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29 April, 2011

Guest Post: Preparing a Survival Cache

Most people that have been paying any attention to the news lately would likely agree that things have been precarious to say the least. From natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, to man-made ones such as wars, revolutions and catastrophic industrial accidents,  it’s sometimes hard to dismiss the words of those that believe that this era of civilization is coming to an end. Regardless of how credible you believe these claims are, even the most skeptical would agree that it’s a good idea to be prepared for a life threatening disaster.

One of the most basic parts of preparation has always been to have the proper supplies ready. One increasingly popular strategy has been to bury a survival cache.
A survival cache is basically just a survival kit in a strong sealed container that will allow you to bury it. It should be strong and well-sealed so that its contents will be ready when you need them.

Necessities to include:

For my cache, I’ve chosen to include what I consider to be basic necessities: Non-perishable food, bottled water, warm clothing, first-aid supplies, a tent, a warm sleeping bag, a radio, a good knife, a multi-tool, a quality LED flashlight, headlamp or lantern and extra batteries. I would also include some basic fishing and hunting supplies.

This may seem like a lot, but these items are invaluable should you need them, and there’s no rule that says you can’t bury more than one container.

Trade items:

You may also want to include some items simply for their potential trade value. Tobacco, liquor, chocolate, flashlight bulbs, batteries, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and any other things that, while being generally inexpensive creature-comfort items, would likely become far more valuable should they suddenly become unavailable. Human aid can quickly become the most sought-after resource, and trade items are a good tool to help attain it.

Burying the cache:

You’ll want to be sure that the container you use to bury your cache in is both structurally strong enough to withstand being buried, as well as being impervious to moisture. One common container is a burial tube. These can either be purchased, or you can make your own from something as simple as PVC pipe. If you make your own, remember to provide yourself with a way to get it open later, such as a threaded cap or by burying a tool along with it.

It’s a good idea to store all items that are susceptible to air and moisture in vacuum bags within the cache. It’s also a good idea to include oxygen and moisture absorbers in the cache and airtight bags. This will help protect extra sensitive items such as food, clothing, electronics, batteries, and ammunition.
Bury the cache so that the top is a few feet below ground; deep enough to avoid being disturbed, but not so deep that it will take too long to dig up. Be sure to make a detailed map of where your cache is, and keep this map somewhere safe, where it won’t be forgotten. The hope is that you will never need to retrieve your cache, but it will be there, ready and waiting if you do.

Tom Huntington, Coast Products

28 April, 2011

From Stockpiling to Living Off the Grid, More Colo. Residents Preparing for Disasters

From stockpiling to living off the grid, more Colo. residents preparing for disasters :: The Republic: "Four families in Yoder are building a sand bunker and stockpiling ammunition and weapons.

A Black Forest resident has erected a geodesic dome on her 5-acre spread to grow vegetables, keeps horses for emergency transportation, in case she can't get gasoline for her car, and plans to acquire chickens and goats as food sources.

A husband and wife who have a cabin on 100 acres of secluded land in Park County have weaned their property from the electric grid, acquired a three-year food supply and taken other measures to become self-sufficient.

While there's little threat of the earthquake and tsumani that rocked Japan last month in landlocked Colorado, other epic crises on the home front are possible: A flood or fire. A terrorist attack. A nuclear weapons launch. World War III. Or an apocalyptic-type scenario.

An increasing number of people say they are getting ready..."


27 April, 2011

Farmer Menaced With Death Threats By Gang Of Gypsies Calls For Help... and Police Turn Up To Confiscate Her Legally-Owned and Locked-Away Shotguns

Farmer's fury after gipsy death threats 999 call results in her legally-held guns being confiscated 'in case she retaliates' | Mail Online: "Having confronted travelers cutting down trees on her farm, terminally-ill Tracy St Clair Pearce found herself subjected to a terrifying ordeal.

Some of the group pelted her with rocks while a youth threatened to slit her throat and slaughter her cattle.

When she dialed 999 she expected the full weight of the law to be on her side.

Instead, however, police officers criticized her for inflaming the situation and confiscated her legally held shotguns – even though they had been locked away in a cabinet at home throughout the incident.

Yesterday, the 50-year-old accused police of causing her ‘harassment and distress’ when she should have been given protection..."


