Surviving In Argentina

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The video and article linked bellow explain the kind of problem I wrote about in my first book “The Modern Survival Manual” when explaining the slow decline and overall degradation of infrastructure after an economic collapse.

Infastructure issues across U.S. not an easy fix


From rough roads to dangerous bridges and broken sidewalks, America’s infrastructure is showing its age.
And while we can’t see it, deep underground, the country’s network of water pipes is aging too. It’s a growing problem that’s causing huge water main breaks across the country.
Fixing the problem isn’t easy or cheap, CBS News’ Brandon Scott reports.
When one water main ruptured in July, it looked like the scene from a summer blockbuster, with a sky-high geyser blasting through a giant crater in Los Angeles’ famous Sunset Boulevard.
Twenty million gallons of water poured into the street, flooding the nearby UCLA campus.
Then, just two weeks ago in West Hollywood, another pipe burst, turning the iconic Sunset Strip into a raging river.
It was the latest high-profile rupture in America’s second-largest city, which every day averages three water main breaks.
“It’s critical that we have pipe that can handle the loads that we put on it,” said Jeff Bray, a superintendent with LA’s water department.
His crew is trying to get ahead of the problem by replacing aging pipelines before they break.
The new pipes are made of welded steel and lined in cement. Once one is connected, it will handle a water flow of 51 million gallons every day
“With our budget the way it currently is, we’re on a 300-year cycle to replace the smaller pipes,” Bray said. “It’s not fast enough.”
But Los Angeles isn’t alone. In Oklahoma, a summer water main break flooded a Tulsa road, leaving resident Cassie Hill stranded. ….
Some people expect a sudden end of the world event, worthy of Hollywood where it conveniently unfolds within one hour and thirty minutes. In reality is a slow grinding process. The power and water grid, roads, gas lines, communications, transportation, even bridges and tunnels, it all requires constant maintenance. When the infrastructure is as massive as it is in America, it is already hard to keep up with it in normal times. When combined with the limitations of an economic crisis, you do end up having serious problems down the road. Its very difficult to keep the grid in shape and it can be downright impossible when the money simply isn’t there. All you can do is run around patching it up as it crumbles, within your limited resources.
Water supply problems, more frequent blackouts, broken roads, and a general lack of maintenance of public infrastructure is to be expected in the years to come. Services will also go through a similar degradation, expect less (and worse) public services, not enough cops on the streets, slower response time for medical and fire emergencies.
The degradation is physical as it is social and cultural. Schools will suffer a similar fate, with public schools showing a clear lack of maintenance while private schools or schools in high end neighborhoods being better taken care of. As funds simply aren’t enough, efforts will be focused on keeping the nicer areas afloat while letting the lower class sectors drop further down the socioeconomic ladder. An economic crisis isnt a matter of years, it’s a matter of decades. It’s a matter of entire generations suffering the consequences. In a country as large as the United States some States and some counties will fare better than others depending on how bad the situation was pre-economic crisis times and how much funds they currently have, but I believe it’s important to know what to look for and understand what’s going on, why this is happening and therefore prepare better for it.
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 23, 2014, 10:59 pm
Hey Fernando,
I bought this on your recommendation. It is light enough to counter any size and shape issue for EDC and is my go to, primarily for the battery options.
I tested the IR light with my unit and found no light emitted. Have you tested with yours? Let me know.
Thanks for your work. I have a long history with you and am glad to see some relatively speaking recent additions who have taken your ideas mainstream. Good for everyone. But you have the respect.
Last one - I recommend your listeners learn Spanish. I saw how the little I knew helped me in mediating court disputes in the inner cities. Spanish speakers are our neighbors. I recommend pimsleur.

The Streamlight Sidewinder II can use either AA, AAA or CR123A. That's versatility.
Hey Jon, glad you liked it.
No, the IR is not supposed to emit any visible light. You will see that there's some visible when you look at it through a camera like I do in the video review. Keep in mind that the IR LED is supposed to be used along with night vision gear.
The Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II has certain capabilities that, in my opinon, make it hands down the best survival and preparedness flashlight.
Its tough as nails, and bright enough for most tasks. You have the choice of LEDs, white, red, blue and IR, as well as strobe. All LEDs have four output modes up to 80 lumens. 80 lumens sounds pretty low, but it is comparable to other brands that claim 100-120 lumen output. The plain reflector also focuses the light a lot more, giving it greater throw and better practical use at longer distances.
So far it sounds as if there’s dozens of better lights out there, but what makes this one so special is that its capable of running on a single battery cell, either AA, AAA or CR123A, and it does so effectively without any glitches. This ability to practically eat any battery you come across is priceless during emergencies and disasters, especially long term ones when you may find yourself scrounging for batteries.

Wrapping up the system, the Sidewinder Compact II comes with a helmet attachment and a very sturdy headband so as to use it as a headlamp. The flashlight has a rugged spring steel clip, which combined with the 90º angle of the reflector allows you to clip it to gear, even shirts, or lay it on the floor at an angle.
This is a pure-breed military torch. Its dust proof, waterproof and even clicking the rubber mode to turn it on is silent (the clicky makes no click sound). Being tough as nails is a big advantage in my opinion.
The only disadvantage I see to the flashlight is that it’s a bit bulky (though vey light weight) and it doesn’t fit as well in smaller jean pockets. I did carry it as my EDC light for a few weeks, still do every once in a while, but it does feel blocky compared to the roll of mint sized Eagletac D25C that I carry more often. This is purely personal. As you say yourself, you can EDC this light with no problem if you feel like doing so.
If I could only have one, I feel the Sidewinder Compact II is the best light you can have when things go wrong.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 22, 2014, 8:09 am
This is the second submission of a multi-part essay by Jim V on Gun Control. Thanks Jim for the interesting read! Its nice to see how so many anti-gun people are lucky to be able to pay others to hold (and use in their defense) those nasty guns for them.
Defensive Gun Use
In part 2 of my series on gun control, I would like to examine defensive gun use. Could it be, as former gun control advocate turned gun rights supporter Dr. John Lott of Univ. of Chicago maintains, in his eponymous book More Guns, Less Crime, that we are safer with more guns? The young boy who drove off two home invaders in Houston in 2012 – reported at Houston’s KHOU TV – with his father’s AR-15 “evil” assault rifle would certainly agree. See  And here’s another story of  an“evil” AR-15 used to drive off intruders: New York Resident Scares the Hell out of Intruders” – video at; story also found at   And then there were the young students in Rochester, NY who thankfully were able to use an AR-15 to protect their lives during a break in – see Finally, another story of an AR-15 used to save lives, this time in Detroit, where armed robbers retreat when they realize they are outgunned by a single guard with an AR-15: As a matter of fact, as the non-stereotypical gun owner Dan Baum – who is a Jewish Democrat who wrote for the New Yorker-  noted, while “Joe Nocera at the Times runs a daily tally of gun killings. He's not running a daily tally of how many people defend themselves with guns. For one thing we don't know about it most of the time. David Hemenway at Harvard is very pro gun-control and he thinks it happens about 80,000 times a year. If that's true, that means that guns are saving 10 times as many people as they're killing.”
Similarly, as Aubrey Blankenship and Celia Bigelow told Piers Morgan (video and story at, there are very good reasons, particularly for women, to have not only guns, but specifically AR-15s. Stated the two ladies in a companion column in the National Review, “One, they’re lightweight,” the 22-year-old Bigelow responded. “They’re quite accurate. I can shoot them much more accurately than a handgun or a shotgun. And three … I want a gun that can hold a lot of ammo, because if I’m faced with an intruder or multiple intruders that come into my home, I want to make sure I have enough ammo to get the job done, especially if they’re armed. … I don’t have to take the time to reload… We saw a situation in Georgia just a couple weeks ago where a mom was hiding in her attic with her two children when an intruder entered her home. She had a handgun that only had six rounds in it. She fired all six rounds, missed the intruder once, hit him five times in the face and in the neck. And he still lived.”
And given that there are around eight thousand home invasions per year (and not one conducted by well-mannered, non-violent Boy Scouts), with at least one in five households experiencing a break-in at some point, the people above are just the tip of the iceberg.
But returning to Dr. Lott, here is Exhibit A: scarcely one week before the Colorado tragedy, a similar situation had an opposite ending in Florida, where 71 year old Samuel Williams stopped an armed robbery when two masked men entered the Palms Internet Cafe around 10 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2012. Make your own conclusion from the surveillance camera, which captures it all: . Exhibit B: Scarcely a month after the Colorado theatre shooting, on the opposite side of the country, an Orange County, CA. jewelry and coin dealer thwarted and armed robbery – and possible employee deaths – by defending herself with her pistol. Video surveillance footage at  And as if this wasn’t enough, the Oregon Clackamas Town Center Mall mall shooting – which was overshadowed by the Connecticut school shooting a few days later – was stopped by a citizen, Nick Melti,  exercising his right of concealed carry. Full details of this incident – not reported by the lamestream media – are at  At the risk of overkill (pun intended), here’s another video of a 65 yr. old woman thwarting FIVE armed robbers with her pistol in her store: In fact, it appears to be the case that, as ex-gangsta rap artist turned Christian rap singer Travis Tyler, known as Thi’sl notes, more gun restrictions are not the answer, as this will not stop criminals from getting guns. But listen to Thi’sl in his own words: (note that Thi’sl also identifies fatherlessness as a “huge role” in gun violence, as well as the issue of mental illness). Interestingly, Mark Mattioli, who lost his six year old son at Sandy Hook, also stated before a gun violence task force shortly after the shooting that guns are categorically not the problem – rather, it is mental health issues, issues that stem from media violence, lack of personal integrity, lack of parenting, etc. A Mattioli video speaking to this issue is at Ann Coulter speaks to the Mattioli video at, noting that the one critical piece missing from the leftist analysis of gun violence is that they refuse to deal with that fact that the vast majority of gun violence is caused by mentally ill. Says Coulter: “Mass shootings don’t correlate with gun ownership; they correlate with not locking up schizophrenics” and “For most of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1970, there was an average of four mass public shootings per decade. Throughout the ’70s, as the loony bins were being emptied, the average number of mass shootings suddenly shot up to 13. In the 3.3 decades since 1980, after all the mental institutions had been turned into condos, mass shootings skyrocketed to 36 on average per decade. And as exhibits for this exact issue, see Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, paranoid schizophrenic One L. Goh, who murdered a number of people at a Christian college in 2012, Nidal Hassan, and others. For a complete list of mentally ill committing crimes, Coulter directs readers to E. Fuller Torrey’s book, The Insanity Defense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens. Fox News also does a concise expose of the issue at
But returning to the issue of the deterrence and such things as concealed carry, it turns out that the leftist Mother Jones article claiming to have produced its own study of all public shootings in the last 30 years, which concluded “In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun,” is an outright fabrication - in looking at just the most recent Oregon episode. And as Ann Coulter pointed out in an article shortly after the CT shooting, found at  Mother Jones, in typical leftist fashion “…reaches its conclusion by simply excluding all cases where an armed civilian stopped the shooter: They looked only at public shootings where four or more people were killed, i.e., the ones where the shooter wasn’t stopped.”  Don’t try this trick in a stats 101 class, or you will be flunked. Coulter’s article provides some extremely enlightening examples of mass murders stopped by an armed bystander: 
– Mayan Palace Theater, San Antonio, Texas, same week as the CT shooting: Jesus Manuel Garcia shoots at a movie theater, a police car and bystanders from the nearby China Garden restaurant; as he enters the movie theater, guns blazing, an armed off-duty cop shoots Garcia four times, stopping the attack. Total dead: Zero. (More details on this theatre-shooting-that-wasn’t because the shooter was stopped by someone with concealed carry  is at )
– Winnemucca, Nev., 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two. (I’m excluding the shooters’ deaths in these examples.)
– Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.
– Santee, Calif., 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates — as well as the “trained campus supervisor”; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.
– Pearl High School, Mississippi, 1997: After shooting several people at his high school, student heads for the junior high school; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points it at the gunman’s head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.
– Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One. (Coulter neglected to cite some other cases, such as the high school shooting by Luke Woodham in Pearl, Miss., or the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, CO., where armed volunteers stopped the mayhem immediately.
Not included in Coulter’s article was a shooter who opened fire two weeks after the Sandy Hill massacre. Unfortunately, he did it in a place where people were armed – the Gloucester Township Police HQ – and, while people were wounded, no one was killed except the shooter.
There’s one more gunman incident Coulter also missed: On Aug. 29, 2010, and armed gunman, Thomas Richard Cowan,  entered Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, TN., and pointed his gun at the head of the school principal. This may well have ended up another Sandy Hook event – except for the fact that a Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputy, Carolyn Gudger, was stationed at the school, and confronted the gunman with her own gun. Cowan retreated from this confrontation, and was later killed when he pointed his weapon at other police who had arrived since the initial confrontation. No Sandy Hook here. That’s because there was armed resistance.
The Marc J. Victor article cited elsewhere in this paper adds several more incidences to the list above, where an armed populace prevented a Sandy Hook massacre. Victor cites  a 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, MS., stopped when the vice principal retrieved a handgun from his truck; a 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun; a 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard; a 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Virginia came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter; a 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened; a 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas was halted by two co-workers who carried concealed handguns. What part of “guns saved lives” don’t leftists get?
Let me answer the question above, if I may. Here’s what leftists don’t get – and which illustrates they really don’t ultimately care as much about each precious life lost at Sandy Hook as they do their precious agenda (and yes… please do use your best Gollum voice from Lord of the Rings when you say the word  leftist “precious agenda”; and no, our guns are not precious to most gun owners – rather, our freedom and liberty are precious, and guns are simply a guarantor of that). One story – which represents thousands of other unreported stories every year - with the headline of Woman Hiding with Kids Shoots Home Intruder Multiple Times, illustrates the point very simply: A quick précis of the story will suffice. A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety Friday… The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar. But the man eventually found the family. The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh. The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved…”
This story has more than meets the eye. Suppose it was not just a single home invader, but three or four – and she was a resident of shot capacity limiting New York or another state banning those evil assault rifles that carry too many rounds? What if she – like many of us – wasn’t such good shot, under duress (and possible darkness), and missed with her six rounds? Then what? While she may have to abide by the round capacity laws, the criminal – who is already a criminal and thus doesn’t care – can carry a high capacity weapon on his side, making the law even more dangerous for the law abiding citizen – not safer.
Pam Loman of Shawnee, OK. went through the same experience a few weeks later, scaring off three men trying to break into her home. reports: “She was cleaning her home on Friday when a man knocked on her front door, while two others stayed in the car. When she did not answer the man resorted to banging on the door. Mrs. Loman got scared and went for her gun.“So my instinct was to go get a gun. I don’t know why, I never in my life felt like I needed to go get a gun,” said Mrs. Loman. She had both hands on her .32-caliber pistol when the man knocked down her door. “And just all of a sudden, with one kick, he knocked the door completely in. The frame came flying down. Things came flying everywhere,” she said. “And he saw that I had the gun, and he grabbed the door handle and pulled the door shut.” Mrs. Loman said if he did not run away and came into the house she would have shot him.”
At the risk of – pun intended – overkill, here are ten other stories cited by John Hawkins that you may review to understand how guns saved the lives of men or women, stopped rapes and saved the lives of children: Another similar story of a woman saved from being beaten – possibly to death – by a concealed gun carrier who protected her is here: .  And here’s a few more for the road in the event the above is not enough to convince you of the utility of guns to save lives:
·         A convenience store clerk and an immigrant defend themselves against attackers in Florida. The attackers fired first and were aiming to kill, these men defended themselves and protected the innocent.

