Preparedness Notes for Monday – February 19, 2018

Today is the birthday of Lee Marvin (1924–1987), who you may remember from The Professionals or The Big Red One.

o o o

The SurvivalBlog 2005-2017 Archive sold out in just about a week. If there is enough interest, we will order another batch. Let us know if you missed your chance.

o o o

JRH Enterprises is having a President’s Day sale on popular items like the OTAL-C Infrared laser for use with your Night vision device. A high grade laser made by Steiner that uses 1 AA battery. Another important, often overlooked piece of logistical planning is having repair items for all your tactical gear. JRH has made up repair kits for tactical gear to help you out. They are currently on sale as well. Both items are currently in stock and most shipping same day for orders received before 10 a.m..

o o o

Pat Cascio has done it again. He got his hands on the new Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 handgun and has a hands-on review for you this week.



Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 Handgun – By Pat Cascio

Without a doubt, Springfield Armory came late to the dance with a sub-compact .380 handgun. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t know the dance or came with a new and faster two-step dance. Under review today is the new 911 from Springfield Armory.

Back When I Carried a .380 Pistol

Many years ago, when I was a young private investigator back in the Windy City of Chicago, IL, I carried a Walther PPK/S .380 stainless steel pistol in a shoulder holster. It was very chic to say the least. Back then, the only ammo available was Full Metal Jack (FMJ), and it wasn’t known to be a manstopper round. It still isn’t, in my book. Before some time passed, I found myself carrying a snubbed nosed .357 Mag revolver. (Even back then, you could teach me a new trick, as hard-headed as I was as a young man.)

A .380 Caliber Handgun for Self Defense

Even today, I still don’t recommend any .380 ACP caliber handgun as a main handgun for self defense. Now, with that said, I can certainly see where sub-compact handguns chambered in .380 ACP have their place in a self-defense roll. This is because of their very compact size and the advent of improved bullets that are better at stopping the bad guy.

Continue reading





Economics & Investing For Preppers

Economics and Investing

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 real money versus fiat currency, aka “funny money.” (See the Forex section.)

Precious Metals:

COT Silver Report – February 16, 2018

o  o  o

Johnson Matthey: Expect Platinum Surplus in 2018

Stocks:

Zacks: Stock Market News for Feb 16, 2018

 

Forex (Real Money):

The Trump Administration seems intent on continuing a Weak Dollar policy, to bolster American exports.  The question is: What currency is the best hedge?  I’m still betting on the Swiss Franc (CHF). But I also have small positions in British Pounds (GBP), Canadian Dollars (CAD), and even some Israeli Shekels (NIS).  Oh, and a bit of Bitcoin. But in the final analysis, all fiat currencies and cryptos have zero intrinsic value. Barterable tangibles (including silver coins) are the last real money in the world–even if the governments of the world ignore them as such. Their game: Force everyone to do business using their funny money, and force everyone to pay taxes using their funny money.  Don’t confuse the term currency with real money. They are different animals.

Continue reading



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“In a recent article, Yale scholar Stephen Roach points out that between 2008 and 2017 the combined balance sheets of the central banks of the U.S., Japan and the eurozone expanded by $8.3 trillion, while nominal GDP in those same economies expanded $2.1 trillion.

What happens when you print $8.3 trillion in money and only get $2.1 trillion of growth? What happened to the extra $6.2 trillion of printed money? The answer is that it went into assets. Stocks, bonds, emerging-market debt and real estate have all been pumped up by central bank money printing.

What makes 2018 different from the prior 10 years? The answer is that this is the year the central banks stop printing and take away the punch bowl.

The Fed is already destroying money (they do this by not rolling over maturing bonds). Last week, the Fed reduced its balance sheet by $22 billion. While that doesn’t seem like much when you’re talking about a $4 trillion balance sheet, it was the Fed’s largest cut to date. Funny how the market hit the skids just after this happened. But you haven’t heard the mainstream media mention that.

By the end of 2018, the annual pace of money destruction will be $600 billion — if the Fed under new chairman Jerome Powell stays on course. The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan are not yet at the point of reducing money supply, but they have stopped expanding it and plan to reduce money supply later this year.

In economics everything happens at the margin. When something is expanding and then stops expanding, the marginal impact is the same as shrinking. Apart from money supply, all of the major central banks are planning rate hikes, and some, such as those in the U.S. and U.K., are actually implementing them. Reducing money supply and raising interest rates might be the right policy if price inflation were out of control. But despite a recent uptick in some inflation measures, prices have mostly been falling.

The “inflation” hasn’t been in consumer prices; it’s in asset prices. The impact of money supply reduction and higher rates will be falling asset prices in stocks, bonds and real estate — the asset bubble in reverse. And as the past few days show, the problem with asset prices is that they do not move in a smooth, linear way. Asset prices are prone to bubbles on the upside and panics on the downside. Small moves can cascade out of control (the technical name for this is ‘hypersynchronous’) and lead to a global liquidity crisis worse than 2008.

