Letter from David in Israel Re: Expected Near Future Prices for Precious Metals

Just a hint to my SurvivalBlog friends, if I had cash in the USA, then I would start buying gold now, and continuing to dollar cost average into the market since it may still go lower than Au @ $600 and Ag @ $11.02. Both are good investments for long term hedge/wealth preservation. Proviso for the record: I would never make a suggestion or advise in financial matters since that carries personal legal risk.

I suspect that we are witnessing the final metals manipulation before Euro conversion of some oil trading and inflation driven dollar devaluation. Do some web searching and find out how sales and bogus leasing of gold reserves by central banks to funds has been theorized to have manipulated gold markets for many years, pummeling prices.
As always beans then hardware a few bullets and then some gold/silver, cover your mundane survival stuff before making an expensive hobby with gold coins or gadget guns.
Don’t expect to be able to get too much survival stuff off of your gold gains as prices for this gear will likely rise as well, but be watchful of deals from the uninitiated. Try to do business as far from home as possible as you don’t want to break from your Grey Man “nothing to see here” image.

JWR Replies:
I agree that gold and silver are great investments in the current economic environment. Of the two, I prefer and recommend silver for anyone that has sufficient vault space. At the current price of just under $11 per ounce, silver is a screaming buy! After the summer doldrums, I expect precious metals to break out substantially to the upside.

Three Letters Re: Updated Nuclear Weapon Targeting Data?


Perhaps this will be a good point from which to begin your research:
Projected US Casualties and Destruction of US
Medical Services From Attacks by Russian Nuclear Forces

Regards, – Christian W.


The short answer is that most of the targeting information on the old 1960s era maps that Bruce Beach incorporated in his book are still valid. Sure, the Russians and the Chinese know what sites are decommissioned and not worth wasting a nuke. Critical infrastructure (dams, oil and gas fields with storage facilities, large grain silos, food distribution warehouses, etc) is targeted by enhanced radiation
air burst devices (neutron weapons) to preserve the equipment but destroy the personnel. Likewise, the population centers and active military bases are targeted by such enhanced radiation devices. The deep penetration devices that produce the preponderance of fallout are targeted on hardened silos and military command centers deep underground.
Russia and China have shifted emphasis from land based ICBMs to sea and air launched stand off cruise missiles….and they are using guidance technology conveniently provided to them by Bill Clinton and his administration. They now have state of the art guidance thanks to Loral Communications and enhanced radiation micro nuke warheads thanks to pilfered files from Sandia Labs and Lawrence Livermore [National Laboratory]–pilfered by foreign agents, assisted by the the Clinton administration.
Though they have shifted targeting to get more bang for the buck, decommissioned military sites that have runways capable of being used to support bombers and fighter/interceptors are still targeted….but so are civilian airports with runways and fuel depots capable of supporting such bombers, fighter interceptors, or hastily reconfigured 747,757,767,and 777 airliners. Boeing puts hard attachment points in the wings of civilian airliners so they can be rapidly reconfigured to carry air launched cruise missiles. [JWR Adds: Reference, Lawrence? I hadn’t previously read anything about this.] Anyway, the old 1960s era targeting maps will still give the survivalist a good idea of where not to be when TSHTF. Regards, – Lawrence


Hi Jim,
Regarding Rourke’s recent letter to SurvivalBlog on updated nuclear weapon targeting data: I’ve been collecting thousands of pages of the old, original US government documents on civil defense, sheltering, and targeting info for the past 10 years or so…some of which goes back to 1942. I also have a very high interest in creating an updated targeting database, based on open source info and the original, unclassified documents that have become available in recent years, such as the Nuclear Attack Planning Base 90 report, which can now be found at the FAS web site (my site as well). I obtained FEMA 196 years ago, and made sure Bruce got copies of that and many other reports years ago, and also created the PDF version of 196 for digital download of the entire book, which can be found on my web site, along with hundreds of other PDF documents.

