Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Building a Miniature Forge

(Photo:  Copyright  )

   One of my sons is a degreed sculptor.  He remains badly injured from the lightning strike he sustained, now two years ago.  When he is physically able, he builds or repairs things that are often simply labor saving devices for himself, or sometimes for me.
            I would like to share with you, the mini forge he built recently.

(Photo: Copyright veraseri )

We start this build with a 4.5" i.d. Stainless pipe from a scrap pile. This was from a refit/replacement job at a nuclear plant. 

(Photo: Copyright veraseri )

 All of the pieces are cut to length, and the edges de-burred as well as conditioned.  

This is the picture from the top of the page.    (Copyright: )

 The forge is then welded and other pieces such as the tabs for feet, and the hinge for the door are added. The piece is then sandblasted and coated with a paint that can resist up to 1200 deg. F

(Photo: Copyright )

Here we are cutting sections of Fiberfrax Duraboard for the inside insulation of the forge. This product cuts very nicely, is exceedingly durable, and is very easy to replace in the future.

(Photo: Copyright )

The Fiberfrax Duraboard has been installed and a hole has been cut for the burner entry. It is ready for its first test.

(Photo: Copyright )

The door (in the rear) is as well insulated and can be opened to heat much longer pieces.

(Photo: Copyright )

In this picture, the rear door is closed.

(Photo: Copyright )

The first test fire went perfectly, and came to heat very quickly. Here I am using a BernzOmatic TS4000 for its ease of starting and its MAPP and Propane cross-ability.

The mini forge is up, running and operational.   The survival uses of such a device would include knife and instrument making,  bracket construction, repair of metal car or tractor parts, or farm implements.  This forge makes some excellent hoof picks.   It can be a resource for metal casting.  If your distant enough, you could cook a hot dog or toast marshmallows !

For those who can't weld or want a more disposable unit, there is a video on Youtube which was posted by someone other than my son, which I have embedded below.

   Please be sure when doing anything of this variety to wear eye protection, work in the outdoors in order to prevent inhalation of carbon monoxide and other substances, and take reasonable precautions to avoid the ignition of your surroundings.

The Soup Can Forge   

******On another topic, please read: 

Gorges has a great blog and some important common sense views.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Continued Erosions of American Freedoms

(Picture: )    Please take a look at Bonzerwolf's blog.

   I have already provided a post on how California has started a gun confiscation program, of guns that were purchased legally.  Now, New York State has begun revoking gun permits of anyone taking anti-anxiety medications.  This is concerning because who is to say which drugs are used for anti-anxiety and which are used for another purpose entirely.   In addition, some people may have anxiety because they are being stalked, and they may actually need the firearm which is being rendered illegal in their possession.  HIPAA laws are being violated, and anything you tell your physician is available to this regime for any use they deem appropriate whether it violates the laws we were raised with and taught.
          California is confiscating guns without any remuneration, and now New York is revoking permits. Due process is not being observed.   It seems clear that the eventual objective of this administration is confiscation, most likely between California and New York, as well.

These are prior posts on this issue:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Life Learning Should Ideally Never End...........AKA, Dealing With Groundhogs

(Picture by: )

  I try to learn something every day.  Sometimes I learn more than one thing. Some of the days of my life that have been the hardest have also brought me the most learning.  Today was one of those days when I learned probably only one thing, but a valuable thing it was, and I think I should report it to you.   In the country and in the suburbs in the United States, we have a creature called a groundhog.  For Europeans, it's in the marmot family and it's also called a woodchuck.   Most of the time, these pleasant creatures wander here and create no difficulties, although they can carry rabies.   They are often seen on the forested hilly areas adjacent to the interstate highways in our area of Virginia.   The only reason one might kill one using a firearm is if the creature were clearly rabid, and then it should be done with exceeding care because the splatter would also carry rabies.  Sometimes, groundhogs build themselves a den underneath a house, a garage or an outbuilding. This means you don't just have one creature, but an entire family of them.  In that event, they begin to eat your plants, your vegetables before you can pick them all.  You can plant alfalfa and clover and they will eat that, leaving most of your vegetables alone.  You can also buy  a Have-a-Heart trap and relocate them one at a time, to an even more rural area.  These animals can be 12-17 pounds or sometimes more, and so you'll need a trap of fair size.  However, if you have a large family located under your shed, or your group is too smart to taste the apples or whatever you have baited the trap with, then you might need to do what I learned today.

