Friday, December 9, 2016

Another Earthquake Strikes the Solomons

The Express is reporting that another earthquake, this one a 6.9 magnitude, has struck the Solomon Islands. There was also a tsunami alert issued.

December 9, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Jaguar Photograph Taken by Fort Huachuca, Arizona Trail Camera"--Ammo Land. Jaguars are returning to their historical range.

Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • TGIF: "Weekend Knowledge Dump"--Active Response Training. Check it out. 
  • "Follow Through: The Key to Standing"--Art of the Rifle. In late 2014, the author did a series of articles concerning rifle shooting from a standing position. In this article, the author discusses the importance of follow through to taking shots from a standing position, including the difference between what worked for dry fire (a passive follow through) and for actual shooting (which he termed an active follow through). The author notes: "I think that the essence of follow through is a continuous attention to sight picture without regard to trigger break (or anything else for that matter).  No part of the shooting process should interrupt the sight picture, even firing."
  • "Crime is a Process"--No Nonsense Self-Defense. Like many other activities, perpetrating a crime involves a certain process: for instance, in a robbery, there will be some sort of reconnaissance, approaching a victim or entering the premises that is the target of the crime, and then the actual show or use of force. In this article, Mark MacYoung briefly addresses the process, including the important fact that, unlike in Hollywood films, the bad guy will not give a warning about what he is going to do, but use deception to get close to his intended victim. He also discusses that because a crime is a process, "[c]ertain component parts must be developed in order for a crime to occur. If one is not achieved, the crime will not occur. These components are not only necessary for the crime to occur, but they work together. Affect one and you affect all ... and the crime itself." (Ellipses in original).
  • "Budget $350 Mile Gun: Ruger American Predator 6.5CM"--The Firearms Blog. A budget rifle that is apparently able to make the 1 mile shot. However, the MSRP is actually $529, and the author only found them as low as $399.
  • "The Dichotomy of Speed"--Gabe Suarez. Key point: "The dichotomy of speed - or taking one's time quickly - is simply boiled down to 'Being Deliberate'." Compare his thoughts on this with the "active follow through" experience of the author of the Art of the Rifle article I linked to above. 
  • "New Vortex Viper PST Gen II Riflescopes"--The Firearms Blog. More of an announcement than any details. However, Vortex is saying that they have completely redesigned the optic.
  • "The Best Coat Pocket Defensive Pistols"--Active Response Training. As Mr. Ellifritz discusses, getting to a concealed weapon while wearing a heavy winter coat can be problematic. Many people resort to carrying a second weapon in a pocket that can be accessed quickly and, if needed, shot from inside the pocket. Of course, one issue is that of reliability: the firearm needs to be able to shoot without malfunction inside the pocket. This not only eliminates semi-auto pistols, but revolvers with exposed hammers. However, using a "hammerless" model, or one with a shrouded hammer, has a second benefit: the hammer will not snag if you have the opportunity to draw the firearm. Ellifritz also notes that there is the additional issue, if you are shooting from inside the pocket, of muzzle flash: you don't want to set your coat on fire. For that reason, he recommends using .38 Special or .22 LR, depending on your ability to handle recoil and the desired capacity of the handgun.
  • "Skipping Buckshot--Forgotten Shotgun Tactic"--Gabe Suarez. A discussion of the use of ricochets to strike a target behind cover.


Other Stuff:
  • "A society in decline"--Vox Popoli. Vox discusses a recent study that shows that the life expectancy of the average American has actually declined. He observes:
One can't say it is surprising. The same thing happened in Russia under Yeltsin, when the country was being strip-mined by the oligarchs in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia has found its confidence again in its return to Christianity and nationalism, and both its birth rates and life expectancies are on the rise again.
         I have always suspected that being a conquering and occupying society, heavily into tribalism and clan warfare, middle easterners were molded by that environment into tyrant/groveler psychologies, heavy on misogyny.
           When we invaded Iraq the second time, Iraqis were all too happy to curry favor with us ....
             After a year of seeing American troops treat them decently, the Iraqis quickly assumed our kindness was weakness, and then they began a concerted campaign to kill our troops.
               In a clannish society of tribal warfare, one would fight brutally to conquer on encountering weakness/kindness, and one would grovel prodigiously on encountering brutality in a conqueror. Likewise, where one would encounter weakness and conquer, one’s genes would be best served by impregnating every conquered woman encountered, whether they wanted it or not.
                 That is what we are seeing in the European Muslim invasion.
            In a recent paper in the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, John McCoy and W. Andy Knight posit that between 89-125 Trinidadians—or Trinis, to use the standard T&T idiom—have joined ISIS. Roodal Moonilal, an opposition Member of Parliament in T&T, insists that the total number is considerably higher, claiming that, according to a leaked security document passed on to him, over 400 have left since 2013. Even the figure of 125 would easily place Trinidad, with a population of 1.3 million, including 104,000 Muslims, top of the list of Western countries with the highest rates of foreign-fighter radicalization; it’s by far the largest recruitment hub in the Western Hemisphere, about a four and a half hour flight from the U.S. capital.
            As the El Nino has faded global temperatures are dropping, not just in lower tropospheric land data (where it has been seen the strongest so far) but in the other data sets as well. Without the El Nino (probably the strongest on record) and the Pacific Warm Blob there will be no new record next year, or probably the year after if the la Nina sets in. Temperatures are more likely to return to pre-El Nino levels. If so, the 2015/16 El Nino would be shown to be a temporary blip in a continuous “hiatus” period which, nethertheless remains the warmest period of the instrumental temperature era. For all we know, at the end of next year we could see the global warming “hiatus” approach its third decade.
            • "Suppose It is a Black Swan?"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Fernandez takes a stab at trying to explain why the left is so taken aback by the election of Donald Trump. He writes:
                   Though the evidence is anecdotal, many similar stories depict a world gradually breaking up into groups some might call "echo chambers" or affinity groups which are at odds with each other.  It is as if a kind of internal secession were taking place that could be part of a larger trend.  Tony Blair for one has stopped regarding the "populist revolt" as an aberration and come to see it as ominous challenge to the world order.  Gradually the Left is starting to think recent events are not a freak confluence of rogue trends but a deliberate counterattack against it of the sort it has not seen in a long time.

