Posts tagged personal
By Daisy Luther
How to Survive a Personal Economic Collapse
With all that is being written about the national economic collapse, people seem to be waiting for some huge event.
However, for many North Americans, the collapse is here. This isn’t relegated to only lower income neighborhoods. As an article from a Cinncinnati new station stated, “Hunger doesn’t know a zipcode.”
For many people who were formerly financially comfortable, the economic collapse has already happened, in the form of a job loss, hours that have been cut back due to Obamacare requirements for employers, an exorbitant medical bill or other crushing debt, or simply an inflation rate that has outstripped your pay increases. Despite all of the warnings, many people are still going to be absolutely blindsided.
For many families, personal finances have reached a catastrophic level – they are left to make terrible choices:
- Which utility can I live without?
- Should I walk away from my mortgage?
- Should I eat something so I can work harder or should I skip meals so my kids have food?
- Should I use the grocery money to take my child to the doctor or should I wait and hope he/she improves without medical intervention?
- Do I risk the IRS-enforced penalties by forgoing enrollment in Obamacare or should I skip that whole grocery shopping thing so I can pay the monthly premiums and enormous deductibles in order to stay in the government’s good graces?
These are the kind of decisions that people across the nation are grappling with every day.
I’m talking about good people, hardworking men and women who have always been employed and paid their bills. A personal financial crisis does not just strike those stereotypical “welfare queens” with the long manicured nails, Gucci knock-off purse, and a grocery cart full of EBT-funded lobster.
I’m talking about the person next door, who seems to have it all together. I’m talking about that quiet family that sits two rows in front of you at church. I’m talking about that two-income family with two children and a car in the driveway that takes them to work and school 5 days a week. I’m talking about people just like you and me.
What is a personal economic collapse?
A personal economic collapse is a little different than the major crises you see all over Europe right now, where huge segments of the population can’t feed their children or stay employed. It is a crisis that just hits your family due to a given set of circumstances. (In actuality North Americans are on the brink of the kind of collapse that is occurring in Europe, but because of easy access to credit and a buy-now, pay-later society, many of us still have the appearance of prosperity.)
Here are some signs that you may be in the midst of a personal economic collapse:
- You can only afford to pay the minimum payment on most of your bills.
- The same dollar amount you used to spend on groceries doesn’t buy enough food to feed your family for the week.
- You can’t afford to go to the doctor when you’re sick.
- You are taking dangerous steps to “stretch” needed medications because you can’t afford the prescriptions.
- Your utility bills are past due and your power is in danger of being cut off.
- You skip meals in order to save money or to have enough food for your kids.
- You’ve lost your job or had your hours cut.
- You have lost property due to foreclosure or repossession (such as your home or your vehicle).
Surviving the crisis
Times are tough but you can survive this.
1.) First you have to see exactly where you are.
It’s time for a brutally honest assessment of your finances. If you use your debit card or credit card for most expenditures, you’ll easily be able to see what you’re spending and bringing in.
Print off your bank account statements for the past 2 months. On a piece of paper, track where your money is going. List the following
- Car payments
- Vehicle operating expenses (fuel, repairs)
- Credit card and other debt payments
- Telephone/Cell phone
- Extracurricular activities for the kids
- Extracurricular activities for the adults
- Dining out
- School expenses
- Recreational spending
- Miscellaneous (anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories gets it’s own category or goes here)
Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I usually don’t spend $400 on clothing so that isn’t realistic.” If you spent it, then it’s realistic. You are averaging together two months, which should account for those less common expenses. Brutal honesty isn’t fun, but it’s vital for this exercise.
So….what do you see when you look at your piece of paper with your average monthly expenditures for the past two months? Are there any surprises? Did you actually realize how much you’ve been spending? Most of us will immediately see places that we can trim the budget. Those $1-$5 purchases can really add up. Reining them in may just allow you to take care of an important need that you thought you could not meet.
