Trauma

There’s little argument that unless you are one of the elite 1%…we live in very trying times. We hear terms like trauma and PTSD thrown around by television doctors, physiologists, news people and talk show hosts, but do we really know what these terms mean? Do we have the slightest idea the toll it takes on a person and their family experiencing trauma? Hopefully not, because that means you or someone you love has experienced the roller coaster ride of a chaotic life and you were along for the ride.

The Hate effect that has swept the country in the last few years has caused these diseases to not only increase in number but manifest themselves in intensity. It may surprise you to know that victims of crime, soldiers exposed to battle and migrants trekking a 1000 miles in an attempt to provide for their family’s welfare and safety all experience these same identical symptoms. We will mainly explore trauma through the eyes of a victim of a violent crime, as we all have been victimized in some shape or form in our life and may be better able to relate to this example. Let’s begin with out sample case.

Any crime victim will experience the trauma of victimization as an aftermath of experiencing the crime. Although outwardly seemingly unhurt from the incident the victim will suffer a tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma. The primary effects of the experience can be generally grouped into 3 main categories: physical injury, financial injury and emotional injury. There are also possibilities of experiencing secondary injuries.

trauma1

Trauma Issues

  • The physical injury is usually apparent such as cuts, bruises, fractured limbs, although internal injuries may also be present depending on the incident. It’s not unusual for physical injuries to be accompanied by severe fatigue, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much and loss or gain of appetite.

  • Victims suffer financially when their belongings, money, jewelry etc are stolen or damaged. They also suffer financially when insurance does not cover incurred expenses like hospitalization, medicine or funeral costs.

  • Emotional injuries may be the worse result yet of a crime. Not only is the victim affected immediately, but there may be long term problems for the victim and their family.

Some medical books describes a victim’s reaction to a crime as the Crisis Reaction. Most victims will react differently to the crime depending on the level of personal violation they feel they incurred. For instance a victim of a non-violent crime may feel less violated than a victim held up at gunpoint. This is not always the case as a victim of having their home burglarized may feel violently violated as their sanctuary of safety, their home, has been taken away. Trauma doesn’t restrict itself.

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There are certain common responses to the underlying reaction that a victim will undergo. These reactions may not happen for some time and these are not all inclusive:

  • They incur shock

  • numbness to the event

  • denial that it could happen to them or a family member

  • disbelief at the criminal act

  • anger … sometimes extreme

  • And finally recovery, which may be a week or may take a lifetime.

Nothing heals the pain and trauma but passing of time and sometimes that only barely lessens the agony. Here are a few tips for helping yourself or someone else cope:

  • Find a person you can talk to about your feelings with no fear of being mocked, privacy violated or any other fear. They must be trusted.

  • Allow yourself to feel the pain whether physical or emotional. It will not last forever, not at the current level anyhow.

  • Spend times with others, but make quiet time for yourself.

  • Take care of yourself, mind and body. This may not be easy, but is necessary. Rest, sleep, eat regularly and not just junk food

  • Re-establish a normal routine as soon as possible

  • Re-take control of decisions caring friends and family may have taken over

  • Regain your routine, but move more carefully and cautiously as you may not be 100% yet and you don’t need an accident to compound the issue.

  • Recall things that helped you cope in the past. Prayer, mediation, reading whatever helped.

Let’s examine the shock and/or numbness effect of trauma.

Shock and/or numbness are usually experienced at the initial stage of the crisis event. Whether you are a control freak or not, everyone has control over certain elements of their life, or at least feels they do. Suddenly and without warning the person is in a situation totally beyond their control and this total absence of control leaves them numb and disoriented.

It’s at this point the victim will incur the Fight or Flight syndrome which is a built in self preservation mechanism God gave us and we literally have no, or very little control over it. It’s known as an automatic physiological response. As noted this is a self preservation response but most victims don’t understand their response to the emotion or their lack of control.

traumafeaturephoto

A woman who took an intensive self-defense program in order to protect herself will be confused and embarrassed as to why when confronted she couldn’t initiate one defensive move she’d been taught. Or a man who turns and runs instead of standing and fighting will experience the shame of feeling like a coward, although that is not true. To rebut the person for their reactions results in secondary injuries which may never go away. “Once a coward always a coward type thing.”

You may ask how do soldiers, first respondents, police overcome this fight or flight syndrome control? Simply put … training. Ask nearly any person who became a hero for the moment and they’ll tell you their training took over.

Denial, Disbelief and Anger

During this segment of trauma the victim may or will most likely experience extreme mood fluctuations. Research shows victims nearly all react the same way. They will question fate:

Why did this happen to me?”

This couldn’t have happened to me!”

  • Many will experience dreams replaying the event, sometimes exactly as they remember it and other times distorted with crazy unrelated things interjected.

  • They may dream (nightmares if you will) about killing or causing great bodily harm to the offender. Torture becomes tantalizing.

  • Homicide victims may feel anger at the dead victim, reasoning if the person had done something different, not stayed late at work or took a different way home, they would not have been killed.

This will be a terrible time of trauma when the victim will contend with an abundance of emotional and stressful emotions such as:

  • Fear

  • Despair

  • Self-pity

  • Guilt

  • Shame

  • Anger

  • Hostility

Emotional help assuring them these feelings are normal and OK is important. Never make light of their pain.

ptsd injury

This is Real

Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome:

Historically this type of trauma was used to describe military veterans and was referred to as being shell shocked or having that 1000 yard stare. Researchers now apply this syndrome to crime victims and other victims of violent actions (like being tear gassed with your children). It must be noted not every victim of a crime or every soldier experiencing combat will develop PTSD. This is especially true if preemptive crisis intervention counseling is offered and taken.

