Quick Musings and Update – garydbarnett.com

By: Gary D. Barnett

I just returned yesterday from 9 days away, and my last major trip of the year. Great sun, warmth, water, food, and privacy made for a great getaway before major winter. I am perfectly relaxed, and refreshed, and ready to get back to serious writing.

I did notice that little changed while I was away, and that this “Great Reset” agenda is still moving forward, and mostly unimpeded. A sad state of affairs, but that is the reality of our situation.


“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

~ George Orwell, 1984

I have already since I returned, been doing more research, and reviewing some important information concerning the global takeover that has been planned by the ‘elite’ rulers for well over 100 years. It is staggering to say the least, that everything that has happened and is happening today, has been telegraphed, and discussed openly for a very long time; all without this population ever taking heed. In fact, the masses have deliberately, although they were groomed to do so, ignored all truth in favor of hiding from it, all the while watching every aspect of freedom disappear. This is the tragedy of our current circumstance, and the apathy and indifference that consumes this population continues unabated, when any majority awakening and defensive action could end the tyranny immediately.

In this very brief first post since returning, I want to concentrate on one aspect of plotted idiocy that is evident, and just in time for another worthless, criminal, and ludicrous voting spectacle.

There have been some very good efforts by a few who point out important matters of fact, but they usually fall into the asinine trap of political fidelity to one side or the other; either due to ignorance, allegiance to this corrupt political system, or intentional controlled opposition reaction. I am speaking about calling out horrendous and psychotic behavior and reality, while ignoring certain aspects of truth in order to protect a favored position.

Depending on the political nature of the presenter, facts are ignored, or falsehoods including, in what would otherwise appear to be ‘honest’ reporting. One such example concerns the recent (and not so recent) factual evidence that two investment banking systems control most every single thing on earth, those being Vanguard and Blackrock. The information about the monopoly of the entire world by these two entities is almost beyond belief, but if one has any knowledge about the real controllers of the world, those like the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Morgans, the Bushes, the ‘Royal’ families, the WEF, and a few others, this should be no surprise. But in the reporting of these truths, some real facts are left out due to taking sides with certain politicians or parties.

In the run-up to the long-planned ‘covid’ hoax, most all of those on the ‘right’ bringing these important revelations to the forefront, are still attempting to…

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Stretching Your Dollars, by Elli O.. How can we be frugal in the area of food?

Inflation is high. In fact, it has reached at least a 40-year high (depending on who you listen to) and shows no sign of slowing down. Mortgage interest rates are at a 20-year high. More households than ever before are struggling to pay for groceries, medical treatment, housing, and gasoline. Since our influence on the problem of inflation is next to non-existent, then we need to focus on some simple but basic solutions to being frugal. Stretching our dollars until the next payday is our goal!

My husband says that I am frugal to the point of being miserly! But this is a compliment. So let’s talk about being frugal.

Being frugal is a characteristic that will serve one well during TEOTWAWKI. Frugality is also beneficial now – during these times of record high inflation. But what exactly does it mean to be frugal? And, more importantly, how can one develop this trait?

Frugality is defined as thriftiness; being economical with food or money. But I think it can mean so much more, and if we embrace this broad meaning, we can thrive when the rest of the world is struggling.

Back in the 1930s there was this saying: “Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without!”

This mindset is counter to the culture that has been prevalent in America for the last 50+ years. With the ability to shop online and get whatever our heart desires – whatever that might be – almost the next day, there is no reason to not purchase that which we desire. We live in a throw-away society. We even discard items that are still full of life and usefulness.

So why should we be frugal? There are many reasons and they can be found in other articles I have written. The point to this article is to address the how of being frugal. For those of you who expect me to say “Create a budget and stick to it” and “develop self-discipline when it comes to spending money” you are going to be disappointed. I will be covering basic, practical ways to be frugal that anyone can accomplish – with or without a budget.

Sure, there are other assets we waste – our time, our energies, our talents, but I want us to focus on three main areas where I think our frugality is severely lacking: food, fuel, and funds:


According to organization Feeding America, we Americans waste more food than any other nation in the world. Yearly, we throw away 80 billion tons of food. That equates to 219 pounds per person. Yet 35 million Americans suffer from food insecurity. How can we be frugal in the area of food?

