Friday, September 24, 2021

Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump ...

 ... for this weekend has a bunch of good articles, including topics such as:

  • Advise on how to better conceal a handgun, because the Leftists and Karens (including DA's and prosecutors) are increasingly intolerant of people carrying.
  • An article from Organic Prepper that uses examples of how body guards/security spot problem people in a crowd, and applying that to those exercising personal protection.
  • An article on acceptable combat accuracy for a handgun (being able to regularly place your shots within vital areas out to 25 yards); and another on long range handgun accuracy (hitting targets out to 200 yards).
  • A SWAT Magazine article on maintaining your rifle (focusing on the AR15) based on the author's experience and training while in military service and updated over his subsequent experience.
  • A "must-read" article from Spotter-Up on performing angular searches (i.e., around corners) inside a structure. As Jon Low mentioned in his most recent post, clearing a room or structure is dangerous, especially for the lone person, but you may nevertheless need to do it in order to protect your loved ones so you better know how to do it.
  • An article from Recoil on some field expedient methods of controlling bleeding or patching a sucking chest wound when you don't have your IFAK with you, or there are more people injured than you have supplies for.
  • And a lot more ...
And with how busy my schedule has been this past few weeks, I missed the Weekend Knowledge Dump from September 17. Just a few of the articles/topics:

  • A book review exploring whether France's gun control laws prior to World War II hamper the resistance movement after the German occupation. While the article does not come to a definitive conclusion, the author notes: "What it does do is force readers to entertain a simple question: When a hostile and brutal power takes over, do you want your countrymen to have guns at hand, or not?"
  • For those attempting to collect antibiotics for SHTF, Greg has included links to a couple sources of information on different antibiotics and what they are best used to treat.
  • A review of Federal’s 8 Pellet FLITECONTROL 00 Buckshot loads.
  • A look at what factors or properties make for a good holster.
  • And a lot more....

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Magnetic Reversal?

Movement of the North Magnetic Pole over the past 120 years (source).

Marcus Wynne recently pointed me to an article,"Is Earth’s magnetic field flipping? Earth’s magnetic north pole is shifting south at speeds of 30 miles per year recently, suggesting we are on the brink of a magnetic reversal". The article relates:

    Something odd is happening to Earth’s magnetic field. Over the last 200 years, it’s been slowly weakening and shifting its magnetic north pole (where a compass points, not to be confused with the geographic north pole) from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia.

    In recent decades, however, that slow shift south has quickened — reaching speeds upwards of 30 miles per year (48 kilometers per year). Could we be on the brink of a geomagnetic reversal, in which the magnetic north and south poles swap places?

The article goes on to explain that the magnetic field has flipped ten times in the last 2.6 million years alone, with the last occurrence 780,000 years ago. And it describes some of the problems that we may experience:

    The direct effect on mankind could be only slight, but not so for technology. We use artificial satellites for navigation, television broadcasting, weather forecasting, environmental monitoring and communication of all kinds. Without the protection of a magnetic field, these satellites could be seriously disrupted by solar wind or cosmic rays colliding with electronic circuits.

    A weak magnetic field in the South Atlantic Ocean, known as the “South Atlantic Anomaly,” already adversely affects satellites and could be an indication of what is to come.

    Recent geological studies have suggested a possible reason for the anomaly. It is widely believed that our Moon was formed when Earth was struck by the planet Theia 4.5 billion years ago, but the remains of Theia have never been found. It now appears that the remains of Theia may lie beneath our feet.

    There are two huge volumes of rock buried deep in the Earth, each one millions of times larger than Mount Everest (and expanding) and denser and hotter than the rest of Earth’s mantle. Scientists suggest that these rock masses are the missing remains of Theia and that they interfere with the convection of molten iron — giving rise to the weak magnetic field in the South Atlantic.

Not discussed in the article, but the huge structures also mean that the Earth's mass is not distributed evenly, meaning that the Earth could act as a spinning asymmetrical object that could quickly flip--the Dzhanibekov effect

    In any event, although there are the long term flips discussed in the article, there are flips and disruptions of a shorter nature. A 2017 article at The Conversation, "Why the Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to swap places – and how it would affect us," relates:

    Geomagnetic reversals occur a few times every million years on average. However, the interval between reversals is very irregular and can range up to tens of millions of years.

    There can also be temporary and incomplete reversals, known as events and excursions, in which the magnetic poles move away from the geographic poles – perhaps even crossing the equator – before returning back to their original locations. The last full reversal, the Brunhes-Matuyama, occurred around 780,000 years ago. A temporary reversal, the Laschamp event, occurred around 41,000 years ago. It lasted less than 1,000 years with the actual change of polarity lasting around 250 years.

Geomagnetic excursions are more frequent but, because of their short duration, harder to detect in the geological records. Although the Laschamp excursion is the best known and best studied, there are many others believed to have occurred including the Mono Lake excursion of 28,000 years ago, and at least 12 or 15 since the Brunshes-Matuyama reversal (see PDF here, p. 377). As you will note from the aforementioned source, these excursions appear to be fairly regular. Moreover, more recent data suggests that there have been more excursions and that these excursions can occur every 12,000 years, with the last associated with the Younger Dryas event 12,000 years ago.

