Sunday, June 18, 2017

Prepping Is More Important Than Ever

I don’t believe it is as pervasive as certain people may think, but there is a notion among some in the liberty movement that with Donald Trump in the White House the need for crisis preparedness has subsided. Because preppers and survivalists tend to lean towards the conservative side of things, the urgency for prepping almost always explodes when the Democratic party is “in power.” As they say, for example, Barack Obama was perhaps the greatest gun salesman in history with the gun industry growing over 158% during his two terms.

Now with Republican dominance in Congress, Senate and White House, there is a possible temptation for conservatives to become complacent and comfortable once again. In 2017 so far, ATF background checks have dropped by at least half a million since this time last year, and gun company stocks are turning negative. There are also rumors floating around that survival food companies are suffering from a severe crunch in sales. Though I have not yet found this to be substantiated, I can verify that many preppers I deal with on a daily basis seem to have relaxed their guard.

I would point out that this is not necessarily all due to Trump. The gun market is likely saturated after eight years of Obama, and one must also consider that as the U.S. economy continues to decline, surplus cash used for prep gear is going to dry up. That said, I do think it is important to examine any assumptions liberty activists might have in terms of a Trump driven “recovery.”

When I began publishing my post-election analysis on what I felt was a predictable Trump win, I did find anger among some activists who decided I was being “too pessimistic,” and that I should join the movement in celebration. Being that I called a Trump presidency half a year in advance based on the premise that the globalists needed a conservative scapegoat for the next phase of the ongoing financial crisis, it was hardly a moment of celebration for me.

There is a common delusion among those that invest themselves in politics that all that is needed to reverse the course of any nation or situation is a “strong leader” with ample cheerleading from the populace. In reality, social and geopolitical disasters are usually far beyond the means of any one politician to change. Economic disasters are even more irreversible. I wish I could pretend to be optimistic, but I am rather well studied in the history of these kinds of events.

Conservatives are especially vulnerable to the idea of a “protector on a white horse” coming to their rescue; a God-fearing hero and statesman, a general and leader of men. But, such people do not exist. There are no supermen. There are no worldly saviors. There are only common men, with common failings, destined to face extraordinary obstacles. The great men of history are not born before hand — they are forged in the crucible of crisis. Great men are not great men until proven otherwise. To assume any political leader is a great man beforehand is foolish, to say the least.

This is why blind faith in a post-Trump renaissance is misplaced. It is something that has yet to be proven, and in the meantime, there are numerous and highly visible dangers on the horizon that demand continued vigilance and preparedness. I will examine one of these primary dangers now…

The Growing Threat Of Civil Unrest

The first signs of this are surfacing as May Day is becoming a rally date for social justice mobs bent on disrupting any agenda the Trump administration might have for enforcing immigration laws. The largest of these protests is to be held in Los Angeles, but similar protests are planned nationwide as well.

From what we have seen from previous rallies, it would not be unfair to expect rioting in May. I say this because a tone shift in the left is taking place and extreme reactions are more frequent. The following video illustrates this clearly, I think…

Warning - Explicit

 In case you missed it, this guy just pulled an AR-15 on someone simply because they had a MAGA flag on their truck. Not only that, but he FILMED HIMSELF doing it and and apparently posted it on social media. That is how brazen and insane these people are becoming.

Think of it this way — could you have even imagined something like this happening during the 2012 election? It is important not to become conditioned to such behavior as being “normal.”

To be sure, this sort of thing will not be happening in certain parts of the country. In my state of Montana, the assailant would have been shot two dozen times over by our highly armed population regardless of his politics just on the self defense principle. And frankly, I am fine with that. Citizens providing security for citizens is the American way.

What I do have a problem with, though, is the increasing potential for an extreme response from conservatives in the face of leftist lunacy. Meaning, I worry about martial law with conservative support, which in my view is more and more likely over the next two years.

Contrary to popular belief among tough-government champions, martial law often instigates more violence than it solves. The harsher the crackdown, the more vicious the push-back; the more vicious the push-back the more totalitarianism is rationalized by authorities. It’s a terrible cycle.

Preparedness in terms of self defense should be self-explanatory here. During widespread mob action the rule of law is usually the first casualty, even when martial law is instituted. You also never know when some nutcase might declare you a “Trump supporter” (whether you are one or not) as he reaches for a weapon.

