Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 35 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round 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 Alpine Aire freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $400 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo , and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value). Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) 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 $300, C.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and D.) 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 … Continue reading

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Prepping From the Ground Up, by N.V.

As a newcomer to the survivalist game (and by newcomer, I mean that I haven’t planned for anything bad to happen in the future except for my daughter reaching dating age), I thought it would be interesting to detail how I came to be reading this web site at this point in my life and the steps I have taken so far as a “virgin” survivalist.   I became interested in it recently due to several factors. The first is I have always found literature regarding end of the world scenarios to be fascinating.  I have read everything from On the Beach to The Last Ship to science fiction stories about the end of times such as the Daybreak series. Second, while I am not politically active, I am politically observant, and there are telling signs in the global economy and in politics within the United States that are quite troubling.  The third, and perhaps most important, is that I am a planner and worrier by nature (both at home, and as my job) and I found myself thinking of various scenarios that could happen.  I then realized that, while many bad things could happen, I (and my family) was really prepared … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Securing Windows With Plywood The Fast And Easy Way

Sir: I’ve been researching ways to secure windows in a SHTF scenario and it seems that one of the best ways to do this is by screwing pre-cut sheets of plywood to the window frame.  This will take many screws and it will leave screw holes in your window frame if/when it comes time to take down the plywood.  It also takes precious time to put a lot of screws in even with a powered screwdriver and depending on the size of the window, you might need several people to hold the plywood in place while you put the screws in. The French cleat method involves securing a strip of wood with a 45 degree bevel to the wall, and then securing an opposing beveled strip on the back the object you want to hang.  This is often used to hang cabinets and is very strong.  If you add French cleats to to top (and to the bottom if you want it really strong) of your plywood and windows, one person should be able to hang each piece of plywood very quickly.  If you build it into the existing trim, provided it is strong enough wood, it will be almost … Continue reading

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Guest Article: The Screaming Fundamentals for Owning Gold and Silver, by Chris Martenson

This report lays out an investment thesis for gold and one for silver.  Various factors lead me to conclude that gold is one investment that you can park for the next ten or twenty years, confident that it will perform well. My timing and logic for both entering and finally exiting gold (and silver) as investments are laid out in the full report. The punch line is this: Gold and silver are not (yet) in bubble territory, and large gains remain, especially if monetary, fiscal, and fundamental supply-and-demand trends remain in play. Introduction In 2001, as the painful end of the long stock bull market finally seeped into my consciousness, I began to grow quite concerned about my traditional stock and bond holdings. Other than a house with 27 years left on a 30 year mortgage, these holdings represented 100% of my investing portfolio. So I dug into the economic data to see what I could discover. What I found shocked me. It’s all in the Crash Course in both video and book form, so I won’t go into that data here. By 2002, I had investigated enough about our monetary, economic, and political systems that I decided that holding … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

F.J. suggested the tax infornmation from Kiplinger’s, for helping to select reterat locales: Retiree Tax Heavens (and Hells) Reuter’s reports: S&P to deeply cut U.S. ratings if debt payment missed Kostas sent this: Greece faces general strike, more cuts planned. This article includes a quote from deputy prime minister, Theodoros Pangalos: “A return to the drachma would mean that the next day banks would be surrounded by people trying to get their money out. The army would have to use tanks to protect [the banks] because there wouldn’t be enough police to do it.” Alexander in Germany flagged this one for us: ‘The German Government Will Pay Up’. Here is a omimous quote: “Sooner or later, this much is certain, the system will be blown apart by political and economic factors. And, unfortunately, there is a great danger that, when this happens, it is not only the euro that will fall apart, but also the entire EU.” Sig Kriegsman suggested this blog post by Bruce Krasting: Obama, Democrats, Republicans AND Bernanke All in a Bind – What they will do and when Economist Carmen Reinhart Shares Her Grim Outlook for the U.S. Economy Michael Pollaro, in Forbes: Monetary Watch June … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Several readers mentioned this: President Obama’s Executive Order 13575: Rural Council.    o o o Veteran SurvivalBlog contributor K.T. wrote to mention that someone recently scanned and posted Jeff Cooper’s article on Defensive Architecture from the first year of P.S. Newsletter. Note that, to the best of my knowledge, this was posted in violation of copyright. I believe that the copyright shifted from Mel Tappan to his widow Nancy Tappan, then to Karl Hess (who subsequently renamed the newsletter Survival Tomorrow), and then presumably to Karl’s heirs and assigns when he passed away. BTW, I wish that someone would republish the first three years of P.S. Newsletter. My original blue, yellow, and pink binder copies of P.S. Newsletter (that I bought from Bill Pier back in the mid-1980s when he sold licensed reprints) are some of my prized possessions.    o o o Senegal deploys extra troops as power cuts enrage. (Thanks to Steven M. for the link.)    o o o Asian ‘megapest’ is chomping up US orchards    o o o Pierre M. sent us a news article to file under “Legal Absurdities”: Vet Checks Wrong Box, Faces Charges

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

Bryan Prescot:  “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” Agent Alex Marlow:  “Conversely, sir, when you have a nail, you can bang at it all day with a screwdriver, a shoe or your hand and get nothing except hurt.  Whereas one good blow with the hammer makes the problem go away for good.”  – From Do Unto Others by Michael Z. Williamson. (Mass market paperback edition available August, 2011 from Baen Books.)

