Month: December 2016

Auld Lang Syne

As I reflect on the past year, I am genuinely surprised the great majority of us are still here and in more or less the same condition corporately as we were 365 days ago. The world continues to be in turmoil, notably Europe and the US politically and the Middle East is an ever present source of news and morbid politics fascination as we sit in the awkward silence waiting for the Western world to answer the great question of their generation. The silence has only just been broken in the US and UK, but the matter is far from decided. Whether we go quietly into the night as a culture and people, relegated to past triumphs and dusty historical tomes or find the vitality to once again secure a place for ourselves among the cultures of this world will etch its mark indelibly into this coming year as it has in 2016. My record of picking presidential candidates, unmarred since Clinton’s second term, was snapped. The most unlikely of political candidates now stands poised to become president. Nearly ten months ago I first put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote my first post. In many ways it was my own personal way of spitting on my hands and hoisting the black flag. Prior to that many of you knew me by a few of the comments I had made on various blogs, but rather than simply be a spectator to the very real information and psychological struggle that was being waged, I elected to be a participant. I will be the first to admit it is not the true solution to the problem, nor everything one can do, but every mind swayed and individual influenced is a tiny bit of progress.

20100201223744_img_5093Since then I have had the great privilege to correspond with many of you, in person and via other means, and have been truly humbled by the overwhelming level of encouragement and respect for my ideas many of you have shown me. Those who insist we are uneducated, unsophisticated and intellectually myopic need only to scroll through the vast majority of the comments here and my inbox to know that is anything but the case.  I may be the one whose name is on the site, but it is each of you that truly makes this work, particularly those who have helped provide content for this site. Every email, tweet, share, repost and comment you make pushes a better narrative and makes the adults in the room heard just a little bit more. Thank you. I would also like to thank Pete, Kenny, NCScout, JC Dodge and all the others who have reposted and provided words of encouragement and directed traffic my way. I couldn’t have gotten this off the ground without you. Lineman, brother you are what gives me hope for the future of this movement. We are nothing if not a community and the sooner we realize that the better. In the words of the philosopher Iceman, ‘you can be my wingman anytime.’

A person you rarely hear about other than in passing, probably wields more influence over this site than anyone other than myself. My wife is a woman of singular character and resolve, tempered by the very rare ability to be open to new ideas. She is the silent partner to this, supporting a harried and often absentminded husband while I spend hours on a single post after a day at work. Virginia Freeman’s Society would be a poorer place without her inspiration and encouragement. She reminds me daily of the reasons why we do what we do, and who we do it for.

Given this past year, I cannot begin to imagine what the next year has in store for us. What I do know is that the events happening on the Potomac can have a significantly less impact on your life if you are surrounded by a community of resilient individuals. As much as I enjoy political theater and participating in the commentary about it, the way to make the next year a success in this regard is to be sitting at this time next year with a group of people who can and will sustain each other during the worst of times. At that moment you will realize how truly irrelevant the statists are and how impotent their ideology is. By that standard this year has been enormously successful and I look back over the last dozen months and realize there is an inverse correlation with your community ties and the influence of talking heads and empty suits a thousand miles away. We are the future, we are the producers, innovators, and job creators. I’ll leave you with this, you cannot conquer a free man, the most you can do is kill him. Be a free man.

Jesse James



Merry Christmas

Enjoy the time with those you care about. Remember why we celebrate today. 
Jesse James

PseudoPolitik: Lies, Lies and More Lies

In an effort to give you more content and a wider array of thought on the issues that matter most, I will continue to publish guest posts that meet my standards for publication. Should there be sufficient interest, I will post a rubric for potential editorials and any technical articles readers would like to submit. 

-Jesse James

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.

-CIA Director Colby

unknown‘Our free press’ is screaming, with no public evidence, that Russia is subverting and seizing control of ‘our’ government through the election of Trump.

Trump said that the system was ‘rigged’ against him so he would lose. The response from Democrats and the media was instant and furious as they raced to denounce his ‘unprecedented’ attack on democracy. After Hillary lost Obama told us about ‘fake news’. Democrats are doing what they accused Trump of planning to do if he lost the election; question the results thereby damaging the trust of Americans in their system. If the Russians were involved why did we only hear of it after Hillary lost?

