Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Saturday, August 29, 2015

On Midrats 30 Aug 2015 - Episode 295: "NATO Goes Back to Fundamentals" With Jorge Benitez

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 30 Aug 2015 for Midrats Episode 295: "NATO Goes Back to Fundamentals" With Jorge Benitez:
From the Balitic to the Black Sea, the last year has seen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) return to its roots - the defense of Europe from Russian aggression.

The names and players have changes significantly since a quarter century ago - but in many ways things look very familar.

To discuss NATO's challenge in the East in the second decade of the 21st Century for the full hour will be Dr. Jorge Benitez.

Jorge is the Director of NATOSource and a Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

He specializes in NATO, European politics, and US national security. and previously served as Assistant for Alliance Issues to the Director of NATO Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also served as a specialist in international security for the Department of State and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.

Dr. Benitez received his BA from the University of Florida, his MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Join us live if you can, or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also find the show later at our iTune page here.

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "Let George Do It"

Let George Do It:
Let George Do It was a radio drama series produced by Owen and Pauline Vinson from 1946 to 1954. It starred Bob Bailey as detective-for-hire George Valentine (with Olan Soule stepping into the role in 1954).

Clients came to Valentine's office after reading a newspaper carrying his classified ad:

Personal notice: Danger's my stock in trade. If the job's too tough for you to handle, you've got a job for me. George Valentine.
The few earliest episodes were more sitcom than private eye shows, with a studio audience providing scattered laughter at the not-so-funny scripts. Soon the audience was banished, and George went from stumbling comedic hero to tough guy private eye and the music from wah-wah-wah to suspenseful.

Here's "The Little Man Who Was Everywhere"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nigeria: River Pirates/Kidnappers Strike Again

Reported as "Pirates strike again in Bayelsa waterways, abduct local chiefs":
Barely three weeks after pirates killed 4 soldiers and one policeman at a military base in Nembe, sea pirates on Wednesday afternoon ambushed two speedboats and kidnapped three persons along the Ogbia-Brass waterways of Bayelsa East senatorial district.

Police spokesperson, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the development but said he was yet to get details.

A security source said two Okpoama chiefs where abducted, and identified them as Blessing Wagio and Isaac Akono-Igolo.

The victims’ boats were said to have left the Ogbia water front at about 2pm for Brass when they came under attack around Kiberibio area of the Ogbia-Brass waterway, an area notorious for sea pirates attacks.
Area in red on the Nigeria map is the State of Bayelsa, Nigeria. Red circle on GoogleEarth map is vicinity of attack, yellow line is linear representation of river route from Orgvia to Brass. Click on maps to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Interesting Look at the "Risk-Denying" White House

Tying in the Iran Deal and the President's Clean Power Plan might seem a stretch, but Bob Tippee of the Oil and Gas Journal sees a connection:

And, while this video by Nick Snow of the same publication doesn't quite plow the same field, it shows that in the seemingly never-ending quest to "fix" our environment, the need for sound cost-benefit analysis should play a major role:

How decisions can be made or validated without considering risks and costs is troubling question for this administration.

We've seen the consequences of taking action based solely on a political agenda issues without looking at all risks and costs played out in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, ISIS, medical coverage, race relations and other areas.

Calling people who demand such analysis "crazies" is not a sign of mature leadership.

Or any leadership, really.

Disaster Prep Wednesday: FEMA asks "Are You Ready?"

FEMA has a way too long guide asking "Are You Ready?"
The guide has been designed to help the citizens of this nation learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards. It can be used as a reference source or as a step-by-step manual. The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency plans that reflect what must be done before, during, and after a disaster to protect people and their property. Also included is information on how to assemble a disaster supplies kit that contains the food, water, and other supplies in suffi cient quantity for individuals and their families to survive following a disaster in the event they must rely on their own resources.
Use the info most applicable to you and your situation. I doubt people in Omaha have much need for earthquake or hurricane info. And, as the the guide is from 2004, so you know that there have been some changes in the past 11 years, so think about those changes.

The fundamental thought, though, is still valid: You need to rely on your own resources - perhaps for 3 days or perhaps much longer. And it is better to do some planning now, in anticipation of a disaster, rather than trying to catch up after your world has changed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Iran and the Fictional Pirates Are Back Again

Photo accompanying the Iranian "news" release is of the French frigate Le Nivose F732
Oil tanker rescued from pirates
TEHRAN, Aug. 25 (MNA) – The Iranian Navy commander has said that a pirate attack on an oil tanker was foiled by the 35th fleet of the Iranian Navy.

