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”. You’ll want to learn about this bumpstock lawsuit.

Milk Knife

From the man who has turned the making of shivs into an art form comes this project where he literally makes a knife out of milk. The knife produced is obviously somewhat brittle as he uses much more care in the handling of the knife than he normally does, but it is sharp enough to cut thin slices of what looks like a cucumber. What I found most interesting in this video was the process that he used to create a handle for the knife. He uses a molding process and an epoxy resin to recreate the head of one of his cow water holders on the handle of the knife. The entire process of molding the handle is shown and it is as interesting as the usually knife making process.

Bumpstock Lawsuit

With the absurd bumpstock ban looming, a number of legal challenges are already spinning up. One such challenge is the Guedes v. BATFE a lawsuit which you can participate in, by helping to fund it. The ATF’s ban is unconstitutional and a prime example of bureaucratic overreach. The ATF needs to be smacked hard over this issue as it will lead to the declaration of many more non-firearms related products falling under their jurisdiction. If you can, help support this legal action.

The Surveillance State

Yet another city is asking residents to register their private security cameras with the police. According to this article sent in by reader DSV, Bridgewater, New Jersey residents are being asked to register their cameras with the unimaginatively named S.M.I.L.E. program (Surveillance Monitoring Initiative for Law Enforcement). Of course, the claim is that you can help law enforcement by adding a powerful investigative resource making the community safer, but the real goal is to shift the financial burden of surveillance onto you.

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On the flip side of that coin, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has passed an ordinance restricting the ability of government agencies to obtain surveillance gear. There is a bewildering array of surveillance technologies, from biometric scanners, license plate readers, social media monitoring platforms, body cameras and even predictive policing software. Each department seeking to use such technology must now produce and make public a detailed plan outlining the capabilities they want and precisely how they will be used. They must also state how the data will be preserved and protected and include a study on how it will impact civil rights and civil liberties. The ordinance is also retroactive. Any technology already acquired must be justified and permitted or it will be removed.

Check Cashing

Showing yet again that banks are not your friend, an Ohio man recently tried to cash his paycheck at a bank that he did not have an account at. He provided all of the necessary identification that the bank insisted on, including giving his fingerprint. The bank then began questioning the transaction and attempted to call the man’s employer. When the employer did not answer the phone, the tellers refused to cash the check, even though all of the branches check requirements were met. As the man left he was stopped by police who the bank had called claiming the check was fraudulent.

Hiding From Google

Reader DSV sent in this article on how to hide your house on Google Maps. Google provides this ability for those who do not want their homes, faces or other identifying products on public display. However, you should know that there are both pros and cons to this. While this sort of information is great for finding a location that you are attempting to reach, it also provides the same information to those who would use it for nefarious results. It can also be considered a probe into your privacy simply because it removes the personal effort required by someone who wants to view your location. On the other hand, being the only house on a block that is blurred can be a red flag because you are no longer “gray”. There is also no reversing the process. Once it’s gone, it’s permanent. Use your best judgment.


Don’t forget about the SurvivalBlog Classifieds! There are some really amazing things being advertised on there. A recent perusal showed a variety of stuff including Rhodesian Ridgeback pups (which make excellent homesteading dogs). I also saw a 3,000 gallon per day reverse osmosis water purification plant that is capable of turning sea water into pure, safe drinking water.

You can also advertise if there is something that you want to buy. If you are looking for something that only a prepper would have, you know where to put the word out.

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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. In a recent visit to a Staples store to send a package of Christmas gifts I was asked to identify the contents. A bit surprised, I was in a hurry and complied. Along with some specialized cooking spices, books, and socks were 2 bricks of 22’s for my brother in law and my 35 year old nephew. I asked for an ORM-D label. they showed me a Staples policy which refused to send ammunition. Knowing full well that UPS has no policy against the shipping of a perfectly legal commodity I informed them that their virtue statement had just cost them a customer for life. I can buy office supplies and other Items they sell anywhere, and I need not shop there, I am willing to go out of my way to voice my opinion. My point here, is be on the look out for companies that infringe on your rights and treat them like enemies of our country, which they are. I am sure some will not agree with my boycotting anti second amendment companies, so I encourage them to buy lots of stock in Dick’s Sporting Goods. A couple of things that bother me about their decision is that since this was an interstate shipment is that they are in violation of Federal Interstate Commerce Laws, as well as Anti Discrimination Laws. They have the right to not ship things period. or to not shelve items that they do not wish to sell, but not the right to make discriminatory decisions.

    1. @Joe,

      Earlier this year, I attempted to ship a disassembled rifle to a relative (all within Federal and state legal parameters, of course) at my local “The UPS Store” location. When I voluntarily declared the firearm within the package (required by law), the clerk’s eyes opened wide and he literally took two steps back from the package, stating that they do not ship firearms. Being the prepared buckaroo that I am, I already had a printed hardcopy of the UPS policy stating that firearms are indeed accepted, and how they must be packaged/declared. The clerk then informed me that they are not affiliated with UPS and are not the same company.

      I looked at him for a moment, and then slowly pointed to his uniform shirt to comment that it looks exactly like a UPS uniform. I also swept my open hand around me at the building’s decor, mentioning that everything is the same color and style as UPS, and even their name is displayed with the same color and font as UPS. He sheepishly shrugged his shoulders and said “The UPS Store” is a completely independent entity and works under contract with UPS, but they are not related. They’re actually independently owned franchises, like McDonalds. He then informed me that I would need to go to the nearest UPS depot (almost 15 miles away!) to ship my firearm with them.

      I took my package off the counter, and politely but firmly told the manager that I had been patronizing his store since it first opened years ago, but would no longer. And I bee-lined straight over to a smaller mom-and-pop shipping store, who shipped it for me with no problem (for a higher fee, but at least they did it).

    2. I no longer shop at our Dick’s or Field and Stream. Recently we were sent a 25% off our total purchase and it went into the garbage. They are hurting and they will be hurting even more when they loose all the law suits. Rule # 1 don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  2. While everybody frets over Bump Stocks the federal declaration of war by way of Trump’s Red Flag weapons seizures are ramping up.

    Pitting coworker against coworker, neighbor against neighbor, family member against family member, parishioner against parishioner nobody will have done more damage to American freedom than Donald Trump and his Red Flag laws. This is exactly what the Soviets did. Trump is a traitor to the Constitution and anybody that still backs him should be considered a potential traitor and a threat.

    1. WHOA! Fred,
      Wherever there are “Red Flag” laws, they are State/Local, NOT FedGov. President Trump has/had nothing to do with any of them. Take your problems up with the real source, don’t be “that guy”.

      Or are you “that troll”?

      1. @Stacker,

        You’re correct that such laws are typically enacted at the state level, but unfortunately President Trump has been championing the push for Red Flag/ERPO laws, to the point where he’s now allegedly dangling financial incentives in exchange. I was very excited about him during his first year in office, and have been happy so far with his federal judiciary appointments, but he’s been showing a rather disturbing trend lately in which his lack of support for 2A has been evident.

        As the saying goes, freedom is won with the four boxes…the Soap box, the Ballot box, the Jury box, and the Ammo box, and in that order. It appears that we’re sliding into the ‘Jury box’ phase, and will need to focus our efforts in taking the leftist onslaught to court, perhaps indefinitely. I won’t get into the messy argument regarding the NRA’s agenda and whether or not they’ll attempt to handle these things, but I know the FPC and GOA are aggressively pursing lawsuits, including the recent push for the bump stock ban and Red Flag/ERPO laws. Choose a pro-2A entity that suits you and get involved or donate to support those who can engage on your behalf.

        1. Guesty,

          The NRA has been suspiciously quiet out on the left coast as Kalifornia govt. rams through more illegal attacks against the 2nd amendment. I’ve got to wonder where they’ll be on the different state issues on this Red Flag fiasco.

        2. When the NRA supported the original federal “Assualt Rifle” ban in 1995 and then had the audacity to then give the Senators and Representatives Passing grades for their support of the 2A I was done with them. They will never get another penny from me. The older times ask me why I needed a gun “like that”. I ask them why they need a Sniper rifle. They reply “I don’t have a sniper rifle”, and I follow it up by saying “you will once the gun grabbers have all the “Assualt rifles”, besides who needs a powerful gun that can kill Hundreads of yards away, after all you can use a shotgun”. The smart ones get it.

      2. Actually Trump has encouraged states to make red flag laws and I believe would sign a federal law when it comes to his desk. Trump once said he is in favor of taking guns 1st and worry about due process 2nd/later.

  3. I wonder if the businesses selling bumpstocks, binary triggers, and other similar products will be subpoenaed by the government to provide names of people who have purchased these. If this rule is allowed to stand, it’s not too difficult to imagine a AR/AK ban.

  4. Re: Check Cashing

    I got that beat. Several months ago, I was on the way to visit some relatives out of state when I remembered one of their young kids recently had a birthday and I had forgotten to mail a card. I decided to give them cash, but realized all I had was a 100-dollar bill. Being in a strange city, I chose the first bank that was convenient and not far off the highway, a Wells Fargo branch. I pulled up to the drive up window and asked for a hundred in twenties.

    “Do you have an account with us?”
    “No ma’am, I don’t live in this state.”
    “I’m sorry, but unless you have an account with us I can’t cash anything more than $20.”
    “Is that not legal tender and are you not a bank?”
    “Would you like to open an account?”
    “No, I just need change for a hundred, and since you are a bank, a representative of the Federal Reserve System, I just assumed you would change it for me.”
    “Sorry sir, have a nice day.”

