Friday, September 02, 2005

Outta here

Gas issues aside, we're off to Camp Freehold shortly. I anticipate, if not relish, the opportunity to discuss survivalism with a number of our neighbors there.

There are a lot of other people in areas besides New Orleans who deserve our help. Please consider a donation to one of the many organizations who are working to provide them with relief.

SITREP: a small town in Piedmont NC

Gas prices seem to have stabilized in the $3.10-$3.30 range. Two stations out of gas; one of them for 36+ hours. Other stations seem to be getting deliveries, so not sure what to make of it.

Despite the governor's request to limit unnecessary driving, vehicle traffic seems to be about normal.

No obvious signs of panic, but gas prices, Katrina and New Orleans seem to be the topics of the day. I have personally spoken to several people who are thinking out loud--could this happen here, what would we need to do to be prepared, how would we defend ourselves. As usual, I'm my helpful self to those folks. No time like the present to get folks interested in survival.

Mad Max: Beyond Superdome

I'm probably going to sound like an unfeeling bastard, but what the hell is up with these people in New Orleans? Sure, there is post hurricane lawlessness in other areas, but New Orleans is so far in the lead for looting, arson and general stupidity on the part of everyone from the citizens to the President that I'm just flabbergasted! If Gulfport, MS started right now to try and catch up to New Orleans, they'll never even see their tailights.

New Orleans lies roughly 20' below sea level. The levees and pumps were designed to deal with a Category 3 hurricane, and they had a Category 5 bearing down on them, but with several days notice. They're telling people to evacuate, but they don't reverse all the roads out of town. Some people in New Orleans inexplicably decide to stay and ride out the storm--and don't give me this crap that they were poor--doesn't New Orleans have school busses that could have been put to good use? We put 20,000 people in a sports stadium that may or may not stay intact since it isn't designed for this level of storm and where they know the plumbing will fail in 24 hours, and without enough food or water.

Then the storm hits and takes a last second jog east. Of course, it's still a big Category 4 storm, and New Orleans is still under it. After it clears, people start coming out saying they're out of food; out of water. You idiots! OK, so you ignored the advice to leave, I guess you must have ignored FEMA and everyone else saying "If you stay, you need to have 3 days minimum food and water. So they start looting the grocery stores, and we're going to forgive this, because they have no food or water. Well, maybe, if it was lost in the storm. Maybe. But I'm starting to not buy that crap.

The next day, almost predictably, the levees fail, and the city starts flooding. Now people are looting all sorts of goods, not just food. The cops watch, and it's rumored that they joined in in some cases. Today, the morons start burning the city. The National Guard is starting to move in, so I hear, but right now New Orleans is some bizarre post-apocalyptic landscape. The Superdome is starting to sound like the Torturedome. Mad Max would be an improvement, albeit a minor one.

It doesn't help my attitude that they're separating kids from their pets, either. Things aren't bad enough, we have to just throw gas on the fire. Guaranteed here's one kid who will never, ever walk across the street to piss on a cop if he's on fire. This is just one story--you know that in reality there are thousands of similar ones where the protectors become unfeeling, rule-bound bullies. Your government at work.

Why did the local and state officials not better prepare for this when the weather was clear? And I don't mean last week, I mean years ago--they were warned, for cryin' out loud! By their own state university, they were warned. If nothing else, they had several days knowledge that this thing was coming. They could have prepositioned supplies at least. I mean, it wouldn't have been hard, since they didn't reverse the roads--the trucks could have rolled right in. No traffic.

The federal response has been similarly inept. Yeah, I know the FEMA and Homeland (In)Security talking heads have been saying how much they're going to do, but it isn't getting to the worst hit areas. Spare me the part about "the roads are flooded, blocked with trees/stolen by space aliens". We're the nation who handled the Berlin airlift--we can't figure out something?

Well of course not--they aren't safe! The morons are shooting at the helos. I suppose we don't have any gunships handy....

This is our wake up call, and in more ways than one. When I can calm down a bit, I'm going to do a "lessons learned" sort of post. What we should have done, what we did that didn't work, and what we got right (boy, do I bet that part is going to be short).

What an f'ing mess.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh a happy note

GajinBiker at Riding Sun is having a caption contest. Go play.

A great blog goes quiescent

I note that Kim du Toit is going silent, not because anyone has finally "gotten" to him, but in favor of earning a living. You can read the full story here. Kim hopes to post occasionally, but earning a living has to take precedence. The man definitely has his priorities straight.

The Nation of Riflemen Forum will be staying online, which is a good thing. I rarely post but I frequently lurk. Lots of good stuff goes on there.

Here's hoping that Kim lands a lucrative job with short hours, and can return to being his curmudgeonly self soon.

