Notes for Sunday – September 21, 2014

Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

God and Guns: Your Biblical Right to Self Defense, by J.B.

You have a biblical right to self defense. In a life and death situation, where you have to make a choice to defend yourself, you should know that God says it’s okay. This can prove extremely difficult for Christian believers that respect life so much that they don’t want to take it, even when it means it’s necessary to preserve it.

Survivalists/preppers have numerous creative and astounding methods to preserve their life in the event of a natural disaster or societal breakdown, including everything from food stores, clean water strategies, bug out bags full of all the essentials, hiding places, camping methods, and more. Some include hunting and fishing tools in their planning, which is taking life in order to preserve it. Even others go so far as to provide for self defense, such as with guns, knives, hawks, traps, and other tools.

Boiled down to its simplest level, every creature on the planet has the natural right to use whatever means necessary to defend itself. Life feeds on life. Nature is brutal and doesn’t show mercy. Wolves eat their larger prey hind end first while the animal cries out for help. Considering its horrific fate, are we to tell the buck being chased by wolves that it cannot turn on its attackers and gore them? Why then cannot we extend this simple logic to humans? Humans dress it up nicely in morality codes that can and do change (even though there is such a thing as universal truth), but at its simplest level every organism has a natural right to defend its life by any means necessary.

Libertarians have something good to say on the matter in the non-aggression principle, which simply stated says, “Do not aggress against others.” We should live and let live and not take what is not ours nor compel others by force or they have every right to defend themselves. This is similar to the biblical truths laid out by Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” or in other words, “Do unto others as you would have done to you,” for “He that loveth another has fulfilled the law.” This includes His teachings on turning the other cheek and being forgiving. If all people were to do this, we wouldn’t have to read an article on how God says it’s okay to defend the innocent from the wicked, even with lethal force. Striving with a man who has done you harm is allowed; striving with a man who has not is not, according to Proverbs 3:30. Some would define this as God’s most basic morality.

The Bible goes beyond the natural right to defend yourself and conveys a moral right to do so. Martin Luther even argued it was an obligation and, by not acting to save a life, you are just as guilty as if taking it. There are numerous examples that can give comfort and encouragement to the kind souls who have either made up their mind not to use self-defense or to use it but wrestle with its justification. Let’s start with soldiers. Being a soldier is highly respected throughout the scriptures and is consistent with a biblical worldview. God called on Israel’s citizen to be soldiers and later professional soldiers on numerous occasions to defend their people, property, and land. Even in the first book of the Bible– Genesis– Abraham rallied trained men to save his kidnapped nephew–Lot, and it was credited to Abraham’s righteousness to this very day. Abraham exercised the principal of self-defense, and God rewarded him for it (Genesis 14:18-20). Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-28). When Jesus was asked by soldiers what they should do, he didn’t tell them to quit being a soldier, but He told them to do no malicious violence (Luke 3:14). The imagery of the soldier abounds, such as when the apostle Paul refers to Christian workers as “fellow soldiers” (Philippians 2:25) or when he encourages believers to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), which includes a breastplate, helmet, sword, shield, and more. Jesus even said that a Roman centurion had more faith (in Jesus and how stuff works) than all in Israel. A soldier by definition preserves life by taking life, if necessary. Why would God provide guidance and praise the soldier so highly if He did not approve (even when done right by human standards)?

How might the justified soldiering apply to the survivalist/prepper? It includes concepts such as discipline, skill, order, resourcefulness, and preparedness. It also conveys skill in arms to “best” an aggressor—something that can both morally and naturally be met with force. Romans 13 is often cited to teach submission to good governments; and their instruments (cops, soldiers, weapons) are ordained by God to not bear the sword in vain, to be a minister of God, and to execute wrath upon those that would do evil. Interestingly enough, in the American republic, the highest law of the land (the U.S. Constitution) expressly states that each person has the right to keep and bear arms without any infringement and additionally that citizen militias are necessary, expected, and welcomed. American Christian adherents to the Bible, in compliance with Romans 13, must realize they live under a government that recognizes the right to self-defense. This fact alone should prove the merit of self-defense with America’s Christians.

Let us consider the amazing story of Nehemiah in the Bible. Israelites get permission to rebuild Jerusalem with Nehemiah at the helm. These were civilians picking up the pieces of a city long laid waste by war and neglect. However, these were not soldiers; they were civilians. Even so, they took positions by families around the wall as they rebuilt it (Nehemiah 4:13), and they did so with swords, spears, and bows. They did what was right and good, and they defended their brothers, sons, daughters, wives, and houses. Also, they carried their self-defense tools with them while they did their work (Nehemiah 4:17).

