Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

creature from jekyllAbout a month ago I did a Google search on the Federal Reserve.  I had always wondered what exactly it was and wanted to find out more.  It has been a very interesting journey ever since!  I recently finished reading the book “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G. Edward Griffin.  It is a fairly large book, 608 pages to be exact, but I highly recommend it.  I became aware of it after watching a Glenn Beck episode about “The Fed.”  He interviews the author and discusses the book in the episode.  The show is about 40 mins, so if you have no interest in a 600 page book, it makes a decent substitute.  Glenn Beck episode on the Federal Reserve: aired Aug. 25, 2011.  I had never watched, listened to or read anything by Glenn Beck until this.  Interestingly, he was fired 3 weeks after this show aired.  The whole thing is a little conspiratorial so take it with a grain of salt.  Do your own research.  If I had to choose to believe the book versus the Fed, I would lean toward the book.

So back to the book… The Creature it alludes to is The Federal Reserve.  Jekyll Island is an island off of Georgia where a clandestine meeting took place in 1910 that culminated in the birth of The Creature.  It was held under great secrecy because the members of the group knew that if the public found out about the meeting they (the public) would never go along with the proposal.  And here is why… the group consisted of:

  • Benjamin Strong
  • Abram P. Andrew
  • Paul Warburg
  • Senator Nelson Aldrich
  • Frank Vanderlip
  • Henry Davison

Now none of these names may jump out at you.  But what about Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Rothschild?  You’ve probably heard of them.  These are some of the richest men in history.  Lets look at these 5 men more closely.

Senator Nelson Aldrich – Republican Whip in Senate, Chair of National Monetary Commission, authored the original Federal Reserve Bill.  He is a business associate of J.P. Morgan and father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Abram P. Andrew – Assistant Secretary of Treasury

Frank Vanderlip – representative of William Rockefeller

Henry Davison – representative of J.P. Morgan

Benjamin Strong – representative of J.P. Morgan

Paul Warburg – credited as the mastermind of the plan.  Partner at Kuhn, Loeb and Co.  Representative of the Rothschilds.  Interestingly, the character Daddy Warbucks from Little Orphan Annie is based off of him.

These men represent 1/4 of the wealth of the entire world.  25% of the wealth of the entire world!!!  That is just completely insane!  Other estimates say it is likely closer to half of the wealth of the world!!!  Holy crap batman, that is A LOT of money!  These men are all fierce competitors and they got together to hatch a plan, together?  Their motives must have been totally pure… right?

In short they designed the Federal Reserve, a cartel, in partnership with the government.  A cartel is an agreement between competing firms to control prices or exclude entry of a new competitor in a market. Sounds healthy for everyone.  As a side rant this sounds exactly like how the college football system works… hmmm.  They picked the name Federal to sound authoritative and governmenty.  It has nothing to do with the government, it isn’t Federal at all.  They picked the word Reserve to sound calming and stable and imply that they have reserves… they don’t.  On their website the explicitly say they don’t have any gold and that they aren’t employed by the governement.  It is a private central bank.  No one knows exactly who owns or runs it.  All of its books and dealings are completely private.  We are not allowed to know.  Its officials are not elected.  The president can appoint the chairman from an approved list provided to him by the Federal Reserve (sounds communisty).

These men had 5 stated goals of the cartel, *cough, *cough, Federal Reserve.

1.  Stop the growing competition – they hated the new banks cutting in on them.  Sounds cartel-ish…

2.  Obtain franchise to create money.  They wanted to be able to create money out of nothing and then lend it out and charge interest.  So, let me get this straight.  They create money out of nothing??? Lend it… and charge people interest??? Yep!  I agree this is a great business model, I would like in on this.  Oh I can’t, see #1.  All along I thought they actually printed money.  They don’t even have to do that!  They just make it up out of thin air.

3.  Get control of ALL banks’ reserve funds.  To protect them from runs and currency drains.  Sounds slightly more reasonable than the first two at least.

4.  Shift bank losses to taxpayers.  They didn’t want to be on the hook if they lost money.  They wanted the government to guarantee everything.  Basically, they can never lose becuase they will always get bailed out by taxpayer money.  So to compare to my personal finances I could take the wildest risks in the stock market and if I lost it all, I would get it all back from the government?  Risk free investing?  Yes, please!  Oh, wait… see #1.

