The Aging Urban Prepper

21 Feb

I did some shadow boxing today. It’s been a while since I did that last. Now I remember why. I was comically slow. I’d never do it in a gym for fear of some idiot with a camera and a Youtube account.

Hand speed is lost as we age. I wish I had a hundred dollars for every time an aging boxer wants to make a come back and says, “I’m in the best shape of my life.”

It’s true he can run as many miles as he did when younger. He can bench press as much as he once did. He can still do a ton of pushups. When he gets in the ring, he gets his ass handed to him. Why? A lack of hand speed. He throws a punch. His opponent throws a punch. His opponent’s lands first. That makes all the difference.

Many blogging younger preppers love to write about what they did this week to prepare. When you reach a certain age you realize your absolute survivability will decline with each passing year. There’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Eyesight can be a big issue when pistol shooting. As you age you lose the ability to focus at closer distances. Your sights will be more blurry.

Worn out body parts are a big issue. I loved doing pushups when younger. One year I did 200 pushups a day every day, 73,000 for the year. If you’re younger and reading this: DON’T DO THIS. You’ll miss your shoulders when they’re gone. Do maybe 80 a set 2-3 times a week and call it a day. I can still do pushups but everyone hurts like a pin in my shoulder.

Younger urban preppers will plan their zombie apocalypse bugout route from the city. Older gents will plan their bug out route to the restrooms during half time.

It would be easy to be jealous of the young because of the extra years they have ahead of them. I’m not though. With each passing year, I know I’ve had my life. That’s all we can get in the end.

With each passing year, the world becomes more dangerous. More countries get nuclear weapons. More conflicts erupt which could spill over into WWIII. If we believe there is a doomsday clock ticking away for the world, the more years we get in before it happens, the better.

Many people want to believe societies are too intelligent to fight another world war. “They” wouldn’t be that stupid. People aren’t any smarter than they were in the 1940s. We haven’t changed. Only our weapons are much more deadly and more widespread.

Editorial On New Protests & Police Use of Choke Holds

8 Dec

In my last editorial I said I’m not a fan of protestors supporting Mike Brown. The fact is this: Brown was charging a police officer and was shot because of it. He was a tall dude and was shot in the top of the head. If he had been standing peacefully with his hands up, the officer would have had to climb a tree to shoot him like that. The facts all support the officer.

A new wave of protests erupted because of another incident where an officer applied a choke hold to a citizen, killing him. This incident was recorded on video. More police officers today in the US are being equipped with body cameras to document encounters. If you’re in a city, many events are captured by security cameras or by people with cell phones. This is a positive thing because it helps people see what really happened.

In cases where racism or abuse of power exists, I fully agree an officer should be dismissed from his job. If a crime has been committed, the officer should be prosecuted. When there is a question of appropriateness, I give the benefit of doubt to the officer. It’s a difficult job.

In the case of the choke, my opinion is the officer didn’t follow acceptable procedure. The guy was standing there and the officer jumped up and applied a chokehold. There were several other officers present. They should have been able to restrain this guy without using a chokehold. Grab his arm first and see what happens if he resists arrest. The officers should have been able to take him to the ground and handcuff him without using a choke hold.

This guy wasn’t a large muscular guy just an overweight guy. There’s a big difference. Anyone who exercises can spot the difference.

The use of choke holds as police techniques is a bad idea. Massad Ayoob in his book The Truth About Self Protection writes

“In 1976, I became the first in the police sector to speak out against the chokeout in the pages of the police professional journal Sentinel. I had studied the technique and discussed it with numerous physicians, all of whom pointed out potentially lethal problems.” (page 267).

The many risks of using choke holds is well known from decades ago.

The rise of the UFC and MMA has brought a little known technique called the rear strangulation choke or the rear naked choke to public awareness. I learned this technique when just a child. It was pretty rare. People who studied Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Judo knew it. It appeared from time to time on the TV.

A famous Minnesota wrestler in the 1970s was known for his use of the “sleeper” hold. No comment about wrestling being real or fake. It appeared in a few movies and TV shows from time to time in the 70s. I remember James Gardner applying it to a mobster in the TV series The Rockford Files.

