Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Ho-hum

Just checking in. While there is much going on, both in the world, our country and my life, there isn't a thing that I honestly care to talk much about. I'm working on things around the house and watching entirely too many history, tool and how-to videos on YouTube. I don't know if it's the summer heat of the monotonous drumbeat of a society that seems hell-bent for destruction, but I feel nothing really merits much discussion at this point.

Mark my words, either later this even or tomorrow something will happen that prompts a post. It always does when I put up one of these "Not dead yet!" posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

This merits some celebration!

I'm not sure why, but I was moved to click on the link to the Home On the Range blog, which has resided in the "Absent Friends" section for quite a while after it was taken private. Guess what--it isn't private any longer! Good news, because Brigid has always been one of the best voices blogging.

The lies about lard

(Via the Woodpile Report)

Growing up, I remember both of my grandmothers cooking with lard. Biscuits, pie crusts, fried chicken--all of these things required lard. You know something I don't remember as a young kid? People with memory diseases like Alzheimer's. I remember one person out of all the ones I knew. He was a nice old guy, who could remember the first World War but not where he lived. Folks in my grandmother's very small town always made sure he got home safely.

It seems that lard, along with a lot of the other fats many of us of a certain age grew up with, got an undeservedly bad rep that is now being reviewed.

About damn time. Biscuits haven't tasted right in years.

Central Nervous System stop

(Via Gab)

Could you deliver a head shot, cold, under maximum stress, on demand? A Texas husband could and did. There is a reasonable chance his wife is alive because he could.

Texas: Intruders Hold Man's Wife at Gunpoint - Man Takes One Out With Headshot, Accomplice Flees

As Freedom Outpost points out, the recidivism rate of dead bad guys is zero. Hard wisdom there.

I was talking with someone over Facebook (when I still did Facebook) some time back, and we were talking about firearms practice. I pointed out that for years, my family has been shooting at 8" round steel plates at our range. When the discussion of Central Nervous System stops came up in relation to shooting terrorists came up, I made the comment that little did we know we had been practicing for just that scenario for years, never realizing that we were doing it.

Time to go practice it some more.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Saving a DeWalt lithium battery

Something that's guaranteed to jerk my chain is going to grab a battery powered tool and finding out that not only does it need charging, but that the battery won't take a charge. Tools with lithium batteries are the absolute worst for "Hey, you've only charged the battery 5 times, but it won't charge now and you need to spend $50 for a new battery."

I didn't like that particular BS when I was working and now that I've retired, I really don't like it. I'm not a piggy bank for DeWalt or aftermarket battery manufacturers. While a number of my tools are corded, I'm like everyone else--I prefer to work without the cords. Especially when you only need to drill one hole, it's just a lot less hassle in you life.

A project I've been putting off, because I knew it wasn't going to be even a little fun, was replacing the throttle cable on our 4 wheeler. It had been allowed to sit for longer than it's a good idea to let such things sit, and the throttle cable had seized. A basic inspection a while back had shown that the thing was routed by way of Albuquerque to get from the handlebars and the throttle body, so I had let it wait until I had no more excuses. Well, I'm now fresh out, so it was time to deal with it.

After considerable disassembly, much speculation on the intelligence of the designers and engineers and some swearing, I determined it wasn't the cable, but something in the throttle body itself that was the problem. After backing off the cable adjuster, I could get things to move, but it felt very...sticky. Some research on the Intertubz brought to light that the throttle plate can get gummed up and cause the problem.



OK, off to the auto parts store for throttle body cleaner. After I got home, I disassembled even more of the 4 wheeler, and found out that a double-jointed monkey couldn't get to a point where he could peer down the opening into the throttle body. Consulting my handy shop manual (You don't think I went into this blind, do you?) on the process for removing the throttle body, I decided that a root canal performed with a jackhammer and hot tongs would be preferable. So I went to get my DeWalt inspection camera.

An inspection camera is one of those tools you don't need a lot, but when you need it there is no substitute. This one has saved my bacon several times since I bought it. I expected the battery to be in need of charge, because I couldn't guess when it was last used. Sure enough it was dead, and when I slapped it in the charger, rather than the blinking red light, I got...

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Well crap, this is the only thing I have out of all my DeWalt tools that uses a 12v lithium battery. After this one and a 20v lithium DeWalt drill, I've sworn off the things, and started buying NiMh rebuild kits (and a couple of compatible DeWalt chargers) and rebuilding my old NiCad battery packs. The Li-ions are just too damn picky--especially if you work them hard and they are discharging fast. They'll turn themselves off and refuse to run. Thanks, but no.

Now the swearing started in earnest. I tried an inspection mirror, but no joy. There is no way to get the angle needed to see down the throat of the throttle body. Nothing for it but to price a replacement on Amazon and wait two days for Prime to drop it on my doorstep.

After a mild case of sticker shock for the DeWalt-branded battery, and briefly considering the no-names, I had this hair-brained idea--Is there was some way to fix this dead battery, even temprorarily?

Once again, the Intertubz provideth:



Of course, my situation was different, but as Gunny Highway said, "Improvise, overcome, adapt." I took a 12v NiMh and jumpered it to the dead Li-ion and waited a bit. When the jumpers were warm to the touch, I figured that we had transferred enough juice to give it a try. Guess what?



The little sucker is sitting on my workbench now, charging it's little heart out. I suppose I'm going to have to develop a habit of charging batteries on a semi-regular basis. Bloody inconvenient.

Edit, 7/25/2018: Just for the sake of completeness, the ATV problem was indeed a sticking throttle plate. It took 2 hours of disassembly to get to it and 4 tiny spritzes of cleaner to cure the problem. I don't know whether to laugh or set the thing on fire. I'll probably laugh.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Internet Censorship--Brother, can you spare a mimeo machine?

(Via SurvivalBlog)

As you may guess, I"m catching up on reading some of my blogroll. Rawles, it seems, has been on something of a roll of late. Then again, there's always a fair bit of interesting stuff on his blog.

I want to bring this piece of original content to your attention, where he writes about Internet censorship. You've read me bitching about Google, with who I have a grumble/hate relationship. Rawles goes considerably further in "The Internet Gulag: Demonetization, Demonization, and Deletion", covering a number of disturbing trends that have been going on for some time now--the demonitization of blogs and YouTube channels, the ongoing demonization of anyone who dares contradict Leftist orthodoxy and the outright deletion of content that offends the liberal and self-appointed keepers of the Intertubz.

The important information he provides is, in essence a call to be ready to respond to their overreach with a modern samizdat. I know I've brought this up, maybe here, definitely in other places, by urging people to rebuild the old FidoNet BBS system. While it's still around, it's nothing like it's old self, and it would be a great thing for it to begin rebuilding. There is also amateur packet radio, which is also still around but also not as big as it once was. These alternatives to the big, corporate-controlled avenues of communication could be vital alternatives if things go sideways.

Something more to think about as we wait for whatever it is slinking toward us.

Edit, 7/24/2018: Change to the title to make it flow better and sound more familiar.

Well this could be a little...chilling

(Via SurvivalBlog)

Not everyone donates to political candidates, but some of us do, at least from time to time. While this my by law be public record, did you ever expect that your name might show up on a web site for any nutjob with an ax to grind to see? Yes, in the holy name of "openness" we're going to let fruitcakes like Antifa, Mothers Against Whatever Michael Bloomberg Dislikes This Week or whatever gather intelligence and paint targets on people they don't approve of.

Something to consider before you write that check. Perhaps a good reason to have a legal trust that can do such things for you.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Wise words

The Woodpile Report #536 is out; has been sine July 3. As usual, Ol' Remus says it far better than I can. Please go read the opening portion of #536. You really should read it all, but the opening is incredibly important.

While the winds of change can still decide to blow in another direction, it doesn't seem like that is going to happen. We're due for Bad Times. If you aren't ready, you need to take as much advantage of the time we have left and get ready now.

