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”. California’s PG&E plays the blame game of the recent fires.

License Plate Tracking

California has such a problem with welfare fraud that they are now using license place scanners to track drivers and solve crimes. Since 2016, Sacramento County welfare fraud investigators have been using the data. The investigators and the Department of Human Assistance says that they use the automated license plate recognition (ALPR) cameras that are located on street poles and police cars only on a case-by-case basis to identify is recepients are at their stated addresses. There may be some problems though. It would appear that they are accessing the database without any warrant and millions of people who are not suspects in crimes are also being tracked just by the nature of the program.

Get Home Bag Philosophy

Reader T.J. sent in this video from SensiblePrepper on his get home bag philosophy. Yes, this subject has been beat to death, but it’s always good to see how other preppers plan for and deal with the subject. You often learn something that is applicable to your situation. This video is a bit different in that it doesn’t deal with specific items in the bag, but the philosophy behind choosing those items. Each bag needs to be tailored to your need.

Restoring Cast Iron

Wranglerstar has a new video on restoring cast iron skillets, dutch ovens and waffle makers. Cody shows how you can use a combination of brass brushes and chemicals to restore these fantastic finds all the way back to usable condition. I’ve actually used similar methods to restore cast iron cookware that is nearly 200 years old. I’ve noted that this old cookware is often superior to modern cast iron. While the iron in newer models may be better, the companies have started taking shortcuts on the finish machining and the cooking surfaces are often much smoother on the older items. If you have a blast cabinet, that also works well.

Alaskan Pilot Survival Gear

Reader T.J. sent in this interesting article on survival gear that Alaskan pilots are required to carry. While this article and video show what is required by state statute, many actually opt to carry more gear. If your plane goes down, you survival is highly dependent on what you have with you. There is no guarantee that anyone will find you until it is too late with out these basics to keep you alive and communicate. As the title of the video indicates: “If it’s not on you, it’s just camping gear.”

Turkey Needs a Regime Change

Turkey is becoming a thorn in the side of the free world. I’m pretty sure that they were included in NATO only because they were adversarial to the Soviet Union. However, the increasing brutality of the Turkish government and the heavy handed tactics show that they really don’t belong among the ranks of democratic nations. Erdogan has lost confidence in his own people (and they have lost confidence in him). This article sent in by a SurvivalBlog reader shows some of the atrocities that he is guilty of and you can only come to the conclusion that he has to go before things will change.

Death of a Nation

The CDC is estimating that drug overdose deaths based on current data has just reached a record of 71,568 Americans in 2017. That’s 6.6% higher than 2016. The CDC has focused its efforts on trying to make opioids and other restricted drugs harder to obtain (thus hurting the people who need it the most). The real problem lies in the destruction of the family from all sides and the realization that more money and more debt can’t make you happy. People expect to pop a pill to make everything all better and many in the health industry are only too happy to oblige. Add that to the flood of drugs being smuggled in and the ease with which they can be procured and you have the current disaster. What happens when SHTF happens and they supply suddenly dries up?

The Blame Game

So what does a multi-billion dollar company do when it’s faced with paying $17 billion in fire damages for not properly maintaining it’s equipment which caused several fires burning over 9000 structures and killing 44 people? Blame climate change, of course. What else would they do? Reader H.L. writes in:

Blame the fact that for decades the “environmental wackos” have convinced the BLM and Forestry Service to eliminate most logging. When you have massive forests in a drought ridden part of the nation, with dead trees from bark beetle, etc., you will have fires. When power companies run power lines into those areas, they need to cut large rights of way and keep them cut. Even in poor West Virginia I have seen helicopters with special huge hanging rotary saws fly up one side and down the other of the high power towers to cut back the trees.

West Virginia is not called “The Mountain State” to be a joke. It has thousands of hills and hollows, and nary a straight stretch of road with the exception of some of the more recently built interstate. They also have laid underground pipe lines for their oil and gas, and they keep those mowed. I suspect that California has used much of their wealth for more useless endeavors, and let their infrastructure suffer. People will insist on living in those canyons away from the cities and high crime, and not clean away all the trees and scrub from around their homes.

In whatever climate one lives, one must design and build housing that takes into consideration whether it is prone to flood, fire, wind, tons of snow, desert, whatever. Better a small dwelling and a larger lot than the other way around. Of course, zoning for subdivisions is usually very restrictive! Government always knows best!

o o o

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: Turkey.
    George Washington’s Farewell Address is arguably the most important speech delivered on US soil. If you read it you can only come to the conclusion that Turkey is of no Constitutional concern to this country.

    Our government supports and protects at the point of a gun the murder of 900,000 unborn every year. Perhaps we should be more concerned with getting our government in order before mingling into the affairs of sovereign nations.

    1. nd “do something” about regime change in China for what they are doing to their Muslims: massive concentration camps with hundreds of thousands of innocent people of all ages being tortured and “re-programmed” and often killed. Not to mention what they do to Christians, but what they do to Muslims is unspeakably worse.

      Not to mention what they did to Tibet long since.

      We are America. We are not the dictator of all nations.

      1. I disagree, Janet. What China does within their borders is not America’s problem, we have enough of our own. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that 110 million working Americans are expected to police and support 7.6 BILLION other people on this planet. Certainly I am sympathetic to their plight but if it gets bad enough for them they will do something for themselves or die trying. And Muslims are the last people I will advocate defending. The entire history of the Islamic religion is subjugation and genocide, the Chinese government is just doing what they need to do to contain a threat.

