issue 107 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #107


I just had to write to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoy your magazine. I get a voluminous amount of reading material and the only one I look forward to receiving is Backwoods. I think I have purchased all of your past issues, cookbooks, etc. You really do an outstanding job. I thoroughly enjoy reading both your and John Silveira’s opinion articles. Even as an attorney who can argue both sides of any issue, I find myself rarely disagreeing with you.

Richard C. Watson
Jacksonville, Florida

Bleach ineffective as disinfectant above 100°

I enjoyed and learned much from the “Cleaning a Well” article in the May/June 2007 issue by Pat Barden. Although I can’t speak to the “cautions about running HOT water” when bleaching the lines, I can provide the following. The disinfecting capabilities of bleach are nil at temperatures above 100 degrees. I suspect this was the reason it was recommended not to use bleach on the HOT water lines. I doubt at the dilutions used there would be any problem with corrosion of pipes, be they copper or galvanized…

Tim Sheehan
Rosharon, Texas

Can America be saved from stupid people? No!

I’m reading your book Can America Be Saved From Stupid People. I’m only about a third the way through it. Quite frankly, regarding the question in the title, I don’t think it can. Human nature is the problem.

Human Nature is naturally selfish. This comes from that most basic instinct of all life, self survival. And from that natural selfishness comes self indulgence, self glorification, self deceit, my wants, my needs, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, things, children …

Technology has advanced: some of it quite good, (like this computer I’m writing this on). But human nature and the lack of wisdom are all too evident in the computer viruses and the everyday violence we see, hear and read about. I can only too readily understand why God had thoughts about wiping the slate clean in Noah’s day.

I only hope, (and I believe our only hope is), that someone comes to save us from ourselves.

Bert Maupin
Anchorage, Alaska

Don’t throw in towel; defend rights and freedoms

Backwoods Home Magazine “Letters” recent issue included ‘Keeping our heads Low to Avoid Government.” My opinion is that the government can’t be avoided and citizens have a responsibility under the Constitution to keep informed and involved in government activities. What if the founding citizens had kept their heads low and did not confront the British government in our Revolutionary War? True some citizens did not want to throw off their tyrannical oppressors and fled to Canada or ran back to mother England rather than fight for their freedom. But fortunately, most had the courage to confront and resist the government. True, some of those early colonists did not get to die of old age in an old folks home but instead sacrificed their lives and sacred honor to establish a new nation. Their sacrifices created the fat big easy life we can now work to enjoy. (Yes, I am a veteran with an honorable discharge.)

Feeling hopeless and surrendering to incompetent big government is not necessary yet. We can still actively support candidates of our choice in local, state and Federal elections. We can still join the NRA to defend our rapidly eroding 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Before you throw in the towel, have you made any effort to get involved in local politics? Have you given your time and money to support any candidates of your choice? Have you joined the NRA? Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing your views! Why are our elected politicians allowing our standard of living to decline in support of globalism? Don’t worry that your neighbors may think you are not ‘politically correct.’ Speak the truth because you are sick and tired of quietly allowing your rights and freedoms to fade away. Don’t hesitate to be heard now because the good old USA, as we knew it, is circling the drain.

Jim Van Sant
Valley Springs, California

Totally useful stuff

You guys rock! I am a long time admirer and subscriber, and I can’t even begin to express my thanks for all the help your mag. has been. I’ve studied self-reliance for well onto thirty years now, and yet you still come up with wonderful, new, totally useful stuff. The article about the whole-house vacuum system, for instance, was fabulous! It never made sense to me that I should have to spend a gazillion dollars for what amounts to a simple, modified vacuum cleaner! But I didn’t have the technical knowledge, until your article came along. I could go on, and on, and on…..Unless you guys literally sell out, I plan on being a lifetime subscriber. And thanks to you, I am a libertarian (you never even hear the word in the regular media…)

Joanna Scalf
Springtown, Texas

Keep speaking out

Your magazine is great. Both for the practical advice and information, and for speaking out about things that need to be said.

It is nice to read someone’s honest opinion and not what some sponsor wants the public to hear.

Keep up what you are doing, speaking out, and people will hopefully listen. I have had my eyes opened reading your magazine, finding out from your pages about how much of our freedoms have been lost.

Hopefully, they will not be lost forever, if enough people stand up and say “ENOUGH!”

Charles P. Back
Liberty, Kentucky

Thanks for the plastic

I appreciate the new plastic mailing wrapper as well as the fact my name and address are not printed on the magazine. It is my practice to drop off issues I’ve read at my place of business, the dentist’s office, the doctor’s office and so on, but anonymously…So, thanks.

My hope is that new readers will discover the magazine and be exposed to a non-parasitical philosophy (which may be new to them).

Karl Luebeck
Stoughton, Wisconsin

I’ve lived some of BHM

I really thought I’d sent in for renewal. Sorry about that – old age setting in. I do enjoy the magazine very much and often find I’ve lived some of it too.