    Unless there are fees to made, they want nothing to do with you or your cash. They realize it is, for all intents and purposes, fake. Prepare for a cashless society. It is coming.

  5. Banks:
    So being a cash as much as possible person, I go to my hairdresser for my hair cut and the only bill I have is a 100 denomination bill. She could not break it (it was early in the day) and she said maybe I could go to the bank a block away. This is a very small town only one somewhat large bank available. They tell me that only members of the bank can break bills or do any business there. So I drive a few more blocks to the grocery store and get the job done. Being that I can have a very big mouth and am happy to give an opinion when asked, I know I will tell anyone willing to listen as to why I believe they should not be a member of that bank. I recommend that when getting cash from your bank or Credit Union get some of in in smaller denominations. Personally I go to a Credit Union.

  6. I have never ever been able to cash a check in a bank where I didn’t have an account…I thought everybody knew this.

    Bump stocks. They are stupid and useless. (in my opinion) BUT I can see no reason why they should be banned. THEY AREN’T EVEN A GUN!

    Shipping ammo. I try to avoid it because UPS employees don’t know or understand their company policy even after I read it to the. I had some ammo all packed up and had my ORM-D sticker on and they wouldn’t let me ship, told me it was illegal even after I read them their own rules to them. I went back a few days later, got a different counter person, she of course freaked out until I explained to her I was just shipping the brass casings, not load ammo. (I lied). I had to explain to her in detail what a brass cartridge even was, she was convinced a cartridge when fired ALL came out of the barrel…..VERY annoying. And all of this trouble at a huge hub, not a UPS “store”.

    I build muzzle loading rifles for a living and was told after many years of shipping my guns out of that UPS hub that they would no longer ship anything to do with firearms, not even a squirt gun. I of course read their own rules to them again to no avail. I was happy to take my $3000+ in business over to the Post office. I get better service there and NO hassels.

      1. Last week I had to show 2 forms of ID to do even that. And my first ID was the state-issued Real ID-compliant driver’s license that I had to show multiple proofs of identity, give a DNA sample and sign over the souls of my children to obtain.

  7. Joe. There is a site called 2nd Vote that rates various companies based on conservative values. I receive their email weekly and it doesn’t cost anything. Some ratings are expected while some others surprised me at least. Just another place that helps rank for values.

    1. Spoiler Alert!

      ‘The Wall’ will never be built. Surely you understand that now.

      The only wall I’d contribute to is one around Washington DC. Think of it as larger FEMA Camp.

  8. I just received a shipment from a major online retailer of firearms and accessories who uses UPS, and in that shipment was at least 500 rounds of centerfire ammunition.

    ORM-D labeling and fees is all that is required.

  9. If the Feds really wanted to limit access to bump stocks while respecting due process, what they should have done was declare the devices as being Class III, and providing a amnesty period for bump stock owners to register the devices (without paying the transfer fee since the device would have been purchased prior to the ruling). This would not be a total ban at all either.

  10. Bump stocks, I had a chance some yrs ago to obtain a bump stock, but declined. The reason being is that I went to ammo fast enough as it was. But I think a bump stock on a .22 would be a hoot.

  11. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the gun grab. The current president will sell all of the second amendment supporters down the road. He so hung up on “making the deal”, that he’ll trade the second amendment for a wall or anything else he wants to trade for. I hope I’m wrong but I’m afraid I’m not.

  12. On cashing a check. You may cash a check if you don’t have an account IF the check is drawn on the bank you are cashing it at with proper I D. The man in the article was doing just that. His payroll check was drawn on the bank in question and he presented proper identification. And yes, on the Red Flag Laws the president did say to take the guns and due process later. It was during that big ’roundtable’ discussion. That’s a scary statement. They take baby steps. Pretty soon it might be construed to think anyone wanting a gun is a nut.

    1. No longer true in California-and it was a shock when it happened to me. I have ALWAYS been able to go to the bank and/or credit union the check was drawn on and get the funds. Now, if you do not belong to that bank/credit union, they can legally charge a “fee” to give you the money. The fact that they can check the account, verify funds, I can provide several pieces of ID-all amount to nothing. Just another way to control people, money, and make “fees”. More Elite Power.

  13. On check cashing,I had a similar experience. There was a payroll mistake and was issued a check to make up the shortage. Iwent to the bank branch next door to cash it. They refused unless I was opening a account and depositing the check or paying a fee. I returned to the office,informed them the situation. The Boss had to personally withdraw the funds to pay me. A week later he changed banks and the manager and his boss both lost their jobs over it. As far as I know that bank still has the same policy of not cashing their own checks.

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