Review: Darkest Days – How to Survive an EMP Attack to the Grid

lantern for emp

Personally, I tend to avoid conspiracies and doomsday predictions, because typically they are, fear-based attempts to drive an individual or groups agenda. At no point in history has any species lived longer than it should nor has any state or collection of states lasted forever. This said I was sent a copy of the book Darkest Days: how to survive an EMP attack to the grid (Link goes to Amazon.com) recently, my review of this book follows. What follows is my review.

Thirty-five pages of explanations regarding what EMPs are and why they pose a risk using solid scientific and mathematical validation were how the book began. As I read through each page I had flashbacks to the e-book Alive after the Fall by an individual who was so ashamed of their work that they did not even use their real name. Certainly, there is a modicum of truth to the idea that in today’s highly industrialized world there is a risk of both natural and manmade EMP related disasters.

However, as I pointed out in the review of Alive after the Fall, these risks are not nearly as disastrous as many would have you believe. In fact, modern electronics are made from less and less metal than ever before lending to their increased survivability during magnetic or EMP interference.

For instance, modern Solid-State Drives are virtually indestructible and have the potential for extremely long-term data storage as compared to the older magnetic drives in use with many lower-end computers. ¹

Next is the inevitable discussion regarding vehicles and the overall electric grid. The simple reality is that if a pulse occurs that is large enough to knock it all offline, your vehicle running is the least of your concerns. Rather, the infrastructure itself providing you with extra fuel is the more important issue at hand.

This means that regardless vehicle type and in fact in spite of in some case, for instance, older fuel-guzzling non-electronically guided vehicles will need more fuel than most of us will be able to store with any real hope of longevity. This leads to the review of the rest of the book, and the preparations the author suggests implementing overall.

Page 39 of the book begins with this interesting line, “Unfortunately, it has been proven that those with less income tend to not fare as well as those who took a little bit of time and money each month to prepare. It is understandable but ANY small thing you can do today will help get you prepared and improve your chances of survival.”

When you look only at statistics coming from densely populated, heavily industrialized, city-states in the last 100 years this is in fact correct. However, what the author conveniently fails to make mention of is the simple reality that through excessive use of force by the states involved those who had less and in every case, no ability to defend themselves were indeed less likely to fare well and rarely have.

You see the author like the author of the other similar tome recently reviewed tends to believe that government is infallible and necessary to the continued happy coexistence of society as a whole.

I would posit that government is at its best unnecessary while society or people as a whole are in fact at their worst still better than government at its very best. I am agreed with by many of the brightest non-socialist minds across history, from Thomas More in the 1500’s through Thomas Paine and onward the reality of collapse is first that it is inevitable and second that humanity can indeed function quite well without babysitters made up of selfish individuals interested in personal gain of power or money.

The benefits of this book lie in the prepping advice,

  • put away a little at a time and over time your supplies will build nicely
  • food, water, toiletries, medication and the like are areas that are specifically looked at first in the book
  • involving the family and having A meeting place is also beneficial goals, though as with everything I suggest more than one.
  • A rather quick blurb regarding protection is mentioned without specifics

After these basic beneficial mentions, the author goes right back into in-depth preparations for what they describe as an inevitable EMP event. I personally do have spare electronic devices such as pre-programmed hand-held radios and backed up data storage in EMP resistant protective approaches, the reality is I could afford the extra radios at the time and I always backup data!

Over the rest of the book, there is some relatively decent information with regards to setting up a variety of energy generating pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, I do not believe that this brief and rather incomplete information is worth paying money for the book. Where the book itself may have some redeeming qualities is in the add-ons that are given to the original purchaser of this book.

First is Unscathed Survival: how to come out untouched from 10 different scenarios, 73 pages of reading with a few areas that are simply not applicable and several others that are.

Among the applicable information is the preparations for and survival after of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disaster preparation is essential. Though it should be mentioned that these same preparations can be easily found on the Red Cross site for free.

Next is Off-grid Home Protection System, this one is interesting with several solid approaches mentioned that are sometimes overlooked. Again, I would say that the author failed to adequately follow through. I have known several persons who purchased and installed many security measures as mentioned here including livestock guarding dogs or LGDs as the author states.

