Preparing for the flames

December 10th, 2012

Over at Ace of Spades, DrewM has a post up titled What does Let it Burn mean?.

This entry pretty much nailed how I feel about the situation unfolding before our eyes.

A few points really resonated with me. The first one was this:

One foundation of conservatism is to see the world as it is, imperfections and all, and not the way we wish it to be. Unless we can admit the reality of the country we are living in, Let It Burn makes no sense.

If you think we’re just one or two tactical moves and a great candidate away from political victory, you’re not in the Let It Burn camp.

Prior to the election, I was effectively in the “If we just did this….” camp he’s talking about. I say “effectively” because deep down I was far too jaded and pessimistic to believe it in my gut.

I DESPERATELY wanted to be wrong. I really wanted another “Reagan fixing Carter’s mess” dynamic even though Obama is ten times as destructive as Carter and Romney a tenth of the man Reagan was.

And in yearning for that, I violated that first foundation of seeing things for how they are, believing it, and acting accordingly.

Standing back upon that foundation now, many things are painfully clear:

1) The Republicans are going to cave on everything Obama wants, and get eviscerated when the bad times start in earnest OR they will hold out to some degree and get eviscerated when the bad times start in earnest.

This is self evident. We’ve already got calls from the spineless fucks in DC to give in. Boehner is removing anyone with actual conservative convictions from as many cabinet positions as he can to pave the way. Even when they have leverage all they do is bicker about the speed at which we increase spending money we don’t have, never actually shrinking the scope of federal government. Which brings up another point brought up in the article I have reluctantly come to realize as truth:

We need to start disassociating conservatism from the GOP. We’ve tried it for 30 years. It hasn’t worked.

The GOP as it stands today is going to die. Right now skid stain licking pieces of shit like Boehner are doing everything they can to simply position themselves as The Loyal Opposition and keep their power. The real reason they are so upset about the fiscal cliff is that they STILL don’t truly understand that Obama will never, ever, EVER compromise on ANYTHING unless it sets up an environment that provides him with an opportunity to damage his enemies (IE: Them) even more later. Damaging the country in the process is fine as long as it’s done in a way he can sell as the GOP’s fault (which is depressingly easy when you have the one-two punch of The Stupid at the polls, and a lickspittle media that feeds on Obama’s dick cheese like it’s ambrosia coated cocaine). They simply cannot comprehend that Obama doesn’t want a Loyal Opposition, he wants to be worshiped as a god with any heretics burned alive in a carbon neutral sacrificial kiln designed and constructed with green energy grants by a campaign donator.

This is already starting a civil war in the GOP between those with even a modicum of conservative principles, and those who treat their platform as simply a strategy to keep them in Washington. I predict a no confidence vote in the house on Boehner by April at the latest as those who are being marginalized strike back. Whether he survives that or gets pushed out of the speaker postition is ultimately irrelevant. The battle will create a fractured cesspool of infighting clusterfuckery which will be, again, pointed to as The Reason Shit Ain’t Working™ by the Ministry of Propaganda.

This is the fucking PLAN folks. Who cares how many of the peasants it hurts as long as the Enemies of Progressiveness suffer?

Perhaps conservatism will eventually win this fight, and the GOP will be dominated by those who actually practice what they preach. Or true conservatism has to find a new path altogether, which means that for many of us we may not see it in power again during our lifetimes. For now, however, the fact that this battle needs to be fought at all means that we’ve lost (at least in the short term).

I’m done doing my minuscule part enabling this bullshit simply to stave off the pain for a few more years/months/week/days….

Again, DrewM states my feelings on the matter perfectly in his closing statement:

Let It Burn isn’t an option, it’s an eventuality. The questions are will we be complicit in it any longer and do we want to delay it? I say no. Let the liberals own it. Very few things are made better by delaying the day of inevitable reckoning.

The sooner it burns, the sooner we can try and rebuild.

And that said:

2) Something Wicked This Way Comes

We’re in for some bad times ahead. How bad is open for debate, but best case scenario is a LONG period of economic depression that will make our descendants look upon the usage of the “The Great Depression” to describe the economic collapse of the early 20th century as we today look upon “The War to End All Wars” as a ridiculously naive label for World War I.

Worst case scenario is the eventual utter collapse of the nation.

