August Meeting Info-Lots of Great Stuff Going On

Wayne’s latest e-mail 7/31/11:

Meet Beth at the Self Reliant meeting
WED., Aug. 3rd

At the 70th Ave. Fire Station, 23014 70th
Ave. E., 6:30 start.

 Five Self Reliant members met on Wednesday, July 13th, at the Fire Station to discuss whether some of the writings predicting an economic “collapse” and food shortages should indicate any changes in our group’s activities.  The short answer to give to our members Wed., August 3rd, at 6:30pm, was “no“.   (At this meeting Louise Carson will give you her positive statement to think about.)

Jerry had viewed Chris Martenson’s “The Crash Course” and said he found some errors in it.  (Ray has several copies if you want to borrow one).  Wayne brought the book “Collapse”, by Michael Ruppert.  Other writers provide  worrisome information.  But in Graham we see plenty of 3-ton SUV’s and fully stocked store shelves and ads for Hawaiian vacations.  What gives?

Ray suggested that we would be better off looking at the reality around us to guide our actions.  Louise asked Ray what he saw as a volunteer at a food bank.  Ray answered that the last few years have  seen many more instances of families coming to the food bank that are living together in one home to share the cost.  Often this begins with adult children who have lost jobs and homes and have moved in with elderly parents.  He stated that, nationally, one in ten homes are now empty.  Someone added that the times when we could expect our children to do better economically than we did are gone forever.  A finite world cannot support infinite growth.

We talked about housing and Lynn shared that she, now a widow, would like to sell her property and move closer to Puyallup where her children are, but she is trapped by a mortgage much larger than the new lower value of her home.  Wayne said his mortgage was also “underwater”, as are probably many others. (Holly adds: I heard that about 43 percent of mortgage holders are in this position-but that does seem a bit high)  We realized that many more people were trapped by debt, default, or bankruptcy than was apparent at first glance.

A concern about our modern food supply chain was that it is very long, intricate, and vulnerable to disruption in many ways such as natural disasters, large increase in the price of diesel fuel, etc.  So is our government aware of this possibility and quietly planning ahead?  Lynn said that FEMA has been buying up the total production of freeze-dried food packages, hundreds of times their normal purchases, and emergency shelter camps are already in place.  But publicizing such plans would disturb consumer confidence.

Louise said that one alternative to regular food stores was the Azure Standard company that delivers to the Mountain Coop.  She felt that they were very ethically motivated and would deliver quality food when others couldn’t.

Wayne then gave some examples (“peak oil” and the U.S. bankruptcy of 2008) in which very knowledgeable leaders went to great lengths to “explain the dire truth” to the government, only to find that government leaders already had their plans in place, though not necessarily what was suggested.  Leaders are very aware, for good or ill, of all the information, much that we can’t know.

Our conclusion was that we should not let our local efforts be too distracted by “tilting at windmills” that we have difficulty even seeing, but should keep our efforts focused on our families and our communities in the same way we have been doing.

Of course we ordinary people are getting drained economically, gasoline and other resources are gradually being used up, modern corporate agriculture is unsustainable, and global weather is changing, but our crystal ball was just too darn cloudy to give us specific information on when and how these changes (and government’s responses) will affect us.

Then Louise leaned over and gave us a crystal clear vision of what the mission of Self Reliant Community should be and pretty much already is.  Wayne asked if she could put it in words to give to the main meeting on August 3rd.

Wayne reported Bruce Smith’s suggestion that Beth Russow, whose home is a well-furnished tree house and who helped write the guide to the Wonderland Trail, would be an appropriate and fascinating speaker for the August meeting. 

Beth comes up here yearly to help organize the Pierce County Fair at Frontier Park.  The group agreed and Beth agreed to be our speaker next Wednesday.  Please bring any friends that might be interested in her story of self reliant living.

At the August meeting, I will ask for 3 or 4 people who would be willing to meet together and plan some sort of governance for SRC, other than Wayne, who will be less available due to his wife’s cancer chemotherapy regimen.

If you can bring something for the RAFFLE, bring it to Karelina.

Also at the August meeting will be a request for someone(s) willing to provide space and time for a small “Self Reliance Library“.

Also, we want to thank Holly Pierce for the wonderful work she has done with the www.selfreliantcommunity.wordpress.com website.  She needs a helper.

(Holly adds: Actually, I would like find someone to take over this site. This is a very easy program to learn. Wordpress.com is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). I am willing to show the person how to do this.  If you have an interest in doing this please contact me-hollymaren@comcast.net. Look at the possibilities- you can then go on to create thousands of other blogs!)

We will have a sign-up for the Puyallup Fair in September.  Free tickets.

We will have information for the FREE workshops at Tacoma Envirohouse.

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