Guest Article: Are Mountain Lions More Important Than the Safety of People, Children, and Pets? – Part 1, by William E. Simpson

In the late 1980’s, it was determined by a relatively small group of financially- and politically-biased scientists and their lobbyists that the population of mountain lions (aka: cougar, puma) in California was dangerously low. So, they launched a massive media campaign to convince Californians that there was a genuine problem, giving rise to the 1990 California State legislation that provided a “protected” status for mountain lions. However, there was no overwhelming body of scientific evidence supporting such a claim. If there had been such credible evidence supported by a collective of unbiased and objective wildlife biologists, forming a majority opinion, mountain lions would have surely reached the benchmark for obtaining “endangered species” status and would be listed as such today. That was not the case.

Source: Wiki

Source: Wiki

“One” Specially-Protected Mammal

Since the passage in 1990 of California S.B. 132, which designated mountain lions as a “specially protected mammal”, deer populations have sequentially fallen-off to a point where they are in very serious decline, possibly leading to moratorium on deer hunting! The Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates there are now 445,000 deer in California, down from two million in the 1960s and 850,000 in the 1990s.

The reality is that mountain lions are extremely hard to observe and study in the wild, and there are very good reasons to believe that the mountain lion populations are much larger than what is being reported by California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. Lions are as elusive as ghosts and are equipped with some senses that exceed those of any other apex predator. For instance, their night vision is extraordinary, which is why they usually seek their prey during conditions of low light, when they have the tactical advantage over other animals (and humans) who cannot see well in the dark.

Jim Hamm in 2007 after mountain attack; Source: Mark McKenna/

Jim Hamm in 2007 after mountain attack; Source: Mark McKenna/

Mountain lions are, pound for pound, one of the strongest animals alive. They are recorded as making lateral leaps as far as 45 feet and vertical leaps up to 15 feet. Mountain lions can easily carry the equivalent of their body weight for short distances, which means that a large lion of 160 pounds can carry prey weighing 160 pounds or more to another location. Many times, they will kill and feast on the spot, then cover the remains until they return to feed again, so as to prevent other predators from robbing the lion of its kill.

Not So Cute or Cuddly

Some people have the false impression that a large and powerful dog presents a threat to a mountain lion; this is the result of misinformation being spread by pro-mountain lion lobbyists, who like to show photos of how “cute” and “cuddly” they appear. That is as far from the truth as the planet Pluto is from Earth! Here is a video, captured at night (when lions like to attack) of a lion who attacks and kills an adult Doberman Pincher guard dog that was inside a walled compound!

Now having seen the video, ask yourself this simple question; if such a powerful guard dog is so easily overwhelmed, how do suppose your child would fare, or even an adult human? How would a pet that you love like a family member survive this? The truth is that human children and adults have been attacked, injured, and eaten by mountain lions.

Costly Litigation Could Bankrupt Counties

The case of a little girl (Laura Small), who was attacked and seriously injured while she was collecting tadpoles at the county park, is just one of many, many examples. Had it not been for the heroic efforts by a passing hiker, the mountain lion would have certainly eaten the five-year-old, Laura Small. Subsequent to the mountain lion attack on Laura, Orange County California was hit with a $100 million dollar lawsuit. After a long and very costly legal defense, the county lost the lawsuit and ultimately settled out of court for $1.5 million dollars. As a result of this outcome:

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Harriett M. Wieder said Thursday she fears the settlement establishes a legal precedent that leaves the county “more vulnerable for additional lawsuits.”

Actually, Supervisor Wieder’s statement was short-sighted; the results of the Small lawsuit, and others like it, have created a body of legal precedents such that other counties in the State and elsewhere will face even more difficult challenges in all such future litigations. And these litigations have the ability to bankrupt smaller counties.

The State of California’s arguably negligent and reckless management of mountain lions has created an ominous level of potential financial liability for the counties in the state… Any “hands-off” policy that mandates management action only after people and/or their pets are injured or killed is unacceptable given that statistical predictive methods, based upon actual events, indicate that lions in close proximity to people leads to increased risks of adverse interactions. Furthermore, even if these interactions were “rare”, as some pro-lion activists claim, they are nonetheless extremely costly when they do occur. The bottom-line is that counties are saddled with all the liability for the state’s mismanagement of the lions and are now facing the massive costs for past and future litigations, while the State looks the other way and continues with the same management practices.

If I had a say, I would propose the following:

  • If the state wants to continue to manage mountain lions in the manner that they have, and are, and aside from the deer-decline implications, I would propose that all counties in the state that have lion-human proximity and territorial encroachment issues demand that the state immediately indemnify those counties with regard to any and all litigation related to lion attacks.
  • Should the state refuse to indemnify these counties, which I feel would be unreasonable, I believe that these counties would, pursuant to their fiduciary duties, and other law, have firm standing and legal ground to implement a low-impact mountain lion management and control program addressing only the lions that are encroaching upon citizens and thereby creating a greatly increased risk for lion-human interaction, resulting in excess liability risks for the county, which must be mitigated before citizens are harmed or suffer any economic and/or emotional trauma.

Counties in California that have excessive lion populations are now facing the perfect storm” for devastating litigations when the next mountain lion attacks occur. It is well known that lions are now establishing their territories in and near areas where there are children and pets playing.

The following is an excerpt from this publication:

Public Safety

An increase in lions often leads to attacks on humans. We have a photo in our photo files of the stomach contents of a lion that killed a small boy. One can see clearly parts of clothing the lion consumed as it fed on the youngster.

Lion attacks on humans increase when:  

  1. Prey animals are few in number.
  2. Lions become accustomed to man. Mountain lions are solitary animals. They generally hunt at night and, for the most part, are not seen by humans. However, recently lions have been sighted in and near western towns. This indicates an increase in lions and/or a limited prey base forcing the cats to come closer to man in search for food. This carries the potential for attacks on humans.

      This problem has such significance that the state of Colorado held a symposium in 1991 specifically addressing the rise in mountain lion attacks on humans. The Wildlife Society Bulletin featured an article documenting lion attacks on humans by Professor Paul Beier of the Department of Forestry and Resource Management at the University of California at Berkeley. Beier’s conclusion stated that mountain lion attacks on humans have “increased markedly” in the last two decades. (Beier, Paul; “Cougar Attacks on Humans in the United States and Canada”; WILDLIFE SOCIETY BULLETIN, 19:403-412, 1991.)

Here are a few documented mountain lion attacks on humans:

  1. Spring, 1986 – Orange County, California – Laura Small, age 5, was attacked by a mountain lion in the Ronald W. Caspars Wilderness Park. The female lion attacked her head and dragged her off. Laura suffered paralysis of her right side and was confined to a wheelchair for a period of time. She has had 11 operations. Now Laura has a steel plate in her skull. Her right leg is weak, her right arm is partially paralyzed, and she is blind in her left eye.   A lawsuit of $100 million and $750,000 in personal damage was filed against Orange County. Small was awarded $2 million dollars. Orange County appealed the ruling.
  2. August 1986 – Justin Mellon, age 6, was hiking in Ronald W. Caspars Wilderness Park. He was attacked and mauled by a female lion. Mellon suffered bites to the head, leg, and stomach. His injuries were not as severe as that of Laura Small. Note: Due to the lawsuit over the Laura Small attack, the Board of Supervisors for Orange County decided not to allow minors into Caspars Wilderness Park at all. (Information was compiled from Ronald W. Caspars Wilderness Park, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, Sacramento, California and various news reports.) 
  3. 1989 – Evaro, Montana – Jake Gardipe, age 5, was killed by two or three mountain lions (possibly a female with two kittens) while riding his tricycle in his front yard. The boy was dragged from the yard, and the body was found nearby several hours later. The boy’s home was 100 yards from U.S. Highway 93, just outside of Evaro. (Associated Press, September 13, 1989)
  4. 1989 – Apache Junction, Arizona – Joshua Walsh, age 5, was mauled by a mountain lion near Canyon Lake, some 30 miles northeast of Phoenix. Without warning and near a parking lot and boat dock filled with people, the mountain lion attacked Joshua, bit him on the head, and began to shake him with its jaws and drag him away. Tim Walsh, Joshua’s father, leaped down a 20-foot embankment, grabbed a rock, threw it, and hit the lion on the head, scaring it. The lion dropped the boy. Joshua was air-lifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where it took 100 stitches to close Joshua’s head wounds, including re-attachment of his right ear, which was nearly severed in the attack. (Phoenix Gazette, May 1, 1989, page A-1)
  5. 1991 – Nevada Test Site, north of Las Vegas, Nevada – Mary Saether, was attacked by a 120-pound female mountain lion. She suffered minor cuts and received 21 stitches on her head, right arm, and back. The cougar crept up on Saether and two male companions and attacked before they were aware of its presence. The two men beat the lion with their cameras, forcing it to release Saether. A Wildlife Services Specialist arrived the next day. As he was doing a preliminary check, he heard noise in a tree and turned to find the lion charging. The man had only enough time to draw his handgun and shoot the lion at point blank range. The lion was found to be in good health. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, Reno, Nevada and various news reports)
  6. 1991 – Idaho Springs, Colorado – Scott Dale Lancaster, age 18, was killed by a lion while jogging near his high school. Lancaster was attacked by a 90-100 pound female cougar and dragged some 60 feet away. When asked how severely the boy was mauled by the lion, Undersheriff Dave Graham replied, “Bad!” It took authorities two days to find Lancaster’s body. (Clear Creek Courant, January 16, 1991, page 1)  
  7. 1991 – Riverside, California – Searchers found evidence that Travis Zwieg, age 3, of La Quinta, California, was possibly attacked by a mountain lion. Shoe prints thought to be Zwieg’s were found a half mile from where the toddler disappeared. The prints stopped at a rocky overhang where mountain lion prints were found. “Where the shoes stopped, there was a slide area and what they believed to be drag marks,” said Sgt. Craig Kilday. (Associated Press, February 26, 1991 – Note: We found no record of the boy being found.)
  8. 1992 – Gaviota State Park, near Santa Barbara, California – Darron Arroyo, age 9, was attacked by a mountain lion as he walked along a park trail. Darron was hiking with his two brothers when a lion rushed from the bushes and attacked, attempting to drag him off in the brush. Steven Arroyo, Darron’s father, was walking about a hundred yards behind the boys. He heard the screams and saw the lion dragging Darron. Steven rushed toward the cat, picked up a rock, threw it, and struck the lion between the eyes. The lion dropped the boy and left the area. Darron sustained bites to the face and head and scratches to the chest. (Information compiled from Santa Barbara News Press, Gaviota State Park and California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, California.)
  9.  1992 – Wenatchee, Washington – Jessica Vanney, age 5, suffered cuts and puncture wounds when a 60-pound mountain lion attacked her as she walked along a path through trees at a 100-site campground in Lake Wenatchee State Park. Her father, Michael Vanney, witnessed the attack. “Jessica was four or five feet in front of me. She walked between two trees, and I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. Then I saw the cougar run around a tree and jump on her. Its front paws just wrapped right around her head and shoulders.” Vanney grabbed his hunting knife and attacked the animal. This is the third known lion attack in the state. (Associated Press, June 18, 1992 – Note: What if this was a full grown lion weighing 150 pounds? What if Jessica was walking that path by herself?)
  10. 1992 – Vancouver Island, British Colombia – An 8-year-old Kyuquot Indian boy, Jeremy Williams, was fatally mauled by a mountain lion in the village of Kyuquot. The boy’s father and a dozen youngsters witnessed the attack. Jeremy was attacked as he sat on the grass in the elementary school playground. The cougar rushed and attacked the freckled, red-haired youngster as other children ran for help. Kevin Williams, Jeremy’s father and a teacher at the school, hurried to the scene and watched helplessly while children screamed in panic. The school’s janitor shot and killed the 60-pound lion. Richard Leo, a Kyuquot Indian chief, said angry parents accused the school board of ignoring the danger of wild animals. (Associated Press, 1992)
  11. 1994 – Auburn Lake Trails, California (near Sacramento) – a 40-year-old vocational rehabilitation counselor, Barbara Schoener, was attacked and killed by a mountain lion. Schoener was jogging in the popular Auburn Trails area when a cougar attacked her from behind. The force of attack caused Schoener off the trail. Schoener made two strides before falling 30 feet. Schoener then stood up and moved another 25 feet down the slope where the final attack occurred. Wounds on Schoener’s forearms and hands showed attempts to defend herself, but the 5-foot-8-inch, 120-pound woman was no match for the lion. The lion dragged Schoener 300 feet downhill and, after feeding on her, buried her with leaves and debris. Schoener received two fatal wounds– a crushed skull and bites to the head and neck. (Sacramento Bee Final, April 27, 1994, page B1 and B4)  

