Plato’s Allegory of the Cave – Revisited

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By Denis Korn

Since we live in a season of unprecedented deceit, corruption and confusion, and we cry out and pray for serious help in discerning the times, I am once again posting my article on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  It applies not only to recognizing emergency preparedness myths and facts, but to understanding the madness that so permeates our society today.

THE MODERN DAY CAVE!

THE MODERN DAY CAVE!

WE ARE A NATION OF CAVE DWELLERS!

As I assess the current state of our society, which is overflowing with delusion, deception and insanity, and as I read and hear so much material related to emergency/disaster/apocalyptic preparedness that is also filled with chaos and confusion, I am constantly reminded of a segment of the Critical Thinking class I taught at our local college.  Many of you at some point in your education have been introduced and studied Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  This is in my opinion one of the finest – if not the best – allegory, metaphor or parable ever written in western philosophy, that is a brilliant and timeless illustration of the perverse and distorted reality confronting our civilization today – and throughout history.

If you are not familiar with this legendary allegory or would like a refresher with some additional insights, welcome to this article.  It is not my intent to offer a detailed analysis of this masterful work, only to stimulate you to do further research and reflection on its profound message.

I believe we have a choice as to how we perceive and discern the reality and authenticity of the world that surrounds us.  This has significant implications not only for determining the physical actions we take, but also for our attitudes and spiritual understanding.  If you have read other posts I have written, you know that I believe the foundation of any preparedness planning action and experience is one’s attitude, and the importance of an appropriate and life-enhancing mindset.  Also, as Plato points out, the greater truth – should you choose to discover it – is what I would call a spiritual or Divine validity.

If historians or philosophers were asked to name the greatest non-biblical philosopher of all times, most if not just about all would name Plato.  His impact on western culture and thinking is so all pervasive that it is difficult to find individuals or schools of thought that have significantly contributed to our culture that have not been substantially influenced by Plato.  May you join the club!

How does this post relate to the preparedness process? – or any action for that matter.

Know where you stand.  I hope that we can all function from a position of clear thinking, honest research and evaluation, reality, and appropriate action.  I encourage sensible preparedness planning, not an approach of mindless reaction, fear and an unreliable decision making process leading to wasteful and ineffective provisions .

PLATO’S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE

This allegory is perhaps the most widely recognized feature of his entire written corpus or body of work.  Commentary on this document is extensive and far-reaching, and Plato’s grasp of the human condition and psyche is remarkably comprehensive.

The description of the cave is given to us in Book VII of the Republic (514a – 521b).  The opening sentence of the allegory invites us to compare the state of things in and above the cave to our natural condition as far as education and ignorance are concerned.  The cave is a complete symbolic system that is essentially political, yet is descriptive of the general human condition.  The “real” world to the masses of mankind is the cave, where the reality of life is but the shadows on the cave wall.

In the Republic Plato describes his version of the ideal society.  The role of education and the function of the philosopher within this society are defined in an elaborate metaphor, the Allegory of the Cave.  We are to imagine a group of people who live, as it were, chained to the ground in an underground cave in such a way that they can see only shadows of reality projected onto the inner wall of the cave by firelight behind them as objects are moved around by those in “control” who know that this is the only reality known to the “prisoners” and it’s what determines their worldview.  The prisoners must sit still and look forward and cannot turn around (representative of the normal and unfortunate state of mankind with respect to education and knowledge and is the only reality).

Since they have been accustomed to seeing nothing but shadows all their lives, they have no way of comprehending the real world outside the cave.  It is therefore the task of the philosopher who is already free from the chains of misconception and sees the truth of the cave process, to liberate the others and educate them in such a way as to set them free from the imprisonment of their falsely indoctrinated senses.  The freed one in the process of being unchained and seeing the truth of the cave and experiencing the journey to the reality of the light outside and the source of this reality, undergoes a profound conversion and transformation leading to understanding and knowledge.  The responsibility of returning to the cave to liberate his fellow prisoners is a painful and dangerous process.

SOME THEMES FROM THE ALLEGORY FOR REFLECTION

  • How education or lack thereof affects our nature.
  • The prison and the prisoners within.
  • Know thyself.
  • What is reality?
  • Can you discern the truth from the lie?  How?  Why?
  • No context to discern new reality as the philosopher grows and ascends – it is painful and lonely.
  • The ascent to the truth is not easy – one fights it the whole way – he wants to go back to the comfortable, familiar and secure.
  • There is an ultimate “cause” that allows you to “see” the truth.
  • Those left behind will not want to tolerate a new radical explanation of truth and reality – they are so attached to their worldview that they will eliminate a person who challenges their reality rather than change.
  • The value of wisdom and critical thinking.
  • The essential value of true education from birth in the contemplation of real things.
  • Men lacking education experience in truth cannot adequately preside over a city or nation.
  • The philosopher governs the city – he must go down into the cave to govern and teach after being educated in the light above.
  • Once you have experienced the good – truth – reality, the philosopher has a responsibility and duty to lead the society and others to the light for the good of all.
  • The Truth can be frightening and painful yet liberating and joyful.
  • We have an innate ability and desire to gain the truth.
  • Plato goes from “being all about you” to sharing, educating and directing one’s wisdom for the benefit of others.  This is true wisdom and selflessness.
  • Knowledge and truth – see it with your own eyes and heart and discern it with your own mind.
  • How does the seemingly impossible or extremely difficult task of leading others to discover the truth or the “real” equate with the difficulty of creating a society of critical thinkers?

IN CONCLUSION

You are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Allegory by getting Plato’s Republic, or finding it on the internet.  This is a transformational masterful work.  The issues of ignorance, depravity and delusion that plague our society today have been with us for thousands of years.  Plato is describing the fictions of today from the perspective of a society of the distant past – it has always amazed and disheartened me how little has changed over time.  Let us focus on being liberated from the chains of our own cave so that we may help our families, neighbors and community reach the light that is above the darkness.  We can accomplish this by setting an example – in the way we live, think and speak.  One person cannot make another see, he can only provide the stimulation that helps the other see for himself. 

Are we being manipulated by the Wizard!

Are we being manipulated by the Wizard!

 

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Conflicted: Tough Family Decisions – What Would You Do?

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Conflicted Survival Game:

BEFORE the SHTF!

 

Conflicted is a Survival Game.  Each card in the deck has a scenario that will stretch how you would respond in an SHTF situation.  What would you do?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

SCENARIO – You have been approached by a post-apocalyptic community which is very well known and respected and they invited you to join them.  Food, water, and comfort await you and your family, however, there is only room for you and your family only.

Your buddies and their families depend on you and your skills, but the life you all live now is full of every kind of struggle.  Would you join the community for the sake of your family and leave your buddies or would you stay with your friends and continue to make your family suffer?  Why?

 

3 Ways to PROTECT Your Family in the Future

 

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

If you are interested in purchasing your own Conflicted Survival Game Cards  – CLICK HERE.

 

Peace,
Todd

 

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Teaching Our Children About Food Marketing and Healthy Eating

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Teaching our children to think critically about food marketing and advertising takes a bit of work, and it starts early. But we can teach them to understand fast food claims to make wise decisions.

The post Teaching Our Children About Food Marketing and Healthy Eating appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Natural Chicken First Aid

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Chickens die. Its just part of the deal. They don’t die of old age. When I first started considering raising chickens I asked about what I would do when a chicken stopped laying eggs. The person I was speaking to told me, ” They will never get that old.” Its the truth. Even in the …

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Living in a Tiny House with Kids

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Raising kids is a serious undertaking. That might be the understatement of the year. As parents you struggle to find a quiet moment to collect yourself before heading back into the war of feeding, cleaning and transporting children. Its a constant struggle. The great moments are such that it erases all that. What if you …

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Farm Animal Care Binder for Your Homestead

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The youth are pouring out of cities all across America. The boom in buying disheveled properties in tough parts of town has come to an end. It would seem that people are looking to the simpler life as a way to bring children into this world and give them an experience that they deserve. The …

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7 Reasons to Shut Down Public Schools Immediately and Permanently

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There are some articles that come out with great points and some with eye-catching titles. Look at this thing! Who would ever allege that the right move would be to shut down public schools? Not only is it an answer this article gives 7 reasons while it should happen now and happen immediately. With such …

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Dilled Carrots Step by Step

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Dilled Carrots Step by Step Preservation is one of those rare things that you have to do but it also can impart huge flavor. If you look at preservation as a task, you will be missing out on the many joys of creating delicious items. The best example of this is the fact that some …

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Spring Cleaning Your Chimney

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Anyone with experience heating with wood knows full well the importance of cleaning the chimney before the cold season sets in.  Creosote left to build up can lead to dangerous and potentially devastating chimney fires.  During the winters, we burn hot fires pretty much 24 hours a day, so creosote from low temperature fires really isn’t an issue, and with care any significant creosote buildup can be virtually avoided.  The high heat in the chimney (550f or more) do a great job of clearing smoke and taking creosote with it.  Let’s not forget that hotter fires produce far less creosote in the first place.

Spring weather can present a different scenario.  With temperature in the -10c to +10c range, we often burn lower fires to prevent overheating the house.  This is not an uncommon practice in many households, and many so called experts will tell you not to do this.  Perhaps the easiest way to take care of the problem, but not really practical in real life.

Using Chimney maintenance products such as powders or special logs can help keep creosote from getting really stuck to your chimney, and MAY prevent a certain amount from accumulating, but they are not a substitute for a proper sweep.

Taking advantage of the less frigid temperatures we experience this time of year is ideal.  Pick a warm day (there are plenty on the way) and go give your chimney an early spring cleaning.

Book Review: Total Resistance

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No matter is you are a history buff, a prepper, or a patriot, this is a book worth having in your library. Total Resistance is very interesting, as well as unique book. It is a government document designed to be given out to the general populace and it describes in detail the best way to conduct guerrilla warfare. Their is a reason the Swiss have never been invaded, and its not because they are neutral – if I was a bully, and wanted a kids lunch money, just because he said he did not care I stole from the other kids

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Free PDF: Blacksmiths Illustrated Manual

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The Blacksmiths Illustrated Manual is a good book to get started on a home shop.  It calls itself a practical treatise on modern methods of production for blacksmith’s, apprentice blacksmiths, engineers and others. It is heavy on tricks of the trade and is based upon real life experience. From the introduction, the author stated: In a sentence, I have endeavored to show, by illustration and text matter, how to obtain the length of material for a job, the tools required, and the operations necessary to complete the hob in the most expeditious manner. The book link above goes to a

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The Transgender Agenda – Tyranny in Disguise

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by Isabella

On first glance, it may seem easy to believe that the transgender movement is about freedom. We live in America, right? And in America, people should be free to live and express themselves as they please. If someone wants to live their lives as the opposite sex, so be it.

But anything longer than a first glance to any American, will show the agenda goes far, far beyond this. Even proponents of the transgender agenda hardly stop at freedom and generally whiz right on by to acceptance, tolerance, respect. They don’t really want freedom from transgender individuals. They want the rest of the world to believe exactly as they do.

The trouble is, exactly what the avid proponents of transgenderism believe is that humans can traverse gender as they choose or feel. This is, of course, when it gets down to it, patently false.

With the exception of a very miniscule portion of the population who experience a physical deformity called hermaphroditism, pretty much every human on earth has a gender which is determined by their genes from very early infancy in the womb (and yes, babies in the womb are also human, but that’s another topic for another day).

Gender is not fluid, and when a person has plastic surgery, takes hormone-blocking drugs, and wears the typical attire of the opposite sex, they do not, at any point in time, become the opposite sex, unless we are all in agreement that we are pretending.

The scary thing about the transgender agenda lately is that they don’t seem to be pretending. They seem to genuinely believe that gender is malleable, and, even worse, that anyone who disagrees is a hateful bigot. Us hateful bigots are quickly being pushed to the outskirts of society as the delusion takes hold of our whole country.

The National Delusion

Take the very recent example of an elementary school principal in Massachusetts who decided that he wanted to live as a woman. He wrote a letter to the parents of his young students, explaining that his gender confusion had haunted him his whole life, and that he was now publicly announcing his transgenderism and would slowly, in front of the young children over whom he was responsible, be transitioning to live as a woman.

That’s pretty crazy, for sure, but we’re getting used to this by now.

What’s really insane, is how the press wrote about this man.

The Principal’s name is Tom Daniels, who will now be using the name “Shannon.”

This person who would like to be called Shannon Daniels, like, last week, when he claimed he was a she. He’s a man. He looks like a man, talks like a man, walks like a man, and clearly is a man.

But because he woke up one day and decided to announce to his K-6th grade students that he was a she, despite the fact that every sensible bone in your body will tell you he is most definitely a he, we’re calling him “she” now.

And by “we”, I mean the mainstream media. This is a quote from a USA Today article on the Principal’s decision to come out as transgender, which is titled Massachusetts elementary school principal announces she is transgender:

A Massachusetts elementary school principal has announced that she is transgender, telling her school community in a letter she has “never felt completely happy or at peace.”

Shannon Daniels, previously known as Tom, is the principal at the Stanley Elementary School in Swampscott, a prosperous town northeast of Boston.

“I got to the point that I thought I would never be able to reveal my true self,” she said in the letter. “Frankly, the prospect of doing so was terrifying. … That has changed.”

In the letter, 52-year-old Daniels, who transitioned from her gender assigned at birth (male), said she identifies as both male and female. She now plans to present herself as female and use her middle name, Shannon, as her first name.

“Transitioned from her gender assigned at birth (male)”?! Gender isn’t assigned at birth, it’s clearly apparent in the physical features of the baby. This observation would be easily backed up by a quick glance at the chromosome of any one of the baby’s cells. He wasn’t “assigned” the gender of male, he is a male.

Tyrannical Transgenderism

There is a book that is often used as a benchmark for what tyranny looks like. It is 1984 by George Orwell, and ever since it was first published in 1948, it has constantly been referenced to indicate when society is dangerously flirting with the type of totalitarian mind control exhibited in the oppressive fictional government of Orwell’s imaginings.

One of the most notable themes of the book is the patriotic language that Big Brother’s government of Oceania uses to describe their war efforts abroad. At one point, their military alliance with Eastasia dissolves and they go to war with them instead.

However, the announcement comes as if it has always been fact, and they subsequently rewrite history accordingly, announcing to their citizens through the ubiquitous telescreens and propaganda that “Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

Principal Daniels is a woman. She has always been a woman.

This is not an isolated incident. Slowly, over the past decade, the transgender agenda, supported enthusiastically by the leftist media and even the enthusiastic defenders of political correctness in Washington, have changed our national conversation about transgenderism so that any language that falls outside of their carefully constructed delusion is considered “thought crime”, which was a heinous offence in Oceana.

It’s not enough that we treat transgender people with respect and try to work together as a nation to address their trials and challenges with compassion. No, that’s not what they want. They want us all to pretend their delusion is reality.

This is, at its core, tyranny, and it sets a terrifying precedence for those who choose to speak truth that transgenderism is a mental illness and ought to, for the sake of the people afflicted with it most of all, be treated as such.

Writer Stella Morabito of The Federalist agrees, and wrote back in 2014 that: “The transgender movement has strong totalitarian overtones that Americans (especially certain senators) don’t fully understand. How else to describe a crusade with such far-reaching consequences for First Amendment rights?”

“The legal destruction of gender distinctions will inevitably dissolve family autonomy, thereby uprooting freedom of association. Free expression becomes “hate speech” if one doesn’t fall into line with the directives of the transgender lobby or its pronoun protocol. Freedom of religion takes a direct hit any way you look at it.”

The transgender agenda strikes at the core of the invaluable liberty we enjoy in this great nation, and it is vitally important that we recognize it as such before it is too late.

Thinkpol – The Thought Police of America

One of the most chilling features of the novel 1984 is the concept of “thoughtcrime” which is enforced by “thinkpol”, or, literally, the thought police. In our own little version of Oceania here in the US, laws are being formed to literally ban acknowledging the reality of one’s gender.

In California, a bill was passed in October which dictated that caretakers of elderly people who did not use their “preferred pronoun” would face fines and even jail time.

Fox News reported:

Among the unlawful actions are “willfully and repeatedly” failing to use a transgender person’s “preferred name or pronouns” after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

The law states that if provisions are violated, the violator could be punished by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.

Morabito describes a bill, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that passed in 2014 that on the surface appears to be a simple non-discrimination bill for employers, but in reality, sets a noteworthy precedence about gender:

The [ENDA] is based on the assumption that one’s perceived “gender identity” does not always “match” your sex “assigned” or “designated” at birth. So, the thinking goes, the law should allow a more ambiguous array of gender identities: male, female, both, neither, or something else entirely. It’s not an overstatement to say that tENDA is a huge step, mostly under the radar, to codify a new definition of humanity.

A 2016 law passed in New York would also make incorrect pronoun usage punishable by fines up to $250,000.

The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.

Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.]

Look at this language–it’s insane! These are made-up words used by people who are simply in denial about the biological reality of their body.

It is one thing to strongly feel you would be more fulfilled in life if you lived as the opposite sex, and to expect the government to write laws to protect you from discrimination or violent crime. But to demand everyone use made-up pronouns to refer to you in casual speech when you make an exerted effort to make your gender difficult to determine because you want to pretend you don’t “conform” to “gender norms”?