My personal view is that it’s going to fall somewhere between those two, probably more towards an extended depression with at least one successful foreign terrorist attack during our time of reduced capability that will make 9/11 look like a fender bender. This is almost inevitable since our borders are basically just a line on a map.

The fact that a large portion of my fellow citizens are NOT part of The Stupid is the only thing that keeps me from descending into the Worst Case Scenario camp. That, and the fact that there is absolutely nothing I can do to adequately prepare myself and my loved ones for a total collapse. I have neither the financial, networking, or on-hand material resources to create a realistic prep plan for a total collapse of the Nation. Total Collapse can mean many things: nuclear/biological devastation, totalitarian reorganization of the government into a true dictatorship, asteroid hit, zombie apocalypse, etc.

To truly delude oneself into thinking along those terms is to wind up becoming one of the Threeper Red Dawn set, screaming “Sic Semper Tyranis….Wollllllverines!!!” in your tacticool pajamas. I will do my best to be part of The Remnant and help rebuild when I can, but I have no desire for the fall to come so I can be part of some grand “rebuilding” of the world as I see fit like so many of these fucktards. Erinyes summed this up quite nicely here:

It’s enough to make your brain hurt that these people feel they are so goddamned special that they and theirs are immune to disease and will survive the “coming apocalypse” because they have a “go bag” with clean undies and freeze-dried food and a “battle rifle”.

Having a go bag is a great idea (one I have not implemented…yet), but I have run into FAR too many mall cop wannabe survivalists who use cosmoline as masturbation lube while reading Soldier of Fortune magazines they had someone else buy for them so the security cam footage at the 7-11 didn’t get them into a database.

Rave and I live in an apartment. In Illinois. Only 70 miles from Chicago. We’re not moving to a compound in Idaho or North Dakota anytime…. ever. We’re both going to continue going to school to better ourselves. We’re still going to live our lives.

We’re just going to prepare. We prepare how and for what we can because any effort and planning is better than no planning at all.

And that’s where this long ass post has been leading to folks.

In the months to come, many MANY of my posts will be prep related. Other than some food stores and camping gear (being F&I/Rev War era reenactors results in having quite a bit of good shit to fall back on when the power is out) we haven’t really started prepping yet, and I figured I’d share what I can of our efforts in case it may help anyone else out there (and/or result in others sharing ideas with us).

The main things I feel we need to focus on (and I will be exploring in depth) are:

1) Food security (canning/storing supplies, looking at daily supplies for four adults for a minimum of three months and the ability to cook without power/gas). Gardening as we can (going to start one in my father’s backyard). If nothing else, food IS going to get more expensive as our currency continues to be devalued and inflation kicks in, buying large quantities of non-perishable foodstuffs while the prices are still relatively low is just a good idea.
2) Water Security (short term stored supplies due to space considerations, long term means to purify obtainable sources- filters that don’t rely on electricity… been looking at several for some time now)
3) Shelter security (ways to keep from freezing to death in an apartment if we have no power/gas for extended periods of time during the winter. Also where we can go if our home is destroyed or we get evicted for some reason)
4) Personal protection/protection of supplies (IE: How to keep goblins from taking our hard earned supplies. This is far more than simply being armed, although I am looking forward to training Rave to properly use firearms and shopping for a sidearm for her in the hopefully near future). I WON’T be posting everything we do in this regard for reasons that should be obvious.
5) Go to hell plan: Go bags and get the hell outta dodge plans. We don’t have any good ones. Yet.
6) Financial prep: NO DEBT (we’re actually on good footing here… we’re broke, but we don’t have car payments or a mortgage either). Building up supplies of things that can be bartered as best we can.
7) Medical supplies and first aid training. (We’re both CPR/First aid trained and have a fairly decent on hand supply of stuff including antibiotics, I would like to have more protective equipment on hand in case of a breakout of disease. Don’t need my own clean room and NBC suits, but a handy supply of gloves and masks can’t hurt).

Just posting this basic incomplete list off the top of my head most likely puts me into the same category as the uni-bomber to folks who’d rather stick their heads in the sand. Fuck em. Nothing I’m proposing to do is a major waste of money or time. Even if the worst thing that happens is being out of power after a storm for a week (which happened to us a year ago), I choose to err on the side of caution. I actually worry about those types worse than straight up criminals. Even in Illinois, if someone breaks in my home and I give them high velocity lead poisoning I have a pretty good chance of not being charged as long as I don’t plug the asshole in the back as they run away down the street. The same folks who sneer at prepping are the first ones to decry “hoarding” when the music stops and they don’t have a chair. So part of what I am looking into is effective ways to hide all this shit when The Stupid starts clamoring for the federales to go door to door collecting involuntary donations For The Common Good

It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride folks.


