Monday, March 30, 2009

Mosquito repellent as part of your preps

As “Dengue” fever starts infecting people in Buenos Aires, insect repellent becomes something people are hurrying up to buy.

So far there are 72 cases in Quilmes and La Plata, bur there are thousands in the northern provinces so its wise to prepare a bit for it just in case and avoid mosquitoes as much as possible.
I already have a few months worth of repellent tablets and 3 cans of repellent (insect repellent is cheap guys, pick some extra next time you go to the supermarket)
Guys in Florida and Southeast USA, this is something you might want to look into.


This is the type of mosquito that spreads dengue. If there’s Dengue in your area, watch out for mosquitoes with white spots in the legs.


Also:
*keep the lawn mowed around the house.
*Don’t leave cans, old pots or tires that may collect water unattended, everywhere where water gathers, the mosquito reproduces itself.
*Eat lots of vitamin B and B1. It makes your sweat smell bad to mosquitoes and you get bit a lot less (humans don’t detect this).
They found out about this in Ecuador if I’m remembering correctly.

Read this article:
U.S. Plague Prep: Experts Recall West Nile in Fight Against Dengue Fever
While Arias admits a dengue outbreak could occur, particularly in the South, he quickly insists that “the way we live does not encourage dengue.” While Americans' reliance upon air conditioning already minimizes chances of coming in contact with dengue, Arias says, the preventative steps are much as the same as for West Nile: insect repellent, water disposal to prevent mosquito breeding and the like.

The article was written in January 18, 2008.
Keep in mind that "the way we live" may change a bit in the not so distant future, when things get a bit more "3rd worldly".
FerFAL

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Body armor from Bulletproofme.com


Guys,

I’m proud to announce that Nick from Bulletproofme.com has decided to advertise with me and is running a special offer.

Along with your body armor order, if you mention “FerFAL”, you get a FREE Police Surplus Blunt Trauma Pad.

Blunt trauma can cause serious damage (including brake bones) even if the projectile is stopped by the body armor.

The Blunt Trauma Pad significantly reduces the blunt damage and protects you Sternum bone.

I’ve been insisting on the importance of body armor for many years now. When I decided to go looking for advertisers for the blog, Bulletproofme was the first in my mind given the very positive experience I had with them, so I’m happy Nick decided to do this.

Check the Bulletproofme.com website. You’ll sure find a solution that fits your budget and your BA needs.

FerFAL

Stem cell bank

I think survivalism is an attitude towards life in general.
Life always throws stuff at you and you dodge some or catch some depending on what you see coming.
Having the skill to do one or another is the secret to not only survival but reaching fulfillment in all aspects of life.
Health is issues are a big part of both preparing and having a good life.
Staying in shape, eating healthy, getting the doctor fix anything that can be fixed before it gets worse, having a good medical plan and so on.
Stem cells can be collected from the umbilical cord after a child is born.
Unlike using human embryos as disposable material, collecting the blood from the umbilical cord is a perfectly moral correct procedure. Keeping it at a stem cell bank assures that your child will have 100% compatibility in a marrow stem cell transplant. Its also useful in treating a number of other cancers and diseases and there’s always new stuff being researched. The brothers have like 90% compatibility as well and even the parents have good odds. Its no miracle, its just one other option, but in my opinion its well worth the paper money invested on it.
If you are planning on having more children, give it a good long look.

http://www.stemcelltherapies.org/umresearch/cerebral-palsy.html
http://www.stemcelltherapies.org/safety.htm

FerFAL

Reply: Book


Thanks everyone for the great suggestions, I'll try to come up with something better for the cover.

I'm working hard at getting the book done as fast as possible, so that's why I'm not around that much.

All I can say is that I like the way the book is looking (As in content, apparently the cover pretty much suxs apparently :) ).

The book covers a number of things such as dealing with everyday problems I know you guys enjoy. For the new guys it says what happened in Argentina in 2001, why it happened, and what was it like. Also how to prepare for crime and financial problems among a bunch of other things.

In spite of the dramatic cover the book's general feeling will be that life just goes on and that even an economic collapse is in no way the end of the world, at least not in the way many seem to fear.

If you guys want to suggest something else you'd like covered, I'll take suggestions for the Appendix or maybe even one last chapter.:)

Take care guys, and thanks for the support.

FerFAL

The Kirchners make a dash for it

http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13370020

The Kirchners make a dash for it
Mar 26th 2009 | BUENOS AIRES
From The Economist print edition


Hoping it’s not the exit

Illustration by Claudio Munoz
Illustration by Claudio Munoz


AS ARGENTINA’S president in 2004, Néstor Kirchner pushed a bill through Congress that pinned all future federal elections on the fourth Sunday of October. The intention was that incumbents should not benefit from holding them at their political convenience. Five years on, his successor—his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner—is meddling with the law to bring forward this year’s mid-term elections to June. The “first gentleman” himself will probably lead their Peronist party’s list of candidates in Buenos Aires province. Having passed in the lower house, the president’s measure was due to get the Senate’s approval on March 26th.

Ms Fernández used the world financial crisis as an excuse for bringing forward the election. In truth it is a shrewd, if shameless, ploy by a power couple who know that the value of their brand is tanking. Since she took office in December 2007, Ms Fernández’s popularity has sunk from 56% to 30%, according to Poliarquía, a pollster. Much of this decline was inevitable because the economy was bound to slow after five years of breakneck growth, fuelled by soaring agricultural prices and her husband’s expansionary policies. But Ms Fernández exacerbated her misfortune with bad decisions. Above all, she chose to raise taxes on farm exports a year ago, which has led to big protests. As a result, the Peronist block in Congress, solid under Mr Kirchner, has frayed, cutting Ms Fernández’s majorities in both houses.

The economy is one reason she wants the elections sooner. Poverty has been creeping up since early 2007 and the country has probably just tipped into a recession that is likely to deepen during the year. Ms Fernández cannot run a counter-cyclical policy, because lavish government spending has left her without the money to pay for it. Neither does she have a righteous fiscal history and a credible national-statistics office behind her, both necessary for a loan from the IMF, were she inclined to beg for one, which she is not. Voters would thus have been likely to punish her allies harder in the fourth quarter than they will be in the second.

There are other factors, besides the economy, in the president’s calculation. Advancing the date on which half the deputies and a third of the senators must reapply for their jobs should stem the flow of former friends across the floors of both houses. That is because Argentina’s proportional-voting system encourages party discipline as elections draw near. Legislators will now care less about their constituents’ worries and more about pleasing the party officials who choose candidates’ positions on the candidate lists.

