Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

"Amazing Ballistic Gel Test!! **Hornady 223 & 30-06**"--The Wound Channel (8 1/2 min.)
The test is Hornady "Black Box" .223 FMJ versus Hornady's .30-06 Springfield 178 GR ELD-X Precision Hunter. Both expanded quite well. But that is what makes the 5.56/.223 so effective is that the FMJ bullets will expand, yaw or fragment and produce permanent damage channels that FMJ in other calibers won't.

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • I was at a gun show this last weekend and had the opportunity to handle a couple of the Robinson Arms XCR rifles. The problem with people trying to sell alternatives to the AR system, whether it is something pricey like the XCR, or even less expensive AK rifles, is this: ARs are super inexpensive lately. For instance, Center Fire Systems is advertising an entry level AR by Del-Ton for $399.99, including shipping
  • "Ready to Strike: The New .38 Special Colt Cobra – Full Review"--Guns America. The author provides some background on Colts generally, and the Cobra specifically, a short Q&A with a Colt representative, and both a video and written review of the new Cobra. The one thing that set the old Colts apart from S&W or Ruger revolvers was the smooth triggers--a result of the extensive hand-fitting required for Colt revolvers. So, the big question for me is what is the trigger like on this new model. Apparently pretty good. The author states that he "checked the pull on [his] Wheeler Digital Trigger Gauge, and the single-action breaks at just over 2 pounds, while the double-action is a consistent 7 pounds." He also indicated that he thought that the trigger was as good as the last Python he had shot. In any event, groups were pretty good--about 1.6 inches at 10 yards with the tested ammunition.
  • How quick can you get the knife open and in your hand?
  • Can you open the knife with one hand?
  • Can you reach the knife with either hand?
  • Can you deploy the knife if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?
  • Can the blade shape and edge profile snag in flesh or thick clothing?
  • Does the blade have a highly visible reflective finish on it?
  • Does it have a balance between concealment capabilities and accessibility?
  • If it’s a folder, is the locking mechanism on it solid?
  • How loud is it when you take the blade out of its sheath or unfold it?
  • Does it have markings or writing on it that identify it as only a weapon? (like tactical, skulls or a dragon with a ninja riding it)
  • Can you maintain it out in the field without any special tools?
  • Can you afford to lose it in case you need to dump it?
  • Do you have a training version of the rig or folder you plan to carry? (Very important)
  • Are you willing to invest in edged weapons training and not just carry a knife like some sort of amulet to ward off danger?
  • Are you prepared to maim or kill someone with it if the need arises?
       I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these questions are all factors to consider, but not a make-or-break deal on any one or two or three of them. For instance, I doubt that you could find training versions of most fixed blades on the market, let alone any folders. It would be nice, but just not realistic. 
       "Can you maintain it out in the field without any special tools?" I believe the author is discussing sharpening the blade (I can't think of anything else) using a simple honing stone rather than a Lansky, Work Sharp, or similar sharpening systems. Since this is a self-defense tool--not a field knife--I'm going to rate this pretty low as a priority. It is sort of like asking if you can load your own ammunition rather than having to purchase it already loaded.  
       "Does the blade have a highly visible reflective finish on it?" I'm not sure why this even matters, but I suppose a highly reflective blade would be easier for a perp to see and, thus, potentially warn him off his attack. 
       "Can you deploy the knife if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?" Can you draw a pistol if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?  You are never going to have a weapon stashed where it needs to be for all possible situations.
       The author leaves out one of the most important features of a defensive knife, in my mind, which is: if you stab someone with it, is there a guard or deep finger groove to keep your hand from sliding over the edge of the blade and causing you to cut yourself?
  • "How to Choose Lights and Lasers for Your CCW"--Guns & Ammo. This is another article with different tips or insights on the product: in this case, lights and lasers. One thing I will add is that a laser sight needs to be as close to the bore axis of the weapon as possible. There are two ways to aim the laser: parallel to the bore axis, so that the beam will (in theory) be the same distance from where the bullet strikes over the useful range of the laser, or you can sight it in so that the laser dot will intersect with the path of the bullet at a particular range. If the former, and you are trying to make accurate shots, you will have to mentally adjust for the difference; but the closer to the bore axis, the less different there will be. If you "sight in" the laser, you don't have that problem--at the given distance it is sighted in--but the laser will be off at all other distances either because it has yet to reach the path of the bullet, or it has crossed the path of the bullet (essentially the path of the bullet and the path of the laser make a large X). Once the paths start diverging you could see difference between where the bullet will strike and the laser beam strikes magnified from mere inches to many inches or more at longer ranges.This is obviously aggravated the farther the laser is from the bore axis. For example (assuming a straight path for the bullet), if you sight the laser so it is spot on with the POI of the bullet at 10 feet, and the laser sits two inches below the bore axis, the laser beam will strike 2 inches high at 20 feet, 4 inches high at 30 feet (10 yards), and 10 inches high at 60 feet (20 yards). 
  • "Lightning Review: Forward Controls Design EMR-A Ambi Mag Catch/Release"--The Firearms Blog. This is a design that can be used with a standard lower and magazine release cut-out.

Other Stuff:
  • "Is The Muslim World Going r?"--Anonymous Conservative. He cites an article documenting the decline in birth rates and marriage rates among Muslims. This is particularly true in the Near- and Middle-East, as David P. Goldman documented in his book Why Civilizations Die. Goldman focused on the loss of religious faith as a key factor in declining birth rates (since, as he also points out, people of strong faith continue to have large numbers of children). r/K theory would explain the same phenomena from the other side of the coin using a biological basis. But what it boils down to is a society chasing after its immediate gratification rather than living as part of a chain of forebears stretching from the past, through the living, and into unborn descendants reaching into the future. Certainly, the cultures that have failed to live this way have been smitten with a curse, just as stated in Malachi 4:6.
  • "Kepler Team Releases Final Exoplanet Catalog"--Sky & Telescope. The interesting part of this is that small rocky planets seem to clump into two groups: those about Earth size or slightly larger, or between 2 and 3 times the size of the Earth. That suggests that there should be plenty of Earth sized worlds out there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

Survival Lilly (9 min.)

