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Showing posts from November, 2008

First hand account from SHTF in Iceland

I found a blogger in Iceland who is giving firsthand insights to what he's going through as his country goes through extremely hard times. Just a few years ago they seemed to be on the fast track to become the shining example of what a socialist country with the means to become energy independent could aspire to. They were on the verge of having the means to manage all of their own affairs while being beholden to no one. Now we're seeing exactly why socialism can never work. No matter what goes on inside of your own country you still have the rest of the world to deal with. If you're not prepared to deal with the fact that someone, somewhere can find a way to take advantage of you or your leaders then you're either destined to failure or you truly have nothing that benefits anyone. It's unfortunate that this guy has to live with the horrible choices that his leaders made but at least we can perhaps glean some useful insight from him for as long as he decides …

Home made wine

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I just finished bottling my first attempt at home made wine. I've been making beer for a couple of years now (although I still buy most of what I drink at the store) but I never really bothered with wine. I'm no wine connoisseur so it wasn't a top priority. During the spring I decided to try a dandelion wine, though. I don't remember the exact recipe but it basically consisted of pouring a LOT of dandelion blossoms into some boiling water along with some raisins and orange peels. I spent all morning filling up a grocery bag full of dandelion blossoms and then that afternoon was spent picking the petals out of the stems. After all of that was finished I filtered the must into a 5 gallon carboy and let it cool overnight. The next morning I pitched the yeast and forgot about it for a while. I did rack it a few times hoping that it would clarify but after several months and transferring it into a clean carboy at least 3 times it still looked like opaque sludge. It …

Socialism vs capitalism

Capitalists tend to be few and far between even in a capitalist society and a lot of capitalists just want what's best for themselves. They don't care how well (or badly) everyone else is doing. Some of them will step on whoever they need to or whoever gets in their way to accomplish whatever it is that they want to accomplish. There are a lot of capitalists who recognize that they're doing well and want to help out some of the people who aren't doing so well, though. On a very basic level this is why a capitalist society works so well. Limited government involvement, through taxing everyone on things that they utilize and benefit from (gas tax which pays for our highway, sales tax that pays for most of our government workers, etc) ends up benefiting everyone. Anyone with some ambition and a halfway decent business mind can put together something that works, profit from it and hire some people to help them out. Give them enough leeway and they start giving their…

Inflation or deflation?

This is one of the big questions that I see people asking these days. Everyone knows that something really bad is going on but there's a lot of debate about what's really happening. First you have to understand how our financial system works. Credit is really the driving engine. It allows people to buy things that they can't normally afford. If you only make x amount of dollars then obviously it'll take a while to save up enough money for that house, new (or newer) car or that big screen tv. You might not be able to afford to buy it outright but if you can convince someone to loan you the money then you can get it now and make payments on it over a period of time. Someone with a huge surplus of cash can take their money that they don't need right now and get a monthly income by loaning it to someone who can afford to pay back slowly over time. By the time that loan is paid back they get a lot more money than they loaned out in the first place. You have thi…

Canning...old school style

Canning is something that I think any self respecting survivalist should be able to do. In most parts of the US it's impossible to grow crops year round. If things get so bad that the supply lines shut down then there will probably be several months out of the year where the grocery stores just don't have much produce on the shelf. The months when they DO have plenty on the shelf are the months when your gardens should be in full swing, anyway. The same goes for meat. Not everyone can raise their own meat animals thanks to ridiculous local laws and hunting ends up costing more than what it would cost to just buy the meat at the market at today's prices. With prices getting more and more expensive, canning is becoming all the more viable. A year ago you could fill up a pantry with canned meat and vegetables from the grocery store for half of what you can today. I went to Wal-Mart today and canned TUNA was $1 a can. A year ago it regularly went on sale for 3 for $1.…

The ATF

Let's look at the ATF for a moment. It's the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. These are the three things in the economy that aren't affected by recession. The people that smoke are going to keep smoking as long as tobacco is available. I was at a cigarette store the other day. The guy was obviously hurting but he was going to walk out with a carton of something. I walked out with a box of 200 filtered tubes for $1.70. He walked out with a carton of cigarettes for $35. A few months ago I bought a pound of tobacco that cost about $20. It's still about the same price and I still have enough for a lot left. Eventually these smokers are going to figure it out and get on the ball.

I've been brewing my own beer for years. I also make wine when the juice becomes available. I have the diagrams for a simple still and I know how easy it would be to go that route if I decided to. I will always have alcohol as long as farmers are growing and selling grain.…

Inflation, deflation and printing presses

A lot of people seem to be confused lately by what's going on in the economy. I am most definitely among them. When you stop and take in the big picture, though, then some of the actions of the government start to make some sense. Obviously, we have a fiat money system as does the rest of the world. There are a lot of reasons for this which I don't really feel like getting into. Basically, though, we were forced to switch to a fiat system because, at the time, the rest of the world was moving towards doing the same and if we hadn't done it then the rest of the world would have been able to purchase our gold backed dollars with their fiat money and then cashed them in, thereby stealing all of our wealth. I read somewhere that South Africa has recently stopped production of krugerands. Do you really think that most of South Africa's krugerands are still in South Africa?

Thanks to a relatively recent and massive furthering of technology our system has become incre…