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”. Hacking target real estate in the latest round.


One might think that the very tech gurus who’s job it is to place these little devices in the hands of every person would have the most tech savvy kids in the world. You would be Wrong. Reader H.L. sent in this article that shows just how leery of this tech they are. While you struggle with your child’s addiction to the little screen, their children don’t even have one. Of those that do allow their older children to have one, you find the same lament that normal parents have. The little screen is bad for your child’s development and they know it. In the words of my own mother: “go play outside!”

Preparedness Idiocracy

Reader G.P. sent in this example of why the vast majority of the U.S. can’t survive even a mild crises without government intervention. Wired magazine ran this article claiming that the science behind preparedness is flawed and not based on reality. You’ll note a constant drumbeat throughout the article of “The government we’ll get there on time to help.” They just don’t get it. My well recently went out due to a lightning strike. If I hadn’t had a backup source of water, I would have been dependent on the generosity of others just to wash my hands before dinner. When people are struggling to survive, they don’t feel so generous anymore. Preparedness is more than just being ready for an unlikely disaster. It’s a lifestyle of independence and being the one ready to help others.

Vote by Mail from the Grave

In New Jersey, at least, the dead do vote. For several years in a row, residents of New Jersey counties have received ballots via mail despite the fact that many of them have passed away. Families are opening letters intended for their loved ones that explain if they don’t opt out of the mail-in vote system, they won’t be able to show up at a polling place and vote in person. How convenient for a person who is voting from the grave. Perhaps the state should take another look at their voting policies and require those who are dead to at least show up in person to vote.

Hackers Target Real Estate

Reader DSV sent in this article on how hackers are targeting real estate deals to steal money. In one incident, a couple followed the instructions given to them via the real estate agents email to wire a down payment to the agency. Sadly, the account had been hacked and within hours. The money was gone forever and the couple was just out of luck. I guess I struggle a bit with this concept. I understand how it works, but I’ve never bought a house in which I didn’t hand a physical check over to a real person at a title company for the transaction of the house purchase. Even the down payment was handed in person to the real estate broker. Call me old fashioned, I guess.

Fahrenheit 11/9

Michael Moore’s latest big screen lie has tanked at the box office. Fahrenheit 11/9 opened in over 1100 theaters and made a paltry $3 million on its opening weekend. Apparently, only the die-hard liberal/progressives could stomach the nonsense in this latest edition of drivel. perhaps, just perhaps, America is waking up. We’ll see after this next election in a little over a month. Or maybe even the liberals are tired of Moore. Thanks to reader D.B. for the link.


the government is squandering over $1 million dollars on a project to foist social justice warrioring on high school math teachers. The pilot program is targeted at Philadelphia teachers, but planned for greater implementation. The idea is if you indoctrinate the teachers, they will steep the children in your brainwashed ways. when you look at the details of the program it gets even more disturbing. Ugh! get your children out of public school while you can. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

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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 research referenced in the preparedness idiocracy was written in 1957 – more than 60 years ago and was predicated on a nuclear war and the need for fallout shelters. The response today by individuals and communities in the event of a wide spread disaster will be very situational – contrast the events of Hurricane Katrina and Harvey – similar but with two different outcomes driven by individual and community resourcefulness versus “follow the governmet’s orders”.

    Let’s not forget the values of faith, family and fortitude that come to play, and the resiliency of people when facing a common threat or evil. Imagine the modern day invasion of the US, the leaders and politicians of the left and right banks will capitulate out of the naive desires and the perverse wisdom of the SJW, while the Redoubt and the other pockets of resistance will fight on.

    Individual responsibility is the key – if you are prepared and others are too, then the governments support can be effective (or not desperately needed). Those unprepared (i.e., there’s a generational divide exacerbated by the complexity and depth of interdependencies of the community each of us live in) and who are so dependent on the “just-in-time” economy, Uber/Lyft, the Internet, the vast aray of social (frail) safety nets, and the reality that many (especially urban or city dwellers) have no “know how” on how the most fundamental infrastructure works.

    I actually had a conversation with a 20 some year old that didn’t know how to reset an electrical breaker because they’d never had the problem but said they’d look it up on YouTube – imagine how this person survives with no running water, HVAC, Internet, convenience food, medical care, and the hordes of others that are equally naive. Worse yet, when the same person having misplaced their smartphone, they wondered how’d they get home – I suggested a taxi, and they said sure – “how do I get one” – I said call them, and they said what’s the phone number, and I said look it up in the phone book, and then the blank stare followed…

    More convinced that a person’s (or the community, city, state, nation or society) experience is what drives the behavior and one’s level of independence (or desire to be resourceful) – the thesis of the book The Fourth Turning only supports what is becoming such an obvious issue (crisis) in the world today. To really see the difference, read the Adams-Jefferson Letters and see how two great founding fathers saw how the changes in their lifetime would shape the future of our great country and the world – the world as we know it today may not be much different than 250 years ago. However, for those unprepared, naive and with no sense of self-reliance, the safety net maybe their only means in a catastrophe, along with a few Good Samaritans and those that are willing to risk their life based on faith and principles (based on re-reading Schindler’s List).

