Kunstler: Your Show of Shows

Another Congressional clown show started this morning.

Author James Howard Kunstler discusses today’s Congressional committee inquiry into the January 6th protests in Your Show of Shows.

The unravelling of the USA gets its summer steroid booster shot this Thursday when the political twerk-fest known as the January 6th Select Committee commences prime-time televising of its inquiry into the so-called “insurrection” the day that Congress met to tally the 2020 electoral college vote when hundreds of protesters entered the US Capitol illegally, egged on and enabled by a squad of FBI plants larded through the crowd, and by shadowy figures inside the building who unlocked the doors for them.

The objectives of this extravaganza are A) to soften up the remaining “purple” voters before the midterm election, B) to paint former president Donald Trump as an instigator of the uproar and an enemy-of-the-people so he won’t be able to run for office again, and C) to punish former White House employees and Trump partisans with onerous legal fees so as to knock them off the political game board.

The Party of Chaos certainly doesn’t need to reinforce the mass formation psychosis of its base who maintain that the 2020 election was the fairest-and-squarest in US history. The committee members will chant the talismanic phrase “The Big Lie” ad nauseam to ward off reasonable suspicions that they are the ones doing the lying. Since a kind of maniacal stupidity attends all the party’s doings these days, it could easily backfire on them. Even two years later probes are still pending in several swing states, and only a few weeks ago, the documentary 2000 Mules released time-stamped videocam footage of blatant wholesale drop-box ballot-stuffing around the country.

Lawsuits filed lately also claim the committee itself is illegally constituted, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disallowed (against the rules) the minority Republicans from appointing their own chosen members. Instead, she did it for them, planting the vehemently hostile rogues Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, meaning no witnesses will be called who might refute pertinent details of the “insurrection” narrative already constructed. Much of the testimony presented will be videotaped interviews with Trump White House officials and there will be no accounting for what may be edited out. In other words, you have an obvious setup for a star chamber, a device for disregarding individual rights and fair procedure.

The context, of course, as I aver above, is a country that is imploding six ways to Sunday — to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, the Party of Chaos’s Senate leader. At least half the public is already onto the extravagant damage inflicted upon our national life by the beneficiaries of the 2020 election. Thanks to “Joe Biden,” the dollar is hemorrhaging value, we instigated a war in Ukraine that will lead to global famine and mass refugee events, oil and natgas are unaffordable thanks to our destabilizing of global distribution networks, spare parts are unavailable for every imaginable machine in the land, the business model for farming is broken, real estate is groaning under rising mortgage interest rates, the CDC is still pushing Covid vaccines despite proof that they are ineffective and harmful, cities are overwhelmed with criminal violence and psychotic homeless drug fiends, and, as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.

Are these the circumstances that American voters are expected to endorse in the November election when all these conditions are liable to get a lot worse? Apparently, the Party of Chaos thinks so, since they’re delivering exactly what they stand for. And yet, they’re clearly nervous about it, as if they suffer fugitive doubts that we-the-people are avid for cultural and economic collapse.

My advice, then, is to take the televised January 6th hearings for the grand entertainment it’s intended to be. Enjoy the sob stories of the Capitol Police officers pretending to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Behold the terrible “threat to our Democracy” of the bare-chested interloper in a horned helmet chatting-up security guards in the Senate chamber. Note the “insurrectionists” taking seditious selfies in statuary hall and trying to fob off with souvenir furnishings. See Rep. Liz Cheney fulminate with scorn and disgust against her orange nemesis. Sympathize with committee Chair Bennie G. Thompson as he bangs his gavel and cries for order when any live witness utters the name Ashli Babbitt. Watch Rep. Adam Kinzinger turn on the waterworks. Take it all in and ask yourself: who exactly seeks to subvert this republic of ours?

RealClear Politics: Why Uvalde Doesn’t Justify Gun Control

Frank Miele, author and former editor of the Daily Inter Lake, writes Why Uvalde Doesn’t Justify Gun Control.

The deaths of 21 people, including 19 children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, are a nightmare that I can’t even fathom. It is pure evil.

Yet millions of Americans seem prepared to accept this nightmare as the new normal. They don’t ask what could turn an 18-year-old boy into a monster who could look innocent children in the face and shoot them to death while dozens others were screaming, while blood splattered and puddled in the classrooms, while his own life ticked down to its final meaningless minute. They just assume there are more like him – waiting, planning, marking time, ready to do the unthinkable.

And their proposed solution is to take guns away from law-abiding American citizens on the assumption that evil people will be deterred from doing evil if they can’t obtain (take your pick) either long guns or handguns (or both).

Why do I get the feeling these presumably well-intentioned people don’t know what evil is? Don’t they realize that mass murder is never normal? Perhaps more importantly, why do they think that the government can hinder evil by passing new laws that will restrict gun ownership?

The crisis isn’t that children kill other children with guns; the crisis is that children want to kill other children with guns. And more broadly, there is a moral crisis in our country because we teach children that right and wrong are no longer absolutes, that they are rather subjects for debate. And the more we debate right and wrong, the more that evil gains a foothold in our society.

But it is easier to talk about guns than it is to talk about evil. It is easier to blame guns than it is to blame our sick society for what happens to our children. If you want to prevent mass murder, the answer isn’t to take guns out of classrooms; it is to put God back in classrooms, and to fearlessly teach children about good and evil, about right and wrong, about the basis for our laws and our civilization. A society that is unwilling to acknowledge a higher power is unlikely to have any answers for children who question authority.

Even if we can’t reverse the secularization of America, there are steps that can be taken to improve public safety without restricting gun rights.

If you want to prevent psychotic teenagers from acting out their dreadful fantasies, for instance, try providing mental assistance when they make threats to kill people. Even better, don’t prescribe dangerous psychotropic drugs that can result in hallucinations, paranoid delusions, mood swings, depression, and “abnormal” thoughts. Those are all listed side effects for Adderall, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for teenagers with behavioral problems.

Instead of taking guns away from people who have never even contemplated committing a crime, how about this? Pass laws that make it a felony to threaten violence against children or to threaten random violence in public places. Then prosecute those crimes and lock up the people who are deemed a threat by a jury of their peers. Don’t do what the California state Senate just did and vote to remove the requirement that police be notified when students make threats against a school official. That is just plumb crazy.

Of course, reliance on the police to solve all our problems is also crazy.