                     It is that self-awareness which is so frightening to the Left. ...
                They are frightened, he goes on to explain, because they fear that the newly ascendant right will be and act like the left, only with a reverse ideology. But Fernandez suggest that while the left may be prepared to fight its double, it may not be prepared for what is actually emerging: an ideology that recognizes that aping the left is a recipe for disaster. He goes on:
                       What they do not expect is an ideology of non-ideology to emerge; something which far from regarding history as the fulfillment of some human plan wants to set people free to explore the next valley that leaves us ever alone with wonder and reminds us we are small things trying to make sense of a big universe.  In other words, what if the sentience the Left fears in its new rivals is emergent rather than prescribed?  Suppose it is asking itself questions rather than supplying answers?
                         The great wellspring of liberty was  the frontier, both in its inward and outward aspects. In the last century both the inner and outer frontiers closed and that set the stage for man to imprison man.  But perhaps the frontier is opening again and that fact will have consequences which we are now beginning to feel.  The two great enterprises of the 21st century will be the exploration of the planets and the liberation  of human potential.  The first will be made possible by technological development and the second will emerge from the transformation of communication from instruments of bondage to highways of inquiry.  Those will necessarily have devastating disruptive effects but also potentially huge benefits.
                           The ideology of news makes two moral claims:  that it is complete, and that it is objective.  News, in other words, provides consumers with just the right amount of information necessary to function as citizens, and it does so from an Olympian perspective, devoid of political bias or special pleading.  Neither claim is empirically grounded.  Both rest on the special place given to “the press” in a democratic system.

                             In the 2016 presidential campaign that culminated with the election of Donald Trump, that special place was surrendered and the two claims were falsified, beyond doubt and possibly beyond repair.
                        He adds: 
                        The public has inherited the rhetoric of distrust and disdain from the news – but with a difference.  It’s now aimed at every center of authority, very much including the news business itself.
                        He then goes on to discuss the MSM's new front: the attacks on so-called "fake news." Read the whole thing.
                        ... Professor Erik Verlinde, an expert in string theory from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute of Theoretical Physics, thinks that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature because it's not always there. Instead it’s “emergent” - coming into existence from changes in microscopic bits of information in the structure of spacetime.

                        Thursday, December 8, 2016

                        December 8, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                        "The Cultural Enrichment of Germany"--Paul Joseph Watson. A brief look at the explosion in violent crime in Germany due to immigration/refugees.

                        Firearms/Prepping:



