NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Food prices have been rising worldwide, as the cost of raw materials and agricultural products surge, contributing to political unrest around the globe.
In December, international food prices broke an all-time high when they rose 25% for the year, led by rising costs for staples like rice, wheat, and maize, the United Nations reported.
The sharp rise in food prices, in particular, has become “a source of political instability,” New York University economist Nouriel Roubini, told CNNMoney’s Poppy Harlow, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week.
Roubini, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his famously bearish predictions, said spiking energy and food prices pose one of the greatest global threats — especially to emerging market economies.
(CNN) — While discontent, resentment and nationalism continue to fuel demonstrations, one vital staple is in short supply: food.
Many families in Egypt are fast running out of staples such as bread, beans and rice and are often unable or unwilling to shop for groceries.
"Everything is running out. I have three children, and I only have enough to feed them for maybe two more days. After that I do not know what we will do." school administrator Gamalat Gadalla told CNN.
The unrest has paralyzed daily life in Egypt with many grocers closing shop and spotty food shipments.
"With the curfew, there are no restaurants, food or gas. Basic goods will soon be in shortage," Sandmonkey, an Egyptian blogger said via Twitter.
NAIROBI, January 28 – Somalia is facing a severe water shortage following failure of the short rains also known as Deyr, heightening fears of deepening humanitarian crisis in coming months, a new report shows.
Seasonal analysis by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis unit (FSNAU), managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Somalia, in collaboration with FEWSNET, indicates that the failure of short rain season dwindled water sources for both human and livestock in most areas, leading to crop failure and subsequent increase in prices of water and local cereals.
The report also highlights dramatic increases in local cereal prices, up to 80 percent especially in Southern regions of Somalia, where large scale crop failure was reported as a result of failed rains. Sorghum and maize are preferred choice of food for poor households and the internally displaced population. Farmers and traders are also reportedly hoarding cereal in anticipation of food shortages, hurting the poor most.
This weekend, at a posh resort near Palm Springs, California, two billionaire corporate titans will convene a semi-annual meeting of a politically well-connected set. It will include wealthy donors and powerful Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
At David and Charles Koch’s meeting, attendees will discuss items like how best to promote free markets and how to help elect conservatives. Donors are expected to be asked to donate to conservative causes.
It will be conducted virtually in secret, with no press or public allowed and many attendees keeping event details on the hush.
That’s fueled criticism that this gathering is a sort of secret cabal - a “Billionaires Caucus,” critics say. Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, even said that the Koch brothers’ meeting represents “a threat to our democracy.”
Until now, financial markets have paid little heed to unrest in the Middle East. If the activism dies down there may not be lingering effects on financial markets. But some market watchers said it’s important to keep both an eye on these social movements as they are coming at a time when another potential lynch pin for unrest is becoming more of an issue: rising food prices and inflation. If that happens, some market analysts said investors could run again to the safe-haven of gold.
Food prices are rising again and some food riots have broken out in places Madagascar and Mozambique in recent months. The United Nations has also warned of potential food crisis. Tunisia and Algeria saw food riots because of rising prices and the food rioting in Tunisia eventually transformed to political rioting. Historically food riots have often toppled governments.
John Kleist, broker at Allendale, Inc., said he believes food riots in helped to lead to the current political unrest in North Africa. When the events in Tunisia escalated to overthrow the government there, it led to Egypt’s current political riots. “Once the overthrow happened (in Tunisia) it emboldened the masses in Egypt. They’re not protesting for food anymore, it’s because of civil rights,” he said. As recently as 2008 there were riots in several countries over rising food prices as supplies fell sharply because of crop failures in several exporting countries. Prices are rising again, but global supplies of grain are higher than before making the situation less dire.
Egypt has been dealing with famine for several years. The story from 2008 quoted below sounds remarkably like the news today.
In a letter to a US newspaper Ban Ki Moon warned that shortages are forcing prices to rise which may have devastating consequences for the world’s most vulnerable communities The most acute effects have been seen in Egypt, where thousands of people have resorted to violence due to shortages of basic food commodities and rising food prices.
