All posts by tgenedavis

Types of Prepping

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Every time I start talking of disaster and collapse scenarios that are possible, my wife buys extra ice cream. If I mention we are in the final stages of the “Everything Bubble.” More ice cream appears in the fridge. If I rant about how we’re following the paths of Venezuela, Greece, and Cuba, more ice cream appears in the fridge. And if I mention the organized crime taking over our courts, border cities, and government, she buys more ice cream.

It sounds funny when it’s ice cream, but many preppers—especially fledgling preppers—take a similar approach to their preps.

Styles of Preps

Think about different community level and personal level disasters for a bit and you realize they aren’t all the same. For example, think about the differences in the following events.

  • Meteor event similar to Chelyabinsk Meteor, but on the scale of the Tunguska Meteor impacting a major commercial shipping port
  • Train shipping radioactive materials or dangerous chemicals derails near your house
  • Economy is run into the ground over the course of a decade by well intentioned Social Democrats
  • Nuclear War

This is a tiny list, but you can see the differences in preps needed instantly. For the train derailment, you would need a 72-hour kit or bugout-bag. You would need to be out of your home in minutes and travel light, but you could probably stay with family or friends for a couple of nights and be back home in time for Monday night football.

However, if the economy tanked slowly over the course of 10 years, finally getting so bad people are eating stray pets, a garden and strong knowledge of Permaculture would be a better prep.

If we found ourselves in the middle of a nuclear war, then iodine tablets, a bunker, freeze-dried food, and hundreds of gallons of drinking water would be the better choice of preps.

Make a List

As you can see, investing in a one-size-fits-all approach to prepping is about as useful as buying 10 gallons of ice cream every time there’s a scary story in the news.

I suggest taking the approach of listing out the most likely disasters that could affect your family and your community. Then organize the list so that the most likely events are at the top of the list. Finally, make plans for the top three on your list.

It may turn out your list is:

  • House fire
  • Home invasion
  • Tornado

Or you may find that your list is more exotic, like:

  • Government collapse
  • War
  • Solar Flare

Either way, tailor your preps to your likely events.

Back to the Ice Cream

Now, a lot of events have one thing in common. You need to be able to leave on a moments notice. Because of that, I recommend incorporating a 72-hour kit or bug-out bag into your preps. They don’t take up much space, and you can always use whatever is in the kit, even if you weather the event in your home.

And remember, don’t forget to buy ice cream.

Chinese Pastor’s Last Sermon

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Originally from: //www.chinapartnership.org/blog/2018/12/my-declaration-of-faithful-disobedience

Editor’s note: Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday. 

Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out. We thank Brent Pinkall and Amy Cheung for their contributions in translating this letter. 

On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.  

As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.

For the mission of the church is only to be the church and not to become a part of any secular institution. From a negative perspective, the church must separate itself from the world and keep itself from being institutionalized by the world. From a positive perspective, all acts of the church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world. The Bible teaches us that, in all matters relating to the gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. For this reason, spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are both ways we testify to another eternal world and to another glorious King.

This is why I am not interested in changing any political or legal institutions in China. I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience. For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.

If God decides to use the persecution of this Communist regime against the church to help more Chinese people to despair of their futures, to lead them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus, if through this he continues disciplining and building up his church, then I am joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for his plans are always benevolent and good.

Precisely because none of my words and actions are directed toward seeking and hoping for societal and political transformation, I have no fear of any social or political power. For the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers, not to terrorize doers of good. If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society.

I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.

Moreover, I must point out that persecution against the Lord’s church and against all Chinese people who believe in Jesus Christ is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society. This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.

If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.

Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ.  When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them. 

Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.   

And so, respectable officers, stop committing evil. This is not for my benefit but rather for yours and your children’s. I plead earnestly with you to stay your hands, for why should you be willing to pay the price of eternal damnation in hell for the sake of a lowly sinner such as I?

Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.  

First draft on September 21st, 2018; revised on October 4th. To be published by the church after 48 hours of detention. 

Appendix: What Constitutes Faithful Disobedience

I firmly believe that the Bible has not given any branch of any government the authority to run the church or to interfere with the faith of Christians. Therefore, the Bible demands that I, through peaceable means, in meek resistance and active forbearance, filled with joy, resist all administrative policies and legal measures that oppress the church and interfere with the faith of Christians. 

