The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

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”. This week, the influential R.C. Sproul passed on.

R.C. Sproul

I was sad to hear this news: Theologian and religious broadcaster R.C. Sproul dies at 78. I credit Sproul with helping me to understand the difference between ethics and morals with this simple statement: “Ethics are what you ought to do; Morals are what you do.” When I heard that, the light suddenly clicked on. It was not possible to have bad ethics because the standard is set by God. It was, however, entirely possible to have bad morals. In fact, morals in conflict with the ethical standard set by God are bad morals.

Manual Air Pump

SurvivalBlog reader J.M wrote in about shelters. He’s seen pictures of 1950s bomb shelters that had hand cranked air pumps and was wondering if readers knew where he could obtain such a mechanism. Please comment if you know of a good supplier.

Bundy Trial

Whether you agree or disagree with the actions of the Bundy’s over their ranch, there is no disputing the problems that existed with how the government has handled the whole situation from the original disagreement to the conflict and now through the trial. Reader K sent in this article detailing some of the major flaws and lies that the government has participated in and why you should be concerned with that. The rule of law is dangerously close to collapsing.


The risk of conflict on the Korean peninsula is the highest it’s been in decades and observers are encouraging china to mobilize its resources for fallout. North Korea is, of course, claiming a defensive posture even while provoking other nations surrounding it and the U.S. continues to poke at Pyongyang. What we can say for sure is that North Korea is a time bomb and it will explode at some point. China, once a key ally of North Korea is losing control of the situation. At a recent conference on the subject, Shi Yinhong, who advises the State Council, China’s cabinet, suggested that at best, China will only be able to stall a full-blown conflict. Thanks to P.S.

Act of Armed Civil Disobedience

Reader F.M. sent in this article profiling the act of armed civil disobedience in Dallas, Texas. In 2014, Dallas enacted an ordinance that made it illegal to serve food to the homeless with bowing to the bureaucrats, paying a fee, taking training classes and supplying written notices. In other words, the government did what it does really well. It figured out a way to tax your charity. However, an organization called Don’t Comply along with dozens of volunteers took to the streets this week to hand out food, sleeping bags, clothing, and tents to the areas homeless. However, there was a twist. They combined this act of civil disobedience with their right to open carry. Interestingly enough, even though police drove by on many occasions, not one person was stopped and arrested under the bad ordinance.

Kalifornia, King of Tax

Speaking of taxing, California legislators are considering a mileage tax in addition to just hiking the gas tax. California is already the number one state for income tax and rising in the ranks for sales tax (currently number 10), but that doesn’t include the myriad of other fees that citizens are subject to. Now the state wants to force you to run an app on your mobile phone to track your mileage. This may require the state to be allowed to track your cell phone without a warrant to monitor and tax your travel. So will you now be required to buy a cell phone in order to drive? What if you don’t own a smart phone? If the technology is installed in cars, what about older cars? They don’t have a tax problem, they have a spending problem. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

Age of Credit Cards May be Ending

Found on MSN by reader H.L.: The age of credit cards may be ending, and that’s a good thing. There are many problems with credit cards, not the least of which are fraud and locked up cards while traveling. However, even though many retailers and banks are pushing for using an app on your smartphone, I’m not sure that’s a wise thing to do. Digital peer-to-peer (P2P) methods of payment have been successful in many places around the world that don’t have a traditional banking infrastructure, but it also means that cash continues to get the squeeze. We still use the envelope system of budgeting around here and every month, when I withdraw the cash to fill the envelopes up, the bank teller gives me strange looks. After years of doing this, you might think that they would be used to it, but they never seem to get there.

o o o

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!


  1. RE: manual air pumps; If I remember correctly most of the CD pamphlets from the ’50’s were done with a blacksmiths forge blower being used as an air pump. If I also remember right they didn’t give much description nor detail in the routing and filtering. That doesn’t surprise me as the 1950’2 were still an era when “mechanical figure it out” was still very common, and things were simpler then. Likely air ducting would have been sized to meet the blower’s intake and outlet openings, with filters being along the lines of furnace filter construction and charcoal. Hope this helps a bit, Regards.

  2. Manual Air Pump:

    Nuclear War Survival Skills
    Ch. 6: Ventilation and Cooling of Shelters

    App. B: How to Make and Use a Homemade Shelter-Ventilating Pump

    App. E: How to Make a Homemade Piston Pump
    How to Make and Use a Homemade Plywood Double-Action Piston Pump

    App. F: Providing Improved Ventalation and Light

  3. Manual Air Pump:

    Community Fallout Shelter Supplies
    Fallout Shelter Package Ventilation Kits (PVK)

  4. Well I guess if the Gov’t bans cash I will become an outlaw. I use the envelope system as well and it has allowed me to be slightly ahead of the bills and have some extra for emergencies or just something I really need/want. And especially during this Christmas Season it allows me to buy some extras and help out with my givings to the local food bank, toys for tots, animal shelter, etc. So now I can add this to the other four reasons for being a “terrorist” as stated by the previous administration.

