Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

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Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
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Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Hi, Gang. I've been out of touch with this site for a few weeks now following some personal issues - first a hard drive crash and data loss, then the worst stomach flu of my life. I'm still catching up with all the blog posts and news here.

I'll start by apologizing to those of you who come to this site for Chris Martenson's brand of always-objective reporting that is almost always supported by facts, charts, and graphs. This post is completely subjective in nature, but I think there is something to be said for that, too. Whenever billionaire hedge fund superstar George Soros is asked about his remarkable success, he credits his theory of reflexivity as the key to his riches. But if you see his son interviewed, he says "No, that's not right. Dad believes in that reflexivity stuff for sure, but I watched him run the Quantum fund as a kid, and I can tell you first hand that when he gets a backache, something is wrong in one of the fund's investments. It's the bachache-barometer more than reflexivity that led to his extraordinary success." As an entrepreneur, I very much relate to that story. I like to tell myself that all my business decisions are based on sound analysis and logical deduction. But thinking back, most of my best decisions were made because "something just didn't feel right". I was unable to put my finger on what was wrong at the time a decision was needed, but later it was revealed that it would have been a disaster to follow a course of action that was under consideration. Those sorts of feelings seem to be more reliable when they apply to people and people's actions than to technical matters.

Well guess what? For the last 3 weeks or so, I've been overcome with feelings of impending doom. It's more social than financial. I've been watching this economic situation since long before I discovered Chris Martenson and this site. I remember a meeting of an investor peer group back in May of 2006 when I went on record as saying I thought we were headed for a major economic collapse that could possibly lead to sovereign default, and all my investor buddies thought I was nuts. But as I've watched all this unfold, it's been pretty much a left-brain business thing for me. I don't get scared or emotional. I just try to understand the fundamentals and make intelligent investment decisions. It's just business to me. But suddenly I'm feeling a lot more personal concern for my wellbeing and for the social stability of the nation.

I was very strongly affected by the Trashout Squad video that was on Davos' daily digest a few weeks back. The part about people loosing their homes is sad to be sure, but that's not the part I was affected by. Those people were not rushed out of their homes in any kind of hurry. They left behind a LOT of stuff, and it was NICE stuff. High quality furniture, large framed wall hangings, microwave ovens, etc. Since they were foreclosed, I will assume they are cash-strapped and need every penny they can keep their hands on. They could very easily have had a yard sale and taken whatever they could get for that stuff. I have to believe that the stuff shown being trashed in the video could have brought at least a couple thousand $, even in a dire market. If they were really that lazy, they could have left the unsold items in the yard after the sale; after all they were walking away from the home anyhow. But they chose to just leave it all behind and walk away. What that tells me is that as these people are being pushed down Maslow's needs hierarchy by their circumstances, they are becoming irrational and reverting to primal behavior patterns. Definitely not good. But if they're not behaving prudently by liquidating their physical assets for whatever they can get for them, what are they doing?

Then I saw a couple of videos and read several news articles about gun sales exploding to 500% higher sales rates than ever seen before, and ammunition of every type and kind being sold out and back-ordered for months. Ok, so people who have been pushed into primal behavior patterns are no longer making rational decisions, but instead are scraping together whatever cash they can find to buy all the guns and ammo they can possibly afford. That's really not good.

Then I watched a video clip of a news report where they interviewed a soldier being re-trained by the Army for civil unrest intervention. They interviewed this kid who was holding an M16 Machine Gun and asked him how he felt about the prospect of having to use it against fellow American citizens. The part that hit me the hardest was that there was no mention whatsoever by the reporter of the Constitutional issue. As I'm sure most readers of this site are aware, the Constitution expressly forbits the government from turning the armed forces against its own citizens. Ever.

So let me see if I have this straight. When Bill Clinton got a blowjob in the whitehouse a few years back, the entire world came to a screetching halt! The biggest news story of the century!!! President caught in sex scandal. Nobody could stop talking about it for weeks, and everywhere you went, Monica was the most common subject of conversation. But now when the Army is training soldiers to use M-16 machine guns against our own citizens, on our own soil, it's just another routine story not particularly worthy of mention, and the constitutionality question doesn't even rank important enough to be mentioned in the news report? Is it just me or is this the most shocking turn of events in our lifetimes?

Then there was that Glenn Beck clip talking about what they are apparently calling The Bubba Factor, referring to the formation of numerous small, independent armed militias of citizens (apparently the people who bought all the ammo that is now back-ordered), getting ready to do battle with the kid in the interview holding the M-16. Is this really happening in America or is this all a sick dream I'm having? Am I really hearing that organized groups of Americans are arming themselves for gunfights with the Army?

