Prepping in New England and talking gun rights with the new left

Letter from Mike K

Thanks for the constant blogging and sharing your experiences with all of us out here on The Survivalist Blog.net. Being young (almost 30 now!), Buddhist, socially liberal, and from New England, I often feel like an outsider in the prepper community. Nevertheless, my wife and I tend our gardens, buy second hand, stock up on ammo, and try to get ready for the collapse or the long slow grind that awaits us and the next generations. What I like to tell people (when they’ll listen) is that this isn’t “a recession” – it’s THE Recession.

Early on in my life I realized that the world was not the way most people pretend it is. I realized that the US government would wage propaganda campaigns on its own citizens, and that cash ruled everything around us. I started looking at our social, environmental, economic and financial problems in a new light. By the end of college, I had a degree in environmental policy and a conviction that no amount of public policy would avert our trajectory. We’re running out of cheap abundant energy, our financial system is a fairy tale, climate change is already here, and the people who run our institutions have seen this coming for a long time. They’re prepared and we should be too.

Living in Massachusetts my whole life, I’ve learned to live with quite a bit of government and bureaucracy. I’ve learned to tolerate repeated convictions of our State House Speakers (three for three and counting!). Even the occasionally harsh (and now consistently unseasonably warm) winters are a familiar comfort. What I won’t tolerate is a 7 round magazine limit. That will be the red flag to immediately hasten our planned relocation to VT or NH.

I do my best to explain to my many “liberal” friends that such legislation might as well be a ban on all semi-autos for all the 7 round mags there are. It’s hard to reach people in this media climate, but occasionally people get it. I find the best tactic is reminding them that the second amendment is explicitly about maintaining some sort of parity between irregular civilian militias and professional military forces. If that doesn’t work, I usually mention that a government monopoly on violence is a dangerous privilege to take for granted and leave it at that. If I have a choice between gunfights and massacres, I’ll take the fights thank you very much.

I’m writing to ask you and your readers for two things:

1. People seem unaware of all the times armed citizens have prevented massacres or other crimes. You recently posted a link to a 1993 event in South Africa. It would be nice to be able to point to a long list and say “Yes, good guys with guns DO stop bad guys with guns.”

2. Please don’t lump my generation’s movements in with the rest of the left. To paraphrase Obi Wan: “These are not the liberals you are looking for.” You may have seen this image of OccupySandy feeding the volunteers FEMA left high and dry. We don’t look to the government for help. We know these institutions are failing. We may not like Republicans, but we recognize that the Democrats are just the other side of a broken political system (you’ll notice there were many prominent TeaParty events hosted by Republicans, but no Occupy events hosted by Democrats – We pushed back hard when MoveOn tried to co-opt us). Now, we may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but I think grassroots preppers and conservatives have more common ground with the new left than most think. My final bit of evidence is this photo taken at OccupyBoston directly across the street from the Fed building.

Comments

  1. I spent 9 of 20 years living in MA. I survived their politics. I now live where I don’t have so many people passing laws “for my own good”. And I feel better for it.

    I look at the hypocrisy of the left, and wonder how they get dressed in the morning; Velcro shoe on one foot, buckles on the other? Not that the right is all good, all the time. I liked the statement “Conservatives don’t like something they don’t do/use it, Liberals want to outlaw it”.

  2. SurvivorDan says:

    Refreshing to hear a perspective on events from the New Left. You are the first of the New Left I have heard from. Your words are measured and thoughtful and I commend your reasoning regarding your gov’t and your stand on the gun rights issue.
    Sadly, I ‘m not sure that there are many more of you in the same category as you describe yourself as the New Left. I sent my youngest daughter to NYC to college and she became a left wing, Obama lover. And apparently embraces most of the in-power Left’s ideas. I have talked with her boyfriend and friends and they are condescendingly, immovably, Big Gov’t lefties. Without any reasoned arguments, I might add, just a ‘good’ feeling about the in-power Left. Huh?
    I have not seen any other hint of this New Left paradigm.

    Though her boyfriend does support gun rights , he is all for ‘reasonable’ restrictions such as a universal registration, limited magazine capacity, limits on the makes of guns to be purchased (though there are already many on the books) and no transference of guns between private parties without a licensed gun dealer middle man. That is not support of our gun rights. That is support for the incremental insidious erosion of said rights.
    I don’t believes that one cannot embrace most of the social agenda of the Left and then cite the ‘support’ of gun rights as evidence of a more enlightened New Left.
    But if by ‘socially liberal’ you mean that you judge a man, not by his color, but by the content of his character…want everyone to be upwardly mobile and to get a hand up (mostly via private charity with gov’t programs being just for the basic needs and temporary) to help get there…to have the ability to own his/her own castle…to have fair taxes…to have a health care system that allows health insurance companies to compete nationally…tort reform to reduce the burden of the cash cow of class action suits, frivolous personal lawsuits et al….better schools by reducing the onerous burdens (and teacher union power over) of a central government bureaucracy….limiting the power of a gov’t that is only interested in perpetuating itself and cash (your thoughts)…then you might be a conservative – New Lefter.

