News from Wall Street and Capitol Hill–The Mother Of All Bailouts Begins to Grow

Last week, the mainstream media described the latest expansion of the Mother of All Bailouts (MOAB), but they politely refrained from calling this what it is: socialism, plain and simple. The grand plan, as it stands now, is to bail out not just consumer banks, but also investment banks, with taxpayer dollars. They are effectively making our life savings and our future earnings surety for a bunch of idiotic contrapreneurs‘ loans on everything from flat top duplexes to McMansions. These were houses that the contrapreneurs bought, that they could never really afford unless the market continued to rise at an artificial rate. They bought these houses with the intention of “flipping” them, but then the market topped out, and the “easy money” party ended.

At least those hated fascist dictators like Mussolini had the common sense to nationalize viable, productive companies. But … Continue reading

Lessons From Fiction–A Critique of “I Am Legend”, by Michael Z. Williamson

I finally had a chance to see [the 2007 movie] “I Am Legend“, and analyzed it as a writer, and from a technical perspective.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion over his [use of a] M4 [Carbine as his primary weapon]. I have to say for that type of fighting, I’d prefer a shotgun. However, a shotgun doesn’t reload fast enough. He might be better off with a good .308 self-loading carbine, if he can find adequate soft-point ammo. In New York City, that’s unlikely. National Guard armories would only have ball ammo, and likely wouldn’t have anything other than standard duty weapons. Add in that he was likely at least familiarized with the M4 as a military surgeon and officer, I think the M4 was about the best practical choice under the circumstances, though inadequate. Lesson: Obviously, for those preparing for any of various disasters, this is … Continue reading

Letter Re: Advice on Long Term Ammunition Storage Techniques

Mr. Rawles:

You recently wrote: “Oxygen absorbing packets would have no efficacy for ammunition storage. (These are designed just for killing insect larvae in storage foods).” Sorry, Jim, but that’s not quite correct. Oxygen absorbing packets come in a variety of sizes and do their job very well. Their job? Absorbing oxygen. They are placed in packets of food such as jerky to reduce amount of oxygen which degrades the flavor of the food. That they also make life more difficult for bugs is a side-effect.

The ability to absorb nearly all the free oxygen in an enclosed space makes them uniquely qualified for preservation of a variety of things – including guns and ammo. Back when Y2K was the big issue, I enclosed an SKS [carbine], a hundred rounds of ammo and several oxygen absorbing packets in a plastic tube with and glued-on caps. I … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Stephanie in Arkansas mentioned that there are some plans for do-it-yourself gravity water filters posted over at the Alpha Rubicon site. JWR Adds: OBTW, while you are there, be sure to check out their many other references available for free download. It is a great site that has done yeoman service in preparedness circles.

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From Al Jazeera television, of all places: Montana Has a Lot of Guns.

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Dennis found us this commentary on long term Social Security obligations: Glenn Beck: The $53 trillion asteroid

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Luis in Utah sent this: Gray wolf hunts planned after de-listing — Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to manage estimated 1,500 animals in region

The Nationalization of Wall Street, by John Ing

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once said: “By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.”

The Fed slashed short-term interest rates six times in six months to 2.25 per cent from 5.25 per cent despite the U.S. Department of Labor reporting that consumer prices had jumped 4.3 per cent at an annual rate in January — the biggest rise in two years. As a result, the Fed’s benchmark overnight lending rate is about half the rate of inflation and real interest rates are now negative. The last time interest … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Home Equity Loans as Next Round in Credit Crisis Don’t miss one key point that was buried near the end of the article: “…many people added second loans after taking out first mortgages, so it is impossible to say for certain how many homeowners have multiple liens on their properties.” Clearly, there are a lot of home buyers (I’ll refrain from calling them home owners, since it is the bankers that still hold controlling interest) that are getting “upside down” in their mortgages. Without a doubt, much more jingle mail is coming, as property prices continue their downward spiral.

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Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse in Zimbabwe, the currency inflation rate has jumped to an “incalculable” level. SurvivalBlog reader J.M. mentioned the mind-boggling figure of 200,000%, per annum. (not yet confirmed–the last “official” figure was 100,000%.) Even more incredibly, … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Although we give lip service to the notion of freedom, we know that government is no longer the servant of the people but, at last, become the people’s master. We have stood by like timid sheep while the wolf killed – first the weak, then the strays, then those on the outer edges of the flock, until at last the entire flock belonged to the wolf.” – Gerry Spence, From Freedom to Slavery

Notes from JWR:

Wow! Three million unique visits! Thank you everyone, for making SurvivalBlog a tremendous success. Please continue to spread the word to family, friends, and co-workers.

Today we present another article for Round 15 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 15 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entries for Round 16. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

Family Learning for Preparedness, by T.D.

My husband and I are like minded, (he realized way before I did), and he and I didn’t meet until I was in my mid-thirties. I was considered weird, called a tomboy and later, a gear head. Don’t get me wrong, I cook, sew, knit and crochet. I had many interests though and wanted to learn.

What I have seen lately and in some people we met that are like minded, is the lack of initiative on the part of some spouses. I have seen some women and men that will ridicule their spouses or will just roll their eyes and feign interest. I have seen some that their spouses have prepared and bought supplies but their other half has no clue even how to do the basics. If you are truly vested in being prepared, your spouse and children need to brush up on the basics also. This should … Continue reading

Letter Re: Advice on Purchasing Priorities For a Tight Budget

Mr. Rawles,
Hello again! Hope you and your family are doing well. I have had some questions on my mind lately, and was curious if you would mind helping me. (I know you must be tremendously busy with our “strong” economy!). My wife and I are both college students in Santa Cruz, California, and we have a very limited amount of storage space and limited income. Are there any tricks or pieces of advice you have for individuals like ourselves? I recently spent my tax refund on some firearms (which were from a federal firearms dealer :-[ ) and now I was curious about the next step. I contacted “Wiggy’s” from your web site about some sleeping bags, but feel like a water filter would be a better investment at the moment. Thanks for your time!

OBTW, I feel like California is turning into a commune, I literally have … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Fellow novelist Matt Bracken mentioned this article: Farms of fear, about murders in rural South Africa. It gives some useful glimpses, when considering security measures for retreats in the not-too-distant Schumeresque future.

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Speaking of Harder Homes and Gardens, ponder this piece: Bulletproof public design in Los Angeles. (A hat tip to James K.)

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Inyokern spotted this sobering piece: Into the Economic Abyss: How Deep Will It Go? Even the mainstream media is catching on…

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Reader “EL” suggested using propane for a source of lighting. EL notes “The Amish in our area use it through out their buildings. Using three 30# and (2) 20# barbeque tanks with a accessory hose and fitting running a single mantle lantern from Wal-Mart, the set up (determined by testing hours of burn time from (1) … Continue reading