“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reworking the blog.

I am using this down time to revamp my blog.  I had a blog some years back, posting as the "hermit."  I eventually shut it down because it got very contentious, and there were a couple of times that I had major security breaches that rattled me.

This one started as nothing more than a daily journal recording events up here in the mountains. Then it morphed into a way to keep up with friends. I'm bad about not answering my email in a timely fashion. I always worry that my habit of procrastinating on responses will be interpreted as a lack of interest, which is untrue, or as rudeness which probably is true however unintentional.

I primarily want to deal with survivalist oriented issues. That often crosses over into politics since the two areas are joined at the hip. The political aspect seems to be a problem for a lot of people though, and I am considering making a conscious effort to avoid that topic.

Bear with me while I try to make the blog more useful.

80 comments:

  1. Harry - treat your blog in whatever way you want. people will still come and people will still read because no matter what - WHAT YOU SAY IS INTERESTING! now, if you start posting your analyses of what the kardashians are up to - eh, well maybe people will stop reading. but you have an innate ability to somehow share incredible bits of wisdom hiding in between those kardashian posts - do you know what i mean? post about what you want to post about - none of your regular readers want to put you in a box. the occasional post about justin bieber might be entertaining. how about some cat pics intermixed with posts about ammo and ferrets? Harry no one wants to box you in because what we love most about you is that you are...um....a...whack-job survivalist, poet, strange dude (and i mean that in the most respective of ways???). oh who am i kidding? we love you because you are you. plain and simple you. and i, and all of your other regular readers would never want to put you in a box...unless it was a really big one and lined with soft materials and was above a 2,000 by 2,000 bunker that held 45 years worth of food and had a pool.

    Harry - people love what you have to say and learn from it. and that is all.

    sending much love, as always. your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I appreciate your kind thoughts, as always. When I come back to posting on the blog, I'd like to have more actionable information on it. I think I am going to quit censoring it to the extent that even objectionable comments can post as long as they aren't vulgar and have a point. For instance I won't post one that says " ha ha ha you are a stupid a++h### and everyone who reads your blog is a $@#?+. But if they want to say what they disgree with and why without using foul language and personal insults I plan on posting the comments. I dread it because I know just how fast that can degenerate from the old hermit blog. But sometimes the girl troll had some interesting thoughts and we could have had good discussions if her comments hadn't been smothered under all the bad words and insults. If it doesn't work out I will give up the effort in that regard.

      I have a lot of work to do on the blog and that's why I am taking some time off posting to try to fix some aspects I'm not satisfied with.

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    2. Harry - your experience, life skills and knowledge are what people love - even if they disagree with you. i would love you to feel free to write more actionable information posts and would love to interact in the comments with people who agree, disagree, don't know, just blather - whatever. interesting discourse makes for interesting discourse. but i still want posts with pics of your beautiful mountains and your ferrets.

      u no hoo

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    3. Well, you've had some experience of your own with my femme troll. What did you think? Sometimes I couldn't believe a woman would say the things she said, but sometimes I thought she could have really been a catalyst for some good conversation if she could just get over wanting to make everyone mad.

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    4. i agree. she did have some points to make and they were valid but with all of the vitriol that she spewed, it was hard to take her seriously. however, if we want honest discussion then we need to hear from people who don't agree with us and if they talk in a free and open manner, wanting to express their points of view, we can sometimes learn from them. i hope she reads this post and the comments and i hope that she learns to participate in discourse without all of the name-calling and swearing. sending love as always!

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    5. That's what I'm thinking. I think a little disagreement is good for the overall health of the blog, but it has to be on a civilized level. I can't even tell when it's really her, because I've gotten some comments under that moniker that I'm pretty sure she didn't write. CC mentioned that he thought two people might be using that name, as one is far less informed and has a marginal grasp of English compared to the other.

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  2. You keep posting, we'll keep coming.

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    1. I know some folks feel like that and I really appreciate it. But some of the people who have been reading it for quite awhile felt like I was guilty of being too extreme on some issues. They didn't dispute my right to say what I thought but they didn't think I was being objective. I don't know if I want to be objective or I want to be honest. It's my normal tact not to care what people say but if they are people I've known and respected for some time, what then?

      Those are the kinds of things I am wrestling with during my self imposed "squadron stand down."

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  3. Don't be changing things too much, we like you the way you are. Though I might not always comment I always enjoy reading your posts. Your opinions political and otherwise are much appreciated. No need to squelch them. Harry lite would be well, like lite beer and turkey ham, not the real thing. Hope things are all well for you and yours on the mountain.

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    1. Hey, Michael. That's kind of how it seems to me. I need to find some happy medium I guess. Part of the problem is that, unlike the old blog, not everyone who comes here is really a political conservative. There are some good folks who are not quite members of ELF , but close. There are people who don't like Israelis and I'm an ardent supporter of Israel. And on, and on. That's one reason I thought about only posting on practical survivalist issues. I feel like Rodney King sometimes. " Can't we all just get along?" But I remember how well that worked out for him.

