Notes for Sunday – January 22, 2017

Between 1861 and 1865, more than 50,000 civilians died as a direct result of the American Civil War. In the years between 1914 and 1918, more than 7,000,000 innocent civilians died as a direct result of World War I. From 1939 to 1945, more than 23,000,000 innocents died as a direct result of World War II. (This number includes the 11 million deliberately killed in concentration camps.) Between 1905 and 1941, Stalin purged Russia of anyone whom he considered a threat or disloyal, murdering somewhere over 25,000,000 innocent people. Mao Tse-tung murdered more than 45,000,000 people from his own country in his rise to power. But on January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that has resulted in the legalized murder of over 59,000,000 of the most innocent persons that could exist in the place that should be the safest place on earth. Roe vs. Wade is a horrible black mark on our country that we will be called to account for before God. The video “180” produced in 2011 is one that I highly encourage everyone to watch (both pro-life and pro-choice). It will change your life. -HJL

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If the 2nd Amendment is important to you, then please visit Whitehouse.gov and sign this petition: Petition Title: Repeal the NFA

We the People wish to see the National Firearms Act of 1934 repealed in order to remove regulations on our 2nd amendment rights, increase national economic strength, and provide protection against threats to our national security. – JWR

We, The Women, by Sarah Latimer

My article was all written on a very practical household survival subject and ready to be posted, but between the letters I’ve recently received from encouraging SurvivalBlog readers (including some with very personal details) about family and the crisis in American homes without strong submissive women and Godly male leadership, the inauguration, the Women’s March in Washington, and an editorial I read today relating to the Women’s March, combined with what continuously burns in my heart, I am bursting to write on another subject. It is written with a sense of urgency because it comes from my heart as I see this as one of the critical components required for restoring our nation to greatness. The family unit is broken, and it is the basis upon which any civilization is formed.

I’m likely to not even begin to scratch the surface of the issue here, but women’s rights and particularly how they relate to the lives of the unborn, while controversial, is at its very core centered upon survival. Because of this, I want to address it and the role of women in the family with you today, in a somewhat general way. For reasons with which I mostly disagree, it seems that the general subject of abortion as well as the charities, legislation, legal proceedings, politics, and financing about saving or terminating the lives of unborn children (male and female) seems to be one centered almost solely on women, even though there are almost as many men (fathers and/or baby boys) affected as women (mothers and/or baby girls). Yet, in our country, it is primarily considered to be a woman’s right issue, and it has been a subject brought home at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

It has been an eventful week in Washington already, and I expect there will be a great deal of activity next week as well as our new president begins implementing his own version of change in our nation’s capitol. As of January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th U.S. president. In his inaugural speech, which stirred my heart strings, President Trump repeatedly spoke of giving America back to the people and shook things up with his promises to generate a new national pride, protect American jobs, and put America first. He stated, “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.” There have been many criticisms of this statement, but I don’t have a problem with our nation taking care of the needs of our nation before we take care of the needs of other nations. Some say that isn’t Christian, but I don’t see how it is Godly to allow one’s own home and household to fall into shambles while caring for someone else’s. This isn’t about the individual, which is selfishness, yet even an individual holds the responsibility for working to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves rather than putting that responsibility on others, unless they are unable. Out nation has great need that has been neglected; the hundreds of millions of Americans outside the work force, the problems with our educational system, the violence and crime, the healthcare crisis, and our nation’s enormous indebtedness and economic frailty are undeniable. The Bible clearly speaks about responsibilities to our own family’s needs and then to give to those in need around us. I believe this applies to nations as well. Furthermore, charity isn’t really the government’s responsibility, though it has been delegated to our inefficient government primarily because individuals, churches, and communities have failed to do it. According to the Bible, it is the duty of believers to work diligently as they are able to care for one another, to be frugal in their spending, and to care for those in need around them and those whom the LORD puts on their hearts to care for, whether they must travel to put hands and feet on the ground in caring for those in need, make donations to enable others to meet needs, or to do both. We are also to care for those who are not believers, as how are we to share the Gospel with those who are hungry unless we first feed them? It’s our responsibility and not the responsibility of our government. There were covenants made by our nation’s forefathers, but those had to do with the people submitting to God’s authority. Once again, it is about the people’s hearts and actions rather than the responsibility (through legislation and/or redistribution of monies obtained through increased debt) of the politicians in Washington, D.C.

