"Good Luck, Baby!"

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Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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"Good Luck, Baby!"

Some rare honest truth in politics, brought to you by California's Governor Jerry Brown:

Of course, he's leaving office. Why can't our politicians have the integrity/courage to raise these issues on the way in to the office, as opposed to the way out?

Grover's picture
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Prepping Just In Case

Not quite sure if these links exactly fit the topic, but it is related to the darkness that Gerry Brown forecasted. It is impossible to prep for every conceivable potentiality. Something that wasn't planned will rise up to get you; however, some prepping is better than nothing. (Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.) Here are a couple of short articles that offer good, common sense advice. The advice is good, regardless of whether California trips over the Olduvai Cliff or not.


Simply having supplies piled up in preparation for some occurrence is not enough to insure your survival. There are several other things you must keep in mind and balance out among your preparations.

  • You must imagine the potential catastrophic possibilities
  • You must prepare yourself mentally to deal with whatever happens
  • You must have knowledge of how best to employ your resources
  • You need to use your imagination to think outside the box
  • You must be able to improvise, adapt and overcome obstacles
  • You must have a flexible plan to guide you

This next article talks about the inherent benefits of lower population density areas; however, it is important to be identified as a trusted part of the community when the time comes. Otherwise, you're just a stranger competing for resources. Good luck with that, baby.


Leaving the city when supplies and infrastructure are shut down would work only up to a point. Rural areas are like anywhere else. They have infrastructure designed to service a certain number of people that normally live there. The housing, restaurants, roadways, water systems and grocery stores will only handle a small excess of people even in the best of times. When the city dwellers suddenly evacuate to the rural areas in mass, they will simply be taking many of their big city problems with them. They will likely find no housing, food supplies or other infrastructure they need to live.


jdsfrisco's picture
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Urban vs. Rural

Wherever you live - prep. Water, food, basic tools and supplies, building a network of friends and neighbors for mutual support... For me it's less about where you live than how you live. Stocking up on military rations is less desirable than learning how to pressure can your own food - preferably food you've grown a bit yourself and/or food from local producers that you have a personal relationship with. Buying bottled water is okay, but it's better if you create a rainwater catchment system. Installing a massive off grid solar array is great if you can afford it, but reorganizing your home to function with 90% less power without harming your quality of life is far better. And most of all - avoid debt. If your preps are based on borrowed money they aren't really preps.

There's a serious bias against cities in prepper groups. Both the hippy left and conservative right assume a cabin in the woods away from city crowds is the way to go. In my personal experience there have been a number of scenarios where staying in town was the better option. Living in the city keeps you dependent on all sorts of large scale systems you have no control over, but most of them can be backed up by independent household systems. Living in the country makes you critically dependent on other things that are just as scary if they go away. That pick up truck that provides you with endless freedom in the countryside is attached to distant refineries and oil wells. If the gas supply chain is disrupted or if fuel is rationed for some reason you'll become isolated. The sweet spot for me is a traditional pre-WWII compact smaller town or older suburb. If you look long enough you can almost always find a modest affordable home on a bit of land (say a half acre or so) that's still within a tolerable bicycle ride of civilization. Just avoid HOAs and municipalities that micro regulate you down to the color of your drapes.

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My wife is the reluctant partner. Actually she is on board but passively, which, is much better than being actively opposed!

Anyway, I expect this type of behavior from politicians and she does too. However, she was almost aghast, if I can use that word, from the expression of the audience. California is teetering on the edge of a cliff, per governor Brown, and people are laughing. Convincing laughter at that. Go back and listen to the end of that clip if you forgot what it sounded like. It reminds me of the HRC laughter about Gaddahfi.

The media and the government are the home of sociopaths it now appears. At least in Cali anyway. 


TechGuy's picture
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Re: Urban vs. Rural

jdsfrisco wrote:

"it's better if you create a rainwater catchment system"

Using rainwater catchment in a crisis is probably not the best option. If the cities do collapse I would expect that a lot of them will burn (arson, people burning down there homes using makeshift stoves, fireplaces) All those fires are going to release a lot of toxic ash that will accomulate in rainwater. a lot of those toxins are probably water soluable which will make it very difficult to filter out.

