Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22, 2017--A Quick Run Around the Web

"Shocking moment man is fatally stabbed to death in Brooklyn"--Akademi Portal (37 sec.). Just one stab wound. It was 20 seconds before the victim collapsed, during which, in the intervening period, he yelled at the man who had stabbed him, threw his food and belongings down, crossed one street and almost made it across another. Read more the incident here

  • Be sure to check out this weekend's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Among other things, links to, and comments about, an article on clearing a house by yourself, spotting IED's set up in/around internal door frames, and the dangers of over-exercise.
  • "Canning game meat"--Backwoods Home Magazine. Because of the need to can meats at higher temperatures, the first thing you will need is a pressure canner--a basic boiling bath canner will not do. The author has some points about selecting and using a pressure canner, then gets into the "meat" (pun intended) of how to do the canning, discussing preparing your jars, the difference between raw-pack and hot-pack canning (i.e., raw meat versus cooked or partially cooked meat). and offering some canning recipes. 
  • "US Army’s New Magazine A FAILURE? USMC Test of Enhanced Performance Magazine Shows It Performed Worse Than Predecessor, PMAG"--The Firearms Blog. In a test between four magazines, including a third generation PMAG and the an Enhanced Performance Magazine (EPM). The latter was the worst of the lot, while the PMAG was the best.
  • "Protect Generators and Cars from EMP"--The Survivalist Blog. The embedded video (about 11 min.) describes using a conductive cloth (RF cloth) to protected against EMP. The author briefly notes that, based on his testing, most RF cloth doesn't perform as well as claimed by the manufacturer, but still feels that some may be of use in protecting against EMP or a solar flare. He then discusses different pros and cons for different types of RF cloth products that are available. arriving at a couple that he thought were of use.
  • "Salt of the Earth?"--Blue Collar Prepping. Recommendations for the storage of salt, which has a long history of being traded as a commodity or even being used as money. Basically, for cooking and eating, get the iodized salt so you won't have thyroid issues after TEOTWAWKI. For other uses, bulk salt, such as for water softeners or rock salt will work.
  • "Fish Hook Knot No. 1"--Dreaming of Sunsets Over Ochre Dunes. A basic knot to use with fishhooks that have "eyes."
  • "Backward Ideas About Backyard Farming"--Survival Mom. Some basic ideas and suggestions about intensive gardening or farming in your backyard (as opposed to some acreage in a rural area), including making use of vertical gardening techniques and growing some plants indoors, and suggestions as to a composter and some animals to raise.
  • "Is Anyone Still Using the Weaver Stance?"--The Truth About Guns. Basically, the vast bulk of competitive shooters and tactical/self-defense trainers use the isosceles stance. I notice that what I use depends on the situation. If I don't have time constraints and I want maximum accuracy, I will tend to revert to Weaver or a modified version thereof (which was how I was taught by my father to shoot a pistol). However, my oldest son cannot shoot accurately using the Weaver or modified, no matter how much time he has, so I wound up telling him to not pay attention to how I'm shooting (when I'm just shooting as opposed to demonstrating) and just concentrate on the basic isosceles stance, with which he does much better.
  • "Commentary On A Good Southern Prepper 1 Video About Training"--Mason Dixon Tactical. (The video about which his commenting can be found here and is about 8 minutes long). Among other things, he writes:
       Inexperienced looters and thugs are easily stopped by layered security measures like security lighting, security cameras, locked chain link fence, heavy duty door and door frame, shrubs under all the ground level, first floor windows that make window breaches with a buddy or short ladder more difficult, loud, audibly piercing alarm, etc., but the experienced version of the looters and thugs have planned ahead and done their “Leaders Recon” before hitting a place.
           An experienced group will know if they need bolt cutters, a door ram, and/or shotgun for a breach. An experienced group will know if you have security cameras, and will have ways of defeating it from a concealed location (accurate air rifle or suppressed .22LR) An experienced group will have a assault plan and special teams for different tasks. An experienced group will know how many exits there are to the dwelling, and either hit all at once, or at least have them covered once the assault kicks off.
              Something to keep in mind when discussing this stuff (the defense), is that the defense is a Hell of a lot easier than offense (usually they are fixed positions and not much is required physically), and it requires a lower ratio of personnel (defense is usually a 3 to 1 ratio meaning the defense only needs one person for every three offensive/attacking personnel) than the offense usually does. Generally speaking, preppers and Survivalists need to make sure they have their defensive plan ready and able to be carried out (enough personnel just for that) before planning on conducting any form of offensive actions.
                I’m not gonna bother covering what happens if you got hit by contractors or military, because if you do, you had better already have a squared away escape plan in place because it would be the “Experienced looters and thugs” on steroids (MG’s, AT-4’s, breaching charges that make their own doorway, etc.). You do what you can to fight something like that, but have no illusion that the probability leans towards getting rolled over, even though the possibility is that you could still win. This is why having someone who knows how to set up security of your site is so important. A knowledgeable individual (Like southernprepper1 said, not someone who read it in a book) can give you the layered security set up that gives you advanced warning and also helps channel attackers, and restrict a site breach for a short while.
        He also recommends being realistic about your fitness and training. Read the whole thing.