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  4. I like it as it is...like the conversations you have when you run into a shooting bussy at the gun counter or post office. Casual, about all sortsa things, very freestyle.

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    1. I think that style works for me, but I might need to exercise some restraint in choosing the subject matter.

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  5. I'm just glad to see you haven't disappeared. I do wonder what happened to a number of good folks out there in blogland. I'm not one to freak out if you happen to say something I disagree with.

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    1. I don't mind disagreement at all as long as it stays civil. What happened on the old blog is that things got too high and right, and it happened really quickly. At the moment, I'm trying to figure out exactly what I am writing the blog for. Once I resolve that issue I should be better able to come up with posts.

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  6. Harry,

    Agree with everyone above!!!

    Hugs to you and your sweet wife,
    Sandy

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    1. Sandy, I 'll get this figured out. Maybe I need to hire a good editor!

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  7. Harry - I try not to interfere in the politics of other countries - we have enough problems in our own. But, I don't feel that I am in any position to debate / criticize how another country is run, so I tend not to comment on those blog posts. Similarly, I don't shoot, personally don't own a weapon (though there are in the house) so again, can't comment.

    But, with all that said, the loss of your blog would be great. I always enjoy what you post about, even if I don't leave a comment.

    I use my blog to record our life - judging from the stats (and comments) - there are posts which appeal to a large number of people, and there are those posts which don't. That used to bother me - and, to a certain extent, made me disheartened because so much effort goes into writing a post - and finding the quiet time to do so - until I reminded myself that I started EFSA to share our journey in order to assist anyone else contemplating getting off grid - not to necessarily entertain, nor be popular.

    All things being equal, though, Self Sufficient Mountain Living is your blog, and you're entitled to post exactly what you want on it :) I would certainly miss your blog if you decided to not post anymore...

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    1. Dani, I know most people who read a blog never comment. I track readership more through the page view stats. It's not that I don't get enough readers, it's more that for some time now my writing has felt stale, and my posts have seemed repetitious. I asked myself if there's any point, for instance, in going into political issues. This is a really important period of American history, and I honestly believe that the country as it has been is morphing into a third world, balkanized hell. But the people who care are already well informed in their own right, and those that aren't don't care and certainly won't be reading this blog. So.....

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  8. The grown ups in the room realize that 'dust ups' between family members happens occasionally. You can bitch and pout about details - or just chalk it up to 'well, we can't all see eye to eye' and cool down. I'm here to learn and (hopefully) give others an opinion to consider, not follow unless they want to.

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    1. I don't disagree. It does happen sometimes in blogging that people get very vehement and start getting personal. I tend to expect a modicum of politeness in a conversation. There are many, many people who read a blog but will never comment. They communicate using an email pseudonym account that they intentionally set up using spurious information as a security measure. I actually hear from a lot more people that way than I do by comments. That's the primary reason I don't pay much attention to comment numbers. The page view stats give a major accurate view of whether or not you are just whistling in the dark.

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  9. It's your blog so you get to do whatever you want with it. That's the beauty of blogging :-)

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    1. True, Lisa. But I do want the blog to serve some purpose, and be of value. That's why I am taking some time to reevaluate the material and my writing style.

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  10. Harry I've found your blog very useful and a great resource. I ennjoy your writing style and I've tead quite a few of your posts that could easily be published.
    I also enjoy a little ribbing between countries and how different our laws and outlooks are, especially when it comes to guns. I always read your post but as I use my own name I sometimes feel it's best not to comment. And even if I don't agree I still find it interesting and it's always good to read something from someone with a different view of things.
    Don't get changing it to please anyone else please, just write what you want.

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    1. Kev, that's very gracious of you and I appreciate your perspective, particularly as you come from such a different environment.

      In this country, the pedantic old man is a caricature and source of amusement. Given my age, I need to be careful that I'm not inadvertently slipping into that mold. I have a meme that sums that up. It shows a picture of an angry, glowering old man. The caption says "Loses argument. Thinks he won because he's old." I posted it in the side bar for awhile then I pulled it because it started making me uncomfortable.

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    2. That meme sounds great and made me chuckle. I think we're all a bit like that sometimes, I know I can get very blinkard about things so has nothing to do with age - more our personalities probably!
      Sorry about the typos in that comment, I was on my phone and it's a nightmare!

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    3. Not to worry, I wish I could multitask, but alas, I can only do one thing at a time.

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  11. Harry, its your time and your blog, bounce it any way you want. I came late to the Hermit and missed it when it was gone. Our interests, yours and mine, track pretty closely so I reckon as long as you feel like writing I'll keep reading, whether the content is political, preps, firearms, books/magazines or just what you the dogs did today.
    And I myself like firm people that know what they believe and why they believe it

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    1. I think the blog is essentially sound but I do think it could do with some more actionable information and maybe a little less political concern. After all, things are so far gone in this country now there's really no point in doing much more than trying to continually adapt in order to survive.

