The Day After
What I've done this issue is to compile some generalized "household hints" which might help retain your freedom in the event of increased government oppression, or other survival situation. Although I feel the general trend of things is downhill these days, perhaps an ounce of prevention will avoid the need of a pound of cure.
The first thing you should do is to present as much as a profile of "the average man in the street" as possible. I know this may upset some of our more colorful readers, but the decision is yours. What's more important in your mind, a little self-expression now, or less hassle not only today but also after the sh** hits the fan?
If you want to express yourself today, protest whatever the government is up to, write articles which piss bluenoses off, or engage in similar controversial activities then adopt a second identity, and keep the two separate. Not only is this a wise decision, but also perfectly legal. You have a right by law to go by any name you wish as long as no illegal intent is shown. In fact, every survivalist should have at least one alternate identity kept handy in case the sh** hits the fan. Paper tripping is still fairly easy to do, so do it now before it becomes more difficult. I suggest people reading this who are interested in alternate identities to read The Paper Trip I and II by Barry Reid (available from Eden Press, and other publishers) and Secret and Alternate Identities by CWL (available from Consumertronics). If there is sufficient interest and I get letters from readers saying so I'll do an article about paper tripping in a future installment.
The second objective is to acquire as much knowledge in as wide a range of fields as possible. Ignorance is no excuse; knowledge is power and anyone who doesn't believe it is either misguided or brain dead. To assist you in any situations which may come up today you should have a working knowledge in as many technological, outdoor, scientific, and military subjects as possible.
Firearms and other weaponry, computers, electronics, camping and other outdoor skills, mechanics, hunting and trapping , foraging, homesteading, agriculture, chemistry, and medicine are just a few topics which are handy to know about.
While you won't be able to learn everything, strive to learn as much as you can. Also, learn how your ancestors lived in the previous century before everything was mass produced by corporations and people had to do it themselves. This knowledge will prove to be invaluable. To start, you can go to your local library and take out some books on the above topics which interest you the most. While the range of books is limited to non-controversial topics; you'll be surprised just how much info is there. As an example, in a typical library you should be able to pick up books on mechanics, computers, electronics, outdoor skills, and firearms. With those five topics you will acquire knowledge on how to keep essential equipment running when support for them fails, learn how to make state of the art communications and analytical systems that will help you keep in touch and make strategic decisions based on data you receive, design sensor and information gathering systems to tell you what's going on with the outside world, stay alive and prosper in primitive conditions, and defend yourself against attack. Essentially, from having knowledge in those 4 skills, you have gained an significant edge in successfully surviving disasters ranging from economic depression, to natural disasters, to a government dictatorship's rise to power. If you live near a college or open military post, check out their libraries too. They usually contain more specialized knowledge. On the more "hardcore" topics, there are several good mail order outlets which sell information ranging from homemade C4 explosive to computer hacking.
If a particular topic piques your interest, then you can pursue it further. Most technological and outdoor enthusiasts are more than happy to help you learn, there are educational institutions which offer courses on the whole spectrum of scientific fields, and if you look around you can find a sympathetic member of the National Guard or veteran who will give you some advice on how to stay alive in hostile situations. American Survival Guide magazine even has a free service for survivalists to contact each other for assistance, information, and other needs.
The second stage of acquiring knowledge is keeping informed about the world around you. This is harder than it seems. Yes it is true that we live in the information age, but most of the info is tainted. While it is easy to learn that Joe Blow killed his wife because she was servicing the milkman or that Donald Trump bought another city block, it is hard to find out news that effects you or has some significance on your existence. You can thank the mass media for that. So, if you really want to stay informed, I suggest you stay away from television, newspapers, and other forms of mass media. All it is for the most part is propaganda for the corporations, government bureaucrats, and big shots; all of which have screwed the American people since the 1960s, and still try to think of ways to take away your rights and keep you from figuring out what's going on so they can screw you some more.
There are several alternatives out there which are a million times better than the traditional mass media. Two are alternative press publications, and international shortwave stations. They offer a more objective and unbiased view than the TV networks and publishing corporations, and you don't get a large spoonful of attempted brainwashing from the big shots when you read them. This is important because you will be using this information to determine when the sh** hits the fan in one of its many incarnations and when to take action.
All that is needed to receive international broadcasts is a radio receiver capable of picking up the shortwave radio band (1.6-30 Mhz.). These receivers are available from Radio Shack and mail order outlets. Costs start at $60. When you listen to Radio Sweden, the BBC, Radio Deutsche Welle (Germany's Shortwave Station), and other international broadcasters, you'll notice the tremendous difference between them, and domestic broadcasters like CBS (Colombia Brainwashing Service). Alternative press is more common out there than you think. Several are available at news stands nationwide. The others are also easy to get.
While you also are preparing your mind, you should also be preparing your body. Take up a sport and include it in your daily routine. While knowledge is useful, if you don't have the physical strength you'll still be at a marked disadvantage. Good sports are martial arts, running/walking, endurance weight lifting, and tennis. While this does take up some time, it's very good for you both now and in the future, and you'll feel better overall. Once you have assumed a low profile and started acquiring knowledge you can start planning and making preparations. One of the first things you should do in this stage is to make an assessment of what you have that could help you in a survival situation, and what you will further need in order of priority to bring your preparedness up to a sufficient level. This seems the hardest part of getting ready, but once you reach this stage you should have acquired sufficient knowledge of the best way for you to do this. You will also have acquired at little cost a wide variety of knowledge in many different fields; which will also help you in the present.