2019 NW APRS Summer Gathering, North Bend, SEP 6-8

The 2019 Northwest APRS/Digital Summer Gathering will be held on Sept. 6th through 8th at Valley Camp in North Bend, WA. WA7VC is the Valley Camp Amateur Radio Group, serving the Upper Snoqualmie Valley community since 1995.

Valley Camp is location about 30 minutes east of Seattle. (Directions from their website are located below)

Address:
49515 S.E. Middle Fork Rd
North Bend WA 98045

Coordinates:
47.4680, -121.6806

WA7VC on air contact info:

There are a number of ways to reach us either via good ‘ol RF or the internet:

  • 70cm Simplex: 446.525 (no tone)
  • Echolink: Node 98045 (or Valley Camp)
  • IRLP: 7808
  • DSTAR: WA7VC B on 440.01250Mhz + 5.000Mhz
  • APRS: WA7VC 10 Digi-iGate 144.390
  • DMR: NorthBend-ValleyCamp 440.7250 + 5.000Mhz

Our on-site EchoIRLP node is powered by a Raspberry Pi. It offers the following commands:

  • Read the current time
  • Read data from Snoqualmie Falls river gauging station
  • Read data from North Fork river gauging station
  • Read data from Middle Fork river gauging station
  • Read data from South Fork river gauging station

 

Organic Prepper: Gov’t Still Wants to Backdoor Encryption

Daisy Luther at the Organic Prepper has written an article summarizing some of the recent press and government meetings discussing the government’s desire to be able to reverse encryption on communication devices, web pages, etc. – The Govt. Wants to OUTLAW Encrypted Messaging in iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, Etc. If you’re tuned into the modern fight over privacy, they probably isn’t news to you. The government always wants more control over your data, communication and information. They say they need it to keep you safe.  Luckily there are still entities with some pull who are arguing that putting in encryption backdoors will harm the United States, but they’re fighting on the basis of economic harm. No one cares about your privacy. No one in government, anyway.

If you ever use the encrypted messaging options on programs like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, or any other service, your time to discuss things privately over the phone may be running out. The US government doesn’t like for anything to get in the way of their ability to spy on investigate even the most mundane of conversations.

Instead of seeing privacy as a right, they see it as suspicious. Your devices are already being searched at quadruple the previous rate in airports. And the attack on free speech is now going as far as our private messages to our friends and family.

Because the only reason we’d want privacy is that we’re criminals

This was the topic of a National Security meeting last week.

The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography. (source)

So, which government agencies are hot to make encrypted messages illegal?

The DOJ and the FBI argue that catching criminals and terrorists should be the top priority, even if watered-down encryption creates hacking risks. The Commerce and State Departments disagree, pointing to the economic, security and diplomatic consequences of mandating encryption “backdoors.”

DHS is internally divided. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency knows the importance of encrypting sensitive data, especially in critical infrastructure operations, but ICE and the Secret Service regularly run into encryption roadblocks during their investigations. (source)

It looks like the simpler answer is the few who understand there are reasonable, non-criminal uses.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons we might want to encrypt our conversations.

Of course, we know there are dozens of reasons we might want to use the encryption function on our favorite messaging apps. For example, when I was recently traveling in Europe, I needed to give my daughter credit card information to pay a bill for me. I used the encryption function on Telegram to send it because who wants that out there floating around?

Indeed, there are many legitimate reasons to use end-to-end encryption…

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: The Next Revolution by Murray Bookchin

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has a short review/discussion of Murry Bookchin’s collected essays published as The Next Revoltion: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy. Bookchin believed that the ideal was for people to make decisions for themselves in public assemblies or municipalities.

…While there are numerous key points on which Bookchin and I would have disagreed spiritedly, that’s not the purpose of this piece. Aside from being a wealth of information and knowledge (he closely studied nearly every major revolution in the Euro-American world), his greatest service here is a framework through which to understand human governance and how and why it’s all gone so terribly wrong. Many of his themes cover ideas and realizations I’ve come to on my own, but the clarity with which he describes certain key concepts helped refine my thinking. The purpose of this post is to outline some of these ideas…

In The Need to Remake Society he writes:

To create a state is to institutionalize power in the form of a machine that exists apart from the people. It is to professionalize rule and policy-making, to create a distinct interest (be it of bureaucrats, deputies commissars, legislators, the military, the police, ad nauseam) that, however weak or however well intentioned it may be at first, eventually takes on a corruptive power of its own.