  2. re: Licence Plate Tracking

    Many large cities have implemented these ALPR systems.

    I discovered this while going through my company’s website traffic. I’ve seen web hits from cities where my company drivers had passed through with a company vehicle. Bear in mind, my vehicles DO NOT have a placard or emblem on them, phone # or website address.

    Notably, we got web hits from Cincinnati and just North of San Diego, just hours after my driver passed through. We almost never get hits from these cities. The driver was on the interstate the entire way, and not on surface streets.

    It would seem that someone (or a contractor) was sifting through the ALPR database, looking up who owned what vehicle and doing a manual websearch on the company name.

    This was disturbing to me and it indicates the level of surveillance we face in America.

  3. Death of a Nation:

    Get the federal government out of the drug business, period. The government supports the legal drug cartels, big pharma, just look at what the CDC and the FDA do to support and even push drugs for big pharma. Start with the MANDATORY vaccinations that harm so many of our fellow citizens.

    The feds also support the illegal drug cartels. How? By continuing to pursue the insane, immoral, unjust, and unconstitutional war on those citizens who smoke something, inject something, snort something, or otherwise ingest something that a bunch of lunatic politicians don’t approve of. And don’t discount the fact the these self-same lunatic politicians are routinely being bribed by big pharma, big alcohol, and yes, big drug cartel to keep cannabis, opium, and coca illegal. Look at the tens of BILLIONS of our dollars that get spent every year to maintain a prohibition that should have never been imposed in the first place. Show me, in the Constitution, where the States granted the authority to the federal government, to dictate (as in dictatorship) to 325,000,000 what they may or may not eat, drink, smoke, chew, sniff, snort, patch onto their skin, stick into a vein in their arm, or for that matter, shove up their rear ends. It isn’t there, it does not exist. And these self-same lunatic politicians never learn from history. What is the history of prohibition? Has it ever in history achieved the STATED desired goal? No, never. It has, however, achieved the UNSTATED goal. The unstated goal is power for the federal government, power for the politicians, power for the law enforcement community, power for the judges, power for everyone except US.

    I have never advocated the use of any drug, by anyone, for any reason. Yet if you have self ownership, if you own you, then that decision should be yours, and yours alone. The caveat being, as long as you harm no other person, Because without harm, what crime could you possibly commit?

  4. Hugh Farnham,
    For a mere $2K Nvidia’s new GPU can perform 10 billion operations per second and 125 trillion deep learning operations per second and 16 trillion graphics operations per second.

    Those aren’t people sifting through the ALPR data. The future has arrived.

  5. I heard from a guy who does water bombing that before they can get in the air to go water bomb these fires, they must wait for a government official to brief them on it, then they can take off. Sometimes it takes more than a day for the government official(s) to get there. So they are literally waiting around, twiddling their thumbs, waiting on the government to come brief them and clear them to go water bomb the fires. Essentially, the government wants these fires. I mean, fire is a good thing, to put minerals in the soil, but it needs to be controlled so it doesn’t destroy stuff.

  6. License Plate Tracking
    I wonder if a set of IR LEDs built into a license plate frame, some pointing at and reflecting off of the plate, and some pointing out at the camera (wherever it is), would defeat the ALPR?

    1. probably not, simple visible-light imaging is sufficient for data recog. in any case license plate recog is temporary, soon all (civilian) modern cars will be fitted with iff electronics and auto-shutoffs if iff is failed. eventually if you do something unapproved your car doors will lock and the vehicle will drive you to the police station for convenient arrest – no more dramatic police chases.

      1. There’s a product from the UK called Stealthplate that is a type of clear plastic that allows visible light, but blocks the near-IR spectrum that most cameras use.

        It’s clear enough to not have the cop write you a ticket, but good enough to block ALPR at night.

        I’ve tested it with my DVR cameras at home, and it does block out a plate. License plate toll cameras seem to have an issue with it as well.

    2. Yes, IR leds will make it more difficult for cameras to read license plates, especially at night. There are also IR reflective coatings (that are transparent to visible light) that may also be effective. Keep in mind that using such measure may make your vehicle stick out and be flagged though.

  7. Restoring Cast Iron
    I have read that one reason the older cast iron cooks better than new cast iron, is that the older cast iron has has a metal/steel spatula scraped across the inside so much that the inside is much smoother than new cast iron.

  8. Excellent, I can attest that is WV we have enough right-of-ways cleared out that forest fires shouldn’t be a problem and can be contained into a small area quickly and dealt with swiftly.

  9. On drug ODs: Warning. This will sound harsh, but here goes.

    I am over 60, and can recall the beginnings of anti-drug education in the schools. Then came the DARE program, Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No”, the commercials on TV showing a fried egg (“This is your brain on drugs.”) And the tragic lives/deaths of celebrities who abused drugs.

    If people by now haven’t gotten the message that drugs are bad, dangerous, addictive, and can kill you, then it’s hopeless. It’s sad that people are dying from this, but, in a way, it’s Darwin Awards.

    1. Vox,you forgot the grandaddy of drug propaganda “Reefer Madness”. Watch this again and try not to laugh at the insanity. Then make sure you show it to teenagers and they will be more against the “drug wars” as the hypocrisy it is.

Comments are closed.