Letter Re: How/Where Can I Learn About Fiber Arts?

Dear Memsahib:

In your biography, I noticed that you wrote: “I also have taught Fiber Arts. I can shear a sheep, angora goat, or angora rabbit and wash, card, dye, spin, knit, weave, (and/or felt) the wool into socks, mittens, a hat, scarf, or a sweater.”

Speaking for those who happen to have a small herd of Angora goats, but no practical knowledge of shearing or weaving/knitting, to say nothing about “wash – card – dye – spin,” are there any books you can recommend? Or perhaps, alternatively, a DVD? Thanks, – Pete M.

The Memsahib Replies: I think hands-on learning is so much better than a book or DVD for learning fiber art skills. These are truly “hands-on” tactile skills.

I would recommend you look for a Fiber Guild in your area. These are groups (mostly women) who get together to learn spinning, knitting, felting, weaving, etc. … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: Are Simultaneous Inflation and Deflation Possible?

We are clearly experiencing deflation, as bad debt and derivatives unwind. At the same time there appears to be massive inflation by the Fed, or else where did the three Trillion for Iraq come from?

The only “X factor” now is the money multiplier. Reserve requirements are now [effectively] zero. A good video (Flash required). But now eliminate the reserve component, [and its] Zimbabwe dollars ahoy.

Here is some scary stuff, directly from the Fed.

And here is an explanation similar to what I had wanted to write about the “Its the Economy Stupid” with Clinton and Greenspan – David in Israel

Dear Jim:
Your piece “Are Simultaneous Inflation and Deflation Possible?” was a great posting on the economic/financial storm brewing. As the “perfect storm” is just getting rolling, this is a good time for those who have … Continue reading

Weekly Survival Real Estate Market Update

Retreat Caretakers, the Good, Bad and the Ugly
Recently I had the honor of reviewing a spectacular working retreat somewhere in Idaho. The owner, whom resides out of state, was present to give me a tour over the grounds covering hundreds of acres filled with multiple springs, ponds and varied terrain that would leave most of the readers here coveting thy neighbors retreat. I suppose I’m guilty as I write this update as well. Thank God for His grace.
The intention of this weeks update is to briefly explore the idea of retaining a full time caretaker at one’s retreat, the pro’s and of course the cons of such an undertaking and the objective of such a decision.
On the surface most, including myself, hail to an astounding NO, when the thought comes to having another person living at their retreat. What about OPSEC? … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

I recently heard from three different storage food vendors that they are getting deluged with orders. Apparently, the recent economic news and reports of grain shortages have worked together to cause people to suddenly want to lay in a supply of long term storage food. Both Mountain House and Alpen Aire now have orders backed up 45 to 60 days. Many storage food vendors have run out of stock, so expect to wait at least two months for shipment. I only expect the order backlogs to increase in coming months, so don’t dawdle. Prices are also likely to increase, since most of the packaging companies are changing prices “as needed” (based on cost increases) rather than the traditional annual price list updates. OBTW, I heard from Ready Made Resources that they still have some 6-can cases of Mountain House Freeze dried foods (with a 30+ year shelf life) … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis

Are Simultaneous Inflation and Deflation Possible?

I often have friends and clients ask me how I can talk about inflation and deflation in the same breath. They’ve asked: “But I thought that inflation and deflation were contradictory. How do you think that we could experience both inflation and deflation at the same time?”

Let me explain, starting with a bit of background: The fractional reserve banking system, based on usury, creates money. Here is a simplified example: Each time you deposit a $1,000 at your local bank, the bank then lends nearly all of that money out to someone else, charging interest. The bank holds just a small reserve (“the fraction”) to cover the their likely daily withdrawal demands. Now, say that $950 of your deposited money is borrowed by a business, to purchase raw materials. The seller of those materials will deposit the payment check into his own bank. But then … Continue reading

Letter Re: Building a Kalashnikov at Home

Dear Jim,
As you know, it’s legal in America to build your own standard firearm for personal use [by manufacturing your own receiver.] One of the best ways to get a discreet, legal, off-paper SHTF rifle is an imported de-milled Kalashnikov (AK) kit, with a new, home-built receiver.

