SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Like most Americans, last week I was relieved to hear that Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty, on all charges. His troubles may not yet be behind him. I am quite troubled to see the incredibly biased mass media still referring to the men he shot as “victims.”  After much deliberation, the jury conclusively found that they were the aggressors. Kyle Rittenhouse was the victim. I’m confident that if he were of a different skin tone, or had a different political persuasion, then the mass media would characterize the incident differently.  It is also troubling to see the mass media continues to call Rittenhouse a “white supremacist”, with no solid evidence to make that claim.  Did they notice that all three of the men that he shot were fellow palefaces? Or that Rittenhouse and his friends were there to protect the property of a minority-owned business? (Note the Indian surname Khindri.) I’ve now lost any remaining shreds of faith in the mass media. Clearly, they have been almost completely co-opted by leftist influence. I could see this coming, when I attended journalism school, back in the early 1980s. (I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.) Most of my professors and most of my classmates were flaming liberals. Today’s mass media can no longer be called journalists. They are propagandists. So from now on, that is what I’ll be calling them: Mass Media Propagandists. – JWR

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Cause for concern: Tesla server outage allegedly leaves owners unable to drive their cars.

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H.L. sent us this article;e link that serves as a reminder to be prepared: Disastrous Flooding Cuts Vancouver Off From Rail, Road Service.

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Cathy N. recommend this dated but still fascinating documentary: James Burke Connections, Ep. 1 “The Trigger Effect”

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Pete L. wrote the following in response to the article on ballistic upgrades for stick-built houses:

“Another inexpensive approach would be to fill the cavities with half-inch to three-quarter inch gravel and ply three-quarter inch plywood screwed to the studs over the drywall. If it is new construction, I would recommend steel studs instead of wood. I would also use three-quarter inch plywood on both sides. This will stop virtually all rifle rounds. The bullets are shredded. This is easy to try. Build a 2‘ x 2‘ box made of two by fours with plywood on each side and fill it with gravel. Stand back 20 feet and shoot into it. The results are amazing. Eventually, the gravel will be broken up and begin to settle. But if you were taking this many incoming rounds, then your situation is beyond dire.”

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And on the same topic, David wrote:

“In regard to your article on hardening your stick-built home:  One quick and easy method is to access each void. Pour in DRY screened gravel to the top. Close the gap. Advantages: 1″+ DRY(!!!!! — gravel direct from a stream will hold an amazing amount of water) screened gravel should stop most handgun and many rifle rounds. Obviously, each bullet will powder the gravel somewhat, but gravel from above will migrate down to replace the sacrificed gravel. More obviously, gaps will develop at the top of the void. Downfall: Unless you have X-ray vision, voids are hard to visualize. This method only works as long as a: the inside and outside walls (wood, plaster, etc.) do not develop holes large enough for the gravel to escape and b: you have not left any unseen voids unfilled.

A MORE COMPREHENSIVE  variation of  this method would be to remove the inside wall covering (plaster, paneling, etc.) and line the voids on both sides, outside and inside, with fine chicken netting, then fill each void with 1″+ DRY screened gravel before closing the void. Advantages: all voids can be visualized and the chicken netting will help retain the gravel as holes develop in the wall. Also, as the gravel powders as it sacrifices itself to turn and/or stop the bullet(s), gravel from above will migrate down to fill the new spaces. Disadvantages: more expensive and time consuming AND as the gravel migrates down, new gaps will appear at the top of the void. You will also reduce the R value of the wall.

RECAP: Obviously, this method would be more easily implemented during new construction, where  2×8 and 2×10 studs could be used instead of 2×4 and 2×6 studs, so both the gravel barrier AND insulation could be installed.

FINAL NOTE:  For what I consider the ultimate affordable solution in new construction, a home built with insulated concrete forms such as FoxBlocks allow 4″ to 12″ concrete walls to be incorporated in the construction. The blocks are made with Polypropylene (PP) regrind resin cross-ties that secure two pieces of modified Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam together, which contains the concrete and reinforcing rebar as the walls are poured. Any further explanation is beyond the scope of this note: Interested readers can google FoxBlocks or ‘Insulated Concrete Forms’.  A  home near me is constructed in this manner, and the only give-away to its construction (nothing shows outside) are the abnormally thick window- and door-sills that are seen from the inside. In addition, the house would be more resistant to wildfires and fires in adjacent homes. Another plus would be that any or all of the interior walls can be poured the same way at the same time–which also allows for poured in-place safes, fortified closets, safe rooms and/or dedicated gun-vault rooms. These homes do require access to the site by concrete mixer trucks as well as a concrete pump truck, since the forms are filled from the top of the wall (I understand that a few pump trucks can reach a block or more away from the pour site if the mixer trucks can’t get close to the house).  Hurricane resistant-rated doors and windows are available, and window ballistic coatings are easily applied. The cost of the new home can be roughly comparable to or slightly higher than stick-built construction, but the security added will more than compensate for any price differences.”

