How to Stock a Prepper Pantry

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 The overall goal of our emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, I wrote how firmly I believe in each household having an emergency food pantry. Whether those emergencies are from Mother Nature or if we have hit a rough patch in our lives, having food on hand will be less burdensome and will help free up money for other living expenses. The key is to a well-stocked pantry is to have lots of nutritious shelf stable foods at your disposal. Foods filled with lots of nutrition will carry you farther in an emergency than lots of junk foods.

The Meat and Potatoes of a Prepper Pantry

Over the years, I have made recommendations for the best types of foods to put in your pantry, how to save on emergency food stores by learning how to can and dehydrate your own food sources, as well as provided the best rules to go by when creating an emergency food pantry. Ideally, you want the food you put in those coveted pantry spots to be versatile and serve many uses.

I like to start with shelf stable basics like wheat berries, rice, an assortment of beans, dry milk powder, peanut butter, drink mixes, etc., and then add-on to my pantry with home canned and dehydrated foods. This creates layers of different types of short and long-term food stores and gives me more functionality in my pantry. Having layers of different food sources as coincides with the prepper rule of having back-ups for your back-ups. Here is a shopping list that first-timers can use to get a pantry started. Keep in mind this is for one person. If you have additional family members, use this calculator to add-on appropriately. Another way to add essential vitamins and nutrients to your food supply is to stock up on sprouting seeds. Inside these small biogenic (living) foods lies essential nutrients and vitamins that can assist in providing a good portion one’s daily requirement of nutrients. Sprouts can grow anywhere, during any season, and requires minimal work.

Where To Get Bulk Pantry Foods

As many of you know, preparedness is an investment and doesn’t always come cheap. One of the best places to buy bulk shelf stable foodstuffs that I have found is at the LDS food storage warehouses. I am not Mormon, but this church has opened its doors to non-members in order to create a more prepared community; and I am very thankful for this. I am able to purchase cases of canned beans, rice, dry milk, etc. and it’s already packed and ready for long-term storage. This frees up so much time! Here’s a link to their locations. As well, purchasing the larger, bulkier bags at Sam’s or Walmart is also very economical, but make sure you transfer your food items into long-term storage containers to protect your food investment. As well, don’t forget about storing water or having a way to treat it – this is crucial to survival.

Other Food Pantry Items

As I mentioned earlier, we like to layer our preparedness pantry. I buy meat on sale and freeze or can it for a later date. As well, we stock up on freeze-dried foods. For my family, freeze-dried foods are our last resort. If we run out of our pantry items, and our garden fails, only then do we turn to our freeze-dried food supply. My purpose in this is that I don’t want to solely rely on this type of emergency food source. I’m thankful it has a 25-year shelf life, but there are a lot of preservatives in freeze-dried foods that can cause constipation and stomach upsets. Therefore, I want to have enough of the natural foods my family normally eats before I turn to my freeze-dried foods. In addition, I also have garden seeds on standby so that we can grow a garden immediately if there is a widespread event.

Hopefully, this primer will get you started on your food pantry endeavors. As well, here are some additional articles to help you create a long-lasting and dependable food pantry.

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

Those of you who plan to take the first steps toward preparing for emergencies may feel a bit overwhelmed at first. After all, there is a lot of food to choose from at the grocery stores. We all know how confusing it can be getting started and luckily, there are lots of articles from Ready Nutrition and other great prepping websites to help with that.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Three things this week

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First thing, as I sit here tonight, sipping herbal tea that tastes like a sugar cookie, it’s quite a different night from last night, for one thing, it’s quiet, all I hear is the hum from the inverter fan and the clicking of my fingers on the keyboard.

Last night, the wind blew, it blew really hard, at some points I wondered how the roof would stay attached. I’m certain we had gusts of near 70 MPH, as I lay in bed watching videos on my tablet, it was loud enough outside that I had trouble hearing the tablet’s tiny speakers. PB was under the SkyCastle, I heard a loud crash on the roof of the bedroom. It sounded big and it sounded as if it broke up into pieces when it hit. We never did figure out what it was, there was no visible damage the next morning and nothing laying around that looked like it could be the thing that hit the roof.

It’s difficult for us to have a fire in the wood stove when it’s that windy, the wind tends to blow the smoke back into the house, fortunately it was a rather warm night, well warmish, I had the windows open but was wearing my cold weather nightwear, 2 layers, thermal underwear and flannel PJs. This morning we discovered new items in the yard, things that blew in from the neighbor’s properties, I found out that some of my neighbor’s didn’t fare as well as we did, one lost a carport, another lost their trampoline. Yet another neighbor wrote on Facebook about how we can’t leave things out like ladders leaning against the building or anything else that can become airborne.

We are supposed to have another couple of high wind days coming up, it hasn’t hit yet, but there are fire dangers because of the wind and how dry it is, a spark is all it would take and we could be in real trouble.

Second thing, work has been picking up, as promised after the first of the year, our bigger merchandising projects are starting to show up. I had been trying to find someone to take one of the two farther towns I travel to each week, Presidio. We have hired several folk over a period of time but none of them seem to work out for very long, this seems to be the type of work you either love or hate.

I learned that the lady who used to work with me expressed an interest in coming back, she wanted Presidio, that is perfect, I can happily hand that town over to her, there will be no training time and no worries about her ability to do the work, it’s a win-win situation. She will either start this week or the following week.

The third and final thing that has happened this week, I spilled a large cup of hot, very sweet coffee on my laptop, bummer! It even had melted marshmallows, they stuck nicely between the G and H keys. My laptop was in hibernate mode, I turned it over, wiped as much as I could out of the keyboard, then made an executive decision, I knew that what was wet was already wet, I was worried about the sticky sweet syrup, after removing the battery, I sprayed water with a spray bottle into the keys, wiping it as it dripped out. I figured it would be better to try to get the sugar liquid out than to let it dry inside.

I let the laptop sit for 3 days, open, upside down, not knowing if it would boot up or not. Fortunately it booted right up, but about half of the keys don’t work, the number pad doesn’t work at all, I’m sitting here typing on an external keyboard that I bought for PB about a year ago. I am going to try taking the laptop apart and see how much I can clean out and if that will work. If it doesn’t, then I suppose it will be time for a new computer…

How was your week? Good I hope, let me know what you did.

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What To Do When “Authority” Comes a Knocking

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This article has been contributed by Anne Marie Duhon. Anne Marie is a wife, mother of six and a full time off-gridder. She and her husband currently live in a totally off grid 200 sq foot “tiny home” and are in search of (again) that elusive perfect spot to call home. Besides being a wife and mother she, and her family, have raised many different animals on their various homesteads and have lived and loved being off the grid and many miles from the nearest paved road. She would like to share her first hand experiences and help others to learn to live and love living off grid and being as self reliant as possible.

Police Knock on Door

Ah, I don’t need to be worrying about THAT! I am a law abiding citizen just minding my own business you think.

RIGHT keep thinking that…

Everyday every one of us breaks several laws and never even knows it. There are over 100,000 laws- federal, state and local- on the books, do you know them all? Doubt it, considering not even cops and lawyers know them all! The only reason we all are not in jail is because of selective enforcement of the laws (remember driving one day and passing 5 cops and none of them pull you over then the sixth one does for a broken tail light- selective enforcement based on the cops mood at the time).

The thing is, authority knows that we do not know all the laws or what our rights are and authority uses it against us. Authority knows that people like us, survivalists, preppers, off gridders, homesteaders whatever you want to call yourself tend to do things a little “differently” and we tend to be a little outspoken and Authority knows given a chance they will find something to use against us. So it is our job to deny them that chance. So what to do?

What authority wants to happen

Authority knocks on your door, and you open it smiling. Police officer, animal control what have you waves a paper in front of you and says
“I am Officer Snatch and this is officer Grab, you are in violation of xxx law (waving paper again) and we are here to take it.

You private citizen say “Oh you caught me. Come on in and take whatever you want”.

Authority will come in and take whatever they came for, take you to jail and while they are at it ransack your home and find many other things to charge you with to make this perfectly worthwhile for them. And if they are feeling mean probably steal a few things from you too knowing that you won’t be able to do a damn thing about it. Later, when your attorney files a motion to suppress the evidence before your trial, the judge will deny the motion on the grounds that you volunteered the evidence to the police. You will then be convicted of being in possession of an “illegal” whatever. And at that point unless you are or have very good friends that are independently wealthy you are screwed.

What you should do when authority comes

There is a knock at the door. Private Citizen DOES NOT open the door but calls through the door. “Who is it?”

The reply: “I am police officer/ animal control/deputy Sheriff/Snatch”

Private Citizen AGAIN THROUGH THE DOOR should reply: “Please go away unless you have a warrant. Please get off my property.”

Now in a perfect world that should do it but of course we do not live in a perfect world. Authority is going to get mad at this point because you did not immediately bow to their wishes. They are going to make threats DO NOT RESPOND, and NEVER no matter what authority says open your door! KEEP SILENT! Do not answer any questions. Just politely say “I refuse to answer any questions without my lawyer present or without a warrant”. If they claim to have a warrant tell them to slip it under the door (if they really had a warrant the door would be gone by now and you would already be in handcuffs).

Things to do/think about before authority shows up

IT is a fact of life now a days that people like us are considered “terrorists”. People who before would have been considered solid old fashioned Americans (72 types of people considered terrorist). And because others chose to think about us as such they are going to fear what they do not understand. What people fear they try to stop by fair means or foul. It is our duty to protect our families and what we have worked for against these people. How?

Know your rights

First and most important KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Authority wants to and will use our ignorance of our rights against us and once we lose our rights it is very hard to get them back. Know the laws of your area. If you have guns know the gun laws, if you have animals know what the animal laws are in your area. I am not saying you have to agree with them but if you don’t and chose to break the law don’t make it obvious! Many innocent people end up in prison because they did not know their rights.

