issue 68 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #68

Goodbye TV

Your mention of going without TV was timely. We too recently made the decision to do without the thing. Our choice was in raising our new daughter, we didn’t want the influence of “that foolishness” entering her young mind.

In nearly 25 years of marriage, we have had TV about 12 years. Though it is an adjustment for news addicts, especially with the election circus going on, we are spared the propaganda of TV reporters.

We enjoy and learn a lot from BHM, especially the articles on the “Dictatorship,” looks like it may already be here.

Ernie Fouts, Menahga, MN

I have subscribed to BHM for about a year, and want to let you know that your magazine is great! I used to subscribe to Mother Earth News back in the 70s (before it turned into a product endorsement rag), and BHM is far superior. I really like your practical/libertarian attitude. Your Jan/Feb 2001 issue inspired me to write, to let you know how much I agree with “My view—Goodbye TV, hello constructive time.” In 1988, I moved far enough out in the woods that I would have needed to put the TV antenna in a 60′ tree, or buy a satellite dish. Since I didn’t want to spend big bucks for the satellite dish, I figured I would try to climb the tree “when I had the time.” After a month or so, I realized that I did not miss having TV. In fact, I found I had more time to read, fish, hunt, enjoy the woods, and work around my place. I also found my blood pressure was a lot lower, since I no longer was exposed to Dan Rather et al.’s daily socialist propaganda shows. After 12 years without TV, I have read several thousand new books, and have learned blacksmithing, knife making and scrimshaw. The only time I see TV any more is the two or three times a year when I stay in a motel or visit my family.

If you want a real culture shock, turn the thing off for a few months, then watch it again for a few hours. You will be appalled that you used to watch that trash. And you should feel ashamed that you exposed your children to it. Television now consists of totally moronic dosages of trivial trash, interspersed with socialist state propaganda. Clair Wolfe provides an excellent analysis of television in her book, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution, in Part 8, “Kill your TV”:

“When we’re watching TV, our brain waves are nearly identical to what they are when we’re hypnotized. …That means information, impressions and assumptions are fed directly into your unconscious without your conscious mind being able to fully edit and sort them. …No matter how aware you are in general, no matter how critical you are of the material you’re watching, at some level, someone else is controlling your mind. Is that how you want to live? …While TV contains many poisonous messages, those specific messages aren’t the worst problem. …With TV, the medium is the message…and its message is that you are nothing but a passive blob, fit only for sucking up what someone else wants you to see, hear, believe and know.

An independent mind is critical to living free. So drop that electronic seducer off a cliff. Try that new box of cartridges out on it. Run over it with your lawn tractor. Bury it in your backyard. Free yourself from mind control and time control.”

I cannot improve on Clair Wolfe’s message. Kill the damn thing. Free yourself and your family.

On a similar subject, John Silveira’s series on “The Coming American Dictatorship” is chillingly accurate. I would add that the statist American media, particularly the TV industry, provides a major boost to government’s plans to control our lives. It will be a lot easier to get Americans to accept a dictatorship after television and the government schools finish turning the majority’s brains to Jell-O. For anyone who wants another frightening description of where our society is going, I strongly recommend Hayek’s book, The Road to Serfdom.

Keep up the good work. Those of us held prisoner in the People’s Republic of California need to hear the voices of liberty.

Pete Humm, Alturas, CA

Dictatorship article

As a young boy who grew up in Montgomery, Alabama during the 50s and 60s, I must point out that Rosa Parks & the bus boycott were in Montgomery not Birmingham. That said, I also must say how much I enjoy and appreciate all of the “Mac” articles. The magazine editorials, President’s Wives, the Mac articles, all of those kind of things give Backwoods Home a flavor unlike any other magazine I read. Of course I love the self-sufficiency stuff too. I was another reader glad to see the article on water power. You have a fine magazine, keep up the good work.

Allyn Uptain,

Mr. Silveira was right on the money explaining our real rights vs. our legal rights. (Jan/Feb 2001 issue). BHM readers are priveledged to excellent commentary & interpretation of the Constitution. Something that we don’t get from the major media & academic culture. However Mr. Silveria refuses to acknowledge that the founding fathers of our country believed that our rights directly come from our creator. Mr. Silveria blandly states “Individuals are presumed to have these rights and they exist apart from the state itself.” Actually the founding fathers vociferously gave their “lives, fortunes, & sacred honor” that our rights come from the Almighty God, & this “truth is self evident.”

