Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Firearms Frenzy of 2012

Welcome to the world of panic buying for dummies. Yep, we really showed them what we will do if they threaten our Second Amendment rights. We'll use our credit cards and charge up as much money as we can on guns, magazines and ammo that many will likely never use. The same people are buying guns that, until now, they never felt compelled to own. Why? There are several reasons for this and some are just nutty and some are understandable.

Many are buying because they think the guns will get banned before they can get one. These types are buying on plastic and paying the premium frenzy prices. They have never fired anything like it and will likely leave it in the wrapper and toss it in the closet in hopes it makes them a bigger man by owning one. They will never train with it or learn how to operate it properly. The rifle is useless. Just another trophy.

There have even been people coming into the local shop buying glock mags and don't own a single weapon to put it in. Hilarious.

Lots of guys already own AR's and wanted to buy a couple for their young kids before they can't get them anymore. These people range in experience greatly but I have a good feeling they will actually use the rifles and teach the next generation proper use of the rifles. I hope this is the case for the future of our country.

Many are just hoarding AR's and mags for later. I can personally identify with them, but I think they waited too long. Back in 2007 you could buy 30 round AR mags for 6-8 bucks a pop. Cheaper if you bought in bulk. I did most of my buying back then because times were good and stuff was cheap. Hopefully you did too. If not, you are buying at the peak of the market and paying top dollar for something that might not even get banned. It's a gamble!

Ammo has gone nuts as well. I see surplus 5.56 going for 80 cents a pop when I was buying it for 250 per k a  few years ago. Even reloading supplies are drying up! They have been a little thin since the election but now it's just crazy. Loaded 5.56 ammo is nearly non existent. It's hard to find anything and even the high dollar match ammo is getting gobbled up!

The bottom line is; people are scared. Frightened beyond belief that their god given right to protect themselves will be taken away or infringed upon by our irresponsible leaders. This is a truly terrifying time for America. We have a collectivist president and congress who will stop at nothing to push their agenda. We the People have lost our ability to control them.

I'm still not sure if this Frenzy is a good thing or bad thing quite yet. Anytime the public becomes better armed it's always a good thing. The bad thing is why. If people take the time and become proficient with the weapons they purchased, maybe we have a chance in the upcoming crisis. I know, you're sick and tired of hearing it, but it is coming. Each man, woman and child in this country will only be able to count on themselves and (hopefully) their immediate family. This is where the training comes in. The better trained you are, the better chance you have of defending you and yours when the music stops.

Many people who read this know I'm well prepared for most incidents that can happen in today's society. I love teaching others about the practices and provisions required to overcome adversity. It grows a more proficient citizen when a person can overcome any obstacle life throws at them. Firearms are one of the tools you will require for this purpose. A good stock of ammunition will be required in order to utilize your weapon for it's intended purpose. You will need it for practice as well as for the future should you need to defend yourself. The AR15 rifle design is (in my opinion) one of the most versatile systems on the planet. It can be set up to utilize a myriad of different calibers due to it's modular design. You can swap uppers to change calibers. Another option is to buy a 22 caliber conversion kit for your AR. I use the the older Ceiner kit that swaps the bolt/carrier and magazine to create a fully functional semi auto carbine out of your current 223/5.56 rifle. It's great for cheap training and for silencer friendly subsonic ammo. I love the combination because I can us the Aguila SSS 60 grain 22lr in the fast twist 5.56 barrel and don't have to worry about baffle strikes if the bullet won't stabilize in normal 22lr barrels. Some kits won't work with them but luckily mine will.

If you totally missed out on getting an AR, there are other options out there that are fine for protecting yourself and your country. Many have served well in the military and are still a viable option for a patriot looking for a rifle. The M1 carbine, M1A variants, AR10, SR25, FN-FAL, HK of just about any flavor, Browning centerfire autos, Kel Tec rifles, AK's, FN PS90 and Styer AUG would be more than suitable for battle rifle use. Consider ammo availability before you jump into something that requires hard to find or expensive ammo. Your rifle IS the primary weapon in an all out confrontation, so choose wisely. It's just a hunk of metal if you can't operate it in an emergency.

The moral of the story is this; If you didn't own one before all the crazy stuff started, it really wasn't important to you in the first place. Maybe you should rethink your preparedness level and come up with a plan. Randomly buying things isn't a plan, it's a frenzy. The same thing will happen when the music stops, food will become scarce and people will buy food that will spoil long before they can consume it without thinking. Don't be just another lemming following your smart phone around. Become a leader by enabling yourself to overcome adversity.

 The people that wish to oppress the citizens have no morals, they will employ any means necessary to win. When you and your kids haven't eaten in days and your belly is grumbling, you will gladly turn over your rifle in order to enter a camp where they have food. Think about that for a second and come up with a plan to overcome that inevitability. You need a well rounded defense plan and supply plan. You will need medical training and medicine to overcome illnesses and infections. They are counting on you needing them and relying on them in order to control you. Don't let them win. Don't turn yourself into a criminal to survive. Using your gun to resupply makes you a criminal. They win if you do that as well, then they have the right to dispose of you as they please.

We are Patriots, we love our country and will be here long after the Oppressors have left the rotting corpse of the US and gone on to more fertile lands. We must stand fast and be prepared to live without outside help. It may not always be there. A Patriot must be a proficient rifleman as well as an honest man. Without the ability to defend yourself you are a subject. It's a simple choice for you. I know it was for me as well. Get ready, stay ready!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Modern Day Survivors.

100 years ago people where I live were just getting indoor plumbing and electricity. They lived a far less glamorous lifestyle than we do today. Not everyone got a warm shower every day like we do now. The truth of the matter is, those things are so common place and expected that they are no longer considered conveniences. Should the water heater in our house go down, I would have a full on insurrection happening within 24 hours. Same with the toilets. Without a pressurized water system feeding everything we desire, things get complicated. So lets consider an event of such a magnitude that most utilities would be out for weeks. In Indiana we have a few major possibilities for such devastation.  Firstly, a tornado (or several) hitting the delicate infrastructure on the south side of Indianapolis would cripple our community for weeks if the damage is bad enough. Another risk would be a large earthquake. We don't get many here but the possibility is there. Lastly, and most likely in my book would be another big ice storm. What would you do if it happened? How would you heat your house? What happens when you can't leave because power lines are down everywhere?

