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Friday, July 2, 2010

Preps, Foraging and Illegal Aliens

I just got a couple shipments for our preps.  In addition to some more food grade buckets and lids, I picked up a couple of items I've never purchased before.

I got two #10 cans of Tomato Powder and a six-can variety pack of freeze-dried veggies (one #10 can each of corn, peas, celery, carrots, potato flakes, onion).  Next week, I will be testing these supplies for some more Just Add Water food packs.  More posts to follow...

I'll be doing some major foraging next week.  It's blackberry time!

Last year around this time, a buddy and I spent just a couple of hours out on the levees of the Sacramento delta, and came away with 6 pounds of berries.  These bushes are everywhere.

I'm heading out on Wednesday with a friend and his kids to do some major berry damage in the morning.  I'll then be returning the next day with my fellow-forager from last year.

Blackberry jam, wine and melomel (fruit-flavored honey-wine, aka mead) are in my future...
(b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:
(1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.
Is this an excerpt from the controversial Arizona law that goes into effect at the end of this month?

Not so much.  It's from CALIFORNIA Penal Code 834b.

Apparently, there is one, and only one police department in this state that actually helps to enforce this law.  It's in the small Northern California town of Rio Vista -
Solano County's smallest city has found itself in the middle of one of the nation's biggest debates -- the immigration issue -- following a traffic stop that led to the arrest and deportation of two Latino men who were in the country illegally.
The cop asked the driver for a license.  The guy didn't have one, and he told the cop that he was here illegally.  The passenger in the car made a similar disclosure.  The department called ICE, who said to detain them.  They were then deported.

Great news, right?!  Our system worked as it should.  Shockingly (not!), everyone doesn't think this was so great -
Attorney Hector Cavazos Jr., who does not represent either of the Reyes men, said he nonetheless spoke to the wife of Joel Reyes and was told that after both men failed to produce driver's licenses, the officer asked them to provide green cards or show proof of citizenship.
Perhaps attorney Cavazos should re-read the penal code as excerpted above. Clearly, the police are allowed (if not required) to request evidence of citizenship.
According to Reyes' wife, this inquiry was made under penal code section 834b, which is only a preemptive statue and something that is not enforceable by state or local authorities, Cavazos claimed.

"As soon as they said they didn't have driver's licenses, they should have been told to leave," Cavazos said. "The inquiry should have stopped there."

Cavazos went on to say that any questions regarding the legal status of their being in the United States would have been completely improper.

"State and local authorities have no authority policing or enforcing immigration," he said.
Really? The copy of PC 834b that I found on the Internet doesn't indicate any such thing. It is fully enforceable by any state or local authority -
(a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

(c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.
The way I read that, it says that law enforcement is prohibited from NOT enforcing federal immigration laws when a local police officer suspects that someone is here illegally.

This cop didn't need to suspect the guys were here illegally, he was told so.  Case closed.

Have a wonderful weekend celebrating Independence Day.  Be safe out there!

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suek said...

No.10 cans are pretty darn big. How do you intend to preserve the contents after you open them? (I assume you're not expecting to provide shelter services for those who have been improvident) Canning jars? (for storage, not actually canning them)

Tracy Dear said...

I would just divide them into ziplocks and put an assortment of each veeggie in a Mylar bag with an O2 absorber.

Chief Instructor said...

suek, for the ones that I open, since they won't be used much after they are opened, the contents will be placed in FoodSaver vacuum bags, with the date and contents noted.

If it is something I don't use very often, I usually also cut off the label from the can and place that in the bag as well - so I'll know how much water is needed for each serving.

Chief Instructor said...

mama, for long-term stuff, I usually stay away from the ziplocks. They aren't too good for air infiltration. When I first started prepping, I put a bunch of spices in ziplocks, and the entire contents of the box the spices and other stuff were in were "contaminated" by the smell of the spices!

I do use mylar for my bulk long term storage in buckets. THOSE are air tight (maybe that's what you were suggesting...)

Tracy Dear said...

Yeah, that's what I meant. Any unscented stuff- I learned about the spices too- mints are the same! you can put a few ziplocks in one Mylar for division purposes. I was thinking if you put 1 ziplock bag of each of the veggies into a Mylar bag, then each Mylar would have an assortment. Smaller portions and a varied supply vs one big ol Mylar bag of peas. Love your blog. I linked to you from mine under Resources.

Anonymous said...

