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Could You Survive Another Great Depression?
Townhall.com ^ | July 21, 2011 | Paul Kengor

Posted on 07/21/2011 12:33:22 PM PDT by Kaslin

I just read two very interesting articles on the U.S. economy, written from historical perspectives. They compelled me to share my own historical perspective. And what I want to say is more about our changing culture than our economy.

One of the articles, by Julie Crawshaw of MoneyNews.com, notes that the "Misery Index"—the combined unemployment and inflation rates—made infamous under President Jimmy Carter, has hit a 28-year high. It's also 62 percent higher than when President Obama took office.

But that's nothing compared to Mort Zuckerman's article in U.S. News & World Report. Zuckerman measures the current situation against the Great Depression. He writes:

jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off.... We now have more idle men and women than at any time since the Great Depression.
Zuckerman is a perceptive writer who looks at economies from a historical perspective. In my comparative politics course at Grove City College, I use his article on the Russian collapse in the 1990s, which Zuckerman showed was worse than our Great Depression.

I can't say we're teetering on that precipice, but Zuckerman's article got me thinking: Imagine if America today experienced an economic catastrophe similar to the 1930s. How would you survive?

I remember asking that question to my grandparents, Joseph and Philomena. How did they survive the Great Depression?

My grandmother, never at a loss for words, direly described how her family avoided starving. Compensation came via barter. Her father, an Italian immigrant, baked bread and cured meats in an oven in the tiny backyard, among other trades he learned in the old country. My grandmother cleaned the house and babysat and bathed the children of a family who owned a grocery store. They paid her with store products. Her family struggled through by creatively employing everyone’s unique skills.

What about my grandfather? When I asked that question as he sat silently, my grandmother raised her loud Italian voice and snapped: "Ah, he didn't suffer! Don’t even ask him!"

My grandfather, also Italian, returned the shout: "Ah, you shut up! You're a damned fool!"

Grandma: "No, you're a damned fool!"

After the typical several minutes of sustained insults, my grandfather explained that, indeed, his family didn’t suffer during the depression. They noticed no difference whatsoever, even as America came apart at the seams.

Why not? Because they were farmers. They got everything from the land, from crops and animals they raised and hunted to fish they caught. They raised every animal possible, from cattle to rabbits. They ate everything from the pig, from head to feet. There were eggs from chickens and cheese and milk from goats and cows. There were wild plants.

I was captivated as my grandfather explained his family's method of refrigeration: During the winter, they broke ice from the creek and hauled it into the barn, where it was packed in sawdust for use through the summer. They didn’t over-eat. They preserved food, and there was always enough for the family of 12.

When their clothes ripped, they sewed them. When machines broke, they fixed them. They didn't over-spend. Home repairs weren’t contracted out. Heat came from wood they gathered.

And they didn't need 1,000 acres of land to do this.

They were totally self-sufficient—and far from alone. Back then, most Americans farmed, knew how to grow things, or provided for themselves to some significant degree.

That conversation with my grandparents came to mind as I read Zuckerman's piece and considered life under another Great Depression. I realized: The vast majority of Americans today would be incapable of providing for themselves. If you live in the city with no land, you'd be in big trouble. Even most Americans, who have a yard with soil, wouldn’t know what to do.

Isn’t it ironic that with all our scandalously expensive education—far more than our grandparents' schooling—we've learned so little? We can't fix our car let alone shoot, gut, skin, and butcher a deer.

Think about it: If you lacked income for food, or if prices skyrocketed, or your money was valueless, what would you do for yourself and your family?

Americans today are a lifetime from their grandparents and great grandparents. God help us if we ever face a calamity like the one they faced—and survived.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: bhoeconomy; bhofail; default; democrats; economy; greatdepression; hopeychangey; nobama2012; obama; obamadepression; obamatruthfile; police; socialistdemocrats; teachers
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1 posted on 07/21/2011 12:33:24 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Artist: Williams Hank Jr
Song: Country Boy Can Survive

The preacher man says it’s the end of time
And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry
The interest is up and the Stock Markets down
And you only get mugged
If you go down town

I live back in the woods, you see
A woman and the kids, and the dogs and me
I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

I can plow a field all day long
I can catch catfish from dusk till dawn
We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too
Ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do
We grow good ole tomatoes and homemade wine
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Because you can’t starve us out
And you cant makes us run
Cuz we’re them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn

We came from the West Virginia coalmines
And the Rocky Mountains and the and the western skies
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trot-line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

I had a good friend in New York City
He never called me by my name, just hillbilly
My grandpa taught me how to live off the land
And his taught him to be a businessman
He used to send me pictures of the Broadway nights
And I’d send him some homemade wine

But he was killed by a man with a switchblade knife
For 43 dollars my friend lost his life
Id love to spit some beechnut in that dudes eyes
And shoot him with my old 45
Cause a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Cause you can’t starve us out and you can’t make us run
Cuz we’re them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say grace and we say Ma’am
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn

We’re from North California and south Alabam
And little towns all around this land
And we can skin a buck; we can run a trot-line
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive


2 posted on 07/21/2011 12:35:25 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Kaslin

I’d survive it or die trying.


3 posted on 07/21/2011 12:38:42 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: Kaslin

I’m doing it now.


4 posted on 07/21/2011 12:38:45 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Red Badger

Hank Jr is the best


5 posted on 07/21/2011 12:40:41 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin

Not only can a vast majority of Americans survive another Great Depression, WE SHOULD.

We should take the pain now to remove the onus from our children and grandchildren. If we truly cared, as a nation, about our children, we would bite the bullet, default and let the chips fall where they may. I daresay that we as a people would be better for it.

Unforunately, we have a bunch of “give it to me now; I don’t care about tomorrow” folks who can’t see more than 15 feet past the end of their own noses.

We, as a nation, need to man up and take the pill every generation has been avoiding. Until we do, we are no better than the worst of our countrymen.


6 posted on 07/21/2011 12:41:05 PM PDT by the lone haranguer (All civilized men love peace, but all truly civilized men must despise pacifism.)
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To: Red Badger

Executive Order 13575
http://youtu.be/_juUVKKBw-k


7 posted on 07/21/2011 12:42:28 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: Red Badger
These guys will be just fine.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
8 posted on 07/21/2011 12:42:40 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin
Could You Survive Another Great Depression?

Scraping by so far in the 0bama Depression hoping to hang on till January 2013 (sooner if someone demands a REAL COLB).

Take Back AMERICA!
FUBO GTFO 2012 !

9 posted on 07/21/2011 12:47:59 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few and let another take his office. - Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
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To: cripplecreek

Love that show!...................


10 posted on 07/21/2011 12:48:12 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Kaslin

As I recall my history, most folks did not live on farms during the 1930s. By this time the majority of people had moved into towns/cities. Maybe small towns of just two to three thousand, but town nonetheless. I can see folks during the Depression bartering, but the idea of everybody hunting, fishing, and gardening is questionable.


11 posted on 07/21/2011 12:48:27 PM PDT by AceMineral (Some people are too stupid for their own good.)
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To: Kaslin

Thanks. You always post useful articles. I’ll share this one with my family.


12 posted on 07/21/2011 12:50:31 PM PDT by arkady_renko
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To: Red Badger

***I got a shotgun rifle and a 4-wheel drive.***

Better to have a crossbow & a horse - when bullets and gas run out;)


13 posted on 07/21/2011 12:50:59 PM PDT by sodpoodle
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To: Kaslin

I dare say we couldn’t.

Baked bread to sell...need a permit.

Grow vegetables to sell or barter...need a permit.

Clean houses, watch kids, etc. need a permit.

Get it. We wouldn’t survive because everything down to the smallest task requires permits and permission from the government.


