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 “HJL”. Forget real parenting. Tracking your kids with a GPS ankle bracelet is the new thing.

Amazon is Taking Over Your House

Amazon wants to take over your entire house. Alexa is being introduced into everyday appliances like microwaves and toasters and there are even adapters that will turn ordinary lamps into smart lamps. The adapters are incredibly easy to use too. Just plug it in and your smart phone will recognize it and program it for you. Amazon’s concept is to seamlessly integrate your everyday activities with shopping so you’ll spend more money with them. Hey, Amazon already lets strangers in your house, so why not give them total control over the rest of it. What could possibly go wrong here? I wonder if your home will be classified in the future: Are you a Google home or an Amazon home?

Card Sniffing Dogs

With the size of digital storage media growing at the same time the physical size is shrinking, I’ve often wondered how secure facilities could manage. I’ve even wondered how authorities could find information hidden on these cards when executing search warrants. Of course my mind was thinking in terms of Bibles in countries where the Bible is illegal and things like that. As it turns out, that has already been dealt with. Apparently, there are dogs who are specially trained to sniff out the chemicals found in the plastics in these devices. The dogs are currently in use sniffing out the storage media of pedophiles when warrants are served on them. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The colors are stunning. In a single view, I see – looking out at the edge of the earth: red at the horizon line, blending to orange and yellow, followed by a thin white line, then light blue, gradually turning to dark blue and various gradually darker shades of gray, then black and a million stars above. It’s breathtaking.” – Astronaut William McCool (Commander on Space Shuttle Columbia‘s fateful final flight)





S.T.O.M.P. II Medical Pack, by Pat Cascio

It may not look like it when you walk into my home office. It looks messy, but I know where everything is. I like to be organized, and with the Blackhawk Products new S.T.O.M.P. II Medical Pack, it makes it easy to find all the medical supplies one might need in an emergency. We’re taking a close look at the SEAL team Medic-inspired medical backpack today.

Ambulance Boxes Back In the Day

Back in the day, and we’re talking way back in the day when I worked on an ambulance, we had all of our medical gear stored inside of hard plastic boxes, similar to what an angler might have when they are out fishing. These boxes had lots of compartments, and it was easy to get to everything. However, a couple drawbacks were encountered, one being that hard plastic boxes would often break if dropped. Also, if dropped, a lot of your medical gear got out of place. Still, this setup was better than nothing, at that time.

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Recipe of the Week: Tropical Tea Warmer, by A.P.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 6 tea bags
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 orange sliced (unpeeled)

Directions:

  1. Pour boiling water over tea bags in a pot.
  2. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar, honey, orange juice, pineapple juice, and orange slices.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve from the pot

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!



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 JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on ancient coins. (See the Tangibles investing section.)

 

Precious Metals:

We’ll start today’s column with this by Neils Christensen: Gold On The Menu Next Week If Trade Outlook Improves After G-20 – Analysts

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Reader George T. tipped us to this article: Canada Outlaws Mailing Gold Coins, Gold Nuggets and Gold Dust

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Gold And Silver Are Still Money Per Jp Cortez

 

Economy & Finance:

Here is a “must watch ” 46-minute interview about the imminent bursting of the global credit bubble: Bill Holter – Mad Max World Possible as Unpayable Debt Bubble PopsJWR’s Comment:  When a high-level financial adviser starts talking about food and fuel storage, pay attention! Also note that he concurs with my assessment of silver and the gold-to-silver ratio.

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For the U.S. Economy, Storm Clouds on the Horizon

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Here is an interesting book review with commentary by John Mauldin: Ray Dalio: This Debt Cycle Will End Soon

 

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“They wouldn’t take me in the [U.S.] Navy because of my glass eye. So I joined the merchant navy, who allowed monocular crew if you worked in the kitchens. You’re not wanted on deck or in the engine room with one eye, but you’re good to fire up the ovens and cook hundreds of chops.” – Peter Falk





Round 79 Non-Fiction Writing Contest Winners Announced!

Round 79 of the Non-Fiction Writing Contest has ended and the editors have picked the winners. If you are one of these winners, please make sure that you send us your USPS and your UPS/FedEx mailing addresses. Any article submitted, but not published in the October and November 2018 time frame have been automatically rolled over to Round 80 of the Contest.

First Prize:

First prize goes to I.S. for “How to Build a Compact, Portable Range Barricade- Part 1” and “Part 2”, published on November 24th and 25th. He will receive the following prizes:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

Second prize goes to AJS for “Water Treatment Options: How to Avoid Posoning From Toxins- Part 1” and “Part 2”, published on November 28th and 29th. He will receive the following prizes:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Third Prize:

Third prize goes to FLSnappyTurtle for “Prepping and Practical Minimalism- Making Them Coexist-Part 1” and “Part 2”, published on October 3rd and 4th. He will receive the follwoing prizes:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Honorable Mention:

Honorable mention prizes ($30 Amazon.com gift certificates via e-mail and an autographed hardback copy of JWR’s novel Survivors) have been awarded to the writers of these fine articles:



Forming a Refugee Prepper Church, by ShepherdFarmerGeek

I’ve been looking for principles and policies and ideas for forming a “church” for bugged-out preppers and refugees. It would be for people who find themselves in close proximity in a wilderness area and who band together to share skills and manpower. Projecting a theoretical refugee collection of 100 people, not all of them preppers, here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Most Able to Lead– Preppers

Realize that there will be a high degree of overlap in community-building and congregation-building activities. The people who will be most able to lead will be preppers of some flavor. We need to be thinking about this in advance. A community based on Christian principles is our model.

