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”.

What’s in Your Water?

Reader H.L. sent in this article on a public database that has been setup to allow you to find out what’s in your tap water. The information contained on the municipal water supply (that we disconnected from six years ago) is the same as what the water company routinely sends us, but the information is much easier to read. You can enter your zip code and it will give you a list of public water supplies that serve that zip code. Clicking on any of those listed will immediately tell you what contaminates the supply contains that are above acceptable limits. You might want to check it for areas that either serve you or areas close by. Even if you have your own well, you at least know what the problems are for that area and can get your water tested.

Gun Homicide Rate (Again)

Ignoring the fact that guns don’t commit homicide (people do), this article delves into how media and anti-gun organizations manipulate data to make the problem seem like it is worse that it really is. When you look at the corrected data tables, you see how the homicide rate has never been as bad as media has claimed it is. In addition, the data is skewed heavily by male suicide rates. Even more astounding is the fact that you can see a clear correlation between homicide rates and government interference in private lives (prohibition, war on drugs, et cetera.) It’s refreshing to see accurate data finally presented.

Detecting Laptop Attacks

Reader T.Z. sent in this article on how difficult it is to find out if your laptop computer has been hacked. The writer uses the word “impossible”, but that isn’t technically true. It does, however, require a level of familiarity with computers that most people just don’t have. Of course, you can simplify the problem by simply moving away from commercial operating systems. I’ve been running Linux since 1994 and it provides an excellent platform for such information. Most people, however, don’t use a computer for the operating system – they use it for the software that runs on it and if your software isn’t available for Linux, your kind of stuck. The article provides some interesting information though. The recommendations for physical security are worthwhile.

Maculinity is an Illness

According to this article sent in by DSV, The University of Texas will begin treating “masculinity” as a mental health issue. The counseling center has launched a new program to “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.” Apparently, when you are told to “man up” or “act like a man” you are being told to do something highly offensive (like fulfill traditional gender roles.) Yep, they should be turning out a totally new generation of emotionally castrated males soon. Yet another reason to keep your child from public education.

Downfall of Society

From Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large, comes this article on the downfall of society. The article profiles seven different forces driving America toward civil war. I agree with all seven that they cover and you probably will too. Probably the most disturbing is the “lack of a shared culture”. With politics diametrically opposed on 95% of the issues, how can any workable solution be found?

South Africa

Attacks on farmers are escalating as President Zuma continues his calls for white owned farmland to be confiscated. The attacks are cruel and the victims are routinely tortured before they are killed. This is close to turning into a full blown genocide. Official statistics are non-existent due to what human rights groups are describing as a “cover up” by authorities. The government is notoriously corrupt and complicit in this crimes.

o o o

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. For quick laptop security, you can always boot a CD/DVD (which isn’t easily tampered with) and store data on a usb stick or SD/microSD and take that with you.
    Could they still install a key logger in the hardware or BIOS? Maybe, but that would be difficult and expensive. Security is first about economics – do you need a vault door (and vault), or is a steel door with a deadbolt and prop enough? It depends on what’s inside and who wants it.

  2. To find out what chemicals or possible contaminants are in your water and at what levels along with your state’s Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL, i.e., regulatory legal limits), your public water system/provider is required by thr Safe Drinking Water Act (federal law) to provide customers with an annual water quality report by July 1st every year. It’s known as a Consumer Confidence Report. It contains the results of all raw and finished drinking water tests required by regulations. It also lists results of required testing of UCMR, Unregulated Contaminant Reporting to EPA by your water provider for unregulated contaminants so that EPA can decide whether those contaminants should be regulated in the future. If you have well water, I wiuld definitely have it tested for bacteria, e-coli, metals, and especially pesticides, in addition to all regulatory drinking water test parameters.

    1. These tests are routinely faked to cover up contaminated water supplies, Flint Mi is the biggest example but many cases of poisoned water supplies are almost common.

      1. Really….”routinely faked?” What scientific evidence do you base your gross, negative generalization on? You do those of us who work for a municipal publicwater system and are honest, a huge disservice. The Flint, MI scandal was committed by criminals who broke the law. I support your right to comment/free speech, but I ask you to do it respectfully and base it on reviewable science. By the way, the first person’s article on where to check on “what’s in your water” is based on data from monitoring required if public water systems by the Safe Deinking Water Act. To really know what’s in your water if you have concerns, I suggest getting your water tested by an independent lab.

  3. Two laptops. One never uses wifi and the other uses wifi/Internet but has no important data on it. I travel and like to have my laptop with me so I bring the “clean” one which is used to go online and if I need additional files I put them on an SD card. My concern when traveling is more about the possibility that the laptop might be stolen so I carry the SD card in my wallet.

  4. Linux is an order of magnitude better than Windows, but is not truly safe. No modern OS is. The Snowden release proved that tools exist to access “air-gapped” systems (computers not connected to any network). Even an SD card or USB flash drive can surreptitiously transport compressed encrypted data in both directions across the air gap. For true isolation, you would need to burn information to a non-rewritable CD or DVD, close the disc, and then transfer the data to the ‘clean’ system. Don’t EVER transfer information from a clean system to a potentially compromised one if you want data on the clean system to remain secure. All transfers must be one way.

    It is also possible to modify a serial cable (RS-232 for example) such that the transmit wire from the clean system to the ‘contaminated’ system is physically cut. I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t know what you are doing, however.

  5. While you may be able to get an annual report of water testing from your community, know that it is a only a list of required tests– that omits a lot of chemicals that MAY be present. To be safer, I always filter the water I obtain in my home with a carbon filter to remove/reduce the chemicals that are present– regardless of whether I am assured of the safety of the water by the ‘authorities.’

    Also, their stated ‘safe levels’ may not, in fact, be safe. It is not like they have data from humans upon which they conducted tests to prove anything. It is not ethical to dose humans with industrial chemicals just to determine safe levels. And some chemicals have not even had much animal testing conducted, either.

  6. So the University of Texas classifying “masculinity” as a mental illness makes me think that is a slippery slope towards confiscating weapons. When you have been deemed mentally ill then the laws can be made that you are not competent to own a weapon. If they can make everyone “mentally ill” then they have reached their goal.

    1. I know too many women whose men have been corrupted by this already, and are perfectly happy to let her work herself to exhaustion while she supports them, and takes care of the children too. When their wives complain and try to talk about it, they get gender roles propaganda in return.

  7. Downfall of Society;
    Many thanks to Mr. Mike Williamson for bringing this fine article to our attention and Many More Thanks to Mr. John Hawkins for writing this fine article.
    If You go to Letter Re: The Slippery Slope: Proposed ATF Rule Redefining “Machinegun” article on today’s Survival Blog. There I left 2 post that go right to the root of what Mr. John Hawkins Article is talking about.
    Keep up the good work on the Blog boys and girls. Thanx.

  8. So does this mean that Texans will now allow their “men” be de-masculinized and lose out on their all important football standings and titles, or are they now going to become the state of loser teams? But then remember just how liberal Austin is.

    1. You are correct about the location of this bilge water. Austin is one of the most liberal of areas in Texas. I believe a large part f the problem is the “Political Migration” (A phrase I’ve learned from listening to JJS on Radio Free Redoubt podcasts), but in the negative sense. Texas has a rather large influx of people moving here from other states (data from other linked articles on this site) especially high tax states (read “liberal”) & it tends to skew public sentiment- & thus influence rules, regulations and laws.

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