The book of Esther also shows how God provides His protection for His people by the king’s decree because of Esther/Hadassah’s influence. (She was his Jewish wife.) Esther 8:11-12 notes the king’s permission for the Jews in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them. The point to be made is this: People who are attacked have every right to use self-defense, regardless of their vocation.

Psalms tells us to defend the weak and the fatherless, to uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed, to rescue the weak and needy, and to deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4). Ezekiel tells us to be watchmen, but if we are watchmen to tell people of the danger they face, we are obligated to tell them or the blood of the victims will be on the watchmen’s hands. This is a great verse for a survivalist/prepper. This verse can be applied literally or metaphorically. If the alarm is raised and people don’t heed it, it’s not the watchmen’s fault. God has enormously strong adherence to justice, because He is a perfect God. If a man would shed another man’s blood, it must be justified, such as in the case of a thief breaking into a house to do violence (Exodus 22:2-3). It makes perfect sense. We must operate in love, and love includes proportionate punishment. Some would say it’s about grace or mercy, or else humanity would never have made it this far. God Himself provided ways for mercy through His grace, including cities of refuge for those who accidentally shed blood and also for propitiation for sins (John 3:16). It is important to remember that killing should never be taken lightly, especially in the biblical worldview where a person only gets one life to live and after that there is judgment—no reincarnation or do-overs. God hates hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17).

It might surprise people that even Jesus had an expectation that his disciples might need self-defense tools– swords, specifically. (All of his disciples but one would be martyred when it was their time.) See Luke 22:35-39. Also, Jesus allowed the carrying of swords in his presence. That is seen not only in Luke 22:38 but also when Peter cut off the ear of the person seizing Jesus later that night when He was betrayed (Matthew 26:51-56). Though the intent of these verses are debated, it must stand that Jesus told them to get swords and He allowed them (for whatever purpose) at the dinner and prayer. He didn’t want them used wrongly. He scolded Peter for raising swords at that time, because the scripture needed to be fulfilled through Jesus’ capture, trial, and crucifixion. (Luke 22:49-53, Matthew 26:51-56, John 18:10-11).

Jesus was not a pacifist. A pacifist is opposed to violence (especially war) for any purpose. They refuse to bear arms. Jesus was and is the Prince of Peace and desires that all be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but He is associated with war and weapons as being part of God (John 1:1-5, 10:30). In Revelation, he has a two-edged sword coming from His mouth, likened to the Sword of the Spirit– the Word. It has been said that His peace is so powerful, it is almost violent, as nothing can possibly stand against it. Jesus has been there since the beginning and will be there until the end (Revelation 22:13), so He is no stranger to violence and self-defense. He lived as an Israelite under Roman rule, and even as He was being kidnapped He stated, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). No doubt these could have included some of the same angels sent to intercede on Elisha’s behalf in 2 Kings 6:17. Ironically—or most excellently—even though God strikes the Aramean army looking to capture Elisha with blindness (selective sight) because Elisha asked Him to do so, Elisha prays for their sight to return after delivering them to the king of Israel as a show of might and wonder to stave off their killing. It is believed God used that same angel army to get the Arameans to flee in 2 Kings 7:6. God also used an angel with a fiery sword to strike down Balaam, but his donkey saved his life. Two classic examples widely known of people pushing God’s patience to the limit that ends in justified violence is Noah’s flood (Genesis 5:32-10:1) and Passover, where the Angel of Death struck down every Egyptian first born human and animal male (Exodus 12:1-2, 6-7, 11-13). One story not commonly known is about a man, Phinehas or Phineas, whose line was eternally blessed with a “covenant of peace” for spearing a couple mid-coitus. The couple defied God’s commands and had sex in front of everyone at the tent of meeting. “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.” (Numbers 25:11).

The scripture never discourages having self-defense tools. The condition of the slave throughout history is that slaves could not be armed; only free men could. This is a very profound realization. Once the Israelites got past their ignorance of self-defense and just cause (we can see their ignorance in how they responded to Moses’ defense of an Israelite) and God interceded, they went up armed out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 13:18). They were disarmed under the Philistines, who wouldn’t permit the Israelites to be armed (1 Samuel 13:19-22). (We know this region today by the Roman designation–Palestine–which is meant to be an insult to Jews.) Two of the Bible’s great and faithful warriors are Joshua and David. King David had nearly immeasurable experience with war and hardship, but he was a man after God’s own heart, and God blessed him for it. David tells us, “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and fingers to fight.” (Psalm 144:1) Don’t forget that as a youth, David used self-defense tools against predators of mere sheep—let alone humans—and even slew the mighty Philistine Goliath with them.

