Social Media and Website Information

For anyone that has read my books, Tweets, and assorted Facebook posts and "Likes", you pretty much know where I stand on the topics of government, defense, immigration, politics, rule of law, the Second Amendment, Pillary Clinton, Barry Obummer, and their assorted cronies as well as a litany of additional subjects. That being said, I have deleted both the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. My accounts are still active and I'll be notified of specific activity in certain circumstances, but I will no longer be directly posting within these leftist vehicles. I will still maintain a presence so I can reach my fans and readers until such time as alternative platforms become more viable and available (there are a few that I am looking in to).

All future activity will come directly from my website moving forward. I'll still check my social media pages from time to time via PC, but I refuse to be beholden to these train wrecks of liberal progressivism directly on my phone. Frankly, I was just getting too pissed off at the sheer volume of lunacy at 6:00 am... so I'm voting them off the island so to speak.

On a different, but related topic, I have been updating both the Useful Resources - Books and Useful Resources - Websites pages on my website. There is a lot of new information on both pages that could potentially help you expand your knowledge base. Look for future updates to many of the website's pages. It was never my intention to make this site static and it seems the leftist buffoonery has provided me with an impetus to get off my ass.

Updates to new content will be noted in the blog along with everything else I have to say or comment on.

In Liberty,

Dave Kershner

Libraries

My library has been on my mind a lot lately. Mostly because I finally put up some shelves and unpacked all of my books and resources after moving out during the remodel last year. However, as I was installing and cutting the shelves, I reflected on the origins of my library and why having a library is so important.

When I first started on this journey, I was reading anything I could get my hands on. My neighbor enthusiastically fed me books and recommendations. When my wife gets on me about my, oh, let's call it selective hoarding, I tell her, 'Blame Brian! It's his fault!' I've read dozens upon dozens of authors and I have my favorites, but one of the first that cultivated my thirst for knowledge was James Wesley Rawles (JWR). If you go to the JWR website, SurvivalBlog, and do some digging, you'll find his "List of Lists" spreadsheet that you can download. In that spreadsheet is a tab labeled "Book List".

In preparation for this post, I decided to review it again to see how I'm doing, comparatively speaking.  All in all, I'm doing pretty good, I think. His spreadsheet has non-fiction, fiction, movies, magazines, and recommendations for youth/teen readers. Sticking to his book recommendations, he's got about 175 annotations for recommendations. On my Resources/Useful Resources - Books page, I've listed about 125. But, when he wrote up that spreadsheet, technology wasn't what it is today so I also have smart phone apps noted as well. However, all of these apps are supported, or supplemented, by a physical book.

 A library is a personal and subjective thing. If you review my books list, you'll see that some have absolutely nothing to do with self-sufficiency or, dare I say, preparedness. Some are just for pleasure reading, some are cookbooks I like, and that's the point of my library. Don't get me wrong, the newly installed library shelves are teeming with books, articles, and printed what not that deal exclusively with all manner of knowledge based learning as it relates to homesteading, herbs, water, root cellars, tactics, etc. These books and resources easily comprise 95% of my library. The works that I've included that don't deal with these topics, or many other preparedness leaning subject matters, are there to break the monotony and drudgery should the Schumer begin.

One thing I would like to point out as you begin, or continue, building your own personal library is that of physical versus electronic versions.

If the Schumer does arrive, wouldn't a precious resource like electricity be better served elsewhere as opposed to trying to keep your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone charged so you can access your library?

I can see the logic in wanting to put all of your resources on a flash drive. It small, portable, light weight, and fits in your pocket. However, it also dependent on electricity to power the computer in order to access the files and that is something you might not be able to count on. To me, personally, I cannot recommend highly enough that your library be almost exclusively comprised of physical copies of your resources (or at a minimum there is duplicity between the physical and the electronic). Yes, the physical resources will be heavy and a complete pain in the rump if you have to move all of them, and you'll have to be highly selective if you have to relocate in a hurry, but at least you gave yourself that option by having hard copies of your resources instead of a paperweight you used to call a phone.