We’re told Russia tampered with our voting process by providing Wikileaks with lots of hacked information about Hillary’s history of corruption and militarism, which may have influenced the election because, unlike most information given to voters, it’s all true. Someone did America a favor by bringing real transparency to the dark corners of the Clinton-run political mafia. If Russians really did hack everyone under the sun, what about all those hundreds of billions that were supposedly spent on “keeping us safe”?

We’re told Russia corrupted our election by releasing proof that Hillary and the DNC had already corrupted the election process. Who’s the actual criminal here, and who’s just a witness: Those blaming the Russians for ‘fake news’ and ‘election interference’ are the ones who were saying that Hillary was a shoe-in for president. Many of those blamed for spreading Russian propaganda were the ones who spread the information released by Wikileaks about the Clinton crime family. The party that rigged its own primary is blaming its loss on Russians.

The ‘official’ media is horrified that Trump isn’t automatically deferring to the CIA’s leaked claim alleging Russia interference.  The CIA’s fiction became a media story with no attempt to prove it. Evidently if you’re for peace, you’re a Russian agent.

Simple logic demolishes the CIA claims. They ‘know the individuals’ involved, yet under Obama, the Empire has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We’re supposed to believe that an attempt by a foreign power to destabilize ‘our’ election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or, if Russian, subject to more trade restrictions. The anonymous claims of “We know it was the Russians” are predictable.

Wikileaks has clearly said the leaks didn’t come from Russians: “they are not hacks, they are insider leaks”. It should be said repeatedly, that if Hillary hadn’t connived with the DNC to fix the primaries to disadvantage Bernie, if she hadn’t received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she hadn’t accepted massive ‘donations’ to the Clinton foundation and family in return for foreign policy influence, none of this would have happened.

The expected attitude is: why isn’t Russia like America who never interferes in other countries. The Empire is horrified that Syria and Russia are attacking ISIS in Aleppo because civilians will be killed but forget that when speaking about their own attack on ISIS in Mosul.

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can somehow influence the choice of the American people?” Putin asked in October. “Is America some sort of a banana republic?”

Twenty years ago Time magazine wrote about how American advisors helped Yeltsin win the Russian election. Now they’re outraged that Putin may have intervened in ‘our election’.

The CIA, leaking allegations that Russia has interfered with the election, has been responsible for the overthrow of countless foreign governments: Whether those leaders were elected democratically had no bearing on the agency’s subversive and military tactics when America dictated the supposed necessity of such a move.

media-massa‘Our free press’ asserts that it was a “Russian hack” from which the election relevant emails and other papers leaked. No evidence has been presented to support that claim. The CIA lied about WMDs in Iraq among countless lies over the years and ‘consumers’ must assume that anything that follows “the CIA says” is a lie or at least obfuscation.

Glenn Greenwald called all this: “classic American journalism of the worst sort: The key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the C.I.A. purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.”

The truth of the emails isn’t in question. It’s their alleged Russian origin. Former top NSA official William Binney has said that if Russia was the source the NSA would have conclusive proof.

Why are elements inside the CIA trying to prevent Trump from becoming president? The ruling oligarchy doesn’t want any changes in policy toward Russia or the offshoring of American jobs. Clearly, they’re willing to operate against a president-elect. Are they willing to go further?

It might also be informative to mention in this context, Operation Northwoods, the secret plan that the national-security establishment proposed to President Kennedy in 1962. It called for terrorist attacks and plane hijackings by American operatives posing as agents of Cuba, to provide an excuse for invading Cuba. ‘Our government’ has been meddling in other countries for most of its history.

The Senate just passed the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” speaking about “countering disinformation and propaganda”. The bill, when signed by Obama, will effectively give the government a full mandate to punish, shut down or otherwise prosecute, any website it deems offensive and a source of “foreign government propaganda from Russia, China or other nations”.  All that will be required to eliminate any dissent will be the government’s word. This is to close those that report information outside the establishment bubble. Most ‘consumers’ won’t miss the first amendment though because they have enough diversions to occupy their attention.

