Author Archives: Ron Danielowski

Get a Grip

“When it comes to control, your grip strength is one of the most important factors. Whether you are grappling with someone, gripping a gun, or grabbing onto a pull-up bar to perform some pull-ups that grip control is crucial. And by simply increasing your grip strength, you can increase many other areas of strength.

I want to share some simple ways that you can increase your grip strength check out the video below.

NOTE: The video is of one of our Pull-up Bar Challenge Champions, Melody Schoenfeld, explaining some really simple and creative ways to strengthen that grip.” – Jeff Martone

Check out the video here: http://www.tacticalathlete.com/strength/get-a-grip-grip

Another Gun Control Failure: N.H., Mother Murdered Her Two Children and Then Killed Herself

“State public records show the Obukhovs had domestic issues and legal problems.

Alexey Obukhov was arrested on Aug. 24, 2013, on allegations of domestic assault against his wife, and police confiscated arms and ammunition from the family’s home, according to state court papers.

The charges against Obukhov were dropped after his wife would not testify, and the guns and ammunition were later returned to the home, the papers state.

Alexey then applied to Bedford police for a license to carry a concealed weapon. But Bedford Police Chief John J. Bryfonski denied the application, determining that Alexey was ‘an unsuitable person to possess a license to carry a concealed weapon,’ according to the court documents.

Bryfonski declined to comment Monday on the apparent murder-suicide.

Obukhov appealed the chief’s denial, and during a Nov. 5, 2013, trial court hearing, the chief cited the wife’s statements to police that she had been assaulted by her husband, as well as photographs of her injuries, as reasons for denying Obukhov’s application. The court upheld the denial.

Obukhov filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court’s ruling on Nov. 20 of last year.

The court said the evidence did not support a determination that Alexey was ‘unsuitable’ to be licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Alexey’s gun shop drew national attention in 2013 when it covered a window with a picture of President Obama, calling him ‘the Firearms Salesman of the Year,’ alongside pictures of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. The pictures remain in the window.”

(Via.) The Boston Globe

Federal Agents Investigating Bitcoin Money Laundering Extorted, Stole Over $1 Million In Bitcoin

“This is one of those sad times when The Onion realizes it has badly, and permanently, missed its IPO window.

Just released from the Department of Justice

Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud

Agents Were Part of Baltimore’s Silk Road Task Force

Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of the Silk Road, an underground black market that allowed users to conduct illegal transactions over the Internet. The charges are contained in a federal criminal complaint issued on March 25, 2015, in the Northern District of California and unsealed today.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael P. Tompkins of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General Washington Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lori Hazenstab of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C. made the announcement.”

(Via.) Zero Hedge

Push for Concealed Carry on Campuses is Gaining Ground

“At least 11 states are considering whether to allow concealed weapons on college campuses this year, the latest chapter in a now seemingly annual legislative debate between gun control advocates and gun rights supporters.

Bills have been introduced, at least once, in almost half of the 50 states in the past few years. Despite slow success thus far — just seven states have adopted versions of campus carry laws — gun rights advocates have their eyes on two very large prizes this year: Florida and Texas.

Right now, the odds are starting to stack up in their favor. The Texas bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to House. The version in Florida has passed through two Senate committees and is headed to the Judiciary Committee.”

(Via.) Inside Higher Ed

US Troops Poisoned by Nerve Gas In First Gulf War?

“On March 23, 1991, the Army Central Command Nuclear, Biological and Chemical wrote an under-the-radar memo to the XVIII Airborne Corps with some revealing information: ‘ARCENT has positive confirmation (by urinalysis) of cml (chemical) agent blister casualty in VII corps. We are not to bring this up to the press. If press asks, XVIII abn (airborne) Corps has had no cml (chemical) casualties.’

Based on the findings of the United Nations Special Commission, namely that nerve gas was detected in some of the rockets that U.S. bombs hit, the Joint Chiefs in November of 1991 briefed the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House. Nothing was done, and both the DOD and CIA have been actively involved in covering up the evidence. For example, the UNSCOM memo was declassified for a short period of time before the CIA stepped in and took it down.

Saddam obtained both biological and chemical weapons with the help of the Reagan and Bush administrations but the Department of Veterans Affairs has denied 80 percent of affected veterans seeking full disability status.

