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bolosphere wanderings

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tango3, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer



    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    <!-- Begin .post --> herd fear

    Shortages continue, bad banking news continues almost daily. Credit problems mount for governments and individuals. Commodities skyrocket. Stagflation is dusted off and again used as a headline. Food supply news and continued bad weather keep looking worse. The idiots that took a shaky economy and made it far worse will in the end also be buried but it will be small comfort to the rest of us. Yes, Greed Is Good, but it can be taken too far. Our economy is like a pier. The tide had already eroded the pillars but not content with more than average wealth the idiots in the financial sector stole the concrete foundation to sell for a few more bucks. We don’t even need a major storm to topple the pier, it will only take a series of strong waves. Your super deluxe bomb shelter can stand up to the winds but it will fall into the waves when the pier goes.
    I know we are all tired of false warnings of doom. The Seventies Oil Scare, the End Of The Cold War Destabilizing Nuclear Nations, Y2K. The 9/11 Banking Meltdown. But eventually the warning will be correct. And eventually there are no more rabbits to be pulled from any hats. An hour a day on the Internet will give you plenty of financial news to scare the crap out of yourself. The derivative meltdown is happening before our eyes in slow motion. It is getting worse, not better. Every few weeks projections are changed to give you the “new” point when loses will stop and things will return to normal. I don’t think it is going to happen. Yes, we could all be wrong. Just like with Y2K, there is something fundamental we could be missing that is giving us the wrong conclusion. But just as with Y2K, what if the warning are right? At worst you buy prep supplies cheaper than they ever will be again. I don’t think many folks are going to argue that inflation won’t continue ( even if the dollar is gutted and replaced the new bill won’t necessarily be any more stable- look at the Nazi economy for a preview ). So it doesn’t matter if we don’t collapse this time because your actions can’t hurt you. Only inaction can.
    We just had a global wheat failure last year. Grain stockpiles are at their lowest levels in quite some time. It scarcely helps that the Monkey Man is tossing most of our feed into the ethanol hopper. And as bad as those two events has been to our food supply, just wait for hyperinflation and oil shortages. Then we will actually see real pain instead of mild belt tightening. It is imperative that you secure a food supply. Most likely you can bypass the convenience storage foods. Survival Acres is reporting months wait on storage foods from almost all vendors. Just buy the grain and beans locally and pack them yourself. There is plenty of advice here on doing this. Basically, five gallon buckets from Wal-Mart, wheat from your feed and seed store. Buy food grade diatomaceous earth ( through mail order ) for insect control. Have a water filter. Get extra ammo and cold weather gear. Order a corn grinder for $25 from www.bisonpress.com/amazonproducts.html . Everything else is just getting fancy. Screw the generator. Chances are good in a full blown crises the fuel trucks won’t be running reliably. Sell your semi-auto for top dollar on a private sale and buy several surplus bolt actions and their ammo. Etc. All covered before.
