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 disturbing articles that make one realize just how vulnerable everyone is. Cyber hacking/security is on one end of the spectrum and Skynet on the other end.

Terminators and Skynet

Reader G.P. sent in this article profiling the U.S. army’s desire to have A.I. robots on the battle field. Over the next few years, the Pentagon is poised to spend almost $1 billion for a range of robots designed to compliment combat troops. Currently the tasks relegated to these robots would be routine task such as carrying equipment or sniffing out chemicals and bombs or possibly even complex reconnaissance. However, the problem lies in the superior speed at which machines can make decisions compared to humans. While militaries are currently avoiding having the A.I. make kill decisions, somebody somewhere is eventually going to do it forcing all other militaries to follow suit. There is no possible way to program ethics into A.I. and we will eventually end up with some form of Terminator.


Parents who are concerned over the state’s inability to keep their kids safe at a public school setting are pulling their children out and starting to homeschool them. According to this article sent in by H.L. public school settings are consuming much more of a child’s time than it did for generations. To those of us who understand the power of controlling a population by controlling their children, it comes as no surprise. What may surprise some people who think that their children need the “socialization” of a public school setting is just how much impact this has on them. Children’s suicidal tendencies appear to be the strongest during the school year and some believe the setting is causing serious psychological damage. Mass schooling even impacts how much time a child has for a job. It’s an interesting article.

Escaping Quarantine

As the nearly yearly outbreak of ebola continues in the Congo, authorities are discovering just how hard it is to quarantine people in a city of 350,000 people. Three patients escaped in the city of Mbandaka in north western Democratic Republic of Congo. All three have been recovered, but two of them were found dead. With behaviors like this, the WHO is concerned that it will lead to another outbreak like 2014 in which over 11,000 were killed. Culture is the most difficult foe in the spread of the disease though. Aid agencies are reporting that many refuse medical care and in what may be anti-Christian propaganda are claiming that pastors at churches have been encouraging people to “pray away” Ebola rather than seek vaccines.

Gun Owners and Non-Owners

Reader A.D. sent in this article claiming that gun owners and non-owners actually agree more that most people think. While the article points out several polls that show both owners and non-owners supporting certain gun-control legislation, what it misses is the difference in how these people think. A non-owner thinks it’s no big deal to outlaw firearms. An owner might actually agree that legislation is a good thing – right up until they come to the realization that it will make them a non-owner. Then, suddenly, the brakes are on. All one has to do to point out the fallacy of polls is point to Trump’s election. The average person may think something is a good idea when it applies to someone else, but when it comes home, you find out how they really feel.

America’s Middle Class

Reader DSV sent in this article on the death of the middle class in America. The article is a bit of a sales pitch, but contains some good historic information. For the first time, less than 50% of American’s fall in the middle class. It clearly shows that the rising personal debt in the housing and automotive markets is a turning point in the American economy. Housing and Auto prices far outstripped the average middle class American’s rise in income. We haven’t stopped owning these things, we’ve just gone further in debt to do so. I also think that that this is a major contributor to the failing American family. One income used to be able to support a family. Now, both parents often choose to work to service the debt levels that a typical family will go into.

Cyber Security

Reader S.M. sent in this Vice video on cyber attacks. The video starts out with the reporter finding out just how much control and hacker can obtain over your car through your car’s WiFi signal. Most newer cars are vulnerable to these attacking attempts. The article profiles why Israel has determined that they want their country to be one of the top experts on Cyber Security and how they have successfully achieved this goal. We’ve seen the power of this approach clear back in 2010 when the Cyber collaboration between Israel and the U.S. developed the Stuxnet attack which severely damaged the Iranian nuclear program. (Note that neither country has openly admitted responsibility.)

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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. Re: homeschooling. School shootings are another red herring.

    Even if armed security was put in every classroom government schools would remain evil institutions of mass indoctrination and bastions of moral depravity.

    Parents are totally responsible for their children. Parents who refuse to do everything possible to protect their children are unfit parents.

    1. I was in the military for 21 years. My kids went to public schools. Did I want them in those schools? No. Could I afford to send them to private schools? No. Was I in a position to home school? No. Was I an unfit parent? No. Do you know what you’re talking about? …No…

  2. The “socialization” argument for sending kids to public school is ridiculous. Children learning social skills from other children who don’t have them either? Bullying and emotional abuse is what kids do to each other in public schools.