Advancing the ballot date brings the Kirchners other benefits. One is that election news has temporarily snatched some limelight from the disgruntled farmers who, after eight months of tenuous peace with the administration, have grown rowdy again. This week they refused to sell grain and livestock, and blocked roads to stop them being transported, to try to make Congress cut export taxes. Ms Fernández has offered to share the proceeds of these taxes—which are as high as 35% on some farm products—with provincial governors, to keep them loyal. Another benefit of early congressional voting is that it will take place before at least two prominent governors’ elections, which the Peronists’ opponents are likely to win.

Most important, altering the electoral calendar gives anti-Kirchner groups both inside and outside the ruling party less time to get organised. For years the Kirchners’ greatest asset has been the disarray of their rivals, who are scattered among several parties and have proved unable to unite around a leader. But these rivals have lately been growing stronger. One potential threat is a nascent alliance between Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires city, and two dissident Peronists: Felipe Solá, a well-regarded former governor and agriculture minister; and Francisco de Narváez, a rich businessman with a substantial electoral machine.

Mr de Narváez may lead this new alliance’s electoral list in populous Buenos Aires province, perhaps going head-to-head with Mr Kirchner. The province contains the capital’s sprawling, lower-middle-class suburbs—Peronism’s heartland—where the Kirchners have strong patronage networks and Ms Fernández remains popular. If the vote were held today, Mr Kirchner would win easily. He should still have a fair chance of victory in June, thereby allowing his wife to stumble on. But with the new opposition alliance arousing some interest, the first couple are taking a gamble. If Mr Kirchner loses, it may spell the beginning of the end for Kirchnerism.


Thanks to Anonymous for finding this:)

FerFAL

Friday, March 27, 2009

Things getting worse: Censorship in Argentina



For three days now, Channel 13 (among the two most important TV channels in the country) , their TV channel TN and radio station Mitre have been suffering interference and scrambling, replaced by a black screen or the signal entirely gone.
The government is openly against this network and threatens its reporters and editors in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways.
Among the hundreds of networks in south America that use this same satellite, their signals are the only ones being affected.
For example this last couple of days, they were running a report about the thousands of cases of “Chagas” disease in the northern province of Chaco and showings footage of the people protesting that the province (K governor) wasn’t prepared to deal with the disease and that kids in the hospital are dehydrated.
Surprisingly, they signal in Chaco was scrambled and replace by a black screen.
Same happens when certain reports are tried to be aired internationally.
It’s been 3 days now since this started.
The investigation by the people in charge of the satellite concluded:
1) It only affects the signal of this news group
2) This has never happened before, ever.
3) The scrambling signal interfering in coming from South America.
I’ll also note that the signal is suddenly affected when negative news regarding the government is being aired.

I tried to find an article explaining this in English but didn’t find any.
This is very serious business. Such straightforward censorship is a very bad sign.
http://www.clarin.com/diario/2009/03/26/elpais/p-01884922.htm

FerFAL

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Cover


Working on the book cover



This is what I have so far.



So? :)


FerFAL

Don Williams on the situation in Argentina

Don Williams said...

Ferfal, some info:

1) This source indicates that Argentina has one of the most inequitable distributions
of income in the world --although the USA is not all that great either:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gini_Coefficient_World_Human_Development_Report_2007-2008.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient#Correlation_with_per-capita_GDP

(Data is from UN statistic report)

2) This Report by the UK's Economic Intelligence Unit lists Argentina as one of the countries most prone to social unrest due to worsening economic conditions:

http://a330.g.akamai.net/7/330/25828/20090318195802/graphics.eiu.com/specialReport/manning_the_barricades.pdf

3) This report indicates that Argentina will see significantly worse conditions in the Third quarter of 2009--
and says that is why Kircher is trying to move the elections up to June from October.

http://www.rgemonitor.com/latam-monitor/256076/is_multiple_equilibria_possible_in_argentina

a) While the report is critical of past Kirchner policies, note that the US Government's bailout
of the our banks is leading to it borrowing heavily --and hence pulling capital away from other
countries.
b) Also, prices for export commodities are falling worldwide because of the bad global economy.

4) Here in the USA, tent cities have sprung up in some of the hard-hit areas like California:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aKqkjyYkFN8w&refer=worldwide


Thanks Don for ruining my day. :)

Just kidding. Yes, the situation here is bad, the volatile social situation can be seen on the streets and it's been growing for a couple years now.

We never did get over the 2001, in spite of the BS INDEC and IMF reports.

Thanks for the links.

FerFAL

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Map of Bs As Crime

Someone asked about this map in a comment or email.
http://www.mapadelainseguridad.com/
As far as I know it's pretty accurate, if it was BS the K rulers would have destroyed it in the media. Since they can't I suppose its very accruate.
If I remember correctly the website belongs to De Narvaez, a politician of an opposing political party, but one of the few guys that isn't corrupt.
People just log in and tell what happened to them, they also link a website if the crime made it to the news.


FerFAL

Visiting Buenos Aires

Hello Ferfal,

I've enjoyed reading your blog for the last few months. My wife and I traveled to BA twice in 2008 and absolutely fell in love with the city and it's food, architecture and fashion. Coming from NYC we've always been conscious of our surrounding and have made the extra effort to not draw attention to ourselves, which is a challenge within itself considering I'm African American and didn't see any other people of color while I was there. At any rate we really want to go back, but I have to admit that I'm a bit reluctant after reading your blog and having one of my co-workers on the way back to the airport [EZE] telling me his taxi was the last one through on a road block that was being finished made of firey tires on the 4 lane highway.

Typically we spent the majority of our time in Palermo Viejo and ventured to the other tourist barrios. On both trips my wife and I felt secure in barrios like Palermo Viejo as there was a cop every couple of blocks, still as in the USA and in NYC, the SHTF is getting worse and there is less money to go around for everything. Would you recommend that we go back to BA this year or should we wait? Also would you say the a city like Montevedio or Punta del Este are safer compared to BA? What other South America cities would you recommend, as we love BA, but security wise may not be the best idea to go back in the near future?

