Apocalypse Not # 15 Inside the Hot Zone

Medical treatment is, for the first time in our history, political. But before I rant on that topic I need to admit my theory about SARS-CoV-2 has been proven wrong. My theory was based on the conviction that it was impossible for our government, regardless of who was president, to react with enough speed and decisiveness to get ahead of a virus. I went onto speculate that the reason the virus seemed to be growing less lethal was it’s points of attachment were being forced into their original configuration by Mother Nature.

Ultimately I could still be proven right, but I lost confidence in my theories because SARS-CoV-2 is no longer acting in the way I predicted it would. For three months the pandemic conformed to my predictions almost to the letter, but it isn’t now, so I was wrong.

So what now? It’s time to new set of facts and here they are copied from a post I can’t find at the moment so I can’t credit the author. It is now time to come to terms with the fact that;

a) I am probably going to get COVID-19 at some point,

b), I am almost certainly going to survive it, and

c), I might very well give it to someone else.

My new assumption is that this is a year-round virus that’s eventually going to infect 100 million people and kill roughly 1/4 of one percent of those infected. I’ve accepted those numbers. Unfortunately, millions of others have not. Many people have no sense of where this is headed, and I understand why. They’ve been betrayed by a hysterical media that insists on covering each new reported case as if it were the first case.

The McAllen/Edinburg area of South Texas has been experiencing an outbreak of SAR-CoV-2 which has filled the hospitals, filled the morgues and has resulted in the deployment of U.S. Army medical teams to help us cope. I now know several COVID 19 patients all of whom were OCD about mask wearing and hand washing. As we can see from Hollands example masks are not the answer; avoiding the three C’s: (confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact) seems to be much more important. We have known that since the start of the pandemic but only Japan has codified the 3 C’s into social policy.

You cannot see a virus with a microscope, you need an electron microscope but the point being made here is sort of true so……Truth over Facts!

The increase in cases comes from mass mobile testing at various sights around the Rio Grande Valley. The sudden increase in deaths is not a mystery because we now know morbid obesity is a real problem with COVID-19. McAllen and Edinburg combined to win the dubious distinction of  the fattest metro area in the country in 2019. When it comes to comorbidity we are number 1!

Added to the mix is the fact this area is tightly controlled by democrats and the hospital systems rely of federal funding because they are Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI’s) which means they get access to cash the rest of the country kicks in because reasons.  The majority of doctors here follow The “Fauci Strategy” which is “to keep early infected patients quarantined at home without treatment until they developed a shortness of breath and had to be admitted to a hospital. Then they would they be given hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration cluelessly agreed to this doctrine and it stated in its hydroxychloroquine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that “hospitalized patients were likely to have a greater prospect of benefit (compared to ambulatory patients with mild illness).”

The results of the Fauci Strategy

The other problem with the South Texas outbreak is we are told nothing about it. We hear how many test positive, and we get a daily COVID 19 related death count. There is no context, no explanations about why we are experiencing deaths at much higher rate than the rest of the country. There is also zero coverage of the false positive problem just as there is zero coverage of the inflated death count problem. But this is Texas so the one thing we do get news about is the state going after unemployment fraud which is rampant in the age of COVID-19.

Richard Cortez, an elected Hidalgo County judge who was (reportedly) a great CPA before he went on the bench has issued back to back shelter in place orders that not one person in this county is following. The gyms remain open as do the few restaurant that have not gone under yet. My friends at the (veteran owned and operated) 5×5 brewery are watching four years of hard work and every penny they ever earned slip away because the town of Mission, TX decided they were not an essential business.

We the people are no longer listening to the “experts” who have impinged on our lives and destroyed our economy. But ignoring them is all we can do, for those of us who have lost our businesses and livelihoods there is always the ballot but down here if you’re not voting democrat your vote counts for nothing.

Adding fuel to the fire is our controlled media who labels the Sturgis motorcycle rally a “super spreader” event while ignoring the tens of thousands of BLM protesters who assemble nightly to burn, loot, rage, and attack police officers. Completing our new circle of misery we have the Biden campaign. Joe Biden is obviously experiencing a severe mental decline and that process appears to be accellerating rapidly.

Joe Biden is incapable of completing a coherent sentence and his decline will rob us of the only thing worth watching this fall – the Presidential debates. Biden is not going to participate because he can’t participate and everyone except the controlled media knows that.

