Conspiracy Theory — President Obama’s Citizenship

For whatever reason, it seems many folks who are into the prepper or survivalist lifestyle are also big into conspiracy theories. Based on discussions I’ve seen on Facebook and other online forums, one of the more popular theories right now concerns President Obama’s citizenship and eligibility for Presidency.

Here’s my take on the whole Obama birth certificate fiasco, for whatever it might be worth to you all.

Does it really matter? I don’t mean to sound flippant, I really don’t, but I do think many of the so-called “birthers” are devoting way too much time and energy into something that is a non-issue.

Think about this for a second. Let’s say the birth certificate is indeed faked. Then what? Do you really, TRULY think that if it were somehow proven Obama wasn’t legally eligible to be President, that he’s just gonna give a sheepish smile and step down?

Many people have posted about how the release of the birth certificate is nothing more than a distraction, engineered to take our attention away from various and sundry other events here and abroad.

What if the whole eligibility issue is the real distraction? What if the plan from the beginning was to get folks all riled up about this citizen/non-citizen issue, taking up their attention, time, and energy so they wouldn’t concentrate so much on the bills being passed?

Kinda like parenting, you gotta pick your battles. The birther argument, for all the bluster and effort, will never succeed. Devote the energy to something more worthwhile, like prepping for more realistic threats.

Child ID Cards

There is little else more immediately heart-pounding than realizing your child is missing. You turned your head for just a second at the store and when you looked back, he or she is nowhere to be seen. In a flash, your mind races through all sorts of nasty scenarios as you call out your child’s name. 99.999% of the time, you find them quickly enough and probably scold them for walking away from you (with the reality being you’re scolding them for scaring the daylights out of you).

But, what if, Heaven forbid, your child were to really end up MISSING?

Many experts recommend having recent photos of your child on hand to aid law enforcement. Consider going one step further and doing up ID cards for each child. There are many different kits you can purchase online for this purpose but you can easily do it all on your own at home.

Using a digital camera, take a good head and shoulders picture of your child. Download this pic to your computer and copy it over to a document in your word processing program. Resize it down to be about the same size as a passport photo. An excellent way to format these cards is to use one of the built-in templates for business cards. Next to the picture, have the following information:

  • Child’s full name
  • Nickname(s), if applicable
  • Date of birth and age photo was taken
  • Height, weight
  • Eye and hair colors
  • Print out enough cards so that each parent can have one for each child in their wallet. This way, the parents will always have a current pic on hand when out and about, just in case.

    Like most of our preps, this is something we hope we’ll never truly need. But, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Along these same lines, as soon as your child is old enough to do so, be sure to have him or her memorize their home phone number and address. Also, make sure they know your name. Don’t laugh, this is something most parents don’t think too much about but kids often don’t even realize their parents have names until they get older. They just know us as Mom and Dad.

    The Importance of Staying Legal

    Many of us probably disagree with at least a few laws that would somehow relate to prepping. For example, where I live there is almost no way to obtain a concealed carry permit unless you are a current or retired law enforcement officer. I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, but y’know what? I follow the law. Why? Because I don’t feel like having to devote any money toward paying legal fees to fight a charge should I be found carrying a firearm.

    See, here’s the thing. Even if you’re in the right and you prevail in a criminal court case, the legal fees can bury you. Plus, the whole time you’re battling it out in court, your weapon has likely been confiscated and is being held as evidence. So, not only are you out the thousands of dollars in attorney fees but your firearm is locked up and unavailable to you.

    I have several close friends who are at various levels of law enforcement, from local small town patrol officers all the way up to a few three letter Federal agencies. Many of them don’t agree with some of the laws they enforce, but it is their job to ensure folks are abiding by those statutes.

    I can think of few worse situations than to be sitting in the local iron bar hotel when disaster strikes the area.

    Common mistakes when prepping — Stockpiling unfamiliar foods

    “Eat what you store and store what you eat” is the mantra for a proper food storage plan. Many preppers become enamored with dehydrated foods or bulk grain storage. But, if your body isn’t used to these types of foods, you may likely encounter some, um, issues when it comes time to start relying upon your pantry storage.

    Spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on bulk grains doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how to prepare them for consumption.

    You’re throwing money away if you just buy a bunch of food, then toss it into a closet and forget about it.

    A proper food storage plan revolves around foods you normally eat and has those foods rotated through your pantry, consumed before they reach their expiration dates. While having some easy-to-prepare dehydrated foods is not inherently a bad idea, you should first make sure you like the particular brand(s) you’re buying.

    Obviously, home canned foods are usually best. You know what is in that jar, because you put it there. But, those jars aren’t light and they are fragile.

