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"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


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God Save The Republic







29 December 2010

2010 . . . The Year In Review

Golly gee, so much has happened. I don't hardly know where to begin. NO!!! Seriously folks, thanks to a well controlled news(less) media, where does one find any facts based in truth to reflect back upon? Of course, I could drone on for days recounting the exploits of Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus or the Kardashian sisters. And if this sort of drivel isn't proof positive as to how the American public is being deliberately dumb down and treated to a seven course meal of smoke, mirrors and bullshit, then I've picked the wrong year to quit huffing Elmer's glue sticks.

Speaking of glue; Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband mistakes a bottle of adhesive for eye drops, glues his eye shut and makes the news. WTF!!! THIS is news???

Recently, I read a news item that says the year is closing with an upswing in the economy. Hard as I try, I just can't see it. Millions of my fellow Americans are still unemployed and will have no prospects for the creation of new jobs to be filled... EVER. Hundreds of thousands are being, or have been, sucked down into the bottomless pit of the tanking housing fiasco. Ya gotta know that when the bottom is reached, hundreds of thousands more are going to be taking up residency in tents. That is of course unless the upswing in the economy provides some with the luxury of setting up housekeeping in a double-wide packing crate.

On a brighter note; Hugh Hefner is engaged... yet again. (At his age, IF he can find it can he remember what to do with it?)

2010 may be remembered as the year wherein fuel prices were lower and more stable than the previous year. Or the year to come, for that matter. Many of us were able to keep our fuel tanks filled as opposed to only half filled. Electricity was cheap, considering the number of reports of children, geriatrics and the handicapped who were compelled to do the "Funky Chicken" at the end of Taser probes, courtesy of a few of the fine men and women who swore an oath to protect and serve us.

Lindsey Lohan is going to give it a go at a new rehab facility. (Ya gotta give her credit. The girl aint no quitter!!!)

We saw some "sweeping victories" made by conservatives and Tea Party inspired politicians during the mid-terms. Clearly an indicator that the American people aren't too happy with the "hope and change" promised by the globe trotting Kenyan and his court jesters. However, unless I have finally succumb to (even more) permanent brain damage caused by a childhood spent sniffing Prang water paints, it appears to me that an awful lot of folks are losing that little spark of rebellion they had pre mid-term. Please tell me we aren't settling back into that false sense of security one gets when they think someone else is going to "work tirelessly" to preserve and protect their freedoms.

Although not covered by the media outlets, my ex-daughter in law remarried and posted her wedding pics on her Facebook page. She was "kind" enough to email invites to her ex-in-laws (ie. us) to go to said page and check out said pics. After three previously failed marriages and, a lifestyle wherein she has had more tube installed than the Alaska pipeline, she saw fit to wear a white gown for the ceremony? If anyone could pull that off with a straight face, she could. Proof positive that the aberrant behavior of mental illness is the confirmed new normal.

Bringing up mental illness reminds me that in 2010, we were all (well, mostly all) "blessed" with the passage of Obamacare. Of course it's no blessing for those of us who are forced to pay for it. Or those who are too old or too disabled to work in order to pay into it. Just remember Terry Schiavo and the SCrOTUS decision to officially disavow any government recognized guarantee of an individual's right to life.

Ya know, rather than continue a review of 2010, I think it would look much better in my rear-view mirror while I beat a hasty retreat. Unfortunately, we are all on a squirrel cage type of tread mill and the bad stuff just keeps coming back around every few steps we take.

I sincerely wish everyone the absolute best in 2011. However, as is the case for my ex-daughter in law's new husband, I'll hope for the best even though it's a sure bet that isn't going to happen.

MikeH.

24 December 2010

Many Times. . . Many Ways

At the extreme risk of offending members of the politically correct crowd, atheists, socialists, progressives, communists, radical islamists and all the other parasitic scum throughout the world; I would like to extend my most sincere wishes for a very

MERRY CHRISTMAS

If, on the other hand, you subscribe to the ideology of the politically correct, atheists, socialists, progressives, communists, radical islamists or any of the other parasitic scum throughout the world AND are among those who discourage the use of the word Christmas because at the very foundation of the word is CHRIST; please feel free to kiss my fat, hairy, pink, dimpled ass.



MikeH.

07 December 2010

Devil's Advocate

A really good plan always has a back up plan. An excellent plan has a flow chart of back ups and contingency plans. Are you sure you have all your bases covered?

Let's play The Devil's Advocate...

You have prudently considered several of the most likely "stinky stuff through the fan blade" scenarios that will bring about the end of the world as we know it. You have put a lot of thought, time and money into fortifying your stand. You have stocked your stores with enough bandages, beans, bullets and bullion to see you and each member of your unit through a year of hard times.

You listened to the advise of the various experts and didn't put all of your preps into this one basket. You have an EMP proof bug out vehicle in the event you have to beat a hasty retreat out of your stand. You have a well stocked back up location to retreat to and you have several well concealed caches of supplies in case you are forced to beat feet with little more than the clothes on your back.

You have put your spare time to good use by studying a multitude of subjects dealing with self-sufficiency. If you were suddenly thrust into almost any equivalent of a substandard third world country, you would not only survive, you would thrive. And you would have the ability to teach others to do the same; a link in a chain that could help bring about the much better world we all dream of should we make it to the other side of the big collapse.

Ah, if only all of life's little cluster bombs could flow chart down to as happy a resolution as the troubleshooting chapter in a Chilton's automotive repair manual. Unfortunately, life has way too many variables, and a devil's advocate named Murphy pretty much demands that the negative side of the flowchart provide problems that vastly outnumber the solutions on the positive side.

My chart presents what I see as the final problem; For whatever the reasons, all of my efforts have resulted in dismal failure. I am out of food, out of supplies and out of any means to buy or barter for goods. The resolution options are pretty much obvious. Do I turn zombie and take what I need from others, by lethal force, in order to survive or do I succumb to (or precipitate) my own death to prevent that from happening? Does having family, especially children, provide a justification to harm others so that you can provide for that family in such a survival situation?

Don't be bashful. Jump in and let's kick this around a bit.

MikeH.

01 December 2010

What Are We Waiting For

Some days ya just can't find good blogable information to grab on to and run with. There are so many of us bloggers who are on the same page, in the ideology department, that most good stories have already been blogged and commented on several times over, on several different blog sites. Sure makes it difficult to show some originality. Most recently, there have been a few stories that demand attention; two have been blogged over like Turkey Buzzards on fresh roadkill. A third allows me the opportunity to be somewhatly original.

Story One: The past couple of days I have poked a little fun at the folks over at the TSA. Not original but I believe needed in order to keep poking a stick at the hornet's nest that I hope is the American people.

There is hardly a day passing where we don't learn of some new and outrageous degradation forced upon an unsuspecting member of society by the jackbooted bastards assigned to "secure" our air travel. The latest indignation comes in the form of a young mother who objected to a container of her breast milk being sent through an x-ray scanner, and her being held in a glass cell for an hour, in full view of the public, for making that objection. This was a clear cut case of false imprisonment considering TSA policy allows this exact situation to be a reasonable cause for objection by a passenger, and the scanning omitted.

I can't rationalize this. Are the powers that be, within the TSA, getting off on the tyrannical acts heaped against us members of the peon class, or are they working ever so diligently to destroy the air travel industry by making more of us look at other means of travel not currently under their authority to grope or imprison, or both?

Are the folks who have the "hands on" jobs with the TSA too mentally weak to take a stand against a system that permits these acts or are they too getting off on the power trip they are afforded? Personally, I'd rather take my chances in the cold, cruel world by walking off the job than willfully screwing over folks and getting paid for it.

John Ross, in his novel "Unintended Consequences," presented a solution for tax feeders who took pleasure in biting on the hands that feed them. What are we waiting for?

Story Two: In a word... WikiLeaks.

In one of his recent radio broadcasts, Glenn Beck claims to have tracked a financial connection between WikiLeaks and George Soros. (I wouldn't doubt that a little more tracking would uncover a "direct connection" between WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and U.S. politician Barney Frank.)

Whether all true or not, WikiLeaks, in my opinion, has crossed the threshold from the online equivalent of the National Inquirer to a foreign espionage / propaganda agency that is out to help destroy America. To expand on the John Ross idea a tad, I feel a drone launched missile strike on Assange is a reasonable solution to the problem. For that fact, let's send one for Soros while we're at it. Better yet, one launch three hits, on a menage a trois of Assange, Soros and Frank. What are we waiting for?

Story Three: The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that using another person's social security number is not an identity theft crime... as long as that person doesn't use your name along with your SSN.

