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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







27 July 2010

The Warrior Spirit . . . Part IV

Some people may think I have reached my full mark, of the proverbial bovine fecal matter, when I talk about the warrior spirit being a mental process rather than physical, or of being a combination of the two. The physical aspect comes from the mind driving the body. The body won't do what the mind doesn't demand of it. And a major part of that mental process has to do with self perception; if you can not perceive yourself as, let's say, becoming and staying "physically fit," you won't have the drive to achieve that state or live a lifestyle to maintain it.

As another example of this mental / self perception process; have you ever seen "unattractive" people who, under any other circumstance, couldn't attract much attention from the opposite sex? Perhaps a chubber with low self-esteem, who avoids eye contact, moves head down and always watching the ground. In short, the type of person who doesn't feel it would do them any good to put a little time or effort into "fixing up" because, in their mind, no one would be attracted to them regardless. On the flip side to that coin, I have seen unattractive people who put in a little time and effort, project a ton of self confidence, and score big with "the pretty people." It isn't the physical aspect at work here, it's the positive mental attitude. Perceive yourself as attractive (or as a warrior) and you will be perceived as such.

Now if you still think I might be full of it, pushing the "it's all a mental thing," there are sites on the internet that have galleries of jail booking photos of "C-lebs" who, after a night of boozing or packing their snot lockers with nose candy, couldn't project, or receive, attraction from Hannibal Lecter. Even if they came prepared with a side of Fava beans and a nice Chianti. (Yasmine Bleeth immediately comes to my mind... what a total let down!!!) Take away the makeup artists, the hair stylists, the buff bod "Silly Putty" implant clinics and the mental attitude and what do you get? Just another, not so unique, brick in the wall.

What I am trying to stress here; mental attitude runs both ways. Project it and others will respond to it. Create it within yourself, and YOU will respond to it. Create the warrior spirit within yourself, hold on to it, live it every single day and believe you ARE a warrior, YOU WILL go farther, longer, than the millions who will fall and perish soon after the SHTF; the millions who will, without that warrior's spirit, answer the door when the angel of death comes knocking, say f**k-it and give in without a fight.

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

Now, repeat after me: I am a warrior. I will not quit. I will not give in. I am a survivor and I WILL survive. And when the angel of death comes knocking at my door, I may be taken, by force, BUT bet your ass that sissy bitch will go home bruised, beaten, broken wings and deflowered. And the angel knows this to be true, because I say it's so. (Now that's a warrior's attitude)

HOWEVER, if you can not see this concept as being a relevant conditioning for preppers, as the handwriting on the wall of things to come suggests, then I ask you, PLEASE, stop prepping. Sell or give whatever preps you have to a warrior. Otherwise, all you will become is just another free meal and resupply "convenience stop" for the "golden hoard" of zombies, that will, this way cometh... We warriors prefer our zombie enemies to be starving and weak rather than fed and feisty.

MikeH.

25 July 2010

The Warrior Spirit . . . Part III

Most of us have heard those immortal words of wisdom, "If you want to win, you have to think like a winner." But even those who think like a winner can, and do, lose from time to time. On the other hand, those who go through life with a defeatist attitude will always be defeated. In survival, there are only winners and corpses. The winners will be the ones with a warrior's spirit.

Make no mistake about what a warrior spirit is. It does encompass far more than being capable of a decision to take the life of another. Any sociopath can make that decision. A warrior will make a decision of conscience to kill another only in self-defense, in defense of others and when defending his stronghold. Otherwise, a warrior will make every effort to avoid a possible "to the death" confrontation, even if it means staying low in the tall grass. In order to survive, you have to live, in order to live a longer life, you don't tempt fate by jumping out in front of those who could damn well have a tad stronger winning attitude than yours.

A warrior spirit is also a lifestyle. Most people conduct the majority of their lives in condition white; a state of being wherein they are not concerned enough to be, and / or remain, aware of all of the things going on around them. These folks make the best victims, almost to the point of being looked at as "professional victims," by those who make their profession from the victimization of others. When suddenly thrust into a situation of condition red, (the state where the fight or flight instinct kicks in) people in condition white will become so overcome by surprise that they will do neither, fight or flight, but rather end up raped, robbed, beaten or dead.

A warrior remains in various levels of condition orange at all times, even when at home in front of the television... or the computer. (What??? You've never heard of home invasions?) Condition orange is a very conscience state of heightened awareness. (but not to be confused with paranoia, which is a heightened state of mental illness) And condition orange expands beyond a heightened level of awareness regarding only physical confrontations with others. You are wide aware while driving because so many others are not. Or, you are aware of the very subtle changes that occur within nature, prior to a weather change. In my neighborhood, one has to be very aware just putzing about in the garden, least one might learn condition red first hand, when one discovers a Copperhead attached to that hand.

Being in a constant state of condition orange gives the warrior certain advantages. The most important advantage being, the time to access a situation before it has a chance to turn to shit, to mentally prepare a defense if fight, of a retreat if flight. However, it goes a step further by preparing the warrior for those event when things do go wrong. In the garden / ill tempered Copperhead scenario, condition orange would give you an advantage even if you slip up some and are bitten. A warrior would take control of and access the situation, remain calm, apply a tourniquet to slow the travel of the venom and not suck the venom from the bite, and into the mouth. Panic will cause the heart to pump harder and push the venom farther into the system. Shock will bring severely diminished motor skills and confusion. Lose that control and you're done.