        Other Stuff:
        • r versus K--an example:
        • r-Strategists at work: "Teens filmed, mocked drowning man, Cocoa police say"--Florida Today. The group of teens just stood by, doing nothing to save the man, choosing to film the event with their cell phones rather than call 911. According to the article, authorities will not be charging the youths with any crime because they "dindu nuffin'" to cause the man's death. That is, there is no Florida law requiring a person to provide assistance to someone in need. But CNN is reporting that the Cocoa police chief is urging that the youth be charged under a statute that requires the reporting of a dead body, which they also failed to do. (See also video here showing what the youths were witnessing and recording their taunts and laughter). I don't agree that Florida should adopt a law requiring a person to render assistance; only you can decide whether you are capable of safely rendering aid. Rather, the issue is one of morality and integrity: i.e., the youth didn't even attempt to call for help due to their depravity and lack of morals, and we haven't heard a peep from Black Lives Matter to rage against the teens. 
        • Compare the foregoing with this: "US Army infantrymen run into burning building in Ukraine, save lives"--Popular "Odom, along with fellow Thunderbirds Sgt. Nelson Deese, Spc. Vincent Humerickhouse, Spc. Kellar Jackson, Spc. Aaron Moore and Pfc. Kevin Polk, rushed into the burning building and evacuated the third floor before local firefighters arrived on scene."
        • "Bug off! Unsettling moment a nightmarish swarm of locusts descend on a car in Russia as authorities declare a state of emergency over the insect invasion"--Daily Mail. The incident was in Dagestan, Russia. "Reportedly, the locusts have taken over the area, with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in Dagestan reporting that at least 112,000 hectares [432 square miles] have been affected by the insatiable insects." 
        • No longer our best and brightest: "A's on the rise in U.S. report cards, but SAT scores founder"--USA Today. It reports that "the upward creep is most pronounced in schools with large numbers of white, wealthy students. And its especially noticeable in private schools, where the rate of inflation was about three times higher than in public schools." (Underline added). Meritocracies are impossible to sustain because, inevitably, many of the children of the elite will fail to merit their privileged position.
        • Seems like a good idea to me: "County jail to snip 30 days off prison sentences if inmates get a vasectomy"--Fox News. It would certainly help cull the rabbits from society.
        • This is terrible (sarc.): "Maine Town Resorts To Hiring Americans As Visas Run Out"--Hot Air. Businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine, have run out of available H-2B visas for temporary workers and are--gasp!--having to resort to hiring Americans. We need a list of all the businesses that use H-2B workers.
        • "As Workouts Intensify, a Harmful Side Effect Grows More Common"--New York Times. Rhabdomyolysis (or "rhabdo") is a rare but life-threatening condition often caused by extreme exercise. It occurs when overworked muscles begin to die, and the muscle fibers break apart, and release compounds that can be harmful to the liver and cause severe pain. These compounds include a protein called myoglobin, which causes brown or tea-colored urine, a classic symptom of rhabdo. Rhabdo occurs when people simply do not give their muscles time to adjust to an aggressive new exercise. It almost always strikes people that are trying a new exercise or activity, but there is also evidence that certain medications--including statins, stimulants and antipsychotic drugs--and/or genetic susceptibilities may contribute to the condition.
        • "Germany Has Major Migrant Riot"--Anonymous Conservative. About a 1,000 Muslim youth overran a musical festival and started raping women and attacking police. Anonymous Conservative observes:
                 Only a thousand youth? You have to laugh. These are the tame times, when dopamine is flowing freely, weapons are unknown to the migrant mobs, and the numbers of migrants are a fraction of what will be around in the Apocalypse. These are the riots that were done for fun by a handful of the new migrants.
                    When there is no food, the migrants are starving, they’ve imported Kalashnikovs and RPGs, and the locals have stopped trying to cater to their every wish, is when the real excitement will begin.
              Japan’s birth rate may be falling because there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially men, in the country’s economy. In a country where men are still widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don’t marry and have children because they—and their potential partners—know they can’t afford to.
                Electromagnetic railguns have numerous potential advantages over existing shipboard defenses. They hit targets faster, they cover bigger areas, they cost much less per shot than missiles, they enhance on-board safety (no gunpowder), and they reduce logistical requirements. Hundreds of rounds can be stored on a warship, and they can be applied to multiple missions beyond ship defense. They also are not subject to the line-of-sight and energy attenuation drawbacks of high-power lasers. 
                • Dalrock has a some articles on what he calls the "presence punisher": the wife or girlfriend who wants to punish their man by or through their presence. The first article, "Smartphones ruin everything," begins with a vignette of a woman complaining about her boyfriend entertaining himself with a smart phone while she shops. When asked why it bothered her, she responded: "Because now he isn’t miserable." The second article--"Spotting the presence punisher in the wild"--notes that the easiest way to spot the "presence punisher" is by her complaint that her husband or boyfriend doesn't want to spend time with her. In a 2015 article on the topic, Dalrock explained that "[w]hat we see here is a surprisingly common pattern for wives;  they go out of their way to be unpleasant to their husbands and then complain that their husbands don’t want to spend time with them." He goes on to add: "Despite near universal denial this impulse is extremely common.  When women complain to my wife that their husbands never want to spend time with them she gently asks them if when they are around their husband they are pleasant and nice to be around.  The response she receives varies from viewing my wife as a traitor to women, to shock that they had never considered this themselves."

                Thursday, July 20, 2017

                July 20, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                "I Can't Believe You Said 9mm, .40 S&W & .357 Magnum Are The Same Power! OMG!!"--Jason Blaha Firearm Enthusiast (11 min.). The author corrects a mistake or misinterpretation made by a commentator to one of his videos, and discusses the difference between pressure and power, and why you will never see commercial .40 S&W +P. Good for any of you interested in reloading.

                • "On Being Provident and Teaching our Children"--Living Providently Today. The author notes that "[l]earning skills and getting good at doing things builds confidence which also makes us more able to serve. These principles are so important for us as adults to learn, but also for us to teach to our children." She then goes on to list activities that can be used to teach our kids valuable skills. I would note that the author "walks the walk," and has a lot of valuable info on storing food and using that food storage. 
                • ""Preppers" in Chile: The Silent Community Preparing for the End of the World"--Publimetro. A brief article in Chilean newspaper describing the prepper movement in that country. This is a common refrain in articles about prepping from all over the world:
                Based on what he experienced after the earthquake of 2010, and his experience as a rescuer, this Chilean certifies that after a disaster, come many days of lack of resources, and that is where his concern arises for the movement preparation, which according to him , It is a lifestyle.
                (Underline added). The "he" is Juan Carlos Neira, the director of the Search, Rescue and Rescue Unit of the NGO Rescate.
                • "That Drug Expiration Date May Be More Myth Than Fact"--National Public Radio (NPR). The article notes that there is almost no research on how long medications remain potent or efficacious, mostly because there is no financial incentive to do so: pharmaceutical companies make hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, each year on people, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals having to replace "expired" drugs. In any event, the expiration date on medications simply represents a time period in which the pharmaceutical manufacturer guarantees 100% potency. However, the article relates some researchers which happened to have been provided with a box of old prescription drugs that were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates, that had been found in a store room of an old pharmacy. 
                       In his lab, Gerona ran tests on the decades-old drugs, including some now defunct brands such as the diet pills Obocell (once pitched to doctors with a portly figurine called "Mr. Obocell") and Bamadex. Overall, the bottles contained 14 different compounds, including antihistamines, pain relievers and stimulants. All the drugs tested were in their original sealed containers.
                         The findings surprised both researchers: A dozen of the 14 compounds were still as potent as they were when they were manufactured, some at almost 100 percent of their labeled concentrations.
                             In 1986, the Air Force, hoping to save on replacement costs, asked the FDA if certain drugs' expiration dates could be extended. In response, the FDA and Defense Department created the Shelf Life Extension Program.
                               Each year, drugs from the stockpiles are selected based on their value and pending expiration, and analyzed in batches to determine whether their end dates could be safely extended. For several decades, the program has found that the actual shelf life of many drugs is well beyond the original expiration dates.
                                  A 2006 study of 122 drugs tested by the program showed that two-thirds of the expired medications were stable every time a lot was tested. Each of them had their expiration dates extended, on average, by more than four years, according to research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
                                     Some that failed to hold their potency include the common asthma inhalant albuterol, the topical rash spray diphenhydramine, and a local anesthetic made from lidocaine and epinephrine, the study said. But neither Cantrell nor Dr. Cathleen Clancy, associate medical director of National Capital Poison Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the George Washington University Medical Center, had heard of anyone being harmed by any expired drugs. Cantrell says there has been no recorded instance of such harm in medical literature.
                              One to take note of is that a test of expired EpiPens showed that, even when stored under less than ideal conditions, they retained sufficient potency to be useful. The ones tested were between 40 and 50 months past their expiration date. Over half retained 90% of their stated doses of epinephrine; all of them had at least 80%; meaning that all the devices would have been useful. 
                              • "Two New Methods Criminal Are Using That Are On The Rise"--Schafer's Self-Defense Corner. The first is that a criminal will put a $100 bill (generally fake) under their victim's passenger side windshield wiper. When the victim notices it, he or she will generally pull over, at which time persons trailing them in another vehicle will attack. The second involves those who have thumb-latch door handles on their front doors. The perpetrator will put a rubber band over the latch and hook it below the handle, exerting downward pressure, then knock on the door or ring the bell. When the homeowner answers the door, even if they successfully shut the door, the pressure will prevent the door from latching when closed.
                              • "Do you Have What it Takes to be a Christian Survivalist?"--CBN News. A short article and link to a video about incorporating Christian principles and faith into your prepping.
                              • "The Secret to Winning Every Battle"--Pat McLene (the Practical Prepper) at WND. The title is in reference to Sun Tzu's entreaty that, to win, you need to know your enemy and yourself. Most of the article is about building community and using it for self-defense and prepping (e.g., community gardens, community watches/patrols, etc.), but ends with a discussion of using threat assessment grids.
                              • "Very 1st Set of Prepping: Know Your Enemy"--Pat McLene (the Practical Prepper) at WND. This is a follow up article to the one cited immediately above. In it, McLene goes into more detail on the threat assessment grid, explaining how he put together his exemplar, and discussing public sources of information on potential threats (e.g., gangs).
                              • "Sawyer Squeeze and Mini Water Filters"--Jerking the Trigger.  The author reviews these two small and inexpensive water filter systems, and concludes that "[t]hey are the best trail filters that I have used and they are also the cheapest." He not only discusses the pros and cons to each, but also tips on getting the most from them.
                              • "Reprise: Is Muzzle Energy Really a Measure of Handgun Effectiveness?"--Ballistics By The Inch Blog. Looking back on a prior discussion of the topic, the author concludes:
                                       ... I still agree with everything above, but I’m now even more inclined to go with a relatively heavy bullet for penetration over impressive ME numbers. I think that comes from shooting a number of different brands of ammo where the manufacturer has chosen to go with a very fast, but very light bullet to get an amazing ME, with the argument that this is more likely to cause some kind of terminal shock, citing tests showing significant ‘temporary wound channels’ and such in ballistic gel.
                                          But you really can’t cheat physics. If you dump a lot of kinetic energy very quickly into creating a temporary wound channel, then you have less energy for other things. Like penetration. Or bullet expansion. And those are factors which are considered important in how well a handgun bullet performs in stopping an attacker. That’s why the seminal FBI research paper on the topic says this:

