Thursday, September 15, 2011

Failure to plan is planning to fail

Something I had been thinking about since I heard the Michale Bane podcast which, in part, discussed looting in the area surrounding the WTC. How could it have started right after they fell? When he and a friend returned to a loft apartment several days after the event, the entire building had been looted.

That started me thinking that street gangs and organized crime groups were best suited for life after a disaster (SHTF, WROL) where social order breaks down. They already have a structure and defined positions of authority and responsibility. They work together to acquire what the "group" needs and they are already predisposed to rationalizing that "its not wrong, if that's what it takes to get by".

Today's podcast from Bob Mayne was a real eye opener. The article referenced is worth the read.

Some people are making plans to take advantage of your misfortune; the tome to address that issue is before its too late.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lessons learned

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 just passed this weekend. It went fairly smooth in spite of the dire predictions. What did you do to prepare in the event that something bad happened?

 The fact that nothing happened is provides a great opportunity to review your preparations. Some of the things we did as a family were: fill all the cars with gas, have a week’s worth of food and bottled water in the house, checked and inspected B-O-B’s, backed up all computers, and staged the hurricane supplies around the house.
If you can’t rattle off a list of several things you did to anticipate the possibility of some type of disruption, then you missed the lessons of that horrible day.

For those who had chosen to be the protectors of life and liberty were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the events. In spite of all their preparations, skills and tools the rolling tide of disaster consumed them. Had they not been as well trained, the scope of the tragedy could, and would have been much worse.
If you knew that today was the day that it all went south, would you prepare?  You are the First Responder in any emergency involving you. The likelihood of assistance being immediately available when misfortune strikes you is infinitesimally small and should not be relied on to be the primary method of survival.

Nobody wakes up in the morning expecting to have an accident, but they happen every day. Today could be when it happens to you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Today in American History

1953: Senator John F. Kennedy, 36, marries Jacqueline Bouvier, 24

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Possibly the saddest story of the day

If you can't imagine a time when we return to a Pre-9/11 relationship with the government, then the battle is already lost.

Regardless of the reason: freedoms relinquished can never be regained.

Today; my heart is heavy, for too many reasons

Today in American History

1961: The most wonderful woman on the planet is born.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Today in American History

1963 :President John F. Kennedy federalizes Alabama's National Guard to prevent Governor George C. Wallace from using guardsmen to stop public-school desegregation.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Today in American History

1776: The term "United States" is adopted by the Continental Congress to be used instead of the "United Colonies."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today in American History

1906: Robert Turner invents the automatic typewriter return carriage

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Today in American History

1965: Hurricane Betsy, kills 74 in Florida, Miss and La

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Keystone Kops

DHS & FBI say " there is no specific or credible terrorist threat for the 10-year anniversary"

We don't know where, when, or if something may or may not happen but prepare for it and be subject to increased scrutiny...


read the full text here

Today in American History

1901: President William McKinley is shot while attending a reception at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, by 28-year-old anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley dies eight days later, the third American president assassinated

Monday, September 5, 2011

Today in American History

1885: 1st gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer (Ft. Wayne, Ind)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today in American History

1881: The Edison electric lighting system goes into operation as a generator serving 85 paying customers is switched on.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Today in American History

1895: The first professional American football game is played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania between the Latrobe Young Men's Christian Association and the Jeannette Athletic Club. Latrobe wins 12-0.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Today in America History

1901: Vice President Theodore Roosevelt advises, "Speak softly and carry a big stick

Cameras: a false sense of security

The lesson to be learned from the London riots is: No matter how many cameras you have watching an area, they will not prevent crime.

Currently, London has more cameras per square mile than any other city in the world.  The list of American cities racing to follow in those footsteps is growing every day. It is important to remember that cameras did not stop the transit bombings, the riots, nor reduce petty street crimes.

At best they will document what happened; when it is already too late to help.

Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase: when seconds count, the police are just minutes away!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today in American History

1821: William Becknell leads a group of traders from Independence, Mo., toward Santa Fe on what would become the Santa Fe Trail.

The sky is falling...or is it?

It appears that Hurricanes are all the rage in the national news. Not really the ‘canes themselves, but the ratings driven hysteria gamesmanship that dominates the coverage. The goal is to ramp up the drama until people are wound so tight that you could mistake them for a pretzel.
Facts trump opinion! Yes, the weather man has more expertise than you, but you have the ability to observe the information and reach some conclusions that more directly affect you. When our local weatherman covers a storm of this size he is speaking to an audience that includes everyone from Key West to about Orlando. What is a concern for one of those locations may not even raise an eyebrow in the other.

Look at the following weather sites. My personal favorite is Weather Undergrounds tropical page It has the best maps and also provides easy to understand graphics showing path, wind and the models they us to predict direction. No hype, just easy to read pictures with the latest information.
The other two are the National Hurricane Center and the Weather Channel They both have good information, the Hurricane Center is the “Horses Mouth” for storms, but the site seems geared more for weather nerds and what can you say about the Weather Channel other than it has to be all things to all people for weather.