A Dollar's Worth of 'Junk Silver' - Now North of $30

A Dollar's Worth of 'Junk Silver' - Now North of $30 - Seeking Alpha: "Silver crossed an interesting milestone recently. Now one dollar in so-called “junk silver” U.S. coins costs more than $30.

'Junk silver' refers to U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars minted before 1964. They’re only called 'junk' because they have no numismatic value and are sold solely for silver content.

These pre-1964 coins are 90% silver and weigh 25 grams per dollar in face value. So 10 dimes, for example, weighed 25 grams when minted. Theoretically those 10 dimes contain 22.5 grams of silver – or about 0.723 troy ounces – but because they’ve been circulated, most dealers assume they weigh 0.715 troy ounces.

Or, to look at it another way, if you have $1.40 worth of these coins, that amounts to about one ounce of silver..."


25 April, 2011

Why 'Self-Sufficiency' Should Replace 'Sustainability' in the Environmental Movement

Activist Post: Why 'Self-Sufficiency' Should Replace 'Sustainability' in the Environmental Movement: "The environmental movement is in love with the word 'sustainable'. Admittedly, it's a wonderful word in the purest sense, meaning; 1. capable of being sustained, 2. capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment.

Who doesn't want those capabilities? Yet, 'sustainability', like everything else good and pure, has seemingly been hijacked by the ruling oligarchs as a way to impose more top-down control of society. Passionate environmentalists are beginning to realize that the only way to affect real change is by becoming sustainable individuals through self-sufficiency. This focus on individual empowerment will naturally lead to increased liberty, as it minimizes the tactics used by mega-cartels and government to control our core needs of food, electricity, or medicine. Living in an environmentally and socially sustainable world should be an obvious goal, but it won't work if imposed at the barrel of a gun"


Second Amendment Rights Once Again at Risk

Second Amendment Rights Once Again at Risk: "Americans continue to watch their Second Amendment rights diminish, this time as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ( still known as ATF) launches a campaign to change the definition of “shotgun.” According to the blog Beregond’s Bar, a recently released study by the Bureau will ultimately make shotguns illegal, and may also have negative implications for all guns..."


22 April, 2011

Re: Regarding the Legalization of Drugs And Other Vices With Regard to the Larger Debate Concerning Personal Freedoms

A reader who wished to remain anonymous wrote:

"Personally I'm all for the legalization of pot. There was a measure on our ballot here in California to be able to tax it. Unfortunately that failed.

I see no problem in paying a tax for something like that if it will lower my overall taxation."

My Response:

I agree; there is nothing wrong at all with the idea of the government taxing marijuana, were it to be legalized. I know that some of the things I say on this blog sometimes might leave people with the impression that I am anti-government, but that is actually not the case -- I am only anti-government control. Taxing their citizens is essentially the only way that a government can run, and we should all pay our fair share and be proud to do so.
My only qualm and my main reason for the article above is the idea that the government should hike up the taxes on certain items, services or activities because of their distinction as so-called "vices." This amounts, basically, to a "sin tax" and it is an age old method of legislating morality, when I firmly believe that morality belongs with the person. It is none of the governments business what I do with my time, money, or even my body, as long as I'm not in any way impeding the rights of others.

And, if the idea of paying such a "sin tax" wasn't distasteful enough all on its own, it creates -- as an unavoidable byproduct -- a situation similar to what is happening now with the taxes charged on cigarettes. It begins as the government attempting to legislate morality, but once those taxes are collected into the budget, they take on a life of their own. The government and the agencies the collected funds are allocated to then becomes dependent on them. This creates a Catch-22 where, even if they were successful and fewer people smoke, then that would actually only serve to have them drawing in less money. And, we all know that the remedy for that is that they just simply raise the taxes over and over and over.

It is, in my opinion, a rather shameful and crooked way to run a country.


U.S. Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise

U.S. Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise - DailyFinance: "U.S. food prices have been rising in the last year, but it seems the growth is only just beginning. A sharp jump in commodities' prices this year will soon result in sticker shock for American consumers.

Large food companies have recently announced that they will raise the prices they charge grocery retailers for commodities-based products. For example, a chocolate bar will cost more soon: Hershey last week announced a 10% increase for most of its confectionery goods.

