Vote Of Confidence

…or not.  No sooner have the Commies won the UK election when we see articles like this one appearing:

Escape from Keir’s Britain with the experts’ definitive emigration guide: The best places for sunshine, big houses, high wages, no crime and top-notch healthcare – plus the hotspot with NO income tax

Of course, the smart money has already made that plan and the moolah has long ago flown over the white cliffs of Dover.  But on to the list.  Some of the countries are a lot more difficult to gain entry to, especially for permanent residence so getting there requires a lot of wishful thinking.  I’m also assuming that the target market folks are either well-off retirees or else have remote-friendly work-from-home jobs where location is irrelevant.

European countries:  Spain (a favorite already), Portugal (close second), France and Italy.  Never been to Spain, don’t care much for Italy (except in the north, which is spendy) but I could certainly do southern France.  Which is Mediterranean, as are Greece and Cyprus.  I would have a serious problem with either, because I have a problem with non-Western European alphabets, and unlike many others, I would never insist that the host people have to learn my language.  My problem, not theirs.  (I should point out that this is not the typical attitude of most Brit expats.)

Sweden:  what?  I mean, winters, dude.  Not to mention taxes (from the article:  “Income tax varies depending on the local authority, ranging from 29-35 per cent. Earners above a certain income pay an additional 20 per cent.”

Canada:  see Scandi countries above.  And speaking of socialist countries…

Oz/New Zealand:  no language barrier (more or less), but fleeing Starmer’s nascent socialist regime for the established (and venal) ones in the Antipodes doesn’t seem like a decent exchange.  (Hello, Covid lockdowns.)

South Africa:  someone has a sense of humor.  Except that South Africa is way beyond a joke. There’s a reason that Zimbabwe, Malawi and other African paradises aren’t on the list, and putting Seffrica on the list is simply a stupid nod to what the country used to be, and not what it is.  A really smart guy once said to me, many years ago, “If I went to my CEO and suggested investing in South Africa, he’d fire me.”

Texas and Florida:  leaving aside the almost impossible-to-crack legal difficulties of establishing U.S. residence, I am amused that only two states made the “cut”.  (No Tennessee?)  Whatever, I think the author has woefully underestimated the cost of living in both states.  Then again, of aaaaaaallllll the countries on the list, once you’ve established residence in either TX or FL, you can buy a gun and protect you and yours without any problems at all.  Which has to count for something.

So much for the Mail’s list.

Conspicuous by their absence from the list are some other countries.

Of course, one would think that Switzerland and Monaco would be obvious options, but they aren’t:  cost of entry, cost of living, and some really high barriers to residence take them right out of the running. Basically, the guys who could afford to move there already have.

When it comes to bang for the buck, so to speak, the Caribbean or Central American countries like Domenica, Belize and the Virgin Islands stand out way ahead of, for example, Sweden.  I’m amazed they weren’t on the list.

Your thoughts in Comments.

Here They Go Again

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, from Britishland:

Supermarkets today urged against panic buying as the Government launched a ‘preppers’ website warning families to gather an ’emergency kit’ of tinned food, batteries and bottled water for use in a crisis. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will today advise people to make contingency plans for dealing with potential emergencies to help build ‘national resilience’ and ease pressure on emergency services. 

Dowden wants to encourage families to stock up with enough food and water to survive for three days in the event of an emergency like a flood. 

All very sensible.

Naturally, everybody should build up some kind of reserve supplies of food and so on, and I’m pretty sure that all my Murkin Readers have already done so, with the judicious addition of guns and ammo in place so as to protect said emergency supplies against predation from those who haven’t.

And speaking of Americans:

While British ministers believe it is wise for people to take precautions, they will be keen to avoid imitations of the elaborate preparations for ‘doomsday’ scenarios made by US survivalists.

