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”. Science Fiction has once again predicted where we would be today.

Firefox vs Chrome

Reader P.L. sent in this link comparing the business models of Google (Chrome) and Mozilla (Firefox). While Chrome owns about 60% of the browser market, Firefox has slipped to about 10%. But you should really consider changing your browser from Chrome to Firefox. With Chrome (and Google), you are the product. The company collects and resales your personal data to third parties on a regular bases. You agree to allow them to do this simply by using their software. Firefox, on the other hand, uses a subscription method where Google (and other companies) pay them to be the default search engine. Since you can simply change the search engine preference to whatever you want, you can bypass Big Brother. Firefox is inherently better for you privacy.

55 Gallons of Water

The legislature has passed a new law that limits indoor household water use  to 55 gallons per person per day. Nope, we’re not talking about South Africa and it’s devastating drought again. We talking about California now. By 2022, the state will mandate that each household is limited to no more than 55 gallons of water for all activities. Water districts that don’t comply will face fines up to $10,000 per day.  While usage rates that low are really easy to achieve if you’re concerned, the concept of the government mandating it and installing/checking water meters is just more big brother nonsense. Thanks to F.M. for the link.

Science Fiction Regularly Predicts the Future

We’ve seen it with the Star Trek Communicator (flip-phones), lasers, sending men to the moon and much, much more. For years science fiction dystopian novels have predicted the rise of mega corporations that control everything, including the government. With the corporate mergers we’ve seen of late, we are well on the way to this dystopian destination. The latest is the merger of Monsanto and Bayer AG which sets up a corporation controlling more than 25 percent of the global seed and pesticide supply. In all, thee companies – Monsanto-Bayer, Dow-DuPont, and ChemChina-Syngenta dominate the seed market. As an example, the price of a bag of seed corn has risen from $80 to over $300 in just the last decade. I can’t think of anything good that will come out of that except for the windfall to company shareholders. Get your heirloom seeds while you still can! Thanks to DSV for the link.

Staying Alive in Post Collapse

Reader H.L. sent in this article from Jerimiah Johnson on seven ways to stay alive in a post-collapse society. They are condensed to seven simple rules that you should be practicing now. There is no reason to have to change your lifestyle to follow these rules when something happens. Do it now so it just seems natural. He also throws in some additional warnings on what to watch for based on his experience as a Green Beret. It’s an interesting short read.

Visa Failure

The Visa network experienced a serious service disruption this week where Visa branded cards were unusable across Europe. Those hardest hit were travelers who were vacationing or on business trips. People were unable to pay for hotels, transportation and food. This does demonstrate the fragility of the banking system and our reliance on a cashless society. At least there were not violent riots in stores like there were when the SNAP welfare system in the U.S. broke down a couple years ago. Make sure your contingency plans cover your basic financial needs when access to your money in a bank is not allowed. While I am an advocate of getting out of banks as much as possible, I also realize that there is some things that you just can’t do without a credit/debit card.


Don’t believe the hype you hear about our economy and it’s amazingly low unemployment rate. The “official” numbers were released this week and the unemployment hit it’s supposedly lowest level in over 50 years. However, while those numbers sound exciting, they don’t actually line up with those who are tracking the labor force. There is a record 95.9 million Americans who are no longer in the labor force. While some of this is of their own choice because mothers quit to raise children or others quit to start their own businesses, many have just given up looking for work. Once the unemployment supplement runs out, there is little incentive to keep reporting to the government. Once they quit reporting, they are no longer counted among the unemployed even though they still don’t have a job. The numbers also don’t really take into account those who are only working part-time or at a much lower wage than they used to. The economy is still in trouble. Thanks to G.L. for the link.

Social Media Tax

Uganda has implemented a social media tax that is basically unenforceable, but that doesn’t make it harmless. It allows them to be selective in their enforcement and invites censorship. Take for example the new requirements to obtain a GSM SIM card for a mobile phone. under a new rule, all SIMS must be registered with a persons national biometric ID card. No more burner phones there! Thanks to S.T. 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!


