Notes for Friday – November 28, 2014

SurvivalBlog missed the announcement of the birthday of SurvivalBlog’s past Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio yesterday. A happy birthday to you Pat and a thanks for all those years of service!

o o o

Safecastle is having a fantastic Black Friday sale with discounts of 20-60% off on many products. Be sure to check them out!

o o o

Today, we present another entry for Round 55 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ 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 Warehouse is providing 30 DPMS 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. 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,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),

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. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  9. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  10. RepackBox is 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 Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 55 ends on November 30th, 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.

Guerrillas In The Midst, by J.S.H. – Part 2

Some of the principles of guerrilla tactics are continued:

Abstract Attack

This is the art of attacking under conditions that seem unfavorable in the enemy’s eyes. Poor weather and/or terrain can be an advantage for the guerrilla warrior. Also, attacking when the opposing force is sleeping, worn down, or resupplying is advantageous. Sabotaging enemy soldiers’ resources is a very effective way to stun and demoralize troops. Another “abstract attack” is to convince weaker enemy soldiers that they are safer or better off fighting along side you rather than against you. This allows you to grow your numbers while diminishing the enemy’s. It also gives you the opportunity to have a “double agent”, serving in the opposing squad. Keep in mind that “double agent” use can go both ways and that your own “double” may be there for sabotage against your troops or to give you misinformation.

When recruiting combatants from the enemy force, make sure to take appropriate measures to “re-educate” the recruit by white washing their erroneous beliefs that the enemy leadership implanted and then upload the information you want ingrained in them. This needs to be done on three levels of consciousness.

  • Level one is the conscious mind, which needs to be stripped down with interrogation techniques.
  • Level two is the subconscious mind, which needs to be implanted upon at an instinctual basis in the subject.
  • Level three is the habitual mind, which needs to be evoked through repetition and recitation.

Once these three levels have been correctly induced in the individual, a reasonable degree of trust may be assumed for the new recruit.

Use this same context in your own survival training and prepping. This means you must educate yourself on the target subject you are studying, make it a part of your natural way of thinking, and completely absorb it. (It helps to connect pleasant feelings with the course of study.) Then practice and repeat successes in training. Discard what is of little use, and narrow your focus on the important or lacking areas in your training.

Hide and Fight in The Shadows

There is a lot to be said about camouflage. Knowing how to use natural and synthetic materials to camouflage yourself, group, or equipment can mean the difference between freedom or capture and life or death. There is more to it than the uninitiated might think. Take into account your surroundings, time of year, type of animals in the area, and disguising the human form. Those concerns merely scratches the surface. Learn how to make natural camo paints for your face and body if in the wilderness. In an urban environment, use garbage instead of foliage as cover, and stay in the places others are afraid to go.

Camouflage is not just physical! Learn how to camouflage your plans and preps with rebuttals to questions commonly asked by prying outsiders. Deciding who knows your prepping strategies and who doesn’t should be entirely under your control. Hiding what you have and your full intent will make you far less of a target.

Use darkness, whether at night or in the shadows of daylight, for infiltration purposes and to attack enemies. Combined with an abstract attack, this method is extremely effective. If you have ever been standing out in the dark and saw something moving in the shadows, you know how fear can be amplified in darkness. Imagine a very fast, random attack bursting out of those same shadows. It’s an absolutely devastating combat technique. Keep these tactics in mind for home defense in a complete SHTF scenario.

Speaking of Combat

There are simple, cost-efficient, and effective solutions to getting nearly everyone the training and equipment that is needed for an individual, family, or group to intensively engage in combat. When it comes to unarmed hand-to-hand combat, there are a few simple, easy to learn, and highly effective systems available. Krav Maga is one example of these types of systems; KAPAP is another. These systems are designed to give the student the ability to enter into a combat situation and survive. One of the main objectives of these martial science systems is for the student to be able to use these skills immediately after being taught them, becoming proficient in a very short amount of time. There are plenty of ways to get this training very cheap and in several cases for free, and you can actually learn the method via video fairly well, and then keep up with the training. Then you become responsible for your safety, as opposed to relying solely on others.

By The Book

Books are good items to store for both a short- and long-term survival situation. They can be used for information, entertainment, barter, and in educating and occupying children. Other uses include for coded communications or to leave messages within a group or family. Books can also make an excellent armor when several rows are stacked front to back against a wall or stuffed inside the body of an automobile. Don’t forget, a soft bound book can be used as body armor against the walking dead (as seen in some popular Zombie movies and shows).

