Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 25 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest.

First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) and C.) A HAZARiD Decontamination Kit from Safecastle.com. (A $350 value.)

Second Prize: A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $350.

Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing.

Round 25 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and … Continue reading




The Dumpster List, by InfoRodeo

Because of our financial constraints, aggravated by the economy and rural area we now live, my family cannot afford to own a second “retreat” home, nor do we have much land on which to build a shed or store much of anything. As a boy, my parents didn’t have much money, and through a mix of my dad’s “fix it or make do” attitude, the scout motto “be prepared” and my newfound need for better frugality, I’ve made a kind of checklist that every non-food purchase my wife and I make must go through, and it’s jokingly called the Dumpster list. Each point of the dumpster list should be met as well as possible, if that point is applicable. The list helps us stretch our dollars, limit our output of refuse, and choose items that are easier to transport and maintain should we be forced to evacuate or relocate during … Continue reading




Letter Re: Comments of Storing Coffee and Grinding Whole Wheat Flour

Sir:
I suggest kicking the coffee habit. Coffee offers very little actual nutritional value. It is mostly a comfort food. While that is important, consider the drawbacks:

1. Sleep pattern changes
2. Increased anxiety
3. Staining of the teeth
4. Effects on pregnancy and menopause
5. Cholesterol (French Press method can use trap cafestol and kahweol which may raise LDL levels that paper filters capture)

Regular use may lead to “habituation”; that is, no net benefit from use but, rather, a negative effect if the drug is not taken.

Too much caffeine can produce restlessness, nausea, headache, tense muscles, sleep disturbances, and cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). Because caffeine increases the production of stomach acid it may worsen ulcer symptoms or cause acid reflux (“heartburn”).

I’m sure there will be plenty of people who respond that coffee is healthy and has many benefits. I’m … Continue reading




Economics and Investing:

The credit derivatives plot thickens: New York Fed’s Secret Choice to Pay for Swaps Hits Taxpayers. (Thanks to David V. for the link.)

Russia delays sale of 50 tons of gold. (A hat tip to Trey for the link, by way of MineWeb.)

GG sent this: Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands

SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large Michael Z. Williamson spotted this New York Times piece: Hard Work, No Pay. It includes this memorable quote: “I am not unemployable. I have a master’s of fine arts and spent two years in the Peace Corps.” Mike’s comment: “Er…I thought that was the definition of unemployable!”

Ben L. liked this article: Gold Market Reaching The Breaking Point

Items from The Economatrix:

Gold to Rise to $2,000 Amid “Massive” Inflation, Superfund Says

Paul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready for … Continue reading




Odds ‘n Sods:

A new 2010 Survival Calendar is now available. I was delighted to see that the designer included one page devoted to SurvivalBlog. Check it out! OBTW, you can use the coupon code “survivalblog” (without the quotes) to get a $4 discount on checkout.

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Brian H. wrote me to mention that Gene Logsdon’s classic 1977 book “Small-Scale Grain Raising” is back in print in an updated paperback edition. Be sure to order the Second edition.

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Reader HPD sent this: Cash for Clunkers costs taxpayers $24,000 per car. And Damon sent this, on this article, with a similar theme: The Stimulus Saved 650,000 Jobs? I’m Not Impressed. ($230,769 to create each job? Only a Federal bureaucrat could call that a success.)

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Continue reading







Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 25 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest.

First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) and C.) A HAZARiD Decontamination Kit from Safecastle.com. (A $350 value.)

Second Prize: A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $350.

Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing.

Round 25 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and … Continue reading




Retreat Security: I Am Your Worst Nightmare, by Jeff T.

I am the leader of a band of 8-to-12 looters. I have some basic military training. We move from place to place like locusts devouring everything in our path. My group is armed with light weapons and can develop and follow simple plans of attack. We take what we want by force of arms. We prefer none of our victims survive because that could cause problems for us in the future.

It has been six months since the grid went down. You and the other five members of your party have settled into what may be a long grinding existence. The every day tasks of growing and gathering have now become routine. The news from the outside is extremely limited but you don’t really miss it much. Life is simple but physically demanding.

Although things may seem stable you will need to keep your team focused and alert. This is … Continue reading




Letter Re: University of California Disaster Preparedness Videos

Jim:

While scanning through iTunes U, I found a television (or audio) series from University of California TV on disaster preparedness. They are professionally produced and contain a wealth of information about about emergency response systems are intended to work. Included here are four of the fifteen or so shows that they have put together. The ones I have included are Natural Disasters, Chemical and Biological Agents, Pandemic Influenza and Emerging Infections and Disaster Volunteerism

They go over several case studies that happened in California, but talk about organizations generally enough that it is applicable to most areas with advanced emergency response systems. At the end, I have included links to more shows in UCTV disaster preparedness series.