David’s son, Solomon, who was the wisest of all men (at least in the first half of his life) tells us that, “Oppression makes a wise man mad.” (Ecclesiastes 7:7). To submit to wicked men and institutions that deny the right to self-defense could be seen as submitting to Satan’s rule, and that is idolatry. God commanded government rulers, officials, and people to, “Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” (Jeremiah 22:3). Any person or group that denies the right to self-defense, even if severely curtailed, are servants or dare we say slaves to those they must get permission from. “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” (Proverbs 12:24).

God reminds people again and again in scripture to care for those less fortunate, the oppressed, to protect what is ours and God’s (including our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit). The Ten Commandments lay out love for God and humans, including codifying morality and private property rights (Exodus 20) and demand that we care. We must remember to be righteous, to be virtuous, to be just, and to be reasonable in our exercise of the natural and moral right of self-defense. A person could even make the well-thought out and self-aware choice that they are mentally or physically or ethically incapable of self-defense against people. However, it must never be said we do not have that right in God’s eyes—just that we shouldn’t ever have to, if we all loved one another.

Be mindful of what force will run amok as society decays, and what force loves us so much as to ordain the instruments of our protection.

Letter Re: The Real Threats

Hi HJL,

I realize that the writer of this article speaks from an area of professional focus, but we actually have more realistic threats. Also, I agree with your italicized comment about nuclear war. Europe was not nearly rendered uninhabitable, due to Chernobyl. Even if we thought that a nuclear war was non-survivable, not giving-up or quitting is the essence of being a survivalist. Also, terroristic “dirty bombs” are way overrated, and as the author of the article stated himself, most of the casualties would be from public perception and the mass panic.

As a collapse theorist myself, I would define the most likely threat at this point being a collapse of the U.S. dollar, as our current global fiat currency system is hitting its expiration date (since 1971, anyway). In regards to the entire span of civilized human history, we are now in uncharted territory, in the area of what we call money.

Also, even the resources that indirectly represent money are being depleted: Conventionally-extracted oil, fresh water, topsoil (the killer of previous civilizations), et cetera. These shale plays within the U.S. have made the U.S. production profile chart skyrocket, and we may even hit the all-time U.S. oil production peak of 10.013 mbl/d, set in October, 1970. However, these individual wells are expensive, and hit their peaks, and subsequent decline relatively quickly. Not to mention the costs to operate these wells. Has anyone wondered why gasoline prices have not come down, even with the record production? In other words, this parabolic rise will go negative, at some point: See this chart

Granted, we now only import 1/2 (as compared to 2/3) of our oil, but this is primarily due to economic demand destruction, since 2008.

However, what I really fear are the knock-on effects: Wars over what is left, et cetera. (Does anybody wonder why the U.S. government is pushing on Russia right now? It’s due to the fact that they produce as much oil on any given day as Saudi Arabia, not to mention other vast resources. Also, countries that cease to become oil exporters, such as Egypt, are going to lose it, as they lose revenue.

I highly recommend Richard Heinberg’s The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. This is the century where everything basically peaks, then goes into decline. Cheers, Jerry

Economics and Investing:

Video: Peter Schiff: Yellen Barks on Rates, But Will Not Bite

JWR’s Comments: Despite all of the Fed’s grandstanding and blustering, Quantitative Easing (QE) will not truly end. I strongly suspect that there are hidden mechanisms through international agreements with other central banks that are making up for the reduction in official QE. We can expect more off-budget and black budget bookkeeping shenanigans, contributing to more debt that cannot be repaid without mass inflation. Get prepared for the inevitable dollar crisis, folks! Diversify into tangibles. In the next few months, the depressed spot price of silver and the depressed price of AR-10s and AR-15s (caused by a recent spurt of over-production) represent two good investment opportunities.

o o o

Gold and Silver End Game Here-John Embry. – J.W.

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It’s Terrifying To Look At What’s Really Happening In The U.S.. – J.W.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Retirement Savings Gap Widens Between Rich and Poor

College Debt Leaves Generation X Grads Less Wealthy Than Parents– They seem to think Millennials have a better chance, and I would say they are

in the same boat, perhaps worse.

Ron Paul- Will The Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back?

Odds ‘n Sods:

From our friends over on the “Thoughts from Frank and Fern” blog comes this excellent article. I’m Going To ??? Perhaps Nike had something when they coined the phrase “Just Do It”.

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The growing outcry over police confiscation

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The Bear and the Dragon Encircle the Eagle. – B.B.

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Nigerian police routinely use torture. – T.P.

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How your innocent smartphone passes on almost your entire life to the secret service. – T.P.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13(KJV)

Notes for Saturday – September 20, 2014

Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

How Will YOU Get the Family Together When the SHTF?, by T.W.