Consider what happened during the Derecho (sp?) storms that started in Chicago and left a swath of destruction from there to DC. I happened to be traveling to a dive location located directly in the path of the storm. Much of Ohio was without power and there were people driving 50 miles to get fuel for their generators.What if that happened today? Are you ready to survive past the 2-3 weeks it will take for FEMA/state/national guard/DHS to save you?

Why in the world anyone would wish to rely on the federal government is beyond me. They have one of the worst fiscal and policy records you can consider. Anything they have a hand in goes over budget, under serviced and never ends well. Look at Katrina and tell me, was that a success? These are the people you are putting your faith in to save you unless you plan ahead for tough times. They will fail and people will die unless they make a plan to save themselves.

Common sense is your friend when it comes to being ready for any disaster scenario we might face. Some disasters are personal and have nothing to do with the weather or government. Medical emergencies happen to people every day. These accidents and ailments are responsible for so much pain and suffering that they have to be considered as one of the more devastating issues we face. I know from experience that if your livelihood is taken away for even the shortest time, you can rack up medical bills that overwhelm any savings you might have squirreled away over the past few years. Insurance only goes so far and what's left is on you. The added costs in addition to loss of income can be devastating to a family unit. Many families fail from the pressure of a debilitating injury or illness.

It's nearly impossible to foresee some of these issues but others are hereditary and can be overcome with diet, exercise and preventative care. Be aware of your family health history and be proactive in your personal care. The simplest tests and health maintenance can save you in the long run, both financially and physically. Stock up on your medications and vitamins, these can become non existent or hard to get in a long term emergency. Insulin is one that is hard to keep, but can be stored for periods if you have the resources to care for it. Heart medications are vitally important to those that require them. The stress of an emergency coupled with the loss of medications to control blood pressure can be a fatal combination. One little thought of but more dangerous considerations would be medications for the insane or emotionally frail. Should they go off their meds, it can be dangerous for the entire community.

Unemployment has become a way of life for many Americans. We've spent our way tot he point that so many wouldn't make it on a single income. Having a deep larder or food storage would enable many families to continue living at the same level for a long period if they are frugal and willing to sacrifice some creature comforts. The key is to stock up on the basics and include as much protein and regular consumables as possible. This includes tooth paste and other regular care items that are inexpensive when you can afford them and invaluable when you can't.

 Every American should have at least 3 weeks worth of food and water on hand to survive in a grid down emergency. You must have a means to cook the food unless it's all MRE's or eat cold food. A few extra propane tanks for the grill can get you past the worst of it. I personally have 3 sets of tanks for the grill and try my best to keep 2 full at all times. I also have a multifuel camp stove that will burn just about anything you throw at it. This is a backup to the grill in case of a tornado that would destroy the grill. The easy way to store the food is to buy bulk and store it in Mylar bags or 5 gallon buckets. There are many sources with info on this so I'm not going to go into detail on the subject. All you really need to know is that you need it, now. How much you need is up to you and your situation.

Sanitary considerations are huge when there is an emergency situation. Disease spreads quickly when conditions become less than ideal. If the sewers stop working and water becomes scarce, it's all to easy to forget about sanitation and start an epidemic. Learning how to make a functioning latrine and keep some Lye on hand for this eventuality. Your entire neighborhood might have to use your facilities should things become unbearable for any length of time.

Simple skills lost during the advent of electric appliances should be at least known if not practiced. 3 weeks of the same clothes (especially underwear) would make for a pretty gamey existence. No running water can also keep people dirty and smelly. Learn how to make a home made bucket shower and have the stuff around to make one. Wet wipes are another method to keep clean in a pinch, they are cheap and last a long time. Should they dry out, all you have to do is add water to bring them back to life.

Practice a simple existence by camping or backpacking. It's a cheap and healthy way to bring a family together and learn to overcome challenges as a family unit. You learn to rely on each other and how everyone will react when they are tired and under stress. Make it fun and explore your world past the back yard. Backpacking will teach you so many lessons on how to be self sufficient without the comforts of home.

Consider an off the grid lifestyle. The new fad of  "Zero Homes" that are super insulated and utilize solar power to heat and cool the home are a great way to no longer require a utility company to service you. If you're not on the grid, being without one doesn't crimp your style in the least. Some people even sell power back to the grid to pay for their costs of installing the system. It's an expensive setup and worth every penny when you consider the monthly savings and to be able to charge the power company to be hooked up to your home!

Becoming your own emergency support system is the most selfless thing a family can do. You can free up resources needed for others or be able to help those in worse shape than you are. I know the ability to drop a 5 gallon bucket of food on someone's porch when they are desperate is good for the soul and is the right thing to do. We are responsible for the less fortunate in our community and especially in a time of extreme need. Having that food on hand gives you the ability to directly impact your community.

In closing, I'd like to discuss the most important part of a survival plan or contingency. Knowledge- It weighs nothing, takes up no space and is invaluable when you need it. Become needed by being in the know on the subjects that will be required in an emergency. Get CPR and First Aid trained, learn primitive skills and farming and become active in your community. Once people recognize you as a leader in your community, you will be able to help more people by empowering them with what you have learned. Spread the knowledge and you will have less dependents in an emergency. Your community will be safer and better able to handle an emergency.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Who's in Control of You?

I'm appalled at how the media has handled this tragedy. Just when you think the scum of the earth can't get any lower, they do. Mainstream media is trying to think for you, people. Get it straight, they have no valid argument. They want to scare you and have you make decisions out of fear instead of knowledge. The politicians and media are the ones who touted how safe gun free zones would be and when they fail, they refuse to take responsibility and start blaming the honest citizens for the failures of the governments unwanted and unneeded laws.