When you have a chance, take a look at these sites. Find the one that you like and works for your likely situations and learn how to read & use it to your advantage.
The next time a weather event threatens your area be forewarned and forearmed with these easy to use sites.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ignorance of the law is now a valid defense

During the investigation, Captain Fewless stated he did not know that state law protected concealed-weapon permit holders' identities...

He is a police Captain, doesn't know state law, collects illegal information, distributes it, lobbies political causes while on the clock; and is cleared of wrongdoing. Hmmm.

Ignorance of law, fraud, wilful misconduct: the new get out of jail free card.

Today in Amreican History

1919: The Communist Labor Party is founded in Chicago, with the motto, "Workers of the world unite!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today in American History

1963: Hot Line communications link between Washington D.C. and Moscow begins

The Real Heroes

A true, honest and accurate prospective from real New Yorkers

Makes me want to say...I love New York

Monday, August 29, 2011 you doin' today

After a wild week where the Eastern US experienced Earthquake, Wind and Floods it is time to take a moment and catch our breath.

OBTW: since all the media was covering the storm, did anything else happen that was important?
Guess we will never know.

Today in American History

1957: Strom Thurmond, Senator-D-South Carolina, ends 24 hour filibuster against civil rights

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today in American History

1963: One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the United States, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, takes place and reaches its climax at the base of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his "I have a dream" speech.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today in American History

1859: 1st successful oil well drilled, near Titusville, Penn by Edwin Drake

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today in American History

1920: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is officially ratified, giving women the right to vote.

Right is Right: No further discussion is necessary

In a world full of standardized tests, this may be one of the best. It is simple, to the point, objective and provides expanded educational opportunities with each application.
Without the opportunity to vacillate or equivocate, issues are brought into specific relief. There is no moral equivalence or ambiguity. America was founded on a principle of protecting the individual from the oppression of the majority. The “go along to get along” mentality undermines that premise and weakens the very fabric of our nation.

Apply this test to some of the things you support; bet you’ll be surprised.

Today’s entry for the Darwin Awards

Apparently, stupidity loves company too. One person bad decision to watch the stormy seas from an exposed jetty is validated by seven other lemmings. Their motto must be “it’s all fun and games until someone…”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today in American History

1765: In protest over the stamp tax, American colonists sack and burn the home of Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene; the visitor no one wants!

We feel like we may have dodged a bullet with Irene, but the preparations continue, just in case it heads our way.

That being said, we really feel bad for those in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. We are fairly prepared for these types of storms and have state and local services to assist with the chaos in the aftermath. Since our area has done this before, there is little wasted effort and “things” return to normal fairly quickly.

For them, no such luck. There are generations that have grown up in those areas that have never seen any type of storm like this. Our systems and structures have evolved due to past storms. Building codes, Generator ready businesses, staging of supplies and a relatively prepared population minimize the scope and severity of these events.

Like the legend of Katrina; some towns in Louisiana and Mississippi have never recovered. I fear the same may be true with this storm.

Today in American History

1894: Congress passes the first graduated income tax law, which is declared unconstitutional the next year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Side Notes

Possibly the funniest line I have seen in weeks :-)

Today in American History

1784: Eastern Tennessee settlers declare their area an independent state and name it Franklin; a year later the Continental Congress rejects it

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today in American History

1921: J. Edgar Hoover becomes asst director of FBI

And so it begins again...again!

Spent the better part of yesterday staging for TS Irene. It is a routine that I am quite familiar with, since it is done the same way, every year, when the first storm threatens.

We have been building and honing our hurricane preparedness plan for thirty years. You can view some of those preparations in previous posts, but I’ll try to give you a glimpse of the initial steps in readying for a storm.

My wife says that she prefers a hurricane to tornadoes since you generally get days to prepare for the ‘cane and tornadoes come out of nowhere, with no warning. Yes, I know that hurricanes spawn tornadoes, but if you have hardened the house and have taken appropriate shelter, the chances of surviving are greatly improved.

Early this morning, the numerous little tasks began. First we cranked up the ice makers and brought in the coolers. Next all the rechargeable devices and batteries began their charging cycles. The removable Hurricane tracks were re-installed. They are tracks that can be removes and replaced when a storm requires; not the shutters themselves. Unused yard items: extension cords, lawn art, house decorations and flags are all stored in the garage. Radios, weather and marine were checked and batteries installed.

All of this is not very difficult to do, but it certainly gets you in the mindset for what may come in the next few days.

Today will be the start of out photo documentation for insurance purposes. Also, all the laundry will be done. Clean clothes are a necessity if the power and/or water are out for any length of time. After Wilma, we were without power for ten days, but had clean, fresh, dry clothes to put on every morning; Ahhh.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today in American History

1831: Nat Turner leads a slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia that kills close to 60 whites.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today in American History

1866: President Andrew Johnson formally declares Civil War over

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oprah Winfrey donates money to group of thugs!

