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, this time tracking domestic travel of U.S. citizens.

Farmlands Documentary

The official documentary that Lauren Southern has been working on has been released. Farmlands (2018) documents the plight of South African white farmers as they receive pressure from both the government and the black population. The documentary covers the false promises of equality and the corruption and lies of the government as well as the actions of local communities. The documentary is a little over an hour long and is well worth watching. Despite being held up by the left as a paragon of justice, the South African movement is a debacle on the order of Zimbabwe. Thanks to D.B. for the link.

The Cost of Illegals

Reader H.L. sent in this article that details the financial burden of illegal immigration on United States taxpayers. Of particular interest is the data that shows that when you include both the federal and the state costs, you end up with a total cost of almost $135 billion to service an estimated 12.5 million illegal aliens. But those same immigrants, if they all paid taxes, would only bring in around $19 billion in combined taxes. That leaves a shortfall of $116 billion that you, the American taxpayer has to pick up. The article breaks the tax expenditures down so it’s easy to see where the money goes.

Donkey Rations

According to this article sent in by reader W.W., the socialist utopia of Venezuela is having a severe problem with their donkey herds. A few years ago, there were so many donkeys that they were causing highway crashes and blocking the runways of airports. But over the past three years, the herds have shrunk dramatically as they have been slaughtered for their meat by Venezuelans suffering through a near famine. Today, the burros have virtually disappeared. This is a significant change as unlike other South American countries, burro has never been a regular in the diet of Venezuelans.

Tracking Domestic Travel

Despite promises to the contrary, the TSA and federal air marshals have begun tracking ordinary U.S. citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list, collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program. The program, called “Quiet Skies”, specifically targets passengers who are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base. The program gives the agency broad discretion over which air travelers it wants to focus on and how closely they are tracked. However, interviews and internal communications show that it is tracking passengers who appear to pose no real threat. This is a program that isn’t about safety so much as it is about control. Welcome to the police state yet again. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

The Apocalypse Bicycle

Reader S.B. sent in this paper describing an “Apocalypse Bicycle”. The author basically takes all the advanced materials and special tooling out of the bicycle. He creates a basic two wheeled method of transportation that can be easily worked on by near primitive tools. The author places zerks in areas that need lubrication so you don’t have to dissasemble the bike and uses low tech materials like mild steel in the construction. While this isn’t a sleek racing machine that you might find in the peleton, it is a bicycle that will blend in and be relatively easy to maintain. Something to think about.

AI in Healthcare

We’ve seen a significant push for healthcare directed by an AI in recent years. I’m sure that this is driven, in part, by the shortage of doctors and nurses in the system as well as the rising costs of healthcare. Perhaps even a bit of greed as the Insurers desire to limit payouts on procedures. But all is not rosy on that front. IBM’s Watson AI has been used in healthcare, directing the care of more than 84,000 patients around the world. IBM calls it a success. But when you look at the internal memos and data you find a disturbing story. Watson has multiple records where it directed unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations. At issue is that the programmers apparently didn’t use real data, but rather hypothetical data when training it. That sort of training may work in humans, but not very well in computers.

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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. Regarding the Farmlands documentary. The reason why Liberalism/socialism doesn’t work because it doesn’t take into account that One is rewarded for their inputs/contribution to society in proportion to their contribution.

    Every time we go to Africa on mission trips with our Church the first thing we do when we disembark the airplane is dig wells for water and build homes for people. No where else in the world do we do that as in other countries they have running water and homes to live in. In that black Africans thank the white people “white privilege” as in their own words “we would never have running clean water, paved roads, air traffic controllers, stocked hospitals, and Law and Order”.

    What I’m saying is that Africans have a naughty word for Whites whom wish to toil on this Earth getting college degrees, corporate jobs, and advancing in those areas while neglecting the art of enjoying where they’re at today. Africans by and large are a laid back people. They’ll admit that and is why Africa is in Where it’s at today.

    Take the most advanced society, which was left over by the British Empire, called America, and plug the most laid back enjoyable people into it and you get the government dole. It’s happened in America and now looms over South Africa.