I remain concerned that the controlled media narrative is so far removed from observable reality that it cannot be sustained. Yet here we are, August of 2020 and we are still in semi lockdown over a disease that 99.9% of the population has no problem beating, especially if they are fortunate enough to have a doctor who prescribes HCL, zinc, Z-packs and steroid inhalers.

This is worse than a bad twilight zone episode, but how does it end? The elites have been unmasked as petty partisan scum with inaccurate models. When questioned they respond with petulant arguments from authority (a well known logical fallacy). They and the media have forfeited any trust we had in them and at some point there will be a reckoning. Inshallah that reckoning will take the form of the rule of law being applied to elites in the same way it is being applied to small business men and women who are trying to make a living despite arbitrary, politically motivated tyranny from elected democrats across the land.

It is possible (maybe even likely) the bizarre controlled media narrative will be with us for years to come. I do know this; when I test positive for the COVID-19 I am immediately heading to Corpus Christie to be treated by a physician (friend of FRI and founder of The Scalpel podcast Dr. Keith Rose) who has a  300(+) -0 record with SARS CoV-19.  I know he will use science, not politics, to treat me. Every American should have the same confidence in their doctor but, now that medicine is political, that is not going to happen.

Apocalypse Not #9 What Happened to the Models?

It is now obvious the modeling driving the COVID-19 response was wrong. They caused the nation to overreact and now that we realize COVID-19 is not the threat we were told it was what do we do?  What theTrump Administration just did, right in front of you, was disappear the models, switch data sets, and start talking recovery. It was awesome to watch made more so by the fact that not many people realized what they were seeing.

During Thursday’s Corona Virus Task Force presser all mentions of modeling were gone, replaced with slides from the   US Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network. From the linked article:

Birx said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be relying on its existing surveillance practices for “influenza-like illnesses,” which will be attuned to look for coronavirus, and fielding more new tests even for asymptomatic people to get better fidelity about the pervasiveness of the virus.

It appears the death rate from this virus will not exceed the number of flu deaths from the 2018-2019 flu season. We are learning, through anti-body testing, that the China Flu bug arrived here earlier than thought and has already passed through a good percentage of the population.

This is fantastic news but we’re not celebrating, or relaxing the lockdown, or re-starting the economy.

In Texas our governor has just appointed a commission to look at how to open up the state. When he announced the members of the commission he included Ross Perot, who died a year ago, which is suspicious. We are weeks away from spring football practice and the governor, instead of acting on facts, is appointing dead people to commissions. That is not very Texan like and I wish we had a better leader like one of the seven governors who were not bullied into economic suicide by hysterical progressive elites.

Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota – An American hero for keeping her state up and running. Too bad she isn’t a Texan; we could have used her common sense down here last month.

On the very day Governor Abbot announced his strike force Governor Inslee of Washington State launched a tweet storm of unhinged ad hominem attacks on the President. He is convinced The Wuhan will mow down millions if we dare break the protocols established to flatten a curve that never came, predicted by models that were wrong.

The insistence of progressives politicians in believing the obviously flawed models of elite academics is going to, without question, kill Americans. And we don’t need models to know how many. Citizen Journalist Betsy McCaughey points out:

No model or guesswork is required to foresee the deadly impact. Job losses cause extreme suffering. Every 1% hike in the unemployment rate will likely produce a 3.3% increase in drug overdose deaths and a 0.99% increase in suicides according to data provided by the National Bureau of Economic Research and the medical journal Lancet. These are facts based on experience, not models. If unemployment hits 32%, some 77,000 Americans are likely to die from suicide and drug overdoses as a result of layoffs. Scientists call these fatalities deaths of despair.

The impact of layoffs goes beyond suicide, drug overdosing and drinking. Researcher Michael French from the University of Miami points out the death rate for an unemployed person is 63% higher than for someone with a job. It is obvious that the unwarranted and unnecessary lockdowns come with a butchers bill that is larger than the COVID-19 threat.

Why can’t our leaders see this? There are dozens of pieces coming out daily pointing out the same thing yet the narrative continues on as if the pandemic is performing as predicted. 

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11 our country went through a spasm of federal government action to “make us safe”. What came of that was the TSA. The TSA is in the business of ‘Security Theater‘; it fails, over 95% of the time, security tests. They routinely allow weapons and ammunition to be unintentionally carried onto aircraft, something I’ve done myself. No security professional mistakes the TSA as anything other than Kabuki Theater. If you want safe air travel screening you need to do it like the Israelis do, but we won’t do that because of Muh Racism.

