Saturday, February 28, 2009

Evasive Driving

Don Williams said...

3) Re automobile evasive manuevers, have you heard of the executive protection driving techniques to avoid ambushes?

Ex: Moonshine turn -- one slows to 30 mph, pulls the emergency brake, and then turns wheel strongly to throw the rear of the car around so that one is facing in the opposite direction and driving away from an ambush.

Or the J-turn -- in which you stop, accelerate strongly to the rear until you are at 20 MPH, then cut the wheel sharply to throw the front of the car around so one is facing back in the direction from which one came and can accelerate away from the ambush.

One thing not commonly mentioned is that you need to make sure your tires are fully inflated. Else, the tires may come off the wheels if you do one of the above manuvers.

In which case, the robbers will mock you cruelly with scorn and derisive laughter.

I’ve heard of them, read about them, practiced them until I learned them well and have used them many times to get out of trouble.

I drive manual and the car is relatively light and has enough weight in the trunk thanks to the natural compressed tank in there ( dual fuel car ) so speeding up a bit, pulling the emergency brake and doing a 180 isn’t that hard one you learn to do it.

In my experience, it’s important to learn how to drive well backwards too, so that you can do it fast and still avoid hitting people or obstacles.

Most of the time that’s what I do: I see trouble or something suspicious, put reverse, and take some other route.

Maybe the most important thing: React fast. There’s times when waiting a couple more seconds makes all the difference.
You see the opening and you just speed away. If you doubt you get caught.

I don’t know how you train yourself mentally to react this way but you should.

Road blocks these days are far less common, thought there still are protestors burning tires and making a nice mess every now and then.

Again, you have to react fast, DON’T stop, and keep on moving.

It’s not for the weak of heart to push through protesters with your car, but getting out of the vehicle isn’t a good idea either. The mass, taking advantage of the anonymity, can be very brutal.

You have to be careful and PUSH them with your car, careful not to speed up because you’ll run over someone and you don’t want that.

Of course after doing this for a while your car starts looking pretty bad, mine is full of bumps and nicks, it’s been hit with fists and sticks by roadblockers a number of times and I haven’t repaired it.

A maneuver not very common but rather useful is drawing quick “s” with the car.
This kind of scares other drivers and people and they instinctively move away a bit, maybe giving you the opening you just need to slip away.

I want to take an evasive driving class, but the couple ones I saw are just too expensive.


Open thread

This was Don’s idea guys.
Just ask anything you wish, or talk about things you’d like to debate.
If it’s something I can help with I’ll do my best.

Sometimes time is a bit limited so I miss some questions in the comments, sorry about that.

As for me, it’s Saturday night and crisis or not life is good.

My little boys are doing just fine, I’ve been working on my book quite a bit, and I downloaded a movie to watch tonight with my pretty wife. Maybe I’ll make some brownies.

By the way, these are Tommy and Dante.
(They are reading the Wallstreet Journal and Dante is saying “What the %$*&!!”)

If interesting things come up, we’ll do this more often.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Fighting for your freedom.

This is regarding the latest news on the AW ban.

Guys, just some advice regarding peaceful resistance. ( you have to do that as long as it’s an alternative)

Organize. You are still in f&%%! America, organize gun owners and get them to HIT THE STREETS.

What made our president resign was the huge mass of people, ordinary Joes and Janes peaceful banging pots.

It takes minutes for cameras to arrive if there’s enough people. And once that cameras start showing up you people can speak to the world.

What happened in our case was that people were fed up and the message was pretty simple “Leave, all of them!” , the famous “Que se vayan todos”.

I can’t begin to explain the kind of noise that an entire city banging pots and honking horns makes.
It’s not even like a rock concert. Its more like a colossal beast roaring, ok?
And if it’s directed against you ( our president) I can’t imagine how it can feel. I suppose at the very least it makes you wet your pants.

That was then but we also had a similar protest not long ago, when they tried to mess with the farmers and hit them with a 44% tax.

This time the protest wasn’t “everyone leave”. But “No, we want the president to stay because we want a democracy, but we want to make it clear that we do not approve this”.

And the vice president ended up voting AGAINST the president, because he understood the consequences of not listening to the people.

How do you do it

You need to make yourself heard.
When people are mad and outraged enough they are more willing to go to the state capital building and make themselves heard.

The way they didn’t here was start email chains letting everyone know when and where the protest would take place. ( No, don’t send Federales to gun me down, I didn’t start the ones in Argentina. I just received them and forwarded them like millions of others did)
Also, people would use cell text messages.

These messages where started by just anyone, people just kept forwarding them to their contacts. In a matter of hours the entire country knew what was going on, either through mail or cell text message.

What should be included in the message:

1) Hour of the protest, mostly 6 or 7 PM is ok, so people can go there after work, and if things go well and the media shows up, it shows in the 8 PM news report.

2) The message you want to give:

Do you want to weaken O’s government? NO!
Read that again NO!
He’s an elected president of the USA and you want him to be as solid as possible, if the guy is forced to resign, even if the people can achieve that, the government as an institution will suffer in ways it will take, AT LEAST, 100 years to get back on its feet. That’s the truth guys. Fantasy aside, such institutional damage mortally wounds a country. We’ve seen it here, it happened in other places as well.

What’s the message you want to put out there.
“We supports the POTUS, but he’s NOT above the bill of right and we will not tolerate attempts to tamper with it”
Doesn’t matter if you voted for the guy or not, he has to fulfill his mandate and you’ll have the opportunity to correct that during the next elections.
So, the peaceful message is “ We’re not against O, but we will not surrender our weapons”.
What we did here and worked VERY well, was to not allow any other sign or publicity to get related to the protest.
Even the NRA or any other organization, there must not be any organization of any kind related to the protest. There’s a time and place for those as well, but the united citizens backing up the constitution is greater and more powerful than any of that.

It’s a people’s protest.

And that’s what makes it sacred, because you do not mess with the average worker and middle class guy. He has a legitimacy that is unrivaled by any organization of any kind.
They can burn the NRA, they can burn liberals, democrats republicans or any other organization of any kind, but they can’t say “This is a scheme by the American population”, “ A plot by the average Joe six Pack”. The only flag allowed to fly should be the USA one. A few candles lit, signing the "The Star-Spangled Banner". It should be a patriotic protest, not political.

So, when these protest take places, the only signs or flags allowed to be displayed ( other than the American flag) should be the kind that say “don’t thread on me”, “No to the free man’s rifle ban”, and such .

Here when the 2001 protest took place, when some guy from some political party or organization of any kind wanted to raise some sign or flag, people around him/her quickly told them that they did not want that, and forced him to remove it and put it down. That they were not there supporting any organization just making the “people’s” voice heard.

Later yes, NRA rallys or RTKABA, join them and participate, but as soon as a flag of any kind is displayed, it quickly looses the popular sincerity.

3) These are peaceful protests. Do not fall for instigations to violence.
Sometimes here cops or the government would send someone undercover to start making a mess, start a fight, an looting, that way the protest looses legitimacy and it looks as if its just a bunch of thugs looking fro trouble. Don’t allow that.

4) There also a bit of marketing involved. The important thing is people showing up on the streets, but people can bang pots from home too, every bit helps.
People have to understand that whatever they do, it helps.
Also try to have people organizing in various states and counties, so that the guy can just go out, walk to down town, and at least find a dozen other guys protesting as well. They can meet before 8 PM, sing the national anthem for example, and exactly at 8 PM start banging pots in sign of protest.
Maybe a guy got the email too but stayed home, but just because he hears those couple dozen guys making noise he decides to make noise and protest from his home as well. That creates a “wave”, that spreads.

Guys, you have enough gun owners in USA, this IS possible to do.

Just a few pointers. But people, organize, and make yourselves heard, even daring to mention a so called AW ban is extremely bad. It’s a sing of totalitarian and believing he has enough power to pull that through. Not a good sign, or good attitude.

I think these struggles are the core of survivlism, since it involves preventing tyranny from sprouting and some of the most sacred freedoms and values.

I’m posting this around. Mods, erase if not appropriate and sorry for the inconvenience.

Take care everyone.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

People, I can't begin to explain how serious this is

Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

Attorney General Says White House Also Looking at Ban on 'Cop-Killer' Bullets


WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2009—

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.
"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.
Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S.
A State Department travel warning issued Feb. 20, 2009, reflected government concerns about the violence.
"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico, but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez."
At the news conference today, Holder described his discussions with his Mexican counterpart about the recent spike in violence.
"I met yesterday with Attorney General Medina Mora of Mexico, and we discussed the unprecedented levels of violence his country is facing because of their enforcement efforts," he said.
Holder declined to offer any time frame for the reimplementation of the assault weapons ban, however.
"It's something, as I said, that the president talked about during the campaign," he said. "There are obviously a number of things that are -- that have been taking up a substantial amount of his time, and so, I'm not sure exactly what the sequencing will be."