I firmly believe this is a spiritual act of disobedience.  In modern authoritarian regimes that persecute the church and oppose the gospel, spiritual disobedience is an inevitable part of the gospel movement.  

I firmly believe that spiritual disobedience is an act of the last times; it is a witness to God’s eternal kingdom in the temporal kingdom of sin and evil. Disobedient Christians follow the example of the crucified Christ by walking the path of the cross. Peaceful disobedience is the way in which we love the world as well as the way in which we avoid becoming part of the world. 

I firmly believe that in carrying out spiritual disobedience, the Bible demands me to rely on the grace and resurrection power of Christ, that I must respect and not overstep two boundaries. 

The first boundary is that of the heart. Love toward the soul, and not hatred toward the body, is the motivation of spiritual disobedience. Transformation of the soul, and not the changing of circumstances, is the aim of spiritual disobedience. At any time, if external oppression and violence rob me of inner peace and endurance, so that my heart begins to breed hatred and bitterness toward those who persecute the church and abuse Christians, then spiritual disobedience fails at that point. 

The second boundary is that of behavior. The gospel demands that disobedience of faith must be non-violent. The mystery of the gospel lies in actively suffering, even being willing to endure unrighteous punishment, as a substitute for physical resistance. Peaceful disobedience is the result of love and forgiveness. The cross means being willing to suffer when one does not have to suffer. For Christ had limitless ability to fight back, yet he endured all of the humility and hurt. The way that Christ resisted the world that resisted him was by extending an olive branch of peace on the cross to the world that crucified him.  

I firmly believe that Christ has called me to carry out this faithful disobedience through a life of service, under this regime that opposes the gospel and persecutes the church. This is the means by which I preach the gospel, and it is the mystery of the gospel which I preach.

The Lord’s servant,
Wang Yi 

First draft on September 21st, 2018; revised on October 4th. To be circulated by the church after 48 hours of detention.

Evil in Our Nation

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Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a US Supreme Court justice. It is a great day when someone that is in tune to the strengths of our laws takes a place on that court.

Unfortunately, the evil ones in our country are gaining power and strength. They call openly for his assassination with no consequences. They purger themselves making up lies about him. They have him removed from his teaching job, to prevent truth from infecting students.

In the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, the evil ones attempted the use of a secret combination that is now so common it has a name–Moving the Goalposts. Moving the Goalposts is a trick used by corrupt lawyers and politicians. A known false accusation is made against the victim. An onerous inquiry is demanded. Then the results of the inquiry are used to accuse the victim of some other lesser crime.

I fear that if it were not for the few good people left in our country, our country would be wiped from the face of the Earth, just as Rome was.

Hacked

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Any website can be hacked. Any honest security expert will tell you that. If you care about information from a website, you’d better back it up or print it out. Contrary to popular belief, the Internet is NOT forever.

I had one of my sites hacked by a script kiddie, recently. They were one of these immature types that sees free things given to society and instantly thinks, “I could deface that.” Really, they aren’t any more mature than taggers with their cans of spray paint. You can only back things up and hope the perps mature before karma comes around.

Oceans Rising

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For the past couple of years, we’ve been inundated with stories about how we are all going to die from global climate change and the rising oceans if we don’t implement lots of government rules, regulations, laws,  and of course, trillions of dollars in new taxes.

Liberals claim that the ocean has risen 1/10 of an inch, or about the thickness of one fingernail. Then they point to the fact that many sandbars have sank into the ocean–you can’t make this stuff up–so we are all going to die.

I speak about smell tests a lot, and this one doesn’t even come close to passing the smell test.

Scientists claim the ocean levels were hundreds of feet lower than now about 15,000 years ago during the last ice age, but we aren’t dead from climate change. The ocean tides are anywhere from 3-feet to 32-feet per day depending where you live, but we haven’t died from them. Rocky coasts haven’t sank into the ocean, only sandbars, while at the same time other sandbars are being created all over the world.

Liberals love claiming everyone that disagrees with them are close-minded, unintelligent, and uneducated.

*sigh*

43 EPA Scandals From the Obama Presidency

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Pat Gray and Jeff Fisher had an interesting list of scandals ignored by the main news outlets over Obama’s EPA.

  1. Lethal experiments by EPA on unsuspecting subjects (Forbes Magazine)
  2. EPA illegally used social media to push its agenda
  3. The EPA’s Illegal deletion of 6000 text messages
  4. Articles of Impeachment  introduced against head of EPA
  5. Coverup of the Colorado mine incident that poisoned the Navaho Nation’s waters
  6. EPA put a known child molester in position to interact with the public
  7. Female head of the EPA provided hostile workplace for women
  8. Female head of the EPA failed to prevent the downloading of child porn by employees
  9. Head of EPA spent $600,000 on international travel
  10. EPA hid data that disagreed with their agendas

And the list goes on and on. Check out the video over at The Blaze.

Immigrant Smell Test

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Some “facts” don’t pass the smell test. Meaning, if it smells like manure, then it probably is manure.

Many sources are claiming that Trump, … a man I’ve never liked, … hates immigrants. After all, Democrats love everyone, and Republicans hate everyone. That makes it easy to decide he hates immigrants.

But then there is that pesky smell test.

Trump’s immediate family is full of people born outside the USA. Trump married two immigrants, and his mother was an immigrant. That would make him AND his children first generation Americans. According to the news and the ill-informed, Trump must hate his wife, children and his mother. Oh, … and himself. I don’t think anyone could believe Trump hates himself.

The Trump-hates-immigrants line doesn’t pass the smell test. Some people, commenters, and news organizations seem to have been wading waste-deep in manure to produce that line.

I–like many people–surround myself with friends I agree with. That gives us more to talk about. And, it prevents arguments. However, when I know they are spouting “facts” that don’t pass the smell test, then I don’t use them as a source of information that I make my decisions based off of.

Disband ICE?

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Many liberal and not-so-liberal friends and family would love to see ICE disbanded. I have to admit, the country didn’t collapse during it’s first 200 years without ICE existing.

However, I want something in return. Give me a disbanded Department of Education. The country did fairly well by international standards educating its citizens without a Federal Department of Education interfering with states taking care of their own education needs.

I’m willing to give up ICE if the DOE also goes. Then we all win with a smaller Federal government.

Gun Violence Avoidance

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I ran into this article about preventing yourself from becoming a victim of gun violence. It definitely isn’t PC, but it is statistically accurate.

//www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-07/how-reduce-your-risk-death-gun-violence

So here are the tips without the commentary. By my estimate, you can reduce your chances of being killed by a gun by 400% by just implementing two of these tips. Pretty scary.

  1. Don’t commit suicide
  2. Deescalate road rage incidents
  3. Don’t join a gang
  4. Don’t buy or sell drugs
  5. Avoid abusive people
  6. Live by a curfew
  7. Avoid gun-free zones
  8. Avoid convicted violent criminals
  9. Practice situational awareness
  10. Avoid people who don’t practice gun safety
  11. Don’t attack or rob people

Arkancide

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I ran across this term I’d never heard before, … Arkancide.

So what is Arkancide one might ask? According to //www.arkancide.com/ , it “is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons’ dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head.”

Well now I know.

End of the Main Stream Media

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Now that the Main Stream Media (MSM) news outlets are dying, we’re seeing the social media outlets step up to the news filtering plate. I’d recommend staying away from Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the other popular censorship outlets. I’m not saying ban them entirely from your life, but limit them to necessary usage and use less popular alternatives that don’t censor what you read and view.

I’ve had enough close contact with national stories to know the MSM doesn’t even try to get the stories they chose to report on correct, and then there are the stories they outright hush up.

So, have some fun and start looking up the history of Terry Yeakey, if you want a great example of the MSM covering up the truth. For extra credit, look up who was president at the time of the execution of this hero cop.

New Christmas

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We lost Christmas.

“Holidays” have replaced Christ. Excitement at the birth of one who will save us all from death has faded. The stories of exultant angels singing to an audience of shocked lowly shepherds, are largely forgotten. Gift baring magi and tales of Bishop Nicholas of Myra’s generosity have mutated into self-serving shopping frenzies dominated by a fat creature of the north, and his masses of supernatural elves and reindeer.

We can make the best of this situation.

No longer do we have societal pressure on how we celebrate Christmas. Our society celebrates “Holidays”, so feel free to celebrate “Christmas” in a more fitting way. Celebrate a new Christmas, and leave behind the one of the last 100 years.