As long as you allow the government to blame us for it's failures, we are doomed. They created the laws making our children targets of opportunity. They closed down community mental care facilities. They refused to properly test new drugs due to pressure from Big Pharma. Not you and I. We are guilty of standing by and letting them do it. No more!

We've played along for far too many years. It's time to put a stop to this ruse. Refuse to become a subject, demand your liberty. As soon as they start passing new fear laws, we will all become criminals. They will never stop until we stop them. Act like a Citizen and stand up to the tyranny and oppression the cabal of socialist elite have in store for us. They want you and I defenseless, hungry and scared. It's the only way they can control us. If we stand together and refuse to be subjects, there is nothing that can stop us from returning America to it's former greatness.

Look at what they've done to us in just the past few years. They are stealing our wealth, looting our natural resources, killing our youth, poisoning our food and removing education from the schools and replacing it with rhetoric. Everyone wants to blame someone else. Don't.

The US government is empowered by the people. We allow them to pass laws on us. Without our support they will have no ways to enforce those laws. They pass laws with no constitutional bearing and expect us to obey like good lemmings. That needs to end.

Turn off your TV and educate your child on their responsibilities as a citizen of the US. Tell them about how our forefathers fought and died for every freedom we possess and to never allow anyone to take them away. Teach them about personal responsibility and how their behavior reflects on your family. Make them understand the value of honesty and hard work. Make sure they have dreams to accomplish and all the tools needed to succeed. We must ensure they have the tools to rebuild this country and become great Leaders of a free society.

Get your children involved in community programs such as Boy Scouts or another character building program. Give them the ability to take care of themselves and function in an emergency. Teach them to be leaders and how to care for the less fortunate out of respect for humanity, not compulsory taxes.

Teach them to be self sufficient. Let them know what happened during Sandy and Katrina to people who relied upon the government to save them. Live like a citizen and lead by example. How you act and what you accomplish is paramount to teaching the proper mindset for surviving the coming trials we face.

The America of yesteryear is dead, replaced with a luke warm socialist regime paid for by the profits of a kangaroo capitalist market and controlled by looters bought an paid for with corporate greed. They will not leave office until America is a corpse and our children are slaves. We must prevent their agenda from becoming law at all costs.

QE 1,2,3 and now #4. $85 billion deficit per month.

Quantitative Easing, chapter 4. The Fed is now printing 85 billion dollars a month to buy mortgage backed securities and direct Treasury debt. Yes, those same mortgage backed securities that caused the 2008 economic collapse. The same ones that Chase lost trillions of dollars on. By doing this they are inflating the GDP artificially with money that doesn't exist. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, don't worry about that whole deficit thing. It's just numbers on a debt clock. It has no affect on you, yet. It soon will though, very soon.

Lets look at this with some common sense. The dollar is a Fiat currency. This means it has no intrinsic value past it's replacement cost. You can't melt it down or sell it for scrap. It's value is based totally on the governments willingness to pay it's debts and support the currency. Should the government default or lose it's caste system of balances, the currency could be damaged to the point that the paper becomes cheaper than wall paper, as is what happened in a few places in modern history.

Why is this important to us? Well, as fate would have it, we are doing EXACTLY the same things they did before their entire economy collapsed. The Weimar Republic printed money instead of fixing the economy. It was easier to delay the crash instead of facing it. They destroyed any and all wealth that was tied to or valued in their currency by doing exactly what the current and past administrations have done for years. It's criminal. They are stealing from you every day as they devalue your assets by devaluing our currency. It's the worst form of tax on the planet because there is no gain to be had for anyone. At least when they tax us the money actually goes somewhere.

The damage is two fold you see. The current wealth is wiped out, as well as future wealth. The devaluation kills any wealth increases seen and the debt portion causes the government to require higher taxes on devalued currency to manage the debt. But stocks have gone higher you say?

No, not at all. The devaluation of the dollar is pushing the prices higher, not the value of the stocks. Gold is the ultimate equalizer. It's value is known around the world every minute of every day. According to that same dollar to gold to stock index, the dollar is the thing dropping, not the value of the stocks increasing. In fact, the true gold value of the stocks are falling as well, to some of the lowest single digit levels in history. As this process continues, it will further debase the currency to the point it will lose it's standing as the go to currency to hold. When that happens, we are at the whim of the largest foreign currency holders. China and Japan.

Let's look at that scenario a minute. China, the largest foreign holder of US securities has 1.73 trillion in us debt and around 1.3 trillion in currency reserves. A foreign government that is hostile to us controls 3 trillion dollars of our money. They have the technology and infrastructure to beat us in manufacturing ability as well as destroy us on productivity with very little money spent on social programs. They can destroy us in a head to head manufacturing production duel. They will be able to produce more, cheaper and faster than we can. There is no way for our economy to out pace their manufacturing ability. Our only saving grace is that we have the buying power and wealth to keep them interested in us. Should that ever change and we become a cold war adversary, things change rapidly.

It would be much cheaper for a superpower china to bankrupt the us by dropping billions upon billions of dollars into the international markets and devaluing the dollar. This would be done after a sell off of securities that would prompt the US to print the money required to buy back the Treasury notes before the price fell sharply. If the price falls, all that hard work printing money is lost and the debt is worthless, like the dollar itself. Now if, after they sell off the treasury notes, they decide to dump the 1.3 trillion in currency, there would be no looking back. We can't print Euro's, Yuan or Yen to buy back the currency. We're on the bench watching the dollar in free fall as the markets sell off any US treasuries trying to save themselves from the destruction of the dollar.

I'm not saying that will happen, but there is the possibility. We have hedged ourselves into such a tight corner that the option is on the table for a foreign government to devalue the dollar any time they wish. They would lose hundreds of billions of dollars, but the affect on us would be insurmountable. Fiat currency has no intrinsic value.Our government is walking a tightrope hoping to delay the crash that is inevitable. They know it's coming but it's like a game of musical chairs. Nobody wants to be sitting in the oval office when it happens. They will be blamed and vilified for eternity.

