issue 60 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #60

2nd Amendment article

Regarding “We don’t need no steenkin’ 2nd Amendment”
Before the gun-grabbers get a chance to gleefully point at the one
verifiably false quote in the article as “evidence” that its all bogus, it
might be worthwhile to pop over to and check out the
references they have listed, including the reference on bogus gun quotes.
Unfortunately, the “liberty teeth” quote attributed to George Washington is
one of those bogus quotes.

William G. Hartwel,

I’m not sure if is correct or not. Any historian out there want
to tackle the required research to verify one way or the other? It
certainly doesn’t change the tenor of the article. Whenever the Founding
Fathers wrote or spoke on the right to bear arms, they always affirmed it
was the individual’s perogative to possess them. There are no quotes among
the Founding Fathers that support the claims of today’s gun-grabbers.

What a magazine! The collective IQ of Americans would be increased several
notches by reading this magazine 6 times a year. (I would like to receive
it every month but not at the expense of quality.) Their Constitutional IQ
would go off the charts if they paid attention to the articles concerning
our Bill of Rights.

John Silveria’s 2nd Amendment discussions with Duffy and John’s two
imaginary friends, Bill and Mac, was more than excellent; it was superb. (I
was incensed because of his stand on Christianity — and said so from last
issue) but I am praising him as a great clarifier of what has become a
polluted and muddied stream of political speak — against Amendment 2 during
this administration, whose leftist goals are complete gun control with the
brown-nosing media yapping at our heels. The research that went into this
article was outstanding…

Before my husband, Verlin, retired from teaching in Houston, I would point
out articles in BHM for him to read and he would dutifully read them, when
he was home on the farm for the weekend. He is now living on our 27-acre
farm permanently-and teaching science at the U of A Community College part
time in Hope, AR. He picks up the mail and now points out which articles I
should read first in BHM. It is always “Think of it this way.”

We follow Jackie Clay’s advice on home canning. We grow a garden every year
and put up a year’s supply of food for the two of us. We will purchase a
small generator to run off the tractor in case of power failure (Y2K). We
probably will have some power problems because we have them at the best of
times, and we get our water from a well.

I tried canning meat for the first time this year and so we purchased a
pressure cooker with a gauge, and I stocked up on 1400 canning lids just in
case (American made) as Ms. Clay suggested. I also use a lot of orphan jars
and their lids-some for up to 10 years without a speck of trouble

Our youngest son, an intelligence Naval officer for 10 years, left the
service last July. When he visited us for his father’s open-heart surgery,
he discovered BHM’s issues 53, 54, 55 and read everything about buying and
storing enough food for a year. He and his wife now have a year’s supply of
food. He purchased a treadle sewing machine and a number of “olden” kitchen
items that don’t use electricity. His wife is a Captain in the Air Force in
Intelligence with over 10 years of experience, and none in home canning,
preservation, farming, food storage, sewing, etc. But he was so impressed
with your magazine’s information and the need to be prepared, he got
prepared immediately. This boy is only 32. Do you suppose he knows
something we don’t? He is the only one of our 4 children who has taken BHM
seriously-and us.

What to do until the revolution comes? My husband agrees with you there
will be one eventually. However, it will fizzle if the “couch potatoes”
whose IQ is geared to the talk-show mentality of bodily functions as public
domain discussions, are any indication of preparedness. I have always
contended that we shall all be speaking (Chinese?) before they notice there
has been a change in administrations!

Keep up the good work. We have never found a magazine which so fills the
void of intelligent thinking about practical things in a world geared to
hi-tech only notions…

Verlin and Julia Coleman,
McCaskill, AR

Keep Silveira

PLEASE keep John Silveira. I don’t always agree with him, although frankly
it’s rare when I don’t, and I don’t appreciate his poetry as much as he
might like, but I always find his work interesting and informative. And at
the end of the day producing an interesting and informative piece is what
writing is all about. I particularly enjoy his pieces on historical
characters and happenings. It’s positively disgusting how little the
average person knows about American history, let alone world history, and it’s great that John presents it in such an easily read form. Not too long
ago a co-worker asked if the Great Depression happened before or after the
Second World War, so we need all the help we can get. Keep up the good

