Big Failures

If you are scared out of your wits to make a mistake and lose face, guess what? You will fail and lose face.

If the Civil War produced one man who could never admit to any mistake and heaped all the responsibility for setbacks on others, it must be George B. McClellan.

What makes McClellan’s case extra sad, is the man had a very bright head on his shoulders. He was a superb organizer of men and can in some ways he is the father of the Army of The Potomac, one of the most important Union armies. He was extremely meticulous, his men adored him, and he did come up with a very good plan to defeat his opponent.

Fairly early in the war, McClellan devised an original plan to transport his massive host over sea and drop it on the flank of his enemy, where it was poised to take out the enemy’s capital at Richmond, Virginia. He had unfortunately taken a hell of a lot of time to put the plan in motion, because he was always afraid he didn’t have enough men.

Somehow, McClellan was struggling to achieve the impossible: he wanted to have 100 percent certainty his army would prevail. Of course, in war nothing is certain, and its common knowledge “no plan survives contact,” meaning as soon as armies clash there’s the inevitable factor we tend to call ‘luck’ or ‘chance’ which is out of our control. Usually because of miscalculations and human error.

McCellan’s huge ego could not allow for failure, so he moved at a snail’s pace. Although he vastly outnumbered his opponent, he insisted on dragging cumbersome siege guns to the front lines to blast his way through. His opponent was smart enough to wait till the last minute and retreat before the siege guns were finally ready to open fire. In this way, they deftly stalled for time, which allowed them to assemble more forces.

McCellan meanwhile kept clamoring for more reinforcements, almost pestering his superiors with requests and accusations, telling everyone who would listen how the authorities were doing everything they could to thwart him. Going so far as to say he was the only one who could save the army, in spite of the foolish decisions of all the other idiots in charge. He had this to say about Abraham Lincoln: ‘The President is no more than a well-meaning baboon. I went to the White House directly after tea, where I found “The Original Gorilla”, about as intelligent as ever. What a specimen to be at the head of our affairs now.’ That may have been the case, but McCellan was still walking in fear. Fear never wins the day.

His fear of failure also led him to believe that his opponent vastly outnumbered him, whereas the complete opposite was true. In the end, he did manage to come very close to the outskirts of his enemy’s capital. There his opponent, Robert E. Lee, decided to attack. McClellan got scared and retreated, even though the damage was rather minimal and he had far more reserves than his enemy. His self-fulling prophecy dictated his actions and ultimately, he retreated all the way back and abandoned his campaign.

On a later occasion, by an impossible stroke of luck, McClellan’s enemy’s precise marching orders fell into his hands. He knew everything his outnumbered and outgunned opponent was going to do and he still failed to destroy his enemy. To his wife he wrote: ‘Those in whose judgment I rely tell me that I fought the battle splendidly and that it was a masterpiece of art.’

Big egos, big, embarrassing failures

Credit: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!!!

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My thanks to Corporal Kelly @ Corporal’s Corner, Youtube

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We Let Them Run Amok

Make no mistake, there’s a deep state in the USA. And it may be our fault.

Think about what role the “culture wars” have in the structure of the Deep State.

The American public is bitterly and deeply divided over issues that ultimately boil down to, for some reason, identity crisis – i.e; race, religion, sex and the like. The internet is rife with stark animosity between a loose grouping of immoral secularist, LGBT and feminist progressives on the one hand vs. religious fundamentalists, gun advocates and conspiracy theorists on the other.

But is this cultural animosity genuine, or a sort of “permanent warfare” that reinforces the real political structure a-la the warring super-states in Orwell’s 1984?

Totalitarian systems have historically depended on the redirection (or misdirection) of popular discontent towards unpopular groups within the state and hostile foreign powers to maintain loyalty to regime among the public at large. This inevitably runs out, however, once the problems of the regime become intractable and the incompetence of the state can no longer be concealed, as happened in the U.S.S.R in the late 1980s.

Have the architects of the Deep State learned by now that having not one “official” ideology but two, and pitting them against one another in the public and in forums is, in fact, a vastly better way of keeping themselves secure in power?