Keep your mouth shut

Second, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Do not be telling anyone you raise rabbits in the city to eat or have “assault” weapons in the garage! Do not give anyone any reason to question you about anything. Remember, everything you say can and will be used against you and that does not only apply to when you are talking to the cops.

Other things that can help in dealing with authority

Set up game cameras or closed circuit cameras at all entrances to your property. Have the cameras record and upload directly to the internet for safe keeping of the video. Cops will demand and destroy videos if they know they are being filmed and many a time a cell phone video has gotten someone off trumped up charges!

Fence off and post no trespassing signs on your property. LOCK the gates!

Consider getting a video camera or voice activated recorder and leave it by the front door/gate. Tell authority all interactions will be recorded.

Consider joining a prepaid legal service like Legal Shield or The Calvary Group which is a prepaid legal service for animal owners.

Never allow authority inside your home or to even SEE inside your home. If they can see something questionable in their suspicious minds they will use it for probable cause to get the warrant! This goes for the stuff in your yard that is visible from the road and driveway or the neighbor’s yard. If for some reason you feel the need to speak to the police, step out of your house and shut the door behind you. IF you can lock it all the better!

Make duplicate copies of all important paperwork – deeds, titles, rental agreements, birth certificates, social security cards, adoption records, marriage/divorce records, medical records for ALL family members both two and four legged, business licenses and any other records you deem important. Keep these copies in a secure location besides at your house. You can keep them either in paper format or on a thumb drive and save a copy to an online private site, say email them to yourself so that you or someone you ask can access the copies from anywhere with a computer and your passwords. Never leave your passwords laying around ANYWHERE!

Folks, there is nothing “wrong” with our lifestyle! A hundred years ago EVERYONE lived on a farm, carried guns, stocked up, and minded their own business. Be proud of your ability to care for your family and stand firm in the face of all the “authority” out there! The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution is short, to the point and written in English. The Fourth Amendment is easy to understand. The Attorney General hopes you don’t understand any of your rights. Don’t let them trick you. If the first one hundred attempts at trickery fail, the government will give up. Don’t be fooled. Learn your rights and exercise them. As long as you keep your questionable activities private and as long as you are polite and respectful, you can keep authority out of your business. Police do not like dealing with well educated, respectful people and will back down in most cases.

Mosquito Bite Prevention: It’s Not to Early to Prepare Now

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Mosquito Bite Prevention

The Zika virus is in the news right now, however, it is not the only virus or disease spread by mosquitoes that you have to worry about when warmer weather arrives.

Chikungunya

Although the chikungunya virus is not common in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have had large outbreaks.

Symptoms include high fever and joint pain, and the joint pain, although rare can become chronic. Other symptoms include swelling of the joints, headache, muscle pain, and rash. The virus is rarely fatal, but the symptoms such as joint pain can be severe and debilitating. Currently, there is no vaccine available.

Dengue

It is estimated that 40 percent of the world’s population resides in areas at risk for dengue and approximately 390 million people per year are infected. There are four types of the dengue virus, so this means a person could get the virus up to four different times. There is dengue virus 1, 2, 3, and 4. The virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. There currently is no vaccine nor medications specifically for those infected.

Malaria

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If left untreated, a person may develop severe complications, which could lead to death.

In 2013 alone approximately 198 million people were affected worldwide and of those, 500,000 people died mostly children. About 150,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed each year in the United States. Many of the people infected had traveled to countries where the disease is more prevalent mainly the sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Then there is the Zika virus which is making headlines because many experts are calling it a pandemic. The Zika virus can and has caused birth defects, so pregnant women are cautioned about traveling to certain countries, and if you live in a country where the transmission of the virus is high, you have to take precautions.

How to Protect Yourself

The most reliable way to protect you is to use insect repellent. The CDC has listed repellents that are considered safe, when used as directed, for everyone including pregnant women and children. Keep in mind that when talking about active ingredients, the higher the percentage the longer the protection. Lower percentages protect as well, just not for as long as higher percentages.

Here Is a List Provided By the CDC

  • DEET Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF! as well as Skintastic.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
  • IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart (CDC, 2016).

Other protection includes long-sleeved shirts and long pants and in areas where mosquitoes are extremely active you may want to consider headgear with netting attached.

In the heat of the summer if you do not use air conditioning and you have open windows and doors it is important that you have screens in place. If this is not possible, then netting should be used when sleeping and insect repellent used during the daylight hours. The netting must be draped in such a way as to keep insects from getting at sleeping children and adults.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water so eliminate what receptacles you can to stop water collection and treat other sources with Mosquito Dunks for example. The bacteria in the dunks kill the mosquito larvae.

The dunks are dropped into the water and left to dissolve disseminating the bacteria, which is deadly to insect larvae. Read the directions carefully, but for the most part, the dunks are safe for aquatic life and plants as well as for birds and mammals to include household pets.

Mosquito Dunks (the brand name) can be found at Lowes, Home Depot and on Amazon for example, along with other brands that contain the same bacteria.

Empty and refill birdbaths on a regular basis and treat any outdoor water features with dunks or similar products and this includes any water features you may have on your patios or porches.

Old tires, buckets, filled and untreated pools without working filters and pumps, and empty planters lying around the property will be breeding grounds for mosquito and they breed and hatch very quickly by the thousands in a very small volume of water. Remember the bucket you use to collect condensation runoff from your air conditioning unit because it can breed mosquitoes as well.

CDC. (2016, January 15). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/

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Critical Thinking is Not Conducted in a Vacuum

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By Denis Korn

Seriously reflect on this post!

Seriously reflect on this post!

I consider this to be one of the most important posts I have made, because of the seriousness condition of the current state of our nation.  This will be a significant year in defining the direction of our society and the foundations created for our children and grandchildren.  Before we examine the issues relating to the title of this article, I would like to share an observation that makes the importance of the critical thinking process even more crucial as each day unfolds.

I believe that the polarization and the schism of our society is complete.  The indoctrination, manipulation and dumbing down of the population is an intentional process that began decades ago by those who do not have the best intentions for our country.  The signs of this acute and agonizing polarization and discord are everywhere and in your face – politics, education, media, health, race relations, philosophy/ideology, military, immigration, constitutional rights, sexual/gender behavior, finance and in many other facets of our culture.  This not a time of simple disagreements, opinions and perspectives.  It is the blatant manifestation of what is referred to in Ephesians 6:10-12 as spiritual warfare.  The dark side has control of the major sources of communication, education and political influence and is fighting for the soul of our nation.

First stated in the Gospels by Jesus himself and later during a critical time in our nation’s history by Abraham Lincoln (see the comments at the end of this article regarding his House Divided speech)  – “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24,25)  This is why it is essential that the discerning and thinking remnant in our land be vigilant and active in combating the evil in our midst.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attitude – Critical Thinking – Knowledge – Trust – are the most essential attributes of the preparedness planning process – and are required for acting appropriately in the times confronting us today!

In the 6 years of posting articles on this site, one of the most popular posts has been Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions for Reflection.  While I believe that developing critical thinking skills is essential in all aspects of our life, it is especially important when you are evaluating and determining sources and provisions for emergency and disaster preparedness.  Your comfort, health and survival depend on appropriate, sensible and accurate decisions.  The correct and proper decision making process relies on essential critical thinking skills.  Knowledge and discernment competency are vital to the emergency preparedness process.

Because of the importance of applying critical thinking, especially during these times of great confusion, uncertainty and deception, I am offering some observations that I hope will help in motivating you to look closely at the critical thinking process.  There are numerous books and resources available to help you in developing critical thinking skills.  The purpose of this article is to offer some helpful insights into the critical thing process that will hopefully motivate you to seek further understanding.

It is obvious that those with political and economic power do not want a thinking and accessing population.  The deception and manipulation of facts and events have reached epic proportions.  All sectors of daily life have been compromised to achieve a massive dumbing down and indoctrination of the masses – media, government, schools, science, academia and entertainment.  The urgency and importance to our society, families and nation for an informed, thinking, rational and discerning populace could not be understated.

What is Critical Thinking?

“Critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim – and of the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it.  The ability to think critically is vitally important; in fact, our lives depend on it.  The way we conduct our lives depends on what we believe to be true – on what claims we accept  The more carefully we evaluate a claim and the more fully we separate issues that are relevant to it from those that are not, the more critical is our thinking.”

“We do not do our critical thinking in a vacuum, of course.  When we are confronted with a claim, usually we already have a certain amount of information relevant to the topic, and we can generally figure out where to find more if we need it.  Having both the desire and the ability to bring such information to bear on our decisions is part of the critical-thinking process.  Critical thinking involves a lot of skills, including the abilities to listen and read carefully, to evaluate arguments, to look for and find hidden assumptions, and to trace consequences of a claim.” (From Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition – Brooke Noel Moore, PhD & Richard Parker, PhD)

The Result

A well cultivated critical thinker:

  • raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
  • gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively;
  • comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
  • thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
  • communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. (From Critical Thinking – Concepts & Tools, Seventh Edition – Richard Paul, PhD & Linda Elder, PhD)

It is important to realize that everyone resides at a different level in the process of developing critical thinking skills.  Be encouraged to continue to pursue your thinking skills development, and to put into practice what your have learned.

Here are some thoughts from a paper I wrote titled “Critical Thinking is not Conducted in a Vacuum” that I distributed to the Critical Thinking class I taught at our local college a few years back.  I know it might be a bit “academic,” however I feel it offers some valuable food for thought.

