Note from JWR:

For the entire month of February, I’m having a special “support our troops” sale on copies of the new expanded 33 chapter edition my novel Patriots. If you place an order directly with me, and you have us mail it to an APO or FPO address, then the price is just $12 per copy, plus $3 postage. (That is $10.99 off of the cover price–right near my wholesale cost.)

OBTW, speaking of supporting our troops, be sure to visit the web site, and “do your bit.” Some young enlisted troops that are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan get no mail from home, so anything that you can send them–even just a postcard–is appreciated.

I now offer a couple of additional payment options for book orders: both AlertPay and GearPay. (I prefer these because they don’t share PayPal’s anti-gun political agenda.) In … Continue reading

Home Security–The “Lock Bumping” Threat

There is currently a lot of buzz on the Internet about the emerging threat of “lock bumping.” This is an old technique used by burglars that can defeat up to 80% of typical household dead-bolt locks. It is catching on with a whole new generation of burglars in the U.S., Canada, and in Europe. (Using an easily obtained specially cut generic “bump” key and a small mallet.) This video clip from Holland (with English subtitles) shows the technique. And here is another video, from here in the States. My advice is to upgrade the locks on your exterior doors with top quality locks made by Medeco or Schlage Primus. These have special cylinders that are engaged by “double cut” or “side-milled” keys. These bump-resistant and pick-resistant locksets cost about $150 each.

Regardless of the locks that you use, it is … Continue reading

Letter Re: More Evidence of Peak Oil Decline–Preparing for Much Higher Gasoline Prices

Dear Jim and Family,
Bad news from the largest oil field in Mexico. The Canterell field, formerly reported to decline at 2% last August, 6% in October, and 11% in December has been rated at 25% today. Oil production has dropped from 1.99 million barrels per day to 1.5 million barrels per day.

This is a very bad thing. Most of that oil goes to the USA via NAFTA treaties. There are no fields to replace it, and since Mexico has 51% leftist leanings, no oil company will risk investing there (Pemex was formed from seized foreign oil investments, most of which were from the USA). Losing half a million barrels of non-Middle Eastern supply makes us more susceptible to interruptions from hostile nations like Iran and Venezuela, and unstable nations like Nigeria.

This also has secondary effects. Most of the money in Mexico comes from oil … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Unintended consequences: Rise in ethanol demand creates a tortilla crisis.

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S.H. mention an interesting list of 63 field/barracks items posted at Bouhammer’s Afghanistan “List of gear for A-stan.” S.H. notes: “This may be of interest to those reviewing their G.O.O.D. or Bug-Out bags. It is very enlightening on what our troops use/need in a modern desert war environment.”

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There are just 16 days left in the big “Container load sale” at Survival Enterprises. Looking at their running inventories posted on the web page, I can see that several items have sold out. Don’t dawdle on this one, folks! All of the storage food items are “first come – first served.” As previously mentioned, their prices are less than half of retail.

Note from JWR:

I’m planning on assembling a “Best of the Blog” hardcopy book in the next few weeks. The prospect of doing this manually is not appealing. Do any of you folks know of an existing “slurp” or “blog to book” software tool that is compatible with Movable Type that will allow me to automagically build RTF or MS-Word files from my blog posts? (My searches thusfar have been unsuccessful.) Thanks!

Letter Re: Urban Freeway Traffic Gridlock in a Disaster

Reading your excerpt from “Patriots” (I do have my own copy of the prior edition) reminded me of an episode in and around Seattle a few winters ago. Just before the afternoon commute, a rainstorm passed through and with the cold weather, created a black ice condition on the Interstate-5 freeway. Several fender benders clogged up the freeway in both directions and it took some time for tow trucks to make their way through the tie-up. Eventually they had to give up because people, sitting in their cars with heaters, wipers and radios on and engines idling, didn’t realize the alternator output at idle wasn’t sufficient to keep up with the power drain.
The upshot was that in very short order, the freeway was clogged with stalled, dead cars abandoned by their passengers. It took days to clear out the mess.
Imagine if no … Continue reading

Letter Re: Veterinary Antibiotics

All this talk on Tetracyclines and their dangers. Show me the research! I have only been able to find one case study of one person who became nephrotoxic on TTC’s/Doxy. Speculation is interesting, but research is really important in this circumstance. Thanks, – Russ

