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”. Today features a couple of interesting articles on the AK-47 popularity.

Massive Protests in Iran

Citizens in the most destructive country in the Middle East have begun protesting in the thousands. Demonstrators in Iran took to the streets on Friday to protest rising prices and corruption in Iran’s Islamic government. The protests also included calls of “Death to the dictator”. The protesters are mostly comprised of adults under the age of 40. While starting over economic issues, the demonstrators quickly morphed into calls for freedom of political prisoners and an end to the clerical regime.

North Korea’s Unique AK

Reader JMC sent in a couple of videos that analyze North Korea’s weapons displayed by photos released from the regime. Of particular interest is the version of the AK shown in many photos with a tube underneath the rifle. Most media has tried to portray that as a large bore grenade launcher, but Max Headspace9mm shows where it is actually a helical-fed magazine similar to Calico’s. While an interesting choice for a military magazine, he points out how heavy it would be to carry and that unless shooting prone, there is no advantage to it at all.

AK-47 Popularity

Reader T.J. notes that while he originally thought the AK-47 pistol (and by extension, the AR type pistol) were a fad, their acceptance seems to be increasing among the criminal component. Recently, Tallahassee Police Department seized an AK-47 style pistol along with a handgun during a traffic stop which ended up being a drug stop. (Note that having a backpack with marijuana leaves is probably not smart if you’re a drug dealer.) While disconcerting that this type of firepower is increasingly found in this element, I’m not sure of the significance of it. The short barrels associated with rifle cartridge pistols often mean extremely reduced ballistic performance making it about equal to a pistol. While a full length barrel AK or AR can easily defeat soft body armor, those with pistol length barrels generally cannot.

Planned Obsolescence

Apple has admitted to hindering the performance of their older phones to encourage users to upgrade to the newest release. Now in an interesting twist, Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP – Stop Planned Obsolescence) is suing the corporation because of a bill passed in 2015. If found guilty, the tech giants executives responsible for the decision could face fines equal to the European sales of the phones and up to two years of jail time. No word yet on how they will try them in absentia or how the U.S. government will deal with U.S. citizens being tried in foreign courts. In any case, if successful, those executives may want to avoid travel outside of the U.S. for a while. Thanks to DSV for the link.


The New York Times has run an article on how Venezuelans are avoiding being robbed in this socialist paradise. With no place considered “safe” in Caracas anymore, people have resorted to carrying dummy phones to hand over if robbed and driving in armored cars for the more affluent. Behavior modification is also popular. People are no longer walking around with a carefree attitude, instead, keeping their head on a swivel and avoiding traveling alone and at night. Thanks to reader P.S. for the link.

Manufactured Lethal Viruses

Reader H.L. sent in this article on how the federal ban on making lethal viruses has been lifted. The N.I.H. will now create expert panels to assess controversial research into creating pathogens that easily infect humans. H.L. notes: “What could possibly go wrong? With the deplorable state of our Government run schools today and the lack of real education even affecting the sciences, this could result in an “accidental” release of a deadly pathogen! Most likely, they will attempt to cover it up and blame something or someone else!

“Friendly” FBI agents

Reader T.Z. sent in this article on how the interrogation of Reality Winner reveals the deceptive tactics of exceedingly friendly FBI agents. While written from a leftist perspective, it contains valid information and every person should be aware that when questioning you, law enforcement isn’t your friend. I’d also recommend readers view this YouTube video from several years ago from a Regent Law professor on the Fifth Amendment. While 46 minutes long, it is entirely enlightening.

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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!


  1. Watch the developments in Iran, very very closely.

    Youth protesting in the street.
    Violent clashes with police.
    Demands of reforming the corrupt government.
    “Sprang” up out of no-where.

    Have we seen this playbook before? Syria? Libya? Ukraine? Next they will pick a color for the revolution and call it a Spring Uprising, you watch.

    The USSA has declared the regime in Iran a terrorist organization and enemy of the state. They’re not shy about it. Secret meetings w/ Israel less than a month ago, and now there are protests in the street where before it was unheard of (granted, usually due to heavy-handed police suppression)?

    Be very aware. Regardless of how one feels about Iran and the powers-that-be over there, you can bet your last dollar this isn’t an organic protest movement, but was started, and is funded, by the CIA. Western news will paint a very specific picture of ‘freedom fighters’, rebelling against a corrupt government (and that may be true), however it is this very type of action, that will beget terrorist (retribution) activity in our country. Don’t think Iran (Shia sect) will take us meddling in their country lying down. There will be repercussions. Our country is being marched into war in the middle east, by the MIC again (queue claims of WMD in 5… 4… 3…).
    Batten down your hatches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  2. Note the case of Wen Ho Lee:


    “A federal grand jury indicted him on charges of stealing secrets about the U.S. nuclear arsenal for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in December 1999.[1]

    After federal investigators were unable to prove these initial accusations, the government conducted a separate investigation and was ultimately only able to charge Lee with improper handling of restricted data, one of the original 59 indictment counts, to which he pleaded guilty as part of a plea settlement. In June 2006, Lee received $1.6 million from the federal government and five media organizations as part of a settlement of a civil suit he had filed against them for leaking his name to the press before any formal charges had been filed against him.[2] Federal judge James A. Parker eventually apologized to Lee for denying him bail and putting him in solitary confinement, and excoriated the government for misconduct and misrepresentations to the court.[3]”

    NOTE, however,that the government officials suffer NO penalty for misconduct. Indeed, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of law enforcement to use deceit and con games to extract evidence from a suspect that can be used against the suspect.

