Thursday, 27 August 2015

07:56 – Many of the alternative news sites are claiming that the shootings in Virginia yesterday are identical to the Charleston church shootings a couple of months ago, a racist shooter killing people of another race and then posting a long racist manifesto. The white shooter in Charleston was described by MSM reports as a white racist targeting innocent black people simply because they were black, which is an accurate summary. The black shooter in Virginia was described by MSM reports as a troubled man who targeted former co-workers in an incident of workplace violence, and then posted a long racist manifesto. The implication is that the Virginia murders were not racially motivated, or at least not exclusively so, and that while the Charleston shooter was an evil racist, the Virginia shooter was merely mentally ill. There’s a kernel of truth in that, because the Virginia shooter didn’t go out and shoot up a bunch of random white people but instead targeted two specific white people who were known to him. But the effect is the same, regardless of the two shooters’ specific motivations. Charleston gave ordinary black people yet another reason to mistrust whites; Virginia gave ordinary white people yet another reason to mistrust blacks. As if either group needed that.

I received the following email from a long-time reader, and am posting it with his permission. I think it provides a valuable perspective on prepping.

Hello Bob!

If you are willing to share, I would love a copy of chapter one of you next book. I think your openness about your writing process, in addition to the work you do in general, is one of the things I admire about what you do.

I am slowly working at building my stocks of useful supplies, food, weapons, medicine, etc. It has been on my list for several years now.

My life took a serious slide sideways five years ago, when my wife, Karen, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away a few months ago, at 48 years old. I am rebuilding everything, almost from scratch, with a new house and what we had in storage. At the end of 2011 we sold our home and eventually moved into my sister’s house to afford medical expenses. About the only thing I gained from the last year Karen spent in hospice care were the medical supplies. I have bandages and medicines by the crate full.

I am sharing this, not for sympathy, but as an anecdote on how preparedness can help, even when disaster is limited to immediate family. It is a bit of a ramble. My apologies.

A few months before Karen was diagnosed with cancer, I was explaining to my daughter, then about ten years old, how even though we have a nice home and I have a good job, there is no guarantee that will always be true. We could lose the home suddenly, and may need to live in a way very different than before to survive. It turned out that we did.

Preparedness is not just about what you have in the cupboards. It is also communicating with your family, your dependents, about what could happen, and what you might do about it. It may not be a written plan, but a form of awareness and expectations. It is about being able to have reasoned discussions about possibilities, and not get stuck in a “this could never happen to us” frame of mind, thereby denying conversation. I avoided unsustainable debts, and now that our circumstances have changed, I am able to afford a home again. That took awareness and planning, and a family that realistically accepted the situation. There were tears and complaints, but no denial. We could always discuss issues freely, and make reasoned choices, even when we had no certainty on what might happen in a week or even the next day.

I’ll leave out my gripes about health care insurance.

Interestingly, my daughter, soon to be sixteen, is now fully onboard with “prepping”. She told me yesterday she is interested in being more comfortable with different guns and how to be a better shot. She already has basic self-defense skills, and various martial-arts weapons, which is nice. She also likes that we are building our food stocks and even suggested we have a practice weekend using only stored supplies. This was not from direct prompting by me, but her realization that it makes sense should the world change around her. I think our experience was a lesson, and she learned from it. Another good thing, I guess, to come from an unpleasant time.

I am also hoping I can un-pack my lab gear soon, which I mothballed. Cancer sucks.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for doing what you do. It is inspiring.

36 thoughts on “Thursday, 27 August 2015”

  1. Also one aspect of the Virginia shooting that no media will mention. If the Virginia shooter did not have a gun, he could have very easily killed his targets with a knife.

  2. I view prepping as a type of insurance. I have a term life insurance policy that I never intend to use. However, if I die in the next 14 years, then my wife and daughter will only have problems that are non-financial in nature. I hope I’ll look back 15 years from now and say I didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on that life insurance. Better to look back at the “wasted” premium money than to be laying on my death bed wishing I had purchased it. Pretending that it can’t happen doesn’t make it any less likely.

    I hope that I will never need to use my limited prepping supplies. But if I need them, I have them. Having them doesn’t make the need for them any more likely.

    Update: Life is unpredictable. Preparing for the unpredictable is an important part of any plan.

  3. This is one of the best ways to get someone who sees prepping as an activity for extremists and crackpots and conspiracy theorists– MOST disasters will be local and personal.

    Your stored food supply will help you through a layoff, birth of a child, serious illness, death of a loved one, and all the other events which are local rather than regional.

