As Bob Marley said:
“None but ourselves can free our minds.”
As Bob Marley said:
“None but ourselves can free our minds.”
This is a gold mine!
US Members of Congress on Twitter: Every US member of congress now has a twitter account that they and their staff monitor frequently. Here they are, along with hundreds of Twitter addresses for conservative media, activists, bloggers, and more. Someone did a LOT of work putting this together. All you have to do is bookmark the site, and/or copy and paste into your address book.
Are you thinking through the subsequent-order consequences of these events in your area?
You should be.
There are no magic wands.
1) “Semper Gumby”: Tom B’s comparison of prior .mil experience and its pluses/minuses
2) Advice from G1 on how to collect local imagery today and store it offline:
Google Earth can be used to grab satview photos of specific locations in your area of operations. It’s very simple.
Center the map over the location. Click on the icon in the tool bar for photos. You will get a second window or toolbar with options to add a legend to the photo and to save it to file. It’s simple to save it to your location of choice.
I typically do not use the Google earth options so that I do not become dependent on them. They are good for using while we have a grid up, but what to do if we do not have access to GE? We can save these photos but there is no guarantee that we will get all that we might need.
Well, that’s where our TOPO map come in handy. Here is the link to the USGS topo store:
You can go here and find your topo. Once you do, right click on it. It will give you options to download or even order a hard copy. The Download is where it’s at. The hard copy is good as well so take advantage of that option too.
The download however comes with some extra. The downloads are GeoPDF files. These files open with normal Adobe Acrobat and if you download a little tool called Terrago, you get some additional features as well. The normal GeoPDF works like a little map viewer with a cursor that produces coordinates as you move it around. There is also multiple layers of information that can be turned on and off. One of these layers is a Satview. It’s not to the resolution of Google Earth but it’s an offline resource that you can have access to as long as you have power to your laptop or tablet.
Fantastic tool and a great resource to learn now while the grid is up.
3) My lessons learned:
– Lists: Don’t refuse to use them. I did, and had to scramble to replace that which was left behind. Stupid unforced error.
– Assume things will be improvisational: Go with the flow. Stay calm and focus on the immediate next task in your lane. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One of the most impressive aspect of our sandlot team was that everyone brought the right cooperative spirit to the exercise.
– Don’t start at a run: As originally planned, the exercise was more complex. As G1 and I discussed, we elected at last moment to simplify, and then simplified more in the actual execution.
– Don’t go whole hog on the technology: Fundamentally, the exercise as designed was a people-brain-training challenge. Keep the tech at a minimum, for two reasons. One to aid the humans in learning their jobs, and second to minimize dependence on what might not be available in the real deal.
– Keep track of the “cost” of your exercise assumptions: For example, there was no encryption on our radio channel, and we used a single common net. In real life, such factors would have potentially disastrous costs. To gain the maximum value from the drill, all of those costs need to be tallied and discussed as part of after-ex.
– Keep track of gaps in prior education identified by the exercise: Another post will feature some basic education that optimally will be shared and refreshed by all members of your neighborhood protection team. Short form: much of this resource should be considered by your team as essential.
– Everyone has a skill to contribute and a job to do: In case you have not faced the reality, you not only don’t have enough ammunition, but you also don’t have enough people for the tasks ahead of you. Accordingly, everyone you do have has to be used to best advantage – e.g., older kids as runners in case comms go out, older folks as radio operator/logbook custodians, etc.
– Planning for the next exercise begins during execution of the preceding drill: Learning a complicated new skillset requires iteration. More asap on that front.
Kudos to all involved, and to our hosts for letting us play in their sandbox.
In response to a perceived pro-Putin POV at WRSA:
Hi, Concerned American!
This is short text as a support of my point of view.
Good day for you, jentlemen. I am Russian resident, nickname/callsign is Goblin. My writing caused by recent post in WRSA about our current political leader, V. Putin, where was statement about Putin as nationalist. I shall try to persuade you, that he is not.
One important thing to know before arguing. I consider USA as an enemy against Russian Federation, in political point. Just because one source of power can not be friend with another source of power. I do not consider Americans as natural enemies against Russians, i mean departments of states. But i never was a part of “orange” opposition, Kasparov, Nemtsov, Navalny and others – they are West-driven liberals, willing traitors of my country.
The exact sense of being nationalist is to defend and make benefits to the own nation, in certain ethnic or the whole government point. Russian Federation consists of about 180 nationalities, with namely Russians about 77-80 percent.
How did Putin handle ethnic Russians within his presidentship?
population census 2002 – 115 889 107
population census 2010 – 111 016 896
How it was in social relation? Well, it is too biased, you just have to take my word. If Russian is attacked by swart-skinned migrant, it is considered as usual crime, if swarth-skinned is attacked by Russian, it is considered as extremism, nazism, and so on. Do you suppose i am a jingo? Yes, definitely i am, since 2006, then ethnic conflicts arise over European Russia. You can easily recheck my words by typing “anti-extremist laws pitin nationalism” in search engine. Well, this laws are also directed against Muslim fanatics, but work very nice against Russians (not nazis of any kind, just got into a scrape of some kind, streetfight with impudent migrants).
