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”. Lethal autonomous weapons are a reality today. We already have the technology and some are leaning towards these as the next weapons. Slaughterbots or Skynet could be closer than you realize.
Reader G.P. sent in this video on Slaughterbots. It is fictitious, of course, but the principle is sound. Do we really want Artificial Intelligence making a life or death decision for humans? While all of the technology used in the video can be used for good, it can also be used for bad. You cannot program ethics into artificial intelligence.
A proposed constitutional amendment for parental rights has been introduced into both the House and the Senate. This proposed amendment would protect the right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children, including the right to homeschool. The supporting organization, ParentalRights.org is asking for help, both financial and in urging your representatives to support such an amendment. They are looking for grassroots support as they ramp up and increase their public reach and prepare for the House and Senate committees.
Police DNA Requests
Both 23andMe and Ancestry have confirmed that any DNA information that they may have can be disclosed to law enforcement if they have a warrant. Both companies report that they do notify potential customers of the risks before they accept them as customers. 23andMe has confirmed that DNA has been requested at least five times, but that they have not turned over any information yet due to warrant issues. Ancestry has confirmed that they have complied with a warrant in 2014 to identify a customer based on a DNA sample. It should be noted that both companies allow you to delete your DNA results. Thanks to reader KAA for the link.
Water Supply Contamination
We are all familiar with Flint, Michigan and the heavy metal contamination issues that have plagued their water supply. Reader H.L. sent in this article profiling reports from the CDC that show over 3800 water supplies in the U.S. that have contamination levels at least twice as high as Flint. Close to half of those listed had contamination levels of lead that were 400% higher than Flint. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it could cost upwards of $1 trillion dollars to overhaul these systems. Considering that Flint (who doesn’t even rank among the worst offenders) is still waiting for clean water even after all of the media coverage, it is unlikely that help will be coming soon for the other contaminated water system.
Rifle Barrel from Rebar
While perusing YouTube videos on firearms related topics, I was surprised at how many videos there were to make your own firearms. Some videos were crude with the results little better than slam fire zip guns and some were high quality firearms with everything in between. One in particular caught my eye though. He has taken a piece of 7/8” rebar and created a rifle barrel out of it. While he did use tooling such as a lathe and milling machine, there was nothing “precision” about the manufacture and yet he ended up with a usable, if not unique, rifle barrel.
Saline Bag Shortage
As an EMT, I’ve seen a shortage in Saline since about 2014. When we order supplies, there is often a wait of up to six weeks on delivery as suppliers work through the backlog of orders, but this year it’s even worse. Reader P.S. sent in this article showing the the shortage has reached dangerous levels after the hurricane season this year. Smaller hospitals are unable to do rehydration therapies and are sending patients to the larger hospitals for such treatment and oncology departments are struggling to have enough to use for chemotherapy patients.
Reader M.M. reported to us that Facebook no longer allows you to remove posts from your timeline. You can hide them, but you can’t remove them. We actually think that this is a good idea as it makes you well aware of what Facebook’s policy has been for a very long time. They have never removed your posts from their servers, even though you had that “option”. The posts have always just been hidden. Bear in mind that they also keylog anything composed in their edit boxes as well. Just because you didn’t post a comment doesn’t mean that they don’t have that comment if you composed it in their editor.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via ourContact 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!