Re-Blog: Ancient Survival Skills


(Originally posted 9/5/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

The gringa’s been thinking a lot about survival skills lately. Not only do I wonder what might happen to the average person’s way of life should nuclear war break out (thanks to the bad behavior of Trump and Kim Jong Un), I personally have survived several natural disasters. 


The gringa survived Hurricane Allison. There was a terrifying moment in a motor vehicle, faced with rising waters, when, as I performed a hasty 3-point turn-around to beat a quick retreat, the gringa wondered if she would be forced to choose swimming to safety with her 6-year-old son tucked under her arm and leaving behind her mother to fend for herself who couldn’t swim.


I also survived an earthquake in Los Angeles when visiting friends. It was the scariest natural disaster I have ever experienced. Tornadoes and hurricanes usually provide advance warning. You at least have a chance to get to a safe place. Not so with an earthquake. BOOM. It just happens. It’s a roll of the dice if you are in a safe place or not. No amount of planning really matters. 


I was one of the many evacuees finding safe harbor with friends, family and various hotels for almost a month after Hurricane Katrina. Although Houston didn’t get the brunt of the storm, suffering like New Orleans, we got severe wind damage. This meant rolling black-outs off and on for about a month.

The gringa, a single mom at the time, lived with a mother who had high blood pressure. No A/C in the middle of a Texas summer can be deadly for older individuals with high blood pressure. So, we stayed here and there for a few days at a time over the course of a month, so as not to wear out our welcome. After all, we were a traveling troupe of an old lady, 30-something gal, a child, 4 dogs and a rabbit.


Then Hurricane Ike came along and the gringa hunkered down with the caveman and kids, watching as 30-40′ pine trees bent over horizontal to the plane of the yard as the storm blasted through our neighborhood. We were basically cut off from civilization by floodwaters with no electricity in our neighborhood for nearly 2 weeks. 


We cooked out on the grill in our neighborhood from our hurricane food stores not knowing how long we might need them to last. Although we had a battery back-up pack that we used sparingly to listen to news on the radio, eventually it ran out of juice and we, along with our neighbors, new nothing about when or if to expect rescue or help.


Now, the gringa has most recently survived Hurricane Harvey. The caveman, our children and I are some of the luckiest people in the world. All we got were floodwaters hemming us into our respective apartment complexes. No loss of life or property and only about 5 hours without electricity. 


As the gringa woke in the morning to a raging storm, no electricity and warming coffee water over a few candles, I wondered just how long we might be inconvenienced and if our inconvenience might become dangerous. Over the course of the next week I watched news broadcasts 24/7 to see if we might get a mandatory evacuation order, witnessed the courage and generosity of so many come to the aid of my fellow Houstonians, and battled depression as I saw the lives lost.


Needless to say, the gringa has now been mulling over survival skills. I know all about having a hurricane kit with backup necessities and supplies. However, as I talk to neighbors and hear them mention how secure they feel because they have a generator, the gringa can’t help but think how that is a false sense of security.

After all, Harvey shut down all of our refineries. The entire city and surrounding areas were out of gas within a couple of days. And there is little hope of keeping gas resources readily supplied on the scale the city needs. To really survive a disaster, one must be able to do it without gasoline. And, in case floodwaters require you to flee, a survival kit must be portable. That means no bulky stuff. 


Most Americans may think that they simply can’t live without the technology that makes their current lifestyle possible. Trust me, thousands of generations of indigenous people throughout history have done it. Some are still living in such a way. 

Shelter, water and fire are the first survival necessities to secure. Here are some old survival secrets modified for modern survivors:


Shelter: Think about all those indigenous North Americans who were nomadic, taking their tepee shelters with them.

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A modern survival shelter needs to be waterproof yet still provide plenty of air circulation during warm weather. Keeping out insects is also a must. A tarp roof and mosquito netting walls are perfect. In colder weather additional tarps can replace mosquito netting.


Skip the bulky, heavy commercial tents that include a frame that adds weight and bulk. Instead, add lots of rope and clothespins. Then, all you need is to find a place to hang everything. Some nice shade trees are the perfect location. It’s easier than you think to create a shelter.

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Water: The most common advice is for people to stock up on water. That usually means survival minded folks find themselves stashing a supply of bottled water. But bottled water has an expiration date. If you wait until a natural disaster is imminent, you usually arrive at a store to find there is no water left. 


Even if you have a supply laid aside that hasn’t expired, it is rare that you have set aside enough to meet your needs for the long haul of a few weeks. For hydration, cooking, hygiene and cleaning purposes, about 3 gallons daily are needed per person. That’s a lot of water to tuck away into a closet in the event you are cut off from regular water supplies for a couple of weeks.


If municipal water is contaminated or a tap has actually run dry, what are the options? Collecting rainwater or using natural resources like rivers and streams like they did in the good ol’ days. And you need to do more than boil the water to make it suitable for use. Having a portable carbon filter is a necessity in addition to water purification tablets that kill micro-organisms. Having other options than boiling water are necessary when it is important to conserve precious resources like firewood.


Rather than stock up on bottled water, fill up your bathtubs, even your washing machine, and any suitable vessels on hand to store water. But also have some buckets for the express purpose of harvesting rainwater or toting supplies from a nearby river or stream. You may be inclined to set-up a dedicated rainwater harvesting system for your home. But, again, don’t let that create a false sense of security. Have portable buckets on hand should you need to evacuate and setup shelter in a safer place.

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Fire: Fire serves to keep you warm and make it possible to cook your food when in a survival situation. Fire, in essence, is an energy source. Modern survivalists often replace the fires of old with a gas-powered generator. They use this generator to energize all their essentials that require electricity. They may rely on gas grills for cooking. Again, reliance on fuels that will become scarce in a disaster is a false sense of security.


To cook, lay aside plenty of charcoal briquettes that are safer to store than propane tanks. Charcoal also has a longer shelf life. Also have a healthy stock of firestarter sticks. Don’t forget about portability. If you have to evacuate, you will not want to be towing a barbecue grill with you. For evac purposes, pack a stainless steel pan and a lightweight stainless steel rack that can rest on top.


Instead of a generator that will become useless once there’s no gas for sale, why not put your trust in the Sun? Portable solar power generators can be packed and taken with you if you need to evacuate. Not so with a monster-size gas-powered generator. There are lightweight, fold-away solar generator kits that will keep you connected no matter where you setup camp.