That is the logical fallacy at the heart of the argument of would-be do-gooders like Beto O’Rourke who want to grab your guns. Think about it. They are asking us to turn our safety (and our children’s safety) over to the care of law enforcement when it was law enforcement that let us down at Uvalde. From the video and testimonial evidence, it appears that police were called to the scene of the massacre quickly and then waited. Waited while children died. Waited while children were risking their lives by making 911 calls to beg for help. Waited. For more than an hour. Waited. Until finally Border Patrol officers took matters into their own hands and shot the demon.

Do you see the irony? The people of Uvalde trusted the government to protect their children, and children perished. But give one parent a gun at Uvalde and there’s at least a 50/50 chance he or she would have ambushed the shooter and killed him. And the more law-abiding people who have guns, the better off the rest of us will be when crazed shooters decide to go on a killing spree.

Unfortunately, too many people looking for easy solutions want to take guns out of the hands of citizens and put all the power for our protection in the hands of government. That goes against our lived experience, not just at Uvalde but in society overall. In case after case, we the people have been conditioned to believe that the government is incapable of protecting us from criminals.

Consider the summer of 2020 when our cities were burning and mobs were rampaging in state after state. What did the government do to protect us? Nothing. They decided it was safer to let the mobs riot, to let the looters loot, to let the fires burn – perhaps because they were afraid they would be “defunded” if they actually fought to protect citizens from dangerous criminals. Gun owner Kyle Rittenhouse decided to try to protect Kenosha, Wisconsin, and he was arrested and charged with murder for his trouble.

Moreover, in city after city, Democratic prosecutors have decided it is easier to let criminals go than to send them to jail. This crusade against “mass incarceration” is also known as sweeping the dirt under the rug. The problem isn’t that too many people are in jail; the problem is that too many people commit crimes. Left-wing prosecutors like George Gascon in Los Angeles are adding fuel to the fire by releasing criminals back into society without punishment, thus giving them incentive to commit more crimes. Refusing to prosecute gun crimes guarantees that more guns will be used in crimes.

And let’s not forget the most glaring example of the government abdicating its responsibility to protect the public from criminals – Joe Biden’s open border. How many millions of people have to enter our country illegally before you lose confidence in the government to do its job? Well, I’m well past that point. Like millions of other Americans, I don’t trust the government. Can you think of any reason why I should, when the Department of “Homeland Security” not only allows unvetted immigrants into the country illegally but then flies them to their preferred destination? It’s that same government, by the way, which says that people like me (i.e., Republicans) are domestic terrorists and would like nothing better than to lock us up just like King George wanted to lock up those unruly colonists who insisted on something called “liberty.”

Joe Biden wants to suspend the Constitution and deny American citizens the right to bear arms of their choice. Of course he does, because it is the easiest answer to a complicated problem, and because it would consolidate power in the hands of the government. Last week, Biden spoke earnestly and forcefully to a prime-time audience and told us that the shooting at Uvalde was enough, that no more innocent people need die if we just turn over our guns. Coincidentally, an hour before Biden spoke, I was watching an episode of the TV series “Alex Rider,” where these frightening words were spoken:

“From Facebook data to Internet oversight, what we can see is that if your message is strong enough, you can take away people’s liberties, and they will applaud you for doing it.”

Unfortunately, such a message is not just fiction. Consider yourself warned.

For a more amusing argument:

Jack Lawson’s Review Of The Tactical Wisdom Series 

Jack Lawson is the author of Civil Defense Manual and co-author of the older and now out of print A Failure of Civility. Here he gives a review of Joe Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom, another preparedness book series. All of the works above are worth your time. Jack’s books have a larger format with many photos and diagrams, while Joe’s are smaller with only text, but also may be written in more easy to read style.

Tactical Wisdom (2 Book Series)

Rare does a book catch my attention like Tactical Wisdom. It could have been authored by my alter ego. But the Author, Joe Dolio, has created what I consider a companion and must-read book to my book the Civil Defense Manual. His book “Tactical Wisdom TW-01 Baseline Training Manual” has almost every procedure in it that my book has… presented in a concise and superb manner. He also has a great writing style.

The man clearly must be a genius, if by his definition of the word, we think alike. For those unaware of what I’m talking about, you’d have to read Joe’s opening line in his review of my book. But Joe and I, regardless of our level of intelligence and I’m definitely not a genius, agree on the way to Preparedness, Survival and organizing with others for Strength Through Numbers for protection.

This review is not a ‘trade off’ knee jerk evaluation of the Tactical Wisdom Series from me because Joe wrote a generous review for me… because anyone who knows me well, knows that I won’t praise a poor presentation, incompetence and or misinformation for any reason. The fact is that this Marine Corps Veteran has written a classic in writing the “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual.”

I know that Joe is more intelligent than me by one item… as he quotes The Ultimate Base Line Book… the Bible… in his book. That incredible Guide Book that I’ve seemed to wandered away from… despite being brought up by it. Some people that know me would say… “Lawson, you reading the Bible!?”

Well, I am drifting back to the Bible and Christianity… probably from the insanity of what illogic is bringing our society. I am not reading it because “I’m looking for a loophole” for my transgressions, like W.C. Fields said when one of his friends questioned him astounded that he was reading the Bible on his death bed. I have a pretty good idea where I’m going… and it won’t be pretty… but I still hold out hope for Valhalla.

That being said, I believe our exclusion of God, his Son and the Holy Spirit by many ‘enlightened’ and ‘elite’ people is the basis of the on-going destruction of the fabric of society, decency, the family, Free Enterprise (instead of Fascist Corporations), Individual Rights and Constitutional America.

When the huge egos and twisted values of those who become legends in their own minds represents the aggregate essence of a world of peoples… in lieu of the righteousness and principles of an Immortal and Benevolent Higher Power… mankind is well on the way to catastrophe… if not extinction.

I have read just about every survival book out there. Good ones… and bad ones. Fiction and non-fiction… handbooks, manuals and riveting fiction plots… some with excellent common-sense survival information and storylines… and then there are those with the ‘expert’s fantasy’ on how to survive.

What started me off was the late British Author John Christopher’s 1957 science fiction novel “No Blade of Grass,” first published as “The Death of Grass,” and made into a movie in 1970. A post-apocalypse story where food crops fail, and the world descends into chaos.

But novels cannot convey to you all the necessary methods and explain all the critical information on Preparedness and Survival no matter how good a story they are. However, novels will get you thinking in the right direction and sometimes point out stark issues that imaginations cannot conceive of in normal civility.

A case in point… William Forstchen’s “One Second After.” I said bull shytte when his story had 90% of Americans dying within one year after a High-altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse event (HEMP or EMP) happened. I retracted my words after reading the story and understanding why he would be correct in his assessment.