Seriously.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

The Higher Education Racket

(Via the Drudge Report)

The headline of the Boston Globe article reads "Lawrence Bacow promises a more outward-looking Harvard". For those of you who have never been involved in higher ed, and a lot of us who have been, the the first thing that occurs to us is "Who the hell is Lawrence Bacow?"

He's the new president of Harvard. As such, he is at the top of the higher ed food chain. Harvard is one of the largest universities in the US in pretty much any category that actually matters--prestige, endowment, quality of students and so on. No, their football team never wins the Rose Bowl. Heck, they never even smell the roses. But in higher ed, while athletics may often be the tail that wags the academic dog, no academic thinks it actually matters. In reality, I agree with them. Any kid who goes to college to play a sport with the hopes of a further career as a pro athlete is a fool. Look up the stats.

Bacow isn't a fool. Sure, he's been in higher ed most of his career, but you don't get to be president of Harvard if you're a fool. He realizes that higher ed is facing challenges unlike any time in its history in the United States. The cost of attendance to any school past high school has been increasing at a rate far past inflation for years. Too many students are getting degrees that, after graduation, qualify them for work at Starbucks. Colleges and universities are seen as cesspools of far left politics. All in all, higher ed has a big image problem, and it's getting worse by the semester. The public's perception of of higher ed as a whole is only somewhat ahead of Congress and the media.

Having worked in higher ed, I can tell you a lot of this is absolutely true. While I miss my old job, there are a lot of things about it I don't miss.

  • I don't miss trying to explain to parents why their kid ought to come to college when I didn't send both of my kids to college and firmly believe that not all kids need to go to a four year school.
  • I don't miss watching the cost of attendance ratchet up at a stupefying rate as schools try to outdo each other with facilities that look more like luxury vacation get-aways rather than college campuses. My house isn't as nice as some residence halls I've seen. 
  • I don't miss watching students signing away years of their lives on the dotted lines of student loan forms. Most of them barely understand the concept of borrowing money, let alone the scale of what they're borrowing. Add to that the methodology of calculating how much they're allowed to borrow, which is too complex to go into here, and they wind up with far more than they really should be allowed to borrow. At the beginning of every semester, the new tats, smart phones, TVs, laptops and so one, paid for by that excess borrowed money, boggle the mind.
  • I don't miss watching majors such as sports medicine, art, sports management, religion, communications, religious music and so on being filled up with students attending on borrowed money. The majority of these kids will face three employment futures. They will either A) Never work in the field they're educated in; B) Work in it and face a life of being chronically under-paid and under-employed or C) Both A and B. The world only needs so many of these folks, and the bitty school I worked at graduated enough by itself for the entire eastern half of the US. But they all still have to pay back those student loans, so penury becomes a way of life.
  • That "cesspool of liberalism" thing. Great Bleeding Ghu. Scratch an academic and 97-98 times out of 100, you'll find a socialist or a communist. As a staff member, I got pretty good at biting my tongue. It was that or get fired.
As a college grad, I can tell you that my college experience has paid off for me tremendously. My degree and what I learned lifted me from my blue collar beginnings into the middle class, white collar world. Having lived in both, trust me when I tell you the middle class one is much more pleasant. Mrs. Freeholder has a less dramatic experience, but she tends to agree with the basic sentiment.

As the parent of two recent college age kids, the experience is far different. Higher ed and it's BA/BS degree is becoming the equivalent of the high school diploma of my youth. I feel a large part of that is because our education system, from elementary to college, is not teaching as much at any given level. There were too many times that I saw papers written by students--and I mean juniors and seniors--at my former employer that would have earned a big fat red F in one of my high school English classes. I will guarantee these kids got a C and pushed along toward graduation.

My kids also demonstrate something else I've noticed. Daughter graduated from a well-thought of university with a BA in business. She struggled for 4 years to find a job in her field, went back for a masters degree and still really hasn't found one that's up to her skills and abilities, though she has found something that pays well enough for her to move out of the house. (Yay!)

Son went to the local community college and got an AAS in welding, along with 8 certificates in various aspects of the trade. He had a job lined up when he graduated. He's been working there about 18 months. He moved out before his sister, and on the average week makes at least 25% more than she does. Obviously it's hot, dirty work, but he likes it. His total education cost somewhat less than one year of Daughter's.

You tell me--which kid benefited more from their education, especially in terms of bang for the buck?

I'm not the only parent noticing this sort of thing. Parents across the country are demanding that colleges and universities prove the value proposition of their product. Even Daughter's university made a big point in 2009 when she started that they realized that it was expensive to send a child to school there and their goal was to see their students graduate in 4 years, and they were serious about it. Daughter did it in 4 years and two summer sessions, the summer session caused by a change in major.

The Globe article notes that many smaller schools are "struggling to remain open." That's putting it mildly. Unless they're blessed with a large endowment (say mid-hundreds of $millions) small schools are fighting for their lives. My former employer has been one disaster away from closing for years, and remains one disaster away from closing. In the higher ed press, it's an acknowledged fact that within 10 years, at least 15% of small, rural, private liberal arts schools will be closed. I suspect it will be worse than that.

This will not be confined to small schools, rural schools, private schools or liberal arts schools. The Globe article also notes that "Public universities also saw their second straight year of declining revenue growth...." I know that in the University of North Carolina system, there are at least 2 campuses that are in danger of failing for lack of students. I imagine other large public university systems face similar circumstances. Public university and community college systems are also facing declining taxpayer support at the state level in many states. Several NC community colleges have successfully turned to their local governments and gotten 1/4 cent sales tax levies passed to help with funding issues.

Finally, there is, what from the point of view of many, is the political indoctrination aspect of higher education. From Harvard and UC-Berkeley to Evergreen State, our colleges and universities seem to have become more institutions where our young are taught what to think rather than how to think. Again, from personal experience as both a university staff member and a parent who had kids in higher ed, I can attest that, in my experience, this is true. Only the strong teachings we bestowed on our children before sending them off into these dens of vipers allowed them to emerge without being assimilated by the Academic Borg.

President Bacow may have his heart in the right place, but I have to wonder if he is compromised from the outset. He may also be simply biting off more than he can chew. Time will tell--and given the current state of things in this country, time is the one resource he may not have much of.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Unwanted guests

If you've ever made the mistake of trying to explain to people why they should be ready for emergencies, especially long duration emergencies, you've gotten what I think of as "The Line":

"Oh, I'll just come stay with you!"

To which my answer has often been "Looters are going to be shot on sight," delivered utterly deadpan. That tends to shut the conversation down rather quickly, which at that point is my intention, because I figure they're not taking it seriously anyway.

There are those who are a bit more charitable by nature, or who find themselves in a position where they can be more charitable. On SurvivalBlog, one such has written a well thought-out piece on how they plan on handling the situation.

Personally, I doubt they'll ever need to put it into action, other than sending their messages. The people they're aiming it at will be stuck in the outbound traffic, so it will all be moot.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Something that isn't politics

(Via Gab)

It's simply made of awesome.

Since we told cable TV to take a hike, I've been watching all sorts of things (at the moment, I'm binge watching McHale's Navy) and one of my favorites has become YouTube. Yeah, it's an arm of Google. Can't help that, it's where all the videos are.

The video below has turned me on to a whole subculture (correct term?) of Russian craft/maker videos. These folks are doing some amazing work, and this was the gateway project for me. I get this feeling that my whole downsizing concept may be screwed. This looks like too much fun to ignore.

Data points...we've got data points

(Links from Drudge and elsewhere)

Dammit, politics again.

Democrats encourage violence against supporters of President Trump.

SCOTUS upholds the travel ban that named several majority Muslim countries, the New York Times has a major temper tantrum.

Public sector unions lose the ability to force non-member employees to pay them partial dues, American democracy ends.

SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, Leftists lose their minds.

Are you seeing a pattern here? For every setback suffered, the Left goes into paroxysms of hate and threatens to take action. Look back to Inauguration Day, and they've steadily been getting worse in terms of threats of violence and threats of violence, especially from elected officials.

