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If you've not read the previous articles in this series you definitely want to before reading this article.

We've covered the common requirements for any sort of preparation (that's you, primarily) and then personal and regional trouble.

Now we'll get to where most so-called "preppers" spend their time, effort and money: The Zombie Invasion.

I'll use zombies for any sort of large-scale (or worse) disaster you can conjure up.  Mass insurgency, an economic collapse that reaches (or initiates in) mass infrastructure disruption, the Yellowstone caldera blowing up, an EMP attack from North Korea, etc.  Pick one as they all wind up more-or-less in the same place.

Before we begin let's cut the crap on probability: These events are extremely improbable.  You are far more likely to die in a car crash, drown in your own pool or even be hit by lightning than you are to have anything like this come to pass.  In terms of statistical odds you're utterly nuts to prepare against any such event since the cost is (quite) high and the probability of any such event is vanishingly small.  In point of fact over the last couple hundred years no such event of this magnitude has happened, save during wartime where there is plenty of warning, in any modern nation.

Let's take the relatively-common fear of an EMP strike of some sort.  These fears are, for the most part in my opinion, wildly misplaced.  The reason is quite-simple (and yes, I've run the math to back it up): induced current is not just a function of field strength it is also a function of the angle of incidence upon the conductor(s) in question and the length over which it impinges.

So for a given "orientation" of said pulse there will be conductors that are at a "good" angle (from a standpoint of inducing a current), a bad (nearly null) one and everything in between.  This in turn means that the "end of the world" sort of scenarios put forward are extremely unlikely.

Yes, there will be damage and quite possibly a lot of it.  But the common "everything goes dark" scenario is unlikely.

Electrical grid disruptions are not to be taken lightly; the risk of them is quite real.  It's just that EMP is far down the list of likely causes because such an attack is both indiscriminate and unfocused with the likely damage pattern both disperse and random -- yet the points of damage required to cause a serious disruption are neither random or indiscriminate.

So let's assume that by whatever cause the just in time infrastructure that supplies our society breaks down.  Pick a cause; it doesn't really much matter.

What happens?

First, energy production and distribution becomes severely impaired.  The opening assumption used to be that natural gas supplies would remain available as the pumping stations used to use the gas itself as fuel to run the pumps.  The EPA has largely put the kabash on that and as a result a large percentage of the pumping stations now are electrically driven.

Yes, they (like most other critical infrastructure) have backup generators.  That's nice -- until the fuel runs out, and if the refinery and distribution system is disrupted it will.  The same is true for water and sewer systems, both of which require electrical power to operate at a municipal level.

We're talking pretty basic stuff here folks, and even if you have a septic system (you live outside an incorporated area with mandated sewer use) you probably have a water problem as most well systems are relatively deep and require quite a bit of power to run.  Without electricity your nice well is worthless too; municipal systems with water towers are only usable until the tower is empty without power to refill it.

Municipal systems also depend on chlorine delivery to make the water safe during the time it is in the tank and in transit to your tap through miles of pipe.  That chemical has to be delivered to the facility on a regular basis; it runs out, you see.  When it does the water in your tap is no longer guaranteed potable.

As with a personal or regional disaster if you're reliant on some sort of "enhanced" capability provided by today's technology (e.g. medical intervention) you're in big trouble.  The only good news is that hospitals and similar facilities will be the priority points for whatever fuel remains in the distribution system, so their generators (assuming they continue to work) will be among the last to go down.  The bad news is that there will be an awful lot of people drawn to the nice bright light in said hospital when everything within 20 miles of you, that is, to the horizon in all directions, is dark!

So let's think about this, shall we?

You have "prepared" for such a zombie apocalypse and have a generator and fuel to run it for...... how long?

You have a means of making sure you can get rid of your human waste and obtain potable water for.... how long?

You have food stored of some sort (by the way, have you actually tried eating it for a week or a month and thus know you can do so without gastrointestinal distress if necessary -- and you find it palatable?) and thus can obtain sustenance for..... how long?

And finally, you are likely to be one in a hundred, or a thousand (if not worse) within a wide radius that did so.

The latter is a very big problem when the rest of the population has none of the above and discovers you do, because if anyone else can attack any of those points (e.g. your water supply, your waste disposal capacity, your food storage, your shelter's integrity, etc) you are going to be forced into the open to repel that attack and defend the resource and when you do against any sort of superior numerical opposition the odds are you're toast.

You can't run a genset without everyone within a reasonable distance knowing it's on, as you'll be the noise source of the neighborhood.  Further, the first time you shoot (anything) everyone within a half-mile or more will know you did so.

