The news these days is filled with all sorts of interesting stories about our residential venue of choice - the suburbs. Our friends in Michigan are told by the local police that people enter Detroit at their own risk. New York City mayoral candidate and professional dirt bag Anthony Weiner planned on locating a "secret sex bunker" in Chicago. (Given the Windy City's murder rate, a bunker would not be a bad investment, for sex or otherwise.)
Patients face increasing medical bills due to the growing number of physician practices being sold to hospitals, CNBC tells us. And our efforts to help the environment by banning plastic shopping bags has led to an increase in shoplifting and increased number of deaths from food borne illnesses.
In short, many Americans live in neighborhoods where civil services are dwindling, health care prices are rising, and reusable grocery bags are making us sick - much of which is overseen by politicians who incessantly text pictures of their junk to women half their age.
Of course, to represent that these conditions are somehow novel to the American experience would be misleading. Chicago's crime rate has been much higher in the past, and it continues to fall despite the fact more people are buying guns. Many cities have overcome urban decay and bad finances before. And the history of our country has been determined in large part by politicians whose zippers are chronically stuck in the down position.
There are troubling and unique challenges facing us - no doubt. The solution to these problems isn't becoming fearful, locking yourself in your home with your freeze dried ice cream and firearm collection (although when it's 100 degrees outside like it is these days, that does sound enticing.) The solution is for all of us to take action to mitigate these effects of these problems in our lives.
- Get healthy. Reduce your need for prescription medications and the likelihood you'll need them in the future.
- Prepare to be your own first responder. This is a recurring theme in my exhortations to you. Cops and EMS cannot be everywhere, all the time. Get some basic first aid supplies. Get some training. Figure out how you're going to deal with home invaders until help arrives.
- Support politicians who reflect your values. This goes beyond just voting for them. Volunteer on their campaigns, offer your home for candidate events, and yes, write them a check to help them get elected. You are a citizen. Be a good one.
- Be a consumer of quality news. And by that, I mean skip TMZ and other useless news programming. Seek out objective news sources. I still maintain that the most objective source of news in America right now is reason.com.
- Start a food storage plan if you haven't already. You can start on your next trip to the store. Can you live three days without going to the grocery store using food that requires no electricity to prepare?
- If you're further along in your preparedness efforts, encourage others - nicely - to start doing the same.
- Teach your kids what you're learning. Scouts and 4-H are great programs for them. Your kids should know what to do in case this happens.
Strip Your Truck And Stay Alive
If you're not reading Survival And Beyond regularly, you should. They posted a great article this week on using things found in your vehicle.