Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Goal For 2009

I have decided that I will go an learn a few trade skills - partly for fun and partly because when I retire to my new gentleman's farm I want to be able to do a lot of things for myself. There are several things I have toyed with over the years that I am not particularly good at. My father always seemed to be good and most everything - perhaps this resolution for next year will be dedicated to his memory and they way he always impressed me with "stuff".

What do I plan to learn you might ask?

Well for starters I want to take a course in small engine repair, and one in welding also - I can do a little of both but it has been a long time since I put those skills to work. I also would like to become more proficient at gunsmithing and perhaps even learn to reload my own ammunition - my cousins are good at that. I know guys that can replace and even fabricate broken springs - I would like to be able to do that.

Of course there are many things I need to learn about solar power systems - I do not plan to live off the grid but being a little self-sufficient is in my plans and I would like not to have to pay someone to install it all.

I just subscribed again to Mother Earth News and I am very excited about that. I will probably determine that there are many more things I must add to my list to learn and relearn.

My experience with farming has been limited all these years in the military - consisting of tomato plants in the back yard in the years I was home enough to tend to them. My childhood and teen years were spent under the demanding eye of my father making me work his fields like a slave but I have probably forgotten much of what I once knew. My reading list has slowly gravitated toward the subject and I expect over the coming months that will increase.

It is odd that I always envisioned that I would likely teach after I retired from the military but as the time approaches my desires lean more toward learning traditional tradeskills for my own benefit and hobby. I have been wise and thrifty so needing to work was never in my plans but wanting to be useful is a human requirement.

On a related note, I read a article a few days ago that suggested that young people are duped by the notion that they must go to a four year institution to be successful and perhaps we have a "university bubble". I have always thought as much, standards it seems must diminish with more people accepted and colleges acting essentially like businesses filling up seats.

The article suggested the best thing most young people could do out of high school is learn a trade skill. If the economy tanks more the trend will be to repair instead of replace.

This suggestion makes a great deal of practical sense. I do not believe most college students learn very much anyway - they are not mature enough for higher learning at 18-20. Now if that same kid learned a tradeskill, learned the value of hard work and then later went to a four year college - I suspect they would actually learn something.

Oh yeah - one more goal for 2009 is to mail off for one of those Dr. Div. degrees from the "One Big Church of the Immaculate Prefecture" so y'all have to call me Dr. before I have to call IKANTSPEL "Doctor" (his will be real BTW but it will not matter because mine will arrive in the mail first and as Nathan Bedford Forrest said "firstest with the mostest" is what counts)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ammunition Accountability Act

From Charleston Voice

Well the Liberal Gun Grabbers are at it again. Now they want to fingerprint your bullets. They will charge you more. They will make it a crime to possess bullets that do not bear a serial number. Your name and designated serial number ammo will be stored in a sweet ol' database, of course. Tricky bastards are running this game at the state level, trying to fly under the radar and avoid national outrage. Probably there is legislation pending in your state right now.The 2008 Legislative session has begun, and the Ammunition Accountability Act is being introduced across the country. Below is a summary of legislation that has been introduced throughout the United States. To view the bills' status click on the links to the individual bills. Sample Legislation:

The Ammunition Accountability Act-Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.


I am amazed but not surprised. Contrary to all the debates carried on for years that our gun rights would be stripped Janet Reno style in midnight raids (providing us the opportunity to shoot some of the criminals in the door jam, on the stairs and just outside the bedroom before they kill us) it is all going down by degrees- "sneaky-like". Notice if you will that a vast majority of the states considering this are southern states.....We have lost our minds and our way.

Preamble to Social Mayhem

From a piece by Tim Case

Given also that the society that elected the president-in-waiting is dominated by blind nationalism, trendy savior-worship, an unending ignorance of history, economics and philosophy and devoid of a critical thought process, I fear history will say of this moment, "the civilization of the modern world suffered final collapse."

Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper

This is How The World Ends - Part IV

If, as I have contented in the first three parts of this series of post, the following is true -

  1. We Americans are woefully ignorant of our rights, our Constitution and political philosophy in general
  2. Our Constitutional Republic from those nice stories in history books is long dead
  3. Our election process is completely incapable of fixing any of this (or our other massive problems of wars, failed economies etc. etc.)
Then what does the future hold and what are the solutions (or coping mechanisms if no solution is apparent)?

Some talk of a revolution in our future - but revolutions are a complicated business. Middle classes do not start revolutions or even participate or support them until they are well under way and almost over. Sure the middle class often provide the intelligentsia of a revolution but that is a small part of the bigger requirement. The rich do not start violent revolutions - they buy what they want in influence and power. The true foot soldiers of any revolution are the dispossessed, the poor and down-trodden.

Therein lies the fix, the poor and downtrodden in the US are riding pretty fat and happy (by relative standards of poor and downtrodden) on a US government gravy train. There are enough people within government that are capable of reading that understand the key ingredients in civil discontent. So long as a willing and compliant middle-class exists to consume and pay taxes the government will be able to buy the happiness and contentment of the poor. It is as simple as that.

In any event, no sane man looks to revolution with glee. Anyone that believes the War of American Independence was a revolution simply does not understand what the term really means. It was a separatist, nah a secession movement, not a revolution.

The foot soldiers (those poor and down trodden) are apt to follow the banner of any fool with a plan and a promise once the shooting starts. Change for the sake of change is something rationale people fear, particularly considering the history of revolutions.

No, the government will keep the poor placated, and in the event they occasionally rise up in violent riots the government will put them down and the middle class will rejoice that their welfare was protected.

There are probably many in the middle class that would like the idea of change, even if it involved violence. They probably also have a solid idea of what they would do to put everything back the way it was meant to be. But, when the rubber hit the road as they say the mad middle class guy has a house, a mini van and he really does not have time to start a revolution because he has to be at work by 9am in the morning. Middle-classes almost always trade safety and security for rights and freedoms.

Secession then you say. Well as an strong advocate of the legality of secession and a proponent of states' rights you might think I would say this is the solution...I doubt it.

First, if we are honest about it there is but one government now. Our states have lost all of their rights and all of their will to attempt to assert any rights. Government down to the local level is intertwined via federal grants and regulations. In cases where the federal government has not overtly asserted some control or influence many of our state and local government officials deffer to the question of "what is the national standard".

Second, our states no longer have any semblance of a heterogeneous culture or common polity. A woman from Arkansas can be a Senator from New York for goodness sakes. People move, leave familial and cultural bonds in pursuit of paper money and trinkets. A secession movement would have a very hard time in any state with such a mix of people.

Third, the middle class is bought and paid for just as the poor - it is called social security. Until it fails people expect to get what is coming to them - secede and lose that...never. A soul sold for 30 pieces of silver.


Pretty grim stuff and I am simply not wise enough to see a way out of this. Early on in this series of post I used comparisons of the German people from 1933 on to relate to some of our traits. We talked about the coup attempts on Hitler's life and the fact that a real revolution was never a possibility in Germany. Hitler may have died in one of the coups but nothing essential would have changed. The undoing of the Germans had already occurred, they were powerless (I did not say blameless) to alter their fate. I fear we are in the same boat. We cannot vote our way out of this mess now (too may accommodations in the past), revolution is not a realistic possibility and neither is secession.

I like optimist, they inspire people. Doomsayers just scare the heck out of folks. Yet, I find it difficult to muster optimism about our future.

I will now do something I have never done in my life, quote Martin Luther King Jr.

I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God

This was from a speech called "It's A Dark Day In Our Nation" explaining why he opposed the Vietnam War but the words are applicable for any number of events in our recent and not so recent history.

We have done wrong. We have allowed greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride to rule us. We have even turned those vices into virtues of sorts. We have abandoned the wise teachings, learned through history, of our forefathers in preference for our perceived enlightened wisdom of modernity. We have traded liberty and freedom for safety and security.

Commenting on the American experiment Alex de Tocqueville said, "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." and "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Pretty astute for a Frenchman in the mid 19th century but correct nonetheless.

And thus the world we thought we always knew, in the final analysis, ended not with a bang but with a whimper.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Elections Will Not Fix Things

This is the Way the World Ends - Part III

Say what you will about the Ron Paul supporters the fact is those loyal souls that got into the trenches and went to the Republican Convention as delegates to cast their votes appear to have received the ultimate rebuff.

