Survival Saturday: May 20, 2017

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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

This week on Survival Saturday, we’ll talk about the potential ban of laptops on planes, the highest household debt ever, and the gasoline shortage in Venezuela.

The case against in-flight laptops was conveniently proven by a Turkish guy on a plane.

Flying is about to get a lot more difficult for those who work online. Following discussions about the “safety concerns” presented by laptops on airplanes, the case was (coincidentally, I’m sure) proven by a Turkish man who allegedly tried to breach the cockpit of a flight to Hawaii. Conveniently for those who want to ban laptops on planes, the aggressor placed his own device right beside the cockpit door.

Bloomberg adds that a laptop computer was placed near the cockpit door.

A source at the TSA told ABC News that the man was waiting for the bathroom near the cockpit when a flight attendant asked him to sit down. He had a laptop with him and appeared to try the cockpit door before he was subdued, the source said. Additional sources said the man, who is reportedly from Turkey, breached security at Los Angeles International Airport, but was assessed and allowed to board AA Flight 31 anyway.  The flight departed from Los Angeles International Airport at 8:34 a.m. local time.

Once the Airbus A321 was in the air, the man allegedly tried to break through the cockpit door. (source)

Considering that the TSA has considered me a security threat for having a venti Starbucks, isn’t it fascinating that this guy breached their security and got on the plane?

There’s no word on how the guy was subdued, but the flight was escorted by two fighter planes and landed safely in Honolulu, where it was met on the tarmac by the FBI, Passengers were questioned and sniffed by dogs before being allowed to depart.

Trump has already banned carry-on laptops on flights into the US from certain airports after an intelligence report claimed that ISIS was going to blow up American planes with bombs disguised as laptops and tablets. Apparently, this was the “top secret” information he divulged to Russia that is causing the current media brouhaha. (source) We know this is absolutely true because Buzzfeed confirmed it based on two anonymous sources. I swear numerous media outlets have, in all seriousness, cited Buzzfeed as their corroborating source. It was probably tucked in between a quiz to let you know which celebrity you’re going to marry and what kind of taco you actually are.

To date, no laptop bombs have ever been found on a plane, although in 1985 there was one in a radio and in 1988 there was one in a tape recorder. (source)

But the British Airline Pilots’ Association said, nope, having laptops in the cargo hold was a terrible idea – all of those lithium batteries together could cause a fire – something that actually has happened and caused 2 crashes. (source)

And my question is this: how is it better to have the potential bomb in the cargo area than the passenger area? You’re getting blown out of the sky either way. Will all devices be banned from flights completely? That will make business travel nearly impossible.

Just in case things in Venezuela aren’t bad enough, now there are gasoline shortages.

Just when Venezuelans were probably saying, “Well, it can’t possibly get any worse. We have no food, no medical care, and no toilet paper,” it got worse. Now, they’re running out of gasoline.

As I’ve written before, Venezuela used to be one of the wealthiest countries on the planet before socialism. That’s because they’re positively swimming in oil – more than 300 billion gallons of it. (source) Despite the richness of their natural resources, however, the country is facing gasoline shortages on top of all the other collapse issues. I guess the moral of this story is “never get too cocky about your resources because you still have to process them.”

Refineries have shut down because of technical issues and supplies have been unable to get through due to protests, according to some reports.

Eulogio Del Pina, head of the state-run oil company PDVSA said nearly two months of protests were to blame for the lines.

“We’ve said that when there are risky situations, or disruptions of public order, drivers are kept off the roads because these irrational (protesters) do not take risks into account,” Del Pino told reporters, according to Reuters.

Internal PDVSA reports say that three of the country’s four refineries have been producing at record low rates due the lack of spare parts and defunct equipment.

“This problem [of fuel shortages] won’t end until production at the refineries improves,” said the manager of one service station located in Bolivar, a state that has seen a few modestly sized protests. (source)

This increased transportation cost and lack of availability will make the horrible situation even worse, as even the limited supplies available won’t be able to get to far-flung regions.

If ever you needed a reason to become more self-reliant, the fall of Venezuela should be the cautionary tale that spurs you into action.

Household debt reached an all-time high in the first 3 months of the year.

One sign that things are going downhill economically is an increased reliance on credit. Of course, the mainstream media has spun the fact that we are in more debt than ever into a good thing.