All the books you will read on apocalyptic events, Preparedness and Survival will give you basic, and in some cases extensive, information necessary to survive disaster and Catastrophic Events… however some will also give you and yours an early meeting with your Maker for inaccurate and erroneous information. Deadly.

But both fiction and non-fiction books on Preparedness and Survival create in you something critical… a valuable thought process that gives you a different perspective and understanding of the frailty of we humans on this planet.

And regardless… almost every book you read leaves you knowing something you didn’t know before you picked it up, if you check the accuracy of the information. Life is a process of learning… up to the second you pass from this world into the next.

What you’ll get in Tactical Wisdom Series is the solid information and procedures on what you must do to prepare for calamity and how to survive it. We both tell people what and how to do it, but Joe brilliantly puts a synopsis and summary at the end of each of his chapters called Base Line Standards.

I look at his Base Line Standards summary at the end of each chapter as the “get up and go… do it if you’re for real…” or don’t… if you’re an arm chair commando and couch potato. When I write a new edition of the Civil Defense Manual… I’ll do the same… put a summary of what people must do in ‘one-line sentences’ at the end of each chapter. A true motivator. A “Shytte… or get off the pot!” motivator.

I was astounded page by page in the similarity of Tactical Wisdom Base Line Standard ‘TW-01’ to the Civil Defense Manual. I haven’t finished Tactical Wisdom Fieldcraft TW-02 yet, but I will and will review that also.

This Marine Corps Veteran has also seen the boogeyman. That ‘qualification’ of combat experience alone does not convey a super mythical power that enables an author to write Preparedness and Survival books… but it does make you hyper-vigilant towards obvious and hidden threats… and creates a “what if mindset” from all the butt puckering of war like going through a hamburger grinder. Some people get this mental state without combat… but most people never do.

Like Robert Preston said in “The Music Man…” “There’s trouble in River City!” Only this trouble coming is real and is not a con job. You will live in exciting times in the next decades… make sure you have water to drink, food to eat and neighbors and friends to help protect you and your family… as well as you, them. Your “Tribe.”

Buy Tactical Wisdom and learn. I am excited that Joe plans to put out more in his series, as he indicates he will… books that will compartmentalize what each facet of Preparedness and Survival skills should teach you. I bought them and am learning from them… you should too.

Joe’s definitely a ‘get up and go’ type of guy with a visionary approach to Preparedness and Survival…

…so, my Base Line Standard advice to you is to ‘get up and go…’

First… get Joe’s books… read his “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual TW-01” …and start putting together your plan… but with his books’ guidance.

Out Front with Mike Shelby: How to Build Social Bases

In this video Mike Shelby, aka Sam Culper of Forward Observer and Grey Zone Activity, talks about building social bases, which are areas which are capable of resisting tyrannical rule, but such community mobilization and structure can also provide relief post disasters or catastrophes.

Off Grid Ham: Portable Antennas For The Off Grid Ham

Wire antenna. Courtesy ARRL.org

Chris Warren at Off Grid Ham has a nice, longish article on Portable Antennas For The Off Grid Ham. Please see Chris’s article on his site for the helpful antenna diagrams.

We’re not special.

Off grid amateurs spend a lot of time focusing on the power source for their equipment. While that’s understandable, we musn’t be distracted from the rest of the amateur radio chain. This time we’re going to look at the other end of the system: portable antennas.

To be clear, off grid radio does not require a “special” antenna. Any antenna that can be used for conventionally-powered operating can be used for off grid. Since most off grid radio is done in a portable/temporary/outdoor setting, or for survival/prepper/EMCOMM purposes, some antennas are more suitable than others. Operators who live in apartments, have HOA restrictions, spouse objections, or otherwise cannot have a permanently mounted antenna are in this mix too. Portable Antennas

It’s not practical to go over every possible option as there are dozens of them; we’ll cover the pros and cons of a few of the most popular. If you’re a newcomer to amateur radio, you’ll gain some focus about different antenna choices. At the end of this article I will include links to more detailed information.

A word about portability. Portable Antennas

The definition of “portable” varies considerably depending on who you ask. “Portable” can mean anything from a large trailer full of equipment to a handheld radio in a shirt pocket. It’s up to each individual operator to decide what works for them. Most of the antennas described in this article are not “portable” in the sense that one could back pack all day with it (along with all their other gear). They will all fit in an average car and can be hand carried short distances.

The classic random wire.

There is hardly anything simpler, less expensive, and easier to understand than the random long wire. This antenna has been around since the beginning of radio and is still used today. They can be made from any conductive wire and erected in any fashion…

If you’re going with a random long wire antenna, you’ll need a separate antenna tuner. The integrated antenna tuners on modern radios will not likely be enough. You can try it and you might get lucky, but very few internal antenna tuners have enough range of correction to get a random wire down to the 50 ohm load the radio requires. I have an external tuner that feeds an unun with a ground plane wire for my random wire antenna; that modified setup works well plugged into my FT-817. Portable Antennas

The tradeoff for ease & simplicity is inefficiency. The antenna tuner does not “fix” this problem. Whatever losses are inherent to your random wire will still be there.

Other random wire considerations.

You’ll also have to consider that random wires are not self-supporting. How do you plan on getting your antenna off the ground? You can bring a PVC pipe or telescoping mast but lugging it along that may not fit with your definition of “portability”. Another option is to run your random wire up to a tree. That too may be problematic. Is there a suitable tree at your operating site? Be aware that many public parks in the United States prohibit attaching anything to the trees, even temporarily.

Some hams advise cutting the wire to be a certain length, or to avoid a certain length. This is done to make the antenna work better across all the bands. That’s fine, but then it’s not really a “random” wire. This may seem like semantic nitpicking  but if you are going to cut a wire to a specific length you may as well take it all the way and make a proper end fed or dipole antenna. My wire antenna truly is random; I have no idea exactly how long it is. For all its faults, random wires really do work, and there’s no beating the low cost and simplicity.

The magnetic loop. Portable Antennas

The magnetic loop is one of the most beloved and hated antennas in all of hamdom. I’m not sure why, but every time it comes up in conversation, strong opinions fly back and forth.

Magnetic loop antennas are a conductive loop, a variable capacitor, and a smaller coupling loop. The loop can vary in size, with some versions having less than a three foot diameter. In spite of their small size and odd appearance, mag loops are quite effective. Magnetic loops do not require a tuner and are excellent for restricted space applications, such as apartments, motorhomes, etc. One of the big benefits of magnetic loops is they do not need to be mounted high off the ground. Any elevation greater than one loop diameter is just as good as mounting it on a 100 foot tower.

