Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Matt Bracken Essay

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

You really should spend some time reading this.  You won’t be disappointed.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Ten Arabic Words

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 2 months ago

Matt Bracken:

So, if you are an Army general or Navy admiral who, right here and now, without looking at your smart phone, cannot discuss how a kafir becomes a dhimmi, and what a dhimmi’s rights and options (if any) are under shariah, then you are as ignorant of your job as an European-theater Army general circa 1942 who did not know a panzer from a pancake, or a schutzstaffel from a schnitzel. A person as ignorant as you should be kept away from any responsibility for protecting our nation. You are incompetent, and you are a fool.

If you don’t know how to determine when a Muslim suicide bomber is a shaheed and when he is a terrorist according to the shariah, then you are as dangerous to our national safety as a North Atlantic ship captain who believes that icebergs are a fairy tale concocted by conspiracy theorists. Full speed ahead, Captain Smith!

If you don’t know takfir from taqiyya, and can’t discuss the meaning and importance of both, you are as useless as a WW2 intelligence officer who didn’t know the Kriegsmarine from the Luftwaffe, (but who thought that one of them was a private flying club, based on conversations that he overheard among his ever-helpful German cleaning staff).

Yea, not just for security professionals.  If you have a family, or do not and care about your own safety and health, consider yourself a security professional.  That’s what you are.

Matt Bracken: Alas, Brave New Babylon

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 11 months ago

Matt Bracken is said to be a write of dystopian fiction, but more about this in a moment.  Western Rifle Shooter’s Association had a piece up publishing some of Matt’s most recent work, “Alas, Brave New Babylon.”  Matt’s story follows one man’s journey who intends to begin it by hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, but soon finds himself on a far different path than the one he intended.

In time, our friend finds himself gazing into the distance to see what signs of life were there.

I could see a few miles across to the next ridges, and I did a slow, methodical sweeping search. The next mountains were miles out of the Nantahala National Forest, and homes were built on their slopes. But there was no visible smoke, no man-made sounds of planes or trucks or industrial machinery. No moving vehicles, no signs of life at all.

It was hard to tell from that far away, but it appeared that many of the homes had been burned or otherwise destroyed. The isolated vacation homes of urban retirees were low-hanging fruit for bands of marauders. The bandits who survived the first winter were hardened killers, practiced at stealth, sniping, ambush, and laying siege. All the homes I could see appeared abandoned, but perhaps that was long-range camouflage, crafted to discourage bandits from making the cross-valley hikes. It didn’t pay to advertise your continued survival in times of starvation.

The one-time history teacher turns reflective at one point and gives a dispassionate assessment of the causes or genesis of the collapse in which he finds himself.

Before the collapse, the high-def screens had allowed each watcher to choose from a virtual infinity of customizable fantasies, but there was usually nothing behind those magical glass windows but a plasterboard wall and another stark habitation cubicle built the other way around for the next inhabitant over. Within the dying hive there was no incoming food, fuel, or running water. Not even electricity to move the stale air.

Soon after the screens went black, the pharmacy-dispensed medications ran out as well, the cold-turkey withdrawal pouring more fuel on our raging social fires. Our Brave New World featured Huxley’s “Christianity without the tears,” until the Soma was gone. A gram is better than a damn, until there are no more grams left but plenty of damnation to go around—and people are damned mad when they’re starving.

If you ask me, looking back, our society went mad long before the Rupture. Who could honestly believe that modern first-world economies could continue to borrow half their annual operating costs from their own future generations, and from foreign banks and foreign governments that were likewise borrowing from their future generations? When in history has that sweetly delusional practice ever lasted more than a few generations before cracking up? Never, that I am aware of.

Frankly, for the rapidly diminishing minority of us left who were neither mathematically nor historically illiterate, the years before the Rupture were like living on the slopes of Vesuvius around AD seventy-something, while sniffing the stink of sulfur on the wind. What’s all that smoking and rumbling? a few of us asked. Smiling mainstream media news anchors answered: We’re not sure, but rest easy. Top government experts are studying it, and they will have a full report ready soon.

In the meantime, pop another Soma and switch back to Celebrity Nation. A gram is better than a damn, so why not make it two? Who needs old-fashioned morality when we have fashioned a brave new reality better suited to our own modern tastes? New and improved, by Ford! Just Google it. Remember Google? Gone with the wind.

I’m just a former world history teacher, but I believe that the edifice of Western Civilization was already rotten and hollowed out long before the final collapse—and it was an inside job by cultural traitors. The final toppling required only a light touch. By the end the Fabians’ disciples in politics and education had rendered Western man impotent, emasculated, ridiculed for his very maleness. Men were unneeded and unwanted by the brave new world’s brave new mommies.

And what of modern woman? Increasing numbers were too busy with their newly unleashed career opportunities and personal ambitions to have children. Or they were simply too busy partying through their fertile years to bother to produce a next generation.

I said that Matt was considered to be a dystopian fiction writer.  This is fiction, true enough, but it isn’t make-believe.  If you think this cannot happen, then you must believe that our unfunded liabilities don’t matter; that we can continue to print money to pay for the usury on our national debt; that we don’t need the gold standard; that half the nation can continue to bilk the other half of its wealth without consequences.

You must believe that those cities going bankrupt are just a fantasy, and surely there won’t be more to come; that Greece was just bad management by the financiers and governors; that regardless of what else happens, there will be an endless supply of electricity, gasoline, food, money, medical care and habitable domiciles.

You must believe that you can be your own God, making laws that comfort you while they dishonor your creator; and that at death your body cools to ambient temperature and you cease to exist.

And if you believe all of those things you are to be pitied.  Matt’s story is interesting, and perhaps in the future Matt will send me a pre-publication copy for review.  His prose is inspiring, fascinating, and completely mesmerizing.  It’s difficult to turn away from it, and that’s the end to which what any good writer aspires.

But belief in the false things that appear to be the cause of the rupture is pitiable not just because those things are wrong.  And wrong, they are.  The house of cards that is our monetary system will not last forever.  Greece will quickly turn into America, except on a much larger scale and longer timetable, when something sets off the disturbance and people figure out that their money isn’t really theirs.  That it isn’t really in the bank, isn’t really in paper form there in a vault on main street, and that the bank cannot hand it to them.

Fractional reserve banking means that in a run on the bank, the bank cannot give them 10 cents on the dollar because their money has been loaned out more ten times over, and the electronic money system contains many more dollars than really exists, or another way of saying it, contains as many dollars as the federal reserve wants it to contain.  But printing more money to fill the needs doesn’t work because that deflates the value of existing dollars and makes money worthless, thereby making the federal reserve worthless.  And thus, the horns of the dilemma are born.

So believe in false gods like Keynesian economics is only part of the sadness.  The worst of it, in my opinion, is that a man dies like he lives.  And die he will.  We won’t all remain vertical in any upcoming catastrophe, and even if we do, we won’t get out of this alive.  We will all die at some point, and it’s how we perish that’s important.  What did we believe, what did we do, how did we live, and how will we meet out maker?

And this makes Matt’s analysis of the genesis of the collapse – through the eyes of his character – even more important than what happens to the character.


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