I have had one of the original targeting lists online for many years as well, at www.survivalring.org/cd-targets.htm and ask for input regarding updates on this page. Currently, I’m redesigning SurvivalRing.org to use a database driven design, versus the static html version as it has been since inception, and with the update, will be adding data systems that allow instant online updates (as well as site user updates) of data just like this. Adding online mapping ( i.e. Google Maps) into the equation brings a whole other level of info refinement.

Regarding Bruce and Shane, I’ve been working with both of them since pre-2000 for building, creating, and sharing info just like this. I’m hoping we can continue to work together in the future to get information and prepping data out as widely as possible.

We all know that the possibility of all out thermonuclear war is a mere fraction of what it was during the real heat of the Cold War, but the possibility of multiple terrorist nuclear detonations or warheads or dirty bombs is truly the worst fear of the current, and future, administrations. As with 9/11, [Hurricane] Katrina, and other catastrophic events have recently shown us, there is no defense from massive disaster, only recovery. And when it comes to the government, a very slow response to immediate need for help. And, yes, here I know that I am preaching to the choir.

Having a starting list as the Feds have provided, and updating it with current and known changes, to create a new possible target list, is a very high need for all US citizens. Unfortunately, in all my latest research, I have not found any reference to any updates to unclassified target lists. The 1990 printing of FEMA 196 seems to be the end of the road, and all other target documents predate this booklet. High Risk Areas (TR72) was the basis for NAPB90, and 196 was the consumer follow up.

So…this area of interest should most definitely be followed up, and a project started to produce an updated mapping of safe areas in the continental USA. It all depends on getting enough folks to decide to work on it. Anyone interested? Contact me at SurvivalRing.org. – Rich Fleetwood

Odds ‘n Sods:

A report from Boston, Massachusetts about another futile gun buy-up program (I refuse to call them “buy-backs” since the government agencies and/or liberal do-gooders never owned these civilian guns.) Does anyone honestly believe that criminals are turning in their guns under these programs? This is just more liberal feel-good politics. How nauseating.

   o o o

Bubblewatch: 10 Cities Where House Prices Will Deflate. Also, don’t miss John Rubino’s commentary on the expected ugly denouement of the U.S. bubble.(As quoted at Financialsense.com.)

   o o o

Doc at www.bigsecrets.cc spotted an article about some of the current desperate measures to stay alive in hyperinflation-ravaged Zimbabwe, as reported in www.ZimbabweSituation.com (scroll down to the bottom of the page): “Hungry entrepreneurs in the making are resorting to selling rodent meat in Zimbabwe. One such man is catching rats and mice in the bushy areas on the outskirts of Bulawayo (Burnside). Roasting the rodents rats and mice, spiced with salt and chilli powder, he then commutes to the western suburbs of Makokoba and Luveve where he fetches between $75,000 to $ 100,000 [Zimbabwean dollars] per mouse/rat. People are so desperate to eat meat that business is thriving. Beef is retailing at $790,000 per kg in most butcheries around Bulawayo.”

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that "news" is not something that happens to other people.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Note From JWR:

Today we present another article for Round 5 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best non-fiction article will win a valuable four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. If you want a chance to win, start writing and e-mail us your article soon. Round 5 ends on July 31st.

