Notes from JWR:

August 1st is celebrated annually as Swiss Independence Day, in recognition of the signing of the Federal Charter of 1291, which united Switzerland’s first three cantons. As of 2013, Switzerland has been free and independent for 722 years. (Our Republic is just a wee fledgling, by comparison.) Having a well-armed populace has assured those seven centuries of freedom for Confederatio Helvetica. Today at the Rawles Ranch we plan to do some target shooting with our Schmidt-Rubin rifles and our SIG PE57, to celebrate. — The clock is now ticking for residents of Maryland. They have until September 30, 2013 to …

Writing Contest Winners and New Prizes

We’ve completed the judging for Round 47 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. But first, I’d like to announce that two new prizes have been added to the prize package for Round 48, et sequitur. These are: A $300 Gift Certificate from Freeze Dry Guy. This addition brings the value of just the First Prize package to $3,990! and, A full set of all 22 of the books published by This is more than a $200 value. This addition brings the value of just the Second Prize package to $3,020! Many thanks to these companies for their generosity. They …

All-American Tool Manufacturers

Following up on my recently-posted list of field gear makers that have all American-made products, I’ve compiled a comparable list of American tool makers. The Sell-Outs Some companies that have long been thought of as “American” companies now produce most or all of their tools overseas. For example, Craftsman (the Sears house brand) now produces many of their tools in Asia. Others include: Cooper, Disston, Eastwood, Greenlee, Lufkin, Milwaukee, Peerless, Porter Cable, Shurlite, Snap-On, Thorsen, Vise-Grip, Vermont American, Weller, Williams, and Winchester. The many, many others are almost too numerous to list. Some of the “good guy” companies that I …

Letter Re: Preparedness Course Question

Mr. Rawles: If I get the downloadable “Rawles Gets You Ready Preparedness Course” can I print out a copy for my reference binder? Is that considered okay? (I have a giant binder with 4″ rings that my husband got in the Navy that we use for all our prepping references, except for recipes.) With My Regards, – Sheila C. JWR Replies: Yes, since you are legitimately downloading it, you are certainly welcome to print out a reference copy for your own use.

Letter Re: If Life Gives You Tomatoes, Make Salsa!

Dear James, Thank you to S.M. for the great article about gardening in the desert southwest (If Life Gives You Tomatoes, Make Salsa!). I’ve spent most of my years in the desert southwest near the metros of Tucson, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque and have grown gardens in these regions for the past decade. In 2010 a similar article was published in SurvivalBlog titled Starting Your Desert Backyard Garden. I was one of several readers that submitted some helpful comments and tips on that article. This is my fourth season growing in the high desert of Northern New Mexico. I’m at …

Economics and Investing:

B.B. sent: Unemployment rates up in 90 percent of U.S. cities – CBS News Jerry Robinson: No Fed ‘Taper’ in 2013 An interesting new product: “Breakable” Valcambi 50 gram Gold Bars Items from The Economatrix: High Gas Prices: Relief At The Pump Coming Soon Meredith Whitney:  Detroit Bankruptcy A “Game Changer” Here’s What Happens When A Central Bank Goes Bust Consumer Confidence Surges To Six-Year High Boosted By Soaring Gas Prices And Mortgage Rates

Odds ‘n Sods:

9 Point Comb to Toe Chicken Check Up & DIY Antiseptic Ointment. (Thanks to James W. for the link.)    o o o Andre D. forwarded this link: Warning to tourists in France after attack by feral cats    o o o Fellow blogger Ol’ Remus recommended a piece over at Club Orlov: The Sea Gypsy Tribe Start-up Manual    o o o Pastor Chuck Baldwin: Ear Tickling, Entertainment, And Irrelevant Exposition