  1. Some people have left the workforce since it’s much easier to receive a government check than actually work. I do not know if the “official” report cited above counts them, but NY does not consider welfare recipients as unemployed.

  2. Re water: In the 1970s, the nationwide average water use inside the residence was some 40 gallons per person per day, incuding washing machines and dishwashers. In Austin, Texas, in the 1980s in summer, the city water treatment plant treated up to 500 gallons per person per day.

    Given California’s problems with drouth, the 55-gallon limit is not irrational.

    Re unemployment: The published number of unemployed is known as U-3. U-6 includes those who have given up; no job but not included in U-3. U-6 would add around 6% or so, making the better-defined unemployed as some 10%.

    John Williams of calculates unemployment as it was done in the 1930s, arriving at some 23%. His method includes under-employed, part-time and those who never were eligible for unemployment compensation.

  3. I wonder how demographics impact the labor participation rate?

    Back when unemployment was higher I had an older friend who was unemployed. He was collecting a Navy retirement and a civil service retirement. After retiring from civil service he had worked as a government contractor doing major pump repair and overhaul as there was a shortage of skilled mechanics for his particular specialty. The job was initially supposed to be part time and he had wanted it that way but it morphed into full time as there was a lot of work. Then for whatever reason the work dried up and he was unemployed and one of the statistics. His intent was to collect his unemployment insurance until it ran out and then finally really retire. I think he was pushing 70.

    I bring him up because I think there are a number of older people who were right on the edge regarding retirement and are now finally really retiring. I know there are others who really need work and can’t find it as well but I think with the aging of Boomers a lower labor participation rate is to be expected at least for a while.

  4. Grid Down Signalling and Recon: Sky Lanterns
    (YouTube Video)
    Canadian Prepper
    Published on Jun 3, 2018
    Duration 6:13

    *Please try to avoid stating the obvious about fire risks, obviously thats a factor as mentioned in the video, but there are many situations where it would not be. You gotta think outside the box. There is a reason why these were used thousands of years ago.’

    “In this video I throw out the idea of sky lanterns as a primitive mode of comms, signalling and recon in a grid down situaton.”

  5. Last I saw, there were still 94M people listed as not in the work force. That number has been fairly static since around 2010 iirc.

    Unemployment numbers are political figures. One side, shows it high, one says its low. Its all funny math these days.

  6. Unemployment:
    96 million unemployed – total population of the US, 326 million…
    That’s roughly one out of three people…
    one – out – of – three – with – no – job.
    The ratio is probably even worse, since the total population includes children and adults who can’t work. I assume the unemployment figure only counts adults who could work.
    I sure am glad we have millions of illegals pouring in to do the “work Americans won’t do.”

  7. Water: we live in Capetown South Africa and got used to living with 50 liters or less per person per day. We have lived for three years with rationed drinking water. We have learned our lesson and can now get by on very little. This water situation made me increase our prepping on all fronts and we are better prepared than most people around us. We have increased our storage capacity and can go for six months with out an outside water source. We usually get winter rains and right now it is manna from heaven. Be prepared! It can happen to any city!

    GSM SIM card: We have had similar laws here in South Africa requiring every SIM card to be registered to the user id. It is called RICA (regulation of interception of communications) But like all laws it is very easily circumvented. You can buy a pre- rica’d SIM card from any Pakistani cell phone shop anywhere in South Africa for a few coins. BTW, somebody posted the original database of all registered phones online and it is now there with all your details!,
    We also have FICA (Financial intelligence centre Act). Which translates to: The government wants to know who’s money is in every bank account and where does it come from and where does it go.
    This is part of a broader international system called FAFT (Financial action task force). Primary to combat money laundering and terrorism financing……. And to collect taxes!

    Welcome to a changed world.

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