Note from JWR:

Some great news! Because book sales have remained strong, Amazon.com placed a huge-re-order for thousands of copies of my novel “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse”. The economies of scale allowed them to drop their price to just $6.96. (They had previously sold it for more than $10, and its official cover price is still $14.95.) If you are planning to buy a few copies for birthday and Christmas gifts, then this is now your chance to get some for under $7 each!

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Letter Re: An Outward Bound Prepper’s Perspective

Hi Jim, I’m new to your site and books but not to the concepts and precepts. My dad had a survivalist/self-sufficient mindset with a cool mix of Native American philosophy and know-how. I didn’t eat store bought meat or baked goods until I was 10 or 12 and thought processing shoulders of venison in the kitchen was the norm. We had a huge garden and fruit tree orchard. My mom was a master at canning; although I think it should be called “jarring” because you’re putting it in jars, not cans. He collected, traded, and rebuilt guns and amassed quite a collection. I grew up reloading cartridges and sanding/staining stocks and thought nothing of it at the time. He taught us to hunt, fish, camp, garden, live off the land and many other things that I took for granted at the time. He passed away last year but his lessons and way of being in the world still guide me to this day. From reading your novel I now know why he left us a 25 pound bag of really, really old silver coins. As I have been reading your book and the blogs posts, I keep jotting notes to … Continue reading

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Five Letters Re: The Survivalist’s Guide to Martial Arts

Jim, I agree with your writer that Muay Thai and Grappling (wrestling, BJJ, etc.) are essential fighting skills. I even admit that my two black belts in traditional arts were not worth much compared to a good grappler or kick boxer. However the idea that avoiding the ground is rule #1 is not necessarily true. A grappler can control a situation very effectively on the ground and it is often then case that you can’t avoid going to the ground in a fight. Further, people of smaller stature (women especially) who cannot run from an encounter have an advantage on the ground vs. trying to duke it out with a much stronger opponent. By getting close to your adversary to engage them on the ground their primary weapons (hands and feet) are severely degraded in effectiveness. Further, a ground fighter can quickly and more reliably dispatch an opponent in a way that trying to slug it out hoping for a knock-out can never do (have you ever tried to really knock someone out who didn’t want to be knocked out? It isn’t like television, I can assure you). Also, the idea that ground fighting should be avoided because of broken … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Transcript From a Colorado Flu Pandemic Meeting

Sir, The June 25, 2009 InfraGard meeting was on the pending pandemic. The speakers were Robin K. Koons, Ph.D., epidemiologist for the Colorado Emergency Preparedness and the Director of FEMA for the State of Colorado. This InfraGard meeting was non-restricted, so these notes may be shared: [begin transcript] It is anticipated that 30% of the working population, 42 million people, will become ill. 70% of the working population, 150 million people, will not get ill, and will have to run the country. In 1918 out of the 30% that became ill, 2% died. Infrastructure may not meet human needs. Supply chain resources (warehousing, trucking, grocery store stocking, fuel deliveries) could break down because of current just-in-time inventories. Grocery and convenience stores may not have product for sale. Police, fire and rescue services might be restricted because of manpower shortages. Hospitals may run out of patient room. How do you know if you have the H1N1? You wake up with a fever of 102-103 degrees and you do not have the energy to lift yourself up so you can get out of bed. You are horizontally stuck. Preparedness in general: * Social distance is six feet. Inside six feet you can … Continue reading

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Influenza Pandemic Update:

Swine Flu Multi-Shot Vaccine May Overwhelm States “Two injections will be required three weeks apart for swine flu, also known as H1N1, and a third will be needed for seasonal flu, health officials said at a meeting today at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. Children younger than 9 years old will need four shots, the CDC said. … People older than age 50 are getting swine flu at far lower rates than younger people, evidence they may have some immunity from prior exposures to a similar virus, and will only need one shot, the CDC said. … The agency estimates that at least 50 million vaccine doses will be available in the U.S. by Oct. 15, and enough vaccine to immunize everyone in the country will be available later in the season. … William Schaffner, an influenza expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, said in an interview at the flu conference, “one shot probably gives you very little immunity, 10 to 20 percent at most.” 98% of US Flu Cases are Swine Flu How to Legally Say “No” to Vaccinations Two more swine flu deaths in Victoria HHS Extends Liability Shield … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

New Hampshire’s Senator Gregg slams the growth of the Federal Debt on an IBD editorial: A Debt The Founders Wouldn’t Believe. (Thanks to GG for the link.) GG also suggested this piece: Depression 2.0 by Michael S. Malone Patrick M. like this one: The Great American Bubble Machine Items from The Economatrix: Banks Reap Record $9.8 Billion Trading Derivative in First Quarter “The U.S. banking industry said it made $9.8 billion during the first quarter trading derivatives and securities as investors started returning to the markets amid signs the recession bottomed.” States Form Committee to Oppose GM Sale to US, Voiding of Dealer Contracts Bonds Beat Loans For Banks Driving Down Yields “Deposits at the San Antonio-based bank are growing a record 20 percent this year while loans shrink for the first time since mid-2007. Business owners are “being extremely cautious,” said Evans, who is pumping depositors’ money into Treasuries and municipal bonds.” China to Buy $80 Billion of Gold Analyst: Gold Still a Safe Haven The Coming Economic Cold War Will Be Obama’s Challenge A Stake in the Heart of 25,000 California Small Businesses Breaking The Bank New Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly to 627,000 Continuing claims rise to 6.74 … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

