Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at possibly jumping back into Bitcoin. (See the Cryptos section.)

Precious Metals:

We’ll start with this: Why Is Basel III Creating A Buzz Among Gold Bugs?

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Fund Manager Reveals His Top 10 Precious Metals List

Economy & Finance:

From Wolf Richter: Fed Launches ‘Rate Peg Instead of QE’ Trial Balloon for Next Crisis. Here’s a snippet:

“During the next crisis when short-term interest rates are already at zero – for the Fed, that is still the lower bound – the Fed might not do the type of QE it did during and after the Financial Crisis when it set a target to buy a fixed amount of securities every month.

Instead, during the next crisis, when 0% short-term interest rates are no longer enough to stimulate the economy, the Fed might announce a target for slightly longer-dated interest rates, such as one-year rates…”

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At Zero Hedge: The “Muzzle” On Inflation
Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”

Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — May 14, 2019

On May 14th, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, reestablishing the Jewish state after 2000 years. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first Prime Minister.

The British Army had withdrawn the day earlier and fighting broke out almost immediately. Egypt launched an air assault later in the evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv–and the expected Arab invasion–Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine.

Today’s feature article was written by SurvivalBlog’s founder, James Wesley, Rawles (JWR).

Un-Zeroed Rifles are Just Voodoo Talismans

I’ve encountered an attitude and habit among some of my consulting clients that is alarming: Very few of them have properly zeroed all of their guns. Granted, many of these clients own more than 100 guns and have busy lives as doctors, lawyers, and business executives. But there is no excuse for them failing to at least zero their core defensive and hunting gun batteries. The “I’m planning to get around to that…” excuse doesn’t suffice.

I suppose that I should take a step back here, and address a more fundamental issue in family preparedness: This is the issue of “stuff” versus skills. It is all too easy to fall into the rut of piling up stuff but neglecting to develop the knowledge, experience, and hands-on skills to go along with all that stuff. The failure to have guns zeroed is a symptom of this much larger problem. Owning a plethora of guns, supplies, tools, and gadgets does not magically make you prepared. It doesn’t magically make your family safe. It doesn’t magically make you knowledgeable or skilled at arms. In essence: Un-zeroed rifles are just voodoo talismans. And any gear of nay sort that you haven’t actually practiced with is just stuff.

Having a pile of “new-in-the-box” guns may be a great investment. But unless you are confident and competent in their use, then they are only symbols of your desire to be prepared. And unless they are zeroed, there is no way that you can shoot them accurately beyond just pub darts-throwing distance. You have probably already heard the phrase: “When it all hits the fan, you won’t rise to the occasion. No, you will default to the level of your training.” Or, perhaps you’ve heard the corollary: “Your speed and accuracy on your best day in a gun fight will be worse the than your worst day at the range.” Those phrases are often repeated by gun trainers, for good reason: They are ground truth. Please take them to heart. Get out there and train, but first get those guns zeroed.

Boresight Zeroing

The process of zeroing rifles hasn’t changed much since I grew up in the 1960s. If anything, it has become easier. This is because the majority of hunting rifles are no longer pump or lever action. These days, most are bolt action. And the majority of battle rifles no longer have closed-back receivers (like M1 Garands, FN49s or M1 Carbines.) Instead, most are AR, AK, FAL, or HK pattern guns with open-backed receivers.  With both bolt actions and open-back receiver semi-autos, partial disassembly allows you to sandbag a rifle’s upper (or barreled action) and then alternately look through a scope (or iron sights) and then peer down the bore and confirm that the sights or scope line up with your bore sight. You don’t need to fire a single round of ammunition to get a pretty decent zero.

There are many primers out there in the Interwebzs about boresighting, so I won’t recount the whole process here. Oh, and unless your rifle has a closed-back receiver, you don’t need to use a fancy laser boresighting device. You can use the time-proven Mark I Human Eyeball. By boresighting first, you will save yourself a pile of ammunition and a ton of grief. I strongly recommend that you first establish a good boresight zero, and then it will only take two or three shots to confirm or dial-in a perfect zero.