Origins of Uncle Sam

Everyday I get an email from "Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Daily Almanac". Within each is a series of interesting historical factoids about something that happened in the United States. On July 6th, I read along as the email noted the origins of the iconic Uncle Sam caricature and the term. I was completely unaware of the history surrounding not only the image but of also the phrase Uncle Sam. So I thought I'd share what they wrote.


Uncle Sam

People all over the world recognize Uncle Sam – the tall, white-haired gentleman dressed in red, white, and blue – as a symbol of the United States. Where did this old fellow with the top hat come from?

No one knows for sure, but tradition says he first showed up during the War of 1812. Businessman Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York, who was known to friends as Uncle Sam, supplied the Army with beef in barrels. The barrels were labeled “U.S.” to show they belonged to the United States government. Somewhere along the way, it is said, folks began to joke that the “U.S.” stood for Uncle Sam, and a national symbol was born.

Uncle Sam’s stars-and-stripes costume originated in political cartoons of the nineteenth century. The best-known image first appeared on July 6, 1916, during World War I, on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly magazine with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The artist, James Montgomery Flagg, based his portrait of Uncle Sam on his own likeness to save the cost of hiring a model. The picture was so popular, the U.S. government eventually turned it into the famous recruiting poster of Uncle Sam declaring, “I Want You.”


I did some Internet sleuthing and finally found the image the email is referencing. It's ironic that the original phrase associated with the image of 'Uncle Sam' isn't "I want YOU", but rather "What are YOU doing for Preparedness". Here is the original Uncle Sam image for you to enjoy!

Origins of Uncle Sam.jpg

Post Modern Currency Exchange

I went to lunch with a friend of mine the other day and we had a pretty wide-ranging discussion. We hadn’t eaten together in a while so this type of conversation is typical. He is a trusted confidant of mine and knows all about, and encourages, my proclivities even though he and his wife may not be fully on-board with ALL of my various interests. But he’s curious and sometimes that’s enough. We’ll be working together on a nice robust garden at his new home come spring… If his wife and I have anything to say about it that is.

First, it started out as a discussion regarding food. We talked about the garden they wanted and then I told him a quick story about how I’d stumbled across 72-hour kits for $12 a piece so I bought the max allowed (4) for the family. I do this from time to time as I encounter online deals or flash sales. Typically, a 72-hour food kit runs north of $20 apiece so I thought it was a good deal and jumped at it. Then I mentioned how my wife wasn’t fully on-board and has expressed dismay on several occasions with my purchases. I shrugged and said, “She’ll thank me one day.” Then the next several minutes was spent trying to figure out just how much food I had and how long it would last my family of four. In the end, I determined that I haven’t reached my personal goal, but I’m getting there.

Eventually, the topic turned toward PM (precious metals) purchases and my thoughts on some form of currency exchange between varying types of PM’s like gold, silver, platinum, copper, and diamonds. Curious, my friend also wanted to understand why I valued one approach over another and why I focused more on one type of commodity over others. Sounds cryptic and vague, but what follows was basically my response.

Collectibles vs Junk vs Bars

First things first, let me define how I’m using each of these terms.

  • Collectibles: As I explained to my friend, to me, the concept of ‘collectibles’ generally refers to coins that are more valuable for their age and rarity than they are for their weight in any particular metal. Examples would be Proof Silver Eagles, Morgan Silver Dollars, Uncirculated Gold Eagles, American Platinum Eagles, etc.
  • Junk: Coinage that was minted before 1965 is generally referred to as a ‘junk’ coin. These coins actually contained silver and the silver content varied from either 90%, 40%, and 35% depending on the year and the coin in question (nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, dollar).
  • Bars: You can go onto any PM website and purchase gold and silver bars from as small as 1g ($50) to 1 oz ($1275) to 1 kilo ($40,000) for gold and 1g ($3) to 1 kilo ($550) to 100 oz ($1700) to 5000g ($2950) for silver. There are a lot of other sizes/weights to choose from, but you get the point.

The important thing to remember is the weight of the bar or coin when it comes to exchanges. For example, a standard U.S. nickel is 5g, the dime is 2.268g, a quarter is 5.670g, a half dollar is 11.340g, and in an odd twist, according to the U.S. Mint, a one-dollar coin is 8.1g which is actually lighter than the half dollar, but it’s smaller in circumference so go figure.