It can’t continue like this. The economy will not withstand it. Step one is to see where you can cut things out right now from the above expenditures. Can you reduce your grocery bill? Slash meals out? Budget more carefully for gift-giving and school clothes?
2.) Rethink necessities.
If your finances are out of control, the best possible reality check is a stark look at what necessities really are. It is not necessary to life to have an iPhone, a vehicle in both stalls of your two-car garage, or for your children to all have separate bedrooms. People in Southern and Eastern Europe right now will tell you, as they scramble for food, basic over the counter medications like aspirin, and shelter, that necessities are those things essential to life:
- Food (and the ability to cook it)
- Medicine and medical supplies
- Basic hygiene supplies
- Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
- Simple tools
- Defense Items
Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.
So, by this definition, what luxuries do you have?
3.) Reduce your monthly output
Reduce your monthly payments by cutting frivolous expenses. Look at every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and slash relentlessly. Consider cutting the following:
- Cell phones
- Home phones
- Gym memberships
- Restaurant meals
- Unnecessary driving
- Entertainment such as trips to the movies, the skating rink, or the mall
4.) Waste not, want not.
We live in a disposable society. Food comes in throw-away containers. People replace things instead of repairing them. If you throw out more than a couple of bags of garbage each week, that’s a very good sign that you may be wasting resources.
Before throwing anything away, pause and think about how it might be able to be reused.
- Food: Many times small amounts of leftovers can be recycled into a brand new meal. Meat bones can be used to make broth or stock. Small amounts of veggies or grains can be frozen and added to a future soup or casserole. Leftovers can be frozen in meal-sized portions to take to work for a brown-bag lunch. (Learn more about repurposing leftovers HERE.)
- Clothing: Clothing that is torn or damaged can often be repaired with only rudimentary sewing skills. If it has been outgrown or cannot be repaired, often the fabric or yarn can be reused for other purposes, from cleaning rags to fashionable accessories like scarves and headbands, or home items like throw pillows, potholders or rag rugs. When all else fails, the fabric can be used for cleaning rags or patches to repair other items. Keep jars full of buttons, elastic, and other notions that can easily be removed before you throw a clothing item away or relegate it to the rag bag.
- Electronics: Obviously, initially you should attempt to repair (or have repaired) electronic items that are not working. If this is not feasible, are there components of the item that can be reused, either now or in the future? What about hardware such as screws or fasteners?
- Containers: Most food comes in a container of some sort. Before throwing the container away, consider whether or not it might be useful. Glass jars, plastic tubs, and plastic bags can often be reused to store food in your refrigerator or to contain food in brown bag lunches. Clean aluminum cans can hold all manner of items, from hardware and tools in a workshop to sewing and craft supplies. Use your imagination.
5.) Take control of your food budget.
The price of food is skyrocketing. Who hasn’t been to the grocery store recently and been shocked at the high price of that cart full of groceries or at the mysterious shrinking food packages that are the same price as yesterday’s larger ones?
- Stockpile: Create a stockpile of nutritious, healthy staples at today’s prices to enjoy when the cost goes even higher tomorrow. (Learn how to create a frugal food stockpile HERE.)
- Preserve: Learn to preserve food yourself when you come across a windfall. Pressure canning, waterbath canning, freezing, and dehydrating can allow you to take advantage of great sales or end-of-season scores.
- Eat less: This suggestion isn’t for everyone, but many of us could stand to shed a few pounds. Perhaps now would be a good time to cut back a little and shrink both your waistline and your weekly food bill. Lots of people eat for the sheer entertainment of it or out of habit. Next time you’re watching TV, grab some mending or a crossword puzzle instead of a bag of potato chips. Dish out slightly smaller servings at dinnertime to leave enough to stretch the leftovers for a brown bag meal the next day.
- Drink water: Skip the beverages and drink water instead. At less than $1 per gallon for purchased water you simply can’t beat the price. It’s better for you, also, than sugar-y drinks. If you are lucky enough to have well water or access to spring water, your drinks don’t have to cost you a penny.
