Monday, August 31, 2009

Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait

You're on your way home from a get-together, when you blurt out, "You know what I should have told your cousin Cassio?" The iron-clad argument that would have won that theological debate has suddenly popped into your head -- too late.

The perfect comeback, the perfect answer or the perfect argument so often seems to come to us after the fact. If you've ever had the experience, you know how frustrating it can be: "Why didn't I think of that when it would have done some good?"

There's a perfectly good explanation for why these things just pop into your head after the party's over, and it has nothing to do with what you'd been smoking or drinking. (What are you, as a Christian Martialist, doing at that kind of party, anyway?)

There is a part of the mind that is always making connections. It takes fragments and pieces and fits them into the big picture -- sort of like taking a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and searching for a fit. I believe this is one function of what I call the I-mode of consciousness.

(If I ever write my book on a Biblical approach to psychology, you can read a full explanation of the I-mode of consciousness. It would be a little too involved for my purposes here.)

Anyway, the I-mode does not function well at making these connections on demand. But when you take your focus off that task, the I-mode will go on it's merry way, trying to find a fit for that piece of the puzzle. There are other times when it looks at the whole picture and finds a piece that doesn't fit -- doesn't belong in that place.

If you're with me so far, you may be looking for the application. What does this have to do with my survival?

I'll address that in another post.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Late-Night Encounter

"Have you ever been so tired that you feel disconnected from what you're doing? Like you're watching a movie?" The voice on the phone belonged to my barber, so I knew I was about to hear a true-life story (the best kind).

My barber had picked up his wife at the airport, and on the drive home, his 17-hour day started to catch up with him. His body was on autopilot, and he was in danger of falling asleep at the wheel.

So, he stopped at the Sheetz station in S______, PA to get some caffeine for the last 40-minutes of the trip home. He got out of the vehicle in what I call "zombie mode", leaving his wife peacefully asleep in the passenger seat and his handgun on the floor under the driver's seat. (He has a concealed carry permit.)

On the periphery of his awareness, my barber noticed a strikingly attractive, scantily clad young woman heading into the store. As he entered, he made eye contact with the clerk behind the counter, nodded mechanically and headed down the aisle toward the cooler that housed the iced tea.

Suddenly, as out of nowhere, the attractive young woman he had seen outside appeared in front of him ("As close as when you lean in to kiss your wife," he said). In the same moment, the awareness of someone behind him exploded into his consciousness.

Adrenaline dump!!

His first thought was that they were about to pick his pocket. His left hand went down to cover his wallet as his right simultaneously went for his SOG knife.

The girl in front of him said she needed him to pose with her for a picture for a scavenger hunt. Not knowing who was behind him, he pushed past her, turned and said, "What does that make me -- a scavenger?"

He saw that the person behind him was another young woman, about four feet tall. The first one said, "Well, forget it, then" and left with her companion. He doesn't know if they even saw the knife in his hand.

My barber was left with a feeling of foreboding, knowing that his wife was asleep in the car along with his primary weapon, so he went back out and got in the car. His wife awoke and immediately sensed his apprehension, asking, "What's wrong?"

He saw the women in another car, watching them. They proceeded home without further incident.

Lessons to glean from this encounter:
  1. Stuff happens when you least expect, and often when you're least prepared (i.e., if you're armed, don't leave your firearm in the car, no matter how tired you are or how safe you feel on "home turf");
  2. When you cultivate proper mindset & training, survival habits kick in along with the adrenaline;
  3. When an attractive, totally strange woman approaches you, whatever she wants, you're not it, no matter what your poor, crushed ego so desperately wants you to believe(my barber has no ego, as he has many times told me, so he did not go for the bait);
  4. When an attractive, totally strange woman approaches you, providence will more likely come down on your side if you keep your mind (and your eyes -- Job 31:1) in the right place.
P.S. My barber says he knows that the instinct to cover his wallet in a potentially lethal situation was a bad move. I mentioned that, thankfully, every encounter we survive provides experience for the next. Also, he says that even if their request was totally legitimate (which he doubts, still feeling that they wanted to lure him to a secondary location), he would not want a photo of him & some more-than-half-undressed female floating around. Good call.

P.P.S. (Not, P.S.S., please!) Do you have further observations, evaluations or lessons? Please post them in the comments section.

Friday, August 28, 2009

American Internment Camps, 2

Continued from "American Internment Camps?"

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some links to information about internment camps being prepared to imprison large numbers of people. I included a link to an article by Chuck Baldwin, "Why Are Internment Camps Being Built?"

Baldwin has written a follow-up article called, "More on Internment Camps". In his article, he included a link to this item about the April reactivation of the 40th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion.

In the article he also stated,

Criticism and name-calling aside, after reading the responses from hundreds of readers (and examining the evidence they submitted), I am more convinced than ever that our federal government is, indeed, constructing large numbers of internment camps. And as one might expect, I heard from a large number of military and law enforcement personnel, which made the evidence even more compelling.

After relating how one retired US Air Force colonel tried to justify the existence of the camps on the basis of readiness for nuclear attack, Baldwin wrote:

Several military men who wrote me shared the colonel's sentiment. Some of them expressed concern about the impact these plans will have on freedom and constitutional government, while others seemed completely unconcerned regarding any potential encroachment that plans of military action against American citizens might have upon the Bill of Rights. What is enlightening, however, is the fact that, regardless of the personal position taken, none of the military personnel who wrote me discounted the existence of internment camps. (Emphasis added.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 10

Continued from "Warrior's Dilemma, 10"

I think today's post is a good place to end this series on just wars.

When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. . . . And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. . (Deu 20:10-14)

Rushdoony notes:

[W]arfare is not child's play. It is a grim and ugly if necessary matter. (Institutes of Biblical Law, p.279)

He adds:

[I]f warfare is to punish and/or to destroy evil, the work of restoration requires that this be done, that an evil order be overthrown, and in some cases, some or many people be executed. (Ibid.)

It is a grim thought, indeed, that the consummation of a just war should involve the execution of every adult male in the defeated nation -- soldiers and potential soldiers. But if a just war is an expression of justice, the guilty must be punished, and that includes all participants and supporters of the unjust side of the war.

Does this give you pause? I hope so. Otto Scott used to say, "Our God is no buttercup."

There is only one out for the people of the defeated nation: declare their loyalty to God's justice beforehand. See the case of Rahab's family (Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-23).

This one rule of just war by itself should make us think long and hard before we advocate sending troops to foreign soil. The prospect of wiping out a nation of men should keep us from entering into war for any but the gravest reasons -- certainly not for what another nation could, may or might do or have done.

Then there's the consideration that if we fight or even support an unjust war, we place ourselves under the condemnation of this precept of God's Law.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Point Shooting the Applegate Way

Although W.E. Fairbairn pioneered the modern techniques of point shooting for British commandos during WWII, Rex Applegate brought those techniques to this country and adapted them to America's wartime needs.

The following video demonstrates the Applegate technique.

Note the non-shooting hand is placed against the abdomen. This helps stabilize the body while breathing.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Warrior Fitness -- Fasting & Pushups

On April 11, I posted that I had started a program of weekly fasting. Ever since then, I have gone on a juice fast every week.

Three or four times, I have fasted for two days, and the week of our vacation I only managed one day. But the rest of the time, I have started my fast after lunch on Tuesday and ended it at lunchtime on Friday.

Before our vacation I did lose some weight, and my leg & ankle swelling improved marginally (especially on the fast days). But weight loss was very slow, which is not a bad way to lose weight.

On the last leg of our vacation, my barber's daughter, who is involved in various aspects of therapy, told me my chronic back & shin-splint problems are symptoms of dehydration. So, I started drinking water.

For the three weeks or so, I've been drinking three to four quarts of water a day. After the first three days, my wife mentioned to me that she saw a noticeable reduction in belly fat.

I now think that dehydration may have been a factor in preventing the fat loss. My back is not back to 100% yet, but it is markedly improved, and so is the swelling in my lower legs & ankles. I think my eyesight may have improved a little, too, although that impression is very subjective.

Figs are in season & we have a huuuge fig tree, so I'm working at some colon cleansing, as well.

Another factor in my weight loss may involve the pushups I do. I've worked up to over 350 modified Atlas pushups three days a week. I know that 350 pushups seems a little wimpy to you young warriors out there, but PLEASE give a fat old man a break.

I do about 100 pushups with my feet & hands about level. Then, another 100 with my hands elevated about 8 inches above the floor, and then I do another 100 with my hands on two dining room chairs and my feet on the floor. Just this week, I started doing some of my pushups with my feet elevated three or four inches higher than my hands.

When I was in college, I could do vertical pushups (although I cheated by leaning my feet against the wall -- never had the balance for handstands). I wonder how long it would take me to get back to that feat?

Because years ago I injured my shoulder pumping iron (warning to you young guys -- I didn't think it could happen to me, either), I don't descend fully in my pushups. Over the months, though, I noticed I can descend a little farther in each position than I used to.

I'm shooting for 500 pushups, 3 days a week. (At 62, I find that working out every day does not give me enough recovery time.)

