Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We have Moved

Please visit us on our new site at:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Is Freedom?

"Let me begin by saying that I'm a lifelong fan of the American way of life, particularly the way of life and the rules that our founding fathers mapped out for us a couple of centuries ago. To me, these rules are where freedom really lies. America was born out of a revolution staged by smart and tough renegades and radicals. Guys like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Adams are the quintessential American rebels, trouble makers and innovators who stayed loyal to one another and true to one single vision: freedom."
The above statement was made by Sonny Barger, one of the founders of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club. Funny how a man so steeped in controversy can be quoted for his views on freedom. However, I found it to be appropriate for this article.
So, what is this freedom that is talked about so heavily at times, yet whispered about at others? Is it an idea? A right? An obligation? I would like to inject my opinion into this discussion.
Freedom is an idea that we have the right to pursue. We are each born free, but that freedom is not ours to keep. It is something that we must constantly be striving for, a state of mind that must be exercised, and a battle to be fought.
Does having the right to speak your mind make you free? No, speaking your mind when you want/need to makes you free.
Does owning a firearm make you free? No, it does not. Using and training with that firearm makes you free.
Does storing and owning food and supplies make you free? Of course not. It's the will to keep it and use it that makes you free.
Freedom is an idea. The idea that a person can do what they want to when they want to, so long as it infringes on no other's freedom. Even an enslaved person can be free. Freedom of the mind is just as powerful, if not more so, than freedom of the body. If you can free your mind, then your body is open to follow.
I write this not to make some political statement, nor did I do it to stir up an argument. I merely wanted to get you to ask yourselves something. What does freedom really mean to you? I know what it means to me, and I will stand behind those beliefs 100%. I hope you find this thought provoking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

William Kostric: A Man To Admire

I was checking out youtube for a video of the town hall meeting Obama held in New Hampshire yesterday and came across this video clip of an interview with William Kostric, the gentleman who brought the gun to the town hall meeting. i personally think he did a great job portraying his points and taking a public stand for all of us who also value our rights as citizens. Here is the link to the video. I'm sorry it had to be a link, but I'm unsure how to post the actual video. I hope that you find it as interesting and encouraging as I did. Shatai

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I was skimming through my favorite magazine the other day a came across an article I feel is worth talking about. A soldier was declared KIA during the Korean conflict, but six months later his mourning wife answered a knock at her door only to find her husband alive and well. His name is Walt Dixon. After this incident he began to write about his experiences during the conflict. He wrote a poem that has become an important part of some of the ceremonies held in the honor of heroes, fallen and well. I did a little digging and found a copy of it on the internet. The piece is very moving, and is a great reminder of the sacrifice many make every year in their attempt to keep us free and able to do the things we do, even if some of our elected officials have taken it upon themselves to lessen those sacrifices and restrict the rights that many fought and died for. Here is a copy of Walt's poem, Please Remember Me.

Remember me, America, for I was once your son
I fought and died at Valley Forge with George Washington.
I was there at Gettysburg on that tragic day
When brother fought against brother, the blue against the gray.
I road with Teddy Roosevelt on the charge up San Juan Hill
Some came back to fight again, but I lie there still.
I went to France with the AEF, to bring the peace to you
I was twenty-one and full of fun, I never saw twenty-two.
I'm still at Pearl Harbor, since December 7th, a day of infamy
Lying silently with my shipmates on the Arizona at the bottom of the sea.
D Day, June 6th, 1944, we hit the beaches of Normandy, we fought up hill all the way
We routed the Germans and hurled them back, but what a terrible price we had to pay.
I served on a US submarine, the bravest of the brave
Until a German depth charge gave us a watery grave.
I bombed the Ploesti oil fields, and they blew with one hell of a roar,
But in that attack we were hit with flack---I'll never bomb anymore.
In Korea I heard the CO shout, "We'll make it and I'm sure that we will!"
I lost my life trying to take a spot called Pork Chop Hill.
Viet Nam, Viet Nam! When will we ever learn?
I'm one of the six thousand who will never return.
I left my town, my wife and kids, my home so cozy and warm.
I was killed in a scud attack, in a war they called Dessert Storm.
Two planes slammed into the towers, and thousands had to pay.
I was sent to a war called Iraqi Freedom to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his terrorist acts.
But we were hit with a suicide bomb and I won't be coming back.
Now those responsible and their terrorist pacts
Will face the wrath of America and I call that payback.
So in my eternity, my thoughts are all for thee
I'll never forget my beloved America,
I pray she remembers me.
Walt Dixon

