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, the emphasis is on The Left’s War on Guns.
The Left’s War on Guns
The photo in this column was snapped by SurvivalBlog reader Michael P., at his local Publix chain supermarket. It shows that the store’s staff covered gun and prepper magazine covers as if they were some sort of shameful smut. That matches the mass media’s current tirade against the NRA, gun owners, and guns in general. Oh, and AR-15s in particular. Those “evil looking” black rifles just give the leftists fits of apoplexy. By demonizing guns, they are deepening the divide between the coastal Blue States and the interior Red States.
Lawsuit Over Age-Limit on Gun Sales
We’ve been expecting this one since Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods decided to arbitrarily raise the age requirement in order to purchase America’s most popular rifle. Both companies were trying to ride the political correctness wave by making their announcements after the Florida school shooting. I’m not quite sure why anyone would purchase firearms or ammunition from either company because this isn’t the first time they’ve done this.
It’s easy enough to use your local gun store and your dollars (albeit, usually slightly more of them) go to support a local company rather than a behemoth that cares nothing for your community. But, if the leftist/progressives can use the legal system to keep bakers in order, I guess conservative voices should be able to do the same thing to liberal run businesses. Thanks to D.B. for the link.
Interesting Take on Ham Radio
According to this article sent in by reader T.J., one of the Anit-Trump researchers attempted to avoid surveillance by using Ham Radio. As the article points out, this should drive home a few points. There is nothing quite like a communications method where you have complete control. Also, reverting to old, open source tech can be a challenge to those accustomed to using tracking methods designed for conventional digital options. We don’t know excatly what was going on (an probably never will since there isn’t a record of it), but it’s something to think about.
Reader DSV sent in this article from the Wall Street Journal that shows why it seems like Facebook really is listening in to you with your phone’s microphone. While it may seem like they do that, the reality is that they don’t have too. All they have to do is mine the data that you freely give away. The amount of information that can be learned about you by just keeping an accurate accounting of your friends, locations, ideas expressed in public forums (like social media) and places you spend money on is truly scary. Most of us don’t realize how this data mining can tap into your life. OPSEC is harder than you think when you use a smartphone, credit card or store loyalty cards.
Mexico City Water Cutoffs
It turns out that much of Mexico City’s water shortages may be due to sabotage. Apparently, the city doesn’t have locks on many of the main water valves and someone has been going around shutting the valves off, causing dry taps throughout the city and contributing to the unrest/protests by some of the nine million residents. At least that is the story they are sticking to. While I’m not sure I completely believe it, it certainly is plausible and could be contributing to the problem at a minimum. It also shows how vulnerable the water systems are to sabotage if simple turning off a valve can result in community protests. Thanks to G.P. for the link.
Geek Squad and the FBI
A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has revealed documents that could indicate the level of coziness between Best Buy’s Geek Squad and the FBI. Apparently, both agencies are on record as paying individual employees of Best Buy with small payments (~$500) with no receipt attached. This could indicate that the employees are being used as informants. Note that these are the same employees that customers give complete access to their private data when their computer is being worked on by the store. In at least one high profile case, a child pornographer was busted when Best Buy handed the computer over to the FBI after discovering the data on the computer. There is concern of due-process though, because the computer is out of the customers control when the data is found.
Europe is Losing Time
A political squabble between Serbia and Kosovo caused a problem that propagated across 25 nations, including Portugal, Poland, Greece and Germany. many clocks depend on the accuracy of the 50Hz power system to keep time (60Hz in the U.S.). For decades, power companies knew exactly how many cycles should be in a 24 hour period and would add or subtract cycles to keep the clocks accurate. This political squable has caused that accuracy to lag and is now causing a noticiable lag in time keeping devices.
I’ve heard of this before as a couple of years ago, U.S. power companies had petitioned the government to allow them more flexability since most digital clocks have accurate internal references. There are apparently enough older devices in Europe though that the cycle count is still important. I wonder if that excuse works when you show up late for work? Thanks to G.P. for the link.
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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!