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The West Is Taking Draconian Measures to Silence Free Speech

Fri, 12/08/2023 - 06:34

Western culture has valued free speech as a necessary check on overreaching centralized power for centuries.  Yet we’re watching the ability to speak freely disappear before our eyes.

Imagine going to federal prison for a meme.

Douglass Mackey, also known by his Twitter name Ricky Vaughn, is going to jail for memes mocking Hillary Clinton back in 2016.  He made fake memes telling people to vote from home via text messages. Mackey insisted in court that he was just sh*tposting. He didn’t think anyone would be stupid enough to actually fall for it.

But never underestimate the power of stupid!  At least 4900 people did call the prank number to vote for Hillary. The federal government did not find it funny and sentenced Mackey to seven months in prison.

What’s happening in Ireland is even worse.

This is bad, but it’s mild compared to what Ireland has planned.  In November 2022, the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence and Hatred or Hate Offences) Bill 2022 was initiated in Ireland’s legislature.

Section 10 (1) (a) states that a person will be found guilty of an offense if he “prepares or possesses material that is likely to incite violence or hatred against a person or a group of persons on account of their protected characteristics or any of those characteristics with a view to the material being communicated to the public or a section of the public, whether by himself or herself or another person.

These incredibly vague and potentially broad offenses can land individuals jail time and hefty fines. The police will have the authority to search homes and confiscate devices under the new law.  They could search citizens’ devices for offensive memes.  Possessing movies with offensive jokes will be punishable.  Will everyone in Ireland have to destroy their copies of Hot Shots Part Deux and Tropic Thunder?

As ridiculous as it sounds, this law is most of the way through the Irish legislature already.  It had been facing some resistance from the public. Irish senators have been hearing a lot about it from their constituents. There had been some hope that the law would be heavily amended or retracted, but that was before the Dublin riots.

On November 23, a man in his 50s stabbed five people, including three schoolchildren, wounding one of the children seriously.  He was an Algerian who had been in Ireland for over 20 years and had previous brushes with the law.  He only stopped when a Brazilian Deliveroo driver jumped off his moped and whacked the attacker over the head with his bike helmet, enabling surrounding citizens to help restrain the attacker until the police came.

Public anger over this incident led to an outburst of rage in Dublin.  Approximately 500 people participated in riots that involved looting, vandalism, and torching police vehicles.  Thirty-four people have been arrested.

Rather than express dismay over the brutal stabbing, within a day of the riots, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that the riots were proof that Ireland’s hate speech laws needed updating.  He claimed that Ireland is only weeks away from passing the proposed hate speech legislation.

Varadkar’s not letting this crisis go to waste!

As if to prove his point, after Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor criticized the Prime Minister’s response, the Garda investigated him for online hate speech.

And Conor McGregor is hardly the only patriot getting in trouble.

Meanwhile in New Zealand…

Down in New Zealand, a government data administrator calling himself Winston Smith granted an interview to lawyer-turned-journalist Liz Gunn.  In this interview, he explains how, upon analyzing data regarding medication administered in 2021 and 2022, certain patterns of mortality emerged based on which batch of medication people received.  Some batches were associated with a 20% mortality rate in the weeks after vaccination.

Smith’s actual name is Barry Young, and he’s not an anti-vaxxer. He believed so strongly in the medication that he helped develop the software for tracking provider payments.  Because New Zealand is such a small country and because they generally track data so well, Young was uniquely poised to have access to what batches of medications were administered at various sites.  What Young found, after analyzing this data, made him so alarmed for his fellow countrymen that he felt duty-bound to go public.

Was he treated as the true public servant that he was?  No.  On Sunday, Barry Young was arrested for “accessing a computer system with dishonest purposes.”   He was later released on bail.

Naturally, Young is being called a conspiracy theorist and a troublemaker.  Initial reports from New Zealand claimed that he was just making things up. Young has since handed over all his data to American tech billionaire Steve Kirsch, who has made the data available for anyone to view.  Numerous experts have looked at the data, which Young made sure to anonymize to protect the privacy of New Zealanders, and so far, they all agree that the data is legitimate.  And terrifying.

The West is at war with free speech.

Western governments are trying harder than ever to attack any kind of political dissident as a far-right, racist conspiracy theorist.

On the one hand, this extreme crackdown on inconvenient speech is disturbing and upsetting.  Barry Young should be treated like a hero, not put in jail.  Average citizens should be able to discuss their frustrations with immigration policies without being automatically labeled racist.  Anyone dumb enough to fall for a “Ricky Vaughn” voting meme probably shouldn’t be voting anyway.

But the fact that truth-tellers are getting personally attacked rather than engaged with professionally shows the weakness of the governments trying to implement these speech laws.  A government afraid of its citizens telling stupid jokes online is not strong.  If someone comes forth with a batch of data saying, “Hey, check this out,” and then gets thrown in jail, you better believe there’s something really interesting in there.

There’s hope, though.

Prepper sites tend to focus on negative trends.  We want to be prepared, and being aware of negative developments is part of that.  But we can’t focus so much on the negative that we get depressed, and watching how other people continue to resist can help us stay encouraged.

Conor McGregor recently outlined a plan to become president of Ireland. (Ireland has both a president and a prime minister, in case you were wondering). People are seeing the waves of support around populist figures like Javier Milei, and McGregor hopes he can similarly rally the Irish to clean political house.

McGregor’s not alone.  Irish Senator Sharon Keogan likewise has been putting forth plans to fix Ireland’s immigration system, such as steeply increasing the fines for airlines that do not carefully scrutinize the papers of people coming through.  Right now, the fines are low enough that bribing airline workers is relatively easy, but that could change. Irish people are willing to band together and are coming up with solutions.

We’ll see what happens in New Zealand.  Figures like Liz Gunn had hoped that New Zealand’s post-Ardern government would have departed more from her draconian Covid measures, but those hopes may have been in vain.  If Barry Young gets sentenced, he will be facing up to seven years of jail time.

Alex Jones recently hosted an interview between Barry Young and Steve Kirsch.   Alex Jones may be controversial, but Steve Kirsch is a legitimate tech genius. There’s a Kirsch Auditorium at MIT.  During this interview, Barry Young made some points that are worth emphasizing.

He called on other people with access to this kind of data worldwide to come forward.  He points out that the data he safeguarded belonged to the people of New Zealand, not the government, because the people paid for it with their taxes.  The numbers don’t lie. Young insisted that the truth will out, and the more people that come forward, the more quickly the process of redressing the harms done during the past few years can begin.

Barry Young also said that he never, ever planned to do anything like this. He hasn’t had a speeding ticket in decades and was about the most boring person imaginable up until this point.  This is a man who never imagined himself as a hero. Yet when push came to shove, he tried to help the public by exposing an inconvenient truth.

And in the United States, people are fighting back too. The State of Texas, The Federalist, Consortium News, and The Daily Wire are all suing the US Department of State for conspiring with outlets like Twitter, Newsguard, and GDI to silence conservative and libertarian opinions in America. If you recall, GDI took away thousands of dollars per month in advertising revenue from this website back in 2020, and Newsguard has red-flagged us as a disinformation site because I refused to lie at their behest.

If we are silenced, we aren’t free.

I would like to think that most of us will never need to take such obvious risks for the sake of our principles, but who knows?

I do know that the more people speak out now, the more that we refuse to overlook the school closures, the ruined family businesses, the spike in excess deaths, and the general chaos of the past three and a half years, the harder it will be to implement anything like this again.

But what are your thoughts? Is free speech dead in the Western world? Why do you believe governments are so interested in shutting up the folks with dissenting opinions? What steps can we take to protect our rights?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

The post The West Is Taking Draconian Measures to Silence Free Speech appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Prepper Gifts Under $25 Just in Time for Christmas

Thu, 12/07/2023 - 06:04
Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

It’s the most wonderful tiiimmme…of the year! If, by wonderful, you mean expensive.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some awesome gifts for the preppers in your life that won’t break the bank. Every single one is a good quality item that costs less than $25.

Read on!

Prepper gifts under $25

All prices listed are the price at the time of posting.

Small binoculars: I got this pair of binoculars a few years back as a gift, and I absolutely love them. They’re the perfect size for a bugout bag or glove box. I took them with me the last time I went to Europe and I think they’re awesome for travel. They work well, and the folding/unfolding mechanism is easy to use. Get them for around $15.

Keychain kubaton: These kubatons have cute designs and according to the listing are legal all over. I love them and have a couple for my daughters at just $15.

Pointy thing for keychains: Remember the kitty cats with the pointy ears and the bulldogs that people used to get for keychains so they had something way sharper to hit with than the actual keys? The new iteration of this is really cute – it’s strawberries! I think until these become super popular like the cats did, it’s a more discreet way to weaponize your keychain. Grab it for around $10.

Door wedge alarms: I have one of these alarmed wedges and have carried it around the world. They make it a lot harder to get into a door, and the alarm is absolutely earsplitting if someone tries. I keep one in my purse, too – if I’m ever in an active shooter situation, it gives me another option for bracing the door. This two-pack is just $10 – two gifts at $5 each!

Pepper spray: I’m a huge fan of equipping people who can’t or won’t carry a gun with pepper spray. Heck, why not carry both? Here’s a two-pack of my favorite, Sabre brand, for about $15. If you have a lot of people you want to arm with pepper spray, this pretty set is more than $25 but the canisters are cute and work out to just over $4 apiece.

Coloring book: I just made a third coloring book to add to my roster of calming designs with quotes that suit people like us. The Freedom Isn’t Free coloring book is just the ticket for the liberty-loving preppers on your list with pages like the ones below.

We also have The Prepper’s Coloring Book and The Prepper’s Garden Coloring Book so you can get your zen on with a prepper theme.

Prepper food: There are all sorts of #10 cans of dehydrated goodies to be found just under the $25 mark on this page. Consider tucking a few under the tree.

Flashlight gloves: These interesting flashlight gloves are highly rated to keep your eyes on the task at hand, even when there’s no electricity. If you need to repair something or deal with a medical issue, these gloves can help you to light up the area where you’re working without you having to clench a flashlight in your teeth. Better yet, they’re right around the $10 mark.

Food sealer: This food sealer comes in right at $25 and is a great way to get started packaging your food up right.

Seeds: If your prepper loved one is a gardener, forget the who-knows-how-old “seed vaults. Check out the high quality offerings over on Seeds for Generations.

Multitool: This multi-tool plier set comes highly recommended by a farmer I know. It’s durable – he says he’s used it for years on the farm.

Swiss Army Knife: Victorinox has a small Swiss Army knife for just under $20 that everyone on my list will love. I like it because it reminds me of my dad – he was never without a pocketknife that had scissors on it.

Rechargeable Flashlight: This rechargeable flashlight is super bright and I really like the magnetic base – you could stick it someplace to light up your work area. It’s also just under $20.

Emergency lighters: Here’s a two-pack of waterproof emergency lighters that fit right on your keychain. Get it for about $4.50 per keychain.

Books for under $25

I don’t know about you, but whenever I find a book under the tree I’m completely delighted. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I’m a bookworm, and so is every member of my family. here are some recommendations for your favorite bookworms.

Our entire roster of paperback books is available on Amazon for less than $25 apiece.

Here are our options:

First, we have Selco’s three books, which are absolutely incredible assets to your preparedness library:

Next we have The Organic Prepper Anthologies. We’re working our way through the most useful and popular OP content and publishing it in paperback form. Here are the two that are out so far:

And here are my books:

Plus if you have family members you want to break in gently to preparedness, I have two books in the frugality niche.

Other preparedness and survival titles for book lovers

Here are articles with my other book recommendations for the entire family:

What about you?

Do you have other suggestions for preppers for less than $25? Will you share them in the comments section? What is the best prepper gift you ever received?

Let’s talk holiday giving in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

The post Prepper Gifts Under $25 Just in Time for Christmas appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How Do We Protect Our Money? Exclusive Interview for OP Readers

Tue, 12/05/2023 - 05:35
I often get questions when I write articles about the lack of trust I have in the banking system. While I do have my own financial strategy, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Financial security is so incredibly important, and I don’t feel comfortable offering advice that I’m not really qualified to give. That’s why I recently asked email subscribers to send in their questions for Lynette Zang of ITM Trading. ITM is the place I trust the most for my own financial preparedness, so why would I go anywhere else to seek advice for you? Lynette spent a long time answering your questions, plus the ones that popped up when we were talking. I hope that you enjoy this interview and find it useful when setting up your own financial preparedness time. Our economy is in big trouble, and we need to focus NOW on how to survive the crash.

You may note that some questions weren’t answered – we got to all the ones that Lynette felt comfortable discussing in generalities. If you have specific concerns that are unique to your situation, or if you want personal advice, it’s very easy to get. Simply go here and set up a time to speak – for free – to one of Lynette’s financial advisors. They will help you to create your own plan, based on your circumstances, your money situation, and your goals. There’s no cost for this consultation and absolutely no obligation. Even if you choose not to make a change after the call, you’ll leave it with valuable personalized information.

I strongly recommend taking the time to do this before Christmas rolls around. I can’t help but think the other shoe is about to drop, and I think back to all the times shady things get passed or occur over the holidays when nobody is paying attention.

Let me know what you think of the interview in the comments!

The post How Do We Protect Our Money? Exclusive Interview for OP Readers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

The World Is Getting Tired of Ukraine vs. Russia

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 06:52

Ever since the October 7 attacks against Israeli civilians, the conflict in Ukraine has largely disappeared from public view.  Less than two years ago, Ukrainian flags and signs of solidarity were everywhere. What’s going on now?  Are people still getting killed?  Are we still arming them?  Is peace being negotiated?