- js


Hi JS, as you say, it’s difficult to go unnoticed since almost everyone here is white. People quickly will know you are an American tourist = Rich Guy (hey! At least for our parameters :) )
If you liked Buenos Aires and want to visit, given the situation as I see it today, things wont be getting better, rather the opposite.
Keep in mind that this blog is about survival and prepping. There’s an entire world out there and people just get by without worrying much.
Besides, Palermo is much safer than the southern suburbs where I live.
Staying in Palermo, Recoleta and other capital district barrios is as safe as it gets in Argentina. Thats no guarantee of anything of course, you have to be careful. Staying within those places and having a good time in the capital is playing it safe.
The problem here is that as nice as everyone and everything is, things suddenly can go to hell as your friend experienced.
They cut the road to the airport with burning tires, and you have to either walk there or loose the plane ( MUCH safer to loose the plane, you risk getting your stuff robbed if you walk in that place).
Some people dig that as part of the trip, even join the protest and take pics!, others get freaked out.
If you want to visit BsAs, do so and have a great time, just understand these things are a part of life here, you have to take it easy and not let it get to you.
Keep in mind that its in our dictatorsbest interest, I mean presidential marriage or whatever they call themselves these days, to attract tourism and thus keep the capital as safe as possible. This time I assure you you’ll find 3 cops per block where you found just one before.
If you haven’t been to Punta del Este, I sure advice you to visit.
You can come to Buenos Aires (stay in the place you already somewhat got to know) and take the Buquebus boat to Punta del Este. Its a very nice trip.
Again, if you are here and need help or just want to grab a cup of coffee, just let me know.
Take care and good luck.

FerFAL

Reply: Power bill goes up... 1000%!!!!!

CapnRick said...

Saludos: The price of nafta/gasoline rose here in Argentina as it did around the world during the recent price increases. When the gasoline prices fell in the US, they did not drop here. We are still paying more or less USD4 per gallon now... about the same as last year's high prices. It is because the government used to subsidize the cost of gasoline. Now, the Ks have stolen so much, and the revenues have declined so the government doesn't have enough money to continue to subsidize energy prices.

The Ks understand the vast majority of voting Argentinians don't have air conditioners. That's the demographic they are trying to serve, so they can stay in power and CONTINUE to increase their net worth by 100 percent each 4 months, as they did in the first 4 months of Lady Ks tenure.

This is an example of what you feared may becoming to the US. You were correct... but, I hopehopehope we are all wrong.

Suerte -Rick

Also remember that most of these K goons and stupid “villero” voters, they live in places like “villa 31”, they have satellite TV and air conditioners but they don’t pay, because they have a right to (supposedly) get back at the middle class.

It’s a country where the honest good guy never wins. The bum, the lazy guy that just sucks up resources is always benefited.

And these “villas” are all over the country, they make their own illegal power connections and don’t pay a single buck, ever.

The K plan is very simple: The Destruction of the middle class in Argentina. A small very rich elite, and huge masses of poor, uneducated voters.

Rick, how many days of class were lost already in public schools due to various strikes? Public education = no education at all in this country.

They are doing a superb job in destroying the future generations.


FerFAL

Monday, March 23, 2009

Power bill goes up... 1000%!!!!!

This is just beyond ridiculous.
If you use more than 1000 KW every two months ( 500KW a month!) , as a “sanction”, you get to pay 300% , 400% and even 1000% more of what you paid the month before.

Some people today waiting in line to complain, had bills of up to 2400 Pesos, ( 3,6 pesos, one USD) This is the power bill for an average home with 2 air conditioners.
Take into account that an average salary here is 1500 pesos, you can imagine what this means.
This is no accident. These are the real prices they are handling now. This was approved by our no longer so benevolent K dictators, so they can steal even more money from us.
The idea explained by the government, is that they are “punishing” those that use too much power. But they seem to forget that during summer and winter even a small apartment will fall within their penalty category.
They are kind enough to give you 6 to 12 months to finance the power bills. Guess that after two or three months you just kill yourself.

As they said in “300” : This is Madness!
“No, this is Argentina!”
FerFAL

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Protests in Argentina against Crime

Wifeicita and I walked by the peaceful demonstration Contra la Violencia en the Plaza tonite. It appeared to be attended... for Mar del Plata, that is. It appeared to be around 400-450 people. I was surprised to see some hard looking individuals around the outskirts of the crowd. Wifecita said they were the pro-government element there to protest the protest.

It would be nice if there were some beneficial results from these protests. SaLUDOS -CapnRick


Hey Rick, sorry for not replying sooner.

It’s great to know you guys did your share of protest over there in Mar del Plata. Hope people wake up little by little.

Here there wasn’t that much people.

At first some gov. infiltrated guys started fight, as soon as the march started, and of course the cameras were there to film it.

According to my wife and I think she’s right, it was a way of scaring people and make them stay home, afraid of getting hit like last time by K and Delia, in that pitiful Plaza de mayo battle when people supported the farmers.

Those pro-gov protesters your wife noticed are indeed that. They are goons in the gov. payroll. And they themselves hire “villeros” as foot soldiers, in exchange for a bit of money, booze or “paco” drug.

You can sometimes see them rounding them up and picking people in the “conurbano”, busses take them to the various protests.

There was also infiltrated gov. agents filming the protest form various angles so as to catch the mass of protesters.

That’s why stayed more at the side, more like a onlooker rather than an active participant.

Being paranoid has worked very well for me so far:)

Take care Rick, and be careful out there.

By the way, Did you get the Bersa? It’s a great gun.

For defense for both you and your wife maybe the Bersa .40 S&W would be a better idea.

You really should get yourself a firearm, given how things are in our country these days.

FerFAL



Reply to Martin in Latvia

Hello!

My name is Martin and I am from Latvia.

You have been writing a great blog! I read almost half of it some weeks ago - it gave me a lot info I needed and a lot to think about.. And now I have some specific questions.

Maybe you have heard something about Latvia, but I will give very short info on whats happening here.

There are many similarities between Latvia and Argentina. We also had privatization boom in 90ties. There is also very much corruption. Also our currency - Lats is pegged to euro, the same as Peso was to dollar. In last years we also imported MUCH more than we exported. Big foreign companies invested a lot in Latvia. We have borrowed a lot too..

And now in short my country is fallowing Ukraine and its semi-failed economy very fast. We borrowed ~5 billion lats [7.5 billion euros] from IMF, EU, Sweden etc. which are being used to save our one nationalized bank and are invested in other banks, so they would give out money in credits [it's not working of course]. For comparing - our government budget in 2008 was 6.5 billion Lats. There is NO way we can repay that till 2013, especially in situation of worldwide crisis. Plus our national debt - citizens + businesses + government debt - is by now at least 26billion Lats. And now Latvia is on a verge of bankruptcy. It will happen if not this spring, then next autumn for sure. We have [the same as in Ukraine] no real opposition in our government and our people are divided and confused by bullshit main mass media and politicians are talking.

