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Friday, August 26, 2016

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

"Uzkon Announces UNG-12 Semi-Auto Shotgun Bullpup"--The Firearms Blog. The article notes that the picture is a computer rendering, but includes a video showing someone shooting an actual working prototype. 

  • TGIF: Another Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. A few articles that caught my eye in particular:
  • Greg had also linked to an article on why small calibers were acceptable 100 years ago (part of the reason being that people were smaller), and an article from Marc McYoung talking about civil unrest and the LA riots.
Life in Venezuela is now built around waiting in lines. As much as the lines have become the key to survival, they are also hotbeds for violence. Crimes are often committed in broad daylight, with assailants meeting little resistance. For other people in line, the risk of leaving their spot to intervene is just too high. Their dependence on government has literally robbed them of their ability to help others in need.
    “These days, you have to put the line above everything,” said pharmacist Haide Mendoza, who witnessed a murder in the line at her store, CBS News reported.
      The hyperinflation currently affecting the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, is undermining every function of the government and economy. The inflation rate is now the highest in the world and is expected to hit 1,600% by next year. Despite the government raising the minimum wage three times to appease workers, the move has only fueled a rise in prices. In a highly controversial move, the government imposed forced labor policies to keep food production going. Maduro’s emergency decree promises severe punishments for those who refuse to work in the fields without pay. The social contract appears to have no end when it comes to the ‘greater good.’
        There are hundreds of similar stories of persecution against early Mormons in America, many far more brutal and heinous than this one. This unique history of oppression has imbued modern-day Mormons with a deep conviction that individuals should be free to worship how, where, and what they may. This commitment to religious liberty is not feigned or imagined; it is ingrained in our DNA.
          So it should come as little surprise that most Mormons were deeply troubled when Donald Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States. We know what it is like to be singled out by the government for “special treatment.” Once you give the government power to treat people differently based on their religion, it’s only a matter of time until that power is turned around and used on you. This is one of the many reasons Trump has had such difficulty attracting Mormon support, an issue The Donald himself acknowledges.
          I think it rather presumptuous of Garner to speak for a group of people as diverse as found in the Mormon church, and I suspect that it is the author projecting his own thoughts onto the members. Certainly other prominent members, such as Ronald W. Mortensen with The Center for Immigration Research, has taken a stance quite opposed to illegal immigration and critical of some of the Church's leadership. Since I have as at least as great of knowledge of Mormons as does the author of the foregoing piece, let me give my thoughts on the matter. I suspect four factors working here: First, Utah's economy has not been hit as hard as other parts of the nation, so the populism that is driving the Trump campaign is not as strong in Utah as other parts of the country. Second, prominent Mormon politicians, such as Mitt Romney, have been negative toward Trump. Third, because of the history of excluding African-Americans (but not other races) from holding the priesthood, Mormons are still very sensitive to being labeled or thought of as racist or bigoted. Finally, as I've mentioned before, the poison of political correctness has sunk deep into the membership and leadership in various forms. 
          That's my opinion. But here is what we know: 
          A Pew Research Poll published in January 2012, about Mormons and their viewpoints on political and social issues found that "Mormons are divided as to whether immigrants strengthen the U.S. because of their hard work and talents (45%) or burden the U.S. by taking American jobs, housing and health care (41%). On this question, Mormons’ views closely resemble those of the public as a whole." 