However, like the author they failed to implement any real training around these items and to this day the dogs are little better than house dogs regardless their use of German phrasing for commands as none of the dogs was trained and as many have proven untrained dogs regardless breed are little more than a distraction to home invaders.

My personal recommendation is either well-trained protection dogs OR small dogs like terriers (link goes to Amazon.com and terrier training manual) and the like who will be quite noisy and give an alarm. Some having proven to actually be more willing to attack intruders when compared to larger dog breeds (when both are untrained). I do love the use of vegetation with stickers on it as deterrents.

Personally, as a high desert dweller, I love prickly pear and ocatillo cacti along the inside of my back and front walls. These are almost impenetrable and can be placed for a visual benefit, not to mention the food and medicinal benefit of both of these plants!

Lastly, we have the final addition, how to make your own pharmacy. Sadly, this particular booklet has no value outside of pointing out the potential benefits of herbal medicine. There is no real guidance into what and how to make up various medications from the herbs mentioned.

And NO, making a tea or tonic is not simple nor is it the only way. There are dozens of approaches to the application of herbal medicines and only a few right ways. This booklet does not explain those well.

Only two or three of the mentioned herb-based recipes actually go into detail and offer a somewhat solid approach. For anyone with no or little real experience with these things, this book could easily do more harm than good.

My overall impression is that the authors or author of this book series simply wishes to cash in on the hysteria embracing so many uninformed individuals today. I would definitely suggest avoiding the purchase of these books and any that use words like “guarantee” in the ads for them.

Rather spend your money on solid well put together books (link goes to Amazon.com) that are written by individuals who use their own names and have the credentials and experience to support their work. I will be reviewing a few more books over the next few weeks, and many of them will be positive reviews.

Free the mind and the body will follow…

¹     Introducing the SSD Endurance Experiment. (2018). Retrieved from https://techreport.com/review/24841/introducing-the-ssd-endurance-experiment

The SSD Endurance Experiment: They’re all dead. (2018). Retrieved from https://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

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50 Comments

  1. IMO: “Normality bias” and panic are going to be the biggest intial killers of an EMP. Lack of emergency services will quickly follow as what is left will be overwhelmed by paniced people.

    Personally, I have done what I could to do without provided services. If we can, our next move will be to a place with a well and septic. The only problem then will be medications, at least the 1st year. After that, we’ll see.

    • JP, while I do not doubt an EMP is possible, there are other events far more likely. And yes, nb is definitely going to be the largest killer. So many of these authors have actually studied history in any formative way. They refuse to believe that the government they so cherish will be the first to turn against them and use them as slaves or worse when and if something major occurs. (history proves it and man does not deviate much from history)

    • JP ,

      IMO: “Normality bias” and panic are going to be the biggest intial killers of an EMP. Lack of emergency services will quickly follow as what is left will be overwhelmed by paniced people.

      I agree and in our case a close neighbor couple is a fire chief paramedic and his paramedic nurse practitioner wife. He’s a ham I’m mentoring and I’ve been working with both on my range with their firearms. They have been invited here (about a 200 yard trip) in a grid down situation, since we have the generator and plenty of both fuel and space.

      Personally, I have done what I could to do without provided services. If we can, our next move will be to a place with a well and septic. The only problem then will be medications, at least the 1st year. After that, we’ll see.

      The well and septic, along with the creek and the large old barns were one of the things that made us locate here and purchase the place.
      The only other thing you would need is fuel for heating and cooking, which in our case is propane and firewood. While the well and septic do require some maintenance that are on you, having direct control is a really great thing.

      • TOP

        Fortunately, we use propane as a backup now and firewood is plentiful aroound here. If I get my way I will have propane for my main heat source, along with a 12VDC/propane kitchen.

        • JP,

          Fortunately, we use propane as a backup now and firewood is plentiful aroound here. If I get my way I will have propane for my main heat source, along with a 12VDC/propane kitchen.