Bob Hagarty, Viola, WI

CD-rom price

I’ve been a subscriber to Backwoods Home for a number of years now. When I finish with my copy I pass it on to my gentleman friend. He saves everything. When you advertised a CD-ROM set of anthologies, I jumped at the chance to provide him with a Christmas gift that he would really want. I purchased the CD-ROM back in September. I thought it was a bit over-priced, but it was for a present so I got it anyway. Imagine how I felt when I read the latest BHM magazine and saw the CD on sale for $19.95!

I can understand after season sales, but did you have to cut the price THAT much? I’m still a subscriber, but from now on I’ll wait you out until the price on anything comes down a lot!

Jeannette Blumenthal, Fort Lee, VA

Jeannette, I don’t blame you for being a bit miffed at the sale. I buy educational tapes from The Teaching Company, and it miffs me a bit when a tape set I’ve bought for $129 goes on sale for $69. We are always putting things on sale at BHM, so as to attract a wider audience. Our prices tend to go up and down, though I admit cutting the CD-ROM price from $39.95 to $19.95 is a big cut that may make people who paid the higher price feel like they’ve paid too much. Please call our staff and I’ll bet they can work out a compromise.

Change the name of BHM

I come from the south, I know…homefront, backwoods, down the street…up there…whatever. I wrote in for a suggestion that you change the name. Backwoods? The term is so hicky. Besides, things are changing. Geography wise that is. Your theme is working with nature. So be it…backwoods? Then the teachings are from this proud mountain living or some meaning to it. I mean you could call it Modern Living? What about Home Settler? Anything…but please…spare me the hicky sound of backwoods.

How about Good Housekeeping? -Dave

…from Africa

I have been blessed by your magazine. Not bad for a Boston boy! I grew up just outside of Boston, Providence R.I. Yes another city boy who wanted a different way of living and is now trying to put what I have learned into practice. . .

I moved to Kenya in January 1994 to help a mission teaching African pastors Theology. When I left the USA, I didn’t ask for help from anyone personally. I thought, if the Lord needs me, he will make a way. If not I will come home very soon. Well after working 4 years with the college, we left to work and live in the African countryside. This is where we have seen a miracle.

We knew if we are to stay and help these people, we would have to stop paying rent, and have our own water and another source of power, other than the electric company. We would also need security for our lives and home. If we could do all these things, we might be able to stay in Kenya and serve these beautiful people. Also, our family needed to work freely without church politics.

First Miracle, we got permission from the Kenyan government for our own mission called Love The Children. Which is very hard for one to get. Then we found a two acre plot of land in the beautiful countryside owned by an African white lady. Let’s just say she helped us greatly to get the place for the mission. We started to build a little place, but the money wasn’t there. I tried to think of a way to build a cheap house. I really tried my best. But it wasn’t until I came to the USA in June of 1999 that I found your magazine. And then I think I bought every back issue and many of the books you sell and took them back to Africa. Well the rest is history! We have been building and inventing ever since. We have built a twenty-two (room) house. For we are taking in short term Missionaries who would not be able to come and help if they had to pay rent. We are also beginning to take in children who have lost their parents to Aids.

We also have started nursery schools and churches. And now are building a small three room medical clinic. We and our African brothers have made everything except the stones and nails ourselves. We even made a sawdust block! This block I have found is as strong as concrete, by weights about 20 pounds lighter. We also made a wood hot water system. We used stack wall construction in our kitchen, used metal roofing on all our buildings and made mud bricks. Our whole house is using solar. Now I know that you never had y2k in the states. But we have it now! No rain over here means no electricity. But we have light in our place. Nairobi is out of water and has lights about half the day only. We found a spring on our place and there’s a river that runs by our place. Water no problem! All our windows have bars on them and we have 4 German shepherd dogs as a first defense. Most of these things I saw from your magazine.

