Letters To The Editor
From Issue #122
I’ll get over missing my old girlfriend, but I need BHM
I’ve been reading (and saving) BHM for years, but when my girlfriend and I split up, I lost the (her) subscription. I’ll get over missing her but can’t stand the thought of missing just one BHM.
Either you have compelling ideas or I’m just gullible
Thanks for your magazine. Since starting to read your magazine a few years ago you have convinced me that moving into the middle of some acreage that is mostly snakes & ticks is okay. Either you print some very compelling ideas or I am very gullible.
I really do enjoy your magazine. The other check is a gift/donation to help either military or those that may not be able to afford your mag. See if you can get some more articles from Dorothy Ainsworth, too.
The extra money sent in by folks like you goes into a fund that we tap just as you suggest. Thanks. — Dave
For every slave that cancels, another patriot will join
I’ve been a subscriber for several years now. Like almost everyone else in the country our family has had to tighten the belt a little. One of the things we decided to do was let magazine subscriptions run out and not renew. However we just couldn’t do it with BHM, which is by far the most informative and entertaining magazine we subscribe to.
When I read letters from people like Chris Lamkin I can see why this country is in such poor shape. What he really meant was he doesn’t agree with you and so his preference would be to silence you. I say to you Mr. Lamkin Goodbye and Good Riddance.
And then we get to Mr. Goss from Missouri who not only doesn’t understand the Constitution but looks like the government indoctrination surely took on him. He thinks freedom in many cases is a good thing but to quote him “too much of a good thing can hurt.”
Mr. Goss sounds like he’d fit right into the increasingly fascist federal government. Actually sounds like he’s part of it in some form or maybe bucking for a position in it.
What we need is for the government to follow the Constitution. What we need is more freedom and not less. If the government will just follow its Constitutional duties it will become more efficient because it won’t have nearly as much to control.
For every one of those slaves that cancels their subscription more patriots will join your ranks!
The dilemma between freedom and responsibility
My wife, Jan, and I both independently took the “Where Do You Stand Politically” quiz (Issue No. 120), and wound up well within the “libertarian grid.” No surprise there. We would both trade away, any day, guaranteed equality for guaranteed freedom. Almost, by definition, you cannot have both. Anything that forces people to be “equal” is going to be taking away somebody’s freedom. We learned this from Milton Friedman a long time ago.
That said, I do have a problem or dilemma that I have not yet resolved in my mind about the libertarian philosophy; at least as it is practiced by many people. Several years ago I read Charles Lindberg’s autobiography, New York to Paris. At one point in the book, Lindberg was describing how, when he was a young boy (10 to 12 years old) he was taught by his father how to use an axe, then a gun and then a car. Having learned how to handle these potentially dangerous tools he was given free reign to use them, as needed. This pleased Lindberg immensely. At the end of the paragraph, Lindberg almost joyously proclaims, “My freedom was complete. All he asked for was responsibility, in return…”
Herein lies my problem with individual freedom as it is so often practiced today within the United States. People have forgotten about the second part of Lindberg’s proclamation. People think and behave as if a stated freedom or “right” means that they should exercise that freedom right up to (but falling just short of) the point where it might hurt someone else, whether the exercise of the freedom is the responsible thing to do or not. So many examples exist both on the part of corporations and individuals: I recently saw a young woman walking down a public street with seven bold 3″ high letters in contrasting colors stenciled on the side of her purse saying, “F— YOU.” I asked her why she felt it so important to have those words written on the side of her purse and her response was—”I have the right to say anything I want.” That is probably true and I would be the last person to be looking for government to stop her, but was she demonstrating “responsibility, in return” in the exercise of her first amendment rights? I don’t think so. Or how about the guy who starts shooting off his gun in the air, “just for kicks,” as he walks down the nearly empty street of a rural town. He hasn’t hurt anyone, probably hasn’t even endangered anyone and there is no ordinance against discharging a firearm in the town. He has, by our Second Amendment, the right to bear arms but has he exercised this right with “responsibility, in return?” I think not.
