System Insolvent, Says US Economist
Buffett Says Economy Has Fallen Off Cliff But Will Improve in Five Years
...after what sort of mayhem, he doesn't detail.
After the Financial Crisis, Civil War?
Bank of America Uncovers $120 Million New Merrill Losses: Reports
Fired BofA Employee is Bank Robbery Suspect
Bank of America Sees Grave Harm From Bonus Reveal
BofA Completes New Spate of Firings
Wells Fargo Slashes Dividend
Citi Shares Head Toward $1
AFL-CIO: Gov't Should Control Banks (at Least For a While)
Liberty Mutual Dumped BofA, GE Before Plunge
S and P 500 Dividends To Be Slashed 20%: JP Morgan
GM Skidding Closer to Collapse; Industry Bracing For More Shocks
Obama: Buy Stocks Now

US Jobs Crisis Hits New High
Huge Layoffs Push Joblessness Towards Double Digits
Worst is Yet To Come For Job Market
US Shouldn't Be Eager To Lose These Immigrants
Obama's Pledge to Prune Pentagon Raises Fear of Job Cuts
Record Use of Food Stamps Among Americans

Can Local Food Movement Save Farmers?
East Lansing Anti-Riot Measure is Flawed

Iran Likely To Be Invited To Afghanistan Conference
Militaries Around the World to Cut Oil Use (from Rice Farmer)
New Oil Refineries Are Soaking Up More Sour Crude

Europe Snubs Actions By Central Banks
Bank Braced for Losses Over Plan to Print Money
JP Morgan: Roumania's Economy Will Drop by 3% This Year
Ukrainian Secret Service Accuses Government of $1.7 Billion Machination
Gorbachev Alarm at Soviet Echoes
Latvia, Fearing Riots, Bans SS Veterans' March
RWE Plans Gas Pipeline Linking Czechs With Austria
Expansion of Condom Sales by Durex in Eastern Europe
European Birth Dearth
Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review
Greece: Anti-Fascist Protest Ends in Riots Burning Neo-Nazi Headquarters
Turkish Lira Hits New Historic Low

China Crisis As Economy Crumbles
China Political Advisors Propose Making Yuan Int'l Currency (from Rice Farmer)
Negroponte Backs China in G8
China Officials Expect More Unrest in Muslim West
Crisis Could Cause Food Shortages in Rural China
Nepal Unrest

Heroin Worth $5 Million Seized at India/Pakistan Border
Pro-Democracy Groups to Join Tibetans in India
LET Opens Wing to Create Unrest in Northeast
Pakistan to Give Interpol DNA Data From Mumbai Probe
Conflict Risk Alert: Sri Lanka Signs of Low Level Social Unrest

Africa: Blackwater's New Frontier: Their Own Private Africa (from Rice Farmer)
Two Kenyan Rights Activists Shot Dead
Outrage at Kenya Assassinations
Nigeria meltdown: Challenge to Enhance Capacity for Local Business
Matatus Grounded After Riots
Madagascar Crisis
French Unrest Spreads to Reunion


Hef Lee said...

I commented on survival skills before, about The Sacred Order of shelter, water, fire and food.
I figured I'd elaborate on each individually. A little knowledge may save your life. You can get hypothermia in 70 degree weather, if its windy or wet, just a few degree drop in body temp will mess you up pretty good. The Debris Hut is the basic shelter that can save you in sub-zero temperatures, and learning it will teach you what the key features of your shelter are. These concepts will help inside and out. Like a squirrel's nest, you need dead air space around your body. Imagine no heat in your house, for an extended period of time. The forts that kids make out of couch cushions are instinctual, and that's the idea. Use mattresses arranged in a cube, stuffed with blankets, clothes, newspaper or whatever. Study the debris hut drawings, give yourself 6 hours or so and go build one outside and stay the night. Don't skimp on debris, it's your key to warmth and staying dry. In the morning, analyze. What worked and why. Fix it and repeat. Good luck out there, and if anyone's in the Phila. PA area and wants to work on skills let me know.

Sebastian Ronin said...

It is all unraveling so quickly. The possibility of some kind of coordinated, controlled collapse wanes with each day. I do not "know" this by any stretch of the imagination. However, right now, that is certainly what I "sense."

Another A-Word besides Apocalypse might very well be Angst. It seems to hover on the point of suffocation, handcuffing gestures of human courage and decency in cuffs of futility and despair.

