Preparedness Pays: Things

Again (and again and again and again), there are an almost infinite number of possible disasters. If you try to plan for individual disasters, you will not only be overwhelmed, but fail to take good precautions. Instead, focus on the fact that there are only three things that can be hit by a disaster: people, places, and things.

Today, we are going to touch briefly on things. I say briefly simply because this is the introduction to the topic, an overview. The proper term for things is infrastructure; however, that term makes most people think about roads, bridges, and such. While they are a part of preparedness, there is little you can do about truly major items other than plan to avoid or make use of if there is a major disaster. What I want to concentrate on are the parts of infrastructure that are within your control: the things you use every day.

In that context, infrastructure applies to the items that are a major part of your life. That ranges from smart phones to the sump pump in your basement. It is the power and hand tools you own, it is the machinery that keeps your house warm or cool, the water flowing, the water heated, etc. Things also applies to the food and other resources that are the logistics of your life. Yes, there is overlap with places, but that just makes planning easier.

The two major impaces of a disaster on things boil down to damage and/or loss-of-use, or the loss of resources. Recent events in Texas highlight what happens when a rare occurance results in a loss of the things we often take for granted.

For example, the loss of electricity removed the ability for many to heat their home, run appliances, cook, and maintain communications. The loss of water, which was apparently a combination of freezing and the loss of communications had impacts from being unable to have water for drinking to being able to bathe and flush the toilet. The loss of the two had a cascading effect, which was compounded by being unable to access groceries and other necessary logistics.

The number of people who were unprepared for any of this is hardly surprising, though I wish it were surprising. How many of you have spare water for drinking (bottled), spare water for cooking (jugs or larger), or spare water for flushing the toilets? How many of you have an alternate means for cooking, such as a camp stove, propane burner, or a butane chef’s stove? How many of you have an alternate means of heating the home at need? How many of you have lined up a place to go to in the event of such an emergency?

Thankfully, I do know some in Texas who were at least moderately prepared for what happened. One combined resources with a person in a location that maintained power, and they not only helped each other out, they were able to help some fellow members of the military by giving them a place they could hang out, relax, and warm up other than on base. I’m aware of others that used camping gear, such a tents, to set up an emergency shelter in their home that they could keep heated, while using camping and other supplies to get by until water and electricity were restored. Yet another, as did many, used their vehicle to warm up, recharge electronics, and otherwise get by.

The good thing is, preparing for that loss of, or damage to, things is fairly simple and involves some of the resources already discussed. One good thing about doing this series of posts is that I’m going to work on a chapter on tools, that is the things that are needed across the three types of damage. These range from flashlights to weapons, as all are needed and useful tools in an emergency.

A quick question for the reader: if you have flashlights and other tools that require batteries, have you checked them recently to be sure the batteries are still good and that there is no damage to the units in which they reside? Do you/did you have spare batteries that were in date? How about other dated resources? Were they/are they good?

We’ve covered the basics of Preaparedness Pays, now, let’s start getting serious about how to plan and how to prepare.

The Happy Warrior Lives in All of Us

Today I’m glad to host what I hope will be the first of many posts by “River.” Enjoy and share!

Despite the failure to convict Trump, the news has been relentlessly bad since January 6th. The powers of totalitarianism have run the table. They control all three branches of the Federal government, the Army, the cities, the Federal intelligence forces, Big Tech, Big Media, and your local school board.

Hard to keep up a smile in those circumstances. Things will only get worse. We know from history the next steps. First, the economic geniuses making our fiscal policy decisions have led us to a point where either runaway inflation or a simple economic collapse are inevitable. You can only keep writing checks against future income so long as your creditors believe you are good for it. No one thinks that anymore. (Hamiliton knew that; these are not new problems.)  My prediction is that this will start within the next 6-18 months.

What do totalitarians do when that happens? They confiscate resources. Henry the VIII took the monasteries, the French took the artistos’ land, Hitler took the Jews’ . Our Democracy ™ if I may use a term from Michael Anton’s piece here: https://amgreatness.com/2021/02/23/why-do-the-elections-defenders-require-my-agreement/, is already telling us who they will target: businesses that are “racist.” How do they know you are racist? If you didn’t vote for them, or donate to them, q.e.d, you are a racist. Or they may target health care deniers—people who refuse to get vaccinations, wear masks, whatever the latest decree is that is for the good of Our Democracy TM. Or both. Why think small?

With Big Tech’s help, you are easy to identify.

What this means for anyone who actually remembers freedom—and this is people over 40, by the way; most of the younger generation has no problem philosophically with any of these measures—is that we will be fighting a guerilla civil war. We will be the “Underground” in our own country. And we won’t be getting support from outside the borders, like the successful undergrounds did in WWII and like we provided for people of Eastern Europe under the Soviets.