14 posted on 07/21/2011 12:52:18 PM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: Kaslin

15 posted on 07/21/2011 12:52:50 PM PDT by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: the lone haranguer

one thing America would need to do to survive this depression when it gets real bad is rediscover family. Every depression story ive heard from my grand parents and parents and uncles and great uncles, tell me that that is the key, a good family with some land and skills that can work as a team.


16 posted on 07/21/2011 12:53:18 PM PDT by CJ Wolf (I like it that FR still spell checks "obama")
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To: Red Badger

Swamp people has been on all day today.

The brothers are great. They don’t need anything from town aside from gas for the outboard.


17 posted on 07/21/2011 12:53:46 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kaslin

The neighborhood where I grew up in Pittsburgh was full of recent Italian immigrants in the 1930’s. The stories of how they were able to live were truly amazing. On tiny city lots they were able to grow grapes, make wine, grow tomatoes and a whole array of vegetables, make home made pasta sauces, and many other things which they bartered with local merchants for the other things they needed. My grandfather was a pharmacist and he would routinely be paid for medicine with a chicken or a basket of fresh tomatoes. As tough as life was here in the 30’s it was obviously far preferable to what they had gone through in the old country. Also, since almost no one drove, the community hung together much more tightly on a geographic basis, and everyone looked out for their neighbors.


18 posted on 07/21/2011 12:55:20 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Kaslin

I learned to can for this reason. Currently learning to salt cure our meat.

Even if most were self sufficient, back then there wasn’t as much expense. Even us who do know those skills couldn’t live like they did back then! DFCS, IRS, etc... prevent it. There has to be some means to income for property taxes, high cost of medical care, etc...

But no, most would turn to looting.

Which is also why I know how to shoot a gun. ;o)


19 posted on 07/21/2011 12:56:27 PM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to the chariot wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: EBH

The police even go after little kids who try to make some extra money selling lemonade and tell them they need a permit


20 posted on 07/21/2011 12:56:39 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: sodpoodle

A reloader will keep you in ammo for a good while.................


21 posted on 07/21/2011 12:56:53 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Kaslin

I grew some good tasting vegetables in my back yard. But the heat and drought burned it up. I didn’t even get enough to can or freeze.

In another great depression only the strong will survive in the cities. And they will have to take from others. The best chance for survival is to get out of the cities. I hope to be able to do that next Spring. There’s no way I can do it today.


22 posted on 07/21/2011 1:00:43 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: the lone haranguer

One notes that the cities would buckle in less than two weeks and collapse in less than a month despite Dem attempts to the contrary. Urbanites know this at some level. Our problem would be the million people fleeing greater Boston that would be coming west on the Pike. Would be nasty. Ironically, no one in greater Boston is allowed to own a firearm. I believe the greatest danger of this is Obama doing it purposefully so he can declare martial law.


23 posted on 07/21/2011 1:00:54 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: Kaslin

I am surviving this one... not well but I am still here!

LLS


24 posted on 07/21/2011 1:02:04 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH"! I choose LIBERTY and PALIN!)
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To: AceMineral

I believe by the 60s 80% of the people had moved to the cities. The big difference today is there are a lot more people and a lot less land for them to farm and hunt.


25 posted on 07/21/2011 1:02:53 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: EBH

The job of the next President after 0bama is fired on January 20, 2013 is to make every executive order that arrogant pos gave, null and void


26 posted on 07/21/2011 1:03:43 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Red Badger

The problem with reloading is it’s simple assembly of complex parts. Most can’t take slabs of lead, brass, & copper and turn them into useful forms, much less make the powder or primers. If I’m going to pay someone for all those pieces shaped & mixed, I’ll pay a bit more for mundane assembly and spend the time saved on making what I can from raw materials.


27 posted on 07/21/2011 1:05:11 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: pabianice

I’m staying right here in Michigan. Others will flee west and south.


28 posted on 07/21/2011 1:05:30 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Red Badger

"Shoot im, 'Lizbeth! Shoot im!!"

29 posted on 07/21/2011 1:05:56 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: cripplecreek

You ok?


