Friday, May 29, 2015

Jade Helm 15: Police militarization and troops deployed on American soil
Hi Fernando,

I was very touched that you wrote back to me and also published my email on your blog.  

I've also really enjoyed your analysis of the survival situation in Ukraine, especially breaking apart the finer points and details about how even wearing the wrong color jacket or shoes can signal a person out for interrogation and possibly death and how to manage the cell phone situation.

I have a question for you; there is a wide scale military "drill" thats been making news here in the US called Jade Helm 15.  

I wonder if you would be willing to give us some of your thoughts on this, and/or realistic "preps" for the various scenarios people think might happen? 

Some people are extremely concerned that its not a drill, and will be an integration of widespread martial law, possibly coinciding with a financial crisis. 

Other people think its a drill that is meant to habituate the US population to martial law, and others think its exactly what the official statement says it is; a training exercise to help our forces prepare for on-the-ground situations in foreign nations.

At the most minimum level, what concerns me the is that the United States has both laws and traditions where utilizing civilian areas for drills and training exercises isn't really cool.  

In the U.S we have, or used to have, a very clear distinction between military and civilian law enforcement, and we even have a separate thing called the National Guard so that when something happens that is too big for local law enforcement or disaster services to handle (like riots, or a big tornado), we have the necessary support and specialized equipment to deal with those situations without utilizing the military.   The guys who set up this country initially were pretty darn smart and wanted to do everything possible to ensure that our military was never used on our against our own citizens or on our land, as they knew how easily that turns into a coup. 

All the best,

Hi Angela,
You address several interesting topics.
About police militarization, I do believe it has been going on for far too long and in the last decade or so (more like last two decades) it has gotten a lot worse.
It’s not just police using military clothing, but also military weapons and military tactics. It was disgraceful to see military-grade snipers sitting on top of armored vehicles taking aim at the (peaceful) protesters through their rifle’s scope. Exactly what were they supposed to do now? Attack the population with “sniper” fire?

Many current officers have served in the military, the distinction between military and civilian is already complicated enough. When you have guys that are already more soldier than cops, you dress them up as soldiers, give them soldier weapons and talk to them like soldiers, organize them like soldiers, and even put them inside armored vehicles, it’s not hard to see how they will act.

Now, some people may think this is good, that more “firepower” stops crime better and keeps streets safer. No, it does not. The role of a police officer is completely different from the one of a soldier. If you end up with “peace officers” that for all practical purposes are soldiers rather than cops, then you no longer have a democracy. We need to go back to having police, not troops with a “police” Velcro stuck on their body armor.
Regarding Jade Helm 15, I think there’s a bit of conspiracy theory going on but there’s some truth to some of the claims as well. It is true that people do get used to it if they see troops on the street on regular basis, which is something the military is interested in because it will reduce the friction with civilian society when deployed on domestic ground. It is also true that drills are intended as practice, and if they are practicing locally it would help if troops need to be deployed on US soil. Is it all precisely in preparation of riots after a potential economic collapse? Maybe, but then again, it is also valid in case of deployment due to a number of other potential reasons.

As of right now, I think its important to a)Keep law enforcement within its role, don’t’ allow its militarization under any excuse, don’t let cops turn into soldiers 2) Not allow the same the other way around, don’t let troops patrol, secure the streets, and basically do the job intended for police officers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mini Survival Kit for School-Age Children

If you’re a parent you’ve probably been in that position or you soon will be soon: You’re little bundle of joy is going away for the weekend on a school field trip. It’s the first time he’s going away on his own and being a prepper/survivalist you cant avoid worrying. What if he gets lost in the park? What if he falls? What if he gets attacked by Big Foot or kidnapped by aliens? The truth is that most schools are as worried about your child’s safety as you are. Still, we would like our kids to be as well prepared as possible, within reason.
A school-age child wont carry around much gear, and there’s a good chance that things such as knives or anything that could be considered a weapon is not allowed and could even get your child expelled if brought along.

The following items aren’t bulky, they fit in most jacket pockets and should be very useful in some of the most likely emergencies a child may face during a short trip.
The school will usually ask that you send one given that they often organize some kind of night activity. Make sure you send a good one like this Petzl Tikka headlamp. A flashlight can be invaluable for signaling and making your position noticed if separated from the group and lost after the sun goes down. The child should know to stop walking as soon as he realizes he’s lost, turn the flashlight on if its getting dark and use the whistle to alert adults.
Whistle + Spare flashlight
These two go inside the small ziplock bag. In this case, the ziplock bag itself is actually a breast milk bag, capable of not only keeping the components dry, but also carrying water if needed. The spare flashlight works as backup to the main headlamp. In this case I used an old but functional Fenix LD01. A cheaper alternative such as the Fenix E05 should work. If this is the only flashlight the child is taking, then make sure it has a strobe mode such as the Olight EOS i3S.
The humble whistle is a must for any kit, but especially for a child that needs to alert adults during emergencies.
Mobile Phone
Your child probably has one already, but there’s a good chance he’ll run out of battery or misplace the phone when needed the most. Cheap mobile phones are small and have great battery runtime. Turned off it should last for the entire trip. Explain that this phone should only be used to real emergencies.
Band-aids and alcohol wipes
Other than getting lost, one of the most likely problems is getting hurt. A child should know how to clean up a small wound and patch it up with a band-aid. Include some of the larger ones as well just in case.
Dextrose Tablets
In this case its Dextrose energy tablets, which is basically sugar but dextrose is assimilated by the body faster. Not a great meal by any means but it will give the body a bit of an energy boost if needed.
Cash and coins
If lost in an urban setting, a bit of cash can be used to take a taxi or buy something to eat. How much money depends on the nature of the trip and how old the child is, but at least a couple $20s makes sense. Remember to include a few quarters for public phones and vending machines.