The government is not responsible for our morality either. It does, however, reflect that of the people. So, I am encouraged that we, as a nation, have elected someone who is not a friend of abortion advocates or those who have built an industry (even becoming millionaires) from their participation in this murderous treachery against life. I am further encouraged that Trump reminded us all in his address that “we” are all America, and he boldly spoke out in the midst of a city with shameful, violent protests occurring. He is empowering the “forgotten men and women”. While the minority of wildly radical and destructive among us make loud and brazen statements through threats and harm to persons and property, we need to be bold and productive in our private actions and properly speak in public with respect for the life of persons and the property of others whenever we have the opportunity to do so in order that the voice of destruction, hate, and self-centeredness expressed across major cities this week is not the only voice heard. However, actions speak louder than words, and it takes a strong person to maintain calm and composure to seek a peaceful resolution to disagreement and conflict than to exhibit untamed assault.

As SurvivalBlog women, I encourage you to do more than pack away some Mountain House canned food for an emergency and even more than participate in some pistol practice shooting in the event you are depended upon to protect your loved ones from marauders. Think about how far you will go to defend the lives of your family. Are you a “momma bear”? Now, do you protect your husband’s respect and character in the community, your home, and your modest honor as a committed wife with this fervor? Are you in the home and guarding and guiding your children’s eyes, ears, and hearts from the lies or misunderstandings our culture perpetrates upon them through Hollywood, the editorial “news”, and even the cartoons and children’s shows? Are you caring for and nurturing your womb?

In a time when there are truly hateful cultures propagating huge families with the intent to take over the world through either jihad or propagation and population infiltration, we need to be about raising and instructing more Godly children through participating families. We need sizable families with commitments to train the next generation in the Word of God, history, the Constitution, and with sound homesteading and superior academic training. This requires a woman of both heart, valor, and tenacity. It is not for the weak, self-indulgent, party girl and certainly does not align with the hateful, destructive ideology of mainstream feminism.

The role of wife and mother is one that is critical for survival of a healthy civilization. I fear that our civilization is deteriorating because those roles are defamed and have become disdain on the tongues of many women. This has never been more evident than in this week’s Women’s March, held just today– the day after the inauguration.

This week in Washington, at the Women’s March, some women have been parading and speaking out about their rights in a bullish tone. For the most part, the media is liberal and promotes family disharmony and individualism. Only united does anything of substance stand, and this is never more true than of the complementary family unit of a father, mother, and children. Sometimes, I even get upset, especially related to women’s rights and feminism, as I think of all the young minds being twisted by the false indoctrination presented in our media. However, I was very pleasantly surprised at reading an opinion column by Christine M. Flowers of the Philadelphia Daily News, which I will share in significant portion below, because it delighted me that there was a nationally published editor with some bit of sense (and humor) on the issue of pro-life, even though she considers Trump “an enemy”:

Call it the “People With Uteruses Who Hate Donald Trump March.” Or the “Birth Control, Not Self Control March.” Or the “LGBTQt-Want-To-Buy-A-Vowel-Vanna March.” Or, as my good friend Tania Gail suggested, the “#MeanGirlMarch2017.”

Whatever you call it, though, don’t call it the “Women’s March on Washington.” Technically, that is correct. Women are involved, and they are marching, or walking, or striding, or jumping or doing whatever it is they need to do to make themselves seen and heard the day after the inauguration of the Dark Prince of Death. In D.C.”

But calling it the ‘Women’s March’ gives it a bit too much credit for inclusivity because not all of us who self-identify as women are welcome at the march.

I know of at least one group that was specifically disinvited from the affair, a group whose name would indicate a strong sisterhood with the galloping gals.

The group is called the New Wave Feminists. That’s pretty …., fist in the air, we-love-Gloria cool. But alas, there is a fly in the ointment. The “New Wave” women happen to be pro-life or, if you prefer, anti-the-choice-to-abort-your-child. When the organizers of the march found out that they had invited poisonous vipers into their collective bosom, they told the New Wavers that there was no place for them in D.C.