Vital components:

  • Critical thinking skills are developed and refined by: habits, discernment, learning tools, knowledge, practice, principles, motivation, and an effective educational process.
  • The foundation for thinking is based upon: personal core beliefs, perceptions, presuppositions, and one’s worldview.
  • Critical thinking takes place in a philosophical, societal, and cultural context and is basically oriented from two standpoints:

~ Practical and pragmatic – essential for daily life situations centered around personal – social – political – religious circumstances.

~ Theoretical and academic – consisting of inquiry into the theological (the study of religious faith and God’s relation to the world), metaphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses), cosmological (the nature of the universe), ontological (the nature and relations of being), and epistemological (the nature and grounds of knowledge).

The entire study of, and search for truth (that which is – not an opinion) begins with one’s personal worldview – it is not an exact science, it is not something you can expect to pick up after a few class assignments, memorize, and reiterate on a multiple choice exam (which you know a do not give) – it is a process, an attitude, a relationship, an adventure, and a journey of discovery – it is filled with twists and turns, exaltation and distress – the rewards regardless of the obstacles, uncertainty, and confusion are as Socrates would say, “the way we ought to live.”

To discover truth and the Truth is an innate human need for many, if not most, of us.  It will validate and strengthen worldviews that are proper, and change worldviews that are flawed – if we don’t let the barriers to critical thinking get the better of us.  This process is also an essential component of the development of critical thinking skills.  Each one of us are responsible for discerning the variances and nuances in the identification of truth.

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Here are the comments regarding Abraham Lincoln’s speech.  They come from www.abrahamlincolnonline.org.  Abraham Lincoln’s insights then have profound implications for our nations current struggles.  I pray it is not too late for our country!

Lecturn in Representatives Hall, Old State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois
Representatives Hall Lecturn
© Abraham Lincoln Online

House Divided Speech

Springfield, Illinois
June 16, 1858

On June 16, 1858 more than 1,000 delegates met in the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. At 5:00 p.m. they chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. At 8:00 p.m. Lincoln delivered this address to his Republican colleagues in the Hall of Representatives. The title reflects part of the speech’s introduction, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” a concept familiar to Lincoln’s audience as a statement by Jesus recorded in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke).

Even Lincoln’s friends regarded the speech as too radical for the occasion. His law partner, William H. Herndon, considered Lincoln as morally courageous but politically incorrect. Lincoln read the speech to him before delivering it, referring to the “house divided” language this way: “The proposition is indisputably true … and I will deliver it as written. I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that it may strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times.”

The speech created many repercussions, giving Lincoln’s political opponent fresh ammunition. Herndon remarked, “when I saw Senator Douglas making such headway against Mr. Lincoln’s house divided speech I was nettled & irritable, and said to Mr. Lincoln one day this — ‘Mr. Lincoln — why in the world do you not say to Mr. Douglas, when he is making capitol out of your speech, — ‘Douglas why whine and complain to me because of that speech. I am not the author of it. God is. Go and whine and complain to Him for its revelation, and utterance.’ Mr. Lincoln looked at me one short quizzical moment, and replied ‘I can’t.’”

Reflecting on it several years later, Herndon said the speech did awaken the people, and despite Lincoln’s defeat, he thought the speech made him President. “Through logic inductively seen,” he said, “Lincoln as a statesman, and political philosopher, announced an eternal truth — not only as broad as America, but covers the world.”

Another colleague, Leonard Swett, said the speech defeated Lincoln in the Senate campaign. In 1866 he wrote to Herndon complaining, “Nothing could have been more unfortunate or inappropriate; it was saying first the wrong thing, yet he saw it was an abstract truth, but standing by the speech would ultimately find him in the right place.”

 

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Podcast-Personal Preparedness-Getting In Shape with Gary Collins

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cats

Gary Collins, author of The Primal Power Method is back on the show today to talk about the most important preparedness issue of all, your health. He gives great tips on loosing the extra weight you might have picked up since Thanksgiving and tells us some traps to watch out for. To learn more, visit PrimalPowerMethod.com.

Is there a secret cabal working to collapse the international economy in order to usher in a global government and one-world currency? Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker as a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great, United States of America. The Days of Noah by Mark Goodwin is a fast-paced, prepper-fiction thriller series which looks at how modern conspiracies could play into Biblical prophecy concerning the end times.

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Today’s Prepper Recon Podcast sponsor is CampingSurvival.com. Whether your plan is to bug in or bug out, they have all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

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The dollar has lost over 90% of its purchasing power since 1971. Silver, on the other hand, has proved to be a very stable form of wealth preservation over the years. And where do you buy silver? Silver.com of course. Silver.com offers fantastic prices on silver and gold. Check out Silver.com today.

Happy Prepping!

Mark

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Trump: HGH For An Insurgency

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Best President Candidate

As predicted in this very forum back in June, the rise of Donald Trump has been many things, not the least of which is Best President Candidateentertaining.  Hurricane Donald has had massive success shining a 100,000 lumen spotlight on the serious rift within the Republican Party as well as tightly winding the mainstream media’s undies.  Two satisfying outcomes for this American.  But those are far from his only accomplishments, one unintended consequence has also come with the rise of Trump.

By Professor Liberty Mize, a contributing author of SHTFBlog

He has inadvertently laid the groundwork for a legitimate independent run this Best Presidential CandidateNovember.  Shockingly that ticket will not be headlined by Trump himself.  Consider the following hypothetical.  If we enter late April and Trump still has a stranglehold on the Republican nomination (still a massive if), and if Hillary is indicted (a shockingly less unlikely if), the vast majority of voters in this electorate will find themselves without a candidate.  This is based on high negatives for each of the aforementioned major party alternatives.

Also Read: Comb Over Chaos

This will force a “none of the above” wave that this country hasn’t seen since Richard Pryor ran for Mayor in Brewster’s Millions.  Combine that atmosphere with ballot access rules that allow independent candidates the ability to defer a decision until late spring/early summer and things could get interesting.

How can we be sure? 

Consider the candidacy of Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  While the circumstances surrounding their rise to office best presidential candidateare nuanced, three key thing fueled both:

1.    The ability to get on the ballot without facing a legitimate primary
2.    A fundamental dislike by voters of the other candidates  (The recall of an incumbent in Arnold’s case)
3.    A fiscally conservative, but socially liberal message

Together these three things allowed each to beat a path to the sweet spot of American politics. Polls show that the majority of Americans are fiscally conservative and laissez-faire on social issues.  Yet today these people have no outlet.  You can’t support abortion and sniff a republican primary, and you can’t tout free markets and economic reason and capture the fancy of democrats.  By carefully spinning those into a platform a candidate could re-configure the electoral map and be competitive in every state.

So Why Don’t More Independents Run? 

Because to run is a fool’s errand.  In national elections roughly 40% of the people will vote for their party regardless of the nominee.  So even if you capture the vast middle, you are still short on votes taken by the major party nominees.  That is unless the base actually hates their nominee or that nominee was recently led away in leg irons.

The Perfect Storm

Therefore we have the perfect storm.  Pissed voters, crappy nominees and a real mess to clean up in DC.  It is a formula that has Mayor Bloomberg, Jim Webb and even Joe Biden putting out feelers and seriously considering an insurgency.  Bloomberg’s ability to self-fund means he could be a particularly serious player.  Elections are expensive and party infrastructure and influence are key to fundraising and building a successful organization.  None of this applies to him.  Bloomberg need only crack his piggy bank and shake out a few hundred million bucks and he could be in business.  The others face longer odds, and there may be others considering a run that have yet to surface.  Could someone Ross Perot their way to a legitimate shot at the white house?  Stranger things have happened, and if anyone has those ambitions this is certainly the year to try.

The Bottom Line

Again the above is based on hypotheticals.  Hillary’s indictment could very well be squashed by the justice department or be Trump for Presidentspun as a right-wing conspiracy, but I wouldn’t bet on it.  The FBI doesn’t mess around and reportedly has 100s of agents on the case and the evidence is overwhelming.  If the justice department fails to indict they could go public and either force Obama’s hand, or just destroy Hillary.

On the Republican side Trump is also far from home free.  Cruz will likely win Iowa, Trump will win New Hampshire and it is anyone’s guess after that.  But if he sweeps the SEC vote we could very well be headed for Trump as the nominee.  In an era where a populist anti-establishment wave has carried Ron Paul, Trump and even Bernie Sanders to prominence– anything is possible.  Who might be able to tap into that and ride the wave all the way to DC is really anyone’s guess.  Regardless I’ll likely still be endorsing “none of the above”.

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A Good Book Review

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Enforcing Home – Another Excellent Chapter in the Survivalist Series

I have wrote before about how well written and realistic A. American’s Survivalist series was and the latest, book #6 called “Enforcing Home” is no exception. This latest book continues to find Morgan, his military partners improving their situation while faced with threats from armed bandits and the Department of Homeland Security.

While survivalist books by A. American, Joe Nobody, James Wesley Rawles and others are novels since the collapse hasn’t happened yet,…..yet,…..you can still learn something. You can see problem sets and ask yourself how you would solve it, what decision you would make. Another way to learn are the survival tips that the authors spread among the story line.

Without giving too much up for those of you who haven’t read the book yet, I had five major takeaways from a learning or reinforcement stand point:

Growing food occupied all the characters and/or their separate survival groups. The most successful people in the story line was a couple who had a collapse preexisting green hose and were adept at growing much of their own food supply. S o in a perfect world the survivalist would have a green house, possibly some cleared land for a spring-summer garden, a good supply of non-hybrid seeds, a water source and the skill to grow vegetables.