Yet there is still some hope. I am working in small independent internet news portal (www.TautasForums.lv). We, and a union of other independent media, organizations, are trying to enlighten people about what is coming, because most of Latvians believe that some miracle is going to happen - somehow economy will be fixed and it wont be 'that bad'. But meanwhile crime and suicide rates are climbing. Budget to health care, police is cut!! GDP fell 10.5% in 2008 4th quarter. Stupidity, ignorance and blindness of general population is biggest problem here. Also we are trying to unite non-governmental organizations, independent media, university professors, students [budget to highest education was cut by ~40%] - all real opposition to government there is, . We are trying to start mass movement, to unite people. We are relatively small country and this might work. It has to.

This is why recently I have been studying very carefully Argentina, Ukraine and Iceland - for signs about what is coming. We are spreading info about what happened to Argentina in 2001. We have published info about films and links to films about Argentina - "Argentina’s Economic Collapse" and "The Take". Maybe you can suggest some more films about all that happened in Argentina? Can you please tell more [or give links to some info] about factories that were occupied by workers? Are they still in workers control? How are they doing now? What are biggest problems?

Is there some real opposition to Argentina's government? Is there any real peoples movement? If yes, how are they doing?

We are preparing series of articles about Argentina 2001 economic collapse. You certainly know and maybe you can send me link to some best articles that in general covers most important things that led to crisis and covers most important things that happened after SHTF? Your blog 'Surviving in Argentina' is great, especially 'Thoughts on Urban Survival', but it is very specific. As are all other posts, which is great for your blog, but bad for translating and republishing, because we need some more general info and it will take a lot of time to analyse and edit info. As our internet news portal is run only by our enthusiasm and it is only one of many projects that are taking place now in Latvia, we are interested in saving our time as much as we can.. So if you can send some links or some specific general info about events before and after SHTF, that would be great!

Maybe you have some detailed information about Ukraine you can share? Because there is real silence in all world about whats happening in Ukraine now, only bits and peaces of info. I have insight because of all contacts I have established recently with Ukrainians, but main mass media in Latvia are silent about it.

Well.. thats a long letter and a lot of questions..
I hope you will have time and enthusiasms to answer them!

Best wishes and thank you for your time -
Mārtiņš , Latvia


Sorry I took so long to reply.

Martin, sounds you are repeating the Argentine story. These things last for decades my friend, it wont just go away. Then again, maybe you guys to things better than us and recover quicker.

These days in my country, we still have big economic problems, crime is what worries the population the most, and the political problems seem will never end.

My advice to you would be, BE VERY careful of the leaders you pick, try to create a political opposing party. It get bad once you have an unquestioned tyrant like the K here in Arg, or Chaves in Venezuela and Evo in Bolivia. These petty dictators cause great damage to a country since it undermines democracy, and democracy takes dozens of years to rebuild.

Indepedant media is SO; SO important. When media gets censored you know things are really bad. Here, most reporters are heavily censored, even comedians laugh nervously if they say a political joke and most try to avoid the issue entirely.

People working in the media preffer not to get into trouble.

Marcelo Tinelli, local celebrity, was immediately investigated, had a tax audition right after speaking out about the huge crime problems we have.

I’d all very sinister. For more information google up “censorship in Argentina”. We’re not having people hanged, but we are in a stage right now were talking about the government gets you into trouble, and if you do so you’ll receive emails and phone calls advising you to stop.

There’s also the “Media Monitor”, a gov. institution that fights (supposedly) discrimination. The weird part is that they consider “discrimination” talking against the government too.

It s political censorship tool.

We have published info about films and links to films about Argentina - "Argentina’s Economic Collapse" and "The Take". Maybe you can suggest some more films about all that happened in Argentina? Can you please tell more [or give links to some info] about factories that were occupied by workers?

Those are good films.

My advice: Read books and documentaries by Argentine reporter called Jorge Lanata.

While a bit too liberal for my taste, he openly tells it as it is and for that he was pretty much forced out of television.

No channel wants to risk having him on the air.

http://www.jorgelanata.com/

http://www.jorgelanata.com.ar/cv/home/index.html

http://www.criticadigital.com.ar/

Are they still in workers control? How are they doing now? What are biggest problems?

Some did ok, they struggle a LOT. Mostly because of poor management, high taxes, and lack of political connections that open more windows of possibilities.

IN Argentina, with our level of corruption, you needs “friends”, if not official inspectors and high taxes makes running a factory a daily struggle for very little benefit compared to what you have invested in it.

Most of these workers, they have a lot of will to work, but as most of of know working makes little money, working a lot still makes you little money, it just increases the cut of the ones profiting from your work.

Reno-Mahely is a good example. It’s a small air rilfe-22LR firearms factory that have been around for over 50 years.

http://www.mahely-reno.com.ar/indexreno.htm

Today its run by it’s workers. Their website is a good example of their desire to progress but how the lack of possibilities keeps them down.

http://www.mahely-reno.com.ar/indexreno.htm

Is there some real opposition to Argentina's government? Is there any real peoples movement? If yes, how are they doing?

Just now are we starting to see a bit or true Opposition. And its still pretty fragile.

Surprisingly, the vice president Julio Cobos is probably the greatest honest opponent the gov. has. Their differences started when the K regime wanted to create a farmers tax that pretty much left them with 20% of their work, the rest was taken away from them with one for of tax or another.

These days more and more rats are leaving the K lines. Reason why they moved the elections forward, in an attempt to surprise the opposition and place mr K as the governor of Bs As.

People yes are protesting, mostly because of the terrible crime we suffer here. But the political machinery and media control is still to big. We saw that in the march last Wednesday. Few people went, mostly scared of incidents, and there were government goons filming those that attended.

Maybe you have some detailed information about Ukraine you can share? Because there is real silence in all world about whats happening in Ukraine now, only bits and peaces of info. I have insight because of all contacts I have established recently with Ukrainians, but main mass media in Latvia are silent about it.

Unfortunately I don’t have much information about Ukraine. Other than knowing that they are going through some hard times themselves.

Any of you guys in Ukraine, I’d love to post a letter telling how the situation is over there. If anyone has the time to write something about the situation, I’ll post it right away. I think we can all learn from it a lot.

Take care guys.

FerFAL


Friday, March 20, 2009

Sex for Food in Buenos Aires


SEX FOR FOOD

| 1

The financial crisis touches us all in different ways. Job losses, mounting personal debts and cancelled holidays are all part of the reality for the year ahead.

For Argentina's poor, the reality is even starker. Kids busking at red lights or juggling on the metro is common enough. People going through the rubbish (known as 'cartoneros') has also become a part of daily life since the country's own, private financial implosion at the end of 2001.

Statistics published recently suggested poverty figures had crept back up to the levels they were just before the last crisis: i.e. around 11.8 million people (around 32% of the population).

Numbers are easy to ignore though. Less simple to pass over is a news item that I saw in the local La Nacion newspaper today. Apparently, children as young as eight years old are prostituting themselves for food.