I’ve got about 5¾ acres, 5 goats, 47 hens including 6 bantams, and 1 rooster bantam, 10 barn cats. I burn wood"this last winter in a brand new wood burning cookstove and enjoy it.

We drink goat milk, eggs get eaten but I sell most of them (profitably), keep a huge garden, and eat very well as a result.

My son (who lives with me) gets exercise tending the wood and I like cooking with it. I had the minister announce in church I was offering open house on my new stove last Oct. and have had people here to admire it as late as last week. Company standing open-mouthed saying they didn’t suppose such things were still made is enjoyable! The stories they told of the honeymoon days figuring how to cook were also fun.

I’ll be 87 in 3 weeks and am fortunate enough to use neither cane nor medicine.

Laurel E. Norman
Spring Valley, Minnesota

Getting as free from the system as possible

I just read the article on page 27 by Carrie Peterson, “Raising Rabbits for Profit,” in issue #106, July/Aug. I agree with what the article has to say, except growers in Oregon need to be aware that in Oregon rabbit has become a USDA inspected meat.

In the 90s I had a 140-doe rabbitry. I raised Californians and New Zealand Whites, and Pearls (Californian/New Zealand cross). My brother and I also ran a route from Coos Bay, Coquille, Tenmile, Roseburg, Eugene, Corvallis, Salem and then into the plant in Vernonia.

It was a good business and all 12 growers made a profit and we all enjoyed what we were doing. Well, my brother and I decided to sell to people and restaurants after we did the butchering. Great idea. WRONG! I got a big fine because I was not USDA.

Dave, the government does not want the little farmer to make it good. People really have to be careful and check out the regulations in the state they are in. I know I for one cannot afford any more hassles with the system. I will be home in Dec. and I plan on moving to the homestead and getting as free from the system as possible. Yet I will always be aware the system is always watching and waiting to pounce on the little guy.

It is a shame to sound so negative but we all know how bad things are getting.

Zeldon Linn
Umatilla, Oregon

For a man to live well he must live unseen

I wrote you guys a letter back in April asking for some information about your magazine. I saw your address in a book that I’d bought on country living and there was a footnote describing your libertarian philosophy. When I wrote, I expected to receive a brochure or a short note giving me the basic information that I’d requested. You really ended up surprising me by sending me the latest issue of Backwoods Home.

In my book, that was a pretty classy response. It kind of reminds me of bygone days when you could take a man at his word and a lot of deals were sealed with a simple handshake. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve probably found yourself another Lifetime subscriber.

Reading through that issue was like “coming home” in a way and I can see that I’m gong to acquire a lot of useful, practical knowledge as the months and years roll by. I look forward to getting to know you much better. I’ve shared that issue with a couple of like-minded friends, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get at least 3 or 4 more subscriptions out of our part of west-by-God-Virginia.

I want to mention something relating to a couple of letters that were in the May/June 2007 issue. Some of the folks were talking about activism, and “where were you?” and so on. In this day and age, especially with our present invasive government, the Patriot Act, and everything else that has happened in this post 9/11 world, I’m reminded of something I read years ago that the French philosopher René Descartes had to say a few hundred years ago. His advice is just as timely today as it was in the 17th Century: “…for a man to live well, he must live unseen…” Here’s my money. I look forward to the next issue.

Jeff Nichols
Muttonsville, West Virginia

Repubs and dems

As an avid listener to talk radio, I listen to Michael Medved when I can. As we know, he seems to be a regular basher of third parties, in particular, the Libertarian party. The more that I listen to this republican shill, the more that I think that someone needs to pay him a visit in Seattle and administer an, shall we say, “attitude adjustment.”

As I listen to him today, he is asking the question “What has any Libertarian candidate ever done of any consequence?”

Ron Szczepanski
Justin, Texas

Neither the Republican nor Democratic Parties give a hoot for what is left of America’s freedoms. They are different sides of the same penny, and worth about as much.
" Dave

Realistic disaster kit

I really liked John Silveira’s “Killer Hurricanes” article in the July/Aug issue. His recommendations on preparation, self-reliance and personal protection were right on the mark, as usual. As a note on disaster kits, Smith & Wesson (again American-owned since 2001) has come out with a dandy, realistic “Disaster Ready Kit” that will no doubt give severe hissy-fits to the politically-correct and the FEMA bureaucrats. This kit, in an excellent hard-shell watertight case, includes 4 space blankets, emergency food packets for 4 people for 3 days, an excellent First Aid kit, crank radio/flashlight, multi-tool, water purification tabs, a great Pocket Survival Pack, and – brace yourself – your choice of either a S&W .40 caliber or 9mm semi-automatic handgun with spare magazine.

Finally: a realistic urban disaster kit. All you need to add is a portable water supply and a pot to cook in.