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Reader “Manu” in Belgium sent this, on Sunday:

“I’m writing you from the so-called capital of democratic Europe, Brussels.

Today I protested for the first time in my life with more than 50.000 like-minded people opposing ourselves to the growing darkness in European countries.

Maybe news crossed the Atlantic that after the removal of Kurz in Austria the way was freed to go ahead with the forced vaccination of the whole Austrian population.

It is rather ironic that the dictatorship of Hitler found his roots in Austria and you know the tune…history doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.

But with the first fallen domino other countries will follow to use the Wuhan-flu scam to erode our freedoms and impose the new world order.

Italy, France, Belgium, Germany all want to force vaccination on parts or the whole of the population and refusniks will face social isolation, refusal of services and freedom of movement and will be fired from work.

Life will be miserable, even impossible. This is no dystopian movie, this is our reality and the unfolding scenario of the cabal.

I am not a conspiracy theory tin hat kind of guy but I will you give one example which is true and verifiable with the right sources:

During the riots some days ago in Rotterdam, Holland people were shot at by police. It is now clear this wasn’t Dutch police force but the European Gendarmerie. Even I didn’t hear about it before but this corps really exists and confirms your theory that foreign troops will be deployed to crush resistance.

We cannot win this alone and worldwide resistance has to start.

I hope that US can mobilize enough freedom fighters against the forces of evil, we try to create freedom cells but for instance law regarding gun ownership, communication laws, livestock laws, etc definitely put us in a more difficult spot than the US so don’t sacrifice your liberties.

I never thought we would come this far but prepared accordingly but it remains difficult to accept the fact that we don’t live in a free world anymore and the achievements of our elders are on the brink of getting lost.

You and all the readers are in our prayers but we implore all of you to stand your ground and never forget that this battle is a global one.”

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F.J. sent this link that provides some food for thought: Incredible photo of drone finding a missing person curled up by the river.

JWR’s Comment: For those who don’t want to be detected by FLIRs, consult Brandon Smith at Snakebite Tactical.

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Keith C. wrote me the following in respond se to my essay: The Curse of the Cult of Kanban:

“In regards to the article on kanban:  perhaps a nitpick, but nothing about kanban practices necessitates JIT inventory practices. Kanban and Lean are process improvement, manufacturing, and management practices designed to empower front line employees with decision making power and shape the evaluation of problems and potential changes and how they are executed.

JIT has been a result of many companies who happen to use Lean and kanban because many managers will simply mimic what they see successful elsewhere or what they themselves made successful elsewhere. The consulting industry will take your money to tell you whatever you want to hear or implement whatever copycat solution with new paint on it that you desire.
Lean practices fathered Agile which is used across many industries, and grandfathered SCRUM which is increasingly popular in technology companies.
Lean and kanban is not the problem. Managers and risk professionals detached from reality and unsuccessfully quantifying the probability or severity of risks have lead to JIT practices and these practices are the problem. No different than how we can’t convince people to prep and they say “oh I’ll just come to your house”, or “it can’t happen here”. This psychology is how we got JIT; it was an easy solution that could be sold to managers as working elsewhere and with negligible costs IF EVERYTHING WORKS RIGHT. The past 3 years have seen massive shifts in the risk appetites of managers across many industries as they are forced to wake up to reality and the costs of “designing only for the happy path and not the failure path”.
I guarantee Lean and kanban approaches are being used by companies to solve problems like the chip shortage, food delivery, and parts shortages.  I agree with the author’s statements that JIT and the global supply chain have led to much of the pain we feel today but respectfully submit that the psychology and risk practices of the managers are the root cause, not the mechanics or process by which they manage their business.”