The list can go on and on and on of people or corporations (just a collection of people) exercising their freedoms—perhaps not breaking any laws—but nevertheless not doing so with a sense of responsibility as presumable thinking adults would do. Again, I DO NOT want Big or Small Government trying to step in to layer on another set of laws and regulations trying to control people’s behavior, but the irresponsibility of people in “exercising” the freedoms that they do have remains a disturbing dilemma for me. I fear this behavior is becoming a part of the changing culture of America?
I also suspect that stuff like this becomes the grist with which politicians, stirred on by their constituents (from both the right and the left—two examples above) set to work drafting more laws to control our behavior.
What do you think? By the way, I love your magazine; a light in the wilderness.
I see no dilemma as far as Libertarians are concerned. Libertarianism stresses responsibility as an essential element of freedom. I have not seen the frequency of the behaviors you describe, but society will always have a few people who don’t know how to behave. — Dave
I do this because I like it, not because I fear disaster
I’m still enjoying BHM, but I felt compelled to make some comments.
First: in the Editors’ Notes you alluded to your life being an adventure. I thought that was wonderful. I think that if people were more inclined to view their life as an adventure, they would have less anxiety and fewer disappointments. How fun is that?
I liked Dave’s little stroll down memory lane. While he did make some comments about various fanatics, I wonder if he noticed that he is a bit fanatical in his own way. I would imagine that the magazine would have not survived without that passion.
Len’s article on hypothermia is a vivid example of how hypothermia doesn’t discriminate. If I may add to that, I live in Michigan too, and I like to kayak year-round. In the cold weather I always take extra clothes and a towel in a waterproof bag, inside a waterproof compartment. If that were not enough, I also take along a small pop-up tent, a fold-up sterno stove, and a couple of cans of sterno. For what little space they take up, they have served me well.
Generally speaking, I like most of the articles. They are real nuts & bolts, down-to-earth stuff. Actually Massad helped me buy my first gun (.22 “plinkster”). All of the how-to articles look like fun, but I still have a regular job, so I don’t have time to do all of that cool stuff. I squirrel away all of my copies of the BHM for someday when I will have time to try all of that stuff.
Oh! I took the Political Quiz, and much to my surprise, I am a borderline Centrist/Libertarian. I have always found the Political articles interesting, but sometimes they get a bit wacky. Sometimes I wonder if the writer has both feet in reality. Never in all recorded history has there been a government that didn’t have taking care of the government as their first priority. The government only takes care of the general population as a means to taking care of the government. It is like the general population is the vegetable garden and the government is the gardener. They have to take care of us. When the economy gets like this, they are reminded why they have to take care of us. Lost revenue. If anyone takes exception to my vegetable garden analogy, all I can say is lighten up, it’s an adventure.
Prior to starting my subscription to BHM I dropped a subscription to another magazine because of their “sky is falling” outlook for our society. I didn’t fall for the Y2K thing, I don’t think that the world is going to end in 2012, and I really don’t see any indicators that our government and/or civilization is about to collapse. Is all of this a way to justify the way we BHM folks live? I hope not.
I live like this because I like it. I don’t feel that I have to justify my choices to other people. I like tromping around out in my woods, I like shooting my gun, I like planting a garden, I like building stuff. I don’t do any of that stuff to prepare for some impending disaster. I do it because I like it. Then again, I don’t worry about most things, because I trust God. How wacky is that?
Massad Ayoob’s articles
I am a cop of over 30 years and have been following Ayoob’s articles all that time. A web search of Ayoob articles brought me here (the BHM website). Been reading the website for several years now. Decided I wanted to read ALL of Ayoob’s stuff in the magazine, not just those made available on the website. I still follow his blog (on the BHM website) regularly.