In a brief interview with ABC News, Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said, "I think there are a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill cringing at Eric Holder's comments right now."
During his confirmation hearing, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee about other gun control measures the Obama administration may consider.
"I think closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent, would be something that would be permitted under Heller," Holder said, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Washington, D.C. v. Heller, which asserted the Second Amendment as an individual's right to own a weapon.
The Assault Weapons Ban signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 banned 19 types of semi-automatic military-style guns and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds.
"A semi-automatic is a quintessential self-defense firearm owned by American citizens in this country," LaPierre said. "I think it is clearly covered under Heller and it's clearly, I think, protected by the Constitution."

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

Comments here:


This is the classic tyranny worksheet. Rise to power, promote an imagine of “divinity” and aura of greater power ( at least in the unthinking mass mentality), arising like an all knowing savior, get unquestionable loyalty.

And finally take the weapons away from the people.
Now they are no longer citizens, they are slaves.

Those are not “assault weapons”, my friends, not when they are used by law abiding citizens to protect their families and themselves.
“Freedom weapons” is a much more fitting name, since only free people are allowed to own them.
Do not give up your rights!

Stop reading this and write right now to your legislator and representatives.
Write to the white house as well.

Let them all know that you will not accept this in any shape or form!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reply: Relocating to Argentina

Blogger CapnRick said...

HI. My name is Rick. I am a retired government officer and live with my wife in an apartment in the La Perla district of Mar del Plata. If a US family wants to relocate to Argentina, you will truly love it as I do... provided you have an income from outside the country and are fluent in Spanish. Running a business here is not for the faint of heart... hard work alone won't get it. The biggest problem in my opinion is that the court system doesn't work. Period. I love the country, but it will never be a reasonable place to run a business until the courts quit acting like the mafia and act more like courts. Laws only apply to those without influence here. Rich kids cause accidents, driving Daddy's Land Rover like idiots while coked out of their heads, kill innocent people and get by without even a hand slap... it happens.

I love this country, but I live off my retirement, the occasional consulting gig, and the revenue from a few websites. All the revenue goes to my US bank account. My daughter goes to the bank once a month to wire us money from the account. Same for my wife who has some rental property income in the US, plus her teacher's salary in MarDel.

I have spoken Spanish since childhood, growing up near the Texas/Mexican border. My wife speaks no English, nor does anyone I know here.

Everything FerFal says about the security situation here is true, from my personal experience. If you are not extremely ready to confront an attacker here with deadly force, you would probably do a lousy job of protecting your family. The thugs here HATE anyone who has more than they, and have nothing but contempt for anyone who has less. If you like to fight 4 - 5 armed guys at a time, come on down, and... as Ferfal says, bring your camera.

I do security training for the armed forces of various countries, and have developed a 30-page report on issues for Traveler's Security. If FerFal gives permission, I will be pleased to email anyone who requests a copy. My email is rick_davis7@hotmail.com and can be reached on Skype as CapnRick. In it you will find that FerFal makes a lot of the same recommendations as I do, from a slightly different perspective. His view is really spot on for Argentina, whereas as my reports were developed from over 30+ years traveling the globe, mainly Latin America. Please feel free to reproduce, quote or forward the report as you see fit with no restriction or obligation.

We all need to help one another. I have been helped in many ways down through the years.

FerFal, I am a big fan. Feel free to edit this in any way. Please feel free to call me in MarDel via Skype or email me and I will email my Traveler Security report so you can look it over. I actually added some stuff your reports reminded me of that I had forgotten... so, I guess it's your report, too. Suerte to you and yours.

ps: your picture of the brave Dogo looks exactly like my white pit-bull/boxer mix... a 40 kilo female named Mafi, except her ears were not cropped. She is an EXCELLENT security dog. As you said... impervious to pain and as deadly as a shotgun. Only Dogo fans recognize that she is NOT one.

February 25, 2009 5:27 PM

Hey Rick, nice to hear from you.
Man, I wanted to spend some days in Mar Del Plata this summer but I couldn’t.
I used to go there a lot when I was a kid, my grandparents had a house in barrio Constitucion.
Wish I could have gone to the beach at least a couple days.:)

I’m sure once the tourist months are over all the bad guys will come back to Bs As to their normal schedule and leave you guys alone:)

Take care.


Reply: More on the Dogo Argentino

Anonymous said...


I want to say that I greatly appreciate everything that you've written and the knowledge that you've shared. I've read your blog from start to current times. As a "prepper" here in the US, you've helped me gain practical knowledge of what really happens when SHTF and you have to go on with life.

A question for you: I've been looking to get a dog for some time, and because of your posts I became very interested in the Dogo Argentino. After a ton of research, I've since found a breeder and will be a proud owner of a Dogo pup in a couple of months. After talking with my better half about a proper name, I've decided to ask you what a good, respectable Argentinian name for him would be. Any ideas?

Thanks again for sharing all of your experience with us, especially given the current situation around the world.

Thanks:) You'll love your Dogo. Please let us know how yuo like it as soon as you get it, ok?

Tango or Pampa sound fitting.:)

One famous Dogo name I remember from the Nores family is Furia de la Cocha.

La Cocha is the original kennel of Dr. Nores, the creator of the Dogo.
They are the children and grandchildren of the creator of the Dogo Argentino, and are very passionate about them.

They warn the visitor right in the home page that they don’t sell Dogos for pets or show. They sell them to people that will treat them as a functional/working creature.

I haven’t checked it again, but they where famous for an open challenge they had to anyone that questioned their dogs. They Dogos against any other dog of proven pedigree. One on one. I don’t think they had a lot of challengers. :)

Anyway, here’s the website
(there’s an english version)
And here’s a few names you might like

Dogo and knife hunting.

La Cocha Kennel

Congratulations on your Dogo, I’m sure you’ll love it.
One piece of advice if I may. Don’t train your Dogo to attack, its really not necessary and it’s not recommended.
Just be a loving master, firm when necessary but never with violence. Trying to intimidate one of these animals is a waste of time, they respond much better to positive education and a firm tone of voice when they make a mistake. They are very smart and understand quick.

One last thing. A veterinarian once said on TV when asked about the Dogo “ It’s like a cross between a dog and a lion. It wont obey you out of fear or submission, it will follow you when you earn its respect”.
Another thing he mentioned.” If you have a guardian dog you know someone broke in because you hear him bark. If you have a Dogo you know someone broke in because you hear the burglar scream”:)


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hidden safe

Blogger that wishes to remain anonymous,
I can’t edit your comments or the person posting, I can only either publish a comment or reject it, sorry.:)

What you can do is post anonymously, I think you have it as an option before posting a comment.

I’ll reject your two comments because if I publish them, they’ll show the nick name.(remember, I can’t change that)

About your question. It’s a good idea to have a “visible” safe, and a second, smaller one hidden. I saw this in an apartment I once had and I think it’s a terrific idea.
If you even get caught, you can open and give up the contents of your “safe”, no one will imagine you have a second one hidden.
These safes go into the ground or inside walls, preferably placed inside masonry walls when the structure is being built.
In the floor under the carpet is also a good idea. This is where I’d keep my PM stash and paper money, plus a few other “essentials”.
A small fireproof safe would do.

You mention people in Cambodia sewing gold into the straps of their backpacks. Nice, but backpacks are often stolen.

SAS agents during WWII had another method, they had a compartment that was hidden inside the shoe, a strap of leather with several small gold coins. This went inside the shoe under the padding sole.


Relocating to Argentina

Don Williams said...
Ferfal, this is a question so you may not want to post it.

(By the way, do you ever have a Open Thread? I.e,,where you ask for questions and people submit them as comments? It seems rude to insert a question about an unrelated subject into the middle of an ongoing discussion like this. I wasn't sure how you wanted questions to be submitted.)

Anyway, some friends of mine have talked about people they know relocating to Costa Rica as expatriates for retirement . Seems relatively safe, nice scenery and money goes farther.

If someone ever considered relocating to Argentina from the USA , what would you advise? Is it very important to learn Spanish well before moving or can one get by with tourist Spanish phrases and English until one learns the language?

Are there unconscious personal habits or manners which Americans have that offend people in Argentina? Taboos or customs we unwitting violate?

There are bad-mannered people everywhere, but I'm taking about offenses that even a well-intentioned expatriate is likely to make.

