Archive for April, 2009

In A Texas Town

April 30, 2009

This is the story of race, law, constitutional rights and incompetence.  Have any of you heard of Regina Kelly?  The crimes against Ms. Kelly took place in Hearne, TX, but they could have occurred in any city in any state against any of us.  If what you have seen out of your own government over the poast 10, or 20 years isn’t enough to convince you that it could happen to you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

In 2000 Ms. Kelly was a young mother of four, who was swept up in an illegal police raid.  She was told to either plead guilty and get ten years probation or face possibly being found guilty and face 99 years in prison.

But as can be heard in any of our Halls of Justice across this fine land every single day, “But I didn’t do it.”  And the defense counsel can be heard everyday saying, “It doesn’t matter.  You choice is to plead guilty to a lesser charge or risk trial and get who knows how much time.”

Like most city, county and state governments in Hearne, TX there was a drug enforcement task force.   Although drugs were available in all the neighborhoods of Hearne, TX the authorities made a conscious decision to only concentrate their efforts on the housing projects and poor, black people.

The ACLU complaint alleged that the the City of Hearne and Limestone and Robertson Counties engaged in racially motivated and targeted drug sweeps.   “Each sweep results in the detention of virtually every member of an entire, neighborhood, as well as the warrantless searches of many residents’ property and person.”  Also, “the African American community is held in a state of lockdown, with officers of the Task Force, City and Counties as well as officers employed by neighboring counties and cities, searching and detaining innocent residents, often in handcuffs, for lengthy periods of time without warrant or cause.”

So because it’s such a compelling story a movie was made about the events, American Violet.

Who among us can’t relate to the fear of getting railroaded by The Man?

The other interesting thing is that when the movie studio was trying to promote the movie and placed posters in stores around Hearne what do you suppose happened…

The premiere was well attended, though getting the word out was not easy. Father Robert Herald, who hosted the event, said someone dressed in a SWAT uniform advised local merchants to take down the movie’s advertisements.  “They were told it might go better if their poster was removed,” Herald said.

I am SHOCKED, shocked that The Authorities would use our tax dollars and send around guys in uniform to suppress free speech. NOT!!

Is the scourge of drugs so bad as to warrant the destruction of civil rights?  Are you willing to trade your civil rights in return for the false promise of the elimination of illegal drugs?

The War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism are nothing but great schemes put in place by the PTB to desensitize Americans to government abuse.  Now we are accepting of road blocks, having to take our shoes off to fly and warrantless wiretaps.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!

p1010105This shot is taken from the top of one of the little humps that I sometimes walk.  It may be tough to see, but that mountain in the distance is Mount Wachusett.  You can ski there in teh winter if you don’t mind ponying up 50 bucks.  It’s a ways away.

Went to a friend’s friend’s farm to get a load of manure.  I love manure.

p1010110Some horses that they own.  Are you friends with any farmers so you can get manure from them?  If not make friends.

Don’t get the flu.

p1010112

Advertisements

Backpacking

April 27, 2009

Went backpacking this past weekend.  We headed to Mount Greylock State Park.  At just about 3,500 feet Mt. Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts and it’s part of the Appalachian Trail.  So we donned our 45 pound packs and hit the woods.  Unlike car camping when you can bring anything and everything that you may ever want to use, backpacking is way different because when you backpack you carry everything with you – food, tent, stove, sleeping bags, water.

The weather was especially nice for this time of year, but because it was well into the 80’s we had to drink copious amounts of water.  It was impossible to drink enough water.  The trees didn’t have any leaves on them yet so there was hardly any shade even in the woods.  We ended up hiking 12 miles the first day and just two miles the second day.  A twelve mile hike with 4,000 foot change in elevation is pretty tough.

Backpacking is a great way to figure out whether or not you are able to bug out big time if the need arose.  When you backpack you think about the weight of every single thing you carry. This is the trailhead where we headed up from.

p10100031That peak in the distance is the destination.

I see a lot of stuff on the Internet about folks thinking they’re going to bug out with their molle bdus and what nots.  I see some folks write about carrying a full battle load of ammo, something like 12 or 15 30 round mags.  Hahahahahahaha!!!!! You gonna carry your eight pound AR15 too?  Hahahahahaha!!!!!  HAVE YOU EVER TRIED IT!?!?!?!  Ammo is freaking heavy.  Guns are heavy.  Magazines are heavy.  I had a S&W model 60 and 20 rounds of 357 and that was heavy.  When you are lugging stuff on your back every ounce makes a difference.