·         A man in San Antonio walks out to find a man going through the contents of his locked vehicle. He confronts the man and lawfully defends his life and his property.
Thankfully, something like the above would never happen to gun grabbers Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Shumer or any of the Hollywood glitterati, as they are surrounded by guards, who are armed. In fact, Obama signed a bill Jan., 2013 that rolls back a mid-1990s law that imposed a 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents. The bill, which will cost American taxpayers millions of dollars will have Obama (and other presidents) protected for life as well as their children up to age 16, by armed guard.  Hypocritically, during an ABC Nightline interview recorded before the Sandy Hook shooting, Obama said one of the benefits of his re-election was the ability “to have men with guns around at all times,” in order to protect his daughters (see ) The Sidwell Friends school attended by Obama’s daughters in Washington D.C. has no less than 11 armed security guards on duty at all times ( ). Of course, the NRA suggestion of arming trained school staff for the poor unwashed masses at the common public school has been derided by the elite – that’s only for the “special” people! Or as the Washington Times put it, As The Washington Times put it:
“It is important to remember that while they are talking about disarming you and me, they are not talking about disarming themselves. They will still be coddled in their fortresses. The closer you get to the Capitol the more armed guards there are. Up close, there are bomb proof guard shacks, literally, on every street corner. Squads of machine gun-carrying guards dot the magnificent marble buildingscape at all times. Leaders in Congress ride around with escorts of huge armed men. Is that because what they do every day is more dangerous than what you and I do every day” Cited from . Meanwhile, what happens to the average citizen who – as in the case of post-Katrina New Orleans – is disarmed by the “authorities?” Hear for yourself: . Better, listen to real police themselves tell you that “you are on your own” until they can get there – whenever that is.
Below: Sidwell Friends, another gun free school – NOT

Sen. Diane Feinstein, who wants “Mr. and Mrs. America” to “turn in” their guns,(see where she states this ) admitted to availing herself of concealed carry for her own protection at one point – see . Of course, our aforementioned gun control nut NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has armed bodyguards at all times, and, in personal communication with a friend and neighbor who is a recently retired senior staff member from the Illinois State Police, he noted that at least up to 2009 when he retired, Bill Ayers, the leftist, Obama crypto-crony who was co-founder of the communist  Weather Underground (that conducted bombings of public buildings, including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon), whenever he was in a classroom teaching at Univ. of Illinois Chicago, was always assigned to have armed state police in his classroom for protection. It’s just you, dear reader,that are left to your own (unarmed) devices when you are threatened.
And let’s not forget the ever-hypocritical  gun controller Michael Moore, who also maintains armed bodyguards, one of whom was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon at New York’s JFK airport back in 2005.,2933,144921,00.html#ixzz2FnQC65J3 . Yes, this is the selfsame Mikey Moore who owned shared of Haliburton (see Peter Schweizer’s book Do As I Say, Not as I Do: Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy) and has both an extremely expensive penthouse in NY, as well as a massive, multimillion dollar mansion on Torch Lake, MI., as seen below.

(Of course, the ultimate example of hypocrisy was illustrated by NY Governor Cuomo who stated after Sandy Hook, in granting permission for Learjet leftist Hollywood  to bring AR-15s to New York, that "There's no reason not to make a change ... to give an industry comfort, "especially ... [one] we want to do business in the state." Apparently, Cuomo didn’t desire to hinder any of those uber-leftist, gun-control fanatics Hollywooders  from making movies that glorify the criminal violence he's claims he’s trying to end.)
In contrast to the heavily defended Sidwell Friends school, or the latte leftists protected by gun toting guards,  the shootings in gun-free zones invariably result in far higher casualty figures — the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. (six dead); Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va. (32 dead); Columbine High School, Columbine, Colo. (12 dead); the Amish school in Lancaster County, Pa. (five little girls killed); a public school, Craighead County, Ark. (five killed, including four little girls).
And here’s one more question: What if it is not “only” a half dozen people killed, but rather something like the horrific Beslan School massacre in gun control-happy Russia in 2004? 334 people were slaughtered – over half children – by Chechnyan Islamists. Good thing everyone in the school was unarmed – right?
One might consider – dare I quote him? – Michael Moore, in perhaps the single lucid comment of his entire career. Regarding the Sandy Hook massacre, he wrote in the Huffington Post: “The killer only ceased his slaughter when he saw that cops were swarming onto the school grounds — i.e, the men with the guns. When he saw the guns a-coming, he stopped the bloodshed and killed himself. Guns on police officers prevented another 20 or 40 or 100 deaths from happening. Guns sometimes work.”  Of course, Moore goes off on another deranged tangent after this, but in this case he actually got one paragraph right. And perhaps, with the direction our society is going, a properly secured firearm on school premises, wielded by fully trained school staff, may be what is needed. Why should there be a wait be for the police to arrive as more death occurs?
In fact, police themselves, as a rule, support civilian use of guns, and not just high profile cases such as several sheriffs in Colorado, Utah, or the sheriff of Milwaukee, WI. Here’s what police, themselves, think, per a questionnaire submitted to 15,000 law-enforcement personnel, asking about civilian gun use:
“When asked what the likely outcome would have been at Aurora and Newtown had a legally armed civilian been there, 80 percent said there would have been fewer casualties; 6.2 percent said it would have prevented casualties altogether. Only 5.5 percent thought it would have led to greater loss of life.
When asked what could be done to prevent future mass public shootings, the most popular answer — picked by 28.8 percent – was for more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians. More aggressive institutionalization of the mentally ill was the choice of 19.6 percent. More armed guards were favored by 15.8 percent. Of course, none of these solutions are acceptable to the gun grabbers. Improved background checks were in fourth place, the choice of 14 percent of the respondents, followed by longer prison terms when guns are used in violent crimes (7.9 percent). What did the law-enforcement professionals have to say about about the left’s favorite solutions? A meager 1.5 percent put tighter limits on weapons sales at the top of their list. While legislative restrictions on “assault weapons” and larger magazines didn’t even get a nod from one out of 100 of the boys and girls in blue, it was the choice of .9 percent.
When it comes to making the public safer, including our children, “the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility” has the right answer: Get more arms in the right hands. And do a better job of getting the truly crazy off the streets.” (Cited from
Dr. Lott, the former gun control advocate turned gun supporter, documents many thousands of similar situations where civilian guns saved lives, but here is one woman, in her own words, discussing after the fact how her gun saved her life: As a matter of fact, Gun Owners of America, at, cites statistics indicating guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, or around 80 times a day (other statistics estimate this number could range as low as 1.5 million, but either number is a lot!). This includes 200,000 women a year using guns to defend themselves against sexual abuse – in fact, here is the actual 911 recording of some woman doing exactly that: It is precisely these situations that the gun grabbers would make worse!   As a matter of fact, as of 2008, armed citizens killed more violent bad guys than the police (1,527 vs. 606).  Overall, guns in the United States are used 80 times more often to prevent crime than they are to take lives ( ). Cato Institute has a complete article on this topic for your further reading, Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens," In fact, renowned author and poet Maya Angelou is a poster child (make that “elder”) for using guns in self-defense, telling Time Magazine in 2013 she once stopped a a presumed attempted burglary at here home by firing her gun. Said Angelou: “I do like to have guns around… I don’t like to carry them, but I like – if somebody is going to come into my house and I have not put out the welcome mat – I want to stop them.”,9171,2139706,00.html
Interestingly, during the composition of this paper, during a radio broadcast on WMBI radio, April 23, 2013, at 1:15 AM,  a caller who identified himself as George, the owner of a limousine company, stated something very interesting, that corroborates the above. He noted that, as airlines at one point prohibited people from transporting guns, criminals in Florida would follow people who took out rental cars at airports to rob them, knowing they would be unarmed. Just a small tidbit, lost to history, and ignored by the politically correct – but for those murdered during these crimes, including children – the gun grabbers are complicit.
And what happens when people are not able to arm themselves? Just ask the citizens of Hungerford, England, where twenty years ago Michael Ryan went on a shooting spree, killing 16 people. As no one in the town was armed, he took over eight hours before anyone with a firearm was alerted and able to stop the rampage. While Obama used children a stage props, including plaintive letters from children asking him to ban guns in his January, 2013 anti-gun dog and pony anti-gun sales pitch, he forgot to discuss the recent cases of Kendra St. Claire, who used a gun to protect herself from a home intruder, a mother who shot an intruder to protect her two young sons, or an 18 year old widowed mother who shot two intruders to protect her baby.
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 21, 2014, 4:59 pm
MERVAL Index is the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