Underlining that in the recent years, there have been 189 cases of intense battles against pirates, the Iranian Navy's Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari stated that, “in the past few days, due to the peaceful conditions at the sea, pirates had increased their activities and the Iranian naval flotilla had to thwart their attacks for several times.”

“In the last clash which broke out on Monday, an Iranian oil tanker was attached by several pirate boats equipped with heavy machine guns and was released by the 35th fleet of the Iranian Navy,” added Sayari.
Total pirate attacks reported by anyone else in the area: 0.

It's a mostly harmless fantasy.

So, go 36th fleet! See if you can also defeat "several pirate boats equipped with heavy machine guns" - maybe even with drones and missiles. I mean why stop with machine guns?

Oh, by the way, the 2009 report behind the photo is here:
The Indian Ocean is a slightly safer place today after a gang of gormless Somali pirates were arrested when they accidentally attacked a French warship, the frigate Le Nivose, after mistaking it for a merchant vessel.

The pirates were traveling in three boats, two small skiffs and a nine metre ‘mother ship’. The gang was armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, a grenade launcher and five grenades. They pursued the French naval vessel after failing to recognise it as such after the captain of the frigate, Lieutenant Commander Jean-Marc le Quilliec, decided to head towards the sun to camouflage the ship’s identity.

As the pirates approached they were astonished to see the ‘merchant vessel’ launch an attack helicopter and two assault dinghies full of highly trained and heavily armed French commandos. The pirates immediately surrendered after the helicopter fired a volley of warning shots.
That's not a fantasy.

Dear Young Men: Co-ed College is not for you.

Could there be a more egregious overreaction? Old Dominion University's Sigma Nu Frat Suspended During Probe Into Sexually Suggestive Signs:
Crass, sexually suggestive banners "welcoming" freshman women to a Virginia college last week have sparked outrage and led to the suspension of at least one of the school's fraternities.
Wow. Just wow.

This requires an "investigation?" Pretty obvious that some guys in a frat thought it would be funny and acted on a whim.

Frankly, I am offended by the offense taken by some priggish pervert who sees "rape" behind every innuendo. There are more "sexual" suggestions in any ten-minute segment of "The Big Bang Theory" than in those signs.

I suggest young men with a sense of humor find a single-sex college or university to attend. Oh, wait - there aren't many left for men.
As of March 2015, there are three non-religious, four-year, all-male college institutions in the United States. These are:

Hampden–Sydney College, Hampden–Sydney, Virginia
Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia
Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana
Women, especially those who may be uncomfortable to be around men, have a broader choice:

Agnes Scott College
Alverno College
Barnard College
Bay Path University
Bennett College for Women
Brenau University
Bryn Mawr College
Cedar Crest College
The College of New Rochelle
College of Saint Benedict
College of Saint Elizabeth
College of Saint Mary
Columbia College
Converse College
Cottey College
Douglass Residential College of Rutgers University
Hollins University
Judson College
Mary Baldwin College
Meredith College
Midway University
Mills College
Moore College of Art and Design
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Mary University
Mount St. Mary's College
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Russell Sage College of The Sage Colleges
St. Catherine University
Saint Mary's College
Salem College
Scripps College
Simmons College
Smith College
Spelman College
Stephens College
Stern College for Women
Sweet Briar College
Trinity Washington University
University of Saint Joseph
Ursuline College
Wellesley College
Wesleyan College
The Women's College of the University of Denver
Meanwhile, a little more joy goes out of the universe. The joy of being young and rowdy and in college.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "Gunsmoke"

Dodge City
Described by some as "Radio's Last Great Dramatic Series," Gunsmoke aired from from 1952 to 1961:
Gunsmoke was set in Dodge City, Kansas between 1872, when the Santa Fe Railroad reached town, and 1885, when local farmers forced the end of the Texas cattle drives along the Western Trail.
The radio version starred William Conrad, a hard working voice and character actor who later became a TV star as Cannon, a somewhat rotund private detective.