Some of our friends here “missionaries” thought we were crazy to have such an idea. And at first seeing our place said it was a bad place to buy. They just saw hardship and not the vision of independent living. It has been short term pain and we hope it will now be long term pleasure. Now we are finding that our friends are amazed at what the Lord has done with our land on a hill.

We are not in debt, we don’t pay rent. We have electric from solar and our own water supply. We can help many more people in Kenya now with our savings. Take in children with no home and missionaries who want to work, but have little money. My wife Eunice loves to pray and walk in the tea fields. And my daughter Candice speaks English, Korean and two other African tongues and she is only 5. She has a playground and knows how to plant and keep animals. It is the kind of life I wish I could have in USA when I go back. We have found that you can do it, if you do it for the right reasons.

Dave without BHM’s help and the Lord, we might of not tried such a move. I can only say thank you and to all the writers who share their knowledge of how to make it happen. I wish you could give my thanks to your staff and the following: Robert L. Williams for his books, Dorothy Ainsworth unbelievable lady builder and to John Silveira. I feel that we have been doing this project together. Keep up the good work. You have made a difference in Africa.

Rev. Bill Newcomb,

…from Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent;

Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent;

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent!).

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in “successfully ridding Australian society of guns.”

You won’t see this data on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the state Assembly disseminating this information. The Australian experience proved it. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Americans, before it’s too late!

John R. Lott Jr. is a senior research scholar at the Yale University Law School. The second edition of his book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” was published by University of Chicago Press in July. These figures are supported in that book.

Richard Fowler,


Do you have the phone number and address of Gun Owners of America and/or Jews For Preservation of Firearms?

Anthony Briggs, New Albany, IN

These are both excellent organizations that are doing a lot to fight for our Second Amendment rights. I strongly support their efforts.

-JPFO, PO Box 270143, Hartford, WI 53027 website:

—Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Spring-field, VA 22151 website:

— Dave

New England Office

What a very good job you’re doing with BHM. It is so nice to see the principles of self-reliance carried consistently from the homestead to the political realm. How pleasant to see Ayn Rand mentioned without a snigger. I’d call it you’re producing the best history and political commentary in print. Thank you.

I’m intrigued by your idea of opening a new England branch of your magazine, though I don’t think things are quite as bad as you imagine here on the other coast. I’ll admit there’s not a whole lot of either homesteading or clear thinking going on in Boston, or in most of Connecticut. But you might find yourself more at home up here in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. I, for instance, have been off grid for over 20 years; we heat with wood, have a composting toilet, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water and a big organic garden; and we homeschool. I’ve been voting libertarian for a long time, and I think the 2nd Amendment is a very good idea.

No, not everybody up here thinks the way I do, but you might be surprised how many do. Anyway, the next time you come east, come for a visit.

And while you’re waiting for a visit, please peruse my book, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, (Storey Books, 2000). I think you ought to be carrying it in your bookstore. It’s a good book, has been very well reviewed (see enclosed) and has been selling well (25,000 in the first 6 months). You’ll make money and happy customers with this one. Storey should have sent you a copy a while back. If you don’t have one, let me know, and I’ll get you one.

Finally, one little thing I’m not happy about. I hope Anita Sands Hernandez doesn’t try following Jackie Clay’s advice. If she does go to a bookstore for “a couple of Elliot [sic] Coleman’s books,” she’ll find that one of them is about organic vegetable farming (The New Organic Grower) and has very little that would be helpful to a novice backyard gardener. Eliot’s (That’s how he spells it) other book, The New Organic Grower’s Four-Season Harvest, would be helpful; it’s a well-written, friendly introduction to gardening, with an emphasis on season-extension. But it doesn’t have anything to say about “square foot gardening.” That’s a gardening method developed by Mel Bartholomew and described in his Square Foot Gardening (Rodale Press, 1981). Mel’s book would be a very good choice for a novice gardener with a small backyard…and has sold over a million copies.

Edward C. Smith, Marshfield, VT

We’re carrying your book starting this issue. — Dave

Taking you up on your offer for a subscription to this great magazine…though not even a homeowner (apt. in town, retired), I enjoyed much of what you espouse on country living (from another life) and loved it. You have much to offer if only people would avail themselves of it. Hope others find you as I did, on my local library shelf.