One would have to be utterly naive or simply blind to the lessons of history to ignore the fact that the state, “minimal” or not, absorbs and ultimately digests even its most well-meaning critics once they enter it. 

The notion that human freedom can be achieved, much less perpetuated, through a state of any kind is monstrously oxymoronic – a contradiction in terms…

In Cities, he explains:

But democracy, conceived as a face-to-face realm of policymaking, entails a commitment to the Enlightenment belief that all “ordinary” human beings are potentially competent to collectively manage their political affairs — a crucial concept in the thinking, all its limitations aside, of the Athenian democratic tradition and, more radically, of those Parisian sections of 1793 that gave equal voice to women as well as all men.

Bookchin was a huge supporter of direct democracy, in other words, of the people making decisions for themselves within their own communities. He envisioned this being done in a face-to-face manner within public assemblies. Like myself, Bookchin believed this sort of thing would only work properly (and resist statist tendencies) if employed at the local level. He understood that centralization leads to statism and vice versa.

So what did Bookchin see as the ideal political unit for self-governance? He saw it in the municipality…

Further, in Libertarian Municipalism: A Politics of Direct Democracy, he notes:

Today, with the increasing centralization and concentration of power in the nation-state, a “new politics” — one that is genuinely new — must be structured institutionally around the restoration of power by municipalities…it presupposes a genuinely democratic desire by people to arrest the growing powers of the nation-state and reclaim them for their community and region.

Importantly, Bookchin believed such self-governing, decentralized municipalities should be connected with one another in a system called confederalism. He defines the term in his essay, The Meaning of Confederalism:

What, then, is confederalism? It is above all a network of administrative councils whose members or delegates are elected from popular face-to-face democratic assemblies, in the various villages, towns and even neighborhoods of large cities…

What humans employ for governance in 2019 primarily consists of “states,” i.e. professional power, as opposed to people power. The general public is made up of electoral constituents, not free citizens participating in the governance of their communities. Bookchin was in favor of decentralized, local rule via direct democracy in contrast to today’s world governed by centralized mega states showcasing a facade of democracy in order to mask an underlying corporate oligarchy or bureaucratic technocracy.

One thing I didn’t expect to see in his work, but proved a pleasant though sobering surprise, was an admission that people themselves need to change in order to successfully implement the sort of governance model he advocates. Since the public is so used to being mere subjects, it’ll be a monumental task to transform them into actual engaged citizens…

Click here to read the article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Doom and Bloom: Eye Injuries

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up on Eye Injuries. Try to protect your eyes so that you don’t have to do any of this.

The human body is truly a miracle of engineering, from head to toe.  Your skull is just one example. It’s shaped in such a fashion that your eyes are recessed in bony sockets, which helps to protect them from injury. Despite this, there are many different activities of daily living, not to mention daily survival, that can cause traumatic injury to your eyes.

Here are some:

  • Accidents while using tools
  • Splatter from bleach and household chemicals
  • Debris flung while doing yard work
  • Grease splatter from cooking
  • Chopping wood
  • Hot objects near your face, like a curling iron (do people still use curling irons?)

The list goes on and on; heck, you could damage your eye by popping a cork on a bottle of champagne (if you could find champagne off the grid).

The grand majority of eye injuries are avoidable with a little planning but, despite this, it’s likely that the group medic will have to deal with someone’s eye injury at one point or another.

Foreign objects in the eye cause immediate symptoms, especially if they injure the sensitive cornea. You will see the victim complain of:

  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Tearing up
  • Light sensitivity
  • Frequent blinking
  • Redness (a “bloodshot” eye)
basic eye anatomy

The patient will usually tell you that they feel something in their eye. The most common location will be under the upper eyelid…

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom.

Forward Observer: Economic Warning – June 2019

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has a short article up discussing recent economic projections for a recession to begin in 2020 or even this year.

What follows is the Economic Warning portion of this week’s Watch Report.

