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.

This news from Ohio should come as no surprise: Gun Crimes Fall after Constitutional Carry Laws Adopted, Study Shows.

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A new video from SurvivalBlog’s Editor-At-Large, Mike Williamson: Bjorn Bladeworks Machete.

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Some more wise commentary from Patrice Lewis: 17 things frugal people never buy.

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I have good news for any blog readers who are annoyed by YouTube’s anti-ad blocking software. There is now a free tool called uBlock Origin, available for both Firefox and Chrome browsers.  It is very quick and easy to install. No more YouTube commercials — hooray!  But, if you choose to use this tool then please toggle the ads back on, at SurvivalBlog. (Just click the big “switch” button.) Advertising helps keep SurvivalBlog afloat. Thanks. – JWR

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2024 Will Be The Year Of The Prepper: Those Unprepared For The Myriad Of Catastrophes Facing Americans Will Not Survive The Coming Upheaval.

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This news about a new Starlink cellphone service might be important to people who presently live outside of cellular coverage: New Satellites, Old Satellite; New Mission, Old Mission.

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Ready Made Resources — a SurvivalBlog advertiser since 2005 — is running several great New Year’s sales. They are now offering mil-spec green phosphor L3 binocular night vision goggles at a special sale price.   RMR also has Mira Safety CM8 NBC masks back in stock.

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From The Western Journal: Alabama Firefighters Forced to Close Interstate, Pour 36,000 Gallons of Water Into Burning EV to Put It Out.

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SaraSue sent us this snippet:

“Good and bad, this past week!  The remaining sheep went to their new home, after one of my dogs killed 2 of them.  He’s never harmed a homestead animal until now.  I have no idea what triggered him when it came to the sheep.  He can sit next to a bunch of chickens or kittens, can be around the cows, loves small children.  Rough week.  My neighbors graciously offered to bury the sheep for me, and transport the remainder to their new home.

The only unbred dairy cow on the property will soon go to be with a neighbor’s bull, which saves me a lot of money in vet and artificial insemination fees.  The homesteader who wanted the piglets backed out, so the piglets are scheduled for slaughter with the larger feeder pigs.  Something new I learned: You can slaughter younger pigs as “roasters” – whole pigs.  Sounds horrible, and not cheap per pound due to the minimum slaughter cost, but it’s a common practice, especially when there are too many pigs and you are over pigs.  Hawaiian luau anyone?

I cooked the rest of the winter squash in the oven, skinned, de-seeded, mashed up, and froze the flesh for later soup-making.  My favorite is butternut squash.  The stored potatoes are about done and starting to sprout so I have been cooking and using a lot of them.

Now that I am on a short break from milking cows, I am cleaning out freezers, and canning up frozen peaches, berries, elderberries, and tomatoes that have been waiting for my attention.  The apples are long gone, but many apple pies and muffins were enjoyed.  I ordered onion starts and did a small seed order.  Spring will be here before we know it; there’s a lot of garden prep work still to be done, and I have 2 dairy cows expected to calve in the near future. It’s good to focus on the next things after dealing with dead sheep.  It was very sad and stressful.”

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Blog reader C.B. sent this: EV Reportedly Bricked After Update Fails, Screen Tells Owner ‘Your Vehicle Cannot Be Driven’. C.B. Asks: “Who really owns the car?”

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Reader  E. in Belgium offered this snippet:

“For what it’s worth I have an anecdote from Belgium. I just visited my dentist for my yearly check-up, which I recommend for everyone since nobody can function with sore teeth certainly not during challenging times.

I discovered my dentist to be an high-ranking officer from the military reserve.

He told me that several units in the past few years where disbanded but recently suddenly new ones are created.

He was called to serve in the reserve again which is unheard of because once a unit is disbanded it’s rarely (rather never) recreated again.

As a dentist, he and his colleagues were asked to specialize in forensic dentistry aimed at identifying corpses following terrorist attacks and other conflicts.

You are familiar with the fact we are member of NATO and rumors of war are spreading and I also notice a number of public figures (politicians, professors, etc) suddenly promoting the fact they are an active member of the army reserve.

Belgium and Holland are actively preparing military bases in Romania (for instance Cincu next to Ukraine) since our countries are specialized in logistics and civil engineering (for instance building heavy duty concrete slabs to house armored units).

