Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Stormy All Over

The weather here in Central Louisiana has been crazy. This morning it poured down rain, calmed down for a bit but was still a cool mid 70's and dark. This afternoon it dumped down rain again. I suspect we've had a few inches of rain today. When it rains like this everything floods down here. The general lack of meaningful terrain combined with the clay soil makes for water pooling up all over the place in fields, slightly low points in roads and the like.

As to the world it is all pretty much going to hell in a hand basket.

Pretty much the entire Arab world is a mess. Specifically Syria and Iraq have significant issues as of late. I have been meaning to talk about them in detail but that is for another day.

The Israelis invaded Gaza early this morning their time. This most current bout of that old fight seems to have started with 3 Israeli teenagers getting killed which lead to various retaliatory measures which were answered with rocket attacks. That led to the Israeli ground invasion.

Oh yeah and somebody, probably Russia backed paramilitary and or Spetznaz rebels, shot down a commercial airliner over Eastern Ukraine. It was a Malaysian flight (talk about bad luck after the Lost plane crash) that seems to have been predominantly full of Dutch people. For one this goes to show  the chaos of that situation. For two this sort of incident can draw the public eye and lead to other nations getting involved. Reference the Lusitania.

Our friend Harry talks about all this stuff as well as how our economy as well as our Southern Border are entirely screwed

Some days are certainly worse than others but this one does not seem good.

Here at TSLRF we recommend investing in canned food and shotguns. For those who already own a smooth bore or two put your money into shotgun shells.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Israel Strikes Syria

Israel struck military targets in Syria. This follows an air strike Thursday.

It would be difficult for me to express exactly how bad this could be. On one hand Israel could have the tacic, albeit silent, consent of the US and several Arab nations in which case not much of anything will happen. However it is quite possible that is not the case at which point this could escalate local tensions and small scale violence or cause a world ending war with a nuclear component (this absolute worst case is very unlikely).

It is interesting that the first target was reportedly a load of Iranian missiles destined for Hezbollah. This doesn't matter really except that it shows the depth of complication this situation has. It is both a civil war and a proxy war. Seriously it's like a game of 3d chess with multiple sets of mortal enemies. Also this strike sort of puts a hole in the "Syria's AA capabilities are so great" argument. If Israel could conduct an air strike the US certainly could. Interesting stuff for sure.

Thoughts?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Wars of National Liberation by Daniel Morgan

Commander Zero loaned me this book with the conditions that it is eventually returned and I share my thoughts on it. Figured a book review is as good of a way as any to share my thoughts. So here we go.

Good:
Comprehensive- This book talks about a whole lot of different conflicts. China, Algeria, French in Indochina, Jews vs the Arab world I, II, III, IV, Vietnam and touched on themes of African and South American conflicts.

Well Researched- The guy definitely knew what he was talking about. The sheer amount of research put into this book is impressive.

Brought home key themes- Successful insurgencies have safe havens behind international borders, foreign support and tend to be fighting against unmotivated outside forces. Stuff I have talked about before.

Bad:
Bounces Around- This book seems to have sort of gone regionally then by time but could have been organized better. Specifically a set framework for discussing conflicts and another for battles would have been a huge help to this book.

Dove deep into some random conflicts/ battles but light in other probably more applicable ones. Talked a lot about Korea which was a pretty conventional fight. Also went deeply into a few other conventional battles. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason here. It was almost like they just made some old work fit into this project. They failed to really be descriptive enough to make sense when they tried to go deep too fast relying heavily on small diagrams Either needed to go deeper into battles or just stick to themes.

Ugly:
Misses significant conflicts like Chechnya and Northern Ireland. Also the Israelis vs the PLO (instead of the conventional fights vs the Arab world) would have been good. Some really useful stuff could have come from this.

Briefly and half heartedly mentioning Afghanistan in what they try to pass off as a closing. The Afghan war vs the Soviets is a great case study for a whole lot of information. The books failure to meaningfully discuss the Soviet Afghan War is almost irredeemable. It would be like talking pistol development through the 18th century and not mentioning Colt.