If you’re like most of us, your family is very often spread out over a fair-sized area during the course of the day. It’s not unusual for my immediate family of four to be spread out over an area spanning around 30 linear miles. I travel about 15 miles in one direction to work, with my wife traveling about 15 miles in the opposite direction. The kids are usually somewhere between my wife and me. This is by design on my part, although as my son gets older I am relying on him more and more as part of my plan to gather the family together in a SHTF scenario.

You’ve carefully stockpiled food, water, filtration ability, medicine, first aid supplies, batteries, weapons, and ammo. What good is any of that if your family is scattered and irretrievable when the SHTF?

My family and I lead busy lives. We’re at work, school, and sports events; the kids are with friends, out on dates, and you name it. I try to always know where they all are, as close as I can. I’m not obsessive, but I do keep track of everyone, as does my wife. Using today’s technology, we have installed app’s on all our phones that allows us to track each other in real time using the GPS on our phones. I know this sounds intrusive, but we have discussed this among ourselves. We all feel it’s good to know where we are in relation to each other, and we decided that the benefits of that far outweigh any potential privacy issues. Besides, from a Christian viewpoint, I am the head of my house, and knowing my children’s whereabouts IS my business. Thank God my kids are good Christian kids and agree with Dad on that point.

We have decided that, in these uncertain times, we want to be able to regroup our family unit as rapidly as possible if there is a situation that calls for us to bug out or otherwise bunker down. Much has been written regarding “bug out bags” and the like, so I won’t go into that here, other than to say that each of us has our own supplies that we keep with us at all times in a daypack. It’s not that hard to do, and it is upgraded on the fly to reflect the distance we’ll be away from home. Distance equals days in a situation where you may have to travel on foot to meet up with family, so you need to be prepared.

We live in the suburbs of a medium-sized city in the South. This city is intersected by three major interstate highways and numerous smaller state highways, and the road systems are laid out very well for a city of this size and age. Railways are still intact, as this town has been a major rail hub since before the Civil War. Many of them hadn’t seen regular use in many years, but recent expansions to our local industries have seen a resurgence of rail traffic, so the railroad routes are much better maintained than in years past. Vehicular traffic is pretty heavy in the mornings and afternoon rush times, but surprisingly low otherwise. There is plenty of vegetation along most of the roadways in this area (as in most of the South) that could be used as cover for traveling with a lower degree of detection from anyone stranded on the roads themselves.

Each member of my family has been told what to do if there’s ever a situation calling for us to get home ASAP. Home is the starting point, and the final rally point in our plan. Getting everyone there is priority number 1 during any emergency situation. Any potential bug out from there can only happen when the family unit is safe and ready.

If the vehicles are running, it’s as easy as one of us (depending on who’s working and who’s not) going for the one that isn’t able to drive, and everyone meet at home. If the vehicles are knocked out, as in a CME/EMP type event, well, that’s where it gets interesting, and this plan really goes into motion. “Motion” being the operative word. This plan calls for lots and lots of motion, as in moving and walking.

During working and school times, each of us are pretty much in the same location, and it’s pretty easy to know where everyone is. We all have with us at all times, highway/road maps with routes leading to home highlighted, from work/school, as well as some common locations such as friends houses. Each family member keeps this in their go bag. The maps themselves are pretty standard, downloaded from the Internet. However, they have been customized a great deal.

In the event of a major EMP-like event, my hope is that we are all together at home, or that at least some of us are there. If not, I have instructed my wife and our youngest, who is not yet 15, to stay put if a situation arises where the vehicles are knocked out. My son and/or I will come get them. However, the best laid plans of men can and will change, of course, so they might be forced to move before being rescued. Each route has predetermined rally points along it that I have instructed the wife and my youngest child to expect to see me or my son during travel.

As far the routes themselves, we have scouted them very well. The roads and highways are ones that we travel often– some of them daily, on our way to work and school. However, it is an ongoing process, as things are always changing due to construction, deforestation, even the changing seasons. Very often, when we go out, we discuss the roads, terrain features, buildings, traffic flow, and where the most likely choke points would be, if people were stranded. We discuss not only the roads but how and where to walk on each portion of the route towards our destinations. The maps are hand annotated with specific instructions in this regard. There are specific color codes drawn onto the maps, detailing which side of the road we should walk on, depending on the terrain and other features determined from previous scouting forays. I have decided that it will be best to avoid walking directly on the paved roads much of the time to avoid contact with other people. During this period, there will be chaos, confusion, and panic on the part of many. The last thing I want is to be attacked along the way, especially if my wife or children are traveling. Like I said, it may become necessary for one or more of us to travel alone, if things get sideways. I have implemented the plan to travel parallel to the roads and highways, instead of directly upon them as much as possible, taking advantage of terrain features, power lines, gas pipeline right of ways, and wooded areas as much as possible. Walking on a predetermined side of the highways and roads will give an added advantage; it will be much easier to find someone who is walking on the same side of the road as you are. Imagine if I walked past my son on the same stretch of highway, just because we randomly chose which side to walk on? Something seemingly as simple as that could spell disaster.

There are several rally points on the map as well. How many rally points along each route is determined by the distances involved as well as the lay of the land. One route has a fair-sized mountain, and it will be necessary to leave the roadside for a distance of a couple hundred yards to climb the mountain. There is a significant section of road that has a sheer drop on one side, narrowing down to granite walls on both sides at the top. So this particular section has a rally point on both sides, as well as the top. This section will take a bit of time, but there are well-established jeep/ATV trails that parallel the highway that we are very familiar with, so losing our bearings really isn’t that much of an issue.

We also discuss places along the way to avoid, such as bridge underpasses, and any buildings that are close to the road. There will definitely be times when it is impossible to avoid walking on the roadways themselves, such as crossing a bridge over a body of water, but these choke points will have to be scouted carefully before attempting to cross them. Underpasses especially can be hazardous, as they are a natural form of shelter from the sun and rain, and will likely be a gathering place for those unable or unwilling to walk. Avoid them if at all possible, and if you must get close or walk through them, use extreme caution.

If you have to cross a bridge or go through an underpass, take the most direct route; do not hesitate, and keep to available cover. If alone, walk steadily, keep your head on a swivel, scanning everything closer than a hundred meters. If traveling with a partner, one moves, the other is stopped, looking for threats. Leapfrog through the obstacle like that, using simple hand gestures to communicate. Voices are distracting and can easily be mistaken. Hand gestures are perfect for this particular situation; just don’t get too complicated.

Of great importance, especially concerning the other members of my family, is personal security during foot travel. My wife is a wonderful woman– a lovely, petite thing who has absolutely zero skills in anything resembling self defense. Our youngest is very much the same, albeit a very good high school athlete. My soon-to-be-18-years-old son is a very athletic kid, a crack shot, and has an advanced black belt in Taekwondo. As he gets older, I am teaching him more skills pertaining to actual hand to hand combat, which brings me to myself. For OPSEC purposes, I’ll not give details except to say that as a younger man I received advanced training in the military and had numerous opportunity to exercise those skills. I keep myself in shape, shoot often, and as any man who’s ever had training and experience in certain areas of training will tell you, you may get older, but the training never leaves you. It’s as fresh in my mind as it was over 30 years ago. I was watching a shooting competition on TV the other day, and a young guy popped off a group of shots, and challenged a fairly older shooter to do better. The older guy popped his pistol out, knocked all the targets down, and beat the younger guy’s time by nearly two seconds. The younger guy had a priceless look on his face. The older guy quipped, “Don’t mess with an old guy. We’ll just kill you.”

As for myself, I wouldn’t be afraid to grab my gear and set out along our route to go get my wife and child. I have my go bag setup for several days’ travel, and I keep my personal weapons stashed as well. My hope is that the sight of an ominous looking guy with a purposeful walk, dressed in full camo, carrying an AR10 (7.62/.308 of course), sidearm, knife, and tomahawk strapped to my back will be deterrent enough. My son, however, is not yet 18, so I am as yet unable to equip him with a weapon other than some hand weapons, which he is adept at using. Taekwondo training does include weapons training once you reach a certain level. As soon as he is legally able to be in possession, I plan to equip him as well as I legally can in our state, so he can also have his security situation augmented. If we have to travel to go get a family member, another concern is how to respond to nearly inevitable contact with others during the journey. I am a Christian, but I am also a realist, and I know that there simply is no way I can stop to help everyone I meet along the way. Given the sheer numbers of people that will be stranded along the roads and highways in the event that vehicles are knocked out, we plan to avoid contact with anyone we don’t know. This definitely presents a dilemma for us as Christians. I don’t know if I can just stand by and watch people in trouble, be it accidents or being attacked by opportunistic thugs. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when it looms ahead. I was taught in the military that the mission comes first. I understand that thought process, and if the mission is getting to my wife and/or child, I guess my thinking will lead me to just haul maximum tail away from whatever situation I come across, but it is definitely something to think about so as not to be blindsided when a situation pops up along the way. Above all, talk about this with your family. Not doing so will cause hesitation during an event, and any hesitation to act or avoid action can prove fatal. Trust me on that one.

Above all else, discuss your plans. Explain your concerns to your family. Show them the news. Let them know why you feel the way you do and why you see certain things as threats. A good resource is the NASA website, as they seem to have information regarding solar storms pretty often, which also shows these things aren’t fluke events– they happen all the time and will hit the earth again. A little history on the Carrington Event, Tunguska, and what might happen during an EMP resulting from a nuclear explosion. My kids are older teens, and they still are surprised when I tell them of such things. Of course, they didn’t grow up like I did, doing “duck and cover drills” in school in case the Soviets shot nuclear missiles at us, and they certainly won’t grow into adulthood learning the nuances of Soviet military tactics, like I did.

No, this brave new world is much more dangerous than the world I grew up in.

Bugging out with the family might become necessary (or bugging IN, if you’re so inclined) but in order to do either, you first must have the family together. In today’s world, that’s very likely going to involve putting your boots on the road to go get them. I hope I’ve given you some ideas. My plans are certainly not perfect, and we are always looking for ways to improve. Above all else, make a plan to reunite your loved ones if you ever need to. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Letter: Starched Military Camouflage Uniforms

Good morning, Hugh,

I read your Thurs 9/18 post on using camo clothing that’s never been starched; how does one tell if a garment has ever been starched? I supposed this may apply to all garments, not just camo. (I reference the common military phrase “breaking starch” on utilities laundered by base personnel.)

Is there a way to purge the starch, to make sure it’s not affecting IR detection, since it may be difficult to tell if a particular garment has ever been starched? Or, does starch affect fabric fibers in such a way that the IR susceptibility cannot be eliminated? Thanks. – Nosmo

JWR Replies: Typically when a BDU uniform has been starched and pressed, the outlines of the buttons show distinctly through the pocket flaps, there are sometimes remnants of vertical creases, and garments generally take on a whitish sheen that is noticeable even to the naked eye. The best way to train your eye for these telltales is to visit a large thrift store. Take a few minutes to look through all of their surplus utility uniforms, and find a shirt that is obviously starched, and examine it closely. Then compare that one with other uniforms. Once you’ve developed “the eye” for it, you can easily spot other uniforms that have previously been starched, even if they have been subsequently laundered several times. The button outlines showing through the pocket flaps are the key indicators.

I am not certain if the IR-reflective sheen from starch can ever be fully removed. To be safe, it is best to buy uniforms that show no signs of ever having been starched or pressed.

By the time the U.S. Army reached the ACU-issue period, starching was not allowed. You can be relatively certain that none of the OCP (“Multicam”) uniforms that you buy surplus have ever been starched.

Economics and Investing:

Spot silver just took a dip below $18 per troy ounce for the first time an many moons. This would be a good time to buy, folks! – JWR

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Creative Strategies for Staying One Step Ahead of Global Chaos

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Food-Stamp Enrollment In Illinois Outpaces Job Creation By Nearly 2-to-1

The Fed’s Laughable GDP “Forecast” Just Got Even Funnier

Scotland Rejects Independence as U.K. Vows to Give It More Power

Here a Bubble, There a Bubble Says Marc Faber

Odds ‘n Sods:

Mob Violence, Terrorists, & Fears of Tyranny: Are You Arming & Armoring Up? – T.P.

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News Montville, N.J. Plan Would Allow Searches Without Warrants For Underage Drinking. – T.J.

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And Then They Came For The Bolt-Actions. – B.B.

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NBC: Survive Home Invasion By Cooperating With Invaders, ‘Treat Them Like Royalty’ – T.P.

It’s absolutely astonishing in this day and age that any reporter would suggest such poor advice that will likely get you killed. Cooperating with a home invasion thug may have been exactly what Jull Su did and look where it got her: Dayont’e Resiles arrested in death of Jill Su.

If victims (or the families of victims) can sue gun companies, shouldn’t they also be able to sue those who give such catastrophic advice?

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Liberian president’s security team learns that Ebola is no respecter of badges or guns: Ebola Strikes EPS – 57 Agents Quarantined. – G.L.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Deuteronomy 30:11-14(KJV)

Notes for Friday – September 19, 2014

On September 19th, 1778, the Continental Congress passed the first budget of the United States. While the budget may have passed, the states responded poorly to the call for taxes to fund the government, and the government resorted to printing paper money to cover debts. In effect, the first budget was a failure, due in large part to the states not responding to the demands of Congress and the depreciation of fiat paper money. Are we talking about 1778 or 2014 here?

Also, on this date in 1796, George Washington addressed the nation in his farewell address as president.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 54 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,100+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chromlined barrel and a hardcase to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel which can be assembled in less then 1 minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  4. Gun Mag Warehouseis providing 30 DMPS AR-15 .223/5.56 30 Round Gray Mil Spec w/ Magpul Follower Magazines (a value of $448.95) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  7. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  8. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  9. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  10. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  11. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  12. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  13. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  10. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  11. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  6. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.
  9. Montie Gearis donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 54 ends on September 30st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Challenge of Prepping, by R.W.

How My Insights Have Changed With Time

I became interested in prepping and survival 12 years ago. It wasn’t so much an event or reading about survival, it was what I believe was a message from God. I was 49 years old and had just finished leading a Bible study in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. On the way home, my wife and I stopped at a Dairy Queen for our usual weekend treat. It was a beautiful, summer day with lots of white summer clouds floating by. As we finished and were sitting there enjoying the beautiful downtown skyline off in the distance, I thought to myself how perfect of a day it had been. At that moment a voice I could not only hear but feel throughout my body said, “Enjoy the time and prepare; storm clouds are coming!” It shook me for a few moments and the impact of it never left. I tried to push it aside and rationalize it, but it was embedded in me more as the summer went on. I read everything I could find on prepping and survival as well as DVDs and websites, such as this one. I bought gear, trained, and taught classes on self-protection, prepping, and survival. I helped people who had built retreats evaluate their effectiveness, and over the years I have learned how many of my beliefs on survival were wrong. I still see many ways of training being promoted that I think are wrong or misguided. I looked critically at survival and prepping and these are my current conclusions. First, let me say I’m a Christian, but I look at what I must defend against from a perspective of someone who is ruthless with no morals. As I write this, I am preparing to flee the inner city of Minneapolis, where I have lived for thirty years. When I first moved here, it was a quiet, friendly neighborhood with almost everyone in our area being a home owner. Now, it’s mostly low-income housing. The value of my house has dropped over seventy percent in the last ten years. My house is an armed fortress to keep out the thugs and neighbors, who watch and wait for an opportune time to rob and steal. We have beggars on every corner shaking down foolish motorists. The response from city hall is always about their freedom of speech. The police are never able or willing to protect. Instead, they collect information after the damage is done. If this is what goes on during the so called “good times”, I shudder to think of what will happen when TEOTWAWKI hits.

You Must Be Able to Physically Survive

This is a much bigger problem than most people think it will be. It’s a very likely scenario that if you don’t live in the country or see trouble coming in advance, you may well only get out with your backpack. Here is my list of the challenges:

  1. Can you carry your backpack for a long distance over unfamiliar terrain and under duress? If someone is after you, could you carry the load while on the run?
  2. Do you train with your pack on and loaded, as it would be in if you needed it? When I teach classes and have people bring their backpacks, it amazes me how many out-of-shape people bring in 80- to 100-pound backpacks and think they will be able to carry these all day. The other thing I see is the packs have everything but water. So even if you can squeeze the water you need in your pack, plan on carrying considerably more weight. Add to that the weight of any weapons and ammo you would have to carry. If I was perusing many of these people, I would be able to survive and overtake them just by collecting the items they would have to dump and leave behind. Anything you can’t carry should not be in your pack, if you go on foot.
  3. Do you know what’s in your pack and where it’s located? Is it still usable? If the answer is “no”, it’s useless.
  4. If you’re with family or a group, what do you do with the people who are disabled in some way and unable to help or keep up? What do you do with the seniors in your family or group? What about the small children and babies? When I first started prepping, I was 50 years old and a competitive athlete. Now at 62 I find the health issues more challenging than ever before, and I find my training more difficult every year. I urge you to consider this point very carefully. Will you leave the weak, children, and elderly behind? Will you leave your spouse, child, mom, dad, grandchildren, or grandparents? As this becomes more of a reality in my life, my perspectives have changed as well as the way I prep and plan. Surviving is not enough without a certain quality and love in our lives.

Living in a Bunker

So you decide to spend the money to buy or build a bunker to wait out whatever crises have fallen on America. The first problem I see in most bunkers is keeping the bad guys out. Very few that I see on the various television shows have independent ventilating capability. So, if I find your air intake, I can just block it off and wait, or if there is water available, I can flood you out. However, the biggest problem I see is being cooped up in a small area for a long period, especially if not all of your family is on board for this kind of existence. I would urge anyone thinking about this to set up a two-week period of time to move your family and anyone you plan on living with in your bunker into a secluded part of your home, such as a basement or garage. Close off all outdoor light 24/7, only eating and doing things you would do in your bunker. Use none of the amenities that you won’t have in your bunker. No one goes outside for the duration. I have found in this kind of situation that people will get on each other’s nerves very quickly. Some will get claustrophobic and mentally start breaking down. Some might revolt or challenge authority. As food becomes bland, compared to how you ate before going into seclusion, there will be a difficult adjustment for some family members. Playing survival is fun for a short time; then it becomes a hard way to live, and the stress can become overwhelming. Adding to that stress is the fact that having to go out of the bunker for any reason makes you vulnerable to attacker’s waiting to ambush your bunker.