    Whatever that is…but you are my brother prepper and for jibes against Lefties and Libtards…that may have made you feel like an outsider, I apologize to you. But NOT to the Leftists who want to take away our God given and constitutionally enshrined rights.

    And for this statement – I salute you.

    “a government monopoly on violence is a dangerous privilege to take for granted and leave it at that. If I have a choice between gunfights and massacres, I’ll take the fights thank you very much.” Mike K

    Well said, not-too-young-to-think-for-himself Mike!

  3. SurvivorDan says:

    correction:
    “I don’t believes that one cannot embrace most of the social agenda of the Left and then cite the ‘support’ of gun rights as evidence of a more enlightened New Left.”

    I don’t believe that one can embrace most of the social agenda of the Left and then cite the ‘support’ of gun rights as evidence of a more enlightened New Left.

    believes? and a double negative?
    Lack of sufficient morning coffee……lol

    Keep on reading herein Mike K. And keep your comments coming.
    We need the discussion and we need the different perspectives.
    Nothing worse than simply preaching to the choir.

  4. Mike K- very well said.Arlene

  5. I have a couple of questions:

    1) What do you mean by “Socially Liberal?” It’s a phrase that is used often, but defined by the people who use it very little. I know what I mean when I use it, but it’s your definition that is important here. It seems that many who carry the term “socially liberal” are ones who agree with passing laws that make owning weapons of any sort very difficult for the masses.

    2) Did you vote for the people who are trying to pass the laws you are now trying to avoid? I would hope that this would have been a huge issue for you if it is one that you’re willing to relocate over.

    • I regret using the label ["socially liberal"]. It’s tainted. If I had to describe my politics, I’d say I’m generally in favor of the people farthest away from you have the least Power over you ["anarchist"]. Very much Pro-2A ["conservative"] but if you’re planning to pull a Rawles, you best have some robotic warfare countermeasures cause the future is here every day. I have voted for Democrats in the past, but I generally “throw my vote away” on third party people when I vote. The dems all win here anyhow. VT and NH are in the cards regardless – the accelerated move is because I don’t like the idea of civilian disarmament ONE BIT ["gun nut"].

      I think the Internet is AWESOME and that certain factions of ["Occupy"] and the ["Anon"] brands/movements are also examples of the ["New Left"]. The Internet is what has finally made elections and campaigns and representative government more-or-less obsolete ["Internet Activist"]. The Internet also pays the bills – I double-majored in computer science ["geek"]. As ["preppers"], we need to think about building a decentralized wide-area meshnet soon if we really want Internet freedom. #JustSayin

      I think we as a species are already set on a trajectory of resource over-exploitation and ecological degradation to the point where more and more things go extinct and civilization as we know it stops functioning within (possibly) decades ["environmentalist"] unless science invents free energy or we figure out some new lifestyles. If we’re stuck with nation-states, I think we need international environmental laws because pollution and ecocide doesn’t respect borders. I’ve been ["vegan"]ish for 10 years or so because of factory animal farming. We will definitely keep chickens and bees when we move north; I will probably avoid killing them if I can.

      I don’t mind the idea of my taxes paying to heal people, but I don’t like giveaways to insurance companies or healthcare that mostly drags out old peoples lives in a hospital bed for a few months. I think a room of mostly white men legislating women’s health care is pretty f***ed up. I don’t like Monsanto, big banks, current intellectual property regimes, the military-industrial complex (the cool tech it makes is a side-effect of the fact that it’s where all the money is), nuclear weapons, debt with interest, neo-colonialism, oppression or any other thing or institution that allows a few to hold unaccountable Power over the many. I try to be pragmatic in response to these things and prepping seems like the obvious course of action. Also, Open Source Hardware is the future of capitalism and deserves support if you have it to give: http://vimeo.com/49864277 ["technological optimist"]

      I also mean ["socially liberal"] as being in opposition to ["family vales conservatives"]. i.e.: I’m supportive of the whole GLBTQP* alphabet soup. Quite frankly, I don’t care how people structure their families or live their lives, so long as nothing is coercive or harmful. I don’t think that a religious/spiritual/cultural institution like marriage belongs in the hands of the government. I think people should be able to form legal partnerships in whatever configuration suits their needs. I don’t trust the politicians and the institutions of government but I think the moral fascists (i.e.: Rick Santorum) scare me the most.