That's how it feels right now. It's a good thing that tomorrow is another day. Unfortunately, tomorrow never comes.

kiki said...

yes i want to work on skills Hef Lee - never can practice enough or know everything so every little bit helps - my email is in my profile - would be great if we could gather a small group to go over skills

Pandabonium said...

In conjunction with "After the Financial Crisis, Civil War?", the source for that article has an excellent website here:Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (another A word - anticipation).

cj said...

We may be moving to the country soon and my son's birthday is coming up. He said he would like to get a rifle for hunting as our proposed property has a lot of forest at the back. I know nothing about guns. Can someone recommend a good brand, model, etc. and why that model? I know that certain gauges of ammo are more easily obtainable than others, so a gun that would be easy to keep supplied would be good.

We may have found a great property for sustainability if I can pull it off. Way far from where we live now, but the new neighbors seem to already seem to have an established community that includes bartering of goods and services - and appear willing to include us. The place has two houses on it. Maybe we could start our own compound with the right people. Only honest, hard-working applicants need apply.

Andy Edwards said...

Remington 700 in .308
Ruger 10/22 in .22
Remington 870 in 12 gauge

Spend as much or more on ammo and the scopes (for the first two) as you on the weapon.

Free advice, free of responsibility.

Alex said...

Wow, this all sounds so scary...

Mr. Ruppert, I first saw you at your University of Washington presentation a few years back through a professor (at Western Washington University) who introduced me to Crossing the Rubicon. I've been following FTW as often as I can since but I've just recently found your blog.

It's so strange and hard to believe that something like, after all these years, the fall of the U.S. could happen. When you say "collapse" you do mean the end of the U.S.? I am starting to feel the denial well up in me, that something of such devastating and historical proportions could happen so soon, in my lifetime.

Yet, at the same time I cannot deny something like it happening. I can imagine one day waking up and seeing society spiral quickly out of control.

I must admit, I've heard of you talk about buying gold and learning about sustainability but being the poor person I am at the moment, young, and also am bound to the cultural expectations of my parents living at home, I haven't done any of the things you recommended.

It's late, but I think I better get started than never get started at all.

I also keep reading things about being local and in touch with the community. What if the community you live in doesn't even know what the definition of community means? American suburbia, with it's closed doors is all about privacy, the individual, and staying inside the home. Almost all the people in my neighborhood barely know the names of our next door neighbors.

sunrnr said...

TPTB seem to be making it criminal to try and survive on your own on many levels.


sunrnr said...

cj - You have several options. The first suggestion would be to get him a youth compound bow like the Diamond Razor Edge with LOTS of arrows. They haven't tried to take any of this away just yet.

Another option is a combination rifle set with one barrel for shotshells and one for rifle. Something like a 20 guage/.243 combination (Google Rossi).

Lastly, a shotgun (16 or 12 guage) would also serve well. There's still plenty of shotgun ammunition left so far.

All of these would provide the means to hunt grouse, rabbits, deer, etc. for food. They would also all provide some amount of personal protection should someone come wanting your property and what it may contain.

Best of luck ....


kiki said...

This is a map showing which states have seed Monsanto/Vilsack laws:

wxdude714 said...

I went through my old Colonial American History class notes from the fall '01. I found a scholarly article that laid the foundation for the residents closing roads and could give clues on the breakdown of a nationwide martial law in the rural areas. How would residents respond in that situtation. Human nature hasn't changed in 220 years.
It's called "A Road Closed: Rural Insurgency in Post-Independence Pennsylvania"
by Terry Bouton.
The Journal of American History:December 2000.

Here's a quote I found fasinating.
"Something remarkable happened in the Pennsylvania countryside in the years following the federal Constitutional Convention of 1787: large numbers of farmers closed the main roads that led into and out of their communities. During an eight year period,fall 1787 through fall 1795, rual Pennsylvanians obstructed roads at least sixty-two times. The road closings were not confined to any particular county or region: farmers blocked highways in new backcountry settlements and in the established communities surrounding Philadelphia. And while road closings were more frequent in the central and frontier parts of the state, barriers appeared in roadways only twenty-five miles beyond the Quaker city. The obstructions were usually formidable, often making roads impassable for many months at a time. Throughout Pennsylvania, farmers constructed six-foot high fences that stretched fifty feet across the highway. Some farmers felled trees across roads or hauled timber into log piles that sometimes measured thirty feet wide and forty feet long. Others blocked roads with heavy stones, brush, and decaying logs. Still others scarred roadways with eight-foot-wide, five-foot-deep ditches large enough to halt any wagon or coach. One group in the southeastern county of Chester shoveled enough dirt out of the main highway to Philadelphia that they created an impassable crater measuring fifty feet in circumference and seven feet deep."

