Saturday, January 30, 2010

Securing a door Video


Love your blogs, ordering your book.

Hey I thought you might want to post a link to this video I found while looking for information on building your own removable door barricade with two by fours. I was reading some security postings and discovered your link to the Katybar. It reminded me of the two by four barricade that some old friends in a sketchy neighborhood of Chicago had on their door back in the day.

The guy on the video is a bit of a cook, talking about the forces of the new world order. I am more affraid of increased crime with California's unemployment rate Skyrocketing. But the video definitely shows you the parts you need and how to get it done.

Here is the link:

There is embed code on the page.

Enjoying reading your blogs, preparing for the inevitable STHTF event in Los Angeles. Whether its an earthquake, more riots, or economic collapse I am trying to be as prepared as possible.



Hi Chris,

That kind of setup wont give you much more security. Better than doing nothing for sure, but the man is extremely mistaken if he thinks "goons" will be kicking at that door "all day". A ram will open that door in seconds, even kicks.

Having two of those will improve security some, but in the end the door itself isn't strong enough. Its much better to have a true security door, preferably bullet proof, and one that locks on all 4 sides on a metal frame with poured concrete.

Another thing worth mentioning:

Hes very confused about cops not going through windows, its just that they use doors most often, and they do so for 2 good reasons:

1) Ordinary doors, including the ones with a 2x4 improvised cathybar are very easy to ram down.
2)People have a false sense of security regarding their doors, just based on little chains or even gadgets like these, seriously overestimating the door's capabilities.

And finally the worst part: The idea that a good door's reason of being should be to give you time to arm yourself and fight it out with the government goons he mentions. That's a good way to end up dead pretty quick, shooting it out with cops.

There are dictatorships and there were governments kidnapping people in the middle of the night, "disappearing" them and throwing them to the sea from a plane. USA is not it. At least not yet.

Instead of worrying about the new world order kicking your door down, better prepare for much more likely and much dangerous ordinary criminals.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Cree R5 at DX (320-Lumen LED)

UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5 320-Lumen LED Flashlight
-Price: $21.47 free shipping World Wide

These flashlights have the new R5 LED. Even though I doubt DX's 320 lumen rate, I'm sure its pretty bright.


MKVII Gas Mask Bag

Hey ferfal,
You just pictured a shoulder bag on your blog in a picture with a leatherman Wave. I was wondering what kind of bag, as the mussette bags I see dont have snaps. Thanks.


It's an English MKVII Gas Mask bag, made in the 1940's.
Kind of rare but something similar may be found in surplus stores. Just make sure the cotton canvas isn't rotten.
I use this bag when I'm not carrying that much stuff.


How the GTA Mindset Works

I made this post for GTA a couple days ago. I was trying to show a few examples of how the preparedness minded folk's head works differently regarding ordinary everyday stuff.

How the GTA Mindset Works

And we have a thread about it at the GTA forum as well in case you want to see what other people do or if you want to share your own experiences.

GTA Forum

Take care folks.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reply: Question

Anon 12:37 said:
" Your comments assume only a severe degree of financial collapse."

Hi Anon,
No, that's not what I said.
Please read what I wrote again. What I'm saying is that for the most probable, most realistic events, everything from a flood,terrorist attack ( 9/11, was bad, but the world didn't end either)recession, high crime, economic collapse or most of what you can think of, in my humble opinion the answer isn't spending a lot of money on a farm and strongly anchoring yourself and all your resources on a fixed location.

I just dont think its the answer to the worst case scenario nor do I believe it helps much during short and medium term events either.
Other than food and supplies, when you talk about setting up gas station underground tanks, alternative power systems, make your own biodiesel, setting up a fully functional farm that covers everything from live stock to harvesting, buying several working acres,tractors, a couple different vehicles, build a reinforced retreat, you're talking about putting a million bucks or more on something that wont likely be profitable and even if the worst case scenario you're supposed to be prepparing for does occur, it wont do you much good either.

You'll probably have to leave the country or die, and you'll wish you had that money or gold at hand to relocate and start over instead of having spent it.
Better to be more mobile and be of the "eggs in different baskets" mentality. Again, my opinion, everyone is entitled to their own of course.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


What do you think about Survival blog?  Seems completely over the top to me, and useless for most things except the occasional piece of information that could apply to real life... I enjoy yours more because it's far more realistic in regards to how the world functions... no one over there pointed out that in Haiti, money still counts, and that's typical of that type of site that relies upon the world actually ending completely (when it hasn't yet in thousands of years of human civilization).


Hi Steve, I’m glad you find my blog useful.
Not sure if its over the top or not, the survivalist retreat thing just doesn’t work for me personally and how I chose  to prepare.
 I have a different approach regarding survival and preparedness, and at least in my case, I don’t have much use for certain type of information that could be more valuable for someone planning to heavily spending money on setting up a retreat as an answer to most possible events.
Doesn’t fit for what I want in life in case of the “other” alternative situation either. You know, the one where the world does not end.
It’s not right or wrong, just saying its not what I do or what I’d do myself.
Because of the economic crisis the survival situation via an economic collapse is in vogue lately, and based on my experience heavily spending money in a fixed position isn’t the best approach.
Lets just suppose for a second that the worst possible outcome occurs. An economic collapse in USA, the dollar falls to a fraction of its value. But hey, lets not stop there. Some people seem to think that USA is special and what typically happens in countiries where economies collapse wont happen in USA, they think it’s going to be much, much worse.
In my opinion,  such a supposition is an attempt these folks make to consider themselves special. I humbly believe that we all want to be special but in reality, at least when it comes to masses, we’re all the same.
There are cultural and religious differences but at least in the western world we’d all react very much the same. Compare the looters of Haiti ad Katrina if you have a hard time believing this, or the looters and “piqueteros” in Argentina, slaughtering looted cattle right there on the road, people running around with chunks of bloody meat.
But again, lets throw that in as well. Economic collapse, plus this extra of roving raiders, huge fatality rates because cities will run out of food within a couple days, the hole 9 yards, a complete end of the world as you know it.
Yet before we get all paranoid and get into Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” territory, where the world pretty much ends , there’s a handful of mostly cannibal survivors in a world of ash and death, we have to take a deep breath and get back to reality. Collapse of society as we know it, anarchy, and roaming raiders and gangs with no police. .. and you’re going to keep living in your land, farming, and with a bunch of friends standing guard? Even if we’re talking about a town, how long can you stand in such a dire situation? How man gunfights will you survive? How many of them will you kill per one of your own and how long can you hold in such a situation.
 What I’m trying to say here is, I don’t believe its realistic to think you’ll hold the fort so to speak during these end of the world scenarios because it hasn’t worked in the real world in scenarios that weren’t nearly as bad. In a majorly hostile environment, history has taught us that you either leave of die, so you see, for a realistic worst case scenario, mobility and the ability to relocate in other countires or continents is of much greater importance that a fortified farm or compound.
And before suggesting that such anarchy would extend to the entire world, keep in mind it has never happened before, ever in history. If you think this would be a world wide situation, I’m afraid its not very realistic.  There’s always been other countries, other continents where people fared better. Of course a meteor may hit and turn us all into dust, but I prefer to analize and prepare for realistic situations and scenarios and that’s where you MUST ask yourself, Has this happened before?” “How did it affect people and how did they deal with it?” In spite of what our parents tell us and what we’d like to think, we’re not that special people. We  don’t learn from history, we repeat it.
Now, you may think that supposedly preparing for the worst possible scenario you prepare as well for everything in between, Well, it just doesn’t work that way.
If you think you’ll be fighting off zombies from your barricades 5 or 10 years from now what’s the purpose of going to college? Why invest? Why have real estate which you plan to rent for a living, as a way to have an inflation proof retirement income?
My approach to survival and preparedness is that the system is very much like cockroaches (and maybe some lawyers)after a nuke:  They just wont die.  It  reconstitutes itself and comes together like the Terminator thing. The “man”, the “system”, its part of our evolved society and there’s no going back. We wont go back to simpler, purer times.
Instead of trying to stay away from society and expecting it to disappear after a disaster, I tend to expect it to still be there.
Society as we know it and its cruel pyramid wont disappear, so instead of beating it or ignoring it, how do I deal with it? How do I manage to stay on the top of the iceberg? How do I deal with disasters but also how do I learn to deal with the system, our society?
As of right now, there’s already supermarkets opened and stocked in Haiti. People find a way out guys.
I’ve read the theory of ho w everything is so darn complex, how trucks travel thousands of miles to deliver a bag of potato chips and so on.
Argentina isn’t USA, but its still the 8th largest country in the world when it comes to territory.
Trains? They just died. No more train network connecting the provinces. Road infrastructure? Its been decades since there’s been a serious nationwide plan. Roads such and we have the greatest car accident death rate of any country but hey, still there.
Fuel? We experience shortages because of one reason or another, and several trucks use  natural compressed gas anyway. And I’m not even getting into farmer strikes, a government that boycotts producers, and roadblocks and leave trucks on the side of the roads for days, the fruits and vegetables rotting and going to waste as they wait.
And yet here we are.
Yes, the super digital high tech logistic of the first world would burst into flames if a cell phone malfunctions, but there’s other ways to do things too and in 3rd world nations “other ways” is all they have, and there’s nothing special about them, they just don’t have the high tech, synchronized delivers
For me its about being realistically assessing your risks, and incorporating a survival mindset to your lifestyle. Most of all, keep it real, and don’t’ go for far fetched scenarios that would do you know good when dealing with the more realistic ones, that are more lkely to occur.
We all have our points of view, priorities and beliefs when it comes to survival and preparedness.
This is the way I view things, how I prepare and recommend others doing as well.
As always, you millage may vary and so be it. It would be quite boring if we all thought alike.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Reply:"Other self defense tools: Kubotan as a daily protection‏"

