In a Return Appearance….

blackflagsymbolguest-commentaryOK, a couple of weeks ago I gave my forum over to one of my biggest opponents on the issues, Black Flag. He had written a very good post about economics that I thought was relevant and good for everyone to read. The response to his article was very positive. The discussions that ensued were respectful and productive. One of the things that I have realized over the last couple weeks is that Black Flag has a very good grasp on economic discussions and always adds insight that is productive and thought provoking. So I have asked him to make a return appearance as a guest commentator. And he graciously accepted the invitation and took the time to write another article.
 

The content again deals with the economy. I feel like in this area Black Flag has shown himself to be a subject matter expert of sorts. He has a firm grasp on economics. That isn’t to say that he is right, or that he is wrong. My promise to him is that I do not change a word of what he writes. This is his article, not mine. I am nothing but the guy with the ability to actually post it, lol. For the record there aren’t a lot of people I would allow to write an article for my blog. But I do invite anyone who is interested in doing so to write up what you would like to submit and email it to me.

But I digress, the point here is that we have a return engagement for Black Flag. So without further ado:

Black Flag on Our Current Economic Realities

Those who wish to preserve freedom should recognize, however, that inflation is probably the most important single factor in that vicious circle wherein one kind of government action makes more and more government control necessary.

F. A. HAYEK

The majority of people refuse to accept that the modern business cycle is al­most invariably the product of in­flationary policies that have been pur­sued by the State and the State’s agencies of inflation, the fractional reserve banks. The problem of inflation is initiated by the State in the first place; nevertheless, most of the State’s advisors believe that the cure for depression is further in­flation, thus more government control.

A background of an inflationary economy.

The economic boom begins when the State or the central bank ini­tiates the creation of new money. (For the Western world in this century, the establishment of this policy can generally be dated to the outbreak of the First World War.)  The fractional reserve banking system can now offer credit to potential borrowers who would not have borrowed before.

Here is an important point that even many economists do not understand.

Had the fiat creation of new money not occurred, borrowers would have had to pay a higher rate of interest in order to obtain the ad­ditional funds. This is because the government used the capital of the country for its purpose (in this case, a war) and shrank the available capital in the market place for use by other borrowers. As with any commodity, as supply decreases, price increases and money as a commodity will react the same way. 

Now, however, the new fiat funds can be loaned out at the prevailing rate, or possibly even a lower rate. Additional de­mand for money can therefore be met without an increase in the price of money.

But this causes a dangerous situation. There is deceit in the creation of this fiat money. The deceit exists with a purpose: to make the economy appear more robust than in reality to mask the economic destruction that the government has undertaken. In the Western World, it was to mask the disaster of the First World War and the economic bankruptcy of most of Europe. With the explosion of fiat money, the disaster of war turned into the roaring 20’s. Followed, of course, by the Great Depression. The Great Depression was the reckoning of the cost of the Great War, but displaced by a decade by government inflationary policies. 

Worse, there is an unintended consequence with this deceit, entrepreneurs and capitalists make fatal mistakes in their decisions while believing in the (false) robustness of the economy.

Capitalists misinterpret this low rate of interest. While this is really merely an increase in the avail­ability of money (made by the printing press), it is seen by them as an in­crease in the availability of capi­tal goods and labor services. In short, they believe people are becoming more productive. They believe the people are earning a higher standard of living. To meet that desire, capitalists begin investing into immediate projects to meet this demand.

But, in reality, savers have not provided the new funds by restricting their consumption. Saving is done by people reducing their current consumption in favor of a future consumption. Without their consumption today, savers release capital goods that would have been used to satisfy their de­mand, and that released capital would be redirected into more immediate and direct needs demanded by the current consumer.

But this is not the case. The people have not altered their time preference of goods; they still value present goods at a higher level than the rate of interest indicates and are not delaying their consumption. Thus, there is no real release of capital.

This injection of new money in­to the economy invariably creates a fundamental disequilibrium. It misleads entrepreneurs by distort­ing the rate of interest. It need not raise the nation’s real price level, either: the inflation distorts relative prices – we create a bizarre set of  statements such as ‘real’ price, price ‘adjusted’ and so on in an attempt to evaluate the true price of a good and all of this makes the cost of living index and similar guides irrelevant.

To repair the price distortion, the market place uses a depression as a response to this disequilib­rium. It restores the balance of true consumer preference with re­gard to the time preferences of people for present goods in rela­tion to future goods. In doing so, the market makes unprofitable many of those uncompleted proj­ects which were begun during the boom. Of course, this means bankruptcies and layoffs.

Mises wondered why such depressions occurred so dramatically. For this to occur, all the capitalists must have made the same mistakes at the same time. But how is this possible? It could only be possible, Mises discovered, if there was a systemic central deceit creating an economic illusion that the capitalists – all of them – could not avoid nor see. If it wasn’t systemic, some capitalists would not be affected. If it was not central, some capitalists would have seen it. It was the deceit of fiat money and its inflationary consequence that destroyed the price mechanisms that capitalists require to make rational business decisions into the future.

But, the people, not understanding how the consequences of them losing their job started with the State, raise a cry for the State to do something. Banks want to have a moratorium on all withdrawals; unions want to fix wages; busi­nessmen want to fix prices; every­one wants more inflation. “Bring back the boom!”

But it can only be done now as before, with fiat money. The call for inflation ig­nores the fact that brand new malad­justments will be created. The short-run perspective dominates. The cries are heeded, the price mechanism is again sacrificed, and with it goes the system of rational calculation which makes possible the efficiency of the free market.

Mises warned a half century ago against this policy of “repressed depression” through inflation. Most governments since 1914 have ignored the warning.

Here is the inescapable choice for our century: will it be depression — the readjustment of the economy from the State-sponsored disequi­librium of supply and demand — or will it be mass inflation? The only way to escape the depression is for the inflation to continue at an ever-increasing rate. Today, the State has increased the volume of fiat money at a rate faster than ever in history.

Ours is not an age of principle. It is the age of deceit. Governments would prefer to avoid both depression and mass inflation, and so we see the spec­tacle of the tightrope walk: tight money causing recession, which is followed by easy money policies that produce inflation and gold crises. But the trend is clear; in­flation is the rule. Hayek says that it is a question of true recovery versus the inflationary spiral. Until we face this issue squarely, we will not find a solution.

Men, in short, must think clear­ly and act courageously. They must face the logic of economic reasoning, and admit that their own policies of inflation have brought on the specter of depres­sion. They must then make a moral decision to stop the infla­tion. The price system must be restored; the forced redistribution of wealth involved in all inflation must end. If men refuse to think clearly and to act with moral cour­age, then we face disaster.

There are only two choices, the moral choice and with that the ending of fiat money and its inflationary consequence. However, this post-inflationary era will be like the Great Depression: a collapse of prices, production, and the division of labor, but on a scale far worse than the Great Depression, before today’s advanced division of labor. Bankruptcies will soar. Think of the banking system last September if the FED had stabilized the monetary base and had not intervened. Think of the FDIC as busted, and Congress does not intervene. Think of 25% unemployment, no welfare state, and the Federal government barely functioning. This is the only way out if hyperinflation is to be avoided.

Hyperinflation is the other choice.

Hyperinflation would be much worse.

It would mean the end of modern society and the total, disorderly collapse of the State.

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Comments

  1. Very good article, certainly an honest look at the historical events surrounding what is occuring today. The treasury seems to have served up the printing presses with a high dose of steroids, with no apparent end in sight. Based on your article, what seems to be the direction we are heading and how come some of the smartest people in government (and the wealthy) don’t see this?
    Seems to me that history is going to repeat itself, at a much larger scale.

    G-Man

  2. esomhillholler says:

    Black Flag and US,
    Great Post. Sounds like the absolute facts to me. I watched O’prompter on the TV last night and I believe he is nuttier than a squirrel turd. I don’t care if he is well intentioned,(and I don’t think so) he is wrong. You cannot borrow yourself out of debt. Eventually, just as you said BF, we’re going to have to take the fall. How far it will be and if we will be able to recover someday will be up to history. My guesses are a long way and maybe not.

  3. BF you hit the nail on the head in your last statement. With the state where it is now, collapse may not be such a bad thing – in the long run. In the short term, that’s a different story. Ultimately we are headed for a collapse of the state, either orderly or disorderly – all governments fail at some point. Both parties in control have gotten to where anyone with a large amount of power and control gets – they fight loss of power with everything in them – it’s basic human nature. This is precisely why we see both parties pushing so hard for government intervention – If they don’t intervene, they lose some power and control. That will never change regardless of who is in control. This is why most government failures are ugly. It may not happen this year or this decade, but it certainly appears we are headed there sooner rather than later.

