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Archive for the ‘Money/Finances’ Category

 

Getting Logs

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Hi, new to prepping and found your site.  Love all the good info there. Read one of the articles on getting logs and thought I would comment.  We live in the country in Louisiana and our state has huge pine forest and logging industry.  They cut tracks everywhere you look around here.  They take some time cleaning up after themselves and sometimes don’t at all. There is so much wood left over it is amazing.  You can really get as much as you want.  There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.

1. Approach the owner of the land, if clean up was not part of his deal with the paper mill he will gladly let you take what you want for free.  Often even if clean up was apart of the deal they will let you take what you want because they usually burn what is left anyway.

2. Approach the logging foreman for the track cut.  A case of beer will usually do the trick and you can have all you want.

3. Go in on the weekend and take what you want.  They are gonna burn it anyway so no one here minds, usually anyway.

There is allot of all types of wood to be found doing this, including hard woods and pecan.  All different sizes and shapes.  You can do allot with what you find.

This works well here in Louisiana and might work in other area’s too.

Your new friend,

Don Bottoms

 

Stashing Junk Silver for bad times

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Mr. Silvira;

In your article you stated a good amount of junk silver to have would be around $300 to $400 dollars worth. My question is, is that amount in face value of junk silver or would that be the amount you would spend to have some junk silver?

Thanks

Grant Underwood

Grant,

That’s my mistake.  I should have stated it clearly that that’s $300-$400 in face value in junk silver.  Nowadays, you’ll spend a several thousand to get it.

John

 

Voting

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Hey there! I’m a former subscriber who only stopped because I could not afford to renew my subscription, but follow you regularly (several times a week) on my work computer.

I adore Jackie Clay. Some day I’m going to get brave and really pressure can instead of only doing boiling water bath. Hooray Jackie!

But I have to say, I’m going to vote for Ron Paul. If I only write his name in on a ballot, I’m going to vote for him. In spite of the fact that he may eliminate the Social Security that I have contributed to all my working life (since age 18, against my will), and that will leave me darn near penniless unless I can continue to work. I now have nothing else to support me in my “old age”, but that’s okay, and do you know why?  Because the rest of his ideas and ideals MAKE TOTAL SENSE…..

I also am NOT going to “absentee ballot”.  Big scandal in 2008 in my precinct when it was discovered NONE of the absentee ballots had been counted!!!!!!!  And we had presidential and senatorial races going on!  The Clerk said “they didn’t have the people to count” so none of them were counted until weeks after the closing of the races, and of course by that time it didn’t matter squat….. I thought of adding to the stink that was raised…..I was going to volunteer to help count…but didn’t. I am now sorry I didn’t. I might still just do that this year.

Again, I would be a subscriber but I just don’t have the money. I had to drop my health insurance because it more than doubled. I’m paid by the line for my work, production, and it’s basically all I can do to keep my house payments up and certain other bills/expenses paid. I’m not whining, really. At least my company keeps work here in the US instead of sending it “globally”. And I am blessed to be still able to do this worik (I’m a medical transcriptionist).

Back to my original intent – VOTE FOR RON PAUL………I feel he is the ONLY one who can help us, if it’s just not too late.

Kathleen in IL

 

Article appreciation

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Dear BHM,

As much as I look forward to all the articles in each new issue, I wanted to let you know that Thomas M. Buckley’s article “A Guide to Buying Silver and Gold” (issue 126) was especially helpful to me.  I had bought a little bit of bullion years ago at a coin shop, but didn’t really know what I was doing.  I’m sure I paid a good premium.  Mr. Buckley’s descriptions of the different forms of the metals helped me decide what I was looking for, and how to make sure I was getting a good deal.

I was able to put this knowledge to good use within a couple of weekends when I went to a flea market.  The two dealers I remember were from both extremes of what the article described.  The first table was flashy with lots of jewelry and coins and brightly lit, the dealer really hustling to work several customers at his table.  I figured this guy must really move a lot of product, and that there was some good reason.  When I got his attention, I asked “What do you get on a dollar face of U.S. ‘junk’ coins?”  He said, “I don’t have any junk.  Mine’s all American.”  So I pointed to the shoe box brimming with pre-’64 quarters and dimes in the last corner of his display case and made further inquiry, and he turned and walked away.  After a few more minutes of being ignored, I moved on.

The next dealer I noticed was an older gentleman with a much smaller display with no jewelry, only coins, bullion, and collectible paper currency of an amazing variety given the space.  His answer- “I get 20 times face.”  Melt value was $21.09!  Knowing what I wanted and what to expect made all the difference that day, as I am sure it will again in the future.