5.  Convince Congress and the population that this is all for our good and to protect us.  How sweet, the Fed is trying to protect us.

In short, the Fed partnered with the government to create money out of nothing and make money by charging interest on it.  We the taxpayers are answerable to it for its losses.  The government allowed this monopoly to create and control the money supply.

Question: Why would the government want this?  Answer: It gives the government the ability to get any amount of money it wants without having to raise taxes.  People get mad and ask questions when you raise taxes, or elect new officials.  The government either has to cut expenses or raise taxes to have more money.  This way they get more money and we pay for it via inflation.  This is the secret tax of the whole system.  Our money loses value everytime the Fed gives the government money.  So in the end we lose, and lose, and lose.  Compounded yearly, forever.  Over your entire career the government will basically take back all of your wealth via this mechancism.  5% compounded interest, removed from your buying power, forever.

The really interesting thing is that this mechanism means that the government really doesn’t have to collect taxes.  They can have money anytime and tax us via inflation.  So why do they?  Basically, to keep up appearances.  We would start asking questions if the taxes went away.

Again, this is a 600 page book, so this is a very brief summary of some of the more interesting points.  Watch the video by Glenn Beck and pick up a copy of the book.  You will learn a lot about money, banking, finance, government, central banks, bail-outs, inflation, and more.  Knowledge is power!  Be skeptical of people looking out for your good.  Be skeptical of wealthy men meeting together in secret.  Look out for your own financial and physical well being.  Have a diversified financial strategy and be prepared!  Consider adding things like food, supplies, guns, ammo, gold, silver and hard assests into your financial plan.  Be prepared for impending financial difficulties.  Fear the Creature from Jekyll Island!!!  (I just had to end with a conspiratorial tone… I’m really not a conspiracy nut)

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Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club says:opsec

The #1 Rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about fight club.

The #2 Rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about fight club.

This is a common idea in prepping.  Some would say,

The #1 rule of prepping is: You do not talk about prepping.

Let’s examine this from both angles.  Why should you not talk about prepping?  Well if you had a handful of gold coins in your pocket and went around telling every person you met about it… How long until someone robbed you?  The point is you are asking for trouble.  This would be magnified in a WROL (without rule of law) scenario where people are desparate.

“I am starving! Do you remember Bob?”

“That kookie guy that was always “prepping” for Armageddon?”

“Ya, him.  Man, I sure am hungry…”

“We should go see if that guy has any food!”

You can see why it is risky to share information about your preparations.

OPSEC – the military uses this abbreviation for operational security.  The DoD describes OPSEC as

  • Operations Security, or OPSEC, is the process by which we protect unclassified information that can be used against us. OPSEC challenges us to look at ourselves through the eyes of an adversary (individuals, groups, countries, organizations).

Your operation is the survival and success of your family.  The security of that operation is paramount.  One way to improve your OPSEC is to limit the people that know about your preparations.  This does make sense.  The government uses the phrase “Need to know basis.”  The more people that know the details of an operation, the more you risk information leaking out.

In short, I would be cautious about showing or talking about your preparations.  Who needs to know?

On the flip side, why might you want to share about your preps?  The bottom line is that you are going to need help.  You will not survive alone.  Community and networks are essential.  If we just examine this idea from a skills standpoint you’ll see what I mean.  I am a doctor, a useful skill.  What if something happens to me and I am incapacitated?  I may need a doctor too.  What happens if my car breaks down?  I am going to need a mechanic.  There are a lot of really useful, even essential, skills out there.  You won’t have them all.  You may need to call a friend.  You’d better have some friends with skills that you can call (or walk over and talk to since cell phones won’t work anymore…) (Oh the horror, we are going to have to walk… and talk to people… this sounds terrible…)

This is where people get into forming prepping groups.  Some are very elaborate and selective about who they let in.  You can imagine why, see above.  You would have to trust these people with your OPSEC and likely your life.