Hi Ferfal,
I have been following you blog and videos for a couple of years now. Also, I am reading your new book and enjoying it immensely. I would like to add that I loved your first book too.

I have a couple of nagging questions and I am hoping you might be able to answer them. First, I notice that you never mention the financial markets in Argentina. When Argentina had its' financial collapse over a decade ago, were there ANY areas that thrived? Or was it too risky to be in the markets? I hear people recommend this stock, bond etc. as being a good form of protection against financial collapse, however, I tend to be very skeptical. I have purchased some gold/ silver, but is there anything else you recommend (especially in the financial markets). Please understand, I am not looking for a "hot stock pick", or a way to get rich, just added ways to protect myself.

Also, I have a question about ammunition. If a large economic event were to occur in the US, what is likely to happen to self defense ammunition (JHP's). Were they scarce in Argentina? Were they too expensive to buy? Did the government limit their use? The reason I ask is that I tend to favor the 9mm and the .45ACP and if hollow points are hard to find, I will eventually run out of my 9mm hollow points. Are the 9mm fmj's as bad as many people say? I figure that if it happens that they are hard to find, I can use .45 fmj's. What do you recommend?
Thank you for all of your no nonsense advice. It is truly appreciated.

Hi Matt,
Regarding your first question, the Argentine market did get hit because of the economic collapse of December 2001, but it wasn’t as serious as you would expect. In fact, if you look at the chart, it seems to have been doing rather well ever since. Here, he have to keep a couple things in mind.

First, the argentine stock market wasn’t that big to begin with. There was no bubble to burst, so the drop due to the crisis wasn’t as significant as you might expect. Second, you have to keep in mind that as you consider the rising graphic, you must take into account that after 2001 the Argentine peso is no longer pegged to the US dollar and in fact inflation is likely bringing that chart down much more than it would initially seem, especially these last few years. I’m not stock exchange savvy but for the most part its understood that the stock exchange in Argentina is small, messy and you’re more likely to end up losing money. My advice would be to go for land, brick and mortar. Real estate has always been considered a safe, stable investment when buying smart and not falling for some developer’s scam.

Regarding ammunition, you already know that when things get tough, ammo gets pretty scarce. This is especially true for the more common calibers such as 22LR, 9mm ad 45 ACP. In the case of Argentina ammo was hard to find at times and it sure was expensive. The problem was that premium JHP ammo for defense was expensive to import after the devaluation, so there wasn’t that much floating around. Still, with some patience and a bit of money you did find it, especially in the more common calibers.

My advice here is to have plenty of ammunition. Start buying as funds allow but try going for 1000 rounds of pistol ammo. 5000 rounds would be even better, but 1000 should do as your first goal to go for. I know ammo is expensive but there’s just no way around it: Without ammo a gun is just a fancy paperweight or a poor club. If you buy a box here and there it will eventually pile up. Make sure to keep your emergency supply and not use it. I would go for quality JHP, in the case of 9mm I like 124gr +P. FMJ is not as bad as it sounds though. Granted, stopping power is pretty bad compared to JHP, but ball ammo kills people every day. Indeed, hardball FMJ .45 is superior to FMJ 9mm, but 9mm hollow point premium ammo will perform better than FMJ 45. Just make sure to buy ammo now for a rainy day. Even with ten boxes of ammo, not many people go through 500 rounds of ammo in defensive shootings during their entire life. Heck, most people will go their entire lives without firing a single round in self-defense, few will go through 50 rounds, let alone 500 or 1000.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 20, 2014, 10:27 pm

Knives have always been our quintessential survival tools and little has changed in that regard since man first picked up a sharp piece of rock. Everything from repairs and rescue operations to self-defense, a knife allows you to perform an endless amount of tasks. No one argues the usefulness of a blade. While a fixed blade knife is always preferable, the reality is that its impractical to carry one in your pocket. The key to having a knife with you when you need it is to carry one every day and here is where folding knives enter the equation.

The Kershaw Lifter

In a market saturated with great choices, the Kershaw Lifter has some interesting attributes. The first thing to catch your attention is its price. Currently its 18.99 on Amazon, although that’s likely to change soon. You don’t find many good folding knives for that money. The second thing you notice once you hold it is how solid and well put together it feels. The design is very appealing, esthetically pleasing. The blackwash finish looks rugged and functional, in harmony with the 3.5” recurred tanto blade

In spite of the small size, the Lifter fits the hand well.
Price. Not many good knives for under $20
Design. The recurved edge is one of the most effective shapes for slicing and the tanto style tip should be robust enough for most utility and defensive uses.
Ergonomics. The handle feels comfortable, the flipper works as an effective finger guard. The handle provides plenty of real estate for medium/large hands in spite of the small size.
Esthetics. It’s an interesting, fine looking knife that looks more expensive than it actually is.
Speed. The Speedsafe system deploys fast and smoothly after a short break-in period.
Locking system. The framelock is well executed, and it includes an overtravell stop which is more often seen in much more expensive knives.
Mystery steel. I’m not expecting high end steels for $20 but I’d still like to know what steel I’m getting even if when heat treated correctly, an ordinary steel should perform well enough.
Clip. The clip is intended for right handed pocket carry only.
If you’re looking for a sub $20 folder, give this one some though and consider some of the other, more traditional offerings by Kershaw in the Blackwash line. Should make some very nice Christmas presents too if you’re doing some early shopping.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 19, 2014, 6:23 pm

Ebola, combined with dropping oil prices, have caused stock markets to drop around the world. With questions about the European economy and an uncertain American growth many are wondering if another economic crisis is just around the corner.
Opinion: Brace yourselves for another financial crash
(CNN) -- The stock market's recent jitters have made many investors wonder whether there's a new financial crisis just around the corner. Well, of course there isn't -- because we've never really left the last one.
Financial crises of the scale of the 2007 crash only really end when their causes are unwound by debt repayment, bankruptcies, debt write-offs, and inflation.
In the 1930s, there was plenty of all four. The end result was that US private debt fell by almost 100% of GDP from its deflation-spiked peak of 130% in 1933, to a low of 35% at the end of WWII.
By comparison, the debt cutting we've been through so far in this crisis is trivial -- a fall of under 20% from a far higher peak of 175% in 2010.
We're attempting an economic revival from a debt level that exceeds the worst level reached during the 1930s....
Ebola: Could virus's spread cause financial market turmoil?
The spread of Ebola beyond West Africa could lead to turmoil on international financial markets on a greater scale than the SARS outbreak a decade ago, economists have warned.
Analysts at Barclays warned that the continued spread of the deadly virus would hit global growth and "have a significant impact on global financial markets"....
Fears of global slowdown spark fall on European and US stockmarkets
Fears of a worldwide economic slowdown and anxiety about the spread of Ebola reverberated around stock markets Wednesday, driving shares around the world sharply down and pushing the price of oil to a four-year low.
After falls in London and New York on Wednesday, Asia extended the selloff in global equities on Thursday as heightened concerns about world economic growth sent Japanese stocks tumbling and U.S. Treasury yields down...
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 18, 2014, 10:28 pm

Hi Ferfal,
I was just looking through your site. Looks like there has not been much on ebola. You may recall I am a licensed healthcare person, although not a nurse. I have a personal intellectual interest in infectious diseases, so I get this email digest from the International Society for Infectious Disease. They had a period when it seemed like no messages were going out, but they seem back in the game now.
As a result, I guess I have been following the ebola outbreak since pretty close to when it started. I also just have kept an eye out for other articles about it. I distinctly remembered in the summer reading that the people who purport to study this kind of thing were heavily implying that it could be transmitted by droplets. The CDC et al. always go out of their way to insist ebola is not airborne. That is technically true, but to the layperson I think they don’t make a distinction between droplet transmission and airborne. Already at the beginning of August, the health authorities were giving guidance that was clearly intended to avoid droplet transmission.
Anyway, you know the CDC now has been going on and on about we have such a great healthcare system in the US, etc etc. I think anyone who actually works in the industry would be quick to tell you differently- including me. Last winter we were constantly running short of simple masks during flu season. So it was not hard to figure that they would not have a good supply of space suits for ebola care.
Just because I have been keeping an eye out, I have seen a few memos go past in the work email since the start of the outbreak, but they all have been beyond superficial. There has been no education, no drills, no stocking up that I can see, no designating areas to care for suspected cases, nothing like that. The vague, ebola related emails were just mixed right in with employee parking spot winners and foolishness like that.
Just yesterday morning we got an email ‘[Our hospital] remains prepared to deal with Ebola’. It was almost like a pep talk for people who already worked there. The only substantive bit was to tell people to look at the FAQs on the CDC website. There was nothing like ‘personal protective equipment can be obtained from so-and-so’ or ‘please put any suspected ebola cases in room 2′ or anything that would be immediately useful.
So last night the emergency department had someone come in who fit the profile for a potential ebola case. Guess what? No one knew what do to. They were calling around to see if anyone knew what to do, looking on google to find out what kind of PPE they should be wearing and how to isolate the patient.
I was surprised to learn that the people working didn’t even know about the potential for infectious droplets, because I had thought that was already established back in the summer. So basically, it sounds like it was a big clusterf*k. This is at a community hospital, so maybe they didn’t think it would be a problem for them.
I am on the email list from another hospital I used to work at- i.e. a ‘big city hospital’, and they were doing a training session today on PPE apparently. It says ‘ebola overview, resources, donning and doffing of PPE’. I only got the email first thing this morning which leads me to believe it was probably put together at the last minute.
I personally have not heard of anyone, anywhere, saying anything like, ‘Wow, we have done so much training for ebola,’ or ‘wow, my hospital is really on top of this.’ Everyone is like, ‘What’s going on?’
Just thought you might be interested.
– JM

Hi JM,
As you know I have a very practical, no-nonsense approach to modern survivalism. I especially try to keep a level headed attitude and avoid fear mongering. Having said that, I just cannot believe how irresponsibly ebola is being handled.
“NOT EASY TO CONTRACT” this is literally what cnn has to say about ebola. Of course then it goes on to say in the same video presentation that it is carried in bodily fluids, blood, saliva, tears, mucus, feces, urine, sweat, semen and vomit. How can we say on one hand that direct contact is needed to get infected, but on the same video clip they say that saliva and mucus carries ebola and it can get into your body through your nose, mouth and even your eyes. Cant anyone makes the elemental connection between saliva and the thousands of droplets flying after a patient sneezes or coughs? Just yesterday I saw CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta argue with ebola expert David Sanders. Sanders was explaining the possibility of ebola being spread through aerosol transmission (sneeze, cough, vomit) but Gupta cut him short claiming the chances of such a transmission were so small, it was not worth talking about while other things were more important…??? You’re talking about ebola, and you don’t think its important to learn how you can actually catch it? I can’t believe relatively smart grown persons are either a) so stupid b) so irresponsible. The only option left I see is that these claims we see on the press are very misguided attempted to keep people calm. In any case, it is very concerning to still see talking heads in the media claiming ebola can’t be transmitted in such a way.
Thanks for sharing your experience JM!