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Although the gringa will leave first-aid kit details up to the dear reader to decide, I will offer one tip. Don’t overlook one key first-aid kit item that is rarely mentioned on the average tip list. One thing every survivalist needs today, especially considering the banter between Trump and Kim Jong Un, is a supply of Potassium Iodide tablets that will last for a couple of weeks.


Good luck and the gringa hopes that you will never need to use your survival kit. But if you live in an area prone to natural disasters like the gringa, it is a necessity that you will likely dip into from time to time.


Image Credits:


Bubi Bottle


DW Milhorne


The Bush Craft Cave


Parkway Partners NOLA


Powerenz


Video Credit: Blade HQ

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Re-Blog: Surviving A Nuclear War


(Originally posted 8/29/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

With Trump and Kim Jong Un rattling their sabers, many minds are pondering what happens in the event of nuclear war. Although the gringa thinks both knuckleheads are simply posturing, trying to establish who is the big dog on the porch, their silly pissing contest also has me thinking. 


What kind of plans are in place? Will the US government try to save most of the American people or is it every man for himself? Please do tell, government by the people and for the people, is there a plan for these here people?


According to de-classified CIA documents that date back as early as the Carter administration, along with presidential archives, there is good news. Nuclear war survival plans do, indeed exist. The big questions is, “The survival of WHOM?”


Early plans were developed to survive a nuclear holocaust with the old Soviet Union. Although the general public believes a tense but effective truce is in place between the US and Russia based on what is commonly called the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine, the gringa says, “Um, not so fast.”


The US government doesn’t really have any faith in such a doctrine. That’s why, since the 1950s, preparations have always been underway and updated for the the country to survive an all-out nuclear war. Where the government is concerned, the needs of the rabble are low on the priority list. Topping their list of problems to solve are:

  1. Can the presidency survive a nuclear war?
  2. If so, what would it do after a nuclear holocaust?
  3. How is the identification of the Commander-In-Chief verified and confirmed for the public?
  4. Who is responsible for official identification?
  5. How will a surviving president fulfill the 3 main duties of office: lead the government, perform as head of state, and command the armed forces?

Yeah, sorry folks, not a single word about the survival of the US populace. Although one can infer that surely there is still a plan to save us all. Otherwise, what point would there be to maintain a presidency? Who would there be to govern and rebuild the radiated ravaged nation?

To address the 5 predicaments of a post-apocalyptic presidency, President Carter came up with the bright idea of Presidential Directive 58. He issued this directive near the end of his term. Ronald Reagan added his own flourish to the directive in 1983. It is this amended version which would be in effect should Trump drag us into nuclear war with North Korea. 

Now, the gringa would like to inform the dear reader that key to survival is preparedness. Although we Americans would like to think that our government has our best interest at heart, the lack of drills, preparedness training, community evaluation and basic instruction and education on surviving a nuclear holocaust testifies to a different reality.

There are all sorts of crises that will erupt in the event of nuclear disaster. And as far as the gringa can tell, the public’s lack of any training and education makes it completely reliant on agencies like FEMA or the local National Guardsmen posted in our local communities.

While each federal agency is fortunate enough to have a fully-stocked, state-of-the-art underground facility to escape to, where do us regular folk go? The best advice I’ve heard so far is to tape up the windows and don’t use conditioner when you wash your hair. Really? Pretty sure the last thing the gringa will be interested in is using radiation contaminated tap water all over her body in the shower. But I digress.

The truth is, despite living in a country that touts the benefits of an armed populace to preserve freedom, that same well-armed populace has never been tapped by the government to create a credible and functional civil defense program. Do we then assume that the US government’s lack of attention to the welfare of civilians is a Darwinian approach? Do they just leave us to duck and cover, the survivors hunkering down, and at the end of this survival of the fittest exercise the new American emerges? The deserving American? The American who had true grit? That sounds about right.

If nuclear war happens, there is an expectation that martial law will be declared. Resources will be under government control and re-distributed as they see fit. Does that mean resources will be strategically deployed to areas the government considers to be the most likely to benefit? Will a capitalist attitude affect redistribution decisions? Will they consider return-on-investment more important than equitable distribution? Could some communities get nothing at all because, strategically speaking, they are just not worth depleting precious, limited resources?

These are the nasty little questions that will always be asked. That is exactly why politicians have no intention of bringing up such a nasty little subject. And that is just one more reason the nation does not pursue a goal of organizing a credible civil defense program involving actual civilians. When the government keeps secrets and makes secret plans, there is only one reason for doing so. The public will not like any of it.  

Government survival plans have relocation sites scattered across the nation at about 60 sites, mostly concentrated in southern and east coast states so as to be near DC. The dear reader can bet their bottom dollar that those are the areas that will receive the surest and largest portion of re-distributed resources. If you happen to live on the west coast you better have some really good walking shoes. Because, chances are, if you want to eat you will have to head east.

In the end, the US government doesn’t look at Americans as people when it comes to nuclear holocaust survival plans. They just look at us as numbers. And the magic number is that the government expects only about 80% of us to survive. Doesn’t sound too bad unless you happen to be among the unfortunate 20%.  And the stockpile of resources is not designated so much for the civilian population’s continued survival but more so that the government can rebuild its own stability and strength.

That also means that, in order to rebuild critical infrastructure like communications and transportation, survivors may also find themselves pressed into service and labor. The gringa’s advice is that if you value your freedom as an American, start organizing within your own community. 

Don’t count on the government to show up with the cavalry and pass out bottled water and diapers. Muster your real American spirit and make a plan to do it all on your own, along with the help of your neighbors. Otherwise you might have to become an indentured servant for clean water and a bunk. In other words, a post-apocalypse American slave. 

The video below has some nuclear war survival tips. If you want to skip the bluster and politics and get straight to the tips, start at the 3:25 mark.

Source: 

Image Credit: A Sheep No More

Video Credit: The Economist

If You Can’t Trust The CIA, Who Can You Trust?


Conspiracy theories seem to be taking center stage in American politics these days. That being said, the current president seems to find conspiracies believable. Now, why do so many people believe conspiracy theories? When Trump makes an outrageous claim with no evidence to back it up, why are there so many people jumping on the bandwagon?

Maybe it’s because some of the institutions in our country that should be reliable have done things that have damaged their credibility. When agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lose public trust, then it’s easier to turn to conspiracy theories as reliable information. So how bad have the “good guys” become?

The CIA was created in 1947. It’s job has been to collect and analyze information about foreign nationals, organizations, businesses and government officials on the down-low. No one is supposed to know they are being spied on. However, thanks to whistle-blowers and the viral nature of the worldwide web, many of their nasty, little secrets have been revealed. And now, the CIA may have to suffer the consequences of being damaged goods unworthy of public trust.

Now, the gringa understands that the spy business is a nasty business. No one likes a snoop, a snitch or a turncoat. But, the reality is, if a country wants to know what the enemy is up to, spies are necessary. We may despise a spook, but without them, we would all be much more vulnerable. But what do we do if our spy community takes advantage of secrecy to abuse their broad authority? What if that results in our “good guys” morphing into the “bad guys”? Well, then the whole world is in trouble. For anyone to be truly safe, it has to be clear who, exactly, the good guys are.

Operation Ajax: Many people today may not even think about a serious power struggle in Iran that took place more than half a century ago. In 1951, the current Shah, Reza Pahlavi, survived an attempt on his life. It’s possible this assassination plan was cooked up by none other than his Prime Minister who wanted to reduce the Shah’s power. The CIA took interest because of, what else, oil. Particularly a British oil company, AIOC.

The Shah’s opposition considered this foreign oil company’s presence just one step too close to invasive British imperialism. Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh demanded an audit which AIOC refused. What’s a Prime Minister to do when his authority is insulted? Seize the company and make it a national asset.

The 1950s was the height of the Cold War. Every European nation, including the great island of the UK, kept oil supplies ready and at hand, their military capabilities primed should Russia strike. With British oil supplies in Iran threatened, which, in turn, threatened the readiness of their military, who else does the UK turn to but their powerful cousin across the pond, the US.

The Eisenhower Administration was on board, eager to flex its muscles for all the world to see. Especially Russia. And Mossadegh’s aggressive takeover of a British company was interpreted by Americans in the throes of the Red Scare as one step toward Communism for Iran.

Of course, the US was then “obligated” to save the vulnerable Iranians from Communism and “preserve” democracy”. Yep, the same old recycled story of preserving democracy as a cover for interfering in the sovereignty of a country in order to control their valuable oil.

The funny thing is that Prime Minister Mossadegh was actually an advocate of democracy. He, himself, was a democratically-elected official. His political goal was to diminish the power of the station of Shah who was a hereditary monarch. See the conflict here? In the end, however, the CIA launched Operation Ajax.  This is how things went down:

  • Iranian officials and mafiosos were bribed.
  • Staged protests were bought and paid for in every major Iranian city.
  • CIA agents were boots on the ground, using radios to transmit coverage of protests to the US and other media around the world.
  • The media covered this news, effectively convincing their respective populations that Tehran was about to be overwhelmed by a populist army of rebels. (Is this beginning to sound familiar, you know, like Syria?)
  • Mossadegh saw the writing on the wall and resigned.
  • The new Prime Minister was a British/US puppet who restored oil monies to the British and the power of the throne to the Shah.
  • The Shah responded with a security crackdown: secret police, traitors prisons for suspects without hearing or trial, and a major propaganda campaign to practically deify the Shah in the eyes of all Iranians.

Considering the outcome of the operation, it’s pretty easy to see that the “preserve democracy” justification was a sham.  The West’s only interest was to get rid of Mossadegh because the only goal was to preserve British control of oil interests. So long as the Shah followed the program, the CIA was more than happy for this bloody tyrant to stay in power.
As it turns out, the CIA, British and Americans were no real friend to the Shah. They stood idly by while Communists and radical Islamists oranized secretly right under his watchful nose. It took more than a quarter of a century but, eventually, these rebels rioted and drove the Shah right off his throne. This was followed up with massacres of those who supported the Shah and any foreigners in Iran exploiting oil interests. Children were not spared.

What happened next is the installation of the Shah most of us are more familiar with, Ayatollah Khomeni. And he was incredibly ruthless, loyal to none. Once in power he turned right around and slaughtered the leftists who had led the rebellion that ousted his predecessor. What a reward for loyalty! Tens of thousands were imprisoned. This is when the famous hostage crisis at the American Embassy occurred during the Carter administration.

Neighboring Iraq took full advantage of the chaos. They invaded Iran on their western border. It is this key invasion event that created a ripple effect of events that are still unfolding today in all that is going on in the Middle East. Because, if not for the original interference of the CIA in 1953 that resulted in a political and monarchal coup in Iran, the de-stabilization and continued conflict for superior power present today would not have resulted. Iran had been, up until that time, a stabilizing seat of power in the Middle East.

By organizing a revolution the CIA set the stage for Islamic radicals and political rebels to flourish. Nw these rebels and radicals knew that there were powerful nations willing to arm and supply them if profit and oil interests would be in their favor by doing so. The precedence was set for the US and UK to exploit mercenary Middle Eastern rebels and radicals as a means to maintain Western control of Middle East oil reserves. They would use these assets to threaten a leader who stepped out of line or replace a leader who dared to go rogue.

The gringa knows that lots of people like to blame the war on terror on George W. or other contemporary political actors. The reality is that the seeds were planted much, much earlier in history for this poisonous tree that is bearing toxic fruit today.

Sources: ColdWar.org

The Latin Library

CIA

Video Credits: AICBroadcast

SYRIA UPDATE: Commentary & Supposition


Let’s suppose for a minute that the allegations are true: that Putin promised the White House and a share in Rosneft to Trump in exchange for lifting Russian sanctions, blackmail of Ukraine’s leader and installing a pro-Russian Ukraine leader which would provide unfettered access to Ukraine’s pipelines. Those pipelines are worthless without the crude being shipped out of the Middle East. Russia’s only port for crude shipping in the Middle East is in SYRIA. What if Syria was part of the bargain?

Russia couldn’t very well topple its own ally it is fighting beside in a civil war. Could it be that Trump or Putin would stage a dark op to cast Assad in such a light that the US could justify a military action so crippling that Syria’s only survival becomes completely dependent on Russia? Russia could then install a new government in Syria, staffed by its own operatives. Trump and Putin would then become the most powerful and wealthy men in the entire world.

But what would happen if this dynamic duo had their plans exposed? It is suspected that Putin is the authority behind the assassination of those with vital knowledge. The suspected body count is now up to 10. What if Trump has become paranoid that he or one of his loved ones might become a Russian liability as US intelligence communities creep their investigations forward? What if Trump decided to cut his losses, that this is all getting too complicated and bothersome and he’s just not enjoying himself any longer? What if Trump tried to cut and run from his Putin obligations? What would happen then? What if this is what is happening?

What if a war is actually about to break out because one crook tried to double-cross another crook and these two crooks both happen to be in control of 2 of the most powerful and deadly military forces in the world? The world is watching 2 madmen on a stage and we have no idea what the real plot is.

The gringa has few solid answers, plenty of questions, and a treasure trove of US documented history that indicates that a dark operation by the US is entirely plausible. I can also guarantee you that Trump’s strike on Syria was NOT motivated by his great, big, humanitarian heart that was bleeding on behalf of suffering, gassed Syrian children. And damn his heretical invocation of the name of God for his actions.

Many dark operations have, in fact, already gone down in US history before. The gringa warns her dear readers to beware. Be very cautious moving forward as you attempt to decide your own position in this very dangerous situation.

The US mainstream media will most likely fall in line. For some news agencies it will be sudden. Others will deliver a slow drip, drip, drip of conditioning to gradually mold the minds of skeptics. But expect all US mainstream media to eventually get around to demonizing Assad and hail President Trump. Americans should beware of the same media that sold us the deceitful bill of goods that gave us Iraq during the Bush administration. Read media from other nations. As you do, you will become acutely aware that Trump, and viz a viz America, is being called every name in the book from rogue nation to terrorist.

State sponsored media in Russia is prepping its population to support, and even demand, a showdown with the US. America is being painted as monsters, the puppets of Zionist terrorists in Israel. Russian media is capitalizing on the love loss between Trump and US neighbors south of the border. Many leaders of countries in Central and South America are pondering over the same possibilities the gringa has mentioned here and in the previous Special Report of yesterday.

There have even been some US southern neighbors welcoming Russia. Just this month it was announced that Russia was shoring up its military and economic alliances with these South American countries that are practically at America’s back door: Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. While Trump was busy denigrating neighbors that could make or break our national security, Putin was investing in a local strategy of power and influence. You see why the gringa say, “Take care, dear readers.”

Trump’s actions have been extremely immature and downright dangerous. His lack of sophistication has driven him to desperate actions. Trump has now painted targets on the backs of every American abroad, whether living abroad or traveling for business or pleasure. As the gringa discussed events with her dear caveman, he reminded her of the numerous kidnappings, tortures and murders of Americans that took place in the 70s as the reputation of America became diminished abroad.

Not only is Russia preparing for a confrontation with US sailors in the Mediterranean off the shores of Syria, but Russian ally Iran sits poised for Putin’s direction. Make no mistake about what is happening. Trump is the worst national disaster in the US since the Great Depression. I hope the few points his popularity polls crept upward are worth to him all the lives his megalomania is costing the world. The US president is a madman. And he is a madman who is either in league with another madman, Putin, or has double-crossed that madman. Either way, this is the worst news the entire world could receive.

SPECIAL REPORT: Trump, Putin & Syria


To understand the significance of what just happened, it is important to ask the right questions. Although the gringa would never deny the importance of humanitarian actions, we first have to determine if the American people have been told the truth of what happened in Syria or if we have been duped to support a dark operation. Please read on with an open mind. More importantly, follow the links to further your own personal research in order to draw the most informed conclusion. Even after the research the gringa has already done, she is still left with more questions. Although I am deeply moved by the suffering of the Syrian people, I cannot support Trump’s actions.

Trump had been quietly building up troops in the region of Syria’s conflict since February yet the mainstream media rarely reported these movements. Why?

Trump has always criticized publicizing intended military action as a stupid way of giving the target a head’s up. Yet he notified Russia and Syria officials of his intentions, though not the public. Russia and Syria had time to evacuate personnel and critical equipment and supplies. However, it appears that innocent Syrian civilians were left behind to become collateral damage, public sympathy insurance for Syrian and Russian anti-American propaganda. Also notice in Russia’s drone footage it only appears that outbuildings and insignificant runways were destroyed. Unscathed are major runways, earthen, concrete open hangars with aircraft parked within and aircraft parked in the open. Why?

Russia has troops deployed strategically around the world. Build-ups have been reported by many European nations that see Russia as a growing threat. Yet Trump did not think it necessary to be concerned of Russia retaliation to the US or our allies. Why?

Trump is an avid conspiracy theorist who has publicly insulted and questioned the integrity of the US intelligence community. Such intelligence would be required to verify the identity of who authorized the Syrian gas attack. Conflicting reports throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia raise possibilities that it was a false flag event staged by the rebels and terrorists designed to be blamed upon Assad. Yet Trump immediately chose to trust the US intelligence community and reject conspiracy possibilities intended to provoke this very response. Why?

Trump has consistently praised and supported the brutal leadership characteristics of Putin and Assad. Yet suddenly he changes his position and engages in an act of war with lightning speed. Why?

Historically, when a president is fraught with unpopularity, low employment, paralyzing controversy, and stagnant economy a war temporarily solves these problems. For a president accused, and being investigated, for treason and collusion with Russia, what more significant gesture to refute the accusations than to attack Russia through an ally proxy? Considering how much power and wealth is at stake between a Putin-Trump alliance, it is entirely possible KGB master of propaganda, deception & mind-molding, Putin himself, cooked up this plan because it is certainly too complex for Trump. This could all be political theatre at the cost of Syrian civilian lives.

Read history, dear readers. Look at Operation Ajax from the 1950s, perpetrated by the CIA on behalf of British oil interest in Iran. All the elements are the same. Staged civilian protest. Staged revolution. Arming of rebels and radicals. Bloody political coup. Massive propaganda and misinformation campaign to win US public support for a fake war that was the cover to install a puppet government to control oil interest. Delve into the documents of the CIA itself to discover that what has unfolded in Syria is simply a re-run of what happened in Iran nearly 70 years ago in Operation Ajax.

Read the works of Noam Chomsky. Hegemony has long been US foreign policy regardless of what party or individual controlled the White House. Trump is no different. That is why, by and large, Congress will support him regardless of party affiliation and even though his action was illegal, lacking Congressional approval. The US is a warmonger, always looking for justification to act on its power for profit or power expansion. And April, 6, 1917, 100 years ago yesterday, the US entered WWI. For a man who loves the taste of drama, don’t think such a detail as this significant anniversary escaped Trump.

