John Mosby on Pandemic

John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has been writing about Covid-19 for his Patreon subscribers for a few weeks, now. While he acknowledges the uncertainties, he tries to point out the things than you can/should act on regardless of other uncertainties. His articles on the topic are long, and the following is just a small excerpt. The most useful parts are on his Patreon and are worth a read.

…I hinted at it above, but further issues with this virus are coming to light. Among these is the already known/suspected possibility of reinfection, due to inadequate antibody production. In at least one study I’ve seen, of the test results that came back positive for antibody presence, in the NY population, only about 30% actually had adequate antibody presence to indicate even the possibility of immunity. So, despite around 20% of the population of NYC potentially having been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 already, of that 20%, only about 30% may even have any level of immunity to reinfection.

Second, there are increasing number of otherwise healthy patients (no previous medical history, no relevant comorbities), who have recovered from COVID-19, only to suddenly drop dead from stroke, later, because of blood-clotting caused by the disease. This seems to indicate another potential example of the lasting organ damage that can occur despite “recovery” that aren’t immediately apparent.

Finally, one of the claims that has circulated repeatedly, since the beginning, was the theory that summer time would find a reprieve from the virus, allowing us time to “catch our breath” and get ready for another round of the fight with it, come next autumn and winter. The problem with THAT one is that, well…the southern hemisphere (with the apparent exception of Australia, which is actually kind of an outlier for a number of reasons, mostly because of the level of lockdown they initiated early on) and the equatorial regions seem to be getting hammered pretty fucking hard…and their numbers don’t even account for the shoddiness of what passes as “record keeping” in those shitholes.

So, What?

(1) This isn’t the fucking flu. If you still think it’s anything like the flu, choke yourself. Seriously.

(2) You really don’t want to catch this virus. By all accounts, it’s a fucking miserable experience, even with “mild” symptoms, in fit, athletic young people. Then, there’s the whole possibility of dying from it thing…That doesn’t even account for the possibility of “recovering” and then dying from a stroke a couple of weeks later.

(3) The “lockdowns” are politically and economically impossible to sustain for much longer. So, the numbers are going to increase, both in total case numbers, and in fatalities. Your goal should be (ours certainly is!) to avoid contracting it at all, and if it is unavoidable, to contract it as late as possible, so there has been more time to consider all possible treatment options, come up with viable, working treatments, and get the requisite materials into the supply pipelines to help (which may not happen anyway…).

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that nobody in a position of authority is claiming “we’ll have a vaccine in a few weeks!” anymore. Instead, they’ve switched to the 12-18 months timeline that some of us have been trying to explain to people for the last couple of months. Further, I haven’t done a lot of digging yet, but to the best of my limited research (thus far), there’s NEVER been a viable vaccine for a coronavirus. Not SARS-COV (the first one). Not MERS-COV. Not the Common Cold. None, that I’ve been able to discover. I’d love to see evidence refuting that…

SocioEconomic Impacts

There are a number of very real impacts coming down the pipe, as a result of this pandemic. While it’s becoming increasingly popular, in some circles (mostly on the Right, but I’ve seen some circulating on the Left as well), to blame all of the impacts on the lockdown/quarantine response to the virus, the fact is, most of us have KNOWN the system in place, as it was, wasn’t really sustainable in the long-term. Whether you were concerned about the political issues, the economic issues, the resource issues, or the environmental issues, the reality is, COVID-19 hasn’t “destroyed” anything. The lockdown/quarantine response hasn’t “destroyed” anything. This—whether the pandemic itself, or the response thereof—just gave the system the nudge off the edge of the precipice it was hanging off of.

I’ve seen a number of claims circulating that “the response” is nothing but a political ploy to avert blame for a “controlled collapse” of an unsustainable economic model. To that, I have three responses, which have guided my own response to the situation.

(1) Anyone who has been prepping for any length of time should have considered the impacts of potential pandemics. Especially in light of “Swine Flu” and “Bird Flu” scares in recent years, even those of us that didn’t spend much time considering it, have to have spent SOME time considering it. If you did, you knew—or should have known—that lockdown/quaratine was one of the major planning elements for controlling/containing the spread of pandemic disease. You would also have discovered that medical authorities—even contrarian medical authorities—around the world have warned, repeatedly, of the possibility—actually, the PROBABILITY, even INEVITABILITY—of an international pandemic of this scale. So, none of this is particularly surprising, either the pandemic itself, or the response thereto…

(2) The whole “it’s all a plan by the government to bail out the elites” would seem to have some grounding in possibility, when you look at the way the “Stimulus” has gone. Most citizens got their paltry little $1200/person “Please Don’t Riot Yet” checks, while hundreds of billions of dollars went to the banks, airlines, and corporations…again.