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  12. I used to worry about that, but I finally decided that if they can't handle the truth, it's THEIR problem, not mine. Furthermore, their voting is probably what is causing the problems for ALL of us, SO, the heck with 'em!

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    1. Well, there is a lot of truth in that. On the other hand, with a little more effort on my part to moderate my tone, more people might want to have a say. It's been said to me that I could make a better argument on some sensitive issues if I were more dispassionate about the subject matter. On the other hand, I am not trying to convince, recruit, or proselytize anyone, so isn't it creating a false facade to intentionally "tone down" your thoughts in order to make them more palatable to a larger audience. Isn't that what politicians do?

      These are some of the things I'm trying to puzzle out.

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    2. Harry from your end it might seem a pedantic endeavor at times, but don't forget you are also a kindred reassuring voice among us like-minded folk. It lets us know we are not alone out here. And that is good value in my book and one of the reasons I keep coming back.

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    3. Mr. Smythe is someone whose opinion means much to me. and M. Silvius makes a great point.

      Harry - you have not and never will be a "politician". we all learn from you, when you speak your mind, whether we agree with you or not. i love the fact that kev alviti loves to read your blog, and i love the fact that you love to read his.

      you and kev could be considered polar opposites - and i love playing the canadian in the middle - bahahahahah! that's pretty funny no?

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    4. I guess we're opposites on some things but some things we certainly agree on! No harm in being prepared now is there...

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    5. Kev, if you lived here we'd soon have you driving a pick up, carrying a pistol, and chewing tobacco. I often think that inside most working class Englishmen there is a Southerner trying to get out.

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    6. Michael, I would like the blog to be a little heavier on articles that are useful and a little lighter on my own political views but so far I'm not sure it will be a lot different. I just needed to stand down a bit and get the thing back on track. I was getting aggravated because I felt like I was being repetitive and my personal guidelines needed some tweaking.

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    7. Kymber, he's a good guy. Down to earth.

      As for Kev, I admire the man's ability to build the things he needs, and to grow his own food. If he had been born here, I'd like to have him in my group, seems like the sort you'd want. Fix him up with an AK-47 and he'd be ready to rock!

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  13. I don't really comment, but I do enjoy the blog very much when I read it. I'm another one who seems to share many of the same values you do, so the blog never seems stale or too controversial to me. And I imagine I'll still enjoy it if you change it up a little. Your blog, your rules, etc., but another article or two about a 1903 wouldn't be amiss... :)
    One thing I did learn from this blog, and I do thank you for it, was that book about Beiruit, "Distant Valor" I think it was called ?


    - Charlie Mitchell

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    1. Charlie, I have, I think, every book ever written about the Beirut fiasco, both fiction and non fiction. I have assiduously collected all the publications I could about it since 1983. I was there and I still don't understand what we were doing there or why the State Department acted as it did. "Distant Valor" is a fictional work that gives real insight into how that debacle looked from the enlisted standpoint, and just have asinine the rules of engagement forced on the military by the state department were.

      I like the Springfield as well. I have two of them, don't shoot them a lot anymore because the kick is harder to take at 62 than it was at 22.

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  14. Mr. Flashman, here's the girl troll as you call me. I will not comment anymore on your blog. Only one thing, in your profile you explain that you worked or lived in 36 foreign countries ! I just cannot believe it, you seem not to have opened your mind...All black people are "riot makers", Latinos criminals and drug dealers, refugees want to get profit of social welfare , all Israelis wonderful people and all Arabs muslims and in consequence terrorists. I travelled up from a very young age, my father worked in many. many countries all over the world, I lived in Africa, India, Cambodia, Syria etc.and for my family new cultures, new people and tradtions were always considered to make us richer. Supporting Israel (my mum is jewish)does not mean to hate the Palestinians. Your have a way to judge I just cannot understand and I think.you spend your time in doing not really useful.things. If you would try to look at people with interest , you will probably learn how much this can be a joy and open your eyes about many things.
    Best Regards Sara Miller my real name even if you don't believe it.
    Sorry for my english

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    1. Mrs. Miller,

      Who are you to judge if Mr. Flashman is doing/not doing useful things? Most of us here to read his blog find it useful. I have learned many things from this site. Perhaps you live in the city so you find no use for what is taught here. Perhaps it is really you that needs to open your mind.

      I have lived in 5 different third world countries and visited many more. It doesn't mean you are close minded. On the contrary, many who do travel extensively see the writing on the wall because we have seen the best and worst this world has to offer. And trust me when I say this, third world problems ARE coming to America. Ignore it at your peril.

      You can continue to bury your head in the sand and pretend that Immigration isn't a problem in Europe. Soon, you too will wake up to the new reality. If not, I feel sorry for you. Indeed, Harry and I have been made "richer" by our travels. But it has also made us wiser about how the world really is. --Troy

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    2. I live in Europe and we got a lot of immigration and I have just no problem with it.

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    3. Hey Sarah Miller,

      (captaincrunch)

      America is a dying empire. We are withering away into the cesspool of euro-socialism that will further cause the demise of our forign policy and erode our military to a domestic government police force.