No, this time it was not the Democrats and Obama...

Today in American History

1812: The USS Constitution earns the nickname "Old Ironsides" during the battle off Nova Scotia that saw her defeat the HMS Guerriere

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mixed Signals

Another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing!

Don't confuse me with the facts, I've made up my mind.

Today in American History

1939: The film The Wizard of Oz opens in New York City.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today in American History

1998: President Bill Clinton testifies before a grand jury investigating his conduct (first president to do so), and admits an 'inappropriate relationship' with Monica Lewinsky

The Perfect Analogy for Rioting

Excellent Point

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Armed Society is a Polite Society

The recent events in the UK are once again a stark reminder that the forced disarming of a general population does not make it safer.

I governments primary responsibility is to protect its citizens. It is our delusions to allow us to believe that means it extends all the way down to the individual. At best, law and order is maintained on a community or regional basis. In events like natural disaster aftermaths, riots, terrorism, or political unrest, bring the matter into specific relief.

Regardless of the disruptions brought on by Watts, McDuffie (Florida), Hurricane Katrina, or 9/11; order was maintained for virtually all of the State and Federal areas. While the national media was focused on the locations of these events, life outside these areas was relatively unaffected. The best example would be that even during the attacks on NY and Washington; people on the West Coast woke up and went to work in convenience stores, offices and factories, as if nothing happened.

Regardless of any localized failures that may be attributed to governments; overall, each demonstrated that they successfully and appropriately weathered the “storm” and survived almost intact. While the individual players may change, the system remains intact; like a boxer taking a punch and shaking it off to continue the match.

The resilience of any area resides in the people of the community. They should not be deprived of that power to come together and protect themselves in the absence of law and order.

Today in American History

1977:  Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack in the upstairs bedroom suite area of his Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seeing America through fresh eyes

Since the advent of the Jet age, people have criss-crossed the continent at 30,000 feet. What has lost in this method of travel is the notion that; it’s the journey, not the destination. In the

As a kid traveling the Midwest for family vacations we would while away the miles straining our eyes in hopes of finding the elusive Rhode Island or hoping against hope to see a Hawaii. Along the way we discovered a universe of roadside attractions in backwater rural towns. Muffler men, water tower art, balls of twine, lint, yarn, etc. As children we were fascinated by the odd and unusual and were totally able to suspend disbelief at the drop of a dime. Back then, the world was simpler and only limited by our imagination.

On a recent car trip from Atlanta to South Florida we decided to kill time by playing the License Plate Game. If you haven’t done that since you were a kid, you should really try it again. We noted thirty-eight different States and how did we keep track you ask? Yes, they have an app for that. Of course there were all the usual suspects from the south and some stand outs like Idaho and Nevada, but we were truly amazed and almost swerved off the road when we spotted (wait for it) Alaska!!! We spent the rest of the trip saying “I can’t believe we got Alaska” Okay, I know that sounds like a major geek alert, but we have made that round trip route well over a dozen times and none were as fun, nor went by as quickly.  

Although it is difficult to stop and smell the roses at 70 mph, don’t let that opportunity pass you by the next time you hit the road.

Today in American History

1969:  Woodstock Music and Art Fair opens in New York State (Max Yasgur's Dairy Farm)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today in American History

1945:  V-J Day; Japan surrenders unconditionally to end WW II

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today in American History

1914:  Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st U.S. bus line, in Minnesota

Friday, August 12, 2011

We are the makers of our own change.

Yesterday’s blog post really got me thinking.

I am reminded of the Non-Aggression pact signed by Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler. It is and was sheer folly to believe that a document can or will prevent anyone or anything from doing what “it” wants, especially if it is in “its” own interests.

The chilling effect that policies like this have is, they demonstrate that the only people the US government  can and will be punish is the American people; even if the they have done nothing wrong.

The best example of this is the TSA. Foreign nationals broke the law, overstayed their visas and committed an act of violence on the American People.  The Government response was to suspend the civil rights of all Americans and violate numerous sections of the Bill of Rights and Constitution in the name of safety. These documents, at their core, were designed to keep us (the people) safe from the government over stepping its boundaries. Once again, a document is unable to prevent… I think you get the point.

The people who fly into this country do not have to go through a TSA screening; either before boarding a plane, nor when they clear customs stateside. That means that even though 100% of those who committed the act that changed America were from out of the country, 99% of the people who are subject to increased scrutiny are Citizens. How can that possibly make any sense?

If you cannot imagine a time when airports return to normal, the way they were before September 11th, then you understand the nature of the problem.

Today in American History

1935:  President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Bill.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is the pen mightier than the sword?

