Note from JWR:

Tomorrow we will announce the winner of Round 3 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest, and award a four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. Thanks to the generosity of Front Sight’s Director, Naish Piazza, we will be running Round 4 of the contest, with the same valuable prize. (Worth as much as $2,000 if you were paying cash for a course.) The deadline for entries for Round 4 is May 31, 2006. Speaking of Front Sight, the 26 episode weekly reality TV series entitled, Front Sight Challenge will be aired soon on The Outdoor Channel. Check your satellite television guide for dates and times. I anticipate that the wide exposure generated by the TV series will likely result in full bookings for Front Sight classes al through the rest of the year, so book your classes early!

If you haven’t done so already, please add a link to … Continue reading

Letter from “Mr. Coffee” in Costa Rica Re: Finding a Stable Country for an Offshore Retreat

Hi Jim,
I haven’t e-mailed you in a long while because I know you are really busy with your blog. I read your site every day and have implemented many of the ideas you and others have shared. Thanks. If any of your readers have specific questions about moving to Costa Rica I would be glad to answer them.  You can share my e-mail address: The info you shared in your March 30th blog post about Central America is accurate. I would stay away from the rest of Central America. Panama still has some nice areas up in the mountains. Belize is English speaking but it is also mostly black (I can’t use the term African American in this instance.) There are two other web sites that SurvivalBlog readers … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

This story is amazing:  Of course this was criminal enterprise, but some of the same techniques could be used to conceal entrances for secret rooms and/or an underground retreat.

   o o o

Eric Fry of The Rude Awakening e-newsletter notes: “22-year highs in silver; 24-year highs in sugar; 25-year  highs in gold; 26-year highs in platinum; all-time highs in copper, crude oil
and natural gas…Welcome to the commodity markets of 2005-06.”

   o o o

Fred the Valmet-meister says: “If you liked Frontier House on PBS a few years ago, you’ll like the new “Ranch House” miniseries (eight parts) about life in the Old West. They are going to do the same thing they did in Frontier House, but do cattle drives and live in the high desert and Texas. It will be aired in May.”

   o o o

One … Continue reading

Finding a Stable Country for an Offshore Retreat

I’m often asked by SurvivalBlog readers and consulting clients about where to look for an offshore retreat. Today, I’ll discuss general selection criteria, and briefly discuss Central America.

With a few exceptions, most of my consulting clients seem to agree on the following criteria:

Political stability

Economic stability

Relatively self-sufficient agriculture

Livable climate

Allows expatriates to own land outright, or at least provided long term (60+ year) renewable leases

Free enterprise and private banking

Favorable tax situation

Minimal gun laws

Low crime rate

Free of Malaria and at minimal risk for other insect-borne diseases

Well established infrastructure (power, phone, water, sanitation, Internet,…)

High percentage of English speaking residents

Looking dispassionately at this list, we can eliminate most countries in Central America in short order: Mexico has both a high crime rate and horribly restrictive gun laws. Guatemala and El Salvador have too much poverty and insubstantial infrastructures. Nicaragua and Honduras … Continue reading

Letter Re: Investing in Tangibles Through an IRA

Dear Jim:
Per your suggestions, I have been doing a lot of research into the American Church Trust Precious-Metals IRA [offered through Swiss America]. However, I have several questions that I would like to ask.
[JWR’s replies are in-line, in bold.]

1.) I noticed in a recent post of yours on this subject that you have your IRA backed by Gold American Eagles. Could you explain why you chose gold instead of silver?

Because of the much higher “per ounce/per dollar” purchase premium on U.S. Mint Silver Eagles, I prefer U.S. Mint Gold Eagles, in this case.  (At the time those were my only two options. I’m not certain what they currently offer.)

2.) Are you concerned about the USG ability to confiscate gold as they did in 1933 since the law to do so is still on the books?

IMO, the chance … Continue reading

Letter Re: Defending Your Home: An Outline of Security for Troubled Times, by K.A.D.

