SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly Snippets column is a collection of short items: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. Note that we may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Controversy Unleashed: Biden Administration’s Proposed Gun Sales Background Check Sparks Constitutional Debate.  JWR’s Comments:  All Federal gun law authority is based on the Interstate Commerce clause. The ATF’s proposed rulemaking grossly expands the definition of “engaged in the business.” Given the recent Bruen Second Amendment decision and the upcoming Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo decision (that will overturn Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, and end Chevron deference), there is no way that this absurd executive branch redefinition can pass constitutional muster.  An intrastate sale of a used gun between two private parties who are residents of the same state is not interstate commerce! What is really needed is for the Supreme Court to overturn the insanely statist 1942 Wickard v. Filburn decision and reduce the scope of defined interstate commerce. They should then declare both the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 unconstitutional.

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US drops 125 bombs on 85 targets linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in devastating airstrikes on Iraq and Syria: Biden warns retaliation for drone attack that killed three soldiers will continue after long-range bombers and drones hit Middle East.

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A member of our extended family recently bought some U.S. military surplus ammo cans from Military Surplus LLC.  He said that he was quite impressed with the condition of the cans, and the company’s great customer service.  He also mentioned that the same company recently added very sturdy U.S. Navy surplus Bofors 40mm ammo cans to their inventory.

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What Is An ARkStorm? Here’s Why California Officials Have Prepared For A ‘Megastorm’ Scenario.

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SaraSue sent this new snippet:

“This past week I took all the beef bones from the steer that was harvested a couple of months ago and began the several-day process of making rich bone broth.  I made about 14 quarts of concentrated broth.  In my quest for better health, this was an important task to complete.  I have been focusing on iron rich foods.  Venison chili, venison cheeseburgers, etc., and trying to talk myself into Liver ’n’ Onions.  LOL.

I had to hire tree trimmers to come out and limb some very old trees.  Pricey.  Large, rotted, limbs were hanging over my barn and one tree had already fallen, but away from the barn (Thank you Lord).   Straight line winds are not uncommon up where I live, so it had to be done before I lost the barn.  Watching the men climb way up those trees was nerve-wracking – they are brave and skilled.  I am thankful one more maintenance item was checked off the list.

In farm news, I have been very overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.  Every morning I thank the Lord for everything He has done, and then, I ask for help.  Who boy do I need help!  On deck:  I have a cow about to calve, one going to a neighbor’s bull, pigs going to the processor, piglets going to their new homes, a dairy cow going to her new home, the barn cats to be spayed/neutered, barns to clean out, fences to be moved, straw and hay to be stacked, gates to be fixed, and general clean up.  I am thankful and grateful for neighbors (who I hire to help) to get everything accomplished at the right times.  I am thankful and grateful for a beautiful break in the weather just in time for things to get done on time.  If you don’t do all this right, you end up with an unhealthy and unmanageable farm, so it must be done.  Because I do not rely on antibiotics or vaccines to keep animals healthy, their environment becomes the priority.  Clean, dry, bedding in good shelters with adequate pasture, appropriate food and minerals, and clean water.  All was accomplished, but it was an exhausting week.  My goal this year is to significantly downsize or rightsize the farm.  Things are moving in the right direction.”

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B-21 Raider: As stealthy as a small insect?

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Reader B.G. mentioned this detailed video interview that describes the explosive growth of a gun company that started in a barn and a garage in South Carolina: This CEO Is No Compromise (featuring Palmetto State Armory.) This quote from Jamin McCallum says it all: “Our vision is to spread freedom.”

Oh, here is a link to the amicus brief that McCallum mentioned.

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How to see if a skimming device has been attached to a store’s credit card reader.

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Lumin sent this snippet:

“To reader “St. Funogas”, thank you for your advice on how to build a “snow rake” with a long handle to clear the snow from my roof-mounted solar panels. I am going to attempt to build one like yours and will report my results here. I need about a 40-foot handle, nearly double the length of yours, so I may need to couple multiple sections of one-inch PVC pipe together depending on the lengths available in town.

To reader “Sis”, thank you for sharing your experience of building a solar panel frame closer to the ground. That will be my Plan-B summer project if I am unsuccessful building a snow rake like the one St. Funogas advised.

Last week I reported that I was looking for a “house-church” or a “home-church” setting near where I live, and a kind soul reached out to me with resources on how to find one, for which I am very grateful. I have not found a nearby permanent home-church yet, but at least I am in touch with people who can help connect me with others who live nearby who want the same thing.

I went into town last week to have my truck repaired and on the way home I passed a hitchhiker. I hadn’t seen one of those for many years, and didn’t even know they still existed. I drove right on by because you’re never supposed to pick up a hitchhiker. I have never picked up a hitchhiker. However, God had other plans, because I immediately felt an overwhelming pull of empathy and compassion to turn around and help that I could not shake. The desire to turn around grew and grew with every mile of distance between me and the hitchhiker until I could’t stand it so I went back and picked them up. They were very grateful, and wanted to talk about the Bible of all things, and their frustration with it being too complicated whenever they tried to read it. I told them that I had faced the same conundrum many years ago, and that someone told me that I didn’t have to read it in order from start to finish, and to simply start with the book of John. We talked about Christianity, God and the Bible for our entire drive to their destination. I dropped them off and then it hit me – that was my first “home-church” experience ala Matthew 18:20 that I had asked for (Matthew 7:7-8). Wow.

