Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"CHIP $9 Computer"--Explaining Computers. This, and the Raspberry Pi, are incredible values for what they offer.

The Universal Lethal Lace holster, features an integrated holster that includes a small pad, as well as a length of fabric and a clip. To use the Lethal Lace holster, an end user simply places the pistol in the holster. Places the pistol against the body where it is to be secured and wraps the holster to the body. At the end of the fabric is a small clip that is used to secure the overall assembly. 
The photographs show that the device can be wrapped around the torso, the leg, and so on, offering various locations for concealing a weapon. Notwithstanding the name, they also offer less frilly versions for men.
  • Fake News: "The NRA wants to suppress one of guns’ most important safety features"--Washington Post. The author of the article, in all seriousness, contends that the load report from a firearm is a "safety feature" because it alerts others that a firearm is being used. I guess, using that same reasoning, we should remove mufflers from automobiles.
  • "Body armor of the future could be made of human hair"--New York Post. The editor didn't read the story carefully before picking a headline. The article explains that researchers are investigating the properties of human hair, including the fact that it actually is stronger the harder it is pulled, to see if there is some way to transfer those same properties to other fibers to improve strength and elasticity.

Other Stuff:
     The speech will electrify President Trump’s followers. They will feel satisfaction that they understood him and knew what they were backing. And it will deepen the Washington establishment’s unease. Republican leaders had been hoping the address would ameliorate their anxieties about the continued primacy of their traditional policy preferences. Forget that. This was a declaration that the president is going his own way and they’d best follow.
Vox Day comments on Noonan's piece, and, in particular, a separate portion of her op-ed where she describes the United States as two nations, possibly more. Day observes: 
         The USA now contains considerably more than two nations. That's why it is no longer any more viable than the European Union. It's been held together by force, easy credit money, and sleight of hand for a long time, but not for much longer.

           For all his strength of will and civic nationalism, the God-Emperor cannot save the political entity, but he can put the American nation in a much better, much stronger position before the growing rifts become borders. He should take those who say he is not their president at their word, because they are neither the Posterity of the Founders nor We the People.
           Alpha emitters basically emit a form of radiation which kills cells within a cell diameter or two of the molecule, but which burns out at greater distances. In small doses in the intestine, it will kill back the cell layers immediately against the intestinal lumen where the food is, including the stem cells in the intestinal wall. This will reduce the ability of stem cells in the GI tract to replenish the intestinal epithelium, which separates what is in the intestine from the blood pathways.

           Your intestine basically holds rotting food by continually shedding the epithelial cell layer which is against the food as it breaks down, and raising a new layer right beneath it to continue the protective function. Kill back the stem cells, and you reduce the ability of the intestinal epithelial cell layer to replace the shed cell layer with a new cell layer. In short, you break down the intestinal wall and begin to let what is in the intestine have access to the body.

