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”. The media is still hysterical over the Ghost gunner this week.

Domestic Terrorism Bill

Reader H.L. sent in this article on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018. While the title certainly evokes a response that no reasonable person could object to, the content of the bill contains some disturbing language. The bill makes reference to “patriot” groups as well as “anti-government militias”. That sounds like the FBI wants to criminalize first amendment actions such as those that occurred in Nevada. Speaking out seems to be a precursor to terrorism and exercising rights is suspicious. We are still dealing with the fallout from another government agency (IRS) targeting any group that had an affiliation to the word “patriot”.

Real Terrorism

Meanwhile, on the Mexico border, the Mexican army has stepped up it’s pressure on the drug cartels and has discovered many weapons caches buried near the Rio Grande. The caches contained AK-47, fully automatic rifles, claymore mines and grenade launchers. The U.S. state department is discouraging all travel to 31 Mexican states and has raised five states to Level 4, the equivalent of a war zone. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

Rio Yellow Fever Panic

Fears of yellow fever spreading in Rio de Janeiro have prompted the illegal killing of scores of monkeys, complicating the efforts to fight the virus. The local population mistakenly believes that the monkeys can spread the fever to humans and just this year, 238 have been found so far. Some have been poisoned, but most have been beaten to death. In actuality, the monkeys are used a a signal to track the virus which is actually spread by mosquitoes. With the locals killing the monkeys, the officials are having a much more difficult time tracking the potentially deadly virus. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

LL Bean Now Tracking Their Boots

Reader D.W. sent in this article on how L.L. Bean is planning to install trackers in their boots and some other articles of clothing to track where consumers take them after the purchase. While the program is supposed to be an opt-in, meaning you have to volunteer for it, we all know how that turned out with smart phones and the third party apps that consumers install on the phones. It is unlikely that consumers will have the choice of purchasing the same item with or without the sensors installed. Also noteworthy is L.L. Beans scraping of its “guaranteed for life policy”. You now have a one year guarantee and you have to have a receipt.

Obama Portraits Unveiled

The official Obama portraits have been unveiled and they are kind of weird. Noteworthy though is the “other” portraits that the have been painted by the artist selected to do the president’s portrait. Among them, the author has several that have been inspired by the apocryphal book of Judith. This book inspired a considerable amount of art during the Renaissance and Baroque periods and in particular contain the story of a woman whacking of a guy’s head.

However, in this artists rendition, it is a black woman holding the severed head of a white woman. Obama’s response is: “what I was always struck by when I saw [Wiley’s] portraits was the degree to which they challenged our ideas of power and privilege.” Yep, the man who originally promised to unite the world clearly likes the idea of blacks rising up in violence against whites. My personal favorite rendition of Obama’s portrait was done by a Reddit user. Thanks to T.P. for the link.

Federal Reciprocity Bill

Reader R.T. sent in this comment on 60 Minutes this week:

“’60 Minutes’, the Sunday night TV show, had a segment about the national reciprocity bill and one of their main arguments was put forward by Steve Kroft: “So this law would essentially usurp the gun laws in cities like New York and Chicago and Los Angeles.” Is Steve Kroft advocating states’ rights? I cannot recall his support of states’ rights when it came to marriage laws being overturned by the repeal of the ‘Defense of Marriage’ law. If Mr. Kroft had done his homework he would be in full support of this reciprocity law so that it could also be repealed and replaced with a federal ban on concealed carry laws in all states.”

Marketing Ghost Gun Fear

Reader H.L. sent in this article detailing some of the outrageous claims and false language used by the media when describing the Ghost Gunner. In particular, the news outlet used the word “loophole” to describe the legality of the Ghost Gunner. In reality, the law is very clear on the ability of a person to create and build firearms for their own use. There is no “loophole” in the law. Other language like “most disturbing” to describe the lack of serial numbers on home built weapons belie the near utter uselessness of serial numbers in tracking gun crimes.

The reality is that serial numbers aid in the confiscation of weapons and little else. This article is worth a read to help you recognize the biases inherent in the media. We actually have a Ghost Gunner that we are testing for an article and I can tell you that this is nothing more than a hobby CNC machine. Yes, it is optimized for machining small parts like firearms receivers, but there is nothing in this machine that isn’t in other CNC machines.

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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact 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. In your “Notes from the Redoubt” you noted that Idaho will be moving prisoners to Texas.
    Aren’t there laws about moving pollutants across state lines?

  2. I watched the “60 Minutes” segment with great interest and got my expected eyefull. I note they buried the segment by scheduling it vs the Olympics so that it would not get the viewership it normally would. Mr. Steve Kroft gave us a liberal slant on the issue disguised as impartial reporting. His vitriol and outright hostility came through loud and clear. If a legal and licensed concealed firearm carrier goes to any state or municipality then why infringe on their 2nd Amendment right? Like the USCCA advocate stated, it’s should be like a drivers license. You have been tested and approved by your state. That should make you approved in ALL states. Also, the claim that was made that a firearm is needed in remote rural areas for protection but not in urban areas because of the police response to 911 is ludicrous. The police cannot protect you from being assaulted. The only person who can protect you is YOU! Another “60 Minutes” hatchet job that shows why people are not willing to be interviewed by then.