The fact that the Fed “shored up” the markets, with an infusion of newly created “money,” even as they’re predicting record unemployment levels and loss of up to half the US GDP in the coming months, would seem to reinforce that possibility. The markets crashed, but then magically rebounded, despite no real reason, other than the Fed pouring made-up money into them, would seem to give legs to the idea it was done just to give the “elites” the chance to get out from under their portfolios.

The problem I see with that argument—that it was all intentional—is that it would require basically every government in the world to be in on the game. That’s a pretty big stretch of the imagination. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I AM saying, it’s improbable. I don’t subscribe to that belief (which is not the same thing as saying the political and bureaucratic classes aren’t taking advantage of the situation to leverage things to their favor, as much as possible).

(3) The biggest issue with the whole conspiracy theory though is…”So what?” If that theory IS right, what impact does that have on YOUR ability to deal with the situation? What impact does that have on the ability of YOUR FAMILY, and YOUR COMMUNITY to weather the storm? Because, honestly? That’s all that matters, at this point. Anything larger scale is probably completely outside of your sphere of control anyway.

It certainly doesn’t do any good to bitch and whine about it. You’re not going to change it, by venting to your (probably) like-minded friends on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Far better is to use a little mental Judo, and simply refuse to focus on it. When you feel a rant or anger about it coming on, simply find something USEFUL to focus on. It’s not “suppressing” it. It’s acknowledging it exists (“Man, I’m really pissed that I think the elites are taking advantage of this!”) and then acknowledging that there’s fuck-all you can do about it, and moving on to something you CAN control (“Man, it sucks that I’m pissed, but I really don’t want to get my blood pressure all jacked up, so I’m gonna go weed the garden bed!”)…

 

Mountain Guerrilla: Building Tribe

This is an older article from John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla about building tribes or close, loyal groups. It’s from six years ago, but seemed particularly relevant at this time. I’m only excerpting a small part here as it is a rather long piece, but worth your time. As usual with Mosby, language warning.

…Whether we’re discussing Teutonic Europe, the Roman legions, Japanese samurai, American Indians, or modern soldiers, though, there is an underlying message of community, team unity, and focusing on the collective goals, rather than individual self-interest. The cliché of course is that soldiers don’t fight and die for country, Mom, or apple pie. They fight and die for the buddy on either side of them. They know that invoking their natural self-interest—survival–and running away to survive another day, puts their companions—their brothers, in greater danger. Loyalty to the group—esprit de corps—is the essnce of fighting morale. The faith that you are part of something greater than yourself—a legacy if you will—is what makes men do really stupid shit that we later look at as courage under fire.

I get asked regularly, “how do I form a tribe like this?” “How do I build this type of loyalty?” Unfortunately for those who want a nice, pat, pre-packaged answer, this loyalty is the result—not the cause—of the companionship developed.

How do we develop that companionship? By spending time together, trading “gifts,” and building relationships. There are no easy answers. Getting together once a year with a bunch of guys you meet on an internet forum does not “build tribe.” There’s no loyalty being built. To use the Germanic tribal terms we’ve been using, because you’re not building a real spirit of frith—intertwined loyalty to community laws—there is no commingling of “wyrd” or fates.

If you’re searching “survivalist meet-up” sites to find a group to join, you’re doing it the wrong way. Intentional communities—especially survivalist communities—just don’t work out. They all end up either being the result of some megalomaniacal f…er trying to create his own fiefdom, or the “rugged individualism” of the rich yuppies involved comes to the front, so no commingling of effort and fate and luck ever takes place, and the venture falls to pieces.

If you want to build a tribe, look around you. Where is your family? Who are your friends? Both my immediate family and my in-laws, live prohibitively far away from us. In a grid-down scenario, we’re going to be useless to them, and vice versa. Thus, we have to build new tribe, out of the people around us. We have to look at our neighbors; the good ones and the bad ones, and decide how they are going to relate to us when things get ugly. Do I have a neighbor—even one—that doesn’t have issues I dislike? I … doubt it. Are there neighbors I think are complete … that I don’t even want on the same planet as my kids, let alone in the same community? Absolutely.

