Friday, July 10, 2020

A Quick Run Around the Web (7/10/2020)

The first half of the video shows shooting, loading, etc., of the firearm, but the last half is actually a nice demonstration of field stripping the firearm.
  • Active Response Training has a new "Weekend Knowledge Dump" up this week. Notable articles to which he links include: advice from a medical doctor on the best place to shoot someone in the head; the tale of an officer shot at with a firework's mortar and who was aided by "bystanders" to escape; and an article from Massad Ayoob on why you should be using hollow point for most defensive calibers.
  • From earlier this week: a new "Humpday Reading List" from Grant Cunningham. 
  • "Deaths from a single punch not that uncommon"--Washington Times. From the article:
      Dr. Karen Gunson, the state medical examiner, estimates that 80 percent of homicide victims die from gunshot wounds. That’s followed next in frequency by stabbings, then bludgeonings and strangulations.
         One-punch deaths fall even further down the list. But it happens often enough that Gunson, without pause, is able to describe precisely how a sock to the face can end a life.
           “They fall over backwards and they hit the back of their head,” Gunson said. “They often end up having a skull fracture.”
             The impact on hard ground causes the brain to ricochet into the opposite wall of the skull, somewhere around the forehead, causing hemorrhaging near the brain and death. It’s known as a contrecoup brain injury.
               Or, in cases when the victim has been drinking heavily, a punch to the face can cause an artery at the base of the brain to fatally tear as the head snaps back.
            The article also has compiled real-world examples where this occurred.
            • "Lessons Learned from a Home Invasion Attempt"--Active Response Training. The burglar was able to access the interior, but wasn't able to break through a window, so he resorted to kicking the door in, but apparently ran off after the alarm went off. The homeowner, meanwhile, had hidden in a bedroom upstairs. Some advice: strengthen looks and doorplates, install something like "Hurricane Film" over your windows, remove things (rocks, ladders, etc.) from around your house that can be used to facilitate breaking in; install a solid core door with good locks for whichever room inside your house that you will be using as a "safe room".
            • "Proximity Negates Skill"--Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You. The author explains: "This is a security and defense concept that is intuitive for some people but needs to be explained to others. The simplest way to think about it is this — the closer an attacker is to you, the less skilled they need to be in order to hit, injure, or kill you." 
            • Open season on polar bears: "Shock video: Black man bludgeons white boy, 12, dancing on sidewalk"--WND. Per the article, "[t]he assault took place Friday night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as the suspect, whom police have identified as 27-year-old Cedric Charles Moore Jr., exited an SUV from the passenger side, sneaked up behind the child and used his fist to bludgeon the boy who never saw the punch coming."
            • "RIFLES FOR TROUBLED TIMES"--Dave Anderson at Guns Magazine. The author lives in a rural setting well away from even his closest neighbors. Thus, his choice of primary firearms may not match yours. However, his three are a .22 Magnum rifle, a .308 or other big game bolt-action hunting rifle, and a shotgun. His closing comments, however, are worthwhile to keep in mind no matter where you live: "Oh, and you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned a .45 ACP pistol or .38 Spl. pocket revolver. I haven’t mentioned socks or underwear either, and for the same reason — they are just part of everyday wear."
            • "The Other .38s"--Shooting Sports USA. An article on why competitive revolver shooters are increasingly turning to shooting the .38 Long Colt (LC) and the .38 Short Colt (SC) out of their .357 revolvers. Because of the stronger cylinders and frames, these old classics can have their performance boosted to nearly .38 Special or 9 mm power, but the shorter cases make it easier to punch the empty brass out of the cylinder when reloading. My personal belief is that some company should come out with a defensive revolver with a shorter cylinder (and thus smaller and lighter than conventional revolvers) using shorter cases similar to the old .38 Colt or .38 S&W cases. Just take a look at how small many of the early pocket revolvers were, even in .38 calibers, compared with revolvers today. 
            • "Some Commentary on Last Weekend’s Snubnose Revolver Class"--Active Response Training. One comment: "Several guns shut down during the day (about 250 rounds) because of lack of lubrication. When the trigger pull becomes progressively more difficult and the cylinder doesn’t spin easily, a couple drops of lube where the cylinder attaches to the crane will make your life easier."
            • "The Rimfire Report: What it Takes to Get Extreme Long Range out of 22LR"--The Firearm Blog. By "extreme long range" in the context of the .22 LR, the author is talking about beyond 300 yards. Although one impetus for getting into such a sport is cost, the other is land: "Most of us don’t have access to 2+ miles of range to shoot at. Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to find outdoor ranges with 600+ yard rifle bays. So where your 300 PRC would be having a snooze fest drilling quarter-sized holes at 600 yards, your 22LR will net you a bit more equitable difficulty during your range session."
            • "HOW TO PICK THE BEST DEFENSIVE HANDGUN"--The Mag Life. The author discusses issues such as reliability, simplicity, and fit. I would agree that "reliability" is a key factor--you want your firearm to work when it needs to. Fortunately, most popular defensive handguns produced today can be mechanically reliable out of the box or with very little break-in. But, to me, there is more to reliability. It means actually testing your firearm to make sure it works with your particular ammunition and that there are no magazine issues. To do this, you will have to actually fire full magazines. I've seen magazines not feed correctly when fully loaded, have followers start to catch in the middle, or have too weak of springs to reliably feed at the last few rounds.
                 I used to be fully on the simplicity wagon, but I think it has been taken too far with people eschewing most any controls on a handgun. As Marc MacYoung has pointed out, most everyone in times of stress can still safely operate a motor vehicle, which is something far more complicated than shooting a firearm. The reason is because we drive so much that it becomes second nature--we don't have to consciously think about where to shift our foot to speed up or slow down, which peddle to press, etc. A newbie to shooting very well may be better off with a revolver for simplicity sake, but once you are up to using a magazine release and perform tactical reloads, able to handily deal with double-feeds or smoke-stack stoppages, you can handle a manual safety. (And no, I'm not saying that you need to have a manual safety; just that the argument that it makes the gun too complicated is ridiculous).
                  For fit, I would really like to see more specifics on the topic. For instance, a tailor takes certain measurements and then finds cloths (and makes final adjustments) to fit the person. A good gunsmith will do the same for a shotgun or a rifle. I would like to see more information on actual measurements to take into account to fit a person to a firearm.
                    The core material of this edition is largely the same as the previous edition. John has actually streamlined some information, having removed a short section on an esoteric sitting variation. This brings me to a core point about this book. Sometimes knowing what to leave out is just as important as knowing what to include. It would be easy to fall into the temptation of putting in all the information (trust me, there have been times when I put it all in). Being able to figure out who you’re addressing, and exactly what you want to say to them is really the first step in effective communication. That is one of the main strengths of this book.
                      John knows that his book is meant for aspiring police snipers. Understanding that police snipers show up to basic sniper school with little to no preparation from their departments, with only a 40-hour class to prepare them for deployment, this book is his attempt to bridge the knowledge gap necessary for a functional level of skill. John came to the world of police sniper instruction from the military, where sniper school was 4-8 weeks long, after a known curriculum in marksmanship.
                        I can speak to the basic police sniper course lacking in fully preparing the police sniper to be ready for the contingencies of callouts (missions). Feeling that my basic sniper class, which was the class approved by the training commission in my state, did not fully prepare me was one of the primary reasons for me starting this blog as a means of further exploration. It seems that John’s intent with his book is to prime the candidate so that he can come to school with a basic understanding of the fundamentals, but perhaps more importantly the context of what a police sniper does.
                           ... If you deny the fruits of liberalism to half the country, where do they go to get their say? Conservatives in general, and Trump supporters in particular, are already being squeezed out of social media. If Trump and his supporters are really so dangerous that they are no longer entitled to fundamental rights, why not hound them out of restaurants, shout down their lectures, get up in their faces at their homes and make their lives impossible? We’ve seen all that already, of course. Up to now, however, it’s been condemned, however tepidly, by at least a few “small l” liberal voices on the Democrat side. But what if half the country begins to feel — with justice — that the other half is eager to deprive them of their rights, has set them beyond the pale, wants to see them crushed? What then?

