JWR’s Recommendations of the Week

Here are JWR‘s Recommendations of the Week for various media, tools, and gear of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week’s emphasis is on forest thinning.


The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil

Scouting And Patrolling: Ground Reconnaissance Principles And Training


Slum Dog Millionaire. JWR’s Comments: This movie is intense and has some crudity. But it shows just how cruel life is for India’s slum dwellers.

Land of Mine. JWR’s Comments:  The events depicted, though fictionalized, are essentially true.  Until this film was released, very few had heard about the use of impressed POWs for de-mining, following World War II.

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Economics & Investing for Preppers

Economics and Investing

Here are the latest 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 the bargain prices now available on DPMS AR-15 Oracle rifles.  The market fro “black rifles” has bottomed!

Precious Metals:

First off, there is this: Gold’s Strength Is Justified Says UBS

Commodities Economics:

Next, over at OilPrice.com, Henry Trinh reports: Top Asset Managers Still Bullish On Crude

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Reuters: U.S. shale firms more exposed to falling oil prices as hedges expire



On to the foreign exchange (Forex) news: EUR/USD Daily Technical Analysis for June 14, 2017


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The Editors’ Quote Of The Day

Alexander Hamilton

“There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No Legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the Representatives of the People are superior to the People themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. If it be said that the Legislative body are themselves the constitutional judges of their own powers, and that the construction they put upon them is conclusive upon the other departments, it may be answered, that this cannot be the natural presumption, where it is not to be collected from any particular provisions in the Constitution. It is not otherwise to be supposed, that the Constitution could intend to enable the Representatives of the People to substitute their will to that of their constituents. It is far more rational to suppose, that the Courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the People and the Legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the Courts. A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the Judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular Act proceeding from the Legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the People to the intention of their agents. Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the Judicial to the Legislative power. It only supposes that the power of the People is superior to both; and that where the will of the Legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the People, declared in the Constitution, the Judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental. […] whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the Judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers #78.

Growing Potatoes From True Potato Seeds, by ShepherdFarmerGeek

Potato Seeds

Take a quick look at this clever video (1:47) describing the advantages of growing potatoes from potato seed.

Advantages of Growing Potatoes From Seed

Using traditional cross-breeding techniques, a company in the Netherlands named Solynta (So-lynn’-ta) has developed a line of potatoes that reliably produce “true potato seed” (“TPS”). Most potato seeds have a lot of genetic diversity, which is not a bad thing for home gardeners. They produce potatoes with varying sizes and colors, so they’re unsuitable for commercial production.

Less than one ounce of their seed can be planted in place of 5,500 pounds of “seed tuber” potatoes that would otherwise need to be cut up into pieces and planted. The seeds are lightweight, compact, and will last in storage several years. I don’t know if they’ll survive freezing. But how hard could it be to protect a thimbleful of seeds that could plant a whole potato patch? The tubers, on the other hand, require careful storage (around 40° and moderate humidity) and are subject to rotting, insect infestations, and potato diseases, not to mention they’re a lot more bulky than seeds.

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Letter: Earthbag Shelter

earthbag shelters

Regarding the Odds ‘n Sods entry last month: Owen Geiger has several earthbag shelter designs that are inexpensive but labor intensive and that are an option for radiation protection.


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SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

American Redoubt

This column is posted on Tuesdays. Here, we present news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies in the region of interest to preppers. Today’s focus is on newly-elected Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte.


First in our news headlines: The row over Idaho’s sales tax on groceries continues. The Idaho Governor actually missed his deadline to veto a bill that would have ended the tax, but they let that slide.  (The veto was somehow certified.)  See: Clash of the Idaho Titans

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This innovative small company in Sandpoint, Idaho deserves a special mention: Advanced Offroad Trailer (AOT). Check out the videos of their ATV trailers in action. What a great design!  (Note: The elk carcass loading video is not politically correct. But it shows both the strength and versatility of the design.)

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

Survivalist Odds 'n Sods - EMP

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”. Today’s focus is on survival food.