Love all the columns, i.e., Ayoob, Silveira, Duffy, etc. Great stuff, especially with what Duffy has planned to educate the clueless in history.

Audrey J. Boerum, Bellows Falls, VT

Starting over

Well, why not one more go around and call it a decade of Backwoods Home—my first issue being the Desert Storm (free) edition. I’ll be ordering all the anthologies come spring (Lord willin’ that I make it through the winter) to replace everything that went in the fire…maybe a back issue that my son, Aaron, published with you on raising a holstein steer (Max, I think).

Seems I should share what I learned, although I’m still sorting things out. I thought that after having started from scratch, thirteen years ago, that the homestead came together in the last few years. Homeschool for the three boys, gardening & canning, building, (barn, shop/garage, 30×30 stackwood house) beef & hay & chickens as well as experiments with sheep, hogs, geese, turkey & sled dogs. Of course I’d go on, at length, on any topic…which is why I’ve hesitated to put pen to paper ’til now…the lake effect snow must be inspiring me—but I’ll try to show some restraint and not overwhelm you all. I will tell you what a comfort your publication (it’s writers/staff and our extended fraternity) has been to me in the last couple of years of adversity…and knowing that, I have tried to share it with kindred spirits.

I’m contemplating a cabin on the back-forty but have to consider relocating to a warmer climate (plus starting over by myself isn’t the dream I started with—I guess I’m waiting for my next dream to start…a pleasant prospective even though the last one ended on a bad note. I guess that’s why we have winter, so we can sit in front of the fire and figure out what we want to do when we start all-over-again in the spring!

Daniel J. Siler, Poplar, WI

We’ll help you with a new start by sending our complete anthology set — free. —Dave

Searching for freedom

BHM is exactly what I’ve been looking for!! For the first time in my life, I am actually feeling the squeeze of the federal government on the rights of the citizens. I used to hear all of these “right-wing” nuts spouting off about how bad our government is and I remember thinking they don’t deserve to live here. How wrong I was and how right they are.

I live in the great socialist state of Hawaii and have made the decision to abandon this sinking ship for freedom. I do believe with all my heart that we are heading for really bad times both economically and culturally. What’s left of the Constitution will be dissolved and the freedom loving patriots of this country will be searched out and taken down or die resisting (as a veteran, I intend to go the latter).

I have been researching for a place to relocate to but can’t seem to find patriot friendly states on the net. The results I find for “best city” or “best state” are in regards to the propaganda of the socialist i.e. safer streets because of Draconian gun laws…Could you tell me of some freedom friendly states? I was thinking of Oregon until the state went to Gore during the election. This tells me the majority of the population is falling for the socialism the democrats are pushing. My goal is to buy a few acres, build my own modest home and live as independently as I can.

Jeff Mahon, Hawaii

Socialism is on the march in nearly every state, so you’re not going to run from it. I prefer to become a personal island of freedom, trying to convert others as best I can. — Dave

Prison population

This order is a Christmas present for a very good friend of mine who is incarcerated. There are a lot of good people in prison who have made mistakes and are paying for them.

Please don’t discount offenders who ask for damaged magazines or books as your publications and magazines are really enjoyed by those who are incarcerated.

I know because I was once incarcerated and your magazine was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stinky environment.

Take care and keep up the good work. P.S. Thank you for letting me speak out for prisoners everywhere.

James Ames, Michigan City, IN

I’m delighted to help prisoners. Most are in the slammer for nonviolent offenses, and they’ll lead productive lives when released. — Dave

Constitution book

I have been a subscriber almost since you started it and love every issue, and have every article you have written via the anthologies of the first few years and the mag. itself. Just ordered the constitution handbook, can’t wait for it to arrive so I can let my 11 year old boy read it so he can know how the founding fathers really wrote it. I am amazed at how the publishers of school history books twist the constitution around to warp young minds into their (socialized) big brother agenda. Upon looking up the constitution in his “history” book I found the 2nd. amendment worded as such fact, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon as long as such person is not a convicted felon and can pass local and or federal forms and background checks and there are no local laws prohibiting private gun ownership.” What country do I live in again? Oh yea, “U”nequivocably “S”crewed “A”merica.

