Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Do We Do Now?

I was on Facebook and someone commented that the 2012 election wasn't fair. She wasn't suggesting fraud although I'm sure that occurred here and there. She was using the phrase like a kid uses it... "Mommy! It's just not fair!"

I don't talk of fair or unfair. It's a waste of time. We actively deal with the election results or we don't. Obama was elected. What does that mean to us personally? What do we do now?

If we don't deal with it... that is also dealing with it... passively. So the choices are passive and active.

I am not giving up. If I was the "giving up" type I would have given up after Bill Clinton was reelected.

Let me think this out. (That is not a rhetorical device. I actually am facing this for the first time and trying to figure it out.)

Passive means withdrawal. Personally, I am fighting depression. I'm doing a reasonable job of it.

My first reaction was to withdraw from the many Facebook pages that suggested political activity. It's not that I disagree with what they are doing, and it doesn't mean I think such activity is useless, but I need to think about what to do next and frankly those pages were dedicated to getting Mitt Romney elected and Mitt Romney didn't get elected... so why stay on? Those pages will probably come back in another form with another goal. Maybe I'll rejoin then, but not now. I have to think about what to do next. This is all passive.

"Hunkering down in the bunker" is also passive but I don't have a bunker and I'm not going to build one but I was considering selling the house and moving closer to my religious community but now I am not going to do that. It's not because of the religious community but rather because my present location gives me more options in case of disaster... like in the case of a riot, for example. I've lived through riots. It's better to be far away from a riot than close up. Do I anticipate a riot? Yes. I do... in a few years.

We have time to prepare.

Living in a cabin in the woods is a little more active but it is passive in the sense that I would be leaving the field of battle and taking on a different battle... one more solitary. It is similar to hunkering down in a bunker but requires a lot more personal participation. Like... growing a garden. Shooting and trapping game. Canning., etc. I'm handicapped so I can't do much shooting and trapping... at least not enough to be self-sustaining in the wilderness.

Living in isolation is a lot of work. A better option would be to move to a more distant, smaller community... someplace where it would take fuel to get to... and thus... when fuel ran out (like what happened in New York and New Jersey) I wouldn't have to worry so much about people driving out to see what I have available to take. My relatives would have to drive out, but I would be prepared for that.

This is all isolationist crap. I might move but it would be closer to where I think I have an advantage.

The active approach does not mean aggression. It means acting positively rather than negatively. So... what is positive?

I'm blanking.


There is political activity. I'm setting that aside for now. I have to think about that one. I maintain contact with a 9-12 Project group. They are more educational and seem to focus on the right things, more practical things one can do locally. I like that. (For those who are members of that group, I'm not just saying that to kiss your backsides. I mean that. I think you are going in the right direction.)

There is something positive I can do that has nothing to do with politics or the election but is related to all my worries due to the election results. I'm worried about societal breakdown. Certain services will not be available at critical times. I may have to protect myself physically.  

I may have to sustain myself for several weeks with no grocery stores or gas stations such as what is happening in New York and New Jersey due to Hurricane Sandy and like what happens in Kentucky many times when they have a big snow storm, or in Tennessee when they had that flood in 2010 that inundated Nashville [See here].

I may have to help my local community as well... and any relatives who may come knocking on my door. I believe in the old survivalist adage, "It is easier to help your neighbor than it is to shoot him." :-)

If I really believe this election means that my neighbors and I will have less than we have now then I must do the things necessary to prepare for that... grow a garden... a serious one this time. I know how to can so I can preserve food. I should figure out how to generate power because I believe there will be rolling blackouts like in California.

Those of us who are dependent on medical equipment that runs on electricity should be thinking about that.

I could hook up an inverter to my wife's car. That costs less than $70. Then when the power goes out, we can keep the refrigerator and freezers going short-term... a few days anyway if I run them a couple of hours at a time. An 800 watt inverter minimum for a refrigerator.

A 400 watt inverter should be more than enough for medical equipment, and running a running a small ice machine. So... if I just bought an ice machine and kept ice chests available I could get by with a 400 watt inverter... less than $50.

I'll need a gas can... large... to keep the car going for several days. I think there is a Barrel City around here somewhere.

I know how to preserve and can foods and I have a pressure canner. I'm pretty good at it.

I was at CostCo yesterday. A 50 pound bag of rice was $15. The better rice (the rice I like) was $31 but even the cheaper rice is good stuff. I am not eating 50 pounds of rice all at once. I'm setting it aside in case I need it. I need to store it so that it isn't filled with bugs when I finally need it.
I need storage containers and shelves.

You see where I'm going with this thinking? It is hunkering down but it's practical. I want to store things that I'll actually eat on a regular basis. I want to be ready for a power outage but I don't want to spend $1000 on a power generator that I don't have a use for today. I could use that $1000 on something I need now and work on getting that generator when I know what I really need. (Also I suspect some people will be buying generators out of fear right now and then in a few months they won't know what to do with them and then sell one to ME for cheap! ;-))

This is just some of my thinking. It may not apply to my friends or anyone else for that matter. I'm just thinking along these lines. My thinking may change.

Generally, I try not to jump on the first thing that comes to mind so I'm letting my thoughts settle in so see how they feel. Writing to this blog is part of that process.

Credits: I want to thank Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast and Steven Harris of for guiding my thoughts on this subject and coming up with marvelous suggestions. I don't know them personally but I do listen carefully when they speak. I suggest others do as well. 

Caveats: Please note that I am a religious man so I feel compelled to tell you that Jack Spirko's language is not meant for children but it is always in context and never gratuitous. I believe his message is important to hear. It's nothing you won't hear in an office occasionally. 

Steven Harris will tell you everything technical about a subject including electricity. Electrical power can be a dangerous thing to handle. Steven Harris always tells you when something is dangerous or stupid. Listen carefully. Just because he tells you how something is done does not mean he actually suggests that you do it. If you need a professional, he will tell you and often he does tell you exactly that. Listen carefully.