Normally, things like this don’t bother me. I am quite used to women who call themselves feminists acting in a most unsisterly way when they find out that I oppose abortion. In this, I am not alone. Many pro-life female friends have had the same experience when their dirty little secret is discovered: banishment from the Oprah Book Club, blocking on Facebook, ridicule at the water cooler and sympathetic hazing from the men who support abortion rights because, let’s be honest, it saves them 18 years’ worth of child support.

I didn’t really expect that women who vocally oppose abortion would be welcome at a march that embrace groups like #VoteProChoice, Free the Nipple, the Human Right to Family Planning Initiative, Students for Choice, Lady Parts Justice, The Center for Reproductive Rights, Catholics for Choice, NARAL Pro Choice America Foundation, the Coalition of Nasty Women, the Federation for Abortion Rights, the National Organization for Women, and, of course, Planned Parenthood.

The groups that have partnered together to present their grievances in D.C. all claim to support the integrity and dignity of the sisterhood. The reason that so many pro-choice/abortion-friendly groups are included in the list of attendees is because it is now mandatory that evolved women spout the usual ‘my body, my choice’ rhetoric that hasn’t changed in 50 years, even though medical technology has advanced to the stage that we now know it’s ‘my body, and her tiny body and his tiny body, but still my choice, ….”

I have a problem with that, but I’m used to the indoctrination feminists demand of the truest of true believers. For want of a better term, women who want to be fully accepted into the feminist fold are like ‘Wontanchurian candidates,” brainwashed into believing that the only way to find dignity and independence is the unassailable right to abort. Well, that and pay parity.”

Referring to this editor as Ms. Flowers because I do not know her marital status, she hit the figurative nail on the head with her description of this march and feminism in general. It is mean and selfish.

Women’s rights is often seen as a necessary response to abusive, harsh men who trample upon soft, weak women, but that is not the predominant case. There was a minority of people in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration burning limousines, throwing rocks at businesses, and basically being degenerates because they didn’t get their way and feel that somehow successful businesses and business people are to blame for their hardships and felt this was the best way to be “heard” and make a difference In the same way, there have been some abusive men and there have also been loud women burning bras, parading their children through the streets or aborting them, refusing marriage, speaking hate toward men, and generally confusing their roles in an attempt to find value, security, and a sense of power and purpose. In these past decades, the few were tolerated in their loud, initially shocking actions while the majority sat silent and absorbed it and absorbed it some more, until this thinking of women being the same as men and autonomous to every other living being on the planet, even when they are pregnant and married, has become accepted as “normal”.

It has been grossly misguided and the minority has now brainwashed the majority as it has crept into our culture gradually and been accepted without our even realizing it. Even this group that Ms. Flowers defends, the New Wave Feminists, identify themselves as feminists, though they are considerably different than most other organizations at this Women’s Conference. They are different than the National Organization of Women, to which I have multiple times written that they do not represent me and must recognize that they do not speak for all women everywhere. It is my opinion that the New Wave Feminists are still not quite hitting the mark, but it is a relief that there are those who have moved the mark radically and are waking up that the mainstream feminists are off-the-chart wrong. This is the kind of change that gives me hope in America again. It is a message of unity, peace, strength, kindness, gentleness, and a strong family, which will build strong communities that can come together to build a much stronger nation.

So, SurvivalBlog women, I implore you to consider your great value as a wife and mother. We can participate in the change to build a stronger America by building stronger homes and families. While feminists would mistakenly tell you that I’m saying you should merely be a housekeeper, a cook, and a breeder, they would be grossly mistaken! You can be the one to whom your husband longs to return at the end of his work. You can be the comforting arms for your children when they are hurt and the example of poise and strength they see most throughout the day. You can be the one who exhibits grace and opens their eyes to beauty, imagination, and mysteries as you educate and teach them day by day. You can be the gentle touch who heals wounded hearts and builds them up strong and full of hope to carry on when those around are shouting words of destruction, selfishness, and hate. You can model the biblical submission and humility that all believers must have toward God through your submission to your husband and God. There is a heart that should be in the home, behind every warrior and developed within every child. That heart is a powerful, valuable, and precious one. That heart is you, dear sister!

