By Daisy Luther
Survival Saturday is a round-up of the week’s news and resources for folks who are interested in being prepared.
This Week in the News
America is weakened right now.
Partisan politics has caused a rift that seems insurmountable. It’s like we’re living a real-life version of Animal Farm right now.
But if you really think about it, many of us want the same things: we want our kids to be safe, our jobs and finances to be stable, and our privacy and freedom to be secure.
The disagreement comes when we try to figure out how to achieve those goals. There is a rage in this country that is alarmingly close to bubbling over – and we’ve all seen what happens when a pot boils over. You can never put the mess all over the stove back in the pot again.
But when Americans find causes in which they are aligned, it’s a step toward repairing the horrible tear in the fabric of our country that was caused by this hostile election. We need to find as much common ground as possible with one another and unite again because our freedoms, financial stability, and privacy are vanishing at an alarming rate.
And if we’re busy fighting with each other, the real enemy to our goals can proceed without interference.
This week on Survival Saturday, we’ll talk about 3 news stories that cross partisan lines and make nearly everyone unhappy. No matter where your politics lie, I’m pretty sure that most of us can agree, these stories about our government are bad news.
Note: I said nearly everyone. There are some folks who are really beyond hope when it comes to critical thinking. (And we all know someone like that, right?) But the rest of us, those who can think logically and see both sides of an argument – for us, there is hope.
It’s entirely likely you won’t like everything I have to say in this post. I warmly welcome your civil comments and productive debate in the comments section below.
Obamacare: We’ll keep it until it “explodes.”
Remember when I said the choice between Trump and Clinton was like picking which venereal disease you’d rather have, gonorrhea and syphilis?
The Obamacare replacement bill is the latest flare-up of an ugly infection. First of all, the reform was far from ideal. It was authored by House Speaker Paul Ryan (who, incidentally, I find shady as heck) in conjunction with (according to Steve Bannon) the insurance industry. So we can bet that it would have been far more beneficial for them than for us.
One Republican senator, Mo Brooks of Alabama, said of the bill:
“Obamacare 2.0 is the largest Republican welfare program in the history of the Republican Party. That has a lot of implications, cascading effects,” Brooks warned.
“By way of example, it undermines the work ethic. It encourages more and more Americans to live off the hard work of others. Obamacare 2.0, because of this welfare provision over time, is going to dramatically increase the need to raise taxes or borrow more money to pay for, if past experiences are any indication, what will be escalating welfare costs. As you know, struggling American families cannot afford more taxes, and America cannot afford more debt.
Yesterday, the Obamacare replacement bill was pulled before the vote due to lack of support, even from the Republican party. Were the objectors showing a flash of conscience? Maybe they recognized this was another one of those bills that masqueraded as something to help people when in reality, it just padded the pockets of corporate insurance. The subject of Obamacare reform has been tabled indefinitely and it’s going to hurt everyone.
With this whole debacle – from the unsatisfactory reform to the failure to pass the bill to his response to that failure – Trump bailed on everyone who supported him and believed his promise that he would take care of this debacle of an unratified tax. He proved right those who were skeptical of his ability/desire/motivation to reform this disaster. He appears to have aligned himself with the insurance companies, as opposed to the people who are being impoverished by this mandatory policy.
Here’s how it all went down, according to Zero Hedge:
A large number of GOP House members had declared their opposition to the bill since Thursday night. It was the second time in less than 30 hours that Republicans postponed a scheduled House vote on the American Health Care Act. Republicans could afford to lose at most 22 members of their caucus in the vote. But as of Friday afternoon, there were 34 GOP House member publicly opposing the bill.
Ryan visited Donald Trump at the White House at around 1 p.m. to inform him of the shortfall in support.
The second delay was another humiliating setback for GOP leaders and Trump, who had thrown his weight behind the bill.
Trump on Thursday night demanded that the House vote on the plan on Friday, and said he would not agree to change the bill further than he already had in an effort to persuade wavering Republicans to back it.
Shortly after the president drew that line in the sand, GOP leaders amended the bill further to allow states, as opposed to the federal government, to mandate what essential health benefits have to be part of all insurance plans.
But as was the case on Thursday, GOP leaders knew Friday that if the vote occurred as scheduled, the bill would be defeated. The problem those leaders face is not from Democrats, who hold a minority of 193 seats in the House, and who were all expected to vote against the bill.
And what did Trump say? He’s going to just wait and fix it “when it explodes.”
“When people get a 200 percent increase next year or a 100 percent or 70 percent, that’s their fault.” (source)
I don’t care who you voted for, that’s an indefensible attitude. I understand that he didn’t have the votes to make this pass, but this whole thing seems deceptive, rushed, and beneficial to corporations over individuals. Exactly the opposite of his campaign promises. And now that he can’t get this passed, he’s just washing his hands of it?
Zero Hedge continued:
Ultimately, and this may be the real take home message, the Freedom Caucus demonstrated it is more powerful than Trump as of this moment. Which, incidentally, means it is time to start getting very nervous about the upcoming debt ceiling negotiation, in which the Freedom Caucus will likely get its way.
I’ve been saying that we’re going to get hammered financially this year. And this is only the beginning. Get your preps and your money in order, my friends. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Speaking of economic catastrophe, one member of Congress predicted a massive market crash if the bill didn’t pass. Here’s what some Wall Street experts had to say about the fiasco.
The Senate has voted to overturn privacy laws to make a buck.
You know that bill to roll back FCC regulations on the internet? Generally, it sounds awesome when there will be fewer laws, but by now you’ve probably learned that with the government, anything that sounds good has a “gotcha” in it and this is no exception. In fact, it’s just another clear cut case of the elected senators representing their own best interests instead of the interests of their constituents.
