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  •  Katrina also illustrates the flaw of trusting that (5+ / 0-)

    government is going to be there to help us in the event of many of these disaster scenarios.

    While I would agree the specific scenarios those in many of the Doomsday Preppers shows are not the most likely, I enjoy the show and empathize with the ethos of self-reliance, and lack of trust that government, the community, or the system is going to come save us in the event of these breakdowns.

    The Katrina, Sandy, and other power outages debunk any theory that we can depend on government to quickly rescue us from likely, and predictable severe storm incident.

    The National Science Foundation published a scenario of up to two year delays in restoring electrical power to large regions of the nation in the event of a coronal mass ejection (big solar flare) in the direction of earth.

    Heck, why should anyone believe we will take care of victims of incidents like this any better than we take care of the 50 million currently without health insurance, or unable to qualify for state Medicaid.

    If you get in trouble in this primitive country you will be mostly on your own.  

    Individuals and small self-organized groups that prepare in advance to take care of their own needs, and the needs of their love ones and local communities are not misquided, IMO.  

    The two exceptions I have with the National Geographic series are that they depict, and even encourage the seemingly dominant assumption that preppers need extensive firearms and training to fight off fellow citizens who have not prepared, encouraging the expectation of running firefights between the "ants and the grasshoppers," instead of the Gandhi like spirit of self-reliance and freedom.

    The second major problem is that they select a series of extreme preppers whose fear of specific improbable disasters rather than more rationale generalized prepping makes the whole movement seem kooky.  For example, half of one show was dedicated to a women whose extensive preps against viral contamination seemed more related to uncontrolled OCD, rather than prudent more generalized balanced preparation.

    I have sleep apnea and require a breathing machine dependent on electricity.  I've already been in crisis twice as recent electrical outages left me without power for over a week in one of the wealthiest suburbs of Boston.

    Absolutely no one from the utility, or local government, made any provision for those dependent on  medical equipment requiring electricity.  All the local suppliers of gasoline powered electrical generators were sold out, but we found a way to get a gigantic $1,000 special shipment in a mad rush.  

    Anyone who thinks government, or communities are going to look our for the needy, poor, sick, or isolated in an emergency when we already ignore these needs during regular times is ..... greatly optimistic.

    I grew up in a neighborhood with many Mormons who took it as an instruction of faith to maintain at least a year's supply of food in their homes, and they had more in local churches.  I admire such self-reliance, and now in retrospect see a side-effect of such efforts is that these groups probably have lower incidence of hunger in their communities because of the self-reliance, capabilities, and sense of individual responsibility and self-initiative developed.

    After seeing how difficult it has been to get the incomplete ACA passed, and learning of the great holes that are still going to exist even if we implement most of it, I'm slow coming around to the idea that we are going to need a different model of self-reliance to achieve even minimal levels of universal health care.

    We now have 50 million American with no health insurance, and even the most optimistic estimates before the GOP governors defiance spread was that we may get  30 million more covered.

    Would it not be naive to expect the"magic transformation" of a natural disaster to change our countries basic orientation to the needy in the event of a disaster? The evidence shows that after a few benefit concerts you will be on your own.

    But, we definitely need to develop a more progressive sub-community of preppers, with more liberal values. Part of my own interest in solar, wind, and other sustainable energy generation resonates with what I read of Gandhi's writings and strategy of self-reliance to can liberation from British domination.

    To the extent that corporate and conservative interests have combined in a conspiracy to cripple government effectiveness and capacity self-reliance may be the only realistic way of maintaining and improving quality of life for the majority of citizens.

    Now that the Biden-McConnell bill makes the majority of Bush tax cuts permanent fixing federal government tax revenues at 18% of GDP while current government spending is 23.5% we are going to be in a decades long, or longer battle on how we cuts 22% out of current government spending, with the GOP dead set against any reduction to military spending.

    Unless we get a major change of plan, I see virtually no one talking about, today will be remembered as the "high water" mark of governments care of our citizenry.

    I expect future seasons of Doomsday Preppers will catch on to this and the extreme disasters scenarios of prepping for meteor strikes, viral pandemics, and post nuclear war survival will be replaced by shows about how average citizens will struggle to be able to find food, water, shelter, and basic health care for every day life, as much of our poorest, elderly, and sick, already do.

