Democrat candidate power rankings by Stu: April 17th edition

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

Check out other editions here.

18.Wayne Messam: 13.4 (out of 100)

Troy McClure voice: "You may remember him from such college football teams as the Florida State Seminoles in the mid 1990's.

Look, there's no way someone is going from a small city mayor directly to the White House.

Forget I said that as you read on.

17.Marianne Williamson: 17.1

Williamson is a new age "spiritual advisor" to celebrities like Kim Kardashian. She's firmly in the Bernie Sanders wing of the party (which more and more seems like the only wing of the party.)

If you want to make an argument for Williamson making an impact, it starts with people like the Kardashians spamming their social media following like Marianne is the new Fyre Festival.

Unfortunately, they sort of already did that last time when Marianne ran for congress in 2014, and she still finished fourth.

16.Eric Swalwell: 20.2

Swalwell provides very little that is different than your typical left-wing candidate policy wise. But, he really likes seeing himself on TV, and he's willing to say outlandish things for attention. This raises his profile slightly above the hundreds of other representatives that you've never heard of, and that's what this run is all about.

There's a certain brand of presidential candidate that isn't really running for president. That's Eric Swalwell.

15.John Delaney: 20.3

John Delaney has been a candidate for 2020 since you were a small child. He announced his candidacy in July of 2017, which makes it more depressing that you didn't know he was running.

He was a businessman and then congressman in Maryland for six years. He was running for president for about a third of that time.

To his credit, Delaney is one of the few democrats attempting a run as a moderate. He actually will admit that capitalism has done good things, and opposes the socialist edges of the party, being one of the only candidates who will stand up against Medicare for All. He's a throwback to the old days of the Democratic Party... like 2012.

14.Tim Ryan: 20.7

Ryan doesn't think he's going to be president, but there's probably some very unlikely path to be in the running for VP. He's from Ohio and... probably has other things that are interesting about him. He's another somewhat moderate option, which makes it nearly impossible to win in a party who is falling all over itself to nuzzle up next to Che.

13.Tulsi Gabbard: 25.9

Gabbard is a strange candidate, which sort of makes her interesting. Her current collection of policy preferences is hard to differentiate from the Bernie/Socialist group.

Oddly, she has a history of taking strong positions against the LGBT party line, including supporting groups pitching gay conversion therapy. Her father was an activist in this world for a long time. She says she no longer believes in those things.

She seems to be the head of the Bashir Al Assad fan club (member #2). The other member of the fan club is David Duke, who has actually endorsed Gabbard in the past. On top of all of this, she's about twenty-five times better looking than the typical David Duke endorsee, and she interviews like a dull foreign policy wonk. It's hard to imagine her path to the nomination, but a VP consideration isn't out of the question. There's a lot of baggage to deal with however.

Whatever strain of the flu that allows Alex Jones to be besties with Cynthia McKinney, that's what Tulsi Gabbard has.

12.Andrew Yang: 27.1

Yang gang unite! Andrew Yang is a tech entrepreneur who has made some noise on the inter-webs talking a lot about the future of technology and universal basic income. Give him credit for at least attempting to talk about important issues, and for outlining a lengthy list of policy proposals. He's smart and actually makes some sense occasionally. The prediction markets sure do love him, showing the limitation of prediction markets.

As the only candidate to outline an anti-circumcision position, he leads the field in commentary about the private parts of male babies.

11.Jay Inslee: 30.4

See: Lindsay Graham 2016.

Like Graham in 2016 who was running a one issue campaign around hawkish foreign policy, Inslee is running a one issue campaign around hawkishly fighting the weather.

He does have executive experience as governor of Washington, which is something. He might be fighting for a shot at VP, but realistically he's in the race to try and force the frontrunners left on the climate.

Whether he can stop the evil burning orb in the sky is still unknown.

10.John Hickenlooper: Score: 32

Hickenlooper is a former governor running on his executive experience. He's portraying himself as a moderate, which is probably true in this field, or in the former Soviet Union.

As a purple state governor with some non-socialist tendencies, one could see him pairing well as the VP for someone like Kamala Harris or Cory Booker. However, you have to wonder if the Democrats want to pick yet another hard-to-remember-vanilla-zilch of a VP candidate, following the disaster of Tim Kaine.

Also, it's hard to imagine a president with the last name of Hickenlooper.

