Monday, February 22, 2016

US Navy SEAL Ethos/Creed


The U.S. Navy SEALs were established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a small, elite maritime military force to conduct Unconventional Warfare. They carry out the types of clandestine, small-unit, high-impact missions that large forces with high-profile platforms (such as ships, tanks, jets and submarines) cannot. SEALs also conduct essential on-the-ground Special Reconnaissance of critical targets for imminent strikes by larger conventional forces.*

Although the SEALs always had an unspoken creed of honor, it wasn't until 2005 that they formally adopted the following creed.**

SEAL Ethos/Creed

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me - my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.
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*from Navy Seal History at http://navyseals.com/nsw/navy-seal-history/
**as presented on the Naval Warfare Command Website webpage: http://www.public.navy.mil/nsw/Pages/EthosCreed.aspx

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Survivalist Myth? The Golden Horde

Its a nightmare many survivalists and preppers have: masses of people fleeing the big cities and descending on rural areas after some sort of collapse of our society's economic system, power grid, and/or just-in-time food distribution system. Folks already living in those rural areas would have to contend with refugees that are totally unprepared, many of which would turn to looting and violence to take the rapidly dwindling food and other resources.

James Wesley, Rawles, in his book How to Survive the End of the World as we Know It (an excellent book, by the way), describes this mass exodus as "The Golden Horde." Its a term he got from his father, who was comparing the potential mass exodus from the big cities to the Mongol horde of the 13th century. Here is how Rawles describes it on page six of his book:
"Because of the urbanization of the US population, if the entire eastern or western power grid goes down for more than a week, the cities will rapidly become unlivable. I foresee that there could be an almost unstoppable chain of events:

     Power failures, followed by
     Municipal water supply failures, followed by
     Collapse of law and order, followed by
     Fires and full-scale looting, followed by
     Massive "Golden Horde" out-migration from major cities

As the comfort levels in the cities drops to nil, there will be a massive outpouring from the big cities and suburbs into the hinterboonies."
Is The Golden Horde scenario realistic, or a myth?

At one point in our nations history, the Golden Horde probably would have happened in a long-term grid-down event. But those days are long past, as the concept of self-reliance has been intentionally erased from the American people. Let me explain with some recent real-life examples.

Remember New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Remember all those people standing around in knee-deep water waiting for the government or someone else to help them? They had several days warning that a major hurricane was on the way, yet they did nothing. Even after Katrina hit flooding large sections of the city and collapsing its infrastructure, they did nothing to get themselves out of the situation. Instead they stood around in knee-deep water until authorities were able to round them up and ship them to the horrible and dangerous conditions of the Superdome.

That is called "learned helplessness," a behavioral term for when an organism (animal or human) has been taught through external stimuli to NOT help themselves, but to depend on outside factors. In the case of those people in New Orleans, generations of public education and government dependence left much of the population unable to help themselves. For most, it didn't even occur to them to try to get out of that situation on their own. And, if it did, they simply didn't know how to even start to help themselves.

Interestingly, the term "learned helplessness" appears in declassified CIA documents. The CIA defines learned helplessness as a type of instilled "apathy" which it is very difficult or even impossible to overcome.

Rawles mentions "municipal water supply failures" in his list of events leading to a Golden Horde. Well, in Flint, Michigan, the munipal water supply failed in 2014, and remains very dangerously tainted almost two years later. Despite knowing this, most folks living in the affected area are still living there, still drinking the tainted water, still waitng for government to fix it.

In certain areas of Chicago and Detriot, collapse of law and order has already occurred. Those areas are effectively without rule of law (WROL), and have been for years. People living in those areas are being slaughtered by gangs and criminals. Yet, there have been no mass exodus from those areas. Sure, the folks living there want to be safe, but they only know to wait for government to take care of it rather than to get themsleves out of those situations.

Golden Hordes might have been a possibility in the 1940s, 50s, and even 60s, but generations of learned helplessness means it is highly unlikely today. Of course, a few folks today will try to escape the big cities, but most won't even try. Instead of fleeing masses, the masses are much more likely to sttay in the cities waiting for help that will never arrive. The suffering and death will be extraordinary.
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Despite using Rawles Golden Horde idea as an example, I have a lot of respect for him and do recommend his books and website.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Diabetes - An Update + Tips and Resources

Back in October, I revealed that I had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes earlier in 2015, and explaining how I was dealing with it as a "prepper." Today, I'm giving an update on my situation, plus a few tips and resources based on my experiences and what I've learned.

