Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Humor

Occasionally we as humans need to laugh and smile so here is some of both for you!

An old couple were sitting in Church and the wife noticed
that people were staring at her.

She leaned across to her husband and whispered, "I've just
let go a silent fart. What do you think I should do?"

He said, "I think you should get fresh batteries for your
hearing aid."

The phone rang. It was a salesman from a mortgage refinance
company. "Do you have a second mortgage on your home?"

"No," I replied.

"Would you like to consolidate all your debts?"

"I really don't have any," I said.

"How about freeing up cash for home improvements?" he tried.

"I don't need any. I just recently had some done and paid
cash," I parried.

There was a brief silence, and then he asked, "Are you
looking for a husband?"

I recently picked a new doctor. After a couple visits and
exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well'
for my age.

A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist
asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"

He asked, "Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?"

"Oh, no," I replied. "I'm not doing drugs, either!"

Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued

I said, "No, my last doctor said that all red meat is very

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf,
sailing, hiking, or bicycling?"

"No, I don't," I said.

He asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of

"No," I said.

He looked at me and said, "Then why do you even give a shit?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Iranian Incursion in Context

By George Friedman
A small number of Iranian troops entered Iraq, where they took control of an oil well and raised the Iranian flag Dec. 18. The Iranian-Iraqi border in this region is poorly defined and is contested, with the Iranians claiming this well is in Iranian territory not returned after the Iran-Iraq War. Such incidents have occurred in the past. Given that there were no casualties this time, it therefore would be easy to dismiss this incident, even though at about the same time an Iranian official claimed that Iraq owes Iran about $1 trillion in reparations for starting the Iran-Iraq War.
But what would be fairly trivial at another time and place is not trivial now.

Sending a Message With an Incursion

Multiple sources have reported that Tehran ordered the incident. The Iranian government is aware that Washington has said the end of 2009 was to be the deadline for taking action against Iran over its nuclear program — and that according to a White House source, the United States could extend that deadline to Jan. 15, 2010.

That postponement makes an important point. The United States has treated the Iran crisis as something that will be handled on an American timeline. The way that the Obama administration handled the Afghanistan strategy review suggests it assumes that Washington controls the tempo of events sufficiently that it can make decisions carefully, deliberately and with due reflection. If true, that would mean that adversaries like Iran are purely on the defensive, and either have no counter to American moves or cannot counter the United States until after Washington makes its next move.

For Iran, just to accept that premise puts it at an obvious disadvantage. First, Tehran would have to demonstrate that the tempo of events is not simply in American or Israeli hands. Second, Tehran would have to remind the United States and Israel that Iran has options that it might use regardless of whether the United States chooses sanctions or war. Most important, Iran must show that whatever these options are, they can occur before the United States acts — that Iran has axes of its own, and may not wait for the U.S. axe to fall.

The incursion was shaped to make this point without forcing the United States into precipitous action. The location was politically ambiguous. The force was small. Casualties were avoided. At the same time, it was an action that snapped a lot of people to attention. Oil prices climbed. Baghdad and Washington scrambled to try to figure what was going on, and for a while Washington was clearly at a loss, driving home the fact that the United States doesn’t always respond quickly and efficiently to surprises initiated by the other side.

The event eventually died down, and the Iranians went out of their way to minimize its importance. But two points nevertheless were made. The first was that Iran might not wait for Washington to consider all possible scenarios. The second was that the Iranians know how to raise oil prices. And with that lesson, they reminded the Americans that the Iranians have a degree of control over the economic recovery in the United States.
There has never been any doubt that Iran has options in the event that the United States chooses to strike. Significantly, the Iranians now have driven home that they might initiate a conflict if they assume conflict is inevitable.