The case is in regards to an immigrant who used a false social security number to get a job. Advocates say that undocumented workers are fundamentally different from identity theft criminals trying to steal credit. According to Chuck Roth, litigation director at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, "An immigrant who uses a false SSN to obtain a job doesn't intend to harm anyone, and it makes no sense to spend our tax dollars to imprison them for two years."

The U.S. Supreme Court came to a unanimous decision on the matter. The justices found that a person using an unknown person's SSN to obtain work authorization did not "knowingly" use information that belonged to that other person, as required by the identity theft statute.

The Identity Theft Resource Center argues that immigrants who use false SSNs to get employment often end up using the numbers to obtain credit cards or car loans that can ultimately become blended in with the credit history of the rightful holder of the SSN, all too frequently with disastrous results. The ITRC says this is a dangerous precedent that has now been established and which could permit abuses of the system designed to protect innocent bystanders from fraud.

The way I see it, if an immigrant (of illegal status, no doubt) illegally obtains or just grabs nine numbers out of thin air to get a job, and those numbers happen to be the same numbers officially assigned to you, and said immigrant fails to file a tax return; guess who the IRS will come looking for? And guess who will not be understanding or sympathetic to your situation when you look at them and say you haven't a clue as to how their figures indicate you made a few thousand dollars more this year than what you claimed?

Regardless of whether it's private creditors or government tax agents coming after you, they do not care who, or how many, might be using the information that was assigned to you. And they do not care in what way your identity may suffer. And the courts have given them free reign to stick it to you while the person actually responsible is absolved of any culpability by merely claiming they didn't knowing do it to harm you. (But what happened to the other three standards of culpability; purposefully, recklessly or negligently?)

If we don't do something soon, there won't be anything left to do anything for. So what are we waiting for?

MikeH.

29 November 2010

23 November 2010

Way Too High. . . And Rising

Back in 1974, Johnny Cash released the song "Five Feet High And Rising." It's a rather simple tune about a family forced to flee their farm due to rising flood waters and the recurring questions being posed, "how high's the water, mama?" Mr. Cash ends the song with the water level reaching the five foot mark. Seeing how the song had to end somewhere, I suppose five feet was high enough.

Looking around us here in 2010, I feel a flood of various crisis waxing ever higher, and if you were to ask me "how high's the water MikeH," I'd be dead on target by saying it's way too high, and the stakes are rising. I believe we are at the threshold of losing far more than the farm if that last step is taken to cross over.

My blogging contemporary, Anthony Martin, at "The Liberty Sphere," has written about the mysterious contrail that was observed off the California coast back on 08 Nov. 2010. (See full story here) Mr. Martin reports that two experts claim it was in fact the contrail from a missile, and that the missile was launched from a Chinese submarine. The experts conclude the Chinese were driving home a point regarding their lack of humor over the U.S. government's lack of fiscal responsibility, considering the fact that the Chinese hold billions of dollars worth of U.S. debts.

Now let's look at this story from 23 Nov. 2010, regarding the shelling of a South Korean Island by the North, and the included mention of North Korea's continued efforts to get their hands on nuclear material. Granted, North Korea's "Billy Badass" routine may well be their usual means of forcing sanction concessions and extorting some "good will" cash from the United Nations. However, the folks in the South may not be so easily appeased this time and the world, or a small part there of, may find itself thrust through the doorway of no return and dashed upon the jagged rocks ahead.

Folks, I fear the world is in way over it's head and the dam hasn't yet, but IS about to break. My advise is; don't get caught with a leaky lifeboat.

....................

It may not seem so at times but we do have a lot to be thankful for. May your bird be fat and your stuffing be moist, and don't forget who it is we need to show our thanks to.

MikeH.

21 November 2010

What Are The Chances

As I have mentioned in past posts, I tend to prepare for the absolute worst situations. I suppose IF something bad does occur, and IF that something is far less severe than what I have prepared for, then perhaps I will have far less to be depressed about on the other end. I really don't have a problem coming out looking like a paranoid whack job as opposed to not coming out alive and well, with my family, should the stinky stuff reach it's full disaster potential. That's why someone coined the phrase, "pray for the best... prepare for the worst."

It's a given that food / water is on the top of the prepper's list of "must haves." I'm really not sure how one becomes certified as an expert on the subject but, there are "experts" who recommend having six months to a full year's worth of food, on hand, for each member of the well prepped prepper's family. Personally, I have concerns that a stockpile that could see you through a full twenty-four months might not be enough. But, in the words of Dennis Miller, "that's just my opinion... I could be wrong."

Of course, many of those "experts" claim that non-preppers will far outnumber preppers, and that there will be a huge conversion from non-preppers to non-preppers gone feral (zombies) prior to a mass starve off / kill off of the weaker members of society, fairly soon after the stinky stuff is firmly thrust into those fickle fan blades of fate.

The question I have about this is; what are the chances that, somewhere along the line, this might bring about the total, or near total, decimation of animal life as we know it? The extinction of pet, farm, game and varmint critters as anything that flies, walks or crawls might well be taken for a meal by the hungry masses. I don't think it's that unreasonable of a question given that a few of those "experts" have suggested the possibility of a semi widespread outbreak of cannibalism might occur. (Forgive me a moment while I chuckle at the thought of Sam Elliott telling us "Long pig... it's what's for supper.")

I have brought up this subject because, not long ago, I became involve in a conversation with a man who remarked he was not all that concerned with long term food storage preps, "because country folks can survive. I can hunt, fish, farm and trap to provide for me and mine." Now I could see that as an original thought; except for the fact that we need to consider the idea that somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000,000 American gun owners will also be out there hunting the walkers, fliers and crawlers while an unimaginable number of folks will be taking fish by all means necessary and laying waste to crop producing farm lands.

Hunger pangs will quickly over-rule any thoughts of wildlife conservation that could otherwise provide for supplies in the long term. This is especially true when you realize that nearly every critter in North America is edible. Just consider Sylvester Stallone's character in "Demolition Man" continuing to feast on a ratburger, even after learning the source of the meat.

To further drive home my concerns on this issue, let's consider the near total extinction of the North American Bison, Wild Turkey and Elk herds east of the Rockies, which began early in the 19th. century. A little over 150 years later, numbers of each have been brought back from the brink, but still not to the levels they were before that time.

I guess what I'm thinking here is this. After a major "TEOTWAWKI," those of us who make it through to the other side may be force into a vegan lifestyle and where the cost of meat, if any, may command it's weight in platinum. It could be many years before our decedents might enjoy a steak that we today take for granted.

That ratburger is almost starting to sound pretty good about now.

MikeH

10 November 2010

Catching Up

On The Home Front

10 03 10, my grand-daughter was born... seven pounds, nineteen inches. God blessed her with good health and none of my physical features. I pray that I can be instrumental in securing her, and all of our children and grandchildren, a long life of freedom and prosperity. Lord knows there are damn few in our government who will strive to do the same.

The Political Scene

I still can't believe that Reid won reelection fair and square. On the other hand, I CAN believe that the "Democretins" are writing Pelosi a letter, asking her to realize the damage she will do to the party if she presses her bid for minority leader. Of course, the wording of said letter is a schmoozefest cleverly crafted to avoid drawing the wrath of the West's most Wicked Witch. Calling her term as Speaker of the House "historic" is a bunch of schmooze... crafted under high pressure through a five inch fire hose.

I'm not holding my breathe expecting to see much in the way of hope or change from the newly elected. The few constitutionalists (Tea Party inspired) are too few to make a difference against the progressives and career criminals (er, ah, politicians) from the other two parties, over the long haul. For the here and now, though, those tax parasites will be busy polishing their halos, trying to convince the American people that they are working towards America's best interests. At least for as long as the American people appear awake and watchful.

Prepping Stuff

Here is an interesting piece from the Nation Inflation Association. If these guys are even half right, we are about to be so very big time screwed. This tends to follow the predictions of Gerald Celente regarding the potential for coming food riots. Folks, no matter how much you have, it's not enough.

MikeH.

03 November 2010

Grandpa Mike

I just got the word that my daughter in law has gone into labor. I'll be heading out for a few days so my commentary on yesterday's jokefest will be delayed. However, I am compelled to wonder; was there massive voter fraud in Nevada, or are those people too damn blind or too damn stupid to believe there is still some hope to be found in Harry "Weasel-dick" Reid?

MikeH.

26 October 2010

The Rock And The Hard Place

As metaphors go, the phrase "between a rock and a hard place" can present some interesting implications that can easily apply regardless of whether your participation is active, reactive or passive. I suppose the absolute down side to being forced between a rock and a hard place is, no matter what decision you make to relieve yourself from that spot, "you'll be damned if you do and / or damned if you don't." Understand fully, no matter what you do next Tuesday, we are and we will remain between that rock and that hard place.

