|This window to one side has a grille. The higher lock could be replaced with a keyed lock, but the key would need to be fairly conspicuous so that people in the home could locate it and exit quickly in the event of fire.|
As you know if you are not comatose, Congress has refused to approve a budget which would fully fund our government because it would also fund Obamacare a.k.a. the "Affordable Care Act". The only way this could be done is by raising the credit limit of the United States. This would be like you and I placing all of our living expenses on the Discover card at 16.99% and quickly reaching our $5,000. limit. Then we decide to meet with our spouse to request a tripling of our debt limit to $15,000. If we can't make the payments with the card maxed out at $5,000, then we certainly won't be able to make the higher payments on a balance of $15,000.
President Obama pushed through a National Health Plan which is neither comprehensive, or affordable. It will markedly increase the costs of insurance for individuals and for families. It will markedly increase the amount that individuals pay for medications of supplies if they are on Medicaid (care based on a low income formula) or Medicare (provided after attaining a particular age.). In very short order care will need to be rationed. It is extremely likely that expensive care will likely not be provided to those with multiple diagnoses, or those beyond a certain age. (That age could be as low as fifty-five or even fifty) Since reimbursement for care of supplies is very likely to be erratic or difficult, this will translate to fewer companies selling diabetes supplies, ostomy supplies, or other medical supplies. Medical supply shortages are therefore very very likely in the future. The Veteran Administration plan will endure the least amount of changes, but many veterans recently believe that they have not received the best of care. (I am referring to a number of returning soldiers whose families found fault with the VA system, and then paid for private care for their sons and daughter's head injuries or other injuries acquired during war.)
Sadly, as inconvenient and as disruptive as it is to many of my native Virginians who actually work for the federal government, the only way Congress can see to bring Obamacare, an injurious agent, as they see it, to additional scrutiny, is to shut down government. They have offered to individually fund WIC (Women, Infants and Children, the food program which helps to provide healthy and specific foods to breast feeding women, babies and small children.) They have also offered to individually fund the activities of the National Institute of Health, in the event that those receiving experimental treatments deteriorate during the governmental closure. They are also crafting a bill which will fund FEMA. This was unacceptable to Mr. Obama, who has said on a number of occasions, that he will not negotiate. He wants the debt ceiling raised, Obamacare fully funded and the entire government funded. People working for the National Park Service have been told by the administration to be as difficult as possible for those wishing to enter our National Parks. Basically, we have a serious stalemate. Mr. Obama will not agree to an item by item funding of our government's essentials, and then an examination and perhaps a staging of Obamacare, which is surely not yet "shovel ready", unless, of course, you plan to bury it. Obama and his family, Congress, the Senate and their families are all exempted from this bad plan, while you and I and our families lives hang in the balance.
Meanwhile, the government has purchased many millions of rounds of ammunition of many different calibers, so many in fact, that there has been a significant shortage for the rest of us. The government has also purchased huge numbers of MREs. It's almost as if the current regime intends to collapse our current system in order to place a dictatorship in its place when financial collapse and civil unrest occur.
I have no crystal ball. I can't tell you what will happen. I know that a group that allies itself with Al Qaeda in Africa is attacking shopping malls and calls itself Al-Shabab. (I just remember the name by thinking about a group that would like to shish-kebab Americans) They likely have tentative plans to bomb malls in the United States also. I know that we have a leader who has done, and is continuing to do, many things which do not appear to be in the interest of the United States. I know that the economy is not improving. I know that more and more people are on food stamps, food assistance, welfare, etc. I know that thousands and thousands of college graduates have not found jobs which are lucrative enough that they are able to pay their student loan debts. I know that the government owes approaching 17 trillion dollars. I know that quantitative easing is simply a band-aid on incredible national financial problems. Many people have been without work and depending upon family members, and living in basements and RVs for years.
I know that a militarization of local police is occurring, and that there is talk of collecting even legally acquired firearms. In fact, 24 million dollars was just appropriated in California in order to confiscate weapons which were legal when they were acquired.
And no, if you oppose my assessment, I am not a Republican. I think they should have taken a harder line against Obamacare long ago. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Libertarian. I am, a Constitutionalist, and I still don't see how it could be anything approaching constitutional for every American to be required to purchase any product from anywhere, simply as a condition of being alive.
So, these are not only tight times, they are dangerous times. What can you and your family do ?
These are simply a few suggestions:
1. You and your spouse need to analyze your budget for this year, here and now. Before medical supply and food shortages occur, what can you trim from your budget ? Must you have cable television ? Can you use your cellphone less and get a less expensive plan ?
2. Analyze your food budget. Most Americans eat fast food much more than they should. Do you need to stop depending upon fast food as often ? When you buy food, do you buy prepared foods ? Could you buy a couple of chickens and cook them, making chicken and rice, a chicken noodle casserole, and hearty chicken noodle soup ? You could freeze these and have three healthy meals for the price of one pre-prepared entree. Should you buy a large container of oatmeal ? You could make cookies and place them in a tin for the week. (They are quite healthy with raisins.) You could make your own quick oatmeal without little packets ! My kids add a little raspberry jam to oatmeal we make ourselves. Sometimes, we put a dollop of ice cream on oatmeal. Remember, breakfast doesn't have to be breakfast food. Go to Goodwill and get some cookbooks. Make some healthy and economical new dishes. Remember that the calorie counts are included in the recipes and portions in a lot of contemporary cookbooks. Look up recipes for cabbage. This versatile long lasting vegetable deserves a second look. Americans have forgotten how to cook, and this has swelled our grocery budgets as well as our backsides.
3. Take a look at your security situation in your apartment, your suburban house, or country home. If civil unrest or rioting were to occur where you are, what would the hazards be ? Consider reinforcing doors, windows, and better garage locks. If you have defensive weapons, make an appointment or arrangements to practice more this weekend. A weapon you can't use safely because you are inexperienced, places you and your family in more danger than if you didn't have one.
4. It may not be possible or even wise to start construction on a safe room, however most homes have certain rooms which by location, are simply safer than others. Make sure your children know that in an emergency, we report to the _________room. For some this is the basement, for others a windowless playroom.
5. If you are still working or drawing a paycheck, make efforts now to put away food supplies, and frequently used medical items. If you use insulin, then get ahead on insulin now. If you test blood sugars, then buy extra test strips now. You might want to invest in a cheaper back up system, a Wal-Mart glucometer and some of the strips it needs. Don't forget specialized batteries needed for medical equipment, insulin pumps, glucometers, etc. Get some extra nebulizer bowls and tubings if you use these. If you use aspirin daily, buy some extra. You need to avoid getting to the point where you desperately need something within in the next 3-5 days.
Today, Merck Pharmaceuticals announced that they will be gradually terminating a large number of its workforce. This is likely to happen to a number of large companies. Please analyze what you would do if this happened to you. We all need to have contingency plans.
I doubt that whatever happens in DC will happen in Duluth. Whatever happens in Seattle will not be just like Miami or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Each of us needs to look at the potential for short or longer term financial collapse and how it would likely impact our area. Very quickly, large angry masses express rage in destruction, looting and fire. Where would you go and what would you do, if this or a natural disaster befell your area ?
This is enough for now, but we all know something is coming. The mood everywhere is tense and many people are on edge, pretty much everywhere you go. You and your family are depending upon you to have a plan, and to keep yourself together. You can do this. I know you can.