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”. Today, JWR is filling in, while HJL completes the rebuild of our primary server. (We suffered a hacker attack on Sunday, January 6th.)  Today we feature some advice on tuning up tube radios.

Poor WSJ Fact Checking on Gun Ownership

The Wall Street Journal published a quite poorly-written article on Monday. It was titled: Gun Use Surges in Europe, Where Firearms Are Rare. To start, I should mention that is is gun ownership that is surging. So even the headline was poorly-worded. The author, Valentina Pop, is a Romanian journalist who is based in Brussels, Belgium. She really needs to learn about firearms and get her facts straight. Among other things, she calls tear gas dispensing guns “firearms”, and seems to want to include them in firearms ownership statistics. Let me make this clear: These tear gas “guns” are not much more than toys. They first became popular in western Europe beginning in the 1950s.  Europeans have bought them out of desperation, to provide some meager form of self defense against street crime.  Licensed modern cartridge handguns are largely banned outside of the VERY limited ownership (by a small fraction of the population) and use only at shooting club facilities. So most western Europeans have no effective means of self defense.

The included chart showing the number of registered firearms versus the number of “firearms offenses” in Germany is misleading and only suits the world view of statists.  This because the #1 “firearms offense” is unlicensed ownership of a firearm, in country with a universal licensing requirement. Read between the lines folks: What this chart is really showing us is that street crime and hooliganism in Germany is now so bad that everyday citizens are willing to face prosecution, to arm themselves.

Perhaps the worst bit of reporting in Valentina Pop’s article is her assertion: “Many illegal weapons come from one-time war zones, such as countries of the former Yugoslavia, and others are purchased online, including from vendors in the U.S.”  The portion where I added bold face is almost laughable. Does she honestly believe that any gun dealer in the United States would put themselves in the legal jeopardy of selling a firearm to any unlicensed individual in Europe, via an online sale? She obviously has no concept of how FFL recordkeeping is handled in the United States!

The Wall Street Journal obviously needs more thorough fact checking, especially when running articles written by foreign stringers.

The Electoral College

Reader D.S. suggested this map: Why We Need The Electoral College.  D.S. made these cogent comments: “Because we are (yet) a union of fifty nifty (united) states, we are NOT a centralized homogeneous nation with a supreme, top-down national governance.  Each state is ‘protected’ by these three: the tenth amendment, the senate side of our bicameral legislative branch, and by the electoral college.  The genius of our Constitution is the balancing of competing centripetal and centrifugal energies: States’ Rights and federalism. Perhaps this is no longer taught in school curricula, Clearly, it is no longer learned.”

Are Gun Rights The Next Target Of Corporate Censorship?

Next, over at Zero Hedge, “Tyler Durden” asks: Are Gun Rights The Next Target Of Corporate Censorship?  His essay begins: “Ever since Dick’s Sporting Goods and banks such as Citigroup made business decisions in line with the mainstream media’s push for gun control, some opponents of gun control have debated whether private companies pose a bigger threat to gun rights than government does. In the case of Dick’s Sporting Goods, the outdoor company decided to stop selling rifles like the AR-15 and banned the sale of firearms to individuals younger than 21. In response to the Parkland shooting in Florida, banks like Citigroup also crafted their own anti-gun policies as reported in The New York Times…”

Advice on Tuning Up Tube Radios

A SurvivalBlog reader in Arkansas wrote to ask: “I have an old Hallicrafters S38E in beautiful condition. Bought it years ago following Mr. Rawles’ mention in an article. It’s starting to drift off frequency and also an occasional buzz from the power supply. I’d like to send it in for a tune up and a speaker upgrade but it’s very difficult to get repair shops to respond to me. Do you know of any that do a good job on radios like this?”

JWR’s Reply: That might be as simple as just a replacing a failing vacuum tube. I recommend that you call your local ARRL-affiliated ham radio club and ask if anyone there has a traditional vacuum tube tester—preferably a top quality one, like a full-function Hickok brand tester. The tubes in a SW38E are widely available. In fact, the whole Hallicrafters SW-38 product line used either 5 or 6 tubes (depending on model) and they are all still readily available.

