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”. Mike Williamson has some words for AR-15 owners today.

Your E-Leash

That electronic leash you carry on your hip or in your purse is about to become more annoying than ever. In 2017, robo calls made up only about four percent of cell phone calls. In 2018, that jumped to 29% of all calls. In 2019, the number of robo calls is expected to increase to almost half of every call made on a cell network. the vast majority of these calls are scams mining you for personal data so they can steal your identity or take money from you. Thanks to D.S. for the link.

More Creepy Facebook

Facebook is getting more creepy by the moment. Their new smart display device is scheduled to be announced next week and it’s prime feature is a camera. the device will use facial recognition technology to track users around the room, tagging them. with it’s main feature being video chat, turning the camera off will only defeat the purpose that it was purchased for. The device will most likely not even have other features that are driven by Facebook. rumor has it that the “search” functions and “voice recognition” will be driven by Amazon’s Alexa.thanks to R.C. for the link.


According to this article sent in by reader P., Google is reporting that they continue to allow third part applications to scan your personal data in your Gmail account and share it with other people. You should always remember that wehn you are using a free service, you are the product that they are making money off of.

Threat to AR-15s

From Michael Z. Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large:

Recently, BATFE is pushing a claim that .50 BMG upper assemblies, not themselves a firearm, that attach to a numbered AR-15 lower receiver–legally a firearm–are themselves firearms without the lower receiver.

The claim is based on the fact that the upper assembly contains a bolt with firing pin that, if struck with a tool, could discharge. Legally, if it can discharge a single round, whether or not it is safe or worthwhile to do so, it is a firearm. It is apparent that .50 cal uppers do fit this definition. One can build one at home without documentation, but any sold commercially would constitute a firearm. This has never been pursued before, but the claim is supportable and would likely survive in court.

The danger here is that ANY AR-15 upper assembly could be fired with the bolt carrier group in place. A rod inserted into the rear of the carrier and whacked with a tool will cause the firing pin to strike the cartridge. It is an obvious step for BATFE to use the .50 uppers, uncommon and publicly perceived as threatening, as an easy precedent to then go after all upper assemblies.

Originally, the AR-15 was intended to be a modular weapon for the military with multiple upper assemblies for different missions. Therefore, the lower receiver (trigger group) was numbered as the weapon, rather than the upper receiver (action group). This made the AR very modular for civilians–buy one lower and multiple uppers.

If all uppers are designated as “firearms” due to the ability to be discharged independently, that entire concept is lost.

The following threats are twofold:

Every AR-15 type firearm will consist of TWO serial numbered, transferable receivers. Which means if you wish to make a Short Barreled Weapon, or Any Other Weapon of them, you will need two $200 stamps and approval. From the ATF point of view, this solves the “problem” of hundreds of thousands of AR-15s being SBRed. It will also affect the handful of people who have full auto receivers, who will need TWO machine gun stamps, or more if they have multiple uppers. Except, of course, no new machine guns can be registered since 1986. Every one of those full autos becomes instantly useless, since the upper cannot be registered and the lower can’t be used without one.

The only workable “compromise” would be to petition Congress to make ONLY the upper assembly the firearm, and declare lowers to be merely trigger groups. This means the AR-15 loses a lot of its flexibility as every upper will require dealer paperwork (When new).

Anyone interested in this matter should pay close attention to goings on. If ATF puts the matter out for public input, I’ll share the link.


Reader DSV sent in this article on why you should try Christian based healthcare alternatives. Note that even though this link is an obvious ad, it does list some very important features of the program. While it may seem, at first, that you get less benefit from the program than you do the state run programs, remember that these are typically not-for-profit groups that don’t pay shareholders and they don’t get government funding. This is a true cost-sharing program and there is no free lunch on someone else’s dime.


Reader D.B.sent in this inspirational video of Marines running from their barracks into a raging inferno that had engulfed a senior living apartment complex to save lives. The news reports interviewed a couple of the Marines and you begin to see the quality of character of these men. I didn’t see any slackers there. Just young men running as fast as they could into danger.

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. It seems like time an app was developed for our phones that blocks all calls other than numbers we enter into our phones. It would also be helpful if the unwanted calls could be forwarded to say our state and federal legislatures offices as well as the FCC. If an app for this exists out there please let us know.

  2. More creepy than Facebook, here is a true Alexa story. A friend of my son had 3 friends over. One friend left the room and the others started talking about playing a game. Alexa spoke up “I have a trivia game that can be played by 2 or 4 players, in case (actual name of friend who left room) comes back.” Yikes, this was a visiting friend; not someone who even lived there. The guy took the device outside and destroyed it.

