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Very good point, Libbylindy. But look at the following. The TEOTWAWKI thing is Y2K all over again. It was a tremendous fraud that kept people terrified — what Government always wants so as to control us — and that gave some a sizeable amount of money which they obtained from the terrified.

My own preparations for Y2K consisted in the purchase of a hoe at a thrift store and of assorted seeds from a store that was going out of business — a total of $7.50. Next, I told a Chinese friend in Taipei and another in Shanghai that I would be calling them an hour into the D-Day (they would enter it seven hours ahead of us), so I needed them to be available at the phone.

At the appointed time, I called my friends in quick succession. They assured me that all was well. And that was the end of it.

In my vicinity, one man had bought ten thousand Q-tips (which he is still stuck with today); one woman, a twenty-year supply of toilet paper. People had maxed out their credit cards buying stuff they would never need. I can’t do that. I don’t have that kind of money. I also don’t have that lack of sense.

I used the seeds and the hoe to learn to grow food. I purposely did it the hard way. I actually tore through the two-foot “mattress” of grass roots by hand, without a rototiller. I wanted to see if I could do African-style traditional horticulture. I found that it was backbreaking, but I could. Mildew destroyed my first crop of vine plants — cucumbers, peas and assorted beans — and the cabbage butterflies, i.e., their larvae, wrecked my cabbage and broccoli; the cutworm and grasshoppers hurt other plants. But I learned. The second year, I stopped the mildew with Epsom salts and murdered any white butterfly that came near. The third, fourth and fifth years things went more or less all right. I went on to grow flowers as well and learned much from that. To my surprise, squirrels and rabbits did not bother my little crops.

The collective memory of my family spans about two hundred years. That includes a number of wars and revolutions in several countries. I myself have inadvertently walked into two wars — these things often take common people by surprise — and I have been through two horrible floods, several typhoons and several earthquakes. So it isn’t as if I was born yesterday. Much as I value Selco’s experience, I don’t see why my own needs to be held in contempt.

Please note that I have reached a rather advanced age and am still more or less in one piece; better, in fact, than neighbors much younger who are on disability. And I am not a gambler. I have long kept on hand what I may need for a protracted tragedy. I am simply not alarmist and not a fanatic.

Any soldier can tell you that a road is a Linear Danger Zone (LDZ). In a catastrophe, it’s the last place you want to be. With the American propensity for “a car per person”, gridlock is obligatory. So is running out of gas because of it. If you study Katrina, you will see that many such were forced by the irate motorists around them to abandon their vehicles and go on foot — their dead cars were shoved off the road. That was when they found that their famous BOB’s were too heavy to carry. That’s the situation that I’m urging people to avoid.

Once the thing hits, the worst thing you can do is take off. Your best bet is to stay put. If that really is impossible because you’re going to be killed, then you had best leave with only the barest minimum that you can carry on your body. Yes, start out in your car, but know that within a few miles you will have to abandon it and proceed on foot. So don’t load your car heavily with all sorts of silly stuff. My own load would be between five pounds and ten; I can’t handle more; I’m being realistic.

Your key to survival is not so much an enormous stockpile as your ability to adapt.

Americans are notorious for being alienated from reality, for believing things that are not true and that they get all riled up about, e.g., concealed carry; the issue is whether people may have guns; how they carry them is utterly irrelevant; yet people spend their time arguing about the non-issue. We need to stay focused on reality, so the first step should be to throw out the TV; it will consistently warp your perceptions and have you concerned about what doesn’t exist.

At this moment, the one thing that would cause national catastrophe is World War III. Unfortunately, it is a real possibility because the U.S. Government is pushing with all its might to achieve it. But, if it does, there will be no place to go anyway, so why go? No matter where radiation gets us, we shall die, so why not die at home?

And, to take things closer to the core, why this morbid fear of death?

And are people sure that survival in the country, if somehow feasible, will satisfy them? Throughout millennia, rural people have moved to the city because life there is so much better. Life in the countryside is a miserable existence. Life is not just about eating and defecating, which appears to be the goal of a lot of “survivalists” and “preppers”. I am not knocking it if that’s what you want, but is it really what you want?

Here in my area, we have enough Jewish musicians to staff at least a couple of chamber music ensembles and maybe even a small orchestra. We have enough Mexican musicians to set up at least a half dozen mariachi bands. We have excellent choirs and soloist singers. We have good actors and painters and what have you. We have technicians in all medical fields and in all the mechanical arts. And many good people who are armed and know how to fight. I fail to see it as unreasonable that we will not survive an ordinary catastrophe and have a much higher quality of life than people who live like a rat in the woods.

The choice is yours. I respect your right to choose differently from me. I only suggest to you that you make your choice because it really is yours, not because it is someone else’s idea of what is good for you.

My sincere best wishes for whatever you do.