Education Neil Strauss Emergency Pdf


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Neil Strauss Emergency Pdf

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Although there was no McDonald's, there were dozens of fastfood restaurants selling burgers called Big Macs. When we visited tourist attractions, markets, and mosques, men stood up and greeted us.

Then they'd often ask, "You don't hate us anymore? It was further evidence that the survivalists hiding from the world in their hillside retreats were wrong. We were entering a new era of tolerance and understanding. There was nothing to be afraid of. Perhaps people everywhere are the same; only the symbols change.

The problems occur when people believe their symbols are the right ones and everyone else's are wrong. Maybe that's why the Serbians had so many anti-American postcards. Though the Clinton administration's decision to bomb noncivilian targets had helped to end the genocidal Slobodan Milosevic regime, the U.

The problem with that is it leaves someone else on the moral low ground, and being put down there is so repellent to human nature that the only solution is to claim a different moral high ground yourself.

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This is how hatred is created: One day, as we walked to the Imam Mosque in Tehran, we noticed tanks rolling down the street. They were followed by missile launchers, antiaircraft guns, and squads of soldiers. This was more like the Iran I'd imagined as a child.

I had no idea that Iran's biggest enemy wasn't the United States but Iraq. I felt lucky, in that moment, to be alive in an era when I could safely travel just about anywhere in the world as an American without encountering enemies.

The most forbidden place was Cuba, but even the embargo there seemed like a vestige of a dead Cold War. As Francis Fukuyama had foretold in his essay, the world seemed to have advanced beyond wars over religion and nationalism.

These conflicts were limited to more primitive societies, which just needed time to catch up. Norman Angell had written in a similar work, The Great Illusion, that war was becoming obsolete in the face of a modern world full of multicultural, polyreligious societies that were economically dependent on each other. Of course, Angell's book about the end of war in the modern world was written in Three years later, World War I broke out in Europe.

So perhaps all that Angell and Fukuyama and, it would turn out, myself were feeling was the quiet before the storm, buoyed by a resolute human optimism and enough vanity to believe we were living at the end of history-in much the same way that World War I was known as the War to End All Wars, though in truth it was just the war that made the next war possible.

After all, we were America, where all the lessons of the past had supposedly coalesced into perfection. We had the best movies, the best music, the best government, the best opportunities, the best lives. We didn't have to invade countries. And the more they ate our food, the more they admired our action heroes, the more they hummed our songs, the stronger we became.

Of course that created resentment, which expressed itself in the form of the propaganda I collected in much the same way a singer confident in his talent makes a collage of bad reviews by hack writers and hangs it on his wall with pride. I was too ignorant at the time to realize that it wasn't our burgers but our policies that were responsible for this resentmentand that its consequences would be fatal. Unbeknownst to me, another book was released as I was traveling through Iran in my rose-colored glasses, and it wasn't about the end of history.

It was about the end of an empire. Written by Chalmers Johnson, a former consultant for the CIA, the book was Blowback, named after intelligence jargon for the unintended repercussions of covert foreign operations. With planes down in three states so far, it wasn't clear yet that the attacks were over.

Though I imagined panic in the streets and long lines at gas pumps as people tried to flee to rural areas, the Arco station near my home was strangely quiet. Afterward, I drove to the grocery store to stock up on water. I imagined pandemonium as families filled their carts with supplies, but instead it was eerily deserted. Perhaps most people were sitting at home, glued to the television, awaiting more information and further instructions. But my Y2K conversations had taught me that there are only two kinds of people in a crisis: My propaganda collection suddenly wasn't so hip and ironic.

It was a warning sign. Just like when man first walked on the moon or ran the mile in under four minutes, all of a sudden anything was possible. If they could hijack planes and blow up the World Trade Center, then they could just as easily slip a biological agent into our wa- ter supply or release nerve gas into a crowded airport, subway, school, or theater. It now seemed like common sense to take precautions. Of course, I was years away from becoming a true nutcase.

