Author Archive for James Jones

Can North Korea Win a War with the USA?

Can North Korea Win a War with the United States?

From a survival/disaster point of view it is only important that North Korea thinks they can win a nuclear exchange.  If the think they can win they are much more likely to initiate action.  North Korea recently postulated that they would win because (1) their population is tougher and more unified and (2) they have many more deep underground shelters.  America has not experienced the true destruction and deprivations of war on our homeland in over one-hundred and fifty years. We have grown accustom to a level of comfort and security that breeds apathy and an inability to endure hardship.  The ongoing decline of participation in survival camps, Boy Scout camps and other survival oriented programs certainly indicates a softening of our society.  Most great civilizations grow weak and soft over time and are eventually overrun by some form of barbarians.  America is not immune to this historic pattern. America’s massive disunity promoted by the media and the internet would certainly lead a closed and paranoid society like North Korea to convince themselves that we would dissolve in the face of even a limited nuclear exchange.

We can lose and have lost a war against a much weaker opponent. We lost the war in Vietnam because of our division and weakness of political will in spite of the fact that or military had effectively crushed the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army.  We are having difficulty winning wars against primitive, cave dwelling forces in the Middle East.  North Korea is encouraged by these examples.    A few historic examples that apply to the current crisis are:

  • The Japanese initiated World War Two in spite of being statically overmatched by more than ten-to-one in every category of military and industrial capability. They were convinced that American’s were weak-willed and would not sustain a long struggle across the pacific islands.  Their sneak attack enraged and unified the American public and resulted in a disaster for Japan and the loss of millions of American lives as well.
  • After World War One several prominent British organizations pledged that Britain would never again go to war on the European content. This lead Hitler to be more aggressive and miscalculate.  The result was a disaster for Germany and for Britain.
  • During the Cold War it was reported that the American public’s interest in survival (e.g. survivalists) and preparedness worried the KGB. In spite of the inadequate US government programs the fact that some of the American public were willing to face an Armageddon caused the Soviets to resist the temptation to threaten and intimidate.  This perception may have actually prevented World War Three.

To start a war it is only important that the initiating side believes they can win

While we can and would military obliterate North Korea they could probably still overrun South Korea and heavily damage Japan. Even a few hits on American cities would result in economic collapse and political chaos.  Russia and China would be free to expand and assert themselves as the major world powers.  While Korea might lose, America could lose a lot.  From a purely survival standpoint, any kind of nuclear detonation in even ono or two American cities would result in radioactive fallout, economic chaos, civil disorder, food shortages, and probably epidemics. North Korea has also threatened to detonate an electromagnetic pulse device that could do more long-term damage than actual bombs.

If North Korea (or any other nation) initiates a nuclear or conventional war in the next few years it will be facilitated by our apparent disunity and the public’s inability to face even minimal hardships and discomfort.  A more unified and robust preparedness and survival movement as we had during the Cold War years would go a long-way to discourage would be aggressors.   Weakness invites aggression.


Camp Liberty Report

Camp Liberty Report

Although we had planned Camp Liberty at Goodenow Woods in Will County IL as an “autumn camp” event, mother nature decided to bring us winter with a few snowflakes and wind-chills in the low thirties.  This may have discouraged a few participants, but the stalwarts carried on. It was actually not a s bad as predicted and we were able to explore the area and try a few survival items.  This is a very nice campground, recently upgraded and easy to get to.  We decided to definitely schedule Camp Liberty there next year again, but a few week earlier in October.


Plenty of parking and great, clean campsites. The weather forecast was far worse than the actual conditions, but it probably scared off some would be participants.  Live Free members were the only ones in the whole park.

You Can’t Shoot A Hurricane

You Can’t Shoot a Hurricane!

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

There was a picture in the news recently of a guy shooting at a hurricane. The poor fellow was taking out his frustration, anger and apparent helplessness by emptying the magazine of his handgun into the wind and rain.  The hurricane was unimpressed.  Some people have an emotional attachment to firearms and an attitude that having guns is the answer to every survival problem?  Gun organizations generally have larger memberships and bigger budgets than preparedness groups and gun shows bring in thousands more than the most successful preparedness shows. While I may own a few firearms and I make frequent contributions to gun rights organizations, I consider firearms as just one part of a comprehensive survival, and self-reliance system.  In fact firearms are the solution to only about ten-percent of the potential threats to your survival.  Emergencies that you can’t shoot include:

  1. Communicable diseases
  2. Famines
  3. Droughts
  4. Floods
  5. Earthquakes
  6. Blizzards
  7. Utility outages
  8. Hurricanes
  9. Tornadoes
  10. Wildfires
  11. Severe bleeding
  12. Cardiac arrest
  13. Hypothermia
  14. Hyperthermia
  15. Radioactive fallout
  16. Toxic chemicals
  17. Biological weapons
  18. Home fires
  19. Terrorist bombs
  20. Economic collapse

Admittedly, looting and civil disorder secondary to some of these events could require armed protection at some point.  Firearms are an absolute survival necessity in surviving criminal assault of any kind and could help in hunting for food in a famine. Being able to protect your survival and self-sufficiency supplies is a critical and necessary capability, but being armed without being truly prepared and self-reliant is irrational.

A truly comprehensive survival battery requires four or five well-chosen weapons.

  1. A large caliber, high capacity handgun for home defense
  2. A small compact handgun for concealed carry
  3. A tactical rifle for serious home protection or evacuation during a major disaster
  4. A scoped hunting rifle and/or a shotgun for hunting if that is part of your survival plans.

You should have plenty of ammunition, spare magazines and parts for these weapons and practice shooting enough to be proficient in their use.  Beyond the basic battery you are a gun collector or hobbyist. While it’s fine to have a large collection of firearms they can become a liability under some survival conditions.

  1. If you have a home fire they may be destroyed or the fire department may be “concerned” upon finding them.
  2. If you are forced to evacuate, can you move them all without sacrificing bringing other more useful supplies?
  3. If you cannot bring them all with you, will they be destroyed or looted before you return?
  4. What do you plan to do with the excess weapons? Trade them for supplies?  Give them to your neighbors to support community defense?
  5. Once you have the basic defensive weapons and ammunition, will you balance your preparedness by spending on other survival supplies?

Now, I have encountered people (they are not survivalists) who actually say “I can survive because I have my guns”.  Such attitudes are morally indefensible and functional impractical.

  • Those who have what you need are probably survivalists (admittedly or not) and are going to be armed and resist any attempt to take their supplies.
  • Those who you can intimidate or loot without armed resistance are probably unprepared and have little to take.
  • Having to fight for every meal and shelter will quickly wear you down and result in growing injuries and losses. You and those with you will become detested and will be hunted-down or shot-on-sight by responsible survivalists or law enforcement.

Firearms and firearms related skills must be part of a balanced and responsible emergency preparedness and self-reliance system, but is not the answer to most survival challenges.  Live Free USA started out in the 1960s as a shooting club and evolved into a broader-based survival and preparedness organization precisely because we recognized that you couldn’t shoot most of the dangers to life and freedom that were coming our way.


Nov./Dec Issue of American Survivor Just Posted

We just posted the PDF file for the November/December issue of American Survivor to the Members Only / American Survivor page.  This issue has a great article on surviving a nuclear event along with a lot of other great information.  Members can download over 50 back issues with articles on all aspects of survival and preparedness.   American Survivor is the oldest survival and preparedness publication in the USA and often has more actual information than expensive magazines that are full of advertisements and oversize illustrations.  Our dues are still only $20.00 per year or $50.00 for three years. That has not changed since the 80s!

Nuclear Event Survival Article

With all of the tension around North Korea, I thought it would be a good time to update and republish an article about nuclear survival. Back in the 60s-80s Live Free did a lot of nuclear war survival training and we helped several Civil Defense organizations. In fact, I spoke at the American Society For Civil Defense convention in Las Vegas. I had to follow Edward Teller (inventor of the H-bomb) on the speaking schedule. Since the end of the Cold War nuclear survival has been ignored, but there are many scenarios for limited and semi-limited nuclear exchanges. While we have a lot of other more probable and even more catastrophic hazards today, nuclear weapons remain part of the treat matrix. Because this article is long and illustrated I have included it here as a PDF file


Surprise Disasters and the Death Spiral

More Surprises and the Spiral.

