The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Disarmament In History

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

Courtesy of WRSA, Matt Bracken surveys the world history of forcible disarmament, and discusses the current state of the DHS.

That the DHS exists is a lamentable fact, a sad testimony to power grabbing by the statists.  By the way, the militarization of the police, including home invasions by SWAT teams, has added absolutely nothing to your safety or the general security of our this nation.

No right that you give up, no encroachment by the state, and no amount of money and manpower can keep you safe.  That’s your job for your family.

Living In The Field

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

Max Velocity, Mountain Guerrilla and American Mercenary all have great posts about gear, rucksacks and living in the field (and MV has a followup article here).  These men all know a generous amount about their subject and I won’t try either to repeat their views here or to disagree with any of it.  However, I had considered writing about my own experiences in the field (I have spent a copious amount of time in the field) and landed on an option where I simply provide a running list of things I do and don’t like (and do or don’t advocate).  The reader can weigh in with his own observations.

I’m a fan of travelling light, although every time I pack I carry too much and my backpack is heavier than it needs to be.  When you end up not pulling an item out of your ruck the entire trip, and in fact don’t quite know what you would have used it for anyway, then you probably shouldn’t have packed it.  You managed to haul it around in the woods for several days, or worse, up and down elevation changes, for no good reason except to place it back where it came from in the clauset or on the shelf.  That’s a sinking feeling when your body is sore and tired.

Speaking of weight, one item I carry and always use is cordage.  You can purchase 550 cord in rolled up lengths of 50 feet for just a few dollars just about anywhere now, including Lowes or Home Depot.  550 cord is light and strong, and is one of the better choices for your ruck.

I’m not a fan of primitive fire techniques or seeing just how bad you can make it for yourself and still survive.  For example, I carry matches, lighters and ferro rods.  What I have also found is that if everything is wet, or if you make camp late and don’t need to spend a lot of time building the fire (and need to focus more on gathering fuel), it helps to carry a piece of charcoal for every night you expect to be in the wilderness.  One piece of charcoal can help get the fire going, allow you to do other things, and ensure that a little wind won’t ruin your night.  You need to consider stay dry bags for such important things.

I have been backpacking in rain so heavy that nothing would burn regardless of what I did.  If I had gotten a fire hot enough to dry the wood as I placed it near the fire so that it could be used as fuel, I could have had heat that night by feeding fuel closer to the fire depending upon its dryness.  Unfortunately I didn’t take my charcoal and it was a cold, wet night afer wasting precious energy for two hours nursing a fire that was destined to go out anyway.

Speaking of Biblical downpours, I have been out in them before.  In such weather I don’t care what you wear – rain gear, poncho or whatever.  You’re going to get wet.  Prepare to make camp early enough to get your clothing off and hang it, dry it or simply keep warm by jumping in your bag.  Accept that you’re going to get very wet and stay very wet, and work with it and expect it instead of letting it work against you.

If you get a down bag it’s going to lose its loft if it gets wet.  That may not be a problem in Western climates, but East of the Mississippi this is always a concern, even in the dead of winter.  I have a North Face Polarguard bag that allegedly carries me down to -5 degrees F, and I’ve laid in a puddle of water before (due to bad campsite selection in a driving rain) in that bag and stayed very warm.  When I say -5 degrees F, that doesn’t mean that it’s comfortable that low.  It’s comfortable down to 10 or 20 degrees F.

I like layering clothing, and I particularly like fleece for cold weather.  It doubles as a pillow if I don’t need it to sleep in.  I use a wind and rain parka for an overlay on my fleece in the wet, cold or windy weather.  Also, layering allows you to strip down to the bare essentials when sweating during the hike, and then put layers back on when the night falls and it gets cold.

I am an advovcate of trekking poles for balance, assitance in carrying your load, and traversing rough or wet terrain (such as rivers or creek beds).  I didn’t always use trekking poles, but when they became fairly popular I hiked with one friend who used a single pole.  For my next time in the wilderness I purchased one myself and couldn’t decipher what would have come over me that I didn’t purchase two.  In my estimation they are now an indispensable part of my wilderness experience.