Back then I was just a reactionary, scrambling like everyone else. A survivalist is prepared beforehand. If there was a national crisis and the power went out, IO need it to buy more gas and supplies. When I returned home, I opened the copy of the Bible IO bought while researching the millennial doomsdayers and stashed the money inside.

The page happened to be Proverbs It is, after all, the original survivalist manual, full of righteous men fleeing floods, fires, plagues, genocides, and tyrants. Though it took the federal government seventeen months to issue its first clear instructions on preparing for another terrorist attack sending a nation of would-be survivalists shopping for duct tape and plastic sheets , it took only seven days for the next one to occur.

On September 18, letters containing anthrax spores began arriving anonymously at the offices of government officials and journalists, eventually infecting twenty-two people and killing five. As a reporter at the highest-profile newspaper in the country, I was suddenly that much closer to being a target.

So when a suspicious-looking envelope with a handwritten label arrived for me at the Los Angeles bureau of the New York Times, I left it unopened. I was now officially one of them.

And so my stack of unopened hand -addressed letters and packages grew from a single envelope to a small pile to a veritable mountain. We make fun of those we're most scared of becoming. Fortunately, in case I caught a respiratory infection while traveling in Iran, my doctor had given me a prescription for Cipro, which happens to be the same pill to take in case of anthrax exposure.

So I felt vaguely protected. But newscasters also warned that a chemical attack could be next, and I had no protection from that. So I decided to purchase a gas mask. Like many others since the attacks, I was haunted by a demon ra always known about but had never met face-to-face before. It's the same demon that haunts mothers who are overly protective of their children and people who take aspirin before they actually have a headache.

The demon is known by the name of Just in Case. It has many heads. And the more fear you have, the more heads you see. The shelves of Major Surplus and Survival had already been picked clean. Just minutes before I arrived at the army supply store, a husband and wife had bought the last six gas masks for their family.

Fortunately, one of the first lessons I learned as a journalist was to always go to the source. So I decided to call the distributor that supplies the army surplus stores. Again, I was too late. There's just no more supplY: This time, I called and asked to speak to the president, Harry Weyandt. It was easy to find his name because there was a thumbnail picture of him on the Nitro-Pak website. He looked incredibly normal, like the proud parent of a high school quarterback.

Within thirty minutes after news of the attacks spread, Weyandt told me good-naturedly, the phones at his company were ringing off the hook. Sales doubled on Tuesday and Wednesday, then tripled on Thursday. Anyone who got prepared was seen as foolish.

But now people who were prepared are seen as prophets: Slim Jim. It was worth a shot: We're probably the last ones who have any: They're very popular and easy to use, and they'll give you six to ten hours of clean, filtered air in case of a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack: He knew a sucker when he heard one.

It's only sixty-nine dollars, so that's cheap insurance: It looked ridiculous: I may have been paranoid, but I wasn't that paranoid. Maybe I'd made a mistake trying to befriend him. I felt like I was talking to a car salesman. The difference is that the car business benefits from optimism and wealth. The survival business benefits from fear and tragedy. It sells not speed, but longevity. And since life is something I enjoy when I'm not taking it too seriously, I let Weyandt talk me into several additional items that were only slightly less preposterous than the Evac-U8 smoke hood.

In addition to the kit, I also ordered a box of twenty-four ready-to-eat meals MREs, in military parlance , which contained beef stroganoff, chicken stew, cheese tortellini, and other entrees and snacks, all freeze-dried in small packs and made to last roughly seven years unrefrigerated. I had no idea at the time that exactly seven years later, I'd find myself eating those meals.

I brought the supplies to the garage, hoping I'd never have to use them. My precious gas mask, in particular, looked daunting. It was packaged in a cardboard box covered with red Hebrew letters and handwritten numbers. Inside there was a rubber gas mask, a filter secured by a silver sticker tab with more Hebrew writing on it, a piece of white plastic that looked like a miniature toilet seat, a metal cap, and a cardboard ring.

I had no clue how to use it, and the Hebrew instructions weren't helping any. So I called David Orth, an assistant fire chief I'd once interviewed, for pointers. That's when I learned I hadn't actually bought survival.