...20 Ron Paul buttons and a handful of other things, he was stopped by security which called on upon an apparent supervisor, who directed all the materials to be confiscated. She told him, "You can't bring that in here, this is McCain territory. (Federal Jack)


This is but one small account of the hundreds reported during the primaries. The point here is that the two-party system is not receptive to any sort of real challenge or change. I would be curious to see the results of a future historians analysis of the "Ron Paul Revolution". At a casual glance it seems odd to me that the man was able to raise so much money from ordinary people and yet garner less than, at best, 10% of the primary vote count.

Many claim there was widespread hanky-panky afoot, I am not inclined to accept conspiracy theories but with the proven pattern of corruption prevalent in all areas of politics I would not be at all surprised if something nefarious occurred. The web is full of alleged evil-doing committed against the Paul campaign. Of course the Nader folks claim the same thing. My point in highlighting Ron Paul above is to demonstrate a perception (perhaps reality) that the major parties will simply not tolerate a real maverick.

Outside of the "for us or against us", intellectually dishonest two-party system Americans have become accustomed to all sorts of other frauds and perceived fraud within our electoral process. We simply cannot have an election without the taint of scandal.

Here again, it does not particularly matter if these perceptions are based wholly or partly on reality. Ours is essentially a system built upon trust. We the People delegated certain enumerated powers to the government in exchange for an expectation of, if not good government, at least tolerable government. Within the scope of tolerable I believe most reasonable men would include trustworthy. Without trust all the government has to retain legitimacy is propaganda, special interest payouts and coercion. Without the trust of the people government ceases to be tolerable or legitimate.

Americans know that elections and elected officials are frauds, yet 54% of us still pick a team and cast a ballot as if it were American Idol or some such trivial nonsense. A percentage of that group still hopes that a few good men of character and principle might change things yet even that voter block realizes that most of our representatives are influenced primarily by monied interest and their own desire to keep getting elected. We know DC corrupts all but the incorruptible.

I would be guessing but I would put the percentage of voters that believe that real change might be brought about by Mr. Smith going to Washington at below 25%, my observation of the rest is that they are mere party people (i.e. team supporters) that see politics as a duality.

What of the 46% that do not vote? These people have given up, either by ignorance or painfully informed knowledge. They do not trust that a difference can be had, by extrapolation they do not trust the system and have opted out.

In one way or another this 46% has come to realize something that the rest of us have yet to learn. That is the system is broken so completely that no element of the system itself can be used to fix it. It is akin to having a virus on your computer that has corrupted you anti-virus software - you will not fix the system without something new and external to the present system.

The sad commentary on all of this is that the 46 percenters have opted out without a plan of action. They have accepted taxation without representation and government not of their consent. To a government that has lost trust these are the perfect sorts of serfs - perfectly willing to work the plantation without getting uppity.

Considering that another 25% or so (might be a low number) are perfectly willing to play the game and cheer one of the establishment teams along the small minority of us that really see a need for change and want to do something about it are inconsequential.

If on the off chance that one of ours might get more than 1-2% of the votes in say a primary it is too easy to marginalize these "radical views" and perhaps (as suggested in some of the links listed above) outright lie, cheat and steal to keep the system under control.

Voting will not save us from out eventual end -- a few candidates of principle rising up occasionally serve to keep the truth out there and prove the futility of voting but that is about it.

We will happily vote ourselves into our ultimate destruction...as have so many other people that lived under tyranny since the practical application of democracy.

Gaza

You notice I have been silent on the entire Gaza thing - what is there to say really? Bush the Second thought the answer to all the problems in the world was to give everyone democracy - Hamas gained power thought the ballot box. Mob rule is strange like that.

Now the Israelis are pounding Gaza with US weapons, technology and munitions with the world-wide impression they they do not act without US approval.

Really I do not see how this might affect us at all...nah we are good, nobody will hold any ill will toward the US for this.

Joshua is tracking the actual intelligent commentary on this event...go there.

This is the Way the World Ends - Part II

Have you ever stopped to consider that The Glorious Revolution was really not that glorious. I am serious, the last ruling Stuart monarch did his family name no service by running to France in the face of William III of Orange but the events that followed were certainly less impressive from a constitutional perspective. The end result, the monarchy replaced via methods completely outside of the scope of constitutional means - in effect establishing a de facto government in the Kingdom of Great Britain. Ok, it is all water under the bridge and perhaps does not matter, unless you are a stickler for the rule of law, then this little historical fact has some merit.

Have you ever considered deeply that The War For Southern Independence (or Second American War of Independence or even the American Civil War if you absolutely must) played a key role in fundamentally altering the nature of our republic - to the degree of perhaps eliminating legitimate government of law, de jure, and replacing it with a de facto government not of consent but of conquest?

Ok I see a few of you raised your hands on the last issue, but I would venture to bet that of the minority that understand that last point few think it matters much to our modern situation.

What about FDR and his New Deal? Are you like most Americans in the belief that he did what he had to do in hard times to set things right?

I could go on, the list could occupy my writing each day for many years on the examples and reasons why we have lost hold of the foundations of legitimate government and why it matters. It mattered in Britain in 1688 - pragmatist made decisions that they thought best in the short term with the result of involving Britain in continental wars that were not of their interest. These things matter here as well as our noble idea of Republic has deteriorated into something much less wholesome.

Most Americans are unwilling, or unable, to look at our past to see why these things might matter.

In my last post I talked about the crimes of the German people in relation to their enabling of Hitler. These were crimes born of pragmatism, i.e. we want someone to fix "this" now, and a fundamental ignorance of issues related to rights and constitutional law. The German people were educated beyond their European peers on most matters but woefully ignorant of key elements of western political philosophy. I say, without fear of contradiction, that the American people are today infinitely more ignorant of such ideas.

These things matter, yet the masses do not know. In the words of that evil Rumsfeld, they do not even "know what they do not know".

How is it that Americans accept, without riots, protest and yes even revolt The Patriot Act? How do we accept reinterpretation of the Posse Comitatus Act and allow troops to patrol our streets alongside increasingly belligerent and dangerous militarized police?

The same way we accepted the IRS, Social Security, federal police forces, a steady erosion of states rights and any number of of other clearly unconstitutional things that our Federal government took upon itself to do and in doing so added powers unto itself it was never given by us or our states. We accepted it, a few spoke out and then it passed into yesterday's news.

We have a pretty good track record of a few voices crying out, "hey that is not right" when government does these things and then moving on with life. I ask you, what is the point in having a contract, having laws and rules, if one party redefines the rules as it wishes and the other party never actually does anything to set things right?

Some say this is why we have elections but apparently the election process has done nothing to stem the tide of government, specifically the federal government, assuming any powers unto itself it desires.

These things matter, they matter when the population is too ignorant to know when wrong is done to them or too scared to do anything effective about it on the rare occasion that they do realize.

When the world as we know it finally passes from current knowledge into a fabled history it will be in large part because of the sloth, ignorance and avarice of the population.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This is the Way the World Ends - Part I

With Valkyrie now in theaters the History Channel predictably aired a special feature on the historical events surrounding the story. One statement at the beginning of the show troubled me especially, just as it has every time I have ever heard it stated.

To paraphrase: "The German people did not generally support Hitler or the Nazi's and really had no choice but to go along with what occurred...they were innocent".

I disagree with this for many reasons. My views might have been in vogue 60 years ago but no more - everyone is a victim it seems, so too the German people.

Yes there were resistance movements - my favorite is that of the White Rose (die Weiße Rose). Much is now made of the resistance from the officers in the Army. As I discussed in my post When Is Disobediance a Moral Imperative General Ludwig Beck is perhaps the only senior officer that might really be considered to have actually resisted. Many of the other generals may have considered the Nazi's and Hitler dangerous but they still commanded their corps, divisions, air wings and armies in following Nazi orders. In reality the only time that senior officers seriously considered removing Hitler was after it became obvious that he was going to lose the war for Germany.

I do not believe the officers of the German army should receive any sort of pass - they did not resign en masse and more importantly they did not refuse to carry out Nazi orders. If all the senior officers had simply said "no" the Army would not have moved at all in 1939. A leader that nobody will follow is just taking a walk - they could have made Hitler invalid.

Of the numerous lieutenants, captains, majors and colonels that participated in various plots to kill Hitler we should remember and reflect - however, their actions and bravery does not exonerate the German officer corps as a whole.

What of the German people - is it as the History Channel and so many others have tried to portray over the years? Do they get a pass a mere victims?

