Towards a cashless society: No cash, no freedom.

Hey man,

What are your thoughts on the attack on cash that has been occurring. Visit http://armstrongeconomics.com/archives/30175
as an example. I haven’t experienced this personally but it also
appears to be occurring in the US. You have always said that cash is
king (which I believe it to prudent to keep some close by). Is it wise
for people to increase more of a percentage of PMs vs cash? (I know you
don’t give financial advice but your input would be appreciated.

– Andrew


Hello Andrew,

Indeed, the global elite is working hard to get people used to the idea. Denmark is moving closer to a cashless society. The Danish government has proposed that retailers should no longer be obligated to accept cash payments as of next year.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-moves-closer-to-a-cashless-society-10231995.html
Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras suggested credit card use being made mandatory for transactions of more than €70, a measure which the bankers he supposedly hates would greatly benefit from.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/02/greece-tourists-credit-cards-tax-evasion
Our society is already enslaved enough as it is by the fiat economy system which steals our labor as we are forced to use currencies that are beyond our control and can be created at will by the ruling elite. A cashless society would be the pinnacle of this dystopian hell. No matter how much you work, the fruit of your labor would now be directly owned by the bank.
You see, the minute you deposit money in a bank, you no longer own that money anymore. It now belongs to the bank and they can do with it whatever they desire, they simply assume a lax compromise of returning that money to you at their convenience. In a cashless society you wouldn’t even have that choice, the bank would own your wealth by de facto. There would be no obligation to hold, handle and return actual cash to clients. There wouldn’t be a risk of a bank run any more, nor would you have a choice of simply abandoning the banking system and sticking to cash. A cashless society forces every single person to use the bank for 100% of their transactions. All this means trillions of USd worth of profit for the banks and credit card companies. It also means you literally become a slave to these institutions.
What’s the solution then? Go for precious metals. Forget about the market price, just buy some. In my book “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”, I explain why gold is important during an economic collapse and recommended to have 20% of your savings in precious metals. If governments keep pushing for a cashless society, make that 30%. It’s the only way in which you’ll have any real money any more once cash is downright banned.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Yes! There’s an FM radio in your phone… but they don’t let you use it.

In my resent blog entry, “The Top 10 Things you need during a Disaster”, I explained how important it was to have a cellphone. Of course simply being able to call for help if needed and contacting people is a huge asset on its own but then you have a ton of other features, either included on the phone itself or through apps. Smartphones are amazing pieces of technology which allow you go online, access maps, use built in GPS navigation and even LED flashlights, just to mention a few.
People quickly pointed out that during disasters such as the Boston Bombing, Katrina and Sandy, networks are overloaded and phones don’t work. This is true given the bandwidth overload when everyone tries to call at the same time. It is also true that many times although voice calls cant go through, text messages do, and service providers recommend people to use these instead during disasters. Having a smartphone also means you may take advantage of wifi hotspots which are often set up after disasters to help during the rescue operations.
One of the things I mentioned was that another advantage a smartphone has, even if everything else fails, was the ability to be used as a FM receiver. When nothing else works, its through FM radio that critical information is provided to the population. This is a great asset. The reply from people was immediate “But most cellphones these days don’t have FM receivers!”. This caught me by surprise given that we have fairly new phones in my house and I made sure before buying them that they all have FM receivers, specifically for this reason. After reading up I understood the confusion:
Most smartphones in the market today, Iphone, Samsungs and such, they DO have FM receivers. The problem is that these are blocked for most phones intended for the American market. In the rest of the world, this function is not blocked, therefore an “American” Samsung Note will not have a working FM receiver while an “International” model will.
Why would anyone do such a thing, you may ask? Well, as always follow the money. Service providers don’t want you using a radio when they can force you to stream radio through the internet using their data services. Also, Apple profits greatly from selling music in itunes. They would lose millions if people decided to listen to radio a bit more for free rather than paying for each song they listen.


Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Of course, there’s something very wrong about having a function blocked in the phone you paid for, just so that someone can profit from it. There’s also strong case for it being a public safety matter. Disaster management experts agree on the importance of having radio available in people’s phones and how this literally saves lives during worst case scenarios. What can you do about it? Actually there’s already an initiative demanding FM chip activation in phones. Take action now! Follow the link below:
http://freeradioonmyphone.org/
Also, there’s more good news: Not all smartphones in America have the FM receiver blocked. HTC and Motorola are among such companies.

Motorola Moto G – Universal 4G LTE $185.33

If you’re in the market for a new phone, Motorola has the very affordable yet outstanding Moto G, which I highly recommend. This is the phone my son uses and it has a lot going for it. The Moto G is very cheap, uses the latest Android OS, it has 4G LTE, has a pretty good screen and processor and expandable micro SD memory. From a survival perspective, its waterproof, very robust, has an LED light and an unblocked FM radio. Just put a cheap rugged case on it and you’re good to go. Check my video review of the Moto G for a closer look.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Argentina’s “Strongest Man” stabbed to death by scavenger


Alan Garay (43 years old) was a 260 pound “strongman” that won competitions both in Argentina and Spain. He could lift 880 pounds, pull 15 ton trucks and lift cars with little problem, but that didn’t save him from getting killed two days ago in the province of Mendoza, Argentina.
After an argument with Fernando Pezetti, a 50 year old cartonero (paper and trash scavenger) over trash left on the sidewalk next to his house,  Mr. Garay got into a fight with the man, easily overpowering him and punching him in the face. As Garay left, the scavenger produced a knife and stabbed him twice in the torso. The neighbors called for help but Garay was dead by the time help arrived.
Garay had lived in Madrid for ten years and had recenlty moved back to Argentina. He worked security at night clubs and at times was part of security details of international celebrities.
Lessons Learned:
1)Don’t get into a fight if you can avoid it.
2)Don’t EVER underestimate your opponent, even if you’re literally the strongest man in the country going against some random 50 year old hobo.
3)Always assume your opponent may be armed, NEVER turn your back on him.
4)Knives are ALWAYS lethal weapons. They don’t jam, they don’t run out of ammo and its practically impossible to pry one away from an attacker without losing a few fingers.
5)Again, just don’t get into fights, ESPECIALLY against someone that has nothing to lose.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

EDC Knife: Kershaw Lifter vs ZT 0350 vs ZT 0566

Fernando,
I read with interest your recent report on the Kershaw Lifter, and as I own one, could not agree with you more about it’s strength, versatility, and price — especially price! I am no knife expert, but the good things about the Lifter are easy to see.
I thought, because I also have several other “Kershaw” knives, among them the ZT 0350 and the ZT 0566, that I would compare them in photos, thinking that it would perhaps be of interest.

WP_20150427_005 cropped

WP_20150427_003 cropped
I got to cogitating as I looked at the Lifter and the 0566 at how really similar they are. The Lifter is not as sleek, to be sure, as the 0566, but it is a very close comparison. It is also a bit heavier. I even began to wonder if Kershaw/ZT had not used the Lifter as a prototype for the 0566. I didn’t contact Kershaw for an answer, so am just guessing. There are lots of similarities.

 

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Anyway, I’ve included three photos with embedded text to highlight the differences, and threw in the ZT 0350 as another comparison, just for reference, along with a FN 9mm double stack magazine for sizing reference. (Everyone has one of those, don’t they?)
For the price, as you say, the Lifter absolutely cannot be beat. (Though I have to admit that I carry the ZT 0350 with the Elmax blade. Just me. A knife nut. Wonderful blade!)
Thanks again for very the informative web site.
Take care,
J

….
Hi J,
That’s a nice comparison, thanks for sharing.
When it comes to the Kershaw Lifter its obvious that the big price saving was in the blade steel and country of manufacture (China). They also saved on the finishing job, you see more straight lines and harder angles compared to the somewhat similar ZT0566 geometry. No jimping on the blade and such, all those things are extra steps that cost money. Other than that, the design is outstanding and for the price it’s a very well put together folder.
Of course S30V and ELMAX are by far superior. The Lifter uses 3Cr13 steel for the blade, about the cheapest budget knife you can find, while the other two are some of the best performing super steels. Again, when it comes to top brands such as Zero Tolernace, if you have a knife that costs 20 bucks and another that goes for well over $100, there’s usually a reason for that.
Now, if you’re working with a 20USD budget or you want a knife you wont be feeling bad about if you snap the blade or (more likely) you end up losing it, then the Lifter is clearly one of the best choices.

