Survivalism – Combat Arms Blog http://combatarmsblog.com/ Tue, 02 Aug 2022 16:31:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://combatarmsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon.png Survivalism – Combat Arms Blog http://combatarmsblog.com/ 32 32 Part One: Extremism in America – Son of an Oath Keepers explains why he left ‘Daddy Trump’ and the far-right cult https://combatarmsblog.com/part-one-extremism-in-america-son-of-an-oath-keepers-explains-why-he-left-daddy-trump-and-the-far-right-cult/ Tue, 02 Aug 2022 16:31:23 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/part-one-extremism-in-america-son-of-an-oath-keepers-explains-why-he-left-daddy-trump-and-the-far-right-cult/ Unfortunately, I’m the son of Oathkeeper Stewart Rhodes. And unfortunately for both of us, I may be relevant to you. It is now undeniable that radicalization and the appeal of right-wing extremist thought is a significant problem facing the nation, perhaps a fatal crisis, and in this context the stories of people who have returned […]]]>

Unfortunately, I’m the son of Oathkeeper Stewart Rhodes. And unfortunately for both of us, I may be relevant to you.

It is now undeniable that radicalization and the appeal of right-wing extremist thought is a significant problem facing the nation, perhaps a fatal crisis, and in this context the stories of people who have returned from the right elicit a lot of interest. wing fringe. I only have my niche experience to offer from a very strange life. But I’ve been told it might be useful to those interested in how I went from a teenage militiaman who believed in Pizzagate to rejecting my birth name of Dakota Stewart Rhodes and joining the BLM and the pro-choice protests.

If tracing the stumbling and groping path to independent thought taken by the son of an insurgent militia leader holds any valuable lesson, I have a responsibility to show you all. If there is any chance that my story will be helpful to the millions of people who have lost family and friends to right-wing cult behavior, then I have an obligation to tell it.

For starters, I wasn’t always what most people think of when they picture the current crop of angry Alt Rite fraternity brethren and bitter Incels (I’ve never been so bitter). My political life began in the explosion of the libertarian right that was the Ron Paul campaign in 2008, caught in the wake of my father’s ambition, even before Oath Keepers, when he had made a name as campaign organizer. Stewart asserted his authority by leveraging his law degree, military background, and former position as a clerk in Paul’s own office.

Enter the strangers

I gained political awareness by attending sign-making parties with all the weirdos and misfits who felt out of place in the mainstream GOP, even some crossover Democrats from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but still undeniably steeped in right-wing ideology. There was something that would resonate later in a much worse year, the belief that only bringing in a foreign candidate, even a madman, could fix the system.

Implicit throughout was the sense that even the GOP, with its authoritarian tendencies and bloodthirsty enthusiasm for the global war on terror, was inherently more closely aligned with “us” enlightened souls than anyone on the left. According to our ideology, even left-wing libertarians would inevitably bring about socialism by introducing clear tools of statism like progressive taxation, environmental protection, and the dreaded death-panel socialized health care, triggering the brief half-life. life of all socialist governmental systems as they actively decayed into communism. . Left anarchists would simply skip the middleman and go immediately to full communism, ironically instituting the most governmental of all governments. Socialism, after all, is when government does things, the more things the more socialist, with communism as the natural end point.




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The GOP, being staunchly opposed to socialism, must therefore be on the lighter end of the spectrum of governmental authority, despite its decades-long love affair with militarized police and the surveillance state. In events, connections, strategy, and politics, the libertarian right would continue to align itself with the big conservatives in government as a holding action against the Democrats. More charitably, it could have been seen as an attempt to convert the GOP from within.

Of course, Ron Paul would lose. In the ensuing panic and disbandment of the nascent Liberty Movement, my father would seize the time and place to found Oath Keepers and redirect the considerable grassroots energy that was now aimless and directionless, playing its way particular to secure a niche. Oath Keepers would spread a message of hope, at least in the early years, and retain something of the emotional core of the outsider activist politics that had given Ron Paul his animosity following. Beneath the surface, Stewart Rhodes was already playing on conservative fears about the incoming Obama administration, particularly over guns, alluding to Camp FEMA conspiracy theories and overlapping the bleak prospects of preppers and doomsdays toward Success.

The sense that the Ron Paul campaign was the last best hope of averting the economic collapse and New World Order takeover prophesied by survivalists nationwide for decades was widespread. Now that the last hope was shattered, the dice were irreversibly cast.

This too would reverberate later.

MAGA Memes

The politics of my own childhood of course became tougher and more marginal in my survivalist adolescence, as the oath keepers morphed into a roving private army and revenue machine behind the facade of veteran organization, but the drifting into an anti-government belief wasn’t quite what would do. prepare me to fall in love with number 45 cult later. Anonymous internet forums filled with outcasts and outcasts, effectively compromised by white supremacist recruiters, weren’t the strongest influence either, though the endless MAGA memes pouring through this vector certainly had an impact. . I had been carrying on the militant spirit of sign parties for a while, evangelizing the “true” message of Ron Paul, the one the media kept you from hearing, and the good words of Bo Gritz and Ayn Rand to the masses online ( that last with some caveats, even then).

Over time, the weight of depression and stress of the civil war and the constantly looming downfall of society has shattered me, and Bernie Bros’ survival in online disputes has lost its luster with everything the rest. I spent my remaining teenage years with one foot in apocalypse training and one foot in basement NEET-dom, burying myself in the internet to avoid having to think about The Coming End and taking refuge in web novels and anime when life got unbearable.

The Coming End has ruled my life, variously called The Collapse, The Crash, the End of Days (for the religious), and sometimes in our family ironically referred to as “a-Cop-alypse.” It was an economic crash, a nuclear war, a mass terrorist attack, a natural disaster, any event that would end civil society and reduce the United States to a war of all against all as the starving masses turned against each other, local warlords with looted military hardware rising to fill the power vacuum. All of this, of course, had to be orchestrated by nefarious forces in government, taking advantage of a natural crisis directly causing a situation so bad that most people would crave a totalitarian regime that would restore order to the chaos.

false flags

The government simulating a biological terrorist attack by a hostile nation like Iran, a “false flag” attack, to create domestic chaos and simultaneously start a convenient war was a popular scenario. The cause varied in headlines and times, the fallout from Fukushima or a North Korean EMP attack as examples, but the belief remained concrete and it was still at most 18 consecutive months.

Some welcomed the collapse as a chance to start society anew, others harbored youthful fantasies of their survivalism paying off in terms of social status and sexual conquest when the fall of civilization made them superior to starving “naked males”. , others believed in it simply as a fatality to be overcome, or as the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy. Some, like me, lived in endless fear.

