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Christmas in Venezuela: What It’s Like After Socialism Destroyed the Country

Daisy Luther
December 22nd, 2017
The Organic Prepper
Comments (74)
Read by 8,708 people

This report was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper

maduro-venezuela-wiki

The situation in Venezuela is grim and not getting any better. A socialist government has destroyed what used to be one of the healthiest economies in the world and turned it into something for which few were prepared. As we get ready for the holidays here in America, with our usual spending frenzies and feasts, Christmas in Venezuela is looking a lot different than it did a mere decade ago. Maybe some of the young people who think socialism is the answer to all our societal woes will read this and realize that this form of government doesn’t work – it destroys all hope.

Last week, I got an email from a prepper named J.G. Martinez D, or Jose. He offered to send me some on-the-ground articles for as long as the internet is up and running. I thought, given the season, that it would be interesting to follow up the interview with Selco regarding his SHTF Christmas with an interview about Christmas in Venezuela. Jose is one of the few people in Venezuela who was a prepper before this collapse happened so his perspective is quite valuable.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an upper middle class, professional former worker of the oil state company, in my 40s. A Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. I have a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Everything in the period 2004-2012 was just fine. After that period, the economy started a declining trend that has been increasing faster each week.

Being a prepper, and having experienced two major similar crisis in my lifetime (civil turmoil 1989, and Caracas coup d’état in 1992), inspired me to find a second (and even a third) income source and some months’ worth of food at home. I started to write for a Forex blog, and earning some extra cash for preppings: a genset, (now used twice weekly because of the power cuts) additional freezers, a CNC machine for a home-based small business, and some professional audio equipment for voice over and podcast broadcasting, another economical activity that I enjoy, after my career in the oil company stopped. A water tank with a concrete base (the power cuts stop the water supply pumping system), and reinforced bars for the windows, enclosing the patio for security, and some other improvements.

This has allowed my family to deal with most of the terrible situation in Venezuela. I am now outside the country, planning for the exile of my family. I know things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better, and don’t want them there once the shooting begins.

Tell me a little bit about the traditions in Venezuela. What was Christmas like before the economic collapse?

Christmas in Venezuela was one of the most popular times of the year, after school holidays. A lot of people, mostly in the big cities, went to the beach to enjoy those free days. Venezuelans are very family-oriented people. For us, Christmas is a season for being with family even in the entire year we have not been able to visit them. There was an exodus from one side of the country to the other one, people traveling in all directions to gather with their beloved ones, mainly from the big cities to the province states.

Since December 1st, shops, coffees, restaurants, houses, entire subdivisions and streets, government offices, schools, and all kind of business were decorated and the traditional “Nacimientos” or representations of baby Jesus birth in the crib, with Saint Joseph, virgin Maria, and the three wizard kings. There were contests with the most elaborated Nacimiento would be the winner. And the traditional living Nacimiento.

The general environment was a happy one, one of hope and confidence in the future. One of our Christmas carols, called “gaita” totally unrelated to the western anglophone ones, are played with drums and all kind of instruments, and for the untrained ears, it could sound something like merengue. It has been a totally pleasant surprise for the foreigners to come to a church for the services and find people dancing and singing traditional songs. Lights and all kind of ornaments hanged from doors, walls, windows and every imaginable place.

Malls were full with people buying all kind of presents, and temporary employment was a permanent need for the merchants since the first day of December.  All kind of toys and kid’s articles were sold even in the streets, for the baby Jesus birth night.

Many people piled up their mattresses, pots, and pans in the family car, heading for wonderful vacation destinations like Isla Margarita, with lots of beautiful beaches, or the mountains in Merida, in Los Andes. Another tradition is buying new clothing and or shoes (“estrenos”) for the 24, 25, and 31 December evening, to dress up in dinner while the children played with their new toys, and receiving the new year with the best new clothing to ask for prosperity.

How have the traditions you described above changed now that there is very little money?

Without money, and cash scarcity, traveling is very hard. Many people have restricted their family gatherings. Prices of bus tickets are very high for the common person, and airplane tickets are a joke. 75% of the national flights fleet is on hold because of lack of maintenance.

I have not known of anyone with kids in the last 4 years that could buy a new attire for themselves to use on the 24 and 31 December nights. Most of the available money is for 24/31 December dinner, or kid’s toys, if any.

Many kids these years have received a very simple toy, instead of those most expensive and fancy ones. And many others have not been able to receive any toy at all. They have seen people looking inside the garbage bags for food, and despite their age they seem to understand what is happening and don’t ask for expensive toys to baby Jesus, leaving the parents to relieve some pressure and get them whatever they can.

However, the hard part is that many kids were used to going to visit their grandparents, and nowadays this kind of family trips are just not possible. There is no cash, collapsed transportation, no parts for the family cars. You get the picture.

