About me

I am a survivalist/prepper.  I am also a left-wing progressive, although I have some “true conservative” (read: not what they call “conservative” in the press) fiscal beliefs.  This puts me in somewhat rare territory, as most preppers out there are of the far right-wing persuasion, while most progressives can’t be bothered with this stuff.

I have a decent grasp of science.  I am educated.  I am not particularly religious.  I am not paranoid.  I am familiar with the proper use of the apostrophe, the dictionary, and the thesaurus.  The same, from what I have seen, cannot necessarily be stated for most of the other prepper/survivalism sites out there.  I want this site to be a little more rational.

I hope that this site helps you, the reader–either giving ideas to implement, ideas to talk about, or (if nothing else) a good chuckle.

I don’t think civilization is likely to wink out of existence overnight, as apparently do most other survivalists.  Instead, I believe that our modern society is already undergoing a slow-motion collapse–so slow that most of us probably don’t even realize it’s happening.  I think that our future will change with a whimper, not a bang.  But it will change–and is changing.

I hope you’ll come with me on this journey.  Welcome!

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126 Responses to About me

  1. Well, no one can dispute your claim. All empires rise and fall. So no matter how slowly, very slowly, probably not in our lifetime slow, our standard of living will change. War, natural disaster, economy? I don’t know, but change you can guarantee and that seems to be all you are prepping for. Seems logical to me.

  2. Billy says:

    Do you have an organized group? I too am a liberal vet.

    • Well, not organized as such… I’ve got a number of friends who are likewise liberal vets, and most of my friends are liberal. The “organized” bit is where it goes all pear-shaped. 🙂 But for as disorganized as we are, we manage to get things done.

      Welcome to the blog!

    • John C says:

      We are pretty well organized but have been at it a long time to get that way 🙂
      http://connectpro36803691.adobeconnect.com/p15j97knw9j/

      We are going to start holding a weekly conference call on the subject of situational awareness and contingency planning.

  3. Hi,
    I’ve just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! There are quite a few steps to do to accept the award and they can be found on my blog post here:
    http://homesteadinghippy.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/thanks-for-nominating-me/
    If you decide to accept the award, just follow these steps. If not, just know that your blog is one of my favorites and has inspired me greatly.

    ~The Homesteading Hippy

  4. Allie says:

    Your intro sounds a lot like how I describe myself. I don’t know your age range, but I am a “reformed republican”coming out of an uneducated, fundamentalist background. But, as you can surmise, education, critical thinking, and truth seeking can bring someone around. It took about 8years. Anyway, I’m liberal, but very conservative when it comes to money so I sometimes feelabitalonein my survvalist, SHTF preparation, etc. Glad you are here.

    P.S. The husband is a ver, and we are in our 50-60s.
    ~Allie

  5. Kelly says:

    Hear, hear! I am right there with you. I love perusing homestead blogs, but find so many with basic ideology I can’t get on board with, and frankly, they make me feel uncomfortable. This blog is fantastic– I look forward to learning more.

  6. AmieW says:

    Well, I found you looking or liberal preppers, so I guess I’m in. I’m also fiscally conservative in a lot of ways – frugal to a fault. Being liberal progressive doesn’t make you stupid. I can look at the world and see that we cannot sustain this level of craziness for long. I’m seriously worried about our survival, so I’m trying to be ensure mine. Nice to meet you!

    • Hi, and welcome! I think “frugality” is a quality that can fit across the spectrum, whether you’re socially conservative, progressive, or whatever. I just wish more people realized that the government doesn’t run like a business, or like a household economy/budget… Anyway, glad you found us, and I hope you’ll stick around!

  7. Hi, I’m a journalist for BBC News. Would you be interested in speaking to me about “liberal prepping”?

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  10. Hi, as a War Baby (born 1942) from a Labour background I was raised to believe you had to take responsibility for your life and to a certain extent to the lives of those around you. I am instinctively frugal, though I can splash to cash where needed (rather than wanted). I became very disillusioned with the Left over the years, especially the way the middle classes took over the working class Labour Party and made it a machine for the liberal elite, (it still is). However I am interested in all political thought, from whichever direction it flows. So I am naturally interested in any one who wants to be independant both in mind and body.