We can say that Hitler was pretty clear in his ideology, writing it down and publishing in in 720 pages in 1925. Anyone that has attempted to navigate Mein Kampf has no doubt that Hitler did not hide his goals and objectives. The German people could have known if they looked.

It was the German people in 1928 acquiesced to the Law on Firearms and Ammunition under the Weimar Republic. This law was geared toward the Nazis and the Communist. Of course the Nazis were much better armed than the Communist by 1928 and neither group gave up any weapons - only the ordinary citizen complied with the law. With everyone disarmed SA was indeed a pretty scary force on the street.

So here we have the first crime of the German people. In the parlance of the modern American gun-rights movement the Germans were all prags (pragmatist), willing to give up their individual gun rights for some notion of a greater good or simply because the government said they should. After all they were allowed to keep that antique hunting rifle so they still had gun rights, what is the big deal.

The second crime of the German people is obviously their stupidity at the ballot box. In 1930 the Nazi's ran a media and entertainment campaign par with any modern US presidential campaign - all show with the substance below the surface. The Germans elected the Nazi's, and this must never be forgotten. They voted for change, they voted on emotion and for showmanship. (Is our election process any different?) The German people, during difficult times, gave the keys to the kingdom to Hitler, it is impossible to later claim innocence for his actions.

The third crime? They did not rise up and either passively or actively resist when it became apparent what Hitler intended to so with his power.

Is there modern relevance to all of this? Indeed there is - this is how our world ends, the world we grew up understanding. More in part II.

Militarized Police

Rubicon in the Rear-View, Part I: Militarizing the Police I just read again a post by William Norman Grigg from last Oct. that meshed well with some things that have been on my mind lately.

First, if you go to YouTube and search for Katrina or Iowa floods and cop abuse you will find buried in there several examples of what I can best describe as - beefy, bald, junior college linebacker looking cops. Ignore for a minute the actions you may see on these videos that might upset your sense of right and wrong, just focus on the cops themselves.

Then consider this quote from Grigg's article -


"I served in the U.S. military and after I got out I ended up becoming a cop in 2002," recalls Bill, who was Battalion Soldier of the Year in 1999 and "Top Gun" in his police academy class. Bill shared his experiences in reaction to a podcast I recently did with Lew Rockwell examining the emergence of America's unitary, militarized Homeland Security state.

At the time he joined the force, many of the veterans "were old school, having started in law enforcement before I was born. They were tough but fair. They treated people with respect."

However, the "old school" officers "were forced out of the department [and it] took on a military feel," Bill continues. "You were expected to take [a] `just follow orders and obey the [department administration attitude], no matter what, regardless if it was constitutional or not. The amount of force used during arrests went through the roof."


Consider that for a minute...these "beefy, bald, juco linebackers" do not look anything like the "old school officers" we grew up being taught to call officer and sir. If we had only this quote from a guy that Grigg quoted we might say it was an isolated thing. It is not. It is real and happening everywhere.

Consider that the police operated for years by simply asking for compliance (which they likely received readily from law-abiding citizens). Do a search for Taser on YouTube or elsewhere. The grim reality is now cops do not ask you they tell you and then count to 2 or 3 in their head and if you have not complied with their demand to lay down in the street in your good clothes they torture you by shocking you until you comply. It does not matter if you are an 80 year old woman in a wheelchair either (yeah Google it).

And what of the growing propensity to kick first ask questions later. There are too many cases recorded by news outlets all across the land of SWAT teams kicking in doors to homes in the middle of the night for trivial matters or worse kicking in the wrong door entirely. A chaplain friend of mine had that happen to his family while stationed in DC. Cops do not even bother to knock during reasonable hours anymore - even for folks that would not present a threat. Kick door, shoot dog, terrorize family - that is standard now.

Here is an interesting piece by Paul Craig Roberts.

Perhaps it is a form of social justice. Black folks have half joked around me all my life that they do not trust the police - over the last several years I have come to not to trust the police. I have never had a run in that is "YouTube worthy" (I suspect if I had such a run in I would be dead now and not writing this) but whenever I am pulled over for a speeding ticket I wonder if the guy behind the lights will do something to me that will force out my fighting side. Maybe the black folks had it right all along - maybe we are all losing our civil liberties because we stood by and let some of us lose theirs. I sound way too liberal right there but perhaps there is some truth to that. A right denied to some is a right that all will eventually lose.


I tell you I would feel a lot safer in a town that did not have a SWAT team, where the police carried service revolvers instead of Glocks, had shotguns latched to the dash instead of SMG's and the police department never accepted Federal money for anything. Oh and by the way - I would much rather deal with Officer Bob, a 30 year veteran with a warm smile, than these young fat boys that seem to be so much in vogue for door kicking and civilian abuse. Anyone know of such a town?

One wonders what it will take to break this cycle? Would the thought that perhaps they might not go home safe and sound after kicking in the door of a family (without even checking to see if knocking would have worked) or tasering a motorist because said motorist had the audacity to ask why they were being told to lay down (a reasonable question if they knew they were not doing anything wrong). I suspect that might make a few thugs think twice, it would make the rest of them comfortable in the knowledge that their methods were "required" to compel compliance for our own safety.

After all, it is all about our safety...right?

I know there are still good cops out there worthy of being called officer - but they are a dying breed.

A Very Good Read

En Route to Military Rule by William Norman Grigg is a must read. At first glance one might take the concepts of this article to be just a bit over the top. As I reflect upon my professional knowledge of the subject coupled with what I observe elsewhere I do not find it so implausible. Frightening that...

I found it interesting that a link within Grigg's post references a 1992 article by one GEN Dunlap, "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012," Interesting not only for the read but the date of 2012.... The "Homeland Security Brigade" will be operational by 2011, this guy writes in 1992 a fictional account of a coup that occurs in 2012...all the new agers are up in arms about some big event in 2012 (you know the Mayan calender and all that)...I am kidding really, no worries I do not buy into all that stuff- I just mentioned it as it is odd.

(I also found it interesting the Grigg was a Patton admirer in 1999 but has reconsidered, I can count myself in that small number)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Truth

This blog is called "Sell Civilization Short" for a reason. Civilizations do not fade out peacefully, as a rule. When they crumble, they expose the ugliness of rot.


...and I agree, a simple survey of just a sampling of headlines on a daily basis supports this claim

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Great News" at Christmas

As I mentioned in a previous article my family and I were in the market for a piece of rural/farm property. I thought going into my search that I would find what we were looking for at a reasonable price. I assumed that there would not be a lot of other people competing for the land.

Several of the real estate agents I talked to told me that their phones were ringing off the hook with people calling (and buying) from out of state. I was beat out on two of the most wonderful properties by such competition. Several others disappeared over night before I had the chance to even talk to anyone about them.

I blame it on two things. First, there may be people just like me that want a place that they could live sustainably if they had to. Second, and more troubling, is the end result of our own government interfering with the free market - by lowering interest rates to reignite the mortgage boom. This article talks about the very real possibility that a vast availability of financing and low interest rates will cause property prices to increase rapidly - the same thing that caused much of this mess in the first place.

I feel personally injured by this. If the people I was "competing" with to buy this land were simply opportunist using low interest loans made available by the government using some of my own money I can only say in the simplest of terms - I was screwed.

I made an offer to buy a place yesterday that has less land than I hoped to get (but is also a lot less that what I was planning and willing to pay). It has all the things I wanted, rural, plenty of acreage, two ponds a stream, some woods, some pasture and a little cabin. It was not my first or second choice, but I am happy all the same. I am still angry at our meddling government - but that is nothing new.

Perhaps that "opportunist" that bought that piece of land adjacent to the piece I just bought will be happy to sell it to me in a few months if the bad news keeps on rolling in -perhaps I will get it pretty cheap too.

Reports on consumer spending, jobless claims, durable goods show more weakness is likely

U.S. falls deeper into recession

Reply to a Comment

In response to my post "When is Disobedience a Moral Imperative", Gibbons writes:

I've read both the Patton Papers and the Rommel Papers. "Infantry Attacks" by Rommel, writing of his experiences in World War I, is one of my favorite books.

I understand the admiration of Rommel. But I don't understand your comment about Patton. There's a recent article suggesting Patton was killed because of his "dangerous" opinions about the Russians. If so then he's very much like Rommel, who lost his life because of his breaking with Hitler's program.

I'd be interested to read more about why you think Patton is the worst sort of human being.