ZT #0566 Hinderer Folder $144

Although I do like the ZT 0350, I find the blade too wide for my taste, not enough of a tip. Of all three the ZT0566 is the one I like the most. Outstanding ELMAX steel, Speedsafe assisted opening system, frame lock, great Hinderer ergonomics and blade geometry.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

What Greece Faces if It Defaults

The New York Times is doing its share of drama regarding Greece’s economy by comparing their situation to the Argentine economic collapse of 2001:What Greece Faces if It Defaults.
It’s an interesting read, and a lot of it is accurate, but what the article forgets to mention is that the greatest problem Argentina had and still has wasn’t trying to get rid of the IMF and refuse further foreign-imposed austerity, but doing so while having corrupt politicians and corporations that stole the profits and negated the benefits of many of these measures. This is exactly what every “Peronist” government has done in Argentina, from Juan Domingo Perón and Evita to Cristina Kirchner. Every country, from USA to Canada and United Kingdom, has regulations that benefit their own economy. At times it was more intense so as to allow local growth and development, later on being relaxed in some areas so as to allow it to compete with the rest of the world.
There’s nothing wrong with making the well-being of your own population the main priority, above the well-being of investors. That is, as long as it´s done in a responsible manner rather than looting the country yourself.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

The Top 10 Things you need during a Disaster

Ruinas. Rescatistas buscan cuerpor humanos entre los restos de un viejo edificio derrumbado.  /EFE

Although its impossible to know exactly what each individual will face during a specific event there are some recurring issues in most large scale disasters. Looking at the recent earthquake in Nepal as well as the volcano eruption in Chile, clearly there are certain things people desperately need. Even looking at terrorist attacks such as 9/11 its not hard to extrapolate and imagine what could happen when large urban structures collapse, parts of a city is shelled and people end up killed, injured, left without a home and displaced.
1)A cellphone


For communication with loved ones after the disaster, either using the phone, text or scrounging some wi-fi in various locations. Smartphones can be used to look up maps, get plane tickets, rent a car or hotel reservations on line, gather news, keep copies of important files, just to mention a couple of the most common uses. A waterproof smartphone with an impact proof case would be the ideal combination, something like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. If your cellphone has an incorporated FM radio though, remember that these usually require headphones to operate given that the phone uses them as the antenna.
2)Cash
During the Calbuco volcano eruption last week(it erupted today for the 3rd time) people rushed to buy face masks and bottled water. Conveniently, these have gone up in price five to ten times compared to pre-disaster prices. Gas was also in great demand. After the earthquake in Kathmandu, survivors faced the problem of not having enough money to buy food, which was for sale in nearby markets. Yes, cash is king. It gets you food, supplies, transportation and puts a roof over your head, sometimes along with a comfortable bead and minibar.
3)Respirator


Another common theme found in both the Calbuco volcano eruption and the earthquake in Nepal. In the case of the volcano eruption, people pretty much have to live with their face mask on. In the case of Nepal, its needed first due to dust caused by the falling buildings, then by the debris being moved while rescuing people and finally due to the smell of rotting corpses. In these cases a simple face mask is better than nothing, a proper respirator is nice to have and a proper full face respirator would be ideal.

3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator - Organic Vapor
4)Water


Again in both cases water is a top priority. Volcano ash contaminates it and damaged the supply of tap water and the earthquake busts the infrastructure as well. You need water, and you need it fast. In a matter of hours people can become “hungry” for water.
5)Water Filter


Sometimes there’s water, but it just isn’t safe to drink. Here is where a filter is worth its weight in gold. In the case of the Berkey Sport, you can have both in the same bottle.
6)Multitool
Ideally you would have a good fixed blade, a saw, an axe, a pickaxe, a crowbar, a shovel and power tools. If we cant have all of the above, a large multi-tool usually comes to the rescue nicely. Models like the Leatherman Charge, Wave and Surge have nice sturdy blades, cut through wire with little effort and even have pretty acceptable wood saws for emergency use.