Take a look at this web site. His heat treating and machine and tool instructions are accurate. This is the best site I’ve seen on the subject. I was able to tear down a Romanian kit and assemble a working AK in about 8 hours. Beginners will likely need a couple of weekends. – Michael Z. Williamson

Odds ‘n Sods:

Billy S. found this piece: Is Zimbabwe-style Inflation Coming to America? $500,000 for a cigarette?

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Courtesy of our friend Eric comes this from The Seattle Times: Wheat Hits Record on US Inventory Report

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PMac found us a “Fun little list of Dream BOVs

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John S. suggested the economic commentary in video clip of Glenn Beck’s interview of Jonah Goldberg, the author of the book “Liberal Fascism”

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"In our recent survey of the African battlefields, we discovered more positively every time that it was not Boer marksmanship that made the difference in those wars so much as Boer gun handling. Contrary to widespread belief, the Boers did not do significant damage at great range, but when they got into a firing position at a reasonable range, they shot carefully in order to hit rather than by volley [fire] in order to scare. It seems apparent that these men, while good shots, were not extraordinary shots. What matters is that when they came on to shoot they used their individual weapons purposefully rather than ostentatiously. Carefully aimed rifle fire at short range is overwhelmingly demoralizing. What happens, however, is as the range shortens improperly organized warriors tend to shoot carelessly. The difference is decisive." – The Late Col. Jeff Cooper

Note from JWR:

The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction lot is now at $80. The auction is for three items: a 120 VAC/12 VDC BedFan Personal Cooling System (a $99 retail value), kindly donated by the manufacturer, a Thieves Oil Start Living Kit (a $161 retail value) donated by Ready Made Resources, and a copy of the latest edition of “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by the late Carla Emery (a $32 retail value). The auction ends on March 15th. Please e-mail us your bids, in $10 increments.

Letter Re: Drastic Changes in the Global Derivatives Market–Be Ready for the Mother of All Bailouts

Scroll down this article to the link to the Quarterly Derivatives Fact Sheet. It shows Citi[Bank] exposed to $3 trillion and J.P. Morgan at $7.8 trillion [in OTC derivatives.]

Continue to the bottom of the piece for “Intelligence Czar Can Waive SEC Rules.” It looks like the Plunge Protection Team is operating in overdrive.

Eisenhower warned of “The military-industrial complex”. What about the corporate-government complex? This looks like something Il Duce would have been proud of.

Best wishes for our free enterprise system, – William

JWR Replies: I’m glad to see that some readers took the time to look through the soon-to-be defunct Economic Indicators page link that I provided earlier this month. The executive summary for the Q3 2007 Quarterly Derivatives Fact Sheet mentions “U.S. commercial banks generated $2.3 billion in revenues trading cash and derivative instruments in the third quarter … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: Thoughts on Overseas Retreat Destinations

I concur with David in Israel regarding overseas retreat destinations. Before any of this discussion was brought up for survival locations, I entertained the idea of relocating to New Zealand, but not for survival reasons. As much as I am attracted there, I rule it out now. I also served in the Middle East as a soldier and served in Moscow, in a different capacity. I spoke fluent Russian at that time. Residing in a foreign country is just that, foreign. Don’t kid yourself, in a real situation, you don’t have much of a chance, even with family. Your best bet is to stay here and circle the wagons. Plus, since you’re reading this blog, we ‘survivalists’ all need you here so that we can help each other. – Flhspete


Hi James,
I disagree with Tonga as a retreat location. I spent six weeks sailing through … Continue reading

Letter Re: G.O.O.D. by Canoe or Other Boat


I have been reading your blog for some time, thanks for all the great info.

One idea that I have not heard much about is using medium size rivers as a way to Get Out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.). I know that it would require just the correct locations for both your work as well as your retreat. But a lot of large cities are near some sort of river or lake. In the best case if you work or live upstream from your retreat you could have a small flat bottom or a canoe stored some place to get back to your retreat. I am always surprised how quietly you can move in a canoe. And if you make your move at night you would be even harder to detect. If your retreat is a short hike from the river it could work out quite well. If you … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Eric sent us this: Deep recession feared in U.S.– Falling business sentiment fuels gloomy outlooks

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John S. flagged this: U.N. Conference Promotes Insect-Eating for Everyone From Famine Victims to Astronauts

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Hawaiian K. sent this: Former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan Says Dollar Peg for Gulf State Currencies ‘Needs to Go’

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Yishai sent this link: Scanned 1962 Fallout Shelter Handbook