One of my readers, Ryno asked “Are you a proponent of assembling a prepper “team” for protection/survival in an WROL situation? If so, how do you approach it’s assembly. How do you get the word out so to speak? It seems like you have to ride a fine line between making yourself safer/more prepared or making yourself a target to everyone that you share this with…”

I guess the simple answer is that I am a proponent of having a team.  I am also a proponent of good OPSEC and keeping the need to know list short.  Honestly, I had some serious inner conflict about starting this blog for this exact reason.  Ultimately, I came to this conclusion.  If I can help other people get more prepared that makes the whole system a little stronger.  If my friends, family and neighbors are stronger then I am stronger.

So how do you go about forming a team?  This is an ongoing project for me.  I don’t have a formal list of people who are “in”.  I started by looking at my family and close friends first.  This blog has actually been a great “coming out” resource for me personally.  We just started talking about preparedness.  We started with identifying what skills people have.  What do we need?  Can someone learn that skill?  We then assigned certain people to acquire new skills (and needed equipment).  For example my dad is newly in charge of ammunition reloading and supplies (we were lacking in this area).

Next we discussed plans for assembling after a disaster.  My parents live in large metro area (sketchy in the best of times…) and we decided to have them get to me.  Plan A is by car.  Car kits and BOBs need to be packed and ready.  They need at least 10 gallons of extra gas on hand.  That means they need fuel stabilizer to store the extra gas.  What is plan B?  Bicycles, backpacks, etc?  You can see how once the problems/questions come up the answers leave you with a lot to do!

My simple answer to Ryno about assembling a team was to start with people you already trust with your life.  Family and close friends for most of us.  Start with a skills assessment.  Assign people to acquire some needed skills.  I am working on gardening (mostly a lot of failing at gardening – Japanese Beetles can rot in the lowest levels of hell as far as I am concerned… and deer for that matter too – well I digress).  My wife is learning canning.  My mom is learning HAM radio.  My  dad is working on reloading.  Then look at what gear and supplies you need.  Make sure to have redundancy.  Two is one and one is none!  My food storage plan accounts for extra people like my parents.

Lastly, I think spreading the good word of prepping is important.  Help your neighbors!  Start by feeling them out a bit.  “How about that economy, Ron?  What a mess we are in!”  If he looks at you like you are crazy you might want to try a different approach.  (Or go to your other neighbors!)  If he responds, “ya man we live in a false economy.  Things are probably going to get pretty rough in the next few years!”  Your in!  I wouldn’t immediately take them into your secret underground bunker and show them your 3 year supply of food and water; but I might say “So true Ron, I have been trying to set aside a little extra food for emergencies (or similar).”

Remeber OPSEC and Need-to-know!  You do not talk about prepping to just anyone, but you should talk about it to someone!  Good luck.  You are welcome to show up on my door with the SHTF, but I will put your butt to work!  No freebies here!

(If you offend easily don’t look at the last picture and stop reading here.  It is just so perfect for this blog post!)

008-opsec-kitten

Reader Q&A

Posted: January 26, 2015 in Food Storage, Philosophy
Tags: , , , ,

Since starting this blog I have received lots of questions via text, email, and the blog.  I figured if one person has a question other people may as well; so I will share them.  Keep sending questions and I’ll keep compiling them.

Question #1:  Can I use a regular garden hose to fill my water containers?  

No, you need to use food grade hoses for this task.  They are typically white and often found with RV supplies.  They specifically say they are safe for drinking water.  Regular old garden hoses are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which uses lead as a stabilizer.  The lead can leak out of the hose and into the water.  According to consumer reports the lead concentrations can be 10-100 times higher than safe levels.  Lead is particularly dangerous to children and pregnant women.  California actually requires that the hoses be labeled as potentially causing birth defects and reproductive harm.  By extension this means that you should also avoid drinking from your garden hose while working in the yard.  I shudder to think how much water I have inbibed this way over a lifetime!

Question #2:  I have heard that it is unsafe to use 2L bottles to store water, is this true?

