Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One Health Care Plan to Rule Them All

Obviously, any program which demands participation by all citizens is designed for subjects, rather than citizens. I was looking at the headline of Drudge Report &reg and saw this picture. The guys in front remind my of the Nazghul from Lord of the Rings. Those were the nine undead kings of men.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fears for the United States--Emergency Preparedness.

I called one of my good friends up after Thanksgiving. He works at a bank as information systems support. He had another of our friends up for Thanksgiving, and that friend works in IT for the casinos. I have some some older network admin certificates but never used them for employment. The reason I mention all this is to give a little background. My friends and I are accustomed to looking at systems and how things in the system interact, and how what seem like minor glitches can bring a network down.

I am a Libertarian who moved to that party from the Republican Party (family switched from Democrat to Republican second term of Reagan). I believe the bank IT guy is an Independent who was formerly a Democrat (long history of Southern Democrats--the family quote is "You'd have to be rich or stupid to vote Republican) and I'm not sure of the casino IT's politics. In 1996, both the bank IT guy and I voted for Alan Keyes in the Calfornia presidential primary (it's an open primary).

One of the topics was what would it take to cripple the United States at this point in time. DISCLAIMER: I'm not suggesting that we do any of these things, and perhaps I won't mention anything that will give ideas. In any case, we all are thinking that our nation is really on the edge of catastrophe. Hopefully not past the tipping point. One of the topics we discusses was getting together to plan for what to do in a national emergency.

What would we do if all of the services we rely on became unreliable or unavailable? What if electricity becomes unavailable due to foreigners hacking our electrical grid? What if gasoline stops being delivered? There a large oil pipeline in Long Beach, CA, that is sitting atop a major faultline. If 'the big one' happened in the Long Beach or Los Angeles area what would happen if in addition to the destruction from the earthquake we had a huge inferno or several smaller ones. Additionally, the LA area has been having an issue with old pipes rupturing, so a large earthquake might break the water lines necessary to fight the fires causes by the earthquake. There is also the possibility of civil unrest as our government spends itself broke (both state and federal and here)

Keeping in mind the lawlessness of the populace during the aftermath of Katrina and the LA Riots, it makes sense to have the ability to defend yourself and your family. I remember during the LA riots, pictures of Korean shopkeepers with SKS rifles standing on top of their places, and them being the only places not being destroyed. If you are stuck in one location, can't or won't leave, then you'll need to protect yourself.

Protective measures come in two types, defensive and offensive. Defensive measures involve terrain, obstacles, and mechanical means of preventing entry to your property or hurting the occupants. This can include fences, walls, shrubs, raised planting beds (which can double as a garden with medicinal herbs), safety bars on your windows, security screens, quality lock hardware, rosebushes or cactuses to deter access to your windows or channel people along selected paths for visibility or to direct them toward security lights and cameras.

Setting up security cameras is also a good idea and relatively inexpensive these days. Here's a how-to link for setting up wireless cameras. As you're reading this online, I'm guessing you have access to a computer.

House design and furniture arrangement can increase your security. Additionally, the more independent your house is, the less you have to worry about interupted public services. Solar or wind powered electricity, propane tanks, a water well, and septic systems would be preferable to municipal sources, especially if you have the knowledge and parts for maintenance and repair. If your house is designed or redesigned for independence, then you will have less reason to expose yourself and family to danger. If you're not "off grid" then you should at least have a bbq and fuel (though don't use indoors), camp stove, and a solar cooker. I would also recommend solar powered battery chargers and battery powered devices or magneto powered flashlights and radios.

Older houses built in the 50's often have higher windows in the bedrooms (above 4' sometimes 5') which was lowered to allow firefighters access. Some of these 50's houses also have lath and plaster interiors which are more resistant to bullets than standard drywall construction. Brick and block houses also offer obvious advantages over standard stick frame construction, though I imagine stucco would be fairly bullet proof for a while. Working shutters or security bars with interior releases would also be helpful.
Arranging furniture defensively will also be a benefit. Books are an incredible way to bullet proof a room. I would recommend putting them on the front exterior walls. Make sure you secure the bookshelves to the walls (this is good in case of earthquake too. All those old encyclopedias will have a new use. The books should ideally be a source of how-to info (There's a theme here...things should serve multiple purposes), but fill the shelves. On a defensive note, keep tv's and electronics away from windows.

The more population density you have--tract housing & condos & apartment complexes--the more likely you are to have problem people close by. For this reason, I like a defensible space further away from the population areas.

