issue 74 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #74


Damn! This is a good magazine!

David Overby, Peosta, IA

I think you have a great magazine! Yours is the only publication we subscribe to as we try to watch our funds.

Just wanted to let you know we think you’re great and keep up the good work.

Ed & Mary Fowler, Delta, IA

$10,000 home

We built our own home for a little less than $10,000 including septic system and bldg. permit. The building permit cost us $1,250. We’re in a remote area (our driveway is 3.5 blocks) and we plan to use solar panels and a wind mill. Now, we use a homebuilt 12v charger and batteries. Anyhow, I’d definitely build my own home! Or, you can pay around $800 a month for 30 years…$288,000! It took us two years, part time and all spare time spent buying stuff and building but we made it by ourselves for ourselves and with a handsaw and shovel and a plan and some books…like this one!!

Trust me. Daniel Boone was a man.

Also, we’re buying a soapstone stove from Woodstock Soapstone. They have been excellent in all ways. And they advertise in Backwoods. Colleen Doolittle has been very helpful.

Tim & Joanne King, Pegram, TN

How ready am I?

I found this cover question quite teasing, as I anticipated finding some sort of quick guide or test between the front and back covers. But then who would want to buy the “Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide” if you were just giving the information away. In response to that question, I respectfully submit the following. You be the judge, “How ready am I?”

I have been considering the question of “What if?” for a little over eighteen years now. I recently retired from the military after twenty years, and chose to settle in the northern Rocky Mountains for several reasons; ample natural resources, sparse population, low crime rate, relatively free of natural disaster events (earthquakes, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.), and a sense of well…good neighborliness among the people here.

I have a very good supply of food. I would estimate about a year’s worth conservatively, not taking into account the additional sources of game animals and fish, plus this is cattle country and it pays to have a few ranchers as friends. I also have a greenhouse and a garden, even though the growing season is short here in zone 4, I have determined what I am able to grow and plant accordingly. My wife and I had quite a crop this last year; potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions, sweet corn, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, beets, and horseradish. In addition to our garden we have a strawberry patch and a couple rows of raspberries. Our fruit trees include 7 apple, 2 pear, 3 plum, 2 apricot, and 2 cherry. Everything is best fresh, however what we don’t eat fresh, we can, freeze, cold storage, or dehydrate. The cabbage is usually made into sauerkraut. My wife is German and her sauerkraut is the best.

We live outside the city limits and have a well for water, plus there are several sources of surface water in this area.

I also have a good supply of sundries—toilet paper, disposable razors, soap, shampoo, etc…I have found not many people think of these items.

It gets a little chilly here in Montana, I have seen -40 with no wind chill. To me that is also a plus because only the serious hard core survivalists will stay around for that, and they are my kind of people. I have wood stoves for heat and cooking, Coleman & propane stoves for cooking and canning, oil lamps, candles, & propane lanterns for light, and two generators, one is a 5kw 120v 30amp/240v 20amp AC with which I am able to power the pump for my well & other things and the other is a 1.8kw 120v 20amp AC / 12v DC which I will use to power the blower motors on the wood stoves, some lights and select appliances as necessary. I store and rotate my supply of gasoline in 55 gal. drums (with Stabil additive). I will not get into specifics, but I have enough to get by for awhile.

As far as security goes, as I stated earlier, I served in the military for twenty years, I know a few things about security and tactics. I have two dogs for early warning and deterrence, not to mention detection devices, night vision optics, various firearms (the right tool for the right job), and a sufficient amount of ammunition for each plus. In choosing the specific firearms I own, I have taken into account short, medium, and long range, standardization, and availability of ammunition (.22 cal. Rimfire, 9mm, .223 Rem, .308 Win., 12 Ga., and .300 Win. Mag.) no wildcats. I also reload ammunition. As a last resort I also have blackpowder rifles, pistols, and shotgun.

My vehicle—a late 70s Chevy Suburban 4WD 350 V8 (w/ a spare 400 cu. in. engine if needed), good on gas? Not really, but it hauls a lot of cargo and you don’t have to be S.A.E. certified to work on it, NO COMPUTER. Besides, when the deification hits the rotary oscillator, where would I need to go?

