Note from JWR:

The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction is now at $320. The auction is for a scarce original 1980s-vintage Heckler und Koch 19mm Emergency Flare Launcher (EFL) aka “Notsignalgerät“ from my personal collection. It comes with three magazines and 28 scarce original German 19mm flares–10 red, 10 white, and 8 green. Together, this package is worth approximately $400. It is not classified as a “firearm” under Federal law. (Consult your state and local laws before bidding.) Sorry, no overseas bids will be accepted for this auction. This auction ends on January 15th. Please e-mail us your bids, in $10 increments.

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Four Letters Re: Sprouting Techniques

Mr. Rawles, I saw the post about Nick B. looking for help on the subject of sprouts. Maybe I can help. Earlier this year I was checking things out on a couple of preparedness sites. Some of the readers may know about these,but I’ll pass the links along for those who may not have seen them. This one Survival And Self-Sufficiency Links has a lot of useful resources, and I found this one for sprouts: Sprouting: a brief overview. It has a few links above the section on beekeeping. There may be others that I have forgotten, or just may not have seen yet myself, but I hope they can be of some help to him and other folks that visit here. May the Lord bless you all and your preps. – Dim Tim   Sir, For sprouting I use a section of the new plastic bug screen material for screen doors. I fold the section up into a flat pouch and pour a measure of seed in then pin the opening closed. To make the pouch I staple around the three closed edges. Then, once closed up I dampen the seeds, roll the screen pouch into a loose cylinder … Continue reading

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Letter Re: A Useful Rifle Zeroing Technique, and Effective Spotter Sighting Offsets

Dear Jim, You brought up an excellent point when you mentioned zeroing weapons. Everyone should know how to battle sight zero their primary defensive weapon (assuming adjustable sights). The procedure is as follows: Move the sights all the way left (rear) and down (front). Count the number of clicks or turns necessary to reach the opposite extreme. Move the sights back to the halfway position and remember this number (it can be written on a laminated card in the butt/grip or even on the side of the stock). This is mechanical zero. It should be fairly close to actual zero and is the emergency default for any weapon you can’t sight in by fire or bore sighting. Go to the range and shoot a tight, supported prone group at this setting. Adjust the sights as needed to get a good center mass group. Record how many clicks from mechanical zero this is, and memorize it. Upon being issued or acquiring any similar weapon (AR, FAL, M1A, etc), immediately set to this setting. Even if you can’t range zero, you should be close enough to be effective. It’s also a good idea to learn how to spot impacts, and how to … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Ben. L. tells us that the US Transportation Security Agency (TSA, a.k.a.”Thousands Standing Around”) has banned most lithium batteries from passenger plane checked luggage. This includes certain laptop and pro camera batteries, and those ubiquitous “123” batteries used in Surefire flashlights. The new rule reads in part: “Effective January 1, 2008, spare lithium batteries – extra batteries not installed on devices – will no longer be allowed in checked baggage. Spare lithium batteries may be packed in carry-on baggage and lithium batteries installed in a device may be packed in either checked or carry-on, as long as the battery is installed in the device.”    o o o From The Financial Times: Euro gains on dollar in official reserves    o o o Thomas Tan’s predictions for 2008    o o o I spotted this over at Mish Shedlock’s blog: More Writedowns Force Citigroup To Sell Assets

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distresses of every one, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse; remembering always the estimation of the widow’s mite, but, that it is not every one who asketh that deserveth charity; all, however, are worthy of the inquiry, or the deserving may suffer.” – President George Washington, letter to Bushrod Washington, Jan. 15, 1783

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another article for Round 14 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best non-fiction article will win a valuable four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. (Worth up to $2,000!) Second prize is a copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, generously donated by Jake Stafford of Arbogast Publishing. Round 14 ends on January 31st. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

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Time and Energy Efficient Cooking, by KBF

I wish to share some valuable information on my personal experiences with the use of two cooking devices which I incorporate into daily homemaking practice when I am attempting to conserve on water and on fuel usage. Both of them are extremely time and energy efficient. The two kitchen products which have earned their weight in silver in my home are my pressure cookers, and my newest kitchen toys, which come from an old Asian origin and cooking concept, the thermo cooker pot. I have and use several sizes of pressure cookers. I chose the pot size for use for the job I’m performing based on the fill capacity of the product I am cooking in it. The pot capacity should never be over 2/3rds full. The food is liquid pressure cooked on the basis of requiring very little water or liquid and a minimal amount is lost and released as pressurized steam, thus it cooks evenly, thoroughly, and quickly. Time savings average about one half compared to the usual on the stove top methods. Fuel savings are dependant on the time required for the recipe. I use this method for large vegetable batches, and large cuts of meat, like … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Peter Schiff’s Commentary–“Not Your Father’s Deflation”

Greetings! Here’s some more ‘great’ news [from Peter Schiff, by way of Kitco.com] for the coming economic crash. Thanks to ‘fiat currency,’ this [nascent] economic disaster won’t be nearly as “mild” as the Great Depression, because consumer prices will rise, and, our worthless money will de value at the same time! At least in the 30’s, the gold standard that backed the US dollar, made it hold value – even if there were fewer in circulation. Ditto silver & gold coins, that were still worth something (I found your blog late, and got started late, but I’m buying junk silver coins and the occasional gold one as fast as I can!!!) Don’t guess we’ll have to worry as much about toilet paper as we thought, after the economic SHTF – ‘Helicopter Ben’ [Bernanke] will print us wallets full of toilet paper! – Bob McC in Pittsburg

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Stephen in Iraq flagged this: Home Sales Plunge, Feed Recession Fears    o o o Reader Nick B. says that he has started experimenting with sprouting, starting with alfalfa. He is looking for tips on how to drain them when they are still in seed stage. He has been trying coffee filters, but the filters seem to clog quickly. I’ve always used paper towels, but perhaps there is a SurvivalBlog reader with a better idea. Any tips?    o o o Thanks to SJC for this: Gold rises after Bhutto death, platinum hits record    o o o And RBS sent this: Worms infect more poor Americans than thought

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Note from JWR:

The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction is now at $300. The auction is for a scarce original 1980s-vintage Heckler und Koch 19mm Emergency Flare Launcher (EFL) aka “Notsignalgerät“ from my personal collection. It comes with three magazines and 28 scarce original German 19mm flares–10 red, 10 white, and 8 green. Together, this package is worth approximately $400. It is not classified as a “firearm” under Federal law. (Consult your state and local laws before bidding.) Sorry, no overseas bids will be accepted for this auction. This auction ends on January 15th. Please e-mail us your bids, in $10 increments.

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Letter Re: Going into Debt to Acquire Firearms Before New Ban Legislation is Enacted?

Mr. Rawles, Thanks for your recent advice. My question to you now combines questions of politics, debt, and firearms. The last time the executive and legislative branches were [both] held by the Democrats, we all got to enjoy the Assault Weapons Ban for 10 years. How removing a bayonet lug from firearms reduced gun violence, I’m not sure. The big problem with this, however, was obviously the magazine capacity limitations. The election of 2008 makes a similar act quite possible. By October 2008, a front-runner will probably have emerged. If that front-runner is not gun-friendly, where do we go from here? I will not have cash on hand to purchase firearms, but I do have consumer credit lines – kept completely free of debt – of around $8,000. I will probably be able to quickly convert this credit card debt (APR around 14%) to student loans (APR around 7%). Instinct tells me that credit cards should only be used in time of emergency, and going into additional debt when I don’t need to do so is foolish. However, it may also make sense to jump through a closing window of opportunity and make sure I get what I need to … Continue reading

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