          All I can say is that great minds think alike, LOL.
          We have on site propane storage for a bit more than 3000 gallons and all of our heating and cooking is done primarily with propane. Domestic hot water, a gas forced air furnace, 2 ventless (non electric heaters) and a gas range with oven and burners, all using pilot lights make up the mix. We also have a wood burning fireplace insert that can easily heat a good bit of the downstairs.
          Our whole house generator is tied to the same propane source as the rest of the house so in a grid down situation, we’ll only be without power for about 20-30 seconds, which has happened 3 times since the generator was installed back in November 2016, all for short times from 45 minutes to 4 hours.
          We also have lighting with rechargeable batteries, always being charged as well as Aladdin and Coleman mantle lamps with plenty of fuel.
          For those just getting started, you live in a wonderful time for lighting, since ultra bright, ultra efficient LED flashlights and lanterns are plentiful and inexpensive and keeping warm with the new lightweight high loft synthetics beats what I started out with.

  2. I don’t like panic type books nothing comes out of them that you can really use and most information is recycled. We don’t fret, or worry usually you can’t do much or anything at all so we do the best that we can do enjoy life and don’t fret the small stuff. I and my husband, have done all that can be done if the world goes upside down now all we do is stay alert and keep on top of what we can and do in our household.

    • Mom of three. Exactly my point and opinion eg , this book!

      • Jesse & Mom of three,

        Exactly my point and opinion eg , this book!

        In the 40+ years I’ve been doing this, I have seen what is essentially the same books, over & over again. My personal advice would be a few really good books, a collection of applicable information from the web, and to snag appropriate YouTube videos; but, most important, practice the things you see and read so when you need them you don’t have to thumb through books and videos trying to find the one you need.
        Indoor camping is also a good thing to do once in a while. Try to limit your living and movement to perhaps the bathroom, kitchen and living room for an entire weekend. If there is something in another room you need, you can retrieve it; but, make note for the next exercise.

  3. I have one chink in the wall of my preparations that I simply must fix. I have a well. But I do not have a hand pump yet. Gotta get that fixed.

    • Same here Oren, Have a well, but no manual pump. I haven’t been terribly concerned living near a lake and a very large pond 75ft from the house. I do need to get on the ball… I’ve researched how to make your own since the pre-fab well hand pumps are ridiculously priced. Just need to build it.

      • Oren & BullDogBeau,
        You can fabricate a hand pump from PVC pipe, depending on how far down you have the water level. You can also run your pppump with a generator or an inverter using the battery in your vehicle. The key is to run it long enough to collect water to last for a while. A water BOB (Bathtub Oblong Bladder) costs around $30.00 and can store up to 100 gallons of potable water, depending on the size of your tub. You can also fill 5-gallon buckets and place loose fitting lids on top to keep out the dirt. Before we had the whole house generator, we did this, primarily for toilet flush water, with each bucket providing about 3 1.6 gallon flushes.
        Practicality instead of convenience is the key here; since a power outage is not likely to give you time to do much except to deal with it.

      • I recommend a PVC pipe with a reducer coupling and a “bouncy ball” for a valve. Get a rope to reach the water. Sand the “equator” of the bouncy ball for a better seal. Different sized pipes to make sure you can get past the well plumbing. Pulley, Tripod. Maybe a pump removal tool. I have extras for my neighbors; especially those with livestock. May this community always do well.

        • Portia,

          I recommend a PVC pipe with a reducer coupling and a “bouncy ball” for a valve. Get a rope to reach the water. Sand the “equator” of the bouncy ball for a better seal. Different sized pipes to make sure you can get past the well plumbing. Pulley,

          While the DIY method is OK, I’ve done this before and not only is it potentially a lot of work; but, costs as much for the components as just purchasing a PVC check valve. Home Depot has check valves in the $6.00 to $20.00 range. I’ve used them on several systems around the property and they simply work with no more effort than gluing it onto the PVC pipe you’re using, like you would any PVC junction.

          Tripod. Maybe a pump removal tool. I have extras for my neighbors; especially those with livestock. May this community always do well.