Although Trump is justifying his act on the horror of civilians, especially children, being gassed, America has NEVER waged a war for purely humanitarian reasons. If Trump was motivated by humanitarianism, he would not reject desperate refugees seeking shelter in the US. He would not be ignoring the suffering of South Sudanese children caught up in their nation’s civil war. He would be inserting US military into Nigeria to stop the ethnic cleansing and religious genocide that is ongoing. There is only one reason Trump has intervened in Syria. Power and national interest. If you wonder what’s so darn important about Syria, check out the basics of the strategic interests of each party involved in this long, drawn out conflict:

US strategic interest in Syria: The importance of Syria is not because of the resources it has, but because of the countries that border it. Iraq is one neighbor, an oil production giant with many Americans on Iraqi soil and vulnerable to a Syria that might be controlled by a leader who is no friend to America. American allies Israel, Jordan and Turkey skirt 3 other borders.
Russia’s interest: Syria has provided naval station Tartus to the Russian Federation for the past 40 years. It is Moscow’s primary marine foothold in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean serves as the major corridor for Intra-European trade and the flow of oil in and out of the Middle East through Syria and, ultimately, to Russian interests.

ISIS interest: ISIS is composed mainly of fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who believe that the whole world should become a single Islamic community living under one Islamic State governed by Sharia Law. War in Syria would give them a golden opportunity to build a proto-state adjacent to countries where Sunni Muslims are a majority. Sunni majority nations bordering Syria or in extremely close proximity: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. These Sunni rich nations are vast recruitment assets for growing the ranks of ISIS. For ISIS to control Syria would mean greater ease in accomplishing their global mission. It would solidify their grip on the Middle East. This would mean the rest of the world would see their oil interests strangled unless they submitted to ISIS. A nation without Middle East oil powering their military is a nation that is powerless in the face of ISIS. Control of Syria is crucial to winning, or losing, the war against ISIS.

At first glance, the war with ISIS is the most logical reason for Trump’s action. However, we must still consider that Russia has been no friend to ISIS, nor has Assad. There was really no real threat of an ISIS takeover of Syria. The civil war in Syria was beginning to turn in Assad’s favor with the helpful latest push from ally, Russia. Why would Assad then sabotage such progress by a reprehensible gas attack on his people? He is no naive child on the world stage. He had to know there would have been a backlash at least, retaliatory action at most. This is a puzzle many nations who have no oil interest in Syria are openly discussing. And their conclusions are quite dark and disturbing.

Is Trump’s action in Syria indicative of yet one more secret Trump-Russia pact? The election collusion has always centered around the power of oil interests. The allegations: Russia would gift Trump an oil interest in Rosneft along with the White House in exchange for the US lifting Russian sanctions. Trump was also to blackmail the leader of US ally Ukraine to step down making it possible to install a Russian friendly Ukrainian leader. The end result would be a Russian proxy Ukraine allowing unfettered access to lucrative pipelines. What if Syria was also part of the deal?

By destabilizing an already weakened Assad, Trump can create the conditions for Putin to gain control of Syria. Syria has a coastal border which has long provided Russia with port access to move oil. Is Syria to be another gift from Trump to Russia? Was this move to set the stage of pay off by toppling Assad which would enable Russia to tighten its control and install a puppet Syrian leader? Some nation’s are beginning to suspect just such a secret deal between Trump and Putin. Peruse the discussions taking place amongst foreign policy experts in Asia. Such a pact would then explain the inexplicable. Whereas Assad has nothing to gain from gassing his people, the US and Russia or the rebels have much to gain by staging a civilian attack and blaming Assad.

The dear reader may think these suggestions are preposterous. But stop and consider what happens if Middle East oil power is consolidated into the hands of one individual or a partnership between two individuals. If Trump and Putin have ambitions of controlling the world’s oil supplies, they will become the most powerful and wealthy men in the entire history of the world. Such an ambition is not beyond the realm of possibility with these two megalomaniacs. And to achieve their dream, regime change in Syria is necessary. To better understand how critical control of Syria is, read the analysis of the Communist Party USA. Even if you are virulently opposed to Communism, one cannot refute facts regardless of the messenger.

Although the missile attack is sensational, it is the motive that preceded it and the aftermath that ensues that really matters. Someone, or a group of “someones”, will pay the price for this action. Is death for the masses to be the

price of Trump’s low approval ratings? Would these lives be Syrian troops on the ground at the base during the missile launch? Assad, himself? Nope. Trump gave Syria and Russia a head’s up so they could evacuate critical officials, military personnel, equipment and supplies. The only ones paying the price for Trump’s low approval ratings right now appear to be the Syrian civilians left behind, the price Syria and Russia were willing to pay for public sympathy. And a future price may include the American and Russian soldiers who will die as a result of Trump’s desperation to turn things around for himself and deliver what is owed to Putin.

Russia’s navy and biggest guns are speeding to the region as we speak, prepared for confrontation with the US naval ships who launched the attack. And, in the grand scheme of things, every American who continues to naively accept being emotionally manipulated by a government bent on world domination will pay the price. The path of hegemony the US follows will continue to wreak havoc around the world. This will continue to destabilize populations. Desperate populations will continue to flee to America and other places. And they will always require our financial assistance.

Sources:

CIA

Asian Times

Communist Party USA

Image Source: Mappery

Video Source: Russian Defense Ministry

Sparky & Boot, The Greatest Heroes of All Time


Although the gringa doesn’t often write about dogs, there is, indeed, a very soft space in my heart for them. In fact, I love them with all of my heart. I think dogs are just grand. In fact, in my own life I consider a dog named Sparky to be a hero. Alone on a rural farm with my oldest son who was about 5 years old at the time, Sparky took a bullet while keeping out an intruder. The gringa’s dear readers can only imagine how that dog lived a life fit for a king the rest of his days, even if he was left with one paw that resembled a flipper as a result of his wounds.

That being said, and after the gringa regained her composure and was able to type once again, I am moved to share the story of Boot.  He was the only retriever in a company of twenty military service dogs comprised of German Shepherds and Dobermans. Serving aboard an attack boat, he landed on the shores of enemy territory in Japan during World War II.