Don Williams said...
Ferfal, I have been reading about Brazilian JiuJitsu (BJJ). Basically, the argument of the Gracies is that a fight will inevitably transition from striking to a clinch -- at which point someone skilled in grappling can throw or take down a boxer and take him out with a choke or joint lock.

Some highly skilled masters of the striking arts agree that this is a high probability -- although some MMA fighters have been good enough at wrestling to prevent the takedown and to win with strikes.

Some masters of pretty effective striking arts now say that grappling skills are essential to learn for self defense.

I myself have wondered about someone using eye gouges in a real fighter -- but the opinion of some people is that the time window for that tactic is so short that it is not a sure defense.

Do you have any opinion on this? Can a striker in a real fight avoid a takedown -- and hence should focus more on his striking skills than on learning groundfighting?

Surprise sucker punches obviously could be of value -- but the law frowns on the person who strikes first even when a preemptive attack is justified. Such is hard to prove, however.
January 24, 2010 3:11 PM

Hi Don,
It is true that fights on the street are not like the ones in the gym. That doesn't mean that gym training isn't useful, it very much is, the difference is the other variables that you can't control.

Some people that have little or no idea about either gym or street fighting will dismiss the first one as mere "sports" with no real world value. Apparently these guys think they can't beat the crap out of Tito Ortiz simply because they'd fight him in the parking lot instead of the octagon, as if some invisible force gave them extra powers because you know... its the streets and its no "sport". To those guys I'd say: Pick a fight with Tito, "Hiena" Barrios or any other pro fighter, and after you get your butt seriously kicked we can talk about it a bit more. :-)

The points of greatest importance in street fighting vs Sport fighting aren't kicks in the nuts or eye gouges, but rather the variables such as other people getting involved and weapons.

Try fighting someone with no rules, you'll soon see that the "dirty tricks" while some very effective, aren't nearly as easy to apply as they sound in theory.

Spike kick ?(that's a quick kick to the groin, straight up)
Certainly a fight finishing move, but sure isn't easy to land that blow against a smart fighter.
Eye Gouge?
Again, works, but not as well as you might think. I had a guy claw my face, going for my eyes. Keeping them well shut and moving around I still managed to force him to tap out with a neck choke. 
Had it been a street fight with no tap out, I would have left him unconcious on the floor or worse.
Breaking fingers?
Most often the hand is fisted, moving around fast. Like the spike kick, easier said than done. Still, you can do it in a street fight if you have the possibility, but of course its impossible to train such things nor does it make much sense. You dont train bashing a brick into someone's head but hey, if you can do it then more power to you in a street fight.

BJJ is a terrific martial art and I'd highly recommend it. That said, you do NOT want to end up in the floor during a street fight, no matter how good you are. That's why I recommend a combination of boxing and BJJ, along with armed self defense both knife and gun. 

A fight my brother had once relates to some of these things. He jammed his fingers into the guy's eyes, so hard he ended up with a permanent crooked finger, but that didn't end the fight: When the other guy was on his knees (both of them on the ground) a friend of my brother came running and kicked the guy in the head like a soccer ball, ending the fight for good. That's a street fight, that's the X factor that you can't control, no matter if your freaking Royce Gracie, you can't control the stranger kicking you in the head or stabbing you in the back or smashing your skull with a bottle.

About your question regarding grappling or striking. Learn both! 
Who wins?, Iron Mike Tyson or Gracie (both at their prime, not the broken Tyson we saw in his final stages). If Tyson lands a punch its bye bye Gracie, if Gracie tackles him Tyson is forced to tap out.
Now, an even better example, Gracie and Tyson, both with a month worth of training and pointers on the other ones respective discipline. My money goes to Tyson. 
There's a saying in Spanish about boxing; Big and mediocre beats small and good",
It means that strenght and size do make a difference in a fight. Some exceptionally talented fighters can overcome that (Royce did it often) but in most cases big and strong beats small and talented. That's why the physical part is very important as well, the bulk strength  you have.

All this boils down to one piece of advice: While any training is better than none, avoid the schools that base themselves on "dirty tricks" or "secrets only taught to special forces" or "No, this move is so deadly, it can only be taught when you reach this or that level...""That's why you'll never see this in sporing fights! This is too deadly for sports!" If someone gives you any of that BS, run from that place while grabbing your wallet just to make sure.

Most self defense classes teach eye gauges and other "dirty tricks". It can be explained to my 57 year old mom and yes, she'd feel safer and more confident. What's important to understand is: They do work, ok? but know the limitations of these tricks, know that a real thug probably has been eye gouged his entire life, beaten by his own foster father since he can remember and doesn't care nearly as much as you do if he loses an eye or not. Don' t be too over confident about your abilities because of these self defense moves you may learn. Better yet, try them against a non cooperative partner and see where it gets you.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Other self defense tools: Kubotan as a daily protection‏

Hi Ferfal,

I'm in Australia - a very socialist type of country with strong laws against self-defence. About 10 years ago, all guns in the country were seized and tightly licenced after a mass murder of over 30 people by a maniac. This of course means that only criminals have guns for serious crime, and knives are the chosen offensive weapon (we also have large population segments which have a cultural preference for edged weapons. Hunting weapons and martial arts weapons are tightly controlled and knives and machetes are the weapon of choice for the small number of violent street gangs.

Australia has always had youth gangs fighting each other to prove their testosterone levels, but over the last few years 'road rage' and knife attacks seem on the increase (small but significant). We are a very self satisfied and affluent society so your reality seems like science fiction to almost everyone here, but still I like to be prepared in case civilised behaviour slips.

Such is our 'protection' against bad guys that we are left to wooden clubs and running shoes for our defenses. Even the humble Kubotan is classified as an offensive weapon and if you have one on your key ring it can mean arrest and fines.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubotan )

I used to carry one before the law changed (enough skills with it for an emergency, but I'd never stand and fight if flight was available). It is an immediately handy and useful flail to attack a knife holding hand and could, in a pinch be used to distract an attacker or if lucky maim him if he tried grappling. ( we're allowed carry a pen knife, but a bad guy is going to have the edged M16 to match your edged airgun).

With the ban on this device, I've taken to using a medium size maglite on my keychain (not ideal for use as a kubotan style weapon but at least I won't be arrested for it). The advantage is that it is always handy for use, especially since entering or exiting house or car seems the most likely point you'll run into attackers.