          What is a pump removal tool? I suspect it may be for a submersible pump; but, here our jet pump needs no special tools.
          BTW, it’s good to take care of your neighbors; but, that can also contain a little self interest which is not a bad thing.

  4. Will avoid this book.
    One Second After by William R. Forstchen is a great fiction about an EMP, post apocalyptic event. It’s an eye opener for some with possible real world situations that could happen.

    I agree with you Jesse that the odds of a CME or EMP through nuclear detonation is not likely going to happen. However, the scary part of this scenario is it would definitely happen without warning. Just snap… lights out. Whereas with other SHTF scenarios like a Yellowstone Mega eruption, most of the world would know about it long before the sunlight dimmed.
    Thank you for the review.

    • Bulldog, absolutely – and not a bad idea to prepare for – however, to an extent there is no real prep that can be had in events or for events like these not for any extended period of time outside of simply knowing basics of life stuff that many these days forget

    • BullDogBeau,

      One Second After by William R. Forstchen is a great fiction about an EMP, post apocalyptic event. It’s an eye opener for some with possible real world situations that could happen.

      I agree it was fiction; but, I would not call it great. There are too many fanciful things that just get the science incorrect. With all of those dead vehicles along the highway, no one went out to collect the batteries, alternators, wiring harnesses and lighting, all of which would be fine and good to repurpose.

      As for EMP and CME going snap with no warning, that is only true for an EMP. A large CME will give us hours to days of warning to prepare. If you go to SpaceWeather.com you can sign up for email notifications. The SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) satellite has a constant watch on the sun and you can see the status and some neat photos @ https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov
      Since our civilization relies on satellites, NASA Space Weather and SOHO are tools that allow the satellite operators to know whets coming and mitigate threats before they arrive.

  5. We exercise two approaches to subjects like this. #1 We analyze and prioritize prepping as if we were playing a war game. We assess each possible threat as to how it could affect us and then prioritize preparations according to our risk assessment. In the Philippines, flooding in many areas and earthquakes top our list. A tsunami is possible and then there is volcanic activity. More time, effort and funds are expended on what we believe is the higher risks but all scenarios are addressed in some manner.

    The mini-people in our lives have fun learning new skills while they “play the game” with us and they enjoy the quality time we spend together. Our most recent “practice” was for real. The rainy season has begun in the Philippines. A major storm passed directly over us and our subdivision lost a few transformers. Twelve hours with no power until 2:30 AM. Maria had to tell her company via text she needed an extension as she could not upload her project and I could not trade options.

    No worry, I adjust positions early, especially in this season and Maria is a valued member of her company and received her extension. We hunkered down, brewed some coffee the way we always do and had the wee ones break out some of their preps to practice with until they fell asleep. #2 A large part of my life was spent in failure analysis. We looked at the expected life of a part and if it failed early, we had to find the reason.

    We then adjusted preventative maintenance schedules, obtained better replacement parts if available or adjusted equipment replacement as needed to keep things up and running smoothly. I take those same lessons and apply them to building our preparations. What should we expect from a piece of equipment, What may go wrong under varying conditions and why? What could I do to prevent failure?

    What will I need to make repairs if a premature failure occurs? EMPs, natural or man-made are a risk. One hundred years ago, it had only a small effect on society. (Google solar storm of 1859) Today’s technology-dependent society may completely freak out and go into mass hysteria? Well, at least until the dispensary runs out of stock, the helpless and the hopeless can purchase some short-term relief, that is, if they have some coin in their pocket. We plan to retrieve the kids if an event happens while school is open and hunker down at one of two locations while avoiding the crowd.

  6. My fear of an EMP is that the nuclear powerplants will go up like a pack of firecrackers…….. Other than that, I wouldn’t have too many problems.

    • Thor1, modern nuke plants all have dozens of fail safes and manual shut down ability. That said…I love Arizona, only one plant and no others close enough to cause major issues

      And plenty of water if your willing to look beyond what media says 🙂

      • JM, some are and aren’t. They have diesel generators, but they are modern, for emergency electrical backup. The use ic chips……if they were mechanical fuel injected, everything would be OK.

