General Assembly of the Whole, Dec. 13th, 2018

The next General Assembly of the Whole will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13th, 2018 at Caffe Villa, beginning at 6:30 PM. We will be electing executive officers and holding our Christmas potluck dinner.

People with last names beginning with the letters A through M should bring main dishes.
Last names beginning with letters N through Z should be sides and/or desserts.

Everyone should bring their own beverages, plates, utensils, cups, etc. There will be tables and chairs on site.

Click here to download a printable PDF copy of the agenda.

Benton County Liberty State Committee Meeting, Dec. 10

The location for the first Benton County Liberty State committee meeting on Monday, December 10th, 2018 at 7 p.m. will be:

Richland,  WA 99352
The evening’s topic will be to plan what the next steps are for creating the 51st state and to decide committee roles and responsibilities moving forward. People who would like to get involved in the process and make a difference are encouraged to attend.

Hillsdale College: Charter School Initiative Townhall, Dec. 6

Hillsdale College will be hosting a telephone townhall event tomorrow, December 6, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The call will last approximately one hour and there is no cost to participate.

Hugh Hewitt and Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn will be talking about Hillsdale’s Barney Charter School Initiative and how this effort is revolutionizing America’s K-12 education system. They’ll also be answering questions about education submitted by participants, so this promises to be an informative event about solutions to the crisis in American education.

The link to register is www.hillsdale.edu/townhall.

Hillsdale’s Barney Charter School Initiative has founded twenty schools in nine states, featureing a classical curriculum that promotes civic virtue and moral character.

Prep School Daily: Herbal Medicine – Juniper

Jennifer at Prep School Daily writes some nice, informative posts on a variety of preparedness-related topics. Here are a couple on using Juniper as medicine.

Herbal Medicine: Juniper Part I

Herbal Medicine: Juniper Part II

Juniper is another phenomenal antibiotic, and it is so easy to locate. Especially here at my house on Juniper Ridge (really, that’s what it says on the local topographical map), where we have hundreds of juniper trees.  It grows everywhere between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so I tend to think it just grows everywhere.  But it’s also a really common landscaping shrub.  So if you don’t actually have trees near you, maybe you can find some of the low-growing varieties in a shopping center parking lot or on school grounds.    There are something like 50 or 60 or 70 species of juniper; all can be used medicinally.  The juniper berry of some varieties is quite similar in size and color to a blueberry, but most are smaller than a blueberry and much duskier in appearance, at least until they are washed and dried.

Bulk Juniper Berries, Whole | Buy Juniper Berry | Spice Jungle
My juniper berries look like this, not the big pretty ones you see pictured everywhere else online.

But don’t get too excited about eating these berries.  Sure, you can eat them.  They just aren’t all that sweet or juicy or filling, any of those things that we really like about blueberries and blackberries and strawberries.  The juniper berry isn’t actually a berry.  It’s a seed cone.  A baby tree.  And that’s exactly what the green, unripe berries taste like.  The old, dried berries taste like dead trees.  The bluish/purplish ones, the ones you want for medicine and eating (if you really want to eat them) have the tiniest amount of flesh on them that if you think really hard about while chewing on might just have a hint of fruitiness about them.

However, juniper berries do have their own grand purposes in life.  Some would say their greatest use is as gin, and indeed juniper berries were historically used to sanitize medical equipment (more on that in another post).  Juniper is employed in so many ways and for so many conditions that we’ll need a few posts to cover them all.

Junipers of the western United States were widely used by Native Americans in treating many medical conditions, especially those related to the urinary tract, digestive tract, and skin.

Time to harvest:  Berries–in the fall, after the first frost and the berries have turned blue/purple, and before they start to shrivel.  Berries develop on the tree for two to three years; green berries should not be used…

Sparks31: Monitoring Exercise/Contest, Dec. 7, 2018

Sparks31 has announced a monitoring exercise (MONEX) for the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7th, 2018. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a free 2019 class of his. A MONEX is a good way to gain familiarity with using your equipment, listening for signals, and recording activity within your listening range. Sparks31 has at least a couple of classes in Washington state, including one in the Yakima valley, in 2019.

MONEX: Pearl Harbor – 07DEC2018

MONEX: Pearl Harbor

Date/Time

07DEC2018 – 0000-2359 UTC
Equipment Required
SSB/CW/digital HF receiving capability from 1600-28000 KHz.
Procedure
  • User selects frequency range(s) from Table 1, above.
  • User performs band/sector searches on selected frequency ranges for at least 1 hour during time frame specified.
  • User logs following data: DATE, TIME, FREQUENCY, MODE, CALLSIGNS(?), TRAFFIC, MISC NOTES/COMMENTS
  • User posts log as a comment to this post, and via email to sparks31wyo@gmail.com.

