A Bigger Picture

“A 70% chance of rain!” exclaimed Survival Sally. “We won’t be able to eat outside on the patio, will we?”

“I think we can still do it,” Survival Sam said. “It’s mild for this time of year, and who knows whether we’ll have another opportunity like this. We’ll help you carry everything in if it starts to rain, but my guess is that it will hold off for a few more hours.”

“OK, if you say so,” Sally said. “I’ll carry on as planned. You guys keep brainstorming.” She headed back to the kitchen, and I heard her humming amidst the clatter of utensils.

“All of this brings up another little illustration,” Sam said. “Life can throw all kinds of uncertainties at us, but we keep going anyway. Meanwhile, we’re mindful of possible perils.”

“That’s the philosophy I hope to convey to my blog readers, Sam,” I said. “What are some other perils we might face besides natural disasters?”

“The news these days make some of them pretty obvious. The dollar is fluctuating in value around the world, and the price of oil and petroleum products is on a roller coaster. It will likely cost more to drive our cars and heat our homes this winter. The squeeze is put on everybody. One simple example is the average cost increase of this year’s Thanksgiving meal. It’s up again this year. It hasn’t taken that big of a jump in many years, and it’s largely due to higher transportation and energy costs.”

“Kind of hits home, doesn’t it?” I said. “What else do we all need to give some thought to?”

“There are so many, it’s hard to know where to start. I certainly can’t do justice to them. Speaking of Thanksgiving meals, do we know how safe our food is? Much more of it is imported these days. Remember hearing sometime ago that some Chinese seafood was not allowed in? At least somebody was paying attention to quality control at this end of things. But much of what we eat contains genetically modified elements, and that’s not listed on the label. We can’t be sure what we’re exposed to. If it’s safe, why not label food products fully, and let the consumer decide.”

“Yeah, I’d like to know what I’m buying.”

“There are other health issues, too, such as problems with vaccines. There’s quite an ongoing controversy as to whether vaccines containing mercury are a cause of autism. If a family is faced with autism or some other illness in their children, they’ve got a long battle ahead of them these days. In general, more people are seeking out alternative medicine, but there’s quite a bit of polarization among people regarding alternative vs. conventional medicine. Families are faced with tough choices these days when dealing with everything from a child’s illness to a case of cancer.”

“That’s true.”

“Then, these days there are perils in the everyday work world. A guy might lose his job to someone in China or India, if he hasn’t already. If you read Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, you’ll see there are plenty of people in high places who are hoping that’s exactly what happens. Friedman and his ilk think we’re making progress by outsourcing so much abroad. If it’s good for the global economy, it must be good for you and me, right? So what if a guy loses his job or even his house? All he has to do is just make a few lifestyle and attitude changes and get another one. Easy as falling off a soapy log wearing banana peel shoes, right? Truth is, the elite in power aren’t looking out for you and me, and they’re not making it easy for us to take care of ourselves.”

“Good point,” I say as I’m jotting this down. “I know we have a problem of illegal immigrants, too. We had a president who said they’ll do the jobs Americans won’t do. I’ll bet there are plenty of Americans who would disagree as to which jobs they’d do or don’t do.”

“That’s right,” ‘said Sam. “It’s not just about lost jobs though. To further aggravate things, with the rising tide of illegal immigrants comes a multitude of problems which are rapidly turning America into a Third World country. Crime is on the rise, and the police and justice system look the other way. Many illegals are even getting Social Security. They’re overwhelming other social services. There are far more of them coming in than the government reports, and it’s a real challenge to many urban areas throughout the country.”

“I know this is a hot issue these days,” I said. “People know about it, and everybody’s got an opinion.”

“It doesn’t end with the immigration issue either. There’s a much underreported situation we’re also facing. One of these days we could be merged with Mexico and Canada in a North American Union. That package includes a development most people would find surprising and disconcerting, to say the least. As unthinkable as it may sound right now, the dollar may likely be replaced with another currency altogether. Can you imagine how that will shake things up?”

“Wow! That will turn some heads for sure.”

“Furthermore,” Sam continued, “we’re bombarded with the notion that we’re living in a post-9-11 world and that we’re faced with grave threats from terrorists who want to kill us all. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times. People say it’s better that our boys fight them over there than fight them here in our streets…And on and on it goes. Do you really believe all that? Do you have any idea how deep and far reaching the corruption is? What if I told you that 9-11 was an inside job and that power hungry criminals run the country?”

I swirled the ice in my ginger ale and thought for a moment. “Won’t I scare off people if I put such talk in my blog? I mean, the whole 9-11 thing reminds me of the JFK assassination and the controversy that still goes on about it today. Will we ever know the truth?”

“You’ve made a good comparison. Let me say this,” Sam went on. His expression hardened. “I won’t charge you for this one. It’s a freebie. From what you’ve told me about your blog, the focus isn’t on 9-11. Nonetheless, 9-11 and its aftermath account for a significant part of the mess we’re in these days. If I were doing your blog, I’d tell anybody who read it who gets upset by challenges to the official story about 9-11 or why we’re at war in the Middle East and Afghanistan, that they just might be more comfortable reading a blog profiling the latest colors of nail polish for 13-year-old girls. But this is yur blog, not mine.”

“Those are strong words.”

“The simplest, most basic way I can summarize it all is to put it this way:. Things are not what they seem. This is not the America we were told it was when we were growing up. Furthermore, what if it never was?”

“Man, you’re just a bundle of laughs this evening, aren’t you, Sam?”

“Here’s the bottom line for me. I’m operating under the presupposition that we live in a world that is not only unfriendly, but has forces that are actually arrayed against us. The Apostle Paul put it this way: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ That’s in Ephesians 6:12 in the King James Bible. How well are you prepared to face such a world? Can you help your readers to face such a world?”

“I don’t know, Sam. That’s a tall order.”

He reached over and slapped me on the knee. “Put your mind at ease for a minute and have a few more malted milk balls. I’ll see how Sally’s doing with our steaks.”

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.