Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year?

2008 was a doozie, and unless there is a drastic change in the world, 2009 should be even worse. Here are several things that are on my radar for the coming year:

1. Israel versus?. Israel is currently attacking Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This could be a simple retaliation measure, or it could be a move to secure Israel's flanks for a possible attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities. If Israel does intend to attack Iran, the need to make sure that they are not going to experience attacks from Hamas back home. Doubt it? They attacked Syria in 2008, remember? ***Editors note, Israel is still moving against Gaza as of Jan. 18th, although there is a temporary cease fire in place.

2. India versus Pakistan. India and Pakistan have both moved troops closer to their borders. My concern is that if India can find a link between the Pakistani government or military and the Mumbai terrorists, they will use it as a reason to attack Pakistan. Have no doubts that in the event of a full on war, it will go Nuclear very quickly. With prevailing winds, that spells trouble for the West Coast of the US in the form of fallout. ***Editors note, India has indeed supplied Pakistan with what they consider proof of Paki involvement in the Mumbai attacks, expect a retaliation by India at some point.

3. Terrorist Attack in the US. With the pending change in administration, Al-Quaeda could be emboldened to mount another attack on the US. It is quite possible that they expect a less severe response than they got in 2001, and in fact, with the splintering of Al-Quaeda Command and Control, they could be harder to strike now than they were then.

4. Economic meltdown in the US. With the sliding dollar, rising unemployment and a lack of faith in our government, a Great Depression style meltdown may indeed be on the horizon. The Federal Government just raised the amount of money that FDIC will cover, is the government expecting more bank failures? Will there be a run on banks? ***Editors note, As of Jan. 18th 2009 the economy continues to worsen, unemployement is up, housing starts and company profits continue to fall and now the Federal Government cannot completely account for the 70 Billion is has given to banks as part of the bailout.

5. Social Upheaval in the US. With possible fuel and food shortages (driven by weather or economics), how will the US citizenry react? Well, for the vast majority who are expecting the government to provide for them, I think they will react badly. If this situation develops, I expect food riots and widespread looting as disenfranchised sheeple panic and lash out. In addition, if President Obama does not pull the country out of the slump it is in quickly, I expect a backlash from his current supporters. He has been painted as a messiah or "The Chosen One", and if he cannot live up to that reputation, I expect fickle America to turn on him quickly. If that happens, we can expect Draconian measures from the US Government to "restore order". Expect your rights to be trampled on.

I wish I had great hope for 2009, but all I can muster is concern. I continue my preps and working within my support network to make sure we are all ready. I fervently hope it is not needed, but I just can't be sure.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pics from the annual MG Shoot

Suppressed Ruger 10/22s, Thompson SMG, M-79 Grenade Launcher, M-14E2 (Select Fire), M-16 with XM-148 Grenade Launcher, HK MP-5 and a Suppressed Walther P-22

Pics from the annual MG Shoot

HK MP-5 (suppressed), Russian PPSH-41 and M-60

How fun was your Christmas?

Mine was pretty good. It was capped off today with our annual New Years Machine Gun Shoot. I can't disclose the location, but I will post a few pics of some of the hardware. This pic shows my buddy "3" shooting an M-249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), which is the US Military's 5.56mm fire support weapon. There are also 2 M-60's and an RPD in the picture. All legal, all fully automatic. Lot's of fun stuff to shoot including M-16s, AR-15s, AKs (47 and 74), lots of belt fed MGs, lots of suppressed stuff and even some grenade launchers. Good fun was had by all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just a random song lyric on a random day

I've always liked this song. No particular significance to it, or to posting it today. None at all.

Thirty-Nine And Holding
(J. Foster, B. Rice)

He's out there somewhere every night
The music's playin' loud
He's doing all-a those fifty's steps
He's in a 1980 crowd

Dim lights hide the mileage line
Clairol hides the gray
And he won't mention anything
To give his old age away

Oh Lord, he's thirty-nine an he's holdin'
He's holdin' everything that he can
From seventeen to twenty-five
He'll prove he's still a man

Hey boy, you're holding to a candle
And it's a-burning at both ends
Thirty-nine and holding
A-holdin' everything that I can

Well, now you can bet he'll never see
Thirty-nine, again
Son, you oughta given up a long time ago
But you just keep on hangin' in

He still thinks that he's the man
That he once used to be
Boy, you're just thirty-nine
And you're dreamin' Acting twenty-three

