Personal Security in the Current World

I don’t know if I really am heartless, or if I’m just desensitized. Tragedies in the world seem to accelerate and get worse, and it doesn’t affect me all that much anymore.

Last night at a country music festival in Las Vegas, somebody with an automatic rifle managed to kill approximately 60 people and wound 500 (last estimates I saw.) I’m not going to provide a link because I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about.

I’m not going to bother going into the politics of the situation. I’m sure the media is PRAYING it was a white, Christian, conservative man. I’m assuming it was either a representative of the “Religion of Peace” or a deranged leftist. One report I saw indicated it was both.

But that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If you put yourself in a situation where bullets start flying, does it really matter in the moment if it’s a Southern Baptist, a Sunni Muslim, or a Bernie Bro? Save that for the talking heads and keyboard pounders after it’s over.

What really matters is, when the bullets start flying, don’t be there.

We’re at the point where, until some serious changes happen in the world, you are not safe in large gatherings. Hell, you’re barely safe in church anymore (although my church will put up a wall of lead to anybody entering with the intent to do harm.) A church shouldn’t have to have a security plan, (in a perfect world), but smart ones do. This can range from doing background checks on people who work with children to actually having a security force. A friend of mine is on his church’s security force. They’re armed. I know of other churches that have similar programs.

I suppose that’s one thing, in general, that I won’t give up. For me, the rest is easy. I can’t stand crowds and traffic, so I avoid them as much as possible. I don’t go to movie theaters. They cost too damned much anyway, and most of the previews don’t interest me. Plus, they play commercials. I live a commercial-free lifestyle. I avoid them as much as possible. I’m not going to PAY to watch them at a movie theater.  I rarely watch movies anyway, but when I do, I like to stream them at home where I can hit the pause button to take a leak or get another beer.

Hating crowds and traffic keeps me out of city centers where “vans of peace” can plow through a crowd. I’ve told my wife not to bother going to the mall anymore. Nothing has happened at ours, but it’s only a matter of time.

I don’t like loud noise and I want my ears to work when I’m old, so I’ve never had a problem avoiding music festivals because I don’t go to them. Same for sporting events because sports bore the hell out of me. Plus, both have crowds and traffic so I wouldn’t be there anyway.

The rest of you might have a problem with my natural immunity to the current threat environment.

You can’t eliminate all risk from life, but you can take some reasonable steps.

  1. Avoid large crowds and gatherings. Don’t be shot like a proverbial fish in a barrel.
  2. If at all possible where you live, carry a weapon. When you’re not even safe in church, make sure you’re packing.
  3. Learn how to be aware of your situation and what is going on around you. (Situational Awareness.) You can find tons of material about this online. Who is walking in front of you? Who is walking behind you? Who is on an intercept course? What cars are around you? What are they doing? Are they looking down playing with their phone while tailgating you?

I don’t think things are likely to get better anytime soon. Maybe we’re entering “The Apocalypse.” We’re most likely in “The Fourth Turning” crisis.

What I worry about are people looking for bigger game. If some guy can knock a couple windows out of a hotel and hose down a crowd of country music fans, how long until somebody else knocks out a window of a hotel along a highway with malicious intent?

I don’t live very far from a bridge where if somebody knocked it out of commission, it could shut down traffic along the east coast.

There is some scary shit still to come in this world. Take some reasonable steps to keep yourself out of some of it.

There Will Be War, Vol 1

There Will Be War Vol I was published in 1983 and edited by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. It was republished in 2015 by Castalia House. I wish I had known about this series growing up. I probably would have been all over it. Jerry Pournelle recently passed away, and I’m sorry to say I haven’t read any of his work during his actual lifetime.

I wish I had known about this series growing up. I probably would have been all over it. I grew up as an Air Force brat during the Cold War. From 1980 to 1985, my dad was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in what used to be West Germany. We lived with the fact that Soviet bombers could be overhead before they could get the air raid sirens lit off.

Hell, I was walking to school in 1983 when some terrorists somehow got a truckload of explosives onto Ramstein and detonated them at Headquarters. I felt the shockwave from the blast. My mom was freaking out all day, since my dad didn’t have a chance to call.

I’m somewhat sympathetic to Cold War literature. I also greatly enjoy military science fiction, having spent most of my life in or around the military in some capacity, from dependent to active duty to reservist to defense contractor and direct civilian employee.

The There Will Be War series involves military science fiction short stories, essays, and articles collected and edited by Jerry Pournelle. He writes of science fiction conventions attended by serious military and science fiction writers, not a bunch of SJW degenerates like those of today.

Growing up, I knew of the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” or MAD. In this book, I learned of another doctrine called “Assured Survival”. MAD didn’t like the concept of civil defense, while Assured Survival depended on it. I’d also never heard of the THOR system either.