                                    Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed “shock” of bullet impact is a fable and “knock down” power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, “too little penetration will get you killed.” Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.
                                             Now, you can still argue over the relative merits of the size of the bullet, and whether a 9mm or a .45 is more effective. You can argue about trade-offs between recoil & round count. About this or that bullet design. Those are all completely valid factors to consider from everything I have seen and learned about ballistics, and there’s plenty of room for debate.
                                               But me, I want to make sure that at the very minimum, the defensive ammo I carry will 1) penetrate and 2) expand reliably when shot out of my gun. And if you can’t demonstrate that in ballistic gel tests, I don’t care how impressive the velocity of the ammo is or how big the temporary wound cavity is.

                                          Other Stuff:
                                          Establishment climate scientists have been correcting raw temperature data input to the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) models, which has had the effect of restoring the rate of increase and eliminating the near 20-year "pause" in warming. A new study (On the Validity of NOAA, NASA, and Hadley GRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data & The Validity of EPA's CO2 Endangerment Finding) strongly suggests that all or almost all the warming for the last 20 years, and a significant amount for the last 50 years, is accounted for by instrument biases and corrections. As a result, the study calls into question the EPA's "Endangerment Finding" for CO2, which justified the Obama administration's restrictive rules on carbon emissions issued just before the end of their term.
                                          In not so many words, the climate scientists have altered the raw temperature data to fit their models.
                                                   An Australian woman who called 911 to report a possible assault was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer after the officer's partner was startled by a loud sound near their squad car, the partner told investigators Tuesday.
                                                      The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Justine Damond, 40, approached the driver's-side window of the squad car immediately after the driver had been startled by the sound. The officer in the passenger seat, Mohamed Noor, fired his weapon, hitting Damond through the open driver's-side window, the bureau said.
                                                       The bureau said its information was based on an interview with the officer driving the car, Matthew Harrity. Harrity was interviewed Tuesday, but Noor declined to be interviewed. The bureau said his attorney did not indicate when, or whether, Noor would talk to investigators, and under the law an interview can't be compelled.
                                                I've been waiting for the initial speculation and misinformation to be resolved on this situation, but it does not appear to be happening. Instead, it seems to be just an issue of circling the wagons. The officer involved in the shooting is a Somali Muslim and, given the number of Somalis living in Minnesota, Minneapolis politicians have a vested interest in not pursuing this too far. I've seen articles that have reported that Noor's partner was surprised when Noor shot the woman, and initial reports said that Harrity was already talking to Damond when Noor shot her. But I come back to the issue of this: if you or I had reacted the same under the facts most favorable to Noor, we would be facing homicide charges.
                                                         The inability or unwillingness of Muslim migrant men to conform to the sexual mores of Europe is of course just one of the problems the migrant crisis has brought to the continent. But the knee-jerk reaction of European elites to either ignore or deny these sorts of problems speaks volumes about their commitment to western civilization.
                                                            In his new book, “The Strange Death of Europe,” British journalist Douglas Murray documents his travels across Europe reporting on the migrant crisis, and concludes that Europe is so morally exhausted that it rejects its own right to exist. “Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument,” writes Murray. “Those in power seem persuaded that it would not matter if the people and culture of Europe were lost to the world.”
                                                             According to Murray, the migrant crisis perfectly encapsulates this exhaustion. In some ways, it’s a case of competing virtues: the desire to be virtuous to the rest of the world is competing against justice for the people of Europe. Increasingly, virtue is winning out over justice because a misguided commitment to hollow notions of “respect,” “tolerance,” and “diversity” has supplanted the deep roots of European civilization. The problem, argues Murray, is that European values have “become so wide as to become meaninglessly shallow.”
                                                                As the crisis deepens, it’s become obvious that Europe’s leaders are now so ambivalent about the survival of their own civilization they’re unable to speak of the bad things that have come, and will keep coming, with mass migration.
                                                             ...  Nature does not care about education, “high quality” offspring, college degrees, equal rights, cleanliness, sustainability, philosophy, or the environment. It cares about fertility and might, and the species or race that is most fertile and most powerful will be rewarded with the bounty that the Earth provides. 
                                                                 We are the mistakes of nature. We are the grotesque. We have been condemned for replacement, forsaken by God for enabling over one billion abortions in just a few decades while we attempt to change the rules of nature, to declare man woman and woman man. Our goal is not one of spiritual enlightenment but of achieving the most vile feats of degeneracy.
                                                                   Because of our cultural and biological sterility, I believe we have been fated for destruction. Even though this end stares us right in the face, the best we can muster is a few rants on internet web sites, while the barbarians are raping, conquering, and breeding. I promise you they will win. History shows that the barbarians always win. They are the solution to a broken people. They faithfully worship their gods while we worship our Facebook likes and celebrities. We are so hopelessly sterile, so anti-life, that nature will celebrate when we are replaced by those who can barely read. But they will treasure the life of their kind, and that’s enough.
                                                              I don't think that Validzadeh is completely correct. Nature can and does care for high quality offspring, hence r/K reproductive strategies. We live in an era of incredible abundance which has given the r-strategists, whether they be the sterile urbanites of the West, or the hordes in Africa and the Middle-East, a temporary advantage. But they can only win so long as the abundance continues. Once the surplus--whether it be food, medicine or energy--is taken away, they will die like the lemmings they are. The question is whether this scarcity will arise before the K-strategists are decimated. In answer to that question, I believe that the purpose of the tribulations and trials preceding the Second Coming is to remove this surplus and abundance and force the premature destruction of the r-strategists. 

