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.
The Trifectacation of American Politics. JWR’s Comments: The process of “The Great Sort” is continuing, as Americans vote with their feet. This political migration is making “Red” states darker red and “Blue” states darker blue. The illustration at the top of this column shows the 2016 presidential election tally. More and more people are Pushing The Red Button, to improve their lives.
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An interesting new Sharp Pointy Things video from SurvivalBlog’s Editor-At-Large Michael Z. Williamson: Switchblades.
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Video: How Long Would Society Last During a Total Grid Collapse? And here is his follow-up video: Black Starts.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s new apocalypse bunker sparks bizarre conspiracy as Americans fear billionaires are Doomsday prepping.
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Reader K.A. wrote:
“I just got off the phone with a close friend who is on a tribal council. He was telling me that the four dams on the Snake River are going to be removed, and now the dams on the Columbia River are in their sights. Wow! That should be interesting with the loss of electricity generation! But I never expected the removal of the four Klamath dams. It is crazy but the dams do violate the 1855 treaty with the tribes.
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US military force at 80-year low, Pentagon urges ‘national call to service’. JWR’s Comment: Their “Woke” nonsense decimated their recruiting numbers. Words and deeds have consequences.
A SaraSue Snippet:
“As you know, I got rid of most of the pigs, with the exception of my 2 feeders, and 2 piglets promised to another homesteader. They will all be gone soon. That has solved a lot of issues with fencing. All the fences are now repaired. However, I traded those pigs for hair sheep (long story) and that hasn’t worked out. For some reason, my German Shepherds, particularly the larger male, decided the sheep looked delicious, and has injured several of them. I am in process of getting rid of the rest of the sheep (most likely to the processor if I can get a butcher date). My other option is to get Livestock Guardian Dogs to live in the pastures, but I don’t want more dogs to feed. I also learned that sheep, pigs, and cows all have different mineral requirements. The minerals I put out for the cows are toxic to both sheep (copper toxicity) and pigs (salt toxicity), which has made it tricky.
One of my dairy cows is safely at her new home and dearly loved there. The other dairy cow that was supposed to leave with her, got held back. She was “confirmed bred”, but came into heat, so she’s not pregnant, and therefore didn’t leave. My hope is to have her bred and sold in the near future. That leaves me with 2 dairy cows, both calving this Winter and Spring.
I am now in a “milk break” for the first time in 20 months – I’m not milking cows for a couple of months until the cows calve. My time is mostly being spent on house projects, and attending to my own health issues. I upgraded my personal protection devices and stocked up on accoutrements. I pray that 2024 is not as rocky as forecasted.
I think I’ve settled on my ideal homestead animals other than cats for mouse patrol, and dogs for personal protection. After trying out meat rabbits, laying hens, meat birds, pigs, goats, cows, and sheep, I’ve decided to just stick with laying hens and dairy cows. The freezers will all be full with protein, and I will have time to focus on the garden this year. Every family and homestead has to determine what works best for them. I’ve seen people get rid of the dairy cows first due to the time commitment of milking cows, but to me, the dairy cows are the most valuable. The milk cows provide all things dairy and beef. If you can keep predators out of your chicken coop, chickens are valuable too because they provide fresh eggs and the roosters provide meat. I hope 2024 will be a much calmer year on the homestead. But, if not, and you see the farm for sale… LOL…. I can still say I tried it all and had a blast trying. May you all stay safe and trust in the Lord this coming year.”
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Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen’s latest video: 10 Predictions For 2024.
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Mike sent me the following e-mail:
While I disagree with radio encryption usage by public safety on a fundamental level; it has its purposes, and one of those purposes is to protect civilian privacy. Unfortunately, that purpose is usually overlooked and kicked to the curb in favor of protecting law enforcement operations. It is important to remember that ‘Digital’ is not always encrypted, or secure; it just makes interception a tad more difficult.
An admonishment for SurvivalBlog readers: Please, for the love of all that is Holy, request that your PII (personally identifiable information) not be broadcast ‘in the clear’ during any interactions with police. Unencrypted police radio traffic is a gold mine for thieves, both traditional and identity. Do not assume that the local agency’s touted new ‘Digital Radio System’ is secure; often the encryption option is too expensive for many jurisdictions, and even the larger statewide systems only have a small group of encrypted users, such as Federal agencies or operations-sensitive users like Narcotics teams.