My Current State of Health

Fortunately, my current state of health is much improved. After almost eight months of effort, I have gotten my morning (fasting) glucose levels down to the 120s most mornings, and occasionally as low as 104. My after meal spikes in glucose now are typically in the 140s or 150s. Though I still need bring down my numbers a bit more, this is a tremendous improvement over last June, when most of my morning readings were in the 240s, and my after meal spikes often were over 350 (dangerously high).

I am not on insulin. I am controlling my diabetes through changes in my diet and lifestyle, losing weight (I've lost almost 30 pounds), and oral medication. My doctor has already taken me off one of the oral medications, and we are working towards getting off the second within the next few months, ultimately controlling my diabetes strictly through diet and lifestyle.

My eyesight, which was badly damaged (see my previous article), has responded very well with treatment (which, unfortunately, was a series of six monthly injections into my eyes). I will be undergoing one last treatment in two weeks, laser surgery to stop three leaking capillaries in one of my eyes.

Dietary Changes

After talking to my doctors, doing a whole lot of research, and after very carefully monitoring the effect of individual foods on my blood sugar levels, I have made two permanent changes to my diet: 1) I avoid almost all added sugar in foods. It is stunning how many of our foods have added sugar, and how much sugar is actually added. Food companies use many different names for sugar in order to hide how much is added to our food. 2) I have cut all potatoes and all grain products from my diet, including all pasta, bread, crackers, cereals, oatmeal, rice, corn, etc. I found that even the so-called "good grains" - whole grains - have a devastating effect on my blood sugar diabetes. In addition, my research on healthy vs. unhealthy diets has convinced me that the current USDA recommended diet, of which grains are the foundation, is based not on science, but rather on lobbying from Big AgriBusiness. Grains, even whole grains, are not a particularly healthy food.

There is a lot I can write about food and diet, but I will save most of that for future articles.

Tips and Resources

1) A good doctor is extremely important. Don't settle for a pill-pusher who just wants to write you a prescription and forget about you until your next appointment in three months. My first doctor was this way and I fired her (yes, you can fire your doctor). Instead find a doctor who will work with you to improve your underlying health, not just to cover your symptoms with medication. My current doctor has set a goal of getting me off diabetes medication by getting me to the point of controlling my diabetes through diet and lifestyle changes. I am already off of one of the two medications I was originally given. PLEASE NOTE: Everyone's health is unique to them. You may or may not be able to get off your medications, which is why you need to work closely with your doctor.

2) Take your health seriously. Diabetes can have major complications. You need to work hard and aggressively at overcoming your diabetes and improving your health. Don't just settle for controlling your symptoms, work towards improving your health.

3) Monitor your  blood sugar closely. Everyone's body is a little different, and will responded differently to various foods. There is no "one size fits all" plan when it comes to your health. Learn for yourself how certain foods affect your blood sugar. 

4)  Learn all the many, many, many different names for sugar. Our food supply has lots and lots of sugar added to it, and the food industry hides much of it by using a variety of different names for sugar, often using several different names on the same food label to how the true sugar content. Although there are many different types of sugar, they all are still sugar, and too much is very bad for you.

5) Of all the books I've read so far, the best and most useful is 60 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar by Dennis Pollock. Pollock's book is an aggressive plan to contol your blood sugar by bring together the best of traditional and alternative medicine. What I apprechiate about Pollock's approach is that it is based on solid science, even the "alternative" aspects, and is not some hippy-dippy book that rejects science (avoid those). Also, his ideas are easy to follow.

6) My doctor recommended the book Life Without Bread by Dr. Christian B. Allan, and Dr. Wolfgang Lutz. This book presents a low-carbohydrate diet (but one not as severe as the Atkin's Diet) as the best healthy diet for everyone, especially people dealing with high blood sugar. Right now, based on my own experiences and everything else I've read, I think they are right about their low-carbohydrate diet.


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