        Take dirty used cat litter and place it in a Wal-Mart style plastic bag, then double bag it.   You can either use your own cat litter or donate this to the family having the groundhog problem.   Take the bag to the place in which you believe the groundhog is living or nesting.   Then, remove the outer bag you added to prevent the bag from leaking, and drop the remaining bag with the kitty litter in it, into the hole or under the building you believe the groundhogs are using as a safehouse.  The groundhogs will explore and scratch at the bag. It will rupture, and fill their home with feline predator urine and excrement.  They will evacuate their home more quickly than you and I would during a mandatory evacuation.    Pregnant women should not handle used cat litter because of the potential for toxoplasmosis spreading to her unborn child.    Other than this caution, this strategy might save a few of you from having to hire and pay a groundhog whisperer or someone who is paid to relocate the little creatures to..........perhaps the White House ?   I hear they have a vegetable garden.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Third Interview on Destiny Survival Radio

(Yes, I think they altered my picture with a head tilt.  It's magical what can be done with a computer !  LOL)

               Whether you have a spouse or partner of childbearing age or not, managing a pregnant woman or an impending delivery during a disaster or an emergency is a possibility for anyone who seeks to be prepared.    In my third radio interview on Destiny Survival with John Wesley Smith we discuss the sensitive topics of preparation for birth control in advance of a disaster. We also discuss the management of pregnant women during disasters.  We discussed at length the emergency delivery of a baby in a "birthing in place" scenario.

                 John Wesley Smith is an excellent interviewer.  This should be an interesting hour.

  The link to this interview can be found at:

These are older links I am told might not work now.


A summary and additional information will be found, following the air date of this episode at:

or page specific:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Many People Now Accept the Concept of an Impending US Financial Collapse

What is behind this door ?  Is it a basement, a coat closet, or a pantry ? We won't know until we open it.


 My interest in general preparedness began in 1979 when I was a college student.  I thought it made sense to be reasonably prepared for short term weather situations which could be downright dangerous for those who hadn't given thought to ice storms or snowdrifts.  I also commuted great distances to clinical affiliations all over the New York, Northern NJ area, and once, I had to stay in a hotel because I couldn't get back home in Winter.   That year I also read a book called "Crisis Investing" by Douglas Casey and it broadened my horizons.  For the first time I read that many people thought that both the culture and the government of the United States spent money unwisely and that eventually a financial collapse which would likely be worse than The Great Depression.   My parents, like most parents of the day, believed in reasonable preparations.  My father kept extra oil filters, extra oil, and tools for emergency repairs.  My mother kept basement shelves with canned goods on them and a couple of times she met with women from the nearby church and they all learned to can whatever they had each year in abundance.   When I graduated from nursing school and moved into one of my first jobs, a patient who was being discharged from the hospital was required to have a disaster plan on their chart as part of discharge planning.  Most nurses hated doing this, but I didn't.  The idea that we could do everything correctly, and then discharge the patient with specialized equipment, and then have all our work go down the drain when the power went out, bothered me. I took discharge planning and post discharge disaster planning very seriously for my patients. Sometimes this meant that they needed to stay ahead on medication. Other times it meant that a second device was kept in their home in the event that the first one malfunctioned or a power surge blew its logic board. Sometimes it meant that extra oxygen tanks were delivered to the home.  As time passed, the care many people receive in the hospital has deteriorated probably secondary to staffing far fewer numbers of licensed nurses, and the over-reliance on those in scrubs who aren't really nurses, and weren't really educated or trained as such. .  Many times patient and family teaching has suffered, and the preparedness plan for the medically fragile has become less common despite its continued great importance.

              When I married and had children part of being a good parent was to be prepared. I was prepared for high fevers following routine immunizations. I was prepared for vomiting and diarrheal illnesses.  Once again, I heard concerns about a financial collapse in the US.