    For some people, asking the question “What would you do for food if you were out of work for a year?” will be a better motivator than “what do you plan to do when the riots start?”


    And for the correspondent, I’m sincerely sorry for your loss.

  4. Very well said. And a terrible thing to have endured, my sympathies, as well. But it sounds like good things are happening again. Best wishes.

    “As if either group needed that.”

    Indeed. Why…it’s almost as if it’s…by design. Incite even more racial and ethnic and religious animosities and tensions. To what end? Divide and conquer. When we’re all busy hating on each other, the State tightens up its control over us.

    You can see it happening now in the prepper and “Three-Percenter” movements; various manifestos circulating and dissing of other groups’ efforts in various directions and the phony militia types out there as opposed to professional combat arms soldiers, etc., etc. It’s like unto a miniature of the Protestant Reformation; dividing and subdividing into dozens and then hundreds of little churches and sects and cults, all with their own quirky interpretation of how things should be done and what should be believed.

  5. As I’ve been saying for about 50 years now, the government is the enemy. That’s why I’m an anarchist libertarian, AKA capitalist.

  6. Sincerely sorry for your correspondent’s loss.

    Our dew point is once again forecast to be above freezing, which means the relative humidity will be in the double digits this afternoon. As OFD might say, hewmid. No drought here.

  7. I know not all of you use Facebook, but my news feed is flooded daily with Bernie Sanders crap. Apparently, he’s the ultra left’s great hope for the 2016 election.

  8. @ofd,

    yeah, I usually scan thru the two major 3per sites and got the feeling there was a split between the two. No one can hate like family. Now that split is coming out in the open. A lot of what I see on those two sites reminds me of what happens in militia and supremacist sites- a bunch of chest beating, “I’m a hard guy” posturing, and then when thing start happening IRL, a lot of backpedalling. Bloviating is such a great word.

    I noticed a real decrease in the calls for violence (vague and arm’s length that they were) against certain groups disappeared after blacks started actually doing it. I guess violent revolution against police and .gov is all fine and dandy if the ‘right’ people are doing it for the ‘right’ reasons, and horrifying uncalled for violence if the ‘wrong’ folks do it for the ‘wrong’ reasons. Given that the result is the same for the grieving families, I’m not impressed.


  9. I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey, who has made a huge fortune from telling people to use common sense in their finances. My wife and I took his class, Financial Peace University, at our church and we have made the decisions to improve our financial lives significantly. The stuff is his class is pretty basic, but it is all stuff my wife and I weren’t doing. It’s so basic that after every class I was tempted to drag my butt out into the hallway after every class and kick my own butt.

    The first of Ramsey’s baby steps is to accumulate $1000 in the bank for emergencies. I’m thinking with the volatility in our society, two common sense steps toward being prepared to deal with that volatility are to accumulate $1000 outside the bank for emergencies and accumulates $1000 in shelf stable food for emergencies. I think both are important.

    I am writing this as someone who would not all that long ago thought of having $1000 in cash at home for an emergency as weird. Now I don’t think of it as weird. I am coming up with a plan to do these things, and trying to figure out how to explain it to my wife without her thinking I am weird.

  10. @chad,

    From what I see of my wife’s FB feed, I’d be punching people in the face all day long (metaphorically speaking) if I had it. I am truly amazed and horrified by the amount of stupidity on display, and the “look at me, I made poopy” narcissism is just overwhelming.

    Of course Bernie is their precious, he’s a full on socialist. They are ready to embrace the comforting daddy who’s been missing from their lives all this time.

    Makes me want to puke.


  11. “I know not all of you use Facebook, but my news feed is flooded daily with Bernie Sanders crap.”

    I gave up on it quite awhile ago, for obvious reasons, mainly the security holes, the top management’s activities, and because I had a group of “friends” and we all just complained and bitched to each other about the same chit every day and it was preaching to the choir for everybody. Mrs. OFD stays on it for family reasons and also reports the flurry of Bernie-related stuff; the ultra-left and granola-heads can forget it; he’s got the proverbial snowball’s chance but stirs the pot pretty good out there. Let me know when he stumps in Texas, Arizona and Alabama…

    “Bloviating is such a great word.”

