Archive for February, 2011

The Wind Rustler. A queer and simple contrivance this, and quite common in Western Kansas. One of these odd arrangements to attract the curiosity of the modern Don Quixote’s of the plains is but poorly illustrated in Figure 71. In this machine the fans are eight feet long and three feet wide, with their broadsides placed so as to catch the prevailing north and south winds.

The box is a trifle over eight feet square, with the axle of the wheel resting on the top and sides. The lumber had to be hauled fifty miles, and yet the whole plant cost the maker but fifty dollars. The water was raised forty-five feet and irrigated five acres. Such a mill may give good service where only a small quantity of water is required, or where the mill is not surrounded—nor likely to be—by trees or other obstructions which shut off the winds; but for irrigating considerable tracts, or if trees or buildings are nearby north or south, results will scarcely be satisfactory.

Another plan for a wind rustler is used in Nebraska. Four tall posts are set in the ground at proper distances apart. A wooden windlass revolves in boxings attached to the top of each pair of posts. The fans are made of boards set into auger holes in the middle of the windlass. A small iron crank at one end of the windlass operates the pump.

I came across this piece in an old book about irrigation, as I was doing some research on how the old timers used to supply water to their crops in the absence of rain. It looks pretty crude, but I think it could work ok if you have limited resources available, and a good strong, steady wind to power this gizmo. But research is research and I found that probably the best solution to a steady water supply with minimal effort is to install an old fashioned windmill on your survival homestead. They work 24/7 and aside from a little lubrication every now and then need no attention. And they won’t be affected by an EMP or solar event that would disrupt the normal electrical supply to your electric motor.

I also came across this piece from the 1911 Breeders Gazette on how to hook up your windmill to a pump through a system of gears. It has its applications, but it may not necessarily be the best option for all situations. Read it over and you may find a use for this bit of knowledge as you create your own survival homestead.

GEARING A PUMP TO A WINDMILL.

The problem of pumping water by means of a windmill that is located some distance from the well is not always easy of a satisfactory solution, especially with any light, cheap equipment. For example: Suppose we had a 14′ wheel and wooden tower and want to pump at about 125′ from the tower. Water can be had at 18′ deep in quicksand.

First: To locate the pump at the windmill, which could be located as desired at one end of the granary. Then connect this pump with the well by means of piping that is laid in the ground of sufficient depth to protect it from frost, the piping being carefully laid so as to prevent its getting out of alignment and developing any possibility of leaks. This would work satisfactorily provided the suction did not exceed 25′, depending, however on the altitude of the place where the pump is located.

If it is desirable to pump water from more than one well this can be accomplished by piping to each well and putting a cut-off valve on each line of suction pipe installed.

In order to have this equipment work satisfactorily it is of utmost importance that good material be used and that the possibility of leaks in the pipe be prevented, as any small leak in the piping would destroy the vacuum and would cause the equipment to work imperfectly.

Second: Another method would be to equip the windmill with gearing instead of the ordinary reciprocating motion. (Fig. 621) The power could then be transmitted to the pumps located at the different wells by means of tumbling rods or shafting. The power from the windmill to these tumbling rods or shafting could be transmitted by bevel gears at the windmill end, and at the other end the power would be transmitted from the tumbling rods or shafting by means of a pump head or crank and connecting rod.

The shafting of the transmitting mechanism can be placed in a shallow covered trench, care being taken to see that the bearings are given a good foundation and that it is in good alignment. In this way the transmitting mechanism would not encumber the ground and would be less liable to be injured and misplaced than when placed on top of the ground or on scaffolds overhead.

There would be some lost motion and some lost power in this kind of mechanism, due to the friction of the shafting in the bearings and gearing. The amount of power lost would depend to a large extent on the manner in which the apparatus was installed.

Third: Where the windmill is already installed with a reciprocating motion an installation similar to the second could be used by equipping each end of the shaft with a rocker arm that could be connected with the pump at one end and the windmill at the other by means of a link. In this kind of installation it is advisable to make the stroke of the windmill as long as possible so as to use as long a link on that end as it is possible so as to compensate for the lost motion, which is considerable in some cases.

This latter equipment would most likely be cheaper than No. 2, but not so efficient, and we do not recommend it, as it is at best short-lived.

