Note from JWR:

Today we present the final entry for Round 21 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The contest prizes include: First Prize: Two transferable Front Sight  “Gray” Four Day Training Course Certificates. This is an up to $4,000 value! Second Prize: A three day course certificate from OnPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing Round 21 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry for Round 22. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Livestock for Survival, by Bobbi A.

With a cynical eye on the rapid downward spiral of events, it seems prudent to plan for a very long time of sustainable living. In this case survival depends not only on your stockpiled preps, but also in your ability to sustain food production past the end of your stored supply. Let’s assume, to begin with, that you have reasonably stocked retreat. I’m not talking a stock to the level described in “Patriots”, but rather one that includes a year (or more) of food, basic ammo, firearms, reliable water, heat and power source … the basics. Now it’s time to look past the first year or so and decide how you will continue to produce food and supplies for your family. Hunting is often an option, but it can’t be considered a long-term complete food source, as it is not nutritionally complete. Much has been said about keeping heirloom (open pollinated) seeds, and this cannot be stressed enough. But you have to plant and harvest a crop each year to continue to re-supply your seeds. Most retreats seem to be in colder climates as they tend to have a lighter year-round population load. If you’re up in the mountains, altitude … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Should We Still be Saving Nickels?

Dear James, Do you still recommend saving nickels [as you suggested in SurvivalBlog, in 2007]? Thanks for all you do. I’m planning on ordering the new edition of your novel on April 8th, and I’m currently re-reading the original [edition]. May God continue to bless you and your family. Sincerely, – Steve B. JWR Replies: Yes, nickels (American five cent pieces) are still “the pauper’s silver”. Since base metals prices pulled back in advance of current the recession and have remained low, it looks like we may have another one or two years available to amass nickels. (For now, they are still being minted, with their long-standing metal content–75% copper, and 25% nickel.) But once double digit (or higher) inflation kicks in, nickels will likely be the first US coins to be dropped from circulation. Zinc pennies will follow soon after. In a major inflation cycle, eventually all coins–except perhaps for ersatz coin plastic or aluminum tokens–will be dropped, since their base metal content will begin to grossly exceed their face value.

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Economics and Investing:

From BNL: ‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years SF mentioned this: NYSE Runs Out of Gold Bars: What Happens Next? K.A.F. mentioned a photo essay from Time magazine: The Dangers of Printing Money Items from The Economatrix: Stocks Tumble as Automaker’s Plans are Rejected G20 Targets Hedge Funds as Leaders Near Consensus [British] Banking and Finance Sector to Axe 30,000 Jobs in Six Months Fresh Flight From Risk Hit Global Equities London Shares Slide as Global Bull Run Fades GM CEO Resigns at Obama’s Behest Hedge Funds Vow to Fight as G20 Gathers Germans Wreck Global “New Deal” Tax Havens Batten Down as Hurricane Looms Geithner Announces “New Rules of The Game” for Wall Street “Obama administration’s six-point plan proposes federal supervision of hedge funds and derivatives trading and powers to seize troubled financial institutions.” Russia Backs Return to Gold Standard To Solve Financial Crisis A World Currency Moves Closer After Geithner’s Slip Peter Schiff: The Fault Lines Emerge “Thesis Trading” Ignores the Data Insanity Finance (The Mogambo Guru)

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Our Editor at Large, Michael Z. Williamson, sent us a news story of Nanny State Britannia Run Amok. I was dumbfounded by the descriptions of police holding back neighbors that wanted to bring ladders to rescue the family. This is the same country where homeowners have been charged with felonies for defending their own homes from armed intruders. The whole “only trained professionals” mindset infuriates me. It diverges 180 degrees from the Rawlesian Survivalist view. I believe that all adult citizens should be prepared, trained, willing, and able, to act promptly and decisively in emergencies. Seeing this article reminded me to repeat my advice to SurvivalBlog readers in the UK: Take the Gap! Emigrate to the United States or New Zealand, as soon as possible. Living in England is for all intents and purposes a lost cause for preparedness-minded families. In a societal collapse, only criminals and a much smaller number of police will be armed. The majority of the citizenry will be grossly under-armed and hence at the mercy of the thugs. It will be a very dangerous place to live!    o o o BeverlyHillbilly was browsing around a earthbag building web site and its blogs, and was … Continue reading

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 21 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The contest prizes include: First Prize: Two transferable Front Sight  “Gray” Four Day Training Course Certificates. This is an up to $4,000 value! Second Prize: A three day course certificate from OnPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing Round 21 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry for Round 22. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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TEOTWAWKI Medical Skills: Thoughts on Becoming a “Woofer” (Wilderness First Responder), by Richard B.