    The best storage plans take advantage of all the options–home canned, commercial canned goods, dehydrated foods, bulk grains. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

    Relying on unfamiliar foods during a crisis is just one more thing that can stress you out. Further, if kids are in the mix, well, getting a child to try a new food can be a challenge on a good day, right? Your best bet is to just stock up on those foods you already eat on a regular basis. Add to your storage a little at a time and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will all add up.

    Common mistakes when prepping — Stuff Over Skill

    No doubt about it, we preppers love our “stuff.” Water filters, freeze-dried food, firearms, camping equipment, the list goes on and on. Some of us probably wouldn’t look out of place on Hoarders. Those new to the prepper lifestyle are particularly susceptible to this almost maddening rush to acquire stockpiles of everything and anything.

    But, is having “stuff” enough?

    To be blunt, not even close! You need to develop the proper skills to not only use all that stuff. You should also skills to fall back on if/when the gear fails.

    Having magnesium fire strikers are great, but you need to practice with them. Sitting in the woods, shaking from the cold, is not the best time to open the package and read the instructions.

    Reading a book or two on fashioning snares from brass wire isn’t quite the same as actually making one that works.

    Stocking up on heirloom seeds is a wonderful idea but if you’ve never so much as dug a hole with a shovel before, gardening might not work out for you the first time around.

    And, God help the man who goes out and buys a Ruger 10/22, several cases of ammo, then just puts it all in a closet, feeling good about himself because he can now hunt and protect his family.

    The point is this — stuff is great to have and I’d never tell you otherwise. But, without skills, that stuff is worth much less than you paid for it.

    Bleach vs. Calcium Hypochlorite for water disinfection

    Bleach is great for disinfecting questionable water, but it has a drawback in that it doesn’t last a real long time. After only six months, it starts to degrade by about 20% a year. So, if you have a few bottles of it stored away, you better check to see how long you’ve had them. Odds are, they aren’t going to be good much longer.

    A far better alternative is to use calcium hypochlorite, commonly sold as pool shock. It is a dry powder and will last a long, long time as provided you keep it dry.

    Here are the instructions given by the Environmental Protection Agency on their website. Please note this is essentially a two-step process. First you make the disinfecting solution, then add that to the water you want to cleanse. You do not drink the disinfecting solution!

    “Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ½ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected. To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.”

    Don’t toss away broken crayons

    With three kids at home, over the years we’ve amassed a TON of broken crayons. Sure, they can still be used for their original purpose but somehow kids just don’t like using broken ones. They much prefer brand-spankin’ new ones. Not a big deal since we buy them in bulk during the back to school sales in late summer. But, what to do with all these broken crayons?

    A while back, my wife melted down some of them and made new crayons out of them. She used muffin pans and cupcake liners, pouring the melted wax into the forms and letting them cool. They work alright and the kids thought they were pretty neat. But, it can take a bit of time since you want to only melt crayons of one color at a time.

    Obviously, crayons are made of wax. Let’s think for a second. Is there anything I’ve mentioned on the blog here that would be a good use for wax?

    Firestarters and buddy burners! Melt the crayons down and pour the wax into the lint filled egg cartons for firestarters. Pour it over the cardboard in your buddy burners. You don’t have to worry about matching colors of crayons, just melt ’em all together. Ours came out a funky shade of purple when we did this over the weekend.

    What we used for melting the wax was an old soup can and a pot of water. Take all the paper off the crayons and break them up into small pieces. Fill your pot about 1/4 or so with water and heat it up. Keep it just under boiling. Put your can into the water and let it sit. You need to have the can fairly full of crayon pieces to weigh it down. It took about 5-7 minutes for the wax to fully melt. To stir it around, I just used a small twig with the bark removed. Use a hot pad or oven mitt to take the can out of the water as it will obviously be hot. Pour the wax directly from the can, then add more crayons and repeat the process if necessary.

    DIY Buddy Burner

    This is a tried and true project that provides you the means to easily cook food during a bug out or at home during a power outage.

    You’ll need melted wax, corrugated cardboard, and an empty and clean tuna can.

    First, cut the cardboard into strips as wide as the tuna can is tall. You want to cut the cardboard across the corrugation, so that when you look at the long side of the strips you’ll see the “holes” from the corrugation. Take the strips and wrap them around the inside of the can, rolling them around and around to fill the can completely. When you’re done, if you look down into the can you should be able to see all those corrugated “holes.”

    Melt your wax in either a double boiler or just place a clean soup can in a pot of water, melting the wax inside the can. Pour the melted wax into the tuna can, filling all the spaces in the cardboard. You can also use a small piece of wax string to put into the wax as a wick, but this isn’t truly necessary.

    When the wax is cool, simply light the cardboard or wick. These burners work great with the Hobo Stove I described in an earlier post. You can adjust the heat given off by the burner by placing a piece of folded aluminum foil over part of the can. When you’re done cooking, just smother the flame by covering the top of the can with foil completely or using some other heat resistant material.