A better option is to have a deep well that you can access without grid power.

jdsfrisco wrote:

"In my personal experience there have been a number of scenarios where staying in town was the better option."

The reason why owning rural/farmland is better:

1. You have plenty of land to grow crops and they are less likely to get raided by hungry neighbors. When you live in town, at best you have a couple of acres and lots & lots of neighbors that will prey upon any crops or small livestock you own. Most towns have ordinance against small livestock and front yard gardens. You also may be reliant on Muniwater wihich will likely fail during the crisis

2. On rural\farmland property you can havest wood from a woodlot for heating and cooking. Perhaps a property "in town" has some trees available & perhaps the neighbor has a small woodlot near by. But it won't last very long as all your neigbors will be cutting down the trees for fuel. 

3. "In Town" just about everyone will be using makeshift woodstoves and fireplaces. Odds are that a lot of them will burn down their own homes causing whole neighbors to go up in flames. With out Firecrews to put out the fires, those neighbor fires will only go out when they run out of fuel.

4. Excessive crime & violence "in Town" Even the nicest people can become ruthless when they become desprite. People that are starving & having nothing to loose will turn to theft & violence to get food, water & other resources they need. Most people do not prep and have almost no food to sustain them, In rural\farmland, the population density is much lower so its easier to obtain the necessary resources. Most farmers likely can grow enough of thier own food & probably farmers are unlikely to turn violent to obtain food. Its unlikly that town residents will have the energy to walk dozens of miles in rural country to raid farms. I suspect that most will wait it out in town, waiting on services to be restored, and only move out when they exhausted all options and belief that supply chains will be restored.

jdsfrisco wrote:

"Living in the country makes you critically dependent on other things that are just as scary if they go away. That pick up truck that provides you with endless freedom in the countryside is attached to distant refineries and oil wells."

No. If the cities are collapsing its likely that fuel delivery trucks won't be making deliveries to small towns either & small towns are far more dependant on supply chains than rural areas (muniwater, supermarkets, electricity, Sewers, Trash pickup, etc) . As far as running machinary, A wood gasifier can provide a fuel source to run a tractor. A rural farmer won't need to drive anywhere since he has ample land to grow food & raise livestock & a woodlot to heat & cook with. Most rural people are preppers by nature since during winter months they may be "snowed" in for weeks at a time. Most rural homes have a month or more of food supplies, where as "in town" homes at best have a couple of weeks.

Bottom line: There are no advantages of living "in town" during a collapse. Most people live in towns & cities because is "easier", There a local supermarket, They have trash pick up, They are close to a lot of resturants & entertainment. As well as access to more employers to find work. But they are 100% dependant on instructure to survive.


MKI's picture
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Urban vs. Rural

jds:...bias against cities in prepper groups. Both the hippy left and conservative right assume a cabin in the woods away from city crowds is the way to go.

Astute comment. I grew up very rural (no electricity/well/wood heat) and find most have a romantic view of the independence of being rural. In our nearby city, we walk/bike everywhere, grow a decent garden, plus it's easier to defend with close neighbors. Also, things like medical care and fuel are critical (I just damaged an eye cutting wood, for example, and walked to the doc in 8 minutes). Nearly everything is more efficient in the city, so will be cheaper in a social crisis if fuel and safety become stressed.

Now, my comments assume said city is in a low-tax area (no CA or much of the East Coast) and with good people (the most important factor; many places are practically broke due to the people and near the social cracking point already). I also love your HOA comment (I have no properties with HOA at all and it's a good indicator of social fabric IMO). But I would add using the high tax rates and crime rates as the next warning sign it's time to look for a new city with better people. But great comment, thanks.

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Reply to TechGuy

"Collapse" is one of those concepts that people fetishize. I was one of those kids back in 1990 who filled a duffel bag with Levis and trekked around the old Soviet Union as it was falling apart. I've been to Chernobyl and seen the reactor up close. Later I was in Thailand during the Asian economic crisis in 1997. Then I was in Argentina for their big crash. Those events don't come close to a Syria or Afghanistan or Somalia level crisis, but they were about as bad as most Americans can ever expect to deal with.