            If you get a massive dose, and kill off all the stem cells, your intestinal wall just sheds away without being replaced, and all the junk in the intestine will have a direct route into the bloodstream, just as all the blood will have a direct pathway into the colon, and out of the body. With an insufficient dose, you will merely impede the formation of a new cell layer, and trigger symptoms of GI illness which are survivable, so long as your weakened stem cells can just maintain enough of a protective layer to keep you alive long enough to build back up your stem cell levels, and restore your intestine’s regenerative ability.
            The distinctively American populism Trump espouses is rooted in the thought and culture of the country’s first populist president, Andrew Jackson. For Jacksonians—who formed the core of Trump’s passionately supportive base—the United States is not a political entity created and defined by a set of intellectual propositions rooted in the Enlightenment and oriented toward the fulfillment of a universal mission. Rather, it is the nation-state of the American people, and its chief business lies at home. Jacksonians see American exceptionalism not as a function of the universal appeal of American ideas, or even as a function of a unique American vocation to transform the world, but rather as rooted in the country’s singular commitment to the equality and dignity of individual American citizens. The role of the U.S. government, Jacksonians believe, is to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the physical security and economic well-being of the American people in their national home—and to do that while interfering as little as possible with the individual freedom that makes the country unique. 
               Jacksonian populism is only intermittently concerned with foreign policy, and indeed it is only intermittently engaged with politics more generally. It took a particular combination of forces and trends to mobilize it this election cycle, and most of those were domestically focused. In seeking to explain the Jacksonian surge, commentators have looked to factors such as wage stagnation, the loss of good jobs for unskilled workers, the hollowing out of civic life, a rise in drug use—conditions many associate with life in blighted inner cities that have spread across much of the country. But this is a partial and incomplete view. Identity and culture have historically played a major role in American politics, and 2016 was no exception. Jacksonian America felt itself to be under siege, with its values under attack and its future under threat. Trump—flawed as many Jacksonians themselves believed him to be—seemed the only candidate willing to help fight for its survival.
            He goes on:
                   Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.
                     Jacksonian distrust of elite patriotism has been increased by the country’s selective embrace of identity politics in recent decades. The contemporary American scene is filled with civic, political, and academic movements celebrating various ethnic, racial, gender, and religious identities. Elites have gradually welcomed demands for cultural recognition by African Americans, Hispanics, women, the LGBTQ community, Native Americans, Muslim Americans. Yet the situation is more complex for most Jacksonians, who don’t see themselves as fitting neatly into any of those categories.
                        Whites who organize around their specific European ethnic roots can do so with little pushback; Italian Americans and Irish Americans, for example, have long and storied traditions in the parade of American identity groups. But increasingly, those older ethnic identities have faded, and there are taboos against claiming a generic European American or white identity. Many white Americans thus find themselves in a society that talks constantly about the importance of identity, that values ethnic authenticity, that offers economic benefits and social advantages based on identity—for everybody but them. For Americans of mixed European background or for the millions who think of themselves simply as American, there are few acceptable ways to celebrate or even connect with one’s heritage.
                         There are many reasons for this, rooted in a complex process of intellectual reflection over U.S. history, but the reasons don’t necessarily make intuitive sense to unemployed former factory workers and their families. The growing resistance among many white voters to what they call “political correctness” and a growing willingness to articulate their own sense of group identity can sometimes reflect racism, but they need not always do so. People constantly told that they are racist for thinking in positive terms about what they see as their identity, however, may decide that racist is what they are, and that they might as well make the best of it. The rise of the so-called alt-right is at least partly rooted in this dynamic. 
                            The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the scattered, sometimes violent expressions of anti-police sentiment displayed in recent years compounded the Jacksonians’ sense of cultural alienation, and again, not simply because of race. Jacksonians instinctively support the police, just as they instinctively support the military. Those on the frontlines protecting society sometimes make mistakes, in this view, but mistakes are inevitable in the heat of combat, or in the face of crime. It is unfair and even immoral, many Jacksonians believe, to ask soldiers or police officers to put their lives on the line and face great risks and stress, only to have their choices second-guessed by armchair critics. Protests that many Americans saw as a quest for justice, therefore, often struck Jacksonians as attacks on law enforcement and public order. 
                              Gun control and immigration were two other issues that crystallized the perception among many voters that the political establishments of both parties had grown hostile to core national values. Non-Jacksonians often find it difficult to grasp the depth of the feelings these issues stir up and how proposals for gun control and immigration reform reinforce suspicions about elite control and cosmopolitanism. 
                                The right to bear arms plays a unique and hallowed role in Jacksonian political culture, and many Jacksonians consider the Second Amendment to be the most important in the Constitution. These Americans see the right of revolution, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as the last resort of a free people to defend themselves against tyranny—and see that right as unenforceable without the possibility of bearing arms. They regard a family’s right to protect itself without reliance on the state, meanwhile, as not just a hypothetical ideal but a potential practical necessity—and something that elites don’t care about or even actively oppose. (Jacksonians have become increasingly concerned that Democrats and centrist Republicans will try to disarm them, which is one reason why mass shootings and subsequent calls for gun control spur spikes in gun sales, even as crime more generally has fallen.)
                                  As for immigration, here, too, most non-Jacksonians misread the source and nature of Jacksonian concern. There has been much discussion about the impact of immigration on the wages of low-skilled workers and some talk about xenophobia and Islamophobia. But Jacksonians in 2016 saw immigration as part of a deliberate and conscious attempt to marginalize them in their own country. Hopeful talk among Democrats about an “emerging Democratic majority” based on a secular decline in the percentage of the voting population that is white was heard in Jacksonian America as support for a deliberate transformation of American demographics. When Jacksonians hear elites’ strong support for high levels of immigration and their seeming lack of concern about illegal immigration, they do not immediately think of their pocketbooks. They see an elite out to banish them from power—politically, culturally, demographically. The recent spate of dramatic random terrorist attacks, finally, fused the immigration and personal security issues into a single toxic whole.
                                   In short, in November, many Americans voted their lack of confidence—not in a particular party but in the governing classes more generally and their associated global cosmopolitan ideology. Many Trump voters were less concerned with pushing a specific program than with stopping what appeared to be the inexorable movement of their country toward catastrophe.
                                     Mead continues by arguing that Jacksonian's opposition to the global order and the embrace of international organizations and treaties is because Jacksonian's have a different vision to offer, but because they don't trust those that make such decisions have America's best interests at heart. Mead contends that the elite need to regain this trust by considering the needs and desires of Americans.
                                       The challenge for international politics in the days ahead is therefore less to complete the task of liberal world order building along conventional lines than to find a way to stop the liberal order’s erosion and reground the global system on a more sustainable basis. International order needs to rest not just on elite consensus and balances of power and policy but also on the free choices of national communities—communities that need to feel protected from the outside world as much as they want to benefit from engaging with it.
                                         While I sense that Mead is sensing to find an appropriate historical analogy, I think he has missed the point. Although many of Trump's supporters would like to see a smaller government, most will be satisfied for a government that seeks to put American's interests first. In that, Mead is correct. But the current movement is only "Jacksonian" to the extent that encompasses a rejection of the political elites. Mead's analogy to the Jacksonians of the 19th Century is otherwise not all that helpful. Bluntly, this is not 1824. And, for those fearful of this so-called "populism," it is not 1933 either. What is happening now as a reaction to the failure of liberalism and the progressive movement.
                                           Trump supporters aren't fighting to expand the vote; frankly, most would like to see voter ID laws to ensure that only citizens are voting.
                                             Nor is "manifest destiny" at work here. In fact, I look at the Trump supporters and see people that have no interest in empire, either through international entanglements or immigration. Most Americans have no desire for an empire, and I believe that what we are seeing is the rejection of empire and its burdens, even if the growth of empire is couched in terms of spreading democracy, free trade, human rights, equality, and so forth. A sizable portion of the United States no longer cares that large portions of the world are happy to be ruled by tyrants, live in huts or shacks, or are too stupid not to defecate in their village's only water supply. We tried to lift the world to a better place, but it is impossible and, frankly, not worth the effort. And, moreover, we don't want the rest of the world living here. Americans are not responsible for the rest of the world, its problems, or saving it from its fate.
                                           And unlike Jackson, Trump is not promising a Laissez-faire stance vis-à-vis the economy. Instead, he is promising infrastructure improvements and tariffs on at least some imported goods. 

                                        Understanding God's Love

                                             There seems to be a widespread false doctrine that God's love nullifies His justice. Those who will not condone the homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage, oppose abortion, or that worry about allowing a violent and alien religious creed flourish in the West, are berated for not being sufficiently loving, tolerant or inclusive. Many Christians are confused as to how to react to the growing wickedness in the world, as well as the attacks on basic morality, because they have been taught, and strongly believe in, the concept of "love the sinner, but not the sin," and therefore question doctrine that would thrust some sinners out of Church. This confusion comes from misunderstanding God's love and the proper relationship between the flock and certain types of sinners.

                                             Elder D. Todd Christofferson gave an excellent talk that briefly addressed this topic at the October 2016 General Conference, entitled “Abide in My Love”. Some excerpts:
                                             There are many ways to describe and speak of divine love. One of the terms we hear often today is that God’s love is “unconditional.” While in one sense that is true, the descriptor unconditional appears nowhere in scripture. Rather, His love is described in scripture as “great and wonderful love,” “perfect love,” “redeeming love,” and “everlasting love.” These are better terms because the word unconditional can convey mistaken impressions about divine love, such as, God tolerates and excuses anything we do because His love is unconditional, or God makes no demands upon us because His love is unconditional, or all are saved in the heavenly kingdom of God because His love is unconditional. God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love. 
                                             Jesus said: 
                                             “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 
                                             “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” 
                                             To “continue in” or “abide in” the Savior’s love means to receive His grace and be perfected by it. To receive His grace, we must have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, including repenting of our sins, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing in the path of obedience. 
                                             God will always love us, but He cannot save us in our sins. Remember the words of Amulek to Zeezrom that the Savior would not save His people in their sins but from their sins, the reason being that with sin we are unclean and “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” or dwell in God’s presence. “And [Christ] hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem [His people] from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.” 
                                             From the Book of Mormon we learn that the intent of Christ’s suffering—the ultimate manifestation of His love—was “to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. 
                                             “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.” 
                                             Repentance, then, is His gift to us, purchased at a very dear price. 
                                             Some will argue that God blesses everyone without distinction—citing, for example, Jesus’s statement in the Sermon on the Mount: “[God] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Indeed, God does rain down upon all His children all the blessings He can—all the blessings that love and law and justice and mercy will permit. And He commands us to be likewise generous: 
                                             “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 
                                             “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” 
                                             Nevertheless, God’s greater blessings are conditioned on obedience. President Russell M. Nelson explained: “The resplendent bouquet of God’s love—including eternal life—includes blessings for which we must qualify, not entitlements to be expected unworthily. Sinners cannot bend His will to theirs and require Him to bless them in sin. If they desire to enjoy every bloom in His beautiful bouquet, they must repent.”
                                             We must also understand that those who complain most loudly about a lack of love and inclusivity or acceptance are not doing so out of a sense of Christianity or compassion, but out of selfishness and, in some cases, a desire to lead others astray. The mother who has been a member for her whole life, and suddenly turns on the Church because it is insufficiently accepting of her gay son is not acting out of concern for those in the Church, but because she is suddenly faced with a religious stance that is personally uncomfortable and, perhaps, leaves her feeling guilty. It is easier for her to accept that the relative strangers in her congregation are wrong than to acknowledge that her own son is living in sin. The young woman that attacks the church because she has determined she is a lesbian and wants to live the lesbian lifestyle does not make her attacks because she is concerned for the salvation of those in the Church, but angry because she is not being praised for wallowing in her sin.

