Preparedness Notes for Sunday — December 15, 2019

The 15th of December, 1923, was the birthday of Uziel “Uzi” Gal (born Gotthard Glas). According to Wikipedia, he was “…born in Weimar, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 he moved first to England and later, in 1936, to Kibbutz Yagur in the British Mandate of Palestine where he changed his name to Uziel Gal. In 1943, he was arrested for illegally carrying a gun and sentenced to six years in prison. However, he was pardoned and released in 1946, serving less than half of his sentence.” He is, of course, remembered as the inventor of the famous Uzi submachine gun and the short-lived Ruger MP9 (an improvement to the Uzi).

Uziel Gal is not to be confused with Israel Galili, the chief weapons designer for Israeli Military Industries (IMI), who along with Yaacov Lior designed the Galil improvement to the AK-47.

December 15th is also Bill of Rights Day. (The Bill of Rights became law on this day in 1791, following ratification by the state of Virginia.) We encourage our American readers to gather publicly and read the Bill of Rights aloud.  Another way to celebrate Bill of Rights Day: Go buy another battle rifle. Preferably one without any paper trail. Pay cash. Bring it home. Zero it. Clean it. Lube it. And find a good dry, well-hidden place to tuck it away. Odds are, you’ll need to make use of it before the year 2030.



Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 6

(Part 6 of 6. Please be sure to share this lengthy essay with your children, nieces, and nephews. Thanks. – JWR)

The Enormous Power of Government

As long as these ideas prevail, it is clear that the responsibility of government is enormous. Good fortune and bad fortune, wealth and destitution, equality and inequality, virtue and vice—all then depend upon political administration. It is burdened with everything, it undertakes everything, it does everything; therefore it is responsible for everything.

If we are fortunate, then government has a claim to our gratitude; but if we are unfortunate, then government must bear the blame. For are not our persons and property now at the disposal of government? Is not the law omnipotent?

In creating a monopoly of education, the government must answer to the hopes of the fathers of families who have thus been deprived of their liberty; and if these hopes are shattered, whose fault is it?

In regulating industry, the government has contracted to make it prosper; otherwise it is absurd to deprive industry of its liberty. And if industry now suffers, whose fault is it?

In meddling with the balance of trade by playing with tariffs, the government thereby contracts to make trade prosper; and if this results in destruction instead of prosperity, whose fault is it?

In giving protection instead of liberty to the industries for defense, the government has contracted to make them profitable; and if they become a burden to the taxpayers, whose fault is it?

Thus there is not a grievance in the nation for which the government does not voluntarily make itself responsible. Is it surprising, then, that every failure increases the threat of another revolution in France?

And what remedy is proposed for this? To extend indefinitely the domain of the law; that is, the responsibility of government.

But if the government undertakes to control and to raise wages, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to care for all who may be in want, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to support all unemployed workers, and cannot do it; if the government undertakes to lend interest-free money to all borrowers, and cannot do it; if, in these words that we regret to say escaped from the pen of Mr. de Lamartine, “The state considers that its purpose is to enlighten, to develop, to enlarge, to strengthen, to spiritualize, and to sanctify the soul of the people”—and if the government cannot do all of these things, what then? Is it not certain that after every government failure—which, alas! is more than probable—there will be an equally inevitable revolution?Continue reading“Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 6”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at Biometric Scanning.

DHS Backs Off on Mandatory Face Scans

R.J. sent this: DHS Wanted To Add US Citizens To The Long List Of People Subjected To Mandatory Face Scans At Airports… But Has Backed Down For Now. The article begins:

“We knew the DHS would get to this point eventually. Since the beginning of its biometric scanning program rollout, the DHS has planned on adding US citizens to the list of people forced to trade their faces for air travel privileges. So far, the program has been limited to suspicious foreigners (which is all of them, including those here on visas), but a recent filing — caught by Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch — says flying in the United States would soon require adding yourself to the government’s facial recognition databases.”

