May 09

A must-read!

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Many more articles on preparedness here ( and here.

Bosnia war survivor warns of things to come in collapse of America (Natural News, May 9, 2013):

We are republishing two important stories here (with links to original sources) that you need to read. The first is a report from a man who survived the war in Bosnia. Although the source of this cannot be confirmed, the advice is extremely valuable regardless.

The second story, appended to the bottom of this article, lists 35 excuses that will get you killed if you fail to prepare for what’s coming. This was originally published on and is sourced below.

Read both of these articles if you want to live.

Here’s the first:

One year in Hell…

I am from Bosnia. You know, between 1992 and 1995, it was hell. For one year, I lived and survived in a city with 6,000 people without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.

Our city was blockaded by the army; and for one year, life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police. We only had armed groups; those armed protected their homes and families.

When it all started, some of us were better prepared. But most of the neighbors’ families had enough food only for a few days. Some had pistols; a few had AK-47s or shotguns.

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Nov 08

The Post-Apocalypse Survival Machine Nerd Farm (Businessweek, Nov 1, 2012):

Marcin Jakubowski sits cross-legged on the dirt floor of a round hut in Missouri farm country, carefully making an open-faced mayo and cheddar sandwich. Inside the hut there’s a bed, a small desk, a few plastic containers (including one for food), and, occasionally, mice and snakes. It’s 104F out and only slightly cooler inside. There’s no fridge, so just how the mayonnaise hasn’t spoiled is something of a mystery. Jakubowski, who’s of average height and extremely fit, wears khakis and a long-sleeve oxford shirt. “What we are doing here is conducting a civilization reboot experiment,” he says. He carefully places cheddar shreds on top of the mayo, squirts the works with Sriracha hot sauce in a precise cross-hatch pattern, bites, chews. “It’s about sustainable living and having open access to critical information and tools.”

Jakubowski’s hut anchors a 30-acre compound near Maysville, Mo., full of wooden shacks, yurts, work sheds, flapping laundry, clucking chickens, and a collection of black and strange-looking machinery. A dozen or so people in their twenties, none of whom appears to have bathed in a while, wander around or fiddle with the machines. Jakubowski has named the place Factor e Farm, though the goal isn’t just the cultivation of crops. Rather, it’s to create a completely self-sufficient community that produces not only its own food, but also energy, tools, and raw materials for making those tools. Jakubowski’s ultimate purpose is both to live off the grid and to teach others—whether out of choice or necessity—how to do so too.

In 2007, Jakubowski began working on a minimum set of machines necessary to sustain a modern civilization. It comprises bread ovens, aluminum smelters, tractors, brick presses, and 46 others. Factor e Farm has already built 15 of these devices, including a computer-controlled torch table that can cut intricate patterns on metal with a jet of superheated ionized gas. Work will com-mence soon on a cement mixer, a sawmill, and an industrial robot.

Photograph by Michael FribergA second-generation Life Trac tractor, built on the premises

Most of Factor e Farm’s equipment runs on an in-house invention called a Power Cube. It’s a black metal box about the size of an office copier, with a 27-horsepower engine that runs a hydraulic pump. The Power Cube’s engine can drive the bulldozers; the pumps can power the table saws and other smaller, stationary machines. Continue reading »

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Jul 22

In Utah, a modern-day caveman has lived for the better part of a decade on zero dollars a day. People used to think he was crazy

Photograph by Mark Heithoff

DANIEL SUELO LIVES IN A CAVE. UNLIKE THE average American-wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office-he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”

On a warm day in early spring, I clamber along a set of red-rock cliffs to the mouth of his cave, where I find a note signed with a smiley face: CHRIS, FEEL FREE TO USE ANYTHING, EAT ANYTHING (NOTHING HERE IS MINE). From the outside, the place looks like a hollowed teardrop, about the size of an Amtrak bathroom, with enough space for a few pots that hang from the ceiling, a stove under a stone eave, big buckets full of beans and rice, a bed of blankets in the dirt, and not much else. Suelo’s been here for three years, and it smells like it.