It’s going to get ugly, and it’s going to get ugly fast. The freedom lovers are completely unprepared for this. We don’t have the parallel systems in place we need to organize. We don’t have the banks, the server farms, the shadow government ready to take over.

This is going to take generations. And our children’s children are going to curse us for not heading this off before it came to bloodshed.

Where does the happy part come in? Don’t judge your freedom lovers. Most of us are going to have to conform, or lose everything. Especially the young people, who are trying to build careers, trying to raise children, who do not have a nest egg or the means to retreat to a more free State. People who need access to what remaining health care there is. They will have to knuckle under.

If anyone is to fight back, we will need many within the system to provide cover for them, to be an Underground Railroad, to keep them supplied, to provide havens.

Max Morton goes into more detail here: https://amgreatness.com/2021/02/23/the-last-stop-before-thermopylae/  about what is needed.

But my happy warrior message: don’t beat up on the people who agree with you,but must stay legal. And for those of us who can’t, either because their previous work makes them anathema, or who just can’t stand the tyrant, cut them some slack, too. The purges are coming. Let’s try to connect with and support each other as much as possible before that happens.

Enemies Foreign And Domestic

Current events are, to be honest, overwhelming. From the rule of executive order to open efforts to censor anything non-progressive, there is so much going on that it is hard to keep up with all of it, even for dedicated political/informational junkies. I do find it interesting (and a few other terms) that the noted right wing (cough, cough) author and Obama advisor Naomi Wolf was on Tucker Carlson warning that America is becoming a “totalitarian state) under Biden. Hate linking to Fox, but necessary in this instance.

Indeed, I could go on and on about all that is going on, from cancel culture to full-out assaults on the Constitution. I will note my own observation to the testimony of FORMER U.S. Capitol Police Chief Sund that if what happened was a “military style coordinated assault” and that those who took part came “prepared for war” that he knows as much about war and combat as he does fornicating, to borrow from Patton. For all that we are watching a massive “big lie” event in operation, those statements are laughable.

It is easy to get focused on the domestic, but don’t get tunnel vision. While most of what is going on domestically is indeed domestic, some is being driven and encouraged by other actors who do not have the best interest of the Citizens of the United States, or the Constituion, at heart. Russia remains a threat and between its activities here and at home, bears (all puns intended) considerable watching. The semi-recent nuclear exercise is but one part of the threat to the region and the world, especially given Putin’s continuing lowering of the nuclear threshold.

China, however, remains the largest threat. Keep in mind that China continues to use Iran as a catspaw, especially against the U.S. Yet more Iranians have been caught coming across the border, and I highly recommend reading this post. Chinese on the West Coast, Iranians on the Gulf Coast into Central. This is long-term, both encouraged by China, and I still ask what else besides people has been smuggled across the border? Also, don’t forget the SCS, Taiwan, and everything else China is doing to go after us.

There were things afoot well before the election that still are lurking out there in the dark. To be honest, I’m surprised (and pleased) that some of them did not take place as expected. That, however, doesn’t mean that they won’t still take place.

For all of that, I need to get back to Preparedness Pays as I think good, solid preparation is something we all need to be thinking about, for both domestic and foreign events.

A List Of Lies

While I do wish he had not called it a riot (it was not, riots are what burned so many cities over the summer), Glenn Greenwald has done a great job of listing the major lies about what happened on January 6 at the Capitol. For all that I still wonder if I didn’t shift a reality or two because Glenn has been a voice of reason of late, it is a much needed post to counter the mainstream media narrative. Go read it.

Into The Light: Rush Limbaugh

The original Happy Warrior has passed. There are others posting more eloquent and detailed testimonials, but the man blazed a trail that has brought about opportunities for so many. He saved AM radio, revolutionized the talk radio field, and did so much more. Even when one disagreed with him, he made you think and was willing to take rational disagreement and consider new information.

Godspeed.

Disgusting Cancel Culture Attack on Baen Books

In some ways, I’m not surprised as there have been efforts to attack Baen and/or some of its authors before from the slime mold at the bottom of the science fiction sewer. This effort, however, has a very different and new twist that may well become the hallmark of all such efforts.

In what seems like a coordinated effort, complaints were filed with the ISPs behind Baen Books, in an effort to deplatform the publisher. Note, from the information I have right now, they not only wanted to take down the Bar, a forum that has been around for roughly 20 years now; but, to take down Baen Books so that it could not promote, sell, or give away (you have no idea how many free books and stories you can get there, but should).

I won’t link to the sleazy “author” (cough, choke, gasp, wheeze, yeah right) who is either behind this attack or fronting for it. I won’t link to the intellectually dishonest paetron story which is the public pretext for the attack on Baen. I especially won’t linke to Vile 770 which seems to be championing the effort (no surprise that slime mold central is so doing).

