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”. With Paris burning due to the riots, the questions start arising on why they continue. The answer may surprise you.

Paris Burning

Are you still wondering why Paris is burning? This article sent in by reader H.L. shows why there is so much civil unrest. France has the the highest tax rate in the industrialized world along with the worst investment record in Europe. You can physically oppress people all day long and they will usually just knuckle under and take the abuse. But when you start hitting them in their pocketbook and making it difficult to feed their family– lookout! Back in the 1700s the magic tipping point seemed to be around 6% tax. In today’s world, it would appear to be closer to 40%. France is at a whopping 46.2% tax rate. I don’t think a simple reversal of the new gasoline taxes is going to fix this problem.

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Put another way, Paris is basically burning over climate change taxes introduced in the last few years. The straw that broke the camels back was the $0.25/gallon climate change tax on gasoline. Imagine what will happen if that tax is closer to $49/gallon. That is the level of taxation that a United Nations special climate report calls for in 12 years using a carbon tax of $5,500/ton. The U.N. claims that a tax of $27,000/ton ($240/gallon) is needed to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees. Thanks to DSV for the link.

Everything Bubble

Reader G.P. sent in this excellent article that compares the current pricing bubble to the bubble along with the tulip bubble in the 1600s. The point made is that we obsess over what causes a bubble to break, but it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the bubble exists and it will break somehow, someway. It is much wiser to spend time figuring out what will be damaged when the bubble breaks rather than why it breaks. Given the current debt that the entire world is in (thanks to central bank policies all over the world), that bubble may have already broken and we just haven’t realized it yet.

Surprise Medical Bills

There is a battle brewing in medical bills at the end of this year. At issue is a disagreement between United Health Care (insurance) and Envision Healthcare (employer). What will happen if these two giants can’t iron out there differences is a surprise medical bill for many patients. If they can’t work it out, Envision Healthcare doctors will be treated as out-of-network even if they work in a hospital that is in-network. You may go in for treatment with the expectation that your insurance covers the procedure only to find out that your hospital bills are, but your doctor bills are not (or at least not as much as you think). This will be a contract negotiation to keep your eye on if you are affected. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

Reality Check

Reid Henrichs of Valor Ridge recently posted an interview with Chuck Taylor. Chuck has been a firearms instructor for over 40 years and has a wealth of knowledge. This interview is just under 30 minutes long but is well worth the time spent watching it. As expected, Chuck emphasizes training over equipment. In his words, you can have the best hardware in the world, but if you don’t have the software for it, it is useless. Learn how to shoot without all the specialized hardware that we have a tendency to rely on. He remarks that shooters who are excellent competitive shooters may fall apart under combat conditions because they have not trained in the thought processes required under combat. This is a great interview about the psychology of shooting. Thanks to T.J. for the link.

Firearms Question

Reader M.M. wrote in after reading SurvivalBlog’s recommendation on purchasing 80% and 100% lower receivers ahead of the new Congress convening and asked about AK-47 type rifles and spare parts/kits. I personally don’t own any AK-47 type weapons but I know many who do prefer that platform. I suspect that that platform will be targeted at least as much, possibly more than the AR platform by new legislation. In the past, foreign weapons have been seen as easy targets based on Congress’s ability to manage tariffs and import/export regulations. With many of the new AK-47 type weapons being made here in the U.S., it won’t be as easy as it was back in the ’90s for Congress to restrict them, but you can bet any legislation that includes the AR will also include the AK. If that is your platform of choice, you may want to stock up.

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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. @ M.M. – What are you looking to do with 80% vs 100% lowers? If you’re looking to resale down the road, I would not recommend 80% lowers. If you’re handy and intend to make several 80% lowers, I guess the investment in the bits and what not makes sense. Doing just one, I do not see the value of investment.

    For AK’s, in my experience, anything other than Arsenal is a waste of time. Good luck finding a Arsenal for under $1K, however.

    For the best of both worlds in relation to your question, have you considered 6.5 Grendel? In doing so, you get a regular 5.56 AR lower (allowing you to get a 5.56 upper), the advantage of cheaply comparable in price of 7.62×39 but in wolf 6.5G, as well as having the option of higher priced, precision ammo. Grendel is an excellent round that is very powerful for its size. Certainly more powerful than 7.62×39.

  2. Firearms question

    Nine out of ten combat marines agree, if you were up to your backside in badguys would you rather have an AR (M4) or an AK47?.. Most would opt for the latter. This is no slam on the AR, it’s (the AK47) just the proven platform of the whole world.

  3. I think the reason for the lower tolerance for taxes in the 1700’s was the far greater level of poverty. The level of poverty, not the extent. A recipe for a cake with one egg (19th century). St. Faustina went to church only once a month as a girl because four sisters had to share one good dress. A French king who dreamed of the day that every peasant would have a chicken in the pot (stewed) every Sunday. Polish peasants who never ate meat in their entire lives. Tiny closets, or none, in tiny houses.

    When you are one step above starvation, six percent is intolerable. When you have no place place to store all your stuff, and are overweight, forty percent is intolerable.

    It’s really the same. It’s when people start to reach the point of desperation.

  4. Whether AR or AK the main factor is ammo compatibility with the opposing force, you will not find the enemy carrying 6.5g ammo but he/she/it will be carrying 5.56 or 7.62X39. sooner or later you will find yourself using scrounged ammo and weapons so it would help if they are compatible with what you carry. I could be wrong, but?

    1. Yes, I understand this argument. This is why I suggested a 5.56 upper in addition. But, I also think that stacking it deep is going to be a primary goal.