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  14. Isa says:

    Hello! I just found your blog thanks to the BBC!
    As a very left wing, lesbian Canadian extremely concerned about Trump, I think that taking precautions is a smart thing to do.
    As well, I live in Victoria British Columbia and any minute now 😉 1600 kilometers of the West Coast will unzip causing a 9 or above earthquake… so I have been ready to survive for at least 3 weeks on my own for a long time!
    I love reading up on what others do to prepare for emergencies and finding a left-slanted blog is right up my alley!
    Anyway, your site is excellent, I will be returning often!
    Thank you, Isa

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  17. John C says:

    We are always willing to work with any progressive people or organizations.

    http://connectpro36803691.adobeconnect.com/p15j97knw9j/

  18. Aleka Jonas says:

    However the case, people who prep for bad times are among the besters of the world. Because there is no point to prep for good times as they seem to take care of almost every body.

  19. Tsingi says:

    I read somewhere that 400 years was the standard life cycle of an empire.

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  21. John Russel says:

    Take heart leftwingsurvivalist you’ll get guns banned eventually.

  22. Jim Wilson says:

    Hi. I’m Jim and I have been waiting to meet you or someone like you.

    • John C says:

      Personally, I am Catholic not Muslim and I still think that this is worth caring about.

      The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city is calling for state officials to fire a Department of Labor employee accused of pulling a Muslim woman’s hijab off her head and throwing it on the ground.

      Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the unidentified Employment Services worker mocked a woman’s faith at the city’s One-Stop Career Center Dec. 5 before snatching her hijab.

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/state-employee-accused-pulling-off-muslim-womans-hijab-44318490?cid=clicksource_4380645_1_hero_headlines_headlines_hed

      We have seen the reports of public officials refusing to do their jobs and issue marriage licenses or register a birth with the name the parents have chosen. When people are this bold, while working for a public entity, we should all take note!

      We need to keep track of the people who commit these sort of acts and not just wait until they show up at a church or synagogue with a gun in their hand. 98% of domestic terrorist gave some sign of violent behavior towards the group they targeted before they committed their final act of terrorism. He was arrested and his name is a matter of public record. This is an open Request for Information (RF)I to have someone in that location research local police records and identify this person so that we can add it to our newsletter.

  23. John C says:

    As self sufficient as possible and good situational awareness is our goal and we recommend that for every household, neighborhood and community. These are interesting time that we live in.

  24. Torsten Pihl says:

    This “librul” says hello. {waves paw}

    It’s always a good idea to have disaster preparedness, including having alternate channels of communication if both the Internet and telephone systems go down for an extended period. Perhaps get to know radio operators in your area and volunteer to deliver messages around town from them.

    • Howdy! Welcome, and stay a while!

    • David says:

      I would wholeheartedly agree. I am a ham radio operator myself, and am equipped for HF, VHF, and UHF, so I can get on almost anything radio wise. I might point out that it’s all wide open. Anyone with a decent receiver friend or foe can listen in. Therefore I also subscribe to an encrypted e mail service with its server located in a foreign country. There is one major hole however that being an internet outage. Does anyone have any ideas on how to send a PGP file over the radio. I know that currently is illegal, but come SHTF WTF.

  25. Kevin says:

    First I’ll start out by saying I’m not a liberal. I would like to commend you for your efforts to bring prepping to the left, I’m of the mind everyone should prep to some extent. So with that said, thank you and best of luck spreading the word.

  26. John C says:

    It might be useful to try and turn all of this energy into a free intelligence product that would give all of us better situational awareness at a lover level than the great folks at SPLC track. We would like to get people to feed a newsletter that will, among other things track tension levels and specific hate actors in certain areas. The idea would be to know that a person like Dylann Roof was active in a certain area with others of like mind so that if he/she were spotted taking notes and photos outside of a church or synagogue it might mean something to those people. We need to have really good situational awareness and begin to share intel and training. What do you think?

    John C.

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  44. Mickey W says:

    I am a liberal gun nut, who has never really fit into the prepper community until now.

