Notes from JWR:

Today is the birthday of science fiction novelist Larry Niven. (Born, 1938.) Along with Jerry Pournelle, he co-authored the survivalist classic Lucifer’s Hammer. April 30th is also the birthday of futurist and computer industry writer Ed Yourdon. (Born, 1944.) — Today we present another entry for Round 46 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) B.) 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 C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com. The current value of this roll is at least $225. Second … Continue reading

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Sewing, Mending and Altering Your Clothing After the Ball Drops, by Belle

My husband, children and I live in a largely off-grid community in the desert southwest.  We live on forty acres with solar power, a water well and water catchment.  We garden and live with chickens and are adding skills to our new life style all of the time.  My husband does not like for me to be too specific, but I outlined some of our lifestyle changes in an article on trash in July 2012. This article is about clothing.  It is about sewing and mending and altering.  I know you’d rather read about AR-15’s, but IMHO, clothing is going to be a big deal in a TEOTWAWKI situation.  Before radically changing our lifestyle two years ago, I was the typical American mother.  I bought new clothing when the old became too small or too worn.  I bought when the seasons changed, and worse, I bought when the fashions changed.  Another thing I steadfastly did was to donate clothing by the tub and box full.  I worked very hard at keeping our closets clean and clutter free.  This is something that every home management book, blog, and article tell American moms to do.  Whether you shop in charitable thrift stores … Continue reading

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Letter Re: One Year Food Supply at COSTCO

James, What is you opinion of the “30,144 Total Servings 4-people 1-year Emergency Food Kit” now at the COSTCO website? Are the shelf lifes realistic? (Are they really long term storage kinds of foods?) What can you tell me about the company that makes them? Are they legit? Is this price realistic? I appreciate your sage counsel. Thanks, -Walt G. JWR Replies: The THRIVE brand foods are packaged by Shelf Reliance, a very reputable company that has been a SurvivalBlog advertiser for many years. Unlike many of their competitors, they do their nitrogen packing under controlled conditions. (Tests have shown that some companies have packed their foods in #10 cans so sloppily that the oxygen and nitrogen levels were little different that normal atmospheric levels, yet they had the temerity to call their products “nitrogen packed.”) In contrast, THRIVE foods, are packaged correctly, so you will get the longest possible shelf life. BTW, I discuss some options for storage food stocking with other inventory (bulk foods) at Big Box stores such as COSTCO in the Rawles Gets You Ready Preparedness Course. Now available only by digital download, the course is now advantageously priced under $20.

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Letter Re: Building Cabins on a Shoestring Budget

Dear CPT Rawles, This letter is provided as a reply to your reader who wrote in about “Building Cabins on a Shoestring Budget”.  There are two viewpoints to this reply, one from the vantage point of an architect with a couple dozen years of real world design and construction experience as though one of my clients was cabin builder whom I was trying to advise, solely for a cost effective, build – as-you-go, off grid home solution. The second vantage point is that of a fellow prepper, former Army National Guard Infantry Lieutenant, and in my present role as an Architectural Consultant to Hardened Structures LLC, as though the cabin builder were a client to Hardened Structures. First, congrats on the land acquisition. This is a great blessing. Be so very thankful for three teen boys who hopefully can share the workload. This will be a key to your accomplishing realistic goals. Next, pray, and be super safe with power tools. I have had three architect bosses over my first dozen career years that were missing a finger or part of a hand from a table saw or something. In my very first self-constructed project, the electrician cut his own … Continue reading

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News From The American Redoubt:

Now it’s Oregon Senate’s turn to vote on gun laws. If the ban on private party gun sales is enacted, it may prove to be “The last straw” and trigger a partition of the conservative counties east of the Cascades.    o o o Errant gunshot’s shrapnel wounds two men at Idaho gun show.    o o o Ban Idaho! (Thanks to Ben H. for the link.)    o o o There are still several pro-gun pieces of legislation pending in Montana, including permitless concealed carry. Montanans should contract their representatives, to encourage the passage of these bills. The Wyoming/Arizona/Alaska/Vermont-style permitless concealed carry will require a veto-proof majority, since the state’s democrat governor vetoed the bill once before.    o o o Get in on the ammo-making boom: International Munitions & Technologies, Inc. (IMT) in Lewiston, Idaho is looking for both an IT Manager and a Site Leader Manager.

