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 Americans stock up to be ready for end of the world 
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 Americans stock up to be ready for end of the world
And, no, it's not about the little flower! :roflmao

Interesting, though, that the Guardian has this article, no?


Recession and the constant threat of terrorist attacks have given new life to the ingrained survivalist instinct

Tess Pennington, 33, is a mother of three children, and lives in the sprawling outskirts of Houston, Texas. But she is not taking the happy safety of her suburban existence lightly.

Like a growing army of fellow Americans, Pennington is learning how to grow her own food, has stored emergency rations in her home and is taking courses on treating sickness with medicinal herbs.

"I feel safe and more secure. I have taken personal responsibility for the safety of myself and of my family," Pennington said. "We have decided to be prepared. There all kinds of disasters that can happen, natural and man-made."

Pennington is a "prepper", a growing social movement that has been dubbed Survivalism Lite. Preppers believe that it is better to be safe than sorry and that preparing for disaster – be it a hurricane or the end of civilisation – makes sense.

Unlike the 1990s survivalists, preppers come from all backgrounds and live all over America. They are just as likely to be found in a suburb or downtown loft as a remote ranch in the mountains. Prepping networks, which have sprung up all over the country in the past few years, provide advice on how to prepare food reserves, how to grow crops in your garden, how to hunt and how to defend yourself. There are prepping books, online shops, radio shows, countless blogs, prepping courses and prepping conferences.

John Milandred runs a website called Pioneer Living, which is one of the main forums for discussing prepping. It provides a range of advice for those who just want to store extra food in case of a power cut, to those who want to embrace the "off the grid" lifestyle of America's western pioneers. "We get inquiries from people from all walks of life. We had a principal from a school asking us to talk to their children. We have doctors and firemen and lawyers," he said.

Milandred lives in Oklahoma and, should society collapse around him, he is well placed to flourish. Indeed, he might not notice that much. His house has a hand-dug well that gives him fresh water. He grows his own food. He has built an oven that needs neither gas nor electricity. He can hunt for meat. "If something happened, it really would not affect us," he said.

There are several reasons for the rise of prepping. The first is that, in the post-9/11 world, mass terror attacks have become a fear for many Americans. At a time when US diplomacy is focused on preventing Iran getting nuclear weapons and terror experts continue to warn of "dirty bombs" on American soil, it is no surprise that many Americans feel threatened. Added to that paranoia has come the recession. Suddenly, millions of Americans have been losing their jobs and their homes, reinforcing a feeling that society is not as stable as it once seemed.

Hollywood has caught on. A succession of films, such as 2012, The Road, The Book of Eli and Legion, have tapped into an American Zeitgeist that is worried about the end of civilisation.

"Prepping masks a wide range of stances and ideologies. But the more people are prepared, the more they are likely to have an apocalyptic way of thinking," said Professor Barry Brummett, of the University of Texas-Austin. :spit :sarcasism

Even government officials have accepted that the financial crisis posed a threat to social order. In recent testimony before Congress, treasury secretary Tim Geithner admitted that top-level talks had been held on whether the US could enforce law and order in the wake of a collapse of the financial system.

Certainly, Tom Martin agrees. He runs the American Preppers Network, which helps provide a wide range of resources. Martin, a truck driver who lives in Idaho, believes that more and more people will become preppers. "Millions of people now have the mindset that they want to be prepared for something, but don't know what to call it," he said.

That rings true with Pennington. In the 1990s, survivalism was the province of anti-government militiamen or loners in the woods. But preppers are more concerned with stocking up on food and water and relearning skills so that they can fend for themselves. :heart

To that end, Pennington has set up a website called Ready Nutrition, which teaches basic food skills to prepare for a time when pre-packaged goods at a supermarket might not be available: "Prepping is not taboo, like survivalism. There is no negative connotation to it. We are not rednecks. :crylaugh In many ways, our ancestors were preppers. So were the Native Americans. It is just going back to being able to look after yourself."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/14/americans-prepare-for-apocalyptic-disaster/print

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Americans stock up to be ready for end of the world
More and more Americans preparing for social unrest

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, July 10th, 2010 -- 4:35 pm

From the outside, Jerry Erwin's home in the northwestern US state of Oregon is a nondescript house with a manicured front lawn and little to differentiate it from those of his neighbors.

But tucked away out of sight in his backyard are the signs of his preparations for doomsday, a catastrophic societal collapse that Erwin, 45, now believes is likely within his lifetime.

"I've got, under an awning, stacks of firewood, rain catching in barrels, I've got a shed with barbed concertina wire, like the military uses," he told AFP.

He and his wife also have also stockpiled thousands of rounds of ammunition and enough food for about six months.

"Several years ago I worked on paying off the house, replacing all the windows, and just very recently, I'm proud to say, we've replaced all our exterior doors with more energy-efficient ones, with as much built-in security features as I could get," he told AFP.

"Plus I'm going to be adding some more structural improvements to the door frames to make it hopefully virtually impossible to take a battering ram to them."

Erwin and others like him in the United States and elsewhere see political upheaval and natural disasters as clear signs that civilization is doomed.

"We're hitting on all cylinders as far as symptoms that have led other great powers to decline or collapse: resource depletion, damage to the environment, climate change, those are the same things that affected other great societies," he said.

For Erwin, the decline is irreversible and the best approach is to prepare for the inevitable.

His pessimism is shared by a wide range of people, from left-wing environmentalists who believe climate change and capitalist greed will doom human society to Christian fundamentalists who think sin will do the same.

They label themselves "preppers," "doomers," and "survivalists," and take a variety of different approaches to the same question: How best to prepare for the coming apocalypse?

Jim Rawles, who Erwin describes as "the patron saint of survivalism," prefers an isolationist, Christian-influenced approach.

He homeschooled his children, declines to say where he lives, and advises readers of his website survivalblog.com to "relocate to a safe area and live there year-round."

"When planning your retreat house, think: medieval castle," he adds, extolling the benefits of using sandbags to protect any new home.

Rawles, like many on the most conservative end of the survivalist spectrum, is also anti-tax, pro-gun rights, and suspicious of anything that smacks of socialism.

But the survivalist movement also includes left-wing community activists, who are devoted to living off the land and have never fired a weapon, and people like Chris Martenson, who quit a job with a six-figure salary that he felt was "an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand."

He began growing his own food and developed a "Crash Course" that urges people to better prepare for societal instability. He also took over management of his investments and boasts of a 166 percent return on his portfolio.

For Martenson, the wake-up call was the September 11, 2001 attacks, when he felt gripped by uncertainty and totally unprepared.

Erwin had always felt that society would eventually disintegrate, but he and many other US survivalists say the dysfunctional response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina was what spurred them to action.

"I thought, okay, things are not going to get better... maybe this society, our civilization, the American empire, will collapse during my lifetime," Erwin said.

For John Milandred, no single event pushed him to leave his suburban home and set up a farm in Oklahoma.

"We just got fed up of working all the time to pay bills and not accomplishing anything," he said.

A member of the American Preppers Network, Milandred said he and his wife aspired to "grow our own foods and be self sufficient... to live like the pioneers, like our great-grandparents."

It is unclear how many people subscribe to the lifestyle, but there are hundreds of websites devoted to the movement, and Erwin's surburban-self-reliance.com attracts visitors from around the world.

The global financial crisis has increased interest in survivalism "bigtime," Erwin said, but he feels sorry for latecomers to the movement.

"We'll help them if we can," he said. "But a lot of people are climbing on board at the last minute and its going to be hard for them."

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0710/americ ... -collapse/

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Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:01 pm
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