There is a difference though. I can work with the first example. Either I can choose to ignore their idiosyncrasies that I dislike, and hope they do the same for me, or I can approach them and try to figure out a way to help them work past those issues (I hate the fact that I have neighbors too blind to see why they need to actually train with the gun they carry, rather than just carrying it. So, I try to get them to go shoot. I hate the fact that I have neighbors that don’t have any storage food. So I try to demonstrate why we have storage food. I hate the fact that I have neighbors who don’t do PT…so I do PT and then do things that are physical, hopefully better than them, to set an example).

The second example? Well, I can either hope that they get killed off, or be ready to do it myself if it becomes necessary. Writing off every single person in your community though, is either arrogant hubris, or sheer stupidity. Unless you live, completely alone, in a hermitage on a remote mountain in the Himalayas, if you can’t find a dozen, or two dozen, or more, neighbors in even a small community, that you share interests, concerns, and values with, you need to take a serious look in the mirror. As bad as things are in America today—and make no mistake, I think they are … horrendous—if you think there are not other people in your community who are just as concerned, you’re a [not nice name]…

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.

American Partisan: The Auxiliary

If you’ve followed the writings of Mountain Guerrilla’s John Mosby (or other reading in insurgency or counterinsurgency), then you will already be familiar with the concept of the auxiliary. In this article at American Partisan, Johny Mac also writes about the auxiliary. Auxiliary typically refers to the portion of a population which provides clandestine support to an insurgent or guerrilla force or to underground resistance. With certain politicians talking about sending national guard troops to forcibly search and take people’s property (and, of course, destroy those who “do not comply”), these topics are getting active discussion in these “United” States.

John Mosby has written about both the underground and the guerrilla in his two volume Reluctant Partisan series. He also talks about the auxiliary in those books, but it does not have its own volume as of yet.

With the continuing events happening within the Washington DC Inner Loop and in states around the country, my worst fears of civil strife are sadly coming to fruition.  Yesterday, I sat there sipping my morning cup of coffee watching Senate Leader McConnell’s response to the two articles of Impeachment passed Wednesday night in the US House and realize frosty times are ahead. After all, sometimes drastic measures are needed to save the patient being wheeled into the trauma center.

The Rubicon has been crossed for me. I am done writing letters to my legislatures, the men and women I voted into office to uphold the US Constitution and represent my voice. All my focus now will be directed towards the training I will need for the up and coming conflict (s).

Many of the readers here are in a similar situation as I am. Looking ahead, I will be 64-years old in 2020 and what can someone my age or older do when civil conflict comes knocking at my door you may ask? You like I, need to focus on becoming part of The Auxiliary.

The first time I read about The Auxiliary was over at SurvilvalBlogwritten by Hugh James Latimer. The article really got me thinking as to what part I would play in my community during a civil conflict. It will not necessarily be running a gun, although I can do that. Heck, I can give many millennial’s a run for his or her money in that respect. No, running a gun will not become my role in the up and coming conflict. My role will be one of The Auxiliary. Let’s look at what that means for me – Maybe you too.

First, it means an honest assessment of my strengths but more important, my weaknesses. Once I determine my strengths, I need to get out there and train the folks who understand  their weaknesses and are seeking their own training.

Second, I need to get out there and address my weaknesses by seeking out additional training from others willing to give it. Whatever the cost will be in money or time, it will be worth it. Are you willing to do this or is your normalcy bias going to guide your future?

I will continue my training with NC Scout and his platoon of trainers along with other trainers that offer classes not just in running a gun but in; Preparedness, medical, radio, Intelligence, physical training, et cetera. Then I will offer my acquired skills to help the folks who will come late to the party…

Read the entire article at American Partisan by clicking here.