Letter Re: New Jacksonville, FL Bill Would Make It Illegal to Back Into Your Own Driveway

Greetings from sunny Florida. I had a good laugh reading the article regarding Jacksonville’s proposed city ordinance requiring vehicles to park front end in so that the rear end and vehicle tag is visible from the street.

Yes, Florida only requires a tag on the rear end of the vehicle. There is no front end tag requirement, although you see lots of vanity tags on the front end. Go Gators! I digress. Jacksonville’s argument is that this ordinance is required to allow vehicle code enforcement to do their job and properly identify a vehicle without trespassing on private property. It is a false argument. The real reason is so that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) can scan everyone’s tags with their Automatic License Plate Scanners (ALPS). The JSO has a very well-funded, equipped, and aggressive ALPS program. Here’s a fun fact: Jacksonville, FL is the largest area municipality in the U.S. There are lots of vehicles to scan, and when you see the JSO cruisers with their exterior ALPS cameras, the cameras are oriented for side scanning. They regularly cruise through the mall parking lots scanning every vehicle. It’s obscene how much vehicle tracking is done here. Now they want to scan neighborhoods, so everyone’s car better not be backed in. Where I see this eventually going in FL is law enforcement lobbying the state legislature for a bill requiring front end tags. The vehicles they can’t yet scan are the vehicles coming at them in the opposite lane and the vehicle behind them. Law enforcement won’t be satisfied until every possible ALPS scanning scenario can be accomplished. Who knew 1984 was actually in our future, not our past. – B.W.

Economics and Investing:

U.S. debt headed toward Greek levels. – G.P.

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Greece Collapse: The real situation in the streets of Athens – Note the comment about vendors not taking credit cards or debit cards, just cash.

If you haven’t already done so, ensure you have some cash in case of an earthquake or other. – P.S.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

David Stockman- Good On You, Alexis Tsipras (Part 1)

Greek Crisis: ‘We Rely on Imports. Soon Even the Most Basic Goods Won’t Be Available’– Don’t imagine

Amid Puerto Rico Debt Woes, Reality Hits San Juan Streets

Greece Staggers Into Economic Unknown With Bailout Expiring

Odds ‘n Sods:

From Radio Free Redoubt: The Coming Persecution… What’s a patriot to do? (Ten Steps)

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Nearly one in three Americans owns a gun – ASB

HJL Adds: I read this article three times, and I’m still not exactly sure what it is I read. It’s almost like I was reading Michelle Obama’s thesis, but I think it was about more gun control.

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FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines. – G.P.

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TSA Official Tweets Photo of Passenger’s Luggage Contents. – G.P.

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The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak And The Death Of Free Speech – and-

Is The American Youth Ready For Conscription? – H.L.

Notes for Tuesday – June 30, 2015

June 30th is the second anniversary of the tragic death of 19 hotshots in the Yarnell Hill Fire (in 2013).

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SurvivalBlog advertiser KI4U, Inc has just nailed down the master distributorship for Intershelter domes, and through the end of July they will be offering an Introductory Special that will save thousands of dollars off of normally $7,500 or $12,500 retail cost domes. Make sure you contact them directly, as they are not allowed to print the specials they are offering.