    But back to The Conversation's article. It also discusses the possible impacts, stating:

    The alteration in the magnetic field during a reversal will weaken its shielding effect, allowing heightened levels of radiation on and above the Earth’s surface. Were this to happen today, the increase in charged particles reaching the Earth would result in increased risks for satellites, aviation, and ground-based electrical infrastructure. Geomagnetic storms, driven by the interaction of anomalously large eruptions of solar energy with our magnetic field, give us a foretaste of what we can expect with a weakened magnetic shield.

    In 2003, the so-called Halloween storm caused local electricity-grid blackouts in Sweden, required the rerouting of flights to avoid communication blackout and radiation risk, and disrupted satellites and communication systems. But this storm was minor in comparison with other storms of the recent past, such as the 1859 Carrington event, which caused aurorae as far south as the Caribbean.

    The impact of a major storm on today’s electronic infrastructure is not fully known. Of course any time spent without electricity, heating, air conditioning, GPS or internet would have a major impact; widespread blackouts could result in economic disruption measuring in tens of billions of dollars a day.

    In terms of life on Earth and the direct impact of a reversal on our species we cannot definitively predict what will happen as modern humans did not exist at the time of the last full reversal. Several studies have tried to link past reversals with mass extinctions – suggesting some reversals and episodes of extended volcanism could be driven by a common cause. However, there is no evidence of any impending cataclysmic volcanism and so we would only likely have to contend with the electromagnetic impact if the field does reverse relatively soon.

    We do know that many animal species have some form of magnetoreception that enables them to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. They may use this to assist in long-distance navigation during migration. But it is unclear what impact a reversal might have on such species. What is clear is that early humans did manage to live through the Laschamp event and life itself has survived the hundreds of full reversals evidenced in the geologic record.

    Earth Sky Magazine also has an interesting article on the shifting magnetic pole. It notes:

    Since Earth’s magnetic field is created by its moving, molten iron core, its poles aren’t stationary and they wander independently of one another. In fact, since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has travelled over 1,240 miles (2,000 km) from the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada to high in the Arctic Sea. This wandering has generally been quite slow, around 9km (6 mi) a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to 30 miles (50 km) a year. The south magnetic pole is also moving, though at a much slower rate (6-9 miles, or 10-15 km a year).

    This rapid wandering of the north magnetic pole has caused some problems for scientists and navigators alike. Computer models of where the north magnetic pole might be in the future have become seriously outdated, making accurate compass-based navigation difficult. Although GPS does work, it can sometimes be unreliable in the polar regions. In fact, the pole is moving so quickly that scientists responsible for mapping the Earth’s magnetic field were recently forced to update their model much earlier than expected.

Russian University Shooting

You may have heard of the shooting at a Russian University a few days ago. It left 8 dead and 28 wounded. From an AP report (courtesy of The Truth About Guns):

    A gunman opened fire Monday at a university in Russia, leaving eight people dead and 28 hurt, officials said.

    The suspect was detained after being wounded in an exchange of fire with police, the Interior Ministry said. There was no immediate information available on his identity or possible motive.

    During the attack, students and staff at Perm State University locked themselves in rooms, and video posted on Russian news sites showed some students jumping out of second-story windows.

    In some footage, a black-clad, helmeted figure could be seen striding on a campus sidewalk cradling a long-barreled weapon. Russia’s Investigative Committee said the gunman fired a smoothbore hunting weapon. That could indicate he used a shotgun.

    A traffic police unit was the first to reach the scene, and the suspect opened fire on them, according to the Interior Ministry. He was wounded when police returned fire and then was disarmed, the ministry said.

    Marcus Wynne has found the video footage mentioned above embedded in this article from Leaked Reality. A few points that jumped out at me. First, the video captures the shooting (and presumably death) of a person at what appears to be a security checkpoint using turn stalls. The only thing the check point did was bunch people together and slow the escape of some. The shooter merely stepped over the turn stalls and proceeded into the building. Most security is useless theater.

    Second, the shooter was wearing what appeared to be a steel pot helmet: useless for stopping bullets, but it would limit his situational awareness and provides a great handle for a head take down.

    Third, police appeared to have easily stopped the shooter who gave up quickly once he was wounded. This again reiterates the point that a good guy with a gun can generally deal quickly with the lone active shooter.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Docent's Memo (9/22/2021)

 
VIDEO: "The Beretta Cheetah Series: Fun Size Duty Pistols"--Lucky Gunner (15 min.)

Firearms/Shooting/Self-Defense:

  • The "Greatest Generation" were not the greatest shots: "Shots Fired In Anger: Truly A Nation Of Riflemen?" by Dave Anderson, GUNS Magazine. The article discusses some observations and comments made in the book Shots Fired in Anger (1947) by Major (later Lt. Colonel) John B. George. George had been a championship shooter prior to the war. The book was about George's experiences as a trainer and in combat during World War II. 
For the rifle enthusiast, George’s rifle knowledge makes his observations on training and combat interesting. What I found particularly surprising was his harshly frank and honest opinion of the shooting ability of the average American soldier. Among his conclusions he notes, “a fine competitive archer would be more effective in combat with his bow and arrow than the average Infantry rifleman armed with an M1 rifle.”

“Last week marked an end of an era for Beretta USA,” the company posted on Sept. 7. “The Beretta USA team in Gallatin, TN, packed and shipped the last Beretta M9 pistol for the U.S. Armed Forces contract. Thank you to every Beretta USA team member who, over the last 36 years, has proudly manufactured the M9, and especially to all our brave servicewomen and men who have carried the M9 in their service to the United States of America.”

  • "Handgun Grip Vs. Hold: What's the Difference?" by Steve Tarani, Shooting Illustrated. It may seem pedantic, but knowing the difference is important to trainers and instructor: "While a good grip firmly connects the firearm to your body to be utilized as an extension of your will and serves the function of stabilizing the muzzle in preparation for fire control, hold control is about application of either sighted or unsighted muzzle alignment with the target."
  • I know that hunting seasons start at various times in different jurisdictions, but in Idaho, the general rifle season is about to start:
    After spending time in dozens of camps all over the world—and especially after a few years of outfitting whitetail hunters—I’ve come to realize that the modern hunter’s biggest weaknesses boils down to this: We are sh*tty woodsmen. 

    Many of today’s hunters cannot distinguish an oak tree from a sweet gum. If tasked with sneaking quietly through the woods, some respond by apparently seeking out the largest, crispiest sticks on the ground, and mashing their boot heels into them furiously. Some refuse to whisper, out of the belief that a buck’s grunt can be heard from 100 yards but a man’s normal voice saying, “That one’s a shooter!” cannot. 

    It gets even worse on stand. More than anything else—scent included—people get busted by deer because they won’t sit still. It’s so important that I do an orientation before every hunt, during which I stress the simple importance of not moving until the moment is just right. 

    “Do not stand up to get your bow if a deer is 40 yards away with its black eyes burning into your soul like a pair of 8 balls,” I say. “Do not try and self-film your hunt, unless killing a deer is of no importance to you at all. Do not sit in your stand with headphones on, watching a ball game and slapping your leg in angst when your team is down. Avoid taking tree-stand selfies. In fact, I encourage you to disable your Instagram altogether for the week. Turn your ThermaCell on before the sun goes down, because the deer start moving just about the time the mosquitoes wake up.” 
Stress isn’t supposed to be part of deer hunting. These days it often, usually, is. Even if crowds aren’t messing you up, they probably are making it harder for you to get a tag, find a place to hunt, stalk or track without interruption. Personally, I find applying for big-game tags so onerous and disappointing that I rarely try anymore. Instead, I just walk away. I escape to small-game hunting.
  • "Maximum Effective Range Of Buckshot"--Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing. The author defined maximum effective range as having a hit probability greater than chance (greater than 50% of pellets make scoreable hits on target) and the buckshot traveling fast enough to make incapacitating hit at this range (12.0” or deeper penetration in nominal 10% ballistic gelatin). As to the latter, the author discovered that #4 buckshot was marginal to ineffective at all velocities. As to #1 and 00, whether it was unplated, buffered or plated, flight controlled, both were effective out to approximately 50 yards. However, Greg Ellifritz has noted that if you instead are looking at keeping all pellets inside a man-sized target (i.e., a center mass strike is not going to result in stray pellets missing the target and potentially striking and injuring someone else), your typical maximum range is going to be 15 yards with perhaps double that with flight control wads. Another thing that Greg Ellifritz has noted is that that 00 shells with 9 pellets will generally throw one flyer, but that those with 8 pellets will generally group better.
  • "Sniping In Korea: 1950-1953" by Maj. John L. Plaster, U.S. Army (Ret.), American Rifleman. After WWII, the U.S. abandoned all sniper training. The reasoning apparently was that strategic bombing with atomic bombs eliminated the need for conventional tactics. Or, as the article relates:
Problem was, as a 1951 United States Marine Corps study observed, in the new atomic age, “The Marine Corps no longer trains snipers, nor are such personnel designated in TOEs [Tables of Organization].” The U.S. Army likewise offered no sniping guidance, no selection standards, no sniper schools and no sniper slots. Sniping was, the USMC Tactics and Techniques Board determined, “the prerogative of Commanders.”

  •  "BulletSafe American-Made VP3 Body Armor – Affordable Level IIIA"--The Firearm Blog. Level IIIA will defeat almost all pistol caliber threats, including .44 Magnum. This vest is also touted to be stab and slash resistant. It has Velcro pockets for any rifle plates you might want to add. Cost is $299.97. Probably the main thing that prompted me to share this is that it is available in 8 sizes so it should be easier for those that are small or very large to find something that fits. From the photos it looks like something that you could wear under a loose shirt or jacket.
  • "Modern Lever-Action PCC by British Southern Gun Company"--The Firearm Blog. Apparently British law allows lever actions, but not semi-auto or pump-action rifles. In any event, it is sort of weird but cool-looking at the same time. I could see a market in certain states in the United States that restrict semi-auto black rifles.


VIDEO: "La Palma Volcano | What It Means/Data Update"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)

Prepping/Survival:

  • "The Rule Of Threes – Survival Priorities For Decision Making"--Modern Survival Blog. The rule of threes is:
    • You can survive for 3 Minutes without air (oxygen) or in icy water
    • You can survive for 3 Hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water)
    • You can survive for 3 Days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment)
    • You can survive for 3 Weeks without food (if you have water and shelter)

The author explains that his is not just a set of rules of thumb but is a guide on how to prioritize your efforts if you find yourself in a survival situation.