I knew my family was not prepared to survive a collapse, not under Stewart’s leadership.

By the time Trump became the undisputed leader of the Republican primary, the end-of-day stress cycle I lived in had worn me down, leaving me primed for cult recruitment. I was beginning to lose my overall fear of the end after it repeatedly failed to materialize, just enough to leave me cognitive space for deep bitter anger. All my life, the perceived actions of political elites and decision-makers had been the cause of household panic, from national events to international events that were nonetheless proof of the New World Order at work.

dark powers

The Muslim Brotherhood in 2012s in Egypt involved in a rocket attack on Israel were somehow blamed on dark NWO power brokers, working to promote war, and obviously a domino that would cause us to struggle to survive violent American balkanization through fuzzy logic I don’t remember. Every political movement, large or small, of the establishment was a source of terror and despair when filtered through the paranoid lens I had been raised with, and I had had enough.

My belief in end times and sinister conspiracies had faded, but not the emotional mark. It was a weak point that made me vulnerable to exploitation.

I had missed many online pipelines to well-known brands of right-wing extremism by this point, largely because I was thoroughly a child of the constitutionalist militia movement and indoctrinated against competing right-wing ideologies.

I had been trained to see conspiracies and psychological warfare in every shadow, and so I timed Nazi recruitment on message boards instantaneously for the manipulation it was. I had been raised in a fanatical cult of American exceptionalism and sincerely believed that the Constitutional Militia movement was an anti-racist force unjustly maligned by the liberal media (until, years later, I did not). don’t do). The general racism from the unmoderated dark corners of the internet overwhelmed me with no effect other than to distort my sense of humor.

I ended up avoiding misogyny despite the best efforts of my father and those around him. So when early GamerGate turned away from YouTubers like TotalBiscuit who actually talked about ethical gaming journalism to a sexually frustrated hate storm, I jumped off the bandwagon.

To learn more, visit www.rawstory.com

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Meet the exotic dancer who went undercover to take down terrorists https://combatarmsblog.com/meet-the-exotic-dancer-who-went-undercover-to-take-down-terrorists/ Sun, 31 Jul 2022 17:07:49 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/meet-the-exotic-dancer-who-went-undercover-to-take-down-terrorists/ She was a mother of two who had gone from cocktail waitress to dancer paying the bills. The daughter of a cop who had always dreamed of fighting crime. And, for four and a half years, a confidential informant who helped the feds bring down a white supremacist behind a 2004 bombing in Scottsdale, Ariz., […]]]>

She was a mother of two who had gone from cocktail waitress to dancer paying the bills. The daughter of a cop who had always dreamed of fighting crime. And, for four and a half years, a confidential informant who helped the feds bring down a white supremacist behind a 2004 bombing in Scottsdale, Ariz., that maimed a black man — and who intended to do much worse.

Now in an exclusive interview with journalist Jeff Maysh on Substack, Rebecca Williams reveals her true identity and tells the crazy story of her recruitment by the ATF and the sting operation that could have cost her her life. Williams went undercover for the ATF between January 2005 and June 2009, Maysh details, often working alone and without formal training. First, she bonded with twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon, members of the KKK and White Aryan Resistance who, according to a former ATF agent, “may be the greatest serial bombers ever. never lived in this country”. Later, his master expanded his investigation to have him meet Robert Joos, a religious fanatic who ran a bizarre church and extremist camp filled with illegal weapons in faraway Missouri, who had been an adviser to the Mahons.

Williams first met federal agents through his brother Phillip, a career criminal who had agreed to infiltrate the Hells Angels after selling drugs to an undercover agent. During a routine visit, Phillip’s manager noticed Rebecca and asked if she would be interested in undercover work. “It sounded cool at the time,” she tells Maysh, “and I guess it was kind of sexy, you know, the whole spy game.” Maysh describes Williams’ first meeting with ATF Special Agent Tristan Moreland at the bureau’s Phoenix office in January 2005:

Moreland scanned her. “She’s lived a little through life, she’s got a lot of street smarts and she runs with tough crowds,” he recalled thinking. She had an edge and would be believable, he concluded. When he told Rebecca there had been a bombing that seriously injured a black man, she was intrigued. “They said they needed me to go talk to a few guys and have it all recorded. They said I could make up to $100,000.

Moreland had shown her pictures of Dennis and Daniel Mahon, but warned her not to look at them. Naturally, Rebecca started digging. Dennis Mahon was “one of the scariest guys around” in the 1990s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

A day later, she called Moreland again. She would.

Williams as his cabaret alter ego “Stevie”.

Courtesy of Rebecca Williams

Williams was given a cover story—her name was Becca Stephens, and she was on the run after a failed bombing attempt—and a trailer fitted with a Confederate flag. She parked next to the Mahons at an RV camp in Arizona and immediately struck up a friendship. During their first conversation over beers and sips of Everclear at 190 ordeal, Dennis told him that he was a Great Dragon of the KKK, showing a photo of him wearing the ceremonial green balaclava and another in which he gave the Nazi salute. He also gave her his copy of Turner’s Diaries, a novel about a race war that inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. “He talked a lot about overthrowing the government with an underground revolutionary war,” Williams told Maysh. Maysh continues:

Daniel bragged about shooting at the wheel and blowing up cars, according to transcripts of the secret recordings later heard in court. “We thought we were doing the right thing. We were just trying to send a message,” he told Rebecca. “When I pulled out someone’s car, it wasn’t out of anger. It was a sense of duty. It’s like a military operation. You plan for it. Equip yourself for it.

Rebecca, hoping to captivate men in the way [her alter ego] “Stevie” made customers at the strip club, remained silent, even distant. Dennis was hit. “I just want to cuddle with you. You’re so beautiful,” he told her, but as the night wore on, Rebecca made it clear that she wanted to go to bed — alone. maybe one day,” she teased before pointing him out the door. Hidden microphones recorded Rebecca as she crawled into bed.

“Fuck crazy,” she whispered.

Exotic Dancer, America's Most Wanted Terrorists Rebecca Williams

Williams with Daniel (left) and Dennis Mahon.

Courtesy of Rebecca Williams

Less than a month after their friendship, Maysh says, Dennis had promised to introduce Williams to Joos – who investigators later learned was the first person Mahon had called after the Scottsdale bombing. The brothers also took her to a local gun show, looking for everything she would need to make a bomb under their tutelage. While they were shopping, she asked Dennis if he had done any successful bombs. As Maysh describes it:

He leaned closer and whispered, “Yeah, the fucking diversity officer…Scottsdale Police Department, got his fingers ripped off.” Then he caught himself and said he told ‘white cops how to do it’. She had obtained her confession.

