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Here’s Why I Don’t Really Trust the Official American Coronavirus Numbers

Here’s Why I Don’t Really Trust the Official American Coronavirus Numbers

A lot of folks have distrusted the numbers coming out of China since the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. That uneasy feeling was justified when it was discovered that many patients weren’t being counted because they were never tested.  Once an alternative testing method was temporarily approved, the number of infected people skyrocketed. This was only temporary though because Chinese officials reverted quickly to their previous method of only relying on the nucleic acid test, which is infamous for false negatives. (There are reports that suggest certain infected people tested negative as many as six times before a positive test occurred, according to MedicineNet.)

Looking at China’s official response and looking at the American official response, I see some troubling similarities that make me wonder if our own numbers are accurate at all.

Hardly anyone is actually being tested in the United States.

First of all, very few tests have actually been performed in the United States. As of Feb. 26, 2020, the CDC reported that only 466 tests had been performed in the US and the criteria for being tested is so narrow as to render the statistics useless.

This was proven to be the case with the patient in California who was finally tested after four days and found to have Covid19, even though she has not been to China or knowingly been in contact with anyone from China.  Why wasn’t she tested sooner?

Because she didn’t fit “the criteria” laid out by the CDC for testing.

Hospital administrators said they immediately requested diagnostic testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the procedure was not carried out because the case did not qualify under strict federal criteria: She had not traveled to China and had not been in contact with anyone known to be infected. (source)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Why Covid-19 Could Be the Deadly Pandemic That Changes Everything

THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Why Covid-19 Could Be the Deadly Pandemic That Changes Everything

It has been almost three months since the Wuhan coronavirus, now known officially as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China. This novel coronavirus is the latest candidate to be the next major pandemic. We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19 in that time, and unfortunately, there is still so much we don’t know.

One thing that has becoming impossible to ignore, however, is that this not a drill.

Like all outbreaks, it’s impossible to know for sure if any particular one will become the next deadly, global pandemic until it either happens or doesn’t happen.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is shaping into what appears to be the one that folks will be reading about in a hundred years in the same way we look back in history at the Spanish flu.

What We Thought We Knew

When the first cluster of 41 patients was identified in early December 2019 in Wuhan, China, early data suggested that the virus was only of real concern to the elderly, infirm, and those with comorbidities, such as diabetes and heart disease.

These would be standard expectations of a viral respiratory illness, similar to the flu. However, further inspection of that cluster only showed about half with serious illness fit that profile, meaning the other half who sought hospital care were younger, presumably healthier adults.

This novel coronavirus also had an early reported case fatality rate of about 2%, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). A mortality rate of 2% is concerning, but not all that alarming. It’s a little higher than the typical influenza case fatality rate. But, it wasn’t close to the case fatality rate of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), another coronavirus that can be fatal to humans and has a case fatality rate of 34.4%.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Cost of Covid-19 Quarantine: Would You Be Financially Prepared?

The Cost of Covid-19 Quarantine: Would You Be Financially Prepared?

As the world tries frantically to contain a rapidly spreading outbreak of Covid-19, schools, public venues, tourist attractions, and workplaces are being closed in an attempt to keep even more people from contracting the illness. Quarantines and self-isolation protocols are also being instituted across the globe for those who may have been exposed.

Of course, everyone knows that millions of people in China have been in lockdown for more than a month. People are told to stay home, many businesses have ceased to operate, and Chinese New Year celebrations simply didn’t happen this year. China’s debts are all coming due now, at the worst possible time as the financial loss for the country has been astronomical. For example, car sales are down 92% and Lunar New Year celebrations and travel that usually earn a billion dollars were canceled.

And that tourism hit affects far more than just China. In 2017, Chinese outbound tourists spent $258 billionaround the world. The airline industry is bracing for a $29 billion dollar hit. All in all, this virus could end up costing the global economy more than 1.1 trillion dollars, a number that is practically unfathomable.