There's an assumption that there's normal life and then suddenly - the Zombie Apocalypse! That's not what "collapse" looks like on the ground. Instead, almost always, even in a serious crisis, the pain is experienced as a collection of small individual problems. You lose your job and can't find another one. The bills pile up. Someone in the family suffers from illness so time and resources need to be drawn down to respond to the situation. Natural disaster strikes and you personally survive just fine, but the disruption sets your larger region back in unpredictable ways.

The people in Puerto Rico aren't turning to cannibalism due to a hurricane. They're mostly dealing with the usual crap, but on a larger scale. Same with the floods in Houston. Same with Super Storm Sandy. The idea that "city people" (and we know who they are, right?) are going to come after you to eat your liver and rape your daughter is just... wrong. Yet that's what so many preppers obsess about. And for the record, the countryside has its share of unstable individuals with guns too.

I wasn't suggesting that there's only one good place to live or prep. My point was that most people don't live on a farm and most people aren't ever going to. So... prep where you are. Being really well organized and stocked up in your current imperfect residence is infinitely better than the perfect rural homestead you will never actually live in.

FYI, I have a 5,000 gallon rainwater catchment tank. When a huge forest fire ripped through my area a few months ago I spent about two minutes disconnecting the gutter spouts / first flush diverters. The soot that settled on the roof was washed off in the first good rain and then I re-connected the system. I always had 5,000 gallons of clean rain water on hand. A simple gravity fed arrangement and a Big Berkey filter worked just fine. That surface tank always works no matter what. No power required.

I super insulated my home room by room over the last eight years. It's so tight now that it doesn't require any air conditioning in summer or heat in winter. The small wood stove is there to take the damp out of the air on the odd winter nights, but the house works passively just fine with no particular fuel supply.

I started pressure canning last year to compliment my usual one-to-two year supply of dry goods I've always kept in the house. I now have 540 jars of meats, soups, and stews that I rotate and eat on a near daily basis. These aren't military rations. It's just regular home made food I cook and like to eat anyway. It's just shelf stable now so the freezer is more of a holding tank until I can get things in to jars.

A five gallon bucket and some saw dust works just fine in the absence of municipal sewer systems. The "compost" goes in to a sealed 55 gallon drum to rot down and become good soil in a couple of years. Anyone can do this in almost any situation without spreading disease.

A veggie garden, some fruit trees, and some laying hens is more than most people are ever going to get around to. Growing wheat or raising cattle? Not so much. My in-laws actually live on farms in rural Nebraska and they buy almost all of their food at Walmart since they only grow commodity crops like corn and soy. 

Back to my original point. Prep where you are - wherever that is.  

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Prepping is about everyday life first...

... not the catastrophe that has a small chance of occurring.

jdsfrisco has hit the nail on the head, IMO.  Collapse in a real sense is not the electrical grid going down and barbarian hordes roaming and ransacking the countryside, Mad Max style.  Collapse is you losing your job and having to take one that pays you half of what you were making before, without benefits -- along with others in your neighborhood.  Collapse is about not being able to pay your regular utility bills and having your electric and gas cut off.  Now, if you go down this path long enough, certainly it leads to widespread failures of systems that we currently take for granted.  But all along the way, it's things remaining pretty much the same as before -- just a little bit less, and a little bit worse for more and more people.

One of the best authorities on this subject that I've found is Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast.  His tagline says it all: "Learning how to live that better life if times get tough, or even if they don't."  That last part is key.  Anything that you do preparedness-wise should make your life better now.  Things like growing a garden, cultivating trust with your neighbors, increasing energy efficiency, putting up food, etc.

The greatest commodity that you can have in a real post-collapse scenario will be TRUST, because in that environment there is no individualism.  People have to rely upon each other to help each other get by and watch each other's backs.  If you haven't built up the trust among your neighbors to do this BEFORE things get really bad, then you're going to be in a lurch.  So, right now irregardless of where you are, do what you can to help out your neighbors without being asked.  Share surplus.  Organize neighborhood get-togethers.  When you see them doing something where they could use your help, offer it.