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History speaks often of cooking with lamp stoves, and you can indeed cook over an oil lamp provided you have the right contrivance to do so, but more often what the writer is speaking of is a lampstove, which is very similar to an oil lamp, but constructed more for heat than light. It’s too bad these little gizmos still weren’t available as they’d make an ideal survival and preparedness stove. Just like our oil lamps, kerosene was used as a fuel. You could also get little stove tops to put on top of a glass lamp chimney, and place a pot on top for heating, as shown to the left here. Sears and Roebucks sold them for .35 cents a dozen! Ain’t that a bargain? Maybe some industrious prepper will glean onto the idea and resurrect it, bringing a bit of the past to life in these times. Any ways, here’s a story from 1887 which describes one woman’s use of these old, which were then new, lampstoves. If you are interested in learning more of these devices, you can go to The Lampworks for a good piece on their history.

THE STORY OF A HOUSEHOLD LAMP.

One That Rivaled Aladdin’s.

So successful was the summer’s campaign over the fire of the small lamp-stove that Abbie planned to bring home a larger one the next year. During the winter she examined the circulars of all the rival lamp-stove manufacturers, and was utterly bewildered by their diversity and the merits of each and consequent demerits off all other kinds as described therein. In despair,—but as she afterward thought, under the direction of her guardian angel,—one day she walked into a store and proceeded to buy something entirely different from what she had planned; instead of one large stove with four wicks she selected two small ones having two wicks each. These cost two dollars and fifty cents each. An oven at one dollar and fifty cents and an extension top at seventy-five cents completed her purchase.

With the oven on one lamp and the extension top on the other nearly as much work could be done as on the large stoves costing twice as much as she had spent. This arrangement had the advantage of being easily moved from room to room and one could be used in one place, the other in another.

At wholesale rates, (not counting the cost of the barrel, which was to be returned) a barrel of best kerosene costs a trifle less than five dollars. This lasted through the summer season, about three months, providing both fuel and lights. An equal value of wood or coal would have been exhausted in about half the time.

Sometimes the two stoves were used in the wash-room, supplying all the fire needed for a small washing. They were set upon the floor, one under each end of a flat-bottomed wash boiler, thus plenty of water could be heated for the preliminary steps and later the clothes were boiled there.

Ironing day was robbed of half its terrors, for the small stoves would keep five flatirons ready, two heating on each, while the fifth was in use. Sometimes three irons would be sufficient, and then one stove would do this work while the other with the oven prepared the dinner of baked potatoes and roast meat, or a kettle of jelly or preserves could be easily watched while the ironing was in progress. Since the stove and irons could be placed on or near the table it became an easy matter to sit down to iron, as there would be no wearisome getting up and down to go to the stove. A high stool or chair is best for this work.

As these small stoves cost less than the large one Miss Fletcher had intended buying, she invested the surplus in various utensils, selected with reference to the lamp-stoves but also useful with a range. Among these was an eight quart kettle of granite ware which proved exceedingly useful.

The advantage of granite ware over iron and tin is that it heats quickly and if watched there is little danger of burning, and it gives no disagreeable taste to its contents, however long they may remain in it.

Sometimes this kettle was used for frying doughnuts or fish, either of which were easily done over the little stove though it gave hardly enough heat to deep fat for croquettes or fish-balls. A few slices of raw potato were always put in the fat while frying doughnuts to absorb the disagreeable odor and clarify the fat.

After the frying was over the fat was strained into a basin or pail to cool and the kettle was wiped with soft paper which absorbed most of the remaining grease and washing was then an easy task.

When a steamed pudding was on the dinner bill of fare the mixture was put in a small lard pail which was set on a trivet or iron ring in this kettle half filled with boiling water. Potatoes or other vegetables could be put in around the pudding pail, and a piece of fish on a plate in a steamer set on top of the kettle; thus one lamp would cook the dinner. When the vegetables had to be put in after the pudding had begun to cook, that it might not settle, they were put in one by one, that the water need not stop boiling.

A steam cooker is a great convenience for a range and is ‘still more useful with an oil stove. Of these there are many varieties and nearly all are good.