9.Julian Castro: 36.2

There was a time when Julian Castro had the glow of an Obama approved up and comer. Think of Castro as a big high school football recruit, that won a full scholarship at an SEC school. But after a few mediocre seasons, he's going late in mock drafts.

On paper, Castro should be in the mix, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. It reminds me of Bobby Jindal's run in 2016, except Castro has nowhere near the actual record of Jindal.

On a positive note, he has a twin brother, so if Julian wins the White House and disappoints, we can probably switch everything over to his brother pretty easily. I'm pretty sure that's in the Constitution.

8.Kirsten Gillibrand: 37.8

Gillibrand started as a moderate, transformed into someone from the far left, and contorted herself to fit in to every big news cycle. She became the most prominent voice for the #MeToo movement when she took the bravely calculated stand to call for Al Franken's resignation.

The problem is, Gillibrand didn't realize that the left had little interest in consistently enforcing these new standards. They didn't actually care about #MeToo when it meant getting rid of a mediocre-yet-beloved comedian who voted the right way.

Now her support of a woman who "told her truth" about an alleged series of assaults with photographic evidence is her Achilles' heel. Apparently #BelieveAllWomen has its limits.

This was supposed to be Kirsten Gillibrand's time. But, it looks like #TimesUp.

7.Amy Klobuchar: 45.5

The case for a Klobuchar candidacy is a decent one. She's a woman from the Midwest, who has consistently out-preformed her electoral expectations. For example, in Beto O'Rourke's highly praised Senate run against Ted Cruz, he outperformed the average Democratic house candidate by 4 points. Klobuchar outperformed the average by 13.

If she runs a great campaign, she has a shot. Even if all she can accomplish is to stay mostly mistake free, she should be in the top tier for a potential VP nod.

I know this all sounds really positive, but I'm only saying it so Klobuchar doesn't throw something at me.

6.Elizabeth Warren: 46.0

Elizabeth Warren is not a good candidate. She's almost as crazy on policy as Bernie, she gaffes like Biden, and she's as likable as Hayden Christensen's performance in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. She shows no ability to deal with the pressure that Donald Trump will bring to the campaign, and when she tries to act naturally, she is as convincing as Hayden Christensen's performance in Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones.

Warren does have a following, a real point of view, and she's one of the only candidates who actually seems to release policy plans. The problem is her policies are basically Marxist-blogger fever dreams, such as a wealth tax and nationalizing a large portion of the prescription drug industry. These ideas are of the quality of Hayden Christensen's performance in the Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones.

The bottom line is only a completely insane party would again run Hillary Clinton: Part 2 against Trump. It would be like casting Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

5.Cory Booker: 55.5

There's a moment in the bloopers during closing credits of some Jim Carrey movie, where they prank him by calling him an "overactor." (It doesn't sound like much, but it's a lot better than his crappy paintings.) Cory Booker makes a Jim Carrey performance look like it's full of subtle nuance.

Booker simply tries too hard. The bulging eyes, the screaming, the explosive Spartacussing — it's just tiring. It's also part of Booker's act. He's in a constant battle to portray what he thinks any given audience wants him to be. Unfortunately, you can feel him doing it, and his lack of authenticity will likely be his downfall. He's also far too attention hungry to work as a vice presidential pick, which leaves his options as limited as his charisma.

4.Pete Buttigieg: 62.9

Two things you need to know about Mayor Pete.

First, his name is pronounced thusly: Boot-edge-edge.

Second, he's openly gay. The reason you need to know he's openly gay is because you should not be prejudiced against people who are openly gay. You are obviously an evil person, as evidenced by your visit to this website, and need to understand that being openly gay doesn't mean you aren't capable of governing in an effective matter. This means treating him like he's any other boring white guy.

However, you shouldn't just treat him as if he's any other boring white guy. This is historic!!! You must focus on the fact that he is openly gay, revel in the history his candidacy provides, and say the phrase "openly gay" approximately 457,034 times per day.

To summarize, always forget and focus on while always remembering and ignoring the fact that he's openly gay.

Oh yeah. Also, Buttigieg is a veteran, is a Rhodes Scholar, a calm and effective speaker, has support from some former Obama officials, and has exceeded all expectations so far. He's the mayor of Pawnee, Indiana, so he is uniquely qualified to solve our nation's bus scheduling and pot hole filling needs.