I always carry a firearm, and I don’t skimp on the gun.  I usually carry my .45, but have carried a .40 before (and I would certainly carry my .357 magnum).  Carrying a rifle and the ammunition necessary for operations in the wilderness means carrying an awful lot more weight, and truer words were never spoken than to say that this relies on resupply and R&R.  You bet it does.  Don’t daydream that you could be an operator in the wilderness in perpetuity without aid from others.  It won’t work.

Boots are everything to the wilderness experience, and again, I don’t skimp.  Good waterproof boots are an indispensable part of survival.  Be careful when camping or hiking around water.  Snakes are out in the Eastern U.S. (and need to drink like the rest of us), and a bite from a Rattlesnake or Copperhead in the far flung places I go means death.  Lay down and wait for the end, because there’s nothing you can do.

I’ll mention one more thing before ending Part 1.  Cover.  Marines call it cover.  I don’t go out of the house without cover for my head regardless of the weather, temperature or conditions.  I need it for protection from the sun because of my balding head and close hair cut, and for times when it’s cold I need it to keep me warm.  Find yourself something you like and something that suits the function to which you will put it, but make a habit of using cover if you don’t already.

I’ll follow this up with more discussion at a later time.

Smuggling As The First Response To Gun Control Laws

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

Tyranny deserves a response, and David Codrea outlines the first one for us.

Addressing a responsive and enthusiastic crowd yesterday at a Connecticut Citizens Defense League Second Amendment rally held at the State Capitol in Hartford, citizen journalist and right to keep and bear arms activist Mike Vanderboegh summed his message for responding to “gun control” edicts with four words, “Defy. Resist. Evade. Smuggle.”

“I’m a smuggler,” Vanderboegh began his speech.

[ … ]

“On Thursday I smuggled a half-dozen 30 round AR-15 standard capacity magazines into Connecticut in deliberate disobedience of the new state diktat,” he “confessed,” admitting that act is a “‘D’ Class felony.

David also relates some of his own expriences in this article.  It certainly does my heart good to see this.  It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but I titled this smuggling as a first reponse to gun laws for a reason.  The state of Connecticut doesn’t want to see what will happen if they begin the process of gunning down men in their homes for having guns and magazines that the tyrannical rulers forbid.

This is true for more reasons that I will outline here, but I’ll mention just one, and it’s a more theoretical reason and one that should concern the state a great deal.  No tyrannical state lasts forever.  The rulers end up ruling by and from fear (they want the people to fear them, and they end of fearing the people), and the healthiest nation-states are the ones which understand balance, gracefulness, wisdom and the need both to understand their people and provide them with the liberty that is required for people and nations to flourish.

The state of Connecticut doesn’t need to be in the pitiable position of having its people entirely lose respect for its lawmakers.  There is after all a reason for the existence of the state, i.e., punish legitimate criminals like theives and murderers, and provide for interstate commerce.  On the other hand, arresting, or worse, imprisoning or killing men who follow the constitution and keep their weapons is tyrannical and will further ratchet up the violence and brinksmanship.

Mike Vanderboegh is not in a bad position.  Mike has been clever enough to place the state of Connecticut in a bad position, and the best action for them at this point is to rescind their ridiculous gun laws.

The Progressives Respond To Gun Control Failure

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

Courtesy of Michael Bane.

All Your Gun Base Are Belong To Us

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

For the progressives among us, I know what you’re thinking, or at least what you want your fellow progressives to think.  It took on all the hallmarks of a major defeat, the gun bill fiasco did.  Your President, your progressives in the Senate, and the turncoat Republicans all conspired to push your agenda, and it crashed and burned.  You’re heartbroken and outraged at the same time.