‘If you’re DOD, you’re admitting your policies contributed to the veterans’ illnesses,’ former CIA analyst Patrick Eddington wrote in his book, ‘Gassed in the Gulf.’ ‘If you’re the VA, you’re admitting you don’t know how to treat the vets. If you’re the CIA, you blew another estimate and that’s not something you want on your resume.’ Eddington resigned after his superiors clamped down on his desire to expose what had happened.”

(Via.) Truth In Media

The State Is Spying on You Right Now. Where’s the Outrage?

“What’s going on here?

What’s going on here is government’s fixation on spying and lying. Think about it: The Israeli Mossad was spying on Kerry while the CIA was spying on the Mossad. Hillary Clinton thought she could destroy her emails just because she is Hillary Clinton, yet she forgot that the administration of which she was an integral part dispatched the NSA to spy on everyone, including her. And though it might not voluntarily release the emails she thought she destroyed, the NSA surely has them. The police have no hesitation about engaging in the same warrantless surveillance as the feds. And when Hayden revealed a cat-like smile on his face when challenged about the feds in our bedrooms, and the 10,000 folks in the audience did not reveal outrage, you know that government spying is so endemic today that it is almost the new normal.

Yet government spying is not normal to the Constitution. Its essence—government fishing nets, the indiscriminate deployment of government resources to see what they can bring in, government interference with personal privacy without suspicion or probable cause—was rejected by the Framers and remains expressly rejected by the Fourth Amendment today.

For our liberty to survive in this fearful post-9/11 world, the government’s lawless behavior must be rejected not just by the words of dead people, but by the deeds of we the living. When the president violates the Constitution and the Congress and courts do nothing to stop him, we have effectively amended the Constitution with a wink and a nod—by consent, if you will. Its guarantees of liberty are only guarantees if the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping honor them as guarantees and believe and behave as such because the Constitution means what it says.”

(Via.) Reason.com

What Is the Cost of Educating Boys Like Girls?

“Rather than being appreciated for the future explorers, warriors and leaders they were designed to be, boys are viewed as defective little girls. Teachers want them to love reading and play nice, and no one wants to know where their hands have been. What is the real trouble with boys? Well, simply put, they are not girls.

Boys are no longer judged by their developmental standards. We have lost sight of a very basic tenet of humanity, one that our ancestors understood since the beginning of time: girls are very different from boys. Boys with uniquely masculine strengths, once prized, are no longer valued. In fact, these traits of boyhood are considered dangerous, even pathological.”

(Via.) PJ Media – Lifestyle

These Illinois Cops were So Corrupt, that their Entire Department was Just Raided by Multiple Agencies

“Brooklyn, Illinois – This week, the Brooklyn Police Department was raided by a number of other law enforcement agencies, including, the Illinois State Police, and the St. Clair County Sheriff.

On Wednesday, local news crews witnessed police from different agencies carrying equipment, computers, weapons and records out of the building and driving away with them.

Local News 4 reported that the raid was connected to corruption allegations, which relate to the theft of evidence, weapons, drugs and other items from the evidence room.

Outside the Police Department, Illinois State Police Capt. James Morrisey told reporters that the raid was ‘in reference to some allegations received by Illinois State Police and the State’s Attorney’s office. No further information is available at this time.’

One former officer, Chris Heatherly reportedly kept an AR-15 rifle in his car that had been stolen from the evidence room. He flaunted the rifle in a photo that was later used for a police department calendar. Other guns and drugs that were missing from Heatherly’s cases have yet to be found.”

(Via.) The Free Thought Project

‘Microaggressions’ And ‘Trigger Warnings,’ Meet Real Trauma & F**k your trauma

 “F*** your trauma.

Yes, f*** your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no ‘I must never be reminded of a negative experience’ expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.

If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of ‘trauma,’ especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say, or think. Get your own head right before you try to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a ‘failure at life,’ doomed to perpetual disappointment…

So again, f*** your trauma. If your past bothers you that much, get help. I honestly hope you come to terms with it. I hope you manage to move forward. I won’t say anything meant to dredge up bad memories, and don’t think anyone should intentionally try to harm your feelings.

But nobody, nobody, should censor themselves to protect you from your pathological, and pathologically stupid, sensitivities.”

(Via.) http://chrishernandezauthor.com

Tunisia Bardo Museum tourist massacre: 17 Italian, Polish, German and Spanish killed

“Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid has said that 19 people were killed in the Tunis museum attack, including 17 tourists from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain and Tunisians.

Two gunmen, who were wearing military fatigues, were also killed in the attack at the Bardo Museum, which shares its grounds with the country’s parliament buildings. Essid also reported 24 wounded and said that two or three gunmen involved in the attack may still be at large.