I admit I made a statement of opinion as fact without providing sufficient evidence to support my position. I can say this from my understanding of and study of Patton. He was selfish, self-centered, profane, and more than likely a little bit unhinged mentally. Judged by the standards of his contemporaries it cannot be argued that he was not profane - although that may be only a relatively minor vice. I believe, and trust that in academic terms it could be easily proven, that Patton was motivated his entire professional career by what he thought was best for Patton. He all but bribed superiors that could do him favors and spared no opportunity to put his peers down to his own benefit. That is my opinion of the man and the reason I think so lowly of him.

He was successful on the field of battle because of his audacity, and the well-known fact that by the time America entered the war the German army was stripped of all its former advantages. I believe his audacity was born of his desire for Patton to personally succeed - he believed the myth in his mind. I certainly would not have wanted to serve in one of his units as a private soldier.

I agree with you that he had it right about the Russians. One might say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. I tend to believe that while he was certainly capable of seeing the Communist for what they were, he was probably also very happy to see another enemy that might offer him the opportunity to command in battle just a little longer. That is never the right or moral reason for a soldier to support war. Perhaps he was killed for these opinions but I am not sure his opinions on this matter arose from the most noble of places.

Make no mistake, as a child and young man I idolized Patton. As you see, my views have soured over the years.

Essentially as I compare and contrast Patton and Rommel it boils down to this. Rommel believed audacity saved the lives of his soldiers in the long run. Patton believe audacity won victories that might attach to his name.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

I Promise I wrote mine first

I penned my last post before going to bed last night only to find this post ('Question 46,' Revisited) by Norman Grigg on the Lew Rockwell site this am. It might appear that my thoughts were spurred by his but that is not the case. In any event his is a good read and amplifies and corrects a misstatement I made about this 1994 survey (I actually thought more Marines said "yes" tot he most nefarious questions).

I am glad other people are saying these things, otherwise you might just think I am making it all up....

Monday, December 22, 2008

When Is Disobediance a Moral Imperative

I mentioned previously that I have just completed reading a book titled "Patton and Rommel". I do not have it near by so I apologize for not knowing the author. I essentially skipped all the chapters about Patton as there is nothing about the man that I want to know that I do not know. He was, in my opinion, the lowest sort of man.

Rommel fascinates me. Not so much for his successes and failures on the field of battle but rather for the actual story of his life. Here is a man that counted himself lucky to have a job in the economic turmoil of the Weimar Republic during the 20's, a job that he loved no less.

I find it truly engaging to imagine the thoughts of a thoroughly professional German officer (professional in the real sense) as events unfolded and the Nazi's gained power. A middle-class family man that had spent his entire adult life in uniform probably did not see a lot of other options, resigning in disgust meant poverty. Principles are hard things to live up to and Rommel was no exception to the rule. He remained in uniform with the same hope many German officers held - "the Nazi's are just a phase".

My wife and I were discussing many matters today, most theoretical. We talked of the events in Greece and elsewhere and the predictions of greater gloom on the economic front here. We discussed the ugly "what-ifs". As a man that has spent his entire adult life in uniform with just a wee bit more to go before I am allowed to take it off I think deeply about the worst-case what-if's. I told my wife at one point "you know there have been many things I have done that I did not understand or agree with but there are others that I simply will not do". These are words I did not have to speak, she knows, but I uttered them all the same. I will never be part of any of the business we have done in Iraq in the US, never.

I recall a survey conducted among Marines back in the 1990's that asked something along the lines - "if ordered to disarm American citizens would you follow orders". A vast majority said yes. This was long before we had a precedent of the National Guard and the Coast Guard disarming citizens after Katrina. This was before our military had seven years experience as a constabulary force on foreign soil. Such a survey is not even required today, we know the answer.

In 1993 the Command and General Staff College highlighted a paper written by Major (General Staff) Dr. Ulrich F. Zwygart entitled "How Much Obedience Does an Officer Need?". It is discouraging that I cannot find an example, dirivative or offshoot of this topic written and published by any US Officer. I recommend this paper to anyone interested in what the professional officers in the German Army did and failed to do about the "constitutional crisis" in Germany in the 1930's. in Zxygart's words "Conscience, which regulates man's impulsive aggressive action, is diminished, however, when man enters a hierarchical structure".

Not so for Chief of the General Staff General Ludwig Beck --

Beck criticized Hitler's aggressive plans for territorial policy that could only lead to defeat and reduction of Germany. Beck renounced a brilliant career, preferring to resign in protest rather than serve a regime that did not act in favor of its people. His opposition was rooted in a firm Christian faith and in a conservative attitude that believed legality, integrity, ethics, and responsibility were crucial for the servant of a nation. When Beck resigned in 1938, he was motivated not only by "professional and political knowledge" but also by the "dictate of conscience" --believing that
"obedience ends where knowledge, conscience, and responsibility prohibit the execution of an order." Doubtless, the conspirators, civilian and military, held him in high esteem and looked to him as their true leader.


Several officers junior to him made the same brave choice - others silently plotted, while most gave in and played along. I am not certain that we have many men of Beck's character serving in our military today. And while I do not find it conceivable that our government could become as overtly murderous as that of the Nazi's I do not find it inconceivable that it could radically and fundamentally change our very concept of freedom amidst some major crisis. One needs only look at the radical redefining of rights over the last few years to understand how that could go. One need only look at the evaporation of posse comitatus by degrees to understand the government's willingness and intention to use the military to retain control and power is said crisis "requires" it.

To resign amidst this economic turmoil and the much worse troubles that would precipitate a conclusion that "obedience ends where knowledge, conscience, and responsibility prohibit the execution of an order." That is harsh, forfeiting an earned retirement is harsh - but there are some orders I simply will never follow. I pray I never receive such orders and have to follow my conscience into personal ruin.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world

From the Telegraph:

Greece has been in turmoil for 11 days. The mood seems to have turned "pre-insurrectionary" in parts of Athens - to borrow from the Marxist handbook...

We are advancing to the political stage of this global train wreck. Regimes are being tested. Those relying on perma-boom to mask a lack of democratic or ancestral legitimacy may try to gain time by the usual methods: trade barriers, saber-rattling, and barbed wire...

"... social unrest may happen in many countries, including advanced economies. We are facing an unprecedented decline in output. All around the planet, the people have reacted with feelings going from surprise to anger, and from anger to fear," he said...

This crisis has already brought us a monetary revolution as interest rates approach zero across the G10. It may overturn the "New World Order" as well, unless we move with great care in grim months ahead. This is where events turn dangerous.

The last great era of globalisation peaked just before 1914. You know the rest of the story.


And the good news just keeps rolling in.

Cops Gone Wild

Read this article and then pay special attention to the comments - Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl. It seems people are growing ever more tired of this nonesense.

This is of course not a new sort of story - there have been far too may, some heavily reported others not. The fact is our local police have become something of a clear and present threat to us, the regular people.

I am always amazed watching "cop" shows, Youtube videos and basically any other footage of cops reacting to someone they perceive has a gun. I recall seeing a Youtube video not long ago of an old woman that the New Orleans police had broken into her home to check on her "safety". She proceeded to show the 15 cops in her home all her food and explain the fact that her house had never been under water and had no structural damage. When they were unconvinced she showed one of them her unloaded pistol. She was gang tackled. An old woman in her home, not breaking any law - tackled, subdued and bruised by a gang of thugs in the name of "law and order"...in America.

No matter what you think of US Soldiers and Marines in the Middle East I can assure you they demonstrate a lot less fear and over reaction to the presence of a weapon in most cases. Everyone is armed, they are guaranteed a right to keep a gun. Much as I thought Americans were. Just pay attention the next time you see cops on video talking to someone, all is relatively calm, the cops outnumber the citizen but the second these fools think there is a gun present that is not on their hip - well just watch.

Do not give me any nonsense about the job being dangerous and they needing to protect themselves. I have done dangerous work, I know what it is all about. They are supposed to keep the peace, not rough people up in the name of protecting themselves.

Read these cases of folks using self-defense against cops out of control and walking away free. Perhaps more people ought to exercise the basic right to self-defense when assaulted by government thugs.

Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1
Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903
State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Would Ron Paul Do

Imagine if you will a congruence of circumstance, however bizarre required, that had instead of Obama as our current president elect but Ron Paul.

Ok hold that thought.

When the Senate was debating the auto bailout "Buckshot" Cheney chided the republican senators something to the effect that their inaction was "Herbert Hoover all over again". The implication being that inaction, i.e. letting the free market run its course would spell political doom for the party.