The Kabuki theater being generated by this crisis is going to be continued  ‘social distancing’ and mask wearing. As Dr John Lee, joining hundreds of other reality based front line physicians like Keith Rose and Jonathan Greach, point out there is no direct evidence the lockdowns are working. The argument that social distancing and mask wearing slows the spread of the Wuhan virus makes sense, but then again so does the argument for developing  herd immunity.

It is impossible to evaluate scientific data when the credentialed experts working the data do not agree on what it is saying. Occam’s Razor is a solid approach and it was the reason I have said at the start of the Pandemic, that we were too slow and bug had long ago escaped into the population. I had no way of knowing it would prove mostly benign but it did and here we are.

The truth about the threat of COVID-19 is obvious. The reluctance of progressive democrats to accept that their academics, experts, and pundits were wrong is fascinating to watch, but this isn’t funny. Lives are now in jeopardy by continued forced unemployment and forced loss of assets on the part of local and state governments.  If this does not end quickly we are going to lose more than the 2020 NCAA football season.

Apocalypse Not #4: What Now?

I was convinced if the Wuhan Corona Virus was as virulent as advertised we would have already seen evidence of it. My theory that  a nasty strain of flu that swept the Rio Grande Valley last December was the S strain of the Wuhan was a SWAG and we can now see I was wrong. I then thought the data driven analysis explained the lack of an outbreak but that too, has been debunked.

New York City has been hit hard, but at least one hospital, Lennox Hill is using HydroxyChloroquin, and they have yet to lose anyone of the 100 plus cases that they are treating. That is encouraging. Although the number of positive tests for COVID-19 will skyrocket there as testing comes on live there has yet to be a flood of pneumonia patients outside of New York City.

That too is encouraging.

One of the most popular videos in my area on the pandemic  is this one from Dr Emily Porter, an Emergency Medicine physician from Austin, Texas.  In her analysis she assumes a low end infection rate of 45% of the population and then does the math to show how large a catastrophe  that would be.  I’m certain the forecasted numbers have decreased since she made her presentation and I don’t think we are going to see those kinds of numbers. But again I base that on the assumption that we would already be seeing a surge in emergency room admissions for pneumonia. Maybe I’m wrong and we will see a surge in hospitalizations in the coming weeks. I sure hope not.

Tokyo,  despite being one of the most densely populated places on earth, has weathered the Wuhan virus well.  The Japanese success at stopping the virus is an excellent argument for taking our shoes off before we enter the house. It’s not a bad habit to adopt these days.

I can no longer traffic in “Do you know anyone with Wuhan?” meme’s because my friend Smari McCarthy, who lives in Iceland, tested positive. He’s going to be OK which is good news. He reminded me about riding out the Swine Flu epidemic in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in 2009. I don’t have the ingredients for the malaria chai though, that needs some #1 hash ghee and a little tincture of opium and those are in short supply in Texas. Helps to have somebody who knows what they’re doing brewing the stuff too.

Without the malaria chai we are left to do little else but stay off the streets, help our neighbors as need and wait to see what happens.  The President was quoted as saying he will reassess where we are in two weeks and maybe lift the bans as appropriate.

I still suspect we should have isolated the venerable while protecting our economy but future events may well prove me wrong. I’m just encouraged by each new day that arrives without another cluster overwhelming a local hospital system. As long as that continues we’ll be OK, and if it doesn’t continue I think we’ll see Americans, at the community level, coming together to work through the crisis at hand.

For now the only thing to do is stay at home, look after your neighbors and check up on the elderly folks who are not getting out much to see if they need anything.

The Secret Power of Sheepdogs – Verified by the Most Trusted Man in America Today

The most contentious aspect of the sheepdog concept is the concealed carry component. When we first heard David Grossman at West Point my fellow IOC instructors and I understood the sheepdog message but started to tune out the specifics when he heard the phrase “abstaining from alcohol”. We were Marine Corps infantry officers and that wasn’t happening.

Despite the emphasis on weapons, sheepdogs are most often unmasked by events that have nothing to do with having a firearm. Keanon Lowe, a high school football coach in Portland Oregon, disarmed and then comforted a distraught student, stopping a potential catastrophe before it could happen.  When he found himself in the breach, he stepped up, and that’s what I’m talking about with sheepdogs. Had he done the exact same thing at Columbine High School in 1999 he would have been shot dead. That’s what David Grossman is talking about with sheepdogs.

