Everyday Preps

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When people talk about “preps” they’re usually talking about things like ammunition and food – both of which, obviously, are good things to keep handy in the event the SHTF. But, it’ll also be good to keep your teeth – otherwise you’ll have trouble eating that food – and the ammunition you use to down those deer won’t do you much good without a blender.

And a straw.

Not only that. An abscess can be just as lethal (only slower and more painful) than a gunshot wound. There is strong scientific evidence that a correlation exists between tooth decay/bacteria in one’s mouth and other, more serious ailments. Dentists will not be easy to find in a SHTF scenario, so avoiding – or at least, putting off – the need to find one in a SHTF scenario is arguably just as important as having sufficient food and ammo.

So, buy toothpaste.

And floss. And extra toothbrushes.

Figure one tube for a month, two packs of floss for a month and one new toothbrush every six months. Get enough for a year ahead at least. All this stuff keeps effectively indefinitely, so there’s no downside to stocking up. Worst case – best case, actually – you have pre-bought items that are certain to get more costly in the months and years ahead, even if the S does not H the F. And unlike MREs – which you may never eat if the S doesn’t H the F – you will use that toothpaste, floss and spare brushes.

What else?

Of course, there’s TP. Don’t forget TP, whatever you do. Sanitation is absolutely crucial to surviving, long-term (and even short-term) in a SHTF scenario. Corn cobs won’t cut it. There’s a reason why the average person died in his 40s in the 18th century: Filth. Which leads to disease. Which leads to – death. TP will help keep things clean – which will help keep you and yours alive – as well as comfortable. Like toothpaste and floss, TP also has the virtue of being imperishable. There’s no harm in stocking up. And potentially, much to be gained.

Related: It’s smart to think about what you might do if the plumbing stops working – because city water’s off (or you can’t run your well pump regularly). If you live in a rural area or at least have some backyard, a “necessary” – as Thomas Jefferson called them – will be something to consider. You absolutely do not want to you-know-what where you live.

Next item:

Salt – iodized salt – is another item we often don’t think much about but which is essential to maintaining health. Iodine deficiency correlates with mental retardation in children and thyroid problems in adults – especially goitre, a hideous (and painful) swelling of the voice box. It is reported that 90 percent of all goitre cases result from iodine deficiency. Goitre is relatively rare in the U.S. and other developed countries, where iodized table salt is part of the everyday diet. But in a SHTF scenario, the everyday table salt we take for granted may no longer be granted. Salt is one of those things most people can’t make for themselves; iodized salt even less so. Most houses – including prepper houses – have a small supply of this essential item. If that’s you, rectify the omission. Buy enough salt to keep you seasoned – and healthy – for at least a year. You can buy a 25 lb. bulk bag for about $13 at Sam’s and other big box stores. Don’t forget that in addition to preserving you, salt can also be used to preserve meat without refrigeration – another excellent reason to have plenty on hand for just-in-case.

Lighters.

How will you make fire in a SHTF situation? Matches get wet – and you need a lot of them to equal the fire-starting capability of just one Bic lighter. Buy several “value packs” of 4-6 (or more) lighters at a time and store them. These packs are cheap – I recently bought  a five pack at Wal-Mart for less than $2.

Lights.

It’s a good idea to keep spares on hand. You may have a generator; you may have a solar array. But what good is power if you’ve got no fresh bulbs when the old ones burn out? Incandescents are still dirt cheap, too. You can buy a large quantity for next-to-nothing.

Pet supplies.

Most healthy dogs and cats can – in a pinch – eat whatever you eat. But what about special needs pets? It’s a good idea to have a few months’ (at least) supply of special diet food for your four-pawed friends. If you have indoor-only cats, stocking up on cat litter should be on your To-Do list, too.

Extra glasses – if you wear ‘em.

Remember that prepper rule? The one that says two is one – and one is none? If you depend on glasses to see clearly, it is imperative to have at least one extra pair on stand-by; ideally two. Glasses get lost – or stepped on. Or just scratched. What happens if you can’t see very well when the SHTF and you can’t go down to the optometrist for a refill? Exactly.

Ditto any medicines you may need – such as allergy pills or other over-the-counter stuff . Get extra. While you still can.

Throw it in the Woods?

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  349 comments for “Everyday Preps

  1. Tor Munkov
    September 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Eric I respect everything you do here. I. Guess Im not on the superhighway to serfdom on the 8th month murderess thing.

    I’ve had unprotected sex with a girl who had a 7.5 month abortion. She gave credit to a balack guy guy she liked and now has a 1 year old of his. She’s a 1000 miles away and on welfare now.

    She was half japanese and the most beautiful woman I ever met in real life. I I’m glad I ended up.with a good woman much better than I deserve who fills in the gaps I surely possess.

    For 20 to 32+ weeks these are some choices to execute your constitutional choice in the real dirty ditch offroad of reality.

    D&E. Dillate. dismember with forceps. Reassemble pieces to be sure no child part is left behind.

    Hysterectomy. Digoxin.injected in childs heart. Ealy C section thru uterus incision. Let child die.

    Laissez faire and mutual tolerance. Will deliver better future answers. Don’t let the flower of clover fear blossom in your mind or heart.

  2. Peaches
    September 19, 2012 at 2:57 am

    PS – BTW – I’ll be gone again for a little while – the local potato farms are harvesting this week and next. Once the illegals clear out of the fields at the end of this month, I’ll be driving the pickup truck over there and clearing what they didn’t harvest – for free, and with the farm management’s blessing, as they plow it under before the first hard freeze. Then I have to can all of that, dehydrate some, make potato flour, etc. Fall is quite a busy time for us. I also just heard that a neighbor had a bumper crop of pumpkin, so I’ll be trading my produce for some of hers!

    Also tonite a neighbor asked to buy one of my young Dexter bulls to crossbreed his lowline Angus cows; so we have to negotiate that price… ;->

    This is what is meant by “community prepping”, kidz.

    • Mike in Spotsy
      September 19, 2012 at 3:55 am

      Best of luck in your endeavors, Peaches. Looking forward to more of your…reasonable, interesting, cogent, (insert other positive adjectives)…posts upon your return.

    • methylamine
      September 19, 2012 at 3:58 am

      May I ask approximately where you live? It sounds idyllic.

      Wife and I are looking at some bug-out properties…

      And enjoy your harvesting. I’ll look forward to your return here.

  3. Peaches
    September 19, 2012 at 2:36 am

    No, methylamine, that is the absolute taproot of the abortion discussion – “who pays”? Or, “Qui bono?” – Who benefits?

    In a world where everyone is held responsible for their own choices, where no one gets to hold a child over the head of a man or gets governmental recompense for either carrying that child to term or aborting it, where people respect themselves enough to understand that sex leads to an +18year commitment of parenting,and respect each other not to force them into that commitment, but to enter into it with their eyes wide open, you would not NEED abortion.

    THAT is what the preachers and politicians and other power-mongers DO NOT WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND. They want to keep you stirred up about the emotional chaos of the situation, rather than have you think it thru to its clear and rational conclusion. They WANT you to debate at what exact moment a child is viable, rather than debate why people are not held accountable for their own choices, and to subsequently demand that no one be forced to pay for anyone else’s choices. They WANT you to argue about whether a woman who is raped should or should not have to carry that child to term, rather than to force the rapist to take responsibility for his heinous act, so much so that someone will think twice about raping a woman. They WANT you to make those people who abort into either saints or devils, rather than to dare to ask why YOU are responsible for their poor choices. By controlling and directing your emotional responses, they control your responses, your decisions, your votes, and even your money, and turn you away from rational thought, question, and reason.

    That is the crux of the biscuit.

    • methylamine
      September 19, 2012 at 3:56 am

      We may have disconnected somewhere Peaches–because I agree wholeheartedly. In a truly free society, one is fully free–and fully responsible.

      Actions have consequences.

      I remember well a couple of pregnancy scares with a girl I was dating in college; a false-positive pregnancy test really held my principles to the fire. And I was ready to go; it would have crimped my plans, but I walked into it with my eyes open.

      Statism produces exactly the opposite response; we see it in crony capitalism today, socializing the losses and privatizing the profits.

      Yes–the psychopaths wish us at each others’ throats, the better to avoid the blame.

  4. Peaches
    September 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    It has certainly been entertaining watching a bunch of men argue about abortion. The fact that so many of you have come to such definite conclusions by becoming fathers is quite revealing. It shows where your emotion-vs-reason has defined your conclusions.

    As a mom and a foster mom, I know what it is like to 1) carry and give birth to children, 2) raise and take care of children that no one else wants or is willing to pay for, and 3) thanks to my first husband, ‘spontaneously abort’ my first child that was beaten out of me. So I have a different perspective than ‘looking into my child’s eyes and changing my opinion’. I have literally fought to keep children alive that no one else wanted, or who were actively discarded, both in my personal life and in my experiences with EMS. Crack babies. AIDS babies. Children who were given life only to supply funding for the mothers’ lifestyles. Even delivering babies from young girls (11, 12, 13) whose mothers shopped them out to adult males to provide more babies and income for the family, as well as to support Mom’s crack addiction. And listening to the State say, “Well, we can’t help that… it’s their choice.” You see, the ‘abortion choice’ goes both ways – those who choose not to abort (or even prevent) are provided with taxpayer sustenance to ‘raise’ the children. Right now there are four generations alive who bred (or were forced to breed)at an early age for familial profit – and no one cares about the 10 year old gang members or 11 year old baby daddies, or the children they produce.

    I am happy for you that so many of you live in a pristine world where fathers want, love, and support their children, where no children are ever born with horrible drug-induced diseases or deformities, where no adorable little girls are ever raped repetitively by grown men to provide familial income. Unfortunately, yours is not the real world in which many children are raised. Forcefully and legally stopping abortion won’t suddenly make people responsible parents.

    You can ignore facts for emotion all you want. You can ignore my previous post about self-respect and respect for each other. You can pretend to yourselves that abortion is murder, that giving birth makes people take responsibility for having sex, and debate viability and womens’ right to choose til the cows come home. But a clear and cold, reasonable look at procreation will reveal to those who have eyes to see that the “abortion debate” involves a lot more than simply sucking a kid out of some woman’s uterus. It is about self-respect, respect for others, and the State’s involvement in individual choices and lives. Until you solve the causative factors, the debate about abortion is meaningless, purposeless, and unresolvable emotion-based codpiece-waving. (Which is exactly what the pompous politicians on both sides of the argument don’t ever want you to figure out.)

    But who am I to tell a bunch of men to stop indignantly and self-righteously waving their moral codpieces at each other? Wave on! Like Beetlejuice – “It just keeps getting funnier!”

    • September 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Peaches,

      I understand where you’re coming from – and sympathize with the views you’ve expressed. Here’s a reply I wrote to someone else (Rick). I’d be interested in your reaction:

      Biological life begins at conception. This cannot be debated. It’s not a matter of differing opinions. It just is.

      But is it (a just-fertilized egg, or developing embryo) a human being? If not, at what point does it become a human being? Does it have the same rights as you or me, at the moment of conception? Six months after? When, exactly?

      That’s open for discussion.

      Most of us would probably have qualms about an abortion performed at, say, a week prior to birth. Or a month prior. Even three or four. Many of us – me, at least – would regard the murder of a woman eight months pregnant as a double homicide.

      But this is arguably a different thing than, say, the morning after pill. Or an abortion at one month. Or two.

      The point being, there’s no clear-cut dividing line – other than the biological fact that a fertilized egg is, indeed, alive. But to characterize this as equivalent to a born baby, or a near-term baby – that gets into theology as much as biology.

      At least, as I see it.

      Therefore: My view is that some abortions are obviously morally objectionable – and in some cases, even equivalent to murder. Others, not so much. It depends on the circumstances.

      Would I endorse the prosecution for double murder of a person who murdered an eight months’ pregnant woman? Yes, absolutely. Would I regard as a murderess the eight months’ pregnant woman who destroyed her not-quite-born child?

      Yes, absolutely.

      Would I endorse the prosecution of a woman who was raped who chose to use the morning after pill to eliminate any chance that her attacker impregnated her? No, I would not. Would I outlaw – or seek to have prosecuted – abortions performed during the first several weeks (or even months) of pregnancy? No – because I take the position that a mass of cells, not yet differentiated, not yet with a central nervous system or brain (and hence, no capacity to feel pain or have awareness) isn’t – yet – a clearly human being clearly possessed of human rights, though I concede (because I must) it is potentially one and absolutely “life” in the biological sense.

      The overall point being: It is not quite like me shooting someone, which would be a clear-cut case of murder and an obvious, inarguable violation of the NAP. No one (including women) has the right to kill someone else, except in self-defense. But because it’s debatable whether a just-fertilized egg or developing embryo is in fact “someone” like you or me or anyone else, it is debatable whether terminating the pregnancy is the same, morally speaking, as me shooting an actual someone to death. Therefore, it has to remain – it seems to me – a matter left to the individual conscience, at least up to a certain point.

      What that point ought to be is, of course, the question we each must come to terms with.

      • Boothe
        September 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

        Eric, I encourage you and Peaches (well…everyone else for that matter) to read Butler Schaffer’s piece on the subject on LRC today: http://lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer259.html

        • September 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

          Hi Boothe,

          A good piece; I liked the tone especially. And I also agree with what he appears to be arguing for – that to a great extent, this is a matter of personal conscience, not something that entitles others to forcibly interfere. Unless I misread him. If not, then he and I are in agreement.

          I personally would not be comfortable with (as an example) my wife deciding to end a pregnancy. But I would not seek to impose my differing views on her, much less accept the right of outsiders to do so.

          I agree (because I must, because it’s inarguable) that a just-fertilized egg has its own DNA; certainly that it is alive. But I disagree with him that it is “equivalently human” to you or me and thus, entitled to the same human rights as you and I. Others disagree, too – and I see no clear-cut way to make the opposing case without it being a theological argument. For clearly, a recently-fertilized egg has no capacity to feel, to see, to hear – no awareness at all (that we can measure, at any rate). It does not act; it cannot act. It is alive – life – in the same way that (as an example) my finger is alive. But if I cut off my finger, have I committed murder? I understand that my finger does not have its own (different from mine) DNA – and that it cannot become anything other than a finger. But does potential – as in potential to become a human being – equal is a human being?

          I don’t know. Does anyone know?

          People of good conscience can, I think (I hope) agree to disagree on these questions – because other than the question of biological life (inarguable) the follow-up question (when does biological life become human life?) is arguable. At least, arguable until god (if such a being exists) settles the matter for us.

          • Peaches
            September 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm

            Thank you for that link, Boothe: I found it to be quite interesting.

            What disturbs me the most about the entire discussion of abortion is the “straw man” arguments that inevitably arise, as first one group, than another, tries to forcibly demand that their mores and morals be sacrosanct, the only reasonable/decent choice, and, well, it oughtta be the law.

            As someone who is an Objectivist – not a libertarian, they are far apart, as Ayn Rand noted – I prefer to use reason to support my contentions. The minute a ‘child’ is conceived – and I use that word hesitantly – s/he IS a separate entity, with separate DNA, etc. However, s/he is NOT cognizant, not viable outside of the womb (and it is here where I differ from Mr Shaffer) and therefore not subject to the same consideration as someone who can breathe on their own, whose heart can pump independently, whose brain and nervous system can react to pain or pleasure.

            Now, since I hold this to be true, the next question would inevitably be – “What about Down’s Syndrome children, what about those children whose systems cannot function outside of the womb or the hospital?” My answer is the same (which I am sure will appall many). However, if you feel that you have the time and money to spend on keeping a non-viable child alive, by artificial means, until either his death or yours, then that is your choice – just as raising a viable child to adulthood is.

            I do not think that it is legally just for me to pay for a woman’s choice – whether she chooses abortion, contraception, to raise a viable child, or to support a non-viable child. In every single one of those choices, it is my RIGHT to do what I choose with my own body, my own money, my own time… but NOT my right nor my responsibility to choose – or pay for! – others’ choices.

            If I choose to adopt or foster children, that is my choice, and no one should have to pay for it. If I choose to use contraceptives or abort prior to viability, that is still my choice. If I choose to raise a Down’s Syndrome child, or a houseful of them, that is my choice. It is neither the government’s right nor the taxpayers’ responsibility to force nor deny me my right to choose – morally, ethically, or financially.

          • methylamine
            September 18, 2012 at 1:51 am

            Peaches I think you hit the nail on the head as far as State intervention.

            My argument does not extend to state support; I abhor it. The parents alone are responsible for their children’s costs.

            Socialism is the most un-civilizing influence in the world, because it forces everyone to be everyone else’s keeper. Someone else’s bad behavior directly affects my pocketbook; and the mutual distrust and resentment breeds a particularly nasty, nosy society.

            Cut the State out, and allow people to have mutually satisfying interactions.

            That doesn’t change the nature of the discussion re: abortion, though. It simply clarifies the burden of care–and on whom it falls.

  5. Tor Munkov
    September 17, 2012 at 1:39 am

    My prep is to have a man cave. Literally. I keep breedable rabbits in their so I can be sure the air is ok. Ifthe sshtf atleast I. Have lots of meat. If something happens to them I go full Morlock. I will eat these pigs as a main course and clovers as hors d,oeurvres.
    Troglodyte for the win.

    • methylamine
      September 17, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Be sure to eat the rabbit’s brains too; the meat is so low in fat you can actually starve eating it. It’s called “rabbit starvation”.

      That, or keep some 5-gallon jugs of coconut oil for saturated fat, and some pumpkin seeds for unsaturated/omega 3.

      I wouldn’t eat the Clover’s brains. That’s called “clover starvation”–there’s too little their to survive.

  6. Tre Deuce
    September 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    methylamine on September 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    It was a question, methylamine, you answered it, at least part of it, though, maybe not in the way you think, or hope. It is hard to nuance things in this format. My apologize if you genuinely answered the question. I still have my doubts.

    Also, asking a question, or inferring that someone may be a zealot or a liberal, or a Clover, is not name calling, it is categorizing a temperament. Something that is done with much frequency on this site.

    And where is this applicable?…. “zealots who would prevent thieves from murdering a man for his car?” Seems to be a rather specious or dubious analogy, and raises more questions from me about your arguments.

    Back to work………….>

    Regards….Tre

    • Rick
      September 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Eric,

      So after reading your posts, does that mean you are against thugs puting guns in the face of people using un-approved drugs and hauling them off to the cage, unless it is a pregnant woman, then you are ok with it?

      Rick

      • September 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

        No, Rick – did you read what I wrote?

        To review:

        Biological life begins at conception. This cannot be debated. It’s not a matter of differing opinions. It just is.

        But is it (a just-fertilized egg, or developing embryo) a human being? If not, at what point does it become a human being? Does it have the same rights as you or me, at the moment of conception? Six months after? When, exactly?

        That’s open for discussion.

        Most of us would probably have qualms about an abortion performed at, say, a week prior to birth. Or a month prior. Even three or four. Many of us – me, at least – would regard the murder of a woman eight months pregnant as a double homicide.

        But this is arguably a different thing than, say, the morning after pill. Or an abortion at one month. Or two.

        The point being, there’s no clear-cut dividing line – other than the biological fact that a fertilized egg is, indeed, alive. But to characterize this as equivalent to a born baby, or a near-term baby – that gets into theology as much as biology.

        At least, as I see it.

        Therefore: My view is that some abortions are obviously morally objectionable – and in some cases, even equivalent to murder. Others, not so much. It depends on the circumstances.

        Would I endorse the prosecution for double murder of a person who murdered an eight months’ pregnant woman? Yes, absolutely. Would I regard as a murderess the eight months’ pregnant woman who destroyed her not-quite-born child?

        Yes, absolutely.

        Would I endorse the prosecution of a woman who was raped who chose to use the morning after pill to eliminated any chance that her attacker impregnated her? No, I would not. Would I outlaw – or seek to have prosecuted – abortions performed during the first several weeks of pregnancy? No – because I take the position that a mass of cells, not yet differentiated, not yet with a central nervous system or brain (and hence, no capacity to feel pain or have awareness) isn’t – yet – a human being possessed of human rights, though I concede (because I must) it is potentially one and absolutely “life” in the biological sense.

        The overall point being: It is not quite like me shooting someone, which would be a clear-cut case of murder and an obvious, inarguable violation of the NAP. No one has the right to kill someone else. But because it’s debatable whether a just-fertilized egg or developing embryo is in fact “someone” like you or me or anyone else, it is debatable whether terminating the pregnancy is the same, morally speaking, as me shooting an actual someone to death. Therefore, it has to remain – it seems to me – a matter left to the individual conscience, at least up to a certain point. What that point ought to be is, of course, the question we each must come to terms with.

        • Rick
          September 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

          Eric,
          I did read what you wrote, but I see nothing that address the use by the mother of un-approved drugs during pregency.

          So you ok with a pregnant woman using any un-approved drugs any time?

          You did say at 8th month you would consider it murder to abort.

          Rick

          • September 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

            “Unapproved?”

            If the question is: Does a person have the inherent right to put whatever they wish (“approved” or not – harmful or not) into their own body?” My answer is – yes, of course they do.

          • Rick
            September 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            Eric,

            That is the question. Then a person “pregnant women” is allowed in the non-clover world to give drugs to what in your personal opinon would be a person, the 8 month old fetus, any drugs she would want to through her body, without that persons approval. That does sound like violence against the unborn person.

            Rick

        • methylamine
          September 17, 2012 at 2:55 am

          Eric I think we’re very, very close.

          I fully admit I choose the “it’s murder even the day after conception” as a line in the sand for philosophical reasons. I’m not religious, so that doesn’t factor in.

          It’s what I explained in a previous post: that the very arbitrariness of the point at which the baby’s “human” is the problem. A BIG problem in a statist world–because then the State gets to decide the definition of “human”.

          And that scares the hell out of me.

          We can’t let it decide; that’s the slippery slope from whence we proceed to: kill the retards, kill the crippled elderly, kill the elderly, kill the insane…and dissidents are insane.

          In a free minarchist society–or in my favorite, a stateless society–it becomes a “community standard”. I bet 99% of these will forbid abortion past six months. I bet at least half will forbid it after three months.

          • That One Guy
            September 17, 2012 at 3:12 am

            I bet 99% of these will forbid abortion past six months. I bet at least half will forbid it after three months.

            And the beauty of that is, if you just can’t bring yourself to live in a place that does this, you are free to seek one out! No blanket judicial fiats to decide for a nation of three hundred million people!

            I won’t speak for Meth, but I know what changed things for me was having my own little boy. I used to be on board with the “woman’s right to choose” because I felt this was in line with the non-aggression principle.

            But when they look you in the eyes and say “wub yoo dee-daa” before they even turn two, it becomes impossible to think that less than three years ago you could legally have destroyed this beautiful little person, and not only that but our society would champion you as an example of a person unafraid to exercise your rights.

            I agree wholeheartedly that you cannot allow these kinds of arbitrary lines to be drawn in the sand.

            It’s also very odd to me to hear so many self-proclaimed libertarians use the state medical establishment’s argument of viability to make the case that their position is the one in line with the non-aggression principle. Their claim is that causing death is exercising freedom, then say that people with our opinion are the potential oppressors.

          • methylamine
            September 17, 2012 at 3:35 am

            @TOG:

            Yep, that’s pretty much what solidified it for me, too. I’d wavered on the point–from conception, to viability–a few times in life.

            But just as you said–look in your child’s eyes and shazzam it changes everything. And it’s not just the abortion topic; I became so much more compassionate after I had a child.

            I even have a hard time watching uber-violent movies now, and the torture scenes on “24” turned my stomach so much I stopped watching it.

            Something about having kids made me think about suffering in a whole new way; that the person suffering is someone’s once-little boy or girl.

            Having kids really messed me up a lot :)

  7. Tre Deuce
    September 13, 2012 at 4:49 am

    So… by this conversation, I guess I won’t be left alone to run my own life in a Libertarian world…or is that a ‘Libertarian World Order’…?

    Someone of the Libertarian State, is going to make a moral, value judgement of me and come take me away and punish me. Tell me, will that be a capital punishment? A final solution? How far, really, will you take your righteous zealotry methylamine?

    My doctor, a gynecologist who for years, gave me my flight medicals, was threaten with violence for doing abortions. It didn’t stop him, so another tactic was employed, to effect. He got some new patients who claimed he had sexually violated them. Mind you, he always had a nurse in the room during examinations except when examining me. Well, that disgraced him and his family and put him out of business. He died shortly there after, this good man, and his good name, destroyed by zealots.

    Another doctor who attended my kayak building class that I taught at our local community college, was also ran out of business, and was visibly in fear of his life. I know that this gives you no pause methylamine, but it ‘says a lot’ about those who will use any means to gain their goal, by your statements, you appear to be one of those people.

    Anecdotally, I stopped in and had coffee with my sainted 83 year old Mother, and told her about this conversation. Her reaction was sudden, fierce, and succinctly expressed with expletives that I won’t elaborate on here. I have never seen my Mother react so demonstratively or use expletives. My mother dearly loves all of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but she holds the ‘rights of women’ in this case/cause..dear.

    And kudos to ‘Downrange’ on his measured, respectful, and pertinent comments on the abortion issue and Libertarianism.

    Since several in this conversation, have a dismissive and take no prisoners attitude, this will be my last comment on this subject.

    Regards to All … Tre

    • methylamine
      September 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Then Tre, do you object to the zealots who would prevent thieves from murdering a man for his car? I believe we agree that murder is wrong. What we are defining is when in life it is defined as murder.

      Please, let’s not start name-calling on this board. I haven’t, Downrange didn’t, even though it’s been a passionate argument on both sides.

      I’m not a zealot and I object to the characterization. I am scrupulously following logic that flows from a basic assumption, that is–life begins at conception.

      If that assumption is true–see my caveat below–then abortion is murder. And if it is murder, then we must apply the same diligence to stopping it as we do to stop murder in other contexts.

      If life does NOT begin at conception, but some later time, then abortion AFTER THAT POINT must be considered murder.

      More concretely, Tre, let’s say that you believe life starts at six months’ gestational age.

      If I kill the baby at 8 months, what do you call that act?

      * Caveat: As I stated before, I hold that life begins at conception because if not, then we must define when it does later on. In this statist world, that means the State will make that decision. And THAT, gentlemen, is the most dangerous precedent; for when we allow the State to define “life”, the real horrors begin.

      In a free world, the determination of life’s beginning would be a community standard, freely agreed to!

      Why isn’t anyone understanding my point? I cannot elaborate it any more clearly.

      Yet I am called a “zealot”, and “dangerous”, for starting with a precept and following it to its logical conclusion.

      • Tor Munkov
        September 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

        If I try to grab a fly it will evade to me to survive. It is separably alive at an individual level. A fetus will take no action when the coat hanger enters the womb. It is still the homesteadded property of a living human female.
        If a woman evicts it and severs it from her life system the potential life of course can be given every medical assistance by its phyle but nothing else should be required of its host.
        Mothers still kill unwanted children in asia. That is the natural law for millenia.
        Nontechnical thoughts like abortion or murder have no place here.
        This is Catholic doublespeak witch docctorery only.
        A WAR ON ABORTION WILL ONLY ENLARGE THE STATE LIKE WAR ON DRUGS.
        Sorry smartfone does caps at random times.
        A consensus of our feelings about when life begins can only be enforced by brutes with cages and overlords that leave moms broke and enslaved

        Abortion is malum prohibitum and not malum en se. That’s the history.
        Eugenic baby killers are separate problem that shouldn’t be fought by using a womans freedom as a collateral sacrifice.
        I have 2 daughters. Also an nonlegal offspring I created with a lady I used to rendevous with after meeting her from her yahoo personals ad. I met my wife in a bar btw.
        The tragedy of ron paul is there is a myth that libertarians must be of superior morals and ethics. I tghink rather we make decisions on technical merits is more like it.
        Pregnancy is a technical phenomenon best served thru laissez faire annd voluntarism. Just like all issues aIf I’m omitting something help me see it. I repect and value your guidance.

  8. methylamine
    September 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Meth has already stated in the affirmative (well he kind of mealy-mouthed it, if you ask me, but it was essentially “yes.”)

    Jesus you’re aggravating. I put “Yes” in bold. It takes real work to type out all those “<” and “>” tags.

    And what about you, Downrange? You still haven’t replied to my post from:
    methylamine on September 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • Downrange
      September 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Just did. I hope Eric preserves this thread. Good back and forth.

      Sorry I can’t accept this as a libertarian forum anymore guys.

      Thanks for some good posts.

      • methylamine
        September 13, 2012 at 3:00 am

        Well *I* for one am just all busted up.

        Might I purchase indulgences, to be released from the Purgatory of Not Being Properly Libertarian According to Downrange?

        Or am I permanently excommunicated?

        It’s precisely this kind of infighting that makes the Libertarian Party (big “L”) totally ineffective.

        You’ve avoided the logic of my position, by avoiding the thorny topic of a baby’s rights.

        When I inquired when YOU think a baby is a baby–the 8 month/five year question–no answer.

        So in fact what we have here is a failure to communicate.

        This is a fantastic forum. But, you’ve been tested strongly in a debate, and have resorted to a not-so-subtle attempt to manipulate the moderator with a threat to never come back (“I’m about to permanently lose this bookmark because…”).

        And a peevish dig–“I cannot support you or this site if your answer is yes, Eric.”

        Because god forbid you might contribute or learn somewhere that doesn’t agree with your (somewhat ill-defined) belief.

        We had an equally spirited debate once with TGSam, whose strong ideas on racial identity rubbed me wrong six ways from Sunday; I still don’t buy the full-on patented TGS white-ubermensch idea as I understand it, but we’ve come to some mutual tolerance. I concede his point that there are strong genetic traits. I can’t state his mind because I’m not in it but I’m sure he’d see ubermensch potential in my miscegenated latte-skinned kids. And I still really like TGSam…and appreciate his ideas.

        So; I propose a reset on the following terms:
        a) I concede that human-at-conception is a philosophical construct I believe is necessary to protect the full sanctity of human life. Not everyone agrees; I’m fine with that.
        b) You concede that if (a) is true, and murder is definitely a violation of the ZAP, then any abortion must be prevented as vigorously as any other murder.

        I’ll even sweeten your terms. Concede that whenever you define life’s beginning, abortion after that point is murder and preventable under the ZAP.

        All I’m asking for is logic.

        I do think we agree on a key point–murder is wrong, a violation of the ZAP, and even if we have to use the hated apparatus of the State, we must attempt to prevent it.

        Our disagreement is chiefly around uterine tenants.

        Thoughts?

      • September 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

        Hi DR,

        The thread won’t be deleted – as I hope you won’t do to yourself!

        This is not a Marxist camp. Orthodoxy is not required or even expected. We’re all aiming at the same thing, though – a society in which people don’t interact with one another on the basis of violence and group power plays, but as individuals, on the basis of voluntarism and mutual cooperation.