The other utensils most frequently used were the small frying-pan and double boiler mentioned before and one or two sauce-pans of different sizes.

While it requires some head work to do all the cooking for a family over these small stoves, it can be done easily and ! with much less discomfort than over the kitchen range. It is a great convenience to have an oven that can be hot for baking five minutes after the fire is lighted.

Raised bread, which in summer time too often suffers from standing over night because it must be baked by the morning fire, in this household was now mixed in the morning and baked either at noon or night.

If a specially slow oven was required for anything, but one wick was lighted. Small pans for cake and bread were found best for convenience in moving about in the small oven.

Milk toast was a favorite supper dish with the Fletcher family and at first Abbie was doubtful of the possibility of toasting bread over her lamps, but she found that it could be done satisfactorily. First the milk was scalded in a pail set in a sauce-pan of hot water, then the water was emptied, the sauce-pan wiped dry and one tablespoonful of butter for each pint of milk (or two if part water was to be used) put in. When the butter was melted and hot, one tablespoonful of flour for each cupful of liquid was added and allowed to cook in the hot butter, but not to brown. Then the milk was gradually added and the gravy beaten smooth.

One evening a small child in the family expressed a desire for some popcorn. At first it was denied as there was no fire and plenty of coals were thought essential for its preparation. But someone doubtfully said, “We might try the lamp stove.” So it was lighted and by moving the popper over the lamp precisely as if it were a bed of glowing coals the corn was successfully popped. A few trials showed just the right distance from the blaze and the steady heat produced a superior article in less time than is required for popping over coals. If corn-balls are desired one stove can be used for popping the corn while the molasses is boiling on the other.

The best work over a lamp-stove will always be done when it is full of oil; as it burns low the wicks char rapidly and the draught is not as good.

It is not advisable to let a lamp burn too long or the whole framework will become heated; then there is more danger of accidents and greater inconvenience in handling.

Occasionally carelessness in turning up the wicks, or a sudden current of air would result in a heavy coating of lamp black over the outside of kettles or the inside of the oven. The latter is rather a terrible occurrence and should be carefully guarded against. But only once or twice in the whole season did Mis; Fletcher have trouble in this direction, then the oven was cleaned with a stiff brush first and afterward with soft paper before washing.

Naturally an oven above the fire as this is gives a more thorough bake on the bottom than the top of any article. On this account earthen plates are preferable to tin for pies, and cake tins should be lined with one or more thicknesses of paper.

In the early fall, before stoves are set up or furnace fires lighted, if one of these stoves is left burning in a room for an hour it will banish the chilly atmosphere which often brings colds and sickness.

Many house plants might be saved if this were left burning near them through a cold winter night, and water pipes and vegetables in the cellar can in like manner be saved from freezing.

For camp life in a small cottage an oil-stove is much better than an ordinary stove. Where hot water is required in sudden sickness and in the thousand and one emergencies of everyday life the little lamp-stoves, if well treated, will be found to be faithful friends.

North Central U.S. Spring Flood Risk
This is taken from an initial Spring Flood Outlook that was issued today by the National Weather Service (NWS) Hydrologic Information Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The National Spring Flood Outlook will be issued on March 17.

Key Points

  • For the third consecutive year, moderate to major flooding is expected along the Red River of the North, which forms the state border between eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and includes the Souris River Basin and the Devils Lake and Stump Lake drainages in North Dakota.
  • Major flooding is also expected along the James River in South Dakota.
  • The mainstem Mississippi River is at risk for moderate to major flooding from its headwaters in St. Paul, Minnesota, all the way to St. Louis.
  •  There is ongoing widespread minor flooding and local moderate flooding from the central Plains across the northern Ohio Valley, as warmer temperatures this week have melted much of the snow that fell across the area over winter – especially with the blizzard earlier this month.

 
 

There are several reasons for the anticipated floods:

  • The ground in much of the North Central United States is frozen, water-saturated, and snow-covered.
  • Forecasts for much of the region continue to call for persistent below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation through the rest of February, with an expectation for the snow pack to grow.
  • In March and April, as temperatures rise and the snow melts, frozen ground and saturated soil will enhance runoff, causing streams and rivers to swell.
    • The timing and the rate of snow melt and any rain that falls during snow melt contribute to the magnitude and extent of flooding.