The case involves up to 200 children between eight and thirteen years old, who sell themselves for sex in Buenos Aires' Central Market. In exchange, their clients (other shoppers) provide them with something to eat.

Sofía Kordecki, who's responsible for child rights for the local municipality, admits that the problem is difficult to contain.

It's harder still without the cooperation of the unions operating in the market. "They won't admit the need to work with consumers [in the market]", she says.

"What's clear is that the children won't prostitute themselves if there are no clients", she adds.

http://frontlineclub.com/blogs/oliverbalch/

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Martin in Latvia

Hello!

My name is Martin and I am from Latvia.

You have been writing a great blog! I read almost half of it some weeks ago - it gave me a lot info I needed and a lot to think about.. And now I have some specific questions.

Maybe you have heard something about Latvia, but I will give very short info on whats happening here.

There are many similarities between Latvia and Argentina. We also had privatization boom in 90ties. There is also very much corruption. Also our currency - Lats is pegged to euro, the same as Peso was to dollar. In last years we also imported MUCH more than we exported. Big foreign companies invested a lot in Latvia. We have borrowed a lot too..

And now in short my country is fallowing Ukraine and its semi-failed economy very fast. We borrowed ~5 billion lats [7.5 billion euros] from IMF, EU, Sweden etc. which are being used to save our one nationalized bank and are invested in other banks, so they would give out money in credits [it's not working of course]. For comparing - our government budget in 2008 was 6.5 billion Lats. There is NO way we can repay that till 2013, especially in situation of worldwide crisis. Plus our national debt - citizens + businesses + government debt - is by now at least 26billion Lats. And now Latvia is on a verge of bankruptcy. It will happen if not this spring, then next autumn for sure. We have [the same as in Ukraine] no real opposition in our government and our people are divided and confused by bullshit main mass media and politicians are talking.

Yet there is still some hope. I am working in small independent internet news portal (www.TautasForums.lv). We, and a union of other independent media, organizations, are trying to enlighten people about what is coming, because most of Latvians believe that some miracle is going to happen - somehow economy will be fixed and it wont be 'that bad'. But meanwhile crime and suicide rates are climbing. Budget to health care, police is cut!! GDP fell 10.5% in 2008 4th quarter. Stupidity, ignorance and blindness of general population is biggest problem here. Also we are trying to unite non-governmental organizations, independent media, university professors, students [budget to highest education was cut by ~40%] - all real opposition to government there is, . We are trying to start mass movement, to unite people. We are relatively small country and this might work. It has to.

This is why recently I have been studying very carefully Argentina, Ukraine and Iceland - for signs about what is coming. We are spreading info about what happened to Argentina in 2001. We have published info about films and links to films about Argentina - "Argentina’s Economic Collapse" and "The Take". Maybe you can suggest some more films about all that happened in Argentina? Can you please tell more [or give links to some info] about factories that were occupied by workers? Are they still in workers control? How are they doing now? What are biggest problems?

Is there some real opposition to Argentina's government? Is there any real peoples movement? If yes, how are they doing?

We are preparing series of articles about Argentina 2001 economic collapse. You certainly know and maybe you can send me link to some best articles that in general covers most important things that led to crisis and covers most important things that happened after SHTF? Your blog 'Surviving in Argentina' is great, especially 'Thoughts on Urban Survival', but it is very specific. As are all other posts, which is great for your blog, but bad for translating and republishing, because we need some more general info and it will take a lot of time to analyse and edit info. As our internet news portal is run only by our enthusiasm and it is only one of many projects that are taking place now in Latvia, we are interested in saving our time as much as we can.. So if you can send some links or some specific general info about events before and after SHTF, that would be great!

Maybe you have some detailed information about Ukraine you can share? Because there is real silence in all world about whats happening in Ukraine now, only bits and peaces of info. I have insight because of all contacts I have established recently with Ukrainians, but main mass media in Latvia are silent about it.

Well.. thats a long letter and a lot of questions..
I hope you will have time and enthusiasms to answer them!

Best wishes and thank you for your time -
Mārtiņš , Latvia



Hi Martin,
I get a lot of traffic from you guys in Latvia and also Ukraine.
What are you crazy guys up to over there? :)

I'll do a bit of reserach and get back to you with the answers, ok?
Got to go now, I'll be checking the protest for more security, in Plaza de Mayo and run a few errands.
Take care

FerFAL

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Armored Car

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1109188

This is the way you end up living here guys.
Those that can afford it, sure do get an armored vehicle.

Carolina Baldini, model and ex wife of soccer player Diego Simenone, suffered a robbery attempt 3 days ago and was saved by her armored SUV.

The article is in Spanish but I’ll somewhat translate the important stuff.
Apparently she had just exited a mall when a van in front of her stopped. Apparently she had been keeping a prudent distance, the van was like half a block away.
She hit the brakes when she saw that the van wasn’t moving and all of a sudden 3 men with guns got out of the vehicle and rushed towards her.
She said she froze out of surprise as they tried to smash the windows.
The bulletproof glass saved her.
She reacted when one pointed a gun at her through the window.
She went up to the sidewalk to avoid the blocking vehicle and got out of there.
She’s seriously considering moving out of the country.

FerFAL

Protest tomorrow in Plaza de Mayo

If you are "Argentino", be there!

Unless crime is sometihng you approve, you have to go. There wont be any political flags, just fed up people demanding a solution to the rampant crime and violence.

80.000 already signed up through facebook. The K regime is trying to keep things in the dark but people will go.
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1109287

FerFAL

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just say NO!

To Ooo's attack to Freedom in USA


FerFAL

Gauchos and Knife Fighting


Anonymous said...

FerFal:

Do many or any gauchos go armed with firearms now or in the past? If so Pistols?

Thank you, Lame Wolf


Gauchos and knives....
Gauchos are giving me a lot of work.:)
I’m using some of their knife fighting experience for the knife fighting section of my book.
I found some great information on a 1942 manual, that was recently reprinted here.
Gauchos as they once were known are pretty much gone. There’s no more Pampa roaming gauchos killing wild game and living off the land.
Most of them today are “peones de campo” , field workers working with cattle and horses.
Still, there’s enough of their gaucho traditions left very much alive, traveling trough the country I’ve met several and they are very interesting people. It’s better not to piss them off though.:)

Gauchos rarely used firearms. They preferred knives for several reasons:

1) Guns were expensive and hard to get in those latitudes. So was ammo. Keep in mind that gauchos had been around for a long time and guns in those days weren’t very popular.