Feed chickens was the second point. In the story Morgan’s group had chickens which gave them a healthy supply of eggs. A way to feed those chickens was described where a bucket with holes was hung up above the chicken coop and a dead animal carcass was put into the bucket. Flies would leave their eggs in the carcass and when they would hatch the maggots would fall out the bottom of buckets onto the ground for the chickens to eat. I never heard of that before.

Preserving eggs. Something I have heard before and reinforced in memory was the technique of coating eggs with mineral oil to preserve them. Having a supply of mineral oil on hand for other things is smart as well. Treats constipation, can be used for burning in oil lamp, even lubing weapons in a pinch.

Prepared for contact with disease ridden people. This is something I had wrote about before, about having personal protection gear and a plan on how to approach, handle or interface with people possibly infected with bad communicable diseases. In that perfect world again, a smart and well prepared survivalist would have a stockpile of antibiotics to treat some of treatable diseases, the knowledge of treatment plans, a stock of personal protective gear, and a plan on what to do with diseased infected suspected contacts or people that have been exposed within your own group.

If you are a prepper and have not yet read the Home novels from A. American (the “A” stands for Angry by the way) then you can pick up series through Amazon.

Risk of a Monster Earthquake Throughout Pacific Region

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The have been three 7.0 class earthquakes in the last month

 Many earthquakes are happening exactly at volcanic hot spots.

The videos from dutchinsense point those out nicely.

Also there were 10 earthquakes over 5.0, and 48 total over 4.5

The whole Pacific Ocean plate is moving

This could forbode “The Big One” and it could be West Coast USA, Russia, even Japan where they just restarting their 3rd nuclear plant.     Nature has a twisted sense of humor when you poke it in the eye.   

Here is the latest from dutchinsense

This one from Jan 29, 2016

Being Fat Is Not A Big Problem, But What Made You Fat Is A Big Problem

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 I found this one twitter, and pulled a one liner soundbite out of it.

Being obese will increase your cancer risk somewhat, BUT if you became obese from eating processed foods, then you are 5 to 10 times more likely to get cancer compared to an obese person who eats non-processed foods.

Got it?    And this just speaks to processed foods, not specifically looking at GMO effects which are going to be even more extreme.

Found this article on twitter by the way.   Go full bird, go tweet.

stock out

 ——————————————————————————–
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/07/obesity-related-cancer.aspx?x_cid=20160131_tweet_obesity-related-cancer_twitterdoc


The following figures seem to reflect that obesity caused by primarily unprocessed foods appears to be far more benign than obesity caused by processed food:

  • Eight percent of all cancers in women in developed nations is associated with obesity, compared to just 1.5 percent in developing countries
  • Three percent of all cancers in men in developed nations is associated with obesity, compared to a mere 0.3 percent in developing countries

According to lead author Dr. Melina Arnold, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer:

“Our findings add support for a global effort to address the rising trends in obesity. The global prevalence of obesity in adults has doubled since 1980.
If this trend continues, it will certainly boost the future burden of cancer, particularly in South America and North Africa, where the largest increases in the rate of obesity have been seen over the last 30 years.”

Survival Medicine Hour: Bleeding Control Kit, Herbal Teas, Zika update, more

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Direct Pressure on Bleeding Wound

Bleeding wound

Would you have the materials and knowledge to stop heavy bleeding if you were confronted with it? In these violent times, you should be prepared to deal with injuries that could be life threatening and have the equipment that might save a life. Hear Amy Alton, ARNP, explain her thinking in designing a compact med kit that deal with hemorrhage that she believes should be in every workplace, classroom, and homestead. Also, Joe Alton, MD, talks about natural remedies when he goes over some herbal teas. Plus: Why does Zika Virus in Brazil cause birth defects, while no major history of the problem seems to occur with Zika virus in its original territory (Africa and Asia)? Is a mutation the cause? All this and more on the latest Survival Medicine Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

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To listen in, click below:

 

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/01/31/survival-medicine-hour-bleeding-control-kit-herbal-teas-zika-update-more

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Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

 

Joe and Amy Alton

 

Check out Nurse Amy’s latest kit “The First Aid Bleeding Control Kit” at her store at store.doomandbloom.net

 

 

videocast

Weaponsman Gives A Great Analysis

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I highlight and respond to a comment (with a pic) in the body of his report.

______________________________________________________

The FBI Trickles Out Some Video from Oregon

This is coming out selectively, and at a pace that indicates that they are basically happy with how this happened. However, the aerial video makes one thing clear: how eyewitnesses can claim that LeVoy Finicum was shot because he drew a gun, while other eyewitnesses can claim that he was shot while his hands were up. At different times in the video he has his hands up and appears to go for a gun, and it’s impossible to know — without information the FBI continues to withhold, if they have it — whether he decided to commit Suicide by Many Cops, or whether he drew his gun in desperate defense after they began shooting him.

Again, without knowing who said what, when, it’s impossible to say whether he became compliant with their instructions, whether their instructions (as so often in a police encounter) contradicted one another, or who fired first.

It’s a certainty that he and others in the truck were not, initially, compliant.

Our tentative conclusion is that both “sides” of this one-sided gunfight will continue to feel wronged by the other guys.

The “Highlights Reel” — about 1/3 of the duration of the whole thing. We watched the whole thing, which is embedded at the bottom of this post, and only sped through this clip

Here’s the FBI comment:

This is a shortened and edited version of FBI footage showing the joint FBI and Oregon State Police traffic stop and OSP officer-involved shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This condensed clip was shown at an FBI press conference in Burns, Oregon on 01/28/2016. The complete raw footage is available here: https://youtu.be/aAGxDWKrjPQ. Note regarding date/time stamp in the left corner of video: Pilots use Zulu Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), when they fly. Zulu time is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Therefore, although this footage was taken on January 26, 2016 in Oregon, the date/time stamp on the video shows just after midnight January 27, 2016.

Our comments:

  1. We have said several times before, when Officer Friendly decides you’re going downtown,you’re going downtown. Further resistance at that point is not only futile, it just means you’re going downtown with a few lumps at best, or at the worst, going downtown to the morgue instead of the jail — as Finicum does.
  2. Without the audio, we can’t be sure who fired first. It could be any of three men in the video, or someone off screen.
  3. We can’t be sure whether Finicum drew or moved to draw first, or whether he did that in reaction to being shot at or shot.
  4. His hands were up at first, they went down it seems to keep his balance, and that seems to be when the officers lit him up, but we can’t be sure. (To the officers, at the time, this may have looked like he was going for a gun. In the overhead video it doesn’t look like that, but the guys on the scene didn’t have eyes on the overhead video, they had eyes on Finicum a mere three or four yards away.
  5. We don’t know if Finicum fired, but it seems unlikely. Whether he took shots before he attempted to draw, once he starts he’s clearly taking hits.
  6. We don’t know how many agents or officers fired, and how many shots. For reasons known only to the FBI, they’re sitting on that information. (most likely working out whether it’s better to bury it for good, or if it will be released, how to spin it. One of their concerns here will be the criminal cases against the truck passengers, and the jury pool. The jury pool’s probably not much of a concern, because they’ve set it up that the jurors will be predominantly from metro Portland).
  7. It appears that two or three agents or officers engaged Finicum: one with a pistol who had been on the flank, one with a shoulder weapon who had come up onto the snow, andpossibly one who was at the fender of one of the roadblock trucks. Others may have fired as well, but these three are the closest.
  8. The left-handed officer who had been on the flank and fired down the hill fired directly towards his own guys. This may have caused the guys at the truck to think Finicum was engaging them, and they were taking incoming. (Well, they were taking incoming, albeit from their own guy. Which they might or might not have noticed)Editors Note: From what I know of Taser training and employment, a number of agencies teach their officers to carry and draw their Taser on their weak side, and to do it one handed while maintaining control of the duty weapon with the strong side hand. This is so their is no confusion concerning whether you are preparing to use Lethal or Less than/Less lethal means towards an individual. Note the Officer’s strong side (a guess he’s right handed)  hand/elbow is in a position to cover his duty weapon.  I believe he Tased Finicum, thus the reason he dropped like a sack of rocks, and similar to how a head shot victim would also fall. This is why the officer would have felt comfortable firing in the direction of the barricade and his fellow officers. Generally, LEO’s only shoot one handed in two instances. First is close quarters, contact distance, shoot from the hip type shooting, and number Two is if you are injured in the arm or hand of one side( either one). This is practiced and tested during semi annual weapons qual in all agencies that I know of.Finnicum Post1 
  9. The same officer fired from the move — in deep snow — with no attempt to take up a stance. Some may interpret that as reckless, but it could also be that he could see he was threatened and needed to react immediately.
  10. In the case of perceived threats, there are certain psychophysiological reactions, including a narrowing of perceptual field both in breadth and depth. Thus, for the uphill officer, the friendlies behind Finicum might have been functionally invisible.
  11. Because of the angle of the helicopter’s video, the carbine-shooting officer is sometimes masked by trees and sometimes has his back to the video viewpoint. From this video alone, you can’t see what he’s doing.
  12. Several officers move towards Finicum as he appears to be trying to escape with his hands up. In retrospect they might have held their positions, as they had him surrounded. But once again, we don’t know what was said here. Finicum could have been screaming, “Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!” — or worse — for all we know.
  13. When Finicum goes down, he doesn’t move subsequently. It seems clear from the overhead video that he was DRT.
  14. Like the Soviets with Maj. Nicholson, the FBI makes no attempt to medically assess or aid LaVoy Finicum for well over ten minutes after he was shot. This is probably because they still had unknown persons in the truck and an unsecure scene, and possibly because or also because they could see he had unsurvivable, immediately fatal wounds, but it looks bad, and can be spun by conspiracy theorists. If you see a claim like that, remember the FBI’s probable reasons for holding their doc back.
  15. After the others all exit the truck, one at a time, hands up, and are taken into custody, agents move forward cautiously and clear the truck.
  16. Then, as a K9 comes forward to further check the truck, an FBI medic moves to Finicum and kneels beside him. It’s not possible to tell what he’s doing, if anything, but he stays there for some time.

