Monthly Archives: November 2012

HealthMap website; Global Health, Local Knowledge

HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children’s Hospital founded in 2006, is an established global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. The freely available Web site ‘’ and mobile app ‘Outbreaks Near Me’ deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases for a diverse audience including libraries, local health departments, governments, and international travelers. HealthMap brings together disparate data sources, including online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports, to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. Through an automated process, updating 24/7/365, the system monitors, organizes, integrates, filters, visualizes and disseminates online information about emerging diseases in nine languages, facilitating early detection of global public health threats.

HealthMap from healthmap on Vimeo.

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Statist Thugs And The Rocks They Crawl Out From Under

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,

A mass exodus from ignorance and organized opposition to tyranny is the dream of every freedom loving person within the Liberty Movement today.  We would like nothing better than to put an end to the expanding establishment police state in the most peaceful manner possible.  We dream of a day when a transition back to the Constitutional values that once made America brilliantly unique in the world is possible, and can be accomplished without incredible pain or terrible bloodshed.  We long for that once-in-a-century uprising, that great march, that spontaneous eruption of the citizenry demanding a more truthful government.  At the same time, though, we realize that such events are rare, and few if any great changes in the history of man are made without sacrifice, and without direct confrontation.

The reason why peaceful and popular activism almost never occurs successfully, the reason why good people are made to stand and suffer, falls not only to the establishment elites who seek out and abuse power; there are others who share in the blame.  Regardless of the age, the culture, or the social conditions, there is ALWAYS a percentage of the general populace that embraces the totalitarian dynamic.  There is always someone in our neighborhood, in our workplace, and within our family that finds vindication or advantage in supporting the state, even if the state has turned viciously criminal.  They are not only useful idiots; they are conscious participants in the process of pacification and enslavement of their own society.  They understand their role perfectly, and they enjoy what they do.

The psychologist Carl Jung in his examination of the rise of violent fascism in Germany as well as the collectivist surveillance state in communist Russia theorized that there is in fact a certain percentage of people in any given epoch that carry within them a latent ability to abandon conscience.  That is to say, there is always hidden within a portion of the multitude an inborn potential for sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies.  These tendencies remain dormant for many under most circumstances, but every once in a while a society falters to the point where such diseases of the soul are encouraged, and the monsters in millions are allowed to come out and play.

Is it possible that some men are more apt towards truth and freedom while others take more naturally to dominance and deceit?  Perhaps.  I find that under certain circumstances even the best human beings can make catastrophic errors in judgment.  However, there is a difference between those who misstep in life, and those who savor destruction.  For these people I reserve the label of the “statist thug”; a ghoul in common man’s drag just waiting for the opportunity to scrape out a spoonful of petty authority and assert his will over others.  These folks are the day’s damned.  And what’s worse; though they may have been born with a predisposition towards despotism, they still had a choice, and they chose villainy.  They deserve no special treatment and no quarter from us.

As America faces down wave after wave of fiscal difficulties, a government gone rogue with false left/right politics, and policies that disregard civil liberties for the sake of centralized authority, I believe the statist thugs of our time will soon flow out of the dark recesses and rotten sputtering gutters of our society like a river of septic putrescence.  We all know them when we see them, but do we really understand what makes them tick?  Here are some common psychological attributes of the overzealous statist; the failings and inadequacies that make him what he is…

Statist Thugs Thrive During Immoral Times

The worst statists are utter screw-ups and failures in normal or semi-normal environments.  They barely have the ability to function without constant surrounding chaos and desperation which they use to camouflage their spastic and childish characters.  They are often seen as the dregs of a culture during peaceful years, and only climb to prominence when crisis overtakes the nation.  When a social environment turns tenuous or explosive, the statist excels.  Corrupt governments require the aid of questionable individuals in order to tighten control at the local level, and so anyone willing to set aside morality and principle automatically becomes a highly valued commodity.  Statists will flock to government employment during national “emergencies” or unjust wars, and use the inbred system to their advantage.

Statist Thugs Want Respect, Even If They Don’t Deserve It

Statists demand respect, and they will pursue authoritative positions just so they can remind people of the respect they are supposedly owed.  Some of them do realize that legitimate respect is earned through valuable works, knowledge, experience, and generous creativity.  They know it cannot be bought, and that it cannot be conned through clever talk, boastful discussion, and theatrical chest beating.  And so, instead of attempting real achievement, or taking the risk of falsely playing a part and being exposed, they look for a title and a uniform to fill the void.  They eventually attain respect derived by force through institutions within the system.  This title will likely be a miniscule part of the overall government conglomerate, but the statist will act as if he is the emperor of Earth once you wander into his narrow jurisdiction.  The slightest hint of defiance will send him into fits of rage.

Statist Thugs Only Understand Violence

Keep in mind that not every person in a uniform is a statist, and identifying them is more a matter of behavior than outward appearance.  There is no such thing as reason, logic, or even law in the realm of the statist thug.  You cannot discuss a matter of conflict with him.  You cannot point out that the legal structure he claims to represent does not support his views.  You cannot calm him using words and solid philosophy.  The only thing he understands is power, and the only thing that he regards is strength.  When faced with overwhelming reason, the statist will attack rather than think.  This attack, unfortunately, will only be silenced by an equal or greater display of force…

Statist Thugs Savor Weakness In Others

Show any signs of fear or weakness and you have given the statist exactly what he has always wanted.  He does not desire an equal fight.  In truth, he avoids situations in which his opponents are fairly matched.  This is because, deep down, all statists and power monger are cowards.  Anyone who is so desperate to control every aspect of his environment even to the point of hurting and enslaving others is obviously afraid of a great many things.  Attempting to be quietly diplomatic or grasping for mercy only encourages them to take their maliciousness to the next level.  Statists seek easy prey to satiate their thirst for dominance.  They will abuse women, children, the elderly and disabled, anyone that cannot defend themselves.  As soon as the goon encounters a person willing and able to fight back, however, his smug façade disappears and the hidden coward emerges.