Last week I was accidentally locked into the national forest surrounding my property. There is a locked gate along the forest service road to my home for which the Forest Service gives me the gate code for egress and ingress. This lock is coupled together with another keyed lock that is used by the Forest Service and Game Wardens so that each of us have egress and ingress. Last week there was a new Game Warden trainee in my area who accidentally locked me in because he locked the gate using only his key and didn’t know how to couple the two locks together. This was easily solved with a bolt cutter – clip the chain link with the keyed lock and then re-couple the two locks together properly. I was advised by the locals to always carry a bolt cutter with me, and now I know why.”

JWR’s Comment: Ah, yes bolt cutters. The Universal  Key. I prefer the 36″ variety, for plenty of leverage.

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Rick S. wrote:

“Here are some follow-up comments to the helpful article by Hollyberry regarding heating with wood.

I had a wood stove installed in my home several years ago. My home utilizes an electric heat pump: as Hollyberry observes it is very inefficient when the temperature drops much below 30 degrees; what is worse, in the event of a power outage I would have no heat.

I had a wood stove in my home some twenty years before. While I very much liked it, I learned some valuable lessons: the wood stove in my prior home was oversized for the finished basement in which it was installed, making it too hot to be in the room when the wood stove was operating with minimal access for the warm air to the rest of the house. My new wood stove is smaller in size and installed in an open family room, allowing it to provide heat to the rest of the house without making the family room excessively hot

My old wood stove used room air for combustion: this resulted in loss of heated air as well as excessive dryness. My new stove has an inexpensive ($150) option: it draws air from the outside for combustion.

While the new wood stove included installation instructions and I am likely capable of performing the installation myself, I agree with Hollyberry: $1,500 of the total $7,000 purchase price went for professional installation and it was money well spent.

Because my wood stove met energy efficiency standards I received a tax credit of approximately $2,000, significantly reducing the cost of the stove.

Some stoves use catalytic converters to achieve the low emission standards: they typically last 10 years when used with well-seasoned hardwoods. My stove utilizes a “recirculation” design (no catalytic converter) that effectively “burns the smoke” so that no smoke is visible from the stove pipe when the stove is functioning properly. However, this also means that the fire must burn hot: loading up the wood box and closing the damper for a slower burn is both inefficient and dangerous as it will lead to a much more rapid build-up of creosote in the stove pipe.

In addition to the hardwoods mentioned by Hollyberry another excellent wood for burning is beech. I own property with a considerable amount of timber: the maple and cherry trees have commercial value for furniture but the beech that I also have in abundance has no commercial value: it is my preferred firewood.

I have two “tent sheds” in my backyard where I store my wood to season. As Hollyberry points out, firewood can have a variety of critters (including termites and other insects) in it: as a result, I would not store it in my garage. It stays away from the house until I load it into a covered garbage can on my back deck in preparation for burning it.

The wood stove was a considerable investment, but I am very well pleased. It provides emergency backup to keep my house livable (and my pipes unfrozen) in the event of an extended power loss, it supplements the heat pump by providing enough heat that the pump is off down to 10 degrees, and it is provides a wonderful “ornamental” fireplace alternative for occasional use.”

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Over at Reason: Portland Requires Homeowners Get Permits To Remove Trees Knocked on Their Homes by Winter Storm.

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The much-publicized “freedom week” for ammunition has ended: California ammunition background check law can remain in effect, court rules. JWR’s Comments: This is all too reminiscent of Magazine Freedom Week, a few years ago.  It was nice while it lasted. The leftist Ninth Circuit  Court is nicknamed The Ninth Circus, for good reason. They are so rabidly anti-gun that they are willfully ignoring the Heller and Bruen decisions. They need a good solid spanking from the Supreme Court

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Here is one to file under: “Founding Fathers in Graves, Spin-Cycle”: Maryland Democrat Introduces Bill That Would Require Gun Owners to Have at Least $300K in Liability Insurance to Carry. ( A hat tip to D.S.V. for the link.)

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Reader L.E. had this comment:

“Robert W.’s comment was spot on about us not having anything other than what was in our possession once the balloon went up, but as I tell my family, just because WE don’t have it, doesn’t mean other countries in the world won’t either. An EMP or coronal event here doesn’t mean that South America, or India or China or Africa won’t also have these items available. So as most other reality-minded countries recognize our vulnerabilities, these countries may “offer help”. Care to guess what strings will be attached to receiving this aid?”

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How Rishi Sunak-style fasting may protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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And, in closing: I Deep Faked Myself, Here’s Why It Matters.

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