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 e-mail us your entry. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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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 an emergency event. DURABILITY.  I try to purchase things that are built strong and proven strong. I buy denim or rip-stop pants. A lot of items I purchase are “military surplus” or Mil-spec items, because they are meant to take rough treatment and last a long time. Sometimes an item … Continue reading

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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 skeptical. – Buryl

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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 the Next Financial and Economic Crisis? “Evidence that the US is a failed state is piling up faster than I can record it. One conclusive hallmark of a failed state is that the crooks are inside the government, using government to protect and to advance their private interests.” Goldie Sachs Defends Controversial Trading Practices Recession Declared Over But Job Losses Mounting Home Foreclosures Jump in Previously … Continue reading

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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.    o o o 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.    o o o 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.)    o o o Wal-Mart Starts Selling Caskets, Urns On-Line. At least they are made in the USA, unlike most of the other products sold at what my brother calls “Great Wall of China Mart”.

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“China is now a big buyer of gold and silver for their banks. Chinese television has been recommending that everyone should go to the bank to buy gold and silver. That’s 1.3 billion people getting propagandized. This is a major bullish factor for gold. Perhaps the bankers have met their match.” – Howard J. Ruff

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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 e-mail us your entry. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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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 your first and most important layer of defense. You should hold an immediate reaction drill once per week. Keep things simple. Practice a specific response to such threats as injury, fire, attack and evacuation. Despite the challenges you must maintain contact with those around you such as neighbors for vital … Continue reading

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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 Preparedness -Family network – getting everyone involved -List of material that needs to be packed to go -Long distance phones can work (call to foreign county, deliver message, foreign county calls to local number you could not reach), calling local people sometimes doesn’t when the disaster is local. This would appear to be a … Continue reading

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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 War on the US Dollar Iranian Oil Bourse Opens UK: Credit Card Companies Will be Forced to Clean Up their Act Regulators Prepare for the Next “Big One” It Will be Difficult for the Housing Market to Return to Normal

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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.    o o o 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.”    o o o “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 front porch! Don’t forget that predators come in both two-legged and four-legged varieties.

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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

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