  5. For Manual Air Pumps…I too have several bomb shelter books from the 40s and 50s. The manual air pumps come in 2 different flavors. a “Billows” style one way valve that is counter weighted to move several cubic feet of air or a blower motor’s squirrel cage rigged to gearing. The more important part is calculating the inflow/outflow and having separate exhaust venting for certain items.. engines, sewer vents, open flames. There are also lots of tips on making your own chemical CO2 scrubbers. To really answer your question…I would think you would better luck making something than finding one for sale. Worst case you could rig your own battery operated one on an independent or fail safe switch.

  6. I worked with a lady who would put out food for feral cats. Just like those who give money and aid to the drunk and druggies she thought she was doing them good. Interestingly I had a great office with a window looking over a semi-jungle of planting and flowers. Everyday I saw those feral cats stalking birds. Should you give money to druggies and drunks?

    1. I would not suggest ever giving money to addicts because it further “enables” their disordered behavior. Nor give the gift cards usable at local stores and eateries- there’s a market for these gift cards and the addict thereby gets cash. This time of year I give out chemical hand warmers, and snack boxes of raisins.
      Regarding charity, you might find this book of interest, “When Helping Hurts. How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself”
      It’s based on Biblical principles. So far, 1/4 way into the book, I have found it to be more like the common sense that was common 40 years ago.

  7. American safe room has manual blowers for $755 or so.

    You can get blacksmith forge blowers for $60 or so and other than fitting the pipe properly it’s functionally the same.

  8. handcranked air pump

    With some bubba engineering at the air intake side, best guess this would work.

    $145 plus shipping.

    Here is the product blurb from that page:
    Cast aluminum hand crank blower. 1:28 gear ratio. We chose this blower to pair with our forges because of the quality of the construction and design. It is imported from India where the basic design has been in continuous wide spread use since the time of the British Empire. The drive is a backdriven worm gear with a high quality steel worm and cast iron gear. The main shaft rests on bearings for smooth, long lasting operation. Two toggle lid oil ports make maintenance easy. Round is 7.5″ diameter, weight 8 pounds. Comes with a one year guarantee.

  9. You may want to consider a 12v marine blower (use car battery for primary air blower). These are available on amazon for about 39.95. Then use the India forge blower as manual back up. You can search eBay under forge blower. My folks had a Champion model 60 B in their shelter put in 1963. You can find them still, occasionally on ebay but they cost more than the 50.00 from 1963!

  10. On using only cash:

    One of my retirements I receive in the form of a check. Every month I cash the check, I’ve done this for over 13 years. I never get any questions or funny looks. On the other hand I don’t put anything on my credit cards or debit cards, and am currently debt free. If I need to get more cash, and have to see a teller, when asked (sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t) I always say “I’m going on vacation”, whether I am or not. That is usually the end of it. I have also noticed that a lot of older folks are taking quite a bit of their money in cash rather than using credit or debit cards.

    Finally, I have either the smartest dumb phone or the dumbest smart phone on the planet. It don’t take no apps and doesn’t have GPS. Thank you TracFone.

  11. In my experience, ethics are simply rules of behavior. They could be laws and regulations enacted by a governing body, or rules on how to play a sport or a board game, or an employee handbook. They are contextual to the paradigm to which they are intended to govern, and as are agreed to by the participants. For instance, hunting ethics are defined as “the rules of behavior for the pursuit and harvest of wild game”. Theological ethics are the basis for religion, defined as “a set of rules, customs and superstitions…established to govern the masses.”

    Morals are personal. They are essentially decisions we make on whether we are going to act one way or another. Some morals can be common to a given group, but will not encompass all morals accepted by the individuals in that group. Thus, morals are a bit harder to define, yet have greater determination on character. A person can be ethically sound and still have bad morals because of intent, and the fact that ethics are almost always limited.

    In Christianity, one could say that while the pharisees were an ethical group, they were not very moral. I think that was Jesus’ point, that while you could follow all the rules such that none could claim you to be unethical, you could still have evil in your heart and therefore be morally unsound. Further, since most ethics are decided my majority, in other words, what is generally accepted as “correct” behavior by most in a group, it is entirely possible for someone to be identified as having bad ethics, but still have good morals, (as in politically incorrect because we speak the truth).

    What limits man’s actions are ethics. What drives the will of man is morals.

  12. I too have searched in vain for a simple,inexpensive, manual, non-China junk blower that could be easily adapted to fit with a PVC pipe inline setup that would draw outside air in through an inline hepa filter and expel filtered air into a shelter. Still haven’t found one.

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