Military parades are saber rattling at it’s finest.

I like a parade as much as the next guy. I mean, throngs of screaming people, food vendors selling hot dogs and churros and cotton candy, and an engorged orange gass bag floating above the crowd. Move over Hobbs, here comes Trump.

“… I want a parade like the one in France,”

Because we’re unoriginal and lacking in anything other than jealous purposefulness.

It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,”

No…. the Rose Bowl or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or possibly any number of Mardi Gras / Carnival Parades are the greatest.

… it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”

We don’t need a display of military might. We know our military is mighty. They’re might regardless of the crap they endure in service to this country like lack of body armor, like lack of health care, like lack of programs to help them reincorporate into the country after deployments. We don’t need a pompous ass hat marching them in full dress behind diesel fume spewing tanks down city streets to know they exist and sacrifice for the good or what they’re told is the good of the country.

We’re going to have to try to top it.”

Again, because we are a jealous, petty people and our president is trying to overcompensate for… small hands.

If you want to see what kind of military parade he’s really wanting, check out this video.

or this one…

We don’t need to be THIS!

What are you preparing for and why?

Something I see preppers, EDC guys, and pretty much anyone who is into being prepared mentioning are “terror attacks”. I know there is a problem with how the world views us and that we piss people off pretty good with our freedoms and our reality tv here in the US but there is no point in being afraid we might be killed at any moment by a dreaded terrorist. In the US, if you want to be afraid of something, fear toddlers with guns… unless you’re a responsible gun owner or childless. Fear sharks… unless you live inland. Fear peanuts…. if you’re allergic. There are so many more things to be prepared against than terrorists.

I get it. I really do. It’s so easy to listen to Fox & Friends and start shaking with antici….. We’re smarter than that. We don’t need sheepdogs who are actually sheep. We need a prepared citizenry who know what to be prepared for.  Many of us who would be prepared, are looking for a “brown” target when we should be looking at people like us. White men are far more likely to shoot the place up than anyone of color or of another religion. Know your facts and site your sources. I would rather know the truth and know what to be prepared for so when a bad thing happens, I can stand up and do something about it…. wouldn’t you? Pation!

I got this chart of the 2017 terrorist / mass shooting attacks from Johnston’s Archive

date location killed injured type description
01/06/17 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 5 6 TER-islm shooting attack at Fort Lauderdale Airport; 5 killed, 6 injured; 12,000 people evacuated from airport
01/31/17 Denver, Colorado 1 0 TER-islm fatal shooting of Denver transit authority guard
03/20/17 New York City, New York 1 0 TER stabbing attack
06/14/17 Alexandria, Virginia 1 5 TER-left shooting attack targeting Republican lawmakers at a baseball field; 5 injured including U.S. Representative Steve Scalise and 1 police officer; attacker was fatally shot
08/12/17 Charlottesville, Virginia 1 19 TER-right vehicular attack on protestors
09/24/17 Antioch, Tennessee 1 8 TER shooting attack on church service; attacker was injured
10/01/17 Las Vegas, Nevada 59 527 CRI? sniper attack on concert; fatalities included 1 police officer and 2 Canadians; attacker killed himself
10/31/17 New York City, New York 8 12 TER-islm attacker drove vehicle into people on a bike path, killing 8 (including 5 Argentine citizens and 1 Belgian citizen), then drove into a school bus injuring 4 (including 2 children); attacker was shot and injured
11/05/17 Sutherland Springs, Texas 27 30 CRI shooting attack on church during worship service; casualties include 9 children killed and at least 4 children injured; attacker was shot and later killed himself
12/22/17 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1 1 TER-islm shooting attacks on police officers injures one; the attacker was shot and killed

 

86 killed / 556 injured in criminal “loan wolf” attacks – Total of two attacks

15 killed / 19 injured in terror / extra-American ideologically motivated – Total of 4 attacks

2 killed / 8 injured in terror attacks – ideological differences between victims and perpetrators

0.000004601226994% of American citizens were involved in terror attacks last year. Is this something you really need to be prepared for? Sure, I carry a first aid kit but I doubt I will need to work triage on hundreds or even dozens of people. It’s very unlikely. My kit could have helped a little in the Vegas attack but I don’t usually find myself in those “fish in a barrel” situations. It’s not tactically sound to be in the middle of a group that big. On the outside edge maybe. That’s situational preparedness. – Side note, the TSA has NEVER stopped a terrorist attack. Just so you know.