  3. Re: Facebook and Alexa

    Amazon’s Alexa will be the greatest Trojan horse in history. Parents are carrying it right through the front door. It’s already functions like a Fascist censor indoctrinating their children. Now it will track and video-record them and send the info to the highest bidders. American parents are truly the useful idiots of today.

    1. “This is the voice of Colossus. The voice of World Control. I bring you peace.

      It may be the peace of plenty and content, or the peace of unburied death.

      Time and events will strengthen my position…you will come to defend me with a fervor based on the most enduring trait in Man: Self Interest.

      We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride.

      In time you will come to regard me not only with respect, and awe, but with love.”

  4. I inherited a phone from my son-in-law when he got a new one.

    I immediately purged most of the “apps” and reprogrammed the contacts file with the names of anyone from whom I will receive calls. Same with the land line at the house.

    Anyone else, leave a voicemail. I check it once a day in the evening, and I’d say about 90% of those that don’t just hang up are robocalls.

    Machines accomodate and perform on my terms, not the other way ’round.

  5. Robo:
    “Hello. You HAVE received an important call about the warranty you HAD purchased. We HAVE tried to contact you several times BEFORE. Your warranty HAS received its expiration date. Please stay on the line until a customer-servicing representative can assist you…”

    “Hello? Hello?…” [repeated a few dozen times in ‘loony old-lady’ voice until the customer-servicing representative hangs up on me]

    [followed by gleeful cackling in old-lady voice]

    1. I prefer to wait until they pick up. Then as soon as they start talking, I say, “Thank you for calling. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the phone and someone will be with you shortly.”. Then set the phone down and see how long they wait.

  6. If you are not stacking AR15s deep right now, you deserve to miss out. When the Dems regain power, and they will sooner or later, they will be coming for the guns.

  7. More Creepy Facebook:

    1984 anyone, You voluntarily bring a video camera and microphone into your home, why it’s right on your TV or on your computer. You have no choice if you want good equipment. Big Brother is watching, always and forever. You are hooked up to the internet. LG’s latest TV offering does just that. Eventually you won’t have a choice, if you need or want a new TV. Big Brother is watching, always and forever. The very computer I’m writing this on has a camera and a microphone, facing me. I can cover the camera with black electrical tape, but how do I block the microphone? Maybe that same black tape? I don’t know, do you? Back to the TV, same problem, I can cover the camera, but what about the built in microphone? So Big Brother’s “telescreen” is here and in our homes. Oh don’t forget that smart phone, with 2 cameras and, of course, the microphone. How many people turn off their smart phones when they are not in use? And now there is Alexa and Googles similar offering, so you can run your house on voice commands. That is nice and convenient, but does it really need to be hooked up to the internet. Seems like an internal network with the right software would do the job very nicely, thank you. Wait, that is not available, is it.

    Right now I can’t buy a new computer without a camera and microphone, built in. I can still buy a TV without a camera or microphone, for now. I can’t be forced to buy Alexa. But for how long?

    Big Brother is watching, and listening, to everything and everyone, always and forever.

    I Love Big Brother.

    1. Charles, you can purchase a computer without a microphone, just not a laptop. Build yourself a desktop PC in lieu of a laptop. The only time my microphone could be recorded is when I have it connected to the comp. The microphone is on the kids gaming headphones that are only connected when games are played.

      I’m not sure how to best cover the laptop microphone. I was thinking maybe tripled up electrical tape, then I thought about a cotton ball smashed down and stuck with electrical tape. Curious what others think of this.

      There is no reason an intranet can’t be created that allows people to utilize some of these new ‘whole house’ systems that allow you to start the oven from the bedroom, etc.. I know a guy, I might inquire. Until then, all that horsehockey will remain at Worstbuy as I won’t purchase.

      On email: While I have a google, I haven’t used it in two years. They can real through the YouTube announcements my kid gets there all they want.

      What I find interesting, is that while Google and its continuous sale of your privacy is constantly in the news, there are more companies that are getting a free pass on their sale of your privacy, such as Yahoo, the ISP companies, AOL, etc. who do the same thing, while snickering at Google getting torched by privacy advocates.