Who Are These People of the Congregation?

Recognize that the congregation will consist of people who have been recently and deeply traumatized. Most likely, they are needy in every possible way. We will not be able to meet all of their needs. We cannot fix everything that is wrong. However, we can point them to God, and this will be real, valuable assistance. We need a plan, in advance.

Disruptive Agitators

The persons most likely to be disruptive to community and congregation development will be the unprepared “nanny-staters” who fled for some reason. Somehow, we will have to identify and separate the agitators from the sincere seekers. Do we enforce exile? (How will we keep them from reporting us to the authorities or local gangs?)

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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 “HJL”. The MSR SE200 is finally becoming public knowledge (and easier to get).

Tracking Phones

Yet another video that talks about how your smart phone is being used to track you. This video talks about how Google is actually tracking you even when you turn the feature off and when you place your phone in “Airplane Mode” in which all communication is supposedly stopped.

JWR’s Comment: I hope that now you can see how important it is to have a cellphone with both a removable SIM, and most importantly, a removable battery! Buy “burner” Tracfone flip phones with cash, activate them under the name “John Smith” or something similar. Keep your phone “stripped” (no SIM and no battery) until use, and then then strip it again, immediately after you make calls.

And there’s this: Your smartphone can be tracked even if GPS, location services are turned off.

And, even worse: NSA Can Reportedly Track Phones Even When They’re Turned Off

Thoughts on EMP Report

From Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large:

So, let me note that being “Head of Air Education and Training Command” doesn’t confer or imply any kind of technical education, and the “Union of Concerned Scientists” have been scaremongers since the 1960s. And 90% of what they’re terrified of is proven false.

Nuclear reactors are designed specifically to handle a power loss, and their backup generators aren’t much EMP-affected anyway. Since the last major Coronal Mass Ejection caused 12 hours of fluctuations in Quebec in 1989, most substations have built-in faraday cages.

USG tests of vehicles show modern electronic ignitions can usually withstand 100K eV of induced voltage with no major effects. Only about 5% of cars failed to operate after being shut down and restarted. Large diesel trucks were more affected, which would be a significant effect (about 15% of trucks failed to restart), but rail is unaffected due to the grounding effect of the rails.

There’s a study by Oak Ridge that’s fascinating reading. Written with a non-technical audience in mind, and it lays out the details and exaggerations of an EMP pretty well. The appendix section on Myths is particularly good.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.” – Acts 7:14-16 (KJV)





Guest Article: Don’t Get Distracted By The Trump/Fed Soap Opera – The Crash Will Continue, by Brandon Smith

At the beginning of 2018 I wrote extensively on what was likely to happen under the administration of Jerome Powell, the new Federal Reserve Chairman. In my article ‘New Fed Chairman Will Trigger A Historic Stock Market Crash In 2018‘, published in February, I predicted that the Fed would continue interest rate increases and balance sheet cuts throughout the year and they would knowingly initiate a crash in equities.

To be clear, this was not a very popular sentiment at the time, just as it wasn’t popular when I predicted in 2015 that the Fed would launch interest rate hikes instead of going to negative rates in order to start a catalyst for economic crisis. The problem some people have with this concept is that they just can’t fathom that the central bank would deliberately crash the system. They desperately cling to the notion that the Fed and other central banks want to keep the machine rolling forward at any cost. This is simply not true.

The claim is that the banking elites are “required” to keep the system propped up in a state of reanimation because they are reliant on the system to provide capital and thus “influence.” The people that assert this argument don’t seem to understand how central banks operate.

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Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

JWR

A week of relatively good weather gave me the chance to complete some barnyard tasks.  In addition to the usual super-duper-pooper-scoopering, I also drained, scrubbed, relocated, and filled two stock tanks very close to reliable frost-free hydrants. Both tanks are adjacent to grounded power outlets. Why? It is now that stock tank heater time of year!

Our large livestock has grown their winter coats, and they are doing well. We still have just a few roosters and turkeys to butcher, but that will probably wait until just before Christmas. (With the exact butcher date depending on the weather.)

I did some hay re-stacking, to make room for the last of our ATVs to fit in the barn. That is perhaps my final “pre-snow” barnyard organizational task for the year.

Just two weeks until the Winter solstice. Then we can watch the daylight hours lengthen. I do enjoy our winters here. But the days near the solstice are insanely short, at our latitude. And winter always seem to last about a month too long!

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