          Wednesday, August 24, 2016

          August 24, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

          Source: "The abandoned fortified town of Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco"--Deserted Places. More information about the site, and more photographs, at the link.
          China and the Far East:
          • If you thought our government's chicanery with unemployment statistics was bad, check out China's: "China Is Grappling With Hidden Unemployment"--Bloomberg. Actual unemployment and underemployment may be 13.2%. Officially, unemployment is at 4.1%, but this figure is misleading because, to be counted as unemployed, workers have to register in the province in which they officially reside, which means that workers that moved to the cities from other regions are not included. Also, the article notes that many companies, rather than lay their workers off, are simply idling them--not laying them off, but not having them work, either.
          • "China's Best Bank Called 'Mirage' of Shadow Lending"--Bloomberg. From the article:
          The best-performing bank in China is in a struggling city in the northeast where weeds sprout alongside the concrete skeletons of high rises in an industrial zone that mostly looks like a ghost town.
            Steel plants have laid off tens of thousands of workers. Cranes stand idle on construction sites. Wipe away a spiderweb on a dirty glass door at an empty complex with smashed windows and there’s a notice from the local government demanding rent unpaid since November 2014.
              Yet the Bank of Tangshan’s financial statements hardly reflect these realities. Instead, this small lender reports the fastest growth of 156 Chinese financial institutions and the lowest level of bad loans, a mere 0.06 percent. Its profit jumped 436 percent in two years and assets soared almost 400 percent since the start of 2014 to 177.9 billion yuan ($26.7 billion).
                It’s largely driven by shadow lending. The bank is the most prominent example of the off-loan-book wizardry that’s turbo-charging some of China’s small and mid-sized banks, creating opaque risks that could lead to failures, bailouts or liquidity shocks that jolt the nation and global markets in the years ahead.
                •  "Ten Minutes To Tokyo"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Fernandez discusses two recent arms developments: the upgrading of low-yield, highly accurate tactical nuclear weapons, and North Korea's successful launch of a short-range ballistic missile from a submarine. He goes on to argue that faced with a possible nuclear attack by North Korea, the temptation will be strong to resort to nuclear weapons to destroy such a submarine. I would add, too, China's threats to use force against Japan over disputed islands. (Warning: video plays automatically). The Chinese are fortifying certain islands and building airstrips to essentially have fixed "aircraft carriers." What easier way to eliminate the threat than to use a tactical nuke on such facilities. In short, the Far East is on a short fuse to nuclear conflict.

                Firearms and Self-Defense
                • "The terrifying moment a woman bystander is caught in the crossfire of terrifying machine gun shootout at Atlanta gas station"--Daily Mail. Another example of don't do stupid things, with stupid people, in stupid places. This rule is disjunctive, not conjunctive. The woman was a passenger in a vehicle driven by one black gang member, who apparently stopped to gas up. The black gang member driver then got into a confrontation with another black gang member, resulting in an exchange of gun fire. During the gun fire around and through the car, the passenger was struck by one of the bullets.
                • "Guatemalan Gangs Are Now Crafting Remote-Detonated Bombs"--War Is Boring. The author relates that "[g]angs such as the Barrio 18 and their rivals in the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) systematically extort buses. It is one of their few regular sources of income, and when payment does not arrive on time, there are repercussions, normally in the form of a dead bus driver." In this case, however, the lack of payment was followed up with a remotely detonated bomb on the bus.
                • "Lightning Review: Midwest Industries Gen2 AK Handguard"--The Firearms Blog. Looks interesting. If I hadn't already invested in Magpul's MOE system, it would be tempting....
                • "Review: ReCover Tactical 1911 Grips"--The Firearms Blog. This is a review of a couple products from ReCover: a basic replacement of the grip panels, and then the replacement that incorporates an accessory rail ahead of the trigger guard. I have one of the original ReCover grip replacements for the 1911, and thought it was pretty good. The only reason I took it off was because I'd read that the original GI grip panels can shrink if they are not mounted. I don't know if that is correct or not, but I didn't want to take the chance.
                • "Changing Your Carry Gun"--The Firearms Blog. Video and transcript. Alex C. offers some thoughts on issues you should consider when getting your first carry gun, or switching to a new one, including testing the reliability of the gun, and having a proper holster/carry system. I'm in that process right now with the R51 I purchased, so I'm still mostly using my older carry gun until I get the issues of holsters squared away to my liking.
                • "Alaska Outfitter Defends Fishermen from Raging Grizzly with 9mm Pistol"--American Hunter. A compact pistol, at that. However, he wasn't using standard 9 mm defensive loads. Instead, he was using Buffalo Bore 9mm +P Outdoorsman 147-grain FN hard-cast loads.
                • "Telluric Training Drill of the Day – I See Dead People"--Jerking The Trigger. A drill where you practice/test your ability to engage two targets simultaneously by alternating shots between the targets. Telluric has other drills for your enjoyment at their "Drills of the Day" page.
                • "Why Should I Care About Ham Radio?"--Home Defense Gun. The author points out:
                We often think about home defense in terms of guns, bullets, and fighting but the probability of actually being in a firefight in your home is incredibly remote. What is far more likely, to the point of being almost certain, is that there will be power outages, storms, maybe even an extended period without services. It is not at all uncommon for the power to go out for a few days at a time in some areas.

