Links For Today

The downfall of Russia’s oligarchs


Russian Envoy at Nuclear Talks: ‘Iran Got Much More Than It Could Expect’

US, European allies considering coordinated ban on Russian oil imports: Blinken

When rebounding oil demand began pushing benchmarks higher last year, forecasters and traders alike watched the U.S. shale patch with bated breath to see when drillers would start drilling again. Most didn’t. The ones that did were the smaller, privately held players.

UK Intelligence suggests that Russia has taken to trying to disguise fuel trucks because of heavy losses.

Elon Musk says SpaceX focusing on cyber defense after Starlink signals jammed near Ukraine conflict areas

Are you smarter than a Ukrainian?

The familiar old judgmental feeling welled up in my heart when I saw news report after news report of Ukrainians forming longs lines to take money out of the bank and looking for food and water to buy the day that Russia invaded. Didn’t they know this was coming? Why were they in a panic to get a stockpile of food and water now?

In a chartable mood, I can sympathize with not trusting America’s intelligence agencies and thinking that Putin was not crazy enough to do what he has done. Maybe I would have been in the same camp if it had not been for some people smarter than me walking me through the available open source information and what it meant from a military perspective. And how many people in Ukraine have the time and inclination to collect the sources of information that I read?

Regardless of whether you are charitable or not, the fact remains that a lot of Ukrainians completely failed to see this coming.

If disaster strikes your country, are you going to be one of those people in a panic trying to buy food in a rapidly emptying grocery store? Or do you think you are smarter then all those Ukrainians who totally failed to see this coming and you will be smart enough to stock up before the general panic sets in?

Of course, there is a third alternative. You could just assume that you don’t know what is going to happen in this crazy world and try to set aside some kind of kit to prepare for the kinds of emergencies that strike this world from time to time. On that note, I read with interests that the Israelis are sending a hundred tons of humanitarian aid composed of…..

“water purification kits, medical equipment as well as drugs, tents, blankets, sleeping bags and additional equipment for civilians who are not in their homes in the cold winter weather”

It sounds very similar to the equipment list I laid out as part of my Yuppie FEMA plan. If you had the all the gear as laid out in that plan, you would be pretty well set up to throw it all in the car and flee. If I felt compelled to do that, the main additional things I would wish I had were a tent, a few full gas cans to extend the range of my vehicle, and a way to charge my cell phones without running my vehicle.

Hopefully, we will never experience a crisis on the scale of what Ukraine is going through now. But you should always remember all the people in Ukraine who held on to that hope without doing anything all the way up to the point when it became a certainty. Maybe that memory will keep you from being just like them.

The Problem With Masonry Stoves

On the The Rural Working Class FEMA Plan, Deirdre commented….

One thing I often think about is how it would be nice to have an oven. Obviously, worst case scenario, you can bake bread directly over coals, and we probably wouldn’t have the yeast for anything other than flatbread, anyway. But in my imagination, it would be nice to have a nice, woodheated oven…. Even if it was just a fairly short power outage, where running out of food wasn’t a concern, if the generator stopped working, we wouldn’t be able to bake anything. But baking things isn’t a survival necessity, it’s just nice to have. You can live without brownies.

In around about way, this brings up a topic that I did not address in my FEMA series. And that topic is there are lots of cheap things that would be nice to have if society goes all third world on us that I did not talk about or consider because they take a lot of skill to use. I tried to include only things that I imagined would still be useful even if you had little or no skill. And even though masonry stoves are not that hard to build, they do take a fair amount of skill to use. It might be just because I am incompetent at such things, but I would guess that it would take me more then a month to get half way proficient with a wood fired masonry oven. The below video demonstrates some of those issues……

Now some of the David the Good’s problems are because he is always broke and trying to do things as cheap as possible. A roof and more brick would have helped somewhat. And obviously one of his complaints is related to just his climate. But his complaints about the difficulties of cooking with it are going to be the same everywhere.

Of course, people who are more dedicated and less cash constrained can do a much better job then David the Good did. Take a look at these pictures for a oven build that uses far less wood and requires far less maintenance then David the Good’s oven. But it also required a lot more skill and knowledge to build (not to mention money, although I would guess the biggest cost was in the shelter that was built over it). Here is video of a cheap version with little thermal mass version of the stove those pictures in operation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can bake a lot of things with Dutch ovens with a regular fire beyond the bread the Deirdre mentioned. Below is Paul Harrell making a fairly fancy thanksgiving meal outdoors with Dutch ovens. From a disaster perspective he is cheating by using charcoal but that is because he under a time crunch and working by himself. To duplicate this with wood, you would need someone dedicated to the fire while someone else was cooking and the person tending the fire would need to get started enough in advance of the cook that the fire had a good bed of coals.

Note how much skill and experience goes into making things. The cost of his Dutch ovens is not all that high. But the time investment to figure out how to use them is considerable.

And for those who doubt that Paul’s example has much bearing on a “survival” setting, below is a video of someone doing the same kind of thing in a “survival” setting.

Obviously his meal is not as elaborate but as you can see he uses all the same basic methods.

The bottom line is that there are number of ways you can have an “oven” to bake brownies in (provided you have the supplies to make the brownies). The constraint is not so much monetary as it is time it takes to learn how to do it successfully.

Links For Yesterday (Forgot to post)

Three Teens Who Escaped From Aussie COVID Camp All Have One Thing in Common, and It’s Not the Virus

PCR Tests and the Rise of Disease Panic

Mumps cases in vaccinated people increasing, reason why is unclear

Loudoun County asks parent to pay $36K for FOIA request for documents regarding ‘sexual assault’ or ‘rape’

Why Has the Press Ignored Retailers’ Crappy Black Fridays, as Experts Warn of Coming Bankruptcies?

Russia issues threat to GPS satellites

UK Grim Prospects Over Surging Energy Bills Just Got Worse

Links For Today

Do masks reduce risk of COVID19 by 53%? How about 80%?

The War Nerd: The Tigray-Ethiopia War

Negative Vaccine Effectiveness Isn’t a New Phenomenon – It Turned Up in the Swine Flu Vaccine

New mRNA anti-tick vaccine may protect from more than just Lyme disease

This makes me so mad because of what it does not mention. “Nothing has changed” – Syracuse hospitals and EMT’s still in crisis mode ahead of winter

If Ansarallah controls Marib, it will control all of Yemen and some of the world’s most strategic waterways. No wonder its adversaries are shaken.

Biden Calls On FTC To Investigate Oil Companies And High Gas Prices

New Details Shed Light on Lukashenko’s Human Trafficking Network

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Newport News Shipbuilding parent company announces suspension of vaccine deadline

Even the Washington Post Wonders if the Justice Department Went Too Far in Raiding Project Veritas

Links For Today

California moves toward ban on gas lawnmowers and leaf blowers

“Part of the prime minister’s problem is that she did such a good job of rallying New Zealanders to this cause, of convincing them – correctly – that elimination was an achievable goal, and of instilling a real fear of the virus. That’s a very hard thing to unwind from,” Thomas says.

Servers are masked, the elites are unmasked

California’s Newsom faces criticism after admitting 12yo daughter not jabbed amid own push for vaccine mandate for kids

Links For Today

NPR Trashes Free Speech. A Brief Response

More than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi could be without electricity for weeks after Hurricane Ida devastated the power grid in New Orleans and the surrounding area on Aug. 29.

According to US government reports, $787 million was spent on gender programs in Afghanistan, but that substantially understates the actual total, since gender goals were folded into practically every undertaking America made in the country.

US Withdrawal From the Middle East

Meth, Vanilla and ‘Gulags’: How China Has Overtaken the South Pacific One Island at a Time

California’s massive wildfires are doing something no wildfire has ever done before

U.S. Civil Engineers Bent the Rules to Give New Orleans Extra Protection from Hurricanes. Those Adjustments Might Have Saved the City During Ida

“Within that last 12 hours, I had four buses of American citizens outside the gate,” he said. “They were mostly pregnant women and babies, including a child with spina bifida, just all packed together waiting at the gate.”

Air Force software is so bad the guy in charge of it all is about to quit

China Is Hoarding Crude Again, And That’s Great News For Oil Prices

Northeast Pummeled with Colossal Flooding, Destructive Tornadoes

What is informed consent if your doctor is not allowed to inform you?