Just sign me,

“M”

 

Living without a Social Security number

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Hello Ms. Wolfe,

I know you are incredibly busy, but I do hope that this somehow crosses your path and you can find a spare minute for me.

My name is Sarah, I am 26, and have never had a SSN.  I just read an old article of yours entitled Yes, You Can Work without a Social Security Number and found it tremendously interesting.

All my life it’s been a struggle to get by and earn a decent living outside the system, and recently I’ve been at my wit’s end, and almost considered getting one.  Which goes totally against my beliefs and stance on government, and not to mention would just crush my dad who has devoted his life to standing up for truth and freedom.  So, decided to do a little research and realized I’d never actually just googled “how to work without…” in hopes of finding some online support and/or advice.  My main question for you, is, do you have any idea of some of the alternatives (specifically the private contracting) are still viable options?

Also, do you have any ideas as far as drivers licenses and car registration without providing a number?  I have had a home base in TN (where they offer a form for those with a religious objection)  for several years, but for various complicated reasons, am most likely going to have to establish some sort of residency in Colorado, where I just moved, and where I’m quite sure they don’t accommodate those with true freedom tastes.

I’d really appreciate any info/advice you could offer.

Thank you SO much, I’ve really enjoyed reading your writings.

Best wishes to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Sarah Klingler

Sarah,

I admire your courage and determination — and your dad’s. I wish I had more information to offer you, but as you well know, live without an SSN is getting harder all the time. Some of the options from my original article — like private contracting — have been obsoleted by police-state law or enforcement, or have simply turned out to be dead ends.

Without doing tons of state-by-state research or offering advice on “illegal” activities, which I won’t do, I’ve got only a few bits of potential help.

* On registering a vehicle: Consider registering it in the name of a trust. A revocable living trust can be set up easily and made official with nothing more than a notary’s stamp and signature. (You’ll need government ID for the notary, but a passport is usually accepted, and you can still get a passport without giving an SSN, as you probably know.

* On earning a living: Freelance. To small businesses and individuals, not large corporations. Or create some other small-scale, individual business for yourself.

Sorry not to be more helpful. I hope you succeed in your effort to live free.

CW

 

A guide to buying silver and gold

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I’m writing in response to Mr. Buckley’s excellent article. Id like to add some observations to that excellent overview.

The thoughts below are solely my opinion and are not intended proselytize anyone; I am including them to provide my rationale for the silver acquisition strategy I am about to share below.

I am not a precious metals dealer, nor do I have any commercial interest in what I have to say. I just have a belief that regardless of political orientation, with a very few notable exceptions, the same gang of myopic, quarreling, self focused, gladiator-politicians, who have for decades been catering to a moneyed aristocracy for whom “More!” is never enough, will probably continue in power. That’s a scary enough scenario. However, if plague-flu, nuclear terrorists, computer saboteurs, unchecked global heating, climate wierding, nuclear states acting out historical grudges (Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea. Etc.), or a nuclear terrorist attack on Washington or New York don’t bring on Dylan’s “It’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, the Wall Street locusts will. The world economy dropped to its knees in a few short weeks after years of wink-and-a-nod regulation (bad, bad, word) fostered staggering greed that eventually compromised our financial and national security, with the only remedy being either mortgage the farm to buy more slop for the Hogs or let the farm go to hell.

Any one of these scenarios would almost immediately dry up the oil supply (how much bread and milk would be on the shelves after a few diesel-less weeks for oil tankers, trucks, container ships, power plants, etc.; who would go to work in the teeth of a virulent lethal flu? And just how long before desperate people would start “foraging”, that is, taking whatever they need from whoever has it? In the long term, considering that only Congress has legislative authority to reduce the obscenely massive national deficit is worrying enough, but should they actually do anything, that burden is sure to fall on ordinary citizens, and not the creators and beneficiaries of this catastrophe, who have been, are now, and will continue to finance campaigns of “friendly” politicians. As Deep Throat once said to Carl Bernstein: “Follow the money”. I say, “It is time to get smart”.

I grew up assuming that other people had organized the world for my benefit, and that all I needed to do was work hard, obey the law and pay my taxes to earn money for my wants and needs. That was called the American Way of Life; and it was all based on earning and spending enough to keep the economy growing. It seems that most politicians think that only by borrowing money to spend or reducing national income (tax cuts) or stripping government services will keep the economy growing. That’s like saying the best way to avoid foreclosure is to take out a loan, get a lower-paying job, or start selling off your inheritance. The horrifying truth is the Chinese, Saudis, and Japanese hold the mortgage, and the family is in crisis and tearing itself apart. No politician will do anything that could endanger re- election. That is where things are now, and the sickening truth is the medicine we need is gone – to Wall Street hedge funds, banks, corporate growth and profit machine and stockholders, and especially to the wealth aristocrats with super-size medicine cabinets brimming with (w)health, while the patient’s monitor red-lines and the doctor sits watching ESPN and picking his nose. In response, I have been relying on an old and fundamental American value; self-reliance. Among many other things, part of my strategy is acquiring the things of value I can use to secure things like food, fuel and shelter and safety.

