Preparedness Notes for Friday – November 24, 2017

November 24th marks the day that John Knox died, in 1572. (He was born in 1514.) AtheistAgendaPedia says: “Born near Haddington Scotland. He was influenced by George Wishart, who was burned for heresy in 1546, and the following year Knox became the spokesman for the Reformation in Scotland. After imprisonment and exile in England and the European continent, in 1559 he returned to Scotland, where he supervised the preparation of the constitution and liturgy of the Reformed Church.”

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As long as on-hand supplies last, Ready Made Resources is having a sale on non-gated 3rd Generation high grade tube PVS-14 monocular/weapon sights from Night Vision Devices. They have a minimum of 64 line pair resolution! They are ideal for folks who have a rural retreat without a lot of harsh light pollution. They are bargain priced at just $2,295 with free shipping and a generous return policy.

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Today’s article was submitted to us by a teacher from Connecticut, supposedly the Constitution state, who recognizes the significance of the Second Amendment and its important place within the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. In a recent letter to the editors of SurvivalBlog, B.E. writes, “Our state and national leaders would do well to remember that and take their oaths of office to heart, in light of recent developments in the world and more calls for stricter gun control by most of our spineless politicians.” I concur. If we truly want to keep our crime rate low and our communities friendly and safe, we must seek less restrictive gun control, thus enabling our citizens to defend themselves, their community, and our nation properly.



Guest Article: The Second Amendment and Its Relevance In Today’s Society, by B.E.

Amendment II (the Second Amendment) of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights declares a well-regulated militia as “being necessary to the security of a free State” and prohibits infringement of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. It is a controversial subject whose ramifications are still being debated to this day, over two-hundred and thirty years after it was written. Its place in the Bill of Rights as the Second Amendment is indicative of how important our nation’s founding fathers thought that right should be.

It is still relevant in today’s society, despite haphazard attempts at gun control. This is evidenced by other countries’ takes on gun control, regulation, or lack of it. Our right to keep and bear arms stems from the English Bill of Rights, which states: “The subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.” (Volokh, 2)

Many of Original Thirteen States Included “Right To Bear Arms” Provisions

Many of the original Thirteen States included in their constitutions or in their state ratification conventions provisions or language that upholds a citizen’s right to bear arms to defend oneself and the state. For instance, Pennsylvania’s Constitution states, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” (Volokh, 2) Rhode Island’s constitution states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (Volokh, 2) Vermont’s constitution declares that, “The people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.” (Volokh, 2) and our own state’s constitution, that of Connecticut, reiterates that idea with the statement “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.” (Volokh, 2) In at least seven more of the original states, similar language is included in their constitutions.

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Letter: Weather Station Recommendation

HJL,

Do y’all have any recommendations on home weather stations? On searching I found a lot of references to using HAM and FM to get NOAA data but nothing for on site weather stations. Is this viewed as a valuable addition to the retreat or just a toy? – M.P.

HJL’s Comment:

With the advent of solid state sensors weather stations have become commodity items. Sadly, all the affordable ones that I know of are made in China. If the desire is just to have some basic data, any of those that you see on Amazon will work. You might have a desire to log data to get long term trends so you will really need one that can communicate with your computer. If you want to learn about electronics, there are also a number of DIY kits as well.



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on investing in farmhouses. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold Prices Rally As U.S. Dollar Index Slumps

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Reader A.D. sent this from economic pundit Egon von Greyerz: 11,000 KG Gold for a Painting – Will Cost 110 KG in 2025

Stock Markets:

The U.S. Stock Market was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. But here is some news on overseas markets, at Bloomberg: Euro STOXX 50.

Commodities:

SII: Commodities – Electric Vehicles – Cobalt Squeeze

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Commodity Daily Fundamental Report – November 23 2017 : Sushil Finance

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

James Wesley, Rawles

“In the past decade the distinction between connotation and denotation has been blurred by politics. The definitions of words should not change with every shift in the winds of public sentiment. Our society has already suffered from four decades of Situational Ethics. Heaven help us in this new era of Situational Definitions. A rocket scientist or military engineer can teach you about Sympathetic Detonations, but it is 21st Century television commentators who have introduced us to the era of Sympathetic Denotations. We now live in an Orwellian world where a semi-auto rifle is arbitrarily called an “assault rifle” if it has black plastic furniture, where a standard capacity magazine is called a “high capacity” magazine, where the confiscation and redistribution of wealth is dubbed “fairness.” This also a new age when folks who are given free health care, HD televisions, free cell phones, and enough money to be able to afford air conditioning are deemed to be “living in poverty.” The fluidity of our language is evidence that America is sliding into oblivion. Hold fast to the true meaning of words and phrases, or we are doomed.” – James Wesley, Rawles



Preparedness Notes for Thursday – November 23, 2017

From the SurvivalBlog family to yours, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Despite the crises in this world and the mounting pressures, we give thanks to our LORD that you are are still here, you are still prepping, and that He will never forsake us.

