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”. I’m finally understanding why our young people are so enthralled by socialism today.


If you’re wondering why socialism seems to be OK with the new generation, it’s because of articles like this one. Remember, these are generally people who have never experienced the horrors of socialism and places like Venezuela and Argentina are far away. They’ve never seen people starving in mass and they have a view that even in poverty you can have a 100 inch flat screen TV and two cars. According to the article you can relax, the money won’t run out and the health care will remain the best in the world. Socialism is the new buzzword that conservatives use to scare you away from the Democratic party. Thanks to R.E. for the link.

Stand Your Ground

Reader T.P. sent in this article that shows how CNN is mangling the so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws yet again. While CNN claims that “Stand Your Ground” cases of self-defense are more complicated, they miss the boat completely. Actually self-defense cases are much simpler to evaluate. In a normal cases, you have to be evaluated on five criteria: innocence, imminence, proportionality, reasonableness, and avoidance. SYG laws simply remove the last criteria of “avoidance” making the evaluation easier for all involved. They also don’t seem to know that while SYG laws are only in 26 states, all states have some form of self-defense laws in place. Furthermore, they link SYG laws with racism. Once again CNN shows why all reasonable people don’t watch their news.

Largest Arms Dealer

Did you know that the United States is the largest arms dealer in the world? Did you know that the arms that the U.S. sells abroad are often used against the U.S.? Reader H.L. sent in this article showing how one journalist is digging into the forensics of arms captured all over the world and tracing the arms back to their source which is often in the U.S. The private corporations and the U.S. government often work to hide the paperwork trail that would show a direct link and the system is designed to shield them from violating anti-terror laws.

Due to the way the system works, there is no way to know for sure who the intended final user of the arms are and it is not uncommon for foreign governments or entities to act as buyers for others while claiming to be the end user. Once thing is for sure – selling arms is big business.


Hundreds of gun owners have been forced to give up their guns under a new law that took effect in Florida recently. The Risk Protection Order aims to temporarily remove weapons from gun owners who have been deemed by a judge to possible be a threat to themselves or others. Approximately 200 firearms have been confiscated since the law was enacted. The problem with the law is that the judge makes the decision without the person being able to defend against it. You have the right to appeal the decision, but this is an “assume guilt” type of law. It should be noted that so far, the judge has granted every petition sent to it in Pinellas County – none have been rejected. The law also raised the age to purchase a rifle to 21.


This articles is one of the best explanations of why the supreme court decision regard consumers paying taxes on out of state purchases is wrong. Primarily, the ability of a consumer to cross state lines and purchases goods without paying local taxes is one of the primary methods that keeps local and state taxes low. Without that incentive, there is no reason to keep your own state and local officials from digging deeply into your pockets for more of your hard earned cash. The removal of that barrier pretty much guarantees that your taxes will go up practically out of control.

Flip Side of Oil Boom

The fastest growing oil region in the U.S. has found the dark side of this economic boom in the American shale oil industry. The boom is fueling a subculture of drug and alcohol abuse among field workers. Because of the proximity to highways and to Mexico, the Permian shale play in West Texas the drugs are easily available and with the workers making six figure salaries, They can easily afford them. They are often abusing the drugs to get through the 24 hour shifts with 100 hours per week. Crystal meth is apparently the drug of choice according to the treatment centers.

Survival Realty

Survival Realty has a 64 acre home complete with an Atlas nuclear shelter listed on their site now. The home is 950 square feet with a grid ties solar system. There are multiple creeks, fruit trees and fenced gardens on the property as well. If you have to live in or near Ukiah, California, you should take a look at this property.

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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. “Socialism is the new buzzword that conservatives use to scare you away from the Democratic party. Thanks to R.E. for the link”

    Really… Didn’t expect to see a comment like this on this site…

    1. @Dave,
      Read the whole comment. That is a statement from the article and is propaganda. That is what is being claimed by the socialists.

  2. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, and the Republican Legislature voted for all of this gun control, while doing nothing to the corrupt Sheriff of Broward County, or the politicians of the School Board after the Parkland School massacre.