Some recognizable symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Sleeping disorders/continued nightmares;

  • Constant flashbacks/intrusion of thoughts;

  • Extreme tension and anxiety;

  • Irritability/outbursts of anger;

  • Non-responsiveness or lack of involvement with the external world;

  • Prolonged feelings of detachment or estrangement of others; and

  • Memory trouble.

PTSD is a very complicated diagnosis and the presence of any of the above-mentioned symptoms does not mean that a person is suffering from PTSD. However, it’s my strong suggestion demonstration of these signs require follow up analyzation by a medical professional.

Secondary Injuries:

One must remember a trauma victim not only struggles with primary injuries, but also must battle secondary injuries. Most secondary injuries are provoked by the victim failing to receive proper support and understanding by trusted and/or loved ones. For instance:

  1. A soldier returning from combat will have trouble relating to their family at first. Either the family repeatedly questions the soldier about their experiences and the soldier doesn’t want to talk about them, or visa versa the family doesn’t want to hear about the horrors of war. This was a daily travesty for soldiers returning from combat during the VietNam war. They were met with jeers and hatred by fellow Americans.

  2. Victims of violent crime may be treated with the negative attitude by professionals that they were somehow responsible for the crime. They were dressed provocatively resulting in them being raped, or they had no business in that type of bad neighborhood. Sometimes people who ought to know better display the height of ignorance and indifference.

<> on April 1, 2014 in Nogales, Arizona.

Hate this one

This is not political, but as I write this piece I can’t help but think of the current immigration problems we are experiencing. I’m not arguing right or wrong, I’m arguing that we as God fearing people should look at what we may be doing to innocent people.

child2

Love These

A mother fearing for the safety of her children embarks on an unimaginable trek to the “Promised Land” (America) The distance she must travel is immense with daily dangers of being raped, killed, kidnapped and sold into slavery. The odds of the family making it all the way to America is slim to none.

Somehow they endure and are at the front gates of the prosperous, generous and tender heart Americans, Then their world collapses. They are denied legal entry to America, then are tear gassed and told they will never be allowed sanctuary. Stop and imagine that.

  1. A danger filled trek of thousands of miles on foot.

  2. Enduring unimaginable hardship along the way

  3. Then being tear gassed and told the family will never find safety

Trauma is a deadly emotional disease and we should take it more seriously than many of us do. Trauma doesn’t only occur in the movies … it’s real life. What are we doing to these children? Creating emotionally scarred and disabled people. Or creating a whole new generation of Bin Laden s intent on wrecking pain on Americans. Trauma is an uncontrollable disease with unknown results.

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How to Hide Your Food

Unless you know the context of the subject matter “how to hide your food” sounds somewhat and possibly, totally ridiculous. Why would I want to hide food? Well, maybe hide my candy bars from my blood-hound nosed grand-kids. Other than that, why would I want to hide food? If that’s your answer, obviously you are not a member of the Prepper community.

Stockpiling food and other survival supplies is the centerpiece of a motivated Prepper’s ultimate goal… stockpile items that are essential for the survival of your family and anticipation of nearly immediate shortage of such items. I believe everyone will agree food will be high on the stockpile list.

For the novice Prepper you may think this isn’t rocket science.

  • Do some research to identify the best food to store and remain edible.

  • Withdraw money from the savings, make a loan or max out the credit card.

  • Buy the food, bring it home, store it in the house.

What is the big deal you may say.

There are a couple of big deals and a lot of small ones.

  1. Anyone who has been building a stockpile, or rents a U-haul and fills it with food, will most likely run into a space problem. Unless you have storage space, such as a basement where you can build a dedicated storage room, space quickly evaporates. No basement, house is built on a slab … no problem, use the spare bedroom for storage. What? No spare bedroom, in fact the kids are doubling up. See what I mean?

  2. Lack of space is one matter, but a much worse problem is keeping the food you have stockpiled. That’s no problem, you’ll just keep having stored food a secret. Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

  • Your kids will tell their friends what you’re doing. Sorry, but kids are kids, even yours.

  • The neighborhood has eyes. You won’t realize it, but a nosy neighbor has peered through the blinds and have seen you unloading enough groceries to feed an army. What could you do with so much food and only 4 people to feed? Ah … stockpiling it for bad times. How clever. I’ll make a mental note of that.

  • In today’s information age your life is an open book. I assure you people with the proper authority, or proper hacking skills, can review every purchase you’ve ever made in the last 5 years and possibly beyond. You think they won’t be able to figure out you’ve been stockpiling?

Bottom line is keeping your food stockpile stash may be the hardest thing to do. You may arm yourself and fend off attacks by looters, but eventually enough people with enough firepower will break your defenses and take the food. If not looters, soldiers under Marshal law will confiscate the supplies.

These scenarios make it sound like it’s useless to try and store a stockpile of survival food because it’ll just be taken from you. However, there are always options and there’s a very real option that offers the chance for you to keep your food or at least severely limit the amount lost. Hide Your Food.