2) Gauchos mostly fought for honor and (usually) preferred to stop at first blood. Killing someone on a fight occurred often given the brutal fights, but it was mostly considered a dishonorable thing, and the gaucho that killed his opponent would be mostly considered a pitiful person that had “disgraced” himself.
Using a gun instead was considered dishonorable and something weaklings used. Shooting a man armed with a knife was the most coward act, and would label you as yellow for the rest of your life.
When someone challenged you to a fair fight, you were expected to fight with a knife.

3) Knives are still VERY effective weapons. This is sometimes forgotten due to the popularity of firearms today. There’s more than enough documentation of people using guns ( mostly soldiers or police) against gauchos and ending up dead. Most of the encounters occurred in “pulperias” a kind of outpost/bar where gauchos got together to drink, gamble and trade.
In those tight quarters and against an experienced knife fighter with a foot, foot and a half long blade ( minimum length for a facon knife) gun or no gun you were pretty much dead unless you were quick and smart to get out of there, or keep the gaucho and his deadly knife at bay with tables or chairs.
Charles Darwin was fascinated and horrified at the same time when visiting Argentina, by the brutal yet honorable customs people had here. He mentioned how common scars to the face were, due to this tendency to fight.


Juan Moreira was probably one of the last, most famous and fiercest fighting gauchos, making the like of Jim Bowie pale in comparison.
I mean, he would usually fight and win, against several soldiers. Even when he was finally killed, he seriously wounded or killed most of them.
Even the man that finally killed him with a bayonet thrust to the back, (Sargent Chirino) lost four fingers and an eye.(Moreira shot him in hte face)

He had been hiding in the shadows waiting to strike while Moreira fought other soldiers.
Moreira used some neat weapons. Since he was constantly chased by soldiers and police, he also carried two big bore single shot pistols with him all the time.
Though he always carried at least two handguns on him, Moreira’s main weapon and the one he killed the most with was his formidable Facon knife, with a 2 FOOT blade.

Moreira’s facon (left) and his skull.
Notice the big "U" shaped crosspiece. This was specially requested by Moreira.
He used it to pary and stop knife, bayonet and saber attacks.
Moreira's steel was of such fine quality, the night he was killed he broke a soldier's saber with it when blocking a chopping attack.

Juan Moreira.

Of the 16 kills he has accounted, he used his knife in 9 of them.
This of course doesn’t include the frequent knife duels Moreira fought, and where the opponent was “marked” but not killed.
His facon, horse and dog were the only things he really trusted in life, according to his own words. He slept under the stars trusting his dog as a guard and never unsaddling so as to escape quick.
This was one of the last gauchos of old. He died in 1874.

Edited to add: Thought I should mention this; when using pistols, Moreira was very fonnd of shooting to the face.

FerFAL

Here’s some of Darwin’s stories:
http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/slatta/hi216/documents/darwin.htm
Darwin on Gauchos:

Ranch Life and Pampa's Etiquette
At night we came to the house of Don Juan Fuentes, a rich landed proprietor, but not personally known to either of my companions. On approaching the house of a stranger, it is usual to follow several little points of etiquette: riding up slowly to the door, the salutation of Ave Maria is given, and until somebody comes out and asks you to alight, it is not customary even to get off your horse: the formal answer of the owner is, "sin pecado concebida" -- that is, conceived without sin. Having entered the house, some general conversation is kept up for a few minutes, till permission is asked to pass the night there. This is granted as a matter of course. The stranger then takes his meals with the family, and a room is assigned him, where with the horsecloths belonging to his recado (or saddle of the Pampas) he makes his bed. It is curious how similar circumstances produce such similar results in manners. At the Cape of Good Hope the same hospitality, and very nearly the same points of etiquette, are universally observed.

Shortly after our arrival at Don Juan's, one of the largest herds of cattle was driven in towards the house, and three beasts were picked out to be slaughtered for the supply of the establishment. These half-wild cattle are very active; and knowing full well the fatal lazo, they led the horses a long and laborious chase. After witnessing the rude wealth displayed in the number of cattle, men, and horses, Don Juan's miserable house was quite curious. The floor consisted of hardened mud, and the windows were without glass; the sitting-room boasted only of a few of the roughest chairs and stools, with a couple of tables. The supper, although several strangers were present, consisted of two huge piles, one of roast beef, the other of boiled, with some pieces of pumpkin: besides this latter there was no other vegetable, and not even a morsel of bread. For drinking, a large earthenware jug of water served the whole party. Yet this man was the owner of several square miles of land, of which nearly every acre would produce corn, and, with a little trouble, all the common vegetables. The evening was spent in smoking, with a little impromptu singing, accompanied by the guitar. The signoritas all sat together in one corner of the room, and did not sup with the men.

The Gauchos, or countryrmen, are very superior to those who reside in the towns. The Gaucho is invariably most obliging, polite, and hospitable: I did not meet with even one instance of rudeness or inhospitality. He is modest, both respecting himself and country, but at the same time a spirited, bold fellow. On the other hand, many robberies are committed, and there is much bloodshed: the habit of constantly wearing the knife is the chief cause of the latter. It is lamentable to hear how many lives are lost in trifling quarrels. In fighting, each party tries to mark the face of his adversary by slashing his nose or eyes; as is often attested by deep and horrid-looking scars. Robberies are a natural consequence of universal gambling, much drinking, and extreme indolence. At Mercedes I asked two men why they did not work. One gravely said the days were too long; the other that he was too poor. The number of horses and the profusion of food are the destruction of all industry. Moreover, there are so many feast-days; and again, nothing can succeed without it be begun when the moon is on the increase; so that half the month is lost from these two causes.
Lasso and Bolas:
So many works have been written about these countries, that it is almost superfluous to describe either the lazo or the bolas. The lazo consists of a very strong, but thin, well-plaited rope, made of raw hide. One end is attached to the broad surcingle, which fastens together the complicated gear of the recado, or saddle used in the Pampas; the other is terminated by a small ring of iron or brass, by which a noose can be formed. The Gaucho, when he is going to use the lazo, keeps a small coil in his bridle-hand, and in the other holds the running noose which is made very large, generally having a diameter of about eight feet. This he whirls round his head, and by the dexterous movement of his wrist keeps the noose open; then, throwing it, he causes it to fall on any particular spot he chooses. The lazo, when not used, is tied up in a small coil to the after part of the recado. The bolas, or balls, are of two kinds: the simplest, which is chiefly used for catching ostriches, consists of two round stones, covered with leather, and united by a thin plaited thong, about eight feet long. The other kind differs only in having three balls united by the thongs to a common centre. The Gaucho holds the smallest of the three in his hand, and whirls the other two round and round his head; then, taking aim, sends them like chain shot revolving through the air. The balls no sooner strike any object, than, winding round it, they cross each other, and become firmly hitched. The size and weight of the balls vary, according to the purpose for which they are made: when of stone, although not larger than an apple, they are sent with such force as sometimes to break the leg even of a horse. I have seen the balls made of wood, and as large as a turnip, for the sake of catching these animals without injuring them. The balls are sometimes made of iron, and these can be hurled to the greatest distance. The main difficulty in using either lazo or bolas is to ride so well as to be able at full speed, and while suddenly turning about, to whirl them so steadily round the head, as to take aim: on foot any person would soon learn the art. One day, as I was amusing myself by galloping and whirling the balls round my head, by accident the free one struck a bush, and its revolving motion being thus destroyed, it immediately fell to the ground, and, like magic, caught one hind leg of my horse; the other ball was then jerked out of my hand, and the horse fairly secured. Luckily he was an old practised animal, and knew what it meant; otherwise he would probably have kicked till he had thrown himself down. The Gauchos roared with laughter; they cried out that they had seen every sort of animal caught, but had never before seen a man caught by himself.