So now what? Nothing can be done to save the economy. Nothing can be done to stop the crash. So why are they having talks about the fiscal cliff? Because the illusion that they can fix it is the only thing keeping the economy rolling. Well, that and 85 billion dollars a month in funny money. They have the ability to keep the check book filled at the cost of the wealth you and I own, devalued. They are stealing from you to keep the farce rolling. Welcome to the punch line. You're it!

The only thing they are accomplishing with this strategy is making the hole we fall in deeper. They are adding debt to our grandkids now, there is no way we can pay it in our lifetimes.

There has to be a way to fix it, right? No, there isn't. Lets look at cutting costs on the federal level to compensate. Legally required spending for 2013 is still going to be about 400 billion higher than the intake. So lets trim some departments. Labor, interior, NASA, agriculture, education, intelligence and stop all discretionary spending. Wait a minute, we can't do THAT! We'd put millions of people out of work and reduce tax revenue by several hundred billion dollars. Not to mention what it would do to the economy when millions of new foreclosures hit the market, (remember those mortgage backed securities?) as well as the unemployment/welfare benefits require to keep people from starving after the unemployment rate hits near 35% . Crap, what now?

Can't cut costs, so lets look at new revenue. Higher taxes. Why do that when we can look to the highest tax levels since 1920 for next year. Yes, I'm not joking. Next year,  if the tax cuts roll off automatically, we will have the highest tax level since the 1920's. Well, lets add more taxes anyway to make it up. A quick look at the numbers and yes. We can do that. Our current tax rate is a little over 20% of wages and profits for individual and corporate taxes. We have to double it to make up the difference and still borrow 80 billion from the Fed. Somewhere near 46-48% of your income would have to be assessed in taxes to make the country run on it's current budget.

Wealth would be destroyed again because business owners don't like to work for free. They work to make money. If the government took half your paycheck every week, would you keep going back? No. Could you make it on half your wages? Doubtful for most. Add in inflation of 9% annually this year and I'm guessing 11% next year (QE4, remember) and you're operating on around 40% of your wages from last year. Can you make it on that? What happens when everyone but the super rich can't make it?

Social breakdown, riots, death, destruction, murder, martial law..... This is our future.
 Welcome to Zimbabwe

Friday, December 14, 2012

We Are At Fault For Today's Events.

The shooting today was a preventable tragedy. That's right. It was, without a doubt 100% preventable. If we put our money where our mouth is, we can stop any school shootings from happening. Unfortunately, our pansy society of feel good useless legislation has made it impossible for the law abiding citizen to stop these atrocities. Firstly, we need to stop making schools such a tempting target. Where would be the safest place to enact a massacre? Someplace where the bad guy is guaranteed to have the only gun. Someplace where an overwhelming portion of the people there are smaller and incapable of resisting you. Hmm, lets just hang a sign on the door and invite every nut job with a gun to come shoot our children. Current policy is dictating where the greatest number of casualties can and will occur. Our schools.

Why do we leave our children places where they have no protection from Evil? Schools have become godless, heretical places where our children are sent for indoctrination into the world of the average socialist lemming. Schools are Gun Free zones in many states. No guns allowed unless you are a Police Officer or criminal, what an Idea! Lets put our most precious commodity in an area where we don't have the ability to protect ourselves or them during an imminent threat. Let's make our children soft targets by teaching them to hide under desks instead of teaching escape and evasion techniques. Why is it that the administration is making up policy that INCREASES casualties?

Let's look at my children's school. Small school in a suburban sprawl zone. 15 classes of less than 30 kids on a 5-6 acre tract in a residential setting. They have a magnetic lock on the front door and security pad access in the rear. The door locks and access pads are useless. The doors are all glass and would only take 1 shot to break the safety glass. Instant entry without even slowing down. The kids would be herded into the rooms as soon as the first shot was heard and they would stay there awaiting the death dealer that would soon come. Lockdown = Death for the inhabitants of the school once enacted with an active shooter inside. Everyone all lined up in classrooms, unarmed and huddled together to make it easier for the shooter.

Everything the school systems teach is about giving in and being herded like sheep. With the current no child left ahead strategy as well as years of academia brainwashing their student teachers into the lemming mentality, our kids don't have a chance to become anything but mediocre shadows of their potential. I do not allow them to cleanse my children of their beliefs and intelligence. I will not let them offer my child up to the socialist agenda of our current society. Teach your children to resist and accomplish their goals and not the teachers. Reach past mediocrity and surpass the guidelines of a failed system designed for passing a standardized test that has no crossover value in the real world. Don't let them or some nut job steal your children from you.

Teach your children to run from the gunshots and don't stop until they are in the safe zone at a predetermined point near the school. Practice the drill and teach them how to get out of a locked classroom. Teach them to defy the people who are allowing them to be sacrificed at the altar of bad judgement. Prepare them to survive in a stressful situation. Teach them about guns and to respect their power. Make your children the hardest target on the planet. Empower them to live! 

A gun is not evil. It has no will of it's own. Let's start using them for good by protecting our kids. Allow the arming of the teachers, administration, lunch ladies and custodians. Make the school the least likely place to have a successful massacre on the planet and they will no longer happen like they did today. Take a stand for common sense and don't further restrict the only way we have to stop mad men from hurting our kids. Further restrictions make them bigger targets!

It's up to us to protect our kids. To continue with the current ideology will only make things worse and endanger our children more. Allow the Citizens among us to stand and protect the innocents who are counting on us. Protect them and teach them without fear of death by administrative and legislative stupidity.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Security Tips- Don't Let The Scrooge Get You.

This Christmas and Holiday season will be filled with travel, family and lots of presents. Throughout the entire season there will also be predators of several types out looking for a free ride on your dime. One woman we know was nearly accosted at a nearby mall but thankfully a passerby helped her out and avoided tragedy. This is a season where people are too busy thinking about what they need to do and not about their personal and family security.