While Williams thought her job was done, the ATF was too intrigued by the idea of ​​Joos and her training camp to let her go. They enticed her with a raise. She deepened her relationship with the Mahons, visiting them periodically and becoming pen pals over the next few years with Dennis, who eventually arranged a meeting between her and Joos in January 2008:

There was a dusting of snow on the road as Rebecca drove a rental car through the Ozarks, following a map of the 200-acre church grounds of Joos near Powell, Missouri (population: 49 ). The church had registered a logo consisting of two capital “N”s side by side, which resembled the lightning bolts of the Nazi “SS” logo. Rebecca met Moreland for a roadside briefing. He had bad news. Due to the remoteness, surveillance was impossible. She entered alone. No backup.

After Rebecca drives [through a large gate, Joos] locked him behind them. They drove through a graveyard of broken down vehicles, while stray cats meowed and dogs howled. Inside ramshackle buildings, Rebecca noticed several long guns, and as they walked among the walnut trees, Joos discussed survivalism and conspiracy theories. As casually as someone on a YouTube cooking channel, he taught her how to make napalm out of household soap.

Joos led her deeper into the woods, showing her distant caves where he hid supplies. “He said if he found out someone was trying to infiltrate them, they would disappear,” she recalled. When it was time to leave and Joos opened the padlock and said goodbye, she was relieved. “Hope I didn’t scare you too much,” he wrote in a letter shortly after leaving. “I know Dennis would really like you to be part of what we’re developing here.”

Exotic Dancer, America's Most Wanted Terrorists Rebecca Williams

Williams with government agents posing as white supremacists during a photo op in the desert.

Courtesy of Rebecca Williams

Over the next year and a half, Williams continued to gather information and evidence for the ATF through her relationship with an increasingly suspicious Dennis Mahon, parrying his fears that she was a “plant” by returning paranoia to him. Finally, at 7:00 am on June 25, 2009, the bureau invaded the Mahon’s home and arrested the brothers. When Moreland, who had also gone undercover at the end of the operation, handcuffed Dennis, Maysh recounts, the terrorist said, “We knew. We knew… you and the girl. We knew.”

Thanks in large part to Williams’ work, Dennis Mahon was convicted of three counts related to the Scottsdale bombing and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Joos was sentenced to 78 months for possession of illegal firearms. (Daniel Mahon was tried but not convicted of any crime.) The ATF recommended that Williams participate in the witness relocation program, but she refused to be a “sitting duck,” as she told Maysh. She now lives off the grid in a house bought with her ATF money. But she hasn’t lost her thirst for crime-fighting adventures: She’s currently working independently on solving a local cold case.

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10 Epic Movies Like I Am Legend You Should Watch Next https://combatarmsblog.com/10-epic-movies-like-i-am-legend-you-should-watch-next/ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 15:40:00 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/10-epic-movies-like-i-am-legend-you-should-watch-next/ Are the pale, lanky ghouls of “I Am Legend” zombies, vampires, or something else? In the end, all this semantic tinkering really matters as much as the vibe the horde gives off: they must be a teeming mob of homicidal maniacs. Of course, in the “true” ending of “I Am Legend”, we learn that the […]]]>

Are the pale, lanky ghouls of “I Am Legend” zombies, vampires, or something else? In the end, all this semantic tinkering really matters as much as the vibe the horde gives off: they must be a teeming mob of homicidal maniacs. Of course, in the “true” ending of “I Am Legend”, we learn that the infected are far more intelligent and human than either us or Neville gave them credit for. But in the film’s first act, the creatures seem animalistic, stubborn and, above all, violent.

To understand why we find this kind of nightmarish swarm so fascinating, you have to watch George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” A mainstay of end-times cinema, the ancestor of zombie movies, and one of the most iconic horror films ever made by a black man (Duane Jones), this 1968 flick is a chilling classic. It starts with the beginning of the end: the dead have begun to rise and they have a fondness for human flesh. A group of survivors take refuge in a dilapidated farmhouse, where they are forced to fend off the physical and existential threats posed by the undead.

While “Night of the Living Dead” certainly has fear and isolation in spades, it also has its fair share of action-packed moments. Children attack their parents, Molotov cocktails fly through the air and the dead constantly attack the fortress of the survivors. Neville may choose to stay to find a cure for those infected, but fundamentally his fate is the same: he must survive.

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Rainn Wilson Would Never Say 1 Dwight ‘The Office’ Quote Because He’s Vegan https://combatarmsblog.com/rainn-wilson-would-never-say-1-dwight-the-office-quote-because-hes-vegan/ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 01:58:25 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/rainn-wilson-would-never-say-1-dwight-the-office-quote-because-hes-vegan/ Office is one of the most popular shows ever to air. The series, filmed in a mockumentary format, aired for nine seasons and featured many hilarious characters. One such character was Dwight Schrute, whose unlikable personality endeared him to fans of the show. Dwight was known for having amazing one-liners and punchlines. However, the actor […]]]>

Office is one of the most popular shows ever to air. The series, filmed in a mockumentary format, aired for nine seasons and featured many hilarious characters. One such character was Dwight Schrute, whose unlikable personality endeared him to fans of the show. Dwight was known for having amazing one-liners and punchlines. However, the actor who played him would never say any of Dwight’s quotes from Office because he is vegan.

Rainn Wilson | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Rainn Wilson’s ‘The Office’ Character Was Hilarious and Insufferable

Dwight is a competent salesman at one of Dunder Mifflin’s branches. He was assistant to the regional director but always referred to himself as deputy regional director, trying to rise to the rank of second in command.

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Snowflake Mountain: 10 Best Quotes From Season 1 https://combatarmsblog.com/snowflake-mountain-10-best-quotes-from-season-1/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/snowflake-mountain-10-best-quotes-from-season-1/ snowflake mountain is and is not what it seems. The reality series brings together a group of 20-year-old superparents and takes them off the grid under the tutelage of bushcraft/survival experts Matt Tate and Joel Graves. Dependent on each other for their sanity and success, the contestants are stripped of their safety nets. Ultimately succeeding […]]]>

snowflake mountain is and is not what it seems. The reality series brings together a group of 20-year-old superparents and takes them off the grid under the tutelage of bushcraft/survival experts Matt Tate and Joel Graves. Dependent on each other for their sanity and success, the contestants are stripped of their safety nets.