Statist Thugs Love Law For The Law’s Sake

Statists revel in bureaucracy and red tape.  They love laws and regulations regardless of application.  They feel safe within a highly structured and contained system because most of them are followers, not leaders.  The idea that they may one day have to blaze their own path without the aid of a vast government machine cradling them like lost infants is terrifying to them.  Statists are not able to survive without someone telling them what to do and when to do it.  On the other side of the coin, they also enjoy the manner in which the modern legal framework can be twisted to fit whatever disturbed logic happens to strike them.  The more a society is cluttered with overt legalities, the easier it is to misinterpret and exploit the distraction and confusion they create.

Statists Believe Government Should Parent Society

The goal of a statist is to impress his will upon others by any means necessary.  Government simply offers the most expedient and convenient tool for them to do the job.  Of course, in their minds many of them will try to rationalize the abuse of government power by asserting that it is ultimately for the good of everyone.  It is not enough for them to live life the way they see fit for themselves; all people must be “shown the light” for the betterment of the group as a whole.  When confronted with someone who dissents against their oppressive world view, they usually respond by accusing the activist of “not caring about other people’s well being, or the well being of the country”.   You will almost always hear the Statist talk about the group, or the collective, over the individual, because the easiest way to dominate the citizenry is to erase the concept of unique individualism and condition them towards herd behavior.  Individuals with strong characters infuriate statists.

Anyone Can Be A Statist

Many people (myself included) have never found much solace in the establishment and its parade of self-importance.  For me, most methodologies of government have always been a sick kind of joke.  Elaborate buildings and ceremonies, nice suits and uniforms, the money and the celebrity, the news shows and talking heads; it’s all costume.  It’s a parade of drunken clowns and carneys dipped in glamour and glitter and pomp.

The very concept of government is in itself an abstraction.  It is an artificial social edifice that seems to give weaker men a sense of security (or false security), even when it is at bottom a threat to them.  The assumption is that the establishment (meaning the power elite) must exist at all costs.  The statist cannot imagine otherwise.  He is at once a fan of the totalitarian game and an avid bouncing giggling cheerleader.  His greatest dream is to be a part of the beast; to share in the “glory” of the empire and live vicariously through its conquests.

A statist thug can be anyone, from the overweight and overzealous TSA agent at the airport to the brutally nosy and vicious old lady next door.  Some participate in tyranny directly by wearing the uniform and wielding the baton, while others participate behind closed doors and curtains by informing on their neighbors.  Regardless of their demeanor, each statist has one thing in common; an obsession with the continuance of the system to the point of madness.  There is absolutely nothing the state can do to make them second guess their love affair.  No crime too shocking,no attack too unjust.  During the blackest moments of mankind, they are the willing tools of oppression.  They make revolution – physical revolution, necessary.  With them, oligarchs take root.  Without them, oligarchs take shelter, or disappear altogether…

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Woody Guthrie: American Hero (Democracy Now Nov, 23, 2012)

Woody Guthrie at 100: Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Will Kaufman Honor the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”, via

Commemorations are being held across the country this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the country’s greatest songwriters, Woody Guthrie. Born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs, including, “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Do Re Mi” and “The Ranger’s Command.” While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side. At the height of McCarthyism, Guthrie spoke out for labor and civil rights and against fascism. In this one-hour special, you will hear interviews and music from folk singer Pete Seeger, the British musician Billy Bragg, and the historian Will Kaufman, author of the new book, “Woody Guthrie, American Radical.”

“Woody’s original songs, the songs that he wrote back in the 1930s … with these images of people losing their houses to the banks, of gamblers on the stock markets making millions, when ordinary working people can’t afford to make ends meet, and of people dying for want of proper free healthcare, you know, this song could have been written anytime in the last five years, really, in the United States of America,” says Bragg, who has long been inspired by Guthrie.

Guthrie’s most famous song, “This Land Is Your Land,” was written in 1940 in response to Kate Smith’s “God Bless America.” “Woody saw [‘God Bless America’] as a strident, jingoistic, complacent, tub-thumping anthem to American greatness,” Kaufman says. “And now, he had just come from the Dust Bowl. He’d just come from the barbed-wire gates of California’s Eden there. He’d seen the Hoovervilles. He’d seen the bread lines. He’d seen labor activists getting their heads busted. And so, he’s thinking, what — God bless — what America, you know, is Kate Smith singing of?” In 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen performed “This Land Is Your Land” for the inauguration of President Obama. [includes rush transcript]

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Thanksgiving Eruptions On the Sun


On Nov. 23, 2012, at 8:54 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and the ESA/NASA mission the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the Nov. 23 CME left the sun at speeds of 375 miles per second, which is a slow to average speed for CMEs. This is the third Earth-directed CME since Nov. 20.

Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later. When Earth-directed, CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when CMEs successfully connect up with the outside of the Earth’s magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past, CMEs of this speed have not usually caused substantial geomagnetic storms. They have caused auroras near the poles but are unlikely to cause disruptions to electrical systems on Earth or interfere with GPS or satellite-based communications systems.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center ( is the United States Government official source for space weather forecasts.”