I can’t find any reliable resource that supports this.  To the contray I can find many resources that support my original claim that 2L bottles are great for water storage.  The LDS Church, a world-wide leader in food storage, recommends using PETE or PET plastic bottles (which 2L soda bottles are).  This PETE or PET mark is stamped on the bottle for recycling purposes.  Here are the LDS water guidelines.  They recommend rinsing the bottles with 1 tsp of bleach (unscented) in 1 liter of water first.  My guess is this question stems from putting water in gallon milk jugs.  This practice should be avoided.  Milk jugs have several disadvantages.  One is that they are designed to breakdown in landfills and will breakdown and leak in your storage; making a mess and allowing contamination.  They also don’t seal very well with the normal lids they come with.  They are also a more porous plastic and you can never get the milk particles out of the plastic which is a contamination hazard.  Bacteria like milk and may grow in your water.  You cannot clean/sterilzed them effectively like 2L soda bottles.

Question #3: What kind of sleeping bag would you recommend for a bug out bag?

Sleeping bags are a huge topic, but here are some basic recommendations.  Better sleeping bags are warmer for less weight.  Spend what you can afford.  A good sleeping bag can run you $300 easy.  $150 would be fairly “cheap”.  For women the Kelty Cosmic 20 runs about $150 for reference.  A good sleeping bag may be important in keeping you alive.  It will at least be important in keeping you warm and comfortable.  They basically come in down and synthetic fills.  Down is warmer for its weight.  Down is almost useless if wet.  Synthetic is better if wet but still limited.  I like down, but it is pricey.  For most people a good synthtic fill bag will work fine and “may” be more versatile.  Get a mummy bag because it is much more efficient in the warmth/weight ratio.  Mummy bags also have a hood that allows you to get your head inside and cinch a drawsting around your face = better heat retention.  Get a bag rated 10 degrees colder than your anticipated coldest temperatures.  A 20 degree bag is a good bet for most of North America.  If you live in a tropical climate that is warm most of the time you can go warmer, maybe 40 degrees.  The ratings tend to overrate the bags effectiveness.  You will most likely not be warm or comfortable at 20 degrees in a 20 degree bag but you will survive.  Make sure to buy the right size bag.  Women should get women’s bags because they are shorter (starting at 5’6” usually) and this saves weight.  You also have to consider some sort of sleeping pad.  A sleeping bag on the ground will not be very warm, the temp ratings factor in a sleeping pad.  Marmot, Mountain Hardware, Northface, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Feathered Friends, are just a few examples of good companies.

Question #4: Where do you buy your MREs?

I have purchased many different kinds from many different places.  I have purchased them from amazon.  They tended to be a bit pricey on amazon.  My last order was with MRE Star.  They have a good reputation and are made in America.  I was very happy with the price and quality. With the heaters they are $7.33 if you buy a box of 12.

Question #5: This stuff is very pricey, I can’t afford this!

I guess this is a statement and not a question.  I would argue that you cannot afford not to get prepared!  Some of this stuff is pricey.  I am a big value guy.  I don’t mind spending money for quality.  I try to find the sweet spot where you get the most bang for you buck.  That being said, a lot of this stuff is expensive.  Quality tends to be expensive.  I have learned from experience (sometimes painful) that it is cheaper to buy the right thing the first time.  Spend a bit more to buy once instead of buying cheap and then having to replace it or buy the right thing later.  That being said, I would encourage you to make your money stretch as far as possible so you can get more preps.  Be frugal, shop around, buy used, repurpose, etc.  The prepper community is full of people doing this on tight budgets, look around!  Be smart about how you prep.  Things like flour, salt, water, rice, beans, etc are very cheap.  Things like fancy knives and guns are expensive.  Are you spending money in the right places?  We all tend to get distracted by gadgets, gizmos, whiz-bangs, and shiney things.  Don’t get too distracted.

Question #6: I am new to guns, how do I get started?  How do I introduce my significant other to shooting?

If you are new to guns and shooting I would first find a mentor.  Safety first!  Learn about gun safety and safe shooting.  I realize this is not exactly what people mean by the above question, but I need to make that plug anyways.  The 22 long rifle cartrige is a great place to start.  It is very easy shooting and has almost no recoil.  This removes a lot of the “scariness” out of shooting a gun.  I was out drilling with my AR-15 the other day and pulled out my Ruger 10/22 for fun.  It brought a huge smile to my face to shoot this gun.  I felt like a kid again.  I had forgotten how much fun a 22 is to shoot.

I would consider myself fairly experienced shooter and I still have mentors that I look to for help.  I would highly recommend getting professional training.  Take a basic handgun or rifle course to build your skills.  Most of all… go shooting!  A lot of people recommend trying to get out once a month or so to brush of the rust.