First, Christ’s birth should be celebrated through song. We know the angels of heaven celebrated the first one that way. As God said, “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” Celebrate Christmas through song.

Be selective about your choice of songs for our new Christmas. True Christmas carols center around Christ, his teachings, his life, and his victories over death and hell. Surely this is what those angels sang about in the presence of the shepherds.

Second, give as Christ gave. Christ spent all his recorded life giving gifts that could never be reciprocated. He taught people that could never teach him. He removed leprosy from the maimed. He gave sight to those blind from birth. He gave love to those who only knew hate and loathing. He gave without getting.

So give for new Christmas. Focus on giving to those who can never return the gifts. Give to friends. Comfort strangers. Love those who hate.

Third, let the world know the stories of Christ’s birth. They are filled with fulfillment of ancient prophesies and promises. Miraculous events surrounded the birth. Also, share the glorious stories of 2000 years of Christmas. Tell of enemy soldiers sharing a night of love and peace in World War I. Tell of random acts of kindness. And, tell of Christ who championed this behavior.

Let our society celebrate the “Holidays” and enjoy our new Christmas. Christmas is what we make of it.

We lost Christmas. Long live new Christmas!

Illegal to Grow Crops in Utah with Rainwater

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I recently attended a two-day Utah Division of Water Rights certification class. I was distressed to discover the antiquated state of Utah’s water rights regulations. Just to give an example, …

According to the Utah Division of Water Rights, it is illegal in the state of Utah to grow crops with water that falls as rain on your land. Yes, I did ask for clarification on this regulation, and it is the last question on the recorded two day session if you want to go verify that the answer from the Assistant State Engineer was indeed that using rain that fell on your land and soaked in to grow crops is illegal according to the Utah Division of Water Rights. (I also learned that nearly any water-usage can be made legal if you have enough money, by the way.)

This sounds like a regulation/law you’d find in a Jonathan Swift novel or the writings of Voltaire, not the modern laws of Utah. It amazes me that people that would have no problem explaining the “Velocity of Money” have no idea that the same applies to water, and have made rules that prohibit regenerative technologies like Permaculture, Gray Water usage, and Sustainable Agriculture from being applied in Utah.

Not only do most Utahns not know of these rules, I’m sure they would be shocked to learn of them.

Socialism Destroyed Venezuela

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Those familiar with South America are familiar with the plight of Venezuela. Venezuela is one of the most resource-rich countries in the world. Just over a decade ago, it was the envy of the emerging markets.

Then the people fell for Socialism. Everyone likes free stuff, and Socialism offers lots and lots of free stuff. Taking money from people through taxes isn’t really stealing. After all, everyone—especially the wealthy—should pay their fare share.

Venezuela elected a socialist government. The socialist government proceeded to do what socialists always do when they get power. They started taking other people’s stuff in hopes of giving away more free stuff to their voters.

As they say, “The only problem with Socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s stuff to give away.”

That’s exactly what happened. Venezuela, the envy of the Spanish speaking world, managed to go bankrupt giving away everything they could take.

Politicians love socialism. It turns out to be a perfectly legal way of buying votes. No government in the world declares voting when you’re on the government dole a conflict of interest, so voters around the world get bribed by socialist politicians to vote for more Socialism.

Of course, you can’t spread Socialism if people realize how badly it turned out for Venezuela, Italy, Greece, and even **gasp** Nazi Germany. So the propaganda machines spun up to tell everyone that Venezuela isn’t all that bad off.

My favorite propaganda piece came out today, criticizing anyone who would characterize Venezuela as having Hyperinflation. According to the official government numbers, they only have 70% inflation this year. That isn’t hyperinflation, so things aren’t so bad in Venezuela.

Um, … The official number might be 70% this year, but they have a history of playing with numbers so socialism doesn’t look bad. Last year, the official number was 68%, but a little math showed the real number to be around 800%.

Do a little math. If a gallon of milk cost $3 and you get hit with an annual inflation of 800%, in one year that $3 gallon of milk becomes $24, but by the end of year two, guess what? That $3 gallon of milk is now $192.