So can I ask if you're familiar with kubotan, or what other 'in your pocket' defense strategies you suggest where carrying 'weapons' is illegal.


Hi, yes so sad what’s happening in Australia with gunrights.
Back when I was in highschool kids from Australia came to Argentina to play Rugby, stayed in our homes, very nice folks.
I’m familiar with the kubotan, saw a couple ways of using it during a class, but can’t say I put much trust into it. Of course its better than nothing but I have much greater trust in a knife instead.
The kubotan MAY hurt if used properly, while a sharp blade WILL cut when it makes contact.
Worst case scenario, the knife can be used to its full lethal extent.
I would recommend knowing your local laws to their full extent. After some research this is what I use in Spain (has a pocket clip):

Unlike a Kubotan, the Leatherman Wave is a tool, not a weapon. I use it on daily basis for a number of small chores, I use the blade for cutting boxes, making a croissant sandwich while site seeing. Not a weapon and legal to carry here.
The multitool can be used as an impact tool with the handles closed, and with the handles extended but with the pliers folded, it has a greater length, a bit more than most keyring kubotans.
If there’s trouble, I have my Wave. I can use it as a impact tool/pressure point/weighted fist, or if the situation requires it, the blade is there too.
For the car, I bought a small bat in a gas station. Nope, not a weapon, its for checking the car’s tires.
Check your laws, and carry the best blade you can legally carry.
In most cases, go for something more utilitarian and not something that screams “weapon”. If you know what to look for, you can get a very effective defensive tool that won’t be considered a weapon until you absolutely need it to defend your life.
Victorinox also makes some very “politically correct” looking blades with a hole somewhat similar to Spyderco’s that are easy to open. The locking system isn’t very practical but at least you have a blade that can be opened fast single handedly.
Hope that helped some, take care!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Reply:Comments on Haiti

That exercise on Haiti was very helpful. I carry a lot of stuff, but after getting my bag out and checking it, there were things missing and things that needed to be added.

An amusing little anecdote on how I live happened this past summer. My youngest brother had a birthday party for his four year old in a public park with all kinds of guests. It was warm (40C) and I wore, shorts, T shirt and sneakers (I only wear sandals if I'm at home). I was worried about my pistol printing through on the shirt so I put it in my small backpack. My brother, who's wife is a very liberal Australian, had asked me not to "wear your gun". So technically, keeping it in my backpack wasn't in violation of their request. As the day progressed people kept running out of things like batteries, camera memory cards, tools for assembling toys, knife for opening boxes and packaging, sunscreen, band-aids, and lots of other stuff. It got to be quite the joke that people would ask me for anything and I'd come up with it. My brother jokingly asked, "I suppose you've got KY-Jelly and your gun in there"... and of course I did. ;-) He, and my girlfriend, almost choked. He said it was bad form to bring KY Jelly and a fully loaded XD to a birthday party for 4 year olds. I replied that it was bad form for him to ask. LMAO. BTW, I use KY on foot blisters. It washes off easily and doesn't coat socks like petroleum jelly does... but I never told him that. EN

Happens often and its nice to be the guy with the gear when its needed.:-)
I see more and more men carrying bags, so guys, there's no excuse for not carrying a shoulder bag with some stuff any more. You can do so and get lost in the crowd very easily.

We should always keep working on our everyday carry gear, there's always little things to improvise on.

The basics are usually the same and just as important no matter what.

For example, one of the things you soon notice is that if you're just going to have a handful of items is, have a bottle of water!

Buenos Aires, walking on New York, or Haiti, a few hours and you'll need a drink! A day later and you'll do anything for a cup of water.
If you have a EDC bag, the first thing you should put into it is at least 1/2 liter bottle of water.
On the same line of thought, some kind of food, preferably high calories ones, some kind of power bar.
A LED light that lasts several hours, some kind of multitool, cash for emergencies.

Our local areas do influence what we carry, but some items are mandatory basics no matter where you are.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Comments on Haiti

Hello Ferfal,

   I have bought and read your book.  It's a great read dealing with real world experience and not a "End-of-Days Doom Scenerio".  However, I was curious if you had a any comments on the crisis in Haiti?  I know Haiti is a fourth world country but it did have a shell of infrastructure.  Now that Port-Au-Prince is destroyed it's obvious that society has completely melted down and it's a complete SHTF scenario.

   In comparison to Hurricane Katrina, if there is some sort of natural disaster it looks like your on your own until things stabilize.

  Just curious if you had any personal observations from news footage.



Hi Don,
One of the mottos I've been keeping in mind for some time now is:

"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple--and wrong,"

First, money. If you read my book you probably know how I feel about money. While for many survivalist experts money is just small pieces of useless paper, (except for when they cash it in themselves that is) money and finances makes a difference in Haiti as well.

The terrible images we see contrast with another reality not too far away from those same places: The upscale neighborhoods, with security, and well built homes where, in spite of the problems, people are doing much better.

Another thing I noticed, a man with a laptop connected to his car, he was offering phone calls through skype at 50 cents per call. Not bullets or pelts, he was asking for money.
Looters? Many stealing objects to sell. 
My point is even with people starving and dieing all around them, money still makes the world go around.
Then of course, the basic, prime need of havings the "Lwas of 3" covered: Shelter, water and food.
3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food (give or take before you die)

The situation in Haiti is worth several more posts.

Check this thread out over at Grabtheapple forum.( Your Haiti bag)


Welcome to our latest Advertiser!

I'd like to welcome our latest advertiser, Our Happy Homestead.

They offer a wide variety of products for food processing, water treatment and storage.

Keep Our Happy Homestead in mind when needing self sufficiency supplies.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chronology of the 2001 Argentine Economic Collapse

 For some people its a bit messy and this might help understand things better. This is a pretty good chronology of events.



Argentina’s inflation third highest in the world

Congo, Venezuela ... and Argentina.

Mrs. Kirchner wanted to resign after losing the elections for senators last year. Her husband didn't allow it.

Tuesday, January 5th 2010 - 5:06 am UTC

Argentina’s inflation third highest in the world, say private consultants

According to the administration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner inflation in Argentina last year was below 8% taking into consideration that the accumulated in the first eleven months of 2009 was 6.7%.
However independent economists, business organizations, consultants, consumer groupings and even trade unions indicate that “real, non cosmetic” inflation in 2009 ranged between 15% and 18%.
Thus according to private consultants in Buenos Aires and some provincial governments which have their own statistics offices, Argentina ranks third in the IMF inflation list which has Congo with 31.2% at the top followed by President Hugo Chavez Venezuela with 28%.
Mariano Lamothe, an economist from consultants Abeceb, estimates inflation in 2009 reached between 14% and 15%. Consultants Joaquín Ledesma & Associados argue “real” inflation accumulated in the eleven months of 2009 was 14.3% and Ecolatina, founded by former Minister of Economy Roberto Lavagna considers that the average inflation in Argentina between 2005 and 2009 was 17.8%.
Ecolatina anticipates that the recovery of economic activity in Argentina during this year is going “to accelerate inflation even more” and adds that “without an official plan it’s going to be very difficult to contain the increase in prices”.
Ecolatina argues that following several years of strong rates “the inflationary dynamics has its own inertia which makes it into a chronic problem”.
For 2010 the administration of Mrs. Kirchner estimates inflation at 6.1%, however Ecolatina anticipates it will be closer to 17%. Economist Carlos Melconián forecasts between 18% and 20% while Credit Suisse in a recent report anticipates “real” inflation in Argentina will be in the range of 12% to 14%. Barclays Capital has told its investors Argentine inflation in 2010 can be expected to be in the range of 16.5%.

Home made Electrolyte Drink

Electrolyte drinks are needed to replace fluids after diarrhea, vomiting and certain injuries.
Such a simple solution could save lives during disasters such as the one currently going on in Haiti.

Here's a simple recipe:


One teaspoon of "Lite Salt" (by Morton, 1/2 iodized potassium chloride, 1/2 sodium chloride in a blue cylinder)

1/3 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate),

10 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose),

one quart of water.


Another one:

*Juice from one fresh lemon (natural electrolytes)
*Cup of water
*2 flat tablespoons of sea salt

Stir and drink.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Reply: Ammo Availability

Anonymous said...

here's my take:
Smith & Wesson's representative
told me this: they are backordered
for all the 9MM ammo they
make. if S&W wants to make .380,
they will have to shut down one
9MM line...retool..then make .380.
this Will Not Happen. so....
my advice is FerFal's: buy common.
it will be available. eventually,

January 17, 2010 3:28 PM

Didn't know S&W made ammo but it is true. Manufacturers will stick to common, high demand calibers if they have to feed a hungry market or if they have to cut down production costs. It makes sense to make the calibers that they know will sell well.

Jack said...

To follow on with what Estonian said, if there was a SHTF situation that resulted in the banning of guns/ammo to the civilian population, there would spring up a black market supplied by two groups:

1) the average soldier looking to make a buck or supply his family (just like they trade alchohol and tobacco on the black market now in Europe and Korea).
2) thieves who target the military.

And the rounds they would have are the 9mm, 5.56 (.223), and 7.62x51 (.308). That's why my first defensive weapon purchases would be in those calibers. After that I would spread out into other calibers if I wanted some diversity.

Of course I'd already have several .22lr guns with thousands of rounds of cheap ammo.

January 17, 2010 3:55 PM

Here in Argentina, ammo ( and guns)"goes missing" from military depots and police stations all the time, so its no wonder that 9mm is one of the most common calibers for criminals as well. Its easy to see how, during a large scale disaster, police and military weapons and ammo may end up in the hands of criminals and sold in the black market.

theotherryan said...

I remember the post President Obama election ammo shortage well. I had recently driven across the country to live in GA/AL. I brought a .38 but only about 100 rounds of ammo. Not sure why I did that but it was a busy time and tossing in a few more boxes didn't seem important. I could not find any .38 ammo for almost two whole months. When it was available I bought enough to get through just about anything.

The lesson I learned there was twofold. First ammo can rapidly vanish. Second having a lot of ammo elsewhere doesn't help me any if I can't get to it. Should have brought at least 500 rounds with me.

January 17, 2010 11:33 AM

Good comments guys, thanks.
A question to everyone:
Do you have some ammo in your car kit for your daily carry firearm, and ammo for your backup gun if it fires a different caliber?

I like reading and learning from real world emergencies ans survival situations, large events, or less dramatic ones. I remember a person going back home from the shooting range right when the LA Riots started. He managed to get home safely, but during the entire trip he couldn't help thinking that he had shot up all his ammo in the firing range punching paper!
A car with several guns and not a single round, how silly is that?
Another importance piece of gear that I recommend is body armor plates, carrying them in the trunk. Never plan on getting in a gunfight and never getting shot in return. For body armor needs keep in mind our friend Nick at bulletproofme.com. Armor is unbelievably cheap in USA compared to just about any other country in the world. 2A doesn't cover BA if you know what I mean. Heck guys, its not even legal to own BA in most other countries so get busy.

Maldek said...

What would be a reasonable stash of ammo per handgun (9mm) and/or rifle/shotty?

January 17, 2010 6:18 PM

As an absolute minimum, when you buy a gun, buy two 50 round boxes of ammo for a rainy day. If you're going to take your brand new gun to the range, buy extra ammo, don't use the "rainy day ammo" in your shooting sessions.

The standard preppers minimum these days is 500 round per handgun and 1000 per rifle. I usually recommend 1000 rounds per pistol, 1000 per rifle and 5000 per 22LR. Not a bad number, and you wont go broke.

Of course, that's not even enough ammo for a serious defensive shooting class, so if you plan on shooting on formal training sessions at least once a year, 5x or 10x that much isn't unrealistic.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ammo Availability


After the crisis, and throughout, was there ever an extreme shortage of ammo? I know there was in the States for a while while Obama was being elected, and that was mostly panic buying. I carry a .45acp, a very common round in the states, and I'm sure Argentina. You talk about 1911s quite often. Was there ever a time where you couldn't find .45acp around and had to use 9mm? 9mm is more common than .45 worldwide and it would be my choice if I was in Europe, Asia, the middle East, and Africa. But in the States, I don't want to someday find that I can't feed my XD45 because the only thing around is 9mm.

thanks, anonymous

Panic buying eventually ends and frankly, dealers are happy of doing good business, more ammo is made, so its at worst a very short term problem.

Someone once said, President Obama should be named "Gun Dealer of the Year", because thanks to him thousands of guns and tons of ammo have been sold. There's a lot of truth to that.

What happened here was that people were buying more guns and ammo out of fear but at the same time, prices where going up a lot, odd calibers stopped being imported so they were hard to find ( like my 357 SIG)

Ammo was still available, even if in much less amounts and much higher prices.
Odd ball calibers where much harder to get by and prices were ridiculously expensive.

Because of this I recommend sticking to common calibers at first (you can always come by a box of 9mm rounds)and then having other calibers too in case your particular choice can't be found.

This also meant that quality reloaded ammo was in high demand. I've used reloaded Argentine brands like Waffen and Stopping Power, they sure are better than no ammo at all, and I've come to appreciate their overall good quality. (Stopping power ammo is better if you can find it, Waffen sometimes comes with crushed reloaded cases)

Start with common caliber weapons ( start with 9mm) then get others in 40 and 45. And most of all, DO have ammo for your gun! The rainy day stash is mandatory for anyone 1/2 serious about armed self defense.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Going into Debt to Prepare

I have heard that the best advice would be to borrow as much as possible before tshtf and use it to prepare. After tshtf, repayment of credit cards will not be a priority, and if you borrow it at a fixed interest rate, then the hyperinflation means that you are paying it back with seriously inflated dollars, so who cares... I do have an ethical issue with running up debt knowing that I may well just default on it.... That being said, current laws in the US do not allow creditors (other than the bank who holds your mortgage) to throw you out on the street and seize your house. The most they can do is put a lien against your house so that if/when you do sell it, they will get some of the money..... So Fernando, what happened in Argentina to credit card defaulters?


Hi Mike, I feel I should ask, where did you get that piece of advice?

I'm no survivalist guru, but my humble experience is that you sure as hell shouldn't get into debt to prepare.

It is true that if, for example, in 2001 you had a loan in dollars and afterwards you only had to pay in a 1 to 1.4 ratio when it really was 1 to 3.5, sure that was pretty good, but playing that game is VERY risky. You're practically betting on an economic collapse, and doing so with some accurate date estimations. You might as well go to the casino and play reds. At least that's 50/50 chance.

Now, going into debt on your credit card and planning to not pay back. That may work for a total bum, but not for a serious person.

First, its not just interest, its also the extra charges and expenses that quickly add up.
Here in Argentina, a debt can quickly double in a matter of months, just on lawyer expenses or whomever "bought" your debt.

Still planning on not paying? As you wait it only gets worse, the debts turns into a snowball that keeps growing.

Then one day you need a loan for your business or get married and want to buy a house, sell the one you have for whatever reason, moving to something smaller or bigger, then the problems start for real. You can't sell your house without losing a ton of money ( the debt+interest+expenses)Your financial history is a nightmare that no one will get close to.

Eventually, you'll have to pay or live like Tom Hanks in "Stranded", at least in financial terms.

Still sure about going into debt counting on an economic collapse?


40 S&W vs. 9mm vs. 357 SIG

Chuck said...

FerFal, glad to be able to contribute.

I didn't add in my original e-mail that I was in charge of our firearms program for several years, and we have 325 gun carriers here between full-time sworn officers, reserves, etc.

I often hear folks say that their gun X works great in their experience, which may be a few hundred rounds.

Over the past three years I have seen 325ish folks fire almost a million rounds of 9mm ammo out of their duty and off duty Glocks, we have 17s, 19s and 26s being carried by our troops.

This is where my experience base comes from, not just a few rounds here and there.

I stay away from the Glock .40s after we had numerous reliability issues with the G22.