All qualifying participants will be entered into a drawing for one (1) free admission to any one 2019 Class. To qualify, at least three complete log entries must be submitted.

Click here for more details at Sparks31.

Off Grid Ham: Introduction to AC Inverters

From Chris at Off Grid Ham, An Introduction to AC Inverters. Even if you’re already happily running all of your ham radio equipment off grid, at some point you might wish you could run something that wants 120V AC. If you’re not a ham radio operator, and you’re looking into running some household stuff from a battery/solar system, then you also are probably interested in learning something about AC inverters.

AC inverters are like other technology in that during the early  years they were very expensive and didn’t work particularly well. Over time they were tweaked and improved and today inverters are better and less expensive than their ancestors. I suggest including an inverter in your off grid plans even if you don’t think you need one because the day may come when it will be an essential asset. Furthermore, if you have any intentions of owning a larger solar energy system to power common household devices, then a familiarity with AC inverters is a must…There are three basic types of AC inverters on the market: Square wave, modified sine wave, and pure sine wave. Which one will work for you depends on what you plan on powering and of course your budget…

Click here to read the entire article at Off Grid Ham.

Sensible Survivalists: Basic Homesteading Skills My Grandmother Learned

The Sensible Survivalists have a nice article up titled The Basic Homesteading Skills My Grandmother Learned During WWII And Then Passed On To Me.  If you are getting ready to start your first garden or just beginning to move toward more self-sufficiency, it’s a good read to get you on your way.

I think the person who taught me the most, especially about homesteading, was my wonderful late grandmother.

She was a young woman in England during the Second World War. It was a difficult time for everyone, especially families. Food and resources were limited, and morale had to be kept up. She and her friends learned so many new skills in order to cope, and managed to make it through in one piece.

My grandmother passed on some of her homesteading skills to me, which has been invaluable for our own experience. Along with those skills, she taught me to be resourceful, resilient, imaginative and tough, and I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

In this post, I want to pass my grandmother’s wartime beginner homesteading skills on to you.

I think there’s something wonderful about taking the painful lessons that our parents and grandparents learnt during difficult times, and then learning and growing from them. I sometimes wish I could go back in time. I would go and speak to my grandmother, aged 17, trying to get a coop of stubborn chickens to lay eggs, and I would tell her that generations and decades into the future, her granddaughter would be applying those lessons to her own homesteading life. I think she’d be happy about that.

To put together this post, I’ve gone back through our family archives, my grandmother’s old notebooks and a few Internet sites to collects facts, pictures and lessons we can learn from today. I’ve found the old WWII posters that my grandmother will have seen at the time, and will share those with you…

American Partisan: The Prepper’s First Aid Kit

The medical staff at American Partisan have written an article on first aid kits, what should go in them and why – The Prepper’s First Aid Kit.  [Edit: The linked article appears to be down at American Partisan.  The article was copied in its entirety over at God, Guns & Glory.]

Whether you consider yourself to be a prepper, patriot or partisan, there is no argument to made against having a robust emergency medical kit and the training and knowledge to put it to use. I’m going to show you my own medical kit that I keep nearby at all times. Before I proceed, first I want to make sure that you understand how important it is to acquire some level of medical training. Getting trained in the latest standards and techniques for Basic Life Support for adults, children and infants is easy and valuable. The American Heart Association is the gold standard for this training in the US, and can be completed in one day. Opportunities for additional medical skills training are available all over your local community as well. I recommend that anyone with a little spare time and money enroll in the EMT course at your local community college. Most EMT courses can be completed in one semester. I don’t necessarily expect everyone to go and get employed as a full-time EMT or paramedic, but going through the EMT course and occasionally practicing those skills may end up saving the life of someone in your family or in your survival group. I’m going to assume that I’m talking to an audience that has some medical knowledge or intends to acquire some at a later time.

To start off, let me first say that you need to be able to take a full set of vital signs on someone. You need to be able to assess blood pressure, heart rate (and assess for perfusion to the extremities), respiration rate, temperature and oxygen saturation. Here is a pretty good video instructing on the basic technique for manually checking blood pressure. Here’s a link on how to do that manually.

