Note From JWR:

One of the benefits of reading SurvivalBlog is that you get essentially free consulting. Once I began posting SurvivalBlog in August of 2005, my consulting income (at $50 per hour) dropped off to zero.  The reason was obvious: By merely e-mailing me their questions, folks can get them answered gratis, in the blog. I’m not begging for 10 Cent Challenge donations, but please consider that what your read in SurvivalBlog has some value. The sad fact is that only 32 readers (out of the +/- 9,000 that read SurvivalBlog every week) have ponied up 10 cents per day, or more.  🙁   Donations are of course entirely voluntary.

The Memsahib on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

The USDA and the Agrobiz giants have been crafting a national animal identification scheme that threatens the traditional freedom of self sufficiency, the privacy of Americans, and the livelihood of organic farmers, and family farms. The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is the creation of the Agrobiz giants Monsanto, Cargill Meat, National Pork Producers, and others to monopolize American food production using fear tactics to advance their agenda. The NAIS scheme was not created by any act of congress. Rather, it is merely a presumptuous bureaucratic dictate.

The NAIS plan requires two types of mandatory registration for everyone who owns even just one “livestock” animal. Every person who owns even just one horse, donkey, chicken, pigeon, goat, llama, sheep, pig, cow, alpaca, duck, farmed fish, etc. must register their name, home address, telephone number and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of their home in a Federal database.  Secondly, in order for any animal to leave its birth farm, the owner will be required to obtain a Federal ID number for it which will be kept in a national data base and have the animal biochipped. Animals will have to be registered if they leave the farm for any reason; to go on a trail ride, to go to a show or fair, to be bought or sold, to be bred by a stud on another farm, or to be taken to the local butcher, or anywhere else. The most likely type of ID will be a bio-microchip containing a low power radio transmitter so that the chips can be read from a distance. NAIS would allow “industry” to decide if retinal scans and DNA samples would also be required. Of course large scale Agrobiz has exempted itself from individual identification. (Agrobiz producers will be allowed to use one ID number for groups of hundreds or even thousands of animals that are raised and processed together.)
Americans will be required to report every time an animal enters or leaves their property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if an animal is missing. Such events must be reported in 24 hours or owners would suffer an as yet unspecified penalty. Small family farms and organic farmers will be driven out of business by the costs of premises registration fees, individual animal ID fees, event reporting fees, electronic tags or chips, electronic readers, home computers, Internet access, phone service, and reporting software. According to the USDA’s plan all of these costs will be born by the animal owners.

NAIS might enhance Agrobiz’s export markets and allow tracing of animal movements to track disease outbreaks which is its stated goal. But it will not make the American consumer safer. The most common type of meat contamination in the United States is bacterial, such as E coli. and Listeria. It is not discovered until masses of people become ill. Since Agrobiz processes meat in huge packing plants with thousands of animals being slaughtered a day, NAIS is useless to determine if the contamination was from one animal, multiple animals, or unsanitary conditions at the packing plant itself. Contaminated meat from giant Agrobiz processor is sent to all 50 states endangering millions of consumers simultaneously. On the other hand family farms, organic farmers, and private citizens their animals in natural and healthy conditions because they are raising their animals for themselves and their neighbors’ tables. When they are driven out of the market, America’s food supply will become less safe not more so. The consolidation of America’s food supply by Agrobiz makes it more vulnerable to terrorists. As Americas meat industry becomes a giant monopoly where all meat is processed in a few giant packing plants then it becomes easier for terrorists to deliberately contaminate millions of pounds of meat in one attack.

I believe that many varieties of farm animals (not just rare breeds) will become extinct as individuals give up animal raising rather than submit to all the required fees and bureaucracy or agree to having their home pinpointed by satellite and their personal information put in a national database. The only animals that will survive will be those that Monsanto, Cargill and company deem the most profitable.

The USDA’s NAIS Timeline:

• July, 2005: All States capable of premises registration.
• July, 2005: Animal Identification Number system operational.
• April, 2007: Premises registration and animal identification “alerts”.
• January, 2008: Premises registration and animal identification required.
• January, 2009: Reporting of defined animal movements required; entire program becomes mandatory.

I urge you to take immediate action in fighting the implementation of NAIS. Widespread objection by Americans can still stop the implementation of NAIS or at least create exemptions for religious objectors, home breeders, and/or small scale farmers and ranchers.