What brought this on is eriely similiar to what we are seeing now.
" challenging Pennsylvania's reputation as the "best poor man's country" by demonstrating how government policies helped to induce mass property foreclosure throughout the state, undermining both the perception and the reality of rural independence...In the eastern county of Berks, a decade of debt litigation from 1782-1792 produced 3,400 writs of foreclosure for a taxable population that averaged about 5,000 families-or enough to foreclose 68 percent of the taxable population. In neighboring Lancaster County, the court issued 3,900 writs of foreclosure from 1784 to 1789 enough to cover 66 percent of the county's 5,900 taxpayers. In Northumberland County on the northern frontier, from 1785-1790, the sheriff delivered more writs of foreclosure(2,180) than there were taxpayers(2,140).
Doesn't this sound familiar? Think about M-1 money supply from the housing debts and replace top 28 holders with China, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia.

...By 1790, over 96 percent of Pennsylvania's $4.8 million in war debt certificates was held by just 434 people. The top twenty-eight investors(nearly all of whom were Philadelphia merhcants,lawyers, and brokers)owned over 40 percent of the entire Pennsylvania war debt. Foremost among them were politicans:...Despite purchasing certificates for pennies on the dollar, those men lobbied for a yearly interest payment of 6 percent and the eventual redemption, would have meant that a speculator who had purchased a $100 face-value certificate probably for between $10-$17(and perhaps for as little as $4) would recieve a yearly interest payment of $6 an in time, the entire $100 principal. Such incentives created even more pressure for state leaders to reduce the money supply. Amassing the funds to redeem the war debt meant the swift collection of back taxes(many of which were tied to interest payments o war debt certificates) and the enactment of new taxes to pay the interest and principal - all of which removed more hard money and currency from the economy...And when the state did print new money , it was designed primarily for bondholders, not the average farmer.

eyeballs said...

To Alex:

You are a stage two comrade on the 21st Century Frontier. You have become acquainted with the difficulties we face, and you have looked around you and wondered what can be done, finding that most of society is not at all hip. Now that you see what the situation is (and we are all seeing more, all the time) the question is "What can I do to help, given my own knowledge, abilities, relationships and resources?"

You mentioned one very important thing: talking with the neighbors. By God that's important. And not just to preach the vital message, either. To befriend them, find out their hopes and fears, their troubles and needs, to lend a hand, to cheer them and just to hang out and disolve their seperateness.

Keep on the blog and you'll find out tons of other things you can do. Too much, you'll never do it all. But every bit helps.

By the way, when you say "The end of the U.S." or "spiralling out of control" those are not possible future events. They have been happening as you grew up. When Mike faced the CIA in Los Angeles, "The USA" was already a fiction to some extent, since unelected powers were moving the important events. And "elections" since then have not really given us more access to the decision making process.

Already, a hydra of viscious and greedy "Powers That Be" are governing North America and most of the world. For them to not completely govern YOU, requires considerable effort at personal competence, networking and withdrawl from the mechanisms of corporate control. We are helping one another do that here.

You sound rather young. That's good in these times. Learn early and stay strong. I'm glad you're around.

Ralf said...

Awesome/sad if true.........

Hersh: 'Executive assassination ring' reported directly to Cheney
Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday March 11, 2009

Print This Email ThisTwitThis

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he told an audience at the University of Minnesota that the military was running an "executive assassination ring" throughout the Bush years which reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The remark came out seemingly inadvertently when Hersh was asked by the moderator of a public discussion of "America's Constitutional Crisis" whether abuses of executive power, like those which occurred under Richard Nixon, continue to this day.

Hersh replied, "After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet."

Hersh then went on to describe a second area of extra-legal operations: the Joint Special Operations Command. "It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently," he explained. "They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. ... Congress has no oversight of it."

"It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on," Hersh stated. "Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us."

Hersh told blogger Eric Black in an email exchange after the event that the subject was "not something I wanted to dwell about in public." He is looking into it for a book, but he believes it may be a year or two before he has enough evidence "for even the most skeptical."