What was your traditional Christmas dinner before?

Our family Christmas dinner includes roasted pork leg, with olives and capers; a special loaf of bread (“pan de jamon”) with lots of olives, ham, bacon, and capers inside, and hen salad, with potatoes, carrots, mayonnaise, petit pois, the very unique and traditional “Hallaca”. This is sort of an envelope with banana leaves, filled up with a tasty mixture: beef and pork stew, olives, boiled eggs (recipe varies with the region, East, Center, West, and/or the origin of the family), surrounded by a mass elaborated with the corn flour, the same we use for the arepas. It was common to cook about 150 or 200 hallacas for a 4-person family.

For bigger families, everyone collaborated with money and the hallacas-making was a team labor, with over 10 people or more, and the result was 1200 or 1500 hallacas. A family of four, like us, with 100 hallacas, a roasted leg, and a huge bowl of hen salad in our extra freezer, we would eat hallacas and Christmas food until middle January!

Normally, since my childhood, in our table on Christmas Eve, there were grapes, apples, dried fruits, raisins, nuts, and even hazelnuts. Most of these were imported (we only grow grapes in some places), but there were plenty of all this in the middle class tables the Christmas and New Year eve. For dessert, a sweet called “dulce de lechoza”, made with slices of green papaya, boiled with lots of sugar and clove, served with a slice of Christmas cake, a cake with raisins, chocolate, dried fruits and some rum, called “Torta negra” or Black Cake. There is a very traditional punch, mainly for ladies, called “Ponche Crema”, with a secret recipe invented 140 years ago by Eliodoro Gonzalez, a chemist from Caracas.

Of course, most of the people could afford a whisky bottle. Most of the time we had some cider for the New Years Eve toast to receive the incoming year; people who could afford it bought champagne.

Before, it was common for someone who was shopping or just passing by, to go to wish a merry Christmas to a friend and receive a plastic bag with 6 or 8 hallacas “so you can taste them”, and some “Dulce de lechoza” or Torta Negra.

What are families eating for Christmas dinner now?

Nowadays, families are mostly eating beans and lentils, whenever they can be found, and white rice, sometimes hard to find. Middle class made an extra effort for at least one hallaca for each member of the family at the Christmas dinner eve, and mostly bought to people who makes a temporary business by preparing, cooking and selling hallacas. Those who can afford to make hallacas at home are not too many, and people does not give away hallacas to friends and family so often. The most easy meal for Christmas dinner seems to be just the hen salad. There are no wheat flour at fair prices for ham bread or cake, nor olives or other ingredients at affordable prices. Instead of a complete pork leg, some people just buy (if they can find it)some pork meat and roast it in the oven, just for Christmas Eve.

Fortunately last year we had bought a lot of staples for hallacas and other things for the dinner in August, like a small frozen pork leg and flour, and we were able to deal not just the high prices, but the scarcity as well. Our Christmas dinner was a very normal one, a little bit sad, as you may suppose. A lot of neighbors have left the country, and their houses were empty and silent. The subdivision main street once filled with kids in bicycles, dogs and people with babies, now looks like a ghost town.

What kind of gifts are people giving this year? How are they acquiring them?

Pricing of the toys, after 18 years of currency control exchange, makes them extremely hard to afford. Families with many children just don’t buy toys, or new clothing. All the money goes for feeding needs, if some staples can be found somewhere.

Old toys, in good shape, are sold in garage sales, mainly from struggling middle class people, but that was the last two years…because the middle class is running away from the country. People who can’t afford to buy new toys just trade work hours, or buy used cheaper toys. With a pair of shoes costing several minimum wages, many people is not buying anything else but basic staples. Other people who really wants to give something are using as gifts previously used items. There is not enough money in people’s hands.

Prepping allowed us to get the toys for our child early, in September, so we are not with the last minute rush.

How are children dealing with the changes during the holiday season? Is it easier or more difficult for them than the adults?

Many children are pretty aware of the situation. Middle class kids have noticed the people roaming in the streets and ripping the garbage bags looking for something to eat, and asking for bread, money or something outside bakeries, malls and supermarkets.

They have come to understand, the hard way, that everyone is having a rough time, and they are lucky to have a good house, that their relatives (mostly) still have a car they can use (many of middle class families cars are awaiting for non-affordable spare parts like tires, batteries or others).

This said, children know that anything Baby Jesus or Santa could bring along is a plus. It is touching to read that in their letters, they have asked for toys as well for the poor children. They see their parent’s faces arriving at home with a couple of grocery bags, and hear the adults conversations about the crisis. It is has been very hard for many of them. I have known by mouth of a psychologist friend of us that his little patients (he works mainly with children) are having nightmares and night terrors associated to what they see on the streets. Everyone is having a hard time.

