Wednesday, 7 December 2016

08:51 – Pearl Harbor was 75 years ago today. A date which will live in infamy.

My father’s mother almost got lynched that day. She’d washed an antique quilt and hung it over the balcony railing to dry. The quilt, which we still have, was a beautiful white with a pattern of red swastikas on it. In 1941, of course, the swastika hadn’t assumed its current meaning. To my grandmother, it was just a quilt made with an Indian pattern. Americans didn’t yet associate the swastika with Nazi mass murders, although most were aware of its recent connection with Germany. One of her neighbors called the police to report a German spy (because of course spies always put up billboards to advertise what they’re doing …) and the cops showed up at her door to find a puzzled middle-age lady. She packed that quilt away and it didn’t see the light of day for another 30 years or so.

Barbara took off about 0730 to head down to Winston. She’s running errands, having lunch and dinner with friends, and staying the night with Frances and Al. She’ll return home tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, it’s wild women and parties for Colin and me.

Email overnight from a long-time reader who raises a good point, and one I don’t emphasize enough: balancing preps.

He’s concerned that Cassie is focusing exclusively on food storage, to the exclusion of other critical categories. Actually, that’s not the case. Food storage just happened to be their weakest category, so they’re focusing on shoring that up. With a well and a year-round spring, they’re in good shape on water. They’re reasonably well-armed, have a decent stock of medical supplies, and so on. It was food that was the gaping hole in their preps, but they’ve addressed that now.

But the point remains valid. I’ve been prepping for about 50 years now, and my primary concern has always been maintaining balance. It does you no good to have a decade’s worth of stored food if you run out of water. Some folks have a serious armory, but have let other categories slide. Having having a dozen AR-15s and 100,000 rounds of ammunition does you no good if you run out of food. Or water. Or medical supplies. Or if you can’t keep your living area warm in winter.

Unfortunately, most preppers are guilty of such imbalances. It’s human nature. If you like to shoot, it’s natural to focus too much on guns and ammo. If you enjoy ham radio, it’s natural to focus too much on communications. And so on. The trick to maintaining balance is to focus your efforts on stuff that’s not “fun”. Look at each area and decide which one or ones need to be shored up. Then pick out the one you least want to work on and get that one done. Then the next one. And so on.

Thanks to OFD for this link. FTA:

Justin Nojan Sullivan, 20, of Morganton pleaded guilty in an Asheville courtroom to one count of attempting to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, federal officials said in a news release. He planned an attack at a concert, bar or club where he believed as many as 1,000 people would die, they said.

“Justin Sullivan planned to kill hundreds of innocent people,” said John A. Strong, special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Charlotte. “He pledged his support to ISIL and took calculated steps to commit a murderous rampage to prove his allegiance to the terrorist organization.”

Sullivan said in court that he planned shootings in North Carolina and Virginia that would cause mass casualties, U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said. He also said he had “frequent and direct communications” with Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State member who asked him to make a video of the attack, she said.

Morganton is about a two-hour drive south of here on US-18. It’s easy for those of us in rural areas to get complacent, but it’s also a big mistake.