How it was cultural? Russian Academy of Sciences being reformated, read this as “destroyed”. Educational cycle degrades with introducing “Unitary State Exam”.
Lets speak about how Putin handled the Russian Federation – economics. Ok, we see GNP growth near 150% compared 2000-2014. But it is strictly correlated with oil price ( http://voprosik.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/117.png – blue line GNP, red line oil price). I personally looked the destruction of machine tool factory in Lipetsk and its replacement by shopping mall. Shopping mall instead of machine tool factory, Carl! Buy Chinese stuff and abandon your own machinery building! So we moved to emotions, why the hell Russia buy USA obligations? Why our insurance fund is in dollars? How it can be patriotic, or at least common sense?
We often hear the argument – allegedly Putin is better than Yeltsin, he goes another way. Wait. Yeltsin made Putin prime-minister. Yeltsin appointed him acting President. They are a clansmen of the same clan, they protect interests of the same oligarchs. They say – Putin made reforms, re-structured state, economics and army. But if you didn’t know – reforms never can be held in a moment. It takes years to reshape big systems, and this work was started by Pitin predecessor, Primakov.
Why do you, my american conversationalists, take Putin as leader, preferable to Obama? I assume it’s media effect. The image of the enemy is necessary to rule own country – so media draw it. It is scary, energetic and dangerous. Ironically, you want to see your leader to be energetic and dangerous. Me too, obviously – but i know it’s not about Putin.
A pair of words about situation along Ukraine. It’s a real PITA for me personally, because i have friends and relatives on the both sides of frontier. And even on both sides of frontline. Well, USA department of state worked hard to set the Ukrainians against the Russians – and succeded. Five billions spent on the Maidan. Years after, the central Ukrainians start to hate another Ukrainians – in Crimea and South-East, just because they are close to Russia by language, culture and motives. It’s not the evil eyed dwarf Putin who steal Crimea – it’s stupid Ukrainian xenophobes who pushed and lost Crimea. So in South-East, in Donbass – the gap formed between residents of the two areas long before the war. Now Ukrainians can not believe that the inhabitants of the South-East by themselves oppose the Ukrainian army, and they say that in Ukraine are fighting not militia, but Russian army. Well, i’m sure, there is a significant support of Donbass militia by Russian govt, but not a Russian army. It would be much more evidence and the difference in the fighting results. Sorry but it is again a loss, not theft.
Thanks Concerned American for question, it it was an interesting exercise – to prove my viewpoint step by step, check myrself.
We are all mortal.
What matters is what we do with the limited time allotted.
Actual Drudge-talk begins at 5:55.
Do listen to what Matt has to say about the future of media and freedom.
A true game-changer.
One person can and does make a difference.
How to Increase your Speed & Accuracy: A Review of LASR Enhanced Dry Fire Software
How often do you carry a handgun? Daily? Good answer. How often do you train with your handgun? If not daily, then why not? Is it because you don’t have time to drive to/from the range every day? Maybe ammo is too expensive? Perhaps practicing your draw is too boring? Possibly it’s because you can’t measure your speed and accuracy while dry firing? Any of these excuses sound familiar? I’ve used every one of them. Over the past months, however, I’ve started using a software program that eliminates all of my excuses to not train daily.
Meet Laser-Activate Shot Reporter, or LASR for short:
Essentially, LASR is software that adds a timer and shot location report to your dry fire practice. The program uses your webcam to detect shots from a laser training device, like a Shot-Indicating Reset Trigger (SIRT) pistol, on targets that can be anything, including: IPSC silhouettes, bullseyes, paper plates, or even Post-It notes. Targets are limited only by your imagination and ability to draw an outline around them in the webcam view on the computer screen.
LASR has a number of features and modes that will help you shoot faster, tighten your groups, and it can also improve your cognitive problem-solving skills while training:
•Sound – Every time the webcam detects a laser dot, the computer plays a customizable “BANG!” sound to simulate the shot and when that dot falls within your delineated target areas, the computer makes a customizable “PING!” report to simulate a hit on steel. The sound effects addition definitely makes dry fire practice more interactive and fun.
•Integrated Shot Timer – The timer begins with the buzzer and records total time, split time between shots, and par time. The starting buzzer has a number of customizable commands and features, including a random start delay to prevent you from mentally cheating and anticipating the timing of “Shooter ready, standby… ‘BEEP!’”
•Call Targets Mode – Allows you to name your targets (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, One, Two, Three, Circle, Square, Triangle, etc.) and LASR will call the name for your next active target. You can add further challenge in this mode by requiring yourself to move to different shooting locations for the called target or to fire from a different position behind a training barricade, if used.
