Note from JWR:

Today we present the final entry for Round 44 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) 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, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training. Together, these have a retail value of $589. B.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel hand well pump (a $600 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. C.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) … Continue reading

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What Made Me Begin Preparing for TEOTWAWKI, by Elizabeth in the Northeast

I woke up a few months ago. Literally, I woke up one day and realized if TSHTF, I was toast. In a big way. It all started with Hurricane Sandy. I live in a coastal town in the Northeast. The beach is a comfortable twenty minute walk from my home. Three streets behind me is Water Street, so named because not only is home to various Marina’s and marine supply stores, it has a tendency to flood every high tide. I woke up the morning Sandy hit to an eerily lit sky. Even though a hurricane was heading our way my employer expected me to show up on time ready for work. I had been at work for all of two hours when my manager informed us we had permission to close the store and go home in three hours. Half an hour later, we lost power and it was a half an hour later that we were finally allowed to go home and brace for the storm. Since I am a single parent who’s currently without a vehicle and bus service was suspended for the duration a co-worker gave me a life home. When we were two blocks away … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Food Storage in the Southern United States

Sir: As a Central Texas Prepper, I have solved my food storage problem affordably, as follows: On my property there was an existing 20 foot by 24 foot sheetrock walled tool shed. I gutted this building and installed slabs of 8 inch styrofoam panels against interior walls. These blocks of foam were salvaged from floating docks on a local lake as most people were installing plastic floats under their docks. The styrofoam blocks were free for the taking..As the floats were used and had been in the water in some cases for years, they looked gross and smelled bad also. I found if you cut as little as 4 inches off the side of the float, you now have new looking and smelling styrofoam blocks. The foam blocks come in [usually] 4 foot by 12 foot dimensions and need to be sized for re-use. This was accomplished with a 20 inch chain saw, with a tube sawing guide extending past the chain bar,and cut around the perimeter. The entire block will not be cut thru at this point but if you pop rivet two regular carpenters hand saws together to make a 5 foot blade, the remaining styrofoam cuts easily. You … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Reader Michael W. sent this: Zimbabwe Is Down to Its Last $217. Comrade Mugabe and his cronies have absolutely destroyed and looted their nation which once had a vibrant economy. They must be overthrown! The destruction of the US Dollar continues: Bernanke Seen Buying $1.14 Trillion in Assets in 2014 Items from The Economatrix: Economists Growing More Upbeat About Year Ahead [JWR’s Comment: Well, golly gee, with the Federal Reserve and Treasury conspiring to soon double the money supply AGAIN, so stocks must go up, and we’ll all be “millionaires” soon, right? Given their monetary policies in recent years, I propose that the Federal Reserve shorten their name to Feral Reserve. That would be more accurate, since they are a private banking cartel has truly gone wild, and after all they never were a Federal agency. They are no more “Federal” than Federal Express.] Durable-Goods Demand Points to US Factory Pick Up Roubini, Keiser & Turk:  Preparing For A Perfect Storm, “Next Stage” Of The Global Financial Implosion Will Occur By April May 2013-End Of The Road-John Williams

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Odds ‘n Sods:

F Troop strikes again! ATF’s Milwaukee sting operation marred by mistakes, failures. The BATFE should have been disbanded many years ago.    o o o What Postponement Of The US’s Largest Gun Show Says About America    o o o Erich was the first of several readers to send this: For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II. If you’ve ever read Robinson Crusoe, then this may sound familiar: “The rest of the family were saved by what they regarded as a miracle: a single grain of rye sprouted in their pea patch. The Lykovs put up a fence around the shoot and guarded it zealously night and day to keep off mice and squirrels. At harvest time, the solitary spike yielded 18 grains, and from this they painstakingly rebuilt their rye crop.” There is also a strong Christian aspect to their story.    o o o Readers in the “arm the masses” camp of preparedness will find this of interest: Mosin Nagant rifles by the crate.    o o o B.B. recommended this powerful essay, over at TL in Exile: Do Not Comply

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“All we need is for the Fed to live up to its promise that it has an exit strategy. I’m here to say that they don’t have an exit strategy. There isn’t an exit. A return to a normalization of interest rates, a withdrawal by the Fed and other central banks in their efforts to monetize debt and artificially suppress interest rates, as soon as that ceases, the system itself will freeze up just as it did a few years ago. The reason it will freeze up is the system can’t handle anything close to what would be considered historically normal interest rates. The stock of debt globally at that stage cannot be serviced. So the system, inevitably, will break down. The problem this time is likely to be much worse than it’s ever been in the past because the debt bubble has never been this big at any point in the past.” – Hedge Fund Manager William Kaye of Pacific Group in Hong Kong, January, 2013

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Notes from JWR:

Today is the birthday of historian Barbara Tuchman (born 1912, died February 6, 1989.) She wrote some of the most engaging history books that I’ve ever read. — Today we present another entry for Round 44 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) 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, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training. Together, these have a retail value of $589. B.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel … Continue reading

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Rules For Living and Rules For Staying Alive, by Arizona Slim

Survival can certainly include situations that are a bit short of, and a bit more mundane than TEOTWAWKI. And as much as we wish it were otherwise, I know a lot of us are in a suburban or even urban environment. We find ourselves in a great many situations with the potential to become survival scenarios on a smaller, more personal scale. We are also subject daily to a million ridiculous rules and laws and prohibitions and warnings and  statutes and such that most of our rural brethren can go for long periods of time without even having to consider. We can find ourselves lulled into a sheep-like acquiescence, where it’s easier to go along to get along. But if you want to have every opportunity to survive a threat, you must be aware of this condition and be able to switch it off when the flag goes up. The first job I had as a young adult was as an EMT, working for a local ambulance company. It is an amazing experience for an 18-year old to turn on flashing red lights and a siren and leave the Rules of the Road pamphlet buried and forgotten somewhere under the … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sugar and Spice Will Always Be Nice

Dear Editor: My father worked for many years at a sugar factory, and I can tell you there is no such thing as a natural “brown sugar”.  Brown sugar is simply post-production white sugar with molasses added.   As you make your recipe, use slightly more than the called for amount of brown sugar–maybe an extra teaspoon or two, and then add molasses.  If the recipe calls for light brown sugar, add a little molasses.  Dark brown sugar? Just add more molasses.    Also, because you’re storing the components separately, your “brown sugar” never gets hard as a rock, because you mix it at the time of use.  Why people will spend twice as much to buy brown sugar, when they probably have both white sugar and molasses already on hand, escapes me.  Homemade brown sugar is less expensive, softer and so easy to to make. – Shirley A.

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Letter Re: California as a Precursor: Thoughts on Feinstein’s Ban Bill

JWR; First, I must mention that the Feinstein bill is remarkably similar to what we live with already in California, other than some additional models being added and some language changes. With all of Feinstein and colleague’s rhetoric about the California bullet button loophole, I notice that in her Federally proposed bill, if you have a fixed magazine (al la the California bullet button feature, which makes the magazine fixed) your (military) features are not limited. You are, however, limited to a 10 round fixed magazine capacity. Once you have a removable magazine, the “Military” (scary looking) features come into play. I would have thought the great Feinstein would have modified her legislation to include the removal of the bullet button exemption as she is threatening to do in California. It kinda makes the case that her goal is total disarmament through incremental legislation. Second, regarding the article about the Iowa cops purchasing their own AR to protect the public, we have been doing this in California for some time now. Officers are permitted to purchase a AR type firearm with the authorization of their department head (Sheriff or Chief) and for law enforcement purposes. These firearms are required to … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

SBSS has launched a new “Liberty Girl” one-ounce .999 silver coin. ‘Wall St.’ flees NY for tax-free Florida The Disappearing Gold Dr. Gary North: Fed Will Buy $1.1 Trillion in Bonds. Then It Will Buy More. Items from The Economatrix: IMF’s Lagarde Says US Leading Economic Role At Stake The Endgame Is Being Played Out:  World Plunges Into Currency War, Economy Underperforming Again, US Banks Shaken By Biggest Deposit Withdrawals Since 9/11…The Collapse Will Begin New Homes Sales Slip:  Jobs Are The Key To Housing Recovery

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Scott G. mentioned this in The New York Times: The Preppers Next Door    o o o Here is a SHOT Show report: Gun Tote’n Mamas Concealed Carry Purses for Women    o o o Alan S. sent us the latest news from Oz: Floods cause Brisbane drinking water shortage. (Any family that does not own a high quality, high volume ceramic water filter is foolish!)    o o o H.L. forwarded this: Drought Seen Worsening in U.S. Plains and West Midwest

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