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JRH Enterprises is celebrating it’s 25th year in business and Black Friday together. New PVS14 3rd Gen Pinnacle Autogated High Performance Night vision monoculars with a 10 year Factory warranty, never cheaper. OTAL-C Infrared Lasers for use with your NV device and many gear deals like Snugpak Softie 18 Antarctica sleeping bags in A-TACS camo for $250.00 off retail (limited quantity!) All holiday week and Black Friday sales are first come first served!

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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today features another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. 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,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
  8. 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, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 73 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.



Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 2, by Wild BillB of OR

Our family did an experiment to see how we could grow wheat and oats in a garden setting. In part 1 of this article series, we shared that we used two different garden plots, one that was well fertilized and one that had never been fertilized or used for a garden. Additionally, I told about our seeds and how we protected our growing areas from animals. We began describing the tools that we tested to harvest wheat and how we found, for us, that the sickle worked best. Also, because the naked oats we grew dropped seed more readily, we ended up grabbing the grain heads in the field and collecting grain by hand rather than cutting the stalks. We shared a video in Part 1 of this. Let’s continue on now.

Removing Grain From Stalks

With half of our wheat in sheaves and most of our oats gathered by hand, the next step was removing the grain from the stalks. We tried three different methods for this– by hand, by machine, and by a paint stirrer spun by a drill.

Threshing By Hand

With a hard-tine rake head we took a handful of wheat stalks and beat them back and forth inside a large, clean, plastic garbage can. The rake head did well to encourage the grain to leave its mother stalk. We used the rake head in our hand, but found if we fixed the rake head on the inside of the garbage can we could more effectively beat the grain off the stalks. This method worked okay by hand, but impressed us with how difficult it was to remove wheat from the stalks. Only about 20% of the wheat came off with vigorous effort. This amount increased the longer the wheat had dried, but it never really felt efficient. And waiting longer and longer increases the risk for loss to mice, birds, or bad weather.

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Letter Re: EMP Computer Question

Guys,

What laptop would you recommend for storing in an EMP proof environment, to be used after an event to retrieve electronic files such as Survivalblog/Mother Earth News archives? There are so many options, and choosing the wrong one could be frustrating to say the least. I have hard copies of some essential books, but there are just too many helpful things in electronic format to ignore if it would be possible to retrieve. Thanks for all you do! – P.H.

HJL Replies:

If the device is to be stored in an EMP resistant container, there are no special considerations that must be give for EMP itself. Rather, the considerations should be towards long-term reliability, since a replacement may be hard to come by after such an event. There are many options that are possible from rugged laptops or smaller rugged tablets. My preference leans towards devices that have limited moving parts which generally means tablets. They are also usually less expensive but they may not have accessories that may be attractive to you. Tablets usually don’t come with CD/DVD reader/writers which might be important. You can usually afford several tablets compared to the cost of laptops and the software is typically less troublesome.



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 “HJL”. With all the complaining in the media today about the American gun culture, it’s interesting to note the the American Indian had a very strong influence in it. The gun culture is rooted in minorities.

American Gun Culture

This report on the American gun culture actually outlines one of the reasons Britain and the U.S. differ so much over the issue of firearms. The influence of American Indians. America’s gun culture is a descendant of American Indian arms culture. The English provided the firearms. The Indians provided the fiercely independent accepted ability to fight for your own safety and survival and the willingness to take up arms. When these two cultures collided and merged, we ended up with the independent American attitude that takes their own safety into their own hands. It is an interesting read to say the least: The American Indian foundation of American gun culture

Zimbabwe’s Non-Coup

From Vice News: Zimbabwe’s Resistance Leader Says Mugabe Is “History” (HBO). Like we said when we first heard the news…If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck…You get the idea. While the news report and interviews initially show that the military coup has the backing of the people, there is an insidious statement from the Resistance leader buried in the report. At the 3:43 mark in the video, the Resistance leader’s joy is now expressed as confusion. The president and generals have released a statement and have addressed nothing that the resistance expected them to.

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Preparedness Notes for Wednesday – November 22, 2017

AR-15

Today is remembered as the birthday of the late Eugene M. Stoner. (Born 1922, died April 24, 1997.) He was the designer of the AR-7, AR-10, AR-15, AR-180, the Stoner 63, and several other firearms. (The AR-10 was the basis of the AR-15 which in turn spawned the very widely used M16 and all of its variants including the M4 Carbine). It has been estimated that as many as 4.5 million rifles from the AR-15 family are owned by civilians in the United States, and military production M16 variants well exceeds 8 million rifles.