David Weschler, the premier constructor of intelligence tests (Weschler Scales of Intelligence) once defined “intelligence” as not some mysterious “mental energy” intelligence tests measure (including his own), or even one’s ability to benefit from instruction (although that comes closer), but (to paraphrase) “the ability to organize the world to your benefit”. Sooo – I think it’s Time To Get Smart.

I have a suggestion for people who wish to acquire precious metals as a precaution against paper money’s predictable loss of value during “Hard Times”: Buy silver. Unlike other precious metals, silver has a wide range of important industrial uses that sustain demand and smooth out the volatility of the precious metal commodity exchanges. If you do choose to buy silver bullion, don’t “nickel and dime” unless you must. It is better to buy silver in 100 to 1000 oz. bars because the greater the quantity, the less of a dealer’s premium you pay. It is best to buy local and pick it up yourself. You should meet the person you are buying from in his office. If the office looks like a shabby dump, well, caveat emptor. Furthermore, unlike gold, silver can be a medium of daily person-to-person exchange during hard times. Try buying a carton of milk with a Krugerrand. You could bite it into bits with your teeth and weigh them – or just give the person a silver dime.

Three years ago in October when the Deregulation buzzards came home to roost, and after I realized the government had let the aristocracy of the never-rich-enough suck up national security. I bought two $1000 bags of U.S. pre 1964 silver coins. My first point is if you perceive the need, DON’T WAIT. If things go to Hell, it won’t matter if you paid $5.00 or $50.00 per ounce. No matter how much “profit” you made, the only difference will be how much paper you’re holding in your hand to wipe your buttocks when paper towels would do just as well. I bought U.S. pre- 1964 90% silver coins when the spot price was $10.50. Today’s spot is $29.43. If you are acquiring and not selling, this paper difference is of no consequence. If you need help convincing a cautious partner, spouse, etc., there are graphs of the change in the price of silver at MJPM.com: daily, monthly, and yearly from 1792 to present. The price trends for the last two decades are sobering. If I’d listened to advice back then (anxious spouse), I’d still be waiting for the price to drop.

As far as the forms of silver, I suggest not buying the Treasury “American Silver Eagle” dollar coins. First of all, they are so stunningly beautiful and limited in issue, they have numismatic (coin-collecting) value (i.e., they appreciate over time), and collectors pay a premium over their 1 oz. bullion (spot) value. If you want bulk silver for barter, many silver producers issue 1 oz. (or more) .999 pure silver “coins” called “rounds” which come in “half”, “quarter”, and “tenth” ounce sizes. I’d only buy silver rounds that feature the most beautiful of old Treasury issues, such as the “Walking Liberty”, “Standing Liberty”, “Morgan Dollar”, “Saint Gaudens”, “Incuse Indian”, or my favorite, the James Earl Fraser “Indian Head” or “Buffalo” design used on the 1913 – 1938 nickels (for example, see at Golden Gate Mint website). Since these silver “rounds” are not U.S. coins; their value” isn’t backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, which is often given as a reason to buy Silver Eagles. But considering that the face value of a Silver Eagle is one dollar, if things do go to hell, the government will only give you a dollar for it, and that will probably will be in some form of paper. Duh. Again, if things do go “south of the border” (chasing NAFTA?), the value of an ounce coin will be way beyond present day spot. Again, think about trying to buy a carton of milk with a 1 oz. Silver Eagle perhaps worth the equivalent of $100 – if not more.

In barter situations, people may question the authenticity of what you have to give; in addition, you will need a form of silver that can be used for everyday small purchases. People will be most comfortable with actual out-of-circulation U.S. silver coins. Again, even these in dime form, in a “gone-to hell” situation, could be worth considerably more than a loaf of bread.

There is a strategy I have used that has allowed me to acquire pre-1964 90% U.S silver coins for less than their commercial spot value. Interested? Although it is time-consuming, it is not difficult, nor does it require knowledge or skills beyond the ability of a reasonably intelligent adult. Although time-intensive, I found it to be satisfying and enjoyable.