      Now let's look at the 'Bright side of life" (channeling Monty Python) with just a 'Touch of Sarcasm'

      The Demise of America will allow the Islamic caliphate (Isis) to run rampant in the Persian Gulf, Middle East, and Africa. It will spread into Southern Europe and work its way from Turkey into the Balkans where Russians will counter it and stop it in its tracks.
      Europe will become an Islamic hellhole and the liberal, topless women of Southern Spanish Beaches will enjoy the latest in 'Burka Fashions"

      History will repeat itself as it did about 900 A.D.

      Sarah Miller, I invite you to take a trip to Iraq, Isis controlled Syria. Uganda (Boko Haram's Territory) and see how inclusive and progressive Islamic fascism really is (Don't lose your Head)

      Try passing out those wonderful 'Tolerence Stickers' with the 'Star of David" and the Islamic half moon, the Christian Cross and see how far that gets you.

      History, always, and I mean always repeats itself.



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    4. You ever thought you are part of an American empire ??? What empire ? Poor guys who were defeated in Vietnam where your 'empire' sent destruction and murdered and raped civilists ? Wow that's an empire, you can be proud ! Concerning Isis you seem to get into an obsession, maybe you should consult. And wearing a David Cross, I do si in a town where we got an important Turkish community, never had a problem , most of my friends are from a migrant background. I know you only stick to white faces.....your Native American culture was mostly destroyed and now no culture any more. What a pity...all your intellectuals are coming from a migration background. So keep looking in your Tarot cards.
      PS: As you pretend to be so smart don't mix up Islam and fundamentalism. You got a lot of such religious "crétins" in your country.

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    5. Sara, can you try to tone it down some? CC didn't insult you personally. If you had left off everything after "What a pity" it would't have had any impact on your comment. There's a fine line between irony and insult. He pressed his argument forcefully, your response was in the same tone, but he didn't attack you personally.

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  15. Harry, don't change a thing about your blog. Maybe bring back the old one too for those of us who like to discuss politics as well? Even so, you can't please everybody. Move forward with the great independent thoughts. --Troy

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    1. Independant thoughts while retired in the mountains ??? Discussing with the ferrets ? How funny !

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    2. It really must be awful to be so full of spite and vindictiveness, Sara Miller. I truly feel sorry for you and your kindred spirits.

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    3. My ferrets are good guys. They agree with everything I say so they are obviously intelligent as well!

      Being old has some negative ramifications but they don't include an inability to think (until you get dementia, which I haven't yet , hopefully...) The mountains are a great place to compose your thoughts, people have been going to the uplands for that purpose for thousands of years.

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  16. Harry, just catching up on my blogs. I love reading opinionated blogs, sometimes I wish I could say more of how I feel but as my blog is under my name and I work in a profession where I can be struck off if I say anything others find offensive, I have to be content with chuckling at what others say! Keep it up.
    For example as a non-believer I find a lot of the blogs I follow a bit heavy on the God thing but doesn't mean I don't appreciate their beliefs and it quite often goes hand in hand with the whole preparedness self-sufficiency community. Anyway my point is we can't all agree but we can still get something meaningful from each other.

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    1. Kristy, I understand you have to be circumspect if you are posting under your real name. I use the pseudonym "Harry Flashman" because the books are my favorites (next to Hornblower, anyway). I'm not religious but almost all my associates are so I am careful to avoid that topic most of the time. It's all the same to me what people want to believe as long as they aren't trying to make me toe the line, or doing something negative as part of their religion.

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  17. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Judging by Sara Miller's vindictive attitude, I am willing to bet Sara Miller is really a man living oversea's, Possibly European (maybe German) with English being only a second language. I also believe Sara could be more than one person, after the comment that Sara would not comment on your blog anymore and low and behold. A new comment complete with quickly written, poor grammer and in a defensive tone.
    I will ignore any further with Sara Miller avatar's. If a real Sara Miller wanted to have polite, intellectual discussion, debate or whatever. I would engage in a polite respectful tone, otherwise I have better things to do with my time.

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  18. I was told by someone who apparently had a run in with her that she is a European woman. For all I know, that "someone" could have been her. As long as the comments don't have vulgarity in them, I'm going to leave them alone if she wants to make them. There are lots of people, in this country and out of it, who don't agree with my world view, and I don't agree with theirs. There isn't any talking anyone, left or right, out of their beliefs because those beliefs are based on their life experiences. I really think , CC, that it helps make people who think like we do more aware of why some things happen when you have input from the left. She can't believe I think like I do, and I can't believe she thinks like she does, but I think seeing just how some on the left think will perhaps motivate people to be more aware of what's out there and do what they can to counter it. Certainly it adds another dimension to the blog. I was never comfortable with not letting her post, but as I said, sometimes she is rational (if acerbic) and sometimes it's like an entirely different person is posting under her moniker. Who knows. As you say, you can never really tell what's going on when you use the internet.