If you're in a suburban or urban area none of your effort is going to do you a bit of good, save one point: You'll probably get more of them before they get you.  That's a nice consolation but it won't change the outcome.

In a rural area you have an even bigger problem, in that isolation is not your friend if and when you're discovered.  You may think you are surrounded by like-minded people but you have no way to prove it, and that again is a bet your life sort of thing.  A handful of people who want what you have and can lob a couple of Molotov Cocktails at your roof from cover at a decent distance precluding you from shooting them (assuming you detect the impending attack) using extremely primitive machinery they can build from either a couple of bicycle inner tubes or common rubber tubing will force you out into the open and then you're a sitting duck.

Don't kid yourselves folks -- unless you have managed to organize a material number of people prior to the event, you have jointly invested in a multi-layer perimeter defense environment (and are both trained and prepared to use it) and to an individual you're prepared to do whatever is necessary on a preemptive basis to stop any sort of incursion or breach both physically and on an intelligence basis both prior to and during any such event you are almost-certainly going to wind up dead.

This does not mean that you shouldn't bother trying, or shouldn't prepare.  In particular personal preparation and improvement in your fitness and health are worth the benefits even though it is almost-certain that the zombies will never come -- except in a movie.  You'll be happier, healthier and more-prosperous -- and that's its own reward. Further, being prepared against the far more common scenarios is well worth it; in those cases you can have a real impact on the probability of success.

It does, however, means that the false bravado that is often on display among people in these groups is to be snickered at rather than emulated, as if such an event occurs the odds of the outcome being any different whether you do or don't are simply not in your favor and any resource you expend in "preparing" for such a scenario has far better and more-productive use.

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I have repeatedly warned, going back to before Obamacare was passed, that "electronic" medical records are dangerous.  They're dangerous not only to your wallet, because they give all sorts of commercial interests access to data that is none of their damn business but can be (and will be) used to disadvantage you (and that's perfectly legal, as the law stands right now) but in addition the privacy implications when (not if) breaches of security occur are extraordinarily severe.

In point of fact your medical records should be yours -- not your doctor's, not the hospital's and not the insurance company's.  Yours, period, end of discussion.

That means you possess them.  You choose who has access to them, why, and for how long.  You have the right to not only revoke that permission but insist on their destruction and certification of same, with strong criminal and civil penalties for violations.

But you insisted on none of this, America, and now we have another 11 million Americans with stolen medical records (after roughly 80 million just recently from Anthem) which means that roughly one American in three has had their personal data stolen -- and not just identification information either as some of the data taken involved medical history.

This attack apparently disclosed names, social security numbers, medical information and bank account numbers.

There is utterly no reason for you to allow this, America.  There is no reason for anyone to have your medical records but you, with the exception of your physician and others providing treatment during the time they are doing so.

Yes, I recognize that there are serious technological concerns with this demand.  But we live in a world where 32Gb MicroSD cards are smaller than a dime yet cost just a few dollars, while strong data encryption also exists and costs nothing, making securing the data on such card a trivial undertaking. There is utterly no reason that we cannot design and implement a system in which these files are encapsulated with a multi-key encryption scheme that allows you, and you alone, to issue and revoke keys to providers as you alone determine, while leaving you, and only you, with final control of that data store.

When will you wake up, America?

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It's purely outrageous that certain groups (cough-democraps-cough!) scream about "Voter ID" laws but at the same time support and allow The Sexual Assault to demand ID to travel on an airplane or, for that matter, to drive.

Well, guess what -- the Supremes said that there is nothing wrong with demanding ID to vote.

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law, after having blocked the state from requiring photo IDs in November's general election. 

The justices' action means the state is free to impose the voter ID requirement in future elections, and is further evidence that the court put the law on hold last year only because the election was close at hand and absentee ballots already had been mailed with no notification of the need to present photo IDs. 


Now, for as long as it remains legal for employers, including government employers, to demand drug tests before hiring or retaining people for their jobs let's also have them required to obtain and maintain any sort of government welfare style benefit.

Thank you very little.

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Well, duh.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index was unchanged before seasonal adjustment.

The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was broad-based, with increases in shelter, energy, and food indexes all contributing. The energy index rose after a long series of declines, increasing 1.0 percent as the gasoline index turned up after falling in recent months. The food index, unchanged last month, also rose in February, though major grocery store food group indexes were

The entire flattening was due to energy, which was down 18.8% annualized despite the last month's bounce.  Energy commodities (that is, gasoline, diesel, etc) were down roughly a third in price, while energy services (e.g. electricity and piped gas) were up.  Electricity, despite the huge plunge in the fuels used to make it, was up 3.2% annualized.  