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • "US Banned VEPR Due To Sanctions? Looks Like It!"--The Firearms Blog. Molot-Oruzhie, the manufacturer of the VEPR rifles and shotguns apparently has been bought or is otherwise now financially connected to Kalashnikov Concern, which was one of the original targets of the sanctions.
  • The headline is being sarcastic: "Look Out ISIS, UK Special Forces to Get the Deadliest Ammo Ever Invented!"--The Truth About Guns. Although adopting some hollow-point designs, the Brits are apparently also adopting G2 Research’s RIP ammunition, which has been shown to lack the necessary penetration to be reliably effective.
  • "How to Make a Bola for Small Game Hunting"--Outdoor Life. Instructions on making the bola and how they work to take down game, but doesn't explain how to throw the bola. I imagine that, like other hand propelled missile weapons, it is going to take some practice to become proficient.
  • "Study: Newbies Better Able to Kill Assailants With Head Shot Than Cops"--The Truth About Guns. The 2015 study compared novices against people with intermediate firearms skills and those considered "expert" that had received formal police firearms training. On most shooting tasks the expert and intermediate shooters outperformed the novice shooters, but not by much. However, this changed when considering head shots:
       “At close distances,” Lewinski told Force Science News, “intermediate and novice shooters tended to shoot at the target’s head more often and with greater accuracy than law enforcement trained shooters.”

           Nearly 60% of novices’ rounds hit the head at the crucial three-foot distance, compared to just 21% of experts’ shots. That hit rate dropped to about 24% for novices at nine feet–but to a dismal 6% for experts. Every group’s hits continued to decline as distance expanded, but both intermediates and novices continued to out-score trained officers on successful headshots as distance grew.
    • "New Copper Basin Takedown Firearm Backpack"--The Firearms Blog. The pack is intended to specifically look "non-tactical" and discrete--i.e., like a day pack or travelers back pack. It is designed for take down rifles--such as the 10-22 Takedown, AR-7, Kel-Tech Sub-2000--and AR or AK pistols.
    • "3 Tips for Survival Trapping in Warm Weather"--Outdoor Life. The main point is that the warmer weather means that meat will spoil faster. Accordingly, try and use traps that immobilize rather than kill, and be aware flies, spoilage, etc.
    • "Caught on video: Woman punched 39 times in Planet Fitness parking lot"--CBS News. (See also The Daily Mail's report on the same incident). According to the articles, the attacker waited outside the Planet Fitness for nearly 8 hours, until the victim's work shift ended. Then, as she was walking to her car, he walked past her--with a car between the two of them--then came up behind her and struck her in the back of the head. I recommend watching the video, but here are a couple of photographs from the surveillance camera that show how the attacker approached his victim.


           Of course, this is a perfect example where an attacker waits until a victim is away from possible witnesses or assistance and distracted (in this case, as she prepares to unlock her vehicle--assuming the red car was hers). Although the suspect had decided on his victim at least 8 hours prior, and kept a car between him and his victim to allay suspicion, there are certain "tells" that should have at least warned the woman to be on guard. First, there is the fact that this man "coincidentally" was walking across what appears to be a mostly deserted parking lot late at night.  The other is that, as he passes the bumper of the car separating him from his victim, he has already began to angle his course of travel, even though he was in view of the woman at the time. 
           Fortunately, the woman was not seriously injured, raped, or killed. It is not clear to me that she could have avoided the attacker: if she ran or tried to otherwise evade him, he may have still pursued and caught her (I'm going to be blunt--unless there is a gross difference in physical ability from the normal--for instance, a woman who is an athlete versus a very weak/out of shape man--a man is going to be physically faster and much stronger than a woman); but he also might have gotten frightened and left. Depending on when she saw the man, she may have been able to return to the Planet Fitness (hopefully there would have been other employees still there). If she didn't see him until the two were closer, she could have changed to walking to the other side of the red car, thus putting more distance between her and the attacker, and/or turning to keep him in view so she would know if she needed to run or otherwise keep away from him. 
           If she'd had a weapon, she could have prepared to draw her weapon (or, even, discreetly drawn it) in anticipation of an attack. I generally carry my R51 in a pocket holster, and, on occasions when I've been suspicious, I'll put my hand in my pocket with my fingers around the grip, ready to draw if necessary.