The Subject of our July/August issue was “Surprise Disaster”. Does four major hurricanes and two major earthquakes in the same region in the same month qualify? Other recent American Survivor headline topics included “Severe Weather”, and “Descent into Chios”. We seem to be right on target with our materials. I was looking at a 1970s copy of our newsletter and the headline was “The Coming Age of Terrorism”. Prophetic. Too bad that so few people read our publications.
The recent multiple disasters verifies our predictions about a disaster to catastrophe spiral. There is no such thing as recovery once the magnitude and quantity of disaster outpaces the resources and economies of the civilization. The emergency management agencies were exhausted. The Red Cross was forced to recruit literately off the street to get help. The public’s ability to provide contributions dwindled as each new demand occurred. State and national governments were forced further into debt. Housing prices are predicted to rise as material and labor goes towards replacing home instead of building new ones. Puerto Rico’s utility companies had already field for bankruptcy before the hurricanes struck. All of the funds from “recovery” and response must come from infrastructure improvements, security and safety agencies and from maintenance of the very systems that protect us from the next disaster. This spiral of more disasters, less capability and a weakening economy is unlikely to take us to a safe and prosperous future.

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

While most people prefer to think of this most recent disaster as a singular event that Houston and America will recover from, the reality is quite different.  The billions of dollars that must go to rebuilding Houston may look like a boon to the construction industry and replacing the millions of vehicles and other items destroyed will generate some sales and jobs in the short term this is false economy. All of the wealth and labor that will now be expended on rebuilding what was destroyed will be unavailable for other critical needs.  Rebuilding hundreds of thousands of homes in Houston is not building hundreds of thousands of homes for others. 

Funds to rebuild Houston will have to come from progress and proactive programs such as infrastructure improvements, the maintenance of bridges, dams, roads and flood control systems in other regions.  Resources will have to come from security, defense and emergency preparedness. The hundreds of billions now spent on security and the endless war after the 9/11 attacks is not helping the poor or building safer cities. The losses from Hurricane Katrina reduced the defenses in other cities. Each disaster weakens our capacity to respond to the next disaster and disasters are happening with increasing frequency and severity.  

Hurricane Harvey also demonstrated on a small scale the domino affect of disasters.  The flooding caused sewage systems, water pumping systems, hospital generators failed, explosions and fires caused by failed systems could not be accessed by fire and police.  The temporary shutdown of a few refineries impacting the entire country.  Each new disaster makes the next disaster more probable and/or more costly. The politicians and the media work overtime to paint a picture of progress and security, but all of the trends are downward. Every civil disorder, every economic decline, every terrorist act, every flood, every storm, ever wildfire, every man-made disaster makes us poorer, weaker, and more vulnerable to the next and even worse event.

Eventually this chain reaction will lead to a multi-faceted apocalyptic situation. This may even be hard to recognize until our children living in a ruined and subjugated world look back.  This process of multiple and increasing disasters leading to more decline and vulnerability is a worldwide phenomenon.  We can add revolutions, epidemics, famines, wars and water shortages to the spiral in other parts of the world.  These categories of disaster have not yet been added to America’s disaster spiral.  The fact is that the world is broke and civilization is in a death spiral that it refuses to recognize. In the words of George Orwell “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.  The spiral is irreversible, but individuals and groups can save lives, protect freedoms and preserve human values and ideals through self-reliance and survival concepts and practices.

If liberty means anything it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”
~ George Orwell


Camp Independence Rescheduled

We have had several of our key instructors and speakers drop out due to personal or family illnesses and we were also short on volunteers to help with other tasks at this time of the year so we are forced to reschedule Camp Independence until May 20th 2018 at the same Camp ToPeNeBee near Michigan City IN.    Spring is a better time for this event and we can be assured of more speakers and better classes.  2018 is also the 50th Anniversary of Live Free USA's  founding, so this will be double celebration and renewal of America's original survival education organization.   

Please watch this site and our American Survivor newsletter for details on the event.

Registration deposits will be refunded soon.

Live Free, USA 50th Anniversary

  Live Free USA will celebrate its 50th year in 2018. 

We started out as an outdoor sports and shooting club in the late 1960’s and evolved into a national organization to advocate and support emergency preparedness, survival education and self-reliance.  We have had many ups and downs, but we have survived while other survival/preparedness organizations vanished. 

