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 TSA is at it again. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, this utterly useless agency has found yet another way to annoy travelers.

Plastic Knife

My favorite crazy knife maker, kiwami japan has released yet another knife manufacturing video. This one is made from a plastic coke bottle. This one was quite a bit easier to make than some of his previous knives, but still rates right about in the middle for sharpness. I do wish he would include how many hours it took him to make the knife in his description though. His sharpening methods are always manual and produce very uniform and beautiful results.

As a bonus, he has started to include little tips and easy gadgets to make certain tasks easier. The one included in this video is how to modify a cardboard parchment paper dispenser to dispense the paper and at the same time get rid of the “curl” that drives everyone crazy.


First it was your laptops and phones, then it was your liquids and your shoes. Now, the TSA wants your snacks. Despite not being part of the agency’s standard procedures, a recommendation issued by the agency last year is gaining steam. Many screening check points now require you to remove your snacks from your carry on luggage and place them in a separate bin. It should be noted that despite treating every passenger as a criminal, the TSA has a horrible track record for the exact task they are supposed to carry out. Study after study shows how easily contraband makes it past the screeners, Yet in their entire existence, not one terrorist plot has been foiled by their actions. This may actually be the one agency that is less desirable than the BATF. Thanks to DSV for the link.

Quad-copter drones, schmones…

The government is worried about hobby drones these days, but that’s really because they are becoming ubiquitous. It has nothing to do with what uses they have or who uses them. It’s all about control. Take this video sent in by reader T.P. for example. This guy just built a 400mph+ Remote controlled model jet plane. If one were to place a live feed from a cell phone video camera in the nose, you would have an instant air to ground attack missile. This whole thing is starting to sound eerily familiar to the “gun control” thing. (Jump to the 2:22 mark for the actual launch and flight of this plane.)

Shredding Data

There is nothing quite like shredding evidence of an illegal act to hide your culpability. According to this article sent in by reader H.L., the NSA has been busy scrubbing several years worth of call records (meta data) that were swept up in foreign intelligence surveillance wiretaps that it was never authorized to collect. They claim that “technical irregularities” caused the oversight.

No Privacy

A Vernon, Connecticut woman received a shock when her doctor’s office called her to report that her private medical information was online at Amazon. Apparently, the woman had been recently diagnosed with a malady and had purchased a personalized medical alert bracelet from a third-party seller on Amazon. This company then photographed the bracelet and used it as promotional material for their product, exposing the woman’s private data for all the world to see. To be fair, the responsibility for this error rests squarely on the third-party seller and not Amazon. What kind of company can’t spare one item from their inventory to personalize a fictitious person? The product has since been removed along with the damning photos, but you know once it’s on the Internet, it’s permanent.

Forms of Cash

Showing that the government has a tenuous hold on cash at best, Reader S.R. sent in this article showing that the ancient Mayans actually used chocolate as a form of money at the height of their civilization. Money is simply a tangible object that is used to represent value. The actual value is in the labor and service performed (man hours) or the product produced. The U.S. dollar (or any other fiat currency) only has value because people accept it as such. Recent discussion valuing precious metals in dollars are an example of that. How do you truly represent the real value of something with a piece of paper (or digital ones and zeros) that only have value because the government says it has the value? What happens when the currency is debased so thoroughly that no one accepts the government’s statement that it has value?

Get Your Nickels While You Can

SurvivalBlog has been warning for years that the composition of the U.S. nickel is about to change. The cost of manufacturing the nickle is currently about $0.07 so many options have been discussed to bring the manufacturing costs down. Introducing new pocket change is a difficult task. The new coin must look and feel similar to the old one or people will reject it. The metal also must not corrode when held in a sweaty hand, must be durable to survive decades of use and has to have an exact electrical conductivity so vending machines won’t reject it. This time around, the government used powerful computer simulations to perform the research rather than trial and error. With the hard research done, we are that much closer to the replacement nickel. Thanks to L.G. 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. The quality of the personal at TSA and their rules and regulations have ruled out the possibility of me flying. People that have hurt me in my life are people that don’t know what they are doing and TSA is up there at the head of the list.

    On a related subject when I go into a business and see signs saying ‘ No firearms allowed ‘ I always ask if its safe in here!

  2. Same here. Stopped all commercial flights years ago. Don’t miss anything about it. And I get that little twinge when I see the “No Firearms Allowed” sign. Yeah right, for everyone except the perp.

  3. We used to fly 3-4 times a year to visit family. Now we may fly once a year, but travel by car the rest of the times…adds time, but the control over your own self aspect cannot be ignored.

  4. Whenever I see the “No firearms allowed” (here in Texas, the required “Code .30-06” language) posted on the door of a business I’m entering, I make it a habit of going back to the car to unholster, then I enter to store and inform the manager (nicely) that the sign has cost him/her my business, as it does NOTHING but threaten MY safety. I then leave, never go back, and spread the word amongst my friends. Several years ago this cost Jared’s Jeweler $ 2,000, when I was in a rare mood to shower my wife with traditional baubles – after informing the manager, I went down the street to another large jewelry story without the sign on the door!

    Though we Liberty-loving people have a tendency to respect private property (duh!), and willingly abide by the business owner’s wishes, a strong theoretical argument can be made that they have no right to run a public business which deprives us of of our Constitutionally-secured Right to self-defense. I wouldn’t push it, but it’s an interesting thought.

  5. SH, where do you get groceries? Honest question. I am in Texas as well. I see this sign everywhere. A Walmart here in Texas had a active shooter a year or two ago and I wondered why he didn’t obey the sign…/sarcasm.