      When you get to a certain point in my flavor of Zen, you take “precepts” – an oath not to lie, kill, steal, cause suffering, or be lazy. This translates pretty roughly to “Try to do the right thing.” There’s some pretty heavy overlap with the 10 Commandments as well. Regardless of ones beliefs about the literal truth of The Bible or its various interpretations, it’s hard not to be touched by the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Dude was SERIOUSLY AWESOME ["Christian"]. I believe in morality and I value families. I really do. I just don’t think the government should have a hand in it but for the lightest touch. Government isn’t the soul of society. It is is the “legitimate” use of force and arbiter of property in society – from the IRS to handcuffs to drones to rubber bullets and CS gas to court rooms. But like I said, it’s almost obsolete now. I’m really hoping people can learn to talk to and make decisions with one another. I’d really like a truce to this whole “culture war” thing.

      Uh, so that’s what I meant. Thanks for blogging/reading my rants. I didn’t mean for this response to be so long initially, but I guess concise labels aren’t that useful.

      PS: The missing link to the Occupy Boston pic from at end of my letter goes here: http://radlife.org/radlife/?p=244

      PPS: We’re already on the Internet, but if anyone minds my re-posting something they wrote, please mention it.

  6. Millie in KY says:

    There have been dozens of instances of people stopping massacres and crimes with their own weapon. If you join some of the conservative sites on Facebook, there are many that make the rounds. I don’t have a list to share with you, though. But I can say I’ve seen at least a dozen come thru in the past month or two.
    I wouldn’t be looking at VT or NH as a place to go. I think they are going to be equally bad. Where do you think the millions in NYC may end up going if they can get that far? They will be hungry and looking for anything they can get. Get off the east coast completly.
    You kinda sound like the people that were around when Mother Earth News started. But it is going to be hard to find common ground with a lot of preppers, so many are truly conservative, not that we don’t want you to have your rights but we don’t want your rights trampling ours. Just sayin’. :)

  7. Well said. There are more of us out there than you realize.

  8. Pineslayer says:

    Mike K, after reading your post I realized how little I like labels, whether they are used by yourself to describe yourself or by others to describe others. I have friends of all kinds, with all the varied opinions. Some of my friends on either side are completely clueless as to how things work and give their “side” a bad name every time they talk about politics. The smartest and my best friends enjoy learning the truth and making decisions from there instead of buying into the regurgitated filth that comes from the 2 ruling parties. I would recommend that all of us need to stop using these labels that are patented by the rulers to divide US. Anyone who wants to see this Republic survive is a patriot and we need to talk among ourselves, bypassing the corrupt government, and save it ourselves. Start by firing the corrupt power mongers that no more than puppets for central banks and uber-large corporations. Sorry to digress. Good post.

  9. Sorry; Occupy was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Obama administration. If you believe differently you’re just a brain-washed know-nothing.

    The only reason the Democrat party stayed at arm’s length was for fear of the Occupy violence getting more attention.

    • LOL dude I slept at OccupyBoston many weekends and I still keep in touch with a whole bunch of people from that network. I can assure you that most of them got more beatings and court dates and pepper spray from the government than support. Except the snitches and provocateurs of course.

      I’m not saying there wasn’t a strong liberal and socialist streak (Here’s one such obnoxious story: http://radlife.org/radlife/?p=66). I’m not saying there weren’t some attempts to co-opt the movement. It’s true many of the allied groups who came out for marches were traditional Democrat constituencies, but the Anarchists were always the ones who brought the marching band. Literally. What I will tell you is that Occupy is/was a network of factions, and there are many of those factions that align fairly well with the politics I’ve described.

      • Sen Liesalot Warren said she was the founder of the occupy movement. But thats ok she’s a liberal indian.

  10. Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

  11. Mike,
    You sound like one of the few liberals I could actually sit down and have a beer with, although it would likely be a spirited discussion.
    I’ve seen reports even by the MSM acknowledging that within our lifetimes the US will be the largest energy exporter in the world, surpassing the Middle East. We have known reserves of coal and natural gas that could power the country for hundreds of years.
    Our financial system is worse that a fairy tale, you’re absolutely right.
    As for climate change, I have never seen evidence to convince me that this is anything but a natural cycle. Much like the furnace and air conditioner in my house, on a bigger scale. The earth cools then heats up, it gets too warm and then cools itself down, and lucky for us it does.
    Personally, I don’t care much for either party. I don’t think either is concerned with protecting the Constitution. I prefer a Conservative outlook to a liberal/progressive/politically correct model for governance. I also prefer much, much smaller government than the overly intrusive one we have now (give me a break, no sodas over 16oz in New York, foolishness, and a waste of governments’ time. Is this really what people are elected to do?).
    I fully support your efforts to educate people regarding the 2nd amendment. I hope you are successful, unfortunately I think it is virtually impossible to educate many who are willingly following the path this government has put before them. A cradle to grave society is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned. My hopes for my sons decreases daily.
    Good luck in your efforts.
    May God bless the U.S.A.,
    With respect, Oscar
    p.s. Thanks for the chance to vent.
    p.p.s. I could not find a link for the pictures you referenced.