Letter Re: SIG MCX Recall

Hello Sir,

I noticed a credit card charge from SIG. It turns out a conversion kit (AKA a barrel) finally became available for my MCX. I’ve been “in line” for several months now. Just to be safe, in this era of scams and CC fraud, I called in to verify that this was a legitimate charge. It was. While on their website looking for their contact number, however, I noticed that there was a recall: MCX Mandatory Carriage Assembly Replacement Program.

I started filling out the form, but then my paranoia got the better of me. I made further inquiry about the nature of the issue. Apparently, if certain hand-loaded 300blk rounds are manually chambered, and then the bolt is dropped on them, under “extremely rare” circumstances, it is possible for that round to discharge, if they have a “weak” primer.

Should MCX owners register for this replacement? Supposedly, it may also restrict aftermarket trigger use, which is ironic given that some folks view the trigger as the greatest (or only) shortcoming of this weapon. My bigger concern is that this warranty and similar recall matters are being used to compile a “backdoor” gun registry. In this particular case, I suppose it doesn’t matter, given that I have already purchased an add-on barrel via CC. This gun is completely on the up and up. Nonetheless, there’s something that rubs me the wrong way about mandatory web registrations in order to receive a fairly invasive/substantial replacement, the merits of which seem almost questionable, especially given that the “not reported in the field and extremely difficult to replication” situation only applies to models chambered in Blackout. Yet it’s being pushed as a mandatory replacement to all owners. I wholly recognize that this may seem a bit tinfoil. I’m most likely going to proceed with this recall, in the interest of safety. Nonetheless I thought I would contact you with this information and seek any thoughts or advice that you or others may have. – P.R.

Economics and Investing:

South Jersey bank is the first to fail in U.S. this year – G.G.

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An Entire Shopping Mall Just Sold for $100

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David Rosenberg: “The Travesty Is We Have 23.5 Million Americans Aged 25-To-54 Outside The Labor Force” – B.B.

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Did The Free Market Kill Coal?

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech Was A Declaration Of War – P.M.

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Media Has Decided Obama Had Zero Scandals But We Found a Few – B.B.

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Victorian police fear death toll could rise in Melbourne Islamic Terrorist car attack – D.B.

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SIG USA has become the winner of the United States Army’s Modular Handgun System contract, making its P320 handgun the next standard issue sidearm for the United States armed forces. – S.M.

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Empty Shelves & Madness (In America): A Minor Winter Storm Drove People Into “Panic Buying Of Food And Basics”

Notes for Sunday – January 21, 2017

On January 21st, 1948, Eliza Moore, the last surviving individual born into slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation, died in Montgomery County, Alabama, at age 105. Since 68 years have now elapsed since her death and 151 years have now elapsed since 1865, JWR perhaps presumptuously hereby declares that it is now fully high time for Americans to Get Over It and instead focus on current slavery issues, like the uncounted thousands of slaves now being held by Muslims in North Africa. There is no cause for so-called White Guilt in our generation, but we should feel badly about doing little or nothing (both individually and collectively) toward seeing modern slavery abolished once and for all!

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Today, we present part four of this entry for Round 68 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $15,000 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 that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 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 with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel 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, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package (enough for two families of four) plus 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),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $2,400 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),
  8. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  4. 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,
  5. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  6. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  7. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  9. 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), and
  10. Fifteen LifeStraws from SafeCastle (a $300 value).
  11. A $250 gift certificate to Tober’s Traditions, makers of all natural (organic if possible) personal care products, such as soap, tooth powder, deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, and more.

Round 68 ends on January 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.

Announcing The SurvivalBlog 11-Year Archive — Now on a USB Stick!

We are pleased to announce the availability of a limited edition SurvivalBlog 2005-2016 Archive, loaded on a 8 gigabyte waterproof USB flash drive. It now spans 11 years of the blog and with 20 additional bonus books, including a fantastic formulary by William B. Dick, first published in 1872. This archive gives you the same searchable functionality of our previous archive DVDs but with more storage, greater compactness, and a waterproof housing. These top-quality and durable alloy memory sticks have O-ring seals that are waterproof down to 100 meter depth!

One of the great advantages of buying the SurvivalBlog archive on an 8 GB memory stick is that there is an extra 4 gigabytes of space left available for you to add scans of your important family papers and photos. So this is the perfect stick for your Bug Out Bag or your vehicular Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) kit. For full details on what is included in the archive, see our SurvivalBlog Archive Sales Page.