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 17, 2014, 12:00 am

I recently found this bus ticket in one of my jackets. This is a minimum fee bus ticket from Buenos Aires back in 2011. Notice that is says "Subsidised by the National Estate". Today, that same minimum fee, one ride ticket paid in cash costs 6 pesos, an inflation of nearly 600% in 3 years.
Also notice how small the bus ticket is. As the economy got worse in Argentina, everything suffered "shrinkflation" so as to cut cost and expenses wherever possible or even hide inflation by making food and other consumable goods in smaller "new" packages and bottles. As months went by, bus tickets kept getting smaller and smaller, up to the point where it was hard to read them for some people.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 15, 2014, 5:04 pm

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 15, 2014, 2:31 am

This is the first submission of a multi-part essay by Jim V on Gun Control. It’s well researched and packed with information. Looking forward to the following chapters by Jim!
Quemadmoeum gladuis neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.” (A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer’s hands.)
–    Lucius Annaeus Seneca, circa 4 BC – 65 AD
Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms”
 James Madison, considered the father of the US Constitution
“[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”
-  Zacharia Johnson, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
During World War II, six million Swiss had guns and six million Jews did not.”
Author unknown
“…sort of like the people who repeat foolish slogans like “guns kill” – as though guns sprout little feet when no one is looking and run around shooting people all by themselves.”
–  Doug Casey, financial columnist
“If you don’t have to give up your car because others drive drunk with theirs, then why do you have to give up your gun because others commit crimes with theirs?”
– Anonymous internet wag
When a crime is committed, does the gun go to jail?”
- From   
“Let’s stop playing games. The problem is people, not guns. Our society suffers from a deficiency of personal responsibility – not from an excess of personal freedom.”
– Star Parker, African American writer and commentator    
The horrifying truth is this: we live now in a culture that not only does not respect life, but discards it like trash — not only at the beginning of life, but also at the end, and every place in between. What has happened to us?”
–  C
atholic Deacon Greg Kandra
“…we’re also going to make it clear that when a pig gets iced that’s a good thing, and that everyone who considers himself a revolutionary should be armed, should own a gun, should have a gun in his house.”
Bill Ayers, leftist activist and confidant of gun control happy Barack Obama, in A Strategy To Win, appearing in New Left Notes, September 12, 1969
‘The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.'” 
- HL Mencken
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government
–  Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

The utterly horrific Colorado and Connecticut shootings, among others, are still being processed into the collective conscience of America.  Clearly, everyone of good conscience will grieve for the lives that were lost and damaged. But it is time now to reflect on what has caused tragedies such as these, and others. Here are some preliminary thoughts that may be worth reflecting on as you consider the gun control issue, that is sure to surface again in the near future:
First, is it guns, or is it people, that kill? As the old saying goes, Teddy Kennedy’s cars have killed more people than all the guns of 99.999% of all gun owners in America.  And this true around the world.  My brother lived in ultra-safe Switzerland for years. Why is Switzerland so safe? Is it because guns are outlawed?
Wikipedia notes: “If you were a Swiss man, you would be a soldier as well. Every able-bodied Swiss man must go to the army in Switzerland for 90 days (Rekrutenschule-Ecole de recrue) and then every 2 years until the age of 42, he must return for practice for 19 days. This allows the government to raise an army of 400,000 men, fully armed, within 24 hours, as every soldier has an assault gun in his house, complete with ammunition.” “; moreover, “Each individual is required to keep his army issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm SIG 550 rifle for enlisted personnel or the SIG 510 rifle and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home with a specified personal retention quantity of government issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56/48 rounds 9mm…)
http://en/” Switzerland which has had three times the gun ownership as, for example Germany, has also had a much lower murder rate. And statistics like this ring true throughout the world. A short 3 minute video is here, for those that wish to see a short report on the Swiss and their guns
Indeed, Thomas Sowell notes countries with stronger gun control laws than the US, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico (Mexico basically bans firearms completely, yet has a higher gun homicide rate than the US), have much higher murder rates, while there are many countries with high rates of gun ownership but low murder rates, such as Israel, New Zealand and Finland. In fact, in Mexico, the murder rate is 22.7 murders per 100,000, whereas the global average is ~7 homicides per 100,000, and the gun happy US is 4.8 murders per 100,000.  That is correct – the US, which has the widest gun ownership in the world, is below the worldwide average in homicides.  Of course, in the US, approximately 90 million legal owners of guns, owing 300 million firearms; murdered zero people last year. Contrast that with the approximately 170 million Prof. R.J. Rummel of Univ. of Hawaii, in his book Death by Government, says were killed in the last century, the majority of them after their governments disarmed them (Stéphane Courtois, author of the highly regarded Black Book of Communism estimates 94 million were murdered by Communists alone).  An hour long, very sobering summary video documenting what happens when the population has their weapons removed can be found at  Or perhaps one might wish to contrast this to the 32,000 people who lost their lives – including thousands of youth – in car accidents last year (see or to get the latest exact figure). And for those of you who correctly answered the  “cars are necessary, but guns are not” objection, a gold star, for indeed you are correct – an armed population, as the Founding Fathers repeatedly noted, is the sine qua non of a free country and a free population. “Free” as in –  as historical records show – comparison to a  country like the USSR, Cuba or China that end up murdering millions – including children (just google “Ukrainian Kulak” and look at the photos of millions of children who were murdered by Stalin’s government.  As the saying goes, “Free men have guns; slaves do not.”
An interview in The State Journal of West Virginia, regarding guns and the 2nd Amendment, is illustrative of the rabid anti-gun attitudes of the politically correct cadre. Predictably, the media talking head, who is of course anti-gun, interviews Keith Morgan, president of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League. The reporter tried to push the old canard that a national debate on guns is long overdue. (Yes… apparently leftist media reporters all get their same talking points from the same, lame “LeftistTalking Point Depot!”), to which Morgan replies “I have to take issue with the immediate premise that we started out with that it’s a long overdue discussion.  The discussion is as old as the country itself.  The Framers set everything up and settled that discussion pretty well with the wording and language of the Second Amendment…”
Mr. Morgan has it 100% nailed on the head!
A 2000 study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed that 47% of guns used for crime are obtained via a straw purchase, while another 26% are stolen. So, how effective is firearms control in practice? In gun-control happy Chicago – which has banned guns for all practical purposes – the city has become the leading “alpha” city for gun murders in the world. 2012 ended with around five hundred murders in the city. – sixty of which were children! In fact, “gun free” Chicago had more murders than the entire nation of Japan in 2012. For comparison, drug war ridden Mexico City has 8.0 murders a year per 100,000 population, Moscow 9.6, Sao Paolo 15.6 and Chicago 19.4Similarly, Washington DC, which has banned concealed carry since 1975, has one of the highest rates of murder in the U.S. And of course, one might also have the temerity to ask why there are no theatre, mall or school shootings in Israel, where a goodly percentage of the population is armed, including fully automatic weapons. (Picture from )
Let’s examine Chicago and a similar size city, Houston, which has concealed carry. Details are from 2012 – and do note that Chicago just recently  was forced to adopt more lenient gun laws in the past year – during which time the homicide rate dropped.  Those facts are not indicated in the chart below. How did formerly gun control happy Chicago and Houston compare?

  Chicago , IL  
   Houston , TX  
  2.7 million
   2.15 million
Median HH income
% African-American
% Hispanic
% Asian
% non-Hispanic White
A reasonably similar matchup -until:

Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Concealed carry gun law  
# of gun stores