The areas of greatest flood concern are:

Devils Lake, North Dakota

  • Devils Lake has about a 40 percent chance of exceeding 1,455 feet, which could partially inundate portions of the town of Minnewauken, North Dakota, including critical infrastructure and roads across the lake, emergency service routes and possibly a small section of the Amtrak line.

Red River of the North in North Dakota and Minnesota

  • Fargo, North Dakota, has about a 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 30 feet where portions of downtown Fargo begin flooding and temporary dike construction is necessary; and a 15 to 20 percent chance of reaching or exceeding the record stage of 40.84 feet set in 2009
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota, has a greater than 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 46 feet and near a 10 percent chance of exceeding the record stage of 54.35 feet set in 1997.

James River and the Big Sioux River in South Dakota

  • The James River at Huron, South Dakota, has about a 90 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 15 feet and a 30 percent chance of exceeding the record level of 21.28 feet set in 1997
  • The Big Sioux River at Brookings, South Dakota, has a greater than 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 12 feet and nearly a 30 percent chance of exceeding the record stage of 14.77 feet set in 1969.

Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri

  • St. Paul, Minnesota, has about a 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 17 feet where secondary flood walls are deployed to protect St. Paul airport; and a 15 percent chance of exceeding the record stage of 26.4 feet set in 1965.

For complete details, see the North Central Spring Flood outlook.

Current Flooding

Several days of above normal to record warm temperatures across the center of the country has melted much of the snowpack from the central Plains to the northern Ohio Valley.  This runoff, along with ice jams in some areas, has resulted in minor to locally moderate flooding.  More than 40 river forecast points from southern South Dakota to northern Ohio either have reached or will exceed flood stage by Sunday, with a handful reaching moderate flood stage.  Over 100 additional river forecast points are or will be near flood stage.

While significant impacts are not expected, the flooding will affect local roads, agricultural lands, and river parks.

A storm system moving out of the Rockies this weekend is expected to bring more precipitation to this area on Sunday and the early part of next week.  This may prolong high river levels or cause more extensive lowland flooding.

Much of the information in this report was provided by the NWS Hydrologic Information Center, part of the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Additional details were gathered from NWS websites and product archives.

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Build a Water Filter Plant for Your Camp

By F.E. Brimmer

Sometimes one will discover that the water supply near camp is not fit to drink and some method must be improvised for filtering it before drinking. One season a party that the writer happened to be in was camping in a river valley where it seemed about impossible to get spring water because the season was so dry that all the brooks and streams had dried up, so we had to use river water. But just a little above us was a tannery and above that the dye works, hence the water problem was a bad one. We solved it easily and safely with a home-made filter plant that did good service for several weeks, protecting our health and giving us pure drinking water. Often a certain kind of water will disagree with some members of the camping party, and this seems especially the case in hot weather, hence the safe way will be to have a filtering plant near camp where all may drink pure water of the best who desire it. Filtered water is much better than boiled water because boiling does not take out the disagreeable part but only kills the germs, where the improvised filter device will take away all foreign substances and produce transparent water that is perfectly pure.

The essential parts of this filtering plant are two barrels and a frame for holding them. The small barrel, or cask, should be one of only fifteen or twenty gallons, marked K on the drawing. This does its work inside a larger barrel, H, which is the common size water-tight cask. To make the large barrel ready for its duty in the filtering device a platform, R, should be placed across its center as shown. This platform, R, is made from an oak board — be sure to use oak for this will not taint the water like other wood might — that is twelve inches wide and the proper length to fit nicely inside the large part of the barrel, H. To make the board, R, fit to place well it will be necessary to round its ends to the curve of the barrel with the compass saw. Two cleats of oak, E-E, are nailed to the opposite sides of the barrel for the purpose of supporting the platform. These cleats should be well nailed, or better held with long screws, because the combined weight of the smaller cask and its contents will be very heavy. Near one end of the board, R, an inch hole, N, maybe bored just where the faucet, F, from the small cask is located so that the water that filters slowly out through the faucet drops directly to the bottom of the larger cask.