I recommend at least a two week supply of basic necessities. That means food, water, and toilet paper. You're going to need one gallon of water per person per day. In the even of a problem, if you have a bath tub, I would recommend plugging it and filling it with water and taking sponge baths if you don't have water stored up. Water in plastic stays good for a long time but starts tasting plasticky. You can always use it for washing if you can't stand the taste. These days 50 gallon barrels are available on for under $20. For food, I recommend dry goods like rice and beans from Smart & Final, and whatever canned meat you prefer. If you have a root cellar, potatoes, carrots and onion keep for a long time.

There are a lot of places out there that give a lot of great advice. I'm going to be linking to them as time goes by and I discover sites I like. If you've dropped in and can recommend a site, please link it. Please don't link racist sites. This is my blog and I reserve the right to edit out stuff that offends me.

For weapons, I think most people should have three, and more importantly be willing and able to use them all. A rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Rifles and shotguns are dual purpose. They can be used for defense and hunting. Unless you're really good with a pistol, you're unlikely to use it as an effective hunting weapon. One aside, a shotgun used inside a home at waist level will disable an intruder and in many cases will embed shot in the walls rather than leaving the house. Read this blog on "stopping power".

This list is by no means exhaustive. If anyone has any other ideas, please submit them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A link to some pretty good advice in case of social breakdown.

Strangely enough, having rentals, I've noticed that quite a few tenants are having problems getting paid by the various social service agencies.

I've had 2 tenants with late unemployment payments. I had problems with mine recently. Another tenant is having to jump through hoops to renew his family's payments. A third is having problems with the IRS..maybe this is not related, but it seems to be a culmination of a lot of problems when our government is debt spending.

I have asserted on several occasions that having a house with enough land to grow food is important. The article I'm linking agrees.

I was talking with a commercial sales rep at a national DIY store. He said he had a house paid off, but  it was worth $30K less than he paid for it. I asked him where, and found out it was in a neighborhood that has gone downhill over the years and was now mostly renters and many of them are on welfare or section 8. I told him to sell and transfer to a store in a state that isn't going broke (we're in CA) and get his family out of that house as the family was more important than the $30K and he'd have enough to buy a nice (or at least decent)  home in TX, TN, or CO. He can't get past the $30K loss on the house. I hope it works out for him. And for the cynical, No I wasn't trying to get a listing.

Here's a link to Pastor Chuck Baldwin's advice. For the irreligious, it has apocalyptic overtones, but the advice is solid, for the religious, the tone is probably not surprising.

Despite President Obama giving himself a B+, our country has as much debt as our GDP once you account for the fudging of the numbers by the GAO. You can also go to the US debt clock.

Whether we get inflation that makes it hard to buy food with the government bread (anyone else remember the cheese of the 80s?) or food becomes scarce or some combination, knowing how to grow your own food and can would be good skills to teach yourself for Christmas--or books to get for friends and relatives. Stocking up a couple of weeks of food, toilet paper, and water makes sense too.

Any way, read the link, so I'm not wasting your time making you read info twice.

Radical for Freedom--A primer

I am as committed to freedom as anyone is to any cause the world over.

I have a BA in Psychology from CSU, Long Beach and  was once an authoritarian figure who believed that the government could save society from a host of ills, from drug use, prostitution, and any type of crime. The current and continued thinking of most of the social sciences is that disparities in SES (socio-economic status) is the the root cause behind societies ills and that government programs that erase the disparities can cure these ills.

Upon further study, you will generally find that single parent households account for 98% of the prison population. That is a higher correlation than anything else, yet, it is not looked at in most government schools as it would indicate that government would need to stop spending money on the social programs that allow and foster the disolution of families.

I do not expect a lot of people to believe me right away. I expect this blog to be like the talks a man gives to his sons or other young men that are waved away and dismissed until ten years down the road, you facepalm yourself and say, "God, if I'd only listened to my dad, I would have saved myself a ton of trouble"

I'm trying to stop cursing.

Technology changes, but human nature doesn't. Every teenager that I've met or was, doesn't believe this.

Wealth is created by work. Work can be labor, investment, capitalization, trade barter etc.
Correlary: All wealth is agricultural, ie, it goes to feed and clothe you and your family, and possibly generations to come. Any attack on your wealth is an attempt to keep you from feeding yourself and family.
Any wealth you produce is primarily yours to keep.

Government is a consumer of wealth, not a producer. It is sustained by the efforts of the productive. Consider government unable to exist if there is no excess production. Government is people husbandry. We are the cattle,  but as with any farm, if we can keep the number of ranch hands low, we can stampede and trample them if they start eating too many of us.

As long as government wishes to constrain the use of a good or service, that good or service will be available on the black market at a marked up cost. There will be quasi-governmental gangs and independent criminals who will supply said good or service.