issue 109 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #109

A hand-pumped well

We have been farming organically for 32 years. We would appreciate advice on digging and hooking up a handpumped water well for use when electricity fails.

Arlene and Steve Shako
Schoharie, New York

You have 4 ways to go with this:

1. If your area has a high water table (do not need to drill deep to hit water) and the ground is not hard solid rock, you can buy a well point kit. This kit includes a hard steel pointed end with screened side openings that you attach to galvanized steel pipe you buy locally in threaded 10 foot long sections. It also includes a metal cap that screws on the top end that you strike with a sledge hammer and drive into the ground by hand. As you drive each 10-foot long section into the ground, you stop, unscrew the striking cap, and add another section of pipe. Then back on the stepladder and start again until you reach the right depth. These kits also include a hand-powered pitcher pump (like your grandfather used) which is attached last. (Backwoods Solar and other companies sell these.)

2. If that is too much work, they also make a hand-powered pump kit that you locate at your existing well and attach to the existing piping coming from the well pump below. This hand pump can be used during a power outage to “suck” water from the existing well piping and send it to your house using the same piping. However, it is not intended for high flow rates or wells deeper than about 200 feet. It’s about $650. (Backwoods Solar also sells these.)

3. If you are really laid back, install an inverter with battery back-up and wire to a separate circuit breaker panel. Re-route your power wiring going to the well pump, your refrigerator, and several lighting circuits to this new panel and let the batteries power these loads during a power outage.

4. Purchase a generator and a can of gas!

Good luck! " Jeff Yago

A Whole Sheebang gift for a Wyoming library

I have been a subscriber for most of your publication’s life. This is the finest magazine of its type. I think it should be shared with all those folks who are interested in a better way of life. I am ordering the Whole Sheebang for our library here in Gillette, Wyoming.

Felicia Toth
Gillette, Wyoming

That’s a generous gift. Gillette will join hundreds of other libraries who benefit from BHM. Most have subscriptions; only a few have the Whole Sheebang. " Dave

“Justice for all” a farce

Had a bit of trouble scraping up money for my renewal. Those letters you had from jail hit close to home. We had a family feud here. My brother tried to extort money and a car from my son who had just returned home from Kosovo, a sargent in the PA National Guard. This happened about a year and a half ago. My son wouldn’t go for it, so my brother had his daughter trump up charges of molestation against my son and now my son is in state prison no matter that the daughter contradicted herself in her deposition to CYS and the DA. After the DA badgered my son into a plea bargain (my son almost had a nervous breakdown in court) we did take my brother to court for harassment and to prove that they lied on one of the charges.

Like I said, we know how those people feel and know their predicament. Nowadays “justice for all” is a farce. If you don’t have money, you just don’t get justice. Public defenders are that in name only and the courts only care about putting people in jail no matter what. It’s a wonder they don’t charge a person for perjury after they force them to lie in court which is just what a person has to do in order to plea bargain.

We could not bring up the girl’s past history of doing the very same thing to at least 2 other men. Also the Public Defender told my son that in almost all cases such as his the courts automatically believe the girl so he took the plea bargain in order to avoid the 15 year prison sentence he could have received if found guilty.

(name withheld by editor)

Informed juries

Love the magazine and especially the editorial (Self-reliance equals freedom, Issue no. 107). I was on a jury a few years ago for a seat belt violation (in our state of Texas). We found the man guilty (because it was the law and we were instructed to follow the law) but we fined him only $5. The trial immediately after us had the same outcome. It was obvious this irritated the judge, county attorney, and DPS officer who were tying up their time. I feel this sends the same type message.

Wes Roberts

Cancel my subscription

I received my latest edition (Nov/Dec 2007) in the mail a week ago and promptly opened it up to John Silveira’s “My view: Questions about Global Warming” Issue No. 108. Needless to say, I’m disappointed and saddened by Mr. Silveira’s optimistic view of a warmer planet. This possible cause of a “boon to humanity”??? I especially did not agree with Mr. Silveira’s equation of environmentalism with socialism. Grow up.

I have been increasingly disappointed in your magazine’s lack of social responsibility. For me, this was the last straw. Please cancel my subscription…

Goldie M. Prelogar
Pittsburgh, Kansas

Going home soon

Dave, I just received my renewal notice in the mail, and I am sorry to say that I’m not going to renew at this time. However I am also happy to say it is for a good reason. You see I am 48 days from going home, and I want to wait to order again so I can drive to Gold Beach and do it in person, and I do not want to give this address because I won’t be here when my next issue would get here.