These are blatant violations of free speech that essentially set legal traps for anyone who dares go against the forced cultural norm that gender is fluid and we have to go along with whatever anyone says that they are.

Think of the reality these laws create: if we can pretend a person who is clearly a man, like Principal Daniels, is, in fact, a woman, and we can’t question anyone’s preferred gender pronoun, what does this mean for a big, burly man who walks into a woman’s room and cannot be asked to leave because he simply says he is a woman?

This is a scenario opponents of transgender bathroom initiatives have been proposing for a few years now, and it only becomes more and more realistic as time goes on, and other dangerous laws are passed.

Blackwhite-Denying Reality

Another noteworthy concept in the oppressive Oceana government contained in the pages of 1984 is that of “blackwhite”, the idea that one can eventually fully convince themselves that black is white, or, in an example that is most useful for our discussion, that a man can be a woman or that a person can have no gender at all.

This is a tried-and-true method for the transgender agenda, and, as you can see from the news coverage of Principal Daniels, it’s working. It doesn’t matter how obvious one’s biological gender is, the left is determined to completely deny reality.

Take for example a recent case in the UK. A woman, Christie Elan-Cane, who identifies as “gender non-conforming” or something to that effect, has been working her way through UK’s court system on a quest to obtain gender-neutral passports.

The Guardian reports:

“Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are often treated as though we have no rights,” Elan-Cane said. “The UK’s passport application process requires applicants to declare whether they are male or female. It is inappropriate and wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration.’’

Elan-Cane, who was born a woman but began transitioning after surgery, believes individuals should be given more than the binary choice of being a man or a woman.

Notice the blatant denial of reality. First, in Elan-Cane’s language, as she clearly believes she is without gender, when her biology would dictate otherwise. Second, notice the journalist’s choice of words “was born a woman but began transitioning,” fully believing this woman can traverse her biological gender. Furthermore, he goes on to repeat Elan-Cane’s belief that “individuals should be given more than the binary choice” of being male or female.

That’s just it–biology dictates whether you are male or female, not the government. But when the government starts dictating whether one is male or female…that is when we have entered into the realm of blackwhite.

Terrifying.

The Family and the Thought Police

In 1984, Orwell describes the family structure in the oppressive regime of Oceana:

“[The children] were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family has become in effect and extension of the Thought Police.” (Orwell, 1984, p. 133)

The children in our new transgender regime are in fact being targeted, and the result of their new brainwashing at school is being used to prosecute their parents.

The schools are rife with the transgender agenda, teaching children as young as Kindergarten that gender is fluid. One horror story from last year involved a Kindergarten “transition ceremony” about which the parents of other students were not informed.

The 5-year-olds went home crying and worried they would turn into the other sex, but the school stood by the teacher’s decision to read books about transgender TV child star, Jazz Jennings, and then change a little boy’s clothes in the bathroom to present him anew to the little ones as a girl. One pediatric expert called this bizarre display “traumatic” for the poor children involved.

In Ohio, a confused and clearly psychologically ill teenager who believes she is a boy is currently facing emancipation from her parents because they refuse to let her transition.

Despite the fact that the drugs and surgery she wants would alter her life forever and she is only seventeen years old, a judge will soon decide if the parent’s authority still stands simply because they would prefer their daughter seek counseling rather than the extreme surgery the nearby cutting-edge Children’s Hospital Transgender Clinic wants to perform on her.

In Canada last year, it’s even worse. The province of Ontario recently passed a law that would remove children from the home of parents who do not support their desire to “transition”.

So as our schools brainwash our kids into thinking it’s perfectly possible to change gender at will, the government tells these kids if their parents don’t approve of life-altering surgery or hormone-blocking drugs, they can just go live with another family if they choose.

Robbing Us of Our Humanity

In Morabito’s sobering article on the transgender agenda, she poses the question, why should we care?

“Because erasing gender distinctions, especially as they apply to childbearing and rearing, would serve to legally un-define what it means to be human,” she answers. “A new legal definition of human—as neither male nor female—would apply to you whether you like it or not. Already, there is social pressure for everyone to comply with the gender theory notion that biological facts are mere ‘social constructs.’”

At the end of the day, this is truly what is frightening about the pressure the transgender agenda has applied to American citizens. They have successfully redefined humanity itself, and if they can do that, they can do anything.

Once it becomes illegal to speak the truth about gender, which it already has, it means that a lie is being enforced at the end of a gun. In America, our Constitution recognizes that our rights are not given to us by the government, but by God. And God created humans male and female. By attempting to erase this important distinction of individual humans, the heart of liberty itself has been struck.

We must fight back before it is gone completely.

 

The Transgender Agenda – Tyranny in Disguise

by Isabella

On first glance, it may seem easy to believe that the transgender movement is about freedom. We live in America, right? And in America, people should be free to live and express themselves as they please. If someone wants to live their lives as the opposite sex, so be it.

But anything longer than a first glance to any American, will show the agenda goes far, far beyond this. Even proponents of the transgender agenda hardly stop at freedom and generally whiz right on by to acceptance, tolerance, respect. They don’t really want freedom from transgender individuals. They want the rest of the world to believe exactly as they do.

The trouble is, exactly what the avid proponents of transgenderism believe is that humans can traverse gender as they choose or feel. This is, of course, when it gets down to it, patently false.

With the exception of a very miniscule portion of the population who experience a physical deformity called hermaphroditism, pretty much every human on earth has a gender which is determined by their genes from very early infancy in the womb (and yes, babies in the womb are also human, but that’s another topic for another day).

Gender is not fluid, and when a person has plastic surgery, takes hormone-blocking drugs, and wears the typical attire of the opposite sex, they do not, at any point in time, become the opposite sex, unless we are all in agreement that we are pretending.

The scary thing about the transgender agenda lately is that they don’t seem to be pretending. They seem to genuinely believe that gender is malleable, and, even worse, that anyone who disagrees is a hateful bigot. Us hateful bigots are quickly being pushed to the outskirts of society as the delusion takes hold of our whole country.

The National Delusion

Take the very recent example of an elementary school principal in Massachusetts who decided that he wanted to live as a woman. He wrote a letter to the parents of his young students, explaining that his gender confusion had haunted him his whole life, and that he was now publicly announcing his transgenderism and would slowly, in front of the young children over whom he was responsible, be transitioning to live as a woman.

That’s pretty crazy, for sure, but we’re getting used to this by now.

What’s really insane, is how the press wrote about this man.

The Principal’s name is Tom Daniels, who will now be using the name “Shannon.”

This person who would like to be called Shannon Daniels, like, last week, when he claimed he was a she. He’s a man. He looks like a man, talks like a man, walks like a man, and clearly is a man.

But because he woke up one day and decided to announce to his K-6th grade students that he was a she, despite the fact that every sensible bone in your body will tell you he is most definitely a he, we’re calling him “she” now.

And by “we”, I mean the mainstream media. This is a quote from a USA Today article on the Principal’s decision to come out as transgender, which is titled Massachusetts elementary school principal announces she is transgender:

A Massachusetts elementary school principal has announced that she is transgender, telling her school community in a letter she has “never felt completely happy or at peace.”

Shannon Daniels, previously known as Tom, is the principal at the Stanley Elementary School in Swampscott, a prosperous town northeast of Boston.

“I got to the point that I thought I would never be able to reveal my true self,” she said in the letter. “Frankly, the prospect of doing so was terrifying. … That has changed.”

In the letter, 52-year-old Daniels, who transitioned from her gender assigned at birth (male), said she identifies as both male and female. She now plans to present herself as female and use her middle name, Shannon, as her first name.

“Transitioned from her gender assigned at birth (male)”?! Gender isn’t assigned at birth, it’s clearly apparent in the physical features of the baby. This observation would be easily backed up by a quick glance at the chromosome of any one of the baby’s cells. He wasn’t “assigned” the gender of male, he is a male.

Tyrannical Transgenderism

There is a book that is often used as a benchmark for what tyranny looks like. It is 1984 by George Orwell, and ever since it was first published in 1948, it has constantly been referenced to indicate when society is dangerously flirting with the type of totalitarian mind control exhibited in the oppressive fictional government of Orwell’s imaginings.

One of the most notable themes of the book is the patriotic language that Big Brother’s government of Oceania uses to describe their war efforts abroad. At one point, their military alliance with Eastasia dissolves and they go to war with them instead.

However, the announcement comes as if it has always been fact, and they subsequently rewrite history accordingly, announcing to their citizens through the ubiquitous telescreens and propaganda that “Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

Principal Daniels is a woman. She has always been a woman.

This is not an isolated incident. Slowly, over the past decade, the transgender agenda, supported enthusiastically by the leftist media and even the enthusiastic defenders of political correctness in Washington, have changed our national conversation about transgenderism so that any language that falls outside of their carefully constructed delusion is considered “thought crime”, which was a heinous offence in Oceana.

It’s not enough that we treat transgender people with respect and try to work together as a nation to address their trials and challenges with compassion. No, that’s not what they want. They want us all to pretend their delusion is reality.

This is, at its core, tyranny, and it sets a terrifying precedence for those who choose to speak truth that transgenderism is a mental illness and ought to, for the sake of the people afflicted with it most of all, be treated as such.

Writer Stella Morabito of The Federalist agrees, and wrote back in 2014 that: “The transgender movement has strong totalitarian overtones that Americans (especially certain senators) don’t fully understand. How else to describe a crusade with such far-reaching consequences for First Amendment rights?”

“The legal destruction of gender distinctions will inevitably dissolve family autonomy, thereby uprooting freedom of association. Free expression becomes “hate speech” if one doesn’t fall into line with the directives of the transgender lobby or its pronoun protocol. Freedom of religion takes a direct hit any way you look at it.”

The transgender agenda strikes at the core of the invaluable liberty we enjoy in this great nation, and it is vitally important that we recognize it as such before it is too late.

Thinkpol – The Thought Police of America

One of the most chilling features of the novel 1984 is the concept of “thoughtcrime” which is enforced by “thinkpol”, or, literally, the thought police. In our own little version of Oceania here in the US, laws are being formed to literally ban acknowledging the reality of one’s gender.

In California, a bill was passed in October which dictated that caretakers of elderly people who did not use their “preferred pronoun” would face fines and even jail time.

Fox News reported:

Among the unlawful actions are “willfully and repeatedly” failing to use a transgender person’s “preferred name or pronouns” after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

The law states that if provisions are violated, the violator could be punished by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.

Morabito describes a bill, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that passed in 2014 that on the surface appears to be a simple non-discrimination bill for employers, but in reality, sets a noteworthy precedence about gender:

The [ENDA] is based on the assumption that one’s perceived “gender identity” does not always “match” your sex “assigned” or “designated” at birth. So, the thinking goes, the law should allow a more ambiguous array of gender identities: male, female, both, neither, or something else entirely. It’s not an overstatement to say that tENDA is a huge step, mostly under the radar, to codify a new definition of humanity.

A 2016 law passed in New York would also make incorrect pronoun usage punishable by fines up to $250,000.

The NYCHRL [New York City Human Rights Law] requires employers[, landlords, and all businesses and professionals] to use an [employee’s, tenant’s, customer’s, or client’s] preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.

Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir. [Footnote: Ze and hir are popular gender-free pronouns preferred by some transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals.]

Look at this language–it’s insane! These are made-up words used by people who are simply in denial about the biological reality of their body.

It is one thing to strongly feel you would be more fulfilled in life if you lived as the opposite sex, and to expect the government to write laws to protect you from discrimination or violent crime. But to demand everyone use made-up pronouns to refer to you in casual speech when you make an exerted effort to make your gender difficult to determine because you want to pretend you don’t “conform” to “gender norms”?

These are blatant violations of free speech that essentially set legal traps for anyone who dares go against the forced cultural norm that gender is fluid and we have to go along with whatever anyone says that they are.

Think of the reality these laws create: if we can pretend a person who is clearly a man, like Principal Daniels, is, in fact, a woman, and we can’t question anyone’s preferred gender pronoun, what does this mean for a big, burly man who walks into a woman’s room and cannot be asked to leave because he simply says he is a woman?

This is a scenario opponents of transgender bathroom initiatives have been proposing for a few years now, and it only becomes more and more realistic as time goes on, and other dangerous laws are passed.

Blackwhite-Denying Reality

Another noteworthy concept in the oppressive Oceana government contained in the pages of 1984 is that of “blackwhite”, the idea that one can eventually fully convince themselves that black is white, or, in an example that is most useful for our discussion, that a man can be a woman or that a person can have no gender at all.

This is a tried-and-true method for the transgender agenda, and, as you can see from the news coverage of Principal Daniels, it’s working. It doesn’t matter how obvious one’s biological gender is, the left is determined to completely deny reality.

Take for example a recent case in the UK. A woman, Christie Elan-Cane, who identifies as “gender non-conforming” or something to that effect, has been working her way through UK’s court system on a quest to obtain gender-neutral passports.

The Guardian reports:

“Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are often treated as though we have no rights,” Elan-Cane said. “The UK’s passport application process requires applicants to declare whether they are male or female. It is inappropriate and wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration.’’

Elan-Cane, who was born a woman but began transitioning after surgery, believes individuals should be given more than the binary choice of being a man or a woman.

Notice the blatant denial of reality. First, in Elan-Cane’s language, as she clearly believes she is without gender, when her biology would dictate otherwise. Second, notice the journalist’s choice of words “was born a woman but began transitioning,” fully believing this woman can traverse her biological gender. Furthermore, he goes on to repeat Elan-Cane’s belief that “individuals should be given more than the binary choice” of being male or female.

That’s just it–biology dictates whether you are male or female, not the government. But when the government starts dictating whether one is male or female…that is when we have entered into the realm of blackwhite.

Terrifying.

The Family and the Thought Police

In 1984, Orwell describes the family structure in the oppressive regime of Oceana:

“[The children] were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family has become in effect and extension of the Thought Police.” (Orwell, 1984, p. 133)

The children in our new transgender regime are in fact being targeted, and the result of their new brainwashing at school is being used to prosecute their parents.

The schools are rife with the transgender agenda, teaching children as young as Kindergarten that gender is fluid. One horror story from last year involved a Kindergarten “transition ceremony” about which the parents of other students were not informed.

The 5-year-olds went home crying and worried they would turn into the other sex, but the school stood by the teacher’s decision to read books about transgender TV child star, Jazz Jennings, and then change a little boy’s clothes in the bathroom to present him anew to the little ones as a girl. One pediatric expert called this bizarre display “traumatic” for the poor children involved.

In Ohio, a confused and clearly psychologically ill teenager who believes she is a boy is currently facing emancipation from her parents because they refuse to let her transition.

Despite the fact that the drugs and surgery she wants would alter her life forever and she is only seventeen years old, a judge will soon decide if the parent’s authority still stands simply because they would prefer their daughter seek counseling rather than the extreme surgery the nearby cutting-edge Children’s Hospital Transgender Clinic wants to perform on her.

In Canada last year, it’s even worse. The province of Ontario recently passed a law that would remove children from the home of parents who do not support their desire to “transition”.

So as our schools brainwash our kids into thinking it’s perfectly possible to change gender at will, the government tells these kids if their parents don’t approve of life-altering surgery or hormone-blocking drugs, they can just go live with another family if they choose.

Robbing Us of Our Humanity

In Morabito’s sobering article on the transgender agenda, she poses the question, why should we care?

“Because erasing gender distinctions, especially as they apply to childbearing and rearing, would serve to legally un-define what it means to be human,” she answers. “A new legal definition of human—as neither male nor female—would apply to you whether you like it or not. Already, there is social pressure for everyone to comply with the gender theory notion that biological facts are mere ‘social constructs.’”

At the end of the day, this is truly what is frightening about the pressure the transgender agenda has applied to American citizens. They have successfully redefined humanity itself, and if they can do that, they can do anything.

Once it becomes illegal to speak the truth about gender, which it already has, it means that a lie is being enforced at the end of a gun. In America, our Constitution recognizes that our rights are not given to us by the government, but by God. And God created humans male and female. By attempting to erase this important distinction of individual humans, the heart of liberty itself has been struck.

We must fight back before it is gone completely.

 

How to Make an Amish Knot Rag Rug

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How to Make an Amish Knot Rag Rug Look, I know not everyone is going to get excited about creating an Amish Knot Rag Rug. If you are taking that position then you are just not appreciating the skill itself. You have to be aware of the fact that this pattern is not left to …

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The post How to Make an Amish Knot Rag Rug appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Certain Cars Can Be Banned From Streets, Court Rules. Total Ban By 2040?

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Certain Cars Can Be Banned From Streets, Court Rules. Total Ban By 2040?

Image source: Pixabay.com

The country where the internal combustion engine originated might be among the first to ban it.

Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ruled Tuesday that cities have the right to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles in an attempt to curb pollution.

“These vehicles have no place in our cities anymore,” Jürgen Resch, the managing director of an environmental group called Deutsche Umwelthilfe, told The New York Times. Resch’s group brought suit after German governments who had failed to take action against polluting vehicles.

Be Prepared: Get The Ultimate In PORTABLE Solar Power!

The suit demanded that German cities start enforcing air quality standards mandated by the European Union (EU), The Times reported. Enforcing those standards would require cities to ban many older diesel vehicles.

“Limited bans for certain diesel cars are within the law,” the court ruled. The Federal Administrative Court is one of the highest in Germany.