        So, I hope you’ll stick around. We may not agree 100 percent on this particular issue, but that doesn’t mean we don’t agree on many important ones.

        • Downrange
          September 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

          I’ve gotta say, I was quite shocked to read an older (late Aug) column by Judge Nap, who I also greatly respect, that essentially echoed most of Meth’s sentiments about abortion in this country. As I’ve said repeatedly, I respect those who feel this way about their own personal choices, but I can’t condone any violence against a woman who chooses to legally terminate an unwanted pregnancy. No need to re-hash all of this. But I don’t harbor any ill will here – but I do feel I have to make the point that, in my view, you cannot have it both ways: the non-aggression principle (NAP) applies FIRST to viable individuals. If a mother’s life is in danger (say from eclampsia, which my family actually did go through), the doc’s decision is to save the viable life – the mother, even if the fetus is almost, but not yet, viable.
          Any use of force by individuals or the state to “protect” the potential, but non-viable individual at the expense of the mother is, in my view, going against the NAP. Extending the NAP to protect “the unborn” at the expense of the viable individual is contrary to liberty, and there’s no escaping that it violates the woman’s individual right to pursue life, liberty and her own happiness.

          Now how much “expense” to the individual are we talking about? Obviously, if it’s their life, the decision is easy. But what business does the state have deciding for the individual that an early term pregnancy must be preserved, even if it goes against what that individual sees as her best interests? That’s a matter for that individual and her conscience.

          Reading Nap’s writing made me wonder if he, like so many people I’ve had this discussion with, is being heavily influenced by a Roman Catholic upbringing. As I said, I was surprised, since the good Judge is normally a paragon of libertarian purity of thought, to see this, but I think it may very well just go to show that it’s extremely difficult to parse these emotional subjects, especially when so many authority figures have historically aligned themselves so firmly on either side.
          I’ll chew on it awhile, and may be back at some point, in some other thread. I think this one already has enough in it from both sides.

          • September 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm

            Hi DR,

            I don’t see how anyone can intelligently deny that life begins at conception. That seems to be a pretty inescapable fact of biology. Right? So, the question becomes: At what point does this biological life – the fertilized egg, the developing embryo – qualify as a human being? The answer to this question (not “when does life begin?”) is the answer to the moral dilemma regarding the rightness or wrongness of abortion.

            I’m not preaching. I’m just stating what seem to me to be facts.

            Certainly, we can debate what constitutes a human being, entitled to human rights. And when. I don’t find it unreasonable to argue that, for instance, it is a human being at one week prior to actual birth, or even two or three months prior. I also don’t consider it unreasonable to take the position that a just-fertilized egg – or a mass of undifferentiated cells, a few weeks hence (or even later) isn’t a human being.

            The problem, of course, is deciding exactly when it is – and isn’t.

            Some people take the position that biological life equals human life – period. People on the other extreme accept what many others would reasonably consider infanticide; i.e., it’s ok to abort virtually up to the moment of actual birth.

            I think most people – me included – fall somewhere in the middle.

            I accept as a matter of biological fact that life begins at conception – because to not accept this would be exactly like refusing to accept that 2 +2 = 4.

            But I don’t necessarily regard a recently fertilized egg as equivalent to you or me – because biological life, to me, is not synonymous with human life. It is certainly alive, it is certainly a potential human being. But I think that’s as far as we can go without going beyond fact – and into the realm of opinion and belief, especially spiritual belief.

            That said, we have to be careful not to cheapen human life. The “how to” is the hard part…

          • methylamine
            September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

            Ah! An excellent point–pre-eclampsia and other conditions that might kill the mother.

            By the way–my wife is an OB/GYN so I hear about this all time.

            Downrange–you might be surprised to hear that, if the mother’s almost sure to die, I do accept the need to abort.

            As much as it pains me, at that point it’s reduced to a utilitarian argument. Two lives are at stake; both might be lost by going to term, or only one–the mother’s. The mother might have other children, etc.

            I’m sure it would be heart-wrenching. I know my wife and I had some moments of terror–she had pre-eclampsia early on when bearing my daughter, so (as the brigand Clinton said) “I feel your pain” :)

            Glad both situations turned out OK.

      • Tor Munkov
        September 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

        Be patient DR. They will come around in their own way in their own time at their own speed.
        Big wheels keep on turnin. The Rand Paul Ron Paul caper is challenger deep.
        The bait and switch switch is afoot. The Earth is a rheid. Viscous molteness surfacing moves millimeters a millenia.The is no rock solid. Rather salts finding a refuge with less pressure and heat.
        The Yellowstone Caldera is no old faithful. It is newly erupting. 3 inches a year and climbing. This planet was a sun in its youth. Now cooled and bearing children in its patrnal maternal phase. Eventually it goes to dried and brittle moon phase. At last to asteroid andnd eternal dust phase. 15 billion souls are blowing in the wind. All who ever lived. WE ARE CIRCUMSIZED SEMI ABORTED MEN AS IT IS. Quasi castrating our one chance to some idiotme idiotic madman hellbent on vivisecting us alive.
        We are the salts of the earth. Libertarians hate abbortion and we are at war with east asia. It has always been so. Doubleplus good. Wink wink. Nod nod.

  9. Downrange
    September 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    OK, you replied, even if you still won’t answer the yes/no question. I’ll try once more, Eric.

    “Let’s put aside “state” intervention – which none of us here approve (I assume). Instead, let’s stick with whether it’s morally offensive to abort at any time during the pregnancy. If it is, then we have to ask why it is. And if not, also why not?

    Tough questions.”

    Ok, but you need to answer mine, if you want me to answer yours, Eric. Personally, I don’t think it’s morally offensive for a woman to choose to abort an early fetus, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t hold that life begins at conception – although I recognize the POTENTIAL of that life. As I took great pains to elaborate, I also recognize the demand that potential life places on the host mother. As I’ve said a dozen times now, you cannot hold the viable life hostage to the potential life. Period. That’s morality too, Eric. It’s a BELIEF that you and Meth are arguing here – my only point is do you force it on others? In the name of your morality, not theirs? Oh, but yours is “right,” is that it? How is that different than the Muslims? See I’ve answered – how ’bout you? Yes or no. Please stop introducing stuff that’s not part of the world we inhabit, but some hypothetical whatever where everyone can choose to belong.

    “It’s just as hard, emotionally, to consider the case of a woman made pregnant against her will who faces the Hobson’s choice of carrying to term a child she does not want or enduring a horrible procedure to end the life of the child growing within her.

    …and I”m not even talking about that in my Y/N question – just woman who wants to terminate her early fetus.

    “Biologically, it is a new life – another life. Not her life.

    True, is it not?”

    True, a nascent life. A potential human being.

    “Now, it’s also true that this life is not fully developed, self-aware (and possibly not aware, period). But that is a separate issue – right?”

    Separate from what, Eric? I think its inseparable from any argument as to the viability of the fetus. It’s only a potential. And that potential imposes very significant duties upon the host/mother. That’s what this is about, whether the state should impose those duties against the will of that sovereign, not potential, but already here and now, individual. You either say yes or no. We already agree you and Meth can order your own lives/families as you see fit, as we all should and can – maybe even impacting to some degree your friends, your community – but this big question is about where we find ourselves right now, in this country, with this legal system.

    “So, we’re faced with the question: Is it morally justifiable to end the life of a developing human because it’s not yet fully developed? I think this is the intellectually honest way to put it.”

    Well that’s the individual question, of course. The corollary question should be: “is it possible to determine an OBJECTIVE moral justification for either allowing or denying early abortions to women?” I sense you and Meth both believe you have the objective, as well as subjective, personal answer, and that they are the same. Many, obviously, disagree with you. Do you force your will on them? Meth has already stated in the affirmative (well he kind of mealy-mouthed it, if you ask me, but it was essentially “yes.”)

    So this is where we are. A “Libertarian” forum, where I’ve read some of the very best commentary on the issues of liberty and personal freedom on the entire internet – – and I’m about to permanently lose this bookmark because the site owner and one of the most prolific posters, whose writings I’ve also heretofore respected greatly, both seem to me to believe that their moral code about this subject NEEDS to be followed by every woman in the land. Meth has said he would use force to intervene in a woman’s right to abort her child. You haven’t gone that far, but haven’t clearly answered the simple situational quiz I presented.

    I hope you understand that I don’t enjoy having to come to this conclusion, but it is simply an untenable position to simultaneously say you want individual freedom for all as our birthright, while at the same time saying half the species must suborn their own birthright by the dint of others’ forced will upon them so they can then serve against their will as involuntary hosts for another, separate, developing individual. Just because they spread their legs, or made a youthful error, or forgot something very important, like contraception. An accident. Should have been more careful. Get used to it, honey, it’s only nine months.
    Atrocious, Eric.

  10. Downrange
    September 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Let me be sure you understand the question: a woman is pregnant, doesn’t matter how…

    Maybe the sperm donor isn’t someone with whom she really wants to procreate. An accident. You would hold her to this state of affairs? Legally, and enforced by the state?

    Yes or No.

    No cop outs, because, unlike meth, you can’t be Batman and “stop all crime.” Just a yes or no.

    • Downrange
      September 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      And, there’s no answer. No willingness even to engage on the points. Just evasion

      I think I see the writing on the wall here…

      Bye, guys.

      • methylamine
        September 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        Downrange on September 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm
        blah blah blah
        Downrange on September 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm
        you suck I’m taking my marbles and going home…

        15 minutes. Is this the ADHD talking, or frustration at being out-maneuvered?

        But I’ll answer anyway. See my post from about 15 minutes ago; you’ll have to use your browser’s “find” with a search term like:
        “methylamine on September 12, 2012 at 8:”

        Yes.

        Because not all force is aggressive; it can be defensive.

        • Downrange
          September 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

          You’re dangerous.

          • methylamine
            September 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

            I think you’re defending something personal.

            Because you still fail to see the real debate; if life begins at conception, then the answer “Get used to it, honey, it’s only nine months” is completely rational and defensible.

            You don’t think it begins at conception.

            Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you believe life begins at eight months.

            Now would you use forceful coercion to prevent killing that baby?

            Let’s say someone’s about to kill a five-year-old. Now do you use forceful coercion? And, would you advocate a third party doing so–a private security agency you hired, perhaps, or (since we’re forced to use it currently) the State?

            But, you say, the man about to kill the five-year-old is being horribly inconvenienced by that little brat. Hell, he works two hours a day just for the money to support it.

            Would you doom him to such involuntary servitude until the child’s eighteen and emancipated?

            How heartless.

            Yes, I’m dangerous–because I have a mind and I’m not afraid to use it to think!

        • methylamine
          September 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

          Indeed it was exactly 15 minutes before this post.

          Search on:
          “methylamine on September 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm”

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm

            Because you still fail to see the real debate; if life begins at conception, then the answer “Get used to it, honey, it’s only nine months” is completely rational and defensible.

            Meth, I don’t care if you believe that life begins at conception. I don’t care if you tell YOUR honey the above. I only care that you seek to impose your morality on all women.

            That simple.

          • methylamine
            September 13, 2012 at 2:35 am

            NOW who’s being evasive?

            You didn’t answer a single question.

            How about the 8-month-old baby-in-womb?
            The five-year-old?

            Taking your position, I might be disgusted with YOU for forcing those poor, impoverished parents to keep caring for the pesky proto-human five-year-old.

            After all, who am I to impose “my morality” on them? They should be free to drown the little bugger, all the better to afford a big-screen TV, n’est pas?

            The phrase “seeking to impose your morality…” is straight out of the obfuscator’s playbook of little straw men.

            I think it is YOU who would benefit from a thoughtful introspection of your values.

            Clamoring to excommunicate me from the Downrange School of Libertarianism, while advocating violence against unborn humans, is reminiscent of a Borgia pope. Do as I say, not as I do.

            Harrumph.

  11. Downrange
    September 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @ Eric, again not to repeat ad infinitum, but I fully respect your view on when life begins, along with any decisions you and your family make. In my view, every other individual and family unit out there has to make a decision if and when circumstances come knocking. I draw the line, absolutely and without any hesitation whatsoever, at anyone trying to create national legal policy about this, or to use the state to coerce anyone else to believe as you do.
    That’s it. You are free to believe that life begins at conception, while any other person is free to act according to their belief that life begins after the first trimester. The point is it is an individual decision. That’s what libertarianism means to me. We don’t ask the state to intervene.

    No one, not one poster has even taken up my original argument, to wit, isn’t forcing a woman to “remain pregnant” involuntary servitude? I thought that argument cogent enough to stick, but maybe not. Let’s say that the condom broke – it was just an accident. Accidents do happen. The lady is knocked up. She can take a pill and it’s over. She can have a D and C. It’s so early you’d need microscope to even see the tadpole. Is it murder? If you say yes, then are you asking the state to intervene? (Keep in mind this is all perfectly legal, right now.) If your view is that this is murder and we need the state to prevent it – outlaw RU-486, and no more “abortion on demand,” then we have to part company. Because you have just said in absolute terms, that you believe the state should intervene in a woman’s right to her own body – it is not hers – she must rent it out for nine months – no choice.

    I cannot support that – no way, no how.

    • September 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      But is it about belief, DR?

      I prefer to base my views on facts.

      So, it doesn’t matter to me (as an example) that some believe it’s ok to take other people’s property if it is done via the ballot box and “due process.” Theft is theft. Etc.

      If it is a fact that a human life is created at conception, then it becomes an issue of that human’s rights. Does it not? Again, I am completely open to factual counter-arguments. I realize some look upon a developing a fetus as not human, or not fully human. But I have a hard time accepting that, based on biological facts. Especially once the developing fetus has a nervous system, brain and so on. But even before that point, how can one draw the line? How can one say, it’s human now – but not yesterday?

      I think the “her body” argument is disingenuous on its face because while she is carrying the developing baby, the developing baby has different DNA (fingerprints, too), possibly different blood type… in other words, it is a distinct individual. In her, surely. But not her.

      Again, I am trying to be strictly factual here – not contentious. And I am trying to steer clear of emotions, no easy thing when discussing this topic.

      • Downrange
        September 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        Well, yes it is about belief, because reasonable people disagree as to the facts. I kind of agree about CNS and brain being perhaps, a good point to say we’ve got a more or less “developing” human. But even I admit that’s not something that no one else could logically disagree with, so it is a BELIEF. What you have not addressed is the “viability” argument that has been used to define a human life.
        One of my children was born prematurely, but he survived after neonatal intensive care for awhile and turned out fine. He was certainly viable well before term, demonstrably so. But no child has ever survived at, say ten weeks. So, we have a POTENTIAL human being with rights waiting down the road, at least as presently defined. If we want to start going back down the timeline toward conception a bit, and perhaps we should, we might seek to extend that viability argument a little further than current abortion laws allow, as there have been a few cases of some really tiny preemies surviving with extraordinary and heroic treatments.
        But the bottom line seems to be that, at least for this legal system we inhabit, life certainly does not begin at conception, but at some undefined point down the road. It is a matter for an individual to decide where that point is, for now. It IS a matter of belief.
        Your argument about “different DNA” is good. I would say it could be used to support a woman’s right to reasonably terminate a pregnancy early, It is even more support for the idea that she is being forced into involuntary servitude – this is not entirely her DNA. Maybe the sperm donor isn’t someone with whom she really wants to procreate. An accident. You would hold her to this state of affairs? Legally, and enforced by the state?

        Sorry, but answer that question. I cannot support you or this site it your answer is yes, Eric.

        Thanks.

        • September 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

          The fact that I am uncomfortable with something doesn’t necessarily mean I support forcible interposition.

          So, when?

          It’s very hard to say. I’m not a doctor, much less god. What constitutes a human being? Is it purely a matter of biological life? Or is it self-awareness? Perhaps it is merely awareness.

          Do any of us have the answer?

          Is it a fully entitled to rights human being the day before it is actually born? If it is not, does the mother still have the “right to choose” at that late date? How about one month prior to birth? Two? Where is the line? Who can say, definitively?

          I think most of us would agree that shooting an eight months’ pregnant woman could fairly be characterized as a double murder.

          How about a six months’ pregnant woman?

          I’m not trying to be facetious; just trying to explore a point of debate.

          And it seems to me this is as much a debate about theology as biology.

          Biologically, life begins at conception – by definition. But religious belief adds to this mere statement of biological fact. Now we have the additional element of a human soul – if you are religious.

          Now, I am not religious. I am just presenting some arguments.

          Ideally, people would take precautions. Ideally, rape would never happen.

          But I understand the real world is often far from ideal. The question – as always – is how to deal with the not-ideal without surrendering our principles, and without tacitly accepting principles that will lead to thing we never intended.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

            But, you didn’t answer the simple question, Eric. State intervention or not. And please don’t take the cop-out Methyl just did above. You either want the State to criminalize abortion, on some level, or you agree that, regardless of how you personally feel and act, others are free to act without the state stopping them to terminate a pregnancy. Early. That’s it, a simple question. Yes or no.

            • September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

              Let’s put aside “state” intervention – which none of us here approve (I assume). Instead, let’s stick with whether it’s morally offensive to abort at any time during the pregnancy.

              If it is, then we have to ask why it is. And if not, also why not?

              Tough questions.

              And, hard cases do make bad law.

              Most of us here “get” the emoting Clover argument that a horrific accident caused by one drunk driver ought not to be the excuse used to treat everyone as a presumptively drunk driver.

              It’s just as hard, emotionally, to consider the case of a woman made pregnant against her will who faces the Hobson’s choice of carrying to term a child she does not want or enduring a horrible procedure to end the life of the child growing within her.

              But, let’s leave our emotions aside for the present.

              Biologically, it is a new life – another life. Not her life.

              True, is it not?

              Now, it’s also true that this life is not fully developed, self-aware (and possibly not aware, period). But that is a separate issue – right?

              So, we’re faced with the question: Is it morally justifiable to end the life of a developing human because it’s not yet fully developed? I think this is the intellectually honest way to put it.

  12. Downrange
    September 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    It is an inalienable right, between, as you say “a woman and herself.” Or her “god,” whatever she relates to in a higher sense. And SHE will have to “live with” whatever decision is made. To otherwise presume to have the State interfere in what a woman and her doctor decide is the OPPOSITE of libertarianism. As I said, turn in your cards.

    Here’s another angle: where does it stop? Where does the “viable” definition stop? Methyl has already said for him, it’s at “zero.” This presumably means he has decided that life begins at conception. I think that’s perfectly fine, FOR HIM, to believe, and I respect his belief and any personal decision he and any spouse he may have make along that line. But for him, or someone else acting as an agent of the STATE, to try to enforce that belief upon all women – geeze, do I really have to point out the contradiction there?

    What about masturbation? Shall we go so far as to put up cameras everywhere – after all, that’s genocide of millions of potential human beings, isn’t it? Shouldn’t they all get a chance to “swim upstream and win the lottery of life?” Ridiculous? Yes. But where do you stop the argument in this other direction (of “viability”)? ONCE YOU GIVE THE STATE THE POWER TO DECIDE AND RULE… See that works both ways.

    A more reasonable example: what about RU-486, the “morning after” pill? Since it MIGHT prevent a fertilized egg from further developing, it that murder too? What about an IUD? Does the early cell blastula “deserve” a hospitable womb to implant itself in? You see, this is just nuts – this whole life begins at conception argument, and NO PLACE to insert the STATE. We’ve got good law now. Let’s not even make noises about making it harder for women to control their own bodies.

    Bottom line: it’s the most personal decision possible (other that whether to even keep living). It will ALWAYS be controversial, as it implies terminating a potential human being, a human in development. But to bring in the state, and to do so not only willingly, but with a moral emphasis that is based on one’s personal beliefs about “when life begins,” is to move so far afield of libertarian ideas that one simply cannot even claim to be in the same universe. It is to ask the State to legitimize one’s own moral code at the expense of another’s freedom.

    • methylamine
      September 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      No contradiction. I’m an anarcho-capitalist, and as one I’d never belong to a security or rating agency that allowed or condoned abortion.

      Cast that in a minarchist framework, and given the choice I’d live in a state where abortion was illegal.

      But for him, or someone else acting as an agent of the STATE, to try to enforce that belief upon all women – geeze, do I really have to point out the contradiction there?

      Is it wrong for a non-government person to stop another from murdering someone? No, of course not–it’s an extension of the right to self-defense. One may defend another’s rights as well.

      Then it’s perfectly consistent for me to wish to stop another from murdering someone…who happens to be very small and living inside someone else.

      Here’s a key point DR: I fully understand your bafflement that I’m so absolute even to the point of defending a zygote.

      I have to. We all have to.

      Because in this world with a nearly monolithic state, the state decides where the line will be drawn–and the state is run by psychopaths. If we don’t define the line absolutely, it will, and it will kill US eventually…as the State has throughout history.

      In a purely libertarian world, my anarcho-capitalist dream come true, I would choose enclaves where people shared my principled conviction on this point.

      Might there be enclaves, protected by security and rating agencies of their own right, where the line was drawn differently? Quite likely.
      Let them draw their lines where they may:
      because their drawing is voluntary, consensual, and limited to their enclave.

      But while the coercive State exists, and is the sole arbiter of the definition of life’s beginning, we must be absolute.

      • methylamine
        September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

        Ah one more point–in our perfect anarcho-capitalist world, I would attempt to peacefully persuade people in more abortion-lenient ‘phyles of the virtue of valuing human life from day zero.

        See the difference?

        While we live under a coercive State, we must advocate for life vehemently, for all.

        In a voluntaryist system, we can choose to live that principle ourselves and find others who agree to form a ‘phyle. Then go about convincing others of the same.

        Under a coercive state, the erosion of the principle of life endangers us all.

      • Downrange
        September 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

        You know, the more I read of what you’re writing, the more I think you’ve deluded yourself into justifying externalizing your belief system, and, apparently, you’re willing to pursue this through violence, if necessary. That is the antithesis of libertarianism.

        The world is as we find it, not a perfect situation. You’ve convinced me that you would like to impose your view on this matter upon every woman on the planet, and that’s enough.

        Goodbye, methyl.

        • September 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          Hi DR,

          I’ve read Meth’s posts and don’t see the advocacy of violence, implicit or otherwise. Obviously, you two have different points of view, but you’ve both been expressing your respective views without resorting to name calling. I hope that tradition can be continued… .

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm

            I hope so too. Did you read what he posted about “forcing” someone else not to abort? You OK with that Eric?

        • methylamine
          September 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

          I don’t think you understand.
          Even in a minarchy, the State ideally defends rights. In fact that’s ALL it does.

          We have a right to life.

          Ergo, the State must defend life; and if a human begins life in the womb, the State must defend the unborn, as well.

          How is this advocating violence?

          Would I be “advocating violence” if I said I’d defend with lethal force a woman about to be robbed and killed in a parking garage? She’s innocent. An attacker is harming her. She cannot defend herself. I feel a strong duty to help her, and repel the attacker.

          Let’s go a bit further:

          I’m currently forced to live under a State. Among all the egregious things it does, one of the very few things it does that’s morally acceptable is defend the rights of people under it…poorly.

          It defends people against murderers, and prosecutes the miscreant when its protection has failed.

          It has failed to protect a certain class from murder–the unborn. Therefore either I can do that–and be jailed–or advocate for IT to do that.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

            So you do advocate that your definition of abortion as murder should be prosecuted throughout the land. I thought that’s what you said.
            NOT libertarian, Meth…

            I’ve already hashed out my reasoning over and over, no need to repeat.

            Take care. Try not to hurt anybody.

  13. Tre Deuce
    September 12, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Know this… I have never liked the idea or the act of abortion, especially late second and third trimester abortions, BUT…

    It is not my choice. It is between a woman and herself, nobody else…Period! An inalienable right. Something those of the Libertarian persuasion on this site, seem to forget? And, I am not persuaded by some of the remonstrative ‘moral’ high ground, absolute positions held by some.

    I will further alienate myself, with these comments….

    I am not particularly fond of the so called…human race, I consider it a virus that is arrogant, inconsiderate, and cluelessly destructive…too few, are ‘precious’. The sooner it is reduced to a viable, holistic size, the better off the planet and its other worthy species will be.

    “Just cause it looks human, doesn’t mean it is” _ aikiv

    I find the moral objections of some on this site to be self serving, not to mention contrary to their espoused Libertarian(?) credentials. A conditioned pick and choose position of no absolute philosophical grounding. Apparently blind to the contradiction absolutely employed against others of a different position or mind.

    Abortion is natural… nature aborts. It even supports extinction, and we are the self serving tool of that. We are a force of nature… a destructive force.

    I also think that a lot of the abortion issue is racist. The so called ‘White race’ is afraid of being overrun by brown people who may harbor some understandable animosity. So we must prevent the aborting of white babies in fear of being over run by those ‘other’ people. Realize this..you can’t stop it, nor should you.

    I also think it is sexist, most comments here are from males who really have no right to speak on this matter, or have the perspective of a woman too understand, succinctly, the personal stakes a issue.

    And, unfortunately, women in this culture, and most other cultures, ultimately bear the burden of child rearing. They have absolutely no way of knowing if the father is going to support them and the child to adult term. Nearly 50% don’t… caveat; not always the fathers fault, but historically, men don’t fare well in this regard.

    While I agree that there is a lot of ‘irresponsibility’ out there, we also have to consider that prevention is not 100%. And luckily, humanely… modern, legal, ‘Safe’, medical options are available. I can remember when it wasn’t so. A very ugly and scary time for women. And some would take us back to that regressive time in an instant, with out a considered thought.

    Also, there are those who would even outlaw the prevention of pregnancy, further negating a woman’s ‘inalienable rights’.

    And, not everyone is meant to be a parent, in fact, too many who are, shouldn’t be, and I think they know that. Are you prepared to support, financially, their unwanted child? Consider all the possibilities this entails.

    I also find it interesting that, many who claim to be so pro life, have a gallows mentality when that life goes terribly wrong. Where is their ‘encompassing love of humanity in all states’, then?

    And to those who ascribe certain negative aspects regarding Sanger’s positions and comments, who claim to know ‘absolutely’ her personally held thoughts regarding same, clearly have an agenda that allows them to suspend any semblance of supportable critical thinking, rendering their thinking and claims, suspect, and therefore, their argument and assumed credibility is largely mute.

    Regards to all..Tre

    Note; I will not be responding to self serving, unsupportable, or denigrating comments. As there will be no positive traction or discussion to be had there.

    • methylamine
      September 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      OK no denigrating comments, I’ll keep it concise.

      Read the excellent posts above re: arbitrary lines defining “human-ness” and viability.

      Then realize you’re wrong.

      • Downrange
        September 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Embryo.JPG

        So, let’s be concise. Is it your position that the above image represents a human being with all rights appurtenant thereto, and that the woman in whom this resides should be forced by the state, upon pain of loss of liberty, control of her own person, and/or death, to maintain it for seven-eight months, against her will to do so?

        That’s as concise as I can be. This is the dividing line, pure and simple.

        • methylamine
          September 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

          Yes that’s exactly right Downrange.
          Remember my background; before going back to software engineering, I was a doctor.

          And I stand by the human-day-zero principle, for all the reasons I and others have stated in this excellent discussion.

          Certainly I recognize, from your perspective, how it may seem absolutist and frankly bizarre to consider a single cell, a morula, a blastula, a “fetus”, to be human…

          …and to maintain that stance even to the point that *I personally* (I don’t delegate to hired state thugs) would prevent, with force, the destruction of that human being.

          Because while it seems petty in the case of a blob of cells…calling it anything else is followed by such horrors that we should all feel compelled to protect that little blob of cells.

          And the woman? Please return to my original steps into this mile-wide mine-field; SHE chose to get pregnant. Her act brought another human being into existence, whose right to life she must now protect.

          • That One Guy
            September 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

            Seems that this very issue is being discussed by LRC readers and bloggers. I’ve already offered all I have on this; now I’ll lean on Becky Akers, who asks “what if the ‘fetus’ could shoot back?”

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120728.html

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

            Well, now, how does one take your statement: “even to the point that *I personally* (I don’t delegate to hired state thugs) would prevent, with force, the destruction of that human being.” So, you personally, are saying that you will break the law by preventing, by force, the destruction of a fetus, at any point, even just a few days or weeks? I find that, first of all, almost actionable, as you’ve just publicly declared your willingness to commit a crime. Secondly, while I tilt my cap to your internet bravado, I do not think that, outside of your own immediate circle, you have the ability to carry out the actions you state you would take. You may be able to prevent a family member from terminating a pregnancy, but unless you’re going to bomb the abortion clinic, I do not see how you will be able to stop your pregnant neighbor.

            I suspect that is, in actuality, a rather slippery and evasive answer. I expected better.

        • methylamine
          September 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm

          @DR:

          Of course it’s an immediate-circle-only directive. Just as with income tax–which is slavery, yet I continue to pay–I’m not ready to martyr myself on it. Who would father my children?

          I suspect that is, in actuality, a rather slippery and evasive answer. I expected better.

          Look, stop trying to bait me. I don’t see how that’s slippery or evasive; it’s as direct as I can possibly be.

          Your entire argument misses the point; you continue to emphasize the woman’s rights and ignore the baby’s.

          Both are human beings. Both have an absolute right to life.

          The woman created the baby by a voluntary act*. Now she has to live with it for at least nine months; and yes, in a minarchist system she must do so at gunpoint if necessary…because any other human life would be protected at gunpoint, too.

          Perhaps your strategy is winning-by-annoyance; for every clear statement you either accuse me of going AWOL, or bait me with a taunt (“I expected better.”).

          In the end, the debate rests on two key points; the second we haven’t mentioned. I don’t rely on it because it’s not a logical point–but it IS a spiritual/emotional/psychological one and it’s deeply important to empathetic humans.

          The first key is the principle as enunciated in posts above–the primacy of human life.

          The second key is that gut feeling of the sheer wrongness of killing a baby. I don’t know if you have children but I’m guessing not; because there is something so incredibly primal about one’s protectiveness toward them (naturally) that the thought of harming them even in utero is utterly abhorrent. You simply can’t contemplate it. It physically sickens you.

          * let’s put aside the rape/conception shibboleth for a moment.

  14. methylamine
    September 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    @HotRod:

    Thank you for that most excellent exposition re: spirituality, math, infinite universes!

    I’ve never heard it put in such succinct terms before, and yet it’s what I’ve sensed my whole life. It’s that inkling of the numinous that touches us all. As a side note: it’s believed the pineal gland, at the bottom center of the brain, generates these feelings of the numinous. In ancient times, it was referred to as “the Third Eye”.

    Curiously, fluoride has a great affinity for the pineal. Over time fluoride ingestion damages the pineal with an accumulation of insoluble calcium fluoride crystals.

    I wonder if that’s by design? To deprive us of the sense of connectedness, or of wonderment and awe at the universe?

    Also: Oh. My. God. I remember my relativity and Maxwell’s equations well enough to kind of follow your reasoning on permittivity and light speed. To compare it to capacitance and the hysteresis cycle leading to entropy and heat generation is pure fucking genius–is that original thought on your part??