I'd only bought the feeling of safety. With sarin gases, also, there's a threat of skin contact. As firefighters, we wear positive-pressure selfcontained breathing apparatuses, so I wouldn't use a filteringtype mask as any guaranteed protection: For a moment, I wished I'd bought the Evac- U8 smoke hood.

But only for a moment. The company later recalled the smoke hood when it was discovered that it didn't completely filter out carbon monoxide. When I first relocated to Los Angeles in , my boss at the New York Times, Jon Pareles, had advised against the move, warning me about earthquakes and riots.

Not only was the city too spread out for a single target to immobilize it, but, unlike Manhattan, it had no single building or monument that symbolized the nation. However, when I called Pareles to discuss the possibility of another attack in New York, he seemed nonchalant. And it's a small island with only a few bridges and tunnels for escape.

It would be easy for terrorists to shut it down or take it out: Not only did I halt my fast-growing collection of antiAmerican propaganda, but I began to feel, for the first time, a sense of patriotism welling inside me.

I first noticed it when I heard friends from other countries calling Americans obese, rude, or uneducated. Instead of agreeing, I found myself arguing with them. Suddenly, negative stereotypes of Americans seemed not only dehumanizing, but also dangerous. When I spent six months working in Nashville for the Times, I found it odd that people there identified themselves as Southerners. After all, growing up in the North, we never thought of ourselves as Northerners.

We were simply Americans. As Northerners, we'd never been marginalized in our lifetime, so we'd never had to unite and prove ourselves to anyone. Now, as Americans, we were marginalized, and it was time to prove to the world that it was wrong about us.

Unfortunately, that's not what happened. I may have heard the word before, but I'd never really understood what it was until Mrs.

Kaufman put it in context. Though Mrs. Kaufman was grayhaired, wrinkled, and probably a grandmother, she had the most tremendous breasts any of us sixth graders had ever seen on a teacher.

Even her thick cardigans were unable to conceal their enormity. I can't remember the name of our history textbook, except that it had a red cover, an ominous thick black swastika in the middle, and, on the inside of the back cover, a detail I added: During the second week of class, Mrs. Kaufman drew a timeline on the board. It began in , with Hitler's appointment as German chancellor and the boycotting of Jewish professional services.

Below the year , she wrote "The Nuremberg Laws: Now she was at Then, on the line underneath, she wrote "Kristallnacht" in big letters.

I Will Survive

But instead, I listened transfixed, imagining myself suffering each successive indignity. I don't know why, but when studying literature and history in school, I never identified with the oppressor-only with the victim.

Perhaps because that was also my role in the social pecking order of sixth grade: Penny, a transfer student who was blond and smart and perfect, raised her hand. Kaufman nodded approvingly. Kaufman asked. It was impossible to look at anything but her breasts when she spoke. And I told myself the same thing every time: If that ever starts happening here, I'm not going to wait around, thinking things can't get any worse.

I'm getting out, before it's too late. Weve never had terrorist threats or hijackings here. Were like a forgotten country because we're so far from everyone. We don't worry about security like in America. And we don't invade countries on false pretexts and make the whole world mad at us: I racked my brain to think of a hole in her argument. And the terrorist group that bombed the Bali nightclub a couple years ago is there.

Doesn't that worry you? I think the media and your president like creating fear in people, because when people are in fear, they remain docile. They don't question things and are grateful to the government for protecting them.

Over here, it's like a little paradise. We enjoy what we have and don't ask for anything more: Not yet. Maybe things will get better: One of those inquiries was from me. For the first four years of the Bush administration, we were blameless. After all, we hadn't technically elected the president. After the election, however, everything was different. This time, Bush had actually been voted into office. And the message that sent to every other country in the world was that the people of America condoned his actions.

Thus, it was no longer Bush who was stupid in the eyes of the rest of the world, it was us. The cover of Britain's Daily Mirror said it all: For historical-precedent -obsessed Americans like me, though, this was about more than George W Bush.

After all, to make an extreme comparison, even Mussolini and Hitler came to power legally in democratic governments. And so I lay on my bed that afternoon, stared at the white plaster ceiling, and thought about what I could do. I'd had my chance during the election: And I had a better opportunity than many.