During my time as a field training officer, I could usually drive the point home on both FNGs and "seasoned officers."

Thirty one years ago, I had gotten lazy and way too comfortable with keeping up that condition orange stuff. I mean NO ONE would be dumb enough to try to take on 6 feet 4 inches, 250 pounds of me, especially since I had my uniform, badge and 1911 to comfort me. It was about 0330 in the AM and I was all by my lonesome, when I allowed a guy to slip into my personal zone, because I wasn't paying attention to my situational awareness. Of course, I became very much aware when I took, what I thought, was a punch to the side of my face, through the open car window. And the guy stood there for a second or two before he took off running.

It took that second or two for me to fully comprehend that someone actually suffered from such an advanced form of retardation. As I exited the vehicle and moved into the illumination of a streetlight, I became aware of something wet and shinny on the front of my uniform shirt. It only took another second for me to come to the brilliant conclusion that somebody was bleeding like, as the saying goes, a stuck pig. Considering I was the only one standing there...

I reached up and felt around my face and discovered I was bleeding from the area of my left eye. There's an old saying among professional fighters, "he who bleeds first, loses." And I'm here to tell ya that's a true statement. Blood tends to spark panic and panic will take the wind out of your sails and the central dangling extremities right out of your basic machismo, post haste. Even though my assailant was now more that have a block away, and moving faster with each step, visions of my bleeding to death in the middle of E. 18th street danced in my head, and it scared the hell out of me. I drew my weapon and dropped the safety. At that moment in time, a man, woman, child or, a moth from the streetlight would have entered my personal zone and come under fire.

I was literally on the verge of going into condition "yellow." That's yellow as in the color I was about to turn my tighty-whities. Except for the fact they were already red... with blood; as was both outside and in of my vest, the underside of my gun belt and even just into the tops of my boots. I was gushing more blood than the Deepwater Horizon and I wasn't into a full thirty seconds of this little episode, yet. I started shaking so bad that, had my weapon discharged, I probably would have triple tapped myself. I couldn't think straight. In short, I was pushing myself into a mental / physical melt down.

I think it was the recurring thought of bleeding to death, alone, in that street that caused some semi dormant braincells to start firing. I realized I had to overcome the panic and regain all control of the situation. I had been taught, and was well aware, that panic can induce shock. And shock usually means the skinny dirt bedroom. As I fought to bring myself under control, I realized I had to become "un-dangerous" first and foremost. I returned my weapon to safe and holstered it. I then conducted a more detailed physical examination of my injury, knowing that face / head wounds tend to bleed far more freely than wounds to most other areas. When I concluded that my left eye was collapsed and the source of the majority of blood, I forced myself to remain focused. I did what I could at my disposal to control the bleeding. Fortunately, I was only a few blocks from a hospital.

As it turned out, I hadn't been punched. My attacker had pushed a broken bottle into my eye. Had I known the criminal seriousness involved at the time, I might not have questioned my having any justification and shot the son of a bitch. But, then again, maybe having known I had been stabbed in such a manner would have contributed to a non recoverable state of shock, via a higher sense of panic, and I might well have died there in the street. Better late than never, it was the warrior spirit that kept me from curling up into a fetal position on the pavement and accepting a f**k-it mindset.

A far better example of using the warrior spirit under some real adverse conditions would be the 66 year old man whose leg became trapped under a tree he was felling, and was forced to amputate his own leg with a pocket knife in order to free himself. Or the 36 year old who was forced to amputate his own arm with a pocket knife and then twist and fall to the ground to break the bone, to free himself from his farm machinery. THAT, in my book, is the absolute epitome of having a warrior spirit.

If you are critically injured, you stand a far better chance of survival by willing it to happen than not; by telling yourself YOU WILL survive, that you will not allow yourself to succumb to a panic and shock induced death, that you will do whatever it takes to cheat the angel of death out of your life.

To be continued

MikeH.

23 July 2010

The Warrior Spirit . . . Part II

For as much as I wish I did, I have no super power that allows me to see into the future. But then, no one does. Despite this, there are "experts," in various fields, who predict certain cataclysmic events are looming on our horizon. They warn of a societal collapse as a result of economic conditions, wars from both internal and external forces, events that are naturally occurring and, deliberate human planned events. Regardless of the triggering event, any one of these acts may well put all of us into such a fight for our very lives that it will make the word "survival" seem like a simplistic description of what will be required to outlive the event and it's aftermath.

Many of us have listened to these warnings, or are following personal gut assessments of the events around us, and we are preparing to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. We are stuffing our pantries with long shelf life foods, stocking and / or planning the restocking of potable water, purchasing medical supplies, buying firearms and cases of ammunition and making time to practice with those weapons. We are buying and reading books on a multitude of survival topics and many of us are developing self reliant skill-sets that have been all but forgotten in modern day life. But, despite all the money spent, regardless of all the time and efforts invested and the amount of physical survival assets we have amassed; how many of us have put ANY time and effort into analyzing and preparing our survival mindset? How many of us are preparing our minds to meet and accept the challenges that could force us into actually living in a post collapse fight for life?

I'm sure the majority of us have seen television programs or movies where an actor has to jump from one rooftop to another. As is usually the case, the actor falls just short of a perfect touchdown on the other side and, just barely, grabs on to a short wall around that roof-line. (called a parapet, by the way) The drama builds until the actor either drags himself up and over that parapet wall, to safety, or struggles until he eventually falls to his death.

I have seen a couple of different "he doesn't make it" scenes portrayed in separate films. In one, the actor struggles until his strength is depleted, then falls. In the other, I've seen the actor struggle then project a look of having deduced some "logical conclusion" that, no amount of struggle will save him, he accepts this as his fate and lets go to fall to his death without so much as a whimper. I've seen Dennis Leary's character in "Rescue Me" dream (or nightmare) himself in this situation and take on a "f**k-it kind of look on his face as he lets go and falls.

So now that I have set the stage, imagine YOU are in some life or death situation that is forcing YOU to make that rooftop to rooftop jump. YOU have fallen just a wee bit short of that perfect landing and YOU are now holding on to the long drop side of the parapet wall, with safety being just behind the other side. (there's something almost tapping on my brain-stem here. Safety on the other side of this short wall. Being safe if I can just get myself, dare I say, behind the parapet... hmmm!)

Logic and common sense dictates that certain event will happen; some will struggle, fight, with every fiber of their being only to succumb to exhaustion, then fall. Others will hang on, in hopes of some miracle of rescue, only to succumb to exhaustion, then fall. And though I find it highly unlikely, there may be a few who will realize they will become exhausted and then fall, that there is no miracle about to happen in the nick of time so why even fight it, they'll take the f**k-it attitude and just let go.

Enter now the other side of this coin; the people who would find themselves in the situation and, rather than think f**k-it will instead think f**k-this!!! and force themselves up and over the parapet. In this kind of situation, there IS NO time to waste struggling yourself into exhaustion. There IS NO time, or energy, to waste by just holding on. You have to focus all of your mental and physical resources to immediate action and get over that wall. Why? Because you are a survivor. You refuse to accept the failure that is giving into death simply because death has come knocking at your door. You do this not out of fear of death, but rather, because you know that in life there is an everyday struggle; the continuing daily challenge that demands you prove your right to life. And you accept the fight, without hesitation, because you are being challenged and, because you have within you a warrior's spirit. And it is this spirit that separates those who will survive and thrive from those who will not.

According to the so called experts, when the "big event" (whatever that will be) hits, MILLIONS of people will die in a very short time frame. The experts predict food shortages, even food riots. So it seems logical to assume many will die from starvation, others will die when they try to take from those who have and, many of those who have will die trying to defend what they have. It's safe to speculate that many will succumb to disease and that, with all this death, bodies will lay where they fall. And as bodies deteriorate, there will be ungodly sights and smell. Many of us will no doubt bear witness to ungodly acts committed by others, against others and there is a real possibility many of us may be force to commit some of these acts ourselves, such as kill another human being. The question is, are you prepared MENTALLY to see these things, to smell these things or, in the worse case, fight to retain what's yours, even if that means killing someone? In the absolute worse case... would you be prepared to turn away a close friend or close neighbor who comes to you for food or supplies?

If you are not prepared for any of these, or any number of other tough choice (life or death) decision possibilities, and without hesitation, my advice to you is start working on instilling a warrior spirit within yourself right now or, say f**k-it and let go of the parapet. Without a warrior's spirit, YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE... period.

To be continued

MikeH.

21 July 2010

The Warrior Spirit

Although history holds many recorded examples of people who have stood toe to toe with death, defied the odds and lived to tell about it, there are two examples I feel worthy of examination here. What makes these two examples more noteworthy than others; the face to face stare-down between certain death, and these two men, involved every minute of every day for months and even years. These two flesh and blood human beings had the angel of death riding on their backs, like a psychotic jockey, and yet, they continued to fight and survived.

Hugh Glass (1780 - 1833) was an American fur trapper and frontiersman noted for his exploits in the American West during the first third of the 19th century. Glass was famed most of all for his legendary cross country trek after being mauled by a grizzly bear.

In August of 1823, Glass was working as a scout for an expedition led by Andrew Henry, up the valley of the Grand River in South Dakota. While out alone scouting game for the expedition's food supplies, Glass surprised a mother grizzly bear with her two cubs. Before Glass could respond with his rifle, the bear attacked, throwing Glass to the ground and raked him numerous times with her claws. Glass fought back and killed the bear after stabbing it repeatedly with his knife. Glass suffered a broken leg and claw wounds, on his back, that exposed his ribs.

Later, the expedition found Glass and attempted to tend to him but, he lost consciousness and Henry became convinced he would not survive the injuries. Henry asked for two volunteers to stay with Glass until he died and bury him. The expedition then moved on.

