Floods are currently hitting parts of central Europe that haven’t been flooded in living memory…and then some. In fact, the water levels in Passau, Germany have topped the highest recorded flood levels ever recorded there…and that was in 1501. Just another reminder that you must plan for the unexpected and not put all your eggs in one basket…or preps all in one place.
Now I’m not saying that we’re all going to suffer a flood, but your preps may be vulnerable to fire, earthquake, theft, tornado or any manner of other trouble…just don’t let your trouble become a tragedy by relying on one location, stockpile or cache… spread your preps among several locations, enter into a prepper compact with a like minded family that’s lives a distance from you…or both. Of course if you read the Bible, the Torah or the Qur’an…everybody lives on a floodplain.
I recently finished the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. Kyle’s wife Taya wasn’t credited but also contributed significantly to the book.
When I bought the book I expected it to be an account of the weapons and tactics that led Chief Petty Office Chris Kyle of S.E.A.L. Team 3 to become the most ‘lethal’ U.S. sniper in history surpassing the legendary Marine Carlos Hathcock’s Vietnam era record by over 50%. I expected Kyle’s book to be very similar to Hathcock’s Carlos Hathcock: Marine Sniper : War Stories And Tactical Tips From The Master Sniper which is also a great read…but what I ended up with was a love story. Don’t get me wrong, Kyle’s book has lots of war stories and countless humorous anecdotes of his life as a Navy S.E.A.L., but he didn’t focus nearly as much on the mechanics of shooting as he did on the decisions, situations and loves that led him placed him in the positions that led to his lethal record.
I love a good military autobiography and the psychological makeup of snipers makes their stories particularly compelling. As I mentioned above I’ve read Hathcock’s book as well as the autobiography of Vassili Zaitsev, NOTES OF A RUSSIAN SNIPER which was made into the movie Enemy At The Gates. As much as I enjoyed those books Kyle’s was something broader and in some ways more compelling.
Kyle told the story of his life, his S.E.A.L training, peacetime duty, and his four tours of duty in Iraq (including his contributions to the Second Battle of Falluja, the Battle of Ramadi, as well as various incursions into Sadr City) interspersed with the story of and the conflicts between his three great loves.
Frequent Prepography contributor Roger Reality wrote in to ask that I remind our readers that the 27 year old Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung-un just scrapped the 1953 Armistice that ended…really just hit the ‘pause button’ on the Korean War. His declaration technically returns us to state of open warfare with the Stalinist state.
This puts us in a state of war with another nuclear armed nation…the first time this has ever happened. I should also mention that this nuclear armed nation has also successfully launched a satellite into orbit demonstrating what is essentially an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability. Put together ICBM and nuclear capabilities and we’ve got a whole new kind of threat to worry about…and it likely isn’t the one you’re thinking about right now. Continue reading
Andrew’s Note: I’ve been watching with interest the developments in Argentina where the Socialist government has imposed price controls in a futile attempt to control inflation created by social (or should I say Socialist) engineering masquerading as economic policy…President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration has now gone so far as to ban advertising. The arrogance of a government expecting private businesses and individuals (and farmers) to continue to produce when their goods cost more to produce than they are allowed to sell them for defies belief…but it wasn’t so long ago that we tried such schemes as well. During the Nixon administration we exercised price controls on a national level and some cities still cling to anachronistic rent control schemes. Luckily we no longer impose price controls on a national level…now we just legislate how much profit private industries can make…Lord save us from misguided but well intended politicians and Socialists…so what’s the more general outlook for Central and South America look like…let’s return to the JOE.
The JOE is our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one. Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about the outlook for Central and South America:
At another location, we found barrels of chemical material that was intended for use as biochemical weapons. Everyone talks about there being no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but they seem to be referring to completed nuclear bombs, not the many deadly chemical weapons or precursors that Saddam had stockpiled.
As I listened to the President’s State of the Union address last night I couldn’t help but remember the same speech eleven years ago when another President described the ‘Axis of Evil.’ If you’ll recall the Axis included Iraq, Iran and North Korea. The only thing worse than an Axis of Evil is a Nuclear Axis of Evil.
In case you’ve been on a low information diet this week… North Korea apparently detonated another nuclear weapon amid a blitz of anti-U.S. rhetoric.
The news reports have been particularly troubling lately especially considering our increasingly dangerous world. It almost makes you long for the stability of the Cold War and Détente. Here are a couple of examples out of the Middle East.