  • "Where To Start?"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author briefly discusses his three favorite books for the aspiring prepper. The only one of the three that I've read is The Prepper's Complete Book of Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb which is a very thorough book on the subject. My personal pick for a starting book on preparedness is Cody Lundin's When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes.
  • "A Virus With A Death Rate Of Up To 75 Percent Has Caused A Lockdown In India" by Michael Snyder. He writes: "The Nipah virus has a mortality rate that is similar to Ebola, but it is a respiratory virus that can spread fairly easily through human contact.  The good news is that past outbreaks have always been contained, and so we have never seen a full-blown Nipah pandemic."
  • "Urban Bug Out Bag: What You Need To Carry and Planning Guide" by Diane Vuković, Primal Survivor. First, as the author explains, an urban Bug Out Bag should contain everything you need to survive for three days following a disaster in a city or other urban environment. For shelter, she not only recommends a tarp and material (Duck tape) to repair it, but also a pry bar or small bolt cutters to allow you to get into existing shelter. As for water, she notes that chemical pollutants will be a big risk in the urban environment so the standard purifiers used in wilderness settings won't cut it by themselves: you will need extra water and/or a filter that also uses activated charcoal to deal with chemicals. She also suggests tools to open water valves in commercial buildings or to open fire hydrants. She notes that you will need to be discreet, not tactical looking. For self-defense, she recommends carrying pepper-spray in addition to a firearm. You will also need extra equipment to deal with rubble, debris and toxic pollutants such as sturdy boots, work gloves, face mask, eye protection, and earplugs. She also goes on to discuss medical needs and communications. Anyway, she includes recommendations as to specific brands/models of gear and a more complete list, so check out the article.

COVID News:

At 1159pm this Wednesday evening, all construction workers in Victoria need to be jabbed or they will be banned from traveling for their work. The largest of the construction unions in Victoria is the CFMEU. It is also the most powerful and militant union in the entire country. Today on the streets of Melbourne outside its large office, its members gathered to demand that the union boss, John Setka, stand up to the Victorian government on their behalf.

I've also heard that the union bosses initially called in a motorcycle gang to break up the union protestors, but the protestors beat the gang members so badly that they were forced to cower behind police lines for protection.

    Meanwhile, Pure Bloods across the world seem to be doing far better, for now. With serious concern that Vax Bloods will become a danger to us all…they keep jabbing the jabs.

    Remember all those books and movies about World War II, wherein in so many Jews submitted to wearing the Star. A symbol of their own faith was weaponized into a Mark of the Beast. And then millions peacefully marched or loaded onto trains and vanished from the earth. There were pockets of resistance, but only pockets.

    If you don’t sense a trap in all this, let me help. This is a trap.



Miscellany:
  • "Chinese Data Dump Confirms Hard Landing Imminent"--Zero Hedge. The article relates that "the latest official composite purchasing manager’s index fell to the lowest since February 2020, its first contraction after the virus lockdowns, signaling China’s robust economic recovery from last year’s coronavirus trough is losing momentum." And this:
According to Nomura, year-over-year growth in volume terms of new home sales, existing home sales and land sales dropped further to -26.6%, -46.6% and -38.3% in the first 11 or 12 days of September from -22.5%, -39.5% and -21.9% in August, respectively. It gets worse: land sales in value terms plunged to -90.4% y-o-y for 1-12 September from -65.0% in August. 

I have to say that I suspected that real estate sales had to be slumping and that is why Evergrande has not been able to keep their giant Ponzi scheme going. It is not unusual for a developer to try and pre-sell properties in order to finance their construction. But I suspect that when the dust settles, we will learn that Evergrande was using the sales of current construction to pay the costs of other developments.
Today, came the latest study from the Brandeis Center, which released a poll of “openly Jewish” college students. Seventy percent of the students surveyed reported that they experienced antisemitism. Half of the students said they have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity at school, explaining that they felt doing so would protect them from harassment, bullying or social exclusion. This is the kind of thing we would expect to hear about the Jews of Europe. But not here.

Okay. I know that the whole BLM/anti-white thing is targeting Jews in addition to the hated WASPs, and there is an increasing animosity against Israel and the whole Zionist movement from the Left, but Weiss leaves the impression that this is from the conservative right when it is not. Weiss wants to know where this anti-Semitism has its root. I've three words for her: the Frankfurt School

Earlier this month, the English Touring Opera told nearly half its orchestral musicians that it would not be renewing their contracts for the 2022 season because it has “prioritised increased diversity in the orchestra.” In other words, as a bunch of white guys you must be cleared out so that we can boost the collective melanin levels among our musicians. Your talent does not matter; your skin color does.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's largest teaching union, is providing its members with a seminar focused on the New York Times podcast, Nice White Parents, Todd Shepherd of Broad and Liberty reported. This podcast describes itself as a series dedicated to "building a better school system, and what gets in the way." And, as this advertisement shows, "what gets in the way" is merely a trope for "blame white people."