Apparently the one used to write this “form” is strong enough to shield the US from the violent Mexican drug cartels; something the US Border Patrol is unable to accomplish…

Today in American history

1965:  A small clash between the California Highway Patrol and two black youths sets off six days of rioting in the Watts area of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What’s Old is New Again

As the Dog Days of summer are really kicking in and the heat is off the chart; time to take this fight outside.
Several years ago we made a decision to dedicate a portion of the patio to cooking. The placement of the Grill, side burners, coolers and storage make this the perfect way to escape the heat and helped turn the backyard into a tropical paradise.

Almost anything you currently cook can be made (and made better) on the grill. Add the benefit of keeping that heat and aromas out of the house and letting you’re A/C take a break; WINNING (too soon?).

I’m not big on recipes, but I’ll take ideas and hints from any source I can find. Once a month we do “Experimental Food Night”; by just selecting a meal that we have not tried before and giving it a whirl. If the pantry doesn’t have all the ingredients or it calls for something we don’t like, it’s left out or substituted. It usually worked out pretty well and because of it we’ve had excellent meat, fish and vegetable dishes, even pizza on the grill.

One or our family favorite activities is Sunday brunch on the grill. If you use propane in your Barbeque, it is fast and easy. Eggs are cooked in a pan on the side burners, bacon is cooked directly on the grill and the potato’s are pan baked using the grill as an oven.  The best part is that clean up is a snap, since you won’t spend hours getting the grease off the walls.

Mom always said “try it, you’ll like it”; sometimes she was right!

Today in American History

1846:  The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington through the bequest of James Smithson.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Better than watching paint dry

When was the last time you inventoried your stuff. I know, I know, you are thinking; what an exciting topic. Sure, it ranks right up there with watching paint dry, but just hear me out.

When you purchase insurance; home, auto, renters, they give you sheets to compile lists of all your stuff. Let me guess, like me, you filled out a few items and bagged it until later; and later never comes.

Here's how I overcame that problem: Video camera; actually, a digital video camera. Over the course of a week or so, I went from room to room and taped everything. I opened every drawer, closet and cabinet. Pull the things from under beds, behind doors and open boxed items.

Go slow, take your time. This will be what you use to make a claim should you have a loss. Use longer range shots to establish areas and then use close-ups as you leaf through close. Remember that there is audio so talk about the items that are in the picture. This will help you remember items that may be out of sight and out of mind.

When you finish a room or area, simply plug the camera into the computer and back it up. Files can then be easily stored, organized and backed up to secure locations. I keep a copy on the computer, a separate hard drive, a memory stick in a safe and also make a DVD that I send to a friend in another State for safe storage. Space is cheap, think about online storage options, but it is wise to keep a copy off site for safety.

Today in American History

1974:  Richard Nixon resigns presidency, Vice President Gerald Ford becomes 38th president

Monday, August 8, 2011

Today in American History

1942:  6 convicted Nazi saboteurs who landed in the U.S. are executed in Washington D.C.

It’s never too late to begin

In case you haven’t noticed, things have been a little off kilter lately. Unemployment, the economy, politics, food and gas prices; the list goes on.

In Florida, as well as in many coastal communities, the annual ritual of hurricanes/storms constantly forces to have several “days” of supplies on hand.  Many people keep just enough food for the day. I am suggesting that you try to bump that up to at least three. It would be a good idea for just about everyone to have at least a week’s worth on necessities on hand. Remember that according to the Government and other studies, there is only about four days of food in the grocery stores and if they are not resupplied in that time frame; well the shelves will be bare.

You never know when a freak event (Natural, man-made or otherwise) will force you to deviate from your normal patterns. Sometime, you may just want to keep your head down for a couple of days and not have to leave the house. It would be nice to know that you could, whether you would or not, that’s a different matter.

If you have not read about Nine Meals Away from Anarchy, you should. I am certainly not suggesting that things will go downhill that fast, but once they start; it will be far too late to stock up for your family.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today in American History

1782:  General George Washington authorizes the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers wounded in combat.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Today in American History

1945:  Paul Tibbets, the commander of Enola Gay, drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.It was the second atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki, that induced the Japanese to surrender.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You can take it with you… sort of

The loss of a loved one is tragic; the loss of all the accumulated memories is equally devastating.

Take the time to make the memories and make sure that you preserve them.

Scan and save digitally all photos. Transfer video tapes to DVD and back up digitally. Scan and save all important documents digitally. Scan and save receipts for purchases. Scan and save bills. Scan and save the contents of your wallet.

In the event of a catastrophe, you'll be glad you did!

Today in Amreican History

1974: President Richard Nixon admits he ordered a cover-up for political as well as national security reasons

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Someone is watching ... and that is not good!

Watch what you post online. The facial recognition features in Social Media sites can be used to predict your Social Security Number, divulge private information and steal your identity.

In the old days criminals used the Who's Who as a database for identify theft, now people are just lining up and volunteering to be taken advantage of on the net.