Magnetic loop disadvantages.

Mag loop antennas have narrow bandwidth. This has a lot to do with the “Q” value of the antenna, which in turn is related to the antenna’s small size, but that’s more than we’ll get into this time around. If you change your transmit frequency, even a little, the antenna will need to be re-tuned. Therefore, you will need easy physical access to the loop. There are commercially made mag loops such as the MFJ-1788 with a remote tuning head. It’s an expensive option, so consider your needs and wants carefully. Also, mag loops will have very high exposed voltages, even at low transmit power levels. Although it’s not necessarily dangerous, if you touch a mag loop while it’s energized, you’ll likely get a very memorable jolt! Keep it away from children, pets, and untrained bystanders.

If you prefer to build you own, the internet is full of plans and tips for DIY versions. By the way, the loop does not have to be a perfect circle, or even be a circle at all. Octagons and other shapes are acceptable. Portable Antennas

In my opinion, magnetic loop antennas are highly underrated. Once you learn its quirky ways it will provide excellent results.

Vertical antennas.

Commercially made portable vertical antennas might be the most popular antenna for off gridders. There are many choices: Buddistick, Alpha Antenna, Chameleon, and others. They generally do not require a tuner and will operate over numerous bands. Unlike mag loops, verticals maintain good bandwidth without constant adjustments. And unlike random wires, they do not take up much linear space when deployed. They’re easy to set up and take down and self supporting. There’s a lot to love here. I personally use an Alpha Antenna FMJ and I must say it delivers on its promises.

The main disadvantage is the cost. Commercially made portable antennas are pretty dang expensive for what you are getting. I realize a lot of the price tag is related to research & development expenses, plus the relatively low production runs of these products. Because portable antennas can be a serious financial commitment for the average operator, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you’re getting an antenna that is appropriate for your operating goals. Portable Antennas

Everything else.

There are so many other antennas that we can’t realistically go through them all here. Some of these antennas are quite effective, others not so much. Still others are just more complicated versions of well established designs. Experimenting is a big part of the fun, so don’t be afraid to take a chance. Home brew antennas are typically inexpensive and can be recycled into something else if they don’t work out.

Resources.

Here is an Off Grid Ham article from 2016 that goes into detail about random wire antennas, including notes on how to build your own.

This awesome database gives DIY plans for over four hundred antennas. It’s one of my favorite antenna resources and I highly recommend you bookmark this one.

This lengthy (33 page) PDF goes into deep detail about magnetic loop antennas, including operating theory. If you are or want to be a mag loop geek, this one’s for you!

Here’s another very well written and illustrated article about mag loops.

Here is a handy on line mag loop calculator if you want to take a stab at building your own.

The Villages Amateur Radio Club published this very well done guide to stealth antennas for those living in HOAs, apartments, etc.

Finally, an easy to understand explanation of antenna Q values. 

TACDA: Neighborhood Preparedness Webinar, Thurs. June 9th

TACDA is holding a webinar on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 5:00 pm Pacific (6pm MDT) on the topic Are We Ready? Neighborhood Preparedness. There are 45 minutes for the presentation and then fifteen minutes for questions.

Topic: Are We Ready?

Presenter: Sharon Packer

Sharon Packer has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in physics, and a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. She has served on the TACDA board of directors for over 20 years in several different capacities. Sharon is an expert in civil defense and in NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) shelter design.

Date: June 9, 2022 6pm (Utah time)

Link: Click HERE to join the meeting. (Everyone invited to this meeting. No subscription required!)

Sharon will give us an overview of Neighbor helping Neighbor with the basics of emergency preparedness:

  • Nuclear threat
  • Food storage
  • Evacuation
  • First Aid
  • Power outages
  • Emergency Communications
  • Water storage
  • Sanitation
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Alternative Energy

Live Zoom presentation will be on Thursday June 9th, and the recording will be available to watch by the following Monday.

Link for Recorded Zoom Presentation: Coming

Neighborhood Preparedness Plan: Click HERE

Radio Contra Ep. 161 – Joe Dolio of Tactical Wisdom

In Radio Contra episode 161, NC Scout interviews Joe Dolio of Tactical Wisdom.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-7v4ba-123dc6c

Episode 161. I’m joined by Joe Dolio of Tactical Wisdom to break down the Uvalde shooting and discuss your responsibility as armed Americans for your own protection. Next we move into Russia’s next moves in Ukraine and westward, and what’s preparing to unfold in South America.

Doom and Bloom: Bleeding Management, Part 2 – Stab Wounds

Stab Wounds is the second part of Doom and Bloom Medical’s bleeding management series. See the original article at Doom and Bloom Medical for more photos related to the article. See part one of the series here.

Any disaster can put your people at risk for injury. Many of those injuries cause bleeding, and, depending on the area damaged, a few can be life-threatening. In survival, a lot of activities involve the use of sharp objects. In this article, we’ll discuss how to deal with hemorrhage from knife wounds.

You could define a classic stab wound as a laceration where the puncture on the skin is smaller than the depth of penetration into the body. This is in contrast to a slash injury, which is generally longer on the skin than  deep. Stab wounds tend to enter in line with the long axis of the knife, while slashes don’t.

These types of wounds are a type of penetrating trauma, which is further divided into two types: perforating and non-perforating.  A perforating wound is one in which the object causing the damage goes in one side of the body and then exits through the other side.  A wound from a .223 round or NATO .556 would be a good example of perforating trauma.

Stab wounds are an example of a non-perforating wound:  the projectile causing the damage enters the body and either stays there or exits where it entered. There are some sharp instruments that could possibly do perforate: A crossbow bolt, for example, or a spearhead, but let’s assume these will be less common than knife wounds, even in a survival setting.

Bullets and other high-speed projectiles cause damage not only from the act of penetration, but also the shock wave produced as the bullet passes through the body at high speed. Low speed projectiles such as knives don’t produce much of a shock wave, so your concerns are mostly related to the area of entry and the structures located directly in the path of the offending instrument.

With stab wounds, blood loss will be the major issue.  Your immediate action upon encountering a victim with a wound from a sharp instrument may save their life. The heart takes less than one minute to pump blood to the entire body; if the circulatory system is breached, arterial blood loss can become life-threatening very quickly.

Average-sized adult males have approximately 9-10 pints (about 5 liters) of blood in their body. Athletes and those living at very high altitudes may have more. You can’t afford to lose more than 40% of total blood volume without needing major resuscitation.  To get an idea of how much blood this is, empty a 2-liter bottle of any liquid on the floor.  It’s an eye opener. Imagine how much of your supply of bandages might be expended from just one major bleed.