Live Free USA has conducted hundreds of preparedness events and classes and helped millions to become more self-reliant and better prepared.  For five decades we have defended and defined the philosophy of preparedness and survival to the public and the media.  We are now the oldest established preparedness organization in America and American Survivor (originally Directions) is the longest running survival publication in America.  We certainly can take some credit for making survivalism, preparedness, and self-reliance the recognized and mainstream movement it is today. 

While our original core-group and leadership is dwindling, we hope that others will take up the cause as our nation and the world confronts hazards and disasters far more complex and perilous than those of 50-years ago.  Live Free USA has made a difference and can make an even more critical difference to life and freedom in the decades to come.

We invite our readers and members to get involved in our 50th anniversary celebration events and help us make 2018 a revitalization and re-dedication year.


 I would be willing to pay $50.00 per person to attend a major, all day meeting, exhibition and dinner to celebrate this major achievement [   ]

I would like to make a contribution to help Live Free USA launch new programs in 2018 and beyond [   ]

I will include Live Free USA in my will. [   ]

I will contribute a prize for the 2018 anniversary meeting raffle. [   ]

I want to become an officer or director and help lead Live Free USA into the future. [   ]

I want to speak or make a presentation at the 50th anniversary meeting. [   ]

Other ideas to participate __________________________________

Name ________________  Email __________________________

Address ____________________________________

City _____________________  State ___  Zip  ________________

Mail to: Live Free USA, P.O. BOX 3295, MUNSTER, IN 46321 or email offers to

Live Free 49th Annual Meeting Report

The following is a summation from the agenda and the “State of Live Free” report at the 49th Annual Meeting held at Cabela’s Conference Center in Hammond IN, on Sunday March 19th, 2017. The meeting was called to order at 1:14 PM and the following reports and activities were conducted.
• The income for the year 2016 was $10,337.58, about $1,000.00 less than in 2015. The Expenses in 2016 totaled 11,344.80. This was over $1,500.00 more than we spent in 2015. The shortfall in income was attributed to not having a Camp Independence event in 2016. The higher expenses resulted from building up the book inventory to cover multiple gun shows and expos and camp ground reservations for events to take place in 2017. Membership dues brought in $3,450.00 and book sales earned $4,206.70. Very little was brought in from events and programs and contributions was a paltry $118.00. The large inventory of books and prepaid event facilities are assets that balance against the reduction in cash on hand. In 2016 Live Free USA conducted multiple survival education courses, exhibited at six preparedness expositions and six gun shows. We had more meetings and committee meeting than any previous year and added several new chapters. While several major survival and preparedness magazines have ceased publication Live Fre USA continues to publish and distribute American Survivor. Our newsletter is proud to be the oldest continuously published preparedness publication in America.
• Beth Duensing reported that plans for Camp Independence 2017 are progressing well. She is recruiting vendors and exhibitors for the event that will be conducted at Camp ToPeNeeBee just south of Michigan City IN. on September 8th and 9th. Those who wish to register or be vendors should contact her at: Jim Jones is establishing the schedule of speakers and classes. Contact him at if you want to be a presenter.
• Tom Garza is the new Chapter Development and Support Coordinator. He discussed several plans for increasing the number of Live Free USA chapters and making chapters stronger. He indicated that there will be a full set of instructions on how to create, build and sustain a chapter in the coming months and some discounted pricing on survival equipment and training available for chapter members as well. Contact Tom at
• Larry Chisausky reported on the progress of the Survival Medics Group. They are continuing to meet and expand while planning to put on a major educational program at Camp Independence. The group may also sponsor another Survival Medics course next fall. Anyone interested in the medics group can contact Larry at
• A new Safety and Security group was initiated to provide security and access control at Live Free events and study home and personal defense issues as well. More information on this team will be available soon.
• The President, Recording Secretary and one director were up for election to three-year terms. Jim Jones was reelected as President, but stated that he only intends to hold that office for one or two years. Mark Smith was reelected as Recording Secretary. Tom Garza was elected to fill an open directorship. There were no proposed amendments or proposals to increase the number of directors this year.
• A small committee consisting of three of the founding members and a few veteran members was designated to start planning for Live Free’s 50th Anniversary celebration next year. There will be a dinner, special presentations and exhibits. We hope to have outside guests and publicity for this event. Anyone interested in helping please contact Jim Jones at
The meeting adjourned at 3:28 PM, but committee meeting and conferences continued until well after 4:00 PM