As an aside, it is facial recognition software. It can scour the net looking at thousands of images an hour. Pictures posted by friends, events you attend or even random "public places" crowd shots where your face is visible, (even in the background) can be used to compile a profile combining your on-line and off-line life.

What you post can and will be used against you, if you're not careful!

Today in American History

2010:  Officials determine that over 28,000 people have died from Mexican drug violence since December 2006

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What did you add today?

The job of preparing for a storm is never actually complete. Right now, Tropical Storm Emily is forming in the Atlantic. Will it hit South Florida or any part of the US, too early to say.

We are all set to respond if conditions change, but I saw the opportunity to add an often overlooked item to our list of nonperishable supplies: Tire sealant! It goes by many manes; Fix-a-Flat, Slime, ... I picked up four (4) cans today.

When Hurricane Wilma hit, the roads were impassable due to debris from all types of materials; including highway signs and power lines. Even if you managed to get around the objects blocking the roads, the likelihood of getting a flat was very high. Having this in your trunk can be a lifesaver and will allow you to keep going, when others are stopped dead in their tracks.


Today in American History

1882: Congress passes the Immigration Act, banning Chinese immigration for ten years.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What works for you: Good, Better, Best

During 2004 we experienced numerous tropical storms and 5 full blown hurricanes. In 2005 it was worse, with 7 hurricanes affecting Florida. Needless to say, with that type of activity, hurricane preparation is a way of life that impacts your actions six months out of every year.

Hurricane shutters were one of the first things we added to our house after moving in at the tail end of the 1990’s. These are basically engineered metal panels that cover every opening of the house. By keeping flying debris from breaking windows, it is hoped that you can ride out the storm relatively unscathed, with your home intact.

We had decided that once a TS watch went up, so did the shutters and all the outside items would be placed indoors to prevent them from becoming airborne missiles that could damage someone’s property, including our own.  After the storm passed, down came the shutters and all the “stuff” went back out so we could resume our normal South Florida lifestyle. This had worked well in our old house, which was much smaller, so we said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

That was all fine and dandy until 2004. We shuttered five times that year. This equates to ten moves of outdoor furniture, plants, grills, yard art and all the little knick-knacks scattered around the property. That year broke the camel’s, and my, back. Although our hurricane preparedness plan was sound, it was becoming impractical and had to be adjusted to better suit our needs.

We made the decision to try something different the next season. The new plan was, when the first TS watch is issued, pack it all up and it stays packed up until the end of the season in November. The same went for the shutters on the sides of the house. In 2005, the number of storms increased to 24, a jump of nine from the previous year. That was the same year that Katrina hit Florida and then moved on to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

The plan worked perfectly! It seemed like every week something Tropical was happening, since all the “heavy lifting” was done so we could just sit back and relax. That part of the plan remains unchanged, while others portions have continued to be tweaked. It will always be a work in progress, since we learn something new every year.  

Remember; planning is good, implementing the plan is better, and modifying the plan to better suit your needs is the best.

Today in American History

1776: The Continental Congress, having decided unanimously to make the Declaration of Independence, affixes the signatures of the other delegates to the document.

Monday, August 1, 2011

As we approach the height of hurricane season it’s time to get back to the basics: We have already discussed how to get informed about hazards and emergencies that may affect you and your family, as well as developed an emergency plan. Now it’s time to collect and assemble disaster supplies.
A basic kit of disaster supplies should consist of the following:

• Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
• Three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day.
• Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.
• First aid kit and manual.
• Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
• Matches and waterproof container.
• Whistle.
• Extra clothing.
• Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener.
• Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
• Cash and coins.
• Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
• Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
• Other items to meet your unique family needs.

Prepare for foul weather, the worst your climate as to offer. You must think about warmth and keeping dry. It is possible that you will not have heat or suitable shelter. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:

• Jacket, coat or poncho.
• Long pants.
• Long sleeve shirt.
• Sturdy shoes.
• Gloves (work or winter), hat, mittens, and scarf.
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).

Today in American History

1966: Former marine Charles Whitman kills 13 and wounds 31 at University of Texas

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today in American History

 1971:  The Apollo 15 astronauts take a drive on the moon in their land rover.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today in American History

And so it began

1965: Lyndon Baines Johnson signs Medicare bill, which goes into effect in 1966

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sometimes "NO" is not only good, but necessary

Just because they can do something, does not mean that they should do something.

All governments derive their authority from the "Consent of the Governed".

Therefore, I suggest that in all matters concerning those who  govern:
The answer is NO! now ask the question.

Today in American History

1975: Gerald Ford became 1st U.S. President to visit Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

In praise of easy targets and knee jerk reactionary politicians.

A very wise woman (my wife) says this as her mantra:
If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

After more than 50 years of institutional, nationwide forced government education we have produced a country of followers. A Slice of lemmings being led off the cliff by politicians and political correctness.