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Getting Further Back, 11 Steps to Improving Your Hunting Success (RMEF)


Getting Further Back …

11 Steps to Improving Your Hunting Success

The following is the text of the seminar given by Patrick Smith, President of Kifaru International, at the Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation Annual Convention on February 17-20, 2000

Good afternoon. Thanks for coming. I’ll set the tone for this talk by giving you a subtitle: “Making Meat on Your Own Two Feet”. I’m going to talk mostly about backpacking up and in to where the game is. We’ll talk about how to get meat and horns back out. We’ll discuss “Living”, and living well not “surviving” while we do it, even if you get lost. And about the equipment, the techniques and the preparation to do this well.

Why backpack in? Well, how about because it’s simply the most successful way to take elk. By getting in further than the motorized crowds, you put yourself in the best posssible position for success.

I suppose everybody in this room already knows that. Perhaps some of you already are backpack hunters. Perhaps some of you have tried it and suffered, and gave it up. (That would have been mostly because of inadequate, antiquated equipment, and to some extent technique that was not up to the task either.) And, perhaps some are here to learn how to get started. All of you will gain something of value here. Everyone will see and hear about equipment alternatives that make all the difference in enjoyable, sustained backpack hunting. And, you’ll get a lot of advice on techniques that work too. No matter your age either. You can pack in. There is equipment now that compensates enough to keep you doing it. I’ve been doing this a very long time. If I sound like an advocate for hunting on foot, that’s because I am! And not only because it’s the most successful method. I feel freer unemcumbered by vehicles. I get to camp in absolutely pristine places, not at the busy, muddy end of the road. The possibility of seeing your elk from the tent door is very real. Nightime among the elk is supercharged with the promise of the dawn. As a backpack hunter, I experience the full-time freedom of the hills, just as the elk do.

So, in addition to a much higher quantifiable success rate, in terms of filling your tag, backpack hunting has much in its favor that is not quantifiable. It has elements that are just plain…well, good for the spirit. Packing in to hunt puts a buffer between civilization and wilderness. Packing in let’s you join, not visit, the wilderness and accept its terms. You sever the tether to town. You share the turf with our elk friends. You are in there among them, on much more equal terms. You will be on shared ground, not visiting from the end of the road. And that is exhilirating, energizing. And somehow a lot fairer. A snug, warm modern backpack camp is cleaner, remoter and more appropriate to the ideals of fair chase. Just plain more satisfying all around. And, you can place your camp overlooking exactly where you think elk will be at dawn!

Let me give you a little background on myself. I’ve been what you might call a live-off-the-land wanderer since I was 13 years old. I Founded Mountainsmith, the backpack company, and owned it for about 15 years. Now I’m the president of Kifaru International, specializing in putting before HUNTERS all that I learned adapting my personal Mountainsmith packs. I’m in the field about 150 nights a year, virtually all with a means of collecting my supper from the land. I was a reader from a very early age, and was enthralled by the self-sufficient explorations of men like Daniel Boone—the so-called Long Hunters. Men who lived in the wilderness and provided for themselves with their rifles. On foot. There weren’t any 4-wheelers in those days. I’m still perfecting those arts. And I can assure you that hunting on your own two feet is still the most successful way to do it.

I also taught wilderness survival for about 10 years. So if you have any questions on that subject that we don’t cover in the course of this talk, then just ask away.

I produced two elk for the freezer back in the ’98 season, both in Colorado. One was one of those herd-thinning tags our Division of Wildlife issued. This, despite the warm and dry weather that was partly responsible for the poor success experienced by many other hunters. I say the weather was only partly responsible because I agree with Charlie Meyers of the Denver Post who placed half the blame on laziness—not getting off your pickup seat or 4-wheeler seat and going in afoot to roust out some elk. They were still “up there”. They didn’t “come down” so the motorized crowd could get at ‘em.

I was successful because I went up and in to where the elk were by backpacking in. It’s the most mobile method of all. And the most productive. Still is. Always will be.

Even horse outfitters can do no more than provide a “base camp” that’s hoped to be closer to the game than say a car camp at the end of the road. Better? You bet! They are limited though, by the fact that horses can’t go where a man on foot can go, and by the weight and bulk and complexity of setting up a horse camp. Ed Gordon, a Kifaru customer, tells the story of Elk hunting a couple of seasons ago. No elk within get-to distance from camp. But every morning the spotting scopes revealed a six by seven patriarch on a ridge about three miles distant as the crow flies. This wonderful elk was obviously bedding over there; he was never there any other time of day. Rough country getting over there. Couldn’t move the horse camp. No backpacking gear for a couple of guys to move over there. Too rough to hike it in the early morning darkness. Ed plans to be ready to backpack next time. Plans to be his own MOBILE base camp. I’d suggest to my horse outfit colleages that they take a few packs and lightweight tents so that willing clients can be more mobile.

Backpack hunting gives you the most options and is the most successful hunting method available. If you run into game at the end of the day, you can make camp right there, ready to take care of business next morning. But generally I like to backpack in to where I think the game is and setup a base camp. Then I’ll “day pack” out of base camp, taking enough gear for all day and any contingency. My pack should be capable of carrying a heavy load of meat/horns, etc. back to base camp. Or even back to my vehicle, as day packing can certainly be done staging from a strategically placed truck, especially if you know the area and know where the elk are. May as well make that first trip back a productive one. I recommend a big enough, capable enough daypack to cover all contingencies for a full day in the field, and maybe even a bivouac!

WHAT TO TAKE—either backpacking or day packing. 1) fire starter and small head lamp with extra batteries and replacement bulb (fire and light are essential, especially if you become lost). 2) compass and/or G.P.S. and map. 3) orange survey tape. 4) knife. 5) wire saw. 6) large baggies and a trash bag or two. 7) first-aid stuff. 8) binoculars 9) food and water 10) clothing sufficient for any contingency. 11) couple of little heat packs. 12) a few paper towels. 13) small metal container to melt snow in.