I bought a $1000 face value bag each of pre-1964 silver dimes and quarters. Many buyers of bulk coins ask for bags of half dollars or dollars. This is a mistake for the reason outlined above. Instead of just packing the coins away, I sorted them into the various US Treasury issues, or face designs, if you will. A word about U.S. silver coins. When they were pulled from circulation after 1964, most ended up in Treasury vaults. It appears that the larger denominations have been culled of earlier Treasury releases – I would imagine based on their numismatic value. So, for example, only about ten of the $1000 of bag of quarters predated the Washington 1932-1964 issue, and these were so worn they were worthless to any collector. Again, there were practically none of the more valuable coins of the early 1930’s. This was not so for the dimes, which were represented (roughly) as follows (in descending order of issue):

About 60% “Roosevelt” dimes (1946 – 1964) About 37% “Winged Liberty Head” or “Mercury”dimes (1916 – 1946) About 2,5%, “Barber” or “Liberty Head” dimes (1892 – 1916) About 0.5% “Liberty Seated” dimes (1837 – 1891).

Unlike the quarters, the earlier coins of these releases, as well as the scarcer mintmarks (more below) were proportionally well-represented. I cannot guarantee that any particular bag of dimes would have the same proportions of these various issues, but I think there is reason to believe so. First, anyone who has sorted through a $1000 bag (10,000) dimes would not find it implausible that someone has taken the time to sort them. Second, I was careful to choose a reputable seller of precious metals who could identify their origin, in this case, a bank vault. I would suggest that anyone wanting to use my strategy identify the source of their purchase. Under no circumstances are coins to be purchased from a coin dealer. And if you do find a valuable coin, you have some certainty it is not conterfeit. China has been flooding the U.S. precious coin market with – well, Chinese crap.

After sorting out the low-value Roosevelt dimes, which I have reserved for future bartering, I sorted the Mercury and Barber dimes by their U.S. mint marks. These marks indicate their origin and can also be used to identify the numbers produced by each mint, which along with condition (wear)determines their numismatic value. Typically scarce for “Mercury” dimes are the “S” (San Francisco) mintmark, and, to a lesser extent, the “D” or Denver mintmark. The earlier the date, the higher the numismatic value. For the “Barber” dimes, the “O” or New Orleans mintmark and “S” or San Francisco mintmark are usually scarcest, as are the Philadelphia and Denver 1916 and 1921 issues. 1920, 1921. I hit JACKPOT on several coins: an 1896-O and 1905 “micro ‘O'” in “Very Good” condition ($160, $25); two 1921’s and one 1921 “D” in “Good” condition ($65, $65, $80), and two 1926-S in “Very Good” condition ($15, $15). I was also able to make several 50 coin roll of the scarcer earliest-dated coins which I also sold for a good profit.

The bottom line is that I sold the Mercury and Barber dimes for about and $800 profit, thus discounting what I paid for the dimes ($10,500) about 7.5%. My only caveat is that this strategy is time-consuming: Not only must you sort through 10,000 dimes by issue and mintmark, you must grade their condition before you can identify their value. There are various on-line sources for this. There is no guarantee this strategy will work for others; for example, you might not receive an unsorted bag of coins. However, if this is so, if your mission is to acquire coins for barter, there is no loss other than a lost opportunity to make a profit.

[Name withheld by request]

A guide to buying silver and gold By Thomas M. Buckley

I’m writing in response to Mr. Buckley’s excellent article. Id like to add some observations to that excellent overview.

The thoughts below are solely my opinion and are not intended proselytize anyone; I am including them to provide my rationale for the silver acquisition strategy I am about to share below.

I am not a precious metals dealer, nor do I have any commercial interest in what I have to say. I just have a belief that regardless of political orientation, with a very few notable exceptions, the same gang of myopic, quarreling, self focused, gladiator-politicians, who have for decades been catering to a moneyed aristocracy for whom “More!” is never enough, will probably continue in power. That’s a scary enough scenario. However, if plague-flu, nuclear terrorists, computer saboteurs, unchecked global heating, climate wierding, nuclear states acting out historical grudges (Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea. Etc.), or a nuclear terrorist attack on Washington or New York don’t bring on Dylan’s “It’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, the Wall Street locusts will. The world economy dropped to its knees in a few short weeks after years of wink-and-a-nod regulation (bad, bad, word) fostered staggering greed that eventually compromised our financial and national security, with the only remedy being either mortgage the farm to buy more slop for the Hogs or let the farm go to hell.

Any one of these scenarios would almost immediately dry up the oil supply (how much bread and milk would be on the shelves after a few diesel-less weeks for oil tankers, trucks, container ships, power plants, etc.; who would go to work in the teeth of a virulent lethal flu? And just how long before desperate people would start “foraging”, that is, taking whatever they need from whoever has it? In the long term, considering that only Congress has legislative authority to reduce the obscenely massive national deficit is worrying enough, but should they actually do anything, that burden is sure to fall on ordinary citizens, and not the creators and beneficiaries of this catastrophe, who have been, are now, and will continue to finance campaigns of “friendly” politicians. As Deep Throat once said to Carl Bernstein: “Follow the money”. I say, “It is time to get smart”.