    I normally don’t just scream aimlessly about the sky falling. I try to focus. But today I just had an extra dose of paranoia to share. The time for stockpiling is now. It doesn’t matter about the hurdles you have to get over or the high prices you need to pay. Figure it out, just do it somehow. Don’t get permission, just go for it. It doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. It will hurt, but you can minimize the pain by just stocking frugally. The point is that things really seem to be getting a lot worse. Have your basic preps squared away NOW. This weekend at the latest. Just spend the darn money. You might be able to earn more. But it remains to be seen if basic life necessities are going to be easy to get very soon.
    You may be wondering, what started his rambling? You’re bumming me out, man. Well, besides the usual over-reading into everything, I made a pilgrimage to the gun store last weekend. I had gotten two very generous cash donations over Christmas and my birthday ( thanks guys! ) and I wanted to invest it properly. So I decided powder and primer were better than most other choices. No problem on the powder. Problem with the primers. I could only get a thousand. The owner had ordered 50k and got shipped 5k. He had no idea why. An Internet search only turned up Federal brand is getting hard to get. No other reported shortages although Midway had almost all “out of stock” listings. I went to the other place in town I knew about and bought out their complete stock of large rifle ( 4k ). He hadn’t heard about shortages but he was selling out his stock due to low sales and HazMat fees ( it was a hardware store, not a gun store ). The upside was I got a nice discount. The downside is this does nothing to dispel my paranoia. Is everyone already panicking about ammo shortages?
    Primers getting scarce could be due to several factors. The fear of a Democrat being elected ( either Ossama Obama, Hillary The Horned One or “Conservative?” McCain ) . The high cost of ammo turning more folks to reloading. Or, it could be more and more people waking up to the fact that we are in for a major crap storm. And that spells trouble. Our supply system is not geared towards extra hoarding. Nor is it geared towards supply disruption. We can see how supply problems are screwing things up. But if even a fraction of one percent of the population starts fearing hard times and does something about it we are in trouble. What production we have left is antiquated and inefficient for the most part. Manufacturing capacity is limited, having not been built up over the years or modernized. At the faintest hint of trouble or profit loss an industry is shipped overseas on the first boat. You can see the idiocy of our computer chip production ( which our military is dependant on ) mostly being foreign, right? But the point being, I doubt the primer/ammunition industry can expand. We will only see higher prices and shortages.
    As I have said before, we are not as smart as we think we are. Other people can figure out things are headed south also. When they figure out how to stock up the pantry no one will be able to secure supplies. Have what you need now, before it gets worse. If it happens my book sales should increase, but so friggin what. I’ll have worthless dollars and no available supplies to stockpile. How’s that for a tarnished silver lining?
    Rawles ( www.survivalblog.com ) is on a roll lately with good articles. One minor point on collecting nickels however. You only get a fifty percent profit. If you can stand the pain in the ass factor of checking pennies to see if they are pre-82, you get at least a hundred percent profit. Also, it is getting harder to find casinos using coins. They are going to electronic, ticket-in/ticket-out. I don’t know about the Indian casinos. His advice is fine, a no hassle way of stocking a commodity. My point is just that pennies are a harder work/higher reward way to do the same. Plus the up front cost is 1/5.
    Another inspiration for this article was Survival Acres and his food business experience/comments. This guy is a total downer but far more realistic than most of us. You thought I was paranoid! Go to www.survivalacres.com/wordpress/ .