- Focus on nutrition instead of convenience: Buy the best quality of food you can, and skip the processed, nutritionless convenience foods.
- Grow your own. In the summer, grow the biggest garden you can. In the winter, or if you are an apartment dweller, put some sprouts and greens in a sunny windowsill to add some fresh produce for pennies.
6.) Reduce your dependence on utilities.
Energy rates are skyrocketing. As the prices begin to rise, more and more people will be unable to pay their bills and eventually their power will be shut off. Check your bill each month and as prices increase, use less power. Try some of these ideas to reduce your reliance and drop your bills.
- Hand wash your clothing
- Hang clothes to dry
- Cook on a woodstove or outdoor grill
- Can foods to preserve them instead of relying on a large chest freezer
- Turn the heat down a few degrees and use non-grid methods to keep warm
- Use rain barrels to collect water
- Direct the gray water from your washing machines to reservoirs
- Turn off the lights and open the blinds
- Use solar lighting whenever possible
How do you intend to weather the storm?
There are bleak days ahead. Have you planned for this? What strategies do you intend to use to weather the financial crisis that is coming for all of us?
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca
Prominent radio host, Pete Santilli, of the Pete Santilli Show, relayed sourced information to me to assist in the creation of this article. You can listen to his broadcast of his show here. Pete and I collaborated on this article to bring factual and sourced information that has been vetted and is absolutely verifiable.
Molly Maroney is the Editor in Chief and Graphic Designer for InfoWars.com. This is the same website run by Alex Jones; who also runs PrisonPlanet.com, PrisonPlanet.tv and PlanetInfoWars.com (a social networking site).
Maroney was hired by Jones in July of this year to run the new endeavor of the Free Speech, LLC outfit known as the InfoWars magazine. Prior to this employment, while living in Austin, Texas, Maroney was a freelance graphic designer. However, this is the boring part of Maroney’s employment career.
In 2008, for less than a year, Maroney worked for the privately held marketing and advertising firm known as Grant Harrison Advertising. This company “is a full service marketing company specializing in graphic design, internet marketing, and search engine optimization services (SEO), branding, and social media exposure.”Maroney’s resume is very telling about her connections to Stratfor, the CIA and her role at InfoWars.com.
They have branches throughout Texas, including in Houston, Austin and Dallas.
For seven months in 2010, Maroney was employed by Parker Media, LLC which is a media production corporation. Also employed at Parker Media is Richard Parker, founder of the firm. Parker, the founder, “is both an award-winning journalist and a seasoned publishing executive; he is the former associate editor of The New Republic. Today, Parker Media’s clients include some of the biggest names in news and publishing, such as CQ-Roll Call, an Economist Group company, News Corp., CanWest Global Communications, as well as start-ups and their investors.”
Interestingly, Richard Parker’s name came up when WikiLeaks released documentation known as “The Global Intelligence Files” wherein “over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered ‘global intelligence’ company Stratfor ” was made public. These emails outlined how Stratfor, an intelligence publishing front for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), provided comprehensive intelligence for such corporations and US government agencies as:
Startfor was involved in “selling” intelligence from informers, pay-off informants, money laundering schemes and psychological methods facilitated sourced and often raw intelligence.
Published on Oct 15, 2012 by PlanetInfoWarsHD
Darrin McBreen, Our Man on The Street, ask the people what they think of the passing of the NDAA Bill by the Senate.
By Stephen C. Webster
The Constitutional Court of Colombia approved a plan that will drop all criminal penalties for individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine, according to Spanish-language media reports.
That means anyone caught with less than 22 grams of marijuana, or one gram of cocaine, will no longer be subject to arrest or prosecution. People who are caught intoxicated in public can only be sent to receive medical or psychological treatment for their impairment.
The proposal, first introduced last year by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, is intended to refocus law enforcement resources on drug-runners and cartels and away from individual users.
“Today’s judicial ruling in Colombia represents yet another important step in the growing political and judicial movement in Latin America and Europe to stop treating people who consume drugs as criminals worthy of incarceration,” Ethan Nadalmann, who heads the U.S.-based Drug Policy Alliance, said in prepared text.