"We shall protest in DC, we shall demonstrate on the streets and the boulevards, we shall fling poo with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our safe spaces, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the park benches, we shall fight on the concert stages, we shall fight in the parks and in the streets, we shall fight in the restaurants; we shall never surrender..."

Yeah, if we could on snark at them until they gave up and went back to their parents' basements. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it's going to happen. This time, they want a real fight, and this time, our side seems more than willing to oblige them.

Watch for the data points. They're pointing to something that can't be defined with certainty just yet. But don't wait too long to do what you need to do to be ready for the worst.  I'm not a big believer in polls, but I don't disbelieve in them either. A lot of our fellows are worried. Scared comes after that, and scared people can do stupid things. Stupid things can cause all sorts of unexpected problems.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Home invasions get worse

I'm sure some of you are thinking "Someone or a group of people has just busted through the door--how is this going to get worse?" Well, how about when the invaders torture you for information on where you've stashed your goodies, and when you don't have information that mollifies them, they torture your kid.

Up next on the ladder of escalation: family murdered when they don't have enough goodies to satisfy the invaders.

Items for you to consider: Firearms and training (obviously), driveway alarms, burglar alarms with panic buttons/central monitoring/voice response, hardened doors and door frames, shatter-resistant film for easily accessible windows, external and internal camera systems with smart phone apps and recording capabilities and safe rooms. You can do an Internet search on any of these terms and get yourself started.

Don't think that you live in a safe neighborhood or that living in the country is going to protect you from this sort of thing. It won't. If it isn't crooks, it might be political opponents, or some random idiot from the Intertubz.

We used to discuss why you would want to be armed at home. Now the discussion is rapidly becoming where and how many guns and magazines to stage around your home.

Monday, June 25, 2018

SPLC, thy name is LOSE

It seems the Southern Poverty Law Center (which is none of those things) has lost a court case to a former Islamic radical that it slandered--to the tune of $3.375 million.

That ought to put at least a little ding in their operations. I just hope it encourages others to sue them as well.

"They're coming for you next."

(Via Breitbart)

Once again, even though I'm trying not to do a lot of politics on the blog, I have to go there. The weekend's events involving Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Maxine Waters and a cast of Leftist Loons has brought us to the intersection of a number of things that are of concern to me and I believe of those of you who stop by here from time to time.

I've referenced talk about a brewing civil war in our country more than once, and I remain amazed that we didn't have a big outbreak of rioting last summer in light of the election of Donald Trump and the overwrought theatrics of the Resistance crowd and the more dangerous actions of the so-called Antifa. Given the events of this weekend, I have to wonder if we'll manage to skate through this summer without major problems. We'll just have to wait and see.

But this weekend's worth of calls that seek to cast supporters of Donald Trump as "the other" ought to scare the crap out of anyone with enough intelligence to come inside out of the rain. This is the same thing that was done in, dare I say it, Nazi Germany against the Jews. A group needs to be made the focus of all the anger and the hate--they need to be made "the other". The Left has tried it with little success against gun owners over the last several decades. Since that hasn't worked, but more importantly, since their utter rage has left them not in control of their limited faculties, they are now trying it with a larger and more diverse group, supporters of Donald Trump. The popular name for this is "Trump Derangement Syndrome", but I think that cute name really misses the true danger of the situation.

If they keep this up, or Lord help us, if they ratchet up not only the screaming but start taking actual physical actions against Trump supporters, THIS WILL NOT END WELL. It can't, not this time. Face it, a lot of Trump supporters happen to be Second Amendment advocates, and I'd wager a lot of them have concealed carry permits and go armed. Put some of them into situations where they are in fear for their lives or the lives of those under their care, and there will probably be gunfire. Somewhere in that vicinity, the feces will impact the air impeller and It Will Be On. The 24 Hour News Machine will blow any incident totally out of proportion within 30 minutes and as one of my favorite movie lines goes, "This business will get out of control. This business will get out of control  and we'll be lucky to live through it."

I believe the diversity of Trump supporters also brings an element of danger to this that is underappreciated. While there are certain large groups that are mostly behind Trump, you can find his supporters spread across every demographic you'd care to name. There are Trump supporters in double digits in every minority, age group, labor skill and locality. While it may only be in the teens or it may be 90%+, they're out there. The same goes for those who oppose Trump. With this sort of divide, neither side can safely assume that they can act with impunity anywhere, but both sides will be foolish enough to do so. This will cause further problems.

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has a long but good video on this subject. As someone who is generally apolitical, I find his take on the subject highly interesting. I have to wonder if the fence sitters are beginning to decide that they are going to have to join one side or the other. This is a behavior often seen before large social dislocations begin in earnest, and would be another sign of Bad Things to come.

No one can say for certain what is coming. I think the signs aren't promising, but they haven't been promising before and things have quieted down and worked out more or less OK. I'm really going to be watching this carefully and staying alert for signs of airborne feces. I suggest that you do the same.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Blogger strikes again

Yes, I know, I really ought to get off Blogger. I'm guilty of taking the path of least resistance here, but I suppose I'm going to have to give it more consideration, and sooner rather than later. Because this place just keeps getting better and better. Every. Time. I. Turn. Around.

Normally, Blogger will send me an email when I have a comment awaiting moderation. At some point, something fritzed, and by sheer accident I just found 7 comments, some over 30 days old, awaiting moderation. Merde.

They're all now moderated and posted. On behalf of the Google behemoth, you have a sincere "We don't care, we don't have to; you're the product and we give you this crap for free, so what do you want?" On my part, sorry about that.

As for me, I'm going to see if a setting got untwiddled. If that isn't it, I'll simply have to remember to look every couple of days for comments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Home invasions

I don't want to belabor this subject too much; I know we've gone over it before. However, this one happened in a nearby small city, so it has perked up my situational awareness antennae just a tad.

High Point man charged with attempted murder in connection with home invasion

The fact that there was a home invasion in that particular small city doesn't surprise me; the place has been know for violence since before World War II. My Dad was stationed for a short time in another nearby city and they weren't allowed to go there as it was "off limits". The common name for the place? "Little Chicago".

Here's the part that I want to draw your attention to, good and hard:

"Witnesses told police that five armed men forced their way into the home and began shooting."


Five dudes came crashing in and started shooting. No warning and no "Give us the money" or "Give us the drugs." Sure, there is obviously more than they decided they wanted to shoot someone, but here's the thing--are you ready for 5 guys, or 5 women, or 5 irate raccoons for that matter, to come busting through your door, shooting or not? What gun do you have handy right now? How many rounds does it have in it? Got a spare mag or three? Better yet, got an AR handy?

How about the doors? Have you hardened them, even a little, so they won't open at the first kick? Do you keep your cell phone handy? Got a plan in place with the wife and any kids for this situation? Or do you plan on winging it? Feel free to groan, but "Failing to plan is planing to fail."

Yeah, so much for not belaboring the subject. Sorry, but it's starting to get weirder by the day out there, and we're going to have to be ready to deal with it.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Just a couple of points

Armed bystander shoots, kills gunman in Walmart parking lot.

Point #1: You are your own first responder.

Point #2: It isn't fireworks or balloons popping. It's gunfire and you need to react according, NOW. Better to be embarrassed than dead.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The rest of the story

(With apologies to the late Paul Harvey for stealing his famous tag line.)

A few posts ago I did a little thing about how the excellent equipment of a fishing boat made the rescue of the crew nearly a non-event in the annals of search and rescue. Now we have a new article with details on the mechanics of the rescue from someone who took part in it. At least for me it's a really interesting story which raises some interesting questions about just how did the crew of the Aunt T wind up needing rescue in the first place.

More later if I happen to see it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

When things don't go quite the way you thought they'd go


I'm not sure whether I feel sorry for these sanctimonious turd burglars because they're being taken advantage of by unscrupulous adults who don't give a tinker's damn about them or if I'm simply laughing at their utter blindness to how the world really works. Either way, they're giving The Gun Salesman of the Year, 2008-2016 a run for his money. Keep it up, kids. One of these days you're going to look back at this episode in your life and go "Oh God, that was me!"

And the Internet will never let you forget it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The top X items that will disappear from the shelves when something horrible happens

So how many lists have you seen along the lines of that title? Five, 6, a dozen? 50 items, 100 items--crap, if something bad enough happens the shelves in every store of any description are going to be stripped as bare as, well, pretty doggone bare. If you don't believe me, get on YouTube on look for the videos of people stripping grocery stores ahead of snowstorms or hurricanes. These are events that we know are relatively localized and where outside help will be coming, at some point at any rate.

Imagine what your local Big Box Mart is going to look like within a few hours of Whatever Big Event Makes Everyone Realize We're Screwed. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the thing myself.

But these lists can serve a purpose, and that is to help your thinking about things you may have missed. Yes, you're supposed to have lists of lists and all that, but how many of us actually do that? I'll admit I haven't. I should, but there is always something that--squirrel!

I've had a few tabs open for weeks, and this list of 72 items is one of them. I left it because it's one of the ones that seem to have some small amount of thought in it. However, in the interest of helping you preserve your capital for the important stuff and give you even more to mentally chew on, I'm going to fisk this thing.

  • Bottled Water: Don't buy it, store it. Use old soft drink bottles or 55 gallon food grade blue drums (or better, both) and store the stuff out of your tap. Have at least two ways on hand to re-purify the stuff when you need to tap into the supply. If you use the barrels, you're going to need a pump (two is better) or keep them in racks and then have taps for them.
  • Cooking oils, powdered milk and all storable foods: Nothing wrong with any of this, but for heaven's sake, store what you eat, eat what you store and don't store more than you can eat before it goes off.
  • Jerky: Only if you make your own. I've seen good steak that costs less per pound.
  • First Aid Kits: No, no and no. Get advice from someone like Patriot Nurse or Doc Bones and Nurse Amy and build your own. The pre-made kits are usually junk.
  • Wines and Liquors: I wouldn't. While they may make good barter goods, you don't need the temptation and that particular sort of barter good makes you a really tempting target while not doing you a lot of good if you can't barter it. If you want to make tinctures, store Everclear or high-proof vodka and skip the rest.
  • Tobacco products: Ditto.
  • Gas Masks: Please, put the money into N95 masks instead. At least you may find those useful. If you really need gas masks, you'll probably going to die anyway. Seriously.
  • Construction Supplies: They mention a lot of things, but not nails, screws, nuts, bolts and so on. Without them, the rest will be somewhat difficult to use.
  • Clothing: Again, they mention certain kinds of clothing, but you're going to be wearing out and using up all kinds of clothing. You're going to want a deep closet if whatever the Big Problem is lasts for a long while.
  • Candles: Only if you have no other choice, and this goes for any sort of fuel burning light generating device. Why? Because you can burn down your house, and there will be no fire department to call if you have an oops. Learn ways to make light without flames. Solar landscape lights are great for this. Stock up on extra ni-cad batteries in the appropriate sizes for when the originals wear out.
  • Insulation: A big roll or two of bubble wrap will be handy. Stick it to windows for extra insulation in cold weather, peel it off and save it for re-use when it warms up.
  • Bicycles: Darn skippy! Mountain bikes or similar will be best, because the roads won't last forever. In my book these will be a better option than horses for a long time.
  • Generators: Only useful until the fuel runs out. Bear that in mind. This also goes for any fuel-powered vehicle or tool. Consider how you'll be cutting wood when you run out of gas for the chain saw. (Or you run out of bar oil, or the last chain runs out, etc.)
  • Firewood: One of my three biggest security items. I like to have 3-4 years worth cut, split and under cover. If things go bad, you might not have time to deal with wood for a year or two.
  • Solar power: I'd only do it on a small scale in order to keep communications gear, minimal lighting, minimal refrigeration etc. available. Buy good parts, such as panels and batteries, and spares of everything--there may well be no resupply in your lifetime.
  • Gold and Silver: Only if you are so squared away on everything else you can do it without shorting other things.
  • Motorcycles: See Generators and Bicycles.
  • A grain grinder (grain mill): Definitely get one of these as soon as you start storing whole grains. You have to have a way to process those grains.
I hope between Sevenpod and me we've given you more than enough to get your juices flowing. And have fun with it, because if this isn't enjoyable for you, you won't be able to make it a lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Again, we remember


While those few that remain are still young in their memories, and many who were were once young will forever remain so, those of us who came after once again remember and commemorate the sacrifices made on this day in 1944 when the Allied Armies invaded Festung Europa. Less than one year later, Adolph Hitler lay dead in the burning remains of Berlin and for one glorious second, Europe was free. Men like these paid the butcher's bill for that, and they deserve nothing less than our everlasting gratitude and remembrance.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

What we have here...

Is an amazing lack of situational awareness. Along with some amazing stupidity.

The swarm of teenagers milling around the Village at Sandhill on Saturday evening was "alarming," but Monica Elkins-Johnson continued into Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant and Bar to meet a friend for dinner.

However, dinner was interrupted when the area outside the businesses erupted into chaos.

"I saw a huge amount of students just running," said Elkins-Johnson, who is a member of the Richland 2school board. "They were running from the back of the movie theater to Blue Fin. They were running across the street, jumping over cars, running into cars."

Minutes later, teenagers began fighting in front of Elkins-Johnson, who was sitting on the restaurant's patio. That's when the educator of more than 20 years jumped into action to try to break up the fight. A server at the restaurant jumped over the patio railing to help, Elkins-Johnson said.

Just briefly, let's run down the list:

  1. "Swarm" of teenagers
  2. Ignored a feeling of alarm
  3. Saw people running, apparently sat waiting to see what was happening
  4. Jumped into the middle of a riot
Numbers 1 and 2 should have led to her saying to herself "Self, I think we'll be eating elsewhere tonight." Number 3 should have led to her dropping more than enough cash on the table to cover the food and a tip and de-assing the AO immediately by the nearest exit that took her in the opposite direction. Number 4 is just stupid--you get hurt or killed pulling dumb stunts like that.

But the money quote is this, from Elkins-Johnson herself.

"You don't run to fights; you run away from fights," she recalled telling them. "A bullet does not have a name on it."

She really should take her own advice.

Do you blog? Have a Facebook account?

Then the Department of Homeland Security is probably going to be creeping on you.

I suppose I should apologize for all those times I made light of the concerns of those who said something about "being on the list". Then again, for me, what's one more list? DHS, welcome to The Freehold. You already know who I really am, so wave when you drive by the house. :-)

Friday, June 01, 2018

"Their safety equipment took the search out of search and rescue."

We preppers sometimes let ourselves go down the garden path thinking that prepping is about big emergencies like hurricanes or economic collapse. But stories like this one, about 3 guys who were rescued from a sinking fishing boat by the US Coast Guard in just over 90 minutes, should drive home the need to be prepared when ever we go out--or for that matter are just walking around our own yard. Sure, we can say "Hey they were out on the ocean, of course they should take all the precautions,", but you'd be amazed at how often you will need things "out of the ordinary" as you go through your daily routine.

Let me give you one to think about. It hasn't happened to me, but it's something that I've had to consider. I'm not going to sit around the house all day until someone comes home so I can do the "dangerous" stuff where having someone around would be a good safety precaution. Take running a chain saw for instance. Even with appropriate safety gear, a chain saw is a dangerous tool. You can quite easily amputate a limb.

So there you are, looking stupidly at the bleeding stump. You have a cell phone, but you're going to bleed out before the ambulance gets there. Not, however, if you can keep your head (admittedly difficult) and you have a tourniquet on you. You can, with just a little practice, put a CAT or SWAT tourniquet on yourself with one hand. It's called self-rescue. If you work with dangerous tools or carry a gun, it's one of those things you should practice.

Because at its root, prepping is about saving your life. And the lives of your fishing buddies on a dark night on the ocean, along with surviving other bad days.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Upgrades for your AR

(Via The Woodpile Report)

Practical AR Enhancements That Work

From practical experience, I can endorse reliability enhancements I, II and IV. I feel that III is to some extent a matter of personal choice once the lubricant is of sufficient quality to make the gun run.

As far as the accuracy enhancements, I'll support I with the caveat of "If you use an optic." I can make an argument for Joe Average not having an optic on his SHTF gun that goes along the lines of "normally will have insufficient training for effective use". I don't support II unless your AR is for competition. I'll have to take their word on III. I unfortunately don't get any opportunity for night shooting.

Low budget wind turbines

(Via Gab)

So the world has gone all Mad Max on you and you need to make some energy. You didn't stock up on solar panels, you don't have access to a stream suitable for micro-hydro (Who does?) and wind turbines were out of your budget before everything went to hell.

Could you scrounge up some blue barrels and plumbing pipe?

Be sure to catch Part 2 on Youtube, where he adds the actual power production, as well as the bigger 6 barrel version (before the gun grabbers think it's a firearm and start trying to ban it). Hackaday also has a lot of other interesting stuff scattered about if you have the time to go down that particular rabbit hole.

The comments on the videos are full of suggestions for improvements, plus the usual BS YouTube idiots.

Owned

Simply and succinctly, owned.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Reason #4,237 why we go armed in public

(Via the Drudge Report)

18-year-old wants-to-be-famous bad guy walks into a restaurant and shoots a mom and her daughter who are celebrating a birthday. On his way out the door, an armed citizen drops him, ending the problem permanently.

Thus endeth the lesson.

The inversion continues

I have tried to keep off of politics on the blog lately, with the exception of the gun thing, which I'll never lay off of. But reading this John Nolte piece on "How Donald Trump Killed Off the 1960s" just made that bell in my head go "DING!"

When you stop and consider it, the world really has turned itself upside down in many ways. No matter what theory of history, if any, you subscribe to, it's an interesting time to be alive.

Personally, I'd rather it was boring as hell, but that doesn't seem to be an option. Maybe it never has been.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

That statement, attributed to Rahm Emanuel, mayor of the gun-controlled paradise of Chicago, takes on new meaning in light of the news that Obama-ear Education Secretary Arne Duncan was emailing Emanuel for advice on pushing the gun ban agenda in the days following the Sandy Hook school shooting--literally before the victims funerals.

There's a reason we call it "dancing in the blood of the victims".

Sunday, May 20, 2018

As Michael Bane has said so many times, "The mask is off."

Okay, Now I Actually Do Want To Take Your Guns

This is what many/most/99% of anti-gunners want, and why even hypothetical discussions of alternatives run into brick walls on both sides.

Not as if it's a surprise, I guess. But I always have this foolish and unreasoning hope that humanity should be better than it apparently capable of being. Too much Star Trek as a kid, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Yes, Virginia, you do need a gun

(Via The Woodpile Report)

Not that most of the people who stop by here need to be convinced of that fact. As we all know, you need several. And magazines. Ammo. Spare parts. Ammo. Training. Ammo. Friends with guns. Ammo--have I mentioned ammo? You need plenty of ammo.

Kurt Schlichter has a piece on Town Hall pointing out that if you don't have an "assault rifle" then you really need to get yourself to the nearest gun show or real gun shop and get yourself one, because the day may be coming where you need it.

Nothing to argue with there.

However, what I find most interesting is this. Read this carefully and then we'll do the math. Schlichter was in Los Angles for the Rodney King riots as an Army 2LT. He has this piece of wisdom from that event.

Being the new officer in the unit, I got put with the battalion commander as his assistant S3 (operations officer) so he could observe me and decide if I was worthy of getting a company command (I eventually got two). I went everywhere in his hummer because our troops were everywhere. And I was hugged by the residents because we brought safety to their neighborhoods – something they had not had even before the riots. All it took was two divisions, about six combat brigades, of soldiers and a bunch of Marines to pacify just one part of one city.

The Army currently has 58 active and reserve brigade combat teams. Again, do the math. The military will do its best, but the cavalry is almost certainly not coming.

So it took six brigades and some Marines. Let's call it 7 brigades to bring those riots under control. So if all of Los Angles had decided to go apeshit, it could in theory take the entire US Army's active and reserve combat force to bring it under control. If there are problems in Dallas, or Atlanta, or Charlotte, or insert the name of your least favorite big city here, well, they better hope there are a lot of Marines with nothing to do. After that, you're looking at the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard, and the last I looked they're a little light on combat brigades.

We're not even going into the facts that our military is spread all over the world and it takes time to spin reserve components up to combat readiness.

You might want to add some more ammo to that buying trip.

The End of the World as We Know It will not be what we think it will be

(Via The Woodpile Report)

From a guy who has been there and collected most if not all of the "been there, done that" t-shirts, the 5 Deadly Mistakes Preppers Are Making.

Number 2 ought to sound rather familiar to anyone who has undergone formal self defense training.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Will this "Make You Go Hm-m-m"?

Jon Stokes claims to be a "gun industry insider", and claims he goes to church on Sunday with his 9 mm tucked inside his fanciest jeans. A quick Intertubz search tells me the first is rather a stretch and totally fails to confirm the rest. However, he's written a thought piece that should be given a read: A Gun Nut’s Guide to Gun Control That Works

Now, stop yelling. Yes, it's on Politico, so that's Strike One. Yes, he says "gun control", so there's Strike Two. Yes, when you read it and he goes on and on AND ON about those uber-deadly semi-automatic rifles and it becomes painfully obvious that the guy's never been to a SASS match in his life and seen what people can do with lever actions, well, that's Strike Three, and in any normal baseball game he's out.

We, my friends, are not in any normal baseball game. He points that out, although I believe he overstates his case. And while we appear to have once again beaten back our enemies this time; as has been often pointed out, we have to win every time and they only have to win once.

He's correct when he points out that "Our side faces a potent new enemy in the form of private-sector companies like REI, Delta Airlines, Citibank, YouTube and Reddit, which are taking an increasingly anti-gun stance." Add to that Bank of America, Yeti, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz, TrueCar, Walmart, Kroger, LL Bean and the list goes on. There are a lot of private companies out there who have not been against us before who are against us now. This does not bode well for us, at least at the moment. At best, we have some significant damage control to do. At worst, we've taken a significant hit that we won't recover from.

If it's the latter, then we had better consider a Plan B, because our traditional Plan A, otherwise known as "Because Fuck You!" isn't going to work so well for us.

While his proposal for a federal license for semi-auto long guns isn't something I can support, it might be something we could work from. Just for fun, what if they tossed in all NFA items plus national concealed carry reciprocity in addition to his proposal, then what would you think of it? A sort of one-stop license for all of it. Maybe we have to cough up semi-auto pistols to keep the other side happy. (Remember Jerry Miculek--we aren't giving up much).

Yeah, it gets a little harder to say "Hell No!" and be all Second Amendment Absolutist when the Giggle Switch comes into play, doesn't it?

Just sayin'.

But why would a business owner need to carry a gun?

When you're a part of a group that is being targeted for robbery and murder, it's an entirely reasonable reaction.

Chinese-American business owners in the Triangle area of North Carolina are tired of being unarmed targets, and they're doing something about it. They've formed the North Carolina Chinese Hunting Club (OK, the name's a little unfortunate) and they're learning how to shoot back.

Welcome to America, folks. I hope you enjoy your freedom to protect yourselves.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Time to ridicule the anti-gunners and anti-gun politicians

(Via the Drudge Report)

Yes, I know, this is something you'd never expect to see here. Ahem.

The weekend just past saw a gun show in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal except for the hard core anti-gun crowd, but OMG Parkland. How dare these terrible people have a gun show anywhere within 200,000 miles of these poor, traumatized children.