               My kids are mostly grown now, and although it has taken all those years to get here, most Americans know about the very real possibility of an American financial collapse. They might not have believed in in early 2008, but by the end of that year a great recession began that either cost the family a retirement account, a job, a particular career, their homes, their pets, and sometimes their spouse and family. Very few families have been unscathed by this recession, and very few people believe the propaganda that it's on its way out the door.

                I think I liked it much better when mentions of an American financial collapse were simply an intellectual exercise, and an economic what-if.  We have always had a back up plan as to what we would do or where we would go, and of course, we never expected to need to use it. In the past year we have seen the loss of funds people had on deposit with banks in Greece. We have seen their government take over pensions. We have seen Portugal, Italy, Spain,  and other nations struggle with austerity measures. We have seen riots in the United Kingdom and France as austerity measures began to be implemented.  We have seen the Middle East on fire and our ally, or perhaps more accurately our former ally, Egypt fall into a bitter civil war in which Christians and Muslims have been tortured and murdered for having been the wrong religion in the wrong place at the wrong time. We have watched as Al Qaeda has made great inroads in North Africa, and as China locks up the rare Earth metals and mining business around the world.  Russia has paid down it's nations debts and enjoys a shining transformation from the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  Capitalism, hard work, and the energy business has transformed Russia into a shining star of business and of culture. I do not begrudge them this success.  I do however sit in awe of my nation having elected an unqualified individual who has strong armed and implemented radical ideas, while Congress doesn't seem to be able to put the breaks on the runaway train of fundamental transformation of this nation into a Third World country.

             Now, as I spend time out in the world I see people planning for "the great collapse" and for "hyperinflation".  One woman told me today that she was stocking OTC medication for the day when the doctors quit and none of us could get one.  The Great Collapse was something I gave a little bit of thought to in my twenties. I believed that some of my assets should be spent in preparation for reasonable possibilities like floods, Winter storms, ice, earthquakes, and even domestic terrorism.  I honestly didn't think there would be a genuine collapse in my lifetime.  However, now people in stores tell me that the US debt, which is only conservatively assessed at 17 trillion using federal imaginative mathematics, is too large for spent America to pay back. Ordinary people now believe that the World's Reserve Currency will no longer be the US dollar, and that collapse, poverty, violence, attempted secession, and even civil war are coming.   I liked it much better when this was an intellectual exercise we all thought might never happen.

            I would love to have a "Pull-up-the-ladder-Jack, I'm-alright" attitude about a financial collapse, but I can't.  Even if by some magical circumstance my preparations were enough to help carry my family through a short term interruption in supplies, what about our friends ?   What about the people who helped build this farm ?  What about the men and women where my husband works, and their families ?  What about all the people who have been so good to my daughter in her challenging new job ?  I am not okay with being alright while "Rome burns".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Meet Navy Seal Benjamin Smith, and Hear What He Has to Say

Former Navy Seal Ben Smith, who thinks the government intends to foment activities which will result in the declaration of martial law.

Some time ago we learned that the present US regime was using the NSA and the FBI to monitor former members of the military. We learned of this when Chesterfield, Virginian, former marine Brandon Raub was falsely imprisoned for making statements which were simply negative with regard to the present regime.It seems that opinions on a private facebook page are not only reviewed by the FBI but acted upon as well.

 The case against the government on behalf of Mr. Raub is presently in federal court.

 Links to these posts are here:

Ben Smith served in the Navy and as a  Seal for six years.

Now,  former Navy Seal, Ben Smith,  is saying that the government is specifically targeting military and former military members and goading them into actions which will allow the government to crack down and remove Second Amendment rights, if not declare martial law and suspend the Constitution for a period of time, or until it can be rewritten entirely.     Remember also that federal law enforcement agencies have been told that they may not be members of groups such as Promise Keepers.

      Please see the interview with former Navy Seal, Ben Smith, below.  He is certainly a brave citizen.

For those of you who would like to communicate with him,  "Former Navy Seal Benjamin Smith" is on facebook.   I do not do facebook at all, and so if you speak to him, say hello for me.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The World Has Gone Mad : Exploitation Around the Corner



        This has been a difficult week for many people, and our family has been no exception. I have often said that I usually deal well with most types of adversity, but I am not nearly so graceful when something befalls one of my kids, or they are mistreated in some way.  Then, I can be rather difficult. I can also write a scathing letter on occasion.  I don't intervene on much very often because I don't think it's kind to cause people to lose their jobs, and because kindness and setting the example of kindness, as a general rule, is important to me.