Background Most people I know prepare for medical emergencies by buying a first-aid kit, maybe taking a class, maybe buying some additional supplies, and calling it good. In an urban setting we typically expect to have professional assistance in less than an hour, but natural or man-made disasters could change this to days, weeks, months – or longer. I often work and play outside – skiing and motorcycles, construction and heavy-equipment, and off-grid living. I’ve fallen from horses, bicycles, and a roof. I live in earthquake and volcano country, and I’ve helped raise three sons. I’ve been motivated for more than 40 years to be ready for whatever comes my way – “expect the unexpected”. And part of my prep has led me to study “improvisational backcountry medicine”. In an emergency, providing medical care requires knowledge, practice, equipment and supplies, and the right mind-set. Emergencies are charged with emotion and unpredictability. In this brief commentary I’m advocating two things: investing (time/money) in a comprehensive training program that provides hands-on, real-world scenarios, and then, putting together a full kit that will meet the needs of your current or probable family/community, and allow you to fully utilize your skills. As a teen–in … Continue reading

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Four Letters Re: A Well-Rounded Skillset Requires Both Range-Based and Force-on-Force Training

Jim: SF in Hawaii seems to have written in haste. His assertion is based on merely seeing the introductory courses at Front Sight. Just read this course description of Front Sight’s Advanced Integrated Handgun course. This course offers exactly what he’s complains is lacking at shooting schools. – Tantalum Tom Mr. Rawles, In response to SF in Hawaii’s comment,. I returned this past week from a four-day defensive handgun course with the one day 30-state CCW [permit qualifying] class at the end. SF is incorrect in several areas, but I will mention two specifically. First, while we may have been stationary during the initial shoot, we were quickly moving after the actual shots were taken – this movement was called “after action” movement. In fact, at one point, I had an instructor standing next to me reminding me to “move, move, move ….don’t stand still.” During our one day CCW class, our instructor gave us an idea about what the “Tactical Handgun” class consisted of – We were literally running along side several targets and shooting from the running position with the instructor attached to us ensuring that we did not stand still – reminding us the entire time that … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

I got another one of those “when are stock and real estate prices going to bottom?” question e-mails, this time from reader G.R.P.. He was anxious that both the value of his house (in coastal southern California!) and his 401(k) have both already lost about half their value. The plain truth is that we are nowhere near the bottom. The economy won’t turn around until a lot of malinvestment and toxic debt gets worked out of the system. And markets won’t re-liquidify until after asset values get close to a bottom. For now, prices are still marked to mystery rather than marked to market. I’ve twice posted the link to a chart from the Calculated Risk blog, but perhaps its full import was missed by G.R.P. and a few other readers. This chart clearly shows that residential real estate has a lot farther to fall, especially in the bubble regions where NINJA (“Liar Loan”) financing was use extensively. Many of those hundreds of thousands of mortgages were rolled up into Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)–now next to worthless–and much of that that paper was insured with umpteen billions of dollars in Credit Default Swap (CDS) derivatives. Many of those CDSes no … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Semper Cynicus sent us this gem: Chechen soldiers’ Flinstonian phone charger. My father’s often quoted the old “Dollars to Sweat Ratio”. Assuming that hand tools were used, this is obviously a prime example of the “high sweat” end of the scale!    o o o I just heard that Ready Made Resources. now has just nine of the Warrior Aid and Litter Kits left on hand. If you need one of these very comprehensive medic kits for your retreat, order it soon!    o o o From FloridaGuy: Urban coyote attacks on the rise, alarming residents    o o o Thanks to DD for this news article link: Mount Redoubt eruption provides lessons in survival

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