Doing this maintains a veneer of political pluralism and fake democracy. Each side can simply blame the other for policy failure; or even gov’t failure. Public anger is directed towards one’s enemies in the culture war rather than at the corrupt political system; sad there’s that many stupid people in this country.

Most progressives have a LOT more animosity for low brow religious zealots, rural types and men’s rights activists than they do for defense contractors and Wall Street lobbyists, despite their own oft expressed disdain for GOP exploitation of cultural wedge issues to draw blue collar support away from the Demoncrats. Conservatives have a variation of the same theme wherein lower class white males blame minorities, atheists and feminism for their woes instead of deindustrialization. Of course, the later proceeds to be at least a woe in today’s society and is not preferred by most, but merely tolerated; which can be worse.

And all the while, the operations of the Deep State carry on almost completely unnoticed from any quarter on the political spectrum, and media conglomerates and their advertisers make out like bandits from stoking such controversies to increase viewer-ship and readership and possibly all out civil unrest.

We Let Them Run Amok; will we suffer for it as a people later;………..or sooner?

Credit in part to Derek P. with Moraldiplomat

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Outlaws

Once more on Robin Hood and the survival lessons we can learn from the legends of the Merry Men in the Sherwood Forest.

Realistically, surviving a typical medieval winter in Sherwood Forest might not have been much fun as an outlaw.

If a band of medieval outlaws in Sherwood Forest managed to survive the everyday threat of being captured or killed by the forces of (crooked) law and (dis) order, their next biggest worry would be simply how to stay alive in terms of shelter and finding something to eat and drink as medieval temperatures dropped far below the winters we experience today.

The outlaws would be by necessity nomadic, moving around within an established area unsettled in terms of any permanent storage capacity and so be unable to plant and nurture any crops or vegetables.

Staying in one place for too long risked detection by the authorities. In summertime a band of men could survive by eating as hunter-gatherers like their ancestors but with the approach of autumn and as the temperature began to drop other measures would clearly have to be adopted.

To physically exist a man requires food and drink – in cold weather he would also require a suitable shelter and a source of heat.

An outlaw band planning to stay in Sherwood Forest through the winter would have to have the means to provide themselves with all four.

The problem with not having made proper provision for winter is obvious; you will meet a cold, lonely and hungry death.

Sleeping in the open after a day spent in the open is risking hypothermia and exposure, and simply freezing to death in your sleep.

Any shortages of drink and food would result in a quicker fall in energy in the short-term and in the long-term the body’s natural resistance to cold and sickness and in both the brain’s ability to reason; death could be measured in hours. But without sleep, the body cannot function naturally.

Many people are surprised when they hear that hypothermia can occur anywhere and anytime when the air temperature is below 60F /16C the body needs to maintain a core of warmth and as the core temperature drops heat is taken from the head, resulting in a drop in circulation and energy being burned to provide heat rather than to feed the brain; the brain slows down, irrational behavior gradually grows until the subject doesn’t know what they are doing.

The effect is so gradual the subject will not realize it is happening without immediate help, they will die. A slight breeze can half the time a man could expect to be in trouble through hypothermia; a cool wind can reduce it by four times that. Our outlaws would quickly have to learn two things; to stay dry and to keep out of the wind.

In prolonged daytime temperatures of below freezing, living permanently outdoors is very risky unless you know what you are about; after dark in the same conditions, you sleep with the risk that you might never wake up again.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan for all your contributions!

Cold Water Challenge – The Selection on HISTORY – How I Survived Hypothermia

*Thanks to Survival Lilly for all her informative videos – Subscribe and support Lilly!!! 🙂

A Lesson From Robin of the Hood

A quick plot synopsis for you: King Richard the Lionheart has been out of England, waging war as part of the Crusades. He is captured and held for ransom when he attempts to return home. His brother, Prince John wants to seize the throne and be crowned king. The prince is aided and abetted by the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin, or Sir Robin of Locksley, is a nobleman who can’t stand by while Prince John savages the countryside, torturing the people into compliance, stealing their crops and animals and daughters, and forcing them to pay ruinous taxes.

Robin assembles a band of Merry Men, and they fight to stop oppression, killing when necessary. They also redistribute income, taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

Eventually, Richard the Lionheart returns to England, and Robin and his Merry Men are crucial to Richard’s overthrowing Prince John and returning to his throne.