I grew up assuming that other people had organized the world for my benefit, and that all I needed to do was work hard, obey the law and pay my taxes to earn money for my wants and needs. That was called the American Way of Life; and it was all based on earning and spending enough to keep the economy growing. It seems that most politicians think that only by borrowing money to spend or reducing national income (tax cuts) or stripping government services will keep the economy growing. That’s like saying the best way to avoid foreclosure is to take out a loan, get a lower-paying job, or start selling off your inheritance. The horrifying truth is the Chinese, Saudis, and Japanese hold the mortgage, and the family is in crisis and tearing itself apart. No politician will do anything that could endanger re- election. That is where things are now, and the sickening truth is the medicine we need is gone – to Wall Street hedge funds, banks, corporate growth and profit machine and stockholders, and especially to the wealth aristocrats with super-size medicine cabinets brimming with (w)health, while the patient’s monitor red-lines and the doctor sits watching ESPN and picking his nose. In response, I have been relying on an old and fundamental American value; self-reliance. Among many other things, part of my strategy is acquiring the things of value I can use to secure things like food, fuel and shelter and safety.

David Weschler, the premier constructor of intelligence tests (Weschler Scales of Intelligence) once defined “intelligence” as not some mysterious “mental energy” intelligence tests measure (including his own), or even one’s ability to benefit from instruction (although that comes closer), but (to paraphrase) “the ability to organize the world to your benefit”. Sooo – I think it’s Time To Get Smart.

I have a suggestion for people who wish to acquire precious metals as a precaution against paper money’s predictable loss of value during “Hard Times”: Buy silver. Unlike other precious metals, silver has a wide range of important industrial uses that sustain demand and smooth out the volatility of the precious metal commodity exchanges. If you do choose to buy silver bullion, don’t “nickel and dime” unless you must. It is better to buy silver in 100 to 1000 oz. bars because the greater the quantity, the less of a dealer’s premium you pay. It is best to buy local and pick it up yourself. You should meet the person you are buying from in his office. If the office looks like a shabby dump, well, caveat emptor. Furthermore, unlike gold, silver can be a medium of daily person-to-person exchange during hard times. Try buying a carton of milk with a Krugerrand. You could bite it into bits with your teeth and weigh them – or just give the person a silver dime.

Three years ago in October when the Deregulation buzzards came home to roost, and after I realized the government had let the aristocracy of the never-rich-enough suck up national security. I bought two $1000 bags of U.S. pre 1964 silver coins. My first point is if you perceive the need, DON’T WAIT. If things go to Hell, it won’t matter if you paid $5.00 or $50.00 per ounce. No matter how much “profit” you made, the only difference will be how much paper you’re holding in your hand to wipe your buttocks when paper towels would do just as well. I bought U.S. pre- 1964 90% silver coins when the spot price was $10.50. Today’s spot is $29.43. If you are acquiring and not selling, this paper difference is of no consequence. If you need help convincing a cautious partner, spouse, etc., there are graphs of the change in the price of silver at MJPM.com: daily, monthly, and yearly from 1792 to present. The price trends for the last two decades are sobering. If I’d listened to advice back then (anxious spouse), I’d still be waiting for the price to drop.

As far as the forms of silver, I suggest not buying the Treasury “American Silver Eagle” dollar coins. First of all, they are so stunningly beautiful and limited in issue, they have numismatic (coin-collecting) value (i.e., they appreciate over time), and collectors pay a premium over their 1 oz. bullion (spot) value. If you want bulk silver for barter, many silver producers issue 1 oz. (or more) .999 pure silver “coins” called “rounds” which come in “half”, “quarter”, and “tenth” ounce sizes. I’d only buy silver rounds that feature the most beautiful of old Treasury issues, such as the “Walking Liberty”, “Standing Liberty”, “Morgan Dollar”, “Saint Gaudens”, “Incuse Indian”, or my favorite, the James Earl Fraser “Indian Head” or “Buffalo” design used on the 1913 – 1938 nickels (for example, see at Golden Gate Mint website). Since these silver “rounds” are not U.S. coins; their value” isn’t backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, which is often given as a reason to buy Silver Eagles. But considering that the face value of a Silver Eagle is one dollar, if things do go to hell, the government will only give you a dollar for it, and that will probably will be in some form of paper. Duh. Again, if things do go “south of the border” (chasing NAFTA?), the value of an ounce coin will be way beyond present day spot. Again, think about trying to buy a carton of milk with a 1 oz. Silver Eagle perhaps worth the equivalent of $100 – if not more.