Finally, he is openly gay.

3.Robert Francis O’Rourke: 62.9

While Beto O'Rourke isn't actually Hispanic, he really hopes you think he is. Or at least he hopes you think he's more Hispanic than your average white Irishman.

O'Rourke is one of the exciting new breed of Democratic candidates that are most famous for losing elections, falling short of defeating Ted Cruz in his 2018 Senate race.

Bob Frank O'Rourke's path to the nomination is paved with massive fundraising, the ability to entertain millions of "Now This" YouTube subscribers with nonsensical platitudes about the rights of below average quarterbacks, and being the candidate with the most disturbing use of his hands since Joe Biden.

Flailing, is a word commonly used to describe both his hands and his campaign.

2.Bernie Sanders: 68.3

In 2013, Bernie Sanders proposed Medicare For All and welcomed exactly zero co-sponsors. Now, supporting Medicare For All is basically a litmus test to be allowed into the party.

We've come so far, so fast.

Sanders earns points for being the Democrat who most consistently will actually admit he's a socialist. As the party has moved towards him, he has moved even further left. You're not going to out-socialist a guy who went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon.

Revisionist historians like to make the case that Bernie was the rightful winner of the nomination in 2016. But, this is nonsense. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the primary by 12 points. Debbie Wasserman Schultz can barely dress herself in the morning, let alone exude the competence to move four million votes to Hillary Clinton.

A Sanders nomination is a risky path for Democrats.

Do you really want to go from losing with Hillary Clinton, to a dude six years older that is best known for losing to Hillary Clinton?

1.Kamala Harris: 69.1

Kamala Harris has a lot going for her. She's a fresh face nationally, largely falls in line with the activist left on policy, and is one of the only Democrats running who isn't even trying to hide taking money from big donors. She has a wealthy base of support in California, has run a smooth campaign early on, and hits enough intersectional lines to please the woke masses.

Harris has a history as a sometimes strict prosecutor, district attorney, and attorney general which seems a little too "law and order" for a Democratic primary audience. But the things your opponents leak against you in the primary are the things you feature in your own commercials in the general.

She is used to high pressure situations and likely won't fold under a Donald Trump style barrage like Hillary Clinton did. She comes off as likable and personable (to some), and if she can get through the primary, she's not going to be a pushover. The media does the Republican party endless favors by focusing on a relative dunce like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, when this face of socialism is a far more astute and realistic threat to the priorities of the right.

Is she too far left to be elected in the United States? In any other time, sure. But, when it comes down to a one-on-one battle in a country largely locked into a structure based on binary choice, anything can happen.

Some might find it odd for the democrats to pick a candidate that benefited in her career from an extramarital workplace affair with a powerful man more than twice her age. Potential hashtag: #MeTooPartTwoSometimesItWorksOutGreat!

To be fair, her affair was with Willie Brown, just a decade or so after he was named one of 1984's 10 sexiest men in America by Playgirl magazine. Who could resist such an attractive job opportunity?

Whatever happened to "do no harm?"

Last month, Glenn hosted a powerful Glenn TV special exposing malpractice and fudged consent standards among members in WPATH, the world's largest transgender health organization. Now that it's pride month, LGBTQ+ activists around the world are continuing their attempt to normalize life-altering transgender surgeries and hormone therapy as a legitimate option for minors experiencing gender confusion. However, as Glenn exposed in The Reckoning: Gender-Affirming Care, WPATH members are not only ideologically motivated to forego medical standards like "informed consent" to push transgender surgeries and hormone therapy on minors; they are financially incentivized to do so.

These "gender experts" are willing to bend the rules to do their dark work, and hospitals are turning a blind eye and rake in the cash. Here are 10 children's hospitals across the U.S. currently performing transgender procedures on minors:

1. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

We provide services including pubertal suppression, menstrual suppression, hormone therapy, and referrals for gender-affirming surgery.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Gender Development Clinical Services page

2. Children’s Wisconsin

The most common care plans include ongoing psychological, emotional or social support. In some cases, our services may include reversible puberty-suppressing hormone therapy, gender-affirming hormone therapy and speech/voice training

Children's Wisconsin Gender Health Clinic page

3. Connecticut Children’s Hospital

The Division of Plastic Surgery at Connecticut Children’s offers surgical options for gender affirmation to individuals who have documented and persistent gender dysphoria. Gender incongruence occurs when a person’s sex assigned at birth does not correspond to the gender with which they identify. Gender affirmation operations are a group of surgical procedures that may be appropriate for transgender and gender diverse people to help affirm their gender identity.

