Monday, August 22, 2016

Coup d’état in Argentina likely?: Yes


Hello Fernando:
I have read your work for quite some time. You have given me a lot of ideas over the past couple years on my attempt to go “Galt” and I thank you.
You are the only person at the moment that I could think of to answer a really bizarre question, is Argentina in the midst of a coup?
Background:
My wife’s family is from Argentina. She has an aunt visiting from B.A. who phoned home to check on the dog and a neighbour told her that there was a possible coup taking place…..
I have not seen or heard anything anywhere, but then again propaganda being what it is today….what would one expect?
I understand this email is coming from out of nowhere, and completely understand if you wish to ignore it. But if you are able to confirm or deny you will keep my wife’s aunt from life support ( and me supporting her for the rest of my life). Please – no need to publish any of this in your blog. —- unless you think it fits a discussion/narrative on propaganda.
Cheers.
Edward
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Hello Edward,
Thanks for your email. Actually, yes, your question is pretty accurate.
Coups aren’t that rare in Argentina. A coup d’état literally mean “blow of state”. In December 2001, it is well known that while the social agitation was very real and people were indeed angry, Peronist leaders were the ones that gave the situation that extra push. President Fernando de la Rúa sure lacked the political skills to keep the country under control but the various Peronist governors and leaders across Buenos Aires were the ones that allowed the looting to get out of control forcing the president to resign.
It’s actually the same populist and nationalist politicians which are attempting the same thing now, most of them aligned with the previous Kirchner government. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to never EVER give up reason, logic and sensible debate to extremist nationalist and populist ideas no matter how good they may seem to some. You cannot expect anything good to come out of someone you already know is corrupt and lacks any kind of moral compass.
Right now we have Mauricio Macri for president. In spite of his flaws, he’s by far the best president we’ve had since the return of democracy after the last military junta.
Your aunt’s neighbour is right. They are trying to get rid of him. They will try to either kill him or overthrow him. The thing is, killing him would leave his sidekick vice president Gabriela Michetti in charge, and she would continue his work. Now if they manage to overthrow him along with his entire political party and everyone associated to it, then the corrupt Peronists can take control of the country again. The main objective here is pretty simple. It’s a matter of survival. Former president Cristina Kirchner is against the ropes. Every day a new offshore account is found, another of her dogs is caught with gym bags full of cash, even her daughter was caught with 9 millions USD in cash in a safe deposit box. We’re talking billions of dollars here that she stole through different channels. Every day she’s closer to going to jail. There’s even accusations of treason given her dealings with Iran. If she doesn’t manage to overthrow Macri she will go to jail along with her two children and accomplices. This is no secret though and most main media groups in the country are already connecting the dots and showing how indeed there is a deliberate plan to create instability among the population and question the legitimacy of the government. I doubt they will be successful, mostly because the cat is out of the bag and the population knows this. They know what they are trying to do. Still, the may manage to do it if the government doesn’t stop the operation against them in time. December is usually the hottest month in Argentina, both weather and political wise. Most episodes of political violence occur during the summer holyday of November and December.
Who knows. All I know is that I cant wait to see the Kirchners and their accomplices rotting in jail.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Relocating: The Great life experience of living Abroad


Monday, August 15, 2016

British Pound beats Argentine Peso for Worst currency of 2016


Never in a millions years would I have thought I would end up writing that headline one day but there it is.
The British pound has beaten Argentina’s peso to a title nobody wants: the world’s worst performing currency.
Yes, The British Pound is the worst performing currency for 2016, doing worse so far this year than any other major currency. That means it’s even worse than Argentina’s peso, which so far this year is down 11.7% against the dollar. Since voting to leave the European Union the pound has plunged 14% against the U.S. dollar. It’s down about 12% since the start of the year, and is trading at its lowest level since 1985.
If this doesn’t make your spider sense tingle I don’t know what will. People in developed countries just do not understand what it means for a currency to devaluate 5% ,  let alone 10 or 15%. I don’t blame them. It just isnt that common in 1st world countries. I on the other hand know exactly what it means.
There’s no free ride folks. This has devastating consequences. Its not a matter of if, the devaluation already happened and people will pay for it. They will pay it at the grocery store, older people will pay it with their pensions. For each point of devaluation, a proportional number of middle class people fall into poverty.
For those that are about to learn a lot of this the hard way, get my book  “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” so as to minimize the blow as much as possible and get ready for what’s coming.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Zero Tolerance ZT0561: The Beauty and the Beast