The technique was taught in hand-to-hand combat and appears in Army training manuals from the 1950s. There are two versions of this choke. One known as a blood choke which is designed to reduce blood flow to the brain. The other version is a direct attack on the windpipe. Each has advantages and disadvantages as a combat technique. In the 70s, few people knew this technique.

Too many guys today want to be “tough guys.” They think it’s cool to “choke out” somebody. I was in a Wal-Mart and saw a child no taller than two feet running around and pretending to apply a rear choke hold to his little sister. The kid wasn’t a student of judo. He was mimicking what he saw on TV.

Even legendary martial artist Chuck Norris got into the act with the popularity of MMA. In an episode of Walker Texas Ranger, he applied a rear choke to a huge guy, who promptly went to sleep. Norris looked so awkward I felt sorry for him. The two foot kid had a smoother technique!

If you want to be a macho stud and practice BJJ choke techniques, the police force isn’t the place for it.

Bonus Editorial. What crime was this guy committing? He was selling cigarettes on a street corner. Not drugs. Smokes. It’s a crime for individuals to sell cigarettes in New York and many other states. The states want the sales tax revenue from the sales. Smokers are a small group and are easily taxed. They don’t have the political clout to defend themselves from excessive taxation. Politicians can raise taxes on them at will.

Through taxation, the government artificially drives up the cost of cigarettes by a massive amount, creating an incentive for people to purchase them on the black market. Not paying the hefty cigarette tax is criminalized. This says a lot about how a government really feels towards its citizens.

Another Editorial About This:

Editorial: The Ferguson Situation

2 Dec

At my age, I should know not to get upset at stupidity. It’s everywhere. I can’t figure out why so many people take to the streets supporting a criminal who obviously physically attacked a police officer.

I’ve read blogs say the shot guy was “only a kid” and “only a baby.” A baby!? This teenager was bigger than most men. He wasn’t innocent. He robbed a store and threatened violence against the owner. He physically attacked a police officer.

Why didn’t the officer just let him go? This is a question I’ve heard. It’s because it’s the police officer’s job to apprehend criminals. Once Brown assaulted the officer, it was the officer’s duty to arrest him. This “baby” had attacked two people that day. What if he assaulted a third person and killed him? Should cops just let all criminals go? Let them attack more people and commit more crimes?

Some protesters were criminals and troublemakers looking for a chance to steal some TVs and burn down some buildings. People in that group I don’t care about. But most protesters were basically good people who felt some great social injustice had been done. It’s this second group of people who annoy me. Don’t the facts of the situation matter?

Brown did not have his hands “up” as was falsely claimed. There is nothing in the information we know to indicate the officer was a racist or abused his authority.

It’s jaw dropping to realize this: Preppers reading this blog aren’t in danger of Brown, other criminals, or violent protestors. Most preppers own guns and shoot very well. Many have been trained in the use of lethal force. Some are experienced in deploying lethal force and have combat experience. The best preppers can hit a quarter at 100 yards with a rifle or draw and shoot an attacker dead at will with their pistol carried daily.

If the officer had let Brown go, Brown would be a threat to exactly the people protesting. They would have been the targets of his future assaults and robberies. Lacking impulse control, it’s likely he’d have been a rapist and engaged in other criminal behavior. He was a kid who took what he wanted and didn’t think the rules applied to him.

The police can’t let violent criminals flee. It only takes a small number of active criminals to bring tremendous pain and suffering to a community. If a town of 1,000 people has 999 honest and good people who are liberal pacifists, it only takes one unchecked sociopathic criminal to wreck havoc. If he robs one person a day, in the course of a year, a third of the population has been robbed. Assaults, rapes, and other crimes by this one degenerate make the community look like a Hell hole.

Societies answer is to employ police officers to enforce minimum standards of social conduct. Assault and rape somebody, go to jail. Officers are employed to protect and defend those who can’t protect themselves.

What is the result of the situation in Ferguson? The officer has been forced to retire. If he remains on the police force, he’d be a target of those who want to harm him. His career has been destroyed because he did what he was trained to do. And what he did was protect many of the people who protested his actions.

I can’t help but think of the story Atlas Shrugged. What if all those in law enforcement and the military just stepped down? Let the criminals run wild. Protect your families and each other. Let the rest of the population fend for themselves. How soon do you think it would take before these citizen protesters would be begging for the return of those who enforce the law?