SAFETY- Let a responsible person know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They should call 911 if you don’t make it by the last chance scenario you agree on.

STAY FOUND – Use a map and compass or G.P.S. As backup I wear a little wrist compass right on my watch and use it constantly. LOOK BACK as you go along. I’m quite serious. Be aware of the landmarks behind you – you’ll need to follow them when you retrace your route to come back out. Imagine what they’ll look like beneath a foot of new snow too. Besides, you just might see an elk back there! Don’t get cold, put on your hat before you shiver.

If you get lost or weathered in or nighted out: find a sheltered spot like the base of a big spruce tree, scoop the snow out and get a nice fire going. Cover the floor of your nest with fluffy boughs and settle in. Dig out your little metal container and brew up some spruce needle tea. The most important things to do are stay put, keep a warm fire going and stay hydrated, and in that order. The worst thing you can do is bolt out of there in a panic. That has killed more hunters than all the other factors in hunting deaths combined. Relax.

Come morning you can work on whatever the problem is. Just know that you can go on like this indefinitely. You won’t die. You have shelter, warmth and water. And if you get hungry enough you even have a rifle with you! Lastly, if you’re there because you’re totally lost, you will be found.

All of the above discussion assumes that you have been daypacking when this “survival” situation commenced. Of course if you’re hunting with your full camp on your back – big pack mode – you just set up camp and wait out whatever it is as if you were at the Hilton. Some hunters, myself included, do this often. You can penetrate the length and breadth of your entire hunting area in absolute confidence.

So. TIP No.1—BACKPACK IN. Or at the very least DAYPACK. Or BOTH.


Do some backpacking in the summer and early fall. Find the game. In a dry year they’ll still be there come hunting season. But scope out where they’ll go if it’s a good snow year. Go there too and find campsites, ambush sites, glassing sites and so forth. Accustom the critters to your safe presence. Find that big bull. Then try to come back and get him come hunting season. Camp there. I mean backpacking in. Rediscover the self-reliance of the untethered world. Get on the same terms with it as the elk. Become better woodsmen and you’ll be better hunters. I guarantee it.


While scouting take your gun or bow and SHOOT. Shoot rocks. Even better, shoot small game. Marmots in summer, then grouse, rabbits and squirrels. Become a hand loader if you aren’t already and load small game loads for your elk rifle and use it! I cannot recommend this enough. You’ll get very good with that piece. You’ll also condition the big game to no-consequences shooting. And your scouting will become more immediately purposeful—and frankly, a lot more fun. A couple of rabbits in the pot on a scouting trip makes you feel really self-reliant. And in fact you really will be. Hunting is hunting. Make squirrels and rabbits worthy game. They’ve fed generations of our ancestors and honed their hunting and shooting skills in the bargain. Scouting and small game collecting at the same time is unbeatable as a tune up for the season. You’ll love it. Backpack in and spend the weekends leading up to big game season scouting and practicing in this manner. See below for an addendum on small game loads for most calibers. Also some field cooking Tips for small game.

Marmots are usually excellent practice for long-range shooting. They taste rather like pork. Shoot rocks too. Then don’t forget to pace off the distance—you’ll want to hone your range estimation skills. I have a range finder now, still ambivalent about that. But, at the very least they make standard calibers more viable than ever, even for long shots. Thus, really lightweight rifles, without muzzle brakes, are to me, at the forefront again. Still have to practice, and still have to know the drops.

Squirrel and rabbit hunting, especialy squirrel, is excellent practice for off-hand shooting – and I’ve taken a lot of elk off hand. If you can learn to hit squirrels you’ll be well prepared. Again, hand load your elk rifle and use it – you’ll never regret it.

Shooting/hunting is a calling. Do it right. Practice and scout at the same time. And backpack in, honing that skill too!


Of course practice is the single biggest contributor to accuracy. But I’d like to suggest some practical technical Tips to go along with the practice.

–Hand dexterity–When the time to shoot arrives at last, you’re in a bit of a pickle if your hands are semi frozen from the cold we usually associate with hunting season here in the West. But you simply can’t shoot well with bulky gloves either. I highly recommend the lightweight polypropylene gloves from Manzella Company. They’re thin enough to provide excellent dexterity on your trigger and also have a thin pattern of rubberized dots splashed across the palm and fingers for reliable grip on your rifle. These gloves used in conjunction with Kifaru’s Hand Warmer pouch will take you well below zero while providing ready to go trigger dexterity. The Hand Warmer is like a muff—your hands actually touch each other inside, unlike individual pockets, thus providing much greater warmth and allowing the use of these highly nimble gloves. You can even toss one of these little heat packs in there and warm both hands, as well as your chest, in brutally cold conditions! The Hand Warmer Pouch will also carry your binoculars in its special pocket on the front.

–Shoot off Pack—you simply can’t always find a tree limb or boulder. Besides, they’re too hard to work right anyway—you need padding. Ergo, use the pack you should be carrying as a shooting rest. In addition to the stuff we talked about above, I like to put really lightweight but sort of bulky stuff in my pack, especially if it’s a day packing ramble. Plump but slightly soft. When shooting off your pack slide the rifle right up to its trigger guard so that it balances on the pack. You don’t want to muscle it at all. You can change the elevation of the rifle according to whether you place it at the narrowest part of the pack or the widest or off the top for the sitting or kneeling positions. If you do have a boulder to shoot off of, you’ll still want to plop your pack down on top of it and shoot off of the softer backpack.

