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 New York’s vague “gravity knife” ban.

Vague Knife Ban Case Goes to Supreme Court

Reader G.P. suggested this by attorney Eugene Volokh: Knife Ban and Vagueness Case at Supreme Court Conference

PG&E Cuts Power to Reduce Wildfire Risks

PG&E cuts power in Northern California to reduce wildfire risks. JWR’s Comment:  Of course without power, unless rural landowners have gravity-fed water (which is a rarity), they would be without water to wet down around their houses, to be ready for an approaching fire. This is all the more reason to have an independent power system!

20 Everyday Tasks that Nobody Does Anymore

Reader DSV sent this piece by Kim Komando: 20 everyday tasks that nobody does anymore.

Self-Defense with an Unregistered Gun

A hat tip to DSV for this New York news item: Old Man Charged With Felony After Shooting Two Robbers In His Own Home. A snippet:

The homeowner, 64-year-old Ronald Stolarczyk, shot and killed Patricia Anne Talerico and her nephew, Nicholas Talerico. But Stolarczyk hasn’t been charged with a homicide. At least not yet. What has police concerned is the handgun Stolarczyk used.

…Stolarczyk is charged with felony gun possession because investigators believe he used his deceased father’s gun, which he never registered to himself, to kill the two suspected intruders.

So Stolarczyk’s father either gave or left the handgun in question to his son. Under New York’s famously restrictive gun control laws, the son wasn’t required to undergo a background check to receive the handgun from his father. But he did need to have a pistol permit to legally own the firearm and have it registered in his name.

The Gateway Pundit Reports: The incident happened in Deerfield, New York, about 40 miles east of Syracuse, in Oneida county.

Tar Rises Up Onto Streets Near La Brea Tar Pits

One more from G.P., with video: Tar, Natural Gas Rises Up Onto Streets Near La Brea Tar Pits

Photos of Travelers at Border Have Been Hacked

Another from G.P., at BuzzFeed: Photos Of Travelers Coming In And Out Of The US Have Been Hacked And Stolen. A quote:

“A US Customs and Border Protection subcontractor suffered a data breach that exposed the photos of tens of thousands of travelers coming in and out of the United States, the agency revealed Monday, in what it described as a “malicious cyber-attack.”

The database of identifying traveler photos and license plate images had been transferred to a CBP subcontractor’s network without the federal agency’s authorization or knowledge, CBP explained. The subcontractor’s network was then hacked, though CBP said its own systems had not been compromised.

The compromised photos were taken of travelers in vehicles coming in and out of the US through specific lanes at a single Port of Entry over a one and a half months period. Fewer than 100,000 people had their information compromised by the attack, according to a law enforcement official.

No other identifying information was included with the photos and no passport or other travel document photos were compromised, the official said. Images of airline passengers from the air entry and exit process were also not involved.

The cyberattack comes amid the ongoing rollout of CBP’s “biometric entry-exit system,” the government initiative to biometrically verify the identities of all travelers crossing US borders. As BuzzFeed News reported earlier this year, CBP is scrambling to implement the initiative with the goal of using facial recognition technology on “100 percent of all international passengers,” including American citizens, in the top 20 US airports by 2021. And it is doing so in the absence of proper vetting, regulatory safeguards, and what privacy advocates say is in defiance of the law, BuzzFeed News found.”

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





  1. Hey JWR, no analysis or reporting on the Kettler NFA case? It appears that we have a move towards 2nd Amendment freedom in some states, however the Supreme Court refuses to give us a favorable ruling towards freedom at a national level. I guess in our hearts we all know that the powers that be will not reverse the tyranny that has progressed on us in the last 100 years. As a highway patrolman friend of mine told me (we met when I went in a snowy ditch in Montana when Obumer got elected) “don’t keep all your guns at home, keep some in the woods and be ready to retrieve them for their true intended purpose”, he knew as a lawman that the courts at the highest level don’t honor the law and will sell us out, which they have by refusing to rule in favor of the constitution. I guess there is nothing left to really talk about. The enemy has shown his hand and we are willfully blind to refuse to see it. Plus we have all the cases of bad police blatantly killing civilians, including children and they are never prosecuted. They get paid leave for murdering us.

  2. New York sucks, as does most of the surrounding states. How much freedom will be taken before the people finally take back their states?

