Outlaws and In-Laws

*More lessons from the days of Robin Hood

An outlaw band sheltering in woodland during Robin Hood’s day would exist almost side-by-side with local villagers and as most medieval outlaws were captured through being betrayed, it would be best to either avoid villagers altogether or at least try and stay on reasonably good terms with them.

To make the local people fear you so much that they would both provide valuable foodstuffs and not betray you to the authorities has been demonstrated enough in the past to be seen as worthless for anything beyond a few days.

The Kings deer the oft-quoted free lunch of Robin Hood and The Merry Men are of course there to be taken if you have the skills or the necessary hunting gear.

However, in addition to meat, bread is also a necessity and does not grow on trees or roam the forest glades and by eating only venison you would become sick and grow weaker on a diet of pure protein.

If you could escape or avoid the Foresters and take deer, a local villager could probably be contacted or found who would readily exchange a piece of meat for a loaf of bread, a basket of vegetables or a jug of ale.

The penalties for both if caught poaching were extremely severe in some cases amputation of fingers or hands, branding and blinding or a fine so heavy it would financially crush a man or his village for years.

Lurking outlaws themselves may have also once lived in the same village, and have relatives or friends there to help them survive and were not criminals or bad men.

The law forbade anyone to give aid, help and food to outlaws, who could be taken dead or alive by anyone for a guaranteed cash reward.

For the out-laws to move back in with the in-laws in hard times or bad weather would make good sense ; travel and news became very hard in Sherwood Forest in winter and some places would at times be simply unreachable through snow or mud, with roads and tracks simply disappearing for weeks in the rain or under snow and ice (March was known in Sherwood Forest as Mud-Month where roads and tracks became impassable for long periods ; a problem that remained in Sherwood Forest into the mid 18th Century).

If at these times you couldn’t get out of the village it meant that a threat in the form of officialdom couldn’t get in and for a time a resident outlaw amongst friends might have relative peace, a roof over his head, hot food and a welcome change of company in the form of fresh faces.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan; people are getting info and blessed. It makes sense to tell it like it is; NO MATTER WHAT!

Crayon Candle – Zombie Survival Tips #21

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A Slave War?

According to some, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery because he hated the inhumane institution. Others say he only abolished slavery because it undermined his enemy’s war effort.

The truth is Abraham Lincoln was a very shrewd politician and a very complicated man who went through lots of evolutions throughout his life. He’s often painted as a racist and a man of his times based on quotes where he says he does not think the black race equal to the white race. I mean, even after the war, what color was the race of the man (servant) that tied his shoe laces and assisted him in dressing everyday?

Lincoln also said he was waging the war not to abolish slavery, but to keep the country together. If the nation fell apart by the actions of a minority he thought the country was headed for anarchy and chaos. But as a result of the war being underway and at the end of said war, the country did slowly move towards abolition of owning slaves. Note: Lincoln and many Northern plantation owning states still kept their servants for many years after.

Lincoln was shrewd enough to bide his time. When early in the war one of his generals tried to abolish slavery in his district, Lincoln immediately prevented him from doing so and canceled this attempt. He drew a storm of criticism for this from anti-slavery factions in the country. The truth is at the time, it was the best thing he could have done. Several slaveholders were still loyal to the United States and if he had moved against slavery too early, they would have gone over to the other side, therefore bolstering the survival chances of slavery.

When Lincoln did abolish slavery, his timing was excellent. He did it right after a battle ranked as a Union victory. Why? Because if he had done it when the war was going against him, his action would have been perceived as the action of a desperate man.

The way in which Lincoln abolished slavery was also shrewd. His Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in the areas still under control of the Confederacy. He did not touch slavery in states still loyal to the Union or in areas under Union occupation, again to secure the support of loyal slaveholders. The proclamation made slaves run off with really no where to go- Lincoln never sent them back to their tribal owners in Africa. Interestingly, only one in four left their masters.

Slaves thought they should support the Union -even though there was plenty of racism in non-slave-holding states as well- and 180,000 black soldiers ended up serving in Union ranks. Ironically, there were many slaves in the same numbers who fought equally alongside the Confederate side.

Later in the war, Lincoln made sure slavery was eventually abolished throughout the entire country, even setting the stage to allow freed slaves to vote, but still never assisting any slave or ancestor of such, get back to their homeland. Odd to say the least.

The lesson here? Decide on your outcome, but be flexible about your approach.

*Thanks in part to Frank M.

Further Reading: Yes, There Were Black Confederates…(LINK)

Holt Collier, one of the African Southerners

who served in the Confederate Army during

the American Civil War.

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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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The Get Me Home Bag

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My Super Shelter – A Tour Through My Bug Out Camp

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Survival Clothing in the Forest

With the onset of cold weather soon coming,I thought this was a worthy mention“- Moraldiplomat

Let’s talk about survival dress and style for our medieval outlaws of Sherwood Forest.