As a reporter for the Times, all I had to do was fly to Florida, find the right story, and expose it before a decision was made. Instead, like most other Americans, I watched TV and waited for someone else to do it.

Despite my disillusionment, I didn't believe that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were incarnations of evil, looking to create martial law or a police state. But they were so zealously pursuing such a narrow set of priorities that they were doing more harm than good. Whatever store of cultural or political goodwill we had acquired over the years was mostly squandered in Iraq. In , 75 percent of Indonesians-the country with the world's largest Muslim population-viewed Americans favorably.

After the invasion ofIraq, that number dropped to 15 percent, with 81 percent of the population saying they feared a u. Even A. And across Europe, South America, and the rest of the world, leaders who openly collaborated with our government lost popularity and elections. The day the results of the election were announced was the first time I seriously considered leaving America.

I felt alienated from the majority of the country, worried about the damage four more years of the same administration would do, and concerned about a backlash from the rest of the world. Recently, I'd left the New York Times, hoping to move on to bigger and better things. But those things hadn't come.

I Will Survive

And now, more than ever, I doubted myself. But the election had proven that my finger wasn't on the pulse. I was just feeling the surface of the skin and imagining a heartbeat that wasn't actually there.

In , before the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, and laptop computers were mainstream, Jacques Attali, an adviser to the French president, wrote a book called Millennium, in which he predicted that human beings would evolve into technological nomads. Because technology was making work and communication possible in any location, he elaborated, weCl no longer need to stay in one place.

Perhaps my disillusionment was also an opportunity to pick up my laptop and cell phone, leave the rat race, and become a technological nomad. So that night, with my conversation with Jane in Australia echoing in my head, I checked the immigration websites for Australia and New Zealand. They required foreigners to live there two to three years before granting them citizenship.

That didn't sound unbearable. Unfortunately, my credentials-writing books with drug-addicted rock and porn stars-seemed more likely to hurt than help. Then again, the governor of my home state was a former bodybuilder who'd admitted to using anabolic steroids, attending orgies, and smoking marijuana in his words, "that is not a drug-it's a leaf".

So maybe there was a chance. But when all the buildings around you are still standing; when you can flip on the TV at any hour and watch a reality show; when you can go out at night and drink and dance and flirt and eat a cheeseburger in a diner as the sun rises, it's hard to imagine that anything has really changed or ever will. The price of my hesitation would be high. By the time I was ready to take action, New Zealand had changed its citizenship requirement from three years of reSidency to five and Australia had increased its minimum from two years to four.

I should have paid better attention to the lesson I'd learned from Mrs. I realized then why the Jews in Nazi Germany had stayed: They had hope, which can sustain us in the worst of times but can also be the cruelest of human emotions in uncertain times.

And I clung to the hope that we were America and if anything happened, our government would protect us. The security line stretched across the second-floor balcony of the terminal, wound around the check-in counters downstairs, then continued for another hundred feet outside the door. It was clear that it would be at least an hour and a half before any of us arrived at our gates.

I was on my way to New York to promote a book 10 written, The Game. Though I was worried no one in the media would care about my adventures with a cabal of pickup artists, fortunately my schedule was packed with press: Ultimately, most of those shows would be canceled or pre-empted. A new catastrophe was about to shock the nation. I ran to my grandmother's house when Michael Zucker threatened to beat me up after school. I ran to a hotel to hide from the wrath of a jealous girlfriend when she caught me talking to an ex.

I ran over fallen protesters to avoid the spray of rubber bullets when a police riot broke out during a concert I was covering outside the Democratic National Convention. As 1 waited in the security lane, 1 realized that the America we grew up in is not the same America that exists now. Most tourists have horror stories of customs agents unnecessarily detaining, mistreating, humiliating, or refusing entry to them or their friends. Several travelers, with all their papers in order, have even died in custody.

We've become our own worst ambassadors. When danger occurs, the fight or flight instinct kicks in. And since I'm a small person with little fists and a quiet voice, fleeing offers my best option for survival.