U.S. and Iranian Options

Iran’s problem becomes clear when we consider Tehran’s options. These options fall into three groups:
  1. Interdicting the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf through the use of mines and anti-ship missiles. This would result in a dramatic increase in world oil prices on the Iranian attempt alone and could keep them high if Tehran’s efforts succeeded. The impact on the global economy would be substantial.
  2. Causing massive destabilization in Iraq. The Iranians retain allies and agents in Iraq, which has been experiencing increased violence and destabilization over the past months. As the violence increases and the Americans leave, a close relationship with Iran might be increasingly attractive to Iraqi troops. Given the deployment of American troops, direct attacks in Iraq by Iranian forces are not out of the question. Even if ultimately repulsed, such Iranian incursions could further destabilize Iraq. This would force the Obama administration to reconsider the U.S. withdrawal timetable, potentially affecting Afghanistan.
  3. Use Hezbollah to initiate a conflict with Israel, and as a global tool for terrorist attacks on American and allied targets. Hezbollah is far more sophisticated and effective than al Qaeda was at its height, and would be a formidable threat should Iran choose — and Hezbollah agree — to play this role.
When we look at the three Iranian options, it is clear that the United States would not be able to confine any action against Iran to airstrikes. The United States is extremely good at air campaigns, while it is weak at counterinsurgency. It has massive resources in the region to throw into an air campaign and it can bring more in using carrier strike groups.

But even before hitting Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Americans would have to consider the potential Iranian responses. Washington would have to take three steps. First, Iranian anti-ship missiles and surface vessels — and these vessels could be very small but still able to carry out mine warfare — on the Iranian littoral would have to be destroyed. Second, large formations of Iranian troops along the Iraqi border would have to be attacked, and Iranian assets in Iraq at the very least disrupted. Finally, covert actions against Hezbollah assets — particularly assets outside Lebanon — would have to be neutralized to the extent possible.

This would require massive, coordinated attacks, primarily using airpower and covert forces in a very tight sequence prior to any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Without this, Iran would be in a position to launch the attacks outlined above in response to strikes on its nuclear facilities. Given the nature of the Iranian responses, particularly the mining of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, the operations could be carried out quickly and with potentially devastating results to the global economy.

From the Iranian standpoint, Tehran faces a “use-it-or-lose-it” scenario. It cannot wait until the United States initiates hostilities. The worst-case scenario for Iran is waiting for Washington to initiate the conflict.

At the same time, the very complexity of an Iranian attack makes the United States want to think long and hard before attacking Iran. The opportunities for failure are substantial, no matter how well the attack is planned. And the United States can’t allow Israel to start a conflict with Iran alone because Israel lacks the resources to deal with a subsequent Iranian naval interdiction and disruptions in Iraq.

It follows that the United States is interested in a nonmilitary solution to the problem. The ideal solution would be sanctions on gasoline. The United States wants to take as much time as needed to get China and Russia committed to such sanctions.

Iranian Pre-emption

The Iranians signaled last week that they might not choose to be passive if effective sanctions were put in place. Sanctions on gasoline would in fact cripple Iran, so like Japan prior to Pearl Harbor, the option of capitulating to sanctions might be viewed as more risky than a pre-emptive strike. And if sanctions didn’t work, the Iranians would have to assume a military attack is coming next. Since the Iranians wouldn’t know when it would happen, and their retaliatory options might disappear in the first phase of the military operation, they would need to act before such an attack.

The problem is that the Iranians won’t know precisely when that attack will take place. The United States and Israel have long discussed a redline in Iranian nuclear development, which if approached would force an attack on Iran to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Logically, Iran would seem to have a redline as well, equally poorly designed. At the point when it becomes clear that sanctions are threatening regime survival or that military action is inevitable, Iran must act first, using its military assets before it loses them.