There was a good article recently posted over at The Silver Bear Cafe: Help! The Grocery Store Shelves are Empty    o o o Andrew D. sent us this video link: Flooded River Destroys Road In Minutes. This illustrates hydraulic power–in this case circumventing an under-engineered culvert. Roughly the same thing happened at our old ranch, where the previous owner’s three-foot diameter culvert on the creek was washed out by springtime floodwaters. I replaced it in 1994 with a six-footer, and so far as I know it is still there, and the road above it is still intact.    o o o A reader in New Mexico wrote to ask if I prefer grid-tied or standalone photovoltaic (PV) systems. My general preference is for standalone, because they have less vulnerability to EMP. But the new 30% Federal tax credit on grid-tied systems tips the scales in that direction. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in the tax code that says that you cannot take the tax credit, but then make the system standalone, at a later date. Oh, and speaking of PVs, don’t miss out on the sale price on REC 220 Watt modules from Ready Made … Continue reading

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"…the Constitution does not repose in the Congress the power to bail out individuals or private industry: Bailouts violate the Equal Protection doctrine because the Congress can’t fairly pick and choose who to bail out and who to let expire; they violate the General Welfare Clause because they benefit only a small group and not the general public; they violate the Due Process Clause because they interfere with contracts already entered into… Worse still, Congress lacks the power to let someone else decide how to spend the peoples’ money. "- Judge Andrew Napolitano, November 25, 2008

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Note from JWR:

The folks at Ready Made Resources mentioned that they have reduced their prices on many items, and now offer free shipping on most items. I also noticed that they’ve re-designed their web site. In the nearly four years that they’ve been advertising on SurvivalBlog, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the customer service provided by Ready Made Resources. Whenever there has been a glitch–and that has been rare–they’ve always gone the extra mile to make things right. In one instance, back during the severe shortage of Mountain House foods in 2008, a large storage food order was delayed, and an angry customer cancelled the order, stopping payment on his check. But the staff of Ready Made Resources shipped out his order anyway, even after knowing that they wouldn’t be paid for it. That sort of “returning kindness for wrath” is indicative of the integrity of the people that run the company. They’ve earned my trust, and they deserve your patronage.

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Ug-99 and The Ugly Times Ahead–There’ll Be Fungus Among Us

My consulting clients often ask me me for predictions. “What’s your timeframe, Mister Rawles?” I hear that in almost every consulting call. My clients ask: “When will the US economy crater?” I tell them that is impossible to predict, because there are so many variables and interdependencies, and because the markets are so heavily manipulated. They also ask me: Is the H1N1 Flu sure to mutate in to a more virulent strain, and if so, when?” I answer: “That is impossible to predict.” I’m also often quizzed about the Ug-99 wheat fungus (aka “Durable Wheat Rust”, or simply “the stem rust”). Clearly, it is advancing , but without a specific timeframe. Scientists are now calling the advance of Ug-99 around the globe “inevitable”. My greatest fear is that instead of just being spread gradually by the wind, the stem rust will make “leaps”, via the cargo holds of ships, and hence end up in the world’s “bread baskets”: Australia, the Ukraine, the US, and Canada. In the long run, containment is seen as almost impossible. Thusfar, attempts to create a rust-resistant wheat variety have been thwarted by the rust’s rapid mutation rate. Let’s look at some numbers: 20% of the … Continue reading

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France in 1940 as a Parallel to a Modern-Day Golden Horde on the Highways

Dear James: I recently purchased a book that may be of interest to my fellow SurvivalBlog readers: Hanna Diamond’s book Fleeing Hitler: France 1940. This book is currently being remaindered at the Canadian Internet bookseller Chapters.ca. The jacket copy states: “In June 1940, as Hitler’s armies advanced on Paris, the French people became refugees in their own country. This is the story of their tragic flight”. It describes what’s probably the largest, best-documented mass evacuations of a major Western city in modern times. Invasion by Germany certainly constitutes the Schumer hitting the fan in most people’s opinion; the French certain thought so; millions of them bugged out ahead of the Wehrmacht. In a nutshell, their experiences validate current survivalist thinking about bugging out; the importance of getting out early, what to bring and what to leave, having a reliable Bug-out vehicle (BOV), Bug-out location (BOL) a well-planned route, etc. The French experience in 1940 is also an interesting contrast to what might happen under similarly desperate circumstances in modern-day North America; there’s be far more motor vehicles and guns, and fewer draft animals. It’s a sobering prospect. Diamond also highlights the ineptitude and helplessness of a government in turmoil; in … Continue reading

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Letter Re: An Upcoming Retreat Purchase — Sell Gold or Take a Mortgage?

Jim, We love your site. It is part of our daily must reads. While driving to view possible retreat locations today, we printed out your advice on retreat locations and read it again as we drove to the determined area. After looking most of the day, we literally stumble upon (because it was not visible from the road – only a for sale sign) a nearly perfect location, several springs, trees, hillside with level areas, in the top three in all categories of your retreat lists, etc. In looking to make an offer we wanted your advice regarding financing the purchase. Would you recommend selling gold reserves, home equity line of credit (HELOC) on debt-free primary residence, seller financing to the extent available or institutional financing? Why and/or why not for each? Thank you so much for all you are doing. You are providing an extremely valuable and much appreciated service. – Ken I. JWR Replies: I can understand the temptation to to hang on to your gold and take a mortgage, but to be conservative and low-risk, my advice is to be debt free. We will probably experience another year or two of deflation before inflation re-emerges. Avoid debt … Continue reading

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