    posted by James m Dakin at 5:43 AM 15 comments [​IMG]

    <!-- End .post --><!-- Begin #comments --> <!-- End #comments --> Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    <!-- Begin .post --> evolutionary oddity

    Throughout the ages evolution has worked its magic, Darwinist struggles of the fittest. Recent rethinking of evolution has suggested that perhaps rather than slow evolutionary steady improvements the process is more like sudden catastrophic lurches where one abnormal trait survives to ensure that “new” species carries on. This may answer some of the old problems with the theory itself although I imagine some religious folks won’t even consider it regardless of modern rethinking. Earlier thinkers never had a problem mixing science and their belief in God but today a lot of fossilized thinking seems to pigeon hole the debate into an either/or. Regardless, let’s assume evolution is a given for the sake of conversation. Let’s say you are salt water creature. Some of your kind mutated to tolerate higher levels of fresh water most likely because the current system had no room for expansion. All available food was being consumed. So the mutants edged closer to fresh water inlets where there was more of your food but “contaminated” water. Being mutants with limited food your numbers always stayed small. Then one year the polar ice melted and the seas were a lot less salty. The “normal” creatures died and the “mutants” took over ( less competition and more food available ).
    Both plants, animals and ecosystems evolve nicely this way to ensure the whole system works well. It is messy and dangerous for the individuals but overall the system benefits. The one group that seems to be able to defy evolutionary norms is man. Not that there is total oddity, just that as a species we do things a bit differently to ensure survival traits. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again, generation after generation. That in itself is a survival trait. By freeing up space in the brain dedicated to instinct ( most likely as the above mutant process when man jumped in species or totally changed survive modes such as going from hunter/gathering to agriculture ) we are able to ensure each generation has a blank slate to relearn the immediately needed skills. Since intelligence is really the only natural tool man is born with ( actually born to learn ) for survival.
    Since the Agricultural Revolution started, with only a few exceptions, man has constantly over developed the carrying capacity of the land. Topsoil which requires multiple centuries or millennium to build up is used up in just under a hundred years or so. Necessary ingredients are not returned to the soil even when it is common knowledge that this is required. Certain practices that increase erosion become widespread. We do it again and again. The one thing vital to our survival, the soil to grow our food, and despite soil husbandry being ancient knowledge, and we keep having to relearn our lesson. The same with all natural goods available to us. The same with civil organization. We don’t pass down wisdom past a few generations. It is available but not practiced or taught. Nature hedges her bets. We always have mutant behavior that might contain a survival trait. But the normal, prevalent survival trait is being able to learn new skills each generation. A blank slate. A total computer reboot. Instinctual skills die out if they are no longer needed. The great part about them is that you are born with them. That ensures survival immediately. But come a cataclysmic change, only the few mutants of that group survive. Then a new set of instinctual skills are passed down until the next time.
    With fresh skills being taught every generation this also only teaches immediately needed skills. But when a cataclysmic event happens far more survive to immediately rebuild with new skills. Neither evolutionary survival trait is necessarily superior. Instinct works great for most species. Current genetic characteristics work fine almost all of the time and either mutants keep the game going or another group takes over your vacated niche. Reprogramming obviously works great with a high intelligence species. So this points to several observations. One, most people are going to operate under the old skills that maximize current survival. That is what they were taught. Big government means a good economic life. Debt for a house is good. It is beneficial to colonize the Third World. Attracting a well off husband is good, attracting a wage earning wife is good. What we look at as lemmings running off the cliff is normal survival for that herd. We are mutants, our behavior is economically counter-productive and leaving us less likely to secure a mate.
    Two, no matter how smart we are and how hard we work, lucky morons are going to also survive and procreate. Their children will be stupid but be taught the new skills and so also procreate. There is no extra reward for doing all this other than to ratchet up your odds of surviving. The better genes will not repopulate. The morons will still be with us. Just as with a computer, programming new humans does not mean they are self aware or intelligent. They just have better programming. I think we can safely say that intelligence is a mutant gene also. Third, since the walking robots will survive and repopulate, the same kind of stupidity will cause all this to happen again some time down the road. Out of desperation the dying robots will be led by intelligence, but only until what kept them alive is programmed into their children. Then that trait/skill will be blindly re-taught until it is no longer applicable ( leading to mass die-off but with enough adaptability to see a quick recovery ). Few see chance coming, other than mutants.
    Books and gear at www.bisonpress.com