Now let’s discuss these three concepts.

Factors to Consider for All Scenarios & Discussions: Silver on the open market today is about $16.00 per ounce. 1 ounce is the same as 28.3495 grams. These are important numbers. Take note as the prices of silver, gold, etc. change daily.

Collectibles

Based on our conversation, I got the distinct impression that my friend was considering the purchase of, or was already in possession of, an array of collectible coins. Coin collecting is a fun and engrossing hobby, to be sure, but I am skeptical of its post-Schumer usefulness. I’ll explain why in a minute. Now, if you’re keeping a weather eye on the horizon, you might be able to kill two birds with one stone with each purchase. With that being said, let’s look at an example.

1921 Morgan Silver Dollar

Factors: The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most famous U.S. silver coins ever minted. It was produced by the U.S. Mint from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. It is highly popular with coin collectors and precious metals investors. There were 86,730,000 total coins minted and each coin is comprised of .7734 troy ounces of 90 percent fine silver.

The first thing we have to do is deal with this troy ounce business. A standard ounce to grams conversion is 1 oz = 28.3495 grams. Troy ounces are a little meatier in that 1 troy ounce = 31.1035 grams. Almost 3 g more than a standard ounce to gram conversion. As a result, 1 troy ounce is equal to 1.09714 standard ounces. Therefore, .7734 troy ounces equals 0.85 standard ounces (or 24.05 g).

Now that you’re thoroughly confused, let’s see how much it’s worth.

Cost Analysis: The face value of the coin is $1… hence the name ‘silver dollar’. However, the age of the coin coupled with its relative rarity and lack of current circulation means you can purchase a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar from a dealer for about $20.00 per coin online. Not bad. It’s worth $19 more than its face value. Now it’s time for the tricky math…

The Morgan Silver Dollar is 0.85 ounces (or 29.09709g) and is comprised of 90% silver. So that would be 29.09709g  x  0.90% which is equal to 28.187381g of silver. Since silver is trading for $16.00 an ounce, based on weight alone, we already know that the collectible value will be greater than the silver content value, but let’s follow this on through to its conclusion. 28.187381g of silver  /  $16.00 per ounce equals $1.64 (rounded up because there were a lot of numbers after the decimal).

Collectibles Conclusions

In today’s modern world, when there’s been no Schumer hitting the fan, collectibles are a good hedge as they tend to retain their value. However, in a post-Schumer world, in my opinion, you’d be hard pressed to get any more value out of the coin than its weight in silver content. However, if you happened across another collector in a post-Schumer world, after all of the hemming and hawing over collectible value, you’d most likely get more than the $1.64 that its silver content would fetch. I’m a bit of a realist/pessimist so I am not confident that there would be coin collectors just out and about looking for bargains on these types of coins. Therefore, in the end, you’re more likely to get the silver content value of the coin and nothing more.

Junk Coins and Percentages of Silver Contained Therein

As I stated previously, a U.S. quarter, regardless of the year minted or it’s presumed silver content, weighs 5.670g. Well, technically I didn’t have all of that ancillary detail about percentages or mint year, but who’s counting. Regardless, despite the year or the silver content percentage, the weight of the quarter is constant at 5.670g. However, if you consider the percentages of silver contained in each coin, the value associated with each coin changes drastically.

You should be aware that many online retailers will sell bags of 90% silver coins for about $1200 even though the face value of the coins listed is only $100. This is because they are selling it based on the coins overall silver content (e.g. weight).

Just for shits and giggles, let’s review the U.S. quarter as an example.

Now, if you have a junk quarter minted before 1965, it could be worth any of the following values based on its silver content (Note: As far as I can tell, only dimes and nickels were ever minted in less than 90% silver content. Below is just an example IF quarters were minted in varying degrees of silver content):

90% Silver

Math: If the quarter is 90% silver, then the total weight of silver in a 90% quarter is 5.670g  x  0.90% which equals 5.103g of silver. Not bad. Now if you take 5.103g of silver and divide it by $16.00 an ounce, (5.103g  /  $16.00) the silver in a 90% quarter is worth about $0.32. The quarter is worth more in silver content than its face value.