If you carry a concealed pistol because you cannot tolerate the thought of being unable to act in the infinitesimally remote chance that you are in a position to act, that is great. But having a medical trauma bag and the knowledge to use it is an infinitely more practical skill. The chances you will encounter an auto accident or medical emergency while you are out and about are near 100%. Having the skills to help without the tools is useless. You might be able to repurpose found objects to render some sort of primitive immediate aid, but when a competent person arrives with a trauma bag they are going to politely ask you to step aside.

When bad accidents happen enough people stop to allow the rest of us to, in good conscience, carry on. In this day and age the vast majority of people will never encounter gun violence or human depredation. But nobody gets through life unscathed by trauma.

Having a bias for action and the heart of a lion is not worth much without the capacity to act.  According to Grossman at all times and in all places a sheepdog must be ready to step into the breach. Nobody walks out of Thanksgiving dinner expecting a 122mm rocket to slam into the yard and kill a bunch of their friends. I didn’t; I should have because I was in the Green Zone of Baghdad (in 2004) working the American Embassy guard contract, but I didn’t.

The GP tent containing our Nepalese volleyball team instantly caught fire trapping wounded men inside. We were scheduled to play the Marine Detachment after standing post for them on November  10th. They were hosting a Volleyball tournament and barbecue for us in return, which is why we had a GP tent set up inside our compound – Nepalese are serious as a heart attack about Volleyball.

This called for some hero stuff like sprinting 100 yards and diving head first into a burning tent to pull out the wounded. Two of my colleagues, an American and an Australian, did just that, but not me. By the time my fat ass had jogged 100 meters the window of opportunity for rescue had closed. That will never happen to me again, it should not have happened in the first place.

The consequences of failing to act during a moment of crisis will reverberate through the entirety of a life. The ability to act in a moment of crisis will likewise reverberate through the entirety of your life. The guilt associated with failing to act because you could not act due to a complacent, sedentary lifestyle….can ruin a life.

The humiliation at falling short when in the breach combined with later experiences in Afghanistan forced me to adopt most of the Grossman Sheepdog standards. In doing so I discovered that the Sheepdog creed guarantees exceptional quality of life as we age. That contention, as is everything sheepdog, is validated  by Joe Rogan himself, the most trusted man in America today.

I will cover the Grossman standards of concealed carry in my next post, but one of his mandates was (when he laid this out in the early 90’s) abstaining from alcohol. The reason is simple; if you are carrying concealed and consume any alcohol you are, by definition, outside the color of the law. To David Grossman the alcohol thing requires no further explanation. To Marine Corps infantry officers abstinence from alcohol was crazy man talk.  But when you get past 60 and have type 2 diabetes that requires daily injections of insulin, not drinking alcohol is easy. And it turns out you sleep better if you don’t drink, who would have thought that?

Plus, if you are over 60, and not on a regular strength training program, you have  problems with the concept of cause and effect. The science on  strength  training for the aging is both clear and unequivocal. The only way to mitigate cognitive and musculature degeneration as you age is by strength training. This fact is so well know that I include no Joe Rogan link; he has hundreds of hours talking with scientists, physicians, writers, martial artists, SEAL’s, CIA agents and a Marine or two on the topic.

I am a disciple of former NFL player Pete Koch. His routines are difficult and include lots of squats because (as he often says) when you can’t squat to use a toilet it’s over.

If you can do three of Pete Koch’s 30 seconds at a time routines, without stopping, you are in exceptional shape. His training is designed for the geriatric set but most 30 year olds couldn’t do one of them. They are ball busters. For Marines, Pete Koch has a special place in our hearts because he played a Recon Marine in the popular Clint Eastwood movie Heartbreak Ridge in the 80’s.

Pete Koch played The Swede in Clint Eastwoods movie Heartbreak Ridge. He has additional credibility with Marines because he admitted that filming a movie in Camp Pendleton that was supposed to take place at Camp LeJeune was weird.

When you look at Pete Koch or Joe Rogan you are probably thinking that it is impossible to attain that level of muscular development and conditioning past the age of 50, let alone 60. For most of human history you would have been correct, but not now.