JWR Replies: This issue is clearly one that is still not fully settled in medical circles. Part of the problem seems to be that there are so many causes of renal failure, and a precise cause is sometimes difficult to pinpoint. There seems to be different “camps” of opinion regarding tetracycline (and similar antibiotics in the “-mycin” and “-cycline” families) and nephrotoxicity. (Called Fanconi’s syndrome, often coincident with “acute fatty liver”.) For example, I found the following in a web page on Akamin (Minocycline): “Tetracyclines may aggravate pre-existing renal failure. Nephrotoxicity has also occurred in association with … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Michael Z. Williamson sent us a link to an article on how “gun control” laws are working in the UK. The following is a quote from the article: “A widow who lives alone in a Wiltshire farmhouse has taken to sleeping with a Smith & Wesson Saturday Night Special under her pillow. It belonged to her husband and is more than capable of stopping an intruder, of which she has had three in the last two years.
When she goes shopping in Swindon, she slips a can of Mace into her handbag in case of assault. “Bought it at the ironmongers in Bergerac,” she says. “Much more effective than an ASBO.”
A senior civil servant, now retired and living in a remote house near Losthwithiel in Cornwall, believes in the efficacy of a small-calibre .22 pistol. It was easy to buy without … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day

“‘It has never happened!’ cannot be construed to mean, ‘It can never happen!’– might as well say, ‘Because I have never broken my leg, my leg is unbreakable,’ or ‘Because I’ve never died, I am immortal.’ One thinks first of some great plague of insects – locusts or grasshoppers – when the species suddenly increases out of all proportion, and then just as dramatically sinks to a tiny fraction of what it has recently been. The higher animals also fluctuate.

During most of the nineteenth century the African buffalo was a common creature on the veldt. It was a powerful beast with few natural enemies, and if its census could have been taken by decades, it would have proved to be increasing steadily. Then toward the century’s end it reached its climax, and was suddenly struck by a plaque of rinderpest. Afterwards the buffalo was almost a curiosity, extinct in … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

Living here in the hinterboonies, our daytime radio reception is pitiful, but our nighttime reception is fantastic. (The Rawles Ranch is in an isolated “electromagnetic quiet zone.”) To make up for the lack of daytime reception (since we get less than a half dozen daytime AM stations and no FM stations), I have turned to Internet radio for entertainment during the day, and shortwave radio listening at night. I am particularly fond of a listener-sponsored Internet streaming audio service called Folk Alley. Great stuff, albeit with a perceptible liberal slant. At least they don’t shy away from playing gospel bluegrass music in their mix.

Book Excerpt: “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”

In response to a request to Matthew from Indiana, who wanted to know what my novel was like before ordering it, the following is an excerpt from the first chapter of the expanded (33 chapter) edition of my novel “Patriots”:

On the last day of October, the Grays found that their phone was still working, but only for local calls. When they tried making long-distance calls, they got an “All circuits are busy now” recording, at all hours of the day or night. The next day, there was message advising that “All circuits will be restored shortly.” Two days later, there was no dial tone.

By early November, there was almost continuous rioting and looting in every major city in the U.S. Due to the financial panic and rioting, the November election was “postponed” to January, but it never took place. Rioting grew so commonplace that riot locations … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Next Pandemic: Starvation in a Land of Plenty

Seeing the discussion regarding the gentleman who loaned a flashlight and leaf blower to his ungrateful neighbors, I’d thought I’d share my method of loaning out items. First off, never loan out primary tools. I have three sets [that I’ve designated – mine [primary], for friends, and a lower quality set for loaning. If you’ve never borrowed from me before and I don’t know your “borrowing character”, then you get the cheap set of greasy, grimy tools or the flashlight with weak batteries. If you return them in the state that you borrowed them, you get to borrow them again sometime. If the tools come back cleaned and oiled and new batteries in the flashlight, your “borrowing character” had been elevated to trusted borrower and you may soon be ready for the set of tools reserved for friends. (Hint: When you borrow tools, always bring them back in … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Steve P. flagged this “must read” article by Doug Hornig: Climate Change Revisited

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From BlogIdaho: Why Cops Shoot Guys with Knives (Warning: Some graphic photos, not for the squeamish!) BTW, shallow slashing wounds to the torso of the type shown are not often fatal. It is either wounds to the neck or deep penetrating wounds to the abdomen (typically angled upward, from just under the ribcage) followed immediately by lateral motion of the blade tip that are the real killing wounds. (The latter is what one of my Army training NCOs referred to as “massive surgery without benefit of anesthetic.”) Unfortunately these are the techniques that career criminals often teach each other in prison. A knife can be an effective weapon in the hands of someone that knows what they are doing. Beware. Do not let an opponent get close enough to … Continue reading