There are several things you can do to mitigate your exposure to dangerous people and protect yourself and home from shady people. Some are easy little common sense items and some are costly and worth every penny.

Parking lot security isn't responsible for your safety, if they even have any. They are there to wave the flag and make you feel safer to be there. Last year a lot security guard helped a thief load a motorcycle onto a trailer for a guy who said it broke down. Turns out the guy was stealing it and he was just helping a criminal! Don't get caught up in the hype, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and the safety of your family. When you enter a parking lot, don't just drive up to the first spot you find. No matter how big of a hurry you are in, be aware of your surroundings. Leave the phone in your purse or pocket and look around. Be aware of the cars near you and try to park near a cart return so you don't have to leave your car unattended for more than a moment. If you do walk away from it, close the trunk and lock the doors. Keep your keys in your hand for a quick reentry.

Never leave your purse in the shopping cart unattended. Another way to help this is to buy a climbing type carabiner or gate clip and clip your purse strap to the cart so it can't walk off while you are turned away for a moment. Having a paper list of items needed helps by keeping one hand free instead of using both to check your phone and distract you from your objective.

Keep chit chat bland and give no useful information out to strangers. That sweet man who's asking you if you have big plans for the Holidays may follow you home and target your house while you are away. The criminal element is primed to take advantage of the season and find easy targets to pillage.

Home delivery services offer pick up options for your house. If you are having packages sent to your home, make sure someone is going to be there. A package on the stoop means two things, the house is more than likely not occupied and the package is easy pickings. You can get online and place a hold on the package for pickup at the UPS or FEDEX office or make sure a neighbor picks it up for you.

 A trusted neighbor who knows your habits and is around during the day can be a real lifesaver. Literally. Let that neighbor know if you are leaving and to call if they see anything suspicious. Ask them to pick up packages for you if they get put on the porch. Be sure to thank them and get them a little something for all they do for you. Also go out of your way to get to know your neighbors. Their security is your security. If their house looks like an open invitation to thieves, you may become a target of opportunity as well.

Learn to use and carry personal protection items. The list is huge, from a handgun all the way down to a whistle with several steps in between. Without a doubt, the first few seconds of an attack will be critical so keep your attention tuned to your surroundings. If you are walking in a parking lot, have your hand in your purse or pocket where you can grab whatever you need to ward off danger. Pepper spray is a good option for this because it's easy to use and once it's deployed, the person won't want to be around it. If you see someone approaching, know what to do, angle yourself away from them and don't be afraid to yell or speak up if you are uncomfortable. Whoever you are talking to or texting on your phone is too far away, they won't be of any use to you if you are accosted. Put the phone away.

Secure your home. Keep the doors and windows locked. Keep your garage door down as much as possible. That's an open invitation to thieves. Don't let mail or papers pile up in the mailbox. Security lights are a great deterrent for late night visits from creepers.

Get an alarm system if you can afford it. A local company will serve you much better than a national chain. The national chains have been know to disregard an alarm if they can't get a hold of the property owner. That is unacceptable and will add insult to injury. Any alarm you buy should come hardwired. The units that are wireless are easily defeated and require batteries to be maintained. Get a cellular backup dialer for your alarm. It's a small investment that makes it hard for the common criminal to get past your system if they choose to try. If you can't afford a system, buy the stickers and put them on your doors and windows.

Make every other house more appealing then yours. That's the trick to keeping your house safe. Common thieves are lazy. They want what they can see, so keep the curtains closed near electronics and high end items unless you are home to protect them. Keep your treasure to yourself. Letting everyone and their brother know what you have is a sure way to get someone to want to steal it. If people have no clue what you have, they won't want it!

Keep electronics in your cars out of sight. So many GPS units get stolen every year that I won't even consider getting one. The cost of the broken window is more than what the GPS unit itself costs. The GPS unit can also be used to find out your habits. If yours gets stolen, be very aware for several months afterward. Same goes for your phone. Phones today store so much information that a thief might as well have your personal planner and wiretaps. They can have access to Email, texts and voicemail. If they are savvy, they can get location information from any pictures you've taken and track you. Your phone needs to be kept as secure as your wallet.

Install a security  door. Many home improvement stores sell nice looking front doors that have unbreakable glass and heavy duty glass on them. The front door is your first line of defense and if you open the door, it's defeated. Having that second line of defense such as a security type screen door in addition to the weatherproof steel door is a huge security advantage. Lowes sells a very good line of these units with bars and layered high impact glass panels. This way you can open the door to assess the situation and still be safe from harm.

If you are a bold person and wish to make a statement, don't do it with stickers. The stickers on your car can give a criminal a way to get to know you. They may pretend to know your honor roll student or your football star after they see the stickers on your car. Guns are a prime target for thieves, don't put gun stickers on your car or house unless you have a means to protect them at all times.

Use your head when you are out and about. Be generous but not foolhardy. Don't allow your generosity to become a detractor to your security. There are people out there who live to cheat and steal. Many have drug issues and nothing to lose. If they get caught they get 3 hots and a cot during the cold winter months. Many thieves get out of jail before the police officer who caught them gets the paperwork done, mainly due to prison overcrowding. There is no real punishment for non violent offenders, the courts can't handle the load so most fall through the cracks. Be aware of this and be prepared to make yourself and your family the least appealing target you can.

Get to know the police in your area. If you can, stop them in the street and chat them up about any crimes in the area. Many departments have listings of the runs they take in the paper or online. Take some time to read them and see what's going on around you. Let your neighbors know if you see anything suspicious. Call the police if you know something is wrong and be sure to get as much information as possible when you call. Stay on the phone with the operator and give them updates, refuse to let them hang up til police arrive. The thieves might leave and you can give the operator direction of travel and descriptions of the passengers. Stay in your house unless you are trained to handle the situation. There's no good reason to get into an altercation when it's not needed. They may just be trying to get you out of your car or house to rob you.