What a load of chicken feces. I have to wonder about the parents of the dead kids and the parents of the ones who are being used as shills. What the hell are they thinking? You're going to allow the memory of your kid to be used like this to advance the viewpoint of people who don't give a tinker's damn about you? You're allowing your kid to be paraded around and used as a meat puppet to spew out the opinions of the same cynical groups? Great Bleeding Ghu.

Deep breath...10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Exhale. OK. Blood pressure is out of the stroke zone.

Of course, said gun show went off without a hitch. None of the evil guns jumped up and shot anyone and no gun show loop holes were seen to be waving signs saying "Criminals! Buy guns here!" Blood still stubbornly refused to flow in the aisles as the crowd refused to start shooting over slights real or imagined. Funny how that works.

But for the Fort Lauderdale city commissioners, none of that is good enough. They want the gun show gone. For the families.

“I fully respect the right of people to own guns,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said on Saturday. “I just don’t feel we should have a gun show in the middle of Holiday Park, a playground where children play soccer, volleyball and baseball.”

So the mayor respects your right to own a gun, he just wants to make it more difficult for you to buy one. Because 7 weekends a year, reasons. OK, got that.

Fortunately, Mr. Mayor doesn't know when to shut up. Pro Tip: Politicians, learn when to shut up--it's a job skill.

On Saturday, Trantalis was stunned to hear that families were bringing children to the gun show, where firearms of all types were for sale, from tiny pistols to AR-15s like the semi-automatic rifle used in the Parkland shooting.

“Wow,” Trantalis said. “What can I say. I don’t know how to respond to that.”

Well, Mr. Mayor, your best move would have been to shut that gaping stupidity dispenser in the middle of your face. Failing that, you could have fallen back on your earlier “I fully respect the right of people to own guns.” Luckily for us, you let your true feelings came out. You're a liar--you no more support the Second Amendment than City Commissioner Heather Moraitis, who tweeted:

“When our contract ends this fall with Gun Show, I hope we never see the words Fort Lauderdale-Gun Show-War Memorial again. It’s time to think about different programming options at War Memorial in the heart of our city.”

The elected elite in Greensboro, NC recently tried this crap with the Greensboro Gun and Knife Show. The immediate blow back from the local gunnies shut that down fast. Here's hoping the Fort Lauderdale gunnies let their elected "betters" know that the way out the door will be paved with an attempt to close their local gun show.

Get up on your hind legs and fight, people. The other side isn't going to go away. There is no slacking off. The battle is every day, from now until forever.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

But for the grace of God, there go I

(Via the Drudge Report)

Over the years I've been blogging, I've written about finance, both macro and micro. I've also written about prepping in all manner of situations, including as you age. This combines both of those themes.

The story is of a man who once walked the corridors of power, and who now walks the streets. I don't really know anything about the people he worked with and for except Rudy Giuliani, and I only know the least bit about him to be honest. Perhaps this man is reaping what he sowed, perhaps he is the victim of his own poor choices and perhaps he is simply one more unfortunate person living a life of quiet desperation, waiting for salvation or the end.

For our purposes, he is probably deserving of a word of prayer if you tend toward such, and some consideration in light of your own circumstances no matter how you tend. I can tell you from personal experience that it is very easy to go from being on top of the world to on top of the trash heap, and it can happen all too quickly. You should devote some of your planning time to this concept, because it isn't as far-fetched as you might want it to be.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation strikes back

It seems you can't be a Dick's and be a member of the NSSF. And that's a good thing. We need to stand fast--together--if we're going to defend the Second Amendment. No corporate weaseling allowed.

Oddly enough, I was at a local minor league baseball game last night, and they were handing out $10 off coupons for Dick's Sporting Goods like you wouldn't believe. Dick's is a big sponsor at this particular ball park. I'm not going to boycott the team or anything goofy like that; they have a lot of sponsors who in aggregate are much larger than Dick's.

I'm curious, however, if Dick's is getting any good from an investment where, on any given night, I can see a lot of the crowd wearing gear that would indicate they are members of groups that would tend to be more rather than less supportive of the Second Amendment. For crying out loud, there was a kid there wearing this shirt:


Warmed the cockles of my heart, that did. I loved the 80s. :-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

If you won't give up your guns, the banks will force you to

I heard this on the morning's "Flash Briefing" from the Amazon Alexa on the Wall Street Journal, but not having a paid subscription, it wasn't exactly blogable. Now, via Claire Wolfe and the Captain's Journal, you may read about the financial sector's latest post-Parkland effort to curry favor with...whoever it is they're attempting to curry favor with. They want to identify your individual gun transactions. For reasons.

Remember when everyone said to buy guns and ammo with cash only so you didn't get on "The List". Doesn't sound so funny now, does it?

Slimy bastards. I'm glad I'm with a credit union.

Occasionally the other side of the street gets it

(Via The Woodpile Report)

I'm not one to read Medium very often. The tone of the place isn't one I find compatible with my world view for the most part. However, as with all things, nothing is 100% one thing or another, and Medium will regularly have something that will take you by surprise, such as "The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper".

It's not often that you have someone make a mathematical case not only for prepping, but for gun, and in particular AR-15, ownership. Plus a few cans of ammo. Along with food, water purification gear and maybe a sailboat. Seriously.

Dragging you through the article in detail will spoil it. Just go read it yourself. If you disagree with it, that's fine and good, but I find it a refreshingly well thought out look at a subject that the other side of the street likes to either ridicule or ignore.

About those cell phones and biometric security

Allow ol' Uncle Freeholder to refresh your memory on why you never use biometric technology as the "password" on you cellphone. At least make the bastards pay the big bucks for the unlock gear.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

This is one of those 2.5 million defensive gun uses the CDC couldn't be bothered to release to the public

(Via The Woodpile Report)

It's also an answer to the questions "Why I need an AR-15", "Why I need standard capacity magazines" and "Why I carry a gun at home."

It was 7 against 3 at 4 AM in Glen St. Mary, FL when the seven kicked in the door, claiming to be from the sheriff's department. Two of the three gunned up and unleashed an answer of high speed lead "No, we don't think you are" on the intruders. One intruder DRT (Dead Right There), one wounded and hospitalized, one treated and released to the cops and the rest are being sought.

The mouthy children from Parkland have yet to be heard from on the subject.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Interesting firearms manufacturing news

SCCY Firearms is moving from Florida to Tennessee.

Obviously, something like this takes a lot of time and planning, and therefore isn't a reaction to last month's foolishness revolving around the Parkland, FL school shooting--although I wouldn't be surprised if the alleged Republican governor's actions didn't add an exclamation point to it. Instead, I would suspect this is nothing more than the creeping Yankification of Florida that has been going on for the last couple of decades. While the northern retirees weren't so bad, the new waves of younger immigrants are bringing their liberal viewpoints with them, and the word from sources in Florida is that times are a changin' in the state that gave us shall issue concealed carry.

Pity, since there is a lot to like about Florida once you get outside the cities.

You really want to zero your rifle?

Then you do it this way. No shortcuts.

Of course this CDC study on defensive gun use never saw the light of day

It's really quite simple. The CDC buried a study that showed that guns are used defensively nearly 2.5 million times a year because it doesn't fit the narrative. It simply wouldn't do to have that sort of information out running around when we're trying to demonize gun owners and legislate he right to own guns out of existence.

And scientists wonder why the public doesn't trust them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Someone in the Minnesota legislature doesn't like guns

(Via The Woodpile Report)

The masks have come off in Minnesota, as Representatives Linda Slocum, Fue Lee, Jean Wagenius, Karen Clark and David Bly have introduced HF 3022, an unnamed bill that will, in essence, make it well-nigh impossible to own a firearm or ammunition in the Gopher state. Seven other legislators have had their names removed as authors from the bill. There is no word if that had anything to do with voters armed with tar and feathers.