Medical supplies—the basics plus a little extra. I was able to attend a combat lifesaver course while in the military, and I keep current on basic first aid. I am a firm believer in herbal medicine as a supplemental source of healing. I don’t stock a pharmacy of herbal cures, however I do stock seeds for numerous medicinal herbals that when necessary, can be cultivated, and using the herbal references I have, be used in traditional healing. They will take time to grow, but it’s better than nothing.

I have a shop building heated with an Earthstove Log Furnace that, serves as storage, reloading area, dry warm workplace, and fabricating dept., complete with wood & metalworking tools. I have the ability to fabricate or repair items that could be used in trade.

The best thing I have is a good wife, and a few good friends that think the same way I do. They believe that the Constitution of the United States is not a living document, open to interpretation by every liberal judge or politician, and that the Bill of Rights are individual rights, not collective privileges given to us by the government.

I enjoy reading BHM each month. You folks do an outstanding job!

Name withheld by request

I wanna meet Mac

…My reading sequence when BHM comes is: 1. My view 2. Irreverent Joke page 3. Ayoob (who I’ve read for years…) 4. Think of it this way. (And when you put out a complete anthology of John, Mac, and Dave—I’ll buy it.) And I wanna meet Mac!!

“My view” caused me to finally join the LP. I’ve been a Libertarian all my life of course.

I am amused by your “backwoods” mag with all of you managing to survive with computers!—We live very comfortably with: no computer, no TV, no “news” paper or answering machine—and no ulcer!

This clan loves you!
Ralph Dexter, Marblemount, WA
ASG subscriber

Thank you for taking over and fulfilling my subscription to the now defunct ASG/SRJ with issues of your worthy publication. After reading the last few issues, I had been inclined to subscribe. Today, I received your excellent and most informative special preparedness issue. This is what I needed to resolve the matter and send a check and formally subscribe. Again, thanks and best wishes.

Edward Di Bella, San Diego, CA

Freedom, independence, & self-sufficiency

I am a relatively new reader of this magazine. After reading “The last word” in the Jan/Feb 2002 issue of BHM, by Don Fallick regarding his mid-adventures and being mistaken for a terrorist, I wanted to give him a heads-up. Provided of course that he hasn’t beaten me to it.

I read a book my father had, now on loan to a nephew, entitled “Into The Wild,” (I think). Anyone who fancies himself a survivalist needs to read this book. If Mr. Fallick has already read the book, I hope he found it as enlightening as I did.

I enjoy Mr. Ayoob’s writings on firearms. I grew up around firearms, and there was never any question of being careful with them. I taught my son how to use and care for firearms as soon as he was physically big enough to hold a .22 handgun. Being careful and responsible is now second nature with him regarding not only firearms, but many other potentially dangerous objects.

Freedom, independence, and self-sufficience go hand in hand. Responsibility also is a characteristic too often found lacking in today’s society. Here’s wishing you a long and successful magazine.

Cameron Triplett, Sr., Brooksville, MS

So what…too bad

I agree with you that many Moslems don’t like us because we support Israel, because we meddle in their affairs, and because we’re over there.

So what. Too bad. We shouldn’t change our policies because someone doesn’t like them or us.

Israel needs our support. She is surrounded by enemies who want to destroy her.

We meddle in middle East affairs and are there to keep the oil flowing. It is in our national interest.

I suppose next issue we’ll read about the Germans not liking the Versailles Treaty and the United States isolating Japan causing the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Chuck Stepniak, Stephenson, MI

The coming American dictatorship

I just read “The coming American dictatorship.” How interesting a world you want to live. You want to live in a “Do as I want, when I want and how I want” world. Everyone else be damned. I bet your secret hero is Jane Fonda. Come on admit it. You LOVE her don’t ya. So where do all the vets who in service to this country become disabled? Do they not have any right to enjoy life as they had before their disability? Do they have a God given right to eat at the same restaurant as you? To participate in going to football or baseball games like you do? Guess not…

Now about the EPA…You like to hunt? Fish? Go boating or canoeing? Do you like going outside without a respirator? Obviously not. You would rather be rid of the outdoor related industries so that ACME Chemicals can do as they please.