1. Eat leftovers. In my humble opinion, a lot of food insecurity could be greatly reduced if we would just eat leftovers instead of throwing away perfectly good (edible) food.

2. Reuse leftovers. Although there are plenty of websites that can give you ideas, I…

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Birthday of Eliphalet Remington, Wilhelm Bubits, Horace Smith

Today is coincidentally the birthday of three gun designers:

  • Eliphalet Remington (pictured, October 28, 1793 – August 12, 1861). He designed the early-generation Remington rifles and founded what is now known as the Remington Arms Company.
  • Wilhelm Bubits (born October 28, 1954), an Austrian handgun designer and creator of the Caracal Pistol and Steyr Mannlicher M and S Model pistols.
  • Horace Smith (October 28, 1808 – January 15, 1893). He was an American gunsmith, inventor, and businessman. He and his business partner Daniel B. Wesson formed two companies named Smith & Wesson, the first of which was financed in part by Oliver Winchester and was eventually reorganized into the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

I have set sale prices on all of our shootable replica black powder revolvers at Elk Creek Company. Note that no FFL is required to order, and that cartridge conversion cylinders are available for many of these models. This sale will end on Tuesday, November 8th, so order soon!

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 103 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  5. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  6. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  2. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water…

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17 Ordinary Plants You Can Make Into Flour

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

17 Ordinary Plants You Can Make Into Flour

Although most people think of wheat when it comes to flour, you can make flour from many other plants. In fact, you can grind just about any starchy type of grain, bean, and nut — and even many vegetables —into flour.

Making flour at home is an easier process than you might think. In most cases, you only need a high-speed blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. And if you are in a survival situation, you can use a mortar and pestle and your own elbow grease.

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We’ve put together a list of some of the ordinary plants you can make into flour. Many of these flours offer the advantage of being gluten-free. You can experiment with the ones you like best and consider growing those plants, so you’ll have a steady supply for your family.

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1. Acorns

Acorns on Branch

Best harvested in the fall, acorns can be ground into a flavorful and nutritious flour. The process involves soaking the acorns first to remove the bitterness of their tannins. Then, you’ll need to dry them again before grinding them.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the leaching process. And this article explains how to make acorn flour.

2. Almonds

Almond Tree Blossoms

Most almond tree varieties do well in North America’s Zones 5 to 9. Rich in protein and healthy fats, almonds can be made into a tasty and nutritious baking flour. In many recipes, you can substitute almond flour 1:1 for wheat flour in recipes.

This article gives you all the steps you need to know to make almond flour. And this video shows you three different options for making almond flour at home.

3. Amaranth

Amaranth Plant

A staple of the ancient Aztec and Inca diet, amaranth is high in protein and calcium and easy to make. However, you do need to remove any chaff (plant material & hulls) before grinding. Here’s a video demonstration of how to make amaranth flour.

This article offers tips for cooking and baking with amaranth flour.

4. Barley

Barley Stalks

Barley flour has a mild, nutty flavor and a high-fiber content. It contains gluten but is lower in carbohydrates than many other flours.

You can check out this video for a demonstration of how to make barley flour.

5. Buckwheat

Buckwheat Flowers

Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. In fact, it’s a seed, not a grain. However, you can grind it into a useful and tasty flour.

Here’s a video that shows to make buckwheat flour at home.

6. Cattails

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FCC Commissioner Starks Urges Data Minimization in Broadcast Industry

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, speaking last week at the Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition, called on broadcasters to minimize the personal data they collect from individuals and suggested the FCC might step in as a regulator. “I have seen distinct harm in the [broadcast media] ecosystem where the sale of geographic location information and other data to third parties and data brokers distinctly doesn’t benefit the user,” Starks said. “We have a unique opportunity to get ahead of this, to make sure that broadcasters are good actors in the market from the start instead of racing to unwind any privacy harms—ex ante, not ex post.” Starks stressed the need to focus on data minimization, secondary uses of data, and targeted advertising in the broadcast industry. “[I]s there perhaps an effort for the FCC to lead here?” Starks added, noting that the FCC might rely on its “role as the regulator of television equipment.” Starks delivered his remarks at an October 18 event titled “The Future of Broadcast Television.” His speech comes on the heels of a recent inquiry by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel regarding the collection and use of geolocation data by telephone carriers.