The city of Paris, which has some of the worst smog in Europe, has already banned vehicles built before 1997, Car Insurance Samurai reported. The French government wants to get rid of all gas and diesel vehicles by 2040.

Three German cities — Stuttgart, Munich and Dusseldorf — are considering banning diesel. Resch expects the first diesel bans in Germany to be enacted by fall of this year. It is not known how the ban would impact Germany’s auto industry, which has promoted diesel for decades and employs 800,000 people.

Germany was the country where the automobile was invented by Karl Benz in 1885.

“The days of flooding the inner cities with poisonous diesel emissions are over,” Resch said.

Many people around the world seem to agree with his sentiment.

City governments in Madrid and Athens want to ban diesel vehicles completely, and officials in the United Kingdom hope to ban diesel completely by 2040, The New York Times reported. The government of India wants to require all cars to be electric by 2030, CNN Money reported.

China Vice Minister of Information Zin Guobin told reporters his government wants to ban the sale of new fossil fuel burning vehicles by 2030, The Economist reported. Closer to home, Mary Nichols, the chairman of California’s Air Resources board, said she would like to see a ban on internal combustion vehicles by 2040.

What is your reaction? What it in the section below:

Support Pro-Second Amendment Organizations

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Make no mistake, our Second Amendment rights and our Right to Self-Defense are under assault. In the coming weeks and months, our elected officials will be deciding on your right of gun ownership and your right to protect yourself and your family.

We must watch the politicians closely. We must pay close attention to our federal, state, and local governments, and fight efforts to curtail our rights on all levels. One of the best ways to do this is to join forces with others to defend the Second Amendment. Here are some worthy organizations fighting for our Rights:

A) National Rifle Association (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)
B) Gun Owners Association (TwitterWebsite, YouTube)
C) Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)
D) National Association for Gun Rights (TwitterWebsiteYouTube)

E) The Second Amendment Foundation (Twitter, Website, Facebook)
F) Law Enforcement Alliance of America (Website)


If you are in Law Enforcement or the Military, consider joining Oath Keepers.  Even if you’re not, you can support them by joining as an associate member. You can also sign up for their free email list. Website: https://www.oathkeepers.org/    

Biometric Gun Safe Review Of SentrySafe Pistol Safe (2018)

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It is now 2018. I have owned the SentrySafe pistol biometric gun safe (actually 3 of them) for nearly 5 years. I’m still of the opinion that they may be the best general purpose pistol biometric gun safe available. I feel compelled to let you know why I still believe they’re one of the best choices, and to highlight what I think are the best features. – metal heft – lid piston – padding – 3 methods to open – stunning biometric repeatability – ergonomics – battery life – brand quality SentrySafe Pistol Safe, Quick Access Biometric Safe   Heavy

The post Biometric Gun Safe Review Of SentrySafe Pistol Safe (2018) appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2!

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Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2!
Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!

The world without herbs would be sadly lacking. Their versatile uses make them an intrinsic part of everyday life. Last week in part one we looked at a little bit of history finding that the herb has assisted mankind since prehistoric times, we talked about the varied uses in the kitchen the medicine cabinet and religion. On this show A Preppers Path gets a little more personal as we look at some individual herbs and how we as Preppers can incorporate them into our lives of Peace Power & Prosperity!

Continue reading Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2!

Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2!
Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!

The world without herbs would be sadly lacking. Their versatile uses make them an intrinsic part of everyday life. Last week in part one we looked at a little bit of history finding that the herb has assisted mankind since prehistoric times, we talked about the varied uses in the kitchen the medicine cabinet and religion. On this show A Preppers Path gets a little more personal as we look at some individual herbs and how we as Preppers can incorporate them into our lives of Peace Power & Prosperity!

Continue reading Discovering or Rediscovering Herbs part 2! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Saving And Winning With Money: Food

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Several years ago, I was working full-time in a corporate environment with a two-hour daily drive. To say it was draining is an understatement. My husband and I had several discussions about me quitting work and becoming a one-income family. The plan was for me to do some virtual assistant work but not to count […]

The post Saving And Winning With Money: Food appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, or Natural Cleaning Products? What to Use When

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by Cat Ellis

There’s always a ferocious debate among people who swear by bleach, hand sanitizer, or natural cleaning products. But the fact is, there’s no black and white answer. … Read the rest

The post Bleach, Hand Sanitizer, or Natural Cleaning Products? What to Use When appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Lessons from History – Starving Spring

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Preppers sometimes get the impression that spring answers the winter prayers of the hungry. Not always. One of the worst times of year for pre-supermarket temperate-zone humanity wasn’t winter at all. It was spring, all the way into early summer in some cases. If our worlds fail and we return to the agrarian or hunter-gatherer lifestyles of our past, we’re going to find ourselves with the same “Hungry Gap”. However, with some planning and understanding, we can mitigate the effects.

Not all arid and incredibly hot climates are immune, either. Many have similar issues; they just cycle around the too-hot-to-grow and monsoon seasons instead of thaw.

The Hungry Gap

The “Hungry Gap” or “Starving Spring” comes about due to the cycles of nature. Settled agrarians and winter-camp nomads have spent all winter consuming stored foods. Historically, our pantries and pits are getting pretty barren. Our pastures haven’t come back yet, and animal feed is also lowering daily.

The same is going to hold true for those bug-out-to-the-wilds types who plan to hunt, fish, and forage through a disaster. Hunter-gatherers have it even worse if they have limited ranges, with food and firewood opportunities tightening from consumption every cycle.

Low-Consumption, High-Burn Season

Spring is regularly wet, which can help or which can create additional trials. It’s still cool or cold, so we’re still burning energy one way or another. The search for or sowing of food takes more energy, with few fresh calories to buoy the expenditure.

Remember, spring thaw and increasing daylight starts the growing season. It takes growing things time to, well, grow.

In some places, winter is mild and some plants stay in growth or pop up readily. The soft legumes are among them. They’re excellent additions to the diets of our livestock, but they’re too rich to be primary foods. The limited pasture contributes to historic spring “green dribbles” for hoof-stock, combining with cool, wet weather to create sick livestock.

It will be weeks yet before most deciduous trees leaf out and can be used for fodder. It will be weeks if not 1-2 months before grasses start leveling out the composition of pastures and growing enough to sustain livestock and much of our herbivorous game. If grasses are cropped or cut too close, too often, their roots suffer. Poor roots can it lead to stunted and slowed regrowth, as well as pasture that turns into a mudpit and takes years to recover for good graze.

Foraged or grown, spring mostly yields greens. There are some wild starchy roots available, but most have been feeding their dormant plants through winter or are providing the energy for them to break dormancy and reach for the sun again. Their calories/energy is largely depleted, “already” or “still”.

More than maples can be tapped for sap in spring – a bright spot in a season that offers few calories. However, sap runs are typically pretty short even at best, and it requires access.

Maybe our INCH-bag nomads have the spiles and containers for catchment, and can take advantage. It’s something our winter-camp and permanent-settlement preppers can definitely arrange for.

Hunting in spring means thin game, most usually.

Some animals are coming out of hibernation, which has slowly been eating their fats and reserves. There are the food-caching mammals, but most do not emerge plump. Fluffy-furry, yes; not fat. They’ve been eating their stores and now their cupboards, too, are bare.

What’s available to herbivores still active through winter and spring is also low in energy. The richest reachable bulbs, roots, berries, lichens, and seed heads have been gone since early winter. They have already been making do with the remaining branch tips, bark, and limited greenery. Their body stores are low or already depleted, too.

There are some exceptions.

Some migratory birds winter places where they forage grains and are at the tastiest and fattest when they return, but that’s limited and usually it’s flipped. Others are skank, but fat and rich in vitamins and oils because they overwinter on warmer coasts and waterways, consuming fish, snails, and seaweeds.

Some temperate mammals migrate as well, but most migrate to find enough food; life sustainment, bare survival, not thriving.

Hunger lasts even longer for some wildlife. Many species are immediately burning what they consume in spring, sometimes well into summer.

For some, there’s the search and battle for mates. Nests have to be prepared, and sometimes manned constantly to protect eggs and naked infants from cool weather and other animals. Some gave birth over winter, further depleting bodies. Others are still carrying young for milder spring births. Then they, too, must feed their offspring as well as themselves. It will be months before they regain “full” condition.

Game is already typically lean. When we hunt early, we’re getting less meat and less fat yet, and we need more animals to sustain us. That can impact populations going forward, increasing lean times in the future.

Waiting for Harvests

The painfully slow pacing of spring presents issues well into the season. Homesteaders can get a head start with covers and raised beds. Even so, it will be weeks to a month before thaw-planted greens, radishes, and the earliest of hybrid beets and turnips are ready. It will be two months before we can harvest our first OP/heirloom beets and turnips, carrots, and heads of cabbage.

Some vine and bush beans could be producing cutting/green beans by two months, but most are highly cold sensitive. Without heated hoops, they’re unlikely to survive being planted at the average last frost date (commonly 4-8 weeks after our last hard freeze).

At two months, we might be getting our first actual calorie crop, new potatoes … if we can afford to take them young instead of later and larger.

Autumn-sown grains may be available 2-3 months into our planting season. There are some cold-climate grains (corn included) that can be had in two months, but some are cold sensitive, so it may be well into spring or knocking on summer before we can plant. Modern westerner’s peas are usually harvested at veggie stages at 2-3 months. It will take another 4-8 weeks for cold-hardy peas to turn to starchy, protein-laden legumes.

By area, some of the wild grasses may have gone to grain heads for harvesting seed and their precious calories and proteins at two months – if they haven’t been cropped or cut for feed or hay so far.

Waterways may have wapato starting to plump. Cattails and rushes may have leapt to production as well, in both far north and deeper south regions. Vegetative lateral roots and pollen tend to be first, then main roots recover enough to start getting reasonable amounts of starch from them. Cattail and marsh grasses can also contribute seeds for us, for wildlife, and for our domestic stock, but it’ll be later in the season.

Depending on our location, flock age, and practices, domestic eggs might be available around the calendar start of spring, March or June 20th. Hens mature enough to lay will need enough protein, calcium, and light to cue production. Even meeting needs, “old” birds start later and lay slowly.

The homesteader, seasonal nomad, and INCH-bagger may all be able to forage eggs. Non-migratory wild birds will typically be earliest to nest and lay. We have to wait until migratory birds return and settle to hit their nests.

Hunger is hard to argue with. Survival is paramount, and the rich fats, vitamins, and calories of eggs can be huge boosts. However, we’ll want to exercise control, whether we’re taking from wild or domestic birds. If we raid nests too often, we can impact the population for years – and the population of other animals we count on for food or for pest/predator control.

That just makes the Hungry Gap longer and leaner still in coming years.

I ignored fish on purpose. They’re hugely variable. Plus, many waterways are preexisting disasters and human Meccas waiting to happen with many of the bigger “It” possibilities. I consider passive fishing methods worth learning, even so.

It Gets Worse

Spring’s Hungry Gap paints a pretty bleak outlook. My belief is that humanity will eat most well-known wild foods like dandelion and cattail to near-extinction early, and that game will go fast, too. There’s a reason many states have hunting limits.  So it gets bleaker.

Add in how few people practice gardening, let alone producing calorie, protein, and oil crops, and even with a “gentle” growing year, it gets bleaker still. A bad-weather or buggy year, and “bleak” will not even come close.

Combating Spring Starvation

We can prepare for the Hungry Gap. It’s been done successfully, in both modern and far-distant history. #1 is always get started. Whether your plan is to take the bush and live out of a bag, or to hack out a permanent homestead in the city, ‘burbs, or rurals, go get dirty. Get area baselines and norms so you know when “uh-oh” is knocking.

We can also help squash the mentality that we only store food for winter, and then our magic box/bucket o’ seed takes over. Our “pre-badness” food storage need to last not to our planting dates, but to harvest dates (at least).

There are articles here on TPJ that can help with low-budget food preps that only need a moisture-pest barrier to store for several years, like these two…

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/11/07/how-to-avoid-starvation-on-a-budget/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/06/11/supersizing-food-storage-with-buckets/

That buys us backups for a bad year.

Learn to preserve available foods, using both new and ancient methods. Consider producing and preserving staples, not just veggies, even if there’s only a small space right now.

We can lay on season extenders, and expand or change what and how we grow for resiliency. We can seed bomb areas with hardy native edibles and wildlife habitat plants to expand options. (Focus on the smaller, faster-breeding, non-migratory birds and rodents.)

Know what’s happened in the past, so you can take adjust when it happens again. If the shad run misses the bloom-out, it’s likely going to be a weird year on the creeks … but the riparian predators are usually hungrier, so switch to bait trapping. There’s an intimate relationship between bass and frogs; when one ebbs, the other booms. The Yellowstone elk starvation makes an excellent study, as do your local stray/feral pet numbers. Long-term or short-term goals, it’s handy information.

There’s nothing wrong with a short-term or small-scale (personal/regional) focus. There’s a lot we can prepare for that have short durations. Other “It” situations only make something/everything incredibly expensive. They don’t force us to produce everything ourselves.

When we’re ready, though, if we’re talking about storage in months and spending money on seeds and seed vaults, or if we’re planning to ride out even a short-term upset by taking to the hills, past history is our friend. It’s full of lessons with the challenges we’ll face. It usually has the solutions, too.

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The Art of Growing Onions

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Onions are a staple food in our kitchen. Depending on what we’ve got cooking, we use between 2-5 pounds of some kind of onion every week. Since we grow most of our food on our homestead, this means we have to grow a lot of onions.

Just about any growing guide will tell you that onions are easy to grow.

And they are. You can start them from seed, plants, bulbs, or even food scraps (as Marjory shows you here).

Read More: “The Simple Trick to Regrow Onions”

Onion plants will survive even if you forget to water them through droughts, leave them in the ground over winter, and stick them in just about any kind of soil. Now, I said “survive” and not “thrive,” so I wouldn’t recommend these strategies if you actually want large yields of onions to eat.

We’ll dig into the details of how to grow onions in a minute. But first, let’s take a look at the varieties of onions.

What Are the Onion Types?

To most people, the word “onion” automatically brings to mind those dried balls of make-you-cry-when-cut goodness you find at the grocery store.

Yep, those are onions.

They are storage-type onions and are the most common variety available to consumers. They also come in two flavors—sweet and cooking. Sweet onions, like those famous Vidalias (which are simply sweet onions specifically grown in the Vidalia region of Georgia), contain a lot more natural sugars and can even taste a bit like dessert if you caramelize them in your cast iron pan with butter and a splash of good balsamic vinegar.

If you cook much, you probably also immediately thought of green onions or scallions. Those grocery store favorites are actually a group of onions called “bunching onions” that are grown specifically for their lack of ability to produce large bulbs.

Beyond those basics, there’s a whole world of often-unexplored onion types available to the home grower.

  • Onions come in a host of shapes, ranging from bulbless to torpedo to round to doughnut shaped.
  • They can range in size from thin slivers of grass to cantaloupe-sized onion bombs.
  • Some can be cured and stored, and others are best eaten fresh from the garden or within two weeks of harvest.
  • There are onions that can be grown as perennials and harvested multiple times per year, like the multiplier onions and Egyptian walking onions.
  • You can also branch out into other members of the Allium family and grow leeks, shallots, common chives, garlic chives, wild onions, and garlic to add bite and health benefits to your savory meals.

If you want to read more about the history of onions and take a closer look at some of the lesser-known varieties, check out this great post.

Read More: “Unusual Onions—The Lowdown on Some Forgotten Members of the ‘Stinky Rose’ Family” 

Onions, and all their family members, are so good for you and make simple meals taste so extraordinary that anyone with a sunny window ought to be growing chives and anyone with a small plot of land ought to be growing onions for bulbs and greens.

And you can start now with just a little bit of know-how.

Growing Onions

Start Onions Early

Here’s the first thing to know about growing onions: They like an early start.

In my area of North Carolina, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7a, I’ll be putting mine in the garden by the end of February. And since I start mine from seed at home, I start my seeds in trays under grow lights and then move them to the greenhouse at least 8-10 weeks before transplanting.

Onions will do most of their green leaf growing while the days are short and before temperatures get too warm. Each leaf of top growth will produce one ring of the onion. Larger leaves produce larger bulbs.

I’ve been told that the perfect onion will have 13 lush green strands, but so far I’ve only been able to grow 12-leaf onions in my area.

As the summer solstice approaches, and with it come longer days and warmer temperatures, onions will start to set bulbs.

When they begin putting energy into their bulbs, they won’t grow those greens anymore. That means that if you only have a few spindly leaves in late May, then you probably won’t get very impressive onion bulb yields. However, those underperforming onions do make great “spring” onions, so go ahead and dig them up and chop them into your salad.

Now don’t worry—if you missed your seed-starting window, you can also buy onion plants. Onion plants are usually pencil thick and ready to transplant directly into the ground. They are usually sold in bunches of 50 and cost around $11-$15 a bunch for heirloom varieties from specialty growers. You can also find onion plants at country produce stores for less, but these are almost always hybrid varieties.

Some people also grow onions from dried bulbs called “sets,” too. These usually only cost a few dollars for a bag of 50. You can pick these up at just about any hardware or garden supply store seasonally. You can also often find them loose and sold by the pound at country produce markets.