Question #7: What is your current EDC?

Great question!  This changes a bit depending on what exactly I am doing but 90% of the time it is as follows.

EDC:

  • Ruger LCP in modified Uncle Mikes size pocket holster.  I modified it to allow me to insert an extra magazine.
  • Spyderco Delica
  • Foursevens Preon 1
  • Swiss Army Cadet
  • Keys on carabiner, clipped to D-ring on pants
  • 5.11 tac lite pro pants see above
  • Wallet – cash, credit cards, ID, concealed carry permit, etc
  • Chapstick
  • Cell phone – charged!
  • Alternatively, I carry a Keltec PF9 in a N82 Tactical IWB Professional holster.  Fantastic holster BTW.  Extra mag in another pocket.
  • For both guns I currently carry Hornady Critical Defense ammo

I love Glocks, love, love, love them!  But they are bricks!  They just are not well suited for concealed carry.  I anxiously await the day they come out with a single stack 9mm (like the Keltec PF9 above).  I will carry that Glock.  I really feel the Ruger LCP in .380 auto is underpowered, but it is better than nothing.  This gun is so easy to carry that I almost always have it.  It is a compromise… life is compromises.

Keep sending me your questions!

Preppermann

There is a saying in medicine, “When you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras.”  In medicine we refer to odd, rare, horsesor interesting diseases as zebras.  They are exotic, rare and a bit funny looking.  We like to talk about these, but rarely actually see them.  This adage reminds us to think of common things first.  Preppers are also guilty of this and often like to prep for zebras.  Zombie Apocalypse anyone?  I mean seriously, that is what you are prepping for?  You would be better focusing on prepping for horses.  What are prepping horses?  Well let me tell you!

*Disclaimer: if the fear of the roving dead gets you jazzed for prepping then I am totally cool with that.  Prepared is prepared.  Its usefulness will translate regardless of the disaster.  I do however think it behooves you to consider the more common pitfalls.

Prepping Horses:

  1. Personal disaster: 
    1. Job loss – most everyone has been affected by this in some way.  This is one of the most likely disasters you will face.  The rule of thumb is it takes 1 month of searching per $10k of yearly salary.  So at $60k you are talking a 6 month job search.  Things could get really tight and difficult during this time.  Oh, that year’s supply of food you have stored away… it’ll come in really handy about now.  I know multiple people who have been in this exact situation.  My parents for one have lived through this scenario and benefited greatly from their food storage.  This is also a great reason to have an emergency fund.  3 months worth of expenses (mortgage, cars, food, utilities, etc) is a good goal.
    2. Death – any loss of a family member is going to have far-reaching implications.  It is going to be disruptive and likely have financial ramifications.  If the bread-winner dies it will morph into the above as well.
    3. Disability – A work related accident, car accident, bike crash, etc, can all lead to long-term disabilities.  Injuries to the back, brain, and limbs can have devastating repercussions.  What if you can’t work anymore?
    4. Health problems – this one can be really pernicious.  One day you may be fine and the next you may get a cancer diagnosis.  Diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks are all very common and have far-reaching effects.  Health problems can affect the young and old.  As you get older these tend to pile up a bit more.  This will affect us all at some point.  You may have to take in and care for an elderly family member or parent.  These things can be financially taxing.
    5. House fire – according to the U.S. Fire Admin there were almost 1.4 million house fires in 2011 with 3,000 deaths.  Fire safety, evacuation plans and drills are all prudent.  A bug out bag by the door is a great idea (obviously, don’t go back for anything!)  Having some food and water stored in other places would also avoid a complete loss of your preps.
  2. Natural disaster:  These are going to be somewhat specific to where you live.  If you live on the coast you will have different disasters to prepare for than if you live in Kansas.  Think critically about your unique situation and how you can prepare for and mitigate these disasters.  They are too broad to cover in detail here.  I have seen a few of these in my life.  Chances are you have too.  Have a plan, evacuation may be necessary.  Being ready to quicklyevacuate may save your life.  Again, a well thought out bug out bag by the door is a prudent idea.
    1. Tornado
    2. Hurricane
    3. Flood
    4. Tsunami
    5. Earthquake
    6. Wild fire
    7. Blizzard
    8. Drought
    9. Heat wave
    10. Thunderstorms/Lightning

The point of this post is to illustrate some of the more common disasters that you might face in your life.  Being prepared will mitigate the effects of these things.  Food/water storage, emergency funds, and bug out bags are all great ways to get prepared for these prepper horses!