Thanks Chuck, always nice to hear about your experience.
That's one of the reasons I like 357 SIG so much. it gives you a bit more power than hot 9mm +P and even better, the bottle shaped case feeds more reliably than any other pistol cartridge.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Economic Crisis in Spain

USA is still the bastion of freedom in today’s world, and I’d kindly invite anyone that disagrees to name a country were more freedoms and rights can be enjoyed, starting with something as essential as the right to pack a gun to defend my life if needed.
Spain for example, is covered in such a thick layer of socialism that it makes you sick. It’s the political correct liberal utopia. A guy can walk down the center of the city of Barcelona butt naked ( and I’ve actually seen that ) but owning a firearm makes you a freak. It’s funny how these socialists work. For example, the legendary “Guns” magazine, a Spanish gun rag that has always been the equivalent of Guns & Ammo world wide for Spanish readers, has been “socialized” so to speak.

You see, just banning it would be too suspicious, what they do is… modify it for … more adequate times. So its been slowly turning into an “airsoft” magazine, or talking about guns in video games. You see, “Guns” has little “guns” content any more, I’d say less than ½ the magazine really talks about real firearms. Eventually it will all be replicas, games, soft air toys and so on.
Meanwhile the socialist dream that is Spain has 20% (19.3% for October 2009 according to yesterday’s “The Economist”) unemployment and looking worse each day. It’s surreal to see the same kind of news reports and same kind of discussion in talk shows that we saw in the first stages of the Argentine crisis.
Spain’s, president, Mr. Zapatero, also known as Mr. Bean, is simply doomed. Not only s he a clueless diehard socialist, he’s now been fatally wounded by ridicule. Argentines know one thing: As a political figure, you can be loved, or you can be hated, like we hate the Kirchners and Menen, but you cant allow yourself o be ridiculous, you can’t become a joke. There’s no return from that. That’s what happened to Fernando de la Rua, and a few months later the economy collapsed in December 2001.

Now Zapatero is a joke, and his answer to deal with the crisis in Spain? Increase public spending, increase taxes, have a public spending that DOUBLES the income.
Work contracts? Only the ones approved by the Unions are legal. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Spain doubles the average EU unemployment rate.
Another mayor flaw they have is the famous “paro” that gives a year’s salary or more to anyone that gets fired.
This could be a great safety net but in socialist Spain its just another tool to ride the working class, with an entire generation more worried about getting fired and living on free rides than finding a job.
This also means there’s no real interest to find jobs, there’s no competition or desire to succeed driven by real need. Its also a huge burden that is laid on the shoulders of the working class.
Its sad to see these socialist work their magic, they are so alike.
Spain is still a developed nation and of course there’s still hope is they get rid of Mr. Bean on the next election and choose someone form the PP party (right wing).

Regarding your question, where to go. My friend, stay in USA, that’s what I would do.
Lets not get paranoid either, there’s always something to worry about, but the important thing is having alternatives.
As for plan B and C. There’s places in Europe where the socialist and communist BS isn’t flying anymore and there’s hope in the future.
For South America, I’d go with Uruguay or Chile.
You ask for 5 year stability. In these countries you can find that, but don’t ask for much more, you never know what can happen politically that far away into the future and that’s precisely why you should have plan B and C locations just in case.


Enemies foreign and Domestic

Matt Bracken is both a good friend and terrific novelist.

For the free thinking person, his novels have lots of food for thought regarding the world we live in today.

When he mentions socialist brain washing( in Domestic Enemies) I can only think of my own University, University of Buenos Aires, that went from right wing "Franja Morada" party to extreme socialism and communism in just a couple years, with red communist flags all over the place, books of Mao indoctrination as well as others being sold on the front door.

As a teacher, I had to tolerate these guys interrupting classes for a few minutes of communist indoctrination, asking students to "join the cause".

Matt also sprinkles with novels with tips and tricks for the preparedness minded person.

You can read several chapters of his books at:


Where to GO?

Anonymous said...Yes, Ferfal, if you please where would you -TO-? This is a queston that has been in my mind. It seems like this is a generally co-ordinated decline. Where can you go that you wil not have to flee again in five years?
My friend, stay in USA, that’s what I would do.
Lets not get paranoid either, there’s always something to worry about, but the important thing is having alternatives.
As for plan B and C. There’s places in Europe where the socialist and communist BS isn’t flying anymore and there’s hope in the future.
For South America, I’d go with Uruguay or Chile.
You ask for 5 year stability. In these countries you can find that, but don’t ask for much more, you never know what can happen politically that far away into the future and that’s precisely why you should have plan B and C locations just in case.
 There other posts about this ( and other topics of interest) on the left column. Scroll down to "Topics" and find "relocating".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reply:"Constitutional Crisis in Argentina"

The last cause said...
Ferfal, when you read/experience such a crisis, what is the first and second thing you think of to do?

By "repay foreign creditors" I assume that means "turn presses onto maximum and inflate away the debt"?
The first thing I think of is that Argentina is in very serious trouble.

You can tolerate lots of things, you can cope with natural or man made disasters, but when you have a dictator in power, you're in serious trouble and it just wont go away.

We're past the feeling or impression stage, we have a couple in power that is simply going crazy and we're past the conspiracy theories. They passed a law, the "Ley de Medios K", that is simply legalized censorship, they passed taxes and laws that are unconstitutional, including the crazy power and gas tax that sent the price o such services up 600% . Not to mention, the secretary of social development, Kirchners right hand Mr. Delia, calling out for the assassination "of white people". In a country of 95% white, I really don't understand what this freak even means.  I mean, we're beyond racism and totalitarian government. We're talking about stuff you read read in Matt Bracken's book "Domestic Enemies". 
We have inflation that is just out of control, a government on a tax rampage desperate to steal money from the people. 

There can be no explanation for basic needs such as milk and other basic food items, being cheaper in Europe that in Argentina, specially when you know that Europe imports most of its food and Argentina make several times the amount needed to keep its population fed!

We're getting close to situations of such social revolt that can potentially end very ugly. Some people see it, some don't. But even a blind person can see what I'm talking about here.

Second, I feel an urgency to leave.

This is something that I've always said but now I feel its more relevant than ever. When socialist/totalitarians take over your country ( no matter which one) you need a plan B in case things go Argentina. I'm not saying it will happen, chances are sure small, but you need a back up plan that is realistic, and getting stuck in a retreat wont solve the reality of living in a police state.

If , big if, things get that bad, you have to leave. There's no other choice.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Constitutional Crisis in Argentina,

From http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Constitutional Crisis in Argentina, President Threatens to Take Over Central Bank; Potential Latin America "Cascade Effect"

Argentina President Cristina Kirchner has attempted to seize control of the central bank. Kirchner fired central banker Martín Redrado for his refusal to hand over $6.6 billion in bank reserves. The matter is now headed for the Argentinean courts.

Please consider the Constitutional Showdown in Argentina.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner's firing of the country's central bank president last Wednesday has provoked a constitutional crisis, not unlike the one that rocked Honduras last summer.

Mrs. Kirchner's insistence that the central bank's assets should be at her disposal is noteworthy. It reflects a primitive view, not unknown even in the U.S., that the role of a central bank is to print money for the government's use. Yet it is nonetheless surprising that even after the nation has suffered so much inflationary agony, it is still possible for an Argentine politician to pursue this line of reasoning without risk of being tarred and feathered.

Already unpopular for her authoritarian style, Mrs. Kirchner would seem to be skating on precariously thin ice. One opposition senator has pledged that if Mrs. Kirchner does not back down, he will begin impeachment proceedings.

The president says she wants the money to pay back foreign creditors. She could pay them with funds that are already at the treasury, but she has other ideas for that money.

Argentina Set For Inflationary Explosion

Argentina is already suffering from a 17% reported rate of inflation. Rest assured if 17% is the reported rate, the real rate is likely much higher.

Kirchner not only wants the $6.6 billion in bank reserves, she also wants "easy money", otherwise known as lower interest rates. If Kirchner gets her way, and perhaps even if she doesn't, Argentina is going to explode.