Connecticut Children’s Hospital Gender Affirmation Surgery page

4. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Oregon Health and Science University

Our clinic accepts new patients through age 18. Our pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine doctors and psychologists specialize in providing team-based care for children and teens.

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Doernbecher Gender Services

5. Golisano Children’s Hospital; associated with the University of Rochester Medicine

Gender Health Services coordinates with other divisions and departments to provide personal comprehensive care for our youth and young adults through age 26.
-Cross-gender Hormone Therapy: Gender Health Services provides cross-gender hormone therapy. We consult as needed with Pediatric or Adult Endocrinology
-Pubertal Blockade
-Mental Health Assessment: Referrals and coordinated care
-Surgical Services: Referrals and coordination of care (as medically necessary)Gender-affirming Top -Surgery: Plastic Surgery or Breast Surgery
-Vocal Therapy: Speech Pathology

Golisano Children’s Hospital: Gender Health Services

6. NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

We help children and their families understand and explore their identity, with the goal of helping them achieving a true and nuanced sense of self. We want children to understand and value themselves, so that they can develop the confidence to talk with others about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital Gender & Sexuality Service page

7. Seattle Children’s Hospital

We accept new patients ages 9 to 17.75 at the time of referral who have already started puberty. Patients ages 17.75 and older and patients who have not yet started puberty will be directed to community resources. Our clinic primarily provides gender-affirming medical care (such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones).

Seattle Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic page

8. Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

This multidisciplinary clinic provides medical services for gender nonconforming youths and their families in one central location. The expert members of the Gender Clinic team consists of providers from pediatric endocrinology, adolescent medicine, pediatric urology and social services, supporting each child’s or adolescent’s gender identity. All our providers are members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic page

9. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital

DSD (Differences in sexual development) encompasses conditions in which a person is born with sexual and/or reproductive anatomy that is not consistent with typical definitions of male or female anatomy. This may include atypical or ambiguous genitalia, unusual chromosome patterns, or differences in internal reproductive or urinary organ development. Our team provides hormonal therapy, mental health evaluation, and surgical consultations for patients with DSD.

St. Luke's Children's Essence Clinic page

10. University of Illinois Hospital

We are here to work with you to determine how to best meet your goals of external gender presentation. We want you to feel and be as prepared as possible while you take these important steps towards surgery.

University of Illinois Hospital Gender Affirming Surgery page

Why is my name on this deep state-backed Ukraine 'disinformation watch list'?

Chris Williamson / Contributor, Janos Kummer / Stringer | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

On Thursday, Texty.org, a so-called independent media outlet with an editor-in-chief who has ties to the U.S. State Department, placed dozens of American politicians, activists, and media outlets — including Blaze Media and myself — on a list of those who have allegedly shared Russian disinformation and anti-Ukrainian statements. The outlet published an article titled, "Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it."

We have a color revolution happening within our own country.

There are 75 individuals on the list with the nearly 400 entities that have opposed sending aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Blaze Media and I were mentioned on page 34 of a 47-page list.

The group admits it couldn’t establish direct, proven ties between most of the entities on the list and the Russian government or known Russian propagandists. Instead, it gathered “evidence” that these people and outlets have spread Russian disinformation by echoing key messages of Russian propaganda in their arguments for ending further aid to Ukraine.

Who exactly are the people behind Texty.org? Its cofounder Anatoly Bondarenko was involved in the "tech camp," a public diplomacy program established by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The tech camp is very much part of the State Department’s efforts to foment “color revolutions” in other countries. They find “tech-savvy people” and show them how to build movements against their governments. That's what our State Department is doing. What a coincidence that the editor-in-chief and cofounder was trained by the State Department and has ties to USAID.

I did a "Glenn TV" special a few weeks ago about regime change. It's been the United States' policy for a very long time. We use covert CIA operations to go into foreign counties and influence policy, manipulate the foreign media, meddle with and topple governments. We never admit that we do these things. When asked, we say, "We didn't do that. What are you talking about?"

