Article – Getting ready: Pentagon to protect electric grid from massive attack

Amid warnings that North Korea and Iran have plans to take out parts of the U.S. electric grid through a cyber attack or atmospheric nuclear blast, the Pentagon is taking steps to both protect the nation’s communications and power lifeline.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has charged BAE Systems to map a system that can detect a cyber attack and gin up an alternative communications network for military and civilian use if the grid is fried, according to Defense Systems, the online newsletter.

Interesting article. A lot of people forget that the internet was originally envisioned for exactly this sort of scenario – a resilient communications system that could operate even with chunks of it destroyed. It’s decentralized nature increased survivability and resiliency.

I find it interesting that the focus is on the East Coast which has gotta be a lot tougher for the NorKs than getting a warhead to the West Coast. But, here in Montana we’d be relatively insulated from either coast getting whomped on.

War on the horizon? Nope. I’m putting it right up there with the return of Xenu or Planet X. But, remember, there doesn’t have to be a war to screw up your plans…all that has to happen is for enough people to believe that there’s one on the way and it becomes virtually self-fulfilling. Don’t be surprised if gas prices go up and the metals market does some weird shimmying.

I liked the emphasis on EMP in the article. It’s something that has still never really been done, as far as I know, on any researchable large scale….kinda hard to set off a high altitude nuke these days without someone getting their panties in a twist. I think EMP is a tad overrated in terms of potential damage. Fiction would have us believe that planes will fall from the sky and even your Casio G-Shock will stop working. I suspect that smaller, simpler, electrical systems will probably work just fine. The planes? Mmmmm…(waggles hand).

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, but I think this is such a non-event that I’m not really doing anything special…but then again, life is always a “DOUBLE TAKE” around here anyway.

The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote

tumblr_ogc0noai251urmckio2_400Vote early, vote often.

‘Tis Election Day. This time the choices are…well…not great. Watching this election season has been like watching two people locked in a cargo container dueling with hand grenades.

To me, this is sorta like changing captains after the iceberg has already hit. The outcome is a foregone conclusion, now it’s just a matter of the route and driver that gets us there.

Here’s my most profound thought for the day: it’s too late to effect any real substantial change that will sway the course to Very Bad Things we are currently on. What you can do, though, is get your ducks in a row and prepare so that the damage is mitigated as best you can. In other words, it’s too late to keep the the ship from sinking, but you still have time to find the lifeboats.

I’m heading to the polls in a few minutes (because I will always vote), but I’ll leave you with this dandy: Didja hear the one about the Democrat in Illinois who said that when he died he wanted to be buried in Chicago so he could remain active in the party?


ETA: 20161108_103318When people ask who I vote for, I tell them “The person who won’t raise my taxes, screw with my guns, or hamstring small business”. If they say, “You voted for Trump?!” I reply with, “So you’re saying Hillary will raise my taxes, screw with my guns and hamstring small business?”

Article – Not my apocalypse: a black woman reads a white-guy prepper magazine

Apparently, those darn prepper magazines are a hotbed of coded racial injustices. I am especially WTF’ed by this jewel:

It’s important to note that, despite the robbery, the reader is starting from a place of privilege – even after being robbed, he has a single-family home with attached garage and the “usual personal belongings,” including two cars with full tanks of gas, tools, three mobile phones, a second secret stash of a food and water (one man removed his from behind the bathroom drywall), and a loaded gun, which was apparently of no help in the confrontation with the gunmen. (And was apparently of no interest to them anyway.)

Because, apparently, in this womyn’s world, having gear that you worked hard to acquire is privilege. As if someone just dropped a gold Cabela’s card in your lap and said ‘go forth and prep’. But, this chick is no doubt of the mindset that whenever you have more than her (or people who look like her, have the same plumbing as her, or the same economic mobility as her) that is an ‘injustice’ or ‘inequality’.

There’s actually a much more sinister implication here. This womyn, who is ‘of color’, seems to imply that the ‘prepper culture’ caters mostly to white males. If thats the case, and there is indeed a lack of ‘preppers of color’, is that an indictment of a publishing and marketing industry that is racist or  does it show that the notion of self-reliance, taking care of ones self, being responsible for your own well-being,  and independence from government support is a mindset not supported by the ‘of color’ community. Or, to put it in a very racially charged, but much simpler context, are white people more inclined to resist being in a state of dependency on others and .gov than non-whites? Now that’s a tack the writer should have taken. Rather than ask ‘why is the demographic for this magazine mostly white males’ perhaps she should be asking ‘why aren’t more non-whites interested in this’.

From a devils advocate point of view, I suppose you could make the argument that in our society the ‘marginalized’ segments (the people of color, the ‘econmically unprivileged’, etc.) simply cannot afford to spare the money, time, and other resources since they are already at a deficit on those resources compared to the white population. Or, put another way, if most other racial and ethnic groups are earning less, then they have less time and effort to put towards this sort of thing…they’re too busy just trying to catch up.