Please e-mail this posting to everyone that you know. Contact breed associations, organic and sustainable farming groups, neighbors, and family and ask them to oppose NAIS. Ask them to organize letter writing campaigns to the USDA. Write to your Federal and state legislators. Oppose any state level implementation of NAIS. (Some states such as Wisconsin are already implementing NAIS registration and biochipping.)

In particular, the USDA’s planned issuance of a NAIS rule for public comment in July 2006 will be a crucial juncture. Regular updates on the status of NAIS will be posted at When the public comment period is open, submit an individual comment letter, strongly expressing your disapproval. Get involved, or our another piece of our precious liberty will slip away.

Web Sites:
USDA resource about NAIS.

Regular updates on the status of NAIS:

You can find contact information for Federal and state legislators at:  or

Special Thanks to Mary Zanoni, Ph.D. (e-mail: whose excellent article in the Jan./Feb. 2006 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal alerted us to NAIS.

Two Letters Re: National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

There was a good article and a great editorial in the December issue of “Acres USA” (Best farm magazine in America: ) on NAIS. I know one employee of the Idaho Dept. of Agriculture who is very skeptical about NAIS. I found the Acres article, “Tagging Terrorist Chickens” at: I still recommend reading the editorial in the magazine. Also, see Mary Zanoni’s writing: The NAIS has been discussed on Timebomb 2K over the past year but not in much depth. There is now a Stop Animal ID Message Board: I hope this helps some. Regards, – Daniel

Mrs. Rawles,
Living in Wisconsin we have implemented the NAIS this past October. Draconian is not quite the word for it. All farm animals, from chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, to cattle and pigs (seemingly horses are exempt, just food chain animals?) must be registered with the state. This information includes their location of residence. If you take your prize pig to the fair, it’s new location (the fair) must be registered at the Wisconsin NAIS website, then when transported home it must of course be re-registered for your farm.
The states happy face promotion of this scheme has been centered around the rapid stemming of communicable or food chain threatening disease response. Looks like a great way to keep an iron fist on who has what/gets what during tough times to me. The Soviets never had such control over the Kulaks when they collectivized their farming industry.
Step two of this program is apparently a barcode system, which all animals will be required to have for I.D. purposes, again for the abovementioned facts.
Wisconsin has been the charter state for this scheme. We’re the guinea pigs for the rest of the nation, which apparently is expected to follow in short order.
I don’t have a link or web address to give you but by surfing around the site, probably hit the agriculture or county extension links you should be able to find all the info you want. If you are unable to come up with something, let me know and I’ll make an in person visit to the local county extension agent and get you some hard copy.
You and I (and most of the others on the Survivalblog) understand this has very little to do with disease, it has everything to do with CONTROL. Please remember that circa 1995 the U.N. was considering a program to issue everyone on the planet an I.D. card which would also contain the number of calories/sustenance they would be allowed (this was mentioned on a Michael Reagan radio show over several nights in 1995), what a better way to make sure no one is holding back something for themselves.  As I said above the Soviets have never had as extensive a database on each of their citizens as this country currently has. As a former scholar of Russian/Soviet history, it is absolutely chilling what the Fedgov could/can do when it implements a program. You may also want to take a close look at the “community government census” which has been getting issued about various parts of the country the past few months. Hope this helps
. – R.J.