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime.

This strategy started with the Cold War, but nothing the CIA has pulled off comes even close to what its successor began doing: the United States government, including the CIA, NGOs, trade unions, and people like George Soros. They coordinate together to bring about color revolutions. The first one that was really successful was in the Middle East: the Arab Spring. I told my audience years ago that the Arab Spring had its roots in 20th-century communist revolutions. After the “Communist Manifesto” was written, there was the European spring, which was the communists’ attempt to overthrow all of Europe.

We've carried out color revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is one of them. Here’s how they do it. The United States keeps its distance from the “dirty work” by going through NGOs and trade unions. They train and mobilize street movement — like the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots or the current pro-Palestinian protests. These movements are funded by the same people and seem to pop up every four years.

Their money and actions usually come at a time of massive civil unrest right before an election. There's some kind of government element at the top — whether it be the CIA, the State Department, or USAID — but ultimately the office of the president calls the shots.

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime, and then the operation is privatized to give it distance from those in the government who are in charge.

This is where NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy come in. The National Endowment for Democracy is composed of four different entities: the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Do you see what's happening here? It appears that the National Endowment for Democracy is composed of organizations from both sides of the aisle so it looks fair: Republican and Democrat, labor and private enterprise. But this is a bipartisan “cover story.”

Next on the food chain are the multibillion-dollar financiers and their organizations that partner in the entire operation. This is where George Soros comes in along with his organizations, the Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation, which spread the message coming from the top: “Demonstrate in the streets!” They influence the media to report what the government wants to communicate to the masses.

This is the color revolution blueprint. We've done it many times, and I make the case that these same people are doing it here in America.

So, why am I on this list? I believe I'm on this list because I’m telling you exactly what’s happening.

We have a color revolution happening within our own country. Our government, NGOs, George Soros, and all the same actors used to initiate color revolutions abroad are now initiating a color revolution within the U.S.

This is what they've practiced in foreign nations, tested in 2020, and are doing right now ahead of the November presidential election. They might succeed this time because they can't have Donald Trump as president again. If he wins, you will have the government, the media, and the masses in street movements all saying that the election was illegitimate. This is how we've brought about regime change in foreign nations, and now it is being attempted on our own soil.

Top FIVE public figures calling out woke mob

Patrick McDermott / Stringer, Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff, Cooper Neill / Contributor | Getty Images

As Glenn says, there is balance in all things. The further the pendulum swings one way, the stronger the counter-force grows.

For the past decade, the pendulum has been swinging left so fast that it has been hard to keep up with. What's considered progressive and woke one day is suddenly old-fashioned and intolerant the next. Fortunately, many people (such as yourself) have seen the writing on the wall and have taken a stand against the woke mob that drags us closer and closer to tyranny, despite personal risk.

Some of these people have taken a stand despite being in the public eye, at the height of their careers, and having everything to lose. For these people, it would have been easier (not to mention more profitable) to stay quiet, keep their heads down, and do what they're told. But they didn't. Instead, they risked it all to make a stand against wokism. This is where we see the tide turning, the pendulum slowing, and perhaps starting to swing the other way. This is where we begin to take America back.

These are the top five public figures who have recently made a stand against the woke mob:

Harrison Butker

In his now famous commencement address to the graduating class of 2024 at Benedictine College, Kansas City Chief Kicker, Harrison Butker stood up for his religious values (and assumingly, the values of the students at this Catholic College). Butker criticized the president and media for perpetuating "degenerate values" and promoted traditional family values. For this, he was vilified by the media.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has come under fire for defending his values several times over the last several months. During his commencement speech at Duke University that made the rounds on the internet a few weeks ago, Seinfeld was met with protests and walkouts by the pro-Palestine crowd due to his public support of Israel. Seinfeld has also received criticism for an interview with the New Yorker during which he blamed "the extreme left and P.C. crap" for the absence of quality comedy on television.

Joe Mazzulla

The NBA finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics are the hot sporting event at the moment. The head coach of the Celtics, Joe Mazzulla, is an outspoken Catholic and speaks frequently about his faith. In a recent interview, Mazzulla was asked if he felt that it was significant that the head coaches for both teams were black, to which he responded "I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches?"