Admittedly real conservatism in the US as a viable alternative died in the 1930's as a result of - well the debate continues. Cheney it seems would say it died because it failed to become statist, socialist and liberal. It took one major event for old right conservatism to be repudiated by the masses, replaced in name only just to keep two teams on the field.

There were of course a few notable conservative voices here and there but never again has the nation had a viable conservative alternative. Of course the death of conservatism in the 1930's was not a single party event, both moved left of center and just redefined in their own minds at least where center was.

Fast forward 60 years and we see that then and only then did even a minority of the population begin to fundamentally see the major flaws in the left of center shift and the true cost of "liberalism" and "conservatism". Move forward 18 more years and for the first time do we see any real, passionate talk with vocal support of true conservatism.

Essentially it has taken 78 years or so for even a minority of the population to understand the flaws of our Liberal/more liberal party system and the destruction caused by an ever larger government and foolish monetary and foreign policies.

Imagine then if you will if Ron Paul were younger, more handsome and capable of talking in 10 second sound bites. Imagine that by the same media/Hollywood tricks all politicians use he were able to win the 2008 presidential election. (in this imaginary world he is still the same small-government, literal Constitution guy, just much more camera/sound bite friendly).

What on Earth would such a "victory" have done to the infant conservative movement, particularly now? Real conservatism is best adapted to keeping a nation out of the very messes we are currently in. Sweeping government programs and fixes are just not in a real conservative's bag of tricks. Real conservatism maintains a system that nourishes stability in the long run, not fluff for election cycles.

Ron Paul did us all a service - akin to John in the desert.

Just as old right conservatism died in a crisis it may come back after the next crisis (i.e. the one we are in) as more and more people come to see the 78 year social experiment for what it was and is, an abomination. Liberalism may just have less than a decade more to rule over us, a right center shift may come - if we are wise and see our recent past for what it really was.

Russell Means Speaks the Truth

Joshua points us to Russell Means' latest video offering and update about the Lakotah Republic. The thing that has impressed me all along with Means is that he presents a picture of a man that is not unhinged, rather a man unencumbered by wrong-thinking.

The strategy employed by the Republic thus far seems workable if rather unremarkable. I say unremarkable only in the sense that by the measure of what we have come to expect in political movements the Lakotah strategy appears calculated, paced and prudent - thus it is really not unremarkable at all but perhaps incredibly wise.

It is true the "victories" they have won over the last year in efforts to reassert sovereignty were victories in which the Federal and State governments essentially decided not to take the field on. Some might dismiss this as no progress at all.

I am not an insider into the thinking behind this paced strategy but I presume that these victories are not so much geared toward establishing boundaries of sovereignty - I think the leadership up there realizes that each victory cold be easily stripped away quickly if the Federals wanted. I think these are designed to show the Lakotah themselves that victories are possible, thus garnering support for the notion that this nation could indeed be free and sovereign again. In that I think it is a wonderfully wise approach.

Some may question the Lakotah Republics willingness to seek outsiders into the Republic. After all one may question might this not pollute the culture. To a paleoconservative such as myself this is a valid question.

To those with such questions I would ask this. What of the real Lakotah culture still exists after confinement to government run reservations? When Means talks about recruiting folks to help establish sustainable living solutions it seems to me this is a paleoconservative approach - it appears the only way to return the culture to some of its previous core values. Values lost in the imprisonment on reservations.

It saddens me that the majority of the Lakotah people do not yet embrace what appears their best option to live as a free and sovereign people that has come round in a long time. Perhaps with more small victories and perseverance this will change.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not in America You Say?

Little by little, step by step we are accepting the mechanisms of our own demise...

(From DUI Blog) The U.S. Marines have landed…and are apparently manning "sobriety checkpoints" in San Bernardino County in California. Yes, Marines. Yes, civilian DUI roadblocks.

From an official December 10th California Highway Patrol public relations release:

CHP to Conduct Sobriety/Driver’s License Checkpoint

"The Morongo office of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in conjunction with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and the USMC military police will conduct a joint sobriety/driver license checkpoint on Friday, December 12, 2008, somewhere in the unincorporated/incorporated area of San Bernardino County."

As an American citizen, not to mention a former Marine, I find this troubling — particularly in view of the clear wording of the Posse Comitatus act of 1878, described in Wikipedia.

A follow-up call to a Marine Corps public affairs sergeant resulted in assurances that the Marines would be there "as observers". Hmmmm…..military observers. Isn’t that how it all starts?

Bill of Rights Day

December 15 was Bill of Rights day - it came and went without notice much as our actual rights seem to have passed into a distant memory.

The Freeholder comments - "Some people have asked the rhetorical question "What is worth fighting for?" I'd say that these are as deserving of our "life, liberty and sacred honor" just as much now as they were then. And we'd better start getting ready to fight for them again."

And I agree.

Prepare to Defend Thyself

This will be my last post in this series. I imagine that from time to time I will revisit the subject but my original intent was merely to highlight the subject in what I hope was a reasonable and rational way.

When I left the topic last I promised to talk about guns, but before that there are, I believe, other elements that must be addressed.

First take a good look at you, by that I mean your physical condition. Good grief you say "now he is going to preach some physical fitness regime, I thought we established several posts ago that becoming Rambo was not required". And in that last assumption you are correct.

But...

Before we talk any further about preparing for anything we should talk seriously about preparing for life in its many and varied forms. Life is not all about the sedentary or semi-sedentary. Your chances of surviving anything from a car crash to a nuclear holocaust to old age are greatly improved with better physical condition. In honesty I suppose old age will get you eventually no matter your physical condition but of course the length and quality might be significantly improved.

Ask yourself - can you perform even moderate physical tasks over an extended duration (say a few days) without "throwing out your back", having a heart attack or just plain giving out?

If you were in a "scuffle" with someone else would you be out of breath in less than a minute?

The point is "scuffling" which is what most physical conflicts turn into is tasking on the cardiovascular system as it engages major muscles all over the body.

I use this only as an example of things a person ought to think of if they envision ever having to deal with the nastier side of human nature, particularly if that is brought on by panic and desperation of a world out of whack.

You can imagine for yourself the scenarios that might place you in a "scuffle" in the various situations we have previously envisioned in other posts. Ask yourself if you are even able to load your car in a timely manner, haul things to and from your house or board up windows at a pace much faster than a leisurely Saturday afternoon project.

Can you pull up your on body weight? Could you carry an injured person to safety? You see where I am going with all of this, so I will leave it alone with one last word. Get out and take care of this foundational requirement - put an image in your head of your loved one in danger and you huffing and puffing unable to help them. If you never have to use your increased stamina for such an endeavor you will still enjoy the associated benefits.

On the subject of "scuffling" I often see a lot of discussion on survival forums about taking up a martial art. Well here is a story for you - I spent several years practicing tae kwon do as a child/teenager, I wrestled in high school and college and took judo in college and boxed a little to boot. That is a lot of time invested. I learned more in the Marine Corps LINE combat system and the Army Combatives system than all others combined - think of that before going to the local training center and investing 3 nights a week for two years.

While in Korea, my wife and two children earned their first degree black belts in tae kwon do and as my wife bragged to me one day of her new kick butt skills I told her plainly "she had learned enough to get hurt". That was not to diminish her accomplishment but rather to point out a simple fact. Unless you have an enormous amount of time or are interested for other reason I see no point in taking up a martial art as an adult. Work on your fitness level and if you are ever forced to "scuffle" simply be aggressive about it.

So I promised my last post would be about guns and here it is.

Ignore all the talk about semi-auto pistols with high capacity magazines. Why? Less safe for most people, the springs in the magazines "get tired" over time and may not feed when you want it too, are more complicated to disassemble and clean, and for most models are hard to conceal. Do I own semi-auto pistols? Yes. Do they have a task and purpose? Yes. They should not be your first purchase or your only purchase.

This should -A double action revolver in calibers .38, .44, .45 or 356

I like the Tarus Judge MODEL 4510 .45/.410 because it chambers both a .45 for longer range and a .410 shotgun shell for close work (good for a nervous shooter in close quarters), and it is inexpensive.

The discussion could go on but I recommend the Tarus because it is a perfect pair with the shotgun I recommend--

The Moosburg HS .410 Home Defender. Comes with an integrated laser sight and a barrel designed for spread at 5-25m. The ballistics of the .410 are better that .44 at the intended range and the shot is less likely to penetrate secondary walls. All good for less than expert shooters.