You may be carrying 15 full 30 round mags, but then you won’t be carrying enough food, water or gear.  It’s gonna be one or the other.  You will have to make decisions about what can fit and what you can carry and what will need to be left behind.  Me?  I’d rather have a change of clothes, some raingear, a tent/tarp, stove, food, maybe even a saw or camp axe then my binky gun.  I think I’d use my camping gear a lot more then my binky gun.

This is the lean to we stayed at.

p1010006We set the tent up on 1/2 of the lean to.  My other buddy slept outside in his bivy sack under the stars.  It was a great spot.  The elevation of the lean to was about 2,200 feet.  The view from the lean to.

p1010007There was a roaring stream, Pecks Brook, about 50 feet from the lean to, so we had the pleasure of listening to rushing water the whole time we were there.  In the lower left hand corner of the picture is snow, more to follow about that later.

Although we could have probably drank the water right out of the streams because there was plenty of melting snow and ice, we filtered it just to be safe.

p10100091It was an MSR Sweetwater filter.  I haven’t used this brand/model before, but it was easy to set up, easy to pump and easy to store.  The water also tasted great.

This was a very difficult hike.  Mt. Greylock is a steep mountain.  Not only is it steep, but the top 1/3 of it was still covered in snow and ice and due to the big ice storm from the beginning of the winter the trails were covered in brush and the tops of trees that snapped off under the weight of ice.

Right near the summit was a cool stone.

p10100132So because there was still so much snow and ice on the trails it was real slippery.  I was with two friends and each of us fell at least once.  I bashed my arm pretty well.  One buddy fell and slid maybe five or eight feet and bashed his side pretty good.  I’m still applying triple antibiotic to my rock rash.

p10100161At the top is a war memorial to veterans.  This picture is a view from the top of the stone memorial.  That road you see there is for people to drive to the top.   The DCR ranger that we spoke with said they were getting money from FEMA to clean up after the huge ice storm.

There was also a little pond near the top with hundreds of frogs in it, doing their reproductive thing.  The music they made was beautiful.

p10100171Do you see all of the froggies floating?  The ripples at the top of the picture is from two frogs dancing.  After we got to the summit we decided to hike the ridgeline, so we went across the ridge over three other smaller peaks and then down into the canyon and back to our campsite.

A view on the way down looking at the top.

p1010019To the right of the radio tower you can make out the veterans memorial.

p10100202I like these little paths that folks make.  You can see a little snow still in the woods.

I’m telling you the hiking was extremely treacherous.  The mountain is steep anyways which makes it tough, but near the top that old snow and ice made it almost impossible to get any traction.  It would have been very easy to break an arm or leg or crack your skull.  Then like I wrote above, because of the ice storm the trails were covered in brush and debris.   To go 10 feet forwards on the trail we would have to go off trail bushwhack and then try to hook up with the trail up ahead.  It would have been very easy to get lost.  It took much longer than we expected and we had to walk further and harder than we expected due to all the trails being obstructed every five feet.

What happens is you are walking on the trail and it’s blocked off with the tops of some trees that snapped under the load of ice so you try to parallel the trail.  The problem is you think you go back on trail, but you are actually following a dry stream bed or animal trail, before you know it you are far off the trail and good luck to ya.

p1010029This is one of the waterfalls right by our campsite.  We got to listen to this the whole time and we didn’t have to go too far to get fresh, cold water!!  Added bonus one of my buddies brought a few oil cans of Heineken.  He tossed the beer in the stream earlier and when we got back it was like 45 degree.  That was one of the best beers that I’ve ever had.

And a pretty stream near the bottom.

p1010032So what lessons can be applied to survival situations:

  • Carry water, carry lots of water, carry different ways to purify/filter water, carry containers that can be filled with water.
  • Bring a compass and map and GPS.  Stop frequently to mark your route so you always know where you are.  It is very easy to get lost in the woods even on trails.  The trail you think you are following may not be a trail at all.
  • Use walking sticks hiking or ski poles.  Using these things helps you keep your footing and takes a lot of stress off of your knees.
  • If carrying long arms and gobs of ammo is part of your plan when you GOOD then you better try it out first.  Go ahead, load yourself up and start walking.  When you carry your load upon your hips and shoulders every ounce makes a difference.  Leave the 200 rounds of ammo behind and only bring what you need.  I’d rather carry a filter, cookware and a mess kit,  a fixed blade, a camp axe or saw, a stove, a sleeping bag, tent and first aid kit than a bunch of bullets.  Ammo weighs a lot!!
  • Have a few different ways to start fire.
  • Carry more food and water than you think you need.
  • The terrain and obstacles can change drastically.  It was 85 degrees and perfectly sunny outside and we were battling snow and ice underfoot.  Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • If you go with others, it’s a bad idea to let any one person carry all of any single thing i.e. every one in the group should carry some water, some food, some way to start a fire and so on.  Things get lost and people get separated from each other.    If someone carrying all the food was to fall into a stream their pack would be dumped like a lead weight so they could swim to shore.  Say bye bye to your food in that case.  Split everything up.
  • Just because it’s a warm day doesn’t mean that you won’t hit snow and ice at higher elevations.  Prepare for it.
  • You could look at a map of the terrain, but still not know what to expect.  You could have walked your path of escape 100 times and still be surprised by damage that last year’s ice storm cause.  Point being it took us three times as long as we expected it do because of all the branches and trees obstructing the trail.  Nature isn’t static.  It’s forever changing.  You have to expect everything to take longer than it should.  If you expect it to take you 1/2 a day to hike home or to your bug out location, plan on it taking a whole day or two and pack enough food/water/clothes to be out on the road for a day or two, not the 1/2 day expected under perfect circumstances.
  • Forgot about this one – if you have bad knees or elbows you should wear a brace of some sort.  I like an elastic one on my right knee.  It helps a lot.  You may also want to think about leaving a brace, if you use one, in your BOB, backpack or GOOD kit.

So more than eight good hours on the dusty and we’re back at camp eating, telling stories and watching the fire.  Happy trails to you – may you not have stones in your shoes, know thirst or the buzzing of flies.

p1010023

Big News and torture

April 24, 2009

First, the Big News, remember when Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch at the behest of the US government?  “Mr Lewis Bank of America’s chairman and chief executive, also knowingly hid the state of Merrill Lynch’s “staggering” losses from shareholders at the behest of former Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.” Mr. lewis didn’t want to takeover Merrill because of Merrill’s “staggering losses” but he was forced to after being “threatened” by Fed Chairman Bernanke.

“…Paulson and other policymakers may have resorted to breaking securities laws in order to protect a fragile financial system, according to Peter Sorrentino, “Everyone involved knew that was a clear violation, that’s material non-public information, so basically we just closed the rule book during the crisis and said we don’t care, we need to keep the lights on, and we’ll deal with that manana,” Sorrentino said. “Logic went out the window and they were just acting out of fear,” he said. It was “completely panic mode.”

THE WOLVES ARE IN CHARGE OF THE HEN HOUSE.  THEY DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT US.  ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE PERPETUATION OF THE  SYSTEM. PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO AT ALL COSTS.

Next:

Do you support Iran waterboarding the American reporter/agent being held by Iran?  Why not, Iran accuses her of being a spy.  If the US can waterboard suspects Iran should also be able to. Iran should drug her, put creepy, crawly bugs on her, keep her awake for a week straight, put lightsticks up her butt, electrodes on her nipples, dry fire a pistol at her head, slam her up against a wall, water board her 180 times in a month, let vicous attack dogs bark within inces of her face, strip her naked and let her freeze than pile her up with other naked detainees and not feed her for a week. I support Iran doing this to the captive reporter, poor Ms. Roxana Saberi.

If you support the US using torture, or if it helps you to justify and rationalize your own barbarism or bloodlust, “extraordinary interrogation methods”, and you don’t support them doing it to us, then in my opinion you are a hypocrite or lack reasoning skills.  I’m always open to argument so convince me why it’s ok for US, but not for them.

Which gets me to the issue once again of torture.  The US should not torture suspects.  It puts US citizens at risk of also being tortured by others.   US CITIZEN Jose Padilla was tortured and drugged.  I also believe that we need to get to the bottom of who authorized it, hold those folks accountable and put an end to the practice so others are not put at risk.

Torture – coming soon to a FEMA camp near you. Then I will be laughing at you as you meekly cry, “…but…but…but…..I meant you can only torture them and not US.”  Hahaha!!  Give them the power and they will use it.

GM is shutting down over the summer. Was this part of the plan that GM management had to present to the government in order to get taxpayer funds?  If not, just think how poorly GM must be run if they weren’t able to predict less than six months beforehand that they would have to close plants down for the entire summer.  Wild.  They should declare bankruptcy.  You couldn’t run a convenient store like that and stay open.

Just think how this summer may look with tens of thousands more facing temporary layoffs and putting more economic demands on the already bankrupt states.  Will the last one out of Michigan please turn off the lights?

