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 ”.
Redefining Assault Weapons
“Assault Weapons” isn’t actually a class of arms- It’s an entirely political term usually used by the military to describe small arms used by them. Sometimes, it means select-fire, sometimes it means short barreled semi-auto or it can mean any number of things that civilians can’t own. But since it’s not a real class of arms, politicians have decided that they can make it mean whatever they want. This week a ballot initiative took effect in Washington that defined pretty much every semi-automatic rifle as an “assault weapon” and made it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy. Remember the old saying…”First they came for…”? Well, now their coming for yours . Thanks to GG for the link.
Collecting Water From Air
Reader DSV sent in this article on some research being done to further the idea of collecting water from the humidity in the air.  There are some small inefficient products on the market already, but further research is being done in this area in the hopes of producing clean water on a large scale. Examples abound of nature using this tactic to keep animals and plants adapted to semi-arid deserts alive and the research is aimed at mimicking these processes. Who knows, maybe one day you won’t have to have a well in these areas.
Amazon and the FBI
The FBI is now piloting Amazon’s facial matching software  – Amazon Rekognition – as a means to sift through the mountains of surveillance video that they routinely collect. Apparently, when the FBI investigates a situation, they collect every bit of camera footage that they can, sifting it for possible clues. In the Las Vegas shooting, they collected over a petabye of data from security cameras and cellphones. With so much video footage, they are unable to dedicate the manpower to reviewing every frame so they are looking for ways to examine the footage that requires minimal manpower. The downside, of course, is that the line between government and private is starting to blur. Thanks to G.P. for the link.
Nano-chips in Currency
Australia has been talking about this for a while, but it looks like they are now moving forward with the concept . Authorities are now attempting to track the underground economy and barter by inserting nano-chips in $50 and $100 bills. It should be readily apparent to anyone reading the article that this isn’t really about cracking down on illegal activities, but instead, tracking every singe transaction so that the government can get their drop of blood. They don’t want you to move any money without them getting some of it. If a private individual or company did this, they’d call it racketeering. The government hates competition though.
A resident of New Jersey sent us this article on the top five reasons why people are leaving New Jersey . The top four reasons are exactly what I would expect- High property taxes, a failing pension system, regulations, and corruption. The fifth reason was kind of surprising to me. Apparently tolls used to be collected for the building and maintenance of roads. Now tolls are collected specifically for tollbooths. There is nothing quite like being taxed for the privilege of paying taxes.
El Nino has been doing it’s thing for the last couple of months and the usual routine is that things start calming down after the first of the year. Apparently this year is going to be different though. According to this article, there are a number of storms amassing off the west coast getting ready to pummel North America. It has picked up the nickname of “StormFest ”. Hang on to your hat. It would appear that there will be plenty of rain, snow and wind this year. The upside is that much of the west is currently under drought conditions and these storms may provide the snowpack necessary to alleviate this.
Interestingly enough, Iran is starting to project power  away from their region. Starting in March, the Iranian navy has announced that they will be deploying warships to the Atlantic Ocean. The suspicion is that they warships are being deployed in support of the many clandestine operatives that Iran has deployed around the globe. While there is nothing inherently wrong about what they are doing (many nations including Russia, China and the U.S. routinely do this), it does show the intent of the terrorist supporting government to extend the reach of its current power, expanding it from a regional power to a global power.
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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!