Many Americans have no idea of our national and international reality beyond what ‘our free press’ feeds them and so they absorb all that misinformation as though it’s real, in spite of having no trust in the source. You can hide from reality, but it won’t hide from you. Those who blindly believe whatever fake news government and the media feed them have never studied real history. The current hysteria over ‘fake news’ by people who have done more than their own fair share of faking news is both hilarious and stupid.

The Empire says the elections in Syria and Russia aren’t legitimate, calling Assad ‘illegitimate’ and now they want to play this same game here. America interferes with governments worldwide and now it’s offended that the same might have been done to it?

This is a coordinated effort to take everything that the government does not want people sharing online and slap labels on it: ‘hate speech’, ‘cyber bullying’, ‘fake news’, ‘Russian propaganda’ and justify censoring it. Many ‘consumers’ have the intellectual capacity of a multi-colored beach ball and accept all that they’re sold by ‘official sources’. This is banana republic crap. We no longer believe in our own system. ‘Our government’ including the CIA is specialized in non-stop lying.

How do you conquer a nation? Distract them with games, political circuses and consumerism. Keep them focused on their differences, economic, religious, environmental, political, racial, so they can never agree on anything. When they’re so divided that they’re incapable of joining forces against a common threat, start picking them off one by one. Americans have yet to agree on anything, especially the source of their oppression. This is how tyrants come to, and stay in power.

The ‘fake news freak-out’ can mean anything, especially ‘news I disagree with’. ‘Fake news’, whatever that is in the land of free speech, has been equated with ‘foreign propaganda’ so censorship will be more easily swallowed. These are the goals of the globalists.  They’re already at war with Russia in Ukraine and Syria so, in their view, the desire for peace is treason. The ruling oligarchs are attacking the creation and distribution of competing ideas and narratives. Soon we’ll have a ministry of truth.

The American propaganda organs are functioning as usual, with self-righteous arrogance, whipping up public sentiment against the “evildoers” so Washington can drag the country into another imperial war of expansion. Putin didn’t steal the election from Hillary. Obama did. People wanted change, and they didn’t get it, so they moved on to Door Number two.

Whatever you think of Trump, clearly the oligarchs who rule us fear him. The oligarchs are trying to keep Trump out of the presidency, and they are trying to associate truthful reporting with foreign influence.” Paul Craig Roberts

This episode is a massive condemnation of American authority, threatening to turn into violent conflict. The people involved on both sides of the supposed political divide resemble dogs fighting over scraps. Obama told us Russian election interference, and talk radio and “fake news” were the deciding factors in how about 120 million people voted.

America is furious that someone has allegedly finally done something to it that it, itself, has been doing to others for decades.

– Craig Dudley

Hamilton Electors: The Left’s misplaced confidence and its potentially deadly consequences

A revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe…you have to make it fall.

Che Guevara 

I did not join the resistance movement to kill people, to kill the nation. Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.

Pol Pot

Part of what I do at work would probably be best described as a fixer, not in the nefarious sense, but basically the person on the other end of the phone when things have gone sideways. A few times I have run across someone equal parts confident and obtuse who refused to modify their behavior despite overwhelming evidence. The person would be so stuck on putting the square peg into the round hole that by the time I got there they had irreparably harmed the situation.  An example would be if someone continued to drive a vehicle after they observed 7 quarts of Motorcraft in a puddle under the truck, and then be utterly flabbergasted when the motor locked up. Confidence and ignorance can be a lethal combination. If the Left, those clueless and those malevolent, succesfully undermines the electoral process, the resulting reality check will be lethal to many Americans.