7)First aid kit


A first aid kid in mandatory for dealing with small wounds. You can increase the life saving capability of  a comercial one by adding a CAT tourniquet and hemostatic gauze.
8)Flashlight
Useful for searching for victims, signaling for help and basically moving around the disaster area at night. Models that use common AA batteries may be easier to keep running if the battery offer is limited in the area. Headlamps are particularly useful because they liberate a second hand.
9)Whistle
The whistle is one of the best ways of signaling for help. It is far more efficient than shouting and it can be heard from much further away. Many people trapped under the debris after the earthquake sure would have liked to put one to good use.

A litte tip: For years now I’ve kept a small whistle with me at all times by attaching one to my EDC light. (before you even ask, here’s the link )
10) A Bug Out Plan
What people need most of all, is a Bug Out Plan. A place where they can find safety and a strategy to get there. When you no longer can stay in your main place of residence you will need an alternative. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, friends or family you can stay with for a while will do, at least for a short or medium term. Ideally, you would have options within your same city, within your same State, in other parts of the county and even abroad. In the case of Nepal, Kathmandu has seen extensive destruction and many people are looking to relocate elsewhere in other cities although many of the nearby towns and villages have been hit as hard or worse. In this case, some people may even consider leaving the country entirely if that’s an option. In the case of Calbuco eruption, the plume of ash affects a wide area as well, including entire towns and cities making it necessary to move away from the ash plume.
You need a plan to get yourself and your family to a safe location. The family needs a contingency plan in case members are separated when the disaster strikes, selecting rally points and having means of communication. You will need means to get to your Bug Out Location and a planned route to get there.
These are the topics I address in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, precisely for this type of event when staying in the disaster area isn’t an option.
Bonus Items
Maybe not making it to the top ten, but definitely must-haves as well:
1)Gloves
The footage of people desperately digging through the rubble with their bare hands makes it awfully clear how important it is to have work gloves in your disaster kit. You may need them to dig through rubble to help neighbors, maybe your own loved ones. In some less dramatic situations, you may need them to work in repairing your home or finding belonging to salvage if the destruction was comple
2)A gun
Although most people do try to help one another during disasters, its also true that a small minority may try to take advantage of the lack of law and order. You don’t need a ton of “guns and ammo”. A handgun is compact, concealable and portable enough and it can provide a significant amount of peace of mind.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Nepal: Man survives 82 hours under the rubble by drinking his own urine.


A man that survived 82 hours under the rubble of a collapsed building in Katmandu was finally rescued.
Rishi Khanal, 27, was in the second floor of his hotel when the earthquake hit. As the building partially collapsed around him, his foot was caught under the rubble. Rishi Khanal managed to survive by drinking his own urine. A French rescue team heard the noise he made banging against the rubble and saved him three and a half days later.
Lessons learned:
If trapped… save your own urine, because you never know. Have a good, multimode flashlight with you at all times. Take the time and attach a whistle to its lanyard. A whistle is MUCH more effective than shouting and crying out for help.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Oops!… I made an extra 3.8 Billion Euro Profit.

That’s what the arms industry is singing thanks to France’s latest announcement.

President Francois Hollande said “France is facing big threats internally and externally,” … “Security, protection and independence are principles that are not negotiable.” Paris had previously said it would keep its annual defence budget at the same level of 31.4 billion euros in its strategic review running from 2014 to 2019.

Given the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, the public opinion isn’t expected to complain much about it.

Isn’t it interesting? It seems that every time there’s a high-profile terrorist attack in a developed nation a bunch of guys end up making a ton of money.