        Jet a thought……..

        I am glad to be very far away from California, Yellowstone and the radioactive west coast caused by Fukushima……. and illegal immigrants…….. Good luck.

        • illegal immigrants are all over the place not just Komradfornia. I saw them living in Colorado.

          • AXELSTEVE & MD,

            illegal immigrants are all over the place not just Komradfornia. I saw them living in Colorado.

            Here in Ohio they are at least being dealt with in a small way.
            Jun 20, 2018 – ICE RAIDS OHIO LAWN AND GARDEN BUSINESS, ARRESTS 114 … to crack down on businesses that hire people illegally in the country.
            I have several friends and neighbors who run small family dairy operations who are being squeezed out by the mega dairy operations who hire mostly illegal’s. As it turns out there is a cottage industry with companies that hire the illegal’s and provide them to the farmer. The farmer pays a fixed cost per person and all of the paperwork and potential liability falls on the company to keep the farmer at arm’s length from the illicit if not downright illegal transactions. One of my neighbors was offered such a deal and turned it down.
            And has anybody noticed that This Week on the Homestead seems to have gone away again?
            I live in Ohio and Florida and Arizona knife laws don’t really impact me much, nor do those in Kentucky, since I rarely travel there anymore, so I hope one of the most valuable columns on this site will be back soon and be more regular.

  7. However, like the author they failed to implement any real training around these items and to this day the dogs are little better than house dogs regardless their use of German phrasing for commands as none of the dogs was trained and as many have proven untrained dogs regardless breed are little more than a distraction to home invaders.

    While I agree with several of the posters observations, it is obvious he’s not familiar with livestock guardian dogs. First thing is, they aren’t TRAINED to guard, it’s an innate part of their breeding. Whatever or whomever their “flock” is, they will guard, and while they aren’t “attack” breeds like the GS or Rotts, they will HOLD a person and will attack if that person proceeds.
    I have been blessed to have owned Anatolian’s, both American bred and straight from Turkey, If you ever see one or more in action, it will stand the hair on your neck up.
    These dogs are PERFECT for SHTF scenarios for several reasons, they are very independent, they don’t need direction, in fact that may be why the poster assumes they would fail, because they DON’T train well. They aren’t the fetch and drop kind of dog. They don’t “need” people even though they are extremenly loyal and loving to THEIR own.

    • Karen, I’m intimately familiar with and have raised rottweilers, pitbulls and more, I’ve also trained them as well as left them relatively untrained. Thanks for your feedback, I do hope you have trained your animals.

      • The point I was trying to make, is that as a rule, livestock guardian dogs DON’T reguire “training” it comes naturally to them.
        The only thing you have to teach them, is who belongs to their flock, be it human or animal. They take care of it from there. They really are quite independent and intelligent. They don’t “waste” a lot of energy unless there is a trespasser, then watch out!.. And if you have 2 or more, it’s like watching a wolf pack or lion pride hunt. They are quite impressive.

        I’ve owned, cared for, bred, many of the “mean’ breeds, I.e. Rottie, Chows, Bullmastifs, etc. None of them come close to the Anatolian/Kangel regarding protection, in my opinion.

        • Karen,
          My kid sister, mom, and brother all had border collies. They are friendly; but, can get quite large, and easily stand down a man who is a threat to the pack, including the human pack.
          Being the smartest of all dog breeds, often the only problem is keeping them penned up, since they are smart enough and strong enough to be great escape artists.

  8. Thanks Jesse & MD!
    Today is my younger sons 18th birthday. Have some plans for later….till then business as usual…..
    Thanks for a very informative article Jesse! There’s been much attention given to potential EMP impact. Early reports were illogical & presented much of a doomsday scenario…..Some ideas were overdone, some spot on. Gladly, due to logically written scenarios like this, much of the fluff has been winnowed away & the reader can make more logical decisions regarding necessary equipment & its use.
    Created a Faraday cage a couple years back…..a simple 40 gallon garbage can w./sticky backed aluminum tape encircling its lip. I forget the source, but the design was tested in the presentation. To me, a non scientist w/a technical background, it will do.
    Also have a 1979 vehicle in fine running shape, but it’s a gas hog. It will have to do, I think it will do nicely. W/2 gas tanks, it will get me to the 2nd or 3rd gas station-LOL!
    Thanks again