Friday, August 14, 2015

On Midrats 16 August 2015- Episode 293: Russia and the Nuclear Shadow: 2015’s Revivals with Tom Nichols

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 16 August 2015 for Midrats Episode 293: Russia and the Nuclear Shadow: 2015’s Revivals with Tom Nichols:
They never really went away, but for almost 20 years the world had a holiday from an old challenge and a new one; Russia and the prospect of nuclear war.

Some thought, and more hoped that with the end of the Cold War, a newer world order would emerge that would enable an era of stability and peace. In a way, it did – but only in spots and for short periods of time.

While for the last 15 years most of the attention was focused on the expansion of radical Islam, two not unrelated events began to wax. From the ashes of the Soviet Union, fed by a charismatic leader and a resource extraction economy, Russian began to reassert itself in a manner consistent with the last 500 years of its history, and in parallel – the boogyman of the second half of the 20th Century began to grow as well; the proliferation and possible use nuclear weapons.

To discuss this and more for the full hour will be Dr. Tom Nichols,

Tom is a professor at the Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, as well as a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City and a Fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University. Previously he was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Before coming to the War College, he taught international relations and Russian affairs for many years at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University. In Washington, he was personal staff for defense and security affairs in the United States Senate to the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania.

He received his PhD from Georgetown, an MA from Columbia University, and the Certificate of the Harriman Institute at Columbia.

He's also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion. He played in the 1994 Tournament of Champions, is listed in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame. He played his final match in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also pick the show up for later listening at our iTunes page here.

Friday Fun FIlm: "Campus on the March" (1942)

Recruiting and training new officers for World War II at major college campuses. Almost hard to believe that a little short of 30 years later that "campus marches" were being held to have ROTC thrown off many of these same university and college grounds.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fun with China: Recruiting for China's People's Liberation Army Navy

With a big hat tip to J. Michael Cole at The National Interest, "Watch: China's Shocking New Military Recruitment Video":
It doesn't take long, however, for the video to shift to bombastic music and visuals of a very different nature. The appeal to nationalism—and to China's territorial claims—is hard to miss, what with footage of the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islets in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Japan and Taiwan, as well as various features in the South China Sea, a source of rising tension in recent years.

There are a few glimpses of the PLAN's humanitarian role, but this is contrasted with, and overtaken by, unmistakable militarism: endless footage of bombs falling, rockets being fired, things being blown up. There is definitely an element of signaling, and it's not meant to be reassuring. If we put this together with a campaign that included a video, aired on CCTV early last month, of exercises ostensibly simulating an assault on Taiwan's Presidential Office, the intention is to scare potential opponents, perhaps to win a war without having to fight.

Yep, fun with a burgeoning power. A hungry one, at that. Hungry for respect. Hungry for payback for several hundred years of being a weak sister.

Funny, that music reminds of something . . . perhaps a U.S. Navy commercial?

Update: Ah, found it:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Disaster Prep Wednesday: Weapons of Survival

Unless your are like the survivors of the "Emberverse", well schooled in the art of sword play and/or the use of bows/crossbows, there is always the possibility that you might need some sort of weapon - perhaps not to protect you from your fellow living humans or even the living dead, but to put meat in the stew pot or to fend off wild animals.

In the past, I have consistently suggested that the best self-defense weapon is some sort of shotgun. Why? Because with a shotgun accuracy is not critical and if you miss, it is less likely that your pellets will travel along and injure that nice Mrs. Jones who lives just down the street.

But . . . what about a weapon to kill game?

Field and Stream, one of may favorite magazines, has suggestions in this article by Keith McCafferty "What's the Best Survival Weapon?" Mr. McCafferty, who surely know more than I about such things, suggest a couple of rifles:
The Henry U.S. Survival firearm ... is an updated version of the ArmaLite AR-7 designed for the Air Force. Weighing a scant 21⁄2 pounds, it is the ultimate breakdown .22, with the action and barrel unscrewing to fit inside the ABS synthetic buttstock, which floats in case your canoe capsizes.
The second gun I tested was a longtime friend—my .350 Remington Magnum. The best survival weapon is the one you have in your hand when you face a survival situation. For most hunters, that’s a centerfire rifle.

What turns an elk thumper into a small-game provider is the cartridge. Instead of using full-power loads, I fired handgun rounds using a cartridge conversion sleeve (KJ Knives: $25; 406-​669‑3382). A conversion sleeve is a housing that encloses a handgun cartridge so it fits the diameter of a rifle bore. (For the .350, it’s the .38 auto.) You can drop 30 or more pistol rounds into a pocket and forget they are there. Reserve your big-game loads to signal for help or rebuff teeth-gnashing creatures of the night.
You might note the caveats he has with the Henry.