–(Show Rifle Rain Cover) – I’m sure we’ve all shouldered a rifle for an important shot and-to our dismay-found a puck-like disc of snow blocking the front lens on our scope. The barrel was probably half filled with snow too, which doesn’t exactly give me confidence in an accurate shot. Try my Rifle Rain Cover if it’s snowing or you’re wiggling through snow-laden brush and branches. It pulls off in a nanosecond and protects the bore too.

TIP No. 5—COMFORT—You can’t hunt well if you hurt. Don’t be intimidated by backpacking in. Modern internal frame backpacks are worlds better than the hip crushing shoulder crunching external frame packs we all know too well. Internals have won the battle at comfortably carrying heavy weights. They are also quiet, they don’t break at the welds so you don’t have to carry your load out in your arms, they don’t hang up on trees, bushes and rocks. They don’t knock your scope out of alignment, and they are a lot more compact for day hunting. They’ll go anywhere far more unobtrusively. They make far better shooting platforms too, as there’s no encircling ring of hard metal that will bounce you’re shot into the next County if you try to shoot off it. They cost a lot less than a 4-wheeler too. Nobody in the mountaineering world- where heavy loads and good balance are critical carries externals anymore. When you think about it mountaineers have the same requirements we do in terms of heavy loads and good balance.

So internals are what I went with when I decided to build hunting specific packs. There is another factor hunters must consider: quietness. This pack (hold up Long Hunter ) doesn’t squeak or rattle like all externals and even a lot of internals.

The truth of the matter is that the gear backcountry hunters need goes beyond the needs of regular backpackers or even mountaineers. Where we go has worse weather and no trails or established routes. It’s generally steeper, has millions of blow downs to negotiate and there are certainly none of those cute little bridges across the streams. Both we and our gear have to be a cut above. And we have to do it all quietly.

One last thing on packs. Any really comfortably built pack should carry the weight on your hips-not your shoulders. This is far less tiring and far more comfortable. But keep the waistbelt quite tight so it can do its job. The pack stretches a bit as you go along, so periodically tighten the belt a fraction of an inch or so. If it feels like its sliding down a little, hoist it up and hitch it up a skosh.

Just as important as a comfortable pack are comfortable boots. Get the best ones you can find and break them in BEFORE hunting season.

TIP No. 6—STAY WARM and DRY and TRY TO GET SOME EXTERNAL HEAT—This topic is related to Comfort, above, but important enough to warrant separate treatment. You can’t hunt well if you’re cold, wet and exhausted. A backpack camp doesn’t have to be a survival camp. About 10 years ago I invented an ultraliteweight tent system heated by ultralightweight wood burning stoves. I’ve been using them myself and also leading group trips in them ever since. They’re now available to the general public under the Kifaru label. Check them out. Instead of huddling in your clammy sleeping bag each night slowly wearing out, you can get just as warm and dry in these tents as if you were at home. Getting warm and dry and rested each night is a huge factor, both physically as well as psychologically, to success—to having the will and the energy to really push at finding game each day. The tents are Tipi shaped and come in three sizes, soon 4. All allow you to stand inside which greatly enhances your overall physical comfort over the long term. All have a clothes drying cord inside which, in combination with the heating/cooking stove, will allow you to thoroughly dry out your clothing each evening. I’ve found that in cold weather you wear down quickly unless you can expose yourself to an external heat source for a goodly period each day. You can’t eat enough to counteract this deterioration either. These heated tents are just the ticket!

On the issue of clothing select quality synthetic items that keep the snow and wind out. And don’t hesitate to wear it inside your sleeping bag! This will dramatically extend the low range of your bag and you won’t have to carry in such a big, heavy bag either. Just be sure you dry out the garments first!

A lightweight light in the tent will enhance not only your mood but also your efficiency at preparing meals, tending to chores, planning the next day’s hunt and generally keeping you from getting worn down.

A feather weight chair pays back its weight many times over by letting you rest while sitting in camp instead of slowly wearing down because you’re having to hold your body up with no support. (SHOW CARGO CHAIR). Many other portable chairs on the lines of the Crazy Creek design are available. I suppose the greatest advantages of the Cargo Chair are lighter weight, an anatomical back because it utilizes your own backpack for that purpose and of course the fact that you can carry an elk quarter on it when not using it as a chair. Use the Cargo Chair to catch some rest during the day by sitting on it while you glass. It makes a terrific shooting brace too.

Eat well. Drink plenty of fluids. Do both BEFORE you feel hungry or thirsty.

TIP No. 7—GO LIGHT—We tend to take too much stuff when we backpack into the boondocks. Perhaps it’s because we feel just a little bit insecure out there. This is especially true of clothing. A lot of folks carry a complete change of clothing, undoubtedly for the purpose of changing into dry duds should the first set get wet. As long as you can dry the clothes you’re wearing an extra set represents several pounds of overkill. I usually carry only an extra pair of socks.

Take lightweight food. Freeze-dried is certainly light, and it’s getting tastier. You can also visit the dried foods section at the store. If you have a tent and wood stove you can cook Rice-a-Roni the 30 minutes it calls for. You’ll have the stove fired off anyway-getting warm, drying the one set of clothes you have brought in, etc.. And you don’t have to bring a gas stove and fuel at all-saving all that weight. Remember, the fuel, if its wood, is already there.

Use as few pots and utensils as possible and find lightweight ones. Here’s a scenario for 2 guys:

1 pot w/lid – lightweight aluminum

2 lightweight forks or spoons

your hunting knives

2 plastic cups

1 more pot without lid for cowboy coffee

Many times I’ve fried grouse in a pot (and not a “specialized” skillet) then used the same pot for Rice-a-Roni. You can even add the Rice-a-Roni to the grouse and let the grouse bubble along some more right with the rice. Throw in some freeze-dried carrot chips and a little soy sauce and you have a pretty good one-pot meal.

