Note from JWR:

The re-launch of (our spin-off web site) is now in progress. If you are looking for retreat property, then check it out! OBTW, if you know of anyone that has a retreat-worthy property for sale, please let them know that free ads are available for the first month, and thereafter, they will cost just $1 per day! Both real estate agents and “For Sale By Owner” advertisers are welcome.

Letter Re: Help With a Non-Preparedness Minded Spouse

Dear Jim and Memsahib,
I have been discussing preparedness lately with several of my close friends. One of the things that has aided me in winning friends over to being preparedness minded is your book. Usually, once loaned to a guy, the fellow sees how plausible something like that really is and they begin to prepare. The problem is this; overwhelmingly we find have trouble with our wives. My wife, for example, says please don’t talk to me about that stuff; just tell me to get in the car when its time to go and I’ll go. She tolerates my extra purchases and the buckets in various stages of filling, but she doesn’t like to talk about preparedness. I even present it all as a message of hope, as an idea of peace in the midst of the storm from a God given common sense to prepare (Proverbs 6:6). … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Five Minute Bank Run

Dear Mr. Rawles:
I wanted to tell you a personal experience I just had at the bank that scares me to death. If you think a bank can last a few days during a bank run, then you will be very surprised by my story.

I wanted to withdraw $10,000 from a JP Morgan Chase Bank branch in a local Houston [, Texas] suburb. Chase is the second largest bank in the US and Houston is the fourth largest city in the US. I went in and said: “Can I please have my money?” The teller disappeared for 10 minutes and then came back, and told me to my surprise that “We don’t carry that much cash on hand”. I was shocked. I said: “Are you kidding me?” She went on to explain that, even though this was a payday weekend at the end of the month … Continue reading

Letter Re: The US Tax Giveaway Economic Stimulus Charade

Mr. Rawles,
On June 27, 2008 the following Associated Press headline was on Yahoo Finance: After-tax incomes and spending show big gains. “The millions of economic stimulus payments gave a massive jolt to household finanances (sic) in May, sending after-tax incomes up by the largest amount in 33 years.”

Q: Does borrowing money from the next two generations, while saddling our grandkids with principal and interest repayment obligations to foreign countries really now count as “after tax income”?

A: Not to regular SurvivalBlog readers.

Regards, – Kevin A.

JWR Replies: Those with the Big Government mindset would answer: “Oh, but we just owe it to ourselves!” Or as J. Wellington Wimpy, from the Popeye comic strip would say: “”I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!”

FWIW, I’m planning to spend my IRS “stimulus” check on some more full capacity magazines (aka “high capacity” in … Continue reading

Letter Re: Victory in the DC v. Heller US Supreme Court Decision–With Some Reservations

Hi Jim,
I was just reading your very excellent SurvivalBlog [post on the Heller decision] this morning. A great site you have.

Regarding Mr. Gura, don’t be too hard on him because he appeared to throw machine guns under the bus at oral argument. I believe that Gura made a tactical decision not to discuss machine guns because he knew that, for now, the machine gun issue was a loser of an argument, and would distract from a more important first step: getting the Second Amendment declared as an individual right. Now that the court has declared (as those of us who can read plain English have known all along) that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, we can work toward machine guns and carrying weapons for self-defense outside the home.

Besides, if you look at what Gura actually argued (quoted in … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Several readers mentioned this “must read” article from England: ‘The Archers’ brings the idea of a self-sufficient community to the fore

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My brother sent me this link: Something May be Wrong with the Sun–and the Weather Could Get COLDER

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Hawaiian K. and Steve spotted this over at the Kitco forums: US meltdown within weeks?

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There are now just three days left in’s special sale on Interceptor Body Armor and Kevlar helmets, just for SurvivalBlog readers.

Letter Re: Kudos for the WRSA’s Medical Training

I would like to recommend to anyone looking for medical training in grid down austere environments to attend the 2-1/2 day course offered by Western Rifle Shooter’s Association (WRSA). My wife and I recently attended their course in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho this past weekend, and found the course informative and thought provoking, considering ing the times ahead of us. Hands-on training in suturing, wound triage, and trauma wounds were a plus to our animal husbandry skills. Another great aspect is [meeting] the like-minded people that attended this event.