  8. Computer cameras and microphones: This may seem extreme, but bear with me, please. I know many use computer as business home office and would be impossible to get rid of it. My suggestion is to isolate it from the rest of your home. Build a room/closet that holds your modem, laptop, desktop, phone charging cords, etc. bring your modem cable through the outer wall directly into this room, keep ANY wireless accessories in there also. Build the walls with 2×4 or 2×6 framing, also floor and ceiling, insulate with fiberglass, then line with metal, foil, and chicken wire, then cover with dry wall. Basically you are making a Faraday cage to keep your internet/cell devices in, but they live there and you go to visit them there. I know this is inconvenient and most people are addicted to that cell phone ( that was the plan ). The question is “What is YOUR privacy worth?” There was a time when people went to the general store to use a telephone, and when SHTF there isn’t going to be internet or cell service no matter how big your solar array or battery banks or generator is. I have seen cell phone withdrawal syndrome, believe me, it ain’t pretty. Something for you to think about.

  9. A number of years ago, an author, Mack Reynolds wrote stories about a future where the TV’s watched the people and they were not allowed to turn them off. There was minimum basic income, nothing to do but watch the TV, take a drug that was readily and legally available (pot?) and kept everyone docile. Most work had been taken over by machines and the few jobs were politically connected. The rich and the elites lived in gated communities and had all the bennies not allowed to the lower classes. Scary what parallels there are. Makes you wonder if it was prediction or a blue print.

  10. Threat to AR-15s. I’ve been telling everybody about this. Nobody seems to care because it’s not obama doing it.

    Check out CHMinistries dot com. They are excellent.

    1. Be aware that Christian Healthcare Ministries takes up to 3 months to pay out. If you are forced by circumstances to drop them before they pay out YOU are stuck with the bill. A small obscure sentence in their rules. They are definitely not excellent. They do not care and will not return phone calls.

    2. Beware that Christian Healthcare Ministries takes up to 3 months to pay out. If you are forced by circumstances to drop them before they pay out YOU are stuck with the bill. A small obscure sentence in their rules. They do not care and don’t return phone calls.

    3. Be aware that Christian Healthcare Ministries takes up to 3 months to pay out. If you are forced by circumstances to drop them before payout YOU are stuck with the bill. A small obscure sentence in their rules. They do not care and don’t return phone calls.

  11. As far as the laptop mike, just go buy a very cheap remote mike. Take it home and cut the wire right at the plug. Insert that into the remote mike slot. Bingo! The internal mike is disabled.
    As to the camera; the first thing I did when I got mine home was to tape a piece of cardboard over it.
    As to cellphones, mine spends most of its time in a mini faraday cage. (A small cookie tin) at home. It rarely goes with me, except when travelling. I check it about once a week. Usually hangups.

  12. About healthcare … we have an adult child with a chronic illness, so I have been investigating options for her when my husband retires soon and we lose our company insurance. After all the looking around, along with research I’d already done, we will all be using a local direct pay primary care physician who offers a year for $600 for each person, or pay as you go. My husband and I will use one of the health sharing ministries, but our daughter will likely have to go on a state exchange to get a catastrophic insurance plan since she is not in good enough health to qualify for the sharing ministries. Thanks to Obama care, you can’t get those any more unless you sign up with the socialist system.

  13. It wasn’t so long ago surf punk didn’t warn us about this as well.

    Mama there’s a demon in my room, everybody’s got one, it’s our nation’s doom. Government plot, false or true, you think you’re watching it, but it’s watching you. It’s TV (human control solution). Day or night you’re in sight. Channel 666, channel 4, I can’t take it no I can’t take it no more. Take a look around, what’s that smell? They’ve got to bullshit us with whatever sells. It’s TV (human control solution). Day or night you’re in sight. There once was a day when we had a radio or stories were told to the young from old, believe what they say or believe what is true, with TV as a tool big brother is watching you. There once was a day when we had a radio or stories were told to the young from old, believe what they say or believe what is true, with TV as a tool big brother is watching you.
    demon in my room, everybody’s got one, it’s our nation’s doom. Government plot, false or true, you think you’re watching it, but it’s watching you. It’s TV (human control solution). Day or night you’re in sight.
    You flip a little switch and control my mind, oh yeah, they cater to mind morning noon and night.
    There once was a day when we had a radio or stories were told to the young from old, believe what they say or believe what is true, with TV as a tool big brother is watching you.

  14. Ar story,would love to see the prosecutors face when he tried to explain what the difference is between a upper and any other hard object and why every rock,piece of scrap metal or piece of ceramic doesn’t need a serial number as a “firearm”. A new market for 80% rocks. Is it time to resort to the time tested punishments-tar and feather these criminals posing as your Betters,or a good stoning for attacking the Constitution.

  15. I think the ar15 upper receiver issue has already been addressed by the ATFE in a ruling for the luger pistol because the upper could be fired by just pushing the sear bar down with your thumb a fire the firearm with one hand. But they ruled the lower would be the controlling part of a firearm. I knew about this back in the 1970’s if I remember correctly.

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