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  19. I find there is a decent group of Europeans that, having been thoroughly indoctrinated in Socialisim, look down on Americans in general, and conservatives in particular. Our world view is so different that they cannot grasp it at all. Personal liberty is a "foreign" concept to them. Personally I despise the absolute smug moral superiority that they attack "us with", be it firearms ownership, the illegal invasion,or liberty. I am delighted that their ancestors ran my MY ancestors out of Europe back in the 1600s, as they did with a lot of the best and brightest....I can defend my position easily, any day of the week, and don't really care much what anyone else thinks of it.

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    1. If personal liberty means to have firearms and let people make their own laws , do you remember "Strange fruit hanging on the sycamore tree"? , well then we have nothing in common. Europeans are not endoctrinated , except those belonging to the old or new nazis and I regret this a lot. We have much more liberty that you will ever get in the States. You feel.free.only because what you ask for in your country is ...stick to your own kind ...
      Anyway no need to argue, if you are happy with your life.

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  20. Sara, personal Liberty means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I do own firearms, and have since I was given my first at 10 years old. I was taught the "4 rules"at an early age, and was only allowed access to "my gun" under strict supervision, until I was older and had proved to my parents that I was able to be responsible. I still own it today, and use it to teach new shooters, just as I once was. It is a part of our culture here, as it once was in Europe. There are an estimated 80 MILLION gun owners in the US, owning more than 300 million guns.99.999% of us are fully law abiding citizens. We jump through the required hoops do not commit crimes, and are still slandered daily by folks that conflate us with the tiny criminal minority...
    The reality is we likely have a lot in common. I am devoted to my loved ones, I read constantly, from technical publications to history, politics, and sometimes, just for amusement.I enjoy decent meals, good beer and good wine, and especially good company.
    The difference is, I will not be ruled. I am descended from actual revolutionaries. Their spirit is strong in a large segment of the population here. Some here have a more European Socialist viewpoint, but in almost every case I can think of, that is accompanied by the desire to force ME to live by their values. I reject that position completely.Personal liberty means I get to choose for myself, not have anyone elses morals or viewpoints forced on me. I am quite happy in my life. I have skills, very diverse interests, and a fulfilling life. I have made it so by living my choices. Sure, I make mistakes, but I learn from them and move on.

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    1. Why does a 10 year old child need to handle a firearm ? Culture ? You try to tell me there is no gun violence in the US ? I hope you are kidding. What's your problem with Socialism ? Socialism is not Communism. You do not like to get forced , that's ok , but your country tries to force others to think like you How many conflicts the USA are involved in ? Never forget your liberty ends where mine starts.

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    2. Sara, I probably shot a gun for the first time at 5 or 6 years old. It is not such a strange thing here really.I am 57 now and have never shot anyone, or any animal either for that matter.Of course there is "gun violence in America. In Briton too In Australia. In Norway... In Syria, and pretty much every other corner of the world. What all of them have in common is CRIMINALS. If you take the crime that occurs in the inner cities out of the equation, there is actually very little Gun Violence in the US. Most (99.999%) gun owners in this country are law abiding people. Despite what your (and our ) press would tell you, the law abiding armed citizens are not the problem. There is a huge underclass of criminals that access guns through the black markets, and use them on each other with abandon.Sadly they also use them to prey on Police and other law abiding citizens. The Justice system in this country is a joke. Recently, in Baltimore (Heard of that place, been in the news lately). A previously convicted felon was arrested while in possession of a firearm A felony is an immediate disqualification for firearms ownership. A big no no to possess a gun under those circumstances. He should have been kept in jail at that point, but no kidding was arrested for the same offence 3 DAYS LATER. So you have a felon (not able to possess a gun legally) twice within a week being arrested with a black market gun...I however have to have a background check to purchase one, and in my state provide fingerprints, and a second background check that comes with a 10 day wait before I can possess property I have paid for.

      I am not responsible for the actions of my government any more than you are for yours.I believe there are some in Government with the very best intentions. There are also some evil greedy bastards. One of the tenants of conservatisim is small government. In fact as I get older and wiser I want less and less government. My country was founded on the principal of "self Governance", that you would be responsible for your own actions, your own self and future. I believe very strongly that I am responsible for myself. I own a decent tiny business. I make my own decisions, for better or worse. I am "free" to do that in spite of the restrictions some would put in my way "for the greater good" or some such crap. There is no "greater good" The smallest possible minority is the individual. And I support individual RIGHTS. Rights are not "given " by anyone, certainly not by the Government.And they cannot be taken away either.

      You are exactly right my liberty ends where yours begins. And vice versa. And there lies my problem with Socialisim. Socialisim "imposes" behavior and belief systems. Crippling taxation, and historically Socialists are just Communists that have not gotten their guns. A government monopoly of force ALWAYS ends with dead citizens in large numbers. In America, as an armed CITIZEN, I get a vote on the outcome.

      And as much as I enjoy a civil debate, I think we should be respectful of Harry's bandwidth...I feel bad taking up someone else's space.