In South America, Venezuela is already in the process of blowing up. Please see Chavez Threatens to Seize Businesses, Devalues Currency by 50%; Chavez vs. Obama, Parallels Greater Than You Think! for details.

Cascade Effect

Regarding Venezuela, my friend "BC" writes ...

While the story got little press in the US (not sure about the EU), the action could be one that starts a cascading effect in Latin America where China is frantically acting to establish relations in order to secure energy and grain supplies.

And water shortages and rising energy costs risk a breakdown of internal distribution systems at the periphery, restrictions to transoceanic transport, increasing scale of mass migration and ethnic-racial conflict, and severe disruptions to trade flows and credits, as well as deteriorating trade and diplomatic relations across regions.

Textbook case.

Loans to two countries are now at huge risk. European banks have more exposure than US banks to emerging markets and Latin America.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Monday, January 11, 2010

Knives for Self Defense?

Julia said...
How much training does one need to use a knife? I recall you saying your wife carries one when out.

I've always thought a knife fight would involve some level of skill. Something like 'if you don't know how to use it someone can take it away from you and use it on you'. They say that about guns, but I wouldn't let anyone disarm me.

I'd like to consider a knife, but I'm bit nervous. What type of knife would be good for a woman?
January 10, 2010 8:17 PM

Hi Julia,

Not long ago I wrote a post about just that, knife for women.
Here’s the link:

Defensive Knives for Women

Also check the "Knives" Topic on the left column for more posts about knives.

If you choose the right knife for you, it’s not going to be easy for an attacker to take it away from you. Much harder than disarming someone with a firearm.
Knives are deadly contact range weapons.
Many folks say don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, but those that know better know that at contact range, against someone that has a slight idea of what to do and some training, the knife wins most often and is deadlier than the handgun.
If you use a razor sharp fighting knife, the kind of damage you can do to a person will make a gunshot wound pale in comparison.

You are right about the possibility of the knife being taken away from a woman, there’s always the risk, but that risk stands mostly on three pillars:

1)Poorly chosen weapon:

Selecting a good knife for defense requires a lot of knowledge. The selection process is much more difficult than choosing a handgun because appropriate grip and blade are crucial. I can recommend just about anyone to arm himself or herself with a Glock 19. Give or take I know it’s a weapon that will work for practically every person you can thing of that takes a minimum amount of time to learn to shoot it well.
A knife? Not so easy. A $400 Busse Battle Mistress will be totally useless for a women that wants a knife for defensive carry, while a $15 Cold Steel Roach Belly may be a very good choice.

Most “combat” knives are poor choices for women or even men with small hands. Others are just too big or heavy, there’s not a one answer fits all knife, the right fitting grip being mandatory for weapon retention during a knife fight. If you ever sparred with a practice knife, you know how often they fly out of the grasp of people, just happens a lot.
Now imagine actually getting a knife stuck on an attacker, desperately twisting away to literally save his life.
Long narrow knife blade? Deadly for sure, but the short blade will come out of the body, and you retain your weapon, while a longer one may catch in the body more when the attacker moves away. A bayonet like blade is an effective stabbing tool , but will require greater physical strength to retain when rumbling. Not a problem with WWII troops, but not ideal for a woman’s defensive use.

Most combat knives also have large grips made for large hands, even for being used with gloves. This may be too large for small hands and while it may not be a problem when working, or cutting an apple, it may give an attacker a surface to hold on to and twist the weapon out of your grip.
I recommend a good grip, small, preferably rubberized and with shallow groves or a concave shape that allows good retention. The blade should be short, but razor sharp and thick, of good steel, flexibility being more important than 60rc hardness.

2) Lack of training:

There’s more than enough proof, many cases of women using knifes (often with deadly results) against rapists and abusive husbands. Just like with men, it’s a weapon that goes along well with rage, instinctive fighting, you stab slash and hurt the person as much as you can, before you know it there’s a bloody mess in front of you.

I of course encourage at least a class or seminar so as to know the basics. There’s Filipino knife fighting martial arts that takes a lifetime to master, but just knowing the basic guard and attacks will make you an adversary to be reckoned with. I’d also recommend knowing the human body very well, so as to know where to cut and stab, and what you can expect.

This is something I went into detail in my book because knowing those things will give you a huge advantage in a contact range fight, where you maybe have a second or two to cut before a stronger attacker pins you down on the floor. If you slashed the face, maybe the result won’t be what you expected, but stabbing on the side of the neck … Mr. Rapist now has to decide if he will spend the last few seconds he has left before passing out and probably dying trying to remove his pants or heading to the ER room.

3) Lack of proper mindset:

This is even more important that training, especially with knives. Gun may malfunction, may run out of ammo or you may not know how to operate it. Not the case with the knife, it depends entirely on how bad you want to carve someone with it.
Women that get beaten by abusive husbands, sometimes just crack, pick a kitchen knife and kill their abusive partner.
But if you doubt, if you hesitate and just don’t fight with all you’ve got, the result can be tragic.
In the end, the handgun requires to be aimed in the right direction, the trigger pulled enough times to stop the treat.
With the knife, there’s sort of an art to it. Where will you strike, will you slash certain key point or just go for a more brutal approach, grab and stitch the guy full of holes. When your stalker grabs you, will you slash the wrist, and follow up with a stab to the face or neck, then continue attacking until you stopped him? It requires some nerve to do this, and specially, I’d say it requires a person that has a mindset tuned to react violently against bad guys as the instant, natural reaction.

Think about it and be honest with yourself. As a weapon, the knife is terribly effective. A t contact distance it’s the best one bar none. That’s why I have one with me at all times.
So take a class or seminar to know how to grip your weapon, learn to strike, but most of all, be 100% certain that if ever faced with that decision, you will do the worst damage you can.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Home Invasion


I have been reading your blog for quite sometime. I worked at a gun shop in Southern Indiana and you are very well respected in Kentucky and the southern Indiana region. I suggested your blog to may people coming in asking for advice on security and SHTF scenarios.

My wife's family is from Argentina and immigrated to the US in the 60's. My mother in law went back to open a business after retiring. She lives in Sante Fe and my father in law used to work at the federal prison near the Beagle Canal at the southern tip of Argentina. I am writing to thank you for your blog and to let you know your reporting on home invasions led me to begin answering the door with a weapon. I have a cc permit and have carried for quite sometime. Whenever I came in I would take the gun off and put it in a cabinet and put it back on when I left. I began answering the door armed after reading a few home invasion accounts you gave and that is where the gratitude stems from.

New Years eve at 4:30 in the afternoon while I was in the basement on the computer surfing the web and my wife, cousin, and daughter were in the next room over doing the same there was a banging on the front door and my bird dog began barking. I ran upstairs and was half way to the door when I decided to tuck my gun in my belt. I thought it was my uncle picking up my cousin but instead it was a well dressed, middle aged black woman, with short hair, who bore a strong resemblence to Wanda Sykes, the comedian. She was at the door begging me to open it up, she said two men in a white truck had tried to rape her and that she had broke loose and needed my help. I was armed and began to open the door when something just didn't feel right. I told her I would be back and yelled downstairs for my wife to grab her gun and to call 911 and tell them a woman is on our porch claiming to have been raped. I went back to the door and noticed she was wearing a sling and had her other hand inside as if to keep warm. She again asked me to open up the door. I told the lady to hang tight. She then said she needed a ride. By this time my wife was asking for a description of the woman and the police were telling her that officers where on the way. I again, within ear shot ask my wife if she was armed and while looking down at the womans face through the door I began giving a very detailed description. She knew at that moment I was on with the police and took off. My wife was watching the back door (she had my back so to speak) while I was at the front and she was on with the police. The police pulled up, two cars, 2 minutes after she took off. They asked where she was and I told them which direction she headed and one of the officers told me she had just held a knife to a guys throat a block away and got his wallet. They took off in the direction I pointed. I found out later that another witness saw her get in a white truck with two black males. The attempt failed. I am assuming she was to get in and threaten me and the guys in the truck would have pulled up and came in behind her. If I would have opened the door and she would have attacked I am confident I would have killed her but I am equally confident I would have been cut in the process. This woman did not look like a thug. She looked like a school teacher. I have second guessed myself as some of my friends say they would have went outside and tried to hold her for police. All I knew was me, 5 shots of .38, and a door was all that was between my family and danger and I was not going to open that door on my own. What is still bothering me is how close I came to doing so. What if she would have been crying and a better actor? What if I would have noticed the sling right away and thought. "Oh my. She is hurt." and opened the door? What if I would have done that and not stopped on the way to my door and armed myself? I just wanted to share this story you. My wifes cousin is coming up from BS next month and that is good because my wife is running out of mat'e!