The large cask, H, should be equipped with a pinch faucet, T, somewhere near its base and in any convenient location for use. From this faucet the filtered water may be drawn as needed. The filtered water will be held ready for use at W, in the bottom of the larger barrel. Next the platform, Y, had better be made for supporting the filter plant. This may be made from odds and ends of lumber that you may pick up almost anywhere. Four posts, like those at X-X, will hold the platform, Y, upon which the barrels may be held. The height of the platform off the ground need be only eighteen inches. Form the corner posts by driving into the ground. Make sure that platform is fairly level. It will only need to be large enough to accommodate the base of the larger barrel, say two feet square, or a little more, according to the capacity of the cask you use.

The smaller barrel, K, should now be ready for its part of the work. In its base place two inches of coarse clean gravel. The kind that you can get from the bed of a swiftly flowing stream will be just right. Above this comes a two-inch layer of ordinary gravel. Then place two inches of coarse sand, and last ten inches of clean, fine sand. On the sketch the coarse gravel is at E, the ordinary gravel at D, the coarse sand, C, and the fine sand, B. The space A, at the top of the small cask is for the water that is to be filtered. When the water is first poured into the small cask it is best to keep the faucet, F, closed for an hour until the contents get thoroughly soaked up, then it may be opened and the water will filter out. The layers of gravel and sand should be packed well down with the hands when placed in the smaller barrel. If the water goes through the filtering plant too rapidly it is a sure sign that it is not being cleansed properly and that your gravel and sand have too many room spaces between them, most likely from not being packed well into place. If the first water runs through roily and dirty it is because the water is washing out dust and stain that is on the lower layer of gravel. As soon as the filtering plant has been used a day or two it will clean up and get under way perfectly.

Some kind of cover should be placed over the top of the larger barrel so that no dirt can fall into the filtered water. Fill the smaller cask with pails of water from time to time, say every morning. If pure ice is available you may carefully place pieces of it in the filtered water half an hour before ready to use and so draw ice-cold filtered water from your plant. Just what a blessing this is can only be realized by one who has been in a camping section where there is poor water. The knowledge of how to make this filtering plant may come very convenient for you to know about. Of course the same system may be used in filtering water in small quantities for the home.

The contents of the smaller cask should be changed from time to time. This will depend on the amount of water that you pass through the filtering gravel and sand as well as the amount of impurity taken from the water. The fine sand should be changed once a week and the other layers monthly. Experience will tell you when it is time to renew the contents of gravel and sand because the water will begin to come through imperfectly filtered and can be readily detected by the taste.

(Note: This same filter can be made today even if you haven’t any oak barrels. Simply substitute a 35 gallon drum for the larger barrel H, and a five gallon pail for the inner filtering container K.)

Here’s another way to filter water when at camp or in a survival situation:

How to Make a Water Filter for the Camp

Both in the home and in the camp it is often desired to filter the water that is to be used for cooking and drinking purposes. If filtering the water in the camp were always followed there would be less sickness after camping trips. Many a camper, coming home from a two or three weeks’ outing, is taken ill. and the doctor will tell him it was incurred by drinking water that was not pure.

Many methods are used to filter water that is used in the camp. Some of these are good, others are doubtful as to the purity of water obtained from them. Filtering water through a barrel sunk in the sand at the lake shore so that the water can come through the cracks along the staves is one way of obtaining pure water. Boiling and straining water is also a means to the same end. but a system that is far better than either of these is to make a filter as follows: Obtain a large earthen flower pot, unglazed, and with a hole in the bottom. Place a piece of clean flannel over the hole and fill in about 3 inches of clean sand, and cover the sand over with 4 inches of charcoal.

The water to be filtered is poured in at the top and the receptacle to catch the water is set below. The filtered water will come through the hole in the bottom of the pot. At intervals the pot should be cleaned out and new sand put in it. The charcoal should be put in a shovel or tin over a fire and thoroughly dried out, then it can be used again. This is an inexpensive and absolutely efficient method of purifying water.

Hello all!

I’ve decided to start sharing some of the headlines that relate to the coming times and preparedness/survival issues. The news matters no matter what you may feel about it. It’s important to pay attention to what is going on around us as that may sometimes be the only way to receive a warning of what we need to prepare for in these coming times. Today, we see a rising cost in both food and clothing, but why? We can find the answer to this question and more simply by paying attention to the news. Simply click onto the headlines and you will be taken to the story connected to that headline.

