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


Archive for September, 2009


Meat and Potatoes – Thank you!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Dear Editor,

I’ve been attempting to “educate” myself on an idea to “save the world” and happened across your article Is Steam Power in Your Future?

Just a quick note to thank you for your insight and down to earth approach to the subject. I believe it to be a key to what I am looking for. It is often hard to find good advice that points you in the right direction, i.e., educate myself!

Yours is one of the few meat and potatoes articles out there. Again, thank you!


Troy Bracke
Fort Worth, TX


Jackie Clay on Cast Iron cookware

Monday, September 28th, 2009

I am also a user and collector of cast iron cookware and thought I would pass along an old western tip for deep frying.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat and drop a kitchen match in the oil. When the match flares up, the oil is the right temperature for deep-frying (about 375 degrees). Raise the temp just a notch, because you’re adding lower temp food, and go.

Keep up the good work

Terry Bolling
Phoenix, AZ


The coming American dictatorship

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Dear Editor(s)

After listening to a local radio morning show discussion involving the indoctrination of public school children by our latest president I was left feeling drained and disillusioned with the state of our nation. For many years I’ve known something was wrong in America. I was raised as many of us were. Watching the glorious feats of the one off free nation that never was before and always would be.

I was positive of the greatness of a nation. As I have grown older, learned, read, thought and seen; There is something wrong with our system. I grew up extremely poor, impoverished even. Many nights we went without food, in these United States. Even so, I had faith in the natural rights granted to Americans. Slowly though, it waned as the youthful imaginings were jolted by the brutal realities of our situation.

Needless to say, it is an illusion. So many times in my life I have been presented the opportunity to “Do the right thing,” And, have. I have been honest johnny, I have been even Stephen. I have worked and paid and fought to be a good person. Literally from the depths of homelessness, I have rebuilt my life. I have worked any honest job a man can work and I have not tasted that forbidden fruit. Yet, I am at best lower-middle class. I manage paycheck to paycheck and work like that simpleton on a treadmill chasing the pot of gold that never comes.

Now, beyond those physical labor and minimum wage pains, I am still in the cogs of a giant machine turning with absolute [intent] to enslave. I am angry and irrational, often blaming politicians and the idiocy of my fellow citizens. Sure, I’ve learned to play within the rules. I’ve managed to color within the lines and “Yes’sa,” “No’sa” through a corporate society. For a kid who grew up in Los Angeles dirt poor and never finished High School, I am through pain and persistence struggling upward.

But, it still lingers, that knowing, that understanding of the absolute obscured nature of my goals. The distaste of the sweet fruit of life in the eyes of the greater picture. When I see a man on television proclaiming he will be different, crested by his brilliant star spangled button, I taste that concoction of poison drenched in sugar. And still, I blame politicians, shadow masters with unlimited power, time, influence and money. I am apathetic in the hopelessness. That is, until I searched Google for the only thing I could think to call this situation: “The American Dictatorship.”

On this search I came across your article: The coming American dictatorship – Article by John Silveira from Issue #66. [Editor’s Note: See also The Coming American Dictatorship, Part XI and The Coming American Dictatorship Parts I – XI]

How apt, succinct, honest and sad I found it. The eloquence of the piece was quite frankly refreshing, disheartening and alarming. I know that is a rather odd compliment, but, I assure you it is true. This article struck a nerve of unwavering truth. And so, I have written you to thank you for stating it as such. Also, to let you know, despite my apathy in regards to our system and the extreme disbelief in any real, meaningful change in our country. I will try, honestly try to be “The people” again. I will not let the feeling of utter helplessness against the idiocy of my peers and the massive size of the machine prevent me from getting started. If you can write, I can write and call and sing and kick and scream and no longer be a bystander to the rape of the inherent rights of humans.

I would also like to point out that I have loathed the loud mouthed opinionated political persons and as such, it will be difficult for me to begin on this path, however, it must be done. I thank you.


