Military expenditures by country

Military expenditures by country

Why we prep

Here’s another reason why you – and your friends and family – should prep:

It seems there is a lot of panic-buying which is gripping Americans ahead of World War III.

While I’m glad the prepper market place is finally getting a boost from the “Trump is so dangerous I guess I’ll stop worrying” recession in self-sufficiency purchases, this whole ginned-up North Korea nonsense is beginning to frost me.

Let me repeat myself briefly for those who missed an earlier column. Please reference the illustration above.

North Korea spends roughly $7.5 billion a year for its military budget. South Korea spends nearly five times as much. The United States military budget in 2015 was 80 times larger than North Korea’s. Yes, North Korea does have nuclear weapons and is working feverishly on developing missiles capable of mounting those bombs, but so far – when those rockets manage to make it off the tarmac – the only target that the North Korean Dough Boy has been capable of hitting is the Pacific Ocean; and a 180o angle of arc is not precision shooting.

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All of this “Sturm und Drang” being foisted on the American public by the news media is just another attempt to damage the current U.S. president; and it conveniently passes over the fact that North Korea only has nukes and missiles in the first place because of the Clinton and Obama administrations’ “peace at any cost” diplomatic failures. (Of course, I might be disparaging the accomplishments of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama. There’s a sizable minority out there that can make a compelling argument that North Korea’s advancement to the atomic stage was entirely according to plan.)

But no matter how it occurred, the current situation reminds me of another media-hype war: specifically the 1990 Persian Gulf War, when brave American solders faced off against the mightiest force on Earth (to hear the media run-up to the kick-off): the Iraqi Army and its fearsome Republican Guard.

For those who remember the wall-to-wall CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and ESPN coverage, the U.S. military advance from the Kuwaiti border to Baghdad was nearly as exciting as the opening of Al Capone’s vault by perennial loser Geraldo Rivera.

The U.S. military did suffer casualties during this “war” (111 deaths due to enemy actions, 35 due to accidents and 35 in “friendly fire” incidents), but my guess is most of the injuries sustained were related to eye-strain from the harsh sunlight reflecting off the chrome helmets of the surrendering Republican Guard.

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While the new Korean conflict has been a temporary boon to Big Prep, the current kerfuffle created by people stocking up on potassium iodide tablets and bomb shelters won’t last. And as lots of more experienced and long-term self-dependent people know, once everything settles down, it will be a buyer’s market for hardly used prepper gear on eBay.

Self-dependence and its large overlap with prepping isn’t really about meteors or bombs or volcanic eruptions. It isn’t driven by paper profit or loss and manufactured economic catastrophes. It’s about a philosophy and a lifestyle that values simple living, Godly virtues, community, and individual liberty, as well as having the means and experience to conserve and maintain those values.

While lots of people are scrambling right now for hand-cranked flashlights and paracord, the self-dependent folks are getting ready to harvest their gardens. They’re cutting firewood for the coming winter. They’re working on developing a market for rabbit meat (a friendly tease to a good neighbor).

And they are happy because they aren’t paying attention to those who are telling them they should be miserable. How many people in this day and age can say that?

Real prepping isn’t about the end times, it’s about the good times – meaning right now.

And that’s one of the reasons we prep.

The mailbox


I have no specific comments to make on last week’s reader posts except to agree with many of the posters that there are a lot more people out there walking the prepper trail than meets the eye.

Self-dependence is a growing trend and a lot of that growth is due to the Internet. The ‘Net is just a tool, of course, and often those using it are doing so for pretty shady purposes. But it’s also being used to disseminate information and concepts that simply wasn’t available to the common man back in the old days of “three networks/one opinion.”

As an example, BL (Before Limbaugh), conservatives had no clue of how much power they really had. And “nut job” proto-preppers were only mentioned as amusing side-bar stories or evening news filler. All of that has changed now; and despite the heavy push-back from dinosaur media, the idea that there’s a better way to live than being a government serf is resonating with more and more people.

All of which leads me to the next topic of this column. While “getting out of Dodge” is becoming more appealing, the simple fact is no matter where you go, you still have to eat. That means when you decide to leave the rat race, you’ve still got to have a means of acquiring your daily bread.

Starting with this column and into the next, we’ll take a look at how to make a living while living like a prepper.

But let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It’s nearly impossible to live a self-dependent life while living in a city, and nearly as difficult in the suburbs. If you don’t believe me, try drilling a water well in your front yard and installing a septic tank in the back. Self-dependence is about minimizing your reliance on others, especially authority … and for that, you need room. So the first plan any urbanite should make if they want to become more self-dependent should be relocation. The second plan is how to finance your new lifestyle.

There’s some good news: It likely won’t be as expensive as the lifestyle you currently lead, but you’ll have to accept a few changes. Remember, all the most dangerous places in the world have the best restaurants.

So until next week, start thinking about where you’d like to live … and get prepared.

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