Sorely needed a good conclusion. Seriously they were going through the case studies then had a half halfhearted confusing chapter that vaguely mentions Afghanistan and mumbles about some other stuff and the book just ends.

Discussion: I got a lot out of the part on China which is a chapter of history I wasn't well informed on. The pieces on conflicts I was more familiar with were good and usually had an interesting new tid bit or three.  For a nonfiction book it managed to be informative while staying lively enough to stay interesting which is a definite balancing act.

This book would probably be on my fairly short list for studying insurgencies/ guerrilla war. It probably wouldn't make the top 5 but would definitely be in the top 10.

Overall assessment: Buy and read. The price on Amazon is like 7 bucks. I got stuff out of this book and considering my study of the field is pretty solid and I have some decent practical experience that says something.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tab Clearing

Graves Bushcraft Books

Venice is flooding, like really bad. This is really sad as it is a beautiful and truly one of a kind city. However since the place is sinking they should probably figure something out and get it up and running sooner instead of later.

Egyptian Islamists want to destroy Sphinx and Pyramids. That would suck. We wanted to get there while relatively close in Germany but they had that whole protest and junta thing so that trip got postponed.

File this under you have got to be kidding me and this is why we are broke. We regularly send tens of thousands of dollars getting pictures painted of cabinet heads.

Nato to defend Turkey from Syria.

UK may send troops to Syrian border.

Palestine is working on UN recognition.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

From Around The Web

Thousands of Portuguese soldiers protest budget cuts. This individual event may be nothing but broadly speaking large scale military protests are indicative of serious instability. Often this sort of thing is followed by the executive branch trying to fire/ arrest a couple of key Generals next week followed by a bloodless coup that puts in a "transitional council" of key military leaders that may or may not go away.

Syria fires at Israel who returns a warning shot. Those two countries haven't exchanged fire since 1973. This is obviously not good.


On a lighter note
Meth has been proven to help fight the flu. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

Monday, September 24, 2012

News and Posts Worth Reading

On the news front:

 Iran threatens to attack US bases in the event of war. This is just ridiculous in so many ways.

Posts worth reading:

The New Renaissance by Paratis Familia. Something to consider for your own personal development and for raising kids.

Pre crisis contracts in Argentina by Surviving in Argentina aka FerFal's blog. My .02 cents on the matter. Timing things to make out better with debt is problematic and a big bet. Also it is clear to me that the trend is clearly to take care of banks and big business at the expense of normal folks, not the opposite. In other words it is far more likely that you would get bent over somehow than that you will be able to stick it to big banks or businesses.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Putting on my Nostradamos Cap

On Economics/ Politics:

Well QE 3 is finally getting launched so we will see a fast meaningful recovery the lost decade will continue.

Unfortunately I do not think our economy is going to get better until we are really honest about our situation and take the steps to get back to an honest and stable place. This requires facing the pain of unraveling all the bad "assets" floating around and the massive empty inventory in the housing market gets unloaded at realistic prices. As this is not happening any time soon the pain will continue.

I saw an interesting article over at James Dakin's place (original Lew Rockwell article here) that basically says we will not have hyperinflation because it is not in the best interest of big banks and their whole crony network. I cannot say that I understand it fully but, not necessarily for any quantifiable reason, I agree that hyperinflation is not likely.

We do need to get onto the same page as to exactly what is considered hyperinflation. Let's pick the definition of hyperinflation as greater than 50% inflation in a month. It is as good as any. I do not see this happening. Yes we have a huge debt but we are too big and powerful with too many huge productive businesses for it to be likely IMO. (Also I think Arctic Patriot noted that huge powerful countries do not go broke, they go to war) I don't intend to argue this point, it is just my take on things.

Now I do think a period of painfully high inflation is quite possible. Maybe somebody gets some sense and cuts off the free money that has been subsidizing big businesses and poor decisions like dollar shot night at the local bar. Maybe our creditors start to get wise and demand an actual return on their money. Maybe the big banksters aim their destructive market powers at US. I don't know.

We could see 10-13% inflation which would probably leave the fed rate around 16%, prime mortgages around 20% and consumer debt in the area of 30%. This would drag down our economy like a guy trying to swim with an anvil tied to his waist. Several consecutive years of this would essentially destroy those on fixed incomes. Folks holding adjustable rate debt's would probably face default or ruin.