Related:

Mountain Guerrilla: Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Auxiliary and Support Functions, Part One

Mountain Guerrilla: Organization and Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Building Auxiliary Cells

Mountain Guerrilla: Formation and Organization of Resistance Movements

US Army: Tactics in Counterinsurgency (pdf 6MB)

US Army Special Operations Command: Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare (pdf 1MB)

John Mosby: Guerrilla Gunfighter Volume Two Now Available

I lost track of this item coming available. I knew that John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla had finished this second volume of his Guerrilla Gunfighter series, but at that time it was not yet available on Lulu.com where he publishes his books. Here is Guerrilla Gunfighter Volume Two: Preparedness Rifle and Carbine.  $60 plus shipping and tax.

Mountain Guerrilla Blog author “John Mosby” is back, with the second book in the Guerrilla Gunfighter series. Focused on practical, general-purpose applications of the rifle and carbine, this book includes critical issues such as positions, trigger control, multiple target scenarios, and drills for training for real-world use. Learn to shoot your rifle or carbine faster and more accurately. Covers not just modern semi-auto fighting rifles, but lever actions and pump guns as well. Whether you’re a new prepper, an old survivalist, or a militia member trying to make your group better, this book has everything you need to begin building a coherent training plan.

 

8/29/19 Update: As usual, Viking Preparedness has done a review of John Mosby’s new book. Both Mountain Guerrilla and Viking Preparedness have Patreon pages if you want to support them financially.

John Mosby on Permaculture

John Mosby of the Mountain Guerrilla blog has some thoughts on permaculture. He’s mentioned a few times in other articles, but here are two blog posts of his where he spends a bit more time expounding upon its goodness.

First is a “From the Library” post from July 16, 2019.

I get a lot of questions about why I’m so gung-ho about Permaculture, since to the newcomer, it appears to be a “society” dominated by social justice warrior liberals. While that’s not entirely inaccurate as an observation, it’s really a simplistic approach, and ignores the inherent value of the Permaculture concept to not only survival, but tribal culture.

My general, semi-humorous answer is, I’m gung-ho about Permaculture because I’m…lazy. The ideal behind permaculture, for those unfamiliar with it, is that it is “permanent agriculture.” To whit, it involves planning and planting, in such a way that requires minimal human interference, to maintain continued useful production for decades. This is contrary to standard agriculture that requires annual replanting, fertilization, and all the related tasks and inputs that go along. I like the idea of not having to work too much to produce food, because I’m…lazy.

Really though, if we’re being serious, from a preparedness perspective, this makes sense for resilience. In a post-grid environment, I suspect I’m going to be awful busy. If I can reduce my task load then, by planting a resilient, low-maintenance food production system—a food forest—now, that seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s more labor-intensive in the front end, especially if you do it like I do, without using power equipment any more than necessary, but the back end pay out is brilliant.

In an speech he did before he died, called “Liberation Permaculture” (If you do a Google Search, you can find audio files of the speech. It’s well worth listening to.), the late Toby Hemenway, author of my favorite Permaculture book to date, Gaia’s Garden, made the point that Permaculture is really the ultimate guerrilla/insurgent/survivalist form of food production, and it is incredibly anti-totalitarian…

And the second is Permaculture for Preparedness

Permaculture is famous for its ethics and principles. These are the basic guidelines along which permaculture was codified by Mollison and Holmgren. Sadly, many readers have limited themselves to second, third, and even fourth generation permaculture teachers and writers, and much has been lost in the translation, so to speak. People have learned a shallow understanding of the tactics and techniques of permaculture, without really understanding the strategy or operational capabilities.

An example of this in preparedness can be seen in a comment I received a few months ago, in which a reader lauded the discussion of alternative energy, food production, and other aspects of daily living in a post-industrial environment, but wanted me to focus on the “partisan” aspects, by which I assume they meant the cool-guy action figure gunfighter stuff. The problem with this is something that all too often, people who have never had to plan an operation, let alone write an OpOrder, overlook: you can only “operate” so long without support in the form of food, equipment, and shelter. There’s a reason, after all, that an SF ODA has engineers and medics, as well as weapons sergeants. As a mentor in SF once asked me, “What do you call an A-Team made up entirely of Bravos?” The answer? “An understrength Ranger Platoon.”

