Friday, July 08, 2005

Stick a fork in it

For better or worse, this week is over. I'm too tired to comment properly, so I won't.

Please continue to remember out British brothers in their hour of need.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sureity

I've been following the story of the London terrorist bombings since I first heard about it on my drive to work. I kept checking in during the day, and I've just made my final check on the news for today.

37 dead, 700 wounded. The bombs were apparently detonated by timers and not madmen intent on their quest for a "martyr's death". There are rumors of the discovery of 2 other bombs. No one is sure who organized this.

There is still much that we aren't sure of. But there is one thing we can be sure of. Today, we are all British. May God grant mercy and peace to the dead, solace to the survivors, succor to the wounded, and strength to us all.

Survival information

In keeping with these troubling times, I'm going to be posting more and more on the topic of emergency preparedness, or in less PC terms, survivalism.

Now get back here and sit down. Survivalism isn't a dirty word, even if it has been given a bad reputation via our ever-popular legacy media. Look at it this way--if you own a car, you have auto insurance. If you own a house, you have homeowner's insurance. At a certain age, usually after having kids, you buy life insurance. Well, this is just another kind of insurance. I call it "existence insurance", because it insures your continued existence.

There is a tremendous amount of information on survival on the Internet. Some of it's very basic, some very detailed. Some of it's excellent and some is just plain wrong. Much of it is opinion.

I'm going to assume that if you're reading my blog, you got here in one of 5 ways:
  1. You followed a link from one of my fellow bloggers here. Since the majority of the people who link to me have similar interests, I'll assume you're already interested in the subjects at hand.
  2. You found me by Googling. In that case, I'll still assume you're interested in the subjects at hand.
  3. You got here clicking on Blogger's "Next Blog" button. In that case, I bid you welcome and hope you'll do a little reading and think a bit on what I have to say.
  4. You arrived here via a horrible accident of the web and want to leave as quickly as possible. Click here.
  5. Aliens are holding you hostage and forcing you to read this a ray-gun point. I'm sorry, but you're on your own.
I have a few places in the Survivalism section of my personal website. I'm working toward adding more there. I'm also going to be blogging various places I find here. The two locations may overlap, but they won't be copies of each other. That's on purpose. The website and blog are meant to complement each other.

I've posted a few places with interesting information here before now. (You can use the search box at the top of the page to find them.) I'm going to continue that practice, but there will likely be more posts than before. Time grows short.

A couple of the recent new entries to the blogroll are of the preparedness mindset. Rivrdog has an eexcellent blog, but he also runs a blog that concentrates on preparing for the worst. That blog is Paratus, and it's worth the time. From there I found out that the AnalogKid, another recent entry to the blogroll, is one of us survivalist types as well. In particular he has a good set of posts on the basics called By Ourselves., For Ourselves. I expect this set to keep growing as he has time to add to it.

Next time, I'll get to the links sooner--promise.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Thoughts on Independence Day

I deliberately chose on to spend the 4th of July holiday not thinking about the challenges that face us as a country. Instead, I chose to spend the time enjoying the company of family and friends, exercising my trigger finger and flying my flag.

Yes, I flew my flag, and no, it wasn't upside down. While I'm concerned, worried, scared etc. over what's going on in this country, I decided that I would honor what some chose call the "myth" of America. I honored the idea of a nation founded on the concepts of individual liberty, individual responsibility, hard work and private property--all things that seem to be out of fashion in some circles.

However, the holiday is over, and it's back to reality. So far this year, we've had a lot of unhappy news for those of us who love liberty and who love our country. There have been a lot of stupid laws passed, a lot of police state-like activities and several Supreme Court decisions that give freedom lovers pause. While there are some bright points, by and large things are not going our way.

I've done a sample of opinion from the blogroll. It isn't pretty:

Kim du Toit seems to be in despair over the state of the USA. Given that he fled South Africa (while the gittin' was good) and came here for freedom, this is a development worthy of note. He notes at the bottom of the post that he is closing his blog, however he is still posting "Gratuitous Gun Pics". I hope he is just taking a break. He doesn't know it, but his blog started me down the road to this blog.