  • Immigrants in the 1800s helped expand and build this nation. Today, they mostly just suck off the teats of taxpayers: "Analysis: Afghan Population in U.S. Explodes, Majority Live on Welfare"--Breitbart. The article mentions: "Camarota’s research found that more than 65 percent of households headed by Afghan immigrants use at least one major form of welfare — that is, food stamps, cash assistance, or Medicaid. If other forms of welfare were included in this tally, like free school lunch and public housing, 'these high rates of welfare use would almost certainly be much higher,' Camarota notes."
  • Even a broken clock is right twice a day: "Marx Got It Right: Mass Immigration Wrecks Wages. Why Won’t America’s Resurgent Communists Admit It?" by Carl Horowitz. Today's communists won't admit it because, since they follow the Frankfort School, class has been abandoned in favor of race. From the article:

    Believe it or not, as Ripley used to say, Communist theoretician Karl Marx anticipated a key economic argument against mass immigration that VDARE.com has made since its beginning: Unfettered immigration depresses wages for host-nation workers. That Marx was wrong in his overall critique of capitalism, most notably his prediction that it was doomed, did not make him wrong on everything. On immigration, Marx was on the right side of the debate, if not necessarily for the right reasons. Oddly, America’s resurgent Communists don’t seem to have noticed.

    Consider a letter of 1870 to Sigfrid Meyer and August Vogt, German friends in the United States. Citing the effects of large-scale Irish immigration upon England, Marx explained the destabilizing effect of cheap immigrant labor: “Owing to the constantly increasing concentration of leaseholds, Ireland constantly sends her own surplus to the English labor market, and thus forces down wages and lowers the material and moral position of the English working class,” the primordial Prussian Communist wrote.

    I’ve been pondering this Fourth Turning in articles since its spectacular onset in September 2008, with the Wall Street/Federal Reserve initiated global financial implosion. The description above is apt, as this ongoing two-decade long storm gains intensity and our freedoms, liberties and rights are slowly extinguished as the electricity flickers and our modern civilization reverts to a more brutish state of antipathy among competing tribes, based on race, gender, class, party, geographic location, and now medical status.

    We are in the midst of a saecular winter that is guaranteed to become more violent and bitter, as the malevolent forces propelling this Crisis have decided to ramp up fear propaganda to implement their global reset, using authoritarian methods to compel the masses to comply. I’ve intellectually understood we would be faced with trials and tribulations that would threaten the continuation of our way of life and survival as a unified nation. The reality is proving to be far worse. The core elements of debt, civic decay, and global disorder are most certainly propelling this Crisis towards its bloody climax. I knew there was no way to sidestep or escape this Fourth Turning.

    But I didn’t expect a Deep State coup against a sitting president; a stolen presidential election through the collusion of the surveillance state, Big Tech, Big Media and billionaire oligarchs; a weaponized flu used as cover for an imploding financial system; an authoritarian global lockdown which has destroyed small businesses and impoverished the working class, while enriching mega-corporations and the elite ruling class; and now a Big Pharma experimental gene therapy disguised as a vaccine used to divide America into hostile tribes spewing hate online, with a strong possibility of violence because Biden and his handlers are attempting to provoke those refusing his vaccine mandate into committing acts of aggression.

    Those trapped in their self-induced stupor of normalcy bias, with an ample helping of cognitive dissonance, do not or will not see the coming storm as it wipes out all vestiges of their modern techno-consumption society. Supply chains are imploding as we speak., creating shortages, soaring prices, and possibly empty food shelves in the near future.

    Many Americans think the Constitution — an eighteenth-century document — will secure their rights. They are clearly wrong. While corporations, NGOs, and the federal government restrict citizen free speech, Virginia’s supreme court claimed the state government’s free speech rights were so sacred it could break a clearly worded contract.

    In a separate decision, the court went further: “[E]very single day that the statue remains standing inflicts harm across the Commonwealth – both on an individual level and more broadly by undermining our system of democratic governance.” How did the statue undermine democracy? “The Lee Monument communicates principles that many believe to be inconsistent with the values the Commonwealth currently wishes to express.”

    What about those who don’t think a statue of General Lee “inflicts harm?” A September 2020 poll found that Virginia was about evenly divided on the question of removing Confederate memorials, but the opinions of white Southerners don’t count. The court repeatedly cited the supposed harm the Lee statue caused blacks. It was silent on what it meant to white Southerners who fought for their homes, lost, and returned to a wasteland.

The article goes on to discuss how General Lee was not a supporter of slavery and was instrumental in keeping the peace following the Civil War by encouraging real reconciliation rather than recrimination. It then goes on to explain how the Confederate flag has ceased to be a purely "Southerner" flag but has taken the place as a flag of rebellion against the elites. He also warns that the destruction of monuments will not stop with those honoring the Confederacy (which we've already seen with the destruction and defacement of other monuments honoring George Washington, Christopher Columbus, pioneers, and other white people). The author concludes:

    Many whites are mentally no longer part of the current political order, but we didn’t mentally secede. We were kicked out. Lee was the last straw, and the battle flag is a natural rallying point. Now is the time to begin organizing locally. Support secession efforts within the United States, especially in Virginia. Network with friends and form partnerships to make yourself financially and physically stronger. Don’t be like those jackals in Richmond. Build, don’t destroy.