I understand that the Catholic Church is far more widespread in Argentina than here in America -- so American Protestants should, I assume, avoid religious discussions.

Argentine people are usually very friendly towards tourists.
There’s a growing anti-American propaganda being spread by our petty government since we felt to unquestionable 3rd would status with the K regime (“K”, that’s the way the Kirchenr family refers to itself, as surreal as it may sound we even have “K Youth” …. Yes… comparisons with other extremist “xx youths”.. lets better talk about something else)
Anyway, as I was saying, the K regime is pretty close to Castro, Chaves, Evo Morales and some other wonderful human beings, so they outspokenly promote hatred towards Americans and the American culture in general.

But remember what I said about the slow slide, and about Argentina once being a rather prosperous nation? Well, it’s true.
And there’s still some of that cosmopolite attitude left. The hatred hasn’t settled yet. Maybe the next generation will be brainwashed by the K, if they manage to stay in power that long.
But for now the people of Argentina openly welcome tourists, specially those from 1st world countries.
People coming here from other 3rd world countries are sometimes less welcomed, given the already high unemployment rate.

There’s not much you should worry about, other than the things I often talk about regarding security.

If you make the mistake of going into a wrong part of town, understand its different from American bad neighborhood. Go into Villa 31 by mistake for example and they’ll swarm like rats from the building to rob you. You have to be more careful generally speaking, for obvious reasons.

If you come here I’d make sure to research very well the location you plan to live in.
If you choose well, you’ll have a good time. It’s common for people to come live here for a while and end up getting married.
There’s no weird cultural difference that may sound offensive. Pretty ordinary people, Catholic but not in any way extreme regarding religion.
Most of us are baptized, and when old enough get basic catholic education and “communion”, which is a religious ceremony where you willingly adopt the Catholic religion.
Just being polite and nice like you’d do in USA is good enough.
The only thing I can think of that is kind of different is the way people say hello and greet one another.

Handshakes are ok for people you really don’t know at all, but among people you trust or show a bit of appreciation for you kiss them on the cheek. Not really kiss, but like brush the cheeks and kind of kiss the air. Sounds complicated to explain, but its the most common way of greeting around here.
Even among guys, refusing to kiss someone that you pretend to be friends with or even just get along, that’s the way you should greet one another.
Handshakes are mostly considered very formal, reserved for business encounters.
Most of the time if it someone you don’t know and don’t want to know either, a simple “hi” (hola) with no contact of any kind if preferred.
I can’t think of anything that might be considered taboo.
Maybe other Argentines or people that have been here can think of something else.

But first come visit and take a look.
I'll show you around a bit if you want, serious. :)

Take care.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Silver wedding rings

I talked abut it with my wife and we wont be using our wedding gold rings any more.
Actually she suggested it and I thought its a good idea.
A lot of people are doing it lately, leaving the original gold wedding bands home and using ones made of silver instead.
Some buy either ones made of lesser quality gold, or similar ones made of gold but at least save the one’s they married with.

I think silver is better because you can avoid getting robbed in the first place, and attracts far less attention.

Anyway, that’s what we are doing.
It would be a shame to loose our wedding rings now. We’ll start using them again once we’re out of here.

These have a bit of gold but look ( and actually cost) far less.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

In Honor of the Dogo Argentino

There’s many dogs out there but the Dogo Argentino is something else.
Only those that own such a magnificent animal know what I mean.
There’s lots of information on the web, and I don’t want to bore everyone with detail.
I’ll just say that the Dogo Argentino was Dr. Antonio Nores Martínez creation.
Dr. Norez spent his entire life mixing different dog races and breeding them combining them for their individual genetic characteristics.
He was looking to create the perfect hunting dog for the Argentine game ( boar and cougar). But not only that, he wanted a guardian dog and a loyal friend that could single handedly defeat a cougar or boar ( which is quite capable of) and in the afternoon spend the time playing with the kids and never worry about it.

Its safe to say that doctor Nores not only fulfilled, but exceeded his expectations. Probably because he was driven not by money or grandeur delusions, but by true loved for his creation.

The Dogo Argentino is still an animal that requires a loving but firm master. If any of those conditions aren’t met, then owning a Dogo Argentino can become a risky business because it certainly is a spectacular fighting dog.

Dogos Argentinos can be found in many places around the world, including USA of course. Mostly owned by informed people, in particular people that use them to hunt boar which is the main purpose for his existence and what he enjoys doing the most.

If you think I’m biased in my opinion I sure am. I’ve owned many great companions, but the Dogo Argentino is something else. Even when just a puppy barely weeks old, it’s courage, bravery and loyalty are something than you can’t avoid noticing.

I was looking for a website I found some time ago about Dogos Argentino that saved their owners during robberies. Many of them spectacular, where the dog got shot several times and still managed to send the attackers running away.
I can’t seem to find it but I did find several stories and there’s one in particular I’d like to share with you.

The Story of “Caudillo”

Caudillo was a prize winning Dogo Argentino that passed away in
April 27, 2003 , protecting his master, Martín Parapar.

Caudillo won several competitions, was N1 Dogo Argentino in the country and was close to winning best dog of all races.

That day, Martín was about to get out of his Peugeot Partner when a car with 4 persons stopped in front of him.
Two got out and one of them goes into the car to the passenger seat and tells him to get out.
All he asks of them is to let him get the dog out, which was locked in the back of the truck in a transportation box.
They pushed him out of the car and he ran to the back side, opening the back door and pulling the box out before they took off with the car.
As he pulls the door of the box, the car starts moving, and combined with the weight of the dog the door brakes and opens.
One of the bad guys up front turns to shoot Martin, and Martin shouts “Caudillo, come!”. But the dog didn’t obey him ( something unusual given the amount of prizes he had won). Instead he turns and attacks the man, and gets shot, the round intended for Martin.

Martin runs after the car but is left behind because of the speed.
As he runs towards it he hears several shots, until the car gets up to the sidewalk and crashes against a tree, a block and a half away.

The one in the passenger’s seat get out and gets into the backup car.
The two other men get out and pick the driver, that had been attacked in the neck by Caudillo.
This man was later hospitalized but didn’t survive.
Caudillo gets out of the Peugeot through the back door, still opened, and chases the bad guys, but after a few yards he can’t take it no more and drops. He had been hit with 7 .45 slugs:
3 in the ribs. 1 in the chest. 3 in the throat and nose.
They take off and by the time Martin reaches Caudillo its already too late.
They later found two 45, one was still full, unfired, the other one was empty.
The one that was still full belonged to the driver, the one Caudillo went after.
Caudillo was 22 months old, weighted 57,9kg the day he passed away and became a hero.

This website is dedicated to him.

Just wanted to share this with you.
As I said before, there’s many stories like this one were the Dogo Argentino defends his master. All of the stores I heard of are of untrained dogs, just dogs loved by their masters that react the way they do.
“Junacito” is another Dogo Argentino that defended hi master in Cordoba, Argentina. Caught two 45 rounds but is doing just fine.


Money during and after the crisis

Anonymous said...
Ferfal, I believe you are overstating the importance of knives, gu ns, doors, dogs etc.

You are emphasizing it a bit too much - not much - just a little.

You forget to mention one thing: how do you earn money?

Money in its various forms is the most important thing.
Without money you can forget buying everything else.

How do you earn money? How do you plan to earn MORE?
February 22, 2009 11:31 AM

Anonymous said...
A pocket knfe with some led light attached to it, is just cute, but it cannot buy you anything.

Surviving means being able to feed oneself, having health insurance and a roof over one's head.

With a gun and martial art skills you might survive one day, money makes you survive all 365 days of a year.
February 22, 2009 11:39 AM

My Anonymous friend...
You are underestimating me a bit too much.:)

I’ve insisted more than enough about the importance of money (both paper money and precious metals), even caught a bit of flames from angry survivalists that say it’s just pieces of paper and shiny metal.

Try looking into the Archives for articles regarding the importance of money and gold and how to make money after the crisis.
I’ve written about all those things you’ve mentioned… in the past… when people didn’t seem to thing money was such a big deal.. ;^)
Real estate investing and renting after the crisis
Mistakes survivalists make
More on gold and other concerns
Making money during crisis
(this one is rather appropriate given the current times)
Jewelry gold on field test
Most important need in first few days
About using gold and otherforms of currency


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Don Williams on Security Systems

Don Williams said...
1) I don't like security systems -- they and security companies lure you into dropping your guard by giving you the ILLUSION of security. In reality, there are ways to bypass many of them. An unpleasant surprise when you get home.