Stories have been coming out about covert Pentagon assassination squads for the last several years. In 2003, Hersh himself reported on Task Force 121, which operated chiefly out of the Joint Special Operations Command. Others stories spoke of a proposed Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group.

As Hersh noted in Minnesota, the New York Times on Monday described the Joint Special Operations Command as overseeing the secret commando units in Afghanistan whose missions were temporarily ordered halted last month because of growing concerns over excessive civilian deaths.

However, it appears that Hersh is now on the trail of some fresh revelation about these squads and their connection to Vice-President Cheney that goes well beyond anything that has previously been reported.

Eric Black's blog posting, which includes an hour-long audio recording of the full University of Minnesota colloquy, is available here.

pstajk said...

How can all the farmers let Monsanto boss them around? I don't get it.

Do they own their land or is it Monsanto's? What rights do they have?

Why do they not band together? March, protest, make their voices heard?

Are they poor, uneducated, feable, unable to stand up for themselves?

PeakedOut said...

Andy Edwards and Sunrnr are on target. The archery angle is an excellent choice. I bought my son and me each a Diamond Razor Edge. it's our new hobby.

I might consider 30.06 instead of .308 but only because I think there is more 30.06 ammo around.

For those on a budget, Mossberg sells the Model 500 and you can get it with two different barrels. Get the standard shotgun barrel and the rifled slug barrel. You can hunt every type of game animal with this combo. Remington makes a better gun and you can get multiple barrels, but for the price, the Mossberg is a good option.

The over/under combos or the match barrel combos from Rossi are all single shot, which makes them slow to reload. You will curse yourself for not buying a pump shotgun every time you miss. If you are in the US, most states have wonderful programs to learn about hunting. Most offer great hands on learning. If you are new to firearms or hunting, take a class or learn from a friend. Gun safety cannot be stressed enough.

kiki said...

I don't remember anyone mentioning the need to stock salt. Will be good for bartering too, I suspect.

businessman said...

Here's a good article from a former die-hard Republican and the son of a founding member of the Religious Right...on who's really running the Republican Party nowadays and how he recommends that Obama deals with it:

Click Here for the Article

Paul said...

Migrants try to enter UK from Calais

It is interesting that as the west collapses, it is still seen as more attractive to those in the war torn/poor/hungry countries eg Afganistan. The people in this film are paying huge amounts and taking huge risks just to get a foothold in the UK.

As things deteriorate, will this continue? I suspect that no matter how bad things get here - there will be many places where it is even worse (and therefore worth fighting/hiding/bribing to get out of...).

Thank you Jenna for the considerable amount of work that you obviously put into your postings. We all miss Mike's viewpoint that is for sure, but this blog is not diminished by his absence - it just has a different flavour! Keep up the good work :-)

RanD said...

To Alex:

As JO puts it "take heart". Hang in there; just getting where you've finally gotten is a great place to be... each one of us occupies the place where we're personally at as an unique individual... have compassion for those who know less than you're just now learning... love the fact that others managed to get out in front and examine the bumpy road ahead of us! Most of all, Thanks for joining the family! FTW is a very trippy place to be!

To eyeballs:

We loved your wonderful words to Alex. We bow our heads and smile a silent smile.

Sincerely, RanD

Scott said...,25197,25173126-12377,00.html

cj said...

Thanks to all for the rifle information. Now, where can they be obtained? Does one need a permit, license, etc. to own? Will we be put on some government "list" for having them?

Kiki: Salt is good to have, as would be any basic, storable food necessity, especially "calorie" foods such as rice, wheat, oats, potatoes, quinoa, beans, and lentils. WATER is of course, one of the most important things to have, as well as a way to purify it - bleach and a good water filter system should be at the top of everyone's list. One never knows how long the emergency will last. It sure would be hard to stockpile a large amount of water in Southern California (hint-hint to MR). I have sort of gone nuts on preparedness and have no more room to store anything. Once one starts making lists, one can think of an infinite number of things to get: warm clothing, soap and toiletry items, over the counter medications and first aid supplies, better locks for the doors, gardening equipment (be sure to get non-genetically modified seeds - as from or The one that has me most in a tizzy is how to do real cooking and baking without the traditional American oven. I may make a cob oven, but in our climate, it would be hard to use in the winter time. Rocket stoves make a super-hot fire with very little fuel (see them on YouTube in all their different permutations)and they are easy to make. Am trying to figure out how I could rig up some kind of oven on top of mine without making the bottom of the loaf into a charcoal briquette. Have my eye on a country property that has a wood cookstove, which would take care of that need. I think for those who are wondering how they would make it who have little resources, perhaps teaming up with other like-minded persons, offering to help some self-sufficient people with a farming operation in exchange for room and board as well as beginning an immediate austerity campaign eliminating most of the "wants" to purchase only necessities and "need" preparedness items. It's amazing how much we can live without when it comes right down to it. We have turned our thermostat down to 60, given up using our dryer, cable TV, trips and most eating out, paid off the credit cards and do preparedness activities instead of recreation (which can be fun). We may try to make our own maple syrup this weekend using the few maple trees on our property.

You may know all of this, but maybe some of the newcomers might appreciate the information.

Too bad the whole lot of us here couldn't start one big community. With our combined skills and insights, we would make an awesome team.

cj said...


To get a better understanding of what Monsanto is up to, see the movie "The Future of Food". Maybe you can find it on YouTube or the library. I have it. My son said his botany professor showed it the first day of class.

eyeballs said...


For plans to rocket ovens, and many other useful things,

I wrote them and Dean Still said:

"We have two booklets here called Capturing Heat that have building instructions for several community sized bread ovens...They cost $7 each."

My thought was bringing people together around a community oven. There are household models, too. Aprovecho, located near Eugene, is where the rocket stove began.

PeakedOut said...

A component of any survival plan should be flexability. A large stock pile of food and supplies does you no good if you need to relocate due to some crisis. I suggest keeping extra gas on hand and having a big enough vehicle or a trailer to take as much of your stuff as possible if the time comes to relocate. Consider climate related crisis or social unrest in terms of proximity to where you live. Then think about where you would go if such an event were to play out.

I like the teasing comments to Mike about his sticking it out in LA, but you must know that Mike has a plan. Perhaps he will choose to go out like the Clint Eastwood character in Grand Torino? I think there are thousands of us that would gladly open our doors to him through out the world.

I watched Jon Stewart use Jim Cramer as a symbolic whipping boy to lash out at the finacial hooligans. It reminded me of how McCarthyism was brough to light and finally stopped. I hope this will wake up the populace. Then again, I marvel at my endless capacity to hope and dream that mankind is better than what we are right now. Jon Stewart may be our Edward R Morrow.

Paul said...

TS is about to HTF!

China ‘Worried’ Over Safety of U.S. Debt, Wen Says

By Eugene Tang and Tian Ying

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- China, the U.S. government’s largest creditor, is “worried” about its holdings of Treasuries and wants assurances that the investment is safe, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

“We have lent a huge amount of money to the United States,” Wen said at a press briefing in Beijing today after the annual meeting of the legislature. “Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am a little bit worried. I request the U.S. to maintain its good credit, to honor its promises and to guarantee the safety of China’s assets.”

Pandabonium said...

pstajk - farmers have in fact beaten Monsanto in court in some cases. They are not all lying down and rolling over.

But do realize these things - Monsanto has deep, deep pockets that buy lots of legal and political influence; the legal system in North America, both in law and judicial appointments, is stacked in the corporations' favor; individual farmers don't have such deep pockets or political pull.

Anne said...

For a truely frightening understanding of what Monsanto is doing, google "Monsanto's Dream
Bill HR 875".

For all who want more info on preparing, here are two good resources:"100 items to disappear first", and the book "Dare to prepare" by Holly Deyo.

Thorgal said...

the A-word ... hehe you Americans have a problem with words, with the S-word, the F-word, the D-word and so on :)

C'mon, it feels really good to pronounce the full word ... ah such puritanism in such a rotting society, that's highly comical from a distance. Anyway, I think the hinduists got it right, as it feels like it's just the unfolding of the Kali yuga. However, they seem to have gotten the timing wrong : not 400,000 years or so but a mere 5000. Ach! do not worry too much, since the kali yuga should in principle be followed by a new day of Brahma, starting with the long age of satia yuga (age of wisdom). Most likely not during my life-time, unfortunately, but thank god we still have humour to entertain us during this unavoidable unfolding of the age of de-spiritualization.

Greetings from Denmark :)

Peter J. Nickitas said...


Please include these for the blog:

Thank you and keep up the great work keeping up connected.

Peter J. of Minneapolis