They sold us out. Again.
A friend of mine is an online privacy expert.With permission, I’m quoting a post about the new FCC bill that would basically screw us all. If you don’t know a lot about the way this stuff works, you will probably find the information as enlightening as I did.
“Yesterday, the Senate voted to overturn an FCC rule that would provide US consumers with some basic privacy protections. Without those rules, your mobile carrier and ISP are allowed to:
– Collect your location data, without permission, and sell that to any company that’s willing to pay. (You can turn off GPS to your heart’s content, but your mobile carrier still knows what cell towers you’re near.)
– Sniff out every website you visit and every search you do to show you ads. (Maybe not a big deal to you, but it probably would be if you were researching, say, bankruptcy or divorce.)
– Run software that lets them see exactly what apps you’re using, when, and for how long. (And hey! In some cases, even see what you’re “saying!”)
This goes to the House next. I know we’re all weary, but please consider calling your Representative. If the rules are overturned, regulators will NEVER be able to enact similar privacy protections again — this is a loophole of the process Congress is using.”
So, basically, yet again, your wishes mean nothing. Your privacy means nothing. Your attempts to shroud your browsing history mean nothing. Encryption means nothing.
Everything you do, search, browse, or type online is now information that will be for sale. And someone, somewhere, is making a lot of money off it.
Are your electronic devices on this list of CIA targets?
And speaking of electronic privacy, Wikileaks has published a list of devices that have been targeted by the CIA. Spoiler alert: Your devices are probably on this list. Ours were, too.
Wikileaks has now posted “Identifying Hacking Targets of the CIA” which lists out “companies, products, tools, and terms that are mentioned in the Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed publication to date,” in order to inform people as to whether or not their smart phones, computers, gaming systems, television sets etc. can easily be turned into covert surveillance devices by the Central Intelligence Agency.
You can find the rather discouraging list here.
As McGowin concludes:
You’ve got to wonder how many other consumer electronics sold today are in the same category. A better idea would be to make a list of the tech that isn’t easily hackable by the CIA; that’s probably a very, very short list.
According to one report, it only takes 29 seconds for the CIA to gain total control over your MacBook. Maybe I watch too many movies, but it was my understanding the CIA’s job was not to harass Americans, but to perform intelligence operations against foreign threats to America. I thought it was the NSA’s job to spy on Americans. Go figure.
Is the only way to have privacy to go completely off the grid? No phone, no internet, no bank account? It’s pretty sad that we are unable to go about our day-to-day lives without being spied on, regulated into poverty, betrayed by elected officials, and treated like livestock.
This Week in Preparedness…
Of major concern this week was activity in North Korea, where Kim Jong Un threatened to nuke the US. There has been at least one failed launch of a nuclear-tipped missile, and British newspapers are reporting that Jong Un has his “finger on the button” and has brutally executed five of his own senior officials with anti-aircraft guns.
We don’t know if Kim Jong Un actually has the capability to nuke the United States, but we do know that little dictator in North Korea is batcrap crazy. So if he actually does have the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, do you have any doubt whatsoever that he’d do it?
According to a report on SHTFplan, the Secretary of State said that Americans “patience has ended” with the antics of Kim Jong Un…
If there is anyone is crazy enough to start a nuclear war, it’s this guy. He has already shown that he refuses to cooperate with the demands of neighboring countries. Even though he has to be aware that retaliation would be swift and brutal, if he thought he could get in a sucker punch, I believe he would do it.
Get the rest of the story and learn how to prep for this possibility in my article, How to Survive a Nuclear Strike.
There is one question here that needs asking, though. Is this for real or is Jong Un a convenient scapegoat for government officials that seem to be yearning for war? It’s no secret that the best way to get a group of people behind a war is to make them believe that the lives of their families are at risk.
I’m not saying that this is the case here, but it’s something to consider. Always, always, think critically.
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Other Prepping Articles You Should Read:
Prepper Book Festival: Backdoor Survival is giving away 3 copies of my new book, The Prepper’s Canning Guide. (There’s also a review of the book and an interview with me.)
Top 10 Food Storage Myths: You spend a lot of money on emergency food. Make sure it isn’t wasted. Have you fallen victim to any of these myths?
Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes: Having suffered a major eye infection at one point, I can tell you that this is something for which you MUST be prepared.
10 Basic Household Items You Can Use in an Emergency: Oh, how I love multitasking preps.
20 Signs You Might Be a Cheapskate: This was the busiest article on my website this week. PS: Cheapskate is meant in the best sense of the word around here.
Other Articles of Interest
- Who Controls the (Alternate) “Reality” in America? – Most people are living in an alternate reality created by those with the biggest platforms.
- A Visual Record of Venezuela’s Collapse – This slideshow is chilling – and hopefully not a glimpse of our own future.
- Watch These GeoPolitical Flashpoints Carefully – Brandon Smith always nails it. In this article, he tells you the warning signs to watch for just before the bottom drops out.
- The Vehicle as Terror Weapon – Dr. Joe Alton takes a look at the recent horrifying trend of driving a vehicle into a crowd of people to take out as many as possible. (Hat tip to Mac Slavo at SHTFplan for this one.)
- What Is CrowdStrike? Firm Hired By DNC Has Ties To Hillary Clinton, A Ukrainian Billionaire, And Google – I’d like for this to be a crazy conspiracy theory but these facts are chillingly difficult to refute.
- Orwellian Colleges Socially Engineering Students with Fake Pronouns – This video will have you smacking your head at the ridiculousness foisted upon students these days. (I’m so glad my kiddo wants to go to a vocational program instead!)
Anything to add to Survival Saturday?
Do you have any news links you want to share? What are your thoughts on the topics above? Now’s the time! Please post your links in the comments section below and join the discussion!