Letter from “F1” on Amateur Radio Gear and Out of Band

A couple of comments on a couple of things: All of my (ham) radios are modified for out of band operations. No, it’s not legal to use them to transmit on those frequencies, except
in an emergency. However, I can listen to public service agencies (not using trunked radios), listen (in the city) to the direct feed helicopter traffic reporters and get traffic reports all the time (one helicopter crew will report for a half-dozen or more different stations at different times during the hour), etc. Since most modern radios are very, very easy to modify (clip a diode or jumper) it’s silly not to. My [Icom] IC-706G radios in the vehicles go just about from DC to daylight in frequency range. They don’t transmit too well on certain bands but they receive on all of it. And, when I’m out of cell phone range (5-10 miles off an interstate freeway in the desert will usually do it although there are stretches of interstate highways that have no coverage at all) and nobody is answering on a ham repeater, I can call a public service agency for help. To use the radios on these frequencies, you need to have some technical data including not only the receive frequency but the transmit frequencies, and the CTCSS (Controlled Tone Coded Squelch System, also known as PL or Channel Guard) frequency since virtually all agencies use repeater systems. Getting this data is sometimes difficult, but it can be done. I concentrate on the state agencies (Highway Patrol, DPS, etc) and Federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Border Patrol. These agencies are changing their technology to trunking and so-called APCO-25 technology, these radios are still quite expensive to buy, and are not terribly ham radio friendly.
The radios that are capable of 10-meter bands are also usually able to be modified to cover the CB band (11-meter band). Also, for the old crystal controlled radios, for a small degree of instant secure channels, one can simply swap the transmit and receive crystals for a particular frequency and be on totally different [than expected] frequencies. This doesn’t require finding new crystals (which is a lot harder than it used to be, and more expensive). BTW, the HF radios on AM bands (including CB bands if modified) put out a lot of power, which can burn out the front end of receivers if they’re too close — don’t listen for a high-powered signal with a cheap handheld next to the antenna. Marine band handheld radios are pretty durable (water and shock resistant) and pretty inexpensive (on sale, well under $100 each). In a post-Schumer world, they may provide a convenient form of communications for those that are not technically adept. They have somewhat better range (similar to 2-Meter ham radios in simplex) than FRS radios, which are very short range.
Of course, a comprehensive communications setup will have a variety of frequencies and bands (circuits) available, since each band has it’s advantages and disadvantages. There’s no one-size fits all radio (except maybe the MBITR, but nobody can afford one but the military).
Hmmm, maybe I should write an article for consideration on communications…Imagine the howls of outrage you’ll get from the die-hard hams about my sacrilegious suggestions to modify radios and use them for different services than intended 🙂  Telephone company backup batteries are a bargain. To refill them with acid, all that you have to do is buy some battery acid to refill them. Carboys (plastic bags in a box) of battery acid are available from auto parts stores, that’s how they fill dry shipped batteries the first time. [Unless you own a forklift],  the phone batteries have to be emptied anyway for transport to a new location. If someone finds a deal like that, they should jump on it. The batteries have a service life of perhaps 30 years or more, and can have 1000 amps capacity. Yes, you have to wire them up for whatever voltage you want but if one cell goes bad you just replace the cell. Again, we wish you a happy, safe and secure new year. – “F1”

JWR Replies:  The phone companies are religious about rotating their batteries, and tend to do it when they still have about 1/3 of their useful service life left. So whenever you see any offered fro sale by the phone company itself, jump on them.  Be more cautious about those offered on the secondary market, as they may have been sitting around for a few additional years and hence may be badly sulfated.

From the Army Aviator on Military Surplus Transceivers


Fred the Valmet-meister’s letter got me thinking about radios. I’ve been using the SpecOps AN/PRC-104 HF radio, I have more than one, and I am continuously amazed. This afternoon, from my box canyon in central Colorado, wearing the backpack 20 watt radio, I held conversations with friends in Michigan, Virginia, SoCal, Oregon, Kansas and others of “The Group”. This isn’t what some call skip, this is a knowledgeable amateur operator plying the trade. The conversations were generally telephone quality. Tying this into Mr. Coffee’s posting, I also use the SpecOps OP-177 power and battery charger kit which consists of four solar cells, a hand crank generator, and an AC charger which works on all common AC voltages [50 and 60 Hertz] and has matching plugs for all countries. I’ve used the solar cells to charge my truck batteries and sundry other things. The point about the radios and solar cells, in addition to being relatively inexpensive and extremely reliable, they are surplus. The military of all countries have more than just WW2 and Korean War guns, magazines and worn out canvas. There is a veritable wealth of modern stuff available. EMP proof computers. local and long reach radios, power producing items and simply lots of neat stuff. – The Army Aviator

Letter Re: The Future of the U.S. Dollar, Peak Oil, and Iran’s Nuclear Program


In researching data this afternoon I came across a article in the MuseLetter (#149, dated August of 2004) at It has an interesting history of our U.S. dollar and it’s potential future. It also has reference to an petroleum website that you may find interesting reading. (Also published 2004.) As an aside, World Net Daily mentioned that a reporter from Der Spiegel printed a story that the U.S. is preparing action against Iran’s Nuclear program, possibly by March [I think that] 2007 and 2008 may be interesting times.