Practical Skills for Surviving TEOTWAWKI, by Free Rifleman

In our circle of survivalist friends we need hard skills. Just knowing that the proverbial Schumer is going to hit the fan is not enough. Depending on the severity, preparing for the worst-case scenario may involve a library of skills. Being diverse on skill sets is an advantage. My own list of skill sets are diverse, the advantage is, realizing it is never diverse enough and constantly branching out. Very few Electricians are Gunsmiths. Very few Farmers are Paramedics. Very few Chemists are Ranchers, and so on. To maintain an even balance of capabilities, I have taken the liberty to divide skills into three main categories:
Security: The number one capability is to maintain a certain level of security. Probably the most discussed area on survival-related blogs today.
Short-Term Survival: The largest number of skill-sets reside in this area; Food, Shelter, Medical, to name a few areas. Most Survivalists have concentrated their efforts in this category.
Sustenance: The ability to repeatedly sustain survival and overall survivability. These skills come from experienced practitioners in the specific field.
Breaking these categories into actual skill-sets is helpful if you want to see what areas are strong points within your circle of friends and which areas could use improvements.
Several scenarios will help classify the type of retreat and needs based on the number of families, amount of preparations, and size of real estate covered. It is my recommendation the land is as large as possible, combining several good neighbors to form a tract of teamwork, if possible.
Combining with neighbors is not done at the last minute; this should have begun years in advance. Multiple families preserving multiple properties collectively with a few trusted friends thrown into the mix is optimum. It provides a larger pool of resources.