    • Thanks Oscar. Here’s the pic I mentioned at the end: http://radlife.org/radlife/?p=244

      In some way’s I’m quite conservative. When I was about 10 I found out about the national debt (I was really into math as a kid) and I wrote Bill Clinton the child’s equivalent of “WTF dude?” Some weeks later got a nice form letter back in the mail. That was a learning experience.

      I agree that there are natural climate cycles. Humans are definitely causing a mass extinctions, regardless of how much our CO2 emissions impact the climate. Don’t worry tho! The first mass extinction was because of photosynthesis, so sometimes lots of the biosphere dies and something else comes out of it. Computer modeling is useful, but the climate system is too complex to model with real confidence at this point IMO.

      Coal mining means destroying entire mountains and sometimes this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGmVCABMRRQ I’m actually pro-natural gas (so long as there aren’t too many poisoned aquifers, flammable tap water, and additional earthquakes) and pro-nuclear (but unfortunately our current infrastructure was designed to make bombs, not clean energy). The tar sands is GENEROUSLY estimated at a 7:1 energy return on energy investment. We’re not just getting more clever with technology we’re getting desperate and digging deeper into less-abundant resources. The “Backstop Theory” of resources in neoclassical economics is total BS IMO.

      But really as anyone living happily off the grid knows, the main part of the energy problem is not really a problem of supply. It’s a problem of demand.

    • Here’s the other pic I mentioned of Occupy Sandy delivering donated supplies from a rented UHAUL truck to abandoned FEMA volunteers: http://washingtonsquareparkblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/occupy_sandy_feeds_fema-300×300.jpg

      Here’s a banner that sums up their views on their work: http://paxus.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/occupy-sandy-mutual-aid-not-charity.jpg

      PS: One of my BFFs recently stepped back as a core organizer of Occupy Sandy (Ironically, because he is out of money and needs to get a job. We used to work in tech support together. Then he moved to NYC. Then OWS happened and the rest will be history once it’s over.)

  12. “It would be nice to be able to point to a long list and say “Yes, good guys with guns DO stop bad guys with guns.”

    Here’s some places to start compiling your own list. You’ll have to vet the individual reports yourself. I would if I was going to use them in an argument. And if you want more it’s an easy search.

    Might keep an eye on the drudge report for recent articles.

    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/11/18/armed-civilians-saving-cops-lives/

    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/02/08/more-examples-of-armed-citizens-saving-cops-lives/

    http://www.kc3.com/self_defense/officers_peril.htm

    http://www.learnaboutguns.com/2009/05/08/armed-student-shoots-home-invaders-saving-10-lives/

    http://www.policemag.com/blog/patrol-tactics/story/2008/11/call-for-civilian-backup.aspx

  13. Mike, when you talk to your friends about cases where “good guys with guns stopped bad guys with guns” don’t forget these situations:

    * bad guy’s attack disrupted when BG sees there’s a GG with a weapon (like last year’s Clackamas mall shooting)
    * bad guy decides not to attack because of the *possibility* of a GG with a weapon (reportedly, the Aurora shooter drove past several unrestricted theaters before getting to the gun-free one he attacked; were the people at the other theaters spared because the shooter was looking for a softer target? We’ll never know–but you don’t hear much about gun fights breaking out in police stations or at the Cabelas gun counter.)

    Mike, also remind them of cases where GGs *couldn’t* stop BGs–because the GGs followed the law and left their gun at home (like the Sandy Hook principal, who had a concealed carry) or in the car (as in the 1991 Killeen massacre).

    You and your friends probably don’t remember much from 1991. In October, a gunman entered the Killeen Luby’s during the lunch rush, locked the door and spent the next 15 minutes slowly walking around, stopping randomly to shoot someone hiding under their table. 23 people were shot and killed, many in the head at point blank range.

    One of the survivors was Susanna Hupp, a chiropractor who was taking her parents to lunch. She had a gun, but had left it in her car because Texas law did not allow carrying in public places then. Both her parents were among the dead.

    She later served in the Texas legislature for 10 years, and published a book discussing gun rights in 2009. I haven’t read it yet, but for those interested, it can be found on Amazon. (remember MD’s ‘shop Amazon’ link on the lower left sidebar.)

    • Yeah what just doesn’t click for me about all this is that the sensational news that prompts the “national conversation” is always a massacre, which is by definition not a gun fight. I’m sure people are shot and killed in gun fights too but you mostly don’t hear about it because it’s mostly poor inner-city POC and the media is way more responsive to school shootings in middle+ class places.

      • Mike, there are always elements of these events that seem to indicate planning and aid by someone more qualified for the dirty work than the patsy. Those clues are normally left out of the official version by the next morning, but are often available as news channel commentary or interviews on the scene at the time. Those are regularly posted on the internet, though I suspect some of the more damning ones get taken down as soon as the news cools.