Letter Re: New Year’s Resolutions: Recommended Reading Material

Hi Folks,
How about New Year Resolutions? Made any yet? We all will make plenty I’m sure. Why not make one to read the following books (if you already haven’t) Patriots, Unintended Consequences, Enemies Foreign and Domestic, and Molon Labe. Also read the shareware novels Lights Out and The Bug Out. IMHO they are all excellent manuals for when TSHTF and TEOTWAWKI. They have all touched me deeply and profoundly. They have opened my eyes wider than back when we were preparing for the Y2K fire drill. The latest one that I read was The Bug Out [a short story by SurvivalBlog reader David Crawford, a.k.a. “Half Fast”.] He also wrote Lights Out. I believe it was suggested by a SurvivalBlog reader. By the way, thank you. It’s a short read of maybe an hour or two. Have your spouse read it as well. Heck, how’s about the whole family. This would greatly help everyone be on the same page or at least understand where you are coming from (a big problem sometimes.) I would suggest that after reading it that you sit down and make a list of the right and wrong things the hero of the story did or didn’t do. Review your answers with your own preparation plans. Plan accordingly. Honestly, it scared the Schumer out of me. I know we are all working as hard as we can and that’s another reason why it scares me. Some of us, for whatever reason, will not be prepared. Besides Murphy’s Law, I believe that nature will thin a lot of us out before we really get going. I don’t want my family, myself or you and yours to be one of them. I hope this helps folks. – Larry in Kansas

JWR Replies: Thanks for making those book recommendations. Here are some sources for those books:

The Bug Out is posted online at:

Lights Out can be read in its entirety at:

The novel Molon Labe is available from Boston T. Party’s Javelin Press.  (

The novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic is available directly from Matthew Bracken’s web site. (

Most of the other books cited are available through Fred’s M14 Stocks. As of this writing, Fred is still offering a great three book package deal: one copy of my novel “Patriots” + one copy of Matthew Bracken‘s novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic + one copy of Boston’s Gun Bible, all for $50.

Please mention SurvivalBlog when you order any of these books!

Odds ‘n Sods:

The hens at the Rawles Ranch are starting to lay early this new year. One year it was “every elk recipe known to man.” This year, I suspect, it will be: “every recipe containing eggs known to man.”

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I just heard that KT Ordnance is offering 10% off of all orders (all 80% complete frames, not just 1911s), that come from SurvivalBlog readers from now until the end of January. The sale pricing excludes tools and jigs. This is a great way to get yourself guns with no paper trail, since 80% complete receivers that you finish yourself are EXEMPT from Federal regulations! Make sure that you mention SurvivalBlog to get the 10% discount.

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I recently updated my FAQ on Pre-1899 Guns. I hope that you find useful. See:

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The price of photovoltaic panels continues to drop. (Hooray!) For example, the folks at Ready Made Resources (one of our advertisers) has 200 watt panels for as little as $4 a watt! That is about 1/4 of what we paid per watt when we put in our first six panel tracker back in 1991.

Note From JWR:

Please patronize our advertisers, since they provide most of the means to keep SurvivalBlog up and running! Seven of our 17 advertisers now track their click-throughs, so they are aware when it is a SurvivalBlog reader that visits their web site. If you haven’t yet visited all of their sites to peruse their merchandise and services, please do so. Thanks!

David in Israel on Glock Handguns

I must agree with the previous poster, after becoming expert at diagnosing and smithing the Model 1911, I finally went the polymer gun way. A Glock will massively outlast a steel firearm–take abuse like an AK but still shoots accurately,. [Limited to a] “one handgun arsenal”, the Glock 17 won. Shooting +P 9mm which vastly outperforms standard 9mm loads safe for antique firearms also allows me compatibility with military ammo stockpiles [Israeli Uzi SMG ammo] if imports here are stopped. BTW, I suggest that everyone at a minimum (and in addition to your regular bench reloader) have a “Lee Loader” hand (pocket size) reloader set, primers, powder, and both lead molds as well as factory bullets.

Letter from Fred the Valmet-Meister Re: Finding Quiet Amateur Radio Bands

I was listening to a bunch of hams chatting last night; some from Arizona and some from California talking about radios and bands etc. One of the things they talked about was that outside of the big cities, even on the popular 2 Meter band, it is pretty dead; even in [populous] California. Still, the most popular and most reliable means of two-way communications on the road is the CB radio. It is also much “cleaner” outside of the cities as well. Anyway, it was interesting to hear since some of these guys that travel a lot. The hams that travel have a CB too. – Fred the Valmet-meister

Letter from Mr. Coffee on: Longer Term Survival, Photovoltaics, Dog Breeds for Retreats, and Ballistic Protection for Windows and Doors