Today in American History

1868: The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to all those born or naturalized in the United States, is adopted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If Mothers and Fathers knew what was hunting their children, they would never let them out of the house

Natalie Holloway, Lieby Kletzy, JonBenet Ramsey, BTK and the Atlanta Chlid murders
Chicago, New York, Norway or Miami

The location is irrelevant, but the outcome is the same. Bad people are out there and they are coming for us. Predators that live at the fringe of society see the general populous as sheep. They feed on those who take comfort in the herd mentality. If you act like food, You will get eaten!
Teach yourselves and your children to be hard targets. Learn to trust your instincts and pass that on to them. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Unfortunately, there will always be those who do harm to others and we do not know the evil that lurks in the soul of some people; but we can prepare. If we don’t, the tragedy is not that the children die, but that they die like sheep.

Today in American History

1909: Orville Wright sets a world record for staying aloft in an airplane–one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Scarcity of leadership in American Government

A personal prospective on the current Debt debacle:
It can be best summed up by these excerpts from a movie, The American President:

“…They (the American people) want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand”
Government’s response:

“People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.”
Please stop insulting our intelligence! We get it! You have done a poor job as stewards of this great republic. The only thing you seem to value is getting reelected.

For years “I've been operating under the assumption that the reason (Politicians devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. (The) problem isn't that (he) doesn't get it. (The) problem is that he can't sell it!
We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, (a Politician) is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections"

Today in American History

1790: The U.S. passes Assumption bill making Federal Government responsible for State debts

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today in American History

1861: The Crittenden Resolution, calling for the American Civil War to be fought to preserve the Union and not for slavery, is passed by Congress.

Terrorism by the Numbers

Scientists use mathematical models to predict many things, why not apply it to terrorist activities? The fact that the DOD contacted them and is interested its viability as a predictive tool is encouraging and disappointing. It’s encouraging, because they are looking for ways to anticipate incidents, disappointing because ten years after 9/11 they still don’t have any better method of predicting these events.

OBTW, why has this fallen to the DOD; shouldn’t the CIA, FBI, NSA be handling this stuff? And if they are, why aren’t they sharing their modeling/profiling programs with each other? 

Unfortunately, I feel that the intelligence community has reverted to the pre-WTC mindset. This means they will again be reactive, not proactive.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Side Notes

Today in American History:

1925: Scopes guilty of teaching evolution in a Tennessee High School, fined $100 and costs.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Open Season on ... Parents???

What is up with this recent spate of parenticide?
Pembroke Pines man arrested in Mothers murderSon crash plane into mothers house

Are we too touchy feely? Parents are not friends; they are, well, parents. We do our children no favor by NOT preparing them for the harsh realities of the world we live in. Our parents, their parents and the ones before them all learned the lessons necessary to cope and survive as well as how to overcome adversity. It’s not how many times you fall; it’s how many times you get up. Just one of life’s little Idioms & Axioms that everyone from my generation heard a million (how many times have I told you not to exaggerate) times growing up.

I spent many of my formative years playing sports. I learned many lessons and it built character, confidence and pride in accomplishments. I needed to experience losses to learn and appreciate winning. It taught me to “tough it out”, even if there was no hope of winning. You play the full 60 minutes, rain or shine; win or lose. One of the primary lessons I learned was that losing is no fun. Therefore I had do all that I could to prepare myself to win. If that meant extra laps or more time with the Coach, so be it. A small sacrifice now could payoff big later on. Sometimes even working harder than the next guy might not get the desired result, but you were better off for trying.

Now days it seems that the “everyone gets a trophy” crowd folds their tent at the first sign of adversity. What happened to “it’s the journey not the destination”? The struggle to overcome adversity “that which does not kill me makes me stronger” is far more satisfying than instant gratification. Parents need to teach their children to handle losses at an early age. When kids don’t have things go their way, they react impulsively and irrationally without regard to the consequences of their actions. They are kids; that’s how they are supposed to react. Parents can help them deal with the frustration and learn how to properly channel it into productive and acceptable behavior; a trait that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

If you look at the three links above you may see that they all have at least one thing in common. The actions of the child were irrational, impulsive; disproportional to the perceived injustice and showed very little regard to the consequences of those actions. In short, like an infant’s temper tantrum gone awry.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Say what you mean and mean what you say

In an age of PC think & speech, the unfettered truth shines like a beacon of hope illuminating our path out of the darkness.

Quote of the Day

"The recidivism rate of a room temperature violent criminal with a sucking chest wound is 0%."

Can this guy turn a phrase or what?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The fine art of saying nothing in 30 seconds

I am getting tired of the ridiculous claims made on TV, radio and the Internet. It appears that they aren’t even trying to hide the exaggerations (lies) anymore.

Some examples are: Weight loss “I’ve lost 110lbs and you can too” the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen is so small (even on my big screen TV) that it cannot be read. Automotive: This “widget” can increase gas mileage by up to 20%, your mileage may vary. The list goes on and on.