Tesla in Autopilot Mode Strikes Again

State police cruiser struck by Tesla in autopilot mode on I-95 in Norwalk

Here is a quote:

“A state police cruiser was struck by a Tesla in autopilot mode Saturday morning on I-95 in Norwalk, said police.

Police say the crash happened in the early morning hours just north of Exit 15.

Troopers out of Troop G responded to a disabled vehicle in the left center lane of the highway, officials said.

Police say the troopers had their emergency lights activated and flares behind the cruisers.

As the troopers were waiting for a tow truck for the disabled vehicle a Tesla Model 3 crashed into the back of one of the cruisers.

The Tesla also hit the disabled vehicle.

The driver of the Tesla told police his car was in autopilot while he was checking on his dog in the back seat just before the crash.

Police say the driver was given a misdemeanor summons for Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangerment.”

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” – Mark 7:14-37 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Saturday — December 14, 2019

December 14th is the birthday of the late John Warren Wadleigh (born 1927, died September 24, 2013). Wadleigh was better known to many SurvivalBlog readers by his pen name– Oliver Lange. He was the author of the best-selling resistance warfare novel Vandenberg.

This is also the birthday of Air Force General James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, who died September 27, 1993.



Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 5

(Part 5 of 6)

What Is Liberty?

Actually, what is the political struggle that we witness? It is the instinctive struggle of all people toward liberty. And what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties—liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade? In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism—including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self- defense; of punishing injustice?

It must be admitted that the tendency of the human race toward liberty is largely thwarted, especially in France. This is greatly due to a fatal desire—learned from the teachings of antiquity—that our writers on public affairs have in common: They desire to set themselves above mankind in order to arrange, organize, and regulate it according to their fancy.

Philanthropic Tyranny

While society is struggling toward liberty, these famous men who put themselves at its head are filled with the spirit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They think only of subjecting mankind to the philanthropic tyranny of their own social inventions. Like Rousseau, they desire to force mankind docilely to bear this yoke of the public welfare that they have dreamed up in their own imaginations.

This was especially true in 1789. No sooner was the old regime destroyed than society was subjected to still other artificial arrangements, always starting from the same point: the omnipotence of the law.

Listen to the ideas of a few of the writers and politicians during that period:

SAINT-JUST: “The legislator commands the future. It is for him to will the good of mankind. It is for him to make men what he wills them to be.”

ROBESPIERRE: “The function of government is to direct the physical and moral powers of the nation toward the end for which the commonwealth has come into being.”

BILLAUD-VARENNES: “A people who are to be returned to liberty must be formed anew. A strong force and vigorous action are necessary to destroy old prejudices, to change old customs, to correct depraved affections, to restrict superfluous wants, and to destroy ingrained vices…. Citizens, the inexible austerity of Lycurgus created the firm foundation of the Spartan republic. The weak and trusting character of Solon plunged Athens into slavery. This parallel embraces the whole science of government.”

LE PELLETIER: “Considering the extent of human degradation, I am convinced that it is necessary to effect a total regeneration and, if I may so express myself, of creating a new people.”

The Socialists Want Dictatorship

Again, it is claimed that persons are nothing but raw material. It is not for them to will their own improvement; they are incapable of it. According to Saint-Just, only the legislator is capable of doing this. Persons are merely to be what the legislator wills them to be. According to Robespierre, who copies Rousseau literally, the legislator begins by decreeing the end for which the commonwealth has come into being. Once this is determined, the government has only to direct the physical and moral forces of the nation toward that end. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the nation are to remain completely passive. And according to the teachings of Billaud- Varennes, the people should have no prejudices, no affections, and no desires except those authorized by the legislator. He even goes so far as to say that the inflexible austerity of one man is the foundation of a republic.Continue reading“Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 5”



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This week, while traveling, I bought another e-bike, in mountain bike configuration.  I also managed to find another antique rifle, for my mailorder inventory. I’ve also had a LOT of writing and editing to do.