                One of my sons is a professional sculptor.  His degree is in sculpture and extended media.  He makes one-of-a-kind pieces of sculptural furniture, one of which sits in the collection of Travis Pastrana and his wife Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana.   This week he learned that a Chinese company has been reproducing and marketing one of his chairs without permission, using his company's name, the name of the one-of-a-kind chair, and actually using the picture my son took and uses on his website of the chair, on their own website !   Of course, they have no authorization and are in violation of copyright law. My son, who has a lot of medical needs and bills cannot afford to have his work ripped off.   However, Chinese companies do this all the time, and it can be difficult to sue and stop them.  However, this week, we have needed to retain an attorney for this.

              Secondly, one of my sons has a computer lab, teaching assistant, and tutoring position at his college. He was not initially paid because funding was slow to come through, but he was encouraged to hang in there and set up the lab over the Summer without pay.  Recently, he was told that all the funds for such positions had been given to other students and therefore he would not be paid.   He told them that he would like to continue in the position, if the college and the advisor to the lab would provide a reference for him so that he would gain valuable references for a future job after graduation.   Today, the Dean of something or another has decided that our son's providing 32 hours a week of working in the computer lab constitutes an internship, and that he should pay them.   In point of fact, we are already paying them to educate him.  Since when does one pay for an internship ?    Tomorrow he will tell them that we absolutely cannot pay for him to work for them, and that such an arrangement is exploitive.

               When I was a young adult, violation of a copyright, plagiarism, or something similar was a serious crime and worse hurt your reputation.  International violations were even worse.  When I was in college, we were paid, perhaps a paltry sum, for work study, but we didn't exploit students into working for us, and then put the bite on them for more money when they perform a service for us. No wonder a lot of young people don't have much respect for a lot of the institutions that my generation held dear.  Too many people do business in terms of what they believe they can "get away with".  (Yes, I know that I ended that sentence with a preposition, which is bad English usage for an author, but I wanted it to sound conversational rather than high brow, so cut me some slack)

              I work hard to stay out of my sons and daughter's private business so that they learn to navigate the work- a- day and personal world with the same or better skill than I do. However, this is one of those days when I would like to receive permission from them to rip someone a perfectly new one.  Watch yourselves out there. People are making it up as they go along.


Scrapping in the Blogosphere

This folks, is not a Halloween symbol !


   Some time ago, I was the subject of a series of negative posts on a blog.  I was criticized for my often Christian perspectives and for my attitudes toward preparedness.  I said nothing, because I don't care.  It's just as important for people with whom I don't agree to blog, as it is for me to post my own perspectives. This was a cornerstone to American life, at least until the last regime was crowned.   In addition, people who become angry at something you have said, are reading and considering what you have said, and for any writer, that is a not-so-small victory in itself.

              Of late, other bloggers I respect and read have also been the target of both negative press/blog and the recipients of negative actions.  I wanted to weigh in a bit on this.  First of all,  we are not going to agree on everything we discuss here. We are not supposed to.  It's my job as a nurse and former college instructor to tell you what I have noticed and what concerns me, and it's your job, as an electrician, an insurance agent, a dentist, or whatever else, to tell me about what concerns you, and what you've learned on our collective and all-too-short trip to Earth.    I am entitled to my perspectives, just as you are entitled to your own.

              Understand that when you do express your perspectives in cyberspace, that someone somewhere is not going to be in agreement.   Sometimes, rather than attacking our logic or our words, they will mistakenly attack you.  This is unfortunate, but it most certainly comes with the territory.

                The broadest concern I have regarding blogrolls being turned to attack-fests is that by indulging these impulses, we may defeat some of  the good which comes from what we do here.  I have learned a lot of things from "just plain folks" over the internet over the years. Much of the real work of the world is done by them, and they have much to say.  I hope others have learned from posts I have spent time creating also.