What knife?

Careful: Check First! Most schools wont allow a knife and may even expel your child if he brings one! If the nature of the trip, for example Boy Scouts,  allows for a knife to be taken then you can explore a few options.
The iconic Victorinox is well-liked by both adults and children and it is indeed a fantastic pocket knife. The only problem is that since most models do not lock open they can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced children. A knife such as the Spyderco Delica is still very small and light and the lockback keeps the blade securely opened. A bit larger and heavier but packing several more tools, the Leatherman Sidekick is affordable and wont send tears rolling down you cheeks if lost. Still, it is a very capable multitool, with a good liner lock blade, saw, and many other tools.

Keep it simple, but most of all, explain carefully to your child how to use the items and what to do during an emergency.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"The Farmer at War" and Texas floods

 Rhodesian Selous Scouts crossing a river
Wrapping up the topic of African farmers and how they tried to survived persecution and constant attacks, here’s the link to a book called “The Farmer at War”.
You may have read it but it’s worth checking out just in case. If you haven’t seen this before make sure you read it. Its excellent information based on the true accounts of what these people went through. Even though ultimately farmers were for the most part kicked out and replaced with people aligned to the ruling government, there are still lots of lessons to be learned.
Keep in mind though, the implicit and maybe most important lesson to be learned about surviving on your own when surrounded by enemies is the long list of victims at the end of the book. The wise man will know when a situation is hopeless and will have plans to bug out if or when needed.
On another topic, the floods in central and south Texas continue. Most of the fatal victims have died because they were either caught by the fast raising water or they drove into flooded roads. Don’t be a cowboy out there! Off-road truck or not, if you see a flooded road you turn around!
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Homes Wiped Away in Texas and Oklahoma

House floating down the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, TX at Commons Street, Above Photos Courtesy:
Floods keep causing widespread destruction in Texas. Hundreds of homes have been washed away in Texas and Oklahoma by the record-breaking rains.

Watch out for Flash Floods
Because of the intense rains, rivers are suddenly seeing an increase in discharge, with very strong, dangerous currents. Here’s some advice to keep in mind:
*If the stream or river turns brown or is showing signs of broken vegetation or other debris, move away as quickly as possible.
*Current can be deceivingly strong. Don’t risk it. Most people that drown during floods, at some point underestimated the strength and danger of the current. Just six inches can knock you over and drag you into deeper, faster moving waters.
*Just two feet of fast moving water is enough to move and carry away a vehicle, including SUVs and pickups. It’s one thing to ford a river, it’s another to risk getting caught by a flash flood. Turn around, don’t drown!

*About half of flash flood fatalities are vehicle-related. Don’t park your vehicle close to rivers or large bodies of water and don’t try to cross flooded roads. If your vehicle stalls, get out and get to high ground immediately. Don’t wait until the car is dragged away.
*Get yourself a NOAA Weather Radio and listen to the weather updates. Stay home and just don’t risk it. Its not just floods, but also large hail and tornados that can be extremely dangerous.
*Put together your survival kit, which should include LED flashlights and lanterns, batteries, radio, food ready to eat or easy to cook, a camping stove, disposable plates, cups and cutlery, blankets, bottled water, medicines and first aid kit.
*Have a Bug Out Plan laid out. In this case, it should include a route along high ground and away from flood hazard areas. If you need to evacuate, do so before it’s too late.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How do farmers truly survive when SHTF?

Dear reader,
If you are reading this then you probably have been following my blog for some time. If you have been doing so you know me and where I stand regarding survival and preparedness. I really don’t care about doomsday prepper delusions. I love a good book or post apocalyptic movie as much as the next guy, but for me survival is a very serious, very REAL business.
Reality always trumps suppositions, let alone silly childish fantasies. This is why the videos below are so important. They just destroy so much of the nonsense floating around the “prepper” community therefore I encourage you to watch the two videos and learn.
These are farmers. Real, tough, well armed resilient people, dealing with the harsh reality of a level of crime and violence surrounding them that you simply cannot understand. Try not to think “oh, but not here, not me!”. This is exactly how America would be like if the government either looses control of the country or it simply allow it to become a land without law. The famous WROL (without rule of law). This is what WROL looks like, or even worse yet WFROL. Without FAIR rules of law, because that’s what these poor people have to deal with. The laws do exist, but they are there to destroy them, to scare them out of their own land. Watch and learn. Watch, and understand how 99% of the childish WROL planning we see floating around being promoted by “experts” that never picked up a book or even bothered watching a documentary in their life would fail miserably in a matter of weeks.

Farmer's wife Ida Nel learns how shoot an AK-47 and a pistol on a 'farm protection weekend Read more:
The entire series of documentaries is excellent, but at the very least, watch these two:
Back to Africa - episode 2 - The Promised Land

Back to Africa - episode 4 - The Right of Mugabe

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.