Joe Rogan has talked dozens of times about testosterone replacement therapy (Test as the cool kids on Rogan call it) and the importance of maintianing optimal hormonal balance. I have three years on the Test, HGH, and several other supplements recommended by Rogan or his guests.  My experience is they allow you to work out with more intensity, recover faster, and add lean muscle mass. For married men the additional benefits from increased free testosterone will be appreciated by your partner.

Obtaining these supplements (Test and HGH are injectables) is easy and the testosterone covered by most  medical insurance plans. If you get on schedule, start working out hard, and stay with the routine for a few months, you will be amazed at the difference. There are supplements for women so this is not a gender specific thing, my wife is on them too.

But you will not start to look like Joe Rogan or Pete Koch unless and until you are on a strict diet.

The science here too is unequivocal and the topic covered in depth on dozens  of Joe Rogan podcasts. For years I supplemented and worked out hard but this year I got serious about diet in an effort to reduce my dependence on insulin.

I use a local branch of the national franchise that has weekly weigh-ins/body analysis and prepares lunch and dinner meals for clients based on the results. With the exception of bullet coffee in the morning I drink only water. It’s not easy to stay on the diet but nothing worth doing is easy.

The latest Science tells us you can lower your biological age with diet and exercise. Knowing that is all the motivation some people need to get and stay on a program, but it wasn’t for me, and I doubt it is for you . I write this knowing that motivation and self-discipline are the keys to a quality life (here is the validation of that from Joe Rogan).

But knowing something and acting on that knowledge is tough.  I came at the Sheepdog thing backwards. Once I found myself living the way David had recommended all those years ago, I discovered the magic of Trijicon RMR sights. Glock make a model 19 with the slide already cut for reflex sights and the trigger on it is not bad. If I did need the tool I can now employ it with precision, so why not carry the tool? It reinforces what you should be fostering in your self image and that is you are both disciplined and dangerous. Jocko Willink and Jordan Peterson cover that topic here.

I adopted the harsh physical conditioning standards of David Grossman after learning the hard way the price of not doing so. Despite listening for years to Joe Rogan and his guests talk about the importance of diet, I did not take their advice seriously until my diabetes was out of control. Now that I figured it out I thought the secret is worth sharing. You can even  us an appendix rig to carry when the stomach flattens, finally, after how years?

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas, a holiday I dreaded up until a few years ago. If you’re a Vet (or not) and are reading this and you are alone this holiday season leave a message in the remarks. I want to talk to you.

The History Behind the Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdog Analogy

The Wolves, Sheep and Sheepdog analogy, coined by David Grossman in his book On Killing,  has gone viral over the years attracting a tsunami of positive reviews, clubs, blogs, and a ton of negative press. Type “wolves sheep and sheepdogs” into goggle and you’ll get 306,000 results in 0.79 seconds.  Scroll through the links and you will see how large and controversial the concept has grown over the years.

My knowledge on the topic comes from knowing David Grossman before he started the Killology Research Group.

I was introduced  to David Grossman during a visit to West Point in 1991.  I was an instructor at Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course and our group chief, Major John Allen, got us invited to West Point to exchange presentations at an after-hour military club ( I think it was a maneuver warfare club).  Major Allen had come from the Naval Academy to take over the Infantry Officer Course, so he knew how to wrangle invitations to military academies.

Most of my fellow instructors and I were just tagging along, Major Allen and Mike “Mac” McNamara were doing the presenting of our new decision making and staff development programs which they had just written. In return two instructors from West Point, a Captain named Richard Hooker, who had just published a well received anthology on Maneuver Warfare, and a Major named David Grossman, who was about to publish a book on the human factor in combat, gave presentations to us and the hundred or so cadets in the club.

Richard Hooker wrote a good book and was a decent guy, but David Grossman’s presentation was super intense. We had never heard of anyone probing the human factors in combat in such detail. John Keegan had first wrote on the issue in his famous book The Face of Battle but David Grossman was way beyond Keegan. He combined  historical research with modern psychology and synthesized a unique, compelling, explanation for how to develop proficiency in the primary task (killing the enemy in battle) and the price paid by the combatant for his time on an active battlefield.

As I recall most of us  spent every minute we could talking to David over the several days of the visit. Here is one example I remember well; we knew about the fight of flight response generated by a threat, but none of us had ever heard about the inter-species options of fight, flight, posture, or submission. As soon as Grossman explained it to us we could see it was legit. That was just one, minor, example of the fertile ground David Grossman cultivated in his groundbreaking work. 

