Andrew’s Note: Today we take a step back from discussing preparedness and feature an article on Veterans Day Etiquette that I wrote several years ago. Republishing this article has become an annual event here at Prepography in order to honor those who understand that selfless service is required to keep our Nation free. Veteran’s Day freebies from retailers are nice but a heartfelt word of appreciation or recognition from our fellow citizens certainly means more to us. Happy Veterans Day!
For the first sixteen years of my military career there was little need for a primer on Veterans Day etiquette as there was little public recognition of the day other than a few restaurants that thanked our Nation’s Veterans with a free meal and a Federal holiday. All that changed in September 2001… since that time there’s been a renewed gratefulness from the U.S. population towards its current and former military service members. That gratitude has played out in many ways and one of those ways is by a renewed interest in Veterans Day.
Before we explain Veterans Day etiquette, let’s look at the history of Veterans Day
Unlike Memorial Day which honors our war dead, Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor our living veterans. The timing of Veterans Day grew out of Armistice Day from World War I. Although the peace treaty wasn’t signed until June 28th 1919 the armistice went into effect the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (1918). This armistice was the end of the over-optimistically named ‘war to end all wars.’ President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” in 1954 at the urging of Congress to officially expand the observance of Armistice Day into Veterans Day. You can read more about the history of Veterans Day at History of Veterans Day – Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Here’s one old soldier’s guide to Veteran’s Day etiquette based primarily on my family’s traditions, as well as my own feelings and experiences. (more…)
Historically Socialism, (Collectivism, Democratic Socialism, Communism, Totalitarianism or whatever other name you want to give it) has proved so wildly successful that Bernie Sanders, a major Democrat presidential candidate and his legion of supporters are thinking…
Argentina has such a great economy…
Venezuela no longer can import or produce most consumer goods…
Greece figured out a way to make temporarily make Germany pay for retirement benefits starting at age 50 and it only cost them their dignity and future…
Jews and other ‘undesirable’ groups fared so well under National Socialism (NAZI) rule in 1930’s and 40’s Germany…
The multitude of refugees fleeing Cuba in death defying homemade watercraft over the past half century just didn’t properly understand the tiny nations social principals and how poverty and oppression is good for them…
China even takes away their
citizens’ subjects’ right to reproduce with a one-child policy that is as cruel as it is demographically challenging…who’s going to take care of billions of geriatric Chinese in a few decades…
Even the once powerful Soviet Union has been banished to the dust heap of history…and yet many Americans, including Senator Bernie Sanders exclaim…
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher really was right about socialist governments when she stated that “They always run out of other people’s money.” It’s hard to deprive folks of their hard earned private property without also taking away other rights and freedoms:
… like the freedom of speech, an example of which is a proposal by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to utilize R.I.C.O. laws designed to prosecute organized crime to go after climate change skeptics.
…like the freedom of the press which has suffered a number of assaults recently including the report of a Supreme Court Justice chomping at the bit to hobble independent journalism outlets like the Drudge Report utilizing a ‘reinterpretation’ of copywrite law or, as Jennifer Granock of Forbes described it in an article last year this “has been the most aggressive Administration in history, not only in going after whistleblowers, but also pursuing the reporters who write their stories” utilizing criminal statutes.
…even We The People‘s last bastion against tyranny or foreign invasion has come under attack with President Obama and Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton openly calling for firearms confiscations and the end to our 2nd Amendment as we know it.
Please encourage your friends and love ones who consider Socialism a construct worth considering to study Economics, History, Logic or even the psychology of basic human motivations so they can learn for themselves the devastation that a Tragedy of the Commons could reach on the scale of a nation such as ours.
Today’s Infographic, Venomous Snakes of North America comes to us from www.prepforshtf.com. It’s a great overview of North America’s Venomous Snakes but I’d add…it’s best to leave snakes alone whether you can identify them or not.