If we approach the discussion of Permaculture from the UW perspective, the focus on Permaculture begins to make considerable sense from both an operational and a strategic perspective. If we define our UW strategy as “We don’t have to win. We don’t even have to not lose. All we have to do is make sure our supporters and the unaligned populace both know that we’ll still be here when the enemy is gone,” and we define our strategic goal as “cultural and genetic survival” rather than “individual survival,” then the permaculture approach begins to make even more sense…

Related:

Eaton Rapids Joe: Permaculture and Cheap Dates

…Another factor that makes Permaculture valuable is that it recognizes that human’s do not have unlimited ability to manage. That limit is often the factor that bottlenecks productivity. Permaculture’s solution is to break the property into “zones” based on how often then need to be attended to and order them in rational ways.

For example, the path between your door and the mail box is walked at least once every day. It is the ideal place to plant everbearing raspberries and strawberries or edible flowers. Bringing in the mail would also mean bringing in a small basket of fruit for dessert or for your morning cereal.

Conversely, “the woods” might only get visited a few times a year for gathering nuts, hunting or cutting wood for fuel and construction…

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.

John Mosby: Tourniquets, Chest Seals, and Pressure Dressings

Following up on the recent post about newly approved by the CoTCCC tourniquets, John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has written a piece – Tourniquets, Chest Seals, and Pressure Dressings, Oh My!discussing med kit you should be carrying if you are carrying a firearm.

pocket med

 

Tourniquets get a lot of digital bandwidth in tactical and preparedness virtual circles. Rightfully so, since they’ve demonstrably saved a …ton of lives over the last two decades of combat. Unfortunately though, in the process of bludgeoning a deceased equine, in order to overcome decades of medical institutional inertia about the supposed hazards of tourniquet use, many people—myself included, unfortunately—have neglected to make it a point to discuss the surrounding issues.

Let’s start with this, just to get it out of the way:

If you carry a gun, and you’re not carrying a tourniquet or two, you’re either LARPing, or you’re a… idiot. The fact is, a “gunfight” implies bilateral ballistics, and the enemy gets a vote. If you assume your one box of ammo a month “practice” regimen means you’re automatically a far better marksman than the bad guy you are going to end up in a gunfight with, well, I’ve got an 8 ounce jar of fairy dust I’ll sell you cheap, and it’s guaranteed to make you stronger, faster, higher flying, and generally more attractive to members of your preferred sex.

Sure, you COULD try using your belt or handkerchief or what-the-…-ever to improvise a tourniquet, but experiential research and laboratory study both pretty clearly demonstrate they are a piss-poor substitute, and don’t work particularly well (which is not the same thing as saying they DON’T work, AT ALL. I know people who have saved lives with improvised tourniquets, and you may too. Both they, and their patients, probably would have appreciated a manufactured, quality, tourniquet).

That having been said, we’ve got to look at the circumstances surrounding battlefield wounds, versus our likely circumstances, to see if tourniquets are even MOST of the answer, let alone all of the answer.

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.

Mosby: Off-Grid Education

John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla blog has some good thoughts (as usual) posted on the reasons for and benefits of home schooling versus public schooling titled Off-Grid Education. Below is a brief excerpt from the article.

…Public schools can teach knowledge. Whether the knowledge they teach has any relevance to the real world, past the primary school grades, is open to debate, but the fundamentals of education: reading, writing, and arithmetic, the public schools CAN—and traditionally HAVE—done a reasonably good job of. The thing is though, any functioning adult, with the willingness to do so, can ALSO teach those, and will—in my experience—do a much better job of making them accessible to the child, than a school teacher.

My seven year old is an age-peer with second graders. She is currently reading Wildwood Wisdom, by Ellsworth Jaeger. Slowly, but she is reading it, and she carries it with her, all the time, reading sections that interest her, or come to her attention because of something she sees around the farm. Wildwood Wisdom, for those poor, sheltered souls unfamiliar with this classic of woodcraft, is a 474 page tome on outdoor living skills, written in 1945, and generally targeted at teenage and adult readers.

She also does basic arithmetic, including addition and subtraction, and is working on multiplication. She has also written letters and notes to friends and family, on paper, with pens and pencils.

It COULD be argued that we are a special case, because I have a post-graduate degree, and formal training in pedagogy, but that would be a bullshit argument, because people have been teaching their own children how to read and do arithmetic and write, as long as there has been reading, writing, and arithmetic. Again, ANY parent—or interested, functional adult—can teach the same basic knowledge that a public grammar school teacher can. From there, learning is—or should be—largely self-directed anyway. Sure, kids should probably know the basics of things like the Scientific Method, and Civics, etc, but guess what? If you know how to read, you can learn those things by….reading…and all it requires is interest. If that interest is not present, no amount of threats about “failing,” “bad grades,” or “permanent records,” is going to create that interest in a “student.” You know who does a good job of eliciting interest in young people about any given subject? The adults they are familiar with and respect, who display an interest in that subject…not public school teachers.