Varieties are limited on onion sets. Additionally, sets often produce smaller onions than plants of the same variety. If you are trying to maximize bulb size, then choose plants rather than sets.

Sets will usually get you small to medium-sized storage onions, so you may need to grow more sets than plants to get the same yields as plants in pounds.

Choose the Right Day-Length Varieties

Before you buy seeds, sets, or plants, the other thing you really need to know about onions, particularly bulbing onions, is how many hours of daylight they need to set bulbs. Bulbing onions are classified as short-, long-, or intermediateday varieties.

  • Long-day varieties will need 14-16 hours of daylight to set bulbs and only grow well in Northern areas with cooler summers and longer days.
  • Short-day onions will only need 10-12 hours of daylight and tend to be selected to grow better in areas with hotter weather.
  • Intermediate-day onions will need 13-15 hours.

If you live in Florida and plant a long-day variety, at best, you’ll end up with some darn fine scallions from long-day seeds. More likely, though, your long-day onion plants will bolt at the first sign of heat and you’ll be eating flower heads in your salads.

Choose Your Fertility Plan

Onions like to grow in high-quality vegetable garden soil with good drainage and a pH between 6.2-6.8. In good soil, they will grow surprisingly deep and expansive root systems that will help regulate moisture and seek appropriate nutrients.

For softball-sized onions, you’ll need to give them a kick-start by using a fertilizer that is higher in phosphorous than nitrogen and potassium—like a 10-20-10 bag of store-bought fertilizer. When using 10-20-10 fertilizer, it is recommended to make a 4-inch trench between your onion rows and apply fertilizer in the trench. You will also need to fertilize every 2-3 weeks with either 21-0-0 or 15.5-0-0 fertilizer as the tops are growing to ensure bigger bulbs later.

You can apply new fertilizer to your trench. See here for more specific details.

Personally, though, I don’t buy fertilizer. Instead:

  • I prepare my onion beds with about 3 inches of homemade compost gently incorporated into my existing garden soil.
  • When I plant my onions, I sprinkle roughly one teaspoon of worm castings around the plant about 2 inches from the base.
  • I also spread a light coating of wood ash on the soil between my plants (so light you can still see the soil underneath).
  • From that point on, I water my plants every 2-3 days (unless we get sufficient rain) using water from my duck pond or compost tea for continuous fertilization.

If you want more info on homemade fertility, check out these posts on worm castings and compost tea:

Read More: “Leachate, Worm Tea, and Aerobic Compost Tea—A Clarification” 

Read More: “Manure TeaAn Easy Way to Stretch Your Compost”

Read More: “Simple and Effective Worm Composting on Your Homestead” 

How to Plant Onions

Once you’ve decided on your fertility plan, the next step is to plant. Those pencil-thin onion plants should be planted no more than 1 inch deep in the soil. These will start to set roots very quickly. But, keep a close eye on them until they are deeply rooted enough that they stand erect on their own, ensuring that they don’t get knocked over by wind or critters.

Onion sets can be planted a little deeper because they take longer to grow roots and will sometimes swell out of the soil during heavy rains if they haven’t set roots yet. I plant mine about 1.5 inches under soil and then cover the soil with an inch of very loose straw.

Onion Row Spacing

One of the big debates in onion planting is how to space them in beds and rows. Conventional growers tend to space them about 4 inches apart on 1-foot rows. This effectively means you are planting 3 per square foot. It makes weeding with a hoe easy and works well for soil with low organic matter.

Other methods recommend planting bulbing onions on 4- to 6-inch centers, or planting about 4-12 onions every square foot. For scallions, they are planted at a rate of about 16 onions per square foot.

I think the reason for all the confusion on plant spacing is that we are all growing in different conditions and growing different varieties with various expectations for bulb size. What you really need to know is that onions can’t stand competition. That means, depending on the variety you choose, you need enough space that your onions won’t grow into each other. And, you also need to be able to fit your hand in and weed around your onions often. You also don’t want too much space between plants, or weeds will move in and take over.

Personally, for my storage onions, I am looking for bulbs between 3.5 and 4 inches in diameter.

For mass plantings, because I have big, farm-girl hands, I like to plant them on roughly 5-inch centers so I can fit my hands between my nearly full-sized onions without breaking my green tops. I start planting from the center of my 4-foot-wide beds and leave a few extra inches around the edges of the beds empty. That area tends to dry out faster and my onions just don’t grow as well on the outer edges of the bed.

For scallions, I go for about 2-inch centers, and for leeks, garlic, and torpedo onions, I plant on 3-inch centers.

Alliums are also great for interplanting with your other crops as a pest deterrent. Since spring-grown cabbages and onions go in the ground at about the same time in my area, I like to plant onions at the corners of my cabbage plants. This seems to cut down on cabbage moth visits to my Early Jersey Wakefields. Make sure to give the cabbage plenty of room, though, or it will quickly overshadow your onions.

Soil quality matters for spacing, too. The first year I started my garden at our current homestead, I knew I wasn’t offering my onions the most perfect growing environment, so I gave them a little more space than I do now. This made for more weed pressure, so I mulched with straw several times during the growing season to help cut down on weeding.

Maintenance

Once you get your onions in the ground, they will need to be watered and weeded regularly for best results. Onions don’t like to be soaked or flooded.  If you live in a really wet area, you might want to mulch around your onions with an inch of fresh, double-shred hardwood. This also works great if you live in dry areas. Just keep in mind that when you water, you will need to make sure it passes through your mulch layer and soaks several inches into the ground to be beneficial.

In my area, onion tops grow quite fast from about mid-March through mid-May. If you are not seeing a whole lot of top growth during that time, you may need to add more nitrogen either with an infusion of compost tea or by using additional fertilizer. From mid-May and after bulbs start forming, avoid adding nitrogen to your onion beds, as this can cause issues with bulbing.

If your onions have lots of good top growth but don’t seem to be bulbing up well, you can incorporate some bonemeal into the surrounding soil. Follow the application instructions on the bag for best results. However, be careful not to disturb the roots of your onion plants as you apply. If you mulched around your plants, you can just push back the mulch and apply underneath your mulch layer. Then, push the mulch back in place.

Harvesting, Curing, and Storing Onions

Harvesting

Now for the fun part! After all your diligent care, it’s about time to harvest your onions.

When havesting onions for tops, like scallions, those are generally sweetest and most tender when the tops are around 6-8 inches tall. But if you want more meaty tang, you can let them grow a little longer.

If you only plan to use the greens, you can cut the tops and leave the whitish parts and roots in the ground and then let the greens grow back. For torpedo-type onions, as soon as the partial bulb forms, you can harvest as needed for fresh use. Just make sure your torpedoes are all out of the ground before the top growth dies back.

As your storage-type bulbs begin to form, they will draw energy from those green leaves you grew so carefully in early spring. When those tops begin to fold over and yellow, that means the energy has transferred from the tops to the bulbs. As soon as the tops start dying, your onion will also become more susceptible to pests, particularly root eaters in the soil like wireworms. Some people will wait until most of the leaves have yellowed, but I normally harvest when just a few tips are yellow so that I don’t have any pest-related losses.

For best drying results, let the soil dry out for a day or two before harvesting. In good soil, those onion roots get pretty deep. I like to use my hand hoe/rake combo to harvest because the hoe works well to loosen the soil around the onion, and then I use my hands to do the detail work of getting the onion out of the ground. After that, I use the rake side to scrape the soil off the roots. (This is the tool I use. It’s incredible for bed preparation and harvesting.)

Curing Onions

Personally, I only dry my best onions. The rest I cook up within a couple weeks of harvesting. Onions that don’t grow to their full size potential just don’t seem to store as well, even if they don’t have any obvious defects or show signs of insect damage.

The key to curing onions is good airflow and making sure they don’t get wet during the drying period. You can dry them on a tabletop as long as you flip them daily to make sure they dry evenly. Or you can just clip them to a clothesline in any covered area that is not too humid. I installed a clothesline on my porch that I use for drying onions, garlic, and herbs. Not only is it convenient, but it makes for a beautiful, rustic scene and an aromatic spot to seek shade in mid-summer.

Storing Onions

Depending on your conditions, it may take 2-3 weeks to cure onions. When the tops are completely dry, you can cut them down to about 1 inch and trim off the roots. You can also leave your dried tops on and make onion braids for storage. Personally, though, I like to use my collection of old grocery store onion bags to store my homegrown onions. You can then hang those bags on a rope in a basement, food cellar, or whatever other dark, cool, somewhat humid space you use for winter food storage.

Onions seem to know when it is time to grow.  So, I find that around this time of year, my stored onions start sending up more green leaf shoots. This means they won’t store much longer. Luckily, though, this is also the time that my chives start coming up in the garden.  So I use up my stored onions quickly and start harvesting chives, then later I eat my scallions to hold me over until my next round of storing onions are ready.

I hope you all have great success growing onions this year!  If you have any tips and tricks you’ve learned that will help us all grow better, I’d love to hear what works for you.

 

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The post The Art of Growing Onions appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Grow Spinach

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Spinach is one of the first seeds you can plant for a spring harvest and a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources minerals and nutrients that we can grow. It is considered a superfood because of all the nutrition these little leaves are packed with.

Varieties, such as Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach are cold-hardy, tender-leafed crop that is ideal for being planted in very early spring, as well as in fall and winter. Spinach is a fast-growing vegetable that is a great late fall or winter crop because it can survive a frost and temperatures down to 15ºF.

Common spinach problems such as bolting and pests like damping off and Downey mildew are sometimes caused by the way we grow the plant and environmental conditions. To remedy this, use natural compost or soil amendments in the soil, add mulch, and grow in cooler weather conditions.

Similar to lettuce, spinach seeds germinate very quickly and can be started up to 10 weeks before the average last frost date in your area. In fact, it is such as easy vegetable variety to grow. It’s truly a plant-it-and-forget-it garden addition because beyond thinning, there is no additional cultivation or fertilizing necessary. As well, it can be grown in a brightly lit windowsill or in a container garden for easy access.

Starting Spinach From Seed (45 days to mature)

  1. If you are planting indoors, follow this indoor seed starting guide. If growing outdoors, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.
  2. Sow seeds ½ inch to 1 inch deep, covering lightly with soil. Sow about 12 seeds per foot of row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed.
    Soil should not be warmer than 70º F in order for germination.
  3. Spray containers with a fine mist spray bottle or lightly with a water nozzle to moisten the soil.
  4. Seeds should germinate in a few days. Once seedlings emerge, ensure they have access to part-sun or are in a sunny location.
  5. When seedlings sprout to about two inches, thin them to 3-4 inches apart.
  6. Plant more seeds every couple weeks during early spring for successive planting.

Harvesting Spinach Leaves

Once five or six good leaves have grown on the spinach plant, it’s time to start harvesting. For sweeter spinach leaves, pick them with the plants are young. When the spinach plant is mature and ready for harvest, some simply cut the entire plant at the base, but there are other methods that will allow for a longer harvest. Leaves can be picked either by cutting the leaves with scissors or picking the outer, older leaves first and then gradually working your way to the center of the plant as those leaves mature. Harvesting spinach by this method will often allow it to re-sprout and give you another partial harvest.

Spinach is an easy and highly nutritious leafy green to add to the garden this year. For those who are just starting out growing vegetables, this one is a great choice!

Happy Gardening!

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

How To Grow Spinach

Spinach is one of the first seeds you can plant for a spring harvest and a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources minerals and nutrients that we can grow. It is considered a superfood because of all the nutrition these little leaves are packed with.

Varieties, such as Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach are cold-hardy, tender-leafed crop that is ideal for being planted in very early spring, as well as in fall and winter. Spinach is a fast-growing vegetable that is a great late fall or winter crop because it can survive a frost and temperatures down to 15ºF.

Common spinach problems such as bolting and pests like damping off and Downey mildew are sometimes caused by the way we grow the plant and environmental conditions. To remedy this, use natural compost or soil amendments in the soil, add mulch, and grow in cooler weather conditions.

Similar to lettuce, spinach seeds germinate very quickly and can be started up to 10 weeks before the average last frost date in your area. In fact, it is such as easy vegetable variety to grow. It’s truly a plant-it-and-forget-it garden addition because beyond thinning, there is no additional cultivation or fertilizing necessary. As well, it can be grown in a brightly lit windowsill or in a container garden for easy access.

Starting Spinach From Seed (45 days to mature)

  1. If you are planting indoors, follow this indoor seed starting guide. If growing outdoors, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.
  2. Sow seeds ½ inch to 1 inch deep, covering lightly with soil. Sow about 12 seeds per foot of row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed.
    Soil should not be warmer than 70º F in order for germination.
  3. Spray containers with a fine mist spray bottle or lightly with a water nozzle to moisten the soil.
  4. Seeds should germinate in a few days. Once seedlings emerge, ensure they have access to part-sun or are in a sunny location.
  5. When seedlings sprout to about two inches, thin them to 3-4 inches apart.
  6. Plant more seeds every couple weeks during early spring for successive planting.

Harvesting Spinach Leaves

Once five or six good leaves have grown on the spinach plant, it’s time to start harvesting. For sweeter spinach leaves, pick them with the plants are young. When the spinach plant is mature and ready for harvest, some simply cut the entire plant at the base, but there are other methods that will allow for a longer harvest. Leaves can be picked either by cutting the leaves with scissors or picking the outer, older leaves first and then gradually working your way to the center of the plant as those leaves mature. Harvesting spinach by this method will often allow it to re-sprout and give you another partial harvest.

Spinach is an easy and highly nutritious leafy green to add to the garden this year. For those who are just starting out growing vegetables, this one is a great choice!

Happy Gardening!

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

The Government Will Help These Cities First After The SHTF

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Whether you clicked this article out of curiosity or are looking to find out whether you have hit the lottery on location, there are some things to consider. 2017 taught us a lot about the resilience of communities and the response of the government to disasters. In fact, regarding disaster response, it was probably the […]

The post The Government Will Help These Cities First After The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Preparing For Doomsday – Is It Worth It?

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Back in 2008 when the world economy was damaged as never before, many people started preparing their lives for doomsday. But, it never came, so they eventually quit. Nowadays, media and politicians claim that doomsday will never come and that this is just an illusion. But is it? Of course not and there’s more to … Read more…

The post Preparing For Doomsday – Is It Worth It? was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Piles of chicken wire at my place

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I think we are going to have to cover Mom’s chicken run/ kennel with new chicken wire rather than the plastic fencing because of the wind out at her place.  At my place the chicken setup was in a very protected area from both wind and sun via the buildings and mature trees around my place.  Where Mom’s chicken are now get the full force of the prevailing winds and the birds don’t seem to care for the “run” setup at all.

We think that addition of predators are also making the birds a bit more nervous about using the chicken run.  I believe Mom and I can do a better job on string chicken wire and a tarp over the run once we get a few dollars to buy some lumber and set up a framework to support all the chicken wire.  I have a wood pressure treated post that should support the tarp that is well above the chicken wire that will prevent cutting and also help the tarp shed both rain and snow.

Mom has a little store bought chicken house she uses to isolate sick birds or intro new birds into the flock.  This little house looks like it was made to break down with wing nut bolts at the corners and “piano hinges” on the sides.  I think a few extra screws were added to try and make it more rigid but I  can deal with those now that I see how it was constructed.  The big chicken box is a bit more of a challenge as the frame work is starting to break down and it was sort of thrown together when it was built in the first place.  My plan is to remove the plywood panels that will remove a lot of weight. Move the box to Mom’s chicken run, repair/replace  the rotted 2 x 4’s and refurb the box for her chicken run.  The box may end up a few inches smaller over all but all of the framing should be solid and the chickens shouldn’t mind.

I still need to move a few little bit of furniture for Mom as the Kia mini van is protected.  Mom has a lot of wood furniture that can’t be exposed to water.  While the dully will move a lot or stuff it has no way to protect stuff and tarps usually don’t keep antiques safe from weather.  We will go slow moving stuff as it hurts no one that my shop isn’t cleared or my basement is full of totes.  Well except Mom as she can’t find her curtains or tea towels.

I gave Mom a few party buckets worth of wood to try out in her new wood stove last weekend. It was mostly dry pine but she finally got warm in her new home.  She has a darn good new central heat system that I will say does a great job as an electric heater but there is just something about a wood fire heat the warms both body and soul.  I loaded a bucket of the long burning hardwoods today so she could keep the fire burning until she can get some wood of her own.  I’m not sure of the cost of a “box” (1/4 cord) of apple wood today.  When I bought it it was considered waste by most orchards.

This my first year burning pine and now that it is dry I sort of like burning it in the daytime when stoking the fire every two -three hours for a hot fire it is a good burning wood.  Now at night when I want a long slow burn I want a hard wood. For this next year I’ll get on the list early for Douglas/ Red Fir and buy Fruit wood from the local orchards through summer.  Gosh, having the use of a 1 ton dually pickup truck sure adds a lot of options for home improvement.

 

 

The Easiest Way To Create an Emergency Water Supply That Lasts All Winter

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There are reasons that everyone disdains converting snow and ice to water, such as “it’s not cost or heat effective,” or “you can’t get much from it,” etc.  In a survival situation, though, you may not have that much of a choice and this could be your only long-term water supply.  With many surface water bodies freezing solid, it renders it difficult to remove the ice and then melt it down.  Snow is the most-maligned of the two, but you can still take water from it.  Let’s go over some of the numbers and explore a few methods to get some water in the wintertime when you’re out in the wilds.