    I do not know if Wen Ho Lee was innocent or guilty. If guilty, then the Feds really screwed up the case. But after Lee was put through a really coercive wringer, the justice system found him innocent.

    NOTE that by the nature of his work, Wen Ho Lee had contributed FAR MORE to US national security than FBI agents or the judge. And what was his reward? To be screwed over by morons.

    What message did that send to young geniuses in physics considering a career in federal service? No one ever measures the COSTS and harm done by security officials to see if it is less than whatever value they contribute.

    Security is needed — the Rosenberg and Cohen spy rings gave Joe Stalin the detailed design of the plutonium implosion bomb. Even after spending more than $20 Trillion in the subsequent decades, we still have 200 cities and 70% of the population which could be destroyed without warning at any time. All because of that initial failure.

    But it needs to be competent security.

  3. Before I’d worry about Iran – I’d remember we are going to have a bunch of harpies in pink knit hats saying the same things in a few weeks (last year it was Madonna “I want to blow up the White House).
    There was also the J20 terrorism.
    If there is a just criticism of Iran it is that it doesn’t respect the soverignity of other nations. But if we are trying to tell them how they should run their country internally, aren’t we globalists and want something like the UN running the world, not the USA running the USA, or letting the Redoubt be conservative, constitutional, and Christian and not Californicated?

    And remember the pink hats are calling us Christians a theocracy and ayatollahs.

    I don’t trust the media on ANYTHING, and I’ve paid more attention than most on international affairs.

    Meanwhile, have you heard about what happened in Saudi Arabia where one of the princes was tortured to death by a mercenary (Academi, was Xe, was Blackwater denies it was one of theirs, but they have been hired by the Saudi Regime). Where is the angst, or cheers, or criticism, or even analysis?

    Remember these are our friends and we are cheerleading:

    Remember on 9/11 most of the hijacker terrorists were Saudis. But lets worry about Iran instead. Oh! look there! Shiny!

  4. “Apple has admitted to hindering the performance of their older phones to encourage users to upgrade to the newest release.”

    That may be exactly what happened or it may not. My AT&T phone had reduced capabilities and if I purchase a more expensive plan these problems will go away. They are selling a product and are tailoring that product to both manage their resources and maximize their profit. That is within their rights to do that. I think that what we see in Europe is a anti-American element in the way they treat American companies.
    Should Apple restrict their older iphones to make the newer ones appear faster? Probably not but probably not illegal either. One comment by Apple was that it was a software change intended to provide longer battery life in the older phones. This is actually quite believable and may well be true. That doesn’t mean that some executive in marketing didn’t believe it was a good idea since it would encourage people to buy the new phone. I set my own phone on battery save option (which is mostly just a dimmer screen) and I’m surprised on how well it works; twice the battery life now. But where is the fun in ascribing this to good motives on Apple’s part?? Right! So of course the meme is that they did it to harm their customers somehow (and that may well be true). But just as the car manufacturers and car dealers don’t give me all the options and accessories for free I can’t put them in jail for this. The bottom line for me is I don’t yet know why Apple did it but if they did it to encourage customers to buy the newer phone I do not see how a law was broken. It may be a bad business decision and it may anger customers but it is their decision to make. AND I suspect that they can justify it both on an economic and performance basis. That is they make more money (or do not lose money) AND their new phones are faster. Isn’t that what they are in business for?

    1. If the feature is selectable I am good with it. If not they just downgraded a product that people paid good money for. To me that is the central issue.

      BTW I do not use an IPhone. Nothing against them. I just get better deals on cheaper phones that work good enough for me.

      1. I don’t disagree. But consider that everytime my computer software updates I get something I don’t want or lose something I do want. They aren’t trying to screw me over (I don’t think). They are taking care of business. Did Apple do this JUST to make the older phones slower? I do not know and we may not know for awhile. If they did then they pay the price in unhappy customers but I don’t see any laws broken. If they did this for some other reason i.e. it was stated they were trying to improve battery life in older phones, then no harm no foul. But the fact that “someone” has said or confirmed that they did it to slow down the older machines does not make it true. It is a huge gift to the lawyers but it may be lose lips, misquote, a joke, or a flat out propaganda lie by someone not associated with Apple. I’m for waiting to see. I do not own anything Apple makes; can’t afford Apple. My phone cost me zip, nada, nothing. It isn’t as smart as an Iphone but it can do things I don’t need or understand so what the heck more do I need?