    Thanks for showing me I am not alone, because now there is a group of people with whom maybe I can belong from the left who may also support the 2nd Amendment too 🙂

    • Hi, and welcome! Yes, we’ve got some 2nd Amendment supporters, too. What *everybody* needs to remember (on the right, as well as the left) is that there are other Amendments. 🙂

  45. Steven says:

    Hey mate, it sounds like you might be a libertarian from the sound of your description. Have you ever considered looking into the libertarian philosophy?

    • Hi! Yes, I have–and I can’t buy into it. Government, plus an amount of regulation (of lots of things, including business), are (I believe) fundamental to a smoothly running, peaceful (until necessary) capitalistic democracy… I’ve found that libertarianism tends to run too far in the anti-regulation direction. Your mileage may vary, though.

      • Tes says:

        This was what I found so weird when I read that disappointed Sanders supporters were considering Gary Johnson. Whatever you believe about either, they are about as far apart as possible on the political spectrum. If Webster named “surreal” as the word for this awful year, “ignorance” can’t be far behind.

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  48. Will West says:

    I’ve been into prepping and survivalism for about 50 years. I’m not a fanatic hard core type but more concerned about the ominous trends. So if you don’t mind I’d like to participate here and first I have to disagree with a couple of your basic concepts. Most survivalist types are not far right wingers but more likely libertarian. Yeah, there are some way to the right but I’d more easily believe the most common are main stream types, peaceful. And most survivalists agree with your view that our civilization won’t wink out of existence though that is a possibility. A slow motion train wreck, a very bad movie that we are all stuck in as cast members, or it’s the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

    I’m always gathering information and new thinking and I am willing to share my experiences and POV. I can be argumentative but reasonable as one must accept that our personal paradigm is not absolute. If somebody runs off at the mouth with something stupid or dangerous I will readily call them on it. Anyone who thinks I’m the wrong one is welcome to challenge. Keep it civil and keep in mind that emotional thinking is not as smart as critical thinking though we all have passion to express. I’d prefer to keep the politics to a minimum because I’m looking to network with preppers not engage in bickering.

    I have to tell you I don’t understand Liberal/Progressive/Socialist and assume you probably don’t understand Constitutional Conservatives/Libertarian as I like to consider myself. I am anti-Democrat because I believe the hardcore have lost their way to an extreme point, but when talking to Libs I usually find that we have more common beliefs than generally recognized. We are not insensitive to social responsibilities. There is too much generalization and polarization that we must overcome in order to communicate. Let’s try. Or you can ignore me.

    • Hi, and welcome! I’ve found things to like from all ends of the spectrum, but I find myself identifying most with Liberal/Progressives. (I avoid “Socialist,” because the meaning of that term in most folks’ mind was warped by 75-or-so years of Soviet “not-Socialism.”) Frankly, I believe that anybody who can be described as “hardcore X”, whether it’s Libertarian, Liberal, Conservative, or whatever, has lost their way. Drunk the Kool-Aid.
      That being said, I’m open to communication. The ideas expressed in this blog are my opinions, and I can be persuaded to change them. So by all means, stick around!

      • Will West says:

        I’ve been to Russia several times, after the fall of the Soviet state. The Russians were indeed socialist, their political system was autocratic. Still is. I consider the European socialist states a better example and thought that Americans were being pushed, pulled and dragged into that model. What I consider the lowest common denominator. I would argue that we can have the social system support but we need an economy to provide it. We have had the corporate cronies dominate government (both sides) restricting the real market forces. Too many people fear unrestricted business and I agree but we have achieved over restriction as a result. Now there are about 100 million people with job or hope of job and worse, the incoming generations have not had much prospect of jobs being created or developing. You have expressed a recognition of the economic dangers and that is something we are all part of. I would never endorse bad business practices like criminal activity or pollution or such other causes but strangling business and growing government is a dead end. I think this is one of the biggest clash points of our political views but one of the more serious issues to compromise and resolve.

      • Your second sentence kind of makes my point; they were Socialist-ish, and Autocratic.

  49. wardoc says:

    Interesting website and idea. However, I take issue with the conception that there will be no rapid societal collapse. Historically, and I know few know any semblance of history anymore, most societies collapse rapidly; this is usually due to demise of their currency. Our currency, measured in terms of buying power, not the index (all members of which are being hyper-inflated), has been in a progressively rapid free fall since the 1990’s. Look at the St. Louis Fed’s graphs for two things if you need convincing: money supply (going up asymptotically) and money velocity (now at levels comparable to the 1940’s).