Early in November, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny admitted in an interview with The Economist that the war is at a stalemate.  He stated frankly that Russia has three times as many men as they do, and that their technology is too similar for a huge breakthrough unless the Ukrainians are given some kind of massive technological advantage.

President Zelensky has always been insistent that Ukraine can beat off Russia, and for a long time, General Zaluzhny was, too.  After the slow counteroffensive this spring, rather than admitting any difficulties within the Ukrainian military, he was quick to blame Americans, saying we were not giving him enough advanced weaponry.


But Ukrainian men are leaving as fast as they can.

General Zaluzhny also blames the huge amount of Ukrainian men avoiding conscription.  Ever since the beginning of the Russian invasion, men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been forbidden from leaving the country.  However, many men have taken advantage of the chaos to leave anyway. The BBC estimates that 650,000 Ukrainian men within this age group have left for Europe since the fighting began.

This data came from Eurostat, which did not specify whether those 650,000 men had legal or medical exemptions.  But authorities do know that at least 20,000 eligible men have evaded conscription.

Draft dodging had been facilitated by Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt government. In August, it was announced that dozens of Ukrainian officials would face criminal charges over helping conscripted men leave Ukraine.

This firing of officials has effectively stopped recruitment.  The average age of Ukrainian soldiers is 43.  They have 60-year-old men fighting already and are now considering removing all age limits for military personnel. Ukraine already had an old and unhealthy population. The massive loss of young life in the war is leaving the population even older and sicker.  They have gotten so desperate for personnel that pregnant women are serving.

The US wants Ukraine to negotiate with Russia.

Given these dire personnel shortages, NBC reported that a group of Americans and Europeans met with Zelensky early in November to discuss what they would be willing to give up in negotiating with the Russians.  Biden administration officials are openly worried that the Ukrainians are running out of forces. All the weapons in the world won’t make a difference without people on the ground to use them.

For now, Zelensky still doesn’t want to hear it.  He insists that no one can make him negotiate.

However, Zelensky cannot fight the war alone.  In fact, he hasn’t been fighting at all. He’s been jetting around the world drumming up money.  And the man who has been managing the battlefields, as Zelensky and his wife stock up on yachts, is done.

Just this week, Ukrainian National Defense, Security, and Intelligence member Mariana Bezhula said that General Zaluzhny should resign after he refused to submit a battle plan for 2024.  Bezhula is now at risk of losing her job because she publicly complained about the general.

Redacted discussed this a little more in-depth during their November 27 episode.  Between minutes 40:00 and 57:00, they describe how, when General Zaluzhny was pressed for plans for next year, he said that he would need an extra 20,000 men per month simply to not lose ground.  He knows this won’t happen and, therefore, didn’t submit a plan.

There are demographic problems in both Russia and Ukraine.

It is worth noting that Russia and Ukraine both have serious long-term demographic problems.  In 2005, Russia’s birth rate was 1.3 births per woman, while Ukraine’s was 1.2, both of which are far below the replacement rate of 2.1.

When Putin became president, he prioritized increasing Russia’s birthrate.  The government began offering financial incentives to have children.  Who knows whether it was the financial incentives or the overall promotion of family values? Either way, during the past 15 years, Russia’s birth rate has gone up to 1.58 births per woman.  Of course, Putin is proud of this, but the fact remains that 1.58 is still below the replacement rate.  Combine this with the fact that Russia’s average age is 43, and you have an unhealthy long-term demographic situation.

Ukraine’s situation is worse.  In 2021, their total fertility rate was still 1.2, unchanged from 2005.  In 2022, it dropped to 0.9. While numbers aren’t in for 2023 yet, it’s expected to be 0.7.

The Ukrainians have almost completely stopped having children and I say that without any judgment.  I can’t imagine planning a family in their situation either.  But with an average age of 40.8, they are facing a demographic collapse.

Europe wants the conflict to end, too.

It seems to me that both sides have every reason to cut the losses of their young men, and perhaps that’s why Putin just moved the world’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile, the Yars, closer to Europe.  Russia is now able to strike London in less than five minutes.  Maybe he hopes this will make the US and EU pressure President Zelensky to negotiate.

The overall desire for Ukraine to end the conflict has been increasing, with or without Doomsday missiles, with or without admission from high-level officials.

Tensions are rising across Europe over the flood of migrants, both from Ukraine as well as other parts of the world.  We saw the riots in Ireland over the stabbing of young children this weekend.  That particular incident involved an Algerian migrant, but Ireland has been overwhelmed by migrants in general the past few years.  The massive amount of Ukrainian refugees that Ireland, a small nation, has been expected to absorb has pushed the country to a snapping point.

And Ireland’s not alone.  Polish truckers have blockaded the roads that go between Poland and Ukraine. Truckers in Poland are no longer letting Ukrainians cross because Ukrainian drivers have been undercutting Polish prices.  After the war started, the EU lifted all restrictions on Ukrainian carriers.  EU bureaucrats think they’re just helping the people of Ukraine, but the reality is that whenever you start messing with trade rules, there are always second- and third-order consequences.  Polish truckers are sick of the competitive advantage given to the Ukrainian truckers affecting their livelihood, and they’re making themselves heard.

For all the rhetoric coming from the political class in Europe, the average citizens seem burned out on the endless stream of refugees.  Americans are burned out as well; while politicians can’t seem to find the money to secure our own border, they have sent $110 billion to Ukraine for its border, 96% of which has already been spent.

Peace may not be a long-term solution.

Most people, at most times, want to be left alone to enjoy their families and the fruits of their labors.  And while I understand this urge to demand that politicians sit down and negotiate some kind of peace treaty, I don’t see a long-term solution.  Let me explain.

Ukraine really wants to join NATO, as we all know.  Jens Stoltenberg, the president of NATO, has repeatedly said that Ukraine can eventually join NATO and, in fact has even waived some of the normal requirements to make it easier for them.  But he says Ukraine cannot join while it is still fighting with Russia.

Putin has made it clear, for years, that he considers NATO expansion into Ukraine to be a red line.  If the Russians and Ukrainians negotiate some kind of peace agreement, for now, and then in six months Ukraine is fully accepted into NATO, what happens?  Will Russia launch another attack?  I don’t think it’s unlikely.

I don’t say any of this to discourage the people actually fighting.  But those of us not on the battlefield should at least try to understand what’s going on.  Fighting in Ukraine hasn’t stopped just because American legacy media is pushing interest in Israel right now.  It’s easy to slap a bumper sticker on your car. It’s less easy to have your community absorb waves of refugees. It’s incredibly difficult to fight in the trenches.

We need to be careful about what kind of promises we make.  I don’t see any quick solutions for Ukraine.  But I could be wrong!

What do you think? Is the fighting between Ukraine and Russia near an end? Have world governments lost interest in supporting Ukraine? Will one of the countries take desperate steps to keep the fight going? How do you see this turning out?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

The post The World Is Getting Tired of Ukraine vs. Russia appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

White Lung Syndrome: Another Biological Export from China?

Fri, 12/01/2023 - 07:20
Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

If you’ve got a sense of deja vu about the horrible new strain of pneumonia striking down children in China that seems to be creeping across the world, you’re not alone. It’s called White Lung Syndrome. But while the US government is proudly talking about pandemic preparedness, running drills for a fictitious (we think) viral illness, and throwing billions of dollars at promoting a largely useless vaccine, they seem to be ignoring this massive spike in pneumonia.

So what’s going on in China?

The World Health Organization has asked China for more data about an illness spreading across the country like wildfire. Here’s what they’ve posted on their website about it so far.

Since mid-October 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been monitoring data from Chinese surveillance systems that have been showing an increase in respiratory illness in children in northern China.

At a press conference on 13 November 2023, China’s National Health Commission reported on a nationwide increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases, predominantly affecting children. Chinese authorities attributed this increase to lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the arrival of the cold season, and due to circulating known pathogens such as influenza, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Mycoplasma pneumonia and RSV are known to affect children more than adults.

On 22 November 2023, WHO identified media and ProMED reports about clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children’s hospitals in Beijing, Liaoning and other places in China. Through the International Health Regulations mechanism, WHO made an official request to China to provide additional epidemiologic and clinical information, as well as laboratory results from these reported cases and data about recent trends in circulating respiratory pathogens. A key purpose was to identify whether there have been “clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia” in Beijing and Liaoning as referred to in media reports, and if so whether these were separate events, or part of the known general increase in respiratory illnesses in the community. WHO further reached out through clinical networks for additional information.

Of course, China says everything is A-OK. (Where have we heard that before?)

Chinese authorities advised that there has been no detection of any unusual or novel pathogens or unusual clinical presentations, including in Beijing and Liaoning, but only the aforementioned general increase in respiratory illnesses due to multiple known pathogens. They further stated that the rise in respiratory illness has not resulted in patient loads exceeding hospital capacities.

The WHO website doesn’t mention it being called White Lung Syndrome. This was mentioned by a news source in the UK, which described a familiar scenario that’ll give you flashbacks to 2020.

CHINA has brought back masks and social distancing in a chilling echo of lockdown as they battle a mystery pneumonia outbreak four years on from Covid.

Alarming footage has emerged of mask-wearing crowds inside Chinese hospitals as fears of a new pandemic sweep across the globe…

…A common bacterial infection called mycoplasma pneumoniae has circulated since May but is now showing ground glass opacity in lung scans – an indicator of severe respiratory illness.

Also known as “white lung syndrome”, many parents are deeply worried and are having to wait at least a day just for emergency care.

There’s not a whole lot we know about this yet. But I think it bears close watching.

Is White Lung Syndrome spreading outside of China?

It appears that this nasty bug has escaped China.

There’s a massive uptick in cases of in the Netherlands with an increase in cases of 25%. Denmark has also reported an “epidemic of Mycoplasma pneumoniae” over the past five weeks.

In the United States, two states have reported a rise in cases.

Ohio was the first state to report an increase in cases of pediatric pneumonia with an “extremely high” number of children being hospitalized. It’s enough to be called an outbreak, but public health officials there don’t seem to think it’s a novel illness.

However, officials do not think it is a new respiratory disease but “rather a large uptick in the number of pneumonia cases normally seen at one time,” according to a WCHD spokesperson.

The average age of the affected children is 8, with the youngest being 3 years old.

According to NewsNation affiliate WJW, health officials say they don’t have a common threat linking all the illnesses, as that is part of an ongoing investigation.

The cases span multiple school districts, but the WCHD said no conclusive patterns exist among the children diagnosed.

Children are also testing positive for mycoplasma pneumonia, strep and adenovirus, which includes the common cold, according to the health district.

Massachusetts has also recorded a large number of cases. According to BNN:

These cases in Massachusetts could potentially signify a new or re-emerging health threat. Consequently, health authorities are poised to conduct investigations to identify the cause, assess the severity, and determine the appropriate public health response. This process would likely include analyzing patient histories, environmental factors, and potential infectious agents. As investigations continue, the public would be advised to watch for symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if respiratory issues arise. Healthcare providers, on the other hand, are on high alert for similar cases to track the spread and characteristics of the syndrome.

Information is difficult to get.

In another similarity that is bound to give you a blast from the past, real information is difficult to acquire. A lot of “experts” are downplaying the connection to China, while others seem to think that it’s just due to people getting out and about more after Covid. (I’m no expert, but we’ve been out and about for quite a while now without a mysterious pneumonia outbreak.)

I’m looking to those who gave us the best advice and information during the utter clusterfudge that was the American COVID-19 response. The ones who went against the grain even though it outright destroyed their careers.

First, here are Dr. John Campbell’s thoughts in this video.

He describes the identifying symptoms as inflammation in the lungs a high fever but no cough.

You’ve got to get prepared.

If we learned one thing before, it’s that we cannot trust “the system” if there’s a major outbreak or pandemic. Who can forget the lockdowns that destroyed our economy, the shortages of basic supplies, and the outright malicious crackdown on any information that didn’t make money for Big Pharma?

Dr. Peter McCullough of The Wellness Company is urging preparedness. In a statement, TWC said:

We will be monitoring the situation in China closely, try to ascertain as quickly as possible what is causing the pneumonia.

In his position of Chief Scientific Officer for the Wellness Company, Dr. Peter McCullough is conducting investigative scholarship to ascertain what medications are the most safe and effective for conditions such as the pneumonia now circulating in northern China. Our ultimate objective is to ascertain if already available, FDA-approved medications could be useful in treating this pneumonia in the event it spreads to the United States.

Given the appalling performance of so many doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our readers may find themselves in search of a new doctor who has demonstrated greater discernment.

I personally recommend the following.

I have this emergency medicine kit with a wide variety of prescription antibiotics and other medications. While this illness has shown to be resistant to certain antibiotics, it isn’t resistant to all antibiotics so it pays to have a variety on hand. TWC sells another kit that could also be useful – their Covid Emergency Kit. I like that it comes with the medications you absolutely could not get prescribed before such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine and it also has a nebulizer and prescription Budesonide to help with breathing – particularly important with respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.

I hope this is nothing.

Hopefully, this will turn out to be nothing more than folks around the world being jumpy about any kind of bug coming out of China after our last experience. But with a new target demographic (oh look, more humans to vaccinate regardless of the long-term effects!) and what we’ve learned about how the government – and other people – respond, it’s difficult not to be concerned.

But we’re preppers. We called everything that happened the last time around, and we weathered the storm far more easily than many Americans who lost jobs, had no supplies, and are still reeling from 2020.

We did it then, and we can do it now. We know what to expect even more than we did before.

What are your thoughts on White Lung Syndrome? Do you think it’s another engineered pandemic or an unfortunate natural confluence of bacteria? Are you concerned that it’s going to turn into Covid 2.0? Do you foresee lockdowns or school closures in our future? What will you do to prep for this?

Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

The post White Lung Syndrome: Another Biological Export from China? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Spice It Up: How to Wildcraft a Winter Seasoning Blend

Wed, 11/29/2023 - 06:56
by Lyza Hayn

There’s plenty to love about winter. After all, what other season gives us a free pass to snuggle up and drink hot cocoa by the fire all day? Certainly not summer.

But while I relish the opportunity to guzzle chocolate with reckless abandon, I do miss the outdoor bounty of spring and summer. There’s no denying that cold weather and snow make gardening and foraging options scarce.

If you’re pining for warm-weather produce and the rich flavors of foraged food, I’ve got some good news. You can still have a taste of the wild in wintertime by crafting your own unique seasoning blend from the food you grew and foraged all year long.

Getting started the right way

Where should you begin? With the basics, of course! A solid seasoning mix is there to spice up your food, transforming bland bites into vivacious victuals. In the case of homemade blends, it can also be a way to use up excess garden veggies and foraged edibles from the summer.

A DIY mix enables you to incorporate seasonal foods you can’t just buy at the store and taste wild foods when you can’t have them fresh. You have complete control over what goes into it, but it can’t happen without the prep work. What does that mean?

Dry it up

When you make a seasoning blend, you want to start with pre-dried ingredients. Drying produce might sound inconvenient, but think of it like this: you won’t be able to use up all 17,000 tomatoes you grew this year anyway.

Instead of letting them rot, you can simply dehydrate the excess by hanging, using a dehydrator, or whatever method you prefer. By the end of the year, you should have a solid base of dried herbs, spices, veggies, and fruits to choose from.

Keep in mind that wild mushrooms should always be cooked before consumption. If you’re using fungi, cook them first and then dehydrate them. Trust me, it’s definitely worth it in the end—cooked shrooms have a much richer umami flavor than raw.

Grind it out

You can choose to pulverize your edibles beforehand or wait to grind them down until you’re ready to start your mix. I usually grind mine right away since it makes storing them that much easier, but some believe the flavors lose potency once ground.

So, what if you forgot to forage in the summer? No sweat. Check out these cold-weather edibles to forage during fall and winter.

Combining your flavors creatively

It’s essential to start with a solid base of ingredients when creating your seasoning blend, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Herbs are only one part of the equation. The truth is, you can dry pretty much any edible and incorporate it into your mix.

You also aren’t confined to a foraged or homegrown-only ingredient list. If you have access to the market or grocers, you can still buy additional ingredients to incorporate. This is especially useful with cinnamon or other tropical herbs, which many people can’t grow but still want to enjoy.

Personalize it

Additionally, remember that food is medicine. Homegrown and wild-foraged foods are sometimes considered doubly so since they usually haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified into morphological monstrosities. Consider common winter ailments like the flu and pair together herbs known to help these conditions, such as mullein and thyme.

It’s important to think about your staple dishes and how you like to flavor them. You might cook a lot of roasts for the family—in that case, why not create a fragrant dry rub with sumac and peppers? If you love baking, make your own pastry seasoning with foraged apples and wood avens root.

Get inspired

Here are some inspirational ideas to help you get started. These aren’t recipes and they’re definitely not set in stone, so play around with what you like and match it to your own palate:

  • Barbecue Blitz: Rub that meat! Use garden staples like dried onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, and garlic combined with maitake mushrooms, wild ramps, or other fragrant foraged treasures.
  • Chili-Palooza: Everyone needs a wintertime blend for chili. Break out your dried chilis, jalapenos, and tomatoes, sprinkling in some mustard greens and pepper-weed for good measure.
  • Wild Child Pie: Pumpkin pie spice but in a feral way. Ground pumpkin fruit, sweet potato flakes, candy top mushrooms, avens root, ginger, pineapple sage, or whatever else you fancy.
  • Cider Craft Rules: Drink seasonings are a thing, too! Think mulled wine or apple cider and add dried plums, apples, strawberry tops, lemongrass, mint, or lavender.
  • Sick Day: Break out the chicken soup and make a wellness blend for body and soul. Use rich, healing herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil. Wild purple dead nettle, turkey tail mushrooms, henbit, dandelion, and plantain grass are also rich in antioxidants!

The ratios are yours to determine. Everyone has different tastes, and everything can be tweaked to your liking. It’s smart to add a few teaspoons of each ingredient at a time, making tiny batches and taking notes to see what you like before making a large final batch.

When adding salt, do so sparingly. Storebought seasonings often rely on sodium for flavor, but you don’t need to fall back on such cheap tricks. Your ingredients are fresh and flavorful, standing on their own and providing a much more delicious experience. Plus, salt can always be added later if you need to sprinkle some on.

Storing your seasoning

Storing your spice blend properly will ensure it stays fresh throughout the winter months. You don’t need to go overboard and vacuum-seal it or bag it in mylar since that will discourage use, and it’ll probably lie forgotten in the dark recesses of your pantry.

Instead, choose smart and accessible storage containers that preserve freshness and fit right in your spice rack. It’s best to use small containers with little extra airspace since oxygen promotes staleness. Make sure your containers close tightly so that air doesn’t get in, but choose ones that are easy to open and handle.

Finally, dark-colored glass containers are much better than clear glass or plastic. Dark colors prevent degradation from UV rays and will preserve freshness longer. Glass should also eliminate the risk of compounds leeching from the container and contaminating your seasoning. Once you’ve packed your spices into the containers, set them in a cool, dark area to maintain their integrity as long as possible.

Ready to get started? Now that you know how to make your own seasoning blend from homegrown and foraged foods, you’re ready to use up all the summer bounty. Gear up for a flavorful winter, and don’t be afraid to get spicy!

What about you?

Do you have any foraged items you like to use to spice things up? Do you make your own spice blends? Do you have any tips or suggestions to add here?

Let’s have a spicy talk in the comments section!

About Lyza

Lyza Hayn is an Ozark native forest-dweller and seasoned survival kitchen whizz. Foraging is her passion and wildcrafting is her (elderberry) jam. She knows how to gather, cook, and preserve hundreds of wild edibles, tincturing and pharmacrafting dozens more. By focusing on alternative food sources and natural remedies, Lyza knows we can all live a more independent lifestyle. Her mission is to help others utilize the world around them to reduce their dependence on established systems and create a more self-reliant future.

You can check out her website at or follow her on Instagram @yourmountainhome to see her point of view in photographs. 

The post Spice It Up: How to Wildcraft a Winter Seasoning Blend appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Air Travel Is More Miserable Than Ever. This Fits a Concerning Agenda.

Tue, 11/28/2023 - 08:18

Moving where you want in pursuit of career opportunities and adventure has been part of the American psyche for a long time.  My family has been like that for decades, with the end result that we are now really, really scattered.  We still like each other; we often travel to see each other for the holidays thanks to air travel.  My dad has been traveling for work for a long time and has always been generous with frequent flyer miles to any family member tight on cash.  The airlines have made a lot of money from my extended family.

Until now.

Sure, everyone’s getting slammed by inflation.  But that’s only part of it.  Even if we could afford the tickets themselves, none of us can afford the uncertainty that comes with frequent delays.  And delays seem to be getting worse all the time.

Is air travel measurably worse?

Is this just due to a lack of balance between supply and demand, as people want to fly more but airlines struggle to re-hire all those folks laid off during lockdowns?  Might there be other forces at work that want to make air travel miserable?

I know we all have lots of horrible anecdotes, but let’s look at some data.

Lending Tree posted a table of historic delay and cancellation rates over the past ten years. In 2014, 21.99% of flights were delayed.  That percentage dropped below 20% in 2015, and stayed between 15 and 19% through 2019.  In 2020 and 2021, delayed flights fell below 11%, though those two years were flukes because of the lockdown-induced collapse in demand.

In 2022, though, delayed flights were back up to nearly 20%, and this year 21.60% of flights have been delayed so far.

But why is air travel so messed up?

There is not one thing that explains all the misery.  Some folks are blaming climate change. But a more compelling reason is the severe labor shortage.  In 20 out of 26 critical control traffic towers, staffing is well below the FAA’s required 85% threshold.  Airlines are short 17,000 pilots, 12,800 certified mechanics, and 3000 air traffic controllers.

The average salary for an airline pilot is $120,615 per year.   The average salary for an aircraft mechanic, whose training program is only about 24 months, is $67,840. The average salary for an air traffic controller is $94,260.

These are decent jobs. How come nobody wants them?

Maybe some of it is health-related.

Maybe it’s harder to find people that can physically do them.  Pilots have to meet certain health standards to be cleared to fly, and then must undergo periodic health checks to make sure they stay in shape.  They are required to retire at age 65, though there is talk of increasing that to 67 because of the shortage

The insistence on physical fitness is reasonable.  An older woman managing a store won’t kill all the customers if she has a heart attack at work.  The pilot might.

However, in October 2022, the FAA quietly amended the allowable electrocardiogram (EKG) range for pilots. They widened it to a point where it can accommodate pilots with cardiac injuries, something that had never been allowable before.

Maybe the FAA hoped no one would notice, but we’re a year past that change now, and the damage is becoming obvious.  Professional Australian pilot Captain Shane Murdock wrote a report just this past week that emergency calls have been skyrocketing the past few years. Pilots have a variety of codes they issue in emergencies, but code 7700 is the one used for severe distress, such as a health emergency or a fire in the cabin.

These calls are all tracked, and in 2018 and 2019, an average of 29.125 severe distress signals occurred each month.  In 2022, there was an average of 108.33 monthly distress calls.  In the first quarter of 2023, an average of 141.67 monthly distress calls were recorded.  Something happened between 2019 and 2022 that has made sudden health emergencies on planes far more common these days. But you can draw your own conclusions.

And naturally, mid-flight health emergencies lead to unplanned landings and delays.  One unplanned landing will typically have a cascading effect on many other flights.  And so the misery spreads.

Air traffic controllers are exhausted.

In-flight health emergencies aren’t the only thing making flying more nerve-wracking these days.  2023 has seen the most near-miss collisions on runways in decades.  Making sure planes navigate safely through runways is the responsibility of air traffic controllers, but for some reason, they don’t seem to be able to do their jobs anymore.

Part of this is overwork.  No one performs optimally when they’re exhausted.  Part of it is also that in 2014, the FAA ditched the test it had been using for decades for one aimed at making air traffic controllers more diverse. The FAA, under the Obama administration, prioritized “off the street” hiring over graduates of certified air traffic controller schools.  These graduates sued and won, and in 2018, Trump got rid of the new test that had been used to enable less-qualified candidates to enter the program.

But the damage was done.  The hiring and career path pipeline for the newer generation of air traffic controllers was severely damaged during the Obama administration, and now, as older controllers age out, we are seeing a massive shortage.

Then there’s the lack of privacy.

Fliers are losing their luggage at higher rates, too.  SITA, which handles IT issues for most airlines, admits that the industry has problems that need addressing.  Their solution?  Increased biometric data collection.

The push toward collecting biometric data for travel purposes began with mandating biometric data for entry into the US after 9/11, when Americans were understandably hyper-concerned about security.

But it wasn’t just traumatized Americans behind this.  In 2013, the World Economic Forum wrote a report about emerging strategies for biometric data collection, and on page 7, they discuss shifting consumer attitudes from being aware of their own privacy to placing more value on innovation and economic growth.

They want us to drop our principled privacy concerns for the sake of convenience.

And as travel became more part of professional life, dropping privacy concerns for the sake of speediness through airports really became necessary.  Misery in air travel has made travelers far more willing than they used to be to hand over their biometric information.  For example, in 2019 only 46% percent of passengers were willing to share their biometric data in order to make things move more smoothly.  By 2021, that number had leapt to 73%.

Facial recognition is optional for now.  We wrote about this years back when Atlanta rolled it out. Customers who are truly uncomfortable storing their biometric data can still opt out.  However, according the head of the TSA, opting out will no longer be an option in a few more years.  If you are not comfortable using your face as a boarding pass, you will not be able to fly.

Countries like China, India, and Iran already have extensive biometric data collection in place.  Americans and Europeans have been historically far more reluctant to hand over data, but the time may be coming when we have to choose between handing over our information and flying at all.

It might seem strange that airlines are seemingly so unconcerned about alienating customers, but airlines don’t run the world.  There are other, more powerful groups, that openly want to change air travel from something many families regularly utilize to spend time together, to a rare, heavily regulated occurrence.

We’ve talked about C40 on this website before.  In 2019, they issued a report in which they stated that by 2030, their progressive goal is for people to enjoy one short-haul flight every two years.  Their ambitious goal is to allow one short haul flight every three years. Many are eager to link a person’s alleged climate damage to their passports to disallow trips.

I guess military families with members stationed all over the world just aren’t supposed to see each other anymore.  No more long haul flights for anyone, ever.

Either agree or stop traveling. Either one is just what they want.

Air travel is getting pushed in a direction where it’s so miserable that people are either willing to hand over any data requested for the sake of less hassle or they just decide not to fly.  Both choices adhere to often cited goals of groups like C40.

Inflation has made my decision for me.  I’ve only flown twice in the past four years, though one of those was a long-haul flight because I’m closer to one coast and my parents are closer to the other.  How selfish of me to see my parents once every few years!  I don’t see myself taking any more plane trips any time soon.  But I am grateful that I have many good friends in my community.  I may not be with any blood relations this Thanksgiving weekend, but I won’t be alone.

Developing trusted local networks is something we bring up a lot on this website.  If you can still fly around to see loved ones, that’s wonderful.  For those of us who can’t, there has never been a better time to nurture our local connections.

What about you?

Do you fly regularly? Have you noticed it becoming more inconvenient and unpleasant? What do you think the reasons are? Alternatively, have you made the decision to stop flying? What was the thing that caused you to make that choice?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

The post Air Travel Is More Miserable Than Ever. This Fits a Concerning Agenda. appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

The Best CYBER MONDAY Deals on the Internet for Preppers

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 07:45

Good morning, online shoppers and prepping friends!