According to alloutdoor.com, this steaming pile o' crap will mean

– Permit required to own a gun
– Permit required to buy a gun
– Permit required to sell a gun
– Local law enforcement gets to deny all types of gun permits
– Local law enforcement gets to deny permits to carry
– Personal medical information must be shared with law enforcement
– All firearm transfers must be reported
– All guns must be registered (fees set by local law enforcement)
– Registration must be renewed annually
– Local law enforcement may conduct warrantless “safety inspections” of gun owner’s homes
– Local law enforcement sets “safe storage” policies
– Five day waiting period for all transfers
– Transfers must be done through an FFL (even between private parties)
– Fees may be charged for transfers
– Local law enforcement may conduct background investigation on transfers
– Total ban on any gun which meets broad “assault weapon” definition – banned guns must be destroyed or surrendered
– Ban thumbhole stocks
– Ban adjustable stocks
– Ban pistol grip stocks
– Limit fixed magazine capacity to 7 rounds
– Ban any magazine capable of holding more than 7 rounds
– Suspension of gun rights based on complaints from anonymous parties
– Recriminalization of suppressors
– Bump stock ban
– All ammunition sales will be registered
– Permit required to purchase ammunition
– Make gun owner private data public, including number and type of guns owned and your address

Just remember, the gun banners' end game is for all of us to be disarmed and dead. If you think I'm exaggerating, please re-read the above.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Guns are not the solution to our safety."

So sayeth the spokesperson for the North Carolina Council of Churches, a group that contains churches that, as a resident of North Carolina, I recognize among the more liberal in my state.

Obviously, I don't buy that, and I doubt that few if any of you do either. Unfortunately the population growth here has attracted certain elements that I wish had remained where they came from. "Californication" doesn't only happen when residents from California move in.

But the thing that offends me is that this group claims that we view our guns as idols. Seriously? I don't have a shrine to my guns. There isn't a dark room, lit only by candles that holds and AR-15 in a cradle, flanked by cases of XM855 ammo.

That would be a fire hazard. :-)

This does, however, point out quite nicely the bizarre viewpoint of some gun grabbers as well as their depth of misunderstanding of gun owners. I think it also points out that this is a gulf that will not be bridged.

I fear what is coming.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

We'll have successful commercial nuclear fusion in 10 years

(Via The Woodpile Report)

We've been hearing the 10 year refrain for nuclear fusion every year for at least 2 decades now. Could it be possible that someone is really on the verge of making it come true--next year?

Saying that this would be a game changer is putting it mildly. Not only would it change things here on Planet Earth, but can you imagine what it could do in space?

We'll all be "tinfoil hat-wearing, black-helicopter conspiracy theorists" soon

Ars Techica reports that the Directorate of State Security Department of Homeland Security is building a database to "keep tabs on over 290,000 "global news sources" and develop an extensive database for an unconfirmed number of "media influencers."

Furthermore, the DHS contract calls for the firm selected to build this monstrosity to

...deliver "media-comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers" for a span ranging from one to five years, all with the aim of tracking "any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event." Part of that data-combing effort would include the development of a "database" that gathers intel about "journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers, etc.," including locations, beats, reporter "types," contact details, overviews of each "influencer's" previous coverage, current publications, and "any other information that could be relevant."

Yes, there will apparently be an app to allow easy access all that for authorized users. But don't be concerned, access to the data will be password protected.

For those concerned that this is going too far, DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton says that this is "standard practice" and continues that "Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tinfoil hat-wearing, black-helicopter conspiracy theorists."

I'm not buying DHS's BS. If they were simply tracking news stories, OK. That's nothing more than what a clipping service provides. But tracking the authors, editors, their contact details and on and on? I view that as stepping into an entirely new realm of activity that is meant by the Deep State to chill the exercise of free speech. They intend it to be taken that way and they know it will be taken that way. The frightening thought is that They. Don't. Care. They don't believe they need to care--no one has ever made them care before. The Big Question is "Will anyone be able to make them care this time?"

Now excuse me while I hit up Amazon and order one of those restaurant-size rolls of aluminium foil, suitable for the entire family.

Edit, 4/12/2018, 1526: According to The Woodpile Report #524, per Denninger this database is already built and in production. I didn't understand this as such in the original report, but Remus's link does say that. Effing wonderful.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

You're actually surprised?

(Via SurvivalBlog)

Karl Denninger seems surprised at the following:


The government is, of course, entitled to be wrong and repair that error which is what they're claiming they're doing now.  What it's not entitled to do, however, is turn you into a felon if you don't destroy or turn over a thing you were explicitly told, in writing, was legal and nothing more-nefarious or subject to regulation than a plastic box.  At absolute minimum the government is required (under the 5th Amendment) to pay you for the current fair market value of that device plus all your costs (e.g. sales tax) associated with same and to pay the manufacturers the imputed value of their facility, inventory and forward foregone earnings (and employee salaries) that would have been generated but for their error.  They could also ban the things on a forward basis (limiting any 5th Amendment claim of "taking" to the manufacturers) and leave alone anyone who already owns one.





Folks, it isn't like this is something new. The Federal Government has done exactly this before, and in the realm of firearms. They will do it again, if not with bump stocks, with some other firearms accessory. I can't recall an incident, but I'm sure they've done it in non-firearms areas as well. Governments want to control everything and everyone, "for their own good", not to mention the safety of the public and the stability of the government.

THIS IS WHAT ALL GOVERNMENTS EVENTUALLY DO WHEN LEFT UNCHECKED.

We The People have let our government go unchecked for far too long. In fact, we've probably let it go so long that, like a garden that has suffered decades of mistreatment and neglect, it's simply better to rip it all out and start over. Of course, there is much more danger in that approach with government than with a garden, but we've tried for most of my lifetime to "fix" government, and every fix has made things worse over time.

We are facing a time when our choices will be so constrained that they will all be equally bad, all equally high risk. I suppose it's possible that we are already there, but the optimist in me hopes not. But even if we aren't there now, we had best prepare for that time. It may arrive sooner and more suddenly than we expect.

My hero!

A Greensboro, NC citizen lets the Greensboro City council have a piece of his mind as they consider closing down the long-running Greensboro Gun and Knife Show. The city attorney has already warned them that this would be illegal, but as with so many liberal politicians, they're going to plow ahead anyway. Because they're smarter, you know.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Who will be your allies?

I was reading through some back content on SurvivalBlog when I came across this quote from Mike Williamson:

I have noticed, as have several others, that the last few weeks have had a huge upswing in black attendance at gun shows. I saw a significant increase in black families–middle class, respectable–coming into the local show and leaving with purchases. Most were buying AK and AR platform rifles, pump shotguns and Glock or Smith and Wesson handguns. These are all practical, reliable defensive tools.

Clearly, they’re aware of the threats they will face during civil unrest, and are insuring against it. Anti-gun rhetoric to the contrary, they were of course welcomed by the rest of the firearm community and the vendors.

It will be interesting to see if this presages any shift in the upcoming elections.

As I've noted in a number of my "gun show report" posts, I've been seeing a constant increase in the attendance of women and blacks at gun shows for several years. I view this as a welcome trend, since more gun owners is a good thing for the gun culture. Mike's last sentence brings me around to something that I've discussed with folks in the real world, but not here. I want to toss it out and see if any of my 3 readers have thoughts on it.

I grew up during the time of the civil rights movement, school desegregation and the cultural upheavals that accompanied them. In my part of the South, it wasn't that big a deal for us kids--it seems to me, at least in my memory, that the adults had most of the issues with the process. Middle and upper class whites picked up, packed up and moved when school districts were redrawn or when the urban renewal caused neighborhoods to, shall we say, change complexion in ways they didn't approve of.

Poor folks just stayed put and figured out how to make it work as best we could.

Where I grew up wasn't all that far from a black neighborhood. This was normal in the South; the rich folks didn't care for poor people of any skin color in their neighborhoods. So I had already been going to school with some black kids, although it wasn't that many. Desegregation saw to it that that changed.