Most of my liberal-socialism-loving friends still don’t think that things could be that bad in Venezuela. It’s just more conspiracy theories by those nutty Republicans. 70% official inflation is nowhere near the 12,000% threshold of real hyperinflation. After all, it’s not like Venezuelans needs wheelbarrows of money to buy groceries, right?

It might be worth noting, Bloomberg is reporting today that Venezuelans have stopped counting cash and now weigh the piles necessary to buy items.

No, they don’t need wheelbarrows, yet. Long live socialism!

Seriously, … every Democracy or Republic should pass a law that only allows people paying more in taxes than they get in handouts from the government to be allowed to vote. If you don’t eliminate this voting-yourself-other-people’s-money, we’re going to see every Democracy or Republic eventually fall to the fallacy of Socialism.

Big, Fat, Ugly Bubble

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Whether you like or hate Trump, anyone who follows finances should realize how true it was when he spoke about the current economic bubble.

Typical politician. All talk, no action. Sounds good, doesn’t work. Never going to happen. Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what’s going on.

Now, look, we have the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression. And believe me: We’re in a bubble right now. And the only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down.

We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble. And we better be awfully careful. And we have a Fed that’s doing political things. This Janet Yellen of the Fed. The Fed is doing political — by keeping the interest rates at this level. And believe me: The day Obama goes off, and he leaves, and goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf, when they raise interest rates, you’re going to see some very bad things happen, because the Fed is not doing their job. The Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.

Sadly, he’s dead on about that one. The amazing part is that many news outlets (like the Rolling Stone and the Clinton News Network) don’t see the impending international economic disaster unfolding. All I can say is, keep your eyes on Deutsche Bank.

Edible Nitrogen Fixing Trees

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As a prepper, I’ve been getting more into permaculture and how it can reverse desertification. A healthy “food forest” is useful in situations where food cannot be found at the grocery store. Healthy land produces better gardens and orchards, and permaculture encourages healthy land.

Much of the world has experienced expanding deserts while losing grasslands and forests. The Great Basin has experienced desertification on a massive scale over thousands of years. The Great Basin contained one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, surrounded by forests filled with wildlife. Lake Bonneville, as the lake is called, was bigger than many modern countries. Now all that remains is the Great Salt Lake, salt flats, deserts, and some forested mountains.

Goumi berries
Goumi berries (//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Elaeagnus_multiflora)

Continue reading Edible Nitrogen Fixing Trees

Mixed Blessings of Cheap Oil

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Crude Oil just dropped into the 20’s. That’s $29 per barrel. Don’t think it’s hit bottom. The real value currently is around $17, so the trading value is likely to come down to at least that if not overcorrect and go to $16 or lower.

Why is cheap oil a bad thing?

Pumping Crude Oil
Hate it or love it, the oil industry has single-handedly kept our nation from depression for nearly a decade.

Continue reading Mixed Blessings of Cheap Oil

Kerosene Heat for the Cold Dark Winter

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As a prepper, I try to keep up on news from natural and man-made disasters. I recently read a posting by a survivor of Hurricane Sandy. He described half-mile long lines for fuel, power outages, and fear. He learned like never before how close we civilized people are to the same primal life our ancestors lived. He expressed the fear he and his neighbors had that if the utilities had not been restored before winter, that they would have suffered severely with no way to heat their houses.

Heat Mate Kerosene Heater
Heat Mate HMN-110 kerosene heater

Times are good here in the USA. Currently, preparing for bad times seems nuts. We have a good infrastructure, and good support networks for families that fall on hard times. History shows us that bad things happen, sometimes to entire countries, and often you can’t see them coming until they do. For anyone living in a place with severe winters, a disaster of country-wide scale could be deadly.

Continue reading Kerosene Heat for the Cold Dark Winter

I Believe in Christ

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I don’t believe in magic, and I rarely believe in the improbable.

Growing up, I used to hear the question, “If there was an explosion at a printing company, is it possible for that explosion to result in a perfectly printed and bound copy of the Bible being created?”

The answer of course is “no”. No sane person would claim a fully printed and bound copy of the Bible could be created from a random explosion. The speaker then would continue on to point out that a person needs to create a Bible for it to exist. In the same way, a human being could not have been created by chance of evolution. Humans must have a creator if something much less complex, like a Bible, needs a creator.

I would take this analogy a step further.