                        Other Stuff:
                        • "11 Reasons Why Progressive Christianity Will Soon Die Out"--Church Pop (h/t Vox Popoli). The author argues that the major divide in Christianity today is not Catholic versus Protestant, but "historic Christians" (who "believe their religion is revealed by God in the person of his Son Jesus Christ, and that the Scriptures are the primary witness of that revelation") and "progressive Christians" (who "believe their religion is a historical accident of circumstances and people, that Jesus Christ is, at best, a divinely inspired teacher, that the Scriptures are flawed human documents influenced by paganism and that the church is a body of spiritually minded people who wish to bring peace and justice to all and make the world a better place"). Read the whole thing, and then decide on which side of the divide you want to be.
                        • "Nevada student, 14, who swung a knife at his classmates before being shot by police 'was bullied for days before he snapped and attacked his friends'"--Daily Mail. I believe this--the kid looks like the type of person that would be mercilessly bullied and teased, and the schools will do nothing because they don't care--at least, not about the good kids. (However, they expend a great deal of resources to "reform" the "troubled" kids). This kid screwed up, however, by reacting emotionally, instead of logically. In my high school physical education class, there was a kid that liked to bully me and a couple of my friends. I bided my time until one day, in the middle of a crowded game in the gym, I had my opportunity, and slammed him hard with my shoulder. I only expected to knock him down, but, by a bit of fortuity, the force of the fall was enough to break his arm. As I had intended, being in a crowd, no one really saw what happened, and he couldn't prove I had been the person to hit him or that it had been intentional. Nevertheless, while he still acted the jerk, he stopped his bullying.
                        • The wages of sin socialism: "Desperate Venezuelan fishermen slaughter one another and turn to piracy - while starving villagers are forced to eat soup made from seawater as country's economic collapse worsens"--Daily Mail. The article reports:
                               Gangs of out-of-work fishermen have turned to a life of piracy and have killed dozens who still venture into the sea in Venezuela, as the country's economic crisis worsens.

                                 Once home to the world's fourth-largest tuna fleet, now the fishing trade has collapsed and those who continue to fish are falling prey to the vicious bandits.

                                   Many have been tied up and thrown overboard by pirates, as those with boats opt for illegal ways of making money, such as smuggling and piracy.
                                     Four days after ISIS fighters attacked an Israeli patrol in the Golan Heights, a plateau in Syria which the Jewish state has occupied since 1967, the bizarre meteorological phenomenon suddenly appeared. 
                                       Eyewitnesses said the storm seemed to stop at the boundary and be unable to enter the Golan Heights, which tower above the rest of Syria.
                                  (Update (12/9/2016)--corrected typo)

                                  RIP: Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer

                                  "Lucky Man" by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

                                  Greg Lake died Wednesday at age 69. The video above is from a 1974 performance in California, with Greg Lake singing. The song, "Lucky Man," is one of the group's most iconic songs. Keith Emerson of the group died earlier this year on March 12.

                                  Here's another video you might enjoy, being a live performance of their take on Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," performed in Montreal in 1977. This is a nice example of how they would engage in improvisation during a live concert.


                                  Wednesday, December 7, 2016

                                  Oil Wealth For Utah: Is Another Piece of the Puzzle About To Drop Into Place?

                                       LDS readers may be aware of a prophecy of Brigham Young concerning the wealth that would eventually be attained by the Latter-Day Saints in Utah. However, this wealth would come at the cost of great wickedness among some of the Saints. Brigham Young warned, "I do not worry about the Saints in poverty but when the Lord sees fit to open the great oil reserves in Utah, I tremble for them."

                                       I have puzzled about the source of this oil--where it would come from--for Utah has no significant oil fields like Texas and Oklahoma. One possible source is the Green River Formation containing perhaps the largest reserves of oil in the world. The formation spreads across Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, and may hold as much as 4 trillion barrels of oil.

                                       The problem is in extracting the oil. The oil is locked up in oil shale. Current technology requires the shale to be strip mined, then heated to cook out the oil--an expensive and labor/resource intensive process. But researchers may have discovered a method to extract the oil more cheaply and in a way that is safer for the environment: using microwaves. In an article entitled "Move Over, Fracking, There's A New Technology In Town," at Ozy Magazine, James Watkins reports:
                                  As strange as it sounds, producers are experimenting with ways to zap previously unextractable oil resources with microwaves, which has the potential to kick-start an even bigger energy revolution than fracking — and appease environmentalists while they’re at it. This is potentially “a whole shift in the paradigm,” says Peter Kearl, co-founder and CTO of Qmast, a Colorado-based company pioneering the use of the microwave tech. Some marquee names are betting on the play: Oil giants BP and ConocoPhillips are pouring resources into developing similar extraction techniques, which can be far less water- and energy-intensive than fracking.
                                  And their eyes are on the Green River Formation. The article explains the process:
                                  Producers would microwave oil shale formations with a beam as powerful as 500 household microwave ovens, cooking the kerogen and releasing the oil. It also would turn the water found naturally in the deposits to steam, which would help push the oil to the wellbore. “Once you remove the oil and water,” Kearl continues, “the rock basically becomes transparent” to the microwave beam, which can then penetrate outward farther and farther, up to about 80 feet from the wellbore. It doesn’t sound like much, but a single microwave-stimulated well, which would be drilled in formations on average nearly 1,000 feet thick, could pump about 800,000 barrels. Qmast plans to have its first systems deployed in the field in 2017 and start producing by the end of that year.
                                  There are also other benefits:
                                  “We don’t need water for our process,” Kearl says, “and we don’t have wastewater to dispose of afterward.” In fact, microwave extraction might produce water — one barrel of water for every three barrels of oil. In situ recovery using microwaves also avoids the massive environmental impact of mining and then processing the kerogen. What’s more, natural gas that often is flared off in conventional oil-well production could be used to power the generator that creates the microwaves.
                                      The article indicates that the biggest obstacle, right now, is the price of oil. Using current technology, the break even point is $65 per barrel (still well below what OPEC wants). But I'm sure that, just like fracking, the prices will come down once the new technology begins to be widely adopted. We may never again see $100 per barrel prices (in current dollars) in our lifetime.