The volunteers expected Glass would die at any moment. But he held on, a day at a time, and the two grew more concerned about hostile Native Americans and the growing distance between them and the expedition. Convincing themselves that Glass would surely die, they covered him with the bear's skin, as a shroud, took his rifle, knife and other equipment then fled to reconnect with the expedition. Despite his injuries, Glass regained consciousness, only to find he had been abandoned without weapons, equipment or food.

In one of the more remarkable treks known to history, Glass set his own broken leg, wrapped himself in the bear skin and began crawling for the nearest settlement, more than 200 miles away. To prevent gangrene, Glass laid his wounded back on rotting logs and let maggots eat the dead flesh. He ate mostly berries and roots and, on one occasion, drove wolves away from a downed bison calf and feasted on the meat. Six weeks of crawling, Glass made it to the Cheyenne River where he constructed a raft and floated down river, eventually reaching safety at Fort Kiowa.

Hugh Glass died in the winter of 1833, while working as a hunter for the garrison at Fort Union. He and two fellow hunters were killed in an attack by Arikara Indians.


Shoichi Yokoi (1915 - 1997) was a Japanese imperial army sergeant who lived in the jungles of Guam for 28 years after World War II ended. Yokoi lived in a tunnel like, underground cave in a bamboo grove until he was discovered in January 1972. Two of his fellow soldiers had died, most likely from malnutrition / starvation eight years prior. Yokoi survived on a diet of coconuts, breadfruit, papayas, snails, eels and rats. After being discovered, he was transported to Guam Memorial Hospital where he was found to be in good health, other than anaemic, as a result of his salt free diet.

Yokoi had been a tailor's apprentice before being drafted in 1941. He wove himself replacement clothing using the fibers of wild hibiscus plants. He used a pair of scissors he had through the war to tailor the clothes and to cut his hair.

Yokoi said, "We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to the disgrace of being captured alive. The only thing that gave me the strength and will to survive was my faith in myself and, that as a soldier of Japan, it was not a disgrace to continue on living." No one in the history of humanity has equaled Yokoi's record. Few have struggled with loneliness, fear and self as long as twenty eight years.


By all accounts, Hugh Glass should have died soon after, if not during, the bear mauling. Instead, he laid where he was left, himself expecting to be taken by death at any moment. And after a time, when he realized that death was not going to come so easily, he made a commitment to himself to refuse to lay there and so easily succumb. Perhaps in his mind, it would be a disgrace to die from hunger since he apparently wasn't going to die from his injuries.

Eight years after his only remaining comrades had died, Shoichi Yokoi was still going strong, even though he had suspected the war had long been over. What force could drive a person to go on waiting 28 years for orders to quit his post, to eat rats and wear clothes made from tree bark, and still find disgrace in the idea of turning himself in? And again, for years after he suspected the war was over.

What is it that can motivate a person to run into a burning building when others are running out? Or what can motivate a person to dive on top of a triggered hand grenade? Or, what motivates a person to march into battle, knowing they might well die?

For many hundreds of years, the Japanese lived by a very strict code of honor they call Bushido. One lived, fought and died with honor; honor to oneself, their country and their emperor. An act of dishonor could only be atoned for through ritualistic suicide. So what could motivate a person to take a short bladed knife (tanto), thrust the blade into the left side of the lower abdomen, pull the blade across to the right side, turn the blade and pull it upward to the diaphragm and then lean backward to spill their intestines onto the floor at their knees? All without showing any outward signs of pain. Once completed, the "dishonored" could then lean forward so that an assistant could end the ritual with a sword, (katana) by beheading the now disemboweled redeemed one. Just the way seppuku (hara-kiri) had been done, in a very precise manner, for all those hundreds of years.

Let's give this motivation a fitting name; let's call it The Warrior Spirit.

To be continued.

MikeH.

17 July 2010

Night Vision Scopes

Last year, I started putting serious thought toward the purchase of a night vision rifle scope. Due to their prices, I first had to justify that an NV scope fell under a need rather than a want. I had done some internet "window shopping" and found prices from just under $400.00 for a 1st generation model to just under $7000.00 for a 4th generation scope. Of course, I made the uneducated assumption that a 1st gen designation and $400.00 price equaled poor quality, especially since 2nd gen units were up well over one thousand dollars in price. At that kind of price, I'd really have to do some serious justifying.

I've always been a true believer in the old adage, "you get what you pay for," and I have never had a problem paying more for an item, as long as I could see it being of higher quality. But in this particular case, I didn't have hands and eye on scopes for comparison. Add to that, I didn't know anyone who had purchased an NV scope, so I came to the conclusion it was possibly a need I didn't want to bother with.


A few months later, a guy who I am acquainted with on an internet firearms forum mentioned he had bought one of the 1st gen scopes and was not only surprised, but was quite pleased with it's performance. He was good enough to take photos through his scope, and post them, to show the focal quality it produced. Needless to say, I too was surprised and impressed enough to reconsider as a purchase.


Briefly, and I do mean very briefly; a night vision scope gathers available light from any minute source, such as the moon, stars or an infrared light source. That light is then intensified 1,000 times (in a 1st gen scope, 20,000 times in higher gens) by a photo cathode tube, making objects visible through the viewing end of the scope, by way of a projection type process. This process causes everything to be seen in a light green hue. The 1st gen units tend to have low, fixed lens, magnification and a fuzzy view quality around the edges. In each of the succeeding generations, however, lens magnification has been increased, internal power generators have been made with higher output ratings, a more advanced cathode tube version installed and viewing quality has become almost crystal perfect, although still in a green hue.

