Sorry about your great-grandfather, MountainBiker. Just a tangent observation: Nowadays there seems to be no shame or stigma about anything…even when foreign countries snicker at our govt and its submissiveness to Islam, we have no clue as to what “honor” and “shame” mean any more.

Proteus, your post about going back to the land triggered an old but seething rant. “Nowadays there’s plenty of incentive for moving back out to the countryside, but there are no more opportunities as they are clueless of how to work the land or sustain a farm, their bodies are not used to manual labor due to work in the city, and also there are limitations / restrictions to cultivating certain things as members of the EU… the land itself in the fields is no longer arable and would require extensive work with machines and other methods before it’s usable.

When I grew up on a farm in New Jersey, we were close enough to NY City, that we could see its lights on the north horizon (across the Highlands hills and Raritan Bay) 40 miles away. Then the flood of ‘development’ came…now people mock the speech of “Joisey” which is actually the accent of city N’Yawkers who came into the state. (I’m sure most of them were nice people BUT…) Cardboard houses went up by the thousands on prime farmland, with just enough space between them to run a lawnmower. Colonial homes and barns were bulldozed to make way for the onslaught. (How I missed those adze-hewn beams, mortise-and-tenon joints, blacksmithed strap hinges on the doors…) Our once icy-cold, burbling springfed brook (with wild trout) became a torpid drainage ditch due to the ‘custom homes’ that were built around the spring source. My family sold the place to Mafiosos for a horse farm and moved on…

I have often wondered what the USA would do post-apocalypse…to raise its own food, without petroleum fertilizers and pesticides, and most of all–WITHOUT all the prime arable land it once had. Even when my husband and I lived briefly in Idaho, we saw that all the (extensive) agriculture is dependent upon deep wells and pivot irrigation systems. The big farmers program their irrigation computers through their cellphones. I don’t think the land would support even 1% of its current output if things went ‘down’ due to lack of available water. Something tells me that the few survivors of an economic collapse would no longer look overweight…

(BTW, having been overseas quite a bit, I have noticed that only in America, are the poor grossly overweight, and the rich thin and fit. One due to high-carb cheap food via EBT, and the other thanks to personal trainers and expensive gym equipment. Neither translates to the endurance and muscle memory necessary to work land by hand…)