Next, you’re going to need to be able to respond to an immediate emergency involving the ABC (The AHA has rearranged these letters, but my kit still applies). Airway, breathing and circulation. Here, you see a nasopharyngeal airway, a CPR mask with valve and a trauma tourniquet. These things address ABC. Also in the photo, you see an emergency blanket, some scissors and other tools, and a seat belt cutter. If you’ve got additional space in your bag, fill it with something that you can use in a situation you don’t have another tool for. That’s where my seat belt cutter came to find a place in the bag. 

You need to ensure that you’ve got some ability to protect yourself and the person you’re treating from infection. Iodine and alcohol are used to clean wounds and skin. Saline can be used as a rinse for wounds and eyes. Hydrogen peroxide should not really be used anymore as a straight antiseptic if you can avoid it, because it has the tendency to destroy healthy tissue as well as infectious organisms…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

LVA: First Aid and Medical Kit Contents

More Anti-Gun Crazy from New York

From RochesterFirst.com, more proof that the inmates are running the asylum – Proposed law would let State search gun owner’s social media and internet history. The privacy invasions involved in this bill are a new level of crazy. Look for more of this mental diarrhea coming to a state near you.

A new act introduced in the New York State Assembly this month would require pistol owners to submit to a “social media review.”

Anyone applying for, or renewing a pistol permit would have to give up all login information, including passwords, for any social media sites they’re a part of.

Posts from the past three years on site like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat would be reviewed for language containing slurs, racial/gender bias, threats and terrorism.

One year of search history on Google/Yahoo/Bing would also be reviewed.

Related:

Conservative Firing Line: New York Senate Bill 9191 – Destroying the Bill of Rights

BBB: Spiritual Warfare

Caralyn over on Beauty Beyond Bones once again has good words to take to heart, discussing spirtual warfare in her own life – Exposing Spiritual Warfare. Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.

…So why, the heck, am I listening to these lies that are filling my head that are straight from the pit of hell?

Why? Because I am human, living in a fallen world, and try as some people may to convince you otherwise, Satan is real.

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I don’t think that I am alone in my experience this past week. I think that all of us, at one time or another, have felt bogged down by self doubt or discouragement, or inadequacy, or loneliness. I think those are universal obstacles. I just think that most people are afraid to talk about it.

But I also think that those are the exact cracks in our foundation that the devil likes to worm into, in order to gain a foothold in our lives.

A surprising paradox in all of this, is that you’d think that when you’re “down and out,” you’d be the most vulnerable to spiritual attacks. But I think the opposite is true. I think that when we have a momentum going; when we’re on fire for the Lord and eagerly chasing after His plan for our lives, that is when Satan is going to do everything in his power to throw as many road blocks in your way as possible. That he’ll bring along seven friends to trip you up and shove you off course. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Which is why we must heed the advice of Ephesians 6: 10-18…and put on the armor of God, most especially when we feel we don’t need to.

I was reading over that passage this afternoon, and I realized, for the first time, a very important thing.

Everything in that armor: — the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet in the gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation — those are all defensive articles. They are all passive, shields, used to defend oneself against an attack.

Except for one: The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The sword of the Spirit.

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That is the only thing that was an offensive tool. An attack. A proactive tool.

And that’s when I realized: we do not have to do the fightingThe Spirit will do it for us. 

And what a freakin’ relief that was. I don’t have to rely on my own strength to resist the spiritual attacks from the evil one. The Spirit will do that for me. I just need to ask. I need to just take up that Sword, and the Spirit will fight for me.

Yes, I need to take all the defensive actions possible – with faith, with the gospel, with truth — but the fighting is left up to the Spirit.

That kind of puts it in a new perspective, doesn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a happy and prayerful Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

– Psalm 100

SensiblePrepper: Best Rocket Stove

Sootch00 who has a website, blog, and YouTube channels devoted to firearm and gear reviews and education, recently posted a video review on his SensiblePrepper channel for what he believes is the best rocket stove available — the Silverfire Survivor Stove. I have one of these myself and quite like it. Silverfire has also attended several NW Preparedness Expos here as a vendor.

American Partisan: Knife Sharpening 101

NC Scout, writing at American Partisan, has a good introductory article to sharpening stuff, Survivalist 101: Knife Sharpening. Like NCS, and probably many readers, I, too, have received some good cuts because of using a dull knife. Most often this happens in someone else’s kitchen because someone is afraid that having sharp knives will lead to cuts when the opposite is usually true. Yes, you can cut yourself with a sharp knife, but the cuts I have given myself with my own knives have tended to be around the severity of a paper cut, and can be blamed on my own inattention to the task at hand. With a dull knife, you end up applying more force than should be necessary and the knife or the object to be cut rolls and something like a finger is suddenly the recipient of a heavy, dull knife whack.

