issue 78 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #78

We’re bailing out

We’ve been reading Backwoods Home for about 10 years now and find it to be by far the most practical and relevant magazine we receive. It is certainly the one we look forward to most eagerly. We will be bailing out of the rat race in about three years and building a solar house on some acreage we have near Concho, Arizona. The planning for this project has been greatly helped by your magazine.

Hugh and Lee Young
Temecula, CA

Martha’s a beginner

Jackie Clay’s articles are just great! She makes Martha Stewart look like a beginner. I do a lot of the same things here on my acreage that Jackie does, i.e. make soap, cheese, can, care for animals etc., but she has me beat!

It’s a great magazine!

Lorraine Dotson

Surplus firearms

In the July-Aug. edition of Backwoods Home is an article by Jeff Salmon entitled “Surplus Firearms.” In the article he recommends several rifles as good buys and I must take exception to one of those.

On page 60 second column he states, “some, such as the Spanish 1916, are available in .308 caliber making them more palatable to individuals…” I feel a warning should be issued on that fact.

Yes, the rifles are in .308, but they are a major risk in our opinion. My son, our gunsmith, graduate of Trinidad State Junior College school of gunsmithing says that the pressure of the .308 is too great for this action which is built customarily for 7 mm equivalent of a strong 30-30. The .308 develops velocities of 2800 fps and 52,000 c.u.p.s (copper units of pressure) while the 7 mm is underloaded at 22 and 2300 fps.

NRA technical staff warned us against rebarreling Spanish Mausers to this caliber.

John R. Howard, Prop.
El Pueblo Gun Repair

Health issue

I really enjoyed the issue of Backwoods Home Magazine which addressed health maintainance. (Issue #75, May/June 2002) I use many of the supplements that John Silveira uses. I enjoyed his recent article where he addresses supplement use.

I wondered if you and John were aware of the CODEX health restrictions that have been going into effect in Europe. Vitamins and supplements have been severely restricted there. Pharmaceutical companies are cracking down and taking control of vitamins, herbs and supplements all over the world. If you do a google search on the internet under CODEX I am sure you will get information on this.

Citizens in many European countries can no longer buy supplements over the counter but must get prescriptions from their doctors. Amounts of vitamins such as vitamin C are strictly kept to the minimal RDA.

These restrictions will soon come to the United States if we do not contact our representatives in Washington D.C. Some day John may not be able to buy his supplements over the counter. The website addresses this subject.

Valerie Jamison

Listening to Mac

Have you folks ever thought about making the CD, “The Coming American Dictatorship” into one we can listen to? I sure would like to get one that has the articles being read so I can listen to it at work.

Thanks for the great magazine! I just renewed for another 2 years. As former talk show host Geoff Metcalf here in the SF Bay Area used to say, “Knowledge is Power.” Please pass a thank you to all involved in publishing the magazine.

Eric McIntosh
Redwood City, CA


I was a charter subscriber to the old Survive magazine back in 1979-80. It was great, but ran out of steam. I subscribed to the Mother Earth News, it was part good, part bad. I didn’t care for their agenda. I subscribed to ASG/SRJ, it was good, but became politically correct and lost its way and folded. I’m thankful it did, because you took the chance of providing SRJ subscribers with a 6 month subscription. Your magazine is a breath of fresh air, full of commonsense and information, founded on correct principles. My only regret is that I’ve missed so much.

Don Eric Gray
Cypress Gardens, FL

O.K. I’m hooked! I was a regular reader of ASG, but never a subscriber. Instead I borrowed every issue from a friend. I was not terribly impressed with the first issue of SRJ. Then I moved away for most of a year. When I came back my friend brought out 6 issues of Backwoods Home.

Now THIS is a magazine I must have in my own library! So many good ideas and so much good information that any self-reliance practitioner can use, and more important, a place where independent thinkers can come together.

As a former member of the counseling profession, I found Claire Wolfe’s article in May/June 2002 saying just what I was thinking ten years ago when I went back to slinging hash in a truck stop. As a second generation homesteader who raised a dozen children in the wilds of western Montana, I see Jackie Clay as the real wonder woman. As an adherent of certain political and philosophical tenets I find every article interesting, informative, and thought provoking…

What ever happened to Luke Lee (Getting Out of Dodge; Jan/Feb 2002)? The world needs more young men who think like he does. Also, I wonder if Dawn Schatz (Straw Bale House; July/Aug 2002) would be willing to correspond with me about her construction procedures?

Kate Patrick
La Grande, OR

Professional military

In the letters section of Issue #77 (Sept/Oct. 2001), Robert Takos comments on a professional vs a citizen military. He wrote: “Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t MacArthur use citizen soldiers to shoot the WWI vets in D.C. when they demanded their bonus … Gov. used citizen soldiers to break up, sometimes kill, railroad and coal miners strikes? … National Guard that shot those kids at Kent State?”

First, in several of these examples, particularly the soldiers who suppressed the bonus marchers and those who broke strikes, those military men were actually the small cadre of “professionals” who used to serve as the military’s core between major wars. They weren’t part of that citizens army Silveira seems to talk about.

Second, I don’t think Silveira believes a citizen army will solve every problem. But, as in the case of the Swiss, if 30 and 40-year-old bankers and accountants have to go to war, you’re more likely to have a foreign policy of neutrality and—as in the case of the Swiss where almost everyone is armed—no one wants to invade them, either.

Dale Myers
Chester, NH

River rock shower

Over the years, Dorothy Ainsworth has written some excellent articles for you! Especially like the home building stories and “The zen of washday” inspired me to purchase ($75.00) a 1939 Maytag wringer washer. It does a better job than my state of the art washer.

But “A River Rock Shower” was another excellent article. The assembly directions and tips first class (esp. the erotic lovers listening to Rossini.) BUT how do you clean that Dorothy? You left that part out! It looks like it would be a bear to clean … any info would be useful for that task.

You guys are super.

Marcus Frisch
Altoona, WI

The shower can be cleaned by using any non-abrasive cleaner normally used on a shower. For heavy lime deposits and calcium buildup, you can use CLR cleaner and then refinish the shower.


Practical & entertaining

As a brand new subscriber, I want to commend you for publishing a magazine that is both practical and entertaining.

I was brought up as a city girl but dream of one day living independently in the country. I appreciate that you always give complete instructions and cover a broad range of subjects. At the risk of stating the obvious, you always start at square one, and we born-and-bred city folk need it! Thank you for nourishing my dream of true independence. One day I will put all of your good advice to work!

Laura Cox
Killeen, TX

Watch for those snakes

I read all the time about how bad things are in the “government schools.” I don’t have kids and it’s been a while since I walked through the doors of a school. Guess I didn’t realize how little of our heritage kids are being taught until a few months ago.

My wife and I travel the country in our motor home. We were parked in Arizona and I was proudly flying the Gadsden flag from the top of our rig. A younger guy, I’d say 25 or so, walks up to me and says, “Is that your flag on that motor home?” I replied that it was. The man says, “What flag is that?” I explained that it was our flag in the Revolutionary War, long before the “Stars and Stripes.”

“You mean the Civil War?” he asked.

“No, the Revolutionary War, against the British,” I replied.

He gave me a look very similar to a brook trout and said, “Oh, I thought there were a lot of snakes in this area and we would get in trouble if we ran over them.”

So much for history classes. True story, I swear.

Ted Vaughn
Phoenix, AZ

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