Stay safe this Christmas season and be aware of your security. This is the prime season for petty thefts and robberies due to all the shopping and travel. Everyone is distracted and trying to hustle around for their next item. Leaves plenty of room to make mistakes and cost yourself your hard earned money, or even your life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Repost From the Day After the Election.

Nov 10th, 2012 Repost

Upset is putting it mildly. I'm pissed, royally, red faced, monkey butted mad! Here we are in 2012 and not a soul has figured out that the road we are traveling down is filled with the dead bodies and dreams of our children. I have 2 beautifully innocent boys aged 7 and 10 years who have no idea what their future holds. Unfortunately, I do. Bankruptcy, servitude, hate and suffering. We as a nation cannot support our social agenda of open ended entitlement programs. Federal Welfare, both for the rich and poor must be abolished immediately. Federal government control of responsibilities designated to the states must be abolished. Government extortion of states rights must be stopped at all costs. This November we had an opportunity to shake up the imperialist parties and show them that if they don't start representing our interests and stopping the crap we'd find another benefactor to protect our rights. Yet the general, uninformed lemmings among us have once again assured our socioeconomic destruction by keeping team red and blue in power. It's madness!

So many people saying to "Get Over It" or just get along with the adversary. That's impossible. It's asking the lamb to walk into the lions cage and offer the lion a big kiss to get their attention. These people are divided so far that they won't even talk to each other. They only agree on one thing. Limiting the rights of the citizens. The last bill to limit first amendment rights was passed by all but 5 members of congress. This bill disallowed the first amendment use while a secret service agent is present. AKA- no protesting around government officials. Madness! This is the cornerstone of free speech!

QE Infinity. The practice of printing Billions after billions of dollars supporting mortgage backed securities is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. People are out there building homes using phantom money printed in the fed while there are literally millions of empty homes out there that need new owners. This practice further erodes the values of homes to the point that the day you move into your new home you've lost 15% of it's value. If you got in on another 5% down Fred's Fannie deal, you are underwater in your nice, new (might as well be built with cardboard) tract home.

Our federal government is spending Trillions more than it takes in every year. Much of this money is spent to finance the debt accrued in the last hundred years. About 440+ Billion. Lets look at that number. 440,000,000,000. Now lets divide that number by the population of the us. 307,212,123. That's 1,432.23 of your tax money PER PERSON in your household just to finance the debt. There is no benefit or good that comes from this money. It's thrown away, just like the bailout money it finances! Then we start talking about government services, which really, what type of service do we get from them? Nothing good.

The bailouts. Too big to fail was my favorite tag line. It's so preposterous that it's sickening. We had bankers lobbying our government about the best way to handle the bank failures. The very same people responsible for creating the housing bubble and junk bonds and junk mortgage holdings. They played a shell game with the losses until they could no longer hide it, then they marched into the oval office and demanded money while explaining the doom that would follow the failures. Guess what, they failed anyway. The world didn't end. GM still declared bankruptcy, and they will again pretty soon. They paid back the bailout money with TARP bailout money so they could get rid of government oversight and start the ball rolling with huge bonuses for the executives. It's a farce and you and I are the punchline. They are buying million dollar homes with money that our children will have to repay.

The politicians must look down from their mighty thrones and laugh themselves unconscious when they consider how bad they treat us, only to be re-elected time and time again. Who can blame them? We've allowed them to make their positions so profitable that they don't ever want to leave. These people ( I use the term loosely) are so brazen that they have made is a law to get a raise every year. They have to vote to NOT get a raise. They manipulate social security so that beneficiaries get less money by falsely reducing the amount of inflation. The reported inflation is 2%. Seriously. Anyone who has gone shopping regularly over the past 6 months knows this is a lie. If you use the 1980 formula for inflation we have 9% per year inflation. That means that ever dollar you had at the beginning of the fiscal year will only buy 90 cents worth of goods. It's the easy way to make people poor! Print money and devalue their paychecks. That means if you didn't get a 9% raise this year, you took a pay cut.Think about that. They are cutting costs for the corporations (that bought their political seats) to compete with emerging markets.

The markets are a joke as well. This recovery is based on science fiction. Inflation based stock price increases that have no basis in market value. It's a giant shell game that this week has shown to be over valued. The icing on the cake? Gas prices. The day of the election prices were 40 cents lower than the day before. How the heck can that NOT be market manipulation. They think we're dumb and short sighted enough to be happy that the prices are down a couple days and vote to keep the current douche nozzle in charge instead of the opposing douche. They were right! Complete and utter morons! The parties kept stock prices up just like they kept gas prices down to make us happy on election day. Once the music stops, look what happened. 300 point DOW drop and a 40 cent increase on election day +1.

There is only one answer. End the 2 party system, outlaw business entity political contributions, Cut the pay of legislative branch to the point it's no longer a golden parachute, make legislators abide by the laws they pass, Term limits, End legislating from the bench, allow for impeachment of supreme court justices, these people are the ones who are supposed to be upholding the constitution, instead they erode it and ignore the very document that gives them power. "Shall not be infringed" is pretty clear, even for us dumb people. Why a supposed constitutional law professor can't read is beyond me.

Hold government office holders personally accountable for their actions. If they screw up, they pay for the lawsuit. I'm tired of paying for government ineptitude.

That is all for now. I'm attempting to setup a blog site, so I'll keep you updated.

Gear Review: Ripa 2 Solar Battery Charger

I've been looking to get a battery charger that I can use to charge up my batteries and phone when out camping. The choices are pretty slim in this category. Brunton has a few but they are heavy and expensive so I went with the Ripa unit. They make 3 solar chargers in various sizes. I chose the 2 due to it's compact size and weight with 2600ma of charging power. This is about 4 charges for my phone or about 2 charges for a set of AA batteries in a usb charger. Not a ton of power, but just enough to get you through a couple days without power. To get a full charge on the unit, you must leave it in full sun for 18 hours or plug it into a usb charger for 4-6 hours depending on the source. Mine seems to charge fastest on a car charger.