Honestly, I know absolutely zero non-white survivalists. In fact, from a strict racial standpoint, I’m the only one I know (I’m 50% ‘other’ ingredients.) But part of that, no doubt, is because I wound up living in a place where the population tends to be rather homogenous. Still, as I diddybop across the blogosphere I find very few survivalist or prepper blogs that aren’t being done by someone not ‘of color’. Oh, there are some exceptions…the ones I have found tend to be less about survivalism and more about ‘urban homesteading’, ‘organic gardening‘, and that sort of thing, which does kinda come into the preparedness Venn diagram. In fact, the only black person I’ve ever even read about who comes close is this fellow. (And I had to dig back over seven years to even find that.) Wiki.

As a commenter to the article said, the outrage the author shows about the overwhelming white maleness of the prepper magazines must be how he feels when he flips through Jet and notes a decided lack of not-of-color people. Face it, some things target a niche or demographic that tends to be very homogenous. And there’s nothing wrong with that if that homogenous nature is due to a simple lack of interest from others and not a result of exclusionary policy.

I’ve met dozens of people over the years who are into preparedness in some form or another…some religious, some not. Some male, some female, Some gay, most straight. Most rightist, some leftist. Most race-indifferent, some rather race-conscious. But everyone across the board was some shade of white person.

Do I think that the prepper magazines out there are full of images of white people and absolutely vacant of positive images of non-white people? Somewhat, yes. Do I think it’s because of a racist mindset? Uh, no..I think it’s because when you’re trying to sell magazines you sell to the market you think exists for that magazine.

As an interesting project, if anyone can find me some preparedness-themed blogs that are run by ‘people of color’, I’d like the links so I can go check ’em out.

Panic buying

It occurred to me, as I was talking to someone about the still-present situation regarding .22 ammo, that any lulls that we’ve experienced in the panic buying over the last year or so are going to be pretty much wiped out by the fact that next year is an election year.

The Clintons, Slick Willy or/and Hillary, are hardly friends of gun rights. They aren’t even friends of friends of gun rights. And as you hear Clintons name bandied about more and more as the nomination process approaches you’re going to see more and more panic buying going on.

Then, once the nomination process is on, it’ll continue as the election comes closer closer. Finally, depending on who is elected, it might start to calm down around March or April of 2017.

This stuff is actually highly predictable. The four stages of gun panics, as far as elections go, are:

  • Right before the election
  • Right after the election
  • Right before the inauguration
  • Right after the inauguration

Don’t take my word for it, your own life experiences should confirm what I’m telling you.

thNow, I’m not nearly as stupid as I look (I couldn’t possibly be), but even I learned a long time ago to buy what I needed as soon as possible, as much as possible, so I could ignore this sort of thing.

“But, Zero”, I hear you cry, “I am a survivalist of limited resources. I can’t possibly get all my guns, ammo, and magazines before the election. I need both those kidneys!”

Well, that’s true. It’s a pretty intimidating list. That’s why you need to prioritize that mofo like no one’s business. Let’s look at it from a historical and hysterical standpoint – in the last, oh, say thirty years, what’s been regulated out of the realm of ownership by us simple peons? Chinese guns, Chinese ammo, steel core 5.54×39, steel core 7.62×39, imported rifle barrels for ‘assault weapons’, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds*, pistol grip stocks on semi-auto rifles*, bayonet lugs*, etc.

What else could come down the pike from the twisted gnomes in Washington? Well, almost certainly a magazine ban, assault weapons ban, and some restrictions on ammo. That whole wrist brace issue is living on borrowed time, IMHO. I expect there’ll be some fundamental changes to the DIY/80% receiver market and possibly some restrictions on mail ordering the other parts you need to complete your AR. (And before you say that ATF can’t regulate gun parts that aren’t serialized receivers, go try to import some AK barrels and let me know what happens.) And I fully expect there to be some restrictions on body armour coming along as well.

So, man of limited resources, where do you put your money to get the most bang for your buck in a world where political expediency directly challenges your ability to own thundertoys? Guns, mags, ammo, in that order. Since it is reasonable to expect that as we slide further and further down the timeline prices will go up and availability will go down, it would seem to make the most sense to purchase the most expensive and least available items first. Actual guns are outnumbered by magazines and ammo, so get the guns first. After that, get the magazines. After that, ammo. For every AR, there are probably hundred of AR mags, and thousands of rounds of .223….so get the guns first.

Stripped lowers? Sure, if you can’t afford the actual complete gun I’d grab as many stripped lowers as I can. I suspect that at some point the upper receivers and what not will be regulated as well but until that time you’ll at least have the serial numbered part sitting away waiting for you to complete it…or use it as trade for other stuff.