2) I don't want to discuss details on the internet, but magnetic contact switches, for example, can be detected with a stud finder or compass and compromised with a strong magnet (holds switch closed while door with security magnet is opened.) There are special contact switches made which can't be compromised in this matter. They have an internal switch on a seesaw balance beam which will close an alarm switch if subjected to any magnetic field other than the one for which they are precisely calibrated.

3) Any security system is rigid -- not intelligent and not adaptive -- and hence vulnerable to attack. I'm not saying to not get one -- they are better than nothing -- but don't think they are infallible and try to learn something about their shortcoming so that you can distinguish between a good security company and one that's just taking your money.

4) Plus, if you get a security system, be sure that each sensor has a resistor where it connects to the two wires leading to the alarm box --so that someone can't simply bridge the two wires with a short (allowing a sensor to go off without the alarm box recognizing it.) Also, don't use the security system's standard resistor --thieves can find out what it is and use one to short the connecting wires. Rather, split the resistence up into two resistors -- put one resistor at where the two wires connect to the alarm box and put the other resistor at where the sensor connects to the two wires.

5) A good dog --trained to NOT accept food from strangers -- is better if kept behind closed doors. In difficult times, of course, it can be tough finding food for the dog-- although a good little lapdog like Paris Hilton's chilahua is just as good as a Rottweiler when sounding an alarm.

A dog and security system together give multiple layers of detection -- but the security system has to allow you to turn off interior motion sensors in areas where the dog is roaming at night.

6) Another thing to be aware of is that lots of lockpicking info is available on the internet. There are some locks made (Medeco, Abloy, etc ) which are essentially impossible to pick. Ever the average lock can be made much harder to pick by having the locksmith install special pins.

7) Finally, look at the ENTIRE perimeter around your house. Our cheap stick frame houses in the USA have walls which can be cut through with an axe no matter how strong your front door is. Sliding deck doors can be lifted up out of their frames. And some thieves come in through the ROOF /Attic --which bypasses first floor alarms.

A number of security companies do the business equivalent of selling a condom with a hole in it. May be a small hole -- may work some of the time. But when it fails -- uh oh.

And some companies do the equivalent of selling a condom with SEVERAL holes in it.

Edited by FerFAL to add:

Thanks Don for the interesting comment.

In my experience motion sensors, (WELL placed and distributed), with a properly programmed alarm are a combination pretty much impossible to defeat.
As always machines hardly fails, human error is the most common cause.
What you need to do is make sure that the main panel is also covered by motion sensors.

The most common problems in my experience are:

1)Going cheap on the motion sensors.
Buying ones of low quality is a common mistake. Also wanting to save money and not covering a certain area. That area will be picked clean. Robbers somehow end up knowing what’s protected and what’s not.

2)Improperly placed sensors.

3)Sensors set to a very low level of sensitivity, or too far away. Usually the real effective range they have is just ½ of what the manufacturer swears by.

4) Also telling employees about the password. Very common mistake. Leaks like these end up in robberies.

5) Another common one is thinking robbers will just run away as soon as the alarm goes off. Many times they do nothing, that’s why the alarm should call you and the cops.

6) Occasionally they cut the phone lines and this is pretty effective and smart. But you can prevent this by having it connected to a hidden cell phone.

7) They sometimes brake or disable the siren or bell. Preferably you’ll have two, at least one of them well hidden.

As you say, it should not be a reason to stop being alert, but I find it to be a good layer of security, specially for when you are not home.

Dog post coming up soon :)


Friday, February 20, 2009

Home security

I posted about this in the Spanish blog and though I should start one here as well.

Think we’ve been discussing awareness and personal self defense issues enough and it would be nice to get into serious preventive security measures you guys could check and maybe try to improve this weekend.
Many of the cases of burglaries and home invasions occur because people failed at some of the points I’ll cover here.

So lets to this into the usual list, ok?

1)Security Habits

I’ve written several times about my neighbor and the violent home invasions she suffered.
Still, she keeps making the same mistakes, and keeps paying for that.
She has bushes that provide cover to would be ambushers, she has poor lighting on the front door, she comes back home vary late at night, waking everyone and making lots of noise and talking very laud.
Overall, sloppy security.

-Very basic, but most common mistake: Keep doors and windows shut.

-Don’t stay chitchatting with people in the front door, better to go talk inside. Entering and exiting the home is the most dangerous moment.

-Don’t let ANYONE into your home, until sure. Keep that door closed.
Seriously, call the cop, phone company, or whomever it is knocking and check to make sure. They’ll try to rush you. Don’t let them.
Take your time, think. If its the cops then they wont mind if you call 911, if they don’t like you making the call then hurry up doing it.
This doesn’t go just for you, your wife/husband should also fallow these security habits and the children two. Keep in mind that they are the ones more likely to make such a mistake.

-Careful on the phone and the net. Dotn give away your personal information. We’ve all seen what happened with Face book, criminals using it to profile victims. Fake phone interviews or contests may be used too.

-You obviously need to open the windows regularly to ventilate and let fresh air in, but try to do so with 2nd floor windows or windows that have bars installed, since these are potential entry points.

-Loose lips sink ships. Telling friends about trips you’ll be making ( empty home) or cars or property sold recently (money at home) can end up being commented to the wrong person or simply overheard, you never know. Better to be very cautious about what you tell to who, and if that person can control himself from telling the entire planet about it.

2) Install a home alarm.
A loud one. One that preferably calls the local cops or calls you on the cell. Motions sensors and contact magnets. Some models allow you to monitor what going on through internet, some can be connected with your smoke detector. Make sure it has a backup power supply and if you can afford it an independent cell phone connected and all kept hidden in case they cut the phone lines. Get a “panic” silent option button installed as well, in case you are being taken hostage.
This can be done in most modern alarms.
Its not hard to do yourself, but if not better get professionals install it.
“alarm” or some other sign outside will already warn would be robbers. They’ll go looking for easier targets.

3) Have a reinforced security door.
Bulletproof if you can afford it, it will be money well spent. Have a peep hole as backup to your TV camera intercom.
Many home invasions just occur by kicking the door down. Most doors cant stand a couple good kicks. Let alone a few blows with a sledge hammer or a prybar.

4) Install a high iron fence around the perimeter.
Expensive, but knowing what I know it’s one of the few things I can say is really worth it’s weight in gold when there’s serious crime problems.
If not build a 7 feet high wall, but you need a secured perimeter as your first line of defense. I’d take the time to build a brick or stone wall myself if I had to, but secure that perimeter.
Grating doors and bars on windows are also precious. Specially in windows that are somewhat concealed and a criminal could spend some time busting through it.
In most places here in Argentina, windows have bars. It’s just common sense.

5) Install motion detecting lights around the house.
These will go on when the bad guy tries to sneak in.
You guys in USA also have game cameras for filming deer I believe, that start filming when the motion detector is triggered. This is a very good idea to keep footage of any burglar or trespasser.
Make sure there’s no places like low walls or vegetation where criminals can hide and ambush you. Either fill that space with thorny bush or find some other solution, but don’t leave any dangerous spot unattended.

6)Out of sight out of mind.
Don’t leave windows wide opened showing off your 50” TV.
Curtain arent just for looks.

7)If you have lots of windows and doors to cover
, try moving the furniture around to make access more complicated. I have a small cart-thing that is full of crystal glasses and garbage like that. Make a lot of noise if moved and all that glass braking would make a lot of noise, so my wife placed it against a back door just in case.
Lamps, etc, anything that would fall when someone that doesn’t know opens the door to force his way in. It will give you time to grab your gun or they may just leave after realizing all the noise they just made.

8)Bullet proof glass would be nice but it’s expensive,
storm or security window film on the other hand is pretty darn cheap and would make a nice weekend project.
The average burglar will just throw a stone or hit the window with a pipe and that’s that. The security films gives you more, time, it will confuse the robbers, not to mention, protect the people inside form shattered glass. Definitely something to look into given the low price/neat level of protection relationship.

9)Forgot to mention it in point 1). When there’s an intruder, the kids must know that they should immediately go to the master bedroom, and the wife should know at least how to fire a gun ( another handgun for the wife)
Very smart people advice to call the cops and everyone wait in the master bedroom.
I’m not that bright. I know my house very well and can move around it better than some stranger. Besides, I’m not going to wait there until the bad guys decide to come into the room and bring the gunfight to where my family is. I’d rather handle it away from them.
The important point is, your kids and wife should be in one place when your move around the house looking for the bad guys. Remember to speak out loud and verify before walking back into the master bedroom. You don’t want your wife to open fire on you.
Also, know that most walls in USA wont stop bullets, so expect them to go right through.

