A statement from Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers and on the ground in Nevada at the Bundy Ranch April 16, 2014
Stewart Rhodes puts a call out to all Oath Keepers to come to Bundy Ranch in Nevada to rotate guard duty. Here is a video of Stewart Rhodes explaining:
Ares Armor in conjunction with GRAA and PTMC, COGR and Overpasses for America and Oath Keepers is asking YOU to take a stand against government overreach.
SATURDAY APRIL 12, 2014 @ 2:00 PM TO 5:00 PM
We are staging a PEACEFUL protest at the offices of the ATF located in Carlsbad between 2 and 5 pm. It NEEDS to stay peaceful and follow all the rules and laws.
Whats happened: The ATF raided Ares Armor March 15, 2014, they cracked their safe and took all customer information. They did this despite a court ordered restraining order by going to an ATF friendly judge and possibly lying and omitting information.
Stand with US for YOUR rights!
Ares Armor vs. Illegal ATF Raid UPDATE: Stewart Rhodes interviews CEO Dimitrios Karras – March 18, 2014
Stewart Rhodes interviews Ares Armor CEO Dimitrios Karras
TO: Whom It May Concern
FROM: Dimitrios Karras, CEO Ares Armor
SUBJ: Temporary Restraining Order Against BATFE
DATE: March 12, 2014
Sir or Ma’am,
Last week the BATFE Raided EP Armory based on a determination letter that had deemed the 80% Polymer product to be a firearm. The determination letter that the BATFE used to obtain warrants against EP Armory is based on incorrect information about the manufacturing process. The BATFE has been notified of their error and the incorrectness of their determination based on this error.
This week on Monday, March 10th the BATFE threatened to raid us even though they are fully aware that their determination letter is factually incorrect. They requested that we turn over a list of every customer that had purchased a polymer lower from us and turn over the remaining inventory that we have.
Our customer’s privacy is of the utmost importance to us. I cannot in good moral conscience turn over a list of names to the BATFE just because they unduly threaten us with an unjust raid based on information they KNOW TO BE FALSE!
For the time we are SAFE! We were granted a Temporary Restraining Order against the BATFE on March 11th. The following is the declaration that I made during the process of obtaining this TRO:
Declaration of Dimitrios Karras, CEO Ares Armor
In regards to the events surrounding Ares Armor’s interaction with EP Armory’s products and the threats made towards Ares Armor by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE.) The following declarations are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
I, Dimitrios Karras, state:
1. During a meeting with the BATFE around the end of 2012 that was unrelated to EP Armory’s product, the Agent that was present very strongly requested that I turn over Ares Armor’s customer list. He intimidated me with the possibility of criminal charges if he was not satisfied. This was the first attempt the BATFE made to intimidate Ares Armor into turning over private customer information.
2. An 80% lower is an industry term for an unfinished receiver that is not considered to be a firearm.
3. EP Armory manufactures an 80% lower receiver made from polymer.
4. Ares Armor purchases and then resells many products one of which is the 80% Polymer Lowers that are made by EP Armory.
5. In the regular course of business I have seen many different 80% AR-15 receivers.
6. EP Armory’s product is no different than standard 80% receivers that are sold openly and that the BATFE has consistently determined to not be a firearm. EP Armory’s product is in compliance with previous BATFE Determinations and is not a firearm.
7. The BATFE has Raided EP Armory based on incorrect information about EP Armory’s manufacturing process. The determination letter written by the BATFE incorrectly classified the EP Armory product as a firearm based on faulty information. The BATFE was under the impression that EP Armory was making a firearm and then reverting back to the 80% stage by filling in the fire-control cavity. At no point during the manufacturing process by EP Armory is a weapon made and then reverted. The solid fire-control cavity is built first and the rest of the 80% casting is made around this “core” specifically so that their product at no time could be considered to be a firearm.
a. As can be seen in Exhibit 1-3. The BATFE has consistently determined that the machining operations that cannot be performed in order to not be considered a firearm are as follows:
1. Milling out of fire-control cavity.
2. Selector-lever hole drilled.
3. Cutting of trigger slot.
4. Drilling of trigger pin hole.
5. Drilling of hammer pin hole.
b. EP Armory’s product is consistent with the BATFE’s many previous determinations.
c. At no time during EP Armory’s manufacturing process are any of the aforementioned 5 operations in a state that could cause a reasonable person to believe that EP Armory’s product would be considered a firearm.
8. The BATFE has been appropriately informed of their mistake. However, even though they have no determination that is based on fact, they are knowingly using their fiction based determination to intimidate Ares Armor with threats in order to inappropriately gain access to information that is private and should be protected.
9. I received communication on or about 3/10/2014 from our legal counsel (Jason Davis) that the BATFE was in the process of obtaining a warrant against Ares Armor based on their incorrect determination of EP Armory’s Product. I was advised that the BATFE had offered to forego obtaining a warrant if Ares Armor was willing to:
a. Hand over all of EP Armory’s 80% Lowers.
b. Turn over Ares Armor customer’s private information to the BATFE.
In exchange for turning over our customer’s private information the BATFE said that they would not “raid” Ares Armor’s facilities and would not pursue “criminal” charges. This made me feel as if I was being extorted. I agreed to their terms in order to delay an impending and unjust raid against Ares Armor long enough to obtain legal protection under the law.
10. I have been unjustly threatened with raids and criminal charges in an attempt by the BATFE to obtain information that is private and protected. The BATFE has expressed interest in obtaining Ares Armor’s customer list in the past and is now attempting to strong-arm us with undue threats based on information they know to be incorrect.
11. I am now in constant fear for the safety of my employees, my customers and myself.
Executed March 10, 2014 Oceanside, CA
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
This article comes from the examiner.com
by David Codrea
Also posted on oathkeepers.org
UPDATE (3/15): A video titled “ATF breaks into Ares Armor in National City” has just been posted today to YouTube. This column has now embedded the new video above. Further details will be made known when they become available.
UPDATE 2 (3/15): From Moderno.com
ATF Executes Search Warrants at Ares Armor
According to Jeremy Tuma, the Chief Operating Officer of Ares Armor, the ATF is currently executing search warrants at all Ares Armor locations.
This is from Jeremy’s Instagram page just a few minutes ago.
UPDATE 3 (3/15) from the Instagram page:
Even though they have executed a search warrant, don’t have a computer to look up prices, and are gonna be operating form a calculator, we aren’t going to let this shut us down. THE OCEANSIDE STORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
UPDATE 4 (3/16): Get the details the mainstream media has neither the capability nor any intention of bringing you. See Warrant application shows Ares Armor referenced in wider investigation.
District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the United States District Court, Southern District of California issued an order Friday to prevent Oceanside’s gun parts supplier Ares Armor from divesting itself of inventory and records subject to a temporary restraining order the court issued Tuesday. Also included in the order was notice that the TRO did “not restrain lawful criminal proceedings,” as well as a modification of the briefing schedule ordering “the parties [to] fully address all of the facts and circumstances as alleged by one another.”
This article was written by Joe A. Wolverton II and originally published at The New American
Also posted at oathkeepers.org
Idaho may soon become the latest state to stand up to the Obama administration’s attempt to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
Earlier this week, the state House of Representatives approved a pro-gun-rights bill already passed by the state Senate. The measure now awaits action by Governor Butch Otter.
The published purpose of SB 1332, the Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, makes clear the intent of state lawmakers:
This legislation is to protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being directed, through federal orders, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after January 1, 2014, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens’ rights under the Idaho Constitution, Article 1, Section 11. This Constitutional provision disallows confiscation of firearms except those actually used in commission of a felony, and disallows other restrictions on a lawful citizen’s right to own firearms and ammunition.