    Even if it isn’t, you obviously grasp it better than I…because you explained it in a way that I can kind of see where it’s going.

    THIS is why I want freedom! Because the unfettered human mind, in an environment of peaceful prosperity, yearns to innovate. We reach, and reach, and reach for higher achievements when we’re free to do so.

    Re: the multiverse. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the debate–I’m sure you are. But the “Copenhagen Interpretation” of quantum weirdness–the collapse of wave functions into discrete events–was heavily contested and mostly by one man, Hugh Everett. He died lonely and bitter; but to the end he advocated the multiverse. If he’d lived just a few more years, he’d be reveling in today’s shift toward the multiverse interpretation.

  15. Peaches
    September 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I grew up before Roe vs Wade. The horrors of Drano washes and coat-hangar abortions are very real to me; some of my HS classmates used them – as well as backroom unlicensed “physicians” who devastated teenage wombs – some to the point where they could never bear children again. One woman whom I worked on in EMS – 15 years after Roe vs Wade – was so ignorant that she didn’t know abortions were legal, used a coat hangar, and had a massive septic infection by the time I saw her. She died.

    So I am in favor of legalized abortion – to a point. But abortion is not the problem – the problem is (and always has been – since women have been having children) that PEOPLE DO NOT RESPECT THEMSELVES OR EACH OTHER. Men take advantage of, or rape, women out of cruelty, selfishness, misogyny, whatever; women fall for the ‘knight in shining armor’ fairy stories instead of realizing that the married man will do to them what he is doing to his wife with her, women get pregnant to ‘trap a may-un’ and end up harming not only themselves but the child too; there are so many desperate reasons why women seek abortions. Until each one of us – man and woman – uses reason instead of emotion to make decisions, respects themselves first and then respects each other, abortions will be a likely choice.

    I do not like 3 things about the current abortion debate – 1)A woman aborting any time after the first trimester; 2) a woman using abortion as birth control, and 3) other people being forced to pay for a woman’s abortion against their will. An abortion causes severe physical, hormonal,and emotional trauma to the woman, even if done cleanly and clinically, and should not be encouraged as a birth control method. A woman who decides to abort a baby should have the money to do so – just as she should be able to support that child if she decides to keep it. And removing a fetus is a far cry from removing a viable child that someone could adopt and love…

    Bottom line – until we all start to use our brains instead of our ‘hearts’ or sexual organs to make decisions, we will never – that is, never – stop seeing abortions, in this or any other country, legal or not. Fighting about them based on emotionalism or religious or any other non-reasonable grounds gets us nowhere, and only continues to distract us from the reality of the cause.

    • methylamine
      September 11, 2012 at 5:52 am

      It sounds to me like you’re conceding the point, and making a utilitarian judgement: “…any time after the first trimester”.

      You’re probably aware that every organ and limb is present and fully functional in miniature by 10 weeks–well within the 1st trimester.

      So the “It doesn’t have a face” argument doesn’t fly.

      It’s a weak argument; you can do better. There is an immutable principle at stake: human life. Cheapen it at your own peril, because once it’s cheapened and the principle is violated, you’re in danger personally.

      Maybe not 1974 a year after Roe v. Wade…but 2012? Bet your ass. In fact, the utilitarian argument is what puts your ass in jeopardy.

      The “backroom abortions with coat hangers Boooo-Hooo” arguments are specious as well. Once again, where is the responsibility? Certainly, tragic circumstances. But they must NOT be allowed to compromise the principle. There are consequences to actions–and as I said before, emerging from our spiritual and mental adolescence requires facing them, living with our choices, and making moral decisions.

      So you got knocked up when you were a teenager. Big deal. Go deal with it–YES it will be hard; but it’s a few months of visible “shame”*, a birth, and adoption–and a valuable lesson learned.

      I’m completely, totally, unabashedly, and proudly comfortable saying–tough shit, deal with it.

      Because except for the extremely rare case of a rape/conception, it’s a voluntary situation.

      * Shame–another problem with this toxic society and its myriad little and large hypocrisies, they make me sick. People get horny and get pregnant, sometimes accidentally. Let’s all take a deep breath and not freak out when a 16-year-old is sporting a basketball under her sweatshirt, shall we? Let her be. And let her learn from it.

      • September 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

        Morning, meth!

        Another excellent exposition of the principle.

        The whole “drunk driving” shibboleth is very similar in that people (most people) were gulled into accepting the evisceration of the principle that a person who hasn’t given reason to suspect him of a crime should not be treated like a criminal.

        Hard cases make bad law.

        There are drunk drivers out there. They have killed people. Just as women do get raped – and sometimes, get pregnant as a result.

        The critical thing is to not allow your emotions to cloud your reason. Of course it is a tragedy when a drunk asshole kills a car full of kids (and adults, too). But our anger at that particular drunk driver should not cause us to decide everyone ought to be treated as presumptively drunk. Similarly, our empathy for a woman who has been raped ought not to close our minds to the important principle at stake.

      • Downrange
        September 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        Tough debate. Here’s a bit of grist for the mill. The real issues are two: who owns my (or a woman’s) body, and, at what point is a potential (emerging lifeform an individual with rights?

        I think libertarian thought would have to concede that a woman’s body belongs to her, just as my (male) body belongs to me. First principles. If a person decides to kill him or herself, it is not the business of the state to try to prevent it, nor to punish or “treat” as insane, those who attempt to do so, as being a “danger to themselves.” So where do you draw the line? At what point is a woman carrying TWO lives, and morally on the hook for terminating her own life if it means she’s also taking another’s?

        That to me is a very thorny question, coming from a strongly libertarian worldview as I am. It’s clear that by ten weeks, you’ve got a (very) little person in there. But that person is being constructed from the life force of the woman whose womb nourishes it, made possible by her decision to remain alive, to live her life. The second life can be only thought of as a “potential,” dependent upon the mother’s will to live to be eventually realized.

        From an absolutist viewpoint, the child “belongs” to the mother, at this point. Can you make an argument otherwise? Consider carefully: the mother’s life is, in very many respects, held “hostage” to the “parasite” growing within her. A cold view, yes, but is it scientifically accurate? If the primary individual, the mother, decides that the emerging life form in her womb is a real threat to her survival, most agree she has the right to terminate that life form, in its early stages, without legal consequence. This is the state of our law today. Now, there are moral arguments against applying this absolutist viewpoint, based on OTHERS’ perception of the MORAL choices involved. But, to regard an emerging individual in the first trimester as independent entity is to, necessarily, impose involuntary servitude upon the mother who is carrying it. I don’t see how you can escape the conclusion that to demand a woman carry a healthy potential individual to term is telling the woman that her body does not belong to her. That she has MORAL and LEGAL obligations to a potential individual that can only become self-sufficient outside her womb by her continuing to nourish it.

        This certainly seems to go strongly counter to libertarian doctrine. I think at this point, we who are adamant that the State has virtually no legitimate dominion over our individual rights to choose our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness path, suddenly do a 180 and say the State should control the next 7-8 months of an individual’s life, effectively enslaving her, for the sake of what is only a “potential” individual, entirely dependent upon the slave for everything. I can’t go for that.

        There does seem to be a dividing line somewhere in the process. There is a big difference between a fetus at six weeks and 12, for example. But if we’re going to get in the business of having this State creature enforce what is a moral decision, we’d better be prepared for everything else that people want to see morally. I think it’s one of those “slippery slopes.” Danger Will Robinson!

        Just food for thought – I highly respect the posters here, and don’t wish to cause a turmoil. There just seem to be possibly some “unexamined premises,” in the Randian lingo.

        • That One Guy
          September 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

          Downrange-

          Your chain of logic followed to its conclusion suggests we can throw our son off of a bridge tomorrow if we decide we don’t want to provide for him anymore, as he is our property and not legally entitled to sustenance by the fruits of our labor, which no state should have the power to compel.

          What is the difference between ten weeks and ten years? Why does it matter if he is inside the womb or outside of it? You cannot allow arguments like this and assume they will be restrained by caveats and exceptions to rules. We should have learned this by now.

          The problem with the abortion debate is it never should have been allowed to become a matter of legal questions instead of moral ones.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 12:26 am

            Well, I do not agree, not at all. Once a life form is viable, to terminate it unlawfully is defined as murder. I’m actually shocked that a reader of a libertarian spot like this would offer up such a bumbling, ineffective straw man as that…
            Abortion has always been a matter of legal questions, as are all matters of the state interference with an individual’s inalienable rights. This kind of post really drags down Eric’s site.
            Just my opinion, but I’m ashamed to be associated with misogyny, and this thread is awfully close to it…
            You either accept that a person, male or female, owns their own body, or they do not. Moral issues are for individuals to decide; states are for issues of law. Fortunately, the law still respects a woman’s dominion over her own body, up to a point, anyway.
            Sad comment.

          • That One Guy
            September 12, 2012 at 1:04 am

            And if the science changes, and the “life form” becomes “viable” at an earlier point, what then? Will the state abortion machine even allow this to happen, seeing as how it has a vested interest in destroying the unviable?

            My point is that it’s dangerous to talk in terms of what is and is not “viable.” With socialized medicine we’re guaranteed to see redefinition of “viable” for certain groups that cost the state too much to keep going

            It is most

          • That One Guy
            September 12, 2012 at 1:51 am

            Sorry my kid got on the keyboard and sent that one before it was ready.

            “Viable lifeform,” “terminate it unlawfully”, “woman’s ownership of body,” dissent on abortion approaches “misogyny,” just the standard language of the progressive feminist position on abortion.

            This is the state’s terminology. You’re using the state’s own justification for abortion and calling it in line with the libertarian position. Curious, that.

            You accept the state’s definition of viability, then build your argument around that. Your argument is built on a rotten foundation.

            Abortion has always been a matter of legal questions, as are all matters of the state interference with an individual’s inalienable rights.

            Except this statement implies that a child in the womb prior to an arbitrary line drawn on a calendar has no right to live. This is not a universallly accepted premise by any means. This is your opinion, as well as that of the state. And apparently one that you hold closely enough that it will drive you to nastiness when challenged.

            When you sign on to opinions like this you lend inertia to the state’s determining who is “viable” and who is not. This is only the beginning. It’s going to ramp up into high gear with socialized medicine. Keep that in mind.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 2:44 am

            Look, it’s very simple, as to viability. Is the life form able to exist outside the womb, or not? That’s viability.

            This is not rocket science, and you have ascribed all sorts of ownership to the “state” for this position. I don’t see it that way. What this is about is whether an established, viable entity has the freedom to choose her own course, independent of the potential organism inside her womb. If you are indeed a libertarian, mindful of issues of individual freedom and liberty and free choice on all aspects of one’s life, there has to be an ABSOLUTE about this. If I am a woman, I have the right, the absolute right, to determine the course of my existence. I have the right to terminate a pregnancy and YOU do not have any say-so about it. Much less the STATE.
            Sheesh…
            There should be a reasonable set of criteria about this, something along the line of “first trimester” seems to work for most. Then butt the fuck out of it.
            I’m sorry, but this is not one of the things that you can mix in with libertarianism. If you don’t agree, turn in your card.

          • That One Guy
            September 12, 2012 at 3:34 am

            LOL ok, I look forward to your acceptance of methylamine’s libertarian card, should he come back and see this comment string.

            I have ascribed no ownership of anything to the state. As a matter of fact, if you went back and read a little more closely you will not find one single instance where I have suggested the state should be involved in abortion at all. All I’ve done is attacked your and Gloria Steinem’s weak argument in favor of abortion. You went back on your own and filled in all the ugly things you need to tack on to someone who disagrees with you.

            If you must know, I don’t think it’s within the purview of the state to regulate, any more than marriage. I do think it’s morally disgusting and reprehensible and reflects very poorly on our society, and a healthy society would punish child murderers in whatever form they take, no state required.

            As I said before, and methylamine said so much better above, viability is a shifting benchmark, and a dangerous peg to hang your hat on. Your acceptance of abortion on grounds of viability will be used to justify euthanizing the elderly once they cross an arbitrary cost-benefit line that is sure to one day be drawn by socialized medicine. Or any other undesirables or burdens to society that could be found by the state in the future.

            This is like pissing into the wind; you obviously feel very strongly about this issue and I didn’t ever expect to change your mind. But declaring who is and is not a libertarian is so…un-libertarian. It’s rather authoritarian if you ask me. I don’t claim to be a libertarian; I take the minarchist position and have suffered for it here plenty already. But it seems like I’m definitely closer to liberty than you are. I’m not trying to declare who belongs and who doesn’t.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 3:52 am

            Fine, I knew it was a mine field when I waded into it. :)

            You seem to be acting as the de facto spokesperson for this forum. I will judge, and make my future actions accordingly.

            I stand by my posts and welcome any intelligent rebuttal, which has certainly not been coming thus far. I offered up my comments in the interests of a fair discussion, but as that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, I’ll just bid you good night.

          • methylamine
            September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

            “Viability” arguments are completely useless in establishing humanity.

            They’re so weak I’m always surprised when people trot them out.

            Is a 24-week-old baby viable? Fifty percent of the time, with medical care.
            Is a full-term baby viable? 99.9% of the time, with adequate feeding and attention.
            Is a four-year-old girl viable? 99.99% of the time, if she has access to food, water, and shelter.
            Is a thirty-year-old in space viable? If he has a spacesuit with adequate oxygen.

            Viability is no barrier to the devaluation of human life. It’s a constantly shifting line; and by defining life’s value on an arbitrary standard, you concede the point and open debate to OTHER forms of “non-viability”.

            Is a Down’s syndrome teenager really “viable”? Is an advanced Parkinson’s patient really viable? Is a senile 70-year-old viable? Is a “911 Truther” who protests the Fed and lives off the grid trading only barter and silver coins “viable”?

            In fact this parallels the already-crossed Rubicon of psychiatry as an arm of the State; Brandon Raub’s kidnapping and caging in a psykushka (Russian slang for psychiatric hospital) demonstrates another facet of this thinking.

            What is so goddamned hard about accepting that human life is human life immediately, that the principle of life’s inviolability is absolute, and stand by this principle?

            For to do anything else is, ultimately, suicide.

            And for what? So we can avoid inconvenience to some spoiled sybaritic teen prom queens?

            BTW I can’t remember who quoted it but can we please stop using bullshit empty terms like “women’s rights”? PLEASE?? It’s offensively collectivist, and so clearly an Elite meme used to divide-and-conquer, I’m surprised at whoever used it.

            Rights, are rights. They don’t belong to collectives, they belong to individuals. There is no such thing as a women’s right; women only have rights….identical to blacks, men, children, babies, Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

            Thinking anything else is a mental trap–which is why, I suspect, the writer of that one still thinks he supports abortion…because he’s been taught to conflate abortion with “women’s rights”.

        • Boothe
          September 12, 2012 at 6:13 am

          A minefield indeed! I probably shouldn’t wade in, but having the right to remain silent and the ability to exercise it are two different things. I agree with Peaches with respect to a large portion of our society thinking with their gonads. No doubt about that; advertising is fraught with sexuality because it sells. We have mistaken licentiousness for true Liberty and the self discipline and individual responsibility required to maintain it. As of now a major portion of our populace makes the self control of cats’ and dogs’ look good. There are social consequences for unbridled copulation, none the least of which are unwanted pregnancies; a condition which is wholly avoidable. Wholesale slaughter of the unborn will not make things better.

          I must also agree with Downrange that a woman’s body is her own. So in the case of consensual copulation and a resultant pregnancy, she had the right not to engage in sex to begin with. Once the fetus (which I believe to be a spiritual being) starts forming, regardless of its location being the mother’s uterus, we’re now talking about someone else’s body. I contend that a child is never accidental, only the parents are. So do the parents have the right to kill that child, “viable” or not? They do not because they are initiating physical violence against another human that has done them no harm and was not asked first if they wanted to be here. Even in the case of rape or incest, two wrongs do not make a right.

          Since even a ‘fetus’ is another living entity, wantonly terminating that life will have consequences. As far as viability goes, take a Bald Eagle’s egg down to your local game warden and smash it in front of him. See what that gets you. Any society that will protect a carrion eater that is little more than a fancy vulture over a human life is in trouble. What comes around goes around / you reap what you sow / for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and so on. Practically every major religion recognizes this fact and even science acknowledges the principle in the physical sense. The books will be balanced. We won’t like the results.

          Terminating the lives of the unborn (by the millions), the most innocent form of human life, at a point in its existence where it should be at its safest, is running up a bill. Making this practice commonplace does indeed cheapen the value we place on life as a society. Who’s next? The retarded? The elderly? Terminal cancer patients? Jews? Blacks? C’mon…the planet’s overpopulated. It’s not sustainable. Billions of us (most of us according to the “au-thor-itays”) have to go. Who will it be? Your kids? Your spouse? You? Who gets to decide? The folks pushing this agenda certainly don’t intend for it to be them. This is not a not just a slippery slope, it’s a double black diamond and it’s covered in ice. Be very careful where you stand on this issue, or you may find yourself fast on your way down it.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

            The big problem with what you’ve written, Boothe, is that the woman’s decision to abort a non-viable fetus is an INDIVIDUAL decision, made by a sovereign person, with full control over her personhood in the face of Statist authority over so many aspects of her existence.
            On the other hand, your slippery slope seems to be that the STATE will decide to “retroactively abort” us. In fact, you’ve connected the two in a potential cause-effect chain – our exercising our sovereign individual rights could lead to increased State control over us. There even seems to be a bit of a “and you might well deserve it!” moral flavor about the argument.
            See, this kind of bob-tailed reasoning among such an erudite group really troubles me. Logical inconsistency, to say the least. The deafening silence on this thread from Eric and Methyl, with their last comments being essentially a “high-five” on what I regard as a completely untenable (libertarian) position, also is troubling.
            I remain very troubled by the inconsistencies here. Regardless of how one FEELS about abortion, and I fall into the “avoid it if at all possible” camp, one simply must uphold the same rights for women as men here. To do otherwise is, at best, intellectually dishonest, and at worst, to open up oneself to some very serious criticism, from chauvinism to misogyny. That’s it.

            • September 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

              Morning, DR –

              This is certainly a difficult issue. One that requires very careful treatment.

              I have tremendous sympathy for a woman who, for example, has been made pregnant as a result of rape and – god help me (though I am not religious) I have to admit that if it were my wife or daughter, I would be right there with the “morning after” pill and my full support. And I would not condemn others for so doing in a similar circumstance.

              But, I also have to admit (concede is probably better) the facts of biology. And what they imply.

              I can’t get around – as a matter of “the facts” – that human life begins at conception. I also don’t see any way to logically, factually deny that a distinct human being has been created at that moment. It is no longer one person – but two people.

              That the one person is not yet fully actualized strikes me as beside the point. It either is – or it isn’t – a new life. A human person. That’s the core issue here. If it is a human being, then it has rights. If not, not. At what point does it become human? If not at conception, then when? Who shall decide? This question has been debated for ages. For me, the answer – though uncomfortable – is: A human life begins at conception. Everything thereafter is merely a question of further development. (The same being true of an infant… and a toddler… and a teenager.)

              This makes me – ethically/morally- very uncomfortable with abortion. Not miscarriage or natural abortion. But with active measures to end what is, biologically speaking, a human life.

              This is not a “woman’s issue” – unless you subscribe to the doctrine that people have different rights. It’s an issue of human rights – and whether you deem a developing fetus as less than human and so not entitled to the same rights as more developed humans.

              I agree with Brent and the others, too, that viability is a straw man argument. There are countless people in the ICU (and nursing homes) who could also be described as not viable, since they are dependent on others (and machines) to keep them alive.
              I personally would regard it as a double homicide if a woman who was eight months pregnant is shot to death by a thug. At what point is the developing baby in her womb a human being? If we go by biology, I have a very hard time understanding how the definition can be other than at conception.

              I’m trying to be intellectually consistent – and if I’m in error on the facts, I will certainly adjust my position accordingly.

          • Boothe
            September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

            DR, I defy you to show me anywhere in my previous post that I advocated government involvement in the grave decision a mother faces when she considers terminating her unborn offspring. At the very most I would consider it to be a matter to be taken up at the state (as in one of the 50 several states) level, not a broad-brush federal diktat (either way) “legislated” from the bench. If it isn’t spelled out in the Constitution it is *prohibited* to the federal government by law and this type of decision falls back to the people and the states. It is a personal decision and like many others that I find reprehensible I would discourage anyone from doing it; but the choice should remain theirs. But to force me or any of the rest of us to pay for abortions or a sex change operation for a prison inmate or anything of the sort, euphemistically referred to as “healthcare”, from wealth that has been taken from us under duress is utterly inexcusable.

            I did not “connect the two” as you put it, you read that in. I think you may have misunderstood my reference to sustainable population size and potential democide as serious when it was intended as a sarcastic illustration of what could happen as government becomes more deeply involved in who lives and dies. The main thrust of my post was based in no small part on my own life experiences. I have learned the hard way that when we do things that are negative and harmful, there will invariably be negative and harmful consequences for us, whether we “get caught” or not. The Cosmic books will be balanced there is no escaping it, we just fail to realize it when the bill comes due and right it off to misfortune or bad luck. This applies to nations, states and families as well as individuals. I personally have experienced reaping the weeds and tares that morally bankrupt behavior cultivates in one’s life. So I encourage others to control their urges and think about the potential results of their actions in the first place and if they won’t, then I warn them to expect to suffer the consequences. As I’ve grown older and lean more anarcho-capitalistic (I don’t claim allegiance to any group) than libertarian, I say decentralize; let communities and the free market decide and let the chips fall where they may for that group. But I do not encourage or support any more legislation, jurisprudence or government involvement in any matters of morality; government has consistently made matters of this sort worse down through the ages.

            The right path, the honest, decent, compassionate and generous path is to be found at the individual level; it is up to each of us to behave responsibly, pay our own way, help our neighbors when need be and not violate their rights. No law can ever force that to happen, because it happens in one’s heart and mind, not on paper or by judicial fiat.

          • Downrange
            September 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm

            So, Boothe, please clarify what you meant by the quote below:

            ” I contend that a child is never accidental, only the parents are. So do the parents have the right to kill that child, “viable” or not? They do not because they are initiating physical violence against another human that has done them no harm and was not asked first if they wanted to be here. Even in the case of rape or incest, two wrongs do not make a right.”

            Maybe I misunderstood you, but it sure sounds like you’ve defined abortion as a wrongful KILLING of a child (regardless of “viability” as you said) and that the mother does “NOT HAVE THAT RIGHT.” Am I to take that as a belief or rather a public policy statement? That’s really where we get down to brass tacks in this discussion. As far as whether it’s a state or Federal decision, that’s another whole discussion. Present law makes abortion legal nationwide; if that changes, then we have a really different playing table. People could choose to reside in a state that reflected their values on this important issue, for instance. But, again, I think that’s another discussion.

            It’s clear that others here have at least IMPLICITLY called for the state to prosecute these wrongful killings, or prevent them, if possible. If I’ve misjudged your position, please enlighten me.

            To the point: is this embryo a human being, with all rights etc., and is aborting it a crime that should bring in the state to prosecute the host mother? Same question I asked Methyl, and the silence is, thus far, deafening.

            Simple question.

          • Boothe
            September 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

            DR, I thought I made it clear: I do not believe the woman has a “right” to terminate the child’s life. That doesn’t mean she won’t be willing or able, just that I don’t believe it is her right. That child, whether “viable” or not, did not “make the mistake”, perpetrate the rape or engage in (all too often consensual) incest. That is purely *my belief*. One more time to be perfectly clear, I do not support government intervention in the decision in any way, shape or form. But just because I don’t think “there oughta be a law” doesn’t change the fact that once that tiny human starts to form, if you yank it out by the roots you’ve killed another person. That child can feel pain and I strongly suspect experience horrifying anguish at the earliest levels of development and one violates the Non-Aggression Principle through abortion at any stage of pregnancy in my opinion.

            Like many other nasty little things humans do to each other, this nature of this issue isn’t going to change because the state gets involved. I’ve known several women over the years that had “safe” and legal abortions in a clinical setting and suffered such intense mental anguish (and a couple had severe “female problems”) afterward that they became staunch pro-life crusaders and would have gladly banned the practice worldwide if they could have. There’s nothing quite like personal experience to color your perspective, huh? And what the government has done thus far in the U.S.S.A. is to sanction, encourage, fund and expand the practice. And they’ve used money to do this that was taken from us in clear violation of the spirit the law that was supposed to protect our lives, property and Liberty and that’s wrong. As an aside for Tre Deuce fully 40% of the abortions in this country are performed on black women who comprise a disproportionately small segment of the American demographic.

            You are free to disagree with me of course and if I’m wrong and through my position discourage and prevent the wanton taking of innocent lives in a manner that would have inflicted no pain on the victim anyway, because “it” was inert and senseless, no harm is done. But if you are wrong and the “non-viable” fetus suffers intense anguish and horror, for which you apparently have a callous disregard, then tremendous harm was done and that experience will probably transfer over to the mother through the spiritual connection, the mother – child bond, that they share and she will carry it to the grave.

            So now I have a couple of questions for you: Are you absolutely sure, and I do mean without any doubt whatsoever, that at the earliest stages of conception the “fetus” is not self aware and capable of feeling pain? At what point is it no longer “okay” to forcibly dislodge, mangle and mutilate the “fetus”?

          • methylamine
            September 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm

            @Downrange:

            …woman’s decision to abort a non-viable fetus is an INDIVIDUAL decision…

            And your implication that Eric and I have gone AWOL on the debate having dropped an inconsistency? Untrue, and insulting.

            There is no inconsistency in my argument; I have stated that all people have the right to life, that human life must be revered for spiritual, moral, and even simply utilitarian reasons. That preservation of life is a principle.

            And I’ve stated there must be no arbitrary point in a baby’s life at which he’s defined as “now human”; it is so ab initio.

            Therefore I propose defending that baby’s life, because it is an INDIVIDUAL human…who happens to be more dependent on its mother than, say, a six-month-old. Or a four-year-old.

            Its place of residency and its degree of dependence on external sustenance does not negate its humanity.

  16. methylamine
    September 10, 2012 at 3:01 am

    @Rick:

    Does that mean you agree with a womans right to have an abortion?

    The thread was getting too long so I’m restarting it here…and yes, I’ll jump right in and take your dare re: the abortion issue.

    It’s a thorny one alright and I’ve been as far as saying it’s OK up to (name your arbitrary date)…my arbitrary date was 10 weeks, then briefly 24 weeks (current 50/50 viability if born this early).

    I’m back to zero.

    Here’s why:
    1) It’s not just the woman’s body. It’s another human being in there. Those of you with children will probably feel this as strongly as I do, too; those without, I hope your empathy is turned to “high”.
    2) It’s wrong to murder another human
    3) No matter what date you choose, it’s arbitrary. The principle stands; if you pick a gestation period up to which it’s OK to scrape out/suck out/poison and suck out/poison, mutilate and suck out the baby…you’ve violated the principle.
    4) The principle is that human life is precious, and deviating from this principle in even small or questionable matters devalues life.

    There is such a thing as a slippery slope. Right now, there is a debate in academic circles regarding the propriety of killing two-year-olds because they’re “not REALLY human yet, after all.” And, if at two years old they’re presenting an unreasonable burden on the family; well, what the hell, that’s really inconvenient. So kill’em. But nicely, after all, we’re not monsters!

    THAT, friends, is the slippery slope.

    And let’s not forget the underpinnings of the abortion debate in the U.S. In fact, let’s not forget that the mighty, moral, indispensable Youuuuu-nited States was first with eugenics, and the Nazis merely imported and implemented our programs. Yes, friends, the abortion debate finds its roots in eugenics. As the charming Ms. Margaret Sanger put it, it’s our job to “get rid of the weeds”.

    Of course nasty Adolf really ruined the eugenics movement here; they had to rename it something, er, less Nazi. So they call it “family planning”.

    Never forget this when you’re debating abortion. On the surface, the arguments range from the ad absurdam–conceptions due to rape–to the acceptable* case of the mother’s life endangered, to the frivolous–promiscuous prom queen doesn’t want to ruin her figure. But the undercurrent–and the VAST majority of abortions–have been for “the weeds”, as Ms. Sanger so sanguinely described those icky colored people.

    And it’s been a holocaust. 54 million abortions since 1973.

    Meanwhile, it’s damn near impossible to adopt a baby here–which is why there are so many perfectly charming young Chinese girls with conspicuously non-Asian parents.

    Yet again, it goes back to personal responsibility. Here, I think we can all agree–whether or not you think it’s murder, I would hope you agree it’s a serious matter, not to be undertaken lightly. Screwing around and getting knocked up is irresponsible. If you can’t handle the consequences, take precautions against them. If the consequences will be so inconvenient or financially burdensome you just can’t handle it–get the ‘nads snipped, the ‘tubes tied, don the raincoat, pop the pill.

    But don’t kill a perfectly good baby. Accept your fuck-ups, bear him/her to term, arrange an adoption, and learn some good-old god-damned responsibility from the experience. Who knows? Maybe you’ll grow up from your all-American smug adolescence; an adolescence our society now accepts well into your 30’s.

    * Mother’s life in danger–OK. If she truly, really, according to an unbiased doctor, really WILL die if she carries a child to term. And I want to see some guarantees; such as, the doctor’s liable for murder if he fudged it.

    • Rick
      September 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Meth,
      Does that mean a woman does not own her body?

      Who would decide if she would be free to take rec drugs?

      Who would file the murder charges?

      Would force be used against the women to stop abortion?

      Who would use that force?

      Rick

      • methylamine
        September 11, 2012 at 6:05 am

        Assuming a minarchist situation–I’ll argue the anarchist one later if desired–it would proceed as follows:

        You murdered a human being.

        It is an unlawful act under Natural Law, from whence comes Common Law, and a minarchy’s only purpose is to protect rights.

        And Rick:

        Does that mean a woman does not own her body?

        Don’t be obtuse. The baby is not her body; do I have to make the distinction clear? She volunteered to be a landlord for nine months.

        And yes–I’d use force to prevent the abortion, because in a lawful (common law, malum in se) society it is one’s duty to protect one’s own rights–and in a lawful and moral society, decent people feel the obligation to protect others’ rights, too.

        Note I’m not making a collectivist argument; you’re free not to protect someone else’s rights.

        The same applies in an anarchist society. The interlocking webs of communities enforcing their own standards, security agencies, rating agencies–all amount to privatized versions of the minarchy’s state courts and police.

        Police are no different in a minarchy or anarchy; it just changes the method of collecting their payment. Nor are they different than citizens, who under common law have the same rights and obligations to protect those rights.

        Rick did you think you’d posed a few zingers there? Give me some curve. Or a speedball here and there. I’m getting out of shape batting these softballs.

        • Rick
          September 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

          Dear Meth

          I did see that you talked common law (case law) as your example of a persons rights. Common law (case law) does say that abortion is legal, under some restrictions.If your society is based on common law (case law) would you protect the woman from people trying to stop her lawfull abortion?