What are some of the creative solutions that people are coming up with to make the holidays special?

People are trying to deal with the situation by means of making clear to the kids that what is important is being healthy, and that the family is all together, for instance. But the most needy are having a harsh time.

Some people has risen chickens for Christmas dinner, in whatever space they had available, but with the danger to be robbed. Other people puts together whatever cash they can find, scarce as well, and buy in bakeries all the ham bread and other stuff, to resell in the streets.

They generate scarcity in the bakeries, and inflate the prices to awesome levels. I have known that in coastal towns like those all around Margarita Island, they are using fish in the Hallacas, instead of beef and pork, for example. And instead of hen salad, sardines salad. My wife is using some sugar substitutes, as a traditional cane juice.

Are politics/government affecting the holidays in any way? Are they providing any type of relief or treats for families? Are they offering any suggestions to make this time of year more special?

Sure, they are trying to wash their nasty face with handouts. The relief, or treats was a Christmas bonus for those holding that carnet imposed by the Government to their supposed followers, and it was not even for all of the carnet holders neither.

They openly offered pork legs, toys and other goodies at low prices for those who vote for the Socialist Party. Of course this was all lies. The goodies are for the NGs, for the riot police, and the military who suffocated the recent demonstrations with over 130 persons killed.

Do you have any stories you could share of post-collapse Christmas in Venezuela?

The worst of the collapse has not been seen yet. But it is quite remarkable to notice that in other countries, the rush for electronic appliances sales generate turmoil in the stores, meanwhile in Venezuela it is the access to basic staples.

My wife was casually in a small supermarket a few days ago, when unexpectedly a couple of employees started nervously to stack powdered milk in the shelves. This is one of the most precious staples in Venezuela, much more than the liquid milk, for reasons known only to Venezuelans, and that I myself can’t explain despite being a Venezuelan. Maybe the low price, and that it can be stashed for a long time.

So there were some soldiers custodying the supermarket, and ask the people to make a line. Suddenly, a large amount of people invaded the supermarket, and pushed aside the two employees, who fell to the ground under the avalanche of people. My wife took the kid to her side, just on time so the horde would not push him and knock him to the ground and step on him. My wife, terrified with that scene, once she was able to move around to get if she could get a package, stood next to a soldier. My kid look at the soldier and, innocently asked with his little voice if he could get him some milk for his cereal. The soldier look down on the kid, and just patted his little head, with a knot in his throat, looking at my wife with a sense of impotence.

Would you be prepared?

The stories of Christmas in Venezuela should be eye-opening to anyone who is trying to get prepared for a long-term event.

The way that life has changed there is stark, dramatic, and something that could happen in any country in which the government turns to socialism. Would you be prepared for life in a collapse situation? Would you be able to provide special things for those you love to make the holidays a little bit happier?

The Pantry Primer

Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide To Whole Food on a Half Price Budget.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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Author: Daisy Luther
Views: Read by 8,708 people
Date: December 22nd, 2017
Website: https://www.theorganicprepper.com/

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74 Comments...

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  1. Heartless says:

    And boys and girls – wait til next year’s mid-term elections come and go leaving a Democrat majority. What you all just read above will be on its way here soon to follow that. That is, unless ‘it’ in SHTF happens before then. Odd isn’t it? That to maintain any semblance of good we must go through something awful as an alternative.

    • CrackerJack says:

      The outcome of 2018 midterm elections could largely depend on the results of the tax bill. I’m hopeful that many Democrats who’s paychecks improve due to the lower tax burden will remember who voted against the bill and lied to them about how the bill would impact everyone. If that doesn’t happen, then we could be screwed.

      • gandhi says:

        the soldier should have told the kid, “there will be no milk kid, the soldiers are here to protect the rights of the cows to keep their own milk to feed their calves not your sorry a$$, unless your mom puts out?.”

      • Genius says:

        They won’t see it in their paychecks (unless they up their dependents on W2 form). They will see it when they file at the end of the year. I claim as much as possible without having to pay at the end of the year. That way I’M NOT GIVING THE GOVT. AN INTEREST FREE LOAN ALL YEAR! People that say “oh wow, I’m getting a big refund this year” are retarded.

        • Genius says:

          Anyone with half a brain would say ” Damn, I way overpaid my taxes, I need to fix this now!”