84 dedicated gun shops,
1500 places to buy guns
(Walmart, etc.)
Homicides, 2012
Homicides per 100k
Average January
high temp, F
Presumably the leftist conclusion from the above is that cold weather causes shootings!
OK, so what about New York City?  Yes, there was a reduction in gun shootings in 2012, but there were still 414 homicides in 2012. Notwithstanding the fact that NYC is almost becoming a police state, a one year drop could be attributable to many things, and as Frank Zimring, professor of law at UC Berkeley told NPR, “”If you’re gonna make the assumption that changes in crime rates always are responding to policies then why shouldn’t we be blaming the police for the slight increases [in New York's murder rate] in 2010 and 2011?” No word from Mr. Bloomberg on that… nor why Mr. Bloomberg has changed his tune from “al Qaeda hates us for our freedoms” to the situation today, where the NYPD conducts unconstitutional stop-and-frisk searches all over NYC.  And the reality is that the general trend in NYC has been a general trend of a drop in murder rates in NYC since the 1990s.
As a matter of fact, Dr. John Lott spoke on the Piers Morgan show shortly after the Connecticut school shooting, and noted that since 1950, in almost every public mass shooting in which three or more people died, it was in a setting where guns are banned, such as schools. Of course, relative to the Sandy Hook tragedy, Connecticut already had banned “assault weapons,” and the Newtown school was already a gun free zone. There also is already a total ban on guns in the possession of mentally unstable in Connecticut. A lot of good that did.  And if the shooter didn’t get it from his mother in this case, do you really think he wouldn’t have gone to the black market to get one, or turned to other tools, such as the bombs the leftist Unibomber or Timothy McVeigh used?  Were people any less dead because those two men used bombs instead of guns? On a personal level, when I was a student teacher in Illinois, a young high school student set a bomb right outside my classroom – it was found before it went off, but could have killed many students if it hadn’t been found in time. Are we next going to ban intelligence so that people can’t make bombs out of various materials? As a matter of fact, perhaps we already have banned intelligence – or at least wisdom – from our schools. But that is a story for another day…. along with some enterprising researcher conducting a study correlating the number of school shootings with the number of teachers having sex with their students.
Meanwhile, hidden from public view by a leftist media, school shootings are indeed occurring in countries with strict gun control. Former psychology professor and Army Ranger Lt. Col. David Grossman noted in Dec., 2012, on his Facebook site, that gun control poster child Germany has had two mass murders in their high schools that had body counts surpassing those at Columbine, while Dunblain, Scotland had a massacre in a kindergarten class, and just down the road from where I used to live in Alberta, Canada, the town of Taber experienced a school massacre. Handguns are outlawed in Canada. Finland has had three school massacres, and of course there was the Anders Breivik massacre in Norway, which also has restrictions on gun ownership. And if it isn’t guns, it’s knives. Grossman notes in gunless Belgium, a sicko dressed as the Joker from Batman got into a day care centre and hacked a dozen babies in their cribs, injuring them. Two more babies were killed, as well as one daycare worker.  If leftists want schools and other areas as “gun free zones,” perhaps we should make those who created gun free zones liable for the murders that occur there? And at the same time, may we ask why government buildings in Washington DC are “gun free zones” – or is it  that the “let them eat cake” ruling class gets armed security everywhere they go in the town (not to mention exemption from ObamaCare), while the rest of us poor, unwashed masses have to trust our safety to luck? In fact, there is a formal petition to the White House to have the Secret Service protecting the president and others in Washington made a gun free zone – remember, it is guns themselves that are the cause of crime. (Article at
But, in case you don’t believe Lt. Colonel Grossman or Dr. Lott, perhaps you might believe the man running lead for Obama’s gun control task force after Sandy Hook, Joe Biden? Here is Biden in his own words, explaining that gun control will not stop a potential mass shooting:
The top ten school massacres are listed here, for your reference:, the worst being the Beslan school massacre in Russia, with 386 dead, and over 700 injured by Chechen militants. In the US, one of the first US school massacres occurred, as Mark Steyn notes, on July 25,1764, when “…four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days” (no assault rifles were recorded as being used in this attack); and the worst massacre in a US schooloccurred May 18. 1927, in Bath, Michigan, when school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe used a bomb to blow up the Bath Consolidated School, killing 44 people, including 38 children. Again, much to the chagrin of the left, no assault weapon was used.
And the comments from the left that masquerade as “fact,” such as the post-Sandy Hook Bill Clinton statement: “Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005. Half of all of them in the history of the country.”  are not even close to reality.  Leaving aside the definition of what “is” is, what are the actual facts?  Unfortunately – similar to the ClimateGate revelations – someone actually did the research in a 2007 book entitled Mass Murder in the United States” A History, authored by Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections. Here’s what Duwe found, as summarized from :
In the past 100 years, there have been 156 mass killings where at least four people were killed publicly with a firearm in under 24 hours, where the killings did not include robbery, drugs or gangs. As of Jan., 2013, there have been 32 mass public shootings since Clinton’s assault weapons ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, with seven in 2012.  Here is the tally by decade:
1900s : zero
1910s: 2
1920s: 2
1930s: 942
1940s: 8
1950s: 1
1960s: 6
1970s: 13
1980s: 32
1990s: 42
2000s: 28
2010s (three years): 14
Data from, using data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, shows mass shootings in the US over the past 30 years have not increased. (See or as below)
Mass Shootings 1980-2010.jpg
Of course, the vast majority of these were not committed with semi-automatic rifles; rather, they were committed by handguns. Why no outcry re. handguns? Is it because they look less “scary?” Or might it really be because rifles could be used by a free people to defend themselves against totalitarianism? Perhaps the left should lift all restrictions on long guns, and legislate against handguns if they honestly wanted to make a dent in the death toll. (And while they are at it, perhaps they could pass legislation against “Fast & Furious” Eric Holder being anywhere within 100 miles of any gun at all.)
On the other side of the school shooter equation, in 2008, the isolated Harrold Independent School District in Texas, noting the damage done in the Columbine shootings, among others, decided the 20 minutes it could take police to arrive could lead to a horrific disaster, trained school staff were allowed to carry firearms in school.  The result? Dead students? Mayhem?  Actually… nothing, except a safe school. School district superintendent David Thweatt simply stated “We’re the first responders. We have to be. We don’t have 5 minutes. We don’t have 10 minutes. We would have had 20 minutes of hell” if the school was attacked. In fact, Evan Todd – who was shot and wounded at the Columbine massacre – makes this exact point (and a few more!) in his open letter to President Obama of Feb., 2013, found at . Todd elucidated on his points in a further interview found at
But lurking behind the school shooting question is the issue of “never let a crisis go to waste,” per Rahm Emmanuel. Is it really guns, or is it rather the gun grabber agenda that is in the dock here? If the former, why no comment from the leftist media that every month after the Sandy Hook shooting, on average 40 juveniles will be murdered with something other than a rifle? Or doesn’t that meet with the agenda du jour? (And I’m just waiting to hear some leftist claim that rifles cause global warming!)
And finally, if gun grabbers are so “concerned for the kids,” why then this story that came out just after Sandy Hook:
“Amid all the hubbub surrounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapons” ban, there are still everyday stories of average law-abiding citizens using firearms to defend themselves and others from evil — or in this case, serious harm. An 11-year-old boy was riding his bike in a Washington, DC, neighborhood when he came upon three pit bulls. The dogs pounced, mauling the boy. Fortunately, a neighbor saw what was happening, grabbed his handgun and rushed out to shoot one of the pit bulls. A DC police officer patrolling nearby on a bicycle heard the shot, and came to the boy’s aid as well, shooting the other two pit bulls. The boy’s injuries were severe, but he will survive, thanks to the quick action of this neighbor. However, the hero is under investigation for violating local gun laws — discharging his weapon while not on his own property. No word yet on whether charges will be filed, but DC’s gun laws are what put children at risk.” (Source for this story not retained, but published week of 21 Jan., 2013)
This story clearly illustrates that for many on the left, it is not about the kids. It is about their agenda.
There is more to come, but this should get you started on your reflections on the issue.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 13, 2014, 11:01 pm
Kershaw 1303BW Manifold Folding Knife with SpeedSafe

Every now and then a knife comes out that provides outstanding value. The Cold Steel Bowie machete at 15 Usd was such a knife. So was the Spyderco Tenacious and the Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival I reviewed some time ago. (Updated review coming up soon)
Now, Kershaw has recently released three high value knifes in their BlackWash series. The Design and esthetics are what you can come to expect from other knives of the same company but with an extra zero on the price tag. That black-oxide BlackWash finish looks great on all three models, each with their own character.
These’s knives are currently selling in Amazon at around 20 usd. Expect the prices to go up as soon as the videos and reviews start rolling. The price should really be around 30 usd. I already placed my order, will do the reviews as soon as possible.
If you’re looking to get a solid small/medium EDC blade that gets the job done seriously consider one of these three for 20 bucks while you can.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 12, 2014, 8:17 pm

 Hi Ferfal,

I've been a follower of your blog since 2009 (i think). I am getting concerned about ISIS, with their threat to Americans. I am in New Mexico on the border of Juarez/Las Cruces. I plan to get my five kids passports next week and regardless of ISIS, I'd like to make preparations to relocate if needed. Is China a good place to go? Seems like noone is bothering them....where is a safe place to relocate right now? Seems like things are changing all the time in all the different nations. It's hard to know where would be safe should things go south quickly...your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. if you decide to post this on your blog, Will you shoot me back an email and let me know when you do? thanks so much! 
- Michelle

Hello Michelle,
First of all, it’s a great idea to get passports for everyone. People often forget about them, but they are one of the most important tools to have. Even if you’re not planning on moving or traveling, you should have a passport. If there’s ever an emergency and you are forced to move or evacuate abroad, a passport can make all the difference in the world. People wont have enough time to get one in short notice during a wide spread disaster.
About your concerns regarding problems along the border I suggest taking a good look within your State. Moving to a safer location with New Mexico seems like the best option. If you want more of a change you may look at moving to some other State based on your personal circumstances and what’s important to you. These are the kind of topics that I’ve addressed in “Bugging Out and Relocation”, where I include charts and data for each State so as to see what works best for you . Personal circumstances will dictate to a great extent what works best for each individual or family group. A retired couple may worry more about cost of living and healthcare, while a family with young kids will be concerned more about education, cost of living and safety.
Regarding terrorist threats, I understand it is a concern but I don’t think that the possibility of terrorist attacks alone should be enough to move out of the country. Terrorist attacks sure have happened before in USA and I believe they will continue, but rather than moving abroad because of it, it should be enough to avoid the main and better known metropolis and capital cities, which are likely to get hit in the first place. Not living in a massive and well known landmark city should be enough to significantly reduce the risk of terror threats.
If you’d like to listen to more about this topic, please check the video below. 


Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 11, 2014, 12:34 am

This trick actually helped me a great deal. My car’s headlights where looking pretty bad. The plastic was foggy and yellowish due to oxidation. A little toothpaste and some elbow grease fixed that.
Here’s the four steps to restore a plastic lens headlight to like-new condition.

1)Sandpaper. If the headlight is very deteriorated, cracks, yellowish oxidation and looks pitted, you want to start with sandpaper. Start with 500grit if there’s a lot of damage, then move to 1000 and finally 2000 grit. If the headlight isn’t too deteriorated, doesn’t look pitted and cracked, you may skip this step entirely. Once you removed scratches, yellow oxidation and any pitting, rinse with water and move to the next step.
2)Toothpaste. Any toothpaste will do but whitening toothpaste may be more abrasive and do a better job. You’re looking to polish the lens with the toothpaste, so use a cloth rag since paper will easily fall apart. Patience and plenty of elbow grease may be needed here, depending on how damaged the lens is.
3)Once you’re done, rinse with water and dry the headlight. It should look completely translucent. If you’re not happy with the results repeat step 2.
4)Once the headlight is dry, use a silicone based product to treat the newly polished lens. Any dashboard spray or liquid, even tire shine may work as long as it has silicone in it. Silicone restores your car’s plastic components and creates a film which prevents from oxidation. Spread it over the lens and let it absorb some into the plastic. After an hour or so wipe clean with a dry cloth and buff until your headlights look shiny.

I was about to buy new ones for my car, but doing this saved me a few bucks and it didn’t cost a single cent. The car looked MUCH better with the new looking headlights too, and it illuminates the road better, making it safer to drive.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 9, 2014, 9:51 pm

Question for Fernando: What happens to personal debts in an economic collapse? How do people make monthly payments on debts when the economy implodes?

You basically still have to pay. If you owe 1000 USD and the dollar devaluates you still have to pay 1000 USD. If the dollar collapses and a week later those 1000 USD are worthless or at least worth less, then you pay back in that worthless money and there’s a chance you may have benefited from the event by paying back for whatever you got with your money in currency that is now worth less, while the property, goods or capital you bought or invested it retains its value much better. Then again, laws may be passed so as to avoid further economic damage by which your debt is adjusted to inflation. This will be very much contract specific but as we all know laws are written with one hand and changed with the other. In any case, chances are that if you buy property, cars or other durable goods with that money and some time later the economy collapses, you probably benefit from it as long as you’re able to keep making the payments and the inflation adjustment (if there is one) isnt too bad.
Tent town in USA
In the case of Argentina people that where just about to pay a debt in dollars, and just the day before they did, the economy crashed, and a few weeks later they just had to pay ¼ of what they had borrowed if the dollar debt was “pesified”, turned to pesos which at the time was 4 pesos =1 USD. They would have paid 1dollar to 1 peso before the devaluation.
Same happened to others but the other way around.
They paid for the debt and a few weeks later realized that if they had waited they would have saved ¾ of their money.
People that got into debt in dollars for a house, machinery, they were lucky because since the problem was so big most debts were pesified, meaning they paid back at a 1 dollar =1.4 pesos rate or so if they had the debt in dollars, or simply paid back in pesos if the debt was contracted in pesos. Having debt in devaluated pesos was of course the most beneficial scenario given that their debt was suddenly reduced to 25% of the original amount.
Of course you no longer got paid in a currency that was 1 to1 with the USD, but yes, it was a sweet deal for some.
latin america urbanisation
Favela in Brazil
You would make the payments as you normaly would. Although it was very hard to get cash debit payments and bank transfers were still possible and you could still make your card payments, even if credit card payments where not accepted any more in most stores. Of course this was all complicated due to the halt in the financial and business world, with the lack of cash due to the ATM extraction limits complicating things further.