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Repackbox is having a blowout sale:

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Today, we present another entry for Round 59 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools, and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul pmags 30rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. (An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. A Model 120 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $340 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. is providing a $300 gift certificate, and
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of,
  3. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  4. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  5. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by (a $270 value),
  6. is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 59 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Amazing Affordable Force Multipliers – Part 2, by Tupreco

EMP-Proof Your Radio Comms With a USGI Ammo Can Inexpensively

How can you EMP-proof select comm gear for under $100? You can do this more easily than you might think. Radio comms are radio-based systems that can communicate across distances from a few miles up to thousands of miles, under the right atmospheric conditions. In order of range (and cost) these radio comms include walkie talkies using the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Next, at higher cost and more range, is citizens band radio or CB. At the top end in price and range is Amateur Radio, fondly known as Ham radio. Be aware that all cell-based devices, like cell phones and tablets, are also radio comm systems, but they all rely completely on third parties that are under government regulation to keep the system operational. For that reason we will limit ourselves to direct two-way radio issues only.

The rugged storage capabilities provided by USGI metal ammo cans are obvious. But an amazing non-obvious feature is their ability to act as a shielding enclosure to protect your sensitive comm and other sensitive electronics from an EMP event. Large-scale high energy atmospheric transients can come from a solar coronal mass ejection (CME) striking earth’s atmosphere or a strong electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a localized EMP device or a nuclear detonation. Regardless the source, the effect is that the same potential for damage exists when power lines or antennas convert these high-energy fields into current flow through the attached wires or other conductors. The result is significant damage to connected circuit components that are unable to withstand the overload. This can all take place in a few milliseconds.

Fortunately, an electrically conductive solid metal box like an ammo can has an inherent property called the Faraday cage effect that can shield its contents from large external transients. Michael Faraday realized in 1836 that an electrostatic electric field would not penetrate a metal enclosure. Later it was determined that same effect prevents penetration from other energy fields such as electric, magnetic or radio frequency. The Faraday cage works because the traveling energy field transforms into an induced voltage and current flow across the surface of the conductor (in this case the metal box) to ground or eventually dissipates into the surrounding area without affecting the contents of our box which is now our Faraday cage. Secondary grounding is not essential. However, make sure no conductor like a power cord or antenna is connected through or penetrates the enclosure or all shielding bets are off. Those penetrating conductors will act as an antenna also and expose the contents to unwanted energy spikes. To clarify your own understanding of EMP and RF shielding I direct you to Don White’s excellent book on the subject.

To implement this idea, put your radio gear or other sensitive electronics inside the box and make sure it is closed tightly. Making sure the top and bottom are electrically connected with an ohm meter is a nice for peace of mind. Ammo cans usually contain a rubber seal between top and bottom but connect electrically through the hinge pins. You may want to attach a small gauge lead as a redundancy between the top and bottom. A decent alternative to an ammo can would be to use a large zip style static shielding bag that is kept tightly closed. The zip close style sized for a 5-gallon bucket would be a good choice. If you use such a bag, then the outside box composition doesn’t matter, because the conductive foil layer inside the bag is the actual Faraday cage.

Plan to purchase some assortment of spare walkies, handheld or mobile Ham set, cell phone, and solar charger and have them properly stowed. I use two deep .50 cal cans to hold four GMRS and FRS walkie-talkies with charger bases ($60 total for both sets), a Cobra CB base, and CB handheld (bought used with antennas for $100), two Baofeng UV5R dual band handheld Ham radios (bought new on Amazon with spare batteries, hands-free mike headsets, upgraded antennas for $125), and a 50W Kenwood TMV71 dual-band Ham radio (like-new for $300 at a Hamfest) with a 15 Amp hr battery (new on Amazon for $30). The Kenwood can also double as a relay repeater that can extend the range of the Baofengs to about 30 miles. The folding solar charger (GoalZero $75) is to keep it all topped off and is rated at 7 watts with outputs of USB 5V and jacks for 12V. Make sure you have all the adapters you need as well. It is snug, but it all fits. The total of what I paid for the gear is shown. Adding the cost of an antenna for the Kenwood, some rechargeable AAs for the handhelds, and the two deep 50 cal cans off Craigslist cost me a total of just under $775. I consider the extra investment in stowed gear some of the least expensive insurance available, because the ability to be back on the air the very “day after” for short range comms at the retreat or over some distances with the Kenwood Ham radio to reach others will be priceless.