While I acknowledge that there are parts of the country that are not well-suited to this approach (living 60 mi from NYC, downtown Manhattan comes to mind), the fact of the matter remains that these areas are much more outliers than the norm.  Cities and towns may have certain challenges that rural areas don't, but that sword cuts both ways.  The key is knowing what those challenges particular to your chosen locale are, and coming up with ways to mitigate them.  In other words, start preparing where you are, and move forward from there.

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Came close once

  There was a situation that happened a few years back in a smallish town in California.  They lost power for just over two days. It was getting to where you could tell things were about to go very bad. The stores were emptied out and food in the freezer was beginning to thaw.  Everyone was looking at everyone else with great suspicion and worry. This was with just the power being turned off.

  My son lived there and was rightfully nervous and concerned for the safety of his family. I drove there and he was already gun at the ready if a band of thieving hoards were to approach. Even though we had some confidence power would be restored eventually it was an eye opener seeing what happens in the early days of something like this. Imagine if it were state or nationwide and there was no confidence of anything coming back on line.

 In most scenarios there is an expected amount of residual civilization surviving an event. Having medical or other attributable modern conveniences is generally assumed. If it goes bad, the presumption should be a total societal collapse where people will resort to survival by what ever means necessary. I'd never approach a densely populated area if for nothing else but to avoid being shot at for the thrill of the kill. There would be no law enforcement keeping insane behavior in check. 

 Money, gold, and the usual trading items will have no value.  Guns, food, and what ever you can gather up to trade with will be how things will end up. You won't be able to trust anyone since all will be in survival mode and thus far most have no experience with how low we'd carry ourselves in that situation. There isn't time to learn the nuances of people's actions as to whether they are friend or foe. Shoot first might be how a lot of people react.

 Hopefully it never ends up a Mad Max lifestyle but even that isn't how it would go. They had things like fuel, cars in some state of operation, and food and water without a real description as to where it came from. Plus there was a sense of justice and rules. That's something that wouldn't exist until a level of comfort in continued survival were attained.

 California is becoming what Trump refers to as a shithole. It is what it is. I left there nearly two years ago and it's gone downhill ever since. The reason is quite simple. He and the dems have invited the illegal community to come on in. They don't pay their taxes. They don't pay their medical bills.  They are not hard working people. Their kids clog the schools and drag everyone else down.  They've killed the prevailing wage in a lot of employment sectors. The quality of their work matches the $2.00 they're paid. Most of them lie, cheat, and steal if given the opportunity.  Parading the few exceptions to the rule aren't enough to convince me otherwise. I've seen it first hand and am ashamed of the condition of that state.

 What do they do that's wanted?  They vote democrat since that's who's going to give them the stream of free lunches and other things they demand. The democrats have sold us out for their career. The cost of harboring illegals is enormous.  At 116 billion it's a price we can't afford.  https://fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers  A lot of that cost is from California since that's the landing point for most of them which come from Mexico and further south. It's why they continually raise taxes and the latest I heard was they are introducing a bill to charge businesses the difference between trumps tax reform and what it used to be by Obama.




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agitating prop
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I was on peak oil forum and started a thread about living a  rural life. Most of the people on the forum were trying to get enough money together to buy a farm and live a simple life free from the constraints of suburbia and safe from the catastrophe of a postCarbon world.

Nearly all the people who responded to the thread  said they bitterly regretted their farm and that they spent so much money on gasoline.  Their financial situation at the time of purchase dictated how close they could live to civilization (not very close)   A friend of a friend bought a couple hundred acres of hardscrabble land in lieu of ten acres down hill  that had access to much more water and richer soil.  The ten acres would have been a much wiser choice  In fact, 5 acres would have provided a higher yield. Depending on land quality, an acre or 2, near a small town makes more sense, for the majority of people  

The other thing I have found out from personal experience is the farther you live out in the woods, the more "interesting" people become.  Artistic, yes, literary, sometimes --- eccentric often.  That's one side of the coin, the other is marginal anti social mean spirited types --  Y'all saw Deliverance, right ? 




jdsfrisco's picture
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Reply to gcsimager

You do know Mad Max is a movie, right? The outskirts of Melbourne, Australia are actually quite pleasant...