Landmass that voted for Trump in 2016
Landmass that voted for Hillary in 2016

I do not doubt the suggestion seems perfectly reasonable to some distraught Clinton voters, a man they see as the literal antichrist is taking office and the people who voted for him are all that is wrong with the world in their minds. Deplorable sums it up perfectly. Not their tax dollars and military service, mind you. Just because we can’t be trusted to vote doesn’t mean we can’t be sent to fight the wars of our betters and pay 40% of our income to a government that only cares what we think so long as it is within their narrow definition of ‘reasonable.’ The entire election was not about a ‘white-lash’ or other nonsense spouted by clueless pundits. Michigan and Wisconsin did not magically become Aryanland and Nazitopia between 2012 and 2016, that is simply an indefensible position. Median income in Wisconsin was roughly $47,000 in 2005, and as of last year was $55,600. Using laughable CPI rates that translates to a $3,000 pay cut in purchasing power, corresponding with beef prices up almost 200%, 140% increase in bread, 160% increase in eggs, ~125% increase in electricity and a 135% increase in chicken. If I am a person in Wisconsin, I’ve seen a 20-30% increase in prices at the grocery store and if I’m lucky enough to still have a decent job, it hasn’t kept up with even the ridiculous 2% inflation rate the CPI claims. Regardless of how they do the mental judo to tie down inflation to that level, the point is that wages have stagnated for at least a decade. The average person realizes this and the market has reacted in many areas, the most obvious being car loans that are approaching mortgage lengths. The DNC has long ignored the heartland and Trump spoke to those who felt they had no voice. Enough listened and whatever their opinions on the 63 genders now available, felt putting food on the table and the heat on in the winter were more pressing necessities.

Rather than look at hard figures and come to reasonable conclusions that don’t involve 50M Americans turning into Heinrich Himmler clones, the left has instead elected to run what little is left of American’s belief in the rule of law through a buzz saw. I’m doubtful this electoral coup has any chance of working, but the mere attempt indicated how utterly mistaken about the social dynamics many people are and how immune to evidence or reason that contravenes their narrow view of how Americans think. I don’t believe many outside the existing power structure have malevolent intent, but rather narcissism that renders them incapable of even considering how their actions affect others. Regardless, demanding the election be overturned to fit the whims of even a simple majority reveals a distain and ignorance that would create the most extreme levels of blowback and civil disobedience at best. So in an effort to make your life easier and possibly more entertaining, I offer the following for those very mistaken about how things stand at this moment. Feel free to copy and paste.

Messrs. & Mesdames,

I know you feel righteously indignant about the election results. A lot of people in the media and political apparatchik are advocating for an electoral college revolt, wherein the electors vote against the popular vote of their respective states out of allegiance to New York and California voters and deny their own state’s wishes. However, many among you seem to vastly misunderstand the dynamics and stark realities of the situation. Let me game out the very real, very possible reaction to this by all those deplorables that might, just might, not take it very well being told voting was for naught and to get back in line. Assuming enough of the electorates overturn the popular vote in their states, it makes the enormous brick thrown through the window of the establishment by a majority of states all for naught. To say many would be displeased is an understatement of rather epic proportions. Let us frame it in a different light. The people you just told to go pound sand on average purchase enough firearms in three months to outfit the Russian and Chinese frontline troops. Every. Three. Months. Those guys who were entrusted to go become experts at fighting insurgents and came home to better quality small arms in the private sector than they were issued, carved an entire market out of teaching what they learned from Uncle Sam to people with the coin and and the desire. You just told all of those guys to go pound sand. Not all are pipe hitters with steely eyes and camo. Many are farmers, utility workers, work in the oil fields, drive the big trucks that bend and go tshhh, tshhh when they brake, and produce thousands of things you never give a second glance to. The people who work 50-60 hours a week to feed, heat, and transport the nation. To really make sure we all got the point, it has been made abundantly clear that there is a desire to strip us of any voice online and silence those who do not conform to the appropriate level of ‘tolerance.’ I’m an eternal optimist, but I don’t believe silencing and stripping the votes of the opposition, who own the vast majority of the 400-600M firearms in the US, bodes well for anyone.