At least 10 people have died over the past two weeks, in riots that erupted at government subsidised bakeries. The unavailability of basic food products such as bread, rice, sugar and cooking oil, coupled with high food prices has led many to protest against the Egyptian government and resort to violent tactics. National crisis
An Egyptian man said: “People are fighting. Killing for bread, some are even pulling out knives. What is happening? What is this? Famine? ” Another woman, waiting at a government bakery said: “I’ve been standing here from 7am. Its now 2pm and I can’t get hold of even one loaf of bread.”
This weeks escalation is just one of many happening recently across the world. Food riots in Tunisia, Haiti, Algeria, India, and Egypt provide the impetus for a statement by the Head of the UN World Food Program on 1/24/11 where she stated that ““We’re in an era where the world and nations ignore the food issue at their peril,”. Food shortages in China have prompted predictions of riots there in 2011. For more on the underlying reasons for the food riots in Egypt, see this 06/26/2010 story. [embedded below]
I like to look at both sides of the story to see how different perspectives use interpretation to advance their arguments. Here’s a good go at debunking some of the FEMA camp stuff. I had noticed that the footage from Linda Thompson did look old.
I don’t think this addresses all of the questions though. If you watch Jesse Ventura’s “Police State” show you’ll get more background and more questions.
Read it, think critically, keep asking questions.
Earlier this week, PM editor-in-chief James Meigs appeared on Glenn Beck’s FOX news program twice to debunk conspiracy theories regarding supposed “concentration camps” being built by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can read transcripts from those appearances here and here. But PM’s research went beyond what could fit in the short segments. Below are more details regarding some of the most prevalent claims, and facts, uncovered through PM’s independent investigation.
If you can make sense of the numbers it looks like rising food costs are here to stay, but the folks with the most food will be making money selling it to those who don’t have it. Step 1. Inflate the dollar. Step 2. Exploit the market. Step 3. Profit. :)
Algeria sparked Wednesday’s rally by buying 800,000 metric tons of milling wheat, with traders estimating the deal brings the African nation’s total purchases for January to about 1.8 million tons. The source of Algeria’s latest purchase wasn’t disclosed.
The January purchase equals a third of what the U.S government expects Algeria to import for the current marketing year that ends May 31, raising expectations the forecast will be increased. Earlier on Wednesday, Algeria’s aggressive buying pushed wheat futures in Europe to their highest level since March 2008.
Government buyers across North Africa and the Middle East have stepped up wheat purchases in recent weeks following unrest in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt. Rising food prices are helping to drive the discontent in those countries.
Weekly U.S. wheat export sales for the week ended Jan. 13, the most recent period for which data are available, reached 1.1 million tons, up 73% from the prior four-week average, according to U.S. government data. The U.S. is the world’s largest wheat exporter and seen as one of the last remaining sources for high-quality wheat that can be milled into flour.
The U.S. is “sitting in a pretty good position right now, especially with the value of the dollar,” said Don Schieber, chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates, an industry group focused on exports.
Wheat futures have nearly doubled since this past summer, fueled at first by the Russian export ban. Buyers around the world have been scrambling to secure supplies after rains damaged crops in Australia and Canada, leaving farmers with large supplies of wheat that is suitable for feeding livestock, but not human consumption.
Traders are looking for Saudi Arabia to become the next Middle Eastern country to seek high-protein milling wheat. Egypt, the world’s top wheat buyer, also is expected to issue a tender to buy wheat this week.
"Political unrest due to high food costs has many countries actively shopping for wheat," analysts at Minneapolis-based Benson Quinn Commodities wrote in a note to clients.
Concerns about high prices stretch to Asia as well. Officials in Taiwan said the country plans to lower import tariffs on wheat and wheat flour by 50% over the next six months to cushion the impact of rising global food prices on domestic consumer prices.
