1 Comment

Threat assessment, Middle East War

This is not a chicken little update. The core to developing your own resiliency is to accurately identify the areas of your life where you are NOT resilient and work to make them increasingly so, all the while improving your life if nothing fails.

So, in that spirit, let’s take a look at what a wider Middle East war would do to you and your family. How does $10 a gallon gas affect you? Will it end your job or force you to find accommodation during the work week closer to work, perhaps leaving your family at home during the week? How about $5 a gallon milk or loaf of bread? Buying food when it is cheap is a form of capitol deferral, how much have you practiced?  With cuts to police forces and higher crime rates from people grown increasingly desperate, how will it affect your security?

HERE is the best article I have read yet that lays out Why a Persian-American-Israeli war is growing more likely, in fact, may be inevitable. What will you do this week to shield you and yours from the economic and social shocks of such an event?

Leave a comment

Make Something!

So, I got out in the shop this weekend and here are the results. Honestly, they are pretty pathetic. The woodwork on the knife handle is sloppy, mis-cut and I will have to redo it. On the plus side, I peened the brass rod to hold the slabs on and it seems to have worked wonderfully. In fact, Im wondering how I am going to get them off without destroying the slabs which I may be able to re-use.

The point isn’t my pathetic woodworking skills. The point is, I got out there and did something, I learned a number of things. For one, I re-learned the old adage it is easier to take off wood than put it back on. Simply giving myself more edge would have made the slabs usable. I also learned a real appreciation for skilled craftsmen. Guys and gals who can make something with their own hands of such quality that they deserve every penny they get for their product.

So, here are my poor examples. My very first attempt to handle a knife and make a sheath from Kydex. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a new phase of making things in my life!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Keeping our Liberty, key to our resiliency

What a tangled web we weave. We are so far down the rat hole of progressivism we don’t even realize it. Like the occupants of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, if someone were to come in from the outside and describe real Liberty to us, we would beat them to death for being a liar and rocking the boat.

It is time some of us started rocking the boat. One, THIS story pisses me off. The complete and utter lack of the application of common sense, decency or morality by those in authority is abhorrent to me. The larger zero tolerance policy issue I will set aside for a later post, but the ultimate answer is to thoroughly and publicly humiliate those responsible for these actions. In times past, public officials who managed to piss off the populace faced tar and feathering. Pain wasn’t the primary objective of tarring and feathering (just a nice side benefit) the primary goal was humiliation. And the penalty didn’t end once they had plucked themselves. In a close knit society like the colonies a person could find themselves cut off from business, social circles and all other aspects of community life.

Why am I bringing up this particular example? Because THIS group got pissed off about it and decided to do something. They deserve all the recognition they can get. They may wind up being totally ineffective, but at least they are doing something. Every time we have one of these incidents, concerned citizens should be building websites and publishing letters to the editor, calling out these idiots by name in their home communities. They should be made to feel the pain in their social circles, at their kids little league game and anywhere else they go. Everyone should know their face and know they are a complete fuctard. Their MOTHERS should be calling them and telling them they should be ashamed!

Enough is enough!

Leave a comment

Defining a Resilient Community

On 24 February John Robb put up a post on his Resiliency blog attempting to define what a resilient community meant to him. I am going to quote him below, then tell you what it means to me and try to flesh out some details regarding how it may come to pass for me. I encourage you to read his whole post.

“A resilient community is the path to a safe, prosperous, and vibrant future for us, our kids, and our neighbors — despite an increasingly chaotic world.”

“This answer should spark this question: What (the heck) do you mean by that?…. Here’s the short version. The world’s economic, financial, and political systems are breaking down. You can smell the stench of financial panic, sovereign bankruptcy, economic depression, and political chaos in the air…. Despite that nearly inevitable future, nobody seems to be doing anything to prepare for it. The loss of jobs, income, and pensions. Government bankruptcy, corruption, and repression. Food, energy, and water shortages, rationing or pricing of those basic items at levels beyond our means. Social breakdown and soaring crime.”

“So, what do we do? What can we do?… We take control of our future. We implement the only solution that can give us a safe, secure, and prosperous future. We become resilient. We find ways to help local people, businesses, and municipalities to PRODUCE, and that’s and important word, more of what we rely upon.”

That is enough to be getting on with. I found THIS site yesterday. They are a 510 acre homesteading community dedicated to preserving heritage craft skills and have a pretty neat way of including the community and providing a viable economic model for the community members. It seems, at first glance, pretty durn close to what I have already had in mind. I plan to contact them today and see if I can get them to answer some detailed questions such as the difficulties they had getting set up to sell agricultural products like cheese and how successful and in demand their classes are.