More info on the Henry here:
Like the original Henry U.S. Survival Rifle, this innovative, semi-automatic model is lightweight (3.5 lbs.) and highly portable. At just 16.5″ long, when all the components are stowed, it easily fits into the cargo area of a plane, boat or in a backpack. It’s chambered in .22 LR so you can carry a large quantity of ammunition without adding much weight to your gear.
In short, an emergency rifle for trip to remote areas or as part of your "bug out" gear.

As for the Remington, perhaps Remington still makes a rifle chambered for the .350 magnum, but I couldn't find it on their website. You can buy them used, however, or find an equivalent. A quick glance at the Ruger website seemed to indicate the .350 has fallen out of their favor, too.

Me, I still like my old Savage Model 99 .300 lever action. As noted here:
For hunting North American game the Savage 99 is still one of the finest hunting rifles of all time.
Well, it doesn't have that "conversion sleeve" thing, but then again, I use my very old J.C. Higgins (Sears) bolt action, clip fed .22 for such things. Been shooting with it for 50+ years. A comfortable old friend, and reliable as the day is long.

And perhaps that is the key - choose a gun or guns that you feel comfortable with and then take the time to practice. When the need is great is the worst time to be figuring out how to use such a vital tool.

Monday, August 10, 2015

South China Sea Bully: China's "People's War at Sea"

Armed Chinese "fishermen" attack Vietnamese fishing boats as reported by Tuoi Tre News here:
A Vietnamese fishing boat from the central province of Quang Ngai was operating in the Vietnamese waters in the East Vietnam Sea on Friday when it was reportedly attacked by three Chinese ships, local authorities said.

These Chinese ships got close to the QNg 96507 TS, with 16 fishermen on board, when it was fishing off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, the authorities of the province’s Ly Son District said on Saturday, citing a report from the attacked boat’s captain, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper reported.

Crew members of the foreign ships, which were in white and coded with 46102, 45101 and 37102, got on board the local boat, with AK assault rifles and electric batons in their hands, said captain Nguyen Loi.

These Chinese then beat a number of the fishermen with their weapons, causing injuries to them, Loi said.

The foreigners also smashed navigation equipment and fishing tools on the local ship, and took away all the aquatic products from it.
This report is covered by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence in its Worldwide Threats to Shipping report of 6 August 2015 (pdf).

In most of the world, fishermen do occasionally spar over fishing areas, but this reported incident has some interesting characteristics. First, the Chinese fishermen had weapons - "AK assault rifles and electric batons" - and this, with the Chinese, heavily implies some sort of official sanction in having fishing boats so equipped - though many near coastal fishing boats do carry some sort of weaponry to fend off sea robbers, this has the feel of something more.

In addition, as well set out by James Kraska in his Diplomat article, "China’s Maritime Militia Upends Rules on Naval Warfare: The use of fishing vessels as a maritime militia has profound legal implications":
With 200,000 vessels, China operates the largest fishing fleet in the world, and its commercial industry employs 14 million people – 25 percent of the world’s total. This massive enterprise operates in conjunction with the armed forces to promote Beijing’s strategic objectives in the South China Sea and East China Sea. The militia, for example, were involved in the 1974 invasion of the Paracel Islands, as well as impeding freedom of navigation of U.S. military survey ships. The maritime militia also provides logistics support to Chinese warships. In May 2008, for example, militia fishing craft transferred ammunition and fuel to two warships near Zhejiang Province.

Fishermen are assigned to collectives or attached to civilian companies and receive military training and political education in order to mobilize and promote China’s interests in the oceans. The fishing vessels of the militia are equipped with advanced electronics, including communications systems and radar that supplement the PLAN force structure and enhance interoperability with other agencies, such as the China Coast Guard. Many boats are equipped with satellite navigation and can track and relay vessel positions, and gather and report maritime intelligence.