For reasons that are still unfathomable to me; even though the state license and law enforcement databases are accessible via the MDTs (mobile data terminals) in the patrol cars, my local department will still read a person’s PII over the air to their dispatcher and receive their answers IN THE CLEAR! That PII includes name, Social Security Number or license number, home address, date of birth, officer safety info (hostile to police, known to be armed, active warrants, etc), as well as vehicle information : make, model, year, color, registration expiration year, and occasionally additional info. As you can surmise, this makes acquisition of PII fairly easy.
For around $1000, a radio scanner can be purchased and upgraded via software to decode nearly every type of public safety digital radio system in use today. The one thing this scanner will not/cannot do, though, is decode encrypted radio traffic. You can be certain that, unless your local law enforcement is encrypted 100% of the time, at least one thief in the jurisdiction has a scanner and is listening for information on potential victims; and in smaller towns a handful of busybodies are listening for juicy gossip topics.
There are still a small handful of states that continue to use the SSN as the driver’s license number. If your state is one of those and your SSN is your license number, then please petition your state’s License Bureau/Dept to get that removed from your license! It is only a small change, but doing so puts another thin layer of security between you and potential identity theft.
Personal relevant story: In the pre-internet days, my father’s driver’s license was suspended due to multiple improperly applied moving violations to his license/SSN. He had to go to court at the state capitol with his logbooks to prove he wasn’t anywhere near the locations of the tickets at the time of issue, apply for SR-22 insurance, and petition the judge for a hardship driving permit to continue working. We were never told whether this was gross clerical negligence or malicious mis-use of his SSN, but we suspected the latter. When the suspension was lifted, he immediately petitioned the license bureau to issue a new number and received a pseudo-random string of numbers and letters as his new license number. I did the same shortly after I received my first driver’s license.
About me: Long-time SurvivalBlog reader, occasional supporter, struggling to be a prepper (wage-depressed areas provide additional financial obstacles to prepping but more opportunities to be relatively invisible). I am a radio technician, and have worked on numerous public safety radio systems in multiple states, including many 911 dispatch centers and several state-wide radio systems. I started my career at the tail end of the analog/crystal days, and struggle to keep up with the constantly evolving technology. Digital systems offer multitudes more features and enhancements than the old analog systems, but also have more potential security vulnerabilities.
Keep up the good work; and may God bless you and yours and keep you safe and healthy in the New Year.”
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Reader D.S.V. sent this news from Australia: Rat Plague Overwhelms Popular Coastal Town and RV Destination.
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Reader “Lumin” wrote:
“I just read a disconcerting new book by David Rogers Webb: “The Great Taking“, making the rounds of alternative media that SurvivalBlog readers may also find helpful.
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Reader C.B. mentioned a new Colion Noir video: UK Police Given New Power To Seize Large Knives — Proves Gun Control Will Never Stop.
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“Kevin Lundberg documents one family’s horrific experience with “public school indoctrination and the transgender social contagion.”
JWR’s Comment: It is high time to get your kids OUT of public schools, and home school them!
Reader “K.” sent this:
“I read your comment this morning about AI written content, and believe you are correct. We are just at the tip of the iceberg right now, but there will come a day very soon where the old “1000 monkeys on 1000 typewriters…” saw may come true! It’s an issue of math, which computers simply overwhelm. The days of human-generated content are severely limited. More so than even you or I think, I believe. I experienced it somewhat first-hand working in the printing business. The Internet literally decimated the industry… used to have good jobs, good pay, and steady work. Now everything is communicated electronically (but I digress).
That Yuval Harari guy gets a lot of flack for his comments about 90% of the people in this world being useless eaters….
Now take what you just suggested about AI in your posting, and extrapolate it 50 years. (Did anyone foresee today’s Internet in 1970? Of course not, those that did were labeled crazy!
The planet’s workforce in the West is going to be drastically altered by AI, to a level most people can’t grasp just yet. Truly.
MDs? Gone! Shrinks? Gone! Lawyers? Gone! Financial Advisors? Gone! Real Estate Agents? Gone! Taxi/Truck Drivers? Gone!!!
I could go on.
Anything that is rules-based, can be put into an algorithm, is gone. We currently have self-driving cars and airplanes that fly themselves. Look at the medical field, the whole thing! Medicine is all protocol now, deviate, they yank your license (and that was even before the KungFlu!) Primary Care Physician? Pfffbbbttt!!!! The Minute Clinic will be a kiosk that you stick your finger into for 30 seconds to record your BP, pulse, Oxygen, and blood sample. Extrapolate.
It pains me to say it, but Yuval Harari is right. We only need people to fix, build, and cook stuff. Everyone else is a ‘useless eater’.”
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