This will not be a soft landing. The central banks — especially the U.S. Fed, first under Ben Bernanke and later under Janet Yellen — repeated Alan Greenspan’s blunder from 2005–06. Greenspan left rates too low for too long and got a monstrous bubble in residential real estate that led the financial world to the brink of total collapse in 2008.

Bernanke and Yellen also left rates too low for too long. They should have started rate and balance sheet normalization in 2010 at the early stages of the current expansion when the economy could have borne it. They didn’t. Bernanke and Yellen did not get a residential real estate bubble. Instead, they got an “everything bubble.” In the fullness of time, this will be viewed as the greatest blunder in the history of central banking. Not only that, but Greenspan left Bernanke some dry powder in 2007 because the Fed’s balance sheet was only $800 billion. The Fed had policy space to respond to the panic of 2008 with rate cuts and QE1.

Today the Fed’s balance sheet is over $4 trillion. If the current rout becomes a full-blown panic, or even if it is delayed until later, the Fed’s capacity to cut rates is only 1.5%. And its capacity to expand the balance sheet is basically nil, because the Fed would be pushing the outer limits of an invisible confidence boundary.

This conundrum of how central banks unwind easy money without causing a recession (or worse) is just one small part of a risky mosaic. For now, think of 2018 as the year of living dangerously.” – Jim Rickards, in The Daily Reckoning



Preparedness Notes for Sunday – February 18, 2018

This is the birthday of Jack Palance (1919–2006), an actor known for his “Tough Guy” roles, such as the rebel leader Jesus Raza, in The Professionals

o o o

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 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. 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 75 ends on March 31st, 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.



Health and Hygiene Tips for the Homestead- Part 2, by J.M.

On our homesteads when dealing with health and hygiene, we try to prepare for gunshot wounds or severe lacerations/cuts. But in so doing, let us not overlook the more mundane killers of mankind while specializing on medical conditions that would prove very difficult to deal with in a grid down situation without medical professionals. I am talking through what is necessary, particularly as we face some of the challenges that confront third world countries now. Let’s move forward.

Hygiene

Yes, Grandma was mostly right in her words about hygiene– “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Keeping one’s body and home clean and pest free preserves health! Do you remember the big porcelain pitchers and bowls found in the bedrooms of old farm houses? A daily “sponge bath” is much more practical in a grid down situation then lugging heated buckets of water to pour in a tub for bathing. If warm washing is required consider the following.

Solar Shower

Very little can compare to getting a hot shower after a hard, sweaty day at work. It is really refreshing and humanizing, too. Solar shower bags or stout canvas GI shower bags filled with warm water are great items to have on hand. Don’t forget to stock up on deodorant and “foo-foo juice”. It’s great not only to be clean but to smell clean as well. (This is really important to the wives.)

Continue reading



Letter: Why Write an Article for SurvivalBlog?

SurvivalBlog

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:

To date, I have written a few letters to the editor, and several articles. I can’t speak for all authors but I can share my experience, and more important why I do it. Now, I can tell you that it isn’t easy. It’s not just about writing the article itself. The hardest part is dealing with people. If you write an article that has anything to do with money or product choice and you are almost certain to have some very interesting comments. You have to deal with a few people that think because they chose something different, you are wrong, don’t know what you are talking about, or just somewhere near stupid.

I’ve seen authors accused of just putting words together to win the prize. If it is expensive, you are wasting money and your article is somehow useless. Honestly I could go on and on. Often hostile feedback is by aliases that have never posted an article. It’s not always that way, but you do have to be prepared for it.

Continue reading



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”.

The Office of Sheriff

Many people today in America do not recognize that American law is deeply rooted in English law as opposed to Napoleonic codes. The independently elected sheriff is one such position that can be dated clear back to 871AD. The ability of the sheriff to be elected by the people rather than appointed by a ruling official gives this position the ability to act independently and locally in the enforcement of law and justice. The position has been thoroughly Americanized, yet the independent nature still exists and the sheriff answers directly to the people. Understanding this concept can help you select a sheriff in your county that will best serve the interests of the local people rather than that of some politician who doesn’t even know the name of your county. Your freedom may very well depend on it.

Fighting with a Purpose

Why do you fight? Reid Henrichs of Valor Ridge answers this question and gives you some food for thought in this video. On the surface, this question seems pretty simple, but the answer can make all the difference in the world. Most will answer “to protect my family”, but Henrichs asks you to look deeper than that. What does “protecting your family” mean? It means that you will be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that you are the one that goes home to your family rather than your opponent. You have to understand what it means if you fail and you have to make the determination beforehand that you will see the conflict through, no matter what it takes. The battle is won before it even starts.