10) Things to keep handy next to your bed:
glasses ( if you use them, get LASIK!), a high Lumen flashlight, gun, spare gun for the wife, long gun (shotgun/short rifle) charged cell phone, and if you are clever, you’ll have body armor.
If you can't have guns get a short machete, big kitchen knife, any kind of weapon at all, but do get one. A small hatchet or axe can do a lot of damage. Blunt weapons arent ass efective, I much prefer something that cuts.

Guy, any other advice or suggestion would be welcomes.
The economy crisis will bring along higher crime rates and people would to well to prepare for that.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reply: Flashlight for EDC (every day carry)

Anonymous Lergnom said...

FerFAL, sir;
A very good post. Thank you for sharing your insights.
The flashlight in one of the pictures looks like an Inova X1, which is what I carry day to day. If so, is it the flood model or the older spot?

It’s not an Inova flashlight, it’s one of those cheap generic ones.

But yes, it is one of the older 1watt LED, spot light.

I like it because it has good light and uses just one easily available AA battery.
It’s still a bit too bulky for a keychain. So I was looking to get it replaced and leave it in my bag, and get something else for the keys.
I still want to have a more powerful flashlight with me.

After a lot of poking around and reading reviews, I ‘m getting Fenix E01.

When funds are limited you make a lot of looking around and gathering information before you buy anything.

It’s a pretty small flashlight , uses a single AAA and provides 10 lumens . Not a lot but enough for emergencies.
I was ordering one just right now. I’m getting it in olive.
Should be a good partner for the Victorinox Minichamp.

A nice thing about Fenix flashlights is that they apparently ship free world wide, so you might want to take a look.

I’ll write a small review once I get it and try it out some.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: Victorinox Midnight Minichamp II

I meant to do this review some time ago but other issues always came up first.
Tonight I gathered a bit of extra will and actually sat down to write it.

Why the Minichamp?
I own several Vicotrinox pocket knives and the minichamp has always been one of my favorites. The amount of tools that fit into the small package surprises most guys.

I used to have another minchap many years ago, loved it, but my brother “borrowed” it and lost it in no time.

When I set myself to find the ideal keychain accessory/gadget thingy the Minichamp quickly came to mind.

I had been carrying the Spartan as a keychain knife so far, but while very useful for most tasks, it was a bit too bulky to just drop in the pocket. Specially since I also had a AA 1 Watt LED light attached as well.

I got online and found that my favorite mini vicotrinox had changed a bit since I last owned one. Now it included a LED light and a pen.

Placed the order and almost four weeks later the package arrived to Argentina. (the mailman just threw the package over the fence, landing on my wife’s favorite flowers)

The Midnight Minichamp II

This small wonder includes

1. Small blade

The Minichamp is barely 2.28 in long. So I wasn’t expecting a sword of a blade, but the main blade is still very small, just 3,5 centimeters.
It certainly does not allow you to do the kind of work the classic Spartan Victorinox can perform, but it’s still a small sharp little blade.

2. Scissors

These, like all other Vics I’ve owned, are sturdy, well made and work well for the intended purposes.

3. Retractable stylus pen

This is something you’ll end up using a lot, I sure do. It’s not comfortable and sometimes it takes a few lines before the ink flows freely, but it’s ideal for that quick number you need or address, and no other pen or writing tool seems to be near by.

4. Nail file with nail cleaner

The nail file works well, and I’ve used the v shaped nail cleaner as a Philips screwdriver successfully a number of times.

5. Emergency blade

This is very comforting to have since the main blade is kind of small and thin.

6. Cut and picker blade with scraper

Not as useful as some of the other tools, but the scraper can come in handy for… scrapping, and I’ve also used it to punch a hole into a thick leather dog collar.

7. Cap lifter with magnetic Phillips screwdriver tip and wire stripper

This tool is pretty neat. The magnetic screwdriver is well designed for smaller screws. For larger ones I use the nail cleaner.

8. Mini Red LED light

Little red led that activates by pressing and keeping the Victorinox shield down.
Why red? Because it seems that red is the most power efficient variety. It’s not very powerful but you can see with it.
At first I was disappointed with it, but then I understood.
It’s the kind of light that barely allows you to see, but at least you can see!
A white, more powerful lead would run out much sooner, but this one will be there when you need it the most.
The red light does not ruin night vision or reveal your position when reading maps in the dark… …and it doesn’t bother people when you walk into the theater after the movie started and you can’t see where you are going.:)

9. Ruler with engraved screwdriver

The small screwdriver is ok, the ruler is only good for measuring small screws and such. Not much use but still nice to have.
10. Cuticle pusher

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what where they thinking. Cuticle pusher…
I’ve seen a guy on youtube that uses it like a spoon, but it’s too small if you ask me. I mostly use it as a large plain screwdriver. Works well for that purpose.

11. Key ring

What I did was add an easily detachable latch, so as to quickly remove it from the keychain when I need to use it. Makes things easier, and it’s still securely attached.

Propper use of the pen, using the nail file as an extension

The bad

The main blade is small. It’s clear that you can’t expect it to do the work larger Vic knives do.
The scrapper and cuticle pusher aren’t the tools you go for most often, but at least you can use them for the things I mentioned.

The good

Small, light, not an anchor to carry around.
The red LED works well for it’s intended purpose
The pen isn’t perfect but often comes in handy.
You have small, thin blades, but at least you have two.
Between the different tools, you cover Phillips and flat screwdrivers of various sizes.
You can use the LED and pen at the same time to write in the dark. Nice.

Overall, it’s not a heavy work knife but I find it to be the perfect keychain tool and I assure you I use it almost on daily basis, sometimes several times. It’s just so handy, and can do so many tasks.
Very pleased with it.
I have it linked here somewhere in the bottom for 33 bucks from Amazon.
In my opinion it’s worth every cent.
Hope that was useful.

Take care everyone and good night.


Reply: Racism, religion and preconceived notions that could undermine your awareness and security.

Chad said...
I didn't want to get sidetracked here, having only wanted to get FerFal's opinion on the topic, but I contemplated on the matter and decided I should respond.

It never ceases to amaze me how, in discussions on ethnicity and race, the name callers and self-hating whites come out of the woodwork. The so-called "assumptions" about how crime correlates to race are hardly controversial to anyone who pays them mind and removes the PC-blinders. I mean that in the truest sense of the word; the link is as uncontroversial as the sun rising every morning. Ceteris paribus, race tracks with crime rates, in the United States and everywhere else. Do yourself a favor and look into which countries have the highest violent crime and murder rates. They are disproportionately located in South America and Africa. Don't make the mistake of assuming these facts mandate a deterministic viewpoint. Race and ethnicity are hardly the sole determinant factors. However, there is a stone-cold connection on the macro-level that all the well-wishing in the world will not take away. With this consideration in mind, it's also why I wanted to ask FerFal why a majority European-descended country would devolve into essentially third-world violence, and also how he thinks a more multicultural society (like the United States) would fare in Argentina-like circumstances

One other thing. Most criminals are white in the USA, yes, it's true. Do you now why this is? It's because it's a majority white country! This should hardly be surprising. The entire point of discussing the higher murder rates among different groups is to show that, if they were comprising equal segments of the population, that would no longer be so. In other words, for example, there are many more murders amongst a group of 10,000 Hispanics than amongst 10,000 Asians. Concerning the rather selective example of the Aryan Brotherhood (kind of a predictable response in discussions like these, but whatever); assuming your statement is accurate, it's hardly a condemnation of, y'know... white, non-criminal, non-murdering, non-gang members. In other words, 99.9% of the white population. It tells you absolutely nothing about the normal white person's propensity to violence which is, as I stated earlier, lower than any other group's (excluding Asians).
February 17, 2009 5:46 PM

Anonymous said...
Chad actually makes a cogent argument. All the PC, racially equivalent apologists out there usually resort to name calling and pulling out arcane facts like the AB is the most violent criminals in prison.

I saw a picture of Fuerte Apache in Buenos Aires which as Ferfal can tell you is a a war zone. In fact in comments linked to a google map which displays Fuerte Apache somone wrote "drop 10 kiloton nuke here". And guess which ethnicity was prevalent in Fuerte Apache? If you guessed negro you win.

Now all of you apologist can continue your little delusions, but IF there is social strife amongst the population, the other races who aren't so constrained by foolish notions are gonna have alot of fun with you.

Plenty of street gangs are ethnically organized and armed to the teeth. When the authorities move out, they'll move in (as if they weren't running things already).

