Ain’t dead. Upgrading gray matter in meatspace…

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Doing some “professional development” that is taking some weeks and months to complete. Upside is more medical skill for yours truly, and possibly some med classes to teach to those who are interested when I am done. Downside is I have between jack and shit for time to do much else, blogging included.

In the meantime, I ask that folks check out the following book:

The Open Source Everything Manifesto. The author is a career CIA guy that lays it down. Millions of empowered individuals that utilize comms networks to spread ideas and shine klieg lights on what they are doing as what the vermin in the Imperial City and associated capitals globally are doing will win the day. There’s a heavy dose of Bush Derangement Syndrome (no problem with that if it comes with equal hate for the successor regime), love for the Occupy dudes, some collectivist hopey dope, and some general naiveté, but the core of his manifesto is compelling.

The author just forgets that with all the happy stuff, it’s still a good idea for everyone to be well armed to shoot the malevolent collectivists in their faces when they inevitably try to hijack The Next Great Thing for their own gain and profit at the expense of everyone’s freedom. I have to admit I admire the motherfuckers for their resilience and consistency like I do cockroaches.

Check it out. Just because Mao was a dirty commie rat doesn’t mean his observations on guerrilla warfare were bad.

American Thinker: GWB and neocons vidicated re: Iraq

Same suits. Same ties. Same ruinous policies.

Sorry American Thinker, but W and the neocons have not been vindicated.

The vindication belongs to those whole have questioned the crack-smoking notion of “region shaping,” a concept deeply loved by the DC bubble crowd, since its inception.

A little history is worth recalling. Saddam’s failure to account for his weapons of mass destruction, including remnants of his toxic arsenal (some of which was in fact found), gave the Bush administration legal cover for going into Iraq. But only a fool would believe weapons of mass destruction were the only reason for the war. The U.S.-led invasion, or liberation, was in fact part of a vision to remake the Middle East: a long-term project to liberate millions in Iraq; nudge the region toward modernity; and above all make America safer in a post-9/11 world — all by correctly defining who the enemy was and taking the war on terror to them [emphasis IMC].

Let’s tear into the bold part of the above quote, shall we?

First, the “correctly defining the enemy” idea is laughable. I remember the hijackers who pulled off the raid on 9/11/2001 were mainly composed of Saudis, Pakistanis, and Egyptians, all working for al Qaeda. The definition of “the enemy” at the run up of the Iraq war was oddly fluid, in that Saddam was now Public Enemy Number One as the advisers to the president looked for any way possible to make him responsible for the 9/11 raid as well as the host of the rest of the world’s ills. Let’s go back in time for a second and remember the propaganda that was being pumped out in full force to justify the invasion of Iraq. Axis of Evil. Yellowcake. Mobile bio-weapons labs. Connection to al Qaeda and training facilities, etc.

A clear definition of the enemy, in my eyes, requires a congressional declaration of war and clear objectives. Our declaration of war in this fight is a brand name straight out of marketing 101. The “Global War on Terror” makes as much sense as the “Global War on Artillery Barrages” because it declares war on a tactic, not an enemy. And that’s the sticky part. It’s a little politically incorrect nowadays to just straight up declare war on the “radicalized” 15-30% of a religion of 1.5 billion followers, because that’s 225,000,000 to 450,000,000 souls, even if that’s the body that the next bunch of murderous assholes comes from.

So we played fast and loose with defining the enemy and used flimsy justifications to knock over the guy that didn’t commit the original crime. It’s also tough to blame it on Wahhabist Islam, since the Saudis are such great customers of the US armaments industry and they trade their oil in US dollars, so we don’t want to upset such a tidy relationship, even if it results in covert funding for al Qaeda and similar organizations, a Pakistani nuke, and various and sundry things that are rather detrimental to US security.