When it comes to books that have information that the Guerrilla practitioner can use for “on the cheap ways” to make several types of weapons, armor, gadgets, strategies, gain combat skills, chemistry and no budget-on the fly techniques used by spies, soldiers, and specialists, The Poor Man’s James Bond is an excellent resource for these and many more subjects related to survival and sustainability. This series written by Kurt Saxon is four volumes of collected knowledge and wisdom handed down from master tradesmen, smith’s, operatives, alchemists, chemists, and combat-hardened instructors; it’s all combined to give the reader a “black bag of tricks”. These are the skills that will allow a well practiced student of the series to have the ways and means to lead or create an effective Guerrilla attack for brief or prolonged periods of time. I have found the Poor Man’s James Bond Volumes to be well thought out, realistic, and user friendly, making for a power house and unique tool in my toolbox. (*Note: The Poor Man’s James Bond Volume’s 1-4 can be downloaded for free as a PDF file.)

“My Way is Elemental, My Weapons Are Everything That Exists” -Unknown (Ancient Martial Art Creed)

Weapons are all around you but can you use them? From batteries (set dead ones aside for this purpose) to pocket change, many objects can be used in hand-to-hand combat to effect your survival. There are many good survival combat instructors spread across the world who are ready to teach their style. As a part of martial science programs, like the ones I mentioned earlier, the student is taught how to use any and all weapons available to eliminate the threat. Specific drills and techniques are utilized to train the mind to see all the possibilities around and yet decipher and execute an attack quickly and efficiently. As part of the training process, the extraordinary power of “situational visualization” is ingrained in the student, developing a sense of awareness they hadn’t had before and using muscle memory to speed the reflexes, ease the “panic response” when under attack, and create a condition of natural pro-action when responding to an enemy combatant.

As far as acquiring weapons is concerned, if you are on an extremely tight or no budget, take the latter approach and start out at ground level. If a kitchen knife is the only weapon you have available, learn to wield it like a ninja and become proficient enough that you can teach others.

A baseball bat, golf club, railroad spike, hammer, umbrella, and a broom are some common items that you can learn to be deadly with. If you have these items, learn how to use them as instruments of war. A bottle of alcohol or other highly combustible liquid can be made into a weapon. See, we already have an arsenal and we haven’t even gotten to the guns. Make no mistake, an entire war can be waged with improvised weapons.

If it is feasible for you to get a gun, there are several resources for “bomb proof” yet affordable firearms. There are articles on this site, as well as other reliable resources on the web, that cover the gambit of information that’s out there about getting firearms on a budget. Also, there are free courses designed to teach youth how to shoot and hunt. Sometimes these courses are run just by an individual in the area. Ask around and take advantage of opportunities like these. Every little bit helps.

A Final Thought

Survival as a whole is rarely looked at with the guerrilla mentality. By studying these and other unconventional techniques, one may broaden their survival spectrum and see that there are many angles and perspectives possibly not considered before. My advice, even if you choose not to use this method in your survival practice, is to be aware of this mentality if only in others. It may save your life.

Letter: Open Carry in the Wilderness Challenge in Canadian Law

Dear HJL and JWR,

Could you please spread the following information?

There has recently been some interest in bringing forward a legal challenge on the right to Open Carry of sidearms (handguns) in wilderness environments in Canada. Specifically, it questions the prohibition on carrying handguns and advocates Open Carry to meet threats from dangerous animals on (public) Crown Land and private rural land. It is not a challenge for concealed carry or open carry in urban environments, but it may be a good first step.

As you know, the laws on handguns in Canada are not based on any form of logic, and I personally hope that this small step in the right direction gains traction and is successful. To my knowledge it is the first (potential) legal challenge of its kind in Canada. It is in the very early stages, and as such I do not know what specific legal grounds (if any) are being cited or challenged.

A website has been set up at wildernessprotection.ca, called the Canadian Wilderness Protection Initiative. There is also a link to a relevant outdoors forum discussing the initiative.

Although the idea is in its very early stages, it may be something your Canadian readers would want to know about and perhaps even support.