30 posted on 07/21/2011 1:07:21 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: pabianice

“One notes that the cities would buckle in less than two weeks and collapse in less than a month despite Dem attempts to the contrary.”

Or much less. We have New Orleans as a practical experience of the breakdown of civil society to go on, now.

The LAST place you want to be when the starving masses start fleeing the cities is anywhere near a major outflow artery, such as an interstate, or a divided highway.

And if you are bugging out, make sure your egress route doesn’t go across, or over ANY of these. That may very well be the last mistake you will ever make.


31 posted on 07/21/2011 1:07:40 PM PDT by tcrlaf (You can only lead a lib to the Truth, you can't make it think...)
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To: Kaslin

Per my sainted Granny Oleta, who weathered the Depression with my grandpa on a small central Illinois farm: “The only thing we needed money for was kerosene, coffee and sugar. We made, grew or shot everything else we needed to get by.”


32 posted on 07/21/2011 1:08:16 PM PDT by Basil Duke
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To: Kaslin
What about my grandfather? When I asked that question as he sat silently, my grandmother raised her loud Italian voice and snapped: "Ah, he didn't suffer! Don’t even ask him!"

My grandfather, also Italian, returned the shout: "Ah, you shut up! You're a damned fool!"

Grandma: "No, you're a damned fool!"

Nope, no marriage certificate needed to prove the marriage here. :>)

33 posted on 07/21/2011 1:08:16 PM PDT by Ancesthntr (Bibi to Odumbo: Its not going to happen.)
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To: Kaslin

We’ll find out.


34 posted on 07/21/2011 1:08:51 PM PDT by ichabod1 (Nuts; A house divided against itself cannot stand.)
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To: Kaslin
My mother used to tell me stories of the depression when I was little. She was one of the lucky ones. Her parents ran a dairy farm.
My dads family, city dwellers, had nothing to eat but government beets and pig fat. His parents had to stand in line every day for "their fair share" of beets and fat.

Because of moms stories, and her warning that it could easily happen again, I became as self sufficient as possible after we bought our home years ago. I've been working on gaining knowledge ever since then. I planted fruits, nuts, syrup trees, and firewood. We've also planted fruit bushes, culinary and medicinal herbs. We bought heirloom vegetable seeds we use every year. We have a hand pump if the electric is lost, and a rain water storage tanks.
There's also soap making from ash and fat, deer skin from ash and brains, brain pelting, rocket stoves for heating and cooking (and a large wood stove for bigger pieces if we can haul and chop them with a tree saw), making and using cobb, learned what weeds are edible, and how to spin fibers.
Oh, and we're bee keepers for wax, propulous, and honey.
I studied solar to save on fire wood and tricks to stay cool. We've also built a root cellar in the basement.
I suppose if we missed anything, we could barter. If there's something new to learn, I'm all over it!

Because of Obomanomics, we're working overtime to make sure we have all we need and how we can hide it ( We have kids).
This time, the depression is going to be worse, because back during the last depression, they didn't have the entitlement parasites to deal with. They'll still want everything for free. They're going to be stealing it (so stay armed).

35 posted on 07/21/2011 1:09:14 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: EBH

Looks very bad on paper. Yet, in a Depression/collapse, I feel sure that government goons coming to take your farm would be met with violence, after which they would crawl back to DC. There will be continued communications among Americans, even if by radio, locally printed newspapers, or “criers” that would travel between towns.


36 posted on 07/21/2011 1:09:46 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: concerned about politics

“My mother used to tell me stories of the depression when I was little.”

It was far, far worse in Germany in the late 20’s/early 30’s, where my grandparents came from.


37 posted on 07/21/2011 1:10:37 PM PDT by tcrlaf (You can only lead a lib to the Truth, you can't make it think...)
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To: Kaslin

As the predicted “Y2K disaster” began looming, I described the worst-case scenario to my father. When I finished laying out the TEOTWAWKI scenario, he shrugged and said “so I’ll throw another log on the fire and go back to my book.” And he was right - nothing short of Judgement Day would disrupt his self-sufficient lifestyle. Ok, maybe not being able to read the daily Citizen Dog online might irritate him...