Keep telling the truth
I love reading Jackie Clay’s articles. I believe in all the political views also. Don’t stop. Keep telling the truth. There are very few who aren’t afraid to do so.
Use 80-90° hinge, not 45° when cutting down trees
I have read your magazine off the rack for years and enjoy it each time. There is a lot of good information in it. What prompts me to write is the most recent issue #120 Nov/Dec 2009. My concern is from the chainsaw basics article. I am a working professional in forestry and oversee forest health issues as well as train and oversee a work crew who fell timber as loggers. I am a NY Certified Logger as well. My concern is for the mention of the 45° notch for safety reasons. Please bear with me. The recommended notch size is now 80-90° with the back cut or bore cut flush with or slightly above the hinge. This method has an improved safety record. The tree felled with an old 45° cut closes the notch when 45° from the ground, breaking the hinge after that. This increases the chance of kick back and injury if a feller did not get far enough away. The 90° cut does not close until at or almost to ground level the hinge remains intact the whole time. This puts greater control in felling and reduces kick back to almost none. I learned this method at a NY Logger course and at my forestry college, and read the safety records from OSHA.
Here are some signs you have adapted to desert life
Claire, it absolutely sucks that the PTB forced you out of your home, but I am glad that you have found a place of like-minded folks to start anew. You wouldn’t be our heroine if you couldn’t land anywhere and make a place for yourself.
Living here in southern Arizona, about 4000 ft. lower than where you are, I read your article with even greater interest than I usually give to BHM. I both chuckled and commiserated, remembering how I felt when I moved here in 1991.
Water, of course, is the big thing. I moved here in April before it got hot but often found myself getting faint before I realized I was dehydrated. Even in winter, the lack of humidity can get to you. Sometimes more so, as you think it’s not hot so you don’t need to drink as much. Wrong. The cold and dry will suck moisture out too.
Speaking of moisture, don’t neglect your skin and not just for the typical feminine reasons. The sun and dryness take a toll on the largest organ we have, which has an effect on the other organs. If your skin is too dry, you are not drinking enough. Stock up on moisturizers. I’ve found that Bag Balm is not just for udders anymore. It’s great stuff.
Here are some signs that you have adapted to desert life:
You automatically shake out your shoes or boots in the morning before putting them on—spiders and scorpions.
You have a glass of water always at hand and you actually drink from it. Frequently.
Whenever you are outside and not actually moving about, you will find whatever shade there is.
Your eyes are constantly scanning the ground for rattlesnakes and you learn what times of the day/nite/year when you can relax your vigil.
You find tarantulas fascinating and not just big, ugly, hairy spiders and that lizards are your friends — they both eat bugs.
Dust is no more a big of a deal than cat or dog hair. You breathe it, you eat it—oh well.
You can smell water.
You accept monsoon storms with an equal mixture of fear, awe and joy.
You wrote very well about the metaphysical aspect of desert living. Courtesy of the US Navy, I spent a year in Antarctica which is the largest “desert” of them all. Living here is not really all that different. Nature will do what nature will do and all we can do is try to adapt. There is a stark beauty here and, yes, that sense of pure survival that folks in woody, watered areas just can’t comprehend.
That holds true even for those of us who are dependent on piped-in utilities. In the back of our heads, many of us always have the thought of “what if….” The current economic woes have created a huge interest here in Tucson in rainwater harvesting and gardening and solar power. It’s gratifying to see people ripping up their grass lawns. Some folks, at least, are seeing the light.
Thanks again for your articles and I most certainly look forward to more.
From one desert rat to (soon to be) another, welcome.
Our drive toward socialism
Thank you sir for your ongoing and very accurate assessment of our nation’s political fiasco.
When I was still in grade school, sixty or so years ago, a teacher at that time almost daily told us how great the United Nations was and how it was going to save this country and the rest of the world from all its ills. Socialism was being fed to us that far back.
Back then, almost no one in our nation had any thoughts about Socialism and the destruction it could have on our freedoms and Republic form of government.
