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Opening Arguments

Ready for anything

Whenever I get too pessimistic about the future, I console myself with the knowledge that I haven't gone completely around the bend:

BUSKIRK, N.Y. - A few years ago, Kathleen Breault was just another suburban grandma, driving countless hours every week, stopping for lunch at McDonald's, buying clothes at the mall, watching TV in the evenings.

That was before Breault heard an author talk about the bleak future of the world's oil supply. Now, she's preparing for the world as we know it to disappear.

Breault cut her driving time in half. She switched to a diet of locally grown foods near her upstate New York home and lost 70 pounds. She sliced up her credit cards, banished her television and swore off plane travel. She began relying on a wood-burning stove.

Convinced the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare.

The exact number of people taking such steps is impossible to determine, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the movement has been gaining momentum in the last few years.

To be honest, I've toyed with the idea of taking survivalist precautions a time or two (starting back about the time of the last oil crisis in the 1970s); nothing like having a secret cabin in the wilderness, but just having an emergency kit in the trunk of the car (batteries and dehydrated food and blankets and gold bars, cigarettes and bullets for their cash equivalency). I've never quite gotten around to it, but I know a few people who have who aren't delusionl or off-the-deep-end conspiracy nuts. But somehow, I think if I take that step, I will have crossed a line you can't come back from.


larry morris
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 9:50am

Just think of it as preparing for a bad situation that may never come, ...

Wed, 05/28/2008 - 10:30am



*Doing* things may be crazy, but just *reading* is fun.

Mitchell Surface
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 11:33am

Is it just me or do most of things Ms. Breault did sound like an Al Gore commercial? Reduce your carbon footprint kind of things.

Could it be? Al Gore, survivalist?

Harl Delos
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 12:31pm

It's worth visiting The Bend, if just to be able to say that you've been around there.

It's an unincorporated community, two miles east of Sherwood. And yes, "The Bend" is the name of the place, unlike Bend, Oregon, which has no "The".

Leo Morris
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 1:22pm

There was a lodge and restaurant in Hazard, Ky., where they are apparently unaware of the Spanish lingo, called "La Citadel." People there always said, "Hey, let's go to 'The La Citadel' for supper tonight."

Harl Delos
Wed, 05/28/2008 - 7:24pm

People have always told me that "pizza pie" is redundant. (That's absurd, of course; at least sometimes, they should say "here's your change", "the vinegar is on aisle 7", or "please pass the mashed potatoes" instead.)

I disagree with that notion. Pie by itself doesn't mean pizza, and pizza by itself doesn't mean an entire pie.

In downtown Fort Wayne, there's the La Salle bed and breakfast. LaSalle means "the room". Out on Dupont Road, there's the La Quinta Inn, which is to say "the the inn inn" is located there.

General Motors manufactured La Salle automobiles from 1927 to 1940. We heard about fathers refusing to let their daughters go out with guys who drove vans, or whose car seats could tilt back flat, but never any objection to a guy driving "the room"?

I suppose they figured if he could afford a La Salle, he'd be a good choice for a shotgun wedding?

I'm not sure why they discontinued that car. If you see the USA in your Chevrolet, wouldn't it be appropriate to explore the Mississippi river from one end to the other in a La Salle?