          • TharSheBlows says:

            Daisy needs to stick to prepping articles cause she is clueless about International politics. What destroyed Venezuela’s Economy was not socialism but the manipulated global oil prices by Saudi Arabia to crush the economies of global competitors. Just like North Dakota oil fields were shut down due to depressed oil prices. So did socialism also destroy the N Dakota’s economies that were too booning when oil prices were high and profitable? Hell no, its politics not socialism. The CIA was also involved in creating chaose in Venezuela also to undermind and take down the government. And probably assassinated Chaves with food poisoning. This is another BS article writted by ignorant sapps. Venezuela’s economy ran off of oil profits then shared with its population. If you want to call that socialism. Sure go ahead. Versus what Capitolism as we have here in the US where the oil companies steal the oil resourses from our people and they keep all the profits for themselves and share it with wallstreet bankers and politicians whuch grant the oil leases. So is Alaska also socialist which shares the oil profits with Alaskans? The resourses in America is the peoples resourses. All Americans should be getting oil profits checks as well..

            This article is more propaganda BS. And Daisey writes these articles as a segway to sell her food products using baseless claims with ignorant info. Get real people and seek the facts vs propaganda BS.

    • gandhi says:

      but santa claus is the ultimate socialist. he arrives before Jesus God, he can deliver to everyone, and he does not need any money?. Satan claus is more important to children than Jesus because parents push santa to the kids. smart.

    • TEST says:

      Just a thought: How about we start a SHTFplan fund to send all the Bernie Sanders supporters to permanently relocate in Venezuela (or Cuba). If that doesn’t work, maybe to Detroit (no Republican mayor since 1960)

      Extra credit: Move Michael Moore and all the Hollywierd Learjet leftist there as well, after redistributing their zillion room mansions to illegal immigrants

  2. Old Guy says:

    They put all of their eggs in the petroleum basket. And when the folks who control oil crashed their oil market they had nothing else to fall back on. The USA is in similar danger. Everything is tied to the created out of thin air Petro Dollar. If the Yuan takes over as a viable alternative in the oil market the Petro dollar will crash. part of me wants it to happen. Im tired of waiting.

    • gandhi says:

      yes they wasted their oil money instead of building industry but the main reason the poor are starving while the rich laugh is because they gave up their weapons to the govt. they deserve to starve.

    • Rabbitone says:

      The western world is all the same. People have bought into socialism hook-line-and sinker. Since 1900 they have stopped having children (the pill, feminism, abortion, etc …) to be their old age pension and expecting the state to pay up. We have 60 million plus baby boomers left to retire with little more than crumbs(deficits) left to pay them…

      The socialist ponzi scheme has failed every where in the western world. Politicians scream “…What shall we do to keep the scheme going?…” And someone shouted back “..No taxpayers? That is easy to fix. Just import Muslims and Mexicans who still have large families. They will produce all the tax payers you need…”

      So everywhere you now look in the Western world it is now filled with foreigners. These are the new people the socialist ponzi schemer’s are betting will save the decrepit socialists system. Politicians love them. Liberals get tons of new voters and conservatives all the cheap labor they can handle.

      The final news is this always ends bad. Socialism always fails and it’s citizens will take their wrath out on the new comers and the failed government. Only a few today have the sense to see what is coming in the next few years. What happened in 2008 was just the warning signal for future collapse…

      • Genius says:

        “The western world is all the same. People have bought into socialism hook-line-and sinker. Since 1900 they have stopped having children (the pill, feminism, abortion, etc …) to be their old age pension and expecting the state to pay up.”

        Are you stupid or something? Having kids so they will take care of you? Expecting the state to pay back THE THOUSANDS YOU PAID FOR? Wow you are sooooo imbicilic……

  3. Ray Alex says:

    Totally wrong!! Your elected American leaders have destroyed Venezuela.

    • Wyoming Resident says:

      Correct. Because all but two American leaders in my lifetime have promoted socialism in some way, shape, or form.

      The exempted two are:

      Reagan
      Trump

    • Mensa Graham says:

      Ray, tell me how that happened. I am breathless.

    • TEST says:

      Classic, Ray. Yeah, and it’s not because everybody is trying to live off of everybody else in Venezuela, right? Nice try, but show some intellectual honesty. Did “American elected leaders” create the valueless French assignats in the late 1700s??? Or don’t you even know what an assignat is?

      No, we don’t want an American empire. But you show gross intellectual dishonesty not putting the blame were it belongs.

      But I will give you this. American socialist leaders DID destroy places like Detroit (no Republican mayor since 1960), or the corrupt People’s Socialist Thugocracy of Illinois.

    • TEST says:

      Totally wrong… and intellectually dishonest and a lie, Ray. Socialism itself has destroyed Venezuela, just as it destroyed the USSR, Robespierre’s France, Zimbabwe, Kirchner’s Argentina, Mao’s China, Greece, Detroit, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and the list goes on and on. The American empire issue is very ancillary.

      The true issue is that, in the final analysis, there are no honest prices to give market signals. But people like you are too intellectually vapid to even learn what this means.

      You, sir, are either a liar, or utterly intellectually dishonest, and your post is the epitome of ignorance. Your post was an insult to anyone concerned with human welfare and flourishing

  4. The thing that I would like to find out is if the Venezuelan government has confiscated items from the public based on the idea of hoarding.