    Now, he is running for US Senate, where he can bring more gun control to the whole nation…

    Hopefully, he and the others will get their “Al Gore” moment this fall in the elections and return to private life. It will take us years to undo the damage they have done, if ever… Plus, he has emboldened every local gun control advocate in the state. David Hogg should be proud of him…

    I voted for Rick Scott twice, after promises of statewide open carry and concealed carry on college campuses, that never materialized… Kind of like suppressor legislation with PDJT. I’m still waiting to order my legal no-license suppressors from the SB Amazon store…

    Fool me twice, shame on you, fool me a third time, shame on me…. (Ok, maybe not the correct quote)

    1. I’m also a member of the “fooled twice by Governor Rick Scott group”. Lets also not forget how he made his money, dealing with “Medicare issues”.

    2. Agree, but Scott’s only competition is the incumbent, Senator Nelson, a Dem 40+ year politician who would take all our guns and freedoms. That puts us between a rock and a hard place. I’ll hold my nose and vote Republican.

  3. Re: Socialism and Democrats.

    And Republicans are just as evil. Both parties are controlled choices hell-bent on serving the bankers/globalists and destroying America. Democrats serve Socialism, and Republicans serve corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Take you pick.

    Like Chuck Baldwin stated, “After all is said and done, both parties are destroying constitutional government and liberty in America. They merely approach their duplicity from different directions. But both parties are taking the country down the same slippery slope to serfdom.”

    1. In what world is “not listening” punishable by summary execution?

      The dude never reached for his back pocket. The cop Tazed him and the next thing some other cop fires at least six rounds. I was taught to fire in self-defense.

      Carry on.

      1. @Once a Marine

        Take another look at that video. The cop tazes him just after he reaches into his back pocket for the gun. The first 9 or so shots are all fired by the man while being tazed. The first cop to fire is the one with the back to the camera (you can see the ejected shell flip up over the cops head.) I appears there may be a second shot as that cop is running for cover. The cop on the far side never shoots, but appears to be hit (by a ricochet maybe) in the right ear and proceeds to run for cover while grabing his radio and calling shots fired. The main cop drops the tazer after at least 8 shots are fired by the guy against the building and unloads at least 6 shots (two of which strike the wall).

        What the video doesn’t show is the events leading up to the shooting and why having a gun in your back pocket is bad and/or how the first cop knows it. Why is that cop attempting to stop him? we don’t know. Having worked for EMS, I suspect drug related.

        Knowing nothing else other than what is shown in the video, I’d call that a justified shooting, but there is much that is unknown that could affect that call.

        1. “He should’ve listened” was only an introductory remark, not my main point, nonetheless a good suggestion. My interest was in the fact that a laser fired the rounds, I didn’t know that a laser could do that. Would that be a means of neutralizing an opponent? I’d like to see that gun afterwards, I’m guessing a semi-auto; did the bullets blow up in the magazine or did they take flight? Could lasers be used to detonate roadside bombs? All the other circumstantial issues about the incident to me are irrelevant.

          1. @rjt

            I’m not understanding your comment I guess. Do you meant tazer (instead of laser)? If so, the tazer didn’t set the rounds off. The gun functioned as it was designed to do (one round at a time, cycling through the action) which would indicate that the tazer had no direct impact on the function of the firearm. It’s possible that it could have caused involuntary muscle spasms that caused him to squeeze the trigger repeatedly, but being somewhat familiar with human body reactions to tazer, I think it’s more believable to say that he wanted to pull the trigger and the tazer kept him from effectively pointing the gun at anyone. I can see the gun recoiling from the shots and he is waving it around as it fires. All three cops were clearly in the line of fire before any of them fired their guns.

  4. The linked article on Socialism is very clever and amusing. It tell us Millennials are the first generation with no “cold war brain baggage”; I think that is the same as “no knowledge of history”. Anyone thinking about or discussing economics and politics these days should probably understand the basis of Fascism, Communism, and Capitalism. (Keep reading this might get good!) They are all economic systems or methods for allocating resources and deciding what gets produced.