As 1 neared the checkpoint, 1 overheard a young, doughy security guard talking about a high-speed lane. A real man, according to action movies and most women, stays and fights. A wimp runs. My heart froze. The words "iris scan" filled my mind with images of the movie Gattaca, along with dozens of other Orwellian dystopias.

The thought of moving to another country came roaring back to me. But I'd rather be a living wimp than a dead hero. How many baby steps into the abyss would it take before 1 finally had the courage to climb out? Kaufmans of the future writing a timeline of events leading to America's abandonment of the promise stated in its pledge of allegiance, "liberty and justice for all": As a child, I used to collect War Cards.

I'd seen them advertised on TV and talked my parents into ordering them. Every month, a new set of index cards arrived in the mail, detailing different aspects of World War II. Male immigrants and visitors from over twenty-five countries required to register with the U. My parents probably thought the cards were educational. They didn't realize that each War Card formed a new scar in my imagination: Iraq War begins; Department of Homeland Security established; Operation Liberty Shield detains visitors seeking asylum from thirty-four Muslim countries; Bush continues to centralize and expand power through the unprecedented use of executive privilege and signing statements, which enable him to ignore or reinterpret bills that have passed Congress.

As I read War Cards about the Allied bombing that destroyed the city center of Dresden, the Battle of Okinawa that left nearly one-third of the civilian population dead, and the Nazi siege of Leningrad that took the lives of 1. Department of Homeland Security begins affixing elec- tronic monitoring ankle bracelets to thousands of illegal immigrants; government outsources domestic intelligence collection to private companies to circumvent laws restricting spying on citizens; US-VISIT system requires all foreign visitors to be digitally photographed, fingerprinted, and checked against a computer database on entry; photos of prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib prison surface; subsequent Red Cross investigations find evidence of prisoners being sexually abused, set on fire, and forced to eat a baseball at Guantanamo Bay.

Like friendly fire in combat, the government's war on terrorism had wounded its own country instead. And, consequently, every terrorist had won. Even the bungling shoe-bomber Richard Reid had affected the lives of millions of Americans, making it necessary to remove our shoes every time we pass through airport security. The government sent me a white postcard with a picture of a birthday cake on the front. On the back I was ordered to report to my local post office to register in case a draft was instituted.

I went to sleep countless nights over the next seven years hoping our country wouldn't get swept into another major war. I didn't want to end up as a statistic on a War Card of the future.

At the security conveyer belt on the way to New York, I did the airport shuffle-removing my shoes, belt, watch, sweater, and computer-and placed them in trays. That was when I noticed the posted sign: This seemed like more than just a violation of the First Amendment. It was an assault on my sense of humor. Warning people that all jokes would be taken literally would have been just as effective as actually making them criminal.

On a previous flight, I recalled seeing a middle-aged Hispanic man in handcuffs led away roughly by three officers. When I asked a stewardess what had happened, she explained, "He made an inappropriate comment to TSA officials. They don't have much tolerance for things like that anymore: It was yet another force that could rip my life from me without giving me any say in the matter-and with no regard for who I was or whether I was a good or bad person.

The only thing that reassured me as I sat disillusioned on the FIVE STEPS A five-hour flight was the knowledge that this wasn't the first time in history when Americans had lost freedoms in times of confiict, with dubious results. In , on the verge of war with France, John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it illegal to publish criticism of the government and giving authorities nearly free rein to deport foreign residents.

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus and imprisoned over 13, suspected traitors without a trial. In response to a series of anarchist bombings during and after World War I, Woodrow Wilson ordered the arrest of 10, alleged radicals, deporting any who weren't citizens. Under Franklin D. And during the Eisenhower administration, more than 10, alleged Communists were blacklisted, imprisoned, or fired from their jobs. If I were ever drafted or hunted by the government, I told my- self, I would run.

I used to wonder whether Vietnam draft dodgers were happy in Canada or if they missed home. When villains in movies raced for the Mexican border, I always hoped they'd make it to freedom. And I was amazed that Roman Polanski was able to avoid the legal repercussions of having sex with a minor just by escaping to France.