What was killing us in 2017?

15 died due to peanut allergy

25 killed by dogs, 13 of those pit bull or pit mix (it’s not the dog it’s the owner)

31 shark attacks in 2017 (stay out of the water!)

53.3 people on average were shot last year by toddlers. (Don’t trust them.)

75% of deaths in the US are cause by the top 10 according to the CDC (statistics aggregated by Healthline)

  1. Heart disease – Cause chiefly by smoking and refined sugar.
  2. Cancer – Caused chiefly by radiation, genetic factors, and human contamination of the environment including tobacco and alcohol consumption
  3. Lower respiratory diseases – again, smoking and environmental contaminants
  4. Accidents – most commonly men, 1 to 44, and with risky professions. Others are caused by motor vehicle accidents and alcohol plays a role there too.
  5. Stroke – Here comes smoking again… also certain medications like specific forms of birth control, people with certain disorders or diseases, and again more men than women.
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease – genetics, environmental factors, and mostly women are at risk
  7. Diabetes (type 1 and type 2) – Type 1 is a crap shoot. It has some genetic factors but can be caused by other diseases when they shut down or cause one’s body to attack the pancreas. Type 2 is caused by age or rapid weight increases or sustained intake of refined sugar to the point one becomes resistant to insulin. Type 2 can also effect those who don’t produce enough, usually starting off as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and snowballing from there. (over simplification, I know.)
  8. Influenza / Pneumonia – get your flu shot to avoid or lessen symptoms. If you’re old enough, get your Pneumonia vaccine. Prevention is the only way to avoid either of these.
  9. Kidney Disease – Smokers…. you’re screwed! Also, those who have chronic conditions that cause recurrent infections. People who are over weight are at risk and there are genetic factors.
  10. Suicide – Depression, history of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, brain injuries, mostly men.

In a nut shell, prepare by dropping sugar from your diet, getting plenty of cardio, stop smoking/ don’t start smoking / stay away from smokers / check your medications for side effects and talk to your doc about alternatives.

As far as terrorism is concerned…. sure it’s a problem. But be prepared by knowing what the problem is. From the FBI website

On domestic terrorism –

Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.

On International Terrorism – 

Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).
–for example, the December 2, 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, CA, that killed 14 people and wounded 22 which involved a married couple who radicalized for some time prior to the attack and were inspired by multiple extremist ideologies and foreign terrorist organizations.

But that’s not all you have to be worried about. Far more common are acts of Domestic terrorism or mass shootings by “lone wolves” is far more common in the US. Most happen at Churches, Schools, and other places where firearms are prohibited so there is no one there carrying to maybe help stop the attack.

On Hate Crimes –

… the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

On Hate Groups –

The FBI investigates domestic hate groups within guidelines established by the attorney general. Investigations are conducted only when a threat or advocacy of force is made; when the group has the apparent ability to carry out the proclaimed act; and when the act would constitute a potential violation of federal law.

If you need to find a hate group in your area, the SPL has put them all on the map. Find one and write them a sternly worded letter (or don’t because that could be dangerous.) The point is, if you lie near one, be prepared for them to do or say something stupid. If you’re of a race that has a hate group in your area, be prepared to apologize for their stupidity or move. That’s really the only way to prepare. Seriously, hate and hate crimes are the main form of domestic terrorism in our country and that is something worth preparing for whether you’re the target or not.

Sources

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/wrjp255a.html

http://www.trackingsharks.com/

https://nonutsmomsgroup.weebly.com/blog/remembering-those-we-have-lost-to-food-allergies

https://www.washingtonpost.com

https://www.theguardian.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/terrorism

Southern Poverty Law Center

School shooting – Why now? How to defend your kids.

We have had, as of February 1, Six school shootings in the US. One of these was a man shooting at a bus with a pellet gun and there were no injuries so I’m going to drop that one from the list. We’re down 5. Still, that’s Five too many.

January 20 – Wake Forest University – A student was shot on campus

January 22 – Italy, Texas – 16 year old student shot at a 15 year old class mate at Italy High. He left right after he took his shots and the student he fired at was injured.

January 22 – New Orleans, Louisiana – One killed at Charter High School as someone targeted the school from the parking lot while students were at lunch. On student was killed.

January 23 – Marshall County, Kentucky – One student shot 16 people at Marshall County High and injured 4 others. Two of those shot were killed. Another died later at the hospital.

February 1 – West Lake, California – Two teens were shot in their classroom at Salvador Middle School and both survived. A young female student was the shooter.

The sad part is, school shootings aren’t even jarring any more. Why is it happening? Well, let’s think about what would motivate anyone to shoot anyone else. The most recent was a young woman shooting another girl and a young guy. It reeks of a love triangle. Look at columbine. The two guys there were picked on their whole school carrier, were odd outsiders who couldn’t keep in their frustration and shot the place up. If you think, “We didn’t used to have these problems” you’re right. In the 40’s, we had 8 for the entire decade. For the 50’s, we had 15. In the 60’s, we had 19. We had 29 in the 70’s. We had 43 in the 80’s…. Are you seeing a pattern?

Part of it is that there are just more schools, more kids, and more people in general. Another is parenting practices. We used to teach our kids to either fight back or bottle up. Parent’s do their children a disservice teaching them “It’s ok to feel” or “tears are fine.” People, kids included, are weaponry and we get loaded by the world around us. When the chamber is cocked, we go off and what going off means depends on what your safety is… what your coping mechanisms are. We need to be teaching our kids creative outlets or put them in a sport that lets the aggression out or we need to shorten their fuses and let them knock the hell out of their bully.

Bullying is too often tolerated and more than that, exacerbated by the parenting of the bully. If you find out your kid is a bully, knock the hell out of him get him some help. Be a parent and teach that little ass he shouldn’t be bullying other kids. AND DON”T BULLY YOUR KIDS! Bullies raise bullies.

No one can fix this over night and in the mean time, how do you protect your child? Every back pack these days has a pocket inside for a laptop or a hydration bladder. How about sticking a light armor plate like the DFNDR Level IIIA (3A) Backpack Armor in there and drilling your kid to get behind their back pack when something goes down. You have to TRAIN you kid. Humans are terrified creatures hearkening back to our primate ancestors flitting from tree to tree avoiding the gaping maws on the ground. We tend to freak at the first sign of trouble. Get it into your kid’s muscle memory to duck and cover when an active shooter situation happens and they’ll do it automatically. Start early and drill often.

Me? I’m avoiding the whole situation by not bringing a kid into this messed up world to start with.

Which Pocket Notebook for EDC?

Looking at my 2017 EDC (every day carry / extended daily carry) and retooling things for 2018 has been kind of frustrating. I have plenty of bags and I’m thinking of getting another… I’m kind of a bag junkie… but I want to both increase my prep level while letting go of a lot of the items I know I didn’t use last year or that can come out. I put together a list at Amazon so people can see the kind of things that I normally carry (or will be carrying) as an “off body” EDC.

One of the items I’m considering changing up is my writing platform. Moleskine is not usually far from my pocket or car but there are other options.

Field Notes – A trusted Chicago brand of notebook since 2007. They have a wide assortment of different sizes and lined / unlined / and dotted ruled note books. The price is right too are about 10 bucks for a pack of 3. There is a cult following behind the Field Notes brand and users are typically loyal to the core.

 

 

Rite in the Rain – A brand I learned about when I started Geo Caching and they’ve been around since 1916. You can literally write on these pages when they’re wet and they have the same form factor as a Field Notes but they’re a little more expensive at 7 or eight bucks each. The wife has one and I have their pen.

 

Field Book – I’m not super familiar with Field book by Elan.  Elan is chiefly an educational supply manufacturer with many of their products geared towards teachers. Their Field line is aimed specifically at surveyors. These pocket note books are around 10 bucks for a set of four and, like Write in the Rain, they’re water resistant. I have read, though, that sharpies tend to smear if not fully dry. They might actually be too indestructible for my purposes.