An apparent Israeli incursion into Syria…
Israel must defend itself but now we’re mixing Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, U.S. interests, European interests, Russian interests and the rest of the world interested to boot. Complicate that by having Persian, Shia’, Iran assisting Sunni, Arab (Ba’ath Party) Syria and the situation gets very volatile. Oil supplies are in jeopardy, there’s risk of violence escalating generally throughout the region and one of Israel’s other neighbors (Egypt) is being run by the Muslim Brotherhood…where there’s rioting in the streets.
Conflicting accounts emerged Wednesday over an apparent Israeli airstrike inside Syrian territory earlier in the day—with several regional and Western officials saying Israeli jets had struck a convoy of trucks carrying arms near the Lebanon-Syria border, while Syria’s state media described an Israeli strike on a military facility near Damascus.
Iranian response for an attack on Syria?
Issuing Tehran’s strongest warning to date, a top Iranian official said Saturday that any attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a sign that it will do all it can to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made his comments as Syrian troops conducted offensive air raids against rebels and discovered a trio of tunnels they were using to smuggle weapons in their fight to topple Assad.
Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chicago, Libya, Mali, Philippines, oh my it’s a dangerous world! Are you prepared for this dangerous world?
As any serious student of history knows, centralized planning leads to inefficient logistic and economic systems. It seems like a smart person or group of people would make better decisions than the creative chaos of the free market…but it’s just not the case. No one is smart enough to direct an economy and as anyone who’s ever served on a committee knows…committees tend to make worse decisions than any single person could make individually. My rule of thumb is the bigger the committee the worse the decision…but it takes the world’s longest running Stalinist regime to bring us cannibalism and centralized planning. How bad can centralized planning screw up a country…
Hungry parents in North Korea have been caught eating their children to avoid starvation.
I know hunger changes brain chemistry but how hungry do you have to be to become this insane!
The article mentions a long running drought…but what’s really at work is called famine. Famine is a frequent companion when centralized planning meets farming decisions. If one farmer makes a bad farming decision…his family goes hungry…if a centralized planner makes a bad farming decision it starves the entire country. North Korea’s on it’s third generation of bad decisions.
Even though I don’t have the financial resources to participate in the micro-nation or sovereignty movements I’ve followed the attempts and developments with interest for several years. This week those movements lost their most successful practitioner and one of the founding
fathers monarchs; Prince Roy, born Paddy Roy Bates of The Principality of Sealand. For his love of liberty, contributions to both the sovereignty and micro-nation movements and entrepreneurial spirit we induct Prince Roy into Prepography’s Virtual Wall of Honor. The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince (Roy’s son, Prince Michael).
We’ve mentioned Sealand briefly before in our article on another budding micro-nation but Sealand is both the most successful and the most micro of micro-nations…the history of Sealand is really Prince Roy’s story as well.
Before founding and becoming the Prince of Sealand on several abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platforms in the North Sea, Prince Roy had already
Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global. Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:
DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat: The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago.
Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires: If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society.
‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson: A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member. Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps.
Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia: In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone.
Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global. Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:
There have been a number of attempts in the last few decades to create micro-nations by those who desire more freedom and less taxation than is currently available in more established nations. The most successful and famous of these is the Principality of Sealand…although Sealand was only mildly economically successful before its devastating fire several years back. Sealand’s success was largely in the form of cyber-freedom after the entire ‘country’ (built on a group of World War II anti-aircraft platforms in international waters off the coast of England) was turned into a server farm. Not so much as a Gault’s Gulch as a steel decked Gault’s Island.
In recent years the proposed creation of micro-nations has moved from maritime endeavors (no unclaimed land left and floating cities have never caught on) to semi-autonomous city states within established nations. Not micro-nations in the true sense but these economic enclaves provide many of the same benefits without the drawbacks associated with maritime endeavors. There are even successful models (of a sort) by comparing the economic engines of Hong Kong and Macau ‘Special Administrative Districts’ to the rest of China. Continue reading
I actually started Tomorrow When the War Began as a book a few years ago and it was just a little too ‘Judy Bloom’ for me. I have no issues with an inner monologue, but John Marsden’s running dialog straight from his main character’s (a teenage girl) head was a little much for me. I just looked the author up…a guy wrote that book? Anyway, I get my more than my share of teenage angst with all the teen girls in my family…so I never finished the book. However, I still thought that it sounded like a great story if I could get past all the inner monologue and straight to the story.
The story itself sounded like an Australian Red Dawn…and I liked the movie Red Dawn. Did I mention that Tomorrow When the War Began is a juvenile novel…so are many of Heinlein’s greats so I don’t prejudge…wish I had with the book though. The book is actually the first of the very popular ‘Tomorrow’ series.