Iran cannot live with either effective sanctions or the type of campaign that the United States would have to launch to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities. The United States can’t live with the consequences of Iranian counteractions to an attack. Even if sanctions were possible, they would leave Iran with the option to do precisely those things Washington cannot tolerate. Therefore, whether the diplomatic or military route is followed, each side has two options. First, the Americans can accept Iran as a nuclear power, or Iran can accept that it must give up its nuclear ambitions. Second, assuming that neither side accepts the first option, each side must take military action before the other side does. The Americans must neutralize counters before the Iranians deploy them. The Iranians must deploy their counters before they are destroyed.

The United States and Iran are both playing for time. Neither side wants to change its position on the nuclear question, although each hopes the other will give in. Moreover, neither side is really confident in its military options. The Americans are not certain that they can both destroy the nuclear facilities and Iranian counters — and if the counters are effective, their consequences could be devastating. The Iranians are not certain that their counters will work effectively, and once failure is established, the Iranians will be wide open for devastating attack. Each side assumes the other understands the risks and will accept the other’s terms for a settlement.

And so each waits, hoping the other side will back down. The events of the past week were designed to show the Americans that Iran is not prepared to back down. More important, they were designed to show that the Iranians also have a redline, that it is as fuzzy as the American redline and that the Americans should be very careful in how far they press, as they might suddenly wake up one morning with their hands full.

The Iranian move is deliberately designed to rattle U.S. President Barack Obama. He has shown a decision-making style that assumes that he is not under time pressure to make decisions. It is not clear to anyone what his decision-making style in a crisis will look like. Though not a prime consideration from the Iranian point of view, putting Obama in a position where he is psychologically unprepared for decisions in the timeframe they need to be made in is certainly an added benefit. Iran, of course, doesn’t know how effectively he might respond, but his approach to Afghanistan gives them another incentive to act sooner than later.

There are some parallels here to the nuclear warfare theory, in which each side faces mutual assured destruction. The problem here is that each side does not face destruction, but pain. And here, pre-emptive strikes are not guaranteed to produce anything. It is the vast unknowns that make this affair so dangerous, and at any moment, one side or the other might decide they can wait no longer.

"This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR"

More Gorebal Warming News

Europe cold snap kills dozens across continent 

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

So, how's that Gorebal Warming working for you now Europe? Al Gore should be prosecuted for his part in this hoax!
I wonder if HAARP is playing any role in our climate change?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food Crisis Looms in 2010

Borrowed this link from JWR's site. I believe it needs more than just a passing note.

2010 Food Crisis for Dummies

content edited due to low-life scum suing bloggers for alleged copyright infringement

USDA estimates for 2009/10 make no sense
 read the rest here

When this news finally breaks, there will be a panicked populace stampeding to the stores and buying everything in sight, much as happens before a hurricane. Expect utter chaos to reign as the government tries to get things under control. Those who are too late to the trough will seek out those who got their fill. And then the SHTF.

We have all had the opportunity to prep for a given time, lets hope those preps will be enough. For those who are just beginning to awake to this need, I feel so sorry for you. Time has run out. It is only seconds to midnight now and it may be too late for the latecomers.
May God watch over us all. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book review: One Second After

Having read the reviews others have written about this book, I let my curiosity overcome my wallet and I bought it as a Christmas present for myself. I settled in on a Sunday afternoon and was soon halfway through the book. I finished it Monday evening while half watching 3ohEight play the newest Call of Duty release, an awesome game and tactical training opportunity. I am his tactical adviser.

Anyway, the book starts out in the first chapter with an introduction to the main character and his family, with a few neighbors thrown in for good measure. Chapter 2 gets right into the action and from there you are either drawn into the story or you set the book aside and go back to burying your head in the sand.

The storyline is plausible, and seasoned prepper's will stand in their chair and scream at the main character to pull his head out of his posterior and recognize what is going on. He eventually does and starts to take action.

Shortages of ammo, medicine, food, wild game and the inevitable showdown with disease and an army of cannibalistic bad guys all add to the storyline. EMP disabled vehicles are scattered everywhere and with some ingenuity, some are coaxed back into use by bypassing the computerized electronics.