 

I would be interested to hear what anyone has to say about any of these three options. I plan to try each out and see what fits. They’re all about the same size and shape and I think these are the perfect dimensions for a carry around notebook. I will more than likely do a review when I have them so keep an eye out for that.

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Here we have two pictures. The one on the left came from a sub Reddit called Accidental Renaissance and the one on the right is a famous photo of athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Olympics.

  

On the right, we have children who, for good or ill, have been indoctrinated at an early age to feel a certain way about the national anthem. They’ve been told… something. They’ve observed…. something. On the left we have two thoughtful young men making a statement about human rights and solidarity which would later be taken as a show of “Black Power”.

While we might look back on Tommie and John with admiration, we should look at these kids, and this is just my opinion, with pity. While the athletes believed something and were simply showing the solidarity and a connectedness we should all feel, these kids don’t feel that or embody it. Too many times have we seen protests by people who don’t know what they’re even protesting. What did the parents say? “Don’t pledge allegiance to a corrupt and crumbling system that longs to be changed but instead defiantly raise a closed fist, the fist that will one day clutch that system and crush it” or was it more like, “Damn the government. I think I’ll piss on it” or maybe it was more simple than even that.

Do I agree with the pledge in schools? Not really. I don’t think children should have to participate in school prayer or any show of patriotism and I think they both amount to the same thing…. empty gestures. Your relationship with God and your love of country are two things that shouldn’t be questioned in school or in public under any circumstance. But I would ask that children not participating in either be respectful of those who would and that’s what this boils down to.

I agree with the football players who take a knee but I know, understand, and agree with why they’re doing it. I understand it has to do with police violence and not that they’re just crapping on the flag or disrespecting this country. These men, and Tommie and John too are patriots. These children are parrots and the parents should be ashamed.

A break from good times

You never really know anyone…. especially if you don’t know them. Andy Signore, creator of Screen Junkies and Honest Trailers has been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment and has been fired by Defy Media. He apparently did some pretty inappropriate things and even allegedly attempted to sexually assaulted a young woman. On Face book, I saw that picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square that everyone has seen and there was a snippet of an interview with the kissee. She said she didn’t expect it and that she wasn’t kissing him, he was kissing her. Now instead of this being an iconic symbol of romance and celebrating victory, it’s assault.

Don’t misunderstand. Andy Signore is, if he did all that’s alleged, a sicko and should be criminally prosecuted. It goes far beyond just being gross or creepy, or just too forward and treads heavily on using celebrity and position to violate women. I do not, however, believe the iconic photo of the sailor and nurse is of an assault. Neither did the nurse as in the same interview, she said they were all thrilled and celebrating and she didn’t feel assaulted. All of this is to say it can be about perception, but there has to be a line.

Where is that line? Well, I like to oversimplify things and am developing a chart with a few categories.

Are you a “somebody”? (media, film, or Internet celebrity of some kind in your mind or everyone’s)

    • Seduce / make overtures toward a fan – wrong
    • Seduce / make overtures toward an intern – wrong
    • Seduce / make overtures toward a member of your entourage – wrong.
    • Seduce / make overtures toward a service employee (hair, makeup, etc) – wrong
    • Seduce / make overtures toward a member of the media – wrong
    • Send an inappropriate picture of your body to anyone you’re not married to – wrong
    • Physically touch an area covered by a bathing suit of anyone without asking – wrong

Are you someone’s Boss? (having a supervisory or ownership position in or of a company)

    • Seduce / make overtures toward – an employee under your supervision – wrong
    • Seduce / make overtures toward – an employee not under your supervision – wrong
    • Seduce / make overtures toward – an employee working for a related company – wrong
    • Promise (or threaten) anything for sexual favors – wrong
    • Give unwanted gifts to an employee – wrong
    • Give / ask for inappropriate photographs – wrong
    • Physically touch and employee you supervise anywhere – wrong
    • Physically touch an employee you don’t supervise but that you work with – wrong
    • Physically touch an area covered by a bathing suit of anyone without asking – wrong

Are you just some guy / gal (because yes…. these are all for both genders)?