It’s a sad commentary on society. If I had a son or daughter choosing a career, I’d discourage them from entering the police or military. It’s not worth sacrificing yourself for a society that doesn’t care.


Wondering if the NSA has installed spyware on your computer? Free software finds it.

This 77 year old lady is awesome. She can do one-handed pushups:

What To Remember In A Survival Situation: Lesson From Ferguson Protestors & Car Conflict In Mlps.

2 Dec

When the Ferguson Grand Jury decision was announced, people who disagreed with the situation “protested.” A few broke the laws. As a crowd gathered and choked off a street intersection in Minneapolis, a car’s driver approached the crowd. The crowd didn’t make way for the driver, but surrounded the car and began beating on it. The driver, supposedly fearing for his well being, hit the gas and drove through the crowd. The horrible incident was captured on video:

In some survival situations you have no time to think. You must respond instinctively or as you’ve been trained. In most survival situations this isn’t true. You have time to think about your options. Most people don’t think. Stress puts people on auto-pilot.

If you take away only one piece of advice from my book or this blog, it should be this: In a stressful survival situation take a deep breath and calmly consider your options. Look around. If lost in the woods, sit down. Assess your situation. Then make a plan of action and act on it.

An important part of situational awareness is to realize your situation is getting worse. You must develop the judgment to see you’re in a survival situation! The sooner you can come to grips with the situation, the more and better options you’ll have to deal with it.

Looking at the video, we see cars taking evasive action to avoid the crowd. The traffic laws are ignored by protestors and drivers alike. Good people live their lives following the rules. But when push comes to shove and your life is at risk, the only law that ultimately matters is the law of survival. You must recognize when the laws have broken down or no longer apply.

Every year campers and hunters get lost in the woods. Many get frostbite and suffer hypothermia. Some lose fingers and toes before they’re rescued. “Too bad you didn’t have matches to start a fire.” “Oh, I had matches.” “Why didn’t you start a fire?”

The two answers: 1) “I forgot about my matches.” 2) “I knew I had matches but I knew this part of the park was a no-fire zone.”

Stress prevented the first group from assessing their situation. They overlooked important resources. A desire to follow the rules and a failure to accept they were in a dire survival situation kept the second group from taking an appropriate action. They didn’t come to terms with the reality that a line had been crossed and the usual rules no longer applied.

Look at the video. As the car approached the crowded intersection and stopped a distance from it, it should have been clear this wasn’t an ordinary day-to-day crossing at an intersection. Something was different. The crowd was growing and swelling out onto the street.

The driver moved forward. According to witnesses, he was honking. This was a fateful error. The driver may have believed the crowd would make way for the car. He mistakenly thought this was just another day. The driver failed to fully appreciate his situation was deteriorating.

If the driver had taken a moment to take a deep breath and look around, he would have seen he could back his car up and evacuated the situation. In our daily lives, we don’t drive up to an intersection and then decide to back away. You’d get a traffic ticket if you regularly drove like this! You don’t regularly turn around and go the wrong way on a road. You need to be able to think outside the traffic lanes in a survival situation. You need to develop the judgment to know you’re in a survival situation.

Reports claim the guy was blasting his horn as he moved toward the crowd. If this is true, this was an aggressive act and he’s partly to blame for the situation. Had he read the situation correctly and had good sense, he would have backed up.

Prepper Lesson: Look at your options. Realize when you’re in a potential life or death situation. Don’t make your situation worse by making horrible decisions.

In the video, Props to the guy at the passenger side of the car who tried to keep morons from pounding on the car. If morons hadn’t been hitting the car, the driver wouldn’t have panicked and felt the need to flee. For the lady hit, this is sad. When you’re in a crowd, your safety depends on the actions of others.

Wouldn’t you know, I sold my last autoloading rifle right before the riots. For personal defense in SHTF, I’m down to shotguns and 30-30s and my handguns. I’ve written about the 30-30 on other blog posts. It’s not the ideal defensive rifle but it’s better than nothing!