Today, we have a roundup of the best deals on the internet for preppers. We’ll start off with OP’s best deals and go through the offers from some of our sponsors. Then we’ll finish off with Amazon’s offers!

Happy Shopping

The OP and Self Reliance and Survival

Our Black Friday weekend sale continues with the lowest prices we’ve ever offered on our products from Self-Reliance and Survival!

Every PDF book is $3.

Every printable is $1.

Every course is $35.

Our 2024 USB is almost sold out! It contains every single thing ever published on The Organic Prepper! Order it for $79 and it will be shipped immediately. (The 2024 update will be emailed to you in February.) If the website were to go down, you’d have every article we’ve ever posted on it at your fingertips. You won’t lose access to my work (or any of our talented writers’ work) with this USB, and you can plug it into any computer. This could be incredibly important as censorship gets more stringent in the year to come. AGAIN – these are almost gone and we started off with 1000!


Get EVERY BOOK AND COURSE in the Self Reliance and Survival Store, today only!

Here’s the big kahuna of prepper knowledge deals. If you were to buy all of our products separately, you’d be spending more than $1600.

That includes 34 books, 5 webinars, and 7 courses!




For only $233!  Go here to see what you’ll be getting! This epic bundle is available today only!

The Wellness Company

The Wellness Company is having an incredible blowout. If’ you’ve been considering working with them, now is the time.

Get 15% off your prepper’s medical emergency kit – this is an awesome kit that I own myself, with a variety of antibiotics and other vital prescription meds for that day when pharmacies are not open. Use the code KIT15

Get 15% off your Covid kit with meds that really work, including a complete round of Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, a Z-pack, plus, Budesonide and a nebulizer. Use the code KIT15

Get 20% off a membership! Save money every time you order supplements or make an appointment with The Wellness Company with a membership. There are two levels: one of them is extremely affordable and the other is an incredible value if you require a lot of medical care. Use the code MEMBER20 for your discount!

Get 25% off all supplements! Whether you want to use their incredible Spike Support Supplement (I use it myself due to lingering post-Covid nasties), check out their Healthy Heart formula, or try out their Restful Sleep formula, these products are incredibly high quality! Use the code SUPP25 to claim your discount!

Seeds for Generations

Are you looking for Christmas gifts…but don’t want to get caught up in the commercialization of the shopping season? I have the perfect solution for you.

Seeds for Generations is a small family business, run from a homestead in Virginia. This Thanksgiving weekend, they’ve decided to offer loads of discounts that will help you PRODUCE, instead of just consume. Learn more about their awesome deals on books, seeds, and more here!


Organica Naturals CBD

Get 50% off EVERY SINGLE THING on the Organica Naturals store! Check out their oils, concentrates, and softgels – you;ll be blown away by the prices and the products, as well as the fast, friendly service. I just love these products!

Amazon CyberMonday Sales

Here’s my complete roundup of Amazon Cyber Monday sales for preppers! Meanwhile, if you want to visit Amazon, please consider using my link (you can even bookmark it to always support OP when shopping there!)

There are so many great books being offered at a steal of a price:

The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook

A Guide to Canning, Curing, Smoking, and Freezing Fish and Game

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners

Complete Dehydrator Cookbook

ACEP First Aid Manual

Other Prepper Stuff

Check out this really nice NOAA radio with flashlight and chargers, bells and whistles.

I have an herb stripper like this, and I love it. This is a great stocking stuffer for your favorite cook or forager.

These compressed TP coins absolutely rock. I keep some in my purse, in my bug out bag, and always had a handful in my glovebox too!

This emergency sleeping bag is teeny tiny and has great ratings.

This compressed sleeping pad with pump will help you snooze like a baby on your next camping trip.

An 8-pack of elastic compression bandages would be a great addition to your emergency medical kit especially at today’s price!

Bleedstop Clotting Powder is a must-have addition to all prepper medical kits.

I have these Rhino Rescue emergency splints in my own kit.

This is a great price on a kit that contains tons of gauze, scissors, and tape.

Also from Rhino Rescue is this burn kit.

I love these laundry soap sheets and used them religiously when I was traveling and living out of my suitcase. They’re also a fantastic addition to your bug-out bag!

Check out this handy can-rack organizer for all those loose cans of food you have kicking around!

This set of mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is a great way to get started repackaging your long-term storage food right.

There you have it! Thank you for supporting The OP while you do your holiday shopping!


The post The Best CYBER MONDAY Deals on the Internet for Preppers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Every Book. Every Course. Every Printable. Every USB.

Fri, 11/24/2023 - 08:37

Want to get the lowest prices we’ve ever offered on our products from Self-Reliance and Survival? We have got you covered with the most incredible Black Friday Sale ever.

Every PDF book is $3.

Every printable is $1.

Every course is $35.

Our 2024 USB with every single thing ever published on The Organic Prepper is $79 and will be shipped immediately. (The 2024 update will be emailed to you in February. If the website were to go down, you’d have every article we’ve ever posted on it at your fingertips. You won’t lose access to my work (or any of our talented writers’ work) with this USB, and you can plug it into any computer. This could be incredibly important as censorship gets more stringent in the year to come.

We want to make everything accessible to every single reader.

Please consider shopping with us this Black Friday weekend.

The post Every Book. Every Course. Every Printable. Every USB. appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Amazon’s Best Black Friday Deals for Preppers

Fri, 11/24/2023 - 07:42

Are you looking for the best preparedness deals on Amazon? We’ve got you covered with our Holiday 2023 Black Friday Shopping List!

I got up early and went through the products to choose the items that preppers need (or maybe just want.) Save money while getting prepped with these offers or grab some preparedness goodies for the people on your shopping list. And if you’re shopping for other things, please consider using this link – it provides us with a small commission at no cost to you!

Also – if you want a little liberty-loving zen in your life, check out my brand new Freedom Isn’t Free Coloring Book, just published this morning!

The Best Deals on Amazon

Want to create a digital knowledge bank? This Amazon Fire tablet is only $59. At 32GB it can hold somewhere around TWENTY THOUSAND ebooks! Pair it with a solar charging device and you’ll be all set for entertainment and information. This was strongly recommended by a friend of mine.

Speaking of power, check out this solar device charger for under $20.

Who needs candy canes in their stocking when they can have Lifestraws? This four-pack is a steal or if you only need one, you can save on singles too.

A 4-pack of LED, solar-powered camping lanterns will provide the gift of light for several people on your list – it’s a great addition to a power outage kit.

This pack with 4 rain ponchos and 4 survival blankets is an awesome addition to a car kit or bug-out bag. Alternatively, you can split it up and divvy it between gift recipients.

This high-quality large wool blanket is a steal at just $31.

A #10 can of Mountain House Chicken and Rice can be found at a heck of a deal.

Looking for a stocking stuffer for those “has everything” types? I like this survival tool with a knife sharpener, whistle, and Ferro rod.

A pair of long-range two-way radios can be found for under $25.

A four-pack of Rhino one-handed tourniquets could save the life of someone you love.

Keep cozy on the go with a two-pack of emergency bivvy bags.

Save 33% on a couple of emergency tents that roll up to be only slightly bigger than a soda can.

I have these folding binoculars and absolutely love them. Be able to check things out much further away than with the naked eye with this bug-out bag addition.

Grab 100 feet of 1000-pound paracord here.

I always say not to rely on crappy off-brand batteries. Well, you can get 48 Energizer batteries for only $27 here and replenish your supplies.

Check out this 84-serving gluten-free bucket of emergency food from Readywise.

Three pairs of merino wool socks will keep your tootsies warm no matter where you’re bugging out to.

Get a four-pack of super bright flashlights (or a two-pack if you don’t need that many). These are fantastic stocking stuffers or additions to different rooms of your house.

These excellent headlamps run on easy-to-find AAA batteries and are great for hands-free light in an emergency. You can also find a four-pack here.

Pop these car-escape tools into the center console of all your loved ones’ vehicles.

Here’s a nifty little survival fishing kit for your bug-out bag.

This 30-day ReadyWise survival food supply has 282 servings and is on deep discount today.

Keep your survival food cheesy with this #10 can of cheese powder from Augason Farms – this is pretty good stuff, and I’ve used it in non-survival situations, too.

Here’s the best deal I’ve found this Black Friday for a hand-crank NOAA weather radio.

A four-pack of fire-suppression blankets makes an excellent addition to your home’s fire-safety kit.

This small folding handsaw from Mossy Oak has great reviews.

A three-liter gravity-fed portable water filter is far less than the cost of those fancy brands and can be used at a camp as well as at home.

Add some protein to your long-term food supply with this diced beef from Mountain House. Freeze-dried chicken is also on sale.

This small 100-watt camping generator could be very useful for recharging important things.

This pocket chainsaw has fantastic reviews and would be a very useful addition to your bugout bag.

Delight your grandchildren (if not their parents) with these survival whistles.

This survival hatchet has great reviews and is on sale for a steal with 60% off.

Have you ever wanted to try using a bow drill for firestarting? Here’s a really good deal on one.

If you’ve always wanted a military tactical pen, now’s your chance to get a two-pack on sale.

What are you shopping for on Black Friday?

Stay safe and save some money by shopping online this weekend if your shopping lists are coming from corporate stores. Visit independent retailers to support your local mom-and-pop shops!

Are you shopping this weekend? Are there any Amazon deals you found that aren’t on my list? Let us know in the comments.

The post Amazon’s Best Black Friday Deals for Preppers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Welcome to the OP Friendsgiving 2023

Thu, 11/23/2023 - 07:07

There’s no way around it: the holidays can be tough right now. Due to the economic crisis, some far-flung families can’t afford to get together. Others can’t swing the traditional feast, and they’re dialing it back.

Other families have lost people over the years, whether to Covid or another cause, and there are heart-breakingly empty seats at the dinner table. Still others simply have nobody to share the day with for any of a number of reasons.

Last year we started a new tradition with our first online OP Friendsgiving. This community is like a family (complete with grouchy uncles and a few members who make us shake our heads with their political beliefs.)

But truly, we have such a lovely community of people here from so many different backgrounds. The conversations are enlightening and ever-interesting. Let’s “get together” here!

I realize this isn’t a substitute for truly being with the people you love, but I hope it helps the day go by a little more easily, just knowing that someone out here cares about you. We’ll be keeping this post front and center on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m going to post a bit about our Thanksgiving and a couple of recipes to get things started, and the things I’m grateful for this year. Please take a moment in the comments to do the same if you feel so moved. And let other commenters know that they’re not alone.

Here’s what we’re eating.

We’re continuing our tradition of untraditional holiday meals Here’s the menu:

  • Steak bites in garlic butter with sauteed mushrooms
  • Au jus
  • Caesar salad with bacon, Parmesan cheese, and croutons
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts in honey balsamic glaze

For dessert we’re going with:

  • Chocolate cheesecake
Aden contributed a Thanksgiving poem for preppers last year.

Aden wrote the most beautiful poem that I have to share with you. As a prepper, it will really hit home. It’s called Comparison, The Thief of Joy. He’s so creative.

What I’m grateful for this year

Dealing with a longterm injury has been tough but I know I still have things really good.

I’m incredibly grateful for my family. My girls and I have such a beautiful relationship, and it’s a priceless treasure. The fact that they are adults (23 and 28) and they still want to talk to their mom nearly every day just brings a glow to my heart every time I hear the phone ring.

I’m an introvert. I have very few friends. But the ones I do have…holy cow. They’re just incredible. They’re so supportive, so loving, and so encouraging. It seems like no matter what I’m dealing with or how “crazy” my latest idea sounds, they are there with suggestions, love, and cheerleading. They even tolerate my quirky need for solitude with unrelenting affection. They’ve got my back every step of the way. Y’all know who you are!

I have the most amazing readers in the Bloggerdom. My work is such a privilege. I know everybody says this but I really never expected to be a blogger with lots of readers. The fact that I’ve gotten to know such a wonderful, supportive, and caring community through the work that I do is a gift that constantly amazes me. I’m going into my 11th year of blogging on The OP and I feel endless gratitude that you all help me do what I love every single day. I always wanted to write, and your visits to my website make that possible. How could I get any luckier than this? You guys mean the world to me.

I got to spend a big part of the year living abroad. I spent most of the past year in Europe, visiting new corners of inexpensive places and just exploring. The history of Bulgaria and Romania, with their escape from tyranny and communism, was incredibly influential in my perspective on current events.

What about you?

What’s a dish that you make every Thanksgiving without fail? Would you share the recipe with us in the comments? Is there a story behind the recipe? If so please tell us!

What are you grateful for this year? What makes your heart sing? Let’s talk about it.

And if you are struggling, tell us. Hopefully, a burden shared is a lighter burden.

That being said, we here at the OP love our readers, and we’re so glad that we can provide information and entertainment to you.

The post Welcome to the OP Friendsgiving 2023 appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Argentina Just Elected a Libertarian President & the MSM Hates Javier Milei

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 06:42
By the author of Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City and The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook

Their team won the World Cup last year, and beautifully so. This last weekend, Argentina scored even bigger – a win for freedom – by electing libertarian Javier Milei with 55,7% over left-wing Peronist candidate Sergio Massa (14 against 11 million votes, respectively).

Now, I’m not one to have pet politicians, regardless of their ideological affiliation. Like most people, I’m disgusted with the whole election system and politics in general. Though refusing to become overly bitter, cynical, and disillusioned, I admit the current crop of so-called leaders and political cast has little to cheer for. Very little, in fact.

However, I confess to being among those celebrating Javier Milei’s victory as a big win for freedom, and sincerely hope he can get Argentina out of its current mess. Call me an optimist, but perhaps he can do even more than that and inspire people worldwide to go out and vote for the good ones who insist on this fight despite getting pushed away (or worse) by the depth and filth of the swamp. We must never lose hope.

