Race war? Seriously?

I remember something I read somewhere that said “Hating someone because of the color of their skin is just stupid. If you take the time to get to know someone…really get to know them…you can find a much better reason to dislike them.”

Don’t kid yourself…there’s been racial balkanization in this country for quite a while and now it’s becoming even more pronounced. I had a longer post about this but, quite honestly, there is virtually no way to make a long post about race (or sex, religion, abortion, guns, politics, class, and a few other topics) without it turning into a hellish commentfest where everything is picked apart and the original ideas are overlooked.

Unfortunately, the world we live in has moments, especially lately, where even if you’re the nicest person on the planet you can still wind up getting curbstomped because someone doesn’t like how much melanin you’ve been producing.

There’s a host of unlikely events that I actively keep in mind when I’m in preparedness mode. Economic hardship is usually at the top. ‘Race war’ is down there with the Rapture, Xenu’s return, Planet X, and zombie apocalypse. It’s a fascinating world we live in when I actually have to think “Hmm…could that happen here”. Unlikely. Here’s Montana’s racial breakdown (so to speak):

Racial composition     2010

  • White          89.4%
  • Native          6.3%
  • Asian          0.6%
  • Black          0.4%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1%
  • Other race     0.6%
  • Two or more races     2.5%

Yeah, you read that right…there are actually more Asians here than blacks. In fact, after white folks the next biggest group are Indians . After that, there’s virtually nothing else. Chance of race war in Montana? Same as everywhere else. Chance of it going on for very long? Nil. So…race war goes back on the back burner.

How do you even plan for something like that? I would imagine it’s the same as planning for any other form of civil unrest but with the assumption it’ll be a lot easier to tell which side is which.

I don’t think you’ll ever see something like a real race war in this country. I think the closest you’ll ever see is some of the things that happened in the 60’s and early 70’s, which were pretty nasty at times. But warfare-in-the-streets type of thing? Nope. I think the number  of people who would do that sort of thing are far outnumbered by those of us who don’t see race ( or gender, or class, etc) as being any more worthy of violent response than , say, left-handedness.

Police explosives

Well, it should be a busy day in the blogosphere today…

This is interesting:

Around 11pm, cops cornered a suspect at nearby El Centro College and attempted to negotiate with him, but four hours later the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect.

I know most police departments have some explosives on hand, but this is the first time I have heard of them actually using them in an offensive tactic since the spectacular fail of the police at the MOVE shootout in ’85.

However, police do have a long history of burning people out of their positions….intentionally and unintentionally. Chris Dorner was burned out of his hiding place, and we all know what happened to those guys down in Waco.

It’s possible a bomb was brought in not to kill the suspect but to blow a hole in the wall or otherwise breach the place and the suspect happened to get caught in the blast. Or, that’ll be the story anyway :::wink wink nudge nudge:::

As an aside, this shooting incident in Texas was predictable given the media hype and coverage of these sorts of protests. There’ll be more, too…that’s virtually a certainty. I’m awaiting the usage of this event to further the gun-ban agenda. Stay tuned.

Independence Day

We don’t celebrate the ‘Fourth of July’. We celebrate Independence Day.

Speaking of…nothing can possibly more Murican than this:

A bald eagle was freed from a tree by a patriotic Army veteran, who spent 90 minutes firing 150 shots into three branches ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Jason Galvin, who did two tours in Afghanistan, was on a bait run on Thursday when he spotted the eagle dangling upside down from a rope it got tangled in, according to KARE 11. 

Galvin estimated the bird was hanging from the tree about 75 feet off the ground. It had been there for more than two days.

Phone charging revisited

I did  a post several years back on solar charging of cell phones, and the technology has changed a tiny but in those intervening years. I have a Goal0 Nomad panel and decided to test it out the other day. I took an old dead iPhone, USB cable, and the Nomad7 and set them out in the yard directly in the sun to charge.

A couple things you have to keep in mind – first, take the device you’re charging and protect it from the sun and heat. If you don’t, they’ll go into thermal shutdown mode. I usually put the phone under the panel but off the conductive ground. Secondly, and this is really important, higher end electronics like cellphones are very fussy about charging irregularities. If the voltage fluctuates, as it might when the sun goes behind a cloud, that change in electrical input may cause your device to go out of charge mode or something. The solution is to use the panel to charge a battery pack and then use the battery pack to charge the phone. Goal0 is now selling a package that does exactly that – GOAL ZERO 42020 Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit. 

This is pretty much your one-stop solution to this:


Maybe your neighbor will let the neighborhood charge their phones at their generator. Maybe.

No doubt someone will opine that in a blackout condition the cell towers will mostly be dead too, so why worry about your cellphone? If you think that, then you really are too short-sighted to be a survivalist. Turn in your camo and freeze-drieds and take up another hoby..like model railroads or something.

Even in a world with cell towers down, your phone takes pictures, takes video, does math functions, accesses files from local networks, acts as a flashlight, provides entertainment, tracks supplies, etc, etc. In short, it’s a very useful tool even when it’s not being used as a communication device. (And, yes, you can even use them, to a degree, for communication using devices such as Go tenna.)

Anyway, I plugged in the dead iPhone, set it under the panel, and came back a few hours later and…100% charged.

20160701_155119Moral of the story is that although having a generator is nice, it’s a bit overkill for just charging phones in a power-failure situation. So…these panels (with the battery) are excellent alternatives.