As you say before, most people here are white. There’s no African black people here, at least not in any significant numbers.
There’s some people with darker skin due to the mixing with natives when the conquistadors came here, but overall it’s white people from Spain, Italy, and a small number of Russian, German, and very small number of Arabs.

There’s also a growing Bolivian and Paraguayan community (more of native ethnic, a bit short, brown skin), Unfortunately thought many of them come here and work very hard, there’s many of them that take part in criminal activities.

Many women from these bordering countries are also promised great job opportunities in Argentina, only to find out that they end up trapped in prostitution networks as modern slaves.
But 90% give or take and without splitting hair into race purity or whatever, sure, people here are white.

About 80% of the country is Catholic as well.

It’s clear though, there’s a growing number of so called evangelical churches, with self proclaimed pastors.
They are very common among the poorest population, and unfortunately many times all they are after is what little money they have.
Many of these have embraced criminals and drug dealers into their pseudo churches, since more traditional institutions like the Catholic church or the Jewish community have much stricter moral codes.

These evangelical pastors say all you have to do after robbing, murdering, raping or committing just any atrocity, is to ask God for forgiveness, and God will always forgive. Confessing evil deeds to another person is a bit more uncomfortable to them, it would seem, so these churches are rather convenient.

This is why hands down the most popular religion in prison is some form of evangelical Christianity.

The few real black people we see here are either American tourists, African street merchants ( they mostly sell low quality gold Jewelry) or maybe someone from Brazil.
My son is 6 years old and last week was the first time he saw a real black person.
We where both waiting in line and I started talking with the guy. Turns out he lived here most of his life, parents came from Africa.
He was as much Argentine as I am. The way he talked, dressed. We talked about football a bit, very normal guy, more polite than average person I run across.

I believe the kind of problems you guys have up there aren’t really racial, but cultural ( intentionally created by a political agenda).
The subliminal indoctrination, making it seem ok for black people to hate white, reparations for slavery, and other political mechanisms to divide society and make people hate one another, also creating poor, marginal sectors of society.
The more poor, uneducated and stupid people get, the easier they are to control. It also creates cheap labor and uneducated voters.

Politicians and the people in power use this things to their advantage.

Anyone thinking black people are all the same around the world should compare the getto culture glorified by Hollywood and government alike, to the hard working black people I saw working in the fields of Spain.

No, not slaves. These guys risked their lives across the Mediterranean to get there and enjoy the privilege of having a job in a civilized country. They were damn proud about it and they should be.

They were the kindest most educated people I saw during the month I spent there.

You mention Fuerte Apache somewhere, and while it is one of the most dangerous places a person can walk into anywhere in the world, it’s not because of black people. There’s no black people in Fuerte Apache, they are white.

I think a real black person would be dead in Fuerte Apache rather soon. So would a German, an American, a Chinese, a Jew or a white person that doesn’t look poor.

Why?, because that’s not how the political machinery works in Argentina.

We are not divided by color ( though skin color and religion are all good excuses for the kind of hatred and violence often seen).
But no, out government ( particularly our president and his right hand, Mr. Luis Delia) made sure this country is divided into “rich” and “poor”.

The poor are referred to as “Negro”, but a “Negro” in Argentina may as well be a white skinned, blue eyed blonde of Italian heritage.

“Negro” is the word describe those of darker skin, but more than that the bum and lazy, but also the poor, the uneducated.

Mr Luis Delia openly shouts on radio that the “negros” should start killing “whites”, and “the rich”.

You see, it’s all hatred, and through hatred they control the stupid mass.
The poor guy that has no job and had little education and comes from a history of domestic violence, the kid that has lived a life of crime, the drug addict, they all fit into this “Negro” box, and this guy, that is the president’s right hand, is telling them it’s ok to kill the “white” the “rich”… of course the mass is too stupid to notice that Mr. Nestor Kirchner is rich beyond their wildest dreams… and he also happens to be a blue eyed white of German ancestry.
The mass is stupid, and will blame and hate whomever they are told to blame for their calamities.

In Argentina it’s the “rich”.

But since the real “rich” are far beyond the reach of the mass, since they live in very exclusive places or don’t even live most of the year in the country, who’s the “Negro” going after?
The middle class. The hard worker that forged a better future for himself and his family.

The middle class Mr. Kirchner promised would “get on their knees”.
So far he’s succeeded. The Argentine middle class is nearly destroyed, and the social hatred is evident.
The bad guys, many of which consider themselves “Negro” , will not only rob, they’ll murder and rape because the hatred is well fueled.
And after all, it’s also government approved.

About racism, real racism, all I can say is that I don’t think it’s a smart choice in terms of awareness.

I’m not going to get into my personal opinion on racism, (frankly I don’t like it or approve it), but worse than that, it creates preconceived notions that I find go against the practical way in which I view things.

I distrust anyone equally, of any skin color and religion, until proven they are worthy of trust.

I’m color blind when it comes to detecting threats.

If you think that white people are less dangerous than blacks, you’d be surprised by the number of pretty 15 year old white girls that commit crimes on regular basis, often more cruel than males.

Not long ago a cop got stabbed and was seriously wounded by a 14 year old girl.

He got too close and his gun did him no good, he never even managed to bring it out of the holster. His armor vest probably saved his life.
I’m sure he’s not going to underestimate young white girls ever again.


Update on the google “spam report” email

It was indeed google since the message showed up in the google dashboard as well.
I didn’t like the feeling of it so I made a backup of the blog just in case.
This morning the warning was lifted and everything seems to be ok.:)

I used blogger in the first place because it’s the easiest way. I’m learning little by little but I’m really not blog/website savvy.

I didn’t know just anyone could cause you this kind of trouble just by cliking a “report as spam” button.

According to the email, google “programs” confused it with spam.
Those program aren’t very smart. I don’t understand how a program can confuse a blog full of text, updated regularly, and with relatively little links with spam.

The adds are by google adsense and it’s ok to go along with Amazon adds as well.
By the way, I see how the adds can bother a bit, but if I could make some money with it, I could spend more time writing as well.

I think that it probably was someone that clicked some “report spam” button because they didn’t like what they saw here.
Must have been one freedom loving soul, passionate about free speach…:)
That’s ok, I have enough friends.

What I’ll do just in case is stop talking about president Obama and our president, CFK.
My wife told me to cut it out a bit after reading some of the stuff I write. She’s probably right.
Can you believe they actually refer to her that way, just to make her sound a bit like JFK? She has clever marketing people, too bad she’s a .. . right, right, stop talking about her.

Jedi, I’d appreciate a bit of advice. If you send me your email I wont publish it. I’ll write it down to get in contact with you and then reject it.
Sticks, you did well with the armor. It’s one of those things you may need one day, and is very likely to get banned or heavily regulated soon.

Guys, thanks to all of you, for all the support. I was worried at first but now I see it’s probably nothing.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

About to lose the blog

Just got this email from google

I can't understand how anyone can confuse my blog with spam. If there's sometihng my blog has, is hundreds of hours of written content.
Copy or download anything you may want to save because I dont know what will happen.

Hello, Your blog at: http://ferfal.blogspot.com/ has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Your blog will be deleted in 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and your readers will see a warning page during this time. After we receive your request, we'll review your blog and unlock it within two business days. Once we have reviewed and determined your blog is not spam, the blog will be unlocked and the message in your Blogger dashboard will no longer be displayed. If this blog doesn't belong to you, you don't have to do anything, and any other blogs you may have won't be affected. We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog like yours is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this error. By using this kind of system, however, we can dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to bloggers like you instead of to spammers.

Reply: crime in Argentina, is it that bad?

mikeb302000 said...
Dear FerFAL, You are just a barrel of laughs. Is it that bad where you are? I live in Rome Italy and unless I go out looking for it, I don't see much trouble. I think it's a bit worse in the States, depending on where of course. But is Argentina so bad? Or is it just were you're located?

Italy is of course much safer than Argentina.
Argentina is a “High risk” country, worse than Brazil in the last few years, and in the range of places like Colombia and Ecuador.

But I suppose it also depends on what you consider bad.
People live in some of the worst hell holes and it’s a fact that suicide rates are much worse in much safer countries such as Japan or Norway, where people should be happier because of the higher standard of living.

For example there was this guy that found my blog through Reddit, also an Argentine, that said I was full of it, that I was greatly exaggerating things.

I’m used to people thinking differently, but I asked him “Ok, where are you from?”
He said “La Plata”
I told him “La Plata has been hit hard with crime recently, seems that beating up old people to death is like a local sport there, happens pretty much every week. Every time I turn on the news something terrible happened in La Plata, and you thing I’m exaggerating?”