The ability to keep a good edge on a blade is a principle task to anyone spending time in the outdoors. The old saying, “A dull knife will cut you” is absolutely true and I’ve got the scars on my hands to prove it. Once before loading the birds for an air assault I flayed the tip of my left ring finger to the bone cutting 550 cord for dummy lanyards for my guys. Wrapped up in electrical tape and stuffed in my glove, it was a painful reminder that a working with a dull knife takes more effort to cut, meaning less controlability and probably a little less care- proving that age old idiom correct. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have had a better working edge on that old Buck-Strider like it has today.

Four of my everyday kitchen knives. Two Ontario Old Hickories, Jeff White Camp knife, Condor Bushlore.

One of the takeaways from the various schools I’ve attended and classes I’ve taught is that knife sharpening is becoming a lost art. Outside of folks with some serious culinary training, like chefs and traditional butchers, knife sharpening seems to fall into one of two categories- either deferring to a marketing gimmick or handing the blade off to someone who knows what they’re doing. Often that’s an old timer with patience and skill that’s been fostered over the years and probably handed down a few generations.  That said, sharpening is not hard. It takes time to find and perfect your technique. The key to it all is consistency- sharpness is a function of symmetry between the edge geometry.

For the entry level sharpener, starting with a simple blade is critical to learning the craft. I suggest picking up a Old Hickory knife in 1095 and learning how to sharpen on it. They’re cheap, durable, and disposable and you’ll learn a lot more from a simple blade than something wildly complicated. Knife edges come in a handful of different types depending on the intended purpose. For me, I tend to favor full flat grinds or convex for both general purpose needs and relative ease of sharpening. But for the beginner finding a flat ground knife is probably the best to learn to sharpen on. The learning curve is low and you’ll get better results faster which will in turn raise that confidence level. The other thing to know as a beginner is that while different types of steels suit different purposes, they also have varying degrees of difficulty with common sharpening tools…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

New Doom and Bloom Antibiotics and Infectious Disease Book

The Altons, authors of the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, have released a new book, Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings. Their Survival Medicine Handbook has been reviewed 477 times on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 and was well-reviewed elsewhere, too.

…We decided to educate the family medic about how to identify various infectious diseases and the medicines that cure them and their veterinary “equivalents”.  We did this over the years in articles, videos, and podcasts.

Now, all the information we’ve accumulated is in one book: “Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibiotics in Austere Settings”

In “Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease”, we discuss:

  • How bacteria cause disease
  • How the immune system works to fight infection
  • Many different disease-causing organisms
  • Telling bacterial vs. viral disease
  • Common infectious diseases
  • Epidemic and pandemic diseases
  • How antibiotics work
  • Different antibiotic families
  • How to use antibiotics wisely
  • Issues with antibiotic resistance
  • Individual antibiotics and the diseases each one treats
  • Dosing, side effects, allergies, pregnancy and pediatric considerations
  • Expiration Dates
  • Establishing an epidemic sick room
  • Dealing with wound infections
  • Wound care
  • Supplies for the effective austere medic
  • Much more

A non-medical person having antibiotics on hand in disaster settings is considered controversial by the conventional medical wisdom, and for good reason. Yet, if there is no ambulance coming to render aid or hospital to treat the sick, you may become the end of the line with regards to the well-being of loved ones. Just as learning how to stop bleeding is important, learning about infection and the medicines that treat it will save lives in difficult times…

The supplies section of the book includes lists of contents for various medical kits: individual first aid kit (IFAK), family kit, dental tray, natural remedy supplies, up to and including a field hospital.

Related:

Breitbart: 80 Percent of Venezuelans Short of Food

Combined with chronic malnutrition, the report also points to the scale of the collapse of the country’s health system, with practically every major health condition ranging from tuberculosis to malaria reaching crisis levels. For example, the number of malaria cases has risen from 36,000 in 2009 to 406,000 in 2017, while 87 percent of HIV patients now do not receive their necessary drugs…Most of these conditions are going untreated, mainly due to a lack of necessary medical resources and trained specialists.

AMP-3 Is Blogging Again

AMP-3 is blogging again. Beth is feeling good and has completed all of her treatments. We’re glad to see her up and running again and hope to see Beth and David around these parts again soon. They are good people, running an excellent preparedness gear and training business.

My last Blog Post was in July and a lot has been happening for us since then and Amp-3 as well! I completed all of my Cancer Treatment the end of August! Yeah… Glad to have that in the rear view mirror. I am feeling great and the wonderful weather here in the Pacific Northwest lately has been a true blessing.

Click for AMP-3 blog.