    With Communism every productive thing like forest, farms, mines, and factories are owned and completely controlled by a Central Government. The Government decides what will be produced, how, who will do what work, and who will get how much of what is produced. If there is excess (profits), which is rare, the Government decides what to do with them. That usually means the Politicians keep it for themselves.

    With Fascism individual people or corporations are allowed to own productive assets and keep some of the profits but only if they run things the way the Central Government tells them to and only if they pay the Politicians enough to keep them from interfering too much.

    With Capitalism individuals or groups of individuals are allowed to buy things, the Government protects their right to keep and use those things. Individuals own not only the things they buy but their labor, their ideas, and the things they are able to produce with them. These individuals decide what to produce, how to do it and get to keep most of the profits. Other individuals decide if they want to buy it and what they will pay for it. This assures that what is produced are the things people need and want and that it is available at the lowest possible price.

    In most countries, including the U. S. and China, there is a mixture of economic systems which causes confusion. Hybridized, Loosey-Goosey, fluid, change-with-the-circumstance terms like Socialism and Corporatism get used by politicians. History might help. In about 1922 the old Soviet Union established itself as a Union of Socialist States but operated as an extremely centralized Communist and sometimes Fascist economic system with a government that eventually most resembled a dictatorship. It disintegrated into economic collapse about 70 years after it began. The Peoples Republic of China began as a pure Communist system after its “Red Revolution” in the 1960’s; within about 30 years it had to allow a lot of Capitalism to prevent a complete economic collapse like that of the Soviet Union. More recently Venezuela, with the promise of Socialism, changed from a mostly Capitalist system to a Fascist system, then a Dictatorship. In just a few years it went from one of South America most wealthy countries (they have a lot of Oil) to one of the poorest. Now they ration water, eat Zoo animals and stray pets if they can find them. Here is the one you’ve been waiting for, Nazi Germany called itself a “Socialist Republic”. Quickly Hitler became a dictator, within a few years the German military was swearing allegiance not to a Constitution, or to Germany, but to Hitler himself. The lessons of recent history all teach the same thing about economic systems and politics. Governments that try to control what is produced, and who it will be distributed to always degenerate into Tyranny. They eventually destroy themselves causing poverty and death for many citizens in the process.

    If you find someone thinking the Government should take from those who have “too much” and give it to those who “need it more” see if you can get them to consider this: Most of the people in the world think most of the people in the U. S. have “too much”. Do U. S. Politicians really want no boarders and Socialism so that everyone will have more, or is it just the politicians that want more? More control = more power = more wealth; “put me in charge of your new Socialist redistribution, all will be better, don’t worry, trust me!” Hummm, what could go wrong?

    1. One of the few posts on a conservative site that recognizes the mixture of economic philosophies that are found in so many economies. Pure socialism does fail but the US doesn’t and never has had anything close to it

  5. I looked up the definition of Socialism. Then I looked for politicians advocating for the principals of socialism like Government ownership and control of the means of production. I couldn’t find them. Neither Venezuela nor Argentina are applicable because none of the liberal politicians are even mentioning or advocating for economic systems similar to found in those countries. Capitalism is broken and people know it. In reality we don’t practice capitalism any more. We’ve drifted into a Crony capitalistic system (look it up), a system that serves and enriches the rich at the expense of everyone else. Politicians of both major parties enable, serve and support the Crony Capitalists. It started about the time Reagan was president. Those people who have a favorable view of socialism want jobs, they want to work, they want affordable healthcare, they want affordable education, they want to start families and they have seen crony capitalism and by association and relation capitalism Fail. Capitalism is not self-regulating. Capitalism does not share. Monopolies are not fair or efficient. Unregulated capitalism leads to most of the wealth in the hands of a few. There is a constant battle going on between labor (all of us) and the owners of capital as to how the wealth generated by both will be shared. The balance is always shifting but since the 1980’s the balance of power has shifted more to capital. If the Libertarians have their way then you can legitimately be worried and get prepared. I could see more dangerous ideas becoming more popular, ideas that might not be so good for the economy.