Going further, the romp in Iraq “…was in fact part of a vision to remake the Middle East: a long-term project to liberate millions in Iraq; [and] nudge the region toward modernity.” This is such a laughable concept and completely illustrates the tunnel vision of the central planners in the DC bubble. In their eyes, the world is frozen on 1944 and everyone is England, France, Japan and Germany. Never mind that if it weren’t for the work of westerners to find and exploit oil in the middle east, it’d all pretty much look like Afghanistan with a bunch of warring tribes flailing about and beheading each other. Unlike the Japanese and Germans before WWII, who were well organized, industrial societies with civil institutions and infrastructure, the middle east is tribal, corrupt, and seems to revert to savagery very quickly anytime the power goes off. The notion that the US can Marshall Plan itself across the globe and turn savage, tribal societies into civilized states is beyond naive if not just plain dumb.

The term “nudge,” so popular with the Cass Sunstein totalitarian crowd, is newspeak for “extortion.” As in, a group of people in the DC bubble decides it wants you to change your behavior, they make regulations to do so, fine you if you don’t, kidnap you if you don’t pay the fine, or just shoot you dead if you resist when they come to kidnap you for not paying the fine. It’s a hell of a sweet word to cover up extreme violence on behalf of a central authority.

So our “nudge” in Iraq was to point M4s at them and say “be France in 1944.” Good strategy.

Iraq killed 4,400 and wounded over 32,000 US service members and cost the country over $2 trillion to fight.

Perversely at home, the legacy of the wars in the middle east appears to be the imposition of an already-on-the-shelf police and surveillance state pointed inward at the citizenry with a giant, unaccountable bureaucracy at the center of it all with the Department of Homeland Security. While the US wars around the globe because “liberty will come to those who love it,” US citizens who love and demand liberty are on threat lists and are used as justification for local police agencies to get military hardware from the DHS to deal with them for being “homegrown extremists.” “It’s a warzone in the US” apparently.

Keep in mind that as of 2009, the US was over $70 trillion in debt using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Our country is functionally bankrupt and has not collapsed (yet) because it holds the world’s reserve currency position with energy and armaments being traded in US dollars, and concerted chicanery from the Federal Reserve and other central banks with QE, ZIRP, NIRP, and POMO. The minute that status changes, we will become the United States of Zimbabwe. These wars are only accelerating the process.

ISIS’ taking of Iraq is the continuation of a 700 year religious fight that was briefly interrupted in the 20th century when industrialized, western societies dominated the tribal societies after the Ottoman Turks collapsed in on themselves. The borders of the nation states that the western world imposed on the middle east after WWI are reverting to their historical norms. To that end, our choices in dealing with it are not good.

The US can go back and invade, but it will have to go for total commitment and ruthlessly dominate the society it invades to a level not seen in over 100 years. It will have to be a huge army that can lock down an entire nation and conduct counterinsurgency operations at all levels. It will require generations of young Americans to stay for generations to not only kill off the bad people, but to breed our way of life and our thinking into the local populations. It will require our domination of the local economies, with tribute coming back to the US to fund the ongoing operations in the society we have invaded. The fanaticism of the ISIS crew and the apocalyptic world view of the Shia mullahs in Iran need to be dealt with the way that the fanaticism of the Japanese and the apocalyptic world view of the Nazis was dealt with. Once we’ve taken the air, piss, and vinegar our of every hothead in the region, only then can the “Marshall Plan thinking” start again. If this sounds like colonization and empire, it is. It works until it doesn’t, and that could be anywhere from 50 to 500 years from now. Americans would have to understand and accept that tens or hundreds of thousands of their sons and daughters will be sacrificed for this multi-generational project, and our national life will be devoted to the success of the initiative.