  9. As for thorny plants to deter invaders, the Jumping Cholla has few competitors. The long, barbed thorns can pop through leather shoes. The plants produce “spurs”–several inches long, about 1.5-2″ in diameter, which are similar to the pads of a prickly pear cactus (related), easily break off of the cholla when the plant is brushed against. They roll down whatever brushes against them, be it fabric or hair–cows, for example, and embed themselves on the skin of whatever they attach themselves to. Because of the barbs on the needles, they are PAINFUL to remove, particularly if one has only bare hands to remove them–the entire spur is covered with needles. You DON’T want to wander through a jungle of them or slip down the side of an embankment and into them. Common in Arizona and parts of NM that I’m familiar with.

    • Leonard,

      That Cholla sounds like playing in biological razor wire to me 🙂

    • Leonard. I love a mixture of our indigenous plants for natural fence. Add in some of the endless bits of volcanic stone that is virtually everywhere and one could have a relatively impenetrable barrier to even armor

      • Jesse,

        Leonard. I love a mixture of our indigenous plants for natural fence. Add in some of the endless bits of volcanic stone that is virtually everywhere and one could have a relatively impenetrable barrier to even armor

        While we don’t have the volcanic rock or the same plants, I was just talking yesterday with a neighbor about some of our shared property line that contains a mixture of black raspberries and MultiFlora rose, both of which have take an chunks of flesh and drawn some blood over the years. While your flora are significantly different than mine, and perhaps from others here, if anyone looks around their area and pays close attention. I’m sure that they would find similar native plants that could perform the same function. In my case the two plants are as bad as concertina wire and I have a few nicks and scars to prove it.

  10. Jesse,
    As far as the cost of getting prepared, I will mention only a single word: Amish.
    Our local Amish population does have some cash money making ventures; but, they are otherwise rather self sufficient for most of their food and shelter.

    Our security consists of some battery powered motion detectors and some solar powered motion detecting LED flood lights. Some of the egress onto the property has MultiFlora rose and black raspberries that are very thorny and will at least slow down someone. We also have a neighborhood watch system of sorts where neighbors do keep an eye on strange vehicles.

    We live in an area and specifically have property where the only natural disaster that is a threat of any sort, are tornados, and with modern infrastructure like ham radio and the weather net in which I participate, the NOAA weather radio with SAME alerting, and near real time Doppler weather radar with any decent internet connection gives us a rather good situation concerning those events, and certainly better than earthquakes wildfires, hurricanes, or volcanoes.

    • TOP. my only concern is my current relative useless physical ability with regards to farming/ranching – however, as I endorse and promote a rather self sufficient community approach *not communist/or communal so much as simply community based* options abound and we are working towards this goal!

      • Jesse,

        my only concern is my current relative useless physical ability with regards to farming/ranching – however, as I endorse and promote a rather self sufficient community approach *not communist/or communal so much as simply community based* options abound and we are working towards this goal!

        While our physical disabilities are different, the outcom I suspect is similar. I count on my wife, friends and relatives a lot; but, I give them my knowledge on numerous subjects in return, as I suspect you do. Quite often it really does “Take A village”; but, not in the perverse way the Hildebeast presented it in her socialist book.
        While it’s unclear where the maxim originated, a search tells us this:

        It is said that this phrase is attributed to an Igbo and Yoruba proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. The origin of the popular saying is a mystery. Some people believe the saying originated in an ancient African proverb; others believe it came from a Native American Tribe.

        The Igbo and Yoruba are BTW an ethnic group of southwestern and north-central Nigeria, as well as southern and central Benin.
        As it turns out, the concept of community is timeless.