Although I’m essentially pinned down here, helping an elderly relative, I’m making good use of my time. For example, I’m getting plenty of daily exercise.  I’m also writing extra blog posts, to be ready for the end of the year. If I “work ahead” and get the blog written 10 or 12 days in advance, it will give Hugh Latimer enough time to prepare the annual archive early. The goal is to have the waterproof archive USB sticks orderable by the 10th of January.  This year it will have more than 4,000 pages of additional bonus material. These are some pre-1925 books on practical topics that I had professionally scanned.

Update: As of Friday evening, there is now enough snow at the Rawles Ranch to get  back to cross-country skiing!

Continue reading“Editors’ Prepping Progress”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.

And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,

Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.

But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.

And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.

Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.

And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.

My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.

So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.

And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.

And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.

And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.

And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.

And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;

Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.

And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.” – 1 Kings 5 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Friday — December 13, 2019

After spending nine months on the run, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured on December 13, 2003. During his 24 years in office, Saddam’s secret police, charged with protecting his power, terrorized the public, ignoring the human rights of the nation’s citizens. While many of his people faced poverty, he lived in incredible luxury, building more than 20 lavish palaces throughout the country. It was fitting that, in the end, he was hiding in nothing more than a hole in the ground covered by plywood.

December 13th is also the birthday of Sergeant Alvin York.



Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 4

(Part 4 of 6)

Socialists Ignore Reason and Facts

With the amazing credulity which is typical of the classicists, Fenelon ignores the authority of reason and facts when he attributes the general happiness of the Egyptians, not to their own wisdom but to the wisdom of their kings:

“We could not turn our eyes to either shore without seeing rich towns and country estates most agreeably located; fields, never fallowed, covered with golden crops every year; meadows full of flocks; workers bending under the weight of the fruit which the earth lavished upon its cultivators; shepherds who made the echoes resound with the soft notes from their pipes and flutes. “Happy,” said Mentor, “is the people governed by a wise king.”. . .”

Later, Mentor desired that I observe the contentment and abundance which covered all Egypt, where twenty-two thousand cities could be counted. He admired the good police regulations in the cities; the justice rendered in favor of the poor against the rich; the sound education of the children in obedience, labor, sobriety, and the love of the arts and letters; the exactness with which all religious ceremonies were performed; the unselfishness, the high regard for honor, the faithfulness to men, and the fear of the gods which every father taught his children. He never stopped admiring the prosperity of the country. “Happy,” said he, “is the people ruled by a wise king in such a manner.”

Socialists Want to Regiment People

Fenelon’s idyll on Crete is even more alluring. Mentor is made to say:

“All that you see in this wonderful island results from the laws of Minos. The education which he ordained for the children makes their bodies strong and robust. From the very beginning, one accustoms the children to a life of frugality and labor, because one assumes that all pleasures of the senses weaken both body and mind. Thus one allows them no pleasure except that of becoming invincible by virtue, and of acquiring glory…. Here one punishes three vices that go unpunished among other people: ingratitude, hypocrisy, and greed. There is no need to punish persons for pomp and dissipation, for they are unknown in Crete…. No costly furniture, no magnificent clothing, no delicious feasts, no gilded palaces are permitted.”

Thus does Mentor prepare his student to mold and to manipulate—doubtless with the best of intentions—the people of Ithaca. And to convince the student of the wisdom of these ideas, Mentor recites to him the example of Salentum.

It is from this sort of philosophy that we receive our first political ideas! We are taught to treat persons much as an instructor in agriculture teaches farmers to prepare and tend the soil.Continue reading“Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 4”



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at Mosin Nagant carbines. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

It is Friday the 13th, but I’m not superstitious.  In fact, I’m wary of any day, in the frenetically-paced 21st Century global markets! Things can go badly very quickly, so keep your investments diverse, hedge into tangibles, set some firm stop loss orders, and be ready to move funds very quickly!