Who is Javier Milei, and how did he win?

Much in the way of a Trump and Bolsonaro, Milei is an outsider. A former economist, self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist turned libertarian, Milei can communicate his ideas and proposals in a clear, concise, and fact-based manner, despite his crazy hair and wild, fierce gesturing. He doesn’t measure his words when talking about communists and other leeches, not even when on TV.

He ran on a platform of small government, radical anti-socialism, and Austrian economics – and won. 

The Peronists – the populist party that ruled the country for the past 40 years and brought it to its sad current state – threw everything they could to warrant Massa’s election. That’s no small thing considering the power of those in charge, on any country even a broken one.

Massa and his party also got $upport from leftist governments everywhere, including Brazil’s Lula and some say even China. Still, Milei won.

Why it matters (and not only for Argentina)

First, it’s a big blow to the Foro de São Paulo. If you have never heard about the Sao Paulo Forum, here’s a short brief:

Founded by none other than Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Lula (Brazil’s current president) in 1990, the FSP started as a convention for labor/leftist political parties attempting to organize and advance progressive agendas with the intent to grow their influence and participation in Latin America’s political scenario. Forty-eight parties from 14 countries attended the convention.

Though that can be considered a legitimate aspiration, the event was also attended by members of the FARC (Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces) and Chile’s MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement), two Marxist-Leninist guerrilla groups with cartel ties, among other radical groups, which raised some questions about its legitimacy and intents, to say the least.

Since then, the mainstream media has publicized or published little about the Forum and its advancements. However, many affirm it’s responsible for the Pink Tide, the rise of left-leaning governments, and the move toward economic and social progressive policies in Latin America since the 2000s. Currently, only Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, and now Argentina, plus Panama, Costa Rica, and El Salvador in Central America, aren’t governed by FSP members.

If you live in North America, Europe, or Asia and think the Forum is only a ragged leftist congregation of failed banana republics, think again. Twenty-three countries attended its last convention, held in late June 2023. Beyond the usual suspects (Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.), the list of participants included delegations from China, India, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, EUA, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

If that doesn’t show an impressive level of organization and influence, I don’t know what does. The world is changing, and we all better take notice.

It’s against that backdrop that Javier Milei’s election brings hope.

The global right wing celebrated Milei’s victory like the Argentines celebrated their third World Cup title last year. As made clear, I don’t believe in silver bullets, certainly not concerning politics, economy, and social issues. I’m also against messianism and the cult of personality.

But I also refuse to become overly cynical and confess to being aligned with many of Milei’s ideas. I believe that’s the case with most other TOP readers as well. In his victory discourse, he declared that “today is the end of Argentina’s decline.” Among other things, he vowed to:

  • End the Central Bank of Argentina.
  • Dollarize Argentina (make the USD official currency in the country).
  • Drastically cut secretaries and reduce the government apparel to the bare minimum.
  • Fight against state-funded welfare state and other “socialist” benefits.
  • Slash inflation.
  • Cut ties with leftist governments and authorities of all kinds.

How can one not root for the guy?

The last point is a big one for Milei. He is radically against socialism, to the point of openly stating his intention to never negotiate or concede with them on any terms “because you give communists an inch and they will take a mile, they will take everything and attempt to destroy you.”

He declared Pope Francis – himself an Argentine – a communist. Imagine that. His secretaries didn’t invite Lula or other left-wing presidents to his inauguration on December 10th (former president Bolsonaro, though, was invited, as was Trump, who called to congratulate Milei on the win).

Milei also declared he’d stop negotiating with China and remove Argentina from Mercosul, South America’s regional trading alliance, while reinforcing connections and commerce with the US and Western European countries. Those things are easier said than done, especially in today’s world and in a country that relies so much on international trading and tourism, but shows he at least has a different plan than his predecessors.

In short, Milei seems intent on making Argentina great again. Only a century ago, the now disgraced country was a powerhouse with First World social indicators. The world has changed a lot since the 1920s, but who knows? Nobody thought El Salvador could go from the most dangerous to the safest country in Latin America in such a short time. Still, President Nabil Bukele (90% approval ratings) seems to have pulled that miracle, so perhaps it’s not unreasonable to expect Milei to significantly improve Argentina’s situation during his term.

Not everyone is happy.

We are living in very polarized and radicalized times. These are also times of deep distrust in institutions, and politics is just another area of modern society in which people can’t even agree on the most fundamental issues. Whether legitimate or stolen, elections are being heavily disputed, which is grave, in my opinion, but that’s how it is.

The woke left cried in despair and disbelief after results were posted. To no one’s surprise, Javier Milei is considered a fascist by the leftist, though his opponent, Sergio Massa, elegantly conceded defeat and wished him success. Which came as a surprise, showing a level of political maturity and respect not common in recent elections. Whether that will translate into a responsible and constructive opposition or not, we’ll see. But it’s a good start, particularly when compared to what took place in Brazil last year.

The Latin American legacy media, 90% left-leaning, makes no small business of painting him far-right, volatile, and radical, among other unflattering things. However, his ideas resonate big with a massive part of the population, tired of ruinous leftist policies that brought Argentina to its knees, and brought him to power despite the negative image painted by the media.

Milei has a tough job ahead of him.

Argentina is devastated, suffering with hyperinflation (143% annually), accelerating currency devaluation (950 pesos-to-USD exchange rate, worse than that in the black market), and growing misery (40% of the population living in poverty). Crime, violence, and social unrest are also on the rise, and the country’s industry and infrastructure are in poor shape.

That gives an idea of the herculean challenge Milei has in his hands. Not only that, but Peronists still hold the majority of the congress and, after 40 years in power, occupy essential positions in Argentina’s administrative bureaucratic system and institutions. We all know what that means, given the left’s modus operandi, and it can put a severe dent in the executive’s plans.

Despite all that, Milei seems determined to advance his agenda, and the people of Argentina – at least 55% – seem to have had enough of the misery and corruption of the Peronists. The market responded well to Milei’s election, with many Argentine companies listed on the NY stock exchange rising 28% even before the opening session on Monday is a good sign.

Some point to Javier Milei’s election as another sign of the advancing right-wing conservative movement worldwide.

Trump is beating Biden in all recent polls for 2024 elections. Right-wing AfD is surging again in Germany. Finland just formed the most right-wing government in its history. Sweden is cracking down on illegal migrants, and the anti-immigration party is part of the government for the first time. The anti-WEF farmer’s party is surging in the Netherlands. Another big one is the hundreds of thousands in Spain marching against the socialist coup.

Is change coming?

Of course, the MSM isn’t reporting on any of that, but it’s happening and will bring changes and consequences.

Only time will tell how much of Milei’s proposals will come true and how much his victory will affect the political scenario everywhere. Is it possible his win can inspire the resurgence of conservative candidates and defeat of leftist candidates in upcoming elections everywhere, notably in the US and Brazil?

Hard to predict.

But it remains a fact that some people in power can be better than others on net balance. Javier Milei may just be one of those politicians. I’ll keep my praises for now. Once bitten, twice shy. But at the same time, I hope he can do a good job and help the people of Argentina, and maybe give a positive example to the rest of the world while at that. Well done, Argentina!

Have you read much about this election? What are your thoughts on Milei? Do you think he can make effective changes to Argentina? Do you think him being elected is a sign that people want something different? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities and the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.

Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City , is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. He’s also the author of The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.

You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor

The post Argentina Just Elected a Libertarian President & the MSM Hates Javier Milei appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Rules for the Hunt: 7 Tips for Hunting Safety

Mon, 11/20/2023 - 06:50
by Jordan McDowell

When you’re new to hunting, prepping for your trip is an exciting time. It’s easy and fun to imagine the trophy buck you might bag, the time in the great outdoors, and the psychological thrill of the hunt. But most people don’t imagine the possible dangers that can befall hunters and those nearby. Hunting and firearm accidents can and do happen, so it’s best to learn hunting safety precautions before you pack up your gear and hit the early dawn treestand. 

Here are seven hunting safety tips that can help save a life or keep you and others from injury.

1) Practice Firearm Safety

Many hunting accidents are due to hunters being careless with their weapons. Firearm safety should be learned well before you fire your first gun. 

Here are the basics of firearm safety that are taught in any hunting safety course:

  • Always treat your firearm as if it was loaded.
  • Keep your safety on until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Keep your finger off and away from the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
  • Keep the muzzle of your gun pointed in a safe direction and never at another person.
  • Be absolutely sure of your target. Never confuse game with a person or pets.
  • Be aware of what is beyond your target. Never shoot close to another person or a dwelling.

Learn and memorize these firearm safety tips and preach them to fellow hunters.

2) Know Your Weapon

Whether you’re hunting with a firearm or a bow, knowing your weapon inside and out is very important. Before hunting, become familiar with shooting your weapon and properly maintaining it. Firearms should be cleaned after each use. Bows — longbows, recurve, and compound bows — need to have their bow strings waxed and replaced regularly.

It’s a good idea to take a firearm to a shooting range to get a good feel for the recoil and to practice aiming. Learn where your firearm safety mechanism is and how to use it. You’ll also want to learn the specific types of ammo that you can use in your weapon and what type of game each works best for.

3) Keep Your Cell Phone on Your Person

While gun incidents account for many hunting safety accidents, even more may be caused by falling from treestands. If your cell phone is in your backpack up in the treestand, it won’t do you any good when you’re injured down on the ground. Always keep your cell phone charged and in your pocket so you can call for help if needed for any reason. (Assuming you are within range of a cell tower and have service.)

4) Practice Treestand Safety

When entering, sitting in, and exiting a treestand, a full-body harness should be worn. Many hunters make the mistake of removing their harness when sitting or standing in the treestand, and this is when falls can occur. Many hunters leave their treestands in place year after year, and the weather and frequent use can take their toll. Be sure to inspect your treestand at least once a year. Check the steps, the harness, and any parts that might get worn or loose.

5) Wear Blaze Orange 

Yes, blaze orange can break up your camouflage, but it’s extremely important to wear the proper amount of blaze orange. The bright blaze orange helps alert other hunters to your position and that you’re not a potential game.

You’ll also want to dress your hunting dogs in blaze orange for their own safety. Even if you’re hunting on your own private property, you never know what other people or hunters might be mistakenly passing through.

6) Alert Others About Your Trip

A cell phone won’t always help you, especially if you’re entering an area that doesn’t get cell reception. Tell at least one other person where you’re going and when you plan to be back. When you’re done with your trip, let them know. If you don’t tell them you’re home safely and something has indeed gone wrong, they may be the saving lifeline that helps bring you home alive. 

7) Check the Weather and Bring Safety Gear

When hunting in northern regions in the winter months, snowstorms can easily blow through, causing disaster for hunters in remote areas. Moisture can cause hypothermia quickly. Bring the appropriate safety gear for your hunting trip, which might include:

  • Extra clothing
  • Rain gear
  • Emergency blanket
  • Water-proof fire-starting kit
  • First aid kit
  • Cellphone or satellite messenger in a waterproof bag
  • Water and snacks
  • A whistle

Be prepared to prevent and handle cold weather injuries.

Hunting Safety Courses 

Most states require you to complete a hunting safety course prior to purchasing your hunting license. Some courses can be completed online and take about three hours to complete. The knowledge you can learn from in-person or online hunting safety training courses can be an invaluable addition to your hunting safety knowledge. Signing up for a hunting safety course is a fun and smart idea for all beginning hunters. 

Hunting safety is for everyone, whether they’re 16 or 60 years old. And when hunting safety is learned, it’s even better to pass your knowledge on to the next generation of hunters. When hunting accidents are reduced, and game guidelines are followed, the public image of hunters is seen as conservationists contributing to healthy natural ecosystems. 

Do you plan to go hunting this year? Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Have you ever run into trouble when out hunting? Please share your advice and stories in the comments.

About Jordan

Jordan McDowell is a writer and Second Amendment rights advocate. As a proud advocate for responsible gun rights nationwide, he writes about recreational hunting as well as the latest developments in state and national legislation. Check out Jordan’s work at

The post Rules for the Hunt: 7 Tips for Hunting Safety appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

An Insurgence of Idiots

Fri, 11/17/2023 - 05:33
Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

The word “insurgence” means a large increase. What with TikTok providing basically everyone a platform to spout their deepest thoughts in 30-second to 2-minute intervals, the insurgence I’m seeing is one of complete idiots. The newest trend on the social media outlet is a bunch of stunned young people making shocked faces at the camera and talking about the brilliance of…

Osama Bin Laden.

I could not make this up. Here is a glimpse inside the minds of TikTokers who are now certain Bin Laden was a benevolent genius. Do you remember the phrase, “Useful Idiots?”

Observe Exhibit A below.

TikTok has now rehabilitated Osama Bin Laden. 9/11 was justified and an act of resistance, they say.

Decolonization is a death cult.

— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) November 16, 2023


We’re all passionate and naive about life at this age.

I remember being in my late teens and early 20s. I was certain at the time that I knew everything and that if the world would just listen to me, I could make it a better place. I was pretty liberal (of course, this was in the late 80s and early 90s, when liberal was an entirely different animal than it is today), and I was utterly convinced that I knew more about the world than my dad. In his wisdom, he challenged me with interesting questions and made me defend my stances with facts, not feelings. And so I evolved to realize that I didn’t know diddly squat.

I guess these kids don’t have a dad like mine, because they can’t compose an argument worth beans.

Let’s put aside for a moment all our doubts about what occurred on 9/11 and the actual culprit because that isn’t the topic of this conversation.

In this conversation, these young people believe, lock, stock, and barrel, that Bin Laden was the mastermind of an attack on American soil that took out more than 3000 innocent people. And they think he’s awesome.