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    3. Heck, I am sorry Harry, I forgot one thing. Sara, precision shooting is FUN!!New shooters always have one thing in common, and that is the great big grin on their faces. Owning and shooting guns responsibly is an excellent hobby, and the better you are at it, the harder you try to improve. It is like playing GO. a moment to learn, and a lifetime to master. Heck my father was pistol shooting competitively into his mid 70s.

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    4. Your explanations are not really relevant. Yes there are criminals for sure, but what about students killing others like in Colombine ? What about policemen shooting people in the back and explaining it was self defense ? I live in a democracy ,I vote and nobody tells me how to handle my personal life. I am a free individium and can express my opinion wherever I want. So what ! Guns are not part of my life , I do not even try to understand the American obssession for guns, a feeling of weakness maybe , but I know the rifle lobby is endoctrinating your society. My children got a bike, books and a museum pass at the age of 6 ! For me a much better choice. Your society failed in integrating your minorities , you believe you got your own opinion, I think you are submitted to a collective fear governing your country since 9/11 ! And fear stops all initiative. Sorry about my english, in a comment a blogger said about it poor grammar, poor english, I suppose this guy doesn't speak any foreign language.
      Wish you a good night and a nice day Mr. Bogan

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    5. Sara, the "students" at Columbine WERE criminals. Doing an act of violence against ANYONE is a crime. Planning to do an act of violence is a crime.
      I can assure you I feel no weakness, or other inadequacy in my gun ownership. It is a hobby like any other. I enjoy having the history "in my hands" so to speak. I own rifles from the first and second world wars, and some that are far older than that. I have a personal connection with people that lived long ago that shaped our world for better or for worse. They are things, tools of a trade.
      I was able to spend days by my self wandering the halls of the smithsonian museums as a child. My father worked near by, and I would ride down and home with him.
      Books? I have a library to be proud of. The topics are varied, and most is first person. Who better to explain anything that those who actually lived it?
      The NRA? 5 million members, vs 80 plus million gun owners... Small fish.

      I also have to go. Goodnight ms Miller, perhaps we continue this conversation another day.

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    6. So what about the soldiers who humilate, torture, rape and kill civil people ? Actions totally prohibited by the Geneva convention about war crimes. Are they criminals or not? And why in the US you got such a high rate of criminals, I would ask myself what 's going wrong in my country. You're roaring with the crowd , because nearly all American households got a gun, you need guns too. So you are following a general mouvement and not a real individual decision .You were instructed in handling arms up from 5/6 years old and never asked yourself if this is necessary, or good or why...?.Really strange to me.

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    7. Jeeze Sara, you are all over the place. What about the soldiers? I do not direct them or their policy. I presume you are European. In the last century there were two major world wars that took place there. I have read and studied about them a lot over the years. Atrocities sadly are a fact of war. War is a horrible thing, and should be avoided if at all possible. But no one country or army is responsible for all atrocities. What about ISIS? Crucifing people, selling women into slavery, burning captives alive? There are horrors everywhere.
      I have a pretty good idea what is wrong with my country. 75 plus years of "Progressive "politicians buying votes with misguided social programs that have removed any trace of personal responsibility from a large segment of the populace, combined with a "soft on crime" Justice system. Absent those facts, the US would be a very different place.
      I have guns because I like them. I also have nice (and fast) cars because I like them. And because I can. Guns do not "freak me out" in the slightest. They are in fact tools, and can be either used, or misused by the hands that hold them. The difference is intent. I am not a criminal. And I hate being punished for the actions of criminals.
      Perhaps you are correct, I never asked myself if guns are necessary. In the US that is not a relevant question.I have the choice, to own guns, or not, as I see fit. As long as I remain a law abiding citizen I have the right, and like any right, I can exercise it as I see fit. The dearest person in my life prevented a rape (her own) by having a pistol when she needed it the most. Would you deny her the right to be able to protect herself at the hands of a larger, stronger criminal? Should she have just accepted being raped and possibly killed? I say hell no. Guns are neither good OR bad, the good or bad is in the hand holding it.

      Have a lovely day Sara, clearly I shall not change your mind, or vice versa. We shall have to agree to disagree. I do hope that if you continue to read this blog, you still get a benefit from it. Being prepared for the bad moments in life is a good thing, as you and your family will be in a better position to weather the storms of life.

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    8. Oh I know about the storms of life , most of my family died in Auschwitz and I am quite aware of many things, I hate terrorists and all atrocities people do to others. But I was involved in social projects when very young and I know that getting concerned by people is important. I would be unable to hold a pistol, maybe it has to do.with my family's story and I know the way you look at people is important.
      It's nearly night in my country.
      PS: Soft with crime ? What does it mean ? Your prisons are full ? We just heard of an Afro American m having spent 17 years in jail. He was innocent and the police officer a corrupt guy. Is this soft ?
      For sure we cannot agree cause our personal life experience is so different.
      I wish you a nice afternoon. Enjoy !