I decided to purchase an MK 350 Guardian scope manufactured by ATN Corp. based on several factors; the company's reputation, warranty policy, customer feed back through third party sellers and the scope to rifle mounting system. The scope ran $395.00 plus shipping from Optics Planet. The time from order to in my hand was five days.

The MK 350 has an integral Picatinny mount interface that requires a 13 mm wrench or nut driver for installation / removal. This gives it an acceptable height in relation to the rifle barrel, and makes it a perfect match up with an M-4 flat top receiver. The scope comes with an infrared light emitter, two CR-123 batteries (one for the scope, one for the IR emitter) an adjustment tool and a heavy duty shoulder strap type carry pouch. According to the specs, the scope weighs in at almost 3 pounds.

The IR emitter is about the diameter of, but shorter than, a pack of breath mints. It too mounts to a Picatinny accessory rail or, to the top of the scope body. The IR emitter is used to provide a light source to the scope when heavy cloud conditions block out the moon and stars, and when there is no background lighting from even distant street lights or urban lighting reflecting off the cloud cover. IR is invisible to the unaided eye BUT could be a dead giveaway in a sniper / counter-sniper showdown where both, or more, are using NV scopes but only one is using an IR emitter. In this situation, it would be like turning on a giant neon arrow letting your location be known.

There is a thick black rubber lens cover over the front lens of the scope. It is important to understand that it should not be removed in bright light conditions even when the scope is powered down or the battery is removed as this can damage the cathode tube. However, there is a small hole in the cover that allows the scope to be used in daylight conditions. It can be easy to assume otherwise since nothing can be seen through the scope, day or night, while it is powered down. Remember, it uses a projection type viewing method. The scope is also equipped with a lighted standard cross hair style reticle with an on / off / brightness control dial.

According to the user manual, continuous on battery life is about ten hours using the scope only. Turning the reticle on and running it during the same time will shorten battery life to about five hours. The fact that it does require replacement or recharged batteries means it would have some application drawback issues that would require a bit of forethought.

How well does it work? Looking out through a closed window, I can make out the oval "Ford" logo (but not the letters) on the grill of a pick up truck, parked in an unlighted carport that is about 125 yards down range.

Worth it? Oh, you betcha!!!


MikeH.

15 July 2010

What's In Your Med Kit

Before I get into this subject, I suppose it prudent to issue a disclaimer:

(1) I am not a medical professional in any sense of the word. The information I am posting here is intended for discussion purposes only and is in no way meant to be construed as professional medical advice. In any medical emergency, seek treatment and / or advice from a licensed medical practitioner.

(2) I strongly encourage everyone to obtain professional first aid training, such as through the American Red Cross. And if you can arrange for more advanced Emergency Medical Technician type training, go for it. At any cost, it's worth it.



When I began my adventures in prepping, I tried to consider various disaster scenarios that are most likely to occur. Even though disasters fall under three categories, natural, accidental or human caused, the acts and their potential results are almost endless. So, since we could be talking about any act from an insect bite to a nuclear war, I decided to prepare for the absolute worse case scenario. In this case, a total societal collapse where, among other things, professional medical services may be seriously delayed or non-existent.

Consider the after effects of a massive solar storm or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) discharge that might take out electric service over a wide area, disrupting most forms of communications and rendering the majority of automotive transportation useless. In a medical emergency situation, doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals may be closed or so severely crippled that only the most basic of care could be administered. And that is assuming you can even get there, let alone get there in time. I suppose this could easily rate a high ten on the worse case top ten list.

In a situation like this, any number of serious, life threatening, injuries could occur. I considered some of the worst injuries that might come from either attacks by zombies (humans gone feral) or relatively common accidents that can occur in both survival and non-survival (day to day) situations. These injuries would include; blunt force trauma, deep tissue lacerations, deep tissue punctures, amputations and gunshot wounds. The kind of injuries where a shot of Bactine, a bandage and a kiss on the boo boo just aint gonna cut it.

Again, at this point, I want to stress; I am not a medical professional. I am NOT posting this information as advice to anyone. I have made certain decisions as they might apply FOR MYSELF and for MY FAMILY MEMBERS, based on my personal convictions and after some very long and serious due considerations. With this in mind, I have included some "advanced" medical instruments that would ONLY be considered for use in ABSOLUTE WORSE CASE situations, like the one mentioned above. When listed, I will mark these with an asterisk (*).

One item I believe is a must have for any serious med kit is the "Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook." This book is available through the U.S. Government Printing Office for $59.00 plus shipping. (some online sources have it for $200.00 to $400.00) Inside, one can find page after page of easy to understand symptoms, diagnosis and treatments, including some surgical procedures, found in both combat and non-combat situations.

