Note from JWR:

The high bid is now at $300 in the SurvivalBlog benefit auction for a brand new Big Berkey water filter, kindly donated by Ready Made Resources. They are one of our most loyal advertisers. The auction ends on August 15th. Just e-mail us your bid.

On Spring and Well Water, and Some Water Treatment Basics

Plentiful fresh drinking water for drinking, cooking, washing, and gardening is the most critical resource for all societies. The vast majority of the residents of First World countries are dependent on grid power to supply their water. When the grid goes down for more than a few days, water towers will soon be drained and huge numbers of people will be forced to draw water from open sources. Thankfully, there are streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds in walking distance of most homes. Rainwater from roof downspouts can also be used. But the logistics of hauling water will just by itself …

Letter Re: With Inflation Ahead, Why Be Debt Free?

Jim, I was wondering, as perhaps some other readers are, why you advocate paying off your fixed rate mortgage in preparation for inflationary bad times ahead. It would seem that, short of Zimbabwe-style economic collapse, leaving your money in investments that more or less track inflation, and using those increasingly deflated dollars to pay off a fixed rate, constant dollar mortgage that will become increasingly cheaper with time, is to your benefit (and very much not to the bank’s). What am I missing? Regards, – Lou P JWR Replies: I advocate being debt free for several reasons. The first and …

Odds ‘n Sods:

Coutrtesy of, and also recommended by SurvivalBlog reader KB, comes this article about Zimbabwe from The Economist: How to stay alive when it all runs out   o o o Zuke in Iraq sent us this one: Two Bear Stearns hedge funds are now worth nearly nothing. We read further details in The Daily Reckoning: “Last week, all three rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch – announced downgrades of subprime linked debt. And this week, Bear Stearns said investors in one of its hedge funds that bought CDOs on a leveraged basis would get none of …

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature … laws not preventive but fearful of crimes.:" – Beccaria