Gee, who's keeping the money when the cost of the fuel to drive that generator goes down?

But don't look in the grocery store, where meats were up 10.7% annualized with beef leading at 15.2%.

PS: Don't go on vacation; your hotel room is up about 6.4% in price over the last year -- and this is all if you believe this table, such as, for example, the claim that "health insurance" has actually gone down in price.

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2015-03-24 06:15 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 546 references

This goes much further than Judith believes...

KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for******victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.

Judith goes on to wax poetic about how Brown established a safe place for those who might be "traumatized" about a debate between a feminist and libertarian on campus sexual assault.

Note that nobody was actually assaulting anyone in a debate.  They were talking.

But see, talk is assault according to some folks, and that might be "traumatic" if someone had been assaulted -- or even worse, imagined that they had been assaulted after the fact.

Now that might bring back some scary memories -- bringing an action against a male student, for example, that you had a tryst with after you were both drinking, you willingly and knowingly went back to his room, disrobed and got in bed.

But the next morning, after thoroughly enjoying your evening, you woke up with regret and suddenly redefined an act of mutual indiscretion, which incidentally you both enjoyed at the time, as "rape."

That never happens, right?  Why yes it does, indeed it happens all the time in this modern era in what has turned into the modern-day equivalent of telling a woman that was raped she "asked for it" because she was wearing a short skirt.

At the core of both of these acts is an utterly repugnant and outrageous premise: Women are weak and lesser than men; they are incapable of deciding for themselves about who they sleep with and when.  They were incapable of it when they wore short skirts (and got raped) and they're incapable of it today (when they get drunk and decide to have sex with an equally-drunk male paramour.)

This is the screamingly-ugly side of so-called feminism that is rarely discussed but it damn well ought to be.  It is promoted by self-loathing putrefied swill masquerading as cogent human beings who have as their primary interest convincing women they're intellectual and social infants, unable to care for themselves and balance their lives as they see fit.

And to "redress" this "inequality", of course, they wish to not only steal from men but now in many cases destroy them through either professional prejudice (just try getting hired after you're expelled without due process!) and, if we don't put a stop to this crap next up will be imprisonment for mere thought or speech that offends those who are labeled "lesser."

You probably think this is hyperbole.  It's not.

Emma Hall, a junior,******survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

The point of attending a university is to be bombarded by viewpoints that challenge -- that is, go against -- your deeply and closely held beliefs.  If you don't want that to happen then go join a damn convent and don your habit!

If you want to know why I have over the years added an increasing number of colleges to the do not hire if said applicant attended list you need only look at this viewpoint and what it leads to.  You can also find the reason for our secular stagnation and ruin, along with the increasing list of successful people who gave the finger to their respective Deans at some point in their college careers -- present author included.

There should be no room for so-called "safe space" thinking at a university.  You're not there to learn the particulars of a trade, in the majority; you are in fact there to learn how to think critically while sorting opinion, belief and fact.  This simply cannot happen in any sort of "safe mental space"; it is only when you are mentally assaulted by things you find outside of your "safe space" on a continual basis and are forced to examine them in a critical form that you can hone the necessary skill set for personal and professional success.

That is, if "success" is defined as something more than robotic behavior in a human body -- and it damn well ought to be if you're doing more than screwing together a car or flipping hamburgers!

Judith makes the valid point that this sort of nonsense leads to insular thinking and that's a bad thing.  But where she doesn't go, but damn well should, is into the depths of Hell that this kind of insular thinking and blind acceptance of pronouncement from authority leads us toward.  

There are literally thousands of policy positions that impact our daily lives yet are nothing more than magical thinking at best or an intentional outright fraud at their worst.  Those men expelled from a university on the basis of an allegation of felony sexual misconduct, yet without the benefit of due process (as guaranteed by The Constitution) are one example local to the person victimized.

But the worst examples aren't those that impact individuals.  They're the very real and insanely damaging policy pronouncements that impact all of us in our daily lives.  Deficit spending and government debt accumulation anyone?  The abuse of Keynes theories to justify same?  Medical monopolies and the roughly $4 trillion robbed from average people every year to perpetuate them?  The scam known as "Global warming"?  The lipid hypothesis, disproved almost immediately after introduction, the following and promotion of which has led to the worst epidemic of morbidity and mortality (centered in obesity and diabetes) in the history of man?

And those are just for starters -- the literal elephants in the room.  These are frauds and alleged facts that the speakers either know or should know are false yet they are of great political or monetary benefit to the speaker and which can only stand if you fail to question them.

And that, my friends, is where the real damage is done to our society by this sort of horsecrap.

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