Of course, straightforward price hikes could cause consumers to buy less of those products or to choose less costly store brands. So in many cases, food companies are trying a different tactic: Keeping the price of an item the same while decreasing the amount of food in the package. The company recoups the costs of the rise in commodities and hopes consumers don't notice that they're getting less of the product for the same price..."


Download Emergency Medicine Manuals for Free

Download Emergency Medicine Manuals for Free


21 April, 2011

Regarding the Legalization of Drugs And Other Vices With Regard to the Larger Debate Concerning Personal Freedoms

I was recently reading through one of the forum message boards on Topix for my area, and stumbled upon a thread discussing the legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Needless to say, I felt I needed to add my two cents, and thought I would share it here with you as well. My post on the forum is below in quotations and italicized for aesthetic purposes:

"Arguments over whether or not to legalize drugs are, in the end, moot. You are discussing a symptom rather than the disease. The truth of the matter is that things of this sort should never have been made illegal in the first place. Attempts on the part of government to legislate morality are just one more mechanism of control -- of taking away your rights.

Never mind that marijuana was only ever made illegal in the first place because tobacco growers feared that hemp would render their cash crop obsolete (seeing as how it can be used for many other purposes besides those that are recreational) and they had half of Congress in their pockets. Never mind that they (meaning the government with the influence of well-meaning social lobbies) did their absolute best to outlaw liquor and cigarettes as well, until they finally realized that it wasn't going to be possible. Hell, they did outlaw liquor at one point, until they finally realized that all it got them was a burgeoning gangster scene! Ever hear of Al Capone?

And then they came up with the ingenious scheme of just taxing the dog shit out of both of those "vices." Even in those areas where prostitution is legal, as in Nevada, it is extremely expensive, mostly because of the taxes that are being levied. If they can't force you to live the way they want to you to live, then they'll just do everything in their power to make it so expensive that you more or less have no choice. Don't think for one instant that every time they talk about raising taxes on cigarettes it isn't with the long-term goal of making it too expensive for most people to smoke. Also, it wasn't that long ago that a bill was floated in Illinois that would've required every gun owner to purchase a $1 million dollar insurance policy in order to receive a license to own the weapon, the point being that very few people would be able to afford the monthly payment for the policy, thereby taking guns out of people's hands without impeding their 2nd Amendment rights. I haven't heard anything about that in a long time, so I'm hoping that means it was defeated. Never doubt, though, that it was a test case to see how it would be received before trying to roll out something similar on a national level; and, you can be sure that even if it was defeated, it is sitting in an envelope somewhere in someone's desk drawer, waiting to be trotted out again 8 or 10 years from now, in some other state in the hopes of actually getting it on the books. They are trying to tell us how to live!

Now, personally, I would never consider taking any drug that someone had to cook up in a laboratory; I really don't even like to take drugs that are prescribed to me by my doctor, unless I absolutely need them. I don't even take cold medication, unless I am deathly ill; typically, all that stuff does is suppress your symptoms and retard your body's natural processes of healing. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a natural substance that just happens to have certain physical effects on human beings when they inhale the smoke, no different then the effects that come from consuming other natural substances like caffeine and sugar -- yet no one is any big rush to outlaw Starbucks, now are they?"


World Bank President: We Are 'One Shock Away From Crisis'

BBC News - World Bank president: 'One shock away from crisis': "The president of the World Bank has warned that the world is 'one shock away from a full-blown crisis'.

Robert Zoellick cited rising food prices as the main threat to poor nations who risk 'losing a generation'...

... 'The crisis in the Middle East and North Africa underscores how we need to put the conclusions from our latest world development report into practice. The report highlighted the importance of citizen security, justice and jobs,' he said.

He also called for the World Bank to act quickly to support reforms in the region.

'Waiting for the situation to stabilise will mean lost opportunities. In revolutionary moments the status quo is not a winning hand.'

At the Washington meetings, turmoil in the Middle East, volatile oil prices and high unemployment were also discussed..."


19 April, 2011

Future Mega Tsunami

Canary Island Mega Tsunami: "... on one of the Canary Islands lies a major global catastrophe in the making, a natural disaster so big that it could flatten the Atlantic coastlines of Britain, Europe, North Africa and the United States of America and cause enormous damage to London and other UK cities. Scattered across the world,s oceans are a handful of rare geological time-bombs which, once unleashed, create an extraordinary phenomenon, a gigantic tidal wave, called a Mega Tsunami. These are able to cross oceans and ravage countries on the other side of the world...

... the next Mega Tsunami is likely to begin on one of the Canary Islands, off the coast of North Africa, where a wall of water will one day race across the entire Atlantic Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner to devastate the east coast of the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil.

Dr Simon Day, who works at the Benfield Greig Hazards Research Centre, University College London, says that one flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, is unstable and could plunge into the ocean during the volcano's next eruption.

Dr. Day says: 'If the volcano collapsed in one block of almost 20 cubic kilometres of rock, weighing 500 billion tonnes - twice the size of the Isle of Wight - it would fall into water almost 4 miles deep and create an undersea wave 2000 feet tall. Within five minutes of the landslide, a dome of water about a mile high would form and then collapse, before the Mega Tsunami fanned out in every direction, traveling at speeds of up to 500 mph. A 330ft wave would strike the western Sahara in less than an hour.'

Europe would be protected from the fiercest force by the position of the other Canary Islands, but...

... After six hours it would reach Britain, where waves up to 40 ft high would hit southwest England at 500 miles per hour, travel a mile inland and obliterate almost everything in its path. Even Britain's more sheltered shores, in the North Sea and Irish Sea, will be struck by smaller but still significant swells, causing widespread flooding in major coastal cities...

... However, the destruction in the United Kingdom will be as nothing compared to the devastation reeked on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Dr. Day claims that the Mega Tsunami will generate a wave that will be inconceivably catastrophic. He says: 'It will surge across the Atlantic at 500 miles per hour in less than seven hours, engulfing the whole U.S. east coast with a wave almost two hundred feet high... sweeping away everything in its path up to 20 miles inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami, the Caribbean and Brazil.' Millions would be killed, and as Dr. Day explains: 'It's not a question of 'if' Cumbre Vieja collapses, it's simply a question of 'when'...."


Dam Failure Would Utterly Destroy Bakersfield, CA

Daily Kos: When The Dam Failure Destroys Bakersfield: "... like all the other aging infrastructure in the United States there are more than 4,000 dams that are considered susceptible to failure.

While we hear about the occasional bridge collapse with its attended loss of life, that is nothing compared to what would happen if one or more of the 12 dams that are rated as most server (a combination of likelihood of failure and magnitude of consequence if they did) failed.

In the New York Times article about this today they give the example of the Lake Isabella Dam which is above Bakersfield CA. If this dam failed it would flood the city with a lake 30 feet deep. That would happen in a very short period of time, measured in minutes not hours or days. 180 billion (as in thousand million) gallons of water would slam down the canyon and hammer the city of 340,000. In a little less than seven hours 2/3 of the city would be underwater. While there would be a good chance to get many of the residents out it is unlikely that every one would be able to evacuate.

It would be a disaster on the scale of the levies failing in New Orleans, but where parts of that city were saved by being on higher ground, nothing in Bakersfield would be exempt for the inundation.

There are 85,000 dams in the United States, and only 4,400 are considered in danger of failure, but that is still enough to put millions of people in danger and risk hundreds of billions of dollars of property damage..."


18 April, 2011

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming: "In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending..."


How to Build an Early Medieval Clock

How to Build an Early Medieval Clock: "Mechanical clocks with verge and foliot escapements began showing up in Europe in the early 1300's and, although the currently extant specimens are made of metal, there is evidence to suggest that wood was not an uncommon material for making the works out of.

Kits for verge and foliot clocks are available, but they are either made in unattractive plastic (yech!) or are pressed paper or cardboard, which simply doesn't last very long. Unsatisfied with what I found on the market, I researched the subject of medieval clock building for a few years, doing both literature searches and examining actual period clocks, and then set about building my own medieval styled clocks with wooden works.

Then, to top it off, I 'wrote the book'. (I have put a short excerpt from the book on-line at http://www.thescholarsgarret.com/clock/excerpt.html)..."


15 April, 2011

Guest Post: When Technology Fails - 5 Reasons to Un-Automate Your Children

These days, it's normal to see kids plugged into devices. It's an everyday occurrence to see six year olds playing their portable game consoles with earphones on, and four year olds glued to a screen more often than they play with physical toys. While there are certain advantages of children being technologically adept, it saddens me to see the loss of interaction, and the struggle to get them unplugged when they need to interact with others. So much has now been automated, simulated and made artificial, and as parents we want our children to live in the real world.

Everyone has become technology dependent nowadays, using gadgets and screens to think for us, get our social life in check, and even keep us in shape, and this "addiction" is taking its toll. In an article at Komonews.com, a sleep specialist has pointed out that the more children are exposed to technology, the less they sleep, and that loss of sleep creates developmental and psychological problems. She also says that children would be more adept at coping if they received a bit more time to rest. Keep your kids unplugged and teach them to survive in the real world with a few of these brain building and skill learning activities:

  • Reading real books. While an e-reader is convenient, the feel of reading and the experience can be different from real books. As this article on Wired.com points out, the audience can be less engaged with an e-reader, because there are implied options to easily go to another page or link in the device, and this can distract the reader.
  • Using a real map instead of a GPS. Who doesn't have a GPS in their car or on their mobile phone these days? While this device is very convenient to everyone, it can be very difficult for people to find their way when their devices aren't there to do the thinking for them. Teaching kids to read physical maps will prepare them for the reality of finding their way when they do get lost, and that survival skill is very important for anyone.
  • Cooking a real meal instead of sticking one in the microwave. Cooking is a basic skill from which everyone can benefit. While having a meal delivered or nuked in the microwave can be very easy, the nutritional (and financial) benefits are slim to none. Encouraging your kids to know their way around the kitchen can help them develop better eating habits, and understand the value of a nutritional meal.
  • Written notes instead of email and social networking posts. While some consider it tedious to actually write and send snail mail, the written note is greatly appreciated by all who receive it. Thank you notes that were written on actual paper and given directly show real gratitude, and reaching out to people with mailed cards on occasions adds a personal touch to any sentiment. Teach your kids to give more effort in saying thank you, happy birthday or we miss you with a written note.
  • Playing real sports and exercising the real way. We say "real way", because the Wii has simulated almost any sport and found a way to exercise indoors. Let your child experience the outdoors and play sports with his peers. It not only helps his physical well-being, but also stretches his social and mental skills as well. Team sports require cooperation and strategy as a unit to win games, and this experience will let your child grow into a well-rounded individual, learning to engage with his age group and competing in a healthy, safe way.

Now, how are you going to get your child unplugged? While it may be harder to pry them away from their gadgets than it is to climb Mount Everest, we have come up with a few suggestions to get them unwired:

  • Set a wire-free day of the week. Whether it is Monday or Friday or Sunday, set the rule for a day without gadgets. Tell your kids they are welcome to take up any activities that don't require a plug to do it, and take the lead by following the rule yourself, so no one gets envious.
  • No gadgets at the table. Dinnertime is wireless at our house. We encourage interaction and conversation over the table, with the people present. You'll get to know your children better, and help them develop conversational skills as well.

Getting your kids away from the screen and into the real world is really going to help them develop fully as people, without the aid of gadgets and other technology. Teach them the value of fully living their lives, and watch them bloom as individuals.

Renee Bedford is a mom and wife who believes in teaching her children to be self-reliant and prepared. She knows that not only will these skills keep them safer, but they will also make them smarter! Besides being a committed mother, she also works for the Christmas Tree Market, where they sell an array of classic and unique artificial Christmas trees.

7 Secrets for a High-Yield Vegetable Garden

7 Secrets for a High-Yield Vegetable Garden: Organic Gardening: "Imagine harvesting nearly half a ton of tasty, beautiful, organically grown vegetables from a 15 x 20-foot plot, 100 pounds of tomatoes from just 100 square feet (a 4 x 25-foot bed), or 20 pounds of carrots from just 24 square feet.

Yields like these are easier to achieve than you may think. The secret to super-productive gardening is taking the time now to plan strategies that will work for your garden. Here are seven high-yield strategies gleaned from gardeners who have learned to make the most of their garden space..."


14 April, 2011

Preparing & Cooking Garden Snails

California Preppers Network: Preparing & Cooking Garden Snails: "If the SHTF and food sources become over hunted...and they will. You must consider other means of feeding your family. The garden snail, Helix aspersa, came to Britain with the Romans, who loved to eat them, they may have come earlier, in the Bronze age, but didn’t spread much. It’s the snail most cultivated for gourmet food and is known as petit gris..."


Future Farm: A Sunless, Rainless Room Indoors

Future farm: a sunless, rainless room indoors - Yahoo! News: "Farming is moving indoors, where the sun never shines, where rainfall is irrelevant and where the climate is always right.

The perfect crop field could be inside a windowless building with meticulously controlled light, temperature, humidity, air quality and nutrition. It could be in a New York high-rise, a Siberian bunker, or a sprawling complex in the Saudi desert.

Advocates say this, or something like it, may be an answer to the world's food problems..."


13 April, 2011

Is Tribalism The Future?

Is tribalism the future?: "... In this young century, America has gone to war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan. Belatedly, in all four, we discovered that, before we plunged in, we knew nothing of the complexity of these countries.

Within Afghanistan, dominated by Pashtun in the south and east, are Hazara in the central mountains and Uzbeks and Tajiks in the north.

In Iraq, there are Arabs, Kurds, Sunni, Shia, Turkmen and Christians.

Libya, cobbled together out of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, is home to 30 major tribes, the largest of which are the Warfalla and Margharha.

A few years back, professor Jerry Z. Muller wrote in Foreign Affairs that World Wars I and II were at root ethno-national wars of Europeans fighting to create nations where their own tribe ruled and their own culture was predominant.

Only when this was achieved in 1945, after immense bloodshed, did peace come to Europe...

... This week, we read of "intercommunal" violence in the Ivory Coast – i.e., a massacre of 1,000 people.

Is this not tribal war of the kind we saw between Yoruba and Ibo in Nigeria, Kikuyu and Luo in Kenya, Mashona and Matabele in Zimbabwe, and Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda and Burundi?

In Peru and Bolivia, ethnic politicians are demanding a redivision of the national wealth with the "indigenous peoples" receiving shares more commensurate with their superior numbers.

Tribalism suddenly seems ascendant over globalism.

Transnational institutions created to bring the world together – the IMF, World Bank, U.N., EU, NATO, WTO, G-8, Kyoto Protocol – are all under stress.

The artificial countries are coming apart. Sudan is sundering as Ethiopia did. Is Yemen next? Joe Biden argued for dividing up Iraq, which may happen when the Americans go.

China, with its crackdown on Tibetans and Uighurs, fears the pull and power of ethno-nationalism. Saudi Arabia – by sending troops to aid the Sunni monarchy of Bahrain put down an uprising by its Shia majority – testifies to its us-versus-them view of the Arab world.

People are naturally attracted to the strong horse, not the weak horse, said Osama bin Laden. While democracy has great appeal to Third World peoples, it is often because democracy offers a sure path to power for the ethno-national majority to which they belong..."


12 April, 2011

Make a Map Book Using Google Maps

Make a Map Book Using Google Maps


A Pet That Makes Milk

A Pet That Makes Milk - from ecomii blogs: "They’re as playful as dogs and they also provide milk (and if you chose, meat). Backyard goats may not have reached the popularity of pet chickens, but they’re gaining ground, even in cities.

It’s now legal to farm goats in cities like Chicago, Portland, Seattle or Detroit and campaigns are raging to change ordinances in places like Denver and Hillsboro, Oregon. The Goat Justice League of Seattle was founded to legalize keeping goats in Seattle’s backyards.

The league’s founder Jennie Grant argues, 'why not let people with yards keep dairy goatdoes or wethers (castrated males). They are not smelly. Their poop is a valuable fertilizer. They and make delicious milk.' Thanks to the groups’ efforts, in 2007, the Seattle City Council passed a measure allowing small goats to be kept within city limits..."


07 April, 2011

Food Prices and Global Hunger Equal Riots, Civil Wars and Revolution

Food Prices and Global Hunger Equal Riots, Civil Wars and Revolution - Seeking Alpha: "... In the Ivory Coast, violence has erupted and continues to escalate. These disruptions are cumulative. In Ivory Coast's case, disruptions include rubber, cocoa and oil.

Next up may be Nigeria, which is holding an election this month. Nigerian elections are notorious for creating disorder, and now we have magnitude-9 food inflation and hunger on the stage. Ten percent of U.S. oil imports come from Nigeria, and it's the sweet oil variety that can't be substituted.

This chaos isn't about 'tear down these walls' and democracy. A basic understanding of hunger and human behavior is in order. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the United Nations puts out a global hunger index... The most recent was from 2010, well before this year's 45 percent price spike in foodstuffs. According to the IMF, each 10 percent increase in food prices doubles the likelihood of civil disorder, riots or worse by 100 percent... By my math, we are at a four or five-fold increase and still ramping up..."


06 April, 2011

When is Soil Ready for Planting?

The Old Farmer's Almanac: "When is your garden soil ready for planting? Here are some tips from The Old Farmer's Almanac.

* Grab a handful of your garden soil. If you can form it into a ball, the soil is too wet for planting. (Chances are the seeds will rot.) If it crumbles through your fingers, it's ready for planting.
* Here's another soil test. Make a ball of soil and drop it. If the ball crumbles, your garden is ready for seeds. If it holds its shape or breaks into two clumps, it's still too wet for planting.
* You can also step into the garden and then step back and look at the footprint you've left in the soil. If it's shiny, then there's too much water near the soil's surface to dig and plant. If it's dull, then excess water has drained away and it's time to plant.
* Old farmers had an even easier guideline: When the weeds start to grow in your garden, it's time to plant your hardy vegetables..."


Make Your Own Potting Mixes for Cheap, Easy Container Gardens

Make your own potting mixes cheap easy container gardens: "Container gardens are on my mind, as the winter chill is easing. I like to grow a few pots of various vegetables and flowers before the usual frost-free date here, May 15, to get a jump on summer.

I learned long ago that it’s much cheaper to make my own potting mix and store it in an old trash can, rather than paying for big sacks of potting mix. I can customize the mix for various plants, too..."

Families Get New Feathered Friends, and Future of Better Eggs, at Chicken Swap

Families get new feathered friends, and future of better eggs, at chicken swap - St. Petersburg Times: "Liz Cleckner has been trying to get chickens in her house for years.

'I've told my husband for 11 years that I wanted a chicken,' Cleckner said. 'I think it's important for the kids to get to know where their food comes from.'

Cleckner, 29, saw her chance to press the issue again about a week ago, when she came across a post on Craigslist about a 'Chicken Swap' in St. Petersburg.

The event, hosted by Tyra Humphrey, brings poultry lovers together to buy and sell chicks, eggs and other types of poultry...

... on Saturday morning, Cleckner got up with her two young kids and her neighbor (who recently got some chickens of her own), and drove from her house on the city's west side... Within an hour, Cleckner had collected one small cardboard box and three chicks..."


04 April, 2011

UN Ignores Its Own Data to Promote Gun Ban

UN Ignores Its Own Data to Promote Gun Ban: "Recently, the United Nations took the next step in negotiating an international arms trade treaty that has the full support of the Obama administration. The goal of this treaty is to impose “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms” and ammunition, ostensibly because “too many arms still end up in the wrong hands.”

This high-sounding rhetoric demands further examination, especially since the UN group behind this meeting is called the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

Since the mid-1990s, the United Nations has proclaimed that global civilian disarmament will ensure worldwide peace and prosperity. But to comprehend their attitude towards civilian gun ownership, know that the United Nations believes you have no civil right of self-defense:

Self-defence is a widely recognized, yet legally proscribed, exception to the universal duty to respect the right to life of others. Self-defence is a basis for exemption from criminal responsibility that can be raised by any State agent or non-State actor. Self-defence is sometimes designated as a “right.” There is inadequate legal support for such an interpretation. Self-defence is more properly characterized as a means of protecting the right to life and, as such, a basis for avoiding responsibility for violating the rights of another.

In other words, if you kill an attacker, you violate their human rights. For now, the UN will let it pass if you can prove you were protecting your life. But this remains a 'basis for exemption from criminal responsibility,' which implies that you owe a debt to society. Also, government can revoke this privilege of self-defense at any time.