Let’s look at a few examples of how to hide your food. This method coupled with brute force may be just enough to make assaulting you just not worth the price. It’s a cost benefit equation that wild animals utilize. Even the king of beast, although possibly capable of achieving success, will mess with a cobra. The meal is too small to risk the life threatening venom.

studs

Inside Walls

Building Hidden Compartments:

This is an excellent method of hiding food, but unless you have a rather large home, difficult to do. Any hidden room must flow naturally with the structure. Any newer construction or obvious out of place huge piece of furniture will draw immediate suspicion.

Perhaps the best place to build a secret storage area for an average house is under the steps, especially stairs leading to a second floor level. Looters will definitely look there, but if you build a fake wall about half way to the end, there’s a good chance they’ll overlook it. Store a few things, bats & balls, tennis rackets, whatever, for the appearance you use the area for storage, but there’s nothing of value there.

How to Hide Food Your Utilizing the Insides of Walls and Ceilings:

Common building codes call for 2” x 4” studded walls, interior and exterior, and you may even be lucky enough to have 2” x 6” walls. Remove the drywall sheeting on any wall and you will expose a 3 ½” deep by 16” wide vacant void between the studs. There will most likely be electrical wires and possibly water lines running through these walls, but they occupy very little space and are not dangerous. (You still don’t want to yank around on them and create a leak or a short circuit.)

Install shelves inside this void, fill it with non-perishable food (can goods) and replace the drywall. It’s important the replaced drywall be taped and painted to match the existing wall. If you are not skilled enough to do this, consider building an attached bookcase or placing a heavy piece of furniture in front of it to hide it.

ceiling tile

Suspended Ceiling Tiles

If you have a finished basement with a suspended ceiling you can turn the space between the floor joist into storage. Simply remove the ceiling tile, carefully as to not break it, and install shelves between the floor joists. You’ll experience the same issues as inside the wall but probably more congested as sewer and other drain pipes, heating/cooling duct-work and water lines all run inside these joists. If you remove ceiling tiles and encounter a lot of obstructions, put it back and go to another spot.

*** Floor joists will offer more room than walls because they are normally 2” x 8” or 2” x 10” and on 24” centers.***

A normal bedroom or hall closet can be used for food storage. Place a few boxes (containers) in the closet and have them clearly miss – marked. A bottom box of canned goods can be marked Xmas stuff while supporting real boxes of Xmas stuff. Or fill the box half way with food and finish topping it off with clothes.

An additional spot is above the door in the interior of the closet. Who looks there? Remove the drywall as in other examples, and store food in the vacant spaces. You won’t have to replace the drywall because chances of being seen are all but zero.

ductwork

Fake Duct Work

Outsmart Them by Faking Them Out:

Maybe 1 in 100 people have the expertise to know a home’s systems well enough to know what is real and what’s not. And that 1 person will be focused on stealing food, not analyzing your sewer system. This offers you a golden opportunity to hide a vast quantity of food.

Your ventilation duct-work will be located either in the basement or the attic. You can construct a duct branch, however long you want, made from the same material and same appearance of the real ducts and store food inside it. You can store a lot of food in such a fake storage spot. Be sure to adequately support the fake as canned food is quite heavy.

You can do the same thing with your plumbing system. Drain pipes in the house will either be 3” or 4” wide. Even if they are 3” into the main sewer drain you can use 4” fake pipe and nobody will notice. Simply fill the 4” void of the pipe with canned goods, and place it onto the floor and secure it to the floor joist. Make sure it appears to go through the floor, concrete and wood, is plumb, and isn’t obviously out of place. They’ll never spot it if you do it right.

Do You Garden?

Another good place for how to hide your food is the back yard. If you have a garden this is an excellent hiding spot because the ground is already disturbed. Don’t shake your head. Burying food is one of the oldest ways of storing food. Early American history clearly describes casks and barrels of food being buried underground as a means to preserve it and/or hiding it from hostile Indians.

pvc

PVC Pipe

Dig a hole at a corner of the garden where a steel post can be inserted to appear as a fence post, or in the center of the garden where a scarecrow can be placed, in order to disguise the spot. Use food grade five gallon buckets filled with food and bury it. The container is leak proof and insects can not get in.

Another method is to take a 4” piece of PVC, fill it with food, glue caps on either end and insert into the ground. This pipe will fit nicely inside a hole you make with a post hole digger.

How to Hide Your Food in Plain Sight:

The soffit above your kitchen cabinets is a totally void spot. Remove the drywall, re-enforce the framework and install a bottom flooring. This can offer a tremendous amount of storage space. Either replace the drywall, finish and paint to match the rest of the kitchen or maybe wallpaper it, eliminating taping and painting.

Remove the toe plate from underneath the kitchen cabinets and you’ll discover an empty space for some storage. This space can be utilized for a diversion. Place food inside the void, but don’t reinstall the toe plate correctly. If looters spot this and find the food, they very well may think that’s all you have and will leave. Just a thought.

If you never use your dishwasher, or you haven’t replaced the broken one, use it for storage. Just be sure to disconnect the electric to prevent a well meaning in-law from turning the dishwasher on attempting to help with holiday dishes.

The washer and dryer can also offer space. Remove the backing, place food inside and re-secure the backing. Be sure that no food interferes with any mechanical movement of the appliance or you may have bought yourself a big repair bill.

Other Options:

If you absolutely don’t have enough space to hide food supplies, or live in an apartment, you can rent a storage unit at one of those self contained storage facilities. A 5’ X 5’ storage unit would hold a huge amount of non-perishable food.

storage

Rented Storage Unit

Don’t overlook disgusting and diversion tactics:

  • Keep a weapon (pistol) in a water tight container and store it in the toilet water tank.