This could have gone another way entirely. Our impression is that the lack of further shooting after Finicum goes down is an indicator of restraint on both sides.

One is reminded of the rockets the FBI took (deservedly) for HRTs staggeringly and incompetent reduction of the Branch Davidians compound, when the ATF, who wanted Koresh, could have just stopped David Koresh and arrested him any time on his peregrinations about Waco. Clearly the errors then informed their approach now, and they stopped and arrested the takeover ringleaders on their rounds (they were going to speak to the media and public in a nearby town). Had Finicum done what the other truck passengers did, he’d be alive and in jail and everyone would be sending the Bureau a Bravo Zulu.

It’s clear that the folks in the truck were not complying with instructions. They just sat in the truck for 5-6 minutes after the first attempted stop (from around 2:30 in the long video). And the authorities just sat in theirs. We have no way of knowing what was said, but it’s unlikely the cops told the truck occupants to stay in the running truck that long, or to just take off.

After they attempt to run away, the driver (presumably Finicum) tries to run around the roadblock through a thick snowbank and, naturally, bogs down. With no delay, the driver’s door opens and Finicum exits. Seconds later he is dead.

If the others in the truck were attempting to escape or resist — there’s no sign of this either way in the release — there was no indication of it after Finicum is shot dead. It appears that the rest of them exit slowly and individually and comply with instructions.

Lessons Learned So Far

There are some lessons learned here:

  1. If you provoke an armed encounter with the authorities, you’re going to get an armed encounter with the authorities. They can’t and won’t back down; they understand that any loss of face risks a collapse in the social order, so they will meet such a challenge every time.
  2. Cue the late Bobby Fuller: LaVoy Finicum fought the law, and the law won. Regardless of who did what, he’s still dead, and there were many times he could have made a decision that would not have left him dead, regardless of what the FBI did or intended. (Except for the occasional sociopath who slips through, and contrary to what a lot of Bundy supporters seem to think about them, Special Agents are not fangs-out hoping to kill anybody).
  3. The FBI, and most agencies, need more post-shooting transparency. Don’t believe us? Mental exercise: this shootout happens in Chicago or NYFC, and LaVoy and his crew are black gangbangers. What would The Reverends be saying by now? How would the Postand the Times be covering it? In this case, the Bureau lucks out: the national media sympathize with the FBI because the criminals are the media’s favorite boogeymen. Ask Wilson Goode what the media does when the criminal movement (in his case, MOVE) are minority members and your cops whack ’em.
  4. Absence of information (and media fabrications to fill the 24-hour news cycle in this absence) is the fertilizer that makes conspiracy theories grow. Conspiracy theories lead to people’s estrangement from ordinary society. Estrangement leads to “compounds” and standoffs. If you’re The Law®. you should want to disincentivize that process of estrangement and incentivize normal, rational paths of dispute resolution.
  5. Administrative law is increasingly looking lawless, with its administrative “courts” a rubber stamp, not a normal, rational path of dispute resolution.

Some More General Thoughts

This whole mess began because a Federal prosecutor (like all of them an effete urbanite with many years in Eastern elite colleges) thought it would be amusing to make a felony out of some careless brush burnoffs by a couple of ranchers, and send the hayseeds to prison.

People in the East (ourselves included) have little appreciation for the degree to which the people of the rural West find themselves at odds with the managers of Federal agencies like the BLM and the EPA. Those agencies have eastern, urban, even Luddite values, values that are foreign and inimical to the agricultural and extractive industries on which so many Western livelihoods depend. The agencies’ managers, based always in the Imperial City of Washington and fully socialized to Washington values, radiate contempt for their de facto serfs.

It’s impossible how to predict how LaVoy Finicum and the Bundys will be remembered some decades or a century down the road. John Brown, a similar lawbreaker, still does not produce a consensus almost two centuries on: was he principled, crazed, or both?

But it’s disturbing the degree to which this feels like the period of Bloody Kansas and the John Brown Raid. People are divided, bitter, and bloody-minded. We know where the failure to find a political resolution to the widening schism in the 1850s wound up. Anyone who wants the current schism to go there is out of his ever-lovin’ mind. American deaths in the Civil War were 2.5% of the population, predominantly productive-age men; that proportion would be about 8.25 million today. Both sides committed the sort of bestial atrocities that always seem to arise in civil wars. And while the two big issues were resolved: Slavery; and who is to be master, Feds or States — the cultural issues still fester like an antibiotic-resistant abscess.

We’re at the cusp of a Century of Enlightenment, or a new Dark Age, made more monstrous than Churchill might have imagined by not only the black lights of perverted science, but the raw power of unaccountable authority.

After the jump, the full-length video (and an Update):

 

Here’s the FBI comment:

This is the complete video footage of a joint FBI and Oregon State Police traffic stop and OSP officer-involved shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This footage, which has only been edited to blur out aircraft information, was taken by the FBI on 01/26/2016 and released by the FBI on 01/28/2016. Note regarding date/time stamp in the left corner of video: Pilots use Zulu Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), when they fly. Zulu time is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Therefore, although this footage was taken on January 26, 2016 in Oregon, the date/time stamp on the video shows just after midnight January 27, 2016.

That’s the whole thing. (The zulu time data block is blanked out in this video, but is not on the highlights reel). Draw your own conclusions.

Update

We know nothing about the legal issues, but former federal prosecutor and current defense lawyer Ken White (the Popehat dude, we think) sure does and he looks at the initial charges at the LA Times. Basically, he says they’re only charging a slam dunk. Perhaps they will add more charges later, to induce more pressure for an easy guilty plea, but if Ken is right the defendants’ collective goose is cooked, and their own words were the secret sauce.

As far as trying the BLM’s overreach in court, Ken says that’s not going to happen:

Twenty years ago I prosecuted a tax protester who claimed — as one does — that the gold fringe on the courtroom flag made it an admiralty court. “I’ll pretend you’re a boat,” the judge said dryly and proceeded with the mundane business of the case.

The charge they used — conspiracy to interfere with a government official — is a charge used effectively against New Hampshire tax oddball Ed Brown. Brown’s still in prison, and the stiffed taxmen are still trying to sell his house, a sale complicated by Brown having planted, and the Feds not having cleared, booby traps all over the land.

We wonder if a defense to the “interfering with official” charges would be that the remote station was closed for the season when these guys took it over?

______________________________________________________

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Guest Post- Fltactical EDC

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I chose the following items to carry:
Spyderco Tenacious: It is a 3 1/3 inch spring assisted knife. Opens easily with a flip of the wrist, but stays closed and thanks to the multiple screw hole points, I can put the clip at any position for my comfort. The clip is attached high on the blade handle so the knife rides low in the pocket with little of the top of the knife showing. The steel is 8Cr13MoV which is a good knife for corrosion resistance *thanks to the Chromium in the steel, and takes an edge well. It doesn’t hold the edge as well as most, but sharpening it is simple and easy. The base of the blade has excellent jimping for a tactical situation and weighs in at only 4 oz.
Winchester Multi-tool: I honestly don’t remember when I got this. It was a bundled add-on when I purchased an optic for my AR-15. It is half the size of a Leatherman but with all the same bells and whistles. The only difference is that the size difference means I won’t be able to torque large bolts, but that isn’t usually in my normal day to day life.
Streamlight Stylus-Pro: I have many flashlights, but none of them come close to the comfort and utility of this 20 dollar wonder! It shoots a beam of 65 watt lumens with a nice tight beam and just enough splash that I can use it in a movie theater, and still have it effective for tactical purposes. It is less than 4 ounces and has a high clip that again, makes it disappear in my pocket.
Finally, my handgun is a Ruger LC9s. I put night sights on it and it is the lightest 9 mm out there. It is smaller than a Glock 43, but has a 7 + 1 capacity. One more than the Glock. The trigger is smooth and it is small and light enough to put in my pocket if I must. Otherwise, it fits nicely into my outside the waistband holster.
The common theme is weight and reliability. Ruger has a good rep for eating the bullets I feed it, and I have over 200 rounds through it with one double feed. I have 2 spare mags, one 8 and one 7 round magazine. 

Alternate carry for light shorts:  Taurus TCP 380 and Spyderco Delica for knife. Not pictured.

Anyway, I found that the less weight I put on my hips, the more likely it is I will carry. I live by the motto: If you are not always prepared, you are not prepared.
-FL Tactical

GP’s Sound Advice

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How to React to Burns

There are a lot of blog posts out there “suggesting” and “directing” a reaction to the Burns situation. They range from outrage to ridicule. Some folks that I greatly respect have called it an extreme sadness.

The conspiracy folks are out in large numbers, indentifying government snitches and calling the road block and arrests a method of getting the government assets out of harm’s way.

Some are turning LaVoy Finicum into a martyred saint.

Yet others are commenting that they wish the law enforcement community had taken different actions to end the occupation.

The remaining comments cover everything in between.

What do we really know?

Other than the obvious that one man is dead and others have been arrested, we don’t know much. “Witness” accounts vary greatly and depending on which ones you decide to believe, support is out there for everyone’s beliefs.

But, we don’t really know right now. Developing and implementing courses of action at this point is premature.

Regardless of how you feel about the Burns occupation, we know that a man who seemed to be a nice guy is dead. We can mourn his passing no matter if he “committed suicide by cop” or he was wrongly killed.

We need to remain vigilant and demand the truth. Truth is a rare commodity in this day and age, but we must demand it in this case. Truth of not only what happened, but why it happened.  The release of the video is a good start.  Armed with the truth, we can then come up with actions to be taken.