The State Affairs Committee,the listed author of the bill, was right to point out the state’s right to refuse to executive unconstitutional demands of the federal government. The authors understood that states are constitutionally, legally, and historically on solid ground when they hold these usurpations as null, void, and of no legal effect. That state governments have the power to take this tack with regard to unconstitutional acts of the federal government, the Founders were universally agreed, as I have explained in earlier articles.
In The Federalist, No. 33, Alexander Hamilton wrote:
But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such.
He restated that principle in a later letter, No. 78:
There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.
James Madison, also writing in The Federalist Papers, recommended that state legislators, in order to prevent federal abridgment of fundamental liberties, should refuse “to co-operate with the officers of the Union.”
Speaking during the War of 1812, Daniel Webster said:
The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal. It will be the solemn duty of the State governments to protect their own authority over their own militia, and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power. These are among the objects for which the State governments exist.
In the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
Finally, founding era jurist Joseph Story described the Second Amendment’s critical check on tyranny:
The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
Recently, three states have recently passed Second Amendment-protecting bills: Arizona, Missouri, and Idaho. Last year, Kansas passed a bill nullifying the federal assault on gun ownership and the action drew the ire of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill in April 2013 and Holder immediately called him to the carpet, or at least tried to.
Holder sent a letter to Brownback informing him that the Obama administration would ignore a new Kansas law nullifying federal gun control laws. Furthermore, Holder warned the governor that federal agents would “take all appropriate actions” to enforce federal gun control laws, calling the Kansas statute “unconstitutional.”
In a response to Holder’s letter sent on May 2 of last year, Brownback defended his state’s right to protect its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
“The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear. It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights,” Brownback wrote. “The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”
In spite of Holder’s tough talk and threats of federal invasion, Judge Andrew Napolitano reckons federal gun control laws and regulations would be “nearly impossible to enforce” if states would stand their ground.
Idaho is trying and activists are noticing. The Tenth Amendment Center’s national communication director Mike Maherry praised the Gem State legislature in a blog post:
This is an important first step for Idaho. Getting this law passed will ensure that any new plans or executive orders that might be coming our way will not be enforced in Idaho. Then, once this method is established and shown to be effective, legislators can circle back and start doing the same for federal gun control already on the books. SB1332 is an important building block for protecting the 2nd Amendment in Idaho.
To Idaho’s credit, on April 11, 2013, Governor Otter signed into law the “Preserving Freedom From Unwanted Surveillance Act,” an act reinforcing the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The law amended the Idaho code, placing new restrictions on the use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it comes to the gathering of evidence and surveillance of private property.
Such laudable legislative acts are critical and urgent, particularly in the case of the fundamental liberties protected by the Second and Fourth Amendments.
If the US and NATO Countries impose economic sanctions on Russia, they are playing with fire. The only thing keeping the US economy afloat is the dollar’s status as the world’s Reserve Currency. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor – Oath Keepers
This article comes to us from testosteronepit.com
Another warning shot was fired before an all-out assault on the dollar system begins. This time, an official shot: Alexey Ulyukaev, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development and former Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, fired it. It was a major escalation, Valentin Mândrăşescu, editor of The Voice of Russia’s Reality Check, told me from Moscow.
Last time, it was Sergei Glazyev, an advisor to Vladimir Putin who’d fired the shot. But he wasn’t a government official. “Anonymous sources” at the Kremlin claimed he wasn’t speaking for the government. As Mândrăşescu reported in his excellent article, From Now On, No Compromises Are Possible For Russia:
From the economic point of view, everyone should get ready for tough actions from Moscow. Sergei Glazyev, the most hardline of Putin’s advisors, sketched the retaliation strategy: Drop the dollar, sell US Treasuries, encourage Russian companies to default on their dollar-denominated debts, and create an alternative currency system (reference currency) with the BRICS and hydrocarbon producers like Venezuela and Iran.