          Should the Police protect her from the people trying to stop her common law (case law) legal abortion?

          Rick

          • methylamine
            September 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

            Don’t put words in my mouth. I cited Natural Law first, then common law and specifically narrowed it to malum in se.

            It is NOT the same as case law, especially within those enjoinders.

            Moreover, you miss the point; I stated it’s murder. I didn’t entertain any exceptions.

            You seem to be trying to lead me into a straw man or ad absurdum ambush. Not going to happen.

            Troll someone else.

  17. dom
    September 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Aight, so let’s say I have $2,000 to get supplies for a 3 person family. How would ya’ll spend it?

    • methylamine
      September 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

      Are you starting from literally zero? As in, no weapons, no food, no water, nothing?

      1) Beans, rice, salt, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds, high-quality vitamins for three months’ basic calories, protein, and fat. Roughly 500 dollars.
      2) Used Remington 870 or Mossberg equivalent; go cruise a gun show and find one for sale. $400, and that’s a generous offer; may be much less. Couple hundred rounds of ammo, another $200. Many would argue get a handgun first. Some would argue go for a battle rifle–at this budget, an AK-47 would be do-able.
      3) Water storage–you could do this practically for free, or spend some money on a 50-gallon plastic potable water drum. Call it $100 but that’s spendthrift.
      4) You’ve got $800 left, and the rest of the list is so highly variable I hate to speculate but here goes…

      5) Medical supplies–if you can get to Mexico cheaply, go to a pharmacy and stock up on the critical antibiotics. Those that will cover the whole spectrum effectively and cheaply–anaerobic, gram positive, gram negative, and eukaryotes might be nice too. My choices are azithromycin, augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate), and flagyl (metronidazole). Any drugs you need permanently like thyroxine–stock up. Antiseptics like iodine or better yet Betadine. Bandages. Suture kits.
      6) Toiletries–toilet paper, tampons/pads, toothpaste etc.
      7) Bleach, lots of it, for disinfection and water purification. Vinegar, same purpose, plus great for cleaning.

      • Peaches
        September 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

        It is not necessary to travel very far to stock up on antibiotics. Just go to your nearest farm or ranch supply place; they have antibiotics for sale. However, you have to titrate by weight – a 1500 -lb cow takes a lot more streptomycin than a 150-lb human by weight. Learn dosages. Some people buy antibiotics from their local pet shop; however – again! – what is in that little bottle for a few goldfish will require far more by weight for a human. I am passionate about hydrogen peroxide – it is cheap, still less than $1.00 a 24-oz bottle, and it not only will strip organic waste off of your teeth or anything else, but is excellent for topical infections. In a pinch, a needle and thread can be sterilized with boiling water/alcohol/peroxide/bleach to stitch up wounds; but have good sharp scalpel blades (they are cheap). Don’t use scented bleach; buy the biggest bottles of regular bleach you can find – and when they are empty, don’t rinse them out, simply fill them with water and close tightly. The water in them – kept pure by the bleach remaining in the bottle – will keep for years, and the bottle (unlike store-bought water bottles) will last forever.

        Buy foods that replicate. Don’t buy canned pumpkin – buy a whole pumpkin, can the pumpkin, save the seeds, use them next year. Same with tomatoes, most fruits and vegetables – go to the farmer’s market and buy the non-hybrid heirloom tomatoes, etc.

        If you have space, don’t buy eggs – buy chicks and raise chickens; kill and can all but one rooster and let them replicate eggs (which gives you not only eggs but more chickens). I raised 15 fruit trees, a full garden, and had chickens in a coop in the fenced-in backyard on less than 1/3 acre. You can plant anything almost anywhere – sweet potatoes or any vine plant can trail out of hanging baskets or even old washtubs on patios, balconies, porches, etc. You can even grow vegetables and herbs in south-facing windows indoors during the winter.

        • methylamine
          September 11, 2012 at 6:12 am

          Good stuff–totally forgot about the veterinary route, thanks for reminding me Peaches.

          I ordered our stash of SHTF antibiotics from Ranbaxy (spelling?), the Indian pharma company. Good stuff, we’ve had occasion to use it as a test and it’s fine.

          Remember that peroxide decays over time, especially if exposed to light and heat. Betadine (iodine/povidone) never goes bad and it’s more effective for disinfecting wounds. Plus, it’s an emergency source of iodine in case the psychopaths-in-charge decide they’re going to throw a hissy and take their marbles home.

          On vines–YES! God how I love butternut squash, and if you get the borer-resistant heirlooom varieties it will make more squashes than you can possibly eat. We drape them over our fences; on a 1/4 acre urban lot! Grapes, too.

          Fruit trees–I’ll never plant a non-food-bearing tree again. It’s a waste of space. Ornamentals? Phwaaagh! I’m not gentry; I wants mah FOOD!

          And sweet potatoes–also a big YES, you cannot kill those damn things. Plus, the leaves are edible, delicious, and more nutritious than spinach. DON’T eat normal potato leaves though, they’re poisonous.

        • September 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

          Excellent tips, Peaches!

          We have the chickens covered; I still need to get into growing a garden. So far, we’ve mooched off our neighbors (we trade them eggs) but I know having our own – and knowing how to grow our own – is better.

          Ditto what Meth said on the Betadyne.

  18. Peaches
    September 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Sorry I’ve been away; I’ve been harvesting and canning and dehydrating my produce (as I have done every year for the past 30). If the corn is dry this morning, I’m going to be grinding for some cornmeal today. Last weekend it was the peanut shipment…

    Just some observations – Don’t think for one minute that ‘the military is us, our kids, no reason to be afraid of them’. As a military brat, married to a military man, and having had a son in the military, “this ain’t your father’s military”. While a handful (by comparison) of these soldiers are Oathkeepers and other Constitutionally- minded, dedicated-to-country members, many are no longer that way. Many went into the service to avoid prosecution; many of the military with whom my son and son-in-law served were gang members and other illiterate people, who will do what they are told. Period. And if they are told that you are a threat, they will gleefully come and shoot you down like dogs. They are no longer a military, but a purposefully directed and manipulated mob who will see you as just another zombie blip on the video screen… just as they have been trained to be.

    Another generalization – ‘life expectancies in other countries are much higher than the US’. Uh-hunh. This sweeping statement does not take into account the reasons for it. Many countries still eat wholesome foods, not prechewed food and overprocessed items. Ex. Red food dye in England must be natural, and in one product sold in both the US and England by a US food company, they use “beet juice” in England for the red dye, and “chemically processed dye” (made from ground insects – few people are aware of what comes from where) in America. Our ‘protective government’ casts a blind eye toward food processors, and does not restrict what is put into American bodies by uneducated Americans. In other developed countries, up to 60% of their budget goes for food – unlike in the US, whose food prices are subsidized by the government. This means that they are more careful about what goes into their bodies, and choose more wisely; not the fast food, microwaveable food, and other processed foods that Americans routinely spend $$ on indiscriminately. Moreover, more physical labor is performed in other countries, and more activity and exercise is ‘encouraged’ – well, sorta encouraged, as not everyone owns cars and many get to work by bicycle or ‘shank’s mare’, not the subway or the bus. It isn’t the health care, it is the life style, that makes the difference. You can’t work in a cubicle for 40 years, taking the subway to work, and gobbling down hot dogs and a slice from the stand outside, and expect to live as long or be as healthy as the people in other countries who are NOT sedentary and who do NOT stuff themselves with prechewed food, or who DON’T go home at night and sit for six hours in front of the idiot box. Worse, with so many Americans now out of work and on food stamps, their food budgets are even more restricted – and all they can buy are the ‘cheap’ processed foods; raising a garden, a few chickens, or even a goat is often illegal not to mention expensive where they live, and buying a half or whole cow or pig, and properly cooking it much less preserving it, is far outside of their understanding or ability.

    The very fact that this has to be explained only proves how ignorant Americans are who think that “free health care!” will solve all of the health and longevity problems.

    • September 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Excellent, Peaches – thank you!

      Good to have you back ….

  19. Mithrandir
    September 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    @Elisabeth, (September 9, 2012 at 8:07 am)

    Here’s a thought about small cars … they might provide less protection in an accident but they also make smaller targets to get hit in the first place.

    That appears to be reasonable without looking for studies on the matter. People should have the option of choosing the car that best meets their needs.

    I’m curious … who do you expect would pay for your medical care if got thrown through the windshield in an accident?

    Turning your question around: Who do you expect would pay for your car if I mandated equipment/features (could be safety devices or it could be a 1,000 HP engine or a purple car color that clashes with your eyes) that you had to have if you wanted get a new car?

    In the 50s fins were popular on cars. Did the government need to mandate fins on every car? People bought more cars that had fins compared to non-fin cars. Car companies made more cars with fins. Eventually the fad passed and car companies stopped making cars with fins.

    Today larger rims are more popular. It is very rare for a new car to have 13″ and 14″ rims. It is not uncommon today to see 17″ and 18″ rims on new family sedans. Hopefully this fad passes as well.

    Should the government mandate the ideal rim size for all cars?

    A free market place has a effective means of determining if something is wanted by the public.

    If the product is good and/or desired and/or priced correctly, the public will buy your product. If not, your product will not sell.

    Most companies like making profit. They profit best by meeting the needs of their customers. If you do not meet the needs of your customers your company will eventually go bankrupt.

    If certain features are in high demand, the car companies will make more cars with that feature. (look at bluetooth or usb/aux ports in cars today)

    Mandates have costs that must be paid.

    We may see a company(ies) go out of business because a mandate cannot be met if the company is to remain profitable.

    • Elisabeth
      September 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      “Should the government mandate the ideal rim size for all cars?”

      First you tell me what cause-and-effect relationship exists between rim size and safety.

      Cause and effect, not just correlation.

      • dom
        September 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        Large wheels require larger brakes to stop. For example, when I use to run a car shop we’d get lots of people coming in with brake issues after installing huge rim/tire packages. Their brakes would burn up quickly. I told them they could either install much larger and more expensive calipers and pads, or put the old wheels back on.

        • Mithrandir
          September 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

          Dom,

          Thanks for the info. I did not know about the potential brake issues.

          Elisabeth,

          Not all mandates are safety related. The state can make a law and people must follow the law or risk the consequences.

          Some examples: Two license plates (front/back) is not a safety issue, yet some states mandate that a car must have two license plates.

          In some states, some drivers must have a decal/sticker on car(s) they drive or risk a fine.

        • BrentP
          September 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

          Dom, Only if the wheels were grossly large, pushing the OD of the tire/rim combo beyond stock would they cause brake issues.

          Elisabeth, Most laws we have are done without any actual proof. People accept them because they feel they are the right thing to do. Besides, there’s no way those raised donks with 26″ rims can handle properly.

          • September 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

            “Only if the wheels were grossly large, pushing the OD of the tire/rim combo beyond stock would they cause brake issues. ”

            That seems to be a fairly common thing; e.g., 26 inch ree-uhms mounted to an otherwise stone stock ’78 Caprice Classic.

  20. Rick
    September 8, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Eric, The zombies are comming.

    I read through this column on getting ready for the day the SHTF.
    It does seem you non-clovers are against the GOV ideas.

    But when I was a kid they were having us build bomb shelters, storing food and water, for the USSR bombers that were comming. Every year people are opening up old bomb shelters, can goods found that are still eatible.

    People were paranoid back the and they are paronoid now.

    I think that the government advice to plan for a zombie attack makes more sense than what you are talking about.

    • ThatOneGuy
      September 8, 2012 at 1:27 am

      Rick-

      This is the same old “why did you buy that fire extinguisher, there was never a fire” line of reasoning.

      The veneer of civilization is only eighteen hours deep. People died of exposure in the aftermath of Katrina. One commenter here reminded me recently that in my own neck of the woods the stores came dangerously close to running out of food in the aftermath of a powerful rain and snow storm, when road access was cut off for several days. It won’t require a SHTF scenario for these things to come to pass. Natural disasters do just fine.

      There’s a difference between the government driving fear of the Red Soviet bogeyman, and private citizens observing the scene and reaching informed conclusions.

      I truly hope you aren’t one day faced with deciding which of your children is going to eat because you mocked this advice when there was still time to prepare.

      • Rick
        September 8, 2012 at 1:47 am

        That one guy,

        The Gov plans for a zombie attack is a plan for natural disasters, as you are talking about. People need to keep emergency supplys for hurricans, earthquacks, storms, ect. In MI we have ice storms, bizzard, ect. Every year people get stuck in snow, try walking out and freeze to death. If they plan with candles for heat, candy bars for 4 days, blankets, ect,”winter zombie attack “, they would be alive. We lost power, I had a camp stove for heat, food ect for 2
        weeks, not a problem.

    • BrentP
      September 8, 2012 at 4:01 am

      So paranoid they are turning this country into the USSR.

      • Tinsley Grey Sammons
        September 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

        Americans in general are acquiescing in the crime. Many are actively supporting it, especially those who profit. They obviously do not recognize the danger to themselves and those they care about.

  21. Tre Deuce
    August 30, 2012 at 3:44 am

    @ methylamine on August 30, 2012 at 2:50
    “don’t be so sure Americans will lose to their own military”

    Good points. I didn’t want to break it down that far as it would have too include some sensitive issues regarding some of our current military personnel and the ‘indoctrination’ of same.

  22. JimBob
    August 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    learn to grow your own food

    http://backtoedenfilm.com/#movie

    :>)

    • Tre Deuce
      August 30, 2012 at 2:46 am

      “Learn to grow your own food”

      And know how to can, smoke/cure, ferment, dry, and store foods.

      Part of all sustainable prepping, should be canning related supplies. Hit those garage sales and store sales and stock up on bottles and rings, about a 150(minimum) to 200+* quart jars and rings per person is minimal. Buy new lids, as many as you can afford, they won’t be available in the foreseeable future when the SHTF.

      Other canning supplies will be needed. A large pressure cooker(and spare parts/gaskets) is essential and at least two 7 quart canners, large dedicated tongs for hot bottles, and cooling racks, canning or candy thermometers. Other supplies will be needed, like ascorbic acid, salts, Dill, etc.

      Look for heavily constructed canners as the heat from wood stoves is uneven. You won’t be cooking on gas or electric ranges.

      I grew up on a farm and we had an attached outdoor kitchen just for canning and meal preparation in heat of Summer and Fall. Something that should be considered in a situation where wood is your only source of energy for processing foods. You don’t want to heat up the house in the Summer or early Fall.

      Practice now. And try fermenting now, good for a healthy gut.

      *You have to have enough food to last until the next harvest and at least 35% extra in case your harvest doesn’t produce enough to sustain you and yours for another year.

      For all types of stored food prep see this site for more info…> http://nchfp.uga.edu/

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/03/fermented-foods-part-two.aspx

      Google … for more info.

      • Mithrandir
        August 30, 2012 at 4:33 am

        Good info. Thanks for the links.

        • Tre Deuce
          August 30, 2012 at 5:02 am

          LMAoff! ‘Anarchist-Syndicalist Commune’

          With that I’m off to bed with a a great laugh..Thanks!

      • ekrampitzjr
        August 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm

        Good advice about the canning supplies.

        If you remember your parents or grandparents canning, understand that canning today is much different. Most food then was canned by leaving the jars in boiling water in an open pot on the stove. Today’s instructions from Ball and Kerr say to use a pressure canner for virtually everything, even acidic items such as tomatoes, for food safety. Boiling water baths, as the old way was called, are not used for anything but a few types of jelly now. Play it safe and go the modern way.

        With the pressure canner, get an extra gasket for sealing the lid. This gasket should be changed every year. In most ways using the canner is perfectly straightforward and absolutely safe. You use the same jars and lids as in the past, so if you have old jars in good condition, they can still be used.

        Hope this helps.

        • Tre Deuce
          August 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm

          Thanks for the input ‘ekrampitzjr,

          The pressure canner/cooker is the best way to can, but the old canners can give good service when properly used. Keep at least 1 inch of water over the top of the jars at all times and put the lid on to help retain fluids and for more even heating.
          And considering the situation, having the old style canner’s for back-up could be a life saver.

          If those who are interested, get their info from the supplied link or their local county/state Extension service, and actually do some canning now, they will know what all is entailed for ‘safe’ canning and be prepared do it, should the SHTF.

          And yes, the used garage sale bottles are safe if they can still seal. Check the sealing edge for roughness and chinks, and the bottle for fractures(do the same for new ones). Lids have to be round and not rusted.

          The statement from ‘Ball & Kerr’, I suspect, is a just a way to minimize their exposure to liability… Lawyer talk.

          Regards … Tre.

          http://nchfp.uga.edu/

  23. Ken
    August 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    The best crisis hedge is a few acres of productive land with some trees for fuel, and a good garden plot. It’s not only good to keep you away from the manufactured foods sold today, but it is good exercise. A cottage with a wood gasification furnace helps if you have several acres of trees. A good solar setup is certainly worthwhile. And you can enjoy it while times are good.
    What no one talks about is that our governments are self-destructing. This process takes a long time (usually centuries), but ours is on the fast track with inflation and unnecessary wars, which, if you read enough history is the undoing of all empires from Ancient Egypt and the Hittites down to the Soviet and British Empires. These wars really do not benefit anyone except for the ones who manufacture the war materials, but it is working people who fight those wars.

  24. Papa Kilo
    August 28, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Storing iodized salt is not an option for folks on salt free diets and in a SHTF scenario Key West Pork Chops won’t be available as a source of iodine. Solution: Stock up on tabletized kelp.

  25. Tre Deuce
    August 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Regarding… ‘Clover’,

    Who seems to think or have a mind frame/set..that it can’t happen here.

    Hi! Clover,

    Pay close attention to Greece, Clover.

    This is a long established Western nation that is devolving into chaos. Already basic and vital infrastructure is being marginalized or even in danger of complete collapse.

    Nobody is getting payed. Inflation is rampant. Hospitals can’t get critical supplies and staffing. Families are disintegrating. Mothers are abandoning their children at orphanages because they can no longer feed them. People are living in the streets, because they can no longer afford rent or have lost their homes to the banks. Crime is escalating exponentially. People feel helpless and are losing their will. Suicides are filling the morgues. And much more, all negative.

    A friend of mine who retired to Greece several years ago, says, that there is a real fear of civil war should the situation severely escalate. He and his wife have prepared their kids here in the states, that they may have to return home, because of the already present danger to the ‘haves’ from the ‘have nots’.

    A living lesson on human and civil/economic frailty is brewing and on view today. Putting your head in the sand and wearing blinders while covering your ears won’t make it go away, the stink will still get you.

    Pay attention to this crisis, it could ultimately effect us all. Even you Clover.

    I apologize if this post appears to be beating up on you, that is not my intent.

    Regards ……Tre

    • BrentP
      August 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      you would think the clovers would know this considering they live in constant fear of the underclass and thus gleefully pay for more stuff when it’s demanded.

    • clover
      August 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Deuce, I do not live in Greece. Greece has been in economic problems for decades. If it takes that long here to go bad I will live to old age without seeing it.

      Clover

      I do not have any problem with your so called preparers except the vast majority of it is promoted by people that tell you that the SHTF tomorrow and you better be ready. By the way I have a couple of hundred dollars of things that if you buy them now from me you will be ready. I have personally seen this type of selling not to me but to other people.

      Clover

      • Tre Deuce
        August 30, 2012 at 1:33 am

        “Seeing it” Your blinders must be congenital Clover. I would make an appointment with a surgeon to see if that condition can be corrected.

        Greece has had its perennial economic problems, but it didn’t input to the public with any demonstrable effect until just recently. The raw social collapse we see happening now, is not even a year old, and is accelerating at a dreadful pace.

        I know…it can’t happen here. We’re a special breed of genetically superior humans, immune from the foibles and weaknesses of the the rest of the species. And government represents the best of us and will come to our rescue in a few days or a week or two… max. Delusional comes to mind.

        You remind me of the intent of my original comment on this thread. That for most, light prepping is pure fantasy. If you actually ever need to access those goods, the situation won’t be a temporary one, unless it is a temporary weather related situation. Not an economic and social, total collapse as is the thrust of this thread.

        As I have said, in a ‘SRHTF’ situation, the die off will be huge and rapid. The Clovers will be feeding off the carcasses of Clovers…for a while..then what?

        Follow Eric’s advice Clover and keep those teeth in good shape, especially those incisors.

        Regards…Tre

        • BrentP
          August 30, 2012 at 1:49 am

          Clover and the rest of that ilk will cheer government as they have the military stomp on preppers and redistribute all their stuff.

          It’s the big reason I am not too keen on prepping. American society punishes the prudent, responsible, and the prepared.

          Yes I understand a lot of preppers will defend their resources. They may fend off the neighbors. Against the military they will lose.

          • methylamine
            August 30, 2012 at 2:50 am

            Brent, don’t be so sure Americans will lose to their own military

            A few things come to mind:
            1) Those military are Americans, too. Some percentage–probably higher than the general population–are psychopaths; let’s say 8% (4x normal) are. They’ll be gung-ho.
            2) Weak-minded order-followers can be swayed into psychopathic behavior; another 20-30%
            3) The other 62-72%? They’ll desert fairly quickly, or at least drag their feet/rebel.
            4) Iraq is the size and population roughly of Texas. We’ve poured trillions into that war–and they’re STILL not pacified. Afghanistan? Fuggedaboudit. Now try the same tricks here; sure, we’re soft now…but we’re armed to the teeth, and we’ll go feral real quick.

            I’d wager a few ounces of silver on the side of Americans doing pretty well against an attempted occupation–if it were overt enough.

            And it’s going that way.

            The psychopathic Elite have pushed way too hard, too fast–it’s not sleepy-time anymore.

          • BrentP
            August 30, 2012 at 2:56 am

            I didn’t write americans would lose, I wrote individual preppers will lose against units of the US military.

            A family of prepers, say two adults and two children, one child able to wield a firearm. So you’ve got three against a military unit there to take the food to distribute to the clover masses or for themselves because the supply lines aren’t working too well.

            Who’s going to win that? Even if the preppers set the place up A-Team style real life isn’t like televison. They aren’t going to win that standoff, that battle.

            Remember, in situations like Iraq the US military wins every battle but loses the war. I am talking about the specific battle, not the war.

          • Tre Deuce
            August 30, 2012 at 3:26 am

            They won’t give it to the Clovers. An army needs food too. But, though unlikely, the military might be used to disarm us. Don’t keep all of your chickens in the same coop.

            And that is why the founding Fathers wanted us to be as well armed as the military, to counter such egregious acts as the misuse, illegal use of the military against the citizens.

            Luckily we have National Guard depots in most small communities and that equipment and supplies will be available, one way or another, to counter any insurgent, illegal use of forces.

            This is why community and the fostering of it is essential to survival. The tribal governmental model of Native Americans would be a viable, holistic model to follow.

            I don’t think a standing army will be an issue for long. Rogue elements could be a factor and will have to be dealt with like any other marauding force.

            The government will try to sustain strategic forces as long as possible.

            But with out tangible, sustainable support, the government will fail too.

            Welcome to the new world, survivors. And careful what you wish for.

          • methylamine
            August 30, 2012 at 3:26 am

            Ah, got it–I misunderstood.

      • Mithrandir
        August 30, 2012 at 2:38 am

        I have lived in Greece.

        They have many of your kind there as here in the states.

        Do not worry. When the bad men and events come here, all you need is some Calgon. If you close your eyes, all your worries will fade away.

        • Tre Deuce
          August 30, 2012 at 3:30 am

          LOL! Thanks for that bit of levity…appreciated. And how did you remember that bit of long gone piece of our culture?

          • Mithrandir
            August 30, 2012 at 4:30 am

            It’s an ancient Chinese secret. ;)

            Actually it is just a good memory for useless trivia. May not help when the SRHTF, but it helps when I think of living in a anarcho-syndicalist commune. ;)

  26. Brad Smith
    August 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I am a prepper and I enjoy everything about it. Not only does it save me a ton of money, but it’s a great hobby that I can enjoy with my family. Hunting, fishing, gardening, harvesting, canning, raising critters, etc. etc. etc. All of these are fun things to do with your family. They are great ways to save money and entertain yourself at the same time. If anything does happen I will be prepared. If not I will have enjoyed myself immensely. This is not the only benefit, I also get good exercise and eat healthier, as does the rest of my family. My kids learn some great skills instead of being stuck in doors all day. On top of that I invested heavily is Silver about 6 years ago when it was still around $5 an ounce. Now it’s down a little, but $30 an ounce isn’t bad. Not double my profit but 6 times. (I talked my dad into investing $100,000 at the same time)

    I’m 44 years old and other than a few hobbies that I turn a little profit on here and there I am retired. Thanks to living a prepper lifestyle. I also sleep just fine at night and really don’t sit around thinking about what is coming next.

    Probably the most overlooked prep tip. Don’t pay interest on anything unless you 100% have to. Why is this a prepper trick? Because if the economy tanks and you own it, it’s still yours. You are better off in a 14×70 trailer on a tiny lot in the woods, if it’s yours, than on 80 acres with a huge house if it’s actually owned by the bank. Unless we are talking about Armageddon there will still be somebody around to repossess.

  27. Gil
    August 27, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Actually if you want to successfully survive the violent downturn of modern society with little violence afterwards then you want as few preppers as possible. If everyone becomes a prepper then you’re more likely to have your self-sufficient raided by other less-successful preppers.Clover

    • methylamine
      August 27, 2012 at 3:11 am

      You’ve got it all figured out Gil. I applaud your logic.

      Take 1,000,000 other people who think exactly like you. Live in a city together.

      And leave the rest of us alone. We’ll never bother you again–if you promise the same.

      • liberranter
        August 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        We’ll never bother you again–if you promise the same.

        The last five words of that sentence are the key – and also an impossibility. Clovers can NEVER promise to “leave anyone else alone.” That’s akin to asking rattlesnakes to stop eating rodents – a biological impossibility.

    • Tre Deuce
      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Raided by ‘Less successful preppers’.

      Not likely with any success. They are already disadvantaged. The fight would be decidedly one sided.

      But your right, the body count would escalate. Those without, and violently inclined, will attack the weak, you can see it everyday in Africa.

      It won’t just be food and fuel that you will have to worry about sourcing when the ‘SRHTF’ .

      The die off from all causes in a ‘SRHTF’ situation, will be fairly rapid. The landscape of America will change dramatically in the first month, demonstrably in only 90 days. Cities and towns will burn without supporting infrastructure and trained, available, human capital. Other infrastructures will rapidly fail… water, sewer, power, medical services, etc. Cities will become uninhabitable and dangerous.

      I did a year long project in Eastern Oregon a couple of years ago, and was finally taken into the confidence of the locals. They have well established plans to stop those fleeing the cities at specific points. So those who find themselves in dire need, and flee the cities are going to find themselves in an even worst situation, with not much recourse. Unless they brought plenty of fuel for a return to the cities, they will have bought their end days and place.
      Doctors and young attractive women would likely be accepted. Everybody else better be in good shape, and have the Summer soon before them or they won’t make it till
      Spring.

      If the SRHTF in the Winter, it will make short work of the unprepared, no matter their age.

      When I was twelve or thirteen, I bought a book called ‘Earth Abides’ by George R Stewart. No book before or since has had such a profound and lasting impact on my view of the world. And coincidentally all of ‘The Farm’s’ members read the book in their teens or as very young adults. If you haven’t read it, give it a go…> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides

      http://www.grasslimb.com/sallis/GlobeColumns/globe.06.earth.html

      http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Abides-George-R-Stewart/dp/0449213013

      • August 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

        Good stuff, Deuce – thanks! I plan to order Earth Abides today.

        Our plan boils down to being able to stay put, on our place, for at least several months. We’re in a very rural area – the kind of area not easily reached by the Free Shit Army. And if the FSA does arrive, it will face people who are at least decently prepared to meet the threat. I’m not talking about me personally, but the community writ large. I know full well that no individual – no even Rambo – stands much of a chance by himself. It is essential to be among other like-minded people in a SHTF scenario.

        • Gil
          August 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

          I can’t wait for the newsreels of that happening.

          • liberranter
            August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

            Newsreels? Once TSHTF, how many people are going to be around to watch “newsreels?” BTW, where do you come up with these archaic terms?

          • BrentP
            August 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

            I’ve got a couple guesses.

            1) WW2 generation. This is essentially the first generation of american clovers. Born when the government schools started they learned how to follow orders and trust the government in the depression and WW2. Even though Gil is posting from Australia it doesn’t mean he was born there and that nation followed a similar curve I think.

            Government employee. Because government is monopoly based change is very slow. They essentially stay much as they were in their creation. This why many government offices seem geared around conditions that ceased to exist decades ago. Even after modern equipment seeps in, the basics still reflect the creation time of the agency. For instance, unemployment rules are still based around the idea that people pound the pavement looking for work in factories as if it were still 1937.

        • Tre Deuce
          August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

          Enjoy the read Eric.

          The established rural populace will have the best chance of survival. But, even they rely, and are dependent on the cities and long line supply structure for day to day survival.

          What they do have are resources provided by the land, critical skill sets, and community.

          What they don’t have is doctors and deep sources of critical supplies, medicines, fuel, etc. So it will be a tough go.

          But the land will provide, it will just take more physical effort to get crops in and out. Seed stocks will be very important. Abundant fuel for wood stoves will keep them warm and cooking.

          I was surprised about how little actual family gardening was going on. Most picked up their produce at the local store, imported from the usually long line sources.

          Also, much rural land/places are owned by those whose primary residences are in the city. If the ‘SRHTF’ They will have to get to their place, and that could be a dangerous go. And when they get there, they may even find that it is occupied.

    • Boothe
      August 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Gil, I read an account where one prepper’s neighbor lady figured out his family was prepared. She told him she didn’t need to prep, because if the SHTF she was heading to his house. He told her to wear Kevlar. She said she was just kidding.

      There was a similar interchange at my last place of employment. One guy there had purchased a fairly large tract of land at a remote location (actually as an investment). Another guy from the city (who was notoriously hung up on pro sports) kept going on about this fellow’s “compound” and how he’d just take his family there if thing got bad. One day the land owner had enough, just looked at him and said “Fine. You don’t want to plan ahead, bring your family and come on out. Just bring plenty of small valuable trade items. When you show up my gate, I’m going to put a .30 caliber bullet hole right between your eyes, take your stuff and enslave your family. But we will give you a good Christian burial.” I never heard Mr. City-Boy Sports-Fan bring it up again.

      The moral of the story is that people who are aware and prepared tend to outlast and outlive those who are less prepared or not prepared at all. No one can plan for every contingency, but they can plan, save and prepare well enough to ensure that they remain reasonably comfortable and safe after the storm, riot, earthquake, etc. Then those folks that “partied hearty” right up until the end get to find out just how expensive basic staples are in the aftermath, if they are even available at all.