    Take a look at Yugoslavia; it was the ‘Paris of Central Europe’ one year (even hosting the Olympics) and then within 2-3 years it became a literal road warrior scenario ( I know; I was there as an intelligence officer with the US DOD). Russia, too, fell apart quite rapidly and went from stable to chaotic in a matter of months. Wiemar Germany went from prosperous and stable to hyper-inflation, extreme economically motivated crime everywhere, and even literal cannibalism (not usually talked about in so called ‘polite’ society) within two years!!!! . Venezuela is a more recent example of rapid decline into frank barbarity, due to idiocy in the country’s management of its fairly ample resources.

    I suspect it is a type of defense mechanism to hold to the belief that social change and collapse are long processes that we ‘get used to.’ This idea helps us avoid thoughts of starvation, neighborhood warfare over food and water, rape and general mayhem; but all these things happen and have happened in every single collapse that has occured, at least since the 1800’s.
    Nevertheless, good luck.

    Wardoc,
    a political atheist, who doesn’t believe in the left/right duality delusion (sorry!).. I also have an aversion to tribes and identity with teams of all sorts. I’ve seen way too much violence and mendacity due to such affiliations between otherwise sane and rational humans.

  50. Jockobadger says:

    Hi LWS, so glad to have found your blog via the BBC piece. I’m a progressive, gun owning geologist with conservative fiscal values. I live outside Seattle so I’m generally in good company. I was astonished and freaked out on election night. I believe you’re right – long, slow, descent that actually started some time ago, mostly driven by economic policy (my belief, anyway!) I’m in! Perhaps we should think about some organizing? I’ll help out. Thanks again and keep writing. Jockobadger.

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  53. Quicker Mrs. says:

    I am a burned out former prepper of the central/libertarian persuasion. Found my way here through Drudge. I’m very ready to read further, primarily due to your assertion of your knowledge of the proper use of apostrophes. Cheers!

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  62. Jerry Erwin says:

    Yes, Thank You!

    As a professional Survivalist and progressive/secularist, I am tired of how the religious right has hijacked the preparedness/survivalism movement. My first nonfiction book got horrible reviews, initially from the bible-thumping crowd, because in it I made reference to Peak Oil, the 1972 MIT Limits to Growth Study, etc.

    Here’s my book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-Survival-Preparing-Socio-Economic-Collapse/dp/147834203X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482561326&sr=1-1&keywords=Suburban+survival

    And, my new, first novel:

    https://www.amazon.com/Bugging-Post-Collapse-Novel-John-Hathaway/dp/1517699983/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1482561470&sr=1-1

    Cheers,

    Jerry

  63. Gary says:

    Very well written sir. Bravo to you, I believe that I am a little farther right then you but not that far. You described what I have not been able to really put into words when it comes to what is happening to society. I look forward to reading your column.

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  69. Andy says:

    Ai am a conservative but anyone interested in prepping I would help get started , first off stock back rice and beans , fthen go with canned foods , then add the dried type survival foods after awhile you will have a good pantry to use when SHTF , firearms will be needed rifle best will be an AR or AK , with a .22 lr caliber in the mix , 12 gauge shotgun , handguns are what you like as to caliber , stockpile at least 1000 rounds per firearm , if you are in a group try to keep your weapon and calibers consistent with the group . Research equipment that you are considering to buy , be sure it will last and can be used possibly for multiple tasks . Just a little info take it from here . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

    • Hi, and welcome! I suppose the overall list would depend on what sort of scenario you envision, wouldn’t it? 🙂

      • Kevin says:

        Found your blog and I am delighted that anyone is prepping. Just check out the FEMA site, they use the Zombie Apocalypse as a game plan (for popularity). That being said, if you prepare for that, you are prepared for almost any contingency. Plenty of information out there. In the end, if the situation arises that calls on you to use your preps, politics won’t matter much, our humanity and character will. Folks with integrity will do the right thing, regardless of their political beliefs. The sad thing is, if you prepare, there will undoubtedly be those who do not, who plan on pillaging from those who have, hence, full preps include arms. The 1,000 rounds per weapon is a good point. If no one is making more ammo, the ammo you have on hand must last you for the long term, and it can go quickly.(hunting, predators and other threats).