I personally hate guns, but if there ever was a situation where I thought it made sense for citizens to bear arms, it would be the fallout from Hurricane Katrina. The system had broken down, and obviously it was not practical to rely on law enforcement for protection. So in that one case, even a gun-hating guy like me was willing to concede that it made sense for ordinary citizens to be armed to defend themselves against looters. Then they went around and confiscated all the guns!!! In the one situation where it made perfect sense for people to have them, the government stepped in and confiscated everyone's guns. I fear that the NRA crowd took that message to heart in a real serious way, and that the more devout "gun people" are preparing themselves to be ready not to let their guns be taken away next time. That sounds like a perfect recipe for civil war.

In the Crash Course, Chris Martenson describes how his own personal reaction to all this was to move his family to a rural area and focus on building community. I personally came to an opposite conclusion, because my personal circumstances are different. My conclusion was that it was the right time to rent (not buy) in a major city so that I could enjoy cosmopolitan city life while I still could. Rather than trying to locate myself someplace safe, I organized my preparations around being able to get the heck out on short notice with minimal loss. I figured that when some day came around and living in a city just wasn't physically safe any more, I'd invoke my bailout plan then. I assumed some day would not occur for a period of years. But I now find myself fighting this gnawing feeling that it's time to reach for the EJECT levers.

I'm just posting this to see if anyone else is feeling the same way. I haven't made any firm decisions yet, but I'm focusing my attention more and more on refining the escape plan. Just cashing out of my hedge fund positions, buying Perth Mint certificates, and moving to Australia is sounding better every minute. Is it just me?

Erik

 

SamLinder's picture
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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

My intuition is acting up as well - albeit in a different way. See posts #59 through 66 in the "Gold's near future" thread.

I'm hoping that your intuition isn't realized in the very near future as I'm not prepared for a dramatically sudden shift.

I've been more inclined to go along with Chris Kresser's comments in post #73 in the same thread.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

I feel that way too, Erik. And I'm based in Canada (which is in a less precarious position than the U.S. so far). I'm dealing with it by selling our little Victorian house downtown in the big city and shopping around for a good agriculture-based small town to move to. Australia's probably not a good long-term choice. Problems with water supply and climate change. The truth is there is nowhere in the world you can go to escape all the stuff coming down the line--at least in the short term. So you need to pick what you feel is best for you, then set out planning for it the best you can. I do also feel like everything is picking up steam, especially with China speaking out, warning American not to print too much money. I think it is prudent to be prepared, but not useful to panic or get too dark about it. Whatever happens will happen and humans adapt. When the fall came in Russia, it was bad but people adapted and life went on. Same with Argentina. IMO, the key is to be in the best starting position possible--and to be mentally prepared.  And then make sure you keep enjoying life, because regardless, even when you have it all, life doesn't last forever anyway. Death and taxes are certain. You might as well enjoy life while being prepared for the worst.There could be many good times and interesting adventures ahead as well, if you create that future for yourself with solid planning. That's my opinion anyway. Do what you like with it. :)

 

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Me too, for about 3 weeks now. I increased our food stockpiles, bought a wood stove, and planted fruit trees in a flurry of  nervous energy. I don't have a sense of what form TSHTF will take - just that something big is about to happen.

There's a rumor over at the Market Ticket forums that some major corp is going to declare bankruptcy this week; maybe that has something to do with it, maybe not.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik...

 

Interesting.  Yes and No.

You mention the importance of trusting your feelings...or as I interpret...intuitive instincts (similar to Chris suggestion to trust yourself).  Your e-mail indicates you've given this considerable thought.

Since you have resources, you have considerable options.

Two topics come to mind toward our future...

Topic One...Sustainability Criteria

a.)  Strength of Human Principles and Values.  Personally would select a rural area where the local population exhibits the highest, proven ideals and competence.

b.)  Land Resources for Sustainability.   Food and Water are number one with excellent infrastructures.  

Topic Two...Intuition impacted by Location?

Found location and lifestyle often impacts one's perspective.   Here where live in rural Iowa.  Don't sense things as dire except when travel to the city (why?...see Topic One above).   Also...returning to my wife's family farm is the same as always been.  People are aware here...but also quite resourceful with an aura of self reliance.

If me, would spend significant time (weeks?) in various venues and try and apply the two topics above. 

FWIW.  Continued overlaying analysis of data does support nothing positive to lessen impacts near and medium term.  So in that aspect...agree.   In a word picture...the cancer grows and the patient is getting weaker and weaker.

Hope this helps,

 

Nichoman

 

 

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

You said:

Quote:

Just cashing out of my hedge fund positions, buying Perth Mint certificates, and moving to Australia is sounding better every minute. Is it just me?

Probably a good idea.

Also, I'm not trying to sound like an jerk, but you seem to have an escapist mentality.
Might be why this is hitting you suddenly, and from what you say, severely.

Quote:

I personally came to an opposite conclusion, because my personal circumstances are different. My conclusion was that it was the right time to rent (not buy) in a major city so that I could enjoy cosmopolitan city life while I still could. Rather than trying to locate myself someplace safe, I organized my preparations around being able to get the heck out on short notice with minimal loss.

This strikes me as stunningly irrational, and evidences a "consumptive" mentality.
Sort of a scary thing when you think about it... think about how much time you wasted...