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Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 1, by Wild BillB of OR

This is an account of our family’s experience and learning while experimenting with growing oats and wheat in a garden setting. Storing food and preps are important; but, for us, the primary role of food storage is for the immediate emergency or to get us through the first year of a serious crisis. What then? No one can store sufficient food for a serious, long-term disaster.

The Key Is Growing and Gathering Your Own

The key is growing and gathering your own, and our favorite staples to grow are potatoes and corn. Living on the “wet” side of Oregon we got to wondering how feasible it would be to grow our own grains, oats and wheat in particular, on a small scale.

Great Fun and Valuable Lessons Learned

We had great fun and learned some valuable lessons in the exercise of growing our own grains that I’ll try to pass along. I’ve included some video of our methods and tools to better share our experience.

Two Sites Chosen

We chose two sites to grow in– pasture land and in an unused chicken coop. We cut and then rototilled a 25×25 foot area of pasture adjacent to our existing garden. This plot had never been intentionally fertilized. We wanted to see how well grain would do competing in grass land in the first year of planting. The 10×10 foot plot in the chicken coop was well fertilized and protected by fence for a more “ideal” growing situation. Both sites were roughly tilled and raked, and then they were planted by hand. Seeds were simply scattered and then lightly raked. We did plant several rows in each plot, seeding the rows more heavily and then covering the seeds with about half of an inch of soil.

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Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on the potential for an orchestrated market crash. (See the Economy and Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

BMO’s Top Long-Term Silver Play As Market Heads To $20

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New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard

Commodities:

Is The LNG Glut Real?

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Lies And Distractions Surrounding The Diminishing Petrodollar

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JWR’s Recommendations of the Week

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers.  This week the focus is on the movie Within The Whirlwind.

Special Note:  You might want to wait until “Black Friday” to order some of the books and other products mentioned in this column, to get the best prices, or discounted shipping.

 

Books:

The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel

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This book is a perennial bestseller, for good reason: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

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“Pam’s Pride” has posted a big list of book cover book recommendation links. Most of these look like good selections. Pam is a Christian, home schooling mom. Like me, she earns small commissions from making Amazon book and e-book recommendations.

 

Movies and Television (Within The Whirlwind):

Storm of the Century – the Blizzard of ’49.  This Wyoming PBS documentary was recommended by reader Steven N. He notes: “It’s about the Wyoming blizzard of 1949. But much of it is about the things the locals and local authorities did to survive it. It’s chock full of practical realities of key interest to SurvivalBlog readers.” Available on DVD and also available for free download for Amazon Prime members.

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Within The Whirlwind. Available on DVD and also available for free download for Amazon Prime members. Here is a description: “…based on the true story of Evgenia Ginzburg, a Russian literature professor who was arrested on false charges during Stalin’s Reign of Terror and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in a Siberian Gulag. Upon meeting and falling in love with the camp doctor, also a prisoner, she regained her will to live and endured the horrific conditions of the Gulag until her release. ”

JWR’s Comments: About 500,000 people were executed outright in the three worst years of The Great Purge (aka The Great Terror, or The Reign of Terror) in the late 1930s. But worst of all, nearly 18 million Soviet citizens were sentenced to hard labor in the Gulags before Stalin’s death in 1953, mostly on fabricated charges. Of those, more than 5 million died while serving their sentences. Meanwhile, another 5 million died in the Ukranian famine. Many of these people were intentionally starved by Soviet authorities who “requisitioned” nearly all of the crops grown in the region.

A key lesson from this film: Never get on the bus, folks. It is better to die on your feet than on your knees. OBTW, you may note that I linked to the Infogalactic article on the Great Purge, instead of the one at Wikipedia.  You see, the Bolsheviks who edit Wikipedia systematically removed all references to Josef Stalin from that Wikipedia page. Apparently there has been an Editorial Purge there, as well. Down the Memory Hole, Comrade! This is ironically indicative of the blatant bias at Wikipedia. Do not trust anything that you read there!

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“A man needs heroes. He needs to believe in strength, nobility, and courage. Otherwise we become sheep to be herded to the slaughterhouse of death. I believe this. I am a soldier. I try to fight for the right cause. Sometimes it is hard to know.

“But I do not sit back and sneer in cowardice at those with the courage to fight. The blood of good men makes the earth rich, as it is here. When I die sword in hand, I hope someone lives to sing of it. I live my life so that when death comes I may die will. I ask no more.” – Barnabas Sackett (Sackett’s Land, by Louis L’Amour)