Precious Metals:

Main Street turns bullish on gold while Wall Street remains cautious on prices

o  o  o

Barron’s: Gold to Surge in 2020 After 15% Rise This Year

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Arkadiusz Sieroń: This Is What First Lagarde’s Speech Means For Gold

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At Zero Hedge: Fiat’s Failings, Gold, & Blockchains

Economy & Finance:

Be prepared for the greatest depression, things to get uglier and very serious in 2020 warns Doug Casey

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At Fortune: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? What Happens if Trump’s China Tariffs Go Into Effect Dec. 15

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At Wolf Street: Fed Goes Hog-Wild with T-Bills, But Repos Drop from a Month Ago, and MBS Shrink by $22 Billion

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Regimes that are losing public support always make the same mistake: rather than fix the source of the loss of public trust–the few enriching themselves at the expense of the many– the regime reckons the problem is dissent: if we suppress all dissent, then everyone will accept their diminishing lot in life and the elites can continue on their merry way.

What the regimes don’t understand is dissent is the immune system of society: suppressing dissent doesn’t just get rid of pesky political protesters and conspiracy theorists; it also gets rid of the innovations and solutions society needs to adapt to changing conditions. Suppressing dissent dooms the society to sclerosis, decline and collapse.

Dissent is the relief valve: shut it down and the pressure builds to the point that the system explodes. Regimes that no longer tolerate anything but the party line fall in one of two ways: 1) the pressure builds and the masses revolt, tearing the elite from power or 2) the masses opt-out and stop working to support the regime, so the regime slowly starves and then implodes.” – Charles Hugh Smith



Preparedness Notes for Thursday — December 12, 2019

On December 12, 1989, the Queen of Mean was sentenced to four years in prison, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the “Queen of Mean” by the press, became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that “only the little people pay taxes.” Helmsley died in August 2007 at age 87. She famously left $12 million to her dog, Trouble.



Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 3

(Part 3 of 6)

Law Is a Negative Concept

The harmlessness of the mission performed by law and lawful defense is self-evident; the usefulness is obvious; and the legitimacy cannot be disputed.

As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed—then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.

The Political Approach

When a politician views society from the seclusion of his office, he is struck by the spectacle of the inequality that he sees. He deplores the deprivations which are the lot of so many of our brothers, deprivations which appear to be even sadder when contrasted with luxury and wealth.

Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder. Perhaps he should consider this proposition: Since all persons seek well-being and perfection, would not a condition of justice be sufficient to cause the greatest efforts toward progress, and the greatest possible equality that is compatible with individual responsibility? Would not this be in accord with the concept of individual responsibility which God has willed in order that mankind may have the choice between vice and virtue, and the resulting punishment and reward?

But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements—legal or apparently legal. He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. We have seen that justice is a negative concept. Is there even one of these positive legal actions that does not contain the principle of plunder?Continue reading“Frederic Bastiat’s The Law – Part 3”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at how your Apple iPhone is tracking you.

Reduced Soil Tilling Helps Both Soils and Yields

Reader C.B. suggested this, over at Phys.org: Reduced soil tilling helps both soils and yields. Here is how the article begins:

“Agriculture degrades over 24 million acres of fertile soil every year, raising concerns about meeting the rising global demand for food. But a simple farming practice born from the 1930’s Dust Bowl could provide a solution, according to new Stanford research. The study, published Dec. 6 in Environmental Research Letters, shows that Midwest farmers who reduced how much they overturned the soil—known as tilling—increased corn and soybean yields while also nurturing healthier soils and lowering production costs.”

Has Vermont Been Bloomberginated?

Reader A.K. sent this from The Vermont Digger: Senate to consider banning assault-style weapons in some public spaces. JWR’s Comments: It is bitterly ironic that in Vermont — the original home of “Vermont Carry” — that they are considering disarming the citizenry. Wake up, Vermonters! They are after your guns.

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”