    Indeed. Even with the apparently legit training sites a couple of the 3 percenters have, there are very few actual “combat arms” combat vets involved. Maybe some of the guys in my age bracket who show up and hope to be useful grunts again if and when TSHTF, but not too many younger guys from the various Sandbox wars. And a couple of the legit people have radically dialed down their innernet presence and going more to the “meatspace” end of things. I dunno how useful that’s gonna be, if, like Bracken illustrates in his trilogy, we have surveillance drones and satellites and camera everywhere. On the other hand, we also have a lotta “homebrew” electronics and pooter geeks out here who tend to be on the libertarian and even anarchist end of the political and social spectrum who may be inclined to engage in resistance activity.

    They may be more useful than guys in the woods tooled up to be infantry grunts attacking enemy bunkers.

    “I am coming up with a plan to do these things, and trying to figure out how to explain it to my wife without her thinking I am weird.”

    Same here; I don’t follow Ramsey, but I think along the same lines about that; wife here and I need to have a talk about financial and prep matters when she gets back next week. Recent local crimes help my case, as does the approaching winter, and uncertain, to say the least, national and world economic picture. A grand in cash, to START, and a grand, again to start, in stored food and wotta.

    Hard to arrange when we now have repairs to do on two outta three vehicles all of a sudden, pay the usual bills, and deal with the tax “authorities,” i.e., the modern version of medieval river and bridge trolls and bandits.

  12. @dave,

    leverage her maternal instincts to defend the nest?

    Use an appeal to emotion rather than logic?

    Getting a spouse on board is a major topic on the prepper sites, and no one strategy works as spouses come in all flavors.

    My wife is very technical and logical, but it was only thru preparation for hurricanes (a real local threat) that she opened her self to prepping in general, and really only after seeing the benefit first hand. She still counts on me to do it for the family, but rarely pushes back. And she still has the knee jerk reactions of her upbringing to the more unusual reasons, even if she’s seen many of them come true and can accept them thru an effort. The benefit of the local/personal disaster approach is that it covers you for the other stuff too, and you don’t sound like a nut (to those with veils on their eyes.)

    People in general have this weird ability to know facts but believe and act as if they didn’t. This can be hard to overcome, and leads to maddening contradictions.

    For example, I came home after the wife got home from work, came in the unlocked and open front door, and surprised her in the kitchen. When I mentioned that the door was standing open, she replied “we live in a nice neighborhood.” This is the same woman who KNOWS that a year ago we had a problem with home invasion robberies in the neighborhood, that only ended after the criminals were shot by constables 4 blocks from my house (crim lived, and is in jail, had 3 previous felony convictions as an adult). This is the same woman who wanted me to put in cameras, and talk to alarm companies earlier in the year. Yet she’ll leave the door standing open because she doesn’t want to mentally live in a world where it’s necessary to lock the door.

    Like I said, maddening.

    However, slow progress can be made, and sometimes events will trigger an awareness and a mental change. Medical preps look a lot less wacky when someone dies from Ebola 4 hours from your home. Hurricane prep pays off when you can calmly go about your life while large parts of the community are struggling and panicking. Having money on hand feels pretty smart when no one is taking cards for gasoline. Silver coins piling up in the safe have an appeal just in the beauty of the objects.

    Find what works for you and her. Try different approaches, don’t keep hammering away at the same techniques.


  13. “the modern version of medieval river and bridge trolls and bandits.”

    At least with trolls, you often could trick them, and bandits were fair game for a lead or steel injection.


  14. From what I see of my wife’s FB feed, I’d be punching people in the face all day long (metaphorically speaking) if I had it. I am truly amazed and horrified by the amount of stupidity on display, and the “look at me, I made poopy” narcissism is just overwhelming.

    Mostly, I have FB so when my female acquaintances take Caribbean vacations and post photos of themselves and their bikini clad friends I can browse those pics. 😉 Seriously, I mostly keep it as a read-only tool. I post absolutely nothing to my own “wall” nor do I upload any photos. I have it because without it I wouldn’t get much information at all about out-of-state friends and family as FB is the ONLY tool they use to share anything. I cannot remember the last time I got a letter via snail mail, a personal email, or a long distance phone call. It’s all FB posts and text messages these days.

  15. RE: Spouses and Prepping

    There’s a lot of truth to “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” She’ll just come home to find some new shelving in the basement full of food and supplies. In the grand drama of a marriage it’s a minor bump. 🙂

  16. With the exception of real scientists, engineers, and a few others, people are strongly biased to believe what they want to believe, not what their eyes tell them. Even people who are largely immune to self-delusion fall prey to this if the issue is very important to them, although less often than most people.

    Reminds me of the old joke about the guy who falls off the top of the Empire State Building. As he passes the 20th floor, he shouts to an observer, “So far, so good.”

    Almost everyone struggles against normalcy bias, but the converse, worst-case thinking, is just as bad a logical error. Preppers are less subject than most to the former, but much more subject to the latter.

  17. “…bandits were fair game for a lead or steel injection.”

    And IRS agents aren’t??

    Whoops! Another micro-aggression! My bad!

    “…she doesn’t want to mentally live in a world where it’s necessary to lock the door.”

    That sounds eminently familiar. I find the doors unlocked here all the time. They’re in Condition White just about all the time, too. Maddening. Makes ya wanna scream some days.

    “It’s all FB posts and text messages these days.”


    And sadly, yes. Or Twit feeds. With the younger ones dumping FaceCrack and using SnapChat or something and other stuff. Bores me rigid.

    “…come home to find some new shelving in the basement full of food and supplies.”

    My own genius master plan here.

    “We should be talking about undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues.”

    But that would be a micro-aggression against people with “mental health issues.” Gee, I was treated for PTSD; I have mental health issues; ergo, reading this, I now feel bad and fearful again, and must demand a trigger warning henceforth on this thread and meanwhile I’m gonna go sit in my safe space now.

    Every time there’s a shooting, these shameless scumbag sunzabitches wave the bloody shirt and screech for “gun control.” And if possible, gin up a racial angle, too.

    “Preppers are less subject than most to the former, but much more subject to the latter.”

    True, that. Which is why we have guys running around the woods doing legit small unit infantry tactics training for when TS really HTF bad, and part of me thinks this is probably a good idea, esp. for younger peeps. It would also behoove the organizers to step up their recruiting of the vaunted combat arms combat vets to help out with this and get on “our side.” But I don’t see much of that happening yet.

    Otherwise, we hope that at worst, it is a slow slide into not-that-bad-when-compared-with-the-rest-of-the-world dystopia.

  18. I am going with some of nick’s advice and some of Chad’s. I’m doing some prep stuff for local, little issues, not the big stuff. Also some of it is currently under the radar, which I will no doubt be asking for forgiveness later. The important thing is not to read any more of Bracken’s books* because if I do, I’ll have to figure out how to apologize/rationalize for the his and her AR-15s and the large deliveries from the LDS Store, Amazon and Wal-Mart.

    *Not that there’s anything wrong with Bracken’s books, it’s just that they make me a tiny bit paranoid. No, wait, our current President makes me a bit concerned, and Bracken’s books would push me over the top.

  19. I hope that I will never need to use my limited prepping supplies. But if I need them, I have them. Having them doesn’t make the need for them any more likely.


    I plan to go on with my life as if I will live for another 30 years and invest accordingly. That means prepping for a limited term of 3 to 4 months for my entire family, including the former USMC son. That also means that I will invest in my businesses, my home, my rental properties, my family relationships, my God, etc, etc, etc.

    Of course, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans ™.

  20. My life took a serious slide sideways five years ago, when my wife, Karen, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away a few months ago, at 48 years old.

    Oh wow, I am so sorry for your loss. My wife was treated for stage 2b breast cancer at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center here in Houston, a little over ten years ago at the age of 46. She has survived and thrived. After much consultation, research, and prayer, she decided to have a mastectomy and reconstruction. Followed by six months of chemotherapy hell. And she was the last person admitted in a nationwide trial for Herceptin since her chances of reoccurance were 65%.

  21. @dave, if you haven’t finished the series, go ahead. He gets better as a writer with each book, and the emphasis is different.

    Skip Castigo Cay, unless you REALLY like his writing. There is little there other than what used to be called “men’s adventure.”

    His short fiction stuff is devastating.


  22. @nick

    I’m not criticizing Bracken’s work, I think it’s quite good. If anything a little too good. I very quickly figured out who two of the “fictional” characters in his first book were supposed to be, and I am a little bit concerned that his fiction may turn out to be reality. I chose to stop reading at the point where I did because I don’t want to refer to the other Dave as wildly optimistic.

    My favorite non-fiction prepping book at the moment is Fernando Aguirre’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving The Economic Collapse which was edited by Bracken. I say at the moment, because having read our host’s other work, I am almost certain his prepping book will be my favorite if he ever finishes writing it.

  23. Also some of it is currently under the radar, which I will no doubt be asking for forgiveness later.

    If/When the SHTF you can always use the food stores she didn’t approve of to make her a yummy I-Told-You-So Casserole. 🙂

  24. “If/When the SHTF you can always use the food stores she didn’t approve of to make her a yummy I-Told-You-So Casserole.”

