Showing posts with label refugees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label refugees. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Various Things

Part of me wants to get in a fight on a crowded dance floor with techno music going and kick butt while somehow staying generally in time with the music.

Tam brings up the excellent point that you can't lose a fight you do not get in. Discretion is the better part of valor folks.

Weapons Man's original quote:
These odds of survival are improved by training to hone your skills and survive an armed encounter, but they’re improved more by using your superior judgment so as not to have to make a vulgar display of your superior skills. Too few people do the former, and far too few people do the latter. (A lot of cops who are involved in shootings are just unlucky. But there are others, where none of their cop friends are surprised they were in a shooting. Why do you think that is?)
Most of us are not cops, and not soldiers (any more), and therefore, do need to saddle up and go into places where you’re likely to be engaged by gunfire. So here’s our version of some guidelines for fight avoidance:
  1. If you must go where the sharks feed — you may have reasons; we had a friend whose elderly mother would not leave her house in South Central LA until the Rodney King riots burned it down and settled the question for her — don’t look like bait. Don’t act timid, walk boldly with your head up, like you belong there — and are the baddest mother in the valley. Also, don’t flash stuff that is irresistibly attractive to the sort of people who have been listening to TV and therefore think they’re entitled to take it from you.
  2. When you have to go into the badlands, take a lesson from the cops and don’t walk alone. If you can’t help looking like prey (maybe you’re small, or elderly person), bring a buddy who looks intimidating if you can.
  3. Don’t get distracted. This is the wrong time to be facebooking, texting or reading on your jeezly phone. In fact, it’s the wrong time to be taking calls. You need to be 100% in the analog world. We don’t know what the percentage of mugging victims in NYFC and San Francisco is, who had their ear buds in, but we’d take a guess it’s fairly high.
  4. Be conscious of concealment. Don’t give anyone the chance to ambush you.
  5. Manage the Clock. Most criminals stay up late and sleep late, too. If you have unavoidable business in their precincts, do it at seven o’clock in the morning when they’re down for the count, not at midnight when they’re just warming up.
  6. Be conscious of the fact that you may have to be ready, and always be ready to deliver a violent counterstrike.
  7. Work on avoidance, but once avoidance fails you should immediately execute a drilled, conscious plan. Strike hard and decisively. (George Z. got this bit exactly right, and every day’s life he has now, he only has because he did).
  8. If you err, and are attacked, act. Save regrets and recriminations for later.
FerFal shows the contents of various refugees bags. Interesting stuff. If they could have had (or retained) compact handguns, secure rugged USB storage devices and rolls of Krugerrand's I bet those would have made the cut for their small bags.

The Taliban have taken Kunduz. I knew they would do well when we left but they are exceeding my expectations. I figured the government would at least hold on for the most part until we stopped giving them enough money to fund their Army and buy off warlords. In light of this the already low odds the 'legitimate GIROA' could somehow keep violence below the (admittedly pretty high) accepted cultural boiling point and not have the kettle spill over while they eventually shrink the massive Army and Police forces to levels they can actually afford to fund seem pretty low.

Anyway that is what seemed worth mentioning today. Tomorrow I'll get you a real post.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Guest Post Book/ Movie Review of The Road

A Review of  The Road By Cormac McCarthy or as I Like to Call it: How Not to Survive After A Disaster.

I read the novel The Road, by Cormac McCarthy and then after a few days of letting the story marinate, I watched the movie. Frankly, the book is better (it always is) but the director did a fabulous job with the movie. Obviously, large parts of the book were left out of the movie in the interests of time and flow, but the movie didn’t suffer for the editing. I am not going to lie, I cried like a little girl in some places. In other parts I wanted to jump right into the book and shake some sense into the main character, the man. In a survivalist situation, when you are doing everything you can to avoid being eaten by roving gangs of cannibals, who in their right mind makes nightly fires? Why not just stuff a moldy apple in the kid’s mouth, set him up on a platter and ring the dinner bell?