Values and beliefs have no place—whatsoever—being taught in public schools. Period. Values and beliefs are cultural artifacts depending on religion and cultural worldviews. It MIGHT have been possible, once upon a time, for teachers in small, rural communities, who attended church with the local community, and spent their social time within the community…and ideally, was raised within the community…to effectively teach values and beliefs in a schoolroom setting, but I have to be honest…

Click here to read the entire article at MountainGuerrilla.

John Mosby: Guerrilla Gardener

John Mosby of the Mountain Guerrilla blog has some thoughts up on getting your garden started – Guerrilla Gardener: Some Thoughts and Observations on Vegetable Food Production (Or, Gardening for Knuckle-Draggers).

One of the truisms of gardening is that “Your first year of gardening will result in abject failure.” There’s so much to learn, about the plants, about starting seeds, about your local soil conditions and what amendments are needed, about weather and climactic conditions, etc.

We had gardens when I was a kid. We successfully raised rocks, tomatoes, rocks, okra, rocks, and peas, as I recall. Of course, as any gardener will tell you, those are some of the simplest crops to raise in a kitchen garden. In fact, they’re so easy to grow, you could almost grow them without even planting them (especially the case with rocks…).

After leaving home for the Army, I had never had a garden. Hell, I’d never had a potted plant.

My wife had never, as far as I know, had a garden in her life.

So, when we decided to start raising most of our own food, to increase our sustainability, my first instinct was to raise small livestock: chickens, rabbits, etc. Of course, I’m a meat-eater, both literally and figuratively, so that makes sense. My wife on the other hand, likes her veggies, and we want the kids to eat well-balanced meals, so a garden, it was decided, was a necessity (And, to be clear, by “it was decided,” I mean, HH6 said, “We’re going to plant a garden this year!” and I responded with, “Roger that, boss!”)

So, as is my norm, when confronted with a new, unfamiliar—foreign—mission, I started doing my “Area Study” research. I dug out a couple dozen books on subsistence gardening, organic gardening, no-till gardening, and etc.

Let me set your mind at ease: there’s a metric …ton of material available out there on gardening, and it’s fair to say that any given reference book on the subject will contradict what every other available reference book will say.

In the end, between our research, and my wife and I bickering about differing visions for the farm’s production, here’s what we ended up trying…

Click here to read the entire article at the Mountain Guerrilla blog.

John Mosby: Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness

John Mosby has a nice article up at Mountain Guerrilla about Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness, expounding upon the importance of not having just a store of stuff built up but being able to survive and thrive without such a stockpile on your own skills and sustainable living habits. Getting to a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle is difficult and takes time and trial and error. Patrice Lewis will be talking about some of that in her two talks at this year’s NW Preparedness Expo. Mosby talks about it frequently on his blog. This article is not short, but, as usual with Mr. Mosby, it is well worth the read.

…One of the recurring themes in preparedness circles is the argument over the nature of any impending disaster. One of the original theories in preparedness of course, is the idea of what was once referred to as a multi-generational collapse. This is a collapse of such magnitude that it will take multiple generations to recover from, if in fact, recovery is even possible.

In recent years, of course, while people still talk about the “remote possibility” of this, it has become equally popular, in many circles, to dismiss the idea of a multigenerational collapse as unrealistic, and urge people to focus on more immediate, “realistic” disasters of short-duration, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

Without arguing the fact that wildfire, tornado, or earthquake is a far more immediate, and pressing concern for most folks, I WOULD point out that these are pretty simple to mitigate, and there is a well-developed set of basic planning considerations for doing so in all of these, because people have dealt with them for the entire existence of humankind…

We need to develop mitigation plans that address the continuance of life, through the duration of the emergency, even if it stops being an emergency, and just becomes “life.” (Which, long time readers know is my view of where we are any-fucking-way.)

We need to be looking at food production. We need to be looking at producing light and heat. We need to be looking at long-term trauma and chronic illness medical care. We need to be looking at educating our children and grandchildren, so they don’t revert to full-scale savagery. We need to look at maintaining—or more accurately, recreating, culture.