First, an Appleseed Shoot

If you don’t already have a lot of training then I recommend that you attend a Project Appleseed shoot. It is good quality training, available for just a nominal fee. You will also receive some valuable American History lessons, between the shooting sessions.

Here is their mission statement:

“Project Appleseed isn’t a gun club or a militia, nor is it a historical society. Instead, we are a non-partisan group of men and women (known as the Revolutionary War Veterans Association) who are committed to upholding the values and principles of America’s founding fathers. We use rifle marksmanship instruction as a gateway to help bring our nation’s history to life and to show that many of the values that our forefathers relied on to win our independence are still very much in demand today.

Through clinics and events, we teach rifle marksmanship and early American heritage to introduce individuals of all skill levels to the knowledge that was so crucial to the success of our nation’s founders. Aside from the fun and camaraderie of these events, the designed takeaway is a renewed sense of civic responsibility that each attendee can then implement in his or her own community. If we can reconnect enough people with the selfless civic virtue of our forefathers, we as a nation will all be better off.

Our goal is to create a nation of Riflemen. We’d love for you to join us.”

Then Get Advanced Training

After you and your teen children have attended a couple of Appleseed smallbore shoots, then it is time to move on to more advanced training.  A good three day defensive handgun shooting course is a must.  Then take a two-day practical rifle course.  And then, if you can afford it, take both a long range rifle course and a team tactics course. That is all money well-spent.  In terms of budgeting, I consider it more important to own fewer guns, but spend the rest of your gun budget on learning how to confidently use that small number of guns. Sadly, most Americans instead just opt for “more guns, more guns”.

Needless to say, don’t attend any class until you’ve first established a good zero with both your planned primary gun, and your backup gun. (Always bring a backup, in case you have a mechanical problem with your primary. I’ve seen it happen, and it isn’t fun.)

With the return of warm weather to the northern Hemisphere, I encourage SurvivalBlog readers to get out and do some shooting!  Most importantly:  Zero all of your rifles and pistols! – JWR

SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. Today, we focus on harvesting morels. (See the Idaho and Wyoming sections.)


It’s morel mushroom pickin’ time.

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Idaho Repeals Its Regulatory Code

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Idaho Supreme Court Considers One-Punch Killing Case . Here is an excerpt:

The Idaho Supreme Court is considering reducing the 15-year sentence of a northern Idaho man who threw a punch that killed another man.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports in a story on Wednesday that the court asked for additional documents after defense attorneys for 23-year-old Tyler Finlay said a pre-sentence report for his sentencing hearing contained inaccuracies.

Finlay in November 2017 pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the June 2017 death of 29-year-old Jeffrey Marfice. His sentence required he serve four years before becoming eligible for parole.”

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‘Yelling, screaming, name-calling’: Assault investigation underway after heated Middleton school board meeting

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt”

The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we look at so-called Doomsday Bunkers being constructed by ex-pat millionaires in New Zealand.

Doomsday Bunkers in New Zealand

Hunting the One Percent’s Doomsday Bunkers in New Zealand. JWR’s Comment: The documentary film maker takes 28 minutes to show about 10 minutes worth of interesting content. And there is the usual liberal hand-wringing about “the shortage of affordable housing.” Only a committed socialist would complain about  hundreds of millions of dollars invested into a local economy by mostly absentee neighbors who use hardly any public services. But this is still worth watching.

Subterranean Survival?

Reader Paul B. sent us the link to this interesting Yahoo News Australia article: The only way is down: subterranean survival warning

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:”

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“My friends, we are gathered here today to stand up for our freedom and our sovereignty. The most precious things we have. Because without a strong nation state, there is no democracy. And without democracy there are no liberties…. My friends, our countries are strong nations. Based on a Jewish-Christian and humanistic civilization. That should never change. So, we want to control our own borders again. We do not want mass immigration. And we do not want to be invaded by a tyrannical ideology.” – Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV)

Cold Steel Crawford 1, by Pat Cascio

I’ve followed the career of custom knife maker Pat Crawford for many years. And about 20 years ago – maybe longer, his son, Wes joined his dad making custom knives – and their custom knives are always in great demand. Today, we’ll look at the Crawford 1, designed by Wes Crawford, and produced by Cold Steel, in a very affordable version of one of Crawford’s custom folders.