        In other words, these events that lead to a one way ‘national conversation’ do that precisely because they were planned out in a manner that would permit that ‘public dancing in the blood of the victims’. Just one example – if these guys are all ‘crazy’, how is it they all manage to find a ‘gun free’ location -sometimes 20 miles from home – to do their killing instead of starting at the first place or person outside their door?

  14. Mike, you might also be interested in this article by J. Vanne:

    http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/archives/2641

    It discusses issues including a Chinese survivor’s perspective on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and gun rights, as well the French doctrine of ‘dissuasion du faible au fort’ (or how a weaker force can keep a stronger force in check).

  15. Don’t be a good lefty…Don’t be a good righty…
    Be a good American Citizen and cherish the greatest document ever composed by the hands of man. Because the rest of the world are depending on the American People.

    One of the definitions of Insanity,”to keep doing the same thing (voting) time after time,and expecting the outcome to be different”.
    Vote for an alternative.

  16. Being born and raised inKomrafornia the new left is the same as the old left. A pinto with a new paintjob is still a pinto. There is nothing new under the sun.I am for the Constitution first and formost. Funny how libs want to dilute gunrights and will fight to there death to defend abortion since it is in the constitution.

  17. NotAHusker says:

    You sound like a lot of people I knew growing up in south west Pennsylvania; Democrat, anti-abortion, pro gun, pro union, very religious, and believing in limited government. The new PA democrats, republicans, and greedy union leaders destroyed my home state by turning it in to a cradle to grave welfare state with low paying jobs. (only good jobs if you are Union and give lots of kickbacks) I had to make a tough decision to leave as I could no longer live in my home town a be a successful person and Patriot American.

    Sorry you feel you have to leave your home state but sometimes leaving is the only decision when you are outnumbered, outgunned, and have no chance of fighting back.

    • I’m sorry you had to see your home and your economy decline like that.

      I do think employees need to be able to organize because their employer holds their livelihoods in his hands (There’s that pesky Power over others again!) … but unions as they mostly exist today are another form of hierarchy with opportunities for corruption :-/

  18. Petticoat Prepper says:

    I have been pondering this all day. I can see that you’ve given quite a bit of thought to what you’ve written. I am concerned you’ve a degree in environmental policy. From my perspective this was a waste of time acquiring. I do not buy into the ‘global warming/climate change’ push. If we indeed had an ice age and there were no fossil fuel fiends or huge carbon footprints then the earth warming out of the ice age means this flexing is a normal part of the planet.

    I don’t know many liberals aside from those in my own family. Most of them are anti self defense and want the cradle to grave care from ‘the government’. After having the day to chew on your letter I am thinking the ‘new left’ really is more the regular old left but not the extreme left currently on display in the white house, congress and media. Maybe you’re just trying to distance from such a vile display as we currently have going on.

    I would caution associating with the Occupy group as they’ve been extremely violent in my area of this nation and have caused millions of dollars in property damage. I’ve little respect for them. The sheer volume of trash left behind them was overwhelming. The Tea Party folks have been respectful and beyond tidy. I lean more toward them as I believe in the Constitution, small government and personal responsibility. The Republicans also lean towards them for the same reasons.

    I do wish you’d come back and comment some. I’d love to understand what ‘socially liberal’ means. Is it abortion is ok and the death penalty is not? Marriage is between whomever? Drugs are ok as long as you’re not hurting anyone? Please explain, this is a new to me term.

    I appreciate your letter as you’ve given me food for thought today. Come back and comment some.

    • Thanks for the warm reply. I’d be all for the death penalty if I trusted the “justice system” to find the truth and not to be abused by money (Google “lawfare” and “4th Generation warfare” to get what I mean here). I think abortion is likely one of the hardest choices a woman would ever make, I don’t think a government of mostly white men should make that woman a criminal. I think most prohibition (whether on abortion or drugs) usually causes more problems than it solves. I don’t think abortion is murder exactly, but I can see that it becomes less not-murder over time.

      I’m sorry an Occupy encampment left you with a mess. I can only speak for Occupy Boston when I tell you we picked up our garbage (and yes, our compost and recycling). We even raised funds to re-seed the park for our eventual eviction. Which encampment was this one if I may ask?

      I have sympathies with most of the libertarian and small government values of the Tea Party. I felt bad for their grass roots when CNN branded some of their Republican theater as “The CNN/TeaParty debate” (<- That's not good media attention – it's co-option and appropriation of your brand) I am interested to see whether the libertarians will splinter off the Reagan coalition and leave the Republicans with only the moral fascists, the neo-cons and the corporatists in their base.