The straw that broke the camels back for me is that it is now a common practice in regular journalism. Yesterday, while waiting in the Barber shop, I read an article in Men’s Journal. It claimed that 50% of the people reading this article could get up “right off the couch” and run a sprint triathlon, the rest could do it in just eight weeks by following this training schedule. Really…Really? That means that they believe that 100% of the people who read the article could complete a sprint triathlon. INCONCEIVABLE!

When someone uses numbers that are unsubstantiated and/or worse un-provable, it undermines their credibility and calls into question their motives. I think that all numeric claims should be based on a minimum guarantee. I.e. this will increase your (wherever) by at least X; rather than the current “up to” method of beautiful stuff. Keep in mind; if it may work “up to” X better, than it can also be zero percent effective, or worse. Do you really want to be sold aspirin for cancer? (Old man’s speak for something that is totally ineffective).

Unfortunately, my BS meter is overwhelmed these days. It has caused me to dismiss information at the first whiff of an odoriferous offering and diminishes the viability any further offerings. These days it is so unusual to hear someone speak the truth; and not some PC watered down version of the truth. It is like a breath of fresh air, not the kind you get in Gary Indiana, but real fresh air like in New Jersey or something.

Anyway, just to bring it all back on point:
By just reading this, you may have increased your chances of winning the lottery by up to 100%.
I hope you sleep better knowing that, I know I will.

I’m a giver, what can I say. ;-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Influencing Democracy around the Globe

Vital to American interests:
Regime change along the border or how Obama brightens the World’s view of the U.S.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink...

Another example of just how tenuous our link to civilization is...

Major City boil water order in effect until at least Monday

Sunrise water supply has e coli

Accidental or intentional contamination of the water supply cannot and should not be this easy.

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Standard hurricane or storm preperation will easily get you through this type of situation. Be prepared before the SHTF.

OBTW: the specific instructions for handling water during this event is:

"bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1 min before using it for drinking, cooking or washing".

Do you think any of the restaurants in the area boiled the water used wash the dishes and glasses? I believe they just ran them through the regular "washers" and crossed their fingers.

Ignorance is not bliss

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still seems like the fox guarding the hen house

I feel that they will get to the bottom of this mess; but once there, what will happen or will anyone still care.

Fast & Furious

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Consequences of Fast and Furious

Took my eye off the ball to attend a family function this past week and look what they snuck through...

Four States to be forced into Increased Reporting

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hurricane Prep 101 SODIS Water

Water can be disinfected and in this way made drinkable using the rays of the sun. "Solar water disinfection" - SODIS for short - thus offers a solution for preventing diarrhea, one of the most common causes of death among people in developing countries.

Clean drinking water in 6 hours

The SODIS method is ideal for treating water for drinking in developing countries. All it requires is sunlight and PET bottles. How does it work? Clear PET bottles are filled with the water and set out in the sun for 6 hours. The UV-A rays in sunlight kill germs such as viruses, bacteria and parasites (giardia and cryptosporidium). The method also works when air and water temperatures are low.

People can use the SODIS method to treat their drinking water themselves. The method is very simple and its application is safe. It is particularly suitable for treating relatively small quantities of drinking water.


Many scientific studies confirmed the effectiveness of the SODIS method. It kills germs in water very efficiently. The method has even been shown to improve the health of the population. Research into training strategies gave insight about which communication methods are most suitable. It has also been proven that the use of PET bottles in the SODIS method is harmless.

International recognition

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Red Cross therefore recommend the SODIS method as a way to treat drinking water in developing countries.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back from the holiday weekend and it’s time for a little prospective.

After watching the events of the past several months the following has come into very specific relief:

I believe The Second Amendment makes all the other Amendments possible.

The most recent example of this is comes from no less likely source than the “Arab Spring”. Access to guns, by the general population, is the only thing that prevented the Ruling Governments from crushing these uprisings. Again, Libya is where armed rebels are fighting the official government. In Egypt, the decision of the military to not engage the crowds reduced the need for armed conflict; however the residents still needed to protect themselves when the “Police” could not or would not do their job.  In Syria where the rebellion is being effectively crushed, private gun ownership is below 4% as compared to Libya at over 15%.  

This seems to point to a fact: A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject.

I’m just saying…

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sad but true

Americans aren't stupid?

This is painful to watch. Freedom and Democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry to flourish.

I learned early on that an "education is something that can never be held against you".  These people are not stupid, merely ignorant of the basic knowledge concerning the physical world they occupy. The sad part that is that even when these glaring deficiencies are exposed, none of them will take up the challenge to improve themselves and by extension others.

This wasn't a funny snapshot of "Americans on the street", it was a sad commentary on how far we have fallen.

If knowledge is power, then we are  very weak indeed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's not paranoia if....

Possibly the most important and scary podcast I've ever heard.