    Sadly, I think they are past the point of no return.

  3. In regards to the article about the data breach of photos leaked and the response of CPD that is isn’t their fault, it was a subcontractor what are they trying to do? They are the legally responsible entity. Saying” no other data was breached ” who believes that? We are going to have to look very carefully at the benefits of the new evolving technologies verses our personal rights verses the actual benefits gained. I give you the TSA which is my mind way too expensive, rights invading, powerful and for the most part not all that effective. Just another self serving bureaucratic department that is ever growing, more top heavy and cumbersome.

  4. I think someone needs a physics lesson. A police officer flicking a knife open is putting the knife in motion then the sudden stopping is using the force not gravity to open the blade.

    1. I fail to see why it has become incumbent for us to have to try and protect our Constitutional rights on an individual basis. Politicians should be prosecuted for violating them. As with bothersome weeds you need to kill the roots not just flail at the leaves.

  5. PG&E, we do not live in the counties listed but have had our power cut for public safety reasons 3 times this year for up to one and a half days at a time and it looks like it is going to get worse. I wonder (tongue in cheek ) if they will cut the power to Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Orange counties when the Santa Anna winds blow for three or four days? I have taken steps and spent the money to assure that we have power and if it gets worse I will just go off the grid. The reasons that there are so many problems are the bean counters running the company. They have deferred maintenance and capital equipment improvements to maximize profits. Very short sighted, but this seems to be the new business model as taught in the business departments of our “Higher Education Institutions “. Oh well I am off to buy stock in an other Uber type IPO, Why not? A company that has only reported losses and has almost no assets but some bean counter valued at $70 billion, what could possibly go wrong?

  6. We still do 15 of the 20 things no one does any more. I’ll comment that several of the items on the list are impossible to do now. When was the last time you even saw an operable phone booth or VHS tapes for sale?

  7. Dirty scums in New York, the right thing is ALWAYS the right thing and that includes defending yourself in your own home. I had the same concern when I lived in California so I moved but this type of c**p needs to be fought

  8. Think about the logic of suing PG&E for 100’s of millions in damage for the fires caused by sparks from power lines during wind storms. PG&E doesn’t have money!! They have to raise the rates to everyone if they lose the law suit. Now on top of that stupid idea of suing a public utility the state of California actually intends to hold officers of the company criminally responsible for future fires. What would you do? Ignore the threats of out of control juries bankrupting the company AND going to jail if a wind comes up? Or would you do the ONLY thing in your power and cut the electric during wind storms?

    That in a nutshell is the problem. Every year since Adam and Eve huge tracts of California grew massive amounts of weeds during the rainy season and these weeds then dried to almost gasoline flammability during the dry season. There is no way in hell to put power lines over these lands and not incur this risk. While most of California’s fires have been man caused by either carelessness or intent it is most unfortunate that last year these most serious fires were (likely) caused by powerlines. There is no good solution to this problem. There are expensive partial solutions and I have no doubt that is the route California will take but it won’t stop fires caused by power lines… period.

    1. You are wrong about PG&E not having money, they have hundreds of billions in assets. They have power plants, physical property, water rights and equipment. But they also have a bloated management team.

      1. Seriously! That is your answer? So if they have to cash out their power plants and physical property instead of blackouts during windstorms there will be zero electricity permanently. Have you thought this through Joe?

        The simple truth is PG&E does not have any money. If they were to take a trillion dollar hit in a lawsuit (and that isn’t out of the question due to the number of deaths and homes destroyed) then PG&E would have to raise the rates by a trillion dollars to pay for it. Why??? Because PG&E does not have any money. They are a public utility not a profit making business.

        Suing PG&E would be like suing the state of California. They don’t have any money either. So if they lose the lawsuit the taxpayers have to pay it. This is like robbing Peter to pay Paul except that the MSM makes it appear that the “guilty” party is punished but Peter didn’t do anything wrong. The ONLY ones who will gain from this is a handful of morally suspect lawyers.

  9. Re; gravity knife, I once owned a Buck 110 that I could barely open the blade pulling it out ( really strong retaining spring ) but had an acquaintance who could flick the blade out easily, his comment was it’s all about technique and practice. so according to NY all folding knives are gravity knives, maybe everyone in NY should just carry MACHETES.