    posted by James m Dakin at 5:37 AM 11 comments [​IMG]

    <!-- End .post --><!-- Begin #comments --> <!-- End #comments --> Monday, March 03, 2008

    <!-- Begin .post --> BOB II

    BOB II
    After reading the comments section on the article Maximum BOB ( did anyone get the reference to the novel? Come on, it isn’t as clever if I have to point it out ) I thought perhaps I should have added a paragraph or two on expanding the role of the equipment I thought of as all that was needed. I did just a ducky job on the philosophy ( if I do say so myself ) but perhaps I should have been a bit clearer on the use of the equipment. At first I said to myself, self, they all know what the heck this stuff is used for. Don’t insult their intelligence. Then I pondered for a time and said to myself, self ( you beautiful bastard, you ), you can’t just assume every reader has all the information you do. They have actual lives to lead rather than staying huddled in the corner whispering that They are out to get you, whimpering that you don’t have enough ammunition or food to survive the Die-Off as The Cartel is sure to take the relatively harmless Asian Flu and turn it into a Super Germ Warfare Weapon and infect the population to reduce the customers needing dwindling oil supplies, because, sure, at one time the Banking Syndicate loved everyone for buying thirty and forty year loans on Mexican labor built Crap Shacks but now the petroleum age is over and they don’t need as many mouths begging for the shrinking supply of genetically modified food so it is best to just get rid of them.
    Go to the thrift store and buy yourself a small backpack. Don’t get a big Boy Scout aluminum framed, cheap vinyl bag. Get a small school type back pack. Not cammo, perhaps black. A pink unicorn bag might work if you are staying urban. Now go to Office Depot and Wal-Mart. Take your bicycle. No point in filling the tank up with gas since this whole kit won’t cost but about $20. If you burn two gallons of gas getting it you will fill stupid. Actually, fill it up anyway and then never go out driving again. By the end of the year you can double your investment when gas gets up to $6 a gallon ( never mind inflation will wipe out any profit ). At the office supplies store get your Fresnel lens. The plastic sheet with raised edges next to each other. This will help you start fires after the Bic lighter runs out. Test this in the back yard burning holes in the wives Elvis On Velvet. Not all reader magnifiers are guaranteed to be this kind of lens. If you want to avoid Office Depot because the bastards ripped you off in the past by selling store brand CD’s and floppy discs that were crap and wiped out lots of hard work ( may their eternal souls roast in the hottest levels of Hell, or at least in the really cold portions where they are forced to sit down naked on ice and then jerked upright so they leave behind skin from very sensitive body parts/orifices ) then check out Wal-Mart for the lens. I haven’t seen them but they still might be in stock. If nothing else get a magnifying glass. It’s not as effective but it will still work and is cheap.
    While at everyone’s favorite Chinese Material Disbursement Outlet, also get a roll of black plastic garbage bags. Try to buy the thickest bags they carry. The thin ones will rip at a harsh look. These bags will serve several purposes. You can use as a mini-shelter. A tent half if trees are not available to semi-shelter you. Get something to tie it down with. Fishing line, twine, duct tape. Whatever is cheap and light. You can cut a hole through the bottom and use as a rain poncho. You can tie off around a tree branch to suck some moisture from leaves when it is sunny out. Next get yourself some water purification tablets. If you can’t take the iodine get a small volume camping water filter. You don’t need a thousand gallons so the twenty or fifty gallon capacity unit should be just fine. Get yourself a reflector blanket. The small size folded up the size of a fat index card. You won’t survive with this alone, but with fire and/or normally worn cold weather clothes it will do nicely. With enough gear on you can use this as a heat reflector by the fire instead of wearing it. While in the camping section get yourself a fixed blade knife and a cheap sharpener. If the blade is thin you can get a sharpener from the fishing section for just over a buck. Thicker blades need the conventional carbide sharpener which goes for about three bucks ( look for the bright yellow handle with the V rods imbedded in the middle ). If you are fiddle farting out in the woods or attacking sentries in the FEMA concentration camps a fixed blade is much better than a folding pocket knife. The pocket knife is for everyday, better than nothing use. A fixed blade can fell mighty oaks and smite an evil nemesis whereas the folder is good for sharpening pencils and carving the initials of your favorite lap dancer into trunks.
    Next go from the camping section to the grocery shelves and get yourself something to eat. I recommend Top Ramen since it is under fifteen cents a pack, two a day will provide 800 calories which is better than dandelions will provide, it is light weight and it can be eaten uncooked which does away with the need of a stove. Of course you can get a used pan from the thrift store and boil up the Ramen or cook another kind of food if you are planning on a fire anyway. Come winter you will need those fire starters to keep you warm. But if detection is a concern it is nice to have a food that can be consumed without cooking and doesn’t suffer in taste because of it. Yes, yes, I would prefer jerky also. But I’m assuming a low budget here, as well as the normal “stow and forget” most of us are going to be guilty of. Last, go to the bottled water section and get what you can comfortably carry in quality bottled water ( the bottle must be quality so as not to leak, the water is secondary since it is all well treated tap water more than likely ).
    Now, the reason this list is considered complete is that it will keep you alive for at least a few weeks. And everything is redundant for basic needs. You can survive quite a time without food so this level serves more to keep the hunger pains at bay more than anything else. It keeps the mind free to concentrate on travel in safety rather than cheeseburgers. If you want to spend all your time doing the Great White Hunter thing you can use the knife on a stick for a spear or the line for snares. So you have the ability to skip eating, than the basic food, then the ability to hunt or fish ( hooks are nice but you can spear the fish if necessary ). With water, you first have the bottled water, then you have the water purification, then you have the solar still, then you can boil water ( which probably means you should buy that small light aluminum pot after all- or a canteen cup better yet ). For shelter you have the plastic and the reflector blanket, your clothes, the ability to cut shelter material and firewood, plus two ways to make fire. That’s all you need. Shelter, fire, water, some food. You Want a lot of other things to make your life easier but you don’t Need them.
    Buy Wonderful Things From www.bisonpress.com

    posted by James m Dakin at 5:36 AM 9 comments [​IMG]

    <!-- End .post --><!-- Begin #comments --> <!-- End #comments --> Saturday, March 01, 2008