      You and Clover can put all your paper money down on whatever it is that you’re into (including mutual funds, equities, bonds and other paper instruments). Maybe you’ll do just fine. Then again maybe you won’t. But either way, if you refuse to acknowledge the warning signs that this unsustainable socio-economic system is overdue for a reset, that is not my problem. Those of us with common sense will cut corners on a few luxury items and have lights, hot coffee and toilet paper when that ice storm or earthquake or bouncing Social Security check leaves your ill prepared arse in the dark, out in the cold and wiping with Poison Ivy leaves.

      Frankly if my ill prepared neighbors ask for my help and I can afford to, I’ll help them anyway (and have). But if the “less-successful preppers”, to use your euphemism for human grasshoppers such as yourself, think they’re going to aggressively help themselves to what this ant has stashed for the winter…well, we call that “looting” in these parts. And as their spiritual kindred have learned on more than one occasion after a hurricane along the Gulf Coast: You Loot / We Shoot!

      • dom
        August 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm

        If SHTF I’m declaring open season on ALL those ill prepared human grasshoppers. Shoot on sight!

  28. Peter Stephens
    August 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Is 350 rolls of TP enough for two grandparents and a 6 Y/O?

    • dom
      August 27, 2012 at 1:44 am

      If you don’t mind getting the occasional “hole in one” this is the most superior azz wiping technique I’ve come across.

      • mithrandir
        August 29, 2012 at 4:39 am

        Dom,

        I am impressed. I am assuming he is not using the non-absorbent paper used in some public facilities.

        I thought the guy would get a larger sheet of paper. ;)

        I think a bidet (or shower) would be useful for those times when your solids are not very solid.

        a

  29. August 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    It is a sad day when people would need to be reminded to pick up some ass wipe and soap!

    • liberranter
      August 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Believe it or not, “soap” is literally a dirty, four-letter word to a lot of people out there. I meet people every day to whom warm bath water and soap would probably be a fatal shock to their systems.

  30. Tre Deuce
    August 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    http://www.mummytombs.com/main.news.htm
    “In western Europe, before the bubonic plague, infection from dental disease was the leading cause of death,”

  31. Peaches
    August 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Actually, I totally support clover and all of the other folks (they are legion) who think a) it won’t happen here, b) it won’t happen to me, or c) the government always saves people, they will come and save me.

    I have been teaching people to practice sustainable lifestyles (that means a continuous and ongoing process of self-sustainability, with foods that replicate, not merely storage for potential disasters) for over 40 years. Why? Because such a lifestyle – even with limited practice – is cheaper, healthier, and more physically satisfactory.

    Those who are like clover, who pooh-pooh such practices, will sit expecting to be waited on and serviced by their neighbors and their government. They will be “serviced” all right – the same way my bull “services” our cows. Or. as I have told those who think that hoarding anything, particularly money, will suffice – “You have a Krugerrand. I have chickens. I can eat my chickens, eat my eggs, or breed my chickens to make more chickens. Guess how much one egg is going to cost you, when you are starving.”

    • clover
      August 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Peaches for one thing you will not have to help me. I can take care of myself thank you very much. I also know how to grow my own food and take care of myself. The only problem that someone like you has is that how many people in New York City have you trained? It is pretty easy to train someone who lives on a small farm or a couple of acres. All you say that you are doing is what 75 percent of the population did 150 years ago. Are you a genius for training people? I think not. You are just bringing back common things that were done 100s of years ago. The only thing you are leaving out is that today one person can feed thousands of people. With your plan millions of people that now live in the city would die.Clover

      • methylamine
        August 27, 2012 at 3:10 am

        And what’s YOUR plan, oh wise clover?
        You seem to imply it’s incumbent on Peaches to feed those starving unprepared idiots in New York.

        • Gil
          August 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

          Why are you presuming that something would cause people to be starving in New York?

      • liberranter
        August 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        he only problem that someone like you has is that how many people in New York City have you trained?

        Why is it incumbent upon Peaches to “train” anyone, anywhere? Let the clovers in New York learn to do something for themselves, by themselves (hint: the “community gardens”movement sprouting up [pardon the pun]in New York and other cities is a step in the right direction. However, once TSHTF, there won’t be nearly enough of these to feed the entire population – assuming that der allmaechtige Staat doesn’t burn/shut these down.) After all, aren’t these sophisticated city folk supposed to be the ones with all the answers?

        All you say that you are doing is what 75 percent of the population did 150 years ago. Are you a genius for training people? I think not. You are just bringing back common things that were done 100s of years ago.

        Well, it appears that these anachronistic practices somehow sustained an entire civilization, meaning that they can continue to do so in the future. Rubbing two sticks together to create fire is an anachronistic practice, yet if I’m stranded somewhere and need to keep warm, I don’t think I’d let that fact stop me from building a fire.

        The only thing you are leaving out is that today one person can feed thousands of people.

        Please explain. Unless they’re Jesus Christ reincarnated, I somehow doubt this.

        With your plan millions of people that now live in the city would die.

        And that’s Peaches, my, or anyone else here’s problem how?

  32. methylamine
    August 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Don’t forget FAT. Fat, Fat, Fat, and more Fat.
    I’ve seen so many preppers with gargantuan supplies of beans and rice, and no fat to back it.

    Contrary to what we’ve been taught for forty years by the medical-government industrial complex, fat is good for you. For a brief primer into how we’ve been lied to regarding fat, read this excellent Lew Rockwell article.

    The easiest to store and longest-lasting are coconut oil and lard. Olive oil is less stable but if it’s kept cool and dark–preferably in metal containers–it will remain usable for years.

    Peanut butter, almond butter enriched with flaxseed oil, and other nut butters provide some good unsaturated fats.

    Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fats.

    Canned oily fish would be a good idea as well as a source of omega-3’s.

    When you buy salt, be sure to get proper unrefined sea salt. Our bodies need roughly 60 minerals in trace amounts, and sea salt can supply many of them. The highly-refined pure NaCl common as table salt is useless nutritionally. I recommend Redmond Real Salt–you can get it in 25lb. bags from Amazon, and it’s rich in trace minerals…and tastes amazing.

  33. Ned
    August 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Ok – Ill have to chime in regarding clover:

    Clover opines: “We only live so long on this earth anyway, why spend all of your money on things that are never going to happen in 100 lifetimes to you.”

    Wow. So we can ask clover what’s going to happen next week.

    I have a friend who is a CPA an economist in Detroit. We have had conversation wherein she stated that, of people can’t see what’s happening now, they can go ignorantly along their merry path, and when the SHTF, they will be the ones knocking on your door begging for help. They’ll have some paper money, no groceries, and their 401 k money will be “unavailable.”

    Clover, you have everyone’s blessing to live your life anyway you choose. Even DHS believes that people should be ready for the little inconveniences – like the minor power outage earlier this year which caused more than an inconvenience to the people who died as a result.

    Bury your head in the sand – if something happens the government will bail you out. Heckuva job, Brownie.

  34. August 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    There’s a reason why the average person died in his 40s in the 18th century: Filth.

    Although that did lead to a life expectancy at birth of about that, that did not mean that “the average person died in his 40s”, i.e. that they typically got that old but not much more. There was no such average person, but a range. That meant that many people did not survive childhood, but the rest mostly reached their 50s or 60s, and often even older. Outside the cities – where the effects of poorer conditions were worse, particularly on the less well off – rather few died in their 40s in peace time. There’s actually quite a body of research that shows that humans have evolved to need both parents and at least one grandparent surviving until the (grand)children grow up, just to get replacement levels, or too many of the new generation don’t make it; that involves the parents usually reaching their 50s for their last child, and the oldest remaining grandparent pushing the biblical three score and ten (70). Until 19th century sanitation improvements, sizeable cities didn’t have that and relied on adults moving there from the countryside around – they weren’t self renewing for population.

    Oh, and toilet paper has little to do with this sort of sanitation, disposing of wastes so as to avoid contaminated food and water does (remember, flies breed on wastes and spread contamination indirectly, too). So washing your hands counts for far more.

    Most healthy dogs and cats can – in a pinch – eat whatever you eat.

    Yes for dogs, no for cats. Cats are what is called “obligate carnivores”, i.e. you can’t stretch their diets much with vegetable matter – certainly not as much as people’s diets. Dogs, though, can survive on a balanced vegetarian diet, and certainly on anything that can support people; they just don’t like it much.

    • Elisabeth
      September 8, 2012 at 2:15 am

      Keep in mind that dogs can be poisoned by chocolate.

  35. August 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Instead of toothpaste per se I would stock baking soda. Works better that tooth paste (certainly better at neutralizing acid), is less abrasive, simpler, keeps longer, and is cheaper.

    More than that baking soda has other uses as well. Multi purpose supplies are always better than single purpose.

    I would have a tube of tooth paste, but as a fine metal polish more than for my teeth.

  36. Apul M'Deek-Aoud
    August 26, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You guys really crack me up!

    I love watching ‘prepers’ being shown on the TV; Gawd-DUH they are just a laff a minute.

    Keep up the good work. You’ll soon be fodder for late night comedians.

    • August 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Apul,

      We’ll see who’s laughing when the lights go out, the gas stations are closed and the supermarket shelves are empty.

      • clover
        August 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

        Tell us Eric, since there are often wars or hurricanes or tornadoes, or floods and the lights go out and gas stations close, most everyone lives. How is that?Clover

        • August 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

          Clover likes to make imbecilic, uninformed comments – have those comments exposed for the imbecilic nonsense they are – and then, rather than concede his error, he simply ignores the embarrassing exposure of his imbecility – and makes a new, equally imbecilic comment.

          Here’s the latest example:

          “Tell us Eric, since there are often wars or hurricanes or tornadoes, or floods and the lights go out and gas stations close, most everyone lives. How is that?”

          Well, Clover, appx. 20 percent of the male population of military age did not survive the War of Federal Aggression, 1861-65. In the early 20th century, about 3 million died worldwide from influenza; the war went on to cost the lives of another 9 million. Twenty years later, another war came. Some 60 million people did not survive that event.

          How’s that for “most everyone,” Clover?

          I suppose you imagine that such things could never happen again, now that we are living in the Golden Age…. .

          • clover
            August 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm

            Eric, yes a lot of people died 160 years ago. They did not have the medicines and the knowledge we have today. They would die from a cut. The doctors at the time did not even know to wash their hands before surgery. Yes you can learn from history but if you think everything that happened 160 years ago would happen today then you are better off without learning history.

            Clover

            • August 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

              Well, Clover, WWII ended about 67 years ago – not 160 years ago. And – believe it or not – they knew all about washing their hands, too.

              Once again, you display your tremendous knowledge.

              The essence of your “argument” (such as it is) amounts to: Disasters, man-made or otherwise, don’t happen anymore. Can’t happen anymore. Genocide, mass die-offs (as a result of political upheavals, disease or natural disasters) are impossible or at least, so unlikely as to be effectively impossible in the “modern” era.

              Hence, don’t worry – be happy.

              Might ask the Rwandans about that. Oh, that’s just black people. In benighted Africa. Ok, the Serbs and Croats, then? Or how about the Chechens? Maybe the Syrians? Been paying attention lately, Clover?

              At what point, Clover, does the body count/breakdown of order become relevant to you? Are you so naive – or simply, that dumb – that you imagine “it can’t happen here”?

          • Gil
            August 27, 2012 at 2:37 am

            So in your ideal, post-government world most people will be dead and the survivors have no guarantees about their long-term outlook either. And Liberals get smeared as anti-human . . .Clover

            • August 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

              Sigh.

              Clover, you once again try the greasy little shuck and jive of conflating defensive vs. aggressive violence.

              We don’t want anything from you – except for you to leave us in peace, if you cannot interact with us peacefully.

              If that’s not possible and you and your friends in the Free Shit Army try to impose yourselves upon us using force, then we will respond with defensive violence, if that’s what it takes.

              This, of course, is a distinction a creature of your sort seems to be genetically incapable of grasping.

    • saner
      August 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      You really think the TV preppers are representative of the actual preparers? Some of them possibly but the ones with an IQ above 70 are nothing like that. Oh BTW, that is TV and is meant to be entertainment, thus is focused on the ridiculous and silly rather than reality.

      • methylamine
        August 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        Worse, it is designed to make preppers look stupid. Because the PTB don’t want self-sufficient, difficult-to-control people; they want subservient little serfs.

        Like Clover.

        • JohnWashburn
          August 28, 2012 at 12:43 am

          The first level of stupid I thought when I saw the first ad was:

          The first rule of prepping:
          Don’t advertise. Do. Because you don’t want to be someone else prepardness plan for when the STHF.

          For Clover: that means I don’t want to Clover’s plan to be: If the SHTF, then I can get food from Farmer John.

    • dom
      August 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Cracks me up too! Because we all know EVERYTHING shown on TV is true…

      • Boothe
        August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

        Well hell yeah dom. Anja know its twice as true if you read it on the internet…especially Wikipedia. ;)

  37. liberranter
    August 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Of the many horrible and despicable things that occurred [during Hurricane Katrina], among the worst was the skeedaddling of “law enforcement” – or their joining in the looting.

    Serve and protect my ass.

    Oh, they served and protected, alright – themselves. Then again, if these swine had stayed “skeedaddled,” there might have been fewer instances of criminal violence in the greater New Orleans area in the immediate wake of the catastrophe. The cold-blooded murder of civilians by NOPD cops would probably not have taken place (at least not under the circumstances in which they did), nor would would have the systematic disarming of local citizen gun owners. But, alas, far too many cops “unskeedaddled” back into the city after having committed enough crimes to keep themselves and their own families out of danger. Had they stayed gone for good, the most corrupt police force in the nation would have been that much weaker and everyone remaining behind in the city would have been that much safer.

  38. Tre Deuce
    August 26, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Good info ‘Boothe’,

    As regarding ‘Leatherman’s’, I often tell people that I would rather leave the house without my pants on then leave it without my Leatherman. It is amazing how many times I use it in a day, and how much time it saves by not having to run to the tool box.

    And by the way, the three notches on the top of the blade near the pivot area of the serrated blade on Leatherman’s(so equipped), is the result of my suggestion to the marketing department of Leatherman. This tactile marking, allows you to open the correct blade without looking at the tool. I have been applying this to all of my Leatherman’s since the very first issue.

    And though I lived for 25 years, less then a block away Tim(Leatherman) in NE Portland, Or., I never met him.

    Beat me up over this, but I consider guys who don’t wear a Leatherman, too just not be handy. Not true, but I’m allowed a few harmless prejudices.

    Regards….Tre

  39. Boothe
    August 26, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Here’s what the CDC (our tax dollars at work) has to say about waterborne pathogens and field purification: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html

    Fire making ability can be essential for clean water as well, since you will see that most nasty waterborne critters that can survive chlorine and iodine and even sneak through a filter, don’t do well after a minute of a rolling boil. And if it gets cold and snowy where you’re at, forget trying to eat snow. You’ll die of thirst. Melting snow for drinking water is a necessity, therefore making fire is a necessity.

    Eric points out that matches can get wet. Lighters can break / run out of gas, etc. Worse yet, if you are cold or in shock or just really stressed, it can be difficult to light a match or even a lighter. Why? Because these seemingly simple acts require fine motor skills.

    Using a ferrocerium rod (the alloy lighter flints are made of) in conjunction with (a) magnesium scrapings from a rod or block, (b) steel wool, or (c) cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly in good tinder will render a flame very easily using only the gross motor skills of piling, pulling, scraping and striking with a knife (or other blade). There are even ferrocerium fire starters, like the Blast Match that just require you to push down with one hand to achieve a shower of sparks into your tinder. That could be real handy if one of your hands or arms is injured.

    As an aside, when I was still traveling by air (post 9/11) I could no longer carry a knife or Leatherman tool along with my Air Force fire starter, rendering it useless. I always figured that if we did manage to survive a crash landing in the middle of nowhere, my checked baggage with my emergency essentials in it would either be buried in the now damaged cargo bay or somewhere in the debris trail 5 miles behind us. So here was my go anywhere solution: an Air Force magnesium fire starter with a P38 can opener on the chain. The P38 is sharpened so it can be used as a rudimentary blade / magnesium scraper / ferrocerium striker. Plus you can still open cans with it and the TSA never even give it a second look. This combo doesn’t take up much room or weigh much, so it’s a great *EDC item for your pocket. Like everything else emergency / survival related, try it out and become proficient in its use BEFORE you need it. How you train is how you’ll respond when the real deal comes your way.

    *EDC = Every Day Carry

  40. Tre Deuce
    August 26, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Most people in the past, before modern dentistry and anti-biotics, died of tooth issues.

    Eric was on the money bringing this to the attention of the tribe.

  41. Pat M.
    August 26, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Very smart to think about staying healthy, Eric. Learn all you can about colloidal silver, an ancient antibiotic that even works on tootaches and MRSA, purifies water, and you can make it yourself. Handy with no Docs around!

  42. dom
    August 26, 2012 at 1:03 am

    As usual, a kick azz post. I love these SHTF rants! I’ve thought about and have all the things mentioned. In simple terms, so everyone gets it, just multiply what you currently use per month by at least a factor of 24. You’ll need to keep in mind the “go bad” factor and get stuff that will make the distance, or cycle the supplies (like I/we do) where you use the older jankz first and put the newer stuff behind it. Thanks for the awesome rant! I’m firing up the box truck tomorrow and restocking all wood/construction materials and food supplies again tomorrow.

    • August 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Yeah!

      One thing I’m still working on is a back-up for the well, which of course runs on electricity. I have pretty ample generating capacity, but still. Wells can also run dry. I’m thinking rain barrel catch system is the cheapest and easiest and most effective. We usually get a lot of rain over the course of any given three month period. So I don;t think we’d ever have to worry about empty barrels. Plenty of back-up water for drinking/washing – and also, potentially, for keeping plants alive.

      It’s fun thinking about all this stuff. Keeps me on my toes!

      • dom
        August 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Where do you reckon is the best place to purchase rain barrels? I see the plastic ones for sell from time to time for $50 each 50 gallons). Anyone know of better deals?

        • Boothe
          August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

          Check your local mom & pop farm supply places. We have one place nearby that sells used plastic 55 gallon drums for $18 each (they usually smell like pickles, ketchup or other food products). I wouldn’t bother with them if they have had industrial chemicals in them. Some of these are available with a large removable lid, metal band clamp and an o-ring seal. These are great for storing animal feed, tarps or anything you else you might want to keep dry and critter free in your barn, shed or even out in the yard. If you want to use them for drinking water, you can neutralize the “aroma” of the previous contents with a strong ammonia solution in water (soak for about 24 hours turning the barrel periodically to cover all sides) then rinse thoroughly with clean water and air dry in the sun.

          You may also want to check for used skid mounted plastic transport tanks. You have to be careful with these, since you may not be able to determine what was in them before they were sold. You’ll need to neutralize any residue and rinse them very thoroughly even if for a rain water collection set up, because if the tank contained herbicides and you used it to water your green house or garden…you get the point. But you can often find a 300+ gallon used Nalgene tank on a skid for under $100. New plastic tanks for farm use are also an option (if a bit more expensive), but make sure you can get it through the door before you bring it home. ;)

          If you do collect and store rain water, you will probably want to periodically add bleach to prevent algae and bacteria growth. Here’s good little note about this you can print and paste to the side of the tank: http://www.newjerusalem.com/PureWater.htm Something to consider is building a platform at about the same height as the gutter on your house or outbuilding and running a pipe from a downspout collector underground and up to your barrels. This will allow the tanks to fill any time you have rain and provide you a few feet of head pressure for watering by gravity. The barrel platform can even be disguised with plywood or siding to look like an an elevated children’s play fort. You can build a diverter for your downspout that will overflow to another outlet when the barrels are full. Here’s a few ideas on the subject: http://www.instructables.com/tag/type-id/category-workshop/channel-rain-barrels/ or just do a YouTube search for “rain collection” for a bunch more.

          • dom
            September 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

            Thanks! I really like the idea of setting them below the gutter drains on the house. This brings me to the next question. Will these things crack if water freezes in them?

          • Boothe
            September 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

            Dom, depending on your typical winter temperatures, you could potentially get away with a couple of inches of styrofoam insulation board around, over and (if elevated on a platform) under the barrels to prevent freezing. The blue plastic drums should be (check and see) food grade HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). It’s pretty resilient and tough stuff; that’s why they use it to line and cap landfills. But I don’t know how many freeze thaw cycles it will take before a barrel potentially ruptures. If you added a small solar collector to the system, heat gains to the thermal mass of the water in the barrels during the day should keep them from freezing at night. You might even get away with painting the barrels black and leaving them open to the sun(unless you have several consecutive days of single digit temperatures). Where you live gets somewhat colder and stays that way longer than the Tidewater area, but it’s not like you’re in Minnesota or the Dakotas, so you have more options.

            One of the things my wife has been reading up on is setting black water barrels up in the greenhouse for the winter. That way they are heated during the day, release that heat at night and you have the water available for the plants as well. Since our greenhouse sets 4 ft. in the ground, I’m going to install a gutter on the back side to collect the rainwater and fill the barrels that way. She wants to use a black plastic wrap, so we can pull it off in the spring and keep the water from gaining as much heat during warm weather. We’ll see what works best and have fun doing it too1

  43. Connie
    August 26, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I have a lot of colognes, body sprays, and perfumes that I rarely use. Hold on to those because if you run out of alcohol to clean wounds, they will work too. I’m not sure how much alcohol would be needed and not sure if the other ingredients would hurt anything but it’s better than having no anesthetic at all.

  44. Rita
    August 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I found the best, natural and cheapest Jerkey is at Walgreens. It’s a huge bag of all natural dried chicken and duck meat which is sold as dog treats. It’s very good. You could, in a pinch, soak it in water and mix with rice or vegitables. I have everything I think I’ll need for 2 years….extra hose washers, swamp cooler pads, laundry detergent, extra underwear and socks, extra sink faucets, body lotion, deodorant, hydrocordosone cream, nutrients, clothes line, baking soda, vinegar bleach to purify water, razors, q-tips, 14 gallons of propane, a dozen hand crank flashlights from the 99 cent store to light up two rooms, walkie talkies etc.
    I’ll be totally comfortable.
    Rita

    • clover
      August 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      I think I would get pretty sick of dog food for two years.Clover

      • GW
        August 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        I probably shouldn’t encourage you, but that was pretty funny.
        I do feel bad for Rita thou if she has to subsist on Chicken Jerky for dogs.

      • saner
        August 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm

        I am curious Cover.

        Given an event such as say a solar flare that knocked out the grid what would you do? Let us assume it won’t be back on for six months but of course you do not know this at the time.

        1. What would you do in the first 24 hours?

        2. What would you do when the power was still off 7 days later?

        3. What would you do when it was still off a month later?

        I would appreciate your answers. You may one day too.

        • clover
          August 26, 2012 at 2:45 am

          Cloversaner what I would do would depend on the weather and time of year. For one thing the first 24 hours I probably would do nothing unless I found out it would be months that the electricity would be out. People lose power all the time for a week. Hurricanes, tornadoes, high winds, ice storms etc. People live on. I was out of power for 3 days in the winter. I survived. My brother was out for almost a week. He made it. I have a small generator I used for part of the time. My brother has a larger one and my mom has a small one. Six months would be a little different but I would get by. You can camp out for 6 months if you want to. No big deal. There is plenty of water around with the old hand pumps or short use of a generator to power water pumps. You would be surprised but everyone would make it fine. We live close to farm communities so farm animals and grain would be available to eat.

          • saner
            August 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

            Thanks Clover.

            Let us see,

            24 hours, do nothing. Yup, what most would do.

            One week. You are now likely out of generator fuel. There is no more available at the pumps. Probably out of TP too. Still not that bad.

            One month. You have been out of fuel for at least three weeks, no refrigeration. Desperate people becoming feral will abound.

            Everyone would make it fine?

            “We live close to farm communities so farm animals and grain would be available to eat.”

            Really, you expect people are just going to give you food?
            Are you just going to take from others or do you have something to trade?
            What about the millions of others like you, are they going to just be given food by those nice farmers?
            Are you going to forcibly take the food if they don’t willingly share?

            What are you going to do about those who come to take whatever you have that they want?

            Anyone who shares Clovers delusion that it will be ‘just like camping’ should watch the first episode ‘The Technology Trap’ of a series called Connections.

          • saner
            August 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

            Just an excerpt.

            Correction : The Trigger Effect: The Technology Trap.

          • dom
            August 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

            @Saner

            Clover and those like him would off themselves and provide the rest of us more breathing room. Keep to your reasoning clover you’re on the right track! You’ll make life for the rest of us that much easier if the SHTF.

          • saner
            August 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

            Also Clover, you qualified your statements with “what I would do would depend on the weather and time of year”

            So you count on the ‘right time of year and good weather’? What if it is neither?

            Interested to see your response to this and my previous follow up.

          • saner
            August 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm

            Hey Clover, I see you are back responding to others. Avoiding these or just not got round to them yet?

          • Theobromine
            August 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm

            Clover, I swear you are my sister! She hung up on me this morning for being “negative”. She repeats over and over “Well, all we can do is pray”. I said ” No, you can also prepare for your own sake and that of your children and grandchildren and get others around you to do the same”. She hung up. Well, Clover I am working a small hobby farm and getting it in order. I work selling to farmers everyday and we are all anticipating people like you. With our SHOTGUNS! We call you “CITIDIOTS” and there will be no mercy on your stupidity. Yoe will not come onto our property unless you are a relation and have your own provisions AND things to trade. Prepper things! Those “farm animals and grain” will not be available to you. Our future lives off the grid will require skills that you do not posess. I have been upgrading my skills for years – went back to canning and dehydrating foods, growing vegetables, using alternative fuels, learning how to shoot and hunt and stocking a few basics along with some herbal remedy books. Good Luck- you’ll need it!

          • JohnWashburn
            August 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

            Clover: It ain’t camping.

            When I was a teenager, I and my family have lived for a summer (and most of the fall) in a log cabin (chinked with oakum and concrete) with no electricity and no indoor plumbing, no water, and a wood burner for heat. Following that was 12 more months with electrification: 5 incandescent bulbs, 2 outlets, and an electric pump for *COLD* water from the sand point piped into the single faucet in the kitchen. Still an out house. Still lots of venison and a lot of birds, still with heat to the sleeping loft via a hole in the floor with chicken wire over it.

            This is 1880’s 1920’s level of technology.

            You can be comfortable, but you are loon if you think it is anything like camping as practiced in North America.

            That year and a half gave me a great appreciation for how far “down” is from here and also how simplified your existence can be and still be comfortable.

        • clover
          August 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

          Sorry saner but I tried to respond but factual responses are deleted.

          • August 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

            Actually, Clover, all your posts – despite their egregiousness – were painstakingly responded to. As usual, you ignore every factual rebuttal – then post another absurdity.

            I tire of it. So also the others here. That is, the other intelligent, reasonable people who base their give-and-take on facts and logic; who, when a factual rebuttal is presented, accept it if they cannot challenge it on the merits. You, on the other hand, are nothing more than a bloviating troll – someone who has nothing to say, but says it over and over and over….

          • saner
            August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

            Clover – “Sorry saner but I tried to respond but factual responses are deleted.”

            BS. You were called out on how your ‘plan’ was just to take from others and rather than answer honestly, you did what Clovers do, you refused to take responsibility and then tried to blame others for your inability to defend your position.

            So, please show some backbone and please answer these simple points as you clearly seem to think you have ALL the answers;

            Clover – “We live close to farm communities so farm animals and grain would be available to eat.”

            1. Really, you expect people are just going to give you food?

            2. Are you just going to take from others or do you have something to trade?

            3. What about the millions of others like you, are they going to just be given food by those nice farmers?

            4. Are you going to forcibly take the food if they don’t willingly share?

            5. What are you going to do about those who come to take whatever you have that they want?

            Or just admit you are incapable of debating like an adult.

          • saner
            August 30, 2012 at 12:31 am

            Still dodging my questions Clover?

            • August 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

              Dealing with Clover is exactly like trying to nail Jell-o to a wall. He will not acknowledge a point made; he is unwilling to follow – or incapable of following – a logical argument. Words have fluid meanings; they can mean whatever he wishes them to mean.

              So, you’ll get nowhere trying to reason with him.

      • August 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        If you used straight dog food rather than that high grade stuff you’d get sick quicker than that. Most of it contains bone fragments that don’t chop up a dog’s insides but would chop up yours (that, along with preservatives dogs can take, is also why you shouldn’t feed it to cats).

        • Boothe
          September 1, 2012 at 12:34 am

          P.M. Lawrence is right. Dog food can be fatal. Here’s the proof. Mrs. Jones runs into her family doctor in the supermarket. The following exchange takes place:

          Mrs. Smith: Hi Dr. Jones. I have a quick question for you.

          Dr. Jones: Hello Mrs. Smith. How can I help you?

          Mrs. Smith: My husband has taken to eating dog food here lately. My sister-in-law is really concerned and told me it could kill him. Is that true?

          Dr. Jones: Well now, don’t let it concern you too much. Dog food is intentionally fomulated to provide basic nutrients for humans, since we know that the poor and the elderly sometimes consume it. I would’t recommend it, but it won’t kill him.

          They part company. A few weeks later they run into each other the street:

          Dr. Jones: Hello Mrs. Smith. How’s your husband doing?

          Mrs. Smith: He’s dead!

          Dr. Jones: What?! How did that happen?

          Mrs. Smith: It was the dog food I tell ya.

          Dr. Jones: Well now Mrs. Smith, as I told you before, dog food isnt’ particulary good for but it isn’t toxic. Tell me exactly how this occurred.

          Mrs. Smith: I’m telling you it was the dog food! Right after I talked to you in the grocery store last month, my husband went outside, laid down in the driveway and was licking his balls when the mailman backed over him…

          (Sorry P.M., I couldn’t resist)

  45. Tre Deuce
    August 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Deep Prepping….> Pure Fantasy.

    Prepping for a major, continuing disaster, will only prolong the inevitable.

    Food sources will be emptied in hours, the replenishment pipeline halted for days, weeks, or as we know/knew it..forever.

    If you have enough food to get you through 3 years, and have the skills(Growing/Food storage Prep), and situation(Garden Area), and ‘Community’ too support what you can’t provide, you might make it. Nobody is going to do this(Survive) on their own.

    The old(55+), haven’t got much of a chance, unless they are highly skilled and physically capable.

    During the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ we were sent home from school, early. Mother and I went to the store and it was already empty, so was the next one and so on. We were able to fill our vehicle’s tank, but not the gas cans. All this in a major city/Tacoma, WA. Everybody was getting out as we were a prime target with McChord Airbase. Ft. Lewis, and Bremerton Navy base close by.

    “Wise Investing is Seed Stock and a Hoe”…aikiv

    Let it fly guys, but I can’t respond to comments, I have a busy weekend. Local EAA fly’in, a Ratrod-o-Rama, and a country fair/Hemp Fest.

