US military prepares for economic collapse

I’m glad I live in a country where our military folks have the resources to learn via roleplaying and what-if scenarios. It’s a useful way to learn and explore all the aspects of a given topic. But it also makes me nervous-as-all-get-out when I read this:

The Army has launched an operation called “Unified Quest 2011” in which it studies the “implications of ‘large scale economic breakdown’ inside the United States that would force the Army to keep ‘domestic order amid civil unrest.'”
The 2011 Unified Quest lends truth to assertions that the United States is indeed not witnessing an upward economic recovery, as so many in our federal government have asserted. Soldiers are being trained in evacuation and detainment as a response to rioting, revealing the possibility that the United States military may resort to martial law in order to maintain order.
Unified Quest 2011 also prepares soldiers to act as diplomats in the event that there is a limited availability of diplomats at combat outposts, or on the streets contending with hungry and angry Americans.

Ugh. You can read this either positively or negatively. I’m frankly not sure which is closer to the truth of reality.

The government will not help you

Katrina made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane the same morning this photo was taken. Ugh.

It’s not that government officials and employees do not *want* to help you in a natural disaster – or any kind of emergency – it is that they literally will not *be able* to help you.

When the widespread eco-disaster hits your area, do you think help is on the way from your local, regional, or federal government? The unfortunate answer has proven to be “No.”  It only takes one read thru this timeline to understand why regional and federal aid will be shortcoming.

Leave your personal political beliefs out of the equation when reading through the timeline; the US just simply is not prepared for this type of disaster response. This was an epic fail.

Like the frustrated firefighters who have to drive right by the home going up in flames in order to survey their entire small town before they can begin to dispatch the blazes one by one, when a large emergency hits the local level government folks will be overwhelmed and scrambling.

What’s the positive, citizen-led solution to this issue? For our family, it is the Map Your Neighborhood program.

New self-offense class for “normal” folks

At one of the dojos I train, we’ve begun to build a new self offense class two afternoons a week.

Strangely enough, after a frustrating morning of dealing with politics in the world of Fair Trade companies, it is very satisfying to throw elbows at a target as hard as you can over and over until your elbow is raw and bleeding.

Of course, then you have to provide the same target for your sparring partner. This was even with a thick forearm pad! Where’s my Arnica?

Climate Patriots

Two interesting, new terms to me, climate patriots and “environmental security”. These guys are right on and our best hope for bringing climate change awareness (and action) to Middle America.

Climate Patriots is a short video that provides a military perspective on energy, climate change and American national security.  The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate conducted a series of interviews with former military leaders to discuss the challenges posed to the U.S. armed forces due to the impacts of climate change and our energy posture.  The video features:

  • Senator John Warner (R-VA), Former chairman U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee;
  • Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, U.S. Navy (Ret.), CNA Military Advisory Board Member;
  • Former Captain James Morin, U.S. Army; and
  • Admiral John Nathman, U.S. Navy (Ret.), CNA Military Advisory Board Member.

Fighting funky boxing gloves

Not the good 70’s funk, but the funk that comes from lots of sweat + no airflow.

I found a new use for the ski boot dryer I’ve been using to keep my bike riding gear funky-free. It also makes a great way to dry your boxing gloves, which would never see good airflow otherwise. Recommended.

Living with an EPI dog

Our new security system, er, I  mean, German Shepherd dog, has a condition fairly common to GSDs known as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. The dog’s pancreas does not work properly and requires supplements to help them absorb their food properly. The EPI is partly why our dog is on the thin side and definitely why her coat is brittle; she’s just not getting the nutrition she needs from her food.

We’re going to approach this two ways with our new rescue dog. First, we’re switching her (slowly) from kibble to a (controversial with some) raw food diet. Second, we’re switching her from the current EPI supplement that came with her to a homeopathic, more natural version, called Canine Enteric Support. Our local vet is thankfully certified as a full vet plus trained in a number of holistic medical techniques. And he’s an enthusiastic supporter of the raw diet for dogs. I thought he might throw me out of his office when I mentioned our interest in feeding the dog raw; instead he says that’s the #1 thing to bring her health back.

Were’s starting out getting the raw dog food via mail order until I can build a reliable source among local chicken friends who process meat birds. I suspect both changes will greatly increase this dog’s health.

Newest addition to our security system

…who also happens to lower our stress levels. After several months on the rescue waiting list, we finally found a good fit and got to bring home a five year old very-bright German Shepherd dog this past week. The few commands she did not already know, she’s learning quickly.

She was nervous at first when we arrived home and dropped two doggie bombs inside the house (ugh). But true to her security nature, she wisely placed them directly underneath the window. Pity the home invader who steps through *those* windows.

She’s a bit thin due to a special medical condition, so in addition to additional obedience training, we’ll focus on helping her gain muscle weight in the coming months. She’s already fitting well into the family, following the kids around the yard as they play and garden. I feel completely comfortable even when they are not in direct sight, knowing they have a tall-for-her-breed German Shepherd standing by.

And I can now finally relax when someone forgets to lock a door at night. Just the sight of her enormous water bowls at each door should cause any unwelcome guest to pause and move along to the next house.