                      * * *

                              ... The Left is playing with fire, and abolishing the police is only the half of it. They think they can replicate the college campus at the national level. But it’s easier to silence visiting speakers or hapless students than to treat half the citizens of this country as fascists unworthy of rights — especially when what’s actually bothering the Right is the Left’s abandonment of liberal principle, and its embrace of argument-by-accusation-of-bigotry instead.
                                The Times can bar anyone it wants from its pages, right on up to senators and the president himself. And it can cover politics the way it likes, too. Trump supporters still have the right to speak and to publish in outlets of their own. Yet those legal rights rest on a cultural presumption in favor of free speech. Once mainstream outlets bar Republican op-eds on grounds that the party is now beyond the pale of liberal rights — and openly depict Trump supporters as fascists in news stories — that cultural presumption in favor of liberty is out the window. ... Once half the country sees itself made out to be bigots without rights — with no voices on the op-ed pages permitted to contradict this depiction — civil peace will slip away.
                              Read the whole thing.

                              "Operation Barbarossa - End of the Nazi-Soviet Alliance - WW2 - 096b - June 27 1941"--World War Two (19 min.). Germany decides to lose the war by launching the largest land invasion in history into the Soviet Union. By doing so, Hitler has also made a de facto decision to cede North Africa and the Middle East to the British.

                              Germany's successes during the first week were impressive, but now Germany begins experiencing the logistical problems that will eventually doom the invasion.
                                    While it is easy to ascribe this to petty religious bigotry, the reason is actually somewhat more profound: The colonists and the colonial governments that they formed considered it important to only allow the franchise to people who shared their values. Thus, those with heterodox religious beliefs were not allowed to vote on the grounds that doing so would undermine both the values and the liberty of the colony.
                                     Similarly, property holders were meant to be the main voters for the simple reason of having skin in the game. The early colonists did not want, for example, the merchant class to have an outsized say in politics because they were not tied to the land and thus not as subject to bad decisions. A shopkeeper or importer can simply sell their stock and move on to the next colony. A freeholder, working the land with his family, has far less flexibility and, the theory goes anyway, would be making more long-term decisions about what is best for the polity.
                                      As the article describes, the U.S. gradually moved from a republic to a democracy, both through national and state legislation opening the franchise up to more and more people, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that enforced a "one person, one vote" of representative voting on states that previously had state senates that mirrored the federal senate by giving a certain number of senators to each county regardless of a county population. The consequence of this was to take power from rural areas and concentrate it in cities. 
                                      The rest of the article discusses the corruption that has come with liberalized voting standards. It's well worth the read, so be sure to check it out.
                                      One point not addressed in the article is the wisdom of extending the voting franchise to women. This is not something without consequence: women are far more likely to vote for liberals and leftists, and are far more likely to support liberal causes such as the welfare state and open immigration, than men. 
                                        The Justice Department announced that it has unearthed further information related to the FBI’s investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, including more notes taken by fired special agent Peter Strzok.
                                         Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in the nation’s capital, said Tuesday that the documents handed over to Flynn’s defense team included handwritten notes from Strzok taken at a meeting on Jan. 25, 2017; notes from former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tashina Gauhar at the same meeting; an internal DOJ document dated Jan. 30, 2017; and handwritten notes from then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente which were dated March 30, 2017. The notes remain sealed by the court.
                                           Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) late Thursday declared a state of emergency in Salt Lake City following tense demonstrations that saw protesters square off against Salt Lake City police.
                                             Protesters flooded the streets after the Salt Lake County district attorney announced that the May police killing of Bernardo Palacios Carbajal was justified.
                                        • Black lives matter more than yours: "NYC Black Lives Matter marches can continue despite large-event ban, de Blasio says"--New York Post. All non-approved protests are cancelled. Per the article: "The de Blasio administration will also deny all permits for events in parks that it believes will 'unreasonably diminish public use' as well as street fairs and events stretching larger than one block or for gatherings that require a sound system." 
                                        • White lives don't matter: "Washington State School Reopening Option Prioritizes ‘Students of Color’"--Breitbart. From the article: "The state of Washington’s school district planning guide for reopening public schools gives an example of a possible 'phased-in opening' in which 'students furthest from educational justice,' would be given priority to have face-to-face instruction, a category that includes 'students of color.'"
                                                Cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston are still good places to work for people in high-paid professions such as banking, but they’re no longer good for people in middle-paying jobs, finds the new study, “The Faltering Escalator of Urban Opportunity” (PDF), by MIT economist David Autor. It was released on July 8 by MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future, which Autor co-chairs.
                                                 In an interview, Autor says, “I was as surprised by my findings as anyone else.”
                                                    The conventional wisdom in economics is that cities provide opportunities that aren’t available in suburbs or rural areas, says Autor. Harvard economist Edward Glaeser wrote in a working paper this year that “cities have been an escape route for unemployed residents of rural areas, such as the African-Americans who fled north during the Great Migration.” The policy implication: If cities are so valuable to workers, then government should focus on removing barriers, such as the high cost of housing, that make cities unaffordable.
                                                     But Autor says the conventional wisdom is wrong. The problem with cities isn’t just that they’re unaffordable, but that they’re also not very desirable to workers in middle-paying occupations. Administrative and clerical jobs that provided a solid middle-class life in cities have been automated out of existence. And manufacturing, which once supplied a lot of decent jobs in cities, has mostly shut down or moved to less densely populated areas. The remaining jobs in cities are mostly either high-paying ones for highly skilled, specialized workers in sectors such as banking, or low-paying ones in food service, cleaning, security, and the like.
                                                • Related: "NYC Rental Market Pushed to Breaking Point by Tenant Debts"--Bloomberg. No jobs, because of the lock downs, means no money for tenants to pay rents. Landlords can't kick out the non-paying renters due to temporary orders preventing evictions. So, with no money coming in and no recourse, landlords are unable to pay their debts and expenses. The only winners out of all of this will be the banks.

                                                Unrewarded Effort

                                                • Since the 1970s, wages and benefits have stagnated, falling out of step with workers’ productivity.