                                            The scriptures warn of these types of people. For instance, in 2 Nephi 28:
                                             7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. 
                                              8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. 
                                              9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
                                        From Ezekiel 22:
                                               25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 
                                                26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 
                                                27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
                                        Christ, Himself, warned: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:15).

                                             We are in the last days, and I fear that the time that Christ pours out his judgment on a wicked world is fast approaching. This is not the time to be distracted by worldly philosophies or to distance yourself from the Gospel because it is not popular or comfortable; or feel guilt or shame for your faith. The Gospel was never meant to be comfortable and inoffensive, but was intended to act as a refiner's fire. Don't be deceived in these most dangerous of times.

                                        Saturday, January 21, 2017

                                        January 21, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                        "Super-recognisers: the future of law enforcement?"--Lindybeige. A discussion of how poorly facial recognition software works, but how the Metropolitan Police have had great success with those people that naturally seem to be able to recognize faces.

                                        • Active Response Training's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" for this week. Good selection of links, as always, but there are a couple that I want to comment upon:
                                        • "Why do you yell at your targets?"--God, Gals, Grub, Guns. The author recommends that you not only practice your shooting skills and movement while firing skills at the range, but also practice using verbal commands, verbal judo, and communication skills. That is, loudly projecting your commands (e.g., "freeze" or "stop"), your "verbal judo" (e.g., adding expletives or cussing in order to shock the perp), and keeping your commands or instructions simple.
                                        • "Robert Young Pelton on All the Ways You Can Actually Use a Pocket Knife"--Outside. Mostly the article is about the different tasks (particularly emergency tasks) a good pocket knife is useful for. However, the author also contends that a knife blade makes a terrible weapon because it is so easy to disarm someone using a knife. Well, that depends on the knife and how you use it; thousands of years of history indicates that he is wrong. Sure, an overhead stab (similar to a hammer blow) is easily defended against. A blind thrust is simple to defend against. Reverse grip horizontal slashes are harder. And a person that approaches the fight more akin to fencing will probably land a strike by feinting and avoiding a counter. There is a reason why, prior to the advent of reliable repeating pistols, that there were hundreds of schools of defense around the United States that specialized in teaching using the knife as a weapon.
                                        • "Protect yourself from falling luggage and ALWAYS leave your laptop behind: Experts reveal how to survive a plane crash"--Daily Mail. Tips include making note of where are emergency exits and how far (count the rows) from your seat; read the safety card so you know how to open the emergency door and if there is anything additional you need to do to deploy the emergency slide; pick a good brace position, so that if there is a seat in front of you, "cross your hands on that seat back in front of you and rest your forehead on top of your crossed hands." Otherwise, bend over as far as you can and grab your legs behind your knees. Also, "[p]rotect your head, neck and back with a blanket, jacket, coat or whatever you have to dampen the blow of overhead baggage flying out and down upon you and the ceiling falling apart" and keep your carry on under the seat in front of you to protect your feet and legs. Finally, if you have to evacuate, just leave your carry on and laptop and get out of the plane.
                                        • "Are you truly living or are you merely surviving?"--Modern Survivalist. In this article, FerFal addresses a more philosophical topic of the difference between "living" (i.e., finding joy and fulfillment) and "surviving" (getting by without dying or being killed). He also relates that the primary reason he and his family eventually fled Argentina is because they were merely surviving in Argentina because of the constant threat of crime and the economic problems, and he wanted to live.
                                        • "Mental Health in the Apocalypse"--George Groot at Blue Collar Prepping. The author originally sought help for depression and anxiety during tours of duty in Iraq and, later, Afghanistan. True depression and anxiety is hard for those without these disorders to understand because they think of it a passing phase, while when you suffer from it, you realize that something about yourself is broken. In the past, people dealt with these conditions through unregulated drugs (think of cocaine in the late 1800s and early 1900s) or copious use of alcohol. Today, sufferers have access to medications and therapy. In a grid-down, post-SHTF world, however, medications will be unavailable. The author apparently has tried some herbal replacements, but finds them to be too imprecise to be of assistance. However, there is always therapy--talking to someone.
                                        • "Top 5 SHTF ‘Surprises’"--SHTF School. Based on the author's experience from the Balkans: (1) how close the fighting will be; (2) the enemy will look, sound, and speak like you; (3) how busy an average day is what with procuring food, water, fuel, etc.; (4) the level of threat (i.e., not just the threat of crime or violence, but hygiene, disease or injury, being turned in to authorities, being tricked, being captures, etc.; and (5) the reality of protecting and defending your assets. Read the whole thing.
                                        • "Best Backpacking Gun?"--Active Response Training. I believe I opined before that if I had to bug out, the weapons that would provide the most flexibility would be a defensive rifle and a .22 caliber pistol. The rifle would be for protecting against threats (2 or 4 legged) or taking larger game; the handgun would be for taking smaller game, yet, if accurate, could also be used for taking small game and as a back up defensive weapon. Ellifritz takes the latter half of this combination in recommending an 8-shot Smith and Wesson model 317 .22 revolver. His choice is based on the fact that the area he backpacks lacks large predators, is remote enough not to worry about human predators, the revolver is lightweight and reliable, and he can use it to signal for help or take out snakes or small game ... and, if necessary, it is accurate enough for him to put all 8 rounds into an attacker's head.
                                        • "MNKF – M1917 Trench Dagger"--Breach Bang Clear. A review of a reproduction of the knife produced by Windlass Steelcrafts of India and sold through Atlanta Cutlery. The original knife sported a rectangular triangular blade (apparently based on certain bayonet designs) and a heavy handguard and pommel sporting spikes for breaking jaws and crushing skulls. The reproduction has the rectangular triangular blade, but the handguard is stamped and lighter weight. I don't know if it has the mass to use it as original intended, but it might be an interesting addition to a collection.
                                        • "The Lee Loader Kit"--Blue Collar Prepping. If you don't know, these are inexpensive kits intended for hand loading small quantities of ammunition without using a reloading press or powder measure, but instead using a mallet and the special dies and powder scoop included in the kit. The author reviews and gives his impressions on using this kits. I started reloading using my father's equipment, then purchased my own press and other equipment, so I've actually never used these small kits. But if you are only loading for a small number of different calibers, and only loading a small number of rounds at any given time, this is probably a more economical method of getting into reloading.
                                        • "Which AR-15 magazines should I buy?"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Grant lists his four favorite brands of AR mags, with most favored first: Magpul 3rd generation PMAGs, the Troy Battlemag, the Lancer L5AWM, and the ETS AR-15 magazine.
                                        • Some Shot-2017 News:
                                        • "MagnetoSpeed Shot Indicator"--TFB. This is a device intended to assist those interested in long range shooting. It apparently attaches to the back of a steel target and lights up to confirm a hit on the target. No MSRP listed, however.
                                        • "Is Ulticlip Going to Change the Holster Market?"--TFB. The author reports: "Instead of running your belt through loops or traditional style holster clips the Ulticlip clamps directly onto the belt." It is supposed to offer 10 times the retention of normal clips, and can be clipped to not just a belt, but to the waistband of your pants or shorts. It is also shorter than standard clips, which the author believes will make it more concealable.
                                        • Hexmag is entering the Glock magazine market. No MSRP, but presumably it will be similar to offerings from Magpul. The one advantage offered by the author is that Hexmag offerings will feature witness holes so you can see how many rounds are loaded.
                                        • I'm sure that most of you have heard that the winner of the Army handgun selection is the Sig Sauer 320 modular pistol.  (More here). For those of you not familiar with the weapon, it is a striker fired model that is based around a chassis system (which is the serial numbered part) that can be fit into different sized grip/frames. It also sports a true Picatinny accessory rail (instead of the Glock, one-slot rail) and, in the military version, presumably comes with a manual safety). A lot of people are surprised (and disappointed) that the Glock did not win. I can only presume the result was because Sig actually submitted something that met all of the requirements of the Army's request for proposal (RFP) instead of most of them.
                                        • "Using the Stakeout Shotgun"--Gabe Suarez. Suarez has been using a shotgun similar to the Mossberg 590 Shockwave (he calls it the Battle Axe), and gives his thoughts on what is different and what is the same as compared to traditional shotguns.