Wireless Video Security System Using Smart Phones

Would remote motion-activated images sent to your smart phone for $100 interest you? I thought so. We are now officially a generation of screen junkies. Recent research tells us that the average adult uses their smart phone or tablet to do an average 224 tasks per day, and that doesn’t consider the impact of new apps and features added with each upgrade. I’m not here to debate the culture of mobile screen fixation but to highlight an app that can turn the familiar mobile device, a mixed network of Androids and iPhones, into a sweet motion-activated video surveillance system. It’s not just your smart phone anymore; it becomes your pocket motion-sensitive wireless video security system, and it’s as functional as it is inexpensive.

It started when I got my backup phone. I had reported a roadside emergency via 911 in late 2012 and discovered that law enforcement had locked my cell phone to monitor the audio until they were satisfied things were resolved. This is now standard practice everywhere. The next day I researched and bought a backup smart phone. Specifically, it was an LG Android TracFone purchased on Amazon for $25 with three months service and 600 minutes air time. If I ever have another emergency and call 911, I now have a way to make important calls to my family, lawyer, or other emergency responder if needed. Now I renew annually and get 600 minutes of airtime and 12 months of service for $99. Sometime later, I saw a free motion detector app called Motion Detector Pro from MVA on Google Play. MVA also has a version for the iPhone, but I feel a lot better leaving a $25 Android phone as an unattended camera than I do a $200 iPhone.

Select the correct version for your iPhone or Android 2.2 or higher. Next, download and install the app. Only the device used for surveillance needs the downloaded app. Open the app and choose your options from the settings tab to setup your device as a remote surveillance camera with motion detection functionality. Once the adjustable motion threshold is triggered, it sends an email or a text message with a linked picture to whatever device or email account you specify. It gives you remote video capability to monitor an area of your choosing with your smart phone and get notification if a trigger event occurs. I will leave the possibilities to you.

Once enabled, it will take a picture when the camera sees a movement and send it to an email or another phone. The sensitivity and area for motion detect are user defined. You can remotely start, stop, and reset it by using a password-protected text message. It also indicates real-time on the phone’s display where the movement is detected. There is also a user-enabled stealth mode, which closes the app so the phone looks off as soon as it is touched. You can also store the surveillance images on the cloud or locally on the phone’s SD-card. I have used these features, and they all seem to work on my inexpensive LG phone.

Using this system made it possible for a friend to ride his $800 mountain bike to work and safely park it unattended. The phone points outside his office window with a clear view of the bike. Several times he has been alerted on his daily carry cell phone with an image of someone “looking” at it up close. When he immediately shows up, they either ask questions or move along, but now everyone knows it is being watched, which is very cool. On a final note, the app is ad-supported, but you can make the ads go away for a nominal donation via the app’s settings menu.

Make sure you can power everything off-grid. Keep in mind that you won’t be multiplying much force with the devices described here without some way to power them. Much has been written on Survivalblog about making sure your battery-operated devices and portable communication gear can be recharged in the absence of grid power. Off-grid alternatives can be easily managed in the short term with a generator, as long as fuel is available. My favorite option is solar from a fixed or small portable system. It will of course need to be EMP-proofed. Also, there is thermoelectric power generation, like the BioLite campfire unit. It works, but it is a low power solution. Wind or hydro power are additional ways to keep your stuff charged. Rather than replicate the detail of the choices here, search “off grid power” on SurvivalBlog, and read some of the excellent articles there. I have two linkable Honda 2kW generators, a 1500W portable solar system mounted on a 6 x 14 utility trailer, and several portable folding chargers from 7W to 125W, and lots of Sanyo eneloops. Just remember the old joke: Q. “What do they call a flashlight without batteries?” A. “A hammer.”

