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Rhodium: The Overlooked Precious Metal

The recent re-emergence of precious metals in the public eye has been underscored by an unprecedented divergence in the spot prices of gold and platinum. Traditionally, platinum has sold at a premium above the price of gold. But in today’s topsy-turvy financial world, platinum now sells at a deep discount below gold. (This is in part because platinum is considered more of a industrial metal, whereas gold is both an industrial metal and a monetary metal.)  As I’m drafting this, I see that gold is selling for around $1,200 per ounce, while platinum is just $915 per ounce. This disparity has led some to shout: “Forget gold, buy platinum!”  This approach has merit, but I’d take it a step further, and say: “Forget gold and platinum, buy rhodium!”  (Rhodium is more rare than platinum, yet is currently priced lower.) As recently as seven years ago, rhodium was selling for $6,000 per Troy ounce.  It is currently slumbering down around $670 per Troy ounce, and you can buy a serialized one Troy ounce Baird Mint Rhodium bar for around $850.  (The minting premium for each bar is high because so few bars are produced, and because it is fairly difficult to … Continue reading

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Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Benchmade Steep

I think I’ve been getting knife samples from Benchmade for articles about 23 years now, and I’ve toured their factory several times, though I haven’t been up there for a while. So, I’m over due for a visit to see how much they have expanded since my last visit. Les d’Asis, the owner at Benchmade, always seems to find the time to sit down and visit with me, and it has never, ever been a visit that was cut short. Les is “good people”; with no dress shirt and tie, and I’ve mentioned this before about him, he’s a real down to earth type of guy! Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few PR and marketing people at Benchmade come and go. Some were real good; others were just so-so. There was even a PR/marketing firm or two that handled writers’ requests for samples. The newest guy at Benchmade is one of the absolute best I’ve dealt with– Derrick Lau. If a product is in-stock that I request, he gets it headed my way in short order. However, he dropped the ball on this request, and said he lost my request on his desk. I can certainly appreciate that; … Continue reading

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Sarah Latimer: Unrealized Expectations – Part 1

A simple reach to touch and squeeze my hand, followed by a slight smile in the corners of what are usually distant eyes that at that moment were deeply focused on mine, brought me to tears. Last week, after my husband had prepared a sandwich lunch for his mother and me and I had fed her, done her hair, and given her a manicure, I prayed with her. I just gently touched her arm with one hand and went to our Heavenly Father with praises, intercession, and petitions in our Savior’s name. “Mom” is on hospice care and in the final stages of one of those horrific, neurodegenerative diseases. (You know, it’s one of those– dementia, Alzheimer’s, and such that takes the mind and the body slowly.) We haven’t heard any real words from her in almost a year, nor had even a laugh or smile or indication that she knows what is going on around her. She makes little movement and cannot walk or feed herself. So, the act of her lifting her hand to reach for mine and squeeze it was a big deal. Even her focus into my eyes was significant. At that moment, I had been … Continue reading

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February in Precious Metals, by Steven Cochran of Gainesville Coins

Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, by Steven Cochran of Gainesville Coins where we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. Each month, we cover the price action of gold and examine the “what” and “why” behind those numbers. What Did Gold Do in February? Gold had a very good February. Starting at $1,126 an ounce, it jumped as high as $1,261 an ounce. By February 11th, spot gold had closed over the $1,200 mark, and never looked back. Toward the end of the month, spot gold was parked above the $1,230 level Factors Affecting Gold This Month Much like last month, blood was running in the street on Wall Street, and pain continues in the Oil Patch. OIL GLUT (Continuing) Oil futures saw a stomach-churning ride in February. Desperate traders eagerly snapped up any rumor as evidence the nightmare was about to end, only to see their hopes (and oil prices) dashed. It became hard to tell what was pushing the stock markets around, either China’s slowdown, or oil falling even more. Analysts at Citibank also noticed this negative feedback loop between oil and stocks, warning “We Should All Fear Oilmageddon.” NEGATIVE INTEREST … Continue reading

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Recipe of the Week: Spicy Wine Pot Roast, by J.M.

