US Should Send Astronauts to Space Station by Trampoline

Russian Official: US Should Send Astronauts to Space Station by Trampoline

Well played, Russia.    I got a chuckle out of this one.    It’s just a witty retort from a low/mid-level Russian official but in a way there’s more behind it.  The US government’s response seems half-cocked (if even that) and I don’t think the US government or citizens are prepared to deal with a response in kind from Russia.   For the record, I’m glad our goverment’s response is so dismal because I’d be opposed to aggression against Russia over the past year’s events.    I don’t think most people have thought about the Russians having the stones and/or the ability to put the screws to us in kind.   I suppose telling NASA that they’ll have to carpool with someone else to get to ISS would be one way.

On another note, I know a lot of people (myself included) have been pretty demoralized by how low NASA has sunk over the past decade or so and chalked it up as another sign of this country going to “hell in a handbasket”.   I guess the reality of the fact that we need Russia to keep up our scaled-back activities in space really shines some light on that situation.

There’s something very fatalistic to me about the idea that progress in space has seemed to come to a halt when you were constantly bombarded with the idea that the future will look like Star Trek or The Jetsons or something, but that’s probably a topic for another day.

Nuclear War: What’s In It For You?

nuclearwar

 

I came across this book at the Planned Parenthood book sale last month and thumbed through it.    As something of a Cold War, uh, enthusiast (???) I thought this was a pretty cool relic from the era.   And the title is hilarious, I laughed as soon as I saw it.   There’s a sardonic/black humor tinge through the whole thing.

The book was put out by some disarmament foundation and does a very good job of explaining just about anything about nuclear warfare you could think of in layman’s terms.  It gives a few interesting scenarios on how nuclear war could’ve happened, a few real-life situations where it almost did and a good fictional scenario of what nuclear war would’ve looked like for a town of 10,000 that didn’t get hit in a large scale attack on the US.    Basically that looked like One Second After by William Forstchen sans the epic battle with the bikers at the end.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable read and laid out well for just picking up, opening up any page and jumping right in.   I like books like that.    It is very informative.   I also like how it does a good job of avoiding national biases and explains Europe’s general unease with being stuck between the USSR and the US.   I think this is something that most Americans gloss(ed) over and still sometimes overlook on issues of foreign policy – we’re not always 100% the cowboys in the white hats.

Although large scale nuclear war a la the Cold War is probably less likely today than it was when this book was written in 1983, is the use of a nuclear weapon more likely today?   Back then if one nation used them, it was pretty much guaranteed that someone else would respond in kind.   Today with all the terrorist groups, “rogue states” and second-tier powers that have them, it makes it a little less cut-and-dry.   It almost seems like we would be more likely to see some kind of nuclear weapon go off in a major American or European city from a terrorist attack than the Ruskies launching nukes in 1983 knowing that we’ll throw everything we have against them.   I don’t know.    I hope not.

Anyways, more than anything I just thought this book was a really cool bit of Cold War memorabilia.

http://www.americanoikos.com/2012/12/23/one-second-after-by-william-forstchen/

 

 

Putin Encircling the US “Red Dawn” Style?

Putin is Militarily Encircling the United States Red Dawn Style

This blog post from Dave Hodges “Common Sense Show” caught my attention because of the Red Dawn reference, of course.     The content is solid, but it’s presented a tad on the alarmist side.   I don’t know enough about Dave Hodges to know if it’s tongue-in-cheek or not but it’s an interesting observation.

In Red Dawn the Soviet Army invaded the United States in concert with Soviet-supported Cuban and Nicaraguan forces.   The Latin contingent was able to sneak across the US/Mexican border and catch the Americans with their pants down because Mexico was in the middle of a bloody revolution.   It’s a good guess that this revolution would’ve been a proxy war between the US and the Soviets and Cuban/Nicaraguan forces there might have been expected.

Hodges makes the case that Russia is running circles around us diplomatically in Latin America, or “our backyard” as John Kerry called it.   This used to be our sphere of influence, but it does seem like Latin America is drifting away from globalism and into it’s own little interconnected world.   Russia kind of has the same thing going on so they’re all pretty well suited for each other, I think.

The article gives a few examples of what’s going on “down there”…

–  Nicaragua is increasing military cooperation with Russia and has a pro-Russian/not-so-hot-on-the-US government.