While the numbers cited here are outrageously large, obviously, these losses aren’t only going to affect “the economy” and “the businesses.” They’re going to have devastating effects on normal folks who just want to go to work, pay their bills, and keep living their lives normally.

A great deal has been written about the economic hits on a global scale as well as the shortages we could soon expect as production in China grinds to a halt, but what about simply being able to pay your rent when your workplace or business is ordered to shut its doors?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

When US Hospitals and Military PUBLICLY Brace for a Coronavirus Pandemic, You Should Pay Attention

When US Hospitals and Military PUBLICLY Brace for a Coronavirus Pandemic, You Should Pay Attention

If you trust the numbers coming out of China (I don’t) it appears that they’re getting their coronavirus epidemic contained. Yesterday they reported the lowest number of new cases in ages, with 349 newly confirmed patients, in a dramatic drop of more than 1300 fewer cases than Tuesday.

Xinhuanet, the official Chinese government propaganda news outlet reported:

NHC spokesperson Mi Feng made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing Wednesday, citing the epidemic data in the province over the past week.

The daily count of newly cured and discharged cases in Hubei, excluding the capital city of Wuhan, has exceeded the number of newly confirmed cases for four consecutive days as of Wednesday, said Mi.

He also noted that the number of newly confirmed cases has decreased significantly since Feb. 13 in areas besides Wuhan, and the increase in the cumulative number of confirmed cases has remained flat. (source)

Of course, there’s plenty of evidence that China has toyed with the numbers all along, so it’s difficult not to take this “good news” with a grain of salt.

Particularly when hundreds of potentially infected people disembarked the Diamond Princess yesterday to make their ways home to 50 different countries via a wide variety of public transportation options.

And particularly when our own government is busily (and visibly) preparing for the potential of a massive outbreak in the United States.

We didn’t even see these kinds of preparations when we were being warned by the CDC to get ready for an Ebola outbreak back in 2014. Mercifully, we dodged the bullet on that one but it certainly wasn’t because of well-thought-out protocols and procedures. The entire thing was handled so poorly that it could have resulted in disaster. Perhaps we learned from that?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Permanent Record: A Book Anyone Who Uses the Internet MUST Read

Permanent Record: A Book Anyone Who Uses the Internet MUST Read

Most of us recall the day in 2013 when the outrageous invasions into our privacy by the NSA were suddenly brought to light. Soon it was discovered that a young man named Edward Snowden was the person who had blown the whistle on the things he’d seen while working in the Intelligence Community for the National Security Agency.

The articles, while thorough, don’t show the entire gamut of just how deeply invasive the NSA actually is. Nor do they fully convey Snowden’s decision to go public.

In his recently released book, Permanent Record, he gives you insight that is too deep to be covered in newspapers.

It’s an excellent read.

The book is very well-written in a conversational style. Snowden digs deep and discusses his despair to discover how some of the programs he created were being used. He paints such a vivid picture of his angst, I felt discomfort for him. Who among us would really be able to give up everything in the attempt to right an egregious wrong?

Snowden’s job put him in a unique position to see the abuses of which most of us were blissfully unaware. Even the most paranoid among us probably didn’t fathom exactly how much information was being stored about us.

His personality shines through on the page. He was in his late 20s, in a relationship with a woman he truly loved. He was on the fast-track to success, and he was making money hand over fist.  And still, the things he saw during the dark hours of his work shift in “The Tunnel” preyed on his conscience until eventually, he felt that he had to act.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Power, No Running Water, No Toilets: Millions of Americans Are Living in Third-World Conditions

No Power, No Running Water, No Toilets: Millions of Americans Are Living in Third-World Conditions

Scattered around the nation, there are parts of the country in which millions of Americans are living without the basic amenities that most of us take for granted.

I’m not talking about high-speed internet or frivolous things. I’m talking about electricity, flushing toilets, and clean running water.

But this isn’t a problem that only exists in one state or to one demographic. It’s happening across the nation more and more. Let’s take a look.