                                                  Cumulative percentage change
                                                  Hourly compensation
                                                  Source: Economic Policy Institute
                                                Why the change in the early 1970s? The civil rights acts of the mid-1960's as well as changing societal norms encouraged women to enter the workforce and the immigration act opened the spigots of immigration (combined with giving Puerto Ricans citizenship) to cause the supply of labor to dramatically increase at the same time American industrial jobs began to falter and contract and automation began displacing many workers. Simple supply and demand economics. Of course, the OPEC oil embargo didn't help things, but that doesn't explain the persistence of stagnant wages. Rather, the persistence is the result of the outsourcing of jobs overseas and the top elites keeping an ever greater and greater share of the wealth for themselves. "For the love of money is the root of all evil." 1 Tim. 6:10. 
                                                        DER SPIEGEL: You have argued that this is one reason why many workers without a bachelor's degree have left the labor market. What becomes of those people?
                                                         Deaton: Some of them live off government benefits. Some of them take early retirement or live off friends or relatives. Some move into a cheaper place. There are lots of ways of surviving.
                                                           DER SPIEGEL: They fall into poverty?
                                                             Case: Not necessarily. It’s more a disintegration of a way of life. One of the consequences is that, in those areas, there is a reduction of social integration. There are fewer marriages in the white working class, fewer people going to church, fewer people with stable home lives and a lessened sense of community. That puts these people at great risk.
                                                               DER SPIEGEL: And it contributes to those deaths of despair, as you have called them. What is behind this phenomenon?
                                                                 Case: We were puzzled by the discovery that mortality rates are no longer sinking, but accelerating in the group of middle-aged whites with low education. They are dying from drug overdoses, alcoholic liver disease and suicide - all deaths by their own hand. And they have all risen dramatically since the early 1990s.
                                                                   DER SPIEGEL: Why? What about the opioid epidemic?
                                                                     Deaton: If despair due to the hollowing out of the white working class wasn't there, the drug epidemic would be much smaller. The despair is smoldering in society, and this created an opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that is not appropriately regulated, which made the situation with opioids much worse. At the height of it, there were enough prescriptions for every American to have a month's supply. It was essentially legalized heroin.
                                                                       DER SPIEGEL: What has caused this mass-despair in white, middle-class life?
                                                                         Deaton: Look at the labor market, at wages. Life-time jobs and the meaning that comes from a life like that is very important. Roles for men and women are defined by it, as is their place in the community. It's almost like Marx: Social conditions depend on the means of production. And these means of production are being brought down by globalization, by automation, by the incredible force of health care. And that's destroying communities.
                                                                          DER SPIEGEL: Yet where there are losers, there should be winners as well. Who is to blame for this development?
                                                                            Deaton: Many people have said that there are two ways of getting rich: One way is by making things, and the other is by taking things. And one of the ways of taking things is to make the government give you special favors. Those special favors don't create anything, but they can make you rich, at the expense of everybody else.
                                                                               Case: For instance, the pharma companies get a law passed that Medicare has to pay for drugs at whatever price the pharma companies choose. Or the doctors' lobby doesn't allow as many people to go to medical school, which helps to keep doctors salaries up. That's one of the reasons why doctors are the largest single occupation in the top 1 percent.
                                                                                DER SPIEGEL: Would you argue that those in the top 1 percent are peculiarly prone to rent seeking?
                                                                                  Deaton: No, but many people are in the 1 percent because of rent seeking. This mechanism is creating a lot of very wealthy people who would not be wealthy if the government hadn't given them a license to rip off the rest. We're not among the people who think of inequality as a causal force. It’s rent-seeking opportunities that create inequality.
                                                                                     DER SPIEGEL: How do the losers of this development react politically?
                                                                                       Deaton: Well, many of them like Donald Trump (laughs)!
                                                                                         Case: The election in 2016 was unique: Many people felt their voices weren't being heard either by the Republicans or the Democrats. They tended to move either toward Bernie Sanders on the left or to Donald Trump on the right. They wanted to signal that things were not well with them, that they did not see the country moving in the right direction. People did not feel like the parties in the middle were adequately serving their needs, especially the working-class people.
                                                                                           DER SPIEGEL: It’s a phenomenon seen throughout the West – that center-left parties are no longer champions of the working class and that their leaders are mostly intellectuals.
                                                                                             Deaton: In the United States, the Democratic Party gave up representing the unions and switched to being a coalition of well-educated elite on the one hand and minorities on the other. And the white working-class in the middle was just left unrepresented. In this respect, Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate you could possibly imagine. She's such a representative of that educated elite that appears to have no understanding of, nor sympathy with, ordinary working-class people.
                                                                                               Over the past fifty years the rules of public and even of private life in America have well-nigh reversed, along with the meaning of common words, e.g. marriage, merit, and equality. Social inequality, even more than economic, has increased as personal safety and freedom have plummeted. People are subject to arbitrary power as never before. No one voted for these changes. Often, as with the negation of the Defense of Marriage Act and of the referendum-approved California constitutional provision to the same effect, these reversals expressly negated law. Just as often, as in the case of our mounting restrictions on freedom of speech, they have happened quite outside any law. Altogether, they have transformed a constitutional republic into an oligarchy at war with itself as well as with the rest of society. The U.S. Constitution and the way of life lived under it are historical relics.
                                                                                              Our ruling class transformed America’s regime by instituting a succession of scams, each of which transferred power and wealth to themselves. These scams’ blending into one another compel us to recognize them, individually and jointly, as the kind of governance that Augustine called “magnum latrocinium,” thievery writ large. Thievery of power even more than of money—colloquially, scamocracy.
                                                                                              Neither Aristotle nor anybody else ever counted scamocracy in their category of regimes because rule by fraud exists naturally only as regimes reach the terminal stages of their corruption.
                                                                                                 Throughout the ages in times of crisis, out-of-control governments, states, and empires have seized from their citizens what they perceived to be real money.
                                                                                                  In recent history, gold has allowed citizens to protect their purchasing power from fiat currency depreciation and escape state-imposed financial repression. Though, it has been the prime asset that authorities confiscate when monetary systems fail.
                                                                                                    In 1933, former U.S President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, enacted Executive Order 6102 banning American citizens from hoarding large amounts of gold. In 1959, the Australian Government signed the Banking Act into law allowing Aussie authorities to seize citizen’s precious metals. And in 1966, the British government blocked gold imports and banned Brits from owning more than four precious metal coins. ...
                                                                                                      Unfortunately, protecting your purchasing power from a fiat currency system isn’t as straightforward as buying gold, silver, and Bitcoin, and storing it down at your local JPMorgan branch. When it matters, the state will seize your property and will remove your rights to restore — what they believe to be — monetary order, whether that’s via a government-created cryptocurrency backed by gold or a new fiat currency backed by IMF (International Monetary Fund) SDRs (Special Drawing Rights): “the international reserve currency”.
                                                                                                       For the elites to create a new monetary paradigm, they will use any excuse to try to steal your hard-earned wealth when things go wrong. Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, encouraged citizens to hand over their gold in exchange for steel wristbands bearing the inscription “Gold for the Fatherland”, the Soviet Union banned large private ownership of gold altogether, and Saddam Hussein, the deceased Iraqi dictator, cleaned out citizen’s gold, jewelry, and other valuables while holding them at gunpoint — they traded their assets for their lives.
                                                                                                          Despite past events, elites will tell you gold is nothing more than a barbarous relic, a useless lump of shiny rock with no purpose in modern-day society while continuing to amass vast quantities of gold bullion. Since 2000, Russia has increased its reserves by 680%, China has increased its reserves by 393%, and U.S reserves remain equal despite a 100% debt-backed currency. When the time comes they will show their true feelings towards gold and will come for yours — if required.
                                                                                                            Though, there are ways to get around a government that imposes tyrannical policies in desperate times. But you’ll have to game the system, discard patriotism, and think outside the box.
                                                                                                               Removing all your assets from entities connected to the banking system is the first step. With “bail-in” legislation passed and enacted in several countries — the G20 bank bail-in solution was signed into supranational law in late 2014 — if you store your gold within your bank and your bank goes bust, they have the power to use your gold — and even your savings — to bail out their mistakes.
                                                                                                                 You might think to store gold in your home safe, but like anything in investing, diversification is key. Storing gold in a private vault is important, but so is the location: You must store it offshore, outside your government’s jurisdiction, otherwise they will hunt down your stash, like in 1907, 1959, and 1966. Though you don’t need a high net worth to store your assets in other countries. Companies like Goldmoney allow their clients with small account balances to buy and store gold in various countries from Singapore to Switzerland — countries with governments that have never seized precious metals.
                                                                                                                   Though, if you’re desperate to keep some gold at home, stick to jewelry. You don’t need to hide your gold bracelets, earrings, and other wearables because the U.S government doesn’t recognize them as financial assets. As precious metals analyst, Jeff Clark, says, “History has shown, in the developed world, gold confiscations have targeted monetary metals, like coins and bars. Jewelry was spared. Only in oppressive nations, ruled by dictators, was it a target. In other words, residents of developed nations that own gold jewelry have an asset that remains [less] appealing … to grab.”
                                                                                                                    NASA added software experts to work with Boeing and SpaceX on their space capsule programs following the failure of Boeing's Starliner test flight in December, the agency announced via a teleconference from Florida on Wednesday.
                                                                                                                     The software oversight changes were outlined in NASA's release of its final review of the Starliner failure.
                                                                                                                  But Boeing is leading the industry in diversity and inclusion. And why is NASA stepping in to save Boeing's bacon? Because they don't want SpaceX to become the sole provider. 
                                                                                                                          In the study, published Monday in the journal Nature Communications, researchers supplied magnetic field generation models with a record of time variations in Earth's shifting magnetic field over the last 100,000 years.
                                                                                                                           Previously, scientists estimated the planet's magnetic field shifted one degree per year at its fastest, but the latest analysis suggest the magnetic field can change up to 10 times more quickly.
                                                                                                                             The models showed such rapid changes are usually associated with pole reversals or geomagnetic excursions, when Earth's magnetic poles stray especially far from the planet's geographic poles.
                                                                                                                          Like what's happening right now? Anyway, the article continues:
                                                                                                                                  Some 39,000 years ago, in Central America, the magnetic field altered direction at a rate of 2.5 degrees per year. Earth's magnetic field also featured fast rates of change when it experienced a brief reversal some 41,000 years ago.
                                                                                                                                   The new analysis suggests faster, more dramatic changes in Earth's magnetic field are associated with reversed flux patches found on the surface of the planet's liquid core. Because the patches are more common at lower latitudes, local magnetic fields along the equator might experience more rapid periods of magnetic field changes.
                                                                                                                                      Located in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, metal-rich 16 Psyche is thought to be the exposed metallic iron, nickel and gold core of a protoplanet. Most asteroids are rocky or icy.
                                                                                                                                       The Psyche mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program of low-cost robotic space missions.
                                                                                                                                         16 Psyche’s core is tantalisingly similar to Earth’s, which means that it could be the heart of a dead planet that lost its rocky outer layers or suffered from violent collisions.  
                                                                                                                                            The metals that make-up this one-of-a-kind asteroid could, according to some, be worth $10,000 quadrillion.

                                                                                                                                      Thursday, July 9, 2020

                                                                                                                                      Video: 38 Days of Rain in China and Other Disasters

                                                                                                                                      "Evacuations In China As Hubei Dam Begins to Slide; Cities Issue Red Alert on Floods"-- Crossroads (24 minutes). This video is from yesterday, so China should be on 39 days of nonstop rain. The article also discusses other natural disasters and emergencies facing China and warns that China may be facing food shortages as a result.

                                                                                                                                      Some headlines from Tiawan News:
                                                                                                                                           As torrential rain ravages southern China for the second straight month, the government has issued a number for a massive flood of the Yangtze River Basin, which threatens to further overload the Three Gorges Dam.
                                                                                                                                             A "No. 1 Flood" has been announced for the Three Gorges Dam headwaters. According to China's major river numbering regulations, when the inflow of the Three Gorges reservoir reaches 50,000 cubic meters per second and the water level in the middle reaches of Lianhuatang rises to the warning level, the flood will be assigned a number.
                                                                                                                                               With the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) on Thursday (July 2) issuing a heavy rain warning across China for the 31st straight day, netizens continue to speculate about the integrity of the Three Gorges Dam as it faces its greatest test since completion in 2003. Although Chinese officials have repeatedly labeled fears the dam could suffer a catastrophic collapse as "nonsense," the region continues to be battered by heavy flooding, landslides, and on Thursday an earthquake.
                                                                                                                                               John Wilder has forwarded to me links to videos and articles that give some more background on the issue of the flooding and the Three Gorges Dam, a few of which follow:

                                                                                                                                            "1/4 China Flood Dam Pressure Intensifies | three gorges dam | collapse | millions people affected"--China Observer (7 min.). This video notes that 1/4 of China has suffered flooding in the past month.

                                                                                                                                            "[3 Gorges Dam] Simulation done by Secretly"--Koreana Jones (11 min.)
                                                                                                                                            Purporting to be a simulation of one possible collapse scenario.

                                                                                                                                            And a couple of the articles:
                                                                                                                                                    These issues are substantial in their potential to wreak havoc in the current day and include dubious building standards exacerbated by local government corruption, as well as other underlying threats (see dam cracks). Another great unknown is the area’s high seismicity.
                                                                                                                                                     There are six fault lines near to Three Gorges and the danger of their proximity to the largest dam in the world were never properly investigated during the feasibility study undertaken for the dam (the filling of dam reservoirs are triggers associated with seismic activity). 
                                                                                                                                                • And this link has a weather history of the region. Scroll down until you hit the precipitation history, and look at 2020 compared to all other years. Wow!

                                                                                                                                                BLM/Antifa Tactical Formation

                                                                                                                                                Western Rifle Shooters has a graphic that nicely illustrates how the BLM/Antifa rioters are organized while they do their "peaceful protests." Check it out.

                                                                                                                                                Sources of Downloadable Books Useful to Survivalists/Preppers

                                                                                                                                                I recently posted a link to a Zombie Squad forum entry where people had posted links to various sites collecting books and other documents useful to preppers and survivalists. However, the forum post was from 2012 which necessarily means that many of the links are dead--not all, but many. So, I thought I would recommend some sites that have libraries of materials:

                                                                                                                                                First of all, those of you that visit my blog via a mobile device may not know it, but I have a page of "Useful Links" with links to various blogs and web sites for prepping/survivalism, disaster preparation, firearms and self-defense, outdoors, etc. I keep it up to date as best as I can, but please let me know if there is some site or blog missing from the list that you think should be added, of if you find a dead link.

                                                                                                                                                Now, turning to some on-line libraries...
                                                                                                                                                • Probably the best organized and inclusive of subjects relevant to prepping, survival and rebuilding civilization is the library maintained by Survival UK. The resources on agriculture is particularly impressive, including files on how to construct about any farm building or structure you would ever need; this should be of particularly interesting for those whose focus is rebuilding civilization.
                                                                                                                                                These two--Survival UK and Pole Shift--are probably your best resources for compiling information specifically on the the topic of homesteading, prepping, and rebuilding civilization. However, there are other sites that have smaller libraries and may have books that aren't in the larger libraries:
                                                                                                                                                • Survival Library has a growing collection of text books and treatises from the 19th and early 20th Century on basic education as well as various crafts, trades, and science. If you want to learn how to build a buggy or coach, small boats, make shoes, etc., this is the place to go. Check back regularly on this site because the site editor is constantly adding to the collection.
                                                                                                                                                For the firearms aficionado here are a few useful resources:
                                                                                                                                                • Sportsman's Vintage Press also has a small library of classic or vintage books on firearms you can real on-line (in HTML format) for free (with the option to purchase copies).
                                                                                                                                                • has their "Resistance Library" which is compendium of articles on firearms, ammunition, and topics related to gun rights.
                                                                                                                                                There are several sites that have first aid and medical guides intended for austere environments. Of course the big one for preppers is the Hesperian Foundation which has published the "Where There is No Doctor" and similar books, most of which can be downloaded in PDF format for free. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency has medical reference books for ships and ship's captains

                                                                                                                                                Some people have collected information on old plans for building machines and equipment. One of these is "Plans for Everything." More specialized is this archive of books on looms.

                                                                                                                                                More generally, I would point you to these sites:
                                                                                                                                                • The Eye (as in all-seeing eye) is a large repository of books and other media on many subjects and topics. If you click on the "Files" selection in the main menu, it will take you to a list of directories. It is not well organized, so using this site will require some exploration on your part. However, from the basic list of directories, the primary ones that would probably interest most preppers/survivalists are the "Books", "Strategic Intelligence Network", and "Murder Cube" subdirectories. But, again, there is a lot to explore in each of the foregoing. For instance, there are whole libraries of medical, engineering, and programming textbooks, military manuals, survival and prepping books, etc., in the subdirectories I've listed. Not all of the material is safe for work (or home), so be careful of what you are clicking on.
                                                                                                                                                • Another resource is EPDF which, as it name implies, is a collection of electronically scanned books (most in PDF but occasionally in other formats). This is not arranged where you can easily browse topics, but you have to make searches and hope that your search brings in the book(s) in which you are interested. Nevertheless, it is a valuable resource and can be used to fill in blanks that the The Eye or the Internet Archive may have.
                                                                                                                                                • is another general collection that is not very well sorted. Most of the resources here seem to be for the computer geek or hacker, but there are other topics. Again, this has subdirectories and will take some exploring to find what you want. One that preppers and survivalists might find particular useful, however, is a directory called "Tutorials-2" which includes information on surviving, weapons, etc.
                                                                                                                                                • Project Gutenburg is a collection of public-domain books which, for that reason, are generally old. The books have been scanned and are in various formats, but that does not mean that the formatting is very good. I generally get books in the MOBI format to use on a Kindle, but unless it is a novel--e.g., if there are footnotes or whatnot--the formatting is generally atrocious. 
                                                                                                                                                • Somewhat similar to Project Gutenburg, but only offering PDF downloads, is Forgotten Books.
                                                                                                                                                • Although this may be too specialized for most readers, I will mention that Cornell University offers arXiv, which is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,729,943 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.
                                                                                                                                                • While this may be of more use to the home schooler rather than someone focusing on prepping, Open Culture is a good resource for online courses, music, and ebooks.
                                                                                                                                                Finally, Amazon offers a multitude of free to download Kindle books, which selection is always changing. Free Read Feed is a great site for searching and sorting through the selection of free books on Kindle.

                                                                                                                                                Of course, you need to be able to read all of these. There are two products I would mention in particular. First is Calibre, which is a free-to-download e-book management program. What makes it useful is that it can read many different formats of e-books and can convert between different formats as long as there is no encryption, as well as allowing you to organize files into useful libraries. One thing I like with this is that it easily can convert TXT files into MOBI or other formats that you can use on a electronic book reader, such as a Kindle. Second, and more basic, is SumatraPDF which also allows you to view all sorts of e-book formats.

                                                                                                                                                Wednesday, July 8, 2020

                                                                                                                                                From the Archive: Secret Combinations

                                                                                                                                                This was originally posted on August 28, 2015. I have also added, following this post, the complete text of the First Presidency Message on Communism (1936). (Note: I've now fixed the link to the Bill Whittle video).


                                                                                                                                                While the phrase "secret combination" usually brings to mind conspiracy theories, the reality is that "secret combinations" and conspiracies have played important roles throughout history--the murder of Julius Caesar, portrayed above, merely being one example--and continue to influence events today. (See, e.g. "The long, slow death of the rule of law in America" for examples under the current Administration). Isaiah warned of such conspiracies when looking forward to the spread of the Gospel in the latter days, writing:
                                                                                                                                                15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

                                                                                                                                                16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
                                                                                                                                                Isaiah 29:15-16The Book of Mormon speaks at length of the corrosive and insidious nature of secret combinations, while providing the examples of how such compacts lead to the destruction of two nations. So strong is the importance of this message, that Moroni interrupted his history of the Jaredites to warn:
                                                                                                                                                21 And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.

                                                                                                                                                22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.

                                                                                                                                                23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

                                                                                                                                                24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

                                                                                                                                                25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                Before going further, I want to explore what is meant by "secret combination." Many people (myself, at one time, included) interpret this as synonymous with the likes of a secret or unknown conspiracy or cabal.

                                                                                                                                                Since "secret" modifies the term "combination," it is best to first define the term "combination." "Combination," in its modern form, denotes "an alliance of persons or parties"; whereas, according to Shaffer's 1828 dictionary, it is an:
                                                                                                                                                Intimate union, or association of two or more persons or things, by set purpose or agreement, for effecting some object, by joint operation; in a good sense, when the object is laudable; in an ill sense, when it is illegal or iniquitous. It is sometimes equivalent to league, or to conspiracy. We say, a combination of men to overthrow government, or a combination to resist oppression.
                                                                                                                                                This seems pretty straightforward, and the definitions are similar, so I will next move to "secret." defines secret as:
                                                                                                                                                1. done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.
                                                                                                                                                2. kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.
                                                                                                                                                3. faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; reticent.
                                                                                                                                                4. designed or working to escape notice, knowledge, or observation: a secret drawer; the secret police.
                                                                                                                                                5. secluded, sheltered, or withdrawn: a secret hiding place.
                                                                                                                                                6.beyond ordinary human understanding; esoteric.
                                                                                                                                                7.bearing the classification secret. limited to persons authorized to use information documents, etc., so classified.
                                                                                                                                                1. Properly, separate; hence, hid; concealed from the notice or knowledge of all persons except the individual or individuals concerned.

                                                                                                                                                I have a secret errand to thee, O king. Judges 3.

                                                                                                                                                2. Unseen; private; secluded; being in retirement.

                                                                                                                                                There secret in her sapphire cell,

                                                                                                                                                He with the Nais wont to dwell. Fenton.

                                                                                                                                                3. Removed from sight; private; unknown.

                                                                                                                                                Abide in a secret place, and hide thyself. I Sam. 19.

                                                                                                                                                4. Keeping secrets; faithful to secrets entrusted; as secret Romans. [Unusual.]

                                                                                                                                                5. Private; affording privacy.

                                                                                                                                                6. Occult; not seen; not apparent; as the secret operations of physical causes.

                                                                                                                                                7. Known to God only.
                                                                                                                                                What sticks out is that that several of the 19th Century meanings denote something private or confidential (i.e., not public or not known to the public at large; not-advertised), and does not necessarily require it to be purposefully made unknown or hidden. A subtle difference, but perhaps important. Many LDS members seem to interpret the term "secret combination" as meaning that the existence of the organization, or its membership, must be unknown or concealed. But this is not necessarily true. I think the proper view of the term "secret combination" is not necessarily that the association or group is secret (although it may be), but that the goals or objectives are private or not widely known.

                                                                                                                                                A modern example might be the Bilderberg Group. Neither the existence of the Group nor the fact that there are meetings is secret because people outside the group are clearly aware of them, but the discussions and comments within the meetings are private and undisclosed. To the extent that attendees come to some agreement (explicit or implicit) to advance certain choices or causes espoused at such meetings, the Bilderberg Group could be considered a type of "secret combination." The recent videos Planned Parenthood videos also suggest that Planned Parenthood be considered a "secret combination" because its private face or real purpose is much different from its public face or professed purpose.

                                                                                                                                                Beyond attempting to analyze the meaning of the term, there is the difficulty of attempting to ascertain what group or groups should be considered "secret combinations" warned about in scripture. Many organizations have been offered up, including, but not limited to, the Mafia, terrorist organizations, the Free Masons, and drug cartels. While these may be "secret combinations," for good or ill, none of them are THE secret combination that "seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries." Moreover, we do not need to guess as to the identity of the secret combination referred to by Moroni because we have been told its identity.

                                                                                                                                                At the October 1979 General Conference, Ezra Taft Benson (then president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) gave a talk entitled "A Witness and a Warning," in which he stated:
                                                                                                                                                It is well to ask, what system established secret works of darkness to overthrow nations by violent revolution? Who blasphemously proclaimed the atheistic doctrine that God made us not? Satan works through human agents. We need only look to some of the ignoble characters in human history who were contemporary to the restoration of the gospel to discover fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. I refer to the infamous founders of Communism and others who follow in their tradition.

                                                                                                                                                Communism introduced into the world a substitute for true religion. It is a counterfeit of the gospel plan. The false prophets of Communism predict a utopian society. This, they proclaim, will only be brought about as capitalism and free enterprise are overthrown, private property abolished, the family as a social unit eliminated, all classes abolished, all governments overthrown, and a communal ownership of property in a classless, stateless society established.
                                                                                                                                                 In the October 1961 General Conference, Benson (then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve) similarly observed:
                                                                                                                                                Where do we stand today? All over the world the light of freedom is being diminished. Across whole continents of the earth freedom is being totally obliterated.

                                                                                                                                                Never in recorded history has any movement spread its power so far and so fast as has socialistic-communism in the last three decades. The facts are not pleasant to review. Communist leaders are jubilant with their success. They are driving freedom back on almost every front.

                                                                                                                                                It is time, therefore, that every American, and especially every member of the priesthood, became informed about the aims, tactics, and schemes of socialistic-communism. This becomes particularly important when it is realized that communism is turning out to be the earthly image of the plan which Satan presented in the pre-existence. The whole program of socialistic-communism is essentially a war against God and the plan of salvation—the very plan which we fought to uphold during "the war in heaven" (Rev. 12:7).

                                                                                                                                                Up to now some members of the Church have stood aloof, feeling that the fight against socialistic-communism is "controversial" and unrelated to the mission of the Church or the work of the Lord. But the President of the Church in our day has made it clear that the fight against atheistic communism is a major challenge to the Church and every member in it.

                                                                                                                                                During the general conference of the Church in October 1959, President David O. McKay, in discussing the threat of communism, referred to W. Cleon Skousen's book, The Naked Communist, and said, "I admonish everybody to read that excellent book." He then quoted the following from the flyleaf: "The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time. It overshadows all other problems."

                                                                                                                                                The fight against godless communism is a very real part of every man's duty who holds the priesthood. It is the fight against slavery, immorality, atheism, terrorism, cruelty, barbarism, deceit, and the destruction of human life through a kind of tyranny unsurpassed by anything in human history. Here is a struggle against the evil, satanical priestcraft of Lucifer. Truly it can be called, "a continuation of the war in heaven."

                                                                                                                                                In the war in heaven the devil advocated absolute eternal security at the sacrifice of our freedom. Although there is nothing more desirable to a Latter-day Saint than eternal security in God's presence, and although God knew, as did we, that some of us would not achieve this security if we were allowed our freedom—yet the very God of heaven, who has more mercy than us all, still decreed no guaranteed security except by a man's own freedom of choice and individual initiative.

                                                                                                                                                Today the devil as a wolf in a supposedly new suit of sheep's clothing is enticing some men, both in and out of the Church, to parrot his line by advocating planned government guaranteed security programs at the expense of our liberties. Latter-day Saints should be reminded how and why they voted as they did in heaven. If some have decided to change their vote they should repent—throw their support on the side of freedom—and cease promoting this subversion.

                                                                                                                                                When all of the trappings of propaganda and pretense have been pulled aside, the exposed hard-core structure of modern communism is amazingly similar to the ancient Book of Mormon record of secret societies such as the Gadiantons. In the ancient American civilization there was no word which struck greater terror to the hearts of the people than the name of the Gadiantons. It was a secret political party which operated as a murder cult. Its object was to infiltrate legitimate government, plant its officers in high places, and then seize power and live off the spoils appropriated from the people. (It would start out as a small group of "dissenters" and by using secret oaths with the threat of death for defectors (Hel. 11:25-26) it would gradually gain a choke hold on the political and economic life of whole civilizations.)

                                                                                                                                                The object of the Gadiantons, like modern communists, was to destroy the existing government and set up a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land.
                                                                                                                                                In his 1979 talk, Benson also noted:
                                                                                                                                                President Marion G. Romney, in the First Presidency Message in the September 1979 Ensign, wrote: “Communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and … it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land” (p. 5).
                                                                                                                                                In 1988, Benson (then Prophet), said:
                                                                                                                                                I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14–16; D&C 84:49–53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18–25.)
                                                                                                                                                Some may (and have) argued that Benson's stance was part and parcel of the general attitudes of the Cold War. However, in both talks, Benson noted a 1936 declaration from the First Presidency condemning communism:
                                                                                                                                                On 3 July 1936, the First Presidency published this warning to Church members:

                                                                                                                                                “Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government. …

                                                                                                                                                “Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism. …

                                                                                                                                                “We call upon all Church members completely to eschew [shun] Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America” (signed: Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, The First Presidency, in Deseret News, 3 July 1936; italics added).
                                                                                                                                                Many members of the Church mistakenly associate Benson's comments with Communism under the Soviet Union and China. Not that he was not talking about that Communism, but by focusing on Communism in the USSR and China, it misses the point that the warning was about communism in America, or, what he referred to in his 1961 talk as "socialistic-communism." Moreover, he observes that this "combination's" public face or representation is to bring about a Utopian society, but its actual goal is to set up "a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land." It is also significant that the method by which this combination seeks to attain its goal is through the overthrow of capitalism and free enterprise, abolition of private property and all classes, elimination of the family as a social unit, and overthrow of our Constitutional form of government.

                                                                                                                                                Communism in the United States (and Western Europe, for that matter), has followed a much different path than it did in the USSR and China. There was no armed revolution to bring it to power; all such attempts had failed. Instead, it has followed a path of conquering the culture--Cultural Marxism.

                                                                                                                                                Bill Whittle has an excellent video on Cultural Marxism and its origins in the Frankfort School:

                                                                                                                                                Scott S. Powell also discusses this topic in his article "The Quiet Revolution: How the New Left Took Over the Democratic Party." He writes:
                                                                                                                                                As Lenin was consolidating power in Russia, Antonio Gramsci was emerging as a leading Marxist theoretician in Italy and would found the Italian Communist Party in 1921. After being imprisoned by Mussolini, the Fascist prime minister of Italy, Gramsci authored what came to be called the Prison Notebooks, partially published in 1947 and in complete form in 1975, a legacy that made him one of the most important Marxist thinkers of the 20th century. Gramsci argued that communists’ route to taking power in developed, industrialized societies such as Europe and the United States would be best achieved through a “long march through the institutions.” This would be a gradual process of radicalization of the cultural institutions -- “the superstructure” -- of bourgeois society, a process that would in turn transform the values and morals of society. Gramsci believed that as society’s morals were softened, its political and economic foundation would be more easily smashed and restructured.

                                                                                                                                                Cultural Marxism was also in vogue at the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University in Germany -- that is until 1933 when the Nazis came to power. Many members of the “Frankfurt School,” such as Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkeimer, and Wilhelm Reich fled to the United States, where they ultimately found their way into professorships at various elite universities such as Berkeley, Columbia, and Princeton. In the context of American culture, “the long march through the institutions” meant, in the words of Herbert Marcuse, “working against the established institutions while working in them.”

                                                                                                                                                While the Frankfurt School was neo-Marxist, many of its adherents were less interested in economics and redistribution of wealth than in remaking and transforming society through attitudinal and cultural change. They incorporated Marxist class theory into sociology and psychology while also assimilating Freud’s theories on sexuality. Thus, Marx’s theory of the dialectic of perpetual conflict was joined together with Freud’s neurotic ideas, creating a sort of Freudian-Marxism. Their stated goal was a total transformation of society by breaking down traditional norms and institutions such as monogamous relations and the traditional family. This was to be accomplished by promoting and legitimizing unhinged sexual permissiveness with no cultural or religious restraint.

                                                                                                                                                The countercultural influence of radicals like Marcuse and Gramsci has been advanced more by insinuation and infiltration than by confrontation. Their “quiet” revolution to remake society was intended to be diffused throughout the culture gradually over a period of time. Gramsci argued that alliances with non-communist leftist groups would be essential to the collapse of the capitalist bourgeois order. Marcuse believed that radical intellectuals needed to ally themselves with the socially marginalized substratum of the outcasts and outsiders, the exploited and persecuted of other races and ethnicities, the unemployed and the unemployable.

                                                                                                                                                While the influence of Marcuse and the Frankfurt School and Marxists like Gramsci was greatest in intellectual circles in a strategic sense, Saul Alinsky arrived on the scene in Chicago in the 1930s with the tactical tools for the foot-soldiers of social and political revolution -- the community organizers and non-academic labor and single-issue activists.

                                                                                                                                                Alinsky had a certain charm and appeal to wealthy funders, ...

                                                                                                                                                Alinsky also had other benefactors in Washington and Wall Street. ...

                                                                                                                                                * * *
                                                                                                                                                Alinsky's tactics had more in common with Gramsci and Marcuse than the revolutionary and violent approaches of Russian Marxists Lenin and Stalin. Alinsky, too, believed in gradualism and subversion of the system through infiltration rather than confrontation and revolution.

                                                                                                                                                Alinsky believed that politics was war by other means, stating specifically that “in war the end justifies almost any means.” But he was more than a nihilistic progressive revolutionary. Alinsky’s handbook, Rules for Radicals, first published in 1971, included an admiration for the prince of darkness, Lucifer, noting that he was “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom…”

                                                                                                                                                By the 1960s Marcuse and Alinsky were recognized as two of the most influential leaders of the New Left, which gained strength and numbers by taking a leading role in the anti-Vietnam War movement. However, Alinsky and Marcuse were critical of the violent and confrontational tactics of many of the anti-war radicals, such as Bill Ayers and the Weathermen, preferring instead that radicals work behind the scenes and bore into the establishment. This was seen later in the 1960s with Alinskyites positioned to take advantage of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” programs, to direct federal money into various Alinksy projects.

                                                                                                                                                Alinksy succeeded in what would be a crowning achievement: the recruitment of young idealistic radicals -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- who would go on to climb to the top of political power in the Democratic Party. Hillary wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College in 1969 on Alinsky’s methods and remained a friend of Alinsky until his death in 1972. A decade later, Barack Obama was trained in the methods and Rules for Radicals in the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                Camouflage and deception are key to Alinsky-style organizing. When Barack Obama was organizing black churches in Chicago and was criticized for not attending church himself, he pivoted and became a regular church attendee, ultimately becoming a member at Jeremiah Wright’s radical Trinity United Church of Christ.

                                                                                                                                                * * *

                                                                                                                                                By winning “cultural hegemony,” the acolytes of Gramsci, Alinsky, Marcuse, and the Frankfurt School believed that the wellsprings of human thought could be largely controlled by mass psychology and propaganda. One of Alinsky’s unique contributions, explained as the seventh Rule for Radicals, was the tactic to avoid debate on the issues by systematically silencing, ridiculing and marginalizing people of opposing views. At the same time, allies in the media provided cover and a framework of acceptance for radical issues and leaders. Traditional values of morality, family, the work ethic and free market institutions were made to appear outdated -- even reactionary, unnecessary, and culturally unfashionable. Ultimately this evolved into what has become known as political correctness, which now envelops the culture.

                                                                                                                                                By 1980, the counter-cultural alliances would include radical feminist groups, civil rights and ethnic minority advocates, extremist environmental organizations, and advocates of liberation theology, anti-military peace groups, union leaders, radical legal activist organizations like the ACLU, human rights watch-dog organizations, community organizers of the Alinsky model, national and world church council bureaucracies, anti-corporate activists, and various internationalist-minded groups. Working separately and together, these groups could count on a sympathetic media and favorable coverage, which facilitated building bridges to the Democratic Party and becoming vocal constituencies deserving attention and legislative action.

                                                                                                                                                The New Left in America realized that it was neither necessary nor desirable to own the means of production as originally envisioned by Marx. Redistribution could be accomplished through progressive taxation that was enshrined by an enlightened Democratic Party. Corporate priorities could be redirected through sensational and biased media exposure, proxy contests, mass demonstrations, boycotts, activist lawsuits and regulatory actions. No need to be responsible for the means of production, when you could advance Marx’s anti-capitalist agenda from the sidelines by indicting individual corporations and the system of capitalism itself.
                                                                                                                                                Black racism has been encouraged by outside communist agitators, many of them white. Since the turn of the last century, communists have manipulated the civil rights movement, and have been stoking the fires of discontent deliberately. Massie credits lifelong communist and Stalin admirer W.E.B. Du Bois with initiating the international communist movement’s effort to capitalize on black discontent early on. After a visit to the Soviet Union in 1927, Du Bois called it, “the most hopeful vehicle for the world.” Du Bois helped found the NAACP in 1909.

                                                                                                                                                Bayard Rustin, who acknowledged that “blacks were ripe for [manipulation by] Communists,” helped found Martin Luther King, Jr’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s movement was corrupted after he was assassinated. Massie states, “Out of that group came Joseph Lowery and others who mouth complaints designed to stir the caldron of anger, victimology and rabid hatred for anyone who dares attempt to share the message of truth and life.” (Ed. Note: Lowery made news in 2012 when campaigning for Obama by saying “all white people would go to Hell.” He said it was a joke.)

                                                                                                                                                The “White Privilege” concept was created by Noel Ignatiev, a hardcore Communist Party member and former Harvard University professor who founded the journal, Race Traitor.

                                                                                                                                                White guilt has allowed the Left to dramatically expand the welfare state. Trillions of dollars have been spent on welfare. Yet, as Mitt Romney recently noted, under Obama “there are more people in poverty in America than ever before.” Many people are unaware, however, that the modern welfare system was designed by radical leftists to suck minorities into permanent poverty, providing a reliable voting bloc for Democrats and sowing the seeds of discontent within the black community. It was inspired by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, two die-hard socialists, who advocated packing the welfare rolls in order to bankrupt and crash the system. They wanted it to fail. The Cloward Piven Crisis Strategy was formulated to create an army of militant, angry blacks that would serve as foot soldiers in the coming socialist revolution. Piven described the rationale as recently as 2011:

                                                                                                                                                [B]efore people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant… So, a kind of psychological transformation has to take place; the out-of-work have to stop blaming themselves for their hard times and turn their anger on the bosses, the bureaucrats or the politicians who are in fact responsible.
                                                                                                                                                Cloward and Piven sought to rig the welfare system for failure to provoke that anger. Their apprentice was Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN. ACORN’s proud protégé was Barack Hussein Obama.
                                                                                                                                                Note well that what is described is and will continue to bring ruin on this nation and all others that participate in it.  Benson said that avoiding this fate would require the following:
                                                                                                                                                First, we should become informed about communism, about socialism, and about Americanism. ... We should know why paternalism, collectivism, or unnecessary federal supervision will hold our standard of living down and reduce productivity just as it has in every country where it has been tried. We should also know why the communist leaders consider socialism the highroad to communism.

                                                                                                                                                Second, we should accept the command of the Lord and treat socialistic communism as the tool of Satan. We should follow the counsel of the President of the Church and resist the influence and policies of the socialist-communist conspiracy wherever they are found—in the schools, in the churches, in governments, in unions, in businesses, in agriculture.

                                                                                                                                                Third, we should help those who have been deceived or who are misinformed to find the truth. Unless each person who knows the truth will "stand up and speak up" it is difficult for the deceived or confused citizen to find his way back.

                                                                                                                                                Fourth, we should not make the mistake of calling people "communist" just because they happen to be helping the communist cause. Thousands of patriotic Americans, including a few Latter-day Saints, have helped the communists without realizing it. Others have knowingly helped without joining the party. The remedy is to avoid name-calling, but point out clearly and persuasively how they are helping the communists.

                                                                                                                                                Fifth, each priesthood holder should use his influence in the community to resist the erosion process which is taking place in our political and economic life. He should use the political party of his choice to express his evaluation of important issues. He should see that his party is working to preserve freedom, not destroy it. He should join responsible local groups interested in promoting freedom and free competitive enterprise, in studying political issues, appraising the voting records and proposed programs, and writing to members of Congress, promoting good men in public office and scrutinizing local, state, and federal agencies to see that the will of the people is being carried out. He should not wait for the Lord's servants to give instruction for every detail once they have announced the direction in which the priesthood should go. Each member should exercise prayerful judgment and then act.

                                                                                                                                                Sixth, and most important of all, each member of the priesthood should set his own house in order (D&C 93:43). This should include:

                                                                                                                                                1. Regular family prayer, remembering especially our government leaders.

                                                                                                                                                2. Getting out of debt.

                                                                                                                                                3. Seeing that each member of the family understands the importance of keeping the commandments.

                                                                                                                                                4. Seeing that the truth is shared with members of the family, with neighbors, and with associates.

                                                                                                                                                5. Seeing that each member is performing his duties in the priesthood, in the auxiliary organizations, in the temple, and in the civic life of the community.

                                                                                                                                                6. Seeing that every wage earner in the home is a full tithepayer and fulfilling other obligations in financial support of the kingdom.

                                                                                                                                                7. Providing a one-year supply of essentials.
                                                                                                                                                 We have been warned for nearly 100 years to avoid Marxism. How long will the warning go on?


                                                                                                                                                WARNING TO CHURCH MEMBERS With great regret we learn from credible sources, governmental and others, that a few Church members are joining directly or indirectly, the Communists and are taking part in their activities. The Church does not interfere, and has no intention of trying to interfere, with the fullest and freest exercise of the political franchise of its members, under and within our Constitution which the Lord declared: “I established . . . by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose,”(D&C 101:80) and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet, dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be “established forever.”(D&C 109:54) But Communism is not a political party nor a political plan under the Constitution; it is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government, and it would be necessary to destroy our government before Communism could be set up in the United States. Since Communism, established, would destroy our American Constitutional government, to support Communism is treasonable to our free institutions, and no patriotic American citizen may become either a Communist or supporter of Communism. To our Church members we say: Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto; Communism is based upon intolerance and force, the United Order upon love and freedom of conscience and action; Communism involves forceful despoliation and confiscation, the United Order voluntary consecration and sacrifice. Communists cannot establish the United Order, nor will Communism bring it about. The United Order will be established by the Lord in His own due time and in accordance with the regular prescribed order of the Church. Furthermore, it is charged by universal report, which is not successfully contradicted or disproved, that Communism undertakes to control, if not indeed to proscribe the religious life of the people living within its jurisdiction, and that it even reaches its hand into the sanctity of the family circle itself, disrupting the normal relationship of parent and child, all in a manner unknown and unsanctioned under the Constitutional guarantees under which we in America live. Such interference would be contrary to the fundamental precepts of the Gospel and to the teachings and order of the Church. Communism being thus hostile to loyal American citizenship and incompatible with true Church membership, of necessity no loyal American citizen and no faithful Church member can be a Communist. We call upon all Church members completely to eschew Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America. First Presidency: HEBER J. GRANT J. REUBEN CLARK, JR. DAVID O. MCKAY