Sorry, but the archive memory stick is not available overseas. However, offshore SurvivalBlog readers can get the digital download version and then put a copy of it on your own (locally procured) USB memory stick. (Blank 8 GB waterproof sticks are available worldwide for around $18 to $20 USD each.)

Be sure to order yours soon. UPDATE: It bears special mention that only 1,000 of the special waterproof sticks were produced, and at last count–after only six days of sales–we now have only around 170 of them left! Last call…– JWR

Hurricane Preparedness Experience- Part 4, by N.K.

I recommend more gas cans so you’re not constantly refilling the same two. I won’t say how many NATO cans I now have, but I won’t have that problem again. If you get NATO cans to avoid the spillage common with now-mandated CARB cans, get several extra NATO vented spouts; nothing else fits them. An assortment of funnels is handy, too. For vehicle filling, extend the NATO spouts with 1/2” steel or brass press-on nipples (the galvanized steel is less expensive and works fine and I’d avoid the plastic versions) from Lowe’s plumbing department and about 16” of 5/8” ID / 3/4” OD clear plastic tubing. The tubing fits perfectly into unleaded gasoline filler necks and extends the reach of the spout for different vehicles. I secured the nipple-to-spout and nipple-to-tubing connections with a wrap of steel safety wire, tightly twisted. It’s pretty secure without it, but the last thing I need is the spout extension coming loose unnoticed and sliding into the filler neck. I equipped every NATO spout I have with the extension. It’s a $3 fix, and I don’t have to look for the right spout to fit a vehicle; they’re all the right spout.

A bug-out plan. Our house wasn’t severely damaged, none in our area were, so we never considered evacuating. Quite a few houses to our south were, however, mostly from roof sections missing, allowing water intrusion and requiring lots of blue tarps and in many cases alternative living quarters. When the ceiling gets waterlogged and collapses into the living area, it’s tough to live there. If we had to evac I didn’t have a plan on where to go and what to do with the stuff in the house. After a discussion with my insurance agent, I now have that plan. Make sure your policy adequately covers temporary relocation, and it doesn’t hurt to touch base with the local Red Cross folks to get some names and phone numbers, just in case. Check with your church to see what assistance resources they may have and join whatever assistance team your church has, or help start one. The best way to learn what help is needed and how to get it is to give that help and be part of delivering it for others. Whether it’s a hurricane, a fire, or a flood, your brain will be overloaded, and the entire family will be stressed. If someone else can help with the “decision overload” during the first 48 hours, do take advantage of that resource.

This ties into documentation. Critical paperwork, such as insurance info and things like birth certificates, vehicle titles, et cetera, need to be scanned and stored electronically on multiple media. Having the originals in a bank safe deposit box is a good idea, but if there’s no electricity, the bank won’t be open. You can have certified copies made, but that’s usually not necessary. Clean, readable copies almost always are sufficient. One set in paper, the others can be electronic. Make sure you store the electronic scans in a format and on media that can easily be read. Adobe PDF is the current gold standard for scanned documents, and CDs and DVDs are more reliable than memory sticks, but you need scans on both, because sticks are more convenient. Every PC now has at least one USB port, but it may not have a CD/DVD drive. The CDs, DVDs, and memory sticks need to be kept securely, because the data on them won’t be encrypted. Why not encrypt it? You may not be in control of what device is available to read it; a PC at the public library surely won’t have your favorite encryption program on it, and you can bet they won’t let you download and install it. A laminated wallet card with critical phone numbers is a very good idea. A national email account, such as gmail or yahoo, has some value because an account with a local ISP (Internet Service Provider) may be unavailable if that ISP is in the no-power zone. Be aware of security issues, however, with accounts such as those.

There’s an old engineer’s joke, or maybe it’s a joke about old engineers, but when employees ran into the Chief’s office yelling about a giant meteor due to strike earth in 24 hours and wipe out all life, the senior guy just pointed to his bookcase and said “top shelf, blue binder, section 4”. That may be a bit extreme, but maintaining planning documentation, reviewing it, and keeping it updated as you learn things and obtain prep supplies is important. As attorneys say, “if it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist.” In the stress of a disaster or emergency, you will get “suddenly stupid”; having a written resource, especially checklists, to guide you is invaluable until you can mentally adjust.