In barter situations, people may question the authenticity of what you have to give; in addition, you will need a form of silver that can be used for everyday small purchases. People will be most comfortable with actual out-of-circulation U.S. silver coins. Again, even these in dime form, in a “gone-to hell” situation, could be worth considerably more than a loaf of bread.

There is a strategy I have used that has allowed me to acquire pre-1964 90% U.S silver coins for less than their commercial spot value. Interested? Although it is time-consuming, it is not difficult, nor does it require knowledge or skills beyond the ability of a reasonably intelligent adult. Although time-intensive, I found it to be satisfying and enjoyable.

I bought a $1000 face value bag each of pre-1964 silver dimes and quarters. Many buyers of bulk coins ask for bags of half dollars or dollars. This is a mistake for the reason outlined above. Instead of just packing the coins away, I sorted them into the various US Treasury issues, or face designs, if you will. A word about U.S. silver coins. When they were pulled from circulation after 1964, most ended up in Treasury vaults. It appears that the larger denominations have been culled of earlier Treasury releases – I would imagine based on their numismatic value. So, for example, only about ten of the $1000 of bag of quarters predated the Washington 1932-1964 issue, and these were so worn they were worthless to any collector. Again, there were practically none of the more valuable coins of the early 1930’s. This was not so for the dimes, which were represented (roughly) as follows (in descending order of issue):

About 60% “Roosevelt” dimes (1946 – 1964) About 37% “Winged Liberty Head” or “Mercury”dimes (1916 – 1946) About 2,5%, “Barber” or “Liberty Head” dimes (1892 – 1916) About 0.5% “Liberty Seated” dimes (1837 – 1891).

Unlike the quarters, the earlier coins of these releases, as well as the scarcer mintmarks (more below) were proportionally well-represented. I cannot guarantee that any particular bag of dimes would have the same proportions of these various issues, but I think there is reason to believe so. First, anyone who has sorted through a $1000 bag (10,000) dimes would not find it implausible that someone has taken the time to sort them. Second, I was careful to choose a reputable seller of precious metals who could identify their origin, in this case, a bank vault. I would suggest that anyone wanting to use my strategy identify the source of their purchase. Under no circumstances are coins to be purchased from a coin dealer. And if you do find a valuable coin, you have some certainty it is not conterfeit. China has been flooding the U.S. precious coin market with – well, Chinese crap.

After sorting out the low-value Roosevelt dimes, which I have reserved for future bartering, I sorted the Mercury and Barber dimes by their U.S. mint marks. These marks indicate their origin and can also be used to identify the numbers produced by each mint, which along with condition (wear)determines their numismatic value. Typically scarce for “Mercury” dimes are the “S” (San Francisco) mintmark, and, to a lesser extent, the “D” or Denver mintmark. The earlier the date, the higher the numismatic value. For the “Barber” dimes, the “O” or New Orleans mintmark and “S” or San Francisco mintmark are usually scarcest, as are the Philadelphia and Denver 1916 and 1921 issues. 1920, 1921. I hit JACKPOT on several coins: an 1896-O and 1905 “micro ‘O'” in “Very Good” condition ($160, $25); two 1921’s and one 1921 “D” in “Good” condition ($65, $65, $80), and two 1926-S in “Very Good” condition ($15, $15). I was also able to make several 50 coin roll of the scarcer earliest-dated coins which I also sold for a good profit.

The bottom line is that I sold the Mercury and Barber dimes for about and $800 profit, thus discounting what I paid for the dimes ($10,500) about 7.5%. My only caveat is that this strategy is time-consuming: Not only must you sort through 10,000 dimes by issue and mintmark, you must grade their condition before you can identify their value. There are various on-line sources for this. There is no guarantee this strategy will work for others; for example, you might not receive an unsorted bag of coins. However, if this is so, if your mission is to acquire coins for barter, there is no loss other than a lost opportunity to make a profit.

 

Double dip recession

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

[In response to How deep can this recession get? How do we escape from it? ]

You people are so full of crap it’s not funny anymore.

Carl Aresco

 

Password Site

Friday, December 10th, 2010

For the first time, I really understand what a “random” password is.  Thanks for sharing!

Peggy Pace

 

Buying gold and silver…

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Hi,

I just read the article on buying gold and silver and thought is was a good start but felt that it needed more for people to understand metals.

The author touched on buying a set amount out of every paycheck which is a great idea but explaining dollar cost averaging might have been helpful for people to know.