–   Venezuela’s raison d’etre over the past decade or so seems to be being vocally opposed to all things American…or Norteamericano, to be more precise.   They have strong military, economic and political ties with Russia and pretty much anyone else in the world that we’re at odds with.    To me Hugo Chavez seemed like a lackluster guy, but he had a great trick up his sleeve (vehement anti-Americanism) that made him popular around the world.

–   Argentina.   We’ve got an uneasy thing going on with them.   I’ve seen surveys that show Argentines have some of the lowest opinions of Americans in the world, including the Middle East.   According to this article, Argentine president Christina Kirchner backed Putin’s annexation of Crimea and said something or other about the Falkland/Malvinas island thing (as Argentine politicans tend to do…often), presumably hoping for support when/if they try to get possession of the islands again.    Now that I type this, I wonder if the Falklands/Malvinas could someday end up a real flashpoint between Russia and the West?   A few years ago I would’ve said it was too obscure of a conflict, now who knows…

– Brazil.   They’ve flexed their newly-gained diplomatic muscles a few times in the past four years or so to counter US foreign policy aims, namely in Iran.   They’re increasing cooperation with Russia as well, especially economically and in the technological fields…and yes, militarily.    Brazil is a rising economic powerhouse and is one of the BRIC”s” nations, along with Russia, India and China (South Africa?  Bullshit.  Not counting them) who some say will be the big players on the world scene for the rest of the 21st Century.   Some of the economic proposals between the BRICs could be bad news for some of our economic arrangements, namely the petrodollar system…that’s a long conversation in itself.   Also Brazil is notable in the world as being one of the few places where agricultural production can be notably ramped up.   There’s all kinds of land down there ready for the plow and their agricultural sector has been booming for a while now.   Soybeans, cattle, coffee, corn, sugar, you name it.   They’ve been doing a lot of business with China too, for what’s that’s worth.  The ability to produce food is very important of course and I think Brazil will be even more important in the future.

Who else?   Oh, Ecuador.  Not exactly a bit hitter on the world scene but I think a lot of people like and respect President Rafael Correa.    He actually seems like a respectable guy.   He has some depth and tact to him that his counterpart in Venezuela (Chavez) didn’t have.   He would probably be one of the better world leaders to sit down and have a conversation with.   Anyways, they’re on board with Russia (and not with us).

Apparently El Salvador signed a military agreement with Russia.   I hope MS-13 doesn’t get stabby if all hell breaks loose, ha ha.

I doubt that these developments mean that a pan-Latin army is going to come rolling across the border and come get us Red Dawn style, but it is interesting to watch how the world seems to be shifting from US hegemony to a more multipolar world as Russia gets teeth again.

Two Colorados – The Prospect of Northern Colorado Secession

Northern Colorado Wants to Secede from Colorado

This is an article from July 2013 I bookmarked back then with the intention of posting it just because I thought it was an interesting cultural divide within the same borders that has been festering for a while now.    Just like some countries don’t seem to make sense when you consider ethnic/regional/religious/political differences, states can be the same way.   The divide between Northern and Southern California is one of the more well known examples but there’s also Illinois, Michigan, Florida and arguably New York that seem to be two different worlds.

Probably within my lifetime, Colorado has made that list of places that are really hard to paint with a single stroke.   You have the conservative rancher types in the Great Plains, progressive urbanites in the Denver/Colorado Springs corridor and then the various cats & dogs out in the mountains.    The big divide in the state is of course rural vs. urban and that’s probably more or less the big divide just about everywhere but in a place like Colorado it might be a little more pronounced.   I can see the environmentalism of places like Denver and Boulder being at odds with the ranchers and farmers out on the plains.   I can also see the left-leaning tendencies of the urban areas being at odds with the rugged individualism of everywhere else in the state too.

In the article they’re talking about a movement to get rural Northern Colorado to split from the rest of Colorado.   To add a little more to the idea that some borders don’t make sense, a few counties from Nebraska are said to be in on it too.   Although the nuances of Nebraska aren’t as visible at the national level (same with Iowa, although they’re there), there’s a big divide between (very) rural Western Nebraska and urban Omaha/Lincoln.   I’ve even heard of tongue-in-cheek motions for Omaha to leave Nebraska and link up with politically moderate Iowa and leave the ultra-conservative Great Plains/Western Nebraska folks to themselves.     For what it’s worth, the world of an insurance agent in Omaha and a rancher somewhere outside of Kearney are pretty damn different and with different concerns.