In the medieval era, clothes would be made of wool with a next-to-body material generally of linen. Both materials – worn in layers – are excellent to keep you warm. Perspiration reduces this effectiveness, so if you couldn’t avoid sweating for some reason and you became hot through physical exertion the correct thing to do would be to take a layer or two off until you cooled down, then put the layers back on again.

Medieval men wore a linen shirt and underclothes, a woollen coat with a hood over a coif – a tight fitting cap – on the head and also covering the shoulders and upper arms. Gloves were known – by comparison to our modern five-fingered gloves medieval winter gloves had two fingers and a thumb only or more likely looked like mittens, made from wool or padded / lined leather.

Even soaking wet wool provides a modicum of warmth. Our medieval outlaw friends, Robin Hood and his Merry Men, couldn’t wear anything else anyway, as fibers such as polyester, lycra and nylon weren’t invented and silk was both rare and too expensive for a common man when seen at market (Silk is a recommended next-to-body material for keeping warm, but rare in England for many years to come. Being an outlaw, if you couldn’t afford any silk you could always steal some).

Wool if clean and maintained is waterproof up to a point, but would not resist a downpour and shelter have to be sought. Wool can be waterproofed, but this affects the warmth it provides.

A far better and a more common waterproof for wintertime would be leather – a fatty skin taken from an animal such as a deer or a pig or a skin treated and tanned into leather and fashioned into a cloak, perhaps including a hood.

In the ballad Robin Hood and Sir Guy of Gisborne, Guy wears a capull bann for protection against the elements, the ideal period material against fierce wind and cold rain although heavy to move around in if worn. As a motorcyclist will already know, leather is still the best protection against high wind – modern fabrics only attempt to reduce the weight of the protective material and introduce breathability to avoid damp through perspiration.

Makes you feel lucky to have modern Under Armour tactical gear, doesn’t it? LOL!

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan! And Thanks to Dave Hodges for the video

Did the C.I.A. Create and Control Google?

Watch this video and you decide; and should we care? Will it change how we operate online?

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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Some More Lessons To Learn

…albeit the hard way.

In a struggle where more than 650,000 men perished over a period of a mere four years, on a fascinating stage where the last vestiges of feudalism clashed with the industrial revolution and modern representative democracy, there are bound to be lessons.

Latest estimates put the tally at around 800,000 deaths caused by the war. A staggering figure given that the US at the time -1860- had only around 31 million inhabitants all together. Percentage wise this is more than France or Germany lost during the First World War.

If so many people were willing to risk their lives in the most destructive of circumstances, for reasons which are not always clear to us today, this war must have seen some fierce characters. Some rose to the occasion and others faltered miserably.

What are some lessons we can derive from these examples?

First, we’ve learned a true leader takes the blame. One of the most inspirational leaders of the American Civil War was no doubt Robert E. Lee. He won a string of victories against opponents that often outnumbered him by two to one and had superior weaponry and logistics. He was not the most brilliant strategist however and his victories were costly. His management of the war’s biggest and most famous battle, Gettysburg, was very poor and based on deep feelings of contempt for the fighting qualities of his enemy; either that or there was some unified agreed upon collusion with the enemy.

When Lee’s last attempt to win the battle -a grand charge over an open field where his men would be exposed to unlimited fire from well-positioned, long-range Union artillery- was bloodily repulsed, he immediately took all the blame; and justly so.

From the approximately 15,000 men that were assigned to make the charge, about half were lost.

He did not make the best decisions during this battle, but it’s equally true several of his key subordinates made vital mistakes as well. Instead of putting all the blame on them, he took full responsibility for the bloody defeat; again, justly so.

This act held the army together for whatever reason, it had a paradoxical effect of maintaining the confidence of the soldiers had in him, and it inspired the army to fight another day.

Anyway, remember, if you go around blaming other people for what went wrong, they will subconsciously realize you are not really in charge and your authority will suffer. If you want to be a leader, take full responsibility for whatever happens to your cause, army, company, business, community…

Another lesson we can draw is that you decide when you are defeated.

Early in the war general Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men were being -sort of- besieged in Fort Donelson, together with about 14,000 other soldiers. His commanders quickly lost all hope, ignoring opportunities to break out and defeat their enemy. Instead they started bickering over who should take care of the details of their surrender.

Nathan Bedford Forrest understood the situation better than his superiors and took matters into his own hands. He decided to at least keep his own little command out of the enemy’s prisons. He told his men: “Boys, these people are talking about surrendering, and I am going out of this place before they do or bust hell wide open.” He took 700 men and somehow managed to slip them past the enemy’s lines, something his demoralized superiors weren’t even willing to consider. Live today, fight tomorrow scenario.

The lesson: you’re not defeated until you give up looking for opportunities to turn the tide.

Credit mostly: Frank M.

*Thanks Frank!

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