    1. @greg

      Where are you getting your definition of socialism? Google returns: “A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

      That most definitely describes Venezuela and Argentina (The state controls and/or own outright most industries) and is most definitely the direction America is headed as well. (socialized medicine – otherwise known as Obamacare, then there is Social security, medicare, medicaid, public schools, and on, and on, and on….) Capitalism is broken because of the influence of government controls (which is a large part of socialism). Libertarians are dangerous? I wonder what your definition of libertarian is? Mine is small government, bound by the Constitution.

      The “wealth collected in the hands of the few” is not the problem of capitalism, but of central banks and government influence. There are a lot of socialistic “talking points” in your comment. Back to the drawing board to learn what socialism actually is.

      Here is a great video explaining socialism and why socialists think it isn’t working: Socialism in 24 hours

      1. Hugh, it would be interesting to talk with you. Books are written about this stuff but here are some thoughts to consider. I agree with your definition of socialism and the results in Argentina and Venezuela. That said, How much of those failures was from the economic system and how much was from corruption? I believe corruption, a condition that typically exists in all economic systems to some degree including the US, played a part in both collapses though I don’t know how much.

        Economic systems are not pure. The US is mainly capitalistic with a few elements some would identify as socialist. Europe is mainly capitalistic except they have many more programs considered socialistic. Young people in the US see metrics of Europeans living longer, not in gigantic debt for their education, not going broke from healthcare bills, getting the healthcare they need, having more opportunity to create businesses and move up the income ladder, being happier, having more free time, and the list goes on. The young people know people from around the world, some have visited Europe on vacation or for school or know someone who has, they’ve been stationed in Europe, they’ve met exchange students here, they have contact with Europeans through media, entertainment, culture, etc. The Europeans pay more in taxes but they get more in services, many of those services being very important. When conservatives throw out Venezuela conservatives lose all credibility. It’s not the same socialism and it ignores Europe. Sure, there will be some people in conservative echo chambers who will believe it, but the message won’t be effective on a significant portion of the population. Forget this whole paragraph.

        The most important factor for Capitalism’s success is Competition, not private ownership or control of production. Take away competition and the private sector is no more efficient than the public sector. We have examples in action. Compare the cost and offerings of telecommunication services (internet, phone) between the US and Europe. The US practices crony capitalism with lax enforcement of anti-trust laws. European regulations and enforcement is stricter about maintaining competition. Europeans pay less for better service than Americans. I could find many other products whose prices are artificially high in the US because of lack of competition. I’ve owned companies that would brag in annual reports of their market share dominance and ability to charge higher prices from it. They would also sell off divisions that couldn’t achieve dominance.

        In terms of the importance of ownership, look at oil companies. In 2015, 15 of the 20 largest oil companies were partially to fully controlled by Governments and are successful. They are successful because they have to compete. Now if you shielded them from competition and allowed them to fill with corruption or looted them like in Venezuela I could see them going the way of the Venezuelan economy.

        The private sector is not always more efficient than the public sector either. I lived in a town in NJ with city water. A friend who lived 1 mile away was served by a private water company to whom he paid rates about double what I did. I know of city electric utilities in the Midwest who were efficient and cost effective compared to private companies. It should be looked at case by case. I just noticed the lack of competition in both these cases.

        The political winds swing like a pendulum over time and personal opinions are probably swinging to the left for a significant portion of the population; I believe because of the failures and rules of the economy and conservative control of the government. If either swing too far they could swing back. Government control right now is predominantly conservative (constitution construction, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and skillful rich people like the Koch’s) and a majority of people are left of conservative causing a swing to the left in ideas. As to your examples, many of those exist and still exist because large segments of the population want them to exist and those segments vote. Schools are part of many state constitutions. Roads, police, fire, public health, and a whole host of services are most efficiently provided by the government. You may not like some of these government services and programs, but this is just the government responding to the demands of the people. Wasn’t an unresponsive government why we kicked out the British? (Many of those demands cross political boundaries too).