Learn About Snow Water Equivalent

The volume of ice can be converted to the volume of water by multiplying the ice’s volume by 0.92 for water volume.  This can be helpful, especially if you have a way of measuring blocks of ice or ice that has been formed within a container where you know the dimensions.  Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is the most common way to measure the amount of water that is in a given amount of snow.  The “magic” number here is 10% of the volume of the snow is equal to the volume of water.  Therefore, if you had a large container (such as a kid’s plastic swimming pool) filled with 2 feet of snow?  Your amount of water would equal 2.4 inches, for the remaining area and volume of the pool.

The Simplest Way to Harvest Water in Winter

I mentioned these just to give you an idea.  Naturally, you won’t be lugging around a Coleco plastic swimming pool in the woods with you.  You can, however, pack in gallon-sized Ziploc plastic bags, and here’s where your math comes into play to figure volume.  You also need something to heat it up in.  Barring stumbling across a sizeable container made of metal you can throw on the fire, you may just have to take your time and use a good military issue Army canteen cup, or a steel bottle or container of some kind that will tolerate a heating over/on an open flame.

Ice can be found and “harvested” in the form of icicles and then gathered in volume prior to heating it and converting it to water.  This conversion of snow and ice to water will be an ongoing thing while you’re out in the wild, as if you do not have a method to keep your water in a liquid state, then it will refreeze.  This is one area that a Camelbak can be useful.  The bladder can be kept against the skin or next to the body, wrapped up in layers of clothing and using your body heat to keep it liquid.

One of the problems with the winter is the reduced amount of direct sunlight.  There are not many sunny days (comparatively speaking), and the sunlight is not often strong enough or long-lasting enough to make good use of.  Another thing you may consider is an ice auger to be able to drill a hole in a lake and extract water for your use.  Of course, you’ll have to hurry, and you’ll have to purify that water either chemically, by boiling, or via filtration, but it will work.

Make sure your converting ice and snow to water complement your other activities, such as cooking or resting and warming yourself up by a campfire.  Don’t just allow those coals to warm you: put them to work!  Thaw out ice or snow for water each chance you have to build a fire.  This way you’ll stay one step ahead, and continually replenish your container.  Stay warm, melt that snow and ice, and remember it is important: most people tend to drink less in the winter because it’s cold.  Thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The War On Men (and Women) Continues — Create Chaos By Dividing Everyone

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Seen on the net — so few people have the ability to see with their own eyes. Sometimes a moment of disgust is needed to open our eyes and create lasting change. Apparently, anyone who even tries to discuss the so called “harassment issue” will be viciously attack. Anyone who even points out that the vast majority of men are “good” will be viciously attacked. ——————————————————- I am nervous to post this video but felt compelled to record it after coming home from work today. I wanted to briefly express my appreciation for all the amazing men out there and the contributions they make, which often go unrecognized. Their actions are what allow a society to function. I tweeted a while back — I wonder (and worry about) what will have to happen for women to realize WE are the privileged sex — looking around at all the male bashing being encouraged in our culture, I am blown away by women’s shortsightedness. Men are the builders and keepers of a culture, but they’ll only maintain and protect it for so long, without female appreciation and inspiration.

The Sig P320 controversy continues

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It was very interesting to see how people jumped into the Sig P320 bandwagon. Granted, most people serious about firearms didn’t fall for it but many did. As any firearms expert worth his salt knows, few things are as important as track record and you don’t create that overnight. You earn it over the years.

Why is the 1911 so highly regarded even today? Why is the Browning Hi Power considered one of the most proven autos ever made? Because they are. Because they have been used by hundreds of armed forces, thousands of police departments around the globe and both their virtues and shortcomings are understood, with virtues well outweighing their cons.

The Glock has been around since 1982 and it has rightfully earned its “Perfection” reputation. Ok, “Prefect” you say?… Actually yes, as close to perfect as any mechanical object can be. Few guns have exploded into popularity like Glocks did and do so successfully proving themselves beyond doubt, scoring very high on every aspect a combat handgun should.

And then came the U.S. Army new handgun selection and the Sig P320 “beating” Glock.

Amateurs fell for this as if such a thing proved that the newcomer was the best of the two, a gun with no track record that pales in comparison to one of the most successful handguns design, arguably the most dominant one in today’s market.

Everything about the Army’s trial and selection was suspicious, especially the outcome. It’s not just that they failed to select what is clearly the best handgun in the market today. What makes it worse is that instead they went with a gun that is an absolute newbie, with the US Army being the first mayor buyer, using the armed forces as Guiney pigs for the new gun.

The result?

Well, you all know about the drop firing problem. Drop or bump the gun and it goes off. To make matters worse Sig offers a   ‘Voluntary Upgrade’ rather than a recall, failing to at least admit something was wrong with the gun.

Army’s New Pistols Often Eject Live Rounds and Don’t Work Well With Regular Bullets

But that’s not the end of the story. A Pentagon report reveals the gun continued to suffer jams among other issues. Not only does the gun fire when dropped (something that the upgrade offered should fix) but it is reported to eject unfired ammo when cycling and suffer reliability issues with traditional “ball” ammo. The gun seems to run fine with XM1153 “special purpose” cartridge, a hollow point round. But with XM1152, a standard “ball” round with a bullet fully enclosed within a copper jacket, it is not reliable. Really Army? You want a gun that isnt reliable with the most common military ammo around? And how on Earth did they fail to see this during the selection trail? Heck, how on Earth did this gun beat the proven Glock?

My point with this post is for you guys to understand that when it comes to firearms, weapons that may save your life one day, you don’t want to the latest fad gun. You want to go with proven platforms, the design issued to thousands over the years and found to be reliable and trust worthy. Guns that have been issued in large quantities, shot and abused and came back asking for more.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Weekly Watchman & Current Events – February 26, 2018

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Current Events and Bible Prophecy – Prepped & Aware!

 

This weekly post provides you with a select section of Current Events and Prophecy Update videos from current prophecy teachers. Be prayerful and line everything up against the Word of God.

But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!  Luke 21:28 HCSB

Disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything I post here.  However, I try to keep an open mind and definitely don’t want to be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day that had the Son of God right in front of them, but didn’t recognize Him because He didn’t come the way they thought He would come!  Stay Alert!

In this week’s WW:

  • JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – February 25, 2018
  • John Haller’s Prophecy Update “On the Brink” – 2/25/18
  • Amir Tsarfati – The Middle East in Bible Prophecy
  • Calvary Melbourne Australia – BILLY GRAHAM DIED AT 99 –Feb 25, 2018
  • Jason A – Something Biblical is Going On!

 

JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – February 25, 2018

 

John Haller’s Prophecy Update “On the Brink” – 2/25/18

 

Amir Tsarfati – The Middle East in Bible Prophecy

 

Calvary Melbourne Australia – BILLY GRAHAM DIED AT 99 –Feb 25, 2018

 

Jason A – Something Biblical is Going On!

 

Peace,
Todd

Citizen-Journalist Arrested For Facebook Post About Police

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Citizen-Journalist Arrested For Facebook Post

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A Texas woman might face time in jail after being slapped with two felonies because she posted something she heard from an acquaintance on her Facebook page.

“In my opinion, this is the government’s attempt to silence my client,” Priscilla Villarreal’s attorney, Sergio Lozano, told The Texas Monthly.

Villarreal was arrested by Laredo, Texas, police on Dec. 13 and charged with “misuse of official information.”

Her crime was posting on Facebook the fact that a U.S. Border Patrol agent had committed suicide. Police claim that Villarreal violated the law because she asked Laredo Police Officer Barbara Goodman about the suicide, and then put the information on Facebook. Villarreal posted the information before the department released it to the public.

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“Information provided by Officer Goodman pertaining to the case in question was used by Priscilla Villarreal in her Facebook page ‘Lagordiloca News Laredo TX,’ immediately notifying her followers of the incident,” the complaint against Villarreal states.

Her Facebook page has 86,482 followers and is described as one of the most popular news sources in Laredo. “Lagordiloca” means “night crawler” in Spanish.

Villareal drives around Laredo on the Texas/Mexico border at night looking for news. Often, that includes posting live streaming video of police interactions with citizens.

“This is something that should trouble all news outlets in any medium, because otherwise, how do you get this information from the entities?” Lozano asked. “Whoever gets to it first gets the most readers, or ‘likes,’ or whatever. The Laredo Morning Times has subscribers, they sell ads, so why is Lagordiloca being treated differently?”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Free PDF: American Boys Book of Bugs & Insects

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American Boys Book of Bugs & Insects is another Dan Beard Book, I am sharing the ones I have, because I can imagine how much fun I would have had as a boy if I had access to these books. I owned a few similar type books as a child and I loved to read them and imagine myself having adventures Of course, I was lucky to live on a State Park, so I had a few good adventures of my own, so it was not all reading and dreaming in a book, I had a fair amount of dirt

The post Free PDF: American Boys Book of Bugs & Insects appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Book Review: Techniques Of Medieval Armor Reproduction

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I play around with hot metal, I am just piddling, and while workable, none of my creations would past the inspection of a real blacksmith. However, I do enjoy it, and would like have enough time to practice more. When I saw Techniques Of Medieval Armor Reproduction on Paladin Press’s scruffy list, I figured that at 50% off I could afford to take a chance on it. When I got this book, I was impressed at how much information was backed into this book. While this book is geared toward established blacksmiths that want to recreate authentic pieces for SCA and

The post Book Review: Techniques Of Medieval Armor Reproduction appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Hardtack Recipe – The Survival Bread That Lasts A Lifetime

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How To A Make Hardtack Recipe To Store Survival Bread At Home

Hardtack Recipe - Survival Bread Close Up

Maybe you already know what hardtack is and you’re searching for the best step by step survival hardtack recipe? A hardtack recipe that will last many decades!

Or maybe you’ve just recently heard the term “hardtack” and want to learn more about this incredible survival bread.

Either way, this article’s got you covered. Today we’re going to discuss hardtack and show you how to make hardtack at home (plus a few bonus survival foods as well!):

  • What Is Hardtack – Brief History
  • Hardtack Recipe (ingredient list)
  • How To Make Hardtack At Home
  • Pemmican – Hardtack’s Meat Alternative
  • Bonus – ANZAC Biscuits Recipe

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

How To Make Hardtack

What Is Hardtack – Brief History


When it comes to survival rations, you have to hand it to the crews on old-fashioned sailing ships. They proved invention is the mother of necessity.

For thousands of years, when currents and wind were a ship’s only means of propulsion it took months to cross the high seas. And yet, nearly every corner of the world was explored and mapped by the end of the “Golden Age of Sailing“.

These sailors endured long voyages that would regularly last months without a harbor. Sometimes it was years before returning back to their homeport.

These long trips required food stores that could last for long periods out at sea. Voyaging long distances meant limited opportunities to resupply; remember this is before refrigeration and canned food!

So one of the staple foods on these ships was a simple, dense, hard survival bread called Hardtack. A survival biscuit made with three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt.

Hardtack is a solid survival bread that held up well to rough transport and kept nearly indefinitely. Since it was both inexpensive and nearly indestructible, this hard biscuit often made up the majority of a sailor’s rations.

In fact, in 1588, the British Royal Navy provided each sailor 1 lb. of hardtack biscuits and a gallon of beer PER DAY!

Obviously, this biscuit was a shipboard staple.

It became such a widespread staple, different ports had unique names for hardtack such as cabin bread, sea biscuits, survival bread, or ship biscuits. Entire industries sprang up in ports to support the resupply of ships with more of this hardy stuff.

Now, if the recipe of flour water and salt sounds bland, you’re in good company. When a ship’s cook wasn’t within earshot, sailors often called it “dog biscuits,” “molar breakers” or “sheet iron.”

Traditional hardtack is immensely HARD.

Why? Because you bake it, leave it out to dry, and store it with moisture absorbing desiccants to prevent spoilage. Each of these steps removes all moisture, making it difficult to bite and chew in its raw form.

Often you must soften it to make safe chewing possible.

However, there were many methods to soften the hard biscuits, including:

  • soaking them in coffee
  • drowning them in beer
  • frying them with oil to make a hardtack pancake
  • pounding them into crumbs with a rifle butt and stirring them into soup – (which both thickened the soup and softened the crumbs)

Hardtack Broken Into PeicesPretty resourceful, I’d say!

While soaking them in coffee is still popular. Many people choose to eat them like toast by adding syrup or jam, providing a sweet (and calorie-dense) snack.

Of course, with only three ingredients, you can easily learn how to make hardtack at home for yourself.

Many of the commercial recipes use additional ingredients. This is an attempt to improve the texture and taste, but these additions reduced the shelf life.

There are many recipes variations for homemade hardtack. But these homemade recipes are optimized for rapid consumption instead of prolonged storage.

Common commercial additions are sugar, honey, spices, powdered milk or eggs, and even oil and butter.

However, these hardtack recipes are best kept refrigerated since the additional ingredients compromise the shelf life. Especially, oil and butter which will go rancid quickly if left unrefrigerated.

If your ultimate goal is to store some survival calories for years to come, I recommend sticking to the three basic ingredients.

With such a long history and a fool-proof, inexpensive hardtack recipe, it’s no wonder it remains popular today. It’s become a food staple for homesteaders, survivalists, and preppers alike.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Hardtack Recipe (ingredient list)


You can make hardtack with any flour you so choose.

  • Whole wheat? Absolutely, works great.
  • Gluten-free? Yes, you can.
  • Rye flour? A great alternative for those with wheat allergies.

With an afternoon of work (mostly baking), you can have an ample supply of hardtack that will last years.

Hardtack Ingredients

Hardtack Ingredients

Start by gathering the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2.5 cups flour (+ a little extra)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp salt

You’ll also need a few utensils:

  • large mixing bowl
  • rolling pin (or improvise!)
  • cookie sheet

How To Make Hardtack – The Ultimate Survival Bread


Note: If you prefer to watch a video instead, skip to the end of this section.

Mixing The Ingredients

Hardtack Mixing Ingredients

Mixing Ingredients Together

Start by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl.

Pro tip: This is a great time to remove any rings on your fingers. Hardtack dough is very sticky, and you’ll have a hard time getting your rings clean later – trust me I know!

After you mix your dry ingredients well, begin adding the water in small amounts. You can mix and knead the dough by hand or with the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer.

Again, it’ll be extremely sticky at first but will quickly turn into a uniform dough.

If it’s still sticky after several minutes of kneading, add a small amount of additional flour.

Hardtack Dough Mixed In Bowl

Ball Of Hardtack Dough

Once your dough forms a solid ball, dust a work surface with flour and place the dough on the floured surface.

Rolling The Dough

Using a rolling pin, heavy pint glass, wine bottle or even your hands, roll the dough out to roughly 1/4″-1/2” thick.

Cut the dough into serving size portions.

Hardtack Dough Rolling Pin

Roll To Spread Dough

This will be easier if you form the dough into a rough square (rather than a pizza crust circle).

If you’re not very experienced using a rolling pin you can use pencils as guides! Just lay a pencil on either side of the dough and press down until the rolling pin is resting on the pencils.

Now, rolling back and forth will give you a nice flat piece of dough.

Cutting The Dough

Cutting The Hardtack Dough

Cutting Hardtack Dough

When you’re happy with your dough shape, place it on a cookie sheet.

Now using a knife or dough cutting blade, cut it into manageable “cracker” size pieces. Ideally, you want them roughly the size of a saltine or graham cracker.

This size is best for long-term storage and it makes a good serving size for later.

I recommend a size that will still fit in a mug if you choose to soak with soup or coffee!

Poking The Crackers

Now, with your “sheet of crackers” cut to size, poke small holes spaced evenly across each piece.

Hardtack Poking Holes In The Dough

Poking Holes In The Dough

These holes help the biscuit bake consistently. Ideally, you want both the edges and the middle of the hardtack biscuit to have a consistent bake.

The holes allow more moisture to escape and keeps the dough from rising in the oven.

Also, the holes make it easier to break the tough biscuits into smaller chunks later for eating.

Baking The Crackers

Hardtack Into The Oven

Hardtack Into The Oven

Now, bake the dough for 25-35 minutes in a 375deg oven, until it just begins to brown on the surface.

You’re looking for a very light tan, more than an actual brown. Its very easy to scorch the flour, so pay close attention.

When you have a light tan color, take the survival biscuits out of the oven and allow it to cool COMPLETELY. You want it to be 100% cool before putting it into any package to remove as much moisture from the biscuits as possible.

Hardtack Out Of The Oven

Hardtack Out Of The Oven

Any trace of excess moisture will cause your hardtack to spoil prematurely.

So if you live in a relatively dry climate, feel free to leave it out for several days to dry some more before storing.

Storing Your Hardtack 

You can store dry hardtack for many months or even several years – if it remains dry.

Vacuum sealing or use mylar bags and desiccants will help remove moisture during storage and a solid (metal) container keeps rodents out.

Keep the individual packages small, so you only open what you need while keeping the rest safe and dry.

Here’s an excellent video showing just how easy it is to make survival biscuits at home.

As you can see, making hardtack is about as easy as it gets. You can even make a fun day out of it by including your kids or grandkids in the baking process.