  • Build a cat litter box with a hidden shelf underneath it big enough to store a pistol.

  • Put a shelf large enough to place a pistol in the bottom of the pet food storage container and fill with pet food.

Don’t forget looters will be in a hurry. They want as much stuff as they can quickly find without too much problem and a fast get away.

  • Raise your bed onto blocks and store food under your bed. It’s not exactly inspector gadget hidden, but if they locate it, they’ll probably stop at that point, saving the rest of your cache.

Preparing for a crisis by knowing how to hide your food should be rather high on your priority list. However it’s only one element of a crisis management plan.

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The Attack on Alaska

Have you heard about the attack on Alaska? Most likely few of you have, but there were several viscous battles fought on Alaska soil during WWII, and unless you fought there or loss someone there, the memories have pretty much drifted off into oblivion as far as history is concerned.

Through people I have connected with while writing this survival blog, I have learned even the most ardent survivalist can become uninspired maintaining the rigors of constantly preparing for the SHTF event, while praying it never happens. Once the initial enthusiasm of becoming a survivalist wanes, it’s difficult to maintain the energy to stay on top of everything without motivation. Maintaining and rotating supplies is grueling and expensive, while keeping track of the newest and greatest survival gear can be mind boggling as technology sprints past most of our comprehension. Besides there hasn’t been an invasion of North America United States since the war of 1812, and although technically a foreign army, our fight with the British was more like quarreling in-laws. Every other war on the continent was waged between Americans mad at one another or stealing land from Mexico and the American Indians.

That’s why I decided to do a little research and discovered an event that may dash your false sense of security that America could never be invaded by a hostile force. Let’s look at the attack on Alaska through the Aleutian Islands. The invasion and occupation of continental United States land.

JAPAN SEIZES AMERICAN SOIL

In June of 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the defeat of American troops in the Philippines, the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands, a sparsely inhabited string of volcanic islands extending 1200 miles west of the mainland Alaska Peninsula. By June 6th & 7th the Japanese had invaded and controlled the islands of Kiska and Attu, establishing military garrisons and began conducting air strikes on Dutch Harbor where two American military bases were located.

At first glance the Aleutian islands appeared to be of little military value. The islands were historically barren with mountainous terrain, terribly harsh weather with heavy snowfall and dense fog. A wintry version of hell. Historians believe the Japanese invasion was a feint to draw the American fleet away from Midway, the real Japanese invasion target. It was also feasible that the Japanese thought holding these two islands would cut off any avenue of invasion by the US to invade Japan’s homelands. In either event the Japanese had invaded the US and now held American soil while attacking American troops. The blow to American moral was substantial. The Japanese had nearly destroyed the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, kicked MacArthur’s butt out of the Philippines and now occupied American soil. Moral tanked.

American Outrage to Japanese Occupation

The attack on Alaska shocked and outraged the American public. Just the principle that Japanese troops had invaded and occupied American soil, no matter how remote or barren, was unacceptable. Although the media stoked concern of Japan’s attack being the first step towards an invasion of mainland Alaska or perhaps the invasion of the US Pacific Northwest, the war planners were more concerned about rebuilding their Pacific strength and preparing for war in Europe. The Japanese invasion was hardly acknowledged with the exception of an occasional bombing raid originating from the nearby Aleutian Islands.

While being ignored the Japanese became acclimated to the harsh weather, built defensive fortifications and were kept well stockpiled by the Japanese navy. By the end of 1942 the Japanese were well entrenched and well supplied on the two islands of Attu and Kiska. However, the US war planners were now becoming proficient at addressing several war fronts at one time and by January 1943 the Alaska Command had grown to 94,000 soldiers, and had landed on Amchitka Island, 50 miles from Kiska.

The Attack on Alaska – Naval Blockade of Attu and Kiska

American brass anticipated the Japanese had used their time well and would be prepared to repulse an attack when America launched it. Surmising this they had to do something to weaken the Japanese before attempting an invasion, and they decided that would require a naval blockade in order to cut off all supplies to the garrisons on both islands, starving them of required resupplies.

Battle of Attu Anniversary

By March 1943 the navy fleet, under the command of US Rear Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, had encircled the two islands with a blockade intended to restrict the flow of supplies to the occupiers. On March 26, 1943, a Japanese fleet of supply and war ships attempted to breach the blockade in order to deliver supplies and reinforcements to Attu. The Japanese were spotted by scout vessels before they could run the blockade and the two fleets sped towards one another engaging in what became known as the Battle of the Komandorski Islands. The Japanese fleet outnumbered the American fleet and were more experienced in naval warfare than the Americans. After a several hour fight-fire the Japanese had extracted a severe cost on the American fleet in terms of ship damage and loss of life. Despite their advantage, the Japanese who were now low on ammunition and fuel for the return trip to Japan, and fearing American bombers being launched from Dutch Harbor could appear at any time, they withdrew without completing their mission. This would not be the last time the Japanese would withdraw prematurely while not realizing how much devastation they had wreaked on the American forces.

The blockade and subsequent battle had achieved its goal and with the exception of an occasional submarine supply vessel, the two garrisons were completely isolated and cut off. They Americans would starve them into a weakened condition before landing troops on the ground for actual combat.