SITREP: a small town in Piedmont NC

Gas price ranges from $2.80 to $3.30 for regular. Price increase at the station nearest my house of $0.30 in 1 hour. Long, but orderly, lines at all stations I passed; some news reports of stations running out of gas.

Still many people driving, idling in lines waiting for whatever. Obviously, they haven't gotten the memo yet.

Bimonthly run to Walmart. Store uncharacteristically uncrowded. Prices on some things up; stable on many things. Food and paper products seem to be taking the brunt of the price increases.

If this doesn't last long, we may get out of this with a quarter of bad economic numbers. If this keeps up, expect Bad Things.

I'm starting to get a feel for how my Dad felt in the 70s.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

TEOTWAWKI

TEOTWAWKI is a term, coined by Mike Medintz on misc.survivalism IIRC,that stands for The End Of The World As We Know It.

Hurricane Katrina isn't TEOTWAWKI, but it's the closest thing we've seen in the US. Destruction on a mass scale--New Orleans misses a bullet only to be run over by a steam roller, the entire Mississippi coast turned more or less into kindling wood, heavy damage in Georgia into the Florida panhandle. Don't forget the Florida peninsula, either--they got hit a good lick as well. The destruction extends way inland, and past the belt of destruction, it's flooding rains as the "remnants" of the storm move northeast.

Probably hundreds dead, over a million without power, no water (drinkable water, anyway) and no food. The governor of Louisiana is ordering a full evacuation of the remaining population in New Orleans as Lake Pontchartrain enters the city through a broken levee--the pump system has failed. Looting has broken out, and the police can't do much to stop it. Fires burn out of control, as blocked streets block firefighters. Further inland, floods are the order of the day.

Rescuers are too few and too far between. People are stranded in attics, on rooftops and in trees. They're working against time trying to save everyone they can get to. They won't get to everyone in time. Too many need rescuing.

However, help is moving toward the area. No matter how fast it arrives, it'll be "too slow", but that's a typical human reaction. Once the rescue and then recovery operations are complete, the cleanup will start, and eventually the rebuilding.

Expect to see higher gas, diesel, natural gas and propane prices. Expect to see insurance companies go bankrupt as the claims come pouring in. Building supplies will go up. So will manufactured houses. All this as the area sucks up a tremendous amount of resources in rebuilding.

Now, imagine all of this, spread out across the country. Imagine no help will be coming--you're on your own. No FEMA, no Salvation Army, no Red Cross, no National Guard. No one will fix the levee, no one will put out the fires, no helicopters to rescue anyone. This is TEOTWAWKI.

What we, as survivalists, as seeing now is something of a dress rehearsal. Let's hope it's a dress rehearsal for a play that never opens. Pay attention, and learn your lessons, just in case you need them.

But spare a prayer for the victims, and help out if you can.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sincerely Yours, The Breakfast Club

Sheila at The Sheila Variations has a 20th birthday celebration of the 1985 movie "The Breakfast Club".

This is a great movie. If you didn't know these people in high school, I think you're lying to yourself. You may have even been one of them. I wasn't, but I swear I knew everyone of them.

The thing about high school is not so much that you're learning whatever your classes are about, but that you're learning to be an adult. You're on your own much of the day, after a certain age most people get a car or fairly ready access to one (making them independently mobile), and Mom and Dad cease to be the biggest influences in your life. If you're really lucky, you make friendships that will last through your life. In 4 years, the world changes.

You will never grow so much as you will in high school and college, with the exception of military service. And you will never, ever hurt like you do in high school, because it's all new. Yeah, you'll hurt when a girlfriend dumps you in college, but it will never hurt like it did when the first one dumped you in high school.

The Breakfast Club clues in on just about all of this, and it does so without being overly schmaltzy about it. John Hughes did a hellva job on this one.

Happy Birthday, Breakfast Club.

Busted!

Via an email list I subscribe to, here's the latest on the Richmond/ATF/Showmasters festivities. VCDL filed a Freedom of Information request with the Virginia State Police. This pdf file is the reply to that request.

It seems that if you live in certain areas of Richmond or Henrico County, you are targeted for some sort of anti-gang enforcement action. Try to buy a gun at a Showmasters show and the authorities will show up on your doorstep. Note on the last page that the next enforcement activity is scheduled for the March show.

Boys and girls, this is BS, pure and simple. The bad guys are far from likely to show up at a gun show to buy guns. They're going to buy them from some guy in "da hood" who doesn't do a Form 4473.

What's next? Are the Food Police going to show up at your house if you go to McDonalds and try to buy a Big Mac?

Carnival of Cordite #28

The Carnival of Cordite #28 is up, again hosted at Resistance is futile!. As usual, much good stuff--particularly the gunfighting rules.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Need a good argument for being prepared?


Here ya go.

Spare a prayer for all those in the path of this true freak of nature.