Hoplophobia is also an "escapist" mentality, and not conducive of survival; as you've significantly damaged your ability to defend yourself by an irrational hatred of an inanimate object.

That said, there are some things we should elaborate on:

Quote:

As I'm sure most readers of this site are aware, the Constitution expressly forbits the government from turning the armed forces against its own citizens

That's untrue.
What you're refering to is "Posse Comitatus", which isn't a part of the constitution, but a federal bill that restrains the military from engaging in policing actions unless authorized by congress. The only mention of anything even close to this in the constitution is the 3rd Amendment which spun off from the 'quartering act' and prohibits soldiers from being "lodged" with private citizens without their consent.

Next,

Quote:

getting ready to do battle with the kid in the interview holding the M-16. Is this really happening in America or is this all a sick dream I'm having? Am I really hearing that organized groups of Americans are arming themselves for gunfights with the Army?

While I can't speculate as to whether or not this is "true", I can say it is expressly included in the Bill of Rights - and was designed to be a fail-safe against tyranny. Americans fought for their independance once over taxation without representation... I'd not be surprised if they did it again.

I'd say fighting for liberty is less "sick" than it is necessary. Unfortunate, but when you look under the thin veneer of 'civilization', it's a game of Darwinian dominance. Sucks, but that's life. We can't keep growing forever, and you and I are the products of a posh society that grew and prospered off excess. That's over.

It's a good idea to square with that fact. No force in this universe exists to protect, defend or uphold your will except you.

Quote:

Then they went around and confiscated all the guns!!! In the one situation where it made perfect sense for people to have them, the government stepped in and confiscated everyone's guns.

Don't worry so much about this being a recipe for civil war. Lots of legislation, with bi-partisan support has since been passed prohibiting this practice. It's political dynamite, and there was a huge outcry over that. I doubt it'll become an issue unless there are outright attacks against citizens.

Fourth and fifth,

Quote:

Those people were not rushed out of their homes in any kind of hurry. They left behind a LOT of stuff, and it was NICE stuff. High quality furniture, large framed wall hangings, microwave ovens, etc. Since they were foreclosed, I will assume they are cash-strapped and need every penny they can keep their hands on.

Quote:

Ok, so people who have been pushed into primal behavior patterns are no longer making rational decisions, but instead are scraping together whatever cash they can find to buy all the guns and ammo they can possibly afford. That's really not good.

Have you considered that guns might be more useful than wall hangings, microwaves, furniture or appliances that use electricity in a socio-economic collapse?
Seems as if a lot of folk have... considering the 64% increase in sales over the last year.

That said, I wish people were focusing more on agriculture, communications, green energy, community and perhaps a little fishing for R&R, but our president hasn't made mention of "banning" any of those things just yet.

Don't get wrapped around the axle about the gun sales.
I'd be willing to bet that it's more for "investment" than for armed revolution.

Research the 1986 Firearms Owner Protection Act, and specifically the Hughes Amendment... Let me know what you find out about guns, legally defining and banning the domestic production of "machine-guns" and apply the principles of supply and demand.

Similar situation is playing out here.
Notice that the "guns" that aren't available are not your grandads bolt action .30-'06.
They're the guns that appear on H.R.1022's "ban list".

Again, sorry if this sounds crass - but you asked for some thoughts.
I'd say you're absolutely right. I imagine 355 million lemmings peering over the cliff.

Where do you want to be when the pushing starts?

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik, 

It occurs to me that living in a city may color your beliefs about how this will play out. You might feel much more hopeful if you were surrounded by a grounded community of interconnected people with access to some land to grow. I'm not seeing evidence of the sort of civil unrest that seems to be alarming you so, out here on the northern edge of colorado's front range.

That said, I'm reeling from a brunch I just attended with six other unschooling moms. We get together about once a month, and I missed the last couple of meetings, but apparently their financial lives have unraveled with breathtaking speed over the past month or two. Two husbands have been laid off, two women are going back to work part time (and both of them are talking about the possibility of divorce because they're frustrated with their husbands' depression and/or rage). All of us are deeply worried about money. I have been, for many months the lone voice in the group about the financial crisis unfolding and it is such a switch to show up and find that the reality has caught up with most everyone else in the group so suddenly.

 I was also surprised that at yesterday's backyard gardening  workshop at our house, one of the mild-mannered gardening women of a certain age replied to my allusion that growing food will become increasingly important and desirable as the economy worsens with a comment about how the price of guns has gone through the roof and you might want to get one soon. I nearly fell off my chair. For so many months, almost no one I've spoken with seemed at all interested in talking about the problems ahead, and suddenly, here's this vegetable gardener talking calmly about considering a gun purchase to protect herself.

So, in ordinary times, I think we'd probably be calling this the bottom of the bear market, with such maxed out pessimism, but it feels much different to me now. It feels like a collective awareness rising in folks that we're in for a rough, long ride.... 

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Perth Mint

Erik

Take heed.