Well, that's my warrior fitness update. How about you guys? Did you set any goals for this year? How are you doing at meeting those goals?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 9

Continued from "Warrior's Dilemma, 8"

When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it. (Deu 20:10-12)

I cite R.J. Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law:

. . . [P]rior to an attack, or rather a declaration of war, an offer of peace [must] be extended to the enemy. The offer of peace cannot be an offer to compromise. The cause, if it be just, must be maintained; the enemy must yield to gain peace (Deut. 23:9-14). A "sneak attack" after a declaration, in Gideon's manner is legitimate: hostilities are in progress. But, prior to a declaration of war, an attempt to negotiate with honor to the cause is required. The formal blowing of trumpets, both before war and in rejoicing at the time of victory, placed the cause before God in expectancy of victory and in gratitude for it (Num. 10:9, 10).

Since this is a requirement laid down by God, we must see it as a prerequisite to a just war. Thus, we must analyze our nation's wars in terms of how it has met this Biblical requirement.

Before the invasion of Iraq, for example, the U.S. did deliver an ultimatum (which was preceded by a penultimatum* and an antepenultimatum*) to Saddam Hussein . The question of the justness of invasion, therefore, hinges not only on whether the motives were just, but also on whether the U.S. negotiated in good faith.

Some observers seemed to think that every time Hussein acceded to a demand, the U.S. made a more rigorous one, making war inevitable. As with all political questions, I guess most folks will come down on this one according to party affiliation.

I am aware that that I have not addressed the last portion of this passage in Deuteronomy 20 (verses 13-14). Many will find this problematic, and I want to devote at least one full post to it.

* I coined these terms to fit this particular situation. I like them, but they're of extremely limited utility.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Hiatus, 2

According to the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, section 8), the power to declare war has been delegated to Congress. According to my information, Congress' last formal declaration of war took place on June 5, 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

Ever since that time, commanders-in-chief have allocated troops to various military adventures without a formal declaration. (Yes, it happened before WWII, as well.) Congress has acquiesced, has funded these hostile actions, but has not lived up to its Constitutionally delegated responsibility of declaring war.

Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada; Bush I ordered the first invasion of Iraq and of Panama; Clinton ordered the bombing in Kosovo; Bush II ordered the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; and Obama continues the Bush-initiated war.

These were not cases in which we invaded nations that stood poised to attack us. Other motivations came into play including, in the case of Iraq, a lingering irrational desire among Americans to "make the towel-heads (any towel-heads) pay for 9/11".

Some say that Congressional approval of the President's military action along with its funding of that action amount to an implicit declaration of war. I think it's a copout for politicians who always think of the next election and want plausible deniablity. ("I was for the war before I was against it.")

Is a presidentially-initiated war unconstitutional? If so, are the troops who fight it violating their oath to preserve, protect and defend said Constitution?

Or is this one of those "gray areas" where we praise the actions of the presidents we like and condemn the very same actions taken by the presidents we don't like?

BTW, Oath Keepers has a new website:

The hiatus is about over. Next time, let's look at the Biblical procedure for initiating hostilities.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Hiatus

. . . or is it an hiatus?

I thought I'd take a little break from writing about God's standards for a just war and insert a couple of posts on something that really interests conservative Christians: getting back to the Constitution.

So, let me set up a hypothetical situation for your consideration:
  1. The Constitution specifies that the president of the U.S. also serves as commander-in-chief of the armed forces;
  2. Members of the armed forces take an oath (in the name of the god of their choice) to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution against "all enemies, foreign and domestic."
  3. The commander-in-chief issues an order that is a blatant violation of the Constitution.
Should a Christian member of the armed forces disobey that order? Should positive action be taken against the president? If so, how high a rank should a person hold before taking positive action against the commander-in-chief? Could a civilian commander-in-chief be held accountable to the UCMJ? If not, what action could lawfully be taken?

Hope that provokes some thought. Let me throw in one cheap shot before closing:
How would you know if the current commander-in-chief is a domestic enemy or a foreign one?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Items of Interest

The "Warrior's Dilemma" series has generated a higher-than-usual response in terms of comments. Therefore, I think some readers may be interested in a post on my blog, The Conspiratologist.

"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery" is the name of the post, and it directly relates to the topic of just wars. The Conspiratologist is an invitation-only blog, but if you send an email to, I will include you in the "allow" list. While the blog is not secret, I do express some controversial opinions a little more freely there (regular readers of WARSKYL know how hesitant I am to express opinions), and I want to reserve the ability to screen out possible troublemakers.