Trained at Camp Pendleton in California, Boot was actually the pet of a Sergeant and soon earned a reputation as playful, friendly and a bit of a character. When the ship was asea, the War Dogs were housed in kennels. Boot, however, got special privileges as a pet. He enjoyed more freedom as an on-board mascot and liked to cruise the decks, sneaking up behind unsuspecting sailors and grabbing their arms from off the railings. When forces landed at Iwo Jima, Boot was part of the invasion force and his later unexpected performance in battle made headlines in local papers.

The story goes that a Lieutenant arrived at camp and requested a War Dog to flush out some enemies forces who were hiding out in nearby caves. The Sergeant explained that all the War Dogs were currently out on duty and he would have to wait until their return. Noticing Boot, the Lieutenant asked why he could not be deployed. The Sergeant explained that, despite the fact that he had been fully trained as a War Dog, he was actually a pet, the troop’s mascot, but, since he knew all the battle commands, the Lieutenant could take him and give it a shot. The Lieutenant did just that and Boot was successful at clearing out three caves that were being held by enemy forces.

Because of Boot’s heroic actions, U.S. Marines were able to advance their battle line. Once Boot returned home, his fame followed him. He and his Sergeant made a guest appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The nation’s very first Marine War Dog Training School was at Quantico Bay. It opened in January, 1943 under the command of Captain Samuel T. Brick. Fourteen Doberman Pinschers and a single Boxer were the first recruits. The Boxer, named Fritz, was the first dog sworn in as part of the Marine Corp. By the time Boot joined the Marine Corp, the United States had several War Dog training camps, including the one he attended at California’s Camp Pendleton.

When training began, War Dog recruits were ranked as Privates. Within three months successful recruits became Private First Class. Corporal rank was achieved at one year, Sergeant at two years and Platoon Sergeant at three years. Four year War Dog veterans became Gunner Sergeants and one year later they promoted to Master Gunner Sergeant. It was not uncommon for a War Dog to have a higher rank than their handler who might be fresh out of boot camp.

As the gringa envisions Boot fearlessly chasing the enemies in the close confines of the caves, she is taken back in her memory to the day Sparky took a bullet. He started out as a stray taken in as a pup. The gringa can’t count the number of times he tore up the fence and caused any number of problems. At one time the man of the house became so frustrated that he ordered the gringa to “take that dog to the pound”. The gringa obediently loaded Sparky up into the car the next day, drove to the pound, read the documents that required a signature releasing the dog for euthanasia in the event an adoption never happened, then burst into tears and loaded that darn dog back into the car and returned home.

When the man of the house returned and growled, “I thought I told you to take that dog to the pound.” The gringa calmly replied, “I did. You didn’t say anything about leaving him there.” And that was that. Although one would have never known from all the trouble he caused as a one year old spunky pup, that darn dog grew up to become the most amazing dog the gringa has ever known.

We lived on a farm and had loads of chickens. That came about because the gringa had the bright idea of becoming a chicken farmer. What wasn’t expected was that when it came time to sell hens to become roasters on family tables or roosters that might end up in a soup pot or illicit cockfighting ring, the gringa could not bear to destine the little creatures to such a fate. So, the chicken farm became an egg farm and rooster bachelor haven. It also became the hub for local chicken hawks looking to score an easy meal.

Although Sparky had no training whatsoever, it did not take him long to realize that the chickens were part of the family and he became their self-appointed protector. He would go bananas barking and lunging upward as far as he could, threatening chicken hawks that seemed to be miles away in the sky. If the chickens got too spread out as they foraged, he would herd them closer to the barn where they could skedaddle to safety if a chicken hawk showed up.

Sparky wasn’t our only dog on the farm. Living out in the country meant that it was not uncommon for people to dump an unwanted dog, expecting it to somehow revert to its wild nature and survive alone. We also had Dot, a dumped deaf Dalmatian, Trixie, a golden chow the man of the house found as a homeless golden puffball that the gringa relentlessly shaved down to the skin all year round, and Scooby, a fat black retriever looking thing who revealed an amazing rapid weight loss overnight which caused us to realize that she was only fat because she was pregnant. So then we had 6 more dogs on our hands, which we eventually found homes for.

Out of all of these dogs who had a grand farm dog life, Sparky was the only one who exhibited remarkable intelligence. The others were all fine dogs in their own respects but there is no doubt that Sparky alone stood out as a hero.

For instance, there was the day a neighbor moved in about 5 acres over. She was a single woman who, the gringa believes, must have had a very tragic story. She was not just reclusive but obsessed with security. She installed an electrified security fence that was 8-10’ tall around her house. If that weren’t enough she put in a small shooting range and was outside all the time practicing her marksmanship with her pistols. Then she got some dogs. And not just any dogs.

You see, we lived on the flatland prairie north of Dallas at that time. A person could step outside and practically see for miles. And sound carried even further. It didn’t take too many trips to the barn before the gringa witnessed the new neighbor outside her secure perimeter with four full-grown German Shepherds and a professional handler in a protective suit training the dogs to attack. I tell ya, the gringa went from thinking she had a recovering victim next door to considering a full-fledged, dangerous lunatic was near at hand.

After weeks of training, the handler no longer came. The neighbor, however, continued to take the dogs outside the security fence and work with them on the open prairie. Her confidence in controlling them was misplaced.

One day, while I was outside working and our oldest son was doing his thing on the swingset, the gringa could hear the whistles and commands that indicated the nut next door was working with her dogs. Soon her tone of voice changed. The gringa heard crazy barking and turned to see her pack of attack dogs high-tailing it across the fields, making a bee-line for me and mine. I threw down my feed buckets, ran and scooped up my son, threw him through the back door of the house then hoped I had time to lock the gate on the pen to the barn where my donkeys were happily munching away on some fresh hay I had just laid out. I gave the chickens up for dead and started calling the dogs to me.

I locked up the pen and headed back for the house eyeing the distance that was quickly closing between me and the German Shepherds. I realized I had to make a decision. I might not even have time to make it into the house myself, there was no way to even attempt penning up my dogs. All of them were outside dogs, housed in the barn at night and during bad weather. These unmannered barn dogs were all going to have to go in the house with me. I didn’t care and they were more than happy to follow and see what the mystery was all about in this one structure they had never been allowed to explore.