And just what are the survival lessons from all this adventurous activity?
Well, first, always remember ALL your stakeholders. Robin is looking out for everyone.

He could care less about class distinctions like Normans (Prince John and his evil gang) vs. Saxons (some English nobles, but mostly the oppressed poor). Even though most of Robin’s work falls into the anti-Norman field, he’s open-minded enough (and open-hearted enough) to fall for a lovely Norman noblewoman, the Maid Marian.

Also, be a straight shooter. Robin is a straight shooter, literally and metaphorically. He tells it like it is, no matter who the audience is, no matter how dangerous the situation. He blusters his way into a banquet of Prince John’s and proceeds to call him a traitor for wanting to depose Richard. He does this while surrounded by dozens of armed men all loyal to the prince. It’s unlikely any of us will face hostile audiences who are ready, willing and able to kill, so if honesty is the best policy for Robin, it’s the best policy, period. It is amazing what good will can do for you when you earn it through honesty.

Robin is a straight shooter with bow and arrow, too. In disguise, he participates in a tournament that he knows is a trap for him. But he shoots straight and wins. Once again, he is almost killed. Once again, the Merry Men help him escape. If you insist on being completely honest in every and any situation, you will find it useful to have the Merry Men around to help you escape tight places. If you don’t have any Merry Men available, be sure to have an executable exit strategy.

Robin succeeds at communicating in this straightforward style because he’s passionate about his mission and he communicates that passion to everyone he meets. The lesson here is obvious; Enjoy what you do.

For crying out loud, Robin’s gang is called the Merry Men. They spend inordinate amounts of time laughing and singing while they steal from the rich and give to the poor. How amazing is it a bunch of men enjoy stealing from much richer men and getting away with it? It’s almost beyond belief amazing. If the Merry Men’s mission is to steal from the rich and give to the poor, they have absolutely no profit. None. Zero. But they pursue the mission with astounding zeal, gleefully giving away all their stolen riches (their profits). They pursue their mission at the risk of life and limb, living at poverty levels in the forest.

If you can get people to enjoy the work at hand, they will put up with many things to accomplish the mission. They’ll even enjoy it.

And, you won’t have to give up all your profits the way the Merry Men did.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*As always, thanks Jonathan!!!

*Great analogy! Always liked Robin Hood. Could use a few people like that in the world. Possibly, quit possibly; they’re already near.

1 Tim 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; …

Acts 20:35 “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Mt 19:21 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Lk 14:13 “But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: …

 

Are We There Yet?

Photo/artwork by: http://ddees.com 

Have you noticed, since the September 11th attacks and particularly in the last two Presidential (s)election cycles, some strange goings-on?

Have you noticed how almost all mainstream media and political figures indict foreign leaders, support questionable foreign non-state actors, or assert “red lines” in foreign affairs, without evidence given or requested?

Or perhaps you’ve observed how political media outlets regularly cover the media industry by addressing transparently partisan and petty criticisms as serious but ignoring or marginalizing substantive criticisms because of “industry realities?”

Have you seen how almost all political figures and media citing public dissatisfaction with vague descriptions of the prevailing order (“establishment,” “business as usual,” “Washington politicians,” “DC polls,”) without investigation of what or who comprises that order?

It feels a lot to me like we are living in an increasingly incompetent deep state.

Are we?

In a simple sense, of course there is a deep state. People in similar work have similar ideas, socialize together, form relationships and have experiences in common. This is especially true if your work includes unique experiences like making decisions that affect the lives of millions of people. There are not many people able to understand what this involves. There will be more cohesion and commonality among those in government than the structure of the formal institutions would suggest.

But the formal institutional structure of the US is extremely robust. It’s almost impossible for a group outside of, or spanning across, the formal institutions to carry out a plan on any scale. There are secrets, and there are conspiracies, but there are just as many forces working to contain them as to carry them through. The US has a very good record, in the end, of bringing secrets to light and dealing with those who conspire against its institutions from within.

Most people simply do not care very much about federal politics, especial foreign policy( discretely controlled by Israel) . To the extent they take any notice, they are overly cynical about the reality and overly optimistic about the scope for change.