                                        • "Changing Buffer Weight on AR15s"--Rifle Shooter Magazine. From the article:
                                               To operate reliably with a diverse array of loads in conditions ranging from extreme heat to extreme cold, even when dirty, requires a careful balancing act. An AR needs to have enough gas tapped off to cycle the action forcefully but not excessively.
                                                 If too much gas is tapped off, felt recoil and wear on the mechanism is increased. Too little and the action will not cycle properly, leading to malfunctions, failure to feed or failure of the bolt to lock back on the last round.
                                                    Typically, a factory AR carbine will normally be a bit over-gassed to ensure reliable function even in extreme conditions. While being a bit over-gassed aids reliability, it is not always advantageous or even desirable. This is especially true for recreational use or for various types of competition where a lighter-recoiling and smoother-operating cycle is desired. For such use it is possible to tune how the carbine cycles by adjusting the weight of the reciprocating mass: the buffer.
                                              • Yes. "Cold Weather And Handguns: Do Freezing Temperatures Affect Firearm Function?"--Concealed Nation. The author states that "Unless you are dealing with -35° F and your gun is exposed to the elements, you have little to worry about." I know from personal experience that it does not need to be that cold. Once you get below about 10 or 15 degrees Fahrenheit, if the weapon is exposed to the cold for more than a minute or two (such as an exposed holster or just laid on a shooting table), you will start to have operating problems as lubrication begins to solidify. Keeping the firearm in a holster or pocket inside your coat will alleviate this problem because it will keep the firearm warm until you need to use it. It also helps to minimize the amount of lubricant used on your pistol in extremely cold weather, as attempting to run the weapon "wet" just means that there is more lubricant to freeze and gum up the action. Rifles and pump shotguns are a different matter. I've used a Winchester pump action shotgun with no problems in that cold of weather, and not had any problems with a Mini-14 that I once had.
                                              • Some thoughts on bugging out and bug out kits:
                                              Most who know me, know that I am staunchly against most people planning to just “Bug Out”to the mountains when the SHTF. I advise people to plan on “Bugging In” where they are, or “Bugging To” a pre-planned location. The are a number of reasons why I’m against a “Bug Out”, but chief among them is that most who plan to do this are doing it out of laziness and/or an overwhelming lack of reality.
                                              If you aren't staying in place, or bugging out to a pre-planned (and pre-stocked) location, you are just a refugee.
                                              • "Evacuation Plans And Getting Home"--Mason Dixon Tactical. Start with the “5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Then figure out the How--which is routes, equipment, signals, and so on. As I've noted before, don't overlook alternate routes such as bike paths or trails, empty canals, railroad tracks, and so on.
                                              • "Urban Survival: Do You Really Need A Bug Out Bag?" (Part 1 and Part2) -- Death Valley Magazine. The author raises some points that might be considered heresy in the survival and prepping community: that most people will not benefit from a bug out bag. The author points out that, if you live in the continental U.S. (CONUS), most common disasters will not call for a bug-out bag. For instance, he notes that with hurricanes and tornadoes, you will either not be leaving your home, or you will have plenty of warning about the impending disaster. Flooding, similarly, is another disaster where you will have time to load up the car, not just grab a BOB. An earthquake doesn't allow for warning, but when everything starts shaking, who is going to grab their BOB and head outdoors? He notes that civil unrest (i.e., a mob or riot) similarly won't see you grabbing your BOB when the mob comes down your street, nor will a BOB be of use in a pandemic (you actually won't want to leave your home). As for terrorism: "Going on the road immediately after a terror attack is foolish due to follow-up attacks and because you would contribute to already congested streets causing Emergency Services to divert resources to crowd control and civil policing when they are needed for helping the wounded and capturing those responsible." Notwithstanding the foregoing, he notes that there are some people that need BOBs, namely expatriates living in foreign countries who will want to leave as fast as possible in the aftermath of a coup, civil unrest, disaster or pandemic, your business "partners" suddenly stealing all your money (and preparing to have their fellow tribesman arrest you!), and similar. 
                                              • "Addressing the Foot-Pound Fallacy"--Rifle Shooter Magazine. Craig Boddington presents a lengthy, albeit non-mathematical, discussion of bullet energy and terminal performance. Boddington's focus is on bullet energy and the transfer of the energy to the target. He begins by noting the old rule that you should have at least 1,000 ft-lbs of energy at the range of the target to reliably take down animals. However, this should be increased to 2,000 ft-lbs for larger game (such as elk) and 4,000 to 5,000 ft-lbs for the largest game. But he notes that kinetic energy is not the only factor to consider, but also transfer of energy, which he believes is better with a correctly expanding bullet or a blunt nosed bullet over a standard Spitzer bullet.  For instance, he notes that:
                                              Obviously, penetration to (or through) the vitals remains essential, but I believe initial energy transfer of traditional blunt-nose bullets is why the good old .30-30 kills deer the way it does despite unimpressive ballistics. And big woods hunters who want to drop deer in their tracks often rely on archaic “brush-busters” such as the .35 Rem., .444 Marlin and .45-70. None of these produce as much kinetic energy as, say, a .270, but they flatten game with authority. Part of it is bullet frontal area, and another part is the blunt-nosed bullet—both of which contribute to a rapid initial energy transfer.
                                              I don't believe that kinetic energy is the end-all factor either, but you have to look at properties such as momentum and the characteristics of the bullet as well. Ultimately, the size of the wound channel and whether it produces sufficient shock (loss of blood pressure) are the key factors in bullet effectiveness. Obviously, what is effective on a small game animal may be ineffective (due to a lack of penetration) in something larger; something effective in a larger animal may be too effective in a smaller animal (e.g., shooting a squirrel with a .30-06, which won't leave too much behind) or largely ineffective (e.g., using a bullet intended for large, thick skinned game on a small deer; the bullet will probably not expand and just leave a through-and-through wound). I've discussed the effectiveness of large caliber bullets with broad meplats before, and much of the effectiveness of large, slow moving lead bullets or slugs comes from the ability to not just push aside tissue or punch a clean whole through bone, but cut or smash the flesh and shatter bone. Anyway, terminal effectiveness is a complex topic, and this article gives you a lot to think about.
                                              I teach to refrain from using the light as much as possible and only use it when absolutely necessary. And that "necessary" occurs only when there is doubt about what the target is. We do not need as much "Target ID" as the Liability-Mongers would have you believe.
                                              He gives the example that if he hears a crash in the night and, in investigating, sees the hulking outline of a large man, he knows that person is not supposed to be in his house because there are no other large men residing there. In this regard, while he likes lights on his "pro-active" CQB weapons, he doesn't believe that there is generally the need on what he terms a reactive weapon;
                                              Weapons that are reactive in purpose do not require nor do they benefit from adding a light.  Move through the urban night environment and you will see that short of a black out (which would require a light to navigate), there is always sufficient ambient light to recognize a pending threat or upcoming attack.  There is no tactical scenario that I can envision where one would need to reactively illuminate a threat prior to shooting. 
                                              But should you have a light on your weapon, it brings up his second point:
                                              The second important point is that if you are mounting a light on a pistol, it must be operable with the shooting hand, and while the trigger finger is on the trigger.  If you cannot operate the light, in a pressure activated momentary manner with your shooting hand only, and while your trigger finger is on the trigger, it is a stupid accessory and does not belong on the weapon of a serious gunfight-focused shooter. 
                                              • "How to Travel Grey"--Ed "Digger" Thompson. This article is focused on security consultants or "operators." It can be summed up as don't wear 5.11 clothing or clothing or hats with your company's logo or other firearm/operator logos.
                                              • "Human Trafficking, You And Reality"--Ed "Digger" Thompson. The author has published an article from someone he knows who had to rescue his/her daughter from traffickers. This article, among other things, discusses how pimps and other traffickers suck their victims in and manipulate them, and gives you some warning signs. The article lists the steps that most groomers will follows:
                                                Step 1
                                                       Befriend – It starts in a way that seems innocent and remains that way for many weeks or months. The ‘friends’ that start this process are not always a guy. It is often a girl (usually a few years older). The new friend takes your daughter places, she is fun, she has a lot of advice, and gives the impression she is sort of a mentor. This person is referred to as a “groomer”. They may be grooming girls for something as simple as some free drugs or another form of payment. Their job is to identify potential targets. The groomer is likely a recent high school graduate living on their own, without a job (or not enough of a job to pay their expenses). The whole purpose of step 1 is to establish trust.