 Warning about Perth Mint Certificates

Yes. I find myself waiting for the next shock; they come like earthquake tremors. If I had to make a bet, it would be for a collapse of the dollar, as sudden as when it rose last March. My second choice would be for a stock market panic. I mean like a frantic rush for the theater exits. This collapse is still gaining speed and it's still getting more volatile. I'll give it by June before all hell breaks loose. It's just a feeling.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Why do you hate guns considering that guns in the hands of the right people have created the system within which you live and apparently enjoy?  And they're our only hope of not going down the path of tyranny in this crisis?  Guns in the hands of citizens is beautiful (look at Switzerland).  Guns only in the hands of criminals and powerful governments is what you should hate (look at China, Hitler's Germany, Cuba, Russia, Chicago, Iraq, Iran...).  And unfortunately that now includes Australia...I wouldn't consider it such a haven given it's debt crisis is just as big as ours and it no longer has citizens since its "subjects" are victims of UK-like gun control.  

Probably not prudent to assume you'll be able to run from cities once TSHTF.  

Having local community like Chris is the way to go.  Unfortunately, I'm not married so I'm not sure how to go about creating such community.  Married people don't hang with singles and seem to distrust single men too so I'm not sure I'd be able to enter that type of community.  I was the outsider in my community of married types in Bozeman MT.  I've thought of moving close to family in central Illinois, but it would be judgmental too, and the people back there are passive sheep willing to do nothing but sit and let TV pretty people tell them what to do.  I might just move out of Seattle this summer when I complete my 2nd grad degree and rent a place across the water in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula.  Would be safe and isolated from city chaos.  But it's cloudy/rainy so I'm not sure if it works for sustainable community.  Ugh...

Finally, I wouldn't be afraid of civil war, or at least general anarchy.  I hope we get it frankly.  That would be THE sign that the elites have lost control and local/state energy might have a chance of taking power and control back so society can adjust back to the republic that our constitution designed.  I don't want the feds to be able to maintain "order" in this crisis...the type of order they're planning for is scary.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Then I saw a couple of videos and read several news articles about gun
sales exploding to 500% higher sales rates than ever seen before, and
ammunition of every type and kind being sold out and back-ordered for
months.

 

  1. I think 500% is a little high.
  2. I think it is more because of the Obama effect than anything.  He is the most anti-gun politician ever.

Just remember the following:

  1.  When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
  2. Those that beat the swords into plows will plow for those that don't.

 

 The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most
governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right
within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept
up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any
color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already
annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
 

- St. George Tucker 

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

"Ok, so people who have been pushed into primal behavior patterns are no
longer making rational decisions, but instead are scraping together
whatever cash they can find to buy all the guns and ammo they can
possibly afford. That's really not good."

Nor is the fear such thoughts engender.  I believe that one must get very basic in thinking when facing what you describe.  It is the most basic philosophical question, isn't it?  Why are we here?  Or perhaps, what is the purpose of my life? Not to mention why you are afraid. 

The survival mode you describe is not necessarily aggressive, and loaded with gunfire although I suspect we shall see some of that in our most densly populated areas.  It is why I moved away from such areas.  I loved living in "the" city because of access to art, culture and the occasional big night on the town with superb food and company.  Has that been lost to me where I have moved in the boondocks of S Louisiana?  No.  People use guns here to hunt for food and sometimes for protection against perceived threats, which ordinarily turn out to be based on fear that something might happen.  It rarely does here.  I still have art, literature, music and good company as well.  But I have also learned a lot about life itself in the boonies.  I have learned again to listen to others' stories, and that what somebody wears or what educational or financial level they may have achieved is absolutely no indication at all of whether they are good company or not.  Sometimes I shock myself with the really good company I keep that my old "friends" would shun and conclude that these were not really friends at all.

I do miss live grand opera about which nobody around here has a clue, but really, one can't have it all, and who knows, maybe in my little village one day, my Sunday orgy of  digital opera will catch some child's ear as it once did mine so many years ago, the scratchy sounds of a neighbor's 33's woven in with such sweet olive scents . 

Rosemary

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

 

Erik;

I really enjoyed your description of the gut-level observations that have contributed to your sense of impending doom.  I've had that feeling, increasingly, over the past two years.  It's interesting to find that I'm not alone in weighting my day-to-day observations and little snapshots from the news as heavily as the facts and figures from the economic blogs and sites.  In my old age, I've learned to trust my intuition in judging the significance of these matters.  The trick is to sort out the intuition from the fear.  I've found that intuition can be trusted. . . fear cannot . . . and sometimes, it takes serious introspection to discern the difference. 

While I'm seeing much evidence that the implosion is well under progress and accelerating quickly, it's amazing to me how few people that I encounter on a day-to-day basis fully realize the full magnitude of what's happening.  People seem to have a remarkable ability and need to shelter themselves from the realization that conditions are never going back to "normal".  The red flag I'm waiting for is when the cashiers, bank tellers, postal workers, and average Joes realize the desperation of their circumstances.  When I can see the fear and desperation in their eyes . . that'll be my signal that it's time to batten down the hatches.