The casualties also include a Tunisian policeman and cleaning lady.

‘This is the work of cowards. We are have to join the efforts to fight terrorism. These wanted to harm,’ the country’s prime minister said. ‘It is a critical moment in our history, and a defining moment for our future.’

Parliament has been evacuated and the operation was reported to be over.”

(Via.) International Business Times

Beartooth: Stay Connected (Even Without Cell Service) With: Secure Voice, Text, and Even Offline Maps

Screen Shot 2015 03 13 at 8 31 10 AM

“Beartooth’s patent pending technology allows iOS and Android devices to communicate even if the cellular network is unavailable, failed, or congested. Whether you are skiing fresh powder in the backcountry or dancing at Coachella, you can now reliably stay in contact with your group in ways that were previously unavailable. Beartooth allows for true peer-to-peer communication between the devices, completely bypassing the Wi-Fi and cellular network.”

(Via.) Beartooth

Sen. Graham (as POTUS) Vows to Use U.S. Military Force Against a Non-Compliant Congress in Order to Get His Way

Proving once again that he is a bigger threat to the American people than foreign invaders, Lindsey Graham recently said that if he were the POTUS “‘…and here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States, I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to.’” – Sen. Lindsey Graham

Of course you would Lindsey.

(Via.) Ben Swann Truth In Media

BOMBSHELL: Ending Revenu Generating Laws

“A Congressman from Missouri has just proposed a bombshell piece of legislation that is detrimental to the growth and expansion of the police state.

Monday, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05) introduced The Fair Justice Act.

The Fair Justice Act ’ would make it a civil rights violation to enforce criminal or traffic laws for the purpose of raising revenue.’

You read that correctly. Petty drug ‘offenses,’ idiotic traffic laws, and other such victimless crimes could be brought to a halt with the passage of this bill.

Announcing the introduction of the Fair Justice Act, Congressman Cleaver stated,

‘The time has come to end the practice of using law enforcement as a cash register, a practice that has impacted too many Americans and has disproportionately affected minority and low-income communities. No American should have to face arbitrary police enforcement, the sole purpose of which is to raise revenue for a town, city, or state.’

While many people may not see it as such, this congressman’s bold move, if passed, would eliminate most police work.”

(Via.) The Free Thought Project

iSpy: The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets

“The revelations that the CIA has waged a secret campaign to defeat the security mechanisms built into Apple’s devices come as Apple and other tech giants are loudly resisting pressure from senior U.S. and U.K. government officials to weaken the security of their products. Law enforcement agencies want the companies to maintain the government’s ability to bypass security tools built into wireless devices. Perhaps more than any other corporate leader, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has taken a stand for privacy as a core value, while sharply criticizing the actions of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”

(Via.) Firstollok.org: The Intersept

How Obama Made Me an Anarchist – By Winter Trabex

“I followed the story of the (indefinite detention clause in the) NDAA with great interest through December of 2011. This was Obama’s defining moment. Perhaps he had given in to political expediency at times. Perhaps he had been an imperfect man for the first three years of his presidency. This was not outside the realm of expectation. He was, and is, an imperfect human being. To expect perfect governance for an imperfect man is to engage in fantasy. But here, with the NDAA on his desk, he had a chance to emphatically say no to the same methods that FDR had used against Japanese American citizens during World War II, and which had been used by Joseph McCarthy camp during the so-called ‘red scare.’ He had a chance to say, you know what, we don’t always do everything right, but this one time I’m going to stand on principle. He had a chance to say that locking people up without due process was not okay.

He signed the bill.”

(Via.) LibertyMe – Stuff, Things, and Unspecified Unmentionables

Underdogs and Overlords

A little less than a year ago, Michael Vickers shot and seriously wounded a 10-year-old boy in Broxton, Georgia under circumstances that remain unclear. The victim, Dakota Corbitt, suffered serious and potentially permanent injury to his leg.

Despite the fact that this was an act of firearms-related violence involving a child, no charges were filed against Vickers. Although the public record is barren of a comment from Coffee County Sheriff Doyle Wooten expressing sympathy for Dakota and his mother, Amy, the sheriff pointedly commiserated with the shooter, telling a local NBC affiliate that Vickers is the father of three young children and that the shooting ‘is really preying on his mind.