Isaac N. Acuna


John Silveira et. al.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009


I found your web site a few years ago searching sausage making information. I saved the article to my favorites. Last weekend I came across it, reread it and looked around your site. I found The path to another Depression By John Silveira .

I was wowed. I have been talking like this for 25+ years.

What is going on is madness. I don’t mean rhetorical madness, I mean real full blown madness.

(Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds)

(“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” )

I don’t think there is a stopping this train wreck. The people have been mass hypnotized. The end is near.

I believe in Jesus returning soon and even if you don’t, we have much in common.

Keep up the good work.

I wish that I had looked at your site more closely, sooner.

Thank You,

Jon Holzapfel


Backwoods Home online

Friday, September 25th, 2009


I think your magazine is very nearly perfect.

We will store our print copies forever!  An online version would make poor toilet paper in a disaster situation!  So, don’t waste your time and effort on an online version!

And this comment is from a “buy nearly everything off of the Internet” high tech geek guy with a degree in electronics!

Oh, as an aside, some of us are vegetarians and are NOT left wing whacko’s!   So an occasional vegetarian recipe is always welcome at our house .

Thanks for such a great magazine!  This will be the last subscription to go as we go softly (or not) into the Greatest Depression….

Another Libertarian abandoned by the R[epublican] party!

Joe Olson


Bounty of eggs

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Just a suggestion – eggs can be frozen in their shells. You just place them in a ziploc bag and freeze.

When you are ready to use, take out what you want and let thaw for about an hour on the counter in a bowl. You can run the egg under warm water, crack it and slip the shell off easily. Place in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap to thaw.

These are best for baking. The yolk will be a little tough but when beaten will return to normal.

Sheila Darden


The Coming American Dictatorship

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Well, in spite of some letters I have seen from time to time complaining about the “political” views expressed in Backwoods Home, it seems that you guys were right on in your series about the coming dictatorship.

In the article it was noted that we had set the economy up as a fascist system – well – now the government control’s the banks, the auto industry and the administration has simply done away with the congress by appointing “czars” who can act without congressional supervision, and by claiming executive privilege can refuse to testify and explain their actions to congress.

However, I’m not sure that makes a difference. Our congress is the best that money can buy (and they have been bought) so we see the spectacle of the house voting for huge spending bills they haven’t read, and allowing the president to fire people in private industry, because of his wisdom and vast experience in business.

I am not sure where our government found the “right” to interfere in our every day lives – it seems that we had perfectly adequate bankruptcy laws.

Self sufficiency seems to be a lot more important now that we have decided equality of outcome is more important than equality  of opportunity.

Bob McPherson
Santa Fe, Texas


Just Say No!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Your article was of great interest to me and I wish more people would have that attitude in their heads to just say no to all this nonsense.

However, you and I are approaching this “federal” problem from two different points of view and I’m hoping that you will give some thought to my approach because from reading your article, it appears that you believe that the Constitution is alive and well but just being violated.

When honest weights and measures (gold and silver) were removed from our monetary system the Constitution was replaced by Maritime Law.  We are no longer under the Law of the Land; we are under Maritime Law which deals with Treaties, Contracts and Trusts.  How does one know this?  Because to be under the Constitution, the Law of the Land, there would be many, many people in jail for treason at this time.   When we contract to various activities/benefits with the ‘federal” government by our signature, we give them credence for their unlawful activities and put ourselves under their thumb.  Take the Constitution into any court today for your defense and you will one of two remarks from the Judge.  He will either tell you that you may not bring the constitution into his court or he will say GUILTY, because you never argued the point of “show me the contract that I signed that gives you jurisdiction over me”.

Instead of just saying NO, let us stop signing our lives away to them and after withholding our signatures from licenses, contracts, etc., we will no longer be giving them “federal” jurisdiction over our lives.  It’s time to get back to the States and let this “federal” nonsense disintegrate into the very small place of power they were given originally.



I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written, but Just Say NO can just as easily apply to “licensing, contracts, etc.” as it does to anything else.