                The Religion of Peace Strikes Again:

                Other Stuff:
                • "We Have Been Warned"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Citing a column written by David Gushee and another at the New York Times, Dreher warns that if you are a Christian who does not welcome LGBTs and/or their "lifestyle" with open arms, you should expect to be the target of increasing levels of persecution. He quotes the following from Gushee:
                It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.
                  Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.
                  Dreher goes on to cite further points from Gushee that social liberals have won the cultural wars, and that tolerance for religious exemptions is declining. Dreher observes:
                  He is absolutely right in his read on the situation in American society. There is no intention on the cultural left of being tolerant in victory, and never was. They are going to bounce the rubble and tell themselves that they are virtuous for doing so. This past week, I saw a Facebook comment in which a liberal said that Livingston Parish, where nearly everyone lost their home to the flood, was once the headquarters of the Louisiana KKK, so to hell with them, they deserve what they get. This is how it’s going to be with us.
                  It is the use of force to compel participation in an LGBT lifestyle that led to the destruction of Sodom. We are warned that the last days--our time--would be like the days of Noah and Lot. We know how both of those turned out: cataclysmic destruction. The Anonymous Conservative discusses at length how we are heading for what he terms the K-shift: a violent collapse of our r-selected society followed by a resurgent shift to a conservative K-select culture. But what is coming is not an ordinary collapse and K-shift such as followed on the decline and fall of Egypt to foreign rulers, or the subsequent fall of classical Greece to a more masculine Rome, or Rome's decline and fall to barbarians. This will be a super-K shift; one backed by divine wrath. But before that time, we will face dark times that will try our faith and our souls.
                  Where I disagree with Dreher is his suggestion that Christians can somehow escape this by adopting what he calls the "Benedict option"--building and strengthening ties between members of a congregation and between congregations and different Christian sects to build a semi-hidden community of believers. It will not be sufficient. In The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died by Philip Jenkins, Jenkins described how Christian communities in the Near and Middle-East survived for centuries by using similar tactics to that described by Dreher, but that these tactics have failed during the past 100 years. In the First Millennium A.D., Christianity was the dominant religion in the Near and Middle-East; and, in fact, the center of Christian thought was in the Middle-East. But after coming under Muslim rule, there were purges and pogroms that greatly diminished the number of Christians over the following several centuries. However, until the past century, large numbers of Christians still survived throughout the Near and Middle East. They survived primarily because of isolation and poor communications. However, these Christian communities are nearly extinct now in their native lands because they are no longer isolated, they can't hide. How much more easily will authorities in industrialized countries be able to identify, isolate and destroy Christian holdouts today? There is no reason to expect that Christians in America will fare any better than Christians in Iraq. Rather, I suspect our shelter will of necessity be a Christian "homeland." The tares and the wheat are to be separately gathered, one to salvation and the other to destruction, and why not a physical separation and gathering?
                  The warning signs have been there for some time now – persistent failures of the wheat crop in Norway for example. The North Atlantic is cooling. The cooling trend was evident at the time of an expedition to investigate this phenonemon three years ago. The rate of cooling has now steepened up since then based on the latest data collated by Professor Humlum of the University of Oslo.
                  The author suggests that the cooling correlates with reduced sun activity, which is extremely worrisome since there will likely be a large decline in solar output in the late 2020's and 2030's.