So perhaps the natural inclination to want both freedom and security from our government is too much to ask. Especially considering that, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll, these presidents with the exception of Wilson are among the ten most popular in U. Foreign countries began to represent safety to me. If things ever got bad in America, I knew there was always somewhere else to go where I could have new experiences and meet new people. Peace was for those who cared about life. But what happens when your government gives you neither freedom nor security?

I would discover the answer to that question, as would every other American, when I landed. Hurricane Katrina had just laid waste to New Orleans. Instead of a press tour, I spent most of the next week in my room, listening to reports of bodies floating in the water, elderly people drowned in their homes, civilians shot in the streets, police looting stores, and humanitarian shelters turned into humanitarian crises.

When it was all over, 1, people had died. More than the iris scanning, more than Bush's reelection, more than the Iraq War, more than the destruction of the World Trade Center, this was what shattered every last illusion about my country that remained.

And still, the greatest country on earth not only failed to take care of its own people but took five days just to respond appropriately.

According to the House of Representatives committee that investigated the response, the disaster was too large for the city, the state, the federal government, and the Red Cross to handle. So what would happen if an equivalent disaster struck a city of 3. Something changed in me, as it did for many people, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It felt like the day I first beat my father at arm wrestling.

In that moment, I realized that he could no longer protect me. I had to take care of myself. An anarchist is someone who believes that people are responsible enough to maintain order in the absence of government.

That week, I realized I was something very different: I began to subscribe to the view of human nature depicted in the William Golding novel Lord of the Flies. After reading reports of the chaos, violence, and suffering in New Orleans, it became clear that when the system is smashed, some of us start smashing each other. Most survivalists are also Fliesians. That's why they stockpile guns. They're planning to use them not to shoot enemy soldiers, but to shoot the neighbors trying to steal their supplies.

With almost everyone of my book interviews canceled, I sat in the hotel room all week, fixated on the news. In other stories, more pictures of American troops torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib were surfacing; the value of the American dollar continued to plummet; Osama bin Laden still hadn't been caught; angry Palestinians were setting the West Bank town of Taybeh ablaze; civilians in western Sudan were being killed and raped daily in a genocide the world wasn't doing anything to stop; and President Bush was threatening Iran the same way he'd once threatened Iraq.

It felt like a powder keg had been lit. It might blow tomorrow, perhaps a year from now, maybe in ten years.

No one knows when exactly. But it will definitely blow. Eventually the cast dwindled to just five of us, sitting around a small table. Among them were two of my closest friends: Zan, a gregarious drinker and ladies' man who'd flown in from Vancouver, and Craig, a heavyset Internet entrepreneur who devoured science magazines with the same excitement other men read Playboy. A tireless orator, Craig enjoyed turning me on to movies, music, and ideas in the hope that I would write about them.

They play actual phone recordings of traders calling a California power plant and ordering it to shut down. Those traders didn't care about making millions of people suffer in order to make a little more money. And that's the problem with America. The people don't matter anymore: Except he had a different way of running. Where I wanted to avoid dying of unnatural causes, he wanted to avoid dying of natural causes. In a few months, he was going to visit the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cryonics lab, where he planned to sign up to be frozen and preserved in the hope that a future generation would be able to thaw him.

I had promised to accompany himas a friend and, he hoped, as a potential freezermate. Craig listened silently, preparing his next argument.

Osama bin Laden is not as stupid and uneducated as most Americans believe. Maybe his plan is to destroy our economy. Because that's the only way to truly put an end to America as we know it: He was in his element now. Hotel Zan: He wanted to scare our allies into withdrawing from Iraq, so we'd have to shoulder the financial burden of the war alone: Nobody thinks we're stupid, except maybe Americans.

Plus we have free health care, stronger beer, and you can get the good codeine Tylenol without a prescription: Gas prices went up forty-one cents the other day. People are getting angry: I'd hit my breaking point.

It was time to make good on the promise I'd made in Mrs. Kaufman's class, the promise I'd made while reading War Cards, the promise I'd made after receiving my draft postcard, the promise I'd made when Bush was reelected. It was time to find a safe haven overseas.