Fiscal Cliff Script

December 3rd, 2012

Boehner: “We’re willing to discuss increasing revenue”

Obama: “I want four times as much in tax hikes than I asked for during the last debt limit increase talks, and I don’t like speaking to you as if you’re an equal, so you need to stop pretending that I actually have a debt limit with these stupid fucking negotiations. From now on, I have a blank check”

Boehner: “You can’t be serious…”

Media: “Earlier this week Republicans steadfastly refused to provide evidence they do not in fact support Santa Claus being repeatedly sodomized with the bayonets that President Obama pointed out were obsolete during the campaign…. Children of lower income families impacted at far higher rates than middle class or wealthy gift recipients…”

Boehner: “We have to discuss entitlement reform. Raising taxes on the wealthy won’t keep the government running for more than two weeks”

Obama: “We will. After you give me everything I just asked for. And after my vacation. If I can fit you in between golf rounds. Maybe. Oh yeah, and you have to suck my cock.”

Boehner: “I have… what?!?!

Media: “Why do republicans want to see your daughter’s vagina filled with concrete? They’re not answering!!”

Boehner: “glorpglorpgluckglorp Is this ok? slurpglorrpsmackglorp… too much gag reflex? Slorrrkglurpglurp”

Obama: “No talking!!! DAMNNIT I hate it when you speak like you’re human or something…Fuck, I was almost there…just..UGH!. this isn’t working….”

Media: “Plunging off the fiscal cliff seems inevitable today as Republican leaders failed to make any sort of effort to find middle ground with the President….”

Yeah, fuck it.

At this point I’m up for letting the whole thing burn and let the asshole own it.


Overkill is Underrated

November 22nd, 2012

20 lb turkey, two 3 lb hams, potato salad, macaroni salad, pie, cake, corn on the cob…. for seven people.

Yeah, those dishes can wait until tomorrow… **THUD**


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2012

Got a stuffed 20lb turkociraptor in the oven, a Nutella Creamcheese Cake chilling in the fridge next to a coconut creme pie (whipped those up last night), going to whip up some of Grandma’s egg noodles in a bit as well. Was going to make a side of oyster dressing, but I kind of didn’t plan as well as I should have and I don’t have enough oven space… oops.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


I guess the suitcase with the kickback money wasn’t large enough

November 20th, 2012

Illinois Terminates Contract with AFSCME

CHICAGO (AP) — The Quinn administration has terminated the contract between the state of Illinois and its largest public employee union.

Assistant Budget Director Abdon Pallasch (AB’-dun PAL–lish) said Tuesday that after 11 months of bargaining, state officials informed leaders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees there will be no additional extensions of a contract covering 40,000 workers that expired in June.

I’ll believe this bullshit when hell freezes over.
This isn’t a step in the right direction, this is an impasse over how the graft is divided, mark my words.

This IS The People’s Republik of Illinois we’re talking about here. I still have hope we’ll go down in history as the only state to have three governors in federal prison simultaneously.


Toys I want

November 19th, 2012

Had my hours not been cut down at work I’d really like to be working towards building one of these.

Granted, since I’m starting school again and in this economy I probably wouldn’t sink the cash, but goddamn this looks like fun.

You can build one of these for anywhere from $300-$800 depending on how fancy you want to get and how many pre-cut parts you want to use.


Back to School

November 18th, 2012

Back in the ancient days of yore (circa 1989) I did my level best to fuck up my future.

Ok, that’s not completely accurate. I didn’t start smoking crack or committing felonies or anything, but as far as my academic career went, I was a fucking dumbass and a half.

I completely failed to prepare myself for college. Notice I did not say “The public school system” failed. For the most part, I had pretty decent teachers (and a few VERY good ones). I made the choices to skate through and take the easy path.

When I hit college it nailed me like a hammer. Because of this and things at home, I damn near had a nervous breakdown (the dynamic I had at home at that time is something I may blog about some day, but not yet). I flunked quite a few classes I could have just dropped. Then after the next semester I just quit.