    Other Stuff:
             The woman said she was forced to have unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex with three Ethiopian men who she identified in court, The Local reports. 
               She claimed the men took it in turns to rape her, sometimes acting as a group, and sometimes individually.
          This is a German court, so the judge will likely free the refugees and apologize for the inconvenience that the trial caused them.
                   The CSB now translates the term anthropos, a Greek word for “man,” in a gender-neutral form 151 times, rendering it “human,” “people,” and “ones.” The previous edition had done this on occasion; the new revision adds almost 100 more instances. “Men of Israel” becomes “fellow Israelites;” when discussing Jesus’s incarnation the “likeness of men” becomes “likeness of humanity.” The CSB translates the term adelphoi, a Greek word for “brother” in a gender-neutral form 106 times, often adding “sister.” “Brotherly love” is translated “love as brothers and sisters.”
                     The gender-neutralizing pattern is also present in its translation of the Old Testament. For instance, where the NIV “gender-neutral” revision uses the term “human” or “humanly” for a masculine term, the CSB concurs with a “human” “humanly” or “human being(s)” 67 times. As the CSB translates the Hebrew term ‘dm (the word for adam), the generic “man, men,” it uses gender-neutral language of “human(s), humanity, human kind, people, person(s)” 242 times. The CSB also uses the term “mortal” or “mere mortal” to replace a masculine term 6 times. Numerous other instances of gender-neutral translations of masculine terminology exist across both testaments.
                Dalrock discusses this in much more depth at this blog.
                       Because what happens if the voice of half of America is effectively silenced by the DC swamp and its media guardians? The Tea Party was the first manifestation of the anger out there at the establishment. It was polite – it even cleaned up its own messes after its peaceful protests. The media, and the same alleged conservatives who saw the Tea Party as a threat to their own position because it caused donors to start asking for results instead of simply writing checks, attacked the Tea Party. Well, then we got Trump, who was not nearly as polite, and who took the White House fair and square from the designated establishment candidate. And now they want to use non-ballot means to make sure the normals’ choice is again ignored.
                         What do they think comes after Trump? Someone nice?
                           Do they think we stop demanding we be heard? Do they think we give up on participating in governing the country that we normals built, that we normals paid for, and that we normals fought for?
                      * * *
                               No, that’s not going to happen. If liberals like chaos and even violence – and their *wink wink* denunciations of their own creature’s attempted conservative murder spree and their squealing delight in a high-profile play where the President is butchered onstage show they think they do – then the way to get chaos and violence is for them to succeed in their campaign of fascist, anti-democratic scheming against the guy who beat the harpy they nominated.
                                 If you want real political chaos and real political violence, then just keep going down this path. You can’t light the fuse and not get the explosion. I saw what happens when you toss away the rule of law – don’t do it.
                          • "Oncoming Racial Doom: The Clash of Cultures"--Fred Reed. The author describes how, when he was young and naive, he was hopeful that with the end of segregation blacks would become part of mainstream America, buoying up the nation, despite his parents' warning that it would never work; but he came to realize that his parents were correct all along. Reed writes:
                                 For decades white America made a desperate attempt to raise blacks to the level of the First World. It didn’t work. Instead saw a dragging down  of society to the culture of the ghetto. Blacks were behaving as usual as spoiled brats. Anything that upset them, as everything did, any expectation that they behave, led to cries of racism and depredations by such as Black Lives Matter.
                                    As I  mentioned, my parents had said that blacks were could not function in the First World. It seemed that they were right. Desegregation had not worked, nor integration, nor quotas nor affirmative action nor Head Start.  What didn’t work was turning blacks into members of a European civilization in which they had no interest. It would have worked no better had blacks lived in China, Japan, or Russia.
                                       Nothing worked and nothing is going to work. There is clarity in this realization, a clarity to admitting what is actually happening. It avoids tortured reasoning to show  that the dysfunction of blacks is due to anything and everything but blacks themselves. One need not make endless excuses for endless bad behavior, for the crime and dependency, the racial attacks, and the degradation of society.
                                         The culture of the ghetto opposes everything usually believed proper in an advanced  society: high academic standards, equality of opportunity, good English, minimal obscenity, equality under the law, low rates of crime, reasonable self-reliance, freedom of speech. Black culture, intensely racist, encourages none of these and opposes most. It is tribal, based on identity, instead of principle. 
                                We could have had moon bases, space stations, and super-fast train systems, but we instead wasted the money and resources on a fool's errand. 
                                • Racial healing: "Professor Calls Whites 'Inhuman A**holes,' Tells Blacks to 'Let Them F*cking Die'"--PJ Media. The black professor, Johnny Eric Williams, who is an associate professor of sociology at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, was apparently calling for white genocide, and upset that a black police officer had acted to save Republican Congressmen from a leftist terrorist in the recent Alexandria shooting. This is actually a quite stupid position for this professor to take: simply put, blacks need whites much more than whites need blacks. See, e.g., Zimbabwe.
                                (Update 6/22/2017: clarification of some of my comments on the woman who was punched 39 times).

                                Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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


                                "r/K: The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics (by Anonymous Conservative  and read by Tara McCarthy)"--posted and illustrated by Matthew Drake (22 min.). The key points of r/K theory as applied to politics.

                                Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                1. Update your curtains to medium-colored drapes or curtains with white plastic backings to prevent an exchange of heat between your apartment interior and the windows.
                                2. Use a "swamp cooler" (evaporative cooler). I presume this recommendation is for people without air conditioners. I would note that these work best in dryer climates, but use a lot of water. From personal experience using one for a couple summers in an apartment, the matting that soaks up the water needs to be cared for and cleaned to reduce the growth of mold or mildew. The author notes that running a fan across ice can also help cool the air.
                                3. Avoid cooking with a stove top or oven, because it can heat up your apartment. The alternative is to use food that doesn't need cooking in its preparation (e.g., sandwiches), grilling outdoors, or using a slow-cooker or microwave oven for cooking (both of which will not heat up your living space like a regular oven or stove,  
                                4. Wear a cooling scarf, by which the author means gel filled cloths that, when wet, absorb water and allow the water to evaporate, cooling the cloth. These are worn draped over the back of your neck. (As a side note, these can be helpful for controlling a nose bleed). 
                                • "Mansfield Two Dot Pistol Iron Sights"--The Firearms Blog. This is something that you need to see to really understand, so I recommend that you go to the linked article. Basically, though, it works on the principle of Vernier acuity--"the ability to discern a disalignment among two line segments or gratings." In this case, however, what the inventor uses are two circles: half of a circle on each side of the rear sight, and the other half of each circle on the front sight. The object is to align the halves to form two whole circles. 

                                Other Stuff:

                                Monday, June 19, 2017

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

                                Look at his trigger finger. Is that normally taught in NRA firearms courses? (Source: "NRA Disallows 1911s As 'Primary Handguns' From Its 'Carry Guard' Classes"--The Firearms Blog).
                                Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                According to BAE, liquid armor has an advantage of being lighter than other armor materials at comparable protection levels. When combined with Kevlar, it also allows 45% of body armor thickness reduction as well as allows more motion freedom for the soldiers. So when the projectile hits such armor, the special liquid media (similar to non-Newtonian fluids) immediately hardens at the point of impact and restricts the motion of Kevlar yarns making it harder and more resistant to the impact. At the same time, when there is no stress of impact, it keeps the armor flexible enough not to constrain the dexterity of soldier’s motions.
                                • "An Introduction to Revolver Reloads"--Revolver Guy. He links to a video on methods of reloading a revolver, but instead focuses on some other factors: using a cartridge that is amenable to rapid reloading in a revolver because of the bullet shape and nickel plated brass: sharp angles on a bullet can catch on the edge of the cylinder and slow a reload. Also, he reminds readers to keep their cylinders clean to facilitate both loading and ejecting spent casings. Finally, he discusses some of the speed loaders on the market. 