Regarding mortgages in Argentina, certain laws were implemented to stop people from losing their homes, but it just worked in a smaller percentages of the cases.
A law was passed, Ley 25.798, which gave you a year before you had to continue making your mortgage payments. The mortgage was updated to the current price of the property and monthly payments could not be greater than 25% of the family’s income. This only benefited those that had bought the property between January 2001 and September 2003, the property had to cost less than 100.000 USD or the equal amount converted to pesos and it had to be your only property, the one you live in. This of course meant that the law only benefited the lower income buyer, and only those that bought during that period of time. As for those not covered by this law, a thousand homes went under the hammer per month.
Here’s the link explaining all this but its in Spanish:
What happens if you cant make the payments? Accounts get frozen, and any money coming into your account is immediately taken to pay for those debts. You lose everything little by little and become poor or even fall below the poverty bracket into extreme poverty and indigence, losing it all and becoming homeless. That happened to hundreds of thousands. I know of several people that had to move back with their parents, other relatives of friends to live in their kitchens or living rooms for long periods of time, and those are the lucky ones. Those that didn’t have family to take them in, they ended up living on the streets.

What does all this mean?

Lets suppose for a minute that the United States collapses economically. If it does, then its not hard to see similar measures being taken: Maybe some of the poorest people that have debt may be able to benefit from some emergency law that buys them a bit more time, although it may be of little or no help in the end. The financial help or other extraordinary measures or laws passed to help the middle class would be even less. Ultimately you’re looking at the poor and middle class taking most of the financial damage, with a large chunk of the American society falling a few more steps of the social ladder into even deeper poverty.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 8, 2014, 8:10 pm

In spite of the ton of articles and videos about the topic floating around people still get it wrong pretty often. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes people make when planning for Bug Out scenarios.

1)Being too fat and out of shape
Too many people are fat or morbidly obese. Its not about being big, abut being large or big boned, its fat. If you are in poor physical shape, forget about backpacks, sleeping bags and losing sleep over which knife is best: None of that matters if you don’t take care of your basic, elemental tool: your body.
2)Poor Planning and Execution
Bugging Out means moving from point A to point B, point B being a place where there’s safety and shelter, maybe a friends house or a family member. Chances are, there’s already a road that can take you there, so there’s no need to walk across a national park when bugging out. Many survival experts show themselves or hold classes on bugging out which are basically glorified hiking trips. When you bug out for real, chances are you’ll walk along a road, and there’s a good chance there will be other refugees along with you.
3)Too much emphasis on combat or bushcraft
We tend to favor the things we enjoy doing. For former military guys, they tend to go gun-ho very easily, although at times its better to carry concealed. For outdoorsy types, its buschcraft that they focus on, sometimes overlooking more practical solutions or completely loosing perspective of the real objective just because of nostalgia.
4)Bug Out Bag is too heavy
In general the bags tend to be too heavy for the person carrying it. 10-15% of the body weight should be the maximum weight so as to stay somewhat light and be able to keep up a reasonable speed and not tire that much.
5)Essential items missing
In spite of most bags being too heavy and having plenty of necessary items, they often miss the crucial ones. Actual water for one is missing in many kits. People have bottles they expect to refill or filters or pills they think they can use, but no actual water. You need to actually carry water. Same goes for clothes, you need a spare set of clothes in case yours get torn, wet, bloody or otherwise destroyed. A  new set of clean clothes will be invaluable and there’s a good chance you’ll need them during disasters and daily, more average emergencies.
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 7, 2014, 1:05 am

Hi Ferfal, I'm a big fan of yours, and have recommended your books to a lot of people.
I just took a pretty good job as an auditor with the electric and gas utility (privately owned, not government)about 100 miles north of NYC. Previously, I lived within 20 miles of NYC for my entire life, but it's easy to see what a powder keg that area will become if times get tough, so I made a move.  Can you tell me how stable a job like that proved to be in Argentina when TSHTF? Also, did government workers, who have a high level of perceived job security, actually fair well?
Since you have rated economic instability as the 2nd biggest problem behind security during TSHTF, I think it would be very valuable if you write another book, to provide more detail on common occupations (accountants, nurses, administrators, salespeople etc. etc.) and exactly how they faired in Argentina pre/post crisis. I know you did that in your first book, but it was a little brief.
You input would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Joe, thanks for your support, congratulations on the new job and I’m glad you like my work.
As I wrote in “The ModernSurvival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”, the job situation gets pretty complicated for everyone when unemployment goes  +%25.
Pretty much everyone is at risk and no one has his job fully warrantied against termination.
As I explained in the book, there are some jobs that are more secure than others, but that still doesn’t mean you couldn’t end up facing serious problems eventually. Take police officers for example. You would think that in a country with such a serious crime problem, law enforcement would be a pretty safe income in spite of how dangerous it many be. Still, police officers have been struggling for years with very low wages and for all practical purposes many are forced to complement their salary with “tips” (bribes) to get by. Something similar happens with teachers and other public workers. They have a job, but condition and pay isnt that good, sometimes its not even enough to live.
As the public services and infrastructure fail, there’s more opportunities for private companies to fill in the gap and these hire people.
In the case of electric companies in Argentina, they have been known to cut costs because of the crisis, letting the grid deteriorate further. This led to rolling blackouts and transformers exploding in summer. The poor power grid situation is widely reported, but little is being done to update the deteriorated infrastructure. Even cell phone signal is rapidly deteriorating. Its already a common local joke to criticize and make fun of the poor signal people often receive.
Like I said in the chapter about employment, its not town blacksmith or ranch hand that are in high demand post economic collapse. The jobs that are in high demand and also happen to pay well at a certain level are marketing and sales. During tough times companies appreciate those that are gifted and manage to land sales.  With a lot of work, small companies do well and this is what many unemployed end up doing once they ran out of options. So as to reinforce your work position you must make yourself very important and valuable to the company. 
The more of a key person you are to the functioning of the company, the less likely you are to lose your job.
I do agree about NYC. I would try to avoid that city as much as possible. About “government workers, who have a high level of perceived job security” some are almost impossible to fire due to the Unions. In general, a desk job for the government, in one of the administrative buildings and halls tends to be pretty secure. The government rarely fires more people when unemployment is already bad.
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 4, 2014, 12:13 am
If Bush was “responsible” for the disaster in New Orleans with Katrina, does that mean Obama is responsible for the Ebola mess below (not to mention the EV68 virus currently killing or paralyzing a dozen kids, as it is just getting underway. A few details of the deaths are at  Or – as always – does Obama get his usual hall pass  from the media (or, alternatively, get to blame this, too, on Bush?)
The first patient, Thomas E. Duncan, was allowed to travel freely into the U.S. from Liberia, despite, as we have learned, having hand-carried a convulsing 19-year-old woman to an Ebola clinic in Monrovia — a woman who died from the disease the next day. And despite being told two times that Duncan had been to Liberia, hospital workers sent him home with antibiotics. Home to a residence with three children. Children who then went to school. But it’s worse. Much worse. Duncan traveled through Dulles International Airport, where he had a layover of nearly three hours, and then to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. We were initially told that 12 to 18 people — now including a total of five children who went to four different schools — had come into contact with Duncan after he had become symptomatic. By the next day, that list had expanded to a total of 80 to 100. 
Truth be told, no superbugs, bacterial serial killers or monster maladies can touch the records set by humanity itself. Stalin, Mao and Hitler needed about 50 years to murder somewhere between 75 million to 150 million people. The multiple diseases that shared the “Black Plague” nom de maladie — mostly bubonic and pneumonic plague — needed 3,000 years to rack up similar numbers
Less than a month after Obama called Ebola’s American travel plans “unlikely,” A man named Thomas Eric Duncan, who boarded the first leg of his trip in the Ebola-ravaged country of Liberia, managed to carry what amounts to a biological weapon through an international air travel security network designed to keep people from carrying any weapons anywhere. Let me rephrase that. Duncan, who got his passport, secured a travel visa, bought a ticket and boarded multiple flights, walked off the plane in Dallas with Ebola in his carry-on.  Meanwhile, not far south of Duncan, there are people who pretty much base their existence on getting here without so much as a consideration for laws of the United States. Some of those people intend to do a lot more than just ignore our laws. In fact, according to the government’s own security intel, some of them are members of the Islamofascist terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL or “guys who would just love to send a bunch of human dirty bombs into every booming metropolis and small town from sea to shining sea.”) Considering Obama’s current immigration policy basically entails showing even wanted murderers from our southerly neighbors to their new, taxpayer-funded accommodations, I wonder if any ISIS psychos have traded in their suicide-bomb vests for a quick shot of Ebola and a ticket to Mexico City.
Excerpted from
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 3, 2014, 11:08 pm

The video is an interview of “Baby” Etchecopar. This guy is a jorunalist/actor that was involved in a pretty brutal home invasion in Buenos Aires.
The video is in Spanish unfortunately but it he explains how he survived during the kind of nightmare many of us often think about for hours: What do you do when you see a guy walk into your kitchen, Glock 9mm in hand and tells you they have your family hostage upstairs. Baby was eating chicken in his kitchen when that happened.
 At gunpoint he’s forced upstairs, pushed and pistol whipped over the head, as the criminal takes him upstairs he tells him they will rape his daughter. Upstairs the nightmare continues. In the bedroom he finds two more men, along with his son and his girlfriend, his wife and his pregnant daughter. One of them is hitting his daughter on the belly while putting a gun to his son’s head. The other one also threatens them with a gun while beating his wife. As soon as the two criminals in the room see Baby one of them recognizes him. He has a tv and radio show and is often outspoken about the crime problem in the country and the importance of self defense. “That’s Etchecopar, shoot him!” one of them says. The criminal that keeps him at gunpoint pulls the trigger but nothing happens. He hits Etchecopar with the pistol in the throat and Baby goes down. The criminal racks the slide and a round drops to the ground. Etchecopar hears a shot being fired. He doesn’t know due to the confusion but his son was just shot. As Etchcopar falls he goes for a gun he keeps in a night table. 14 years ago a former guerilla commander bought it for him as a present “You need a gun. One day it will save your life”. The man that said that was Rodolfo Galimberti, former Montonero, an Argentine leftist urban guerrilla and subversive group. Etchecopar (a right wing conservative) had heavily criticized Galimberti in his show but one day they met and started talking. Galimberti said he heard what Etchecopar had said about him and that he was right in his claims. They ended up becoming friends and went to the range where Galimberti bought the gun for Etchecopar. The Glock .40 was then loaded and left in the night table, not a round fired.
Etchecopar picks the Glock from the night table and starts shooting. He fires ten shots and hits one criminal eight times. The other criminals shoot back as they retreat, wounding Etchecopar in both legs and one hand. As Etchecopar goes down his son picks a 357 magnum revolver and chases the criminals. As he leaves the bedroom and walks into the dresser he’s received by a volley of gunfire, getting hit multiple times. He walks back into the room, blood squirting from a chest wound. Etchecopar drags himself towards the fleeing criminals but stops when he notices one of his legs is barely attached through some strings of flesh and tendons. Probably shot with the 357 magnum, his leg was almost blown off with an exposed fracture, nearly amputating the leg.  
A total of 37 rounds where fired by Etchecopar and the criminals. Some time afterwards a police officer arrives. Etchecopar is still conscious and asks for a tourniquet, which the police officer improvises with a shirt, saving his life. His son was shot four times and has a punctured lung, but survives after being hospitalized for 15 days. The criminal shot by Etchecopar died and the ones that escaped were captured later.
Some points:
*Etchecopar had the right tool for the job but no proper training other than some shooting instructions he got for a movie he did where blanks were fired. In spite of that, Etchecopar performed very well given the hopeless circumstance he was in.
*Etchecopar says he felt as in a movie. It didn’t seem real, but he vividly remembers the smell of gunpowder, the smell of blood, the plaster blowing off the walls as rounds impact around him
*His son almost died for chasing after fleeing criminals. Not a good idea. Once criminals are on the run and escaping, let the police handle it. Don’t chase them.
*Etchecopar says he died a little bit himself that day because of the life he took. At the same time he admits there was nothing he could have done better. The criminals started shooting after he had given them everything he had.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: October 3, 2014, 12:59 am
This is an excerpt from the chapter about vehicles from my latest book “Bugging Out and Relocating: What to do when staying is not an option”, available in Amazon.