Many people bearing such burdens would make a point of meeting with the injured child and expressing contrition in person. Vickers didn’t have time for such a gesture, however, because immediately after the shooting he went on what was described as a “pre-approved vacation” from his job…’”

(Via.) Pro Libertate

Texas Town Experiences 61% Drop in Crime After Firing Their Police Department | The Free Thought Project

Another aspect, and possibly the most important, that sets privatized police apart from agents of the state, is that they have a negative incentive to initiate force. Force and violence are vastly more expensive than today’s police lead us to believe.

Causing injury or death, or wrongfully depriving someone of their rights is very expensive if these costs are realized for the ones who cause them. The state does not care, however. They can and will defer their liability to the tax farm.

The act of deferment of liability is a function solely reserved for the state, and it creates an incentive to act in an unethical manner. In the case of SEAL Security, each of their officers, as well as their entire operation, can be held liable, both criminally and financially. This is something about which the state knows nothing.

As guns.com points out, over 70 communities in Harris County and most of the major management districts have contracted with SEAL. They’re less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.

It’s time Americans start seriously considering this option.

Law enforcement is a product that we are forced to buy. When any product is not subject to the forces of consumer demand, there is no way of changing it. It is time we applied the fundamental lesson of competition to our supposed protectors.

via The Free Thought Project

Valkyries, Valhalla, and The Way of the Samurai (“Soft” Standards, and the Philosophy of Stoicism) – By John Mosby

valkyrieContrary to popular current mythology (and the History Channel’s Vikings television show), dying in battle was not a ticket to sex with Valkyries, getting drunk on mead, and partying with Odin in Valhalla, in pre-Christian Germanic belief. The most commonly accepted view of the mythos—amongst those scholars that accept that the belief system actually encompassed Valhalla as an afterlife destination, which is far from universal amongst historians and archeologists—is that the Valkyries, the “Choosers of the Slain,” would scour the battlefield dead, and select half of them to bring to Odin’s Hall. The other half went elsewhere (Freyja’s Hall, but that’s not actually germane to the conversation here).

Thus, in the ancient Germanic warrior culture, regardless of how brave you were, how hard you fought, and how well-trained you were, there was only a 50/50 chance that you would get to go to Valhalla. Ultimately, the choice was outside of your control. So, why would a warrior train for war, venture forth gladly to the battlefield, and then perform valorous acts that almost guaranteed death in the long run, if there was only a 50% chance of getting what you wanted?

In his classic treatise on the philosophy behind the Samurai code of “Bushido,” entitled Hagakure, and often billed as “The Book of the Samurai,” retired Samurai-turned-monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote that “the way of the samurai is found in death.” He admonished young warriors to calmly accept that death would occur on the battlefield, regardless of the efforts of the individual. Despite this, the samurai trained in earnest for battlefield effectiveness from youth onward. It didn’t matter that you calmly accepted that you were going to die, you still trained hard to be as lethal as humanly possible.

There is a school of philosophy that was originated in ancient Greece, and codified by Roman philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca. That school was called “Stoicism.” It was probably not what you think.

In modern colloquialism, “stoic” has a meaning that is not congruent with the origins of the word within that school of philosophy. In our use, stoic is defined as enduring pain or hardship without showing emotions or complaining. When we read the ancient philosophers like Aurelius though, we see that he—by many considered the definitive writer of the school of Stoicism—greatly mourned the deaths of his sons. He grew angry with poor performance by his subordinate military commanders. Bereavement and anger are contrary to the modern use of the word stoic, but the greatest writer on the school of philosophy that gave us that word was more than willing to admit that he felt both emotions. How does that work?

More importantly, what do northern European tribal warriors, Japanese samurai, and ancient Roman philosophers, have to do with modern survivalism, preparedness, and training? Pretty much everything.

Whether we use the Roman term “stoicism,” or we discuss Germanic warlords, or Japanese samurai, we’re talking about the same thing. Stoicism is the calm acceptance of responsibility. It is the acceptance that I am responsible for what I am capable of controlling. I cannot control what anyone else does or does not do. I cannot control the outcome of events.

Retired Delta Sergeant-Major Pat McNamara writes about this when he recommends performance-based training, rather than outcome-based training. We don’t worry about the outcome. We focus our efforts on what we are responsible for. It doesn’t matter if I hit a Master classification on the IDPA Classifier. What matters is whether I take responsibility for the actions—the training—that will allow me to achieve that. It doesn’t matter if I hit a sub-1:00 second draw to first shot break with my Glock. I cannot control that.