It appears to me that there are a lot of folks who are of the opinion that sweeping the Gypsies, tramps and thieves (and socialists) out of government will put us (you, me, the country as a whole) on the road to fixed. Call me the harbinger of bad news if you like but, no matter how you vote, or if you even vote at all next week, we're damned. We are painted into a corner between a rock and a hard place with no way out AND the rock is moving in on us. To be brutally honest, we are so screwed, the only recourse God would have available to help us would be to press the universal reset button.

The "road to fixed" requires jobs and we don't have them. Between the economy forcing businesses out of business, and work force greed forcing businesses to pack up and move out to countries where the minimum wage is the equivalent of nickels and dimes here, the once greatest industrial nation on the planet is now the greatest consumer nation. But consumption can get real expensive, especially when so many are out of work and can no longer afford to, well, consume.

Of course, the political "luminaries" from all parties are out there making those big promises about creating jobs and putting folks back to work. It would be a pretty neat trick if any one, or the whole crew together, could pull it off. However, business creates jobs, and politicians don't create business. Make no mistake, though, even if it were possible, it would take years to re-employ all of those currently out of work, and to have jobs available for the next employable generation.

The next major problem we can not fix or escape is the national debt. I can't believe the number of candidates who are running on the promise of slashing government spending and getting folks to listen and build hope on that snake oil. Considering the amount of damage already done by spending, the problem in need of serious resolution is paying back what's been borrowed against. And right now, we can't even afford to make interest payments on that note. (even if every man, woman and child in the country had jobs)

Have you ever watched a bus load of Chinese tourists taking hundreds of photos of buildings, and monuments, and museum art collections and the such? They aren't caught up in the rapture of a Kodak moment. They are documenting the inventory!!! Do you honestly think for a moment that China can be convinced to reduce, forestall or outright forgive the U.S. debt they hold? I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that those are 1. some odd billion thumbs we will never get out from under. We are far more likely to become prisoners of war or voluntarily submit to indentured servitude first.

Whatever it is that we are hoping to restore is long gone. We have nowhere to go but farther down., no matter who we put in office. If we banned together and took control of the government by force, it will still do no good. All it might do is give China cause and / or an opening to slip in and begin a massive repo operation. And with all the mouths they have to feed, I doubt they will find it necessary to hire local workers.

Yes sir, there is no doubt about it; we are for sure caught between a rock and a hard place.

MikeH. (and I approved this message)

13 October 2010

Now Isn't That Interesting

I've noticed something unusual in the current batch of political campaign ads and commercials. Almost everyone, at least in my area, is claiming to be a "conservative" candidate. When it struck me that TWO "conservative" candidates are running for the same office, I made it a point to pay better attention the next time their commercials appeared. Damnedest thing!!! Neither candidate claimed party affiliation in word or print. This prompted me to check their websites and learn that one is a republican and the other a democrat.

This caused me to pay closer attention to everything from all candidates for all offices, including their political yard signs. No one (read NO ONE) is making their individual party affiliation obvious in or on ads, signs or commercials.

I can understand why democrats would want to distance themselves from tags like democrat, communist, socialist, progressive, liberal, and did I already mention "democrat?" But to claim being a conservative WHILE NOT mentioning democrat is, dare I say it, outright deceitful!!! Almost like an attempt to confuse conservatives (of the republican or Tea Party persuasion) into thinking and voting a name rather than a party. Considering the vast numbers that were sucked in to obama's hope and change snake oil, I think it fairly obvious the ease at which American voters can be intentionally misguided.

The thing I don't understand, though; why are the republicans seemingly playing the same nameless party game?

MikeH.

06 October 2010

Perimeter Security

In my last two postings, I discussed the importance of identifying and beefing up easy breach risks of your structure, then the prudence behind utilizing mechanical devices for intrusion alerting, should an intrusion attempt be made into your structure. I suppose it follows a logical progression to now talk about securing the perimeter around the outside of your structure.

As in my last post, I want to warn against the use of any "booby trapping" that could result in the injury or death of an interloper, regardless of their intentions. There is a very real possibility that these situations can bring about a civil and / or criminal action against you, even if said interloper were a Hannibal Lecter wannabe who is found with a can of Pinto beans and a bottle of "Mad Dog 20 - 20" in his mess kit.

Just like with home construction, landscape design is primarily intended as eye-candy to wow your neighbors and folks passing by, but not enhance your security measures. There are instances where some landscape designs unintentionally enhance security risks. A good example of this would be shrubbery along an outside wall of a structure. If only a few feet high, they can still provide cover and ambush points for bad guys, and covert locations for window peepers.

Low voltage and solar type landscape lighting dresses up shrub beds real nice. Problem is, low voltage systems can be unplugged or their wires clipped / shorted out, and solar lights are easily broken or buried under a layer of mulch. Save the decorative lighting money and pull out the shrubs. If you absolutely feel the need for something in their place, go with a flower bed. And keep decorative block walls around those beds no higher than two or three courses.

Large diameter trees provide another source of interloper stealth plus bullet resistant cover. If you have large old growth trees within 100 feet of the structure, I suggest removal and having stumps ground down to ground level. Stumps too can provide some cover, and they might present a trip hazard if YOU need to beat a hasty escape in the dead of night.

My own property is almost two acres. About 120 feet from the rear of the house is a heavily wooded area that is, at it's deepest point, about forty yards, and bordered by a steep bank creek. The property on the opposite side has a thirty foot grade that rises quickly above the creek. The wooded area is a mess of high weeds, old and second growth trees, junk trees, fallen trees, some very nasty long thorns attached to long slender stems, thick tangle-foot, poison oak, poison ivy and Copperheads. I had considered clearing the land until I considered it's security advantages and discovered it is a bedding and feeding area for a family of fresh venison steaks.

What I have done is create a small opening where the deer trail comes closest to the edge of the back yard. Call it a decompression point that "forces" trespassers to an easy exit of my choosing, and into a 120 foot clearing with no bullet resistant cover and little chance for stealth. High watt motion sensor lights and a pair of Labrador Retriever "alarms" round out the back yard security system. Of course the lights are only a plus as long as there is electrical service or they haven't been shot out.

For some folks, fencing around their perimeter is a good way to go. A fence may not stop someone intent on entering your property, but even a split rail fence will slow people down, and slow equals time... as in time for you to react. Fences provide an advantage over high solid walls; they allow you to see an approach and a breach where with a wall, you only get to see the end result of a climb over breach, if you're lucky enough to be looking in the right area at the right time.

Human beings are like electricity in that they will, more often than not, follow the path of least resistance. It is a predictability that you can almost count on. Put up a fence or wall and include an opening, most folks will chance the opening rather than work at cutting or climbing. At least up until a group sees the first few get picked off by an observant property owner.

So, the optimum perimeter security designs are going to take away cover and close-in ambush points, but creating small choke point openings into designated shooting zones that would force a hoard of zombies to enter slowly in single or double file, rather than an all out bum-rush, and make for easier targets.

As for using mechanical intrusion warning devices, there are certain considerations that need to be addressed during the planning stage. Tripwire noise makers or flares, for example, may be practical in some situations. However, there is the possibility of false alarms, caused by wild or pet animals. In my case, I don't want to chance scaring the hell out of and possibly running off a fresh meat source. You will have to assess your own needs to determine what is right for your situation.

MikeH.

29 September 2010

Intrusion Detection Alarms

You've conducted a structural security survey, determined what are, and addressed your structure's weaknesses. Now what?

Some subjects, like this one, are difficult to discuss because of the vast number of variables (possible scenarios) one may be prepping to defend against. Call me paranoid, but I tend to discuss and prep for what I consider to be the absolute worse case; A societal collapse, triggered by any of a vast number of events. My thinking is that it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and be woefully screwed if you don't have it. For this reason, I tend to lean toward the possibility that certain forms of life's conveniences (ie. electricity / phone service) could suffer a disruption.

With this in mind, when discussing intrusion detection alarm systems, I think electronic alarm systems are great... right up to the point where the power goes out for a week or more and the backup battery power is depleted, usually in less than a week, rendering the system useless. Then too, any disruption in phone service can quickly turn a remotely monitored system into a monetary waste. I suppose then, I should say; electronic alarm systems are great, while operating under optimal conditions. Otherwise, they provide nothing more than yet another false sense of security.

Of course, an alarm system, even under optimum conditions, is a lot like a padlock. It's only real purpose in life is to keep honest people honest, and low tech criminals looking for "easier pickins." Just remember my wise old sagery; For every security measure you come up with, someone else has already come up with half a dozen countermeasures.