Anyway, if you read this blog & would like to check out the article mentioned above, email me even if you've never commented or made yourself known here. By no means am I trying to shut down honest inquiry or discussion.

The most recent post on The Conspiratologist contains links to two free books that expand on issues raised in "Warrior's Dilemma, 7&1/2" and "Warrior's Dilemma, 7&3/4". Here's the link to that post:
"Conspiracy in Philadelphia"

Have I thanked you lately for coming here and reading my posts? I am more of a dilettante than an expert in most of the areas I touch on, so I am honored and humbled at those who come back to read & to interact. As we say in Possum Kingdom, 'preciate it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 8

Continued from "Warrior's Dilemma, 7"

I want to continue the investigation into what constitutes a just war with a quote from R. J. Rushdoony's The Institutes of Biblical Law.

In surveying military laws, we find that, first, when wars are fought in terms of a defense of justice and the suppression of evil, and in defense of the homeland against an enemy, they are a part of the necessary work of restitution or restoration, and they are therefore spoken of in Scripture as the wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14). The preparation of soldiers involved a religious dedication to their task (Josh. 3:5). (p.277)

Thus, as God's appointed minister of justice, the civil ruler visits retributive justice upon those those who would harm his people contrary to God's Law. He vindicates God's law with reference to all its enemies, foreign and domestic.

The last statement indicates my bias concerning what constitutes the true "supreme law of the land".

There are more Scriptural regulations of war that we will consider in a future post[s].

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

American Internment Camps?

Paranoids and conspiratorialists have been ranting about the alleged internment camps that FEMA has around the country. Of course, most of us have written this off as the ravings of the lunatic fringe. (Right?)

Well, now it seems that the Idaho Observer has uncovered a photo of just such a camp built by a subsidiary of Halliburton, the company that has made huge profits from our wars in the Middle East. The article that accompanies the photo states:

But, on March 28, 2009, the satellite image at right of the "Swift Luck Greens" facility in central Wyoming was "accidentally" made available by the Department of Homeland Security and pulled down within an hour. Several other images are also available and can be found with a simple Google search.

If you still doubt the existence of such camps, you might want to check out Army Regulation 210-35 (January, 2005). The summary states:

This regulation provides guidance for establishing and managing civilian inmate labor programs on Army installations. It provides guidance on establishing prison camps on Army installations. It addresses recordkeeping and reporting incidents related to the Civilian Inmate Labor Program and/or prison camp administration.

Do not think that this regulation is for overseas internment camps. The regulation's statement of purpose makes it clear:

This regulation provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations. Sources of civilian inmate labor are limited to on– and off–post Federal corrections facilities, State and/or local corrections facilities operating from on–post prison camps pursuant to leases under Section 2667, Title 10, United States Code (10 USC 2667), and off–post State corrections facilities participating in the demonstration project authorized under Section 1065, Public Law (PL) 103–337. Otherwise, State and/or local inmate labor from off–post corrections facilities is currently excluded from this program.

Why is does the army concern itself with preparation for camps full of civilians? What kind of explosion in the number of detainees would make such facilities necessary?

Former presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin echoes that last question in his article, "Why Are Internment Camps Being Built?"

This post is already too long, but I will include a video of an AMTRACK facility in Beach Grove, Indiana. View it and decide for yourself if it's really there just to repair broken trains.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 7&3/4

Continued from "Warrior's Dilemma, 7&1/2"

Historically, Christianity has had a large influence on the government and laws of our nation. But it has by no means provided the sole influence. The Enlightenment made its influence felt through such proto-unitarians as Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.

Since the source of a society's laws is the god of that society, we can see the Enlightenment influence in the fundamental law document, the US Constitution. In America, the Constitution -- the vaunted "supreme law of the land" -- is the product of we the people.

Since man is the source of its fundamental law, man is America's god, and democracy is its de facto religion. The word democracy comes from two Greek roots:
  1. demos, meaning people and
  2. kratos, meaning power
Of course, from the beginning, American civil religion (invoked ceremonially and to motivate the nation in crises) has included elements from both Christianity and the Religion of Man. Institutionally, Christianity's influence has receded as humanism, the Religion of Man has advanced.

This is a highly abbreviated account, but it is not merely an obscurantist exercise. It reveals the heart of a system that the power elite have used so many times to deceive so many Christians into supporting their schemes, including unjust wars.

If the average Christian only knew how easy he/she is to manipulate. All it takes is someone who can spout a little evangelical lingo and push the hot buttons.

Meanwhile, the undiscerning wonder how to make a bad tree bring forth good fruit without going to its roots.