A Mormon woman I respect a great deal often asks people in her church presentations about preparedness, "Are you worried about The Man With The Gun? Or are you worried about becoming The Man With The Gun?" Her point is that it's perfectly reasonable to stock up on weapons and ammunition to defend yourself and your family. But if you haven't also set aside sufficient water, food, and other preps you're likely to use those weapons to do unsavory things in order to provide for your loved ones. So make sure you prep.

As for your other points... My people are originally from Sicily. I grew up surrounded by Irish, Jews, Greeks, and Puerto Ricans - all of which were once (and sometimes still) described in the terms you laid out. You're the guy we buy guns to protect ourselves from. Just sayin...

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California is scroomed

What happens when the public officials get a hold of the public purse and begin to grant themselves pay raises?

The usual of course.  It's just gone so terribly far off the rails for CA that it's impossible to see anything other than a crack-up at some not-too-distant point.

For example, visiting the Transparent California website, we find this representative example of public salaries from Oakland.

(Source - fun to troll around in)

By the time your police and firemen and ordinary city administrators are each pulling down between a third and a half million dollars in total pay each year, well....fugeddaboutit.

CA, you are toast.

Just these ten individuals are earning some $4.5 million.  How many property tax bills is that?  If we assume an average property tax bill of $10,000 then that means 450 households are required to support these ten people.

I've heard that Cleopatra had 50 servants.  

Well, the average Oakland public official at the top of the pay scale has 45 households.

Royalty indeed.  

DennisC's picture
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Perhaps This Will Apply

Which state will become the first "child" on the poster?  You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to see where we're headed.

I found this quote from Frédéric Bastiat regarding his Malthusian theory of the growth of the state.

This has not been true of the state, especially prior to the establishment of representative government. Whether or not we need its services, whether they are real or spurious, we are always obliged to accept what it provides and to pay the price that it sets.

Now, it is the tendency of all men to exaggerate the services that they render and to minimize the services they receive; and chaos would reign if we did not have, in private transactions, the assurance of a negotiated price.

This assurance is completely, or almost completely, lacking in our transactions with the government. And yet the state, which, after all, is composed of men (although nowadays this is denied, at least by implication), obeys the universal tendency. It wants to serve us a great deal—more, indeed, than we desire—and to make us accept as real services what are often far from being such, and all this for the purpose of exacting some services from us in return in the form of taxes.

The state too is subject to the Malthusian law. It tends to expand in proportion to its means of existence and to live beyond its means, and these are, in the last analysis, nothing but the substance of the people. Woe to the people that cannot limit the sphere of action of the state! Freedom, private enterprise, wealth, happiness, independence, personal dignity, all vanish.


At each stage through which society passed - slavery, theocracy, monopoly, socialism - the state and the privileged elites which controlled it would increase its size, the taxes it extracted from the tax payers, and the number of vested interests it supported as exploiters and beneficiaries of privilege, until the people either could not or would not continue to pay for its upkeep. The state would then face a fiscal crisis, would have to contract in size to fit the means of existence it could extract from taxpayers, and then the entire process would begin again until another fiscal crisis was reached. Bastiat did not live long enough to write this book on the sociology of the state and the nature of plunder.

link: http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/549

gcsimager's picture
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  I'm not sure why you'd think I was the one of people to be worried about but here is a few personal experiences of why I think the way I do when it comes to illegals. This assumes that's why.

  One, my identity was stolen.  Here is how that works.  When they take a job they use someone's SSN.  They always max out the number of dependents to make sure their paycheck is the highest possible and taxes taken the least. When you, the victim of this file your return you'll get a nasty letter from the IRS saying you didn't report income. It takes a long time to unravel that mess. In the mean time your refund is held up until you can prove beyond any doubt you did not work on a strawberry farm in Oxnard CA.