I can already read the hate mail in my mind about the .410 cartridge but ballistic test have proven its effectiveness in close quarters and that is what we are talking about for new shooters. I do not want or suggest a new shooter attempt to "snipe" and get themselves killed. I would rather they hide and hope they are not found and shoot only if they are. The HS 410 serves that role well.

Folks seems to get too worked up about guns, what kind, how many etc. - the two above are a good start for anyone without guns - if you decide on different models I would definitely stick with a double action revolver and a pump action shotgun. Unless you plan to actually practice more than once a year I don't see the point in recommending a rifle (if I were to recommend one it would be the mini-14, it fires US military cartridges).

And there you have it - the discussion of guns could go on and on - if you want that go find a forum where folks argue endlessly about the merits of their stash versus someone else's.

I hope these posts have forced you to think a bit and perhaps even motivated you to act. I may add additional posts on related subjects in the future as I am about to buy a piece of property that I hope will become my "retirement/survival" retreat. The area around my little farm in SC has grown up too much in the years I have been away in the Army.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fire Up The Presses

We all said it and now they admit it - although I suppose there is proof that this has been going on for some time. LET THE MONEY PRINTING BEGIN.

DOLLAR TANKS AS FED SAYS IT WILL PRINT MONEY

"Since September, the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded from about $900 billion to more than $2 trillion as it lends money to new programs." (ETF Trends)

The drop to 0-5% rates it seems might have another effect (if banks use the money to lend money and reinvigorate the housing bubble). Here is one description --

Here’s something kind of funny: This current economic collapse can be largely traced back to the 2003-2004 1% Fed Rate era that fueled the housing boom by making absurdly inflated real estate prices “affordable” because these interest rates — both fixed and the evil adjustable ones — hadn’t been so low in half a century.

While it was sloppy/greedy “stated income” no-doc teaser-rate reverse-equity 105% loans that enabled Juan Drywallhanger and his old lady, Amber Asstattoo, to “buy” a 2,800-square-foot stucco monstrosity on a 3,000-square-foot lot in the Adobe Falls development behind the Sunburst Towne Center’s (now closed) Bennigan’s and Linens ‘n Things in the first place, it was the artificially cheap borrowing costs that made the option-ARM introductory payments on a $579,000 “Tuscan inspired” vulgarity briefly plausible for people making $40,000 per year and already buried in credit-card and SUV debt.

I thought that too funny of a description not to include even if I would not have articulated it just so.

So what are the results of all this printing of money (have you read about the Weimar Republic?)

According to CNN-
But there is a dark side to quantitative easing: inflation. The government has backed all of this new debt by selling Treasurys, which have been the golden asset of the credit crisis. They have been the only liquid security of late, reaching historic highs as their yields have hit all-time lows...

"The end result of all of this could be the next major problem: the crisis of confidence in the dollar," said Baumohl. "At some point, foreign investors are not going to come to the table to buy U.S. debt, leading to a dollar decline."

Of course add to all of that nonesense this - Drop in consumer prices is most since 1932.

And then the most asinie statement of a bizzare year:

"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system," Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision "to make sure the economy doesn't collapse." Bush the Second

Doing a little (or much) evil to do a little percieved good. And this from a "conservative"

What a mess

To Arms!

Here is a parable taken from "House of Saddam", supposedly told to Saddam as a boy - but there is truth in it.


"A troublemaker walks through a village, drawing the ire of the people. Finally an old man confronts the outsider saying 'why are you here causing trouble'. To which the outsider replies, 'I am not causing trouble, I am unarmed, I do not have a gun or a knife or any other weapon'. The old man looks squarely at the outsider and states plainly, 'exactly, because you are unarmed you are inviting trouble where ever you go.'"


The moral of the story seems plain and true - the meek may inherit the Earth but the weak and defenseless will get walked on, trampled, robbed and perhaps killed.

Consider this from a recent article:

In the coming months, mental health experts expect a rise in theft, depression, drug use, anxiety and even violence as consumers confront a harsh new reality and must live within diminished means.

"People start seeing their economic situation change, and it stimulates a sort of survival panic," said Gaetano Vaccaro, deputy clinical director of Moonview Sanctuary, which treats patients for emotional and behavioral disorders. "When we are in a survival panic, we are prone to really extreme behaviors."


The America of today is not the America of 1929. There are significant elements within our society across all cultural, ethnic and racial lines that are immoral at their base. These people are probably incapable of behaving morally in difficult situations. The difference between now and 1929 is that there is so many more of them relative to the rest of the population. A 15% unemployment rate today could result in a social/crime/unrest situation far worse than the 25% of the Great Depression.

Should you own a gun? I cannot help but believe the answer is yes; if you are truly willing to use it to defend your life, your family and your property. There is no point in spending the money if you are too squeamish of the notion of using the thing.

There is a term that began to float around in the military after the invasion of Afghanistan and gained a lot of traction after Iraq. At first I disliked the term but eventually I came to terms with it, understood it, and accept it as part of the human condition. "Some people just need killing". In military parlance this refers to hardliners that refuse to put down their arms, back down or accept any part of the coalition program.

In considerations of defending your property, family or yourself this term has meaning as well. There are some people in the world that in the right circumstances, at the right moment will do you harm. I think we should accept that. The only thing preventing wholesale brutality by our growing immoral class is the trappings of order provided by society. Thus most of our would be violent criminals constrain their immorality to forms of criminality and immorality in the business world. As you can see I am not talking about the 850,000 gang members and other already violent criminals in the US at this point - I am talking about the middle-class guy that cheats at business, on his wife and on the golf course. It is that selfish type that will join the other criminals in hard times to threaten you and yours. Anyone with such a lack of morals and ethics in an ordered society will join the ranks of potential "people that need killing" when things go bad.

It is not an un-Christian view to think like this - God gave parents stewardship over children, a man responsibility to his wife and her to him. Exercising the right of self-defense is not contrary to Christian teachings.

As I said earlier I believe, based upon my observations that for most ordinary people living in hard situations the requirement to use a gun to defend yourself is probably at worst a once in a life time event. I believe that, certainly depending upon a persons location and luck that number may change for the individual. The point is, even if it happened just once - that one moment is life changing one way or the other - being prepared determines who has a bad day (you or the thug).

Of course you should be armed.

In the next post we will talk about weapon selection.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dystopia By Good Intentions

If a dystopian nightmare of the totalitarian state finally arrives in the United States, it will be the result of a compromise, and there will be people around until the very end who will insist that we should be grateful because it could be much worse...

There is only one sure way that you can know you are on the right side of history, and that is by saying what is true and defending what is right, without exception. It is not left to intellectuals to play political games. Intellectuals are supposed to tell the truth, regardless of the moment. That means, in these days, completely opposing all increases in state power under the cover of "countercyclical policy."

Let evil people take responsibility for their evil policies. Those who know better should stick to the right and true. (Lew says "Don't Cave")

There are indeed many existing and emerging justifications for the revolt Celente spoke about....to those of us in our 30's and 40's our grandparents fought fascism and tyranny - shame on us for allowing those evil ideologies to win via compromise.

Gerald Celente and Our Future

I am not too keen on prognosticators in general - specifically the kind that make predictions based upon "visions" such as this "prophet" that predicts disaster before Obama takes office. Perhaps this is bit hypocritical of me as it would appear most of the time that I appear to fancy myself something of a prognosticator.

Gerald Celente is a bit different in that he predicts trends rather than specific events. His trend analysis and predictions are based partly on observation and partly upon extrapolation of those observation. His previous success at predicting trends include: the 1987 stock market crash, the fall of the Soviet Union, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the subprime mortgage crisis. In 2007 he described 2008 as the year the economic giants would fall. His observations about what 2008 would hold are pretty dead on looking back now.

In an article by Kurt Nimmo, Truth News, Nov.24, 2007, "U.S. Dollar Will Fall By 90% ", Celente remarks on the current disaster taking place in our economy :" We are confronting " dollar plummeting hysteria, monumental levels of debt, foreclosure, bankruptcy, unemployment, energy depletion, skyrocketing gas and fuel prices, illnesses treated without medical insurance coverage- or just not treated, unprecedented levels of homelessness, and by all indications, within a few months into 2008, America will be well on the road to a re-run of 1929 - or something inconceivably worse... " "

Celente said this over a year ago ! Yikes ! What else does this modern day Nostradamas have to say ? Plenty, and it isn't pretty (Surviving Ourselves)



What does this trend predictor see next?

Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts....

“We’re going to see the end of the retail Christmas….we’re going to see a fundamental shift take place….putting food on the table is going to be more important that putting gifts under the Christmas tree,” said Celente, adding that the situation would be “worse than the great depression”.“America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for,” said Celente, noting that people’s refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis...


More and more economic voices are beginning to talk about depression as a possibility - not the kesynians of course, they denied we were in a recession for four quarters even though the ordinary man knew this was a fact.

“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”

“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”“It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.”


I have said many times that there are numerous groups with justifiable grievances against the current system that have gone unanswered and ignored. These provide a foundation for revolt and a catalysts for anger but will never provide the spark of revolution. The spark for a revolution can only come when the safety, security and welfare of enough people are threatened enough to turn the ideological anger from a list of grievances into man pulling triggers. There are enough men of conscience in America that are pretty mad about a lot of things the government has done or failed to do - it will only take the spark of a failing economy and a real threat to security and welfare to turn these angry men into real man of action.


“We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression...

And that, my friends is sufficient fuel and spark for the embers that burn so dimly on the edges of our society right now.

Next post we will get back to talking about you and your family weathering all of this.

Bugging Out: How, Where, Why

When last we left the subject we had begun to think about what we would need to bug out from our urban home. We developed a list of scenarios that would cause such a bug out (that was your homework) and we developed a tentative plan (your homework also).

Let us assume then that the scenario you have developed for yourself is occurring but to add a bit of fun to the discussion I will add an atmosphere akin to the LA riots in the early 1990's along and surrounding your escape route.

What in your plan covers such a contingency? Did you plan to take both cars? Who is driving and who is riding shotgun (renewed meaning to the word)?

The argument could go a dozen ways over whether to take both cars or one; I come down on the side of one for this reason. In the husband and wife team likely only one of you is the better driver - in this case I am talking about the person that can make split-second decisions, rapid maneuvers if required and avoid at all costs stopping the vehicle anytime and anywhere you do not choose. Maybe it is the man, maybe the woman but it is probably not the person you as a married couple have determined that when driving causes the least amount of arguments - it just might be the most offensive driver in ordinary times that gets this job. Two cars, with a nervous driver in a bad situation might get you all killed.

Whichever of you is the choice, you need to talk about it in advance and the other person needs to fully understand their job as well. No matter what the circumstances of your evacuation when you decide to leave your driveway you should consider the trip a "combat patrol" from the onset. You cannot predict human behavior in any other terms than to say that people do nasty things to other people in nasty times. Leave thinking that way and travel that way.

The driver in in complete control of the space in and around the vehicle for 100 yards or so; meaning specifically that in any high stress situations that arise the very last thing needed is an additional driver shouting instructions. Everyone in the vehicle should be alert to all around them and they should verbalize things they see, but not to the point of telling the driver to do X or Y. You have to get that point - if need be, in the proper situation - the driver's job is to keep the vehicle moving. Minor fender damage or an casual approach to traffic regulations do not matter at that point if the potential exist for folks to be yanked from vehicles like a scene from 1992 LA.

The person riding "shotgun" is the navigator, responsible for the next turn, and for space beyond 100 yards. You have to get this division of labor down to routine. This person needs to be able to read road maps, operate the GPS (better yet READ the map) and if you are inclined to take my sage gun advice - shoot to kill.

Of the two the driver is most important, he/she must be the coolest under pressure and the quickest thinker. And remember this is absolutely no time for road rage - and it is no time to allow yourself to get pinned in between the car in front of you and behind you. The driver has to be very aware and attune to his surroundings.

So what are you driving? Well obviously one of what you own and unless you plan to make a purchase at some point you have what you have.

I would argue that a 4WD is very important for a bug out vehicle. Many will argue the point but here is how I see it. Any interstate used for an evacuation will get bogged down by numerous things. I would like the option of turning off the interstate, going up that embankment and moving on and away from that crowd. A 4WD is perfect just for that. The upside is that so many folks already have SUV's with 4WD - that they never engage - this piece of advice is just a bonus. A SUV is not terrible to sleep in and it is easy to pack with your stuff without advertising like my Jeep.

Now for a dynamic that kills preparation - one of the couple gets it and the other may not. I am about to suggest a few items that ought to be standard in the escape vehicle, but if this happens to be your wife's SUV - well good luck.

-CB Radio - to ease the pain of this look at one of the micro versions you could hide in the glove box (MIDLAND 75-822 MICRO HANDHELD CB RADIO). My wife laughed that she was "not a trucker" and would not have one of these things until I found the micro version.
-Full size spare tire
-Roadside repair kit with full jack and fixaflat
-Motorola UHF Radios -one per family member (T9680RSAME Rechargeable Two-Way Radio) for mom and dad, (Mini USB Car Charger) x 2, (FV700R NiMH Rechargeable Two-Way Radio) for the kiddies. Never leave the car without communication, never leave the car without someone in the driver seat with car running, and pistol close by.
-an AC/DC power inverter
-an extra 12v battery
-snow chains? only you know where you live

Putting extra fuel in the vehicle is problematic and suggesting to the wife that you want to mount brackets for fuel cans on her SUV could be deadly, but stowing them on the luggage rack when the time comes - that is just good business. The extra tire can go there as well.

That covers how, remember it is a "combat patrol" from the time you leave your house until you get to a place that you feel safer. Every stop, every vehicle on the road with you, every encounter with someone else in the "panic zone" must be addressed by your SOP discussed above and worked out in detail- be ever vigilant. Remember constant radio communication between vehicle and the person outside the vehicle when you stop, leave a driver in the vehicle with the engine running, every time, everywhere until you are out of the craziness.


So where are you going? That depends upon your level of preparation and the level of the event you are running from. I believe it prudent to resolve early on that you will not become a refugee, you will not go to a shelter or a camp.

Here are two suggestions that you may do with as you please. (this assumes you do not want to go so far as to buy a survival retreat)

Buy a used travel trailer and store it at a self storage facility several miles outside of your city. When you bug out, go first to your storage lot and pick up your new temporary home. One of these things can be had very cheaply, remember you are not looking to impress the neighbors at the campsite with your home on wheels, you just need shelter that is not provided by the government. Map out in advance campsites near your storage area but away from the panic zone.

Many will say that this is an inadequate solution, particularly in a long-term national crisis such as an economic collapse but I argue that for those that do not want to go full into the survival mode this is a viable alternative. Even if the plan is to travel on to relatives and stay there, you would likely be more comfortable with the option of occasionally sleeping away from the crowd (love nest anyone?)

An alternative to this plan is to rent storage space at the facility mentioned above and cache items that you may not bring with you or may lose/use/damage along the way, extra tires, clothes, storable food. I would go so far as to suggest stocking this place with cots, a heater, and blankets in the event you decide to bed down in your storage space after a long trip out of the city.

A third option is to do both of the above. Pre-stage a cheap camper and rent storage space for a cache of good to have items. This is all dictated by budget but $4-5K for a camper and $38/month for a storage container does not seem like a lot. Just make sure you get your escape vehicle configured to haul the camper long before you need it. Also ensure to rent from a place with 24 hour access, and preferably not via a caretaker who may not be there when the panic comes.

Lastly - why exactly are you leaving? You must know this, depending upon the circumstances it may be obvious. Other times it may not be. Decide to leave only if you know or reasonably expect that where you are going is better than where you are. Think about that. Recommended evacuations and panic are not reasons to leave - particularly if you do not have a good plan. Becoming a refugee is your fate without a plan. There could be benefit to weathering the initial rush to leave in place - so long as you can provide for your family and defend yourself. This is of course situationally dependent but you have to be prepared to ask yourself why you are considering a particualr option and you have to prepare to actually give yourself a second option.

First Things First: The Bug-Out-Bag

If my modest readership will permit me I shall continue down this rabbit hole I have begun to traverse....

If you thought deeply, or at all about my last post then perhaps you are ready to ask yourself a few questions - some of which I can list, others that only you can ask because of your specific knowledge of you, your family and the exact environment in which you live.

What sorts of scenarios do you foresee (buy into) for your particular geographic area? Are these just natural disasters with the potential for the occasional two-legged misbehavior? Do you believe it possible that someone, somewhere might actually use one or a hundred of the thousand(s) nuclear weapons around the world - do you think your city would be a target - do you believe you would have warning?