Also, keep defending our liberties. We are in a cultural fight over whether
the people or the government ought to be in charge and yours is one of the
few voices that is consistently on our side. The press as a whole touts its
right to free speech but seems little concerned for the rights of the
people, and shows little understanding of the means necessary to preserve
those rights. People seem to think it’s o.k. if the rights of others are
taken because THEIR rights won’t be threatened, after all no one could
object to what they want to do. So long as this attitude is prevalent there
is a real threat to everyone. I just read in USA Today Weekend that more
than half of the people in this country are willing to sacrifice some of
their freedom for more security. Doesn’t that seem a lot like a quote from
Ben Franklin? Does anyone remember that quote? Sometimes it’s depressing,
sometimes it’s frightening, and sometimes it just makes me mad, but it is
good to know there are a few others out there fighting the good fight.

Thanks for your effort.

Scott McKinster, Salol, MN

No perfect place

We received your latest issue this weekend. As usual my wife, for whom I
made the subscription purchase in my name, grabbed it and proceeded to read
it cover to cover. Then she proceeded to read to me things she found of
interest within the pages. I need to explain somewhat why this takes place.
You see I hate to read. And she loves to read. So when ever there is
something she finds important, it is read to me. She usually starts out with
your “Irreverent Joke Page” and works around through the articles and reader
‘s “Letters.” I usually listen and find most of the information

One of the letters you printed was from someone in Portland looking for land
to buy. From his story I surmise he has a dream and wishes to fulfill it. He
asked you to print stories about areas that people found great to live in.

Your response was very much on the mark, and I hope that he understands that
one man’s gold mine can be another man’s glory hole. Most people are moving
from the cities to escape something, usually the congestion, crime, or
pollution. Few leave without taking their own kinds of baggage that they
carry into rural areas expecting to find things similar to what they had in
the cities. If they can, they usually try to change the rural areas to suit
their needs, rather than to conform to the life styles of rural living. The
other night one of Art’s guests, talking about Y2K said that only a small
number of people will actually listen, and do something about it. The rest
would continue on as though nothing was going to happen come the New Year. I
think your readers also fall into the same category for the most part. It is
sad that you can offer so much information to the public and have so many
just ignore the facts.

My wife and I live in a very rural setting. I married into this 5 years ago;
but she has been here most of her life. Family and friends have been in the
area many years as well. But the influx of outsiders has also changed the
area as well. This area, rich in water and outdoor experiences is slowly
becoming a suburbanized area that will attract more of those kinds of people
into the area. Most property values have skyrocketed into prices that only
rich people can afford to own, and our county has the hardest codes and
ordinances in the entire state. Many would love to live here, but few can
afford to do it. Just 56 miles east of Eugene, OR, in the foothills of the
Cascades, and half way between Eugene and Bend. Yes, we are out in the
sticks, even beyond cable TV, or Cell services. But the area will and is
changing all the time.

David and Jacki Goss,
McKenzie Bridge, OR

Ultimate disaster

I really do like your magazine. I live in a town, but I practice
self-sufficiency as much as possible. I am a disabled person. I have 5
arteries 100% blocked in my heart. I live off of a Social Security
Disability and Medicaid. My medical bills run about $25,000.00 per year.

They took my Medicaid away for one month because my life insurance paid
$176.00 per year in dividends. I am preparing for the ultimate disaster
(losing my Social Security Disability). Most people don’t realize that they
can find themselves in the same shape as I am in. YOU NEED TO PREPARE! Life
is full of surprises. It is very difficult to prepare when you live off of
$520.00 per month. My taxes run almost $1,000.00 per year. Don’t get me
started on taxes. I might preach a sermon.

Hugh B. McCoy, Burnet, TX

Many people in my generation (born in the 40s) will experience the “ultimate
disaster” of losing their social security payments. Most of them will be
unprepared and they’ll beg the government to “do something.” It will usher
in another big increase of government control over our lives. The government
must be chomping at the bit.