Also, I agree that metals aren’t an investment as much as they are a buoy to maintain the value of your money. When US money had silver in it, you could buy a gallon of gas for a quarter ($.25) and without exception since 1964 (the end of silver money) you could always buy a gallon of gas with the value in that same silver quarter. It’s not that gasoline went up, it’s that the value of the U.S. (fiat) paper dollar WENT DOWN. Since the Federal Reserve act in 1913 the value of the U.S. dollar has gone down 93%!

I felt the author should have mentioned that Roosevelt confiscated ALL the gold from US citizens in 1933 except for some jewelry and then manipulated the price of dollar. I felt that it should have been mentioned that silver was stripped from the money in 1964 (except for 40% 1/2 dollars for a few more years) and that Nixon officially took the U.S. off the gold standard allowing the government to print as much money as they wanted.

Also, ETF’s and other “paper” gold investments are a very bad idea as there is not enough gold in existence to fulfill these contracts and gold and silver are used and needed in industry and electronics manufacturing.

Just look at the government scam of depositing US cash into bonds, money market or interest bearing accounts; say you put $1000 in for a year and they paid you the vast sum of 2%. After one year, in the government’s eyes you now have $1020 of which the government will want to steal about 20% of your $20 “profit” in taxes leaving you with $1016. BUT because of the Fed’s inflationary ways the purchasing power of your $1000 LOST about 12% which now leaves you the equivalent $880 plus the $16 “profit” for a total of $896. This is a sucker’s game. But if you had purchased $1000 worth of silver instead, more than likely you would have at least preserved your purchasing power.

You folks do a great job, thanks!

A loyal fan,

Jim Hirschberg
Lohrville, IA

 

“Learn To Stash Cash”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Howdy Claire,

I pray this finds you well and healthy.

I always enjoy your articles whenever I run across them and this was no exception.

I was thinking about the value of nickel and copper when you mentioned it. I usually roll my coins stashing the nickels and pennies in an ammo box and trading the rolled dimes and quarters for rolls of more nickels and pennies at the bank to throw into the ammo can. I always pay for things with a larger bill and try to never spend coinage but add it to my collection. I like your idea about stashing the smaller bills in envelopes for the various and sundry expenses that arise. Thank you.

Since the fed has been putting the RFID strips in [Federal Reserve Notes] you can be tracked by any store with a reader at the entrances and exits. This isn’t universal yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes so. I like to withdraw a large sum of cash from the bank, go home and send the bills six or  seven at a time for a minute or two through the microwave oven. It fries the RFID chip and renders the bills useless for tracking my comings and goings and expenditures. I realize many products have RFID chips in or on them somewhere but at least it is now more difficult to trace the purchases to me. I have also purchased reader proof insulated envelopes for my debit cards. I even use them for reloadable Dollar General, grocery and restaurant cards. While it doesn’t make me completely invisible at least it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing SOMETHING to stay under the radar.

Thanks again and God bless,

Dick Crockett

 

Ideas

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Just read your article [The art of living in small spaces by Claire Wolfe] and getting lots of good ideas. I just purchased, The small house book, by Jay Shafer.

I am impressed that you share this space with your loving pets too. I feel if I try one of these small spaces, I will have to start out with it being a weekend place. I don’t think I could convince my husband to live that small and I don’t think I would want to live in too tight of quarters with him. LOL. Maybe we should have a his and hers and join them in the hallways.

Thanks again. Also pics say a thousand words.

Eileen Janes

Colorado

 

You inspired me

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the writers and staff of Backwoods Home Magazine.  You have inspired me to finally get off my duff and create a website and a new business.  I was disappointed in the writing and opinion of other magazines that promote independent living.  Sorry, but if I have to surrender my Second Amendment rights or be told I can’t criticize an entrenched politician, then I don’t care how far off the grid you are, you are not living free.

I know there are those who want you to drop your political views.  But to what end?  America has been and always will be political.  It’s part of who we are and what made us so great.  But it’s always a SMALL group who stand up and actually shout their opposition to tyranny and ultimately take action.  The majority either side with the tyrants out of fear and wanting to be on the “winning” side or, like the vast majority of Americans, they simply don’t care and don’t want to hear about it.  Like a child, they believe all that is necessary for evil to stop is to close your eyes and ignore it.  This was very much like the American Revolution, when a relatively small handful of citizens actually participated on the side of the Revolution.

BHM is doing it right.  You may not be as slick as the big money magazine (I’ll denote here as M.E.N). but you are far better, far more down-to-earth and serve a real and growing group of Americans who have come to the realization that America does not reside in Washington D.C., it resides in the hearts and souls of those who can reach across time and touch the meaning of what our founders really wanted.

Americans should be free to live quietly.  To raise those chickens and goats.  To have a garden.  To tap energy from flowing water, the wind or the sun.  They should also be happy in the knowledge that their government is working with them in their endeavors and not singling them out for heavy handed fines, threats, or worse, an armed attack to seize their property.