Kind Regards, A Canadian in the Wild

Odds ‘n Sods:

Americans sorting themselves into politically similar counties. – A Redoubtable concept! – JWR

o o o

Gun Control Measures Hazardous for Citizens. Nazis disarmed the Social Democrats and other political opponents whom they deemed “enemies of the state.” The turn of the Jews came in 1938. – H.L.

o o o

#HappyTracksgiving: How your travels are tracked this holiday season. – P.M.

o o o

Cop Fires on Unarmed Man and His 6-Year-Old Daughter on Their Way to Get Asthma Medicine. – D.E.

o o o

Breastfed, Homebirthed Babies Taken Away From Parents For Not Using Hospital. – D.S.

o o o

Don’t forget the Black Friday sales of SurvivalBlog advertisers JRH Enterprises and Ready Made Resources. Both companies have great deals going on right now. It’s a great time to grab that field gear you’ve been thinking about, or stock up on the freeze-dried food!

Notes for Thursday – November 27, 2014

Ready Made Resources is having a Black Friday sale on their PVS14 2nd Gen autogated night vision. They are also giving 17 silver dimes for each $100 of Mountain House foods ordered (normally 15 silver dimes). Another neat product on sale is a thermoelectric generator that works with a steel stove and will charge your computer or run LED lights.

o o o

Today, we present another entry for Round 55 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ 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 Warehouse is providing 30 DPMS 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. 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,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),

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. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  9. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  10. RepackBox is 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 Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 55 ends on November 30th, 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.

Guerrillas In The Midst, by J.S.H. – Part 1

In All Matters Of Survival, Go Guerrilla

A time existed when the methods the Guerrilla warrior uses were looked down upon. Accusations of dishonorable and cowardice behavior would be spat upon those who employed what might be called shadow tactics. Here’s the truth (as has become more and more apparent among the military). All is fair in war. The only dishonor is to yourself and/or your family or group, and it only exists when you have failed to do everything in your power to effect survival. The real cowards lay dead for all to see, because their pride wouldn’t let them run away.

Until 1962, the American military avoided openly having units trained specifically in the art and science of Guerrilla warfare. This was not because they didn’t realize the need for this training. The pride of the American people wouldn’t have accepted the seemingly immoral tactics that would be taught to the soldiers of these units, at least not openly. Then, President Kennedy took a giant step forward. Recognizing the urgent need for unconventional warfare tactics, he announced the expenditure of funds to create highly trained guerrilla type units. The Navy SEALs were created for exactly this purpose. Over time, the pride of the American people was shifted to support SEAL-type combat. Now, guerrilla tactics are not only acceptable but are held in high regard as military and warfare standards.

Guerrilla tactics are not just for warfare. The principles of these tactics can be used for all aspects of survival. The application of this method makes the smaller and outnumbered seem larger and more well equipped and the frightened seem like ferocious lions. Furthermore, it turns the opposition’s strengths into advantages for you. Some of the most important general principles are outlined below.

“Always be on the side of the people and the people will win your war for you.” – Anonymous Guerrilla Quote

Networking and Negotiation

If you don’t have the numbers to win the battle, win the people and let them help you win. Networking is a fundamental concept to guerrilla tactics. Most anything can be achieved when like-minded people work towards a common goal. The more people you communicate with, the more opportunities will present themselves. Information, especially in this day and age, is a most valuable asset. Find the right information and use it as a tool to hammer down the walls of fear and scarcity.

Here is a good representation of how networking and negotiation can provide important survival tools. Through a fellow prepper in my area, I got connected with a guy who was apprenticing as a blacksmith. The apprentice was looking for some materials for different practice projects. As it happened, I knew where I could find just such material. I spent a day gathering, and after all was said and done I brought him 40 or so railroad spikes and some truck leaf springs. That deal got me two free knives and a tomahawk handmade by the smithing apprentice. Later, I was able to negotiate a deal for him with a third party that bought a dozen of his high quality knives. He made some extra money and got his name out, and I got three free knives, which I in turn traded for other items I needed. This created multiple beneficial outcomes. I added supplies to my preps and a resource in the apprentice, and as it turns out, I widened my survival circle by adding a member that has a specific skill.

For understanding the fundamentals of networking and negotiation, here are some resources to get you started. Books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie or How to Argue and Win Every Time by Gerry Spence are excellent. Also, studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming(NLP) can help you manage your powers of persuasion.