        Government controls are a mixed bag. 1st remember laws come from Congress, not the executive branch. No law, no regulation. If you don’t like the regulation thank your Congressman who made it possible. 2nd the government is run by political appointees subservient to the President and their masters in the private sector. Those political appointees will only be in Government for a short period of time and will need a cushy job to go back to after leaving government. Republicans pull more from the private sector, Democrats more from academia. Congress and the political appointees control government influence. The 1% and super rich control Congress and political appointees.

        Some regulations stifle competition and create artificial barriers. Others protect people from unsafe conditions, behaviors, harmful substances, etc. At least some rules have required cost benefit analysis since 1981. I’ve never seen an analysis that showed government controls and regulations were a major problem that I couldn’t pick apart due to logic and scientific method faults. Sure, single regulations might have problems but the body of regulations not.

        When I look at a regulation I don’t see a government employee looking for something to do (based on conservatives they are lazy and inefficient anyway so they wouldn’t be making regulations if they could avoid it). What I see is someone in the private sector screwing up, causing harm to others, externalizing their costs of production, not following some law, causing a financial collapse, etc. What government controls don’t you like?

        I actually like capitalism, markets, and especially competition. Markets have rules. Simple rules were fine when the consumer of goods personally knew the manufacturer of goods (200 years ago). If there was a problem with the product or its manufacture the consumer took the issue straight to the producer. Today the world is complicated, products are manufactured around the world, the number of products is what 10 to the Xth larger. Products are more complicated and it can be hard to determine if they harmed you (like the outgasing from drywall). No rules, no trust and markets won’t work well today. For markets and competition to maximize utility generated by the economy the full cost of goods and services must be in the product market price or you have distortions and inefficiencies. The US markets have hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars of distortions in them. Simple example of many, I lived in Midwest where my electricity came from coal. The production of this coal was subsidized by the government, coal miners died young mining it, particulate matter from burning it caused cancer, combustion products caused hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits, and the sulfur and NOx came back down as rain slowing the growth of millions of acres of trees in the east owned by timber companies and killing life/fish in thousands of lakes hurting tourism. My electricity was cheap, but all those other entities lost days of work, died younger, paid higher health insurance costs, harvested less timber, harvested less agricultural products, lost profits, etc. The incentive is for production entities to externalize or off load as many costs of production as they can onto other people or the commons all to make their product cheaper and increase their own profits. This externalization of costs happens all across the economy. I know of no way to internalizing more of those costs without government intervention. If you do please tell me. I don’t believe I or other people should pay production costs for products I’m not consuming. These externalizations are the problem with libertarianism as it won’t get rid of the economic distortions and could make them worse making the economy less efficient. On some social issues I actually like aspects of libertarianism.

        You’ll have to explain how income inequality is caused by Central banks and government influence. If you look at wealth and income over centuries large middle class is an aberration, created in the 20th century at the demand of voters by actions of the government. Those actions changed and created new rules in the economy that changed the distribution of power that determined how income generated was distributed among workers and capital in the economy. Historically capitalism creates a ruling class with most of the wealth, a group of skilled technocrats/craftsman who live comfortably but have less than the ruling class, and then most of the people are serfs. I can use the principals of capitalism, markets, and competition to show how this natural wealth distribution occurs. Capitalism can also lead to revolution if enough of the people rise up. Think Arab spring. It really could happen here. An Arab spring in the US is also a good reason to prep.

        1. @Greg,

          Just a couple of quick answers to some of your questions/statements

          1) “Economic systems are not pure”
          Yes. That’s the point of the Youtube video I posted. There has never been a successful implementation of socialism – Ever. Pure socialism would work, but humans are too greedy. Once they figure out they can do nothing and live off of the backs of others, they will happily do so. Capitalism, even one not fully capitalistic does work. America is a prime example of that.