    Regards to all …Tre

    • GW
      August 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Did you say you were still living with “ur momma”…or did I just misinterpret?…bwahahaha

    • mithrandir
      August 26, 2012 at 1:14 am

      GW,

      Funny comment. ;)

      Many people did when they were school age.

      Tre,

      Good comment regarding seed & hoe. Gardening skills are a definite plus after SHTF & TEOTWAWKI.

      I do not see anything wrong with having some supplies to tide you over while waiting for that garden to yield food.

      • Tre Deuce
        August 26, 2012 at 3:40 am

        Yes! Mithrandir, some supplies, or a lot, are important, but it will be a very tough go no matter what you put away/prep if the ‘SRHTF’, is the intent of my comment. Most are just not going to survive. The die off will be huge.

        We have a farm. ‘We’ being a bunch of longtime friends, it is well supplied and it has a recently completed(2011), well supplied concrete bunker, dug into the hillside of basalt and covered with 4-ft. of dirt. I think there is more great wine in there the food stuffs, but hey, that more be more valuable then food, considering the circumstances.

        We also have several cabins with more in the pipeline, plus the main house, shop, and outbuildings. A 20kw Caterpillar diesel gen, 10,000 gallons of diesel, two wells, and a lot of Kubota equipment.

        We have other critical supplies that won’t be mentioned here,

        The bottom line is, to be really prepped, you have to spend a serious chunk of treasure and have your support infrastructure in place and maintained.

        Food stuffs have to be maintained and recycled before you can no longer donated it. We spend a minimum of $8-$10,000 a year on replacement food stuffs and other supplies with definite shelf life’s.

        It’s a lot of work, It takes a lot of money, and it takes a community.

        But none of us are under any illusions. We know that all plans are subject to meeting the enemy.

        And…”You only ‘really know’ what you do.”…aikiv

        And if you have never done it _and none of us has_ you really don’t know what your going to be up against, or if you are capable of doing it, that is a big if.

        And , yes, ‘GW’, most people still live with their parents when they are in the 9th grade.

        Regards All… Tre

        ‘SRHTF” … Shit ‘really’ hits the fan.

  46. Eightsouthman
    August 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Eric, I have thought of stocking up on alcohol but it’s pricey and I’m picky. I have a keg though and have been considering turning it into a still since I don’t think I’ll have to worry about getting raided for making my own liquor. Odds are when you make your own, you won’t want to give it away and it would be great for trading. I used to keep a half-pint of Everclear around to use as contact cleaner. It works well but it would also be a great thing to have for medical emergencies as well as mental ones. I have a crock, a bottle capper, empty bottles and most of what I need to brew beer which I intend to get started on learning since I love beer and water is purified fairly well when you brew and completely when you distill. You need that brewing gear to distill anyway. I live in the middle of nowhere so I have plenty of firewood there for the cutting as well as those wonderful 4 legged critters for eating, especially the big black ones that weigh a thousand pounds. I’ll need a LOT of salt though and I hadn’t considered how much I would need. I don’t know if I could afford a years worth of TP but I’d immediately give my wife lessons on how to conserve. I only use my commode for solid excrement since I have acres and acres of grass that needs a bit of urea. I have enough supplies to build an outhouse, a good one well insulated and ventilated as well. This is just me, but I’d used a commode in one even if it meant hauling water to cut down on the danger of getting spider bit. I’m just getting over a brown recluse bite I probably got in the barn. I’m lucky that I don’t react to it like some people but it’s been months since I felt “right”. I’d leave the lid up and the door open facing the west to let the sun keep everything sterile. I think about things like that a great deal. I’d also have things such as the Equate version of Prep H since you never know when a bout of something might leave you raw.

    I intend to buy a large amount of anti-biotics at the veterinary supply as well as things that will keep like Ringer solution and more syringes than I normally keep on hand as well as an IV rig for the Ringer and other solutions you can use to save a life in case of shock. I worry about my dog taking on whatever he thinks is a threat. I also try to keep at least one scalpel on hand as well as several types of forceps. You will do surgery if you have to. I’m trying to locate a supply of anethesia that vets use a lot including the reverse drug for it. I have a C-sized bottle of oxygen as well as a regulator and everything to go with it. I won’t hesitate to use the oxygen in my big bottle I use for torch work since it’s all the same. I can tell you the big bottles are as clean inside as the small ones and it’s much cheaper. I am a certified oxygen tech so you can take that to the bank. Many thanks for the ideas you had.

  47. Peaches
    August 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    We have been “prepping” for over 40 years. Except we don’t call it that. We used to live in a hurricane prone area, so we filled unrinsed bleach bottles with water and stored them, raised and canned and dehydrated our own food, raised chickens – until population growth and local ordinances decreed that we could not even have the fruit trees in the side yard. So we sold out and moved to a 60 acre farm in the middle of nowhere. We raise our own vegetables, chickens, cows, and fruits. We barter and trade with like-minded neighbors. We chop wood all summer for the woodstove in winter. We are already living a self-sustaining, SHTF lifestyle – even if the S never HTF.

    Guns, ammo, and canned food are mere ‘emergency preps’ for what might be a long-lasting “natural” or manmade disaster. If you are only planning for a couple of weeks, that may mean that you only live a couple of weeks longer than those around you. Plan to sustain and maintain instead.

    • August 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Peaches,

      Ditto – we are trying to do the same.

      We moved from a 1/4 acre lot in a subdivision to a 16 acre place in the country. We have chickens – and soon, goats (easier to keep than cattle). Well water. not city water. We trade with our neighbors, who grow vegetables. I have two seasons’ worth of split firewood stacked and piled. We have central heat and air, but almost never use either. Open windows in summer – the wood stove in winter.

      Welcome to EPautos, by the way!

      • Peaches
        August 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        Thanks, nice site; I found you thru Lew Rockwell. We have found that goats require too much expensive fencing, while cows only require 5 string b’wire – and we raise Dexters, which are smaller cows, easier to handle, and downright cuddly (other people find it hard to believe that a 1,000 bull still wants to cuddle and be scratched!) ;-> We are also getting bees this year as the final complement to our circle of sustainability.

        Those who CAN get out of highly populated or trafficked areas should DO SO long before the SHTF. In this way they can learn ‘what they know that isn’t true’, and have the hands-on experiences to be able to do things by rote, rather than have to try to ‘look up’ how to do things on an internet that may – or may not – be there.

  48. Dave
    August 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I just put a good quality high impact, US made pitcherpump (not the Chinese red painted, cast iron garbage whose leather seals rot in a month) on an old sprinkler well, plus a gravity filter just in case.
    Now, you can shut off all of my water & electric & I’m able to stay in the home!
    Most people can stay at home if they lose electric, but not many people can remain in their homes if the water is turned off.
    If there are ever mass migrations to FEMA camps, having no water delivered to the home will provoke it & make people go to them of their own free will.
    Now, my camping stoves, propane, oil lamps, food, guns & more ammo than most would consider rational allows me to sleep like a baby!

  49. August 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

    No one talks about the time frame until the people die near you. Most people will be dead in 2 to 3 weeks. The food will be gone in the stores in 3 days and those without food supplies will starve or take food from anyone close by. I have 3 or 4 weeks of food in can goods and plenty of ammo so I might make it thru the first 3 weeks. The 10% still alive will be trying to get to the rural areas to survive. Most will be killed by the very tough military trained survivors like SF or Rangers.
    I can not walk well so I won’t get away so I’ll be here with my cans of hash and shoot the starving folks who come within range of my .308, but a few good looking fleamales might talk me into a concubine agreement for a meal of two. WWR

    • Charlie
      August 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      What are you going to do with “fleamales”? I thought they were real itchy!
      On a serious note, I won’t be looking for sex, I will be looking for strong, smart and resilient women (and men) to work together with

  50. ekrampitzjr
    August 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    One thing that those who wish to stockpile material, especially food, need to be wary of is the effect of government action after the SHTF. Over the years I have read a great deal about executive orders signed by every President since FDR and laws passed by Congress and the regulatory bureaucracies that would take effect after a declared national emergency, and none of it is pretty. (You can bet that your state would have similar plans for emergencies.) Howard Ruff, Gary North, Robert Ringer, and others have written extensively about these plans.

    In short, people who are “hoarding” essentials would be made to give them up at gunpoint. You have a year’s worth of food for your family while people are starving because the SHTF? Government agents with guns will come to your door, point the guns at you, and take the food, you “hoarder”. Ditto for fuel and other necessities. Resist and they’ll shoot you and then take the stuff anyway. Non-government criminal gangs might do the same thing—that is, appear at your door with guns and demand you turn over your supplies.

    All it takes for this to happen is for someone in your family—say, one of your kids—to blab about your stockpile now to the wrong person. Others will remember your family member’s comments when they get hungry. They or someone who dislikes you might snitch to authorities after the crunch hits. For that matter, if it’s too obvious that your family is surviving on some sort of saved goodies while others have long been doing without, that would be all it would take for a snitch.

    If you are preparing, keep a very low profile now and after the SHTF. And you and yours need to keep your mouths shut about it. If you yourself have bragged or simply told friends and neighbors about your preps, you might already be facing trouble down the road.

    Just sayin’. Best to keep this in mind.

    • liberranter
      August 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I have a feeling that if TSreallyHTF, there’s a great chance that the thugbots tasked with carrying out the military occupation of Amerika will decide to look out for their own (and their families’) best interests first, Washington/[their state capital] be fucked (we saw this happen on a small scale during Hurricane Katrina in ’05). True, it still means that someone might try to relieve you of your stockpiles at gunpoint, but 1) it probably won’t be someone acting on color of gunverment authoritah, and 2) it’s possible, depending on where you live, that you and like-minded neighbors will be able to stave them off.

      • Tinsley Grey Sammons
        August 24, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        (we saw this happen on a small scale during Hurricane Katrina in ’05)

        The water had hardly subsided when a gang of the office holding scum went to the Netherlands to “study” what the Dutch had done. What an insult!!! When their plane returned from what was actually an escape and a vacation it would have been justice for People who had lost it all to have lynched the despicable parasites.

        • liberranter
          August 25, 2012 at 1:07 am

          When their plane returned from what was actually an escape and a vacation it would have been justice for People who had lost it all to have lynched the despicable parasites.

          Who knows, we might get lucky next time and that will be exactly what will happen.

          • Tinsley Grey Sammons
            August 25, 2012 at 1:37 am

            I’m one of those who lost everything. When the water subsided from hurricane Rita, which had followed on the heels of Katrina, Kathy and I returned to survey the mess and we took many pictures.

            While we were there, veteran British photo journalist Charlie Varley disembarked from his Toyota 4Runner and stayed with us for quite a while after taking many pictures. In that time we became friends and frequent correspondents. Harly a week passes when we don’t exchange email and curse all government.

            tgsam

            • August 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

              Of the many horrible and despicable things that occurred, among the worst was the skeedaddling of “law enforcement” – or their joining in the looting.

              Serve and protect my ass.

          • MoT
            August 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

            Eric, they did serve and protect. The “served” themselves and protected their guilty asses.

    • laura m.
      August 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Ekra etc: you are so right, we keep low key and tell no one what we are doing. I put food storage in cat litter plastic pails and I have cats. Keep the pails if you use cat litter. Also I agree with the next post that it will be everyone for themselves kind of like Katrina when cops raided stores. Most of us have to live in town for economic reasons, can’t afford to live off in the sticks. Also most do not have a bug out place.

    • August 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      In the U.S.A. there is already a provision for that, unless it was repealed and I missed it. Abraham Lincoln had a law passed to decriminalise the seizing of food by troops.

  51. liberranter
    August 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Eric:

    In a momentary flash of dyslexia, I thought the title of this article read “Everyday Perps.”

    Now there’s fodder for a future discussion…

    • mithrandir
      August 26, 2012 at 1:20 am

      To follow up with your moment of dyslexia: From sesame street ♪♪♫ Who are the perps in your neighborhood? …

      ;)

      • MoT
        August 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

        I’d keep an eye out for Miss Piggy. I don’t trust her.

  52. GW
    August 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    And for tall the Clover’s out there…Don’t forget about RUM, WHISKEY, VODKA, etc. WHY – because you can…

    Gargle with it (so you don’t need the Toothpaste)
    Wash with it (so you don’t need the TP)
    Sterlize your wounds (so you don’t need medication)
    and drink your self into a stupor, when your sorry ass realizes that you really are unprepared and that you are going to die!

    • liberranter
      August 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Excellent suggestions, GW. Believe it or not, knowing how to distill or otherwise brew alcohol, even if don’t plan on drinking it (depending on what you use as your raw ingredients and what you intend to use the alcohol for, it might not be safe to drink it)is a useful skill to have in your tool kit. As you mention, alcohol can be used for sterilizing and cleaning wounds, as well as for crude medicinal purposes. It’s also not hard to do either, given the proper equipment, storage space, and an awareness of proper fermentation and storage temperatures.

      I have a whole yard (and a whole desert in my neighborhood) full of prickly-pear cactus, which right now is bearing lots of ripe purple fruit – excellent not only for making alcohol, but for lots of food uses as well.

      • August 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

        Not that I’m advocating anyone do this, but if SHTF and you need to manufacture a local anesthetic, a certain illegal drug popular in the 80’s combined with a small amount of baking soda will suffice quite nicely in place of novacaine.

      • olgriz
        August 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        Libberantor.
        I was raised on the desert in AZ. If you have any limberbush in your area just break a piece off and apply the juice that comes out (similar to aloevera) it is one of the best antiseptics you can find AND it will immediately begin to seal the cut or injury. You can watch it form a clear seal in just minutes. FYI. The Ariz/Sonora desert is the 2nd most prolific biosphere in the world in the production of plants with medicinal properties. Prepper or not, you may want to get a couple of books on medicinal plants specific to that area. You won’t believe what you have available from the desert!

    • Boothe
      August 26, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Any distilled spirits will essentially keep forever. They’re not only a good analgesic / anesthetic, disinfectant, cleaning solvent and (in the case of 190 proof “grain”) clean burning fuel, but one heck of a trade item too. There was a time on the frontier of this country that “whiskey” was essentially a form of money and for good reason. If times get tight, alcohol will be a very valuable commodity.

      • August 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        In the early days of this country, rum was a currency, and the government even granted a monopoly in it to an elite in exchange for their building infrastructure like a hospital. That backfired on the government when the elite mounted a coup to consolidate their position.

  53. saner
    August 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    On lighting.

    Check out dollar/discount stores for solar yard lights. I bought a dozen for $9 a while ago. No electricity required, and they can be stripped down to parts for other uses. The NiMh batteries in them are worth more than I paid for the whole unit and they come with their own solar charger. I leave a few in the living room window charging all the time so I have charged batteries on hand for my camera and Xbox controller.

    When the power goes out around here, I always have plenty of lighting and batteries for the radio.

    • Boothe
      August 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Saner, you are right on the money (pun fully intended). My wife figured this out some time back and started buying the cheap solar yard lights at the end of the season. We have year round off grid lighting in our green house, potting shed and even at the dog house (not to mention all around the yard and every walk way). She bought up a bunch of pretty nice ones for 99 cents each at the end of the season. Like you pointed out, the NiMH batteries alone are worth that!

      The other thing she’s done is strategically place mirrors all through the house so during daylight hours we need very little artificial light. Then at night, even by candlelight and oil lamps, we still get good light distribution in each room. Practice what you prep. If you’re going to use candles and oil lamps / lanterns after a natural disaster or other emergency, then try it out now while things are normal to see what works. Cut off the lights and use your back ups at least one evening. Better yet, kill your main breaker for the weekend and get the wife / husband and kids on board with “how to” if the SHTF. Then you won’t be floundering around wondering what to do next if that tropical storm or tornado puts the lights out for a few days (or weeks).

      And speaking of candles, there’s a fairly inexpensive way to amass a good stockpile: yard sales, swap meets and flea markets. We’ve purchased expensive decorative candles and other large candles in jars (that were probably gifts) for anywhere from 10 cents to a buck a piece. Stored in a cool place they essentially have no shelf life. If you’re really resourceful, when the larger ones burn down through the middle leaving a shell, you can re-melt the wax in a double boiler and pour your own new candles. It’s also a fun educational project for your children that can give them a little taste of frontier life.

  54. August 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Good article. I already had most of those items except for the salt. Didn’t even think of that one, but will add that to my stockpile this weekend. Another thing I put in my bugout bag is water purification bottles for each family member. They were cheap…like $8 ea at the gun show. I also have a few boxes of purification tablets too as a backup, although I hear that they make the water taste like ass. Also in case food supplies become hard to obtain, my backup plan on that is a few large bags of whey protein powder supplemented with several jugs of fiber powder. The protein will fuel the body and the fiber will fill me up so I won’t feel hungry. Certainly not the most tasty meal you could have, but when SHTF it might be the most tasty thing around.

    • August 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks, TB!

      Water purification is definitely important. We’re on a well (luckily) so it’s less an issue for us – unless we have to bug out, of course.

      That’s a smart idea in re protein powder. Do you use the stuff weightlifters buy?

      • August 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Yep…I got a few bags of that EAS protein powder they sell at Sams club. Each scoop of that stuff has 27g of protein. It will keep indefinitely as long as you keep moisture out. Each bag has 80 servings so if you had to live exclusively on that stuff a bag would last you a little less than a month. I have 3 bags packed for each family member with the same number of canisters of fiber powder too so we’ve got let’s say 75 days worth of body fuel to work with and if we haven’t found food by then, it was probably a lost cause from the start.

        • August 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm

          I’m going to look into the EAS stuff!

          I’ve got lots of peanut butter, oats, rice and power bars. This fall I plan to make several large batches of jerky, too – to be sealed in vacuum packs, of course.

          Per what another poster mentioned, a few gallons of cheap Vodka (or grain alcohol) might be good to have on hand, too.

          • August 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

            Hmmm…it might behoove me to go out and buy a bunch of meat while it’s still cheap and do the jerky thing too. I used to be a huge jerk-a-holic back before my gout started flaring up all the time. I have 5 of those dehydrators…every time I see one in the goodwill I buy it because they’re only like $6.96 ea. Right now we try not to keep a stock of alcohol on hand due to our teenage son’s propensity to party when we’re not looking, but I do have an off-site facility where I store all my cars so the hoa asswipes don’t complain. I’m sure I can make some room in there for a 55 gal drum of moonshine :)

          • August 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

            Oh, and on the bic lighters thing…not only do I have a few packs of those, but I would highly recommend getting a 6 pk of those propane cylinders as a backup. I have one of those plumbing torch heads that ignites with a click-button as well as a few backup torch heads I keep around. Those lighter wheels tend to heat up rather quickly with use and will burn your thumb…or sometimes I’ve even seen the wheels just pop off when the plastic melts. At that point you’ve got a useless lighter. Not an issue with a plumbing torch, plus the efficiency of fuel use is much better too. You can also wrap a small bit of foil around the air holes to make the flame more like what you’d get from a lighter too if so desired.

          • Mithrandir
            August 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

            Bars of Magnesium are good to get a spark for a fire, provided you have a pocket knife.

          • matt sander
            August 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

            how long will the jerky last if you vacume pack it? and is it worth storing clothes for kids, as you know, they grow and their clothes dont?!

            • August 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

              If it’s properly dehydrated, if you use dessicant packs, if you seal the bag right – I’ve had no issues with six months down the road… as in, I didn’t get sick and the jerky tasted fine.

              This is just my experience – so don’t take it as necessarily gospel!

    • Eric_G
      August 25, 2012 at 12:56 am

      Try out your water purification system before the SHTF. I have a Steripen, which is good enough for stream water (I live near a lot of mountain streams and snow runoff), but won’t work on chemicals like what would be found in urban areas. I also have a pump and filter that will work on chemicals too, but the steripen is much easier to use and will last forever if I can charge batteries (4 AAs are very easy to charge with a small solar panel). I don’t have any chlorine tablets but I also don’t think I’ll need them at this time either. If it comes to it, you can still boil water to get rid of most of the nasty critters that live there, and worst case might be able to distill water to get rid of chemicals, but that’s a little more advanced for me. At that point I’ll be knocking on the door of the FEMA camp (and starting up underground prostitution and cockfighting… you know, for the kids!).

      So try out the chlorine next time the power goes out, or if you’re camping. You might find them to be more trouble than they are worth for drinking water, but they may have some other uses.

    • clover
      August 25, 2012 at 3:55 am

      I guess anyone that has hi paranoia for police would also have high fear of the unknown and bunker down. It all goes together. You might be better off spending more time living in reality rather than spending all of your time on things that never happen and are highly unlikely to. Rather than spending all of your time on what police or government might do to you in the future and spending hundreds of hours saying what they might do in the distant future and learn to live with what is happening in the present.
      Clover

      • August 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

        Right, Clover.

        Just pretend that pervasive authoritarianism doesn’t exist. Smile – and be happy!

      • Boothe
        August 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Right Clover, hurricane Katrina never happened. The LA riots never happened. The recent shootings in Colorado, New York and Chicago were mere figments of the collective imagination (all gun-free crime zones BTW). The “authoritays” had all that sorted out right quick, didn’t they? Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot were all great guys and never had any of any of their fellow countrymen shot right after they disarmed them. Good thing we live in Amurika where they don’t round up citizens and put them in concentraton camps for the crime of being of Japanese decent. Oh…that’s right…they already did that.

        It’s wonderful that bad things don’t happen in Clover World; it’s all just Peter Cottontail, Bambi and the little butterflies and chipmunks frollicking in the pastoral setting of your Utopian middle class neighborhood. Don’t prepare for anything Clover, it would be a complete waste of your time and money. Go do something important like pulling weeds out of cracks in the sidewalk or watch Dancing with the Stars. The Gun-vernment will save you if the SHTF. Remember, in case of emergency they’ll give you some “change you can believe in.”

        • clover
          August 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

          OK Boothe. If you want to spend a million bucks protecting yourself from everything that might happen then go ahead. I am going to live today because a hundred or a thousand years from now when your bad thing is going to happen I will not be around. We only live so long on this earth anyway, why spend all of your money on things that are never going to happen in 100 lifetimes to you. Many of your kind do not believe in seat belts and air bags but you are thousands of times more likely to be in an accident than the other bad things that you say might happen. You need to set priorities. I am not going to build a bunker of 2 inch steel to protect me.Clover

          • August 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

            Sigh.

            Clover, it’s not that we “do not believe in seat belts and air bags”… (italics mine).

            It’s that we object to them being forced upon us. You want to wear a seat belt? Fine. You want to buy an air bag? Fine, too.

            Just don’t tell me – or anyone else who’s not your minor child – to wear a seat belt.

            Or to buy an air bag.

          • dom
            August 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            “I am not going to build a bunker of 2 inch steel to protect me.”

            Instead you’ve built a wall of stupidity to protect yourself!

          • mithrandir
            August 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

            Dom,

            Stupidity is not easy to remove and is very durable. Some people even claim that you can’t fix stupid.

          • laura m.
            August 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

            I definitely know why some now refuse to prep! For ex: Hubby was only heir of a parent. The preps I had to clear out to sell the house was alot,(T.P., lite bulbs, canned foods, canning jars, etc.)so most went to food bank and charities. Another ex: y2k after that hype, me and friends donated much stuff to the food bank also, as long term dehydrated foods taste crappy. I refuse to buy any more of that ilk. I only buy from grocery stores, stuff I eat all the time. Canned veg, salmon, chicken, beans, etc. Lots of paper towels, Redmond salt, T.P., protein powder, etc- can be mixed in a shaker bottle. Also Ovaltine, choc., other things for barter. As a retiree, I will aid Oath Keepers if and when the time comes. Retirees don’t have extra money so I prep lite as most my age do. SHTF may be a crock of BS like y2k hype, but I live in a hurricane zone so best to have preps. Other preppers I knew died this past decade..most of their stuff was trashed by heirs, yada yada.

          • clover
            August 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

            laura m I can understand if you live in a hurricane zone where you might want supplies and to prepare because there is a good chance that some day in your lifetime it will happen in your area.

            I guess people like Eric and Dom would refuse to prepare for a coming hurricane if the government told them to. They say I am stupid!Clover

            • August 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

              Clover, you’re two things:

              Not very bright – and a control freak!

          • clover
            August 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

            Seat Belts and air Bags:
            In 2007, an estimated 15,147 lives were saved by seat belts, and 2,788 lives were saved by air bags. If seat belt use increased to 100 percent, then an additional 5,024 lives would have been saved (Starnes, 2008). When these seat belt numbers are added together to equal 20,171 (= 15,147 + 5,024), this estimate is often referred to as “potential lives saved” or “lives savable.”
            Clover

            You may disagree with these numbers but they are a close estimation by studies that were done.
            The fact is that seat belts and air bags save more lives than all the wars that have ever happened and all the shootings in Colorado and New York and the rest of the world.

            Stick with things that have a positive impact on lives saved and quality of life and if you want to add safety beyond that then good for you.

            • August 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

              Clover, you’re clearly not very bright. Because you’re clearly incapable of sticking to the point.

              The point, Clover, is not whether seatbelts save lives. So does eating moderately. So does regular exercise. So does not smoking.

              The point, Clover, is that these things – wearing seat belts, exercising, eating moderately, not smoking – are choices for each of us to make for ourselves. Not to be made by you – or anyone else – for others, at gunpoint.

              My safety, my health – are none of your business, you arrogant little busybody!

              PS: You claim “The fact is that seat belts and air bags save more lives than all the wars that have ever happened and all the shootings in Colorado and New York and the rest of the world.”

              Well, not quite, Clover.

              In WW II alone, appx. 60 million – that’s 60,000,000 – people were killed.

              As a result of people like you – people who can’t leave other people alone.

              That’s right. Clover. Because ultimately, everything you advocate comes down to violence. We shall make you wear a seatbelt. Refuse? We will ticket you. Refuse to pay? We will arrest you. Cage you. Try to resist? We shall kill you.

              Your mentality is the root cause of every genocide, every mass horror this world has ever seen.

              I may hurt myself if I don’t wear a seatbelt. But you will hurt others. Ultimately hundreds of thousands of them. Millions of them.

              Look in the mirror, Clover – and behold the monster.

          • clover
            August 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

            First Eric, I was not around during WWII. I guess you are a believer in what Hitler and the Japanese were doing? What kind of life do you think you would have had if we did not fight in the war? I guess you would have been fine with the Japanese invading HawaiiClover

            Seat Belts and airbags will save more lives than the numbers killed in WWII over time. It does not take that many decades when you save 15 to 20 thousand a year and that is only the people saved in the USA. Many of those 15 to 20 thousand people are innocent people and many kids and young adults that would otherwise have lost an entire lifetime.

            Since you were talking about things to be prepared for then if you leave out things like wearing seat-belts I would say you are leaving out the greatest things to be prepared for the future problems that may arise.

            • August 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

              Clover, I’ve decided to filter you again because you’re just beyond reach. You’re literally dumb.

              Whether you – or I or anyone – was (or was not) “around during WWII” is utterly irrelevant to the previous point made – i.e., that your statement about “seat belts saving more lives than all wars” was grossly, absurdly off-base.

              The question, whether the war was meritorious? More non sequitur nonsense. What does that have to do with the subject being discussed? Nothing!

              And then there’s the main point – which of course you obtusely refuse to address: It is none of your business whether I or anyone else wears their seat belt. Whether it’s “safe” or not safe is irrelevant – because it’s not your choice to make (for us).

              You are a weak-brained control freak. A thug-by-proxy who’s not even smart enough to realize the awful nature of that which he supports; i.e., the use of violence against innocent people. The killing of people, in order to force them to do as you think they ought to.

              You’re a cancer. A bacillus. A mindless thing.

          • BrentP
            August 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm

            Dom, stupidity is stronger than steel.

            If I want to cut through steel I can acquire the tools to do so if it is too thick for what I already have. However all the tools in the world don’t help for even the thinnest gauge of stupidity.

          • Stacyman
            August 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm

            This discussion with clover reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

            “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C.S. Lewis

          • Connie
            August 26, 2012 at 12:44 am

            Clover, I’m in my 40s and have a young daughter. I’m discovering how little history is being taught in schools. If you don’t learn your history, you are doomed to repeat it. The things these people are talking about have happened only a generation ago (some are happening now). No one is talking about building bunkers. The problem is you are still on the other side of the paradigm shift. For some reason, you aren’t able to see the changes that are occurring. I don’t know how old you are, but you need to learn your history. If you were born after the 1980s, I wouldn’t expect you to remember things such as East Berliners attempting to escape socialism and getting shot and killed at the Berlin Wall. I remember it. They threw that wall up in 24 hrs. because people were leaving in droves. The government was losing it’s gravy train so they put up the wall to keep them from leaving. And if they made the attempt to get by the guards and barbwire fence, they were killed. Maybe 30 years ago seems like a long time to you but it wasn’t. The things happening in the United States today are eerily similar to the Soviet Union and other authoritarian states. Again, if you are young, I wouldn’t expect you to see it. Trust the wisdom of those who have lived through it.

            • August 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

              Hi Connie,

              It’s not Clover’s age – it’s his IQ.

              Clover’s also an authoritarian (the two tend to go hand in hand). He likes government. He wants to be controlled – and to control others, too.

          • Anti Federalist
            August 26, 2012 at 1:21 am

            Oh, what weeping, wailing, whining and gnashing of teeth there would be if laws were passed REQUIRING the Clovers of the world to buy “prepper” supplies.

            But the Clovers of the world think nothing of doing that to US.

          • clover
            August 26, 2012 at 3:32 am

            yes Connie, I believe history can be a good thing to learn but there are far better things also you need to learn. That is common sense type of things. Do I think a Berlin wall thing is going to happen in the USA soon? No way. That I learn from history and common sense. Could it happen in 50 years? Not likely but there would have to be drastic changes before that would happen and things like that do not change that drastically over night because there are signs that would be happening first. Clover

            If you think it could happen soon then give your observations that tell you so? Things don’t just happen because a salesman trying to sell you something tells you it is.

            • August 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

              “yes Connie, I believe history can be a good thing to learn but there are far better things also you need to learn. That is common sense type of things. ”

              Your knowledge of history, Clover, is of a piece with your grasp of English grammar.

              To wit: “Seatbelts have saved more lives than all wars ever.”

              If you were capable of constructing an intelligent argument, it’d be enjoyable debating you. It’s not that we disagree. It’s that dealing with you is like dealing with a subnormal child. Ignorance can be overcome. Stupid is permanent.

          • Marion
            August 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

            Marion

            YOU are a wacko – I’d rather be one of MY kind than be in your shoes when your “never going to happen in a 100 lifetimes” drops squarely on your iddified head!

          • clover
            August 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

            OK Marion, I will bite. What does it take for you to be prepared for that thing that will only occur in a 100 lifetimes? $500,000 bunker? Million dollar bunker in the mountains to eliminate problems of the big flood? 30 years of food stored? What exactly is your plan?Clover

          • methylamine
            August 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm

            @clover–I just vomited a little in my mouth. The very thought of people like you sickens me.

            Do you even realize how you sound? As a child, were you ever related the tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper? Or were you too stoned on Ritalin to retain it?

            You’re a parody of yourself and sadly can’t even recognize it.

            It’s sad in a way because I can’t fully blame you; you’ve been poisoned with fluoride, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals, brainwashed in propaganda institutions laughably called “schools”, and dosed an average of five hours a day on the most effective mass-brainwashing instrument ever devised–TV.

          • Boothe
            August 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

            For Gil / Clover’s edification; if you think you’re immune because you don’t live on the coastline, just remember Joplin, Missouri. Preps don’t have to cost a million bucks or require one to be buried alive under Cheyenne Mountain to be effective. Gil / Clover. You two must have truly digital brains, because it seems like the only way either of you can think is “on / off” mode. Do either of you have anything remotely resembling an imagination? Or do you just let the lame-stream media and the publik skools do all your thinking for you?

            Simple preps like more that 3 days worth of food in the cupboard and extra flashlight batteries, candles fully charged fire extinguishers, and yes, defensive firearms aren’t extravagant. I guess you’d think an earth sheltered home, with solar lighting and a grey water recovery system for an organic garden would be extreme too, huh? How about this for extreme; virtually no electric bill, year round stable temperatures with very little (if any) heat or air conditioning and healthy foods raised right out your back door to boot. But if you’re acclimated to living in suburbia, on fast food and tee-vee, all paid for with “yo’ gubmint check” that probably doesn’t compute in the feeble little pustule that once passed for your brain.

            You’re the truly paranoid ones since you want an explosive device (i.e. an “airbag”), which you have no control over, aimed directly at your face every time you get in a motor vehicle because *you might* have an accident. I can accept that as long as it’s optional for the rest of us. But why you want to force that one everyone else by Gun-vernment diktat is beyond me. People like the Liberty loving regulars here who are independent minded, productive and fend for ourselves aren’t the problem in this society, we’re the solution. Paranoid, control freak, human ticks and tape-worms like you Gil, and you too Clover, are the real problem. If I could get my hands on wormer and flea and tick collars for the likes of you I buy ‘em by the case lot.

          • clover
            August 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

            Boothe, you know what my problem is? I have a brain and can use it. I know that you are not going to put a few billion people in earth sheltered homes with water recovery system etc. You can not even put the 400 million people in the USA in those. Then it comes to how many lives is it going to save?Clover

            Seat belts and air bags save 10s of thousands of people each year just in the USA. Someone like you would rather spend a lot of money on supplies and buy thousands of other things that would not ever be used. Does that make sense to you? Not me. I have no problem with having supplies for a week or two. You do not have to spend hardly anything for for those supplies because you can reuse them all the time. Clover

            The problem with most of the supplies and things that are sold are promoted by the people that want to get rich off of you. Most of them know what they are selling you will never be used. They are selling you on fear. Guys that sell on fear or greed need to be strung up in my opinion if I had my option.Clover

          • Boothe
            August 31, 2012 at 9:27 pm

            Clover, as much as I hate to admit it, you are absolutely right on some of your points. Since you are capable of rudimentary (if not wholly logical) written responses, you apparently do “have a brain”. The “and can use it” part also seems accurate, but you’ve done a thorough job of convincing many of us here that you seldom do so. I’d say if your brain were a car up for sale, it could be advertised as “low mileage” or even “near mint condition.” You are also right about not being able to put “a few billion people in earth sheltered homes.” Although it is physically possible, it isn’t practical with our existing infrastructure. I wasn’t even suggesting that we try. I was just pointing out that your immediate response to the idea of earth sheltered housing and water recovery would most likely be resistance. Thanks for proving my point. The irony is that you fail to acknowledge that the vast majority of the metropolitan areas of the United States already engage in water recovery and recycling. The effluent from sewage treatment plants is returned to rivers and streams where the fine folks downstream recycle that water over and over again…like it or not if you live in a big city, you’re probably drinking the up-streamers’ pee.

            As far as the billions or even “400 million” go (the last census was more on the order of 310 million, but what’s a mere 90 million to you?), I don’t care if they choose to live above ground, underground or up a tree so long as they don’t expect the rest of us to foot the bill. The only backyard I can really clean up is my own. So long as they don’t trespass on me or mine, what the other 100’s of millions do is up to them. I can choose to cut my energy consumption, raise my own vegetables and small stock, compost my yard waste and yes prepare for the proverbial rainy day. I cannot and rightfully should not attempt to force you (or the rest of the world) to do the same. By the same token you have no right to my savings or preparations should catastrophe strike. It always comes down the individual. You, Clover, have been assimilated and only seem capable of viewing everything in the collective sense. I see the collective as nothing more than individuals. When groups of individuals get together and attempt to force their will on people who have done them no harm or owe them nothing, it is wrong. You can’t seem to grasp that.

            You go on and on about seatbelts and airbags “saving lives” like some slick haired televangelist. You indeed ask us to ‘take it on faith’, because your oft cited but never referenced studies and statistics are seemingly arrived at through anal extraction. Furthermore, no one can prove a negative so asserting that “this many lives have been saved” is absurd. What we can prove is that privately held firearms are used very effectively to thwart crime every year in the United States (http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0210e.asp).

            By your way of thinking Clover, I am surprised that you don’t campaign for every able bodied man, woman and child of sound mind to be required by law to carry a gun, because that policy would arguably save many more lives than airbags ever could. I believe that practically all choices should be up each individual. You seem to feel that each individual should be herded, restricted and managed. I have heard it argued as well that Americans should be licensed as parents before being allowed to reproduce. After having engaged you sufficiently through this venue to be cognizant of your basic rationale and nature, I can see how that philosophy might gain traction.

            I like that broad brush statement “Someone like you”. It tells us volumes about you. You do not know me, you do no know what I’ve purchased or from whom I have purchased things or if they are even “thousands of things.” So you erringly presume to know how “someone” like me lives, spends and exercises judgment. As far as people selling something and others buying it goes, it is a matter of individual Liberty and personal choice. If I have a desire for a material good or service, I shop for the best price and buy it. If that product is something that doesn’t have airbags, may sit forever without being used (pictures, lawn statuary and religious icons come to mind here) or is something *you* don’t deem “safe”, whether I buy it or not is none of your business.

            Does the statement “Caveat Emptor” mean anything to you? I have no problem saying “No!” to even the most persistent sales people. The only social concern would be if the product I purchased does not perform as advertised, as it would become a matter of criminal fraud if the seller refused to make good on the deal. If you are so weak willed that aggressive sales people get over on you, grow a spine and stand up to them. But don’t fault them for wanting to get rich, because in (what’s left of) the free market one’s desire to acquire wealth is what provides us with the rich assortment of goods and services we presently find available to us a competitive prices.

            That being said, you do not know if the purveyors of any particular goods are greedy or believe the products they offer will never be used or even if they are trying to scare people into buying. You merely assume so. Turnabout is fairplay, therefore I will make assumptions about you. Based on your they “need to be strung up” comment you are an authoritarian statist who would have proudly served under Jurgen Stroop because it “was the law” and you “were just following orders.” You are probably a Marxist at best (most likely with a bachelor’s in liberal arts, nothing useful) and fascist at worst. You come across as employed by (or retired from) a government job and therefore have no real understanding of wealth creation or productivity only regimentation and the status quo. In conclusion it is you and people like you that have destroyed this once great nation’s economic engine. You’ve stood by as individual Liberty has been gutted. You approve of our forced march down the path to serfdom under a police state. Your mama must be proud.

        • Gil
          August 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

          A.K.A rare events that affected relatively few Americans. Then again most Libertarians probably rightly fear that sort of thing what with the stuff they concoct in their makeshift labs.

          • saner
            August 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

            Clover said:

            “I guess people like Eric and Dom would refuse to prepare for a coming hurricane if the government told them to. They say I am stupid!”

            Apparently you are stupid. They (and I) are not contrarians who have a reflex response that anything the government must be disobeyed, they (and I) simply want the option to not be forced to do anything by threat of violence. Clearly your comprehension skills are non-existent.

          • clover
            August 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm

            Saner, do you want to bet? There are a number of people here that are contrarians. They would follow the speed limit if there was a law against it. They get their satisfaction and joy in showing their disobedience.Clover

          • dom
            August 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

            @Saner

            Don’t bet Clover! He owes Eric and BrentP a few million dollars already. He also owes Eric a race. Oh, and owes Boothe (and us all) the answer to exactly what it is he does for a living.

          • Boothe
            August 26, 2012 at 12:20 am

            Case in point Gil/Clover – The government mandates that I carry a fire extinguisher in my boat; and I do. The government does not mandate that I carry a fire extinguisher in my car; yet I do. I also maintain my car in a safe and serviceable condition. Hence the only time I have needed to use the fire extinguisher that I carry was on someone else’s car that was not maintained properly. That puts the lie to your asinine contrarian argument. And BTW, those five women were bloody well glad that I was a “Prepper”, because otherwise their car would have burned up. There have been plenty of times when other people were glad that I had tools, flashlight, jumper cables, hand wipes, an umbrella or bottled water in my car. I guess you think that’s a stupid waste of time and resources on my part as well?
            Prepping is as much a hobby and recreational activity for some of us as watching the boob tube or afuuuuhtball game is for you(or whatever it is your ilk does in your spare time). I guess I’m also foolish for knowing how to make fine jewelry, forge a knife blade, temper springs, clean a fish / squirrel / deer and cook it or change a motorcycle tire on the side of the road among many other things I know how to do. How about my ability to put 100 rounds of 5.56 in a man sized target’s center mass at 100 yards? Does that seem extreme to you? Well guess what, the U.S. Air Force required me to do be able to do that as an electronics tech, you shit-for-brains trolling dweeb!
            Maybe the ass clown army (represented by Gil and his butt buddy Clover) will make it just fine and never have to endure a hurricane, tornado, ice storm or social unrest; then again maybe not. But it’s always better to save a little, prepare for the worst and live a sustainable lifestyle remaining as independent from “the system” (i.e. your neighbors’ tax money) as possible. If you’re on the dole Gil/Clover (and that includes Gun-vernment employment) then you are OUR dependents whether you like it or not. As a productive member of society I resent the hell out of social parasites and if the SHTF, you’d better be skin and bones before you can expect any help from me. You two douche bags need to read Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper and take it to heart.

          • dom
            August 26, 2012 at 1:14 am

            @Boothe

            I can’t stop laughing about this..

            “shit-for-brains trolling dweeb!”

            Both Gil and Clover are such clowns. The only place they’re relevant, or even noticed, is on the net where they can hide their true identities.

            Neither will ever come out with exactly what it is they do for a living or who they are because they are indeed irrelevant.

          • methylamine
            August 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

            I Beg your pardon, Gil, my lab is top-notch and I’ll not have it slandered as “makeshift”.

            Harrumph.

            (remove tongue from cheek.)

      • liberranter
        August 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

        The good news, Clover, is that when TSHTF, you and the rest of your clueless and ill-prepared brethren will be among the first to bite the dust, making this a much better world for the rest of us.

        • Elisabeth
          September 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm

          One thing I will say about Clover – he/she has wayyyy better manners than some of those responding.Clover

          Re this comment:

          “It is none of your business whether I or anyone else wears their seat belt. ”

          I’m curious … who do you expect would pay for your medical care if got thrown through the windshield in an accident?

          Can the rest of us assume that you’ll be paying for 100% of your own medical costs if you incur injuries that could have been avoided by wearing a seat belt?

          • September 8, 2012 at 12:12 am

            Yes, Cloverina – that’s right.

            I don’t believe in forcing others to pay my bills – nor in forcing them to do anything against their will. I leave them alone to live their lives as they see fit.

            I only ask the same in return.

            As I see it, those are proper manners.

            You, on the other hand, seem to believe in pointing guns at people to compel them to live and act as you see fit.

            Hardly “good manners.”

            I’d be willing to bet there’s something you do – or something about you – that I might regard as less-than-smart, or “unsafe” or “not good for you.” Would you like me to threaten you with violence to force you to do as I say instead?

            No?

            Then how about minding your own store – and leaving me (and others) free to mind ours?

            Your casual authoritarianism speaks volumes. It is why this country is no longer a free country.

            You call me selfish – and irresponsible. But I cause you no harm. I do not demand you pay for any mistakes I may make. I agree to disagree – and leave you in peace.

            But creatures like you can’t leave other human beings alone. You live to control. To lecture. To threaten – and posture as possessed of superior wisdom, which you will impose via brute force, though brute force provided by others – not you – because you’re too much of a chickenshit to do the wet work on your own.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 1:42 am

            Eric, all I can say is “Wow!”

            I asked a straightforward question, which you answered positively.

            So far, so good, because it means you’re being logically consistent.

            But I gotta ask … how did you get from there to diagnosing that I had “casual authoritarianism”? Or declaring that I “seem to believe in pointing guns at people to compel them to live and act as you see fit.”

            You are making a lot of assumptions based on … what?

          • BrentP
            September 8, 2012 at 3:57 am

            Elisabeth, Clover polite? Clover has repeatedly insulted me, used violent language, told me to kill myself and much much more. I have been very restrained with Clover despite that behavior.

            As to your collectivist ideas, you express the true nature of system that is being imposed. First it is to make the downside risk of personal choices and behaviors a collective responsibility. Which of course encourages risk taking, so there is more of it. Then because it becomes a collective responsibility and a growing problem, the institution which manages the collective, government, can now take control.

            But who controls the government?

            Now the do-gooders think they do. They don’t.

            I’ll leave the rest as an exercise to the reader why those who control government want control over every aspect of our lives.

            Of note: When certain companies have the downside of their bad behavior bailed out by the collective, the government doesn’t get more power over them like it does over us. It is almost as if they control the government.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 6:15 am

            BrentP, this is the first thread I ever read on this forum and I was calling it like I saw it.

            Note that Eric sidestepped the question I asked. He said he didn’t believe in forcing others to pay his medical bills but that wasn’t what I asked.Clover

            I wasn’t asking what he believed, I was asking what he’s actually prepared for.

            I’m waiting for Eric to confirm that he’s financially equipped to pay for 100% of his own medical costs, whatever they might turn out to be.

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

              Cloverina, your premise assumes I would foist my costs on others, or that I would try to. More, that I will in fact, be injured and so impose costs.

              First, I’ve explained that I am not a thug collectivist as you appear to be. So I do not believe in forcing other people to pay for anything I do.

              Second, you are confecting a hypothetical “cost” which has not occurred and which probably never will occur (many people drive their entire lives without ever being involved in a major accident) to justify threatening me with violence to make sure it cannot occur. This is the doctrine of prior restraint – a concept antithetical to what was once the American way of life.

              If I have caused an actual harm – if there is a victim of my actions that can be brought forward, etc. – then by all means, I should be held accountable.

              But you want to restrain, control and threaten me with violence on the basis of a hypothetical “he might” or “it could happen.”

              Which means, Cloverina, you have accepted in principle the idea of unlimited control of others – who “might” do just about anything.

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

            Elisabeth,

            What you fail to understand is that we are more responsible than you. I carry a high deductable health insurance, it cost me alot and more than I can afford for a start venture company. More than it should because of nosey busy bodies like you. You fail to understand that the reason insurance and health costs are so high is that moral busy bodies mandate everyone receive them by government dictate. You give away service for free and either expect the doctors to pay for it or the taxpayers, and because the cost is free it drives up demand (basic economics supply-demand) which then drives up the cost of business that is held ransom by your beloved government. If I try to self medicate (soon with vitamins as well) I get the FDA, DEA, and every other moral busy body telling me I have no right to decide for my own body. I’ve got one choice miss Elisabeth to go to the allapathic doctor you and your ilk have prescribed for me. Sure I can go to a homeopathic doctor (for now but not much longer because moral busy bodies will think better) but he’s not sanctioned by the pearly white gate keepers to give any other medicine than the limited herbs in my back yard. Some herbs and plants are evil according to your God, even though mine created them so it illegal to even grow them in my own dirt. So lets see. No competition to increase the supply and control costs, no self care, free health care to the irresponsible to drive up demand, and the taxpayer footing the bill at gunpoint. And Elisabeth I also lived in Oregon and they of course had free dental and health care plan for the poor. So while I was working my tail off I had to pay to the official gate keeper to let all the others get an appointment ahead of the line. My final Dental Bill was $400.00 more than comparable states for the same work and a 4 week time waiting for a painful tooth and an enormous tax bill. I’m sure it just makes you feel so great that because I worked hard I have to endure 4 weeks of pain waiting for all the freebies to be given first. This is the thank you I get for playing by Elisabeth’s kind and caring rules. And then you expect thank you’s or apologies for people who just want to be left alone. Even if people didn’t want medical care because they couldn’t afford it, you wouldn’t hear of it. You are potentially the most blinded and jaded and cruel person I have ever met. To think you raise cost of medical and insurance and then force it on people. Slap an honest man down who is trying to make an honest man’s wage and steal for your moral busy body and political hacks. You need to find the real God, you know the one that says you should help poor people yourself but not steal from your neighbors at gun point. I pity your lack of compassion to God’s people and your wicked lies to yourself, to make the good bad and the bad good and somehow validate it in your warp and sick mind.

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 7:12 am

            In short wearing a seat belt is also none of your business. Just like health care. Just like all the things you mandate at a gun. People like you are so similar to Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin. You actually think you have a right to impose high health care, long waits, forced insurance, and then have the nerve to tell us that we have to wear a seat belt because of those costs. Wow! who needs freedom we have Elisabeth to help us make every decision for us because she knows best. There are no exception in people like you, you are the political problem that caused all this and you are definitely not the cure with more of your dicates. We will not be pushed around by cold, unfree, callouse dumb shit know it alls. You can mind your own business and wear your seatbelt or find out how a nation reacts to your kinds tyranncy. Its not going to pretty for you or me if your kind doesn’t back off and quick.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

            Hot Rod:

            I haven’t prescribed anything for anyone, so don’t put words in my mouth.Clover

            FWIW, insurance of any kind means that you’re sharing risks with others. How is that different from “collective”?

            “You are potentially the most blinded and jaded and cruel person I have ever met.”

            Wow, that’s the best insult yet!

            Sorry to hear about your dental troubles.

            • September 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

              Excuse me?

              You “haven’t prescribed anything for anyone”?

              How about your “prescription” that people should be forced at gunpoint to wear seat belts?

              Or have I misunderstood?

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

            Hey Elisabeth do you think everyone should wear helmets in a car too? I mean helmets also save lives. I think if we have to wear seat belts every man, woman, and child should also be forced to wear a helmet. After all we can never be too safe. No excuses even if your hair is just so perfect…I’m going to demand you put that helmet on in your car because I just might have to pay for the hospital bill Elisabeth.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

            I withdraw my comment about “the best insult yet” … I hadn’t read your other posts when I wrote that.Clover

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

            You know what Elisabeth do you wear a helmet in your car? Being so concerned about other people you can never be too safe. You should already be wearing a helmet since you prescribe others to use your safety equipment. I’d call you a hypocrite if you aren’t taking every precaution for the taxpayer already.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 7:42 am

            Hot Rod,

            I’m curious … does it bother you that the law says what side of the road you’re supposed to drive on?Clover

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

            Clovers always know whats best for others. Never do they want to go the extra mile for themselves. Always stop short when more safety is required and gets in their way of convenience. “Oh but I don’t want to flatten out my hair do, that wouldn’t be right its a free country and its not your right to mess up my hair”.

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

            Cloverina answer the question do you wear a helmet while driving in your car to town?

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 7:48 am

            Hot Rod,

            No I haven’t prescribed anything for anyone, so again I say, stop putting words in my mouth.

            I’m getting the feeling that folks around here can’t handle it when someone wants to verify whether their logic is consistent.Clover

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:42 am

              Here’s consistent, Cloverina:

              No one (that includes you) has any right to threaten another person with violence, ever – except in self-defense against aggression.

              Laws, therefore, that interfere with peaceful people who have caused no one else any harm are by definition unjust laws.

              No victim – no crime.

              It’s that simple.

          • That One Guy
            September 8, 2012 at 8:04 am

            The only thing you have verified is that you are the Clover Queen of Logical Fallacy, with your apples-to-oranges comparisons of voluntary and forced collectives, and argumentum ad absurdum….which side of the road we drive on, come on now.

            I’m sure you’ll have been seen off by the East Coasters by the time I’m up tomorrow. I’m looking forward to enjoying a recap over breakfast.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

            Hot Rod, show me credible evidence that wearing helmets in cars would save a significant number of lives.Clover

            Surely you’re not expecting me to accept it just because you say so?

            This has to work both ways, y’know.

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

              My “safety” (or “health”) is none of your business, Cloverina.

              You are not my mother – or my wife (thank god). Those are the only two people who have any claim over my person and so any right to direct my behavior – and even they would never think to point a gun at me and say, “do this – or else.”

              Only people like you feel so entitled.

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

              Cloverina, mandatory “physical jerks” (that is, daily exercise) would absolutely “save lives.” So would mandatory “healthy diets” and “ideal body weight.”

              Shall we also force people at gunpoint to exercise? To “eat right”? Shall we ticket and harass people who are heavier than “ideal”?

              It would save lives.

          • Hot Rod
            September 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

            Of course helmets in cars save lives, Nascar drivers wear helmets don’t they? Come on you can’t be that dense? So do roll bars and chest and neck harnesses. So you are arbitrarly doubting life saving technology now?

          • Fran
            September 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

            Cloverette is demanding that other people pay for medical treatment – backed up by threats of government violence – and yet the parasite thinks we don’t have “good manners”.

            What a Moron.

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

              Hi Fran,

              Yup – only worse than a moron. She’s a thug. Another person who insists others do as she says. Or else.

              Of course, the little sweetie won’t do the violence herself. She is content to let other bullies do her bullying for her.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

            If I were driving at NASCAR speeds I would certainly want a helmet. Can I get one to match my eyes?
            Clover
            You haven’t answered my question about whether it bugs you to be told which side of the road to drive on.

            • September 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

              You are welcome to a wear a helmet – or seatbelt. Or not (as far as I am concerned). My point being: You are an adult – ostensibly, a free adult. Choose for yourself. Leave others free to choose for themselves.

          • Mithrandir
            September 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

            Elisabeth,

            As long as every one follows the rules of the road it does not matter which side of the road people drive one. (see UK, AUS or other left-side driving countries)

            If you are going to drive against traffic, then you are endangering the lives of others (and yourself).

            This argument of yours is not an apples to apples comparison.

            If safety is paramount, why are all cars not built similar to the “black” box found in airplanes? (Hint: it is the cost) One can not remove all risk from their daily lives. We need to choose the level of safety and comfort based on what is affordable with our budget. People, when left to their own devices, choose what risks they can live with in their daily lives.

            I could buy a larger car, which would be a safer (than a smaller car if all else is equal) but costs more on a daily basis to run and maintain.

            The extra cost (of a larger car vs. smaller car) is guaranteed. An accident might occur. I (and others) find the extra risk of driving a small car to be acceptable for the money saved on a daily basis. Some people do not.

            I know someone that will only buy AWD cars because they might need it in the winter. Over the last ten years we have had about 10 days where AWD might have been needed to get around the area. This person’s piece of mind was worth the extra fuel and vehicle costs. For me I do not think the extra cost was worth the 10 days.

            I let other people make their choices and live with the consequences of their choices. I expect others to let me do the same.

            • September 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

              Excellently said!

              Cloverina also misses the fundamental point that no one else is harmed (or even threatened with harm) by my decision to not wear a seatbelt. I may increase my chances of being more seriously hurt (or even killed) if I have an accident. But that is my risk, hence, my right to make the choice.

              Just as it is my choice (and Cloverina’s) to drink coffee, or eat red meat… or exercise… or not exercise….

              On the other hand, a person who ignores the rules of the road and drives on the wrong side of the road poses a direct and imminent threat to others.

              As you point out, apples to oranges.

          • Elisabeth
            September 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

            “Or have I misunderstood?”

            Yep, you have misunderstood.

            And you’re making a awful lot of assumptions based on your own preconceptions (as have others) rather than on what’s actually true. I’m surprised that a sensible freedom-loving man would approach life that way.

            I have commitments for the day so I’ll say more later.

            Have fun spewing venom until I get back!

            • September 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

              My only venom is for authoritarian-minded people. If that’s you, more venom will indeed be forthcoming. If I am mistaken about your views, then I will apologize.

          • BrentP
            September 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

            Elisabeth, it is clear you are running off the principle so expressed by Harry Browne as: “Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, “See, if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.” ”

            Essentially you are saying we need to be prepared to pay our own way in a system where by the government has made that outrageously expensive. Your solution is to have the government take more control over our lives and more resources from the productive such that we are covered on our downside risks by the collective. However this is a patch. It does not address the underlying root cause problem, why medical services are expensive.

            They are expensive because the state made them so with its regulation, taxation, and other interferences. These all serving those interests which profit from the very high prices.

          • BrentP
            September 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

            Elisabeth, on helmets, is that you making a decision for yourself? You’ve decided that at the speeds you drive a helmet is an unnecessary hassle. Why do you get to make such a judgment for yourself? You apparently do not wish that others should make such a judgment for themselves.

            It’s not a behavior unique to you. This retaining the right to make one’s own decisions while denying it to others. It’s always about where the arbitrary line is placed and what the subject is. It’s my new way of debating statists. Find where their line is and then show how by their principles they have no such right to make that decision.

            It is just an arbitrary line for the state to require three point belts but not helmets or roll cages or harnesses or other proven safety technologies. If I could manipulate or convince enough people or enough elected office holders or a major auto manufacturer or any combination there of, I could make you wear a helmet at 55mph. Such a thing would be just as valid as the laws you defend for the very same reasons. However, being across your personal line, you would not appreciate the imposition. And that is a fundamental aspect of cloverism, the imposition of one’s personal choices on others.

        • Hot Rod
          September 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

          “If I were driving at NASCAR speeds I would certainly want a helmet. Can I get one to match my eyes?”

          Cloverina one of these days you just might be hit going through a traffic signal, you know talking on your cell phone not paying attention to the red light. Then when you get hit at 40mph side swiped your head is going to bounce around in that car of your like a ping pong ball and the seat belt will do little good to stop your head from smacking around back and forth multiple times. One thing you don’t comprehend Cloverina is that the force of deceleration is the momentum (massxvelocity) divided by the time of deceleration. Since in a crash the time of deceleration is small the forces become very large, infinite in fact if an impulse brick stop. Therefore velocity is not the only thing that kills, its the deceleration time that kills. In that case it won’t matter if you are going 40mph or 250mph. Point is that a helmet would save your life, therefore you should wear one for the taxpayers and children. Especially if you have any. And no the color of the helmet should be decided by DOT, you have no rights to match your carrot eyes. Its your philosopy Cloverina and I expect you to stop being a hypocrite and do it for the children and taxpayers.

          “You haven’t answered my question about whether it bugs you to be told which side of the road to drive on.”

          I’m right handed and most people are right handed. Its not suprising to me that people agreed to right handed driving rules long before the government regulated roads. But if a society agrees to left handed I see no problem with that. There is also a right handed rule of current versus magnetic field and vectors. No the government didn’t make people use their right hand to decide on that E-M field theory convention. Nice try though. Its been fun cloverina but I’m bored with your intellect and have to get back to work so I can make some money instead of live off of food stamps like you (assuming).

          • Elisabeth
            September 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

            I have to scroll up and down to refer to the posts so some of these comments might not be in order.

            “Cloverette is demanding that other people pay for medical treatment – backed up by threats of government violence – and yet the parasite thinks we don’t have “good manners”.
            What a Moron.”

            Hey, my name is Cloverina. Yes, I did note the bad manners, but the rest is your projection.

            I might or might not be a parasite, but since you don’t know the slightest thing about me you’re in no position to make pronouncements about it.

            “Another person who insists others do as she says. Or else.”

            Again, more projection.

            “As long as every one follows the rules of the road ”

            Apparently, in some contexts, “rules” can be tolerated.

            Thank you, Mithrandir, for making your points in a non-toxic manner.

            Here’s a thought about small cars … they might provide less protection in an accident but they also make smaller targets to get hit in the first place.

            “misses the fundamental point that no one else is harmed (or even threatened with harm) by my decision to not wear a seatbelt. ”

            No I haven’t missed that, I’m just not willing to agree with it to the extent that you’d like me to. Fact: If you lived where I do, a bad skid on the winter ice could result in an unbuckled Eric losing control of his vehicle. That would be a hazardous for Eric and also for anyone else around.

            “But that is my risk, hence, my right to make the choice. ”

            I wouldn’t want to be buying health coverage from the same company as you if you think that simple, easy measures for risk reduction are such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad imposition on your freedom.

            “My only venom is for authoritarian-minded people.”

            I gotta ask: who is more authoritarian-minded than the man who thinks it’s okay to make snap judgments and dish out insults to someone based on no investigation whatsoever??

            And … who is more sheeple-ish than those who merely channel the conclusions their leader jumped to, again with no investigation?

            I didn’t expect there would be such a thing as Libertarian sheeple!

            “Your solution is to have the government take more control over our lives and more resources from the productive such that we are covered on our downside risks by the collective.”

            That’s not what I said. That is what you are assuming.

            “why medical services are expensive … serving those interests which profit from the very high prices.

            Agreement there, but that’s how freeeeee enterprise works. Serve people in their time of need and make a buck doing it. That’s the crowd that howls loudest if anyone dares to suggest tweaks to the system.

            “Such a thing would be just as valid as the laws you defend for the very same reasons. ”

            I don’t remember defending any laws. Please clarify which laws you’re referring to.

            “If I could manipulate or convince enough people or enough elected office holders or a major auto manufacturer or any combination there of, I could make you wear a helmet at 55mph.”

            I’m sure you could, if you invested enough effort. But unless you had substantial, peer-reviewed evidence that wearing helmets inside ordinary cars would make a meaningful difference to death / injury statistics, I don’t see why you’d bother.

            (Hot Rod’s example about NASCAR helmets is of limited relevance here because NASCAR is highly abnormal driving.)

            “And that is a fundamental aspect of cloverism, the imposition of one’s personal choices on others.”

            Heh heh, that’s exactly what the fellow did who slapped the label on me. Ironic, isn’t it?

            ” One thing you don’t comprehend Cloverina is that the force of deceleration”

            I gotta ask, how can you know what I do or don’t comprehend about a topic we haven’t discussed?

            “Your solution is to have the government take more control over our lives and more resources from the productive such that we are covered on our downside risks by the collective.”

            You’re projecting again.

            Something to ponder: 37 countries have longer average life expectancies than the US does. 37 countries are getting better results from their medical system than the US does.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

            “instead of live off of food stamps like you (assuming)”

            Wrong assumption. But thanks for not stating it as a fact this time.

            • September 9, 2012 at 10:07 am

              Cloverina, you write:

              “Fact: If you lived where I do, a bad skid on the winter ice could result in an unbuckled Eric losing control of his vehicle. That would be a hazardous for Eric and also for anyone else around.”