Drugs and guns

Should both drugs and guns be legal? by Dave Duffy needed to be written, was
written with clarity, needs to be widely disseminated. The current
oppressive insanity must be stopped. Thanks from all of us who remember and
prize freedom.

Gene GeRue, author, How To Find Your Ideal Country Home

I would like to thank you for publishing such a great magazine. I will be
sure to renew in a few months. In the meantime, however, let me just say
that the article you wrote on Drugs and guns (issue #59) was very common
sense and wise and right on target. If only there were more people like you
in the world, we wouldn’t have so many problems to solve. I normally don’t
bother writing when I agree with someone’s views, but you did such a bang-up
job I had to let you know. You’re an inspiration.

Shane Taylor, Nashville, AR


Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your magazine for the past 5
years or so. I agree with you on almost every issue especially the problems
we have with a TOO LARGE government. Keep up the good work and we’ll keep

P.S. Your jokes in issue 59 are absolutely the best so far! Give the
middle finger salute to anyone of those crybabies that get “offended” by the
least little thing.

Bob Yocom, Tullahoma, TN

I am a 63-year-old man who has dreamed of having my own Back Woods Home, but
at my age I doubt that it will ever happen. At least I can dream through
your magazine that I found at the 2000 expo in Sacramento, CA.

Please don’t change a thing in BHM. It’s the best that I have found
(including Mother Earth). John Silveira’s articles are the best and your
editorials are the most informative (I’m leaning towards the Libertarian

I would like to thank Ron who helped me in the bookstore when I stopped in
during March on my way to Coos Bay (Oregon) and purchased the 1st thru 5th
year books.

Richard Favreau, Marysville, CA

Keep up the great work. I love the magazine. I think you have a great mix
in it. I love the variety of the articles. Thanks for giving me a magazine
worth the money I spend. I especially love the history articles.


I really do enjoy the down home atmosphere of your magazine. I also enjoy,
most of all, that you really speak your mind. Most editors don’t, as they
are more worried about circulation than about what is right. Keep it up,
and thanks much. I will send some money, and also extend my subscription
down the road a piece. I am going to be in Oregon this summer to visit. I
plan on coming by your new digs to see what is going on with the magazine.

L.C. Carter,

Be glad to have you drop by. We’re on the southern edge of Gold Beach’s only main street.
– Dave

Survivalist magazine

In reference to being called a survivalist magazine by an attorney: Having
been called a “y2k survivalist” on national tv, I did a little personal
research on the term survivalist. I have determined that at least 90% of
the population are survivalists. After all, most people get up and go to
work on Monday in order to get a check on Friday so they can survive (buy
food and other essentials to be able to live.)

It is interesting today that people are called survivors for doing just what
was the “norm” for our grandparents.

Jim Pollard,

BHM’s future

I just found out about your magazine. I will no doubt try a sample copy
before I subscribe. But before I do I have a question: I subscribed to
Mother Earth for about thirty years and now have all but a couple of issues.
I always kept my subscription paid well in advance. As you know they quit
with no explanation or refund. I was left with a ten years paid in full and
nothing. What plans do you have for the future to prevent such a thing
happening with this company? If I don’t hear from you I will assume that
you have no plans or that you have no regard for your subscribers.

Kinsman C. Kosin, West Plains, MO

Probably the best guarantee that a similar effort will not befall you should
my magazine go belly-up at some date in the future is for you to subscribe
for only a few years in advance. Although I see a strong future for my
magazine, I could die tomorrow and the magazine could be mismanaged until it
folds. That’s exactly what happened to TMEN-John Shuttleworth, TMEN’s
founder, sold his interest and the magazine was mismanaged until it folded.
At present I have no plans to either die or sell, however, so I am confident
your subscription will be honored
. -Dave

Rabbit article

I am writing in response to Don Fallick’s article on rabbits in the
September/October ’99 issue. Being a rabbit breeder myself (I am a 17 year
old homeschooler working towards my rabbit judging license), it’s nice to
see him address the fact that rabbits are the most economic, and the easiest
to raise, of all meat animals. However, there are a few things about which

I would like to comment in his article.