And when you’re done, you’ll get the amazing feeling of comfort knowing you have a nutritious bread to feed your family no matter what the future may hold.

Pemmican Ball On A Plate

Pemmican – Hardtack’s Meat Alternative


You cannot survive long-term on bread alone.

Your body needs other nutrients such as protein, and vitamins as well. But when it comes to long-term food storage, not just any old protein will do. Protein spoils rapidly without refrigeration.

That’s why you must learn how to make pemmican and store it properly. Pemmican is sort of like hardtack in protein form! It’s a protein you can store a lifetime without refrigeration.

Now, I’m not going to deep dive into the history and all the details of pemmican here because we’ve already written a detailed pemmican article.

But if your interested in seeing how pemmican is made, then check out following short video.

Pemmican is another survival superfood that pairs up very well with hardtack for long-term storage and survival.

Bonus – ANZAC Biscuits Recipe


While in survival mode, a meal of coffee-soaked hardtack will do to fill an empty stomach, but no meal is complete without some dessert!

ANZAC is another “survival biscuit” with a long shelf-life. It was developed by the families of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War 2.

The families back home wanted to send food and treats for the troops. But it had to survive months of travel from the South Pacific to Italy where many of their soldiers were stationed.

This lead to the creation of the “ANZAC Biscuit.”

Since that time, it’s become a national staple in both countries with recipes approved by the government to preserve the history of the treat.

Sure, ANZAC biscuits don’t have as long a shelf-life as hardtack (they contain both sugar and butter). However, ANZAC biscuits are a great short-term addition to any survival cache.

And they can be a welcome break from eating hardtack day in and day out!

How To Make ANZAC Biscuits


ANZAC Biscuit Ingredients:

  • 1 cup each of rolled oats, sugar and coconut
  • 1 tablespoon golden corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water)

ANZAC Biscuit Instructions

  1. Melt butter.
  2. Add corn syrup to dissolved soda and water. Combine with melted butter.
  3. Mix dry ingredients and stir in liquid.
  4. Place small balls on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300deg for 20min or until golden brown.
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Final Word


 So there ya go.

Now you know how to make and store a life-saving survival bread in the form of a simple biscuit – known as hardtack.

Pair your hardtack with some pemmican, ANZAC biscuits, and bulk rice storage you’ve got yourself a legitimate survival food stockpile.

You can have a ton of long-term calories on a prepper friendly budget.

Now it’s just a matter of taking the knowledge and applying it. Because taking action now, long before you need it, is the real secret to survival.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Hardtack Recipe – The Survival Bread That Lasts A Lifetime appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Here’s What Sheriff Israel’s Deputies Did to Prevent and Stop the Parkland School Shooting (But They Don’t Want US to Have Guns)

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by Daisy Luther

Gun control advocates are shouting from the rooftops about disarming the public and arming only police officers. and deputies like those under the guidance of Broward County … Read the rest

The post Here’s What Sheriff Israel’s Deputies Did to Prevent and Stop the Parkland School Shooting (But They Don’t Want US to Have Guns) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Solar Power and Energy Requirements – How To Calculate Your Needs

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(time to sweep the solar panels)   When doing any sort of design or even “back of the envelope” calculations for alternative energy systems (e.g. solar), among the important factors to consider are these: Solar Power and Energy requirements. – Power equals watts. – Energy equals power x time. I’m going to try and keep it simple…   Power (Watts) Anything that ‘plugs into the wall’ requires a certain amount of power (watts) to function. Some things require more power than others. When designing solar power (panel) requirements, you need to figure out the demands of the things that it

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Spring Garden Prep: What You Need To Do To Get Ready To Grow

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The post Spring Garden Prep: What You Need To Do To Get Ready To Grow is by
Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

It’s the tail end of winter and the beginning of spring, and in most areas, people are preparing their gardens for spring planting. But what is necessary to prepare your spring garden? Are there specific steps you really should take every year? No matter if you’re a beginner or an old hand, you’ll probably find … Read more

The post Spring Garden Prep: What You Need To Do To Get Ready To Grow is by
Lorin Nielsen and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Here’s How To Contact Your Elected Officials (Federal and State)

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After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” — William Burroughs

It has become obvious that the Florida school shooting was another case of someone with severe mental issues slipping through the cracks in the system. The FBI, local police, and school officials all utterly failed to respond to the many, many warning signs. The local police officer on the scene and the three officers who were the first to arrive during the shooting all refused to act to stop the killer, apparently out of cowardice and incompetence (I’ve heard no other reasonable explanation). This shooting was extremely preventable and lives could and should have been saved, yet the media, politicians, and activists are all blaming the NRA and law-abiding gunowners, calling for gun control, instead of trying to fix the system that failed to work on so many levels.  

Make no mistake, our Second Amendment rights and our Right to Self-Defense are under threat. In the coming weeks and months, our elected officials will be deciding on your right of gun ownership and your right to protect yourself and your family. Ultimately, they will vote based not on the Constitution and Bill of Rights or even their own personal convictions, but on which way they feel the wind is blowing regarding the issue of gun control. This is especially true for those squishy “moderates” on both sides of the aisle. The media will make sure that the voices for gun control are heard loud and clear. It is up to us to make sure our voices are heard equally as loud. Please make your voice heard. 

Contact Federal Elected Officials

  • President Donald Trump – Contact the President of the United States by filling out the online contact form or by calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
  • Members of the U.S. Congress
    • U.S. Senators – Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.
    • U.S. Representatives – Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 Contact State Elected Officials

  • State Governors – Learn how to get in touch with your state governor.
  • State Legislators – Find the names and current activities of your state legislators.

What is Courage?

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WHAT IS COURAGE?

What is Courage?

What is Courage?

In the Parkland high school shooting in South Florida, just a few miles from my home, we saw the extremes of human fortitude in the persons of Coach Aaron Feis and Deputy Scot Peterson. Peterson, a trained security professional, stayed outside while a shooting was in progress in the area he was hired to defend. Feis, a man not charged with the safety of others, protected them with his body at the expense of his own life.

I have thought about the idea of courage often; my writings on disaster preparedness presuppose that a certain amount is necessary to be resilient in the face of adversity. Yet, can a person really know what they will do when faced with a decision that can cost them their life?

Some just naturally run towards the sound of gunfire, while others naturally run in the other direction. The Department of Homeland Security recommends going the other way in their “Run, Hide, Fight” triad for active shooter events. There are those, however, who will run towards danger. Many of these individuals are or were in the military, law enforcement, and fire/emergency services.

Examples might be hitting the beach on D-day, running into the World Trade Center on 9/11, or perhaps the nurse who ran into the building to help victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. In many of these instances, they knew they were in danger, but went above and beyond.

Rebecca Anderson, RN, died attempting rescue victims of the Oklahoma City bombing

Rebecca Anderson, RN, died attempting to rescue victims of the Oklahoma City bombing

Courage takes other forms as well. If you were, for example, the first African-American student in an all-white school district during the civil rights era or the first woman cadet in a military academy, you’ll never have to prove your bravery and determination to me in any other way.

You might think courage is an inborn virtue, constant over a lifetime. I’m not sure about that. I, personally, was a fearful little boy, then became a (stupidly) fearless teenager. I eventually morphed into an average adult. Now, in my golden years, I may have more of a tendency to head towards the sound of gunfire; after all, what have I got to lose at this point? Sit me in front of a doctor telling me that I have cancer, however, and that might be a very different story.

Then there’s the fortitude it takes to re-invent yourself. I don’t consider myself to be particularly courageous. After I retired from the active practice of medicine, I was tempted to take up golf. It was something I had tried years before but was, frankly, terrible at. Instead, I decided, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to write a blog about preparedness. That led to writing books, podcasts, a YouTube channel, and an entirely different career all about teaching others to survive natural or man-made disasters.

It’s hard to teach courage, but you can foster motivation in people. If people are taught the importance of something, they might be more apt to defend it. Loving something deeply also gives you the motivation to be brave in its defense. I can’t think of something more important than the lives of our young people. Coach Feis realized this, and acted accordingly.

Is courage contagious? Fear certainly is. If 50 people around you drop to the floor at the sound of gunfire, you might do the same. If those same people run towards the sound of gunfire, you might, too, although it puts you at risk. You might consider this foolhardiness rather than courage (Homeland Security does), but, where a gunman is concerned, you’re more likely to stop the killing by doing something other than laying on the floor in plain sight.

many founding fathers lost their entire fortune by their decision to support the patriot cause

many founding fathers lost their entire fortune and some their lives by their decision to support the patriot cause

Speaking of fear, courage is not the absence of it, but. rather, the overcoming of it. There is physical courage and there is moral courage. Our founding fathers were men of wealth and privilege, and it would have been very easy to support remaining a colony of England. But they realized the importance of freedom, and put their fates and fortunes on the line to bring forth a new nation.

Activism is a form of courage, but courage is not just the act of speaking up; sometimes, shutting up and listening to opposing viewpoints takes fortitude as well. If more people would sit down and listen to each other, we might come more easily to agreement on a lot of today’s controversies. This takes more courage than keeping a closed mind.

If we are to be resilient in the face of adversity, it is courage, above all other virtues, that will make it possible. If we are to survive as a society, it will be because of the fortitude and strength of our citizens to pick up the flag, so to speak, and move forward. That goes for active shooter incidents and it goes for every obstacle you face in life.

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Joe Alton MD

Find out more about disaster and medical preparedness with the award-winning Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for when Medical Help is Not on the Way.

How to Get Fabulous Kids Smart watch on A Tight Budget

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How to Get Fabulous Kids Smart watch on A Tight Budget    Smart watches have slowly become a necessity in the modern world. It is no longer only at the time; there are other important events that we would like our kids reminded. Producers of these devices have included many features including educational games, GPS tracking […]

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How to Get Fabulous Kids Smart watch on A Tight Budget

How to Get Fabulous Kids Smart watch on A Tight Budget    Smart watches have slowly become a necessity in the modern world. It is no longer only at the time; there are other important events that we would like our kids reminded. Producers of these devices have included many features including educational games, GPS tracking […]

The post How to Get Fabulous Kids Smart watch on A Tight Budget appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Hidden Bookshelf Drawer

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Hidden Bookshelf Drawer I dream of a day when preppers and survivalists don’t  have to hide so much. What a time it would be for the American people to come to the understanding that they are the sole keepers of their health and safety. Maybe some day we will see this switch. After last year …

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Hidden in Wall Gun Cabinet With Hidden Keypad

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Hidden in Wall Gun Cabinet With Hidden Keypad Where are your guns right now? Have they checked in lately? While I kid about guns and their overwhelming affect on society, I think its important that we realize our responsibility as preppers and gun owners. Many preppers are not trained on how to use guns and …

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Pickled Asparagus Recipe – Preserve The Taste Of Spring!

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When I first tried pickled asparagus I was pleasantly surprised at the slightly sour, yet classic flavor of the asparagus in every bite. What I wasn’t happy with was the cost of jarred versions in the grocery store! So we

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17 Important Survival Hacks That Can Save Your Life

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17 Important Survival Hacks That Can Save Your Life Who popularized the hack? For a long time it was just an easy way to get around computer security. Soon it would become on of the hottest words in the English language. People were hacking diets, hacking DIY and even hacking their minds. I guess you …

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AR Adapter for glock Style Mags: American Tactical Imports Does it Right

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AR Adapter for glock Style Mags: American Tactical Imports Does it Right Ya know, sometimes its night to discuss articles that are deep in prepper philosophy. Other times I really enjoy bringing you articles that get into the homesteading aspect of prepping and self-reliance. These are gateways into freeing yourself and your soul. You know …

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Why We Must Bear Witness Of The Power Of God

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     I am increasingly aware of the importance of bearing witness of the power of God in my life — to both the Unbeliever and the Believer.  All we have to do is look around us to see the effects of Unbelief on our culture and the world.  It seems that nearly every TV show or movie includes ungodly relationships or the occult. Even a Doritos commercial blatantly displays the symbols of Freemasonry!
     It should be obvious why we need to bear witness of God’s power to the Unbelieving world… it is through our witness [both in our word testimonies and our actions] that the dying world is able to see the power of God on display and His nature is revealed. Right now, they are predominantly seeing the supernatural displayed through the Dark Side — witchcraft and the occult boldly make their presence known. But the supernatural is God’s natural realm and His power is always on display there.  When we partner with Him to bring that power into this realm, it cannot be ignored. The Unbelieving world has a decision to make — either accept or reject the reality of God and His power.
    They will either respond as Pharoah and the Pharisees did — hardening their hearts and resisting His power because it threatens their own power and the desires of their hearts of stone — OR their hearts are changed when that supernatural power is displayed [through me] when I lay hands on them and heal a sore neck or knee; or work with Jesus to heal an emotional wound; and yes, even when, in the Name of Jesus, the spirit of fear or anger is cast at the foot of the Cross.  Either way, these actions testify of God’s love for them by invading this earth with His power, and it demands a decision: belief or unbelief; acceptance or rejection.
     And God always has a foundational purpose in my witness of His power: to change a person’s heart and bring them into relationship with Him, resulting in their true repentance and His forgiveness. But it is also so that they see His power exhibited, hear the “Good News” that the Kingdom of God has invaded the earth, and this power is available to them to bring others into relationship with Him. But I find that it is not only the Unbelievers that can benefit from my witness, but Believers, too.
     The believing Body of Christ is just as guilty of denying God’s power in this realm as the unbelieving world.  Why? Because they do not have their own testimonies. They have access to the power and authority of the Living Christ, but do not acknowledge it or exercise it. They are just like the sons of Ephraim in Psalm 78: Though they were all equipped warriors, each with weapons, when the battle began they retreated and ran away in fear. They didn’t really believe the promises of God;they refused to trust Him and move forward in faith.They forgot His wonderful works and the miracles of the past…

     Because the modern Church has abandoned the prophetic promise Jesus made in Matthew 11, they don’t have testimonies to lean on. What promise was that? In Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus gives a prophetic promise and warning:
     Then Jesus began to openly denounce the cities where he had done most of his mighty miracles, because the people failed to turn away from sin and return to God. He said, “How tragic it will be for the city of Chorazin! And how horrible for the city of Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles that I performed in Korazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have humbled themselves and repented, and turned from their sins. Tyre and Sidon will better off on judgment day than you And Capernaum—do you really think you’ll be exalted because of the great miracles I have done there? No! You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. For if the miracles I worked in your streets were done in Sodom, it would still be standing today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom in the day of judgment than it will be for you.”
     Jesus declares that the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum saw more signs and wonders and miracles than all the rest combined. Jesus was limited with what He could do in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58), but these were cities that must have responded to His power and had a measure of faith because He demonstrated God’s power so many times through countless miracles there. He even says that Capernaum is exalted to Heaven because miracles were done and they believed it was the power of God. They had testimonies — but they did not act on them!
     The result? Jesus says to these cities who had seen and believed in the miracles, You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. Why the scathing judgment? They believed in the power they had seen, right? They believed in the miracles, but they did not repent. They had seen His power and believed, but it did not change the perspective on their lives – their belief did not make His activities (healing, casting out demons, etc) the focus and ambition of their lives. When we see that kind of power and the revelation that Jesus wants us to continue His work – and we believe, but don’t act upon it – then it’s just religionand we never really change ourselves — or others.
      I have personally seen this myself. Years ago, Mark and I were members of a large congregation who had a successful ministry called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. We would load up vans with food, clothing, and necessities and deliver them to the homeless throughout our big metropolitan city. The Church, and those who volunteered to serve the homeless, were sincere in this ministry that offered mercy and charity; and the homeless people certainly acknowledged the kindness of the Church. But it was not always effective to bring repentance among those we served. In fact, I would say that it was rarely effective. Why? Our little group that approached the homeless were seen as no different than the Red Cross, the Girl or Boy Scouts, the Kiwanis Club, or any other service organization that met their physical needs. We had no testimonies of the power of God in our lives, because we weren’t believing [or useful] vessels that exercised that power, or testified of it. Our hearts were sincere in serving the homeless, but we were powerless in changing their hearts or lives.
     So, can you see the warning Jesus gave? Witnessing miracles and hearing testimonies of the power of God — yet failing to repent and believe in God’s power, and demonstrating that power to effect change in another’s heart, will lead to His judgment. But what about the promise? If the powerful miracles that He demonstrated in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum had been taken to Tyre and Sidon, “they would have humbled themselves, and repented, and turned from their sins”. It was the responsibility of those believers in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum to bear witness [in words and action] of the power of God [miracles, signs and wonders] in their lives so that the lives of those in Tyre and Sidon could be changed.

     How is it any different for us today? Unless the Body of Christ comes to believe [and act on] the witness of the Word that God’s signs and wonders are just as relevant for us today as they were when Jesus came to model them for us, then we will have no testimonies to share with the Lost. And what’s even sadder for me, is that those unbelieving Believers within the Body will scarcely be better off than the Lost. We, who have picked up the mantle of the First Century Church, and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and continuing the work of our Lord to demonstrate the power of Heaven to invade this Earth (the Kingdom of God is at hand) have a tremendous responsibility to share our testimonies.