Cash. No electricity means no credit, debit cards, or cash registers. Often, having exact money or close to it may be the only way to buy necessary items. I’d suggest keeping at least $500 in cash handy (and well secured), no larger than $20 bills. Go heavy on $5s and $10s. $50-$60 should be in ones, and have a roll or two of quarters for pay phones. (Be aware that many pay phones have their ringers disconnected to prevent them from being used to support illegal activities, so getting a call back on that number may be a problem.) Separate your cash among several pockets when you’re out. Pulling out $75-$100 in $5s and $10s where people might glimpse it is safer than someone seeing all $500, and in the event of a robbery you can better prevent losing everything. Put a few $1 bills on both the outside and the inside of your stack of bills when you fold the money. That way all the folded cash looks like $1 bills from either side.

Speaking of phones, the one thing that never stopped working was the land line telephone. No electricity means no cell connection, because at least some of the towers will be down, and Internet phones were useless as well. You may be able to connect if you drive a few miles to where there’s power, but if the outage is widespread that could be a long drive. Many people no longer have land line phones. That’s more reason to stay engaged with your neighbors; if one has a land line, they might wind up being a neighborhood communication hub. A good neighborhood plan would be for neighbors to chip in for the monthly cost of one land line with unlimited long distance, an inexpensive phone, and a 100 ft phone cord. The neighbor with the land line could put the “community phone” on a porch for everyone to use.

Lighting. I like the D-cell Maglites, and I have them all over the house now in wall brackets and in each vehicle. A glance confirms the flashlight is there or not, the brackets provide a proper place to keep the light, and pointed up in the bracket they can be turned on and reflected light from the ceiling is more than enough to navigate around the house. The brackets are all adjacent to doorways, on the knob side, making it easy to find lights in the dark. To make sure they always have good batteries, I use Amazon Subscribe and Save for Amazon’s Basics batteries: a 12-pack of D batteries arrives every third month to replace the batteries in four flashlights or LED lanterns. A tip: For your first couple S&S orders, get two 12-packs of D-cells; set one aside each time and date them when they arrive. The second quarter’s S&S order gives you two 12-packs on the shelf. Deliveries after that can be just one 12-pack; that way you always have at least a couple dozen fresh spare batteries on hand. When you start using flashlights and LED lanterns for several days, you’ll need those extra batteries. I’ve numbered the flashlights and lanterns and do them in order, so every flashlight and D-cell lantern gets new batteries once a year. Streamlight Siege lanterns are super, lasting days and days on the lowest setting; look for them on sale. There are less expensive LED lanterns that will work quite well, too. Get some attractive bathroom robe hooks from the home center and put them in strategic places. They’re great for hanging LED lanterns, and devising a hook arrangement to hang a lantern from the family room ceiling fan above head height isn’t a bad idea, either.

We’re in the “thinking” stages for a major remodel, when I’ll add a transfer switch to allow connecting the generator, and add a new receptacle in each room on one circuit so I can provide generator power to each room, in addition to the usual fridge, freezer, and furnace circuits. All of the ceiling fans will be on one circuit in the transfer switch, too. As I mentioned earlier, solar will get added as well.

Furnaces. We’re no longer in Florida, so I converted my present house from heat pump only to heat pump + natural gas by adding a furnace. (Heating wasn’t a concern in Florida.) I’d need a pretty big 240-volt generator to run my heat pump, but my gas furnace, including the blower, runs on 115 volts and consumes only 865 watts. That’s a light load for my 3000 watt Honda, and I can even run it on my 2000 watt Honda. The thermostat selects heat pump or gas furnace based on outside temperature, but I can also select “furnace only” manually. As long as natural gas is flowing and my generator runs, we can avoid huddling around the fireplace in winter. I also have the conversion parts to switch the furnace to propane; I’d need a gas furnace technician to safely install them and make the hookup to the 200-gallon backyard propane tank, but having the conversion parts on hand is most of the battle. Yes, the 3000 watt and 6500 watt generators now run on either gasoline or propane. In the planning stage is a small wood stove, but that’s going to be part of the major remodel; good hardwood for burning is rare in Florida but not in my new location.