38 posted on 07/21/2011 1:11:17 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: blueyon

Of course.


39 posted on 07/21/2011 1:12:04 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: ctdonath2

You’re speaking of today’s world.
We’re talking of tomorrow’s world where there won’t be any stores to go to and buy your needs. You’ll have to do it from scratch.............


40 posted on 07/21/2011 1:14:17 PM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: autumnraine
I learned to can for this reason. Currently learning to salt cure our meat.

Your lids will run out. Learn to dehydrate using the sun. Also, try smoking your meats after you brine them. They'll last longer, and the smoking keeps the insects out.

41 posted on 07/21/2011 1:14:24 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: AceMineral
but the idea of everybody hunting, fishing, and gardening is questionable.

I live in the middle of "The Big Nothing". Town population is about 600. We still own farms and the means of maintaining the equipment. There are a lot of wild hogs, turkey and deer. It could still be done here.

We normally have a fair number of cattle, but the drought is so bad now that most everyone are selling out their cattle. It will be a long time before the herds are rebuilt.

Most places are not like this. Lets all pray that self sufficiency is not needed soon.

42 posted on 07/21/2011 1:18:54 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Kaslin
Could You Survive Another Great Depression?

All four of my grandparents did and not one of them came out of it a whiny Democrat with a Victim Card. None of them had money to carry them through it either they worked at whatever job they could get. If I can't survive a depression the same way they did then the herd will have been properly thinned.

43 posted on 07/21/2011 1:19:11 PM PDT by TigersEye (Wranglers not Levis. Levi Strauss is anti-2nd Amendment.)
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To: Red Badger

That’s my point. Unless you’re making your own black powder and casting musket balls from ingots, you won’t be going to the store to renew stocks of shells & primers. Modern .308, 9mm, .45, etc. rounds won’t be practical in “tomorrow’s world” save only for having piles of it stashed - and if you’re going to stash piles of it, may as well get it pre-assembled; you won’t be making any reloading components from ingots.


44 posted on 07/21/2011 1:21:11 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: EBH
Permits and permission

Free men need not ask permission. If it gets that bad, none of the licensing will mean anything.

FUBO!

45 posted on 07/21/2011 1:21:24 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Kaslin

For survival hunting, a firearm is only useful for self defense. It announces to everyone within 2 miles where you are and what you are doing.

Snares, traps, sling shots and bow & arrow are the proper tools for survival work. Now would be a good time to learn how these gadgets work.

Many scoff at the bow and arrow as not being as effective as a gun. The bow will bring down most game as fast or faster than a rifle, and not tell the world where you are when you do it.

Although it is nice to have a hatchet and saw, all that is needed to butcher a deer is a good pocket knife. The same principles apply when butchering most game, it is just the pieces are bigger on a deer than on a squirrel. Birds are best handled by just breasting them if smaller than a chicken.

I often say there is no hunger in America when you have dead deer on the side of the road. If folks here were hungry, there would be fist fights over the road kill while it was still kicking (and yes, I pick up deer when I see them meet their demise to a Silverado or such).


46 posted on 07/21/2011 1:22:14 PM PDT by wrench
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To: autumnraine
PS....if you must can, you can make a sealing paste for your used lids using wood ash, wax, and pine tar (not too much of this).
(I'm not kidding when I said I've studied everything.)
47 posted on 07/21/2011 1:22:48 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: Texas Fossil
We normally have a fair number of cattle, but the drought is so bad now that most everyone are selling out their cattle.

Time to bring back the Texas Longhorn. They were bred for their low maintenance durability. I know a farmer here in Michigan who has a herd he keeps as a novelty tourist attraction.
48 posted on 07/21/2011 1:24:06 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Kartographer

Ping!


49 posted on 07/21/2011 1:24:39 PM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: ErnBatavia

Actually, it’s choot-em! :^)


50 posted on 07/21/2011 1:25:22 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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