40% Silver

Math: If the quarter is 40% silver, then the total weight of silver in a 40% quarter is 5.670g  x. 0.40% which equals 2.268g. This is the exact weight of U.S. dime. Now take the 2.268g of silver and divide it by $16.00 an ounce (2.268g  /  $16.00), you get a 40% coin worth $0.14. The quarter is worth more in face value than it is in silver content.

35% Silver

Math: If the quarter is 35% silver, then the total weight of silver in a 35% quarter is 5.670g  x. 0.35% which equals 1.9845g. Now take the 1.9845g of silver and divide it by $16.00 an ounce (1.9845g  /  $16.00), you get a 35% coin worth $0.12. The quarter is worth more than double in face value than it is in silver content.

Junk Coin Conclusions

If you have junk coinage, it is my assertion that in a post-Schumer world, no one is going to bother with the percentage values of the coin. They are going to go strictly by the mint year. Therefore, if it is a pre-1965 coin, you’re set. People are inherently lazy and most everyone will work off of the assumption and the math that a U.S minted pre-1965 quarter is the equivalent of 5g of 99.9999% pure silver. Whether or not you choose to hedge your bets on the stupidity of others and purchase/collect only 35% silver coins (most likely nickels since they seem to be the only coins containing 35% silver) is entirely up to you. It is a viable strategy, just not very ethical.

Bars

Many online retailers sell gold and silver bars that are as small as 1g to as large as a kilo, sometimes even larger. You can buy a 1g silver bar for about $3.80, but the price goes down depending on quantity for most online retailers. Conversely, a 1g gold bar is about $50.00, but it too sees a price reduction based on quantity.

Math: Retailers value 1g of silver at $2.80, depending on quantity, but an ounce is selling for $16.00 on the open market. Are you being taken advantage of? Let’s see… 1g  /  $16.00 equals about $0.0625 per gram. If I did the math right, that’s about a 450% markup. Ouch. Unfortunately, this is what you’re going to find anywhere you choose to shop when you are purchasing 1g and 5g bars. Prices re-enter our atmosphere when you buy silver bars by the ounce. These bars are as low as $16.50 an ounce (depending on quantity) which is more in line with the $16.00 per ounce open market value. Gold is just insane, not just because of pricing, but also because of availability in a post-Schumer world.

Bars Conclusions

Unless you are dealing in 1oz bars of silver or greater, you are being taken advantage of from a mark-up perspective. However, that being said, 1g and 5g bars would be more easily traded and divisible.

Overall Conclusions for Collectibles vs Junk vs Bars

Personally, I prefer 1g, 5g, and 1oz bars over collectibles and junk coins for a variety of reasons.

  1. I know they are 99.9999% pure silver and their value cannot be questioned.
  2. They are more affordable than gold.
  3. They will be more easily traded/exchanged and change provided.
  4. Silver (collectibles, junk, and bars) will most likely be more plentiful than gold.
  5. Potential conversion rates for goods and services will be more easily made with silver.

For additional information regarding currency options after a collapse, please navigate to my Resources/Research Downloads page and review the “02/16/2016 – Currency Options After a Collapse” file.

We never did get around to discussing the nuances between what the equivalent values of say 1g of gold is worth compared to ‘X’ ounces of silver. Maybe next lunch.

Inherited Family Silver

After our discussion regarding collectibles vs junk vs bars concluded, the next topic of discussion turned toward silver that had been inherited. When my dad was in the Navy, it was tradition for the Junior Officers (and wives) to present the Senior Officers with some sort of post-cruise gift. Apparently, back in the 1950’s-70’s, that gift was typically something in silver. The oldest stuff is pure silver while the later 1970’s era gifts was merely silver plated. Regardless, I have a bunch of it. I’ve got a week of vacation coming up so I think I’ll get it all loaded up and take it down the street to the local jeweler that trades (buys and sells) in this stuff and see how much I’ve got, it’s content (pure vs plated), and how much its’s all worth. That’ll be interesting.