The Zero Tolerance 0560/0561 is a knife that combines great materials, American craftsmanship and an outstanding esthetical design (fancy words for pretty).
And pretty it sure is. Maybe the prettiest folder ever made. In my opinion even more so than Rick Hinderers Xm-18 which inspired it. People will say they like the Elmax steel (more on that later) or that they appreciate Rick Hinderer’s design, based on his experiences in both rescue and firefighting. As someone with decades of experience with knives, using them, buying them and yes, even making them and reading books specifically about knives I can tell you this: Looks is what catches the attention of 99.9% of buyers when they first see a knife, and this is particularly true about the ZT0560. Very few folders have such eye-pleasing lines, proportions, colours and texture.
Is it all about looks though? Of course not.
The design is sound. The 3D machined titanium scale is very solid and comfortable, providing a good frame lock. By the way, if its not locking solid and disengages when lightly smacking the spine of the blade then send it back for replacement because its not supposed to do that. They need to tighten the locking bar or maybe address the contact surface of the bar. The Lock Bar Stabilizer prevents the accidental over travel of the lock bar during closing of the knife. The steel insert in the lock bar prevents both the sticking of the lock bar due to titanium-steel contact. It also means it wont wear down nearly as much after years of hard use. If it gets used that much, which is unlikely, its just a matter of replacing the insert. Steel is premium Bohler-Uddeholm ELMAX steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. This super steel is stainless but acts like carbon steel allowing relatively easy sharpening in spite of its outstanding edge retention ability, which sometimes comes at the cost of much more work needed for sharpening. The blade geometry is a wide, drop point shape. Thick, but pretty classic. The bevel angle is pretty steep, which makes sense for a work knife although a more narrow bevel should be put in it to take full advantage of the high quality steel. This will come at a cost though, super steel or not, a more narrow angle means less steel behind the edge. Mess with this only if you know very well what you are doing and intent to use the knife for cutting and carving in softer materials. Otherwise, leave it as it is. There nothing wrong with it.
The blade has thumb studs but its clearly intended to be used as a flipper. My knife came with an unusually strong detent. After flipping it about a thousand times its just now starting to let go enough and feeling comfortable to deploy. So yes, a break in period makes it better. The squeaking sound is also gone now. After that, the knife opens smoothly thanks to the KVT ball-bearing opening system. I’m still using the first interphalangeal joint in my index finger rather than the pad for stronger deployment of the flipper.

The ZT0561/0560 has a four position deep pocket carry clip. Scales are machined titanium on one side and G10 on the other.
The design, while pretty, is not perfect. For example the thumb studs are all but useless for opening the knife. ZT says they aren’t intended to be used, rather worth as a blade stop when the knife is opened, the studs resting on the scales. If you still do use it, the studs easily catch the flesh of your finger pad. This also happens with the jimping on the flipper and the web of your hand between the index and thumb(why put jimping there at all?) Clearly, flipping is the intended method of use. The G10 scales have some sharp edges. These can be easily fixed with some sand paper, same thing for the (again) jimping that is a tad too aggressive in the handle. Although its easy enough to fix, you shouldn’t have to do any of this on a +USD200 knife.
Finally, maybe the thing that bothers me the most but doesn’t seem to be bothering others: The KVT ball-bearing opening system. Yes, its supposed to be super smooth but with the strong locking bar that slows it anyway I just don’t see the point vs traditional washers. You don’t really gain anything over correctly worn in phosphor bronze washers, while being less abuse resistant. Don’t get me wrong, it will work for cutting your entire life if you look after it. But washers are stronger if you even need to pry with your ZT. Can you pry with your ZT0560 if you need it? Yes you can, you can pry the hell out of it. If it wasn’t the case I wouldn’t have bought the knife and I wouldn’t be writing this. Its just that with the ball-bearing system you are more likely to deform the titanium contact surface. Washers are simply tougher and I always prefer tougher.
But I read that this knife sucked…
I always do a lot of research before buying anything, especially when I’m spending this kind of money on a knife.
As good as the ZT0560/0561 may be, its not perfect. Many users have reported problems with the steel being too soft, rolling or chipping. After researching some more it seems the problem was with the heat treatment of the earlier version around 2012 or so. In some cases, sharpening the knife fixed the problem (soft metal on the outside, but ok on the inside) in others the heat treatment itself was the problem and the knife needed to be sent back for replacing the blade. Even in the early models, this was very rare and most people were extremely happy with the performance of Elmax steel. These last few years such a problem is unheard of as far as I know.
If you want something similar, a bit smaller, a lot cheaper and without the KVT system, check out the ZT0566.

You have a knife that have the same great built quality, ELMAX steel, but a 3.25 inch blade rather than 3.75 with Speed Safe assisted opening system.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Someone please tell Mr. Trump...

That thanks to the United States Constitution, ALL Americans are “2nd Amendment people”.
And if by “2nd Amendment people” he meant law-abiding gun owners, tell him that none of us is a deranged criminal willing to murder political adversaries.
FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.