It is fascinating to me the level of cognitive dissonance with some liberty activists who seem to think Trump’s first term will be anything other than pure chaos. George Soros, an elitist who often funds the very groups organizing mobs to protest Trump, said it plainly:

“I think Trump will fail.”

“What’s more Soros predicted that the market’s Trump high will soon turn into a hangover. He called Trump unpredictable and unprepared, and said that combination will end up bad for the market.”

Soros and his globalist colleagues do not need to field guesses; they ENGINEER the outcomes that they “predict.” Social unrest at this fragile time would result in the exact market instability Soros mentioned, among other problems.

Look, you may believe Trump is being threatened on all sides by the so-called “deep state,” or you may believe that he has willingly surrounded himself with global elitists because he is a Trojan horse. Either way, the diagnosis for the future is not rosy. It would be naive to think that the globalists would not do everything in their power to foment calamity in the near term. It would be equally naive to believe that such an agenda could be repelled through political means.

The answer, as always, is a prepared citizenry. This can act as a deterrent as much as a measure of comfort. The more prepared the public is for any eventuality, the less affected we will be by disaster. The less affected we are by disaster, the less fearful we will be when it strikes and the less likely we will be to make stupid decisions such as throwing our support behind martial law and the wholesale erasure of the constitution. The more prepared we are, the fewer options available to the establishment when attempting to lure us into poor collective decisions.

Prepping means freedom in the face of uncertainty, and times have never been more uncertain. To summarize: A Trump White House calls for more caution, not less.

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JR Note:  Gun and Ammo prices are much lower, so NOW it the time to stock up, not when another Obama or Hillary type gun banner gets in office again and price soar.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How to Make Your Own Clay Pots

BY TIM MACWELCH - Outdoor Life 
The knowledge of how to transform mud into pottery signifies a major leap forward for prehistoric cultures, and until the development of metal cooking pots, ceramic pottery was the pinnacle of cooking technology. Clay pots are lighter than soapstone and easier to transport. They also heat up faster than stone vessels and can be made in much larger sizes than stone vessels (e.g. big enough to feed a village from one pot). To make your own clay pot, likely smaller than the village sized pot, the first part of the project involves finding the clay.


Make Your Pot

You can harvest clay from creek and river banks, or by digging down in the ground to a clay layer in areas that have clay rich soil. Clay comes in many colors, from white to red to dark grey. It can also have different textures, if sand and small bits of stone are blended in that layer. But all good pottery clay should be able to get tied in a knot. Roll the wet clay into a “rope” shape and tied a knot in it (like a pretzel). If the clay ties into a knot without breaking, it should be a good candidate for pottery. Clay can be harvested fresh and wet, right out of the ground. It can also be collected dry, in more arid climates. Grind your dry clay into powder and add a little water to rehydrate it. Before making your pot, you’ll want to add some sand or stone dust to “temper” the clay. Add one part sand or crushed quartz to two parts clay (temper should be 1/3 the volume). Once blended, the temper and clay mix is ready to form pottery. Your first project can be a bowl or very small pot. Simply shape a concave vessel from your clay mix, smoothing it and compressing it as you go. Allow it to dry briefly, until it is only a little malleable (leather dry). Place a large smooth stone in the concavity and paddle the outside of the vessel with a flat piece of wood. This compresses the walls of the pottery and helps eliminate air bubbles. Set the pottery aside to dry for several weeks, or longer, and then fire it. You can learn more complex pottery production techniques, like coil pottery, after learning the basics with these “pinch pots”.

Get Fired Up

If making a clay pot is the first hurdle to jump in this primitive technology – then firing the pot is the second hurdle. Firing sounds simple enough. You just have to get the dried clay object over 1112 degrees F to drive off the chemically bonded water. This is called the “ceramic change” and it’s irreversible. Once dried “mud” has heated enough to become ceramic, it can never “melt” like mud in the presence of water again. But of course, it’s not as simple as that. Follow these steps to have a good shot at a finished ceramic item, and minimize the chance of making a handful of broken pottery shards.
STEP 1 Let it dry. Your proposed pottery needs to dry for weeks, to eliminate all but the bonded water from its delicate walls. If there is more water than that, it will likely turn to steam and that expansion will cause cracks, breaks or violent explosions. Ironically, you need water to make pottery, but water will also break it.