                                      So, who knows? This may be the key to the puzzle of Utah's prophesied wealth from oil.

                                  Furnace Problems and Heating

                                  (Source)
                                  We had our gas furnace stop working a couple days ago, just as we were hit with a cold snap. Fortunately, we have a very efficient carousel fireplace that is easily capable of heating our house. However, the furnace failed in the middle of the night, and it was inconvenient, if that word applies, to have to go out to collect wood from the woodpile and get a fire going at 2 a.m.

                                  The problem turned out to be a clogged nozzle on the draft inducer. (I had a suspicion that this was the problem because we had a similar issue a few years ago and had to call a technician). On our particular model of furnace, there is a vacuum hose that runs from the draft inducer to a pressure switch that regulates when the furnace will light.  Because of the clog, the switch would not activate. I was able to diagnose the problem by pulling off the hose and, after checking that there was no obstruction in the hose, sucking on it to see if I could get the switch to activate (which it did). Fortunately, after diagnosing the problem, it was easily remedied using a wire to push out the blockage and reattach the vacuum hose. (Additional information about pressure switches on gas furnaces can be found here).

                                  However, in starting and maintaining the fire in the fireplace, I was once again impressed with the need to have different types of wood. I'm not just talking about kindling, small pieces, and larger pieces, but woods with different burning characteristics.

                                  I've mentioned before that a lot of the pine wood we've used in this area, unless it impregnated with a lot of pitch, generally does not release a great deal of energy when burned. These pieces, at least when larger, are good for burning for a long period of time. However, to get them to combust completely generally requires mixing some hotter burning wood in the fire. We use fruit tree wood, poplar, and/or ceder that we salvaged from a fence. 

                                  We also use the hotter burning wood to get an initial hot fire going. I've learned that it is far better to get a larger, hot fire going that quickly warms the house up, and then use smaller quantities of wood to maintain the temperature, than to be parsimonious with the wood initially and never reach the desired temperature.

                                  December 7, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                  "RP# 1 - Europe: The Next Yugoslavia"--Black Pigeon Speaks. I've noted before that we are going into a period that will see intercivilizational wars, and a significant problem for the West is that, because of mass immigration, much of the conflict will be within Western nations. Black Pigeon Speaks approaches this issue by looking at what touched off the Serbian war in Yugoslavia: the tipping point where Bosnian Serbs fell behind Bosnian Muslims demographically. As he observes, once a population is marginalized in a democratic state, the ballet box no longer gives recourse.


                                  Firearms/Prepping:
                                  Other Stuff:
                                  • The left wants a civil war: "The Electors’ Responses, And Why We Must Expect Better"--Roger Wolfson at The Huffington Post. Wolfson, disappointed that Republican electors aren't willing to change the votes, and that Democrats must bring more pressure to bear on the elector. Of course, the article has been toned down since it was originally published. The original title was "The Electors' Responses, And Why It's Time To Take To The Streets," and, yes, Wolfson had urged protests and demonstrations to pressure the electors. 
                                         The immense demand for methamphetamine (ice), ecstasy and new psychoactive substances among the wealthy urban residents of East Asia and beyond has revitalized organized crime in the region.

                                           The scale of recent drug seizures in underground laboratories in China's Guangdong province alone is staggering – and it's jumped by 50 percent in the last year. In January 2015, for instance, 2.2 tons of solid and liquid methamphetamine destined for Shanghai were uncovered in the coastal county of Lufeng. In May that year, 1.3 tons of ketamine and 2.7 tons of its precursors were found in the city of Yangjiang, disguised as black tea bound for Southeast Asia.
                                      The percentage of the U.S. population that is white has decreased from 79.6 percent in 1980 to 61.9 percent in 2014. The percentage of Latino-Americans has increased from 6.4 percent to 17.3 percent over the same time period, while both the African-American and Asian-American populations have grown, too.
                                      The author also warns that these changes are "hastening a political divide likely to have long-term ramifications." Ya think? Take a look at this as an example: "Buzzfeed: White People Are A ‘Plague To The Planet’"--Daily Caller (h/t Weasel Zippers). From the article: 
                                        The listicle [at Buzzfeed], entitled, “19 School Powerpoint Presentations That Give Zero F[**]ks,” is a list of students giving presentations. Many of the presentations include insulting and hateful messages towards whites, such as, “White People Are a Plague to the Planet,” “How White People Plagued Society,” and “White People Are Crazy.”