    2. Let me ask you a question then if I sold you a car that stated it would get a certain milage to the gallon and it did but then two years down the road it dropped to half of that because they wanted you to buy a new one would you be happy about it? Apple sold a product that had a certain spec and at the time didn’t say well in two years your phone is going to be slowed down by us because we want you to buy a new one…No one would of bought it if that was the case…They are messing with private property that you paid for and if your ok with that then what else that you own are you willing to give up control of that will cause you to have to purchase something else…

      1. Again I agree with the point you are making but you are missing my point. First of all if they did it on purpose to make the older phones less responsive and thus sell more newer phones than shame on them. But no laws were broken. They may need to do some work now to make their customers happy. Second the software is theirs not yours, read their legal message that goes with the software. Yes they can legally slow down the phone or speed it up or make it display in pink etc. But if they were indeed trying to improve battery life maybe this is much ado about nothing. I say let’s wait and see. Keep in mind that when they come out and say they are sorry and will reverse the change that still doesn’t really mean that they did something wrong intentionally it may simply mean that lawyers and marketers decided the best and simplest way out of the bad press is to make a simple apology. We may never know what happened and may be left with rumors and fake news.

        1. You keep saying that it was legal for them to do that, when it is still up in the air whether it was or not…That is why they’re lawsuits against them…So we will have to see how it shakes out…I would put a link to one article showing that a judge ruling against them in another case because of their updates harming the phone but they don’t like links here…

  5. I’m with Apple on this one. If they lower the maximum CPU speed and lower the maximum core voltage of the CPU that would very significantly reduce power consumption. It would keep older phones with worn batteries useful. If they want people to upgrade phones it would make more sense to keep the phones running at full speed with poor battery life. Most people will upgrade phones instead of replacing the battery. Given how much money Apple makes on services (iTunes, etc) it makes sense, up to a point, to keep older phones useful.

    1. I disagree with you!! You must work for Apple. The number one reason for an upgrade is due to complaints that the older phone is running slower. So, their plan has worked!!! Now, we know the rest of the story.

    2. So your saying Apple is dumb and their marketing people don’t know how to get people to purchase new phones? I think they knew exactly what they were doing and wanted people to purchase new phones when they saw that their phone was slowing down…

    3. Here’s a strange idea, make the battery easy to replace so when it starts going bad (usually the first major maintenance needed on smart phones)you can put a brand new one in and keep running full speed!!!

  6. Once I retire (6 years) and my Mother passes (hopefully many more years) I’ll not have a cell phone anymore. I wish I could get rid of it now! Damned annoying things. If anybody needs to talk to me they can drive out or send me a letter!

  7. L.M. get your dogs recognized as some kind of law dog Sheriffs Deputies, and they’ll have the run of the county, and the other law dogs on their side. A pound of the enemy’s provender is worth a wagon load of your own.

  8. According to the quite “”in the know” Phil Girardi and anyone else who actually reads vigorously with a focus on the Middle East, of the 14 recognized “terror groups” in the M.E., 13 are Sunnia-based and supported by the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and its disgusting little satraps. A mere one, Hezbollah, is Shia and connected to Iran.

    Given the official narrative of the U.S. Government, it was a bunch of Saudi’s Sunni’s who pulled off 9/11. ISIS, al Nura, the FSA and insert here, all in truth “al Qaeda” under different monikers and both supplied and trained by the U.S. Israel and Jordan with occasional “rat lines running through Turkey (see Benghazi) with a tin of Saudi petrodollars paying the actual daily wages of the fighters.

    Get real and start doing some actual reading instead of watching the neocon-littered Fox News, the editorial pages of The New York Times and The Washinton Post, the latter where “thinking dies in darkness” with the former being no better.

  9. Police will lie to you and they are trained to do so in order to get information from you. If you lie to the police you will go to jail. I am a member of an organization that will protect me should I ever have to use my firearm to shoot someone in self defense. Our local attorney said to call 911 and tell them that there has been a shooting and that you need the services of the police and an ambulance and then hang up. Don’t give them any details at all. The 911 operator will immediately call you back but don’t answer the phone. When the police arrive give them your name and address ONLY and be prepared to be taken to the the police station. There you will not say a word until the attorney arrives. It’s sad that the police are your enemy in a legal shooting situation like that but they would be more than happy to arrest you for no reason. Remember, name and address only and wait for your attorney.

    1. Sir, this would make for a great article. Perhaps you or someone else who actually knows what to do in such a case could write one. I’m sure it would be well received.

  10. “Obsolescence by design” has been around a long time.
    Apple had a lawsuit filed against them because of deliberate design flaws built into the batteries of Ipods. And our computer waste is destroying some third world countries with consequences. We are bred to be consumers, not critical thinkers.
    The PTB use you as needed. Our technology has reached a point where a computer keystroke can ruin your life.
    I’m sure everyone who post on this website is on a list. Not good for operational security.
    Have you seen “SNOWDEN” yet ?
    Happy New Year everyone 🙂
    I hope the new year brings happiness and prosperity as I pray for both daily 🙂

  11. In that case I wonder why come their American counterparts do not follow their leader…

    Heard someone say, that it’s ‘cos there is no field office of the seeaieh in northern amerikwa…but me no think that is true…

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