        • TOP. we norse/have a similar approach….with less arable land than many other places my ancestors have learned several valuable lessons they seem to be attempting to forget in recent years…

          1. It takes a village/tribe, but we are all still very much our own person.

          2. Help those in need, but not at the cost of self.

          3. Sometimes you need to bash heads to remind people why they should stay to themselves…

          4. Peace is nice, the perfect time to train for …

  11. Today, the only definite disaster for the U.S.A. is bankruptcy and a currency reset. War often follows. Spending 25% more than is brought in guarantees this. Today, one ounce of silver will buy 6 months of food in Venezuela. This peasant, serf, slave can stay on “my” land if I pay homage to the tyrants. Be ready for a worse Great Depression because Big Power wants your stuff and you dependent. Be Strong

    • Portia. Absolutely could not agree more!

    • Portia,

      Today, the only definite disaster for the U.S.A. is bankruptcy and a currency reset. War often follows.

      Sometimes; but, there have been lots of small countries in this situation where misery was rampant; but, not war.

      Spending 25% more than is brought in guarantees this.

      I don’t know that it guarantees it; but, it does signal rough times ahead, especially for those on the dole and perhaps a bit for retirees on SS & Medicare.

      Today, one ounce of silver will buy 6 months of food in Venezuela. This peasant, serf, slave can stay on “my” land if I pay homage to the tyrants. Be ready for a worse Great Depression because Big Power wants your stuff and you dependent. Be Strong

      True; but, keep in mind that Venezuela is not to be compared with the U.S. no matter how hard we may think we have it.
      The countries oil company reserves and largest oil company Petróleos de Venezuela used to bring in more money than they could spend, until Hugo Chávez nationalized everything and brought his country into the dump with dictatorial socialism. He died after 11 years in power; but, his handpicked predecessor, Nicolás Maduro has continued his self destructive policies.
      I’m sorry; but a comparison between the U.S. and Venezuela is well beyond apples and oranges.

      • TOP, all governments fail always. This is a reality that no amount of belief in an already bankrupt system will change.

  12. Jesse,

    Introducing the SSD Endurance Experiment. (2018).
    The SSD Endurance Experiment: They’re all dead. (2018)

    The results of these tests don’t surprise me, since before companies were using FLASH prepackaged in arrays with IDE drive controllers, some of us were beating the original FLASH devices to the point of failure, and determining how to do safe upgrades without turning the device into a brick, for which a colleague and I received a patent.
    I personally think that while having marginally slower access, the MTBF of rotating media is still sufficient to make it viable for most computers under nearly any condition. The last hard drives I purchased were 3.5 inch 2 TB stand alone drives that were each connected and powered by a USB port and cost me around $50.00. I keep these in different fireproof boxes and get them out once in a while to backup my systems. USB thumb drives are also becoming available in high capacities for little cash and that too can be a viable option for backup. Keeping a Raspberry Pi tucked away for real post SHTF access.

    • TOP. it should be noted I prefer SSD as the testing actually took them past any other known medium by several petabytes in some cases and easily over 500 terabytes of write/rewrite eg. , the equivilant of your or mine use of them for 15+years with no real data loss!

  13. ALL:
    Here in Northern Illinois the illegals are all over the place….
    I attended a seminar put on by my county about 12 years back. There were 2 topics: Gangs & Internet concerns for children. Pretty informative!
    @ the end of the show the police detective fielded questions. Asked about MS13….the detective gulped & gave a quick reply. Now here was a presentation on local gangs & their activities…. MS13 was never so much as mentioned!!!!!!
    Now I’ve come to expect fake news from MSM (for years, sadly), but to run into local police not covering THE gang topic, & its related implications, was enough to raise my blood pressure a few hundred points!!!!!!!!!
    I gotta credit Trump for making this factoid known to the American people. Alarmingly it’s spun away by MSM & smaller news sources…..
    To me illegals are easy to spot. Just listen for an accent when engaging in conversation. Probably a 90% accurate method.
    Before retiring I worked areas where they lived. They’d smile, say yes, nod their heads no matter what questions I asked regarding the service they ordered.
    The drivebys & crime & such in those neighborhoods was unnerving, but I had to do it to keep my yob…….
    I find it insidious to the point of stupidity how so many can accept this, but brainwashing works!