                                          An image featured on the list shows a young woman with the presentations, “White People Stay Colonizing,” while wearing a T-shirt that reads: “Make America Brown Again.”
                                          It reminds me of a post from Vox Day:
                                            Dear White Americans,

                                              Congratulations. You're the Indians now. Only they won't leave you any reservations. Because they're not as nice as you were. Good luck!

                                                Love,
                                                  The American Indian
                                                         The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal first “broke” in the far-right blogosphere. The accusation they made was that these gangs were being allowed to operate undisturbed because everyone was too afraid of “appearing racist” to properly investigate them . . . and nobody listened to the far-right bloggers who were breaking this story because they were afraid of “appearing racist” if they gave any credibility to those far-right sources, too. Never mind that it seemed paranoid to rely on bloggers to report truths like these when the allegations were so wide-reaching, involving a literal conspiracy within the police force.

                                                           And yet, years after no one was willing to take them seriously, the far-right blogosphere turned out to be right.

                                                             Well over a thousand (mostly) white young girls were being abused by (mostly) Pakistani gangs.

                                                               And the authorities were covering it up.
                                                            The issue, as the latter article points out, is not whether there is enough evidence to prove that there is a scandal, but whether there is enough evidence to investigate further.
                                                                   The tribe had white skin and blonde hair - features which intrigue historians, as there is no known European ancestry in the region, where most inhabitants are darker skinned. 
                                                                     The citadel is tucked away in one of the most far-flung areas of the Amazon. It sits at the edge of a chasm which the tribe may have used as a lookout to spy on enemies. 

                                                                  * * *

                                                                         The Cloud People once commanded a vast kingdom stretching across the Andes to the fringes of Peru's northern Amazon jungle, before it was conquered by the Incas. 

                                                                      * * *

                                                                             Named because they lived in rainforests filled with cloud-like mist, the tribe later sided with the Spanish-colonialists to defeat the Incas.

                                                                               But they were killed by epidemics of European diseases, such as measles and smallpox. 
                                                                                 Much of their way of life, dating back to the ninth century, was also destroyed by pillaging, leaving little for archaeologists to examine. 
                                                                                   Remains have been found before but scientists have high hopes of the latest find, made by an expedition to the Jamalca district in Peru's Utcubamba province, about 500 miles north-east of the capital, Lima.

                                                                                     Until recently, much of what was known about the lost civilisation was from Inca legends. 
                                                                                       Even the name they called themselves is unknown. The term Chachapoyas, or 'Cloud People', was given to them by the Incas. 
                                                                                         Their culture is best known for the Kuellap fortress on the top of a mountain in Utcubamba, which can only be compared in scale to the Incas' Machu Picchu retreat, built hundreds of years later. 
                                                                                           Two years ago, archaeologists found an underground burial vault inside a cave with five mummies, two intact with skin and hair. 
                                                                                             Chachapoyas chronicler Pedro Cieza de Leon wrote of the tribe: 'They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people that I have seen, and their wives were so beautiful that because of their gentleness, many of them deserved to be the Incas' wives and to also be taken to the Sun Temple. 
                                                                                               'The women and their husbands always dressed in woollen clothes and in their heads they wear their llautos [a woollen turban], which are a sign they wear to be known everywhere.' 

                                                                                          A Day To Live In Infamy...

                                                                                          (Source)
                                                                                          (Source)
                                                                                          On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the United States naval base in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a tactical failure. Intended to cripple the United States' Pacific Fleet, it failed at its primary goals of blocking the harbor with wreckage and destroying the key capitol ships--the aircraft carriers--at the heart of the Pacific Fleet. It was also a strategic blunder in that the attack unified the country behind a war against Japan, which lacked both the manpower and resources to prosecute a lengthy war against the United States. After the Battle of Midway, six months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese fleet was so weakened that Japan was placed on the defensive for the remainder of the war.

                                                                                          Tuesday, December 6, 2016

                                                                                          December 6, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                          "From rusting ships in lush green jungle to tanks in crystal clear ocean: Amazing aerial photos show WWII wrecks in watery graves off remote Pacific Ocean tropical islands"--Daily Mail. The article indicates that the above photograph is of the remains of a United States Naval transport vessel abandoned in the Nggela Islands, Solomon Islands.

                                                                                          Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:

                                                                                          The second myth is that dry firing will damage your gun; as the author notes, firing an actual round is more stressful on the firearm. There is a couple caveats I would note, which is that regular dry firing of a rimfire gun can damage the firearm, either by pinging the surface being struck by the firing pin, or the pin itself, which can lead to misfires or poor extraction. It's okay to dry fire the weapon to release the hammer after shooting, but not as a matter of regular practice ... unless you use a snap cap. Also, some older firearms may have firing pins or striker mechanisms that may be damaged because of the firing pin traveling further forward in dry fire than intended (i.e., the design is based on the fact that the pin would be stopped by a primer). 
                                                                                          Third, the author contends that a square range, shooting at a static paper target, is not realistic practice, and that you can obtain great benefits from dry firing, using a laser target system, or shooting something like airsoft in the privacy of your own home.
                                                                                          A rifle who’s zero is true and whose setup is solid need not be overhauled every time a new rail or new product comes out. A constant state of change to a rifle does neither the rifle nor the rifleman favor. The rifle that we value and grab in confidence should receive upgrades and changes only when necessary and even then those upgrades should not change the rifle as to shake your confidence in her.
                                                                                          A single male the team had named Inshuti approached a group of gorillas the researchers had named the Beetsme. After some initial rebuffs, the lone male continued to seek acceptance. Then one of the gorillas screamed—the witnesses could not say if it was Inshuti or a member of the group. That was followed by three adult males chasing Inshuti until they caught him and pinned him to the ground. Soon thereafter, the rest of the Beetsme group arrived and all of them (including females and youngsters) participated in causing harm to Inshuti—from pulling hair to scratching and kicking. The leader of the Beetsme sunk his teeth into the gorilla's flesh and shook it like a fighting dog. The mob attack continued for just a few minutes, but then stopped just as quickly as it had started. The attackers walked away and Inshuti slunk into the underbrush to attend to his wounds.
                                                                                            You might wonder why I would include this article on the section with self-defense and prepping articles. If you are familiar with the self-defense literature, you probably have come across references to how people, in violent situations, revert to using their "monkey brain." That is, there are basic primate urges that cause many violent situations to almost follow a set script. The one described above is pretty much a classic example of what Rory Miller terms an educational beatdown: an attack intended to teach the victim a lesson, generally after the victim has violated some rule or norm.

                                                                                            Other Stuff:
                                                                                            • I've occasionally been linking to some of the Pizza-gate articles that come out, including a recent one from the Anonymous Conservative wondering if Breitbart had some inkling of the Pizza-gate facts in 2011, based on a Tweet he made concerning John Podesta. As to the latter point, Hot Air, in a piece entitled "About that Podesta ‘underage sex-slaves’ Tweet from Andrew Breitbart", the author of the piece suggests that the Tweet was in reference to the O'Keefe/Breitbart undercover videos of ACORN, where O'Keefe approached ACORN for assistance with a prostitution ring involving underage girls. At the time, John Podesta sat on the ACORN's advisory council, and was tasked with overseeing ACORN's investigation into its own conduct. 
                                                                                            In retrospect, Hot Air may be correct about that particular Tweet. However, the article also goes on to claim that Pizza-gate is an unsupported conspiracy theory--essentially buying into "fake news" narrative. Essentially, the author is suggesting that there is something fantastic about a pedophile ring being run out of the D.C. pizza parlor. Probably as silly as thinking that the ATF would help smuggle arms to Mexican drug cartels in order to "prove" that American gun stores were responsible for the flow of arms to those drug cartels. But I digress. 
                                                                                            As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. And, in regard to the Pizza-gate story, there is an awful lot of smoke, not the least is how the owner/operator of what has been described as a nondescript, ordinary pizza parlor with only okay food made the list of being one of the most influential people in Washington D.C. Moreover, as I've noted, it is not the first inkling of these issues: the U.K. apparently has covered up pedophiles serving in high offices there; and, as Herschel Smith makes clear at the Captain's Journal,  the U.S. has its share of government officials and officers that have also been tied to similar crimes. I think it is too early to write this off.
                                                                                                   The number of migrants seeking to stay in Mexico pales in comparison to the droves heading to the U.S. — more than 400,000 people were apprehended at the U.S. southern border in the fiscal year that ended in September, most of them from Central America.

                                                                                                     But the burden on Mexico and other countries is likely to increase if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on his promises to beef up border security and deport up to 3 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
                                                                                                       In September 1864, Sherman captured the stronghold of Atlanta, and in September he embarked on his notorious “March to the Sea,” leading two large armies through the heart of the supine Confederacy. He severed communications with Washington and ordered his men to “forage liberally” off the land. In his Memoirs, Sherman almost seems to believe his own euphemism, and whole phalanxes of historians since have taken him at his word, as flatly absurd as that word is. In reality, as Bruce Catton put it, “The army went down to the sea like a prairie fire forty miles wide, living on the supplies it took from plantation barns and smokehouses and pantries, looting where it did not burn, making war with the lid off as if the whole business had come down to a wild Halloween brawl.”

                                                                                                         That “war with the lid off” was brutal, yes; Sherman intended it to be so, in order to send a message to the Southern population that their government couldn’t protect them and so didn’t deserve their support. But the brutality was also its own end, ordered and countenanced by Sherman to an extent that would land him in a courtroom at the Hague today. McDonough is content to soft-pedal the whole business, writing that however we categorize things, “Sherman’s intentions were clear: destroy anything of military value to the Confederacy, while subjecting Southern civilians to the inevitable depredations inflicted by a large army tramping through their country and living off the land.”

                                                                                                           But those depredations weren’t inevitable until Sherman made them that way, and the definition of “military value” was from the onset stretched so far as to lose any meaning. Whole towns were put to the torch, despite pleas not to dispossess their women, children, elderly, and infirm. Whole populations were uprooted and put on forced marches. Assaults, rapes, and murders, absent from the general’s recollections, were liberally reported by Southerners; reading accounts less accommodating than McDonough’s leads to the inescapable conclusion that war was “all hell” largely because William Tecumseh Sherman made it that way. In Sherman’s March was born No Gun Ri, My Lai, and a dozen other massacres perpetrated on a helpless and innocent civilian population by U.S. forces allowed to conduct “war with the lid off.”

                                                                                                             Sherman succeeded—naturally, since he had no opposition—in scorching Georgia, despoiling the Carolinas, and presenting the captured city of Savannah to President Lincoln as a Christmas present in 1864. By that point, the war was in the mopping-up stages, ...
                                                                                                        Sherman's strategy was no secret to great generals. Genghis Khan is reputed to have said: "The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters." I'm reminded of Pershing's prediction, following the end of World War I, that there would be another war with Germany because the German people had largely been untouched by the First World War. They had quit fighting (for the time being, at least), but they were not beaten ... down.
                                                                                                        It is because we are no longer capable of fighting war as Sherman did that we cannot bring wars to successful conclusions.

                                                                                                        Monday, December 5, 2016

                                                                                                        A Quick Run Around the Web -- December 5, 2016

                                                                                                        "Modified Mora Pathfinder - My New Survival Knife"--Survival Lilly.  And you can watch how her friend modified the knife for her right here.


                                                                                                        Firearms/Prepping:
                                                                                                        • First things first--if you haven't gone there yet, Greg Ellifritz had a new Weekend Knowledge Dump up on December 2, 2016. A few articles that caught my attention specifically was an article on how aging affects your eyes and shooting, including some suggestions as to your glasses or contacts that will help; an article on why ultra-compact .380 pistols may be a bad choice for an inexperienced shooter; and a useful infographic on lockpicking (a nice follow up to my links to some lockpicking resources last week).
                                                                                                        • "WRONG GUN: Why The Most Popular Gun For Law Enforcement Is A Mistake"--Bearing Arms. I don't remember why I re-read this May 2015 article by Bob Owens. However, in it, he discusses why, in his opinion, the Glock is a horrible handgun for law enforcement officers and why they should pick a weapon with a long trigger pull, such as some of the DA/SA handguns. He writes:
                                                                                                        Mechanically, Glocks and similar pistols are incredibly solid and reliable designs. What they aren’t is forgiving.

                                                                                                        Utterly predictable and normal human physiological responses (startle response, symmetric sympathetic response, etc) and psychological mistakes (forgetting the check the chamber on a design that requires the trigger to be pulled for disassembly) have repeatedly lead to hundreds, if not thousands of negligent discharges. Many of those have been fatal.