        Spreading the word on preparedness is a good thing. Putting politics aside (the role of Government), there is probably much more in common amongst humanity than many think.

        So, from this God fearing, conservative Constitutionalist, thank you for spreading the word.

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  74. leah641 says:

    Hi, I’m really glad to find your blog. I’m a leftist/libertarian in most political areas like individual rights and keeping a secular society, am socially progressive, and conservative fiscally. I’m interested in prepping because the long-term trajectory of our economic system seems to be to extract as much wealth as possible out of the working class, and it just can’t go on forever. And the ever tightening of resources across the globe will eventually lead to war (sooner now with our recent election results). It seems like a good time to make connections with like-minded people. My husband and I live in rural SW Wisconsin, and are trying to practice farming, gardening, andhomestead practices of our grandparents.

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  76. Jules Dread says:

    Oh, my people do exist! (I did not know about the BBC piece, I just Googled “left survivalist.”) Can you start a forum? I call myself a fiscally conservative socialist. Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron. However, just as spending money on things like: (1) education and business investments, (2) auto, home and health maintenance, and (3) decent insurance products can ultimately save and make money, I think the government can save and make money in the long term by doing things that help create and maintain tax-payers instead of tax users.

    I wasn’t really in the survivalist mindset until the election and now I am very scared for my country and family. Pissing off China, North Korea and the entire Islamic world all at once just seems like a really bad idea. I don’t know how long I’d want to live in a post-apocalyptic world, but would like to make the choice of survival at the time.

    • Hi, and welcome! If you’re looking for a forum, try searching around Facebook. One group that I’m aware of (also from the BBC piece) is “Progressive Liberal Preppers.” I hope you’ll stick around here as well!

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  78. Morgan says:

    I manage a news/trade publication for the survival/prepper industry with a consumer bent to it. Paratus Business News (http://paratusnews.com) and I’m wondering if we could chat. (You don’t have to post this.) Would love your take on the “survival industry” since I agree that most of the bloggers and committed prep retailers are pretty right wing (hard libertarians at best), and there will be a change to the prepper world as Left comes on board. Please check us out. More than happy to promote what you’re doing and would love you to be a source from time-to-time. Please email me (at the address I provided), so we could chat a minute.

  79. Sebastian Ischer says:

    Hi LWS

    I’m a video producer at Vice media working on a documentary about survivalist/prepper groups, wondering if you’d be interested in discussing the project with me?

    Thanks,

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  81. Dee says:

    Hey there, I found you through the magic of Google. I’ve been invested in self-reliance and preparedness for almost a decade. I’m an Independent who’s a few paces left of center. I fit very few typical stereotypes and generally loathe absolutism and extremist ideology of any kind but waved the “ignore” wand on typical preparedness sites and forums for a long time.

    In the year leading up to this latest US presidential election, however, I found I couldn’t ignore the escalation in hateful conversations and the demonizing of anyone who did not think as they thought they should. In the month since inauguration, those same sites have gone completely off the chain, filled with escalating conspiracy chatter and calls for civil war against “libs.” No matter the value of the preparedness information, I can no longer give any of those sources even a moment’s attention. Not and still sleep well at night.

    So I’ve been on a hunt to find more rational, less “fear porn” filled sources.

    Supremely delighted to have found yours.

  82. Glenn Cox says:

    Tell me more.

  83. theleftheel says:

    Back to the blog after a hiatus. Wondering if you could create a list for kids/toddlers/infants? Who’s trying to figure out how much water/calories my 20kg, high energy l, skinny toddler needs and what to do for diapers and cleaning the diapers of my infant…you get the point.
    Anyway, glad to be back and hopefully we all survive the future.

    • Welcome back! I hadn’t thought about specifically what you’d need for kids–mine are in their teens, and we haven’t been “officially” prepping long enough to have thought about their needs as toddlers. I’ll have to do a bit of research! Great idea for a future post, thanks!

  84. john hunt says:

    glad to have found this site. been searching through survivalism sites and overwhelmed by guns and hate.

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