Finally, the government is going to force some consumer friendly credit card regulations to reign in the worst abuses by credit card bastards.  Charging someone an interest rate of 25 or 30% is usurious and should still be illegal.  From Marketwatch: The House bill would take actions such as:

Marquette National Bank v. First Omaha did away with the ability of states to regulate out of state credit card companies.   That was the beginning of the end for the American consumer.  I don’t think that the proposed bill goes far enough.  I want blood from the bloodsuckers.

One last thing, The number of first-time jobless claims rose by to 640,000 last week and continuing claims are again at the highest level on record, the U.S. Labor Department said in its weekly report on Thursday” and continuing claims also set another new record at over 6,000,000, more than double last year’s rate at this time.  That’d be a 100% increase.

So don’t get too down on yourself if you get laid off as you got lots of company.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

I was out walking and I saw some deer out feeding in last year’s corn field.  I wanted to walk closer to them to see if I could get a better picture.  I had the dog with me and he isn’t as patient as I am.  I was able to walk maybe within 100 feet of them.

p1010078Can you see her?  You may have to click on the pic to expand it.  So I’m trying to walk slowly, take a few steps and stop, take a few more steps and stop.  There’s no cover for me so I’m not too hidden, just moving slowly and trying to appear uninterested in them.  How would that be for a shot!!?!  Oooo, I love venison.  I know she’s probably too small.

p1010079You see these two puppies staring back at me  and the dog very interested in us?  So my dog can’t contain himself anymore and there you go….

p1010080…the little whitetails running for cover.

234 years ago

April 21, 2009

April 19, 1775.  The Boston Massacre (where an escaped slave, Crispus Attucks, was shot and killed) and the Boston Tea Party both had already taken place.  British troops were marching from Boston to Concord, Mass in order to seize hidden stores of militia supplies. Once the colonists found out about the column of British regulars headed to Concord the alarm was sounded.  Bells from town to town rang out, warning guns were fired, bonfires were lit and war drums were beat.  Due to previous conflicts with Indians the colonists had a very effective early warning system developed.  Militia from all over Massachusetts mustered and started on their marches to Concord.  Early on the morning of April 19,  1775 as the British regulars came into the town of Lexington they were met by Lexington militia men.  Although commanders on both sides  ordered their troops not to fire, most likely a drunk in the tavern fired the first shot, and then all Hell broke loose.  The colonists vastly outnumbered were routed and the British started on to Concord.  In Concord there was resistance and a  small  skirmish took place at the North Bridge.  By now additional militia continued to arrive and the Redcoats beat a hasty retreat back to BostonDuring the entire 15 mile retreat back to Boston the Redcoats were picked apart by the colonists’ militia.  By the next morning militia from all over New England had arrived and now numbering 15,000+ laid siege to the city of Boston.

The Revolutionary War had begun.

Because I live in the cradle of liberty I like to celebrate the birth of our republic and the fallen.  Besides, I like the sound of fife and drum and the smell of gunpowder in the morning.  In 1775 the Lincoln Militia was the first to arrive in Concord and faced down the best trained and best supplied army at that time, the British war machine.

p1010003The day started at 06:30 at an old cemetery in Lincoln.  If you notice you can see militia men standing in front of gravestones.  It was a nice foggy morning.

p1010004As a name was called the former farmer and present soldier moved away from his grave and joined his comrades in formation.  Fife and drum played on.  It brought tears to my eyes.  This was the 42nd year marching for the  gentleman in the foreground with the reddish coat (and carrying his musket in an unsafe manner).

The captain called the troops to order and we began our march onto Concord.  Many towns around here have contingents of Minutemen that do different events throughout the year.

So on April 19, 1775 as the alarm was spread Minutemen from throughout New England started their march towards Concord.  You can pretty much march with any group.  This year we marched with the Lincoln contingent.  Some groups start their march at 03:30 in order to arrive in Concord on time.

p1010010The roster was read and thanks were given.

p1010009And off for our six mile walk to Concord for the big parade.  Along the way fife and drum were played and musket was firedIt is really quite moving to be walking the same roads that the Minutemen did so long ago, with folks wearing the period correct clothes, playing fife and drum and shooting musket.

It helps to remind me of the sacrifice that sometimes need be made in order to keep a peoples free from tyranny and oppression.  And give thanks to those who helped to secure ours so long ago. They died so that our children may be free.

p1010011Flags were laid upon memorials and graves.  This is where one group of Lincoln Minutemen met another group.  People came out of their houses to watch us march on the same road that our forefathers marched on 234 years ago.

p1010012And another musket salute for the fallen.

p10100131More fife and musket in the dawn.