Clarksville, IN USA

Congratulations Richard! You handled that very well.

People sometimes concentrate too much on shooting and visualize that as the best self defense outcome, winning the gunfight. But no, avoiding the confrontation entirely is by far the best outcome you can hope for, and awareness discipline is something no shooting school teaches.

I know what you mean when you say you almost fell for her story, it happens to all of us. Some are very good actors, or have good stories and they know what buttons to push ( help the poor raped lady, use your good will and good nature against you) but the important thing is that you did everything as you were supposed to. You had your gun with you, called 911 and kept that door shut.

You were right about not opening the door.
You're not supposed to hold her for the police. Going out you risk ambush and confrontation. Never open the door until 100% sure. Just do what you did, call the cops and let them handle it, give them an accurate description and that's it. What I do when some crime incident occurs is tell my neighbors so that they are aware of the scam and prepared in case the same person tries it with them, or the same modus operandi.

Some may be asking themselves "What to do when there's no cops answering the call?". What I would do is stay inside also, call my neighbors and warn them, ask them to look through the windows in case they see them from some blind angle. Just letting them know and being ready in case they come back is the best thing to do.

Two very important things about your story:

1) Consistency is the key for home security. There's no holidays, no fever, no I'm too tired, there's no excuse for not being consistent about your security habits. The day you slip, the day you were too tired to and got careless, that's the day they get you.

2) The school teacher look. This woman brought that image to your mind. Look how well she must have been doing her number, looking so innocent.
No one opens the door to a maniac with a hockey mask holding an axe covered in blood. It's the school teacher type, the petite teen that looks like your daughter, the guy with the clean hair cut and suit... those are the ones much more likely to make you doubt and open the door.

3) If she was armed with a large knife, at such close range, even if you shoot her she's likely to stab you and knife wounds are statistically more deadly that gun shot wounds, so I'm extra glad you didn't open that door. For contact range, the knife is better than a gun.

I hope people are reading this and taking note. These are the things we live with in Argentina on daily basis; women, very young kids, even very old ladies that look totally harmless committing crimes.

Thanks for your email Richard. Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, and take care.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Kirchner fires Argentine central bank president to tap $6.6 billion


Check this out. You may have already heard about this. I guess it
makes things easier when they can fire anyone that gets in their way.


Keep up the good work!


Hi Ed, thanks.
Make no mistake, the Kirchners are no different than Evo Morales, Fidel or Chavez. That's why they get all along so well.
They are obsessive about control, censorship, even received money for the presidential campaign by one of the biggest drug cartels in the country, linked to the triple crime, were witnesses are still committing suicide ... yes.

Now, while some survivalists and preparedness experts don't like to get involved in politics, I thinks its crucial to understand whats going on and read between lines, if only to protect your assets, interpret what can be expected in the future, and if it comes to that, leave the country before its too late.

Remember that most dictators get "voted" into office. And don't be naive either people about the context during their time. When Hitler took leadership of Germany the paper didn't say "Hey! A blood thirsty monster is going to drag us all to hell!" No, most people in Germany were very positive. Guess who were the ones that saw a dictator in him? the paranoids. A homicidal tyrant? Only a lunatic would have thought that at that time.

So you see people, don't expect the truth of what's to come to show up on the first page, you have to interpret those things yourself with a realistic, level headed point of view.



Argentine Bank Ouster Frees Fernandez to Tap Reserves (Update1)
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By Bill Faries and Drew Benson

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner fired central bank President Martin Redrado, saying that the move would allow the government to tap $6.6 billion in reserves to pay debt due this year.

Central bank Vice President Miguel Pesce will take over as interim president, Fernandez said last night. Mario Blejer, who served as bank president for five months during the country’s financial crisis in 2002, will take up the post after he returns to the country from Europe, Economy Minister Amado Boudou said.

Fernandez and her Cabinet signed a decree yesterday dismissing Redrado for “misconduct” and dereliction of duty after failing to force his resignation on Jan. 6. Opposition lawmakers said they will hold an emergency session of Congress to denounce the move. Redrado left the bank around 3 a.m. today, telling reporters, “I didn’t resign and I won’t resign,” La Nacion’s Web site reported.

“This was a completely unexpected development,” Alberto Bernal, an economist with Bulltick Capital Markets in Miami, said in an interview. “If they appropriate those reserves, there will be a huge fight between the government and congress.”

A central bank spokesman didn’t respond to a message left on his mobile telephone by Bloomberg News. Blejer didn’t respond to a message left at his home in Buenos Aires.

Government benchmark Boden 2015 notes were little changed at 81.9 cents on the dollar at 6 a.m. New York time. Yesterday they slid the most since late November, dropping 3.35 cents. The extra yield investors demand to own Argentine bonds rather than U.S. Treasuries rose 8 basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 6.76 percentage points, after rising to a two-week high yesterday, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s benchmark emerging-market EMBI+ Index.

The decree yesterday ordered legal proceedings to be brought against Redrado, saying his failure to carry out Fernandez’s Dec. 15 order setting aside the reserves created “a kind of anarchy.”

‘Exceptional Tool’

Fernandez’s debt plan “was not just a mere order from the executive branch, but the use of an exceptional tool” that the central bank is required to carry out, yesterday’s decree said.

Pesce, before a meeting yesterday with bank board members, told reporters he supports the government’s plan for reserves to be set aside in the so-called Bicentennial Fund and that the central bank “isn’t autonomous from the constitution.”

“Finally someone is going to sit down and do the nitty gritty needed to implement the measure,” said Carola Sandy, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in New York. “Unless there is a court order, they are going to do it, they are going to create the fund.”

Opposition lawmakers said Fernandez doesn’t have the authority to dismiss Redrado nor to create the fund without their consent.

“This is completely illegal and doesn’t have any judicial validity,” said Federico Pinedo, an opposition lawmaker. “We will fight in the courts to have this annulled.”

Unofficial Advisor

Pesce, a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, served as a finance secretary for the city of Buenos Aires, according to his Web page at the central bank. He replaces the Harvard University-educated Redrado, who almost tripled reserves to $48 billion since taking office in September 2004.

Blejer, 61, took charge of Argentina’s central bank in January 2002 in the aftermath of the government’s default on $95 billion in bonds. He resigned five months later after sparring with government officials he accused of interfering in the bank’s autonomy. The University of Chicago-trained economist has also served as an informal adviser to Fernandez and Boudou.

The political standoff over the reserves has made the country less attractive to investors at a time the government is trying to settle up with creditors and return to international markets for the first time since its default, said former Finance Secretary Daniel Marx.

“If it goes on too long, this will really generate problems and bring a lot of extra risk factors into the equation for bondholders,” Marx said yesterday in an interview. “The government has lost its compass again.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Bill Faries in Buenos Aires at wfaries@bloomberg.net; Drew Benson in Buenos Aires at abenson9@bloomberg.net

Thursday, January 7, 2010



thanks for that little bit on not selling your PMs. I was just thinking whether I should or not. But this has also got me thinking. Should I continue building my gold/silver stock even though prices are sky high? The smart investor always says buy low and sell high. I know my PMs are not for investment but for emergency and also, I don't have money to buy more right now. But, should I wait till the prices drop or slowly buy a little over time even though the price are high?

Thanks, anonymous

Hi Anon,
I'd just apply common sense. We know that because of the crisis, gold is a bit more expensive these days. Silver is a good option because, while still a precious metal, it hasn't gone up as much due to the crisis fear.