                                Other Stuff:
                                • The New York Times has called for the mass deportation of blacks. Bret Stephens, in an op-ed entitled "Only Mass Deportation Can Save America," observes that "[t]he United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system." He goes on to describe these people in round-about terms, saying that:
                                I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.
                                He then goes on to discuss these Americans' high crime and incarceration rates compared to immigrants, poor educational achievement--especially in STEM fields--and the rate of out-of-wedlock births. While he attempts to obfuscate the identity of these Americans he wishes to deport, it is pretty clear which group he is talking about if you have studied the relevant statistics: within the United States, and compared to other groups, blacks have the highest incarceration rates (higher than Hispanics and far higher than whites), they have the highest rates of out-of-wedlock births and the lowest educational achievements. They generally claim a greater religiosity, but if crime statistics and out-of-wedlock births are any sign, are not ones that take the teachings of the Bible very seriously. While Stephens is certainly audacious, I have to wonder what his friends and colleagues would think of his plan to deport blacks.
                                       In the spring of 2016, Brian Levin found himself in an uncomfortable position: trying to save the life of a Ku Klux Klan member.
                                         Levin, a former New York City cop who studies domestic extremism as the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, was documenting a Klan rally in Anaheim, California, when a counterprotest suddenly took a violent swing — forcing Levin to physically place himself between a Klansman and a furious, anti-fascist mob that seemed ready to kill.
                                           It made Levin wonder if in his focus on the obvious subject — the white supremacists — he’d overlooked a growing source of extremism: the far left. “At that point, I said we have something coalescing on the hard left,” Levin told VICE News.
                                      Well, to be honest, how could they have guessed that the left might be dangerous? I mean, they've only had thousands of terrorist incidents in the 1960's and 1970's, every presidential assassination or assassination attempt since Lincoln, millions in damaged and destroyed property by groups such BLM, Antifa, and various animal rights and environmental groups, while only a handful of incidents from what could be considered the political right (and none from Republicans). With anti-terrorism people like this, 9/11 was not just possible, but a given.
                                        Democrats may be horrified by [the] attempted massacre of the GOP House baseball team by an avowed progressive, but their incendiary demands for “massive resistance” since November have been an open plea for the escalation of words into violent action. The daily repetition that President Trump is an illegitimate usurper who stole the election through collusion with foreign powers has been a hypnotic incantation in search of an Oswald: a siren call for an assassin.
                                                 As American women, many of us have an idea of what feminists are; freelancing women with all the sexual freedom in the world. But this is exactly the problem with American feminism; it is all about sex and the liberation of our bodies. Certainly, things like abortion and contraception is a part of that freedom, but in today’s society the fight has taken on a much different tone.
                                                   Hip Feminist campaigns like Free the Nipple only encourage a gullible behavior of disrespect for our own bodies, leading to everyone else around us disrespecting our bodies as well. If we want to be respected as women and taken seriously in all our endeavors we should look to a new source; Muslim women. Muslim women, as well as Muslim men, see every body as a sacred temple, especially the female body. Opposed to exposing themselves, it is through modesty. When we think of modern feminists we should stray away from the new American trends and start looking to what we have always thought as a contradiction; Muslim feminists.
                                                     While I don't disagree that Feminism has taken women down a long and lonely road of carnal fulfillment to replace their spiritual impoverishment, the rest of the article is pure bunk. For instance, this line that "Muslim women, as well as Muslim men, see every body as a sacred temple, especially the female body." If that is so, why have Muslim men turned Sweden into the rape capital of Europe (the whole world if one discounts Africa)? Why the widespread rape of young children (boys and girls) among Muslims? Why the female genital mutilation? Why must women be covered from the top of the head, to the tip of the toes in shapeless clothing? 
                                                     And where does the reference to our bodies being a temple come from? Oh, yeah: 1 Corinthians 6:19 -- a Christian scripture. 
                                                       2,000 cases. 
                                                         That was the most overlooked revelation to come from the testimony of the former FBI director. While the media parsed every Comey hiccup to bolster its election conspiracy theories, it ignored that number. 
                                                            Comey stated that there were around 2,000 terrorism investigations. 1,000 of those came from “home grown violent extremism” with no evidence of contact with foreign terrorists. Another 1,000 had "some contact with foreign terrorists". 300 from that 2,000 had come to America as refugees. 
                                                               Two-thirds of the refugee terrorists were from Iraq. The other third were mainly from the six countries named in President Trump’s travel pause which left-wing activist judges have unconstitutionally halted. 
                                                        These numbers are just for the United States. The numbers in Europe are much worse: the UK alone has 3,000 potential terrorists that are being investigated.
                                                        • The return of tribalism: "Our narrowing world"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media discussing terrorism in Europe and attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by supposed allies:
                                                               Government is losing its credibility as an effective protector.  Under these circumstances "carrying on exactly as before" is likely to have a meaning opposite to Independent's intention.  For most people it will mean continuing to batten down the hatches and rebuilding the trust networks so foolishly discarded when they put their trust in the State. The vision of future may prove to be not the borderless EU after all -- but Israel.  If government fails to protect people they are likely to fall back on tribalism and wire instead.
                                                                  The issue is whether order can recover before the world fragments into a patchwork of affinity groups. Tribes have considerable advantages after all. They are designed to provide trust, a commodity often more valuable than the theoretically greater military potential of an open group.  An open group without trust is a kill zone. ...
                                                                     Tribes and clans are still used when information security and omerta are paramount.  No technical solution yet devised can beat treachery.  Only loyalty can do that -- and we have made loyalty, to nation at least, a bad word.  ...
                                                                     You can't operate without trust.
                                                                       If we are to prevent a new medievalism finding the right balance between an open society and maintaining loyalty and allegiance is necessary.  It is a difficult task under any circumstances.  But rarely has anyone failed more dismally at it than the leaders of our multi-culti world.  By stigmatizing calls for reasonable loyalty as bigotry they have climbed out on a limb and sawed themselves off; by their dogmatic insistence on mindless inclusion they've foreclosed all attempts to bring things back to even keel.  They have reduced themselves to the level of hapless bystanders, unable to either prevent or explain an onslaught they themselves -- were they honest enough to admit it -- should have foreseen.
                                                                In the report, researchers at the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab describe using machine learning to train their “dialog agents” to negotiate. (And it turns out bots are actually quite good at dealmaking.) At one point, the researchers write, they had to tweak one of their models because otherwise the bot-to-bot conversation “led to divergence from human language as the agents developed their own language for negotiating.” They had to use what’s called a fixed supervised model instead.

                                                                Disaster Risks for Seattle



                                                                 A 2005 photograph of downtown Seattle (Source)
                                                                     I had to travel to Seattle last week for business. It had been several years since I had last been there.  And, as always, I am struck by the ethnic diversity of the city, and the sheer number of coffee shops. The downtown seemed to be in relatively good shape--it didn't appear that there were abandoned or empty buildings, which I take as some indication of the economic health of an area. The weather, of course, was rainy, varying from a light drizzle to something a couple steps below a downpour, but still sufficient to soak anyone without an umbrella or rain coat.