              Not a fact. An assumption. A “what if?” An example of prior restraint – the distilled essence of Cloverism. You present a hypothetical scenario that has not happened – and which may never happen (I’ve been driving for decades and have yet to lose control on ice as you describe and hit anything or anyone) and then use that as your justification to demand I “buckle up” – or else.

              Do you see?

              Your mentality is why we live in a burgeoning police state.

              It is why people are subjected to degrading treatment at airports. After all, there might be a terrorist among them. So everyone must have their genitals groped or be made to assume the “I surrender” pose and scanned by a machine.

              There could be a drunk driver out there. Therefore, everyone out there must be treated as presumptively drunk.

              To get back to your silly statement:

              How many drivers out there have any ability to control a car in a situation such as you describe? Most people are marginally capable of maintaining control under ideal conditions, let alone during a crisis. “Buckled up” or not. Driver skill varies immensely – and I assure you that a high-skill (but not buckled up) driver is less likely to lose control in the first place than the average “buckled up” buffoon out there.

              But, this is a purely utilitarian objection. The moral – principled – objection is simply that unless and until a person has caused another person some demonstrable harm, then you and your fellow busybodies have no business interfering with them in any way.

            • September 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

              Cloverina writes:

              “I gotta ask: who is more authoritarian-minded than the man who thinks it’s okay to make snap judgments and dish out insults to someone based on no investigation whatsoever??”

              An authoritarian-minded person seeks to control others by force. I have no desire toy control you or anyone else by force – except defensively. You, on the other hand, have already revealed yourself to be very much interested in controlling other people when you’ve decided it’s “for their own good,” or because – as you see it – they “might” do something you disapprove of.

              That’s no snap judgment. And it’s not an insult to describe authoritarians accurately and honestly – to call them out for being thugs and bullies who live by force and lust to control.

              You may think me mean and uncouth – but I would never bother you, unless you bothered me first. I don’t want a cent of your wealth. I would never interfere with your personal choices, even if I personally disapprove of them. I wish you a happy life, and the pursuit of happiness as you define it. I am content to live and let live.

              You, clearly, are not willing to live and let live.

            • September 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

              Cloverina writes:

              “I wouldn’t want to be buying health coverage from the same company as you if you think that simple, easy measures for risk reduction are such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad imposition on your freedom.”

              Notice the causal authoritarianism. Again.

              You assume the collective – and its corollary, coercion.

              In a free society, people would be free to buy (or not buy) health insurance. And health insurers would be free to price coverage according to risk – even not offer coverage to those who present what they feel to be excessive risk.

              The freedom to say no is what keeps costs in line.

              In a free society, no one’s poor choices – or even bad luck – becomes a claim enforceable by violence on others. No one is forced to buy insurance – and insurers are not forced to provide coverage (and transfer costs) to people who are irresponsible or otherwise impose unacceptable costs.

              Is this mean-spirited, Cloverina?

              I see it as far worse to threaten people with murderous violence, as you do.

            • September 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

              Cloverina writes:

              “Something to ponder: 37 countries have longer average life expectancies than the US does. 37 countries are getting better results from their medical system than the US does.”

              Ergo, Americans should be forced at gunpoint into a government-controlled “health care” system. For their own good.

              Some of us prefer to control our own destinies, Cloverina – as opposed to controlling the destinies of others.

            • September 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

              Cloverina writes:

              “I’m sure you could, if you invested enough effort. But unless you had substantial, peer-reviewed evidence that wearing helmets inside ordinary cars would make a meaningful difference to death / injury statistics, I don’t see why you’d bother.”

              The absence of “studies” (peer reviewed or otherwise) doesn’t in any way mean wearing them would not make a “meaningful difference” vis-a-vis reduced head injury in the event of a serious accident.

              Or do you suppose that race drivers wear helmets just because?

              And who gets to decide what constitutes “meaningful”? You, Cloverina? For others?

              You avoid the point made originally, Cloverina – which is that it’s no less arbitrary control freak-ism to demand people wear helmets than it is to demand they wear seatbelts. The “save lives” argument works as well either way. Just recently, the Federal government decreed all new cars will be required to have back-up cameras – at a cost of several hundred dollars per car at least – because a literal handful of people (mostly kids) were run over by their idiot parents. So, hundreds of millions of people will have to buy the back-up cameras because a few hundred people got hurt or killed.

              Well, Cloverina, forcing people to wear helmets in cars would surely save “at least one life” – and probably a few scores of lives each year. At least as many lives as back-up cameras

              Surely that justifies a helmet mandate.

          • Elisabeth
            September 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

            Eric,

            You seem to agree that others shouldn’t be required to pay for the results if you make choices with a bad outcome. So what is your beef here???? I’m truly not understanding.

            “You present a hypothetical scenario that has not happened – and which may never happen .”

            But all your talk about guns and violence isn’t hypothetical??

            Gimme a break.

            Eric, I’d be curious to know your opinion about whether hikers and climbers should be charged for the costs of being rescued.

            Here’s an article:

            “Rescue services have traditionally been provided free of charge, like police and firefighting, but public anger over costs has led several states to implement charges, often when officials determine that the rescuees have acted negligently. In a notable case, New Hampshire fined a Boy Scout $25,000 after he departed from marked trails, sprained an ankle, and required a rescue, using a 1999 law that allows for recovery of costs in cases in which the state department of fish and game determines negligence. Seven other states have similar laws, with a variety of limits and conditions, often passed in response to costly incidents.”

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/12/16/a-mountain-of-bills.html

            What do you think of the decision to fine that Boy Scout?

            • September 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

              My beef is with pre-emptive, collective responsibility. With the idea of prior restraint.

              If I, as an individual, incur a cost, then I am responsible for that cost. If I, as an individual, do not incur a cost, then I am not responsible for the costs incurred by others, or by costs I might – or hypothetical others might – incur. I have every right to be left the hell alone. And you have no right whatsoever to interfere with me.

              My “talk of guns and violence” is far from hypothetical.

              If I, for example, refuse to “buckle up for safety,” what will happen to me? The cop will first ticket me. If I still refuse – and attempt to drive away, he will then arrest and cage me. If I resist – if I defend myself against his assaulting me – then he will use lethal force against me.

              How’s that for hypothetical?

              If I refuse to hand over my money to pay for health insurance I do not wish to purchase, what will happen? I will be sent threatening letters at first. Then I will be sent demands for payment. If I fail to pay, they will either garnish my income, or seize my assets – for example, my house.

              And if I defend my liberty – and my property – what will happen? Guns and violence.

              Your Cloverite mentality amounts to: Well, if you just do as you’re told then guns and violence never enter into it.

              True. Just as it was in Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.

              Why can’t you leave other people alone?

            • September 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

              You write:

              “Eric, I’d be curious to know your opinion about whether hikers and climbers should be charged for the costs of being rescued.”

              Certainly. They should be billed. Or do you think their choice to go for a hike – and assume the risks involved – imposes an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on others who had nothing to do with it?

              How is this any different from forcing Smith to pay taxes to support Jones’ kids? Or any other forcible transfer of wealth?

              No one has the right to live at someone else’s expense – to threaten them with violence to compel them to “help.” This does not mean people ought not to help one another, incidentally. It simply means that forcing people to “help” others is pernicious. It codifies theft – looting. It empowers demagogues and appeals to the worst instincts of people. It undermines normal human goodwill – because when other people may legally take from you, legally force you to “help” them – they become a threat to you.

              It is the difference between a friend or neighbor – and a comrade.

              People like me want to see a society based on free cooperation, on voluntarism, live – and let live. A society in which all violence except defensive violence is looked upon as despicable, low and morally unthinkable.

              Wouldn’t such a society be a nicer place to live in than one in which others are at liberty to impose their will on you at any time, for almost any reason? In which you have no real right to be left in peace? In which you are forever being assigned to some group or other – and your life limited/controlled on the basis of what the group is, or decides?

          • dom
            September 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

            @Elisabeth

            Average cost of visit to ER room: $1,500

            Average cost of ambulance call: $600

            I think people should have to pay for the services they receive. A boy scout is a person…

          • Elisabeth
            September 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm

            “A society in which all violence except defensive violence is looked upon as despicable, low and morally unthinkable.”

            Sounds great, other than the fact that you seem to think that it’s never-never-not-ever appropriate to use the law to defend ourselves against violence.

            I would mostly agree with your dislike of prior restraint, but your comments are coming across as though you think that driving drunk should be your absolute right. Is that what you’re intending?

            • September 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

              It is exactly, precisely appropriate to defend ourselves against violence. That is what I have been trying to explain – and defend: The non-aggression principle.

              Then you come out with non sequiturs such as I “think that driving drunk should be your absolute right.”

              It is not possible to have an intelligent discussion if this is going to be your approach.

          • BrentP
            September 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

            Elisabeth, just because you do not understand the implications of what you are arguing does not make it an assumption on my part. In fact you argued what I stated when you said you didn’t want to buy insurance from the same company as someone who did not make the same risk choices as you.

            How exactly is the medical cartel “free-enterprise”? It’s been a creature of the state for nearly a century now. That’s why prices are high. The enterprise isn’t free, it’s governed by political power.

            I’m sure you could, if you invested enough effort. But unless you had substantial, peer-reviewed evidence that wearing helmets inside ordinary cars would make a meaningful difference to death / injury statistics, I don’t see why you’d bother.

            You don’t get it. You made a risk/reward/cost judgment that says you don’t need a helmet, yet at the same time you believe that is acceptable to take that very power of judgment away from others.

            The fact is the data for helmets in passenger motor vehicles already exists. I came across it in bicycle helmet (foam hat) debates. Head injuries are rather common even with seatbelts and airbags.

            But the helmet is beyond what all but a tiny minority feels is reasonable so it’s like pushing a seat belt use law in 1940. Which is the heart of the matter, the imposition of a particular feeling of risk/reward/hassle on other people. Once it is decided that such imposition is acceptable there is really no limit to it. Because to accept it concedes the principle.

          • BrentP
            September 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            “Something to ponder: 37 countries have longer average life expectancies than the US does. 37 countries are getting better results from their medical system than the US does.”

            Yes, the corporatism in the USA with regards to food, medical care, etc and so on has resulted in such a condition. And the solution is? More corporatism.

            I don’t understand statist reasoning. When a state interference fails it’s not because the state interfered, it’s because the state didn’t interfere enough. So what happens? more interference. The problem gets worse. It’s been going on for decades in vital areas and they all just get worse and worse and state interference is never discarded, it’s increased… to make it better? It’s beyond logic.

          • BrentP
            September 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

            Rescuing lost hikers. The problem is that people expect to be rescued.

            The problem is the socialization of downside risk. First people think they’ll be rescued if things go bad so they take greater risks. Then there are more rescues. Then it gets too costly for the collective so then behavior controls are put in. Because people don’t look at the root cause problem the expectation to be rescued by someone else at a cost to someone else.

            Also is the dependency on the state. In 1952 a lost boy scout with a sprained ankle would have been found and carried out by the other scouts and the adults. They would have taken care of themselves. Now people call the government.

          • Rick
            September 10, 2012 at 1:24 am

            To Eric,

            I have read your posting on the right for a person to with his/her body what they want without gov intefering. And the fact of no one should have a gun put in the face for messing with his/her own body.

            Does that mean you agree with a womans right to have an abortion?

            Rick

            • September 10, 2012 at 9:28 am

              Hi Rick,

              Meth elaborated the answer better than I could. There is no such thing as a “woman’s right.” There are only human rights – irrespective of sex or any other morphological characteristic. And there can be no such thing as a right to violate someone else’s rights.

              If you accept exceptions, then you’ve accepted utilitarianism as the basis of morality. And once you’ve accepted that…

          • Hot Rod
            September 10, 2012 at 5:02 am

            @BrentP

            “You don’t get it. You made a risk/reward/cost judgment that says you don’t need a helmet, yet at the same time you believe that is acceptable to take that very power of judgment away from others. ”

            Thanks and I must admit that I’ve seen this phenomena in Engineering students. Some people just can never get the theory or logic. Doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it, whether you yell it at them, or whisper it. As Da Vinci said, “Three type of people, those who get it, those who get it when shown, and those who don’t get it.” We always think and hope for the 1st or second type of person but some people are the third type. Doesn’t help to talk to them because it eventually just makes a person mad that someone can be so dumb, and then you get to calling them names and pretty soon I find I’m at their level. So my apologies for bothering and name calling Elisabeth things like Cloverina. It probably reinforcing here beliefs instead of opening up her mind to the truth that would set her free, I pity her really.

          • Hot Rod
            September 10, 2012 at 6:04 am

            Infinite wisdom or God says,
            “The truth will set you free” and inversely freedom is the very act of truth. Those who are not free or allow others to be are thus false and children of the other type of he who leaves desolate (even chaotic). Bad things happen to free people its part of the sowing and reaping. I believe those who want authoritarinism are afraid of the real God. And the fearful cannot go to heaven. I’ve read many life after death account and I’ve also heard first hand accounts, there is something more to this all. How could any fool not see the biggness of it all, the intelligence behind the scenes? I’ve felt my connectedness to the power behind the scenes.

            Bad things often happen when people are given their freedom. Some don’t wear a helmet or seatbelt and die young, when they might have lived longer. The saying “freedom is not free” was not for soldiers dying for their country but rather for us those who live free everyday. But even worse things happen when a man is forced to obey another mans order to constrain him in his own body or property against his will. This is the act of the worst betrayal to God because its telling him his objective of accountablilty and freedom is a poor system. As far as abortion I’m against it in philosophy. I don’t believe its the the states right to impose abortion or to inhibit it. I’ve read all Ron Paul’s beliefs and I too think life is of God even the unborn. But unlike Paul I don’t think its my right to intervene for the same reason on seatbelts. I could never tell a parent to buckle their child in or else face my wrath. The unborn deserve life but only the mother (possibly father) who God assigned can decide that and ultimately will be judged by the decision they make. Same with a parent who doesn’t want to buckle a child in. They may lose their child but its their decision, not us or them. I do believe the biggest difference between liberals/conservatives and libertarians is the lack of faith. Faith in God does make one free to not worry as much about other people doing the right thing. Faith in God makes one more self judging. I’m an engineer and understand western theory to a fault and appreciate it much. But, there is a spiritual world. Please don’t kid yourselves. In a moment this world can change from indifferent to direct and when that happens to you if it does you will see miracles or nightmares that are so real not even LSD could create. Even athiest if they recount an experience I’m suggesting, even engineers and scientist know the game is rigged. Use your freedom wisely and don’t be a fool or wickedly. And most of all let others have their freedom, its what is intended to set them free and maybe find the ultimate truth and become accountable to it alone.

            As far as something more I have a mathematical theory as my proof of God, life after death, a heaven. It has much to do with the speed of light, infinite math of calculus and the fact that data and knowledge/mathematics are spirtual. The machine of general math is embodied in a calculator (physically) that body of math can be broken but the spirt of the math (the number sets and rules) is of God and cannot be destroyed. And then you see that you are even a machine your hairs on your head are all counted by the infinite intelligence and its unavoidable that you exist outside of your body just like the calculator. You live and breath inside of it (God) and you also make your hell or heaven based on whether you embrace truth or deny it. May freedom always be yours not because others tell you it so, but rather that you accept no alternative. And may the infinite intelligence give you the truth to accompany that freedom so you can extend forward in the most beautiful/forward way possible.

            P.S., I won’t spoil it for you but entropy is a direct result of the finite constant of speed of light in this world. Night all.

            • September 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

              “I do believe the biggest difference between liberals/conservatives and libertarians is the lack of faith.”

              This question (this observation, really) has always interested in me. But let’s define our terms a little first. Rather than “lack of faith,” I’d say lack of belief in any particular religious doctrine.

              I’ve long been puzzled – bewildered is perhaps a better word – by the religious certainty espoused by so many conservatives. Their claims to “know Jesus” and their often fanatical insistence that the Nicene Creed is the final word (the only word, the right word) on the nature of the deity. And the corollary of all this: Everyone else is wrong.

              Well, how exactly do they “know”? They read it in the Bible. They were told by their preacher. They “just know.”

              To my mind, this is a type of dementia – and it scares and depresses me when I encounter it. I cannot fathom a difference between, say, insistence on the trinity and the resurrection/remission of sins as fact and the ancient Egyptians’ similar fervent insistence on Isis, Set, Toth and the rest of their pantheon. Etc.

              They, too, had holy writ. And priests. And “just knew” they were right.

              As I see it, human beings cannot know anything about this conception called “god.” It is a construct of our own consciousness – and may or may not be anything more than that. And while we can conjecture, intuit, feel and be inclined one way or the other – for anyone to claim certainty, to claim they know, strikes me as off the reservation, sanity-wise.

              That’s the only judgment I make with regard to faith.

          • BrentP
            September 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

            There has to be women’s rights for those that believe in the state. They have to work out how we are all property of the collective or property of the state (same thing since the state runs the collective) yet then be able to say that a woman owns her body with regards to reproduction.

            The term “women’s rights” and those like are invented IMO to allow for these two opposing concepts to exist in their mind at the same time. Without it they would be faced with the prospect of self ownership or women being kept as property (of the collective or someone else). They can tolerate neither.

          • Hot Rod
            September 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm

            “I’ve long been puzzled – bewildered is perhaps a better word – by the religious certainty espoused by so many conservatives. Their claims to “know Jesus” and their often fanatical insistence that the Nicene Creed is the final word (the only word, the right word) on the nature of the deity. And the corollary of all this: Everyone else is wrong.”

            I understand this as well and this is why I don’t attend church. I cannot and will not pretend the answer is the same for everybody. I know the bible instructs that what is bad for one is good for another, this is why we shouldn’t pass judgement unless that person’s action inflict upon ourselves.

            I’m not the conventional bible scholar, its my thought that their is wisdom in every religion. What I have found through my engineering studies is that all state machines (logic and memory) and all machines otherwise have both a functional relationship (output to input relation) and an input (external data). The state machine math is not physcial. Nor is data. The idea in western philosophy is that math represents physics. But actually, the physcial world represents one possibility of math. If one assumes the number sets are infinite and the number of functional relation are infinite (what calculus uses) then you come to see that the current world and relation is but one possibility out of an infinite possible universe. This datapoint, this math, your state machine is definable in functional relations and stored data not of this world but as a consequence of the math rules themselves. Example a computer is a state machine. Back up its data and its functional machine of how to build it. Keep that data for a thousand years along with the math of the state machine (word processor data). Reconstruct it again a 1000 years later and reload the application data, it doesn’t know a 1000 years have passed only the change of its own state. If one assumes the world is infinite possibilities (some call this God) then you not only exist but had to exist to make the infinite set infinite. If I sound crazy that is ok, but the point is that a God is not a grandfather in sandals but rather a system, a relation, and intelligence of all things intelligent. Its the source and sink for all machines and data. All things have to exist if the world is infinite, otherwise it would not be infinite. And the point is that in a sea of possiblity the choice of where your want to take your future is open to you. This I think is what faith is about is recognizing the next change of your own state has to exist, because you are part of something much bigger (call it God?). Recognizing that all things that are seen are but one possiblity and to keep an open mind. Realizing that you are not a consequence of the world you are in but in fact partaking in its state and creation. I will say that freedom is basically the opening of the mind to see all that is possible not to just onself but others, that is an open mind of possibility. To understand however that there are rules like gravity is very important. Thus being a ignorant or naivity is not what intelligence is about. I’m not trying to preach to the world how to believe I’m simply saying that there is much more than you being at whim of the world. All successful people actually understand that you are creating the world too. A man has to have faith in something. I have faith in the abundance of something very intelligent in everything small to large. For example the common theme in here is faith in freedom bring good results. Visions of what can be yielded are needed before you create. This is the contact with the greater force of knowledge to which you and I are but a small subset.

            Again I’m both a materialist and a spiritualist. I’m not naive to the material world, nor do I believe I’m at whim to it. BTW I’ve read most famous and successful industrialist believe exactly like me. Carnegie, Edison, Tesla, etc also believed these matters as principle. A guy name Napoleon Hill interviewed these guys at the request of Carnegie and published what all these successful people believed and how to be successful and all of them share faith in something larger and faith in themselves. The results will amaze a man. Peace and I hope I don’t sound to crazy to you brother, I believe Judaism and Christianity and Buddhist, etc are all beautiful ideas of making a man ponder on what this is all about and why we are here. And whether we are but an ant in a colony or something bigger or both.

            • September 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

              This may be the start of the best thread yet!

              My understanding (such as it is, I wish I knew more) is that what you’ve laid out comports with what physicists now believe about multiple (infinite) universes – probabilities, really – as a function of quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. These infinite possible realities (universes, if you like) unfold endlessly – and may even overlap sometimes. One supposition is that deja vu is in fact a vestigial “remembrance” of “you” in another reality.

              It is fascinating stuff.

              And I agree in re something larger – something greater – than “just us.” It is the question of existence. My wish is for men of goodwill to share their ideas and insights. And to refrain from condemning the ideas and insights of others. To admit none of us really knows – but let’s try our best to figure out what we can!

          • Hot Rod
            September 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

            Also I want people to understand why entropy is the result of the speed of light being infinite. The reason comes from math of electronics. Where if one has a fully charged capacitor and a fully discharged capacitor. Connected together through a switch. If one measures the voltage on that capacitance he can calculate both the charge on that capacitor and the energy of the charged capacitor. The equations Charge=CapacitancexVoltage and Energy = 1/2*CapacitancexVoltagexVoltage (voltagexvoltage is voltage squared). Now flip the switch and you get conserved charge being moved from the higher voltage capacitor to the lower charged capacitor. But charge is conserved so the end result is that we can calculate the final voltage being the same across the two capacitors from the charge equation. But when we calculate the total Energy for combined capacitances, there is less energy than before connecting the charged and discharged capcitors. The end result is that the process of connnecting two capacitors (process) has resulted in lost useful energy (entropy). The basis of which one sees that besides current resistance loss, the switched capacitance is the primary reason why microprocessors heat up. Basically entropy or lost energy is incurred everytime capacitance are charged and discharged (the lost energy disappears as heat). Engineers have found that by making the FET gates very small we can get ever smaller capacitances and hence why we have ICs that can switch faster and not overheat. So if we can decrease capacitance in the sytem the end result is that less energy is lost in a switching cycle (less entropy) for the same logical process. This leads to the fact that the world is actually charges and moving charges. Hence Capacitance is directly proportional in free space to the free space permittivity. If we were God we would decrease permittivity and thus decrease capacitance in the world. But it so turns out that Maxwell proved that the speed of light of a vacumn is the inverse square root of the product of permittivity multiplied by permeability of free space. Hence if we were to decrease permittivity of free space we would in fact make the free space velocity of light infinite. End result finite speeds of light result in a world with entropy (disorder). And so it goes that if you want to know an ideal world its one where no propagation delays exist in the transmission of signals via light. And so you now know why I’m crazy but not making things up to you when I say finite speed of light guarantees man’s curse of having to work and having nothing to show for it after it decays back to nothing (entropy).

            • September 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

              Morning, HR!

              Very interesting stuff on entropy and the speed of light. I wish I had a bigger brain!

          • Boothe
            September 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            Thanks Hot Rod! You’ve provided two of the best expository essays I’ve ever read on the nature of “I am” (a.k.a. YHWH or God), the electric universe, entropy and physical vs. probable realities. The longer I live, the more I am aware that we interact with each other on the spiritual (pure limitless energy) plane as much or more than we do here in the physical plane (where we are constrained by time, gravity, etc.). I believe so many like minded people congregate here with Eric not only because we are drawn to each other physically, but also agree to be here and interact through a vast spiritual network well before we actually show up here and start typing. I want to thank all of you that post here for sharing your reality with me and especially Eric for providing the venue to do so.

          • Elisabeth
            September 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

            “Then you come out with non sequiturs such as I “think that driving drunk should be your absolute right.””

            I said that was how you were coming across and I asked if that was what you intended.

            You side-stepped the question so it’s still not clear to me where you’d draw your lines about that, or why.

            BrentP said:

            “Essentially you are saying we need to be prepared to pay our own way in a system where by the government has made that outrageously expensive. Your solution is to have the government take more control over our lives and more resources from the productive such that we are covered on our downside risks by the collective. However this is a patch. It does not address the underlying root cause problem, why medical services are expensive.”

            Re ” the government has made that outrageously expensive” … it’s worth noting that Canada’s government-run medical care takes proportionately FEWER resources “from the productive” yet gets better results than the US. Average life expectancy for Canadians is two years longer, even though Canada spends less per capita {US$3,678 vs US$6,714 in 2006}, and also spends less when measured as a percentage of GDP (10.0% vs 15.3% in 2006).

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_health_care_systems_in_Canada_and_the_United_States

            Something to think about.

          • BrentP
            September 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm

            Why do those who favor the state so often go for misdirection. No, Elisabeth I am not taking the bait. I will not debate Canada’s system with you. It is irrelevant to the point I was making. Canada’s system has its own problems but as far as I know it does not have the history of the US system, it does not share the same reasons for medical care being so expensive (other than most generic of government involvement).

            Back in the early 20th century the licensing and such was established to eliminate all competing forms of medical care and treatment such that the AMA’s version ruled supreme. Some other forms survive under considerable restriction but many have been driven out of business or out of the USA for daring to offer something different. Some even went to prison despite causing no harm and not having dis-satisfied customers.

            Then through wage controls in WW2 and tax law the insurance system got going. Then more government interference under LBJ and it just kept going from there.

            The reason medical care is so very expensive is because of the government. The government made it so. Step by step this condition was created to benefit those with a political inside track at the expense of everyone else. It’s a corporatist system.

            Obamacare reinforces the high costs and cartel system. Eventually the political process will totally break it so the government takes over, but it is still in the high profit phase which will peak under Obamacare and then decline as the political process demands more and more for no increase in cost until profit is impossible.

    • Mike in Spotsy
      August 25, 2012 at 4:14 am

      Hi TB. Just a word of caution: lots of protein without fat will cause physical problems, possibly serious or even fatal. I would definitely recommend adding some lard and olive oil to the mix. Both are very stable at room temp, so they’re easy to store.

      • Boothe
        August 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        Mike’s right of course. Look up “rabbit starvation”. The whey protein body builders use is intentionally low fat to help them get ripped. Natural fats are essential for your health (not synthetic crap like margarine and hydrogenated fats). Fat is also incredibly energy dense. Consider coconut oil as a stored prep too. Keep your oils in a cool dark place (like your basement) and they’ll keep a lot longer than advertised. Try a can of tuna with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of Old Bay seasoning sometime for a tasty prepper’s meal.

        • mithrandir
          August 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

          mustard can work well with tuna.

        • Mike in Spotsy
          August 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

          Hi Boothe. Thanks for pointing out coconut oil. Great stuff. Anyone not familiar with it should be forewarned that it is solid up to about 76 degrees. Never pour melted coconut oil down the drain…it will solidify and create a nasty clog.

          Tuna is also a good idea. I have bunches of canned tuna, salmon, and sardines. The suggestion of Old Bay seasoning is very good too. The same foods eaten day after day can become hard to take after a while; a good supply of spices, seasoning mixes, and other condiments can help with that a lot. Including the mustard that mithrandir mentions.

          Laura: great point about the vinegar (I use it for cleaning all the time and even use it as a fabric softener in the washing machine) and the supplements.

        • olgriz
          August 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

          A few other ideas: Take a fresh cleaned fish, coat it with horseradish(deli style),wrap it in foil and either bake it, broil it, or cook it over a camp fire. Super! And you don’t have to be a prepper to enjoy it. Of course if you are lucky enough to be one that is even better. You may want to google MMS and Jim Trumble. Great story. MMS is Sodium ChlorITE. Used for many things. Municipalities are beginning to use it in place of Chlorine. Most fresh chicken producers wash their butchered chickens in it to remove bacteria. Jim Trumble, the chemist who “discovered” it always carried it with him when in the bush in S. America or Africa to purify water. He accidently discovered that it would cure malaria. He took it to Africa to the mission hospitals and cured several thousand cases of malaria. Documented. When taken properly it kills all flu virus etc. It worked so well that Big Pharma had a caniption fit, as you can imagine! Great stuff to have to protect yourself with in case of another “Katrina” etc. Just think of the bacteria floating everywhere when septic systems are flooded and bodies of victims are unrecoverable by authorities for many days etc. Anyway, great stuff to have.

      • laura m.
        August 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

        Olive oil is important, or coconut oil, or sunflower oil forgot to mention it. Also stock up on cod liver oil/fish oil, vitamins, vinegar is a good disinfectant sprayed on paper towels for counter tops, bathroom,etc.

      • August 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        That risk is why I would recommend pemmican over jerky, pemmican being basically jerky made from ground meat and then bound with rendered fat and some advisable but optional other ingredients, e.g. dried and chopped soft fruit, oatmeal and/or dried peas. The deficiencies from lack of fat in meat are called “rabbit starvation”, because that meat is lean enough to cause it if you only eat rabbit – I have heard it’s because you miss out on fat soluble vitamins, plus you overload on protein breakdown products if you are getting all your energy that way. With rabbits, there’s a trick to avoid the problem: their brains contain enough fat that, if you combine that during cooking, you get enough of what you need (eat brains like a zombie!). On a family scale, apparently guinea pigs are easy to keep to supply your meat needs, but I have wondered if their similar metabolism means their meat presents the same risk and if the same fix would work if it did.

    • Boothe
      August 26, 2012 at 2:49 am

      T.B., Berky water purification “sport” bottles are a real good item for each persons BOB (the ceramic filters can be cleaned off and used for a long time). You can put pond water or even mud-puddle water in and get clean water out simply by squeezing the bottle. No pump, seals, o-rings or other failure prone mechanical components to deal with. There are purification “straws” available too, that work well for a minimalist BOB.

      You’re quite right about the metallic or chemical taste iodine leaves behind, but if you’re thirsty enough… One approach to handle this is to carry some packets of powdered drink mix (like Crystal Lite) to mask the flavor of the disinfectant. Not perfect, but it would at least take your mind off the straight iodine or chlorine taste. The problem with chlorine “purification” tablets is they won’t kill some parasites which can have really crappy outcome for you (literally so, as in diarrhea). As I understand it, Cryptosporidium goes into a cyst state. You have to boil it for (at least) over 1 minute to make crypto “inactive.” Worse yet, it’s chlorine resistant for sure. So having an effective means of filtering is essential.

    • Goldbug36
      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Since many people have quit using “table” salt and have gone to either sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt (no additives and many minerals), health-conscious people should also have a supply of kelp tablets for iodine in the diet, or liquid Iosol Iodine, which can also be used to purify water. Another sanitation must have is “wet wipes.” Get one box for the container and several packs of refills (less than a dollar a pack of 80.

      • Zypp
        August 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

        Kroger sells Hain brand iodized sea salt in the health foods section. Check the label–the same brand is also sold noniodized.

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