      I find too much inconsistency in the argument that you need to stick to basic military calibers. Is it wise? Sure. But, I think it is wise because of price not because a potential “battlefield pickup” argument.

  5. With the current riots going on in Paris I pause to think about whether those of us in America will rise up and riot when the Democrats reverse Trump’s tax cuts and increase all taxes? The working poor pay little or no taxes, the rich hire expensive tax accounts to cut their taxes to near zero and the middle class is squeezed unmercifully. Will the silent majority go like sheep to the slaughter?

    1. I think we will not see the American middle class rise up and riot similar to what is happening in Paris. We might see middle class insurgents, but not likely protesters in the street.
      If the tables are reversed and the Left does not get its way, that’s when you see protesters in the streets.
      The possibility that police are either not able or allowed to effectively control the protesters is when we get much closer to the edge. Think Korean shop owners during the Rodney King LA riots. You get groups of conservative middle class people who don’t want to see more destruction in their town. They start to work to discourage or combat the mobs with anything from chemicals to gunfire and things can go from current climate to “interesting times” in a very short time.

  6. RE: Chuck Taylor. Great interview, way back in the early 1980s before DVD instruction, Chuck Taylor’s great books: “The Fighting Rifle”, “Combat Shotgun & Submachine Gun”, and “Complete book of Combat Handgunning” from the late great Paladin Press, were my ‘go-to’ books to learn from and work on the drills with my shooting buddies. Thanks for the link; it brought back some great memories!

  7. “The U.N. claims that a tax of $27,000/ton ($240/gallon) is needed to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.”

    Here’s the problem; in the last 2 or 3 years the amount of global COOLING has been measured at MINUS 0.56 degrees C. The temperature is going down, not up. If the new solar minimum continues, these same globalist morons are going to be begging us to use more fossil fuels, not less, burn more wood, not less.

    They should have learned something from the California Camp fire. Because of all the smoke generated by the fire, local temperatures LOWERED by 10 degrees F. That is a local drop of 5.5 degrees C.

    So I guess what we need to stop global warming is a lot more smog. I can’t wait to hear these morons start promoting that lunacy.

  8. Unless “they” are picking yours up, Big John! I wish we would stop romanticizing an event like this…Rambo doesn’t exist. It’s families with little kids out there. Even the most highly trained SF guy can “catch one” as easily and randomly as the most innocent person. Bad times!

  9. I was in just a tiny bit of combat in AFGN, but can give you the reliable truth about packing a long gun: snipe from cover is the preferred way to fight and survive, and if you aren’t wearing a brain bucket when you peep right out, someone will be picking up your ammo. Not the other way around.

    But anyone who thinks our main conflict will be us engaging enforcement people is deluded and dangerous company.

    Push for getting rid of crooked lawyers and morally corrupt lawyers. Run for office. Seek membership on boards. Build concensus. Yeah, you can build a huge stash, but what good is it if you don’t have backup?

    Teach youth in the way they should go. Don’t be the guy or gal that let immorality ruin Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts through your lassitude.

    1. “Run for office.” Really ? Why ? Have you EVER ran for an elected office ? Is the office occupied by an incumbent ? Good luck. Be prepared to lose. Time, money (lots of it) and the position you are vying for.

      Better off training and preparing to oppose with force of arms those same “elected” scoundrels who regularly attack the same citizens they purport to defend.

      Lead and hemp. Invest in it and the fortitude to use it !

      1. “Run for office.” Really ?……….Yes. Even when you lose to an evil office seeker, you have rallied LMP who can then build strength. Look at the LEO example in Republic, WA example….. ‘Why ?’…… I agree with Franklin Graham and Jesus who said “You are the light of the world. No one lights a candle and hides it. You cannot hide a city standing on a hill……’.Have you EVER ran for an elected office ?’….My 34 years of military and federal service precluded that, but I supported my wife in her fight to get elected to the school board, in which she got her reputation smeared despite being a great God-fearing woman who raised four wonderful God-fearing children despite the cumulative total of 5 years of husband/father absence I spent at various places deployed during three decades…. ‘Is the office occupied by an incumbent ?’……I understand your credulous comment…… ‘Good luck’…….I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in the will of God Almighty who expects me to dig in and fight evil in His Name until I am fully exsanguinated…. ‘Be prepared to lose. Time, money (lots of it) and the position you are vying for.’…..Nothing new there, right?

        ‘Better off training and preparing to oppose with force of arms those same “elected” scoundrels who regularly attack the same citizens they purport to defend.’……And that, but in addition to my suggestions. Or are you suggesting you prefer to do things like get in a gun fight standing upright in an open field sans body armor or K-pot?

        Name one Medal of Honor recipient who spent his entire time covered in a well-stocked bunker. You have to fight with vigor but you have to fight using your God-given brains, not needlessly throw your life away. Matthew 7: States “For whosoever asketh, receiveth; whosoever seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” Jesus Christ, 1599 Geneva Bible, Patriots Edition.

        ‘Lead and hemp. Invest in it and the fortitude to use it !’……If you want to actually make a difference you need to expand your full weaponry capability. We were instructed in using four basic weapons to achieve our interests: Diplomatic (lump our three levels of government into this), Information, Military, and Economic.

        Please be smart and don’t cripple our team by using only one weapon. We are losing one battle after the other already. Even those insane idiots Antifa are running circles around us by manipulation of the Diplomatic and Information weapons.

        Fight Smart, Best Wishes and God Bless,

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