Night falls, the stars wink, and after an hour, Suelo tramps up the cliff, mimicking a raven’s call-his salutation-a guttural, high-pitched caw. He’s lanky and tan; yesterday he rebuilt the entrance to his cave, hauling huge rocks to make a staircase. His hands are black with dirt, and his hair, which is going gray, looks like a bird’s nest, full of dust and twigs from scrambling in the underbrush on the canyon floor. Grinning, he presents the booty from one of his weekly rituals, scavenging on the streets of Moab: a wool hat and gloves, a winter jacket, and a white nylon belt, still wrapped in plastic, along with Carhartt pants and sandals, which he’s wearing. He’s also scrounged cans of tuna and turkey Spam and a honeycomb candle. All in all, a nice haul from the waste product of America. “You made it,” he says. I hand him a bag of apples and a block of cheese I bought at the supermarket, but the gift suddenly seems meager.

Suelo lights the candle and stokes a fire in the stove, which is an old blackened tin, the kind that Christmas cookies might come in. It’s hooked to a chain of soup cans segmented like a caterpillar and fitted to a hole in the rock. Soon smoke billows into the night and the cave is warm. I think of how John the Baptist survived on honey and locusts in the desert. Suelo, who keeps a copy of the Bible for bedtime reading, is satisfied with a few grasshoppers fried in his skillet.

HE WASN’T ALWAYS THIS WAY. SUELO graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology, he thought about becoming a doctor, he held jobs, he had cash and a bank account. In 1987, after several years as an assistant lab technician in Colorado hospitals, he joined the Peace Corps and was posted to an Ecuadoran village high in the Andes. He was charged with monitoring the health of tribespeople in the area, teaching first aid and nutrition, and handing out medicine where needed; his proudest achievement was delivering three babies. The tribe had been getting richer for a decade, and during the two years he was there he watched as the villagers began to adopt the economics of modernity. They sold the food from their fields-quinoa, potatoes, corn, lentils-for cash, which they used to purchase things they didn’t need, as Suelo describes it. They bought soda and white flour and refined sugar and noodles and big bags of MSG to flavor the starchy meals. They bought TVs. The more they spent, says Suelo, the more their health declined. He could measure the deterioration on his charts. “It looked,” he says, “like money was impoverishing them.”

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Dec 26

Hard-up families are increasingly turning to insurance fraud to help see them through the credit crunch.

Insurers have seen an 80 per cent increase since last year in the number of bogus household and vehicle claims, many of which are being made by middle-class families struggling to pay their bills.

Typical scams include householders hiding their valuables and staging a burglary in an attempt to claim thousands of pounds in cash, or dropping their old television down the stairs so they can claim for a new flatscreen model.

In 2007 the insurance industry detected 91,000 frauds, which is set to rise to more than 160,000, in 2008.

Fraud costs the insurance industry an estimated £1.6 billion every year, adding £40 to the average annual household premium.

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Oct 02

At a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe, this week, the police directed customers trying to withdraw their nearly worthless savings. (Associated Press)

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Long before the rooster in their dirt yard crowed, Rose Moyo and her husband rolled out of bed. “It is time to get up,” intoned the robotic voice of her cellphone. Its glowing face displayed the time: 2:20 a.m.

They crept past their children sleeping on the floor of the one-room house – Cinderella, 9, and Chrissie, 10 – and took their daily moonlit stroll to the bank. The guard on the graveyard shift gave them a number. They were the 29th to arrive, all hoping for a chance to withdraw the maximum amount of Zimbabwean currency the government allowed last month – the equivalent of just a dollar or two.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of one of the great hyperinflations in world history. The people of this once proud capital have been plunged into a Darwinian struggle to get by. Many have been reduced to peddlers and paupers, hawkers and black-market hustlers, eating just a meal or two a day, their hollowed cheeks a testament to their hunger.

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Mar 22

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