Divide and Conquer

There are generally two ways to address any given situation: 1) Straight ahead like a charging bull, raging towards glory, and 2) Quiet observation mixed with quick and cunning strategic moves, attacking the problem while it is small or by narrowing the odds against success. The latter is the guerrilla method, employed by those whom the odds are heavily against. So, handle problems while they are still small, and don’t let what you don’t have impede your ability to reach a particular goal.

You can apply this to any area of your survival strategy. Buying food preps can be as little as one extra can of corn at the next shopping trip, or as much as a bucket of dehydrated survival food every week. It’s more important to make consistent forward progress than to keep staring at the finish line wondering if you’ll ever get there. Also, divide tasks, plans, and goals into manageable sections. The idea is not to get overwhelmed. If you see your goals in plain writing that are broken down into small, achievable stepping stones, you will be more aptly able to attack large scale plans, and by the time you are ready to complete your final goal, you’ll realize that you already have. This also boosts morale among a group or family. Keep a steady pace of constant forward progress.

Using the divide and conquer technique against an enemy force makes the opposition’s numbers an advantage for you. Rather than facing your enemy’s body of fighters man for man, segregate units of their force from the larger group and attack the weak links. If the number of the opposing army’s soldiers are vast, the leaders have less awareness of them, making them vulnerable to quiet attacks. It may go completely unnoticed, as enemy numbers dwindle slowly and consistently. This also applies to other aspects of survival and prepping. When faced with a big overall picture, divide it like a grid. Each section of the grid is like a piece of the overall “big picture”. First, take out the easy stuff and get it out of the way. Then, prioritize what is left by starting with the nearest, easier to accomplish task. Do not totally lose awareness of the rest. Just kind of put it on the back burner.

Psychological Warfare

The vast majority of survival is psychological. Having the mental capacity to cope with stress, keep others calm, rule your actions with logic, and take charge when everyone else is lost in panic or shock is an ability that sets one aside from the crowd and keeps you alive while others may die, losing their minds. This method is not only used to combat the fears inside a restless mind, allowing you to be brave when you normally would not. It is also used to thwart an opposing force, either preemptively or in answer to an attack.

Understanding the use of psychological warfare, as both a reinforcement tool for yourself and as a combative tool against an enemy, is critical to Guerrilla tactics. Being able to break the will of the opposition or to wear them down through exhaustive volleys of madness and misdirection is a skill that some may not have the stomach for. It, nonetheless, serves as an extremely effective method against larger forces and is often a deciding factor in victory.

An excellent example of psychological warfare is illustrated in the Waco siege of 1993. The agents and soldiers involved in the siege against David Koresh and the Branch Davidians were well versed in using psychological terror tactics to wear down, demoralize, and conquer the group hunkered down in the compound.

This leads me to another aspect of psychological warfare– intimidation and fear. It is important to note that intimidation tactics and command presence authoritative conduct are extremely effective forms of psychological attack. Painting your face or wearing a mask depicting a frightening look will trigger an emotional response in the subject you are attacking or interrogating. Comparatively, acting larger than life to an enemy imposes a feeling of insecurity into their subconscious. Having the people of a particular locale form a legend about you or your group inspires fear in the opposing force as well.

Command presence authoritative conduct is what police and agents are taught as a manner of carrying ones self when subduing a suspect. The reason that so many cops sound the same when making an arrest is because by presenting themselves as “in the role of authority”, the individual they are dealing with is less likely to resist, or at least there will be hesitation in the person’s mind and therefore actions. Does it work 100% of the time? No, but it does more often than not, so the one taking command presence has the psychological advantage. Pay attention to how traditional drill sergeants speak and act when hazing a new group during basic training. Keep in mind that you don’t want to use this behavior when trying to influence or get help from “friendlies”.

Stealth and Mobility

Being able to move quickly and quietly over a given terrain gives you the advantage. Having your own sniper in place to cover your movement and act as a counter sniper means you understand guerrilla warfare. The ability to move silently through an enemy camp or through an unknown area will keep you and your group from being noticed by unsavory characters who might wish to do you harm in a WROL scenario. That means traveling light and learning how to live off the land with minimal equipment. Similarly, not being bogged down with worry can help you in any survival situation.