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    Liberals and DemoRATS are extremely dangerous in their ridiculous ideas and thoughts. These rat bastards destroy everything they touch. Wake the hell up America before it is too late for your asses.

    • Genius says:

      You know what? I will be long dead when you and your kids (which you had better explain too) eats the long dong. Have fun with the stupid selfish decisions you made to grow the population for your selfish stupid interest. Read what I wrote about overpopulation a few articles below. Actually I don’t fuckin’ care what happens to you or your kids after I’m gone because I didn’t contributed to the problem. Have fun with mad max crap and ultra tyranny because when I die I aint volunteering to come back to this retard ranch.

  6. cranerigger says:

    The snowflakes believe in socialism and it’s evil brother communism. Look at the huge numbers of democrats that voted for BERNIE the socialist. These folks don’t study history nor do they give some thought to “cause & effect” for the plight of Venezuela.

  7. Old Guy says:

    No government can last long after the Taking Parasites start to out number the Producing Makers. That’s is the problem. Its not Race religion or political. Too many takers and to few makers is not long term sustainable.

    The socialist ideal eventually goes viral, and the majority learns to game the system. Everyone is trying to live at the expense of everyone else. In the terminal phase, the failure of the system is disguised under a mountain of lies, hollow promises, and debts. When the stream of other people’s money runs out, the system collapses.
    Kevin Brekke

    • londlived says:

      What happened in Venezuela is happening all over the world to some degree. You are all right in part as to the cause. There are many people causing them and you might unknowingly be one of them. Instead of quibbling about who is to blame; lets get together and try to find solutions.

      It is not the people themselves that cause the problems but their actions. Some people produce goods and services and trade with others by mutual consent for mutual gain. Others obtain goods and services by the use of physical force, threats or fraud. The rest use a mix of both methods. Which group are you in?

      Governments produce nothing. But they have the legal right to use physical force and threats and have the power to do it. They also use fraud by promising many things and then not delivering. Another means of fraud governments use is to say they provide things. They extort the money for what ever and pay others to provide it.

      To govern is to control and that is what governments do. Supposedly in a democratic country the people control the government. But do they or is there some other group like the rich and powerful that controls them?

      That leaves the masses. The people who produce goods and services and trade by mutual consent for mutual gain are not the cause. The ones obtaining goods and services by the use of physical force, threats or fraud are criminals and are a small minority until the system crashes so they are not a large part of the cause. That leaves the last group and their role is harder to see they because their actions alternate from one to the other. They don’t use force and threats directly but demand the government to do it for them. They demand the government to provide health care and other socialist services which are paid for by extorting the money to pay for them from the productive people. This is indirect robbery. They also demand the government to make laws giving their group advantage over others. They fail to see that other groups are doing the same and in the long run there are so many regulations everyone looses.

      That is the situation as I see it but I could be wrong.

      What can we do to correct it? We could adopt a new set of principles to live by. Here are some suggestions. They are not new and many people have and still live by them.

      Every person has the right to choose what to do with his or her own property. Property is anything owned and includes one’s life and body as well material goods. Anyone violating this right will have his or her rights restricted or revoked.

      Equality of rights if, it is right for one person to do something it must be right for everyone. If it is wrong for one it is wrong for everyone.

      Justice is getting and giving what one has earned by his or her own actions. You will be treated as you treat others. Also if you do nothing you get nothing. If you produce something it is yours.

      The right to defend yourself and others when physically attacked or threatened. A physical attack involves the initiation of physical force and the amount of counter force used must not exceed the amount required to stop the attack. any force beyond that is an act of aggression. The right to defence includes the right to bear arms.

  8. 5.0 earthquake at only 1.7 km deep in Fort McPherson, Canada. Canucks using too much dynamite at the quarry?

  9. whenhellfreezesover says:

    Socialism just spreads the misery around so everyone is worse off. Social equality at it’s finest.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t baby Jesus drop down loaves of bread and baskets of fish for these poor souls if they are that hungry?

  11. george says:

    I am surprised that the Clinton Foundation has not sent in their ” help ” .

    They must be licking their chops just thinking about it.

  12. TEST says:

    This news out of Venezuela came as such a SHOCK to me. Y’know, just like Inspector Renaud in Casablanca was “shocked – SHOCKED! – to find gambling in Rick’s Cafe.

    Gee…. after Venezuela, the USSR, Kirchner’s Argentina, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Detroit (no Republican mayor since 1960), the corrupt People’s Bankrupt Thugocracy of Illinois, the whole freaking EU, California, Mao’s dirt poor China, ad nauseam, I find it hard to understand how this could happen to Venezuela (sarcasm off)

    Truth is, socialism has destroyed people’s lives (100 mm dead at their hands last century) and livelihoods since Robespierre.