Millions are living without running water.

new report says that more than 2 million Americans in West Virginia, Alabama, Texas and the Navajo Nation Reservation in the Southwest are living without clean running water or indoor plumbing. They’re drinking from polluted streams. They’re carrying buckets of the same water home for washing. They’re urinating and defecating outside with no wastewater treatment.

Race and poverty are the strongest predictors of water and sanitation access, according to the study. Native American families are 19 times more likely than white households to lack indoor plumbing, while black and Latino homes are nearly twice as likely. Meanwhile, federal funding for water infrastructure is just a small percentage of what it used to be, the authors wrote.

“Access to clean, reliable running water and safe sanitation are baseline conditions for health, prosperity, and well-being,” DigDeep CEO George McGraw and US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox said in a statement. “However, they remain out of reach for some of the most vulnerable people in the United States.”

The 2 million figure includes 1.4 million people with homes who lack access to hot and cold running water, as well as a sink, shower, bath or flushing toilet. (source)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Survive the EXTREME Stress and Despair of SHTF

How to Survive the EXTREME Stress and Despair of SHTF

The different events one has to endure when facing a difficult and prolonged situation usually take a toll on our body, and of course on our psyche. I have changed, had some noticeable declination in my health, and although have been able to deal with it, I don´t feel the same I used to be. There are plenty of reasons.

And maybe exposing my personal experience, I can help someone else to avoid a negative change. It is complicated and quite uncomfortable to do it, but maybe it will be therapeutic, somehow. (I hope so!). I know there are plenty of readers supporting me and my family. Or what´s left of it though.

Stress will challenge you.

It will make your mood to be…swift changing, at best. It will make you get emotional in the less expected (and awkward) moment, making you feel uncomfortable as a minimum, and making your decisions much harder to take. If you allow it will erode your relationships with all around you: spouse, children, parents, friends, acquaintances. I never was a talkative guy at the beginning of any relationship with someone, friend, nor anyone, though. A lot of trust and knowing the other person was needed first, for me to talk with confidence and fluidity.

Constant worrying about many things has such an effect on your character. It affects you deeply, and those effects remain for too much time. I´ve been feeling them for quite some time.  The effect I hated the most is in the relationships with our children.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Deal with Rolling Blackouts: Notes from South Africa

How to Deal with Rolling Blackouts: Notes from South Africa

Editor’s note: By now, just about everyone has heard about the difficulties occurring in South Africa. The violence is palpable, the corruption is an everyday fact, and utilities such as water and electricity are no longer a given. Not only that, but the cost of these utilities has become prohibitive, so conservation is a necessity. Backup power, such as solar or generators, have become a necessity for many families.

Now people in California are dealing with rolling blackouts due to PG&E’s new policies during wildfire season.

In this article, a regular reader from South Africa shares some of the tips for starting out with generators and backup power that have made it easier to deal with the continuous rolling blackouts and outrageous prices for electricity.  ~ Daisy


Living in South Africa we have had our share of rolling blackouts nationally. The cause: nefarious activities. The result being us forced to find ways to ensure we are not affected as badly.

The problem is better now, but it has highlighted that it is not just a South African problem, but in actual fact a Western world problem. We all are totally reliant on a massive aging infrastructure that can come tumbling down like a house of cards, with or without help.

Another problem is the cost to keep the national system operational. In some areas, it is not a priority to resolve the regular failures.

For getting started with backup power, remember that NEEDs vs WANTs –  a huge price difference.

  • UPSs – with like 2 up to 8 100ah batteries. Good for a number of hours depending on use – most cost-effective solution
  • Generators – works for some, but cheap ones cost more as they damage some electrical appliances over time.
  • Solar inverters and panels – power failures, what is that? And you save a lot of money afterward IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

55 Ways to Starve the Beast

55 Ways to Starve the Beast

A term coined in 1985 by an unnamed staffer of the Reagan administration was “Starve the Beast”.  This referred to a fiscally conservative political strategy to cut government spending by paying less in taxes.  So, in the original sense, “the Beast” was the government, and people were to starve said beast by spending less and using loopholes to pay less in taxes.