Venomous Snakes of North America Infographic Courtesy of: preparing For SHTF
One of my daughters reminded me recently that even with all the strides women have taken towards gender equality in opportunities and benefits, there’s one gender equality battle that even the most die-hard feminists don’t seem to want to fight and that’s for the obligations of registering for Selective Service, our military draft.
Beside a picture of a woman improperly wearing the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) the Selective Service program offers this explanation:
Women Aren’t Required to Register
Selective Service law as it’s written now refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who would be drafted. For women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to amend the law.
THE SUPREME COURT
The constitutionality of excluding women was tested in the courts. A Supreme Court decision in 1981, Rostker v. Goldberg, held that registering only men did not violate the due process clause of the Constitution.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Following a unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced, on January 24, 2013, the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female service members. The service branches continue to move forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. Ongoing project is still underway.
The Selective Service System, if given the mission and modest additional resources, is capable of registering and drafting women with its existing infrastructure.
While the Selective Service tells us why we don’t require women to register for the draft it doesn’t give us any insight into why this battle for gender equality isn’t being fought.
Even as the Army graduates the first women from the Special Operations capable Ranger Course and the Marines conclude their year long evaluation of posting women to infantry units women have never had more opportunities in the U.S. military services but women have yet to equally share the obligations of registration for Selective Service. Why do gender equality activist ignore this blatant and obvious form of discrimination…is it because it’s an obligation…and not a benefit? To me the two should go hand in hand.
Now I’ll admit that I was raised in an era when we were taught that women were special, people to be prized and catered to. When I first left the infantry and began serving with female soldiers I had to keep myself from extending courtesies that had been engrained since childhood like opening the door for them and assuming the heavy, dirty and unpleasant tasks that men have historically tried to protect the women in their lives from…I taught myself to treat them like any other soldier, no better, no worse. Over the years I have served for, with and led a number of female soldiers. Some were capable, some were not. Some tried to use their gender, even their ‘feminine wiles’ to shirk their duties while others were hesitant even to take a soldierly helping hand because they didn’t want to be perceived as less capable.
Potential unit and individual performance issues in infantry units aside, women can and do perform almost all military tasks as good as their male counterparts. With the male military eligible population at an all time low, maybe as low as 25% (age, illness, obesity, criminal history, drug use, & educational requirements) we need women in our ranks now more than ever and even more so should we need to activate a Selective Service Draft. Why is the gender equality crowd nearly silent on this important national security and gender equality issue? Why is the Draft the gender equality issue even feminists don’t want to fight?
When many people think of raising rabbits, the image of a cute and cuddly pet comes to mind. If that’s your only frame of reference for raising rabbits than beware as this article discusses a far more important reason for raising rabbits…raising rabbits for meat production. Raising rabbits is an inexpensive and potentially stealthy way to help your family become more food secure and self sufficient. Throughout mankind’s history, and in many cultures, domesticated rabbits have been valuable source of food. The following is a list of the Top 10 Benefits To Raising Meat Rabbits:
1. Rabbits are one of the most productive and economical livestock available. One rabbit can produce 6 lbs of meat on the same amount of feed and water that a cow produces only 1 lbs of meat. Think about that for a minute…600% more efficient than beef! The only livestock animal that can out produce the rabbit in terms of turning feed into meat is the chicken due to egg production.
2. Rabbit are prolific breeders. Because rabbits are prey animals; an animal that provides food for the higher level predators, they are biologically hard wired to be prolific breeders. Let’s face it, a rabbit’s primary functions in nature are to make babies and get eaten. Female rabbits are fertile 365 days a year unless environmental stress causes them to temporarily become infertile. Their gestation period is about 28 days, and a female rabbit can become impregnated again within 24 hours of giving birth.
3. Rabbits mature quickly. Again, genetically rabbits are hard wired to grow quickly. Baby rabbits, known as kits, wean at about 4 weeks. It only takes about 8 weeks for a rabbit to reach butchering weight. All this means that under an intensive and highly managed breeding program, a buck (the male rabbit) and 2 does (the female rabbit) can produce enough kits to give you almost 300lbs of meat a year.