    In this regard I see the current Doomsday Preppers inspiring steps in the right direction.  

    But, we will need more liberal themes emphasizing ways of providing food and shelter for the masses rather than the current emphasis on arming individual and fortifying houses for combat in  food riots.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:02:49 PM PST

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    •  That is quite the comment! (8+ / 0-)

      But I feel you. The thing is,

      I expect future seasons of Doomsday Preppers will catch on to this and the extreme disasters scenarios of prepping for meteor strikes, viral pandemics, and post nuclear war survival will be replaced by shows about how average citizens will struggle to be able to find food, water, shelter, and basic health care for every day life, as much of our poorest, elderly, and sick, already do.
      ...that's never gonna happen. These reality TV producers aren't gonna sign off on that. They want more idiots like the guy who blew his thumb off. That's what they think we want.

      Being prepared is a good thing. Waiting for the destruction of societal norms so that you can use your cache of weapons against other people is not to be applauded. That's my beef with this stuff. The "I got mine, screw everyone else" attitude of these *ssholes.

      "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce." -Mark Twain

      by jared the bassplayer on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:18:50 PM PST

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      •  You make excellent points in this regard, Jared. (5+ / 0-)

        You are probably right about doubting National Geographic will pick up more liberal themes in future seasons. In this regard I'll confess to getting carried away in an excess snarkiness - caught in an improbable web of cynicism and optimism mixed up in an rhetorical flourish, as I often do.

        So, why don't you, or someone, start a liberal progressive variation of Doomsday Preppers - maybe called Everyday Preppers  for the Common People - which emphasized the development of volunteer community health care, like blood pressure and diabetes screening for the poor.

        After this comment, I remembered the Cuban community based, grass roots,  health care model that I have vague memories of reading gives Cuba higher scores than the US on many basic health measures.  But I may be mistaken.

        Now that your post as generated such good conversation I need to go back and tip and rec it.

        Thanks jared.  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:44:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Liberal Themes" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jared the bassplayer

          The communitarian approach to disaster preparedness is not a "liberal theme" as the "Doomsday Preppers" are not really playing out a "conservative theme."   The communitarian approach is actually what works and the "Doomsday Prepper" ideal is basically paranoid nihilism rather than any kind of coherent conservatism.

          I've been following this TV perversion of preparedness for awhile now and wrote a diary about it here:
          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          There are a wide variety of ways the theme of preparedness could be shown on TV that built real emergency capacity and reduced paranoia.  Most of those ways could be entertaining as well with intelligent production and writing but NatGeo and TLC  (with their show on "Doomsday Bunkers") are not interested.

          Truth be told, PBS isn't much interested either.  Witness the paucity of sustainable energy renovations for most of the run of "This Old House."

          But then, I believe Solar IS Civil Defense:

          Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

          by gmoke on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 02:23:19 PM PST

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        •  There's already a liberal prepper group (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, chimene

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 02:29:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well thank you. (0+ / 0-)

          Once again, I'm impressed by the depth of intelligence of the DK posts. And the broader conversations in the comments. Pretty cool. I always do find it fascinating what people write in.

          "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce." -Mark Twain

          by jared the bassplayer on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 02:51:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not so much about liberal themes (0+ / 0-)

          as it is about the producers wanting to show a crisis, even if it means they have to provoke a crisis.

          I worked as a PA and an armorer on a movie shoot while a reality TV show was being shot around us. The producers made sure to fuck with our shoot any way they could, so they could get good footage for their show at the expense of our movie. They failed, because our director was a clever bastard.

          That said, I could see a producer doing a TV show about poor Americans trying to get food and water ten years from now. One might argue that shows like Moonshiners and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo show this now.

          ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
          My Blog
          My wife's woodblock prints

          by maxomai on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 04:37:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I watch the moonshiners show, and the one old (0+ / 0-)

            fellow once described how without moonshine a lot of the old timer could not have fed their families.  He said they whip up a batch of shine and get a dollar with which they would buy groceries which they could not get any other way.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:37:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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