We need to stop looking at “survival,” and start looking at “Sustainability.”…

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.

MountainGuerrilla: Auxiliary Functions within Tribal Structure

This is an old post from John Mosby at the MountainGuerrilla blog. In Auxiliary Functions within the Tribal Structure, John lays out some of the important functions that can and should be performed by those members of your close-knit group who are too old, too young, or too infirm to help with more strenuous activities in the context of a resistance movement, should such fate ever befall you.

…By fulfilling those roles that the auxiliary has historically fulfilled in a resistance, that do not require the fitness or physical capabilities of the guerrilla force or underground, members of a tribe can still contribute worthwhile efforts to the security of their tribe, thus “earning their keep.”

An individual’s specific contribution to the efforts has—and will—depend largely on their socio-economic status, roles, and their occupation…a farmer or homesteader may “only” provide assistance by providing extra harvest to feed the guerrilla force or underground, or to sell on the local black or gray market, in order to help finance tribal operations. On the other hand, the farmer may end up providing barn space for a way-station on an evasion corridor, or for use as a guerrilla hospital.

Regardless of the specific role the auxiliary tribesman plays in the effort, it is critical to understand that the success of their efforts depends on their participation in such operations remains clandestine. The secret must not be kept only from rival organizations, but even from apparently friendly or supportive neighbors who do not enjoy the trust of being part of the closed circle—innangard—that is the tribe. Even other members of the tribe, outside the leadership, may not know exactly what the auxiliary offers the tribe. Keeping this information compartmentalized, even within the innangard, can reduce the chances that someone will inadvertently reveal it to someone that does not “need to know.”

Auxiliary Tasks

While there is really no task that the auxiliary might be able to perform, to support the tribe’s efforts, there are a number of roles the auxiliary has traditionally played that still offer a significant role for members of your tribe to contribute to your efforts of autonomy.

Security and Warning

One of the best efforts your auxiliary tribesmen can offer is the same that the elderly and young children, not ready to be warriors yet, have always provided a tribe. They can act as a physical security and warning system for the tribe. From simply standing watch during training exercises and meetings, to organizing and directing sympathizers into networks to observe, record, and report on the activities of other organizations—rival or not—in the area…

Click here to read the entire article at the Mountain Guerrilla blog.

Mosby: Just Do It.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the entire article.

John Mosby: New Pistol Book Now Shipping

John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has announced that his new book Guerrilla Gunfighter, Volume One: Clandestine Carry Pistol is now shipping.

The new book is titled Guerrilla Gunfighter, Volume One: Clandestine Carry Pistol. This is the Clandestine Carry Pistol course, in book form, with a great deal more information. The book so far, which is at the editor now, runs just over 300 pages (which is largely unheard of in a pistol training book). The book covers the usual “Here is how you shoot a pistol,” content, but then goes on to put that content into context, illustrating and discussing different contextual applications of those core skills. It also includes a complete training program-of-instruction (POI), and a sustained practice program, as well as in-depth discussion of fighting mindset development, weapon and support gear selection and set-up, and optimization of sub-prime weapon choices, when you have to run whatever happens to be available.

Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness has a short video review up:

There’s also a longer review over at ZeroGov by John Meyers. Click here. Scroll down a bit when you get there to get to the review.

…When I first started in on the book late one evening, the introduction immediately drew me in. It dives into the context of clandestinely carrying a pistol. I knew from classes I’ve taken with Mosby that he was an advocate of carrying a gun whether it is legal to do so or not. Not very many in the training industry recommend this to say the least. It’s one thing to say it in a class of somewhat ‘vetted’ folks it’s another to put it in print. In fact most trainers won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Mosby explains this phenomenon better than I can:

In a training industry full of law-and-order apologists, many of whom are either off duty police officers, retired police officers, or have gotten reserve officer status from a friendly local police chief, that allow them to carry legally in places and at times forbidden to “lesser” subjects, I tend to be one of the lone dissenting voices that openly encourages people to carry their damned gun, even when its not legal where you are going!”

While this has a certain ‘stick it to the man!’ zeal, it comes from a realistic threat assessment of knowing that the places the state usually forbids one from carrying are possibly the most likely places you’ll need to employ your CCW gun. You may have to ‘roll dirty’ one day. Decide for yourself.