Do you plan to leave your city? Where would you go? How would you communicate with your family and those that would go with you if you decided that leaving right now was necessary? What if the cellphone and landline networks were clogged as in the aftermath of the NYC attacks?

What if you could not get money out of an ATM and your tank was on empty? I bet at least one of your cars is below half full right now isn't it. How much cash do you have in the house right this second? Leaving in a forced or rush evacuation might get a little ugly with those facts being real.

Do you have a 72 hour kit? A spare pair of glasses, a supply of your required prescription meds? Important documents? Do you know where all this and could you grab it and go? Don't worry, most Americans could not either.

Before your turn off the terms survivalist and prepper think about the simple and straightforward things.

(Insert here any reasonable reason why you and 10 million or so other people in your area have to leave your homes very fast)

Imagine yourself if you will, sitting on a interstate with all traffic going away from your city. Your half a tank of gasoline is edging ever nearer to empty. You are far behind the rush because it took you a very long time to get hold of your wife, as the cellphone network was jammed with people doing just what you were. You spent way too much time at home, running around trying to figure out what to grab.

You took a chance at one exit on what you considered the perimeter of the city to attempt to buy gasoline. After leaving your place in the long line of cars leaving the city and waiting in another long line at the pump you find out that: One, they are experiencing the same problems with phone lines as everyone else and are selling via cash only; Two you cannot get cash from the ATM for the same reason - and in any event if it did work it would have been sucked dry by now anyway; Three, because you rely almost exclusively on your plastic (debit or credit cards) neither you or your wife have enough cash to make a dent in the tank anyway.

We could go on with this...you and your family stuck now on the side of the road with others that prepared as well as you. Imagine spending the night out there with angry, scared people -- would you sleep very well thinking of what COULD happen to your family? In any case where the heck are you driving anyway? If this is just a local or regional thing then one assumes most people have family everywhere. If it is more national than regional - did you just become a refugee? We will talk about that.

___

First things first - if you will continue to journey down this path with me is to build/do the following:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Carry around kit
  3. 72 hour kit (Bug out Kit)

Make a Plan:
The news says any number of events on the list you develop occur (or heaven forbid the news outlets are silent in the very worst-case sorts of scenarios). You plan assumes that cell communication may be spotty or unavailable. Your plan allows you to begin execution of key tasks; i.e. pick up the kids, ensure the car in filled with gasoline, everyone meets at home (or where ever makes sense and grabs the 72 hour kits). At this point you are able to make wise informed decisions about your next move. Such a plan might, I say might, include a rendezvous point outside the city if everyone does not get home when expected and contact cannot be established. (You dead on the subway is no reason for your family to die waiting for you if your plan is to displace). ---This topic probably deserves a lot more discussion, in a future post I will point to areas where people are already discussing this a great length

Carry Around Kit:
A small backpack that should be with you at all times and contains essential items that you just might want to have if you are at the office, on the subway etc when things start going all wrong. Moving across a city in chaos could be perilous and will take time.

72 Hour Kit (Bug-out Bag)
This is everything you and each member of your family needs to survive for 72 hours (you need one bag per family member). Many suggest having one or more of these bags at different locations (work, office, car) effectively doing away with the "Carry around bag". There is merit to this because setting up a 72 Hour Kit is not inexpensive and while it is not overly bulky it is not terribly small. While I was in Korea I opted for a smaller "carry around bag" simply because I did not want to haul a full kit on the subway with me - it is a personal risk assessment decision that you have to make.

At a basic minimum, your kit at home should contain all the document, or copies of such, you would need to establish critical elements of who you are in addition to your prescriptions, food, water, clothes etc. (remember this is the stuff you use to allow you to get to where you are going and make good decisions along the way - not desperation decisions).

Just google Bug out bag - the discussions and options are too many to list here.

No mater what you read and what you decide I think the following ought to be in your bag:

Multitool, meds, First Aid kit, cash, small flashlight, matches, fleece jacket and cap, working gloves, charged prepaid cell phone, copies of important papers, photos of family (for missing persons boards), maps of your route and surrounding area, compass, rain parka, small AM/FM radio (or better), antiseptic hand wash (use it often, as an old field Soldier I can tell you what happens if you do not), can opener, toilet paper, headache/painkiller, nodoze/caffeine pills, small bottle of water purification tablets, water bottles (72 hour supply), baby wipes, duct tape, plastic trash bags x4, 100 foot parachute chord, energy bars

You can fit all of that nicely in back pack (here and here are nice ones but cheaper models will do)

That is the cheap man's version basic kit - many will suggest more; Motorola Talkabouts, GPS, pistol and I would too, but the above list is a nice starter for anyone - whether you stay in place a few days or bug out that kit ought to save a lot of burden.

Next Post: Where are you going and why?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Will You Do?

I think I will become Catholic - this is not the subject of this post but sitting in church this morning I could not prevent my mind from running to other subjects. Why you may ask? Contemporary worship - everybody seems to think that is how it must be done. Since I am posted in the middle of nowhere I have only one protestant choice (well two I guess if I considered the Gospel service a real option). Perhaps more on this later...

I was thinking how little I like the term "survivalist" - it is too open ended in its possible meanings and too closed in its perceived meaning. The term in vogue in many places is "prepper" - that just sounds silly to me. I do not yet have an alternative to these terms but let it be noted I like neither and use them only as a frame of reference for anyone that my Google the topics I speak of.

The ideologies encompassing "survivalist" are many and diverse - almost religious in nature. To be certain the reason many become survivalist/preppers in the first place is based upon a religious viewpoint. I am not just talking about Mormons in this regard. There is a large New Age segment in the survivalist community, folks looking to avoid the pain of what they call the "quickening" (and all this time I thought that was something from a Highlander movie).

Of course many people do not become survivalist/prepper for religious reasons as well. We all "know" that America is the Lion and that we have a prime place in the coming end and that all Christians will be pulled out before things get bad. So why prepare for anything at all if one holds that sort of religious world view.

I have my opinions about all three groups listed above and will only say that I do not fall into any of those groups. I think if I had to apply a term to describe me it would be something like "Future Homesteader of America", or maybe more accurately "Pragmatic realist determined not to go hungry or cold a single day on account of massive government stupidity". Yeah that is me - that sums it up - do you think the term will catch on? Probably not.

Despite the ideological and religious differences that cause most people to prepare the benefit to the community as a whole is increased knowledge. There are a lot of people out there figuring out how to do certain things and also figuring out what does not work. This saves everyone money and time.

The thing is, everyone ought to be a "prepper" of some sort. Even if it is nothing more than the "I can live fairly comfortably for a week without power and no access to the grocery store". Of course we are not there and never will be there - but it seems to me that every family should at the least be that prepared.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in going further - just how far? First to put away a couple of images and then ask a few questions.

Up front and right now put away the images of a family or single individual living in a secure cabin in the woods on a southern exposed ravine. For now dismiss the images of you as the hero or a story yet to be written fighting off mobs of two-legged predators hell-bent on taking your food, raping your wife and carting off your children. Forget the images of you as Daniel Boone, bringing home game and skin for your wife to cook, clean and preserve. Put all that away because the reality is that most of you because of age, physical condition or skill-set know you will never be Robinson Crusoe/Rambo/Daniel Boone all wrapped into one. That is a realistic approach, but not a reason to dismiss survivalism altogether. (later we will talk about all those things but for now put them away - they many never apply to you)

Forget, for the moment, that becoming a survivalist means you have to stockpile enough weapons and ammunition to outfight a rifle company. My theory, based upon having been to two war zones more than one time each - a place where everyone has guns and food/water/medicine/government control are not always present - is this. For most people, the required use of a gun to defend their lives, the lives of their family or their property is on average at worst a once in a life-time event.

Hold the hate-mail.

I believe this is the average for a reasonable man even in a terrible situation. Should everyone own a gun, and reasonably know how to use it - darn right. My point is this, for most that might wish to survive most events most of the time the requirement to "gun up" is no greater than the ordinary common-sense requirement to defend one's home in regular times.

Starting from those two points then ask yourself, are you ready to survive most of the circumstances that might face you and your family most of the time (remember no plan is perfect and people die even with good planning - so for sanity and economical reasons we are looking at the "most situations most of the time survival goal").


I will address the rest of this to most of the population - not to the folks living in the country but those in large cities and in the surrounding suburbs. And that is for the next post.