I live in the Midwest -- tornado alley.  Lately, I have the same apprehension as when there's an eerie calm in the midst of a stormy summer day, and the sky turns murky green, the birds are strangely silent, and clouds seem to be moving in ways that defy normal weather patterns . . I keep listening for that freight train, with one hand on the cellar door . . .

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

My intuition is also telling me that there's trouble coming.  But for me it's more of a sense of anticipating one more event in a continuing series of escalating events, not an immediate collapse.  Perhaps something along the lines of last fall's stock crash or the recent Israel-Gaza conflict, I don't know for sure.  A handful of times in my life I've got full-on alarm bells from my intuition regarding serious danger, but this doesn't feel like that.  However I feel it's important to add that we all have to trust what our own intuition is telling us... my gut feeling most likely relates to my situation and where I'm at, and any given event will likely affect us all differently.  And as someone else here said it's important to distinguish between what your gut is telling you and what fear may be compelling you to do.  Oddly enough, for the past 7 months or so any fear I've had about the near future has for the most part vanished. Maybe it's just the sense of purpose that's developed over that time and following through with my plan, but something is telling me I'm on the right path and my family will get through all this in ok shape.   

Nichoman made a good point about intuition impacted by location.  I live in Denver now but I've recently accepted a job in rural Alaska and will be moving the family there in a couple months, and I've noticed that since making that decision I feel more at ease in general. So for me and my family this new location feels right, at least for now.  Part of my plan was to transition out of Denver (which my gut had
been telling me to do), and now that I've started that move my gut is giving me the thumbs up.  Planning is great, but you'll never know if you're on the right path until you start implementing it.  If during the process you start feeling less apprehension about the whole situation, then you're probably doing the right thing.  It might not involve making a complete move out of the city (heck, a lot of us don't have the option of continuing our line of work outside the cities), but you can still get as many ducks in a row as you can in preparation of that eventual possibility.  My (limited) experience is that momentum is the key... you don't need to do it all at once, but once you get started in full you'll find everything that follows gets easier Smile

- Nickbert

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Nickbert, sounds like a good plan...Alaska will be far better than the Denver metropolis.  But, note the transportation infrastructure is key to getting supplied up there.  It will be most important for you to have a significant amount of food in storage...that is unless you plan to go totally off the grid and sustain yourself from your own land.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

A small clarification is in order here. An M-16 is not a "machine gun". It is a semi-automatic military service rifle that -- in its latest version -- includes an optional 3 round "burst" mode. I carried an M-16 in Vietnam in my role as an artillery forward observer. In those days, the M-16 had a selector switch that allowed the user to choose semi-automatic (i.e., one round at a time) or full automatic (i.e., empty the entire magazine with one pull on the trigger) mode. It was prone to jam.

If you want to get technical, I suppose you could characterize the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle as a "machine gun" because it was designed primarily for use as a fully automatic weapon. But the M-16 assault rifle was designed as a semi-automatic weapon. The fully automatic mode proved to be impractical for a number of reasons. So eventually the M-16 was reconfigured to include a dual mode selector switch. The primary fire mode is semi-automatic, which means squeeze the trigger and one round fires. The alternate mode is "burst", which means squeeze the trigger and three rounds fire in rapid sequence.

I am generalizing here and some details are missing, such as the specific nomenclarture of the current version of the M-16. But, in general, a "machine gun" is a device designed to fire a large number of rounds in rapid succession from a belt of ammunition. That's an inadequate description but it will do.

It surprises me that Aaron Moyer did not jump on this. Aaron must have been off line or snoozing. He's the expert. Anyway, I will stand corrected if Aaron wants to clarify any point I have raised here.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?
strabes wrote:

Nickbert, sounds like a good plan...Alaska will be far better than the Denver metropolis.  But, note the transportation infrastructure is key to getting supplied up there.  It will be most important for you to have a significant amount of food in storage...that is unless you plan to go totally off the grid and sustain yourself from your own land.

Oh yes, Alaska is terribly dependent on long-distance shipping and transportation of goods.  I've lived most of my life in Alaska, and all my time there that dependence on transportation translated into (sometimes atrociously) high prices, but if bad times come about and shipments become unreliable.... well high prices won't be the biggest issue.  Some crops grow very well there, but it's a short growing season and other sources of food can only be had during certain seasons.  We need to have a very substantial store of food, all the more so because I expect some of my family up there either cannot or will not keep a large store of food (more than 2 months worth) on hand.  And living totally off the land is not really an option; even the few people I know who are truly experienced outdoorsmen would need more than just what the local land could provide over the long term.  To my personal amusement, Alaska seems to have a certain mystique in many peoples' minds as being a place where only the strong survive (ha!), but most of us don't live much differently than people in small cities in the Northeast or northern parts of the Midwest (and a few people there are downright pansies).  As for me I'm not a total city kid, but I've also never had to live off of what I've caught (fishing has mostly been for fun), so I'm not going to rely solely on my fishing skills to feed us all.  But I am betting that a freezer full of fish will certainly be a plus no matter how things turn out.  And I'll have opportunities to go on a couple big-game hunts with people I know, so perhaps there will be some caribou or moose meat in the freezer as well.  Yum...

