Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits. … and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." – St. George Tucker, Virginia Supreme Court Judge, 1803




Specific Regions to Consider for Retreats – Western U.S.

I’ve completed the “State by State” level analysis series that I posted earlier in the month. For ease of reference, this data is now archived at the Retreat Areas static page. (See the new button in the SurvivalBlog navigation bar.) I’m now moving on to providing detailed retreat locale recommendations. While I’m posting these, please give this some serious thought. Particularly for those of you living east of the Mississippi and for our overseas readers, I would appreciate you sharing your expertise. If you know of a particular region with retreat potential, please e-mail me the details, and I will …




Recommended Region: The Kalispell/Flathead Lake Region (Flathead County, Western Montana)

Concentrate on small towns north of the reservation line, such as Bigfork, Creston, Proctor, Rollins, and Somers. On Staying Outside the Reservation: Much of the lower elevations in this region are inside the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation. The united Salish and Kootenai (“S&K”) tribal government has been forcefully asserting its sovereignty in recent years, affecting both tribal members and everyone else living inside the reservation boundaries. (Even deeded property owners!) If you want to buy land in this region, buy land that is beyond the reservation boundaries but that is still at low elevation. This you will have …




Inflation–Past, Present, and Future

It has been said that nothing is inevitable except death and taxes. But personally, I add inflation to that list. Inflation is an insidious hidden form of taxation We’ve been robbed! According to The Inflation Calculator, what cost $100 in 1905 would cost $2052.36 in 2005. The U.S. dollar has lost 95% of its value in that time. (If you were to buy exactly the same products in 2005 and 1905, they would cost you $100 and $4.87 respectively.) The inflation rate jumped considerably in the 1960s and 1970s. It is no coincidence that the U.S. Treasury stopped minting real …




Letter Re: 3-D Aerial Topographic Map Site and Oregon

Hello from Pleasanton, California! I too look at the hills and envision the populations of Hayward, Oakland, et al. swarming over into our little valley in the event of disaster. So we have a “ten-year plan” to purchase and stock a “vacation home” in NE Oregon. I have been looking long-distance at the Wallowa Valley. Do you have any particular objection to planning on freshwater lakes as a fallback source of water? (I am thinking of Wallowa Lake.) Just wondering what may have pushed you to choose the Grande Ronde valley over the Wallowa. You may wish to link to …




Letter Re: AK-47 Reliability

Mr. Rawles: Glad I found your site…it is a daily read for me. I watched a show that was on Discovery (I think) channel this past weekend, about a special police force in South Africa. Relevant here is that part of the show where they went to destroy certain arms caches left from a war decades ago. The arms were buried under massive rocks, far from civilization. At one point it show a truly nasty AK-47, rusted and just looked like garbage. One of the officers poured a can of oil over it, and in it, worked the bolt a …







Note from JWR:

Please continue to pray for the folks who suffered damage from Hurricane Rita. OBTW, your support of efficient (low-overhead) Christian charities providing relief to the area would also be greatly appreciated. Warning: Today’s blog posts will exceed your recommended daily allowance of Gloom ‘n Doom.




The Big Picture — Grid Up Versus Grid Down–Oil, Soil, and Water

Before selecting retreat locale, It is crucial that you decide on your own worst case scenario. A location that is well-suited to surviving a “slow-slide” grid up scenario (a la the deflationary depression of the 1930s) might not necessarily be well suited to a grid down situations. As stated in my post on August 15, 2005, a grid down situation will likely cause a sudden onset variation of TEOTWAWKI with a concomitant mass exodus from the big cities resulting in chaos on a scale heretofore never seen in modern memory. (See below.) My own personal “best case” scenario is an …




Letter Re: Utah and LDS Church Members, Post-TEOTWAWKI (SAs: Retreat Selection, Relocation, Demographics, Charity, Utah)

James Wesley– I admire and deeply appreciate the detailed counsel you have been giving about self-sufficiency and defense. After I borrowed “Patriots” from the library, I went ahead and paid $50 for a used copy. We became “First Family” members at Front Sight on your say-so, even though we are in Hawaii and can’t even attend Front Sight until 8/2006. So I think I merit being heard with respect to your musing that being a non-Mormon in a Mormon community might make you “expendable”. To the contrary, the unbelievably magnificent efforts in time, people and materiel of the LDS Church …




Letter Re: Washington

Jim– Just a few nits to pick (grin), RE: “A draconian business gross receipts tax of 2-to-3%. Marginal gun laws. Very high sales tax. (8.8%)” Can’t disagree with draconian. Can disagree with the B&O rates, slightly. They depend completely on the type of business. My business is taxed at 1.5%. Sales taxes vary per county over a very wide range. Gas tax is $0.28 per gallon. Just for fun, check out this link for “major” taxes in the Evergreen state. Yikes. http://dor.wa.gov/content/taxes/MajorTaxes.aspx There are also more than a few badges (not obvious, but there nonetheless if you know what to …




Letter Re: Iowa

Greetings Jim, I’m writing to give you more information on Iowa. While it’s true we’re too close to Chicago there are only a few handfuls of bridges to cross the Mississippi. These can be blocked by backing semi-trailers onto the spans and abandoning the trailers in rows. Crossing a bridge blockaded in such a fashion, guarded by a few dedicated snipers, makes removal of the barricades a more than interesting proposition! No mob is hard-core enough to attempt removal, or crossing on foot for more than a few minutes, before moving on to a new path of lesser resistance. Field …










Hurricane Rita–Oil Refinery Plant Closures Will Likely Mean Fuel Shortages

I’m glad that most of the SurvivalBlog readers stocked up on liquid fuels long ago. Here are some details on the wholesale oil supply reductions. This comes from an oil industry insider newsletter report (dated 22 September): HURRICANE RITA UPDATE Recent forecasts place Hurricane Rita directly over Galveston [now OBE], threatening the Houston area, home to almost 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity. OPIS estimates that by noon on Friday (9/23), refinery closures could impact as much as 3.8 million bbl/d of refining capacity. Current confirmed closures will affect approximately 2.7 million bbl/d of refining capacity. Information is still being …