Indeed, rallying food and grain prices have pushed food-price inflation to the top of the international agenda. The United Nation’s food agency on Wednesday warned governments that short-term measures to combat price inflation, such as export bans, could have damaging long-term effects. The Food and Agriculture Organization said prices reached a record high at the end of 2010, above the peaks of the 2007-08 food crisis.
Jesus. How many “Dr Doom’s” are there? Roubini, Marc Faber, Peter Shiff… Will the real Dr Doom please stand up?
Rapidly rising oil, energy and food prices pose a serious threat to global stability, leading U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini has warned. Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s 2011 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Roubini said the global economy was a “glass half-full and a glass half-empty”, with some signs of recovery. But he told CNNMoney.com there were still “many things that could go wrong” in the coming year. Asked to pick what he considered the biggest new threat, Roubini — who earned himself the nickname “Dr Doom” for his pessimistic predictions during the economic crisis — highlighted the large increase in commodity prices.
This website is for folks all over the world learning English. The sampling of countries represented in the comments is very broad. Read through the comments and get a feel for food prices world-wide. China, S. Korea, Brazil, Cambodia, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey, and more, all indicating the rising cost of food in their countries. Whatever the root cause, it’s definitely a trend.
Several officials in countries facing food shortages have come out saying there is no shortage of food. In Sri Lanka, it’s such a small problem that they even have a Food Security Surveillance System to monitor the food supply. Forgive my sarcasm.
"Although 400,000 acres were inundated in the recent floods almost 80 percent of the total cultivated crops have been saved, said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena at a ceremony to establish a Food Security Surveillance System in Sri Lanka. The event took place at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute on Tuesday. There will not be a food shortage in Sri Lanka, he asserted.
This surveillance system was a joint effort of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Sri Lankan Government. Monitoring of national food security was a key aspect in the government’s economic policy in oder to create a healthy human resource for the country. The other objectives of the System were to establish food security, a surveillance system and to monitor transitional districts regularly, enhance national capacity of regular food security monitoring process and to develop national spatial data infrastructure on food security and price monitoring.
The Romanian News Agency reports that their Minister of Agriculture stated that there was plenty of food and “He added that in case Romania got into a food ciris that would happen “because of laziness and lack of initiative.”
Because we all know that when people starve it’s because they are lazy and lack initiative. WTF!!?
Background on the Ogallala Aquifer, AKA The High Plains Aquifer, which covers South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas
While surface water is severely limited, the Ogallala Aquifer has provided water for the regional development of a highly significant agricultural economy. Ninety percent of groundwater withdrawals are used for irrigation in most of this region. This region produces about 4% of the nation’s corn, 25% of the hard red winter wheat, 23% of the grain sorghum, and 42% of the fed beef. Local grain production is used primarily as feed grains for intensive beef, dairy, and swine production, thus adding economic stability to the region. The Ogallala Aquifer is a finite resource, with aquifer recharge being much less than withdrawals. As the water table declines, well yields decline and pumping costs escalate. With depressed commodity prices, water becomes a commodity itself with potential competing uses. Research into the complex nature of water availability, potential uses, technological improvements, and water pricing will drive the discussions and decisions relative to water policy.
On the high plains of the Texas Panhandle, farmers owe their livelihoods to a marvel of geology: the cool, gravely waters of the country’s largest aquifer, the Ogallala. Stretching across eight states, the amount of water is so vast that, according to one writer, it could fill Lake Erie nine times over. Within Texas, the Ogallala accounts for about 40 percent of all water use. But the aquifer’s levels are declining sharply here. In a dry growing season last year, the High Plains Water District, which includes all or part of 15 Panhandle counties, recorded an average drop of 1.5 feet, the most since 1997. The rains have returned, but the 2007 state water plan projects that the Ogallala’s volume will fall a staggering 52 percent between 2010 and 2060, as corn and cotton growers continue to draw from its depths. The consequences for farmers could be severe: The use of big pivot irrigation — the lifeblood of the Panhandle — could be cut back severely in 10 to 20 years if current usage patterns continue, researchers at Texas Tech University estimate. “The aquifer is reaching a point where it is not going to produce the water that some farmers are going to want to see produced,” said Robert Mace, the deputy executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, the state’s water development planning group. Like other experts, he notes that the aquifer’s thickness varies tremendously from place to place — and in a few spots, like parts of Dawson County, the levels are actually increasing. In general, he says, Texans are probably pumping the Ogallala at about six times the rate of recharge.
