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From the Library

March 18, 2019

Combat Rifle Marksmanship Exercises by Andy Stanford. I only mention this one, because I mentioned it in my other article today. This is a great little booklet, if you’re having trouble coming up with good rifle training drills (I don’t know why that would be the case…maybe your Internet is down? Maybe you lost your copy of The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One?)

While some of the standards are obsolete, because of advances in the techniques of gun handling and practical applied technology (like more prevalent use of red dots and LVPO), this is a solid little booklet that probably belongs on any serious trainer’s shelf.

Going Galt: Survival Gardening: Sustainable High Yield Gardening by Daxton Brown

I’m not entirely sure this dude doesn’t understand the basic dictionary definition of “sustainable,” or if he simply believes, like a good little Randian, that technology and entrepreneurial spirit will fix every ill in the world, but when a book starts out by advocating the regular, copious application of petrochemical-based soil amendments in order to make your garden grow, I lose interest quickly…

The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse… by Ori Hofmekler

I first read this book so long ago I don’t remember when it was. This is basically an intro to Intermittent Fasting, before Intermittent Fasting was popular. As a guy who has unintentionally practiced Intermittent Fasting since roughly 1995, it seems self-evident to me, but, there are a lot of benefits to the practice, whether you’re trying to shed excess pounds, or gain some muscle mass. I eat fundamentally one meal a day, with possibly a couple snacks, but I also don’t start eating before around 4PM on any given day (with occasional exceptions), and there are times I forget to eat at all, for a day or two. I manage to walk around at between 205-215#, at 6’1” tall, and am of above-average fitness. As someone said about me the other day, talking to another SF buddy, “That dude looks like he could hump a big ruck for a long way…” If you want an interesting introduction to the practice, based on the author’s study of the Roman way of war, this is a good introduction. Considering the fact the Romans generally marched around 25 miles a day, and then managed to throw up an earthen fortress every night, on one meal a day, I’d say he has a pretty solid basis for the idea, even if my initial thought is always, “Fuck the Empire.”

No Friends But The Mountains: Dispatches from the World’s Most Violent Highlands by Judith Matloff

Ms. Matloff is a journalist from Manhattan. While I really wanted to love this book…and I DO recommend it, for the reasons I’ll mention below…her civilized bias coming from an upper socio-economic background in a protected urban area is clearly evident from the beginning. Quite simply, while she might have spent a lot of time in mountain enclaves, she’s never actually taken the time to try and understand what she sees, choosing instead to gleefully project her own biases on it.

As an example, in the opening chapters, describing the codified honor system vengeance killings in the Albanian mountains, she does point out that the closest police outpost is five or six hours away across winding, treacherous mountain roads, and the constables have no interest in driving up into the mountains to deal with shit. Despite the obvious resulting requirement for people to protect their own, she blames the killing cycle on simple machismo, instead of looking at the anthropology of intertribal conflict, and recognizing the cycle as the self-defense mechanism it is.

Nevertheless, if you want a solid look at some of the realities of mountain people and their readiness to resort to physical violence, and you can look through her biases, it’s a good introduction for flatlanders to the realities of clannishness in mountain environments, where many of us do recognize that, outside of our own folks, we really do have “no friends but the mountains.”

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