I live in Oregon and blackberries should be the state fruit they are so ubiquitous. I have no doubt in my mind that in the month of July and August I could pick enough blackberries to feed a family of four for a year, and I don't just mean desert. There are a handful of wild foods that are so prolific that even the poorest hunter-gatherers could harvest enough in season to get themselves through to next season.

Groundhog said...

I just flat out don't understand the illegal immigration debate. Do the people on the pro immigration side just want anyone who wants to to be able to come here no matter what and whenever they want? Do they not really care but have a hodge podge of ulterior motives like enlarging Mexico or giving Democrats a permanent majority? I see no logic in it. I've not heard anything positive about it. Only negative about people who want the border secure. We're all racists, nazi's etc.

Anonymous said...

The violence in Mexico is accelerating. This can only put more pressure on Mexicans to immigrate to America. There are perhaps 20 million, maybe more illegals already here. It looks like the Democrat master plan is to give all illegals amnesty as part of their plan to become the dominant political party in the U.S. for 100 years. While many Democrats today might think this is good will they still think this when the inevitale result will be more illegal immigration and more amnesty ad infinitum. If the Democrats fail to do this before the election it seems likely they will do it after the election while they have a "lame duck" majority. How will this affect you? Well, you will have to pay more taxes for increased benefits and free health care. Probably a lot more taxes. Your children may not be able to get into colleges since the new "minority" will have to have preferences (even though there is no history of discrimination). Ditto for jobs and all opportunities we take for granted. I don't want this to sound anti-anything and I don't intend it that way. I doubt that Mexicans would be pleased if the border was thrown open to Americans to go down there and buy cheap properties and get special privilages and it all caused their taxes to increase and their children to suffer. It is the situation that is untenable not the people. I don't think any politicians have the guts to deal with this problem except to cave in and give everyone amnesty. Oh sure, they will call it something else but the same day it is signed every illegal will become legal and can be hired to take your job. Will it really matter what it is called? This is going to happen and it is your fault (all voters) as much as it is our politicians fault. You may well find that the thing you need to "prep" for is sudden overpopulation, crippling taxes, permenant under-employment and the collapse of the middle class. Just saying...

MikeH. said...

In terms of numbers of folks who are on the pro immigration side of the debate, it is important to remember Alinsky's Rule # 1: Make your opponent think there are far larger numbers on your side. It's all about the use of smoke, mirrors and the thickness of the schmooze you spread on the public's cracker.

The pro-gressives want us to believe there a far greater numbers who want open borders (with open arms extended) than there really are. For them, it has the potential to become a win / win.

Win 1: They flood the country with a bunch of instant new Americans who will show their gratitude in the polling booths. Or

Win 2: When (or if) an actual war erupts between the races, (triggered by the immigration issue) we will be way to distracted and even further fragmented to see and respond to the next round of progressive "fundamental transformation."

I strongly urge folks to read Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and Sun Tsu's "The Art of War." Both will help to recognize, dissect and understand the various maneuvers being used against us.


suek said...

>>I doubt that Mexicans would be pleased if the border was thrown open to Americans to go down there and buy cheap properties and get special privilages and it all caused their taxes to increase and their children to suffer.>>

Heh. Don't kid yourself - that's not a problem. Have you ever seen anything about Mexico's immigration laws?? Do you know that if you migrate to Mexico and become a naturalized citizen, you still cannot be hired as a policeman or fireman? Native born Mexicans only for those jobs. They can also kick you out if they want to, and seize your property. In other words, your rights are non-existent.

I copied and pasted some of the stuff a few years ago, but it's too long for a comment.

Chief Instructor said...

Anon 1:56, for the months of July and part of August, we also have a virtually limitless supply of blackberries. Every road on every levee is covered. It's pretty cool.

Groundhog, border security is the biggest reason I call myself a "small L" libertarian. I believe a country's borders are truly what defines that country - both geographically, culturally and economically.

It really sucks that the Mexican government is so corrupt that its people want to flee. Not our (direct) problem. We have no obligation - legally or ethically - to fix their problems. None.

I'm am so thick-skinned now, calling me a racist or a hater or a mean guy are such empty epithets now. If thinking we should secure our borders now makes me a racist, then count me in.

Anon 3:23 You may well find that the thing you need to "prep" for is sudden overpopulation, crippling taxes, permenant under-employment and the collapse of the middle class.

Honestly, all of that is a big reason I got into prepping 4 years ago in earnest. Our entire system WILL eventually collapse. It is unsustainable. The only question is, "when?"

Mike, great point on Alinsky. What might be used against them is that they are starting to believe their hype themselves.

