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 “JWR”.  Today, we look at Shortwave Broadcasting.

The Transmitters of Freedom (Shortwave Broadcasting)

Over at Off Grid Ham: The Transmitters of Freedom Should Be Turned Back On! Here is a quote:

“The internet affords little privacy, anonymity, or security. IP addresses can be tracked. It’s fairly easy to know who is accessing what content. Plus, the internet depends on a complex system of routers, servers, and data circuits to connect them. Oppressive governments can and do control what information is accessible within their borders and severely punish anyone who crosses the line.

Shortwave broadcasts have no borders.

The success of the shortwave broadcasts of yesteryear was due to the fact that radio has no borders and defeats attempts at censorship. No one can know for sure who is listening because a received signal cannot be tracked to any individual. Somebody, somewhere can tell when and where you do anything on the internet. But if you had a radio on, who would know?”

Takedown M4s for USAF Fighter Pilots

I found this link over at the Yer Ol’ Woodpile Report blog: USAF Fighter Pilots Are Now Flying With These Converted M4 Rifles In Their Survival Kits

What Happened With Supermicro?

Next, over at Hackaday: What Happened With Supermicro?. A pericope:

“Supermicro hasn’t been the only one under scrutiny lately. Huawei has also been under fire for having hidden backdoors in their communications equipment. This reporting, also by Bloomberg, is different because this time there’s corroboration. In the wake of this, Huawei is being banned in a few countries, and it’s starting to hurt the company. Many manufacturers are leaving China and moving to other countries, as the threat of China hacking, the increasing costs of labor, quality concerns, and rising tariffs make moving more and more appealing. Supermicro and Huawei are just illustrative examples of the trend.

On the other hand, Cisco just released an announcement about a hidden backdoor in a server (and a patch to fix it), so maybe Huawei just had a firmware bug and didn’t handle it well.

Many people have since agreed that the theory behind the kind of hardware hacking claimed by Bloomberg is sound, though it’s extremely challenging to pull off. Supply chain management, vendor management, and managing certifications and integrity of vendors internationally for complex components is a nightmare, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for a vendor to slip in some components of questionable provenance.” 

Socialism Leaves South Africa In The Dark

The latest from Daniel Greenfield: Socialism Leaves South Africa In The Dark. JWR’s Comments: That nation’s parliament is well-known for its bombastic tirades and grandiloquence. They are captaining their ship of state directly into the maelstrom. Please pray for better government in South Africa!

SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’

Reader Tim J. spotted this at MSN: SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic BackgroundJWR’s Commenta: These shenanigans of course are just an End Run around the Bakke decision. (Which supposedly stopped reverse discrimination.) The folks who should be the most angry about this new test “adjusting” are American-born Chinese, because they consistently have higher SAT scores than whites.  College and university administrators were alarmed, because their schools were looking “too Chinese”, especially in their engineering and hard sciences programs.  But the fact is: Racism is racism, no matter how they try to “progressively” paint it. Admission should solely based upon academic merit. And don’t get me started about football and basketball scholarships. Those are charades, writ large.

FLUX Defense Glock Pistol Brace

A video from a TGC guy: I SWEAR IT’S NOT A STOCK – FLUX Defense Glock Pistol Brace.

Amazon Warehouses for Hazardous Items

G.P. suggested this, over at Wired: Amazon Is Building Special Warehouses for Hazardous Items.  A quote:

“Just before 8am one Wednesday last December, a can of bear repellent exploded in an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey, sending two dozen workers to the hospital. It wasn’t the first time the product had caused problems inside Amazon. The retail giant now believes it knows what happened: The aerosol can popped out of its faulty clamshell packaging, fell to the ground, and hit another object—probably the chain link fence that divides Amazon’s human employees from their robot colleagues. Irritating capsaicin fumes then began polluting the air, causing workers to cough and their eyes to burn.

The accident was bizarre, but it also demonstrated the unique challenges that come with running the largest online retail operation in the world, where nearly every product is for sale. In the aftermath, Amazon says it tracked down and removed thousands of bear and pepper spray items from 30 fulfillment centers across the country. It then stapled their packaging shut, “to help protect against any accidental discharge,” says Carletta Ooton, the vice president of health, safety, sustainability, security and compliance at Amazon. Among other changes, Amazon now classifies bear repellent according to a higher safety standard, no longer allowing it to be handled by robots.”

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!





  1. Has anyone evaluated the Baofeng radios for any type of tracking chip built into it? These have been touted as an affordable communications device for SHTF, but given that the potential political situation is unknown if SHTF happened, it could be very dangerous if these units broadcast their GPS locations. Any thoughts?