About two leagues beyond this curious tree we halted for the night: at this instant an unfortunate cow was spied by the lynx-eyed Gauchos, who set off in full chase, and in a few minutes dragged her in with their lazos, and slaughtered her. We here had the four necessaries of life "en el campo," -- pasture for the horses, water (only a muddy puddle), meat and firewood. The Gauchos were in high spirits at finding all these luxuries; and we soon set to work at the poor cow. This was the first night which I passed under the open sky, with the gear of the recado for my bed. There is high enjoyment in the independence of the Gaucho life -- to be able at any moment to pull up your horse, and say, "Here we will pass the night." The death-like stillness of the plain, the dogs keeping watch, the gipsy-group of Gauchos making their beds round the fire, have left in my mind a strongly-marked picture of this first night, which will never be forgotten.
General [Juan Manuel de] Rosas
is also a perfect horseman -- an accomplishment of no small consequence In a country where an assembled army elected its general by the following trial: A troop of unbroken horses being driven into a corral, were let out through a gateway, above which was a cross-bar: it was agreed whoever should drop from the bar on one of these wild animals, as it rushed out, and should be able, without saddle or bridle, not only to ride it, but also to bring it back to the door of the corral, should be their general. The person who succeeded was accordingly elected; and doubtless made a fit general for such an army. This extraordinary feat has also been performed by Rosas. By these means, and by conforming to the dress and habits of the Gauchos, he has obtained an unbounded popularity in the country, and in consequence a despotic power. I was assured by an English merchant, that a man who had murdered another, when arrested and questioned concerning his motive, answered, "He spoke disrespectfully of General Rosas, so I killed him." At the end of a week the murderer was at liberty. This doubtless was the act of the general's party, and not of the general himself.
Gaucho Ranch Skills
The great corral, where the animals are kept for slaughter to supply food to this beef-eating population, is one of the spectacles best worth seeing. The strength of the horse as compared to that of the bullock is quite astonishing: a man on horseback having thrown his lazo round the horns of a beast, can drag it anywhere he chooses. The animal ploughing up the ground with outstretched legs, in vain efforts to resist the force, generally dashes at full speed to one side; but the horse immediately turning to receive the shock, stands so firmly that the bullock is almost thrown down, and it is surprising that their necks are not broken. The struggle is not, however, one of fair strength; the horse's girth being matched against the bullock's extended neck. In a similar manner a man can hold the wildest horse, if caught with the lazo, just behind the ears. When the bullock has been dragged to the spot where it is to be slaughtered, the matador with great caution cuts the hamstrings. Then is given the death bellow; a noise more expressive of fierce agony than any I know. I have often distinguished it from a long distance, and have always known that the struggle was then drawing to a close. The whole sight is horrible and revolting: the ground is almost made of bones; and the horses and riders are drenched with gore.

In the course of the day I was amused by the dexterity with which a Gaucho forced a restive horse to swim a river. He stripped off his clothes, and jumping on its back, rode into the water till it was out of its depth; then slipping off over the crupper, he caught hold of the tail, and as often as the horse turned round the man frightened it back by splashing water in its face. As soon as the horse touched the bottom on the other side, the man pulled himself on, and was firmly seated, bridle in hand, before the horse gained the bank. A naked man on a naked horse is a fine spectacle; I had no idea how well the two animals suited each other. The tail of a horse is a very useful appendage; I have passed a river in a boat with four people in it, which was ferried across in the same way as the Gaucho. If a man and horse have to cross a broad river, the best plan is for the man to catch hold of the pommel or mane, and help himself with the other arm.
Treatment of Horses:
One evening a "domidor" (a subduer of horses) came for the purpose of breaking-in some colts. I will describe the preparatory steps, for I believe they have not been mentioned by other travellers. A troop of wild young horses is driven into the corral, or large enclosure of stakes, and the door is shut. We will suppose that one man alone has to catch and mount a horse, which as yet had never felt bridle or saddle. I conceive, except by a Gaucho, such a feat would be utterly impracticable. The Gaucho picks out a full-grown colt; and as the beast rushes round the circus he throws his lazo so as to catch both the front legs. Instantly the horse rolls over with a heavy shock, and whilst struggling on the ground, the Gaucho, holding the lazo tight, makes a circle, so as to catch one of the hind legs just beneath the fetlock, and draws it close to the two front legs: he then hitches the lazo, so that the three are bound together. Then sitting on the horse's neck, he fixes a strong bridle, without a bit, to the lower jaw: this he does by passing a narrow thong through the eye-holes at the end of the reins, and several times round both jaw and tongue. The two front legs are now tied closely together with a strong leathern thong, fastened by a slip-knot. The lazo, which bound the three together, being then loosed, the horse rises with difficulty. The Gaucho now holding fast the bridle fixed to the lower jaw, leads the horse outside the corral. If a second man is present (otherwise the trouble is much greater) he holds the animal's head, whilst the first puts on the horsecloths and saddle, and girths the whole together. During this operation, the horse, from dread and astonishment at thus being bound round the waist, throws himself over and over again on the ground, and, till beaten, is unwilling to rise. At last, when the saddling is finished, the poor animal can hardly breathe from fear, and is white with foam and sweat. The man now prepares to mount by pressing heavily on the stirrup, so that the horse may not lose its balance; and at the moment that he throws his leg over the animal's back, he pulls the slip-knot binding the front legs, and the beast is free. Some "domidors" pull the knot while the animal is lying on the ground, and, standing over the saddle, allow him to rise beneath them. The horse, wild with dread, gives a few most violent bounds, and then starts off at full gallop: when quite exhausted, the man, by patience, brings him back to the corral, where, reeking hot and scarcely alive, the poor beast is let free. Those animals which will not gallop away, but obstinately throw themselves on the ground, are by far the most troublesome. This process is tremendously severe, but in two or three trials the horse is tamed. It is not, however, for some weeks that the animal is ridden with the iron bit and solid ring, for it must learn to associate the will of its rider with the feel of the rein, before the most powerful bridle can be of any service.