Of Bells, Lights, Signs, Sirens And Whistles

When considering intrusion detection systems, some folks believe having some form of annunciation device mounted outside the structure is advantageous. Flashing lights and / or loud noise will scare off an intruder and alert neighbors... right? I recall an instance where I had come upon a business, in the wee hours of the morning, where the front window was completely broken out and the alarm system exterior mounted bell was ringing loud enough to wake the dead. Neighbors in the numerous apartments above and to either side slept through it or just didn't care enough to call it in. In another case, a neighbor became so annoyed that he or she decided to "reset" a long ringing bell with a round or two from a shotgun.

For the most part, even your thirteen year old, who has watched enough TV crime dramas, knows you can defeat exterior mounted noise makers with a can of expanding foam caulking sold at any hardware store. As for flashing lights, well, that's what God invented pellet guns for.

Posting "warning" signs around your property is a good (and cheap) way for an alarm company to advertise their business. For the customer, it advertises to bad guys (1) you have an alarm system, (2) you must have valuables worth protecting with said system and (3) cut the phone line and get out that can of foam caulking before making entry.

FYI: Professional burglars are most active at night during periods of severe weather conditions. This is when alarm monitoring companies and police agencies are usually being swamped with weather caused false alarms and delayed responses.

Think Mechanical Rather Than Electronic

Subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principal (keep it simple, stupid) applications of mechanics. The first, and most important, idea here is; the only thing of real value you need to worry about is you and your family / co-dwellers lives. So the most practical application for an alarm system is to alert you to an attempt at intrusion while you are in the structure, and especially while sleeping. Something loud that will "wake the dead" and either (a) scare off the intruder or (b) cause him to hesitate, whether it be to weigh the option to enter or not, or to complete a spontaneous colon evacuation, thus giving you the advantage of time.

Creativity works, just plan it out well and test fire it. Then consider anything that would cause a false alarm. And beware of Hollywood ideas. For example, in the movie "Conspiracy Theory," Mel Gibson balances a glass beer bottle, mouth end down, on top of a doorknob. Bad guy tries door knob, bottle falls, breaks and Mel knows it's time to slip out the back. Cute trick, except, way too many variables in real life can cause the bottle to fall. (ie. thunderstorm, earthquake, a fly on the bottle, etc.)

Stacking empty food cans on the inside of a door is a good noise maker. But stick with food cans that are heavier, rather than the light weight beverage cans. Metal cookware suspended from a trip cord daisy chained across windows and a door could create a "protected zone." It's always a good idea to change the arrangement around from time to time to maintain the clandestine integrity of your devices. It's also a good idea to have a backup device in play. Mine is a Chihuahua that barks when he hears a flea fart from a block away.

I suppose at this point, it would be prudent of me to post this warning. Intrusion detection devices and intruder booby trap devices are two very different things. I am not aware of any place in this country where you wouldn't be found liable in a civil case, or guilty in a criminal case, if an intruder (including Osama bin Laden) were hurt or killed while entering a booby trapped structure, occupied or not. It would be totally on you to prove how your life was so endangered to justify a booby trap as a means of self defense.

MikeH.

22 September 2010

Structural Security . . . Part Two

In the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs, the architects and workers were often ordered killed after building a pyramid. Call it the perfect version of operational security. The bottom line was, those who had the potential to know the secrets of how to enter the pyramid and reach the goodies hidden within were bound to hold the secrets for all time. In short, dead folks tell no tales.

Unless you can build an underground bunker without anyone (outside of close family, and even then you may not be safe) knowing or suspecting, said bunker is likely to become your tomb. Sophistication requires sources for materials and the logistics to get them to your site. Just try getting a rail container to, and buried in, your backyard without raising an eyebrow or two. Or several hundred yards of concrete. Do you think for a second your postal carrier or UPS / Fedex driver isn't aware of at least some of the survival supplies you've been ordering online? It is extremely difficult to avoid paper (and people) trails even when working hard at staying below the radar. How many people would you have to kill in order to keep your secret bunker a secret?

FYI: A bunker requires a fresh air source, and if I know or suspect you have a bunker, I'll find the above ground fresh air duct opening and either choke off the air supply to force you out, or I'll get pissed off from waiting, pour a couple gallons of gas in the duct and drop a match out of spite. As I pointed out in part one, even castles of heavy stone construction fell to highly motivated enemies. A subterranean castle is as much a false sense of security as one built above ground. If you build it, they will come, and destroy it, and take everything you have.

Don't mistake what I'm trying to convey here as promoting a defeatist mentality. Far from it. What I am saying is, you have to realize the benefit of fortification through realistic analysis. And that benefit is TIME.

If, for example, your beefed up entry points can delay a handful of thugs from invading your home, allowing you time to fall back to a "safe room" to call for help and / or arm yourself, then the benefit has been, at least partly, realized. The idea is to continue creating time and distance between you and the threat, then as a last resort, draw them into a choke point where your odds improve if push turns to gun play. However, if you are about to come face to face with a zombie hoard determined to help themselves to your pantry AND / OR YOU, then the benefit you will be in serious need of is time to make a getaway... out the door, window or tunnel and gone. Sure, you might sit in a second floor loft with a panoramic view, picking them off a few at a time but, how long can you stay awake watching? Time is now on their side. (Fat one eye guy says; why blow big bucks on survival stuff if you're going to risk it all in a fight against a numerically superior force?)

The things you need to consider when beefing up your structure's defenses are:

Wooden exterior doors in wooden frames with cheap hardware won't hold up to a battering ram. Steel doors in steel frames and hardened hardware will break too... just not as quickly.

Wood or steel doors with decorative glass panels look great, but you may as well not even bother locking them. Especially if you want to avoid having the decorative glass decorating your floor when bad guys break the glass to reach in to unlock the door.

With a little imagination, a foyer / open entry way can be turned into a 90 degree choke point with a 34 inch interior opening, with eye appeal, using a minimal investment in wall studs, drywall, drywall screws, joint compound, paint and time. This helps to prevent a straight in "bum rush" entry, tending to force "hard chargers" into looking like the Three Stooges trying to jam into a small space at the same time.

Windows... I can't find anything nice to say about windows. It's hard enough to find windows that will keep out a cold draft, let alone uninvited guests. It's first weakness is the glass and the second is the frame. Quarter height decorative wrought iron bar work will slow down unprepared thug type invaders. It will also slow down "retreaters" trying to escape a fire or an advancing zombie platoon. On the other hand, boarding up windows too far in advance of a societal crisis might appear a tad ostentatious to friends, neighbors or the homeowner's association Gestapo.

Provided there is (and I suspect there would be) some advanced notice of a collapse, having a few cases of sandbags, ready for filling and stacking along exterior walls, and inside windows, would be a wise purchase. They will stop repeated hits from most small arms fire, and when stacked with gaps across windows will provide adequate gun ports for returning fire.

Regardless of the best laid plans and preps, it is vitally important to understand; DO NOT become fixed on an "in place" survival strategy. Any structure can be breached. Plan for the possibility of having to make a hasty retreat out and away from your location should the situation demand. Preferably a retreat that can be made out of sight, and therefore out of mind, of those folks you really need to avoid. Of course you do have a list of "Plan B" locations already scoped out, right?

MikeH.

20 September 2010

Structural Security

In my particular situation, the purchase of a survival retreat in the hills of Montana (or elsewhere) is out of the realm of possibles. I'm relatively sure that's true for the majority of us, so we have little or no option but to dig in and remain in place, to face and defend from whatever evil our way may come. Whether we may be the possible random victim of a home invasion or defenders of the stronghold during a societal collapse, the most important question we must address is; just how strong is our stronghold and what optimum benefit will it provide us.

What good is buying massive quantities of bandages, beans and bullets when the structural integrity of your location is of little more than stick and frame construction, incapable of stopping a .22 caliber bullet or a highly motivated "zombie" with a chainsaw? But then, a lot of homes are built for eye appeal above all else.

Most folks feel safe and secure behind the walls of their basic stick and frame homes. They don't realize that those exterior walls consist of, at best, a half inch thick sheet of drywall, a layer of insulation, a quarter inch thick sheet of plywood or particleboard sheathing and wood, vinyl or older style aluminum siding. With the exception of 2" x 4" wood framing, (the stick part of stick and frame) that's spaced about every 16" apart, there is absolutely nothing that's solid enough to stop an incoming bullet, and the sticks won't hold up to a chainsaw.