I hope that you enjoyed it and found it to be as moving a piece as I did. Shatai

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Group Work

Firstly, I'd like to apologize for my extended absence. Unfortunately, due to work demands and my lack of regular computer access I have not been able to post, until now. I have recently acquired semi-regular access to a laptop. I hope that this will lead to my being able to post once again.
Enough of that, there is work to be done. Just this morning, with my finger on the keyboard for the first time in months, I took a look around American Preppers to see what was being posted and see if any changes had been made. I was happy to see that all changes have made the experience even better, and the information even easier to access. While browsing, I came across a post on the WV page that really caught my eye.It was the one on the formation and joining of groups. After reading it I immediately began thinking of a post of my own. Brother nitewalker did a nice job of showing what takes place in a group and how to go about making one successful, but he left a gap in the pros and cons area.
I know no single person can cover all areas of any topic, so I thought it wouldn't hurt for another to contribute and help a fellow prepper. I hope that this is taken as an ease in the workload and not as the stepping on of toes.
While I have done little on the scene of the network, I have had some experience behind it. I first joined up with a small group out of Virginia when I was still in the early stages of becoming a full-blown prepper and not just another curious body walking around. This group did offer myself and others a plethora of information, but lacked the overall organization to be successful. The sense of disunity could be felt from the beginning, but I was hungry for the information and the skills I saw demonstrated before me, so I stayed. I admit that I learned a great deal about woodsman ship, food storage, and general prepping, but the constant bickering among the members left me feeling uneasy about the community as a whole. This is the main downside to a group, a bad group at least.
If the group is lacking in unity, one can be left with a feeling that the information you gain is not worth the headache and lack of trust you also develop from the experience. It can leave you wondering if it is even worth it. Thankfully, I left before the group truly fell and began to turn against each other in ways describable only as childish and damaging to the cause. All that got accomplished in the end was that they managed to instill a negative image on a community that already has enough PR problems from groups who have the wrong idea about preparedness.
After what I went through with the first group I did not wish to join up with another. It just felt like I could do more on my own. I had manged to pick up what I thought would be enough skills to get my own start and maintain myself and my family without outside help. As it turns out I was wrong, but being young and stubborn, I tried anyway.
A short time after trying things on my own I accidentally stumbled upon another group (quite literally, too) My initial reaction was simply "Oh jeez, not again", but after one day with the people I met I decided to give it one more try. What I found astonished me. The people were happy with each other, welcomed me like a long lost friend, and seemed to genuinely want to help me out of the rut my youthful "optimism" got me into. (Often I wished I hadn't left home, but such is life. Haha) I have to admit that in just a couple short months a learned more than I could have imagined, made friendships that I hope will last a life time, and bettered my situation tenfold.
A group that is run like a family, not a clan, can make all the difference in the world. Be you a nineteen year old kid, or a sixty year old man (or so my eldest "family member" has made a point of drilling into my head.) a helping hand is sometimes all it takes to make you better. I like to believe that is true. Yes, the work we do together is hard, but after it is accomplished we all feel like we have learned a great deal, and like we can do whatever needs to be done, together.
I guess the over all idea of all this is simple. There are bad groups out there, but there are good ones too. You just need to be careful and be willing to do what it takes to find one, or start a small one yourself. As our own group philosophy goes, if it feels like family and acts like family, then it is family. And families can survive anything if they stick together. I hope that some find this post helpful. To all my Brothers and Sisters, thanks for all your help, and thanks for making me feel like it can be done. Shatai.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Buying Gold by John Britely

Richard has kindly invited me to guest post. Here is a quick introduction. I'm not a hard core survivalist mostly because I still work in DC. That limits my options for preparations, but I live about as far out as I can and have slowly been building my stash for several years. I have about a year's worth of food for my family but need more storage space. I have some options for expanding but right now I am switching to non-food and non-bulky preparations. My most recent purchase was a bit of Gold. Perhaps you already know all about it but here is what I learned in the past week (I'm sure many of you can tell me where I went wrong):

You will get more gold for your dollar with bullion coins than with numesmatic coins (coins valuable for their appearance or rarity). The US mint makes eagles in silver and gold (other precious metals too). The one ounce gold eagles are 22 karat but weigh more than an ounce such that they contain exactly one ounce of gold. In gold, they also make buffalos that are 24 karat. Thus, a gold eagle and a gold buffalo contain the same amount of gold. Both are available in ounce, half ounce, and one tenth ounce versions but the one ounce are much easier to find than the smaller sizes.

Other common options include the Canadian maple (24 karat), Krugerrand (22 karat), Australian kangaroo, and the Austrian philaharmonic. In any case, you get the same amount of gold with either 22 or 24 karat since the 22 karat coins are slightly larger.

The US mint sells proofs directly to the public at a substantial markup over the spot price and has terrible availability. They sell their bullion coins to dealers who inturn sell them to the public. It is all about finding a dealer who will sell at the least markup (over the spot price of gold: ) and also avoid as much shipping and sales tax as possible. In Virginia, there are two good options: driving to Maryland or buying from an out of state online dealer.