    1. I did a frequency analyzer sweep of several of the Baofengs that I’ve bought over the years and did not detect any of the APRS or GPS signals being transmitted. The firmware code doesn’t seem to support any such activity though I have to admit their software code is corn-fusing to say the least.

      If such capability is inbred to the units it must be hidden somewhere in a ROM chip and activated via a remote command? It would also be detectable if activated via a sweep of the transmit RF signal. I tried to couple a GPS unit with the UV-5R and it was no joy in the attempt.

  2. I have visited South Africa several times over the last 10 years. It is a beautiful country. At first we were very impressed. We had a wonderful time, and even considered buying a second home in a rural area. Two years later our Professional Hunter was murdered in a ‘safe’ hotel near Kruger Park. During my last visit I noticed that the roads were in very bad condition. Rolling blackouts, as noted above, had become a fact of life. More and more homes were surrounded by barbed wire and electric fences, with armed security patrols. Friends tell us of planeloads of technical personnel and their families were emigrating to Australia and other former-Commonwealth nations. We have read of farmers being killed in remote areas, but have no first-hand knowledge thereof. The future looks quite bleak.

  3. South Africa
    It’s hard to pray for commies. I think a prayer for South Africa to have no national government would be best. They are tribal peoples and warrior clansmen, let them be what they are.

    SAT Scores
    Those who have been paying attention have seen this coming. The Chinese are too Chinese and must be punished to make non-Chinese look better. But whitey is still bad as well so don’t go getting uppity. We know in our gut that this is wrong but why? The object of communism is equality but it can only be achieved at the lowest common denominator. God is no respecter of persons. This is what is meant by equality. This is the biblical idea that the framers meant to capture by way of admonishing our Judiciary and indeed all branches on the equal application of the law. It’s also important that a variation of these words appearance both in the Old Testament and in the 14th amendment to the US Constitution are about a legal framework. Nobody, not God, not Jefferson, not the amendment is talking about forced equality or equality of outcome outside of being judged for a crime. All men are created equal in the eyes of Holy God with respect to treatment by you and your fellows in the courts of law and the making of legislation. Madison and Jefferson were very well aware of the biblical sources of this. Equality of opportunity is righteous, equality of outcome defies God’s Natural Law, therefore it defies God, making it unjust. And now you know, if you didn’t already, why it bugs you, it being God’s Natural Law written on your heart. Oh, that we were still a Christian nation!

    1. And before anybody calls me a racist my people are feudal and tribal serfs and warrior clansmen and indentured slaves. The difference, and why I don’t think SA needs good government is that my people were reborn by the blood of Christ during the post reformation revival which lead to good (not as bad) government(s). The people of SA need God, not a better government, from God flows all things good including a people made free by the Holy Bible in their own language. And because of our disbelief it’s back into servitude that my people are now going. It’s the story of God’s people, Old Testament and new. Americans, as in the days of the profits, came to believe that it was America that was special and not the God of America that gave it birth.

  4. I have to ask the military why they just didn’t use the takedown pins inherent to the AR family to reduce the length of an aircrew survival weapon? Much faster to assemble than one minute, time aircrew needs to make the most of in those first few moments on the ground. A pistol length upper w/ barrel of 10-12″ and M-4 collapsible stock could be small enough to fit the bail out kits. More importantly, attaching an upper using standard takedown pins would be faster in the darkness of night. Just a thought from this old former 11B2P.

  5. I have stated before that if American blacks really saw the conditions in Africa, they would get down on their knees and thank God that they live in America. And any American blacks who are unhappy here should get a free one-way ticket to Sub-Saharan Africa, where they will not be oppressed or discriminated against for their skin color. No, they will have the same chance as everyone else for success and happiness. No welfare, no freebies, no preferential treatment in hiring, promotions, or education. Just equality. NSFW-

  6. RE: Shortwave Radio. While it is technically possible for the security services to detect a receiver, it is a tactical capability, and there aren’t enough systems to worry about, unless you are a spy. The Brits used to run TV detection trucks around to ensure that no one who hadn’t paid for a TV license was operating one. They probably have more hardware than we do.

    RE: Baofeng radios. If you’re talking about the handheld VHF radios, they are relatively short-ranged, and intercept of any emission would be a local affair most of the time. The exception would be satellites, which are line of sight even when hundreds of miles above you. But again, satellite resources are limited and likely to be tasked on higher priority targets than an individual handheld radio.

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