Supply chain issues.

The first thing to note is that you can no longer send mail to New Zealand. The US Postal Service has interrupted supply. The link had been archived, as the USPS will change it if and when they open up again.

New Zealand’s service disruption affects Priority Mail International® (PMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), Commercial ePacket (CeP), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®) packets, International Priority Airmail® (IPA®) M-Bags, International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®) packets, International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®) M-Bags, and Airmail M-Bags.

Australia has similar restrictions. This is not about politics — the US has a new defence treaty with Australia and the UK — but logistics.

Logistics matter. Kea has stocked up all the non perishable things we need this week, because there is now a requirement that truckies crossing the internal border south of Auckland must be vaxxed. This will impair transportation, as Auckland is the main port of entry for New Zealand.

The state on teh ground

Jim Kunstler is a good observer of what is going on in the northeastern part of the USA. He notes that (a) the shortages are starting and (b) there ain’t no leadership.

The supply lines are wobbling and many will go down. No stuff, no parts, before long, no food. Energy supplies are shaky everywhere. China’s electric grid is going dark from insufficient coal. Russia lacks the surplus NatGas to keep Western Europe warm. Global shortages drive up US oil and gas prices while people lose jobs and incomes over vaccine mandates — meaning families will freeze as the daylight dwindles. “Joe Biden’s” dark winter is coming on fast.

The daunting fact is that the country is leaderless, and at quite a bad time. But the vacuum will be filled, sure enough, and perhaps by means that America has not seen before: an unscheduled transfer of power. And to whom? There has been an awful lot of chatter on the down-low about one Donald Trump having engineered a setup in late 2020 whereby he used the continuity-of-government provisions to declare that year’s election invalid and clear a path through the legal minefields to resume governing. Sounds wild. Sounds kind of like the political back-story of my own novels… but need you be reminded again that life imitates art? Gives me the creeps, I confess.

Meanwhile, the country is too busy committing suicide by Covid-19. The stupid vaccine mandates guarantee the loss of hospital services and the failure of medical care generally as nurses, technicians, doctors, and even the cleaning crew peel away from their jobs. Ditto, public education… and just about everything else, really, where employment is conditioned on getting vaxed. A lot of ordinary people have weighed the costs and benefits and have decided to opt out. No thank you on blood clots and a premature death. Help wanted signs are plastered everywhere and no help is on the way. For many businesses, no parts or raw materials are on the way either. The truckers don’t want the vax.

Peter Grant has gone shopping for heaters. He needs backups if the power goes out. He does not have what every person in the South Island tries to retrofit somehow: a woodburning heater. He selected products and notes that getting them was difficult.

With the way the economy’s being driven into the ground by the Biden administration, and the supply chain problems that are crippling commerce and industry, I think we may face more power interruptions than usual this winter. Power stations will find it difficult to get spare parts at short notice to repair breakdowns, and repair crews dealing with the aftermath of snow and ice storms will face the same problem. I suggest it’s no more than prudent forethought to prepare for such outages as best we can, while there are still indoor-safe alternative-fuel heaters to be had.

(Speaking of prudent forethought, I snagged the last two bottles of anti-freeze windshield washing fluid in our local Walmart during my shopping. The manager of the auto section didn’t know if and/or when they’re getting more in. Anti-freeze radiator fluid was also in short supply. Might be a good idea to stock up on those, too, and related items for cold weather travel like snow and ice scrapers, etc.)

Cash rules

It appears that a fair amount of the US internet is down including banks. We had an internet outage a couple of weeks ago. This requires you to have cash on hand, because if the cashcard won’t work, cash will.

What is cash will vary. If things go on, the local currency will morph to something more stable: silver, blockchains, or cash in a reserve currency. You need money local people will use. This is where the pragmatic solution will change depending on where you live.

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Jonathan
Jonathan
18 days ago

Interestingly, there are few shortages in my part of the country. Prices are higher but the shelves are full.
I wonder how much of the North East shortages are due to their restrictions and how much are due to not having a truly major port anymore, so stuff has to be trucked distances to get there?

Amy
Amy
18 days ago

Existence as a customer service person for a manufacturer is “interesting” as my customers (or prospects) call me and try to push for products I can’t get made when they think I should get them made, because I can’t get raw materials. “But [namedrop] wants this now! Can’t something be done?” No. Nothing can be done. I am not, in fact, crocheting doilies instead of getting your product out. Raw materials are delayed.

Re mail: Oh, is this how he’s canceling Christmas? -sighs-