For the last 5 years even though I made $3 a day I always made sure I had my Backwoods Home. I have enjoyed every issue and there is no way I will not be a subscriber to your magazine. Believe it or not Backwoods Home is a very popular magazine on the inside. A lot of guys do not have the money to spend on magazines, but they flock to the ones of us that do get it as fast as they do to the guys who get the girly magazines. There is even a group of guys that hang together just because we are a bunch of old country boys. You and all of your staff have made life for us just a little more bearable and have earned my heart felt thanks.

The shock of being home and the time it takes me to get on my feet will be the only thing that determines how soon I am able to renew, but I hope to see you some time in Jan. It is going to be so wonderful to be back with my wife and on the farm.

Zeldon Linn
Salem, Oregon

Appropriate handgun

We have been faithful Backwoods Home readers since 01-02 (saving all issues). The first thing I read in every issue is Massad Ayoob’s article. I have also obtained all the print anthologies prior to ’02, largely to read his articles. My request is to Captain Ayoob. I have been pretty much away from firearms since returning from ‘Nam in ’70, but recently obtained my concealed carry permit and am shopping for the appropriate handgun. Ever since having a 45 in the army I’ve wanted one. However, I’m 64"not as young as I once was"so the weight and kick might be a bit much for an old geezer, so I’m looking at a sub compact 9mm. From what I’ve read the Glock is appealing: very reliable, light weight, and without levers that must be operated before it will shoot (levers an old guy under stress might forget about). It sounds simple, like a spurless revolver. (By the way, are 9mm revolvers being made?) Yesterday I drove the hour or so to Gander Mountain to see and handle a Glock 26, but to confuse me, the salesman also got out a Springfield XD and a S&W M&P. All 3 appear simple to operate, light weight, and relatively similar in cost (around an $80 range). Help! Can you give me an objective comparison of the 3? I would like to know both the pros and cons of each and their mags: reliability (even if not cleaned and oiled regularly), dependability (if dropped, buried in mud or sand, etc.), durability (run over by a truck, thrown against a cement wall), maintenance, etc. (I’ve read the Glock stands more than the above.) If there are other similar pistols I should consider please include comparisons of them also. I know there are numerous articles on all of these, but I need it in parallel form and simple language to be able to understand clearly. Thank you very much for your help; I want to make an informed decision soon.

(name withheld by request)

All 3 guns are good guns. As you have noted, the Glock has been out the longest and therefore has the best track record for reliability. So far, however, the XD and the M&P are performing very well too.

I’ve shot all 3. The XD subcompact 9mm has the easiest trigger reach for short hands. The M&P has the best interchangeable grips for better hand fit.

Any of the 3 would do fine for you and I would also look at the slim Kahr PM9, which is smaller and lighter than any of the above, though it only holds seven rounds. They’re all fine guns and you won’t go wrong with any of them. It’s a question of which is the exact right size and feel for the individual who is going to live with the weapon. " Mas

The unheralded roots of America’s freedoms

Your editorial in the Nov/Dec 2007, (The unheralded roots of America’s freedoms, Issue No. 108), was simply great. It reminded me of a life long research that I started in 1935. At this time I became interested in the Huron Indian cemetery in Wyandote County, Kansas City, Kansas, because a group of us kids living in my neighborhood, most of whom had Native American Blood, would walk about three miles every Saturday to the public library to study for our classes in Wyandote High School.

After getting our books at the library we would go next door to the Huron Cemetery to study a bit before going home. While we were in the cemetery we would discuss why the Huron Cemetery was in the downtown area of Kansas City, Kansas. I became interested in this question and decided to research the answer. Now 73 years later I am still working on the same question.

According to Huron legend a constitution was developed by two Indians living in what is now northeast United States and southeast Canada. One of these Indians, a Huron, was called Degandawida, and the other was the famous Hiawatha from the Seneca Tribe. Degandawida was born with a voice disability and could not speak clearly, while Hiawatha had a natural ability to take Degandawida’s ideas and express them clearly.

Dagandawida developed a political theory which was based on the idea of separation of governmental powers and included women in the constitution who were the only ones with the power to declare war. But he was unable to sell it to his own people or to other tribes of the Iroquois Nations. Hiawatha joined forces with Degandawida and together they formed a constitution called the League of Five nations. Their constitution was the first law that divided the powers of a government into different groups but it did not include the Huron Tribe. You might call it the first constitution proclaiming a Republic form of government.

The only problem was that the Huron tribe refused to become a part of this constitution. This made them bitter enemies of the League. In the year 1649 the League attacked the Huron Tribe and killed most of the Huron People. Those Huron People who were still alive after the battle moved south into an area controlled by a tribe called Wyandote. The League did not consider the Wyandote as their enemies.

