America is More Like Haiti than We’d Like to Think

The recent earthquake in the island nation of Haiti illustrates the fragility of all societies. While Haiti is unusual in its lack of infrastructure and its high dependence on foreign aid–more than half of its annual government budget comes from foreign aid–it is still similar in many ways to other nations: From the 1960s to the turn of the 21st century, as in many other nations, Haiti became an urbanized nation. Before the 1960s a substantial portion of Haitian society still lived on rural semi-self sufficient farmsteads. But as urbanization and specialization went on, fewer and fewer people lived off …

Two Letters Re: The Ishapore 2A1: A Budget Battle Rifle

James, The Ishapore Enfield in .308 is still being built today in India. It is common to see local police carry them (rather than a pistol) as they also use them for crowd control (butt stroke). I picked up three of these rifles many years ago when they were first being imported into the US and they are my standard truck gun these days. While I have several M14 variants and a whole host of AR variants, the $89 I paid for each of these rifles makes them cheap enough that if I lose one (if my truck gets broken …

Letter Re: Some Observations on Fortifications Versus Camouflaged Retreats

The topic on retreats mentioned that castles were unable to withstand long sieges. This is only partially true. Once castle design was understood, a well stocked castle could withstand a siege indefinitely. Castle were designed so that the women, children, and old men who were left in a village after the fighting age men marched off to war, could defend the castle. If you examine the history of Europe you will see that castles fell to siege only infrequently; the majority of them either were betrayed from the inside or for whatever reason the stocks inside the castle (usually water) …

Economics and Investing:

Two more banks fail, bringing year’s tally to three UK’s Only Options are “Default, Inflation or Belt-Tightening” Items from The Economatrix: US Gas Likely to Top $3+ in Spring, Summer Capital One US Credit Card Charge Offs Hit 10% US 2009 Foreclosures Shatter Record Despite Aid Doug Casey Says Stock Market Set to Crash Dr. Gary North: Why Deflation is Not Ahead

Odds ‘n Sods:

Sandy in Illinois sent a link to a post from a missionary outside Port au Prince in Haiti.    o o o Harold M. mentioned a gent selling complete ALICE packs for $30:    o o o Possible garden seed shortages in 2010? Thanks to Bob W. for the link.    o o o The ultimate bug-out vehicle? Chris M. sent this story from RD Mag: Street-legal airplane made possible with new rules, new software.