Ultimately succeeding in its goal of instilling courage and self-sufficiency in its Gen Z cast, the series doesn’t so much poke fun at the contestants but forces them to examine their own immaturity. While the path they walk through is genuinely heartwarming, it comes with a plethora of statements that ring with the eye-popping absurdity that labeled them snowflakes in the first place.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Below the belt

“I should have worn pants, bro. I’m getting my D— Bit.”


Sunny wearing a Snowflake Mountain beanie and aviators

Separated with the boys on a mission to reunite with their new campmate, Sunny immediately felt the repercussions of wearing compression pants instead of something more protective. While everyone else was in tracksuits/windbreakers, Sunny’s sheer bottoms provided little more than gift-wrapping for hungry mosquitoes.

RELATED: 10 Best Reality Shows Like Netflix’s Snowflake Mountain

Funny and unfiltered, Sunny’s admission of regret drew laughs from Matt and Joel and playful criticism from his team. Although he managed to brave the bugs and the wrong directions, his eloquently conveyed itch told of a moment painfully hard to forget.


drag the lake

“Funerals are more fun than Last Chance Lake.”


Salomon wearing a gray Snowflake Mountain hat

Solomon Patterson’s reluctance to change his attitude and his abrasiveness defined his tenure. Constantly combative, his early duplicity resulted in him (alongside Deandra Joseph) spending the night at Last Chance Lake. Arriving at two primitive shelters, a campfire and survival instructor Cat Bigney, Solomon was isolated and given a chance to reflect.

Although Solomon fought his way through a more traditional camp, instead of using it to grow like Deandra did, he sang of injustice and embittered himself to the point of returning home one more episode. late. Far from being a heartbreaking experience, Solomon’s preference for funerals casually shows just how spoiled he is.


Gobsmacked by the cat

“Out comes that beautiful Pochahontas Titty Goddess.”


Split Image Cat and Deandra Snowflake Mountain

The arrival of Cat Bigney, an expert in primitive skills and an anthropologist, was an event. With her hair in a bubble ponytail and teal arrowheads hanging from her ears/around her neck, Cat stunned the cast with her style and credentials before having them skin a deer carcass. No one was more enchanted than Deandra.

While Solomon playfully referred to her as “Ariana Grande carrying a knife,” Deandra’s unintentionally disparaging “compliment” is more about someone whose full image of Native Americans comes from a Disney cartoon. Cat’s presence in preservation and education (not to mention entertainment) is invaluable. Hopefully Deandre will use the weight of his words as an opportunity to educate himself.


A disappointing BM

“It wasn’t a real bathroom. It was a tent with a bucket of paint in it. And I S— in it. And I’ll never forget that.”


Devon and Solomon Snowflake Mountain

Finishing the first day of their two-day trek up Snowflake Mountain, the other cast members settled into base camp just as the sun set. Dropping their loads and setting up their tents, the highlight of the aforementioned camp was a private bathroom. Although a step up from the brambles, it wasn’t quite what anyone, especially Devon Smith, had imagined.

RELATED: The 10 Funniest Reality TV Shows Of All Time

Belly growls were an ongoing issue on the mountain climb. Admitting that Matt and Joel used the promise of a real bathroom to pick up his pace, Devon christened the tent paint bucket and told his campmates about his “luxurious” experience. When nature calls, even a bucket can be a luxury.


no baby

“I’m growing up. I shit outside in a wooden box. What do you want from me?”


Salomon Snowflake Mountain

There aren’t many moments of emotional growth for Solomon over his four episodes. His attitude is inscrutable and instead of listening to what anyone has to say, he gets defensive, making fun of everything from looks to cooking to the purpose of the show as a whole. .

RELATED: The 10 Most Dramatic Reality TV Shows On Netflix

What Solomon is unable to fight is where he goes to the bathroom. With the camp sharing a perfectly adequate wooden outbuilding, he had no choice but to agree to defecate in a hole dug in a wooden stump. From digging latrines to getting dirty in toilets, Solomon’s only real exodus from his comfort zone was in the form of excrement.

A stage outing

“Look at this view. When are you ever going S— To such a beautiful place?”


Split Image Sunny and Randy Snowflake Mountain

The fear. The silence. The sweat. It was obvious to viewers that Randy Wentworth needed to use the bathroom while climbing the show’s titular mountain and he didn’t fancy doing it with an audience. Trying to work his way through his cramps, his struggles weren’t a secret for long, and Sunny gave him just the motivation he needed to let go.

Having already given up in front of his comrades after digging a latrine, Sunny’s words of familiarity comforted Randy to find a corner and relieve himself. He even had a two-fold moment with his crush Devon, who brought him some much needed toilet paper. Although there is never a pleasant time to go among a crowd, it is unlikely that Randy will ever have the opportunity to go to a more scenic setting.

A clean queen

“If you all think I’m going to wipe my vagina with a sheet, that’s not going to happen.”


Deandra Snowflake Mountain

Deandra’s early presence was a far cry from the strong-willed, supportive teammate she would become. With a suitcase full of makeup and “toys”, she packed her bags to be pampered. Coming to a social experiment in survivalism, her fears of a “p—- rash” weren’t exactly unwarranted.

A definite step up from a singular leaf, the Snowflake Estate provided a communal outhouse stocked with toilet paper and clandestine bins for their sewage. Uncomfortable but not quite Naked and scaredDeandra’s primitive paper concerns echoed everyone’s earliest anxieties.

Remixed Anatomy

“My heart is in my A-hole. My A-hole is in my mouth.”


Quizical Liam Snowflake Mountain


Liam Brown is the heart of snowflake mountain, so much so that it really should have its own spin-off show from the Netflix reality series. Funny, self-deprecating and more than a little sassy, ​​Liam’s honesty and encouragement consistently uplifts his castmates and provides the most entertaining testimonials for viewers. Newly announced as one of the final three competitors, its description is unparalleled.

Drawing laughs and hugs from Sunny and Deandra, Liam is able to diffuse a tense situation that could have turned friends against each other. Hilariously, his nervous energy proved to his co-finalists that they all feel the same and what really matters is that they all grew up together.

No vibration

“My clitoris doesn’t work in the desert.”


Deandra wearing a Snowflake Mountain bucket hat

Separated from her friends, family and familiarities, the importance of self-love never left Deandra’s mind. Whether it was packing a vibrator in her essential bag or admitting to feeling electricity from the branch she was riding while climbing a tree, sexual release has always been part of her space of head.


Speaking to Liam after their two housemates spent the night at Last Chance Lake, Deandra admitted trying to fill the loneliness with some “me time”. Unable to climax or find the right sensual space, her diagnosis of clitoral dysfunction through the wilderness is both absurd and an indicator that, regardless of sexuality, atmosphere means everything.