In this month’s FOMC meeting, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that there was soft economic data emerging — a potential warning sign of recession. Many investors expect a cut to interest rates next month to stave off a recession. Some economists expect two rate cuts this year, regardless of when they happen. One asset manager said he expected four rate cuts this year.

Recession and Trump’s reelection chances

This month, Jeffrey Gundlach, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase all revised their expectations of recession forward to 2020. JPMorgan’s Bruce Kasman said it might even start this year. That’s a big shift from what these firms were saying last month, so I agree that we can expect the Fed to cut interest rates in order to stave off a recession. Gundlach, who has no faith in the Fed’s predictive capability, believes that by the time the Fed has to cut rates, it will already be too late.

This, of course, will have major implications for President Trump’s reelection chances. High profile managers like Scott Minerd and Kyle Bass both believe that the recession will be average or mild, respectively. Others, like Gundlach, have warned that this recession is going to present more difficult challenges.

If this recession poses the risks that Gundlach describes (below) then Trump’s chances of reelection will be seriously threatened. If that’s the case, then it’s time to batten down the hatches for higher taxes and wealth redistribution based on what we saw during this week’s Democratic debates and what’s been proposed in the lead up.

The problem with cutting interest rates this year to stave off a recession next year is that the Fed will have less to cut once a recession does hit, which increases the likelihood that the recession is more painful than “mild.”…

Click here to read the entire summary at Forward Observer.

AmPart: Forming a Community Survival Group

A new writer for American Partisan, using the pseudonym Gray Man, has written a brief introductory article to Forming a Community Survival Group. The Gray Man is Southern born and raised, a Christian American family man, an Army combat veteran (OEF) and former intelligence collector. He is currently an ER nurse and a homesteader living in the rural Deep South.

In the events that are coming, whether it’s an economic collapse, a major natural disaster, societal breakdown, or any other unpleasantness, being part of a solid group of people is going to be your best bet to get through. Studying the work of “Selco” (Yugoslavia), Fernando “FerFal” Aguirre (Argentina) and others who have actually been through a modern economic/societal collapse is invaluable because it shows us an example of what a modern societal collapse may actually look like here. Preppers and survivalists will always be able to come up with ideas of what things are going to be like, but unless those ideas are based on events that have already taken place somewhere, they’re less likely to be accurate. Studying those past events, it becomes clear that people who are part of a cohesive group survive the best, and the groups with some semblance of a plan to begin with will fare even better. While it’s true that no good plan ever survived the first enemy contact, having a solid plan for your group fosters confidence in that group, allowing the members to keep their head in the game when the going gets tough, and drive toward an objective.

When building your survival/partisan/neighborhood security group, you’ve got to tailor your group to your objective, situation and capability. What are you building a group to do? What size group is practical for your situation and location? How many people can you actually find to join? I am currently located in the rural Deep South, a few miles outside of a town of about 300 people. Am I going to build a battalion-sized survival group that will save the U.S. from the Communist threat?

Don’t hold your breath, mate. That’s not realistic…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

AmRRON T-REX 2019 Save the Date, July 26-28

The 2019 TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise will be held over the weekend of July 26 through 28. Save the date now to save yourself later. The AmRRON T-REX is a radio communication disaster exercise, but you can follow along with the disaster scenario even if you don’t have a radio. (Click here to see the 2018 T-REX archives.) For AmRRON and its members, the exercise is a functional to full-scale exercise. If you wish to participate on your own with your local group, you can work it as a walk-through, tabletop, or more as you see fit.

Charles Carroll Society: Heritage Foundation Debates the Cold Civil War

A short article and fifteen minute video from the Charles Carroll Society – Heritage Foundation debates the Cold Civil war | Establishment Types now taking the Patriots community seriously .

The patriot community has been saying to establishment Republicans that we are in something other than “politics of the normal.” BTW, patriot is not a person who is overly “patriotic” you can love your country but distrust your government. Patriots are people who are libertarian-leaning, conservative Christians who are anti-federalist, not anti-government.