As I turned to close and lock the patio door, seeing the German Shepherds lunge through the gap between barbed wire strands of our fence I realized that Sparky was still out on the deck barking like a maniac at the intruders. I called and called but he ignored me and stood his ground. In the midst of the chaos and fear it took some time before I realized that his refusal to obey me was because, in the confusion, Trixie, still quite young, had run under the deck instead of into the house. I could see her trembling in the gaps between the wooden steps. He was protecting her. Crap. Now what does the gringa do?

The gringa instructs her 5-year-old son to man the back door. The gringa runs to the front door on the other side of the house, slips out and under the porch, belly crawls under the house, grabs Trixie, crawls back to the front, puppy in tow, still listening to the ruckus Sparky is making, hoping he survives but grateful for the distraction so I can safely rescue Trixie. By now I can hear the shouts from my neighbor who has obviously been making her way across the pasture to get her crazed dog pack.

I get back in the house, dump Trixie and load my shotgun with birdshot. I get my son out of the way who has been cheering Sparky but then suddenly becomes very serious when he sees his dirty, cobweb covered mother with an enormous gun in her hand (and most likely a very mean, murderous gleam in her eye).

I walk out beside Sparky and yell at the dogs to get. They go bananas, even crazier, and the gringa is pretty sure that she has just poured gasoline onto a fire. I don’t dare touch Sparky and try to drag him in the house. He is so pissed he might just bite me. The German Shepherds are not listening to their master as she uses her stupid dog whistle from the other side of the fence. Finally, the gringa makes her most critical decision. I maneuver over to the side of the deck slowly and land a blast of birdshot on the behind of the dog in the most unfortunate position of the outside of the pack. I never in my life thought a dog could jump straight up like a cat. However, when they are shot with birdshot in the backside, they do.

For a split second everything was quiet. We were all in shock. It was like the dogs were saying, “Did she just shoot one of us?” And Sparky was thinking, “What should I do next?” And then it was all chaos again. The neighbor lady was about to stroke out in her madness that I had just shot one of her dogs, not realizing it was only a flesh wound. One of her dogs was wailing in pain, the others were circling the deck, eyeing the steps as they prepared to rip me apart, and the gringa took advantage of Sparky’s momentary lapse back into reason to grab his collar and back up to the door. Thankfully my son was still performing his door duty because it promptly opened when my own backside struck it.

When the man of the house returned home from work, true to 5-year-old form, our son streaked right out the door and before his father could set one foot out of his truck, he promptly tattled on his mother and said, “Mom shot the neighbor’s dog today.”

And who knows, Sparky’s future injury may have very well been payback. The gringa will never know. All she does know is that it was afternoon naptime for her and a very grubby 6-year-old boy about six months after the gringa shot the neighbor’s dog. We had been sound asleep for about one hour when there came a strange, repeating pound on the front door accompanied by whines and yips. Dog sounds, yes, but not the usual dog sounds our little pack made.

I went to the front door and found Scooby and Dot jumping up on the door and the side of the house in distress. Scooby, like a retriever, took my hand in her mouth and tugged. Dot just made circles and strange yipping sounds. I followed, puzzled. They led me to the front gate of our driveway that was about the length of a football field. It couldn’t be seen from the house because of a cluster of trees that surrounded a small watering hole directly in front of the house. When I got to the gate there sat Sparky, shivering in pain and shock as Trixie comforted him by licking his wounded paw that would become a flipper after removing all the pieces of shattered bone in order to avoid amputating the whole darn leg.

I rushed Sparky to the vet not knowing exactly what had happened. I wouldn’t learn the truth until I talked to our other neighbor. He was a horse trainer and almost always outside working on his property which was across the road from me. He only noticed what happened after he heard the shot. He saw a person, too far away for any other details, running down the road and eventually out of sight. By the time he had put up his horses and come over to check on us we were already at the vet’s office. He said he saw the enormous cloud of dust I left behind as I drove like a  bat out of you know where.

When the vet found out that Sparky had been injured in the line of duty, he was very impressed. He knew that saving Sparky was going to be very expensive and that the gringa was not made of money. He offered to save Sparky for free if I would let him keep my hero dog. The gringa said no thank you, that a certain little boy would never forgive me for such a betrayal, and chose to max out a credit card instead.

Despite my own notoriety with a shotgun, it was really Sparky’s fame that ended up stretching far and wide throughout the local high school. When he reached the end of his days at 17-years-old and the appointment was made with the veterinarian to ease his passing, for three days high school students that were classmates and friends with our children made their way over for one last visit with Sparky. You see, since our kids were school age, Sparky faithfully made the morning and afternoon pick-up and drop-off trips to the school. Often he was hanging out the window, mooching a scratch from any passerby. Everyone knew Sparky, the dog with a limping flipper who was a hero. And now the gringa is crying again.

Sources:

www.uswardogs.org

k9history.com

 

NASA, Please Explain


Why hasn’t mankind been back to the Moon? Why do humans only travel as far as the International Space Station (ISS) and no further if Russia and the United States have already had successful Moon landing missions? These questions fuel the conspiracy fires that claim the Apollo Moon landing was a staged scene and never really happened. Regardless of a person’s position on this, what of Russia? If they made it to the Moon, why haven’t they been back either?

During the years of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, it was always a game of one-upmanship. Rather than flinging bombs at one another it was a bit of “Whatever you can do I can do better.” The space race was no exception.

In 1961 the Soviet Union took the lead in the space race when Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth and returned home, all in one piece. In response, U.S. President John F. Kennedy did not say, “Well done.” No, instead he threw down the gauntlet and swore that the U.S. would out-do the Soviet’s achievement. He declared that within a decade Americans would have a man on the Moon and back home safe and sound. Eight years later people around the world watched televised broadcasts of Neil Armstrong planting a U.S. flag on the surface of the Moon. Or did he?

What we know now compared to what we knew then may cast great doubt on the legitimacy of the Apollo mission. Accusations that film director Stanley Kubrick prepared a fake production staged with the latest technologies of 70s era filmdon may actually have credibility. Consider the most common criticisms that point to the film being a fake:

  • Wind mysteriously blowing a flag that should be in the vacuum of space.
  • Anomalous shadows cast in different directions which would indicate multiple sources of light.
  • No disturbance of lunar dust or the Moon’s surface from the landing of the space module.
  • What are the strange objects that are reflected at different times in the visors of the astronaut’s space helmet?
  • Where are all the stars that should be in the background?

