SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. You might be paranoid, but that doesn’t meant they aren’t out to get you. Websites are watching your every move.
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Despite reform at the state level, police departments are finding ways to still grab personal assets of people when no crime has been committed or even charged. The latest that we’ve heard was sent in by reader H.L. who forwarded this article on the City of Denver. The city is targeting low level crimes and seizing their cars. Here a Denver cab driver had his cab confiscated on suspicion of involvement in a prostitution sting. He was acquitted by a judge, but still had his car taken for over a month. He chose to pay the blackmail fee of $1000 to the city rather than fight in court. It’s getting harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
Rio De Janeiro has some of the strictest gun control laws there are. As a result, people are completely vulnerable as violence surges in the city. There are actually apps for smartphones now where citizens can track reports of live gun fire before plotting their commutes. Some schools have to make daily decisions on whether to cancel classes or not because of nearby shootouts. As Brazil’s recession deepens, the violence increases and the corruption that has bankrupted government coffers cannot help the individuals. They are on their own with no real method of protection against drug trafficking organizations and gangs as well as random violence. Thanks to S.R. for the link.
Valley Food Storage has an interesting reminder article on how 148 Tornadoes in one year changed how we look at emergency preparedness. Most people don’t remember that year very well, but over 300 people died and 6,000 more were injured as the tornadoes ripped across 13 states. The tornadoes left such a massive disaster in their wake that many people were were left without shelter, food or water as thousands of homes were destroyed. It’s a good reminder to make sure you can feed your family during and after a catastrophic event and to consider how those preps can survive through the disaster.
Hospitals in Madagascar are reporting an increasing incidence of infected patience escaping the hospital to see their relatives back home. Their desire to leave is so great that they choose to escape from the life saving care and risk infecting others. The pneumonic version of the plague that is prevalent this year can pass from person to person through simple coughing and can kill within 24 hours if left untreated. It would appear that some patients who are not used to modern medicine are afraid of needles. Some also believe that they do not have the disease. In any case, hospitals are having to post guards at the doors to keep patients from escaping.
iPhone or Wind Turbine?
For what one of those new iPhones cost, you can own your very own wind turbine that can generate 3 to 5 kWH of electricity every day. Reader G.P. pointed us to this article that makes the comparison to an Indian startup making inexpensive wind turbines. I would note that there are actually several relatively inexpensive turbines available off of Amazon as well. A simple 400W turbine can produce electricity at nearly the same price as a solar panel (roughly $1/watt) and can easily generate 3 to 5kWH of electricity during the day. While you can’t run your microwave off of this very easily, you could certainly power a few lights and a small refrigerator.
Ad Based Censure
Information giants Google and Facebook have the lions share of electronic ad revenue. Reader G.P. also sent in this article showing how these two giants minimize dissent by defunding information streams that they don’t like. While they are private corporations, the sheer size of the behemoths and their ubiquity in the daily lives of people mean that they have the power to censure what you see. The web is becoming Orwellian.
Watching Your Every Move
Speaking of Orwellian principles, a recent study showed that many sites actually log your keystrokes and mouse movements in real time before you ever click “submit” on their forms. Of 50,000 sites studied, over 482 used these tracking scripts with no clear disclosure that they were doing so. Websites like Walgreens were some of the worst offenders as the program doing the login actually sent the data back to the server over an unencrypted HTTP channel despite the fact that the user was accessing the site over a secure HTTPS channel. This article contains a video showing you how the sites can record and playback your mouse movements and keystrokes as you fill a form out.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via ourContact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!