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Recipe of the Week: Improved Canned Soup. Improve the taste of a store-bought canned soup.

The following recipe is from reader S.A..  The intent of this flexible recipe is to improve the taste of a store-bought canned soup.

S.A. Asks: Are you practicing cooing with storage foods from your survival pantry? Are you serving and teaching your children and grandchildren to eat foods that may become very familiar and repetitive yet vital with essential minerals and vitamins in the coming months —  such as green salads, or rice and beans, or hot soup?Because I store cases of Campbell’s Chunky Chicken and Vegetable soup, I’ve been on a quest to improve the flavor. To me, the chicken cubes taste tinny and mechanized. The addition of some beef marrow bones totally changes the flavor. These bones also add delightful tiny beef bits to the soup.

We make this soup once a week.

  • 1 can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup
  • 1 soup can of water
  • 2 beef marrow bones
  • Leftover chicken piece (optional)
  • A handful of frozen green peas
  • 1/4 c of a starch such as lentils, orzo, leftover rice, leftover pinto beans, barley, or ramen noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Lightly oil-coat or PAM the crockpot. Pour in one can of soup. Add the starch, bones, chicken, and peas. Cover with a can of water. You can also add a small, hard crusty bread or leftover cornbread muffin to not let it go to waste and also to thicken the soup. This adds calories and carbs.

Cook on high until the beef is falling off the bones. You will be surprised how the soup no longer tastes so “canned.” Scoop the marrow out of the bones, cut the beef bits off, and stir in.

Use your creativity to feed the family with soup. This soup is never the same twice. It’s easy, filling, nutritious, hearty, and delicious. It’s not a huge pot of soup.


Serve hot.  Thus recipe serves 4. If you need more, then just add water.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!

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USDA Encourages Registration of “People’s Gardens” to Advance Equity

As we’ve said countless times in the past, gardening is a great way to build self-sufficiency and ensure a healthy food supply for times of crisis. This might range from a few small planters on an apartment balcony to a backyard garden with several large plots — either way, the goal is to have a renewable source of calories in case a disaster impacts the supply chain. In a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an expanding initiative for registration of “People’s Gardens” which meet criteria that include “benefitting the community, working collaboratively, incorporating conservation practices, and educating the public.” Although joining the program is voluntary, some members of the preparedness community have expressed concern that this national garden database might lead to redistribution of privately-grown food resources in the future.

Above: A map showing the current locations of registered People’s Gardens in the United States.

What are People’s Gardens?

The USDA press release, published September 9th, 2022, summarizes as follows:

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“We welcome gardens nationwide to join us in the People’s Garden effort and all it represents,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, “Local gardens across the country share USDA’s goals of building more diversified and resilient local food systems, empowering communities to come together around expanding access to healthy food, addressing climate change and advancing equity.” Vilsack continued, “We encourage existing gardens and new gardens to join the movement. Growing local food benefits local communities in so many ways, and we offer technical resources to help. Also, it’s a great way to connect with your local USDA team members.”

Above: Registered People’s Gardens will be required to submit information regarding the type of growing methods used.

Launched in 2009, the People’s Garden initiative is named after President Lincoln’s nickname for the USDA, “the People’s Department.” Currently, 18 flagship “urban hub” People’s Gardens have been established by the department, with the first being located at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The initiative is now being expanded to include gardens on private property, such as “school gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural, suburban and urban areas.”

To participate in the program, garden owners must go to usda.gov/peoples-garden to fill out a form that requests details such as the garden’s address, type of organization managing the garden, purpose of the garden, estimated size, and type of growing medium (e.g. raised beds, hydroponics, and/or greenhouses). The form also requires photos of the garden, and a certification that no federally-prohibited plants will be grown by garden administrators:

What’s the Incentive?