Garlic Scapes

Identifying a Garlic Scape

Maybe you grow your own garlic, maybe you don't. I do and if you do too, but maybe you're not all that experienced with garlic, you may have noticed these 1/4" to 3/8" thick curly-cue stems/buds protruding from your garlic plants. Fear not... this is normal. This is called the garlic scape. Here's what it looks like:

 Image from GetGarlic.com

Image from GetGarlic.com

Unfortunately, it wasn't until I'd harvested and processed all of the scapes that I had the thought to write about it on the website. Sooo, I pilfered the above image from the Internet. Anyhoo, a scape protrudes from the garlic plant/leaves and generally reaches a length of about 18"-24". You'll know it's the scape when it forms the distinctive curly-cue.

The scape will generally appear and reach full length about a month or two before the garlic bulb is ready to be harvested. You can harvest and eat the flowering bulb, but it doesn't contain as much flavor and aroma as the scape stem itself. I just cut the bulb off, but that's me. In terms of the scape, you can cook with it just like a garlic clove as it contains the same flavor as the cloves... Here's what you do...

Processing a Scape

Cut the scape off just above the last of the garlic leaves, remove the bulb, then cut it up as fine as possible (mince) like chives. You'll notice that the texture is harder than that of the clove. Now, take the minced up pieces and toss them all in to a food processor or mini Cuisinart. Chop the scape up in the food processor until it's pulverized or ultra minced. You do not want to liquify it. Once it's reduce to super tiny pieces, place a quarter teaspoon into each of the blocks of an ice cube tray. Then fill each block/cube with olive oil and freeze. 

IMG_6260.JPG

After just a few hours, the olive oil will cloud over and freeze.

IMG_6262.JPG

Let the olive oil scape cubes freeze for a day or two and then remove the individual cubes and bag them. Make sure to label them accordingly. This will free up the ice cube trays for basil in olive oil or rosemary in olive oil. Trust me, these will prove to be handy little cubes of deliciousness in the middle of winter and you'll be glad you saved these herbs in olive oil. 

Government Reform Plan

I have been following the government reform plan for some time now and I'm actually impressed with some of the ideas coming from Mick Mulvaney in recent weeks. For those of you that maybe don't know, Mr. Mulvaney was hired by President Trump to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB. In that position, he was given the Reagan-esque task of proposing solutions to make the existing federal bureaucracy smaller and more efficient. Which I think are excellent ideas on both fronts.

For over a year, the OMB and Director Mulvaney conducted extensive reviews of all of the disparate federal departments and agencies. Now they are beginning to propose possible solutions to streamline and make government more efficient. If the changes are enacted, it will lead to the betterment of the United States as a whole. So far, I am encouraged.

Currently, the OMB has proposed the merging of the Department of Education and the Department of Labor into a new federal agency called the Department of Education and Workforce. The reasoning behind this proposal was also just a simplistic... both agencies are geared toward getting individuals ready for the workforce. Keeping them separate just creates redundancy and confusion as neither department really knows what the other is doing.

Recently though, Mr. Mulvaney gave an update to the President and his cabinet which was televised on Fox Business. He provided several analogies which shock the system not so much because of their content but rather with their simplicity in explanation.

For example, a salmon swimming in the ocean is handled by the Department of Commerce. Once the salmon enters a fresh water stream to head towards its spawning grounds, it is regulated by the Department of the Interior. If the salmon encounters a ladder used to aid its journey around an obstacle, it falls under the Army Corps of Engineers. That is crazy!

Mr. Mulvaney had other examples of government inefficiencies as well... there's the hotdog, the chicken, egg, or omelet conundrum, and the cheese pizza. He also discussed the movement of certain functions to different agencies for the same simple reason, efficiency. 

Here's the video from YouTube:

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney breaks down the White House government reform plan.

Convention of the States Gaining Momentum

Article V of the Constitution allows the citizenry and states to call for a Convention of States (COS) in the event that any of the three branches of government becomes an issue for We the People. I liked the concept of Article V, and the genius behind it so much, that, as many dystopian authors have, I even used the concept in my book series (until the editors got their hands on the text anyway).