Bug Out Vehicle

The concept of “Bug Out Vehicle” evokes images of powerful 4x4 trucks driven by rugged adventurers as they make their way across uncharted territory. As we analyze this topic more carefully we will understand that the reality is far less exciting and that unless such capabilities are really needed, a true Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) has little to do with the likes of a specialized off-road vehicle.
A Bug Out vehicle is a form of transportation that allows you to reach a safe location during emergency situations. We can assume that for the most part driving will be done on roads and we will only go off-road when there’s no other choice. Still, since emergency scenarios can be very different from one another, the specific vehicle best suited for each will be different too. A person living in a rural area with poor roads and heavy snow during winters will appreciate having a 4WD/AWD BOV, while someone living in a dangerous country with serious crime problems, terrorist threats or war may greatly value armored protection. In spite of the differences, there are certain common traits you want to look for in a BOV:
Reliability: A car is of no use if it doesn’t run. How big it is or how powerful it is, it all comes in a distant second place to actually working. The BOV should have an excellent track record when it comes to reliability. The last thing you want to worry about when evacuating is mechanical problems. All motor vehicles have them, but some have them far more often than others. Having a reliable vehicle will also mean that your car is less likely to need repairs (saving money) when used on daily basis for commuting and driving around town.
Fuel Efficiency: While monster trucks and bomb-proof military vehicles may look great in post-apocalyptic movies, spending a small fortune in gas every month gets old fast and isn’t nearly as cool as you thought it would be when you realize how much money you could have saved with a more fuel efficient vehicle. Poor gas millage is usually the reason why most big BOV stay in the garage while a more efficient car is used for driving around. The theory here is that when disaster strikes, the person will be able to go back home, load up the BOV, and make a triumphal exit while the neighbors stare in awe with their jaws hanging, his sparkling off-road truck blinding them with sun reflecting off the manly stainless steel grill guard. The flaw in this theory is assuming that a person will somehow know when disaster will strike. There’s never a warning. That’s part of what disasters and emergencies are all about. This means that the vehicle used on daily basis will probably be the vehicle you will have with you when things go wrong. Last but not least, fuel efficiency is of great importance because it’s directly proportional to how much distance you can cover on any given amount of fuel you have or are able to procure.
Ease of Repair: The car should be easy to repair. Spare parts should be widely available and not too expensive. The car should be popular enough so that most car mechanics are familiar with the model.
4WD/AWD: If possible, the vehicle should have good ground clearance and 4WD/AWD so as to go off-road or over sidewalks, boulevards and debris should they ever be encountered. It will also make the vehicle more suited for dealing with snow storms and floods. In general, the more suited a vehicle is for off-road, the larger the engine and the more fuel it uses, defeating the purpose of having a car that makes the best use of the fuel available. Because of this reason, light off-road SUVs and AWD sedans may hit that sweet spot where the fuel economy isn’t that bad and it is still capable of limited off-roading if it’s ever needed.

Recommended Vehicles

While other BOV may be excellent choices as well, these vehicles have a proven track record and would make excellent choices.

 Honda CR-V

     Second generation Honda CR-V                    Photo: F.Aguirre

The Honda CR-V was the #1 best-selling SUV in USA in 2012 with 281,652 units sold2. It was introduced in 1995, based on the successful Civic platform and it is still one of the best choices for those looking for a compact SUV. The CR-V has earned itself a solid reputation for reliability, versatility and quality of construction. Used Honda CR-Vs are affordable yet very reliable if one in good condition is purchased. While they are clearly oriented for light off-road use, they are still capable of dealing with realistic bugging out challenges such as snow and secondary dirt or gravel roads. Some Honda CR-V are 2WD, so make sure you are buying a four-wheel drive (4WD) model for better off-road performance. For those considering buying a new CR-V, Honda plans to use a common platform for its remodeled Civic, Accord and CR-V sport utility vehicle, which are slated to go on sale in 2015-173. Honda has a larger model called Pilot that has three rows of seats so as to seat eight people, improved off-road capability and it can wade through 19 inches of water.

Toyota RAV4

        Toyota RAV4                   Photo:Wikimedia Commons- IFCAR

Like Honda, Toyota enjoys a reputation of solid performance and reliability which is the main trait to look for in a BOV. The RAV4 was introduced in 1994 and was the first compact crossover. The Toyota RAV4 ended up in #4 with 171,877 units sold in USA in 2012, behind the Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox. The RAV4 competes directly with Honda’s CR-V. Both are popular choices and have similar traits. The Honda CR-V seems to have a better reliability record even if both vehicles are very reliable, while the RAV4 has a slight edge regarding fuel efficiency.
There’s a short body 3-door model RAV4 that could work well for those needing an even smaller vehicle.
Tip: There’s a 2008 Sport model that has a rear door without the externally mounted spare tire. This model uses run-flat tires, which are capable of resisting the effects of deflation when punctured. This can be a great advantage during car-jacking attempts and urban disasters.

 Toyota Hilux & 4Runner
    Toyota 4Runner                  Photo:Wikimedia Commons-IFCAR

The Toyota Hilux is an excellent option due to its legendary reliability. The reputation of the Hilux grew even more after the “Top Gear” TV show episodes where a beat up Hilux survived various torture tests including being washed out to sea, submerged in sea water for four hours, crashed into a tree, hit with a wrecking ball, set on fire and placed on top of a building that was later demolished with explosive charges. All they used to fix it and keep it running between tests was basic tools and supplies without using any spare parts.
The Toyota Hilux has been used all over the world doing all kinds of jobs, everything from farm pickup, off-roading vehicle, police patrol vehicles in South America and even as “technical” improvised fighting vehicles with a gun mounted on them.
The Toyota 4Runner available in USA is part of the Hilux family, sold in Japan under the name Hilux Surf. The fist 4Runner was little more than a camper version of the Hilux. The Toyota Highlander is the mid-size crossover SUV counterpart of the 4Runner. While less rugged, it is one of the most fuel efficient midsize SUVs.
If you need a bigger, more rugged vehicle, the Toyota Land Cruiser is a body-on –frame 4WD that has proven itself in some of the most extreme environments.

Chevrolet Pickups and SUV
Chevrolet makes the best-selling Silverado pickup and the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe which is considered “king of police SUVs”. The lengthened wheelbase model of the Tahoe is available as the Chevrolet Suburban (station wagon-bodied version) which is favored by the FBI and presidential secret service. These are big, powerful vehicles but have poor fuel efficiency and therefore the effective range per gallon during an evacuation scenario is not that good. If you need a daily driver for long range commutes, this can be a deal-breaker too due to fuel costs.

These are just some recommendations but they are of course not the only alternatives. Ford F series are extremely popular and for good reasons. The Ford Explorer and Fusion are also favored by various Law Enforcement agencies across the United States.
Suzuki makes affordable vehicles known for their reliability. The Vitara is a solid and competent light-medium off-road vehicle even if it’s not that good on gas.
It is recommended to stay away from very old cars and restoration projects unless you are very knowledgeable and willing to do most of the work yourself. Like military surplus vehicles, old car restoration projects tend to cost more than what it’s worth, not only regarding money but time as well. If funds are somewhat limited, buying a used car of known reliability will cost less money than getting into a restoration project.
While vehicles that have certain characteristics that make them more suited for emergency scenarios are recommended, the reality is that the cost of driving around, maintenance and especially fuel efficiency, may ultimately decide the outcome of what vehicle you chose. If you have to drive long distances and do so on a tight budget, then a reliable vehicle with a significant priority on fuel efficiency may fit the bill. None the less, you can do so applying the same criteria: Prioritizing popular models which are easy to repair and find parts for and manufacturers of proven reliability. Some good options are the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Prius. Keep an eye out for Hatchback and Station Wagon variants. These can add flexibility and extra cargo space that can come in handy at times. Some station wagons models add an extra row of passenger seats.
Law enforcement agencies that are on a budget will sometimes chose more fuel efficient sedans and their choices are worth considering. Due to car pursuit training and post-collision reliability, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration is usually favored. RWD makes for a more robust layout which is more agile as well in the hands of an expert driver. The disadvantage is that RWD isn’t as popular as the more common front-wheel drive layout, it’s generally more expensive and there’s some loss of traction on snow, ice and sand.
If you can’t do without 4WD or AWD because of snow, ice or poor roads then there’s sedan models that could work for you. Subaru offers the Legacy and Outback as efficient AWD models.
Useful Links:
These are just some of the cars recommended. If you have another vehicle in mind it is important to research how reliable it is, how common it is, the kind of realistic gas millage you can expect from it and if other owners have found problems with specific models.
Consumer Report is an excellent website for independent reviews. Also check vehicle reliability and fuel economy.
Useful links:
If you plan on towing a caravan or trailer as part of your Bug Out Plan you need to check the towing capacity of your particular vehicle. Not all cars are alike and even within the same models there are differences depending on the year in which each was manufactured. Your car manual book will have the towing capacity of your particular vehicle. The following websites show towing capacity for different models:
Once you narrow down you choice, read online reviews in forums and boards so as to get a better idea of what to expect from that vehicle and learn any weaknesses the specific model may have.
Read more about this and other topics in my latest book, “Bugging Out and Relocating: What to do when staying is not an option”, available in Amazon.
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 30, 2014, 9:59 pm

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge, calling civil contempt a rarity, ruled that
Argentina was in contempt of court on Monday for its open defiance of
his orders requiring that U.S. hedge funds holding Argentine bonds be
paid the roughly $1.5 billion they are owed if the majority of the
South American nation's bondholders are paid interest on their bonds.
U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa made the announcement after a
lawyer for U.S. hedge funds led by billionaire hedge fund investor
Paul Singer's NML Capital Ltd. argued that Argentina has openly defied
Griesa's court orders for more than a year. The judge reserved
decision on sanctions pending further proceedings.