He said “well ok, I was robbed on the street two times and suffered one home invasion since 2002, but I still think you exaggerate things”.

I didn’t answer to the guy. Had more important things to do with my time… like watching Lazy town…:^)

Later I checked the thread and an American guy told him “dude..that’s not exactly good , or normal”

What’s bad for me might be easy for someone that lives in some nameless country in Africa that just had his entire family chopped to pieces with machetes.

Some parts of Buenos Aires are very nice, some parts just look like war zones, most of the country simply looks like other latin American countries.
But no matter where you live, crime is bad here in Argentina.

If the mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri admits crime is out of control, and the vice president Julio Covos and Governor say the same, I can’t imagine how anyone can deny it.
Hell, Julio Covos talked about preventing civil war when he voted against the president’s 44% tax on farmers.

It’s no joke. Pretty serious deal.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The weakest link

Right know I’m writing the chapter of the book related to the weakest point in your preparedness plan regarding security.

Lets say you train with firearms, I’ve convinced you of carrying even when you go to the toilet, you trained in H2H fighting and spar regularly.
If your gun has a critical failure of some kind that can’t be solved then to bad for Mr. Bad Guy because you’re going to get rid of him with edged weapons, an umbrella, or your hands. All very painful.

Now that I got you to feel all macho and such, what about your wife?
How good is she in a fight?
How about your kids?
I have no grandeur delusions about myself. Still I know I can take care of myself fairly well.
But my wife is like a slightly zoomed Barbie, she’s very petite.
My son is just 6 years old, and my other boy is 4 months old.

Strategically speaking, it’s a nightmare.

We were talking with my wife the other day, and she told me that she knew perfectly well how vulnerable she would be if someone just tried to pull our baby away from her.

Babies get stolen here just like anywhere else. A bit worse given that corruption makes it easier for them to disappear and then reappear as legally adopted babies.

Not long ago my wife was mugged by a bunch of kids with a gun (including little girls), less than 10 years old.

The mugger’s target priority goes something like:

1) Old folks
2) Women
3) Kids
4) Weak/timid looking men

What can you do?

For starters, get everyone onboard. A silly wife/husband that thinks there’s nothing to worry about even when crime becomes painfully evident is just a disaster waiting to happen.

That kind of folk get hit, and they get hit hard.
I’ve lost count of how many times the woman next door got robbed in her home.
She pays the price for being so sloppy regarding personal security.

Once you get your family to take this issue seriously, you have to set some security standards.

1) Not chit chatting on the front door. Better to go inside for a cup of tea and talk all you want, safely.
2) Doors and windows closed. Even when you must ventilate the house, open only windows that have bars, or second story windows that are hard to reach.
3) No one in the family, no one, opens the door without the authorization of an adult. My kid used to rush to the door and look through a window near by. We’ve talked about that so he doesn’t do it any more.
4) The adult will NOT open the door unless it’s someone he knows well or is a person he/she is expecting.
Unauthorized power company people or cops will have to wait outside until you can make a phone call and check that they are ok.

The fake cop/power/phone/gas company guy is still a common way to get in. Mostly very old people fall for this trick these days.

Regarding walking around and such, there’s little you and your family can do about this.
As I always say, you don’t get to bug out to the hills, you have to go on with your life.
But you CAN set some parameters.

1) Not going out when its dark.
2) Get your wife to carry a firearm. If not possible then OC spray.
3) Always keep your eyes opened and check your 6 ( back)
4) If in doubt, better to play it safe. My wife will hurry and walk into a store if she feels someone is getting too close or is acting suspiciously.
In one occasion when a gunfight started, my wife rushed into a store and went all the way to the back behind several walls ( we have mostly interior brick and mortar walls here)
She told me “I wasn’t going to stay there in the front of the shop. I could have gotten shot through the glass”
Good girl. :)
5) Avoid places where there’s little public, specially deserted streets. It’s no guarantee, but many robbers prefer to operate where there’s little people.

About your kids.
It’s hard when they are so little .
I tell my six year old to fight if a stranger grabs him. I tell him to fight, punch and scream like there’s no tomorrow “ Help! He’s not my dad/mom Help, he’s a pervert, Help”

People usually don’t get involved, but kids have a greater chance of receiving help, specially if the bystanders think the guy is a pervert.

A robber may just take your wallet and that’s that.

A guy taking your kid… you don’t want to know what’s more likely to happen. It’s not good.
Either he’s getting kidnapped by child molesters, degenerates, to sell him/her for child prostitution, there’s even been kids that later where found without some of their organs.(sold for transplants)
Best case scenario they just want a ransom. But then again they might kill him none the less, and you don’t want chubby fingers being sent toyou by mail, like in the Ariel Strajman kidnap.

Just a few pointers guys, take care.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chávez and the Cash-Filled Suitcase

I dedicate this to the Argentine that just sent me a nasty comment.
One that probably took him 30 minutes to write and I rejected in 0,5 seconds.
I don’t “ruin” the reputation of our country, my friend.
Our president, the one you seem to like so much, does that all by herself.
You think we fool anyone? you think the rest of the world is stupid?
That they don’t know our president “cooks the books” and lies about crime and inflation rates?
Just read the article below. They fool no one but themselves.
It’s not only that they are corrupt. That’s bad enough but what pisses me beyond that is that they don’t care to hide it even a bit.
They are sloppy in their corruption and make us look like the worst banana republic in South America.
Suitcases full of money… why don’t they just pay her with cocaine shipments instead?
Keep believing in our leaders my friend, don’t let those pink shades drop!;^)


Chávez and the Cash-Filled Suitcase

Sitting in a Florida steakhouse a year ago this month, millionaire Venezuelan oilman Frank Duran allegedly gave his friend Guido Antonini Wilson a dark warning. "A moment might come," Duran said, "when nobody can save Antonini's skin."

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez applaud after signing bilateral accords in Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

Antonini, a Venezuelan businessman with U.S. citizenship, was indeed in a jam. A month earlier, he'd arrived in Buenos Aires on a chartered flight with Argentine energy officials and executives of Venezuela's state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Argentine customs agents then caught him with a suitcase stuffed with $800,000 in cash. Antonini was allowed to return to the U.S. — but it seemed the entire hemisphere wanted to know if he'd been carrying the money for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as some sort of bribe for the Argentine government.

Today, however, it's Duran whose legal skin that needs saving. Last December he and four other men, three Venezuelans and an Uruguayan, were charged in Miami with failing to register as foreign government agents. U.S. prosecutors say the men, at the behest of "high-level" Venezuelan government officials, cajoled and even
threatened Antonini to keep mum about the real purpose of all that cash: an illegal contribution from Venezuela to the presidential campaign of then Argentine Senator and First Lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a Chavez ally. One of the men, Moises Maionica, pleaded guilty in January; one is at large and another — Carlos Kauffman, a close Duran pal — pleaded guilty in March, leaving Duran all but alone to face trial in Miami that began this week.

Both backers and critics of Chavez say the radical left-wing Venezuelan President is tacitly on trial himself. It's no secret that Chavez, who controls the hemisphere's largest oil reserves, lavishes billions of dollars in foreign aid on allies to promote his anti-U.S. Bolivarian Revolution. Foes have long groused that his largesse can also be as shadowy as the covert U.S. operations Chavez accuses agencies like the CIA of perpetrating. They contend that he has funneled cash to leftist candidates in presidential races from Bolivia to Mexico, and that he has helped fund Marxist guerrillas like the FARC in Colombia. Chavez has just as adamantly denied those charges, as have his supposed beneficiaries.

It wasn't until Antonini's luggage was opened in 2007 — and until Colombian authorities claimed last spring that seized guerrilla laptops revealed Chavez payments of as much as $300 million to the FARC — that alleged evidence of Caracas' covert dealings had ever surfaced. The top prosecutor on the Antonini case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mulvihill, has said in hearings that conversations recorded by an FBI wire that Antonini wore prove the suitcase money "was meant for the campaign of Cristina [Fernandez]." And according to court documents filed this summer, Kauffman is expected to testify they were told by high-level Venezuelan officials that Chavez was personally involved in the alleged suitcase affair and its aftermath.

One question Chavez supporters ask is why Fernandez would even need his cash when she held a more than 20-point lead in voter polls leading up to last October's election, which she won handily. When the campaign contribution allegation was made shortly after her inauguration, she took it as a Yanqui affront to her own government and angrily called the case a "garbage operation." The Casa Rosada, the Argentine presidential palace, insists instead that the U.S. should extradite Antonini to Argentina.