I saw some marxist on TV speaking with a reporter. The reporter was saying that most of America, and an overwhelming majority in AZ agree with the AZ law.

The guy was beside himself in disbelief. He made a comment along the lines of, "I have never heard one single person I know who supports this law". The reporter actually chuckled a bit.

Yeah, sport, I'm not guessing you're throwing back beers with many Heritage Foundation members... LOL

suek, just a couple weeks ago after the Prez of Mexico chastised all of America IN OUR CAPITAL (thank you sir, may I have another?), he was asked by a reporter about if suspected non-Mexicans are asked for "their papers". He said that of course they're asked for their papers.

Mexico's immigration laws are draconian when compared to ours, yet he has the stones to criticize us?

Chief Instructor said...

Mama, I've added you over in my Daily Read section. Great stuff!

suek said...

Looked at various package sealers yesterday. FoodSaver vacuum seals were one type, those that sealed plastic bags with a hot line were another. Prices seemed to vary from about $50 to $100+.

Is there a place on your blog or elsewhere that discusses the various methods of ensuring good preservation life? And you've mentioned mylar as opposed to zip locks - any further info on that?

By the way - I mentioned that my big old freezer seemed to keep food well. We took out and barbequed a tri-tip over the week-end. Frozen May of 2009. No freezer burn or loss of quality. I'm looking for a method that helps me organize the contents better, though, so that I don't "lose" stuff. I also suspect that beef keeps better than chicken. And also, while I'm at it...frozen hamburgers _for_ hamburgers just simply isn't as good as fresh hamburger for the same purpose... For casserole use, no difference.

Chief Instructor said...

suek, I haven't done a piece on vacuum sealers, per se, but I'm a big believer in the FoodSaver. I've been using them for over 20 years. They are a great product.

Whatever you do, be sure you consider the cost of the bags as well. The FoodSaver bags are a bit pricey, but if you buy them in bulk from Walmart or Costco, you can significantly reduce your cost.

I've never had frozen food go bad when using a Foodsaver bag. I recently at some 3 year old fresh caught trout that was perfect. The only problem I've had with the bags is them getting punctured. Food with sharp edges - like pasta or whole dried corn kernels - have occasionally pierced the bag, losing the vacuum.

I've read of people double-bagging to fix this, but have never done it myself.

I did a video on how to do long-term storage using mylar bags, oxygen scrubbers and food grade buckets.

suek said... yesterday I was in Costco and decided to check to see if they also had the FoodSaver that I had seen in K-Mart. Well...yes and no. The one I saw in K-Mart was about $50 and appeared to be fairly simple with a vacuum system to remove air. The one Costco has is larger and maybe more elaborate - cost was about $150. I haven't visited their website yet - I'm sure they have one - so now I'm looking for info they might not put on their website - any opinions on the matter?

Chief Instructor said...

suek, there are a bunch of different brands out there. Seal-a-Meal and FoodSaver are probably the two best known. I've never used a Seal-a-Meal, so I can't comment on them.

The more robust FoodSavers will cost you north of $150. Check Walmart and Sears. I have a buddy who found two of them at garage sales for less than half price. I'd check Craigslist as well. Just be sure you see it seal something so you know the vacuum and the sealing strip work.

A lot of people like the jar sealing hose/gizmo - I never use it. Some people swear by it, but it's too cumersome for me.

I have one of the older, cheaper FoodSaver models as my back up (my friend gave it to me - I think he got it for $5 or $10 at a garage sale).

suek said...

This seems to be the model that I saw in Costco Thursday. Price was $149.xx - effectively $150 plus tax.

Also received their offer booklet that has a 1T passport for $109, between 7/15 and 8/8. Hmmmm...decisions decisions...!

suek said...

Ok...further research. The Costco model is v3425. Not on the website - made specifically for Costco?? The Costco site has lots of opinions about the product (click on "review" tab)

Ebay seems to have some good deals, and some different models. I think I want to go as cheaply as possible until I'm certain I'll actually use the thing, but the upright version seems more reasonable for my already cluttered kitchen than does the flat on the counter model.

One thing that puzzled me though, was that the super-dooper commercial model - over $200 - looked more like the old flat ones than the new upright ones. I can't help but wonder just exactly makes it "commercial" and better enough to justify the price increase. FoodSaver's website isn't really all that helpful, imo. Maybe it is if you know what you're doing - but not if you don't...

Chief Instructor said...

I've never use one of the upright models, but know people that own them and they seem happy with them.

I agree with your comment on the foodsaver web site. My model is nowhere to be found. I forget where I bought it, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had special models for large retail companies.