- Nickbert

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

The more you read in sites like this the more one might think things are going to collapse imminently.  And if one has lost their job etc., one might call that a collapse already.  On the other hand, my circle of friends and colleagues that don't track this stuff are blissfully living life as always.  Change is alway inevitable no matter how this plays out.  I'm keeping my mind open to a range of possible scenarios from imminent collapse to long gradual decline, and am trying to act according to the risks and data identified.  I've also found it helpful spend less time reading and studying and more time on actual planning and action based on my own analysis and conclusions.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?
Woodman wrote:

I've also found it helpful spend less time reading and studying and more time on actual planning and action based on my own analysis and conclusions.

Wisdom, Woodman. . . the key is finding that balance.  Thanks.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Hi Erik,

I agree with what you are feeling.  I feel there is a certain understanding as to what will have to happen in the future (grow our own food, lead simpler lives etc etc), but no one can truely predict how its going to happen; it is only good that you are aware, feel and see what is happening all around us.

Bugging out or escaping will not be a walk in the park, it will be very hard especially if you have little survival/bushcraft experience and if this is your major plan then please start to work on the skills; just remain open to modifying and refining your plan or plans as this thing plays out.

For me, bugging out figures out as one of my planned scenarios amongst others (plan of last resort) and I can forsee how I might have to do that with my family for a few days or weeks (if there was some kind of blow through of people from Brussels near to where I live), but my strong preference is to stay put and work with neighbours and close friends to form some kind of cooperative or community.  However, I reconfigured the camping gear (pots and pans with handles that can be used to hang them over a fire, Dutch ovens etc) that would be used anyway with the family for weekend trips.  I've have also bought a hammock, a basha and a bivy bag for each of the family members for a couple of hundered euros and so that is a huge investment.  I had the rucksacks and sleeping bags already and I know we will have some fun with the hammocks over the summer and we have it ready to use them if it does get nasty!!  

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

relax erik IT IS JUST YOU  everything is fine dont think about gloom and doom think about plant and bloom.

you will attract what you focus on. life is good it is full of opportunity. if you fill your head with negativity that will be your subjective reality.

sure we are going thru a rough time right now but the fundamentals are strong and the recession will bottom out at the end of this year then we will get back on the right track.

dont worry abut those poor schleps losing their homes you are in good shape you will not lose yours. hell it was much worse in 1980 than it is now. 

the msm is just playing this up because bad news sells .........you know house fires and car accidents are the staple of the news cycle. we may have 8 percent unemployment but that means 92 % are still working. 

the glass is not half empty it is only 8% empty. the ice cubes havent even started to melt.

just remember the words of meher baba " dont worry be happy"

spread love light and optimism .

let me know if you need some of what i just smoked.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

You're a funny guy, Joe.  Laughing

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Are the Treasury and the Fed smoking your stuff joe? or planning? I see a little calm before the storm right now with a concerted attempt to put a happy face up on the TV to block out the gathering storm visible in the background... the Dow is up another 100 pts so don't worry, be happy. I don't believe anyone can foresee how the storm will play out or what the trigger will be though - complex interactions leading to unforeseen consequences. People will need to weather it together - we are social creatures after all.

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

There's no doubt TS is HTF.  Even Joe the Plumber knows that at this point.

I've spent many years studying this stuff now.  I agree with the diagnosis of the problems presented by Chris and others who share his views.  And I mostly agree with the prognosis that is offered by those same folks, i.e. an eventual collapse and decline of modern civilization.

However, I also believe that many people underestimate the resilience of modern civilizations.  Yes, we're in a very precarious place and yes, circumstances are different now than they've ever been.  But if history is any indication of the future (and it usually is), large-scale civilizations take between 150-300 years to fully disintegrate.

Does that mean there won't be serious shocks and collapses on the way down?  Of course not.  But I think of it more like a staircase than falling off the edge of a cliff.

I agree with Sue and others that our current circumstances dramatically affect our perception of what's happening.  I've been spending far less time on this site lately.  I've got more than enough information.  I know what I need to do.  I have plenty of motivation.  So I've been expanding our garden, building relationships with my local community, working to educate others, storing food, focusing on my post-peak vocation, and doing whatever else I can to prepare for the times ahead.

Here's the thing: in the process of doing all of these things I've found a sense of joy, peace and connection to my community and the earth that - in addition to enriching my life tremendously - keeps me from getting carried away by the fear and anxiety. Something I noticed a while back that confused me until recently was that all of the major writers and speakers on PO, resource depletion, climate change, etc. seemed to be quite cheery about it all.  I now realize that the reason they feel so hopeful and alive is that they are directly involved in efforts to prepare and change, and their involvement in such efforts provides a continuous sense of joy and jope.

Chris M. has spoken of this phenomenon several times.  In fact, I had a long conversation about it with him about a week ago.  He publicly stated in his recent blog post that he's considering changing the focus of this site to local, community action and preparedness.  I support that change.  This site is an incredible resource, and has awoken thousands of people to the reality we're facing.  But I also see (from people's posts) that a significant number of folks are spending most of their time reading about this stuff, without making any real changes in their lives.  If you only read about it, and don't take action, it's going to be very difficult to avoid being swallowed up by fear.  This isn't directed at Erik, or any particular person; it's just an observation and a belief of mine.

The Taoists have a saying: "true knowledge is action."  That is, you don't really know something unless it promotes some kind of action in your life.  It also implies that we only truly learn through action - reading and thinking isn't enough.  

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

 

Chris;

I have actions completed or well underway for personally managing the first stages of the economic breakdown.  But I feel stymied about how to build community locally.  Due to complicated circumstances, I cannot move out of my far suburban/rural community.  But that community has a long history of being at each other's throat over issues like road repair and water supply, even in the recent abundant times.  Rather ruthless outsiders took control of our local government about 15 years ago and have created havoc ever since, for the purpose of controlling resources to their advantage.  They have sucessfully "divided and conquered" every effort to oppose them.  I am at a loss of how to build community under these circumstances.

Perhaps, in compensation, I have reached out to community on this site, but I've yet to meet anyone who is proximal enough to start building a coalition of like-minded individuals.  I am open to any suggestions you or others may have along these lines.

 

 

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?
c1oudfire wrote:

 I am at a loss of how to build community under these circumstances.

Perhaps, in compensation, I have reached out to community on this site, but I've yet to meet anyone who is proximal enough to start building a coalition of like-minded individuals.  I am open to any suggestions you or others may have along these lines.

 

and

 

I live in the Midwest -- tornado alley.

 

 

I'm in Missouri - where are you?

 

Rog

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

c1oudfire,

How about starting a bit smaller, like with your neighbors on your street or even on both sides of your home?  

I recognize that building community is not always easy.  In fact, building or living in community harmoniously is one of the most challenging goals we can aspire to.   But it's also one of the most worthy - and necessary - goals.

Approaches like Nonviolent Communication can be very helpful in resolving conflict and creating a quality of connection that supports everyone's needs being met.

The Transition Town initiative presents a loose framework for organizing people on a local level around these issues.  There are two-day trainings that teach the basics of this process to anyone who wants to learn it and take it back to their communities. 

Hope this gives you a few ideas!

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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

My intuition has been getting increasingly noisy over the past 2 years. I've never been money oriented, so my spidey-sense has always been more focused on political corruption and the threat of civil unrest. I live just outside Seattle now, and have been trying to avoid people as much as possible, especially lately when the quiet desperation is leading to increased levels of passive violence. We had been hoping to move to our land in Alaska this spring, but medical issues got in the way so we had planned for next spring... but now, we're doing our utmost to get the heck out of the city this fall.

In times of collapse and upheaval, densely populated areas like cities are definitely NOT the place to be... more mouths to feed, less food to feed them, more people to infect with mob mentality. Cities are so dependent on the grid and all the goods and services from other parts of the country, in the event of a fall they will be much more drastically affected by anarchy. Pandemics are also much more likely in populated areas, especially when basic sanitation systems and health care start becoming unavailable. Rural areas with tighter communities that are mostly self-sufficient will feel a ripple, but not the crash of the tidal wave. Rural communities are already way ahead in doing for themselves and fending for themselves. Strabes is right though... rural communities do have some distinct distrust of single males, so it's important to establish yourself early as an upstanding person who can add to the community and not be a potential predator/threat. (This isn't crazy xenophobia either - the statistical majority of crimes committed in small communities are perpetrated by single males, especially "outsiders". Even in the animal world, "extra" males are normally driven out of the social group.)

I'm not at all surprised about the increase in gun sales. It's just another indicator that people are realizing they may need to defend themselves against predators (4-legged AND 2-legged) and a government that has become increasingly more tyrannical and totalitarian. We know from the CC that the government and power elite had to have seen this collapse coming for years, and for years they've been trying to get our guns from us. All the weapons bans, and the whole "Assault Weapons" rouse, has been a strategic manipulation to make sure that the citizens have less firepower than the military and has made absolutely no difference in the "War on Drugs" or the "War on Violence". Like Aaron said, the 2nd Amendment is our Constitutional fail-safe against the tyranny of government. The fact that so many people have come to believe that a TOOL is bad and is no longer necessary in our "civilized" society is proof that their plan is working. In every historical record we see that one of the first things a tyrannical government does is take away the citizens' weapons.