The best thing about the unit is the size and weight. It fits perfectly in a small pocket and is about the same size as my phone. It comes with various connection ports and seems to plug into just about everything I need. If you have a device it doesn't have a connection for, just use the usb cable supplied with your device. The Ripa 2 has a standard usb port for charging devices and a mini usb port for charging the unit. The Ripa2 has only 1 button and that controls the outgoing voltage as well as the charge display. It's not the most intuitive press cycle, so read the directions so you don't muck it up and send too much voltage to your phone. The unit can output 5v for a regular usb or 9v for an Ipad. Handy, but the unit must be in sunlight to output 9v.

The green led will flash when it's charging from solar power. The charging indicator on the silver case will show the charging status while it's in use or charging. The unit is very robust. I've been using it for about a year now without a complication. It's a great option for those of us who seem to forget to keep our phones charged and need a simple option for a charge every once in a while. The biggest drawback is the time it takes the unit to charge once the unit gets past half charge. If it's in sunlight there is less time needed to charge. The cord can get a bit sketchy depending on the accessory attached. I'd just buy or use your devices regular cord instead.

Overall, it's a great unit for what it's intended to do. It's not high powered enough to keep you sustained in a long term emergency but will prolong your power needs for quite a while if you are careful with your power usage. If you are looking for something to keep your battery powered items charged up and running for an indeterminate time frame, you will have to look into the Brunton line of solar films and chargers. They are expensive but have a greater output for higher discharge items.

UPDATE 10/18/2014 Unit died. Went to a Jackery 12000 MAH unit and a coleman 12v folding solar panel.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gear Review: Cold Steel Spartan Folding Knife. UPDATE 5/28/16

There comes a time in every man's life when he must retire a knife. It's like losing an old friend that's been around forever. Earlier this year my Beretta AirLight Tanto gave up the ghost and lost the screws for the pocket clip. I've had this knife for 10+ years and loved everything about it. It's lightweight, ultra thin and holds a nice edge. The screws are the weak point. The ones that hold the clip in place stripped out from the frame. So, that brings me to my next adventure. Finding the right knife for me.

I'd been trolling several web sights looking for something similar to the Beretta but never really found the right one. I finally just gave up and decided to get something different in the less than $100 market. The choices were endless. While looking at many blades, I noticed that the Tanto style I was used to wasn't going to be good for skinning or hunting use. My next blade should be useable for such since my boys are getting to the age where I will be taking them in the field soon enough. A nice curved folder would suit me just fine. What size should I get? Well, bigger is better, right?

Sales video from the Cold Steel website.

Cold Steel Spartan Folder. Glock 17 and mags for size reference and cool factor.

My first impression is that this thing is HUGE. The blade itself is is 4.5 inches long with a total length of 10.5 inches. The weight is 9.2 ounces so it's a hefty knife. Definitely one you will be hard pressed to forget it's in your pocket. The grip has a good texture with internal steel liners and a positive locking mechanism that is about as robust as they come. There are videos on the web site showing the locking mechanism holding a 300 pound load. A very well built knife for the price!

I started carrying the knife around six months ago and noticed it's bulk right away. The length is so long that it tends to rub the keys at the bottom of my pocket. This gets annoying at times when seated for long periods. The blade itself came very sharp and held it's edge well for quite a while. The locking mechanism needs to be operated a few times and lubricated a little before it's perfect. The clip is very sturdy as well but it's losing it's black coating on the leading edges. The finish on the knife is a bead blasted stainless look with the lettering near the handle. The Aus 8 steel isn't a very robust stainless. Mine is getting bits of rust or corrosion on it in several places.  It seems to be only on the side that rests against my leg so it must be a moisture/salt issue. Makes me wonder how well it will stand up to opening bags of ice melt this winter.

Corrosion on the blade. The lines are from sharpening a pencil Friday afternoon.

Overall, it's a very nice knife. The blade itself is easily sharpened and fairly tough, but not nearly as hard or resilient as many others I've had. I nicked the blade when I was cutting zip ties off a fence. I was disheartened when it happened but I wasn't being very careful. The blade was easy enough to bring back into shape that it wasn't a big loss. My only other annoyance is the fact that you really need to put your fingers inside the hilt where the blade goes to operate the safety lock. I cut myself once trying to snap it closed due to the design. I'm not a fan of leaking, so that one was pretty big.

I like the knife for what it is and it's really nice to take bushwhacking because it doubles as a machete in the dense brush. A swift whack with the blade is all it takes to cut back brambles and vines. The handle is shaped to hold your hand in place and not lose the knife or allow the edges of your fingers to be exposed while chopping. Great feature for a knife of this heft and type. Another great feature is the pocket grabbing plate at the top of the blade. It catches the edge of your pants pocket and opens the blade for you if you draw it properly. My only issue with that feature is that the thumb piece seems to be a little loose fitting. You can move it slightly but the screw seems to be tight.

My thoughts are that I'm going to keep the knife and use it for weekends in the woods or certain special times when a small machete is needed. I'm going to continue my search for another knife of the size and caliber of the Beretta I previously owned.   

For Whom the Bell Tolls.

There are very few things in life that are for sure. Death and Taxes are always mentioned in any conversation on the subject. What about people who levy the taxes and appropriate funds from the citizens under the disguise of "Common Good". What will happen to those people? Is it theft to take someones money in a greater portion than another citizen with the same rights? I really don't have a clue. I might just have to put in a question to the bible Q&A line at my Church. I know it's selfish of me to expect to be able to keep at least a little of my money before the jackals come to help me "Share" it with other, less fortunate souls. I guess in today's society charity is compulsory.