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    9. I agree with J. Bogan, no surprise there. But I did find the conversation interesting. I think the crux of the matter, overall, is that I believe in "me" and socialists believe in "us." The slogan they typify is "those who have should share." Not my credo. As for firearms, I go with J. Bogan as well. I'm not going to be dependent on anyone else for my safety.

      Nobody said we got everything right here. There have been plenty of mistakes and problems. Any human institution is rife with them.

      Good conversation, I thought.

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    10. OK Sara, one last go here, to add to our mutual understanding. "Soft on crime" requires a slight understanding of how our "Justice" system really works. Please also understand, this is how it works in my opinion. Here in the US if one commits a "crime" the police officer will arrest and detain you, pending prosecution by the "state" The "state" (which can be a state, like California, or the Federal Government, the State) employs a number of lawyers that assemble the evidence against a person, and present that evidence in court. The accused person may hire their own lawyer, or if they cannot afford one, the court will appoint one. The prosecutor can be either an elected official, or appointed by the state Governor. Depends on the laws in that state. In order to advance their career, the prosecutor needs to win as often as possible.
      To secure a win, the prosecutor can "do a deal" with the accuseds' lawyer, often for a lesser charge, the accused pleads guilty, and wham, another win, and the accused often gets a much reduced penalty, IE less jail time for a lesser crime than was actually committed. Soft on crime
      Over time I believe that this system has become perverted. In the US, both Police and the Prosecution operate under a system called Qualified Immunity, where if they are "acting in good faith" (usually determined by them) when they arrest and prosecute someone, no matter the crimes they commit against one, they are granted immunity from any sort of prosecution. Since they cannot be prosecuted for misdeeds, some of the evil bastards that are found in all sectors of humanity, misuse their positions, and convict someone, and sometimes they KNOW they are not convicting the right person. Sometimes new evidence comes to light, like DNA evidence that frees wrongly convicted people. The truly sad and unforgivable thing is people that are wrongly put to death.
      Still, as I referenced several posts ago, I know of a local case where a felon (person previously convicted of a serious crime, was arrested twice in a single week for illegal possession of a fire arm. A felon is not allowed to possess any gun for any reason. After he was arrested the first time, he was released on bail (paid a "bond" to the court system) and released... 3 days later he was arrested AGAIN, for the same exact thing. They should have kept him in jail after the first arrest. He committed what is considered to be a serious crime, and was just released.... Soft on crime. This is not an isolated incident, just one I know about because it happened in my state.
      This is a very simplified view of the legal system here, and a short view of some of the problems I see in it. No system operated by humans is perfect, and I think most people try to be honest and truthful, but some clearly do not. How to fix that I have no answer.
      Finally, what are crimes ? I believe that for a crime to occur, someone must be harmed. If I slap your face I have committed a crime. However if I exceed a maximum speed on a roadway, who is harmed?Yet that is treated as a crime. I think it was Ayn Rand that pointed out that you can only control a free people by making everyone a criminal(paraphrased) and Cicero that said "the more corrupt a regime is the more laws it has" I am afraid we are there worldwide. What is my point? The jails here are filled with people that have not necessarily committed a crime. There are people in jail for possession of or smoking Marijuana for instance. In a free society, the government should not have a say on what substance you choose to put in your body. The space people that have been convicted of non crimes could be better used for people that committed actual crimes. But that is also my opinion.
      Have a lovely day Sara, I hope you have a better understanding of, well, me anyway. We'd be OK as neighbors.

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  21. Harry, I have enjoyed your blog(s) over the years. Someone (Brigid I think) compared a blog to a dinner party in that thoughtful disagreement is acceptable but continually being a jerk will get you a cold shoulder and no future invitations.

    Bottom line, do what you want to do.

    For whatever it is worth at my place I avoid politics and focus mostly on preparedness and training issues, plus of course the gun talk we all love. In recent years I have only had one real troll issue which was a woman from Pakistan (if her profile, etc were honest) who thought her religion got to censor my, if we are being honest pretty mild, speech.

    Just do what you want my friend, life is too short to deal with jerks.

    On an unrelated note I am looking hard at getting into the semi auto .308 game. DS Arms recently came out with a FAL (The Voyager) that comes in around a grand which is in my budget. What are your thoughts on this?

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    1. I have been writing a lot about politics, but mainly because I get so furious about how things are going. It's counterproductive, I know, because it never changes anyone's mind.

      Honestly, I don't mind having Sara or anyone else saying what they think if they do it in a civilized fashion and she can be very articulate when she wants to be, especially since english isn't her first language. Also, I notice people are responding to her like they never really did to my posts, and I think that makes the whole blog a lot more interesting. When I was in college, one of my best friends was a hippy named Rick Glitch. He didn't agree with anything we reservists thought, but he was a sort of Voltarian, though I am sure he didn't know it. He pulled a bunch of what we called "freaks" off of me on the night when Nixon mined the harbors in North Viet Nam and I had the bad judgement to be coming back from the Frontier Cafe headed for the dorm just as the seething mob showed up on the student quad to vent their "rage."
      You never can tell about people.
      I have a DSA STG-58, it's a sweet rifle. They have a good rep. Mags are expensive though. There's also the quirk that FAL takes metric mags and L1A1 takes inch mags but the dealers all call them FAL mags which can bite you in the ass.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Things were that bad in Albuquerque with the damn hippe's going bonkers of Nixon messing with the North Korean's?