The other option is to accept that the middle east is lost for now and isolate it from the rest of humanity. The US, and any western country without a suicide complex, must immediately secure its borders and make it much harder for anyone from anywhere to get it. It must deny entrance into the US anyone from the troublesome countries in the middle east or countries that do business with the trouble countries in the middle east. Visas of all kinds will need to be revoked and the holders sent back to their old countries. No more western universities, cities,  culture, or benefits of the west of any kind. If you are allowed to stay, you will be tracked and watched. The US maintains a massive strike and punitive expeditionary capability that does not stick around to nation build. Nations like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, and others will get the back channel message echoing John F. Kennedy’s message to the USSR that any strike on the US will be viewed as an attack by all three of those states on the US, and retaliation will be swift and final. Let them know that we will not interfere as they sort themselves out, and that we will be ready to do business with the dominant powers once the dust has settled. The status of the US as the reserve currency for global trade will most likely die with this approach and our economy could very well collapse as our rivals swoop into the area to engage where we pulled back. A nuke could go off in a US city or two as anyone who wants the Saudis, Pakistanis, and / or Iranians gone will benefit from the the US response. The dominant powers in the middle east may be just as irrational and full of religious fervor after the bloodletting as before, or they may be physically and financially exhausted from years of slaughter. It’s tough to say.

There is no easy answer to this situation, and anyone that tries to tell you there is one is lying.

What George W. Bush and the neo-cons did was continue the psychotic narrative that somehow war could be cheap, easy, and relatively casualty free. This is the blackest of lies to be perpetrated on the American people. When Iraq almost collapsed in 2006-2007, it was the surge that helped keep it from tottering over the edge. It required more American treasure, more American blood, and American willingness to embrace working with people that days before were placing IEDs in the roads we traveled upon. The new narrative coming from the DC bubble is that we can ally ourselves with the people who make up groups like ISIS to depose other rivals and somehow think that the dog will stay leashed and not attack its master.

The only things vindicated with ISIS’ march across Iraq are the notion that our armed services in the middle east were lions led by asses in the DC bubble, and Bourne’s axiom that “war is the health of the state.”

In my view, George W. Bush is the second worst president in the history of these United States. He lost first place to his successor.

Lois Lerner: “Sometimes stuff just happens” when emails disappear

Absolutely goddamned right Lois. Absolutely goddamned right.

Mussolini-hanging

A wise man once said:

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

JFK-M16

Scumbags.

 

 

Another example of central planning failure by government from Gary Taubes

This is a long lecture that is well worth your time. Taubes chronicles the rise of the obesity epidemic in the USA and how our illustrious central planners and their crony capitalist buddies have been hammering a fatal diet into our heads and bodies for decades.

Follow it up with the lecture from Dr. Robert Lustig that has more science on similar lines.

A fat, sick, prepper is of limited value to a community that is going through SHTF. If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, take a very hard look at what you have been eating for a long time and think through what you can do to change it.

Age has something to do with, but not everything. The guy below is 61. Chew on that for a while.

Banking stooges and the gun dealer

Future cell mates in the federal pen. A girl can dream…

Good news from the People’s Republik of Massachusetts via the Daily Caller. A gun dealer with a 20 year history with a bank was suddenly frozen out on a line of credit by the bank for no real reason. Suspicion that The Regime’s Operation Choke Point is the reason.

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

The gun dealer, last name of Cohen, has this to say:

“This year I went to apply for a line of credit, and the bank manager came by the store,” said Cohen, adding that he’s known the bank manager for over 20 years.

“Mark, I apologize,” she said, according to Cohen, “your credit history is great, but the bank is turning you down because you sell guns.”

Cohen told his friend and lender that he would have no choice but to close his accounts with the bank since they couldn’t provide the services his company needs.

Mr. Cohen sends out an email to customers with the story. He closes all accounts with the bank. Customers begin to cancel their accounts with the bank and talk as well. Bank realizes it screwed up, tells lies about being loyal to “local customers” but the stooge mouthpiece from the bank’s corporate office confirms it is a centralized, boot-licking bureaucracy full of stooges by saying this:

“At TD Bank, lending decisions are made at the local level. We are a bank of local lenders making local loans,” wrote TD Bank spokeswoman Erin Potts on Thursday.

After further inquiries into how lending decisions are made at the company, Potts issued another statement on Friday.

“At TD, Mr. Cohan’s [sic] business is not prohibited. We review each loan on a case by case basis. We apologize to Mr. Cohan [sic] for any inconvenience, and we have reached out to him to find a solution.”