                                                                                                        Agencies that switch from other pistol designs to Glocks (and to a lesser extent, other short trigger pull, no external safety guns) typically see their number of negligent discharges soar. Agencies that switch away from Glocks to more forgiving designs typically see their negligent discharges decrease.
                                                                                                        The problem, as Owens sees it, is that no matter the amount of training, 20% of officers will rest their fingers on the trigger of the firearm.  
                                                                                                        I addressed Owen's argument last year, as well as noting some articles from others responding to his argument. One point to make, however, is that in reviewing NYPD reports for 2011, 2012, and 2013, the percentage of accidental/negligent discharges with Glocks were not grossly disproportionate to other firearms; and some of the firearms recommended by Owen were nearly as high or higher than the Glock.
                                                                                                        • "Is .22 Rimfire Ammo Suddenly Plentiful For Everyone?"--The Truth About Guns. The author relates some anecdotes that suggest that .22 is suddenly more plentiful. He also notes a couple good deals on AR magazines.
                                                                                                        • Some more options for women seeking to conceal carry at Dene Adams, including a corset type garment with pockets for carrying firearms or ammo. (H/t The Firearms Blog). Just looking at how high the pocket is for the handgun--it appears to be at the rib line--I would think that it would be very difficult or awkward to draw. Bloke on the Range produced a video on "Why did the British and other Euro Armies typically wear holsters on the left?" which discusses that very problem back when men wore their belts around their waists instead of their hips.
                                                                                                        • "What Would a Long Range Sharpshooter Infantry Paradigm Look Like? Part 3: Organization and Tactics"--The Firearms Blog. The third part of Nathaniel F.'s series on a long range sharpshooter infantry. In this post, he notes that because of the weight of the weapon, many of the members of a platoon would need a lighter weapon, taking you back to lightweight carbines or personal defense weapons (PDWs). Hopefully, Nathaniel will address historical examples of a "sharpshooter" infantry, such as the British army prior to WWI (their professional "sharpshooter" army, which did pretty well in irregular colonial warfare, was pretty much devastated within the first few months of the beginning of WWI). 
                                                                                                        • "Knife Construction Preferences"--Defensive Training Group. A nice discussion of full-tang, skeletonized tang, partial tang, narrowing tang, and stick tang, and the advantages or disadvantages to each.
                                                                                                        • "Gun Control: Hawglegs and Hawgwash"--Fred On Everything. He takes his wry (or caustic, if you prefer) common sense and turns it on the issue of gun control. After noting that gun control generally equals more crime, he observes:
                                                                                                               If guns were made illegal in the US, not a single villain would turn his gun in. The bumper sticker, “When guns are criminal, only criminals will have guns,” is exactly right.Guns, usually small and easily smuggled, are immensely valuable to criminals. Why would they turn them in? Criminals do not obey laws. It’s how you know  they are criminals.
                                                                                                                 Curiously, the fewer guns in the hands of the law-abiding, the more valuable they are to criminals. When citizens may be armed, crawling in a window at night becomes much less attractive. And of course gun control would mean disarming white people, who tend to obey laws. Having witnessed Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlotte, many whites are not enthusiastic about being left helpless.
                                                                                                                   One must never say this.
                                                                                                                     Gun-controllers, unless they are greater fools than seems humanly possible–they may well be–know  that criminals are not going to turn their guns in, and there is no way to confiscate them. They also know, unless actually mad, that criminals are overwhelmingly black. Do the controllers propose to send the army through black regions of Chicago, searching houses room by room to find hidden guns? Hardly. 
                                                                                                                • "More guns, more risk for people of color"--Boston Globe. The basic thrust of the article is if black people have more guns, they are more likely to be shot by police. The author's evidence? Just a handful of anecdotes from all over the country and several years. And we all know what they say about anecdotal "evidence". But here is the interesting part of the article: the author cites a 2014 Pew poll for the proposition that "54 percent of blacks saw gun ownership as more likely to protect people than put them at risk; two years earlier, it was just 29 percent."

                                                                                                                Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                       “There must be no distinction between ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers’’” insists Samuel Schirmbeck in his “Crusade of Islam.”
                                                                                                                         As a correspondent in North Africa, Samuel Schirmbeck became familiar with a creeping Islamization, and warns of the “Crusade of Islam.” He calls for the courage to criticize Islam openly, and blames leftists for the spread of radical Islam in Western Europe.
                                                                                                                           “People who are critical of Islam are not Islamophobic. They are just violence-phobic, intolerance-phobic homophobe-phobic. They reject in Islam what we also [once] had: misogyny, intolerance in the name of a philosophy. We have separated ourselves from that with great effort, and now people do not want it to re-enter our land under the cover of religion.”
                                                                                                                             Samuel Schirmbeck experienced creeping radicalization in North Africa. When he arrived in Algiers as an ARD[1] correspondent in 1990, the beaches were full of women in bathing suits, and the land was full of hopes for democracy. Islamists put an end to that. They threatened alleged “unbelievers” with death. Samuel Schirmbeck stayed, and learned to live with the latent fear. It left him, he says, only when he occasionally flew to Frankfurt for a few days for discussions.
                                                                                                                               “And then I realized how valuable that is — a public space where you do not need to fear religious madness, where you can step out of your front door without the fear of someone shooting you in the head because you are an “unbeliever.”
                                                                                                                                 According to Dutch media advisors from the anti-discrimination bureau MiND said that, while homophobic abuse was usually a crime, it was justifiable if you were Muslim due to laws on freedom of religious expression. 
                                                                                                                                   They argued that the Koran says it is acceptable to kill people for being homosexual, and so death threats towards gay people from Muslims could not be discriminatory. 
                                                                                                                              It is perfectly reasonable once you understand the left's hierarchy of victimhood
                                                                                                                                     The area comprised of Mendocino County, Humboldt County, and Trinity County in Northern California is known as “The Emerald Triangle” - three sparsely populated counties that are notorious for marijuana cultivation.
                                                                                                                                       They have become a hotbed for sex trafficking and drug cartels.
                                                                                                                                         Many flock to the area for well-paying jobs by processing marijuana but the farms are remote and cell service is limited and many go missing.
                                                                                                                                           In 2015, Humboldt County reported a disturbing 352 missing people.
                                                                                                                                             Private investigator Bill Garcia, who took part in the search for Sherri Papini, told Inside Edition: “The cartels are working in that area. They have been in that area for some time and that whole surrounding area where young women are kidnapped regularly.”