HOW TO HANDLE A STAB WOUND

If you’re attending to an actively bleeding wound from a sharp object, you’ll need a level head and quick action. In normal times, of course, contact emergency services immediately.

 In the meantime, follow these steps:

-Assess the safety of the situation.  Make sure there is no active threat. it makes no sense for you to become the next casualty.

-Put on gloves if possible.  Your hands are full of bacteria and you’ll reduce the risk of infection by doing so. If no gloves are available, any barrier or, at least, hand sanitizers will be useful if you have to touch the wound with bare hands (let’s face it, though;  you might not have the time if the bleeding is that heavy).

-Verify the victim’s breathing and mental status.  Clear airways if obstructed. Determine if the person is   alert enough to follow commands.

-In a non-combat setting, remove clothing or otherwise fully expose the area and identify other injuries.  Make sure that you have a bandage scissors or EMT shears in your medical pack.

-Apply pressure with some type of dressing, even your shirt if that’s all you have.  Most non-arterial bleeding will stop with firm direct pressure on the wound. If the sharp instrument is still in place in the victim and help is on the way, place pressure down on either side towards the blade to prevent it from slipping out.  The knife may actually be providing pressure on damaged vessels.  Stabilize the wound with the weapon in place with ample dressings on either side and gauze or elastic rolls to secure. An example is seen below.

Knife in place secured with dressing and bandage materials

-If one dressing doesn’t work and you don’t have specialized blood-clotting materials (called “hemostatics”), place additional dressings on top of the first.

-Elevate the feet above the level of the heart and head (the “shock position”) to increase blood flow to the heart and brain. If the wound is to the abdomen, however, bend the knees instead.

-Lift an injured extremity above the level of the heart. Make it more difficult to pump blood out of the body.

-If direct pressure fails, apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.  Our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan shows that tourniquets save lives in cases of severe or arterial hemorrhage. As a matter of fact, if the bleeding is obviously arterial (bright red blood spurting out of the wound), using a tourniquet  should be your FIRST course of action.

-If you’re transporting a patient to a modern medical facility, make sure you mark a “T” on the victim’s forehead or otherwise notify emergency personnel of the location and length of time that the tourniquet’s been in place.

Image of Hemostatic Gauzes
Different hemostatic gauze options shown: ChitoSam, QuikClot and Celox

-I mentioned hemostatics earlier. In cases of heavy bleeding, the use of special blood clotting materials such as Quikclot, Celox, or ChitoSam is a life saver. We put these products in all our medical packs, even the smaller individual first aid kits. In this case, you would remove the blood-soaked bandages and place a hemostatic gauze directly on the bleeding vessel with pressure for 3 full minutes.

-Secure everything with a pressure dressing, of which there are various on the market.  The Israeli Battle Dressing, known as The Emergency Bandage in the U.S., can apply up to 30 pounds of pressure if used properly.

Hemostatic dressing and pressure bandage in place

-Keep the victim warm: Throw a mylar blanket or other cover over them.  If help is coming, keep them as still and calm as possible to avoid further bleeding.  Monitor breathing, pulses, and mental status. An unconscious patient should be placed, if possible, in the “recovery position”.  This will, among other things, allow fluid to drain from airways and help them breathe.

Let’s say you placed a tourniquet successfully and there’s no help coming.  Ever. You’re the end of the line when it comes to medical care for this victim. If a tourniquet is on, should you loosen it from time to time? You may be tempted to do this, but don’t: It can cause further bleeding.

That doesn’t mean you can leave the victim, now your patient, with a tourniquet on and a knife sticking out of them forever. Carefully transport them to a more controlled setting where you have the bulk of your medical supplies and remove the knife. Yes, I said remove the knife, there’s no hospital, no trauma surgeon, just you. You may have to place a second tourniquet above the first one if bleeding returns. You goal is to transition the patient from the tourniquet within, say, 2 hours or so, to a hemostatic gauze and a pressure bandage.

Once the bleeding is under control, clean the wound thoroughly and dress it.  Remove hemostatic materials within 24 hours. Wound closure may be an option in some cases, but most back-country stab wounds will be dirty and should be left open. You’ll find daily wound care described in other articles on this website.

All of the above may not be necessary if you practice preventative measures.  In other words, insist your people wear hand and eye protection when using sharp instruments, and don’t run with scissors.  With some foresight, you may be able to avoid a mishap that could turn into a tragedy.

Joe Alton MD

Ammo.com: Memorial Day History

Ammo.com has an article titled Memorial Day: The Forgotten History of America’s Memorial Day and What It Commemorates. Thank you to over 1.3 million Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Memorial Day is more than just the “unofficial start of summer.” It was originally a celebration of the lives sacrificed on both sides during the War Between the States. Not an official federal holiday until 1971, the history of Memorial Day is one of controversy. This guide traces the origins of this American day dedicated to remembering and honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Early Celebrations: Annual Decoration Days

While the day was eventually codified as a Civil War-centric holiday, people had laid flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers for decades before there was such a thing as Memorial Day, or “Decoration Day” as it is sometimes called. Annual decoration days were most common in the American South. Because the American South was more rural and agrarian based, it was not uncommon to have a family cemetery. It was here that families would gather for picnics and grave decorations.

The early celebrations were not about remembering the fallen from the war. They were effectively extended family reunions, a sort of folk ancestor worship specifically developed out of the folkways of the American South. A religious service typically accompanied the meal.

A Richmond Times-Dispatch article from 1906 documents a June 3, 1861, Warrenton, Virginia, celebration as the first time a Civil War veteran’s grave was decorated. In 1862, there is another recorded example of an early Civil War grave decoration which occurred in Savannah, Georgia. In 1863, there was a decoration of soldiers’ graves in Gettysburg.

Decoration of graves became widespread after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. There were, at this point, over 600,000 American soldiers in the ground. This gave what was a previously existing informal ritual a new significance. It was this year that the federal government began making a national cemetery for the Union war dead. Despite this, the celebrations were primarily a Southern thing.

How Memorial Day Became “Official”

In 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared there to be an “official” first celebration of Memorial Day. The resolution stated that the first Memorial Day was in 1866, in Waterloo, New York, celebrated at the behest of druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray. This “official” foundation story of Memorial Day has largely been discredited as a myth. 25 towns currently claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.