  10. PG&E can use ground kill to prevent these flammable weeds growing beneath the lines, or PAVE the right of way with asphalt. Heavy plastic sheeting? The cost of the transmission lines and towers was no problem….but no money for weed control?
    James is right on the money….have your OWN power system. This will become more important very soon.
    New York laws…….stay OUT of communist countries. I turned down business in the north east because of their contempt for the common citizen. PA and VT are okay, if you fly in.

    1. The cost is prohibitive. AND even then there would be no guarantees it would even work as intended, The problem is the wind and the dry fuel load You could pave every inch under he power lines and the wind would simply carry the spark 1/4 mile away and start the fire. Or even more likely you could pave and kill the underbrush and the wind would blow more underbrush underneath the lines. There is no decent solution no matter how much money you throw at it.

      It isn’t practical to bury high voltage power lines and that impracticality is compounded by the distance covered.

  11. If the power lines that started the fires are not the high tension transmission lines why not do what most of the new developments do and put the utilities underground? yes it would be expensive but as they like to say about gun laws If it only saves one life it would be worth it!!!!

  12. Re. PG&E
    Over 40 people were killed, many likely as a result of PG&E caused fires. Yet no Big Corporate ‘suit’ will go to jail. Imagine the outrage our Founders would have expressed at mere mention of ‘corporate personhood’.

    My point? Allow NO CORPORATIONS in our next very limited governments.

  13. Tar pits rising? I just watched “Volcano” with Tommy Lee Jones last night at a friends house. What a hoot. About a volcano underneath the La Brea Tar Pits in LA. Fun movie. Signs of future action?

  14. La Brea tar pit seepage: Why are they not clamoring for it to be declared a national disaster? Seems like every other thing in Commiefornia needs federal funds to mitigate. And, it’s not a health concern, either? How is it possible that everything sold has to have a label that says the state of California has found it to be hazardous to our health but this is not?

  15. Power lines don’t generate sparks. Where are all of the fires in the mid-western wheat fields or the Palouse region, or the northeast in the fall when the dried leaves litter the ground?

    1. The problem is the wind. California gets the rare winds that can be 90 mph and it goes on for hours and sometimes days. This causes two problems that together multiply the risk of a wild fire. 1. the powerlines are subject to being blown close enough together that they will spark. 2. the spark that falls to the ground wouldn’t have caused a fire in a Kansas wheat field but in the super dry dead plants in California the wind turns that spark into an inferno that cannot be stopped. Essentially all the fire department can do it wait out the wind and protect those areas and homes that are defensible. The canyons and hilly areas full of dead dry brush cannot be protected. It is the wind that makes all the difference but it is the fuel load that is somewhat unique to California that sets up the explosive conditions.

      1. I call BS on the whole thing. Powerlines are not constructed such that the wind can cause them to short. The Santa Anna winds are nothing new, and I refuse to believe that these powerlines were built without taking local conditions under consideration UNLESS there was a concerted effort to cut costs at a criminal level.

        I have an electrical engineering degree, and have a difficult time imagining the levels of misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance necessary to build a network that poorly.

        1. One day in 1964 during a hurricane I was walking back from the chow hall when the wind blew to high voltage lines close enough to short them. A large blue ball of spark/electricity and a loud bang like thunder. The ball dropped to the street and bounced around awhile before disappearing.

          The wind becomes a major factor in spreading the fire. It means that you can strip the plant life to the ground for a 1/4 of a mile and the wind will still carry a spark to dry tinder on the other side. It means that no matter how much you reduce the plants under a power line that when these wind conditions come up it means nothing. It means that no matter how many firemen and equipment you put on the ground they cannot stop or put out the fire until the wind dies down.

          So the winds are nothing new and the huge plant growth every year is nothing new, and the long dry summers that kill and dry out all the plants is nothing new, and the reoccurring fires are nothing new. You cannot stop those long established climate factors from causing massive fire damage in much of California. You can sue/fine/legislate PG&E into their grave and you will still get these reoccurring cyclical fires.

          Here is what you can do. You can make your homes fireproof. You can reduce the plant life around your home so that at least the wind blown sparks will pass you by and not create a hot spot. You can build in places and on land that is not so susceptible to these kinds of fires. That is where the effort should be placed.

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