    Most importantly, don’t despair. Accept the challenge of history. “Every time I look at Atlanta, I see what a quarter million Confederate soldiers died to prevent,” wrote John Shelton Reed. Today, that statement applies not just to Atlanta or Richmond but to the entire country. Once again, we are called to resist. It is not a struggle of arms, but of will. It is not North versus South, but patriotic whites versus those who despise us.

    It may seem daunting, but we have Lee’s example before us. Do your duty and leave the rest in God’s hands.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

New Defensive Pistol Craft Post

 Jon Low published a new post at his blog on September 16, 2021. As you know, his posts are packed full of interesting and useful links; tips, tricks and commentary; and just good horse-sense when it comes to carrying and using a concealed weapon. 

    First up: Jon is a defensive pistol trainer, as probably most of you know. He has provided information on some upcoming presentations he is giving, about which he writes:

    I'll be giving 4 hour lectures for Concealed Coalition at the Bass Pro in the Opry Mills shopping center in Nashville, TN.  

October 9th, 2021 A.D. from 9:30am - 1:30pm

November 6th, 2021 A.D. from 9:30am - 1:30pm

https://www.concealedcoalition.com/tennessee

     We'll be doing the paperwork for the baby Tennessee Handgun Permit aka "Concealed Handgun Carry Permit", as opposed to the "Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit". As of 1 July 2021 no permit is required to carry concealed in Tennessee, but there are lots of restrictions as to where you can carry without a permit. So, without a permit you're a third class citizen.  

    The class will be just talk, no live fire, no hands on pistol manipulation.  Hopefully, lots of useful educational discussion. 

Background, https://www.tn.gov/safety/tnhp/handgun/permittypes.html click on "Concealed Handgun Carry Permit (Effective 1/1/2020)"

     On July 1st of 2021 the "Constitutional Carry" (misnomer) law went into effect. So, you don't need a permit to carry in Tennessee.  But, it's nice to have the Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit for when you travel to other free states.   

So, on to some of the topics that caught my attention:

  • I found the following observation interesting:

     "Friends with extensive military experience assure me that they have spotted the reflections of night sights in soldiers’ eyeglass lenses."  

-- Stephen P. Wenger

     [Stop and think about that.  Wenger is talking about the tritium glow in the dark sights that are shining back towards you.  They are bright enough for the enemy to see them reflecting off your glasses or goggles.  

     When I was in the Marine Corps, we would paint our faces, including our glasses leaving only a small area in the center sufficient to see and aim the rifle.  The black Marines didn't have to paint up, but they had to keep their mouths closed, because the high contrast between black skin and white teeth is highly visible.  Everyone had to blacken their noses because it sticks out.  Physical contrast (anything sticking out, breaking the otherwise innocuous background pattern), brightness contrast, and color contrast must be eliminated. -- Jon Low]     

  • Jon links to an article entitled "7 more tips for tactical movement" by Mike Wood at Police One, which is advice for police SWAT teams on clearing rooms. Jon adds his own comments:

      We teach, don't attempt to clear your house, because clearing is dangerous. I know.  I've done it.  Even if you are intimately familiar with your house, you can still get ambushed.  Even if you have practiced for a year (every month at weekend drill), you can still lose (at annual training).  

     So, why do we teach you how to do it?  You hear glass breaking in the middle of the night.  You hear your daughter screaming from her bedroom down the hall.  You're not going wait for police.  You have to move quickly into position to apply controlled accurate fire within the safety rules. Getting yourself killed doesn't help anyone.  So, we train and practice.  

  • He links to an article on breaking the terrorist attack cycle, also at Police One
  • He relates that you can get Stephen P. Wenger's book "DEFENSIVE USE OF FIREARMS" free of charge at https://spw-duf.info/ by clicking on the picture of the book at the bottom of the web page.  
  • A great interview with Massad Ayoob at Armed Citizens Network on trial strategy and expert witnesses. 
  • He links to a couple articles on gun cleaning and maintenance. I know that these sound like boring topics, but if you want your firearm to work when you need it to, this is necessary information.
  • Jon includes a link to a video about armed self-defense and the law, as well as a series of 7 articles by Steven Harris about the use of deadly force. 

This is important stuff. You remember Michael Drejka, the Florida man that was shoved to the ground by a young black man, and shot the man in self-defense, and then basically talked himself into a manslaughter charge because of his faulty reasoning? Jon notes that Drejka has been beaten while in prison. The lesson here is learn when you can and cannot use lethal force in self-defense, and to shut up until your attorney arrives. I have been taught self-defense law both in a classroom setting using a textbook as well as on my own from numerous videos, articles, and books. I still watch the videos and read the articles and books because it is so important to keep the information reasonably fresh in your mind and gain understanding from the people that deal with it or teach it on a regular basis. 

  • Jon notes that the so-called Progressives are now targeting our access to ammunition, and cites to a couple articles on the topic. He also gives a couple sources for ordering ammo on line.
And, of course, a lot more. So be sure to check it out.