                I don't care what your political perspectives are, but life is about to get a good deal more difficult for all of us, whether you are libertarian, conservative, liberal, Christian, Confucian,  or whether you are swearing off all the labels entirely.  There may be limited time in which to prepare for some real challenges, whether they be emotional, financial, political, or otherwise.   Consider using these forums as a way to educate and share with each other, and as a means of helping one another during real world massive challenges, just as so many of you have so well with our friends at Mystic Mud..  We may not have time for the scrapping.   Let's entertain, educate,  and encourage each other as long as we can.
               As they say in my neck of the woods, "Nuff said".

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What is a Derecho ?


This graphic is simply a guide. My farm has seen a derecho annually for the last several years. If I were going to construct this map, I would extend the every two year delineation to encompass most of Virginia, to the East.
   This graphic is the work product of the US Government.

  I went through a fair bit of my adult life never having heard of a derecho, and thankfully, never having been afflicted in any way by one.  In the last few years though, I have not only heard the word, but lived through several of these on our Virginia farm.  Derecho is a Spanish word, which is pronounced dÉ™-reh-choh.    A derecho is a type of thunderstorm in which severe straight line winds with severe thunderstorms pass over a land area.  A derecho brings with it a number of hazards.  There is potential for lightning strike of persons and buildings. This can also create difficulties for your home electrical box and for the electrical box of outbuildings, even if they were grounded correctly and even if they have lightning arrestors.  Next, there is potential for winds so severe that tornadic damage to buildings and fencing can occur.  Often people who have endured a derecho think that a tornado came through. The difference is that these are straight line winds, but straight line winds can do great damage which can be similar to that of tornadoes in terms of the total level of destruction.  They may deliver torrential rains which can cause zero visibility leading to chain reaction accidents on highways and individual accidents on secondary roads.  They can result in flash flooding.  A derecho can make it difficult to see where the wet road ends and the lake beside it begins.   A derecho travels quickly and has severe sustained winds. They are capable of doing the same level of damage on land as is a hurricane.  There are different varieties of derechos. Sometimes there is clear view of something called a shelf cloud.

This cloud preceded a derecho.  (Picture: )

  This is a link to other shelf clouds.  Please review these so that you would recognize this phenomenon in advance.

              A derecho most often occurs during warmer months when a cold front and a pre-existing warm air mass meet. The storm which is created produces a wind shear which has resulted in plane crashes.  They can occur at night as well as during daylight hours. The derecho which last graced my Virginia county took out eighty year old oak trees, thirty year old Virginia pines, and shredded a house flag.   Nearby it pulled the roof of a barn and tore the roof of a conventional new house.  These storms can be very dangerous because unlike hurricanes where we usually have some notice, a derecho can come on quickly during your work day leaving you potentially unprepared until such a storm is upon you.

               It is therefore important to have some contact with either internet based weather media during the day, or have a weather notification sent to your phone while you are out or working.  Be alert to the advent of cold fronts intruding on your area when it has been warm, especially during June, July, and August.  Derechos can however, occur at any time of the year.  Become alert to potential derecho weather BEFORE the National Weather Service tells you that one may be coming today.

              Of course, make sure that your ordinary preparedness supplies are ready.   A derecho can afflict a fairly wide long area and emergency help can be tied up for awhile.  You need to have your emergency radio, good first aid kit, emergency food and water, and your own shelter alternatives for people and animals. They can be devastating to the electrical grid doing damage which cannot be repaired for weeks from a simple standpoint of procuring repair materials to the area and getting sufficient manpower hours to repair such a level of electrical system devastation in a timely manner.

              Derechos can occur in many places in the world. The US, Canada, Europe, South America have all seen derechos.  Remember that a tornado is a twisted wind, whereas a derecho brings straight and severe winds with wind shear.  Remember that , the Great North American Derecho of June, 2012 took out the power for 3.7 million families in the US Mid-Atlantic Region during a heat wave.   Consider it a not so pleasant sibling of the tornado.

Read More About This Phenomenon At:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Boo, the Heroic Canine

Boo with one of the kittens.   There are many more heartwarming pictures on Cecelia's blog at

  With so many things going on in the world that are potentially ominous, unjust or just plain sad, it's good to know of something that's good.