Its nice to see a son following in his father’s footsteps, you don’t see this very often these days, for some reason. Another thing that is getting to be a rarity are custom knife makers – period! Certainly, making hand made knives is no easy task, I tried my hand at it once, and just didn’t have the patience or talent. Oh sure, I can “design” knives, but I can’t make them. I’ve known a few custom knife makers over the years, and have always been amazed at their talents, and how much work is involved in making knives – they are artists, no doubt about it. Each knife is a work of art, as well as a work of love, you aren’t just paying for a hunk of steel, you are paying for the talent involved in making a knife – a custom knife.

Many years ago, I used to collect (and design) custom knives, and found that it was a very expensive hobby. My entire collection was sold many, many years ago, when my family and I moved back to Oregon, after traveling all around the country, always looking for greener pastures. It was a tough decision to sell all those knives, but I have no regrets at all – other than selling off some of the knives that I personally designed and commissioned custom makers to produce for me. However, you do what is right for your family’s best interests.

Cold Steel is owned by my long-time friend, Lynn Thompson, and Lynn has had a long relationship with Pat and Wes Crawford over the years. We are fortunate that Cold Steel has collaborated with the Crawfords over the years to bring us some of their designs, in a very affordable package. I know I could never personally afford to own any of their custom, hand-made knives, but owning a well-made production knife designed by this father/son team is the second best thing. And we can thank Lynn Thompson for bringing some of these designs to us.Continue reading“Cold Steel Crawford 1, by Pat Cascio”

Recipe of the Week: Cornbread Crumble Turkey

Reader Arlene X. kindly sent us one of her favorite recipes:

Arlene’s Cornbread Crumble Turkey (Serves Four Adults)


1 C Buttermilk
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
4 Skinless turkey fillets (about 3 oz each)
4- by 4-inch square of cooked cornbread (about 1 C of cornbbread crumbs)
1 Egg white
1 C Chicken broth
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 lb Frozen baby carrots
1 Tbsp Fresh sage, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp of dried sage)
1 Tbsp Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
  2. Combine buttermilk and Dijon mustard. Mix well.
  3. Add turkey fillets to buttermilk mixture to marinate for 5–10 minutes while preparing cornbread.
  4. Grind cornbread in a food processor, or use your fingers to make coarse crumbs. Place breadcrumbs on a baking sheet, and dry in a 300 °F oven or toaster oven for 4–5 minutes. Do not brown.
  5. Pour breadcrumbs into a dry, shallow dish. Put egg white in a separate bowl.
  6. Remove turkey from the buttermilk, and dip each fillet first in the egg white and then in the cornbread crumbs to coat. Discard leftover buttermilk mixture and cornbread crumbs. (Our chickens love it.)
  7. Place breaded turkey fillets on a baking sheet, and bake for 10–15 minutes (to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F).
  8. While the turkey is cooking, combine chicken broth, cornstarch, carrots, sage, and butter in a medium saucepan.
  9. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower temperature to a simmer.
  10. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the butter is melted, the sauce is thick, and the carrots are warm.
  11. Serve each 3-ounce turkey fillet with 1 cup of carrots and sauce mixture

Some Useful Related Links:

Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the importance of growing U.S. natural gas exports to European Union (EU) countries. (See the Commodities section.)

Precious Metals:

We’ll begin with: Seven Laws of Investing (as they relate to gold investing.)

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David Lin: Finally, Silver Prices May Have Bottomed, But What Happens Next?

Economy & Finance:

WSJ video: Why Amazon Is Gobbling Up Failed Malls

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Eric Peters: The Glut Cometh

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Zero Hedge reports: Why Trump Has All The Leverage In China Trade Negotiations, In 3 Charts

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”

Preparedness Notes for Sunday — May 12, 2019

On May 12th, 1949, one of the first crises of the Cold War came to end when the Soviet Union lifted its 11-month blockade against West Berlin. A massive U.S.-British airlift had broken it.