If only we could elect the right leaves. . . .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Improvised Self Defense Weapon: Wasp Spray

This email was sent to my barber by a Lutheran grandmother whom he describes as rather small. At first, I thought the wasp spray was her idea, but upon closer examination, I see she has implemented & passed on a great idea for improvised defense weaponry.

I still think I would like this woman. Here is the email that my barber forwarded to me:

Good idea...If you've ever used wasp spray for wasp, you'll know that it shoots at least up to twenty feet.
Guys, tell your women.

I have a friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area who was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the offering. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot
more accurate, while with the pepper spray they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote.

She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention
from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection.

Thought this was interesting and might be of use to others.

The only drawback I can see to this is that wasp spray contains toxins, and the orc might sue you for poisoning him. On the other hand, it has certain advantages over pepper spray, like range, effectiveness (foams on contact & blinds the assailant), and the feature of being able to "hide" it in plain sight.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"What I Did This Summer"

I always hated those what-I-did-over-summer-vacation essays that we had to write at the beginning of each school year. In my mind, the freedom and fun of summer break should have been completely walled off from the drudgery of the classroom.

(It's not that I'm against education, it's that I believe "school" is the least efficient way to get one.)

So, here I am writing an essay about the vacation my family took last week -- the first in several years. Actually, I want to tell about the last leg of our holiday (as the Brits would say).

We spent the last two nights of our time away at my barber's house in Pennsylvania. He and his wife graciously put us up and put up with us over Saturday and Sunday nights.

My barber is a not only a consummate pistolero, he is also a raconteur extraordinaire. He can hit man-size targets with a pistol out to 100 yards, and he can regale you with his most interesting and humorous experiences while he's doing it.

I got a refreshing dose of those stories at the shooting range where I also had the opportunity to shoot his H&K Mark 23 and his son's Kimber Warrior.

Since I'd never fired a suppressed weapon before, the Mark 23 was a new experience. It is made to be used with the sound suppressor, and I was surprised how attaching the suppressor improved the balance of the weapon.

You can use the suppressor dry or with 5cc of water to increase sound suppression. Neither mode is really assassain-quiet, although they both reduce noise below the threshold of pain.

I have to say that the Mark 23's bulky grip was not comfortable in my hands. (I have large hands, but relatively short fingers.) It would take some serious training for me to become proficient with it.

The Kimber has an alloy frame, which makes it rather light for a 1911. Because of this, my barber told me that you need to take as high a grip as possible to minimize muzzle rise.

To complicate matters, that particular batch of ammo stovepiped a lot. That tends to break your focus.

I tried point shooting as well as the sights, and my performance with the light Kimber was not stellar. I actually like the heft of my old .45.

Don't get me wrong. Both weapons have great potential in the right hands, as my barber demonstrated. They're just not for me, and that's good because it allowed me to walk away from the experience without coveting a couple of handguns that I simply cannot afford.

Our range time was just a small part of the experience. In another post I'll tell you about the little Lutheran grandmother who should get a prize for her improvised self-defense weaponry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 7&1/2

You've posted a lot of comments (for this blog) on "Warrior's Dilemma, 7". The comments are good, and I recommend that anyone who has not read them take the time to do so.

Your comments give a true picture from different perspectives. I'd like to add my perspective to them.

I believe that overall, America's religion is the Religion of Man. Americans believe more than anything else in their own goodness, rightness and ingenuity (which can accomplish anything).

There are two major denominations in this religion. Liberals believe that man's powers are best summed up and harnessed by the state. Conservatives believe that man unleashes his creative and productive powers through the free market.

Either denomination may give lip service to some kind of god, but their hopes are fixed on man rather than the transcendent God of Scripture for the blessings of peace and prosperity. Statists look for redemption in politics and programs, while the laissez-faire crowd seek it in the individual's enlightened self interest.

As in the classic philosophical problem of The One and The Many, the Religion of Man must gravitate toward "the one" (absolutist statism) or "the many" (anarchy as an expression of the total & absolute freedom of the individual). In the past, liberals and conservatives occupied spaces that gravitated toward their respective poles, but they did not embrace the extremes.

Over the past two or three generations, however, both denominations have shifted to the left. They are both fundamentally statist, but they argue over how much statism is necessary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm Back

It's a wonderful thing to know someone whose mind travels the same obscure trails as yours. The following dialogue which took place this past Sunday is "Exhibit A".

My barber, holding a small bottle of bore cleaner: Do you know why I always use Hoppe's Number 9?

Me: Because they don't make a Hoppe's Number 10?

My barber, laughing: You stole my punch line.

I hope to get back to regular schedule of posts this week. Thanks for your patience.