Animals are so abundant in these countries, that humanity and self-interest are not closely united; therefore I fear it is that the former is here scarcely known. One day, riding in the Pampas with a very respectable "estanciero," my horse, being tired, lagged behind. The man often shouted to me to spur him. When I remonstrated that it was a pity, for the horse was quite exhausted, he cried out, "Why not? -- never mind -- spur him -- it is my horse." I had then some difficulty in making him comprehend that it was for the horse's sake, and not on his account, that I did not choose to use my spurs. He
exclaimed, with a look of great surprise, "Ah, Don Carlos, que cosa!" It was clear that such an idea had never before entered his head.
Horsemanship, Work:
The Gauchos are well known to be perfect riders The idea of being thrown, let the horse do what it likes; never enters their head. Their criterion of a good rider is, a man who can manage an untamed colt, or who, if his horse falls, alights on his own feet, or can perform other such exploits. I have heard of a man betting that he would throw his horse down twenty times, and that nineteen times he would not fall himself. I recollect seeing a Gaucho riding a very stubborn horse, which three times successively reared so high as to fall backwards with great violence. The man judged with uncommon coolness the proper moment for slipping off, not an instant before or after the right time; and as soon as the horse got up, the man jumped on his back, and at last they started at a gallop. The Gaucho never appears to exert any muscular force. I was one day watching a good rider, as we were galloping along at a rapid pace, and thought to myself, "Surely if the horse starts, you appear so careless on your seat, you must fall." At this moment, a male ostrich sprang from its nest right beneath the horse's nose: the young colt bounded on one side like a stag; but as for the man, all that could be said was, that he started and took fright with his horse.

An old bull crossed a boggy stream, and took his stand on the opposite side to us; we in vain tried to drive him away, and failing, were obliged to make a large circuit. The Gauchos in revenge determined to emasculate him and render him for the future harmless. It was very interesting to see how art completely mastered force. One lazo was thrown over his horns as he rushed at the horse, and another round his hind legs: in a minute the monster was stretched powerless on the ground. After the lazo has once been drawn tightly round the horns of a furious animal, it does not at first appear an easy thing to disengage it again without killing the beast: nor, I apprehend, would it be so if the man was by himself. By the aid, however, of a second person throwing his lazo so as to catch both hind legs, it is quickly managed: for the animal, as long as its hind legs are kept outstretched, is quite helpless, and the first man can with his hands loosen his lazo from the horns, and then quietly mount his horse; but the moment the second man, by backing ever so little, relaxes the strain, the lazo slips off the legs of the struggling beast, which then rises free, shakes himself, and vainly rushes at his antagonist.
Gaucho Dinner:
Later in the evening we came across a small herd. One of my companions, St. Jago by name, soon separated a fat cow; he threw the bolas, and it struck her legs, but failed in becoming entangled. Then dropping his hat to mark the spot where the balls were left, while at full gallop, he uncoiled his lazo, and after a most severe chase, again came up to the cow, and caught her round the horns. The other Gaucho had gone on ahead with the spare horses, so that St. Jago had some difficulty in killing the furious beast. He managed to get her on a level piece of ground, by taking advantage of her as often as she rushed at him; and when she would not move, my horse, from having been trained, would canter up, and with his chest give her a violent push. But when on level ground it does not appear an easy job for one man to kill a beast mad with terror. Nor would it be so, if the horse, when left to itself without its rider, did not soon learn, for its own safety, to keep the lazo tight; so that, if the cow or ox moves forward, the horse moves just as quickly forward; otherwise, it stands motionless leaning on one side. This horse, however, was a young one, and would not stand still, but gave in to the cow as she struggled. It was admirable to see with what dexterity St. Jago dodged behind the beast, till at last he contrived to give the fatal touch to the main tendon of the hind leg after which, without much difficulty, he drove his knife into the head of the spinal marrow, and the cow dropped as if struck by lightning. He cut off pieces of flesh with the skin to it, but without any bones, sufficient for our expedition. We then rode on to our sleeping-place, and had for supper "carne con cuero," or meat roasted with the skin on it. This is as superior to common beef as venison is to mutton. A large circular piece taken from the back is roasted on the embers with the hide downwards and in the form of a saucer, so that none of the gravy is lost.



http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/slatta/hi216/documents/darwin.htm

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reloading


Hey Ferfal,
Perhaps you have addressed ammunition reloading, but if so, I missed it.
I have been reloading for decades and have now pretty well taken myself out of the ammunition supply chain. (thanks to a very adequate supply of components) I also cast my own bullets for all CF guns we own, this and a few hundred pounds of wheel weights allows me to be in control of what and how many bullets I may want/need.
I presently have two Dillons, a Mec JR (for shotshells) etc.
Here is my reloading setup, the Dillon presses (blue) produce a ready to fire loaded cartridge with each stroke of the handle. The old Lyman #45 lubricator/sizer (orange at left) is about 50 years old and after running through untold thousands of bullets, still works as good the day I bought it new. (plastic shoe boxes and coffee cans are my friends)


Here are some of my molds
If you are not familiar with bullet casting, this is the best site for such on the Web. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php Many people are unaware as to using cast bullets in modern high velocity rifle cartridges with the accuracy and velocity that can be achieved.
Not being nit picky, believe me, I am terrible with typos, but in "SURVIVAL FIREARMS" photo, you have listed the Model 23 at top and .22 Thunder at bottom. The Wife has both the Model 23 and Model 85 as her personal sidearms.

Roland
, Arizona-USA


Roland, thanks for your email.

That's a nice setup right there.

No, I haven’t addressed reloading.

I did look into it here and prices are prohibitive. Gun powder is also very difficult to come by these days.

But there’s people here that depend a lot on reloading and it as clear that the activity grew a lot since the crisis.

The reason why I didn’t get into it is that the basic set up cost here is several times what you guys have to pay up there.

Molding your own bullets is something a lot of people do here as well. Even for their FALs.

What they do is use relatively hard lead and well rounded projectiles, the less “pointy” the better, so as to avoid feeding problems in the semi auto action.

Sorry about the “Bersa” mistake. :)

How does your wife like her Bersa?

They are very noble little guns, very popular here.

FerFAL