We may see rioting and disorder as welfare/ food aid/ etc that are chained to the ever more manipulated to give a happy story CPI get left behind. [Briefly touching on Matthew Bracken's When the Music Stops I do not see our government failing to send out welfare/ food stamps (now on cards)/ etc. I respect Matthew Bracken immensely but IMO this article misses the simple point that our government via it's cronies the Federal Reserve has a darn license to print money. It is like saying that Jack Daniels will run out of Whiskey or Tula will run out of .45 caliber bullets.

Seniors and moochers will get what they are "entitled" down to the exact penny. However that doesn't mean it will be worth the same as it is today. Somebody on food stamps or whatever will get the same dollars worth of hand out's but if a pound of rice costs $5 and a Digorno frozen pizza costs $10 it won't go very far. Not quite as sudden or whatever as envisioned in the scenario. It would more likely cause a slow upswing in problems than a sudden burst of angst. That is of course unless some sort of response was coordinated to meet a specific purpose in support of some agenda.]

I see this arguably intentionally orchestrated series of events potentially diminishing our status on the world stage with a wimper, not a bang. Think of the way Britain's role and power have changed from WWI to now. They went from being the biggest and arguably most powerful nation in the world to being publicly dissed by Argentina stealing their island (yeah they later took it back, barely).

On War:

The madness between Israel and Iran is out of control. All I hear in the media is war drum's. At this point I really would not mind if they get it over with and fight, at least that way it would get done and we could have  the news back. Except of course it would cause a lot of problems, likely embroil us in a nasty conflict, maybe cause nuclear war, blah, blah, blah.

On Gun Control:

I do not see a reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban or whatnot. The balance of public opinion is clearly against it. Unless the Dem's sweep the house and senate plus keep the presidency which is probably not likely I am not concerned. Even then I am not so sure for heavens sake Walmart sells AR-15's.

That being said ATF fiat and possibly executive orders might pop up with some fun new stuff. The play of the ATF arbitrarily usurping more of our rights changing some regulations which FFL's (and individuals) will then follow or face their lives being ruined and livelihoods destroyed is already in the playbook. Remember that your shotgun is a shotgun unless it is suddenly a pistol or maybe an evil assault weapon.

On Crime and Disorder:

In general I think crime is getting worse with the signs showing the trend is likely to continue. Maybe it is the economy. With everybody (well a lot of folks anyway) taking a step down the proverbial economic ladder some folks look to crime as the easy way out. Some of it is cultural/ environmental but that doesn't really matter. For reasons I am not entirely clear on criminals seem to be getting more and more violent. Home invasions seem to be becoming more and more prominent.

As discussed above there is a potential scenario (amongst others) where things could just go nuts like LA Riots times 1,000 all over the place.

Anyway that is what I think may be coming. Now to what we might be able to do about it:

Economics:

Some folks argue that having a lot of debt is fine because hyperinflation or at least inflation will let them pay it back in cheaper (or basically free) dollars. The first issue with that plan is that if you haven't figured it out yet banks are going to get taken care of at the expense of common folks, not the other way around. The second issue is that you it will be hard to pay back cheaper dollars if you lose your income/ job because the economy tanks.

If you listen to nothing else that I say get out of any debts that have an adjustable interest rate. The only exception would be if you have the cash to pay the debt off immediately (like in the next payment) but choose to keep it at a low adjustable rate so you can stay a bit more liquid. Rates are very low right now with almost a guarantee that they will go up. As we saw with various European countries a bad auction or two can jack up rates in a hurry.

The basics still apply here. Minimize debt and live below your means. Save in various forms against an uncertain future.

Gun Control:

In this quadrennial 'OMG the evil gun haters might ban everything' period I have spent a bit of money but that was just bumping up some purchases I planned to make anyway by a bit. Sort of hedging my bets if you will. That being said I have been getting squared away in this area for awhile and while things aren't perfect (are they ever?) most of our bases are covered. If you do not own something, especially if it is likely to be targeted in a ban, that you want and can afford then consider getting it.