  4. Calf Roper says:

    Excellent article BF. It rang true. How about a prediction of what our government will actually do?

    My prediction is that a global government, talked about now in dark corners, will take on more significance and more power over the next 5 to 10 years. We will see a global fiat currency and a global government that has some teeth. Our government will choose to give up its sovereignty to the global government rather than put the nation through a Greater Depression. “Never waste a good crisis” right??

    Then we will truly see just how evil government can be. That’s my prediction….Cheers!!

  5. Gret post BF…very thought provoking. I agree the bad is inevitable. Given that the best defense is a great offense………..how does one prepare? All ideas welcome.

    • It seems to me that it’s simply a matter of time before things get out of hand. With this mess of a 2010 budget that being debated today, the possibility of a major collapse will occur before 2013. What does that mean to me? Well, I can envision some serious civil unrest in cities with large populations of welfare rats and low income workers (like where I live). History of past events of rioting should back up my theory. While I certainly don’t want this to happen, I have learned to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. While everyones opinion at a worst case scenario will vary alot, my plan is to make sure I have enough ammunition in the event I need to take my loved ones to a safer place to wait things out till it settles. Our 2nd Amendment rights may prove to be invaluable for non-rural Americans during this kind of crisis. Having a safe place to go, away from cities, might not be a bad move either, as I have that as well. Self protection should be a thought process and prepared for. Don’t let surprises catch us off guard and unprepared, our families are counting on us, especially our kids. Live like nothing is wrong, and prepare quietly. Keep hoping nothing happens, but watch and listen everywhere you go, there will be early signs.

      • Michael Rourke says:

        I must agree with you G in that we who are still American must prepare for a coming clash of ideaologies. For the past 40 years the socialist movement has looked for, found and developed the tools to destroy the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. J Edgar Hoover was right in labeling the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) as a radical group bent on destroying the U.S. government and adopting a Maxist Leninist society. Must of the radical elements went on to form the Weather Underground the violent arm of SDS, whose founders are still free and lecturing at our Universities.

        Their first tool was/is the voilent protest and sit-ins of the Univerity offices.

        The Second tool was/is the news media ABC NBC and CBS, using the liberal commentators to sway politicans to get American out of Viet Nam. Because of their real or perceived victory in stopping the war this tool became the main tool of choice.

        The Third tool was/is the News papers, Woodward and Water Gate was able to bring down a President who was elected by the largest vote in history at that time.

        The House of Representatives has 56 registered socialist and gaining more each year. Their goals are clear to take away the freedoms we have.
        http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/gov_philosophy/dsa_members.htm

        This is a link on the start of the SDS and the criminals that are still with us today pushing their agenda. This is very good as I am 60 years old how and a Viet Nam Marine. We need the youth of today to see where their leaders are coming from to understand by the leaders are not listening to the will of the people.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_for_a_Democratic_Society_(1960_organization)

        I reference these links as their last tool that has been developed, election to federal office.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_for_a_Democratic_Society_(2006_organization)

        G, you know more on the economy than I will ever know, but I see the current destruction of the economy as a method by the Socialist to envelop the Nation into the false belief that only the Socialist ideaology can save us all.

        If you can’t believe what is going on, read the following about Homeland Security’s new method of protecting the American people. Fusion centers are registering me, you and all of the American’s I know as militants because we disagree with their socialist ideaology.

        http://www.libertycoalition.net/homeland-security-fusion-center-advises-missouri-c

        Again, protect yourself as my family has, M-14’a and 1911’s are a good start.

        Semper Fi
        Michael

  6. As I’m listening to the budget committee hearing on the 2010 budget, and from what I’m hearing, the budget, like the last few big spending bills will get shoved down our throats. If “cap and Trade” gets passed with it, see my previous reply, and then worry.

  7. Black Flag says:

    G-Man

    Thanks for the response.

    …what seems to be the direction we are heading and how come some of the smartest people in government (and the wealthy) don’t see this?

    Seems to me that history is going to repeat itself, at a much larger scale.

    There is a dominant Keynesian theory and it is essentially the only theory that is taught in Economic departments of University today. There is no other thinking.

    Keynesian Theory denies my post, and in fact, states that more infusion of fiat money is required to stave off depression. Depression is the big boogy-man of modern political thought.

    I am among the disciples of Mises and his Austrian Economic theory as is Hayek. I find Mises, Hayek and their disciples have been incredibly accurate in their descriptions of the consequences of certain economic policies and have been proven right by reality.

    However, many of them do not believe government will allow hyperinflation. They believe this because, as Mises/Hayek disciples, they fully understand the ultimate disaster to modern western society this would cause. They are incredibly terrified, as I am, of this disaster as it would mean the “End of the World As We Know It”.

    However, in my personal opinion, I believe my economic compatriots are merely whistling past a graveyard. The alternative of hyperinflation is so horrific, they are grasping for the futile hope that government will wake up and save the day by stopping what they are doing.

    And, if you have read any of my posts here, I do not believe government has any willpower to stop doing anything.

    I consistently urge that people stop energizing government in any way, by resisting working for or against it. Every and any action within or against government increases its actions, and to save modern society, government needs to stop all its actions.

    And if you’ve read any posts at all here (and remember, this is the home of one of the most intelligent hosts, posters and readership on economic/political thought from the general public) you can see there exists no will whatsoever to stop energizing government.

    From that, my opinion is that government will continue to act. It will continue to intervene. It will continue to inflate. It will continue to accelerate toward the devastating cliff of the chasm of total oblivion of western society.

    Preparation

    So much depends on your own personal situation; whether you’re young or old, retired, working, not working or about to enter the workforce, living in the city or rural, etc.

    But some things to think about:

    – Recognize that this is a disaster. There are no winners. The goal is to get to the lifeboats and make it ashore. Life in a lifeboat is not fun, but at least you live long enough to start over.

    – Inflation means currency devalues. Therefore, get out of currency and into real value.

    – Start early. Today, preparing by building stores of supplies is called “prudent thinking”; spending money on real value is called “investing” …. during the crisis it is called “hoarding” and “a bank run” – and anti-hoarding laws allows people to legally steal from you, while you sit in jail (or worse, dead). Do this quietly; you do not need armed strangers at your door seeking your supplies. During the crisis, line up like everyone else – do nothing different then your neighbors. If you do not line up, they will figure out you don’t need to. Use your stores to augment your health; you cannot afford to get sick in a crisis – it will mean your death.

    – Move to family or have family move closer to you. You will need to depend on others for your survival, and people will limit their aid to only those closest to them.

    – Get to know your neighbors. Expand your “Dunbar Number” or optimal tribe size to its maximum. Dunbar said about 150 people. People will defend their tribe, so make a tribe out of your neighbors for neighborhood self-defense against feral, very well armed, ex-military.

    Again, this is merely my opinion; since the world has never seen this, there is no historical reference except a good guess.

    • Well, we’re retired (military), but young (54 & 64), no debts, house paid for. Plan on getting some arms. As for real value investing — what besides precious metals? Real estate is cheap here in FL now, and we’ve considered using some of our cash for that, but if total overthrow comes–what good is a deed?
      Being originally from Cuba, my family has already experienced this type of loss once and they rebuilt in this country. They’ve seen the signs and are understandably scared…….they’re older now and don’t want to lose a second time….

    • Black Flag says:

      If you believe we will merely suffer massive inflation, then the buying land with a long-term, fixed rate mortgage is a good plan.

      “The fastest way to become a millionaire is to borrow a million dollars and let inflation pay it off”.

      If you believe hyperinflation is coming, mobility of assets is important.

    • Great advice-I recall the words of OTeleprompter referring to the American people clinging to our guns and religion. Was this prophetic-I think not.

      Predicatable is what we all can see but refuse to believe. The relative value of currency and product does not improve by printing more valueless money and certainly, we cannot borrow our way out of debt.

      Cling to your guns for survival and cling to religion for hope. We are going to need both-for when you have a supply for sustenance and others do not, you will be forced to defend.

  8. Disgusted in Cali says:

    My family and I have been quietly stocking supplies of all types and have recently purchased a very isolated and defensible chunk of land just in case it becomes necessary to get out of Dodge quick. Our relatives and a few trusted friends know that if (or should I say when) a major breakdown occurs, how to get there and what to bring. Its always better to be safe than sorry.