      As things go, I think the Hippe's were just looking for a fight. Down here in Texas we got a long history of beating hippe's.

      Every here that song by Ray Wylie Hubbard. "Up against the wall you Redneck Mothers"
      One line in the song says 'Kicking Hippe's asses and raising hell"

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    3. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Here ya' go Harry.

      I miss the 70's

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtqE6KN_suU

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    4. CC, it was the mining of the harbors like Haiphong that set the freaks off crazy. The University of New Mexico had some bad riots, mostly eastern kids going to school there, with no other connection to the state. I can remember watching New Mexico State Troopers firing shotguns loaded with birdshot into a a big crowd of freaks who were throwing rocks from a flower bed at them. The school closed down a couple of times when things got really bad. Being in the Marines at the time, I was required to wear my uniform on campus twice a week, which I didn't mind, but it caused me a lot of hardship with the freaks, who were well aware that we weren't permitted to beat their little asses and who consequently would follow us, yelling and sometimes spitting on us, petty b.s. like that. Of course, after dark, and in civilian clothes, we paid a lot of that back. They were really different times.

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  22. This would probably be a good time to forever ignore the Aryan Marxist troll. She lives better with more freedoms than all of us here anyway. Don't waste your time.--T

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    1. Hell Troy, she's got this blog showing a little life, I ought to be thanking her.

      :-)

      Anyway, maybe we can convert her. You have to admit , she has passion!

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    2. I think that is more typing than I have ever done. Hopefully I planted a seed. Sorry for taking up so much of your space though.

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    3. J, don't worry about that! It's free. I enjoyed the conversation. I don't get much interaction with people living up on the mountain. I was thinking this morning I should get out more, if only to go to town for lunch like I used to do. But it's hotter than hell here lately, and the humidity is off the scale. It's in the too hard category.

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  23. For the anonymous person , I'm not what you call an Aryan Marxist..probably you do not even know what it means in detail ! Mr. Flashman you try to be ironic about me, but it doesn't work and I'm not bi-polar what you supposed me (maybe) to be. Yes English is only my fourth language and I think I'm not doing so bad ! As I do not like to be the clown , I think it would be better to not comment anymore. You will not convert me in any manner, I'm a big town girl, I love the crowd , I hate guns and I have only the food we need daily at home. Fresh food every day ! The sky is blue, birds are singing in my garden, my kids are at school, I'm young and I work in refugee projects , actually taking care of 5 Syrian families , with highly traumatic memories. All you probably cannot understand, yes human relations with others make me rich and let me realize how lucky we are to live in peace.

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    1. Sara, don't be so touchy! Remember, none of us here really know you, and anyone can use your name to leave a post. I did get some really ugly, vulgar posts early on that used your name, nothing at all like your normal comments which are sometimes sarcastic but not outright evil. And since none of us know you, we can't be sure exactly who and what you are. You know how the internet is, anyone can represent themselves to be anyone.

      I'm not calling you a clown. If you got that impression, it was not my intent.

      Well, I may not make a card carrying right wing extremist out of you, but maybe if you come by here and talk to people you will understand our views better. I am trying to understand yours, though I honestly have a lot of difficulty with it. For instance, you have young children who will have to grow up in the world being created now. The refugees you are helping, regardless of what kind of people they are, good or bad, are going to distort and dilute your culture. They will bring heavy pressure to bear on your social system. Every country that has allowed resettlement of large numbers of people with no cultural connection to their own has suffered and is suffering negative ramifications of having done so. Look at what importing Somalis has done to Minneapolis in my country! Yet you not only support immigration of this sort but abet it. I don't say that as an accusation, I just can't make sense of it.

      I don't understand how consorting with people like that is enriching. I confess it freely. Overall, I'm not impressed with most people I meet and I haven't found their society to be something I am much interested in. I have friends but they are people I trust and have carefully chosen. We are very, very different. I'll quit teasing about you if it makes you mad. Most of the things I apparently aggravated you about , that's all it was, I kid a lot on the blog but people who don't know me might take offense. And, you have to admit, our initial communications were not conducive to amiable chats. Some of the things you said, or someone using your name said, by the standards of my "Southern" culture, were outside the norm for people here. "No need to go away mad" as we say here.

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  24. on the cost of subsidizing parasites
    http://www.cbn.com/tv/3255110732001

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    1. Let me take a look at that. I'm always looking for credible statistics to substantiate my positions on issues.

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  25. illegal immigrants in Europe, no they are not an issue at all
    https://youtu.be/ztNbJVYWFN0

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