Indeed, the acid relationship between Chavez and the U.S. has also thrown the Bush Administration's motives into doubt. Thomas Shannon, U.S. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, has insisted the indictments stem purely from "a judicial process" and not politics. Venezuela and defense lawyers claim otherwise. Chavez, who accuses the White House of backing a failed 2002 coup against him, calls the case "part of the U.S. empire's plan" to smear him. Duran's attorney, Edward Shohat, argues that the statute at play — acting, or conspiring to act, as a foreign agent without permission — has been used only when espionage or a threat to U.S. security was involved. "The U.S. has no security interest in this matter," he says. "This case is political."

If this does turn out to be a kind of Watergate for Chavez, it will have started under similarly clumsy circumstances. Antonini, 46, now claims the suitcase wasn't his — that he was carrying it for another Venezuelan passenger on the Cessna Citation that landed in the wee hours of Aug. 4, 2007, at Buenos Aires' Aeroparque Jorge Newberry — and that he wasn't aware of its contents. But Maria del Lujan Telpuk, the agent who stopped Antonini inside Newberry's VIP sector, says he became visibly nervous when she asked him to open the bag. "I had to insist," says Telpuk, who recalls the dollar bills "literally spilling out" when Antonini unzipped it. (Telpuk, 28, has since parlayed her new fame and good looks onto the cover of the Argentine edition of Playboy magazine — holding a suitcase beneath the caption "Corruption Undressed.")

One of the Cessna's passengers claims that two days later Antonini joined them at a reception in the Casa Rosada. Argentine officials dispute that. Either way, Antonini returned home to Key Biscayne, Florida, scared enough to cooperate with FBI agents. For the next four months they monitored his meetings and calls with Duran, 40; Kauffman, 35, a Venezuelan partner of Duran's in oil products and drilling equipment firms; Maionica, 36, a Venezuelan lawyer; Antonio Jose Canchica, 37, an agent of the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP; and Rodolfo Wanseele, 40, an Uruguayan and Canchica's driver. Maionica and Kauffman face a maximum five years each in prison; Canchica is at large; and Duran and Wanseele, who have pleaded not guilty and are set to go on trial on Tuesday, face a maximum 10 years each.

Court documents allege Maionica confided he was "brought into the conspiracy by a high-level official of DISIP." They say Kauffman and Duran — who own ritzy Florida homes, enjoy racing Ferraris and are part of what Venezuelans call the revolution's "Boli-bourgeoisie" — issued thinly veiled threats. They warned that "foreign government authorities would pursue Antonini" if he talked, and that it was in his children's best interest that he have "no problems" with Venezuela. At one cloak-and-dagger gathering, Canchica, using the name "Christian," allegedly told Antonini that PDVSA (the Venezuelan oil corporation) and the Chavez government would make his legal problems vanish.

Mulvihill claims to have 41 audio recordings and eight videotapes to play at trial; and the Maionica and Kauffman guilty pleas suggest that evidence may be as potent as he suggests. Then again, Duran and Wanseele might be risking a trial partly because they know Mulvihill also charged Fidel Castro in the late 1980s with aiding Colombian drug traffickers, an accusation that was never proven. Either way, Chavez and the U.S. may both face more scrutiny this month than either bargained for.

The 357 SIG

Don Williams said...
I would note that the Secret Service and US Air Marshalls (guard airliners --most highly trained shooters in federal government) agree with FerFal -- they use 357 Sig.

I wondered why -- probably because 357 Sig will go through Class II body armor and if someone is wearing Class III armor, it is bulky enough for you to see so you know to shoot for head anyway.

Whereas with 9mm and 45 ACP you may lose a lot of valuable time by firing several shots at center of mass --to no avail --before realizing guy has thin class II body armor and you need to aim for head. By which time, bad guy has you.

Plus 357 Sig turns cover like car doors and thin walls into mere concealment.(Surprise!)

Finally, it shoots flat enough to make life interesting for a rifleman if the rifleman is shooting at you at urban ranges (100 yards or less.)

Doesn't quite have the magazine capacity of the 9mm, however. And greater recoil would make head shots harder with 357 Sig unless you are a pretty good markman who's shot the round enough to handle it. Plus 9mm is available around the world --even Russians and Chinese are using it.

Factory 357 Sig comes with FMJ in flat-nosed semiwad cutter shape.
Interesting enough, semiwad cutter rounds sometimes penetrate deeper than pointed FMJ because they don't tumble/roll. (Army doctor who does studies with ballistic Gelatin.) Handgun hunters like flatnosed semiwad cutter bullets for same reason.

What do you think, FerFal? Any other advantages to add or corrections?

Before I say anything, I think that with today's ammo ( good stuff made by Gold Dot, Corbon and Federal)there's little difference. Getting into this kind of detail is for those of us that want the extra edge certain caliber may provide.

As Joseph said, almost all big bore calibers will go right through car doors and thin sheets of metal, and enough energy is left to kill the poor guy on the other side.

I’ll give a bit of an edge when going thorough thick glass or other surfaces to the SIG given its speed.

But it’s not just about penetration.

I think they all use 357 SIG because so far police departments that have been using it are very pleased with it.

There’s always going to be that SOB that gets shot 50 times in the chest and a couple RPGs to the head and is still alive, but in average the 357 SIG has been performing very well.

With a barrel like the one in my Glock 31, ballistics are very similar (sometimes even better) than most 124gr 357 loads.
Also keep in mind that any .40 can be turned to 357 SIG and vise versa, just swap barrels. Everything else, including the mags, stays the same.
This makes practice with your 357 SIG much cheaper since all you have to do is get a .40 barrel and shoot all the .40 ammo you want.

If you get “Double Tap” ammo, firing out of a gun like my Glock 31 with a 4.5” barrel ( which is still smaller than a 1911 ), you are sending a 125gr. JHP Gold Dot projectile at 1525 fps.

That’s a nice handgun round to fire at someone that wants to hurt you.

Keep in mind that the self defense load that made the 357 magnum legendary, fires a 124 gr. JHP at 1400 fps.

Why the slight speed difference? The revolver looses a bit of gas through the cylinder/barrel gap.

Same happens with high speed 22 LR. Ammo in autos and revolvers.

CCI Stingers will fly out of my little Bersa 22 ( 3,5 “ barrel) at 1231 fps, while the same round fired out of a 4” barrel S&W revolver flies at 1120 fps.

Compared to hot loads offer also by doubletap, the best a 9mm+P (124 gr JHP) can do out of a Glock17 is 1310fps.

Now this is a nice +P 9mm load, but its still 215 fps behind the 357 SIG.

What can I say, I like it a lot.
Not only because of the numbers, but also because I find it easy to shoot fast (much easier than a 357 magnum revolver) and it’s also one of the most accurate calibers I’ve fired.

Magazine capacity isn’t 9mm, but you still have 15+1 in the 357 SIG/40S&W vs. 17+1 in the Glock 17 9mm.

I’ll happily give up those two rounds for the extra power per round the SIG provides, and it’s unparalleled feeding reliability compared to straight wall cases.

I like it a lot.


Update: Armed Robbery

So I stopped by to buy a Coke and see if I could get more information.

First thing I noticed was the door closed. Now, they open the door of the shop based on your looks.

Now listen to this:
I asked her how they were doing since the robbery.
She said “which one?”
I told her the one on Friday.
She told me that yesterday morning they tried to rob them again!

One guy started banging on the door, another one tried opening the lateral door, when they found that the doors where closed and the girl retreated inside, they left.

As stupid as it sounds, keeping doors closed is a darn fine idea, I’m surprised to find out sometimes that people in USA don’t keep the doors locked at all times. This is 10 year old security, folks. It never happens until it happens to you.

She started telling me how scared she was and how her “patron” makes her work from 7 AM to 11 PM.

“Why so late?” she said “There’s no one on the streets that late”

I asked her if they get robbed a lot, she said yes. Looks like it’s a regular stop and rob, given that they have no security and that the owner figured its cheaper that way.

She told me that she needs the job a lot, but that she also has 3 kids and is worried she’ll get killed one day.

“The other day a man and a woman robbed us”
“The man took me to the back of the store, forced me to sit on the ground and pointed the gun at me”
“While the woman emptied the cash register she kept shouting “Shoot her! Shoot her!”

The other customer, and 70 something old lady also buying a coke, was listening our little conversation. She said “ I can believe we live this way”.
It’s hard for old folk in Argentina. They have meager fixed retirements and inflation is killing them. Adding to that, they are also favorite criminal targets because they are physically weak and since they are careful with money, they usually carry a bit of cash, mostly to give away if robbed so they don’t beat them to death.

I told her “I know, neither do I. But we have to adapt because this is our reality now”.