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Economics and Investing:

This confirms my assertion: The Spot Price of Precious Metals Is Becoming Irrelevant Pete H. sent this from Paul Farrell: 10 investing rules for the coming bond crash The drawn out impact of quantitative easing on real estate: Japanese real estate continues to struggle while Bank of Japan expands monetary base. JWR’s Comment: Back in the 1930s, folk comedian Will Rogers was famous for saying: “Buy land: They ain’t making any more of it.” The modern-day corollary is: “Avoid Dollars: They can make as many of them as they want to.” Items from The Economatrix: Jim Willie: Physical Gold Premiums Will Be $500 Or More In The Near Future, Silver 40%; Dealers Sold Out World Finance Leaders Issue Somber Assessment Jobless Claims Rise Slightly SurvivalBlog’s G.G. sent: Douglas County Bank, Georgia, Biggest Bank Failure of 2013.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Stopping the Common Core curriculum freight train    o o o A clever new product with a seven year shelf life: New Ovaeasy Pop and Cook Eggs at CampingSurvival.com. You can order them here.    o o o Today Marcus Hook Pennsylvania Mayor James “Jay” Schiliro is scheduled to get his first day in court. He is one of many hypocritical members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns who is in serious trouble with the law. In his case it was providing alcohol to someone under 21, attempted homosexual seduction, and unlawful imprisonment, at gunpoint. Mayor Bloomberg certainly has collected a motley assortment of criminals and pervs for his “crime fighting” anti-gun political pressure group. It is time for a counterbalance: Citizens Against Illegal Mayors.    o o o Michael M. sent: Marijuana Laws New Tool to Ban Gun Ownership    o o o Two more bits of evidence that California is truly a lost cause: Boy suspended for having pocket knife on camping trip and California lawmakers weigh first statewide ban on lead ammo

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Notes from JWR:

Ready Made Resources just started a 25% off sale on Mountain House canned long term storage foods. Check it out! — The volatility in the precious metals markets is continuing, with some dramatic intra-day swings in spot prices. My long-standing advice has been “buy on a dip day”, but perhaps presently it should be: buy on a dip hour. Once silver resumes its bull charge–past $30 and then the $40 per troy ounce, you will be glad that you “bought low.” OBTW, sales have been very strong for the new American Redoubt .999 fine silver coin. These very attractive 1-ounce coins are produced by Mulligan Mint and and are being sold at a very competitive market price. Because of the huge rush of orders created by the big market dip (down 20% in recent weeks), all of the mints are getting slammed with orders. (Even the U.S. Mint had to suspend some sales.) You can expect at least a five week delay from most mints, at present. Be patient, and keep stacking silver. — A reminder: There is a May 1st strike on the banks planned. If you want to participate, I recommend that you withdraw your extra cash and … Continue reading

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Pat’s Product Review: Ruger SR556E

I’ve always been a big fan of Ruger firearms – all of them! There’s many reasons for my liking Ruger firearms, first of all, I find their firearms robust, strong and well-designed. Ruger doesn’t simply copy some other designs for the most part – instead, they are innovators in many ways. I still remember when the first Ruger P-85 9mm handguns came out, and everyone thought they wouldn’t last because they were made from “investment casting” aluminum frames- Ruger proved everyone wrong.   A few years ago, I tested the Ruger SR556 piston-driven AR-style rifle, and loved it. Everyone was jumping on the piston-driven AR bandwagon, and Ruger was no different, they than they didn’t copy anyone else’s piston-driven design – they came up with their own, after a lot of research and development. The SR556 comes with all the bells and whistles you can ask for, and then some – including a nice padded carrying case, several MagPul PMags – which I personally believe are the best AR mags on the market, and top-of-the-line pop-up front and rear sights and many other accessories, that don’t come on many AR-style rifles.   However, not everyone wanted or needed all that … Continue reading

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Harry’s Book Review: After the Snow by S.D. Crockett

Book Title: After the Snow Author: S.D. Crockett Copyright Date: 2012 Publisher: Feiwel and Friends ISBN: 978-0-312-64169-6 Audio, e-book or foreign translation avail? Yes–Kindle Suitable for children? Teens probably. When you find a story predicting that the future is another ice age you know you have found an author who is thinking outside of the box. The global warming crowd is not going to be pleased if this is our future. Not only do we get an Ice Age, but the solar farms and wind farms are a complete failure. Nuclear is king and coal is the next best alternative. As a consolation prize, just about everyone else’s sacred cow gets gored too by the end of the novel. The premise behind the novel is that the polar ice caps do indeed proceed to melt, but once they have an impact on the oceans the currents stop and then everything ices up. The story revolves around Willo, a teenage boy who has only ever known the ice and snow. He has heard the stories of the graybeards. He knows that once upon a time water came out of the walls and the world was warm, but it’s all stories to … Continue reading

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Letter Re: CCW Permit Holders are The Good Guys

JWR, One topic that has come up recently is that license holders are more law-abiding than the general population, presumably because they’ve undergone background checks by the state.    The reality is that this has been shown in multiple case reviews.   A 2011 study in Texas concluded that CCW/CCL permit holders generally do not use guns to commit crimes and they commit crimes of any nature much less frequently than the general population of Texas.   According to an article by the Beaufort Observer concerning the study:  “The Texas Department of Public Safety published a list of crimes committed in Texas in 2011 by everyone convicted and by those convicted who also held CCL’s. The bottom line: Concealed carry permit holders commit less than 1% of the crimes. If you want to be exact, they committed two tenths of one percent of the crimes in 2011. And not all of those involved firearms or violence.” “The data show that 63,679 people were convicted of a long list of crimes. Of those 63 thousand, only 120 were CCL holders.” “Ironically, if you drill down into the data it shows that the most frequently committed crime by CCL holders were domestic violence … Continue reading

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