Sadly what’s missing in our reactions are any actions to achieve one of the stated goals.

The Hammonds are still ignored. As folks raise money for the Finicum family and legal funds for the Bundys and the others arrested, we really shouldn’t abandon the Hammonds.

Surely there must be liberty minded folks who can provide physical support to the Hammond family while their adult men are in prison. Talk to any older woman who loses her husband. It’s the physical contact and folks willing and able to help out on the “little stuff” that makes a difference. When we go to visit my wife’s mother (who lost her husband a little while ago) I always bring a bag of tools to do the little “honey-do” things that don’t get done now that dad is gone.

If the Hammonds get lost in the post mortem of the occupation, it really will all have been for nothing.

______________________________________________________

Have you even signed this petition?

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

The Water Collection Handbook: A Guide To Collecting, Treating, and Storing Water

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The Water Collection Handbook: A Guide To Collecting, Treating, and Storing Water (2nd Edition) (water treatment, water harvesting, rain water, survivalist, … drinking water, homesteading, off the grid) was a free book for the kindle when this post was written.

Do you know how to handle a water shortage? Is it expensive to own a water storage system? Can I make one myself?

Water is an essential part of human life. Without it, a person will die within three days. Most people are dependent on public utilities and grocery stores for their source of potable water, but what happens if both of these run-out?

The Water Collection Handbook – A Guide To Collecting, Treating, and Storing Water” contains potentially lifesaving information that everyone may need someday.

Are you prepared to meet the water needs of you and your family in the event of an emergency?

To ensure survival for yourself and your family, it is recommended that you learn the basics of how to collect, treat, and store water for long periods of time.

“The Water Collection Handbook – A Guide To Collecting, Treating, and Storing Water is a comprehensive overview of water collection methods geared towards the survivalist – but equally useful to anyone. This book will show you the importance of proper water storage and introduce you to several easy to follow methods, how to properly purify your collected water, and everything else you should know about when dealing with a water crisis..

I CAN CAN GROUND MEATS!!

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I CAN CAN GROUND MEATS!!: How to safely grind and home can ground meats to stock your food storage pantry with flavorful and nutritious loose ground meats (Frugal Living Series Book 4) was a free book for the kindle when this post was written.

I Can Can Ground Meats!! is just what you need to learn to safely home can ground meats and stock your pantry with shelf stable ground meat, meatballs, meat loaves, and even gyro meat! Just imagine how easy it will be to prepare a hardy nutritious meal for your family when you don’t have to thaw anything or make a special trip to the store to get dinner to the table.

You will not only learn to safely home can meats, but how to grind your own meats! Take complete control of your family’s foods through the methods taught in I Can Can Ground Meats!! You determine how much salt, how much seasoning, and how much fat goes into your family’s ground meats.

As always, Dr. Jennifer Shambrook seasons her family recipes with humorous and heartfelt family stories that makes the book an enjoyable read even without the cooking techniques and recipes.

Save money, increase your family’s food quality, and know the satisfaction of self sufficiency through the well described, step-by-step methods in I Can Can Ground Meats!!

Survival Skills

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Survival Skills BOX SET 6 IN 1: How To Prepare Your Survival Kit, How To Start Fire, Hunting And Fishing To Feed Yourself, Building Shelter And Cooking … hunting, fishing, prepping and foraging) was a free kindle book when this post was written.

Survival Skills BOX SET 6 IN 1: How To Prepare Your Survival Kit, How To Start Fire, Hunting And Fishing To Feed Yourself, Building Shelter And Cooking On Campfire (FREE Bonus Included)

Book #1: Survival Kit: 20 Useful Tools Every Prepper Needs

This book throws together everything you need to know about survival in uncertain times and packs it all together into one concise survival kit! You never have to be unprepared ever again. This book answers every question you need answered when it comes to prepping for the uncertain!

Book #2: Survival Skills: The Only 10 Items You Will Need To Survive And 3 Situations Where And How To Use Them

Would you like to know the top ten items many survivalist experts agree are the items you might need in a survivalist or collapse situation?

Then you should scroll up and purchase a copy of this book, filled with the top ten items you may need, as well as a few more, and the three different scenarios for each item where you may need them. It’s one thing to know what you need, but it’s another to know how it can help you. In most situations where others will feel helpless, you will feel knowledgeable and ready by the time you finish reading this book.

Book #3: Survival Skills: Take Yourself Out Alive: Fishing & Hunting In The Wilderness

This book Survival Skills is basically designed to give a complete idea about fishing and hunting in the wilderness. Here you will find amazing tricks and tips that can prove vital for hunting and fishing. Moreover some hunting as well as fishing techniques are also discussed in the book so that you may acquire those skills to make your wild journey easier. Learn different survival fishing and hunting skills because they will not help you only in the wild but also you would be in a better position to face some disastrous situation. Here in this book all the tips and techniques regarding fishing and hunting are describe by experts that you will love to try

Book #4: Survival Guide – Into The Wilderness. How To Find Food, Water And Shelter In The Wildest Forest.

This book utilizes a knowledgebase of first hand experience from those that have blazed a trail through the wilderness before us. So just for a minute, put away your lap top, and don’t even bother to charge your cell phone, because this book describes how you can bypass modern technological society all together and survive with the most basic of resources and skills required by the untamed wilderness. Taking a realistic look at how you can utilize the most from your surroundings, this book works as a guide to help you fashion the literal tools of your survival from the trees over your head and the rocks under your feet.

Book #5: SHTF Preparedness Guide.25 Proven Methods For Starting Fires Without Matches

The 25 methods can be dangerous and most should only be used in an absolute survival situation, however preparing yourself with knowledge is one of the best preparations that you can make.

Book #6: Campfire Recipes: 25 Dutch Oven Cast Iron Nutritious Recipes For Real Men.

With a Dutch oven you can go well beyond toasted marshmallows or s’mores. If you’re looking for hearty and healthy recipes that can please a real man on the go and in the woods, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether is something tangy or sweet, we’ve got what you need to hit the spot with this simple easy recipes you won’t want to leave home without.

Food Storage Recipe – Tater Tot Casserole

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Tater Tots were on sale this week for 99 cents a bag. YAY. Two bags in the freezer and my son’s favorite meal.

NEED:

1/2 pound of ground beef. I used to make it with a whole pound , but everyone in the house complained and I toned it down a bit. Which was cool, saves money.

salt and pepper to taste

1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup

shredded cheese – we like colby-jack!

1 package of frozen tater tots – 16 ounce bag

Fry up the ground beef and drain it very well.

Stir in the cream of mushroom soup and season with salt and pepper.

Put this mixture into a casserole dish.

Layer the tater tots on top of this in an even layer.

Top with shredded cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the tots are golden brown and hot.

8 Fastest Ways to Purify Water

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When your mouth is bone dry and your body is dehydrated, you don’t want to wait around for water to go through the purification process. You want a drink right now. Besides, if you’re on the move, you might not have time to make a water filter from […]

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2 Corinthians 12:7-10

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“There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to torment me…”

     How many times have we all struggled to understand this part of Scripture?  How many different explanations have you heard as to what the thorn in Paul’s side might have been?  I don’t know about you, but I have read commentaries that attempted to explain it as a physical ailment; others that it was a spiritual problem, such as Pride, or Guilt over his presence at the stoning of Stephen; still others that it might have even been a woman, perhaps his wife!  That one, I have a hard time embracing.  But the truth is that the Bible doesn’t make it clear as to what Paul’s affliction actually was.
     I admit that I have had no clue over my years of study… until now.  And even now, I cannot declare that my understanding is exact or certain; but I think the veil is being pulled back just a little.  So, I hope you will accept my thoughts as those of someone who is earnestly trying to understand God’s Word.  Here is where I’m going…
     As always, when reading the Bible, we must be careful to interpret Scripture within the context of the passage.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10 are all about this thorn that is afflicting Paul and the reasons and consequences of his suffering.  I believe that God is revealing to me, within the context of my recent experiences (and what He has been showing me of late), a revelation of these verses.
      Let’s take a look at the entire passage (in the Amplified Version of the Bible):
7 And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.
8 Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;
9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
     First, Paul makes it very clear that he has been blessed with an abundance of revelations from God, Himself, and it would only be natural to begin to think more highly of himself – or to start glorifying himself rather than the One from whom they came.  So he says that he was given the mysterious thorn – or as he calls it, a splinter.  At first that word “splinter” threw me.  Why would Paul, who also refers to the thorn as a messenger of Satan, call it a “splinter”?  What could they possibly have in common?
     Well, I have always understood “messenger” to be an angel, or a spiritual emissary.  This one comes from Satan, so it is possible that it is an evil spirit; one of Satan’s fallen angels; a demon – whatever it is, it is associated with Satan.  And calling it a splinter indicates to me that it is a smaller unit of evil, broken off of the larger entity, known as Satan.  That’s what a splinter is … a breaking off of a sharp fragment from a larger piece.
    So whatever this “thorn” is, it is a spirit that has been sent to torment Paul by Satan.  But we must remind ourselves that this “thorn”, or spirit, was allowed to afflict Paul because God allowed it, just as He allowed Satan to torment Job.  But just like Job, Paul is protected, and it is all for God’s glory.
     How do I know this?  Because I see in these four short verses, what God has been showing me through our need for spiritual healing.  Even though Paul asked God to remove the tormenting spirit, it did not depart from him.  That is because God wanted Paul to experience the power of Christ (which is the Holy Spirit) working in him to defeat the tormenting spirit.  If God just took it from Paul because he asked Him, too, there would be no testimony of experiencing the Holy Spirit working in Paul’s life.
    I have seen it first-hand these past few months.  Just the other night, I was given the privilege by God to help a beloved person in my life get free of her own “thorns”.  When God says, that “His grace is sufficient because His strength is made perfect in our weakness”, here is what I have seen … Because He loves us and shows us favor as His children (His grace), He loves showing us that the Holy Spirit can be our strength when battling the spiritual forces of wickedness that attack us; that it is precisely when we are at our weakest, and most desperate, that the power of Christ can be most evident.
     I have personally witnessed the Holy Spirit come in the fullness and power of Christ to help people bind the spirits of anger, pride, rejection, guilt, shame, vanity … you name it; all the thorns that Satan can throw at them.  But the Holy Spirit is present and helps them hand over those spirits to Christ to deal with as He wishes, and to receive the freedom and peace of Christ resting on them.
     I know that this is not a mainstream interpretation of this Scripture, but I believe that Paul wants us to know that the reason he can “glory” in his infirmities, weaknesses, persecutions, and distresses is because he can testify to the power of the Holy Spirit in defeating the messengers from Satan.  When Paul was at his weakest (in his human strength), he experienced the full divine power of the Holy Spirit working in him, with him, and through him to be the strongest he could be.
     And another thing, I believe that Paul was able to rid himself of that thorn.  Note that he only says a thorn was given to him and he asked God to take it from him, and God’s reply was to send the Holy Spirit to show Paul that there was strength and power from God to help him be rid of his torment.  It does not say that he retained the thorn.  And I can tell you from personal experience, that we can all rid ourselves of our thorns and tormenting spirits through the authority from Christ by calling upon the power of the Holy Spirit. I have seen it and it glorifies God in this realm, the spiritual realm, and in Heaven.  What an awesome God we serve!