Here was a fun and celebratory family that really gets into the spirit of the holiday with their own cannon fire.  BABOOM!!

p1010016It may be tough to see, but this joyous family had four different cannon set up from itty bitty to pretty big.  Boom echoed throughout the neighborhood.  A couple little fires started in the woods so the garden hose was dispatched.

p1010017Crossing a swamp on the way to Concord.

p1010018Arriving in Concord about two hours later.

p10100201A salute from the cavalry who fell in behind us.  Great old fashioned parade with corkguns, American flags and cotton candy for the kids.  There is no place I would rather be on Patriots’ Day then commemorating the dead and their deeds on the same lands where their feet tread.

So please honor these Minutemen.  These brave souls who left hearth and home to venture into the unknown and whose fortitude pointed the colonies down the road to self rule.  Just think when those church bells rang out on that April evening and the Minutemen came running from their homes they had no idea what to expect.  They probably worried that their farms may be burned to the ground by the British.  Although none expected a shooting war, they never knew when they may see their wife or children again….if ever.   And their families left at home did nor know when their husbands, fathers and brothers would return home….if ever.  And some never did.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cop shot

April 18, 2009

I always like to say that the only thing worse than cops is knowing that we need them.

Now anyone that’s been reading my blog for a while knows that I’m not a big fan of the police.  They watch what I do.  They inspect me.  They stick their big blue noses in my business.  They wait for me to screw up so they can hassle me.  They’re dying for a reason to interact with me and prevent me from going about my business.  They’re hunters hunting innocent (as well as guilty) citizens.

That being said, a cop was shot a few days ago in Massachusetts.  They got the three alleged scumbags that did it.  I wish that the police shot them all right then and there.  When someone shoots a cop it shows such a disregard for the rules of our civil society that they need to be put down like a rabid raccoon.  If they got the right guys than he is done, execute him or store him in a shabby cell where can can spend a miserable lonely life until he dies, hopefully hungry and cold.

Unfortunately, as the economy continues to deteriorate I expect there to be more violence against the police.

So I thought it would be a good time to post a Powerpoint presentation that the Oakland PD and Coroner’s Office put together after that criminal in Oakland murdered those four cops.  Please note I don’t endorse the Orange County Sheriff Coroner’s Office and they don’t endorse this blog.  Maybe you can learn something.  The last of the slides definitely has some good advice.

slide1

slide2

slide3

slide4

slide5

slide7

slide8

slide9

And LEOs although I’m not a big fan of the needless interactions with citizens, I respect the job you do and please stay safe out there.

Get outside everyday!

I was out doing my walk and saw three turkey vultures sitting in a couple of trees.  I knew they were turkey vultures by their red heads.  These things are really large birds with maybe a 5-6 foot wingspan.

p1010068And here’s a good shot of the three of them.

p1010071Some people think that they are ugly because they look like vultures.  I think they look just the way they should..perfect.  They eat carrion which I love.


S&W model 317

April 14, 2009

This will be my review of the S&W model 317.  I like the 317 it’s a basic eight shot revolver.  It’s made out of some new alloy so it weighs less than a pound.  Some of you may know it as a J frame model meaning that it is a small revolver.  It is very concealable – small and light.  I’ve seen some people call it a “kit gun.”

p1010051What I like about it is that it is small, holds eight shots and is .22 caliber.  I have nothing against semi-autos, but semis are kind of fussy.  You need your magazine otherwise your semi is can only be used as a club or a stone.  Semis are also a bit choosy about what kind of ammo they like.   On the downside, and it’s a biggie, it’s just a little .22 so you won’t be doing any big game hunting with the 317, but that’s not why you carry it with you.  And forget about finding any speedloaders for it.  Another downside is that it is tough to find holsters for a 3″ barrel J frame. This is a Bianchi.  I like IWB for everyday concealed carry, but this Bianchi is comfortable for being out and about.

p1010056If big brother ever comes a knocking they’ll be trying to outlaw the big, bad, scary semis and most likely lever actions, pump and revolvers will be left still legal.  If you own another J frame revolver you can use the little 317 for target practice and still become more proficient with your center fire.

Being a .22 I can carry a lot more ammo.   Ammo is still cheap for it too.  You can get 50 rounds for $2.50 and get 500 round bricks for 25 or 30 bucks.  An old pill bottle filled holds a pretty fair amount and assortment of ammo.

p1010057If you go backpacking this little pistol packs away unnoticed and you can carry a ton of ammo that’ll  meet most of your needs.  This is what the empty bottle holds.

p1010058You can see there are some mini-mags, short subsonics, short hypersonics, lr subsonics, hollowpoints and even some shotshells.