Unfortunately, my appreciation for Article V generally remained in the realm of fantasy and fiction because I've always been leery of a COS because I felt that the scope of the convention would be difficult to control. My biggest fear is that a convention begins with some sort altruistic goal only to end with me being a criminal because they decided to horse trade my 1A, 2A, or 4A rights in exchange for some other concession.

It seems, though, that someone is giving a COS a real go AND they have clearly outlined what the scope of the COS would be.

According to the Convention of States website, the current COS push aims to "...discuss amendments that, “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.

I encourage you to visit the Convention of the States website and review what they have to say. If you like what you see you can sign their petition, find information about contacting your congressional representatives, and download a 'pocket guide' for reference and FAQ responses.

I've downloaded their pocket guide and placed it on my Research Downloads page as well.

Where to Start...

Well, where do I start...

Since I last posted anything, I've:

  • Not made any progress on the Life, Liberty, and Levin 'transcript' I promised
  • Made some progress on the Foreign and Domestic series
  • Weeded, tilled, and planted the family garden plot at grandma's
  • Started some container plants here at our house as a bit of an experiment
  • Thrown my back out
  • Visited the ER with a 'cardiac related event'
  • Officially started being tracked by the government

So let's get started.

Life, Liberty & Levin Transcript

In a nut shell, I've been either too tired or too sore to make any progress on this front. I really want to make progress as the interviewee is discussing a rather relevant topic in EMP's and the US electrical grid.

Foreign & Domestic Series

The characters continue to face an uphill climb as they attempt to overthrow the corrupt government of President Alejandro Calderon. I did an interview some years ago with James Burnette over at the Survival Punk Podcast and he asked if I could write him into the story and kill him horrifically. Well, I took the requested character A LOT further than I anticipated. So much so in fact that the character is one of the antagonists in the final two installments of the series. But, he’s almost dead and Calderon’s days are slowly coming to a most glorious and climactic end.

Family Garden Plot

Winter, or more specifically the winter wind, did a number on all of the perennial herbs. Fortunately though, looks can be deceiving. With a little trim, most of the herbs returned. I chomped at the bit for a few weeks there in early April, but I managed to refrain from jumping the gun and getting my plants killed by frost this year. I suck at asparagus though. I don't think they get enough sun in that bed. I think I have to start over and move them to a bed that gets more direct sunlight. I mean, I'd prefer to trim the trees instead, but the in-laws seem attached to the damn things (the tree limbs) so I can't. Everything is in the ground now and by all accounts seem to be doing well. I did lose 2 of 18 corn stalks to some sort of nibbling pest like a squirrel or chipmunk, but everything else survived intact.

Container Plants

This is an interesting development. I provided the wife with a variety of heirloom seeds for her biology classes this year. She has since been bringing home mature plants to transplant into our garden at home. However, my garden was supplanted by construction last year. As a result, some of the plants have gone to the family plot over at grandma's and the ones we retained are in containers here at the house. The last time I did container gardening it didn't go well. I've learned from my mistakes and I think we should be successful this go-round.

It did make me think about various reasons for container gardening though. Here's my mental list:

  • Can easily be moved when inclement weather approaches - meaning frost, hail, torrential rains
  • Space limitations
  • No weeding
  • Easy transport in emergencies (wink wink)
  • Light weight (relative)
  • Easy rotation when height or width becomes and issue and small plants need to be placed in front of or next to larger ones

Threw my Back Out

Yea, so that was fun. Here's the story... My neighbor had a bunch of pots. Some were plastic, some were 'self watering' (yeah right), and there were a handful of terra cotta one. They weren't using them anymore and he had them all lined up along his garage and they were pretty much an eyesore to me... so I bought them. Plus, I knew that my wife was coming home with all of these plants from her biology classes.

Once I had them on my side of the fence, I spent several hours the following day cleaning all of these things. Apparently the lifting, and scrubbing, and being all hunched over for several hours on end wasn't good for my back. As a result, my back decided to seize up and tell me who's boss. Pretty much didn't and couldn't move for about two days... Went to work on Monday and it hurt too much to even sit at my desk and even type so I called it a day and went home at 11:00. 