The book and movie should certainly not be taken as a manual on how to survive in the aftermath of a global cataclysmic event. As a piece of literature that explores issues of humanity, father and son relationships and questions our morals and ethics in the face of tragedy, it is a good read and may even get you thinking. It will certainly put you off light colored meat for awhile and have you hoarding all the fruit salad and ammo that you can.

From a preparedness point of view, this novel is incredibly disappointing. Through flashbacks, the reader is given multiple glances into the lead up to the disaster, as well as the time immediately following it. The man is knowledgeable enough to know that he needs to fill the tub with drinkable water before it is shut off, but doesn’t seem to do much disaster planning. The boy is born just after the disaster and the story begins when he is about nine or ten. One of the flashbacks shows the family still at their home and the child is about seven years old. We aren’t told what they have been doing in the interim, except that they have used all but two of the bullets in their one gun. They have a home with food and clothing and creature comforts that they leave for an unknown reason, yet they haven’t banded together with any of their neighbors or friends?

They even stumble upon an emergency shelter loaded with clean food, water and shelter and leave it to continue on his quest for the coast. In the presence of such a hoard of food, I find it incredibly difficult to imagine that a starving man and child would be able to walk away from it. As a literary device it works well to show how humanity can snap back in place when essentials aren’t in scarce supply, however, common sense dictates that he would make camp in the area and continue to forage food and supplies to ensure that he and the boy built up their immune systems and energy reserves. The shelter is stocked with bullets that do not work with his gun, so he leaves them there, rather than cart them along as items to barter and trade or use in an improvised fashion for self defense. 

Rather than continue to rag on the book for what it didn’t do, I would rather focus on three things it did do that put me into quasi panic mode and made me reevaluate my plans.

1.    Made me conscious of how little I have prepared myself for life without verifiable maps and the ability to navigate without a GPS. The Man and the boy follow the highways and open road on their quest to find the coast. This is incredibly dangerous as it leaves them open to attack from all of the threats present in the book. They do not seem to have a choice as their shopping cart could not make it through the brush of the forests. I had to question how I would have handled it differently. Would a simple plank frame sledge dragged through the forest be any better? It would leave tracks and be easy to follow and difficult to handle. Would a compass still be a viable guide?

2.    Kill or be killed? Is holding on to their morals really the most appropriate way to survive? When they meet up with other people on the road, they often give the strangers the benefit of the doubt, leaving themselves open to attack. Why didn’t they form an alliance with at least one other adult for protection? That way they wouldn’t be sleeping unguarded at night, the boy wouldn’t have had to remain alone unguarded while the man foraged for wood and food and they would have had far more options for self defense.

3.    In an apocalyptic situation, is survival really the only consideration? What about rebuilding a civilization? The book mentions communes and cannibalistic tribes as well as nomadic gangs of men and permanent homesteaders farming people. But are there no groups of like-minded people with knowledge and skills available to create a safer community of refugees? By merely surviving are they in fact ensuring their extinction? In living a day to day hard scrabble existence, they cannot plan for the future. How is the man such a dead shot when he has been carrying around two shots in his gun for over three years without shooting it? Practice is essential for any type of specialized skill. Gardening and animal husbandry are impossible thanks to the bleak conditions and the need to continually move along. How has this scenario changed my preparations for potential disasters and emergencies? Hugely; I am rethinking most of my plans and reassessing my viable skills.

All in all, both the movie and the book got me thinking long and hard about the steps I have taken so far to prepare and the things I still need to do. The biggest item I am lacking is knowledge. Educating myself more about homesteading practices, basic outdoorsman-ship and personal health care and protection would be far more useful than a majority of the gadgets that I have stockpiled. I may end up somewhere far from my stash, but I will always have the training in how to create a natural water filter or know which potential vegetation is edible and which is akin to hazardous waste. The book and the movie are certainly not for the faint of heart and will not help you sleep better at night, but they will get your brain working and inspire you to do a better job of prepping for the potential future.

