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Letters and email from readers about Backwoods Home Magazine and the BHM website

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Archive for February, 2009

 

Inspirations Article

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Dear Ms. Wolfe,

Thank you for your article Ten Real Inspirations in the March/April 2009 issue. I have a question pertaining to the “Three Ladies of Liberty”.

As an avid reader of the Little House books as a child, I was wondering if Rose Wilder Lane is the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I seem to remember that Laura’s daughter name was Rose.  That would be a very interesting connection, I would think.

Thank you for your great articles and hard work.

Debbie Malina

Debbie,

Thanks for reading my article and for the kind words.

Good observation on your part. If you Google Rose Wilder Lane you’ll find that not only is she Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, but that she may be the real author (or co-author) of the Little House books. She evidently took her mother’s childhood tales and turned them into literature without taking any credit for it.

Best,

Claire

 

Dave Duffy is right on the mark

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Dave Duffy is right on the mark as are most of BWH writers. I’m finding a swell of folks who are not optimistic about the direction America is going.

I’ve been to two gun shops recently. One in the heart of the city and one in the country. Both can’t keep anything on the shelves.

PB

 

“My View” was right on

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Editor,

I was recently gifted (by a friend) with a subscription to your magazine.  Similarly, I received a gift from my (liberal) Mom to another back-to-the-basics magazine with the acronym M.E.N.  I have read a couple of issues of both and wanted to commend you on a job well done.  Frankly, if it was not a gift from my mother, I would cancel my subscription to the ever so liberal “mother”…incidentally, not my mother.  The deciding factor was Dave Duffy’s “My view” in the March/April 2009 issue.  As a degreed (not armchair) ecologist, I applaud a scientific discussion of the supposed global warming/climate change issue as opposed to the litany of politicians espousing their vested and hypocritical opinions.

When I see the multi-trillion dollar global impact on international food prices caused by the recent push for ethanol, I shudder to think what will happen to global natural gas and other commodity prices if we continue down this misguided and corrupt path to CO2 cap & trade.

It is also the height of hypocrisy for the elitist liberal community (political, social and Hollywood) to be spouting concern about the plight of the down-trodden world-wide when cap and trade will most drastically and directly impact the global poor–as was the case with ethanol.  And to think that all of this nonsense is based entirely on the false assumption that anthropogenic CO2 liberation is the root cause of “global warming”.

Anyway, thank you for allowing me to vent, and again, Mr. Duffy hit a grand slam with that one!!

Mark Vanoni
Divide, Colorado

 

Jackie’s canning information

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Thank you for posting some of Jackie Clay’s columns online.

I am learning to can and want to can black beans and she gave me just the right pressure and duration advise.  I had Googled “Home Canning Black Beans” and went to your site first because you’re such a reputable, reliable source of information.

Thank you for all that you do.

Heather Bonser-Bishop
Trinidad, CA

 

Thank You

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I would like to thank you for the information on this site. I find it very usefull, and will subscribe to the magazine after I return to work.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks again.

Randy Palfi

 

Your Website and Magazine

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Dear BWH,

Tonight I entered a forum called “KountryLife” that I frequent mostly. There someone mentioned your magazine so I just had to call up your website. Your website is AWESOME. I fell head over heels with your magazine so I just had to have a 3-year  subscription.

I can’t wait till I get my first issue. I’m not much into ordering magazine subs but I was so pleased with reading all your website I know I will have many hours of enjoyable evenings reading your magazine.

Thanks to all of you.

Billy D. Logan
Hitchcock, Texas

 

Sausage

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I was reading the letters in the current issue of Backwoods Home (116), and just had to share.

In the letter about sausage, Susan and Austin were looking for recipes for sausage seasonings.  I would like to share my source for sausage seasoning, and I recommend them highly: North Central Food Processing supply.