                                                    Step 2
                                                           Intoxicate – The friend introduces drugs and /or alcohol. If the targeted teen has already experimented the groomer will increase the frequency of use and ease of access.
                                                        Step 3
                                                               Alienate - The groomer will be very polite in front of the parents, but when alone the groomer is constantly trying to drive a wedge between the teen and the parents. “Your mom is such a b¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬…... She treats you like a child.” “Your father grounded you for that? He never lets you do anything.” “I bet you can’t wait to get out that house.”
                                                            Step 4
                                                                    Isolate – The groomer will begin to slowly separate the teen from their other friends and introduce new friends.
                                                                Step 5
                                                                        Desensitize – The groomer knows this really cool guy. He is an up and coming rapper. Sometimes he works as a DJ at some of the coolest clubs in town. He is fun, has money, and is always on his way to a party. After a friendship develops he offers to get your teen into a club even though she is underage. He is working a private party and can put her on the guest list. That happens a time or two. The teen gets to sneak a few drinks at the club and hang out with a group of people who are four or five years older. The people at the club fawn over the teen and make her feel very special. The newest friends reinforce the same idea the groomer started. “Your parents are the worst. If you ever need a place to stay just give me a call.”
                                                                          A cool girl is introduced. She is nice, fun, and pretty. She has her own apartment and seems to have money. A new friendship is developing. Then it is revealed that the cool girl is a dancer. She dances in videos and makes appearances at clubs with the rapper and gets paid for it. Can you believe that? Life is so easy when you are pretty and cool. Who needs college or parents?
                                                                      Step 6
                                                                              Capitalize – They take advantage of the right opportunity when it presents itself. It could be the teen getting into trouble or fighting with the parents. Or it could be an offer to take a ride with the rapper right after the 18th birthday. It happens with younger teens too, but a girl who just turned 18 is a real target. Your daughter goes to a party and disappears. If she is 18 law enforcement is handcuffed. Unless there is clear evidence of a crime, she is just another young adult who decided to leave home. If the people who led her away can keep her away for three weeks the chances you will ever see your daughter again decrease significantly.
                                                                        And advice for parents:
                                                                               1. Be watching for the any signs of the [pattern] above.
                                                                                 2. Never worry about being over protective. In our case it all started with friends from high school. The people involved are not limited to the inner city. Talk to your girls about the risks of trafficking. Maybe the awareness will help them be less susceptible to it.
                                                                                   3. Forget about privacy. The fourth amendment to the Constitution protects citizens of the United States from our government against unreasonable searches of their houses, papers, and effects. Children of parents have no right to privacy. We have a responsibility to search EVERYTHING. Install an application like mobistealth or Mobil-spy on your kid’s phone. Mobile-spy monitors a few more things, mobistealth doesn’t let the child know a monitoring application is installed.
                                                                                     4. Beware of Snapchat. It is extremely difficult to monitor effectively and it is used brilliantly by teens trying to escape detection. The only luck we had with Snapchat was to literally grab my daughter’s phone unexpectedly (before she could log out of the app) and look at recent communications, but even that had limited effectiveness.
                                                                                       5. Insist on having all the passwords. If your child gives you all the passwords and does not object to you monitoring their communications, beware of a second account. Apparently it is common for teens to have an account their parents know about and one they don’t. Kids these days may struggle with basic algebra, but when it comes to covert communications they are like CIA operatives.
                                                                                         6. Get a second phone with the sole purpose of having it linked to your teen’s phone. Do it at the Apple Store before you give the new phone to your child. You will be to see texts, who is calling, who is calling, what websites have been visited, etc. This approach is less comprehensive than mobistealth or Mobile-spy, but it is less expensive and easier.

