Sexualizing Children

B.L.U.F. – Let’s just stop sexualizing children altogether, hm? It’s wrong at all levels.

The big news out there right now is Target’s ill-chosen marketing of “tuck friendly” bathing suits for children. I have to admit, I lost it when I read that one. I went and checked it out, because that was beyond the pale, even for the woke side of things. The bottom line is, it’s both true and “not quite true”. The bathing suits are there, but only the adult ones are labeled “tuck friendly”. But as that article states, the kids’ bathing suits are MADE that way. Due to all the bathing suits in question being Pride oriented, the tuck friendly ones were displayed next to the children’s ones. (Please note, this is about the inappropriate for kids bathing suits, and not the Pride items themselves.)

I’ll go out on a limb here. I don’t care if someone who has male parts decides that they want to be female. You want that, go for it. But you do it as an adult. I don’t mind catering to kids who want to dress like the opposite gender, or no gender at all. I’m fine with kids wanting to change their names, or institute a nickname. But changes to a developing body are not cool at all, as the fairly significant number of people who transitioned as children are now talking about. If you want to take hormones or make surgical changes after the age of 18, that’s between you and your doctors. It is literally none of my business. Do not go changing your children, though. That’s WRONG.

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Tuesday Tunes

Guest posting for AWA today, I wanted to share Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”.

AWA asked me, why this song? Well, part of the answer is that the song makes me think of a strong woman. I have never been a wilting flower. I’ve never been interested in Victoria’s Secret. As the song says, “I can get that same damn thing in Walmart on half price.” I’m not a huge country fan, but this song resonates with me.

I need to see strong woman in media. I love seeing Nikki Haley out there, kicking it up in politics. Gretchen Wilson does it in country music. In television, there’s Gina Torres (Zoe Washburn in Firefly), Caitriona Balfe (Claire Fraser in Outlander), and Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), among others. This song evokes that strength, while still holding onto the facets of womanhood that stand out to me.

Women can do most things men can (we’re not equals on a physical level without a LOT of work, but very few jobs require that brute strength and there are tools that make us equal). But that’s not all we do. We work all day, then we come home and make dinner, clean house, care for the kids, do laundry, help with homework, and in too many cases, we also run after our spouse as if he’s another kid. So when I see a woman out mudding in a Jeep, it makes me happy. And when I see a strong man standing beside her, helping and supporting, that makes me damn proud.

Self Defense

David Douglassย said:

Since I work with women in the realm of advanced firearms classes, Iโ€™d like Hagar to share step by step how she would handle a potential criminal attack in a store parking lot, in the dark, where she has two car parking spaces of distance between her and an absolute threat (man 6โ€ฒ tall, in shape and walking briskly at her) determined because there are no cars near hers and it makes no sense at all why heโ€™d be walking toward her at the hour in that place.

I saw this on Friday, about ten minutes before I ran out the door for a weekend at a Ren Faire. My immediate reaction was, “I wouldn’t put myself in that situation.” That doesn’t answer your question, but it’s where I’m going to start.


Situational awareness and common sense are rare to find these days. Too many people are nose deep in their phones to be aware of what’s going on around them. The absolute BEST defense against attacks in this kind of place is to simply not allow it to happen. Don’t put yourself in danger. It goes along with a previous article I wrote, about not acting like prey. It would be amazing to live in a world where we didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing, but we don’t, so we have to worry. Staying out of situations that are potentially dangerous is the first line of defense.

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The Great Divide

B.L.U.F.: Texas Senate Bill 1515 is unconstitutional and therefore should be removed.

Here on GFZ, we look at the constitutionality of laws and bills. AWA does a fantastic job of working his way through the infringer suits that are working their way up the chain. I am not nearly so skilled, but there are issues which I take a more traditionally Leftist stance on, which I believe should be looked at with the same deep scrutiny and view of constitutionality as we do the gun bills, laws, and court cases.

Currently, Texas has a Bill going to their House which requires schools to display the Ten Commandments in classrooms, SB 1515. This is not an optional thing. Classrooms in elementary through secondary school will be required to post the Ten Commandments in each classroom, prominently. The version of the Commandments must be the one outlined in the Bill; no other version will be accepted.

This goes contrary to Stone v. Graham (see below), which ruled that Kentucky could not mandate the display of the Commandments in public school classrooms, because it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

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Shocking Things

BLUF: There are a lot of things that I agree with the Liberals on, but their path to get there seems wrong.

Starting at the top left corner, and working my way clockwise…

Should people working 40 hours a week be living in poverty? The simple answer (and the leftist answer) is no. If you’re working full time, you should be able to afford to live. That seems like a no-brainer, right? The problem is that there are different levels of “working 40 hours a week.” We currently have a huge number of decent paying jobs available in this country, which do offer a “living wage”, but people simply don’t want to do them. At this point and time, the vast majority of jobs out there do pay enough for people to support themselves and their family. Leftists prefer to bring up the “extreme poor” end of the deal (and to be honest, the Right sometimes seems to only see the “extreme wealth” side of things), and ignore the vast majority of people in the middle. I would love to see the country in a position to pay everyone a “living wage”, but the bottom line is, not every job can afford to do that. If you want to earn more money, don’t work at a job that can’t pay you what you need. Of course, the Left wants to point out huge numbers of inner city people who are living in filthy, tiny apartments. Do they exist? Yes, they do. But frankly, a lot of the people who are living that way do have the ability to improve themselves. They simply choose not to.

