American Partisan: SIGINT for Everyone

NC Scout at American Partisan has an informative article up, Signals Intelligence: Capabilities for Anyone, discussing readily available and simple equipment that anyone can use to build their signals intelligence capabilities. Signals intelligence is one of the best, if not the best, ways to know what is going on around you, whether that is in the aftermath of a disaster or during a civil disturbance/conflict.

One of the points I’ve stressed for a long time is the value found in using simple equipment to the maximum of its potential. Whatever it might be optics to weapons to electronics, my own combat experience has fostered an appreciation for Keeping it Simple, Stupid. And that’s the very paradigm I teach my class from–taking what’s common and simple to understand and learning the techniques of using it to its peak potential. The same is true for building signals intelligence capabilities among preppers and/or potential partisans. Not that long ago the RAND Corporation published a white paper on the very topic; what they found was that not only does the capability exist to monitor most real-world threats in any given environment, anyone can do it.

During our market scan, we found examples of SIGINT capabilities outside of government that are available to anyone. The capabilities we found have applications in maritime domain awareness; radio frequency (RF) spectrum mapping; eavesdropping, jamming, and hijacking of satellite communications; and cyber surveillance. Most of these capabilities are commercially available, many are free, and some are illegal. In our view, the existence of both legal and illegal markets and capabilities results in an environment where SIGINT has been democratized, or available to anyone.

(Weinbaum, Berner and McClintock, 2017)

From experience monitoring the Taliban on a decade old Radio Shack Pro-96 in Afghanistan, an undisciplined adversary will usually tell you everything you want to know over the air. Even if he thinks he’s secure with electronic encryption, the presence of the signal itself can be detected as soon as he keys up. After working with several private groups and teaching techniques to not get found in my RTO Course, I can positively say that a lot of people are at a distinct disadvantage in the communications department not through equipment but through a complete misunderstanding of the actual function of their gear. As anyone who’s trained with me knows, tactical communications is a whole other animal from nearly everything folks think they know. The first rule of Signals Counterintelligence is to have a competent plan and not set patterns. But what about collection? Those same mistakes we aim to correct through training are likely to be repeated by the opposing force. Even if they have all the technical enables in the world, a lot can be done with basic equipment…

Click here to read the entire article.

Reason: When Nonviolence Isn’t Enough

Jason Brennan, professor of ethics, economics, and public policy at Georgetown University, over at Reason.com has a longer article up, examining government authority, briefly touching on civil disobedience, and then going on to explore when you are justified to go beyond civil disobedience.

When Nonviolence Isn’t Enough: Does the right to self-defense apply against agents of the state?

In August 2017, Richard Hubbard III stopped at a red light in Euclid, Ohio, but his front bumper went a few feet past the white line. The cops pulled him over. That’s no surprise: Police in Euclid, Cleveland Heights, and the surrounding cash-strapped towns strictly enforce traffic rules. But officers didn’t just give the driver a ticket.

The police demanded Hubbard—a black man—step out of his vehicle. Dashcam footage shows that he calmly complied. Yet one officer immediately spun Hubbard around, bent his arm, and slammed him against his Hyundai. He flipped Hubbard again, punched him in the face, and kicked his groin. Hubbard screamed and put his arms up to protect himself. The other officer joined in.

They threw Hubbard to the ground but continued to punch, hammer, and kick him. When he tried to protect his face, they chanted the informal motto of American police, “Stop resisting!” Even when Hubbard was subdued, prostrate with his hands behind his back and two large officers pinning him down, one officer continued to pummel his skull.

Imagine you witness the whole thing. A thought occurs to you: You’re armed. You could shoot the officers, perhaps saving Hubbard’s life or preventing him from being maimed and disabled. May you do so?

Below, I defend a controversial answer: Yes, you may. Shooting the cops in this case is dangerous—they may send a SWAT team to kill you—and in many places it’s illegal. But it is nevertheless morally permissible, indeed heroic and admirable. You have the right to defend yourself and others from state injustice, even when government agents act ex officio and follow the law…

Mosby: Just Do It.

How do make your way to a self-reliant lifestyle? One small step at a time. John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla blog has a short piece on taking those first steps.

…I’m not gonna lie, we have a pretty awesome life. I don’t have an electric bill, because I built our solar power system myself, from components. We don’t have a house payment, because we built our house by hand, as we went. I have a land payment, but we pay so much extra on it, that the 15 year note will be completely paid off in 6 years total. We don’t have much of a grocery bill, because we raise and/or hunt so much of our own food.

I get to shoot—and teach—weekly, because we have a core group of guys who show up every weekend for training. We have a core group of 10 or so families that socialize together, party together, babysit each others’ kids, etc (Yes, we even identify, communally, as a “clan.”).

So, yeah, life is pretty…good, even as we watch the social structures we’re accustomed to collapse around us.

Here’s the catch though…It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen all at once. We’re still in the process of becoming communally self-reliant, for lack of a better term.

How then, does someone like my friend—maybe someone like you—start today, instead of waiting until the stars align properly?

Start small. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch (I have an amazing German brown bread recipe that I’ll post one of these days). It takes me twenty minutes of work, spread over several hours (to let the dough rise), to bake two big, round loaves of the bread. Even with two young kids that love to eat it (and my predilection for eating quarter loaf chunks ripped off the still steaming loaf…), two loaves of this bread will last us two or three days. It’s not hard. It’s not expensive…

Click here to read the entire article.

Survival Rules from Venezuela

Prepper Website has a guest article up from a man who recently visited his brother in Venezuela – Survival Rules When Society Collapses. It’s worth a gander to find out what life is currently like there and could be like anywhere else that experiences a severe collapse — violence warning, though.

…The trash bags I brought were used to store clothes that you got from pretty much anywhere. You store them in the trash bags for months to allow time for the lice, crabs and the eggs to hatch and die. It’s a must. There were whole families I saw shaved from head to toe, and not because they are getting cancer treatment. It’s because it’s the only way to get rid of the lice and crabs.  Hygiene here means having no hair. The good news is that there are no fleas, which used to be the problem before the collapse. The reason is there are no dogs, cats, or small animals left. They’ve all been eaten.

…Realize That There Will Always Be Evil and People Willing to Hurt Others!

Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. From my brother’s broken window, we could hear the gang members discussing how she must have food and lots of other valuable stuff. Later that evening, we heard them discuss how they were going to break into the lady’s house later that night.

At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it…

Click here to read the entire article at Prepperwebsite.com.

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?

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.