  9. Black Flag says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=asdbAe_7mYys&refer=WRH

    Fed to Start Purchasing Treasuries to Unfreeze Credit
    By Scott Lanman

    March 25 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve starts purchasing long-term Treasuries today, aiming to bring down borrowing costs by employing tools last used in the 1960s.

    The first operation in the $300 billion effort is targeted on notes maturing from February 2016 to February 2019, the New York Fed Bank said in a statement yesterday. In the coming eight days, the central bank plans to buy debt maturing between March 2011 and February 2039, according to the tentative schedule.

    The Fed joins central banks in the U.K. and Japan in extraordinary purchases of government debt, broadening efforts to unfreeze credit and end the recession after cutting the benchmark interest rate close to zero. The Fed’s purchases may ultimately be overwhelmed by new government borrowing to finance a budget deficit projected at $1.5 trillion this year.

    …this is the equivalent of the first shot at Fort Sumter….

    The unfreezing of credit means more money into the economy.

    Ending of recession means more money into the economy.

    Trillion dollar government more debt means more money into the economy.

    Therefore, I see no ‘stopping’ and less and less probability of a Depression.

  10. I have noticed that alot of people talking about survivalism because of all this, many are vets like myself. I work at a large hospital, and there is little talk about this. Most don’t believe it “could” happen and basically ignore whats going on around them. While I’m not fearful, I am prepared, as one would expect a war vet to be. BF, you say there will be no ‘stopping’, in your opinion is this a step toward hyperinflation?

    • Black Flag says:

      I’ve posted this video before – it puts it into perspective.

      Generic advice:

      5% inflation should be your wake-up call.

      10% would be a “get out the door, running” call.

      Over 10% will be a wake-up call to millions of Americans.

      When 20% per annum — unprecedented in U.S. history — the public will move to panic mode. You had better be ahead of the pack, i.e., ahead of the curve. You want to buy long-term consumer goods no later than 8% per annum.

      Once it’s clear that double-digit price inflation is about to hit, it will be time to liquidate your pension fund, pay taxes and penalties, and buy the goods you think you will need if price inflation goes above 20%. Get these items before the public panics.

      We have never seen increases in the money supply at today’s rate.

      The FED is going into high gear on creating money. The Treasury is in high gear on spending it.

      The world’s central banks have moved to direct spending by buying immense quantities of government debt. This debt will never be paid off. It will be inflated away. Creditors will lose.

      5% mortgage on a safe second home is a good investment if you can afford it.

      Rent it out for now. Take a monthly loss if you must. The goal is to have a back-up property of some kind in a safe location. Price inflation above 20% is panic time. Be sure you are in a position to move geographically.

      If it goes yo 20%, it will go to 50%. At 20%, the FED will have lost control. Don’t wait around watching the grass grow.

      • BF — How are you measuring inflation? Current government measures show it at .24% in February, down from .3 in January… An alternate number produced by John Williams http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data shows it pushing 8%. Mr. Williams’ calculations are based on the 1990 gov’t calculations.

    • Black Flag says:

      How are you measuring inflation?

      Good question!!

      I use the CPI index of Chicago Board of Trade.

      But, any index has its pluses and minuses.

      Pick one. It is the variation from the norm that creates the indicators.

  11. This is a harsh topic and is hard to talk about without dreaming of the Reagan era,but i like the way you shined the light of truth on it, the truth needs to be heard as the survival of many on this sinking ship lies in the balance.
    keep up the good work,i do have one question or would like a better explanation of a idea of yours.. when you say ignore govt , stay away from any support or opposition of govt… i dont know how that helps any, I argue with my Jehovah witness friend about how his not voting and his entire group not voting doesnt help anything , i sorta feel the same way about ignoring govt. , i thinkn intelligent people like you and the likes on this site sitting on the sidelines just allows the communist mentors of obama (saul alinsky and frank marshalll davis) have their way with those that cant defend their wishes because they cant articulate them..

    • Black Flag says:

      Government acts and always acts badly.

      The less government acts, the less bad.

      Government acts because of energy. Any energy. You attack it, it acts. You wish to change it, it acts.

      Any change to government is merely a change of the color of the shirts they wear not its essence.

      Working for, within or around government gives it legitimacy, and with that legitimacy, it acts.

      Remove its legitimacy, and it becomes merely a well-dressed class of criminals.

      Government loses legitimacy when the people ignore it.

      It is hard, because government is so pervasive, to do nothing – but sometimes the greatest courage comes from doing nothing, and most especially, when every action only makes things worse.

      • BF,

        You said – “Government loses legitimacy when the people ignore it.”

        You know I have to disagree. Government is like a piranha . . . Ignore it and it will eat you alive.

        You know my opinion, the only way to make government safe is to return governmental control back to the people. Then, we the people must never relinquish that control ever again. Our forefathers intended for us to do just that, keep positive control over our government. We have let them down by doing just what you advocate – ignoring government. I believe that is why we are in the mess that we are in today.

        Ignoring government allows it to do whatever it feels like. The current form of our government allows just that to happen, and you know that history has taught us that if left to its own devices any government will eventually enslave it own people.

      • Black Flag says:

        Government lives by legitimacy – ignoring it gives it no legitimacy.

        It may still be violent – but in the same way the Mafia is violent and illegitimate.

        As the famous jurist, Black, stated paradoxically (paraphrased):

        “Government must be controlled by rules, however, it is the government who selects what those rules are” – there is no hope in containing government when it can changes its own rules.

        As long as the people demand the right to inflict violence upon non-violent people so to enforce their edicts, tyranny will always exist.

  12. Black Flag says:

    From

    http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/showthread.php?p=63049

    The 100 items to disappear first in Sarajevo at the start of the war

    1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of
    thieves; maintenance etc.)
    2. Water Filters/Purifiers
    3. Portable Toilets
    4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
    5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile
    ANY!)
    6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
    7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
    8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
    9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
    10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
    11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
    12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
    13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR
    PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.
    16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
    17. Survival Guide Book.
    18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is
    difficult.)
    19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
    20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
    21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
    22. Vitamins
    23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous
    without this item)
    24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
    25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
    26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
    27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
    28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
    29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
    30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
    31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
    32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
    33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
    34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
    35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
    36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
    37. First aid kits
    38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
    39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
    40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
    41. Flour, yeast & salt
    42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
    43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
    44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
    45. Work-boots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
    46. Flashlights/lightsticks & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns
    47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience;
    Historic Times)
    48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if with
    wheels)
    49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers,
    etc
    50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
    51. Fishing supplies/tools
    52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
    53. Duct Tape
    54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
    55. Candles
    56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
    57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
    58. Garden tools & supplies
    59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
    60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
    61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
    62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
    63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
    64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
    65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
    66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
    67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
    68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
    69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
    70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
    71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
    72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
    73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
    74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
    75. Soy Sauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soup bases
    76. Reading glasses
    77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
    78. “Survival-in-a-Can”
    79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
    80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
    81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
    82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
    83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
    84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
    85. Lumber (all types)
    86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
    87. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s
    88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
    89. Lantern Hangers
    90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
    91. Teas
    92. Coffee
    93. Cigarettes
    94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
    95. Paraffin wax
    96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
    97. Chewing gum/candies
    98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
    99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
    100. Goats/chickens

    From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
    Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and
    friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

    1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
    near renewable food sources.
    2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
    3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
    quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.
    4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to
    do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
    5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
    heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of
    the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
    enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in
    bulk.
    6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
    valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival
    guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll
    have a lot of time on your hands.
    7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many
    people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
    toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
    lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
    8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

  13. Black Flag says:

    http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/showthread.php?p=63049

    First 100 things that will disappear….

  14. Black Flag says:

    More advocates…

    There is a rush to buy guns and ammunition. The establishment media are aghast. This demand for guns indicate a lack of confidence in the State.

    The media resents this.

    If everyone doubled his spending on canned food and other consumer durables, surpermarkets would be empty. Production plans would take months to shift. So, do it now.

    For the next year, double your spending on supermarket durables. Buy extra supplies when they go on sale. If a store goes out of business and sells inventory cheap, take advantage of the opportunity. Shop at Sam’s or Costco. This is a savings program. It is an inflation hedge.

    Stored goods serve as cushions against unexpected events. They are good for the recessionary economy, right?

    In times of price inflation, your demand today will not be adding to the panic then. Buy now; avoid panic later.

    The time to buy is in a recession, when sellers want buyers. The time to avoid buying is when the psychology reverses to inflation-hedging.

    The media don’t approve of hoarding. That is another reason to hoard.