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 35 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round 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 Alpine Aire freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $400 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo , and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value). Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) 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 $300, C.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and D.) 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 … Continue reading

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Electronics for Mobile Self Sufficiency, by Blue Sun

I believe that the ultimate survival strategy for the ultimate collapse of civilization goes far beyond simply fortifying and stocking a retreat and locking yourself into a potential box canyon, I believe that the last resort for survivors is to develop the skills and knowledge to exist for years, or even for the rest of your life, in the most extreme and remote areas as a hunter-gatherer with nothing in terms of equipment except what you can carry on your back. So, here I will present part one of my must-haves for total self-sufficiency: self-contained electronic tools that can be run indefinitely on inexpensive photovoltaic panel roll-ups and [hard] panels that can be folded into pocket-sized packets. All of my power and interface connector cords are broken down into two pieces, with red and black Anderson Power Pole connectors.  That way, I can mate any [matching voltage] device-specific plug to any energy charging plug.  So, for instance, I don’t need separate miniUSB to USB, miniUSB to cigarette lighter,  miniUSB to AC-to-DC power cube, and miniUSB to gel cell battery cords.  All I really need is a  particular jack on one end of a cord, and Power Poles on the other. … Continue reading

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Letter Re: The Argument for Return to Constitutional Principles

Dear SurvivalBloggers: Growing up along the shores of Lake Michigan, I often looked upon the most foundational landmarks of the region; lighthouses.  Each was unique in design but singular in purpose, their sole function being to provide a beacon of hope and direction amidst turbulent times of treachery and despair.  When a vessel lost its bearing, wandering aimlessly, the lighthouse was ever present to guide the way to safety.  Throughout history, man used tools such as lighthouses as guideposts toward security and prosperity.  Without them his efforts were often misguided, lost, and smashed upon the rocks of hopelessness. America’s shores bear another great landmark of security and liberty, the United States Constitution.  As a phoenix from the flames of Revolution, the Constitution arose promising no freeman would ever be enslaved by the avarice of tyrants or kings.  Its creators employed their knowledge and understanding of history, carefully considering governments past and present, in an effort to divine wisdom and understanding toward the ultimate goal of creating the most definitive and powerful document of freedom and liberty ever known to man. This document would become the tool by which a world of slave traders would enact emancipation when history knew no … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Does this sound familiar? Tony B. sent us some news from Australia: Royal Mint wants 5¢ coins scrapped. Yes, when inflation embarrassingly gives coins a base metal value that exceeds their face value, governments make they conveniently declare them a “nuisance” or “too expensive”. You can either look at it as a function of “rising commodities prices” as the media suggests, or more accurately as a declining Oz Dollar. G.G. spotted this over at Total Investor: Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Prepper Dad? Even Robert Kiyosaki Is Warning That An Economic Collapse Is Coming Martin Weiss warns of derivatives doom: Government lying about debt crisis! What to do … (A hat tip to John R. for the link.) Pointman sent this from Zero Hedge: Moody’s Warns of “Severe Greek Bank Cash Shortage” Due to Accelerating Deposit Flight Items from The Economatrix: The US Monetary System and Descent into Fascism Monetary Revolution and Alternative Money Deutsche Mark “Set For Comeback” As German Euro Crisis Deepens Soros Says A Euro Exit Mechanism Is “Probably Inevitable” Amid Debt Crisis

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Odds ‘n Sods:

I just read that Hazel Dickens passed away earlier this year. She was a great bluegrass singer who will be greatly missed. She’s singing in heaven now. Hearing about her passing reminded me of where I first heard her: KFAT in Gilroy, California. When I was in college, I avidly listed to KFAT, mainly for the bluegrass and gospel-bluegrass music. Their western swing and rockabilly music was also fun, though a good portion of that was not very edifying. (They played plenty of rowdy-honkeytonk-doper songs.) But to their credit, KFAT’s play list was truly eclectic, including: Emmylou Harris (the station’s collective sweetheart), Leon Redbone, Ricky Skaggs, Warren Zevon, The Stanley Brothers, Merle Haggard, Ry Cooder, Willie Nelson, Peter Rowan, Clifton Chenier, Hot Rize, John Prine, The Seldom Scene, Delbert McClinton, Riders In The Sky, Hank Snow, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Muddy Waters, Commander Cody, Speedy Haworth, John Hartford, Gary P. Nunn, Mimi Farina, Django Reinhardt, Asleep At The Wheel, and Taj Mahal. KFAT sadly went off the air in 1982. <Sniffle> But surprisingly, a huge volume of KFAT air checks are now available via online streaming, kept alive by die-hard fans. And of course Cuzin’ Al and a … Continue reading

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