I would like to begin by listing a few basic skills I believe will be invaluable should there be what all of us refer to as TEOTWAWKI. Dividing these skills into categories, I have developed a weight of value based on several factors. First, Security is foremost, but cannot stand as the sole preparation. Second, a Short-Term Survival plan. Third, a Sustainment phase to carry on the first two.
(No one reading this will agree on the order listed, so I will go alphabetically)
Auto Mechanic (Engine non-specific) – Vehicles break down. Not everyone knows how to fix automobiles. Having a good general knowledge and reference material on your own vehicle is a must. Next to that, having the right tools and even the right parts will be hard to come by. As an avid 4-wheeler, I like to keep spares of what breaks the most, but I still have to frequent the auto parts store from time to time. Having an agreement with a friend that has a junkyard is also an alternative, but some things will need to be stocked up. Belts, U-Joints, Filters, Spark Plugs, Fuel Injectors, Glow Plugs… They will all go bad sometime. (Medium – High Priority)
Butcher – As a kid I worked in a local meat market. I can tell you, customers know when there is a new butcher. It takes years of experience to understand the types of meat, how to cut them, and what part belongs to what is definitely needed. Having a good understanding and some experience with your livestock’s anatomy, will prevent wasted meat, and will prove useful to those around you. (High Priority)
Chemist – This may sound unusual, but knowing Chemistry makes life off the grid much easier. There are chemicals that will make the most difficult task, seem effortless. Additionally, Being able to test mixes of fuels, determine the condition of gunpowder, test water for contaminants, or treat water for drinking. A Chemist will be a valuable asset. (Medium Priority)
Cook – Specifically someone learned in cannery techniques and food preserving and storage. Most of us can cook, but can you go from a warm hide to preserved meat in a day? Jerky is useful and provides protein in small, measured amounts over the course of the day, doesn’t require a fire, and is lightweight. (Medium – High Priority)
Doctor – A Doctor has obvious value to a group of like-minded individuals. There will be injuries. People will get sick, maybe sicker. Surgery may be required. It may be an ugly operating room, but if you live, that will be all that matters. Doctors that have operated in austere conditions have commented on what items were the most needed. There is even a book available in PDF called Survival and Austere Medicine which is a good resource. Just don’t find yourself performing operations like they did in, “Spies Like Us”! (Medium Priority)
Electrician – I know, what will you need an Electrician when there is no power in a grid-down scenario, right? Well, for starters, an old junked car may be used to recharge batteries for absolutely necessary power. Maybe a surgery in progress, even. Either way, the ability to wire or rewire existing items to suit various needs vital to our technologically advanced lives, an electrician would definitely be of value. (Medium Priority)
ER Nurse or EMT / Paramedic – In the years of Army service, I found that the Army’s Combat Lifesaver Program to be genius. On the field of battle, there never seems to be enough medics, ammo, or chaplains. Well, since going through EMT Training at a local Community College is less than $100, and equipment needed is about the same, why not? Maybe even volunteer at the local Fire Department and get your goody bag filled by the county or township? My bag is filled with items deemed beyond the expiration date, but most of us know those are there for legal reasons. The only thing I wouldn’t fool around on is IV Fluid. Your group could even start your own blood bank if you were able to maintain proper temperatures with the help of our great technological advances in solar and wind power. I have a friend that specifically married his current wife, who happens to be an ER Trauma Nurse so she could treat him for gunshot wounds and sew him up. Weird, but functional. I recommend, that as many people go to the EMT Training as possible. Go to the recertification to keep yourselves up to date on techniques, too. (High Priority)
Farmer – Now this one is obvious. There are folks who claim they will never need outside resources, but they are fooling themselves. Every Farmer in your area should be the most pampered individual around. If you stock up on seed and help him, he will always have work, protection, and you will not go hungry. This is another collectivist effort that must be in the works BEFORE things go bad. Otherwise, you are another neighbor wanting something. There is no such thing as a one-way friendship, there has to be some sort of mutual benefit. It is the very basis of commerce. He may need security or transportation of much needed items, so break out the road warrior, we’re taking this milk to town… (High Priority)
Gardener / Botanist – For the folks who have limited space, or the foul weather creates so short a growing season, any gardener will be able to provide enough green thumb to get folks started. I hate to see any plant I’ve started, die. Imagine if it were next years starter crop and now dozens of people will go hungry. Yeah, it could be that bad. That pressure could cause you to kill all the plants. Reading ahead, talking with hobbyists, can actually get you enough knowledge to keep your family alive. I remember spending a bunch of money to get my daughter started, and we got an unexpected frost that killed all our labor… she was heartsick, but I was cataloging the feeling in the back of my mind… if that was to feed our family, we would be eating bark. These skills have escaped our generation, and someone will end up paying the price. (High Priority)
Gunsmith – Guns break. When you least expect it, even the most reliable firearm can fire poorly, or act uncharacteristic of what is the norm. A Gunsmith is nothing more than a mechanical problem solver. With a little training, some good common sense, and a library of resources, most firearms can be restored to original or better condition using the principles of a gunsmith. Always cut on the easiest part to replace or buy. The fact that someone can maintain what most folks will refer to their rifle as the number one tool for their safety, livelihood, and survival, makes these skills very beneficial to have. (High Priority)
Lawyer – More bizarre, I know, but someone that is knowledgeable of the law can be useful. I am referring to the laws that are based on man’s existence. Referring to a Libertarian definition, I am speaking of laws maintaining mala in se, things that are wrong in and of itself. Not things prohibited because of some crooked politician convinced people it was bad and made it into a law. In the event that our feet are still planted on this earth as things calm back down, someone that has a working knowledge of law will be there to help rebuild. During times of calamity, a lawyer can serve as a bridge between neighborly disputes or disagreements within the same faction. Even act as a judge in some cases. I do believe in order, I would just prefer to keep to myself, but there will always be disputes that a few people can go to have both sides presented and make a judgment. If someone working for you were stealing, would you kill him? Or, would you have him repay or pay restitution? These issues will become a factor as time goes on. (Low priority)
Machinist / Blacksmith – Today, there are always good jobs for anyone capable of operating machining equipment. It is a skilled labor. The ability to make parts or tools that people require to live will always be a valuable skill. The key issues will be how will this task be performed in a grid down scenario? I have seen foot operated lathes that take longer, but would be better than the alternative of not having a certain item. It may be that you would be modifying a part for a different application, or actual firearm or automotive fabrication.
Onto the blacksmith, the next mode of transportation that we know could be horseback, again. If you can shoe a horse, you will always have work. Even so, if you own horses, you should have a plan to perform this delicate operation on your own, should the urgency to move be too great. The use of horses as pack animals in mountainous regions will be a great method of supply movement as well as retrieving meat from a hunt. (Medium – High Priority)
Oil Refinery technician – This may be a weak stab, but should you live in an area that oil is available, or you have your own oil well, (I’ve seen a lot in Oklahoma and Texas) they could attempt to create their own refinery capability without all the crazies trying to take over the main oil refineries. Additionally, this individual would have the task of determining the types of fuel, octane ratings and what type burns better in what vehicle long with a mechanic. Multi-fuel engines could possibly be the way to go in a Schumer hits the fan scenario. (Low Priority)
Rancher / Ranch Hand – Nothing beats an end of the world scenario like eating steak and potatoes while the world is starving. Maintaining land and cattle would be a chore when others are hungry, which provides one of the two highest barter-able items. Food. Having a neighbor for a rancher, or even spreading fences across property lines within the group, may provide enough land for everyone to contribute to the feeding, raising, breeding, butchering, and preparation of beef. It could prove very profitable, and it is much easier to work on a half full stomach. Some land is already prepped if it was originally ranch-land, others will have to do a little work, or have them graze elsewhere with the agreement on the beef while they barter the deal. (Med-High Priority)
Reloading hobbyist – This probably sounds farfetched, but ammunition is not cap and ball anymore. If you know how to reload and have the components, have spares. Also, make sure you have a lead melting pot in case jacketed bullets become non-existent. It shouldn’t be your first loads, but it is better than throwing rocks. You can hard quench them, to give them the characteristics of a jacketed bullet. The key is to over plan on ammunition. I tell my friends that unless they have enough ammo, their newly built FAL is an expensive club. Don’t count on cases of surplus ammo just floating around, but if they are, cache them for barter later if they do not fit in your arsenal.
Reloading is enjoyable, and you can make your shots count more if you hand load properly.
(High Priority)
Small Engine / Generator Mechanic – This type of worker would be very useful in a grid-down scenario. People will need to run tractors, farm implements, and regular power consumption for Generators and the large welding machines mounted on the back of my trucks you see today. They are fairly simple to work on, but require a general knowledge and learned skill before ruining a $7,000 welder through the trial and error method. (Medium Priority)
Solar / Wind / Hydro Power technician – Interestingly enough, more people are interested in living off the grid now, more than ever. This may be an excellent business opportunity that would carry over to being advantageous to you and helping you be free of any grid-down scenarios. One note of caution, the looters of New Orleans were targeting the sound of generators to determine who may have supplies available. (Medium Priority)
Veterinarian – It is a fact that animals get sick and die. It is never advisable to eat an animal that died from a disease. Cold weather, adverse conditions, and possible outbreaks we have not seen for over a hundred years could become the destroyer of an entire herd. If an animal is sick, it may be your only source of food and there may not be anyone to help you. Much like the dead plants, the ability to nurse an animal back to health knowing a bit about the vegetarian science is a must. Most ranchers pay a vet, but some will pick up a lot on their own. If you are a beginner, pay for the vet, learn what you can, maybe go to school and learn a class or two, while gathering valuable materials for the future. If you have no plan of raising livestock, it can still be a barter-able skill.
Welder – Farm implements break all the time. Almost every Farm or Ranch has a welder. Most schools offer a welding class or two, some even offer certifications. If you have the ability to move the equipment around and can develop an old skill, I would highly recommend this art of mending things like new. It helps out as a second job and is always of valuable, just in the equipment alone. Want to convert a CONEX into a bunker / cache? Rent a Bobcat for a day and weld on a more solid way to secure the doors, and you have a poor man’s retreat. If all you can afford is to put together a job-site box, it will also serve as a poor man’s cache site. With a welder, you are only limited to your imagination. Barriers may be a future enterprise. People who want controlled access in and out of their property may want a display for outsiders that they are to be left alone. [As I saw in n a tour in Korea], the South Koreans use dragon’s teeth in areas such as rivers to slow down the north at what are called phase lines. They use rock drops on roads to turn a tight area into a kill zone. Welders may always have work. (Medium Priority) The following fall into a similar category, so I lumped them together, but they are all valuable individually and any combination of these have a place in a small group:
Retired or experienced Infantry / Combat Arms
Retired or experienced Military Intelligence
Retired or experienced Special Forces (indigenous teacher of tactics)