Here is a pot roast recipe from long-time SurvivalBlog reader J.M.  To tone the spiciness down, simply reduce the amount of Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Ingredients: 3 to 4 lb beef pot roast Salt and Pepper 1 small onion, chopped 1 (¾oz) package brown gravy mix 1 cup water ¼ cup catsup ¼ cup dry red wine 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 pinch garlic powder Directions: Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooking pot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Remove meat and slice. If desired, thicken the sauce with flour dissolved in a small amount of water and serve over meat. Makes 6 to 7 servings o o o Useful Recipe and Cooking Links: We really enjoy a hot porridge breakfast topped with a little butter and honey, surrounded by whole milk. Our porridge is often a mix of grains we have on hand from the pantry and just about any variation of the mix works! For readers who want to try porridge for the first time or just like to cook with a recipe safety net, this version is delicious and nutritious! … Continue reading

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Letter: ShepherdFarmerGeek on Relocation to Belize

Dear Editor: SurvivalBlog’s spin-off site SurvivalRealty.com has just listed a unique retreat opportunity called Providence Belize. The Shepherdess and I a-l-m-o-s-t moved there ourselves last year, but God is clearly calling us to stay and stand where we are with the people He has led us to help. That said, we visited Belize once, for one day on a cruise excursion. It’s just beautiful (a subtropical paradise if you’re a gardener like me and tired of the drought conditions around Spokane!). Belize is a former British Colony. (It was called British Honduras, before 1973), and English is their primary language. I’ve never met Jim Duncan personally, but have corresponded with him for almost a year about this and I believe that he’s a man of integrity and he has commitment to Jesus. I have zero financial connection with Providence Belize, whatsoever. My only concern is to see Jim Duncan’s vision of a remnant community succeed, as well as helping those fellow preppers who are ready to pick up and move their families somewhere safer. With Providence Belize you don’t have to freelance it, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are already American Christians there to help you adapt … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Shielding Electronics From EMP

HJL, Another point on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and Faraday cages is even something simple can be protective. There are 30 Gallon galvanized steel trash cans with lids (made in the USA!) available at my local farm and ranch store for $22. This makes for affordable and easy storage, and you can wrap things in common aluminum foil. Or even something like a steel cabinet or vault, but generally try to avoid gaps or spaces. It doesn’t have to be zero signal, but reduce the field strength enough to prevent damage. Vehicles have some protection for many years. In the early days of electronic ignition systems, truckers with CB linear amplifiers were causing police vehicles to stall. And driving near powerful radio towers also caused some glitches. The protection added since the early 1970s isn’t military grade, but realize if your vehicle doesn’t even hiccup when it is next to you or your neighbor’s Amateur Radio rig that is putting out a kilowatt of power, then it is likely to survive an EMP–at least where you aren’t close to ground zero. (And most of the American Redoubt isn’t likely to be a target of an EMP.) Also note that solar flares … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

UK’s exit from EU would be a “shock” to global economy: G20 o o o Bob Shapiro: Oil and The Dollar o o o Items from Professor Preponomics: US News Fleeing Firms Put Pressure on Congress and Candidates (Washington Examiner) Bank of America is Preparing Big Layoffs in Investment Banking and Trading (Business Insider)  JP Morgan: We’re Bracing for Energy Losses (CNBC) Wells Fargo Girds for Oil & Gas Loan Losses (Morningstar) International News G20: Leaders Split on How to Kick-Start Global Growth (The Telegraph) 4,000 HSBC Staff Face the Axe (Daily Mail) Royal Bank of Scotland Hits Eighth Straight Annual Loss (Yahoo News) Personal Economics and Household Finance IRS: Cyberattack Twice as Bad as Previously Known (Market Watch) o o o SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Some important reading: The Hidden Persuaders – How The Internet Flips Election & Alters Our Thoughts. This article helps explain why bloggers in general and Matt Drudge in particular are so despised by the mainstream media.  Because Matt and his small staff have thousands of independent thinkers all over the world tipping them to news stories, they are outside of the control of the Google Thought Police Machine. Likewise, the column items that you recommend to us at SurvivalBlog–often from small town newspapers and from “boots on the ground” bloggers–have the same value in creating refreshingly independent journalism. – JWR o o o Patrice Lewis, Editrix of the often-cited Rural Revolution blog posted a fantastic essay titled Social Justice Whiners: The Group We Love To Hate. (I can only wonder what would these whiners would say if I told them that I create my own fully-mobile “Very Safe Space”, whenever I pack a .45 ACP pistol?) By the way, far more than just a commentator on current events, Patrice Lewis also lives the life of preparedness, on her North Idaho ranch, and shares her lessons learned in her blog. See this recent example: Wood Cookstove Update. o o o Frank … Continue reading

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Notes for Sunday – February 28, 2016

February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber (born 1946). This is also the anniversary of the BATF’s ill-conceived, unconstitutional, and horribly botched raid on the Waco, Texas Branch Davidian church in 1993. The FBI’s siege that began soon after that fateful day did not end until April 19th. Then, on orders from newly-appointed Attorney General Janet Reno–despite repeated warnings about high winds–the end result was the fiery deaths of 76 people. This included about 20 innocent children. (The exact number is still not known, because in parts of the attached buildings the fire was reportedly so intense that it resulted in complete cremation.) o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 63 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $1,700 value), A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value), A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s … Continue reading

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