Lucas Gregson is a Personal Security Plan specialist with a keen interest in prepping and home security. He advocates for sensible self defense training and the enjoyment of a good book but not at the same time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Read This And Think

What kills you after an Economic Collapse

 Think about it.  The truth isn't as sexy as fighting off hordes of poorly armed and ill trained people with a semi automatic assault rifle but well, it is what actually happens. Yeah you should have a rifle but you should also pay attention to this sort of stuff.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

quote of the day

"If the 20th century taught us anything it is that life is pretty cheap, and that the cheapest form of life, unfortunately is embodied in a refugee. Life is nasty brutish and short for a refugee and you don't want to be in that situation."- Jim Rawles on Coast to Coast Radio

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

quote of the day

"If the 20th century taught us anything, it is that the one category you don't want to find yourself in is "refugee."
-Jim Rawles

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Roadblocks- Part One of Two

Thanks to Dragon for giving me the inspiration for this post. I can't say we agree entirely on the topic but I've got something good to write about this morning. Thanks again.

I have noticed a real hypocrisy among survivalists when it comes to roadblocks and the free travel of roads. Every survivalist seems to think it is perfectly acceptable for them and their friends to put up roadblocks or ambushes in order to detain, restrain, search and interrogate anyone who has the guts to attempt to travel a road within a couple square mile of their "retreat". At the same time they would be damned if they would let anyone detain, restrain, search and interrogate THEM because THEY have the right to TRAVEL THE ROADS FREELY.

I think the subject of roadblocks has both moral and functional components. SHOULD you block a road and CAN you block a road, if you CAN block the road the HOW would you do so. I will look at the moral side of the SHOULD first.

On the moral side I guess the first question would be what sort of road are you talking about. The most clear cut situation is a GROUP of neighbors on a dead end road deciding that they want to know who is coming up the road. They put up some sort of a roadblock/ checkpoint where their road intersects with the main road or at a good defensible position near there. Their whole purpose is to know who is coming in. If someone comes they would ask "what are you coming here for?" and the person would say something like "I am here to see our cousins the Johnsons". Tim Smith who is working the roadblock/ checkpoint with his younger brother Bobby would send him to the Johnsons to say their cousins X, Y and Z are there to see them. If they say great I am glad they are here then all those folks head up to the checkpoint and pick up the cousins. If they do not have any cousins (or don't want to see them) then those folks (Bobby and the Johnsons) head back down with rifles to tell them to take a hike and not to come back. This sort of a situation would work very well for a dead end road with a realtively small amount of families that are realtively close by (a few miles to the end of the road). Since almost any situation that would lead to having a roadblock would mean supplies are not normally available fuel would not be wisely used driving twelve miles up to the Johnsons if someone comes to see them.

I do not think a family or even a couple families have the right to restrict travel upon a road they do not own. In other words if there is a road traveling parallel to your property line you do not have the inherant right to messs with people traveling down it. Now watching them would be very prudent (LO/OP) but unless they are attempting to squat on the abandoned place next to yours or obviously doing something sketchy (prowling, casing, etc) leave them be. That being said there is no harm in having someone with a rifle and a radio watching them. Got LP/OP?

I think the situation is a lot murkier if a small intact group wants to know who is coming or going but does not live on a dead end road. It isn't like people will be using the freeways if things get real bad. Folks could be traveling long distances on small roads (maybe on foot or pushing a shopping cart The Road style) and I do not think anyone has the right to tell them they can't go to Grandma's place in the next county using that road. It is easy to just tell one guy to go fuck himself and find another route but what if it was 6 guys with rifles? What about 12 guys with rifles and a Somali style Technical. They get out and take cover behind their vehicles except the drivers and the dude on that .50 cal which will turn whatever you think is "cover" to shreads. (Note that cover is a very relative term based on what is shooting at you.)