Why was I so vigorously scrubbing a bunch of pots... well, probably because I'd not been taking as good a care of myself as I had fooled myself into believing so I got to visit the ER a few weeks prior to this... read on Macbeth.

Visited the ER

On Saturday, May 5th, we had a guy at the house giving us an estimate for a sump pump install. I literally fell asleep talking to the guy at our kitchen table.

Mid sentence... no, really.

After he left I took a four hour nap. It was 11:00 am and I'd been awake less that 3-4 hours and managed to sleep for another 4 hours...

Weird. Totally an aberration... never happened before, I thought.

On Sunday, May 6th, I'm getting dressed for church when I feel light headed, dizzy, nauseous, and my chest really freaking hurts. I'm 44 years old and I have chest pains? You've got to be freaking kidding me.

I'm scurred.

So I finish getting dressed and tell the wife I need to go to the ER... she doesn't believe me and continues to nonchalantly fold laundry. Somewhere in the middle of me telling her how much I fucking hate laundry and that it is literally going to be the death of me, I tell her I'll drive myself.

She finally gets the memo.

Six hours later I am home and the doctors have upended my world. They have told me that I experienced a 'cardiac related event' due to an acute undiagnosed sleep apnea condition most likely the result of carrying 250 pounds on a 5' 11" frame.

After a few weeks of tests, it is discovered that I have no heart related issues. I have severe weight related issues.

So, I'm now on a diet, forcing myself to increased levels of activity, and monitoring everything that goes into my body. Good times. Which is why, I am now being...

Tracked by the Government

Yeah, my youngest daughter, whom I scared the crap out of with my little trip to ER, has 'forced' me to be her FitBit buddy! I now have a little wrist band that tracks my movements, levels of activity, sleep cycles, heart rate, and whole host of other crap.

I look at it and think, Great, now the 'man' knows where I am at all times...

My daughter sees me eyeing it and shaking my head in disapproval and says, "Tell that 'Ron Swanson' voice in your hear to shut up. You're walking me down the aisle, mister."

 

Been Watching Life, Liberty & Levin

I like to end my Sundays with a new show on Fox called Life, Liberty & Levin. I found the show some weeks ago after I saw a commercial and decided to DVR it. Mr. Mark Levin has an interesting interview style that I seem to enjoy. This week's episode (April 22, 2018) had Mark interview Dr. Peter Pry. I knew the name immediately due to my near-constant reading and research on EMP and CME style events. Needless the say, this interview is a must watch for all Americans. Why? Because there are some serious deficiencies in our national defense and the fragility of the electrical grid represents a rather large gaping hole. Just sayin'.

Anyway, for those of you that don't know the name Dr. Pry, here's a little background information from a bio I found associated with the Mackenzie Institute (I'm quoting him so I don't screw it up): "[Dr. Pry is the] Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of the books "Blackout Wars", "Apocalypse Unknown", and "Electric Armageddon"."

In a nut shell, Dr. Pry knows his shit and he's associated with people that know even more shit than the shit he knows. Got it? Good.

I have been spending my evenings (15-30 min a night) since that show aired, taking notes so I can place a multi-part series of posts here for everyone. Sometimes it's difficult to do because Mark Levin will ask a rather short and straight forward question and Dr. Pry will provide an answer that contains so much useful knowledge and detail it becomes difficult to capture it all... but I'm trying. So look for those.

In the meantime, I did find this link that will allow you to watch a little of the interview via Fox News: Life, Liberty & Levin

 

World's Largest Standing Army

I was scrolling through my various Facebook feeds some time ago and came across a post from a friend where they shared a link to a bloggers research as it pertained to standing armies. It was dated information insofar as it was using 2014 hunting license information. Essentially, the blogger stated that the State of Wisconsin fielded over 600k hunters and thereby became the world’s 8th largest standing army in the world during hunting season that year. The writer then drew the comparison that just the hunters in that specific state represented a larger standing army than Iran. They also stipulated that it was also a larger standing army than France and Germany combined.

I’m sorry… what!?!