An upgrade to the basic stick frame construction is brick. However, in most modern day construction, brick is nothing more than a substitute for the wood, vinyl or aluminum siding material. It is a facade that has no load bearing value incorporated into the structure. Brick will stop most pistol and rifle bullets and wreck havoc on chainsaw chains but, a few solid blows from a sledgehammer or a ram and the mortar joints / bricks will fail, leaving the weakness of the underlying sheathing and drywall constructed wall exposed.

Another structural nightmare, from a security standpoint, are windows. And that's because they have no security value whatsoever. Multiply that statement by two if the window in question is a sliding "patio" style door. And on the subject of doors; where an inflatable "love doll" might be a little better than self pleasuring for some folks, most standard doors and door frames are just a little better than having a wide open three foot by seven foot hole in the wall. Watching an episode or two of any entry team (cops / s.w.a.t) themed reality show and you'll see just how much protection "fortified" windows and doors provide neighborhood drug lords. Usually, when "pulls" (chains attached to vehicles) are used to breach barred windows or doors, frames and parts of walls are torn away from the structure as well.

Feeling vulnerable yet? For what it's worth, quite a few castles, and their residents, fell to their highly motivated attackers in the "days of old." Structural security is, in the end, a false sense of security. For every security measure you can implement, someone has already come up with half a dozen countermeasures. If they want in bad enough, they WILL get in. The best you can hope for from your fortifications is to slow them down. But to what benefit for you?

Let this information sink in a bit.

To be continued

MikeH.

14 September 2010

Lessons Learned . . . The Hard Way

Near where I grew up was a used car dealer who, like many used car dealers, had a highly shady reputation. This guy could take a total wreck and have it looking "cherry" using little more than baling wire, body filler and household spray paint. Of course, that A-1 appearance usually wound up all over a customer's driveway after a heavy rain fall. Moral to the story is: buyer beware.

For those of us who are prepping on a budget, the absolute last thing you want is to find out a piece of equipment that you paid good money for won't work or hold up. Especially at the most critical moments when you need it most. Probably top on that equipment list would be your firearm. It's better to have one and not need it than to need one after you discover yours suddenly doesn't work anymore. Enter Century Arms International.

Century Arms markets a number of older military firearms at low prices. Obviously an eye-catcher for buyers on a budget. The problem is, you never know the quality of the weapon you're going to receive.

As an example: Century markets a CETME rifle in .308 caliber, for right around $500.00 each. An outstanding price for a .308 battle rifle. CETME, (Center For The Technical Study of Special Materials) of Madrid, Spain built thousands of these fine rifles for their military as well as for armed forces for a few other countries. As any good business does, they also produced thousands of spare parts. So when the CETME rifle was eventually replaced with new arms, CETME was left holding thousands of unused and used rifles and thousands of unused and used spare parts. Think in terms of warehouses full of rifles and parts.

Through legal business, Century was able to purchase huge lots of the parts, bring them into the U.S. then assemble and market the final product, with some modifications to comply with U.S. gun laws, and to appease the BATF&E. These modifications include; changing the fire control parts so the rifle will not fire in full auto mode and replacing a specific number of original parts (like barrels, receivers, stocks, bolts, etc.) with ones manufactured in the United States. (called compliance parts or a weapon being 922r compliant)

This is where the problems occur. When the "craftsmen" at Century assemble the rifles, they are using whatever parts they have in front of them, be they unused parts in perfect condition, or used parts that are worn to near or outside of their specs. It's not unusual to find rifles that have been assembled with both used and unused parts. Then there is a very common quality control issue where new barrels are out of spec when welded into the receivers, causing a potentially dangerous problem with the chamber headspace.

To be fair, Century has put out some good acceptable rifles. Unfortunately, it's a hit or miss proposition. If the rifle is purchased under warranty, Century will make repairs on the issues brought to their attention. Just don't expect them to look for and correct problems you aren't aware of or don't bring to their attention. Also, they have been known to fix one problem but create another, and lastly, they have a very long turnaround time. On the other hand, if the weapon is no longer under warranty, the cost of having an experienced gunsmith make the repairs can cost a few hundred dollars. At this point, you could have bought a new gun of name brand.

How do I know these things? I own three Century assembled weapons; two AK-47s and a CETME. However, I am an experienced gunsmith / armorer so all I had to invest was a little time and a little cash for replacement parts to bring all three guns into spec.

For those who are unable to do that kind of firearm repairs, you need to be aware of the potential for problems with Century Arms' "pieces / parts" guns if you're considering buying one. If you already own one, it would be in your best interests to have it inspected for problems.

Besides CETMEs and AKs, Century also markets ARs, FN FALs and a host of other foreign produced shotguns and pistols. I'm not saying don't buy'em. I am only warning through experience... buyer beware. It could turn into a lesson learned the hard way.

MikeH.

13 September 2010

Resolution To NYC Mosque Debate

The Imam leading the effort to build an Islamic center and mosque near the World Trade Center site said a resolution to the raging debate over it's location is being examined.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said, "We are exploring all options as we speak right now, and are working to what will be a solution, God willing, that will resolve this crisis, defuse it and not create any unforeseen or untoward circumstances that we do not want to happen."

He did not elaborate on whether the options included moving the center from a site two blocks from the WTC "gorund zero" location.

....................

Folks, this is a seriously silly cause for outrage on our (non Muslims) part. Why can't we forgive, forget and accept people of a culture different from our own? I propose, as a gesture of good faith and good will, we organize a coming together celebration on the intended building site. I was thinking something along the lines of a pig roast and rib burn-off.

MikeH.

10 September 2010

Information And Power

I don't know who deserves the credit, but someone coined these gems of wisdom, "information is power." When you consider the implication; having personal / pertinent information about another person can provide one a certain amount of influence over that other person's life. Of course it stands to reason that, the more information one has, the more influence one holds. The down side to this is, influence translates as power and, as found in these gems of wisdom, "power corrupts."

According to newsobserver.com, the North Carolina State Sheriff's Association wants it's members and other law enforcement officials to have access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkiller and other controlled substances. Currently, doctors and pharmacists are the primary users of the computerized database.

Sheriffs made their pitch to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said more people in their counties die from accidental overdoses than from homicides. For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the prescription records should be open to them. "We can better go after those who are abusing the system," said Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter.

The state began collecting prescription information in 2007 to help doctors identify patients who go from doctor to doctor trying to obtain prescriptions for drugs they may not need, and to keep pharmacists from supplying patients with too many pills. Only about twenty percent of doctors in North Carolina have registered to use the system and only about ten percent of pharmacists.

N.C. Sheriff's Association lobbyist, Eddie Caldwell, said the level of access to the data is up for discussion. "There's a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information. No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up."

....................

I suppose some comfort can be found in Caldwell's words regarding no one wants every officer to have access to the database. I'd find more comfort had he said no one wants ANY officer to have access. And the only thing I take for pain is Ibuprofen. However, during the first six months of this year, thirty percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions for more than 375 million doses during that period.

It is also of interest to note that the ACLU opposed a similar bill in 2007, saying there were concerns over potential privacy issues.

In what certainly appears to be an all out sprint toward a full fledged police state, absolutely no good can come from police having access to this data. What useful purpose is served by holding information about millions when only a small percentage are guilty of criminal abuses? If the number of deaths to accidental overdoses is a determining factor, how many of those were caused by criminal abuse as compared to patient error, suicide or doctor error?

If allowed to happen, this will be the beginning of the end for any expectation of privacy between a patient and doctor. It will, though, be information providing even more power to those with a potential to use it against us.

MikeH.

08 September 2010

One Must Have Priorities

The Reverend Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville Florida, is promoting an interesting demonstration, to be held on September 11, to mark the ninth anniversary of the gutless terrorist attacks of 09 11 01. (A day that will, and should, live in infamy) Rev. Jones is calling for an international "Burn A Koran Day," which the White House, religious leaders and other are pressuring him to call off.

According to Jones, he has received more than one hundred death threats, since announcing his plan, and now feels forced to carry a .40 caliber pistol for self protection. Despite the threats and pressure, Rev. Jones refuses to abandon his intentions. Supporters have been mailing copies of the Koran to his church, of about fifty followers, to be incinerated Saturday.

Secretary of State, Hillery Clinton voiced her disapproval of the proposed demonstration, while at a dinner in observance of Iftar, which signifies the end of the daily fast observed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Ms. Clinton said, "I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths."

U.S. Army General David Petraeus warned in an email to the Associated Press that "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan, and around the world, to flame public opinion and incite violence.

White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs echoed the concerns raised by Petraeus saying, any type of activity like this, that puts our troops in harms way would be a concern to this administration.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the planned burning "idiotic and dangerous" according to a Justice Department official. Holder made the statement during a meeting with religious leaders to discuss recent attacks on Muslims and mosques around the U.S.