That’s pretty much our Excellent Hurricane Adventure. The take-away is “plan, practice, and organize.” Lay out a written plan and practice it. Pick a weekend to turn the power off Friday afternoon for “indoor camping weekends” (everything but the fridge and freezer), and use the family Sunday dinner to discuss what worked and what didn’t. You’ll be surprised on both counts.

Letter: Prayer Works – 11th Hour Attempt by France to Further Jam Up Israel Flops

Hugh,

It looks clear that Trump administration support of Israel will be (thankfully) almost a polar opposite to the disdain and malicious “one step forward-three steps back” policy of Obama. The last straw occurred when the U.S. broke with their consistent 68-year policy of supporting Israel at the UN. In late 2016, the U.S. allowed a significant condemnation of Israel through the UN resolution that the U.S. allowed through the Security Council by refusing to veto it. Sensing Israeli blood in the water, France hastily organized a kangaroo court-style 2017 Paris Mideast peace conference that was set up for the sole purpose of further condemning Israeli actions before the Obama administration’s anti-Israel window closes. Many were concerned the conference had the potential result of seeing an additional, even harsher UN resolution that, among other things, would try to force Israeli actions and territorial concessions that would have surely lead to their destruction, especially with the world now on the brink of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Fortunately, many stood up to this blatant action with prayer and other opposition for a conference that was a curious replay of a similar, French-led attempt 70 years ago to do the same thing. That meeting was organized by largely the same players to again try to force a two-state solution into existence. Both times it was attempted the same way– without the agreement or involvement of either Israel or the Palestinians.

Fortunately, the 2016 version also failed to gain any traction. Here is a more detailed analysis of the meeting and its outcome. Keep praying blessings on Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem as well as pushing our political leadership to continue their support of Israel as well. – R.F.

Economics and Investing:

A Post-Inauguration Gold Price Forecast

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Declassified CIA Memos Reveal Probes Into Gold Market Manipulation – H.L.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Obama Leaves U.S.A $9,335,000,000,000 Deeper in Debt– Keep in mind though, and this is important, he is not the first or even the worst at adding to the debt on a percentage basis. Ronald Reagan being one of the worst offenders, more than doubled the national debt under his presidency. The point here is not to defend Obama but to point out that we need to educate people that it doesn’t matter which party sits in the oval office or controls the halls on Congress, we need to rid ourselves of a monetary system that requires the relentless acquisition of debt in perpetuity and it cannot stop otherwise it will collapse.

Should you doubt my previous statement, take a look at the hard number straight from the government on historical debt outstanding; this cuts though political speak of doctored budget deficit numbers or the phony budget “surplus” years of Clinton. Show people the facts.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

An update from Forward Observer: Battle Track the Inauguration SITREP 1830E

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This man’s solo seven-year construction project is astounding. (Video): Underground Rock House Construction

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If only it were that easy to shrink government: 28 Percent of Federal Workers May Quit Their Jobs Once Trump Assumes Office

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The Sneering Revolution: Obama’s Attempt To Undermine U.S. Strategic Capability? – The outgoing U.S. Barack Obama Administration and its supporters embarked on a campaign to traduce and challenge the incoming Administration of President Donald J. Trump in the hope that it would find it difficult to govern effectively. This may be unprecedented in U.S. history and could, to the degree that it succeeds, have an impact on U.S. strategic capabilities, actions, and alliances going forward. No departing U.S. president had gone to such lengths to use the pulpit of the Presidency to discredit an incoming President or presidential candidate as the lengths to which went Obama with Trump. The result was, even by January 2017— before Mr. Trump was sworn into office— to deliberately inflict damage on the strategic credibility and influence of the United States of America going forward.

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From the desk of Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large: Twitter botnet security problem – Dormant, until someone needs it to manipulate. Social media links are always worth scrutiny and should frequently not be clicked on. If your friend says, “Regarding X we were talking about the other day, here’s the relevant article”, it’s likely fine. If all you get is a link or “Hey, check this out,” immediately be suspicious until you confirm an actual person sent it and that it has relevance. “Clickbait” can be misleading, and it can also be dangerous.