Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: living in poverty

State Of The Nation February 2013

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While shopping at the local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas, I noticed a couple of things that made me stop and think.  One issue was the availability of ammunition, or rather the lack of ammunition.  The other issue I am deeply concerned about was the price of a whole fryer chicken.

Ammunition – Everyone and their brother and sister is panic buying all the ammunition they can get their hands on.  If civilians can strip the market of all available ammunition, where would this leave the United States if we entered a real war?  Iraq and Afghanistan are not “real” wars, they are minor conflicts.  The Iraq military is not bombing New York, L.A., Houston or Dallas, tens of thousands of US citizens are not dying every week, its not like in World War II when food and fuel were being rationed,,,.Speckled Sussex, Australorp, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red

The United States has some minor conflicts going on, but for some reason the store shelves have been empty of ammunition for close to a month and a half?

How would this translate if/when we have a major war with China?  The conflict does not have to be with China.  Lets replace China with <any major world power>.

Over the past few decades firearm manufacturing has been consolidated to a just a handful of companies.  there are a lot of companies out there, but very few of them manufacturer all of their own parts.  the situation is much worse with ammunition manufacturing.  Part of our national security depends on our ability to produce weapons of war.  The question I am asking myself is if the manufacturing base can keep up with demand.  Since the Sandy Hook shooting demand has been outstripping supply.

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Employers who treat employees like second class citizens

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Kevin Felts working on his bar-b-q pit

working on his bar-b-q pit

For around 15 years I working in various welding shops in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.  There were a lot of reasons why I left the welding field – lack of benefits, lack of decent pay and being treated like a second class citizen.

One time my wife called the I was working at and asked to speak to me.  Welding shops do not like for employees to take phone calls unless its an emergency.  Some dumbass engineer told my wife the shop employees were not allowed to receive phone calls and hung up.

My wife called back again and this time asked to speak to my supervisor.  My boss called me to the office and let me take the call.

When my told me what had happened on the fist call, I was so pissed I was ready to whip that engineers ass.  How dare he tell me wife should could not talk to me.  My supervisor said he will talk to the engineer about personal phone calls.

That is a good example of how people who work in the fab shops across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana are treated like second class citizens.

Then there was the mandatory night-shifts and weekends. When my second son was born, taking off for his birth was the first day I had off in maybe 6 weeks. And that was working 10 and 12 hour shifts.

I felt like my life was one step above slave labor. The companies paid their employees barely enough that the employees would literally beg for overtime.

One bastard supervisor I worked for once told me, if you play an employee good he will not want to work overtime. If you pay an employee a low wage, the employee will have to work overtime.

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Families overwhelmed at every corner

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Is it just me, or does it seem that the average American family is being overwhelmed at every corner.

A couple of days ago my stepdaughter posted on facebook she spent $345 at walmart.

That is equal to someone making $10 an hour for 40 hours minus taxes. One trip to walmart wipes out a whole weeks worth of wages.

Then there is this report from fox news that says parents are being overwhelmed by child care cost – American Parents Overwhelmed by Growing Childcare Costs | Fox Business

How are people supposed to get ahead and stay ahead when the basic cost of living keeps going up?

In 2003 I was making about the same amount of money I was making a decade earlier. But on the flip side of the coin, prices had gone up every year during that last decade.

While I was working at a welding shop in southeast Texas, at my 1 year review I was given a 25 cent raise. The cost of inflation over the past year was more then that 25 cent raise. The price of gas had gone up more over the previous year to the point where that 25 cent raise did not even cover changes to the price of fuel. I finally left that welding shop. If an employer will not even keep their wages up with the rate of inflation, then the employees are losing money.

The droughts over the past few years have driven the price of anything with corn in it up.

My wife and I buy canned refried beans at the local grocery store.  We use the beans to make homemade burritos.  Two years ago we paid 98 cents a can.  Last week that same can cost $1.18.  That is a 20% price increase over the past couple of years.  I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in the past 2 – 3 years, because mine sure haven’t.

My step-daughter is looking at going back to work after the birth of her third child. Child care for her three children is going to cost right around $240 a week. Even if someone is making $10 an hour, at $240 a week more then half their pay check would be going to childcare.