I'll be honest, I'm not a rich man in worldly possessions but I'm a millionaire when it comes to the people in my life. It was sometime last week when my son and I were talking to a good friend of mine out in the garage. When we got done talking and bartering for an easy hour, my son and I left to hit the store for some supplies. On the way he looks over at me and says "Dad, you sure do have a bunch of friends". He's right, I do have a bunch of friends, great people who I share life with. Some are lifelong friends who have shared the best and worst times in life. Some are fairly new that have really changed me as a person and made me feel that drive to succeed like I did in the past. No matter who you are, if you are reading this, Thank You! I'm very blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

The people we surround ourselves with are a direct influence in our lives. They dictate who we are and what we do as much as our conscience does. That being said, we are a direct influence on them as well. Take that responsibility and cherish it. Do the best you can to guide your friends towards the right path. Don't drag them down with you when you are feeling upset. Instead, allow them to lift you up and be yourself. If you were normally a miserable wretch, I doubt they would be your friend in the first place. Friends lean on each other without ever expecting anything in return. I've always felt badly if I had to owe anyone anything. If I needed a friends help and hadn't helped them out as much I feel like a dirt ball beggar. I've always been that way. I've always been eager to help people as much as possible and I know my dear wife struggles when she sees me doing it. The act of helping a friends or strangers fulfills me. I've always been one to consider the effort of giving one's time as more valuable that money. It puts a smile of relief with the personal touch of conversation when you're there.

I know there are plenty of my friends out there that might be reading this and thinking that they owe me something. You don't owe me anything but your friendship. That is the best gift a man can get from another human being. Unless of course,  you're my wife. She like shiny, pretty things! She's getting something much different this year!

This year has seen a great shift in the lives of my family. We have taken steps to encourage our kids to become individuals and taken away some of the commercial influences in their lives. First and foremost, we dropped cable TV. No more commercials with a cartoon scattered in between. No more incessant news breaks with inappropriate content. No more worry about what my kids are learning from the socialist media.

 We put the money we saved on our cable bill to good use and partnered with a family from our church that is going on a mission trip to eastern Europe. To a war torn country that has been known for it's genocide, rape and murder. They are taking their entire family to a hostile environment where they barely speak the language. Such a leap of faith would be mind numbing to someone like me. To throw yourself into the lions den without regard to you and your family's safety takes a family built on faith. A Faith I hope to one day understand and admire from within myself.

What do we leave this world with when we leave? Will people miss us? Did you do your part to help society grow and flourish? These are questions you should ask yourself and find the true answer. Are you a giver or a taker? Do you live a righteous lifestyle? There are so many questions we have to ask ourselves before you can look at yourself in the mirror and smile. There is so much hatred and emotional baggage out there in the world that sometimes it's hard to see the good. Do yourself a favor and go find a way to give back to the world that gave to you. There are so many ways you can fulfill your life by helping those around you, by being a good friend, a helper, a mentor, a shoulder, a guide or a champion. All it takes is a little faith and some time. You will be a stronger person for it and realize how blessed you are to have people you can help, not just the ones helping you.

When your bell tolls, what would you have people remember you for? Will they talk for hours about your grace and kindness, or will they lament at a life wasted? That is for you to decide. If you need help or suggestions, please, post a comment!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hello and welcome.

As my first post, I'd like to welcome everyone and wish everyone a Merry Christmas in the weeks to come. Christmas and the entire holiday season is about spending time with your family, eating too much and spending money. If only we could drop the last two, maybe we could enjoy it a bit more. Hopefully your family has a plan to give a little back to the community you live in. I know everyone really appreciates how nice we have it here in the former United States of America. I know I'm a lucky man to be able to have the free time and technology to post a blog while there are people on this planet who aren't sure they will survive the day on the little food they have. I just hope that the future doesn't hold the same for us.

I know you might have picked up on the little "former" in front of the USA reference. I'm hoping you would for a reason. Yes, we are lucky to be born in the land of plenty. Yes, we are a nation of excess and greed. Yes, we have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Does that mean we have the right to it all? Yes and no on that one. The fact that we fell out of someone's uterus somewhere in the US or on a US property makes us a citizen of the US. Some people choose to come here and become naturalized citizens after fleeing poverty or persecution in their home country or territory. Either way, once you hit the floor or raise your hand to become a citizen, you are entitled. The New USA is so darn convoluted that I don't recognize it at all. We have so much corporate and individual welfare out there that the common man can't hardly get by anymore without it getting shoved in our faces. Our government is giving money to everyone but the people who earn it. The earners must bear the brunt of the economy as well as much of the tax base.

Is it fair? That's for you to decide. Are you willing to continue the rat race and give all the freeloaders a free lunch every day? Are you willing to support able bodied people who have never worked a day in their lives? Are you willing to watch the looters give multibillion dollar payouts to their cronies? I know what you're thinking. It's not up to us. There's nothing that can be done. At this stage in the game there is little we as citizens can do to stop it. The wolves have pretty much picked the carcass clean. Today the USA has a net to debt of around 600% of adjusted GDP. No loan officer in their right mind would give a loan to a person with that debt ratio. It would be bad business. Yet the Fed continues to print money at an alarming rate. The money has to be accounted for somewhere. It's debt! Not only that, they are buying mortgage backed securities. Loans for houses that don't need to be built in a market where they are worth less than the cost to build them the day you close! It's utter madness!

When will it stop? Never. As long as we continue to have politicians in office instead of patriots, we are doomed to repeat the failures of the past 100 years. The people in office are only loyal to their parties, because that's who got them elected. The candidates were chosen to run and supported by their parties. They may choose 4 stool pigeons to run on the primary ticket so you have the illusion of choice, but they still choose who runs. Same for the other side as well. Then you have an election where the only choice you have is who gets the payoff money; Corporate America or I'm not working America.

I'm not saying that we should abolish safety net systems in the USA, lets just administer them at the local level instead of the federal level. The feds know how to bankrupt a whorehouse, so why allow them the opportunity to get another cut of our tax money. That goes for pretty much everything. Unless the money is going to a constitutionally mandated function, it's waste and graft. So many of the Alphabet soup agencies are carrying out illegal functions of the federal government that it's impossible to name all of them.

How do we fix it? What will it take before Americans become patriots again? When will the other shoe drop? These are questions I'd like to have answers for. I have my ideas about how to fix it but I want to hear yours! Post up and comment on this post and tell me how it's all going to happen!