The SDS 2012 Outlook Report Is Available
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like your free copy. I've received several emails with very positive feedback; it's my hope it helps you think about and prepare for the next twelve months.
"All we can do is the best we can to take care of business and those dear to us."
My friend and former co-worker,
I'd like for us all to reflect on that for a moment. We cannot guarantee our own safety and well being; nor can we do that for our family. Being prepared is not a guarantee. Rather, think of it as creating an opportunity - an opportunity to put you and your family in the best position to endure hardship and thrive afterwards. Taking care of business - being a good employee, being a good steward of our finances, our health, our physical possessions - is a central part of preparedness. Too many people in our movement believe they can simply sit on the couch, watch hours of Military Channel, buy an AR-15 or two with some MREs and a few hundred rounds of ammo, and think they are "prepared."
Nonsense. Those people won't make it long; in fact, they could turn out to be rather dangerous to themselves or others. Focus on doing the basics very, very well. Have some savings. Have the right insurance for your health, your life and your property. Maintain your vehicles and homes. Invest in your relationships with those you love and care about. These things are more critical than the number of MREs you have or the new scope you put on your assault rifle.
In 2012, I will work harder to heed Eight State's advice.
Lest You Think I Am The Only One Concerned About How 2012 Will Turn Out....
While I was pounding away at my 2012 Outlook, three news articles came out over the last 48 hours which warrant your attention.
First, Reuters ran an article entitled "You Thought 2011 Was Tough?" From the article: "With a spiraling debt crisis in Europe, political upheaval around the world, and crumbling creditworthiness in major industrial nations, 2011 was a tough year to know where to invest. 2012 is unlikely to offer much respite."
Not to be outdone, the UK's Daily Mail ran this piece ominously titled "The spectre of 1932: How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory." (And you people think I am a downer.) The intro is too good not to share:
Here in Britain, many economists believe that by the end of 2012 we could well have slipped into a second devastating recession. The Coalition remains delicately poised; it would take only one or two resignations to provoke a wider schism and a general election.
But the real dangers lie overseas. In the Middle East, the excitement of the Arab Spring has long since curdled into sectarian tension and fears of Islamic fundamentalism. And with so many of the world’s oil supplies concentrated in the Persian Gulf, British families will be keeping an anxious eye on events in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, as the eurozone slides towards disaster, the prospects for Europe have rarely been bleaker. Already the European elite have installed compliant technocratic governments in Greece and Italy, and with the markets now putting pressure on France, few observers can be optimistic that the Continent can avoid a total meltdown.
As commentators often remark, the world picture has not been grimmer since the dark days of the mid-Seventies, when the OPEC oil shock, the rise of stagflation and the surge of nationalist terrorism cast a heavy shadow over the Western world.
Next on the hit parade, Breitbart ran this piece labeled "France's future hangs in balance in 2012: Sarkozy." The French President remarked that ""This [financial] crisis... probably the most serious since World War II, this crisis is not over."
And let me be clear - these articles do not come from Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, or Rush Limbaugh. These are mainstream sources, save Breitbart (although he's just quoting what Sarkozy said, apparently doing so without controversy). When major media outlets run stories with headlines like that, we should pay attention.
Which reminds me - when you talk to your friends and others who think you're wrong to worry about economic stability, civil liberties, and the risk of unrest here, ask them this: "You've read all the dire predictions from pundits in the mainstream media, correct? If you have, and if you think my preparedness efforts in the wake of those reports is irrational, what should my response be?" I've asked that question many a time to someone who snickered at the thought of me working on preparedness for the various crises which could affect us. Not once has anyone given me a plausible alternative theory supporting an outlook that this will all be over soon and everything will get back to normal.
And Apparently, More People Are Getting The Message
People are beginning to tune in and pay attention. Exhibit A: Gun sales for Black Friday and for the days leading up to Christmas were through the roof. Sales records smashed in November 2011 were short lived, as December 2011 proved to be an even bigger month for sales. According to the article, "It was the highest number ever in a single month, surpassing the previous record set in November. On Dec[ember] 23 alone, there were 102,222 background checks, making it the second busiest single day for buying guns in history."
Why all the fuss? "Explanations for America's surge in gun buying include that it is a response to the stalled economy with people fearing crime waves. Another theory is that buyers are rushing to gun shops because they believe tighter firearms laws will be introduced in the future."
And what demographic is helping fuel this surge in sales? Women. According to a December 27 piece from CBS news,
Female participation in target shooting in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last decade, growing to nearly five million women since 2001. Pistol-shooting mommas and rifle-wielding yoga instructors may not be the type of woman who comes to mind when you hear about female shooters, but they're dominating the sport. They say they shoot not only for self-protection, but because it relieves stress, helps them find peace and concentration and - feel feminine.
Take heart. More and more people are preparing. Our ranks are growing quickly. And for that, I am very thankful.