    Ah, but you leftist lemmings say, “This time we will do it RIGHT.” Which is exactly what they said every single OTHER time this was tried.

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
    ― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841. Anyone for a quick round of mindless leftist “Yes we can/Yes we have no bananas” chanting right about now?

  13. Mensa Graham says:

    What would you expect after getting an ex bus driver to run your country? Not much better than when we got an ex community organizer to run ours, huh?

  14. rellik says:

    “Normally, since my childhood, in our table on Christmas Eve, there were grapes, apples, dried fruits, raisins, nuts, and even hazelnuts. Most of these were imported (we only grow grapes in some places)”
    Kind of hits the nail on the head. Venezuela imports most of what it needs. America imports things, but it does not have to do so. If we get and keep Democrats out of power, we are the richest Nation the world has ever seen. We won’t suffer the fate of Socialist countries, if we can just constrain our Democrats.

    • The US doesn’t need that 10 million barrels of oil it imports each day?

      The US economy is tied to oil, same as every economy in the world. The US produces around 9 million barrels daily and imports the rest.

      Right now, the tight oil producers are working at a loss and rolling over low interest debt just to keep operating. When these wells taper off, there will be a tsunami of bankruptcies. The US is nowhere near “energy independent” as some like to claim. The tight oil “miracle” is a fraud to draw investor money.

      All economies in the world are tied to energy. With the price of Brent lower than the cost to pump much of the world’s oil, most of the economies are hurting. The US has the reserve currency to rip off the rest of the world or they would be just like Venezuela.

      The economic woes have very little to do with which kind of government is operating the country and more to do with the what people can afford to buy… to drive demand. With demand so low, prices fall until the oil supply goes back down and oil prices go back up. Trouble is, wages must go up first to increase demand.

      • rellik says:

        Can you spell “Coal”.
        At hunting camp in North Dakota
        we picked coal up off the ground
        , cooked dinner with it, and kept
        the camp warm all night.
        We do not have to import energy,
        we choose to import. We have
        more than enough resources.
        Politics shut it down.
        Politics has warped the market
        and therefore your analysis
        is based on bad data.
        My high school Chemistry instructor
        was a Shell oil Chemist(retired).
        Along with the usual Chemistry class stuff
        we learned a lot about Oil, Natural gas,
        and Coal. If you can take apart and reassemble
        Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and add in an
        Nitrogen, you can make just about any oil product
        you want. We are really good at that.
        Chemistry is your friend.

    • Kevin2 says:

      rellik

      The US survives not because of productivity that many state is hampered by democrats. The US dollar is the main reserve currency and its cornerstone is the “Oil Peg”. Nations buy oil in US dollars giving them a demand that would otherwise not exist. It is the bedrock of the US economy. This arrangement is enforced with US military might and coercion. Iraq and Libya made the fatal mistake for their respective leaders of daring to sell or proposing to sell their oil in something else. We survive because we literally bully the world into compliance. US Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guardsmen die to maintain it. Its not a democrat v republican issue. This is international globalist / Wall Street at its worst (or finest).

      • Old Guy says:

        Kevin what you state Is correct. And so far it have been working to keep the petro dollar in power. the only thing you did not address is WHY? It started during the fake gas shortage in the 1970,s Opec was formed by that Gew Kissinger. And That gas shortage and price hike dealt a blow to the USA auto industry and opened the door for imported durable goods. and that began the fall of manufacturing in the USA. It was a gew plan and was done on purpose. I don’t know what kind of Rose colored glassed rellik is wearing but his rosy picture is not factual.

        • Kevin2 says:

          Why? The USD from the Bretton Woods Agreement was backed by gold. By the late 1950s the US was already producing more dollars then it could back with gold at the agreed $35 / ounce. In 1969 France called us on it and wanted payment in gold bullion. Nixon closed the gold window in August 1971; the Us was for all purposes unwilling to pay its bills. The world shuttered, the OPEC oil peg deal was cut and low and behold there was the oil embargo ostensibly caused by the 1973 Arab / Israeli war. The reality is oil tripled in price and with it a triple demand in US dollars. Oil Companies were blamed, Arabs were blamed but the vaulted watchdog (and a dog they are) MSM couldn’t connect the dots that were laid out in front of them so good Ray Charles could read them in brail.

          It was a scam then, its a scam now.