Here are some other posts about lever action carbines for survival:

Residents Anxiously Await Grand Jury: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Old News)
Gun sales skyrocketed. Quote of the day (11:16): “If somebody break a window, are they going to get shot?” Ah, that would be a YES. I half expected the follow up question: “What about raping and pillaging? Are we safe on those?” A man has got to know his limitations.

Do you keep a list of your stored supplies?

I don’t keep a list of tools and supplies, although I should. If SHTF, can I barter off my 20 rolls of teflon tape?

I don’t have a link to the article, but in the fight against Ebola, the key to maximizing survival is full hydration. Drinking 1.3 gallons of water mixed with sugar and salt daily gave patients the best chances of survival. According to reports hydration is just as about as effective as anything they do at a modern hospital.

I stumbled on this article about burpees. They’re on the “bad exercise” list because of the flexation of the spine they cause. Good! I’m glad to cross them off my list. The purpose of the original burpee was to train infantry to quickly drop to the ground.

Are we getting dumber because of Google?

“Inuit hunters in northern Canada. Older generations could track caribou through the tundra with astonishing precision by noticing subtle changes in winds, snowdrift patterns, stars, and animal behavior. Once younger hunters began using snowmobiles and GPS units, their navigational prowess declined. They began trusting the GPS devices so completely that they ignored blatant dangers, speeding over cliffs or onto thin ice.”

Note to self: Don’t mess with the wives of Russian boxers.

How To Survive Ebola, Part 4

18 Oct

In other posts we looked at the importance of isolation, PPE, decontamination, ways to minimize exposure to Ebola, anti-virus hygiene, incubation periods and quarantine. All of these are practical ways of fighting Ebola from a prepper’s standpoint.

This post will speculate about what plague will look like in the modern world. What would happen if half of all people didn’t show up for work? How long would a Ebola plague last? How would it likely end?

What would plague look like in the modern world? Nobody knows. We’ve never seen it. We’ve seen limited outbreaks in Africa. We’ve never seen a large scale plague hit America in the modern age. The closest we had is the Spanish Flu in 1918, which ultimately infected one-third of the world’s population and killed more people than WWI.

Experts classify Ebola as a slow spreading virus which baffles me because in parts of Africa the number of confirmed cases is doubling every 20 days. That’s like saying a jackrabbit is slow!

At those rates by the time 1 million people had the disease in America it would only take 160 more days to infect nearly every American. An Ebola plague would happen over 6 months or more. This isn’t something hitting quickly and ending quickly. It could easily last one or two years.

Worst case scenario in America is 150 million dead. That would be a huge hit but civilization would continue. We wouldn’t revert back to pioneer times.

Even with only a few million Americans infected, the blow to the economy would be devastating. Airports would close. Tourism and public entertainment would cease to exist. Shopping centers would be empty if not locked down. People would stay home and not spend money. With people not spending businesses would fail or close their doors. Many workers would be laid off. This would have a negative cascading effect on the economy.

In the Spanish Flu, people were stoic. They went about their work. I don’t know if that would happen today. Without income from employment, many people would run out of money to purchase food. Food would become scarce in supermarkets. Those with money would hoard food and buy up all they could. The distribution chain would be compromised by the lack of workers.

Would people loot? Police forces would have reduced capacity because many police officers would be ill. The military would be deployed to police major cities if looting became a problem. The government would distribute food if the traditional supply chain broke down. Would there be enough? Impossible to predict.

Local and city governments should still have the resources to keep water running. Private wells should be fine. Sewer systems should continue to work. The private companies providing electrical power would be challenged. Power outages could occur and take longer to repair.

Hospitals would be overwhelmed. America is committing $1 billion to fighting Ebola in Africa. If Ebola comes to America in a big way, the government will spend trillions.

A vaccine could be developed ending the plague. The virus could mutate into a less harmful variation. This is common. If a virus is too deadly it kills off its host and dies itself.

The experts believe Ebola is fully containable and these worse case scenarios won’t happen. What we can predict with certainty: There will be other viruses in the future and some could make Ebola look like the common cold. Ebola is a horrible virus which kills 50% of those infected. By virus standards, Ebola is slow spreading and isn’t transmitted through the air. There are more dangerous viruses out there which would be far more difficult to contain. Regardless of how the Ebola story unfolds, preppers should prepare for plagues and future infectious diseases.

Charlie Palmer, author The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning


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