4. Rabbits take up a relatively small footprint. Depending on the size of the breed, adult rabbits only need from 1.5 to 5 sq ft of space, each. Typical meat breeds need from 3-4 sq ft to be productive. Because of this small foot print, many rabbits can be raised in a given space that larger livestock, like say cows, pigs, or goats.
5. Rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t. Even though there is a nationwide movement in the US, there are many places where raising livestock is prohibited, or highly regulated. Because of the small foot print and zoning laws in many municipalities, rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t. Often rabbits are allowed even in places that ban chickens. Except if caught by a predator a rabbit is nearly silent…no noises to bother the neighbors into calling the authorities. If I was unlucky enough to live in a town that didn’t allow me to raise meat rabbits, I might just have to have a few rabbits as ‘pets’ and because they are also relatively clean, so they don’t generally raise any red flags with neighbors or city officials.
6. Compost. Rabbit create a prolific amount of poop. This by product is excellent for composting as it is high in nitrates. Composted properly you are left with high quality amendment that can be used in your garden, or sold to others.
Production Bonus Benefit: Raising Rabbits With Children. Home rabbit production provides an additional benefit to those with young children. By including your children in the rabbit production process your kids should come away with a greater appreciation of what it takes to put meat on the table and the fact that meat doesn’t really come from a Styrofoam package.
7. Rabbit meat is high in protein. In fact, out of all the readily available protein sources (store bought and farm raised), rabbit meat has the highest percentage of protein. A 3oz serving of rabbit contains about 24.7 grams of protein. The proteins in rabbit meat are also easily digestible.
8. Rabbit Meat is very lean. Rabbits do have fat, but unlike beef and other livestock, the fat is not distributed throughout the muscle but is primarily deposited around it’s internal organs. In fact, a 3oz serving of rabbit meat contains about 6.8 grams of fat which is about 1/3 of the fat that you’d find in a comparable serving of beef. Because of this, there is actually a risk of starvation if you eat nothing but rabbit meat but as part of a well rounded diet it’s a very lean, healthy protein.
9. Rabbit meat is low in cholesterol. If you suffer from elevated cholesterol, rabbit meat is a good alternative to other protein sources. 3oz of rabbit meat contains about 70mg of cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommend no more than 300mg a day, and no more that 200 if you already suffer from heart disease.
10. Rabbit meat has a very mild flavor. Unlike beef, rabbit meat does not have a strong flavor. This means that it makes a very good canvas for other flavors in the dish, much the same way chicken does. This makes rabbit meat a very versatile food to cook with.
Culinary Bonus Benefit: Rabbits have a high meat to bone ratio. Meat rabbit breeds have been developed to yield a high meat to bone ratio. This means that there is more edible meat on the carcass of a butchered meat than can even be achieved with chickens. A live 5lbs rabbit will dress out at about 3lbs.
I have been raising rabbits for meat production for about 5 years. I have learned a lot along the way. There is something fulfilling about knowing exactly where my food has come from and what is in it. I’ve also gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the process. I enjoy going out and spending time with my rabbits. My family makes fun on me, because I talk to them and interact with them but just because a creature is livestock doesn’t mean that it should be treated as, well…livestock.
While rabbit isn’t on the daily menu for most of us here in the U.S., rabbit recipes abound especially in the culinary traditions of Northern Italy and France. If you can’t find a rabbit specific recipe that sounds good to you, do not fret. Because of it’s versatility, you can substitute rabbit in many recipes that call for chicken. Low (temp) and slow (time) are the watch words when cooking rabbit.