For me, the idea of a voluntary community of individuals that provides a viable economic model that both provides for our necessities and improves our quality of life is central to our post-Army plans. The exact details of what products we will produce for consumption and what will be part of our sales is way too early to decide. For one, it will be up to the individuals to identify and pursue their passions. If no one wants to raise chickens and sell eggs, I may keep a few for myself, but we won’t go into production mode. Likewise, we may wind up with someone who loves building musical instruments by hand, and can even teach that as a workshop, but no one who wants to make barrels or teach coopering. But, in general, I believe there will be some sort of food and beverage production that yields an income, several forms of crafts that produce an income and teaching of all sorts of things that yields an income. In addition, I see the possibilities to act as a repository of knowledge and history and a valuable and free in many respects resource to the larger community we call home.

The graphic below will lay out how I see a possible timeline flowing. I would love your feedback. My plans for this week include contacting the Heritage Homestead to set up an interview and getting some legal information from Winston County and the State of Alabama regarding legal issues.

Leave a comment

Tar and Feather award and Legal Resiliency

*

Let’s face it, we live in a fundamentally screwed up society. Specifically, I have in mind the US Justice system. I remember first becoming aware of this when I listened to Charlie Daniels sing about being a Simple Man. As a student of history, I can look back and see it has really always been this way and is, therefore, unlikely to get any better. What seems to fluctuate is the level of screweduppidness and how much the general populace is willing to tolerate before reacting violently. Push any animal into a small enough corner and it will bite, it just seems Americans have become a much meeker animal than heretofore.


The particularly American custom of tarring and feathering individuals as a means of extra-legal justice is a fascinating study. Used primarily on customs agents and other members of the governmental hierarchy and their collaborators, it worked as a relatively painless but thoroughly humiliating method to run undesirables out of a community. Believe it or not, there was a time when bureaucrats feared the populace, rather than the other way around!
Now, as a modern American, and an Officer and Gentleman, I cannot countenance vigilante justice, much less violent acts against governmental officials, nor am I doing so. But there is also no doubt in my mind that much of the absurdness that passes for governmental meddling in our every day affairs would be much less if they had a healthier fear of the populace. So, I am going to institute an award here on the blog intended to bring as much publicity and public shame to our current political masters as I can, following in the same theme as the former practice of tar and feathering.
You may ask why is this a resiliency matter? Trust me, everything you wish to do to further your aims of personal resiliency is opposed, either passively or actively, by the government at all levels, federal, state and local. From FDA SWAT (FDA needs a SWAT team? WTF?) raids on Amish dairy farmers to attempts to nullify the Castle Doctrine to restrictions on energy and food production anything that can help you become independent of the grid is heavily regulated. And, should you dare to homeschool your kids or express your religious views in public you WILL wind up on a list at one government agency or another.
So, what defense do we have? Not much. The best we can do is be part of an effective and organized community who can bring numbers and resources to our defense when the government oversteps its bounds. Just wanting to be left alone wont work, because they aren’t going to leave you alone. Having local accountability wont work, because until they go too far there wont be enough pressure to change things. Which might be ok, as long as that push too far isn’t when they make YOU the victim of their grasping hands.
I am currently doing some in depth research on the first award winner, but it will be the New Jersey Department of Child and Youth Services. Look for more facts to follow.
In the mean time, reflect on what can happen to you if the government decides to make sure you know your place, and how little it might take to bring you to their attention. Below are some links to others thoughts on this topic, including an excellent interview of a man who is not ALLOWED to do the right thing to get out of the penal system and some historical notes on the practice of Tar and Feathering!
*Hat tip to http://www.rightwingnut.com who seems to now be out of business for the image.


Historical study of the practice.

Benjamin H. Irvin
Brandeis University
In the spring of 1766, John Gilchrist, a Norfolk merchant and ship-owner, came to believe that Captain William Smith had reported his smuggling activities to British authorities. In retribution, Gilchrist and several accomplices captured Smith and, as he reported, “dawbed my body and face all over with tar and afterwards threw feathers on me.” Smith’s assailants, which included the mayor of Norfolk, then carted him “through every street in town,” and threw him into the sea. Fortunately, Smith was rescued by a passing boat just as he was “sinking, being able to swim no longer.”(1)
Tar and feathers was a very old form of punishment, but it does not appear to have ever been widely applied in England or in Europe.(2) Why Gilchrist and his allies chose to resurrect tar and feathers on this particular occasion historians can only surmise. Whatever their reasons, these Virginians inaugurated a new trend in colonial resistance, a trend that their New England neighbors would eagerly follow. Throughout New England, tar and feathers soon became the “popular Punishment for modern delinquents.” By March, 1770, at least thirteen individuals had been feathered in the American colonies: eight in Massachusetts, two in New York, one in Virginia, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Connecticut. In all of these instances, the tar brush was reserved exclusively for customs inspectors and informers, those persons responsible for enforcing the Townshend duties on certain imported goods. Indeed, American patriots used tar and feathers to wage a war of intimidation against British tax collectors.