Without giving away too much of the story, I can say that it was worth the price I paid on Amazon.com. The price on the back of the book is listed as $14.99 but I got it for $10.11.

I feel that the book has a place in any Survival Fiction library and does provide a lot of food for thought. So, I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read end of the world, TEOTWAKI type stories and want a glimpse of what may be in our near future as “the weak say, I am strong”, and lash out at the Great Satan.

Buy it.
Read it.
Learn from it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are rice prices about to spike?

By Javier Blas in London

Published: December 8 2009 17:53 | Last updated: December 8 2009 17:53

Rice prices have moved to levels not seen since last year's "super-spike" as a buying spree by the Philippines, the world's largest importer, tightens the market.

Manila received offers on Tuesday for it to buy low-quality rice at about $630 a tonne, up 30 per cent from last month's tender, and double the $320 a tonne seen earlier this year.

The rally comes as global rice production is set to fall in 2009-10 for the first time in five years as a result of India's driest monsoon in four decades, a series of typhoons destroying crops in the Philippines and droughts elsewhere because of the El NiƱo weather phenomenon.

"It feels a little like early 2008," said Frederic Neumann, an economist at HSBC in Hong Kong, referring to the "super-spike" when rice reached a record $1,000 a tonne in April 2008.

The supply shortages have triggered concerns about a surge in food inflation in Asia, where rice is a staple. Darren Cooper, a senior economist at the International Grains Council in London, said: "Rice is obviously a political commodity in Asia."

As prices soar, traders are worrying that policymakers could react with the same panic measures that fuelled the rally last year by hoarding stocks and imposing export restrictions.

"This highlights one crucial risk," Mr Neumann explained. "Prices can quickly escalate if jittery consumers and public officials see supply risks looming, even if these are more perceived than real."

If rice is a part of your food storage preparations, you may want to stockpile more before the price goes sky-high. My family loves rice and it can be served many different ways, so it has a big place in my preps. Guess it is time to stock up on some more while I can...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Partial Listing Of My Survival Library

Over time I have assembled quite a few books on survival, outdoors, homesteading and such topics that are of interest to the self-sufficiency inclined.

Here is a partial listing of my library:

Tappan on Survival - Mel Tappan

Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants - Bradford Angier

The Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Cookbook - Edith Young Cotterell

Managing 12 Volts: How To Upgrade, Operate, And Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems - Harold Barre

Producing Your Own Power - Rodale Press

Wind Power For The Homeowner - Donald Marier

The Homesteader's Handbook to Raising Small Livestock - Jerome D Belanger

The Edible Indoor Garden - Peggy Hardigree

Greenhouse Gardeners Companion - Shane Smith

Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas - Richard Scalzo

The Manual Of Practical Homesteading - John Vivian

Country Blacksmithing - Charles McRaven

The Tightwad Gazette - Amy Dacyczyn

The Tightwad Gazette II - Amy Dacyczyn

The Art of War - Sun Tzu

Stalking The Wild Asparagus - Euell Gibbons

Eat Healthy for $50 A Week - Rhonda Barfield

The Foxfire Book vol. 1 - Eliot Wigginton

Primitive Outdoor Skills - Richard L Jamison

Indian Crafts and Skills - David R.Montgomery

Tom Browns's Field Guide to Living With The Earth - Tom Brown Jr.

Your Garden Pond - K. H. Wieser & Dr. P. V. Loiselle

Shelters, Shacks and Shanties - D.C. Beard

Ducks & Geese in your Backyard - Rick & Gail Luttmann

Chickens in your Backyard - Rick & Gail Luttmann

Independent Energy Guide: Electrical Power for Home, Boat & RV - Kevin Jeffrey

Living On 12 Volts With Ample Power - David Smead & Ruth Ishihara

Wiring 12 Volts For Ample Power - David Smead & Ruth Ishihara

Field Guide To North American Edible Wild Plants - Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman

Wilderness Cookery - Brad Angier

Healing Power of Herbs - Dr. John Heinerman

Outdoor Life Complete Book Of Camping

The Hiker's & Backpacker's Handbook - W. K. Merrill

The Wild Food Trail Guide - Alan Hall

Outdoor Life Complete Book Of Outdoor Lore - Clyde Ormond

Seed to Seed - Suzanne Ashworth

Gardening When it Counts - Steve Soloman

Urban Wilderness a guidebook to resourceful city living - Chrisopher Nyerges

Living off the Country: How To Stay Alive In The Woods - Bradford Angier

Storey's Basic Country Skills - John and Martha Storey

The Encyclopedia Of Country Living - Carla Emery

Making The Best Of Basics - James Talmage Stevens

There are other books that I do not have listed here, but as time allows I will catalog them and post them also. Most of these books are available on Amazon.com, but some may only be avaiable on ebay.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Survivalism Meetup Groups

I found this site after searching the web for a specific topic. This might interest those who are considering joining up with other like minded people but don't know where to start.

I will also be adding it to my Featured Links sidebar widget.

Survivalism Meetup Groups 

Another useful site is one recommended by JWR frequently, and is also located in my featured links, called Preparedness Groups Page.

One warning about this link is there seems to be some asshats who harass those who they take a disliking to. These jackasses camp out and generally pick on those whom they feel superior to. If you read the comments on the posts you will identify them in short order.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ammunition: How much is enough?

The argument over how much ammo to buy and store is one of the most widely contested subjects on the Survival/Militia internet forums today. Many feel that only 500 rounds total is necessary while others suggest amounts that would require heavy trucking to move about.

All things considered, the amount of ammo you need to store is directly tied to what your perception of what TSHTF will consist of and how you go about preparing for it. The amount of ammo required by a homeowner protecting the contents of his home after a natural disaster is considerably less than the Survivalist preparing for a multi-generational economic collapse/NWO takeover/Government suspension of civil rights scenario.

In one you may have to protect yourself and property for several months while in the others your succeeding generations (if there are any) will have to rely on what you stored up for them. So where does this put you? Since this relies on your personal beliefs, no one can tell you what will suit your needs. You must evaluate what may possibly happen during your SHTF period and purchase accordingly.

Do you feel that you will have to fight off the ravening hordes of un-prepared sheeple?
Do you plan on supplementing your stored food with small game?
How good of shot are you? Can you do one shot kills on an attacking feral dog pack?

If you like to shoot as a hobby you may already have reloading equipment and lots of supplies. It is a worthwhile hobby to take up as it can cut the cost of ammo for your favorite non-common caliber, whether it is a wildcat load or an obsolete military caliber, and it is also fun. But how much is enough?

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to set up a purchasing plan. Work out on paper (or computer) the most likely scenario to happen in your area sooner than later. If you do not have supplies to get you thru 72 hours of your favorite SHTF, that is your primary concern. If you don’t have one, buy your primary weapon for your arsenal and several hundred rounds to go with it. Next purchase a weeks worth of storage food. Then purchase water purifying supplies that will clean 50 or more gallons. Alternate your purchases each month building on what you had before until you have reached a level at which you are comfortable.

Once you have done this, then plan for the next most likely scenario. Using this technique you can slowly build up a supply of food, water, gear and ammo without sacrificing one group of items for the sake of another. You will also be able to add gear for the least likely scenario without sacrificing for the most likely to happen.

Now that you have met your most dire needs and prepared for those what ifs, you can begin to stock-up on ammo.

But what do you buy?

First thing to understand is that in a natural disaster, life will go on outside of the affected zone. This means that ammo will continue to be produced by the respective manufacturers and what you have accumulated through your purchasing plan should be sufficient for your needs.


If we were to experience an economic breakdown, with riots and such, martial law would most likely be imposed, some people disarmed (most likely the wrong ones), and no ammo available for the foreseeable future, if ever again. Let the experiences of those who suffered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters be a lesson to you.