I have included a stethoscope, blood pressure and pulse / oxygen rate monitors in my kit. The stethoscope I chose is a Sprague Rappaport model, that uses two sound transmission tubes rather than one. My hearing isn't all that good so I need all the advantage I can get. The blood pressure monitor is a basic pump up cuff type since there is always that chance the digital type could be rendered useless or electric services and / or batteries may be non-existent. The pulse / oxygen rate monitor is digital and battery powered. However, I can easily revert to monitoring pulse by palpation. Monitoring oxygen without a monitor is difficult, at best.

* 3M Vetbond: is a cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) tissue adhesive that is approved for human use in some foreign countries, but not in the United States. Here, it is available for veterinary use only. I was able to purchase it online ($16.00 each) from a veterinary supply source, as it is available to the public.

* QuikClot 1st Response: is a blood coagulant (clotting) sponge for use in the temporary control of traumatic bleeding. This particular model is a mesh bag containing 25 grams of a chemical coagulant agent. I purchased a five count box ($45.00 Amazon.com) plus I have two field trauma kits that came packed with one sponge each. ($40.00 each at Amazon.com) The only negative factor I find with QuikClot is a short (two year) listed shelf life.

*** (Three asterisks for obvious reasons) A U.S. military surgical instruments kit for performing minor surgery. This kit contains stainless steel wound probe, scissors, hemostats, scalpel, suturing tool, pull back pick, tweezers and penlight. The kit is about the size of a lady's clutch type purse and I bought it at a military surplus store for under thirty dollars.

* Suture packs: Are small foil packs that contain a sterile suture needle and attached suture media. (thread, if you will). I picked up several types at the military surplus store for about $1.50 each. I have also found them available online for a few dollars more.

That's pretty much it for the more exotic stuff in my med kit, at least for the time being. I would be interested to hear what others have or, have to add in the way of discussion.

MikeH.

14 July 2010

Bottom Stories Of The Day

It must suck to live in Oakland, CA. these days. It seems the city is so deep in debt that they are preparing to lay off 80 police officers. And to help drive the point home to city residents, the police chief has listed 44 crimes that his department will not respond to, should some hapless victim call 911.

Here's a good one; providing false information to a peace officer. (Dear Chief, considering such a crime is most likely to be perpetrated upon a "PEACE OFFICER", do ya really think the average Oakland resident is going to give a rat's furry ass if you respond or not)

The city council voted June 25 to eliminate the positions to help close the city's $32.5 million funding gap. According to city officials, each of 776 police officers employed there costs around $188,000.00 per year. The city asked officers to pay nine percent of their salary toward their own pensions, which would save the city about $7.8 million toward a multi-million dollar deficit.

The police union agreed to this concession, provided the city promised there would be no lay offs over the next three years. The city agreed to a one year moratorium on lay offs, but that is not good enough for the union.

Of course, I could be wrong here, but considering the state of the economy and the number of people out of work, I think I would be agreeing to ass kissing concessions as long as it meant keeping a job and having a pension to look forward to.

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Over in the land of Lincoln; Illinois is considering a tax on sugar filled drinks, "to fight obesity." Current research on the subject is talking a penny or two per ounce as needed to be expensive enough to affect consumption. So if policy followed research, a two liter bottle of your favorite soft drink might cost you .60 cents to $1.20 more.

Illinois Public Health Institute CEO Elissa Bassler said, "Maybe changing the ways we use beverages can be a part of handling obesity."

Store owner Bill Baffes said, "I think it's silly. Where do you draw the line?"

"That's what the democratic process is about," said Bassler.

Personally, I believe the democratic party is full of shit and, they are going to tax everything in sight to fund their own pension plans.

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Swinging back to California; The city of Berkeley is now looking at taxing medicinal and recreational marijuana in the event Proposition 19 passes the state's November ballot. The city council is considering a 10 percent tax on gross receipts of recreational pot and 2.5 percent on the medical version of the old sticky icky.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates concedes the tax will only generate about $350,000.00 per year.

But Tom, once you have your taxing boot on the neck of all those gonja users, you're going to want legalized cocaine, crack, crank, roofies and meth. So $350,000.00 may be a small tax boost for now but, it's a start!!!

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Certainly everyone is now aware that the government has imposed a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning. The given reason; to help fund health care for those who suffer from melanoma, as a direct result of indoor tanning.

Once again, I could be wrong here, but didn't the regime force through nationalized health care to treat people with illnesses... like melanoma?

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But I have left the best of the bottom stories for last; In a public speech today, Vice Reich's Chancellor Joe Bite-me told his audience that "the administration's stimulus spending is working and has already created 2.8 million jobs."

Is this the same simple minded asshole who hardly two weeks ago told another audience, "we have lost 9 million jobs in America that we will never see return"?

Folks, feel safe in the knowledge that, after the revolution, we will charge and hang all of these socialist thieves for treason. Same day service.

MikeH.

12 July 2010

Chipping Away At Freedom

This past Saturday I was sitting in my truck, in the parking lot of a small strip mall, when I noticed a man and woman standing outside one of the businesses, smoking. After a few minutes, a man exited the business, joining the couple, and fire up his own cigarette. And as the three talked and smoked, it slowly started to dawn on me that the business they were standing in front of was a bar.