    I have wondered where one is supposed to buy the things we need. It is becoming that I have to disobey the laws or not shop anywhere. Quite frustrating.

  6. I haven’t flown since 2004, when I left a job that required nationwide seasonal photography. If it’s too far to drive, it’s too far.

    I will not be harassed, groped, questioned, backscattered or appraised by slack jawed mouth breathing Quislings who filled TSA jobs because the standards for security guard were too high.

    I also have the little pre-printed business cards that politely inform a business owner of my decision to forego trading with him because he makes me a potential target in his “gun free zone” place of business (reverse contains the Second Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America).

    I know neither act will make the slightest bit of difference, but my dignity and underwear remain intact, and I’ve taken a small if ineffectual stand for what is right.

  7. TSA is not a perfect institution. What would the critics replace it with.? I don’t recall any hijacking since TSA has been in action .

    This whole debate reminds me of the left demanding the elimination of ICE. If you don’t approve of their every action , eliminate them.

    1. I believe the problem most have with the TSA is the quality of the work force, the manner in which they perform their duties and the laughable structure they use to screen passengers. 5 year old girls and grandmas in a wheelchair with netting needles should not be the focal point of their concerns. At least not yet.

    2. The TSA is far beyond ‘not perfect’. The FAA used to have a “Red Team” that tested security. They got past the TSA over 95% of the time with firearms and explosives shortly after the TSA was formed… and were quickly shut down. The TSA’s own inspector general’s office still gets past them over 90% of the time with prohibited items.

      If the 9/11 hijackers had attempted to go through a TSA-level screening statistically at least 17 would have gotten through. Perhaps there might have been three airplanes hijacked instead of four that day – and that’s the *best case* result. On the low end note that there *was* airport security on and before 9/11. There’s no evidence to support that the TSA has actually improved the “catch” rate for prohibited items.

      All that for just $7.5 Billion dollars a year. What a bargain!

      Now, how do we deal with hijackings? Three ways, two already in place, and one that would cost a lot less than $7.5 billion a year.
      1. Improved cockpit doors. Implemented.
      2. Improved aircrew procedures (for example, putting a galley cart across the aisle when crew are entering/exiting the cockpit in the air). Implemented.
      3. Arm flight crew and/or increase the Air Marshals service. For $7.5B/year would could hire tens of thousands of air marshals – depending on what you assume for total cost of benefits and the like. We’re easily talking enough to put one on half the daily flights in the US. Let’s say than an air marshal only has a 50% chance of foiling a hijacking – oh, look at that, that would *also* have statistically stopped one of the 9/11 planes.

  8. Actually, the ticket is a private contract between the flier and the airline. The captain of the airplane has always had, and still has the final say as to who boards the craft. That’s why if you travel with a checked weapon follow the specific airlines instructions to the letter and ignore the TSA.

    Of course, I have none of these problems as I’ve withdrawn consent to be violated.

  9. If I cant drive to where I need to go, I don’t go. For the majority of people walking this earth, Flying is a convenience disguised as a necessity.

  10. Haven’t flown since 2004 and don’t plan on ever doing it again unless by private means. If freedom loving Americans would adopt that plan, TSA would be gone in a month. Problem is, is that most truly loving freedom Americans already have. The airlines are still in business. Ergo there are not that many freedom loving Americans.

  11. Airports, airlines, and the TSA are making some steps in the correct direction, at least in some areas. Some pilots have recently pushed through a program for the crews to be able to get through the check points without being hassled by the tsa. They are also implementing a program that takes the flight crew and trains them to carry and use firearms inside of an airplane to protect the people on the flight. With this program, even if the company does not like their people carrying or are anti gun, they can’t do anything about it. While it is by no means a perfect solution, it is at least a small step in the right direction.
    Also, for those of you who have abandoned aviation, give general aviation and charter a shot. GA has all of the fun of flying, but you don’t have to deal with all of the garbage from the TSA. It takes a little longer to get around, but the view and fun of being in the air makes it worth it.

  12. What people don’t realize is two years as a TSA screener gives one preference for a better federal job. So lots of these people, obviously, are just putting their time in for up and out. The second class of TSA employees are the unhireables who can’t find work elsewhere. The third group are the “true believers” who truly think that roughly body searching that 95 year lady from Cleveland in a wheelchair is stopping terror. And while we suffer through this probably 90 percent of everything going in the cargo hold goes unsearched. If someone can explain this logic please do so.

  13. TSA discovered almost 4000 firearms in carry on bags in 2017. The majority were loaded .

    We note TSA referred to as Quidlngs , a comment which reflects a lack of historical knowledge .

    If we eliminate TSA is anyone comfortable with being in a plane while some jihadists with a guns decide to make their point?

    I can already anticipate self appointed Air Marshals answering , “Yes but I’d have my gun”
    So now we have a shootout at 39,000ft.

    I’d rather skip that.

    1. Sadly you are correct. I think what most people want is for the TSA to be less oppressive and more effective. I want planes to be safe for travel but I’m not sure the $50 billion a year is well spent.

  14. TSA budget isn’t $50 billion . It’s a bit under $8 billion.

    Here’s a thought. When I clear screening I always thank the TSA guy for his vigilance and trying to keep me alive. They are people trying to do just that and thanking them is good manners.

  15. The point about them screening snacks is true. I flew on Sunday and was instructed to place all snacks in a separate bin. Seems pointless to me.

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