Mr. Cohen has the following to say:

“They want to kiss and make up, but it’s too little, too late,” Cohen said.

So let us all pour a three finger deep libation (spirited or otherwise) and raise our glasses to Mr. Cohen for making an example of The Regime and its sycophant, crony-socialist corporations.

Cheers, sir.

We do live in Bizzaro World. A business that trades hard goods, guns and ammunition, that for the most part keep increasing in value, for fiat currency is deemed as “high risk.” In the meantime, all of the government-sponsored chicanery of QE, car loans to crackheads via Ally Bank (formerly GMAC) to buy GM cars, and the incorruptible Mel Watt, head of the FHFA, has indicated that the heady days of NINJA loans and subprime goodness are about to visit us again under his supreme guidance.

Folks, this is how we’ll win. Our opponents are so blinded by ideology that they could be classified as a danger to themselves and others because they have lost all touch with reality. The complicating factor is that Obama, Holder, et al, are the “Master” to the roid-raged, paranoid, passive-aggressive, and violent “Blaster” security and regulatory mechanisms of the executive branch to form the most malevolent MasterBlaster character from Mad Max the world will ever know.

In any case, the fact that hundreds of Regular Joes backed up another Regular Joe entrepreneur and tamed a large bank is great work. To the TD Bank people, enjoy this one from Samuel Adams, you stooges:

Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say “what should be the reward of such sacrifices?” Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!

And to Mr. Cohen, Bravo Zulu, Sir.

Coupla good reads to ponder. More medicine and some warfighting

First up is the Survival Medicine Handbook from Dr. Joseph Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton A.R.N.P., who run a web site called www.doomandbloom.net and have also published this excellent resource.

I picked this up shortly after writing up the Let’s Talk Trauma series for this blog and have to say I wish I had it before. Dr. Alton, aka “Dr. Bones,” is an OB/GYN and pelvic surgeon by trade that collects 19th century medical books to jigger his thought process on a SHTF/WROL medical world. Amy Alton, aka “Nurse Amy,” is a Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and certified midwife (wonder how they met, hmmm).

The Survival Medicine Handbook is exactly that, a handbook. It should be in your kit and be something you refer to, and not just read once and store on a shelf. It should get dirty, bloody, and beat on throughout its life. I think it is an excellent complement to the Special Operations Medical Handbook and Emergency War Surgery, as it covers some of the same ground, but is more dialed in for a formerly First World setting heading south, with less explosions and bullets whizzing through the air. If the fur was flying 300 miles away but supply lines, water, and power to an area were cut and you were in said area, then this is the book for that scenario.

They have content broken up in nice chunks of information that include; Principals of Medical Preparedness, Becoming a Medical Resource, Hygiene and Sanitation, Infections, Environmental Factors, Injuries, Chronic Medical Problems, Other Important Medical Issues, Medications, and References.

One of the best parts of the book is part of the preface, called “Taking Responsibility” which is a head-check, gut-check, and an invitation to step up and be a resource if things ever go south. The tone and tenor of the book is set in this section with the following line, “This book is a weapon against, not an argument for, an end of the world scenario.” That’s right on.

The language in the book is easy for anyone that has any interest in medical care to understand. It is not written for advanced practitioners, but it is obvious that the knowledge in the book comes from some.

A few areas that I found especially useful were identifying infections, wound closure and suturing, managing chronic diseases, and especially the medications information. The authors do a good job of walking the reader through the different types of antibiotics out there, what they are best used for treating, and the names of avian and aquatic antibiotics that have human parallels that may be easier to acquire. You need to read the book to find out what they are. The authors do a good job of warning people to knock off the over use of antibiotics, just in case any eyes are rolling about that right now. Personally, I think lots of raw garlic, chicken broth, water, and sleeping in warm clothes can knock out just about anything that a person with a functioning immune system needs to kill, but that’s just my opinion.