Of course it is quite obvious how the practice of stealth can help in all areas of survival. Whether it be in actual practice to hunt or conversely avoid a subject, or in hiding your preps from nosy neighbors you cannot trust, or in keeping your family safe during a home intrusion, stealth is a skill that benefits all arenas of survival. This is true unless of course you are trying to be rescued, in which case you should be as big, loud, and obnoxious as possible!

Letter Re: Self directed IRA article

Dear Hugh,

I’ve been following the blog for quite a while now, and have read more than one Self Directed IRA post. However, no one seems to address what happens when someone “withdraws” assets from such an account. In a typical tax deferred IRA, I pay no taxes on the money I put in, but do pay when I take it out. Leaving the whole Roth IRA issue aside, what happens if I buy property with my SD IRA and then become old enough to “withdraw” it? In other words, I know I cannot live on or use the land while it is an investment, but at age 59.5 I can begin to “use” the property, so what happens now? Is the entire property counted as “income” all at once? Will I be hammered with taxes based on rates at that time? If so, this might not be such a great tax-reduction strategy.

The same thing applies for precious metals. I would never be so foolish as to “buy” PMs and let someone else hold them, so let’s say I have my tiny collection of bullion gold or silver in my possession (I believe numismatic coins are not allowed, though I may be wrong)…what happens when I hit 59 and a half years old? Does all of it convert from the IRA to myself, all at once? If I was dumb enough to let someone hold it for me, do they mail me a round or two every month? How does this work?

I’m all for reducing taxes. The Lord knows it’s the biggest single expense in my life (and yours too, most likely…ever really, really looked at your monthly expenses?), but it seems like an SD IRA might be like drinking too much- you feel good right now, but you are only postponing a lot of unpleasantness until later. What are your thoughts, HJL?

HJL Responds: I saw the writing on the wall several years ago. I took the early tax hit on my retirement account and withdrew the entire amount. I used that money to start two businesses that give me some diversity. One business does well when the disposable income is tight; the other does well when it is looser. I found that I would rather have the money earning equity in something that I had control over rather than some account that I might lose access to during a crash. If the economy crashes, I have something to barter with.

Economics and Investing:

Facebook Can’t Cite Evidence to Support Claims of U.S. Tech Worker Shortage – P..M.

o o o

Ride Out The Apocalypse In Style With These Luxury, Disaster-Proof Condos. – A.C.

o o o

Nearly 1 in 5 Households Will Celebrate Thanksgiving on Food Stamps – G.P.

o o o

Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Gold “Price” Spikes to $1,467.50/oz on Computer Glitch?

Jobless Claims Spike 21,000 to 313,000, Highest Level in 11 Weeks

Saudis to Push OPEC to Cut Output: CNBC survey

Odds ‘n Sods:

JRH Enterprises is running a big Black Friday sale with all Mt. House on sale with shipping included as well as PVS14 Pinnacle Autogated Night vision devices, Thermal imaging scopes, and Perimeter alarms.

o o o

By way of The Daily Sheeple, comes a link to a quite useful handgun training video: The Venti 100.

o o o

In Ferguson, black residents stand guard at white-owned store . – T.R.

o o o

The Ferguson Fraud. – T.P.

o o o

Ceramic ball bearing Self Healing Armor! withstands repeated hits of .50 BMG. – D.C.

o o o

Google Gives Up On Renewables

Notes for Wednesday – November 26, 2014

November 26th is the birthday of both gun inventor Eugene Reising (born 1884, died February 21, 1967) and the late Barton Biggs (born 1932, died July 14, 2012). Biggs was a money manager known for his pro-preparedness stance.

o o o

JRH Enterprises is running a big Black Friday sale with all Mt. House on sale with shipping included as well as PVS14 Pinnacle Autogated Night vision devices, Thermal imaging scopes, and Perimeter alarms. Sale ends in just a few days! Don’t miss it!

o o o

Today, we present another entry for Round 55 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ 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 Warehouse is providing 30 DPMS 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. 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,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.
  12. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),

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. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  9. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  10. RepackBox is 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 Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a Locking Rifle Rack. (a $379 value).

Round 55 ends on November 30th, 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.

A Strategy For Profitable Investing, by JEH, CPA

I am writing this letter in response to the question posed in “Letter Re: Surviving Financial SHTF and Becoming Debt Free, by K.D”. I am a CPA who thought about investing the day I got my first job. I am not a licensed investment representative, so as a result I will not tell you what to specifically invest in. However, I want to teach you how to look at the market.