Aaron Rodgers

NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers caught flack in 2021 for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine and going on air to defend his decision. He also criticized "woke culture" for being so easily offended. Rodgers has admitted that he lost money, friends, and media allies on a podcast with Joe Rogan since becoming outspoken about his beliefs. Rogers has continued to be vocal over issues concerning the vaccine and has championed other athletes who have spoken against vaccination.

Russell Brand

UK actor and comedian Russell Brand has faced recent criticism from the mainstream media for speaking his mind on several controversial issues. Brand started during the pandemic when he began posting videos on his YouTube channel that were critical of the way governments across the world were handling the crisis. Since then, Brand has defended his stance on COVID-19, called out woke corporations, and even converted to Christianity.

10 lessons on prepping from around the world

NurPhoto / Contributor | Getty Images

Prepping is a human condition practiced across the globe for thousands of years. Customs are influenced by geography, culture, politics, and threat. Here are ten applicable observations on preparedness from around the world.

1. Argentina: Get hard.

Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse is required reading for preppers, and it’s chock-full of real-life lessons from his experiences during Argentina's 2001 economic crisis. But the very first thing he starts with is preparing your body and your mind so you’re not a soft target. Stop being soft. Do difficult things to develop your body and your mind. Go camping. Hit the gym. Get in shape! It’ll do wonders for your health, survivability, and confidence.

Take home point: here’sa simple weightlifting plan that most able-bodied adults can perform. Learn to stand up straight and act confident. Get your dental and health problems fixed while you can—don’t put it off for after stuff hits the fan.

2. Netherlands: Involve the kids!

The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared” and the organization has taught boys wilderness and practical skills for over 100 years. The Dutch have their own version of inculcating confidence in their children via a cultural tradition known as Dutch Dropping. Kids, starting around the age of 11-12, are dropped off in the forest alone or in small groups at night with minimal gear and instructed to find their way home or to the campsite with ZERO adult assistance. Some nights are tough and miserable, but overall, the practice instills independence, decision-making skills, and is widely practiced.

Take home point: instill grit and self-confidence in your children early.

3. Israel: Always be prepared.

Entire books could be dedicated to the 10/7 attack, but the key takeaway is this: no one saw it coming. The folks attending the Supernova music festival expected a fun party, and what they got instead was hell. Israel is a bit of a special case, but the reality is you never know when a mass shooter or other disaster will strike. Never get too intoxicated, never let your guard down too much, because you never know when your life will change forever.

Take home point: you don’t have to live on hyper-alert (that is grossly unhealthy) but keep your wits about you and have a plan if things go south.

4.Taiwan: Grassroots communities are the best.

I-HWA CHENG / Contributor | Getty Images

Post-COVID and especially after the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, prepping has exploded in Taiwan. Fearing an imminent blockade and invasion, the Taiwanese have recognized their precarious position. Prepper groups have sprung up across the island and vary in their focus from all-hazards to gear geeks to weaponized resistance forces training with airsoft guns. Skills taught are varied; examples include building an emergency kit, learning first aid, and basic survival proficiencies.

However, some groups go much further and provide instruction on military simulations. Participants run the political gamut and are highly varied in their professions, reflecting a massive cross-section of the island. One common theme that appears across these groups is the adage that disaster can happen at any moment and can consist of assorted hazards. The April 2024 severe earthquake is proof positive of this understanding.

Take home point: community resilience is vital!

5. Bosnia: Get your ham radio license.

During the Bosnian War of the early 1990s, ham radio operators like Himzo Devedzija helped separated families stay in touch via radio. These days, the ubiquity of the internet and smartphones has made ham radio seem obsolete, but radio has a key advantage over more modern and user-friendly tech: it requires practically no infrastructure. Hook a radio up to a battery connected to a solar panel, throw a wire over a tree, and you’re in business. Master digital modes like Winlink and you can even send email over the air. The downside is the equipment is expensive, and you need to take tests with the FCC to obtain the necessary licenses. Your best bet is to contact yournearest ham radio club, who can help prepare you for the tests and recommend the best equipment for your area. But you can do a lot of interesting things even without a license, like listen to worldwide HF transmissions and learn how to track down radio transmitters through foxhunting.

Take home point: pick up a hobby, even if it’s not ham and make it FUN!