STEP 2 Pre-heat gently. Dry pottery can still explode, if you quickly expose it to thermal shock. Gradually warm it and turn the item near a fire to preheat it. Don’t just a light a pile of sticks over a cold pot. Don’t fire on a breezy day, either. A cool gust of wind can send a cooling shock wave through the vulnerable pottery and break it. The use of a deep firing pit can help to control the temperature and minimize shocks.

STEP 3 Fire thoroughly. Once preheated near a fire, encircle the object or pile of objects with a ring of burning sticks and then push them closer to the pot SLOWLY, over the span of an hour. Once the pottery is very hot, then gently place sticks over it and bury it in fire.

STEP 4 Finish easy. Let the pottery cool down completely before moving it from the ashes of the fire. Inspect it for cracks. If none are visible, flick it with your fingernail. If it rings like a bell – you did a good job. If it doesn’t – you can still use it, but it may not last as long.
Have you ever made your own clay pot with raw clay from the wild? Tell us how you did it by leaving a comment.

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Quickly Craft Sharp Stone Tools

BY TIM MACWELCH - Outdoor Life
We all love our survival knives. And besides a mobile phone to call for help, knives are one of the most versatile emergency tools we can carry. But what happens if you get caught without your knife? Or you need to do some butchering work, and want to keep your only knife clean? The idea of making some stone blades may seem primitive and even backward. But sharp stone blades can fill in for your favorite knife, and the best part is that they are easier to make than you might think - and they’re disposable.
Razor edged rocks are as close as the local creek, if you happen to have the right rocks and know how to break them open. Not all rocks break with a good cutting edge, but a quick test will tell you everything you need to know. Most parts of the globe have abundant rocks that will work. You don’t even need to be a geologist to sort it all out. Flint, chert, jasper, chalcedony, quartz and obsidian can all break to make sharp cutting tools. Just try the different types of local rock to see what works for you. The easiest way to get sharp flakes of rock is a method that is commonly called bipolar percussion. In this method, you are using a hard hammer rock to break a small stone sitting on a much larger stone.
The large rock acts like an anvil, to provide unyielding resistance behind the rock you want to break. You’ll also stand up the rock you want broken on its tallest axis. Make it stand tall, as if you were trying to make an egg stand on its tallest end. Making the rock stand tall is an important part of the process, allowing the shock waves from the hammer stone strike to move through the rock on the most efficient path. Use a large, flat hammer stone to crack down hard on the rock you are breaking. The hammer rock should be 4 to 5 times larger than the rock you are trying to break. If you are lucky, you’ll fracture off some nice, thin, wickedly sharp stone blades within a few strikes. With a little practice, you should be cracking rocks into sharp blades in no time, you’ll be able to predict the outcome of the shape, and also be able to reproduce similar results from different rocks.
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Saturday, June 3, 2017