  15. esomhillholler says:

    BF, go to my blog at esomhillgazette.wordpress.com and read. Don’t be to hard on me as I’m just starting

  16. A good article BF. I have been working along the lines you suggest on preparing, but cannot make myself buy gold at $900 an ounce. Planting a garden this year, mainly to make a few mistakes to learn from.
    I was also very impressed with your post on energy a few days ago.

    • Black Flag says:

      If I said that gold would probably rise to $5000 in a year, would you buy gold?

      There is really only two reasons to buy gold.

      1) Use it to pay off the mortgage when mass inflation peaks.

      2) Use it to food and necessities to keep alive through hyperinflation.

      I suggest 20% to 40% of your reserves should be gold, up to about $10,000 (or 10 to 15 oz).

      Buying canned goods, and the like is as good an investment as gold – except if you have to run for you life, then gold is better.

      • What about other precious metals for those that have limited cash?

        Even for those with a stockpile of gold, would there be any reason to consider other metals, such as silver, platinum, copper, aluminum, etc?

      • Black Flag says:

        Platinum is even more expensive then gold. Further, it is more an industrial metal than precious metal – used in catalytic converters in cars – so much of its price is dependent on car manufacturing – and thus, in economic hard times, may lose its value. However, I have a few Platinum 1oz. coins as a hedge.

        Copper, Aluminum, etc. are valuable industrial metals – there price is really a matter of the economic uses.

        Silver, again, is an industrial metal and may suffer the same loss in price in an economic troubling time. Further, it takes a lot more silver vs. gold – about 90x more.

        But, I do own silver – both in bar and coin. It is very useful for smaller purchases in times of trouble — it may be hard to get ‘change’ from a $5,000 oz. of gold when buying a loaf of bread. At least with a $20 or $50 per oz. silver coin, you can buy 50 loafs instead of 5,000 😉

        • I was asked this same questions about gold and silver just a few days ago. My answer exactly was how do you buy a staple item with a 10000.00 gold piece. Silver will trade and will probably be more marketable than gold because no one will be able to make change. If you walk in and buy 5 gallons of gas with a couple of silver pieces you’d be all right….throw down several thousand dollars worth of gold and one of two things will happen….you won’t get your gas or you won’t get your change.
          Several years ago we went through a bad ice storm that put electricity out for several days to several weeks in some places. No one was prepared. Within minutes the shelves were cleaned of any kind of coleman fuel and butane bottles. Matches, lighters and candles were next. All generators were gone in just a matter of a few minutes. Ready made food cleared the shelves in fast order, bread, sandwich makings ect. The small butane bottles like the ones that come on campers are good stockpile. You can run laterns, and small heat from these.
          Good list BF….I am not a survivalist by nature….but what I have seen in the last year…has pushed me to prepare for some rough roads ahead. Once again you have done an excellent job. You and USW are stad up guys…..will ya come be my neighbors?

        • Black Flag says:

          We are neighbors!

          This virtual community is Key to what I believe in building the new future after collapse.

          The ability to communicate over long distances to rebuild our ‘tribe’ will define how people rebuild local tribes.

          We are becoming no longer defined by mere geography.

          We are building new ‘nations’ based on our thoughts and beliefs, regardless of geography.

          I can’t tell you how this will play out. In the 1500’s they had no concept of a ‘nation’ or ‘patriotism’ – it was impossible for them to conceive of such.

          What this new ability to tribalize over great distance might create? I do not know….

          …but it will fun to see it evolve!

          • How fast can you get here when the government tax collectors start beating down doors? Or the thieves come after my garden? Me thinks I need closer friends and neighbors. Besides I think I better get a solar powered battery charger for my lap top…gonna be lonely out in the woods without my friends.

      • I worked in the Precious Metals Industry for a few years and I agree with BF. The price of platinum, palladium, ruthenium, and rhodium is very dependent upon Russian and South African politics as that’s where the mines are. If those countries were to open up, and the production of catalytic converters goes down (who’s worried about auto emissions when you’re fending for your life) then the prices of those metals would plummet.

        • Black Flag says:

          I agree that those metal prices are more market based then precious based.

          I still hold Platinum and Silver, though as a percentage of my Gold.

      • If you said gold would be $5000 in a year , would I buy? I don’t know, most of our investing has underperformed. We bought MCI on advice (no Enron). Had been thinking about MGM a week before they began bankruptcy. My luck, if I buy gold, the market will tank and everyone here will want to lynch me for causing it, and you for telling me to buy. Have had some positive results, but most of that was my wife’s picks.

        • Black Flag says:

          Buying gold is not be make it rich – it is to survive if things go horribly bad.

          What can you trade to buy food?

          I posted a video about Zimbabwe awhile ago – and the use of gold as one of the only means to buy a little bread for the people to survive. They can mine it in their rivers because most of the people are still rural, and not trapped inside the cities.

          I am not aware of many gold-enriched rivers running through the center’s of our cities.

  17. Thanks, Black Flag,

    So…

    We are wasting our time / energy on the socialism vs. capitalism argument. No matter what, we are heading for disaster of one degree or another?

    It mattered little who was elected President, we can’t get off this downhill road?

    We will at some point in the future have to rebuild our government, IF we survive as a country?

    Our energies are better spent switching to survival mode, and forget the stuff going on in Washington?

    The current bounce in the stock market is just that….a bounce. It will head back down, big time? There is no point in trying to grab the “ups” in the market to finance survival supplies because the market is too unpredictable?

    All of the talking heads on TV are wasting their breath and our time with constant debating of the issues…when the only REAL issue is how to survive the coming meltdown?

    Do I have ANY of this right?….lol

    • Dee,

      I wouldn’t say we are wasting our time on the socialism/captialism argument. Nor would I say the talking heads are completely wasting their breath. Ultimately the government will fail, whether in the next few years or hundreds of years from now.

      That being said, I don’t see a bunch of power hungry politicians giving up power willingly. If we could impose real term limits and get media buy-in so that the folks would be convinced to elect servants and not politicians to office in D.C., then real change could take place. Again that’s also unlikely because the main stream media is very powerful also and in the tank with the politicians. Heck, many are “former” politicians.

      Even in the best of worlds, all governments fail. Sometimes at the hands of The Almighty (major natural disasters, etc.), and sometimes at the hands of an ignorant populace – we appear on the road to the latter.

    • Black Flag says:

      Dee

      We are wasting our time / energy on the socialism vs. capitalism argument. No matter what, we are heading for disaster of one degree or another?

      These are economic systems – not political.

      However, as economics is the mother of politics, these systems breed prodigy of political systems.

      Socialism requires compulsion or force, thus tends to breed very overt forms of government.

      Capitalism tends not to need compulsion or force, in fact, works the best where freedom exists. However, it is important to note, Capitalism also can breed very overt forms of government (unfortunately) – fascism (government run capitalism)/mercantilism (military enforced trade and commerce).

      We are currently running in a fascist system.

      It mattered little who was elected President, we can’t get off this downhill road?

      No, because it will be the same Government. Matters not the name on the sweater, nor the logo on their hat.

      We will at some point in the future have to rebuild our government, IF we survive as a country?

      God, I hope not. If we, again, chose government as our savior, we will be destroyed – again – as we have been every single time for the last 10,000 years.

      We will survive as a People, and do most well without government – if we chose so.

      Our energies are better spent switching to survival mode, and forget the stuff going on in Washington?

      Yes.

      The current bounce in the stock market is just that….a bounce. It will head back down, big time?

      The stock market is based on currency. It has typically done well in inflation, as inflation also drives the currency evaluation of stocks up with it.

      There are two types of people in the stock market – the speculator and the investor.

      I invest into companies so to share their profits. In the current and near to mid-term future, tell me what company will be doing well?

      I don’t know either. I am not in the stock market. I am an investor.

      Others are speculator, they may do well. I’ve heard that some people win in Las Vegas too playing the slot machines.

      All of the talking heads on TV are wasting their breath and our time with constant debating of the issues…when the only REAL issue is how to survive the coming meltdown?

      I offer merely my opinion – and I admit it runs counter to many in the Main Stream. Mine is also the voice of alarm and great concern, and that scares people too.

      If you believe me right, and you do not act, and it happens that I am shown to be right, the future will do you very great harm.

      If I am proven wrong, the consequence will be that you won’t have to buy groceries for a year, may have missed a small profit in the stock market, and had a moderate reduction in your life style for a year or so – and my apology.

      • Black Flag says:

        Addendum:

        IF you do Act and I am proven wrong, the consequence will be that you won’t have to buy groceries for a year, may have missed a small profit in the stock market, and had a moderate reduction in your life style for a year or so – and my apology.