The Western Rifle Shooter’s Association is scheduling more clinics this summer, so look for their ads. BTW, I also recommend their rifleman classes. – Kepha in Idaho

Letter Re: Lessons From Grandpa–Firewood Cutting for Seasonal Employment

Good morning, Mr. Rawles.
Thank you for your good work. I have reciprocated by being a 10 Cent Challenge subscriber from a while ago.

I wish to correct an item from today’s SurvivalBlog entry – while otherwise a very, very nice article – Lessons From Grandpa–Firewood Cutting for Seasonal Employment, by JSW

The author says “a Pickeroon [a.k.a. “Peavey” or “Cant Hook”] which is glaringly incorrect; they are three separate and unique tools. A pickeroon is a short-handled hookeroon – which is a single straight pick about six inches long set at a 90 degree angle from the end of the tool handle. A pickeroon has about a 14 to 16 inch straight axe-type handle and a hookeroon has about a 24 to 28 inch straight axe-type handle. Either tool is used in conjunction with a pulp hook in reaching for, moving and tossing cord-sized wood up … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader KT mentioned that Mike Kemp’s analysis of the Heller Second Amendment supreme court ruling has been posted at the Staying Alive blog.

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Hawaiian K. recommend a web site with some tips on survival cooking.

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I ‘ve discussed cartridge and shotshell adapters several times in SurvivalBlog. Henry sent me a link to the web site for a maker of some high quality shotshell adapters: Gaugemate. They make them with integral extractors, and more simple (and less expensive) “push out” models.

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Kevin A. flagged this article for us: Commodities rally driven by fundamentals, not speculators. Here is a key quote: “In sum, our research suggests that loose monetary policy has played a much more important role than speculators in the recent commodity price rally.”

Note from JWR:

The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction is at $370. This auction is for two cases (12 cans) of Mountain House freeze dried foods in #10 cans donated by Ready Made Resources, valued at $260, a course certificate for a four-day Bushcraft & Survival Course valued at $550, 25 pounds of green (un-roasted) Colombian Supremo coffee courtesy of valued at $88.75, and a set of 1,600 U.S. Military Manuals, Government Manuals, and Civil Defense Manuals, Firearm Manuals on two CD-ROM disks, valued at $20. Please e-mail us your bids, in $10 increments.

Letter Re: Advice on Getting Started in Precious Metals Investing

Dear Jim, I would like to build up a moderate sized collection of precious metals as a hedge against inflation and also in case of an Argentina like economic melt down. I do not have a whole lot of cash to spend and want small denominations so silver is what I am looking for. I got into the links section and found Eastern Numismatics but from there it got confusing. Different coins had different values which makes sense but I just want to get some “junk silver” so the difference between x coin and z coin is of no concern to me (should it be?) as long as both have the amount of silver.

Also, since I will be purchasing in small amounts of a couple coins a month. It will not add up fast but it is feasible. It would be nice to be able to go to a … Continue reading

Letter Re: Observations on Gun Laws in Europe and Request for Gun Selection Advice

Dear Jim,
It is almost a year since I [started to] read SurvivalBlog. It is a great thing. Thank you for it. I am doing my best to be ready for the moment WTSHTF.

Here in Europe, as you know, we have a problem with the gun control, so the only way to have guns is for hunting purposes (for self defence is almost impossible), and after few difficult tests, that includes psychiatric and medical tests, some law knowledge about guns regulations, safety and laws, and of course, having a clean background (no prison). Of course, there is regulation even about the amount of ammo that you can have at home. I read you store 10.000 cartridges just of .22 [rimfire], and I can’t believe it!!!! Here, the government would take your license, guns and of course, all the ammo plus assess you a nice fine.

Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

A news story of interest to preppers in the Midwest: What to do with all the sandbags? There might be an opportunity later this summer to get hundreds of sandbags that were never contaminated by sewage, free for the asking. (Well, that is, if you are willing to empty them and haul them yourself.)

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Frequent contributor Jack B. found this article: “Darkest Future” for US Commercial Aviation? My comment: It may very well be that the US commercial aviation sector was significantly over-built, based on cheap and plentiful JP-4. Now that those days are gone, it is likely that more than half of the commercial air carriers will go out of business, and the only a fraction of the currently-available flights will be operated, and some air routes will be entirely abandoned. coincidentally, I also predict that the economy of Nevada will be … Continue reading