                                                                       From the point of view of prepping and disaster planning, I am always struck by how the terrain would prevent the evacuation or relocation of much of the population in the event of a disaster: especially along the edge of the bay and in and around the downtown area. As you may know, the primary north-south artery through Seattle is Interstate 5 (I-5) which bisects the peninsula on which the City is located, swinging south-west below the harbor. (I-5 also continues across the narrow channel on the north of the peninsula and continues northward). The primary east-west artery is I-90 which crosses the Lacey V. Murrow Bridge to Mercer Island, and then across another narrow channel to Bellevue. At the north end of the peninsula is another bridge over which runs Hwy 520 that is also provides east-west access from the tip of the peninsula to Hunts Point north of Bellevue. To the west of Seattle is Puget Sound. While there are other surface streets running north south and east west, movement is ultimately limited by the waters of the Sound, which means that you will have to cross a bridge going any direction but south.

                                                                       Notwithstanding that Seattle is in-line with the Cascade line of volcanoes (part of the Ring of Fire around the Pacific), it is not very geologically active. The most likely disasters in the Seattle area would be from flooding--coastal flooding from waves and tides (including King tides) and riverine flooding from high runoff or, potentially, a dam failure--or landslides, which because of the steep terrain, soil, and high rainfall, is not uncommon.

                                                                       However, there is always the risk of a major earthquake from shifting within the Cascadia subduction zone. The New Yorker published an article in 2015 explaining why such an earthquake would be so devastating. According to the article, the Cascadia subduction zone "runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada," and is capable of producing extraordinarily powerful earthquakes--much more powerful than could be produced by the San Andreas Fault.  If only the southern portion of the fault slipped, it would produce an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 to 8.6. But "[i]f the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2."

                                                                       ... When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. ... The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs fema’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

                                                                       In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. ... FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million. 

                                                                According to the article, the Pacific Northwest has experienced 41 subduction-zone earthquakes in the past 10,000 years, giving an average recurrence interval of 243 years. The last earthquake was in early 1700--317 years ago. Scientists believe that there is a 1:3 chance of such an earthquake within the next 50 years.

                                                                       If and when such a quake hits, it will be a significant event. The New Yorker article describes it thus*:
                                                                       The first sign that the Cascadia earthquake has begun will be a compressional wave, radiating outward from the fault line. Compressional waves are fast-moving, high-frequency waves, audible to dogs and certain other animals but experienced by humans only as a sudden jolt. They are not very harmful, but they are potentially very useful, since they travel fast enough to be detected by sensors thirty to ninety seconds ahead of other seismic waves. That is enough time for earthquake early-warning systems, such as those in use throughout Japan, to automatically perform a variety of lifesaving functions: shutting down railways and power plants, opening elevators and firehouse doors, alerting hospitals to halt surgeries, and triggering alarms so that the general public can take cover. The Pacific Northwest has no early-warning system. When the Cascadia earthquake begins, there will be, instead, a cacophony of barking dogs and a long, suspended, what-was-that moment before the surface waves arrive. Surface waves are slower, lower-frequency waves that move the ground both up and down and side to side: the shaking, starting in earnest. 

                                                                       Soon after that shaking begins, the electrical grid will fail, likely everywhere west of the Cascades and possibly well beyond. If it happens at night, the ensuing catastrophe will unfold in darkness. In theory, those who are at home when it hits should be safest; it is easy and relatively inexpensive to seismically safeguard a private dwelling. But, lulled into nonchalance by their seemingly benign environment, most people in the Pacific Northwest have not done so. That nonchalance will shatter instantly. So will everything made of glass. Anything indoors and unsecured will lurch across the floor or come crashing down: bookshelves, lamps, computers, cannisters of flour in the pantry. Refrigerators will walk out of kitchens, unplugging themselves and toppling over. Water heaters will fall and smash interior gas lines. Houses that are not bolted to their foundations will slide off—or, rather, they will stay put, obeying inertia, while the foundations, together with the rest of the Northwest, jolt westward. Unmoored on the undulating ground, the homes will begin to collapse. 

                                                                       Across the region, other, larger structures will also start to fail. Until 1974, the state of Oregon had no seismic code, and few places in the Pacific Northwest had one appropriate to a magnitude-9.0 earthquake until 1994. The vast majority of buildings in the region were constructed before then. ...
                                                                       ... FEMA calculates that, across the region, something on the order of a million buildings—more than three thousand of them schools—will collapse or be compromised in the earthquake. ....
                                                                Bridges will also collapse: half of the highway bridges, and the greater number of the bridges crossing rivers and estuaries. The article continues:
                                                                ... The shaking from the Cascadia quake will set off landslides throughout the region—up to thirty thousand of them in Seattle alone, the city’s emergency-management office estimates. It will also induce a process called liquefaction, whereby seemingly solid ground starts behaving like a liquid, to the detriment of anything on top of it. Fifteen per cent of Seattle is built on liquefiable land, including seventeen day-care centers and the homes of some thirty-four thousand five hundred people. ...
                                                                The earthquake will also generate a tsunami. Those living within the zone danger will have only 10 to 30 minutes to evacuate following the earthquake--along roads that will largely be impassible because of the earthquake.
                                                                ... Its height will vary with the contours of the coast, from twenty feet to more than a hundred feet. It will not look like a Hokusai-style wave, rising up from the surface of the sea and breaking from above. It will look like the whole ocean, elevated, overtaking land. Nor will it be made only of water—not once it reaches the shore. It will be a five-story deluge of pickup trucks and doorframes and cinder blocks and fishing boats and utility poles and everything else that once constituted the coastal towns of the Pacific Northwest.
                                                                According to estimates given in the article, "it will take between one and three months after the earthquake to restore electricity, a month to a year to restore drinking water and sewer service, six months to a year to restore major highways, and eighteen months to restore health-care facilities."

                                                                      The City of Seattle has a web-site called the "Seattle Hazard Explorer" that shows in a map format some of the principle risk area in the event of various natural disasters: tsunamis/seiches, liquefaction of the soil, landslides and flooding. It also has a map showing unreinforced masonry buildings which are particularly prone to failure in an earthquake. There are a large number of these buildings between I-90 on the south and Hwy 520 on the north. If you live in the area, I would advise consulting those maps.