So rather than two different points of view, we merely wrote about two aspects of the same view.



Good job: Living the outlaw life

Sunday, September 20th, 2009


I greatly enjoyed your article.

I’ve promoted it on my blog.

Keep up the good work.

Henry Cate III


Thank you!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

I just read online: Start a self-sufficiency garden even in a cramped apartment By Nancy Wolcott

I want to thank you for the article, especially because it contained very specific plants and sources.

So often articles speak in generalities and leave one with more questions than answers.

I’ll be subscribing to your paper magazine soon.

[Name withheld by request]


You are right!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009


In [the September] newsletter you mention that when you give good people “free” stuff they will eventually return the favor.  I bought your magazine off the news rack and learned about your website.  I spend much more time on the website, but as soon as the magazine cover changes I head for Barnes and Noble (last night!) to purchase one because I certainly want you people to stay in business.  I have not missed a copy since I purchased the first one.

Oh – and please don’t tell anyone – but there are a few of us conservatives lurking around college campuses.  We are mostly in the vocational technical areas (We have SKILLS), but so you know we are out there……

Also, you might mention to John that this morning I had to wait for a gang of antelope – a momma and twins, blocking the road, slowing traffic (1 car – me) and threatening vehicle damage if I went more than 5 miles per hour…this IS a real problem.  They must have run the deer gang off for now – that is the group I usually see.

Holly Burch
Bismarck, North Dakota


Newsletter humor

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009


Maybe it’s just me, but the last few issues of the  BHM Newsletter, the humor column seemed to be a little  off – I cannot articulate what was missing, just not your usual level of humor.

Well, this months humor column was- well, my wife and I still bust out laughing when we think about the jokes- good work, especially the one about the thugs wondering around in your town- that one should re-run for April Fools issue :)

Thanks for a great publication, and some humor to help us not take ourselves too seriously.

Bob Taylor


Homeschooling article

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Hello Ms. Wolfe,.

I just wanted to contact you to say I really enjoyed your article. We have a 2 year old and planning a 2nd this fall. We have always considered homeschooling.

A peculiar phenomenon has happened as we our daughter grows older…friends and family seem more apt to give their unsolicited opinion on homeschooling which is usually negative.  Secondly, the more research we do on homeschooling the more we are impressed and excited to continue their learning with us.

Rob Burke


I’m afraid!! What can we do?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

I subscribe to your magazine and look forward to each issue. I especially enjoyed the most recent article on the Coming Dictatorship. I agree with you, and that is why I am deeply concerned about the future of our country.

There is a huge machine (U.S. Government) that is out of control. This machine is consuming everything in its path, but mostly it is consuming and wasting our hard earned tax dollars, and borrowed money (T-Bills, etc.). I fear for my children and grand children. They most definitely will not spend their lives in the same country you and I grew up in.

I’ve been thinking about how to bring this machine to a halt, non-violently, before it is too late. The machine runs on a lot of tax dollars. Without those tax dollars it would be slowed down, and maybe stopped. Would it work to organize as many people and companies as possible to quit sending tax dollars to D.C.? This might be a really bad idea, but something along these lines must be  done.

People in other countries hold worker layouts and strikes to cripple a country for a short period of time. Sometimes it works. Do you think it would work here?

What if truckers shut down their rigs for 24, 48 or 72 hours? Think what that would do, especially if the trucks going into Washington D..C. did this. We the People have the power to bring this machine down if we organize. My guess is that would be the problem. Getting enough Americans to agree to stay home would be very difficult.

I hope I don’t sound desperate. I want the best for our country and all of those that will have to live in it. I don’t really think of myself, only my family. I do not want to exclude anyone, harm anyone or discriminate against anyone either. I realize not everyone will agree with what I have said here. All I know is that those who were elected to represent me are not representing me. They are completely disconnected. I can only imagine who really controls this country now.

By the way, I am a military veteran, and I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend it from enemies both foreign and domestic, and I will do so. I am afraid there are those Americans who also took similar oaths who will not do what they swore to do. I just wanted to share with you that I recently found an organization called I think this is a step in the right direction, if this is a legitimate organization.