You’ve tried to convince yourself that it wasn’t really the defeat it seemed.  The tactics are to blame.  “While an A rating from the NRA has long been a point of pride for politicians, MAIG is hoping its grades soon will carry the same weight to ensure votes and donations. The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Scorecard will incorporate the voting records, bill co-sponsorships, and public statements of members of Congress to determine a letter grade, NRA-style. MAIG will look at politicians’ stances on high-capacity magazines, background checks, and state authority to establish standards for concealed carry.”

So the evil NRA just outdid you at your own game.  Copy their tactics, you will.  It must be the tactics, for it couldn’t be that America doesn’t want your gun control.  Yet another tactic you’re investigating is to convince yourselves that the NRA isn’t really as powerful as they seem.  You will talk enough to make people comfortable with your plans.  But you can’t decide if you’ve got the clout.  Joe Manchin even admitted “ff the NRA didn’t score this, we would’ve had 15 more votes.”

And oh, there are the excuses.  Poor Michael Hirsh has perhaps the best one.  ” … it is practically a iron law of politics that the larger the interest group—in this case, the 90 percent of all Americans who want background checks—the less likely it will be able to mobilize against a smaller, more organized and passionate interest group, such as the National Rifle Association.”  Nine out of ten people can’t win anything against the one holdout.

But Michael concludes that with enough money, threats, and primaried Senators, you should be able to construct a Senate that is more conducive to your interests.  So we’re back to the NRA tactics again – because, you know, it couldn’t be that people aren’t interested in your proposed gun control measures.  Surely 90%+ of the people think like you do, sensible people, who just didn’t play a role against that evil behemoth, the NRA.  Everyone was bullied by those monsters from the NRA, Wayne and Chris.

I know, you don’t want to believe that the polls are badly misleading when they ask about those ethereal platitudes, as opposed to when the specifics are presented, complicating things for you.  You don’t want to believe it even when your own press tells you this.  So the 90%+ number must be right, and the evil NRA is to blame, or your own tactics, or lack of money, or something like that.  It cannot be that the people aren’t interested in your gun control measures.

So you hate the evil NRA, and harbor even worse thoughts for the gun manufacturers who makes these ever improving products of death, convince Americans that they need them, and hand over the propaganda points to the NRA.  They all must be stopped, you think.

True enough, Wayne and Chris get beaten up a bit in the media, but that’s okay.  We gun owners expect them to take it, and pay them well for it.  We don’t feel too sorry for them.  But there is something that you really don’t understand about all of this, and I feel a bit apprehensive in telling you this, rather like I am divulging our secrets.  But I just have to say these things.

The way it really works is different than you think.

The NRA is hearing from its constituency (that would be us), and the firearms manufacturers do our bidding.  We’re the boss.  A firearm hasn’t been fully vetted until it hits the American civilian market (the military forces its folks to use the bidder of choice), and the manufacturers respond to us.  They make what we want.  They earn our money, and if you think that we sit back and wait for the manufacturers to tell us what to think, just ask Smith and Wesson what happened as a result of their agreement with the Clinton administration.

We send Wayne out with his talking points.  We set Chris up to succeed in the printed media.  They’re our front men.  But we know things you don’t.  You see, we have the guns.  We know gun owners … we know them at work and church and in our neighborhood.  We talk to them.  We see them at the range, we discuss things, we learn from each other.  We know that this 90% number you’ve thrown around isn’t right.  It’s an outright lie.  These 9 out of 10 gun owners you’re talking about just don’t materialize in reality.  We know.  We’re around gun owners every day.

The hard realities of life are sometimes difficult to digest.  But the reality is that we own the NRA.  You’re directing your hatred at the wrong folks.  The firearms manufacturers make what we want.  We keep them financially strong.  The Senators aren’t really afraid of the NRA or Smith and Wesson or Ruger.  They are afraid that smart analysts will figure out what they’re really doing and the gun owning public will be well educated in the finer legal points of the proposed laws.

They may be spewing their hatred for the NRA, but it’s us they really hate.  We are the overlords.  We are gun owners, and you don’t control the gun base you thought you did.  All your base are belong to us.  Make your time.

