Notes for Monday – February 29, 2016

Today is Leap Day, observed once every four years.  Folks on this day often humorously claim that they are only one quarter of their apparent age. This is the 48th birthday (or should I say the 12th birthday?) of Eugene Volokh, (born 1968), an outstanding law professor and blogger.




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 …




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 …




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 …




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 …




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. …




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 …




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 …




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 …




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 …




Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“Is there really someone who, searching for a group of wise and sensitive persons to regulate him for his own good, would choose that group of people that constitute the membership of both houses of Congress?” – Robert Nozick




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 …




Plyometrics Training Equals Survivability, by Molon Labe

This is a commonly accepted fact in the world of preparedness: The better you are able to traverse difficult terrain or navigate dangerous scenarios, the more options you’ll have and the better overall odds you’ll have of coming out on top. However, mobility means more than being in good shape and having a bug out bag. It is the ability to make a split-second decision and stick to it, to think on your feet. All the fitness in the world won’t help you if you don’t decide to escape before being surrounded and cut off. It means taking advantage of the …




Letter Re: Winter Survival

HJL, One point to consider regarding use of water filters in cold weather: Both Sawyer and Lifestraw warn that once their filter have been used, they should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Ceramic filters are not as susceptible. From the Lifestraw web site: “If your LifeStraw has been used, and is then exposed to freezing temperatures, water inside can freeze and crack the filter. You may not see these cracks, so we recommend never letting it freeze once it’s been used. When camping at high elevations or freezing temperatures, be extra careful not to let it freeze.” From Sawyer …




Two Letters Re: EMP Effect and Pacemakers

James: While case-by-case circumstances can effect the practicality of many alternatives, there are external pacing and monitoring options. The Zoll Company for example has just released a type of vest, worn similar to a brassiere with a fanny pack (battery pack). This device consistently performs cardiac monitoring and when a shockable rhythm presents itself the device does just that. More archaic methods would involve adhesive defibrillation or subcutaneous pacing patches and a cardiac monitor, while the monitors can be significantly expensive, older models are available at online auction sites. Both the aforementioned devices can be recharged, and more importantly, stored …