The Battle of Attu … Operation Land-grab

The harsh winter climate these battles were waged in were far different from the sweltering heat of the South Pacific, but the lessons learned from these battles set the precedent of the entire island hopping campaign America used to win the war. No different than the battles of the South Pacific, these lessons were learned by the spilling of American blood.

The battle began with American naval ships bombarding the island for several weeks in conjunction with unleashing relentless bombing attacks in order to soften the enemy prior to the land invasion. On May 11,1943 11,000 American troops landed on Attu. This was the first of many strings of events where the Navy, Army and Marine top brass would continually underestimate the length of time required to secure the target island. In this case, it was estimated the island would be totally secured within 2 to 3 days, but the battle raged for more than two weeks.

The Japanese, being heavily outnumbered, retreated to their predesignated high ground fortifications, allowing the Americans to land unchallenged. The tranquility was short lived. The US soldiers were equipped with ill-designed uniforms and equipment that would not bear up to the harsh weather and rugged, muddy terrain that kept their advance at a snail’s pace. They endured more causalities from frostbite, trench foot, gangrene and other illnesses than they incurred from enemy fire. Unbelievably, food shortages, although well supplied, added insult to misery as they chased the enemy crisscross the barren island outrunning their supply route.

When they did engage the Japanese the fights were usually small but fierce as the Japanese, which became common, refused to surrender. Americans were ambushed while scouring the rocky terrain by dug-in enemy positions, pestered by sniper fire and harassed by deadly booby traps. The end result of the battle was never in question as the Americans controlled the air and sea denying any reinforcements or supplies from arriving. The only question was how many Americans would die before the island was declared secure.

By late May, the remaining Japanese garrison, starving, sorely lacking ammunition and trapped in a corner of the island, exemplified the Japanese attitude Americans would become all too familiar with in the South Pacific, they committed to a banzai charge. Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki, garrison commander ordered the charge slightly before daybreak on May 29th. His troops charged wildly into the American lines, sweeping through their combat out post, penetrating line positions and not stopping until they reached the shocked American support troops at the rear of the American camp.

This suicidal charge ultimately failed, but mainly due to being outnumbered and out gunned by the Americans. The Japanese set a precedent which would be followed throughout the south Pacific theater of the commander, Yamaski, and all troops, 2000, dying instead of surrendering. The Americans lost 1000 men in the battle, a ratio worse than any other South Pacific battle.

BATTLE OF KISKA: OPERATION COTTAGE

The battle of Attu had taught the Americans some bitter and costly lessons, mistakes the Americans did not intend to repeat when they invaded Kiska, code name Operation Cottage. They knew they would encounter a much larger and better prepared enemy force, than they fought on Attu and mistakes would be extremely expensive.

On the morning of August 15, 1943 the Americans landed on Kiska unopposed, which they knew didn’t signal anything except hell waited ahead. 35,000 soldiers landed and fanned our across the island searching for the enemy. After several nerve racking days of scouring the entire island they realized the Japanese had used the previous weeks fog banks to evacuate the entire garrison. On August 24, 1943 the Kiska Island was declared secure and the Battle of the Aleutian Islands ended.

The Attack on Alaska – Cat & Mouse

Following Japan’s defeat in the Aleutians, they were forced to commit forces and resources to guard against an American invasion from the Alaskan Peninsula. Ironically their feint to draw Americans away from Midway may have given the Americans the idea of an invasion on their part. To reinforce that fear, American planes launched from the Aleutians would conduct an occasional surprise bombing of the Japanese Islands Kuril, which lies between Japan and Alaska. Just to perk the fear and unknowing.

Next time you get bored or disgusted with preparing as a survivalist for the SHTF event, remember American soil was invaded and occupied by a foreign enemy less than 80 years ago. If it can happen once… it can happen again. Just reminisce the attack on Alaska.

I Have a Dream – Turned Nightmare

I have a dream – turned nightmare is the only way I can describe what has happened to our beloved country the last two years. I can hear your disgust already. “Oh yeah, another bleeding heart liberal-leaning Democrat who wants our country destroyed. You want China and other countries to take all our good paying jobs, allow the drug cartels to invade from Mexico and let Canada keep trying to flood America with millions of gallons of water being shipped in over Niagara Falls.”

All I can decently say is “Really?” Let’s take a quick look at some of today’s under the radar events.

From Think Progress, Casey Michel 6/27/2018:

The backlash to the Trump administration caging immigrant children has led to store owners asking White House officials to not eat in their restaurants and to protesters publicly confronting those supporting Trump’s policies. Now, voices on the far-right are increasingly unified in their only solution to the matter: Civil War.

Far-right figures have been calling for a US breakup for quite some time, but fell mainly on deaf ears except for the very radical few. However, recent rhetoric from the past few months has escalated calls for a breakup. Historical illiterates are calling for an “amicable divorce”. How did that idea go over in 1860?

In a USA Today article, Glenn Reynolds pointed to Sarah Sanders being denied service in Virginia, Kirstjen Nielsen and Pruitt being protested in restaurants was a sign civil war was well underway.

Conspiracy site Zero Hedge recently published a piece claiming “The Modern Civil War is Being Fought Without Guns …. So Far!” The Federalist published an article from Jesse Kelly that he fantasized about scalping those he disagreed with politically, stating “The US will almost certainly see Americans die in the inevitable communists purges.”

It must be noted a well established practice, perfected by Trump, allows these lunatics to throw anything against the wall to see what sticks. “Communist purges” would apply to Trump and the far-right, not the left.