I think my favorite story was the satirical “The Battle”, by Robert Sheckly. This story could easily have been part of a South Park episode.

The original novella for “Ender’s Game” is included. That story has evolved quite a bit. I reviewed it on my Blogspot blog, and I’ve been meaning to repost it here. Orson Scott Card is an amazing writer.

While I’ve seen several movies based on Philip K. Dick’s books, the first story of his I’ve actually read is in There Will Be War Vol 1, “The Defenders”. Very interesting concept.

I’m going to have to make my way through the rest of the series.

One problem I’m finding with short stories though, and I’ve only read a handful of anthologies, is that you’re dropped into the middle of a story with no context. Then you’re trying to figure out the answers to questions such as “Who the hell are these people?” “Why are they using horses if this is science fiction?” And by the time you finally figure out what the hell is going on, identify with the characters and want them to succeed, it’s over.

Book Review: Hitler In Hell by Martin Van Creveld

Nazis are becoming all the rage lately. From the left calling anybody to the right of Karl Marx “Nazi” or “fascist” to a group of people commonly referred to as the “alt-reich” or alt-retards, you see and hear it all over the place. President Trump, since the early days of his campaign, has been called “literally Hitler”.

In light of that, I’ve been doing my own research into the subject. I’ve read Mein Kampf (Ford translation) and several other books trying to get a handle on what actually happened so I don’t become one of these historically illiterate idiots running around.

Back in June, Castalia House released Martin Van Creveld’s latest book, Hitler In Hell. I got a free copy as a member of their book club (joining is as easy as submitting your email address.) It took me a while to read it since I had an ePub on my phone. I finally finished.

As I read the book, I kept wondering “why would an Israeli Jew write a book that seems to come out favorable to the Fuhrer?” The answer is at the back. Van Creveld has studied the subject his entire life. He had family that both survived and perished during the events of WWII and the concentration camps (commonly called “The Holocaust.”) He has read many of the biographies and done plenty of archival research, and as a military historian, has done plenty of his own reading and writing on German military tactics in both wars.

Van Creveld has always thought about writing a biography on the man but didn’t know what to add that others hadn’t already covered. Then it hit him, to write the book autobiographical. So although this book is fiction, it is written as if in Hitler’s own words and voice.

The premise of the book is: Hitler is in Hell. He’s totally conscious of the events since he ate a bullet in his bunker (he has an Internet connection), and is writing both his side of the story and responding to his critics.

I enjoyed the book and learned a lot in the process. In some ways, it agrees with “alternative historians” such is Mike King. In a few other ways, it differs. Some claim Hitler let the British escape at Dunkirk. Van Creveld’s Hitler says it was flawed intelligence and ground that prevented his army from moving quickly enough.

All in all, Hitler in Hell is a great read and a valuable addition to this historical discussion. The story of Hitler is not one as simple as “evil man!” or “demon possessed”. He was a real man with real motivations at a real point in history with real influences, both positive and negative. He was a combat soldier, serving at the front for almost four years, wounded in action twice, then watched helplessly as his nation was humiliated and raped with the Treaty of Versailles. He was also an intelligent man and a scholar, who read a lot, often a book a day. What would you do?

Book Review: Derelict: Marines Saga by Paul Cooley

I think I came across and bought Derelict: Marines from a BookBub newsletter. The story sounded interesting, so I bought it. And it was so good, I bought the second book, Derelict: Tomb. Now I’m stuck and left hanging until the 3rd book comes out later this year.

This series is military science fiction. The premise of the series is that a ship sent on a mission about 50 years go that lost contact suddenly shows up near Pluto mysteriously. This has sort of an “Event Horizon” vibe. A group of search and rescue Marines stationed near Neptune is dispatched to check it out. Their orders are to board the ship, recover any logs they can, and tow it back.

But the AIs they’re dealing with start giving them conflicting information. Their ship’s AI starts acting strange. While they were ordered to tow the ship back, the AIs suggest destroying it.

Then they find some strange objects on the ship that look like pinecones, as well as some liquid that kills a Marine who steps in it. While mounting thrusters to stabilize the ship’s spin, a fireteam’s skiff is disabled, forcing them to take refuge inside the ship. Low on air and with an injured Marine in serious need of medical care, they are forced to find a way to survive and defend against the strange objects, which turn out to be some form of extra-solar life, which certainly isn’t looking to share their wisdom and technology with residents of the Sol system.

These are fast paced, action packed books that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And damn it, I have to wait until at least October before the 3rd book comes out.

While it’s really hard to capture life in space without taking some artistic license (the author uses “grav plating” for artificial gravity), the military aspects are fairly realistic. I assumed when I started reading the books that the author had been a Marine, but nothing in his bio indicates military service. Still, he did a decent job.