    The intelligent design of mankind never assured that all would survive, so we shouldn’t be surprised how these outcomes will unfold in the future.

    1. J. Taylor-

      Is this generation any different than the ones before it? To be fair with each generation and the addition of new technology “old time skills” have been lost. Imagine what Noah would think of us! Idiots can’t even make an Ark without all those fancy tools nor can they catch all these animal!! In reality isn’t part of the failure of the current generation of “kids” the result of the last generation of adults who failed to teach and stress the importance of those skills. Being the father of two pre-teens I can say it is a fight to get their attention away from all things electronic but when I pry them away and get them to our Bug out camp (soon to be home) and put things like tape measures, saws and hammers in their hands they have a blast. I was very proud that when my son went back to school and had to write the “what I did on my summer vacation” essay that our adventures at “camp” was the very first paragraph. That game Mine craft also gave me an opportunity to teach my son some skills too. He told me he “knew” how to start a fire without matcha or a lighter. He said he learned in Mine Craft. I said oh really how? He had the theory down but understood nothing about the other skills, concepts, abilities needed to ACTUALLY start a fire with a bow drill- to camp we went. Gave him a ferro rod and knife- gee Dad that isn’t as easy as the game!! Point is if we want the past skills to be passed down we have to be the ones passing them down.

      Your point about them not knowing about the infrastructure is so true but then again most Americans don’t understand the inter-connectivity and interdependencies the various infrastructures and systems have. To wit, take away electricity and the whole world (or at least the western world) comes crashes down.

      One of the things I have started is a not book on recipes and processes, etc that I use for “survival”. For example I have a section on uses of pine tar, pitch, sap, etc. hopefully it will be handed down.

  2. HJL
    I always appreciate your Odds ‘n Sods.
    On preparedness, most of us who are reading this page prepare for everyday life events.
    The lightening strike on your well was a great example of stuff that just happens.

    What wired does not get is we prepare for the smaller life events while also keeping in mind that big natural life changing events will most likely occur in our lifetimes. The federal govt will not be there to help us. Jesus is there every minute of every day. Thank you.

  3. The writer of the “Wired” article is hyperventilating because (horrors) certain government agencies are recommending 2 weeks of supplies instead of three days! Actually, he confuses the purpose of to-go bags with a pantry larder. In his opinion, this emphasis on “rugged individualism” negates the community working together. And we should spend our time looking out for the disadvantaged who can’t possibly store food for 2 weeks!

    And what does he think you should have at home? Personal documents, prescription medicine, a good whistle, a lightstick, water purification tech and…a crowbar. He is in fact suggesting that if you prepare for yourself and family, you are not going to work together with your local community.

    Sounds like he needed to fill something up with an article and this was it. He hasn’t a clue. “Wired” magazine had a storied beginning in 1994. Emphasis on business, technology and lifestyle. Emphasis on digital. This writer sounds urban, hip, wired in
    and is truly uninformed in real preparedness. I expected a millennial but to my surprise he is 53.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. The author of the wired article is so out of touch with reality that he has no credence what so ever. Waiting for your government savior to come feed your family riding in on a unicorn is just folly. While I believe that agencies such as FEMA do a pretty good job considered they are mired in typical governmental bureaucracy, they are basically dysfunctional. If you are not prepared to take care of yourself and family and rely on anyone else taking care of you, you are a perfect example of Darwinism in action.
      As far as sharing what you have with people that have the latest iPhone, car, etc that refuse to spend a few dollars on hunger insurance, that is up to you. I have had this type of discussion over the years and it usually goes this way. How much money do you spend on insurances and other things that are for things that are not life threating? Auto ins, extended warrantees, cell phone Insurance, Pet insurance, health club memberships as well as other services that are for nothing but convivence etc. After getting them to consider this. I suggest they spend a few hundred dollars on basic food. Rice, beans, canned goods. water, and then start looking at adding a few more items that are not expensive and calorie intensive. A good example that I eat all the time and love is to cook a good sized pot of rice and add a can of chili. filling, nutritious, tasty and cheap. If you spend $50.00 on a dinner for 2 you most likely could have eaten for a week with the right kind of storable staples. Some have poo pooed this approach but I have also started several families on the road of at least partial self reliance in a crises situation. Those that are responsive I then send on the road to research the other needs they will have, light, water, shelter, meds, etc. I never charge a fee, and I share my sources and research, and experiences. This is my contribution to charity, sorry, sharing food with someone that brings nothing to the party but an appetite lessens the ability of my family to survive and to me this is not an option.

    2. “He is in fact suggesting that if you prepare for yourself and family, you are not going to work together with your local community.”

      well in point of fact “preppers” do tend to be loners bitterly contemptuous of all the “sheep”.