                                                                       None of the foregoing considers the impact if Mr. Rainier should erupt.
                                                                       Mount Rainier's next eruption ... could produce volcanic ash, lava flows, and avalanches of intensely hot rock and volcanic gases, called "pyroclastic flows." 
                                                                Some of these events swiftly melt snow and ice and could produce torrents of meltwater that pick up loose rock and become rapidly flowing slurries of mud and boulders known as "lahars." In contrast to lava flows and pyroclastic flows that are unlikely to extend farther than 10 miles from the volcano's summit and remain within Mount Rainier National Park, the largest lahars can travel for tens of miles and reach Puget Sound. 
                                                                       Volcanic ash will be distributed downwind, most often toward the east, away from Puget Sound's large population centers. Airborne plumes of volcanic ash can greatly endanger aircraft in flight and seriously disrupt aviation operations. Although seldom life threatening, volcanic ash fallout on the ground can be a nuisance to residents, affect utility and transportation systems, and entail substantial clean-up costs.
                                                                       At Mount Rainier, the risk from lahars is greater than from lava flows, volcanic ash fall, or other volcanic phenomena because some pathways for future lahars are densely populated and contain important infrastructure such as highways, bridges, ports, and pipelines. Lahars look and behave like flowing concrete, and they destroy or bury most manmade structures in their paths. Past lahars probably traveled 45 to 50 miles per hour and were as much as 100 feet or more thick where confined in valleys near the volcano. They thinned and spread out in the wide valleys downstream, slowing to 15 to 25 miles per hour. Deposits of past lahars are found in all of the valleys that start on Mount Rainier's flanks.
                                                                However, if does not appear that Seattle or its environs would be at much risk from an eruption at Mr. Rainier, although lahars might follows some of the rivers and valleys to cities and towns south-west of Seattle, including Tacoma.

                                                                 * NOTE: The New Yorker article also has some information regarding Oregon generally, and Portland in particular, which I have omitted.

                                                                Friday, June 16, 2017

                                                                June 16, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                "Camping Knots"--Jason Eke (14 min.)
                                                                Although there are lots of videos on tying notes, the camera work and general use of a white background on this one made it very easy to see what was being done.


                                                                Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                                                • TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Links and commentary on dealing with a child that is a psychopath, concealed carry in winter/inclement weather, U.S. knife laws, factors that lead to cops winning a gunfight when ambushed, and a lot more. Check it out.
                                                                • Speaking of knife laws: "Victory!: Governor Abbott signs Texas 'Bowie Bill'"--The Truth About Knives. "[K]nown colloquially as the 'Bowie Bill' [it] removes daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears and most notably, Bowie knives, from Texas statute, effectively legalizing carry of said knives almost everywhere in the state." Idaho has a very similar law prohibiting the concealed carry of such weapons (apparently adopted from California back in the late 1800s), which has only been partially ameliorated by recent laws (last couple of years) legalizing the concealed carry of any knife with a blade less than 4-inches in length. Interestingly, Idaho's "constitutional carry" law is limited to handguns, and does not extend to knives.
                                                                • "Congress Baseball Shooter Used SKS, 9mm Handgun"--The Truth About Guns. Even though some news outlets are still claiming that the rifle used was an "M-4," it has been established that the weapon used was an SKS. I still see some reports calling it an SKS "assault rifle," which is an oxymoron since the SKS was quite deliberately designed and adopted by the Soviets to not be an assault rifle (which was still in development). Nor, as the TTAG article points out, does it satisfy the definition of "assault weapon" under most states' laws that use the term. Interestingly, the use of specialized "assault" or "storm" troops originated with Germany in 1916 as they attempted to devise new tactics to break the stalemate of the Western Front. The Great War channel has a video on the topic
                                                                • "How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne"--The Art of Manliness. The article discusses situational awareness as the "observe and orient" portion of the OODA loop, particularly the "orient" part--that is, for what we are supposed to be looking. The author goes on to discuss how we should strike to maintain condition "yellow," and put ourselves in a position where we can observe what is happening around us (sitting with your back to the wall, for instance). But the key point is:
                                                                The Orient step provides three things to help us achieve situational awareness: 1) baselines and anomalies for our particular environment, 2) mental models of human behavior we should look for, and 3) plans of action depending on our observations.
                                                                      The author also suggests that you practice by playing games by analyzing people around you, or attempting to memorize the things you see. He also discusses some general attributes to look for. And, of course, there are many other articles and books out there that discuss specific warning signs, but this article is probably one of the better explanations of situational awareness that I've seen, and I would recommend it.
                                                                       However, there is point about situational awareness, and developing it, that I've never seen discussed, but I think it is a good way to develop the basics of situational awareness, which is practicing common courtesy. By that, think of a couple synonyms for a courteous person. We describe them as "considerate" or "thoughtful." But, when you think about those words, they have more with being aware and thinking about what is going around you than just being nice: their roots are, after all, consider and thought. I would contend that if you cannot or do not notice, for instance, that the person following you through the door is carrying a load of heavy boxes (and thus would need the door held for him or her), the footsteps of the person running to catch the elevator (and thus needs the door held open), or that someone just dropped something without noticing it (and thus needs to be alerted), you do not have the situational awareness to recognize and respond to a potential attack. Being "considerate" or "thoughtful" requires not only that you observe what is going around you, but anticipate the needs of those people based on your observations. It is only a short step from being considerate of the needs of others to training yourself to see the person that is acting peculiar or suspicious, or aware of the person(s) rapidly walking up behind you or crossing the street to intercept you, or the person lurking near the ATM machine, etc. So, if you want to develop situational awareness, practice being considerate and thoughtful.
                                                                • "Gear Review: Shield Sights RMS (Reflex Mini Sight)"--The Truth About Guns. A well thought out mini-reflex sight with two really nice features: the battery can be changed without having to remove the sight from its mount (not all mini-reflex sights allow this), and it has a backup rear iron sight as part of its unit, so if you are having to mount this on a firearm using a base that fits into the dovetail for the rear sight, you still can have a backup sight. MSRP is not listed, but the article indicates that pre-orders are $400 at Brownells, so it is not an inexpensive option, unfortunately. 
                                                                • "7.62 NATO vs .308 Winchester Ammo, What’s The Difference?"--Ammo Land. Although commercial .308 is intended to have a higher pressure than 7.62, the 7.62 has thicker case walls (and thus less room for powder) and firearms chambered in 7.62 have a slightly longer head space than those chambered for commercial .308. Ironically, this means that commercial .308 shot through a 7.62 chamber could stretch enough to rupture under certain circumstances.
                                                                • "Descent Into Madness: Intro to Teludyne Tech and the 'Straight Jacket'"--The New Rifleman. The company shaves down your barrel, puts it into an aluminum jacket, and fills the space between the two with a proprietary material that not only put pressure on the outside of the barrel (thus making it stiffer), but also acts as a heat sink. They claim that it substantially increases accuracy and barrel life. The author just got back his barrel and is beginning to test it, but so far found that the accuracy seems to, indeed, be better. 
                                                                • "Contradicting Myself: Revolvers for Non-Shooters"--Revolver Guy. The author was contacted by a reader who had purchased a semi-auto pistol years earlier for self-protection. She took a class, and then sort of forgot about the pistol for a long time. Now she wants to use it, but sent a picture to the author to remind her whether the safety lever pushed up meant that the safety was on, or was off--she couldn't remember. The author writes:
                                                                         ... if she can’t remember which way the safety goes, is the gun really making her safer, or just making her feel safer? And what else is she forgetting?
                                                                           One seriously doubts that she could unload and clear the weapon if necessary. One further doubts she could employ it to great effect, especially considering she isn’t confident in the two positions of the safety. It is also possible (terrifyingly so) that she has been handling and possibly carrying this single-action semi-auto with the safety disengaged. And we haven’t even addressed the fact that this little aluminum-framed 9mm is a handful. Is this, or any semi-automatic handgun, really the best choice for her?
                                                                    From there, he argues that, in this woman's particular case, and for many like her, a revolver (but not a snubby) really is the better choice. 
                                                                    • Heh: "Iraq: How I got the Ammo to shoot at the al Qaeda Guy"--Michael Yon. Someone asked how Yon (former military, current journalist) was able to load an empty M-4 and join in the fight during an ambush. He went all "Capt. Kirk versus Gorn" in his reply. Worth the read for a good laugh.