3 Odd Techniques For Primitive Fishing

BY TIM MACWELCH - Outdoor Life
Fishing has been an extremely valuable food gathering strategy for thousands of years, and when we find ourselves in a survival setting, the fishing skills of our ancestors may be our only option. Consider these three traditional techniques in primitive fishing, and do your homework first to find out if they will work for your region.
1. Use Bare Hands
While the concept of hand fishing is simple enough, like so many other survival skills, the simpler processes require a lot of technique. Whether you are “graveling” for catfish or “bug diving” to collect lobsters, you're taking a page from the playbook of our most remote ancestors: catching aquatic animals with your bare hands.
Many catfish noodlers don't wear any protective gear when reaching around in underwater crevices and holes which could contain a fish. Since these freshwater fish species like to hang out in underwater rock ledges, in holes and under submerged logs, those confined spaces make them easier to catch. When you reach into these protected spots, the fish will be trapped with its back up against the “wall.” If it all goes right, the fish will advance and bite your hand. Fight your natural urge to pull your hand away. Leave your hand in the fish's mouth and pull the fish toward you. Wrap your free arm around the fish, being careful to avoid contact with the barbs on its fins.
Likewise, speedy grabs and swatting motions are the most successful methods of bagging a lobster from similar protected spots in shallow saltwater. Of course, these underwater shelters can also contain sea urchins, moray eels, scorpion fish, and other sea creatures that bite, stab, and sting. For safer lobster hunting, being truly bare handed is a poor choice. Instead, don a pair of Kevlar gloves. These cut-proof, puncture-proof gauntlets protect against urchin spines and many other dangers of the deep. And remember: never go hand fishing alone, go with others so that they can help you if you become injured or entangled.
2. Dope the Water
Although the act is illegal in most places today, our ancestors once used plant poisons to stun fish for easy collection. Numerous nuts, roots, seeds, fruits, and leaves contain compounds that have an effect on the respiratory or nervous systems of fish—especially in still water. The stupefied fish simply float to the surface, awaiting your collection. Crushed mullein seeds (Verbascum thapsus) have been used for centuries in North America as an effective fish poison. The crushed seeds release saponins, glycosides, coumarin and rotenone into the water, compounds that can stun fish and bring them to the surface. In addition to mullein, you can also use the bark and green nut husks of black walnut (Juglans nigra) in North America, and several native plants on each of the other continents. Used in a small body of water, it can bring up fish that refuse to be caught with other methods. Again, this is illegal and unsportsmanlike, but in a dire emergency—do what you must. Just catch and gut the fish quickly to minimize the meat's exposure to these toxins. Cook until well done.
3. Catch Your First Fish (On a Thorn)
There have been many occasions over the years when I couldn't have been more proud of my survival students. Some of the most memorable events have involved primitive fishing—really primitive fishing. Yes, it's amazing when you teach someone how to fish, and then watch their joyful reaction as they catch their first fish ever. When this happens, after you've taught them how to twist up their own cordage from plant fibers and make a thorn into a hook, and they caught their first fish on that primitive tackle, words can't express the feeling of accomplishment in both the teacher and the student. If you'd like to add this experience to your list of bushcraft accomplishments, then follow along.
Start by finding a sharp, straight thorn on a tree or bush. This can be used as a gorge hook, which will catch a fish by their innards, rather than by their mouth as steel hooks operate. Collect the strongest plant fibers you can find. This may be dogbane or you can strip off fibrous inner bark from trees like the mulberry. Twist together a thin but strong thread, using the reverse wrap method. Twist the cord and splice in new fibers until you have several meters of fishing leader. You can tie this to stouter cord for hand line fishing, or tie it to a long pole for pole fishing. Tightly tie the dull end of your thorn to the end of the line, thread a chunk of bait onto the thorn, and cast into the water. The technique here is to allow the fish to swallow the bait. Do not jerk the line to set the hook. After you think the fish has swallowed the bait, slowly coax the fish into a waiting dip net.
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Survival Fishing 


Monday, May 8, 2017

US Corporate Taxes - TRUTH

The question is who should we tax more and who should we tax less?  Foreign companies or US Companies? Whichever we select becomes less competitive.

Many companies have moved their production (& jobs) out of the US this avoiding US taxes, except small tariffs.  Companies that continue to produce their products in the US pay heavy Corporate Taxes and face a host of regulations. Granted there are tax "Loop Holes" which are actually Incentives to encourage behavior that stimulates growth.

Taxes are a necessary evil, and most people think Others should pay more, but not them.  This has led the US Citizens and anti-business (anti-jobs) politicians to increase taxes on Corporations, who don't get to vote, except with their campaign contributions which are essentially just legal bribes.  In the process, we have created an environment that drives businesses/jobs to other countries.

By lowering US Corporate taxes we make them more competitive, able to sell more US products and services, creating more US jobs. More US jobs translate to more income and spending and more tax revenue.  This is called growing your way out of debt, but it takes about 8 years before the impact of this circular economic growth cycle is fully realized.

A BAT tax:
  1. Lowers Corporate taxes making US products & services more competitive
  2. Encourages US companies to buy their raw materials from US producers creating more demand for US made products and more US jobs
  3. Encourages exporting products creating a favorable trade balance.  Note the US gets over 1 Billion Dollars Per Day Poorer from importing more than we export. 
Unfortunately, the companies that Exported their jobs overseas hate this idea because their imported products will be less competitive against Made in the USA products and harder to sale. Their large Public Relations budgets and campaign contributions make this very hard to achieve.

What about the fact that raising tariffs only costs the consumers more?  The answer is that the consumer pays for it both ways.  One way they have jobs and the other way, people over sea's have the jobs.

At the same time, adding or increasing the import duty (tariff) taxes foreign businesses and makes foreign made products less competitive against US Made products.

So the answer to economic growth is tax foreign business more and US companies less.

Comments? Questions? Post comments below.