    <!-- Begin .post --> post apoc bounty hunter

    Let’s have a little fun today. Most of the time I’m pretty worked up over some issue or another and violently vomit bile at your computer screen. Today I’ll relax a bit and just go with a tongue in cheek subject. The job of post-apocalypse bounty hunter. A lot of you are disassembling your AR-15 as we speak ( it needs a lot of cleaning to keep it from jamming ), caressing the black plastic stock. Already starting next years Christmas list which oddly always starts with another gun. You already have down deposits on a case of .308 which you plan on paying off if your new super duper extra special tax return advance comes in. You know you can survive the coming combination of Peak Oil, famine and economic collapse because you have twenty cases of MRE’s stored up. In short, you can’t survive if you can’t use your impressive arsenal. You just know if you could use your super custom 1911A1 with laser sight, if you were allowed to turn your Rugar 10/22 ( which by the way if you have a Cabella’s nearby they have on sale for about $230 ) into a suppressed full automatic carbine, if you could own a indentured servant to carry your extra gear and guns into battle, you just know you could sail through the Apocalypse in style and comfort.
    For those surrounded by the smell of Break-Free instead of baking bread, you are limited to your post-collapse career opportunities. You can be a crook, assassin, highwayman. That is the illegitimate choice. This is universally frowned on and no true legitimate survivalist wants to consider. Then there are military careers. Either government run or government sanctioned mercenary units. Your last choice is going to be a bounty hunter. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. The illegitimate career is hard to wrap around intellectually. It doesn’t feel right as a lifetime of government run education has conditioned you to be subservient and law abiding. Back in a simpler time before mandated education the common people recognized that both government and business was out to screw them over ( through personal experience usually ) and they had no problem with outlaws giving a little back. The James Gang didn’t have to worry overly much about civilian snitches.
    Regardless of your moralistic outlook, one thing to acknowledge is that the life of a bandit is sure to end in failure. You will be killed, usually sooner rather than later. So the next place a gun for hire can look into is the military. More likely than not a total collapse society won’t be able to enjoy a surplus from labor needed from farming to have a draft. The military will be small and supplemented by mercenaries at times. The military has a low threshold to entry but they are also by nature a bit indifferent to the casualty list including your name. Being a mercenary may not be much safer but the rewards will be higher. Either way with a gun or two in hand with no other skills and a semi-death wish you will be assured of three hots and a cot until you die violently on the battlefield. Since the alternative as a civilian will most likely be starvation and becoming a victim of rapine or pillaging by the same army the risks might be deemed well worth it.
    The last and best choice is becoming a bounty hunter. Your chances of dieing are lower. Not because the work is any less violent but because it is only one or so guns against you rather than hundreds. Less projectiles traveling towards you. By using your wits you can increase the odds of surviving, an option not available to military troops under command of an idiot. And the rewards are certainly much higher. It didn’t seem unusual to have rewards for criminals to approach the level of a workman’s wages for a year. And the work is a lot easier than digging a ditch or working in an unsafe factory. The entry cost is high. Without skills you don’t get paid because only results are rewarded. In the military you get paid less but regularly. Be sure you can survive with the feast or famine pay of bounty hunting.
    Another benefit of bounty hunting is you can usually ambush/bushwack the fellow and not only is it legal and safe but is just as rewarding financially. Dead or alive gives a great deal of leeway. It’s not always necessary to sneak up like a ninja and cold cock the guy with just as many guns and a far less sunny disposition. So there you go, a financially rewarding way to play with all your guns.
    Thanks to all the loyal minions for the help on the pet food issue. You are all much better than a Google search. And great links on the Berden to Boxer manufacture. It is cheaper to buy loaded Berden rounds than empty brass, at least as far as the .303 is concerned.
    You can buy my crap at www.bisonpress.com

    posted by James m Dakin at 5:38 AM 17 comments [​IMG]

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  2. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    Gents, as a rank Newby to the forum I must a apologize for my lack of protocol and custom but I just read your postings and thought I was hearing--actually reading--- my own thoughts of many years. To keep things simple, I have about 40 years of reloading and shooting disciplines behind me including a son and grandson who both reload. Primers are key, CCI's are in the supply chains this month as are the Wolf brand. I do have extensive primer interchange data for survival purposes but I have my ammo loaded and my stock of "next phase stuff" on hand. As to money, I suggest the pre-1965 silver coins and current Eagle series gold and silver coins the former in $5 denominations. I have seen the currency swindle in South America in the 1980's and know we are headed for hyper-flation then a new currency which will be "turn in $20 of your old dollars and we will give you ONE new one"; another good deal brought to you by the printing press. Cordially, Overbore
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