As a side note check out the page links at the top of the homepage.  The Gear List and Books pages are full of great items for your consideration.  Also check out the links section to the left for other great websites with useful information.

Thanksgiving

Posted: November 28, 2014 in Philosophy
Tags: ,

I like many of you have a lot to be thankful for.  I have a beautiful family, nice home and a couple cars.  I have plenty of food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in.  Compared to a lot of people in the world I/we live in great prosperity.  We are truly blessed to live at this time of great technological wonders (like blogs and the internet that make sharing information so easy).  I would like to make two suggestions on this day of Thanksgiving.  There is a good possibility that things may change for this worse.  The national debt is approaching 18 trillion dollars.  We may experience a depression or even economic collapse.  Our lives could change dramatically any day.  I hope this never happens but think we should be prepared for the possibility.

1.  Start now by thinking about and acknowledging all the things you have to be thankful for.  What in your life truly matters?  Take time each day to be thankful.  It shouldn’t be too hard to identify A LOT of things you have to be thankful for.  Ingratitude is a cancer and a real shame.  You don’t realize what you have until it is gone.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Don’t live with the regret that you didn’t appreciate what you had.

2.  Take this time of relative of wealth to get prepared.  Store up extra food, water, and supplies when they are abundant.  Today the grocery store shelves are full.  They may not be tomorrow.  Everyone is familiar with Aesop’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper.”  In summary, the grasshopper spends the warm summer months singing.  He sees the ant working hard to haul an ear of corn home.  He asks the ant what he is doing.  The ant replies that he is storing food for winter and suggests the grasshopper do the same.  The grasshopper scoffs at the idea.  He says “Why bother about winter, we have plenty of food at present.”  Winter comes and the grasshopper is starving to death.  He sees that the ants are surviving comfortably on their stored food.  He realizes it is best to prepare now for times of need.  This fable has never been more applicable.  People have an odd disconnect with this fable.  Everyone understands and agrees with the moral but very few people actually apply it.  Most people are the grasshopper and look at the ant as odd or weird.  They can’t accept that winter will eventually come.

Let us all be more grateful for what we have.  Let’s strive for better perspective and focus on the things that really matter.  Let’s take advantage of the warm summer months that we currently enjoy and get better prepared.

Happy Thanksgiving!

EDC

Posted: November 27, 2014 in Gear, Philosophy
Tags: ,
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Example of my EDC gear from earlier this week. S&W .38 Special Streamlight Protac Tactical Flashlight 2AA Spyderco Delica Swiss Army Cadet

EDC – Every Day Carry

I would like to introduce the concept of EDC or every day carry.  I would also like to list a few things that you should consider for your EDC.  What is EDC?  These are things that are so important that you should have them physically on your person at all times.  Having these few things with you at all times makes you better prepared and able to adapt to any situation.  I think there are a few basic things that everyone should have.  Once you have the basics you can adjust what you carry to fit your specific needs.  EDC is a microcosm of prepping.

1.  Cell phone – these guys are so powerful knowadays that there really isn’t anything more important to have on you.  Make sure it is charged and ready for action.  Make sure you are familiar with how it works.  Do you have the apps that you need?  Make sure to have important numbers programmed in.  The biggest thing here is make sure that it is charged and that you haven’t drained the battery playing games or trolling Facebook.  A dead phone is  a paper weight.  Having a means to charge it is another great addition.  In an emergency voice calls may not work.  Texting uses much less bandwidth and is more likely to get through.

2. Knife – I have said this before but everyone, yes everyone should carry a knife.  The uses are endless.  Get a small one if you aren’t sure about this one.  The Sog Flash I is a great choice for a small, light weight, first knife.