One hint as to how well an author renders Marines is how their rank is described. While it’s perfectly acceptable to call ANY NCO in the Army or Chair Force a “sergeant”, that doesn’t fly in the Marines. Their mentality is that you earned it, and you deserve to be addressed by it. There is only one sergeant in the Marines, which is E-5. Once you make E-6, you are a Staff Sergeant, and can expect to be addressed by it. Gunnery Sergeants (E-7s) are often addressed as “Gunny”, which is acceptable. But NOBODY calls a Gunny a sergeant. That doesn’t fly.

I’m not even sure if it’s acceptable to call a Private First Class a Private.

Mentoring

A friend of mine recently told me I should consider mentoring younger men. I’m almost in my mid-40’s and have made plenty of screw-ups and learned lessons from them.

Mentoring can be tricky though. I firmly believe in mentoring, and I have done it a few times. It doesn’t always work. I had to cut one guy off completely. I was trying to mentor a former teen from a church I used to go to, because he was going into IT, which is one of my fields. But then, he’d ask me for advice, then argue with me. I guess he wanted me to tell him what he wanted to hear, and I don’t roll that way. I finally blocked him since it was unproductive for both of us. It took me several years to reach that point.

A mentor is not there to help you bullshit yourself. A mentor is there to somewhat guide you and offer advice and lessons from his own experience.

A mentor is not there to do the work for you. It’s better if you do the lifting yourself. The mentor acts as a spotter in this metaphor. So when somebody asks me for advice, and I know just the book he should read, and he doesn’t read it, I don’t think he’s serious. I will, on occasion, distill what I consider the finer points of the book, but for the most part, a book is something you need to read yourself. Hopefully, a mentor can save you from wasting time on unproductive books.

A mentor can offer perspective. A younger man will hit a life-altering event and think it is the end of the world. Even something like being fired, or a divorce, or even an illness. A mentor has typically been through it and can tell you “It’s not that big of a deal. You will survive it. There is life on the other side. Sometimes better life.” My firing and my divorce, in perspective, were actually good things for my life. They both got me out of a really bad situation that I wouldn’t have left due to a misplaced sense of loyalty, duty, or honor. I should have quit that fucking job and divorced that woman long before I got ejected against my will. Sometimes a mentor has the perspective to see that the best way to deal with your situation is to leave it.

I firmly believe in mentoring, and make myself available when it’s beneficial for both of us. My friend thinks I should write more on this blog about advice for younger guys. Of course, it’s a crowded field, and it’s hard to stand out. Other men are doing a great job at it, like Aaron Cleary. He even runs his own consulting company “Asshole Consulting”. He was getting so many emails, he figured he would start charging for his services. And many young men are so thirsty for wisdom, they don’t mind. I think he charges $100 an hour, but most questions can be answered in under 20 minutes. I guess if I ever reach the point where people are willing to pay me $50 for a 30 minute YouTube video answering a question, I’ll do it too.

We’ll see what happens. I’ve never been able to write consistently (I have a day job and a family), but I may have some things to offer of value. I can point you to some resources I follow that explain how the world really works. A tenet of my philosophy is that you can whine and cry about how the world isn’t what you want it to be, or you can figure out how it works and interact with and manipulate it as it is.

I know a lot of men in the younger generation are “religious” ( I hate that word as it is often misapplied), but the current version of what we call “cucktianity” does not help them at all. And some of us older guys (like Cleary) are not. I am a Christian. But I don’t follow the standard theology of “cucktianity”. I consider myself to hold orthodox Christian beliefs. I do not believe Jesus was the pussified version we have been presented with by any means. He was a carpenter and not the sanding chairs type we think of. He was the type that would cut down trees and build a house. He would probably drive an F-250 diesel if he lived today. Or a Ram. (Not a Chevy). Some say the word can be translated as a stonemason. In any case, this type of work requires a really strong and tough man. The kind of many who would build his own whip and drive the moneychangers out of the temple, beating their asses the entire time because they pissed him off. And I firmly believe that in the true service of God, some people really do need their asses beaten. Just like Jesus did. Goldman Sachs, anyone?

So, I’ll see what I can do to help you guys starting out in the world from wasting your time believing lies about how the world works, how men and women are, and so on. I’m not really the guy to teach you how to get laid every night, but I went from a divorce from a bad marriage into meeting a much better woman and a happy marriage in a short period of time, so I’ve got some game. (Actually, I wonder if learning game is what hastened my divorce, as my ex-wife lost her ability to control me during that time period…)

The New Scientific Method

I wrote a post yesterday on the most off-the-wall Climate Terror prediction ever.