Taking Names And Trying To Take Guns

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

The collective erupts.


Captain’s Journal@CaptainsJournal 8s @BetteMidler You can take names, but we have the guns. Molan Labe. I look forward to it.

Manchin-Toomey Amendment Fails

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

The Hill:

The Senate delivered a devastating blow to President Obama’s agenda to regulate guns Wednesday by defeating a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks.

It failed by a vote of 54 to 46, with five Democrats voting against it. Only four Republicans supported it.

Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) voted against it. Reid supported the measure but voted against it to preserve his ability to bring the measure up again.

GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) voted “yes.”

[ … ]

The failure of Manchin-Toomey means the broader bill still includes Democratic language passed by the Judiciary Committee to establish universal background checks. That language failed to attract a single Republican vote during the panel markup, and conservative Democrats such as Manchin and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have said they cannot support the package without changes to the language on background checks.

The Senate’s failure to expand background checks means the three pillars of Obama’s gun control agenda have stalled. The chamber is expected to also reject proposals to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

The amendment perished in an ignominious, shameful way as it should have.  But it isn’t over yet.  I’m not referring to the balance of the proposals – and that’s an issue we need to watch – but the future mass shooting.  There will be one.

Furthermore, remember that totalitarians don’t give up.  They have longevity and fortitude, but ours has to be stronger.  Let it be so.  May God help us in our endeavors for liberty.

Rudy Giuliani On Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 2 months ago

The Hill:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Wednesday pushed for lawmakers to enact expanded background checks and dismissed fears from conservatives that the bill would infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

“I support background checks, I support universal background checks,” said Giuliani on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He said he had no concerns the government could use information from potential firearm purchasers to keep tabs on law-abiding owners.

“I have no fear as some people do that government’s going to use that,” he said.

Just another Northeast elitist advocate of the collective.  One more reason he’ll never be President.

Gun Control: Creating Traps For Innocent Victims

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 3 months ago

We have noted that the Manchin-Toomey gun bill has confusing language (a setup for abuses), and that it surreptitiously allows the construction of a national gun registry even though it claims to forbid it.  Now we learn that the situation is even worse than we thought.

One begins to wonder if Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) didn’t just take whatever verbiage Attorney General Eric Holder’s staff handed to them and put it in their gun control legislation without even reading it. The Schumer-Toomey-Manchin (STM) bill facilitates undercover sting operations at gun shows to arrest people for conduct they have no reason to believe is against the law. The STM bill lets the Justice Department send people at gun shows to jail for up to five years for a crime they did not even know was a crime.

Here is the zinger buried in the bill:

Whoever makes or attempts to make a transfer of a firearm in violation of section 922(t) . . . to a law enforcement officer, or to a person acting at the direction of, or with the approval of, a law enforcement officer authorized to investigate or prosecute violations of section 922(t), shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

It is neither surprising nor inappropriate that, in accordance with applicable law enforcement guidelines, undercover FBI or ATF agents infiltrate, or send informants to infiltrate, a gun show to see if they can catch people breaking federal firearms laws. But this new law goes overboard, by eliminating any need for a federal prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that the individual who allegedly broke the law had any kind of criminal intent.

The concept of intent is well founded in English common law (and the Bible, both of which form the basis for much of American law), and enjoys rich history and respect in American jurisprudence.  This law undercuts all of that, and thus it is evil.  Do you need any more reasons to oppose this legislative abortion?

Electrical Grid Attack

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 3 months ago

If you’re ready for some serious reading and study, read the following, in order:

Herschel Smith, A Terrorist Attach That America Cannot Absorb

Bob Owens, Shock The System

Herschel Smith, Surviving The Apocalypse: Thinking Strategically Rather Than Tactically

Now you’re ready for your assigned reading today.

Bob Owens, Shock The System? Electrical Grid, Comms Attacked Near San Jose

There’s not much for me to add, except that this will tie up law enforcement and utility workers for some time to come, and this was a small scale attack.  Was this proof of principle?

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