Little matter as logic and facts mean nothing. Chatter of civil war has spiked over the past few months, from Trump rallies to pro-Trump conspiracy fonts like Alex Jones.

Twitter post: “Breaking! Democrats Officially Announce Civil War Plan In America”

Congress is becoming involved in Civil War Talk! Unbelievable!

Twitter post from Steve King Republican congress person:

America is heading in the direction of another Harper’s Ferry. After that comes Fort Sumpter.”

A quick history refresher. Harper’s Ferry, was a federal armory, which anti-slave protester John Brown attacked, provoking intense debate about succession. Fort Sumpter was fired upon and captured by Southern troops which opened the civil war.

In reality this is Treasonous talk by an elected congressman. I mean what isn’t treasonous about calling for civil war between Americans?

Politico wrote “In the Trump era, the left is as aggressively confrontational as anyone can remember”

Mark Pitcavage

 

This is an allegation that could only be made by someone almost totally unfamiliar with the history of the far left. The far left today is, in terms of aggression & confrontation, a pale shadow of what it was like from roughly 1965-1985.

Unfamiliar, or a total fabrication of facts, which is more likely. I was alive and participated in the events of the 60s & 70s. The shooting deaths of students at Kent State, the seemingly everyday bombings of some site which represented the establishment. I could go on and on, but the right is trying to make everything the left’s fault, which the left is not faultless, but are not the aggressors. The level of domestic strife a generation ago outpaces what we’ve seen recently despite the humanitarian crisis unfolding along the US southern border.

trumpflag

For whatever reason or lunacy these far-right fanatics seem to think a new Civil War would unfurl exactly like the first one, except the South would win. Lyman Stone commented in the Federalist paper, that even deeply “Red States” are pock-marked with massive, liberal-leaning enclaves like Louisville, Dallas and St. Louis, that would make distinguishing traditional battle lines impossible. Additionally, the far-right is making the same assumption the Confederacy made, which was fatally flawed, the less-culturally-militaristic North would be easy to beat. In this case the militant white supremacist, neocon-Nazi, and Trump loyalists consider liberals to be easily defeated are quite wrong. Liberals, who want, in their opinion common sense gun controls, own just as many guns as any other faction.

Thankfully, any potential reprise of a civil war remains limited to the few rabid, frothing, fascistic minds of those on the far-right. As long as protests remain reasonably peaceful that’s where it will stay, even though Sanders & Trump employees may have a bit more trouble finding a friendly place for a piece of chicken or a taco. But… make no mistake about it … a civil war would be catastrophic, both economically and in loss of lives. The tens of thousands of casualties endured in the 1800s would quickly translate to millions of casualties today.

You Don’t Believe It could Happen?

I must admit I have a hard time wrapping my head around such an idea, but I’ve developed that problem in the past 2 years, as its almost a chronic issue. There’s no way that could happen! Then it does. Congress will stop that! Then it doesn’t. Think it’s just me? Check this out.

On July 3, 2018 Fox news made a big deal, and it is a big deal, about a new poll that shows Millennium Americans are less proud of being Americans than anytime in history. Republicans are 90% more proud to be Americans, thus Fox labels the college students and young adults as spoiled, entitled, welfare destined punks. Well, that may be … but those punks will outnumber you old white men, which I am one, in the very near future.

Even Fox propaganda news admitted the responses from many of the people in the poll attributed their feelings to Trump’s actions. When asked what would change her mind, one girl replied “Reverse everything Trump has done.” A broad statement as I’m sure Trump has done something good, although I fail to know what.

In any event Fox news, Republicans and Trump loyalists, I’d take heed of the direction of the wind if I were you. You are in complete control right now, but …. you can’t stop time and the future does not bode well for the 1% and the 35% that idolize the demigod Trump. Be careful of throwing stones at that dog chained to the tree … it may break free one day and exact its revenge.

I truly hope everyone has a safe and happy fourth of July holiday, but more importantly than that today is … consider what the date means. Was it intended to coward to a want a be dictator, or to stand proud as a defiant warrior against tyranny? Your answer is important! If you fail to act … next year’s fourth of July’s celebration may resemble North Korea’s and Russia’s military parade honoring your dictator leader.

Don’t think it can happen? Think again please!

Memorial Day Prayer

Memorial Day

You know it’s a shame we need an earmarked day to remind us to celebrate a special event or person, but I’m as guilty as the next for not thinking beyond my own selfish needs.

I was talking to a dear old Army buddy yesterday and after the proverbial telling lies to each other and exaggerating embarrassing situations we had shared in Vietnam, he asked me a question that confused me.

Jim, would you do it all again?” he asked.

Do what again?” I replied.

Go to Vietnam.”

Are back on LSD again?” I laughed “It’s a little too late to change your mind now about something that happened over 45 years ago.”

There was a long silence and I thought maybe we’d lost our connection, but then I heard him take a deep breath.

22 and 1.” he said.

What are you talking about?” I asked with a little irritation starting to melt into my tone. “22 and 1 what.”

22 former soldiers and 1 active soldier commits suicide every day,” he paused “did you know that?”

Are you sure?” I asked quite seriously.

Check it out Bud,” he said. “Think about it and ask yourself if you’d do it all again.”

I did check it out and was startled and alarmed that he was correct. Based on VA records 22 and 1 commit suicide everyday. Now obviously there will probably be 23 different stories and circumstances which drive these soldiers to take their own life and most likely some or most are not military related at all.