          Cecelia of the blog,  "The Kitchen Garden", tells of her dog Boo, a wonderful canine who has adopted some orphaned kittens.   Her post shows her readying them for bed.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A New Type of Insurance to Consider

There can be ramifications to defending yourself.  (picture: )

   In my rural part of the state, a lot of responsible citizens have a concealed weapons permit, which we abbreviated here as a CWP.   Of course, we all hope that we will never be in a situation where it needs to be used, but we have it for the situations in which a family member (or myself) would likely die, if we didn't.  I have a CWP in order to defend myself and my family.   I have been fortunate enough thus far, that I have never had to draw it on a human being, but I have had occasion to shoot a couple of rabid animals in separate occasions, as in many places in the rural United States, rabid wildlife is endemic. I am well practiced, and I take this responsibility very seriously.

               Once in a great while someone in a rural county which neighbors ours shoots and kills an intruder.  The law here does allow the shooting of an intruder within your home and the law does leave room for you to shoot someone if you are facing a potentially lethal threat outside your home. .  The last person I knew, or should say more accurately, with whom I was acquainted, who did this, spent $83,000 on legal fees defending himself for the shooting and subsequent death of an intruder who was armed with a knife.  It seems that if you do everything correctly, and survive, you still may incur legal fees for your own protection afterward which could wipe out a retirement account.  (If in this pale economy, you could ever manage to gather one, in the first place.)

            It seems there is now an alternative.  Whether your state calls it a CWP or CCW, CHL, HCP, HCL. CPL. or HR 218 you can now buy insurance which will protect you from having to pay the potentially outrageous costs of protecting yourself.   CCW Safe is a type of insurance that you may buy annually or every five years.  You may buy this as an individual, or as a dual membership (two in a family, husband and wife, brother and sister, mother and daughter etc.)   There is even a specialized plan for off duty law enforcement officers who may need to shoot someone is a use of force incident while away from work.   It not only pays your legal fees in association with the legal use of your firearm, but it provides expert investigators, expert attorneys who specialize in this type of case, and expert witnesses, all at your disposal.   There is a significant discount in your annual fee if you are a military officer or a law enforcement officer.   I have malpractice insurance in the course of working as a registered nurse.  Think of this as malpractice insurance for the lawful use of your Concealed Weapons Permit and your weapon.

            You may buy this insurance in whatever state you have a concealed weapons permit.  They recommend, if you are traveling that you become very familiar with the laws of the states you may be traveling through.    The terms of their Contract with you, is on their Terms Page.    You are covered for the use of legal weapons, even those other than your handgun, while in your residence, as you defend yourself or your family from an intruder.  You are covered for either a criminal, administrative or a civil charge in association with the legal use of a weapon.  You are, of course, not insured for any criminal acts, (just as my malpractice insurance doesn't cover me for acts of total stupidity like placing a tourniquet around someone's neck.)   Your annual fee will remain the same for that year, however it could go up when your insurance is renewed.  To order, you must have a concealed weapons permit with number, and you must give the state in which you are licensed/permitted to carry a handgun.

These are important contact pages:

Main page

Single membership information

Dual membership information

Military or Law Enforcement membership information

How to Join By Mail

To Join Online

           I am not an investor, nor do I have any financial interest in this company.   I also suspect that those of you with an NRA membership might find that the NRA has a similar offer.  I have not yet purchased this type of coverage, but I am considering it.

           I am not recommending any one type of insurance over another.  I am simply making my readers aware of such an offering.  Please do your own due diligence.    Check out other companies that offer a similar plan.   Call these people and ask them questions.
           Of course, let me know what you think, and with your permission, I'll post it here.  Perhaps we can make other readers familiar with all the offerings of this type.

This is another company which also offers CWP insurance:

Remember that this type of insurance does not pay for the medical care of the person you shoot. It pays for or provides payment for professional witnesses, attorneys who specialize in this type of case, etc.




Saturday, October 5, 2013

Crunch Time

The windows on either side of this door are not a positive feature in the event of civil unrest. That front door cannot be reinforced well with the amount of framing around it. Look around your house and formulate a plan in order to solve these potential safety issues at your home.

