"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)


God Save The Republic

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?


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.