Physics article

You said in your latest issue that the previous issue’s article on homeschool physics seemed to go over like a lead balloon—or words to that effect. Well, I want to be a voice to fill the balloon with helium. I liked the article, used it in our homeschool for a 13 year old, and look forward to more in the future.

Julie Watner

I just picked up the new issue of the magazine at the grocery store and I was so disappointed that there was not another article on the theories of the universe! I had read it to my 12 year old son and we had enjoyed it so much. In fact we are going to hear a physicist speak on the subject of the super string theory on Thursday at Lawrence University.

I don’t usually write like this, but you must realize that the article you wrote was most excellent! (As my son would say.) You have a gift for making theories easy to understand! Please don’t discontinue writing for those of us who homeschool.


I’ll resume the series on our website, soon. — Dave

Satellite internet access

I want to build a house where I will have to generate my own power. My question is, if you would be so kind to reply, how do you get internet access for a home computer without a landline telephone? And what do you do for a telephone, use a cell phone or are there other options? With your knowledge and expertise I thought you might be aware of the best technologies available. Love your mag!


You can get satellite Internet access for about $70/month. Go to on the Internet and check them out. I just learned of this service, and we are thinking of going that way. You don’t need a telephone or local service provider; just download it like your TV. In fact, you can use the same dish to download DISH Network TV channels. — Dave

Patriotic American

I am subscribing simply because you have a great magazine! I have several back issues and one Best of Backwoods Home.

I would like to address some statements made by the Patriotic American?? Nov/Dec issue.

I also am an American (Patriotic to the ideals set forth in the Constitution). I fear no Gods, am an honest, law abiding Pro Constitution, (which is not Christian based, read it!) Pro choice (since as a man I do not bear that burden) Ex Marine, tree hugging, earth loving pagan unbound by Dogma or Racism. Note pagan not pacifist—so chill man.

David Paul, North Lawrence, OH

E-sub refund

I was reluctant to do anything at first with my e-subscription refund because I knew it wasn’t enough to buy anything except the pocket Constitution, and I didn’t want to appear stingy. I thought I’d wait til I could afford the rest of the price of an anthology, but finally decided to just order the constitution and let Backwoods Home keep the extra 34 cents. After all, I was getting the same e-subscription as before, only unexpectedly free. You could have kept the whole amount. So I was actually ahead three dollars worth by not using the 34 cents. But I neglected to tell you what to do with the change, so imagine my surprise when I received the Constitution (only three business days after I ordered it!) with a quarter, a nickel, and four pennies, face up and standing at attention, neatly taped to a card! My first thought was that it was nice of you and that I should have thought to tell you what to do with it. But then my wife said, “Oh 34 cents—that’ll buy a loaf of bread. Four more pennies would buy a pound of margarine.” Well, now I see real meaning in that money, and thanks very much for sending it after all. I guess I can’t afford to worry what anyone might have thought, and I guess I won’t stop reading Backwoods Home anytime soon either.

While I’m here I might as well weigh in on other subjects: I think your historical/scientific/homeschooling articles are fine, but I hope you don’t make the same mistake most public schools do, of trying to teach the failing theory of evolution as fact, to the exclusion of all other possibilities. So far you haven’t, having numerous mentions of God in other articles, and if your ‘scientific’ articles are read with the mind that the proposed theories they present are only proposed theories, the reader doesn’t need to worry about being misled. . .

David Field,


Read your recipe for salsa in the current issue of BHM, and like you said no two are alike.

After searching for salsa recipes, think there are as many as there are people.

We took the path of least resistance. We tried a salsa mix put out by, “Mrs. Wages,” and like it. It comes in I believe 2 or 3 heat levels.

We use the mild, and it takes care of our taste buds. What is nice about this is that it is pretty consistent from batch to batch. And we make it chunky rather than a sauce.

We had a problem depending on the tomatoes used, that sometimes it was too watery, so we add 8 or 16 oz of tomato paste, and that takes care of that problem.