If you or anyone in your family and friends is active on social media this is a must listen!

Practical Defense 177 - Personally Identifiable Information by Alex Haddox

Mr. Haddox was the Product Manager and co-founder of the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forbes… really …Forbes?

How far afield have things gotten when a magazine like Forbes is covering “anti-authority” smart phone apps.

By their actions they are proving every day that the Second Amendment is responsible for making all the other Amendments possible.
Cops’ Least Favorite iPhone Apps

Protect and Serve whom?

Unfortunately, these types of stories and observations are becoming all too common.

Monday, June 27, 2011

TSA Forces 95-Year-Old, Wheelchair Bound Leukemia Patient to Remove Adult Diaper for Search

I don’t want to say enough is enough, but… Since the day the TSA was thrust upon the American population it has been an unmitigated disaster.

TSA Forces 95-Year-Old, Wheelchair Bound Leukemia Patient to Remove Adult Diaper for Search

Do you ever foresee a time when airports return to normal pre-9/11 appearances? If the answer is NO, ask yourself why and what needs to be done to make that happen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm!

What happens on the internet every 60 seconds

Step by step, inch by inch

Slowly, the march towards insanity gains momentum.

Winning friends and influencing people

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Convince a Vegetarian to Eat Wild Game

Something to keep in mind when discussing hunting and the shooting sports.

Most of the protections and advancements in wildlife management have come from hunters and their affiliated organizations.

Isn't it nice that something that tastes good is also good for you :-)

How to Convince a Vegetarian to Eat Wild Game

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Problem or Solution

While watching TV this morning it appeared to be a slow news day, or at least I thought so.

For about an hour, the announcers went on about the most innocuous, irreverent stories. It dawned on me that there are so many issues that deserve to be covered and they seem to be ignoring. I wasn’t sure if they were just tired of the same old same old or filling time until the next “major” story presents itself.

Then it dawned on me. It is exhausting when the every major story for the last (fill in your own timeframe) originates from the same source: Government.

Okay, how can that be, you ask? This is a short list of the major story topics for the last two years: politics, economy, health care, homeland security, national debt, immigration, industrial accidents and weather. The first six are all directly attributable to federal state and local governments, but how do industrial accidents and the weather get pulled into the mix.

BP oil spill, Japan tsunami nuclear plant disaster, E. coli outbreaks, mad cow, Haiti earthquake, and the massive flooding in the Midwest pretty much covers it. The connection between these and the various forms of governments not as tenuous as it appears.

Yes, BP is responsible for a broken pipe that caused the spill. The real story is the extortion and cover-up by the government: for the mismanagement of the capping, clean up, restoration and reparations for the affected people and communities. The Japanese government covered up the true scope and severity of the radioactive accident that followed the tsunami. The food borne illnesses that have swept the US and Europe demonstrate that the “inspections” that the authorities claim is in place to protect us, is just an illusion and is in fact inept and best and possibly contributory at worst. As an aside, if they can trace the sources of an outbreak to a specific field or stall on a farm, why can’t they find people in the country illegally?

The Haiti earthquake cannot possibly be about governments, it is an act of G-d. Yes the earthquake is a natural event, but the devastation was disproportionate in Haiti when compared to the Dominican Republic. The two countries share the same tiny island and the only difference between the two is their governments. Infrastructure, building codes and emergency services are the primary examples of what went wrong. For decades, Haiti has been ruled by one despot after another who used it to enrich themselves at the expense of its citizens. The Dominican Republic has had a stable “representative democracy” government since the late 1970’s. The two countries are a study in what government can and should do for its inhabitants.

Now to bring it closer to home. The massive flooding in the Midwest was exasorbated by decisions long ago to reroute rivers and lakes. Diverting the flow with dykes and levees was done by the Army Core of Engineers at the behest of government in spite of the governed. This is where the seeds of the current destruction were sown. Adding insult to injury, and utilizing the un-American premise of “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” they proceed to destroy the manmade embankments. To flood one persons land in order to possibly save another person’s property is not a choice that the government has any business making, period!

So, now back to the premise; due to the tremendous overreach of government and the ridiculous impositions it makes on our daily lives… is government the problem or the solution?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious. Neither concept is associated with control and oversight.

I have often wondered how certain obviously ridiculous decisions are made and have decided that is must be one of two things. First is that the process of creeping incrementalism causes people and organizations to move so far afield from their original intent that the next step, no matter how absurd, seems logical. Think of the Milgram Experiment where people “electrocuted” subjects when told to do so by someone in authority.

Or, when selecting between two or more choices, they will most often pursue the one perceived as easiest, regardless of the moral consequences. Think of how someone decides to rob a bank or commit a carjacking rather than get a job.

If law enforcement does not respect the “Law”, no one else will either. By doing this, it causes the general population to lose respect for the authorities and promotes an “us against them” dynamic. The purpose of any government agency is to serve and protect the community, not their own self interest.