 The next is is to do with some property I owned that needed repairs. Twice this happened.  The contractor does the work and then you find out his low bid was because he hired illegals to do it. The work had to be re-done, it was so bad.  The third time I told the contractor I was going to be on site to inspect and if I suspected he had illegals working for him I was going to call ICE.  That job was done correctly and for an amount less than either of the two prior jobs cost.

 The fact they are willing to break our laws entering the country illegally defines their character. From that point forward the lives lived is one of continually ducking responsibility and thumbing their noses at our country taking when anyone with an ounce of decency wouldn't.  I've got more examples of interaction but those were what broke the camels back.

 MadMax is a sugar coated example of what would happen.  People are fine when there is a comfort in knowing you have the basic essentials.  When it hits the fan, people do change.  For example. When the L.A. riots took place back in 92 I was there the day after it began. It was surreal being shot at for no other reason than driving down the road. Buildings on fire, rampant looting, and just about everything you'd expect when there was full on chaos.  I'm not the one to be worried about. I'm pretty good about keeping a level head in a crisis.  I didn't expect that level of craziness but it served as a good example of how fast things can deteriorate.   

 An update on the insanity of CA.  They now want to make it legal for illegals to vote. I think that demonstrates the true motivation for their moronic behavior.  The politicians want to insure their power and in the process enslave the people who end up paying the bill. The days of adhering to some amount of faith that our government is our government is coming to an end. The level of in your face defiance and unaccountability is accelerating.  Won't be long until the masses wake up and realize their elected leaders aren't representing them at all.



TechGuy's picture
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jdsfrisco wrote: "the people

jdsfrisco wrote:

"the people in Puerto Rico aren't turning to cannibalism due to a hurricane. They're mostly dealing with the usual crap, but on a larger scale. Same with the floods in Houston. Same with Super Storm Sandy"

Puerto Rico still has not recovered. To date about 300K to 350K left PR for the US mainland and thousands more leave every week. Most people still are depended on aid & still do not have running water or electricity. Fortunately PR is tropical and people do not freeze to death during these winter months. Fortunately for PR it still has the US mainland to provide relief. If the entire US mainland fell into crisis there will likely be no aid for 100s of millions of US residents. 

jdsfrisco wrote:

"My point was that most people don't live on a farm and most people aren't ever going to. So... prep where you are. Being really well organized and stocked up in your current imperfect residence is infinitely better than the perfect rural homestead you will never actually live in."

The question is when will the USA and the rest of the world face a real long term crisis, that may shutdown food & fuel distributions for a year or much more. While you may have some short/medium term preps, 95% of your neighbors do not. Consider that when a major hurricane is forecasts, all of the grocery stores and gas stations are empty in a few hours. This indicates most people do no prep and wait for the last minute. In most cases affected regions see immediate relief as stores & fuel truck start resupply the very next day. I doubt people will remain civil after a week if they don't recieve relief. The higher the population density the odds increase for becoming involve in a violent altercation. Back in the 1970's during the fuel crisises, People got beat up or shot trying to get fuel for thier vehicles. 

jdsfrisco wrote:

"My in-laws actually live on farms in rural Nebraska and they buy almost all of their food at Walmart since they only grow commodity crops like corn and soy."

Yes, because they have no pressing need to be self-reliant with with a fully stocked walmart nearby. However Having more land and being zoned for Agra. provides advantages: Lower population density, more land to grow crops or feed, ability to raise poutry & livestock (not usual an option in Residential zoned areas), access to wood for heating & cooking.

jdsfrisco wrote:

"perfect rural homestead you will never actually live in."

I live on a rural homestead, but I suffer none of the consequences that you suggest exist. I am 10 minutes away from a grocery store, 15 minutes away from a shopping center,  less than 70 mins. away from two small cities that have shopping malls, fancy resturants, Universities, Theater, etc. I can hop on a plane in about 2 hours.  The nearest walk-in medical clinic is 8 minutes away and the nearest hospital is 20 minutes away.  I can get to stores, medical facilities, faster here than I could when I lived in Suburbia due to the traffic. I have access to high speed internet. I work from home using the internet. 


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