At that time it was the custom of the various Indian tribes to adopt, as relatives, individuals from other tribes whom they respected, or those that had admirable characteristics. Because they had been friends with the people of the Huron Tribe for many years the Wyandote People adopted the Huron People still alive into the Wyandote Tribe. The living Huron People then became Wyandote People and they were no longer enemies of the League.

All went well for awhile, until the Europeans started pushing west into Wyandote territory. The Wyandote People, including those of Huron descent held council and decided to move west to a place that is near what is now called Detroit, Michigan. Here the Wyandote were attacked by the League on the basis that once the Wyandote People had been friends with the Huron People. The Huron People who were adopted by the Wyandote People did not want to cause further trouble for their friends so they held council and decided to separate from them and move to a place now known as Sandusky, Ohio.

In 1842 the United States government decided they wanted the land around Sandusky, Ohio that was held by the Wyandote/Huron and made them an offer for it, which included giving them land at the mouth of the Kaw River where it empties into the Missouri River. This area is now Kansas City, Kansas and the Huron Cemetery is in the main business district.

In 1855 the Wyandote/Huron ceded this land to the United States Government but part of the contract bound the government to “forever maintain the Huron Cemetery as a burial ground for their people.” This was to prevent the League from any encroachment upon their sacred grounds.

In 1906 Congress passed a bill for the Secretary of the Interior to sell the Huron Cemetery. This bill specified that the dead bodies in the cemetery be moved to a cemetery in Quindaro, Kansas, but when the commission started to move the bodies they found the cemetery gates padlocked and a sign on them saying “Trespass At Your Own Risk.” Two Wyandote/Huron sisters named Lydia and Hellena Conley had locked the gates, built a fort over their parents’ graves and sat in the cemetery with shotguns across their laps.

Of course, these sisters were hauled into Federal Court on a charge of “disturbing the peace” and Fort Conley was burned, but after being released the same two sisters built a new fort in the same place and proceeded to protect the graves of their parents.

Lydia Conley had studied some law and filed a suit in Federal court to not permit the government to disturb the dead in their sacred ground. This suit went the routine of courts and finally ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court which declared that Ms. Conley could not establish a legal title to the property to the value of $2000 or any right to have the cemetery undisturbed.

At this point Kansas senator Charles Curtis who was Kaw Indian and later the only one of substantial Native American blood to ever become a U. S. Vice President entered the picture. He vowed to get this statue repealed. This he accomplished in 1913.

Would this leave the ancient Wyandote/Huron dead in peace? If you think so you are mistaken. When the government decided to let the Indian Reservations have gambling casinos the Wyandote reservation in Oklahoma sued the state of Kansas for the property known as the Huron Cemetery. They wanted to leave the graves alone but to build a building over them to be used as a gambling casino. This suit is still going through the courts and will probably never be settled.

I sometimes wonder if anyone dead or alive can be left in peace by other people.

Maurice T. Cowles
Magdalena, New Mexico

In your article “The unheralded roots of America’s freedoms,” (Issue No. 108) it made me realize even more the injustice our public school systems do to our children. Just recently my wife and I decided to homeschool our children because of scenarios like this. I could go on and on but mostly I just want to say that I appreciate that there is a magazine like yours that looks for the truth. If I ever became a millionaire for some strange reason, I would buy every copy you guys put out and hand them out to all who would take them.

Jason Colby
Winterville, North Carolina

Compact fluorescents

The article by Jeffrey Yago about compact fluorescent light bulbs (Issue 107) was very informative, and timely.

I have been without “store-bought” electricity for the better part of 2 decades now, and my experiences with this type of light bulb have been very similar to his. I’ve watched the quality of this product decline to the standards of what is presently being marketed by China-Mart.

I hope in a future article, Mr. Yago will report on Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, and the availability of these products. These are already available from some companies, such as C. Crane, and new, improved models are coming on the market every day.

Perhaps this is another great idea that we should take advantage of, before its manufacturing facilities are shipped offshore.

J.P. Holmes
Cainsville, Tennessee

Chigger repellent

This is in response to Robert Smith’s letter in Sept/Oct 2007 asking about the ingredients in his father’s chigger repellent. When I was a kid (this was in the 1950s) my parents would dust our socks and shorts with a fine yellow powder which was called “Flowers of Sulfur.” We were told that this was to repel chiggers. As far as I remember, it seemed to work. Never did taste it, but I’m sure it would have been terrible. It was available in drug stores.

Wade Tygrett
Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks for the plastic

I am sending you a little extra just to thank you for the plastic covering. Before, I never got a magazine “whole”"it was always ripped, and my post office said it was not their fault. Oh well.