February 15, 2011 –
DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report 
(PDF, 25 pages – 345 KB)

The Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report is a DHS compilation of selected news articles from around the country regarding emergency and disater news. Well worth reading, and it’s keeps you up to date on what may be happening around you.

Food Matters;

Is the World Producing Enough Food?

Food prices are zooming again for reasons besides bad weather, climate change and global growth.

Drought in China threatens wheat crop and send global prices soaring

UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that a severe drought was threatening China’s wheat crop and could result in shortages of drinking water; analysts fear that wheat prices could soar even higher if China were to begin importing large quantities of food to feed more than a billion hungry mouths; wheat prices are already at record highs and have sparked food related protests around the world; surging prices are partially responsible for Egypt and Tunisia’s recent mass uprisings; China’s Shandong province, a major agricultural region, has only received fifteen percent of its normal rain levels; in dire terms Chinese state media reported that “land is drying out, and the crops are dying….

Infrastructure Matters;

Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet

A blackout during protests has mesmerized technical experts and raised concerns about other governments.

Cyberweapon could cause Internet doomsday

Researchers show that an attack by a large botnet — a network of computers infected with software that allows them to be externally controlled — could take down the Internet; the researchers reckon that 250,000 such machines would be enough to do the job; a sustained 20-minute attack by the 250,000-strong army — they will be sending waves of border gateway protocol (BGP) updates to every router in the world — would overwhelm the net, bringing Web servers down by overloading them with traffic….

Political Matters;

Michael Boldin: California – a nullifier’s paradise?

…States around the country are considering laws to reject federal laws on health care, guns, the Environmental Protection Agency regulations and more. The pundits scream “racism,” the legal experts cite the “supremacy clause,” and the entire country – left to right – just might be missing the point…. The real question, of course, is this – will gay marriage advocates in Maine, health care nullification advocates in Idaho, gun rights activists in Oklahoma, and marijuana advocates in California ever realize that they’re actually on the same side…

Secretary Napolitano Announces “If You See Something, Say Something™” Campaign Partnership with NBA
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 06:00:00 -0600 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner David Stern to announce a new partnership between the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign and the NBA.

Financial Matters;

As Austerity Cuts Bite in Portugal, Discontent Grows

Portugal’s government, pressured by outsiders to shape up fiscally, now faces growing public protests and political discord over its drastic spending cuts.

Federal deficit on track for a record this fiscal year

Government debt to exceed U.S. economy

President Obama‘s budget, released Monday, was conceived as a blueprint for future spending, but it also paints the bleakest picture yet of the current fiscal year, which is on track for a record federal deficit and will see the government’s overall debt surpass the size of the total U.S. economy….Mr. Obama’s budget projects that 2011 will see the biggest one-year debt jump in history, or nearly $2 trillion, to reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That would be 102.6 percent of GDP — the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached….

Brazil Finance Chief Renews Attack on Fed

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega renewed his attack on the Fed’s most recent program of quantitative easing, saying the policy had goosed global flows of hot capital and heightened the global problems of rising commodity prices and inflation.

Retailers set to raise apparel prices this spring
Retailers and apparel manufacturers are poised to raise clothing prices about 10% this spring, reflecting the skyrocketing cost of cotton as well as cost increases for synthetic fabrics as demand for cotton alternatives rises, said Burt Flickinger III, president of Strategic Resource Group. “We have been so used to deflation for years and years,” said David Bassuk of AlixPartners. “Customers are going to be surprised.” The Washington Times/The Associated Press

It’s Never Just the Economy, Stupid

WE ARE OFTEN TOLD that we possess the most powerful military in the world and that we will face no serious threat for some time to come. We are comforted with three reassurances aimed at deflecting any serious discussion of national security: (1) that Islam is a religion of peace; (2) that we will never go to war with China because our economic interests are intertwined; and (3) that America won the Cold War and Russia is no longer our enemy. But these reassurances are myths, propagated on the right and left alike. We believe them at our peril, because serious threats are already upon us.