The first tax season I worked, I noticed that people poured money into what was “hot” at the time, and they took a loss when the market went south. As a result, I talked with people who were successful at investing. One family took me under their wing and taught me about their strategy. They had a family trust routinely making 40% to 50% per year. I was flabbergasted.

I started off with $500 in 1991, investing in what was not hot at the time. The bubble has just busted on this investment about six months earlier. I placed my money in a mutual fund, via an IRA, through an online brokerage service. I made money. When this investment made 25%, I took the profit and invested in the thing people were just beginning to talk about– technology. I made easy, quick money. Back then people were talking about technology like it might never end. I got out. When TV people talk about something, get in when it is in its infancy; get out when everyone owns it.

I have never gotten close to an investment. An investment is like a car to a car dealer; you just use it to make a buck and then sell it for more than it cost.

In 2006 people started talking about gold. Mr. Rawles had several articles discussing gold and silver. I had grown skeptical with the stock market and the many bubbles. I took the money from the stock market and placed it in gold and silver. My investment doubled. The talking heads were saying gold would go blah, balah, blah, and silver had no end in sight. I decided it was time to sell in early 2009. I tripled and quadrupled my investment. Wow! Thanks, Mr. Rawles.

I left money on the table but not that much, as compared to the profits I made all tax free in my Roth IRA. WooHoo!

So to sum up my strategy, listen to the talking heads. If it is hot now, do not buy! If you can get in on the beginning, do it. Do not be greedy! Take a decent profit, and be happy. It will multiply. One of my mentors told me to sell stocks that lose 5% and sell stocks that make 30%; you will always, on average, realize a 25% profit. It worked for me until I went into the precious metal market. I thank my wife for keeping me grounded. She is not the financial information decipher, but she understands human reaction. She well understands my theory and is watching to see the next bubble.

I am not a fan of profiteering from tragedy. However, when something bad happens in America, such as 9/11, stocks tumble. The talking heads said they did not know if the airline industry could sustain such a hit. There were investing opportunities when the market opened again. If everyone is leaving an industry, pick the best of the industry and enjoy a quick gain.

I had made some money in the banking industry from 1998 to 2003. I got out because it had been too good for too long. My grandfather, before he passed away, once told me that things in our country have been too good for too long. I have taken his philosophy and applied it to the stock market. When a sector has been too good for too long, get out; you are in a bubble.

My daughter used to love to blow bubbles. She asked me one day, “Why do some bubbles continue to rise and then pop, while others sink and pop, and other bubbles stay afloat and then go away?” I had the opportunity to talk about density to her and high pressure and low pressure. It became important to me, because I could now explain how the market works.

Bubbles That Rise and Then Pop

The bubbles that rise and then pop represent the people pouring money into the market and it is rising, rising, rising. Eventually, what everyone has money in will pop as it is too high! The atmosphere (this is metaphysical, as this is the political atmosphere and the perceived atmosphere) causes the physical bubble to pop. When money stops pouring in, it cause the financial bubble to pop.

Bubbles That Sink

Bubbles that sink are too heavy to float. In investments, this can easily represent a market that is overheated and heavy. The bubbles are crashing. The bubbles also could represent companies too heavy in debt to float. They, too, go away. Just look at the number of closed banks.

Bubbles That Float a While Then Go Away

This represents industry darlings that have a significant amount of money poured into them. The money then becomes stagnant as the amounts of generated profits are not enough to make people happy. People then take some money out, but the investment continues to float. It can float forever. It could quickly pop one day out of the blue. When an industry is flat for a while, cut your losses or take your profits.

The Atmosphere – High and Low Pressure Systems

This represents the climate, not just the climate outside that causes my daughters bubbles to go up and down but the financial climate that causes stocks to go up or down. In today’s climate, we are in a high pressure system. Stocks are climbing and climbing. Bond returns are low and precious metals are lower than they have been for a while.

Therefore, a high pressure system causes stocks to rise. Eventually, the atmosphere becomes too light and the bubble pops. DO NOT be in the market when this happens. People commit suicide over this, as their paper profits are not recognized (more on this later).

In a low pressure system, interest rates are high enough to sustain an equal amount of people in the market for bonds and stocks. Alan Greenspan was a genius at this. Stocks and bonds have low pressure from bubbles during this type of financial atmosphere.