Continue reading I Believe in Christ

Secular Paganism

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Secular Pagans religiously demand absolution from religion. Secular Paganism’s first tenet is:

Thou shalt not declare thyself a religion.

This is the most powerful tenet of Secular Paganism. Liberating themselves from the label of religion frees Secular Paganists to demand state sponsorship of their religion while simultaneously demanding the repression of other religions on the ironic grounds that no one religion should be given preference over other religions.

Not having formal or informal recognition as a religion, Secular Paganism has managed to embed itself as the state sponsored religion of a majority of first-world nations and possibly the majority of all nations. The awarding of tax breaks, grants, and government contracts often revolve around institutional and individual adherence to the tenants of Secular Paganism.

Continue reading Secular Paganism

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus

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I’ve watched Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus twice. I liked it and give it five stars. Tim Mahoney, the director, does a wonderful job of presenting current archeological thought on why the Exodus did not happen, while at the same time showing overwhelming proof that it did. I recommend renting or buying it.

Spoilers ahead.

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Pioneer Trees

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I want trees on the ranch. Obviously, a ranch that was described in the real estate listing as “good for nothing but sagebrush” is a challenging environment for trees. I’ve done a lot of work investigating the most hardy pioneer trees that can survive in the drier areas of Utah.

But I’ll get back to pioneer trees in a moment.

My wife and I just celebrated our 21st anniversary. We took a trip up to Brigham City for dinner and a little sightseeing. We both love Brigham City, and might even move there in the next few years.

Brigham City Temple
My wife and I were married in the Salt Lake City Temple, but we weren’t near Salt Lake on our anniversary, so we stopped by the Brigham City Temple, instead.

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Bunny Cam

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I’ve nicknamed my trail cam, the “Bunny Cam”. It is unbelievable how many rabbits are in the sagebrush by the Dove Hills. You can’t walk a straight line without stepping on one every three hundred feet.

I recently retrieved my trail cam from its second stint documenting the events that pass on my ranch while I’m not there. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, … rabbits happen. It took pictures of rabbits running; rabbits sitting; rabbits eating; rabbits socializing, and rabbits drinking after the rains. Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits.

Kissing Bunnies
Technically, they’re jack rabbits. They seem to love it up on Dove Ranch.

Yup. Lots of rabbits up at the ranch.

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Water in the Desert

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When most people think of desert, they think of Death Valley, where it doesn’t rain during some years. These same people refer to the Wasatch Front, where I make my home, as desert. We get 20 inches of rain per year. That’s about half as much as most places that are covered in thick forests.

I’m always impressed by the amount of rain and snow we get even in our dry years in this area. Still, most people call it a desert. It is true that we have to manage our water more than areas with higher rainfall, but we also pipe tons of water to other states. So, we as a state obviously have more water than we need.

Woods Cross Park Becomes a Lake
Our local park became a small lake, complete with kayakers during a recent hail storm.

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Extra Food On Hand

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I had a conversation with a friend, a few years ago, about storing a little extra food around the house in case of emergencies. We both agreed that emergencies happen that prevent us from getting food from the store. Earthquakes and hurricanes are big, grandiose examples of emergencies that shut down access to stores, but smaller emergencies like blizzards, or an identity thief emptying your bank account also happen all the time. As I said, she and I completely agreed that stuff happens.

Extra Food
Many common foods will not store well, if you’re looking for a little extra food to have on hand in an emergency.

I have a good variety of food on-hand, including everything from 45 pound pails of hard white wheat and popcorn, to canned soups and chilis. She knew I had a good variety, and said, “I’ll be fine, too, if there is an emergency. I have five pounds of roasted peanuts. I’ll just snack on those until I can get to the store.”

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Food When There Is No Food

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It couldn’t happen here. That’s all in the past.

Most people alive don’t remember famine, war, or disease in the United States of America wiping out large swaths of US peoples. War, plagues, famines, and food shortages are things that happen across the oceans, or at least across the borders.

Lava at Ocean
You don’t have to live in an exotic location for natural and manmade disasters to strike.

In 1816, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted pushing massive amounts of ash into the air. The global weather turned so cold that crops across the US died due to frost in June. Pennsylvania had river ice in July and August that year. Many people starved to death the next winter. Luckily, that could never happen again in the USA because Indonesia no longer has volcanos.