You can find dried beef in the grocery store to substitute for the grouse in the scenario above. Oh yeah, and you’ll need a little cooking oil in a small nalgene bottle. Salt & pepper, etc,

Weigh your gear, including clothing, and put the weight on it with a magic marker. When packing in take only the lightest gear. This goes for clothing too. Layers of light clothing works better than that huge five lb. parka anyway.

Use a lightweight rifle! My Rifles Inc..300 Weatherby weighs 6 lbs. with its Luepold 3×9 Compact scope mounted. It’s a dynamite setup. At 2500 bucks it’s still a bargain. Our website has some essays by me on the subject of Rambling Rifles – lightweight back packing rifles that will still handle all chores. I promised my readers recently that I would check out .358 Winchester as a candidate for Alaska Rambling Rifle. Well this is it. (show rifle). It’s a switchbarrel. The barrel that’s on it now is in .358 Win. Inside my pack is its 7 mm-08 barrel. In the .358 Win configuration it weights a tad less than 5 lbs with the 2X7 Luepold Compact scope mounted. Weight with its 7mm-08 barrel installed is 4 lbs. 10 oz. Accuracy and speed is excellent with both barrels. And, when taken down, the whole set-up fits inside my Spike Camp daypack.

I like this concept so much – I think it’s so useful for backpack hunters – that I’m going to produce these rifles for sale. We should be ready for orders by about mid-summer. They’ll be available in just about any short action caliber.

In any event, a lightweight rifle that you practice enough with to shoot just as well as you shoot a heavy rifle is a great boon to hunting the backcrountry!

On the subject of scopes, I’ve never failed to hit at any distance and in any light with a 2×7 Luepold Compact. This little unit weighs a half-pound less than any so-called normal scope and handles recoil up to .375 H&H just fine. Remember that Jack O’Connor, Elmer Keith, Warren Paige and all the greats from the past used 21/2 and 4x scopes with less optical quality than the little Luepold 2×7 I’m speaking of. The only reason I’m not using a 4x Compact right now is because I shoot a lot of small game up pretty close and the 2x on a 2×7 works better than a fixed 4x. And frankly, my Weatherby with 165 grain bullets really can shoot far enough to warrant 7x or even 9x of magnification. I’ve successfully shot to its full distance potential at 9x. I’m not about to carry a full extra pound or more to get 14x. That’s a varminting scope and completely unjustifiable for big game and backcountry conditions.

Sleeping bag: a mummy bag is the only way to go. Yes you can get used to it. That’s part of the purpose of all those scouting trips. A 15 or 20 degree mummy bag is very lightweight and fine for the first two seasons. Perhaps a 5degree bag for the third season. Clothes (if dry) worn inside extend the range of these bags.

Sleeping pad: weight vs. rest is at issue here. Here’s the very best option I’ve found: an ultralite weight Blufoam closed cell full-length pad beneath an Ultralite shorty pad from Thermarest Co. The closed cell pad backs up and protects the Thermarest. It’s the one you sit on during dinner (unless you’re using a Cargo Chair). Put down the Thermarest only at bedtime.

Pillow: use a small stuff sack with your parka inside. Yes, a pillow is very important in terms of getting rest. But this method is far lighter and less bulky than bringing in a real pillow. It really works too.

Head gear: no need for massive, heavy items. A polypropylene stocking cap and a fleece headband along with a ballcap in a synthetic material such as Supplex plus the hood on your lightweight parka will set you up for anything. Sleep in the stocking cap to conserve energy.

Ammunition: six or seven cartridges are plenty. Twenty comprise an additional pound you’ll have to carry.

TIP No. 8—TRANSPORT– The subject is meat hauling. Where the rubber meets the road. Where the work begins.

If you’re far enough in that you’re looking at days to get your critter out, BONE HIM OUT.

If you’re carrying quarters at least remove the hide and hooves.

A cargo rack on your pack is a great asset. So is a stand-alone pack frame if you’re concerned about messing up the pack bag with some blood. (Show Long Hunter) . For example the frame removes from this pack bag for that purpose.

Don’t forget to take survival and first aid items on your meat-ferrying trips. Also contingency clothing.

TIP No. 9—GET IN SHAPE—Hunting is and should be physical. Your best results as a hunter are achieved if you’re in good enough shape. Good enough shape to walk quietly over that next ridge where the elk are waiting for you.

If you follow my tip of spending the summer and early fall out scouting/backpacking/small game hunting you’ll be on your way toward being in the kind of shape you should be in to hunt most effectively. But you should do something physical during the week too. About four days a week of physical activity is about right. So put on a weighted pack and climb the stairs for 30 minutes. Or go to a park; try to find one with some hills.

Ethical hunting is a way of life. I think it demands a commitment that includes a proper level of physical fitness. And you’ll be more successful in your hunting.

TIP No. 10—BE ALERT—We’ve probably all had the experience of going down to the stream to get water, sans rifle, and up pops an elk. Ergo-take your rifle with you.

On the hike into your happy hunting grounds be especially alert. If your rifle is strapped to your pack your chances of getting an effective shot off in time are just about nil. One option is to simply carry your rifle in your hands. Yep, that’s a real drag on a long hike under a heavy pack when there aren’t supposed to be any elk where you are anyway. But elk have their own rules and I’ve taken them where they weren’t supposed to be on several occasions.

Another option is Kifaru’s Gun Bearer system. (Show Gun Bearer). This is the fastest and also the safest rifle carrying method there is. It also puts the rifle’s weight on my hips instead of on my shoulder thus saving me some energy. Its speed of mounting has enabled me to take elk on several occassions when otherwise I would have been too slow.