FEMA has issued multiple RFI’s(Request For Information) in regards to the availability of 140 million packets of food specifically for a disaster in the New Madrid Fault System.
Normally this sort of information would seem like disinformation or fear mongering but this particular situation is heavily documented. FEMA RFI The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely. The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.
FEMA is considering the following specifications
(14M meals per day): - Serving Size – 12 ounce (entree not to exceed 480 calorie count); - Maximum calories – 1200 and/or 1165 per meal; - Protein parameters – 29g-37g kit; - Trans Fat – 0; - Saturated Fat – 13 grams (9 calories per gram); - Total Fat – 47 grams (less than 10% calories); - Maximum sodium – 800-930 mg;
Requested Menus to include snacks (i.e. fruit mix, candy, chocolate/peanut butter squeezers, drink mix, condiments, and utensils).
All meals/kits must have 36 months of remaining shelf life upon delivery. Packaging should be environmentally friendly.
Interestingly enough, FEMA is also requesting information on millions of blankets for the EXACT same reason. Does FEMA know something we don’t or are they doing this to simply prepare for a disaster in order to help the American people?
Most educated people understand that history repeats itself and the history of FEMA is that of an agency that has been completely unprepared and at times, unwilling to help the American people.
Here we have the rock and the hard place. Raising the debt ceiling only prolongs the inevitable. But the alternative is just as bad.
"WHAT IF CONGRESS FAILS TO ACT AND THE LIMIT IS HIT? The government would have to stop issuing debt to fund its day-to-day operations. If it does not have sufficient cash on hand from other sources, such as tax receipts, it would have to curtail some activities, including closing government offices. The government may have to halt payments of federal benefits, such as Social Security or Medicare, or default by halting interest payments on Treasury debt. It paid $148.2 billion in interest to bondholders from October through December 2010. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE UNITED STATES DEFAULTED? Treasury officials have said this would be "catastrophic." Financial markets could experience severe turmoil. The government would likely have to cut spending deeply, which would suck fiscal support away from a still-fragile recovery and hurt those who depend on federal benefits. The Treasury, normally a safe haven for investors, may also be shut out of borrowing in public debt markets for a period, so it might have to turn to international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund for assistance."
The state of emergency in Tunisia has economists worried that we may be seeing the beginnings of a second wave of global food riots. Battered by bad weather and increasing demand from the developing world, the global food supply system is buckling under the strain. This month, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that its food price index jumped 32 percent in the second half of 2010 — surpassing the previous record, set in the early summer of 2008, when deadly clashes over food broke out around the world, from Haiti to Somalia. An FAO report noted that “recent bouts of extreme price volatility in global agricultural markets portend rising and more frequent threats to world food security.” In announcing the new numbers, Abdolreza Abbassian, the FAO’s chief economist at the FAO, told reporters that “We are entering a danger territory.”
Get ready for a rocky year. From now on, rising prices, powerful storms, severe droughts and floods, and other unexpected events are likely to play havoc with the fabric of global society, producing chaos and political unrest. Start with a simple fact: the prices of basic food staples are already approaching or exceeding their 2008 peaks, that year when deadly riots erupted in dozens of countries around the world. It�s not surprising then that food and energy experts are beginning to warn that 2011 could be the year of living dangerously — and so could 2012, 2013, and on into the future. Add to the soaring cost of the grains that keep so many impoverished people alive a comparable rise in oil prices — again nearing levels not seen since the peak months of 2008 — and you can already hear the first rumblings about the tenuous economic recovery being in danger of imminent collapse. Think of those rising energy prices as adding further fuel to global discontent.