                                                                    Other Stuff:
                                                                             Anyone looking at this investigation with even a tad of objectivity can see that it has been tainted before it has barely started.  Leave aside the optics (apologies for the already tired cliché) of the close relationship with Comey and the three Democratic donors in key positions.  This leaking is on another level altogether. It is obstruction of justice, in its pure Stalinist form. If I were Robert Mueller, I would be humiliated.  If I were not able to find those leakers and prosecute immediately, I would recuse myself.
                                                                               There is no other way.  With the leakers unpunished, Mueller's decisions will not have convinced half the country of what has been referred to by others as their "fairness." They will only exacerbate an already bad situation.  And that is -- given the dreadfully divided state of our nation at the moment -- a recipe for civil war.
                                                                        • Because they don't leave a unique pattern caused by scratches on the glass like a photocopier: "Why Printers Add Secret Tracking Dots?"--BBC News. Discussing the  arrest of Reality Leigh Winner for leaking classified documents, the article notes:
                                                                                 At that point, experts began taking a closer look at the document, now publicly available on the web. They discovered something else of interest: yellow dots in a roughly rectangular pattern repeated throughout the page. They were barely visible to the naked eye, but formed a coded design. After some quick analysis, they seemed to reveal the exact date and time that the pages in question were printed: 06:20 on 9 May, 2017 – at least, this is likely to be the time on the printer’s internal clock at that moment. The dots also encode a serial number for the printer.
                                                                                   These “microdots” are well known to security researchers and civil liberties campaigners. Many colour printers add them to documents without people ever knowing they’re there.
                                                                            They were originally added in order to catch people using color printers to counterfeit money. 
                                                                                     The recent spate of murders attributed to the MS-13 gang on Long Island is no accident — but rather the result of a sick directive from higher-ups in El Salvador for bloodshed in the Empire State, law enforcement revealed Thursday.
                                                                                       MS-13 honchos in El Salvador have “implemented the ‘New York Program,’ which mandates an increase of violence and bloodshed in New York,” Nassau DA Madeline Singas revealed Thursday.
                                                                                  Unfortunately, the article doesn't explain why the gang is increasing violence. Is it simply for purposes of general terrorism?
                                                                                           Swearing in fury, the crowd strips the man naked and stomps on his head as he sprawls on the ground.
                                                                                             "You want things that come easy? Then take this, you bastard."
                                                                                               In Venezuela, this is what robbers get when they are caught by passers-by.
                                                                                                 It is not just the country's economy and political system that are sick, but society itself, experts say. An epidemic of lynchings is one of the most gruesome symptoms.
                                                                                            When a nation abandons the basic purposes of government, the people will take on the role of government, including punishing criminals. It reminds me of Glenn Reynolds observation that the police are actually there to protect the criminals from the populace, not the other way around. I suppose that Anonymous Conservative would feel vindicated as this appears a clear case of K-behavior arising during a period of shortage.
                                                                                            • "The Western Museum of Antiquities"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Fernandez observes that: "the characteristic of a system in institutional crisis ... is that the right choice is impossible to make. You can't choose the future, only variants of the past." In that regard, he explains:
                                                                                              ... The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.  Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation. NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past.  Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff.  They are here to lead us back to 1968.

                                                                                              Wednesday, June 14, 2017

                                                                                              June 14, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                              "Fermi Paradox Apocalypse How"--Isaac Arthur (35 min.)
                                                                                              The Fermi Paradox, for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is the question: if there are so many planets throughout the universe that could give rise to intelligent life, why don't we see evidence of other civilizations? One of the responses is to surmise that there is a "great filter" that prevents a civilization ever reaching a technological point where it could be detected from other star systems. So what has this to do with prepping? Well, the "great filter" is generally postulated as being some global disaster that occurs to destroy civilization. In this video Isaac Arthur looks at the hypothetical disasters--spanning everything from nuclear war to a climate disaster to "grey goo"--and discusses why the majority of them wouldn't would only delay, not destroy the spread of a technological civilization. 