To minimize canning problems, we freeze a lot of the salsa, doesn’t hurt as far as we can tell. We also run out of storage space for canned stuff living in an apartment.

We dry a lot of fruit and veggies, so the next batch of salsa we make we are going to dry some salsa strips and see how they re-hydrate.

Thanks for your articles and insight.

Ron & Vi Boschelli,

Canning/splitting wood

Here’s some info on canning for Jackie Clay. There is another choice on jar lids. A company called “Bernardin.” Their instructions say tighten lids only finger tight, don’t touch them after processing. I find some of the Ball lids leave the sealing gasket sticking to the jar rim. Whatever material they are using is no good. Also any food put up in vinegar will rust holes in the lid material if kept over a year. I have lost jars of hot peppers due to rust holes. Poor enamel coating on the inside of the lids is the cause. I now try to use the old glass lids on pickles. The glass lid and rubber gasket still works well despite the companies saying you shouldn’t use glass lids anymore. It was hard to find the rubber gaskets for a while but they are available now. Also tell Duffy to buy a splitting maul to split his wood. Axes don’t have the proper taper to do a good job splitting wood. They are also too light to do the job properly. I have 4 axes and try to keep all handles the same length. Different length handles are bad news, long ones will over strike and break handles, short handles will miss the target wood and chop your toes. Steel toed shoes are best around axes & mauls, sneakers are not good around cutting tools. Duffy is setting a bad example for readers. Give him hell. Been using an axe for over 50 years now. Still have all fingers & toes!

Dan Hill, Dixmont, ME


I’ve been buying BHM off the newsstand from the very first issue, only missing a couple along the way. I figure it’s about time to order a subscription.

A few years ago, my wife and I secured 20 acres of rough woods just two hours from the city in the middle of dairy farm country. Diverting 401K contributions to a more immediate-use investment, we built the beginnings of a retirement home on the property. Right now it’s our weekend retreat. In a few years we hope to sell the house in the city, finish our little place in the woods and live happily ever after.

BHM has always been informative, enlightening and very encouraging. Dave and John are just what the doctor ordered for dealing with the craziness of contemporary American life. It helps to know that others think and feel the same way I do. May you live long and continue to publish.

Tom Becker, Hannah’s Ridge, WI

You don’t know me by name but I feel I know you by your openness & frankness thru your writing & pictures. I recently purchased the six “Best of BHM.” What a bargain!

I’m sending along a copy out of my 1914 “Boy Scouts of America” handbook showing how to build a log cabin. I think you will appreciate it and may be able to use the information in some future issue.

Like you Dave, I went thru a southern Calif. divorce. I lost my 12 acres and house. I’ve been put on hold thru 13 years of child support. Thanks very much for the inspiration to start over again. It’s been a life long dream & hope to get to the land with a good Christian wife & live a simple, serene & happy lifestyle. I could go on but I’m sure you get the gist. Here’s a poem I’m carrying around you might like—

Insult not nature with vain pretense
Nor spoil her simple charms
with absurd expense.
Weigh the subject well,
Be with caution bold
Profuse of genius
Not profuse of gold.

Author unknown to me. Found it in a 1847 landscaping book. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me. Many thanks—enjoy your day and night.

Ed Hester, San Diego, CA

I’ve been a reader for about a year. I shall remain one for as long as you good folk print the word. I want to say ‘Thank You’ for your wit, dedication, intelligence, balls, clear vision & drive. It makes me feel good that there are more people out from the mindless flock of sheep.

Keep pushing!

Jeffrey S. Myers, Oxford, MI

Enjoy your magazine a lot. Although I don’t agree with all your views, I particularly do agree with your stance on weapons, and would fight for your right to have your views. Please begin my subscription in Jan.

Gary L. Thorton, Holly Springs, MS

The joke pages were a great addition to a very good magazine. There is usually at least one I haven’t heard. Washington D.C. canceled their live Christmas pageant, they couldn’t find 3 wise men.

Dave Ripp, Waunakee, WI

We are subscribers and think you are the greatest thing since home baked bread!

Arthur R. Chevrette,

Love your magazine. Love your style and frank viewpoint! Happy Holidays.