Magazines are simply a buy-as-many-as-you-can item. For those of us who remember the ’94-’04 ban, we can tell you youngsters stories about $750 BetaMags, $100 Glock mags, and $30 AR mags. It was a time of great chaos, and great(!) profit making. Even if you don’t have the gun, get the mags.

Unless you’re on fire or swimming, you can’t have too much ammo. Any surplus ammo still coming into the country, as well as the Russian stuff, is probably first in the crosshairs of those who would do evil to us. While we all have a magic number in our head about how much ammo is the recommended amount per gun, the truth is that you really can’t go wrong with buying as much as you can afford. If you don’t think so, look at the the folks who are sitting on thousands and thousands of rounds of .22LR right now. Or cases of old Chinese 7.62×39 when it was nine cents per round.

At this point I’m sure there is some genius hitting the comment button about to say something deeply profound like “It’s because of idiots like you encouraging all this hoarding that I can’t find .22LR ammo, and when I can find it it’s at ten cents a round!” Actually, it’s not because of’s because of basic economics, laws of scarcity and demand, and federal asshattery. (How many ‘t’s in asshattery, anyway?)

Having been to this dance before, I’m pretty much immune to a bunch of it. I already have a goodly amount of guns and mags stashed away, and ammo is always on the shopping list anyway. But it is my opinion that if you’ve been waiting for prices to ‘return to normal’ or for ‘availability to return to normal’ you’re going to be left with a full wallet and empty shopping cart. As the political season heats up prices are going to go up, availability will go down, and today is going to be looked back upon as the day you’ll wish you had started shopping.

* = yes, that law sunset and we can now enjoy normal-capacity magazines and ‘evil features’. But do you really think they’re gonna make that mistake again?


Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

The current gun (and accessory) panic buying is keeping me busy in my ‘civilian life’, but sometimes something happens that you just gotta make time for. Like today’s interesting forray into small government: I received a notice from the election administration saying that since I did not vote in the last federal election, I would have to re-register.


Me not vote in a presidential election? You better damn well believe I voted in the last two and I’m not ashamed to tell you who I voted against. So now I’m wondering if my vote was even counted. Down to the courthouse I go. The gal at the counter asks if she can help me. I wave the card at her and say Im a wee bit concerned about this and could she check it out. She gets the sign-in book from the polling place and flips through it. “There!”, I triumphantly point when I see my signature. Sure enough, I voted. She assures me that my vote was counted and that when they had to enter all the signatures and their associated reference numbers into the computer thats where the error occurred. Hmm..okay, if you say so. I do remember checking the count on the scanning machine when I slid my ballot into it and making sure it changed over by one number when my ballot went in. I know that it registered. I’m fairly confident my vote counted. But to imagine that they had no record of me voting??? Damn well better believe I was gonna make time to get that straightened out.

The “if voting changed anything they would make it illegal” crowd will disparage all this but, screw em. I think it makes a difference and I don’t take kindly to the notion of the election people telling me I didnt vote when I know I did.

Anyway… interesting day so far.

Article – Lawmaker asks to be paid in gold

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

And in local news……

A Montana state lawmaker is asking that he be paid in gold coins because of his lack of faith in the U.S. dollar amid a rising deficit.

Jerry O’Neil, a Republican just reelected in his northern Montana district, says his constituents told him he was not honoring his duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which O’Neil and Gold Standard supporters say requires the government to print money backed by gold

Well, if nothing else, at least it’s an indication that he may have actually read the Constitution which put’s him a few steps ahead of some other folks.



Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

“If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”
-From Time Enough for Love – R.Heinlein


Obama wants the ban back

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

You know, pretty much all along I have been saying that one of the reasons Obama has been quiet on gun control is because the Democratic party is still stinging from some previous blowback. However, in a second term, where re-election is no longer an issue, he can impose whatever he wants with virtually no consequence. This is what I believed and some folks actually called me out on it saying not only was Obama not anti-gun he supported pro-gun legislation and that I was just being paranoid and dogmatic.

Please allow me to draw your attention in this direction for a moment:

President Obama tonight said he’s interested in seeing an assault weapons ban reintroduced, breaking his silence on the legislation, which has persisted in spite of at least five mass shootings during his term.

At the end of a long answer to the question, “What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?” Obama said this:

“My belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.

“But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.”

As a candidate in 2008, Obama campaigned on permanent reinstatement of the expired assault weapons ban, and Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 indicated that the administration would lobby for a bill. But that never materialized and the White House has largely avoided talking about it.

In August, after the Sikh Temple shooting, Jay Carney said, “He does support renewing the assault weapons ban.”

But tonight is the first time during his first term that the sentiment has come from the president’s mouth.


Can’t make it much clearer than that. I promise you that tomorrow morning every manufacturer of AR receivers is going to feel like it’s Christmas.