                                                              Wednesday, July 19, 2017

                                                              July 19, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                              "Celox Granules"--SkinnyMedic (5 min.)
                                                              A hemostatic agent useful for areas where you can't put a tourniquet, such as the shoulder area or hips.

                                                              • "Nightstand Gun: Three Must-Haves"--The Truth About Guns. The three listed are: (1) a full size striker fired handgun or full-sized revolver; (2) night sights; and (3) a sound suppressor or electronic hearing protection. Some personal comments: 
                                                                     First, I don't see why other semi-auto pistols  sporting a hammer, whether single action or DAO or DA/SA are not acceptable. For various reasons, unless it was a revolver or a DAO or DA/SA (with the hammer down), I don't keep a round chambered in a "nightstand" gun. The last thing I want to do is grab a cocked gun in the middle of the night when I've been startled awake and still groggy. 
                                                                     Second, I agree with night sights. However, while the author notes that you can turn on lights, so a weapon mounted flashlight is unnecessary, I would still advise keeping a flashlight handy, in case you have a power outage, a light bulb burn out, or, for some reason, you need to check outside the home (but still within the curtilage). I've been woken many times by crashes or other noises outside due to raccoons or neighborhood cats, neighbors, or other instances that don't automatically warrant a call to the police, but still require some investigation. 
                                                                     Third, while hearing protection is always a good idea, especially if you have to shoot in an tight, confined space such as a hallway, your house is probably very different than an indoor shooting range: there is a surprisingly large amount of sound absorbing material in your average room. A 9 mm pistol, for instance, fired inside a house will not necessarily leave you deafened or your ears ringing.
                                                              • "Breaking In Or Breaking Bad? What To Expect When Breaking In Your Pistol"--Concealed Nation. It was not so many years ago that it was expected that with a new semi-auto handgun that it would take at least 100 to 200 rounds run through it before it could be trusted to run reliably. And prior to that--the 1980s and earlier--true reliability in a semi-auto (especially the Colt 1911s) required work by a gunsmith. The author of this article still recommends thoroughly testing out a new handgun before relying on it for self-defense, and provides information on making your break-in successful (e.g., clean and lube the firearm!), and tips on determining whether reliability issues are due to you, your magazine, your ammunition, or your firearm. One thing he notes is that your firearm may be sensitive to the type of ammunition you feed it. The author relates:
                                                                     But if you’re someone who likes to carry, for example, over-pressurized jacketed hollow points (+P JHP), you want to know that what you carry will reliably work in your gun.
                                                                        The reason I bring this up is because not all ammunition is shaped the same way. For instance, I was recently switched from Winchester 124 gr Rangers (FMJ) to Hornady Critical Defense 135 gr +P. I noticed that in my Glock 43, this caused a few rounds to get stuck nose down underneath the feed ramp of the barrel.
                                                                          This was more than a little annoying.
                                                                           It wasn’t anything I couldn’t quickly correct by either ejecting the magazine and reinserting it or manually pulling the slide back. But, in a life or death scenario, that’s the last thing I want to deal with.
                                                                             I ended up switching to Speer Gold Dot 124 gr GDHP +P. That ended up working well. I have a friend who carries a Ruger and he uses Hornady and he has no issues with the Critical Defense rounds. In this particular case, I got lucky and traded him the rest of mine for the Gold Dots. That worked out. But, in general, I’d never recommend carrying a round that doesn’t reliably work in your everyday carry handgun.
                                                                              This also brings up another point: not all guns of the same make and model work the same.
                                                                        • "100k+ U.S. Army Surplus 1911’s On Their Way Home! Maybe . . ."--The Truth About Guns. The author reports that this past Friday, "the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP pistols available to the American public through the Civilian Marksmanship program (CMP)." Unlike the previous bill authorizing the transfer of the pistols to the CMP, this one will require that the DoD transfer the firearms without further authorization, and all 100,000 will be released at once, rather than 10,000 per year.
                                                                        • "The Importance of 'Why'--Proactive Reloads"--Gabe Suarez. He comments that it not only necessary to know how to perform a technique, but why you perform it or do it in a certain way. 
                                                                          [If] it appears that the fight is over - we accept that appearances may be mistaken - we move to cover and reload the weapon just in case the fight is not in fact over.  Irrelevant in a sporting event, it is imperative in a real fight.  And since you are alone, retaining rather than discarding your equipment makes sense.  Those three rounds left in your magazine may become a life changer if your perception about the end of the fight was totally wrong.
                                                                                 Basically it is a way to finish someone who has fallen to their back under you. If the person has any MMA or grappling experience, I would not use it, because it opens you up to losing the top position. If your opponent falls to their back, and like lightening pivots around so their feet are pointing toward you, then you have a bigger problem with them, and you should worry about maintaining top position and moving slowly, rather than finishing them quickly with this.
                                                                                   But if you and your opponent are clinched and go to the ground, and your opponent begins trying to just fight with you without pivoting his feet toward you, getting his legs around your waist and putting you in the guard, you can move to this.
                                                                                      The technique basically comes down to putting your knee as low on your opponent’s sternum as possible. There is a lever-like aspect to your use of the sternum, so you want your knee right at the bottom edge of it. You then grab the shoulders, and pull them up toward you as hard as possible as you drop all your body weight on the sternum, and drive it in and angle the force upward a little, up toward his head. This will usually mean grabbing the clothing at the front of the shoulders, and pulling, but as with wrestling, it could involve grabbing the arms if your opponent is shirtless, though you’d need a wrestler’s grip. You pull the shoulders, and because of your knee position, you are pulling the shoulders forward, and slightly downward from your opponent’s perspective. It is designed to curve the back forward, and simulate caving the chest inward, as you are dropping all of your weight on the lower edge of that sternum, driving it in and a little up.
                                                                                        At the peak force position, you should be in a mechanically advantageous position, where your weight is being driven down, with all the pulling force generated by your trapezius muscles and your straightening back, as you straighten your knee down into his sternum.
                                                                                         As it was taught to me, this causes the ribs to push through the flesh, causing some sort of deep tissue bruise that takes days before you can breathe again. My own impression from when it was done to me is it takes the “joint” structures, where the ends of the ribs meet and join to the sternum, and it places a stress on them which the structures are not designed or adapted to bear.
                                                                                           So as the end of the sternum is being driven down, the ribs, which are attached by ligaments and buffered by cartilage, are being flexed so that the ends of the ribs want to rip free from the sternum and spring up out of the chest. At the same time, the ends of the ribs on each side are being pressed together, inward, over the sternum as the chest is caved in. So the ends are probably getting pressed into the cartilage around the sternum, crushing it as well, and the structure may be designed to see them slide upward as they are forced to slide inward, amplifying the stresses on the ligaments holding the ribs in against the sternum.
                                                                                             It is that damage to the sort of “joint” structures linking the ends of each of the ribs to the sternum that causes an inability to move the rib cage at all after it – something you have to do all the time when you breathe. ...
                                                                                               The real upside over a stomping kick to the neck, or jaw, or ribs, or an armbar or choke is that since it damages ligaments and crushes cartilage in small structures overlooked on physical exam, and it doesn’t leave a bruise, abrasion, or other mark, it will be missed if they seek medical attention. The main symptom should basically approximate multiple broken ribs and an inability to comfortably move the ribcage at all. However from what I was told, there would be no issues on X-rays or other tests, so a physician cannot independently confirm the injury. But again, I have no idea how much testing was done by those who passed the technique down to confirm that.
                                                                                                ... [A]ssuming you did it quickly, and video evidence was lacking, it could just have happened accidently as you fell to the ground. Because of that, and the fact there is no medically diagnosable injury, I was told not to expect any major legal repercussion like you might get with a broken arm or cracked jaw. For all the Police know, your opponent could be making up his physical complaint.