One last comment on alertness: have your rifle in hand when you peek out of your tent in the morning.

TIP No. 11—BE UNORTHODOX—I was wild boar hunting in California with Craig Boddington. It was canyon country with thick brush in the bottoms of the canyons. Brush so thick you couldn’t even push your way through it, much less see any hogs in its tangled recesses. And we were having no luck at all finding hogs. So we started throwing rocks down into the brushy bottoms of the ravines. Eventually a big old boar popped up and trotted up the opposite side of a ravine. He was good eating. That trick hasn’t worked for me yet on deer or elk, but I’m still trying when all else fails.

CONCLUSION—Whether you use the latest gear we’ve talked about in this seminar or a tarp, your 20 year old frame pack and your 10 lb. 30-06, I encourage you to get further back in. And on your own feet. Get back to the basics of two feet and some sweat. You’ll be a far better hunter. It’s the pinnacle of hunting, the elite way to do it. And the most successful.

Do you have any questions?

We’ve allowed some time for you to come up and look at all this stuff, so feel free to some on up and handle it.

Thanks for coming, and good huntin

Patrick Smith of

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Koch Industries, Public Enemy Number 1 (Full Movie)

10 Shocking Facts on the Kochs

1. Koch Industries, which the brothers own, is one of the top ten polluters in the United States — which perhaps explains why the Kochs have given $60 million to climate denial groups between 1997 and 2010.

2. The Kochs are the oil and gas industry’s biggest donors to the congressional committee with oversight of the hazardous Keystone XL oil pipeline. They and their employees gave more than $300,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010 alone.

3. From 1998-2008, Koch-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would financially enrich the two brothers. In addition, Koch Industries spent $50 million on lobbying and some $8 million in PAC contributions.

4. The Koch fortune has its origins in engineering contracts with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.

5. The Kochs are suing to take over the Cato Institute, which has accused the Kochs of attempting to destroy the group’s identity as an independent, libertarian think and align it more closely with a partisan agenda.

6. A Huffington Post source who was at a three-day retreat of conservative billionaires said the Koch brothers pledged to donate $60 million to defeat President Obama in 2012 and produce pledges of $40 million more from others at the retreat.

7. Since 2000, the Kochs have collected almost $100 million in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.

8. Koch Industries has an annual production capacity of 2.2 billion pounds of the carcinogen formaldehyde. The company has worked to keep it from being classified as a carcinogen even though David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor.

9. The Koch brothers’ combined fortune of roughly $50 billion is exceeded only by that of Bill Gates in the United States.

10. The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs accused Koch Oil of scheming to steal $31 million of crude oil from Native Americans. Although the company claimed it was accidental, a former executive in this operation said Charles Koch had known about it and had responded to the overages by saying, “I want my fair share, and that’s all of it.”

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Eat the rich~! Fiscal cliff is relative

I think you know that there’s no such thing as an American anymore. No Hispanics, no Japanese, no blacks, no whites, no nothing. It’s just rich people and poor people. The three of us are all rich, so we’re on the same side.
– Jeff Goldblum from the 1992 movie DEEP COVER.

From Zero Hedge:

It will, or should, come as no surprise that as a result of the Great Financial Crisis, just as in real life, so in D.C., the wealthiest politicians have gotten wealthier: in fact at least 72 politicos have doubled their wealth in the past 5 years. It will, or should, also come as no surprise, that as a result of the GFC, the average wealth of Republicans (which declined) and Democrats (which rose) hasconverged, confirming that at least when it comes to the economic disparity between America’s two big parties, there is no longer any difference. At least these are the findings of a recent WaPo study looking at how America’s lawmakers have benefited from the laws they themselves institute. In other words, while America’s laws may be designed for its people, those who actually benefit from this country’s fiscal (and of course monetary) policy is just one group: those who continue to transfer wealth from what little is left of the middle class and into their own, mostly offshore, bank accounts.

From the WaPo: “You would find that, contrary to many popular perceptions, lawmakers don’t get rich by merely being in Congress. Rich people who go to Congress, though, keep getting richer while they’re there.” We are fairly confident that there were no “popular perceptions” that anyone goes to Congress to get wealthy. Congress, and certainly the Senate, are merely vehicles to allow those with power and money to simply perpetuate a status quo that benefits the 1% and takes, what little is left, from everyone else. And sadly, this theft transcends political lines and ideological colors. In short: everyone is doing it, even as America continues to delude itself there is an option. There is none.

For the complete matrix of just who steals from you, dear Americans, click below.

Other WaPo findings:

The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers were largely immune from the Great Recession, taking the fewest financial hits and watching their investments quickly recover and rise to new heights. But more than 20 percent of the members of the current Congress — 121 lawmakers — appeared to be worse off in 2010 than they had been six years earlier, and 24 saw their reported wealth slide into negative territory.

Most members weathered the financial crisis better than the average American, who saw median household net worth drop 39 percent from 2007 to 2010. The median estimated wealth of members of the current Congress rose 5 percent during the same period, according to their reported assets and liabilities. The wealthiest one-third of Congress gained 14 percent.

The Post also found that some congressional financial interests intersected with public actions taken by legislators: 73 lawmakers sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that could have benefitted businesses or industries in which either they or their families were involved or invested.

Among the other findings is perhaps this key one: “The estimated wealth of Republicans was 44 percent higher than Democrats in 2004, but that disparity has virtually disappeared.” In other words, when it comes to wealth, and thanks to the crisis, which made some Republicans poorer as it made some Democrats richer, America now has only one party: those who donot represent the people, but merely those who will do everything to preserve their own wealth.

And as noted above, the richest just get richer and richer:


  • Between 2004 and 2010, 72 lawmakers appeared to have doubled their estimated wealth.At least 150 lawmakers reported receiving more income from outside jobs and investments than from their congressional salaries of $174,000 for rank-and-file members.

  • Representatives in 2010 had a median estimated wealth of $746,000; senators had $2.6 million.

  • Since 2004, lawmakers reported more than 3,500 outside jobs paying their spouses more than $1,000 a year. The lawmakers are not required to report how much the spouses are paid or what they did for the money.
  • Lawmakers’ wealth is held in a variety of ways: 127 primarily in real estate, 117 in institutional funds, 75 in their spouses’ names, 51 in essentially cash, 36 in specific stocks and bonds, 32 in high-turnover trading, 30 in business ownership and 20 in agriculture. More than 40 had reported assets of $25,000 or less.

Those wishing to learn how America’s representative government continues to die a slow and painful (for most, if not all) death, canread on here.





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Compare the weapons of Israel and Palestine

click for larger image

Please stop killing each other!



Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza between January 1st 2012 and November 11th 2012: 1
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire during the same period: 78
(Source: United Nations)

Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza, November 13th-19th 2012: 3
(Source: press reports)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire, November 13th-19th: 95
(Source: IDF)

Number of those killed in Gaza under 15 years of age: 19

Total number of Israelis killed by rocket, mortar or anti-tank fire from Gaza since 2006:47
(Source: Wikipedia. This is disputed; another source says 26)

Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire from April 1st 2006 to July 21st 2012: 2,879
(Source: United Nations)

Number of Egyptian schoolchildren killed when a train hit their bus on November 17th 2012: 53
(Source: press reports)

Number of people killed in traffic accidents in Israel in 2011: 384
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of Syrians killed in fighting between November 13th-19th 2012: 646
(Source: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)

Estimated deaths in Syria since beginning of unrest in March 2011: 40,000
(Source: SOHR)

Estimated deaths from all Israeli-Arab wars between 1945 and 1995: 92,000
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of targets in Gaza struck by Israel, November 13th-19th: 1,350
(Source: IDF)

Number of projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza from November 13th-19th, 2012: 848 
(Source: IDF)

Number that did not fall in “open areas”: 35
(Source: IDF)

Number intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system: 302
(Source: IDF)

Percentage of projectiles targeted by Iron Dome shot down, as claimed by Israeli military: 80-85%
(Source: IDF)

Reported cost in dollars of one interceptor missile fired by Iron Dome: 62,000
(Source: Ha’aretz)

Estimated cost in dollars of one short-range Qassam missile built in Gaza workshop:800
(Source: News reports)

Cost in dollars of one Iron Dome battery; Israel has deployed five and plans 13 in total: 50m
(Source: AFP)

Number of kilos explosive equivalent in payload of Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 longer-range rocket deployed by Hamas: 90 (200lb)
(Source: Wikipedia)

Number of kilos explosive equivalent of Israel Military Industry’s MPR-500 advanced-penetration precision-guided bomb: 900 (2,000lb)

Area in square kilometres of Gaza: 365 (141 square miles)

Area in square kilometres of Israel: 20,700 (7,992 square miles)

Population of Gaza: 1.7m

Number of Israelis within range of Fajr-5 missiles: 3.5m
(Source: IDF)

Jewish population of Israel/ under Israeli jurisdiction (ie including West Bank settlements): 5.9m

Non-Jewish population under Israeli jurisdiction (ie including Gaza and West Bank):6.1m

Per capita GDP of Israel in 2011, in dollars: 31,000
(Source: Wikipedia)

Per Capita GDP of Gaza in 2011, in dollars: 1,483

Verse of Exodus containing the phrase “Pillar of Cloud”, the official codename for Israel’s current Gaza operation: 13:21

Verse of the Koran containing the phrase “Stones of Clay”, Hamas’s codename for its current operations: 105:4

Number of days before Israeli general election: 64





Imbalance of Power: Understanding Weapons and Casualties in Gaza and Israel

Putting things into perspective, view this new infographic detailing the disparities in weapons arsenals of Palestinian groups in Gaza and Israel. Besides the massive killing powers of the Israeli weapons shown here, what are not displayed are the numerous naval battleships and Merkava tanks owned and operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel has submarines, missile boats, corvettes (the largest warships in Israel’s naval fleet), patrol boats, and numerous chasers and landing ships. Each Merkava tank is armed with two 7.62 machine guns and a 60 mm mortar that can be loaded and fired internally, in addition to the main gun, and has gone through developments to ensure accuracy and lethality.

From January through September 2012, Israeli weaponry caused 55 Palestinian deaths and 257 injuries. Among these 312 casualties, 61, or roughly 20 percent, were children and 28 were female. 209 of these casualties came as a result of Israeli Air Force missiles, 69 from live ammunition fire, and 18 from tank shells.

In 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza were responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children, and the injury of 468 Palestinians, of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57 percent, or 310, were caused by Israeli aircraft missile fire; 28 percent, or 150, where from Israeli live ammunition; 11 percent, or 59, were from Israeli tank shells; while another 3 percent, or 18, were from Israeli mortar fire.

As this infographic shows, there is no room for a discussion on the “equal sides of the conflict,” when the reality is a first-world country, with all the trappings of a modern highly sophisticated weapons arsenal, launching devastating and brutal attacks against the most densely populated area in the world, where half its population is youth and 40 percent of its population lives below the poverty line.

And where does this military might come from? Israel’s military arsenal is not due to the tax pressure on its citizens, but is largely funded by the United States. American citizens actually pay more money individually and overall to the Israeli military structure than Israeli citizens do.

The Jerusalem Fund


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