6. Russia: Plant a garden.

While the leadership of Russia is commonly maligned, the Russian people are damn tough. They’ve survived Genghis Khan, famines, a communist revolution, and total government collapse. One secret to Russian resiliency? Dacha gardens, which the Russian people have maintained for over 1,000 years. These small backyard gardens account for 3% of Russia’s land but provide over 50% of the country’s food, including 92% of potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruit, 59% of meat, and 49% of milk. You don’t have to grow everything overnight, but simply starting with a single raised bed of lettuce and maybe a handful of chickens will give you invaluable real-world experience you can scale when the chips are down.

Take home point: build your resilience in bite-sized (pun intended) chunks.

7. Cyprus: Diversification saves.

During the 2013 financial crisis in Cyprus, Germany agreed to bail out the island, but with some characteristic German austerity: a tax of 6.75 percent from insured deposits up to €100,000 and a 9.9 percent from uninsured amounts over €100,000. People panicked, and Cyprus had to shut down banks for two weeks to avoid a run. Ultimately, depositors lost nearlyhalf of their savings. The crisis in Cyprussparked Bitcoin’s meteoric rise from obscure nerd money to a financial titan as the savvy rich realized that they couldn’t trust the banks. Of course, there are alternative places to store wealth other than a bank, but as for your liquid capital, it pays to diversify. Keep some in cash, Bitcoin, and precious metals.

Take home point: your mother was right, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

8.Japan: Government CAN be helpful.

KAZUHIRO NOGI / Contributor | Getty Images

Japan overall, and Tokyo specifically, take disaster preparedness quite seriously. The 2024 New Years Day earthquake hammered that point home, yet again. At the national level, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is habitually prepared to respond to calamity; everything from earthquakes to typhoons to tsunamis.

As a country, September 1st is nationally designated as Disaster Prevention Day, commemorating the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake which claimed 140,000 lives. School children, businesses, theme parks, and members of the national government participate annually. At the municipal level, Tokyo publishes a very thorough and thoughtful pamphlet on preparedness for its residents (English link here:https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/guide/bosai/index.html). Tokyo also boasts the massive Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, near downtown, that is used both as a tourist attraction and an actual disaster response site.

Take home point: remembrance, codified in national action and tribute, contributes to a culture of preparedness.

9. Finland, Switzerland, Israel: Bunkers aren't mainstream, but the concept is widespread.

You would really have to be a tinfoil hat wearing loon to invest in a bunker, right? Wrong. Switzerland mandates either a personal bunker or a tax for a space in a public bunker. In 2023, Finland ascertained it had over 50,000 bunkers, enough to shelter nearly 90% of its population. For these countries, the shelters are due to nuclear fears. Israeli law stipulates residential homes should possess a Merkhav Mugan (translation: protected space) to protect from conventional rocket and mortar attacks. Some countries and some areas are at higher risk for conventional or nuclear attack. It is folly to ignore this.

Take home point: the need for a nuclear bunker at home should not be a top prepping priority, but many areas of the US could greatly benefit from a reinforced room (e.g. panic room, tornado, or hurricane shelter) to mitigate threats.

10. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia: International preparedness is growing.

Although the tide is turning (slowly), one negative export from America on prepping, especially to the Western World, is that prepping is fringe and even anti-social, if not downright dangerous. Fortunately, things are changing for the better. The United Kingdom is, at least anecdotally, seeing an uptick in interest. The reality series Alone Australia, a spin-off of the American show where survivalists test their wits in nature, is a hit. A December 2023 survey of Canadians found 7% considered themselves preppers with British Columbia reporting the highest levels. Given wildfires, home prices, and general angst regarding a host of potential crises, it’s not hard to see why many are changing their views regarding preparedness.

Take home point: prepping has been a human staple for millennia; the world is rediscovering this and taking action.

About the authors:

Josh Centers has no masters degrees, but he does own four chickens along with some meat rabbits on his Tennessee compound. He runs unprepared.life, the best-selling Substack newsletter on preparedness, where he discusses subjects like food storage, nuclear war preparations, homeschooling, and the importance of cleaning your dryer vents. His views absolutely do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the Army.

Dr. Chris Ellis has four masters degrees and earned his PhD at Cornell University. He is a Colonel in the Army who specializes in a variety of disaster and homeland defense initiatives. His views are from his studies and experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, or his current command. Sadly, Chris does not own any chickens.