3. Flashlight – Don’t think this is that important?  Ever groped around in the dark during a power outage?  What happens if you have to evacuate a building through a dark stairwell during an emergency?  Light is essential, you should never be without some means of making light.  Cell phones can work okay for this in a pinch.  I wouldn’t rely on it as my sole source of light.  Plus I want the juice in my cell phone for making phone calls not making light.  Again you can get something very small and compact.  I love this tiny little light – Foursevens Preon.  It is my EDC light most of the time.

4. Concealed carry weapon – this one may be new and “out there” for a lot of you.  I have been carrying concealed for a few years now.  It was very weird for me at first.  Now it is very weird for me not to have a handgun on me.  This goes back to being able to protect yourself and your family.  Hopefully you are never in a situation where you need a gun, but the one time you are you will be glad you have it.  I’ll dedicate an entire post to this at a later date.  Just start thinking about it.  My personal bias at this point is that good responsible people have an obligation to carry.  (Great Nutnfancy video on this topic as well).  It goes back to the sheepdog concept.  There are a lot of other “less-than-lethal” options here if a handgun doesn’t work (local laws, etc).  Pepper spray, taser, baton, etc.

5. Wallet with ID, cash, credit cards.  Make sure you always have cash.  Cash is king in emergencies and during power outages.  I am not a cash guy.  I buy everything with credit cards.  I would recommend having at least enough cash to fill up your car with gas.

6. Keys – A key ring can be good for throwing a small flashlight, knife, or multi-tool on.

7.  Misc – I am a chapstick guy so I always have one on me.  It is also handy to have a couple of band-aids on you.  If you have a medical condition that requires emergency meds you should include these as well.

Your EDC is a great place to start trying to be more prepared in general.  Start with carrying a small knife and flashlight.  You’ll wonder how you ever got along without them.

What do you carry?  What other things do you think are essential?

The Sheepdog Concept

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Philosophy
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I would like to introduce something to you called “The Sheepdog Concept.”  This idea belongs to Lt Col Dave Grossman who relates that he was introduced to it by an old Vietnam veteran, retired colonel.  It goes something like this.

“Most of the people in our society are sheep.  They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.”  Lets just say 95% of the population are sheep.  You may even hear them referred to as sheeple.  Most sheeple are decent, hard-working folk that just want to go about their business.  They can be a bit oblivious at times but are basically harmless.

The problem is that there are wolves out there.  Wolves like mutton and lamb chops.  “The wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.”  These are evil people who take advantage and have no remorse about hurting other people.  You better believe that they exist.  They are a very small population, let’s say 1-2%.

Lastly, there are sheep dogs.  Lets say the remaining 3-4% of the population.  The retired colonel relayed “I am a sheepdog.  I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”  Sheepdogs love the sheep.  They cannot stand to see the sheep hurt.  They will put themselves in harms way to protect the sheep.  They are peaceful people who have the capacity for violence when needed.  God bless our police and soldier sheepdogs who put themselves in harms way to protect us.  There is also something called a civilian sheepdog who is similar to the professional sheepdog.  They too will help the sheep.

A sheepdog does not seek confrontation or violence.  Neither will it run from it.  A sheepdog will fight to protect the sheep.  There is a recent story of the shooting in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.  A terrorist walked in and murdered the soldier at the door.  He then went on a rampage within the crowded building.  Kevin Vickers, a 58 year old, sergeant at arms heard the shots, grabbed his pistol and ran toward the violence.  He confronted the terrorist and at point blank range shot and killed the terrorist.  He undoubtedly saved many lives.  In his words “I engaged the suspect and the suspect is deceased.”  He is a true hero and the definition of a sheepdog.

The odd paradox here is that the sheep really don’t like the sheepdogs.  They look a lot like wolves.  They have the capacity for violence.  The sheep are scared of the sheepdogs and don’t really understand them.

The point of this is that we all have a decision to make.  Are you a sheep, wolf or sheepdog?  It is okay to be a sheep.  Being a sheep has some drawbacks.  When the wolf comes you are at its mercy or you must rely on the sheepdog to save you.  I advocate the way of the sheepdog.  I prefer to control my own destiny and that of my family.  I believe we all have a responsibilty to protect the greater good.  Don’t rely on the government or anyway else for your wellfare.

There is a great video by Nutnfancy linked below.  I encourage you to watch it.  It is 37 minutes long and much more thorough than this post.

Nutnfancy “The Sheepdog Concept”