The reason not to buy in Virginia is that you would have pay sales tax. Maryland has a sales tax exemption for bullion purchases over $1000. Gaithersburg Coin Exchane ( seems to have the best prices but runs out of Gold eagles frequently. There are many online places to buy gold but for small quantities, good selection, and good prices it is hard to beat . Their price today is $945 plus shiping for a one ounce gold eagle based on a spot price of $886 which is a little more than Gaithersburg Coin Exchange at $930 but doesn't require driving in DC traffic.

The reason I'm buying gold is to diversify and hedge against inflation. The Fed seems to be expanding the money supply at historic rates. Inflation is not a problem yet but probably will be soon unless Bernake is much more competent than he sounds recently. Next, I'm looking for an AR.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Helping Youth Near You..

Thanks for another post from Youthful Prepper, Shatai, In Virginia...

I'd like to offer thanks for the warm welcome my last post received and yet another thanks to those encouraging comments to my post. Thank you all. Shatai
Helping Youth Near You
Now, with the formalities and niceties observed, I'll get on with things.
Previously I talked about reasons for having a youth in your group, now I wish to express my opinion on how to help and meet those same youths.
This is harder, much harder in fact, to discuss. There are so many laws to follow and too many sue-happy people to be weary of to just walk up to people and say
"Hi, would you like to learn how to garden/can/hunt/etc.?"
Plus, that's a bit too straight forward for most adults I spend time with, let alone a teenager you've never seen before. But, there are ways to go about this.
Ever walk through a grocery store and see someone who appears to be just out of the parent’s house looking at items on a shelf with a look of utter horror on their face? I have. (For that matter, I've worn that same look more than once) One small gesture you could make that would help them, and yourself, immensely would be to walk up to them (please don't startle the sheeple, it makes this even harder) and ask if they need any help with anything. I know this sounds odd, but you might be surprised at what responses you can get. Anything form "Yes, please." too I just moved out on my own and have no idea what to buy. I'm trying to stock up on some items, but everything is so expensive! Of course, you could just as easily be told to buzz off, but what’s the point in not trying? You would have just left them alone anyway, so go for it. If they want your help introduce yourself and offer just enough information about yourself so they know that you've been in their shoes and just want to help. Please, don't bore them with old war stories just yet (although I bet some of you can spin a good one I'd like to hear), as this just drives them away and makes you look like an idiot. People are more responsive to a kind smile and a helping hand than a stack of figures and a slew of words they can't pronounce anyway. Don't believe me? Just ask a high school teacher and they will tell you what youths respond better to.
After the song and dance are done, just offer small tid bits of information on storing or stocking food, and maybe even a place to go for better deals. This information is always appreciated by people fresh out and on their own. We don't like ramen and hot dogs any more than you do. If all goes well just let them know that you're more than willing to help again if they ever need it. If they act like this is a good idea let them know a little more about what you do and offer a means to contact you if they need to. Don't ever push though, we youths can be rather defensive if we think you're out to "preach a sermon", that's why we don't live at home any more.
Now, I know that example seems like a long shot, but it worked on me. I knew about being prepared before I moved out, but it never sank in until I was stranded, broke, and down on my luck. I will never forget the woman who saw me in Food Lion and stopped to talk with me... To this day I chat with her every time I see her and thank her for her kindness. So trust me, it works. And even if you try it a hundred times and it only works once, well, you've made a difference in someone's life. Isn't that worth all those failed attempts? I think so. And even if the person never sees or talks to you again, you tried to help, and maybe you even managed to point them in a direction that will help them get started on their own or lead them to another prepper who can help. And that's what we're all about isn't it?
Another, smaller, example of a way to help some youths is to contact your local boy/girl scout troop. Ask the scout master20if they would be interested in having you come and "teach" a small class on preparedness. After all, their motto is "Be prepared", the same as ours... And the fact that everything seems to be a merit badge doesn't hurt your chances at being welcomed, either. (At least, that's how it was when I was a scout) Also, remember that boy scouts in particular tend to be around the ages of 15-18 years old. Those are minds very open to what we offer. And the fact that many of their parents would be their as well is a bonus. Even if the scouts don't quite grasp what you have to say, chances are their parents will. And a single parent opened up to the prepping world is another person to help guide our youths down the right road.
I know it's not much, but that's what I have to offer on the topic. I could go on and on with more ideas, but I don't want to write a book or sound like I'm drolling on. Please remember though, when I talk about youths I never mean people as young as or younger than 16 or 17... Those youths are still under the tutelage of their parents and don't need another person "telling them what to do". One must always remember to practice restraint as well as sensibility in these matters. (Plus I'd hate to think I involved a single one of you in a needless lawsuit because you felt the desire to be charitable because of my post) That’s all I have to say today... Take care and keep prepping!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Survival Retreat vs. Neighborhood Survival