I butchered a 3-year-old sheep recently, and it was with trepidation as all my life I had heard “mutton” was awful stuff.  It was great!  We ground almost all of it into sausage, and half of it was mixed with North Central Food Processing’s pineapple bratwurst seasoning.  Absolutely delicious.  The other half was made into Southern Style Pork Sausage Seasoning. No MSG. Another great success!  The backstraps and loins made a very nice curry, and I will be butchering again soon before the weather warms up.

I love the magazine, and subscribe to it when I can.  It is a perennial on my Christmas wish list.  I think Jackie is a kindred spirit, and although I am often asked about the things she covers in her column, I have turned to her in back issues for the things that stump me.  Keep up the very excellent work.

With sincere respect,

Nora McCoy
Lismore, MN

 

Home Canning Meat

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Hi Jackie,

I just wanted to let you know that I truly enjoyed reading your article on how to can my meats here at home. Reading your how to article was like having my mom right next to me walking me through each step. My mom actually lives 7 hours away so having her come over and show me just isn’t possible. So thank you for providing me with the know how.

I will definitely be back to read more!

Tressa Kindred

 

Keep up the good work

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Good morning.

Recently I stopped by my library to look over the past few issues I’ve been missing. And for the most part I was disappointed. There is treasure in every single issue, no question, but several articles simply didn’t seem up to standard while others seemed badly misinformed or based too much on the writers opinions and not experience or fact.

And then after poring over each and every page for the 2nd or 3rd time I came to my conclusion: It didn’t matter. I decided it didn’t matter how I felt about the state of a couple issues because you and your staff and everyone who contributes is still working hard on one the best things I’ve ever seen.

When I find myself against an article, its only by a degree. Maybe I’m more of an environmentalist on one, or one clashes with personal or religious beliefs; doesn’t change that BHM is about the real heart of problems, and how to fix them before the rest of the world gets around to it at our expense. About how to live the real good life, not the one we’re shown (but somehow, never achieve.) And how to take back pride and honor in being responsible and accountable for the life we lead.

So take heart and thanks to you and yours for a lifetime of needed work and transparency.

Thank you and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Calvin Martin Stevens
Napoleon, Ohio

p.s. At this time I am unemployed, and while a part of me doesn’t like being tied into the state unemployment/welfare system, thanks to BHM and others insteado f panicing and dramaticaly reducing my familes way of living we ae able to continue our simple pleasant homey lifestyle. Next time I find myself unemployed I hope to find myself in the position to tell the state “No thanks, I’m doing fine.”

 

Dave Duffy’s “My View” March/April 09

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Dear Editor:

I read with great satisfaction Mr. Duffy’s “My View” in your March/April 09 issue.   I agree, point by point, with all that he had to say regarding the loss of our freedom, and the global problems for which our government prescribes socialist, and especially in the case of non-existent global warming, non-sensical solutions.   I would add only that at the top of the heap in all of this madness, is the privately held cartel known as the Federal Reserve.

Until we rid ourselves of this self-serving monopoly that controls our government and the people, we haven’t a prayer of turning things around.   For more info, please research the Austrian School of Economics, the Mises Institute.org,  Peter Schiff’s work,  Tom Wood’s work, and of course, one of the few truth tellers in Washington, Ron Paul’s work.

For an initial taste of our arguments, check out [the following] article, found in the [Wall Street Journal website] no less!

Thank you for a great journal and great writers.

Take Care,

Elena Campbell
Winter Park, CO

From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123440593696275773.html

Capitalism Needs a Sound-Money Foundation
Let’s give the Fed some competition. Abolish legal tender laws and see whose money people trust.
By JUDY SHELTON
Febrruary 11, 2009

Let’s go back to the gold standard.

If the very idea seems at odds with what is currently happening in our country — with Congress preparing to pass a massive economic stimulus bill that will push the fiscal deficit to triple the size of last year’s record budget gap — it’s because a gold standard stands in the way of runaway government spending.