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And David L. wrote:

“In reference to your article on Kanban: during the WWII occupation of Japan, General MacArthur, in order to ‘jumpstart’ the revival of Japanese industry, imported various experts from the US. One of the most prominent was Dr. W. Edward Deming. He, over a period of years, taught the Japanese the concept of Continuous Improvement   i.e. Kaizen (Good Change). Kaizen includes JIT (just in time) and TQM (total quality management) manufacturing, adopted and exemplified by Toyota. The Toyota manufacturing philosophy resulted in, as you rightly pointed out, the concept of Lean Manufacturing — Kanban. It was so successful that it was adopted throughout Japan and eventually around the world, including us (USA).  During the past year, we have seen the downside of Kanban. In other words, you might say the US caused itself the shortages and manufacturing problems we see today. We kicked ourselves in the “donkey”!!!  This link gives a concise explanation of the history of Kaizen and Kanban.”

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Tim J. suggested this interview: Government’s Lawless Behavior No Longer Shocks, “It’s Terrifying” — Judge Andrew Napolitano. (The interview starts at the 1:35 mark.)

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Kirk wrote us:

“I really enjoyed Pat’s recent review article on the shoes. Most of your loyal readers have been “gunned up” for years. So I usually just skim by the gun reviews.  Maybe ask Pat to branch out like his shoe review.  Love his in-depth writing style. Also, always enjoy your wisdom when you write a column.”

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The first of what I hope will be a lengthy series of instructional videos from “Plaid Daddy” Garand Thumb: Basics of RECCE and Recon Kit (How to become DEADLY in the mountains, PART 1).

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Virginia Liberationist sent this:

“Nimitz Reactor Down.  One more event in the cascade.

Wednesday Nov 10th at a  veteran’s breakfast I was asked about the USS Nimitz, getting tracked on the shipping tracker web page, since it was cruising in a randomly erratic pattern in Washington state waters.
On November 11th I spent the day with sources who are connected high up in the Navy heirarchy, and whom were getting frantic messages.
It seems one of the two reactors on the carrier Nimitz had sprung a massive coolant leak and radioactivity apparently contaminated a large area of the vessel.   Sources explained that normally only 3 to 4 of our 7 carriers are actually deployed at any one time and this catastrophic emergency will subtract from that.  Failure to recognize all the implications should remind you of the time when we saw the horror/terror on President Jimmy Carter’s face as he listened to two officials yelling at each in debating the cause of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident when he realized each of those authorities  were incompetent.
A decontamination effort like the one needed nor the Nimitz usually adds 4 to 6 months of measured, monitored, methodical processes added to the already scheduled maintenance inactive time. That is with a shipyard staffed at a real world number of 90-95 percent staffing by employees and contractor groups-which comprise a significant part of the workforces.
The sources (one had COVID last month) are among the full 40% of the US government employees who are denying the Vax mandate.   Who are these 40%?   Largely the mature workers with 20 to 25 years experience like machinists, shipfitters, electricians, nuclear qualified workers, and other specially skilled folks. with years of training and mandatory qualifications in multiple capacities including the majority share of supervisory positions.
Shipyard employees and contractors are getting many demands to sign various human resource forms, some of which are being delivered personally by hand to their home address (as I persoinally witnessed later in the week), demanding proof of  Vax status or documenting that understand they can be fired with signature required at their front door attesting to receipt of the notices.
WIth third-tier countries showing how easy it is to knock out up-armored vehicles with cheap RPGs and fertilizer, or multi-million dollar main battle tanks destroyed with drones, this 30+ year Army veteran admits that both Russia and China exert world military power now at the level that the US gave away 10 years ago and cannot regain.   Having the highly capable death threat ability which we  repeatedly demonstrated with effect, will not win wars.
In fact that capability made us lose the war in Afghanistan- which I take very personally having been there for two tours with dozens of US, Allied,  and Afghan friends and comrades killed there.    Killing more of the enemy and far too many collateral deaths did not stabilize a nation and will not establish peace.  Our losing strategy continued to enable, fund, and strengthen the Pakistan ISI which was the keystone of the insurgency, and requiring increased lethal response usually delivered by aerial platform to support our ground forces which included carrier-based weapon platforms made even more critical with our airbases now abandoned to the enemy.
 Losing the Nimitz just further reduces the threat deterrent to violent foreign governments and other enemy powers.   In case you folks missed it, there was a conviction in the trial regarding the testing lab which falsified  testing results of Navy shipyard steel for over 20 years.
Steel was not meeting requirements for strength and durability for submarines and warships.  Results were falsified. Ships fail and repairs become emergencies lasting many months.
Wise folks remember the LIberty, the Iowa, the Cole, the America, the BonHomme Richard, the Pueblo, the Kitty Hawk, the Fitzgerald, the Vella Gulf, the Antietam, the Champlain, the Hartford, the Jacksonville, the McCain,and now the Nimiitz.   Good sailors died, sacrificing their lives so we could live ours.
The most immediate threat however is centered in the White House commitment to global giveaway programs, poor military strategy with low real-world operational capability, and increased domestic danger by federal officials and state governors who are turning lose the foreign military age male ‘refugees’ without supervision or accountability.
Clearly, the Biden demonic possession will have us learning many new survival skills including being a 2d rate world power.   We are engaged in continuous war…like the global one now being waged against us by those numerous groups and governments.