This summer I went and visited an old friend I was in Iraq with who is a police officer in the Denver area.   It was my first time in Denver and it was really cool to get the tour of the city from someone who grew up in a very rough part of it and then sees the city from the police officer’s perspective.   He pointed out all kinds of cool little things that wouldn’t make it into Frommer’s.      One of the things that kept coming up was the huge cultural divide within the city, almost like three different places.   There’s the Denver that’s mostly white, progressive and affluent (see: “hipsters”, “yuppies” or whatever term is en vogue now.   Getting sick of hearing “hipsters” but that’s a different story) and then there’s the mostly Hispanic Denver that isn’t as well off and isn’t as interested in progressive politics.   The third Denver would be African-American but as I understand it isn’t as much of a factor these days as the White/Hispanic divide there.   I don’t think there’s necessarily a ton of antagonism between the factions, but little interaction and some frustration about having to deal with divergent agendas in local politics – it’s not so much that people have conflicting agendas, it’s that generally the different groups aren’t interested in the others’ issues.     It’s kind of interesting how these kind of fissures can boil all the way down to the local level and aren’t just an issue for countries.

Denver was a really cool city though, I thought….and I enjoyed both Chicano Denver and the progressive White Denver.    There’s probably not a better place in the world that I know of to get a good mix of urban offerings and the great outdoors, except maybe San Fransisco.    It was also the first time I’ve traveled by rail with the except of a couple short trips in the UK.    It’s about twelve hours from Osceola (45 minutes or so south of Des Moines.  I wish we had Amtrak!   They talk about it, but I doubt we’ll see it.) to Denver, which leaves at about 7:30 pm or so and arrives around 7:30 am in Denver.   I got a few hours of reading done and felt a little more comfortable than I would’ve on a plane (but yeah, the flight between DSM and DEN is about an hour and a half).    It beats the ten hour drive through Nebraska, too.    I’m sure I’ll repeat that voyage sometime in the future…

 

 

 

Russian Jet Buzzes American Ship – Ohhh Myyyyy!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T

The war drums against Russia are getting a little out of hand.

Russian Jet Passes Over US Warship

So there was a US Navy vessel in the Black Sea (that’s the one that’s, you know, right there by Russia) and a Russian fighter flew by it a bunch of times and it’s headline news and everyone’s shocked and appalled that those goddamned Ruskies would do something like that and wondering why our boys didn’t shoot that pinko son of a bitch down.

This sort of thing actually happens all the time when two formidable militaries get close to each other.   I knew a guy that was in the USAF during the Cold War and stationed on the Alaskan coast who said that one day a week the Russian jets from their base across the Bering Strait would come over and buzz the towers and then the next day our fighters would go buzz theirs.   All that was exchanged were some universally recognized obscene gestures.

I also wonder if there would be the same sort of indignation if American jets harassed a Russian naval vessel in the Gulf of Mexico or somewhere else close to home.   I’m sure that happens pretty much any time a Russian vessel gets anywhere near the US and it should happen.   I have no problem at all with letting foreign powers know who’s neighborhood (not “backyard”, haha, that’s a different subject) they’re in.

I just thought this was one more silly example of the powers-that-be seeming like they’re foaming at the mouth to start something with Russia.   I’ve said before that the “human rights crisis” that magically surfaced when Obama was going to have to have a face-to-face with an angry Putin with some tough questions over Syria at the G-8 was pretty much bullshit, the media coverage of the Sochi Olympics was out of hand from the start (my favorite was the “this is just like the Munich Olympics with Hitler!” line.) and whenever I click on any mainstream media news site it seems like there’s always some “top 10 reasons why Russia sucks” article.

I also think that the revamped cold war thing has kind of lionized Russia and Putin to a small handful of Americans, including myself.    They’re not perfect by any means, but they’re openly hostile to a lot of the things that I think are the worst aspects of the United States – namely the way we run our foreign policy.   Sometimes we make the Russians out to be this bulwark against American militarism and soulless consumerism.   I suppose they are in a way, but they’ve got their own agenda in mind too.

Anyways, I hope cooler heads prevail in all of this bullshit and maybe we go back to arguing about the worldview of chicken franchises and other things of that nature instead of rattling Russia’s cage.   If we want to keep this up, I’ll gladly offer my services to Uncle Sam in the way of compiling a list of chicken hawks that have been pushing for this kind of thing to send in first.