But what if the horrendous experiences of war drove 10 of these poor souls to end it, what about 5? What about 1? Writers much more eloquent and with better command of the English language than me can describe war and offer the noncombatant a glimpse or feeling of the chaos and fear. I can only say “You just have to be in it to understand.” How do you explain the terror that makes you piss your pants and not realize it until the battle is over?

I hate it when I become melancholy and begin searching for the inner truth and the broader vision of life like a Hindu monk or something. But I had suddenly realized what my friend’s question meant … and it was as perplexing for me as trying to understand infinity … there’s always 1 more number.

What he was asking was if I had known in 1970 the state of America on May 23, 2018, would be in, would I have fought? A totally hypothetical question, but the root of the question … would you have risked your life to fight for a future dictator to conquer America is quite thought provoking.

Democracy is not a material thing, like a granite monument or statue. It’s an idea that is fragile and as fleeting as a whist of smoke if not carefully guarded. Today our Democracy is under attack by a Nazi, lying, stealing real estate con who was placed into the President’s position by our arch enemy, Russia.

Russia’s actions and collusion by the Trump team resulted in a bloodless coupe, so far, but a coup none the less. They have taken American democracy and are destroying it piece by piece. Tearing down institutions that have held the country together for two hundred years, eliminating the founding fathers’ separation of powers that was written in order to prevent a dictator taking over. Placing himself above the law. I could go on indefinitely as there is a new attack, a new scandal, a new lie every day.

Make no mistakes about it people. Our Democracy is on very shaky ground right now, on the verge of collapsing.

You say that’s my opinion. Well, yes and no. Yes that’s my opinion, but it’s backed up by every former president, intelligence agencies, former great American leaders, etc. etc.

What about your opinion and the 35% of Americans that would walk off a cliff if their orange haired messiah told them to. Ever hear the adage “There’s a Sucker born every minute.” Well, I rest my case.

Let’s try this another way so you may not get as pissed as you are right now. Let’s say you need a critical surgery and are interviewing 5 surgeons for the procedure. One surgeon declares he’s the smartest, best surgeon alive and could perform the surgery blindfolded if need be. The other four discuss technical medical procedures and the steps involved in this intricate surgery and warn there could be complications.

So what do you do? Pick one of the four surgeons who have the knowledge and the experience to perform the surgery, although they warn of possible complications.

OR

The surgeon who has never really proven he’s a doctor much alone a surgeon and claims the operation is a piece of cake he could do blindfolded. Don’t worry.

I’ll not pick which one a smart person would choose. I’ll leave that up to you.

The original question … “Would I fight for America if I knew America would fall prey to a dictatorship while our supposed leaders coward-ed before him?”

I am prepared to fight for America today to stop the tyranny that is running rampant. I have a feeling those 22 and 1 soldiers would somehow shirk off their heart breaking troubles and join the fight as well.

Open your eyes people. You don’t have to see the whole picture, just one little piece.

22 former soldiers and 1 active duty soldier commits suicide every day and at least part of their mental anguish was from military duty, horrors of war or other military related events.

Our current pretend president dodged military service due to bone spurs. Of all damn things … bone spurs. It ain’t important, What is important this coward is now destroying the very America these 22 and 1 and their former buddies, alive and dead, fought to preserve.

Dear God, Please rescue America from the evil internal forces that are attacking her. I fear even You will be hard pressed to accomplish this, but please give Republicans a spine in which to stand up to this tyrant. And if they continue to choose individual wealth and power instead of honoring their oath of office … then to hell with them too.

Amen

A Life Straw Filter is the Best Tool to Purify Water in the Wild

One of the first crisis you face when lost is how to purify water in the wild.

It’s ironic that water, the great giver of life, is also the number one cause of human death world wild. I’m not talking about drowning due to a flood or capsized boat, I’m talking consuming water infested with parasites which literally destroy us from within.

Fatalities in Puerto Rico continue to climb a month after the initial devastation created by the hurricane, not from collapsing building or mudslides, but from people being forced to drink dirty water. Ironic, considering Puerto Rico is an Island surrounded by water with countless waterfalls, streams and small waterways, has no access to safe drinking water. It’s shocking, perhaps more terrifying, those picturesque blue and emerald waterfalls and private swimming oasis displayed in the advertising brochures must be at best a mistake and at worse a lie about the safety of the tropical oasis.

This time Nature is not dealing with a rookie: You have bleach, sanitation chemicals, pots for boiling water, reliable fire starters, even one of those collapsible plastic cups that fold up like an accordion. You have it all. None of these issues pose a problem, because you have come totally prepared with lots of equipment.

Life saving equipment you had until 10 seconds ago when the top heavy backpack teetered onto its back and took a nose dive over a cliff and down into a 500 foot ravine of dense jungle.

ravine

Good Luck Finding it

All kinds of things can happen to your bulky emergency gear. What you need is something small that fits in your sock.

It has several names but we’ll use the more common brand name of Life Straw. What is it? Poetically speaking … a life saver. Technically speaking … It’s a miniature water filtration system designed to look and work like a straw. The small tube is equipped with specialized filters inside it and if you can suck on a straw you can use this devise.

How Does it Work?

Engineers, which is not uncommon, reverted to old-school physical filtration systems of older water filters, added new technology and developed a unique filter system which wipes out germs present in microbiological levels in water. Simply explained its a 23- centimeter tube which uses technologically advanced filters to take water contaminated with pathogens and converts it to safe drinking water.

All water purifiers use the same principles.

  1. Filters will block larger debris and contaminants, like insects, from entering the straw.
  2. The water passes through a series of finer membranes and filters as small as 15 microns in diameter
  3. This procedure removes the vast majority of microorganisms, but an ultra-filtration filter is used in larger purifier with pores as small as 0.2 microns.
  4. Charcoal filters are used for taste.

The Life Straw uses mechanical filters to remove contaminants from the water, therefore by using no chemicals or moving parts. Store it at room temperature and your device will last forever.

You can use it a certain amount of times, which varies based on how much water you drink per day. On average, it will last you just under a years worth of uses, about 300 days worth. You can tell it’s no longer any good when you can’t draw water through the straw any more, even after you back flush.

What is Removed?

Life Straw filters down to an incredible 0.2 microns in size which virtually eliminates bacteria (99.9999%) and protozoa (99.9%) from contaminated water, plus it reduces turbidity by filtering 100% of suspended particles. It eliminates the risk of:

  • Escheirchia coli
  • Campylobacter
  • Vibrio Cholerae
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Giardia Lamblia
  • Entamoeba Histolytica
  • Cryptosporidium Parvum

Seriously nasty organisms that can make you weak, sick, or worse. Never, ever drink water you find in the wild unfiltered! The normal Life Straw is designed for wilderness survival and will filter 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of protozoan parasites. Chemicals, saltwater and viruses will not be removed.

That means you can’t drink pool water, because it contains chemicals that won’t be filtered out.

 

How to Use a Life Straw Filter

Most water filtration systems of this type are lightweight. Life Straw weighs only 2 ounces. Your average person should consume 2 to 3 liters of water daily on a normal hiking venture. At that pace the straw will last from 250 to 330 days of continued use.

  1. To activate your life straw filter, uncap the devise and hold it upright in water for about a minute. Allowing water to seep up the membrane.
  2. Perform five quick sucking actions and water will begin to flow.
  3. If you’re drinking extremely muddy water you may have to periodically blow back down the tube to extract the solid particles that accumulate.

Here’s hoping this new information will allow you to purify water in the wild the right way.

Science Be Damned

I was a jock in high school. Played football, defensive corner-back, wrestled, 133 lb. Class (ain’t seen that weight in many a year) and baseball, second baseman.

My grades were middle of the road, wasn’t too concerned about being a nerd, big mistake by the way. But as a whole I wasn’t a bad kid, mischievous at times, but nothing drastic. As long as I could comprehend class lectures and do a little homework I was fine. But … give me a class I had to buckle down and study for … it was easier to make excuses for not being in the top of the class.

Science was one of those classes, Biology to be specific. The teacher hated me, looking back I can see why, and I just couldn’t see the sense in learning what’s inside a chicken that makes it tick or whatever else nonessential information learned then forgotten for lack of use. I didn’t have the time or energy to partake in this charade.

Then something changed. I saw a Tadpole turn into a Frog. Let that one sink in for moment. You must remember when I was a kid there was no such thing as satellite or cable TV. No History, Animal or National Geographic channels which provide an infinite amount of information in a very entertaining and easily understood format.


I didn’t walk miles to school, uphill both ways, or study by candlelight, but by today’s standards it was quite elementary. Therefore, the actual witnessing and documenting the transformation of a tadpole to a frog was, for some reason, mesmerizing.

That normal, classic lab experiment, something kids born in the rural areas of course took for granted, wasn’t in any frogs in the city, rats, but no frogs, was an eye opening experience for me. It demonstrated how something could start out as one thing and morph or develop into something entirely different.

Why Tell This Story?

As I told everyone creating Ziva’s DIY Battery Restoration was a two fold project. For starters I wanted to try and supplement my social security and meager pension income by attempting, big on ATTEMPTING, to become an affiliate marketer. (Don’t believe “it’s so easy a child can do it”) Although I have nearly cried like a baby trying to figure out Facebook, Word-Press, Keywords and a hundred other things I know nothing about.

Sorry, a little pity party just erupted.

While researching a product to sell I ran across Battery Restoration, which seemed to exceed all my criteria. It offered a chance to make a few bucks, helped people who bought the program save a bunch of bucks, was a blessing to the environment and offered Home Based business opportunities for anyone interested.

I have been diagnosed a person with a compulsive personality. Now that ain’t all bad as it has at times, served me well in the past. I happily endured 100’s of hours fielding ground balls, building a back yard shed turned into a western town of several buildings and I could go on and on.

Due to this mental demeanor I dove head first into researching everything I could about batteries. I scoured the internet, researched my county library, anything to acquire the most information I could to pass along to my customers and readers.

What I Discovered

Batteries are but a segment of the overall picture of renewable energy, green energy, environmental issues, the whole big gambit of Energy. As I continued to research I realized this was a huge topic with huge issues swirling around it.

I also realized there were many ways, probably half I never heard of, to save and/or create electrical energy through various ways. Some avenues are monstrous and expensive, but many are simple and cost effective. And as I delve deeper it’s obvious I’m just scratching the surface.

Summary

The bottom line is: Ziva’s DIY Battery Restoration will transform or morph, just like the Tadpole to a Frog, into a Green Energy Resource. I will be exploring many many avenues of how to save, store, create, etc, etc energy. I will pass my findings along to you for your consideration. No high pressure sales pitch. Check it out … like it … buy it. Don’t … continue to explore and discover.