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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Ants and the Grasshoppers

I was doing research for an article on scams targeted at preppers and survivalists.  Many years ago, I had done a post - either here or elsewhere - where one of the companies that sells survival food had an offer along the lines of, "A year's worth of food for $300".  I think it was even less than that.

I remember thinking, "Well, that's impossible.  Even if you just ate rice and beans, you'd be hard pressed to be able to consume 2000 calories a day for less than $300 a year."

I checked out the site and in the very fine print, they said that for the stuff to last a year, you just had to add meat.  Oh, THAT'S all!?

I wrote the guy about his misrepresentation (to which he never responded), and he eventually went out of business, as his claims were just too unbelievable.

Anyways, while I was doing the research, I ran across this article at, "The Inside Story Of The Charlatan Who Duped The Nation’s Top Conservatives".

Long story, short:  The guy has a business that has preppers and survivalists as its target market.  The article implies that what he'd doing is shady at best, and possibly illegal.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  I don't care.

What caught my eye was the comments to the article.  The vast majority of them had a similar sentiment to this one -
[....] but he is effectively conning people who have chosen to be selfish and put themselves outside the protections of the nation-state in the event of an imagined catastrophe and they deserve to be taken for a ride.
Here's a screen image of the whole comment.  Check out the replies to his comment (click to enlarge) -

In their eyes, to be prepared is equated with being selfish.  To step, "outside the protection of the nation-state" is unimaginable to them.  Self-determination is a foreign concept.

I suppose that the selfishness tag is applied because they think that we preppers should instead spend our own money on more social projects of their choice.  Social projects, no doubt, that will allow these deadbeats the latitude to be the Grasshoppers of Aesop's fable, dancing their time away, and "exploring themselves" instead of working to feed, clothe and house themselves.

They believe this way despite recent and historic evidence that this cherished "nation-state" always fails miserably when tasked with helping individuals during large-scale emergency situations.  Super-Storm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina come immediately to mind.

Ebola anyone?

It really has become an, "Us versus Them" mentality in this country.  I see no inclination among the liberals to change their ways.  I know I won't be changing mine.

I can deal with that, though I don't understand it.

What I cannot - will not - deal with is feeding these grasshoppers when TSHTF.

I believe these Bolsheviks to be people of principle (though clearly not of logic or history).  I will allow them to maintain their principles for as long as it takes them to see the error of their ways.  Probably about 9 missed meals or so...

I, too, am a person of principle.  And a Christian man that believes in charity and forgiveness.  But I'm not a soft-headed idiot.

I'll feed them, but they'll work for it.  And they'll work hard.  They will not freely benefit from the time I worked to save, scrimp and penny-pinch to plan ahead.

I have my lifestyle, they have theirs.  One depends on one's self, the other on the kindness of the nation-state.

Kindness will be in short supply when the food, water and supplies can't be purchased or distributed because the store has been destroyed, or its shelves have been picked clean, or the FEMA camp hasn't yet received its rations.

You may think I sound angry, and bitter and pissed off.  You'd be right.  I have a low tolerance for slackers and sloth, and those who embrace that lifestyle.

I will voluntarily assist families that have worked to prep for emergency events, but who had their supplies lost to the emergency, or pilfered by the grasshoppers.  I feel very confident that people of this type will not only volunteer to work for these supplies, they will insist upon it.  I know I would.

I will also help - as I do now - those that are unable to help themselves.  Every society has folks that, through no choice of their own, are unable to care for themselves.

But I guarantee you my bar is much higher than the current liberal bar that defines disabled.

If/when one of these situations arise, it will be a time of decision.  Limited resources will only go so far.  Those unwilling or unaccustomed to truly working for a living will be passed over for families and individuals that literally bring something to the table.

Skills, resources, knowledge.

Don't be a grasshopper.  It won't work out so well in the end.

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

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