          2) “The most important factor for Capitalism’s success is Competition, not private ownership or control of production.”
          What makes capitalism work is that you get to keep the fruits of your labor. It’s your business, you own it. When you work hard, you get to keep the money that you make. That’s what makes competition work. It’s the heart of capitalism. If someone starts price gouging because they have a near monopoly, then someone else will figure out how to do it better, or less expensively, etc…

          3) “The private sector is not always more efficient than the public sector either.”
          This is an untrue statement. The private sector is always more efficient than the public sector. see statement number 2 above. The example you cite is a regulated utility which has so many government controls it’s hard to consider it private, even though it may be owned by a private entity. Those controls stifle the innovation and competition that capitalism would normally produce and are a “socialistic” influence on the private entity. Even though it is privately owned, the collective is telling it what it can and can’t do with very tight controls. Other examples of this behavior would be insurance companies that are not allowed to cross state lines (health, auto, etc…)

          4) “1st remember laws come from Congress, not the executive branch.”
          You would think that when you read the constitution. It’s how it should work. Sadly, the legislative branch has abdicated much of it’s responsibility to the executive branch (tariffs and international trade are one example of that) and the Judicial branch has taken upon itself not just to interpret laws, but to create them. (Obamacare and others like that).

          5) “When I look at a regulation I don’t see a government employee looking for something to do (based on conservatives they are lazy and inefficient anyway so they wouldn’t be making regulations if they could avoid it). What I see is someone in the private sector screwing up, causing harm to others, externalizing their costs of production, not following some law, causing a financial collapse, etc. What government controls don’t you like?”

          For starters – EPA, BLM, BATF, TSA, DHS, Dept of Education etc…

          6) “You’ll have to explain how income inequality is caused by Central banks and government influence.”
          Two words in a nutshell: – Inflation and debt. “income inequality” is not really an issue. Income should be directly related to what you do and how valuable others think what you do is. It’s a red herring of socialism. If you work harder and smarter, you should make more money. You should be allowed to pass that money down to your heirs. That’s capitalism. That’s what makes it work. Income transfer by theft (through inflation and debt) is what is killing America’s middle class. I would agree that the middle class is an aberration in the world markets, but it’s directly related to capitalism. It’s a benefit of capitalism. Socialism, dictatorships (and monarchies) would stamp that out.

          7)”Think Arab spring.”
          That wasn’t capitalism. That was government influence and socialism. Just because they rebel against military rule or dictatorship does not make it capitalism.

  6. @Greg

    Based on your stated goals it seems you should be advocating for more Capitalism not less. Capitalism increases technical innovation and quality of life for everyone in the system. Economic freedom works everywhere and every time it is tried. Socialism fails every time it is tried. No one wants to escape South Korea to live in North Korea. No one built home made rafts to float from Florida to Cuba. It was the Socialist Soviet Union that built walls and machine gun towers to keep people in.

    Socialist politicians rarely say they want to take control of the “means of production”, few people have read Karl Marks these days. What they say is “I will make things more fare” and “it is someone else’s fault that you do not have what want”, “elect me and together we will make them pay”. That is similar to what happened in Venezuela and Argentina, and every other political shift towards Socialism. In exchange for your support they make you promises they never intend to keep. Their goals are not your goals, they want to be admired, respected, feared, or just simply wealthy. They will destroy you to achieve their goals; it has always been so.

    I did look up “crony capitalism” another of those loosey goosey political terms that mean different things at different times. According to Wiclopedia (of all places) it requires a strong controlling government to hand out political favors so that less productive businesses can thrive due to unequal government favor. That sounds like what most often happens in Communist, Fascist, and Socialist economic systems that have strong central governments, like those with a Dictator or small group of Party elites in control.

    In spite of the many economic and political flaws in the U. S. today it is still possible to achieve great things. My advise to those who favor Socialism: Go out and achieve something for yourself, quit asking a government to do it for you. Stop expecting others to help. If you do something useful and mutually beneficially you will have plenty of “love” and support.

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