        • Black Flag says:

          Addendum addendum: (Perhaps I should of re-read my answer BEFORE I submitted it…;) )

          If you do act and I am right…the future may still do us all great harm, but at least you -like me- tried our best to mitigate it as much as possible.

  18. Thanks BF for the brutal lesson today. I’m a little bit skeptical but not ignorant so I am working on my plan as per your suggestions.

  19. BF, a question – what about leaving the country entirely?

    • Black Flag says:

      …and go where?

      If you think the USA is going to tank badly, Europe will be far, far worse.

      Where as the USA has announced over a $1 trillion to $3 trillion in fiat bailout, the EU has projected – sit down – $65 trillion.

      Every nation on earth has used the US$ as its reserve currency – so goeth the US$, so does the rest of the world.

      Go to Caribbean – they have to import a lot of ‘stuff’ to live – who’s going to ship it to them?

      Russia is a basket case – they bet on oil, and it tanked.

      Africa was, is and will remain the ultimate of basket cases.

      South America – the epitome of banana republics – depended on US help. There will be no more help.

      China? Speak Chinese? They are very western-phobic (though getting better)

      Japan is still suffering their ‘mild’ collaspe – they will suffer even more.

      USA and/or Canada is actually the best place to suffer. Lots of natural resources – food, water, minerals, oil – lots of smart people who are born and bred pioneers.

      The disaster will end – it will be like Katrina or it will be like Hiroshima – and still, people survived.

      But, let’s hope for Katrina.

      • I say New Zealand is the place to go to. Self-reliant and enough natural resources, including good growing weather, to provide for their small population. And they are not on anyone’s target list.

  20. Black Flag,

    You say the best government, is none at all. How would that work?

    Wouldn’t people gather in tribes and clans and fight for resources? Would not the natural pecking order take over, and become a form of government for each tribe/clan/population, or rather many mini-governments

    Is there an example of a country that has no government?

    • Black Flag says:

      You say the best government, is none at all. How would that work?

      An encyclopedia couldn’t describe all of it – ….

      First off, though, let’s make sure we know we are talking about the same thing.

      Many people have an idea of what they believe government is – and that is what they believe they want. It probably is not what government really is.

      A lot of my discussions here on USWep’s site revolves around this – where I see a myth that people hold about government, and its reality (from my point of view, at least).

      I see people believe government is a moral force that protects people’s right. I believe this view is a myth.

      Government is the greatest force destroying people’s rights.

      I believe it is immoral to use violence upon non-violent people, that is, initiate violence.

      The question I always ask is:

      “What right does anyone have to use violence upon non-violent people to enforce an edict?”

      I will then point to the laws of government, where 98% of the laws does exactly that – and the opinion of Statists (those that support the State – the government) that the State should act in this manner as its right to maintain order.

      So, I submit that an entity that uses violence as its primary (and only) tool is immoral, and as such, destructive to mankind.

      So, I use Mises’ and Rothbard’s definition of government:

      An entity with a monopoly on of violence within a defined geographical area

      I believe people can as easily organize themselves in society that does not need them to initiate violence on non-violent members of that society.

      Wouldn’t people gather in tribes and clans and fight for resources?

      What people?

      I assume you are civilized. Would you, as your first and primary choice, attack the farmer to seize his food?

      Or would you chose to trade for it?

      However, I read between your lines.
      …People steal…

      Yes, and here’s an important point.

      They still steal, even when we have a government . I would actually argue they steal more, because of government.

      But the point being, stealing has nothing to do with having a government or not.

      Also between your lines, what you’re asking is:

      “How do we organize a defense against stealing if we don’t have ‘government’ to do it”.

      Like the L.A. Riots – where we had government and police and they stood by while criminals stole and looted and burned. So much for government….

      …and what happened. Neighbors defended each other, and fought back against the horde – so successfully that they put a run on the criminals…and then the police felt safe enough to help out.

      We do not need government to organize self-defense.

      Consider this:
      I build a wall and hire guards to protect my property and family.

      You come to visit me, and stay awhile.

      How much more does it cost me to defend you?

      So, why does the government demand more money to defend the same people if the incremental cost of my defense for you is nearly zero?

      (Because, perhaps, it is not defending us at all?)

      Would not the natural pecking order take over, and become a form of government for each tribe/clan/population, or rather many mini-governments

      And another book to explain!

      Violence is profitable…

      Organized violence is even more profitable, and safer.

      Centralizing the organization of violence is even more profitable and safer.

      Legitimizing the centralizing, organization of violence is the most profitable and the safest – we call this “Government”.

      As long as the People are unable to defend themselves from organized violence, government will appear. It demands legitimacy, that is, its right to use violence to steal from the people, and enforce its edicts upon the people. As soon as the people agree that these criminals have a right to do this that makes the criminals legitimate.

      Since the beginning of the agricultural revolution, there has been two types of people:

      1) those that steal the resources they need to live – called the political system.

      2) those that earn the resources they need to live – called the economic system.

      Bands of thieves were able to steal the produce of farmers. Quickly the thieves figured out if the killed the farmer or let him starve, they’d starve next.

      By forcing the farmer to submit, and ‘voluntarily’ surrender part of his produce to them, they wouldn’t kill him.

      The deal is a good one, so the thieves didn’t want another band of thieves to move into their territory – so they called this “protecting the farmer”.

      As soon as the People are able to resist the thieves (now called government), the People become free (or more free).

      It took 10 years of training, about $2 million in today’s money, to make a knight – and suddenly, a peasant with a bent yew stick and a hard twig with a point on it, and about a day’s training could kill the knight at a 100 paces.

      The longbow, in the hands of peasants, forced a king to agree that all man have rights under the law, and even the king was subject to law.

      An explosion of freedom – when the peasants resist government.

      The long rifle in the hands of farmers forced a king to agree that people have the right to rule themselves.

      Today, the ability of one man to defend himself from government has never been greater.

      Today, we are in the position to assert our freedom – resisting government – to a degree we haven’t had for 10,000 years.

      Is there an example of a country that has no government?

      Country? – a definition by government…. but I know you meant “People”.

      Yes!

      During the Rome Empire, the demand for taxes was so great that farmers left their fields because of the land tax. Huge tracts of Europe farm land went fallow.

      The fall of Rome – and the tax collector no longer had an army to back him up to collect the tax. They were either killed, or they didn’t show up to collect.

      The people of Europe started to clear the farm land again – and the greatest explosion of human prosperity to that time occurred. Population grew. The people were free – they organized themselves into loose communities – without any formal government.

      It all ended on the Global cooling and massive crop failures and famine – which led to the feudal system.

      This demonstrates a few key points.

      1) The natural tendency for mankind is to organize voluntarily

      2) Government is destructive to human freedom

      3) Geopolitical events – such as famine or political failure – heralds a massive paradigm shift of human society organization. Which way human society shifts, and to what, cannot be predicted nor defined. No one predicted the explosion of freedom from the fall of the Rome Empire (though in retrospect, we can understand why), nor could anyone predict the feudal system as a consequence of global cooling and crop failures (though, again, in retrospect, we can understand why).

      We are facing a massive geopolitical paradigm shift in our lifetime.

      I see a powerful individual – greater than any time in history and potentially equal to a nation state – have an opportunity to achieve sovereignty equal of nation states.

      The next era of human society is coming – it could be terribly dark, as the feudal ages – or it could be wonderful, as after the fall of Rome.

      We – you and I – are in a position to decide which path.

  21. That’s a fairly good post, BF.

    However, I question you message of doom and gloom. The war in Yugoslavia was brought about by pitching one religion against another from the old Soviet regime. Did you notice how the wonderful U.N. prevented that war? It didn’t, it actually made it worse.

    From time to time in human history, those of us who purport to be modern thinkers have underestimated those who we believe to be barbarians. That is how that period in history known as the dark ages came upon us. Something like what you are predicting.

    I believe that we modern types can avert another dark ages by using our brains and reforming our government to deal with these modern problems that we now face. Rome did not do that. Neither did Egypt. Or any of the other previous civilizations in human history. We have a unique opportunity to learn form history and avert such a catastrophe. All we have to do is use our brains.

    • Black Flag says:

      Well, we agree on using our brains.

      What we don’t seem to agree on is what is moral.

      I do not see government as moral (see post above yours).

      I see voluntary association and non-aggression as moral.