It's been a few years but I remember bars... fine Tennessee sour mash whiskey, good conversations, loud jukebox tunes that were popular several years earlier and the smoke from an excellent 52 ring by 7.5" Arturo Fuentes cigar protruding from the corner of my pie-hole. I'd spent numerous hours (and numerous coin of the realm) in such settings in previous years. And while I reminisced about days of old, far off in my mind there were the sounds of screeching tires, metal crunching, women and children screaming and the ear splitting sound of the stereo needle being drug across a 45 rpm record, like when someone who had pounded back one too many had stumbled into the jukebox. That damned anti smoking law!!!

Full grown, adult, human beings have been reduced to temporary banishment from within local gin mills in order to light-up legally. Although I quit smoking several years ago, I can't begin to imagine the consumption of alcohol without the inhalation of burning tobacco. It's un-damn-natural!!! Leave the air conditioned comfort and your ice cold brew on the bar to go outside, in 97 degree heat, because some nanny minded (read: simple minded) excretory orifice feels it's their duty in life to protect you from you. But you just try to take that beer outside to enjoy with your cigarette and you'll likely find yourself tazed and dazed by a member of the local constabulary, for felonious imbibing of the spirits in the public purview. (Another throwback to days of old, when morality laws attempted to shield the fairer sex (or fairer sexes?) and children from seeing grown men take a discrete shot from a vest pocket flask in public)

How did we reach this lowly level of nanny underhandedness? I have a theory:

A bunch of years ago, someone pleaded there case all the way to SCOTUS and succeeded in getting the Pledge of Allegiance banned from public schools.

A few years later, someone else pleaded their case all the way to SCOTUS and succeeded in getting all mention of God banned from public schools.

A few years after that... and all reference of God and religion have been banned from public buildings.

Most recently, local / state government nannies have been taking it upon themselves to ban smoking in ever growing lists of public places.

Of course, there have been other cases over the years, and no doubt, many more to come. (Just too many to include in this simple minded essay)

Do you know what each of these cases have in common? No one of opposing view took them seriously. People of normal sensibilities assumed those causes were so frivolous, they would be laughed out of court or the legislative chambers of state governments. And therefore, with no public hue and cry of righteous indignation, or even a half-hearted rebuttal, a quick bang of the gavel and presto!!! Another Freedom Done Gone.

Folks, we are the stewards of our own liberties and it is incumbent upon no one but ourselves to be and remain aware of what others are doing in their attempts to relieve us of those liberties. Even if a particular issue may hold little or no personal interest, the mere fact that a freedom may hang in the balance should motivate us all to oppose any attempts to squash them. When it's all said and done, pitching a bitch usually doesn't get lost liberties returned.

MikeH.

10 July 2010

Games People Play

According to Fox News, Australian police are investigating the poisoning of 7 million vegetable plants at a seeding nursery near Adelaide. The loss is estimated at $20.3 million USD and could more than double, even triple, produce prices across the country due to the decrease in supply.

About 4 million tomato seedlings were poisoned, as well as bell peppers, melons, eggplant, zucchinis and capsicum. Police have determined that a herbicide was introduced into the nursery irrigation system in late June. The poisoning has affected 350 hectares (about 865 acres) of production land which has the potential to produce about 200 tons of fresh produce.

Police are considering a range of motives including a grudge, competition based, the result of time established market shares or an act of vandalism. (They were very careful not to mention the possibility of a terror plot, though)

I have absolutely no idea as to the short or long term detriment to the soil and the report made no mention as to how long the land would be affected or what costs would be involved in making it fertile again. But, take a moment to consider the implications if this were to happen on a far larger scale. Even if the land would be unusable for only a single growing season.

MikeH.

08 July 2010

Intended Or Unintended Consiquences

According to an article in SFGate.com, the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare is considering an ordinance that will ban the sale of all pets, except fish. The ordinance would include dog, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter the commission refers to as "companion animals."

According to commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens, "people buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, not knowing what they are getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and are often euthanized. That's what we'd like to stop."

Well, that's just freaking brilliant, Sally. Let's pick this gem apart some and see where it takes us.

You make it illegal to sell all pets other than fish. It would seem to me that the meat and potatoes portion of the pet shop business is going to be put out of business. Far be it from me to conclude this assumption on my own but, this might also tend to put some otherwise working people out of work? Didn't Vice Reich's Chancellor Joe Bite-me recently state, (the obvious) "the U.S. has lost more than 9 million jobs that we will never see return"? I guess that will be 9 million and two when pet shop entrepreneurs and pet shop workers bite the bullet.

But wait, there's more!!! San Francisco residents who want a pet would have to go to another city, adopt from a shelter or rescue group or find one through the classifieds. DAMN... I shoulda had a V-8!!! It all makes perfect sense to me now. On second thought, maybe it doesn't. (I knew I picked the wrong week to give up huffing Elmer's Glue Stix) Unless, of course, Sally's husband owns an exotic fish store. Or they don't want companion animals to have a home-field advantage?

Let me try this again. You make it illegal to sell pets in your city but, your residents can still buy them elsewhere and bring them home IN THE CITY? And this will dramatically reduce the numbers of animals these same residents will dump at the local shelter to face possible euthanasia HOW?