Similarly, blaming China and India for sending oil prices, or commodity prices, sky-high during 2002-2008 was as unwarranted as blaming German consumers for the hyperinflation of 1922-23. Oil prices fell suddenly to $35 in December 2008, despite strong Chinese and Indian demand. Fed monetary policy plays a big role in determining oil, as well as other commodity, prices. As the experience of the German hyperinflation, or other episodes of hyperinflation, has shown, prices cannot leap forward in gigantic strides if the central bank prints no additional money. The more the central bank prints money, the higher the demand for goods and the more intense the speculation. Knowing that money is depreciating at a fast rate, consumers and producers become speculators and develop high inflationary expectations. Producers withhold commodities anticipating higher prices around the corner. Similarly, consumers rush to buy and store commodities in anticipation of price increases. Since money is fast depreciating, sellers hoard and consumers use cash and buy commodities as fast as possible. It is a practice as old as time.
A study confirming earlier research warns that these problems will grow as pressures from immigration trigger even greater urban sprawl, massively increasing the size of state capitals within four decades. “The magnitude of the impacts at all [projected] net migration levels suggests that, unless substantial and timely actions are taken to address these impacts, some have the potential to disrupt Australia’s economy and society,” the National Institute of Labour Studies report said.
On the whole, Africa is expected to be the hardest hit. Due to hotter, drier temperatures, nearly two-thirds of arable land on the continent could be lost by 2025, and maize growing could die out completely in some areas, according to the study. It said grape and olive growing in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Spain and France will suffer due to mounting dryness, as will the vineyards of California — a $US3.9 billion ($A3.91 billion) industry. For the United States, a major global grain producer, wheat crops are forecast to grow five to 20 per cent, while corn crops could falter slightly. Northern Europe could see wheat yields climb between three and four per cent. Meanwhile, the vast continent of Asia will see drastically different impacts in crop growth and rainfall. India, the second largest world producer of rice and wheat, could see yields fall 30 per cent, the study said. But not so for China, the world’s biggest producer of wheat and rice, which is expected to boost yields up to 20 per cent. The effects of climate change are expected to be harsher for India because of its tropical climate, as opposed to China, which lies in the temperate zone. Growers in Bangladesh and Pakistan could also expect to see declines. “Currently, 80 per cent of global agriculture depends on rain,” said Hisas. Ethiopia was singled out in Africa as a country that could benefit because higher temperatures could combine with rainfall changes to boost the growth of its key crop, coffee. Ethiopia is the world’s sixth largest coffee producer. The US and China are among those expected to grow more of every main cereal group. Soybean production is forecast to result in a five percent surplus, but the other three will see deficits across the world due to rising demand: a 14 per cent shortfall in wheat, 11 per cent for rice and nine percent for maize. Latin America will see an overall decline in cereal yield of 2.5 to five per cent by 2020. Australia’s forecast was mixed: significant yield drops in the southwest but moderate increases in the northeast.
The food riots began in Algeria more than a week ago, and they are going to spread. During the last global food shortage, in 2008, there was serious rioting in Mexico, Indonesia and Egypt. We may expect to see that again, only more widespread.
With 9 billion people to feed by 2050, the report makes the case for significant increases in the funding of basic research, in order to develop innovative tools of nanotechnology and biotechnology to help stem the rise of food prices and stabilize supply and demand. And as the period from research to innovation and solution to implementation can often take years, the world risks finding solutions too late if such research is not funded immediately, says the report.
Is the country on the verge of a serious food crisis? The unfolding international food crisis is likely to result in skyrocketing food and commodity prices. The sharp decline in domestic food production and an increase in oil, fertilizer and other intermediate goods, are likely to bring about inflation in the country. It will strain the trade balance, cause a dent in the balance of payments, increase the rate of inflation and cause severe hardships, especially to the poorer sections of the population.