Crime and Disorder:

Things are getting more and more dangerous. Carry a weapon if it is legal and practical for your lifestyle. Get the training to know what you are doing. Make yourself a hard target. If you live someplace that is sucky and dangerous with a high percentage of unhappy urban folks and welfare types consider moving if you can figure out how to afford it.

Note that most of the things I have recommended are the same things I have been talking about for awhile. Preparing for every situation is not the same. You do not need a dozen assault rifles to survive an economic collapse. Having half your net worth in PM's will not be ideal if things go all mad max. That being said a whole lot of the commonalities are the same. Live below your means saving (in various forms) for emergencies and the future. Store food, fuel and other various things you will need. Have the skills and weapons to protect yourself and your stuff.

Anyway that is what I have been thinking about. Thoughts or input are of course welcome. 








Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What If?

I started reading a book on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and it started something like this. "The saddest situations occur when both sides have a legitimate claim to being the good guys." Truly the situation that has occured and been perpetuated by various power players is a sad one for both sides.
What if we stopped giving the Israeli's, Egyptians, Palestinians and pretty much every other nation in that hotbed money and weapons? Aside from buying influence does making sure both sides are better armed really serve to help create a lasting peace? If you come outside to your tween boys fighting in the back yard do you give them each a stout stick? If your buddies get a bit rowdy at the bar do you give one a whiskey bottle and the other a knife? I don't think so.

Are we really helping Israel or are we enabling them to continue a dysfunctional conflict and not seriously search for a realistic solution? If we really care about the right of oppressed people to have an independent nation to call a homeland what about the Kurds or the Pastun's or the Tibetans?

Maybe one could argue that it is good for Israel that we back them with weapons, money and the implicit threat of force. However more to the point is it a good thing for America? Are we serving our independent needs and goals with these actions?

Even asking these questions could get me labeled an anti semite. That might concern me more than any position folks could take on the issue. Whipping out an "ist" every time you get questioned is the adult sociapolitical equivalent of a little  kid yelling "LALALALALALALALAL" or "I can't hear you" when they know their argument is losing.

I don't know what the answers are but asking questions might just be worthwhile.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All Sorts of Stuff

Things in the Middle East have been pretty nuts the past few weeks. The government of Tunisia was toppled. Egypt saw their dictator step down. That he is being replaced by the military is not suprising. The history of that sort of thing in the Middle East is pretty established. On a scale of best to worst case outcomes this is somewhere in the middle. Maybe there will be genuine free and fair elections and maybe they will be postponed indefinitely or less than free and fair. I am inclined to say that if substantial steps have not been made toward voting in a parliment/ representative body, changing the constitution, and such in 90 days they never will. A benevolent dictatorship by one guy or a council of sorts, or in this case the military is not the worst type of government to live under though certainly not the best either.

It is interesting that these sorts of events seem to happen in regional clumps. Sort of like the fall of Europe's monarchies, the colonial dismantling of the late 50's and early 60's or the fall of the commies back in '89. I think this happens for a lot of reasons. Economic downturns seem to be a significant factor in these things; almost without exception. I think the reason for this is that the stress economic downturns, and in poor countries spikes in food prices are involved is because they create unrest which the fundamentally unstable and unpopular government can't handle. Sort of like how money problems frequently are a catalyst that leads to divorce in mariages that have other issues.

That reminds me of another thing. One of the wisest things I did while I was dating was to consider womens money habits. I started doing this after seeing a friend who married a very nice gal who is a money train wreck. It really caused a lot of friction and problems for them. The had some stupid high interest debt and just can't seem to spend less than they make. It almost lead to divorce repeatedly.  Of course bad things can happen to good people but typically people who don't have their financial house in order have other issues. Not if they make a ton or know all about investing or anything like that but just that they can live within whatever their means are, pay their bills and generally be financially functional. Marrying someone who can't live within their means or has an entitlement 'I deserve it' attitude is just asking for life long problems.

I have been thinking a lot about housing recently. The first thing in my head is location, location, location. I got to thinking about all the different places I have lived and then balanced them against different scenarios. Personally the two options that interest me are living rurally or in a fairly small town. See old stuff about small town vs rural living here. The small town situation lets you walk or ride a bike to do much of your day to day stuff. Being able to walk to a store, restaurant, hardware store or small shop is nice. I particularly like the option of being able to have a couple beers and walk to get something to eat. This could be very convenient if fuel price or even availability get wonky. Living rurally on a fairly decent sized piece of land (I hesitate to define an exact size but certainly a couple acres) appeals to me also. It is definitely something we plan to do once we stop moving all the time. The reason we will wait until then is that going to the time and expense to get animals and equipment as well as set a place up how we want it isn't worth it unless we plan to stay there for a long time.
One thing that people who advocate for living out in the sticks typically fail to understand, or see the full implications of is how fuel prices and their need for transportation make them vulnerable. The cold hard reality is that you need to work to earn an income. As they say the key to a successful rancher is a wife who works in town. Typically your job will be in town. The people who will buy what you produce live in town or scattered over some distance. Rural folks tend to drive a lot if for work, access to stores or entertainment. Working 30, 40 or even 50 miles from home is not abnormal for rural folks. Do the math on that and it adds up to crazy mileage. The percentage of income lower middle class (whatever the heck that means)  rural folks spend on fuel is rediculous and will only get worse. I am not a peak oil doomer but the days of dirt cheap fuel are gone and things are just going to get worse. There are a lot of variables in this one so an easy answer isn't available. However you should think about your area, skills, interests and financial situation and try to come up with some answers for what you would do if fuel prices rose dramatically.
The whole concept of suburbs and other such places (like a small housing development outside of town or whatever) where people live closely but there aren't stores, restaurants and all that stuff does not appeal to me at all. These are probably the worst of both options. If you can't shoot a shotgun off the porch then you should be able to walk to the local grocery store and restaurants.


The nature of houses themselves is the next thing. This is a definite area where people back theirselves into a corner then gripe about it. They buy a home which is bigger than they need as well as fancier than they can afford. If they buy a house where the 30 year mortgage payment is absolutely as much as they can qualify for (and maybe actually pay) then it's not a suprise they are paying for at least 30 years. Clearly it is all the bankers fault, not the knuckleheads who bought more house than they could actually afford.

I saw an ad for this company that does tiny houses. It is an interesting idea. Probably not good for a family of 6 but for a bachelor or a couple it could work just fine. A relative of mine lives in a 2 bedroom cabin that is about 20' x 35' and would be great for a couple or a family of 3-4. I think looking at a house as a place to live instead of a status symbol in your competition with the neighbors is a good start. If your family and or income change it is always possible to add a room or move.

Well it's time for me to wrap this up now so I can go to bed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

We got a long weekend because well, as my Dad said it would be pretty messed up if we worked Veterans Day. Veterans Day is certainly a good one but I will take any excuse for a 4 day. Wifey and I did some various errands this morning and pretty much just hung out for the rest of the day. Didn't do anything big or special. No parades or celebrations or anything like that. I just didn't really feel like doing much of anything special. Wifey asked what I wanted for dinner (tacos) and suprised me with some Heineken which was cool.

Maybe I should say something cliche about sacrifice and honor and all that but I just really don't want to. I am a veteran in the most literal sense of having personally been in combat and just don't really feel the need.

I can say that everybody is mentally affected in some way by combat. How the mental stuff  comes together from your past experiences and personality and whatever experiences you may have in war is truly intangible. I am not going to use value based words like weak or strong but for whatever reason the way people react to the same stimulus and experiences is not at all consistent. It absolutely is not A+B=C. What will profoundly affect one person might not do anything to another.

One interesting thing about OIF and OEF is that our soldier survivability has improved dramatically. Body Armor, new advanced medical training implimented down to the soldier level (in particular needle chest decompression) and better/ quicker access to higher levels of medical care are responsable for this. However an unfortunate second order effect of this (particularly quality body armor) is that while fewer soldiers are dying we are seeing a lot more amputee's. Basically with an IBA or OTV and a helmet on unless the face/ neck gets injured or one is completely vaporised there is a pretty  high probability of survival. If you have ever spent any time near Landstuhl Regional Medical Center or Walter Reed you have almost surely have seen the real scars of war up close.

I think about these seriously wounded soldiers (and marines, airmen, etc all) a lot. I don't think you can see a young man missing multiple limbs and covered in 3rd degree burns and not consider it. I think about what their lives are going to be like. Hopefully they can find some kind of a meaningful career and a good relationship and build a life for themself. Unfortunately I believe the statistics aren't optomistic.

Despite my intentions otherwise this got all heavy and depressing, sorry folks. To be honest I just find veterans day really depressing. It is a testimant to my personal functionality that I do not spend it alone in a dark closet with a half gallon of whiskey.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

quote of the day

"Thou shalt never be a perpetrator.
Thou shalt never be a victim.
And thou shalt never, but never, be a bystander.” 

~Yehuda Bauer

Also in going completely old school religious I  do genuinely believe that there is a special place in hell for people who choose to be bystanders. Pick the side you think is best and do whatever is in your power to help that side. In many ways I respect people who choose the wrong side more than those who just stand by idly. At least they had the guts to make a decision and act upon it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a good week for preparedness here. I was finally able to make time to go to the bank here and get my card fixed (for the secondary account).That let me clear up a log jam of stuff. Ordered a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. Excalibur seems like the company to go with and this one cost about $100 so wasn't too much more expensive than most of the competition. Also got a bunch of those eneloop batteries, a normal charger and a solar charger. A few books also.

Read a pretty long and interesting article. Got some good stuff out of it.

Went through the primary first aid kit. Replaced everything that was expired and added a few more items like neosporin, crazy glue and an Israeli bandage. I mentally added going through the medicine cabinet (actually its a closet) to my list of stuff to get around to. I need to organize what we have, tossing long expired stuff and filling any gaps that become apparent. 

Next week I am going to be away for a few days. Posts are scheduled so there will be no interruptions for you folks. I don't think much is going to happen in terms of preps but that is just fine. Some weeks you do a ton and some little to nothing.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

quote of the day

Some people tell me that has no place on a survival blog, to which I respond that there's a place on my blog for anything I want to put on it. The operative word is "my."
-Hermit

He is speaking about Pro Israel stuff but I think it works well for pretty much all the random stuff I post.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Friends Take on Israeli US Relations and the Arab World

My friend says lots of stupid shit but this was IMO genius, enough so that I remember it distinctly years later.

My friend said more of less "Israel is like that yoked (very, very strong) little brother. You can't say you like that he sometimes gets in fights and completely beats peoples asses but you really like it a lot."

It is the simplest analogy on US Israeli relations and the rest of the world that I have ever heard.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Disturbing

http://doubletapper.blogspot.com/2009/06/al-qaeda-to-attack-us-from-mexico-with.html

"...al Qaeda is casing the U.S. border with Mexico to assess how to send terrorists and weapons into the U.S. "Four pounds of anthrax -- in a suitcase this big -- carried by a fighter through tunnels from Mexico into the U.S. are guaranteed to kill 330,000 Americans within a single hour if it is properly spread in population centers there..."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Reader Email

Hi TOR -

I am a reader of your blog and I just wanted to share the following site with you:

http://www.oref.org.il/14-en/PAKAR.aspx

I thought you might find it interesting. It's the English language version of the site for the Israeli Home Front Command, which issues emergency preparedness information for Israeli citizens. It covers such topics as the correct behavior during missile and terrorist attacks, and also basic items such as what you should have in your evacuation kit. I lived in Israel with my husband for six years (he's also in the military, btw), and during that time I noticed that most people tended to be in two camps: prepared or fatalistic. I guess that's human nature, since I see the same attitudes here, if a little less extreme. Anyway, it is interesting to see that emergency preparedness is basically the same no matter where you are, even if the threats are different.

Thanks again for your great blog and keep up the good work! :-)

TOR here: I took a quick look at this and it seems very interesting. Certainly at least a coffee break worth of entertainment. I am very interested in how people in different countries look at preparedness namely what they are doing to prepare and why they are doing it.


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