The 317 shoots fine.  It has an adjustable rear sight and a fiber optic type of front sight.   It’s not the most accurate, but within 25 yards it’s plenty accurate for my eyes.  I can’t imagine trying to hit anything beyond 25 yards with the 317.  I can shoot hundreds of rounds through it before my hand even starts to think about being tired.  It’s great for shooting at jugs and such.    If need be you could harvest plenty of game with it.

If I could only take one firearm with me and I had to get out of dodge you know this may be it.  Hide it anywhere.  It weighs nothing.  Extra 22 ammo can be bought ANYWHERE.  You can carry thousands of rounds.  The round is fine for squirrels and birds and even some larger game.

There’s a great review of the S&W model 317 by Jeff Quinn here.

Get outside everyday!! This is the flower of skunk cabbage.  If you live in the northern US near water I bet there is some growing near you.

p1010048I like the way the flower looks.  To me it looks like a bird eating something.  A pretty plant, especially in the spring when there aren’t even any leaves open on the trees yet.

Skunk cabbage is a weird plant.  The young leaves are edible, but first you need to thoroughly dry them as in dehydrate very well in the sun or a dehydrator.    If you fail to dry or dehydrate thoroughly, as Wild Man Bill says, ‘it will feel like 1,000,000 tiny pins prickling your tongue.  OUCH!!  Boiling doesn’t destroy the stinging substance, only thorough drying of the young leaves.

p1010047The upside is that because skunk cabbage contains so many active substances in it that it has many medicinal properties.  The ground root was used for toothaches and the ground leaves for itching and rheumatism.  A root tincture was used as an expectorant too.  At high doses though it is poisonous so you gotta get your own books and do your own research.

Oath Keepers

April 9, 2009

There has been a lot of brouhahah about the  Oath Keepers.  For those of you not familiar with the Oath Keepers it is a group of:

“Military, Veterans, and peace officers who will honor their oaths to defend the Constitution, will NOT “just follow orders,” will stand for liberty, and will save the Republic, so help us God. Our motto is: “Not on Our Watch!”

So these brave folks have vowed to defend the Constitution even if it means disobeying orders from their superiors.

I don’t believe it.  Not that I don’t believe their good intentions, but no one knows how they will act when faced with the unknown.  Many a brave man turned tail and ran at the first shot fired.

Shall we look at some evidence and why I feel that the vow of the Oath Keepers can’t be relied upon?

So no, while I appreciate the Oath Keepers warm thoughts and well wishes I don’t believe that when push comes to shove they will disobey direct orders to do whatever is asked of them.  Talk is cheap.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful and I’m sure that the  Oath keepers are well intentioned, but based on the evidence – shooting unarmed people, shooting people in he back, wide spread beatings of citizens, seizure of legally owned firearms when people most need them taking pot away from dying people and on and on and on there is only one conclusion that any sane person can come to; that the authorities can’t be trusted.

And some news of the day – “The US government has admitted the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to cyber attack, following reports it has been infiltrated by foreign spies.” Are you prepping to live in the pre-industrial age?

And the Fed released the minutes from its last meeting, the economy is much worse than they let on and as you hopefully know the Fed downgraded its forecasts – “Sixty-three experts butted heads openly and were unable to decide whether the economy has just simply slowed more than expected, or is in the toilet — where it will remain for years to come.”

Don’t depend on anyone else to do what’s right.

Get outside everyday!!

An old stone dam built in the woods.

p1010063It’s difficult to get a sense of scale but I’d say it’s maybe 10-12 feet from the water to the top.

p1010065A nice piece of quartz sitting in the woods.

FASB 157

April 7, 2009

You may be wondering what this FASB thing is.  It’s a rule that accountants have to abide by.  Which because of a change by the folks who administer all of the rules means more dirt is swept under the rug.

You’ve probably heard the term, “mark to market.”  What it basically means is that the assets on the books of the banks have to be based upon what they are actually worth.   If you’ve bought or sold a house then you know the realtors look at comparable sales to figure out how much your house should be priced at.  Because the rule was changed banks don’t have to mark the assets on their balance sheets to what they are worth, but to some sort of mythological value what the asset may be worth in a perfect marketplace.

As an accountant and as an investor I don’t like it.  The banks are in the same shape now as before the rule change, yet the bank stocks go up.  It’s paper, not some positive increase based upon efficiency or operations.

Make no mistake, cash makes Washington, DC turn.