The fleet support missions being undertaken by China’s maritime militia may make fishing vessels lawful targets during armed conflict, with potentially tragic consequences for legitimate fishermen from China and nearby states. This is an example of China’s “legal warfare,” which is the perversion of legal concepts or processes to counter an opponent. Unlike the Philippines’ arbitration case over China’s dashed line, which is not “legal warfare” because it simply seeks a legal determination based on the rule of law, the maritime militia exploit seams in the law and thereby place at risk the very civilians that the law is made to protect. (emphasis added)
Professor Kraska is also author (with Michael Monti) of a recent U.S. Naval War College (NWC) study The Law of Naval Warfare and China’s Maritime Militia (pdf):
China operates a distributed network of fishing vessels that are organized into a maritime militia to support the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The militia is positioned to conduct a “people’s war at sea” in any futureconflict. This strategy exploits a seam in the law of naval warfare, which protects coastal fishing vessels from capture or attack
unless they are integrated into the enemy’s naval force. The maritime militia forms an irregular naval force that provides the PLAN with an inexpensive force multiplier, raising operational, legal and political challenges for any opponent.
In a meeting last year, a former admiral of a blue water naval force in Northeast Asia said off the record that Chinese fishing vessels operate with military personnel on board — a point seconded by the retired chief of navy of a Southeast Asian State now at odds with China over maritime claims.
China believes that a civilian militia composed of fishing vessels may be a less provocative means of promoting its strategic goal of regional hegemony. During peacetime, this approach is likely correct since fishing vessels are not instruments of war. Opposing States are less inclined to mobilize to resist fishing vessels in the same way they would resist foreign warships. (emphasis added)
Well, that may be true to a point. But it seems to me to be a very short step from identifying the Chinese bullying tactics and the placement by the PLAN of armed troops on fishing boats for those threatened states to respond by placing their own armed military or quasi-military forces onto to their own fishing fleets and thereby potentially escalating matters with some rapidity.

I highly recommend reading the two Kraska pieces in their entirety - these are not dry law review articles concerning the meaning of the placement of an "and" instead of an "or" in some part of the Bankruptcy Code, but rather the analysis of Chinese efforts to push the limits of international law (not that international law seems to restrict great powers all that much, a cynic would say).

The greater point is there is more to worry about than just interference with regional fishing fleets in China's actions.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar"

A series about an insurance investigator? A freelance insurance investigator? Yep - and the running storyline was that the shows were based on his expense accounts.

Go figure. Ran for 13 years, so it must have been a good hook.

More about the series here.

Friday, August 07, 2015

On Midrats 9 August 2015 - Episode 292: The Force of the Future w/Acting Under SECDEF Brad R. Carson

Please join us at 5 pm (EDT) on 9 August 2015 for Midrats Episode 292: The Force of the Future w/Acting Under SECDEF Brad R. Carson:
If people are your most important asset, as the hardware people look to a future of F-35s, SSBN(X), and the FORD Class CVN, what are the steps being taken to set of the personnel structure to address future requirements?

Our guest to discuss this and more for the full hour will be Brad R. Carson, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Mr. Carson was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on April 2, 2015. He currently serves as the 31st Under Secretary of the United States Army and Chief Management Officer of the Army.

He has previously served as General Counsel of the Department of the Army Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, member of the U.S. Congress representing the 2nd Congressional District of Oklahoma, academia, and a lawyer in private practice.

His military service includes a deployment in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM December 2008 until December 2009, as a United States Navy intelligence officer.

Mr. Carson holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Baylor University, Phi Beta Kappa. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Mr. Carson also holds a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma.
Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. The show will also be available for later listening at our iTunes page.

Friday Film: Guadalcanal

7 August 1942 - the first major offensive by U.S. and its allies against Japan begins with the landing on an island in the Solomons - Guadalcanal.

A great book on this campaign, Neptune's Inferno by James Hornfischer:
Neptune’s Inferno details the grim, protracted campaign for Guadalcanal that has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice – three sailors died at sea for every man lost ashore – Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the Navy men who fought in the deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.”

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Interesting Addition to the Office of Naval Intelligence's Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report: China

From the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence's Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report of 30 July 2015 (pdf):
SOUTH CHINA SEA: On 21 July, two Vietnam-flagged fishing boats re
ported being chased and rammed by a Chinese ship in an area approximately 15 nm west of the western section of the Spratly Islands.
4.(U) SOUTH CHINA SEA: On 21 July, two Vietnam-flagged fishing boats reported being chased and rammed by a Chinese ship in an area approximately 15 nm west of the western section of the Spratly Islands. Both fishing boat captains reported that navigation lightsand other parts of their boats were damaged as a result of the repeated ramming. Reportedly, the Chinese ship had the number 994 on the hull. (www.vietnambreakingnews.com)
Spratly Islands are in the oval in the nearby map.