Lesson 1
You can be forcibly removed from your home for “your own good”! In a future disaster, your food and supplies may be seized and redistributed to the sheeple.

Lesson 2
You will be disarmed for the general good. You may be shot if you do not co-operate willingly. You may never see your firearms again.

Lesson 3
The government is inept at responding to disasters of this scope.

Lesson 4
Those with the guns make the rules.

Those with extensive reloading supplies (hidden away) will be in a fairly good position, but you can not reload .22lr!

The barrel life of most average modern (WWI and up) military firearms is up to 50,000 rounds fired with proper cleaning techniques and controlled rates of fire of 5 to 10 seconds between shots.

This is also true of most .22lr’s.

So now we reach the answer for a multi-generational firearm. Buy for the life of the barrel. Unless you own a Ruger 10/22 and a select few other makes, the ability to replace the barrel will exceed the skill of most users, especially after TSHTF. The 10/22 has an easily removable barrel and a spare can be stockpiled along with other spare parts needed to keep your rifle humming.

100,000 rounds of .22lr = $2000.00+ in today’s money. This is a large, forbidding outlay of cash for a lot of us, so the answer is to continue to purchase over time, and storing in metal ammo boxes.

Now you ask, What do I need with all that ammo?

YOU don’t need all that ammo. But your children and grandchildren may. If a MG-SHTF (multi-generational) happens it is likely .22lr will never in the foreseeable future be manufactured again!

Therefore, what you have put aside will be more valuable than gold. Literally. Where someone may sneer at your Krugerand they may jump at the chance to barter for a handful of .22lr.

Don’t forget, a certain amount will be spent in training new hunters and will not contribute anything to the stew pot! Also, prices will continue to climb and eventually, the Government may ban ammo sales altogether.

Ok, now what about the other calibers?

The same goes for the other calibers of your arsenal. You may want to buy some of each caliber at the same time or rotate it like you did with your gear. I would not buy 100,000 rounds of anything unless I had a secure area to store it in, away from confiscation and looting, in an area you feel secure in caching it, or at your secure retreat. Also, do not neglect other aspects of survival just to buy ammo.

Stockpiling large amounts of ammo is not for everyone. I do not advocate it if you have little or no disposable income to prepare with. But for those thinking of buying gold or silver for TEOTWAWKI, I would recommend that you first consider ammo. For barter purposes, stocking up on some of the less common calibers might give you the leverage you need to get that one item you want and need which nothing else will budge. Reloading dies in these calibers will insure a steady customer for your trade goods.

A lot of people say that bartering ammo is a bad idea as it may be used against you (me included), but I think that once the situation has stabilized to the point that community bartering is occurring on a regular organized basis, this danger may be past. Bartering at an established trading post will help alleviate some of this danger once they have been created (and they will).

So, for my last recommendation.

Buy a black powder flintlock rifle and learn how to make your own black powder. Store extra flints as well as barrels, lock mechanisms, bullet molds and lead. You may well then truly have the ultimate rifle for civilizations end.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I decided to upgrade the look of the Blog and made some changes. I am happy with it for the most part. Does anyone view the uTube videos at the bottom of the page? If not I will get rid of them to clean things up a bit. I have also been considering going with the monetizing bit. I have resisted commercializing my site so far, but I could use any income it generated.

I may have to truncate my Blog roll as it has gotten to be huge!!!!

Also I added the translation widget for any foreign readers out there that struggle with English.
The site seems to be best viewed with Firefox, and there seems to be a small issue with IE 8. I have not tested it with IE 6 or IE 7.

I am also adding product reviews to my itinerary, starting with products I have recently purchased and am opening up to evaluate new products from retailers. I am also preparing to issue a link policy, as some retailers have requested such.

So, drop me a line, tell me the site looks great, or that it sucks.