I’ve gained a lot of perspective while raising rabbits both on my family’s nutritional needs and the mechanisms we use to fulfill those needs. When raising my rabbits, I endevour to provide them with a healthy and happy existence before they are butchered, dispatch the animal humanely and utilize as much of the rabbit as possible. The rabbits we consume are making the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family, and it is the least I can do for them. If you are looking for an alternative source of meat, during the good times, as well as the bad, raising rabbits is something you should seriously consider.
Pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 which designated the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother’s Day. This is a day of remembrance, intended to honor the survivors of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. In this year’s proclamation, the president called upon all government officials to display the U.S. flag over government buildings this Sunday, and encouraged all Americans to display the flag and hold ceremonies as a public expression of respect and gratitude for Gold Star Families.
To read the full proclamation, click here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/25/presidential-proclamation-gold-star-mothers-and-familys-day-2015
Our nation’s Gold Star Mothers and Families have joined together to continue their loved one’s service to our nation. Learn more at Gold Star Moms.
In the Prepography post entitled “Top 10 Food Dehydrating Tips“, I detailed the benefits of dehydrating your own food. One of the most important pieces of equipment for dehydrating in the modern era is the store-bought dehydrator. Shocking, I know! There could be several reasons why you haven’t already run out and purchased a new dehydrator based on my sage advice. The price of a new one could be outside your budget. You could be a cheapskate and don’t want to spend the money. or, you could be one of those industrious types that thinks you could build one cheaper, and better than one bought from a store. Well, this post is for you and will help you make a simple dehydrator.
In fact, you can make a simple dehydrator using nothing but household items. It will by no means be as good as a Nesco or Excalibur but it will; given time, patience and attention, get the job done. Gathering the parts to make a simple dehydrator will take longer than actually putting it together and making it operational.
WARNING: Your home-made dehydrator won’t be the subject of an ISO testing regime so make sure to use it only in a fire-safe area that you closely monitor during the dehydrating process.
Step 1: Select a large cardboard box. A suitable box should be able to stand on its end for easy access. Make sure not to use a plastic box as there may be the risk of off gassing when the dehydrator heats up or melting. Line the inside with aluminum foil using tape. Double sided tape works best for this step.
Step 2: Insert and mount your heat source, with the cord running through the side or back of the box. Try and keep the hole as small and insulated as possible, in order to cut down on heat loss. A word on the heat source, use a bulb that gives off heat. A 75w or 100w incandescent bulb works great. An LED, or CFL bulb won’t give off the necessary heat. Make sure there are no exposed wires in contact with the aluminum foil, as moisture may accumulate inside your box.
Step 3 (Optional): Insert and mount your fan. Place the fan opposite your heat source. Adding the fan to the process will help with the dehydrating process by circulating the warm air and helping remove moisture from your food.
Step 4: Cut holes in the sides of the box to slide your wooden slats or dowels through to place your racks on. Some suggest that you could use PVC for the rack supports but due to the possibility of off-gassing, my suggestion is to use wooden dowels, slats or a freestanding rack.
Step 5: Make vent holes at the top to allow the moisture to escape. You want to use numerous smaller holes, rather than fewer larger holes. The reason for this is that moisture will collect on the areas where there is no ventilation.
Step 6: Insert the cooking thermometer into the side of the box, at about the level of you rack supports. Ensure you can read your thermometer from the outside of the box. If you were to place the thermometer inside you would have to open the box to read it and would lose valuable heat in the process.
Step 7: Place your newly constructed dehydrator in a fire safe area.
Step 8: Place your food on the racks and mount inside your box.
Step 8: Close your box, turn on your new dehydrator and let the food dehydrate! Make sure to monitor your dehydrator for safety during the dehydration process.
Some notes on using your home made dehydrator. First and foremost, do not leave you dehydrator unattended; safety, safety, safety. The next thing is managing the heat. Different foods need to be dehydrated at different temperatures, for best results. The table below shows you the proper temperature for different foods:
|Fruit & Vegetables||130°-140° F|
|Meats||145° F or higher|
You can manage the heat inside the box, by leaving the box slightly open or closing it up.