For those folks out there who are incorporating a door/window alarm system for their home as part of layered protection, it pays to personally check each window, door every six months to see if the connections still work. After having our home windows/doors/motion sensor-monitored alarm system for about six years built in new into our country home, we found recently that some of the window sensors didn’t work when the windows were opened. The monitoring company visited and said that as our home settled, some wires got pinched, some separated and it was not uncommon to have that happen. So it pays to check your battery-powered remote door sensors and window/door connections periodically to ensure that they are still functioning. Regards, – Redclay

Odds ‘n Sods:

The wizened Dow Theory sage Richard Russell comments on the U.S. Dollar and the Housing Bubble:

   o o o

U.S. Marines in Iraq say: “Too Much Body Armor“:

   o o o

Here is an interesting blog that I just found today: Airborne Combat Engineer

   o o o

The Associated Press reports on Enormous Pro-Illegal Immigration Rallies in the U.S. Unfortunately, I think that congress is likely to cave in to the pressure and institute some form of amnesty. To the left wing of the Democrat party, the conservatively estimated 16 million illegal aliens in the country represent a potentially huge voting bloc. To corporate power brokers, they are a pool of cheap labor. This has created an informal alliance that favors continued illegal immigration. What a sad state of affairs. I am not a racist, but I certainly don’t like … Continue reading

Note From JWR:

Today we welcome our newest advertiser: The Alert This is an automated system that sends out e-mails to subscriber mobile devices (such as cell phones and pagers) for less than a dime a day. It was started as a project to keep the inventor’s like minded friends informed of the latest important news, and to coordinate any bug out/in. Since then, at considerable expense this project has been scaled up to handle thousands of subscribers. Check it out.

Starting in April, I will be quitting my day job, and blogging full time. To put bread on the table, I will need about twice as many advertisers.  I’d greatly appreciate your help:  If you know of a potential advertiser, please call or e-mail them, and ask them to get a banner ad at SurvivalBlog.  They cost as little as $55 per month. Many Thanks!

Letter Re: The Spanish Flu of 1918, by Tim P.

Regarding the very enjoyable letter about the Spanish Flu in1918, I can’t resist one comment. It is with incredible relentlessness that Big Pharma in their zest to sell vaccines keeps stating that we have 30,000 or 36,000 deaths per year from the flu. If you take the time to examine the actual CDC published data it is a bit different. I did a while back, and I seem to recall the 2003 and 2004 numbers being closer to 600 to 900 deaths per year from the flu. The deaths from pneumonia are close to 35,000 per year, so it appears they are adding them together to get to commonly trumpeted 36,000 deaths. Unfortunately they are not actually the same thing and you cannot combine them and call it one or the other. … Continue reading

Letter Re: Argentina’s Lessons for the U.S. Debt

I read the first-hand accounts of Argentina’s decline from wealth and prosperity to near lawlessness that were linked to here a while back and they stuck with me. How could a prosperous nation with generally well-regarded policies sink so far so fast? Far more importantly, what caused it, could it happen in other places (i.e. here), and what indicators were missed? Luck would have it that I stumbled across the answers to two of those entirely serendipitously. The answer is actually rather simple: debt. The Argentinean economy was in good shape in the 1990s, it had good growth, good employment, and highly regarded economic policies. What it didn’t have was a good understanding of how much debt it was
getting itself into. For various reasons, Argentina failed to … Continue reading

Letter from The Army Aviator Re: A Source for Night Vision Scopes

I’ve been running night vision since I learned to fly with them back in 1978. Not to disparage the writer’s comments about how good the “Mini-14” monocular is, because it is a good unit. However, it’s been my experience that the PRC-14Delta (Government) model is even better. Yes, a papered version costs more than a civilian Mini-14 but it’s worth the money. And, as an additional note, the manual gain adjustment of the PRC-14D is invaluable. It’s there for a reason. You strap it on and adjust the gain until you have maximal effectiveness of both eyes (One aided eye and one un-aided eye). Auto gain doesn’t allow for that and limits you to only using one eye to effectively see. It’s normally too bright to utilize both eyes, especially in dark … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

I just stumbled across Rogue Turtle, an interesting site with a wide range of survival and preparedness information.

   o o o

Wiggy’s (one of our first advertisers) is offering a special 15% discount on all of their sleeping bags until the end of April. These are the best sleeping bags I’ve ever used. They are extremely durable. Their two-bag FTRSS is my personal favorite. Every well-prepared family should have a full set of Wiggy’s bags. Even if you plan to “bug in” rather than “bug out”, a warm sleeping bag could be an absolute life safer in the event of a long term power failure and/or fuel shortage.

   o o o

Plan on being better armed and providing a higher volume of fire than this gent in Denver who had his home invaded.

   o o o

A brief reminder … Continue reading