 

 

 

 

 

ohmy

Food Oasis Project

https://www.facebook.com/foodoasisproject

So this is a new project I’m working on with a handful of other people in the area.    The point is to help people start community gardens and turn unusued/under-utilized space into productive land, especially in areas where access to healthy options is limited (“food deserts”).   I’m pretty excited about this project and so far it’s off to a good start.    I’m not sure if I should spill out a lot of details before they really come to fruition, but we’ve got a project under way with one community center near me on revamping their community garden, our foot in the door for a project at a prominent local institution either this fall or next year and talking to some enthusiastic folks at another local institution which could be a big project.    We’re also making a ton of great contacts around the community.    It’s starting to look like a lot of good things can come out of this and I’ll be sure to share.

Backyard Permaculture, Edible Landscaping, Mini-Orchard or Something Like That.

I’ve been on the fence about where I see myself living in the long term and this year I decided that I’ll probably stay here for a while.   I have a few fruit trees in the ground and some other edible perennials, but I’ve been a little hesitant to put things in the ground just because of the likelihood that I was going to move somewhere else.    There’s a lot of good reasons for me to stay put in this house (for one, I’ll have it paid off by the time I’m 39 at the current rate) and unless I do something like marry Mrs. Duggar, it’ll probably meet every need I’ll have in the future.

Not only was the prospect of moving on my mind, I also told myself that I needed my lawn for my dogs.    This is true, but it dawned on me that the majority of the tree exists in the air and underneath the ground and there’s usually only a small trunk at the surface level.  No shit, Ryan.    Putting in a few trees wouldn’t take hardly anything at all from the dogs.   They might even like having more things to run around, more things to observe and more shady spots in the summer.

I’ve had my order out for plants for quite a while and I’m fine-tuning my plans for where things are going.   I called the utility companies the other day to get them to mark out the lines, so hopefully they get here tomorrow.   Then over the next few daysI’ll put the trees and shrubs in.

I have the following trees coming:  Plum, Crabapple, Sweet Pit Apricot, Cherry, a 5-in-1 Pear and a mini-dwarf apple.    I picked up a few more container-sized trees – two Evereste Crabapples and a Necta Zee nectarine.

I have raspberries, several currants, elderberries, sea buckthorn, gojis, Nanking cherries, kiwi, Rugosa roses, maypop and a few other odds and ends coming too.

The plan this year is to put down the trees and start working on a food forest where I’ll have the trees surrounded by layers of shrubs, herbs, roots and vines.    I’d like to put in a brick path that leads to….somewhere and have this path lined with shrubs and mini-dwarf trees.

My front yard is fairly shady with a few partial-shade spots and a bit of full sun areas.   Right now I have a little bit of catnip, a dwarf peach tree and about a dozen or two strawberry plants here and there but I’d like to get more production out of the front.   Right now I’m thinking of taking a sunny space about 3′ x 20′ on the side of the house and filing it with edible ornamentals as well as putting in crabapple and cherry trees and maybe elderberries.

Another project I’d like to tackle is the issue of my deck.   It’s a nice deck and very big but it’s kind of miserable during the day in the summer just because it’s so damn hot.   I’d like to make the space productive and nice to hang out in, but it’s hard to get things to grow in containers with the sun constantly beating down on it.    It’s really nice at night though.   I’m not sure if I want to build a trellis over part of it but I suppose that’s an option.

I’ve drawn up a rough plan for what I have and have coming and will post pictures and updates as I go as well as some of my thoughts and anything I come across that I feel is worth sharing with the world.    The more I think about it, I have a lot of possibilities with my less than a quarter acre lot and no reason NOT to go wild.   My neighbors probably already think I’m a little weird, I don’t see myself trying to sell the place anytime soon and my dogs will be fine.

Damn It Feels Good To Be An Author

So Wolverines:  Reflections on Red Dawn isn’t going to go down as the most important and highly acclaimed book in the Western canon or anything, but I had a lot of fun writing it and overall, I’m pretty proud of it.   Two things struck me over the past week that put it back into my mind.   First I filed my taxes and had a 1099 misc form for royalties to claim.   Royalties.   It hasn’t made me rich or anything and in the big picture the amount I made this year wasn’t much, but it was exactly that amount more than I’d ever imagined I’d make in book sales if you would’ve asked a few years ago.    Oh yeah, I also had a small amount to claim on foreign book sales, which was kind of cool too.   Again, the total amount wasn’t enough to quit my day job but it was very inspiring to see that.