It astounds me that there’s more information available than any other time in history…and they choose to “get educated” (a favorite buzzphrase) on a social media platform filled with baseless soundbites.

What’s in this letter?

It’s hard to find Bin Laden’s Letter to America online now, but here’s a copy on the web archive. After The UK Guardian pulled it, every other location I could find followed suit. I remember reading it back when it was first published, and my reaction was certainly not one of, “Ohhhh….this dude really understands life.”

The letter is Osama Bin Laden’s ravings about “why” they attacked America. No sources are cited. He simply goes on and on about the evils of America and Israel through the lens of his religious beliefs.

Bin Laden hated Jews, Americans, and gay people, just to name a few on his hit list. He believed that anyone who died on 9/11 deserved it and wasn’t innocent because they paid taxes to a country that committed the acts against which he had grievances. He was filled with hate.

But because the first segment of his manifesto mentions the Palestinians, these kids with no critical thinking skills suddenly see him as a beacon of truth.

The letter goes on to demand that everyone convert to Islam. It discusses how we’ve separated Church and State in America and says that’s a bad thing. Bin Laden cites such things as usury, gambling, intoxicants, incest, sexuality, homosexuality, and disease as uniquely American issues.

It concludes:

If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.

This is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they now know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?

This is just so dumb.

Mark my words, at this rate, it won’t be long before some of these crazy Bin Laden fan-girls convert to Islam. They truly don’t seem to grasp that if they were to follow the mandates laid out by this letter that all their gay and trans friends would be put to death, brutally executed. They don’t understand they’d be owned by men from the cradle to the grave. They wouldn’t be allowed to be educated (though we can’t say formal education has done much for these folks), and they certainly wouldn’t be airing their views on social media. There would be no more mimosa-fueled brunches, no freedom of movement, and no choices about what to do with their lives.

They just don’t understand.

Ignorance is bliss until it gets you a big fat dose of Shariah law.

A few words about Bin Laden's "Letter to America"#lettertoamerica #Islam #HamasisISIS #IsraelAtWar

— Dani Buller (@askdani__real) November 16, 2023

TikTok is cracking down.

TikTok is cracking down on this and says it isn’t really “viral.”

While TikTok said reports of it trending were inaccurate, the #lettertoamerica hashtag on TikTok had 13.7 million views as of Thursday afternoon. “Letter to America” also trended on X, the platform formally known as Twitter, where there were more than 82,000 posts.

“Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism,” TikTok said in a statement on Thursday. “We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform. The number of videos on TikTok is small and reports of it trending on our platform are inaccurate. This is not unique to TikTok and has appeared across multiple platforms and the media.”

I think the genie is out of the bottle, though. Our young people have been radicalized, which is something I’ve written about before. They’ve been taught by our education system and our media to hate America. Look at all the radicalized professors we see in the news saying shocking things lately.

And they really don’t have a clue how the real world works.

But the problem here is not that some dumb kids don’t understand the world. The problem here is that they have been brainwashed to hate their own country. And how will people who hate America ever defend her?

We’re watching the destruction of our culture in real time.

Not all Gen Z kids are this ignorant.

I’m not here to say every person of Gen Z age is horrible. There are notable exceptions. And most of those exceptions come from households like mine, who taught their kids actual critical thinking and the real difference between right and wrong. We challenged our kids to defend their ideas with facts, and if they didn’t have enough facts, we made them go look up more facts until they had a better grasp on the topic.

Cherry-picking a few comments out of an eight-page letter and waxing poetic about the ravings of a terrorist is not critical thinking. It’s not edgy or cool.

It’s idiotic.

Perhaps these fans of Bin Laden need to go live amongst the Taliban for a while and then get back to us with some videos.

What are your thoughts?

Did you know that young people are big fans of Osama Bin Laden? Do you find this shocking? Do you think they’re confused or radicalized?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

The post An Insurgence of Idiots appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

A Brief History of Government Shutdowns (and Why This Fix Is Only Temporary)

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 06:49

Newly installed Speaker of the House Mike Johnson just managed to avert a government shutdown. Democrats helped pass a spending bill that will keep federal funds flowing until after the holidays.

However, the real structural problems within the federal government have not been addressed, which means it is only a matter of time before another funding battle begins.

So, let’s talk a little more about government shutdowns.  What happens?  Who gets affected?  What happens if a shutdown occurs close to an election?

A brief history of government shutdowns

The federal government shut down twice during Clinton’s presidency, once for six days in November 1995, and then a second time for 21 days between December 1995 and January 1996.  Clinton was trying to pass funding for various healthcare and environmental projects. The Republican Congress, led by Newt Gingrich, would not agree.

Then, in 2013, the government shut down under Obama.  Congress refused to approve funding for the newly approved Affordable Care Act, and the government began a partial shutdown on October 1, 2013.  About 800,000 federal workers went without pay, and over a million other workers had their paychecks delayed.  Obama signed an agreement to make some minor tweaks to ObamaCare shortly after midnight on October 17, ending the shutdown.

The government shut down twice under Trump.  The first time it closed for two days in January, 2018, when Republicans and Democrats could not agree on spending regarding immigration and healthcare policies.

This shutdown was unusual in that Republicans had control of the presidency as well as both houses of Congress,  illustrating the sharp divide Trump caused within the Republican Party.

The next shutdown under Trump occurred at the end of 2018, after mid-terms and with a Congress controlled by Democrats.  This time, the shutdown lasted 35 days, the longest shutdown in 40 years, and it occurred over funding of Trump’s proposed border wall.

Past shutdowns have always been caused when one political party insists on ramming through expensive, controversial new programs.  So much money has been printed over the past three years, so many expensive new overseas commitments are popping up, and so many crises are occurring at home. It’s not surprising at all that Congress cannot agree on who gets what.

So, what happens when the government shuts down?

It depends on the nature of the shutdown.  Congress has to pass twelve appropriations bills every year to approve spending for various parts of the government.  During the second shutdown of Trump’s presidency, they had already passed five of the twelve bills, so those departments were not affected.

During shutdowns, essential government employees like air traffic controllers and law enforcement are still expected to show up for work, though they don’t get paid until the shutdown ends.  Many other employees are simply furloughed. They don’t work, and don’t get paid.

Social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, aren’t subject to reapproval every year.  They are funded separately, so Medicare recipients don’t need to worry about not receiving their benefits.

Having said that, government shutdowns still cause massive inconveniences.  Existing Medicare and Social Security recipients are unaffected, but no one new can enroll.  Food stamps may run out.  Stores require licenses to process EBT cards, and they cannot renew those licenses during shutdowns.   The longer a shutdown lasts, the more stores will lose their ability to process EBT cards.

Travel, in general, often turns into a nightmare.  TSA and air traffic controllers are technically still supposed to report for work during shutdowns. But because they aren’t receiving pay, in the past, many have not shown up, causing big delays at airports.

Republicans are generally blamed for shutdowns, but they at least pretend to run on fiscal responsibility.  There have been a few members, like Ron Paul, who actually believe in it, and Americans who understand the depths of our financial problems vote to keep politicians like him in office.  For those politicians who want to bring back fiscal restraint, shutdowns are really their only option.

Shutdowns are more than a matter of one party being stubborn. They are a reflection of the fact that Americans have literally nothing that unites us as a nation anymore.

We’ve been kicking the can since 1997.

And this pulling apart at the seams has been going on longer than most people realize.  The last year Congress passed all twelve appropriations bills before the fiscal year began, with no shutdowns and no continuing resolutions, was 1997.

Unfortunately, we’ve spent a lot of time kicking the can down the road since then.  And between Covid stimulus spending, war in Ukraine, and now Israel to support, no real solutions seem to present themselves that don’t involve a lot of financial pain first.

Furthermore, as we move into an election year, I think it’s worth at least considering what could happen if our government is still in turmoil next fall.

In 2020, during Covid, people speculated whether or not elections would occur, but it’s not that easy to postpone presidential elections.  Only the states and Congress have the power to postpone elections, and even then, a new Congress has to convene on January 3, and a new president has to take office on January 20, per the 20th Amendment.

If the Electoral College cannot decide on a new president or the president chosen is found ineligible, the new Congress would select a president and vice president.  The Speaker of the House would serve as president until the new president and vice president were chosen.

Thus far, presidential elections have never been postponed.  Covid, 9/11, the Spanish Flu, even the Civil War did not stop them.

This still matters.

A lot of readers may think, “It doesn’t matter what happens. The electoral system is totally broken, and 2024 is going to get stolen anyway.”  That may be likely, but the system is not 100% broken.  Colorado’s ballot initiative last week was proof of that.

One of the reasons Colorado’s finances are still fairly sound, despite its general blue-ness, is its Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which imposes very strict spending limits on the state legislature.  Of course, the less business-savvy Democrats have been trying to get rid of this for years, and this year’s ballot initiative was no exception.  But not only did it fail, it failed 60-40.

Americans are not 100% brain dead; the system is not 100% broken. This is why I think the likelihood of some kind of black swan event is relatively high.  And the technological landscape makes it a lot easier.

We discussed this recently in our article about Cyber 9/11, but some points are worth reiterating.  During Covid, as societies around the world were pushed online by physical shutdowns, cybercrime incidents increased 600%, and they have continued to increase since then.  With new technological capabilities come new vulnerabilities, which we are obviously not totally prepared for.

And other possibilities exist, too.  Between our chaotic border and various tinderboxes around the world, there is no shortage of things that could place additional demands on the federal government.

So, how does one prepare for a shutdown?

Personal risk during shutdowns really depends on your level of exposure.  During the previous shutdowns, my household income came from the private sector.  There were no gaps in pay. I didn’t need any healthcare during those time periods and have never used food stamps.  I also didn’t need to take any plane trips, so I wasn’t horribly inconvenienced.

But that’s not the case for many other people.  Plenty of people within the private sector absolutely have to travel, and airport delays cost them a great deal of time and money.  Federal employees should also be concerned.  Contractors with the federal government should be even more aware. Thanks to a law passed in 2019, federal employees receive back pay once government resumes after a shutdown.  Federal contractors do not.

This is where the old advice about emergency funds and at least a month’s worth of food stored comes into play.  I get that it’s nearly impossible to save money right now.  My “emergency fund” is a credit card that I always keep a low balance on and pay off every month.  It’s not ideal, but it’s something I could use if I had to.  And, raising livestock, I have meat in the freezer and on the hoof.  I’ve also still got cold-weather veggies in the garden.  For those with more exposure to the federal government, now is the time to think about how to make it through gaps in pay.

Think about your network of trusted family and friends. Be mindful of the needs of those dependent on government income.  If you are not particularly exposed yourself, maybe this is the year to be more generous, with practical gifts, toward family members in the military.

Congress has averted disaster for the moment, but no financial problems within the government have been fixed.  Having said that, we still have time to better prepare ourselves and our households for longer-term disruptions.

What are your thoughts?

How much longer do you think we can avoid a government shutdown? Do you think a shutdown could cause conflict with the next presidential election? Are you personally affected when the government shuts down?

Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

About Marie Hawthorne

A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

The post A Brief History of Government Shutdowns (and Why This Fix Is Only Temporary) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

PHARMACY DESERTS: You May Not Be Able to Depend on Neighborhood Pharmacies When You Need Them the Most

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 07:09
Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

Who doesn’t love the “Big 3” multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 pharmacies: Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid? Well, actually, a lot of people. For years, they’ve brought us convenience and become our neighborhood pharmacies, but as they invaded towns across the United States, they pushed Main Street independent mom-and-pop drug stores out of business.  

Now, after their great takeover, they may not be as reliable as they’d like us to think.

Neighborhood pharmacies across the United States are at a breaking point. 

Profit targets, cost cutting, and inflation have led to the “Big 3” shuttering of more than 1,500 pharmacies across the United States. Rite Aid has filed for bankruptcy. (I haven’t yet found a list but will share it when I do.) The past two years have been brutal for this industry, which seemed to be in its heyday back in 2020, with vaccines, sick-care products, and at-home tests.

Supply chain shortages, theft, and financial penalties for Big Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis continue to force the closure of at least one pharmacy in the United States per day

A new reality is here to stay: over 40% of counties in the United States now live in a complete “pharmacy desert” – meaning that every resident needs to drive at least 15 minutes to get to the closest pharmacy. But what about people who don’t have reliable transportation? Is a sick person supposed to get on the city bus and take public transportation, potentially infecting their fellow passengers, just to get the medications they need to treat their illness? And what about those in rural areas? Some folks face as much as a two-hour drive to get necessary medications. If their closest pharmacy closes, that drive could become even longer.

And who is it again that needs medications?

Oh. Yeah. Sick people. Folks who have no business getting behind the wheel and driving half a day round trip.

Although the focus of this article is pharmacies, it’s also important to note that over 80% of counties in the US now lack adequate healthcare infrastructure.  If you need medical help quickly, you’d better hope you’re in the 20% of American counties where you can access it.

And then there was the walkout.

Just last month, at least 4500 pharmacists and pharmacy techs across the country walked out in protest of “deteriorating working conditions.” What kind of conditions had them leaving sick people without a way to get their medications?

Chain pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have consistently slashed staffing levels while saddling their front-line workers with a burgeoning list of additional duties. The situation was bad before the coronavirus pandemic; COVID-19 made it worse. It has only gone downhill since then, a USA TODAY investigation found last month.

Stores that a decade ago might have had two pharmacists and six pharmacy technicians filling an average of 500 prescriptions a day now may have half the staff and an even higher prescription volume – plus an endless crush of vaccine appointments, rapid tests and patient consultation calls, the investigation found.

In addition, every task is timed and measured against corporate goals that reward speed and profits. Staff who do not fill prescriptions fast enough, answer the phones quickly enough or drum up enough vaccination business can face discipline, reassignment or termination.