Homes and Compounds

Most of the people I have worked with prefer this form of survival. Although I feel it’s better than a bunker, it still has many potential weaknesses. The first is the same as a bunker. People being close together for a long period of time will present many problems. During a home renovation, my family was limited to three small rooms for a week. Even being able to go outside within a few days, we were all showing signs of aggravation, and harsh words were exchanged many times. Now, add to that people we don’t know as well as we think we do, habits as well as ways of living we find annoying, members of the group who are not pulling their weight or challenging how things are done in the group, people who are of different religious backgrounds or moral beliefs than yours, and/or people who become negative and critical of others.

What do you do if it’s a true violent survival situation and someone wants to leave? What would you let them take with them? Can you trust them to not give away your security setup to someone plotting to attack you? What happens if someone gets a virus infection? Is everyone who is old enough in the group capable of firing weapons and using other protective devices? Who’s in charge of what in your compound? What is the authority breakdown? Who is in charge of each different area needed to keep the compound functioning? How do you deal with someone or a group of people sabotaging or trying to take control of the group? What is the procedure for challenging or removing someone not fulfilling their duties? Is everyone willing to be cross-trained in case someone dies or is severely injured? Has everyone simulated a combat scenario and the stress that comes with defending the compound and possibly taking a life? Are the members of your group prepared to deal with seeing someone they love or care about killed or wounded? These are real threats to survival and when people start breaking down mentally or physically, bad things happen.

If I was leading a gang of thugs and had no morals, I could take most of the compounds I have visited with little trouble; I’ll give you one way I would do it. My group would consist of twenty to twenty-five members. We would be mobile and live off what we take from anyone or anything available, staying only long enough to use up what resources are there and then moving on. My group would have one, and if possible two, good snipers. After doing a day and night of surveillance, I would launch the first attack on your compound in the late afternoon, if the weather conditions were to my advantage. I would put a sniper and four of my group in a spread out attack position. My sniper’s job would be to shoot the first person he has a good shot at. Then I’d launch an assault with the four attackers and the sniper doing as much damage possible for twenty to 30 minutes; then I’d pull back. We would wait a couple of hours for the adrenalin rush and the accompanying headache and fatigue to set in, always being prepared for a counter attack if one comes. Then another five would begin another attack, setting up in different positions from the first attack. I would keep this attack up for an hour, if possible, and pull back again looking for any counter attack. One important thing to remember is, unlike the television shows, unless you have a stone house, the walls will offer little protection from the attack; also, if you stay put and patterns of how you return fire are learned, surviving will be extremely difficult. If the people inside are not combat tested and ready, my third attack should be the one that finishes the job. The mental distress should weaken most of the resistance, and if not I have the time to wait.

So how do you survive this scenario? Practice and train for real life situations, and take it seriously. Doing paintball outdoors is a great way to get a feel for combat. Getting shot at and shooting at a human target is a great way to begin the process of self- protection. Find someone who teaches self–protection, using actual fighting techniques rather than sport fighting. In a life or death setting, you don’t need self-defense, you need self-protection, and in my experience it’s not defending against your opponents attack, it’s making them try to defend your attack. Have procedures in place to deal with every problem I have presented. Always have an escape route. Have supplies buried in the ground around your property and be prepared to live on the move. This is an extremely hard way to live, but it offers the best chance in my opinion of surviving, if you train to live this way. Much of my gear is set up for living on the run if needed. I train to be able to withstand the physical and mental demands that life will require. The one intangible in every person’s training is that until the time comes we will not know for sure how we will respond to the threat. The more you practice and prepare, the better your chance of surviving.

I hope and pray that the time will never come to live this way, and may God guide your path always..

God Bless

Letter Re: Septic Systems

Mr. Hugh,

My house was built in 1978. I don’t know if you would consider it “modern”. It is built on a concrete slab with brick veneer and is air conditioned. I noticed in your comments about things going into the septic tank, especially water from the washing machine. This a source of major problems for septic systems. When my plumber stubbed out the sewer drain lines there were three. He offered me some good advice, which I followed. The larger 4-inch line I ran to my septic tank, which was the waste from my toilets, bath tub/shower, and lavatories. The two remaining were 2-inch lines. One from the kitchen sink I connected to a grease trap and then a 60-foot “field line” buried in washed gravel. The second 2-inch line came from the washing machine. I connected it to the field line after the grease trap. This keeps all the bleach, strong soap, and clothing fibers out of the septic tank and the grease from the kitchen sink. During the time I’ve lived here with my family, I have only had to clean the tank two times. I did it myself with a bucket and shovel handle I improvised. As you said, there was about a two-foot layer of sludge that was soft. The rest was water. We are careful with the type of toilet paper we buy and make sure that no feminine products are flushed. Every few months we pour a package of yeast down the drain to the septic tank. Like you said, though, the natural chemicals are already there that cause the digestion process.