The FASB approval comes after an effective lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill by the American Bankers Association and other interest groups. Roughly 800 bankers gathered in Washington earlier this week, in part, to meet and press lawmakers to send a message to FASB that the accounting rules needed to change.

Jeesh man, first the congress people give the banks TARP then the bankers give money back to the congress people as campaign donations.   Then the banks are being weighed down by toxic debt and the bankers and their proxies basically go protest on the Hill and lo n’ behold the FASB rules get changed so the banks can mark the left side of their balance sheets to unrealistic values.This is getting truly bizarre.

Anyways, what’s left to do but,

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

p1010060Nice day, huh?  A week of rain is in the forecast now.  I planted Sunday to be sure to get the benefit of the rain.  I had black plastic down for a couple of weeks to warm the soil.  I planted radishes, mesclun mix, spinach, arugula and peas.  I’m a little later then I wanted.  The way I grow lettuce is to heavily plant a 3*3 square.  I can reach into it from all sides.  Then I cut the lettuce with a pair of scissors when its 3-4 inches tall.  I basically give it a haircut and eat the baby lettuce.  It’ll regrow.  A couple of weeks later I’ll plant another box.    My lettuce will bolt later in the season.  I’ll also work a little all purpose organic fertilizer into the top couple of inches of soil.  Happy growing.

Civil disobedience

April 4, 2009

I have been involved in a number of protests over the years.  I love a good march or protest. I’ll try to tell you what I know about how large groups of people react so if you ever g20decide to cowboy up and actually exercise your constitutional right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of your grievances as opposed to sitting on your butt pecking away at your keyboard you may know how to behave.  Then again you may be just walking past a demonstration and get caught up in it by either the demonstrators or the police with a giant fishnet.  That’s right during the 04 Repub convention in NYC the police used snow fence like a fishing net and scooped up everyone on the street.

g20-3Plus, I bet over the coming years we see more and more public displays of disaffection.  So even if you don’t plan on going to a protest you may nevertheless find youself caught up in one.

g20-1First, if you want to be safer you are better off in the center of the crowd.  More action happens on the edges and periphery.  Stay in the center of the crowd and you will be less likely to get grabbed by the cops or hurt by anyone.  You can see that the young gents to the left chose to disregard my advice and they are on the edges of the crowd.  The guy on the ground was obviously rewarded for his efforts with a thump and a lump on his head.

Always have an escape plan.  Be wary of being with a crowd in a narrow street or alley way.  A big crowd of people can act as one big wild animal if they get startled.  You do not want to be in the way of a stampede of people trying to escape teargas or rubber bullets.  Always have an escape plan.  Look for a doorway or even an alcove built into the side of a building that you can duck into.  Whatever you do do not fall down.  If you have to, look for a big planter or base of a statue that you can climb up on.

If you are there to protest don’t allow yourself to get herded into a Free Speech first_amendment_zone1Zones.   This is the free speech zone from Boston 2004.  What you thought the whole country was a free speech zone. Haha.  Like I said you better get off of your butt and cowboy up.  A Free Speech Zone is basically a cage where the authorities want all of the protesters to go.   Whether you are pro or con on whatever the issue is the authorities want to stick you in a cage.  Don’t let it happen.  You will be in a closed in area who are in favor of issues that you are opposed to and no one that you want to influence will be around to see you.

Look for the authorities.  Beware of who they are.  Cops and feds too will dress up in plainclothes and infiltrate the crowd. It’s not hard to spot them if you open your eyes.  They look like cops who are dressed as protesters.  Some of them will even have earbuds.  You know the look, short hair, overly muscled, shirt is untucked but looks very out of place, like it’s the first time the shirt has ever been untucked.   Cops have even been known to instigate a problem.  If you can, identify the plainclothes authorities.

7077744Marching takes a lot of energy and water.  Make sure that you bring your own bottled water to stay hydrated.    I’d also suggest bringing safety glasses,  a bandanna or better yet an n95 or n100 mask.  if the tear gas starts going off you can soak the bandana in water and cover you face.  Safety glasses will help with tear gas, mace or flying objects.  I’d also recommend bringing some easy food with you like granola bars or fruit.

I’ve seen quite a few citizens bloodied in the streets of London.  I’m not generally a fan of attacking the authorities and I do feel badly for the Bobbies, but I think it’s about time the citizens start to strike back.  It’s not right that the Bobbies bloody woman and hit folks in the head for being on the streets protesting.  Maybe a few rocks, sticks on molotov cocktails might put the balance of power back into balance.  That’s the breaks when the authorities hurt citizen, the authorities best expect to get hurt by said citizens.