No in your world smog is king. An earth sized parking lot is queen. Rights for the few…slavery for the rest. A world where life is cheap. This is what you folks want…Well you ain’t gonna have it so deal with it.


Our fault?

My next issue, #74, which ends your “ASG” obligation, is the last due me. And after reading “My view” by John Silveira in issue #73, it may well be my last altogether. I am very disappointed….the implication, explicitly put in his editorial comment, that it is our fault, I reject completely. Our (USA) involvement (“meddling” according to John) in Britain, western Europe, and Japan after World War II immensely aided in their economic and social resurgence.

The problems do not arise from the Muslim (or Islamic) masses. As you so succinctly and pertinently pointed out, John, it’s the result of agitation that has been incited by a group of idle, amoral, RICH KIDS! Bored and with no other responsibilities than to spend their unearned money, they turned to terrorism and assuage their fragile egos. The additional point that they are all cowards goes without saying.

Am I angry? You’re damned right! My hard-earned dollars indirectly support these slugs through oil revenues, etc. I don’t have much choice, but I don’t have to like it.

Have we (USA) always been right? No, not at all. A good example was our involvement in stopping Israel’s incursion into Lebanon in the 1980s to quash the PLO. Israel had the upper hand and was progressing quite nicely until we (USA) “meddled.” None (zip, zero, nada) of the Islamic states where the PLO sought sanctuary would accept them. Not until Jordan, who had previously kicked out their sorry butts, agreed to take them. Where, John, were all of your idealistic young Middle Easterners then?

No other ethnic group has ever been persecuted as much and as long as the Jews. Tell me, John, how many pogroms have there been against Palestinians and Arabs? I’m not a historian, so please give me some enlightenment. I’d be very interested in exactly how any data you have or can give me stacks up against the historical record of purges, oppression and pogroms aimed at Jews for countless centuries.

Another huge example of one of the errors in our foreign policy (meddling?) was our treatment of South Africa during its period of racial conflict. We (USA) ignored the fact that in spite of its (South Africa’s) policy of apartheid, it was the only nation on the African continent that blacks were striving to get into!…

…With no regrets and no sorries, I totally reject what you expressed in “My view” in issue #73 of BHM. As I said before, the cause of September 11, 2001 is a group of spoiled, indolent, bored, amoral rich kids….

…Now, John, answer this, if you can. How many countries of the world have rushed to give us aid during natural disasters (flood, etc.) or during calamities like Oklahoma City or September 11, 2001? Well, I know: NONE! Nothing tangible at all. Further, how many times have we, our government and private agencies, rushed to the aid and comfort—tangible—of other countries in disastrous and calamitous situations? John, there is NO contest! Should we stop this sort of “meddling”?…

…Sorry if I sound, or seem, confused. I just don’t understand the tone of your article. And I don’t feel any sort of responsibility for “bringing it on ourselves.” We didn’t! They did! And, also, I am rather tired of the voluminous protestations of Muslim clerics and other Islamic spokesmen. They declaim against the terrorists of 9-11, but do nothing substantial against the terrorists message.

You really should reassess your memories about your noble, abused Middle-Eastern contemporaries during your youth. It was, or they were, the upper and middle-class wealthy and educated speaking so that made it right? Get a life, John. Get down in the dirt with those of us who work for a living. I, for example, have been the following: theater usher, dairy factory employee, electronics technician, soldier, steel factory employee, steel factory foreman, railroad employee (gandy-dancer and clerical) and retail sales.

As with most lower class and lower middle-class types, I have worked hard and I have worked easy, but I have worked. And don’t give me the one about “intellectual” work being as hard as physical work. It just doesn’t fly and it’s not true. You should get out, or should have gotten out, among the masses before you formed your opinions. Then, not now after the illiterate masses have been brainwashed.

I apologize for running on so long. But “My view” in issue #73 really pushed my buttons. I have re-read it several times and my initial conclusion remains. I generally like BHM, but if “My view” in any way represents its editorial slant, then I will sever all connections…

…Finally, John, crawl out of your intellectual ivory tower and smell the sweat. Oh, you probably did many sorts of menial work in your youth. But get with the ones who do ’em for a living!

Roy Whittum, Eaton Rapids, MI

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