    If the I told you so casserole is the one with green beans, cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions, then I need to add some of the onions to my stores.

  25. “No, wait, our current President makes me a bit concerned, and Bracken’s books would push me over the top.”

    Some sections of his books accurately lay out stuff that has been going on and is going on right now in this country. I’d gloss over the info on computer and radio tech, ’cause that went outta date when the books went to press.

    But the national surveillance empire is in full swing, and rigid PC indoctrination on all fronts likewise. In the latter case, one of the prime indicators was at the end of the War Between the States anniversary, the powers-that-be, with media enablers, have been ruthlessly and obscenely purging the country of Confederate symbols, imagery, and history. In the former situation, the drones are proliferating and the LEO bosses in North Dakota have decreed that they will equip their drones with non-lethal weapons, such as beanbags and tasers. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    Rancher Bill is out checking his fence line, which is near the local utility company’s power lines and substation. He’s using his iPhone (or Droid) to take pics of storm damage when all of a sudden…WHAMMO! He catches a beanbag off his noggin and goes down for the count.

    It’s just after “last call” at the local VFW, and Gulf War vet Tommy is staggering home down the main drag, half on and half off the sidewalk. He’s left his truck back at the post so he doesn’t get popped for DUI. He hears a loudspeaker voice ordering him to stay on the sidewalk. He looks around. No one there. WTF? He keeps lumbering down the road, on the yellow line now. He hears the voice again, looks up, nothing. WTF? PTSD? Tinnitus? Hallucinations from those funny-tasting pork rinds earlier? He staggers on toward home. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!! He drops to the pavement, tased from above, and now, ironically, is even more of a danger to himself and any approaching motorist.

  26. Oh, I liked Castigo Cay, his writing is fine. There is even a little bit of prepper type info tucked in there.

    I think he does a better job when he has an overall point to make. I think he tells a better story. And I wouldn’t normally be reading in that genre.

    I will recommend the Grey Man series by a blogger and frequent poster on many of the sites where I find the comments useful (OldNFO).

    The Grey Man: -Vignettes-Mar 10, 2014
    by JL Curtis and Tina Garceau–Vignettes–JL-Curtis-ebook/dp/B00IXA8UR4/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440720837&sr=1-5&keywords=grey+man

    That’s the first one. The three together make up one story, and are continuous.

    I pretty much read them straight thru. Again, not my normal genre, and kind of hard to pigeonhole anyway. The price is very reasonable in kindle format. Recommended.


  27. “I don’t know whether to be impressed or scared.”

    I find it boring. One billion peeps will have Winblows 10 devices. Yawn. Until the Grid shuts down. But Mr. Gates will be all set. I wonder what kind of backup power he has at his palace out in Seattle….a two-bit geek and thief…of a piece w/Zuckerberg.

  28. Our court system in action.

    The 7th Circuit panel, however, ruled unanimously Thursday that the term “the people” in the Second Amendment’s guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed also applies to those in the country illegally. The ruling, which applies in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, conflicts with opinions from three other federal appellate courts in recent years that found the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to people in the country illegally.

    “We see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded,” Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote.

    Maybe the liberal douche judges should just say “all guns banned from citizens, crimmigrants may lock and load.”  Isn’t that what the dooshnozzels really mean?  Kill WHITEY! Oh when this comes back to haunt them.

  29. “Isn’t that what the dooshnozzels really mean?”


    “Oh when this comes back to haunt them.”


    “Go ahead. Change the second amendment.”

    Go ahead. Make my day.

    “Sure, it’s slightly odd that you think that we can’t deport 11 million people but we can search 123 million homes.”

    It’s not just slightly odd; it’s deuced odd. And that would be more like 25-30 million illegals we need to send back. Good luck searching all those houses.

    Of course they’re not gonna do that, not right away; it runs in increments. Next up is onerous taxes on ammo and high fees for licenses and permits and finding all kinds of ways to put ranges, clubs and manufacturers outta business. And take control of all language and terminology all the time; they’ll have the media helping them with this, and the lawyers. Thus we have “gun violence.” “Assault rifles.” Etc. When they can set the terms of the language and the debates, they’re halfway there already.

    They read Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language” and took it as a manual for how to corrupt the language.

    Make no mistake; this is and has been a primary goal of successive administrations/regimes in this country and they want us going down the same road as the U.K. and Oz. Where citizens are persecuted for defending themselves and criminals are allowed to sue them for doing so and put those citizens behind bars instead.

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