More attested to as the first Memorial Day celebration in the North is the May 5, 1868, proclamation by General John A. Logan calling for a nationwide “Decoration Day.” He simply adopted the previously existing ceremonies of the American South and transplanted them to the Northern States. The first Memorial Day celebrated in the North took place on May 30, 1868. It is said that the date was chosen because it did not align with any particular battle, thus neither side could be seen as engaging in triumphalism.

The new holiday spread like wildfire throughout the Northern states. In the first year of the official Memorial Day, 27 states observed ceremonies in 127 cemeteries. This ballooned to 336 cemeteries by the next year. In 1871, Michigan became the first state after the original 27 to make it an official holiday. By 1890, it was an official holiday in every Northern state. The popularity of the holiday led to the reinterment of almost 300,000 Northern war dead in national cemeteries.

A new American mythology arose because of the celebration of this new holiday. For example, German and Irish Americans who had participated in the war were considered to be “Americans by blood” due to their sacrifice. There were honest and open discussions of wartime atrocities. The purpose of these discussions was to provide context for the war and what was gained as well as what was lost, not merely sulking around in unpleasant memories.

Ceremonies and Celebrations of Memorial Day

In the 1880s, the ceremonies became much more standardized. This is largely due to the efforts of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans organization for Union soldiers. Pamphlets with rituals, Bible verses and poems were distributed to local post commanders. Many of these were the “go to” ceremonies for Memorial Day, at least in the Northern states.

The Southern states, of course, had a slightly different take on the dead of the Civil War and how best to honor them. Their ceremonies tended to be simpler, more somber, less celebratory and honored both the Union and Confederate dead.

In the South, it was women who took the lead with Memorial Day celebration. The Ladies Memorial Association made it their charge to ensure that Confederate memorials were kept up and decorated on Memorial Day. Out of this grew the Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization whose numbers quickly grew from 17,000 in 1900 to almost 100,000 by the start of the First World War. 1868 was the first documented case of Southrons attempting to add “Confederate” to the beginning of the name of the day. By 1890, the American nationalist elements were firmly in the saddle, even in former Confederate states.

While many will complain that Memorial Day is not a day for barbecuing and drinking beer, this observation goes back to at least 1913. The Grand Army of the Republic opposed a Memorial Day race in the year 1911. However, they were increasingly elderly and had less power than they had even 20 years prior. Ironically, the race the GAR opposed is one of the biggest Memorial Day traditions still going — the Indianapolis 500.

In 1950, Congress passed a resolution calling on the nation to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for perpetual peace. In 1971, it finally became an official federal holiday. In 2000, President Bill Clinton codified the 3 p.m. observance time that had already been a popular time for remembering our war dead. The President requests that flags on government property be flown at half mast until noon, however this is not legally mandated. Some Southern states still celebrate a day specifically dedicated to remembering the Confederate war dead, but this does not fall on the same day as Memorial Day – in the case of Texas’ “Heroes Day,” it falls several months away from Memorial Day in January.

More to the point of the holiday’s origins, there is a remembrance every year at 3 p.m. local time. If you’re looking to honor the nation’s veterans, look into whatever local celebrations might be available to you.

The Economist: The Coming Food Catastrophe

The Economist recently published an article on food shortages – The coming food catastrophe. Food storage not only protects you against disasters, but against food inflation and short-term catastrophes. In those cases food storage is an investment that can pay dividends later.

…Ukraine’s exports of grain and oilseeds have mostly stopped and Russia’s are threatened. Together, the two countries supply 12% of traded calories. Wheat prices, up 53% since the start of the year, jumped a further 6% on May 16th, after India said it would suspend exports because of an alarming heatwave…

…António Guterres, the un secretary general, warned on May 18th that the coming months threaten “the spectre of a global food shortage” that could last for years. The high cost of staple foods has already raised the number of people who cannot be sure of getting enough to eat by 440m, to 1.6bn. Nearly 250m are on the brink of famine. If, as is likely, the war drags on and supplies from Russia and Ukraine are limited, hundreds of millions more people could fall into poverty. Political unrest will spread, children will be stunted and people will starve…

Russia and Ukraine supply 28% of globally traded wheat, 29% of the barley, 15% of the maize and 75% of the sunflower oil. Russia and Ukraine contribute about half the cereals imported by Lebanon and Tunisia; for Libya and Egypt the figure is two-thirds. Ukraine’s food exports provide the calories to feed 400m people. The war is disrupting these supplies because Ukraine has mined its waters to deter an assault, and Russia is blockading the port of Odessa.

Even before the invasion the World Food Programme had warned that 2022 would be a terrible year. China, the largest wheat producer, has said that, after rains delayed planting last year, this crop may be its worst-ever. Now, in addition to the extreme temperatures in India, the world’s second-largest producer, a lack of rain threatens to sap yields in other breadbaskets, from America’s wheat belt to the Beauce region of France. The Horn of Africa is being ravaged by its worst drought in four decades. Welcome to the era of climate change.

All this will have a grievous effect on the poor. Households in emerging economies spend 25% of their budgets on food—and in sub-Saharan Africa as much as 40%. In Egypt bread provides 30% of all calories. In many importing countries, governments cannot afford subsidies to increase the help to the poor, especially if they also import energy—another market in turmoil.

The crisis threatens to get worse. Ukraine had already shipped much of last summer’s crop before the war. Russia is still managing to sell its grain, despite added costs and risks for shippers. However, those Ukrainian silos that are undamaged by the fighting are full of corn and barley. Farmers have nowhere to store their next harvest, due to start in late June, which may therefore rot. And they lack the fuel and labour to plant the one after that. Russia, for its part, may lack some supplies of the seeds and pesticides it usually buys from the European Union.

In spite of soaring grain prices, farmers elsewhere in the world may not make up the shortfall. One reason is that prices are volatile. Worse, profit margins are shrinking, because of the surging prices of fertiliser and energy. These are farmers’ main costs and both markets are disrupted by sanctions and the scramble for natural gas. If farmers cut back on fertiliser, global yields will be lower at just the wrong time…

…Since the war started, 23 countries from Kazakhstan to Kuwait have declared severe restrictions on food exports that cover 10% of globally traded calories. More than one-fifth of all fertiliser exports are restricted. If trade stops, famine will ensue…

Memorial Day Events in the Area

Yakima Herald: Memorial Day events across the Yakima Valley

Memorial Day, always the last Monday in May, is a federally recognized holiday that honors men and women who died while serving in the military.