      • BF

        The fall of Rome brought about the dark ages. Almost all of the technological advantages developed by the Roman Empire were lost and had to be re-invented. The same thing happened with Egypt. Did you know that ancient Egyptians had steam engines and electrical batteries? The Romans developed a type of concrete that scientists are just now beginning to duplicate and that it is ten times stronger than we have ever “invented”?

        I am no scholar, yet as I read most of your posts I wonder just how much you actually believe in yourself? You try to make things sound so complicated and they are not. It is what folks who live out here in the desert call making mountains out of mole hills.

        I have always believed that there are simple remedies to what our problems are today. The first rule is to get people awake and re-involved in this system of government that we have. I know that it ain’t perfect, but then nothing ever is. You know that as well as I do. But if we all pick up our oars and begin rowing in the same direction, then perhaps this old rowboat just might make it instead of sinking. Then maybe we can save some of these new inventions that we have come up with and future generations won’t have to re-invent them.

        You never know, we just might find some space for even all of you hardcore “anarchists” to do your own thing in. After all, we are all in this boat together.

      • Black Flag says:

        G. A. Rowe

        The fall of Rome brought about the dark ages.

        A myth, sir.

        Rome fell at 500AD – the Dark ages started in 700AD
        #
        Around 500 AD Rome fell starting the early middle ages.
        #
        Around 700 AD the dark ages began; where barbarians invaded western Europe.

        In those 200 years, there was the free Europe – and it was in 772 that Charlemagne established the Holy Roman Empire – that’s right, the start of the Dark Ages..

        You never know, we just might find some space for even all of you hardcore “anarchists” to do your own thing in. After all, we are all in this boat together.

        The challenge you have is to justify your immoral basis of government – a daunting task considering for the last 10,000 years, it hasn’t been done.

  22. Here is a video definition of various types of government. I found this link on Glenn Beck’s 9-12 site:

    http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment/

    Opinions?

  23. I posted this once and it disappeared, sorry if it shows up twice.

    I found this linked from Glenn Becks’ 9-12 site. It explains different types of government.

    http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment/

    Opinions?

  24. I have been trying to post an interesting link, but it has disappeared twice now.

    It was a video explaining different types of government. I found the link on Glenn Becks’ “9-12 project” site. Gonna see if this will post for me.

  25. The link directly to the video will not post, not sure why, sorry.

    Gonna try this link:

    http://www.the912project.com/

    If this will post, click on “If you’ve read the 5000 Year Leap then you know …” at the top of the page, then click on the video.

    Black Flag, hope you watch this and give your opinion.

  26. Black Flag says:

    Not bad – they still misrepresent and offer a lot of myths about the real anarchist position – they do spend a lot of time on it so, I’m flattered – about as much time as they did democracy and republic.

    However, much of what they claimed about “Republic” overlaps much of what real Anarchists also support.

    Though, the questions – which of course is not addressed in the video –

    What constitutes a Moral law?

    Who decides this?

  27. Black Flag says:

    Thanks for all the fantastic responses – I’m always impressed by the audience USWep has been able to attract.

    I enjoy the dialogue with all of you – in agreement or not – on all the topics so well presented here by our host.

    And of course, a major thank you to, once again, USWeapon for lending me his soap box.

  28. BF, I am also a fan of the Austrian Theory of Economics. You’ve answered my question as to why so many seem wedded to Keynesian Economics; same old crap taught in liberal academia.

    You sure seem to know your stuff, but I hope that this crisis is a cycle that we can come out of without impending disaster via the normal democratic process. My gut has been screaming since last fall, and I’ve always trusted my instinct, particularly when it won’t let up. It has never screamed louder than it does with each passing day. I am, however, fighting the fight, however futile you think that may be. And you may be right on, so I am also preparing for the worst. If I had my druther’s, I’d pack up the family and move to New Zealand and lay low. But what to do when I know the crap will most likely soon hit the fan, and the rest of the world (including spouse) thinks this talk is worthy of commitment to the local mental hospital?

    • Black Flag says:

      I’ll repost some advice I gave Cindy awhile back…

      As far as your spouse… he is in denial.

      So far, the traditional panic break in the stock market has not occurred. When it does, the psychological devastation will be too great for some people.

      Some people can’t believe that their portfolios have collapsed. Some get defensive, shrugging it off. “The stock market will come back.” It never came back to March 2000. Why will it come back this time? Others are frightened badly. Others have adjusted their retirement dreams downward.

      When a couple are having different responses, both of them will have problems expressing their concerns. The other one does not want to hear about these concerns.

      But here is my point, the one who has a plan should take the lead. A bad plan is better than no plan. A plan can be adjusted.

      By “take the lead,” I mean first and foremost cost-cutting. Create a budget and stick to it. The one with the plan must control the checkbook… make it clear that this is an emergency situation. Take over control over the spending. Start looking for less expensive housing (if you are renting), or renegotiate your mortgage for a term rate as far into the future as possible (if you are not upside-down already today).

      The one without the plan must defer to the other. The leader ought to stop talking about how bad things are. Talking is useless. Actions count. If you control the checkbook, shut up and cut the budget.

      You are probably not in much worse shape than others — you are actually way ahead of most people because you are aware.

      If the person in denial controls the checkbook and refuses to turn loose of it, the other party is in trouble.

      If this is what happens, you had better start spending on food storage and similar fall-back items. When reality catches up with the bank account, at least the family will have a few months’ reserves. That will give time for the other in denial to face reality.

      A person in denial is probably ready to surrender control. Graciously make a move for the checkbook.

      The person who faces reality is in a better position to take responsibility. If that’s you, wait for the opportunity. The person in denial will at some point be ready to surrender authority. He or she just wants out from under the burden. Be patient. There isn’t anything you can do about it anyway. It does not pay to fret about things you cannot control.

      If you get no cooperation, go out and get a job if there are no children at home, and you don’t already pull in a paycheck. Don’t ask. Just go out and find work. Find a second job if you can. That will help you psychologically. It may force the other person to face up to reality.

      I am fortunate that my wife is a natural saver and minimalist – since I (used to) travel to new countries on contracts, if she wasn’t able to pack our home and leave in 48 hrs., well she wouldn’t have survived with me.

      She may not see the signs of economic collapse as I may – but when I say “Let’s save, sell what we don’t want, and prepare for disaster” — it suits her temperament perfectly. I am lucky.

      But my brother – he is hopeless. A retired Colonel, a Statist – unshakable faith in government to pull us out of any problem – he is fortunate and lucky. He is wealthy enough, in the right location, with the right skills. He’ll make it by accident.

      Do what you can with what you have.

      You’re the child of great families – hundreds of years of powerful independence and pioneers spirits. It is no accident we are the ones, here and now, to deal with this – we’ve been well prepared and trained. We just have to do it.

      • Well, fortunately, husband and I are on the same page as far as saving, and I hold the checkbook. Always have. I’m also what you call the leader (more like the activator) in the family. So I’ll prepare and keep planting my little seeds.

      • Yes Flag, we are the decendents of the tired and the poor, the wretched refuse of their teeming shores. That, I figure is one of the reasons why Socialized medicine would never ever work here. We would all try to figure out a way around it.

        I think back to the post war newsreels, and for that matter, news stories today of how Britons and Canadians cheerfully queue up for some stupid thing or other. I cannot imagine Americans ever cheerfully queuing up for anything. Fortunately or unfortunately, we were born to jump the line. So I guess it’s “keep your powder dry” time.

  29. TexasChem says:

    Moral law would be code that the majority of a population agreed to live by to determine right/wrong. The standard to Moral law to me that I live by since I am a christian is God. Our society has become such a relativistic or morally subjective society that I can’t hardly stand to watch nor read the news because of the pain it brings from seeing how corrupt and evil people are becoming.

    Being from Texas and growing up in a small country community I wish I could somehow spread the Moral law of where I grew up. I was raised not only by MY parents but MY friends parents, MY teachers, MY coaches, MY Barber etc…think ya get the point… It was a modern day Mayberry straight off the Andy Griffith show where Apple pie and Baseball were still American staples. I ran across this book on another blog and thought to myself that more American communities could benefit from these simple rules…

    Cowboy Values: Recapturing What America Has Lost
    by James Owen

    The Cowboy Way

    Live each day with courage
    Take pride in your work
    Always finish what you start
    Do what has to be done
    Be tough, but fair
    When you make a promise, keep it
    Ride for the brand
    Talk less and say more
    Remember that some things aren’t for sale
    Know where to draw the line

    Core values:

    God
    Courage
    Optimism
    Self-Reliance
    Authenticity
    Honor
    Duty
    Heart

    • Calf Roper says:

      I read that article too. Where have all the cowboys gone? Nowhere, we’re still here. We’re just in the flyover country that the east and west coasts don’t recognize exists. Did you see the last electorate map? A huge surge of red filled the midwest from Texas to North Dakota.