Under the category of Security there are a variety of skill sets that can provide all around coverage and others that are very specific. Military service by itself does not necessarily qualify someone to head a raiding party, for instance. Combat experience and Combat Arms tactics combined with extensive defensive planning is a great place to start. Anyone who has trained tactics to indigenous personnel, such as Special Forces, definitely hits a valuable dollar to train Americans trying to fend off undesirables or a tyranny, for that matter. They are the Swiss Army knife of soldiers and bring a good amount of know-how to a retreat. The ability to determine enemy courses of action based on tactics, terrain, weather, and type of equipment strengthens any defense. If a group were able to assist an attacker into using one of these courses of action through the use of fortifications and changes to the landscape, this group has now created a kill-zone, where they can inflict the maximum amount of damage based on their capabilities while preventing the attacker from inflicting damage on their own. Canalization of movement is optimum for the defender, especially when the defender is operating within a limited piece of real estate.
Anyone who has conducted physical security of bases or cities would be knowledgeable of a good defensive strategy. Like other readers have mentioned, security comes in layers and the earlier an adversary is discouraged, the better. Obvious visual signs of a defender will discourage the un-initiated, but those hell-bent on access will require more convincing from the defender. The more layers instituted, the more opportunities to send an adversary packing.
In the event this is a weak area for your retreat or several retreats spread over an area, someone with proven preparation of the battlefield skills and defensive perimeter setup. Retired Officers or NCOs from a Combat Arms, Intelligence, or even better, both, would definitely fit the bill. Planning this is only effective if there are personnel to carry it out. Rifleman can create a very long-range perimeter based on a long line of sight placement using terrain as an advantage. Determining courses of action will help in massing firepower where it is most needed.
The following is a list of skill set combinations that will make a community secure and survive. (“Trigger puller” is non-descript, on purpose):