Sad News: Angelo Codevilla Has Died

Angelo Codevilla has been probably the most intellectual voice on the side of "the Deplorables" versus the ruling class. National Review has a short in memoriam about him here. I'm sure many other conservative news sites and blogs will also be mentioning this. No official word on cause of death, but Greg Reynolds has unofficially indicated that Codevilla died as a result of an automobile accident.

    Codevilla has not been a friend to the ruling elite, rather pointedly pointing out their failings including their isolation from and hatred of traditional Americans, and their success being more a result of their sinecure rather than talent and ability. For instance, a little over a month ago, he published a piece at The American Mind with the title, "The Death of the Global Cop," excoriating the elites on their failures on the international front. He begins by noting:

    Here and now, more than usual, a nation’s relation with others flows less from choices about policy than it does from the character of its people and ruling class. Scarcely any foreign policy is possible for a people who hate one another. All but the most basic functions are beyond being supported by a population—of ever lower intellectual and moral capacity—that has lost confidence in its leaders. Today’s U.S. ruling class is thoroughly corrupt and absorbed in domestic revolution. No serious statesmen would display their own country’s internal divisions as does the U.S. by flying the LGBT flag. It is not reasonable to expect foreigners to take seriously American statesmen who do not take seriously their own country’s unity and interests.  

    Having witnessed the abandon with which the ruling class abstracted from reality to weaponize U.S. relations with Russia, it is impossible to imagine that it would refrain from doing the same with any other matter that it deemed convenient. U.S. relations with China depend on various Chinese interests’ outright purchase of practical allegiance up and down and throughout America’s political and social hierarchy. The opera buffa with regard to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline shouts that U.S. words and deeds are thin cover for actions actually driven by coincidences of U.S. and German personal interests. In that regard, the coziness between the U.S. and European ruling class simply reflects what concerns both equally, namely fighting off populist pressures against increasingly intolerable mal-government.  

For instance:

What could the U.S. Navy do were China to try conquering Taiwan? Issuing stern warnings while refraining from fortifying the island with serious missile defense is un-serious. Serious geopolitical analysis, however, is beyond folks who can think only of denigrating their less sophisticated subjects. Fighting that domestic war of conquest consumes them. Until that is over, discussions of foreign affairs must remain theoretical. 

     At a recent roundtable with Angelo Codevilla, Todd Gitlin, Michael Lind, Ilana Redstone, and Wesley Yang, Codevilla described our current political system as:

... an oligarchy, run by a class of persons linked to the Democratic Party. It is not a standard oligarchy, by and for persons intent on preserving and enhancing their economic primacy—though that is a part of it. But the defining feature of today’s American oligarchy is the sense that the class that runs essentially all U.S. institutions senses itself so intellectually and morally superior to the rest of Americans that it may rule rightly without the latter’s consent.

In responding to another panelist's suggestion that the Republican party had become a white supremist redoubt, Codevilla responded:

    White supremacist redoubt? That can be only on the planet where Larry Elder [a black politician] is the face of white supremacy.

    The current American system grew inside the Republic’s constitutional and institutional structures. The mechanism consisted of an increasing blurring of lines between private and public power. Government regulated business, and business was happy to return the favor. This has been happening all over the West since Italy’s 1926 Law of Corporations (fascism’s charter). In the United States, it happened more slowly but with the same results.

    At a certain point, circa 2007 to 2010, the holders of institutional power began to dispense with increasingly empty ritual obeisance to the will of the voters and began exercising the powers of “stakeholders.” In that sense, there is nothing peculiarly American about it. The American peculiarity comes from the social animus with which the stakeholders rule.

 Find some of his articles. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Collapse of Evergrande?

Last Tuesday I wrote about the developing crisis around the Chinese real estate development and investment firm, Evergrande, and the risk it could have to the Chinese economy.  At that time, it was not clear if the Chinese government would be bailing out the firm or if a white knight investor would swoop in and save the company from ruin. 

    Since then, matters have grown more precarious for Evergrande. On September 16, the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan's largest newspapers, reported that although "[a] collapse of Evergrande could ignite immense financial and social turmoil, the "leaders of the Chinese Communist Party have been taking a wait-and-see approach over the crisis instead of rushing to rescue the company." This is because a rescue "would run counter to President Xi Jinping’s stated policy of not favoring the rich." The article explains:

    Evergrande Group was established in Guangzhou in 1996, after China’s economic reforms.

    The company grew rapidly as its offer of compact apartments built in what it pitched as a “better living environment” proved popular at a time when China’s real estate industry was booming.

    Evergrande Group continued to develop more projects by borrowing funds from banks as it appeared that the more it built, the more it could rake in profits.

    With speculative money pouring in from international investors and the wealthy, it expanded and attempted to diversify its businesses, making forays into car manufacturing and movie production, among other things.

    But the diversification line backfired and ended up running 9.7 trillion yen in debt with interest as of the end of June, a figure impossible for the company to repay with its own funds.

    An additional blow came when the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party introduced rules to curb the ratio of debts against assets of a business.

    The move is intended to keep real estate prices in check, which have soared in urban areas to the point that the public can no longer afford to buy a place to live.

    Party leaders also restricted the amount of loans a company can get, making it more difficult for Evergrande Group to continue with its aggressive business approach using loans as leverage.