      1. No worries… I’m sure when the time comes the government will disarm those pesky “bitter clingers” and redistribute their stuff to all the shiny happy people in the “community.” And when those supplies run out, I’m sure there will be enough government cheese to keep you alive for a week or two… One of the neat things about being in a “community” of people that are taught that its anti-social to prepare for hard times or to take care of oneself is, when the cheese runs out they can vote on who to eat first! The cannibals call it “long pig.” Tastes just like pork, although you might get a bitter loner once in a while.

    3. I think millennials get a bad rap. I see plenty of respectful, hard working common sense millenials all the time. As well as some idiot “snowflakes”. Good and bad in all generations and even in all individuals.

      1. About voting from the grave,this is one of the main reasons I stopped being a Election Judge at the local polling place. Individuals would show up without id and claim to be people who were known(long time residents) and when challenged would try to intimidate the staff(yelling,abusive language). They would also try to vote by using fictitious addresses or claim the ballot needed to be taken to a bedridden voter. Areas with large cemeteries always had large turnouts. Early,Electronic and mail in voting are abuse waiting to happen. Electronic voting machines are totally unreliable(have watched the screen change the vote repeatedly(only in one way).

  4. “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

    I agree that the “science behind preparedness is flawed.” Read the last sentence above in the parable from our LORD. If your God is science, all is foolishness and none of it can save you. Of course, Wired, er, Pravda has chosen its god, the foolishness of dependence on other men, even government.

    It’s interesting that both J. Taylor and Lee mention this same concept without citing a verse of scripture, yet they know in their heart that this is true. Amen.

    1. I work with real estate closings. Personal checks won’t do unless you write and deliver them two weeks (at least) ahead of closing. The closing agent needs verified funds and personal checks won’t work at the closing table. You might be able to use a cashier’s check but those are iffy from non-local banks.
      We see more and more wires for both the buyer’s down payment and the sending proceeds to the seller.
      We also see massively more emails containing an evil link. The real estate industry is considered a cash cow to the thieves. And don’t ever wire to something you get as an email. Call a verified number and verify wire instructions.
      It ain’t what it used to be, that’s for sure. Not even what it was three years ago, so if you think it ought to be a certain way, probably need to get in your time machine and set it for backwards. There have been major changes in the industry and even our small company has a compliance officer now, dealing with rules and determining if an email is valid or not.
      Fortunately most of us don’t usually do much buying and selling of land. Stay safe financially and talk to closer

  5. The wired article is interesting. It sort of says, “When we tell people to prep, some don’t so we should quit telling people to prep and just rely on local government.” Not entirely but that is a lot of the talk.

    I know a lady who is an emergency management professional for hospitals. I don’t think she would agree with the Wired article. Some of the things I hear from her are that hospitals routinely allow their stockpiles of supplies to dwindle. She will go into hospital, get them all stocked up on items they would need in large scale emergency and then come back a year later and find that some administrator has allowed the the stockpile to dwindle or has actually ordered the stockpile thrown out. She also routinely informs us of just how full the hospitals are when flu season comes around. There are frequently no beds at all in our whole county.

    I think there are many in hospitals, government (both local and national) and elsewhere who are very helpful in emergencies. But I believe much of the effort of many dedicated people is thwarted by an inefficient system.

  6. “why the vast majority of the U.S. can’t survive even a mild crises without government intervention.”

    really, it’s no mystery. they don’t prepare, because they know the government will come and help. consider the last few hurricanes – the feds, the state, the reserves, the “cajun navy”, the red cross, all piled in to help rescue and recover distressed people, and these heros were celebrated throughout the country. so, why spend time and money to “prepare” when you don’t have to?

  7. I always thought it instructive that the narrators on “American Preppers” always asked “What are you preparing for?” and the Preppers had a variety of answers, but no two consistent.

    I’ve been observing the prepping phenomena for about 40 years, as a military officer and later a Certified Business Continuity Professional. We all prep for the disaster we fear the most. For those on the SE coast, its likely a hurricane. In Tornado Alley its tornadoes. Live along a fault line? Prepare for earthquakes. Work with nuclear weapons, prepare for nuclear war. Work in healthcare, prepare for pandemic.

    Federal, State, local and Tribal governments prepare for a number of scenarios, and to a number of different levels. Homeland Security publishes National Planning Scenarios, but they don’t yet include Space Weather/Solar Flare/CME or global nuclear war.

    Counties and Cities publish their Hazard Mitigation Plans, but few have a listing of fallout shelters, and nobody I’ve seen has a stockpile of food for their population. Local police and firefighters and the State and National Guard may practice distributing food via a Point of Distribution (POD), but are dependent on post disaster logistics to deliver their supplies.

    All of which boils down to the need for individuals and families to be prepared to support themselves in the event of a disaster. And the larger the disaster, the longer you need preparations. Its always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

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