Your readers will put things together and see this kind of preparations as part of the bigger picture.

As a former Chinese colleague (which was a former full bird colonel in the PLA) used to say : war is unavoidable.”

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We’ve mentioned this before, but here are some more details: How the EPA Is Attempting to Kill the Berkey Water Filter. (A hat tip to D.S.V. for the link.)

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Tractorguy wrote:

“I really enjoyed Tom Christianson’s article about the Stihl MSE250C electric chainsaw. I wanted to go with an electric saw when my last gas one bit the dust, but was concerned about reliability, as I had had a Craftsman electric saw go up in smoke on me years ago. I really liked the lighter weight of an electric saw, less maintenance, easier to start, and the better fuel economy and less noise of running an electric saw off a portable generator instead of its own engine. I had started a discussion thread on one of the old tractor sites that I frequent asking about well-built, heavy-duty electric saws and several people recommended the Makita UC-4051A-R. I have several Makita tools and they are all very well-built and reliable. I found a manufacturer-refurbished one on eBay for $155 and bought it. I have not used it a lot but I did use it for several hours straight one afternoon last summer cutting up a 16″ diameter tree and it performed perfectly.   One thing I really like about it is it doesn’t need any tools to change or tighten the chain, it’s all done with knobs on the side. I would definitely recommend it. Definitely get a carbide-tipped chain (or several), they’re the best money you’ll ever spend to keep you from changing and sharpening chains all the time.”

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Privacy Concerns Mount as Project Reveals AI Can Find Locations in Photos.

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Tim in Connecticut had this comment:

“In regard to the correspondence from Lumin [about “The Great Taking”], I would like to offer my view as to what will probably actually occur.

Let me say first that I am not a financial planner.

I believe that the government will confiscate IRA and/or 401k retirement accounts. They will do this by issuing to the holders, an IOU-type system to be run similarly to the social security Ponzi scheme.

They will not confiscate precious metals because they don’t know who has what or where they are located. Many purchase without a paper trail but even if there is one, there is no way for the government to know if the holder has them or has sold them. Physically going after precious metals will not happen. House-to-house searches are a ridiculous concept (for firearms also). And even is they do confiscate saving accounts, they are only a fraction of most people’s wealth.

They do know where all the retirement accounts are though. That’s where the money is.

The majority of financial planners will pooh pooh this as not being a possibility but, then again, they make their living in this realm.

Unless you are of retirement age or close, putting all or most of your eggs in that basket is not a sound strategy.”

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M.J. chimed in on the same topic:

“I’d like to comment on Lumin’s comment on The Great Taking.

I am studying for the Securities Industry Essentials exam.  My textbook confirms what Lumin stated: namely that the broker-dealer holds securities (stocks, bonds, etc.) in “street name”; that is, the customer’s securities are held by the broker-dealer on behalf of the customer.  This system evolved to facilitate faster trading.
However, the larger problem remains: that such investments are intangible, and that they are dependent on the functioning of telecommunications, IT, and electrical infrastructure. In these days of crumbling infrastructure, cyberwar, EMP, and yes, the temptation of bankrupt governments to grab money, Lumin is correct to be wary of intangibles and the “street name” system.
I would urge Lumin and others who are worried about their intangible holdings to not do anything rash, but to speak with an investment or tax professional first before taking any actions that might involve a large tax penalty. In the meantime, it never hurts to have some cash and precious metals on hand.  Speaking of that, my textbook lists precious metals as a “speculative” investment. Funny; I thought fiat currency was the speculative investment these days.

Some might think it strange that I’m taking the finance route at a time when hands-on skills might be more necessary.  I’m sick and tired of IT, and taking this route will allow me to combine my interest in finance with my political science education.  Furthermore, in these times, more money = more freedom. I hope to work for a firm which is interested in helping people become more financially secure and which believes in liberty instead of just jumping into bed with government. Tips from fellow SurvivalBlog readers would be welcome.”

And lastly, reader H.L sent this ominous news: Small-Town Pa. Water Supply Caught in Crossfire of Iran’s Anti-Israeli Cyberterrorism.

Please Send Us Your Snippets!

Please send your snippet items for potential posting to JWR. or AVL. You can do so either via e-mail or via our Contact form.