Thicc Arachnid

“I was like a spider up there. I mean, I was probably like a big spider, plus size spider, but I did it for my plus size crew.”


Liam Snowflake Mountain

One of Matt and Joel’s most impactful team confidence-building exercises, Liam scaled the tree presented to him with a speed and confidence that surprised even him. Fighting his way up to the treetops and onto the ground in celebration, Liam’s conquering his insecurities not only motivated his castmates, but also unlocked a new personality.

Liam’s energy was always uplifting, but now it was contagious. From lighting the fire to building tents, he struggled to help everyone overcome their obstacles and hesitations. Once a grandma’s boy, the new moniker “Plus Size Spider-Man” won the hearts of his crew and viewers alike with his cheeky descriptions and the true growth that followed.

NEXT: The 10 Craziest Reality TV Shows About Off-Network Living

90 Day Fiance Season 9 Patrick Mendes

90 Day Fiancé: Patrick’s Wedding Photos With His Ex-Wife Discovered Online


About the Author

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Immortal North by Tom Stewart https://combatarmsblog.com/immortal-north-by-tom-stewart/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 18:09:21 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/immortal-north-by-tom-stewart/ Sharing is caring! I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair review. While not an apocalyptic, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic novel, I think it’s a perfect fit for our survivalists and preppers! A novel as heartbreaking as it is immersive, immortal north is a visceral and raw story that will stay with […]]]>

Sharing is caring!

I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair review. While not an apocalyptic, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic novel, I think it’s a perfect fit for our survivalists and preppers!

A novel as heartbreaking as it is immersive, immortal north is a visceral and raw story that will stay with you for a long time.

This book blew me away. It’s perfect if you like survivalism stories, novels set in northern Canada, and the spectacle Only (check my Season 9 reviews every Monday).

He is known as the trapper and his family has a long history in these isolated woods. Now it’s just him and the boy, and he’s going to raise him in the world he knows, the forest, where threats take recognizable forms: harsh climate, peak of predators, encroachment of civilization contrary to their way of life. But for these lands and these spirits with an unstable past, other dangers may lie in wait for the woods where father and son hunt wood. One fateful day, their life in the woods is violently shattered – shouldn’t those responsible for such injustice be held to account? Although at times gritty or even violent, there is a raw grace to these pages like veins of gold running through black quartz.

A story told in captivating wildlife prose, where human skin is no boundary for
the beauty or cruelty of nature. A book strewn with reflective wonder, entirely a story of the deep bonds of human love. The great woods of the Great North in all its naked majesty become an arena for the duel of the forces of life: joy and suffering, good and evil, compassion and revenge. Although the forest is isolated, it can be a story of the wilderness that exists in all of us. A story that will not be easily forgotten because there is something that lives on here. Immortal North.

Exam

This book is painfully beautiful. I’d go so far as to compare it to Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy, not just in the highly descriptive style that keeps you both at bay and gets you deep into the character’s psyche, but the harshness of the situation. Although it is not a gory book or even that violent, it is a book full of tension from the very first lines. You read everything with your heart in your throat. Even if you can guess what will happen, it still comes as a shock. In fact, the novel’s ominous tone is so pervasive that the tension is as tight as a bowstring (hunting joke).

I rarely cry while reading books, but I cried twice in this novel. Not just a sniffle, but I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It’s such a raw novel that it forces you to acutely feel the emotions of the characters.

It also contains many intricate and realistic details about off-grid survival. The trapper and the boy (they don’t have names, which reminded me a lot The road– he also shares the same gloom of tone) spend the first three-quarters of the novel living their usual life in the desert. This is intercut with memories the trapper has of his late wife and his experiences growing up. As such, it falls into a semi-stream-of-consciousness style while remaining firmly grounded in the desert. You intimately understand what their life is like, both the challenges and the rewards.

The novel is full of descriptions of the beauty of nature, of hunting, of animals being dressed in the field, and showing the positive aspects of ethical hunting. It also breaches the topic of toxic masculinity in the hunt (which I thought was excellent).

The novel, for lack of a better word, is Deep. It’s honestly the closest thing I’ve read to Hemingway in a modern novel. I absolutely loved it. It’s an amazing piece of literature and I can’t thank the publisher/author enough for the free copy. This end… phew!

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in survivalism, who loves isolation stories, who loves having their heart broken into a million pieces, and anyone who loves the outdoors and the North.

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TS Beier is obsessed with science fiction, ruins of industry and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a top 5 finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Hugh Howey Self-Published Sci-Fi Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (opera space). She is a book reviewer, editor, freelance writer, and co-owner of Rising Action Publishing Co. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, two feral children, and a shepherd-mastiff.

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‘Dark Nature’: Fantasia Review | Comments https://combatarmsblog.com/dark-nature-fantasia-review-comments/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 03:11:58 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/dark-nature-fantasia-review-comments/ Dir/scr: Berkley Brady. Canada. 2022. 85 minutes In the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies, a group of women embark on a weekend retreat in an attempt to exorcise past traumas, but soon find themselves confronting more than their personal demons. The feature debut of Canadian short film Berkley Brady (The immaculate welcome, Sundance 2014) […]]]>

Dir/scr: Berkley Brady. Canada. 2022. 85 minutes

In the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies, a group of women embark on a weekend retreat in an attempt to exorcise past traumas, but soon find themselves confronting more than their personal demons. The feature debut of Canadian short film Berkley Brady (The immaculate welcome, Sundance 2014) begins as an intriguing study of the arduous journey of psychological recovery, but quickly succumbs to familiar “deep, dark woods” horror tropes. Nonetheless, its mix of spiritualism, survivalism, and genuine scares make for solid entertainment.

It’s always a pleasure to see a genre film populated by hardy female characters – in this particular case, native women

These qualities should see dark nature – TIFF’s selection for this year’s Cannes Fantastic 7 genre showcase – heads to other festivals after its Fantasia premiere, particularly those with a gender or Indigenous focus (Brady belongs to the Métis group native and the cast also includes a number of mixed-race individuals). While his stunning landscapes would benefit from being seen on the big screen, he’s more likely to find a grateful audience via a streaming platform.

A well-handled opening sequence of domestic violence immediately shows why, six months after these terrible events, the ironically named Joy (Hannah Emily Anderson) is in desperate need of help; even if she won’t admit it. Best friend Carmen (Madison Walsh), clearly feeling the pressure to try to help an unresponsive Joy, insists she join her and another woman, Tara (Helen Belay), on a an isolationist weekend retreat in the mountains. It’s run by indigenous and somewhat unconventional Doctor Dunnley (Kyra Harper); troubled former soldier Shaina (Roseanne Supernault) is also on board.