     It is our witness of this power in us that will change lives and cities; that will change our culture and our nation. It begins with us. We must not be afraid to be ridiculed or judged — by the Body of Christ or the Lost. We must be bold in declaring our witness, no matter the cost. And it will cost us! We will be accused [by the Church] of being deceived; our friends and family will distance themselves; and because you are now boldly representing the Kingdom of God on earth, you can expect the Enemy to try to shut you down with physical and spiritual attacks. 
     But we are no different than those early disciples of Jesus. They believed in the hope and the promises He offered them; responsibly used the authority and power He gave them; and knew that they could expect suffering and tribulation in this life for following Him — yet they were all willing to be used by God to bring His Kingdom into reality on earth. 
     So, in summation, it is important to bear witness of the power of God in our lives for the following reasons:  
• We are commanded to make disciples of all the nations — to help all people learn about Jesus, believe in Him, and obey all His commands. 
• We have been grafted into Jesus, and God has chosen us as branches that will bear fruit, i.e., bring believers into His Kingdom
• If we don’t give our testimonies of what He has done in our lives, how will the Lost hear of their Savior?
• When we bear witness of the power of God in our lives, and introduce someone to His Saving Grace and their Lord and Savior, Jesus, then the Kingdom of darkness loses another captive.
     What monuments of witness are you building for God? Begin today to ask Him for testimonies. Tell Him you are willing to host His Presence and His Power. Show the world who He is by your witness. And God bless you for being obedient to the commands of our Lord!
Psalm 145:11-12   They will tell the world of the lavish splendor of Your kingdom and preach about Your limitless power.They will demonstrate for all to see Your miracles of might and reveal the glorious majesty of Your kingdom.
    
 

 
    

Why We Must Bear Witness Of The Power Of God

     I am increasingly aware of the importance of bearing witness of the power of God in my life — to both the Unbeliever and the Believer.  All we have to do is look around us to see the effects of Unbelief on our culture and the world.  It seems that nearly every TV show or movie includes ungodly relationships or the occult. Even a Doritos commercial blatantly displays the symbols of Freemasonry!
     It should be obvious why we need to bear witness of God’s power to the Unbelieving world… it is through our witness [both in our word testimonies and our actions] that the dying world is able to see the power of God on display and His nature is revealed. Right now, they are predominantly seeing the supernatural displayed through the Dark Side — witchcraft and the occult boldly make their presence known. But the supernatural is God’s natural realm and His power is always on display there.  When we partner with Him to bring that power into this realm, it cannot be ignored. The Unbelieving world has a decision to make — either accept or reject the reality of God and His power.
    They will either respond as Pharoah and the Pharisees did — hardening their hearts and resisting His power because it threatens their own power and the desires of their hearts of stone — OR their hearts are changed when that supernatural power is displayed [through me] when I lay hands on them and heal a sore neck or knee; or work with Jesus to heal an emotional wound; and yes, even when, in the Name of Jesus, the spirit of fear or anger is cast at the foot of the Cross.  Either way, these actions testify of God’s love for them by invading this earth with His power, and it demands a decision: belief or unbelief; acceptance or rejection.
     And God always has a foundational purpose in my witness of His power: to change a person’s heart and bring them into relationship with Him, resulting in their true repentance and His forgiveness. But it is also so that they see His power exhibited, hear the “Good News” that the Kingdom of God has invaded the earth, and this power is available to them to bring others into relationship with Him. But I find that it is not only the Unbelievers that can benefit from my witness, but Believers, too.
     The believing Body of Christ is just as guilty of denying God’s power in this realm as the unbelieving world.  Why? Because they do not have their own testimonies. They have access to the power and authority of the Living Christ, but do not acknowledge it or exercise it. They are just like the sons of Ephraim in Psalm 78: Though they were all equipped warriors, each with weapons, when the battle began they retreated and ran away in fear. They didn’t really believe the promises of God;they refused to trust Him and move forward in faith.They forgot His wonderful works and the miracles of the past…

     Because the modern Church has abandoned the prophetic promise Jesus made in Matthew 11, they don’t have testimonies to lean on. What promise was that? In Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus gives a prophetic promise and warning:
     Then Jesus began to openly denounce the cities where he had done most of his mighty miracles, because the people failed to turn away from sin and return to God. He said, “How tragic it will be for the city of Chorazin! And how horrible for the city of Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles that I performed in Korazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have humbled themselves and repented, and turned from their sins. Tyre and Sidon will better off on judgment day than you And Capernaum—do you really think you’ll be exalted because of the great miracles I have done there? No! You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. For if the miracles I worked in your streets were done in Sodom, it would still be standing today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom in the day of judgment than it will be for you.”
     Jesus declares that the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum saw more signs and wonders and miracles than all the rest combined. Jesus was limited with what He could do in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58), but these were cities that must have responded to His power and had a measure of faith because He demonstrated God’s power so many times through countless miracles there. He even says that Capernaum is exalted to Heaven because miracles were done and they believed it was the power of God. They had testimonies — but they did not act on them!
     The result? Jesus says to these cities who had seen and believed in the miracles, You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. Why the scathing judgment? They believed in the power they had seen, right? They believed in the miracles, but they did not repent. They had seen His power and believed, but it did not change the perspective on their lives – their belief did not make His activities (healing, casting out demons, etc) the focus and ambition of their lives. When we see that kind of power and the revelation that Jesus wants us to continue His work – and we believe, but don’t act upon it – then it’s just religionand we never really change ourselves — or others.
      I have personally seen this myself. Years ago, Mark and I were members of a large congregation who had a successful ministry called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. We would load up vans with food, clothing, and necessities and deliver them to the homeless throughout our big metropolitan city. The Church, and those who volunteered to serve the homeless, were sincere in this ministry that offered mercy and charity; and the homeless people certainly acknowledged the kindness of the Church. But it was not always effective to bring repentance among those we served. In fact, I would say that it was rarely effective. Why? Our little group that approached the homeless were seen as no different than the Red Cross, the Girl or Boy Scouts, the Kiwanis Club, or any other service organization that met their physical needs. We had no testimonies of the power of God in our lives, because we weren’t believing [or useful] vessels that exercised that power, or testified of it. Our hearts were sincere in serving the homeless, but we were powerless in changing their hearts or lives.
     So, can you see the warning Jesus gave? Witnessing miracles and hearing testimonies of the power of God — yet failing to repent and believe in God’s power, and demonstrating that power to effect change in another’s heart, will lead to His judgment. But what about the promise? If the powerful miracles that He demonstrated in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum had been taken to Tyre and Sidon, “they would have humbled themselves, and repented, and turned from their sins”. It was the responsibility of those believers in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum to bear witness [in words and action] of the power of God [miracles, signs and wonders] in their lives so that the lives of those in Tyre and Sidon could be changed.

     How is it any different for us today? Unless the Body of Christ comes to believe [and act on] the witness of the Word that God’s signs and wonders are just as relevant for us today as they were when Jesus came to model them for us, then we will have no testimonies to share with the Lost. And what’s even sadder for me, is that those unbelieving Believers within the Body will scarcely be better off than the Lost. We, who have picked up the mantle of the First Century Church, and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and continuing the work of our Lord to demonstrate the power of Heaven to invade this Earth (the Kingdom of God is at hand) have a tremendous responsibility to share our testimonies.

     It is our witness of this power in us that will change lives and cities; that will change our culture and our nation. It begins with us. We must not be afraid to be ridiculed or judged — by the Body of Christ or the Lost. We must be bold in declaring our witness, no matter the cost. And it will cost us! We will be accused [by the Church] of being deceived; our friends and family will distance themselves; and because you are now boldly representing the Kingdom of God on earth, you can expect the Enemy to try to shut you down with physical and spiritual attacks. 
     But we are no different than those early disciples of Jesus. They believed in the hope and the promises He offered them; responsibly used the authority and power He gave them; and knew that they could expect suffering and tribulation in this life for following Him — yet they were all willing to be used by God to bring His Kingdom into reality on earth. 
     So, in summation, it is important to bear witness of the power of God in our lives for the following reasons:  
• We are commanded to make disciples of all the nations — to help all people learn about Jesus, believe in Him, and obey all His commands. 
• We have been grafted into Jesus, and God has chosen us as branches that will bear fruit, i.e., bring believers into His Kingdom
• If we don’t give our testimonies of what He has done in our lives, how will the Lost hear of their Savior?
• When we bear witness of the power of God in our lives, and introduce someone to His Saving Grace and their Lord and Savior, Jesus, then the Kingdom of darkness loses another captive.
     What monuments of witness are you building for God? Begin today to ask Him for testimonies. Tell Him you are willing to host His Presence and His Power. Show the world who He is by your witness. And God bless you for being obedient to the commands of our Lord!
Psalm 145:11-12   They will tell the world of the lavish splendor of Your kingdom and preach about Your limitless power.They will demonstrate for all to see Your miracles of might and reveal the glorious majesty of Your kingdom.
    
 

 
    

Why We Must Bear Witness Of The Power Of God

     I am increasingly aware of the importance of bearing witness of the power of God in my life — to both the Unbeliever and the Believer.  All we have to do is look around us to see the effects of Unbelief on our culture and the world.  It seems that nearly every TV show or movie includes ungodly relationships or the occult. Even a Doritos commercial blatantly displays the symbols of Freemasonry!
     It should be obvious why we need to bear witness of God’s power to the Unbelieving world… it is through our witness [both in our word testimonies and our actions] that the dying world is able to see the power of God on display and His nature is revealed. Right now, they are predominantly seeing the supernatural displayed through the Dark Side — witchcraft and the occult boldly make their presence known. But the supernatural is God’s natural realm and His power is always on display there.  When we partner with Him to bring that power into this realm, it cannot be ignored. The Unbelieving world has a decision to make — either accept or reject the reality of God and His power.
    They will either respond as Pharoah and the Pharisees did — hardening their hearts and resisting His power because it threatens their own power and the desires of their hearts of stone — OR their hearts are changed when that supernatural power is displayed [through me] when I lay hands on them and heal a sore neck or knee; or work with Jesus to heal an emotional wound; and yes, even when, in the Name of Jesus, the spirit of fear or anger is cast at the foot of the Cross.  Either way, these actions testify of God’s love for them by invading this earth with His power, and it demands a decision: belief or unbelief; acceptance or rejection.
     And God always has a foundational purpose in my witness of His power: to change a person’s heart and bring them into relationship with Him, resulting in their true repentance and His forgiveness. But it is also so that they see His power exhibited, hear the “Good News” that the Kingdom of God has invaded the earth, and this power is available to them to bring others into relationship with Him. But I find that it is not only the Unbelievers that can benefit from my witness, but Believers, too.
     The believing Body of Christ is just as guilty of denying God’s power in this realm as the unbelieving world.  Why? Because they do not have their own testimonies. They have access to the power and authority of the Living Christ, but do not acknowledge it or exercise it. They are just like the sons of Ephraim in Psalm 78: Though they were all equipped warriors, each with weapons, when the battle began they retreated and ran away in fear. They didn’t really believe the promises of God;they refused to trust Him and move forward in faith.They forgot His wonderful works and the miracles of the past…

     Because the modern Church has abandoned the prophetic promise Jesus made in Matthew 11, they don’t have testimonies to lean on. What promise was that? In Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus gives a prophetic promise and warning:
     Then Jesus began to openly denounce the cities where he had done most of his mighty miracles, because the people failed to turn away from sin and return to God. He said, “How tragic it will be for the city of Chorazin! And how horrible for the city of Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles that I performed in Korazin and Bethsaida had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have humbled themselves and repented, and turned from their sins. Tyre and Sidon will better off on judgment day than you And Capernaum—do you really think you’ll be exalted because of the great miracles I have done there? No! You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. For if the miracles I worked in your streets were done in Sodom, it would still be standing today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom in the day of judgment than it will be for you.”
     Jesus declares that the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum saw more signs and wonders and miracles than all the rest combined. Jesus was limited with what He could do in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58), but these were cities that must have responded to His power and had a measure of faith because He demonstrated God’s power so many times through countless miracles there. He even says that Capernaum is exalted to Heaven because miracles were done and they believed it was the power of God. They had testimonies — but they did not act on them!
     The result? Jesus says to these cities who had seen and believed in the miracles, You’ll be brought down to the depths of hellbecause of your rejection of me. Why the scathing judgment? They believed in the power they had seen, right? They believed in the miracles, but they did not repent. They had seen His power and believed, but it did not change the perspective on their lives – their belief did not make His activities (healing, casting out demons, etc) the focus and ambition of their lives. When we see that kind of power and the revelation that Jesus wants us to continue His work – and we believe, but don’t act upon it – then it’s just religionand we never really change ourselves — or others.
      I have personally seen this myself. Years ago, Mark and I were members of a large congregation who had a successful ministry called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. We would load up vans with food, clothing, and necessities and deliver them to the homeless throughout our big metropolitan city. The Church, and those who volunteered to serve the homeless, were sincere in this ministry that offered mercy and charity; and the homeless people certainly acknowledged the kindness of the Church. But it was not always effective to bring repentance among those we served. In fact, I would say that it was rarely effective. Why? Our little group that approached the homeless were seen as no different than the Red Cross, the Girl or Boy Scouts, the Kiwanis Club, or any other service organization that met their physical needs. We had no testimonies of the power of God in our lives, because we weren’t believing [or useful] vessels that exercised that power, or testified of it. Our hearts were sincere in serving the homeless, but we were powerless in changing their hearts or lives.
     So, can you see the warning Jesus gave? Witnessing miracles and hearing testimonies of the power of God — yet failing to repent and believe in God’s power, and demonstrating that power to effect change in another’s heart, will lead to His judgment. But what about the promise? If the powerful miracles that He demonstrated in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum had been taken to Tyre and Sidon, “they would have humbled themselves, and repented, and turned from their sins”. It was the responsibility of those believers in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum to bear witness [in words and action] of the power of God [miracles, signs and wonders] in their lives so that the lives of those in Tyre and Sidon could be changed.

     How is it any different for us today? Unless the Body of Christ comes to believe [and act on] the witness of the Word that God’s signs and wonders are just as relevant for us today as they were when Jesus came to model them for us, then we will have no testimonies to share with the Lost. And what’s even sadder for me, is that those unbelieving Believers within the Body will scarcely be better off than the Lost. We, who have picked up the mantle of the First Century Church, and are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and continuing the work of our Lord to demonstrate the power of Heaven to invade this Earth (the Kingdom of God is at hand) have a tremendous responsibility to share our testimonies.

     It is our witness of this power in us that will change lives and cities; that will change our culture and our nation. It begins with us. We must not be afraid to be ridiculed or judged — by the Body of Christ or the Lost. We must be bold in declaring our witness, no matter the cost. And it will cost us! We will be accused [by the Church] of being deceived; our friends and family will distance themselves; and because you are now boldly representing the Kingdom of God on earth, you can expect the Enemy to try to shut you down with physical and spiritual attacks. 
     But we are no different than those early disciples of Jesus. They believed in the hope and the promises He offered them; responsibly used the authority and power He gave them; and knew that they could expect suffering and tribulation in this life for following Him — yet they were all willing to be used by God to bring His Kingdom into reality on earth. 
     So, in summation, it is important to bear witness of the power of God in our lives for the following reasons:  
• We are commanded to make disciples of all the nations — to help all people learn about Jesus, believe in Him, and obey all His commands. 
• We have been grafted into Jesus, and God has chosen us as branches that will bear fruit, i.e., bring believers into His Kingdom
• If we don’t give our testimonies of what He has done in our lives, how will the Lost hear of their Savior?
• When we bear witness of the power of God in our lives, and introduce someone to His Saving Grace and their Lord and Savior, Jesus, then the Kingdom of darkness loses another captive.
     What monuments of witness are you building for God? Begin today to ask Him for testimonies. Tell Him you are willing to host His Presence and His Power. Show the world who He is by your witness. And God bless you for being obedient to the commands of our Lord!
Psalm 145:11-12   They will tell the world of the lavish splendor of Your kingdom and preach about Your limitless power.They will demonstrate for all to see Your miracles of might and reveal the glorious majesty of Your kingdom.
    
 

 
    

What is an “Assault Rifle”?

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

The news these days is full of the debate about assault rifles.  But what exactly are we talking about?

Many people claim that an “AR-15” is an “assault rifle”.  And they are about “half” correct, because there are three possible definitions of assault rifle:  the technical one, the legal one and the functional one.  They also think that “AR” stands for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle”, but they are completely wrong on that.  It stands for “Armalite Rifle” after the company which invented them.

– Technically, an “assault rifle” is defined as “an intermediate-range, magazine-fed military weapon designed to be fired with two hands from the shoulder that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire”.  Those who don’t know what they are talking about and those who want to get rid of guns and don’t mind lying to do so, have extended this to include “or semi-automatic versions of these”.  Everyone agrees that the M-16 and the AK-47 are assault rifles.  Some people insist that the AR-15 and the semi-automatic only version of the AK-47 are also “assault rifles”.  Note that true (fully automatic) assault rifles are already very highly regulated.  None can have been manufactured for civilian use since 1986, which means the limited and dwindling supply of existing registered ones has resulted in ridiculously high prices (up to $60,000).  To get one you have to pass an extensive federal background check, pay a $200 transfer tax, and wait for many months.  And once you have one, there are restrictions on what you can do with it which do not apply to semi-automatic only firearms.

