Note from JWR:

Those of you that have been reading SurvivalBlog for a while have probably taken the time to read through the Retreat Owner Profiles page. Today we present a new profile, for a gent that now carries the moniker “Mr. Uniform.” The profiles are not mere brag sessions. They are the opportunity to see preparedness in action, custom tailored or various locales, circumstances, preferences, and budgets. There is a lot to be learned from the Profiles. Read between the lines. OBTW, we still have room for a few more profiles. I’d particularly like to hear from overseas readers, and anyone that has established a retreat in a severe climate.

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. Uniform

Present Home: 63 year old brick veneer over weather board farmhouse (1,300 square feet) built by my father. 25 acres, consisting of 3.5 acres of pine, 9 acres of old growth hardwoods, 1.5 acres of apple, pear, pecan, grape, muscudine, and scuppernong orchard/grove/vineyard. Additional 900 square foot house, 100 year barn (30’x30′ with loft and sheds), outdoor privy, detached 24’x24′ garage building, 140 square foot storage building, dog house/lot, hog house lot (not used at present). Approximately three acres in farmstead buildings, drives, and gardens. Balance of land in open arable land presently used by neighbor as native grass hay field. All but the very front of house is inside a fence. Yard and road frontage is behind a five foot chain link or five foot wood picket fence. Remainder of property line is behind an old five-strand barbed wire fence (needs upgrading). Property is in northwest portion of South … Continue reading

Letter Re: Diesel Motorcycles

Mr. Rawles:

The August ’07 issue of Motorcyclist [magazine] (pg 74) has an article on a diesel conversion of a Kawasaki KLR. They are currently making the bikes for military only, however the article does mention that a civilian design is in the wings. The company is Hayes Diversified Technologies. I have seen discussions on the SurvivalBlog about storing diesel and people wanting a motorcycle. This may be a great advertiser for you to chase. I have no relationship to Hayes. I am just a reader of you blog. Good luck, and thanks for all the great info. – Vince

Letter Re: Betadine and Polar Pure from Ready Made Resources

[Regarding the recent mention of soon-to-be-banned Polar Pure water purification and Betadine iodine products,] Just to let you know, today I picked up some Betadine at my local Walgreens store [a discount drugs store] and it was $17.99 for the name brand (8 oz.) and about $13 for the Walgreens’ [generic] version (also 8 oz). I got home, and called Ready Made Resources, and their’s is $12.96 for a QUART (32 oz). This is between four and six times less expensive!

The owner was very courteous, mentioned that he has two sons in the military, and I look forward to doing business with him in the future. Just thought other SurvivalBlog readers might want to know this. Regards, – M., near Seattle

Odds ‘n Sods:

From Business Week, by way of SHTF Daily: Why Bernanke Won’t Save Investors

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DAV sent us this: Zimbabwe’s Leader Says He’ll Print More Cash. Good thinking, Comrade Mugabe! That ought to put a damper on the 5,000% annual rate hyperinflation!

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I just noticed mention over at the Kel-Tec Owner’s Group that Midway USA (not one of our advertisers, but a reputable company) currently has several different models of original Glock magazines on sale, including the 33 round “Glockamole” magazines. I don’t even own a Glock, but I just ordered 20 of these magazines, for barter stock. If you place an order with Midway, please encourage them to become a SurvivalBlog advertiser. Thanks!

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Weapons compound man’s power to achieve; they amplify the capabilities of both the good man and the bad, and to exactly the same degree, having no will of their own. Thus we must regard them as servants, not masters – and good servants to good men. Without them, man is diminished, and his opportunities to fulfill his destiny are lessened. An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.” – The Late Col. Jeff Cooper

Note from JWR:

Today we welcome our three latest Affiliate advertisers: (NiMH, NiCd, and Lithium Ion batteries and battery packs), (NOAA weather radios, 72-hour kits, LED flashlights, et cetera) and  Pyramid Air (precision air rifles, pistols, Airsoft guns, paint ball guns, and accessories.) Whenever you patronize our affiliates using our links when you order, we get a little piece of the action to help support SurvivalBlog. I should also mention: Please patronize our paid advertisers (in the scrolling side bar) first. But if they don’t have what you need, then take a look at our Affiliate advertisers’ web sites.