So…back to Tomorrow When the War Began, the movie…even though the book wasn’t for me, I was still interested in the story line so when Tomorrow When The War Began came out on Netflix I jumped at the chance to watch it. The movie is a beautifully filmed and well acted Australian production about a group of Australian teens that go camping and return home to discover that an unnamed military force has invaded Australia and taken all their families hostage.
[MINOR SPOILERS ALERT] Continue reading
The Drums of War…the most strategic piece of oil real estate in the world is being threatened and our leaders believe that Iran has the capability to block the strait of Hormuz. I believe it’s just a matter of time before the Judeo-Persian War. Iranian leaders have stated that they will wipe Israel from the face of the map, Israeli leaders have said they won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran…at this point it’s just a question of who will strike first.
If you’re an Ian Fleming fan read a little about the what’s been happening to Iran’s dwindling pool of nuclear scientists in recent years…the spymaster himself couldn’t have come up with more interesting plot devices including limpet mine attacks on cars…hmm, wonder who’s behind that? Continue reading
September is Preparedness Month. Here are 10 headlines from the past few days on diverse topics to help keep you focused on your prepping:
Andrew’s Note: I have seen our national dialog once again turn to and contemplate military intervention in the Middle East. This time it’s Syria (I’ll leave Iran for another day as it actually poses a threat to the U.S. through its pursuit of and stated policy of intending to use Weapons of Mass Destruction). Last year I wrote a critique of one of the foundational articles used to justify our military intervention in Iraq. I am an Iraq war veteran and am proud of my service and our military forces, but I think that Dr. Thomas Barnett’s article, “The Pentagon’s New Map” attempts to rationalize a particularly dangerous collection of ideas. I encourage you to decide for yourself if policing the world is the appropriate use of our power. Dr. Barnett expanded on the ideas presented in this article and published a book of the same title…my critique only addresses the original article from Esquire magazine. Here is that critique:
Dr. Thomas Barnett states in his 2003 article “The Pentagon’s New Map” that countries and regions of the world that are disconnected from the benefits of globalization represent a significant danger to the United States and other globalized nations. He proposes that we should globalize those “Non-Integrating Gap or Gap” nations at the point of a gun if necessary when he states that we must “begin the systematic, long-term exportation of security.” Barnett’s goal of “shrinking the Gap” by further integrating the world’s backwaters and rogue nations into a productive community of nations is laudable and would undoubtedly improve security and prosperity. However, the scope and mechanisms Barnett proposes to achieve worldwide globalism and a stable security environment is simply not affordable. Continue reading
Andrew’s Note: Today we continue running a section discussing Oil from the Energy Section (Part II, Trends Influencing World Security) of the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the Department of Defense’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one. Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about Peak Oil and our energy future:
To meet even the conservative growth rates posited in the economics section [of the JOE], global energy production would need to rise by 1.3% per year. By the 2030s, demand is estimated to be nearly 50% greater than today. To meet that demand, even assuming more effective conservation measures, the world would need to add roughly the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s current energy production every seven years.
Absent a major increase in the relative reliance on alternative energy sources (which would require vast insertions of capital, dramatic changes in technology, and altered political attitudes toward nuclear energy), oil and coal will continue to drive the energy train. By the 2030s, oil requirements could go from 86 to 118 million barrels a day (MBD). Although the use of coal may decline in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, it will more than double in developing nations. Fossil fuels will still make up 80% of the energy mix in the 2030s, with oil and gas comprising upwards of 60%. The central problem for the coming decade will not be a lack of petroleum reserves, but rather a shortage of drilling platforms, engineers and refining capacity. Even were a concerted effort begun today to repair that shortage, it would be ten years before production could catch up with expected demand. The key determinant here would be the degree of commitment the United States and others display in addressing the dangerous vulnerabilities the growing energy crisis presents.
That production bottleneck apart, the potential sources of future energy supplies nearly all present their own difficulties and vulnerabilities. None of these provide much reason for optimism. At present, the United States possesses approximately 250 million cars, while China with its immensely larger population possesses only 40 million.
As the figure at right shows, petroleum must continue to satisfy most of the demand for energy out to 2030. Assuming the most optimistic scenario for improved petroleum production through enhanced recovery means, the development of non-conventional oils (such as oil shales or tar sands) and new discoveries, petroleum production will be hard pressed to meet the expected future demand of 118 million barrels per day. [Interesting to note that the document actually uses the term "Peak Oil"] Continue reading