                                                                                            Other Stuff:
                                                                                                   But there was one development that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.
                                                                                                   After dismissing a few theories, including that they misinterpret dress or behavior of the victims--many of the victims were young mothers out with their children--the author arrives are a more likely theory in light of their culture and religion:
                                                                                                     This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.
                                                                                                         Prosecutors said in a recent court filing that four young men found slaughtered in a Long Island park last April were lured to the site by two female associates of the MS-13 street gang, which was hunting for rivals and perceived enemies.
                                                                                                           Once there, the youths - some still in high school - were surrounded by more than a dozen gang members who attacked them with machetes, knives and wooden clubs 'in a horrific frenzy of violence,' according to the court papers obtained by Newsday.
                                                                                                             A fifth young man who had accompanied the victims to the park ran for his life and escaped, the court memorandum said.

                                                                                                      The Night the Lights Went Out--The 1977 New York Blackout

                                                                                                      American Experience (2015) (1 hr. 32 min.)

                                                                                                             This past week, on July 13, saw the 40th Anniversary of the 1977 New York Blackout. During that evening, a thunderstorm struck New York. Several lightening strikes destroyed several high-voltage power lines and, by 9:35 pm, all five Burroughs were without power--the outage would last 25 hours. What erupted, particularly in black neighborhoods, was an orgy of looting, arson, and violence. Complicating the fact was that police were told to report to the nearest precinct rather than the one they normally worked at, which meant that, for the most part, there were few police in the poorest parts of the city.

                                                                                                              The New York Post, looking back on the Blackout, relates:
                                                                                                             Then the lights went out, and in Bushwick, the “Battle of Broadway’’ began. On a three-mile stretch of the major thoroughfare that divides Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, fires, looting and rioting erupted just minutes after the power fizzled. 
                                                                                                              Sekzer, now 73, had been one of just 14 cops protecting the neighborhood’s 90,000 residents and its massive shopping district along Broadway that night. A widespread department layoff two years earlier had left the 83rd Precinct with half its usual brigade. 
                                                                                                      * * * 
                                                                                                             “As we turn onto Broadway, we stop dead,” Sekzer said. “Hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of people ripping off the stores. Two people walking around with couches, with TVs under their arms, everything.” 
                                                                                                              Looters were running wild across the city — but the worst of the worst was happening on Broadway in Bushwick. 
                                                                                                             Marauding bands of disgruntled residents — men, women and children — flooded the streets and began destroying everything in their paths, one grocery store and clothing shop at a time. Sekzer made sure to stay close to his patrol car. 
                                                                                                             “We definitely would’ve gotten our ass kicked if that crowd had turned and said, ‘Let’s go get the cops,’ ” he said. 
                                                                                                             Stores’ iron gates were ripped off by dozens of greedy hands. People shamelessly pulled up to the fronts of furniture stores in trucks and loaded up whatever they could fit. Bullets rained from the rooftops. The sound of hysteria cackled all around. 
                                                                                                             Bushwick burned a bright shade of orange as vandals set fire to the stores that had been picked clean. 
                                                                                                             “They were like bluefish in a feeding frenzy. . . . The strongest feeling I had was one of disbelief,’’ a police captain in the nearby 81st Precinct would say later, according to a report on that night by the Ford Foundation. 
                                                                                                             “I’ve seen looting before, but this was total devastation. Smashing, burning.” 
                                                                                                             For many of the impoverished local residents, it was as if the holidays had come early. 
                                                                                                             “It’s our Christmas,” a little boy told a jewelry store owner on Broadway the day after the blackout, according to The Post’s coverage of the event at the time. “Gimme somethin’.” 
                                                                                                             NYPD trucks whizzed by, dropping off boxes of ammunition to cops, while Sekzer and his partners arrested as many people as they could — cramming looters into the open trunks of patrol cars to haul them to the station house. 
                                                                                                             Kids as young as 11 were arrested and put in jail. Close to 3,800 people were arrested across the city on that single night — but hundreds, possibly thousands, more got away without repercussions. 
                                                                                                             “It was like chasing the wind,” an officer told The Post in 1977. 
                                                                                                             When the smoke cleared, many of Bushwick’s businesspeople had lost their livelihoods — and the community was left without its heart.
                                                                                                             The Village Voice also related in an article this past week:
                                                                                                             Of all those who remember the day of the blackout, few have taken responsibility for starting the store break-ins .... Nothing like this had happened in the city’s previous blackout, in November 1965, when only five arrests for looting were reported. ... From most accounts, the 1977 crime wave was begun by a relative handful of teens and young adults in poorer neighborhoods, even as many of their neighbors rushed into the street to help direct traffic — just as they would in the city’s next major blackout, in 2003 — or helped stand guard outside stores whose alarms were now useless. 
                                                                                                             Soon, though, more and more people joined in, once they saw it was a free-for-all. All told, 1,000 fires were reported across the city the night of the blackout, and 3,700 people arrested, mostly for looting. ...
                                                                                                      Of course, Bushwick, although the hardest hit, was not the only place facing looting: "hit-and-run break-ins struck parts of Manhattan and Queens and whole streets of stores were ripped off in Brooklyn and the Bronx," according to The Daily News. Amazingly, however, there was apparently only a single murder during the chaos.

                                                                                                      "It was like Christmas" (Source)

                                                                                                             What is notable is that the looting was mostly at the hands of minorities, especially blacks. Even Slate recognizes that there was a strong racial element to the looting, observing:
                                                                                                      Racial problems in Northern and Midwestern cities had also become inflamed. The riots of the late 1960s had tapered off, but among many urban blacks, resentment remained high, fueling the nighttime looting. "Being that the lights are out and the niggers are going hungry," a black New York teenager told Newsweek, "we're going to take what we want, and what we want is what we need." Of course, in 1977 the vast majority of New Yorkers of all groups obeyed the law. But the high number of African-Americans among the looters indicated that racial tensions were a key part of the equation.
                                                                                                      The blackout is even credited for the rise of hip-hop "music," due to the large amount of DJ equipment stolen that night. City Journal notes that "Bushwick’s decline began in the mid-1960s, as impoverished Southern blacks and Puerto Rican immigrants surged into northern urban areas, including central Brooklyn." The looting in 1977 mostly finished off that neighborhood's decline. "On Broadway alone that night, looters pillaged 134 stores and set 44 of them on fire, burning some, like Woolworth’s, to the ground." It is only recently that the neighborhood has begun to revive, due to gentrification.