Skeptics of conspiracy theories can argue away these questions. For years the gringa has been inclined to believe in the Moon landing as an event that really did happen. My reason being that, for one thing, think about how many people would have to be in on such a crazy secret for all of these decades. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but the gringa’s pretty certain that somewhere along the way, throughout all of these years, surely someone would have cracked.

Despite my confidence in NASA, however, the gringa must admit that by becoming informed about the Van Allen radiation belts, I may have to change my position. This may be the smoking gun that exposes how the entire world has been duped. The U.S., desperate to remain relevant and seen as the most powerful nation, outperforming its most aggressive global competitor, may have gone so far as to stage the most incredible hoax of all time.

You see, the Van Allen radiation belts surround the Earth. Consider these belts to be an enormous layered donut and the Earth the donut hole. They radiate outward as far as 36,000 miles depending on whether they are expanding or contracting. The innermost ring generally spans from 400-6,000 miles above the surface of the Earth. The outer belt stretches generally from about 8,400-36,000 miles above Earth. The ISS is safely tucked into orbit at a mere 230 miles from the Earth’s surface in what is called a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Orbiting between the two belts is a GPS satellite set 12,500 miles away, just inside the innermost rim of the outermost belt, where radiation levels fluctuate according to waxing and waning cycles. Just within the outermost layer of the outermost belt is NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in geosynchronous orbit at 22,000 miles away studying the mess solar radiation makes from time to time.

In addition to the Van Allen radiation belts is the problem of a cloud of cool, charged particles which envelopes most of Earth’s outer atmosphere. Its nearest edge is about 600 miles from the surface of the Earth and extends outward and stops just inside the outermost edge of the furthest Van Allen belt. Scientists call this cloud the plasmasphere. It seems to cause particles in the outer belt to scatter. As the electrons scatter they create a loop which becomes a well defined belt. The plasmasphere is responsible for creating and maintaining the belts. When a powerful solar event occurs, such as a solar flare, some of the belts’ electrons can be forced by these extreme conditions into the space void between the belt layers, thus creating the waxing and waning effect of the belts.

The craziness of this relationship boggles the gringa’s mind. Think about it. The electrons are prevented by Earth’s magnetic field from penetrating all the way to Earth and frying all of us Earthlings. However, they also do not have enough energy to escape and dissipate into outer space. Thus they are trapped in this belt system which results in a protective barrier that traps dangerous radioactive solar radiation so that we don’t all get fried. Without the belts we fry. Without the plasmosphere we fry. Without the magnetosphere we fry. And if we hang out in any of these Earth preserving regions for any length of time we fry. Is that not the most amazing irony? That which preserves us can also kill us.

Considering that the Moon is 238,900 miles from the Earth, these dangerous, radioactive belts must have been navigated safely with the technology available in 1969. The only other option would have been to “thread the needle”, so to speak, by using a trajectory that would have allowed astronauts to travel through a narrow window of space that would have avoided the highest concentrations of radiation within the belts.

If this path had been successfully traveled in 1969, and adequate shielding technology existed, why is the danger posed by the Van Allen belts considered to be the main obstacle and unsolved problem preventing a consecutive Moon landing today? The gringa suspects the answer may lie in the fact that there really was no successful 1969 Moon landing to begin with.

Here are the words and quotes NASA uses to describe the Van Allen belts today:

  • 2 donuts of seething radiation.
  • Impenetrable barrier.
  • Wax and wane.
  • Expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation.

So what did NASA do to deal with the dangers of the Van Allen belts? Did they come up with a competent strategy and deliver the real deal with a man on the Moon or did they scam the entire world?

Newly discovered in 1958 by scientist James Van Allen, not much was known about them two years later when the first solution was offered up. In 1960 Robert O. Piland and Stanley C. White told NASA that hoping to shield astronauts effectively from the radiation was impractical. They did believe they could provide moderate protection and a safe enough route that would enable astronauts to not fry as they passed through the outer belt.

NASA got to work with a Group On Trajectory Analysis. Van Allen, himself, suggested that by detonating a nuclear warhead the crew could clear a path of travel. The gringa can only say, “Thank goodness NASA didn’t do that!” However, the defense industry in the US really mucked things up by nuclear testing which only increased the intensity of the radiation levels in the belts.

In 1964 NASA officials were confident that with the right skin on the spacecraft, a layer of protection provided by instrumentation, and the right trajectory, the risk was nominal to the crew. Equipped with dosimeters to record radiation exposure, the gringa is puzzled over the final results as reported by NASA. The agency reports that over the course of all the Lunar missions, astronauts were only exposed to radiation levels that were actually lower than the 5 rem a person working in a nuclear power plant would be exposed to annually. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission claims that the average American is exposed to a radiation dose of about 0.62 rem annually. A full body CAT scan delivers a radiation dose of 1 rem. So any human going through some rather routine medical procedures can easily reach the same radiation exposure levels as what NASA reported in the Apollo Moon landing crew.

ISS astronauts deal with radiation issues daily. It took the gringa quite a bit of head scratching and calculating to discover how ISS astronaut radiation levels compare to the astronauts of the Apollo Moon missions. They use a different measurement, the SI system. Maybe, if there is a conspiracy, this is by design to confuse amateur sleuths like myself. Anyway, I digress.

Basically one mSv is the equivalent dose of radiation an average person would be exposed to on Earth in one year’s time. Astronauts on the ISS are exposed to 1 mSv daily! This exposure takes place well outside the Van Allen belts in a space station constructed with the latest technology in radiation shielding and manned by personnel equipped with the safest space suit equipment available. How, then, could minimally protected astronauts pass through highly radioactive belts not just once, but twice, and not be ravaged with radiation? If ISS astronauts report a daily radiation exposure equivalent to a year’s worth of radiation back home and are not in the belts themselves, how in the world is the public supposed to believe that the Apollo astronauts were only exposed to the amount of radiation a person would absorb if they had 4-5 full-body CAT scans?

The  gringa has become incredibly skeptical. The gringa is going to be hopping mad if she discovers hard evidence that proves we have all been had. NASA, please explain.

Sources:

www.nasa.gov

www.nrc.gov

www.popsci.com

www.mun.ca

www.newscientist.com

www.windows2universe.org

Image Credit: www.wakingtimes.com