By Joe Wright
The War on Drugs has been threatening the fundamental rights of ordinary Americans, and greatly impinging upon states rights, as agencies like the DEA continue to claim that their federal authority supersedes local decisions.
Despite protections afforded under the U.S. Constitution, the federal DEA has been trying to initiate a blanket sweep of all license plates traveling along Interstates 15 and 70 in Utah, with the intent to store the information in a centralized database.
Furthermore, as noted by the ACLU which attended a recent hearing about the rollout, this federal agency is employing a scanning technology called ALPR to collect data from “unspecified other sources and sharing it with over ten thousand law enforcement agencies around the nation.”
The deployment of any personal data collection technology by a federal agency carries with it additional responsibilities under the Privacy Act of 1974. For now, it appears that the DEA will be adhering to those guidelines after local resistance to the new initiative. Or, are they merely planning an end-run once they think people have forgotten about the issue?
The Privacy Act of 1974 requires any federal agency engaged in the collection of personal data to disclose to the American people exactly what will be collected, how it will be stored, and whether that information will be shared. It makes this quite clear under “conditions of disclosure”:
No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains.
This is followed by 12 conditions which enable an expansion of scope and function, but detail very specific controls and scenarios for establishing just cause and the accounting of any disclosure.
Alabama has become the first state to NULLIFY the United Nations Agenda 21, which was agreed upon by International Government in Rio in 1992 at the Earth Summit on Climate Change, to be imposed on sovereign nations, such as the United States of America.
Alabama SB 477, by Senator Dial, known as the “Due Process for Property Rights Act”, was approved by the Alabama Senate and House, along with achieving a resistant signature from Governor Robert Bentley [Source].
It was rumored that the Governor was nervous about signing the bill, due to his worry about losing Federal funding, as the State has grown dependent as government has grown.
“The moment that idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the Laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist” -John Adams
The UN Agenda 21 is a policy which aims to dictate environmental law by international government upon free peoples of sovereign governments. In actuality, the UN would act similar to the EPA-environmental protection agency-dictating regulations, which are really laws, collecting taxes and fees, prohibiting and preventing business, development and housing, raiding farms and kicking property owners out, and so on.
The UN would assume absolute control over all matters environmental within your life and the lives of others, from the cigarette you wanted to smoke, to the amount of air you take in and take out, to the amount of electricity you use in your home.
A large amount of patriots and liberty-minded organizations in Alabama and around the country opposed this UN plan enough, and nullifed it. And rightly so.
Found at: http://ronpaulflix.com
Stand up for Liberty, help stand down Tyranny!
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
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In a stunning move, on March 16, 2012, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the President and his specifically designated Secretaries now have the authority to commandeer all domestic U.S. resources including food and water. The EO also states that the President and his Secretaries have the authority to seize all transportation, energy, and infrastructure inside the United States as well as forcibly induct/draft American citizens into the military. The EO also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of national defense.
Not only that, but the authority claimed inside the EO does not only apply to National Emergencies and times of war. It also applies in peacetime.
The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order exploits the “authority” granted to the President in the Defense Production Act of 1950 in order to assert that virtually every means of human survival is now available for confiscation and control by the President via his and his Secretaries’ whim.
The unconstitutionality of the overwhelming majority of Executive Orders is well established, as well as the illegality of denying citizens their basic Constitutional and human rights, even in the event of a legitimate national emergency. Likewise, it should also be pointed out that, like Obama’s recent Libyan adventure and the foregone conclusion of a Syrian intervention, there is no mention of Congress beyond a minor role of keeping the allegedly co-equal branch of government informed on contextually meaningless developments.
As was mentioned above, the scope of the EO is virtually all-encompassing. For instance, in “Section 201 – Priorities and Allocations Authorities,” the EO explains that the authority for the actions described in the opening paragraph rests with the President but is now delegated to the various Secretaries of the U.S. Federal Government. The list of delegations and the responsibility of the Secretaries as provided in this section are as follows:
By P. Jeffrey Black and Jeffrey Denning
Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…
A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).