                                                                                    Other Stuff:
                                                                                    • Related: "Will There Be An Internal Revolt Against Trump?"--Commentary Magazine. Tevi Troy warns about the opposition that Trump will face from essentially bureaucrats that are virtually impossible to fire. Quoting Steven Hayward, he notes: “That bureaucratic government is the partisan instrument of the Democratic Party is the most obvious, yet least remarked upon, trait of our time.”
                                                                                    • Related: "Saul Alinsky Leaves the White House"--The American Spectator. "When Barack Obama leaves the White House tomorrow, he leaves with his worst dreams unrealized. Still, what he leaves behind is awful. Thank goodness he’ll be gone." A run down of Obama's subversions of the government, failures, and scandals. 
                                                                                    ... Soros’s global reach and influence far outstrip those of the Koch brothers or other liberal bogeymen—and that underlying it all is a vision both dystopian and opportunistic. “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order,” Soros has declared, “is the United States.” Ergo, that constitutional republic must be weakened and its allies degraded. The Sorosian world order—one of open borders and global governance, antithetical to the ideals and experience of the West—could then assume command.
                                                                                    This is one of the most in-depth articles I've seen about Soros and his background and philosophy. Read the whole thing.
                                                                                           The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and insome places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate at Bergen Norway.
                                                                                             Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.
                                                                                               Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.
                                                                                                 Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
                                                                                                  Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
                                                                                                     Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
                                                                                                  Key point is that what he wrote is a quote from a November 2, 1922, Washington Post article. He also linked to a 1922 report from NOAA's own archives that says basically the same thing.
                                                                                                         I. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishment or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was his Almighty power to do . . .
                                                                                                            II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
                                                                                                             III. And though we well know that this assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the act of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such as would be an infringement of natural right.
                                                                                                          Thus, rather then reject God, the statute expressly recognizes God. And, more important for the present discussion, it does not stand for the proposition that the government can coerce a person to act against their religious beliefs (such as baking cakes for gay weddings), but that it instead provides the negative right that government is not allowed to coerce someone to do something contrary to their beliefs. This right, to be free of government coercion, is exactly what the godless progressives reject. (See, e.g., "LGBTI Australians: Churches, Pastors, Bakers Can't Say No to Gay Marriage"--PJ Media).
                                                                                                            From the broad differences between East and West, to subtle variation between US states, it is becoming increasingly clear that history, geography and culture can change how we all think in subtle and surprising ways – right down to our visual perception. Our thinking may have even been shaped by the kinds of crops our ancestors used to farm, and a single river may mark the boundaries between two different cognitive styles. 
                                                                                                              The article goes on to discuss how most social research is based on studies conducted of Westerners, primarily Americans. It was assumed that "people are people" and there was no real differences between how people think and understand the world. But studies that included other people showed differently, and it has now become clear that Westerners are outliers. For instance:
                                                                                                                Some of the most notable differences revolved around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. Generally speaking - there are many exceptions - people in the West tend to be more individualist, and people from Asian countries like India, Japan or China tend to be more collectivist
                                                                                                                  Which, by itself, is a good argument against allowing immigration. In any event, although the main theory is that these differences are due to culture--for instance, that Americans are more individualistic because we are descendants of pioneers--other theories believe that there is a biological mechanism: infection. 
                                                                                                                    In 2008, Corey Fincher (now at the University of Warwick) and colleagues analysed global epidemiological data to show a region’s score of individualism and collectivism appear to correlate with disease prevalence: the more likely you are to get infection, the more collectivist you are, and the less individualistic. The rough idea is that collectivism, characterised by greater conformity and deference to others, may make people more conscientious about avoiding the behaviours that could spread disease. It has been difficult to prove that the apparent correlations in the real world are not caused by some other factor, such as the relative wealth of the country, but lab experiments offer some support for the idea – when psychologists prime people to feel afraid of disease, they do seem to adopt more collectivist ways of thinking, such as greater conformity to group behaviours.
                                                                                                                    Yet another theory, arising out of studies of Chinese, suggests that the types of crops may have impacted cultures: rice is labor intensive and requires close cooperation (matching with collectivism) while wheat does not require the same level of cooperation (matching with individualism).
                                                                                                                    • A sign of the times? "Lots of corpse flowers bloomed in 2016 and nobody knows why"--BBC. 
                                                                                                                    • "How Irish falconry changed language"--BBC. Apparently Shakespeare was a falconer and brought falconry terms into the English language to be used as idioms and figures of speech. Examples are: "Under your thumb" (referring to pinching the jesses, or tethers, of the hawk between your thumb and hand), "wrapped around your finger" (referring to then wrapping the tail of the jesses around your finger for even greater control of the bird), "hoodwinked" (putting a hood on the hawk to keep it from being distracted), "rouse" (which now means to awaken came from a term for hawks taking flight), and "fed up" (from feeding the hawk to the point where it will no longer hunt). Anyway, read the whole thing. It's interesting.
                                                                                                                    Updated 1/23/2017 (correction of typographical errors).

                                                                                                                    Friday, January 20, 2017

                                                                                                                    From the Archives: Is Allah = Satan?