  19. Surprised this wasn’t mentioned yet, long list of citizens defending themselves, sure I read it every week with my NRA membership:

    http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx

  20. MountainSurvivor says:

    The views of the left will always be the same, doesn’t matter what generation they come from. You’re young but it’s not too late to read the NRA’s articles because they will tell you how many good guys have been saving the day. There are lots of good guys that have taken down the bad guys and you might get a bigger list than you are looking for when you follow them. You say, “We’re running out of cheap abundant energy, our financial system is a fairy tale, climate change is already here, and the people who run our institutions have seen this coming for a long time. They’re prepared and we should be too.” Global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Socialists so there is an agenda similar to Hitler’s in there. There is more than enough energy but the Government has been stopping us from getting to it and producing it. The fairy tale used to exist, things were good and the economy was growing, so people were free to dream and dream big. The sky was the limit. People have had a hard time letting the American Dream go. The people running our institutions, they dictate how things will go. If you were to hear Henry Kissinger talk about “…new world order or return to chaos”. Agenda 21 has a lot to do with moving all of us into the cities and destroying and removing the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence from Our possession for evil purposes. Save the planet is for that purpose. The planet does not need saving because there is NO global warming nor is the planet going to die. Yeah, they’re prepared all right. They dictate when and how much prices for certain things will go up, sometimes down. I think they’ve been watching “it” happen and that’s why they’ve seen “it” coming. If that’s not control, I don’t know what is. Government helps decide which big farmers will grow and which won’t. They love the commodities markets because they mine and they love money like everybody else does. Did you know that if the Government were extracting, say, natural gas, they would have to put a price on it? Their buyers would have to pay that, or close to it, in order to have sufficient supplies for their own use and that of their country’s businesses. Similarly, with Arabian or another’s oil supplies, a deal must be worked out so that the supplier profits and everybody’s happy. You can’t go to a grocery store and expect that the manager is going to give you 50% off when he knows that he can wait it out for another consumer to come along which will pay the sticker price or who wants to receive an offered incentive of 10% to 25% off during the weekly or bi-monthly sales. If it gets down the line the seller will locate a buyer who is willing to cut them a check for all of the items they are getting rid of which is likely to still provide the seller with a certain amount of profit. Commodities keep the world turning but smalltime competition gets in the way. That could be the reason the government has been messing up the economy like it has. Downsize it and the smalltimers die off, less competition, more control over economic circumstances, you knew you were going to overspend because the economy is what the government controls. As in the days of Hitler, health care and the economy was in that government’s hands.

    • So, I can’t get on board with the NRA for a few reasons but this is probably the main one: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/308608/ I do donate to GOAL and Comm2A tho.

      I disagree with the degree of control “they” have over particular things because I believe “they” are mostly factions and not a single powerful group that manipulates everything.

      The planet will continue for sure, but we are definitely making lots of species extinct very quickly, deserts are spreading, and we are digging ever deeper to find things to burn for energy.

      PS: If the creationists are correct and there is no evolution (and therefore no new species) every time something goes extinct because of us, we have permanently destroyed a piece of God’s creation.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        The events of the 1960’s do not define or explain the second amendment. They were a persecuted people and so are we, 65 years later. There is a wise, thoughtful reason for the ambiguity in the second amendment. If it was written for a time when a spear was an assault weapon, then a spear would be proper. If it were written in a time when a musket could be deemed to be an assault weapon, then it would be proper. If it were written for a time when a bazooka or a tank could be called an assault weapon, they would be proper. If it were written for a time when nuclear or biological or death-rays could be used to assault, they would be appropriate.

        The question is; Appropriate to what?
        The second amendment was written to allow citizens to be armed with whatever is appropriate to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, such as England was when the amendment was written.

  21. Mike K. Nice piece and a few things to think about. Thanks.

    You sound a lot like my 30 year old son. We do have some great conversations on these types of topics. Always respectful but passionate. One thing we always do is avoid muddying the water. That is, we pick one topic and not throw 10 different subjects out there and expect the other to respond to it ALL in a handful of sentences.
    Having said that… I would laike to discuss one thing you said, “(you’ll notice there were many prominent TeaParty events hosted by Republicans, but no Occupy events hosted by Democrats). That is just not true.
    I have seen it claimed by lieberal tv pundits over and over, but there has never been any evidence provided. Just the repeat repeat repeat of the usual left wing propoganda. I am not aware of a single event “hosted” by a prominent republican. In fact I have never seen any elected official speak at any Tea Party event I attended. Either party.
    The Tea Party was formed by Conservative Activist primarily because the Republican leadership was way off course and not listening to its member. You should have noticed, over the years the Tea Party has replaced as many old republicans as it has demcrats,
    On the other hand, it has been well documented that the Occupy folks were well funded by George Soros. While he may not be a demorat he is undeniable a socialist.
    Anyway, thanks for a good article.

    • I mean things like this: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/09/12/debate.teaparty/index.html

      This may not represent the grassroots, but someone is jacking the Tea Party brand pretty hard and co-opting it.