10 Secrets To Choose Your Tools For Homesteading

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ToolsWhen you are on a tight budget, it is very tempting to buy the cheapest tools you can find. For example, if you need handsaw, you may be inclined to pick one up in a dollar store and then hope that it will get you through a few projects.

While these, and other tools may get you through a small project, they can also be very dangerous and of little or no use in a crisis situation.

The tools you have on hand may well need to last for decades or even be passed along for generations before suitable replacements can be made and distributed at an affordable price. That’s why, when choosing tools for your homestead, or other bug in needs, you should keep the following ten points in mind.

1. How Versatile Is the Tool?

If you live in an apartment or a tiny home, then you are always going to be worried about how much room to allocate for tools.

In some cases, you will be best served by looking for tools that can accomplish a wide range of jobs without being ruined.  At other times, you may need a tool that can be used for some applications, and then have a second tool that will do something similar.

Unless you need a particular tool for a specialized job, aim for the most durable multi-purpose tools you can find. Here are the factors to consider, especially when buying drill bits and cutting blades:

  • A drill bit or cutting blade listed for use on wood or plastic will most likely be ruined if you try to use it on metal.
  • Simply choosing the cheapest metal working bits isn’t much better than buying bits and blades for wood. For example, a drill bit designed to go through corrugated aluminum may not even go through a tin can.
  • When choosing bits and blades, you are best served by getting the best possible metal working bits and blades. These will cut and drill through just about anything, and also last far longer than other types.

While you’re assessing tool versatility, think about the range of applications and how well it will perform each task.

In some case, a few less specialized tools will actually be of more use. For example, you might think that a large toothed, large saw blade is the best option for all your woodworking or metal cutting needs. On the other hand, if you need to cut curves or work with a smaller, more delicate piece of material, then a coping saw will be of more use.

And there are always going to be times when you need socket wrenches to get into places where you cannot use a monkey wrench. There is a newer wrench on the market that basically uses a set of bearings to create an adjustable socket wrench. Keep one of these onhand for survival needs since it can be adjusted to both large and small socket sizes.

There is simply no telling how quickly this particular wrench type will wear out or how much strain it can take. If you want to keep one of these onhand, then work with it and put it through as much testing as possible, and then keep a brand new one aside for survival needs.

You should also keep good quality conventional metric and standard socket sets on hand just in case the multiple socket wrench fails.

2. How Long Is it Guaranteed to Last?

Do you remember the days when vehicle engines, transmissions, and drive trains were guaranteed to last well over 100,000 miles? If so, then you may also remember that a four year old car was considered relatively new instead of at the end of its best years.

As with cars, the warranties on many tools made today is much less. While you can still get good quality tools that will last a long time, nothing says trust in quality like a manufacturer that will guarantee the tools for life. Even though the manufacturer may be driven out of business by a major social collapse, neither you nor they will know when that will happen. Therefore, lifetime warranties can be used as one of the indicators of tool quality.

If you have a choice between a cheaper tool with a limited warranty and one with a lifetime warranty, go for the latter even if is a bit more expensive. Remember, you might use this tool for decades on end or even pass it along to the next generation. No matter whether the tool in question is a screwdriver bit set, pliers, or other hand tools, buying the best will pay off in the long run.

3. Are There Older Versions of the Tool that Might Be Cheaper and More Durable?

As with cars and just about everything else in stores these days, you will find that things just aren’t as durable as they used to be. From that perspective, you may actually be able to save some money and get good quality tools by visiting the local flea markets.

In some cases, older, well maintained tools may actually be more durable and work better than newer ones. Just stay away from ones that are excessively worn or show signs of deep rusting. Here are some tools that you can consider purchasing second hand in the vintage section:

  • Hand power drills. These devices can truly last for decades and beyond even if they show some signs of wear. Make sure that you can get drill bits into it, and that they will not slip when you apply pressure from the crank or other hand levers.
  • Coping saw frames and hacksaw frames.  As with other tools, make sure these are free of rust and that they are solid across the entire frame.  Try to fit a new blade into them and make sure that the handle and blade holding areas will not give way under a work load.
  • Any hand tool that has screws or other tightening apparatus that can be adjusted. Check that the adjusters have not been sheared off, are rusty, or stuck in place. In some cases you may be able to revive these tools, however it may be best to look for something in better condition.

4. What Kind of Maintenance Does It Need?

Even the best quality tools may require oiling, cleaning, and other kinds of maintenance, so you’ll need to store away appropriate cleaners and lubricants. Other details may also be overlooked:

  • Some types of steel blade need to be stored away from humidity. While they may work fine on a daily basis, storing them in a pre-crisis situation can be a bit difficult. For example, if you don’t oil them once a month or use them on a regular basis, they may rust and be nothing but reddish dust when you open your survival bin. Even if you feel that your tools will resist rust and corrosion, examine them on a monthly basis even if you aren’t using them.
  • Blades, drill bits, and other tools are apt to wear down and need replacing. Depending on the blade type, you may be able to sharpen it several times before having to discard it. Have a good quality sharpener onhand, and use it as often as needed.

5. Does the Tool Require Replacement Parts?

If you visit a hardware store, you are sure to be amazed at the growing number of variations on common tools. For example, where you may have once bought a simple set of Philips and flathead screwdrivers, now you may be faced with an array of bits, ratcheting handles, power screwdrivers, reversible drill screwdrivers, and cordless screwdrivers.

When it comes to your survival toolkit, don’t put all your reliance on power tools. Aside from problems with EMPs, battery operated tools will never be as strong as those with a power cord. Power tools are truly wonderful to use and very convenient, but they will be worse than useless if you do not have electricity to power them.

Oddly enough, even the most simple hand tools these days may require replacement parts. For example, even though you can buy screwdriver bit sets with dozens of bits in them, they tend to be less durable than full bodied screwdrivers.

When it comes to bit sets, even high quality ones will shear or wear down very quickly. You can, and should keep a high quality set onhand plus a ratcheting handle, but do not overlook full bodied screwdrivers. At the very least, you should have a few of the most popular sizes plus the short shank counterparts for tight areas.

Saws, drills, and other key tools also require replacement parts from time to time. If there is anything that you should stockpile, these items will be more important than anything else. Without a spare blade to replace one that is worn or broken, it will be impossible to complete a number of tasks. When it comes to bugging in, this is truly one place were storing more is better than storing away less.

6. What Kind of Activities Will Ruin It?

Have you ever used a screwdriver to open a can of paint, or the back of a glass cutter to rap on a stubborn jar lid? If so, then you know that some tools are only limited by your imagination.

On the other hand, there are many woodworking tools that cannot be used on metal or plastic. There are also many metal working tools that cannot be used on solid metals or denser metals than they were designed for.

Always read manufacturer specs carefully so that you know what the limits of each tool is. In addition, before adding a tool to your survival stores, be sure to test it out. Try a number of different materials and see how much wear accumulates on the bits or blades.

Pay careful attention to the cutting surfaces. Do they appear darker as if they have been exposed to heat? Did the surface of the blade become even or appear worn?  If any given tool cannot pass these basic tests, then return it to the store immediately and go up to the next highest priced tool. There is absolutely no sense in storing away tools that will wear out after one or two uses when you can replace them now and have confidence in their durability later on.

7. How Best to Use the Tool?

One of the worst things you can do is buy a tool and then figure you will know how to use it when the time comes. For example, even as you read this, you may have hammers, pliers, wrenches, and all kinds of other tools laying around the house. Even though a hammer may seem very simple to use, that does not mean you know how to get the most from it.

Among other things, you may be the type that has to whack a nail several dozen times just to get it through the wood. On the other hand, professional carpenters may be able to drive those nails with a single blow.

Take the time now to learn how to use tools efficiently. Not only will you save wear and tear on the tools, you will find it much easier to complete tasks.

8. How Skilled Are You With the Tool in Question?

Simply reading about how best to use a tool is not the same as actually knowing how to do the job. Consider a situation where you feel that you know how to use a handsaw. Here are just a few things that you may overlook in a time of need. Aside from producing low quality, crooked cuts, some of these problems may actually lead to serious injury.