                                                                                                                    (Originally posted July 1, 2012)

                                                                                                                        This week, I want to return to the Anti-Christ may be Muslim (or related to Islam) theory from last week. First, some background. Last week I had posted about the identity of Gog and Magog, spurred by Joel Richardson's theory that the anti-Christ is Muslim (or, at least, derives his initial authority from Islam) and the nations under his rule represent a latter-day Caliphate empire. In this regard, Mr. Richardson specifically notes that the popular conception that Magog is Russia (or part of Russia) is wrong. He goes on to note that Biblical scholars place Magog in the heart of Turkey.
                                                                                                                    The question that Bereans and students of Bible prophecy must now ask ourselves is: Why is there such a radical discrepancy between Magog’s identification according to popular belief, and these various scholarly resources? Are the atlases and the many conservative scholars that created them all wrong? Or are the prophecy teachers wrong? How have the two groups arrived at such different conclusions?

                                                                                                                    The answer lies in the different methods of interpretation used by these two groups. Most conservative, trained scholars of the Bible use what is called the historical-grammatical method of interpretation. This is to say that they simply identify the names found within Ezekiel’s prophecy according to how Ezekiel himself would have understood them. Thus in the late seventh and early sixth century B.C. when Ezekiel prophesied, Magog, Meshech and Tubal were known to have dwelt in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey.

                                                                                                                    Far too many prophecy teachers use what I call the bloodline-migration method. This method of interpreting the names within prophecy attempt to trace the bloodlines, intermarrying and migration of the ancient peoples mentioned within a prophecy to link them to their modern-day descendants and the nations where they now live. But this method is fraught with problems, variables and inconsistencies. When using this method, five different teachers will, and usually do, arrive at five different conclusions. None uses this method consistently, with each interpreter stopping at random periods of history, whenever it may suits his view and provide the result desired. Because there is such an abundance of data out there, and a few millennia between the ancient prophecies and modern times, the data are easy to manipulate and mold to one’s own prophetic bias.

                                                                                                                         In my post, I noted another traditional identification of Magog with the Scythians, based on writings by Josephus and ancient Greek writers. (See, e.g., herehere and here). However, Dr. Jeffrey Goodman commented that even this interpretation is incorrect. From his article on the subject:

                                                                                                                    The popular identification of the nations of Ezekiel 38-39 is not correct. Despite the traditional viewpoint, professional archeologists know the identity of these nations from the Assyrian Royal Court records. The reliable, clear and detailed records of Assyrian Royal Court show they dealt directly with each of these nations about 100 years before Ezekiel wrote. These are the same records that are referred to in Ezra 4:15, 19 and 5:17-6:7. These passages tell how the Jews of the fifth century BC 538 BC–457 BC overcame opposition by the local Persian governor to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem by referring to these same Assyrian cuneiform court records. They are also the same records Bible scholars now use to provide independent verification and edification of the Bible's historical accounts from about 805 BC to 530 BC.

                                                                                                                    The Assyrian Royal Court records provide direct evidence and represent an incontestable primary source on this subject, since they were written during the time period in question by people who were directly involved. Primary sources have greater value than secondary sources, which can include generalizations, speculation and interpretations made long after the occurrence of the events. On this particular subject, too often what has been written about these countries constitutes secondary evidence and is not based on facts. In some instances statements are the product of mischief, bias or not studying all of the available information.

                                                                                                                    The Assyrian Court records show dealings with Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:3-6), the nations that stretched across ancient Asia Minor (modern Turkey) from west to east. From these records we also learn that the ancient nation of Gomer (Ezekiel 38:6), an enemy of the Assyrians invaded Asia Minor by coming down from an area around the northeast shore of the Black Sea. Archeologists know that the militant leader called "Gog" in Ezekiel 38/39 led a confederacy of these nations against invading Gomer.
                                                                                                                    Dr. Goodman also writes:
                                                                                                                    Gog is a historical man who the Greeks called Gyges of Lydia. In Gyges of Lydia we have the leader the Assyrians called "Gugu, King of Ludu," and "Gugu of Magugu," who is referred to in the Bible as Gog of Magog. "Magog" simply means "the land of Gog." In Akkadian ma means land, so in Akkadian Ma- gugu means "the land of Gugu," which becomes our Ma-gog. (Just as the Assyrian eponym for the land of the leader called Zamua is rendered as Ma-zamua). Magog is an eponym for the ancient nation of Lydia that was in the westernmost part of Asia Minor. The Assyrians often referred to a new land by the name of the first leader they learned of from this land. The Assyrians dealt with Lydia through Meshech, who were subsequently defeated by Gomer, and thus the Assyrians finally came to deal with Lydia directly. In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39 Gog is being used as a "historical type" of the "antichrist" who is prophesied to come during the end times, and Magog is being used as a "historical type" of "the land of the antichrist."
                                                                                                                    So, once again we are back to Turkey, and the possibility that the anti-Christ system may be Muslim or derived from Islam.

                                                                                                                         Joel Richardson has published on this topic, and I would recommend reading some of his material. However, I came across a different approach recently that looked at the nature and personality of Allah based on Muslim writings, and which notes that the personality of Satan and Allah are similar. The Hesperado blog looks at the question of whether Islam is a Satanic religion in a couple of essays (here and here). In his first essay, he explains:
                                                                                                                    That hypothesis is, simply put, that Islam is not only “Satanic” in a loosely poetic or rhetorical sense—an adjective likely to be interpreted even among many in the still inchoate anti-Islamic movement as hyperbolic—and not only even a Satanist cult (albeit the largest, longest-lasting and most successful such cult in history), but positively and directly a creation of Satan himself.

                                                                                                                    And not only that: today’s essay will explore this rather egregious premise by presuming to palpate the mind of Satan himself.
                                                                                                                    He further notes:
                                                                                                                    It may well be that defeating God is not Satan’s ultimate aim, because he knows he cannot defeat God, so he sets his sights one step lower—merely to try to destroy as much of Creation as possible, out of the motive, again, of sheer hatred. Knowing he is ultimately (i.e., eschatologically) doomed, he nevertheless desires to bring down as much  of Creation with him as possible before that time. This would be a rather tangential point that does not detract from our overall diagnosis of Satan’s psyche and its effects.

                                                                                                                    According to the New Testament, when God became Man in Jesus Christ, this was a moment in history that particularly wounded Satan. Things had been going swimmingly for him up until then. The Ecumene was devolving into a bewildering confusion of religions, sects, philosophies, mystery cults and so forth. On top of this, collisions of Empires—first the Macedonian vs. the Persian, then the Roman vs. the Persian and others—were causing enormous dislocations, materially and existentially. People were losing hope, or were flailing about sampling from the cafeteria of meanings of life in a desperate attempt at trying to recapture the former stability of belief offered by the previous pagan mythologies. The birth, life and mission of Jesus Christ, Son of God, threatened to spoil, if not ruin, this rampant welter of misery and confusion that had so pleased Satan.
                                                                                                                     * * * 
                                                                                                                    Islamic Paradise as it is envisioned in various writings of the Sunna (and suggested here and there in the Koran) is a massively crass testament to the lust for material pleasure and power. Thus, Islam inculcates a stubborn incomprehension of, and indeed hostility to, Christian virtues such as humility, meekness, self-abasing charity to others, strength in weakness, wisdom through suffering, and the sublimation of the appetite for power and material pleasure even in the context of the ultimate eschatological rewards. (It is of interest to note that Hitler also expressed bitter contempt for these Christian virtuesand at least once in a context of expressing admiration for Islam!)