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

It makes sense though, when you stop trying to control anything except yourself. Rather than trying to hit a 1:00 second draw to first shot, focus on executing the draw, sight alignment, and trigger press as fast as you are capable of, while still performing each step of the process as correctly as you are capable of. If you get a 1:00 second draw to first shot, great. If you don’t, but you did everything as fast as you were capable of, and still did it as perfect as you are capable of, great.

When the bell tolls for you, and you are in a gunfight, you have exactly zero control of the outcome. You have zero control over who you will be fighting. You have zero control over what training he has had. You have zero control over his speed and accuracy. You have zero control over whether he moves at the moment you break your shot, causing you to miss. You are not in control over anything that you are not in control of. Accept it. Embrace it. Accept responsibility for what you are responsible for.

So, what are you responsible for, that will make a difference? Why bother training, if we don’t have control anyway?

You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your actions. You do have control over who your enemy will be fighting. You have control over the training you will have had. You have control over what speed and accuracy you will be able to achieve. You have control over whether you are fit enough and fast enough to move. You are in control of everything that you are in control of. Accept that responsibility.

The Germanic warrior trained hard, to be better than his foe, so that he could perform valorous acts on the battlefield, and hoped that the Valkyries noticed, and took him, if it turned out that his foe was better than him. The Samurai trained hard so that he could perform well, so that hopefully his ancestors would recognize his honor in the afterlife.

We can set performance standards. “You need to be able to achieve X in XX:XX seconds, and then you are qualified.” That’s fine. If you’re willing to accept that, then fine. Accept responsibility for it. Perhaps it will be enough.

The better way; the Stoic way accepted by warrior cultures throughout history, and throughout the world though, is to take responsibility for yourself. Accept that you have absolute control over what you have control over, and don’t worry about the rest of it. If you take the responsibility you need to take, then you will perform. If you don’t, you will fail.

You cannot control whether you achieve X in XX:XX. What you can control is, “I will do XYZ every day. I will try to perform better and faster, every time I perform XYZ. If I do this, eventually, I will achieve X in XX:XX, then I will continue to improve.”

“Hard” standards of performance are, by definition, minimal standards. “Soft” standards are superior to hard standards. They require stoic acceptance of the struggle. They require you to continue trying to improve. “Hard” standards are about “stay safe.” “Soft” standards are about “screw safe, stay dangerous.”

I taught a TC3 class in Idaho this weekend past. After the training one night, at supper with some of the students, we were discussing PT. You can follow any number of PT programs out there. I describe a program in Volume One of The Reluctant Partisan. Rob Shaul of Mountain Athlete, located in Jackson, Wyoming has “tactical athlete” specific training programs. Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, UT provides training for tactical athletes. Crossfit is—of course—popular with many tactical athletes.

Ultimately, if you want to do PT to improve yourself, it’s not particularly difficult. Lift more today than you lifted yesterday, and lift more tomorrow than you can lift today. Run or ruck further and faster today than you did yesterday, and run or ruck further and faster tomorrow than you do today. Any strength and conditioning specialist or personal trainer will, of course, tell you that this is a gross oversimplification. You have to factor in all the variables: nutrition, rest and recovery, etc.

Not true. If you walked out in your front yard right now, and picked up a 45-lb Olympic barbell off the ground and pressed it all the way over your head, and did that five times, then repeated that—and nothing else—every single day, rain, shine, sleet, or snow, adding five pounds every day, in a month, you would be fitter than you are today. If you walk outside tomorrow, and you walk two miles, as fast as you can walk that two miles, and tomorrow, you repeated it, but threw ten pounds into a backpack while you did it, and repeated that every day for a month; you would be fitter—faster and stronger—than you are today.

People complain and whine all the time in the comments on this blog about my exhortations to do PT, shoot, and train. “It’s too hard!” “I’m too crippled.” “I’m too old.” “It’s cold outside.” “It’s too hot.”

That’s fine. Blame it on the environment. I don’t care.

You can’t control whether it will be hard or easy. You cannot control your past injuries. You cannot control your age. You cannot control the weather. You can control your reactions to those things. If you choose to let them stop you, fine. Just accept responsibility for it. The difficulty of exercise and training, your old injuries, your age, the weather; none of those things are in your control. They cannot control you either. You, and you alone, are responsible for your actions. It’s not your age or the weather that’s stopping you from being dangerous. It’s wanting to blame someone else for your failings that stops you from being dangerous.

Via Forward Observer Magazine

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