Here are some video links and excerpted brief summaries:

Disaster Preparedness: Natural Disasters

Transportation and care
Multiple disasters co-existing (earthquake, fire, flood)

Wild fire
-larger then expected

Family … Continue reading




Economics and Investing:

Tom B. and “Word” both sent us this: Tax refugees staging escape from New York. Tom B. described as “voting with their feet.”

Julius suggested an amazing Summary of US Foreclosure Activity. Wow! One in every 23 homes in Nevada is in foreclosure!

An interesting piece over at Housing Storm: Contradictions and Symptoms of the Great Depression

Items from The Economatrix:

GM Seen Posting Sales Again

Stocks Turn Lower as New Home Sales Fall

New Home Sales Fall a Surprising 3.6%

Treasury, GMAC in Talks for Third Round of Aid

Durable Goods Orders Rise 1% in September (Whoopee! Release the balloons!)

Energy Prices Slide on Surprise Jump in Gas Supply

Worsening Job Picture Fuels Slide in Confidence

Roubini: Carry Trades Fueling “Huge” Asset Bubble

Weiss: The … Continue reading




Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Beth T. flagged this news item: Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s whiskey stash has been discovered in Antarctica, over 100 years after his failed expedition to the South Pole.

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Kimberly suggested an article that Kellene Bishop wrote on her blog site, titled: Why I Worry About You. Kimberly’s comment: “It would be a great article for your readers to send to friends who are sitting on the fence or are completely unaware of, or the extent of, current challenges facing this country and her people. It is a ‘heart to heart’ message.”

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“Word” was the first of several readers to send this: Toronto musician dies after coyote attack in Cape Breton. If just two coyotes can do that, then what could a whole pack of wolves do? Always a carry a gun when you step off your … Continue reading




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are not … they are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the U.S. for the benefit of themselves and their foreign and domestic swindlers, and rich and predatory money lenders. The sack of the United States by the Fed is the greatest crime in history. Every effort has been made by the Fed to conceal its powers, but the truth is the Fed has usurped the government. It controls everything here and it controls all our foreign relations. It makes and breaks governments at will." – Congressman Charles McFadden




Letter Re: Comments of Storing Coffee and Grinding Whole Wheat Flour

Mr. Rawles,
In your new book [“How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It“], which I ordered on “Book Bomb day” you mention that coffee is hard to store, and suggest using the vacuum-packed bricks. I have found that the key to stocking up on coffee for the long term is to buy green coffee beans that have not been roasted yet. They have the potential to keep for up to two years in just a burlap bag, or much longer if actually packed like you would wheat berries. Roasting can be an art in itself, or as simple as frying in a pan. (Just the beans, no oil of course.) A source for roasting information and ordering of green coffee beans is Sweet Marias. I roast my beans using a Fresh Roast II coffee roaster every few days, and plan … Continue reading




Letter Re: Why No Retreat Recommendations for the Northeastern US?

Hi,
I’m curious as to why you have not included the Northeast in your list of Retreat Areas–like Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine, very good candidates. Especially the northern areas of these states. Regards, – Wayne B.

JWR Replies: You might have missed this subsection in my Recommended Retreat Areas page:

Look West of the Missouri River

As evidenced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, population density is perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a safe haven. The big cities on the Gulf Coast became hell holes, whereas the small towns got by fairly well. I know that this will cause acrimony with a lot of my readers who live east of the Missouri River, but the plain truth is the East has too much population! The northeast is also downwind of some major nuclear targets. Unless you are among the uber-rich and can afford … Continue reading




Letter Re: A Canadian’s Refreshing Travel Through the Western United States

JWR,

My son (17 years old) and I, along with my dad and sister who live in Washington State just completed a 4,700 mile road trip on motorcycles, traveling down through British Columbia. We met up with my relatives in Washington, then continued down into Oregon, cutting down to Northeastern California, over into Nevada, down into Utah then to the Four Corners and back up to Idaho cutting across to Western Washington and saying good bye to them before we continued back home. My point is, we saw a lot of empty land, met a lot of good people, saw some close friends who share same beliefs and expectations of what is to come; and we were greatly encouraged!

Sometimes living in an isolated community, you get to feeling stagnant, lethargic or complacent. Seeing the western US and those who live in the country was refreshing. And, … Continue reading