The authors also spend a good amount of time on herbal remedies and essential oils that can mitigate some of the signs and symptoms of various illnesses. That herb garden you’ve been neglecting may make your life a lot more comfortable should the Walgreens in town get knocked over and cleaned out by zombie drug addicts hungry for pills, beer, and food. That section is a great read and certainly gets the gears clicking in your head, because anything you can grow is a lot more sustainable than anything that requires a huge logistics network.

Dr. Alton finishes the book with an open letter to his fellow physicians about being open minded to working with patients on preparing them medically for potential breakdowns. I applaud him for doing that, because it truly is a scenario of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.

If you have people that are starting to open up to the idea of prepping and preparedness, I would recommend this book as the one to introduce them to medical information. It is almost soothing in the way it is written and drives home the message of providing aid and comfort very well.

Next on the list is an old one that I re-read last night in a bout of insomnia and was refreshed by it.

Warfighting, The U.S. Marine Corps Book of Strategy is the book.

My knowledge is that it was originally written by U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General A.M. Gray and handed out to officers in 1989. It was first published commercially in 1994, and I believe my paperback copy is vintage circa 1995, so if there are newer versions out there, anything I say from here on out may be totally wrong if it has been revised. My apologies if that is the case.

Let me pause for a minute and say I am not going to talk about war in any experiential way, because I have not experienced it. I have seen some weird things, tragic things, and amazing things in my life, but nothing I have seen can compare to what anyone who has lived through combat has seen.

What strikes me about this book is its brevity, clarity, and simplicity of purpose. These qualities seem fleeting in our modern era of parsing, talking points, “getting on message,” “misspeaking,” and all of the other words I hear bandied about to mask fecklessness, cravenness, and indecision.

The book is strategic philosophy on how the Marine Corps fights war. The influences of Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu are thick in every page. It is broken into four main chapters; The Nature of War, The Theory of War, Preparing for War, and The Conduct of War.

What is remarkable about this book is the bold simplicity with which the authors describe the nature of the thing they must master, the range of its intensity, the value of excellent leadership, communication, training, and execution required to master it, but most of all, what “it” really is.

Leaders are expected to provide clarity of purpose to their subordinates while balancing an environment of openness with ultimately making sure the commander’s intent is done. There is great emphasis on flexibility and adaptability down to all levels to make sure something innovative is not excluded. Mastery of skill at the individual and unit levels are identified not as one in the same, but two distinct areas that leaders must ensure their subordinates have the space, time, and training to do.

There is much about maneuver warfare and the innovative use of strength against weakness to very quickly best your enemy. Below is a great quote that sets up the chapter, The Conduct of War:

“Many years ago, as a cadet hoping some day to be an officer, I was poring over the ‘Principles of War,’ listed in the old Field Service Regulations, when the Sergeant-Major came up to me. He surveyed me with kindly amusement. ‘Don’t bother your head about all them things, me lad,’ he said. ‘There’s only one principle of war and that’s this. Hit the other fellow, as quick as you can, and as hard as you can, where it hurts him most, when he ain’t lookin’!’”
—Sir William Slim

The inspiration one can take from this book is that it proves unity of purpose can and does exist – even in large organizations – if they want it. The lessons in this book are timeless yet simple and provide anyone that currently leads, or wants to lead, with great tools to propel him. They can be applied to just about anything. One can read this book in less than an hour and grok everything in it, thoroughly.

I highly recommend it as brain food in these murky times.

Admiral McRaven and the kindest “you’re not a special snowflake” speech ever

H/T to the Weapons Man for the highlight of the Admiral’s commencement speech to the 2014 class of his alma mater. WM bullets the speech very nicely below. However, you miss out if you don’t watch. It’s a good one.

  1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
  2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
  3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
  4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
  5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
  6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
  7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
  8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
  9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
  10. If you want to change the world don’t ever ring the bell.

The lowbrow, IvyMikeCafe take: the most excellent way I have seen a person tell others “you are not a special snowflake” and to prepare for the real world. Great stuff and very inspirational.

Time to lift.