Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 32 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include: 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 $795, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A 250 round case of 12 Gauge Hornady TAP FPD 2-3/4″ OO buckshot ammo, courtesy of Sunflower Ammo (a $240 value), and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value). Second Prize: A.) 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 $400, B.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and C.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value). Third Prize: A.) A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21. (This filter system is a $275 value.) , and B.) Expanded … Continue reading

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The TEOTWAWKI Information Hunt, by Ed P.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a survival book that tells you how to get gasoline out of an abandoned gas station with no electricity? (Why do people keep looking for the key?) Or how about a way to take a propane powered car and convert it so that you can attach one of those canisters stacked outside nearly every retail or convenience store?  Or, that a piece of cigarette pack plastic wrapper can be used to stop a sucking chest wound? And, of course, how about an illustration of how to use that ink pen as a tracheotomy tool? (Click pen or stick pen?) One can still hope. The answers are available when one knows where to look. Since reading “Alas, Babylon” and “Earth Abides” Americans have been captivated by the concept of TEOTWAWKI.  One need not be a survivalist, per se, when disaster strikes, but one always needs to be prepared when “the balloon goes up.”  The first real preparation training one had might have been in the military (while stationed in Germany) or cleaning a rabbit after a Saturday hunt with dad. Soldiers had to have an emergency evacuation kit to get families out of Europe if … Continue reading

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The U.S. Dollar’s Prospects in the New Year

As the editor of SurvivalBlog, I regularly get those “timing” e-mails from readers, asking me for my prediction of when the U.S. Dollar will collapse. I can’t provide you a date, but you don’t need to be a past recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics to see some crucial facts and draw some logical conclusions. Consider the following: The Federal Reserve recently became the largest holder of U.S. Treasury debt, surpassing China and Japan. The neo-Weimar monetization that is dubbed “Quantitative Easing” is wildly inflationary. The number of dollars in circulation is galloping, and that can only result in inflation. The government’s annual outlay just to pay the interest on the National Debt is nearly half a trillion dollars. The charts show a decline since 2008, but that is illusory. The decrease in interest payment obligations is only because interest rates have been kept artificially low, and because the Federal Reserve is monetizing the debt. (With Quantitative Easing, the government is effectively buying its own debt, with magically created dollars. The U.S. dollar is has lost 96% of its purchasing power since 1913. The gradual effects of continuing inflation are only noticed by a few. But the Generally Dumb … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Better Than Sterno

Dear JWR: I have used Sterno alcohol gel fuel when camping or hunting for years. About a dozen years back I discovered a better product than Sterno for about one tenth the cost. My local Sam’s Club sells a hand sanitizer under their Maker’s Mark label. A two liter jug of this with a hand pump sells for as low as $5.50 when it is on sale. It has a built in hand pump and I always have one in the shop. I started using this as a substitute for Sterno when I was packing for a fishing trip and discovered I was out of Sterno. I remembered reading the label on the hand sanitizer and it said it was 70% Ethyl Alcohol so I tested it and it definitely burned hot. I know it is a hotter fire than Sterno. (A friend has an Infrared thermometer and we did comparison tests with Sterno versus the hand sanitizer and the sanitizer burned a lot hotter) and it has a pleasant smell. Since my tests, I’ve started filling empty Sterno cans with this and it works great. My only problem with it is that the flame is almost invisible. Do any … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

C.T.L. sent this: Bailed-Out Banks Slip Toward Failure. From The Daily Bell: Brownian Schism–Ellen Brown Restoring Credit with a Publicly-owned Bank: The Model of the Bank of North Dakota. The article begins: “Neither states in the U.S. nor those in the eurozone can print their own money, but they can own banks, which can create bank credit on their books just as all banks do.” El Jefe Jeff E. suggested this Wall Street Journal report: The Price of Silver is Soaring. Items from The Economatrix: Silver Will Be Worth More Than Gold   If You Haven’t Bought Silver Yet, Read This   Energy, Agriculture, Gold And Silver Bullion–Protectors From The Coming Crisis   Baby Boomers Retirements In Jeopardy

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Inflation Watch:

The UK inflation genie is out of the bottle Grain Prices Heading Higher In 2011 On Tight Supplies, Rabobank Says More from our friends in Appenzell, at The Daily Bell: Inflation Heard Round the World Ex Shell president sees $5 gas in 2012 Gulf CEO: Oil May Near $150 a Barrel by Summer

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Odds ‘n Sods:

At least a dozen readers sent this: Ashton Kutcher Predicts Worthless Currency And Mass Panic, Recommends Getting As Buff As Possible.    o o o News from Lincoln, Nebraska: Twenty police respond to man playing with crossbow in his backyard, seize house. Here is the relevant statute from the Lincoln, Nebraska web site: “9.36.050 Discharge of Weapons and Other Instruments Unlawful.” JWR’s Advice: I recommend avoiding these ludicrous jurisdictional entanglements by locating your family well outside of city limits!    o o o I was saddened to hear that Aaron S. Zelman died on December 21st. He was 64 years old. His funeral service was held Christmas Eve in Mequon, Wisconsin. Aaron was the executive director of the JPFO, an organization that I’ve supported for many years. Aaron was a strong defender of our right to keep and bear arms. My condolences to his wife Nancy and to his sons Jeremy and Erik. His obituary stated that memorials to JPFO, P.O. Box 270143, Hartford, Wisconsin 53027 or Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue are appreciated. Rest in Peace, Aaron.    o o o Several readers sent this: 14 Of The Most Ridiculous Things That Americans Are Being Arrested For    o … Continue reading

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 32 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include: 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 $795, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A 250 round case of 12 Gauge Hornady TAP FPD 2-3/4″ OO buckshot ammo, courtesy of Sunflower Ammo (a $240 value), and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value). Second Prize: A.) 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 $400, B.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and C.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value). Third Prize: A.) A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21. (This filter system is a $275 value.) , and B.) Expanded … Continue reading

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My First Year Raising Broiler Chickens, by R.W.L.

I’m writing to share stories and lessons from my first year raising chickens for meat for my family and for sale. Knowing the tricks to successfully raising your own meat could really be a game-changer post TEOTWAWKI, so I want to spread this wealth of information I’ve gleaned in hopes that others may benefit.   I followed the model popularized by Joel Salatin where the chickens are put into mobile pens that move along the ground to a new, fresh piece of pasture each day.  Receiving day old chicks in the mail from the hatchery and watching them grow is a real treat.  This will not be a comprehensive guide, however, because there are plenty of other resources out there that accomplish that better than I can.  Several topics of interest have been selected to the share stories and details on how it worked.     Breeds I tried two different breeds in this system: the Cornish Cross and the Freedom Ranger.  The Cornish Cross is the bird that is raised by the billions in confinement by the very biggest producers in the United States.  It has been bred for its fast gains, reaching harvest weight at only eight weeks of age.  … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Clothing for Long-Term Scenarios

Mr. Rawles, First let me say how much I enjoyed your novel “Patriots“, I have read it three times now and am eagerly awaiting its planned sequels. I just wanted to mention/remind your readers as to the importance of sturdy clothing in a “Grid Gone” scenario. It is my belief our clothing (very taken for granted) will suddenly become an extremely important part of life and not just “frosting on the cake” so to speak. I was reminded of this when I had a yard sale one day and a woman from an ex-soviet satellite country arrived as an “early bird”, she was returning to her country and was buying up all our used clothing and even bought a couple of used suitcases to put it in. (I consider yard sales more  for recycling rather than a money making event) The best we could surmise from her broken English was that clothing was at an extreme premium in her county and could be resold, traded or worn. New clothing was just something that was purchased on occasion since most money went to food and shelter. “Grid Gone” means hard physical work every day, which will be very tough on clothing . Although Mil-Spec uniforms are tough, resilient … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Life imitates art, right down to the terminology: ‘Doubling Up’ in Recession-Strained Quarters. (Thanks to Shawn M. for the link.) Bailed Out Banks on Brink of Bankruptcy — Again John R. sent these two items by Dave Cohen: Borrow Like There’s No Tomorrow  and The Debt Countdown Begins     Rosenberg: Housing Double-Dip Straight Ahead Items from The Economatrix: After Holiday Spree, Doubts About Economy Linger   Two Charts Which Tell The Whole Story   Open Interest In Silver Continues To Rise / Troubles In Major US Cities   Silver Is The Biggest Sleeper Of All   $500 Silver And Imminent Price Explosion  

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