The second thing is that every now and then I get an email from someone who read the book saying that they enjoyed it and usually they’ll share their thoughts on a certain topic relating to the film and/or ask me my thoughts about it.   I absolutely love this and I’ve had some good discussions with other fans of Red Dawn about some subjects that weren’t in the book.   I got one of these emails this week and it made my night.   This is more inspiring than a 1099 Misc form.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – we’re very fortunate to live in a time where average people are able to create things and get it out to the world.   You can write a book and self publish it, make youtube videos about whatever, podcast, spread your band’s music via a ton of different channels, sell things on a bunch of different sites, write about whatever on a blog, etc.    It’s really not that hard.     Hell, it only winds up being about $120 a year, a (very) limited amount of technical know-how and a bit of time for me to have this site.     The fact that the traditional gatekeepers are no longer an excuse for anyone to do pretty much anything is pretty inspiring too.     If you want to do something, do it.

Xochimilco, Permaculture and Chinampas

Last month I went to Mexico City and Guadalajara.   Great trip, maybe I’ll write about it later.    One of Mexico City’s attractions is the floating gardens of Xochimilco, which is on the southern edge of the giant metroplex.    It’s an interesting place at face value, but what put it on my radar was that it’s kind of considered the textbook example of chinampa farming, or at least what’s easily accessible for a traveler to see.

Chinampas are a method of agriculture developed in pre-Columbian Mexico where they would create artificial floating peninsulas with sediment and woven reeds along the banks of a body of fresh water.   These small areas were intensely cultivated and highly productive, because they could sustain so much life.    This system is probably the most pound-for-pound productive system we know of in agriculture.  The good folks at Midwest Permaculture do a great job of explaining the concept and showing pictures here.

There’s some key permaculture concepts at play in chinampas.     There’s the edge effect; there’s more productivity where two ecosystems meet.   Due to the narrow layout of chinampas, just about the whole thing is land interacting with water.   The deep root system creates another edge for aquatic life and usually there are trees which create another ecosystem above.    This means that there’s a lot more potential for interaction between species than in one clearly defined ecosystem (i.e. in the middle of the water, a field, etc.).   On a practical level this diversity keeps pests in check.   If one species gets out of hand, there’s always going to be something there to prey on it, unlike a field of corn or something where there’s not much diversity.    The plant mix was diverse as well, so a potential pest would only have so much to feed on anyways.    Oh, being surrounded by water created a microclimate that had a moderating effect on temperatures too – it’s a little warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Building a chinampa would’ve been a little labor intensive, at least more so than digging up the ground, but it saved labor in the long run.   There were no irrigation requirements as the surrounding water soaking in pretty much took care of that.   Once they were established it was just a matter of planting and picking.    On some chinampas they would build trellises between them where they would grow vines (squash, beans, whatever) over the water and harvest by boat.

So that’s the mile high view of chinampas.   A lot has been written about them and there’s a lot more that could be said about them.   On to Xochimilco…

Xochimilco is a town, I suppose a far-flung suburb of Mexico City even though as the crow flies it’s really not THAT far from the city center.    It takes about an hour and a half to get there from the city center – you take one subway line to the end of the line and link up with the above-ground train line that goes through the southern suburbs and Xochimilco is at the end of that line.   It’s not too difficult to get there, it just takes a little time.

The train station of Xochimilco is about a half mile from the boat docks (embarcaderos) and there’s signs guiding the tourist to these docks.   There are bicycle taxis that will take you there, but I decided to walk.    The town itself reminded me so much of Iraq to the point where it was almost kind of creepy.    The layout, the earthy colors of the buildings, narrow sidewalks, the kinds of businesses and the smell with almost exactly identical to the town that I was in there.   Even though it’s kind of a touristy place, it really didn’t look like it walking down the main drag.   I made it there late in the afternoon and figured that if I were out past nightfall, it would probably be a better idea to take one of those bicycle taxis to the station rather than walk through “real Mexico”.     To be fair, it did seem peaceful though.

I think I fell for one of their tricks.   When I got close to the docks, I turned and followed a sign.   An old man that was hanging out on the corner stopped me and pointed me down another block, which led to the first or second series of docks.   I guess these ones are the more expensive ones and they get a little cheaper the further you go down.   Oh well.   It cost about $25 US for some guy to spend an hour pushing my ass around some canals in a gondola.  Not a bad deal.

The canal system is lined by people’s homes, which was kind of cool.  People had little chinampas in their backyards and the gondoleer (?) pointed out a few different fruit trees.   I’m not fluent in Spanish, but good enough to have some very basic conversations so we didn’t talk too much about things.  I just asked about a few plants and he’d describe the fruits or whatever to me.