Now the Beast is a whole lot bigger.

These days the Beast has a lot more tentacles than just the government.

The system now consists of the government and all aspects of corporatism.  Big Agri, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Food, Big Banking, and Big Oil, to name a few.  It seems that now it’s the Beast that’s doing the starving, as small businesses close because they can’t compete with WalMart, bigger chains are run out of existence by Amazon, the family farm is on its way out because it can’t compete with the huge, subsidized mega-farms, and people are going bankrupt because they can’t pay the outrageous medical bills…

These mega-corporations aren’t there to make our lives better or easier. They’re there to make as much money as possible and they’ll run you over if you get in their way.

(Please note that there are Amazon links in this article to show you the books I recommend. You may be able to find these books from local sellers.)

When I first wrote this article in 2013, Big Tech wasn’t quite as prevalent. I’ve added some recommendations from the comments over the years to expand this list.

Perhaps more of us need to starve the beast.

Is it convenient to starve the beast and avoid doing business with mega-corporations or to work around funding endless wars that kill and maim our young people while enriching the Military-Industrial Complex?

No, but it’s time.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

As they say on Game of Thrones, “Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.”

One of the best ways to brace yourselves for the onset of cold weather, winter storms, and potential power outages is to prep your home for the season. And this is one of the nicest parts of prepping – quite a few of the cozy touches that you add to be more prepared are also delightful and decorative.

When summer begins to fade into fall, it’s the best time to begin preparing for the advent of winter weather. None of these tasks are particularly difficult, but they can be a little time-consuming. Waiting until the last minute usually means that you’ll end up fighting the crowds who have also rushed to the store or that you’ll be going without something that could have made your power outage a lot more comfortable.

25 Ways to Get Cozy

Here are a few ideas that will make you snug and safe during the cold months that lie ahead.

  1. Check your windows and doors. Make sure that they are in good condition and fit well. Drafts will not only make you uncomfortable but will let heat escape from the house. Now is the time to replace them if necessary.
  2. Reduce the draftiness of your windows. If you can’t afford to replace your windows (or if you are a renter) you can still do several things to reduce the drafts from older windows. Caulk gaps between frames and brickwork and replace any damaged panes. If you live in an older home with single pane windows, apply window insulation film to help make them more weather tight. Finally, purchase or make fabric draft stoppers to place at the bottoms of your windows.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It Could Never Happen Here: Many People Won’t Consider the Grim Reality of Long-term Survival

It Could Never Happen Here: Many People Won’t Consider the Grim Reality of Long-term Survival

How dark are you willing to go in your preparedness efforts?

If you’re like a lot of people, there’s only a certain level of SHTF that you are willing to imagine. And that means you aren’t going to be prepared for it if things get worse than the level you can envision.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a prepper or have some SHTF awareness. Maybe you’re participating in my National Preparedness Month Daily Challenge. If not, it is a series of small challenges – mostly thought exercises – to help people get better prepared by taking a step every day.

The challenge has been really popular, both on the website and over on the forum. Except for this one day when I took things to a darker place.

The question many people didn’t want to answer

On Day 15, I asked people how they could acquire food if they’d run through all their preps and still we had no grocery system in place. This challenge was loaded with excellent answers from people who really knew about the bounty they had outside their backdoor.

But then on Day 16, I asked people to take it one step further.

Today’s challenge is inspired by the course that I took in Croatia with Selco and Toby.

Yesterday, I asked you what food you could find nearby if the situation had devolved to the point that you’d gone through all your stored food.

Now, if the situation has devolved that far, you have to also imagine that there is no Rule of Law. It’s the Wild West. Everyone is a threat.

As Selco said to us, “You think this is hard? Now do it while everyone is trying to kill you.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Walmart Working With the Govt. to Distribute EVERYTHING When the SHTF?

