Happy 2013 New Year! In the survival community, it was a rocky and nerve-racking year in 2012. The earthquake cycle and sun spot cycles increased in 2012. Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast US very hard and provided a wake up call for the entire US. Israel had another toss-up with the Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Syria’s civil war expanded beyond hope of a peaceful settlement. The Euro zone is an utter mess. Greece fell further into an Economic Depression. Spain entered their Economic Depression. Portugal and Malta are on the edge of needing bail-outs. The United Kingdom is moving closer towards leaving the European Union, and I hope they do. The self-imposed economic problems in the United States with the debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs were a demonstration in the poor governance. As I predicted, the fiscal cliff was averted at the last possible moment, and did not address the root of the problem. Personally and for my family, 2012 was one of the best years. But from a survival prepper perspective, 2012 was one of the worst. I hope your 2012 wasn’t too painful.
In 2013, I suspect there will creeping deterioration of personal freedoms. There is an old anecdote about in slowly raising the water temperature, a frog will allow itself to be boiled. That anecdote is very applicable to personal freedoms. So long as personal freedoms are taking away slowly over time, people tend not to notice. Folks are so busy just trying to survival their current economic circumstances and wish to find a small bit of comfort in lives. So the loss of one or two freedoms are not much noticed. Added up the losses over 20 years, the amount of lost freedom becomes noticeable. In California alone, there were 900 new laws that take effect in 2013. How does an average citizen adapt to 900 new laws? It’s impossible. 900 new laws is clear measure of oppression. Seriously, did California had such a poor legal foundation that it needed 900 more laws in 2013?
From the survival prepper community, the following are some freedoms you might lose in 2013. The items discussed below are pure speculation on my part. As with any prediction, it is highly possible that I’ll be wrong. Do you own research and make your own conclusions. As I always advocate, working within the rule of law. Please know your local, state, and federal laws that apply to your situation. When in doubt, contact your attorney for advice. When in doubt, learn before you act.
Potential losses of freedoms:
- Firearms – The terrible shootings in Newtown, CT have brought gun laws to the top of the national agenda again. There is a lot of momentum to restrict certain types of firearms, ammunition, and gun magazines. Semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-15 and AK-47 are on the restriction target lists. Despite my personally belief that new gun laws will only take firearms out of the hands of legal and lawful citizens, and that criminals will continue to have easy access to any type of firearm, the restriction of firearms will be seen as an easy, quick fix to mass shootings. “We must do something to save the children!” As the United States is so accustom to doing for the past 20 years, the country looks for a quick fixes, and continues to avoid the true root causes to any problem If you were on the fence about ever buying a defensive carbine or defensive rifle, now is the time to make a decision. Your delays have already cost you — big time. In the past 3 weeks, some firearms have doubled in price. Magazines with capacity of 20 or more cartridges have also likely doubled in price. Availability is dramatically down. In November 2012, you could walk into nearly gun store to purchase an AR-15. By end of December 2012, it was very difficult to find any available AR-15, and you had to pay a premium. The change of circumstances happened that fast. In 2013, you might lose access to AR-15 and AK-47 rifles all together. If a ban takes place, you may not longer have legal access to an AR-15 or AK-47 rifles. An executive order or new law can arrive any day. Now might be your last chance.
- Ammunition – Also as a result of the mass shootings in 2012, ammunition will receive attention from law makers. There might be new restrictions or limits placed on ammunition, which are common with military rifles. Calibers in .223 and .308 are civilian versions of 5.56 and 7.62, respective. The AK-47 caliber in 7.62x39mm will also receive attention from law makers. New ammunition laws might require registration or copy of drivers license with each purchase. Or the new restrictions might come in a form of additional taxes. It is ironic how government policy makers don’t view taxes in the context of personal freedoms. Whenever anything becomes taxed, freedoms are lost, in my opinion. Also, the price of ammunition knows only one direction – up. The price of ammunition has dramatically increased in the past two years. Any ammunition you buy can have a shelf life of 50+ years, if properly stored. You might give your children a substantial economic inheritance just through your stored ammunition.
- Antibiotics - I have a fish tank and all the stuff that goes with having a fish tank. Included in my fish tank supplies are fish antibiotics. Interestingly, certain fish antibiotics are IDENTICAL to human antibiotics. While there is rule of law in place, I would never, ever consider using fish antibiotics for my family. But in a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation, and there was an urgent need for antibiotics, well… If you have ever had a family member that suffered from an infection that required antibiotic treatment, you know the dread and worry that accompanies that situation. One of my children gets frequent ear infections, which are very painful. In 2013, I am expecting that new laws will be proposed or enacted to regulate veterinary antibiotics and drugs. At any moment, the FDA could issue a regulation about fish antibiotics. So if you are interested in stocking up on fish antibiotics, I’d suggest that you run out now to buy a small fish tank. And then stock up on fish antibiotics. Some related links on this subject:
- Health Care Privacy - Many doctors and hospitals in the United States are finally getting on board with electronic medical records (EMR). While I’m an advocate of EMR to improve patient care and coordination among doctors, I worry about government and employer access to the medical records. The United States health care is based on an employer provided system, prior to retirement. What is digitalized can be hacked. What is digitalized can be accessed by the government. Components of Obama’s new health care laws become active in 2013. Since medical laws and regulations can quickly be changed or amended, I recommend that you save each and every receipt for medicine and medical care. This includes every over-the-counter medicine or prescribed vitamin. You might need the receipts for taxes or health care saving plans. Pay close attention to any information provided by your doctor and hospital about how they provide access to your electronic medical records. As with any passwords you might establish, don’t make it easy for hackers. Set your passwords with non-personal information. Do not create passwords with imbedded birth dates, ages, address, names, etc. Passwords are the safest when composed of a mixture of random letters, numbers, and symbols. Use both lower and upper case letters. Please read tips for setting passwords. If you don’t want your medical records stored in electronic form, you might need to shop around for a new doctor. Small town, single-practice doctors, which are not affiliated with hospitals, are most likely not to utilize electronic medical records. Any doctor that receives reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid has a mandate to implemented electronic medical records. So you might need to find a doctor that does not participate in Medicare and Medicaid, in order to not have your medical records stored in electronic form. While I personally think the risk associated with electronic medical records is minimal, this is yet one more loss of privacy. Any loss in privacy is a loss of personal liberty. Talk with your doctor’s office about whether you can opt out of electronic medical records.