I only did a one hour tour, but if you pay more they will take you further out and show you more things of agricultural/botanical interest.    If I ever go back (and I’d like to), maybe I’d do that.     Although the parts I saw aren’t really used for agriculture, you could still feel how full of the life the place was an the effect on the microclimate from the trees and water.   There were a ton of ducks, fish and birds and everything was lush.   Oh, and floating mariachi bands.

The first time I read about this place was probably six years ago and I remember really being intrigued by it and put Mexico City on my “Hmm, maybe sometime” list of places to go and I’m glad I got to see the “Venice of the Americas”.   Although Xochimilco is more about floating around in a nice environment than showing permaculture in action, the permaculture background gave me a different perspective to see the place than the average tourist.   Anyways, here are a few photos:

A few other gondolas

Mexico 098

 

Someone’s backyard.   See the geese and the vines.

Mexico 094

Barking dogs

Mexico 095

 

Selfie

Mexico 099

 

 

I told you there were floating mariachi bands

Mexico 100

All of the boats have names and look kinda like this

Mexico 092

Prepper Pete Prepares by Kermit Jones, Jr.


 

 

I received this book for review several months ago and I’m long overdue on the review, sorry.    I heard an interview with the author Kermit Jones, Jr. on The Survival Podcast recently and was reminded about it.    It’s a children’s book about survivalism and preparedness loosely based on the ant and the grasshopper parable.

First, I think this book could be subtitled “Why Dad is So Weird”.   Although it’s a brief book (as children’s books tend to be, of course), it covers a lot of ground and introduces a lot of preparedness subjects.    At first glance I thought the mile wide, inch deep approach to just about every issue within the preparedness world was a weakness but the more I think about it, the more the book’s vagueness seems like a strength.   Kids are naturally inquisitive and a lot of ideas in the book probably wouldn’t be understood at first by young children, which would lead to questions and discussion between the parent and the kid(s).

I really think this is one that’s best read with the child as opposed to throwing them the book and expecting a child to figure it out.    When I try to think back to what I was like when I was a young child, I’m sure a lot of the material would be hard to completely grasp and I’m sure I’d have a lot of questions – which would be a good way for a parent to open up discussion on some of these things.   I don’t have kids so what do I know, but I figure that getting a kid to ask their own questions probably goes over better than trying to sit little Jimmy down and tell him about EMPs, economic collapses and shit.      Hell, when it came in the mail I opened it and read it with my then-new girlfriend and it led to a discussion about some of my preparedness measures.   We had talked about these things before, but I suppose it’s a pretty big step to show a girl your hoard of #10 cans of Mountain House, 5 gallon buckets of beans and grains and other things while explaining your theories on America’s gradual economic decline.   For those of you playing at home, she didn’t run off and agreed that it’s a good idea to store food and such.

I also think that if I saw this book when I was a kid, I’d think the pictures and the format was pretty cool.    I can see the value of a coherent story with preparedness themes (i.e. the ant and the grasshopper), but the pictures and descriptions of brass tacks things like gear and action would probably stimulate thought and imagination in a child more than abstract concepts.   For example, I remember watching the scene in Red Dawn where they load up on supplies before heading out to the mountains and thinking through in my head what I would want to take with me and why.   I think this book would have a similar effect.

This book has a few downsides for me.   First, I think some of the subject matter might be a little overwhelming, like bringing up solar flares, EMPs and plagues.   That just seems like a can of worms that is probably best saved for a little later on in life.   I also think that this is a book that should probably stay in the house – I can see a teacher freaking out if little Johnny brought this one to school.    Prepper Pete himself advises being discreet with prepping and I think a kid bringing this book to school would definitely raise some eyebrows and draw some unwanted attention.     I’ll say it again that I don’t have children so I’m a little out of the loop with children’s books, but my impression is that the style and format of the book appeals to a younger child (like early elementary) while the material seems geared towards older children (maybe late elementary).    I really don’t know if that’s a fair assessment of the book or if an older kid would write it off because it seems geared towards younger kids – I remember being touchy about that and my girlfriend’s seven year old daughter always likes to point out that she’s reading “chapter books” now.

I’m not sure if this was the author’s intention, but the book would have a lot of “kitsch” value for adult preppers.    I mean come on, it’s an ant that buys gold and keeps guns around to fend off looters.    I think anyone involved in this world with the ability to laugh at themselves would get a kick out of thumbing through it.   I know I did.

Fuck. Yes.

Fuck. Yes.

I guess there’s a series of Prepper Pete books, including one about gun safety.   If I can get my hands on them, I’ll review them too.

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