USDA’s press release states that those who register for the People’s Garden initiative will receive the following:

  • Location and information displayed on USDA’s interactive map (as seen at the beginning of this article)
  • A free People’s Garden sign with the logo above
  • “Continued engagement through photos and information sharing”

Purpose and Implications

There’s no clear explanation of the purpose of this voluntary garden database, beyond…

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Commitment To Permaculture Blossoms At Indara Farms

The roots of Indara Farms‘s permaculture operation go back to the days when founder Stephanie Cutmore grew up on a hobby farm. Cutmore says she has fond memories of “having the space and a large backyard that became my playground, making cubby houses in old gum trees, searching for tadpoles in creeks [and] making picnics on granite outcrops.”

Years later, Cutmore eventually founded her own venture, which is situated in Meckering, Western Australia. Along with an emphasis on permaculture farming techniques, the hobby farm also maintains a strong focus on producing vibrant flowers.

We spoke to Cutmore about her commitment to a permaculture philosophy and her recommended entry level tips. We also got into the importance of to-do lists.

Following the Permaculture Philosophy

“I was studying permaculture. While a lot of people associate permaculture with food, it also encourages you to think of ways to make the farm self-sustainable,” says Cutmore when asked about why she decided to make flowers such a focus of her farm.

“I am in a semi-arid area where a beautiful market garden probably wasn’t going to be sustainable, at least over the summer months where we lack rainfall,” she explains. “I was looking at our soil types and what would grow well here and realized that cut native flowers could work. They required a lot less water. They suited the soil types because I would choose ones that were suited to our growing conditions here. And they were being illegally harvested in the natural environment or grown overseas and imported with lots of chemical use involved.”

Cutmore sensed that she was being presented with an opportunity to not just grow flowers in a sustainable fashion and with permaculture principles in mind, but to also “educate people about the slow flower local movement that was starting to happen around the world.”

Lavender, Eucalyptus & Acacias

When it comes to selecting flowers for the farm, Cutmore says that she has been “planting tube stock since last year.” The most bountiful varieties to date, she adds, are acacias and eucalyptus.

“There is also an old lavender planting here which also does incredibly well,” she adds. “That is one underestimated tough Mediterranean plant! Our summers we can reach up to 48 degrees Celsius and can go five months with no rain so it is a harsh hot summer for plants.”

Read more: Grow these old-fashioned flowers in your garden for something ‘new.’

Committing to Permaculture

“Permaculture has given me the tools and guidance I needed to get started,” says Cutmore of her abiding farming principles. She adds that these ethics are now “engrained in the way I think and help guide me to make decisions on the farm.”

The Importance of Planning

Keen to add permaculture tactics to your own gardening and farming routine? Cutmore suggests spending time teaching yourself about the key principles through reading books, watching YouTube videos and…

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The Rise of Chinese Surveillance Technology in Africa (Part 6 of 6)

Regulatory Responses to the Spread of Surveillance Tools in Africa

By Bulelani Jili, EPIC Scholar-in-Residence

Digital surveillance technologies are often presented as a solution to longstanding structural problems like crime. However, there is no robust empirical evidence that the adoption of Chinese surveillance tools results in the reduction of crime. The continual procurement of these tools despite lack of evidence of efficacy raises a series of questions: why are local elites interested in procuring these tools? To what extent do these tools empower new forms of governmentality? What are the hidden costs of adopting digital surveillance tools for Kenya and other African states?


Procuring digital surveillance tools in Kenya, and across the continent, tends to be justified by governments as a means to deliver development and public security. The establishment of the National Security Surveillance, Communication and Control System, which utilizes CCTV surveillance to detect, prevent, and respond to crime in Nairobi and Mombasa, demonstrates the Kenyan state’s belief that facial recognition capabilities are the answer to public security goals. The system also includes a vehicle registration plate recognition platform that identifies the number plate of vehicles. Yet, there is no evidence that these systems actually achieve the stated goal of increasing public security.