Survival Food

Canadian Prepper has a video review of the SolSource parabolic Solar Cooker. If you like cooking with solar energy, you might want to take a look at it. This is not an inexpensive device, but its efficiency is very good. It does need full sunlight in order to cook, but it works well. It is also large and primarily plastic (the reflector), which makes it fairly durable but difficult to transport and store. This is something that you would set up in your backyard rather than transporting when traveling.

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Reader DSV sent in the link to this article on canning potatoes for long term preservation. Step-by-step instructions with photographs are included to make it easy. Note that this is a job for a pressure cooker (not a hot water bath process) as the potatoes are not acidic enough by themselves.

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Editors’ Quote Of The Day

James Wesley, Rawles

“Cartridge firearms are compact vehicles for change that have shaped modern history. The righteousness of their use is entirely up to their users, since like any other tool they can be used both for good or for ill. A firearm is just a tool with no volition. A rifle is no different than a claw hammer. To wit: A hammer can be used to build a house, or it can be used to bash in someone’s skull—-the choice of uses is entirely up to the owner. A bulldozer can be used to build roads, or to destroy houses. A rifle can be used to drill holes in paper targets, or to dispatch a marauding bear, or to murder your fellow man. Again, the choice of uses is entirely up to the user.” – James Wesley, Rawles, in Tools for Survival (2009)

The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 12th, 2017


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 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 also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week. (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and be ready!


At the Rawles Ranch we are in full Summer Mode, which usually means lots of gardening, fencing,  and construction projects.  Since we live at a fairly northern latitude, the days are very long when we get close to the Summer Solstice. This gives us plenty of daylight–almost too much, since we sometimes work ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

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Ruger GP100 .44 Special, by Pat Cascio

Ruger GP100 .44 Spl

Ruger GP100

Ruger recently introduced their GP100 revolver in .44 Special. I still remember the very first .44 Special handgun I ever owned and shot. At that time, it was the “new” Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog. And, if I recall correctly, back then the only factory ammo available was some lead round nose ammo that wasn’t very accurate. I couldn’t hit the target very often. When I did, the round key-hole went through the target sideways. Still, I kept that gun for a good long time. I don’t know why!

My long-time friend, confidant, and fellow gun writer, John Taffin, is probably the biggest proponent for the .44 Special caliber that I’m aware of. He has written tens of thousands of words on the virtues of the .44 Special caliber, not to mention a book on big bore handguns, which focused on the .44 Special & Magnum. When John speaks, my ears perk up and I listen, intensely. Taffin has promised to leave me one of his .44 Special handguns in his will, too. I don’t expect one of the fancy custom guns. Nope. I’ll take whatever he cares to leave me.

I used to be a huge fan of the .44 Magnum caliber. I still like it for medium to bigger game hunting, but I don’t much care for it as a self-defense round. It’s just too hot and will over-penetrate the human body, with most of the ammo available. That’s not a good thing. However, when stoking the .44 Magnum with .44 Special ammo, it’s a whole different ball game.

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Economics & Investing for Preppers (For June 12th – Monday)

Economics and Investing

Here are the latest 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 quirky “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on Chinese investors.

Precious Metals:

First of all, Greg Hunter offers his Weekly News Wrap-Up  (6.9.17)

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From Reuters: Palladium surges 7 percent to highest in 16 years; gold retreats

Commodities Economics:

Next, over at OilPrice.com, there is an informative piece by Irina Slav. The Next Big U.S. Shale Play

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InvestorIntel: Rare Earths Monthly – May 2017

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The Editors’ Quote Of The Day


“Hillary’s aides began planning her first national television interview of the campaign, a chance to strike back at the widely held perception that she was hiding from the press. Palmieri asked Abedin to find out which newscaster Hillary would prefer, and the answer that came back was ‘Brianna.’ That meant CNN’s Brianna Keilar, and Palmieri worked to set up a live interview on CNN. Only it turned out that Hillary had said ‘Bianna’—as in Bianna Golodryga of Yahoo! News, the wife of former Clinton administration economic aide Peter Orszag. By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late to pull back. Hillary went through with the interview on July 7, and it was a disaster. ‘People should and do trust me,’ she insisted under a barrage of questions from Keilar. One aide described Hillary as ‘staring daggers’ at her questioner through the exchange.” – Jonathan Allen, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign