Notes for Monday – April 24, 2017

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April 24th is the birthday of Carolyn Cole(born 1961), a well-known staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. For a few years in the late 1960s, the Cole family lived next door to JWR’s parents’ house in Livermore, California. That little girl with whom he played hide-and-seek would grow up to earn a Pulitzer Prize, two World Press Photo awards, and be named Photojournalist Of The Year. Congrats and Happy Birthday, Carolyn!

This is also the Remembrance Day of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, where Ottoman (Turkey) Muslims slaughtered 1.5 million of their Christian neighbors, intellectuals, and community leaders. The Ottoman government proceeded with multiple phases to round up men in mass executions and drive women and children into the desert on death marches. They also led the general Muslim populace to participate in brutal periodic massacres within their communities, signaled with the blow of a bugle. It is one of the first modern genocides and serves as a warning for us today. Sarah Latimer, decades ago, spent most of a day on a flight speaking one-on-one with an elderly woman, who told of her account as a child escaping this horror and of her faith in God, which her family would not renounce and for which most died. She lost most of her family, including her father, because they would not renounce their faith. This woman had a great impact on Sarah. There are chilling accounts contained in Islam scholar Andrew Bostom’s book, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War And the Fate of Non-Muslims

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Canik- 55 TP9SF, by Pat Cascio

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As usual, I like to remind our readers that I’m a real stickler when it comes to buying just about anything. If what I’m looking at is a steal-of-a-deal, I have to pass on it. My finances demand that I spend every penny as wisely as I can, all the time.

I certainly appreciate some custom firearms or very expensive guns, and I’ve owned a few over the years. I didn’t have the cash to buy them, but I worked deals, trades, or barter. While I think we all can agree that there is a certain amount of pride in ownership, we don’t all need custom or very expensive firearms to achieve certain goals. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t “need” any more firearms. Yes, I do want more, but I don’t need them. So I’ve all but cut back on buying or trading into new firearms. I have enough firearms to serve my needs for the rest of my life, I kid you not. Once more, let me clarify that I don’t not have a gun collection, far from it. Most readers would be surprised at how few guns I actually do own.

Enter the Canik-55 TP9SF, which is a single-action model. I previously reviewed, for a different publication, a similar Canik that had a de-cocker for single/double action fire that most people didn’t care for, and it was difficult to operate. The Canik-55 is imported by Century Arms International, who has a long history of importing surplus military arms as well as assembling many different types of guns, with their most famous being the AK-47. They’ve had many problems along the way. I don’t understand this, as the AK is one of the simplest guns ever, but they assembled them from new and surplus guns and just didn’t get it right. It was a hit or miss with them. But these days, their AKs are outstanding.

This Canik-55 is manufactured in Turkey, and I’m here to tell you that they are producing some outstanding firearms in that country, bar none. The best thing is, they are a bargain to buy and they aren’t junk guns; they’re far from it. The original Canik-55 had a plastic front sight, and it came with several replacements so you could adjust the point on aim with elevation. However, those sights were easily damaged. The new Canik-55 TP9 SA has a steel front sight that is dovetailed into the front of the slide with a white dot. The rear sight is also steel and has two white dots as well as a vertical line, and this makes for a fast combat sight picture.

This outstanding handgun comes in 9mm, and it will handle the hottest 9mm loads you care to put through the 4-inch barrel. The gun weighs in at 1.7 lbs with the black polymer frame, but it can also be had with a desert tan frame and slide. There are two back straps that are easy to change out, and one will surely fit your hand. A magazine loader is included, but I found the 18-rd mags that are made by MecGar easy to load with the mag loader. There is also a holster in the box, but I don’t care for it. It can be worn as a paddle holster or you can thread your belt through it. The original had a great belt holster with the gun. There is a second 18-rd mag, too, and both a cleaning rod and cleaning brush in the nice polymer case the gun comes in.

The trigger is ala’ Glock. It has that funky safety lever in the face of the trigger. It works well enough and is passive; no thought is needed other than a proper finger on the face of the trigger and a straight pull to the rear. The trigger on my sample broke at 4.5 lbs with a lot of take-up, and that’s not always a bad thing. There is also a Picatinny rail on the dust cover for attaching lights and/or lasers. The gun is striker-fired, as are so many polymer-framed handguns. When the gun is cocked, you can see in daylight the red tip of the striker in the back of the slide, but it is recessed far enough inside the slide that you can’t feel it if the gun is cocked. There is no manual safety, nor, in my humble opinion, is one needed; the best safety is between our ears.

I could live without the squared-off trigger guard that many polymer guns have today. The slide serrations on the rear of the slide offer a good grip, so racking the slide is easy enough under all weather conditions. There is a take-down lever for disassembling the gun, and it is on both side of the frame, just like the Glock. A loaded chamber lever is behind the barrel’s chamber and in the top of the slide; it sticks up a little bit if there is a round in the chamber, or for that matter even an empty case. The extractor is huge; I love it. It will pull out the most stubborn empty case or loaded round. The sides of the frame, behind the trigger, are concave, and your trigger finger just naturally fits in there and places your trigger finger where it needs to go– on the trigger.

The front and back strap are nicely textured, not too aggressive but with plenty of purchase there for a firm hold on the gun. The sides of the grip have some “sandpaper” type of finish on it. It’s not actual sandpaper, but it will feel like fine sandpaper when your hand grips it. The slide release is recessed into the frame of the gun, and it’s a bit difficult to reach if you release an opened/locked back slide. I prefer to release the slide by grasping it over the top and pulling back on it.

The magazine release is right behind the trigger guard, where it should be. It is squared and large and easy to reach. Magazines, loaded or empty, readily drop free from the gun. Magazines are easy to disassembly and clean, too, and as mentioned, they’re manufactured by MecGar. A spare 18-rd mag can be had for under $25.00 each, which is a bargain, if you ask me.

For testing, I had Black Hills Ammunition and Buffalo Bore Ammunition . I had a good selection of ammo to run through the Canik-55. My wife decided that she liked the way this handgun felt, and she had the first go ‘round when it came to testing the gun. She loves the trigger pull, and after the first mag through the gun, she turned and gave me “that” smile. I told her, “No, you can’t have this gun.” We’ve been down this road a few times, and she says we can “share” the gun. Then that’s the last I see of it.

From Bufaflo Bore, I had their outstanding 147-gr Hard Cast FN +P round, and you need to read about this round on their website, how it stopped an Alaskan Brown Bear. I also had their 115 and 95 grain Barnes TAC-XP all-copper hollow point rounds, and their 124-gr FMJ FN +P+ hot round. From Black Hills, I had their 115-gr JHP +P load, 124-gr JHP +P, 115-gr EXP (Extra Power) Hollow Point load, their 124-gr JHP and last, and their 115-gr Barnes TAC-XP all-copper hollow point load. Without any fanfare, the gun never missed a beat, and well over 500-rds was run through it in my shooting sessions. Even the +P+ loads were a real pussycat to shoot in this service-sized 9mm pistol. BTW, Canik just came out with a compact version, but I haven’t seen one, yet.

Accuracy testing was conducted at 25 yards with the gun rested over a rolled-up sleeping bag over the hood of my truck. The outstanding trigger pull was giving me groups of three inches or less, if I did my part, which wasn’t all the time, I’m sad to say. I had one group that was dead-on at 2½ inches, and that was with the Black Hills 124-gr JHP load; however, the Black Hills 124-gr JHP +P load was hot on its heels, as was the Buffalo Bore 147-gr Outdoorsman load. There were no “losers” when it came to accuracy. I was also able, if I was on my game, to plink at watermelon-sized rocks out to 100 yards and hit them with regularity.

The Canik-55 is just a lot of fun to shoot, and recoil was no problem. It comes with two 18-rd magazines. Wow! This is my new bedroom gun. I have that much confidence in it that if something wakes me in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach for the Canik-55. And with 18-rds in the magazine, it should take care of whatever trouble there might be.

I paid $340 for this gun. Well, okay, I didn’t pay cash money; I worked out something with the gun shop with some barter stock. This is a steal-of-a-deal, if you ask me. I know that many security officers are on a tight budget. If allowed to carry a semi-auto pistol, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal and a more reliable brand-new gun. It’s ready to go right out of the box with a holster and spare magazine. So, before you lay down your hard-earned money for another 9mm handgun, check out the Canik-55 TP9SF. It would be a welcome addition to your survival battery with plenty of rounds on-board to keep you safe.

– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio

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Recipe of the Week: Bobotie, by K.R.

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Here is my recipe for Bobotie (a South African sweet meat dish)
Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 almonds or any nut you like, chopped or 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 4 dried apricots, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 6 lemon leaves
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (fresh or prepared powdered)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, then 300 degrees F later.
  2. Soak bread in a little milk until soft, then mash with a fork.
  3. Saute onions in heated oil. Add curry powder and mix.
  4. Add meat and stir using a fork.
  5. Beat one egg. Stir in remaining ingredients except lemon leaves, remaining three eggs, and milk, set these aside to add later.
  6. Stir to mix remaining additional ingredients.
  7. Spoon into a greased pie dish. (Keep the mixture pretty wet.)
  8. Arrange lemon leaves on top.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  10. Whisk remaining eggs and milk and season to taste. Pour over bootie. This will result in a custard topping.
  11. Return dish to oven and bake slowly at 300 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Serve with yellow rice.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!

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Letter Re: The Counter War on Credit Cards

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Hugh,

It seems that at least several times a week there’s a link on SurvivalBlog to a story about the war on cash. Several years ago my city’s water utility department stopped sending preaddressed envelopes in my monthly statement. I assumed this was an effort to get me to quit sending them my payment by check and pay online with a credit/debit card. Today as I was writing my check, a flyer in the statement announced changes to their credit card policy which surprised me since I thought they wanted credit card payments. It started by saying how they were finding operating efficiencies and reducing controllable costs. Next came this, “Two payment methods topped all others in operating expenses. Those were payments at customer care locations and online credit/debit card payments. Costs associated with credit/debit transactions come from fees that credit card companies charge Arlington Water Utilities. It was an expense of more than $540,000 in 2016– that amount is the equivalent of a one percent water/sewer rate increase for Arlington residents.” It went on to say that if you were going to pay online with a credit card or come into a payment location that you would be charged a $3 convenience charge and you can no longer pay at the counter to a customer care staff person if you used a card. You now have to go to a kiosk to use a card and pay the fee; however if you want to pay with cash, check, or money order, you can visit a customer care staff person. They finished by saying that with the new policy, they expect to save residents at least $540,000 yearly. So I wrote my check feeling good about how much money I’d saved myself and fellow taxpayers by not adding card fees to the city’s expenses.

On a different but related subject, one of my younger co-workers commented today that he was surprised when he went to a Spec’s Liquor Store that they charge an additional 10% if you use a credit/debit card. He didn’t say if he was going to start paying cash, but I now have another avenue to talk to him and the other young co-workers about what’s going on in the world financial system. – M.D

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Economics and Investing:

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Yet another take on the future of cash: Cash Is King No More – O.M.

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Has The OPEC Deal Been A Success? While the prospect of a production cut extension seems good, OPEC’s decision will ultimately depend on whether or not the members view the cut as a success.

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Gold Consolidating As French Vote Goes As Expected

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The epic retirement crisis for older Americans: The median family of retirement age has $12,000 in savings.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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We’ve recently updated and expanded our Amazon Store. Keep in mind that if you follow any of those links and order ANY Amazon product that we will earn a small commission that will help support SurvivalBlog. Thanks!

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Some fascinating reading over at Commander Zero’s blog: Harder Homes & Gardens – Volume I: Harry Bennett’s castle and cabins

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SurvivalBlog cannot endorse this form of testing. Please don’t do this at home yourself: This veterans shoots himself while wearing Infidel Body Armor. That’s a high level of confidence in your body armor.

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This is a bit of a long read, but it explains AI rather well: The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI – W.W.

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Nashville Gunfighter Takes Out THREE Armed Robbers Single-Handedly – DSV

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New “Smart Phone” Will Be Quietly Studying Your Behavior And Reacting In Real-Time – B.B.

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Lessons From the First TEOTWAWKI- Part 1, by Sarah Latimer

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Basics of the First “TEOTWAWKI

The first “end of the world as we know it” event that mankind experienced was initiated by a woman, and while there are plenty of reasons to finger-point at men in our world today over the problems it faces I want to focus primarily on the women in this article and their responsibility for some of the problems we face and discuss how we can correct these to create a better world, if only in our own homes and communities. I am talking to my “gender sisters” in this article. Yes, I know there are plenty of men who may want to come to our defense, but you men need to back away and let us deal with our emotions and think through the facts before short-circuiting what needs to occur. We may need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, but don’t stop the progress. There will likely be some emotions; there usually are when we find we have been lied to, used, or even when our own manipulative schemes are exposed and we struggle with the notion that we must admit it. Some of the SurvivalBlog women may not be surprised by what is coming, but there will likely be some who are. There may even be some who are angry. God made us to be emotional beings, but we need to face facts and make corrections before we lose what is important to us, whether from a SHTF scenario or from relationship breakdowns. I’ll admit that I’ve been angry at a few points on my journey toward what I’m going to share here, and I’ve made some mistakes in my past. I didn’t like the corrections that had to be made. It didn’t fit with the image I had built up in “my plan” that had been partially formulated by the culture in which I lived; I’m stubborn and don’t like to adjust my vision. (We’ll talk more about vision in just a bit.) However, it had to change in order for me to find abundant life and true happiness, the kind of happiness that the Bible speaks of and that our nation’s forefathers wrote about in the Bill of Rights.

Let’s get back to that first TEOTWAWKI situation and examine it to see what we can learn from it, because we are here on SurvivalBlog to learn how to avoid a crisis or at least to prepare for one when it, whatever it may be, comes. Most of the 27,000 or more articles on SurvivalBlog are aimed at preparing for and surviving a crisis of one sort or another that affects your family, community, region, nation, or the world. There is a wealth of information contained within these articles. However, the woman who created the first TEOTWAWKI had no reason to pay any attention to any of these survival concerns. She did not need water filtration or purification systems, back up solar power systems or generators, MREs or cases of freeze-dried food, a bunker, or even shelter from the cold. Before her TEOTWAWKI experience, she didn’t even need clothes! She had everything provided with ease for all eternity! Well, you have probably guessed with that last comment that I am writing about Eve, the first woman.

Eve lived in paradise, and I mean it was the absolutely perfect place. There is nothing on Earth like it now! There were no animals, birds, or insects with inclinations to cause her harm, as there was no such thing as death in this place at that time. There were no storms, tornadoes, and harsh rains to cause floods; rivers that flowed and morning mists watered the vegetation and provided water for mankind and animals. There were no warring parties or threats of EMP, or even threats of drought or pandemics. She and her husband were sustained from the fruits and vegetables of the garden trees, which they merely picked. They did not need to weed or work the soil or haul water to grow food; they did not need to butcher animals. The tree of life in the middle of the garden sustained them in perfect health. Can you imagine a place that had no harsh freezes, no predators or nasty bugs, no thorns or weeds, no shortage of water, and where lush food was waiting to be picked year around and every animal roamed peacefully under your gentle care, almost as a pet but without the hard chores of providing food? What a truly wonderful life!

You may be wondering how anything regarding Eve’s seemingly fairytale life can possibly apply to our survival, but I am strongly convinced that there are key lessons to be learned that relate to our survival. I believe that these key lessons relate to our personal character, roles, convictions, relationships, and social interactions and that these directly apply to our survival. In fact, I believe that it is probable that the TEOTWAWKI event we most likely will experience can in some way be attributable to people (men or women) following Eve’s example of what not to do. Let’s learn from what she and Adam did and do our best not to follow in their mistakes!

It’s my proposal, that in order to create the most pleasant, peaceful, loving, productive, united, and defensible home/family/community, we should personally strive to:

  1. Hold true to God’s truth by knowing and obeying His Word and His vision without distorting the Word to conform to what is comfortable “in our eyes”. (Prov 16:25)
  2. Recognize and submit to the authority God has put in place (God, husband, government, et cetera; in that order). (I Cor 11:3, Eph 5:21-24, Col 3:18)
  3. Don’t think of ourselves above God, our husbands, and our family; they are our core purpose and we are to love them with our whole beings. (Philippians 2:3, Proverbs 31, Titus 2:4-5, I Peter 3:1, I Timothy 2:11)
  4. Don’t let our eyes/lust for what appears to be pleasing end up stealing God’s blessings; stay true to the top three and talk it over, even praying, with our husband before making significant decisions or purchases and trusting him to help us make wise commitments. (Numbers 30: 3, 13-14, I Peter 3:5-12, Proverbs 31)
  5. Do not oppose our husband; we are to be our husband’s help mate/help opposite. (By “opposite” here it means to provide a view from a different vantage point, not pull against him.) (I Peter 3:5-12, I Corinthians 7:2-5)

As your husband’s wife, you are to be the “wind beneath his wings”, encouraging and believing in him. He’s your champion, if you will use the power of love and tenderness that you’re given to build him up. We, as women, can swiftly destroy, but it takes a long time to rebuild the pieces we’ve knocked down. Have patience and be persistent with a tender tone and kindness, always showing love and encouragement. Forgive and move forward. The alternative truly brings death to a man’s spirit, and it was woman who took the first action to bring death into this world. Don’t forget that! It isn’t your fault, personally, or mine, that we don’t live in this garden paradise, but we can make our situation worse if we do the same things Eve did. We have it in us to passionately build or just as passionately and abruptly destroy. Let’s delve into Eve’s story.

God created Adam as a perfect man and gave him the job to name the animals and care for everything in the garden. God determined that Adam needed companionship, one like him, so God made Eve out of part of Adam’s body, his side. Eve was his “help opposite”, who complemented him, being different but similar to him, assisting him with a complementary perspective, and completing him. You see, Adam was literally divided by God to form Eve. He no longer was whole in the same way as before. To be whole required that he be united with Eve and they come together as one person, because she contained part of him, yet was also different. The female part contains the more sensitive, nurturing, and emotional side while the male has more of the focused, physical, and logical side of personalities. Yet there are definite overlaps, and some men and women differ in their strengths. However, together in marriage between a man and a woman the two are far more powerful and capable!

Eve was literally part of Adam and came from him and was given the purpose to be his helper. She was significant and needed, though she was the weaker vessel. God had formed both of them, though Eve came from Adam, and God has united the two of them to complete them and make them whole.

God put them in the garden and gave them food to eat, purposeful work, companionship between the two of them as well as His visits, and He gave them two special trees in the center of the garden– one of which they could eat and one of which they were told not to eat. Now, we are told that God gave the specific instruction to Adam about the trees from which food could be taken and the one that was not to be used for food to Adam, but we are not told that this instruction was given directly to Eve, as she had not yet been formed.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:16-17

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Letter Re: Taking Out the Trash: Secure Deletion

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HJL,

Technically, short of physically destroying flash media, there is no way to insure that something is securely erased. This applies to USB drives, SD cards of all sizes, and even SSD disk drives. It applies less so to magnetic hard drives.

Hard drives can drift so there can be a thin shadow of old data, but that is something only someone with very deep pockets can recover, and it would be hit and miss.

With flash drives, data is eventually erased, but what normally happens is the prior place the data was stored is mapped as “obsolete, erase when you need space”, while the new data is written to a new, freshly erased area. It can be a long time until the algorithm (or something like a “trim” or “secure erase” command, though not all devices have that) really erases the old data. Until actually erased, the flash chips can contain the original data where it can be accessed either with “diagnostic” commands or simply removing the chip and accessing it directly.

This doesn’t apply if the drive is encrypted before any data is written, but encrypting after writing will run into the same problem where the unencrytped data might still be in areas marked unused but not erased.

See:

SSD Data Wiping: Sanitize or Secure Erase SSDs?, and

Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data

HJL Comments: For those of a more visual nature, this video from ExplainingComputers states it very well. SSD’s can only write to the same location a few thousand times (usually). If they were used in the same fashion that normal hard drives are used, they wouldn’t last long at all. Manufacturers extend their service life by spreading the writes out across the entire available space since there is no access time penalty like there is in a normal hard drive. While this makes their service life tolerable, it also makes it incredibly difficult to securely erase old data. You have to either write to every possible memory location or depend upon the manufacturer to reliably erase the data with a specific instruction. Do you trust them?

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Economics and Investing:

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Lee Adler: Warning Signs a Stock Market Crash Is Coming

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Advice from Jeff Miller: Stock Exchange: How to Trade an Overbought Market

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Over at Zero Hedge: How Heavy Is This?

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Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are Shuttering at a Record Pace – G.G.

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Congress Considers Taxing 401(K) Contributions – B.B.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

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The recent terrorist attack on the Champs Élysées with an AK-pattern rifle has the French on edge, right on the eve of a national election. Joe Dassin is doubtless rolling in his grave. Some pundits suggest that this might sweep Madame Le Pen into office. – JWR

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$128 ticket stands for Roseville man who left car running in driveway.

JWR’s Comment: That decision would be considered absurd here in The American Redoubt. It is common practice here in the winter to leave unattended cars idling in post office parking lots. Oh, and having a “remote start” system for a vehicle is considered a desirable convenience. – JWR

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Stunning Research Videos – Was Berkeley Police Department Supporting Antifa Violence? – L.T.

HJL’s Comment: While the video does a good job of identifying munitions and the media’s characterization of them, I’m not so sure about its conclusions. Evidence of Berkeley police involvement is circumstantial at best. There is no evidence presented that the munitions were supplied or used by police. While flash-bangs may be difficult to get (and certainly illegal for civilian ownership in California), high quality smoke can be had for about $30. However, we are talking about a group of people who are basically criminal in their actions. It’s not a hard stretch that illegal munitions were used by the antifa group without police involvement. There are also other sources of such munitions. If an entity (foreign or domestic) wanted to incite violence, a powder keg like that is the place to start.

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Here’s How Different Chemical Weapons Could Kill You – G.P.

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A recent survey by Aviva (A UK-based insurance company) has revealed that 20% of adults don’t know how to change a light bulb or boil an egg. An interesting read to say the least.

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