    1. I expect (and am in favor of) the trend of states adopting concealed-carry legislation to continue. If federal lawmakers feel as if they are granting us a right, then can also believe they can take it away. The ultimate solution would be for the 2nd amendment to be universally accepted throughout the country governed by that document. Fundamental to that recognition would be the requirement to have judges that regarded the constitution to be the law of the land. Since we don’t have that, our rights are always in jeopardy and are not guarded or preserved by more laws and lies but by continual vigilance.

  3. In “News from the American Redoubt”, I find it interesting that the article on “healthy states” has no reference to the greatest health issue our country faces: obesity.

  4. About the article on Idaho moving prisoners to Texas and the prisons being squalid, With hundreds of inmates with nothing to do, I would initiate a clean or eat a basic calorie per day allotment of the cheapest food available, regardless of it’s taste. Also withhold other privileges until the problem solves it’s self. If the fed’s do not like this, turn the prisoners over to them. Prison is punishment, not a girl scout camp. I think that Former Governor Arnold Schwartsinager’s idea of farming them out to private Mexican Prisons for 1/4 the annual price should be revisited.

    1. I cannot agree. First of all as we know not all prisoners are guilty of breaking laws. Second not all prisoners deserve prison as the “laws” they broke may either be unconstitutional or merely some lawmakers personal agenda. But indeed some prisoners deserve to be locked up but most certainly not tortured. Our prisons should be safe, humane and just. Our efforts should be to make sure we are sending the right people to jail and then our jails wouldn’t be so over crowded. Prisons should be more than punishment they should contribute to rehabilitation too.

      1. One Guy

        Agreed. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, due largely to malum prohibitum garbage and the corrupt prison industrial complex running our penal institutions. Let’s start eliminating some of these nonsensical laws, expanding freedom, and THEN focus on REAL criminals (you know, the ones who violate life liberty or property, as opposed to the junkie heroin addict who otherwise minds his own business) and keeping them
        off the streets. NOTE: I do not use or advocate the use of illegal drugs.

  5. re:
    “…usefulness of serial numbers in tracking gun crimes…”

    Editor(s), your use of the term ‘gun crimes’ is misleading. Guns do not commit crimes.

    And for the record, I object to the term ‘gunman’ to describe a criminal in possession of a firearm.

    As an American, I am a gunman.

    During my time in the military and subsequent contracts overseas, I was a gunman.

    I will be a gunman until my last breath.

    ‘Gun crimes’. A progressive marxist liberal totalitarianist thug might use that term. You can do better.

    1. I wouldn’t be too upset over the usage “gun crimes”. Technically you are correct, but the term isn’t based on any concerted attack against firearms rights, it’s simply a contraction of “gun related crimes”. The English language is a lazy language – it does things like that a lot. It’s kind of like using “satellite dish” to describe your “satellite receiver dish”. Yeah, we all know that the average Joe does not own a multi-billion dollar satellite with a parabolic microwave communications dish antenna on it. It’s just referring to the parabolic microwave communications receiver dish mounted on his roof. If you get upset over the usage of “gun crimes” then to be consistent, you really need to rid your language of all contracted terms. That might not be a bad idea as our language has devolved to a very informal slang. Getting rid of all those contractions would certainly make it more formal.

      1. The contraction of language has been used to advantage by leftists pushing “pro-environment” propaganda. “Anthropogenic climate change” – man caused climate change – has been shortened to “climate change.” And since the climate does indeed change (e.g., we no longer have 2000 feet of ice over most of N. America) they make it seem like only idiots and evil people could be “climate change deniers.”

    1. I strongly believe that he thinks that throwing others “Under the Bus” will let him stay in business for longer.
      A Quisling like this should hang his head in shame…

  6. Honestly, Wiley’s “Judith and Holofernes” should have been used as-is for Michelle’s portrait. At least it would have accurately portrayed Michelle as a black woman as well as her hatred of whites.

  7. RE: Federal Reciprocity Bill
    If Mr. Steve Kroft had any Consitutional sense he would understand that “Gun Rights” are NOT a states rights issue (like marriage, issuing driver’s licensing, property rights, etc.). The 2nd Amendment squarely states that the “…right to keep and bear arms will NOT be infringed.” Although state and federal authorities have and are violating this Constitutionally protected right, it really is not a state’s right issue!

  8. Regarding guns and serial numbers:
    I personally do business with firearms forensic teams. They routinely recover stolen weapons and return them to their owners, when the owners have filed a police report which contains the serial numbers of the weapons.
    I have never known any of these firearms techs to “confiscate” any weapon from its lawful owner. Without exception they are pro-2nd Amendment and pro-gun rights citizens in their personal lives.
    “Confiscation” is still, at least through today, a non-issue.

  9. I am a fan of Cody Wilson’s Ghost Gunner, but am disappointed that only the software is open source. I understand that they need to make money to continue their business, but I am hoping that they will eventually (perhaps when it becomes obvious that TPTB will make it illegal) open source the hardware as well.

    Mr. Gray makes a good point about the positive uses of serial numbers on weapons. However, there is nothing stopping a maker so-inclined from serializing their gun after manufacture. I would consider doing this for the reasons he mentions, and only I would have the serial number until it was stolen and reported as such.

    LL Bean does make the case that they have seen a large increase in abuse of their lifetime return policy, with people buying used and worn out products, or even retrieving them from trash, and then returning them to the store for new. They claim that they have lost more to abuse of this program in the past year than they made from the sales of their signature boots. I’m not sure how they know this, but assuming it is true it is at least understandable and the abuses of the few once again cost the many.

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