This is an intense book on an intense topic and it remains the definitive text on killing in combat.

David was gracious enough to give us several copies of the manuscript that would become his best seller On Killing. I incorporated his ideas into the IOC close combat package and I was glad to have them because I was on the hook to come up with something original after Mac had revised the entire decision making program.

During his presentation Grossman went through his sheepdog versus sheep analogy (with attribution to an unknown Vietnam vet) in great detail. These days the sheepdog analogy has become controversial. It was featured in the movie American Sniper and here is an extract of Grossman’s work I found in a Slate article exploring the “Surprising History of American Snipers Wolves Sheep and Sheepdogs Speech<

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath—a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.

The Slate article is amusing because the authors are alarmed at how far and wide the Sheepdog concept had spread. They think the idea is crazy, and I can see their point, Idid I too, at first. Being school trained reporters they (typically it seems these days) get the facts wrong. When discussing the origins of the Sheepdog metaphor they write: “Grossman crafted this analogy in response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq”.

David Grossman published On War in 1996.

I had a chance to listen to David’s presentation in 2002 when Front Sight Firearms Training Institute (where I was an instructor) and the Nye County Sheriff Department hosted him and his family for a four day defensive handgun course in exchange for one of his seminars

David and I had a short conversation at dinner in Vegas after the course when he determined I wasn’t carrying. It was a one-sided conversation. I wasn’t carrying because it’s a pain and I shoot all day, everyday, so not having a pistol was nice and I wanted to drink some beer with dinner.

He  replied that carrying, given the proficiency I had developed and the training I had received over the years, should be considered an obligation. He said  I owed it to everyone around me to be able to employ lethal force, if required, to prevent trauma or loss of life. He then asked why I would willingly surrendered the one tool that would enable me to provide effective intervention to stop potential loss of a human life?

I understood what he was talking about and would like to say that, then and there, I corrected my selfish attitude on the matter. That’s not what happened, after talking to David that night I decided I wasn’t going to carry concealed anymore.<

Wake up, get dressed, holster a pistol and leave it there until you go to bed? That’s crazy talk and I also knew there is no upside to inserting yourself into a lethal force encounter. Even if the shooting is ruled justified by the jurisdiction involved there is a legion of powerful law firms who will file a civil case against you for a cut of the payout. You might win in civil court too, but you’re going to spend tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

I would not learn the lessons that David Grossman had taught me until I started working in Afghanistan as a heavily armed humanitarian.That’s what this blog was about when I started it eleven years ago.  I built, on time and on budget, in the most contested regions of Afghanistan, some massive projects. I carried a pistol from the second I got dressed until I went to bed. Because I understood weapons and also understood the dynamics of interspecies aggression I used my weapons on several occasions to de-escalate situations that were heading pear shaped fast.

Let me stipulate that what kept me safe in the remote, rural, contested districts were the Afghan people in those districts. In many places I worked I was the only westerner they had or will ever see. I traveled heavily armed to mitigate the risk of kidnapping or an attempt on the monthly payroll. Kidnapping and strong-arm robberies are not now and never have been confined to just Taliban. Criminal gangs avoid hard targets and my motto in Afghanistan was if you can’t be safe, be hard to kill (or kidnap).

I don’t believe I survived 7 years outside the wire Afghanistan because I’m good with guns. I survived because I am good with people and the Afghan people valued what I was doing for them. If the Taliban ever decided they wanted to take me out there was little I could have done to stop them. I know of at least one case when they were going to try (inside the town of Delaram at one of my projects) but the district governor and some local elders, and a mullah ran them off. I never knew about it until years later.<

I have adopted the Sheepdog standard knowing full well the chances of me every using a pistol in a lethal force encounter are slight.  I also know that if I am ever faced with a situation where a pistol could stop a perpetrator before he hurt or killed innocents, and failed to act ….. I would have problems living with that.

For me it, as it has been for David Grossman all his adult life, the Sheepdog decision is a decision to keep my honor clean*.

*Mike “Mac” McNamara, who presented a new tactical decision making class in 1991, is now the host of All Marine Radio. He has developed a Post Traumatic Winning program that is about to make him famous. The “keep your honor clean” reference is from his PTW presentation. Click here to find out more about Post Traumatic Winning.