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California Drought Affects Us All

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With the drought in California reaching critical status, we could see much higher prices for all kinds of products. Believe it or not, a shutdown of food production in California could lead to shortages of many food products across all of North America.

California's Drought Affects All of Us
All of North America feels the effects of California’s drought.

In the last half century, California has become the agricultural giant of North America. Most of the vegetables, nuts, and fruit consumed in America come from California. Milk, grapes, and almonds are among California’s lead exports. California grows nearly all of the America’s olives, kiwi, pistachios, prunes, raisins, and walnuts, among other products. Even the majority of our strawberries—1,400,000,000 pounds of strawberries—come from California.

Currently, much of that food production is grinding to a dusty halt. News anchors gleefully talk of “potentially higher prices,” while the reality of potentially empty shelves, gets swept under the newsroom rug.

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Cold Frame Tips for Preppers

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The first few years I grew tomatoes, the plants got big enough that the little tomatoes formed, and then the hottest days of summer hit. When it gets into the 90’s and 100’s in Utah, tomatoes stop growing. They don’t start growing again until the weather drops to the 80’s in the late summer and early fall. As a result, tomatoes don’t ripen until just about the first tomato-killing frost.

Having no tomatoes until just before the frost doesn’t put food on the table for an entire summer. I might as when just use freeze dried tomatoes if I can’t get a longer harvest season.

I thought about jumpstarting my tomatoes by sprouting them inside under grow lights in late winter or early spring. However, growing plants under electric lights seems to be against all my prepping instincts. Grow lights don’t work when there is no power.

My second option was buying or building a small greenhouse. We have strong winds in Woods Cross, so I’d need to spend some money to have a greenhouse that wouldn’t collapse or blow away. The price was just too much for me.

Finally, I learned about cold frames. Cold frames are mini knee-high greenhouses. I realized that Cold frames were the tomato seedling growing tool I needed.

Coldframes
Start your growing season a month early by using coldframes.

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Growing Potatoes in Buckets

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Potatoes require less water than most plants in a typical garden. You really need to make sure that you don’t rot the potatoes or cause fungus on the plants. I like keeping the watering down to about once per week. However, doing so when planted with water hungry plants  is nearly impossible.

My solution is growing potatoes in tall sturdy buckets. Potato buckets allow complete control over water, sun and weather. And, repurposing buckets as potato buckets is a great use for old pales left over from grinding wheat into flour.

Sprouting Potato
Place the sprouting potato in the prepared bucket.

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Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram … Secret Combinations

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Today’s news highlights the reasons I garden, grow fruit trees, bought a ranch to build a house on, and spend my little spare time learning prepping skills. No one believes in an actual zombie apocalypse, but every terrorist organization in the world (and several nuclear-capable countries) repeatedly state their objective as “death to America”.

I think they mean it. No matter how much we ignore them, they are at war with us. “Death to America” is not just rhetoric to appease their constituency.

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Peach Tree Pruning

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Now for a few words about pruning fruit trees.

What’s a prepper without his/her fruit trees? I try to grow fruit trees that stagger their fruit production over the summer and fall months, so I don’t have to deal with all our fruit ripening at once. One of our favorite trees is our peach tree.

I finally got around to pruning my peach tree and other fruit trees. Last year, I didn’t make time for them until they already had leaves and fruit growing on them. This year, I was determined to show them more attention.

I have a peach, two pears, two apples, and a cherry tree. The peach is my most productive tree, so I try to take good care of it. You can see the massive amount of fruit I get off my peach tree in an earlier post.

Unpruned Peach Tree
I pruned this tree last year. Honest, I did.

I’ve heard peach trees don’t need as much pruning after they mature, but my peach gets bushy every year. Maybe when it’s older it will call down. Believe it or not, I prune it back severely every winter or spring and it still comes out looking like the above photo by autumn.

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22 More Signs You Might be a Prepper

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I’m a prepper.  I previously posted, First 10 Signs You Might Be a Prepper. I’m at it again with 22 more signs you might be a prepper.

“Prepper” sounds like such a harsh word. It took me many years to come out of the pantry and admit I was a prepper. Coming out of the pantry helped me find tons of people with similar interests. It’s been very liberating.