      There were/are definitely a lot of socialists and liberals at Occupy Boston (my home encampment), but there were also plenty of anarchists, libertarians, and people who don’t like any of those labels. I don’t know what George Soros is supposed to have bought for us. I brought my own tent, we found our own webhosting and The Hare Krishnas donated a lot of hot meals. The core people I know don’t have any sugar daddies as far as I can tell.

  22. Anybody who gardens, keeps guns to oppose tyranny, and follows the teachings of Buddha is a friend of mine. And when you wrote that between a gunfight and a massacre, you’ll choose the fight – I ‘high-fived’ my flat screen! Keep up the good work Mike.

    • Thanks! This is the perfect comment to end my night :)

      Thanks also to everyone for the dialog and especially to MD for keeping this site going. Y’all have been interesting to dialog with and civil in disagreement, which speaks very well of the community here. Thanks for making a safe space.

  23. Tom Arnold says:

    Thanks for writing Mike K. You sound like one of the few younger people who’s trying to think and not just follow.

    I’ve got a question for you, though. Hopefully it doesn’t sound like a smart alec one, I honestly want to know.

    In your introduction you said you were a Buddhist and you stock up on ammo. To me, stocking up on ammo implies you have a firearm and intend to use it. Here’s my ignorance showing – I thought shooting someone and being a Buddhist were mutually exclusive ideas. Isn’t that why the Buddhist monks chose to incinerate themselves rather that choose a violent response?

    Maybe I’m reading too much into, and assuming too much about, what you said and if so, I’m sorry. Hopefully you can educate this old fart :)

    Thanks again

  24. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Tom Arnold
    I cannot speak to Mike K.’s views or even Buddhism. What I do know is Buddhist Monks invented and perfected Gung Fu and Drunken Monkey as well as several other martial arts to defend their communities. The Boxer Rebellion in the late 1800’s was predominantly Buddhist Monks and they killed many Christians.

  25. “Being young (almost 30 now!), Buddhist, socially liberal, and from New England, I often feel like an outsider in the prepper community. Nevertheless, my wife and I tend our gardens, buy second hand, stock up on ammo, and try to get ready for the collapse or the long slow grind that awaits us and the next generations.”
    Hey, Mike, you’re not alone out there. That description matches me exactly, too. Well, except that I’m in my mid-40’s and the family business keeps me here in Mass. It’s nice to know that there are other people out there thinking independently of the old left-vs-right doctrines. Thanks, Mike!
    Oh, and to Tom’s last remark: a Buddhist tries to always act with compassion for other beings. Sometimes that means you need to stand up and protect others, too. It’s all about seeing a situation without illusion or ego, and taking the correct actions that do the most good.

  26. Swabbie Robbie says:

    Mike, Good letter. I started much like you: social liberal, but always felt fiscally conservative because even in 1969 when I graduated from high school I could see the Federal government debt would grow unsustainably. I was a hippie type in those heady times. I moved to the country a few years later and that began to change my outlook. I could see that a large part of the debt we were taking on was because of the socially liberal programs. Worse that the damage to the economy and burden to future generations (your’s and your children’s most specifically). I could see that much of those programs made people dependent on the government and weakened them= their character and ethics, the family bonds, the ability and understanding needed to make something of themselves and have self respect. I could no longer justify my concept of being socially liberal as being anything other than doing violence to others. As a Buddhist, I am sure you can see that from the teachings. I modified my views to a live and let live attitude, with a conviction that social programs should be reserved for the truly needy such as the mentally disabled, or those unable to take care of themselves. Other things like food stamps and unemployment should be limited to a short enough term as to not damage those being helped (ie: make it a lifestyle).

    I realized that I could not vote for democrat politicians because of the damage they were doing to the country. I often could not vote for republicans for many of the same reasons.

    I have found some inspiration by reading Thoreau. “Walking”, and “Life Without Priciple” are two great essays you might like. He had a lot to say about the misery caused by control of people by others in society, government and the workplace, and how people “spend” their precious time, their lives in vain pursuits and desperation (Buddhist concept of right livelyhood).

    Good site The Thoreau Reader: http://thoreau.eserver.org/default.html

    To end, my last point is that being a prepper is not about politics, it is about common sense human survival. Taking care of yourself and your family. If we all did it, at least to the level of having things on hand to get through a couple weeks of whatever man-made or natural disasters may come to where we live, we would all be so much better off and the government would have less to need to do and save financial and other resources.

  27. I am glad to hear from someone on the left who preps and knows the danger of losing our constitutional rights especially the second amendment, ………………………..
    but it does say in it, these rights shall not be infringed upon. Any ban on certain guns and magazines is an infringement.

    The educational institutions don’t teach our founding history and constitution anymore, (there is a far left movement to hide this part of our government in education) so most liberals don’t know why the 2nd amendment is so important.