      We are here, We are here, We are here!!!

    • Black Flag says:

      TexasChem

      Moral law would be code that the majority of a population agreed to live by to determine right/wrong.

      So, Tex, if the majority said that it is moral to shoot-on-site left-handed blond people, you would agree?

      • TexasChem says:

        No I would not agree because that would go against my values and morals. By definition moral law has to have a standard. The standard widely used by all societies for thousands of years has been directly influenced by that societies dominant religion. Our American society today is a hodge-podge collective of multicultural societies with influence from thier various religions.

        Basically you are asking me who determines right/wrong. My answer would be God.

        There is no doubt what-so-ever that our forefathers founded this country with Christian Moral laws as guidelines influencing our constitution. No doubt at all.

        It seems that the leftwing liberals have done an outstanding job at distancing our society from that fact to thier own ends. Else why the corruption in our ruling government today? Why the low value on life, liberty and freedom in our society today? They openly push thier beliefs why screaming foul at the fiscal conservatives for not wanting change they see as detrimental to American society. It’s time to take a stand folks. Time to start screaming about your beliefs that are being infriged upon.

        Just today I read that HR1388 passed in the senate. The GIVE act.
        In the bill, Obama sets up the mechanics that he passed in the Stimulus Package for his volunteer operations — including setting up a government funded corporation with a Board of Directors and CEO. What is frightening is the tentacles that this will entail as all agencies need to create positions for these volunteers. Yada … yada .. I could go on as how he has tied his FEMA Scheme for the Civilian Security Defense Force into this legislation, but now they’re called “National Volunteer Reserve Corps.” This creates images of the Peace Corps, but it is something far more sinister. In addition, the legislation is targeting foster kids, disadvantaged teens and more specifically BLACK colleges and universities. Reading the provisions, it smacks of a program tailor-made for ACORN. It is a bill that has reverse discrimination all over it as it is NOT designed for middle-class Americans to benefit from — regardless of your race. But this is NOT what has piffed me off.

        The GIVE Act has 12 amendments. The one I am outraged over is House Amendment 49. It reads: “H.Amdt49 Pass Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing.”

        If I read that right, your First Amendment rights of Free Speech just were legislated out the door.

        So I ask you Black Flag if the majority said that it is moral to shoot-on-site left-handed blond people, would you agree?

        Or are you prepared to take a stand for your own Moral Laws?

      • Black Flag says:

        TexasChem

        No I would not agree because that would go against my values and morals.

        So, I’m confused a bit…. how do you reconcile these two statement of yours, the one below and the one above?

        Moral law would be code that the majority of a population agreed to live by to determine right/wrong.

        By definition moral law has to have a standard.

        The standard widely used by all societies for thousands of years has been directly influenced by that societies dominant religion.

        Whose standard?

        Who decides the standard?

        And if my morals contradict this standard, I am forced to submit?

        Basically you are asking me who determines right/wrong. My answer would be God.

        God gave you freedom of choice.

        God does not define anything good/evil or right/wrong.

        If God created all things, and evil exists then he created evil – thus, himself could not be pure good.

        Therefore God is either ‘not perfect’ OR ‘definitions of good and evil are not His’

        God is defined to be perfect, therefore, the definitions cannot be His.

        If good and evil are not God definitions, they are human definitions.

        We humans define good and evil.

        So I ask you Black Flag if the majority said that it is moral to shoot-on-site left-handed blond people, would you agree?

        No.

        Initiating violence upon non-violent people is immoral, and the only evil that can exist uniformly across all mankind.

        Everything else is merely a difference of opinion.

  30. SFC Dick says:

    Black Flag, Sir
    As usual, nicely done.
    I presently live in the “world” which could become reality in the U.S.
    I would recommend these things, ideas.
    Dicks’ rules on living in the 12th century.
    1. Be nice. Patrick Swazey had it just about right in road house, “be nice until it is time to not be nice”. Some anthro type wrote, I believe in the late 1970s about his time in Afghanistan and I paraphrase, “in their greetings there is much hugging, hand holding and other outward acts of politeness, in their homes much accommodation and hospitality. I find these things, as in the mafia, necessary to maintain a social order when, in a matter of moments, one might kill another over some trivial matter “. A sub to this, be a people person. Personal interactions and relationships will dictate whether you are able to make safe passage or establish trade and economy with neighbors.
    2.Bunkers are good. Bunker builders have always been top on societies laugh list, as well many should have been. I come from bunker builders, my grandfather built a bunker on recommendation from then President John F Kennedy. I built my first bunker at about age 10. Bunkers are cheap and need not be elaborate, I find the two terms to be mutually exclusive, although the government loves the luxury that only our tax dollars can provide in its own bunker program. A bunker is something dug into the ground, past the freeze line with at least 2 feet (somewhat random number but at a freeze line of 18” in my region 2’ is the minimum) of dirt overhead. Bunkers are good for food storage and many other things ( this will be expounded on later). I do not recommend bunkers as a form of self defense against a siege. The complexities of construction of a siege worthy bunker are monumental, the primary being fresh air. This leads to rule 3.
    3. Personal safety = RUN AWAY!
    One who is unarmed can mitigate or defeat the lethality of an attacker employing an edged weapon by increasing the distance between the two; a dude with a knife cannot kill you if you have, say 8 feet between you. Oh…sigh..yes, I know, a man can close 15 feet in one second killing a man with a gun, theory theory. For the defense arguments we will need to assume that we are not facing off with Jackie Chan, Rambo or Mighty Mouse. The reality holds true against any weapon or weapon system, distance = safety. This being recognized as a truth, and of course it is, lest it would not be in Dicks’ Rules, the bunker for defense is flawed. The bunker holds one stationary, against an attacker who has much unfettered time to create havoc and mischief. Gasoline, that very unstable explosive kind that is written about so much lately, will ruin ones day were it to be poured into a fresh air duct and set ablaze. This burning fuel takes the luster, tarnishes the shine as it were, of the nicest cozy bunker. A firing port might seem a good idea, and I would not argue against it, but remember, to have complete 360 deg fields of fire seems impossible to me. If you have plans for a bunker that has 360 deg firing I would argue that it no longer a bunker but some raised fighting position. If you find yourself under attack, for whatever reason, withdraw to some other place, this place should allow some observation of the position you just left and have a route to another position, and another and another. Folks, this tactic will render moot any force brought to bear by even the world’s greatest super power.
    4. Defense is different from personal safety.
    There will be necessity for defense. Defense is best when in depth and coordinated with forces left , right, rear and front. A fighting position, well made and concealed will allow one to ruin the day of several unsavory types advancing on ones bunker complex, but the practicality of such things begins to enter into the realm of diminished returns when you have, say, your son man the fighting position all night and his labors are needed the next day in the uphill climb of meeting for your basic needs of sustenance, maintenance etc. One should be able to fight from ones’ sleeping quarters initially while he readies himself and others for their withdraw; but again, holding this position against a worthy adversary might prove costly. I would argue that true, sustainable defense comes from community. The models here are endless and include bunkers and fighting positions, but these would be best served as some tying in of one dwelling to another to another to form some type of Qallat, ville, burb. The basic rule still holds true, distance = safety, but if ones retreat from an area results in his loss of food stores etc, that would result in his or their ultimate death, the coordination of defense must be taken and equals the basic tenants of self preservation. A military type is not necessary here, there are plenty idiot military types, but a good one would be invaluable. Defense is best when in depth and coordinated/tied into forces front, left, right, rear. A well trained force is better than untrained and battle drills are priceless.

    That is all for now. Later we will discuss the bunker as a dwelling as it has inherent insullative properties, caches and the power of the tribe.