Some call our current situation a proto-insurgency; I call it a “cold civil war.” I have explained that we are already in a non-violent civil war since 2013. In my post from November 19, 2012, titled The Haze has Lifted I said “The divide is so deep I would call it a Cold Civil War between these two groups. By Cold Civil War I mean, a non-violent (cold) intense internal struggle (civil) that is not politics as normal (war). I believe this can be considered a “war” because people have compromised on all they are willing to compromise on.”  I am unsure if I was the first to use this term, but I was one of the first.

The reason I do not say we are in a “hot” civil war is that a civil war is defined as over 1,000 deaths a year due to political differences within a country. We have a lot of violence, but we have not descended to this level yet

Click here to see the entire article and two videos at the Charles Carroll Society.

Tenth Amendment Center: Step by Step for Liberty

Michael Boldin at the Tenth Amendment Center has a nice, short article about the federal government’s usurpation of powers never delegated to it by the Constitution – Step by Step for Liberty: Small Things Grow Great by Concord.

Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom!

Writing as Candidus in the Boston Gazette on Oct. 14, 1771, Samuel Adams recognized an important and timeless truth. Turning a blind eye to an attack on liberty only guarantees that more attacks will come in the future.

The same goes for violations of the Constitution, which the Founders often referred to as “usurpations,” or the exercise of “arbitrary power.”

In his 1791 Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, Thomas Jefferson agreed with Adams in principle when he wrote:

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.’ [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” [emphasis added]

Here’s something that shouldn’t be surprising: Jefferson was right.

But turning things around from a government with tens of thousands of unconstitutional “laws,” regulations, rules and orders on the books isn’t going to happen in a single step either…

Click here to read the entire article at the Tenth Amendment Center.

SHTFPlan: Google Election Meddling

Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan.com has an article up summarizing some of the recent news about Google and their attempts to “prevent Trump’s election from happening again – Google Election Meddling.

 

More news has surfaced of the lengths tech giant Google is going to in order to get the outcome they want in elections. A top Google executive, Jen Gennai, was caught discussing how the tech corporation might prevent an electoral outcome like 2016 from happening again.

According to a report by Breitbart, Project Veritas discovered the propaganda/censorship scheme. Of course, this is nothing new.  We all are aware that Google is censoring dissent and hiding content while pushing pro-authoritarian content to the top of searches.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise that more evidence of the tech giants totalitarian control is surfacing.

Research Shows Google’s Search Manipulations Tried To Rig Election For Hillary

Here’s what Gennai says in the undercover video:

We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.

We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?

Gennai also declares her opposition to Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Google. Why? Because, says Gennai, if Google is broken up it can’t prevent another “Trump situation.”…

Click here to read the entire article at SHTFPlan.

Mosby: Self-reliance vs Prepping

John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla blog has an article titled “Let It Come in My Time…” which talks about some differences between people who are “preppers” versus people who simply focus on living as self-reliantly as possible. As usual, it’s a good read. Certainly there are preppers who try to live self-reliantly as a preparedness strategy, but there are also people who practice self-sufficiency simply because that is what they want to do and how they want to live their lives.

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

The above is from Thomas Paine, that literary firebrand and antagonizer of the aristocracy of England, the Early United States, and France, during their Revolution. It is one I have often heard voiced by preppers and survivalists, even as they beg for one more month, or year, to “finish prepping.”

I shut my personal Facebook page down the other day. It was just getting to be too much of a time suck, and I found myself getting embroiled in discussions that I knew, before I typed the first letter, were utterly pointless. Before I did though, I noticed a conversation on Sam Culper’s page that involved a couple of long-time readers here. I’m not judging anything that was said, necessarily, but the crux of the conversation was, “voting for POTUS’ re-election in 2020 is necessary, despite his current trend towards supporting stuff I hate, because it gives us a few more years before shit really unravels.” I am only mentioning it, really, because I was specifically cited by two of the commenters.

While it’s no secret that I’m not particularly enamored of POTUS (I wasn’t particularly enamored of any of them in my voting lifetime…, but that’s really not even relevant. Was he better than the alternative? Maybe. Possibly.

The point I’m going to address is really pretty simple. It is the idea that “we have to elect XXX because it will give us a few more years to prepare for the inevitable collapse/civil war/etc…” It is an argument that I’ve heard for, well, honestly? My entire life. In this case though, one of the commenters specifically mentioned that not everyone is as well-established in their preparations as my family is.