                                                                                                      (H/t Bayou Renaissance Man).

                                                                                                      Tuesday, July 18, 2017

                                                                                                      WROL: Horde Hijacks Delivery Truck in Venezuela

                                                                                                      Caracas Chronicles (3 min.)

                                                                                                            This is apparently from last week. It shows a horde of motorcyclists surround a truck hauling sugar in order to hijack it. The video shows a couple of Molotov cocktails being used to force the truck to slow or stop, after which the motorcyclists completely surround the vehicle. Once stopped, the vehicle is quickly looted. It is interesting to me that motorcycles continue to come up to the truck after it is stopped: I can't tell if they are part of the same group, or just opportunists coming upon the scene and deciding to join in.

                                                                                                             One thing that caught my attention was something that only is occasionally seen in the video: some smoke and fire on the edge of the road close to where the person videoing the incident was located. However, it is not clear whether the fire was started by someone in a pickup truck that pulled to a stop next to the location, or a woman that came out of the brush just before the smoke started. I suspect that the fire was the result of a Molotov cocktail being disposed.

                                                                                                            Peter Grant, at his Bayou Renaissance Man blog, comments on this incident, and has some general takeaways:
                                                                                                             Ask yourself, too:  what happens if they try to rob you like that?  In a situation such as now prevails in Venezuela, if you're known to have stockpiled supplies for your family, you're going to become a target for those who have none.  Guaranteed.  What will you do about it?  A man alone, or a family alone, can't defend their stash all the time . . . and sooner or later, either they'll run out of ammunition, or those wanting what they've got will up their game and bring more people and/or more and heavier weapons. 
                                                                                                             There really is such a thing as a "no-win situation".  Right now, Venezuela qualifies as a "no-win country".  There are already inner-city areas in the USA that can be described as "no-win suburbs".  There will probably be more.  Start thinking now about how to avoid them, and how to conduct yourself if you can't.
                                                                                                              My answer, at least to the first question he poses--what happens if they try to rob you like that?--would be as follows:  Assuming that all elements of imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury had been met in this case, I think an answer would have been to keep driving, increase speed and swerve if necessary to knock over motorcycles or to stop them from getting up beside the vehicle or in front of it. Of course, there is a risk of further provoking the hijackers to violence, so your response would have to be based on what you thought would happen to you if you stopped and let the hijackers have their way: would they kill you to get rid of witnesses or for maliciousness sake, or let you go unharmed?

                                                                                                             The more general question--someone trying to get your stash--may actually be easier in theory, if not in practice: cooperative defense and sharing of resources and labor. The early Christian church reportedly held property in common: see Acts 2:44 ("And all that believed were together, and had all things common;"). The LDS Church attempted a few different methods of running cooperatives in the 1800s, commonly referred to as the United Order. These cooperatives live on, in an abbreviated fashion, in the LDS Church's welfare institutions and practices, including "fast offerings" (monthly contributions above and beyond tithing specifically to assist the needy), the "Bishop's storehouses" (which distributes food and other items to the needy), and service for others, including working in the various canneries run by the Church (which food primarily goes to the Bishop's storehouses", although quantities can be purchased for home consumption and storage). In times of dire straights, it would make sense for a group to collect its goods and resources into a location that is easily defended, with members of that group providing what labor and services they can (defense, labor, specialized crafts or trade) in exchange for a share of the food and other resources. I would note that a similar system was used in World War II by Tuvia Bielski and his brothers in Poland with their community of Jewish refugees (and as described in the book Defiance). I'm not suggesting this as a mandate--I've noted before that I don't believe Preppers are responsible for the unprepared. I'm also not suggesting that this is necessarily workable over the long term. But it can be a workable solution in a crises.

                                                                                                      Monday, July 17, 2017

                                                                                                      July 17, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                      In this final part of the series, the author sets out his hypothesis of what caused the collapse, relying mostly on Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies (although they do not identify the book by name).

                                                                                                      • If you have not done so already, look over this past weekend's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. Lot's of good articles and comments, including an article on the danger of backing up too quickly, situational awareness and detection of threats, and a public service announcement--so to speak--warning against developing different habits on how you handle and treat firearms you think are unloaded versus loaded (including a couple pictures of through-and-through injuries in the palm of the hand). While you are there, you might also want to take a peak at Greg Ellifritz's article on "One of the Problems with Ankle Holsters," where he shows what his backup revolver in an ankle holster looked like after a shift where he was wading through flood waters, and then let it sit out overnight before cleaning and lubing it. 
                                                                                                      • One of the articles that Ellifritz linked to in his Weekend Knowledge Dump was "Rifles for Defense," an interview with John and Vicki Farnam at Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. The article contains, as its title suggests, tips and thoughts on using a rifle for self-defense. But, just because I've made the same point before, I liked this initial caveat: 
                                                                                                      As you’ve heard me say before, when you’re called upon to save your life, the first thing your hand gets to will probably be a pistol. I encourage all my students to start their training with pistols, because that is probably the most important gun you have. When students come to a rifle course, I like them to have come to a pistol course first. But then, you’ve also heard me say, there are limitations to pistols. We carry pistols because they’re convenient, not because they are effective.
                                                                                                      • "Optimising Your Air Rifle"--Aussiehunter. The article primarily focuses on improving the accuracy of your air rifle. For instance, you not only should mount a good scope, but one intended for air rifles, which have parallax set for 30 to 40 meters, instead of the longer distances for firearms. He also discussed the impact of barrel droop--"the barrel actually points down and away from the scope centreline, not up and through it as on a centrefire rifle"--and suggests getting an adjustable mount to use with your scope, specifically recommending the Sportsmatch AOP55 adjustable scope mount. The author then addresses pellet selection. Anyway, read the whole thing.
                                                                                                      • "Headed for a Fall: Why Overmatch Is Bad for the Army, Bad for the Soldier"--Nathaniel Fitch at The Firearms Blog. If you have been following military small arms news, you may have seen an article or two noting that DoD has issued a request for information (RFI) for 7.62 NATO weapons or something similar. This stems from a perception that troops using the 5.56 mm are being outranged by Afghan insurgents using 7.62x54R weapons, and the fruitless search for the perfect rifle. As Fitch describes, this is just a part of a larger idea being pushed by some in defense circles that individual soldiers or fire teams need weapons that allow them to "overmatch" any opposing force they might encounter. Fitch discusses not only why the 5.56 is not outgunned by enemy forces using rifles employing 7.62x39mm (most third world countries), 5.45x39 mm (Russians), or 5.8x42mm (Chinese), but the whole concept of "overmatch" in relation to small arms. Worth the read.
                                                                                                      • "Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse'"--Daily Mail. The refugees have become a "hot potato" that no one wants to deal with.
                                                                                                      • Forewarned is forearmed: "When the Gods Call for Violence"--Gods & Radicals. The author looks to the Haitian Revolution as inspiration and guidance for the future of the modern Left, and argues that no successful revolution has been obtained without violence. A taste:
                                                                                                              In the end the opinions of the shopkeepers and the continental theorists mattered little in Haiti. If you asked the scarred and beaten who were present during that ceremony in Bois Caiman, human beings whose existence depended on the fickle whims of slavemasters, if a bloodbath of bullets and blades was worth it they’d tell you yes.
                                                                                                               They thought enough to kill and die for it.
                                                                                                                 What’s the moral of this story? Perhaps we should reflect on the idea that similar conditions exist on shores far closer than the Caribbean and, gods or not, people are beginning to agree with their Haitian forebears. Perhaps the petit-bourgeois should take a moment to stop catching virtual Pokemon and look at the thousands in neglected neighborhoods saying enough is enough. Morality and personal opinion are leaves blowing in the wind, usually carried by events rather than shaping them.
                                                                                                                   In places like Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights the same cries of rage and grief that awakened the gods on that August night so long ago are beginning to be heard again. The people have had enough. The bourgeois mask of non-violence has slipped it’s bonds, revealing the cold certainty of armed combat on our shores and it’s effectiveness.
                                                                                                                     Polite society was shocked by the events in Dallas, even more so when millions didn’t cry for the cops and lauded Micah Johnson as a hero. Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant. The chickens are coming home to roost. As tensions increase and the oppressed march against the plantations those who count gods of war and keepers of justice as allies must dwell deeply upon where the gods might call them to act.
                                                                                                                       The countryside is coming alive. And just as it was at Bois Caiman this is only the beginning.

                                                                                                                Why So Many Trained in Science, Engineering, and Statistics Reject Anthropogenic Global Warming

                                                                                                                Bill Whittle Channel (10 min.)

                                                                                                                And Dr. Herald Lewis's 2010 resignation letter from the American Physical Society (APS):
                                                                                                                       ... the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
                                                                                                                       It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist. 
                                                                                                                       So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. 
                                                                                                                According to Wikipedia:
                                                                                                                Harold ("Hal") Warren Lewis (born October 1, 1923 – May 26, 2011) was an American Emeritus Professor of Physics and former department chairman at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He was chairman of the JASON Defense Advisory Group from 1966 to 1973, and was active in US government investigations into safety of nuclear reactors.

                                                                                                                Sunday, July 16, 2017

                                                                                                                The Ratio Given in Isaiah 30:26

                                                                                                                The other day, I noted Isaiah 30:26, which stated:
                                                                                                                Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
                                                                                                                According to this article, depending on the phase of the Moon, it reflects between 3 and 12% of the Sun's light, or an albedo of 0.12. "However the CERES Earth orbiting satellite climate radiometers have measured the value to be higher and somewhere between 0.136 and 0.137, at a lunar phase angle of seven degrees." In any event, if the Sun were 7 times as bright, per Isaiah, that would mean that the Moon would appear to have a brightness of between 84% and 95.2% of the normal Sun, making the ratio given by Isaiah fairly accurate.

                                                                                                                Saturday, July 15, 2017

                                                                                                                Mini-Review - Wildcard Wallet Knife

                                                                                                                A guest post from The Realist:

                                                                                                                The front and back of the Wildcard retail packaging.
                                                                                                                (Click photograph for larger view).

                                                                                                                       Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself. I did not receive samples, evaluation models, or other compensation from manufacturers or retailers. I have no formal relationship with any manufacturer or retailer mentioned in this review - I have only been an arms-length customer. Further, this review reflects my unique circumstances and subjective opinions with regard to performance and other characteristics of the products being reviewed. Your mileage may vary.

                                                                                                                       Recently, I purchased a Zootility Wildcard Wallet Knife multitool, new in package, at a local flea market. The flea market price was cheap enough that I wasn't going to be upset if it turned out to be a dud. After I opened it up and examined it for a few minutes, I was actually fairly pleased with this multitool.

                                                                                                                         The Wildcard is primarily a knife, but incorporates a handful of other tools, so I will classify it as a multitool. It has the following tools: knife with a partially serrated edge, bottle opener, large and small straight screwdriver tips, short ruler (1 inch and 3 centimeters), and prybar (the corner with the two screwdriver tips). The blade's cutting edge is only beveled from one side, with the other side being flat. When closed, the blade is protected with two metal tabs. The blade locks firmly in the open and closed positions. The knife blade can be removed from the body of the tool - this requires deliberate effort, it cannot happen accidentally.

                                                                                                                        Closed, the Wildcard is 3.15 by 2.18 inches in size, and 0.9 inches thick at its thickest point (the blade pivot and knife edge guards). So, it is certainly thin enough to be carried in a wallet. With the knife blade opened, the multitool is almost five inches long. The stainless steel blade is 0.042 inches thick, while the body of the tool is 0.040 inches thick. All markings and legends are laser etched into the tool, so they should not wear off during normal use. According to the manufacturer's web site, the multitool weighs only 1.1 ounces.

                                                                                                                Front, back, and disassembled Wildcard.
                                                                                                                (Click photograph for larger view)
                                                                                                                          The Wildcard's packaging describes the multitool as "TSA proof," while the manufacturer's web site describes it as "TSA compliant." What this means is that with the knife blade removed, the remainder of the multitool should pass through TSA screening. WITH THE BLADE ATTACHED, THE MULTITOOL IS NOT TSA COMPLIANT. The Wildcard packaging touts its "FlyOff Technology" - the removable blade can be surrender to TSA while keeping the rest of the multitool. (However, given the arbitrary and capricious nature of TSA screening, I would not count on the TSA agent giving you an opportunity to separate the blade from the body of the tool.) Replacement blades can be purchased from - at the time of this writing, $14 plus shipping for two blades.

                                                                                                                         As far as cutlery intended to fit in a wallet, this is probably the best wallet knife or tool I have ever seen. It is well executed, and does not feel flimsy when being manipulated or held. I personally like the fact that the knife locks in the opened and closed positions. Opening and closing the blade is a two-hand operation. My only complaint is that the small screwdriver tip on my Wildcard was somewhat rounded, but I was able to remedy that minor defect with a file in a few seconds.

                                                                                                                         As I was looking at the Wildcard, I realized it would fit comfortably in an Altoids tin, and it does. So, for those of you who have or are planning to put together an Altoids tin survival/EDC kit, the Wildcard would be a superb component of such a kit.

                                                                                                                       And, for those of you who remember my Ultra-Portable Radios article (, I suggested putting a small radio and earbuds on an Altoids tin. A Wildcard multitool will also fit in that Altoids tin, although the radios must be positioned such that the clip on the back of the radio is nestled over the thin area of the Wildcard, or remove the clip from the radio. The Audiomax SR-202, Sony SRF-S84, and Tecsun R-103 all fit without removing the clip. The Memorex MR4210 with its clip is just a tiny bit too thick, causing the closed lid of Altoids tin to bulge slightly.

                                                                                                                The Wildcard fits in an Altoids tin, and will also fit in an Altoids tin with a radio and ear buds.
                                                                                                                (Click photograph for larger view)
                                                                                                                        The Zootility Wildcard is made in USA, and can be purchased from many sources including Amazon (, REI (, and Zootility ( With an MSRP of $35 it is certainly more expensive than other similar products. But, like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

                                                                                                                        The Wildcard is a well executed multitool that can live in a wallet or Altoids tin. For most circumstances, I cannot envision it being used as a primary knife or multitool, but it would make an excellent secondary or backup knife/multitool.