Under a gold standard, if people think the paper money printed by government is losing value, they have the right to switch to gold. Fiat money — i.e., currency with no intrinsic worth that government has decreed legal tender — loses its value when government creates more than can be absorbed by the productive real economy. Too much fiat money results in inflation — which pools in certain sectors at first, such as housing or financial assets, but ultimately raises prices in general.

Inflation is the enemy of capitalism, chiseling away at the foundation of free markets and the laws of supply and demand. It distorts price signals, making retailers look like profiteers and deceiving workers into thinking their wages have gone up. It pushes families into higher income tax brackets without increasing their real consumption opportunities.

In short, inflation undermines capitalism by destroying the rationale for dedicating a portion of today’s earnings to savings. Accumulated savings provide the capital that finances projects that generate higher future returns; it’s how an economy grows, how a society reaches higher levels of prosperity. But inflation makes suckers out of savers.

If capitalism is to be preserved, it can’t be through the con game of diluting the value of money. People see through such tactics; they recognize the signs of impending inflation. When we see Congress getting ready to pay for 40% of 2009 federal budget expenditures with money created from thin air, there’s no getting around it. Our money will lose its capacity to serve as an honest measure, a meaningful unit of account. Our paper currency cannot provide a reliable store of value.

So we must first establish a sound foundation for capitalism by permitting people to use a form of money they trust. Gold and silver have traditionally served as currencies — and for good reason. A study by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Arthur Rolnick and Warren Weber, concluded that gold and silver standards consistently outperform fiat standards. Analyzing data over many decades for a large sample of countries, they found that “every country in our sample experienced a higher rate of inflation in the period during which it was operating under a fiat standard than in the period during which it was operating under a commodity standard.”

Given that the driving force of free-market capitalism is competition, it stands to reason that the best way to improve money is through currency competition. Individuals should be able to choose whether they wish to carry out their personal economic transactions using the paper currency offered by the government, or to conduct their affairs using voluntary private contracts linked to payment in gold or silver.

Legal tender laws currently favor government-issued money, putting private contracts in gold or silver at a distinct disadvantage. Contracts denominated in Federal Reserve notes are enforced by the courts, whereas contracts denominated in gold are not. Gold purchases are subject to taxes, both sales and capital gains. And while the Constitution specifies that only commodity standards are lawful — “No state shall coin money, emit bills of credit, or make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts” (Art. I, Sec. 10) — it is fiat money that enjoys legal tender status and its protections.

Now is the time to challenge the exclusive monopoly of Federal Reserve notes as currency. Buyers and sellers, by mutual consent, should have access to an alternate means for settling accounts; they should be able to do business using a monetary unit of account defined in terms of gold. The existence of parallel currencies operating side-by-side on an equal legal footing would make it clear whether people had more confidence in fiat money or money redeemable in gold. If the gold-based system is preferred, it means that people fully understand that the purpose of money is to facilitate commerce, not to camouflage fiscal mismanagement.

Private gold currencies have served as the medium of exchange throughout history — long before kings and governments took over the franchise. The initial justification for government involvement in money was to certify the weight and fineness of private gold coins. That rulers found it all too tempting to debase the money and defraud its users testifies more to the corruptive aspects of sovereign authority than to the viability of gold-based money.

Which is why government officials should not now have the last word in determining the monetary measure, especially when they have abused the privilege.

The same values that will help America regain its economic footing and get back on the path to productive growth — honesty, reliability, accountability — should be reflected in our money. Economists who promote the government-knows-best approach of Keynesian economics fail to comprehend the damaging consequences of spurring economic activity through a money illusion. Fiscal “stimulus” at the expense of monetary stability may accommodate the principles of the childless British economist who famously quipped, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” But it shortchanges future generations by saddling them with undeserved debt obligations.