  15. Old Guy says:

    rellik I really wish what you state is true. But I think not. We are headed to the same fate as Venezuela. Th only thing keeping our ecomomy afloat is the Fed creating Petro Dollars out of thin air. And our military forcing oil producers to only trade oil for Petro Dollars. The China gold backed Yuan will soon be buying Russia’s and Venezuela’s oil. and even the USA military cannot prevent this trade from occurring. When the Petro Dollar falls out of forced favor that’s the collapse of the USA economy. Its a huge bubble of unsecured debt. A house of cards. And America has to import lots of things. We don’t have the factorys to make them here any longer. The USA is deep in debt that grows every second. Your main mistake is thinking that the Democrats are some how the problem. When there isn’t now never was and never will be any viable ballot box solution. You don’t seem to understand the problem isn’t political . Its not Race. Its not Religion. Its simple too many takers and too few makers. And that isn’t long term sustainable.

    • rellik says:

      “Its simple too many takers and too few makers. And that isn’t long term sustainable.”
      That is always the problem, I don’t disagree.
      However, life goes on. I used to design things that
      moved, provided power, and did work.
      I truly believe that people are such a pain in the butt,
      that robots are going to replace the vast majority of
      them in the work world.
      Automation will reduce the problems of production to virtually
      zero.
      Our real problem will be the people with low IQ that are just a
      waste of air, food, and water.
      God loves them, the law says we can’t kill them, and for the record my vote is to give them ALL the drugs they want( Fentanyl is my first choice)

  16. Illini Warrior says:

    no sympathy for a guy like him – he survived and thrived during the Chevez reign – a few years ago you would have seen him at one of those socialism ra ra ra rallies screaming “Death to the US” – “Kill all the Gringos” – “Chevez is Our God” – Castro Forever” ….

  17. nlightened2 says:

    Being able to make toys as well as tools from wood, steel or anything else would make you very popular.

  18. Old Guy says:

    Automation makes products available to more folks. The cotton gin did away with the labor needed to pick the seed by hand from the fiber. But it created entire textile industry. Mc Cormicks Reaper did away with jobs to scythe the wheat . but created a abundance of grain to make bread and thus a entire flour industry. Every new technology that lowers the cost of production makes the produce unit price lower and more folks can afford it. Once a guy asked me to do some bulldozer work. I quoted him $50 per hour. He stated it wasn’t worth that much. I stated you pay your labor $5 per hour and that dozer can do more work per hour moving dirt than twenty men can. and it don’t get tired it works just as hard at the end of the day as it does at the beginning. And with automation ther are jobs created in the manufacture and matience ect. What is wrong in the USA is our manufacturing was drove away by taxation and unfair labor in other countries. And yes the quality folks do not have many children and the culls have more than they can feed. and our government enables the culls.

    • Genius says:

      Cull the culls in a cullinary contest!

    • Kevin2 says:

      Old Guy

      “What is wrong in the USA is our manufacturing was drove away by taxation and unfair labor in other countries.”

      This is a very true statement. Technology however, AI being specific, is making it entirely possible that the associated jobs from advancement in robotics are performed by robots too thus virtually removing humans entirely from the process. Technological change needs some adsorption time in society otherwise its at least short term destabilizing. The virtual exponential advancement in knowledge is making this phenomenon increasingly precarious and successive, chronic not acute. I think of an out of work China, not just the US. Its one more frightening glimpse in the abyss we call the future.

      • Genius says:

        And as usual humanity continues to overpopulate the planet. As technology takes over more previous human jobs there will be a bigger and bigger population of useless eaters. Pretty much just like idiocracy. Like I said, “Man can curb the population or nature will do it for him”. Wars and toxic food, water, air etc. isn’t doing it fast enough. Look for a war to end all wars or slow starvation and resource depletion. The future (thanks to overpopulation and consumption) is extremely dark.

      • Old Guy says:

        Ok look at it this way. A robot works for the same cost per hour here in the USA as it does any place else in the world. So robotics is the only chance the USA manufacturing has against 50 cents per day third world labor. There is a company called ESNA makes elastic stop nuts. They used to hire hundreds of screw machine operators. Then they got hit with the unfair completion from foreign places. but they survived by getting new automatic machines. Any low skilled person can watch a dozen machines. and if one malfunctions they press the red button and shut it down. then a skilled person comes and fixes the trouble. That factory remained on USA soil. by having 10 unskilled workers do the same amount of production that it previously too 100 skilled workers to attain. And those machine don’t get tired or sick ect.

  19. The scientists are getting artificial intelligence to where machines can do tasks that only humans could once do. While an artificial intelligence can’t do your job today, it probably will at some point in the future. Unfortunately, globalist billionaires and socialist celebrities will be the last to go.

    Socialism, old age, and obesity are alike in one way. They just sneak up on you gradually. Death cures old age but the other two are hard to get rid of.

  20. Dave says:

    Socialism done right. Isn’t that what hugo chavez’s buddy sean penn said? It was. Same thing we hear from the morons at the “they hate Trump” protests! They will jump into the socialist ship everytime. Without hesitation. Cause they are morons. Most of them can’t even define socialism!