    The regime is not moving to bail out the company as those who have been hard-hit by Evergrande's crisis are deep-pocketed individual investors rather than the general public.

    Xi, in an effort to secure a third term, has begun to uphold the goal of pursuing wealth for a society as a whole by eliminating economic disparities between the rich and poor.

    Chinese leaders fear that coming to the rescue of wealthy investors would lead to a loss of popular support.

    Still, they will need to rein in damage to the country’s economy from a sudden collapse of a large company. Evergrande Group’s downfall could also trigger social instability.

    A challenge for the leaders will be how to help the struggling company make a soft landing while mitigating the shock of the company’s financial crisis.

The same article had noted that investors fearing that they have lost all of their money had started protesting outside the company headquarters. The company had said that it would repay investors with real estate rather than cash. This apparently didn't sit well with investors, however, as Zero Hedge then reported the next day, September 17, that the protests had escalated with nearly 100 investors having stormed Evergrande's headquarters to demand their money back, holding management hostage in their offices. As the article notes, "[a]fter accumulating some 1.97 trillion yuan (US$410 billion) in liabilities, the company - which became the country's largest high-yield dollar bond issuer (16% of all outstanding notes) - sparked protests across the country earlier this week after announcing they were forced to delay payments on up to 40 billion yuan in wealth management products." Another article reports that "[o]ne U.S. investor in China tells FOX Business 'just about every bank in China has exposure to the company,' which explains the heightened contagion fears."

    Today, the Daily Mail reported that the "Dow Jones plunges more than 700 points as Chinese real estate giant Evergrande teeters on the brink of collapse with debts of more than $300 BILLION and firm threatens top execs with 'severe punishment'." Markets in Europe and Hong Kong had also fallen as a consequence of fears of what impact a collapse of Evergrande could have on the global economy. This dragged down stocks in large manufacturers and banks including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Per the article:

Many markets in Asia were closed for holidays and analysts said the thin trading accentuated volatility. Hong Kong´s benchmark sank 3.3%. Germany´s DAX dropped 2.9% to 15,038.17 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 2.7% to 6,393.04. if both indexes close at those levels, it will mark their steepest declines since last October.

This means that once Asian markets open we may see even steeper declines. The article reported that "Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, told CNBC that it is unlikely Evergrande will have as severe a fallout as the Lehman bankruptcy which caused global and economy credit markets to collapse," based on his belief that the company is too big to fail and the Chinese government will be forced to intervene. Many other financial experts seemed to agree that China will likely do something to mitigate a collapse. 

    Other investment experts don't believe that a collapse would be as bad as some think because unlike Lehman Brothers, Evergrande has assets (real property) that can be sold. But I have to wonder at this: if the real property could be flipped so easily for cash, why are so many of Evergrande's investors unwilling to accept property in lieu of cash?

    The BBC has a helpful article that explains why the collapse of Evergrande would act as a contagion in the Chinese market:

    There are several reasons why Evergrande's problems are serious.

    Firstly, many people bought property from Evergrande even before building work began. They have paid deposits and could potentially lose that money if it goes bust.

    There are also the companies that do business with Evergrande. Firms including construction and design firms and materials suppliers are at risk of incurring major losses, which could force them into bankruptcy.

    The third is the potential impact on China's financial system.

    "The financial fallout would be far reaching. Evergrande reportedly owes money to around 171 domestic banks and 121 other financial firms," the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Mattie Bekink told the BBC.

    If Evergrande defaults, banks and other lenders may be forced to lend less.

    This could lead to what is known as a credit crunch, when companies struggle to borrow money at affordable rates.

    A credit crunch would be very bad news for the world's second largest economy, because companies that can't borrow find it difficult to grow, and in some cases are unable to continue operating.

    This may also unnerve foreign investors, who could see China as a less attractive place to put their money.

Barron's also explains that it could have deleterious impacts on some of the largest investment firms:

    Evergrande currently has some $300 billion in liabilities and only around $15 billion in cash on hand. Swiss bank UBS estimates that liability figure to be closer to $313 billion—which amounts to 6.5% of the total liability of the debt-laden Chinese property sector—of which $19 billion is made up of outstanding offshore bonds.

    The group also has a large network of loans. Monday was a deadline for domestic bank loan repayments, with a 24-hour grace period; in a note, Deutsche Bank strategists said there was a 24-hour grace period from the Monday deadline. Chinese authorities warned banks last week that Evergrande wouldn’t meet these obligations.

    A bigger pinch is likely to come Thursday when coupon payments for both domestic and offshore bonds are due. BlackRock (BLK), UBS (UBS) and HSBC (HSBC) are among the company’s bondholders.

 The article also notes that:

A very bad outcome, if not the worst-case scenario, would be for Evergrande to completely fail and be totally liquidated. If it defaults on loans, that could cause banks and other groups with large exposure to Evergrande to go under or be forced to restructure themselves.

 One unforeseen impact is on the values of cryptocurrencies. For instance, Forbes reports that "Crypto Markets Suddenly Lose $250 Billion In Value As Evergrande Turmoil Pummels Bitcoin, Ethereum And Other Major Cryptocurrencies."

Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump ...

 ... for this weekend has a bunch of good articles, including topics such as : Advise on how to better conceal a handgun, because the Leftis...