America’s household debt has exceeded even the amount that preceded the crash of 2008. In the same breath as that comparison, the debt is being praised as a harbinger of good times.

The Wall Street Journal says that this is because of economic growth, more jobs, and a willingness to spend. (source) The New York Times calls it “another milestone in the long, slow recovery of the nation’s economy.”

The growing debt level shows that many of the millions of Americans who struggled during the recession have sufficiently repaired their credit to qualify for loans. It also suggests a rising optimism about economic growth among banks and other lenders.

Debt can fuel consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of all economic activity in the United States. It also allows Americans to make large investments in education and housing, which can help build personal wealth and financial stability. (source)

However, some experts disagree and feel that this puts families in very risky positions. (source)

And I’m not buying what they’re selling. From a preparedness standpoint, personal debt drives up your monthly expenses, exposes you to high-interest rates, and has you living above your means, when in actuality, the goal should be to live below your means. In truth, you should be doing everything possible to get out of debt as quickly as possible, not voluntarily get into more.

Another reason increased debt can be a bad sign is that it can be a symptom of a personal economic crisis. If you are truly in desperate financial straits, you might well use credit cards for regular expenses like utilities, groceries, and even your mortgage. This means you’re paying high interest just to survive and it is a very short path to personal ruin.

This Week in Preparedness…

This week, I finally finished the World War 3 series with an article about the potential of war on the mainland. Here’s the entire series:

For those who have decided that they need to get prepped at the last minute, I wrote an article on what I like to call “panic prepping.” It’s complete with a free downloadable shopping list.

And finally, in response to the response to my panic prepping article, I wrote an open letter to those grumpy, smug preppers who seem to take pleasure in discouraging people who are new to our way of life. Okay, I’ll be honest. It’s a rant.

And just for fun, how many of these 99 things ring true for you?

Other Articles of Interest

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!

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Another interesting article Daisy! Especially the part about debt. Did you know, some studies suggest that newer generations are using their incomes to start up small businesses instead of paying off their mortgage? Also, debt affect poorer people more. You know the stereotypical sleazy second hand car dealer? They are likely to hook up a person with debt they cannot afford, so when they reposses the vehicle, that swindled person has an even worse credit score. It’s bad news, and economic growth should come from people buying without credit. Ignore people who say debt is good and, like my mother says, have the only debt you ever owe to be your mortgage 🙂

  • I want to encourage those out there who are doing the best you can even if your fighting a up hill battle. When 1st married we dident make a lot & when the kids came it was even less. I grew up in a big family so I knew hard times & was no stranger to little or no money but the other half while not spoiled never knew a hard time . By the grace of God I knew that I had to pinch every penny & could see way beyond today. So with God’s help I set about doing what was nessessary to live & thrive. It was HARD because my family & friends said all kinds of mean things like ” Your just cheap, You have a poor persons thinking. Even my other said that You love money more than God. Let me tell you right here that the last statement caused shtf long before it was popular!! Fast forward quite a few yrs. Other has retired at the early age of 54. Good money in the bank , have a bit of land & the only thing we owe is a little on our home. The way we did it was payed out tithe. I know some don’t believe in this but it is the way WE did it.Make a budget. Some say a budget of so restrictive but I say it’s just telling your money where to go. Pay off all bills. Payed cash for every thing we could, when then money is gone it’s gone. Use coupons when you can. Save any amount you can. Even a few dollars adds up. Read everything you can on how to live frugally & then do thaf you think it applys to you & your family. There is a difference between frugal & cheap!! Get every one on board. When my kids earned money & wanted experience shoes I told them I would give the normal amount but they would have to pay the rest somehow the cheaper pair was ok. Lol I would also encourage you to change your wording. In stead of saying ” We can’t afford that ” Try I really don’t think that a good use of our money at this time. Or maybe ” We can see if we can find it cheaper elsewhere & maybe start saving up for that ”
    The biggest thing that helped us was staying out of dept.. It was hard at 1st but as time went by & other & family saw the benefits of what I was doing they not only came around they started asking me how to do it. Now they are on the road to freedom.
    When you get discouraged step back take a breath get some tea or coffee. Tomorrow you will do better because of today

  • I get the concerns about laptops on flights. But isn’t it awfully convenient that this incident happened so close to the discussion of the new regulations? I am not a paranoid person, but I also believe less and less in coincidence, especially where politics are concerned.

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