France lifts defence budget to tackle multiple threats

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Learning from the Earthquake in Nepal

After: The square is now piled with rubble after tall temples were brought down by the force of the earthquake
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was writing about the Calbuco volcano eruption. It seems like it was only yesterday because it pretty much was! Calbuco is still throwing thousands of tons of ash into the atmosphere.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed over 4.000 people hit Nepal this last Saturday. There have also been fatalities in the Himalayas as an avalanche flattened part of the Everest Base Camp. Nepal is a poor country and is struggling in its disaster response effort. People are digging out the victims themselves, the wounded are being treated on the streets and tents given that hospitals have been overwhelmed. There’s a lack of food, water and fuel. The spread of diseases is a growing concern as the sanitary conditions worsen. For thousands of people there’s nowhere to go given that their homes have been completely destroyed.
As we try to learn from this latest disaster, a few thoughts come to mind:
*Avoid earthquake and disaster prone areas in general, especially countries that aren’t prepared for them. This should be obvious enough although many times you don’t have much of a choice. This has been the worst earthquake in Nepal in the last 80 years… 80 years isn’t that much time. I feel the same way about Chile and New Zealand. Being located in the Ring of Fire means earthquakes are something you’ll have to live with. For millions, these places are home and they simply don’t want to live anywhere else. Millions of others can’t leave even if they wanted to. Having said that, if you do have a choice or if you can live elsewhere, it’s a good idea to do so and although you can’t live your life in constant fear because that simply isn’t living, do take it into account when planning your next vacation. Maybe it’s because I lived in South America most of my life, but I just don’t see the need to go to poor, developing nations to have a good time. Actually, it’s kind of the other way around.


*Drop. Cover. Hold. Drop down to the floor. This is the first thing to do given that an earthquake is likely to make you fall. Once on the grown, try reaching a safe location nearby, such as under a sturdy table, or next to low lying furniture that isn’t likely to fall over such as couches or next to an interior wall. Cover your head and back of your neck, these are your most critical body areas and may be hit by debris and falling objects. Hold your position until the shaking stops. This advice can be life-saving and is indeed accurate for places like New Zealand, Los Angeles and other parts of the developed world where buildings are made to withstand earthquakes.
*Don’t run outside. You’re safer indoors. The front of buildings contains an important amount of glass, steel and other materials which may fall on you and cause severe injuries as you exit the building. Falling trees, posts, signs and power cables may injure you as well.
*Careful about the “Triangle of Life” theory. This theory recommends people not to take the Drop, cover and hold standard approach, instead recommending to take shelter next to solid items, which in theory will provide pockets of space as the building collapses. Research from most reputed agencies and governments strongly disagrees with the “Triangle of Life” theory. It is only during pancake-type collapse of the structures, with one level falling on top of the other, that some success can be found with this approach. Even then, the exact object and its load bearing capability is extremely difficult to figure out during the ongoing disaster. Most deaths are caused by falling objects rather than collapsed structures during earthquakes that take place in modern buildings such as the ones found in developed countries.
*While Drop. Cover. Hold. is without a doubt the best approach and the “triangle of Life” Theory is indeed highly controversial, it is true that old masonry buildings and other rudimentary constructions typical of third world countries can and often do fail catastrophically during earthquakes. If caught inside such a building, your chances of making it out alive are drastically reduced. If the exit is within reach you want to escape from it as quickly as possible, keeping in mind that the entire front of the building may fall over you as it collapses. In some cases, survivors have managed to make it out alive by either reaching or finding themselves on the top floor of the building, reducing the amount of debris that falls over them and making it less likely to be crushed. Survivors have said they “fell” along with the building, managing to survive by being left on top of the rubble rather than under it.
* Katmandu has been impacted the worst by the earthquake, but its also where rescue efforts are being concentrated the most. Small towns and villages, many destroyed completely by the earthquake, are receiving little or no help. Many have been cut off from the outside world because of affected roads and bridges.
*Have a bug out plan. If there’s one thing most serious disasters have in common, is that when you can’t stay in the affected area you better have somewhere else to go. It is important to prepare and be ready. Some people don’t like being labeled as “survivalists”, but I think it’s much better than being labeled “refugee”.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Cooking With Expired Food

Did some bread with +1 year expired Self-raising flour and expired olive oil. Turned out quite well! The bread tasted great, so did the olive oil. It even raised pretty nicely for being about 18 months past expiration date.

The recpie is pretty simple and easy to follow. Makes a for a nice, healthy meal! :)

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.