Linda and Barney Culbertson
Weaverville, California

Thanks for the little extra. It costs us 8 cents to wrap each magazine. Times 24,000 subscribers equals a hefty sum. Glad it helps. " Dave

Lapsing subscription

Please, please don’t let my magazines lapse. I let them pile up unread all year. Then when it came time to renew, I thought maybe I didn’t need them anymore, but then I started reading those backed up magazines. Wow! I quickly remembered why I need ya’ll. I sat up to 3:30 in the morning, reading and reading. Couldn’t get enough. So please have mercy on this old woman and accept my renewal without a lapse.

Phyllis Perkins
Cuthbert, Georgia

It’s work, but it’s fun

I’m old enough to remember when your lifestyle was a necessity for folks that didn’t live in a big city. I still do my own canning"so I especially like Jackie Clay and all her articles. Raising your own food is work"but it’s fun work"not mindless punching on a computer keyboard.

Joyce Hancock
Henagar, Alabama

Story of a dead duck

I want to tell you I look forward to getting Backwoods Home and even when I don’t have much time to read I am done reading it all too soon! I shamelessly pass on the irreverent Jokes. Here’s something for your consideration:

Nowadays they have all kinds of monopoly games made for branches of service, colleges, cities and states. With modern technology they can update them to current events so now the Idaho and Minnesota games have a new chance card reading: You are in a toilet stall next to Senator Larry Craig lose a turn.

A woman goes into a vets office with a duck wrapped in a blanket. “Doctor you have to do something for my duck!” The vet examines the duck and tells her it is dead. She screams “there must be something you can do!” He says there is a test or two but they are costly. The women is so upset she does not care about money so the vet opens a door and a Labrador retriever comes in, walks around the duck in a circle sniffing and looks up and shakes his head and walks back out. The vet says “I’m sorry.” The woman insists on the other test. The Vet opens another door and a cat walks in circles around the duck, looks up, shakes his head, and walks out. The doctor says, “That’s all the tests I can do; the duck is dead!” The woman sobs and asks how much she owes, and the vet replies “$165” The woman is surprised “Why so much just to tell me my duck is dead?” The vet explains “It would have been $20 but you insisted on a lab report and a cat scan!”

George S. Campbell
Walkersville, West Virginia

The bigger picture

We have been readers of BHM for a few years now. Your magazine has had a real impact on us. Not just how-to articles or farming tricks but also how we see the future of this country and it doesn’t look promising. Your editorials and John Silveira’s articles have helped us see the “bigger picture.”

Mike Finerty
Poultney, Vermont

Dreaming of homestead

You have planted ideas in me that never would have occurred without BHM. Until BHM I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my future. Homesteading just seems so right. I am working on my Homesteaders dream of a small 50 acre farm in Southern Oregon around the Bandon area. I have 2 other adults who are going to join me in this new life. I am going to put my property here in Portland, Oregon on the market in a year (that’s my plan at this time).

. . . Thanks for the dream seeds.

A.J. Limbrick
Portland, Oregon

America can’t be saved

I know my subscription isn’t up yet but your offer is too good to pass up, and your magazine too. I have your Emergency Preparedness which is one of the best I’ve read.

I also have Dave’s “Can America Be Saved.” However Dave, I don’t think it can. They’re too entrenched in our government and have too many people dependent on the government to change. Always vote for the people that back welfare.

Love your mag. Keep the truth coming out and your powder dry. May God help America, we need it.

Leslie Hinkle
Delbarton, West Virginia

Home burglar alarm

OK, sign me up! I’ve been reading your magazine for a coupla years, and now that I’m moving out of the “city” to a smaller town that’s just too far from the book store, I might just as well have it delivery’d to the local postal orifice. You folks have a lot of great ideas for a person who is just buying his first home, and I don’t want to do with out ya. Gonna be so nice to get out of that Hell’s acres trailer court surrounded by illegal aliens whose hobby seems to be thieving. After the second burglary, I came up with a home made burglar alarm that some of your readers may appreciate.

Buy one of those motion detector lights and remove the light part. Run the light wires to one or two alarm buzzers or bells that you can buy at an electronics store. Ask for school fire alarm buzzers, and make sure they’re 110 volt. Rig it to a light switch near the door, and you have a relatively inexpensive home burglar alarm. It’s deterred 3 burglaries at my home, so far. I particularly like Mas Ayoob’s articles. My personal home defense weapon, for “close encounters of the personal kind” is an antique 10 inch meat cleaver, to deter unarmed invaders. Any fool seeing this ex-biker coming with that thing in hand and a homicidal look on my face would definitely have second thoughts. Well, I’m gettin kind windy, keep up the good work. Here’s a check for a 3 yr. sub.

Frank McGreevy
Gilbert, Iowa

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