Thank you for listening to me, and thank you for your magazine.

Thomas Wilson


Civil unrest article

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Good job [with the article],

I’ve read about and have ‘adopted’ a strategy in regards to a “Level 4′ type scenario.

Dig In.

Our food/gas/electricity/medicines deliveries are so just-in-time these days, that any lengthy scenario (over a month or two) massive amounts of the general population will die. An on-your-own scenario of six months encompassing the winter months may trim the population by 50%. If this ever happens it will be Mad Max time.

Dig In and be invisible.

After the unprepared population is weeded out, sadly, that may be the reason that calm and reason reappear.
I do disagree with your (and others’) philosophy of massive military and police control in a very bad scenario.

Here is why:

They are us.

In China and other countries we have seen the military and police seem to have a ball beating down their own people. I do not believe that will happen here. I feel this mainly because in other countries the military and police enjoy a certain better standard of living than a majority of the population. In the USA our cops and military are just like you and I. In fact, a great many will probably be in the Dig In mode protecting their own families.

On the other side, I live smack in the middle of Iowa; lol, yep, I can only imagine the coastal populations flocking here……



The Media Bias

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

After reading the commentary The media’s treatment of Blacks makes their socialist bias obvious I could not wonder but do White folks really believe this nonsense?

The opinion itself is filled with social stereotypes and bias!  To believe that the news media all have gotten together to pick and chose what Blacks they will listen to and those that they will not give the time of day too is ignorant.  In a nation that has not allow a race of people their equal rights, their share of wealth, their proper representation and their rights to participate in the so-called “free enterprise system”,  how in the world can anyone with a brain could come to the conclusion that’s it’s the media elite’s that holding a race of people back.

The media is no different from the rest of the so-called free enterprise system that has systematically participated, supported and justified a cultural bias against Blacks in this nation.  For over 300 years this bias has existed in America, it’s not just the media but among its majority peoples.

How in the world can Blacks stand on their own feet when their feet have been tied for over 300 years of injustices?  The writer blames the media for not hearing from Black social elites like Allen Keyes; well that’s simple to figure out, he does not sell papers or magazines nor does he get high television ratings.  The media is in the business of selling ads and if the advertisers don’t approve of their targeted audiences well say goodbye to sales.   The advertiser’s targeted audiences are people who can “pay”, hence the white majority in this nation.

So before a person writes about things he does not understand they might want to do some research on the subject before concluding that’s it’s the media’s fault for Black folks being in the condition they find themselves in today.  It’s not; it’s the combination of an ignorant and bias majority and the “great American free enterprise system”!

Mo Carter


Amen to homeschooling!

Friday, September 11th, 2009


Loved your article about homeschooling. My son and daughter were homeschooled, and are now continuing the tradition with eight grandchildren. The grandchildren are so far beyond the “normal” level of education that many people feel they must make excuses “well, your children are obviously geniuses.”

One scene from Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America stood out in my mind: a high school class engaged in debate in the town square, in classical Latin and Greek.

If the event was held in the public square, does this not suggest that the public could appreciate classical Latin and Greek? This was not the geeks speaking to the geeks; this was a set of bright students speaking to the public of which they were a part. Elsewhere, Alexis de Toqueville remarked on how widespread was the understanding of the Constitution.

We greatly underestimate the desire and capacity among children for learning. I taught my 6 year old grandson how to add a series of consecutive integers, starting with an explanation of that old formula n(n+1)/2, which was taught in high school.

I wanted to know how well he could generalize, so I asked the sum of the even numbers from 2 to 50. He had the answer while I was still putting my mind in gear. In the future, I shall have to pre-compute answers to my little test questions, lol.

Thank you for your articles, which I always enjoy.


Terry McIntyre


Ammunition Accountability Act

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Thank you for disseminating Mr Silviera’s article.