I don’t know enough about William Ayers to condemn the guy.  I’m not sure how instrumental he was in the wicked deeds of the Weather Underground.  That being said the guy is now an academic.   Ayers was hired by a Boston College student group to speak on the state of democracy in America.  The Boston College administration canceled the event. Think about the irony. I’m not a fan of Ayers and I’m not going to defend what he did during the 60’s.

My point is, what does it say about the state of big D Democracy in the United States when someone who is supposed to speak on Democracy has the even canceled because it offends “The Administration.”  No need for a speech.  I think we were all taught a lesson.  Want me to teach it to you?  THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA that the authorities don’t allow you to have!

BTW what do you call someone who destroys private property and shoots at uniformed officers of the state?

You know, you got that word in your head?  Do you?  What do you call folks who destroy private property and shoot at agents of the government?

Well how about our forefathers that threw cases of tea overboard into Boston Harbor and shot their muskets across the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.

I don’t like Ted Stevens.  I don’t like his politics.  I don’t like his bridge to nowhere.  In my opinion he is a dirty politician.  None of that matters. Our government hid evidence and tried to prevent witnesses from testifying. That’s more than wrong.  It’s tyranny.

Get outside everyday!

p1010043Mmmmmm, gorgeous babling stream with moss covered rocks.  So lush.  So plush.  The sound was equally as pleasing as the sight.

p1010046I love the way the roots of this old birch are like tentacles coming up from the earth to grab the ground.  I like the way the roots have become covered in bark to protect themselves.  What a grand tree.

First aid kit

April 1, 2009

I think that I have a pretty good first aid kit.  I bought a basic one for maybe $15 or $20.  Then  I added more equipment to it over time.  It’s more than just a first aid kit.  I actually put it together to address many different types of emergencies.  My first aid kit is 8″ * 6″ *3″.  It weighs about a pound.

p10100011

p10100041

On one side – First aid guide, large gauze pad, medium butterfly, large butterfly, small, medium and large bandaids, fabric bandage for fingers, extra large and extra, extra large bandaids.

p10100072The other side-

  • Abdominal pad, more gauze, tegederm dressings, a pack of iodine swabsticks (for before you cut someone.) Assortment of sutures – vicryl 3-0, mono 3-0, ethilon 4-0 and monocryl 3-0

p10100082

  • packs of Advil, tube of Neosporin (I like the Neosporin because it’s a triple anti-biotic so more effective than a solo), the other small tube is Lidocaine 4%, some small packs of Bacitracin, in the green plastic rectangle are Orajel toothache swabs, the blue caplets are diphenhydramine HCL (benadryl – drowsy inducing anti-histamine) you can use the blue ones as a sleep aid too, the red tablets are pseudoephedrine HCL (non drowsy anti-histamine) and Tavist-D  which, in my opinion, is a very strong (drowsy inducing) anti-histamine.

p1010009

  • On the left are Nexcare disposable thermometers.  I highly recommend buying some of these if you ever find them, the purple thing is a travel toothbrush, a pair of scissors, a small pair of forceps, superglue, the small purple jar is a dental filling repair, the small blue one is for tooth caps or crowns, a small sliding razor, nail clippers, a sewing kit, dental floss and first aid tape

p10100102In the center pocket-

  • anti-septic wipes, castille soap towelettes, sting wipes (benzocaine), alcohol pads, some qtips in a baggie, a 1/2 dozen or so rubber bands, acetaminophen, neomycin, tongue depressor, moleskin, cotton applicator, burn gel, sppol of thread and needlep1010011
  • cold compress, two tubes of petroleum jelly, sterile scalpel blade, rubber gloves, bic lighter, oral analgesic (20% benzocaine), lousy pair of tweezers, safety pins, dental floss, roll of gauze, disposable razor, alcohol spray, tube of toothpastep1010012

One pill bottle contains Amox-Clav which is a good strong anti-biotic.  You can die of an infection in a day or two so it’s important to have some sort of anti-biotic

The other pill bottle has buffered aspirin (good for stroke and heart attack) as well as pain, fever and swelling, chlor trimetron anti-histamine and Immodium for diarrhea

Getting out pics.  True I was driving when I took these, but still they were too good to pass up.  You may have to click on the pic to expand it.

deer1The deer have a nicer house then me.  Can you count five does there? They must be eating landscaping.

deer2

And the peepers are out. Spring has arrived.230px-h_crucifer_usgsThere is nothing like being in the woods at night and hearing thousands of these guys calling out.  It’s truly a caucophony.