Several Memorial Day events will be happening around the Yakima Valley this weekend. Here’s a list:

Tahoma Cemetery

The VFW will hold a service at 10 a.m. near the Veterans Monument on Monday. The Sons of Union Veterans Civil War service will be at 11 a.m. Monday in section F, the Civil War area.

The cemetery is at 1802 Tahoma Ave. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. all weekend.

Placing flags

Members of the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS and the public will be placing American flags on graves at 6 a.m. Saturday at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7800 Van Belle Road in Sunnyside. Participants will place 1,900 flags on veterans’ graves there. Members of the public are welcome.

Breakfast will be provided by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary at the VFW Hall, 615 North Ave. All flag-placing participants are welcome to attend.

If you know of a veteran who does not have a flag on their grave, call Bill Ingram at 509-830-4554 or inform cemetery management.

Sunnyside War Veterans

Memorial Service

The public is invited to two Monday services in Sunnyside presented by the VFW, American Legion and AMVETS on Monday.

The first starts at 9:30 a.m. at Outlook Cemetery on Gap Road south of West Sunnyside Road. The main service begins at 11 a.m. at the War Veterans Memorial at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7800 Van Belle Road.

Names of local veterans who died over the last 12 months will be read. The names of veterans from Sunnyside who were killed in action since World War I also will be read.

The services will include a wreath-laying ceremony, a 21-gun salute, taps and a dove release by AMVET member Henry Ebbelaar. Sunnyside Mayor Dean Broersma will be a guest speaker.

Yakima

The Yakima-Kittitas Detachment of the Marine Corps League is inviting the public to two events Monday. The first is at 9 a.m. at West Hills Cemetery on Wide Hollow Road. The second starts at 1 p.m. at Sarg Hubbard Park, 111 S. 18th St.

Yakima Memorial Day Parade

Downtown Yakima

As expected, the Yakima Memorial Day Parade will be in full force again this year to honor the holiday. The Marine Corps League Detachment 1055 organization is hosting the community event. Since Memorial Day itself is on a Monday, the parade will be Saturday, May 28. It will start at 10 a.m. and last until noon.

Tri-City Herald: Memorial Day weekend events to honor fallen service members in Tri-Cities

There are several ways to honor fallen veterans this Memorial Day weekend in the Tri-Cities.

CITY VIEW CEMETERY

City View Cemetery in Pasco is hosting events to remember the nation’s armed forces. At 10 a.m. on Monday, May 30, there will be a K9 Dedication with Al Yenney, a former city councilman, as well as a demonstration from Service Peace Warriors.

At 11 a.m., the main Memorial Day observance will include Pasco Councilman Pete Serrano and M. Semi Bird from the Richland School Board. There also will be the placement of wreaths, a military anthem medley and a gun salute.

City View Cemetery is at 1300 N. Oregon Ave. in Pasco.

SUNSET GARDENS

Sunset Gardens in Richland plans a weekend-long event for its 50th Anniversary Memorial Day celebration.

Sunset Gardens will raise 1,000 American flags in honor of veterans and fallen service members. On May 28, a tour of the funeral home is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with a Betty White tribute.

On May 29, free hot dogs will be offered at the event center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. And Monday’s observance will include special guest speaker Scott Jacobs, retired NCIS investigator, a skydiver, live music, snow cones and hot dogs. The event starts at 11 a.m.

Candy Mountain Memorial Day Hike

Thursday, May 26, 2022 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Candy Mountain Preserve Trailhead

71004 East 669 PR NE

Richland, WA 99352

Memorial Day Hike 2022 – Honoring the Fallen

The CBC V.E.T.S Center is partnering with ASCBC and Recreation and Wellness to bring you the 2022 Memorial Day Hike! Join us as we hike to the summit of Candy Mountain Preserve Trail to overlook all that our fallen heroes have preserved in their sacrifice. The trail is 3.6 miles long (roundtrip) with an elevation gain of 555 ft. The first 100 CBC students who attend will receive an exclusive V.E.T.S Memorial Day Hike t-shirt.

We will be gathering in the parking lot below the trail at 6:30 pm. From 6:30 to 6:45 pm guests can sign in, students can receive their t-shirt and guests will have the opportunity to honor their loved ones by writing their name on an Honor and Remember Flag. We will kick off the hike by providing a brief speech to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we have today. We will be providing snacks at the end of the hike which consists of a Gatorade and a granola bar.

This is a self-paced event. We will be packing everything up and be preparing to leave around 9 pm. Carpooling is recommended to lessen our impact.

OH8STN: Portable Ham Radio Solar Power and Antenna

Here are two videos by Julian, OH8STN of SurvivalTech Nord, on running portable radios. The first covers portable solar power and the second is about an efficient, rugged, antenna for portable operations. Good communication is key in any disaster situation, so make sure you can maintain contact and keep your radios running.

Hello Portable Operators. This episode of oh8stn ham radio is the first of a series called “how to solar power your portable ham radio”. This episodes focuses on solar power and battery storage for mobile, low power and QRP portable amateur stations, operating off-grid. The episode covers my own experiences with popular solar panel brands, charge controller options, battery packs, solar storage options and explains the best way to build your own portable solar powered go kit for EMCOMM, POTA, SOTA or even preparedness. Later in the series we will look at both DIY and ready to run battery pack options, to get your station ready for off grid operation.

This video series continues where my guest post on the PowerFilm blog left off. You can read the original blog post here: http://oh8stn.net/PowerFilmBlog

The series is supported by PowerFilm Solar and GigaParts. Almost all gear mentioned in the video can be found from my GigaParts page at https://oh8stn.net/gigaparts . You can find PowerFilm folding panels, rollable panels, Genasun charge controllers and the perfect battery pack,all from GigaParts. GigaParts also offers a 5% discount to supporters/channel members/patreons of this channel and series.

73 Julian

Hello operators In this episode of OH8STN ham Radio, we test an off center fed dipole as an ultra portable HF antenna option for QRP field station. The antenna is the OCF 40 from chameleon antenna. The HF dipole is resonant on 40, 20 and 10 meters. It handles 50 watts SSB and 20 watts all other modes. Join me as we test this off center fed dipole with the Xiegu X6100 running on solar power and Icom IC-705 running an NVIS winlink session on 40 meters. 73 Julian

The Organic Prepper: Last-Minute Preps on a Shoestring Budget

The Organic Prepper has an article on Last-Minute Preps on a Shoestring Budget. No one knows what’s going to come next, but you can still be prepared for the unexpected. Recently I spoke to a friend whom I hadn’t had a chance to talk to since before the pandemic. She lives and Portland and recounted the very hectic 2020 she experienced there – particularly the pandemic and the rioting. Said friend had some preps put away in case of earthquakes and found herself digging into them with the combined problems of lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and safety issues attendant to going anywhere during the street violence. She had no problems but she did realize that she wished to have more appealing foods stored, primarily to keep up her morale during difficult times. Even substituting something as simple as more white beans instead of less liked lentils was the type of thing she meant, but keeping morale and occasional treats should be kept in mind. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

…This piece will present you with some ideas for cost-effective preps to help round out your stockpiles and give you an extra edge. We’re all feeling the “bite” caused by the price increases everywhere: at the grocery stores, the gas stations, the drugstores, and the hardware stores. It’s only going to get worse before (and if) it gets better.