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Free Trade vs Duties 
US Poverty from a global perspective

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Survival Fishing

 Throughout history, and in most survival situations, fish has been a leading source of protein for homo sapiens. Without fishing, man may not have survived this long.  This is one of the reasons that a majority of the human population lives within a few miles of large bodies of water or rivers.
Because of the importance of fishing, improving our skill is essential to wilderness survival. Traps, nets, fishing lines, spears and even our hands (noodling) are all viable methods of harvesting fish, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's discuss some of these.
  1. Spearfishing is probably the first fishing method. In a primitive survival situation, this is one of the first tools that I would build as a part of my wilderness survival plan . Building a spear from a small straight tree with few limbs is easy.  It can be sharpened with a knife or sharp rock; hardened by fire and is effective for self-defense and useful for hunting and fishing at close range.
  2. Traps are another primitive tool for fishing, likely discovered by finding fish stranded in small pools of water. There are many types of fish traps. 
    The advantage with traps is that you can have multiple traps in use and they don't need to be attended making it a fairly productive method of fishing when they are moving and feeding. They do however take time to build, set and check.  Trapping should be a part of any survival plan.
  3. Fishing poles are the most common method of fishing today. A good survival fishing kit is compact and works well for harvesting a number of fish, when they are biting.  Having a good fishing rod and reel, is better and they often come with several accessories. I always add my favorite accessories: A) string which is the moss green braided SpyderWire. It is great for fishing, and small bell or can with rocks in it, makes a good trip line for  intruder detection at a good camp site. B) I also add a handy set of hooks, weights, and swivels. These and the SpyderWire alone will make a good compact fishing kit, but I also add C) various sizes of large strong hooks and some long light hooksD) I also highly recommend having at least one of the Trotlines that we will discuss later in your survival kit.  In a primitive survival situation, fish hooks can be made from wood, or pop tops. Cordage, or string can be made from grasses or some plants with long leaves or even some tree bark.
  4. Hand fishing or noodling is a technique to catch spawning catfish that nest in tunnels, logs, pipes or any small shelter. Feeling around the bank and reaching into tunnels where large fish often are nesting, and covering their exit with their other hand or body, the fisherman (or woman) captures the fish by hand. This is effective, but seasonal and has some risk of finding a turtle or snake instead. Crayfish and clams can be harvested by hand or with your spear or other digging tool.
  5. Nets can be highly productive as they will harvest fish, even when they are not feeding or moving about.  Gill nets, dip nets, seines and cast nets are common, with the latter (cast nets) being my favorite because it can catch any size fish even if they are not biting nor moving. Cast nets can be fragile if snagged with limbs.
    Gill nets work well if fish are on the move, but are often fragile. Dip nets are good for catching fish you can see in shallow water or land fish that you have caught by other means. Seines are generally for small bait fish but are usually large enough to catch a number of fish. They also work best with two people, one on each end.
  6. Trotline, or multi-hook lines automatically catch multiple fish.  Multi-line sets much like the Fish YoYo's can also be productive. The advantage here is that there are multiple lines that can catch multiple fish, even unattended, when the fish are feeding.
    I highly recommend having at least one of these Trotlines in every survival kit.
  7. Suffocation - Rotenone is a chemical that has historically been used by indigenous peoples to catch fish. Rotenone containing plants in the Fabaceae family of legumes (bean family) are crushed and introduced into a small or isolated body of water, and interferes with respiration, causing the affected fish rise to the surface in an attempt to gulp air, where they are more easily caught.  There are some health risk with using this chemical, but properly used, it can be effective.  Green walnut hulls or leaves, crushed and put in to a pool of water can work the same as well as poke salad berries, a.k.a American Pokeweed
  8. Electrofishing, also known as telephoning as old manual phone generators were used to shock fish making them easy to catch.  This method is illegal for harvesting fish, but is used for surveying fish populations.
  9. Bow fishing is effective when fish are in clear shallow water, making a Bow & Arrow a multi-functional tool for fishing and hunting game as well as security.  Wilderness Survival is difficult, if not impossible without the ability to harvest larger game.  For this reason, a Bow and Arrow would be on my TOP 10 List of survival tools, if I was on the TV show Alone

Here are some other good links on Survival Fishing:

3 Odd Techniques for Primitive Fishing
How to catch your own live bait

Wilderness Survival Fishing
Paracord Fishing Lure
How to build a Minnow Trap
Foil Package Fishing Lures
How to make a Spear

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