Earlier this month, I posted Etienne's guest post Seeking/Starting a Survival Retreat in Virginia / Maryland / Pennsylvania / West Virginia. Today, I had lunch with Etienne de la Boetie and another prepper here in Loudoun County. We had a long discussion about survival retreats vs neighborhood survival. Etienne is a big fan of the survival retreat concept. He previously had a retreat where he did not own the land but where he was able to store a travel trailer recreational vehicle in which he pre-positioned various preps and supplies. Unfortunately, his friend moved and sold the property. There are four major flaws in the survival retreat separate from your home concept:
  1. There are significant liabilities and social problems with communal retreats where one does not own the property - you are vulnerable to the actions of the others, particularly the property owner.
  2. Property left at unattended retreats is vulnerable to theft and vandalism. This is going to be a growing problem as the economic depression gets worse, especially if we have economic collapse.
  3. Getting to the retreat would be problematic in the event that it is actually needed - particularly in martial law scenarios where the military and law enforecement block traffic at key intersections or in cases where there are fuel shortages.
  4. Relatively undeveloped retreats with a trailer and undeveloped land may not be sufficiently developed for long-term survival and offer insufficient space for storage of the various preps and other items you need. Many of these items would likely be at your day-to-day residence and you cannot assume that you can transport everything at the last minute
My view is that survival retreats only work if you live there full-time. Furthermore, although remote locations are further removed from the masses, they are also further removed from jobs, markets, customers, hospitals, and many other useful infrastructure and will be harder pressed to gather a sufficiently large group to cover all of the tasks needed in a true long-term survival scenario. Even the best special forces operator cannot defend his property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unfortunately, we are rapidly running out of time and it is probably already too late to relocate - especially if relocating means trying to sell your existing home in this real estate environment -- in my neighborhood we haven't had a sale in over eight months and anyone who bought in the last four years AND did the traditional 20% down payment fixed 30 year mortgage now has negative equity.

I am a big proponent of the concept that your family, friends, neighbors, and church are your survival group. Yes, I understand that many are unprepared and clueless about both the threats and what they need to do to prepare for them. However, your home is your survival retreat. Strengthen it to the extent you can, but your odds improve exponentially if you can organize your neighborhood and help everyone survive against the threat(s) you are facing in your survival situation. You and those in the group who are better prepared or who have the right skills are the cadre needed to get organized and do what is needed. The rest of the neighborhood are your foot soldiers and do'ers. My philosophy is to lead and organize but that charity starts with those who are willing to help themselves and help the group in the survival situation. In a survival situation, your first challenges are to assess the hazards/priorities/immediate needs, organize the group, secure the neighborhood, and scrounge/barter/trade for needed resources.

Be a leader. There are many things you can do to help develop your neighborhood group of family, friends, neighbors, and fellow church members and increase the odds of the neighborhood surviving:
  • Get to know them.
  • Have potluck dinners.
  • Help them wake up and prepare.
  • Start a garden club to help start victory gardens.
  • Start a community watch program for your neighborhood.
  • Give them a copy of Chris Martenson's Crash Course on the economy DVD. I bought a case of 30 and gave them as 2008 Christmas gifts.
  • Give copies of Holly Deyo's book Dare to Prepare as gifts. I bought a case of 8 and gave them as 2008 Christmas gifts to family and several neighbors who got it and were starting to prep.
  • Store extra preps for charity and be prepared to give when it is needed for survival.
  • Learn about their skills, backgrounds, and interests - on my street we have a former Navy Corpsman/LEO/M16 Instructor/master scrounger/contractor/award winning BBQ chef who gets it and is starting to prepare, 2 nurses, a master gardener, an agricultural engineer / head of the 800 home neighborhood HOA, a Mormon family that does food storage, and six members of the neighborhood garden club run by our master gardener.
  • Buy tools that would be useful that could be shared like tillers.
  • Buy extra seed such as a 7 year supply of Survival Seeds and be prepared to provide seeds for neighbors
  • Build a survival library of books and skills that you can use to train them when they need survival skills.
  • Buy several extra surplus rifles such as the Russian Mosin Nagant or SKS rifles and stock extra ammunition to equip your "community watch" patrols.
  • Invite them to go to a shooting range with you.
  • Be prepared to give honest evaluations of whether individuals should relocate once a survival situation begins to relative's homes or even public shelters if that is the best option for them.
You will be pleasantly surprised how many of your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow church members that are starting to wake up and realize the reality and danger of our current position. This number is increasing every week. Don't simply assume that they are all clueless sheep - many simply need some education and a leader to show them the way.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coming online Monday....

Dr. Richard will be operating Virginia Preppers Network. If you'd like to be a team member leave him a comment.

Thank you.