The pressure, pharmacists told USA TODAY, has led to increased medication errors that can endanger patients.

Imagine you’re in the situation described above – in a “pharmacy desert.” You’ve driven or taken public transit for 20 minutes or more, and all you want to do is fill the prescription you got at the walk-in clinic and get antibiotics for the strep bacteria raging in your throat.

You get there, and the pharmacy staff is out front holding a sign. You can’t get your meds.

It’s a dangerous way to live.

Everyone agrees on two things: 

  1. The next medical crisis is just around the corner.  
  2. You can’t count on the healthcare system to keep you well. 

Whether it comes in the form of a bioweapon or something more mundane like an ear infection – you and your family need to be prepared. You may not be able to rely on neighborhood pharmacies.

Dr. Jim Thorp, one of the nation’s leading critics of the corrupting influence of Big Pharma, believes that now – more than ever – people should be prepared for the next pandemic: 

“I’ve strongly recommended “stockpiling” critical medications, including antibiotics, since the turn of the century. This has been an incredible investment as many friends, family and patients have benefited.  Now, in winter of 2023, this recommendation is even more crucial.” 

But you can’t just order antibiotics, antifungals, and ivermectin on Amazon.

So how can you get prepped for the Pharmageddon?

I recommend this medical emergency kit with an assortment of life-saving medications – including ivermectin, amoxicillin, and a Z-pak. It even comes with a guidebook to aid in the safe use of these life-saving medications, so you have on hand what you need for anything from anthrax to tick bites to COVID – or even to a bioweapon like the plague. 

This kit is prescription-only – you can’t find it in any store or pharmacy. Simply fill out a short questionnaire after purchase, and a trusted Wellness Company doctor will confirm your suitability and issue your prescription Medical Emergency Kit. (You can find a review of my own experience here.)

I recently used my own medical kit. Now, please understand I don’t recommend self-treating – that would be irresponsible. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can reduce the effect of them on you when you do need them. This story is purely anecdotal and should not be construed as medical advice.

As I’ve written before, I recently had a severe ankle injury and, under doctor’s orders, was completely off my feet for months. When I woke up with a sore throat and a fever that kept going up through the day, despite all the zinc lozenges I continuously chomped, I was pretty sure I had strep throat.

Getting to the doctor was going to be a nightmare with the giant boot on my foot (and no vehicle currently), so I went to my hall closet and self-administered one of these strep tests. (It’s very important to confirm an infection, as you don’t want to develop a resistance to antibiotics.) It was no surprise when it came back positive. Then, all I had to do was pop open the guidebook that came with my Wellness Company Medical Emergency Kit and select the antibiotic that was most suitable. Within a couple of days I was feeling much better, and by the time I’d taken the entire course of antibiotics recommended, I was totally fine.

But it isn’t just about convenience. It’s potentially about life and death. If you live too far away from a pharmacy, or if your local pharmacist has chosen the day you’re sick to walk out, what are you supposed to do? Wait for your illness to worsen? Just throw your hands up in the air and die?

It’s vital not to be caught unprepared. Don’t be reliant on the broken and corrupt medical-industrial complex. If you or someone in your family gets sick and requires medication that you can’t get, you’ll regret not having taken the steps to prepare. Order a Medical Emergency Kit from The Wellness Company for peace of mind. (Use the code ORGANICPREPPER for 10% off)

Oh – and for all the readers who are upset about antibiotics and claim they’d never take them and they’ll guzzle essential oils and herbal teas instead, that’s fine. Leave the greatest miracle of medical progress for the rest of us. We live in a wondrous time with many choices. I really don’t relish going back to a time when a splinter or sore throat could end up killing someone due to a rampant infection.

Obviously, there could come a day when herbal remedies are all we have left. It’s incredibly important to know what they are and how to use them. But having suffered a few serious infections in my life – including MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant kidney infection, and a black widow spider bite that quickly turned into cellulitis – bring on the pharmaceuticals when I need them.

What is the situation with neighborhood pharmacies near you?

Do you have the “Big 3” chain neighborhood pharmacies in your community? Are the Mom and Pop pharmacies still around? How far do you have to go to get prescriptions? Have you ever had difficulty getting essential medications? Have you seen any changes in the availability of meds lately?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

The post PHARMACY DESERTS: You May Not Be Able to Depend on Neighborhood Pharmacies When You Need Them the Most appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

8 Cold-Weather Edibles to Forage in Fall and Winter

Mon, 11/13/2023 - 06:33
by Lyza Hayn

Are you sad about summer finally winding down? Well, things in the forest are heating up. Contrary to what many assume, colder weather doesn’t mean the end of foraging. Cold weather ushers in unusual edibles, fresh flavors, and creative cooking techniques you just don’t see in the warmer months.

Rest assured, there’s plenty to harvest this time of year. Read on to discover my favorite edible plants to forage in fall and winter, and make this season a profound stepping-stone on your journey to self-reliance.

8 Plants to Forage in Fall and Winter

This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s just a short introduction to the world of winter foraging. Each plant listed below has a pretty wide range, but it’s unlikely all will grow near you. Once you learn to identify commonly available options, you can move on to more specific winter plants for your region.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Also known as a sunchoke, the Jerusalem artichoke is a delicious root vegetable best harvested in late fall and early winter.

You can recognize these tasty tubers by their gorgeous yellow blooms, which pop up in late summer and reach up to ten feet tall.

Look for sunchokes in the summer, when you’ll be able to recognize the flowers and become familiar with their habitat.

However, don’t harvest them until after the season’s first or second hard freeze—they’re comprised mainly of inulin starch, which is converted into fructose when frozen. So, sunchokes always taste sweeter after a freeze!

Black Walnut By Geo Lightspeed7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Black walnuts are a wild, gamier version of cultivated walnuts. The trees grow in fields, forests, and along riverways, generally dropping nuts in the late fall and early winter. The nuts are encased in a green, tennis ball-esque shell that is an absolute bear to break into, but it’s well worth the effort. Rich in fats and proteins, black walnuts prove a great boon to winter larders.

If you live in a temperate-to-humid area where the trees thrive, black walnuts are incredibly plentiful when the season rolls around. However, processing them is hard work and takes patience. You can store the nuts inside their green shell for several months if you’re not ready to take on the task. And if you’re looking to make a buck, the nuts can fetch a pretty penny at the market. They sometimes sell for upwards of $15 per pound!

Hop-Hornbeam Public Domain,

Hop-hornbeam seedheads look quite similar to their namesake hops, but don’t be fooled. The two plants aren’t even related, as hop-hornbeam is a tree rather than a vine and would probably make a pretty gnarly beer. Winter foragers aren’t in it for the fermentation, but we are going after the seeds. Packed full of protein and fat, this plant provides crucial macronutrients in colder weather.

And you’ll have to wait for colder weather to take advantage of them, since seeds don’t actually become palatable until winter. If you find hop-hornbeam trees near you, harvest seeds from the dry, husky catkin. You can eat them raw, but I prefer them roasted with oil and salt.


Also known as wintergreen, teaberry is a tart trailside snack that provides a refreshing, colorful burst of red in the dead of winter. As surrounding trees drop their leaves, wintergreen has a chance to get at the sunlight and truly thrive. The resulting teaberries are where we get wintergreen flavoring for gum, tea, and other things.

While the pea-sized teaberries won’t provide an abundant source of free food, they do make an interesting garnish and can be harvested in larger amounts for jams, jellies, syrups, and teas. You’ll find them in deciduous hardwood and conifer forests, and they’re sometimes planted as ornamentals in the city.

Pine By Anand2202 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Most pine species are edible, but take special care to avoid yew, ponderosa, and Norfolk Island conifers. These aren’t actually true pine, but they look very similar and are very toxic. Furthermore, never harvest from a living tree—only take from recently-fallen pines unless you really need the food. It could harm or even kill the tree.

With that out of the way, pine is probably the most underrated winter edible out there. You can harvest the outer and inner layers of bark for a rich source of carbohydrates, either grinding it down to a powder for baking, boiling it, or simply eating it raw. Spruce tips and pine needles make a delicious, vitamin C-rich infusion, while the seeds provide nutty flavor and a bit of fat to round out the experience.

Oyster Mushroom By voir ci-dessous / see below – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Oyster mushrooms are a delicious harbinger of autumn and winter. Cold-weather varieties fruit prolifically in the dark recesses of damp forests, sprouting from downed hardwoods in delicious, snow-white shelves that fan outward in search of sustenance.

You’ll recognize these tasty shrooms by their gilled undersides and classic oyster shape. They can provide carbs, abundant vitamin B, and a few essential fatty acids during wintertime. However, it’s important to note that novices should never harvest mushrooms without the help of an experienced forager. Many varieties are highly toxic, and it’s easy to get mixed up!

Wood Ear Mushroom By 트리오구 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Wood ear is a delicious nutritional powerhouse used both culinarily and medicinally. This hearty shroom actually grows year-round in my neck of the woods, though in other areas it does seem to prefer cooler temperatures. You can identify wood ear by its ear-like appearance, jellied texture, and rich brown color.

If you find a patch, you can slice it into strips, boil it, and use it like noodles. Other popular ways of consuming it include stir-fries and warming winter soups. You can also make wood ear tincture or vinegar infusion to take advantage of beneficial antioxidant compounds. Remember, don’t eat any mushrooms you cannot positively identify.

Crab Apples By Wehha – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Crab apples are a delightfully tart cousin of the larger apples we find in the grocery store. Hunting them out in the wild can prove an incredibly fruit-ful endeavor, since they can be collected en masse and stored for use throughout the colder months. Making crab apple preserves or simply jarring the fruit provides easy energy in the form of sugar and doses you up on vitamins.

You’ll find crap apples along forest edges, sunlight-dappled understory, and planted ornamentally in parks and roadsides—though you should take care not to forage from areas that have been treated with chemicals.

Do you forage in fall and winter?

Feeling hungry yet? Grab your jacket and get outside! Now that you know some of the best plants to forage in fall and winter, you’re ready to hit the trail for some cold-weather eats today.

Are you a year-round forager? Do you have any cold-weather edibles to add to this list? Have you ever prepared the items suggested in this article? Any tips?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Lyza

Lyza Hayn is an Ozark native forest-dweller and seasoned survival kitchen whizz. Foraging is her passion and wildcrafting is her (elderberry) jam. She knows how to gather, cook, and preserve hundreds of wild edibles, tincturing and pharmacrafting dozens more. By focusing on alternative food sources and natural remedies, Lyza knows we can all live a more independent lifestyle. Her mission is to help others utilize the world around them to reduce their dependence on established systems and create a more self-reliant future.

You can check out her website at or follow her on Instagram @yourmountainhome to see her point of view in photographs. 

The post 8 Cold-Weather Edibles to Forage in Fall and Winter appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

What to Know, When You Need It

Sat, 11/11/2023 - 07:45

If disaster strikes, you want fast, succinct information. You don’t have time to go read an entire article or search on the internet for what to do in order to survive.

That’s why I created these printable information sheets. Make as many copies as you want and post them where your family members will see them if they need the information. Put them in your emergency binder. Laminate them and keep them with your preparedness supplies.

In this packet, get fast, simple instructions for disasters. Learn what to do in case of these emergencies:

  • Tornados
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Nuclear Events
  • Post-Disaster Safety

Each page contains concise instructions for best practices and warnings about dangers you may not have considered at the moment. If you can’t be home when the emergency occurs, with these sheets, the people you love – even if they aren’t preppers  – will be better able to figure out what to do.

The In Case of Emergency Disaster Pack contains five high-quality PDF print-ready pages to use however you’d like.

Normally, our printables are $5 each which would make this bundle $25. This weekend, you can name your price for our first In Case of Emergency pack! (If times are tight you can get the entire set for as little as $5 – if things are great you can make a bigger purchase to help us out!)

This is one of the most useful and practical products I’ve ever created, and I know you’ll find it to be a valuable addition to your information preps.

Grab your pack today! Your purchase helps The OP to stay online in this era of censorship and demonetization.


The post What to Know, When You Need It appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Is a Cyber 9/11 Coming?

Fri, 11/10/2023 - 05:37

Talk of a “Cyber 9/11” has been circulating for years.  With the next presidential election twelve months away now, some folks are predicting that a major cyber event will happen before then, throwing a monkey wrench into the 2024 election process.

What the heck is Cyber 9/11?

What does Cyber 9/11 mean?  Is there a real risk?  What should we be preparing for?

There are two aspects to the Cyber 9/11 concept.  The first is the disaster itself; 9/11 was a catastrophe that ended the lives of over 3000 people in one day.  There are fears that if power grids were hacked or enough damage was done to logistical centers, the ensuing chaos would cause deaths.

Quite memorably, back in 2000, a disgruntled public works employee in Australia hacked into the water treatment system and caused raw sewage to pour into public areas, flooding a Hyatt hotel.  One man acting alone caused a disgusting, expensive mess. Of course security experts are concerned with what a team of angry individuals could do.

The second aspect to a potential Cyber 9/11 is the change in the regulatory landscape that occurred after 9/11 in 2001.  I remember flying as a teenager in the 90s. So many things changed later.  The airport changes were most obvious to regular citizens, but the passage of the Patriot Act in October 2001 was far more consequential.  It dramatically changed the way surveillance was conducted.

Under the Fourth Amendment, private citizens are supposed to be protected from warrantless search and seizures.  The Patriot Act really weakened that. Law enforcement is now allowed to delay the notice of search warrants.  They don’t need nearly as much oversight from judges to conduct phone and internet surveillance.

These Constitution-weakening changes occurred after 9/11 in 2001.

How might our Constitutional rights be altered after a Cyber 9/11?