EMT / Paramedic / Nurse / Doctor
Farmer / Rancher / Gardener
Veterinarian / Cook
Electrician / Mechanic
Welder / Generator Mechanic
Gunsmith / Reloader
Machinist / Blacksmith

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer." – Charles Caleb Colton (1780 – 1832)

Letter Re: The “Sell Your House and Rent it Back” Option in a Falling House Market


In a recent e-mail, you suggested considering selling my house and renting for a period of time, or at least until the real estate bubble stabilized.

[JWR’s replies are in-line, in bold text.]

1.) Do you still recommend doing this?
Yes, if you are living in a bubble region that is likely to see steep house price declines. The big question now is: can you find someone willing to do this? A year ago or even just six months ago, it would have been fairly easy, since the market was still rising. Now, with prices falling, it might be hard to find someone willing to make such a deal.

2.) And, if so, how does one go about this? Do I look for someone to buy my house and then rent/lease it back to me?

The best way to do this is to look in your local telephone book and find listings for property management companies. Call and ask if they are looking to buy rental houses. If so, tell them that you own a house that you’d like to sell and rent back. If they are currently investing in rentals, then you would be ideal candidate: No break in their cash flow (due to vacancy), no move-in wear and tear on the house, no need to paint, re-carpet, or otherwise prep the house (which is a bottom line expense for them), and you already know exactly how to maintain it.

3.) How long of a rent or lease period do you suggest?

I wouldn’t recommend signing more than a one year lease, followed by a “month to month” rental arrangement. That way you can be more flexible in case you decide to move somewhere in a hurry. For example, in case you feel the need to “Get Out of Dodge”, or for when you think that the regional housing market has bottomed and you want to re-invest.

4.) Since I’ve only been living in my current home for two years do you think that this concept applies to me? (i.e. my current equity is about $35,000)

That might be marginal. But in a falling market, wouldn’t it be better if the property management company lost equity in the house, rather than you?