Is Walmart Working With the Govt. to Distribute EVERYTHING When the SHTF?

In conspiratorial circles, it’s long been rumored that Walmarts across the country would become FEMA camps after an epic disaster. Some folks even suggested that once you were in the camp, you would not be able to leave. Sort of like those old roach motel commercials.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the Wikipedia link for a general overview of the FEMA camp theory. And here are 16 mindblowing facts about Walmart and its arguable quest for world domination.

While the FEMA camp theory has some holes in it, a long-time employee of Walmart contacted me to tell me about a direct link between Walmart and the government. We’ll call him Frank. (I generally hate those “unnamed source” articles, but occasionally the option to reveal a source just isn’t there.)

Some people will dismiss this article because I promised not to disclose the gentleman’s name or the store where he works. That’s totally up to you.

Now, according to what Frank told me, it looks like Walmart’s world domination plan may not have anything to do with housing people after all.

The italicized text is Frank’s own words.

The connection between Walmart and the government

So where do I start? I still work for Walmart, but I’m not sure for how much longer. I’ve been employed by them for 25+ years, but may not survive the next restructuring.

I have seen many things and have witnessed a clear connection between Walmart and the government. Remember after the tragedy of September eleventh all the Walmart TVs had the “if you see something say something” commercials playing 24-7. That’s an example of those connections I was talking about.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

SLOPPY: CDC Shuts Down Military Lab Studying Ebola, Plague, etc. Amid Fears It’s GETTING OUT Through Wastewater

SLOPPY: CDC Shuts Down Military Lab Studying Ebola, Plague, etc. Amid Fears It’s GETTING OUT Through Wastewater

We may not have to wait for a traveler from the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit the United States for an Ebola outbreak. It just might be brought to us by our own military along with the plague and other horrifying germs.

The laboratory at Fort Detrick, the  U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, has been sent a cease-and-desist order by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention after a second inspection showed sloppy handling of deadly germs and viruses.

The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden confirmed in an email Friday.

The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July.

After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its registration with the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees disease-causing material use and possession, was suspended. That suspension effectively halted all biological select agents and toxin research at USAMRIID, Vander Linden said in her email. (source)

At this time “no infectious pathogens, or disease-causing material, have been found outside authorized areas.” The New York Times reports that the CDC could not provide more specific details due to “national security reasons.”

What was USMRIID doing wrong?

The laboratory, which is located in Frederick, Maryland, studies different deadly bugs for biological warfare purposes. They have failed inspection specifically by the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees the possession, use and transfer of biological select agents and toxins that could potentially pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

One of the most common reasons that people give for not prepping is the cost involved.  People seem to have this mental image of a  bedroom or basement dedicated to being filled to the rafters with cans of Chef-Boy-Ardee.  They imagine someone going out and spending $5000 at a time for a year’s worth of food.

The fact is, a pantry is a work in progress.

You can save a fortune on your food budget by shopping carefully and in quantity.

A well-stocked food pantry is not just there in case of an epic disaster or TEOTWAWKI.  It can provide a cushion in the event of a job loss or personal economic downturn.  Not only that but as an investment, purchasing food at today’s prices is a great hedge against tomorrow’s increases.  The cost of food will only be going up.

Take peanut butter, as an example: A few years ago, I purchased natural, no-stir peanut butter for $1.88 per jar when it was on sale.  A year later, that very same brand in the very same sized jar was $5.99 on sale due to a poor peanut harvest.  That means that each jar of peanut butter on the shelves represented a savings of $4.11  – there is no other investment that gives you that kind of return.

Before I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry.  When I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget.  At the library, I stumbled upon a series of books by Amy Dacyczyn called “The Complete Tightwad Gazette“.  This fantastic series gave me a whole new perspective on grocery shopping, and is the shopping basic philosophy I adhere to still. (And I highly recommend the books – there are 3 or you can get one big compendium containing all 3 titles!)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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