I am going to recommend  BHM to those who will be coming to my website.  I also intend to become an advertiser.  Thanks again for inspiring me to stand up and start using those rights that we all talk about, but few actually use.

Jim Harris

 

The Art of Living In Small Spaces

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

How does one buy a copy of this book?   It is not listed on Amazon.

Thanks

NativeWay

The Art of Living In Small Spaces” is not a book but an article that was published in Backwoods Home Magazine.

Click the title to read it.

–Editor

 

Hyperinflation

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

My kids got an electronic monopoly game for Christmas. I wondered why you got 2 million dollars to pass go.  Could this be the first step in desensitizing us to hyperinflation?

You just gotta wonder.

Sue Pulen

 

A quick Tour of Hyperinflation

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Great article. My husband, Bob, and I saw this coming back in 1974 and have been spreading the word since then, to small avail.

One point not made was that the government has mortgaged away our country to other countries like China. When the whole ball of wax starts to melt, those mortgages are going to be called in and we, who were born and raised here in the USA, will find ourselves tenants on land that is no longer American owned. Actually, we are tenants already; most people just don’t know that… yet.

Also, remember the Federal Reserve isn’t federal at all. A wise banker once said, “Allow me to control the money and I don’t care who runs the country.”

Obviously, there is no simple fix. No, we cannot predict the future, but by looking to the history of once great nations, we can see the natural results of hyperinflation. Thank you for sharing in such a wise and concise manner.

Lizzie Hough

 

Bird houses

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Hi.

I just read the article about free pallets for making bird houses. What a GREAT idea! Lots of good information.

I just started making bird houses and I can tell you, it’s addicting! I love it. I’m looking for a source to buy mini weather
vanes for the top of my bird houses. Any ideas? I can’t seem to find any information about tops for my houses.

Thanks,

Mary Pericolosi

 

The Path to Another Depression

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Dear Editor:

Although largely unresearched, I generally agree with the thought process in Mr John Silviera’s The Path To Another Depression.  My feeling is that in the constant clash between politicians and the economy, most generally the economy suffers in order to benefit the politician’s quest for monetary/political gain.

However, in the third to the last paragraph, one of Mr. Silviera’s conclusions is; “Hence, GM’s Saturn, Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, and other small car disasters that have befallen Detroit.”  I have read and heard several times over the past few years that the PT Cruiser was the most successful new car rollout since Ford’s Mustang in the early sixties.  Obviously, my current understanding of the success of this rollout seems to be in direct contrast to Mr. Silviera’s conclusion.

If Mr. Silviera’s statement is correct, why was the PT Crusier a disaster?

If I am correct – the PT Crusier was the most successful new car rollout since Ford’s Mustang – what other statements in the article are incorrect?  or is the article just the personal unresearched feelings on the issue by the author?

Thank you,

Stan Thibault

The PT Cruiser may have started out with a bang, but by 2007 Chrysler was losing money on it and was trying to get rid of it.  (Here’s one site talks specifically about the PT Cruiser: .  You can find others on your own.)

The reasons Chrysler was trying to get rid of it were many, customer complaints about quality being among them.  But because of average-mileage constraints placed on the fleets of cars each of the “Big Three” manufacture, they are obligated to keep small cars in their fleets, even when they’re losers, otherwise they face congressional and bureaucratic wrath.

JES

 

Coming economic meltdown

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Dear Mr. Duffy

I was just reading in the newsletter, about you comparing our current economic upheaval. I have been watching developments and I have found eerie similarities with the economic collapse of Austria, and other European countries, as the National Socialist Party rose to power during the thirties:

1. Using the welfare state to take control of people live and getting them used to having the government take care of them

2. Hyper inflate the national debt, mainly by spending to [pay for] the welfare and increasing government control

3. Hyper deflating monetary value by printing paper money. (to pay for the debt)

4. Taking over and/or over regulating business. to cause failure of the jobs and money making machinery

5. And blaming capitalism for the problems

To those people, they only had two choices. One was the Communist Workers Party and the National Socialist Party. I hope that you can make a better connection than I can. Thanks and please keep up the good work

Chris Rakes
Mt. Airy, NC

 

Post-construction cleaning

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Just wanted to thank you for giving me knowledge on post-construction cleaning. I appreciate it, and I’m sure a lot of others do too.

I used to do this for about a year, it’s a tough job. I was working my butt off. After reading your page, I now realize I was totally getting ripped off. I’d love to start my own Post-Construction Clean Up Business one day.

Thanks again!!!

Hilary Horvath

 

John Silveira et. al.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Hi,

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

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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