At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four sectors administered by the four major Allied powers: the USSR, the United States, Britain, and France. Berlin, the capital, was also divided into four parts, though it was located well within the USSR sector. The future of Germany was hotly contested among the allies. The United States, Britain, and France eventually united their sectors into one economic zone, which became the independent nation of West Germany. The Soviets withdrew from the council and formed East Germany. Likewise, Berlin was formed into two parts under separate rule.

When the Western powers introduced a new Deutsche Mark currency, in West Germany and West Berlin, the Soviets saw that as an attack on the East Germany currency and began a blockade of all rail, road, and water communications between Berlin and the West. Britain and the United States responded with the largest airlift in history. 278,288 relief missions in 14 months flew in 2,326,406 tons of supplies, 2/3 of which was coal to run the power plants. Flights were made around the clock. At the height of the airlift, in April 1949, planes were landing in the city every minute.

The Soviets made no effort to block the airlift and on May 12th, 1949 allowed the first American and British convoys to drive the 110 miles to Berlin to continue to supply West Berlin.

The Crash In US Economic Fundamentals Is Accelerating, by Brandon Smith

Note: This article first appeared at, and is re-posted with permission.

When looking at the health of an economic system it is impossible to gauge growth or stability by only taking two or three indicators into account. The problem is, this is exactly what central banks and governments tend to do. In fact, governments and central banks wildly and deliberately promote certain indicators as the signals everyone should care about while ignoring a whole host of other fundamentals that do not fit their “recovery” narrative. When these few chosen indicators don’t read well either, they rig the numbers in their favor.

The most promoted and and by extension most rigged indicators include GDP, unemployment, and inflation. I would include stock markets to a point in this list, but as I’ve always said, stocks are a trailing indicator and never tell us accurately when an economic crash is taking place. If anything, stocks are and always have been a placebo for the masses, a psychological crutch meant to lull them to sleep while the crash begins. Other than that, they have no value in determining the health of the system.  As a lagging indicator, we will cover stocks at the end of this analysis.

GDP Rigging

GDP rigging is mostly a government affair, as much of how GDP is calculated today includes government spending. So, even though the government has to steal your money through taxation in order to then spend money, government spending is still counted as “production”. This includes programs like Obamacare, which despite assumptions among some conservatives, continues to operate today. “Official” establishment estimates of government spending as a percentage of GDP stand at around 20%. More accurate estimates accounting for ALL expenditures show that US government spending accounts for around 35% of GDP. This is an enormous fraud.Continue reading“The Crash In US Economic Fundamentals Is Accelerating, by Brandon Smith”

The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we focus on Michael Z.  Williamson’s latest book: Freehold: Resistance.

There is No “Healthy Dialogue”

Whenever you hear the phrase “healthy dialogue” these days, you can substitute either the words “imperious leftist lecture” or “SJW censorship”, to be closer to reality. This recent news article from Illinois provides a good example: Pritzker hopes for ‘healthy dialogue’ with business community.  And, even more pointedly, there is this from The New York Post about the amped-up social media bans: Beware social media’s push for ‘healthier dialogue’. For what its worth, I have abjured all use of social media by my family.

CO-TCCC Recommends New Tourniquets

From SkinnyMedic:  “CO-TCCC Recommends NEW Tourniquets” on YouTube.

Cory Booker: Federal License for All Gun Owners

Colion Noir breaks this down in a video: Cory Booker Wants to Require Federal License for All Gun Owners.  For details on Booker’s 14-point “action plan”, see: Cory Booker just unveiled a plan that would make buying a gun a lot like getting a driver’s license. JWR’s Comments: My prediction is that now that Booker has broken the ice, the majority of the 20+ Democrat  presidential candidates will each put their own spin on “common sense” civilian disarmament. And those among farthest left will try to “out gun control” each other. This should be entertaining to watch, as these socialist bufffoons gyrate on unconstitutional policies and gradually disaffect even non-gun owners.

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:”