There are plenty of long-term food supplies and companies you can use for foods with shelf-lives of twenty-five years or more, I understand. I also understand that many of us can’t afford them. First, let’s put out one precept I hope you’ll adopt as your own:

There’s no shame in not having enough money for something: you do the best you can with what you have and keep a positive outlook on it. 

There! Now, let’s get into it!

Food

Regarding food supplies, there are different camps and different schools of thought. I’m a big believer in cans. Yes, I can my own stuff (always in wide-mouth Mason jars to better resist a freeze here in Montana), but this doesn’t stop me from stocking up on canned goods packed in good-old-fashioned cans made out of steel. I recommend canned goods for long-term storage on a budget.

Dried stuff (such as beans, rice, etc.) will keep for a long time, but they don’t really give you a lot in return, not to mention the fact that you have to prepare them.

Here are some basics about macronutrients for you to keep in mind:

Protein: The basic building block of life and absolutely essential for tissue repair and recovery. Protein has a high thermogenic factor. It takes more energy to digest, but you get more return on your investment.

Fats: Also very important as sources of energy and also as macronutrients that the brain (and other organs) rely heavily upon.

Carbohydrates: Believe it or not, you should stay away from these as much as possible, but they do have uses when not consumed to excess. One example is after you perform strenuous activity. It is good to replenish your body with protein, but also with some carbohydrates. This prevents catabolism, which occurs when your body is starving for sugar. Without carbohydrates or simple sugars, your body will “cannibalize” your muscle tissue.

The protein in your muscles is then converted into glycogen, which your body burns for energy. It can be devastating because replacement of protein lost in this manner is neither quick nor easy. This is a “deep” subject that I can go further into in another article, but I think you grasp the point.

A couple of references to help you on these topics: Grain Brain by David Perlmutterand Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. The first book will take you into topics such as glycation: how excessive sugars and carbohydrates in the diet disfigure proteins and cause them to form blockages in vessels. The latter work details the differences in the way our ancestors ate and how our “system” of food production is causative, not curative, of problems.

Canned Foods

Cans can take a beating, handle a freeze, and most contain foods that are cooked. Go with organic stuff as much as possible, and if that can’t be done, “sift” the ingredients. Buy (in this order) generic brands and then name brands. Compare them. The store brands are sometimes much better in quality and at half the price.

  1.  Prepared “dinners” in a can: Most of this stuff is not optimal for your body, but this is about survival, plain and simple. My objective here isn’t to recommend any brand but just to give you a “feel” for what you’ll need. Look closely at the ingredients. You’re searching for the least amount of preservatives, artificial ingredients, or “substances” that are unfamiliar. You’re searching for high protein, moderate to low carbohydrates, and moderate fats. Canned chili is good, as are some of the soups and stews. Think beef stew with high protein content. Think lentil soups, bean soups, and pea soups. These all have protein, and you can augment them with the next category.
  2.  Canned meats: Canned chicken is your best bet. It’s already cooked, and you can either add something to it or add it to something (such as the soups mentioned in “item 1”. Once again, make sure it’s really meat, without a whole bunch of “fillers,” such as potato-starch, or some other grains. Tuna fish, sardines, fish steaks. All of these you can find even in the dollar stores.
  3.  Canned fruits: Avoid the ones in the high-fructose corn syrup. Go for things with high vitamin C content and some fiber. Canned grapefruit, pineapples, and mandarin oranges are among your best bets. Incidentally, bromelain is a chemical constituent found only in pineapples. It stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and enables you to digest meats more easily…

You can obtain these for reasonably-low prices and store for fairly long periods of time.

  1.  Summer sausage, beef jerky, and fish: They can be good for years if protected from light, changes in temperature, moisture, and pests. Once again, go for quality, but an eight-ounce stick of summer sausage can be split between a family of four and lend protein for a quick meal when the lights go out and the music stops playing. There are also Mylar pouches of tuna fish and salmon, good for single servings. Make sure these pouches are made entirely out of Mylar; some pouches have a transparent plastic “bottom,” and that won’t cut it in the end.
  2.  Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, banana chips, pineapple. The ones in mylar pouches will give you some longevity for storage. Dried fruits will help alleviate cravings for sugar. Make sure you drink plenty of water when you eat them, or else they can “rob” your body of its fluids and dehydrate you in the course of digesting them.
  3.  Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. The “buttered” forms will keep longer, and remember, they all tend to become rancid after prolonged storage, but they’ll help. You can store peanut butter for a fairly long time. They’re high in protein. Once again, drink plenty of water when you eat them.

The reasoning behind everything I’ve mentioned thus far is simple:

In a grid-down survival situation, you don’t want the whole, hungry neighborhood to smell that tasty stew you’re cooking on the Sterno stove. You want to crack open those cans and pouches, eat that meal, and seal up anything left over. Don’t leave any signs or signatures that let others know that you’ve stored food, or your “popularity” will suddenly rise, and “company” will drop by…uninvited, of course.

You can eat all of this stuff “as-is” without resorting to a stove.

Food storage: If possible, try to buy some of those large, three or 5-gallon food-grade buckets from the bakery department of your local food store. They only run about $5 a piece or less. Get the ones with rubber gasket rings on the inside of the lids. These “clamp” down into place. If you can’t get the gasketed ones, don’t despair. Use the ones you can find. Seal your cans and packages into these, and then make sure you store/stack them raised up off the floor. Mark the outside of your buckets so that you know their contents at any given glance.

With an absence/shortage of buckets, you can use bins, but I recommend Rubbermaid “Roughneck” bins, the 10-gallon size. They usually run about $10 to $12 or so. They’re worth it. The reasons: they’re durable, stackable, and each bin won’t weigh so much that it makes it impossible to move if the need arises. They’re also dark-colored and will block off light and sight (if you should have to move things, and being spotted by neighbors is possible)…(story continues)