Mosby has a different take on mindset than most. The guy may talk about ‘tribe’ in the blogosphere, but knowing the guy on somewhat of a personal level, he actually lives it. What other firearms instructor dedicates most of a chapter to detailing the failings of the justice system and how “private” violence based on justice may be legitimate? He challenges the State’s claim to a monopoly on violence. Part of his description of law enforcement may challenge one’s modern American sensibilities. He states that the best thing the average middle class suburban type person can do for ‘mindset’ is recognize that “the police are not coming to save you. If you use force, they’re probably going to arrest you. The State is not there to protect you, it is there to protect the State.”…

FO with John Mosby on Building Tribe, Community and Preparedness

Sam Culper at Forward Observer interviews John Mosby, a former Army Special Operations soldier, small arms instructor, and author on building tribe, community and preparedness. Mosby writes at the Mountain Guerrilla blog, and is the author of The Reluctant Partisan Volumes I and II, and Forging the Hero.

 

John Mosby: Craftsmanship in Preparedness

As usual, John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla blog has some insightful comments on prepping in general and on the more important craftsmanship of living a self-sufficient life which results in being prepared for whatever life throws your way. Some people don’t like the things JM says nor the way he says them, but even if you disagree with his conclusions, the ideas that he presents are well worth contemplating.

…As I discussed in my books, while the occurrence of a single, instantly-identifiable “SHTF” trigger event would be remarkably convenient, it’s not likely. Even in the case of an event that popular prepper porn novels make out to be THE event—solar flare, EMP, economic collapse, etc—the fact is, collapses of major civilizations take years, decades, and even centuries to fall all the way to “dark ages” status. That’s not popular, and it’s not convenient, but it is reality.

“But! Violent struggle in the streets!” “But, mah second civil war!” “Riots!” “Collapse of the Dollar!”

Sure, all of those are bad, but, especially at the local level, none of them are really “TEOTWAWKI” either, in most places. Sure, parts of major metropolitan areas are going to get ugly. A lack of potable drinking water from the taps. Absence of police presence making violent crime more likely. Control of whole neighborhoods by criminal gangs and cartels. A breakdown in the infrastructure system. Squatting by newly homeless people…Yeah, that’ll be different…

Guess what? That IS the norm, right now. You think an EMP going off is going to make it worse? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m betting on not. In fact, in a lot of ways, I suspect life for the residents of … ghettos in large urban areas will get BETTER after an event that draws more attention away from them, when the shadow governments that are already in place, in the form of criminal cartels, can move about more openly. No more pretense of divided loyalties between the government, the relief agencies, and the local gangs. The gangs will stomp out unaffiliated criminal actors in a hurry. Sure, it’ll be despotism, and if you’re an attractive female of breeding age, it’ll probably suck for the indefinite future, but, as a general thing, that’s just as true now.

What benefits will accrue the inner city? They have a new governing body in place that has a proven track record for getting a niche product into the community, under difficult conditions. Are groceries as profitable as drugs? Not right now, but in the event of a major event? It’s not like drug dealing gangs are in it because of the drugs. They’re in it because of the money, and the power the money brings them. How long do you think it will take a local gang to switch over from smuggling drugs to smuggling carrots? Hell, they don’t even need to smuggle carrots. They can get their mamas and grannies to grow them on the roofs and in the deserted lots.

Rural places? The power goes out in my neighborhood when a good storm blows. A cartel safehouse was raided and busted less than a couple miles from my house, last year. There was over $2 million worth of contraband on the place. My neighbor told me that our other neighbor had something like 50 head of cattle rustled out of his pasture, in broad daylight, two months ago. The closest town to us has signs in the front yard of several businesses and houses openly acknowledging the corruption in the municipal government. You know what people do?

They live. They have backup generators, or they are off-grid completely. Of my six closest neighbors, every single family raises a serious garden every year (as in, somewhere over 100% of their annual intake of vegetables. Some gets sold, some gets canned for storage, some gets given away), and every family raises their own chickens for meat and eggs. Half have a larger meat animal on the place as well, either beef cattle or pigs. Three of the neighbors have a family cow each.

Read the entire article by clicking here. Also as usual, the article is spiked with JM’s typically NCO colorful epithets and aphorisms which may offend the sensibilities of some readers.