Increased redoubt lethality will not win this global war.   The weapons of Economy, Politics, and Information are the way ahead.  Faith in buying more ammo and weapons when we all have plenty already is a losing strategy.   Change your personal strategy.  Fight to win.”

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Rittenhouse & America’s New Addiction to Mob Violence.

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SaraSue sent this update:

“I have been in the Word of God constantly.  I found several youtube channels that I think are worth sharing, that teach on the End Times.  I’m a “non-denominational” Christian, meaning I don’t hold to any particular denomination, so the following channels I have found to teach the Word of God without perversion, and I honestly don’t know what their denomination is.  Y’all might find them helpful to listen to while you work:

In farm news, the driveway gate was installed.  The chicken yard and goat pens are being expanded, a new chicken house being built.  The almost 40 meat birds (heritage breeds) ensconced in the garage in large tubs, are about a month old and growing like crazy.  Once they are old enough, they will be moved to the main chicken yard and house since winter is upon us.  The very large main garden for spring is designed now, and I’m fortunate to have found a “farm hand” to plow, add manure and hay, and fence in from the deer and bunnies.  The plan is a 90’x90’ garden (8100 sq ft).  I plan on several other gardens, but one thing at a time.  I’m in process of planting tulips and garlic – a little late in the year, but our weather in TN allows it.  I found it interesting that the Guinea fowl in my laying hen flock make quite a ruckus when hawks and turkey vultures swoop nearby.  Who knew?  The Coyote problem has receded (I only have 3 of my original 10 guineas left!) thankfully due to the Locals going after them.  Keeping very busy.”

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Rick V. had this comment:

“I hate to contradict a fine thoughtful author like Richard T.  but it is absolutely essential to only be thinking about trimming your eyebrows when trimming your eyebrows.   You can wind up lopsided and correction never makes it better.”

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Mike in Alaska wrote:

“My wife bought me an Aladdin Lamp from a local antique shop for my birthday in October, if was incomplete and only had the base, the burner and a frame for the mantle with no mantle material left in it. I bought a new chimney, four mantles, a beautiful shade, and 12 bottles (64 oz) case of Aladdin Lamp Oil from Lehman’s Non-Electric online. It was finally shipped and I have assembled the lamp following instructions from the website from Lehman’s videos and also from a website

I am now a member in good standing as a Aladdin Knight …  anyway, lots of support and parts available for these lamps. I have about $350.00 into it now but to us its well worth more.
These lamps are rated to put out a significant amount of heat when lit so we look forward to seeing just how much heat since it is now well below zero up here and won’t go above for months. Last night I filled the base with fresh oil, and set the prepped mantle in place to soak overnight per the instructions on line. Today I plan to light it and see just how well it can heat our living room and any more area in the house. I am thinking of writing an article about it, I’ll did a search on the blog site and found only one article with these lamps mentioned as part of the authors text I’m wondering if an article written from a point of view of never having had an Aladdin Lamp might be something readers would find useful?
I enjoyed the “Chicken Tales” in your latest post, we’ve thought about getting chickens but the efforts up here to keep them alive, heating a housing for them when its -40 below, bears, etc … not sure we can tackle that much effort. We had a friend who used to live across the street (they moved several years ago) that had about 25 chickens; we bought eggs from them until a grizzly got in and made a mess of it all. He shot the bear, which is legal up here if it is a threat to persons or livestock, but the damage had been done and so they let the whole thing go. I do have several friend’s who are raising chickens now for several years and we buy our eggs and sometimes meat from them using both barter and silver for currency. I usually pay 1/10 ounce of silver for a dozen of eggs, and usually a quarter ounce for a chicken that has been plucked and gutted, though we do get the gizzards and heart.
We are planning to buy some more Aladdin lamps, and will scour the market up here to see what we can find.”

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