I've always had guns and I belong to a firing range so that I can keep reasonably trained with them... but I'm not a drug dealer or a criminal or a "gun nut". I'm just an ordinary citizen who owns a tool and tries to keep my skills with it adequately honed. Yes, I have purchased more weapons in the last year... a second set for my husband (who had none) and a spare set (in case of malfunction). We are buying large quantities of ammunition, high capacity magazines, and reloading equipment. Why? Because you never know when the government may try to take our weapons away or ban them to the point that you can't purchase anything useful. Anyone who thinks those stubby low-capacity magazines you're restricted to in California are a good idea and more than you'll ever need has never had a ton of pissed off bear barreling down on them. You never know when production and distribution of arms and ammunition may be interrupted, so it's best to be prepared. Guns don't always kill people, most of the time they keep your family fed and safe... especially in rural areas where there are still 4-legged predators to worry about, not just the 2-legged kind. Most people in the cities have been lulled into a false sense of security with available Law Enforcement and the absence of truly dangerous wildlife. Of course, you can't rely on firearms as your sole defense and food procurement method, so you have to train with bow & arrow and hone your trapping and fishing skills as well.

I think that some sort of civil war or revolution is inevitable, so there is no use hoping and praying and ignoring the possibility any longer. Whether that is a full-scale war that we've experienced in the past or a more "civilized" series of skirmishes is debatable. I'm not personally worried about our own military turning against us. In the beginning of dissolution, our government may attempt to turn our soldiers against the people. In the beginning, those soldiers may obey the orders they were given; but most will not continue fighting against their own people once they figure out what's happening, and will turn to fight beside us (against other soldiers and our own government if necessary). Note in the following military oaths, that obeying the government authority and chain of command is LAST on the list, while defending the Constitution (and thereby "the People") is FIRST. It is every soldier's responsibility to determine if any order they are given violates the Constitution... thereby making the issuing person(s) a domestic enemy to be defended against.

"Armed Forces Oath" wrote:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


"National Guard Oath" wrote:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.

I would be much more worried about all the independent contractors that the government has hired and armed to "support" our military recently. These people are mercenaries and do not have to swear any oaths of fealty or allegiance and are not bound by the same treaties and standards of conduct as the regular army. Historically, a corrupt tyrannical government often raises a paramilitary "private army" very similar to this before making its ultimate power grab (anyone remember the Nazi SS?). The Private Military Companies (mercenaries) are often hired to do things that standing military is not allowed to do - like political assassination, murder of citizens, kidnapping and interrogation with deadly force. Oh yeah, I definitely want to have adequate firepower to defend myself against THEM!

So, Erik, if your spidey-sense is telling you that the time has come to bug out, and your intuition has always been highly reliable, I'd be packing my bags and heading for the hills now and worrying about whether I was being silly once I was safe!

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Cloudfire
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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

 

Hi, Chris;

Thanks for your response.  I'm definitely going to delve into the Transition Town initiative.

I'd love to have immediate neighbors that can be trusted to work together in a crisis.  Unfortunately, it would be naive for me to believe that my immediate neighbors would be capable of that.  With my doors and windows closed, it's still apparent that they can't manage to get along with each other, without resorting to violence.*  Not the kind of people I'd want to discuss food storage with, if you get my drift.

I'm going to have to reach out farther, or find some way to move to a more grounded community.  The Transition Town initiative sounds like a great place to start.  I have some financial resources, and would move to another community if the price was right, and I felt assured that the community was well on its way toward mutual cooperation.  Please email me if you have any suggestions in this regard.  I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but I feel that I need to make my move soon, or find myself trapped on a ship with a murderous crew.

 

*   By some strange coincidence, this is true of several of the homes adjacent to us.  In lighter moments, we call our immediate vicinity "the Bermuda Triangle". 

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switters
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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

One place to start in terms of looking for a new community is looking at which towns already have active Transition movements.  Of course there are many towns and communities that are engaged in similar efforts and have been for some time that aren't technically part of the Transition movement.

I personally favor small towns surrounded by arable hinterland, with a walkable town center, plenty of rainfall (i.e. 30 inches +/year), existing Transition-like groups/efforts, farmer's markets, local arts & culture, etc.  Unfortunately there aren't many of these left in North America, so it makes them easier to find!

 

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Cloudfire
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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

 

I haven't studied the Transition Town site thoroughly yet.  Is there a list of active communities on the site? 

Thanks, Chris, for this, and your very useful advice on the healthcare forum.  I look forward to bumping into you again.  Take care.

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A. M.
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Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

PlicketyCat - awesome post.

Very well said on all fronts.

If you're still in the Seattle Area, we should try and get a meet up together between us Portland area types, and those of you in the Metroplex.

Cheers!

Aaron

PS - BSV,

You're 90% right. The M16 is not a machine gun. It is classified as a "rifle". A machinegun is a weapon made to operate predominately, or exclusively on automatic fire. The M249 or M240B are examples of machineguns.

With regards to automatic fire on a rifle, it's "useful", but time and budget constraints preclude the conventional military from developing any proficiency with this mode of fire. The compromised "3-round burst" was best catagorized (I think by Col. Cooper) as "one aimed shot followed by two misses".

 

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