Needless to say, I was astounded and intrigued by the bloggers precept so, of course, I had to do a little research on this topic and try and relate it to something pertinent in today’s news cycles… Basically, to begin my research I started simply and just googled the term/phrase ‘national hunting license information’. To my surprise, it yielded some decent results. I chose a link titled National Hunting License Report FY2017 and was presented with a pdf file compiled by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

First, let me say, all I saw on my friends Facebook post was a graphic and some text (think meme) so I’m not entirely sure why the blogger chose Wisconsin. My guess would be that he/she lived there. Regardless, all things considered, Wisconsin is not even the largest ‘standing hunter army’ in the US. That honor, unsurprisingly, belongs to Texas. Here’s the top 10 (by license) in the United States:

  1. 1,148,765 – Texas
  2. 984,637 – Pennsylvania
  3. 719,850 – Michigan
  4. 717,256 – Tennessee
  5. 700,843 – Wisconsin
  6. 620,740 – Georgia
  7. 573,712 – North Carolina
  8. 572,992 – New York
  9. 564,694 – Minnesota
  10. 548,829 – Alaska

Unfortunately, the data was in PDF format and therefore unsortable (see image below). I would have been interested to see per capita data for each state as the result would have moved more rural states closer to the top of the list. C’est la vie.

2017 Hunting Licenses.png

Out of curiosity, how many states would it take to make the largest standing army in the world? Well, here’s what Wikipedia has for data on other countries (active military):

2017 Standing Armies.png

Ok, the United States is a respectable 3rd in terms of active military. Given the populations of China and India respectively, that’s a heck of a trick. I find the reserve and paramilitary numbers to be dubious, but I’m a researcher at heart so let’s carry this out to its conclusion given the data we have.

If you parse the data for reserve forces, the United States is 11th. For Paramilitary (defined as forces that are armed but not part of the nation’s formal military??), we are 62nd. If you take all three sets together (active, reserve, paramilitary), we stand as the 7th largest army in the world. The largest, interestingly enough, is an ally in South Korea with 8,134,500.

So 8.1M is the number to beat… how many states, and which states, could turn the tide of a South Korean invasion… (logistics of crossing the Pacific notwithstanding). Well, our top 10 most heavily armed states (noted previously), brings us quickly to 7,152,318. This is roughly a million short of the S. Korean forces. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our data is strictly limited to hunting licenses. Meaning, it doesn’t account for people that actually own a firearm but don’t hunt (we’ll get to that in a minute). OK, so we are at 7.1M with our top-ten states. If you add in the 2,227,200 actual military oriented forces we have at our disposal, we clear 9.3M. We win.

Now, as for the topic of total firearms. It is estimated that there are over 350 million guns in the United States. If you add up all of the hunting license issued in all 50 states for FY2017, you have 15,486,123. That’s roughly 22 guns per registered hunter.

Just looking over these numbers and several things are brought into sharp focus.

  • ~350,000,000 firearms in the US
  • 15,486,123 registered hunters in the US (FY2017)
  • 22.6 firearms per registered hunter
  • 42% of all US households possess a firearm
  • 2,227,200 total military forces
  • 21,800,000 military veterans

What type of situation would have to occur for these numbers to be activated? What would it take for people to pick up a weapon and defend themselves, their property, their nation?

Honestly, any nation that would willingly bring a standing army to bear against 20M, 30M, or 50M armed citizens protecting their own country would be a costly, foolish, and bloody endeavor. Second, just the logistics of trying to bring millions of foreign forces to our shores is so remote as to be comical. So that leaves domestic actors or a foreign actor with a long-range entry into the equation (EMP, nuclear).

To me, our biggest threat is/are domestic actor(s).

Don’t believe me?

They are all over the news right now trying to convince you that it’s better to revoke the Second Amendment and disarm everyone than to address mental health, poor parenting, and the avoidance of personal responsibility. These are the same folks that think socialism ‘is cool’, Che Guevara is hip, tide pods are tasty, and condoms are meant to be snorted. I wish I was joking about any of that.

Is it possible for mature adults on both sides of the gun control argument, or any topic/argument for that matter, to sit down and discuss the issues? Sure. Do I see it happening anytime soon? Nope. Not as long as the sky screaming, breath holding, foot stomping, foul mouthed, immature temper tantrum rhetoric continues.