However, he's facing pressure from investors in his and his wife's new project (DidToday) to close his blog or loose funding. They say they won't, and I believe that, but the price of free speech will be heavy. Then again, when hasn't it been so?

Geek With A .45 has his thoughts on what's wrong with the country. He also has 2 (1 and 2) signs of hope, and we need all of those we can get. Morale purposes, you know.

Lest Darkness Fall has a more positive post that reminds us of our duties as citizens. Important to note those--there will be a test later, I'm afraid.

Major K, out at the sharp end of the stick, has a Milblogger's view of the day. Here's a man who is far from home, facing danger every day and is unabashedly positive. Thanks, I needed that.

Connie du Toit (Kim's wife) defines a part of the problem we're facing.

Gunner at No Quarters has perhaps the most important July 4th post, wherein he gives us a copy of an important but little known document of our history, the July 6, 1775 "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms". Given the nature of the problems facing us, these words from so long ago may well become a guidebook for us in our future actions.

Publicola is not a happy blogger on July 4.

The AnalogKid (of Random Nuclear Strikes) is also "not a joyous individual", but he's not as completely gloomy as some fellow bloggers.

Riding Sun, checking in from the East, provides us (well, us males, anyway) a brief respite from our cares. (I may be getting old, but thankfully I'm not going blind. My, my, my!)

Rivrdog notes some of the problems facing Kim du Toit, and links them to the greater problem. He has also went to Condition Orange, and is looking to be in Condition Red within 5 years. And I thought I was a pessimist.

His Majesty Emperor Misha has Thoughts on the Fourth.

Sheila O'Malley notes July 4, 1826.

Whew. That's a lot of reading to do. Much is quite dark and/or gloomy, some is historical, and there are some flickers of hope--pretty much how I'm looking at things as well.

Folks, whether we like it or not, we face dark days ahead. Does the Republic have a future? Are we slipping (or did we slip when we weren't paying attention) into Empire?

I think we're not in danger of sliding down that slippery slope--hell, we started sliding a l-o-o-o-ng time ago. The question is, can we dig in our heels and stop in time? Can we slowly drag ourselves back up the hill, occasionally sliding back down a ways, but always struggling toward the top again?

I don't know, but I believe we owe it to our history, to ourselves and to our progeny to try.

On July 4, 1776, men from the 13 colonies pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, signing our Declaration of Independence. Many of those same men lost their lives, their liberty, their families and their fortunes--they lost everything except their sacred honor. They put it all on the line for their principles and their beliefs.

Can we--should we--do any less? How can we not, and still call ourselves Americans?

The time is here to prepare. There is much to do, and time grows short. Do it while you still can--when the feces impact the air handler it'll be too late.
  • Buy your guns and ammo now, and practice. Boston's Gun Bible is your starting point.
  • Begin stocking that pantry with at least 1 year's worth of food for your family.
  • Build your survival library. Knowledge is power.
  • Learn and practice all the skills you're going to need to live and prosper if our modern comforts are difficult or impossible to come by.
  • Build a store of real value--gold, silver and trade goods. Our fiat currency will crumble.
  • Get out of debt. When the crunch comes, debt will crush you.
  • If at all possible, buy a few acres of land as far out of town as you can. Put some sort of shelter on it. You may need a place to go if life in town gets bad.
  • Think about what it would take to raise enough food to feed yourself, and prepare for that eventuality. It's cheap, and gardening is a healthy hobby.
  • Build communities or teams of like minded individuals and families. You're going to need each other's help.
Sounds like a lot to do, doesn't it? It is. I've been thinking and doing since I was about 14 years old, and I haven't completed that list. However, it's important to do as much as you can, because anything you do to prepare will put you ahead of 99% of the population.

There's also two other things you need to do, and they're just as important. The first is not losing hope. It sounds silly, but you have to keep alive the hope that things will turn around and everything you done to prepare won't be needed after all. You can gloom and doom yourself into immobility.

You also need to keep fighting the "forces of darkness". Others may close their blogs, but I am going to keep this one open as long as I can find a way. Get up on a soapbox and speak your mind. Blogger makes it free, and even if you don't own a computer, most public libraries have public access computers. Even if you only post once a month, say your piece--nice and loud! The more people that are talking, the better the chance we can stop the slide.

Never miss the chance to educate those around you. A few weeks ago, I taught my daughter about the evil of fiat currency. You can talk to your friends, family, coworkers, whoever will listen. The beauty is that you don't have to "convert" your listeners. Just bring up the latest Supreme Court lunacy (or what have you) and let nature take its course. The ones who can be brought around will do most of the work themselves. You just have to get them thinking.

Don't forget to educate yourself. Keep up with the news, even when it makes you angry. Forewarned is forearmed.

If you aren't politically active, you need to get active. At the very least, get your ass out and vote for the candidates that are least likely to steal what liberty we have left--or will steal it the slowest. You're buying time with this one--fighting a rear-guard action to give the main force a chance to regroup.

Join groups that work to protect your rights, whether they're firearms rights, property rights, religious freedom--whatever. Don't forget to be active there, as will.

Write your Congresscreatures. "They" say it doesn't work, but "they're" wrong. Politicians are quite amenable to pressure. You can't make them change their ways, but you can make them change their votes.

If we keep up the fight now, we may be able to avert a bigger fight later. Keep your powder dry, your head down and your ears open. It's just beginning....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Double standard?

(Via Drudge)

I seem to recall that usually, the result of unsolicited United States "advice" to Communist China is a quick statement that we're interfering in "Chinese internal affairs" and should butt out.

However, it's Ok for the Chinese to give us "advice", especially when they want to buy one of our energy companies:

"We demand that the U.S. Congress correct its mistaken ways of politicizing economic and trade issues and stop interfering in the normal commercial exchanges between enterprises of the two countries," the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement. "CNOOC's bid to take over the U.S. Unocal company is a normal commercial activity between enterprises and should not fall victim to political interference. The development of economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States conforms to the interests of both sides."

Um-m-m...don't think so, China. You see, while we may argue among ourselves rather rigorously on such matters, you and your state-controlled oil company are butting in in our internal matters when you make such statements. We know that you really don't give a rat's ass about capitalism, except as a method of ensuring your continued dominance and placating an increasingly restless population. And I hope you aren't offended when I, speaking me me only mind you, tell you to stick it where the sun don't shine.

I'm still here

Sorry about the lack of bloggage the last few days. Busy, busy, busy.

First, we had to pick up the kids from their summer camp adventure, which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy--they returned to The Freehold exhausted. They spent a goodly part of the weekend catching up on their sleep, which kind of extended our "parental break" as well--bonus points!

On their return, we made a quick job of laundry (How is it you send them away for 6 days and they go through 9 days of clothes?) and exited town for Camp Freehold, where we spent the 4th of July weekend in the company of friends, sweltering in a Southern summer, dodging thunderstorms while grilling supper each night.

There were a large number of veterans present. They were easy to spot, as many had various t-shirts, license plate or flags advertising their service of choice. The Marines were the best represented, followed by the US Army, Navy and Air Force. I didn't see any Coast Guard this time around. There were also lots of flags, and a parade of golf carts and bicycles, all of which were suitably outfitted in red, white and blue. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the holiday.

Of course, there was a shooting event at the range--what weekend is complete without trigger time? It was primarily a sidearm weekend, and the impromptu contest that evolved was 50 yard pistol shooting from a resting position. None of us broke 50% shooting at a 10" steel target, but as one participant noted, "We'da scared 'im ta death." A couple of the participants tried 100 yards with the same target, but that was a bit beyond our abilities. No one managed a hit after around 20 tries, so we decided that that was enough and called it a day.

However, the biggest part of the slowdown has been computer related. In fact, I'm doing this post at work, since my computer is still sidelined. It's a long story, but it involves new hardware, software upgrades, a computer the probably should have been reformatted (if not outright retired) a while back, and the hijinks that ensue. I hope to have things sorted out in the next couple of days, just in time to disappear again for the weekend.

Either that, or "Dude, it's time to get a Dell!" At this rate, between ammo and computers, I'm going to have to ask for a raise.