Imagine the largest outside holder of US debt, also controlling the personal finances of average Americans. If an economic attack ever did arise from the East, those banks could possibly be part of the attack by shutting down those assets. This is also part of their plan to leverage the yuan over the dollar.
It kind of blew my mind to see how much is already out there as a result of phrama companies dumping it into the water system, how much comes out in the sewers already, and that there are experts seeking to get Lithium and Statins added in like Fluoride. The stats are from authoritative sources. Drugging the masses to keep them happy…
Somewhere between Mad Max and Pollyanna lies a balanced view of emergency preparedness, survivalism, and self-sufficiency. Critics and prophets have been saying the world is going to end for thousands of years. In the most simplistic terms it is a competition between the full-on “Rapture-End Times” scenario crowd and the more secular “decline of Western Civilization” camp. In the former the world ends in flames, purged by God, while in the latter the flames might still be there, but it’s a result of man’s own decadence, hubris, and hunger for power - which by the way is what the fundies think are at the root of God’s anger.
If some major world changing event were to come about, the earth will survive, but the modern realities of human civilization will change. It could be that we come through the current environmental, economic, and political upheavals with our civil liberties intact, our food and fuel supply chains still functioning, and our money still worth enough to support and feed our families. I hope that this is the scenario in the end. Whatever the case, we aren’t worried about the earth coming to an end, but rather our own lives and standard of living. In our minds, the earth is worthless without us on it. Sadly, from our perspective, this is true.
A growing distrust of the US government and mainstream news sources can quickly lead one into an online maze of conspiracy theories, end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) speculations, and all manner of apocalyptic thinking. The fear that this stimulates can be paralyzing and overwhelming. Loss of control, fear of the inability to provide for and protect one’s family, and everything that comes with considering a return to 17th or 18th century living from where we are now can bring on an obsession with preparation for the worst case scenario. I know. I fight this preoccupation and work daily to not let my fears for the future take away from the continued happiness I enjoy as a result of my current standard of living.
When you venture into the online world of survivalists and preppers you find a wide range of views and political perspectives. Many are very well informed and have deep insights into the macro factors moving our economy and global politics. You also find numerous religious nutjobs, racist pricks, right-wing radicals, and all manner of like-minded folks who are convinced the New World Order is behind every tree and minor event, that the President/government is always wrong and can be faulted for all current problems, or that we are a matter of weeks from the total collapse of western civilization as we know it.
I’ve been following these conversations online for 10 years. The same people are saying the same things now that they were when I started looking in 1999. However, this is not to say that the events and trends they are addressing are without merit or consideration. Just because I don’t agree with their political alignment, their speculation on the root causes, their religious views, or their assessments of how one should interpret the daily news does not mean that their arguments hold no water. In much of the speculation there are disturbing trends that continue to remind me of the old adage “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.
Our planet is reeling from a century of all manner of abuses. We see this play out daily across the globe as weather patterns, glacier melt-off, droughts, flooding, crop failures, and massive bird, fish, and animal deaths show the impact of our reckless pursuit of profit. Sure, it has happened all along, but the impact that industrialization has had on our environment is undeniable. Our global ecosystem is a system, and major trauma to critical sub-systems will cause errors throughout the whole.
The worlds supply of oil is reaching, or perhaps has already passed, it’s peak level of production and everything that depends on fossil fuels for it’s sustenance will feel the impact as it becomes clear to even the mainstream that the expenditure of a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil is cost prohibitive and unsustainable.
The global financial horizon, despite the propaganda of government analysts, skewed statistics, and continued temporary fixes, reveals an almost insurmountable chasm of federal debt, a steadily weakening reserve currency, and staggering state and local deficits. Not to mention soaring commodity, fuel, and food prices across the board.