Oh-oh, he's thirty-nine, he's holdin'
Holdin' everything that he can
From seventeen to twenty-five
He'll prove he's still a man

He's a-holding to a candle
My God, it's burning at both ends!
He's thirty-nine and he's holdin'
Holdin' everything he can

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trip to the Woods

Here is Kid01 and Kid02 roughing it in the woods. How many of you would trust your 16 year old to wear a sidearm? If so, count yourself a good parent. As far as that goes, how many of you have 16 year olds who would give up a day at the mall, hanging with friends, listening to MP3s or killing brain cells with MySpace to go to the woods. I am truly a lucky guy. The only drawback? Mrs. RipperBravo6 had previous commitments and could not go. We missed her, but she promised to make the next trek.

Trip to the Woods

We took a family trip to the woods weekend before last. This is Kid02 playing with fire. I am happy to report that he did not burn himself or anyone else, and did not wet the bed (another Old Wives Tale disproven). He enjoyed shooting, hiking, cooking on an open fire and generally running wild. That is Bertram Buck to his left, a legend in his own time and one of the best bros a survivalist could have.

Load Bearing Gear

Finally got my web gear close to finished and thought I would post a pic of it. It is the ProTech I-RACK (Improved Ranger Assault Carrying Kit). I lengthened the shoulder straps so it would not hit me in the chin (using the existing strap slides) and added a longer belt and side release buckle in the back (from Strapworks who has great stuff, costs little and ships so fast that it is scary). It needed a longer belt to fit over my body armor, and it gives another release option since the zip off side panel can be hard to operate under stress. The vest came from US Cavalry ( and was on clearance for $20. Hard to beat that. I added 2 EMT pouches in Coyote Brown from Cheaper Than Dirt. On the right (in the picture) is my electronics pouch, featuring a micro light on a lanyard, a set of Tasco mini binoculars, AA and CR123 batteries and hopefully after Christmas a Garmin GPS (which will ride in a 5.11 Tactical GPS pouch in the front of the EMT pouch). On the left, the EMT pouch is used for a blowout kit. On the front, it features a Supply Captain ( MOLLE patch panel with one of their Medic Red Cross Velcro patches and a set of Velcro name tapes to let everyone with me know what it's for (might save my life). The blowout kit has Celox, Kerlix bandages, a compress, tape, forceps and a set of paramedic shears. Still need an Asheman Chest Seal and an Israeli bandage to complete it. In the center of the rig is my Gerber ASEK in it's MOLLE sheath, mounted upside down for quick access. To it's right (in the pic) is an Admin pouch with a flag, a name tape, and blood type and allergies Velcro patches (again, thanks Supply Captain). Inside the pouch are a red-lensed micro light and Silva Ranger Compass, both on lanyards, a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook, pens, pencil, several light sticks and a backup pocket knife. On the outside, the built in pouch features a Surefire G2 Nitrolon flashlight. Below the Admin Pouch is a Spec-Ops X-6 magazine pouch. It is designed for 6 30 round aluminum AR-15 mags, but only holds 5 of the Orlite mags I prefer (I also keep 1 in the rifle and 1 in a butstock pouch and an additional 6 mounted to the back of my rucksack for 13 total). The pouch came from LightHound ( who ships fast and is a great source for flashlight parts and paracord as well. I finished the rig off with a carabiner to clip my gloves on when I take them off. I prefer the IRACK because it has no back, so you can carry a Hydration pouch, a 3 day BOB, or a full rucksack with no interference. It is fairly easy to get on and off, carries all my needed gear and is comfortable to wear. Check it out if you are in the market for a great MOLLE rig.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A lesson about America