I thank you for your helpful response. Baruch HaShem Yahweh (Blessed is the Name of Yahweh) Sincerely, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel

Letter Re: Licensing Requirements for FRS Versus GMRS Radio Transmission

Dear Jim:
I recently purchased a Motorola SX 700 Radio. Inside the package is a notice regarding [U.S.] Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing. It states that if you operate on GMRS frequencies you need a license from the FCC. Channels 1-7 and 15-22 are GMRS. What about channels 8-14? Do I need this license? Or can I use Channels 8-14? Thanks. – J.H.

JWR Replies: Your assumption was correct. No license is required in the U.S. for transmitting on Family Radio Service (FRS) channels. (Channels 8 to 14). But you must have a GMRS license issued by the FCC to legally transmit on GMRS channels, except in an emergency. For licensing information and application forms, see the FCC web site or call the FCC hotline at: 1(800)418-3676. Overseas SurvivalBlog readers: consult your national and regional laws. Military service members: consult your COMSEC office and/or spectrum allocation coordinator before utilizing FRS or GMRS bands for unencrypted tactical communications. These bands are some of the least secure from interception!

Letter Re: “Power Up”–A Useful Reference on Battery Conversions for Military Electronics

You need to take a look at this link. It is an online version of a very rare book (Power Up) that shows how to make standard battery conversions of many military items, something that could come in handy one of these days. Best Regards, – Jim K.

JWR Replies: This link works well in Firefox, but Netscape some other browsers have conflicts, so you may have to turn off Java to see this page properly. Once there, click on the link for any particular piece of military equipment. This is indeed a great reference!

Letter Re: Are Your Neighbors Prepared? by Doc

Mr. Rawles:
One point to note with Doc’s observations as a home repairman. I had my hot water heater short last week. If a repairman had come to my home, he would have walked past my garden and wood pile, had to go down the stairs past one ammo cache and rifle, 12 cases of Mason jars, around bags of old clothes waiting to be used for quilts, past various toolboxes, a chest freezer, lanterns, a grain mill and workbench, et cetera. But, instead, I went to the hardware store, bought a thermostat, and made the repair myself. I would wager that the 2% of the population that still farms (and those that grew up on farms) and a portion of the population that works in plumbing/electrical/contracting work don’t call repairmen. [That is a] lot better odds than 1/1000. Still…his observations show that there’s little hope for the McMansion dwellers and moochers. – Al in Durham

Odds ‘n Sods:

Al Jazeera (not well known for unbiased reporting) comments on Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and Syria–all making distinct moves away from the U.S. Dollar.

   o o o

Michael Z. Williamson pointed us to a Box 0′ Truth evaluation .223 and .308 versus body armor. As I often say, a handgun is just a portable tool to buy time to get you back to your rifle.

   o o o

Back to the Bunker: The Washington Post reports on FEMA’s Continuity of Government (COG) plans.



Note From JWR:

Today we present another article for Round 5 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best non-fiction article will win a four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. (Worth up up to $2,000!) If you want a chance to win, start writing and e-mail us your article soon. Round 5 ends on July 31st.

The Ultimate Preparedness Community, by George L.