Each of these women carries an emotional load far heavier than their backpacks and, as they venture deeper into the woods – despite the ominous warning signs of toxic rivers and bloodstained belongings that litter the path – the cracks begin to appear. When they arrive at an ancient site where, Dr. Dunnley tells them, people used to make offerings to spirits, Joy experiences intense flashbacks and becomes convinced that her abusive ex-partner is following them. Skeptical at first, soon the other women experience the same hallucinogenic journeys into their past and realize that they may be trapped in a very real nightmare.

It is at this point, when the threat shifts from paranoid delirium to something altogether more flesh and blood, that dark nature starting to feel a bit more stereotypical. Any survivalist horror connoisseur – especially those films set in the back of the afterlife, such as The ghost Where The ritual — will know these rhythms well; the drone footage of looming forests, the whispers in the wind, the looming shapes among the trees, the gaping mouth of a cave in which unimaginable horrors likely reside.

Still, it’s always a pleasure to see a genre film populated by hardy female characters – in this particular case, indigenous women – and it’s undoubtedly one of the dark nature’its greatest strengths. It’s a shame, then, that the script doesn’t delve deeply into indigenous issues; there are mentions of the sanctity of the land and the power of restless spirits, but these are overshadowed by the actual fears of the women and a denouement that could just as easily have happened in the backwoods of America or of outback Australia.

However, dark nature delivers horror involving the wilderness, backed by engaged performances, clearly grueling filming captured in exquisite detail by cinematographer Jaryl Lim, and excellent physical effects that effectively heighten the tension. Of particular note is the film’s immersive sound design, which unfolds the sounds of nature to unsettling effect.

Production companies: Peterson Polaris, Nika Productions

International Sales: Epic Pictures

Producer: Michael Peterson, Berkley Brady

Editing: David Hiatt

Photography: Jaryl Lim

Music: Ghostkeeper

Main Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Madison Walsh, Helen Belay, Kyra Harper, Roseanne Supernault

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Black Kos, Tuesday’s Chili: Disgusted https://combatarmsblog.com/black-kos-tuesdays-chili-disgusted/ Tue, 12 Jul 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/black-kos-tuesdays-chili-disgusted/ disgusted Another rant from Chitown Kev Again, I find myself on another Tuesday afternoon listening to the January 6 committee deliberations. I am disgusted by what I hear. Since the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, there was an outpouring of criticism Democrats on all kinds of things. I saw some of these words on this […]]]>

disgusted

Another rant from Chitown Kev

Again, I find myself on another Tuesday afternoon listening to the January 6 committee deliberations.

I am disgusted by what I hear.

Since the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, there was an outpouring of criticism Democrats on all kinds of things.

I saw some of these words on this blog.

I am disgusted by the words of the so-called “allies”.

I don’t like bringing twitter stuff to DK and vice versa but I meant every word of this specific tweet.

Was it James Baldwin who first spoke of being “embedded in a burning house?”

Maybe. But Dr. Martin Luther King was also afraid that’s exactly what happened.

Now you good allies who quote the king, run and ramble on this Quotation.

I may feel different about everything tomorrow.

Come back with me.

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NEWS REPORTED BY BLACK KOS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DOPPER0189

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being the first is often not celebrated, it is felt The Root: The Flash’s Candice Patton talks about her experience on set: ‘treated differently’ from her white castmates

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In today’s world where there are more calls than ever to see more Casted black women In roles in sci-fi and superhero projects, on-screen representation may be on the rise, but so is on-set racism. In the case of Candice Patton who plays the lead female character in CW’s the flashthe behind-the-scenes experience, as well as fan response, has been less than stellar.

Earlier this month, Patton appeared on an episode of The Open Up Podcastwhere it, well… opened up.

“In 2014, there were no support systems,” the actor recalls. She said “it wasn’t easy” to be cast as one of the first black actresses in the made for tv DC universe. “No one cared about it. It was just loose to be abused every day.

And contrary to what the media may have you believe about what it looks like and feels like a “first,” Patton tells the story that it’s not as high praise as it looks.

“It’s a dangerous place when you’re one of the first, and you face a backlash and there’s no help,” the 34-year-old continued. “Now people understand a little bit better and they understand how racist, gender-specific, and misogynistic fans can be. But back then it was kind of like, ‘Yeah, that’s how it is. what are the fans, but whatever.”

Patton says that while she was dealing with racist remarks from fans online, she allegedly received no network support. The actor also shared that the hate started as soon as she was cast as the love interest of The Flash, played by Barry Allen.

“I wanted to leave the show as early as season two,” she revealed to podcast host Elliot Knight. “I remember saying, ‘I can’t do this, I’m not going to make it, I’m very unhappy. “It was more about the protocols in place and the things that I see happening for my white counterpart that are not happening to me.”

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Lázaro Ramos’ debut, in which a radical government orders the deportation of Brazil’s black population to Africa, moves from satire to survivalism. The Guardian: Executive Order Review – A hostile environment hits Brazil in a chillingly believable dystopia

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A chilling credibility creeps into this dystopian debut from actor-turned-director Lázaro Ramos that’s hard to shake off. It takes place in the near future, where a radical government in Brazil gives the order to expel all the black population of the country “to Africa”. What’s so troubling is that the order is the latest in a series of policies aimed at making Brazil a hostile environment for people of color — and those policies don’t feel a million miles away from the reality (for example, the Windrush scandal or the flights of asylum seekers to Rwanda, Trump’s wall or Jair Bolsonaroracism).

It starts satirically. Antônio (Alfred Enoch) is a thoughtful young human rights lawyer who files injunction after injunction against a new government department. This is the Ministry of Return, which has set up a voluntary scheme offering black people a one-way ticket to an African country of their choice. (The script is vague on immigration deals with African nations — and it’s let down in a few other places by vagueness and implausibility.) Ramos shows the stupidity of this racist policy in a sequence of amusing interviews with potential volunteers. Lawyer Antônio, worried but clueless about the chaos to come, tells his wife, hospital doctor Capitu (Taís Araújo), that if it all starts, they should meet at their apartment.

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After releasing a first original bourbon earlier this year, the brother-run brand hopes to release its own distillate in 2023. The Grio: Black in bourbon: About Brough Brothers, Kentucky’s first black-owned distillery

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In 1783, Evan Williams opened the first commercial bourbon distillery in Kentucky.