I have really enjoyed reading your blog the past five months of 2005 and look forward to reading it in 2006. Who knows what 2006 will bring? Something is coming and we all should continue to prepare as best we can.  The information you and your other contributors share is invaluable. Thanks for going to all the trouble of maintaining the blog every day of the year for the benefit of all of us.
I found the letters from Norman and Mr. Whiskey in your Dec. 21st and 22nd editions about the idea that things may not return to “normal” even after one year to be really thought provoking as well as depressing.  It is difficult enough to store food, water and fuel for one year. But to think those stored items will run out and there still aren’t supermarkets and gas stations to go to is mind boggling. I have started to think “long term” as a result. Thanks.
I also appreciate the material you shared on “Resources for Going Off-grid” (Dec. 28th). In 2006 I am going to investigate installing solar panels just to run a small refrigerator or my computer at times to be able to access all of the material on surviving that I have stored.
I enjoyed the information you and others have shared on “Best Dog for a Retreat”. I have an Airedale and a Rottweiler and agree that both are excellent dogs for a retreat even though both are large and do eat a great deal of food. They are [in effect acting as] my LP/OP. Especially the Airedale which is incredibly alert all day and all night). BTW, my SOP is to bring them inside my “Alamo” (my retreat house) after they have served their purpose of waking us up when strangers approach the house. I wouldn’t want to let them be shot and
I have come up with an idea that I would like to share. I know that you believe in steel plates to protect doors and windows in your retreat. What do you think about making wood “molds” and then pouring in concrete with re-bar reinforcement to make panels to protect doors and windows I have seven large windows, a back patio sliding door and front and back wooden doors in my retreat. Would three inch thick concrete slabs stop bullets? Just a thought.
Jim, thanks again for all your hard work and great information. It must be a great feeling to know that your blog may be helping thousand of people to survive the difficult times ahead. Your friend, Mr. Coffee

JWR Replies: Even if reinforced with re-bar, three inches of concrete will not stop repeated rifle fire.You will also find that 3″ thick concrete panels any larger than about 24 inches square will be very difficult to move. (BTW, if you do take this route, be sure to cast in some protruding loops of rebar to act as handles.)

If you are handy with a saw and a screwdriver attachment for your drill motor, the following is a lighter-weight solution that will provide better ballistic protection than poured concrete. It is a variation on Joel Skousen’s retreat door design: Make a framework out of 2x4s or 2x6s that will fit in each window frame. For each, cut two pieces of 3/4″ thick plywood (preferably marine grade, for your wet climate) that will go on the front and back, in effect creating a box that is four or six inches deep. Tightly fill each box with gravel that is 3/4″ or smaller (“three quarter minus”–but nothing smaller than large pea gravel) before power-screwing on the second plywood panel. Because the gravel will shift downward each time a bullet hits the ballistic panel, it will stand up to repeated high power .30 caliber FMJ rifle bullet hits in the exact same spot.  The beauty of using plywood is the bad guys will eyeball it and assume that it is vulnerable. They will hence waste lots of ammo, thinking that they are filling you with lead.  You can make a fake protruding gun ports with raised molding (painted black in the middle) in the center of each, and a small real gun port near the  off-center bottom of each panel. Paint some black squares and rectangles in a random pattern, to help conceal the real gun port.

Odds ‘n Sods:

There is some interesting data on how to run a self-sufficient farmstead on a tight budget at: Yeah, they’re tree huggers, but that does not detract from their useful knowledge. Anyone that can make a living like that deserves some attention.(The editors live on next to nothing in British Columbia.) They publish a free e-newsletter.

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The gent who operates Freeze Dry Guy recently updated his website (  And BTW, we just updated the link from his ad on SurvivalBlog.  (The link formerly  was to e-mail him.  It now goes directly to his web site.) Check it out!

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Wow! The last time I checked, the spot price of COMEX silver was at $8.80 per ounce, and gold was at $516.60.  It looks like they’ve bounced back after their profit-taking, just as I predicted. If you think that you’ve missed the boat, not to worry. The precious metals are just starting a secular bull market run which will probably span a decade or more. Buy on the next dip.  A couple of years from now, you will look back wistfully at any spot silver price of under $12 an ounce as a great bargain. Don’t hesitate. Otherwise, you’ll kick yourself, doubtless with vociferous “Shoulda, Woulda, Couldas”!

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I made a few more additions to the SurvivalBlog Glossary.