While I don’t think the act will ever fly in the U.S.A. It is alarming. But there is much food for thought  in the effort.

We North Americans, U.S and Canada, are among the very few nations that use the Boxer primer in our ammo. The central flash hole in the cartridges makes it easy to punch the spent primer out and simple to reload the cartridge. Most countries use the Berdan primer with three off center flash holes, making it very difficult to remove the spent primer and reload the cartridge case. I believe this was intentional to prevent their people from reloading ammunition. Think about who uses which type of primer and their form of government and the truth will slowly sink in.

Here we should give thanks that our “Commie sit down to pee pen raised rabbit liberals” do not understand firearms or ammunition. The technology to serial number all ammo and I.D. Fired cases to the  gun they were fired in does not exist and the bureaucracy to do so would be enormous and ultimately be a failure. BUT!  A Federally mandated switch to Berdan primers would render all of our ammunition un-reloadable. I think an attempt to do this is coming “As sure as God made little green apples!”  Let’s  stay alert for the attempt!

Leon Kania
Ex Captain, 5Th Special Forces, Viet Nam


Ammunition Accountability Act

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

The [linked] article by Mr. John Silveira is woefully out of date. Leaving the article in its current state only adds to the misinformation, panic, and stridency generally found on the internet and in mass emailings of dire warnings regarding our personal liberties. The Ammunition Accountability Act, in every form and everywhere introduced, failed. It was never brought to a vote in any of the 18 states in which something of this nature was introduced, either dying in committee, dying due to no action taken, or even having been withdrawn. Though the tools of research and verification are at the fingertips of anyone possessing a computer and who could read the article at the above link, the tendency all too often is to immediately post such misinformation to everybody they know, distributing concern, unease, and panic, while contributing nothing constructive. There is no current threat from the Ammunition Accountability Act or anything resembling it anywhere in the Union.

As a matter of service to your readers, the author might compose a follow-up article, updating the fate of the bill in each of the states, or even just a paragraph denoting that the bills are currently a dead issue. Perhaps your editorial staff would undertake the project. Will it/they resurface? It is likely, even probable. And that would be the time to update once again, inform and motivate the reading/shooting public to the new threat. Letting old, inaccurate, outdated information stand serves no good purpose, informs no one, and only leads to useless spam, and frankly, de-sensitization of the reading/shooting public to real, clear, and present threats to our liberties and the 2nd Amendment.


John L. Corstorphine, Jr.


Thanks for calling that to our attention. The author just added to the article a couple of paragraphs updating the current status.



Home schooling

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Dear Ms. Wolfe,

I read your article with great enjoyment and approval. I agree with everything you said. I have two personal observations.

One is that far from being a failure, the public indoctrination system (why grace the system with the word “schools”, which has a very positive connotation) is a brilliant success. The object never was to teach literacy, but to inculcate the qualities of an obedient and docile underclass, unable to think critically, intellectually dead, subservient, and worshipful of authority.

There is a brilliant young 6th grade student who lives across the street. I talk to her occasionally, and a few days ago we discussed what the children were learning in school. It happened to be the “Civil” War (I explained what a civil war is and disabused her of the notion that the War for Southern Independence was fought to wrest control of the central government), how Lincoln “freed the slaves” (again, another discussion),etc. Our conversation illustrates that what the children learn in the indoctrination camps is propanganda, pure and simple. That and worship of the State (the Pledge of Allegiance, the deification practiced by the Lincoln Cult, etc.) and the habit of subservience and obedience (“Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?”).

My second point is that once the indoctrination is complete, it takes a massive effort to reverse it. After all, the basic tool to do so, the power of critical thinking, has been suppressed almost to the point of disappearance.

My own view is, that is largely responsible for the fact that in the midst of the greatest economic catastrophe in modern times, mos
people remain cheerfully distracted by “American Idol”, the latest football team standings, and the latest Hollywood celebrity scandal, none of which personally impact most of us in the least extent.

So keep up your good work. A quality education is the path to liberation.

John Sampson



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