  • Forgetting to wear goggles when using tools. No matter whether you are cutting, drilling, or shaping wood, metal, plastic, or some other substance, bits of the material will go all over the place. While much of the material may fall as dust at your feet, other bits can very easily get lodged in your eyes. You may at first feel that a bit of sawdust in the eye is a minor inconvenience, but it can scratch the cornea of the eye and leave you with permanent scars that reduce the clarity of your eyesight. If that scratch becomes infected, it can also lead to blindness. Tiny bits of metal can also scratch and do serious damage. If the pieces of metal are big enough, they may also be able to cut blood vessels on the outer portion of the eyeball or in the eyelid.
  • Forgetting to wear a dust mask. If you thought the damage from sawdust or metal bits was bad for your eyes, then you may not realize that it is just as bad on your lungs. Remember that the working parts of your lungs are very fragile, tiny little sacks that allow the exchange of air between the lung tissue and blood vessels. Dust of any kind can ruin them and leave you with steadily decreasing breathing capacity. Though you may not feel it right away, constantly breathing in saw dust or any other type of dust is a true danger to your health.
  • Failure to apply blades and cutting edges in the right direction or angle. Many people feel that as long as the blade is cutting, they are doing things right. On the other hand, adjusting the angle will actually make the work go a lot faster and also prevent damage to the blade itself.
  • Failure to use proper grips and fasteners. Have you ever tried to cut a stick or dowel by bracing it on your leg or the floor? If so, then you may already know that you are wasting a lot of motion and energy trying to keep the material from moving. Always take the time to secure items you are working with using a good quality vice or other fasteners as needed. This is also good practice if you decide to use power tools. Needless to say, if you slip with a hand saw or other hand tool, it can do some serious injury to your hands, arms, or any other body part that gets in the way. If you have the same kind of accident with a power tool, it may well amputate that appendage. In a crisis situation, either type of injury can also  lead to a life threatening infection.

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9. Can You Safely Use the Tool Now as Well as if You Are Injured or Disabled?

As time goes by, an aging body often loses the ability to do many things. For example, arthritis or other joint problems may make it harder to turn a screw driver, use a saw, or hammer nails.

Choose tools that will age with you and still be usable if you become disabled or injured. In this case, you should look for aftermarket grips or other accessories that will make the tool easier and safer to work with. Just make sure that you are as comfortable using these grips as you are a tool without these additional parts.

10. Can You Think of Projects and Ways to Use the Tool Now?

One of the best things you can do when assessing tools for survival needs is to use them now as much as possible. Choose a wide range of projects so that you can get plenty of practice as well as find out how durable the tool is. Here are some projects to use on the tools you plan to keep for survival needs:

  • Build wooden toys with many moving parts. This will help you establish a good level of precision with everything from saws and chisels to screwdrivers and nails.
  • Build cabinets, and then shelves that will need to accommodate fairly large amounts of weight.
  • Build toys or other small items from metal. You can start off by building toys from tin cans. This will help you practice bending and cutting metal as well as learn how to gauge the strength of metals. When working with metal, always take extra care to wear gloves in order to protect your hands from sharp, thin bits that are bound to occur.
  • Build a small shed or some other structure where you must assemble an inner frame and then add a roof, floor, and sides.  From there, you can also try building decks and ramps.
  • Take apart an old lawnmower engine and rebuild it to working order. This will help you learn how to clean grimy parts and recognize those that are worn. You will also learn some important things about dissembling and re-assembling basic engines.
  • Take apart an old motorcycle engine and put it back together. This will be an excellent place to learn how to make replacement parts if needed as well as repair and clean basic engine components.
  • Try taking apart and re-assembling a car from bumper to bumper.  While this may take a few years for the weekend hobbyist, it will truly be worth your effort.

As you can see, choosing tools is about far more than having a nice shiny set of sockets and saws hanging on the back wall of your work room. It is about having a small set of tools that you can rely on to help you get any job done and in any situation.

Take the time now to buy good quality tools and then practice with them as much as possible so that you will have both confidence and skill in a time of need.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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An Urban Farmhouse, Garden and Backyard Chickens – A Dream Come True.

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For the next two weekends, we get to live out a dream in a modern urban farmhouse – complete with a backyard chicken coop, chickens, garden shed, raised beds, and an Any Age Anywhere container garden,    No – it’s not quite at

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23 Must-Have Kitchen Items for Any Survivalist or Prepper

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kitchen must havesRegardless of how many #10 cans of “just-add-water-ready-to-eat” stuff you have, at some point you’re going to have to learn to use a kitchen in much the same way as your granny or your great-granny did, so we’ve put together this list of 38 essential kitchen items for any survivalist.

1. Matches

If you don’t smoke, why on earth would you need matches? Well, if you’re going to learn to cook like granny, that will probably include cooking on top of a wood heat stove or on a wood cook stove with an oven. I know there are ways to start a fire with a magnifying glass, some straw and some kindling, but believe me, matches are easier.

If you’re really good at starting and keeping a fire throughout the three daily meals, you could use as little as one match a day. If you’re not, 20 may not be enough. We have found that the most economical matches are book matches, like you get with a pack of cigarettes. They come in a box of 50 books, 20 matches per book, for about $1.50 in many stores. That’s a lot of lights for cheap. Wooden kitchen matches go for about $3.50 for 250 matches. See the difference? When you’re living off the grid, every penny counts.

2. Can-Opener

As an off-gridder, I’m definitely not talking about the kind of can opener that plugs into a wall. Have at least two good, sturdy hand operated can-openers. The newer ones from China do wear out. We’ve worn out quite a few. We also have an Army C-Ration P-38 can-opener. It takes a little practice to use this device, but once you get the groove going on it, you can open a #10 can in a few seconds.

3. Hand Grain Mill

We personally like the Wondermill Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill. (Read The Survival Mom’s review here.) For the money, it’s the best we have found. What can you do with it? Grind wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye, lentils into flour. It can also be used to make nut-butters, like pinion butter, walnut butter, chestnut butter. It will also make cornmeal. The uses are virtually endless, especially if you eat a lot of whole, natural foods. Not all grain mills can be used for this many purposes.

4. Cast Iron/Stainless Steel Cookware 

If you are going to be cooking over a wood stove of any kind, you need durable stainless steel or cast iron cookware. Aluminum (besides not being good for your health) tends to warp on wood cook stoves. Black, cast iron pans heat evenly, hold the heat for a long time and do not warp – not to mention giving you a little dose of iron in your food.

READ MORE: Check out all these uses for cast iron and this set of cast iron essentials.

5. Roasting Pans

Enamelware is best, and so is stainless steel. Make sure the roasting pan will fit into your oven! Wood cook stoves don’t have the same huge ovens as gas or electric stoves.

6. Tea Kettle 

Stainless steel or copper works best for this archaic kitchen appliance. In the winter, a steaming tea kettle on the wood stove not only serves as at-the-ready for tea or coffee, the steam warms and moisturizes the air. Just don’t let it boil down all the way before refilling it.

7. Colanders

Metal (stainless steel) is best. If you have or want some plastic colanders, understand that they will break over time, and most of them are made with BPA in the plastic.

8. Cookie Sheets

These versatile sheets can be used for breads, biscuits, cookies, for drying fruits or veggies. Avoid Teflon coatings or aluminum cookie sheets – get stainless steel.

9-21. Hand Utensils

Again, my recommendation is metal (stainless steel). It’s much better than plastic, and with stainless steel and cast iron cookware, you don’t have to worry about scratches:

Spatulas

Ladles

Serving spoons

Serving forks

Slotted spoons

Pastry cutter

Rolling pin

Sharpening steel

Cheese grater/slicer

Whisk

Potato peeler

Meat tenderizing hammer

22. Measuring Cups and Spoons 

Once again, stainless steel is the best choice for these. A 4-cup glass measuring cup with a pour-spout would be a nice addition, too. Pay attention to the measuring spoons and cups you use most and have at least one or two backups. Those also come in handy on days when you’re doing a lot of cooking and/or baking and reach for the same measuring tools over and over again.

23. Good knives

Good knives are ones that will keep a sharp edge for a reasonable amount of time, not go dull instantly upon use. If you can find old, carbon-steel knives in yard sales or flea markets, they are best – Old Hickory, Old Timers, Imperial are some brands to look for.

READ MORE: Check out The Survival Mom’s list of things to look for whenever you go to a thrift shop or yard sale.

Updated article originally authored by Sheila at SurvivingSurvivalism.

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Spring gardens!

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Spring gardens!
Brett Bauma “Makers On Acres

Spring gardensOn the next episode of the Makers On Acres Tech, Build and Grow show we are going to be discussing preparing for our spring gardens!

On the last episode I talked about indoor gardening, but now is also the time we need to be focusing on and planning our spring gardens and getting ready to produce some food!

1-30-2016 3483926142_fec5aa45f5_bWhat can we really do in February to prepare our gardens? We can be doing a lot of little things that will help set us up for success when we hit the garden hard in the spring. Many times we sit through the winter planning in our heads “The Great Garden” for this year, and when the time comes we get overwhelmed and under produce with poor results.

1-30-16 5268691633_6e90cfcf11_bI will be discussing a few projects that we can all do to get ready and have our plan in effect for a productive and abundant garden this spring. Don’t waste the precious down time. Before tuning into the upcoming show I suggest that you listen to the archive episode from Saturday the 23rd of January about indoor gardening, as some of that show will be helpful when I start referencing seed starting and plant propagation for our spring gardens.

I will also be discussing some building projects and other labor tasks that we can knock out now to make our garden start that much simpler this spring! Be sure to tune in and spread the word!
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