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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

  • "Carrying a Pocket Pistol"--Handguns. Although this article addresses carrying a pistol small enough to fit in your pocket, including caliber choices and the pro's and con's to such small handguns, it also discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages to actually carrying a firearm in a pocket. The author writes, in that regard:
For those who may be considering carrying a pocket pistol, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of this carry method. First, let’s consider some of the advantages to carrying a pocket pistol.
Pocket-carried pistols are lightweight, easy to conceal and convenient to bear. Pocket pistol carry doesn’t require the use of an over-garment, nor will you have to endure the discomfort sometimes associated with waistline carry, particularly with extended periods of sitting.

    A small pocket pistol can be easily slipped into a pocket regardless of weather conditions and takes virtually no time to don. The convenience of pocket carry means you’ll probably carry your gun more often.

      Even when carrying a pocket pistol, however, there are a few clothing-related issues to consider. First, you’ll want to wear pants substantial enough both to accommodate the weight of your gun and to mask the outline of your holstered gun to some degree. Jeans are ideal, dress pants might work, and fortunately, yoga pants don’t have pockets.

        Wear pants with a pocket opening wide enough to allow you to access your pocket pistol easily. Even though you won’t need a belt to attach your holster to, wearing a belt with pocket carry is still a good idea because it helps prevent the weight of your holstered pocket pistol from causing your pants to sag, which could garner unwanted attention.

          You can also tote a small pistol in a cargo pocket of your pants or shorts. Cargo pockets are larger, and therefore it is easier to get to your gun. But it’s also more likely your holster will move in your pocket in such a way that your pocket pistol is not properly oriented.

            Also, since cargo pockets tend to be so much bigger than a front pants pocket, having the holster adhere to the pocket during your draw stroke is more problematic.

              In cold weather, coat pocket carry may be a viable option. This is certainly a specialized carry method, often incorporating a double-action snubnose revolver.

                If you’re using a snubnose revolver, you can get away without using a holster because of the heavy, long double-action trigger and because there’s no slide to get bound up inside the pocket. The idea here is you could actually shoot through your coat pocket without drawing because you can orient the gun parallel to the ground while in the coat pocket.
                  If you’re carrying a semiauto pocket pistol in that coat pocket, you’re going to have to use a holster, and of course, you won’t be shooting without first drawing the pistol out of the holster and out of the pocket.
                  • "‘In The Air’ With The CCI 9mm BIG 4 Shotshells"--The Firearms Blog. The author tries, and fails, to shoot a pigeon using these new shotshells with larger shot. The problem, of course, is that the rifling in the barrel destroys any tight patterning needed for killing a bird, and there just isn't enough pellets or propellant for the distances involved. In short, these types of rounds are only effective at a few feet or less. I know that, at least in the past, that there were those that believed that these rounds might be good for self-defense. If you are one of those, put the thought out of your mind. These shotshell rounds lack the power to kill small, thin-skinned animals beyond even a few feet: they will not work against a human. 
                  • "Reloading Techniques for Your Handgun"--Handguns. A primmer for reloading both a revolver and semi-auto pistol.
                  • "NEW Authentic Molot Factory AKs From K-VAR"--The Firearms Blog. Somehow they have figured out how to get parts in notwithstanding the current sanctions against Russia. Perhaps the sanctions don't extend to Molot? Small consolation for those of us that would like to see some of the new products from Kalashnikov be imported.
                  • R-selection at its worst: "Aid Workers Accused of Rampant Sex With Migrants in Calais ‘Jungle Camp’"--Heat Street. Interestingly, it appears that most of the aid workers involved in the scandal are women.
                  • "Don’t Look Now, but the Global Oil Surplus Just Tripled"--American Interest. The author of the piece notes:
                  ... it’s worth taking a step back to look at the bigger energy picture here: the world is awash in oil (and natural gas too, for that matter), and those cheap hydrocarbon inputs will be welcomed by all sectors of the global economy besides, of course, the oil and gas industry. Moreover, it bodes well for future global energy security that after all the peak oil hand wringing, suppliers around the world keep finding and extracting more and more of one of civilization’s most important commodities.
                  • Related: "How Cheap Crude Is Hurting Saudi Arabia"--American Interest. According to the article, not only is the sharp drop in oil revenue resulting in job losses in the construction sector of the Saudi market (which is not that significant since most of the workers are foreigners), but also hitting the Saudi middle-class. How so? According to an article from Reuters on the same topic, two-thirds (2/3) of working Saudis are employed by the government, and the government is cutting their wages and benefits.
                  Researchers analyzed temperature observations from satellites, weather balloons, weather stations and buoys and found the so-called “tropical hotspot” relied upon by the EPA to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant “simply does not exist in the real world.”
                    They found that once El Ninos are taken into account, “there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about.”
                     Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company that specializes in underground bunkers and services scores of Los Angeles residences, says that sales at the most upscale end of the market — mainly to actors, pro athletes and politicians (who require signed NDAs) — have increased 700 percent this year compared with 2015, and overall sales have risen 150 percent. 
                    The article has some photographs of various features of some of the bunkers, including secret doors to access the bunker, living and recreation quarters, garages, etc. 
                    There is no possible solution for African-American angst in America. No matter what we do — trillions in welfare, lawsuits, benefits, affirmative action and draconian civil rights laws — they will always know that this society was founded by people other than them, designed for people other than them, and that African-Americans are only here because they were sold in Africa to slave traders for use as farm labor here.
                      Even with a black President, and former black Secretaries of Defense and State, with black Supreme Court justices and Martin Luther King Jr. as our official American Gandhi, black discontent roils. It does so not because of poverty, but because of the denial of pride.
                        For African-Americans, or any other population, to have pride in their nation they need to know it was founded by them, designed for them, and ruled by them since its creation. They need to have a sense of belonging that comes only from being the group that is the nation, and not one group of many, especially not one whose original utility was as chattel labor.
                          No matter what we do in response to this latest shooting and the resulting riots, nothing can ever be done that will make African-Americans happy, because the condition of their unhappiness is created by diversity.

                          Tuesday, September 27, 2016

                          September 27, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                          Source: "It's the wild, wild EAST: Beijing's abandoned Western film sets created when Communist Party bosses banned Hollywood cowboy flicks and told Chinese directors to make their own"--Daily Mail.

                          • Related: "Contact Medicine"--Brushbeater. The author notes that "If you’re planning on taking up arms, plan on getting hurt." The article discusses training and equipment for an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK).
                          (H/t for both articles: Western Rifle Shooting Assoc.)
                          • "Violent crime and murders both went up in 2015, FBI says"-- from today's Washington Post. From the article: "Homicides in the United States went up by more than 10 percent in 2015 over the year before, while violent crime increased by nearly 4 percent in the same period, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI."
                          Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Developmental Company Limited (DHID), as well as its chairwoman Ma Xiaohong and three top executives, were charged with conspiring to evade sanctions against North Korea, including by facilitating money laundering through U.S. financial institutions.

                            DHID also is under investigation by Chinese authorities for its connection with Kwangson Banking Corporation, a North Korean bank suspected of financing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Ma Xiaohong was detained by Chinese authorities last month.
                            But there is more to the story than just money laundering. According to a recent YouTube episode of China Uncensored, DHID is also implicated in transferring materials to North Korea that are necessary for enriching uranium. 
                            I think China has been very foolish to trust North Korea with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. After all, based on the close ties between the two countries, it is more likely that North Korea will attack China than it will attack the United States.
                              The tide of economic migrants from the Third World to the First World is ever-increasing, because the populations of Third World countries have increased so drastically that they have no expectation of anything worthwhile if they stay there.  There will never be enough jobs, enough social support structures, enough housing, enough health care, to meet their needs:  so they're trying to move to a place that can offer them those things.  Unfortunately, by seeking to leech off the American or European taxpayer, they're imposing an impossible burden on us - one that's completely unsustainable.
                                That's what this election is all about.  If we allow Hillary Clinton's policies to prevail, the Third World will be all around us within a few years (it already is, in some parts of this country).  America will be dragged down - economically, socially, and in due course politically - to the level of most of South America.  If Donald Trump's policies prevail, the tide may yet be stemmed, and even, perhaps, reversed.  I'm not at all sure that Mr. Trump will make a good President;  but I am sure that in this area at least, the policies he's expressed are light years ahead of his opponent's.
                                • "When Resources Are Free – Bribing Turkey To Not Send Migrants"--Anonymous Conservative. AC writes about the EU's plan to send cash grants to Syrian refugees in Turkey, in exchange for which Turkey will (supposedly) restrict the flow of refugees into Europe. Besides noting that the funds will be siphoned off due to corruption, many of the refugees receiving the benefits won't actually be Syrian, and that Turkey will still not curb the migration to Europe, AC also notes that this is an r-strategy that will end as resources dry up:
                                  But the idea – buying what you should really be killing for – is the thing of interest. In times of K, migrants would be sunk in their boats, Erdogan would be assassinated if he didn’t stop it, and nobody would think twice about it. The number of times in history that Turks or Persians headed toward Europe proper, and were killed with nary a thought is beyond comprehension.
                                    But not today. Today, Erdogan threatens to let migrants leave, and Europe will send all sorts of earned European taxpayer money to him, for a solution that will only make the problem worse later. That can only happen in times or r-selection, when the brain adapts to avoid conflict at all costs, and assume resources will always be free.
                                    • "Darwin Unhinged: The Bugs in Evolution"--Fred On Everything. Fred Reed has a somewhat lengthy, but interesting--humorous at times--post regarding some of the intractable problems with evolution and why he believes it is a religious belief rather than science. He notes:
                                    First, plausibility was accepted as being equivalent to evidence. And of course the less you know, the greater the number of things that are plausible, because there are fewer facts to get in the way. Again and again evolutionists assumed that suggesting how something might have happened was equivalent to establishing how it had happened. Asking them for evidence usually aroused annoyance and sometimes, if persisted in, hostility.
                                    Second, evolution seemed more a metaphysics or ideology than a science. The sciences, as I knew them, gave clear answers. Evolution involved intense faith in fuzzy principles. You demonstrated chemistry, but believed evolution.
                                    But mostly Reed discusses the statistical impossibility for life to form let alone overcome the intractable problem of "irreducible complexity": i.e., "the frequently observed existence in living organisms of systems that depend for their functioning on the simultaneous presence of things that would be either useless or detrimental by themselves, and thus make no evolutionary sense." In addition, it is clear that evolutionary pressures (e.g., "survival of the fittest") does not adequately explain why certain characteristics are present (or absent) from many creatures.
                                    Reed does not seek to completely refute evolution nor does he accept standard "creationism" (obviously, the fossil record shows that some changes have occurred); rather, he argues that evolution is not science because it cannot demonstrably explain what it purports to explain. 
                                    • "I'm spiking the guns here on Sipsey Street Irregulars"--Sipsey Street Irregulars. Matthew writes: "A couple of days ago, I received some news that ended up shaking me to my very core.  After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to close the doors of the Sipsey Street Irregulars.  ..." Sounds like it might be a health issue. Best of luck to him.

                                    Using the Flex-Hone on a Winchester 92 Clone

                                    Some of you may remember that earlier this year, I had tried handloading the the Hornady FTX Bullet in .44 Magnum for use in a Rossi "Puma" Model 92 lever action (a Winchester 92 clone). When I shot some of the handloads, I discovered evidence of too high of pressures. I planned on reducing the loads and trying again, which required me to pull the bullets from the remaining cartridges (at least from the rounds wherein I had used 2400 powder).

                                    I haven't returned to the project yet, however, because of something else I found when examining the shell casings of the rounds I had fired. I had noticed that extraction was sometimes difficult with this firearm, and was extremely difficult with a few of the high pressure rounds. In examining the cases, which had fire-formed to reflect the walls of the chamber, I discovered some ridges indicating that the chamber was not as smooth and polished as it should be. So, before testing any other loads, I decided to see about polishing the chamber.

                                    Although there are instructions on the internet for making your own polishing tool using emery cloth and a spent casing, in looking around I found a product specifically for polishing chambers: the Flex-Hone.

                                    The Flex Hone (unused).
                                    I purchased my Flex-Hone through Midway, but I'm sure that other sellers carry it. Basically, it is a brush of the appropriate diameter with abrasive beads on the ends of each wire tip. The brushes are available in 400 or 800 grit, depending on the application. I would note that Flex-Hones are available not only for polishing chambers, but also for smoothing and polishing shotgun barrels. Obviously, they are available for different calibers and gauges, as well as different lengths. This particular brush was supposed to be the rifle-length brush for the .44 Magnum, but it is still fairly short.

                                    The Flex-Hone is intended to insert into a drill, with oil applied to the brush, and the brush run at speed in the chamber. The brush needs to already be rotating as you insert it into the chamber, and moved back and forth during the polishing process. The depth that it needs to be inserted depends on the firearm, but you want to make sure you do not contact the rifling in the barrel. I used a spent shell casing to gauge how far I could insert the brush.

                                    The Flex-Hone manufacturer recommended using its proprietary oil, but since I hadn't ordered any with it, I turned to just standard cutting oil. Not knowing how much time I should take, I tried to err on the side of caution and only ran the drill for about a minute, figuring I would test it out and do more polishing if necessary.

                                    Flex Hone in Drill with cutting oil.

                                    In any event, to use the Flex-Hone, I had to disassemble the firearm in order to remove the bolt to allow easier access to the chamber. I won't go into details on disassembling the Model 92, but I relied on a video from Gun & Shot TV entitled "Rossi R92 50 Cent Action Job (Winchester 92 Clone)" that describes the disassembly and assembly process. (I have also embedded the video below). However, I do have a couple comments regarding reassembly of the firearm that are not covered in the video.

                                    The problem with reassembling the firearm is getting the hammer assembly to fit together correctly with a cutout on the bottom of the bolt and the arms of the trigger assembly. The trigger spring on the 92 is also used as the catch on the sear, so it is easy to bind up the trigger if it is not inserted correctly. To make it more interesting, on my particular rifle at least, the fit of the grooves that guide the trigger assembly into place were tight enough that I needed a light mallet to tap it back into place.

                                    In any event, after several failed attempts, I figured out that the correct method of reassembly required that the hammer be in a full upright position (i.e., resting against the back of the firing pin), and the trigger needs to be kept depressed (i.e., pulled to the rear) so the trigger spring/sear catch did not get caught up behind the hammer assembly or in one of the sear cuts. Also, the hammer spring needs to be on its guide rod and compressed so that the tip of the guide rod can be seated into its catch on the trigger assembly/bottom stock tang.

                                    To compress the hammer spring (which is a coil spring), you should note that there is a tiny hole near the end of the guide rod. Insert a wire or pin (a regular size paper clip works perfect) all the way through so it extends past both edges of the spring, then twist the spring so it screws down along the wire. You want to compress it so about 1/8 inch or so of guide rod is exposed. To hold the trigger back, I recommend just wrapping a rubber band around the front of the trigger and run behind the projection into which the hammer spring seats, tightening it until the trigger is fully depressed. I'm sure a piece of string would also work.

                                    If the bolt, the lever and the hammer assembly is positioned correctly, the trigger assembly/lower tang should slide into place without difficulty. Once it is in place and the screw/pin for the hammer and trigger assembly replaced, just remove the paper clip and the rubber band and everything should operate correctly. Then you can replace the butt stock and be done.

                                    Monday, September 26, 2016

                                    September 26, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                    Source: "The ghosts of Asia's financial collapse: Mansions destined to belong to the super-rich lie abandoned in Bangkok following 1997 banking disaster"--Daily Mail. Not entirely abandoned--the article notes that squatters live in some of the mansions.

                                    • "Oregon Can’t Postpone Judgment Day Forever"--American Interest. According to the article, Oregon has $22 billion in unfunded pension debt, and is facing an $855 million budget hit after the Oregon Supreme Court struck down proposed pension reforms. 
                                    GOP nominee Donald Trump and Republicans might be counting on an "October surprise" of embarrassing material about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton obtained through Russian espionage against the Democratic Party, but what if the real October surprise is public disclosure of, or intelligence leaks about, the true extent of Russian espionage and, very possibly, possible Russian or pro-Russian Ukrainian financial relationships that could be a game-ending disaster for the Trump campaign?
                                    Glenn Reynolds goes further, after noting an article about an investigation into ties between a Trump adviser and the Kremlin, and wonders if the Democrats (via the FBI) end October by indicting Trump and a bunch of his staff. I think I could safely predict that such an action would cause some social unrest. Would the Democrats (and Republican) establishment go this far? Maybe. As the Anonymous Conservative so ably states: "I have to think if this continues as it could, it would almost require some sort of countermeasure deployed by the elites, be it election hacking, or something more serious. I cannot imagine that they will surrender their power on some quaint principle like respect for the American electoral system."
                                    Nick Cohen warns in the Guardian that the "new elite" for so long unchallenged is now facing its self-generated Nemesis: "the often demagogic and always deceitful nationalism ... of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin." He explains that while part of the blame must lie with orthodox leftists "who respond to the challenge of argument by screaming for the police to arrest the politically incorrect or for universities to ban speakers," things have gone altogether too far in the other direction to ignore. "Only true liberalism can thwart the demagogues" now he writes. Otherwise the upstarts might gain power and treat the globalist elites exactly the way they treated others. 
                                    The strategy of "by any means necessary" appeals to the militants confident they possess the truth and are on the "right side of history." For them the rules are made to be broken. They could cheat because history gave them license to. "By any means necessary is a translation of a phrase used by the French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre in his play Dirty Hands. It entered the popular civil rights culture through a speech given by Malcolm X at the Organization of Afro-American Unity Founding Rally on June 28, 1964. It is generally considered to leave open all available tactics for the desired ends, including violence."
                                    The problem is that the strategy works when only one side employs it. When both sides employ it equally, they become locked in a race to the bottom. ...

                                    TFB--"Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis"

                                    The Firearms Blog has posted a review of the Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis. (There are photos in the TFB review, or more photos at Matador Arms' website). Basically, this is an aluminum "chassis" designed to hold the guts of an SKS, and provides a fore-grip that sports Picatinny rails. The system is designed to accept AR pistol grips (none are provided with the system) and take an AR butt stock (I assume you will have to also purchase the buffer tube). As you can see, it is designed to take the "duck-bill" detachable magazines designed for the SKS (I presume, but don't know, that it can be used with the fixed 10-round magazine). Other accessories are available, including a top sight rail to fit over the bolt assembly for mounting a scope or moving a red-dot back closer to your eyes, and an extended magazine release. The chassis is available in black, flat-dark earth, and woodland digital camo according to Matador's website. Weight is 2.2 lbs., and the price is about $250 from the company's U.S. dealer.

                                    Based on appearances, this appears to be the best after-market stock system I've seen for the SKS, offering a solid platform for mounting optics or other items on the front end of the weapon, and opening up a large field of different options as to the rear stock and pistol grip. The magazine well is probably a nice feature, as I imagine it assists in correctly aligning the magazine for seating.

                                    However, as I noted in my earlier review of the SKS, from the perspective of survival preparations, I question the value of spending substantial amounts of money upgrading the SKS in order to turn it into something that it is not--a modern sporting rifle. The exception I see would be if you had a substantial amount already invested in the weapon system (ammunition, extra magazines, and so forth). In that case, the potential for increasing accuracy due to the rigid chassis* and the added options that this chassis offers might be worth the investment. Otherwise, I would stand by my original assessment in my review of the SKS that you would be better to save your pennies and upgrade from the SKS to another weapon system.

                                    On the other hand, if you like tinkering with rifles (and the SKS has quite a bit of unexplored potential in that area), and don't mind the cost, this may be just the thing.

                                    *Unfortunately, the TFB review does not discuss whether the chassis would increase accuracy, instead focusing on ergonomics.

                                    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

                                    September 21, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                    Source: "The buildings reclaimed by nature: Abandoned locations around the world which have now been completely overgrown"--Daily Mail.

                                    • Blacks riot in Charlotte, N.C., after a police shooting of a black man. Some of the headlines:
                                    • "US cities are becoming much more dangerous places"--Bayou Renaissance Man.  The author indicates that this is so because of (1) increased risks of terrorism, (2) the Ferguson effect (i.e., the de facto ceding of control of certain areas to urban gangs), and (3) "growing criminal violence, in terms of both inter-gang conflict and attempts to make certain areas 'no-go zones' to both rival gangs and the authorities." As to the latter point, Grant writes that the philosophy behind it is being imported from Latin America. He explains:
                                    The great danger, one that too many Americans don't yet recognize, is that people who've grown up with such gang violence and criminal terror are now present in this country in large numbers. The activities of the MS-13 gang are relatively well-known, but it's only one gang. There are many others, some of them even more violent. Criminals from almost every country in South America have crossed our borders with impunity, and set up operations here. Cartel hit-men have been active in Phoenix, Arizona and elsewhere. Hispanic gangs - both home-grown, and infused by 'talent' from south of the border - are trying to drive out black residents from areas in Los Angeles they consider 'theirs'. Conflict between hispanic and black communities in general, and criminal gangs in particular, has been growing for a long time.

                                    I'm waiting for the 'example' of BLM (which has almost certainly been inspired by the success of gangs in South America at making certain areas of cities 'ungovernable' by the authorities) to motivate such gangs to do likewise in their areas. It's a common progression all around the world. I saw it in South Africa during the years of the struggle against apartheid, where gangs of one political persuasion or another would seek to make a particular township 'theirs' and exclude all other shades of opinion. With certain suburbs now seemingly being downgraded by police, thanks to the 'Ferguson Effect', how long can it be before the same thing happens in some US cities?
                                    Grant also recommends that readers also consider a 2007 Vanity Fair article entitled "City of Fear" describing how gangs were nearly successful in obtaining complete control over São Paulo, Brazil, through a concerted attack on police and other government installations. As I've noted before, I foresee a convergence between terrorism and organized criminal gangs that will overshadow anything that has come before.
                                    • "An Ode to… GUNS: Russian marksmen plays Beethoven classics (and even Old McDonald Had a Farm) on a pair of pistols"--Daily Mail. The marksman is Vitaly Kryuchin, who is the head of the Russian Practical Shooting Federation. Video at the link.
                                    • "Ruger DISCONTINUING 77-Series of Bolt-Action Rifles"--The Firearms Blog. The 77-series of rifles are predominantly offered in rim-fired calibers, as well as .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. The article makes it sound as though the end of production could be temporary, but I doubt it. The rifles are priced at right around $1,000 to $1,100, which is pretty steep price for a bolt-action (but not target grade) rim-fire rifle, especially when other manufacturers and, even, Ruger itself (in its American Rifle line) offer bolt-action rim-fires for much less.
                                    • "Fate or Fashion: Why Some Calibers Live Forever"--The Truth About Guns. The author muses about what makes a caliber popular and widely adopted, versus others that may pop-up, experience a short term interest or popularity, and then fade into obscurity or oblivion. 
                                    Of course, one the factors seems to be whether a cartridge was a military cartridge since this leads to not only many men becoming familiar with the weapon through their military service, but also the availability of abundant, cheap surplus rifles and ammunition. (Of course, this factor cannot be all to it: rifles from Axis powers were inexpensive and widely available in the United States following WWII, yet, with the possible exception of the German 8 mm which has a small following, the military calibers from Japan and Italy are difficult to find and never achieved any lasting popularity. So this cannot be all there is to it. 
                                    The author suggests the other factor is more of culture and fashion. As an example, the author points to the .300 AAC Blackout as a cartridge that is popular because of it possessing both the attributes of being .30 caliber (an American favorite) and designed to be used in the AR-15 platform (currently America's favorite rifle), even though the round is ballistically substandard. The author also, for this reason, predicts that the current interest in 6.5 cartridges, including the Grendel, will fade. 
                                    I suspect a lot of the popularity of the .300 AAC is due to its ability to be used with a silencer, rather than the fact that it is .30 caliber. From my observations and reading, it seems that more Americans are participating and more interested in practical long range and precision shooting sports than previously, and, for that reason, I believe that the 6.5 calibers are here to stay.
                                    • "Review: Remington R-51 Gen 2 1000 Round Test"--The Firearms Blog. It passed with flying colors (other than not liking the Tula steel cased ammunition). However, the comments are still filled with those who apparently will never be willing to forgive Remington for the problems with the R51 when it was first released (although I doubt that these commentators would have bought one in any event). Glock has had its share of recalls; and I've never owned a pistol (and I've at one time or another owned copies of most of the popular police and military pistols used during the past few decades) that would reliably feed and shoot anything and everything I gave it. That is why you should test all new (or new to you) handguns out with your defensive ammunition before trusting you life to it.
                                    • Venezuela is having quite the run of "bad luck": "Oil Workers Starve as Venezuela’s Crude Output Collapses"--American Interest. Things are so bad that Venezuela is having to buy oil from the United States. The article also mentions:
                                    Two years ago it was reported that Venezuela needed oil prices to reach $120 per barrel in order to balance its budget. At ~$45 per barrel, oil prices a far cry from that so-called breakeven level, and bargain crude is sending the petrostate’s economy into a death spiral. Power shortages are forcing producers to cut output and oil services companies are refusing to cooperate with country’s state-owned oil company because they aren’t being paid for their work. Crises beget crises, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.
                                    The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has acknowledged the horror. A 2014 report from that office says that inside of North Korea "crimes against humanity" have been committed as a result of the state's policy. These include "extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."

                                      Crimes against humanity generally cost a regime its legitimacy, if not its sovereignty. And yet most national security professionals would regard the collapse of the North Korean slave state as a calamity. The reason for this is simple: all the nuclear weapons and material. A 2015 study from the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies estimated North Korea possessed 10 to 16 nuclear weapons, and will possess 20 to 100 such weapons by 2020. This says nothing of the highly enriched nuclear fuel the state has produced or the mobile rockets and longer-range missiles to launch the warheads.

                                        Trying to secure all this after a chaotic collapse or overthrow of the Kim regime would be a nightmare. General Raymond Thomas, who heads U.S. Special Operations Command, called a regime collapse in North Korea a "worst case scenario," at a conference hosted last week by the Institute for the Study of War. "In the event of the implosion of the region, we'd have the loose nuke dilemma on an industrial scale," the general said, describing it as a "vertical track meet between the Chinese and the South Koreans in terms of securing the nukes."
                                        I'm sure that South Korea, the U.S., and China all have plans about what to do--at least I hope they do. The problem, as I see it, is that as the North Korean regime becomes increasingly unstable, the risk of launching a preemptive strike increases. Unfortunately, the nation in the best position to step in and prevent this is China. This is unfortunate because I don't see China wanting to take a proactive role in this growing mess.
                                        • "Weaponizing Smallpox"--West Hunter. The author relates that small pox is one of the most potentially effective biological weapons to develop because it is very contagious, yet the country using it can easily immunize its own population against it. However, as vaccinations became widespread in the industrialized world, it value as a weapon declined. The author suggest that now, however, since small pox has long been eradicated and hardly anyone has been vaccinated for it in the past several decades, it is once again a viable biological weapon.

                                        Tuesday, September 20, 2016

                                        September 20, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                        Photographs of the S.S. United States, one of the fastest ocean liners every built, It was operated from 1952 to 1969 (Source: "Abandoned America: Photographer captures the past glories of the US which have now been left to crumble"--Daily Mail).

                                        A sweeping new survey by researchers at Harvard University and Northeastern University finds that roughly half of the nearly 300 million firearms in the United States are concentrated in the hands of a tiny sliver of the U.S. population: Just 3 percent [7.7 million] of American adults own some 130 million guns, according to The Trace and Guardian US, two news organizations that first reported on the survey. (The full survey has not yet been released; Guardian US and The Trace reported plans to publish a series of stories about the findings throughout the week.)
                                        This 3% of "super-owners," according to the study's authors, own on average 17 firearms apiece.  (Of course, that is assuming that there are only 300 million firearms in the United States, and that there are only 75 million gun owners). 
                                        I am deeply suspicious about surveys about gun ownership because most everyone I know follows a practice of not disclosing that the fact they own firearms to strangers for any reason, let alone disclosing how many they own. Consequently, I have a hard time believing that pollsters could find a meaningful sampling of gun owners that would answer their questions truthfully.
                                        On the other hand, many of the people I know that do a lot of shooting or hunting also own multiple firearms. Just like you can't golf effectively with but a single club, you can't have a single firearm to fulfill all your shooting needs. So perhaps there is some truth to the researchers' findings. 
                                          When the Apocalypse hits, and this becomes more common, the rabbits will realize why nations traditionally had borders, and only allowed individuals of like disposition to reside within them. This is why the third world remains the third world when technology and foreign aid is so ubiquitous. Statistically, there are just too many imbecilic savages which crop up within their populations.
                                            The only question will be, after the cleansing, will the populace realize why the punishment for treason by countrymen was traditionally death.
                                            • You've been warned: "Hillary Hates You"--by Kurt Schlichter at Townhall. Schlichter writes:
                                            There is one key fact to understand about Hillary Clinton, one unarguable truth that explains all of her terrible policy positions and her dishonest, self-defeating behavior. Everything she believes leads to this conclusion. Everything she does, even the stupid things that have hamstrung her, stem from it.
                                              Hillary Clinton hates you.
                                                She doesn’t dislike you. She is not irritated with you. She does not merely prefer the company of others, though she certainly does prefer the company of those who will either pay her or suck up to her.
                                                  She hates you.
                                                    You’re deplorable. You’re irredeemable. With a wave of her limp, clammy hand, this sick old woman dismisses you from the company of those whose opinions have value, whose interests matter, who have any moral claim to participation in self-governance. You are less than nothing. You are vermin to be, at best, driven from society.
                                                    Schlichter also warns what this will mean to "the Deplorables" if Hillary should be elected:
                                                      ... But if she wins, just imagine it. Imagine her hatred backed up by an energized federal government packed with her partisans.
                                                        Will the Justice Department check her? No, it will be a club to bludgeon her enemies into submission – and we know who her enemies are, don’t we?
                                                          Will the IRS check her? No, the IRS uproar will be not a cautionary example of government gone rogue but a template for the future.
                                                            Will the FBI check her? Get real. Comey is too busy counting his 30 pieces of silver while wearing a loincloth made from the pelt of his legendary integrity.
                                                              She hates us. We are deplorable. We are irredeemable. And so neither she nor her loyal minions have any self-imposed moral limits on what they may do to us to ensure that we are utterly crushed. Take away our rights? Strip away our livelihoods? Prevent our participation in our own governance? It’s open season on us, all because she hates us.
                                                              • "The proof a vitamin pill really CAN help you see better: TV's Dr Michael Mosley tried it himself"--Daily Mail. Mosley was trying to replicate findings from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, at the Waterford Institute of Technology. It had performed research indicating that taking a supplement containing a mixture of the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin can improve your vision by protecting and even boosting the health of the macula, repairing damage from blue light, allowing you to see color better and increasing night vision.

                                                              Monday, September 19, 2016

                                                              Using Pepper to Conceal a Scent Trail?

                                                              In "Swamps, Marijuana, Moonshine: 2 Prison Escapees’ 3 Weeks on the Run in New York," published in the New York Times, David Sweat, who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. in June 2015, related some of his experiences during the escape, including "amassing a supply of black pepper he later used to throw dogs off his scent...." Although this method of throwing a dog off a scent had been refuted in Mythbusters, this myth seems to still hang around.

                                                              In doing some research into this matter, the consensus (independent of the Mythbusters) is that pepper won't throw off a dog that is trained to track. From another New York Times article:
                                                              Dr. Horowitz, who directs the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and is writing a book about dogs’ sense of smell, explained that as people move, they slough off dead skin cells, and the scent from those cells lingers both in the air and on the ground. 
                                                              If someone dumped pepper in his tracks, she said, “that might disrupt the dog’s ability to follow the track, but the dog can ‘air-scent’ and get the track from the air.
                                                              Business Insider apparently also investigated Sweat's claim and found it wanting. That article reported:
                                                              But this is "very unlikely," Paul Waggoner, associate director of Auburn University's Canine Research Detection Institute, told Business Insider by email. 
                                                              Pepper — whether it be black, white, or cayanne — would not throw off a trained tracking dog. 
                                                              First of all dogs have an incredible sense of smell that is much more sophisticated than a human's and operates thousands of times more acutely than our own noses. 
                                                              Not only that, their noses are divided in two. Breathing air goes to one side, while the air the dog wants to smell goes to a separate area where the dog's 300 million receptors sort through the aromas. 
                                                              Using their super noses, tracking dogs are trained for years sniff out missing people, fugitives, bombs, narcotics, and even cadavers and even whale poop. That's right, dogs can sniff out a dead body. And they can even be trained to seek out scents given off by drowned people. 
                                                              Dogs are trained to deal with a huge variety of scents — for example at disaster zones — and successfully find their targets, Waggoner said. 
                                                              Compared to that pepper shouldn't be a problem. 
                                                              "A strong odorant might momentarily interrupt tracking, but modern training of tracking/trailing dogs is such that it provides dogs with experience in working 'through' such circumstances," said Waggoner.
                                                              Graeme Shimmin, a novelist, researched the issue for one of his books, and determined that there was no way to throw off a blood hound. Shimmin shared, however, what the Air Force teaches on this issue:
                                                              But the US Air Force teaches an anti bloodhound tactic that works on its Aircrew Escape and Evasion course. First, find a position where you can see the dog and its handler coming.   
                                                              Then, when you see them coming, shoot the handler - it’s not the dog that’s going to kill you.
                                                              Other advice that I came across that might work is to be more athletic than the dog handler (basically, make the dog handler reach a point where he is too exhausted to continue with the chase), cross difficult terrain that the dog and/or his handler cannot travel, or set back fires.

                                                              European Refugees Heading Back to Home Countries for Vacations

                                                              The Express reports:
                                                              Despite claiming their lives woulds be at risk if they were forced to return home, many migrants are nonetheless taking social trips back to these danger spots.  
                                                              An investigation revealed the “repulsive” problem is rife at a number of Berlin-based employment agencies, who are seeking support in dealing with the problem.  
                                                              Asylum seekers currently risk an investigation and the possible revocation on their refugee status if they are discovered to be returning home. However, they are not currently required to inform authorities as to their destination, making the problem hard to solve. 
                                                              (H/t Anonymous Conservative)

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

                                                              Source: "Katrina's horrifying legacy: Inside a New Orleans hospital which was nearly destroyed by the hurricane and has been left to rot ever since"--Daily Mail.

                                                              • "It Doesn’t Affect You, But It Does"--The Political Hat. Every once in a while, there is a commentary or analysis that stands out and needs to be read and re-read to be fully absorbed. I think this is one of those writings. The basic theme is that even practices that you don't believe can affect others does affect them. In explaining his reasoning, the author explains the role of conservationism in a culture:
                                                                   John Donne once said that “no man is an island”.  Society has evolved, does evolve, and will evolve, with the actions of each to one degree or another affecting it and being affected by it.  Society isn’t some abstract idea or social construct of the conspiratorial vein.  The libertarian ideal that everyone can do what they want and anything not affecting others in the strictest 1st degree will not have a depreciative or dilatory effect others, and thus society, is based upon a blind faith that the way, the truth, the light, of Randian enlightenment can not, and will not, be snuffed out a la Anthem because the choices of others does not, in the strictest 1st degree, command another.
                                                                     But this is based on an overly idealistic view of mankind.  It is the idealistic view that once a great evil is purged, that a true utopia will arise once properly established; it is the idealistic view shared by Communists, Progressives, and other assorted socialists.
                                                                       A society where people are free to choose as they like, but where the great swath of the populace have the wisdom to choose correctly, is a rare one.  It can not be constructed.  It, indeed, is a result of a strange and unlikely confluence of history.  America is that confluence.  It can not be rebuilt ex nihilo.  It can not overwrite an existing bias or set of mores.  It can not be written upon a tabula rasa, as such hypothetical musings are antithetical to human reality.  Despite the intentions otherwise, “their passions forge their fetters”.
                                                                         It is something that must be conserved.  It calls not for magicians [or] alchemists who can bring forth purity of essence from some invented and contrived trick.  It calls for stewards to keep and protect our civic inheritance, and to protect society’s evolution from the hands and machinations of intelligent design by unintelligent designers.
                                                                    Read the whole thing.
                                                                      “Other teachers say that this is a common practice in their schools: Students will be issued a referral for misconduct and then ‘counseled’ before being returned to class without being formally disciplined,” O’Donnell reports. Why? Two levers the federal government is pulling, both related to school districts’ discipline numbers.
                                                                        First, inside the Every Student Succeeds Act, which House Speaker Paul Ryan recently sped through Congress to replace No Child Left Behind, the federal government now includes measures besides test scores—such as annual suspension and expulsion rates—in ratings that influence funds and federal probes. Schools are technically supposed to report to the federal government every disciplinary action they take, and now they have more reasons to juice the numbers.
                                                                          Second, back in 2011 former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told schools that consequences for bad behavior, not the behavior itself, was to blame for the “school to prison pipeline.” In 2014 the pair issued regulations telling schools they would be liable for federal investigation if they recorded data showing black or Latino students had committed more infractions than white or Asian students.
                                                                            “Schools also violate Federal law when they evenhandedly implement facially neutral policies and practices that, although not adopted with the intent to discriminate, nonetheless have an unjustified effect of discriminating against students on the basis of race,” their subordinates wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter (emphasis added).
                                                                            The author goes on to report:
                                                                              In response to these federal rules, states including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, California, and Washington have declared they will remove fewer violent students from classrooms through suspensions and expulsions.Children are not stupid. They have figured out that they can terrorize their peers and authority figures and get away with it now.
                                                                                Schools are replacing stricter consequences with touchy-feely therapy sessions for troubled kids, which are less of a deterrent to bad behavior and often explicitly excuse it. 
                                                                                According to the bombshell lawsuit, a transgender “girl" student, who participated on girls' sports teams, “twerked,” “grinded” and engaged in other sexually suggestive acts in the girls’ locker-room, leaving some of the girls in tears. After numerous ignored complaints, the lawsuit's plaintiffs say they were allowed access to other locations, including a boys’ locker-room, which the transgender “girl” also made his way into and extended his sexually suggestive behavior. The girls claim they were left with no place to go to secure their privacy in the most intimate of settings.
                                                                                Amid troubled oil markets and a more than two-year oil price downturn that has seen oil prices plunge from $115 per barrel in the summer of 2014, to now trading in the paltry $40s range, well below the production break even point for many major producers, news came from China on Tuesday that the country’s crude oil output fell nearly 10% in August from the same period a year ago – to the lowest in more than six years. 
                                                                                The issue for China is that dependency on foreign sources of oil brings a myriad of its own problems, including, as the author explains: "[from] a massive transfer of wealth, to securing vital supply lines and shipping lanes to other geopolitical considerations."
                                                                                  University of Florida researchers have identified a patient in Haiti with a serious mosquito-borne illness that has never before been reported in the Caribbean nation.
                                                                                    Known as "Mayaro virus," it is closely related to chikungunya virus and was first isolated in Trinidad in 1954. Most reported cases, however, have been confined to small outbreaks in the Amazon. Whether this case signals the start of a new outbreak in the Caribbean region is currently unknown.
                                                                                    The largest prison strike in U.S. history has been going on for nearly a week, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about it. For months, inmates at dozens of prisons across the country have been organizing through a network of smuggled cellphones, social media pages, and the support of allies on the outside. The effort culminated in a mass refusal to report to prison jobs on September 9, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising.
                                                                                    Oh no. Whatever shall government do if it can't buy over-priced furniture from the prison industries?