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, who during his campaign became the target of a Jones led protest because he is openly gay, has declared Sept. 11 as "Interfaith Solidarity Day" in his city.

In Afghanistan, Muslim cleric and Afghan parliament candidate Mohammad Mukhtar said, "When their holy book gets burned in public, then there is nothing left. If this happens, the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed. No matter where they will be in the world, they will be killed."

Last month, Indonesian Muslims demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, threatening violence if Jones goes through with the burning.

....................

I find it easy to comprehend the concept of Hillery Clinton celebrating the end of any period of fasting. I just have a little trouble understanding her celebrating the month long fasting observed during Ramadan. Especially since there would be absolutely no caloric benefit to kissing Muslim ass. And considering the size of those tree trunks she calls legs, I find it difficult to imagine her surviving the period of fasting between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.

General Petraeus appears to have become blind to the fact that Muslims are offended by EVERYTHING, especially the continued breathing by any group of people who are not Muslim.

Robert Gibbs seems to have become blind to the fact that U.S. military personnel, serving in Afghanistan and throughout the world are already eyebrow deep in harms way, thanks to the idiots who have and who are running the U.S. and the war against terror.

Eric Holder is the Attorney General, still? He has been so far under the radar for so long, I forgot he exists. I'm pretty sure I liked him much better that way.

Gaiesville's Mayor Lowe appears to have an unusual concept of the meaning of turning the other cheek. Then again, perhaps he is a cheek turner from way back, much like the aforementioned high ranking government officials who seem to have made it a priority to nuzzle and pucker up to every Muslim butt cheek they can find.

To Reverend Jones I say this; I would send you a copy of the Quran to burn only I don't think it would ignite because it's soaking wet from cover to cover. And urine soaked paper tends to stink up the air when tossed into a fire.

MikeH.

06 September 2010

Forget The Chest Waders

Once again, a whole week goes by and there's hardly any news coming out of DC. Then along comes a holiday and bada bing... The Big Zero speaks.

According to MSNBC.com, Zippy proposes a massive "rebuilding program" that will include 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of railways and 150 miles of airport runways, costing at least $50 billion. However, a little deeper into the story, the wording is changed to "officials said spending would be front loaded with an initial fifty billion dollars to help create jobs in the future." I suppose it's also worthy of mention that the official spoke on condition of anonymity, ahead of His Nadaness' announcement.

Now, Zero has this bright idea to create a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects. Officials wouldn't say what the total cost of the infrastructure investments would be, but did say the initial fifty billion dollars represents a significant percentage. These officials said the White House would consider closing a number of special tax breaks for oil and gas companies to pay for the proposal.

Other stimulus measures the administration is considering include extending a law passed in March that exempts companies that hire unemployed workers from paying social security taxes on those workers through December.

....................

Let's look at this steamy pile for a minute.

First, it's a little unclear as to whether the rebuilding project is going to cost fifty billion in total, or if that just the opening salvo, with plenty more to follow.

Second, considering there are millions of Americans out of work RIGHT NOW, how far into the future before those jobs are available and how far down the road will the jobs last? I think it reasonable to consider; those construction jobs are generally performed by UNION workers. Union workers are covered by the "seniority rules" by-law where senior members always have first consideration over all others, including new hires. I have to wonder how many new hires will even have a chance at getting one of these jobs.

Third, the creation of an "infrastructures bank" to fund these projects scares the hell out of me. I not only have a clue who will run the bank, I also have a clear idea where the funds will go and who will wind up funding the funds bank.

Fourth, some folks may feel justice will be served when those multi billion dollar gas and oil companies lose their tax breaks. They will continue to make their billions; by laying off workers and charging HIGHER PRICES to consumers. There is no justice... only consequences. "Gas and oil prices will necessarily skyrocket."

Fifth, social security is broke. How does exempting companies from paying those taxes, even for just a few months, help to rebuild social security?

Sixth, it is noteworthy that this "leaked" information comes so close to the November elections.

Folks, forget the chest waders. To avoid contamination from this political BS fairy tale, we're going to need full body condoms.

MikeH.

02 September 2010

No Need For God

USA Today, 09 02 10, reports that Stephen Hawking has concluded "spontaneous creation" is the reason there is something, rather than nothing, and that "it is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." Or in other words, bow before the great bang theory because there was no need for God... just "poof!!!"

So let me see if I get this: All of the right things just "poof" came together to form a planet that would be capable of sustaining life? Water, animal life (for food), plant life (for food) for both humans and animals, trees for photosynthesis, bees for pollenation, birds to eat and drop seeds, an atmosphere, gravity, sunshine, rain and all the fishes in the sea??? And pray I don't fail to mention all of the many complexities of the human body and amazingly "poof" the way in which said humans were immediately able to adapt to the planet, sight unseen, and without a total die-off if "poof" had made a slight miscalculation somewhere along the process OR, neglected to create predators to keep us from being ass deep in rabbits. That's a pretty powerful AND down right smart "poof" there Stephen.

By the way, should I be using an uppercase P in Poof?

Should anyone be surprised when the American Pledge of Allegiance is changed to "... one nation, under Poof..."

I have a better idea. Since Mr. Hawking made the statement, a month or so ago, about how we shouldn't be pissing off aliens by trying to signal them, and since I am really sure I could never conform to the whole "poof" thing, I think I'll stick with God. And as for Stephen... well Stephen can just go poof himself.

MikeH.

01 September 2010

Dear Barry

From MSNBC.com 09 01 10:

Obama ends Iraq combat mission. President says, "nation's top priority now is repairing the economy."

Just to be clear, whose economy are we talking about here, Barry?

If it's America's economy you're talking about; why is it only just now becoming a top priority? Why not before it reached the point we're at now? Is it because you're too incompetent to multi-task? Why not before (or while) we pumped military personnel and billions of our dollars into repairing the economy of an oil rich, third world shithole? And ya know we aint gonna see a drop of reasonably priced Iraqi oil in recompense or gratitude for the American lives lost or shattered and the money dumped on a lame nag.

Let's face the facts, Barry; you are a world class snake oil peddler. Even though you have ended the Iraq combat mission, I'll wager a bet that American military troops are still going to be killed over there. Bodies and minds will be broken, but those troops are going to come home to the same old sub standard medical care, no prospect for jobs and no hope for a future thanks to you, and the "progressives" from both political parties. God knows, you can't pull any of that off for the folks here at home. Your words are meaningless because, as we all know by now, even if you had America's best interests at heart, there is no magic bandage that can fix, let alone stem the flow, of the hemorrhage that is America's future.

Personally Barry, I am going to make it my life's mission to outlive you. And it's not because I want the opportunity to urinate on your grave. However, I do intend to open a grave-side beer concession. Even at a penny a glass, I'll be richly fulfilled beyond my wildest dreams.

Regretfully Yours,

MikeH.

PS:

I honestly can not believe television programming had to be pushed back fifteen minutes for your pathetic attempt at apple polishing. Barry, you're an arrogant ass.

31 August 2010

Firefight Mechanics

I'm not even going to try to understand where the bean counters come up with their figures, especially since there are too many variables to be considered. The bean, or should I say bullet, counters claim the ratio of ammunition expended to enemy troops killed, during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, was more than fifty thousand to one (50,000:1). There are reports, that I have not been able to confirm yet, suggesting the bullet to kill ratio for Iraq and Afghanistan is running in the neighborhood of two hundred fifty thousand to one (250,000:1).

Now, I can understand certain elements involved in a firefight. For example, I understand the need for using aimed cover / suppressive fire, which puts enough lead down range intended to keep the enemy face down, rather than heads up and shooting back and thus allowing for an advance or retreat. And if you are laying down that suppressive fire in full auto mode, I suppose it's fairly easy to see where the bullet to kill ratio can get a tad lop-sided.

However, I've seen a lot of taped footage from Vietnam era firefights where U.S. troops cut loose with full auto fire un-aimed, with their heads deep behind cover, while their weapon muzzles danced skyward or into the ground. Commonly referred to as "spray and pray," this mode of fire has no practical application other than it being an act of desperation. Whether you're blessed with full auto capabilities or a nervous tick in the trigger finger, this is not a good thing if your ammo supply is forty thousand rounds short of taking out even one bad guy intent on doing you harm.

Damn few things can ignite the human "fight or flight" (usually flight or dive for cover) response like the sound of gunfire. The stark realization of being thrust into a gun battle is most likely to result in panic mode. And panic turns to mistakes leading to death or surrender. What better way for an enemy to accomplish this than through an ambush attack. Panic and fear demands you DO SOMETHING!!! and the likely response is to open up in spray and pray mode, effectively depleting your ammo supply while scoring no kills.