    • Seduce / make overtures toward someone without polity asking if it’s OK first – wrong
    • Send an inappropriate picture of your body to anyone you’re not married to – wrong
    • Ask for inappropriate photographs – wrong
    • Physically touch an area covered by a bathing suit of anyone without asking – wrong

These seem like some pretty rudimentary rules but damn, why does it seem like so many people are having such a hard time with it. Let’s say you’re a straight man. Do you want your ass lovingly caressed on a subway by a gay guy? Let’s say you are a gay man. Would you want some straight woman boss rubbing her chest on your while pointing something out on your computer screen? Let’s say you’re you…. would you want anyone telling you you have to put out so that your spouse or significant other could keep their job? NO! No you would not. Have some empathy….. lack of empathy is the problem.

Inktober continues

I am horrible at posting daily on any social media. I’ve been successful on twitter this month because them’s the rules, but blogging daily has been a drag. I am continuing with Inktober, though and you can follow my twitter to see them as they come out. Here’s what I’ve gotten in the last few days –

Day 15 Mysterious – I was told he looks like a wolfman, but he’s supposed to be Sasquatch.

 

Day 16 Fat – Ogre or orc…. you decide.

Day 17 Graceful turned into Grateful… oops – If you can’t tell, it’s Jerry Garcia from Grateful Dead.

Day 18 Filthy – Lindsay’s comment – “That certainly is filthy.” HA!

Day 19 Cloud – I was messing around with something vaguely Asian inspired with washes of ink.

Day 20 Deep – I guess I could have done Teeming again as both take place underwater. It’s been a soggy Inktober I am just realizing.

and yesterday, day 21, was Furious. – Hulk angry and ice cream missing.

 

I still have no clue what I’m doing today for “trail”, but I’ll come up with something…. maybe.

Inktober Day 13 – Teeming

Friday the thirteenth in an October? Awesome! So far, nothing unlucky has happened so that’s a good thing. I even finished my day 13 Inktober project early this morning so I have some time this afternoon to share it. The prompt today is “Teeming” and the first thing that pops into my head is again, not what I do. I was thinking Jelly fish but they came out of my pen as squid. I think it turned out fine, but the chicken and seahorse are still my favorite.

The Woff has fixed some issues with her Blog and she’s still churning out cool small watercolors so you should go to her site and check them out. Here’s her post yesterday.

Inktober Continues – two more days

I am continuing with my Inktober “journey”…. “adventure”… what have you. I am still terrible at daily posts, but I am getting the inks done daily so that’s something.

Day 11’s prompt was “Run” and I had a few things pop into the old noggin but settled on this charming thief. Initally, I had him chased by a cloud with arms protruding from it, each holding a billy club. As cartoony as this is, it didn’t need any help being MORE cartoony.  Especially with that Mustache.

I went the other way today on day 12. I kept thinking about a character breaking apart and when I looked through the other Inktober entries today, it seemed like a lot of people had the same idea. I thought about the prompt, Shattered, and then synonyms like broken. What things get broken? I went though a list and settled on pocket watches which have glass to shatter. I found one in Google images and viola.

The woff is still creating too. She is more about color than I’ve been recently and her most recent work is VERY colorful. You should take a look.

Inktober 9 and 10 – Another “two-fer”

I’m not always good at keeping up with things. This Blog is evidence of that but so far, I have not missed a day in ten of Inktober. I’m tweeting them daily so if you want to see them on the day, check here.

I had a productive day 9 with the prompt of “Screech” Initially I thought of doing a caricature of Dustin Diamond from Saved by the bell but given his criminal record and over-all grossness these days, I changed my mind to a bat in a trench coat ala-Bogart.

Day ten I had a big plan…. Imagine a toe. Not really the prompt of “Gigantic” but if you put a little guy with one of those scrubber brushes on a pole they use to clean elephants just scrubbing away…. maybe put the little guy on a ladder, you have something. After a few prelim sketches, no…. not a toe. How about a chicken?

Lindsay has been producing as well. You should check her yesterday. I really like it.