Couple this with an ever growing endorsement of the governments infringement on civil liberties and individual privacy, the perpetuation of an environmental of fear of the “Other”, misdirection of our attention from real threats to manufactured ones, and an obvious inability to provide even the most basic emergency support in times of disaster and it seems to provide a “perfect storm” of destabilizing elements not seen since the Great Depression. Except that now the ramifications of a Depression are not simply contained or influenced primarily by the United States, but by all players in the intricate web of global politics, finance, and power.
The smallest dictators and terrorists pose as big of a threat as that posed by Russia during the Cold War. And yet it is that same threat that is used to further justify the continued infringement on our Constitutional rights and continued expenditures of trillions of dollars on fruitless foreign oil wars.
This is not about politics. It’s about power and money. The majority of politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, will pander to their constituents through lip service while selling them out to the lobbyists of every financial institution, arms dealer, and palm-greasing corporation that steps through the doors of their office. Those that don’t follow this pattern will either give up or merely stem the flow of “business as usual”. This is nothing new and I can’t imagine it’s much different than the state of politics has been for thousands of years except that it’s a much more polished, established, and streamlined process now after centuries of perfection.
So, with all this bleakness, what is there to celebrate? How do we deal with the very real threat of Electromagnetic Pulse attacks, the possibility of the failure of the dollar as the reserve standard, and the myriad of other scenarios that could result in a culmination of factors that could bring about wide-scale collapse in services and supply?
Don’t. Lose. Your. Head. Remain calm. Forget about the root causes. It’s like trying to decide if God exists or if there could be life outside our solar system. There’s no way to prove one root cause over another. It’s speculation based on the facts we have available to us. It doesn’t matter what’s causing it; the effects and ramifications are all that are important.
If things go south, how likely is it that X will happen? Given the current rate of X events, taken in light of past events, and given new factors Y & Z, where does that put us? Rational, logical analysis separated from political and religious biases is the primary strategy. Using information as the tool of choice, strip away speculation and look at facts. Interpretation is unavoidable, but what really matters is identifying trends and pattern recognition.
I honestly don’t care if the New World Order or increasing demand in China is at fault for food riots and hyperinflation. I just care that I can take care of my family if that happens. If it never does I’ll be so fucking happy. I like the comfort of my modern life and perhaps that’s what the powers that be are counting on to keep me in my place.
Still yet, I’m a country boy who grew up off the grid much of the time. However, while I may have redneck ways, I’m not a redneck in the derogatory sense of the word. I’m all about tolerance for others who are not like me, compassion for those who have less than me, and am a champion of your right to say what you believe even if I disagree in every possible way and hate your guts for it.
I have a BA, an MS, and an AK. I dip snuff but can write at length about Neitzsche’s perspectivism and the vagaries of Buddhist religion. I can skin a buck, raise my own food, discuss modern art, and recite Yeats poetry. My southern, rustic roots define and enhance my character, but in no way limit my intellect or inhibit my ability to see beyond common prejudices and take every individual as they come.
In the end I don’t care about anything but protecting and providing for my wife and children. I think there may come a time when that will be much more difficult than it is now. Like any of the various types of insurance I now have, I have taken care to have “insurance” in the case of an emergency, major disaster, economic depression, or the end of the world as we know it. Much like with my life insurance, I’ll be happy if I never have to cash it in. But I have the peace of mind in knowing that should I need to, I’ll be ready.
Think for yourself. Question everything, even things you assume to be absolute. Love and protect those who depend on you. Keep hope alive, but prepare just in case. Don’t be so fucking sure of yourself. Chances are you’re wrong about some things - just like I am. Quit being so damn hateful.
Fear of the End can be healthy or debilitating. Moderation, preparation, and planning are the key to controlling it. Take out your “insurance” and once you’re prepared you won’t have to worry about it. Peace of mind comes with preparation.
I’m going to present information from lots of sources here. I don’t agree with the worldview that some of them support, but there are a great many folks doing deep research and presenting facts in sets and identifying trends that bear serious consideration. Like I said, I’m less interested in the cause and more focused on ramifications. I can’t change the powers that be, but I can change how I’m prepared for the future. THAT is within my control.