There should be some warm and fuzzy feelings gained in the knowledge that, aimed returned fire, close enough to enemy combatant positions to at least make them think they are being zeroed in on, will create some fear and panic on their side as well. So, it is vitally important, should you be caught up in a firefight; take the best cover available. Access yourself for injuries. Slow down and control your breathing. Survey the area for enemy positions OR spots you would consider primer cover if you were the bad guy(s) and returned aimed fire. But most of all, suppress the panic induced urge to spray bullets and pray for a miracle.

MikeH.

28 August 2010

Top Stories Of The Day

I kid you not. These are the top stories from MSNBC.com for Sat. 08 28 10:


Why Isn't There More Quicksand In Movies (It'll suck in all the zombies!!!)


Who Are 2010's Best Paid Hip Hop Stars (Who gives a rat's furry ass)


Paris Hilton Arrested On Cocaine Charge (Say it aint so)


Former Female Wrestling Star Dead (Former W.W.W.E., now former L.I.F.E.)


Pitt Comments On New Orleans' Rebuilding Mission (Less talk, more action, Brad)


Anna Paquin's Wedding (Who???)


Cheryl Hines' Divorce (Who??? revisited)


Tyler Perry Cleared (Of what; felonious glory hole drilling)


Taylor Lautner Sues (Who??? yet again)


Wesley Snipes Postpones Prison (Us mortals woulda been bitch bait long ago)



It's been like this all week!!! Did the regime order a total news blackout? Or is this the quiet before the fecal storm?



Is it any wonder why a writer for Newsweek wrote "America The Ignorant?"



MikeH.

25 August 2010

What Better Place

I feel the need to explain myself before diving into this story. On one hand, I really have no desire to discredit any of my contemporaries in the blogging world. On the other hand, I think it prudent to post disclaimers where disclaimers are due. Such is the case with information that can be found at the Infowars site, hosted by Alex Jones. In my opinion, many of the stories posted there seem to push (or leap far beyond) the borders of basic logic. However, on occasion, an information item from Infowars will ring true and, if for no other reason than the humor value, the site is on my daily read list.

In an item in today's edition, Kurt Nimmo reports on "Pre-Crime Technology To Be Used In Washington." According to the story, a computer software has been developed that can predict when crimes will be committed and who will commit them, before they actually happen. (Wasn't there a movie based on this idea in the last year or two?)

"The technology sifts through a database of thousands of crimes and uses algorithms and different variables, such as geographical location, criminal records and ages of previous offenders, to come up with predictions of where, when and how a crime could possibly be committed and by who."

Sooo, leave me attempt to understand this. A computer software predicts future crimes, including where they will occur, when they will occur, how they will occur and by whom they will be perpetrated? And it's going to be used in Washington D.C.!!! What better place could anyone pick to utilize this stroke of genius?

But we don't need a computer program, or a mental giant, to predict (with a 110% dead on accuracy rate) where the absolute worst crimes in D.C. will occur. Just look toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and Capitol Hill. What we do need is a way to stop the crimes, prosecute the offenders and prevent those crimes from ever happening in the future.

MikeH.

23 August 2010

Crossbows . . . The Pros and Cons In Survival Situations

I recently purchased a Barnett Revolution AVI crossbow package that includes a detachable quiver, a 4 x 32 mm five reticle scope (w/t see thru bikini lens covers) and five 22 inch bolts with field points. I chose the Revolution model because (1) the "prod" (bow section) has a quick disconnect feature, allowing it to be removed from the stock section, giving it a smaller and flatter profile for packing and / or transporting, and (2) it is a compound style that boasts a 345 feet per second velocity. Although it wasn't a deciding factor, the "AVI" designation stands for Anti Vibration Isolation, which basically consists of a ribbed rubber jacket around the limbs to help dampen noise when fired.

The stock body is fitted with an adjustable cheek piece, to help get a consistent cheek weld and alignment with the scope, and an adjustable butt piece for a more custom fitted length of pull. The grip is a large thumb-hole type pistol grip and, the stock is dressed out in Realtree HD Hardwood Green camo. The prod is a subdued shade of black and runs 27" from limb tip to limb tip. The overall assembled length is 35.5" and weighs 7.7 lbs.

The reason I bought a crossbow is because, over the last few years, I can no longer draw a conventional style bow, whether compound or recurve in design. As much as I hate to admit it, I can't hardly draw the string on a youth's model bow, thanks to arthritis in my right shoulder and a couple of fingers.

A crossbow, though, is pretty much a one shot weapon. If you miss on that first shot, don't expect to pull off a quick follow up. (1) Like vertical bows, they are an extremely short distance weapon, where out beyond forty yards is really stretching it's limits. (2) They are not silent. They're not even as quiet as a conventional bow, partly due to the fact the crossbow string contacts the top of the flight rail during firing, and (3) cocking the string back into the trigger mechanism requires far more labor than is needed to charge and shoot an arrow from a conventional style bow. Although the power stroke is only 15.5", the draw weight is 150 lbs.

I should note that a few hunters have reported deer being spooked by the sound of a crossbow firing and being long gone before the arrow reaches what was it's intended point of impact. That is the down side of a crossbow's noise and slow velocity at or over it's practical distance limits. The speed of sound (1124.933 fps) is moving more than three times faster than the bolt.

Due to the laborious cocking process, most hunters will cock a crossbow in advance of a game stalk or climbing into a stand, then loading the bolt when ready. Also, care has to be taken to assure the string is centered in the triggering device since being a little off either way will cause the bolt to yaw to the left or right. Not a task one would want to rely on in haste or under stress. And, it is no plus that crossbows are notoriously front end heavy, making prolonged aiming without a rest a shaky experience.

I suppose by now I have made a solid case against the expense of adding a crossbow to the list of useful survival equipment. The one and only pro I can give is this; they are quieter than a firearm and therefore less likely to alert anyone nearby that you have taken game. A real advantage when stealth may insure one keeps the game, or keeps their life, when zombies are roaming about the neighborhood.

Like a sniper's rifle, a crossbow is a specialty use weapon that fills a specific job function... just not a job in a modern combat role.

MikeH.

18 August 2010

Circling The Wagons

Over the course of the past week, I have been kept pretty busy with moving my daughter and her family, from Ohio to North Carolina, to live with my wife and me. Like a lot of Americans, they too have fallen victim to the regime's "fundamental transformation" of the world's super-power into a world class super porta-crapper.

Considering the circumstances, I can believe plenty of families are (have done or will be) doing the same. After all, that's what families do. When tough times strike; you draw everyone in close and circle the wagons.

Now, despite my fifty eight years, I have not reached the point of total addle mindedness... quite yet. So, I don't have illusions of each and every new day being filled with bliss. I'm sure we all realize there are going to be some drastic lifestyle changes, and clashes, that will strain and test our tempers.

They smoke, they tend to be loud, they have a large dog AND, I have a seven year old grand-daughter who cries and whines for no and / or any reason under the sun. Oh, yeah; I almost forgot. The most major potential for violent conflict within our new family unit... my son-in-law thinks the demo-cretins are going to save us.

It's funny in a way. He has the ability to see and process the fact that the country and it's people are in serious trouble. He believes a collapse of some sort is at hand. And he feels some urgency to prepare for the bad times ahead. He just can't see the big picture, or should I say "rogues gallery," of who is to blame for the mess we are in.

On the other hand though, he enjoys many of the things I like, such as hunting, fishing and shooting sports. So, we came to an understanding several years back that politics will be a forbidden subject between us. But then, that too is what families do. You accept those things you can not change and work around them in order to hold the family together as a unit.

As individuals, we see and understand the utility behind combining forces. Together, we have more hands and minds available for the physical and mental challenges that are sure to come. And, should things turn bad for my son and his family, they know that they too are welcome (actually expected) to come circle their wagon in with ours.

Should that situation come to pass, there would be eight people (number nine is due in a few months) all packed in here fairly tight. (And you think the bathroom schedule is a cluster-mess now!!!) There is no doubt then that a lot of lifestyle changes will be required from all of us. And we can't even consider thinking in terms of "IF we want this to work." There can be no IFs. We HAVE TO make this work. United we stand... united we will prevail or fall. The key word being "UNITED."

Now, if we could just get the rest of the country thinking along these lines.

MikeH.