Preppers look at the world differently than other people. This unique outlook lends itself to plenty of humor. Yes, people point the finger of ridicule at us now-and-then, but that doesn’t mean we can’t smile at ourselves, too. I hope you share a smile or a laugh.

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Paying off Our Ranch

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I’ve mentioned financial prepping before. By financial prepping, I don’t mean planning for retirement. Retirement planning may be integrated into financial prepping plans, but it isn’t the same thing. By financial prepping, I mean getting prepared for financial difficulty in your own life. Financial difficulty can come in the form of a lost job, identity theft, a debilitating injury, or the more glamorous zombie appocolypse induced world wide financial collapse. (Yes, I say the last one with tongue firmly in cheek, but life’s strange. Who knows?)

My Loyal Sentra
My Nissan Sentra with 100k miles on it.

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Canning Peaches for Food Storage

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A key skill for any prepper is growing and then preserving your own food. One of the most common results of manmade and natural disasters is an interruption in supply lines that fill those handy grocery stores. However, if you grow and store at least some of your own food, supply-line interruptions don’t have to be a concern.

Years ago, I planted a fruit cocktail tree—one of those trees that grows lots of different types of fruits. I managed to kill it off, except the roots. The roots shot up a beautiful peach tree. This last fall it finally had a full crop of peaches.

Peaches on Tree
The peaches on our tree in early October.

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First 10 signs, “You Might be a Prepper …”

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You might be a prepper, if …

1) You look at your neighbor’s dandelion filled lawn and think,
“Salad!”

2) While visiting Cape Canaveral, you spot astronaut ice cream in the gift shop and ask, “What’s the shelf life?”

3) You look for wood stoves at the department store.

4) You see a wood stove and want to know if you can cook on it.

5) You end up not buying the wood stove of your dreams, because your rocket stove is more fuel efficient.

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Financial Prepping

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Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article merely states my opinions and views as a non-professional. If you’re looking for professional advice, contact an actual professional advisor.

One of the most commonly overlooked preps is financial security. Obviously, most people are aware of 401k’s and retirement planning. I’m not talking about these.

In late 2008, the US Fed, Congress, and President all signed on to the first Quantitative Easing. The purpose? The financial markets were in so much trouble that in reality, most US businesses might have lost access to their credit lines. The trickle-down affect would have been much of America going home without a paycheck for a month or more.

This description comes from Republicans and Democrats. I didn’t believe it at the time, but having learned a lot more about how businesses and financial markets work, I agree with their description now, even if I don’t like their “solution.” Continue reading Financial Prepping

Some Shows for Homesteaders and Preppers

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I love shows that relate to homesteading and prepping. Unfortunately, there isn’t a genre selection on Netflix or Hulu for prepping and homesteading enthusiasts. They’re all ready for you if you want to browse Disney flicks or find Broke Back Mountain, but nothing for people with a little bit of pioneer in their souls. Let’s be honest though, I’d probably hate their selection even if they had a genre for us.

So, here are a few shows I’ve found fun, that I’d put in the Preppers and Homesteaders genre if I was in charge. I’ll see if I can come up with a few more for future posts, but this selection will be a good place to start.

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Where Preppers and Homesteaders Roam

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The musty smell of our basement surrounded me on the wooden steps down to our cupboard containing glass jars of garden vegetables my mother canned months earlier. Home canned pickles, tomatoes, and yellow beans among other garden goods spread out over several shelves of our large cupboard.

In those days, I never heard the term homesteader or prepper. People still practiced canning food from their gardens, because their parents and grandparents had. Simple country living happened because we lived in the country, and while this lifestyle was becoming less common, it was still common enough that no one thought twice about growing or raising their own food. I knew many kids growing up that had similar lifestyles to the one we lived.

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Honeydew … Water Killer

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As I lay in bed last night, I heard a loud crinkling sound going on for what seemed like 15 minutes. My first thought was, “What is Honeydew doing this time?” I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I figured I’d deal with it in the morning.

Morning came and I found the cause of all the loud crinkling. My cat, who is a Maine Coon Siamese mix, had attacked and successfully killed an entire flat of bottled water. Many of the bottles had been completely crushed. Others bled purified water from claw and canine punctures they sustained.

Returning to the Scene of the Crime
My cat, Honeydew, returning the scene of her crime.

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