    I’m sorry but this stripping of farms, which requires so much hard work to farm, and handing over to folks which still need to prove their worth in farming, is another reason why the LEFTs socialistic programs giving themselves medals for equality will not only NOT work but eventually destroy human society with massive shortcomings in effort/contributions.

  2. re:
    Farmlands 2018

    The producers might want to consider editing the seventy-three minutes down to about fifty minutes.

    Although I watched it with headphones, I still missed much of the dialogue with native speakers. Captions, please.

    * * * * *

    If I had the money, everybody wishing to emigrate would be on the next ship to freedom. The government agents using economic sanctions to prevent emigration while enforcing genocide… there is a special place in hell for communists.

  3. Watson. The training data set is said to be medical journal articles. I recall seeing stories claiming where on the order of 50% of the articles are fraudulent written by pharma industry hacks touting their employers products. So it’s just another case of garbage in, garbage out.

  4. Crusing the headlines this morning–

    In the Know-the-Enemy Department: “Relax Boomers: Socialism is Good Now” from the Huffington post. This really lays out their agenda and their way of thinking. Get ready for the next round of political correctness.

    One the lighter side: the ACLU used law enforcements facial recognition software on the members of congress. The software identified 20+ congress”persons” as felons. ‘Nuff Said.

  5. When mature, rational folks look at the fruits of any Liberal / Socialist / Leftist system, program or plan, throughout history, they scratch their heads and wonder how such obviously malfunctioning, foundering things can keep getting support- usually over the express will of the people, often at the point of a gun and always counter to simple common sense.

    How many times can you run into a wall before you realize it’s time to change course?

    The key is “rational, mature folks” are looking for problems’ causes and solutions and expect others to do the same.

    Put this one extra term into the equation and any and everything makes sense:
    The destruction of the United States and the collectivization of all the Earth’s peoples under one world government.

    Plug this into ANY “head scratcher” Leftist system, program or plan and it becomes crystal clear.

    You can reckon the destination by the course that’s being steered.

  6. Insurance fraud among illegal aliens is a big deal in California. Cars full of hispanics, beyond the legal number of occupants, will pull in front of you on a crowded freeway and hit the brakes! Next thing you know you are a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit of 6-8 people claiming neck and back injuries. They do this over and over again. I can’t believe the insurance industry doesn’t have a database and cross reference plaintiff names. Contractors who in the past have benefitted from hiring illegals also face the risk of them now getting injured on the job. Rather than admit to hiring illegals and facing prosecution, the contractors pay off the “injured” worker in cash, and off they go to another job,

    Many illegal aliens have a “side gig” going on, a cash business that avoids paying any taxes. They will make cheese in their bathtub and sell it at swap meets on the weekends. Yes it is a real thing! Or sell tamales or pupusas door to door without a permit or license. Many will buy items at garage sales or estate sales and resell them. Drive through a hispanic neighborhood anytime and you will see yard or garage sales every week at the same locations! Landscaping, house cleaning, and child care services are also conducted on a cash basis without permits and licenses. All of these are cash businesses, fly under the regulatory radar, and avoid paying taxes.

    1. Illegals work under the table, not only to avoid paying taxes, but to look “penniless on paper,” and thus be eligible for welfare, Section Eight, free college tuition, etc. Meanwhile, they buy houses, cars, and businesses CASH. Their kids go to college FREE (to them). You and I get to pay for it. As a retired military vet, my kids got NOTHING. Oh; and to access all of this “wealth redistribution,” they cop other peoples’ social security numbers… maybe yours.

      Anyone who thinks that illegal immigrants don’t affect them or cost them is living in a delusion…

  7. The “apocalypse bicycle” proposer needs to familiarize himself with conventional bicycle design and maintenance, and with the tradeoffs in historic bike design, and with the general engineering concept of balancing costs and benefits.