  21. Social Security we have but its got funding problems. Socialist security is a contradiction in terms;under socialism, no one is secure. The government runs on a single concept. What is ours is ours. What is yours is ours if we want it. If it has value, we want it.

  22. Old Guy says:

    Obesity sneaks up on you. Not always a lot of Walmartians are born obese.

  23. Philosopher Deplorabilis says:

    My mother’s side of the family were from northern Maine. This reminds me of the Christmas traditions they brought that were out of necessity and poverty. There weren’t any shopping malls nearby. My grandparents grew up using coal or wood heat, sometimes both (coal for the furnace, wood for the cook stove). They had an outhouse and kept chamber pots under the bed for use during the night. Bedrooms were unheated (even in winter) and quilts were made from used clothing.

    My grandparents never complained. They never whined about being poor. Both of them were good with their hands I still remember the amazing woodshed my grandfather built next to his camp on a lake. My grandmother could do incredible things with a needle, thread, yarn, and a scrap of fabric. Making things was the standard when I was growing up over store bought.

    I remember getting things at Christmas that many American kids would laugh at today. Oranges, nuts (especially fancy nuts like Brazil nuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts) were always in our stockings! New slippers and pajamas were standard although the slippers were hand made from yarn, sometimes even the pajamas were hand made though an aunt did send us store bought PJs most years.

    Poverty was accepted but it was never an excuse. Part of this came from WWII when rural areas were hit hard due to rationing. It was a shared burden for most and it didn’t do any good to complain about it. I think the best part of the holidays was the food, my mother always made potato candy at Chrismas. She grew up in a town that had a number of potato farms. The one thing everyone had was potatoes, even poor people. The inside of russet potatoes is very starchy and when you scoop it out, hot, and mix it with powdered sugar, butter, and coconut it makes a very nice sweet without any flour. Dipped in chocolate and covered with nuts or coconut and it was something we always enjoyed as a Christmas sweet.

    Merry Christmas to my fellow preppers! We are blessed. May we not take that for granted!

    • Philosopher Deplorabilis says:

      The other best part of Christmas were the stories and music and cards. My grandfather only finished the sixth grade but was quite a good fiddler! Stories were told at the kitchen table with coffee and games of cards (gin and gin rummy were favorite games) and cribbage. Visiting family members stayed up all night talking and telling stories while kids ran around and were shushed and told to be quiet, the grown ups were talking!

      Those were the days.

      • Genius says:

        Oh ya. back when I spent my summers at my grandpa’s farm. Driving an old international flatbed (could hardly see out the windshield) in a line while my dad and grandpa stacked hay bales on it. Drinking water from an artesian well. Going fishing on the snake river. Outfishing them both lol. Having to sleep on the davenport (couch). An old coal stove for heat. Bringing in the buckets of coal. The pond fed by the artesian well stocked with minnows and fresh water shrimp. Man that well had some pressure! I would shoot water 15 feet when wide open. Irrigating the field with water from the ditch by using tarps dams and shoveling dirt on it. Going out in the desert to shoot coyotes and trapping. We once caught a bald eagle in a trap and man was it pissed! Had to throw a blanket over it and release it. Found some arrowheads and shot a lot of sage grouse. THOSE WERE THE DAYS!

        • Genius says:

          Oh ya and taking baths in a galvanized tub filled with water from the coal stove. And shooting magpies from the hide shack when they landed on the carcass pile with my bb gun. And slaughtering a sheep and having fresh muttin. And catching frogs and tadpoles from the pond from the other artesian well down the road at the old abandoned church. Being friends with the calves and petting them. How I wish I were there again…..

          • Philosopher Deplorabilis says:

            I remember catching frogs at the little pond in the old gravel pit! Skating on it when it iced over.

            I agree, fun times. We have so much stuff these days. Are we happier? Nope.

            Thanks for sharing your family memories! It is the little things that count. You don’t remember the good times. What people remember are the bad times.

            Going to be putting some oranges and fancy nuts in a bowl on the counter. Just so I remember the bad times and in honor of the people that taught me how to appreciate the good ones. Not sure if I will make any potato candy. But thinking about it makes me smile!

  24. Old Guy says:

    Cold wind today out of the North West. sent the day feeding the wood furnace. doing chores. and repairing fences and gates ect. the wind is already drying the mud from the last days rain. Ive been waitin on the cold . have three pigs to kill. and need to kill some deer. I like to let the deer hang for a few days. and its been too warm the flies would blow it. and I want to brine cure part of those pigs. gotta have cold weather to do that. I started trapping caught a large bobcat and several opossum. The opossum hides aint worth anything. The bobcat will bring a bit. there is a $15 dollar bounty on beaver. you give them the tails to collect the bounty. Sell the hide and eat the carcass. We don’t do the Christmas thing.

 

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