"What we are talking about is proposals and changes and actions that
come from the executive branch of the Republic of Argentina," the
judge said.

He said repeated efforts to avoid paying U.S. bondholders after their
bonds - unlike more than 90 percent of outstanding Argentina bonds -
were not traded for lesser-valued bonds in 2005 and 2010 was illegal
conduct that could no longer be ignored.

"The republic in various ways has sought to avoid, to not attend to,
almost to ignore this basic part of its financial obligations," the
judge said.

He said Argentina had recently taken steps to attempt to remove a New
York bank as the custodian for bonds held by many of its bondholders
and transfer the financial obligations to a new trustee based in

New York-based lawyer Carmine Boccuzzi, representing Argentina, had
argued that a contempt finding was premature, saying Argentina
bondholders who accepted swaps for lesser-valued bonds after the
country defaulted on $100 billion of debt in 2001 had not been paid
interest, just as the judge intended.

Boccuzzi said the U.S. bondholders "want to punish Argentina. But
that's not appropriate."

"The republic did act responsibly," he said.

But he said paying the U.S. bondholders would require Argentina to pay
about $20 billion to other bondholders who were not part of the

"We're hamstrung," he said.

As he left the courtroom, he declined to comment.

A lawyer for the U.S. bondholders, Robert Cohen, urged the judge to
make the contempt finding and impose a $50,000 daily penalty on
Argentina. He said penalties should be stiff enough that Argentina
realizes it needs to change its behavior.

"It's hard to imagine how it could get worse," he said.

Before the hearing, lawyers for Argentina forwarded to the judge a
letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying the request
for a contempt-of-court finding was "completely absurd." Argentina
said such an order would be unlawful by international standards.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry said the judge's decision has no
practical effect "besides providing new elements to the defamatory
political and media campaign being carried out against Argentina by
the vulture funds." Argentine officials regularly refer to the U.S.
hedge funds that didn't swap their Argentine bonds at a discount as
Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 30, 2014, 7:26 pm

This link takes you to “Sarajevo Survival Tools” a project cooperation between the Faculty of Electrical Engineering Sarajevo (ETF) and the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The link is in English and if you navigate through the different exhibits you will first see short video intros and then the different objects, which you can click on to see pictures, read more information and watch a dedicated video of that object.
The website is a bit messy to navigate around but once you get used to it you see that its packed with real-world information of the tools made an used by people to survive during the siege. It’s well worth the time!

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 29, 2014, 11:53 pm
I enjoy reading your blog and have followed much of your advice.
My question
Do you have a suggestion of a defensive tool that would be appropriate for a senior woman who lives in a country where a gun would not be the answer.
Knives would be too easily turned against me, and has you have pointed out, are very serious in a close fight and hard to defend against.
Thanks for any suggestions and would bet that other women would benefit.

Thanks D.V.
Whenever possible I recommend having a handgun, but I do understand sometimes this is not possible, especially for defense out of your home.
As you correctly state, a knife requires a certain physical strength to be used effectively for defense. Women are more than capable of doing so but they are at a disadvantage compared to men when it comes to size and physical strength, and that difference can increase as years go by.

Knives can be very effective defensive tools, but some physical strength is required.

Defense for Seniors

The first line of defense here is the same no matter how old or young you are: Avoid confrontation whenever possible. Avoid dangerous areas and try not to wear expensive watches or jewelry in places where it may cause trouble.
When it comes to physically confronting attackers there’s a couple things to understand about a criminal’s psychology: Like any other living being, criminals don’t like getting killed or hurt. Put a gun to their face and they will not like it. More often than not they turn and flee. Something similar happens with knives, but we’ve already gone through the limitations of such a tool for some people. OC spray may not kill, but it does hurt and burn, another stimulus pretty much every living being tries to avoid. A criminal may not be as scared when facing OC spray, but a blast will burn his eyes and make it hard to breathe and see, giving you the time to escape or get help. As of recommended brands, Sabre Red has a well-deserved reputation for being effective. In places where pepper spray many not be legal, there may be other alternatives. In some cases you can still find spray that is intended for bears or dogs. These may be legal in your area and would work as well.

Still looking into what criminals don’t like, there’s one thing that doesn’t get discussed as much but it is very much true: Criminals don’t want attention while committing crimes. May that be trying to break into a house or mugging someone on the street, they don’t want people noticing them or approaching them during their criminal acts. Here’s where a small personal panic alarm may be very effective. The device produces a 130dB ear-piercing alarm when pulled from the keyring. This can be very effective when screaming or blowing a whistle isn’t possible due to being attacked or even frozen by panic.

Finally, as part of the often recommended EDC, a bright flashlight can be very helpful as well. Flashlights are legal everywhere, and a bright flashlight (+200 lumens) can be used to light up anyone engaged in suspicious behavior. Remember, criminals do not like being in the “spotlight” and literally doing so will surprise them and may make them feel uncomfortable enough about the hole thing that they may go looking for a more defenseless victim. Tactical flashlights that have a strobe more are powerful enough to momentarily blind and cause confusion. Cops know well how a flashlight shined into a person’s face puts you in a more advantageous position, both physically and psychologically. For specific tactical/defensive use application, the Surefire E1D is a good option. The small Eagletac D25C that I favor works well too, with a mode that turns on on high with a strobe just one click away, yet unscrewing the head of the flashlight it enters the most commonly used modes for utility use.
Stun guns may be another option as well. The electric cracking can be intimidating as well as effective. Some models resemble tactical flashlights combining both the advantage of a tactical light and a stun gun in one tool.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 27, 2014, 11:04 pm

In just one year I had two problems with my Otterbox Defender case.

 Just days after getting it the rotor of the clip broke, with the phone dropping and almost losing it. After contacting Otterbox a new case was sent soon enough. Now, the hard plastic case cracked where it makes contact with the clip, fitting loosely and easily falling from the holster unless clipped on the other side. While I still believe Otterbox makes overall quality cases, for the price, they should have a product that holds up much better. I haven’t abused the case in any way, just normal use.
The Otterbox does protect your phone, and that’s the point of the protective case, but for a top of the line case more is expected of it. While the customer care is excellent, the Defender case, one of Otterbox toughest models, should hold up much better to everyday use.

I’ll probably buy Otterbox again next time and I still do recommend it, but I’ll seriously consider other competitive options as well. I’ll think twice before paying premium price for a case that isn’t offering premium durability.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 25, 2014, 9:26 pm
In reply to: Practical use of Body Armor?

Anonymous said...
I wonder if buying this stuff over the internet gets official notice. I also wouldn't be surprised if a zealous prosecutor used your body armor against you after a home burglary gone bad. Wouldn't they try to convince a jury you were looking to have a shootout with the criminal?
I'm not opposed to body armor, I'm seriously asking questions and would love to hear other people's opinions.

I think that while you may come across a stupid prosecutor in the case of body armor, there should be no doubt: It literally catches a bullet that would probably kill you if it didn’t, so its clearly better to explain yourself while alive than avoid the possibility of explaining something that you are legally entitled to do anyway, and be dead.
You are right though about something. The second amendment covers guns, not armor, so regulations are very much possible. I’d get armor while I can and if anyone comes asking, which is highly unlikely, then there’s a chance you may have sold it by then, or lost it in a fishing trip.
Anonymous said...
I'm confused about the life-span of the soft vests. Kevlar, although it expires in 5 years or so, has been tested to be good many years later. There are complaints on the internet, however, about some of the laminated fabrics like Goldflex and Twaron delaminating.
If I convinced myself and my wife to get a vest, I wouldn't want something that's going bad in a few years. Especially if body armor is legally unavailable some time in the future.
Does anyone know where to get well built kevlar vests for a reasonable price?

Zylon is the material to be avoided. It has some serious failures and NIJ decertified all vests containing Zylon. Goldflex® is an aramid like Kevlar®, and makes for thinner (up to 35% thinner) yet effective vests. It tends to be more expensive than Kevlar as well, but due to being thinner and flexible its well suited for concealed armor. The debate on laminated or not is rather academic. No matter what brand name of aramid its made of, no vest is intended to take multiple shots in a same area anyway. If you’re lucky enough to survive getting shot a bunch of times, then count your blessing and buy a new vest.

Don Williams said...
1) I think the 5 years refers to 5 years of police-like use --i.e worn constantly 8-10 hours per day soaked in perspiration and in contact with a 98.6 deg F human body. I would think that Intermittent use would extend that working life well out past 5 years.
2) To mimick such usages, the latest NIJ Testing protocol --NIJ 0101.06, adopted 2006 -- added a conditioning treatment to body armor in which it is tested for bullet resistance after 10 days of being tumbled in a
drum, 5 revolutions per minute for a total of 72,000 tumbles. At 80% humidity and 149 deg F.
3) Maybe Fernando would like to give his opinion/experience on some details of selection criteria for body armor. A lot of police get killed wearing body armor --as shown in the FBI report -- because crooks now know they are wearing it and go for head shots. So it seems to me it would be important to conceal the armor because it loses much value if an attacker can see you are wearing it.
4) On the other hand, level IIIA is not much thicker than level II and IIIA can stop some penetrating rounds like 357 Magnum in FMJ (level II just tests 357 in JSP), 38 super, 357 sig. I don't know if IIIA can stop the 7.62 Tokarov round but I would think it would do better than II.
5) In hot climates, however, Level II would probably be more easily concealed under hot weather light weight shirts. Some argue it is not as hot as IIIA but I wonder whether heat is more a matter of whether the sides are left open for ventilation. Some armor wraps around to cover the sides below the armpit but I would think that adds heat while the shoulder opening to the heart is left unprotected.
6) Level II vs IIIA is Tough decision -- like the 45 vs 9mm argument. One survey of USA police that I've seen indicated 41% of police use Level II and 35% use IIIA. No indication of whether the IIIA people are in the colder north and II people are in the South. Or if regular patrol police in uniform wear IIIA while undercover cops wear II since body armor is a tipoff that one is a policeman (US law bans convicted felons from owning body armor.)
1) True. Police officers wear their vests all the time. Lots of wear and tear, sweat and sunlight exposure. For the average person, you wont use and abuse a vest nearly as much and it will last decades if properly taken care of (avoid moisture, too much sunlight)
3)There is a chance of getting shot in the head if armor is being visibly worn. My advice is to keep it concealed as much as you can so as to avoid just that as well as attracting unwanted attention in general.
4)IIIA would do better against all rounds including 7.62 Tokarov. The 7.62 Tokarov is a small, fast round that has a good chance of penetrating level II armor. When possible I would go for IIIA.
5)Armor can get really hot, but then again if you’re not a cop its no big deal and you can just suck it up when you consider its important to wear it. For everyday carry though, it can be an issue and its better to get armor that fits well but allows enough ventilation.
6)Most police officers are likely to go for II because it is still enough to stop the threats they are likely to come across while being less bulky and more comfortable to wear in general. Now as a civilian that isnt wearing armor every day you may not have such concerns.

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 24, 2014, 9:34 pm

Author: TheModernSurvivalist
Posted: September 23, 2014, 9:43 pm

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