    1. So how do children deal with bullying? And does it create those traits in children to respond to bullying in a way to neutralize it? Of course it does. This process, this learning to deal with all kinds of people including the unsavory people is called … socialization! And it can really only be learned through experience.

      1. It is “socialization”, but it’s BAD socialization. Basically unsupervised. Literally like throwing a child into the water and telling them to figure out how to swim, or drown. Pull them out just before they die, give them a couple of pointers, then throw them in again.

        Homeschoolers have overwhelmingly better social skills than public schoolers, because they spend a larger amount of time around adults, and learn from them instead of other kids. They still socialize with other children because that is also part of homeschooling that the parents arrange. It’s just more controlled and supervised, and the parents have the influence and authority to work with the problems that arise.

        Yeah, there are some weird families that “lock their kids up in the basement” until they are 18, but that’s rare, and there are a lot of freaky public school families out there, too. I would argue that there are a LOT more.

        1. I know many home schooled kids who really lack in social skills. Homeschooling because your kid doesn’t fit in, is different, or is bullied, doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Homeschooling because your kids are getting a crappy public school education is a great reason. Homeschooling to keep a kid safe is another great reason. Yet I know many homeschooled kids who are isolated, left on their own without parental involvement or supervision to complete their assignments, subjects, units, workbooks, or whatever you want to call it, but just play video games all day in their bedrooms. Homeschooling done right is a way better option than public school, but many parents just take their kids out of public school, do noting to educate the child at home, and call it homeschooling.

  3. As parents we are responsible for our children’s safety here on earth, but we are also responsible for the safety of their souls. On judgement day we will stand before God and be required to explain why we allowed our children to be taught all of the things they are taught in public school that go against God’s word. The list is long, evolution instead of creation, sodomy as a legitimate lifestyle, and the acceptance of the shedding of innocent blood are the best recognized. They are also taught to disrespect for their parents, to love money, to worship education.

  4. The “socialization” argument for sending kids to public school is the ridiculous. Children learning social skills from other children who don’t have them either? Bullying and emotional abuse is what kids do to each other in public schools.

  5. I was born in the 50s. I remember my mother choosing to work outside of the home in the 60s. This did put a different kind of stress on our family. I had to grow up quickly.

    I was educated in northern Utah. Reading, writing and arithmetic was the emphasis. Utah History, the story of the Mormon religion, was the only social engineering that I can recall. Actually they could not teach the history of Utah without including the history of the church. Not being LDS, I was a bit of an outcast in some ways. We were allowed to air our differences finishing with a bloodied nose if necessary.
    I did learn a lot from the families of my Mormon friends. They strive to be self sufficient and they take care of others in their communities.

    The Utah public schools were good. Fast forward to the 1980s and 1990s. My Wife and I chose to send our children to public schools. We purposely moved to a conservative community close to a major DOD facility. The students who attended the public schools were from all over the country. Many had been overseas. This provided a different kind of diversity. Some good life lessons were learned, some others required a punch in the nose. Like father like sons.
    I volunteered for school district committees influencing curriculum. I participated in budget committees and attended school board meetings.
    We feel incredibly blessed to have raised two strong men. One is a toxicologist, one is a chemist.

    Whether we choose to homeschool or choose to use the public schools it is our responsibility to parent. We must stay up to date on who the best teachers are and ask that our children are put in the right classrooms. Very few parents pay attention to this important detail.

    1. It occurred to me after writing this note that I likely missed a significant point.
      If Utah History cannot be complete without including the history of the church how can US History be taught without including the Founding Fathers history as believers in Jesus?
      I guess that is the most significant change when you homeschool.
      Preaching to the choir.

      1. Most of the Founding Fathers weren’t “christians” but Diests. Anyone who wasn’t a believer(or the right kind) was subject to assault(beating,tar and feather,etc),property damage/destruction(destroy home or business) or even murder with full support of the “Christian” community.

  6. A random thought on more armed security in schools, they become (re)education camps!

    We might be doing their dirty work for them! Be careful what you wish for!

  7. I was fortunate enough to start my family in the last year of my military career, so they weren’t constantly uprooted and moved by my changing assignments. We did transfer from the DC Metro area to Colorado Springs for three years, then right back to the old Fairfax County neighborhood for their Middle School and High School years. Both boys chose to go to college in East Tennessee, following their Dad’s example. Didn’t home school, and certainly don’t consider myself an unfit parent.