Realized and Recognized

We, accountants, use funny terms to talk about profits on your tax return. For example, you can realize a gain on the sale of business property, but through like-kind exchanges, we can help you not recognize the gain on your tax return.

I will use the following example to demonstrate realize and recognized:

  1. You buy one ounce of gold for $1,000 on January 1, 2014.
  2. On November 1, 2014, the spot price for gold is $1,200 per ounce.
  3. On November 17, 2014, you sell the gold for $1,100 per ounce.

From January 1, 2014 to November 1, 2014, you realized a profit of $200 ($1,200 – $1,000). However, because you did not sell your ounce of gold, you do not recognize the profit. You rock on until November 17, 2014 and then decide to sell the investment. You realized two things– first is a profit from January 1, 2014 to November 17, 2014 of $100 ($1,100 – $1,000) and a loss from November 1, 2014 to November 17, 2014 of $100 ($1,200 – $1,100).

If you have to report your investments on your tax return, you will recognize a gain of $100 (January 17, 2014 price of $1,100, less the original cost of $1,000).

My goal is to realize gains and recognize them in my ROTH IRA. “Realize” means it is a paper profit or loss. “Recognize” means you have completed the process.

Overcoming Being Human

Human rationale is to follow the crowd and think you are a winner. I am an avid college football fan. The teams in the top 10 have more money poured into their team wear (jerseys, sweatshirts, memorabilia, etc.) than other teams. So if you follow a winning team, and you decide to go out buy a t-shirt with your favorite team’s logo on it. Only, next year, that team is not the darling of the top 10. Their sales goes down, the bubble popped. You might not even wear the t-shirt you bought.

Then you have teams like The University of Alabama and Florida State University, which are good year after year. People everywhere, unless you are an Alabama or Florida State Fan, hate Alabama and Florida State. We like to root for the underdog.

Try not to follow the crowd. This creates bubbles, and you lose the chance to get in in on the ground floor of the next bubble. Root for the underdog with your investments. See what is not hot at this moment but shows promise. My best example of this would be The University of Arkansas. They have been beat up for years. They barely lost to Alabama, and they finally beat LSU– a monster of the SEC West. I was happy for Arkansas. I like it when an investment pays off when I rooted for the underdog.

Where to Invest Now

Gold and silver prices are down. It looks like people have left the precious metal market. Right the opposite, our currency is being propped up and makes it a buying opportunity for precious metals once again. The stock market is in a high pressure system with a rising bubble, which is not a good place to be. As for telling you where to place your money, I am not a licensed investment representative. I cannot tell you where to place your money, but I can tell you philosophies and strategies.

I hope this helps to explain my philosophy and strategy, which is to place money where other people are not. When people realize I am making a profit, I recognize my actual profits and look for other places. I try to do the opposite of what human rationale tells people to do. You can be a winner if you are the leader.

Finally, I collect old accounting text books. One old book, from the 1950’s, I bought had a hand written note in it: “Do not put all of your eggs in one basket, the bottom could fall out.” They understood bubbles back then; they just did not call it a bubble.

Letter Re: The Value of Human Relationships in a Grid-Down or Survival Event, by J.C.

I have to disagree with the article “The Value of Human Relationships in a Grid-Down or Survival Event.” In this article, what J.C. is describing is nothing more than Crony Capitalism, which is what happens when those connected or who are friends or relatives of the “rulers” get favors that others in society don’t receive. It’s happening now at all levels of government, and it’s one of the main things wrong with society today. Those in government are supposed to treat everyone fairly and equally. Just because you’re friends with someone or related to someone in government, doesn’t give you the right to receive favors.

Instead of government, how about using your church, neighbors, and friends? – VCM

HJL Responds: Perhaps one of the issues in writing about this is the language we use. If we called it “networking”, it might be more palatable to everyone. It isn’t hard to grasp the concept of a networking relationship, as very few people have ever made something of themselves solely on their own. Whether it is in government, church, or your local community center, the concept of knowing someone and having a favorable relationship with them is always a good thing. Some may look at it from the perspective of “what’s in it for me”, and some may see it as a “good ol’ boy club”, but if the relationship is two-way (meaning you give as well as receive) and it stays within the biblical ethical framework, it is a good thing. It is really only when it becomes selfish and crosses the moral boundaries that it is wrong.