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21 January, 2016

The Impending Winter Storm

Apologies for the slight blur. This is a screen capture from my personal social media account.

Alternative cooking in case of power outage


06 January, 2016

Current Gun Control Discussion

Regarding the current gun control discussion going on right now in the wake of another push by the Executive Branch to impose regulation:

I'm actually OK with expanded background checks. The problems I have with gun control involve stupid, arbitrary things like classifying a rifle as an assault rifle based on the fact that it looks like a military weapon, even though it isn't one by any stretch of reality. People talk about "armor piercing" bullets and "machine guns," but the AR-15 that is typically their target actually fires a comparatively weak round and isn't anything like a military weapon - it just looks like one. Things like classifying a normal rifle as a so called "assault rifle" solely because it features a barrel shroud - something that looks like a suppressor to the untrained eye, but is really just there to protect your hands from getting burnt - is the kind of bullshit that politicians on the Left put out there, because they know most of their constituency knows nothing about guns and will just believe whatever they say. Further examples of this include the supposed "gun show loophole," where they would really like you to believe gazillions of potential maniacs are buying weapons at shows without background checks, while ignoring the fact that nearly every gun show requires you to have a check ran through the FFL dealers on site before making a legal purchase. I've never been to a single one that didn't have that requirement. The only people circumventing that requirement are already making illegal purchases out of the trunks of people's cars or whatever, so new laws would be completely meaningless to stop that. They are already breaking the existing laws, which means they won't suddenly decide not to break new ones, yet you'll never here an anti-gun politician on the Left admit that, because it doesn't fit with their agenda of behavioral control, legislated morality, and forced acquiescence to the tyranny of the majority and state power. Never forget that one of the scions of the Left made it illegal to sell a large soda in New York City, because people must submit to what their masters believe is better for them, rather than be allowed freedom. That kind of thinking is endemic among Progressive lawmakers, and it colors their views on firearm ownership and use, despite the fact that statistic show areas where they maintaining control and have strict gun control in place are comparatively more violent.

All that being said, enforcing existing laws with regards to background checks (and maybe fixing the system so that people don't slip through so easily) would be a good thing. My only real critique on that subject is that the federal government has done such a poor job of handling it, I really think we would be better off if perhaps each individual state was responsible for the background checks. Don't quote me on this because I can't produce proof of it, but I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the guy who shot up the movie theater in Louisiana a while back had been previously denied a concealed carry permit by his local sheriff, yet he passed the federal background check to legally purchase a weapon. If that were true it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. When was the last time any of you folks went to a Social Security office? It's basically the DMV with worse customer service. It literally took me six months and about 30 tries to get another copy of a letter sent to me, because I had committed the awful sin of losing the first one, and the federal government seems to have an extremely difficult time with the concept of pressing print. Likewise, dealing with the IRS in the name of an organization I'm a member of produced similar results. I'm still in the process of trying to get that taken care of, despite the fact that it's something that could be accomplished within a 15 minute span... it's been four months waiting and multiple long drawn-out phone calls. That kind of sorry ass productivity and attention to detail is what you're dealing with when you talk about federal background checks, which is and will always be my only complaint about the idea.

Here's what a President, any President, should not and legally *CANNOT* do, and that's unilaterally write new law through executive order. This is a Constitutional issue and one, therefore, which a man who taught Constitutional Law should be well aware. Whether you typically support Fox News or not, they have it 100% correct here on this subject.


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02 December, 2015

Emergency Preparedness for Winter

Here's a look at the wood pile we've set aside here at our place in preparation for winter's cold. That's locust in the front and a like amount of oak you can see poking out from behind. We typically burn them together, since the locust puts out a higher level of heat BTUs but burns faster, while the oak burns milder but also slower. The two together make for a nice fire.

The stack isn't as big as it might have been, simply because wood isn't our primary source of heat here at the house in town. What you are seeing here is an emergency preparedness effort to ensure that we are able to remain warm in the event of a winter power outage.




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29 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 8 *Mid-Season Finale* "Start to Finish"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
One major lesson that the events of this episode, the mid-season finale marking the show's hiatus, attempts to illustrate for us involves the need for prudent emergency planning. In the event of any sufficiently dire emergency or disaster that results in a societal collapse, having a protective barrier against the dangers outside a survival retreat might not necessarily be sufficient to ensure safety. As we see in the episode, walls can be breached, no matter their apparent strength or if they are literal physical walls or simply proverbial walls of defense. Therefore, my advice – taken with what we saw her in the episode in mind – would be to have an emergency escape/safety plan ready and rehearsed to avoid panic in the event of an unforeseen calamity bringing your defenses down.

I will also continue to point out that the people of Alexandria would have been more secure in their stronghold had they destroyed the buildings and trees that loomed sufficiently close to the wall to be able to cause a breach in the defenses. There's a reason why this was done with medieval fortifications, both to keep the wall intact as well as to be sure there was no cover under which someone could sneak close without being seen. In addition, it was common practice in the ancient world to dig a ditch around a fortification to provide extra security. Commonly, we think of these in the form of castle moats, but in reality they took many more simple forms at times. 

A proper defensive ditch need not necessarily involve water at all, but was often simply a ditch dug deep enough to equal about the height of a man and with the dirt and rocks removed to form the hole being piled next to it, creating an effect wherein an attacker would have to descend into the ditch and would then be faced with climbing up a berm that was literally twice the height of the average man. Something like that definitely would have been a nice added feature outside the walls of Alexandria, where it would have created essentially a hole for the Walkers to fall into and become trapped. They could then have been safely burned from atop the wall by sacrificing some siphoned gasoline. Then again, if the characters in the show were as ready to survive an apocalypse as the average person reading this article, then I suppose there wouldn't be much of a dramatic storyline. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







22 November, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 7 "Heads Up"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
As was portrayed on screen, I would consider it good advice that – in any societal collapse situation – any member of your community who is unaccustomed to firearms and other weapons have their education updated on the subject. This includes people who modern sensibilities might cause us to consider too young to fight, because the difficult truth is that even people who are kept away from danger can and do often fall victim to it. The only reason we don't think about that much anymore is because modern society has removed such necessities from many of our every day lives, but a survival situation will change that almost immediately. 

While teaching people who aren't used to being around guns, especially teenagers, it's also extremely important to teach (and enforce) proper discipline. This includes both discipline revolving around the use of weapons and their maintenance as well as noise discipline in potentially dangerous situations.  

It's also important to understand that, while it's paramount to maintain one's humanity and value of life, one must also be prepared to live in a world where violence often occurs. Any event that is sufficiently serious as to lead to a collapse of law and order (even temporarily) will likely result in violence becoming necessary to ensure survival. A central debate going on within the storyline of the program at this juncture revolves around questions such as this, but my opinion on the matter would be simply to advise everyone to be prepared to do violence when necessary, while also living by a code. Such a code might involve religious beliefs or even simply a code of honor and remaining non-aggressive to any party that doesn't threaten oneself or family and compatriots. It is the existence of the code that matters more than it's actual structure and origins. YMMV on this, but that's my two cents on the subject. 

Oh, and remember when I was talking previously about how the people in Alexandria should really make a point of clearing away all of the wreckage of houses, etc. close to their wall? Yeah, well, the last few moments of tonight's episode where a glaring example of the wisdom of what I was trying to get across.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below: