Monday, December 31, 2012

How To Make A Brick Rocket Stove

How To Make A Brick Rocket Stove For Around $6

All you need to do is get down to your local home depot and purchase 16 bricks and that’s it!  Check out the video and see how easy it is to build.
Given the benefits of a rocket stove, I think it is an excellent idea to have some spare bricks stored at home. They can be stacked out of the way somewhere and then, if you are ever without power, you can build the stove in around five minutes and be cooking within 20 minutes.  Very simple and very effective, just how I like it!
If you want to make a larger stove – just get more bricks!


Your Online Privacy Is In danger

The FISA Debate Proves That Congress Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy

Online privacy was a big ticket item in 2012. More and more people are becoming concerned with just how much of their personal lives are available online for everyone to see. In fact, there’s been a push to adopt certain standards like Do Not Track to better protect the privacy of those who use the Internet day in and day out. Of course, in the end, none of that matters.
You see, there’s a bill currently up for renewal in Congress that doesn’t care one little bit about your privacy. In fact, it revels in the idea that the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unwarranted search and seizure, doesn’t apply to online communication. Now this bill – FISA – is going to be renewed for 2013, and there’s next to nothing you can do about it.
Should the Fourth Amendment apply to online communications? Let us know in the comments.
For a bit of background, FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is a bill that was enacted on October 25, 1978. The initial intent of the bill was to outline the powers of domestic spy agencies when collecting information, both physical and digital, on foreign powers. The bill limited the power of spy agencies to collect information on Americans, but all of that changed with the Patriot Act of 2001 and the Protect America Act of 2007.
Since the expansion of the bill, many people have come to question the true intention of FISA. Some argue that it’s being used to collect information on Americans without a warrant while others argue that’s an important tool in stopping terrorism. Both sides in the argument are right in their own ways, but there are important concerns that FISA needs to address in the digital age.
Senators brought forth a number of amendments that would directly address these concerns by making FISA more transparent while protecting the privacy of Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden, friend of the Internet, brought forth an amendment that would make the NSA more transparent on how many Americans have been impacted thus far by the warrantless spying program. For their part, the agency claims that there’s no domestic spying program in place, but NSA whistleblowers insist that there is.
Another amendment was brought forth by Sen. Rand Paul. He calls it the “Fourth Amendment Protection Act.” The amendment would bring Fourth Amendment protections into the digital age as it would protect Americans from having their data pilfered from third parties like telecoms and email providers. Here’s the relevant text from The New American:
(a) Except as provided for in subsection (b), the government is prohibited from obtaining or seeking to obtain information related to a person or group of persons held by a third-party in a system of records, and no such information or evidence shall be deemed admissible in a criminal prosecution in a court of law.
(1) “System of records” shall be defined as any group of records from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular associated with the individual.
(b) The government may obtain, and a court may deem admissible, information or evidence related to a person held by a third-party in a system of records provided that:
(1) The individual whose name or identification information the government is using to access the information provides express and informed consent to that search; or
(2) The government obtains a Warrant, upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In short, Paul’s bill would extend Fourth Amendment protections to things that you “own” in the digital space. Those in law have battled over this issue with some agreeing that things you create online, even status updates and emails, are yours; while others argue that a person has no ownership over something like a “Tweet.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley proposed an amendment that would make the government release opinions from the secret FISA court that decides on who can be wiretapped and who can’t. Not all rulings would be made transparent, but rather only those that contain important interpretations of FISA so Americans can know how the government is using FISA.
Finally, Sen. Patrick Leahy, sponsor of the pro-privacy ECPA update, proposed an amendment that would sunset the privacy infringing amendments to FISA after four years. The current renewal up for debate would add five more years onto the amendments, while Leahy’s amendment would decrease that time for three years. It’s not a major improvement, but at least it’s something.
Do you think these amendments are good additions to FISA? Should any of them be seriously considered? Let us know in the comments.
Despite their good intentions, none of these amendments will make into the final FISA. The EFF reports that the Senate systematically shot down every one of the amendments on Thursday night. In fact, the amendments were rejected by an overwhelming number of senators on both sides of aisle.
The Hill reports that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein disregarded many of the amendments claiming that FISA is already subject to “rigorous oversight.” Wyden responded by saying:
“I think, when you talk about oversight, and you can’t even get a rough estimate of how many law-abiding Americans had their communications swept up by this law … the idea of robust oversight, really ought to be called toothless oversight if you don’t have that kind of information.”
Feinstein argued back that she has never sen “a government official engaged in a willful effort to circumvent or violate the law” during her time on the Intelligence Committee. She did, however, state that there have been a “few incidents of non-compliance,” but she chalked those up to “human error or technical defect.”
Putting the final nail in the argument’s coffin, Feinstein pulled out the terrorism card to support the need for an unamended FISA going forward. She said that there have been over 100 arrests of terrorists over the past four years, and said that a number of those arrests were the direct result of surveillance under FISA. To change the way intelligence is gathered would presumably open the U.S. to more attacks.
It should be noted that FISA is just one part of the digital privacy landscape. The Senate has already approved ECPA, or the Electronics Communications Privacy Act. The bill would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant when collecting emails of domestic citizens. The bill would do nothing, however, if the email was sent from a U.S. citizen to a friend overseas. The NSA has jurisdiction over that and FISA allows them to gather all that information without a shred of transparency. If you believe whistleblowers, the spy agency is even collecting emails sent to friends in the U.S.
FISA was pushed through Friday in an effort to quickly pass the bill before the bill expired on Dec. 31. The amendments were most likely rejected as the majority of Congress is too focused on the current fiscal cliff negotiations instead of debating a privacy bill.
Regardless, there will come a time when digital privacy needs to be debated. It should have happened during the FISA debate, but now it must wait until another chance arises. 2013 may just prove to be that chance as more privacy infringing bills will undoubtedly pop up.


Homemade Wellness Drink

Gold Wellness Drink & Broth of Life Soup


Article Source:

I jinxed myself. On Friday, while my boyfriend and I were getting our community acupuncture treatments from the very wonderful local acupuncturist Eric Kerr, I said, "We're so lucky; we never get colds or anything!" Yep, famous last words. So Saturday, I wake up with runny nose, fuzzy head and a bit of the aches. You'd have thought I would've learned my lesson, but no...so when I said to my friend at brunch on Saturday, "it'll probably be gone by tomorrow", you can imagine: it only got worse the next day. Fast forward to today (three full days of sickness later) and I'm feeling much better, thank goodness.

Being my pitta-self, I didn't just drink a little tea and hope for the best. I went after this cold with the full arsenal of my holistic cold-fighting wisdom. I've had:
*ocean-fulls of turmeric, ginger & honey tea. 
*broths of all kinds (except chicken, doh)
*vitamin C galore
*chinese herbs
*ayurvedic herbs
*more tea
*some aloe
*Umcka (not even sure what this stuff does, but it seems pretty good)
*hot baths with epsom salts, lavender & peppermint
*White flower oil (I practically bathed in it on Sunday)
*a neti pot amost becoming my fifth appendage
*yoga postures like baddha konasana with my king size pillow behind my back
*acupressure points (genius for my headache)
and the hardest to fit in: 
Yes, I took the entire day off yesterday and stayed home, mostly in bed. 
I was unproductive (almost completely) and it was a challenge. 

What I keep coming back to is this:
"What is this cold trying to teach me?"
I don't think it was telling me to clean up my diet-- that seemed pretty good. 
Or to exercise more or differently- that's all well. 
I think what it was yelling at me was...
"Dang, girl!!! Get some rest!!"
Probably close to three weeks without a day off: not a recipe for health, especially during the change of season, even if I do absolutely love my work. 

So I am resting. Trying to take it easy and not take on more than is reasonable with a not-quite-super-human amount of energy. 
It's been on my to-do list to carve out time for a regular day off away from emails and my phone, but it had never seemed to reach the top of the list. Now, it's there: right at the top...with a little note next to it ("or else!") ;) 
If you haven't had a day off in weeks, learn from my misfortune: get some rest and turn off your phone. You'll thank me when you're not up to your elbows in kleenex. 

Here are two of the recipes that let me survive my day of sickness that I just couldn't take off...

Gold Wellness Drink 
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 a lemon, chopped in half
1+ tsp fresh grated ginger
1 pint hot water 
...once tea is cool enough to drink, add:
1 teaspoon + honey
(if just making a cup, halve this recipe)

Broth of Life Soup
6 stalks celery
1 bunch swiss chard
2 beets + greens
3 carrots
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 bunch of fresh thyme 
2 inches of fresh ginger, sliced
5 large cloves of garlic 
small piece of kombu
water to cover
--simmer above ingredients covered for 2 hours--
strain & save. Drink as you like to keep you breathing. (Honestly, it's great for congestion)
For a meal if you have the appetite, cook 1/4 c of basmati rice in 3 cups broth. 
If you've had too much ginger tea and you're starting to overheat, top your broth with chopped cilantro.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Armed Task Force To Patrol Streets

Are we gearing up toward Nazi Germany?  This is abuse of power. Read on....

In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall offered residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night at West View Baptist Church what could be considered an extreme solution — armed officers patrolling the streets on foot.

Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.

"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."

Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."

Gaskill backed Stovall's proposed actions during Thursday's town hall.

"They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."

Stovall said the foot patrols would begin on the east side of town and would eventually snake into the Pecan Grove area.

He said the police would follow where crime was taking place in order to snuff it out.

Normally, police would not stop individuals for simply walking on the street, but Stovall said the level of crime in certain areas and concerns from residents gave his officers the right to institute the actions announced at the town hall event.

"This fear is what's given us the reason to do this. Once I have stats and people saying they're scared, we can do this," he said. "It allows us to do what we're fixing to do."

Stovall further elaborated on the stop-and-ID policy Friday morning, claiming the city's crime statistics alone met the threshold of reasonable suspicion required to lawfully accost a citizen.

"To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason," he said. "Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out. Then when I add that people are scared...then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area."

Stovall said he did not consult an attorney before announcing his plans to combat crime. He even remained undaunted when comparing his proposed tactics with martial law, explaining that "I don't know that there's ever been a difference" between his proposals and martial law.

Stovall said task force members would not even be required to be looking for a specific suspect before stopping citizens on the street.

"Anyone that's out walking, because of the crime and the fear factor, [could be stopped]," he said.

Should an individual not produce identification, Stovall said his officers would not back down. Individuals who do not produce identification when asked could be charged with obstructing a governmental operation, according to Stovall.

"I'm hoping we don't run across [any] of that," Stovall said. "Will there be people who buck us? There may be. But we have a right to be doing what we're doing. We have a zero-tolerance. We are prepared to throw your hind-end in jail, OK? We're not going to take a lot of flack."

On Friday, however, Gaskill retreated from the severity of the plan he and Stovall offered to citizens at the town hall.

"The only people who are really going to be impacted by this are mostly the unknowns," Gaskill said.

The mayor said the street crimes unit would not be positioned to cause problems for law-abiding residents.

"We just want to make a presence out there for the criminal element," Gaskill said. "And we want to make a presence for the people who are concerned and give them a sense of security."

Gaskill added he was not concerned about potential profiling by the police department. Even though Stovall had said police would enter neighborhoods with the highest crime rates, Gaskill said officers would respond to where they received calls.

"It would be based on where people have called us and said things are going on in our neighborhood," he said.

Gaskill made clear Friday that when residents called about problems in their neighborhoods, they needed to provide police with information.

"Give us a description — what kinds of clothes they're wearing, [license] plate number. We'll be looking for descriptions," he said.

City Attorney Allen Warmath echoed Gaskill's statements on Friday.

"It is my understanding that if they get a call in an area and they go to an area because of some calls of suspicious activity, they'll make contact," Warmath said.

Warmath said while he had not directly spoken to Stovall, he understood that the street crimes unit would actually be less confrontational than Stovall let on.

"If they have a call that there's some problems in the area, they're at least going to talk to you," he said. "Maybe that person walking their dog saw something. It gives them some information and some leads to find out what's going on."

As for having IDs, he said citizens wouldn't have to worry about that, either. He said the police would not arrest residents solely for failing to produce identification when asked.

Attorney Curtis Hitt of the law firm of Hitt and Kidd said officers were allowed to engage in "consensual questioning" with citizens, though if any circumstances arose that led to an arrest, a judge would have to look at the "totality" of those circumstances.

"The bottom line is it would have to be determined on a case by case basis," he said.

Hitt said he had a high regard for Stovall and the Paragould police. He said he felt their intentions were in the right place, which he believed was preventing crime and making Paragould a safe community.

"At the same time, as an attorney who reads police reports and keeps up with the law, I certainly will be careful of that for any of my clients."

Thursday's town hall meeting was the second of four meetings Paragould officials will host to discuss crime statistics in different parts of town. Officials will meet with residents Tuesday at Center Hill Church of Christ and Thursday at the Paragould Community Center. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m.


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10 Reasons For A 22LR Firearm

Mossberg 715t .22LR
Here are 10 great reasons why you should consider a 22LR firearm. Check out both video’s below they are very informative.

#1 Great For Beginners
#2 Target or Plinking
#3 Ammo is Cheap
#4 Hunting (great for small game)
#5 Pest Control (snakes, rats)
#6 Training (see #3)
#7 22LR is Plentiful
#8 Conversion Kits For Defensive Gun
#9 Supressors are less expensive
#10 Self Defense


Sightmark .22LR Boresight
Tact Inv Fake Suppressor 22Lr
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Slowing down to enjoy life

Every issue I gear up mentally to write the editorial for the magazine by studying the political and economic issues facing the country. Each issue it gets harder and harder as I get madder and madder at the politicians of both major parties, the ineptness of our government on both the national and local levels, and the seeming depth of the death spiral I envision America as being on. This issue, as I put myself through the same mental torture by trying to write about the many different ways our government lies to us using things like rigged unemployment numbers and phony inflation statistics, I suddenly extended my arm over my desk like a big windshield wiper and swept all the accumulated paperwork onto the floor. I spared my computer. I went out onto my front deck and hit golf balls into the woods for about an hour, then retrieved my Remington 870 shotgun from a rack and disassembled it so I could install a new LED light assembly on the forend. Then I walked my property with two of my five cats following. We visited the big rock that is the grave marker for Molly, my old black lab who recently died, and went on up the 300-yard winding path to the spring that is the source of water for the house. It was one of those Pacific Northwest days when the ocean is still but the storm is gathering. I could see across about 50 miles of awe-inspiring ocean glass. On the way back I visited the chicken house, retrieving several eggs by reaching under an angry hen who pecked my hand. I like being pecked by an angry hen and have tried to persuade my eight-year-old granddaughter, Olga, that she too should not be afraid to reach under the hen when retrieving eggs. When I got back to the house, I called my wife, Lenie, who is the business manager for the magazine, and suggested I take her to dinner. She was delighted. Life can be pleasurable and rewarding if you don't let yourself get overwhelmed by the disturbing news of the day. Sometimes you have to calm down, slow down, and refocus on what is important. It's not a corrupt government that is important, although we must keep an eye on the rascals within it, but our personal world and our families. You cannot spend all your time battling dragons. I've always had a tendency to dwell too much on things. Since my daughter, Annie, took over the editorial side of Backwoods Home Magazine three years ago, she gave me the time to step back and do some fishing, golfing, shooting, and reading. She also gave me my third grandchild, Clara, who has become my good buddy at the office. It can be hard to change an old dog, especially when there are so many dragons that need slaying. But by golly, at age 67 I'm going to try and calm down and enjoy all the pleasant things in my corner of the world. Maybe there's a lesson here for all of us.



The Bloody Truth About Serbia's Vampire

Following a recent scare, experts shed light on the enduring myth of the undead.

Garlic sales are up. Wooden crosses are a hot commodity. That can only mean one thing: Vampire on the loose!
But this isn't part of a movie script or book. It's a real-life event in the Serbian town of Zarozje (map), where last month the local council issued a public health warning that the resident vampire, Sava Savanovic, may be on the prowl. (See "Pictures: Toothless 'Vampire' Skeleton Unearthed in Bulgaria.")
The vampire scare was sparked by reports that an old mill where the vampire allegedly lived has collapsed. According to ABC News, the town's mayor, Miodrag Vujetic, said: "People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else [to live] and possibly other victims is terrifying ... "
Then again, how frightened should you be of a vampire who, as the story goes, can turn into a butterfly? To find out, we spoke with Mark Collins Jenkins, the author of Vampire Forensics, and forensic archeologist and anthropologist Matteo Borrini.
Is this vampire alert an effort to draw tourists or a modern-day manifestation of ancient superstitions?
MCJ: I have no idea, but I would suspect the former. I would approach the story very warily. Vampire belief might be deeply rooted in the Balkans, but I doubt you'll find any "ancient superstition" even there that hasn't been thoroughly tainted by modern vampire lore. Fangs and blood-drinking are generally not present in the old stories. Victims were usually beaten up or suffocated.
Is it crazy that the town council issued a public health warning?
MCJ: Historically speaking, it's not that crazy. In past centuries, outbreaks of vampire hysteria, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, often coincided with outbreaks of tuberculosis and deadly plagues. Peasants had no other way of explaining why everyone was dropping dead but by blaming it on witches and vampires or other supernatural creatures. In 19th-century New England, tuberculosis wasted entire families, one after another. Superstitious people believed that the first to die was somehow feeding on his surviving family members. (Related: "'Vampire of Venice' Unmasked: Plague Victim & Witch?")
Why did people begin believing in vampires?
MB: Especially between the 16th and 18th centuries, little was known about what happens to the body after death. During plagues and epidemics, mass graves were continually reopened to bury new dead. People sometimes exhumed the bodies of the diseased to look for possible causes. Reports about vampires describe exhumations weeks or months after death, during the body's decay.
MCJ: Bodies weren't embalmed back then. They rot, to be quite frank, in grossly different ways. If a bunch of people in the village started dying in mysterious ways, they'd dig up the first one to die, see that his corpse didn't look quite right, assume that was blood flowing down those cheeks (it's called purge fluid in modern forensics, a natural byproduct of decomposition, but it's not blood), and generally burn the body. End of vampire.
Savanovic supposedly survived in spirit as a butterfly. Are there other twists on the classic vampire story?
MB: Sometimes it was thought that the body turned into a wolf or dog because near the grave of the vampire, there were footsteps of these animals. Actually, the earth had been disturbed by stray and hungry dogs attracted by the smell of the decomposing body.
Why is garlic anathema to vampires?
MCJ: People used to believe that strong-smelling stuff like garlic was apotropaic, meaning able to ward off evil spirits. But the specific garlic-vampire connection was popularized by 19th and 20th century novels and movies. A kind of [Romany] vampire, for example, is instead deterred by burning turmeric. Garlic won't bother them.
How do modern interpretations of vampires differ from older ones?
MB: Ancient reports speak about vampires as bloated corpses of ordinary people with blood around the mouth. In the movies, the dead are charming, seductive, often aristocratic, or with superhuman powers.
MCJ: The modern fascination with vampires is fueled by books and movies. Since the early 19th century, that has turned on illicit romance. Forbidden love. It was somehow thrilling to cross the line and love a vampire, or to be seduced by one. Hardly any of that is in the folklore, though. (See: "Vampire Expert Digs His Fangs Into 'True Blood,' 'Twilight.'")
Has there ever been any proof that a vampire existed?
MB: No. All the old reports about vampires talk about real events and real exhumation of bodies of suspected vampires. But they are misinterpretations of the transformative phenomena of corpses: Every exhumed vampire was actually a normal, decomposing body.
Why does this belief in vampires hang on?
MCJ: Fear of the dead. The same reason that people, deep down, are still afraid of ghosts. A vampire is a dead body brought back to life, so to speak, perhaps by the devil or an evil spirit.
MB: I think it's connected to two deep aspects of human thought: death and blood. Death is our inevitable destiny. Blood is our life fluid. The vampire connects these two aspects in a paradoxical way—it is a corpse who escapes death by drinking blood.


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Survival Doctor Medical Supply List

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Medique 40061 First Aid Kit, 61-PieceFirst Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece KitFirst Aid Kit With Hard Case- 326 pcs- First Aid Complete Care Kit - Exceeds OSHA & ANSI Guidelines - Ideal for the Workplace - Disaster Preparedness (Color Red)

How To Make "Oxiclean", Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener

How To Make "Oxiclean", Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener

How To Make Glass Cleaner

Homemade Glass Cleaner

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of breathing in toxic fumes and wearing rubber gloves when I clean. After realizing how many toxic chemicals are in commercial cleaning products, I'm on a mission to make my own. I've been amazed at how simple it is.

Homemade glass cleaner is the first homemade cleaning product I've tackled and I couldn't be happier with it. I looked at A LOT of glass cleaner recipes online until I found this winner at crunchybetty.com. I'm glad I chose it because it works just as great as Crunchy Betty claims it does. I think her exact words were, "It makes your mirrors look like they were just born."

Homemade Glass Cleaner1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp corn starch
2 cups distilled, filtered, or boiled water

I decided to use distilled water instead of tap water because our water is really hard. Hard water and cleaning just aren't a good combination. (I can't wait for the day I can get a water softener!) Combine everything in a spray bottle and shake well. Also shake before using because the cornstarch will settle to the bottom.
Now let's talk money. How much did it cost me to make up this whole bottle of glass cleaner?

$0.12 Rubbing Alcohol
$0.04 Vinegar
$0.12 Distilled Water
$0.17 Corn Starch
$0.45 Grand Total

Beat that, Windex!



Thursday, December 20, 2012

EDITORIAL: An Attack on ‘Some Guns’ is an Attack on all Gun-owners

Before I begin this article I want to say that as a father of a young son only a couple of years away from starting school my deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut. As a father I know the unending love of a small child and the wonder in their eyes at all things great and small, and cannot imagine having that taken away from me. You have my sympathy and prayers.

Wag the doggun

On December 14th in Newtown, Connecticut so many lives were cut short in an act of unspeakable evil the likes of which we have not seen in this country before.  A shooter, whose name I will never mention, whose photo I will never post in my articles, and whose motive we may never understand decided to take the lives of twenty young children and seven adults before he cowardly ended his own. Yet as dangerous and horrendous as the act was, what has been allowed to transpire with blinding speed in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy continues to frighten me and, for the life of me, I don’t understand how you can call for new gun control measures or dump a Fortune 500 company before all the facts of the case are even known.
Beneath a hailstorm of speculation just as the barest of facts were beginning to solidify about this case, there were calls to action from politicians, promising moves against guns and seizing this sensitive moment away from people who need it the most, the real victims of this shooting. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among the first who called for action stating:
“With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their ABCs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year olds.
President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.”.....Read More HERE

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Obama to send Congress gun proposals in January

Obama to send Congress gun proposals in January
WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the time for action overdue, President Barack Obama promised on Wednesday to send Congress broad proposals in January for tightening gun laws and curbing violence after last week's schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut.
Even before those proposals are drafted, Obama pressed lawmakers to reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, close loopholes that allow gun buyers to skirt background checks and restrict high-capacity ammunition clips.
"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said in his most detailed comments on guns since Friday's killing of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Conn. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."
Gun control measures have faced fierce resistance in Congress for years but that may be changing now because of last week's violence. Since then, Obama has signaled for the first time in his presidency that he's willing to spend political capital on the issue and some prominent gun-rights advocates on Capitol Hill — Democrats and Republicans alike — have expressed willingness to consider new measures.
Still, given the long history of opposition to tighter gun laws, there is no certainty the legislation Obama backed Wednesday or the proposals he will send to Congress next month will become law.
Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime gun control advocate, with overseeing the administration-wide process to create those proposals. Beyond firearms' restrictions, officials will also look for ways to increase mental health resources and consider steps to keep society from glamorizing guns and violence.
Obama's January deadline underscores the desire among White House officials to respond swiftly to the Newtown shooting. Obama aides worry that as the shock of the shooting fades, so, too, will the prospects that pro-gun lawmakers will work with the White House to tighten restrictions.
"I would hope that our memories aren't so short that what we saw in Newtown isn't lingering with us, that we don't remain passionate about it only a month later," said Obama. He pledged to talk about gun violence in his State of the Union address.
Emphasizing the need to take action, Obama said eight people have been killed by guns across the U.S. since the Newtown shooting. Among them were a 4-year-old boy and three law enforcement officers.
The president has called for a national dialogue on gun violence before, after other mass shootings during his presidency. But his rhetoric has not been backed up with concrete action. And some of the gun measures Obama has signed lessened restrictions on guns, allowing people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains
The president bristled at suggestions that he had been silent on gun issues during his four years in office. But he acknowledged that the Newtown shooting had been "a wake-up call for all of us."
The shooting appears to have had a similar impact on several longtime gun backers on Capitol Hill. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat and avid hunter, has said "everything should be on the table" as Washington looks to prevent another tragedy, as has 10-term House Republican Jack Kingston of Georgia
There was little response from Republicans Wednesday following Obama's statements. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has been sharply critical of the president's lack of action on gun issues, called the effort a step in the right direction.
Obama, seeking to ease the fears of gun owners, reiterated his support for the Second Amendment. And he said no effort to reduce gun violence would be successful without their participation.
"I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority, of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war," he said.
He also challenged the National Rifle Association to do "some self-reflection." The gun lobby is a powerful political force, particularly in Republican primaries, and previously has worked to unseat lawmakers who back gun control measures.
The NRA, in its first statements since the shooting, pledged Tuesday to offer "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
The Biden-led task force will also explore ways to improve mental health resources and address ways to create a culture that doesn't promote violence. The departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, along with outside groups and lawmakers, will all be part of the process.
Biden will start his discussions Thursday when he meets with law enforcement officers from around the country. He'll be joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Biden's prominent role could be an asset for the White House in getting gun legislation through Congress. The vice president spent decades in the Senate and has been called on by Obama before to use his long-standing relationships with lawmakers to build support for White House measures.
The vice president also brings to the effort a long history of working on gun control issues, having chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and leading the original effort to ban assault weapons. The ban expired in 2004, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says she plans to bring it back for a vote early next year.
Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC


The End Of The World

Well Said

Tomorrow 12/21/2012, is what some believe to be the end of the world. I am not one of those people. There are many beliefs that surround the end of the Mayan calendar which I will not bore you with. In short, I am sure life for most of us will continue for many years past tomorrow. However, I do believe that tomorrow is a day to be extra prepared. This world is full of crazies looking to make a name for themselves, as we saw with the tragic event in Newtown last week.

Just in my area, I have seen reports of numerous schools being shutdown because of bomb threats or threats of violence. I know many more people that are calling off of work or pulling their children out of school tomorrow because of a peaked level of paranoia. I don't blame these people quite honestly. When it comes to survival you can't go wrong with trusting your instincts.

So don't expect fire to rain down upon the Earth tomorrow. But do expect more violent acts in public as some people attempt to be a news story. If you can stay within the security of your home tomorrow, I would choose that route. Let's just hope the crazies stay indoors tomorrow as well. Stay safe and keep preparing your family for real disasters!

Still image from the movie - Constantine


Chainmate CM-24SSP 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch

Rothco Deluxe Adventurer Survival Kit Knife

To Keep And Bear Arms

Well Said Mr. Jefferson...Well Said.

Will The Anti-Gun Movement Target Preppers?

Will The Anti-Gun Movement After School Massacre Target Preppers?

I have been asked several questions concerning the hideous murders of children and teachers at the Sandy Hill Elementary School and how it affects preppers, with most of these questions relating to the legality, availability and affordability of what the unknowledgable call "assault weapons".

Really doesn't matter what I think as sales and prices of civilian AR's and Kalashnikov models are reportedly up in the same numbers they were when President Obama won his first election.

There is an emotional cry to "do something" about these unpredicable mass murders. That may result in further firearms restrictions, maybe high capacity magazines restrictions, certainly some type of ammunition controls , maybe taxes, maybe tracking of ammunition sales,......anybody's guess on which previously pro-firearms and pro-constitution legislators will roll over and support such measures.

But as far as legislative or executive order decisions affecting the other efforts of preppers or otherwise targeting us as some sort of state threat? I don't think so...at least not in a great degree.  Then lo and behold an article comes out on the internet about "Survivalists worry ‘preppers’ will be scapegoated for Newtown shooting":

Ever since a relative of Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza suggested that his mother, Nancy Lanza, was a "survivalist" who stockpiled food and weapons, "preppers" have gone online to express concern that they may become targets of unwelcome attention.

"She prepared for the worst," Nancy Lanza's sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza, told reporters last weekend. "Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping—are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?"

Preppers, also known as survivalists, have been popularized by the National Geographic reality show "Doomsday Preppers." They range from people who believe the world will end soon to those who want to be better prepared in case a natural disaster hits.

Some preppers pursue "shelter in place" strategies, turning their homes into fortresses and stockpiling food, while others plan to flee their homes when the time comes and survive in the wilderness. Many swap tips and stories on online message boards, where discussions about Nancy Lanza and the possible blowback on preppers from her apparent connection to the community sparked debate over the weekend.

Adam Lanza, 20, is believed to have shot his mother while she slept before driving to a nearby elementary school and killing six adults and 20 children. People who knew Nancy Lanza, 52, and her son have told reporters that she took Adam to shooting ranges and legally owned five guns. It's suspected that three of the guns recovered at the scene of the crime belonged to his mother. On Sunday, the New York Post ran a cover story that seemed to lay blame for the shooting at her feet, titled "Gun-obsessed mom taught murderer son to shoot: Trained to Kill."

One leading prepper, Daisy Luther, was outraged by the cover, and wrote on her blog the Organic Prepper that the media is using the shootings to "demonize" preppers and that the tactic may be a form of "psychological warfare."

"I don’t know why Adam Lanza went on a rampage and killed 26 people last week. But I do know that it wasn’t because his mother was a homeschooling prepper who stored up food and taught him to fire a gun at a paper target," she wrote.

An anonymous poster on the conspiracy website GodlikeProductions also worried that preppers may now become "targets" to blame for the tragedy. "If I was you guys I'd keep any prepper type activities close to the vest," the poster wrote.

Others commented that preppers need to be more careful in keeping their weapons locked away. "I may be out of line (and i know you guys will let me know if i am!) but i am thinking that if i had guns in the same house with a [mentally ill] son, i would have invested in a gun safe and kept the keys on me," wrote one prepper named Peter Simcox on SurvivalistBoards.com. "A good prepper is going to secure the arms almost as a first reponsibility."

Other preppers chimed in to say that it's still unknown how Adam Lanza accessed the weapons in the first place and that they might have been locked away. A friend of the family told NBC's the "Today" show that Nancy Lanza insisted her son use weapons responsibly and taught him to do so when they went to ranges for target practice together.

"Guns require a lot of respect, and she really tried to instill that responsibility within him, and he took to it," friend Russell Hanoman said. "He loved being careful with them. He made it a source of pride."


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The "Feeling" Of Prepping

There are just somethings you really cannot describe when it comes to doing what I do.

There is a certain 'feeling' when you vacumme seal a package of dried blueberries as a special flavoring for later.

There is a certain 'feeling' when there is a snow storm outside, and you really dont care because you have the extra food at home to make your own hot chocolate from dry chocolate mix, dry milk, and hot water, and not panicing like everyone else is.

There is a certain 'feeling' when you're laid up for a while, yet you have pre-made dinners in the freezer, cans of soup in the cupboard and buckets of dry stuff that just takes water to boil.

There is a 'feeling' when you grow your own food, preserve it and eat it yourself.

The 'feeling' you get when you enjoy that small treat that you get yourself every once in a while because you have done really well in prepping and splurged a bit on some candy.

There is a certain 'feeling' when your car breaks down, yet you do not panic because you can either fix it yourself or know someone who can fix it for you.

Personally, I call that a measure of 'freedom and relief'.


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Take a break..Do Nothing For 2 Minutes

A Little Fun

Do you have the patience to do nothing for 2 minutes?  Come on, Take a break...


How To Make A Paracord Watch Band With Buckle

Paracord watchband/bracelet with a side release buckle

This tutorial will show how to make a paracord watchband with a side release buckle using the alternate half-hitch. It can also be made without a watch for use as a paracord bracelet, or on a larger scale as a dog or cat collar. More projects, links, knot references can be seen on my blog page, Stormdrane's Blog.

Instructions for this project can be seen here

Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord
Black Genuine GI 550LB Military Nylon Paracord Rope 100 Feet
50 Buckles 3/8" (10mm), Mix of 10 Colors (5 of each) Contoured Side-Release. Perfect for Paracord Bracelets.
20 - 3/8" Contoured National Molding Plastic Buckles
Paracord 101: A Beginner's Guide to Paracord Bracelets and Projects

DIY: Make Your Own Hot Tub

It’s not the easiest job, but building your own wood-fired hot tub can save you thousands of dollars if you’re willing to dig a hole and learn some basic concrete skills. Use a shovel and a pickax to dig a pit, making it at least six inches bigger on all sides than the size of the finished tub you want. Be sure to pick a location free of roots or bedrock. Make the hole as deep as you like, but smaller tubs will heat faster. As for the shape, a keyhole design is ideal, since you can place the woodstove safely away from the larger sitting area. Remember to cut benches and steps, too.

Line the pit with plastic sheeting, using roofing nails to tack it into the dirt. Cut sections of two-inch-thick closed-cell insulating foam—available at any home-improvement store—and line the pit, laying the foam on top of the plastic sheet. Hold it in place using chicken wire, which should cover the interior of the tub and anything else you want to make out of concrete.

Get a professional to help you estimate how much concrete you’ll need. Mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow, slathering it onto the chicken wire as smoothly as possible. Start high and work low, since drops will fall to the floor of the tub. Wear gloves. Smooth? Good. Now let it cure for a week. Once it’s cured, paint at least two coats of concrete sealer. (Note: You’ll need to reseal it every year with concrete paint.)

Buy a submergible stove for around $750 (http://snorkel.com) and place it in the narrow part of the keyhole pit. You’ll want to install wood fencing between the stove area and the soaking area to keep people from accidentally bumping into the burner. Though the stove comes with mounting brackets, it’s best to anchor it with dumbbells to keep it from floating.

You’ll need a way to drain the tub. The simplest method is to buy a Quick Drain system—a handheld pump that siphons and vacuums out water ($75; http://hottubessentials.com).

Make an insulating cover out of two-inch closed-cell foam to hold in heat. Fill the tub and stoke the fire at least six hours before your party. The first heating can take closer to 10 hours, depending on the size of the tub. But once the water is warm, it can take as little as six hours to get hot again.

Aaron Huey made a giant wood-fired hot tub a few years ago for some of the best parties that northern New Mexico has ever seen. They involved numerous DJs, a giant golden bull made of fuel-soaked papier-mâché (which burned gloriously), and dozens of naked women.


Original Source:

Obama Vows Fast Action in New Push for Gun Control

HERE WE GO......

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared on Wednesday that he would make gun control a “central issue” as he opens his second term, promising to submit broad new firearm proposals to Congress no later than January and to employ the full power of his office to overcome deep-seated political resistance.Leading House Republicans responded to the president’s pledge in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre by restating their firm opposition to new limits on guns or ammunition, setting up the possibility of a bitter legislative battle and a philosophical clash over the Second Amendment soon after Mr. Obama’s inauguration.
Having avoided a politically difficult debate over guns for four years, Mr. Obama vowed to restart a national conversation about their role in American society, the need for better access to mental health services and the impact of exceedingly violent images in the nation’s culture.
He warned that the conversation — which has produced little serious change after previous mass shootings — will be a short one, followed by specific legislative proposals that he intends to campaign for, starting with his State of the Union address next month.
“This time, the words need to lead to action,” Mr. Obama said. “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
At an appearance in the White House briefing room, the president said that he had directed Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to lead an interagency effort to develop what the White House said would be a multifaceted approach to preventing mass shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn., last week and the many other gun deaths that occur each year.
As evidence of the brutal cost of gun violence, Mr. Obama said that since Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut, guns had led to the deaths of police officers in Memphis and Topeka, Kan.; a woman in Las Vegas; three people in an Alabama hospital; and a 4-year-old in a drive-by shooting in Missouri. They are, he said, victims of “violence that we cannot accept as routine.”
Accompanied by Mr. Biden, the president signaled his support for new limits on high-capacity clips and assault weapons, as well as a desire to close regulatory loopholes affecting gun shows. He promised to confront the broad pro-gun sentiment in Congress that has for years blocked gun control measures.
That opposition shows little signs of fading away. While the death of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday appears to have persuaded some Democratic lawmakers to support new gun control measures, there has been little indication that Republicans who control the House — and are in a standoff with Mr. Obama over taxes — are willing to accept such restrictions.
House Democrats urged Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to bring a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines to a vote by Saturday — a step he is highly unlikely to take.
Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, an influential conservative leader, said in a statement that “it is clear that criminals will always find ways to acquire weapons and use them to commit acts of violence.”
“Passing more restrictions on law-abiding citizens will not deter this type of crime,” he said.
Mr. Jordan and other House Republicans declined to be interviewed, saying through aides that it was time to mourn, not to debate policy.
“There will be plenty of time to have this conversation,” said Brittany Lesser, a spokeswoman for Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, “but it is not amidst the funerals of these brave young children and adults.”
This week, Mr. King told an Iowa radio station, KSCJ, that “political opportunists didn’t wait 24 hours before they decided they were going to go after some kind of a gun ban.” He also expressed doubt about gun control measures, saying, “We all had our cap pistols when I was growing up, and that didn’t seem to cause mass murders in the street.”
Representative Howard Coble, Republican of North Carolina, said in an interview that he thought the talk of gun control was “probably a rush to judgment” that missed the real issue.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Body Hollow

(As featured in the May 2007 issue of Practically Seeking)

This style of shelter is an easy step up from the most basic idea of burrowing down into a big pile of leaves for warmth or protection from the elements.


  • Quick to construct
  • Will keep you warm and dry
  • Takes far less time and materials than a full-on debris hut.


  • Can be tricky to keep water-tight in a heavy rain

Other Uses:

  • Makes a great "hide" or ground blind when hunting with firearms
  • Good short-term cache (for non-food items)
  • Adaptable to a wide variey of terrains and conditions
  • Snug — Needs no other heat source
  • Camouflages very well into the landscape (See how our completed Body Hollow shelter blends into the surrounding area)
Wonder how well this simple shelter would really hold up? Check out our post-Nor'easter pics!

Step-by-step instructions for building this quick, easy-to-construct shelter.


The Body Hollow shelter blends well into the surrounding landscape