A while back, I codified what I call the “New Scientific Method.” It is as follows:

  1. Has a feelz.
  2. Tweet.
  3. Consensus!
  4. The Science is settled!

That’s pretty much how it works now. And that is not going to get us to Mars. It’s not going to get us Space Marines. It will get us the dystopia you find in the short stories in Forbidden Thoughts.

President Trump To Raise Earth Temperature by 250 Degrees?

Apparently, Stephen Hawking (kookspiracy theorist) thinks Donald Trump’s Presidency will raise the Earth’s temperature by 250 degrees and cause acid rain.

When I first saw that, I thought “Trump isn’t just a God Emperor! He’s a FIRE GOD!”

Seriously, Hawking is a “Theoretical Physicist”. He deals in math, but his assumptions CANNOT be proven under the Scientific Method we learned in about the 4th grade.

Remember what the Scientific Method was?

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Form a hypothesis.
  3. Design a test.
  4. Analysis
  5. The answer, or repeat?

Maddox has a decent video about the Scientific Method. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, but it’s a good start:

But seriously, let’s say you do not “like” Donald Trump. OK, I’ll give you that. How do you get from not liking an individual to believing he’ll somehow raise the Earth’s temperature by 250 degrees?

I’m still waiting…

Oh, wait, he’s a FIRE GOD!

You still can’t test it.

Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change/Climate Terror is still bullshit until somebody conducts an actual Scientific experiment with falsifiable results.

In 6th grade (1985-1986), my “science” textbook said we should be all out of coal, oil, and everything else by now. Nope. It’s the middle of summer, and gas is still about $2.06 a gallon here in Virginia (compared to over $4.00 a gallon when The Obammesiah was President). And they’ve found fuckloads of reserves since the 1980’s.

Where are all these islands and atolls that were supposed to be submerged by now, thanks to “Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change/Climate Terror?”

Wasn’t the Statue of Liberty supposed to be underwater by now?

Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change/Climate Terror is the WORST predictive system known to man. It is NOT science; it is religion. And Stephen Hawking is a kookspiracy theorist.

How In The Hell Is Sling TV “Al La Carte?”

With Scumcast now gone, I started looking at Sling TV for my wife. I was in the process of signing up for a 7 day trial, when I realized something.

This is in no way, shape, or form “al la carte.” In order to get my wife Food Network, I have to pay $20 a month for several ESPN, Disney (Yes, I know Disney owns ESPN), and Fake News Networks that I’ll never watch.

Forget it. This isn’t “al la carte.” This is the same bundling bullshit Scumcast does, but in a lower price range.

Sling, when I can get Food Network, Spike, and whatever channel airs “Air Crash Investigations” (because I can’t find new ones on YouTube anymore), I’ll sign up. I’m not paying you for the same networks I paid Scumcast for that I’ll never watch.

I signed out and closed the browser tab before I got to input my credit card. I’m not doing it.

Comcast Is Gone

Having options is wonderful.

My wife and I bought this house 2 years ago. We were on an agreement with Comcast. They apparently renewed the agreement when we had our service moved to the house, and it finally expired. And of course, the payment shot up over $30. I assume we were supposed to call them screaming about it, and be talked into a new agreement with some upsells.

They royally pissed us off more than 18 months ago. We had a few shows we DVR’ed, and suddenly, they weren’t on the DVR anymore. Turns out, they took those channels and put them in a higher priced package. Oh, we could get them back if we wanted to pay more. I said “Hell, no!”

For the first time in my life, we have an alternative. My neighborhood has FIOS. So with the agreement run out, we got FIOS Internet installed. That happened today. Then, my wife called Comcast to cancel. She was too nice to them. But then again, yelling at some customer service rep who probably works in a call center that Comcast contracts is not the best approach.

I’m probably going to have to get my wife Sling so she can watch Food Network. I saw that Hulu now has “live TV”, but I’m not going from $12 to $44 a month just to get Food Network.

I never watch “live TV.” Haven’t in years. Anything important that happens will be on YouTube. Tucker Carlson clips are my favorites. His “you are so full of shit” face is classic.

Normally, when you post something negative about or a complaint about Comcast on blogs or social media, somebody from “Comcast Cares” will contact you. I don’t know why the entire company isn’t “Comcast Cares.” But if Comcast really cared, they’d find a way to deliver what 21st century customers want without having to keep adding on extra packages. “Oh, yes, I know we only have the last 5 episodes available On Demand. But if you pay us more, you can unlock more of them!” Screw you. I’ve been paying for a package full of channels I wouldn’t accept money to watch (Oprah, Disney, ESPN, multiple ESPN channels, CNN, PMSNBC, etc.) but I have to pay extra to get Spike or NatGeo. Forget it.

It’s nice to have competitors.