Peter Humm
Mountain Home, Idaho

I’ve seen the kit. Very clever. I carry the S&W model 60. " Dave

A BHM family reunion?

Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your small shebang of anthologies and your magazine. This is the sixth time that I have attempted to write to you. I haven’t written too many letter since my days in the service overseas many years ago.

I first saw your magazine in the local library and got drawn in following everyone’s experiences. After consuming the past issues, I called to get my own subscription. I was too tight to buy the whole shebang and did not consider me such a radical thinker to get any of some of your cd’s. I received some money on Christmas from a deceased relative and decided to “splurge” and by the small shebang. I live and breathe reading the anthologies now. All of them are all “dog eared” now.

I think of following peoples’ lives like Jackie Clay and Dorothy Ainsworth. Interesting to see the changes. It finally hit me on how all these people in the anthologies were modern day pioneers in their own rights. These people are the backbone of our country. I appreciate them being willing to share their lives with us.

One of your articles hit home to me Dave, and how you started up your own business. I am in my mid fifties now, and am being tossed and turned on what to do on starting or expanding my business. I see a common thread with our modern day pioneers. They work as a team and have the common support of each other, no matter where they go or face new challenges.

Someday I would like to meet everyone. Ever think of having a little reunion?

I follow with interest Jackie’s articles on building in Minnesota. I want to build a log home too …

Keep up the articles on starting your own business. Maybe it will convince me that I am not too old to start on a new horizon in my life. My dad died early, never realizing his dreams. I got a stress test by the way, am fine for now – I don’t want to be like him in that regards. So keep up the encouragement! I just may get off the fence yet!

Alan McIlrath
Lake Tapps, Washington

A BHM family reunion? Sounds interesting. I wonder how many would come? " Dave

Looking for a good man

I’m writing to both thank you for your wonderful magazine and also to vent a little about our stuff induced society. I’ve been a subscriber for four years now and find your magazine to be a comfort and also a spirit booster to know that there are others similar to me out there. I am like a young version of Jackie Clay and Dorothy Ainsworth, both with an independent and go get ’em spirit. My only problem is that I am a 27 year old single mom of twins with an urban homestead (goats, garden, river, etc) and a 70 plus year old house that I’m fixing up. I refuse to put my kids into public school, so I homeschool them. But in order to keep my house and one little acre of dirt that’s mine I have to work two jobs. (Ok, enough venting).What I really wanted to write about is that there does not seem to be many like minded people in my generation. I’d like to know where they are, especially so I can find a good man to share life with. It seems that too many people these days have been raised with too much stuff, and have no desire to work for anything anymore. I’ve met a handful of back to basics people in my area, but they are all older. Is my generation just filled with a bunch of lazy, unmotivated, spoiled boys? Well, I refuse to stop doing what I love, even if I have to do the work of two people. So for now I’ll keep fine tuning my homesteading skills while I have to live in town and I’ll keep praying for a good man to come into my life who’s my age and has good work ethics, good morals, oh and carpenter skills are a bonus!

Heather Macy
Shelton, Washington

Did you just sneak a free personal ad by me? Maybe some nice man reading this will write us. We’ll forward his letter to you. " Dave

Veterans benefits cut

I wish to order a copy of your book, “Can America Be Saved From Stupid People?”

I am 78 years old, very ill, and injured too much to continue employment. I seem to be one of the “stupid people” of whom you wrote. My stupidity was that I believed that the Constitution was so clearly and plainly written that no public figure would attempt to sabotage it. The more fool, me.

Now I am old and in reduced finances due to medical expenses, inflation, etc., so I turned to the VA for treatment. They gave me some treatment, and pharmaceutical help, but now I need (they tell me) the services of a hematologist. And since the resurgence of the war in Iraq, they are having more purple hearts veterans and I am only a bronze star (they tell me). My priority has been reduced, and I will have to be diagnosed by a private physician at my own expense. I believed, I trusted and now the sheep is called to the slaughter.

I am a city boy, though I have had a goodly share of the great outdoors. My injuries are such that I can no longer indulge. Books on hunting and shooting are the limit of my outdoors activities. Reading of political fiascos is about all that’s left. Lots of luck. Best wishes.

Alan T. Bussmann
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

You’re not the only veteran who has discovered that the promises the Government made you when you enlisted will not be kept. Many vets are now finding out that Congress has simply decided it can no longer afford the medical benefits it promised many Korea and Vietnam vets when they retired. Think of the implications this has for society as a whole. If the Government has now decided that it doesn’t need to keep its promises to vets who served valiantly in time of war, why wouldn’t it decide in the future that it doesn’t need to keep its promises to ordinary citizens when it comes time for them to collect on Government promises like Social Security and Medicare? This is the ticking time bomb I’ve written about for years. The old vets are being tossed in the trash can now; soon, when the baby boomers begin to retire, they’ll be tossed in the trash can too. " Dave

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