Curiously, the UN never consults their own research when asking: 'Does gun ownership make you less safe?'

In their most extensive effort to date, the Small Arms Survey (SAS) published estimates of civilian firearms inventories for 172 UN member countries (out of a total 192). This organization partners with international civilian disarmament organizations, including the UN, and is decidedly anti-gun:

The proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security. The unchecked spread of these weapons has exacerbated inter- and intra-state conflicts, contributed to human rights violations, undermined political and economic development, destabilized communities, and devastated the lives of millions of people.

Collating the latest homicide data available from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime with SAS data creates a dataset of 145 UN countries. America, with the most guns per capita (GPC), is tied with Argentina for the 50th highest homicide rate...

... The UN wants us to believe that more guns means more violence. Using homicide as an indicator, UN data derogates this claim.

Some of the most repressive regimes reported the lowest homicide rates. But since this data comes from law enforcement sources, it doesn’t include state-justified murder. For example, Syrian 'security forces' recently killed 'at least 20' civilians during one protest, but 'Criminal Justice Sources' reported Syria’s homicide rate was significantly lower than America’s.

In Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, 'soldiers and plain-clothed government loyalists' killed 'at least 35' and left 'hundreds wounded' after opening fire on protesters. The UN reports Yemen has a relatively low homicide rate.

At the extreme range is China, whose government declares 'private citizens are forbidden from owning and selling guns,' and 'gun crime is rare.' This policy allegedly protects 'the safety of every individual citizen.' The official homicide rate appears to bear this out, but between 1949 and 1987 military and police legally murdered nearly 77 million..."


Prepping for Disaster

Prepping for disaster | families, prepping, ammunition - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO: "Four families in Yoder are building a sand bunker and stockpiling ammunition and weapons.

A Black Forest resident has erected a geodesic dome on her 5-acre spread to grow vegetables, keeps horses for emergency transportation, in case she can’t get gasoline for her car, and plans to acquire chickens and goats as food sources.

A husband and wife who have a cabin on 100 acres of secluded land in Park County have weaned their property from the electric grid, acquired a three-year food supply and taken other measures to become self-sufficient.

While there’s little threat of the earthquake and tsumani that rocked Japan last month in landlocked Colorado, other epic crises on the home front are possible: A flood or fire. A terrorist attack. A nuclear weapons launch. World War III. Or an apocalyptic-type scenario.

An increasing number of people say they are getting ready..."


01 April, 2011

Survivalist GOP Rep.: You Should Probably Avoid Cities

Survivalist GOP Congressman: You Should Probably Avoid Cities | Mother Jones: "Maryland GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is a child of the Great Depression, Nancy Pelosi's date to this year's State of the Union, and a member of the House Tea Party Caucus. As Alexander Carpenter points out, he's also something of a survivalist:

In a series of clips from a documentary called Urban Danger available on YouTube and 3AngelsTUBE, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)...shares his fear of impending threats to America and advocates that people move out of urban areas...

In the context of his surmising about the threat of living in urban areas, Bartlett states in the video that there are two strains of smallpox, one is the U.S. and one in the 'Soviet Union'.

You can watch the documentary online here. Urban Danger's official site takes pains to note that the film is not 'survivalist,' but rather a guide to 'finding practical solutions to problems we face today.'

Those problems, however, are dire: One speaker warns that American cities are about to experience something 'a lot worse than what happened in New Orleans,' suggesting that the situation could be Biblical in nature; the congressman, for his part, floats the possibility of of biological warfare, alleging that terrorists may have already obtained the aforementioned Soviet smallpox. 'A storm is coming, relentless in its fury,' the narrator explains. 'Are we prepared to fight it?'..."


Satellite Dish Solar Cooker

YouTube - Satellite Dish Solar Cooker Demonstration


9 Ways to Prepare for Food Inflation

9 Ways to Prepare for Food Inflation: "If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve no doubt discovered that the price of most foods has increased significantly. There’s plenty of blame to go around: increased commodity prices due to increased demand, increased oil prices, devaluation of our dollar, and on and on.

Whatever the reason, increased food prices are putting a major dent in our household budget. Since we can’t do much about the prices, we have to look for other ways to reduce (or at least keep even) our overall food expense..."