                                                                                                                Thursday, July 13, 2017

                                                                                                                July 13, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                "Building a Budget Trauma Kit"--SkinnyMedic (5 min.)
                                                                                                                The author specifically notes the need for such kits on a farm. I suspect most people would be shocked at the number of traumatic injuries that happen on farms: crush injuries due to equipment falling on limbs or equipment overturning, degloving injuries from hands being caught between rollers, gears or belts, or even whole limbs being ripped off when caught in equipment.

                                                                                                                        If a full emergency-preparedness kit isn't handy — say, if you were on public transit to or from work — Buddemeier recommends trying to grab a few items, just as long as it wouldn't delay your taking shelter from fallout by more than a couple of minutes.
                                                                                                                         Item No. 1 is a radio, he said — ideally a hand-cranked type with a USB charging port that can power other devices. "If you have a cellphone, that'll work too," he said.
                                                                                                                            Buddemeier said he preferred a radio over a mobile phone because "sometimes the cell towers may be affected," either by power outages, crushing demand, or an invisible yet powerful effect of nuclear weapons called electromagnetic pulse. (The effect can disable electronics, though a ground detonation would mostly confine EMP to the blast damage zone, where you'd have much bigger problems.)
                                                                                                                              He says a radio is important because you need to receive emergency broadcasts and instructions. It's one of the simplest ways to figure out where dangerous fallout has landed, when you can leave your shelter, and where the safest routes to exit a fallout zone are.
                                                                                                                               Second, Buddemeier says, you'll want water — ideally 1 gallon per person per day, according to In addition to drinking it, you may need it to rinse off any radioactive fallout after removing your clothes, since this can drastically reduce your radiation exposure.
                                                                                                                                 Third, Buddemeier said, "I would probably grab a breakfast bar or two to stave off the hunger a little bit." Fourth, he says to grab any essential medications or treatments you might need.
                                                                                                                                    Buddemeier says there's a risk in trying to gather too much stuff, since the first minutes and hours after a blast are when radioactive fallout exposure risk is the greatest — especially outdoors.
                                                                                                                                      One thing he definitely does not recommend stressing about immediately after a blast is potassium iodine pills, which wouldn't be very useful in the next 48 hours.
                                                                                                                              The gallon per day is too little in most cases, and certainly if you are going to have to use some of that water to decontaminate yourself. Three gallons a day per person is the minimum recommended if you are going to be active and to supply water for basic hygiene. This is a situation in particular where a disposable tarp and dust mask would be helpful to not breath in radioactive contaminated particles, or allow them to touch your skin. Remember that children will receive an overall higher dosage because they are shorter and, therefore, exposed to a higher dosage per unit area than adults. They are more likely to breath in dust that is kicked up. If you can carry children on your shoulders, that is best.
                                                                                                                              •  "Two Security Tools You May Want to Check Out"--The Order of the White Rose. The two are: (1) Forgiva, an open-source password manager, and (2)  Bitquick, which is a supposed to make it easier to engage in anonymous Bitcoin exchanges. 
                                                                                                                              • "Recovering from the Storms Within"--FEMA. This article notes that the emotional or psychological harm caused by a disaster may last longer than the physical damage. From the post:
                                                                                                                                     Long after the skies have cleared, what remains are the storms within – the lasting psychological impact of disasters on individuals, families, and communities. Disasters can be traumatic experiences that take a toll on the emotional well-being of survivors, even if they aren’t hurt physically.
                                                                                                                                       Immediate reactions like shock can turn into numbness and denial, which may then give way to anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, and despair. People may have lost their loved ones, their homes, and cherished keepsakes like family photos. An entire lifetime of memories can be swept away by a single storm. With these losses come grief, feelings of powerlessness, and other intense, unpredictable emotions.
                                                                                                                                         Some individuals report feeling guilty for surviving when others did not. Many also express fear and anxiety about the future. The physical, emotional, and financial burdens caused by disasters can generate high levels of stress, which have the potential to then manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and stomach pains.
                                                                                                                                           Other common symptoms of trauma include trouble concentrating and making decisions, difficulty sleeping, and changes in appetite. People who feel overwhelmed by these experiences may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse or other harmful behaviors.
                                                                                                                                              While these emotional effects of disasters are much harder to capture on camera or quantify in reports, they are every bit as real as the physical wreckage. It’s vital to address mental health as part of the recovery process ....
                                                                                                                                             One of the dramatic things that happened last year was the arrest, then escape, re-arrest and extradition of [Joaquín] “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States. It’s quite interesting that homicides didn’t actually go up when he was arrested; it was after he escaped and then was re-arrested that homicides went up dramatically. The thinking there is that he maintained control of his criminal network during his initial arrest, but was losing control after his re-arrest and extradition, leading to renewed internal competition between factions of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of which is led by his own son, and another by the son of another leader of a criminal organization. The second factor is that in the midst of the instability within the Sinaloa Cartel, another major criminal organization – the Cartel de Jalisco Nuevo Generación – has started to challenge the Sinaloa organization for control of different areas, creating more violence.
                                                                                                                                                The third element is that we see some shifts in the drug market in the United States. We see more and more demand for heroin. Roughly 80 percent of heroine supplied to the U.S. now comes from Mexico. We’ve seen a real uptick in methamphetamine trafficking with laboratories in the Sinaloa and Colima area. Colima is the smallest state by population in Mexico and yet last year had the highest homicide rate. What is that about? Part of it is that it includes the port city of Mazatlán, which is the largest commercial port. There’s a huge amount of precursor chemicals coming through Mazatlán and the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, and roads from these major port cities join up in Colima on the way to Guadalajara and north to the U.S. border converting Colima into a battleground. So the simple answer is that the increase in homicides is due, in part, to the shifting criminal landscape.
                                                                                                                                                  And then you have a place like Veracruz that’s experiencing an extreme uptick in violence right now, and that’s partly because there’s a vacuum of any kind of leadership there – criminal or political – because that’s one of the states where an apparently very corrupt governor [former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte] cut deals with criminal organizations while also allegedly pillaging the state coffers. He fled but was eventually found in Guatemala, and Mexico is seeking his extradition.  
                                                                                                                                          • "The crisis in America’s crime labs" by Michelle Malkin. There is a lot of corruption and incompetence in crime labs relied on to obtain criminal convictions, which instead of being punished and corrected, are mostly being covered up. As the author notes, "[f]orensic junk science in the hands of overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless experts threatens liberty." Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                                          • Climate science hoaxes: "Dadaist Science"--The Weekly Standard. It starts out with this piece of misinformation by Stephen Hawking that would have made Stalin proud:
                                                                                                                                                   Earlier this month Stephen Hawking declared: “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action [withdrawing from the Paris climate accord] could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees [Celsius], and raining sulphuric acid.”
                                                                                                                                                     Let’s unpack this a bit, using actual science. The proportion of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is currently about 400 parts per million (ppm). The Cambrian explosion—when most animal lineages first appeared—occurred a little more than 500 million years ago when, according to all estimates, carbon dioxide levels were several times higher than today. The atmosphere of Venus is 965,000 ppm carbon dioxide, enveloped in clouds of sulfuric acid. And Venus itself is almost 26 million miles closer to the sun than Earth.
                                                                                                                                                        So Hawking’s claim that the earth is on the “brink” of becoming like Venus is preposterous. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change explicitly notes that the Earth will not experience a runaway greenhouse effect such as might have occurred on Venus.