China's PLA Navy ship with hull number 994 is a 072A class landing ship.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Disaster Prep Wednesday: Odd Stuff

There are people out there who think hard about survival and sometimes have -um- interesting ideas:

Urban Survival Site Unusual Survival Gear
Aluminum Foil – The best thing about foil is you can wrap meat and veggies in it, throw it in a fire, and a few minutes later have a hot meal. It can also be molded into a bowl, cup, funnel, or a pot for boiling water. In addition, it can be used to enhance an antenna, to sharpen scissors, to make sun boxes for small plants, to collect dew from trees, and in the summer it can be put in windows to keep the heat out. But the most important usage: Tin foil hats!
Happy Preppers Weird Survival Tools:
Weird Survival Tool #14. Panty hose.
An old military trick is to wear pantyhose underneath the socks to help avoid friction
and blisters for long hikes. Worn underneath the socks will minimize the friction and
keep chiggars and ticks from reaching your legs. There are many reasons pany hose
can help you:
- prevent blisters and keep you warmer than ordinary socks
- filter water;
- keep your soap clean and dry;
- act as a dust mask;
- improvise a fishing net or other cordage;
- collect berries or otherwise a vessel to help you forage in the wild (generally,
- it's a great carryall, such as for gathering tinder);
- keep chiggers and ticks from reaching your leg (keep away leeches too);
- use also to improvise a mosquito net;
- make a tourniquet or secure a bandage
Outdoor Life Survival Gear: The Weirdest Stuff That Should Be In Your Survival Kits And Bug Out Bag:
Vodka: You’ll get more bang for your buck carrying around a little bottle of hard liquor than a bottle of beer. This can serve as a wee nip you swallow for courage, or as a disinfectant as part of your medical gear.
Emergency Preparedness Tips 7 Unusual and Weird Survival Tools:
2. Dental Floss

We use dental floss for hygienic purpose, but did you know that you can use it for survival? Dental Floss has a lot of uses; here are some different uses of dental floss:
- Fishing Gear
- Tinder
- Making a Snare
- Cutting Food
- Lashing a Knife
There are lots of good ideas out there.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Happy 225th Birthday U.S. Coast Guard!

The U.S. Coast Guard celebrates 225 years:
Over the past 225 years, Coast Guard missions have grown from enforcing revenue laws to ensuring maritime safety, security and stewardship along our shores and across the globe.

“The Coast Guard is more relevant today than at any time in our 225-year history,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Transnational criminal organizations use drug profits to destabilize governments in our hemisphere. Our nation’s resurgence in American energy production has increased the flow of maritime commerce on our waterways. There is increased human activity in the Arctic and cyber threats endanger our digital systems. We are evolving to meet these challenges and invest in a 21st century Coast Guard that will continue our service to nation that is 225 years strong.”
Quiet warriors - small in numbers but very, very good.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

On Midrats 2 Aug 15 - Episode 291: Nashville, Omar, Nigeria and Kurdistan, Long War Hour w/ Bill Roggio

Please join us at 5pm (EDT), 2 August 2015 for Midrats Episode 291: Nashville, Omar, Nigeria and Kurdistan, Long War Hour w/ Bill Roggio
This summer, the terrain shifted in the long war that we thought we needed to bring back one of our regular guests, Bill Roggio, to discuss in detail for the full hour.

Bill is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bill is also the President of Public Multimedia Inc, a non-profit news organization; and the founder and Editor of The Long War Journal, a news site devoted to covering the war on terror. He has embedded with the US and the Iraqi military six times from 2005-08, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. Bill served in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard from 1991-97.
Join us live or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can get the show later from our iTunes page.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "The Six Shooter" with Jimmy Stewart

The Six Shooter brought James Stewart to the NBC microphone on September 20, 1953, in a fine series of folksy Western adventures.

Stewart was never better on the air than in this drama of Britt Ponset, frontier drifter created by Frank Burt. The epigraph set it up nicely: "The man in the saddle is angular and long-legged: his skin is sun dyed brown. The gun in his holster is gray steel and rainbow mother-of-pearl. People call them both The Six Shooter." Ponset was a wanderer, an easy-going gentleman and -- when he had to be -- a gunfighter.