A Second Income–A Key Goal for Family Preparedness

I often encourage folks that are preparedness-minded to develop a second income stream. Why is this important? “Living off the land” style self sufficiently is an admirable and commendable goal. But even if you are living truly “debt free”, you will still have property taxes to pay. That means that you will need at least a modest recession/depression proof revenue stream in the event that you lose your primary job. Let me underscore this point with a bit of Rawles family history: My family came out west by covered wagon in the 1850s. They soon after set up a sheep ranch that eventually had more than 6,000 deeded acres where they ran more than 3,000 Merino sheep. Sadly, more than 5,000 acres of the original Rawles Ranch was forfeited, mainly because of unpaid property taxes in the Great Depression of the 1930s. There was just no market for either wool … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Pension Gamble: Cash In or Stand Pat?

Dear JWR and SurvivalBlog Faithful:
Here is a dilemma that I may encounter soon and one that other Survivalblog readers may face as well.

I work for the state (which is in dire fiscal condition) and face a possible layoff later this year. When and if this layoff occurs, I will have the opportunity to cash out my pension fund, which after penalties and taxes, would amount to about $50,000—a tidy sum indeed considering I have no other savings except for 4-1?2 ounces of gold and several hundred dollars (face value) in silver coins (thanks to SurvivalBlog’s admonitions and a re-ordering of my discretionary spending in the past year). If I were to leave the pension intact, I would receive approximately $2,100 in monthly benefits beginning in 2017.

The conventional wisdom is to leave the pension fund intact to ensure subsistence funds for the not-too-distant future. I have been … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Global Vitamin C Shortage Underscores Dependence on Red China

Here is an article I found describing a shortage of vitamin C due to production cutbacks in China. The following are two quotes from the article:
“New York and Beijing – A sharp rise in the international price of vitamin C is focusing fresh attention on the risks of the world’s growing dependence on China for essential food supplies and additives.
China, which exports more than 80 percent of the world’s ascorbic acid – also known as vitamin C and a key food preservative – appears to have cut production over the past several months, pushing prices up by more than 200 percent to a four-year high.”

“Though there appears to be no reason to believe that Chinese vitamin C is contaminated, the sudden shortage highlights another cause for concern over America’s growing reliance on Chinese food imports. Only one Western company, DSM of … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

A brief follow-up to my July 10th post mentioning that iodine crystals and iodine solutions over 3% will be restricted in the U.S.: I just heard from my NAIS grassroots contacts that the DEA regulation will be implemented as of August 1st. That will mean that any of these products that are not already in the retail supply chain will be restricted. So this is your last chance to stock up on Polar Pure iodine crystals. I heard that Ready Made Resources only has about 275 bottles left in stock. They also have some one quart bottles of 10% Betadine solution available, at a bargain price. Both products will likely disappear in just a couple of days.

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Chrysler crisis and the plunge into chaos

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Learning to recognize the many names of MSG. … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

Today we present another article for Round 11 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. I will again be sending out a few complimentary copies of my novel Patriots as “honorable mention” awards. Round 11 ends on July 31st. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

Survival Planning–More Than Just Gear and a “To Do” List, by Ray

A lot of people tend to approach survival planning as a simple exercise in gathering stuff and making a “to do” list. Having the right supplies and equipment is important, as is prior planning. But there may be a way to optimize your post collapse/disaster actions. I’d like to talk about the concept of the decision making aspects of survival. Decision making is the “Why” that joins the “What” (As in “Here’s what we’re going to do…”) to the “How” (As in “…and here’s how.”) All the gear and knowledge in the world do you no good if you don’t think your actions through before you act. Right up front, I’d like to acknowledge that a large part of these thoughts are drawn from various decision-making training that I’ve been exposed to, not the least of which is the OODA Loop, conceived by Col. John Boyd. The simple … Continue reading

The U.S. Stock Market: “Eject!, Buckaroo, Eject!”

The massive injections of liquidity from the Federal Reserve for the past five+ years–created by artificially low interest rates–have clearly come to an end. Cheap credit “fixes” are no longer available, and the credit junkie is going to experience withdrawal symptoms. Recently, news of the sub-prime debacle and teetering derivatives hedge funds have registered with investors–at least at the institutional level. Collectively, they have come to the realization that the party’s over. So it was no surprise that Wall Street prices declined 4.23 percent last week. I predict that this is just the beginning of a major bear market cycle that will last several years, bringing the Dow down out of the stratosphere–perhaps to as low as the 9,000 level. I foresee that many trillions of dollars of “on paper” gains will be erased. This bear market will make the 2000 sell-off seem quite small, by comparison.

Sadly, … Continue reading