If you dont have money to buy more now, certainly, DON'T buy. Don't go into debt of sacrifice other priorities you may have.

When you find that you have a bit extra income, maybe buy some more silver if you can afford it.

Maybe you come across some good deals of pre 65 dimes (silver) or broken gold jewelry that is getting sold below its gold content, simply because the owner doesn't even want to bother with it. Used wedding rings, broken gold chain, its still gold and if the price goes up, its still gold that you have.

Again, when buying junk gold, small amounts people. A few rings and pieces of chain to sell in case things get bad and you dont want to sell a coin that would attract much more attention in a local store. For greater amounts of money, stick to well recognized silver and gold eagles.

Anonymous said...

Just curious. Has your government tried to make gold illegal, and confiscate it like the U.S. government did in the 30's? That would seem like the next logical next step in total governmental control of the people.

No, not really. There were some cases where personal bank vaults were opened ( cash, and yes, gold) but that mostly happened to tax evaders and such.

Argentina is kind of peculiar because we didn't have much wealthy people to begin with, so this may be yet another difference of how things may end up developing if (big if things get as bad as they got here in USA. If gold becomes a problem for the government during or after an economic collapse, rest assured, they will do something about it so you better keep your purchases below the radar. Preferably buy gold with cash if you're buying large amounts. Use different dealers and stores. Didn't happen here because of our peculiar situation, doesn't mean it wont happen in other countries.

Joseph said...

This post by FerFAL is good for provolking thought however I would disagree with never. Some of my PMs are purchased for what FerFAL discusses however some has been purchased for investment purposes as well. When/If my price points are reached I will sell those amounts and take a profit however if those points are not reached in the near future I will not be crushed either :)

January 6, 2010 3:50 AM

As long as you know and understand the difference and have two separate piles, that's just fine.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reply:When should you sell your gold stash?

Don Williams said...

Re Loquisimo at 7:59 "Many people on that forum are Jeffersonians and believe that true wealth comes from agriculture.

So if you can trade a few eggs or potatoes for bread, you will be far better off than the guy with only worthless USD or even silver and gold."

Those people are not Jeffersonians -- they are Peasants. Peasants who will become sharecropping Serfs when the sheriff sells their farm out from under them because they can not come up with the money for taxes.

Or the occasional necessary bribe for officials. Have you ever heard of an official taking a handful of chickens as a bribe?

Why do you think the US Government stockpiled $Billions in RED paper currency in an underground bunker under Warrenton ,Virginia during the Cold War? It was to manage the economy after a nuclear war -- including making existing caches of pre-war green money worthless.

How did the government plan on making the red paper have value ? By DEMANDING that all taxes be paid in it.

I have nothing against having a self-sufficient farm --but you need money to keep it.

That reminds me of something my grandmother told me a while back.

Back when my grandparents came to Argentina, Argentina wasn't exactly welcoming immigrants with open arms as some Argentines seem to believe these days.

"No" my grandmother told me " You had to be invited by a relative already living here. You had to be claimed and there was a fee to pay as well".
Apparently those that couldn't pay or didn't have a job already, were sent to the provinces to work on the fields.
Again, notice how the city presented better opportunities and a better standard of living, along with more job opportunities.
I found all this to be interesting and its worth looking into it more.

Curious how a few decades later, those same immigrants or their kids would pay to escape the Argentine sinking ship.

My grandfather didn't join in Franco's armed forces and money and a couple hams kept the local authority happy. But then when they needed the papers to leave Spain, since he had eluded the draft, hams weren't enough, as Don says, for serious ... lets just call them favors... you need cash of the day.
Precious metals are usually quickly traded into that in no time, just a couple hours.

For the problems I had recently with our passports again, cash was needed. When I go back I'm taking a perfume and some chocolates to a couple of ladies that helped in one of the steps, at the passport offices. Piece of advice here, whenever you can turn the tables, take advantage of every possibility.

I wont bother contacting the "gestor" (guy that gets thing done thanks to his contacts) again until I need his services, but the ladies in the passport office, no reason why I shouldn't end in good terms. You never know when you might need a favor again.

What Loquisimo is saying is heard often among survivalists but I believe there's a problem with that logic.
You can say you'll trade a hen and a few loafs of bread for a bar of gold. Those are your terms and thats fine.
The problem is that the market says otherwise and has been saying so for thousands of years. That's the thing precious metals have going for them: Withstanding the test of time for thousands of years.

SO you can set any price you want, but if there are a dozen other traders near by willing to deal on recognized market prices, you either accept them or simply lose the possibility of doing business. Every human being greedy to some degree, its understandable that most people end up accepting the free market rules.


Book and blog

I’ve found several comments around the web and there seems to be a little misunderstanding I’d like to address.
Mi book, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” isn’t a collection of old posts, or the longer essay I wrote many years ago, “Thoughts on Urban Survival”.
Though the subjects covered on Thoughts on Urban Survival are also covered in The Modern Survival Manual, the manual goes much more in depth on each subject covered.
I did use a couple of posts that are found in my blog, some of the kit lists and a few other pages. Check this link for more explanation.
It wouldn’t have been right to sell a book just copy/pasting old things I’ve written already. If I ever do a compilation of posts and offer it for sale, I’ll make it abundantly clear so there no room for confusion.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When should you sell your gold stash?

We’ve talked about buying gold but I’m sure a lot of people are asking themselves this same question, mostly those that attempt view gold as an investment (something can only make profit for you when buying and selling according to market trends ) instead of stocking it up like a little greedy leprechaun. Tell you want folks, the leprechaun won’t end up living under a bridge like that silly troll. Silly liberal, socialist troll... :-)


Question – Russell, you’ve been bending our ears about buying gold ever since the year 2000. Out with it, at what point or at what level do I sell my gold or silver?

Answer – An excellent and important question. The answer (and this may not surprise you) is that you NEVER sell your gold or silver (or platinum, for that matter). These precious metals are an integral part of your estate and net wealth. I don’t care what the current price of gold is, gold represents unencumbered wealth.

Let me give you an example from the rich man’s standpoint (and remember, this guy didn’t get rich by being stupid). The rich man accumulates and holds ten thousand ounces of gold. At one point (such as today) his gold holdings are worth $12 million dollars. He’s still rich.

Then gold declines to a price of $700 an ounce during a crushing world deflation. Bankruptcies rule, and the price of anything and everything with debt against it has collapsed. At this point the rich man is holding $7 million worth of gold. The fellow is still very rich. Next comes a run-away inflation and gold climbs to $2500 an ounce. Here the fellow owns $25 million dollars worth of gold. Now he’s almost embarrassingly rich, at least in relation to his neighbors.

You see the point. In holding ten thousand ounces of gold, this fellow is always rich, but let’s call it shades of rich depending on the economy. So the rich man isn’t trying to “beat” or “out-trade” the gold market. He holds his gold as an eternal store of wealth through good times and bad.

There’s only one argument against the above thesis. The argument is that gold becomes a “worthless barbaric relic” of a metal. And suddenly, nobody wants gold. How valid is that argument? Five thousand years of history say that argument is wrong. I’ve said before that the value of gold appears to be etched into the DNA of mankind. There’s never been an instance since pre-Biblical times when men didn’t lust after gold.

Conclusion – Learn from the rich man. Never mind today’s price of gold; mind how many ounces of gold you own.

I try hard never using the word never (damn paradigms ), but I’d agree on not selling your gold, not considering an investment.
Your stash of gold is something else. Think of it as a lifejacket, a flotation device. Then you have a bit more and you have a better one, an emergency boat, and so on.
Don’t sell you precious metals, at least not in any serious amount, until you really don’t have a choice.
My father in law sold his to save the family company in 2000. Even that was a bit too much. He should have declared bankrupt instead. He wasn’t thinking about himself and his family, he was thinking about the handful of workers, those families that would have been left unemployed. In the end no one was happy. Instead of being grateful, the most workers got mad because there were no more bonuses and raises, and the small company wasn’t doing well.
No, its better to save your precious metals until you really don’t have any other choice.