09 August 2010

Cops And Cameras

Alvie, over at The Cliffs Of Insanity, has written a good piece, "Photography Is Not A Crime," regarding the continuing and ever expanding perils befalling American citizens who venture too close to American police officers while said citizens are packing loaded cameras. Tell ya the truth, I'm beginning to think we have a better chance of a happier outcome if we were openly carrying an RPG while standing on a street corner, distributing kiddy porn and smoking crack with Osama bin Laden.

Let's get honest: Cops are human. Humans are fallible. Fallibility results in cops, et al., doing some really stupid and unprofessional stuff (human stuff) when prompted by either (1) stress or (2) that badge heavy bullshit, Judge Dredd mentality... "I AM the LAW!!!" Everybody, including law enforcement command structures, realizes this. And they know IT IS going to happen. It is, after all, the number one cause for huge figure payouts when folks sue the police over said stupid and / or unprofessional acts.

In an effort to instill some means of "by proxy" self control mechanism into cops, cop commands use the old guilt trip trick: "In every situation you're in, imagine your mother is standing there watching / hearing." Or your spouse, kids, squeeze, priest OR the crew from your local television investigative reporting team, filming every move, every utterance. For some cops, it's unnecessary. For others, it works. For the remaining few... there's just no hope, so cop commands keep that liability insurance policy paid in full.

So, in yet another episode (albeit short) of "History Lessens," we need to travel back in time to the transitional period, when police departments began to require education over mere brawn from their new recruits. The concept was; hiring cops who could resolve problems through logical and peaceful mediation rather than simply resorting to beating the snot out of folks over every petty offense. They wanted to get away from that "striking fear into the hearts and minds" of the citizenry.

Now, let's travel a little forward in time, to the very first amateur captured video of Rodney King getting an ass whomppin at the hands (and batons) of the L.A.P.D., and the results thereafter.

NOTE: I wasn't there to see or hear firsthand. I can only base my thoughts on what I saw from the video, sans any audio. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video (even without audio) is worth ten times that. Those cops, from my point of view, seriously screwed the pooch... with extreme prejudice. And, our amateur videographer made a small fortune off the sale of his tape.

After those cops were convicted, suddenly everyone with a camcorder, SLR Pentax P-3, cellphone or dollar store disposable camera was now out catching cops in some of their most highly retarded "Kodak moments," for fun and profit. (mostly profit) Not exactly a good situation for the retards when the vids and pics are turned over to the local TV station(s) and shown over and over, for weeks on end. Or, worse yet, getting up over a million unique hits per day on You-Tube. (especially when your mom, spouse, kids, squeeze, priest AND command all have You-Tube accounts AND are forced to either move outta town, or live in shame, because all of their neighbors have You-Tube accounts too)

I really don't know what has happened over the ten years since I retired. What with all the attention lurking in every possible vantage point, one would think cops would be on their absolute best behavior. But, instead, rather than worry about what mom and the others might think, it appears that more and more cops are doing the highly retarded, then compounding said act by violating multiple rights of those who would dare record such retardation. BUT, to add insult to the injury, some cop commands seem to be turning a blind eye to these "minor indiscretions."

Folks, I implore you, each and everyone; follow the example shown in Alvie's posting. Open carry your cameras for all to see. Convince all you know to do the same. Let's get a campaign up and running wherein every time a cop interacts with another member of our society, that cop will look around and see dozens of cameras pointed his / her way. And if that doesn't stop the abuse of authority and the abuse of our citizens... then it's time we point something else in their direction.

And for the record:

Michael A. Hill
Retired cop / current camera carrier

06 August 2010

Wife And Kids Are Outta Town . . .


"You are one hot kisser... big fella!!! Way better than that lard-ass Barney Frank."

Global Warming!!!


Al "Sex Poodle" Gore and his leftest green-weenie pals will go to any length to manufacture irrefutable proof of global warming.

We Are SO Screwed


Appointed to SCROTUS


That look says only one thing to me: "There is going to be a HUGE strap-on under my robe."

04 August 2010

Militarization Of Local Cops

In an article today, at Lew Rockwell's site, the writer asks the question: Are local cops being trained and equipped to be an army of occupation over Americans... in America.

Over the years, I have known and worked with a few cops, both young and old, who are arrogant and / or ignorant enough to believe they could pull this off, and who would accept the orders if given.

To these few I say; At Your Own Peril.

I have known and worked with far more cops who will turn and walk rather than goose-step to the tune of a despotic regime. A lot of military troops will present the American Eagle salute and walk off too. So, what I consider to be a conservative guesstimate; you few would be going up against an opponent force of 800 to 1 ... give or take.

Are ya still feelin cocky?

MikeH.

02 August 2010

Feces Occurs

We preppers prep for logical reasons, with the primary reason being that, when TSHTF, necessary products and services may suddenly become non-existent. A recent post over at "Sipsey Street" got me to thinking about firearms that suddenly stop going boom. As we say in the old country, feces occurs (stuff happens?) and should something occur that makes any of your battle weapons stop working, mechanically, are you prepared to deal with it? Especially if gunsmithing services become extinct.

One of the respondents to the Sipsey Street post said he has never had a broken parts related failure with his favored weapon in all the years he's owned and used it. And there is the very real possibility that his gun will work every single time he squeezes the trigger. But, to this person I say, "are you willing to bet your life on the idea that such a failure could never happen? It very well could happen within the next 1000 rounds fired through it. Or maybe the next 100 rounds. Or, maybe he might get one more ka-boom before his weapon becomes ka-put.

Repeat after me; "Feces Occurs." And it could have occurred during a critical heat treating process, during manufacturing, leaving a small yet critical metal part too brittle or too soft. An undersized retaining pin that may back out and drop off from the vibrations of firing the weapon. A machining burr that prevents full force transfer on a hammer or firing pin. Of course, there is always the very real causes from normal wear and tear. Metals do suffer from such things as wearing and, well, shearing. You just have to stock up on some parts and tools to prepare for that special, just in case moment.

An emergency use tool that I recommend having is a Broken Shell Extractor for every rifle / rifle caliber you have in your arsenal. For that fact, their cheap and their small; buy several for each rifle. Again... repeat after me, "Feces Occurs." And it can happen to parts and tools too.

Maintenance Tools: Most weapon platforms (AR, AK, FAL, 1911, Glock, etc.) require proprietary specialty tools for maintaining certain parts on their weapons. The remainder of the jobs can be performed using general use tools. You do need to determine what those specialty tools are and what they are used for. Imagine my total disappointment when I learned that a particular manufacturer's proprietary, specialty "armorer's tool" was nothing more than a high priced short piece of 3/32" diameter rod stock with a plastic handle (with company name, of course) that any sub quality 3/32" pin punch can replicate in physical function.

Maintenance / Repair Manuals: Depending on the weapon, some manuals are available free, downloaded from the internet. There are quite a few websites dedicated to specific firearms that contain tons of maintain / repair / upgrade information and the majority only require a free membership registration in order to access that information. Other manuals you would have to purchase from your firearm manufacturer, gunsmith supply houses or other specialty suppliers. Obtain and keep a library for your specific arsenal. Do I need to twist your arm to make you say it? Feces Occurs!!! You need to consider these things NOW. Whatcha gonna do when / if Big Zero shuts off the internet or an EMP shuts off all electricity service before ya get 'round to downloading this stuff?

Parts: There is no getting around it. Prepping is not for the weak of monetary assets. Not only do I most highly recommend you buy replacement parts for every weapon you own, I suggest you buy several of each part. Push comes to shove, you may be the only source of available parts when the stinky stuff smacks those high speed fan blades. Most manufacturers and parts suppliers, for the AR rifle platform, sell prepacked kits containing all of upper and lower receiver parts. These are all of the parts most likely to break, or be lost during maintenance duties. Again, buy two or three of each pack because you don't know how long it may take until normalcy returns (if at all). Considering the price or barter value they could potentially command in a TEOTWAWKI situation, consider buying several. God knows the AR rifle platform is the most popular weapon out there. Just look at a copy of Shotgun News and you'll confirm that statement. Learn how to fix'em and you just tripled your barter value.

My advice on parts is; don't be bashful. Buy replacement barrels for your drop in barreled weapons. (1911, Glock, etc.) If buying a complete upper receiver for an AR is out of your price range, putting a new barrel on an upper receiver is not an overly complicated job and the barrels alone are fairly inexpensive. Used stocks, grips and other parts can be had from several sources and are worth having on hand for your own needs and / or barter use. (I bought a bunch of H&K G-3 mags for .97 cents each... just for barter value)

Almost anyone can perform general, non technical type gunsmith work to their own firearms. Knowing what to do, what you need and having the tools / parts on hand to get it done is just as much a high priority as fully stocked pantries and having a source of potable water. Without them, your life won't be worth a pile of feces.

MikeH.