Continue reading



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

Quote of the Day - Bible KJV

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” – Matthew 5:33-37 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Saturday – February 17, 2018

February 16th is the anniversary of U.S. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s “Most daring act of the age” as British Admiral Horatio Nelson called it. The Muslim pirates from the Barbary states – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania, had been leading raids against U.S. flagged ships, stealing the cargo and ransoming the crew back to the U.S. at exorbitant price. After two years of minor raids, President Thomas Jefferson ordered U.S. navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea to engage them. Sadly, the U.S. frigate Philadelphia ran aground near Tripoli and was captured.

On February 16th, 1804, Lt. Decatur led an expeditionary force into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured American Vessel before it could be used to the Tripolitan advantage. Seventy-four men, including nine U.S. Marines, sailed into the harbor, boarded the ship, attacked its crew, capturing or killing all but two, then set fire to the frigate and escaped without the loss of a single American. The Philadelphia subsequently exploded when its gunpowder reserve was lit by the spreading fire.

o o o

SurvivalBlog is in need of more articles for round 75 of the SurvivalBlog Writing Contest. Now is a good time to finish your article up and get it submitted. Email it, along with any pictures to the editors.

o o o

We have a small housekeeping item for Survivalblog today as well. The latest WordPress update broke the comment link on the main page. You can still leave comments on the articles, but you will have to click on each article and scroll down to the comments section. We hope to have that fixed this week.

o o o

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 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. 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 75 ends on March 31st, 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.



Health and Hygiene Tips for the Homestead- Part 1, by J.M.

Health and hygiene as a subject is not nearly as glamorous as the “shoot and scoot” topics often discussed. However, these practices have saved untold millions of lives in a very uneventful way, year after year. Prevention beats cure every time!

Most prepper’s medical kits now include such items as Quik Clot or Celox Bandages, suture or staple kits, Israeli gauzes, and tourniquets. We try to prepare for gunshot wounds or severe lacerations/cuts, but in so doing let us not overlook the more mundane killers of mankind while specializing on medical conditions that would prove very difficult to deal with in a grid down situation without medical professionals.

Biggest Killers in the Third World

History shows us that the three biggest killers of mankind in the third world are:

  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Respiratory collapse or pneumonia brought on by respiratory infection or flu, and
  • Localized infections leading to sepsis, systemic shock, and collapse.

Continue reading



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!  This week’s emphasis is on small arms mechanical training.

JWR

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
After enjoying three weeks of spring-like temperatures, we’ve received another 11 inches of snow so far this week at the Rawles Ranch. And another 15+ inches of snow is forecast for this weekend. The last I heard, our part of the Redoubt region was already at 125% of normal snowpack. With more snow coming, there is certainly no shortage of snow! We will probably have a late spring this year. (I suppose that I should send a bill to Al Gore for the extra hay that I’ll need to buy. His climate forecasting stinks.)

This year’s heavy  snowfall has shifted our activity pattern. On the snowy days, we plow our road and barnyard. We also switch our focus to indoor projects. We also try to do some snowshoeing after each storm. And when there is a long delay between storms, we are often able to hike on top of the packed snow in regular boots, without much postholing.

We did have two very pleasant sunny (but chilly) days this past week.  That provided us the chance to do some ice skating on one of our low-lying pastures that tends to flood. That was great fun. That sunshine also briefly brought our large garden greenhouse up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But it won’t be until at least March that we can expect consistent growth of our seedlings in the greenhouse.

I’m making this entry brief, because I have to go plow 10 inches of snow before dark. Right now, I’m feeling a bit like King Sisyphus, because if my reading of the projected Jet Stream direction is correct, then it looks like we’ll have another 8 to 10 inches to push, by Sunday.

We always enjoying reading comments from readers about your preps. Please keep them coming. – Jim Rawles

Continue reading



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

Seeds

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”. Heirloom seeds are getting more difficult to obtain due to government regulations in the E.U.

Interesting Data on Which States People are Leaving

Reader H.L. sent in this interesting article on a novel way to tell where people don’t want to live. U-Haul is a truck rental company that rents trucks to people moving and you can rent it one-way. If the same number of people are moving into an area as out of an area, it works really well. However, when more people are moving out of an area than into it, U-Haul has to hire drivers to drive the empty trucks back to the origin (or where they are needed). They also have to pay to return the drivers home. This extra cost is added to the price of the truck. That makes it easy to figure out where people are moving just by the rental prices. Hint: New York and San Francisco are unpopular. Democratic/liberal havens are very unpopular destinations.

Scott Adams on Gun Control

With the renewed national focus on “Gun Control” a SurvivalBlog reader sent in Scott Adam’s take on the issue. The article is over a year old, but still relevant and deals with it in typical Dilbert fashion. Note that Scott Adams was for Hillary rather than Trump in the last election, but sums it up rather well with the statement “I write about Trump’s powers of persuasion and it is not safe to live in California if people think you support Trump in any way.”

Continue reading