It was the most depressing book release party I'd ever been to. If any kind of cataclysm should happen in America today, considering that 88 percent of the population doesn't even have a U. But I wouldn't have to panic when other countries closed their borders to fleeing Americans, nor would I end up stranded in a refugee camp at the border like so many others who'd been sucker-punched by history. With a second citizenship, I'd already be pre approved to live in another country.

Even if nothing bad ever happened, I'd be able to more easily do things forbidden to ordinary Americans, like traveling to Cuba. As soon as I returned to my hotel room, I opened my laptop and searched for lawyers and companies specializing in immigration law, diplomatic passports, and second citizenships. Within a few hours, I'd sent fifteen e-mails and made ten international phone calls, setting off a chain of events that would change my life. Imust face afight that Ihave not faced before.

And Imust go on amad that Ido not know. As for whether he's dead and gone or not, that's a matter of debate.

Because, thirty-nine years later, I was staring at the metal canister in which he was awaiting resurrection. Among those searching for immortality, Bedford is somewhat of a hero: Kitts would be just as dead as everyone in America. If there were a smaller-scale world disaster, things would probably be even worse on an island in the Caribbean, where I was more likely to be a victim of food shortages, droughts, hurricanes, blackouts, and tsunamis. Soon, the whole endeavor began to seem like the biggest travesty ever.

If something horrible happened in America, would a St.

“Emergency” – by Neil Strauss

Kitts passport even get me out during a state of emergency? What if it was confiscated by customs agents? Or what if Victor, Maxwell, and Wendell were in collusion and just ripping me off? I fell asleep around dawn for a few fitful hours, until I was woken by my cell phone.

AIG Private Bank was finally returning my call. Every day, my small savings were dwindling as the dollar dropped relative not just to the euro, but even to the Caribbean currency here. Sorry, good-bye. I felt like an outcast. Even some of the online companies selling vintage travel documents said they no longer shipped to America because U. The government seemed to be sticking its nose everywhere. According to the World Health organization, the United States had the fifty-fourth fairest health care system in the world, with lack of medical coverage leading to an estimated 18, unnecessary deaths a year.

And according to the Justice Department, one in every thirty-two Americans was in jail, on probation, or on parole.

Rather than having actual freedom, it seemed that, like animals in a habitat in the zoo, we had only the illusion of freedom. That phone call was all it took to let me know I was doing the right thing. Kitts, not San Francisco] and thanked him for his help. After the meal, he patted my shoulder and smiled.

And when you have kids, so will they.

Kitts airport the next morning, I felt like I was returning not to a country but a fortress. A survey released the previous month by the Discover America Partnership had found that international travelers considered America the least-friendly country to visit.

Maybe it was when IndyMac became the fifth American bank to fail in recent months. Maybe it was when the government gave customs agents authority to confiscate, copy, and analyze any laptop or data storage device brought across the border. But I was no longer alone. It was a hot summer, and pessimism hung thick in the air. As it turned out, he would beat all of us there when his company collapsed and he had to hide from possible indictment.

Since both Canada and St. Meanwhile, Spencer was moving forward with his ten-year plan. Archived from the original on April 8, Los Angeles Times. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from " https: Books about survival non-fiction books HarperCollins books Science book stubs. Hidden categories: Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles. Namespaces Article Talk.I don't want to be hiding in cellars, fighting old women for a scrap of bread, taking forced marches at gunpoint, dying of cholera in refugee camps, or an5'thing else I've read about in history books.

It now was time to stop preparing, turn around, and face the demon—and my fears—head on. Now he had my attention. Then again, the governor of my home state was a former bodybuilder who'd admitted to using anabolic steroids, attending orgies, and smoking marijuana in his words, "that is not a drug-it's a leaf".

And what was it all for? Tim, That trip to Vietnam sounds great! Yet on every highway, there's a drunk driver hurtling at 80 miles an hour in two tons of steel.

MAURICE from Missouri
I love reading novels diligently . Also read my other articles. I have always been a very creative person and find it relaxing to indulge in driving.