Unlike radical-sounding Glazyev, Ulyukaev is part of Dmitry Medvedev’s Cabinet. And as former Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, he doesn’t take currencies lightly. He told Rossia-24 news channel about possible retaliatory measures if Washington adds economic sanctions to the political sanctions. Moscow wouldn’t worry too much about political sanctions, he said, but if Washington tries to hurt Russia’s economy, Moscow would retaliate by targeting the US dollar.
Some of it is already happening
Washington’s decision to release a minuscule 5 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve caused the price of oil to tank – a direct attack on the main revenue source of the Russian government, and a sign that Washington is willing to hit where it hurts the most [read a trader’s lament.... Commodity Markets Will Be Used As A Weapon Against The Putin Regime, Starting Now].
Russia instantly retaliated, it seems. Suddenly, there was a mysterious mega-plunge of $104.5 billion in US Treasuries held in custody by the Federal Reserve during the reporting week ended March 12. It brought the balance down to $2.86 trillion. These securities are owned by foreign countries. As of the US Treasury’s December statement, the most recent available, the Fed held $138.6 billion in Treasuries that belonged to Russia – down by $22.9 billion from a year earlier. The mega-plunge of $104.5 billion? No data is available yet to confirm these securities belonged to Russia. And if they did, it’s unlikely that Russia dumped them on the market, but it could have transferred them to another banking center, such as Luxemburg, to get them out of reach of the US government, and be able to dump them at an opportune moment.
Getting out from under the dollar
Russia has been palavering with other countries about initiating alternatives to the dollar. Formal plans emerged from the Kremlin last May on how Russia wanted the BRICS to dismantle the dollar system. So now it was Ulyukaev, an official heavy-weight, who said that Russia would work on increasing the volume of international trade denominated in national currencies, thus bypassing the dollar (translation by Mândrăşescu):
“Why should we have dollar contracts with China, India, Turkey?” he said. “Why do we need this? We must have contracts in national currencies. And this applies to energy and other spheres.” The focus would be on Russian oil and gas companies. “They must be braver in signing contracts in rubles and the currencies of partner-countries,” he said. “I think now there is an additional impetus to finally finish this job.”
And the “currency reserve policy” would need some adjustment with maximum focus on “local currencies”; it was the normal way, he said. In Mândrăşescu’s analysis, Ulyukaev was outlining an attack on the petrodollar system and the enormous advantages it confers on the US, with the goal of creating parallel petro-currencies.
Media blackout in the US
The warning, issued officially and publicly by a Cabinet member, to target the dollar, has been vigorously ignored by the mainstream media in the US. It’s a touchy subject here. The dollar reigns supreme. Its status as the sole world reserve currency, which has provided the US with enormous economic advantages, remains unquestionable forevermore. Or so wishes the Fed, which has done such a wonderful job of managing the dollar for the last 100 years that it has lost most of its value, though it’s still a heck of a lot better than the ruble.
“I have a suspicion the Western media don’t want to report on this,” Mândrăşescu said. “It could be a bit unpleasant for the S&P 500 and the nanobots trading the US stock market.” Better keep them in the dark.
It took a while. But it had to come, the public warning shot – after some ferocious lobbying behind closed doors. No one in Germany is allowed to get in the way of the sacrosanct exporters. Read…. German Exporters Fire Warning Shot About Russia “Sanction-Spiral,” Banks At Risk
By Maura Dolan – LA Times
February 27, 2014, 5:15 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO —Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris said Thursday that she would challenge a federal appeals court ruling that would require counties to give law-abiding residents permits to carry concealed guns.
Harris’ announcement followed a decision last week by San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, the named defendant in the case that triggered the ruling, not to appeal.
Unless overturned, the 2-1 ruling by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would end a stringent restriction on carrying handguns in the state’s most populous counties. Most rural countries already allow permits if minimal requirements are met.
“Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon,” Harris said. “I will do everything possible to restore law enforcement’s authority to protect public safety, and so today am calling on the court to review and reverse its decision.”
Chuck Michel, a lawyer for the gun owners who challenged the restrictions, said he would oppose the state’s intervention. Michel said San Diego County had repeatedly asked Harris to intervene earlier, and she had refused. He said Harris, who faces reelection, would face the wrath of gun owners.
“Gun owners vote, and they donate,” Michel said. “After all the attacks that have come on gun owners in the last couple of years, that sleeping tiger is now wide awake. And they will let her know how they feel about this decision.”
The 9th Circuit said the restrictions in urban regions violated the 2nd Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms because residents were denied permits unless they could show a specific need for them. The ruling did not alter requirements that permit applicants show good moral character and possess training in the use of handguns.
The court’s decision stemmed from a change in state law in 2012 that took away the right of residents to carry unloaded guns in public, with ammunition carried separately. Before the ban was enacted, courts routinely upheld restrictions on carrying concealed weapons.
Gun owners argued that the ban, coupled with the restrictions on concealed weapons, made it impossible to defend themselves in public. They challenged the permit conditions for concealed weapons in San Diego County.
“We are not holding that the 2nd Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the 2nd Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”
Sheriffs in Orange and Ventura counties have decided to comply with the ruling and loosen requirements, even though the court decision has yet to take effect.
This article was written by Pastor Chuck Baldwin, March 1, 2012, and can be found on his website, Chuck Baldwin Live.
Also posted at oathkeepers.org
March 6 marks the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo back in 1836. For more than 13 days, 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna’s seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this generation of spoiled Americans.
It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as Davy Crockett (a nationally known frontiersman and former congressman), Will Travis (only 23 years old with a little baby at home), and Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life as much as any of us do. There was something different about them, however. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.
Liberty is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom has little to do with financial gain or personal pleasure. Accompanying Freedom is her constant and unattractive companion, Responsibility. Neither is she an only child. Patriotism and Morality are her sisters. They are inseparable: destroy one and all will die.
Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas: “Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. . . . The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword . . . I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. . . . VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side. . . .”
As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the A.C.L.U., P.E.T.A., the National Education Association, and the Southern Poverty Law Center telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. A hostile media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As schoolchildren, they were not taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist jerks. Neither did they have pastors constantly filling their hearts and minds with this imbecilic “Obey-the-government-no-matter-what” misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13.
The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” They believed God was on their side and the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.
By today’s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning–none. Yet, the call for pragmatism and practicality was never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, “Victory or death!”
Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch our gutless political and religious leaders surrender to globalism, corporatism, socialism, and political correctness. Try to recall the time in this country when ordinary men and women had the courage of their convictions and were willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom and independence.
One thing is certain: those courageous champions at the Alamo did not die for a political party or for some “lesser of two evils” mantra. They fought and died for a principle, and that principle was liberty and independence. So did the men at Lexington and Concord. That is our heritage.
Today, however, our national leaders are in the process of turning the United States over to the very forces that the Alamo defenders (and America’s Founding Fathers) gave their lives resisting. On second thought, do they look foolish, or do we?
This article was written by Lizzie Bennett and originally published at Underground Medic
Also posted at oathkeepers.org
I was born in 1960…yes, I know, I sound much younger! Anyway moving swiftly on…
Rationing finally ended in England in 1953, seven years before I was born, but my parents didn’t get over it quite that quickly. I grew up in a house where nothing was wasted, where there was always at least 10 pounds of sugar in the cupboard, nestling alongside tinned meats (plain nasty as I recall) a wide variety of canned fruit and enough canned soup to float a battle ship.
It was even worse down at Gran’s place in the heart of the Devon countryside. Living four miles from the nearest street light let alone shop, and living in a cottage with no running water or mains gas or electricity frugality was the order of the day.