In Boston T. Party’s excellent novel, Molon Labe, the central character, James Wayne Preston, writes an inspiring letter on page 45 to his father outlining the issues he sees requiring separation to build a common community of free people in Wyoming. A better plan doesn’t require moving to one state for a political revolt. For those who are not Christian, please bear with me for a moment. You will quickly identify many of these organizational principles as essential for all group dynamics of individualists freely associating with each other to achieve specific goals. God’s plan of true Church organization does not require a physical move. It simply requires a small gathering of His people wherever they live, organized as outlined by the early apostles. Both accurate orthodoxy and orthopraxy (the practice of the Christian life) are vital to creating a dynamic culture that will overcome today’s popular culture. In 1858, Southern Baptist theologian J. L. Dagg wrote in Manual of Church Order, P. 84-86 that the apostles, “have taught us by example how to organize and govern churches. We have no right to reject their instruction and captiously insist that nothing but positive command shall bind us. Instead of choosing to walk in a way of our own devising, we should take pleasure to walk in the footsteps of those holy men from whom we have received the word of life…respect for the Spirit by which they were led should induce us to prefer their modes of organization and government to such as our inferior wisdom might suggest.”
Just as true conservatives know in order to understand the implications of our Constitution for today, they must understand the root arguments made by both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. These type conservatives will appear radical to the world today. Consider the term radical is from the Latin radix and simply means root. To understand Christ’s organizational format we must return to the roots of the apostles’ writings, while often ignoring the customs around us today.
Remember that no one survives for long without the assistance of others. Within the preparedness community some are primarily interested in political reform, others economic, religious, social or just preserving certain issues we know are important to a free people such as rights of speech, arms, or privacy. None of these issues alone will compete with the culture of tyranny that grows in our midst. We must actually grow an alternative culture that provides a more dynamic and free alternative to what the current environment is forcing upon many of us. Home education was the mustard seed of involvement that resulted in many Americans realizing the ineptitude of the design and intent of government education. Now comes a new growth of social organization I believe will even eclipse the positive experiences of those having grown up in the home education culture.
Everything that happens in this world, including preparedness, begins first in the heart. It then works its way into the subconscious mind and into our conscious thoughts. Only then do we decide if we will take the time, energy, risk and creativity to put it into effect.
The great challenge of the preparedness community is the conflict of world-views. The Western world has historically understood that “civilized” life began first with the integrity and value of the individual. It then worked its way out to the family, tribe, and only then to the state or nation. We are now often at odds with a socialists or communist perspective of sacrificing individual values, even the entire individual, for the better good of the state. We have come a long way from the original values of a government designed to protect live, liberty and property to those of grand social designs that harness your life, liberty, and property for it’s purpose. Even our religious institutions have mostly gone this same route of centralization of power to serve the needs of an “organization” at the expense of basic individual rights.
How does one stand against such a great tide of opposition? Millions have been killed and persecuted in the last century of its oncoming wave of ideology. Many have argued our defense with opposing theories, but with no success against the envied and hate-filled majorities of democracy’s tyrannies. For almost 1700 years the Christian church has organized itself more along the lines of the world’s spirit of collectivism than the spirit of freedom that Christ came to give. Once Constantine made Christianity legal and forced its adoption, the original principles of organization outlined by the apostles in the first several hundred years of Christian growth began to be subverted and then mostly lost. The accurate application of orthodoxy and orthopraxy will show how weak and fallen men are built into individuals of spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical strength completely capable of working together in a spirit of freedom to overcome even the strongest system of collectivism ever created by the fallen nature of man…that of Rome in it’s later days. The success of the Christian home churches in communist China is also an excellent example of the success of God’s organizational system even today.
Please do not discount this brief article as an inspirational or motivational piece. It is neither. It is motivational only to the extent that my desire is to move you toward a self-directed academic study of the greatest “how to” organizational design ever to come form the heart and consciousness of the Creator Himself.
While space does not allow me to get into the details of how the early church gathered in homes, was lead by a plurality of unpaid elders, and provided for the teaching, spiritual and physical well being of its members and often the larger community, please permit me to point you to a few resources to guide you on your self-study:
1. The New Testament Reformation Foundation:
2. A Baptist Greek Professor’s blog:
3. For encouragement of young adults: Turning The Tide
4. The first week of March 2006 issue of Time magazine gave an interesting overview of the “home church” topic.

The combination of communities of free people working with and alongside others who both home educate and have home fellowships is a viable foundation of building a dynamic decentralized culture. This is far superior to the alternative being forced on us by confiscation of our life from both government taxation and emotional manipulation of a paid clergy system. In summary, first develop a love of freedom, second, a knowledge of freedom, and then, act with inspired courage in being free.