This bracelet would:
• Take the place of an airline boarding pass
• Contain personal information about the traveler
• Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
• Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.
Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.
So is the government really that interested in this bracelet?
According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”
The letterhead, in case you were wondering, is from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.
In another part of the letter, Mr. Ruwaldt confirmed, “In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.”
Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.
Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?
Why are tax dollars being spent on something like this?
Is this a police state or is this America?
* * * * *
UPDATE: Lamperd Less Lethal Inc., the Canadian company that designed the EMD Safety Bracelet, has responded to the controversy as follows:
We wish to clear up any misconceptions regarding the EMD Safety Bracelet for Airline Security.
The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure – but only to those that need to be restrained. We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc. The F-16 on the wing-tip is not to reassure the passengers during a hijacking, but rather to shoot them down. Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward / stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet – that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it.
* * * * *
UPDATE: From CheifBo in the comment section
I would like to inform all interested in the truth about Lamperd’s involvement in this project [EMD safety bracelet]. I have personnally been involved in the research and development of state of the art training programs and weapon systems with Lapmerd Less Lethal for the past eight years and have found them to be of the highest of integrity and concern for human life and the preservation of peace. Their mission is to develop and distribute the best products in the world when it comes to Law Enforcement, Security and Military applications within use of force. Having been a sworn law enforcement officer for nearly 27 years and a police trainer in Use of Force Management since 1993 I have observed alot of devices and gimmicks that have come and gone as the catch all in securing America.
Lamperd agreed in principal to assist in the development of this product for the patent holder [inventor]. Once this is established, then more research is placed on the actual application of the device. We conduct our training hands on, we do not farm it out as others do. So before we are ready to place a product on the market we know what it is expected to do and how it is expected to perform. We also go through great lengths to put in place a training program that will school even the novice in safely using any product used in applying force in any situation. I think alot of the readers have jumped the gun when it comes to this issue and this certain product. Lamperd is a publicly traded company that keeps its shareholders informed on its latest products and projects. I admire them for this and so do thousands of police, military and security personnel from all around the world that we have trained. Please feel free to peruse their internet site for continuing updates on products and its mission at www.lamperdlesslethal.com and be safe out there.
* * * * *
Here are some really interesting Dr. Ron Paul facts about his life and career…
Facts about Dr. Ron Pauls Personal Life…
- He was the 220 yard dash state champion at Dormont High School.
- He received a B.S. degree in biology from Gettysburg College in 1957.
- He earned a Doctor Of Medicine degree from Duke University of Medicine in 1961.
- He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and served as a flight surgeon from 1963 to 1965 in Viet Nam and then served in the U.S. National Guard from 1965 to 1968.
- He started his own practice as an OBGYN in 1968 and delivered over 4000 babies in his career as a doctor.
- Instead of accepting Medicaid or Medicare payments for his poor patients, Dr. Paul lowered his fees or offered his services for free.
- He has been married to the same woman for 54 years.
- He has 5 children, 18 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
- At 76, and schedule permitting, Ron Paul starts each day with a 3 to 4 mile walk and finishes with a 10 to 15 mile bike ride.
- Ron Paul is the only Congressman to have ever hit a home run in Congressional Baseball Games…and it was an out of the park home run!
- He became politically active the day Richard Nixon took the USD off the Gold Standard.
- He has NEVER voted to raise taxes.
- He has NEVER voted for an unbalanced budget.
- He has NEVER voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
- He has NEVER voted to raise congressional pay.
- He has NEVER taken a government-paid junket.
- He has NEVER voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
- He voted AGAINST the Patriot Act.
- He voted AGAINST regulating the Internet.
- He voted AGAINST the Iraq war.
- He has NEVER voted for any legislation that would limit your freedom to eat the food you choose or take whatever vitamin supplement you choose.
- He DOES NOT participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
- He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury every year.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!