    • Do you people realize how lucky you are to get my first thing, early morning rants? Well, you are. I can’t even focus completely and yet, I put forth. I am a giver. I wonder if Sun Tzu had a little helper that would read his writings, first draft and say “yeh, dude, this is good “know yourself and your enemy” that’s cool, but ya know. Kinda vague here, a lil, well, open . Do ya think ya can focus it in a bit. Ya know, I’m reading this Nostradamus and he’s giving moon cycles, “ages’ etc. Any chance you can add a bit more detail here like….I don’t know, “know yourself and your enemy and have a solid plan to defeat his Samurai in the assault?”
      So my lil reader buddy in my head says I’m being a bit vague here, so I’ll explain a few things. We are talking about bad times. Moving my family into a bunker, that’s gonna cause some friction with the Missus, there had better be a real good reason…. bad times. In these bad times you are looking at survival. I know, I know, everybody wants to build a bunker complex fort apache, set up mo-gas bombs , crack open FM 20-33 combat flame operations, and have at it. Uh, NAY!
      You go ahead and run some type of offensive operational posture, get a nick, get infected and I’ll be baggin’ and taggin your ass outta’ here.. Now brush your teeth in a rapid vertical motion.
      If you are lucky enough to survive 6 months you will find many around you just want to live in peace. There will be roving bands, roving bands are cake, Government in the early days is gonna be a BE’YATCH! These boys have much big toys, they are likely to get cranky at some types who have dropped out of the system. They are likely to try to make examples. They will roll hard on the on the little survivor man. When they come, take the advice of Mr Haji Chechen , living right there, 1,200 meters to my 12, “when the infidels come, fade away, when they are leaving watch”. He has some things to say about blowing us up, ambush and such, and this is why we are continually butting heads. You need no head butting in the early days of your survival. You are homosapien, use the sapien for survival. There will plenty of opportunities to shoot dead your fellow man, but like pornography, you’ll know it when you see it. This is why caches are good for the small group and why the larger group is best for defense, it is more intimidating to the individual gangs; down side, big groups will be perceived as the biggest threat to the then crippled government. Heck ,..who knows, if you are dead set on waging road warrior combat, survive for about 40 years post “The new age” chances are some group somewhere will “advance” enough to build a combat force and start wagging war. My tribe will be known as the great “hiders”, all trained extensively in the combined group/individual martial arts ( it is good team building/stress release), experts in the tactically sound “fade away” technique.

      We shall have many caches. Primary, secondary and alternate temporary dwellings and we shall also be masters of the mellow. We shall gather regularly throughout the day, maybe not all members able to gather at same location, but as some stop the days activities 5X for prayer, We shall gather, where we are in the days labors and require the youth to give debate on trivial matters as which crop we plant next season, which be better , warm breeze or fragrant flower, sing a song, recite a poem and make music from instruments fashioned after the days work or share some thought or fear they might find weighing on them. We shall teach the hard sciences of modernity but continually stress the need for tolerance truest of true, love of ones fellow man. Yeh, my tribe, the runners away shall be well trained in combat, but should rejoice in life and each new day’s sun rise.

      Oh yeh, of course we will lay waste to anyone who rides hard on the mellow poets.

      • I like the way you write, I just hope you don’t talk the way you write . . .but then, most folks write the way they talk!

        My personal advice is just this – The sky is not falling.

        Prepare you and your family for no more than a month long idiot run(if that ever happens). After a month SOMEONE – a group, or some other form of quasi government will grab the helm, for better or for worse. Most likely here in the U.S. it will be some sort of military organization, not a roving mob of do-badders.

        This country will most likely split three ways = North, South, and West. North and South will be along the Mason-Dixon line, and West will be that direction after you cross the Mighty Mississippi River. Maybe Texas will be the fourth split, my brother lives there and like all Texans he is just a little bit different. A good man, but different good. We still get along very well even after I tortured him during our childhood – That is what younger brothers are supposed to do. It’s in the book!

      • Black Flag says:

        Most likely here in the U.S. it will be some sort of military organization, not a roving mob of do-badders.

        Sorry, I had to chuckle. “A roving mob of do-badders” — probably would be the military!~

        I do agree – as I posted on your blog – the dissolution of the USA is inevitable; the point to you and your tireless energy in trying to change the unchangable was to instead try to make such dissolution by design, and not from confusion.

  31. TexasChem says:

    This from http://www.SecondAmendmentMarch.com e-newsletter

    URGENT! Anti-gun Chicago talk show host Milt Rosenberg will be hosting a radio debate on the REPEAL of the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution on superstation WGN Radio.

    WGN has a huge market and can be heard on air in many states and around the world streaming live on the internet….this is not just an Illinois issue. (Note that if you cannot click on the link directly, copy and paste the entire link into your browser’s address bar.)
    http://www.wgnradio.com/index.php?option=com_google_maps&Itemid=123

    The following is taken from an urgent email just issued by the Illinois State Rifle Association. This is a TRIAL BALLOON people. Don’t forget where Obama came from….Chicago. If you care at all about freedom then you recognize that an on air debate about abolishing the 2nd Amendment is the shot across the bow. Read and respond:

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    Defending our Constitution will be Bob Levy, Chairman of the Cato Institute.

    The debater who will be attacking our Constitution has not been named as of yet.

    HERE IS WHAT YOU MUST DO TO DEFEND YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS:

    1. Mark your calendar to listen to WGN Radio, AM 720, on Thursday, March 26, 2009 beginning at 9 PM. If you cannot receive WGN in your area, you can listen to the program live on the Internet at http://www.wgnradio.com

    2. No matter where you live, please be sure to call the radio station’s call in line at (312) 591-7200 and ask to speak your opinion on what has been said. It would be best if you voice support for the 2nd Amendment and Mr. Levy’s statements rather than personally attacking whoever the anti gunner is.

    3. Please pass this alert on to all your gun-owning, freedom-loving friends, your gun club, and anyone else you know who would be interested in calling in to the radio show to defend our Constitution.

    4. Please post this alert to any and all Internet bulletin boards or blogs to which you subscribe.

    It is important that you call the radio station and continue to call until you get through to speak. The more pro-gun callers we get, the better. Don’t let the anti gunners use this forum as a vehicle for trampling on our Constitution!

    Let’s do what we can to generate a nation-wide response to this latest attack on our rights!

  32. Black Flag says:

    The Early Warning Signal #18

    Last week, the New York Stock Exchange reneged on its pre-2009 contracts to deliver gold on demand.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/128150-nyse-runs-out-of-gold-bars-what-happens-next

    This report indicates that there is a shortage of deliverable 100 kg ounce bars. These are not odd-ball sizes. They are standard bars for international delivery.

    Those who held contracts requiring delivery can no longer get delivery. They get “warehouse depository receipts.” These are IOUs to something other than a 100 oz bar of physical gold.

    Put in another way, there are no more 1kg. gold bars. Therefore, they are giving paper receipts for parts of large denominations.

    The question is, what will they do when they run out of these larger bars? Continue to give paper receipts for parts of even bigger bars? What will happen when they run out of bars? No one knows.

    The author of the article thinks that there is a shortage of gold to deliver at today’s price of paper gold. He also thinks demand for physical gold will increase.

    I think he is correct. The new “quantitative easing” will alert the public to the problem of price inflation.

    Those who are short gold cannot deliver. This is bullish for gold. This is bad for currency.

    • Black Flag says:

      Warning #19
      The Bailouts Since 2008 Now Add Up to Almost $13 Trillion

      http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=armOzfkwtCA4&refer=home

      The total value of the various guarantees, interventions, and fiat money since the recession started is $12.8 trillion, according to Bloomberg.

      To get some perspective on this, that is the equivalent of America’s GDP for one year. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

      Fourteen times the currency in circulation is equivalent to 1400% inflation rate, annualized.

      This money has not yet hit the economy, it is mostly trapped inside the Federal Reserve as excess deposits of the banks. It will not be there for long. It will not be withdrawn, but it will be lent within the fractional reserve system. It will multiply the value of the funds by a factor of 100 times.

      But, with all of that, it may not be enough.

      “The president and Treasury Secretary Geithner have said they will do what it takes,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said after the meeting. “If it is enough, that will be great. If it is not enough, they will have to do more.”

      We are only at the beginning of a breakdown.

    • Black Flag says:

      To clear up my typing,

      that was 1kg bars (not 100kg bars)-which takes 3 of these to make 100oz. (1kg=~35oz)

  33. thanks for the great update BF and i would like to add my two cents

    We need to back up the truck on gold and silver now… silver will benefit the most since it is an industrial commodity as well. All the gold in the world is pretty much still around, where as silver in the last 50 yrs has gone from 5 billion ounces down to less than 1 billion ounces as laptops and cell phones to automobiles and medical equipment keep using up silver. Also silver is great for buying everyday things like food and medicine, and gold is better for real estate and cattle.

    They both should take off by the end of this yr and it would be wise to have both on hand

    • Black Flag says:

      A mix is good – silver being less per oz. allows it to be used for smaller purchases.

      Silver does suffer from its ‘commodity’ nature and is more subject to pressures of industry than gold.

      That said, holding a mix is probably a strong strategy.

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