    The reason this 2nd amendment was added to our rights is because of King George of England and the Revolutionary War. Paul Reveres ride was to warn citizens that the British troops have landed to take away their guns. The second amendment was created for the citizens to be as powerful in weaponry as those who try to take away these rights. How can we fight a modern army lead by a tyrant with pea shooters? I see a repeat of history coming if they dare do it.

    • As I mentioned above: If you’re really prepping for the possibility of a guerrilla campaign against a state or corporate military, you’d best have your electronic game on lock. Even full-autos and RPGs will be no match for the robotic weapons that are already in use. Check out ARGUS and the “switch blade” from this Lockeed Martin infomercial PBS produced: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/rise-of-the-drones.html

  28. For me, Liberalism and Buddhism are not related.

    Depending on the Buddhist philosophy, self-defense is one of the core principles of Right Action – for a buddhist to stand by and do nothing while others harm you and those you love or are supposed to protect, runs counter to the harmony that can be obtained within. For some, Right Action is done via passive resistance like Gandhi did, and others take a more defensive resistance.

    Like Tactical G-Ma said, alot of martial arts originated from Buddhism. It was because those who faced persecution in their time, chose to take action. When their leaders took their weapons and food supply, they taught themselves how to fight with sticks and with open hands.

    This website gives you a basic overall view on Buddhism. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm

    This website on Nichiren Buddhism, a school of Buddhims, has information as well. http://www.sgi.org/buddhism/buddhist-concepts.html

    Alot of the buddhists I know are very conservative while being activist-oriented.

    • You’re pretty correct here. My flavor is Zen is called “Shim Gum Do” – The Mind Sword Path. It consists of sitting meditations and martial arts. In my case, most of my training was 3 years with a bokken. I’ve never been in a sword fight, but I think I’d do OK with a katana. I’m also quite quick with a stick, which is a more realistic scenario for a fight anyhow.

      And yes, most strains of Buddhism do have a lot of overlap with what many people would consider “conservative” values.

  29. How about we protect the general public from the occasional deranged rogue male (notice women rarely do mass murder) who is armed with an unlawfully obtained weapon by doing two things: 1) get rid of “gun free” zones in all publically funded areas except police stations, jails and prisons and let’s all not do business in any commecial location that posts notices that it is a “gun free zone” (if they don’t want law-abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves, they don’t deserve our business) and 2) give an income tax deduction to any qualified citizen who is willing to earn a concealed carry permit, pass a realistic training course in handgun combat, carry a concealed weapon at all times in public and promise to USE IT to protect the rest of us any time a deranged gunman decides to open fire in a public place. How long would the rogue gunman last if he attacked in the presence of several armed and trained citizens? Hey maybe the citizens could protect the police from the deranged gunman. :-)

  30. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Linda,
    You are correct. Women are rarely mass murderers or serial killers. Same is true with black males.
    White Christian males and Latino males seem to have cornered the market. I don’t pretend to know why. What I do know is, more pressure is placed on middle class men to provide extravaganze more than ever before. If a man provides shelter, food, clothing, and an education, plus religion and active parenting, he is seen as soso loser. Kids are supposed to have designer clothes and kicks, a smart phone, a tablet, sports training, tennis lessons, dance, remedial training, a beemer and women expect 3,500 sf homes with granite, marble, and stainless steel. They are supposed to look like John Stamo, act like James Bond, and be endowed like John Holmes. And men want expensive toys, girls half their age with big boobs who want sex every thirty minutes.
    My point is, never before have men had it so bad. The advertising industry is responsible for this. But what do I know.

  31. Just listened to this interview with Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, WI. Wow! He’s laying it out there. If you don’t like Alex Jones just ignore the fact that he’s the interviewer, this is worth hearing.

    http://shallnotbe.net/2013/02/19/sheriff-david-clarke-talks-2nd-amendment/

  32. Tactical G-Ma

    Sorry you feel that white and Latino males have have a rough deal the last couple of decades. Where I grew up in rural Mississippi more decades ago than I like to claim, most blue collar people, including the white males, have had (and still have) a tough time making a living for generations — this went double for men of color and for any women raising children without a wage-earning male partner. I seriously doubt that the few rogue males, who in the past couple of decades, have chosen to have a news-worthy suicidal temper tantrum in which they kill as many innocents as possible before they shoot themselves or are gunned down by police are that way because of some widescale sociological change in the US. I suspect it boils down to two types of individuals: 1) socially inept, marginally employable or unemployable males who have been “odd” all their lives and live off the generosity of their mothers and grew up without any moral/religious training and 2) intelligent, socially skilled but sociopathic and narcissistic males who suddenly hit a streak of hard luck after a long string of “successes” in life and decide to blame others rather than random bad luck or their own mistakes for their recent misfortune. I suspect that neither type represents the vast number of men in our country, who I venture to guess are generally just good guys tying to do the best they can for themselves and their families in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world and who would never in a million years decide to go on a murderous rampage if it became harder than usual to pay the bills or find decent employment.