Letter Re: Amazing Affordable Force Multipliers


I enjoyed reading this article about inexpensive thermal/IR force multipliers, but there are a few things I’d like to mention about these. Turning on any smart phone in a combat situation would look like someone holding up a 60” flat screen to anyone with real night vision and would probably draw the attention of the naked eye too. PVS 4s can spot a man puffing on a cigarette from over a mile away, so imagine what the light emitted from a smart phone looks like whether it’s facing you or not. To use a thermal smart phone effectively, you’d need a shroud around it to prevent all the light from escaping and being picked up by other night vision devices. I suppose a baseball cap, some bailing wire, and some duct tape strategerie might make a decent smartphone/thermal/harness/shroud for hands-free and inconspicuous use. Smart phones also get hot while in use, so they’d be visible on thermal too. Also, another cheap but extremely effective night vision device is the one that came with the Call of Duty 2 video game. They are cheap, made in China, available on eBay, but are very effective in the dark. They’re fully shrouded too. – G.G.

News From The American Redoubt:

Navy SEAL Team veteran William Rapier will be the instructor for a SRC Rural Property Defensive Tactics Course, September 4th-6th, 2015, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

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Mayor of Boise to pull down Mississippi state flag – T.H.

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Washington: Hundreds of homes evacuated in central Washington fire’s path

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Wyoming: Cheyenne sees boom in rabbit population

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Montana: Texas Family of 10 Rescued in West Pioneers

Economics and Investing:

Puerto Rico’s Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’ – JBG

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When you have to trot out analysts to characterize something as a “calculated retreat” and “not a panic”, it’s a pretty good guess that the panic is on… Greek Debt Crisis – J.H.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Greece Will Default To IMF Tomorrow, Government Official Says – There is still decisions to be played out here but if there is a “default” (extremely likely) and a no vote on Sunday, how this plays out could very well be very ugly…

Greece Closing Banks as Expiring Bailout Spurs Withdrawals

Credit Risk Gauges in Europe Rise by Most Since Lehman on Greece

Greek Supermarkets Begin To Resemble Those Of Venezuela

Odds ‘n Sods:

Federal Judge Orders Brady Center to Pay Ammo Dealer’s Legal Fees After Dismissing Lawsuit – D.S.

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New Jacksonville, FL Bill would make it Illegal to Back into Your Own Driveway – T.P.

HJL adds: The author of this bill is obviously not a fireman and has never spent time around a firehouse. For those who don’t know, pulling in front-wise to parking spots and then having to back out in a hurry or in an emergency is a sure-fire way of getting people hurt or killed. Emergency personnel know to take the extra time and back into their parking spot so when they leave in a hurry, they are pulling forward.

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Newsday Editor: Carve Hate Speech Out Of First Amendment, Hold Websites Responsible If Users Post Hate Speech – B.B.

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States Seeking Voter Citizenship Proof Denied by U.S. Supreme Court. – B.B.

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The well-regarded “Selco” is now transitioning from purely online courses to also deliver physical courses as well. Interestingly, this is largely due to his assessment that the skills covered are going to be necessary for folks to use in the very near future and he feels a duty to share his experiences directly with students in order to give them the best training and learning opportunity possible. – T.C.

Notes for Monday – June 29, 2015

June 29th, 1868 is the birthday of astronomer Dr. George E. Hale. Dr. Hale was credited with founding the Yerkes Observatory in Chicago and the Mount Wilson and Palomar Mountain Observatories in Southern California. He also invented the spectroheliograph and first learned that the sun’s outer shell is made of gas. He photographed colossal hurricanes of incandescent vapor and discovered that the flaming whirlpools of hydrogen leaped 300,000 miles from the surface of the sun and were large enough to engulf the earth like a cinder in a furnace.