Every bit of string was stored for future use, brown paper from packages folded and pressed in the back of the huge family Bible, and God help you if threw out a newspaper rather than cut it into the required sized sheets for future outhouse use.
Just like at home there was a cupboard so stuffed with tinned foods and home bottled jams, chutneys and pickles we could have survived for months no problems at all, and as they explained to me as I got older, that was the whole point.
My grandparents and my parents lived in fear of further food shortages…and it showed.
Without even knowing it, they were the preppers, the first I came into contact with, so blame them for my obsession with food security.
They remembered the times when money was short, but food was shorter still, when having money in your pocket made no difference to ordinary people. The rich could still get almost anything on the black market, but ordinary working people just couldn’t afford those prices.
For them it was a ration card. They were allocated a certain amount of almost every foodstuff, they got the card stamped when they collected that weeks portion of meat or butter or whatever, and that was it until the following week.
Even clothing was rationed the raw materials were in such short supply. I was raised on make do and mend.
As unscrupulous store owners jacked up the prices to levels unaffordable to the man in the street, working people turned to barter. Those with large gardens, which was far more common then than now, had two vegetable patches, one for the basic needs of the family and a second, the contents of which had been agreed upon by other gardeners as well as the owner of the plot. The idea was to not end up with three tons of carrots and no cabbages. The produce would be swapped when it was harvested, or given to others should the harvesting times not match, in the sure knowledge that you would get your ‘exchange’ veg within a couple of hours of it being dug up.
In rural areas vegetables and fruit, eggs and sometimes cheese is still ‘swapped’ for produce that you don’t have. Informal gardening ‘clubs’ where who grows what is agreed in the school playground or at the local pub are incredibly common outside of the cities and for the most part it works well. I didn’t get much choice this year, as the newcomer to the island and as I will be growing in raised beds I am tasked with producing extra carrots as they do not grow well in the ground here. My reward will be some very nice plums, apples and greengages from another gardeners fruit trees, trees that I don’t have at this point.
The local greengrocer is always ready to take home grown produce that’s surplus to requirements. No money changes hands of course, but a dozen eggs a week for an agreed amount of time always comes in handy.
War isn’t just about the death and destruction wrought by guns and bombs, though God knows there was enough of that to last many generations of lifetimes. War comes in many forms, and not all of it involves tanks and missiles. War disrupts the general scheme of things, it alters the parameters we live within, in ways you wouldn’t consider.
Our just in time food supply chain for example, is vulnerable to disruption in so many ways. A cyber attack taking out the computer systems that control distribution would cause widespread panic and the storming of supermarkets. A failure of the power grid, either due to cyber attack, a physical attack or a solar kill shot would cause mayhem in a matter of hours.
There are many ways that war can be waged against an enemy.
Even a conventional war thousands of miles away can exert an effect on the rest of us, more so if major players are involved. Markets usually fall when instability and uncertainty levels are high. Any economic uncertainty or crisis is magnified, and recoveries are stunted. The price of essential goods start to rise, the money in your wallet buys less each week. More and more people drop below the poverty line, unable to feed their families. Unemployment rises and the state is stretched as the benefits bill increases.
The increasing costs of imported energy, as is the case with Europe getting a full 25% of it’s natural gas from Russia via Ukranian pipelines, results in fuel insecurity, which causes further price hikes. Eventually, the cycle breaks plunging people into fuel poverty.
Fuel, like food starts to be rationed. This leads to a reduction in productivity from industries considered to be non-essential. Anything produced by those companies will only be freely available until the stock holding has gone, and what is available will be sold at higher prices than usual. Once the stock levels have dropped those items will become scarce as the manufacturer works reduced hours due to reduced fuel. Workers will be laid off or face reduced hours, and with that reduced pay.
Petrol and diesel prices will rise quickly, just today oil rose 2% on the volatility in Ukraine.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of what awaits a sizable proportion of the global population in wartime conditions.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a war half a world away won’t affect you, because one way or another, it will.