Hey Sally, me thinks if anyone should back away from the Elmer's... it's you. Because at the end of the day, whether by design or not, this stroke of shear stupidity will only cause harm to humans. And when political "luminaries" put more value in animal lives than in human lives, it's time we start dumping them at shelters to suck gas.

MikeH.

06 July 2010

When Will It End

Here we are, 77 days in to the crisis in the Gulf Of Mexico with no end in sight. The Washington Post reports an estimated 2 million barrels of oil has been released and all of the Gulf states have oil coming ashore. WP further reports that BP has skimmed or burned off about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day.

"The disparity between what BP promised in it's March 24 filing with federal regulators and the amount of oil recovered since the April 20 explosion underscores what some officials and environmental groups call a misleading numbers game that has led to widespread confusion about the extent of the spill and the progress of the recovery."

"In a news release filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, BP projected it had skimming capacity of more than 171,000 barrels per day, with more available if needed. The news release presented an optimistic picture of a company scrambling to clean up the mess, mobilizing a 'flotilla of vessels and resources that include significant mechanical recovery capacity."


It's time to start skimming the bull-schmooze off the top so that we can see through to the truth. And the biggest, steamiest and smelliest release of BS is the numbers being reported. The lame stream media outlets are reporting a dozen or more barrel per day estimates per story. How much has spilled, how much is still gushing up from the drill site, how much this and how much that. I suppose if one is a bean counter, this is news to know. BP presents their numbers, the government has their numbers and environmental groups should not even be allowed to present numbers. The "mental" part of environmental should be a patent clue of what one can expect from these folks.

Personally, I don't give a rat's furry ass about the numbers. These truths I hold as self-evident; oil is flowing into the Gulf, like blood from an arterial separation, and it needs to be stopped. Cleanup efforts need to be allowed to begin, all out, WITHOUT government interference. And then, we need to put some serious preparations in place to help overcome the inevitable damage to every living thing, whose physical life / health will be affected for generations to come. And God only knows how big of a geographical area we're talking about. Anything (read: ANYTHING) after that is secondary.

As I type this, the world's largest skimmer ship is on scene in the Gulf. It is touted as having the ability to remove oil at a rate of tens of thousands of barrels per day. Thus far, it has been unable to produce those results; but only because the Taiwanese owned ship is undergoing Coast Guard "safety tests." I can't help but wonder if BPs initial removal estimates were a tad on the high side because they expected to enlist assistance from foreign owned companies. Companies who have been denied access to the area "over safety concerns" or severely delayed to act while being subjected to safety inspections. Larry, Curly and Mobama could scrape barnacles off the Edmond Fitzgerald in less time than these safety inspection are taking... per ship!

What really scares me is the recurring talk about touching off a nuclear device in an attempt to stop the flow. And NO ONE has been able to answer my recurring questions; why does it have to be nuclear? Why can't a conventional explosive device be used instead? In my opinion, nukes are bad news above, or below, the surface and I fear it would only add a whole new element of bad to an already bad situation.

When will it end? Perhaps more importantly... HOW will it end? And I have a gut feeling it won't end well.

MikeH.

01 July 2010

Silver Sale

For those of you who are interested, APMEX is selling new 1oz Sunshine Minting silver rounds for .79 cents over spot, per oz.

I have been dealing with APMEX for awhile now and I have no complaints with them what-so-ever. And they ship FAST!!!

MikeH.

Veterans Exposed To HIV

From a CNN report, 01 July 2010

A Missouri veteran's administration hospital may have exposed more than 1800 veterans to life threatening diseases such as hepatitis B, hep. C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work.

The issue stems from a failure to clean dental instruments properly. According to a hospital chief of staff, some dental technicians broke protocol by hand washing tool before putting them into cleaning machines. The instruments are supposed to be cleaned only in the machines. The hand washing started in February of 2009.

The hospital has set up a special clinic and education centers to help patients who may have been infected.

Rep. Russ Carnahan (d) from Missouri, is calling for an investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to the Big Zero about it. (Uh Oh!!! He'll be looking for some asses to kick)

Carnahan said, "I can only imagine the horror and anger our veterans must be feeling. They have every right to be angry. So am I." (Wonder how Carnahan would be feeling if HE had been exposed? Angry might be a touch overly simplified description.)

There is absolutely NO excuse for this to have occurred. NONE!!! VA hospitals have been little better than dark ally veterinary clinics / bestiality brothels in Baghdad for years. And damn near every president, during my 57 years on this planet, has made some lame ass promise to fix the problems in many of the VA's hospitals.

I would rather die a slow, agonizing death on the field of battle than face even a significantly shortened life of care in a VA hospital. For that matter, I'd prefer to be left in place to rot on that field, than to be buried under the wrong headstone or, in a three deep grave at Arlington.

I suppose I can now understand why Big Shit (er, ah) Big Sis, at DHS, opted to include our veterans on the threat watch-list.

No Sir... there's just no excuse. However, after the revolution, I vote all the politicians who survive be sent to VA hospitals for the care they so rightly deserve. (Especially if I can be a candy striper in the shock therapy ward)

MikeH.