Irish drug dealer tarred and feathered

Brutality or justice? The truth behind the tarred and feathered drug dealer
By ANDREW MALONE
Certainly, the streets of Belfast are remarkably safe places to walk, with little petty crime, drug-dealing or gangs of drunken youths roaming the streets.
As a result of this curious by-product of the Northern Ireland peace process, it is no longer the law-abiding majority who are scared to go out after dark. These days, it seems, Belfast’s criminals are the ones who live in mortal fear of being caught doing anything wrong.
The question is, at what price? Vigilante justice betrays all the values that were supposedly being defended in the long fight against terrorism. We tolerate it at our peril.

Bad Quaker interview on the Justice Trap

Leave a comment

Site maintenance and links

Today I am going to update the links and widgets for the site, in order to provide to my readers a convenient research portal. I will include a section for sites that I check daily or weekly. Part of resiliency is proper threat assessment. If you weight your preps for hurricanes, but live in Idaho, you have missed the mark! Conversly, if you are in Florida, you probably don’t have to prep for snow measured in feet. Part of that threat assessment then is good research. These are sites I have found reliable. I will also link articles I find today that are interesting or relevant.
Enjoy!

Daily:
Drudge Report
Instapundit
Global Guerrillas
Resilient Communities
Chaos Manor by Jerry Pournelle
Zenpundit
http://chicagoboyz.net/
Fox News
BBC
Rantburg
Small Wars Journal
The Survival Podcast Forum
Hoods Woods Forum
Road to 100K Forum

Weekly:
Queso Paper
Global Counterterror news
SOF news update
Fear Honor Interest strategy blog
Volokh news blog
Althouse legal blog
Abu Muqawama COIN blog
Family Preparedness blog
Art of Manliness blog/forum

Warrior Talk Forum

Get Off The X forum

Podcasts:
The Survival Podcast
Bad Quaker Podcast
Dan Carlin Hardcore History and Common Sense podcasts
The Rabbit Podcast
The Gun Runner Podcast
Guerrilla Radio Podcast (GRP)
Cowboy Libertarian
My Middle Earth radio and podcasts
15 Minutes with Jack
Doom and Bloom with Doc Bones and Nurse Amy Podcast

Youtube channels:
Backwoods Survival
Backyard Food Production
Balcony Grow
Bodhran classes
Bushcraft on Fire
Colhane
Dr Bones and Nurse Amy
Earth Walker Primitive
Equip 2 Endure
IA Woodsman
ITS Tactical
Chef Keith Snow
Paracordist
Kentucky Afield
Larry Hall container gardening
Living History School
Paul Wheaton Permaculture
Shugemery outdoors
Sootch outdoors
The Survival Podcast
The Longbow Series
The Patriot Nurse
The Urban Farming Guys
Trapper Jack Survival
Viking Tactics tactical training
Dave Canterbury
Zodiac survival
Vechawk

Leave a comment

Inertia

Newton’s 1st Law: The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.

It would be very easy for me to put all this on hold right now. With a full time job in the Army and a beautiful wife and 4 kids who deserve all my attention right now, weeks before my third deployment, it would be easy to say to myself “just wait, there isn’t time right now”. But, as one of the contestants on last night’s episode of The Voice kept repeating to themselves backstage “dreams don’t chase themselves”.

I am finding that the hardest thing to overcome in building into my life the resiliency I want is overcoming inertia. Inertia in our spending habits, in how we allocate our time, in my own self in the sense of getting off my lazy butt and out into the garage when I DO have time and completing a project or two. I begin to understand why sloth was listed as one of the 7 deadly sins.

And the worst part is, if I am honest, I am not really lazy. I have a full time job, I am getting ready to deploy, I have 4 wonderful, young kids who deserve all the time I have to give them and more and a wife who is an angel and deserves more than of me than there is in existence. Not to mention, I am fighting the inertia of getting back into the gym after 10 months off for post-surgery recovery and the seemingly never ending struggle to pursue my faith in a Creator honoring way.

But, it can be done. I was able to film a product review last night and this morning before I left for work. I will get that put together and up within 24 hours. I will get the products I need for the M1 Kaveman Kits on order today or tomorrow. I will take my oldest kids squirrel hunting this week.

It can be done, even in our frantic society. If I feel this way, I am sure many of you do to. Get out there and do something, even something small. But take that first step out the door. It is the only way to get where you want to go.

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The Road Goes Ever On
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.