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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Unaffordable Care Act

Not to worry. Mr. Obama, his family, Congress, the House of Representatives, and their staff are all exempted from this train wreck. It only applies to the people who elected them.  Talk about "Pull up the ladder, Jack. I'm alright !"

        I have deliberately said very little of a political nature in the past couple of weeks, particularly as it concerns "The Unaffordable Care Act".   The fact that it was named "The Affordable Care Act" in the first place, is a clear indication that it isn't. It's not going to be affordable for anyone, certainly not the people who sign on, and certainly not for the government long term, even when they do start rationing care and not providing ordinary life saving care to those over fifty.
                I would like to tell you a couple of true stories from my own life.  My dear aunt lived all of her life in England.  She lived through World War II and her family did absolutely everything they were asked in terms of volunteerism there.  They embraced National Health when it came in.  My mother was a huge proponent of Britain's National Health Service.  My aunt's hypothyroidism was poorly managed through most of her life there. Although she was slim, her work as an actress was intermittently impeded by hypothyroidism and difficulty not only with stamina for roles but also intermittently in terms of learning lines. In her later years she developed a condition in which a stent needed to be placed within a vessel in order to keep a particular channel open  In the US, this procedure would have been scheduled immediately because damage from backflow can be dangerous to a variety of organs and can result in loss of life.  My own physician would have arranged this procedure for her within 24 hours, and offered to take my aunt as a patient who would self pay..  However, my aunt was already ill, and was not feeling well enough to travel out of England via Heathrow to Dulles Airport and all the work in between.  She had confidence that NHS would schedule her for the procedure because largely the propaganda of NHS said she would.  The procedure was scheduled for two weeks later. Then it was rescheduled, as critically ill people were placed ahead of her. Then, a power outage at the hospital delayed the procedure even furthur.  By the time it was done, there was liver damage and she was unnecessarily critically ill.   She died shortly after spending twelve hours on her kitchen floor waiting for an ambulance.  The NHS System my maternal family believed in betrayed them. The care was given away to so many, that it was not there when they needed it.  One of the last things my aunt told me before she died was that NHS had been unable to allocate money for hospital cleaning, and that the hospital had been filthy.   My aunt died shortly after.  Her surgeon admitted that had her condition permitted her  to fly to the US before the surgery, she would have lived an additional two years. "But that is not the system we have", he told me.
             I spend as much time as I can in Canada.  Some areas in Canada have fairly good medical care especially for those who have minimal primary care needs. However, if you need an ilesotomy for Crohn's Disease, or an unusual cancer treatment, or Lyme Disease treatment in Nova Scotia, you too are likely to die before it can be scheduled or received. (These are all cases of which I have first hand knowledge.)
            Nationalized Health does not work in the long term. It requires physicians and nurses to work for much less money or to give voluntary care. This results in the best and the brightest going to other professions.  The only places in which a Nationalized Health Plan works for any length of time is with small populations of similar people who are overall, healthy anyway.
            The rushed, largely unread mandatory Obamacare Plan which is circling the United States, and will likely destroy it, is not going to result in improved access to health care for Americans. The plan is not about health care. It is about control. We can't have some people receiving top care and others having difficulty accessing health care.  So, we are trashing the entire system in order to permit the present regime a large measure of control of the people and of mechanisms which will control the people.  How reasonable is it to collect very large sums for health insurance from healthy young people, in order to give substandard care to older people ?   How reasonable is it to pay thousands of additional dollars for health insurance, for much less care for everyone ?
           Whatever action in Congress and the Senate which is needed to stop Obamacare in its tracks is necessary.  It's almost as if this is a plan designed to bankrupt the country, collapse its systems, and leave it vulnerable to fascism.  Now that The House of Representatives realizes that the American people don't want Obamacare, they are willing to try to defund it along with in tandem with slowing Mr. Obama's spending. Mr. Obama has not brought a single annual budget to approval even within his own party, in all the years he has been president.  The Republican party is now willing to fund essential services without Obamacare, but Mr. Obama is keeping everything closed, because he will not negotiate.  Funny that he will meet with the Muslim Brotherhood for talks but not with members of our own Congress in order to craft a compromise.

          Please read this link:

    I ask you.   Is anyone here the least bit surprised ?