Aside from getting into unnecessary gunfights I do not think it is morally right to block (or restrict to only locals) through roads. If you have the communications gear I have a simple solution to help ensure your local security. Put up checkpoints on both ends with commo to each other and a third party (to start the alert plan). A family in a car or whatever comes up to the southern checkpoint. The fellow(s) there tell the folks in the car that they are free to travel along the road. They are however not free to leave the main road, camp, etc. Oh yeah and if they are not at the checkpoint on the north end five miles away in a half hour lots of folks with guns are going to start looking for them. It would be nice to help these folks out by engaging them in conversation and helping them with intel about the next leg of their route which you have info on. For example "you can top off on water at Johnson Creek and camp in the state park (it is safe for the most part). Route 12 is washed out at mile marker 15 but you can get around it by X. Oh yeah also don't go into Cutthroatville if you can avoid it." You could also gather intel from these folks about where they were and have been. Knowing that Backstabberville is also pretty dangerous and the 19th ave bridge is down could be essential. If nothing else you could pass that info on to people headed the other way. Beware of acting rashly based upon single source intelligence, stuff that one person told you but if you hear the same realistic thing a couple times then it is probably true. (Disconcerning rumors, confusions and intentional falcities from good information is a topic in and of itself.)

IMHO the least moral situation is a town that is on a through road refusing to let people travel that road. Out in the sticks amost all towns are built upon the old two lane highways which preceeded freeways. Having checkpoints would be prudent. In some cases the answer could be having folks take an easy bypass of a left and two right turns to get back to the highway would be reasonable if it wasn't a huge adddition to the length of the trip. Having folks travel an extra mile or two would not be nuts but a generic "fuck you go find another way" when the alternate route is 30 miles back would cause all sorts or problems. I am not sure how I even feel about that.

*Pause for 20 minutes to make breakfast in bed for Wifey*

Maybe leaving the roads and by default the town open but making it very clear that camping of any sort or vagrancy are not allowed (will result in a big lump on the head and an immediate escourt out of town) and theft/ burglary/ robbery will result in spending some time on a work crew (restitution) or a long time with a short rope.

Much more could be said about good ways to deal with people coming through a town in a real bad situation. I do want to add a couple random thoughts on the matter though. Having people come into the town to trade would be a good thing but having lots of random folks all around your town would not be. What about having a secure place near town to conduct trade. Think Blackjack Fairgrounds a la Jericho. The town could provide security and ban people who intentionally trade in a false or otherwise unethical manner in exchange for selling space to venders. That would give the town some income that could be used for whatever and keep tons of strangers out. Also having a rule where people without a place to stay must be out by dark could be wise. Kind of like a sundown rule but without the racism.

That pretty much covers my thoughts on the moral component of roadblocks. Since it ended up being much longer then I thought the functional component is going to wait for tommarow. We have a busy day ahead of us: grocery shopping, getting a Christmas Tree, Christmas shopping and dinner out. I might write some more stuff later today.

Edited immediately after publishing to include: Regardless of the morality of roadblocks and your decisions about them do not extort people. You do not have the right to "charge a fee" or "toll" for traveling on the road. Doing so is strait up third world style thuggery and brands you a bandit by any reasonable definition. If you want to be a highwaymen or robber then go ahead and take your chances (in this life and the next) but do not for a second pretend you are in a morally defensible position when you do so.

Even from a pragmatic position this tactic is just not worth it. Even if just a couple (groups of) travelers out of ten would rather shoot it out then submit to your highway robbery it will be a fairly bloody business. To add to that if you have enough muscle (people with guns) to scare most (groups of) travelers into submitting to your thuggery then the amount of goods or whatever stolen will be divided so many times that it will not be particularly profitable. This semi fixed nature of such enterprises would make it too easy for you "victims" some of whom will surely be mean and well armed to retaliate by throwing a fire bomb at night or popping off a few well aimed rifle shots before or after the fact. Any way this proposition is looked at you would almost surely be better spent growing food or doing something less dangerous.
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