  8. An thought about context in the use of AI robots on the battlefield. It is good that we are concerned that robots might make unethical kill decisions. Up through Vietnam, the military suffered close to 15% of its casualties from fratricide, or blue on blue violence. Our most recent greater middle east war games of the twenty-first century have had the highest rate of fratricide, at 24%, but the lowest actual numbers. This is because so few of our soldiers are killed by enemy forces, the number of fratricides is statistically higher. I doubt that DoD would field a robot who made a mistake a quarter of the time, so our numbers may actually improve.

      1. The last published fratricide report was in 2006 and covered Iraq and Afghanistan. Haven’t found any on Syria or other theater locations in the Global War on Terrorism er Islamic Fundamentalism. I assume that since we have very few involved in combat, the rate will be similar to late Iraq, but the actual numbers small.

  9. Homeschooling is only as good as the effort the parents put into it. Some of my best and some of my worst students at the college level have been homeschooled. Before you go that route think about what your child wants to do with the rest of their life and what your own educational strengths and weaknesses may be. If your child wants to be a scientist and your math and science background is poor, the likely outcome for you child will not be optimal. As “poor” as many people make out the public school system to be, if you are not in the inner city your child probably will have many opportunities for college level course work in high school. Of course this comes with the indoctrination and potential for violence. The former is up to you to fix, and the latter is something they will experience sooner or later. Pray, educate them on self-defense and hope for the best.

  10. Gee, I didn’t see anywhere in the education article that if one doesn’t homeschool we should consider them an unfit parent. If your kids went to government school and they didn’t turn out to be whiny socialist progressives then you raised them right and you were probably involved in their education one way or another. One thing to consider is that even though public schools ten-fifteen years ago may have been full of liberals, the teachers and administrators hadn’t yet gone off the deep end. However in today’s academia where kindergartners are exposed to “Heather has two mommies”, a grade school student is suspended for fashioning a poptart handgun or getting indoctrinated by common core math ,history or English maybe it is a good idea to consider homeschooling even if one has to make some financial or leisure activity sacrifices.

    Just my two cents.
    Keep passing the open windows

  11. Public schools are the worst thing the government has ever provided!! My Dad tells of the one room school house, just the sisters and brothers and friends in the neighborhood. I have to use neighborhood loosely as they lived on a 50 acre farm and there weren’t many children around. But he tells that he got his 2nd grade english after listening to the 1st grade english lesson, and then he worked on his classwork while he heard the 3rd, 4th, 5th etc… grade students get their english. Then started the math and history etc… The point is that first he got a review from last year, then his grade, then a preview of what to expect the next year. Schools are too big, too many students, now enough emphasis on learning. Lets get back to the basics, Reading Writing, and Arithmetic and break up the schools into manageable neighborhood schools instead of 100-500 students on one campus all bused in from miles away. And while we are at it, break up the churches too, bigger isn’t always better. Bring back the small neighborhood church with a hundred or two parishioners instead of these massive churches with thousands of parishioners.

  12. Here is what the homeschool proponents never explain. At what point do their children enter the real world? When do they learn to deal with the bullies, the people of different color , the foreign born ?

    Those people are the reality .

    I guess you could keep your children home forever , or you could let them be exposed to the world as it really is.

    There is a reason the US is the greatest country that has ever existed. We aren’t afraid of opposing ideas. We try all kinds of things, some of which fail , and we have an almost universal affection for education .

    1. I’ll take the bait here and answer. The two oldest of my children were educated in the public school system and the three youngest spent the first couple of years there before I yanked them out and homeschooled them. You ask at what point to they enter the real world? Why would you assume that my homeschooling isn’t real? They enter the world when they are ready to! There comes a time when they itch to spread their own wings and become independent. That’s when they are ready. Sending them into the “real world” and exposing them to it’s nastiness before they are prepared is just feeding them to the wolves. Of all my children, the three homeschooled are the most responsible and conscientious ones. I wish I had given the other two the same advantage. Here is a challenge for you:
      Name one positive thing that your child learned from other children in a public school setting that they couldn’t have learned better from you as a parent.
      Children don’t learn to be adults by modeling their behavior after other children. You should read “Lord of the Flies“. The reason most homeschooled kids are so well behaved and motivated is because they spend the majority of their time around responsible adults.
      As the saying goes: You don’t teach a bank teller how to recognize counterfeit money by making them handle counterfeit. You teach them by making them handle real money over and over again. Then when the counterfeit passes through their hands, they recognize it. Not because it’s counterfeit, but because it’s not real. Teach them truth and they will automatically recognize lies because they aren’t the truth.

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