– Legal definitions are what are specified in laws which specify “assault rifles” instead of the more accurate and politically ineffective “Modern Sporting Rifles” (MSR) or the marginally accurate “assault style rifles”, and vary from Federal to State, and from State to State.  Of course, true assault rifles are already covered by the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1934), the GCA (Gun Control Act of 1968) and the FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986), so any law about “assault rifles” only apply to the semi-automatic versions.  And these laws sometimes list specific models (such as AR-15 and AK-47) and typically (also) refer to “semi-automatic rifles which can accept a magazine removable without opening the action (or a capacity of over 10 rounds), AND have one or more ‘features’ such as a collapsible or folding stock, a thumb hole stock or pistol grip, a vertical forward grip, a bayonet lug, or a flash hider.  In other words, how it LOOKS, not how it works.  Under these laws, an AR-15 is an assault rifle, and a Mini-14 is not an assault rifle even though it does exactly the same thing; it just looks “less military” (even though it is a shrunken version of the M-14 military rifle).

Note: This is NOT an assault rifle “by definition” though the Editor would gladly take this into any combat situation against any other rifle.

Functionally, if a person uses a rifle to assault someone, it is an assault rifle.  Even if it is a single shot, black powder, muzzle loading rifle which is considered a “curio or relic”, is not regulated and can be ordered through the mail.

So an AR-15 is not an assault rifle by the original, unpoliticized technical definition, is usually an assault rifle by the legal definition, and is very seldom is an assault rifle by the functional definition.  Oh, and guess what:  No matter how any law defines “assault rifles”, there will be a way around it.  So then all semi-autos will need to be addressed.  And after they are no longer a factor, we will find that lever action rifles and pump action rifles and revolver rifles are pretty quick firing as well.  Step by step the people will be pushed further and further into being prey for anyone who wishes to subjugate them.  Just keep this in mind while we continue to discuss “assault rifles”.

Should Assault Rifles be “Banned”?

Whenever an AR-15 or other MSR is used by some fame seeking psychopath, there is a call to “ban assault rifles”.

At first glance, it would seem that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution would prevent this.  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.  This was written after the United States had just rebelled against a tyrannical government to achieve freedom from the same, and was primarily intended to make sure that as a people, we would never be in a condition where we could not rebel against tyranny.

Thus, let’s dissect this.  It starts with a “justification” clause (the reason for the amendment) and ends with an “effect” clause (the purpose of the amendment).  The justification was to “ensure the security of a free (from tyranny) State (the political entity covered by the document, that is, the new United States)”  And how were they going to ensure this security?  With a “well regulated Militia”.  In those days, the militia was considered to be every able bodied white man between the ages of 18 and 45.  Under normal conditions, these people  would not be actively IN the militia, but they could be called together and trained and lead (thus well regulated) if the conditions warranted.  And the only way to practically do that was if “all” of them had their own personal arms and experience in their use.  This means arms which are at or near to the level of sophistication of those weapons likely to be used by the tyrant’s forces.  Today, the militia would include all races and probably at least some women.

Thus the “effect” clause is the most important part of the Amendment.  And the effect is a “right” and the group to whom that right applies.  The right is “to keep and bear Arms”, with Arms meaning weapons suitable for defense against a tyrant or tyrannical government.  Otherwise, the purpose of the amendment is without value.  The target group is “the people”, that is citizens of the United States.  That has been massaged to be interpreted as the subset of those people who have not proven themselves to be a danger if in possession of firearms, including released criminals and the mentally unbalanced.  If the justice system really did a reasonably effective job of rehabilitating criminals, than it seems obvious that after “paying their debt to society”, criminals would be able to restore this right, particularly those whose criminal acts were non-violent.  Under our current justice system, current restrictions on this restoration of rights can have a case about it made both ways.  As for the mentally unbalanced, they are sick and should be cured before they have ANY right which will affect the rest of society.  But without ANY valid indication of danger from a person, any restriction of gun rights appears to be prohibited (“shall not be infringed”; that is limited, undermined or encroached on).

“Arms” have always been interpreted as “personal” weapons.  I don’t imagine anyone, including the founding fathers, thought that squad or higher level weaponry (cannons in their day) would be either appropriate for individuals, or likely to be effective if used by an individual during a rebellion against tyranny.  In 1934, the violence of prohibition resulted in the first real attack on the Second Amendment, when they decided that machine guns, sawed off shotguns and rifles, and silencers were “not appropriate for civilians“.  They did not prohibit them, just regulated the heck out of them and added a ruinous tax, about half the price of a Model T car for each one transferred.  They wanted to include handguns in the law, but in the end, left them out.  Eventually, this law (NFA) was “gutted” for being unconstitutional.  Not for violating the Second Amendment, oddly enough, but the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination.  Since the weapons specified in the NFA had to be registered, and the act of registering was sometimes admission of a crime, in 1968 a new law was passed which eliminated the need for “registration”.  In fact, there was no longer ANY way to register an unregistered NFA weapon after the effective date of the GCA, making all of them which were not registered by that date, illegal.  The new law, which was approved by the court as being Constitutional, was the requirement for every transfer to go through a special class of dealers, ensuring that the new owner would be known to, and vetted by, the BATFE, the governmental agency tasked with administering federal firearms law.  To eliminate any question of self-incrimination, it was prohibited from using the information from the transfer for any criminal indictment.  With the passage of this law, any NFA weapon found in the possession of any person other than the one it was last transferred to was considered “unregistered” and resulted in $250,000 in fines and 10 years in jail for that person.

So back to the original question.  Again, we need to look at the word, “banned“, being used.  Technically, it means “prohibited, not allowed”.  This would make possession by law abiding, non-crazy people illegal, which would seem to be an easily shown violation of the Second Amendment.  Even if it could get over the hump of apparently violating the Constitution, many of these “assault rifles” are fairly high in price; often over $1000 and sometimes over $2000 or even $3000.  When you add in accessories which would become useless without the rifle, you are talking about a potentially huge hit to a person’s net worth.  Not to mention dealers and manufacturers and accessory makers and importers; an entire industry.  Taking someone’s (previously) legally owned property without just compensation would seem to be yet another Constitutional problem.  A way around this might be to “buy” them, but then you get into a mess with valuation, which is not just market value prior to the new law.  And the potential for fraud would be extreme.  There would be some people who just would not give them up, giving a healthy boost to the percentage of our population who would be criminals.

So it seems that banning assault rifles according to the actual meaning of the word “ban” would cause more problems than it could possibly solve.

 

So What Other Options are There? 

There actually WAS a federal “ban” implemented.  Of course, it was not REALLY a “ban”, because every existing weapon which fell under the ban could continue to be owned and used and transferred.  The law specified “no more can be made or imported except for use by the government”.  What was the impact?  On use of these weapons in criminal acts, not much, since there were so many of them and they were not used criminally that often.  Because of the complete stop to any more being produced or available, the price went up.  The law had a “sunset” clause in it, and when the specified time period had elapsed (2004), the law was not renewed.

So one option would be a similar law which “grandfathers” in existing “assault rifles”.  This would probably be even less effective than the last one, since the popularity of these rifles has exploded and there would be a huge supply still available.  I’m sure the politicians and those who hate guns (or at least gun ownership; they don’t seem to mind hiring armed guards) will celebrate this “ban” even though once again, they misuse the term and have provided no significant effect on violence.

Another option would be to add “assault rifles” to the NFA list.  I imagine the BATFE would have to get a lot bigger to handle this.  And any minor reduction in violent crime would be wildly overshadowed by the loss of effectiveness of a militia called up without most of the people having any exposure to about the most effective personal weapon.  Also it would be a major shift in the BATFE mission, since currently they administer the NFA law; and a new law covering “assault rifles” would need to be passed and put in their mission.

Controlling People Rather Than Things

Frankly, the “best” option would be to do nothing about “assault rifles”, because despite all the rhetoric, the GUN has nothing to do with these acts of violence.  If we could just look at things clearly, we could see where really effective measures could reduce these horrible acts.  First of all, quit making “gun-free zones” which are highly attractive to psychos because they may be crazy, but they are not stupid enough to ignore that if they have the only gun, they can’t be stopped.  Next, I’d guess at least half these nut-jobs do it for the fame or to “make a statement”, and if it was illegal to publish their name or picture or any information about them except in the most general, non-identifiable and derogatory terms, the number of these incidents would plummet.

But although the guns are “innocent” of these events, gun OWNERS are not without some blame, by leaving guns where psychos can get them or by selling them to those who should not have them.  It is not a huge problem, but it does happen on occasion.  Background checks on commercial sales are fairly useful, and the current methodology is moderately effective.  But it is only as effective as the databases which are used, and these need work.  There are too many cases where people who should be in the database are not, and some cases where people who should not be in the database are (leading to false rejection).  So, “fixing” the databases should be a high priority (this does not mean adding people who are not actually a danger, such as people who have someone else do their income taxes).  There are those who claim that private sales not requiring a background check is a “loophole” to the law.  As usual, these people misuse a term for their own benefit.  A “loophole” is an UNINTENTIONAL misuse of a law.  The exception of background checks on private sales is deliberately allowed in the law, because legal ownership of something includes the ability to sell it when it is no longer wanted or if money is suddenly needed.  It is not currently possible for a private seller to do a background check, and involving a FFL is difficult and often much too expensive.  Also, the checks COULD be used for an underground registration system, and that would be a problem someday (universal registration always has led to confiscation).

That being said, I would support an “instant universal background check” to include private sales IF AND ONLY IF, 1) it could be done by a private individual for free or small fee (preferably usable as a tax credit; we would be doing this for the country, not ourselves), 2) the background check was strictly on the person attempting to buy and had no indication whatsoever what gun was being purchased, 3) that any approved buyers would have their records deleted after 30 days or other reasonable time period, and 4) that any agency which maintained any records after that time period would have every employee of that agency fined, except any employee who reported the transgression would be rewarded.  Any elected official which requested or required the agency do this, would be removed from office.

Alternatively, do away with background checks and issue a “good guy” card to those who undergo a background check, top level safety training and basic firearm operation training.  This should be affordable for all, and would be confiscated if the person was shown to be dangerous.  Then any transfer would require inspection of a current card before proceeding.  Or have both systems, with the background check done for those who don’t have the card and the card used instead of the background check (like a concealed carry permit is today) for those who have it.

Conclusions

Basically gun control has limited effectiveness in reducing violence, because the gun is merely a tool of a violent person.  The only people who are affected by gun control laws, are those who obey the law, and don’t commit acts of violence.  And the effects on those law abiding people can be quite onerous.  Any law passed will only create more victims (who no longer can be armed) and more criminals (formerly law abiding people who rebel against the new law).  When the last gun is removed from civilian hands, violence will not cease; violent people will still have knives and baseball bats and hammers and fists.  And they have ready access to items which can cause much more damage than guns.

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The post What is an “Assault Rifle”? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

St. Patrick’s Day Traditions In Our Home

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I’m so excited to share St. Patrick’s Day traditions in our home. I miss having all my daughters and their families nearby, but I know they are still carrying on at least some of our St. Patrick’s Day traditions to this day. There is something about having our kids and grandkids wake up in the morning on this very fun holiday and see the look in their eyes when they see all the green stuff. It’s magical, and I find so much joy at that very moment!! I wish I could say that these items are colored with natural foods, no, I use green food coloring and lots of it.

There are so few holidays when we use food coloring and I go all out on the holidays and love every minute of it. As I write this post I can still picture the meals I fixed over the years on this very special holiday. Mark doesn’t care for corned beef and cabbage, but I grew up on it, so it works for me. I learned very quickly after I purchased my first pressure cooker how tender you can make that tough piece of corned beef meat. Oh, baby, this recipe rocks!

St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Slow Cooker Recipe:

3 pounds Corned beef with seasonings included
Cabbage-washed and sliced as desired
Carrots-washed and sliced amount desired
Potatoes-washed and cut into pieces desired
Onions-peeled and sliced
Water to cover corned beef
***Mustard and 1/4 cup brown sugar for the last 20-30 minutes to brown the meat shown below.

Remove the outer plastic package the meat comes packaged in and place the meat in the slow cooker with the seasoning and small amount of juice from the bag. Completely cover the meat with water. I set my slow cooker for ten hours on LOW. I set the slow cooker the night before. The following morning, I add the cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions. I set the slow cooker to cook another 6 hours on HIGH. You will add more water if needed.
Here is an awesome trick that makes the corned beef look and tastes fabulous. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place just the corned beef on a greased shallow pan FAT side up. Lather the fat with mustard and sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Bake 20-30 minutes until the brown sugar looks crispy. Serve immediately with vegetables.

PRESSURE Cooker Recipe:

Add your corned beef to your pressure cooker with the juices from the packaging plus one cup of water. Cook on high for 90 minutes and check for tenderness. If it’s still too tough, pressure an additional 30 minutes. Add the cabbage and vegetables of choice and pressure another 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and do the same as above to give the meat a yummy texture and flavor.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place just the corned beef on a greased shallow pan FAT side up. Lather the fat with mustard and sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Bake 20-30 minutes until the brown sugar looks crispy. Serve immediately with vegetables.

PRINTABLE recipe: The Best Corned Beef And Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day Green Bread

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

4 Cups Warm Milk
8 Tsp. SAF Instant Yeast
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Oil (I use olive oil)
3 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Warm Water
13-14 Cups White Flour
1 Ounce Food Coloring (Green for St. Patrick’s Day)

I start with a Bosch Mixer, although you could make this in a bowl. I put the yeast, warm water, salt, oil, and sugar in the bowl. I then add the eggs and lightly mix it in the Bosch so the eggs do not “cook.” This is where I add the food coloring. Then I add the warm milk and flour slowly. I continue to add flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the Bosch bowl. I knead for about 7-8 minutes. I place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let the dough rise until double the original size. I punch down the dough and make into loaves and place these in greased pans (I make seven-1-pound loaves). I let it rise once again (using the same plastic wrap) until it doubles and then I bake them at 350 degrees for 27 minutes. I lightly butter the tops of each loaf after baking and remove from the pans.
I like to use different colors of food coloring for different holidays. It takes a whole bottle (1 ounce) of green food coloring for this recipe. ***You can cut the bread into circles, that’s really fun. You can also make French Toast with green bread, I love it!

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

PRINTABLE recipe: Green Bread by Food Storage Moms

Green Finger Jello

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Ingredients:

Two 6-ounce boxes lime Jello Gelatin (choose any flavor of gelatin you want)

3 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

Five 1-ounce packages Knox Original Unflavored Gelatin

2-1/2 cups cool water

Instructions:
  1. Boil the lime Jello, sugar and water (3 cups) stirring constantly. Dissolve the Knox Unflavored Gelatin by stirring in the cool water (2-1/2 cups) and set aside.
  2. After boiling the lime Jello, combine it with the Knox Unflavored Gelatin mixture and pour into a greased (spray with vegetable oil) 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Set in the refrigerator until it sets up and is ready to cut into cubes, or use cookie cutters.

PRINTABLE recipe: Green Finger “Jello” Gelatin by Food Storage Moms

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Green St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

Green Milk, milk with green food coloring

Green orange juice, add green food coloring

Green pancakes, pancakes with green food coloring

Green waffles, waffles with green food coloring

Mashed potatoes with green food coloring

Green gelatin cut into Shamrocks

Pancakes, 1/2-dollar size (gold coins)

Cold cereal with green milk

Green breadsticks (bread dough with green food coloring)

Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting by Linda

Please share your St. Patrick’s Day traditions with me, I would love to hear what you do, enjoy. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected.

My favorite things:

Lasagna Pan for jello

Shamrock cookie/jello cutter

Copyright pictures:

St. Patrick’s Day: AdobeStock_103485383 by Tierney

Corned Beef: AdobeStock_79368053 by Brent Hofacker

The post St. Patrick’s Day Traditions In Our Home appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Link – California hiker found after 6 days missing in Yosemite park

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YOSEMITE, Calif. (AP) — A well-prepared California hiker missing for six days in the icy backcountry of Yosemite National Park was found in good health after an extensive search, officials said.

A helicopter crew spotted Alan Chow on Friday above Wapama Falls near the center of the park, where overnight temperatures dipped below freezing, the National Park Service said.

Park Ranger Scott Gediman told San Francisco Bay Area news station KTVU-TV that the 36-year-old Oakland resident got lost because usually well-marked trails were covered in snow.

Chow had done everything right to survive — he was prepared and didn’t “try to walk around and get even more lost,” Gediman said.

He “did the right thing by setting up his tent, using melted snow for drinking water, had some food, had warm clothing and was able to stay put,” the ranger said.

Not to minimize the whole thing, but I suspect this guy’s mindset and ability to remain clear-headed and think his situation through helped him at least as much as the gear.

Loses a point for not telling people when to expect him back though.

Christian Pacifism – Turn The Other Cheek

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Christian pacifism is the belief that any form of violence is incompatible with Christian faith. The phrase ‘turn the other cheek’ really, honestly means that if someone strikes you on one cheek, you are to offer them the other cheek to strike, without any resistance.

The post Christian Pacifism – Turn The Other Cheek appeared first on Just Plain Living.

How Does Sleep Affect Gun Accuracy?

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Shooting is a fantastic hobby as it helps you focus, relax, and get away from the daily problems. However, regardless of the fact that you’re doing it for fun or you’re a hunter with an impressive record, it still requires practice. So you can’t expect to maintain the […]

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