    Zerks are great, but even industrial bearings are not normally completely filled with grease because it significantly increases drag, which is very important on a vehicle with a 1/3 hp motor. Wheel rims can be much lighter with a pneumatic tire because the load is well-distributed. Pneumatic tires reduce drag because they let you go over irregularities without having to climb them. You can build a single-tube frame to accommodate long skirts, but it will be heavier, weaker, or both than a triangulated frame. He wants easy serviceability but wants an internal hub brake? Will he sell enough slow, heavy, hard-to-pedal bicycles before the apocalypse to achieve economy of scale, allowing production of significant numbers? How will it ride over rubble and roadblocks? When it gets too rough for a conventional bike, I’ll stick to shank’s are

  8. Another cost of illegals is very real but not tangible; that is the astonishing degree of dumbing down which occurs in schools forced to serve these students. The illegals rarely speak fluent English, and even after going through the primary grades they fail to acquire a vocabulary and grammar knowledge sufficient for high school. The effect is devastating on intelligent native speakers who otherwise would be able to advance much further and faster. My own high school, which once sent students to Ivy League colleges and produced Merit Scholarship winners, has been reduced to a fifth-rate holding cell. It’s heartbreaking. It’s unfair. Maybe the government prefers a dumb populace for reasons of its own.

  9. Apocalypse bicycle:

    Then again, I just saw 24″ Huffy, with balloon tires, single speed (me speed), hub brake. All I saw were “girls” bikes (I’m sure there is something similar available in “boys” models, I didn’t look), for $89.00 at Walmart.

    Also, in my town, you can drive around and find someone who is selling used bicycles, far cheaper than new ones.

  10. If anyone is satisfied with Wal-Mart bicycles, good. But after working in it’s Assembly area some bike brands would be returned in a week or so due to petals falling off, etc., most likely because of loose machine tolerances. You get what you pay for.

    Public Works Auctions, dumpster driving* and if you are near a University at the end of a semester it’s Police Dept. have used bicycles and more. Pedal power, producing your own energy from a stationary bicycle, is still viable.

    * Dumpster Driving Rules: Respect whoever is paying for the dumpster, management, whoever. Have a spotter or at a least a bright red-orange banner on a pole that can be seen from a garbage truck. It’ll avoid a free trip to the landfill. Be wary of furniture and other items that may have bedbugs, they are on the rise. Have extendable tongs or hook and rope. While my m.c. parts dumpster days are long over, knees, it’s still amusing to see a Cadillac drive up to an E*kard’s dumpster and an elderly couple with the precision and efficiently of a swat team get what they want and be off in less than twelve seconds.
    Now, with shipping crates being converted into multi-rise housing, knock first before attempting a Fosbury Flop high-jump into a dumpster, especially a San Francisco red dumpster so as not be dinner. “Hey, what’s for dinner?”, “You.”

  11. Since there are in reality, over 40 million illegal foreign invaders in America, that brings the ACTUAL cost closer to a half TRILLION dollars… marvelous…

  12. Aside from the zerk fittings and the hub brake, the author of Apocalypse Bicycle is doing nothing more than reinventing the cheap, used twice and given away, HUFFY bicycle. “Mild steel” SUCKS! It’s HEAVY. It BENDS. The author’s reason for using it was that it would be easier to straighten with a rock, etc. A chrome moly bike is fairly light, and probably won’t bend in the first place. The step-through design of the frame is handy, but it makes the frame really weak. Decent-quality bicycles have sealed or cartridge bearings that will go for YEARS without maintenance under grueling off-road conditions! Using zerk fittings means you’re assuming the grease is getting contaminated or lost. It also means you’re hoping there are still grease guns and grease readily available. Flatproof tires might be good to have as a fallback, but they’e either too soft or too hard. They’re also TOO HEAVY! I don’t think this guy has actually ridden his creation.

    Do yourself a favor; if you want a post-TEOTWAWKI bike, look for a mid-priced mountain or hybrid bike. Don’t go crazy with speeds. a 24-speed bike has a much thinner chain and is more cantankerous to keep adjusted than a 15-speed bike. Thinner chains break easier. The “dish” of the rear wheel will also be more pronounced on a 24-speed bike, in order to make room for all those gear on the rear wheel. This “dish” makes the rear wheel inherently weaker than the front. The less dish, the stronger the rear wheel. I’ve used regular old rim brakes since I was a kid. Are they perfect? No. Are they simple and reliable? Hell, YES! Get decent-quality tires with thorn-resistant tubes. Get a couple of spares for each, along with a few patch kits. You’ll go far. Screw the suspension bikes. More moving parts mean more broken parts.

    What I described above is a bike you can get at a yard sale for about $25.00. Keep it simple folks!

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