How are families supposed to get ahead and stay ahead when wages have stagnated, and everything keeps going up in price?

What Defines a Survivalist

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Earlier today (August 7, 2012) someone started posting rude comments on the Survivalist Boards facebook page.  The comments were along the lines if someone lives off the grid, or eats processed food,,,, general stuff like that.  I removed the comments and blocked the person.  Keep in mind, I rarely, and I mean rarely ever remove comments, much less block anyone.

There seems to be a mindset that survivalist should live in a bunker, or off in a remote mountain range somewhere.

Lets say someone lives in a bunker with complete solar power, grows all of their food, or lives in a cave off in the mountains somewhere, how is that person supposed to function in modern society?

I can not imagine having a birthday party in a bomb shelter.  All of the parents having to climb into the shelter, all the kids singing happy birthday,,, much less the OPSEC of inviting a group of people into the shelter.

Sure there was once a time when people lived on small farms. But even on small family farms, people still had to buy or trade for resources. How are people supposed to find salt, flour, sugar, leather, raw metal, plows, anvils, hammers, nails,,, on a family farm?

What is it like to be a survivalist?  I can not speak for everyone; all I can do is offer my opinion.

I consider myself a survivalist.  I do not live in a bunker, I do not live off the grid, I do not live in a cave in the woods or mountains.  What I try to accomplish is to live a normal life and prepare for a short term and long term disasters.

When I was in high school, a buddy of mine had a dad like that I considered to be a radical survivalist.

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Personal responsibility and family values

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Whatever happened to family values? It seems that I can not even watch TV with my kids without some kind of profanity or discussion on sex.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did society cause TV to go downhill, or did TV cause society to go downhill?

My step-daughter told me about a lady she knows that has gotten herself into a heck of a situation.

Man and woman are married and have a child,
Man and woman split up,
Man gets girlfriend,
Girlfriend gets knocked up,
Man goes back to wife.

Ultra-sound showed the baby has a severe case of spina bifida.

I think the pregnancy is too far along for an abortion.

Girlfriend smokes and eats nothing but fast food, or so the rumors go.

Girlfriend works a minimum wage job.

Maybe I am wrong in feeling this way, but why should the child have to suffer because the parents are irresponsible? Did the moms unhealthy habits contribute to the spina bifida?

The father is married but knocks another woman up. What kind of example is that setting for the children? When the kids get grown, will they think its ok to get married then go around knocking other women up?

The girlfriend works at a minimum wage job, so the government is on the hook for birth and medical treatment.

I feel really bad for the child.

This story is repeated over and over and over all over the world. Mom and dad strung out on drugs, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome or other birth defects. What is society supposed to do? We can not cast those children to the side.

The answer is personal responsibility.

But how do you make people take responsibility for their actions?

The future of generation Y

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My first wife and I had 4 children, which were born between 1987 and 1996. I often what kind of nation we are leaving our children.

The U.S. government is broke, and still continues to spend money like kids in a candy store. Jobs are still be deported to china, illegal immigrants can get a free education, and now with the policies obama put into place, the illegals do not have to worry about being deported.

In 20 – 30 years will anyone have national pride? What is a nation without citizens and borders?  What defines a citizen?  Is it someone that walks across the border, then raises their hand for free benefits?  What good does it do to be born here, when people can just walk across the river and get equal treatment?

Then there is the free trade issue. As our factories move overseas, what are your children and grandchildren supposed to do for jobs?  Those factories also mean national security.  It takes longer to build a factory then it does to retool.  Lets say we go to war with china and russia, where are our factories?

1 – go to college, get massive debt and hope you land a good job.

2 – go into retail.

3 – start your own business. If you had a rich uncle leave you a couple hundred thousand, maybe you can buy a franchise.

4 – learn a skill and got to work in a refinery, welding shop, land drilling rig or off shore drilling rig.

I will tell you something about working in welding shops, as I have 15 years experience. In relation to minimum wage, people 20 years older then me made more money in the 1960s and 1970s then I made in the 1980s and 1990s. Like everything else, the pay for skilled workers has stagnated.

I worked in the welding field for 15 years. There is a physical toll it takes on your health, lungs, vision, fingers, even people being killed.

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