I get it, I really do. I’ve got a pretty sweet little DoomStead set up. We produce enough meat to supply all of our meat needs. I need to get my pasture fenced in, so I can add a couple of beef cattle, but we do more than alright…

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.

City Journal: The Knife Went In

City Journal recently reprinted an article from 1994 in their Spring 2019 issue, The Knife Went In by Theodore Dalrymple.

It is a mistake to suppose that all men, or at least all Englishmen, want to be free. On the contrary, if freedom entails responsibility, many of them want none of it. They would happily exchange their liberty for a modest (if illusory) security. Even those who claim to cherish their freedom are rather less enthusiastic about taking the consequences of their actions. The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.

In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years. It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaint, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.

Listening as I do every day to the accounts people give of their lives, I am struck by the very small part in them which they ascribe to their own efforts, choices, and actions. Implicitly, they disagree with Bacon’s famous dictum that “chiefly the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.” Instead, they experience themselves as putty in the hands of fate.

It is instructive to listen to the language they use to describe their lives. The language of prisoners in particular teaches much about the dishonest fatalism with which people seek to explain themselves to others, especially when those others are in a position to help them in some way. As a doctor who sees patients in a prison once or twice a week, I am fascinated by prisoners’ use of the passive mood and other modes of speech that are supposed to indicate their helplessness. They describe themselves as the marionettes of happenstance…

Click here to read the entire article at City Journal.

Forward Observer: Civil War?? The Truth About America’s Future

Sam Culper of Forward Observer has a very good video up talking about “Civil War 2.0.” It’s a response to someone else’s video which talked about who would win the fighting. Sam Culper believes it is highly unlikely that we would get to an 1860s-style conflict, but does believe that we’re in a hot peace that will get worse. He talks about many different aspects of non-violent warfare that are currently happening in the country and makes some inferences about the future.  The video is about thirty minutes long, but it is worth a watch.

 

Sam Culper also wrote a longish article specifically critiquing the “Civil War 2 in America: Who Will Win?” video. He responds to/refutes specific points made in that video.  That article is through this link. If you do think there will be a fighting civil war, this article is a good read as Sam Culper discusses the types of responses the government could take to make life miserable for whomever is on the other side.

Doom and Bloom: Boiling Water – How Long to Disinfect?

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medicine have another fine article up, this time on boiling water and how long it takes to disinfect it.

BOILING WATER FOR DISINFECTION

a pan and water boiing on the top of a stove

You and I know that we need water to live, but the quality of that water is important. So important, as a matter of fact, that it could mean the difference between good health and life-threatening disease. Sickness caused by contaminated water has stopped armies in their tracks and changed the course of history.

How long do you have to boil water for it be safely drinkable?

The old saying goes “ask a bunch of doctors the same question, get a bunch of answers”. You ask a bunch of survivalists about boiling water, well, you might get a bunch of answers. If you consider that the fuel and time required to boil water might be limited in certain survival scenarios, however, it’s a serious question.

There are all sorts of disease-causing microbes, also called pathogens, that are harmful to humans and can be found in water. These include protozoa, bacteria and viruses. The protozoal microbes that could get you sick include cryptosporidium and giardia. Harmful bacteria include salmonella, shigella, and e. coli. Viruses that contaminate water include things like hepatitis, enterovirus, and norovirus.

There are various ways to disinfect water. Bleach is popular, iodine will work, and UV sterilization using direct sunlight on clear bottles of water for a good 8 hours is another way. Of all ways you can disinfect water, however, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (the CDC) recommends boiling as the best method. They have an excellent PDF you can download, by the way, called Drinking Water Treatment Methods for Backcountry and Travel Use”.

The CDC believe that none of the methods other than boiling are 100% effective in killing all disease-causing bugs. Even bleach takes several days to kill some organisms like cryptosporidium, something we talked about on the Survival Medicine podcast a few months ago. Of course, The CDC (and I) suggest that cloudy water should be filtered as well as disinfected. You can improvise a filter but some popular commercial lightweight filters include the Mini-Sawyer and theLifestraw

Click here to continue reading at Doom and Bloom Medical.