Fast forward six years, married, working 50 hours a week. On nights.
Tried going back. Only had time to take one class, but aced it. Then money issues hit and I didn’t go back again until a few years later when I took some classes for an apprenticeship at the shop where I worked.
Then we had kids and it was pretty much a no go.

I haven’t taken a credit class since 1999.

This week I signed up for a class (spring 2013), to start inching my way towards a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (my original goal) that I’ll probably be 50 years old before I get.

I don’t care. This is something that has bothered me for decades. It’s way past time. Besides, at this rate the average retirement age is going to be 75 or dead anyway by the time I get there.

This first semester back, I’m only taking one class to get used to integrating it with my work schedule again. I was signed up for English 103, but decided to switch to Biology 103 (because Rave is taking the same class so we can carpool, AND because the particular English class I signed up for is using “Perspectives on Contemporary Issues” as a textbook. Good grief.) And yes, I need a certain amount of Life Science credits for my degree, so Biology moves the line of scrimmage towards the end zone.

The good thing about the slow approach is that I can pay as I go instead of racking up student loans, and I get to enjoy taking classes with kids just out of high school!! (The blog posts damn near write themselves). Also it gives me time to home school myself back into being good at math since I haven’t done much algebra since… shit, high school. (Geometry and trig, yes. Algebra, not so much….)

Given my outlook on the future of the nation, taking this step was a deliberate and conscious leap of faith that things will not collapse entirely, and if they do a guy with an engineering degree with 20 years of supplier side manufacturing experience (programming and setup CNC and manual machines of some very odd pedigrees, and shop floor supervision) will be a hell of a lot more in demand than any liberal arts major. And if I get bored, I’ll take some electronics classes and build Cylons in my basement (I always thought “Supervillain” was my true calling).

This is going to be fun :)


Call of Duty Black Ops II is an awful awful game

November 18th, 2012

Because my son kicks my Noob ass at it. I’m used to the kids getting better at electronic mayhem than I am, but not killing me at will and mocking me.

Holy shit. I suck. How did THAT happen?!?! Granted, I don’t own an Xbox, but when I played Modern Warfare 3 against the Elderspawn I at least killed his ass once for every two times he took me out. This game it’s about one to SEVEN. Gah!

Until they come out with a game that lets me sit on a porch and fire rocksalt at those damn kids on my lawn I need to get some replacement joysticks and a video adapter to hook my Atari 2600 back up and play Yars Revenege….


Attitude Prepping

November 16th, 2012

Going to reread this to help get my head straight.

If you haven’t read this, get it already!


Apologies

November 16th, 2012

Back in July, Rave and I headed down to Virginia over the week of July 4th. The year before, I had won a drawing for two free plane tickets to anywhere in the continental USA, and a car rental for a week.

So we visited with her brother down in Newport News, and spent the week doing the Historic Triangle Ticket hitting Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.

It was awesome. As a history nerd and reenactor, this was like going to Disneyland. Spending the 4th of July at the original Jamestown settlement site…. hell YES!

One of the many fantastic memories I took from this trip was in Yorktown.

While wandering through the cemetery grounds of the Grace Episcopal Church (Rave and I both love graveyards, especially really old ones) I happened upon an unassuming stone with no extra ornamentation other than a little American flag such as you see next to the resting place of our nation’s veterns, and small plaque that read:

“Signer of Declaration of Independence”

It was the resting spot of General Thomas Nelson Jr.

Chills went down my spine.

No crowds. No “hey, Famous Dead Guy Here!” signs. Rave and I were the only folks enjoying the peace of the cemetery, and we just happened upon the grave.

I stood there before the final resting place of this man. And I said “I’m sorry”.

At the time I thought it was for the reasons I’ve been bitching about lately. Looking at what these men fought for and how we, as a nation, have wiped our collective asses with it fills me with shame.

Now?

I’m ashamed of being a pessimistic defeatist.

I’m done with it. Erinyes is right. Fuck this shit, reload, pile the bodies, and carry on.

Still going to be doing a HELL of a lot of preparation for the coming times (that’s not pessimism, it’s just common fucking sense). Avoiding despair is a big part of that.

As a nation, I think at this point we NEED to be bitchslapped out of our comfort zone to wake people the fuck up. Leaning shit the hard way sucks, but at least it’s learning.

I am an agnostic, but if there is an afterlife I hope to shake General Nelson’s hand, look him in the eye, and say “I did what I could to protect what you gave us, sir.” without shame.