What I will do is link to the (as usual excellent) response from Larry Correia which now also includes responses from David Weber and Baen Publisher Toni Weisskopf. Please read them all.

Now, in the interest of transparency (something more in modern journalism should try) I do need to note a number of items.

While I am not published by Baen (yet), I have known Toni for more years than a gentleman (or cranky old wolf) should disclose. Indeed, Toni has edited my three photo books from Iraq as a friend. Toni has encouraged me for years (along with the late Jim Baen) to move from science writing to writing science fiction. She’s provided feedback on my efforts to do just that.

Second, I was (am?) a member of the Bar (Baen’s Bar). I haven’t been on in years, but in my time there the only thing of which it was a hotbed was geekery. The forums and posts were wide rangning, engaging, and quite often enlightening as you had posts from scientists in various fields on topics of interest (especially to writers), a forum on theology, and even a place to share recipes. The original “no hitting” rule was in place and rarely did anyone cross that line. Not to say that some discussions did not become intense, or even fractious, but people toed the line and showed respect for differing opinions and the people behind them. It was and is the mature way to handle things, and to learn in the process. I would also note that those who “ran” the Bar were all volunteers.

Sadly, the people behind cancel culture have an emotional maturity to shame a spoiled 4-year-old. I also have to wonder if this effort wasn’t just a way to try to shut down Baen because some of it’s authors are conservative, but to gain fame and fortune (maybe someone will buy/pay for his work) in the process.

Third, I know a number of the Baen authors and consider some of them good personal friends. For the record, Baen publishes books by authors who range from card-carrying socialists to those who go far right. Honestly, Toni doesn’t care about the politics, religion, etc. of the authors, artists, editors, etc. What matters is that they write good and engaging stories that sell. Nor does she care if the stories lean right, left, or any other way. Again, good stories that sell. It’s what real publishing is all about: good writing that sells rather than messaging crap that doesn’t.

Fourth, I will admit that Baen not only helped with arrangements but assisted in covering the costs for me to do a series of video interviews with some of their authors a while back. You can find those somewhere on the Baen site (at least I think you still can) or at the Blackfive YouTube Channel.

I suppose I should be furious about this dispicable effort to de-platform Baen by a group of philisophically and morally bankrupt people who’s intellect makes a cherrystone clam shake its head. The fact is, they are not worth that level of attention by me. In fact, I will simply say that I hope their actions bring them what they deserve.

So, what can you or I do? Save the outrage, they deserve only mocking laughter. What we can do is cheerfully go and buy from Baen books. Look at what they have available, and buy as many as you can.

Oh, and if you want to claim that Baen and its authors deserve this; or that Baen has caved by taking the Bar offline temporarily; or any other silly virtue signalling that actually only calls out your, ah, shortcomings to the world, take it elsewhere. If you do try to come here, I will savagely mock you and your physical and intellectual shortcomings. You are warned.

Laugh at the first group, and buy from the second. So easy anyone can do it.

Abby & Libby: 4 Years And Still No Justice

Don’t know who created it, but thanks for doing it.

It’s been four years now, and the scum who killed Libby and Abby is still out there. Someone knows who he is, they know something that can break this case open.




Listen to this voice. Listen Again. 

Listen. If you know who this is, turn them in.

Remember Abby and Libby. Remember and honor the courage and ingenuity that has given us what clues we have, including that recording above.

I have not forgotten. I will not forget.

There is still justice to be done. Spread the word, and leave the POS who attacked and murdered these two girls no place to hide.

If You Needed

Any further proof that the Rule of Law, and the attendant Innocent Until Proven Guilty, are dead, check this out. A major bank, with no warrant that we know of at this time, scanned customer transactions to identify anyone who was at a given location at a given time, and gave it to the government. The government then proceeded to use this data to investigate all those people though they were accused of no crime. It was simply an effort to tie them to a crime without any burden of proof. Then, read and think about this. I would add to this, my questions about the status of Ashli Babbitt’s body and if her autopsy would be/has been released (no sign of it that I can find). Again, if you are counting on the military to do it’s sworn duty, read this (HT Sarah A. Hoyt at Instapundit). As stated before, if faced with an illegal order to take action against the Citizens of the United States, I think it will shatter with catastrophic damage to the Republic. Also, watch for the lie that it was only pro-Trump supporters who broke and/or were let in to the Capitol. They were not alone, and it is interesting that known BLM and Antifa there have either not been arrested or let out without bail. Interesting, no? There is a lot we don’t know about what happened that day, or in the days before (pipe bombs anyone?) and no one in LE or the government seems interested in providing those details.