Of course they will, because the whole concept of self-reliance is anathema to politicians — and especially so in Britishland.  So while the BritGov encourages people to have some emergency supplies on hand (three days?  FFS), they don’t want their peasants to have too much of a supply, because… actually, I don’t have the faintest idea why they wouldn’t, other than malevolence or spite.

Feel free to enlighten me.

For those who may have missed them, or who are recent visitors to this website, here are a few from the archives:

It’s Always Time

Good Preparations

Snow Laughing Matter


Cooking In Extremis

Emergency Supplies

Quote Of The Day

From SOTI, about SHTF-prepping properly:

“Stockpiling all the preserved food and medical supplies in the world won’t help when the first person to show up with a 12-gauge pump shotgun can take them all away.”

I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir on this website, but it’s nevertheless a warning to pass on to others you may know who haven’t taken all the proper precautions.  (I myself can’t think of any of my own acquaintances who aren’t armed to the teeth properly prepared in this regard, but that’s just me.)

Hell, I don’t even know any liberals where I might engage in a little impromptu property redistribution in a SHTF situation, but there must be a few out there, even in suburban north Texas.  I’m just not willing to try to find out, for obvious reasons.

Even if I saw a “Guns Are Murder” lawn sign, they could just be hunting over bait (which is legal in Texas).

Yeah, Pretty Much That

From a realistic perspective, this is going to happen:

Around 2030 all Americans are going to have to turn on each other and carve that missing million out of their fellow citizen… This might be millennials becoming even greater debt slaves, this might be boomers kicked out of nursing homes to beg in the streets, this might be ethnic conflict to either make the white middle-class pay 2x the income tax forever, or a violent assault on the black inner-city to destroy the millstone of welfare America once and for all and free up millions in real estate in now unsafe cities… This might take the form of a communist revolution, the confiscation of all real estate, and the forcing of Americans into work camps, this might take the form of the mass slaughter of Federal employees and IRS agents so that no federal insurance schemes can ever be paid out and no pensions because the government employees are dead… This might take the form of mass Euthanasia of cancer patients, drug addicts, and the non-working… Everyone who shows up at hospital and isn’t expected to be net profitable, axe em.

My estimate is that 2030 is an optimistic forecast.  And we’re not going to be able to spend our way out of it, either.


Hunkering Down – The Response

As I suspected, the response to last weekend’s Hunkering Down post was thoughtful, and in some cases dismissive.

Pretty much everyone dismissed the original thesis’s choice of Hinsdale County CO as unworkable, as did I.  And most regarded that choice as “confirmation bias”, i.e. getting the facts to support a preconceived conclusion, or close to thereof.

The most supportable argument came from Reader Mike S., who wrote in part:

Lived in Fairfax Co., VA, a contiguous suburban county of DC. Slowly turning into Southern Maryland.
After visiting 5 states (including Texas) and filling in spreadsheets (Wife does NOTHING w/o a spreadsheet) we settled in East Tennessee.
Her health issues preclude further movement but Southern Appalachia is well watered, (mostly) self-sufficient in food, HEAVILY armed (It’s not “Are you carrying?” but “What are you carrying?”), and compared to the DC metro area crime free*.

*Almost anywhere is going to be crime free compared to our Nation’s Capital/Capitol.

And from Comments:

“Most people will never get out of the planning phase of this, treating it as a thought exercise. The few that might, will likely undersell the effort necessary to make it happen. It’s an expensive proposition to set up a redoubt or bunker. A true survivable landing spot will not come ready-made–it needs to be lived in, the land farmed, the ponds and streams kept clean, neighbors known, that sort of thing. Fewer than 3% of the population can sustain two livable homes simultaneously, so most believe their primary choices are to flee (to what, they have no idea) or hunker down and wait for FedCo and the Military to rescue them.” — Topcat

“And while big game and hunting may play a role, here in WY if the S truly hits the F, you won’t be using any vehicles (short of a mountain bike) to get around since gasoline will at best be rationed, and at worst simply unavailable. After a couple of years whatever you have stored (regardless of treatment) will be essentially useless. If you can’t hike to your hunting area and then pack out your kill, it don’t mean nothin’.” –– Blackwing1

The general consensus seems to be that the time to “bug out” is either in the past, right now or very soon.  During or after the ‘Pocalypse isn’t going to work.  Almost everyone seems to be resigned to staying put (as am I).

In similar vein, given that the average age of my Readers is ummmm advanced, the most pressing, and pretty much insurmountable problem is that of Rx resupply, with some saying that after about 90 days they’re gonna die anyway.  I’m willing to bet that nobody has a year’s worth of critical prescription meds in the cache.  I have about two months’ worth, and I’m probably in the distinct minority even there.  (New Wife, despite my urging, has less than half that, to my great despair.  Her response to my warnings can be summed up quite simply as:  “I have no interest in living in such a world anyway.”)

Let’s face it:  nobody is going to survive for very long if our current civilization turns into the New Dark Age.  Sure, some may survive a little longer than others because they’re well-supplied or else already close to being hunter-gatherers (living in the boonies, hunting / growing their food needs etc.).  Or else they’ve prepared to be predators to get what they need, although even that is going to be transitory as things like food, medicines and other essentials slowly disappear altogether from any kind of supply chain.

But as SOTI pointed out not long ago:  human beings survived being hunter-gatherers for centuries, but the average life expectancy was about 25-35.

The optimists among you suggested that perhaps some kind of order would be restored after a few months or so — but given how our society recently responded to a simple lockdown (let alone a complete breakdown), I’m not that confident.

Me?  I’m not going anywhere except maybe to Doc Russia’s little Festung  a couple-three miles from here.  I’m reasonably well-armed (coff coff ) and have several large Wal-Mart / Sam’s Club-type outlets within walking distance, so I’ll probably just do some shopping (of the AK-47 variety)… until those giant stores are emptied of everything I need.  After that… que sera, sera.

I’ll go down fighting, if I can;  but go down I most certainly will, eventually.  We all will.

Range time?  I think so.  If I’m going to go down, I’m damn sure going to have some fun, and take a few assholes with me.

RFI: Jennies

No, not Aniston, Tilly or Lopez.


…because that can wait for another time.

No, I mean generators of the small, affordable and reliable kind which run on either gasoline or propane, or both.  If it’s only one or the other, that’s fine too.

I know diddly about this topic, so all the terms used in the descriptions of generators mean about as much to me as Sanskrit poetry.

Here’s my scenario.

I don’t want to get caught without power during a freezing Texas winter ever again.  (From experience, this is when this shit is most likely to happen.)

Technically speaking we’re not allowed to have one of these things running in the apartment (of course, I’d run it outside on the balcony, where we’re not even allowed to barbecue, but if the SHTF then fukkem).

First question:  What’s the effective wattage and horsepower I should look at?

My electricity needs would be relatively light:

  • phone charging
  • laptop power supply
  • wifi router power (assuming that the network itself hasn’t fallen over)
  • an electric blanket
  • a small bedside light
  • a small electric grill or hotplate, and
  • perhaps my fridge, or maybe even both (garage & kitchen).  If it’s that cold and the fridges too power-thirsty, I’d just pop the perishables into some coolers and store them out on the balcony.

I have little or no room to store the generator in the meantime, so size is very important.  Quiet would also be nice, but not essential because fukkem.

I know how to maintain gasoline for long-term storage, and of course propane is no problem.

As for my options…

Is a cheapie like this Sportsman even worth considering?  What about this Westinghouse, Pulsar or Champion, at double the price?  I really can’t afford to go over a grand — and even that would be a huge stretch — so I would put $600 as my upper limit for cost.  (Is this completely unrealistic?)

As with all such RFIs I put out, personal experience on the topic is paramount.

All assistance is gratefully accepted.