You may think it untoward and hyperbole that people would react so…dramatically. I am not a violent man, nor are the vast majority of people I referenced above. Quite the opposite in fact, the people I think most likely to be absolutely intractable if you continue to pursue this road are those rooted in ideals greater than a case of political poor sportsmanship. Many of you have absolutely no concept of our culture, our values and where our sense of identity is derived. The reason I am willing to die defending my home is not because of any tangible goods inside it, the person inside it and the trust she has in me to keep her safe means that I have no other choice. The idea is what overrides any thought of self-preservation and makes me unwilling to live with the consequences of failure, demanding I either prevail or die in the process. It is my responsibility, not the cops, not the government’s, mine.  Simply put, on this present course you are setting yourself at war, not with a political movement, not with a people group or any box you can check on the census, but with a set of ideals…a culture. Usurping the established electoral process, the last vestige of legitimacy amongst the decades of broken promises, lies, and betrayals, leaves a whole lot of people with simply no recourse left. You strip a man of his voice, politically and socially…demand nearly half of what he earns, and what would you have him do? Grin and bear it? A man may bear many things for his family and friends, but there comes a time when his core ideals are so violated that his conscience demands he either correct the situation or die in the pursuit. To continue is not to live, but to merely exist and is death of the soul rather than just the body. Another said it best, it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

I hope by now you have a sense of why this road leads to something far worse than anything Trump could ever accomplish in four years. I can empathize with you, and do not mistake my plea for sanity as tacit approval of him. I don’t care about the person, I care about the office, and the process. A government who demands my taxes and obedience whilst stripping me of my duly elected representation is the casus belli enshrined in our Founding Documents. Work to repeal the electoral college if you must, and hold the Trump administration accountable. However, do not resort to leaving the bounds of lawful governance in the vain hope of salvaging political setbacks. Because should you do so, it frees any and all obligations I posses to the government and becomes a nation of occupation. I don’t bear hatred toward those of different political persuasions than myself, and I want those marching towards the conflagration to do so with open eyes. Millions of Americans are either cowards or forbearing. I do not wish to find out, and neither should you. I’ve made peace with dying for my principles, are you willing to do the same for Hillary Clinton? If that question makes you uncomfortable then perhaps you should consider exactly what is at stake here. It certainly isn’t just a presidency.

Jesse James

*Some minor edits were made to grammar, due to bleary eyes not catching it late last night. I also changed delegates to electors in the title, as it is the more correct term.

The Solzhenitsyn Solution

Those who can’t do…teach. Those who can’t do or teach…run for office. American politics is largely the game of letting the least qualified and most covetous among us have power over the strongest military, domestic police force, tax base and nuclear arsenal the world has ever known…and wondering every four years what went wrong.


The attempt to safe space the planet has begun in earnest with the media and statists screaming for the censorship of any badthink that intrudes upon their own particular version of fantasyland.The social media giants have already begun developing a common database to root out those pesky free thinkers in the name of ‘extremism,’ because nothing says you are committed to humanity and common decency like allowing your company to become a haven for pedophiles and daily advertisement for ISIS. Here’s looking at you, Jack. The current crop of statists and snowflakes are aghast at this refusal of the Grand Kumbaya and rather than make the hard choice to reintegrate themselves with the roughly 83% of counties in America that don’t think like them, continue to retreat ever further inside their gated communities. Precisely the wrong response, it never ceases to amaze me the level of true ignorance displayed by those depending on whom they hate for power, gas, water and food. Survey says, the internet is handy but I’m willing to bet I can go without social media longer than you can go without food, water and shelter.

amazing-censorship-quote-where-they-have-burned-books-they-will-end-in-burning-human-beings-heinrich-heineThe media has in many ways hung the digital equivalent of a ‘Whites Only’ sign in front of the national discussion. The renewed commitment to ‘diversity’ by the NYT and others in a halfhearted attempt to reclaim some of the 2/3 of people who find them untrustworthy shows how incapable they are at understanding the very fundamentals of how many people define themselves outside of the fifty or so urban counties in America. Despite what the race-obsessed statists can’t seem to understand, diversity is not treating people like crayons and collecting one of every color. True diversity is having substantive differences in viewpoints about actual things, because outside the proverbial ivory tower, people largely define themselves by what they believe not what box gets checked in the census every decade.  Diversity is having Louis Farrakhan, Richard Spencer, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Patrick Buchanan, and Bill Buppert on your editorial board. The NYT would increase their readership by a thousandfold and once again be worth reading. Diversity is not having 13% dark brown, 16% less brown, 63% kind of tan, and half with XX and the other half with XY…every one of them live in the same übercity, thinking the same thoughts, reading the same people, getting the same degrees and saying the same things. This obsession with rooting out all but the most conformist ideas is precisely what drove the discourse out of the national media’s hands and into the social media’s. Add Mitt Romney to my fictional editorial board, or Boehner or Reid, and then tell me who among those is going to be the most predictable, boring and utterly devoid of communicating any actual idea. There will be some platitudes and virtue-signaling and in the end you have so watered down and so tortured the English language that a half-page editorial doesn’t even say anything anymore. I’d rather read Farrakhan tell me I’m a white devil and to go pound sand, because it least it rises to the level of an idea. 

The result of this obsession with controlling people’s thoughts and the content they can be allowed to read will create rock stars out of the very people they seek to silence. Anyone care to tell me the name of the people who censored Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward? I’m willing to bet a few people can name who wrote the Gulag Archipelago and won the Nobel Prize in 1970. While admittedly entertaining to watch this play out, it does everything to speed up the balkanization of  America. What limited sense those inside the ivory tower have of how rural and middle America live will decrease. It is already difficult for them to contemplate our existence, aside from somehow making the meat and quinoa  magically appear and the lights come on when you flick the switch.

emperors-new-clothesAssuming this is not simply talk and actually something Big Media and Big Social are willing to burn the capital, branding and political will on, I have yet to hear an explanation for how it achieves the desired result. Perhaps the readers could elicit some type of explanation over Christmas from family, friends and acquaintances that are fans of censorship. A parable may be helpful illustrating the inefficacy and rather troublesome secondary and tertiary effects of this. The emperor has no clothes. People say as much. The emperor declares everyone’s tongue cut out, and burns all the ‘fake’ printing presses not owned by the emperor. Do the tongue-less peasants now believe he was clothed? More importantly, what does that do to the peasants view of the emperor? Will it stop someone from writing ‘The Emperor has no clothes’ with pen and ink and nailing it to the castle door? How long before pen and paper are banned? Can you kill an idea or opinion by banning it? Has it ever worked historically? 

Opposition and persecution, whether perceived or real, galvanizes people and hammers them into a community. One of the greatest things that could ever happen to the patriot movement and America as a whole is for a total purge from social media, radio and television. People would be forced to stop wasting time on their couch and keyboard, get outside and actually accomplish something. You don’t need this blog, Twitter, or any other website to live a fulfilling and free life. The paradigm would change drastically, as the statists scramble to figure out how to influence, embarrass and manipulate people who are no longer engaged in the digital universe but are engaged in the real world. Despite the hysteria and mild disappointment that I no longer get to talk to all of you, I would gladly trade it all for the patriot movement to be forced to build a community in their own AO. Real people and real friends beat a few pixels any day of the week. Don’t sweat the small stuff and if it’s on the internet…it’s small stuff. Really.

Jesse James

Back in CONUS

I hope you enjoyed the break from the unrelenting assault on bad politics and intellectual jihad on ignorance. The broadsides will begin again shortly. Many thanks to the guest writers and all those who submitted. Hopefully there will be others in the subsequent weeks, and this will evolve into a cadre of very smart people that supplant the steady diet of stupid passing itself off as opinion today. I see Buffet’s minion made it to the big table while I was gone, as did Ross and Haley. Trump…credat Judaeus Apella, Non Ego. Horace knew what was up, be like Horace. 

Guest Post: Knives-What do you need?


Get it Sharp. Keep it Sharp.   
Made in U.S.A


I am a metal worker, engineer, and aviation guy who has been loving knives most of my life. I have tried lots and sharpened a million to the point I invented my own compact sharpener.

I am writing this opinion piece to the preppers or whatever you want to call sensible people that may not be knife lovers. Need is my focus here not want.

The first step I would take is to evaluate and test everything you own NOW. Do this fast if all you have are Chinese made cutlery. Cardboard cutting is the best of test material on all but the biggest knives. Sharpen what you have as best you can, and then cut cardboard if a knife cannot cut 50 inches of cardboard and then smoothly cut a piece of writing paper, you need another knife.   A big knife, which everyone needs (7 plus inch blade) is a multi-tasking tool. It needs to be able to chop through half of a 2 x 4 and then be able to cut paper.

Test and eliminate junk with these categories in mind:

  1. Everyday carry folding knife 3 inch blade or better
  2. Small fixed blades
  3. Bowie or large blade knife
  4. Fillet knife

Before I break down my recommendations I would like to say I own no cutlery that is not made in America, Japan, or Sweden. No one else even comes close to blade metallurgy and heat-treating abilities as well as other quality concerns.

  1. Folders, I recommend first look at Benchmade and Spyderco. Disclude the Benchmade red box imports and the Spyderco Byrd lines. The steels that are available now are incredible ATS 34, 154CM, C30V,VG-10, H-1 are some of the best. There are very good knives available on the lower end that are almost as good. Examples are any of the old Gerber, Browning, or Kershaw knives that were made in America or Japan mostly 1095 tool steel or 400 stainless. These will be older knives in most cases. And remember used knives are not bad knives. I have a Spyderco Endura Pacific H-1 that I bought used for 35 bucks. I restored the edge and I would not take price of a new one for that knife. It cuts paper by paper weight. Have two good folders. I would recommend staying away from serrations hard to sharpen and when they are done they are done.
  2. Small fixed blades, just stick with the better manufacturers made in US or Japan and look at what steel they are made of. Benchmade has a good line and so does Spyderco, any other manufacturers, consider the steel, and if you don’t recognize it Google it! I must add the best bargain in the small knife category and that are the knives made by Mora of Sweden, these knives are available in carbon and stainless and are extremely good steel. I prefer the stainless. They are the best general task knives I own and I own a bunch of them. One in every vehicle and lots of other spots. Available for about 15 buck, all you need to do is find a better sheath.
  3. Bowie or big knives, blade steel is critical in these knives. The reason is, they are multi function. You made need to chop a stake and then cut something smoothly while there is no time for a sharpening. The best Bowies are Gerber, Sakai, and Cold Steel that are made in the US or Japan. Ebay these deals can be had under the Rigid name which are Sakai, custom Bowies and \or large fighters are good but usually expensive make sure you know the blade steel. Cold Steel made some excellent Bowies make sure you get the Japanese made (not Japanese steel) or US made. The US version is Carbon V which is no longer made, it is good but does rust which requires care. The second level of these big knives are generally Kabar and Ontario knives, they are all good if made in the US. They will be 1095 steel which is ok, but not great. They will require more sharpening but are good sturdy knives. You need one of the big knives at a minimum.
  4. Fillet knives, this knife style is a must have. They can do a lot and get scary sharp. Butchering, and filleting fish aside, good general purpose cutting tool. Very disturbing on the quality that is available today. I would ebay any Kershaw Japanese fillet that I could find, as they are head and shoulders above anything on the market today. The old Browning, Gerber, and Schrade knives made in Japan or America are also very good. The Chinese stuff available now is junk, period. Kershaw has a fillet that is expandable from the handle from 7 to 9 inches; there are still some of the Japan made knives available.  You need a couple of these!

Like I said if you are doing this on a budget, shop used, shop ebay, and gun shows.

And if you are needing to improve your sharpening equipment I only have two suggestions the Spyderco sharpening system for fixed base and my America Stone for on duty available at You have any questions Jesse will forward them to me.

– Frank James AKA J. Stackman

From Jesse James:

Visit Frank’s site. Buy his sharpener. Seriously. It’s the best out there. See review hereA word about counterfeit knives. High-end mass produced brands like Benchmade, Spyderco, Al-Mar, Extrema Ratio, Zero Tolerance and others are often counterfeited and sold online. Sadly, I have seen even brick and mortar stores reselling them because they were fooled as well. Unless you know exactly what the real thing looks and feels like do not buy it from someone who is not an authorized dealer or is not reputable. The good fakes are difficult to spot, particularly if you are not aware of the difference between a steel and titanium liner or exactly what an AxisLock looks like, or other particular details of the knife. These knives will break as they use inferior steel and it maybe at the worst possible time. If you’re buying second hand, trust the person, and if it’s too good to be true it usually is. Look at things like the workmanship and the screws, many knockoffs will not use torx or hex screws and opt for pins rather than threading the liner. Remember, you aren’t just paying for looks. The price of good steel can be well over triple that of simple stainless you buy at Home Depot. This is a helpful article to get you started.