He writes, “A typical production rabbit should grow…to breeding age in
three months.” I quote from “The Domestic Rabbit Guide”, published by the
American Rabbit Breeder’s Association, “The actual age to start breeding
rabbits depends mainly on their breed. Smaller breeds sexually mature at a
faster rate, so can be used for breeding at an earlier age than larger
rabbits. A general rule is that the Giant breeds (11 pounds and over
minimum senior weight) should be at least 9 months before breeding. The
medium [the “typical production rabbit” to which Don is referring] and large
breeds (6 to 11 pounds) should be at least 6 months, and the small breeds
(under 6 pounds) should be at least 4 1/2 months of age.” And, from Bob
Bennett’s “Raising Rabbits the Modern Way”, “The medium breeds should be six
months [before breeding].” Breeding rabbits at a younger age can harm the

In another paragraph, Don writes; “Put the buck (male) in with the doe for a
few minutes and watch what happens.” From the “Domestic Rabbit Guide”: “The
doe should be taken to the buck’s cage, unless using a breeding table. Does
become very possessive of their territory, and many times a buck can be
injured by a doe becoming too aggressive. It is possible to effect a buck’s
breeding behavior in this manner also.” Taking the buck to the doe’s cage
is never a good idea, especially if you have a breed in which the does tend
to be territorial (for instance, the Himilayan breed). It is possible for
an aggressive doe to kill a buck while he’s in her cage. I quote from
“Raising Rabbits the Modern Way”: “…take the doe to the buck’s hutch and
put her in. Never take the buck to the doe. And never simply leave the
pair alone together. Put the doe in with the buck and observe the mating.”
I did really enjoy the other parts of the article; it had some very
interesting information about raising rabbits for meat. I just wanted to
highlight these points for future rabbit breeders to help them be as
as possible.

Rachel Franklin, A to Z Rabbitry,
Hockley, TX

Long article

May this note serve as a resounding YES to longer articles, especially of
Mr. Hackleman’s variety. I’ve been eyeing similar publications for
years -always disappointed by interesting covers to “meatless” two or
three-page articles. Informative and in-depth articles covering any subject
are indeed rare today. Please continue this trend.

I am sorry I missed the issue in which John Silveira writes about separation
of church and state. Please inform me which one it was so I can buy it.

When will people understand that our right to worship as we please is a
luxury afforded us by this separation? Your magazine affords us the
opportunity to express our convictions whether we all agree or disagree.

This ability is essential in a free society. If government controlled
religion it would be as if it controlled the ideas and views on the pages of

Enrique Carvajal, Folsom, LA

The “separation” article was in Issue No. 54.

Loved the extended water article. I support your proposal to have longer
articles on some subjects. Water and power are key issues. Water disposal
is another that can have a lot of innovation and deserves a long technical
article. How about cutting roads & driveways? Wood cutting, hauling,
splitting, & storage.

Jim Lumsden,

We’ve covered this stuff in many articles. Check out our index.

Thank you for your magazine and the information that you all work so
diligently to make available to your readers! It takes many, many hours of
hard work to put out a wonderful piece of “ART” as you do…thank you!
FYI, we have a small farm in western Kansas which utilizes a windmill and
gravity feed storage tank for our pressurization of our household, garden
and livestock watering. The article on “The Water System” by Michael
Hackleman was very informative…but…lengthy! I was lost in a myriad of
information which was “overkill” and oftentimes of no use. I enjoyed his
information but thought that he could have condensed it in to more of a
“simple layman’s” thoughts. Granted, there is much to be covered in a water
system however, I thought it was rather lengthy and lost the readers in

Well, thanks again for being “out here” with us on the plains of Kansas;
between Backwoods Home and my Bible, they are the two most read books in our
house (it’s probably a toss up for which gets read more too! HA!). God

Bless You All.

Roger Cooper, Penokee, KS,

Input on the long article in #58, “The Water System.” Great article but
please consider putting the bulk of future long articles at the back of the
magazine. You know, 2 or 4 pages then continued on…. I found it a total
drag ferriting my way to the end of the article to see what else you had to

Will Willoughby, Albuquerque, NM

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