It would take another 237 years for the first black-owned distillery to hit the market in the famed state for his own bourbon trail.

Brough Brothers in Louisville has been at a breakneck pace of distillation and expansion since the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved the distillery in 2020. Brough Brothers released its first bourbon earlier this year from original bourbon and hopes to release its own distillate in 2023.

“We’ve got quite a bit of momentum, quite a bit of support from the community, retailers and district distributors,” Victor Yarbrough, CEO of Brough Brotherssaid the Grio.

For those unfamiliar, “sourced” means a company gets its bourbon from another distiller. “Distilled” bourbon means the company brews, ages, and bottles its product in its own facilities.

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The attack on a tavern near Johannesburg in which 15 people were killed was one of several similar incidents over the weekend. The Guardian: Calls for a crackdown on gangs in South Africa after series of gun attacks

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The activists of South Africa called for a crackdown on the increasingly powerful organized criminals armed with military-grade weaponry, responsible for a string of recent deadly attacks.

Police are looking for suspected gang members who killed 15 people in a tavern near Johannesburgthe commercial capital of the country, using an assault rifle and 9mm pistols on Saturday night.

The attack in Nomzamo township in Soweto came amid a wave of gun violence. At least seven other people have been shot dead in similar attacks elsewhere in the south Africa during the weekend.

Adele Kirsten, director of Gun Free South Africa, said she hoped the violence would be a turning point. “We should be horrified, outraged. Twenty-three people are slaughtered every day in South Africa and it goes unnoticed. It is wrong and it should draw attention to the number of people who are dying,” she said.

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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WELCOME TO TUESDAY PORCH.

IF YOU ARE NEW TO THE BLACK KOS COMMUNITY, TAKE A SEAT, SOME CYBER EATS, RELAX AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF.

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Survival TV has a new subgenre https://combatarmsblog.com/survival-tv-has-a-new-subgenre/ Tue, 12 Jul 2022 09:59:55 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/survival-tv-has-a-new-subgenre/ Glenn Villeneuve was one of the stars of life below zero, a National Geographic Channel show about the difficult life above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, which premiered in 2013 and is still running. They’re a different breed of people – the kind that will eat a wolf they’ve killed in the wild. His favorite […]]]>

Glenn Villeneuve was one of the stars of life below zero, a National Geographic Channel show about the difficult life above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, which premiered in 2013 and is still running. They’re a different breed of people – the kind that will eat a wolf they’ve killed in the wild. His favorite preparation for this beast is to boil it for a long time, to kill trichinosis. Villeneuve fed his children wolf meat a few times when no other food was available. During the winter months, when he has no vegetables, he has been able to obtain vegetables from the stomachs of the caribou he hunts. Life in the remote areas he inhabits is not for picky eaters, but he goes to extremes, even by local standards. Villeneuve hunts caribou with an ancient Aboriginal technique. He screams loudly so his voice echoes off a mountain or other structure, confusing the animals by turning around and charging directly at him so he can shoot them.


Les Stroud is a Canadian survival expert who starred in Survivor, a show that aired on the Discovery Channel for eight years in which Stroud spent up to 10 days in harsh wilderness conditions (e.g. Amazon jungle, African plains, Labrador in winter, tropical island) that he enters with little or no food, water, or any other survival essentials, not even a tarp or sleeping bag. He always brings a harmonica and a video camera, since he is alone and films the show by himself, which adds an additional physical burden. Stroud is not a man who lets fear deter him from accomplishing his seemingly impossible goals. He was chased by a jaguar, nearly died from heatstroke and spent a sleepless night among lions on the African plains, which he says was the most frightening experience he had ever been to. confronted. Survivor.


Martin Colvill, who is preparing for post-apocalypse life brought on by a global economic meltdown, is featured in an early episode of Preparers of the apocalypsean American reality television series that aired on the National Geographic Channel from 2011 to 2014. He is joined by a diverse cast of characters, each fearing their own version of Armageddon, and all determined not to end up as the Man With No Name and her son in Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The road, suffering from cold, exposure and frequent starvation as they wander in search of food in abandoned buildings after an apocalyptic event leaves everything dead and burned, and the sun blotted out with ash. There’s James Patrick Douglas, showing off the many farming techniques he perfected due to his fear of overcrowding. Colorado computer programmer Preston White has collected over 11,200 types of seeds as part of planning for life in the biosphere for a bright future. Bruce Beach, a lifelong prepper, focuses on nuclear wars and rescuing children in his 42 underground buses. If nothing else, these people are, while a bit wacky, fully engaged and hardworking.


I divide these survival shows into three main subcategories. Those dealing with permanent living under extreme conditions (eg. life below zero), those that depict fabricated temporary survival situations in which food and water are often unavailable for long periods of time (Survivor), and the Prepper shows those who are mostly living in normal conditions now, but spending many hours a week and a lot of money ensuring they will be self-sufficient when all that most people hold out for acquired collapses.


Now, Netflix has introduced a fourth subgenre. snowflake mountain, of questionable but unavoidable value, is a reality show that features a crew of twenty – the “snowflakes”, all slackers – with no interest in ensuring their own survival. They are taken to the middle of nowhere, where they are forced to do unthinkable things like digging latrines and using outhouses.


And what a cast they are. Devon is “partying 24/7” in New York. Rae doesn’t “take life seriously, at all”. Liam says, “When it comes to cleaning, not for me, honey.” Deandra got fired from her first three jobs. “King Solomon”, as he calls himself, is a self-proclaimed “superstar” with no visible means of support. “I pamper myself,” he says. “I love getting weekly facials, staying in bed and watching Real Housewives.” Sunny, who describes herself as a “naturally lazy person”, sleeps in until noon every day. All of these precious parasites have one thing in common: they still live with their parents, who are desperate to get them out on their own. So they handed over their carefree offspring to the producers of snowflake mountainwho hired two survival experts, Matt and Joel, to give them a taste of the real world, a place where there is no party or sleep.


Supposedly, the sneaky parents tricked these kids into thinking they are going to a luxury resort on top of a mountain, so when they climb up that mountain and find out the truth, their minds seem to be crushed, or at least that’s the way they act. But the $50,000 hung in front of them when they got to the top of the mountain because the prize of outliving their fellow snowflakes in a series of outdoor challenges Matt and Joel designed for them keeps them hanging there. .


snowflake mountain has a sense of drama, and there are no likable characters in the cast, although some are far less unpleasant than others. They all flaunt their warts on camera shamelessly to gain more social media followers, which is their only path to some sort of self-sufficiency. So it’s not a bad strategy, all things considered.