Desegregation also saw an increase in the use of school buses, because almost no one went to the schools closest to them any longer. I couldn't walk the third mile or so to my neighborhood school, I had to be bused halfway across town to a different school, and the kids who had went to that school were in turn bused to my old school. This was somehow going to make things better for all of us.

I don't know how it worked out for them, but for me it wasn't so great. The first couple of years weren't too bad, but when junior high school came around, it became a dangerous and miserable experience. I was one of the smaller kids, had no muscles to speak of and was a nerd to top it off. I may as well had a target painted on my back. Every bully and wannabe bully in school seemed to gravitate toward me. My Dad tried to teach me how to fight so I could stand up for myself, but that simply got me hauled into the principle's office for fighting (well, more like getting my ass kicked) and my parents' called in as well. Not so good.

The school buses were even less pleasant, if such thing were possible. The only positive thing, I'm ashamed to say, is that there were a couple of girls on my bus who were even more popular targets than I was, so until their parents removed them, I caught a break. But once they were gone, I caught hell.

So I decided that the school  bus could go fuck itself. My Dad dropped me off in the morning, and I could just walk home in the afternoon, a distance of several miles. Through the black part of town. Not the nice black part of town, either. But none of the black kids ever had bullied me, so somehow I figured it would be OK. I didn't tell my parents about my cunning plan.

So I walked home, occasionally accompanied by some of my black classmates who lived close enough that they had to walk. No bus service if you lived withing a mile, I believe it was, so some of them had to walk. You know what happened?

Nothing. Not when I had someone with me, and not when I didn't. I made that walk for almost 2 years, rain or shine, warm or cold, with and without company, and I never, ever, was bothered by anyone on my way home. Me, this skinny white kid in the middle of one of the least "nice" neighborhoods in town.

At the time, I never really thought much of it. To me, people were people, and I didn't make much out of race. Sure, I knew there were black people who were slovenly, criminal, "not nice". I also knew a hell of a lot of white people who fit that description too. One lived next door and was a city cop. He also cheated on his wife and beat her and the kids. That's life on the poor side of town.

But as I got older and accumulated "life experience", I started to put some things together. As I've gotten older and seen even more, I've been able to boil it down to something of an essence. It goes like this.

By and large, the color of one's skin doesn't matter half as much as another color, the color green--as in money. Allow me to expand on the thinking behind this.

There's an old saying from the 60s, "Life is like a shit sandwich--the more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat." Having been poor and having been well off, I can tell you there is a large amount of truth in that.

Poor people, no matter the color of their skin, have more in common with other poor people than poor people and rich people with the same skin color. The concerns of the latter group have little in common with those of the poor. Poor people are very concerned about keeping a roof over their head and having something to eat. These aren't concerns for rich people, other than what neighborhood they want to live in and what restaurant they want to eat in.

Poor people are concerned if they can get a cheap car and keep it running, and do they have $5 for gas. (Hey, 1970s.) Rich people are concerned what their next car will be and when they can buy it--and they always "fill 'er up!"

Poor people have to be concerned about every interaction with the police, and with good reason. Poor people are far more often the victims of crime and far more often the perpetrators of it, so there is a certain amount of built-in suspicion in the cops when they deal with the poor. Rich people generally don't deal with the police, and when they do, the attitude of the police is totally different. I've seen this first hand. I've went through police roadblocks on a weekend with a friend in an old truck, dressed for yard work and hauling trash, and I've went through them dressed for work in the office and driving my car. Trust me when I tell you they were very different experiences.

I could keep on, but hopefully those examples are enough to give you a feeling for the concept I'm espousing. To misquote F. Scott Fitzgerald, the rich and their concerns are very different from ours. I don't say that this is good or bad, I merely recognize that it's a fact.

So if things get tight, or should things go pear-shaped on us, who will be your allies? What groups will you look to when you reach out beyond your friends or your immediate neighborhood in order to create some sort of alliance of like-minded individuals so that everyone has a better chance of surviving?

This is a question that you may want to consider now. While you can look at the news and see all sorts of signs pointing toward future hard times, we aren't there just yet. There is still time to build the friendships and acquaintances that prove important in future hard times. But you want to concentrate on those who are going to be the most compatible with you over the long run.

Be sure you pick the right folks.

Edit, 4/3/2018, 1217: Sorry about that unholy white background that was present in the first 24 hours this was up. I'm going to have to start reviewing every post from the blog view rather than trusting Blogger to get things right, I suppose. Effing Google.

They want more gun control

Gun control has had its chance since 1934 and the National Firearms Act. There are over 20,000 gun laws in the US--20,000 chances to show gun control works. But, as always, the gun grabbers want more. Just how many more chances do we need to give gun control before we have a blinding flash of the obvious and declare that it doesn't work?

We all know the answer to that. After they have managed to enact the law that allows them to go door-to-door and confiscate them all by force. Remember, their ultimate goal is to take them all, and then eliminate us by whatever means they deem necessary.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The NRA, its positions and my relationship to them--one last time

I'm going to address this subject one final time. After this, anyone who brings it up is going to get branded as a troll and I will ban your ass from commenting. This has gone on long enough; this is my place on the Intertubz, you're wasting my time and I'm officially over it. Comments will be closed on this post. You don't like it, get your own blog.

Before that, some housekeeping. This came in as a comment to a totally unrelated story, with the comment that they couldn't find a way to contact me on the blog. 

On the right side of the page there is a contact form. If you're running something like Ghostery or Ad-Block, you may not see it. I run Ghostery as well and I've found it buggers up a lot of the standard Blogger widgets. If you're going to read Blogger blogs, you may want to white list the entire *.blogspot.com domain, or if you want to be more granular, each of the Blogger blogs you frequent.

I've recently come to discover that these tools, used without discretion, are more of a club than a scalpel. There are a ton of things blocked in Ghostery, and not all of them are "bad". But that's a different post. If you want my take on it, leave me a note and I'll write about it.

On to the subject at hand, which is the NRA, my support for it and the incessant idiocy that some people want to keep trotting out on the subject . I received the following over the weekend:


I'm an NRA Benefactor member. I've bought Life memberships for both of my kids. This weekend I wrote checks to both the NRA Political Victory Fund and the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. That's called putting your money where your mouth is. I have to wonder how many of the NRA's detractors have as much coin invested in the political side of the game, not to mention things like working tables at gun shows and talking to local politicians, as I have in the last few years.

I'm not going to bother to go back and search for the number of times I've taken the NRA to task on this blog. Just because I support them doesn't mean I'm blind. When I think they're wrong I'll let them know. After writing checks this weekend, I wrote to them letting them know that any support for these bullshit ERPOs is an idiotic move that hearkens back to the bad old days of the NRA. I put it nicer than that, but that was the gist of the message.

I also have in front of me my 2018 ballot for the NRA Board of Directors. One of the nice things about being a Life Member or above (or an annual member of some years standing) is that you get to vote for the BOD members. This year there are 35 names and I can vote for 25. I plan on vote bombing, which means I'm going to vote for a few candidates whose positions would tend to put more hardcore Second Amendment backbone into the NRA's positions. At the same time, I don't want to turn the NRA into a group that is so absolutist that no one in DC or the 50 state capitals will listen to them.

You see, it's a balancing act. Politics, and yes, Second Amendment advocacy is politics, is the art of the possible. The secret is recognizing what is possible, and I think the NRA, living in as close proximity to DC as it does, often doesn't see the world the way those of us further away do. They get caught up in all the "inside the Beltway" business and start believing all the propaganda they're immersed in, including their own. I think they'd be well advised to have another headquarters elsewhere and a staff rotation system so that people got a break from the Beltway.

However, I'm one voice, and a tiny little one, out of 5 or 6 million NRA members. If you want to have a voice, you're going to need to join and put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, you're just background noise that's going to be tuned out. The NRA has been doing it to you for years, and I'm starting as of now.

Edit, 3/27/2018 1142: Fixed the comment instructions to say that the form is on the right side of the page rather than the left. Derp. Thanks to Bert for the catch.