Don Douglas, Sandpoint, ID

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your magazine. The first thing I read is your commentary. Then on to John’s articles. Your magazine gives me something to do when the temps outside are -20 below in this frozen land of Minnesota.

Greg Douvier

A very good magazine with articles written by intelligent, conservative, patriotic people who make me feel as though I have found an island of friends in a sea of morons.

Thomas Schultz, Vandalia, MO

I found BHM while surfing the net looking for homesteading articles. BHM contains more how-to articles than any other publication that I know. I think the PDF issues are great, and they have tempted me into buying the CD-rom. Keep up the good work!

Mark Grant,

In the early days of Dec. 2K I called you with a sobbing complaint that I had missed an issue of BHM, I think Sept-Oct 2000. In any case, rather than endure my slobbering & nose wiping and obsessive whining, you sent me a replacement copy, for which I truly thank you! May your ink never run uncontrollably!

Now I’m sending you a $21.95 check for renewal of 1 year subscription and adding $4.95 for the one you replaced. You see, I FOUND the issue I “thought”, I had lost, missed, let out to stray, or had a dishonest person visit me, NONE of which happened! I carelessly laid it in a vulnerable spot and it slipped behind a pile of my own making. I won’t admit to being a sloppy housekeeper, but that’s why I lose good magazines.

Please forgive my tardiness in sending this renewal and may your 2001 start and end with prosperity! All mighty loser of good unread magazines and other important papers! Happy New Year, y’all!

E. G. Ragsdale, Florence, OR

Yahooooooooooooo!!!!!!! I was searching for a past article, on solar energy, but that doesn’t matter, the fact is I actually found what I was looking for. You know how many times that ever happens on the NET!!!!!!! You’ve got a good archiving system, by displaying all the past magazines and being able to link to them and then accessing articles in them, what ever you do, DON’T CHANGE IT, easy easy and straight forward, rare on NET sites.

Peter Orlick,

Thanks for a great magazine. I am a city person who lives like I’m in the backwoods. Can food, grind wheat, grow a garden. Thanks for all the info.

Diane McCarty, Fullerton, CA

As I renew my subscription for another year, I wanted to take time to thank you for such a wonderful magazine. We have been faithful subscribers for years simply because you produce the most relevant information that has practical applications for our lives.

Our entire family reads your articles. There literally isn’t one page of the magazine that doesn’t get read including your advertisers. We go over many of the articles repeatedly since there is so much to learn from them.

This year, because of the articles on home power, we have been able to implement water and solar for our electricity needs. We honestly would not have done that if it had not been for the straightforward information. We have much more that we want to do so I really wish Michael [Hackleman] could continue to cover solar and water power in as much depth as possible for 2001. It would be great to spotlight those who have installation already so we could learn from them too.

We also have enjoyed the articles on home schooling. We share that information with other home schoolers in our area which is very large and growing. We also appreciate Jackie’s gardening and canning information. It was very enlightening to read her daily account of the move to her new homestead. Thank you for your commitment and wonderful contributions to the backwoods community. May the Lord bless and protect you all in 2001!

[Name withheld by request]

Thank you for putting together such a great magazine. I love your libertarian articles. They are so easy to understand and so true. I have read Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and many other libertarians and conservatives and think Dave Duffy and John Silveira are right up there with them.

My kids were both homeschooled. Jacob will have his PhD in physics before he is 25 years old. Sarah is 18 now and hasn’t decided on a direction yet but she will do well in whatever she chooses. Their mom quit her job to homeschool and it was one of the best things we’ve done. I know it was easy financially for us since I am a captain for a major airline. I respect the folks who have one income of around $30,000 and put the kids first. It can be done and the family often is happier for it. Home-schooling isn’t for everyone. It’s just one option that should be explored.

I loved the homeschooling physics article. Sorry to hear there wasn’t more interest. I for one will be happy to see another put in print.

Thank John for “The Last Word” in the Jan/Feb issue. It was great.

We have 150 acres here in North Texas we are trying to fix up. It isn’t as beautiful as Oregon but it is close to work and one day this little piece of Texas will be almost as beautiful as Oregon.

Charles Schwartz, Bryson, TX

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