Glenn Villeneuve sometimes wakes up in the wild with a temperature of -37°F. The Strouds ate rats and maggots to survive. Each preparer on Preparer of the apocalypse work hard to depend on no one when the devastation occurs. And then you have Randy, a 23-year-old snowflake from Florida who, when asked to walk to the top of a hill, said, “Are you kidding me? I hate walking. J try to avoid it at all costs. I don’t know if I’ve ever climbed a hill before.”


Take your pick from these survival shows. You’ll learn a lot about survivalism and the real priorities of life with the legit, but one thing this bastardized version of the genre will give you are some cheap laughs. Urban spoiled brats trying to fend for themselves for the first time in any setting can be fun, at least for a few episodes.

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The current political chaos could cast a shadow over our industry | Comment https://combatarmsblog.com/the-current-political-chaos-could-cast-a-shadow-over-our-industry-comment/ Mon, 11 Jul 2022 07:10:23 +0000 https://combatarmsblog.com/the-current-political-chaos-could-cast-a-shadow-over-our-industry-comment/ Boris Johnson’s resignation last week may have been a relief to many, but the upcoming leadership race points to plenty of trouble ahead. The crisis was aggravated by the unexpected resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid. Sunak’s resignation was in turn triggered by an intractable dispute between No 10 and No 11 Downing Street […]]]>

Boris Johnson’s resignation last week may have been a relief to many, but the upcoming leadership race points to plenty of trouble ahead.

The crisis was aggravated by the unexpected resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid. Sunak’s resignation was in turn triggered by an intractable dispute between No 10 and No 11 Downing Street over tax cuts.

Nadhim Zahawi, the newly installed Chancellor of the Exchequer, has promised in what has been described as the costliest media cycle in history to reverse planned corporate tax increases worth of £17 billion a year, but that has already proven to be a reckless proposition.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Financial Risks and Sustainability report, published on July 7, tax cuts are the last thing the UK can afford given the long-term unsustainability of finances of our public sector.

Now that taxation is the main battleground in the Conservative Party leadership race, there is a very real risk that long-term investment plans will be sacrificed for short-term political gain.

It is debatable whether an interim Prime Minister Johnson and new Chancellor Zahawi can enact tax cuts over the summer. Johnson assured us that the policy changes are for the next prime minister. Now that taxation is the main battleground in the Conservative Party leadership race, there is a very real risk that long-term investment plans will be sacrificed for short-term political gain.

Javid, when he was chancellor, and Sunak, as his successor, are the first architects of a policy of sustained investment in infrastructure. Although the UK is suffering from inflation similar to the 1970s, we are also benefiting from the levels of infrastructure investment of the 1970s.

All of this spending on schools, prisons, roads and HS2 is underpinned by a mandate from the Treasury to spend around 1.1-1.3% of GDP on infrastructure each year. This commitment is essential to the long-term planning of NIC infrastructure and therefore to the health of the UK’s burgeoning infrastructure construction industry.

Infrastructure is doing well as spending has remained very high during the covid-19 pandemic The latest ONS data shows that spending in 2021 was 24% higher in real terms than in 2019, and a remarkably 75% higher to the average of the last 20 years.

It’s hardly surprising that some Conservative backbenchers are clamoring for short-term measures like lowering the VAT to reduce the headline inflation rate. However, the Treasury has an alarming leeway

Given the cost of living crisis as a backdrop, it is hardly surprising that some Tory backbenchers are now clamoring for short-term measures such as a VAT cut to reduce the overall inflation rate. However, the Treasury has alarming leeway.

A lot of fiscal space was given away in the 2021 budget, and much more was eroded by the higher costs of inflation-indexed borrowing. With the prospect of steep inflation-linked increases for pensions, salaries and other inevitable costs, the future chancellor is already stuck.

When the Times reported late last month that backbench MPs were calling for cuts in infrastructure spending to fund tax cuts, alarm bells started ringing. With tax cuts likely to win votes in the leadership beauty parade, the bells are now ringing even louder.

The re-emergence of tax cut rather than investment as a winning election strategy should be a concern. Whoever is responsible for the full 2024 spending review will have an even bigger problem balancing the books and setting priorities than when Javid undertook the last review in 2020.

So what should construction companies exposed to public sector spending do in response to this rapidly changing market? With public sector spending accounting for 35% of the non-housing sector, many businesses will be at risk. For me, there are problems that can be solved in the short, medium and long term.

Over the last three to four years, the construction sector has become increasingly dependent on public funds and therefore the sensitivity to the downturn is greater

The short-term action is to review planning assumptions in relation to ongoing and ongoing work. Over the last three to four years, the construction sector has become increasingly dependent on public funds and, as a result, the sensitivity to the downturn is greater.

Some programs are already delayed due to budget issues. Understanding the extent of a company’s exposure to public sector spending should, at a minimum, prompt thinking about the company’s future development strategy. Is additional diversification necessary?

The medium-term priority is to maintain a rigorous focus on the value and productivity agenda. If money is tight, then doing more with less will become an even more important part of the winning work program.

After all, even if the level of public sector spending declines, it is still likely to be a major source of workload. The Cabinet Office will become increasingly vigilant as it uses initiatives such as the Construction Playbook to reduce costs and productivity in publicly funded construction programmes.

The long-term program should focus on thinking about future workload sources. The government agenda was never going to be sustained at the current frenetic pace, so diversification away from social and economic infrastructure was always going to be part of the plan.

Johnsonism has had its day, but the steps taken by its caretaker government in the coming weeks could have a big influence on the future investment landscape.

The energy transition is an obvious source of potential workload, highlighted by the National Grid’s announcement of an upcoming massive £54bn investment in energy networks and last week’s award of 11GW of CfD for offshore and onshore wind power. The scope of the workload is broad, but potentially highly specialized. Fortunately, decarbonization is not the only new driver of work, and sectors such as life sciences, local transportation and others benefiting from “new economy” trends are worth a look.

Johnsonism has had its day, but the steps taken by its caretaker government in the coming weeks could have a big influence on the future investment landscape, either through further delays in essential projects such as Sizewell C, or the creation conditions conducive to a rapid return. to a low-tax strategy. By shifting to the survivalism of a long-term, investment-backed growth strategy, the certainty offered to public sector construction may well be threatened.

However, net zero priorities promise huge volumes of work in the future, as long as industry is able to invest in the new capabilities needed for new types of work. With greater uncertainty, the transition to building the new economy will become more difficult as the full fallout from the Johnson legacy unfolds.

Simon Rawlinson is a partner at Arcadis and a member of the Construction Leadership Council

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