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Reporting from Left of Center

There’s a lot of stuff going on with Trump these days. Multiple law suits, a presidential run, and of course the carnival row of his arraignment. I’ve been asked what the Left thinks of all this, because it’s hard to get information from The Other Side due to media bias. Well… okay then.

Caveats: I’m definitely not Republican, but I’m definitely not Democrat either. All opinions expressed are my own unless I’m linking to someone else, which will be properly indicated. And I don’t like Donald Trump, but don’t think he’s the “devil” that some on the Left paint him to be.

Right now, I’m seeing attacks on the judge in Trump’s NY case, both because he donated $15 or $20 to Biden in 2020, because he presided and some people think that’s a good reason to send death threats. People are reporting that there’s no way Trump will get a fair trial in NYC. Christopher Buckley likens the entire thing to Trump putting the citizens in jail. There’s a lot of crowing about how Trump is claiming to be not guilty of all 34 charges brought against him. There’s a fairly high level of apparent joy that Trump’s “sleaziness” is being brought into the public light.

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Fire, the making of it.


Fire is one of those things that it’s important to know about in emergency situations. You want to know how to get it started, how to keep it going, how to bank it overnight, and how to use it to do various things. You also need to know more than one way to do each of those things.

Making fire is probably the one that stumps most people. There’s this tendency to fall back on “oh, I’ll use a lighter”. I’m guilty of it myself, to a certain extent, and I almost always have a lighter on me somewhere. But lighters run out of fuel, and they get wet, and they can get lost. So what happens then?

Knowing how to make and use char cloth is one path to fire. Having or knowing how to find dry tinder, even in went conditions is another. There’s also flint and steel. But what do you do once you have those ingredients?

This is a picture of the cheap striker I got through an online cheap-ass place called Temu. I think I paid $1.98 for it. It has a ferro rod, a striker, and a blow tube, all in a neat little kit with a neck strap.

Did you know that when most ferro rods arrive, they have a coating on them that you need to work through before you can get a decent spark? Something to know. Something I did NOT know until this afternoon. I learned.

Do you know how to get a spark from flint and steel, or ferro rod and striker? Do you know how to get the spark to be where you want it? It’s not nearly so easy as one might think, and it requires a bit of practice in optimal circumstances before you get into an emergency.

Luckily, it’s not expensive to practice. You can make char cloth out of any old cotton (denim jeans, old tee shirts, kids’ spit up cloths, you name it) or linen. Here’s a good video on making it, with some wonderful side info. And another website with good pics.

Okay, so now you have char cloth. What about tinder? Technically you don’t need both (char cloth IS tinder after all), but knowing how to find or make tinder is as important as knowing how to make char cloth. After all, if you have the means to make char cloth, but no fire, then what do you do? ๐Ÿ™‚

Tinder can be anything that’s very small and very flammable. Tinder is smaller than the tiny sticks you use to get a fire built up. It’s fine and light and fluffy. As an example, even in wet climates, if you can find a cedar tree, you can scrape the underside of the bark for a feathery soft stuff that makes great tinder.

Tinder’s job is to catch your spark. That’s it. Now you have a spark, and it’s glowing, and you need to add more fuel to it. Larger pieces of tinder, such as very fine branches from pine trees, can be added. You can make feather sticks (thin, dry sticks that you ‘feather out’ with a sharp knife or axe) to help you make the spark into more. You blow on the ember in the fluff of tinder, and hopefully, the ember becomes smoke, and the smoke becomes fire. Take your tiny fire and add it to the previously laid base of your fire.

There are many ways to build that base, such as log cabin and tipi style. Practice, so you know what works best for you, in which conditions. I tend to use a log cabin style when building fires in dry weather, but I find tipi works better when it’s wet. Awa taught me how to use a military poncho as a cover while building a fire in the rain.

Being able to get your spark to the right spot differs depending on what method you’re using to make a spark. If you’re using a ferro rod, most people’s instinct is to hold the rod over the tinder, then push the scraper down it. Unfortunately, this can cause your spark to go wild. A better way is to hold the scraper in place, and pull the rod up along it. Give both a try, and see what happens. Practice!

When you’re using flint and steel, you want your tinder in your hand, and you spark toward that. And that takes a LOT of practice, and you’ll probably skin your knuckles a number of times in the process of learning. I’ve been doing flint and steel work for about five years, and I’m still terrible at it. I’m passably good with a ferro rod, but I can’t possibly know that I’ll have one on hand, so… I practice with flint and steel.

So, what if you don’t have a ferro rod, or flint and steel, or a lighter? It’s time to use friction. But friction is the least easy method for making fire, even though it can be effective. This is another one that really requires you to go and do it, practice it, and use it on a regular basis in order to perfect it. And all that practice must be done before the emergency, because when you’re in the midst of it, you won’t have time to be putzing around with learning new things.

This site discusses several methods of making fire using friction: bow drill, pump drill, hand drill, and fire plough. And then there’s this great article on Instructables, which adds more to the list: the two man friction drill, and a fire piston, in addition to instructions on the ones at the first site.

So… go add to your skill set! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have fun in the process, and impress your friends. Stay warm, stay dry, and learn.