- Control of Your Medical Care - Another loss of freedom is your doctor’s loss of control over what care is provided to you. Doctors today must seek approval with the insurance companies prior to any procedure. Insurance companies even restrict when and how much of any drug is prescribed to you. There is a concept of “Evidenced Based Medicine” (EBM) which statistically correlates the effectiveness of medical care for specific diseases and illnesses. Doctors will be increasingly be challenged to follow EBM guidelines, or not have the treatment covered by insurance. You might be forced to use less-capable generic medicines, instead of a more advanced medicine, if your insurance company believes there is a cheaper alternative. With the cost of medical care now so outrageously expensive in the United States, and most people cannot afford to pay for medical care out of their own pockets. Thus health insurance companies now have control over your body. Health insurance companies, not doctors, specify how many days you can spend in the hospital, what life-saving medicines are given to you, and what treatments will be allowed. My recommendation is first, stay health. Maintain the correct body weight for your height. Eat healthy, natural foods. Processed foods, packaged meals, and fast foods are rarely healthy options. Tobacco usage should be stopped. Excessive alcohol consumption and drug addictions should be confronted with your doctor’s help. Get some exercise!! Even if it just a brisk walk several times each week, move your body! Exercise itself is the cure to many physical and mental illnesses. My second recommendation is to possibly switch to a High-deductible Medical Insurance plan with a health care savings account. This is a good option if you are self-employed or have your own business. A high-deductible plan will cover the big things – such as cancer or a broken leg. But for small things, like a quick doctor’s visit, you pay out of pocket. The Health Care Saving Account lets you pay for medical care in pre-tax money. If you are paying for your own doctor’s visit, then you might be able to select a fee-only doctor, who is not restricted by insurance companies or Medicare.
- Right to Free Speech - The right to free speech is under assault in subtle ways. If you post or write anything negative about your employer into Social Media, such as Facebook, you can be fired. Political views on your Facebook or Twitter accounts can come back to haunt you, include some future arrest or court case. My advice, never post your personal opinions into any Social Media or Internet forum. Never write an email or compose an electronic document, which you would be embarrassed to show your mother. Never advocate violence. Never communicate threats. Never advocate breaking laws. Use all the lawful and legal mechanisms available to you to redress your views and concerns about politics or religion. Use non-violent forms of protest, as provided by the US Constitution. I don’t like where the United States is going with diminished individual rights, but I intended to obey all laws. Hopefully, I’ll never need to reconsider this viewpoint in the future. Just know, while you will continue to have the right of free speech, that doesn’t prevent you from being penalized by employers, religious groups, government agencies, and non-government agencies. Any posting or communication done through phone and internet is subject to interception and tracking. My advice is don’t do stupid things. Don’t talk about politics, religion, laws, guns, survival prepping or any other very personal opinions in your work place. While at work, talk only about work. Then save any of your personal opinions for face-to-face conversations in the privacy of your home. While your rights have not yet been completely diminished, write to your elected officials. Be polite and productive when writing to an elected official. If you do attend a public protest, do not bring drugs, alcohol or any weapons. Protest in public in respectful, non-threatening ways.
- Home Improvements – Laws and regulations regarding home construction and home improvements increase every year. Zoning ordinances and Home Owner Association (HOA) rules are constricting the rights of many to make home improvements. My HOA rules prevents having a full garden in my backyard. So I am restricted to growing vegetables out of flower pots. Very frustrating.
- The Right of Assembly - As seen in the Occupy Wall Street protests, governments at all levels are having success in restricting your freedom of movement and freedom of assembly. I had an opportunity to travel through New York City during the Occupy Wall Street protests. The police were down right brutal. With one step out of designated areas, protesters were immediately arrested.
- Freedom of Movement - There are new laws that restrict citizens from leaving the United States, if they owe back taxes. No Taxes, No Travel: Why the IRS Wants the Right to Seize Your Passport. In order to control the flow of drugs, drunk driving, and transportation of weapons, I fully expect there to be more government road blocks and checkpoints in the future. I fully expect that checkpoints and roadblocks will be increased as a tool of law enforcement. Checkpoints will be expanded beyond DUI to look for guns, drugs, tax cheats, perhaps more? Traffic cameras can now identify and track specific license plates. Where you travel on highways can accessed by the government. The scenarios shown in these links will become more frequent in the future. How To Deal With A Government Checkpoint, Critic Questions Legality of DUI Checkpoints, Your rights & what to do at a Roadblock.
Freedom isn’t free. Liberty is not won through comfort and leisure. As governments grow larger, they continually seek more and more power and control over its people. It is the duty of all free people to stand ready to support and defend liberty. Look today at the country of Syria. People of Syria are fighting for their liberty from a brutal dictator. In the United States, the country has become a dictatorship of laws. There are already so many laws in place within the United States, it is impossible to know when you are breaking a law. Many Failed Efforts to Count Nation’s Federal Criminal Laws.