Remember, we’re all in this together,

Credit: Derek P.

*Thanks Derek!!

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Could it Happen?

Never say never survival tidbit

‘Just when you think all is well, and will be; yeah with minor ups and downs……..

The bottom just dropped out. All your warning triggers are telling you it’s time to pack everyone into the family bug out mobile and leave town before it gets worse. Much worse.

You thought ahead which is fortunate for you and your family. You have a vehicle adequately equipped for the journey to your bug out location with essential gear, plenty of fuel with extra in reserve and everyone in the family has their bug out bags stowed safely away. Nervously, you pull out of your driveway in the middle of night to avoid most of the trouble already brewing.

This may possibly be the last time you see your home and just like every trip before, you have the nagging sensation you forgot something.

Many disasters we patriots think and plan for could require you to leave the safety of your home, possibly forever. In a situation like this, your well stocked bug out bags and any other gear and supplies you load and carry could be the sum of all your worldly possessions.

Some disaster scenarios assume the worst, a complete destruction through various means that leaves the civilization as we know it destroyed beyond repair for years-even if only in some areas. In a complete disaster like that, we make assumptions that normal commerce as we know it would effectively be over so the subject of bartering after SHTF comes to mind.

In other scenarios, which some might argue are many times more likely, the world won’t just stop functioning overnight. Every store won’t be closed and you will be able to buy supplies with whatever monetary instruments you have on hand that are still worth a commonly understood value. For most of the world, certainly here in the US we look to cash as the main fallback, but some people are saving precious metals as well to hedge against a currency collapse where that cash you are stowing away is worthless.

Assuming money in the common forms we are talking about here (cash, precious metals) is able to be used to our benefit during a bug out scenario, have you ever thought about how much you need to put into your bug out bag?

Why have any money in your bug out bag in the first place? Well, there are many good reasons I can think of. Imagine a scenario where the power is out, possibly for weeks. You wouldn’t be able to use ATM machines because they rely on power (AND no they don’t have back up generators for ATM’s). Stores couldn’t run credit/debit card transactions without power because they all go through the internet now which relies on power. If the electricity is out, the way we commonly get access to our money or conduct electronic transactions is gone until the power comes back.

You could just drive to the bank and pull out as much as you need, right?

Not necessarily. You only need look to the people of Greece who still can’t get more than roughly $50 out of the bank each day. Would you want to have your cash reserves limited by what the banks could or would allow you to take out?

No, I wouldn’t either and that is the main reason why I advocate keeping as much money as logical for you personally out of the banking system. And keep or print off bank statements often. If the power does eventually come back on; will your cash amount be still recorded accurately? Keep good records.

Credit: Jonathan C.

Awesome! Thanks Jonathan!

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1 Tim 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. “

Moral Courage: It’s Value

Courage is a highly admired virtue. Most often we associate the word with physical prowess or bravery. But there’s another form of valor that’s much more important because it comes up more often. It’s called moral courage – the willingness to face not physical danger but emotional pain, disapproval, financial insecurity, or uncertainty rather than compromise an ethical principle.

Moral courage is essential not only for a virtuous life, but a happy one. Without courage, we have no control over our lives. Our fears corrode our spirit and confine us like a barbed wire fence. That’s why they say a coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man but one.

Integrity is essential to self-esteem and the admiration of others. It requires us to put our comforts, possessions, friendships, and even jobs at risk in the defense of deeply held principles.

It takes moral fortitude to be honest at the risk of ridicule, rejection, or retaliation or when doing so may jeopardize our income or career. It takes boldness to be accountable and own up to mistakes when doing so may get us in trouble. It takes backbone to stand tough with our kids when doing so may cost us their affection.

Mark Twain said, ‘Courage is not the absence of fear but the resistance of fear, the mastery of fear.’ To paraphrase President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the enemy is not what we fear; it is fear itself. If our insecurities and anxieties cause us to lose confidence in the power of virtue, we will lose something very precious.

People with moral courage rarely get medals, but it is the best marker of true character and a virtue others can be proud of.

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My Thanks and support to Corporal Kelly@ Corporal’s Corner and Lilly@ SurvivalLilly