This fetish for digital solutions arises when it is presumed that crime reduction simply relies on applying surveillance technologies. However, monitoring tools like AI CCTV cameras are not smooth-functioning systems that automatically provide efficacious public security. Rather, they are complex platforms that are embedded in a broader social context. Indeed, elites are often blinded by their parochial commitment to surveillance tools as de facto solutions, despite continued lack of evidence that these tools actually deliver better social conditions or solutions to crime. More to the point, the lacuna between the use of digital surveillance technologies and robust legal protections for those surveilled fuels concern. Adoption of surveillance technologies is rarely accompanied by robust regulatory measures.

Currently, there is no Kenyan national policy regulating the installment and use of CCTV cameras. Despite the assumed benefits of these digital tools, the worry is that the system was introduced without the necessary data protection laws in Kenya.

Data Protection Act

Only half of the countries on the continent of Africa have laws on data protection. About two years ago, the Kenyan state produced the Data Protection Act (DPA) of 2019. It gives effect to Article 31 (c) and (d) of the constitution, which speaks to the right to privacy. It also establishes the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, which outlines the rights of data subjects and seeks to manage and protect data once it is acquired, processed, and stored. The DPA commissioner and the ICT Cabinet Secretary published three draft regulations under the DPA. Notwithstanding these changes, multiple advocates have identified inadequacies in the regulations. Thus far, the DPA has been insufficient in protecting the data of citizens and their right to privacy. Crucially, it also remains unclear how regulations or…

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Can Your Pumpkin For On-Demand, Anytime Pie Puree

I was ecstatic the first time we grew pumpkins. My kids anxiously awaited their homegrown jack-o’-lanterns while I eagerly envisioned homemade pumpkin pies. Pie pumpkins, jacks, miniatures and even Cinderellas sprawled across our too-small garden that year. Our family was surprised at the sheer quantity of pumpkins a tiny patch can provide! 

In the years since, we have narrowed down our selection of pumpkin varieties to those that make the best decorations and the best pumpkin pies. Even better, all those pumpkins are readily preserved with a pressure canner, a few jars and a bit of time.

Here’s how we turn our pumpkin patch into a larder full of jars, each ready to make a pie.

Pumpkin Selection

The good news is that it only takes two to four plants to produce all the pumpkin puree a small family will likely need for an entire year. However, you don’t have to grow your own pumpkins to achieve that sought-after, fresh-from-the-farm flavor.

Beginning around September and running through the holidays, most regions maintain a steady supply of these delectable orbs in the stores and the farmers markets. From-scratch baking is just a simple matter of making a quick trip to town. 

The best pumpkins to use in any type of recipe are by far the pie pumpkins. Also commonly called sugar pumpkins, these varieties are much smaller than the more recognizable jack-o’-lantern varieties and boast a significantly higher sugar content. Most pie pumpkins also produce a smoother final product than others, such as the jack-o’-lantern varieties. 

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However, don’t be discouraged if a large jack-o’-lantern is the only pumpkin you have access to. While technically not the best for pies or other pumpkin-based food fare, these will still produce a fine end product with a little extra prep. Most often, this simply means adding more sugar to the recipe than originally called for to offset the lower sugar content.

These pumpkins also tend to be stringier than their smaller counterparts and may require additional runs through a sieve or blender to create the smoothest texture possible. So don’t worry if you can’t find those little pie pumpkins.

Regardless which type of pumpkin you select, always go for the firmest pumpkins available with little to no blemishes. Stems should be firm and connected solidly to the pumpkin. You should notice no soft spots, including on the bottom of the pumpkin.

When handling, hold pumpkins by the sides and not the stem to avoid damaging the tender flesh inside. Store pumpkins in a cool, preferably dark, location until ready to process.

Read more: Save seeds from your pumpkins! This video shows you how.

Canning Help

While it’s true that pumpkin can be easily frozen for future use, not everyone has access to extra freezer space. By using a pressure canner, however, enough pumpkin can be processed within a few short hours to supply a small family with an entire year’s worth of pumpkin…

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