•Target Down Mode – Allows you to set a specific number of rounds to down a target, or to set an upper and lower limit to randomize the required rounds for target neutralization (I frequently use two and five as limits). LASR will sound an air horn when the target has been neutralized, allowing you to proceed to the next target. This mode helps prevent bad habits and the muscle memory of mindlessly double tapping each target while shooting a stage or sequence in search for a faster time.
•Reload Mode – Allows you to define the number of rounds in your virtual magazine. LASR will call “RELOAD!” and it will ignore any shots during the user-defined reload time.
•Race Mode – Allows up to nine shooters on the line with nine separate targets for man on man drills to see who’s fastest with accurate hits.
•Diagnostic Mode –In this mode, the webcam view on the computer screen shows a dot for the initial impact of the shot and a line drawn from that point in the direction the muzzle moved. This mode is extremely useful in diagnosing trigger control errors like jerking, slapping, and follow through.
•Data Analysis – LASR allows you to save your stage statistics. These can then be analyzed both graphically and in tables to evaluate first shot time, split times, and accuracy. This lets you track and measure your progress in achieving your next training standard.
Those are the strengths/advantages of LASR, but what are the weaknesses? The obvious training shortcoming is the lack of recoil. That’s why it’s important to continue your range trips while using LASR as a training aide when you can’t get out to the square range. Another drawback I’ve found is that LASR doesn’t work well in natural light with brightness that changes from cloud/shadow movement. I’ve had the best results with closed curtains, or shooting at night, and using interior lighting.
What does the whole setup cost? I’m going to presume you already have a computer and webcam, so you would only need a laser training instrument and the LASR software. While there are a handful of options out there, I personally purchased the SIRT pistol made by Next Level Training (NLT); best price I’ve found online is $200. The resetting trigger allows me to fire multiple shots during a stage without racking a slide (like I need to do when using my carry gun and laser ammo inserts), and the removable weighted NLT magazines allow for reload practice. The LASR software retails at $120 (http://lasrapp.com/store/lasr-laser-activated-shot-reporter), which I thought was reasonable for everything it does. But if you use the discount code “THREEPERCENT” in your shopping cart, they knock 10% off the price, which brings it down to $108.
In addition to a SIRT pistol, I also recently purchased the NLT AR bolt (best price I’ve found online is $130), which turns my AR into a laser training rifle that works with LASR. I have likes and dislikes with it, but overall don’t regret buying it. I like that it allows me to practice the muscle memory and speed of snapping the rifle to my shoulder, getting a sight picture, clicking the safety off, squeezing the trigger, and then clicking the safety back on as I break my sight picture. I also like being able to see the difference in the point of aim of my red dot and point of impact of the laser at different distances (in my unfinished basement I have targets set up from 7-18 yards). That helps me get a good feel for my holdovers at various close distances. However, I dislike that the trigger isn’t a fully resetting trigger like the SIRT pistol. The trigger kit that comes with the NLT AR bolt installs in the AR lower and makes it so the trigger travel is basically the slack between follow through and trigger reset. This does, however, allow for multiple shots without needing to run the charging handle in between them.
Is the whole setup worth the cost for you? The one word answer is maybe. I looked at it this way: instead of buying another gun, that I didn’t really need and that would just sit in the safe, I spent less money on a training system that I can use daily in my home to improve my speed and accuracy. Does it work? First off, I’m no IDPA Master Level shooter. I had been using LASR in my basement for about a month before a range trip and I was pleased with my increased handgun accuracy and ability to keep my groups within 4” at 12 yards while shooting quickly. And now that I have been training with the NLT AR bolt, my times have also significantly improved for the stages in the carbine qualifier I use to train.
In summary, it’s been worth it to me; so I suggest you ditch the excuses, choose a standard, and start training toward it now.
Kit Lange updates on the “Go Home, Obama!” rally this Friday.
UPDATE 1330EDT 7OCT2015: More detail from the organizers:
DATE: 9 October 2016 (THIS Friday)
TIME: 9 AM (subject to change slightly based on intel about his arrival)
LOCATION 1: Intersection of Stuart Parkway and Aviation Dr., Roseburg.
LOCATION 2: Intersection of Edenbower Blvd and Hwy 99, Roseburg
LOCATION 3: Intersection of College Road and Hwy 99
***YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN FOR PARKING***
Do NOT park illegally. Once you have parked, walk to the closest of the three intersections.
– Expect to walk a bit of a distance if you have to park a ways off. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
– Bring water, sunscreen, snacks, etc. PREPARE to be out there for a few hours.
– Bring signs, flags, etc.
– If you choose to bring a firearm, please keep it holstered and/or properly secured, etc. Safety and responsibility at all times.
– We are working on finding portapotties for the event. In order to do that we’ll need donations (something we hadn’t planned on needing!) We are opening an account for the funds and will post that account number so that people can donate if they so choose to help offset the expenses for the toilets.
There will be no speakers, no entertainment. Please plan accordingly if you bring children, pets, etc. If you do plan to bring your dog, please clean up after it. No trash will be left in the area. We WILL police our area and it WILL be left in as good or better shape than it was when we arrived.
We will provide more information as we get it. Thank you.