Centralized powers have made it obvious that they love using calamities to push through changes the public would never otherwise accept.  Winston Churchill was the first person on record to say, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” as he worked to establish the UN in the 1940s, but he was hardly the last.

Understanding this tendency to see crisis as opportunity is absolutely vital to understanding everything else going on today.

So, is a Cyber 9/11 something we should be preparing for?

Some experts believe that a Cyber 9/11 would be difficult to pull off by the known terrorist groups for technical reasons.  And the world is too connected, globally, for most governments to pursue large-scale cyberattacks, even between unfriendly nations.  For people who want to use the internet to harm American society, there are simply better ways to do it.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that cyberattacks have been increasing.  Ask any small business owner. Daisy has mentioned in previous articles that most of this site’s income goes to security.  And I’ve heard similar things from friends that work in fields as diverse as accounting and energy.

These stories from friends align with what security professionals have found, too.  The Information Security Forum is a London-based firm that provides guidance on internet security for many Fortune 500 companies and governments around the world.  They have seen a huge increase in cyberattacks, too, and in June this year, they hosted an Operational Technology Cyber Simulation exercise in Brussels.  This gave industry leaders an opportunity to meet and collaborate, working through a simulation of a cyberattack on a fictitious manufacturing facility

How would governments react to a major cyberattack?

I don’t think a major cyberattack is an unreasonable concern.  I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask, if we did have a major cyber event, how would our governments react?

Central banks and governments around the world have been talking an awful lot about implementing CBDCs.  In late June, 130 countries representing 98% of the global economy were exploring CBDCs.  This is despite a lack of interest by average citizens.  During Covid, many people became aware of how China used its social credit system, interconnected with online banking, to enforce compliance.

It’s not just China that people can look to with alarm. When Nigeria’s government tried to impose CBDCs on their citizens, widespread protests erupted.

In the U.S., Republican Senators introduced legislation that would ban the federal government from implementing a CBDC.   Europeans don’t want CBDCs, either.  It has simply become too obvious that CBDCs will be used as a means of control, and politicians have been caught admitting it.

Look at the Rumble pranksters who convinced European Central Bank President Christine LaGarde that she was on the phone with Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky.  She admits, thinking that she is speaking privately, that CBDCs would be used to control what kind of payments the population would be able to make.

There’s no putting the cat back in that bag.  Politicians and central bankers want total financial control, and they think they have the technology to do it, through CBDCs.  Average citizens worldwide have been making it clear that they would really prefer to have the option of private, decentralized payments through crypto or cash, and so there is a legitimate concern that any upcoming cyberattack (no matter who actually conducts it) could be used to reset financial systems worldwide.

But do they have the technology to pull this off successfully?

Who knows.

We’ve talked before about Ukraine’s Diia app and how, shortly after it launched, they had a massive data breach in which millions of people had their personal information released all over the dark web.

This breach was tiny compared to what just happened to the people of India in the recent Aadhaar data breach.

Aadhaar is the Indian program launched to streamline the identification process of Indian citizens.  The program was rolled out in 2009, issuing a unique 12-digit number to each person who registered in exchange for their biometric data/

Before Aadhaar, there was no universal identification program within India, and as you can imagine, this led to widespread abuse and corruption.  Aadhaar claimed to solve that problem.

Within a few years of launching, Aadhaar had become the world’s largest biometric data collection service.  As of 2023, 99% of Indians, or 1.3 billion people, have handed over their fingerprints and iris scans in exchange for access to government services.  The Indian government has boasted that this allows the poorest Indians, many of whom had no official identification beforehand, to receive benefits.

A court ruling in 2018 claimed that the Indian government could demand Aadhaar data, but that private entities such as banks and phone companies could not.  However, despite this court ruling, many educated people within India claim that it was not clear what services would or would not be withheld based on Aadhaar participation.  Instances of fraud have been playing out since its adoption.  It has been used for voter fraud.  And, once you opt-in, there’s no opting out.

Within the past two weeks, India has suffered a massive data breach, with 815 million people having their biometric data and banking information put up for sale on the dark web.

This is the biggest data breach in history.  Eight hundred fifteen million people means that more than 1 in 10 people on planet Earth just had their data stolen.  You can find many, many videos on YouTube of furious Indians talking about the data breach, but Western media has totally ignored this for reasons that are probably obvious.

How am I preparing?

So, after all this, am I preparing for Cyber 9/11?  Am I prepping for the attack itself, or some kind of biometrically linked CBDC to roll out?

General chaos, leading to Thirdworldization, is my pre-2024 election prediction.  There are some power-hungry people individuals who would love to have the whole world living under a global digital system, but I think that forced implementation is more likely to cause chaos than anything else.  These systems are not foolproof and lead to problems wherever they’re tried.

We may not be able to avoid attempts at forced implementation.  But we can prepare by paying attention to our surroundings, becoming more skilled producers rather than consumers, and most of all, developing trusted networks of friends and family in the real world.

For more information on preparing for a cyberattack, check out this article and this one.

What are your thoughts?

Are you expecting a Cyber 9/11? Are you doing anything specific to prepare for it? What do you think the results would be if such an attack occurred in America?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

The post Is a Cyber 9/11 Coming? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

My Real Life Disaster Story: Why Home Inventories, Photos, and Contracts Are VITAL

Thu, 11/09/2023 - 05:58
By S.P. Rook

This is a story of a man in his 80s (myself) and a woman in her late 70s, my wonderful wife of 55  years, and of the terrible treatment we received from the local franchise of Servpro following a  fire at our house in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. 

I have been an ordained Lutheran pastor for more than 54 years with degrees from Muhlenberg  College, an AB in Psychology, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary, both a Masters of  Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. I have served three very different parishes over those years.  

In my capacity as pastor, I have spent almost my entire adult life involved with people, crises,  and the problems and joys created by both. I am no stranger to receiving fine treatment from some and quite distressing treatment from others. Because of health issues, I can do very little in the way of a pastor at this stage in my life. Still, I am able to share a great deal of life experience and wisdom. 

I have suffered from asthma since childhood and, in the last ten years from ever-worsening bronchiectasis, and have great difficulty breathing. I mention this because I believe that this company took advantage of us as a result of both our age and my condition.  

In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of a thorough and detailed home inventory.

The fire that started the crisis

The fire began in the lower level of our home, resulting from an exploding lithium-ion battery. Thanks to the rapid and professional response of our fire department, the damage from that fire was limited to four items: the G-scale engine in which the battery was located, the battery cluster, a plastic trash can, and the plastic floor mat upon which I had cast the engine. It was the great amount of toxic smoke and soot damage that caused us to have our home cleaned and repaired by Servpro. Thankfully, our insurance company paid for that work. They also housed us in a fine hotel for nine weeks and covered all of our expenses. 

Because the house had to be thoroughly cleaned, sealed, and repainted to stop the presence of those toxic compounds, the lower level and the first floor had to be emptied of all their contents.  We paid, as given us by insurance, the “contents division” of Servpro, $30,000 to pack, remove,  clean, and return our contents. That included our living room, dining room, kitchen, train room,  work shop, and laundry room. They were to take those items to their storage facility and clean  them where indicated. Once we returned to our house they were to return those items in the condition, at a minimum, in which they existed prior to removal.

That’s when things went terribly wrong.

It was with that process that the mistreatment of our possessions and the very poor treatment of the two of us by the GM of that Servpro franchise took place.

Had we had an inventory listing and had we made them initial every item they removed in the contents of that signed contract, we would not have been left without our items and without proper compensation for those things lost and broken. I would even recommend being there as those items are removed, especially if your health allows for that. 

Once the cleaning and painting were completed we were able to return to our house. I notified the contents division that we were home. They told me it would be at least three weeks before our contents would be returned. They had not started cleaning them at that point. That would be  12 weeks after the fire until we had our possessions returned. Thankfully, all of our electronics,  appliances, and anything that ran off of electricity or battery power had been perfectly serviced and returned by a subcontracted electronics firm. 

Ever since we received an inventory listing of the items removed by the contents people, we have been in constant contact with them over lost items. I had photographed the contents of every cabinet, every shelf, every railroad item, and every tool on that lower level. Many had not appeared on the inventory lists produced and sent to us. To this day several still have not appeared. 

Unfortunately, I had few photographs from the first floor where lost items also remain in limbo. I  have learned from this experience and am now in the process of photographing and making inventory lists of everything on all levels of our home. I simply was not prepared to be a  victim of Servpro’s treatment of our possessions. Do not let yourself be caught as we were.  Photographs and inventory lists are indispensable. 

Our items were finally returned but…

The day the items were returned we were faced with every room on those two levels stacked high with large boxes of them, at least 141 boxes. We were told that they had to be opened and checked in 7 days, and after that period, no claims could be filed against the company. There I  was, on oxygen every night, unable to even walk around the block on most days, and told I had seven days to identify what was in 141 boxes located in 7 rooms on two levels of our house and determine their condition.

It was at that point that we were required by that company to pay them the full $30,000 before we were able to open even one box. I should have refused to pay anything more than 50% of that fee until the boxes had been checked.

For the next 6 ½ days, I got up at 6:00 am and did not get to bed before midnight, opening,  unwrapping, and checking every item. The items were returned on a Friday, so we did have help from our immediate family that night and over the weekend. There were very few boxes which we opened that did not contain broken or destroyed items. We have well over 100 photographs of that damage, so much that we stopped photographing less than maximum damage. 

For example: 

  • All but one of our large, commemorative Christmas balls, most given to us over 55 years by friends, were removed from all  of their boxes, wrapped in bubble wrap, and then shrink-wrapped, many together, and reduced to shards of glass. To  add insult to that destruction, some of the empty, individual boxes were returned to us.

  • A pimple glass serving plate, a wedding gift in 1908 from my  wife’s great aunt’s wedding, which I used for serving Holy  Communion in my first parish and was stored in our dining room  hutch, was returned broken. Like with so many other items, the broken pieces were wrapped in with the main item.

  • A mug, a gift to my wife that past Christmas, had the handle broken off and wrapped, with it inside the mug. The wrapper had to know that it was broken before wrapping.
  • A china teapot, given to my wife by her mother many years earlier, which started her buying that china patternfor our use,  was returned wrapped very tightly. When it was unwrapped it was in two pieces. The wrapper surely knew about that as well.
  • A table lamp, apparently too large to fit into the box was simply forced in and broken. The special eDevice unit that screwed into the lamp socket for remote and/or timed control, has never appeared.
  • And finally, almost all of my large collection of nuts, bolts, screws, drill bits, and screwdriver bits, originally all in separate containers and labeled, were dumped out of all their containers into various plastic bags and  bundles of rags. Like with the Christmas decorations, another box  contained all the emptied containers into which I had sorted that  hardware over the years, including the containers in which the drill and screwdriver bits had been purchased. In the bottom of one of those bags I discovered a fork from our dining room silverware.

I could go on and on with examples—a large crowbar packed on top of a  box of china, a steel pipe cutter packed together with the top of a china butter dish (a top that did not survive that packing). But for the sake of brevity, I will stop here.  We sent every photograph to the person in charge of that division, more than 100 of them, and we asked that individual to share those with the GM. In fact, we asked to have the GM come to our house and see the damage or at least call us directly. That never happened.  

That week was not only terribly stressful, both physically and emotionally, but quite depressing as well. I had to use oxygen the entire time, when up to that point, I had only used it while I slept. 

At the end of those seven days, with everything opened, we were told that the 7-day examination period would be waived. At that point, that did nothing for us. 

What about compensation?

Since then we have been arguing with the GM about compensation, not only for everything broken and missing, but for the abuse of us trying to meet that deadline in the midst of our grief. We paid that Servpro franchise $30,000 to inflict such suffering and damage on us. 

At a meeting—another story altogether—my wife finally got with the GM and the contents project manager – they admitted that the damage was caused by one employee. Unintentionally, they claimed, in spite of the nature of that damage—and they fired that person. It seemed to me,  and I have no verification of this, that they actually knew something about our broken items being packed in that condition before they returned them. That may have been why they required full payment before we could open the boxes. 

Their final statement to us—we have a copy of it—was that we needed to accept their paltry offer of a few thousand dollars, and sign a document never to write a negative review about them. We refused and were told that was it. If anything was to be settled it would have to be through legal means. 

Let this be your warning.

Please beware. We were far too trusting that a franchise that was part of a national company would provide the service by which that company was known. We never thought we would be involved in a terrible situation like that fire and its aftermath.  

In addition, we never had a written contract with that company. We were in such a state after the fire that we assumed everything contractually was being taken care of by the insurance company. I never thought that a nationally known company would operate without a written contract.

That was, perhaps, the biggest error we made. That gave them free rein to make us think their demands, like that “7-day  opening boxes time”, were somehow legal requirements. Lacking a signed contract and an inventory listing, one that could be shared with the company, and having them mark, with initials, every item they removed was the main reason that I wrote this account.

I would even make sure that you can be present as those contents are removed and checked with initials on your listing, unless, like me, your health would not permit that. It would definitely take an investment of your time, but looking back at our poor experience with that particular franchise,  an investment that, in the long run, would be worth it. 

It is better to take the time and prepare yourself for such an encounter before it ever happens,  than to wait until it is too late. Taking these precautions before they are needed will make getting through the tragedy a lot easier. If such an occasion never presents itself to you, you will be doubly blessed.

Have you ever had a bad experience like this?

Looking for a home inventory template? Grab our printable version here.

Have you ever dealt with the company Servpro? If so, how was your experience? Have you ever had an issue with getting your items replaced or repaired through your insurance company? Do you have any advice to share?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About S.P.

S.P. Rook has been an ordained Lutheran pastor for more than 54 years. He and his wife live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.

The post My Real Life Disaster Story: Why Home Inventories, Photos, and Contracts Are VITAL appeared first on The Organic Prepper.