Today is December 7th. A Sunday, just like December 7th, 1941. I wanted to tell you today a story about a ship. An American ship, a battleship to be exact. But this story is about more than just the ship, this story is about America, and how Americans, when faced with a terrible challenge can often rise to the occasion. It is a story about how you can never count us out. It is a story about how we handle adversity.
The USS West Virginia (BB-48) was launched on the 17th of November, 1921 from Newport News, Virginia. She was a Colorado-Class Super Dreadnought, built with all the lessons learned from the First World War. She was meant to show the world that America had truly come of age and had taken her rightful place among the Superpowers of this Earth. And for the 20 years following her launch, she did just that. She traveled the world over, showing what America was capable of, winning awards and accolades and the deep and abiding respect of any man who crewed her.
On December 7th, 1941, she, along with many of her sister ships, including 6 other Battleships, lay moored in her quay off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was getting a well-deserved period of rest and refit following intense training exercises in November. It was in this spot, moored outboard of the USS Tennessee (BB-43), that she was attacked on that fateful Sunday morning. Being the outboard ship in the line, she took at least 7 hits from Japanese torpedoes, including possibly one fired from a Japanese Mini-Sub. She was hit by at least 2 bombs constructed from 16-inch armor piercing naval shells and spent 30 hours engulfed in an oil fire started when the USS Arizona was hit. The ship began to sink, but thanks to the quick thinking of her crew and officers, she was counter flooded to prevent capsizing and settled into the mud 40 feet down. Her crew stayed on board, fighting fires and firing the ships anti-aircraft guns at attacking Japanese aircraft until fire compelled them to abandon ship. They returned as soon as possible in an attempt to save their ship.
When the fires were extinguished the following day. damage was assessed, and the ship was deemed repairable. The USS West Virginia rose from the dead on May 17th, 1942, when, with patches on her hull, she was refloated and moved to dry dock for repairs. As Japan celebrated her victory, American workers labored long and hard to repair the great ship (and many other ships damaged in the attack). In July 1944, the USS West Virginia put to sea again, stronger and more modern than she had been in 1941. She steamed straight for the Empire of Japan as the flagship of Battleship Division 4 of the US Navy.
She spent the rest of 1944 fighting near the Philippines and in October 1944, she fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf against Admiral Shima's Japanese Imperial Navy Task force, which included the Super Battle ships Yamato and Musashi. Joining the "Wee Vee" were the USS Maryland, USS Tennessee, USS California, the USS Pennsylvania and the USS Mississippi. With the exception of the USS Mississippi, all these ships were Pearl Harbor veterans.
At 3:52 AM on October the 25th, the West Virginia opened fire at 22,800 yards with her 16 inch guns, firing 16 salvos and sending the Japanese Battleship Yamashiro to a watery grave.
She continued her operations in the Philippines, fought off Iwo Jima, battled Kamikazes, fought off Okinawa and steamed into Tokyo Bay in August 1945 to take part in the surrender of the Empire of Japan. The satisfaction felt by her sailors, rising from the mud of Pearl Harbor, to finally see their enemies vanquished, must have been overwhelming.
It tell you this story, not just to share America's history with you, but as a parable. When our ship is in trouble, when hope is gone and things look bleak, we should remember the West Virginia, and we should learn from her example that with the hard work and dedication of willing Americans, any ship can be set to rights again.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blog Bag of the Month

This is the Diplomat Molle Ammo Bag. I found this bag online at LA Police Gear.(

Here is the online description:

The Diplomat Molle Ammo Bag is a great multi-function bag. It was designed to be rugged and durable to withstand whatever you may need to put it through. Instead of normal cloth thread Diplomat used nylon thread to make it even tougher. The MOLLE Ammo Bag can be use for an ammo bag (as the name suggests), a first aid kit, a small travel bag, or an emergency kit. It can fit right under the front seat of a truck or Humvee so it can be close at hand whenever you may need it. The Diplomat MOLLE Ammo bag can be carried by it's carry handle, or you can use the shoulder strap that is included with the bag. The inside features various clips, pouches and Velcro to attach and organize all the gear you need. Dimensions: 13.5" x 11" x 6".

Looked like an interesting bag. Just about the right size for a "Get Home" kit or to carry a pistol and ammo to the range. Then I saw the price! This bag is listed at LA Police Gear for $9.99! Yep, $10 for a MOLLE bag! You can't get a good MOLLE pouch for $10 these days. I have ordered two of them and they are expected to arrive in the next few days. I will post a review when they get here, but at $9.99 they would have to be pretty crappy to disappoint. Not sure exactly what I will use them for (which is why I got 2). The color choices were Black, OD Green and Coyote Brown. All my other gear is in Coyote, so I got both bags in it. I can see mounting this to the outside of a large rucksack to carry food, snivel gear, extra ammo, or just about anything that you might want the option of removing and carrying seperatley. Diplomat also makes a laptop sized "Combat Briefcase" type bag and a nice looking MOLLE 3 day backpack. I put those on my Christmas list.