                                                                                                                    This Satanicand Islamicpenchant for expressing right through might, and in turn, might through material displays of what power can deliver, is found then in Satans enticement to Jesus in Luke 4:5-7 and what he will gain by rejecting his divine suffering:
                                                                                                                    And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
                                                                                                                    In the aforementioned short article I wrote on this blog, I called attention to an interestingly disquieting similarity between this enticement of Satanmore specifically, the synoptic version of it in Matthew 4:8-9 which does not differ in substance from Lukes accountand the following passage from the Koran offering to its slavish followers an enticement in the ultimate satisfaction of their material appetites which they shall receive as the reward for their fanatical submission:
                                                                                                                    And when you behold Paradise, you will see all around you delights and a vast kingdom.
                                                                                                                    (Koran 76:20)
                                                                                                                    In the second essay linked to above, Hesperado looks at some additional verses from the Koran and compares them to scriptures from the Bible to further illustrate the fundamental anti-Christ beliefs of Islam. Read the whole thing.

                                                                                                                    Thursday, January 19, 2017

                                                                                                                    Video: "How to Reload a Defensive Shotgun" from Lucky Gunner Ammo

                                                                                                                    Some tips on refining your reloading techniques from a side-saddle mount on the weapon. He shows how to do it with the brass-down (the easiest), or the brass up to keep it from sliding out.

                                                                                                                    January 19, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                    "Japan | No Country for Islam - Here's Why"--Black Pigeon Speaks. The video discusses why Tokyo, the most populous city in the world, has not suffered a Jihadist terrorist attack. The answer is simple: Japan and the Japanese do not accept immigrants, and restrict the number of aliens that may enter the country. Also, according to the video, there are only about 75,000 Muslims in Japan (the majority being foreign workers that are present in the country), and they are the subject of surveillance, as are the few Mosques. In short, the government of Japan values the safety of its people over the virtue signaling of its leaders.


                                                                                                                    Other Stuff: 
                                                                                                                         When I was a little girl in my native Belgium, I was put to work as a sex slave.
                                                                                                                           My mother sold me, and drove me wherever, whenever she got the call. The boss of this pedophile network was a Belgian cabinet minister. The clients were members of the elite. I recognized people from television. Their faces were familiar to the masses, while I was confronted with the dark side of their power addiction — the side no one would believe existed. I came across VIP's, European heads of state, and even a member of a royal family.
                                                                                                                             Around my sixth birthday, in 1969, I was taken to an orgy for the first time, in a castle. I was used for an S&M show, on a low stage, chained up with an iron dog collar, and made to eat human feces. 
                                                                                                                        The author relates that at one point, where she complained and threatened to go to the police, she was taken to a "dungeon" and shown the corpse of another child. She stayed quiet. She also relates that the children (mostly boys, but sometimes the girls) would be tortured or even killed. When the ring was exposed in 1996, the only person punished was Marc Dutroux, who only received life in prison.
                                                                                                                               Civil-service reform, beginning with the 1883 Pendleton Act, was supposed to protect us from Jacksonian politics, creating a merit system that tied the president’s hands in patronage appointments. That was meant to give us an efficient government, free of corruption, with rule by scientific experts.
                                                                                                                                 Instead, we got rule by stale ideologues. Today, when the “deep state” of federal workers is so wholly opposed to Trump, and is so partisan in its opposition, when they’ll do whatever they can to frustrate Trump’s policies, there’s an argument to be made for a return to politics and an abandonment of our faith in rule by politically neutral experts.

                                                                                                                              * * *

                                                                                                                                     Of course, it’s naïve to expect that the deep state will be single-mindedly loyal to the United States.
                                                                                                                                       Bureaucrats have their own interests. They’ll want to keep their jobs, above all, and they’ll be aligned to the kinds of policies that make their jobs more secure. The deep state loves the government that employs them and will seek to subvert an administration that threatens them.
                                                                                                                                  This, and a whole raft of other progressive "reforms" in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries need to be reversed, including the end of government employment being a "property right."
                                                                                                                                  • "And Now The Left’s War On Normal Americans Truly Begins"--Kurt Schlichter at Townhall. He writes: "The left and its establishment allies are desperate to regain the power they see slipping away, and we need to understand that the only way to stop them is to beat them to a pulp and leave them whimpering in the fetal position, crying out for their genderfluid mommies."
                                                                                                                                  • You've probably seen headlines touting that 2016 was, for yet another year in a row, the hottest year ever (although temperature date only goes back to the late 1800s, and reliable data sets are much younger). Glenn Reynolds notes: "Increase is one-hundredth of a degree. Margin of error is a tenth of a degree. So it’s all bullshit." For a lengthier explanation, see "Satellite Records and Slopes Since 1998 are Not Statistically Significant. (Now Includes November and December Data)" at Watts Up With That.
                                                                                                                                  • China goes begging to Devos attendees to save China from Trump: "China President Xi Jinping: 'No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war'"--CNBC. President Xi Jinping is the first Chinese president to visit the WEF (World Economic Forum), and "[h]e used the forum to promote inclusive globalization and warn that populist approaches can lead to war and poverty. He also warned that tit-for-tat trade controls would benefit no one." China restricts foreigners in investing or buying property, and does not take in foreigners. Globalism, for China, is a one-way street, and it only leads from China to other countries.
                                                                                                                                  • Life in a white-minority town: "ACLU Official Mocks Elderly White People, Tells Them They Have ‘Five Years Left’"--The Daily Caller. The city is Rialto, California, which is 72% Hispanic. The article reports that "Luis Nolasco, a community engagement and policy advocate for the ACLU of Southern California, stood up to speak at the city council meeting and attacked many of the white people present, saying they are not actual residents of Rialto." This is what happens when you let the camel into the tent.
                                                                                                                                  • A word from Vox Day: "By signing the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 and instituting the Great Society, LBJ murdered the American nation-state, which no longer exists any more than the Chickesaw nation in northern Mississippi or the Cherokee nation in Georgia do. The USA is now a multinational, multicultural, multireligious state, with less stability and worse long-term prospects than the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1900."