The super powers of European Royalty that governs the United Nations had one agenda: the destruction of all free people and enslavement of the world populace.
In our nation of supposedly educated and enlightened people, it is totally devastating to see how altogether too much of the population has their heads stuck in their posterior orifice and their hands out for so called free gimmies.
Please keep it up and let’s hope a few more people will wake up to what’s being done to us and take action, no matter how drastic.
Using Tabasco sauce to deter chickens who eat eggs
In a recent issue I read about a person having problems with their chickens eating eggs…Yes, a sad problem indeed, but did you know that if you blow out an egg (take a needle and poke a small hole into either end, then blow on one end and catch the egg’s contents coming out from the other in a dish), then take a syringe (no needle necessary) and put Tabasco sauce in it and shoot it into the egg….Place the egg back in the nest. This has worked wonders for me. Usually 1 or 2 times of that takes care of the problem. (until the next batch of chickens comes along, then just repeat as necessary…)
BHM an indispensable tool
Sorry I am so tardy in my renewal to BHM. Indeed, these are tough economic times. What to keep? What to sacrifice? Actually, there never was the question of not getting BHM, but only what to give up in order to keep receiving it.
There are tools one would like to have and tools that are necessary to have. The knowledge and skills I’ve acquired over the years from your magazine have made BHM an indispensable tool. The information garnered from BHM has become essential to my health, well-being, and STATE OF MIND.
Gabriel Saint Germain
Letters like yours have become essential for my state of mind. We actually get far more letters like yours than we print, but only publish certain ones due to a lack of space. The appreciative response from so many readers fuels our enthusiasm to publish the magazine. It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. — Dave
Article on Libertarianism hits the nail on the head
I have been a subscriber to your magazine for a couple of years. (I wish I had subscribed years ago.) I enjoy it and look forward to receiving it.
I am 56 years old living in a rural area of southeast Texas. The articles are very informative and educational.
I decided to write because of “The Last Word” by John Silveira (BHM Nov/Dec 2009 Issue #120). He must be a master carpenter, because he has hit the nail on the head!
I have always thought of myself as a fence straddling democrat, but the libertarian views sound like me.
It is a shame that advertisers let their politics interfere in the selling of their projects; so who needs them. I don’t! There are more of us that have the libertarian point of view than they think. They will soon realize that they need us, not the other way around.
Thank you, Dave Duffy, for publishing a truly terrific magazine. God Bless You! Since winter is here, Annie, be sure to keep a good supply of warm bricks for your feet! (The history of BHM is a great story.)
“Stupid People” book
…I am currently reading your “Stupid People” book and it’s one of the most honest to the point truths I’ve experienced. I only wish I could shout 1/2 of the common sense in this book to the people around me. How can the world or at least America really be so blind…I appreciate your work at helping good honest hard working Americans stay on the right path. I love your magazine. I feel like part of a big happy family when I’m reading it and I’m glad that real people still exist. Thank you for being real, and telling what some of us think but most of us never get to say. Please pass along my sincere gratitude to everyone in and involved with your magazine/website.
PFC Andrew Nolen, USMC
Economy will collapse
We are returning to the land even though we live in town. We have dedicated over 1/3 of our double lot to garden, chickens, and rabbits. Hope it doesn’t, but the economy is poised to collapse and I want to be ahead of the chaos. Thanks for providing the books.
Where is Henry Feinberg
Hey Dave, you were talking about people & the mag. What ever happened to Henry Feinburg? I heard about you from “The American Freedom Network” w/ Henry way back, and been with you ever since.
Henry Feinberg was my favorite radio personality, but he no longer does radio. Last I heard he was still a staunch Libertarian and survivalist. Maybe this letter will bring him out in the open. I have stage-fright so decline invitations to speak or go on radio shows, but I did and still could go on a radio show hosted by Feinberg. He had an ability to put you in your comfort zone. — Dave