If your speaker has a paper cone that is falling apart, replacing it is fairly simple for anyone who knows which end of a soldering iron to hold. There is no need to pay someone for that labor. Just be very careful not to disturb the tuning dial string, when you change the speaker, since they are fairly vulnerable to damage.

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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. “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has published yet another smear article about me…was published on January 3, 2019” and “(We suffered a hacker attack on Sunday, January 6th.)”


    1. I also had a hell of a virus/spam barrage the 6th and 7th. I would encourage everyone to do a “machine health assessment” ASAP for good measure. SPLC….sounds like Some People Losing Control if you ask me.


  3. Regarding the topic of gun ownership in Europe and people being willing to face prosecution in order to defend themselves, I can personally attest to the fact that more gun owners here in CA are carrying without a permit, since permits are impossible to get (especially in LA County with our new Democrat Sheriff Villanueva who openly opposes permits and working with ICE agents). I personally know LEOs – most of whom are church attending Christians – who have informed me they perfectly understand the concept of Constitutional carry and would look the other way for *non* offenses such as having a magazine with more than 10 rounds, or an AR with a ‘scary’ accessory, or even carrying concealed if the person is an otherwise law-abiding citizen. They prefer to leave such quibbling to a District DA so they can avoid the hassle of arresting a good person for a non-issue, and all the paperwork that comes with it.

    Yesterday’s inauguration of our new Gov. Newsom brought with it his announcement that he’ll reconsider proposed gun control legislation that his predecessor Jerry Brown vetoed. It’s reached the point where freedom-loving Californians must decide if we should continue fighting for our rights, or recognizing that the ship is truly sinking and cannot be saved within our lifetime.

    I myself do not carry concealed here, as the legal consequences for nearly all firearm offenses result in loss of firearm rights and ownership (usually for 10-year or lifetime bans), but I follow the details of the law very closely to ensure I have a firearm close by at all times. 🙂

  4. The buzz in the Hallicrafters S-38 receiver is most likely a result of failing electrolytic capacitors in the power supply section. These components tend to (literally) dry out as they age. Although exact physical replacements are no longer available, it is practical to replace the failing capacitors with modern units of the appropriate specifications. There are a large number of tube equipment restoration videos on You Tube. For example videos by D-lab Electronics, Mr Carlson’s Lab, among many others.


    This is completely random, not in response to anything in the original post. I just thought it was very good information for folks raising their kids on a farm in a traditional mindset. I think that preppers probably “get” this mentality, of creating pathways in a kid’s brain to know how to build and explore the world from a practical mindset. I found this article interesting to gain an understanding of why so many of my generation don’t understand the natural world and how to build things and create things and recycle things. It has always been a puzzle as to how and why so many don’t have those skills and don’t know how to learn them. Now I do. It’s because as a little kid, we played with blocks and tinker toys and Lincoln logs and legos. And we always wanted another and another set so we could build bigger and better. That was creating pathways in our brains of how things work.

  6. Jim , please look into setting up a special fund to link to for legal assistance for this . I would be proud to donate what I can to help you combat this and eat away at SPLC’s bank accounts . I believe this would be right and help to put them under eventually . I am sure a lot of others would be willing to help the cause also , just make it easy , as American’s are generally trained to be lazy , LOL . God Bless you and your family this year .

  7. we are on our third day without power near the coast here and might be another day or two before it’s repaired. My kids asked me this morning “why are you always so prepared?”. Well I should have had a generator already but we just bought a house and money is tight. I’ll have one for the next outage. We’re doing fine with wood burning stove, candles, led lanterns, and our stockpile of emergency food. Thermal motion sensors are all battery powered.

  8. “What this chart is really showing us is that street crime and hooliganism in Germany is now so bad that everyday citizens are willing to face prosecution, to arm themselves.”

    Not true, really not true.

    The second largest Club Sport in Germany after Soccer is target Shooting.
    Schützenvereine have a Tradition here that is much older than the 13 colonies

    A carry permit is hard to come by but an owning Permit for Sport including Hunting isn´t.

    The stereotype ownership crime, is a collector who collects moder Military weapons including tanks.

  9. “What this chart is really showing us is that street crime and hooliganism in Germany is now so bad that everyday citizens are willing to face prosecution, to arm themselves.”

    German resident here. The German city I live in is much safer than the American town I used to call home. This is a very safe country.

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