                                                                                              Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                                                                              • "How To Zero A Rifle Like A Marine Corps Gunner"--Task & Purpose. More specifically, the article is on how to zero a rifle sporting an ACOG telescopic sight. The answer, of course, is to use a collimator and then fine tune on paper, if necessary. There is supposed to be an embedded video that explains the process, but I couldn't get it to work. However, here is a link to Bushnell's bore-sighting guide for its collimator (PDF).
                                                                                              • "The Truth About Gun Violence"--Ammo Land. The author warns readers that the facts he discusses will get you called racists. First fact: "53% of all firearm-related murders are by black men under 30. That’s 3% of the population doing more than ½ of the killing." Second fact: "80%+ of all FRM (Firearm-Related Murders) are gang or drug related. (Most current numbers are 86%)." Other facts go on to show that this violence is concentrated in Democratic controlled cities. 
                                                                                              • Related: "The Inevitable War"--Chateau Heartiste. Some thoughts from a reader who was stabbed while experiencing diversity in a gentrified area of Baltimore.
                                                                                              • "The Glock 19 Undergoes The InRange Mud Test – 1 Round Fired"--The Firearms Blog. Another of InRange TV's infamous mud tests, this time on a Glock 19. As the headline states, the weapon was only able to fire once (the initial round chambered). Not too surprising, since any exposed ejection/operating system has done about the same in past tests. 
                                                                                              • "The Act of Killing: Not So Easy; Is It Something You Can Live With?"--More Than Just Surviving. (H/t Survival and Self-Reliance). Some thoughts on the psychological aspects of killing another in self-defense. I think this topic is important, but I am cautious because of the author's citation to the book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, which has largely been debunked because of the poor and unreliable data on which it relies.
                                                                                              • Related: "Dad, it hurts"--Modern Survivalist. FerFal recounts a recent news item from Argentina. It involved the mugging of a man walking his young son. After taking their money and starting to walk away, one of the muggers turned back and, maliciously, shot the boy who died from the wound. FerFal writes:
                                                                                              When we talk about survival and specifically armed self-defense the idea of killing is glorified as a transcendent event. Experts debate about people being able to pull the trigger or not and being able to live with taking another life. Those experts never lived in Lomas de Zamora. How I wish someone had shot those two scumbags. I’m sure the family of Agustin wishes so too. There’s no remorse in killing these beasts because they aren’t even people, they are worse than savage animals. This is why killing one of these bastards isn’t a solemn event but a celebration, a service to society.  One less animal out there to murder, rape and destroy lives.
                                                                                              • "Are Trekking Poles the Answer?"--Loadout Room. The author discusses trekking poles and reviews a pair. As the author notes, trekking poles provide additional stability which makes hiking/backpacking easier on your knees and back. However, there is another benefit: it improves circulation to your hands. My experience, at least--particularly when wearing any sort of pack with shoulder straps--is that if I'm hiking with arms down to my sides, blood tends to collect in the arms, which causes some slight swelling, and reduced manual dexterity. Using trekking poles, my arms and hands are held up and there is more movement, which prevents the issue.
                                                                                              • "JTT: A Treatise on AK-74 Mods" by Tom Marshall at Breach Bang Clear. Some ways to bring your AK into the 21st Century.
                                                                                              • "How To Maintain A Concealed Carry Gun."--Alien Gear Holsters. Cleaning, lubricating, and touching up the finish on your carry handgun.
                                                                                              • "#DontDigTheRig- Part 9"--Active Response Training. This time, Greg Ellifritz is critiquing a double, middle-of-the-back rig (two 1911s, set up so one can be drawn from each side: left and right). I've previously noted problems with middle-of-the-back carry, but Ellifritz gives a useful summary of why its not a good idea:
                                                                                              To begin with, small of the back carry is quite possibly the worst position in which to carry a gun, let alone TWO guns.
                                                                                              • The drawstroke is slow, awkward and can be easily fouled by a resisting opponent
                                                                                              • You muzzle everyone on the range when practicing your draw
                                                                                              • The holster prints every time you bend forward
                                                                                              • It’s easy to be disarmed in an attack from behind
                                                                                              • If you fall and land on the gun(s), you may injure your spine.
                                                                                              • It’s very difficult to draw from a seated position when your back is up against a chair

                                                                                               Other Stuff:
                                                                                              Mr. Trump is the elected president of the United States. It is no secret that many holdover officials were explicitly not loyal to the President, and some were proud of dragging their feet or even sabotaging Mr. Trump‘s action. Why should the President not expect loyalty from the Director of the FBI? Is the top investigating agency not subject to control by elected officials? This insistence of Administrative Independence is the very essence of the deep state, of the experts who have a right to rule not subject to the elected officials; it is a resurrection of the old divine rights, only the deep state is superior to everyone else: they and only they have a right to rule.
                                                                                              • "In Small and in Large"--Author John C. Wright discusses his son's ejection from his Boy Scout troop because he (the son) had allegedly made an anti-Muslim remark in a private conversation. Wright is not surprised, really, but his son is learning a hard life lesson:
                                                                                                     But my son is not prepared for betrayal by people, such as Christian pastors, such as his own scoutmaster, whom I taught him to trust, respect and obey.
                                                                                                       The world where chaplains will denounce you for being Christian, or Boy Scouts will expel you for being patriotic, is a new world to him.
                                                                                                          When a Leftist Christian has to decide between Leftism and the teachings of Christ, he goes Left. When a Leftist Scout has to decide between Leftism and the teachings of Robert Baden Powell, he goes Left. Leftist put Leftism before all other loyalties.
                                                                                                            Perhaps the lesson with toughen his spirit.
                                                                                                              The lesson may be useful for my friends and readers as well:
                                                                                                                The corruption is everywhere. To judge from their acts rather than their words, the corrupt wish not only to cow you into silence, dear reader, they wish to rob your children of innocent happiness.
                                                                                                         He also mentions the Long March Through The Institutions:
                                                                                                               They have control over the courts, the press, the schools, the entertainment industry, Wall Street. They are rapidly gaining control over the remaining uncorrupted Protestant denominations, over the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
                                                                                                                 They want control over the Boy Scouts, and over what opinions a child expresses in private.
                                                                                                                    Between Christ and Leftism, the war is a religious war, a crusade. The Left is not a political group with political goals, but a Jihad. Their goals are spiritual. Only a Crusader can defeat a Jihadist.
                                                                                                            • "Rehabilitating Pat MacNamara’s Image"--Captain's Journal. MacNamara, as you might remember, is a tactical firearms trainer (supposedly ex-Delta Force) how indicated on a Comedy Central clip that he supported waiting periods and universal background checks (i.e., elimination of private sales). Many in the gun community believe that MacNamara should be given an opportunity to explain himself or otherwise rehabilitate his image. Smith's not having any of it:
                                                                                                             I see no need to wait – [MacNamara] clearly said he supported what he said he supported.  There was no mistake, and there is no mistaking what he said.  He said what he thought, and he thought what he said.