There is also the argument that gold-linked money deprives the government of needed “flexibility” and could lead to falling prices. But contrary to fears of harmful deflation, the big problem is not that nominal prices might go down as production declines, but rather that dollar prices artificially pumped up by government deficit spending merely paper over the real economic situation. When the output of goods grows faster than the stock of money, benign deflation can occur — it happened from 1880 to 1900 while the U.S. was on a gold standard. But the total price-level decline was 10% stretched over 20 years. Meanwhile, the gross domestic product more than doubled.

At a moment when the world is questioning the virtues of democratic capitalism, our nation should provide global leadership by focusing on the need for monetary integrity. One of the most serious threats to global economic recovery — aside from inadequate savings — is protectionism. An important benefit of developing a parallel currency linked to gold is that other countries could likewise permit their own citizens to utilize it. To the extent they did so, a common currency area would be created not subject to the insidious protectionism of sliding exchange rates.

The fiasco of the G-20 meeting in Washington last November — it was supposed to usher in “the next Bretton Woods” — suggests that any move toward a new international monetary system based on gold will more likely take place through the grass-roots efforts of Americans. It may already be happening at the state level. Last month, Indiana state Sen. Greg Walker introduced a bill — “The Indiana Honest Money Act” — which would, if enacted, allow citizens the option of paying in or receiving back gold, silver or the equivalent electronic receipt as an alternative to Federal Reserve notes for all transactions conducted with the state of Indiana.

It may turn out to be a bellwether. Certainly, it’s a sign of a growing feeling in the heartland that we need to go back to sound money. We need money that works for the legitimate producers and consumers of the world — the savers and borrowers, the entrepreneurs. Not money that works for the chiselers.

Ms. Shelton, an economist, is author of “Money Meltdown: Restoring Order to the Global Currency System” (Free Press, 1994).

 

Congrats and a small suggestion

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

A wonderful publication and site – have been a reader for years. Keep up  the excellent work.

As I was re-packing a kit. I realized that I had never really seen mention of one of my favorite useful bits of survival/camping gear – spring-loaded wooden clothespins.

Aside from the obvious uses (hanging notes, glue-clamps, maybe even drying laundry), they have a million uses, and, generally, cost about a buck-a-hundred. Some things I have used them for, over the years include makeshift shims and wedges, emergency-replacement springs, a workable catfish-hook and dry kindling in wet weather.

They are small, weigh almost nothing and while they may not save your life in the outdoors, they can make it easier.

CapnHarlock

 

Small space living tips

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Thanks, Claire, for some sound advice on getting psyched up to really “walk the talk” on small space living. I especially enjoyed the tip for making a whole wall into storage. I’m inserting that into the plan for my little 16×24 barn.

Pamela Callaway

 

Thank you

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Just found your site and I must say Thank You!

Wow, I was beginning to think I was the only one out here in the hills with a serious lack of patience for being surrounded by supremely self-absorbed, consumerism driven lifestyles and their perpetuators. What a breath of fresh air you, your contributors and members are.

I value the backwoods self-sufficient lifestyle and am looking for like-minded souls to share tips and trials with, which I believe I have finally located.

My mountain man was killed in a car crash almost 2 years ago and he was my soul mate and partner; he slaughtered, I processed. We made a good team. We milled our own wood, raised or hunted our meat and had some good times. I didn’t realize how much I relied on his expertise at butchering and hunting until he was gone. I now raise our son alone and am trying to pick up his skill set that I can pass down to our son as his pa would have if he was still around.

I thank you for the opportunity to get back to where we were and become self-reliant again and through this knowledge pass on what will be needed to survive in this world and not lose the art of being a man in this mamby pamby culture of men’s manicures, soft hands, and white collars.

Trying to honor the heritage of our forefathers and pioneers who would not recognize this land or its inhabitants or fathom how we survived!!! It’s a wonder, just look at the panic when the power goes out and the deaths, people have no concept of how to survive without modern luxuries… pathetic.

Blessings and kudos,

Kara Cunningham

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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