                  Monday, August 22, 2016

                  My Review of the Remington R51 Gen. 2

                  No, not mine. This is a picture from Remington's web site.

                  As long-time readers of this blog know, I've been waiting for over two years for this pistol to come out. It had some serious problems when it was initially released in 2014, resulting with what was essentially a recall of the defective pistols. After moving production to another facility and some changes to the design, the "Generation 2" was released this summer: initially to people who had purchased the first generation and wanted replacement, and then, on August 12, 2016, to the public generally. I went around to various gun stores on August 13, 2016, wanting to at least handle it (some of the early reviews made me somewhat cautious about it) but couldn't find any. This past weekend, I lucked out and, after handling it, decided to give it a go. Although the MSRP is about $448, I picked mine up for $380 before sales tax.

                  I had hoped to provide an accuracy comparison against a couple other similarly sized handguns: a Glock 26 (Gen 3) and a .38 Special S&W snubby, but with gusting wind knocking the target stand over several times or causing it to twist, I decided to forego that and just focus on my impressions and experience.

                  As an initial matter, the handgun ships in a box (rather than a case) with two 7-round magazines and a gun lock, together with a manual with rather detailed instructions on the take down and reassembly of the firearm. Interestingly, the manual is copyrighted 2015.

                  The finish and fit on the pistol seemed to be pretty good. The only marring I saw was some finish worn off on the bottom of the mainspring assembly on the butt of the pistol. A minor blemish on what was otherwise a nicely finished firearm.

                  Size wise, the R51 reminds me of the Walther PPK in .380, although much lighter because of the aluminum frame. Compared to the Glock 26, the R51 is slightly longer through the barrel and slide, but the same from top to bottom when including an extended finger grip for the Glock 26. However, it is lighter than the Glock 26, and noticeably thinner. Because of that, I believe that the R51 will be superior to the Glock 26 for concealed carry.

                  The feel of the handgun was very good. The R51 uses an aluminum frame, which is still fairly lightweight, but seems to balance out the weight better than a polymer firearm (e.g., the Glock 26). The pistol grip is long enough to provide good purchase for all of my fingers, but because it was a single stack magazine, it provided a more solid and comfortable grip than the fatter grip of the Glock 26. The front of the grip is nicely textured, and the grip panels have a faux checkering pattern that provide a fairly good grasping surface. Not as good as the Glock Gen 4 stippled texture, but better than many other firearms, including the Glock Gen 3 firearms. There is no texture on the back of the grip, but this is probably because of the grip safety. The grip safety did not present any issues, and you could easily feel when the safety disengaged. I think that those shooters that like the feel of a 1911 style pistol would like the feel of the R51.

                  Ergonomics is pretty good. This gun is an excellent, natural pointing weapon for me. In fact, that is why I decided to buy it instead of waiting to see additional reviews. The slide-release lever is a bit of a stretch for my thumb, so I had to turn the gun slightly to get to it, but no worse than many other handguns, and better than the 1911. The magazine release is recessed slightly to prevent accidentally jettisoning the magazine during carry, but that makes it a bit more difficult to get to when doing reloads. If this had been a firearm for home defense or competition, this would be a negative. But since the firearm was intended for concealed carry, it I see it as being a positive.

                  The sights are probably the best I've seen on an out-of-the-box concealed carry handgun. They are just 3-dot, but well designed, and nicely rounded so they don't snag either on drawing or putting the gun away. They are set up for a six-o'clock hold for aiming. The pistol initially seemed to shoot high at 7 yards, but after I had gotten use to the pistol and the sights, it seemed fine. Both the front and rear sights are held in place with dovetails. There were problems with the sights loosening on the original R51s, but these have locking screws to keep them in place.

                  The trigger is made of polymer--about the only polymer on the firearm--and feels somewhat cheap as a consequence. As other reviewers have noted, there is some side-to-side play in the trigger. However, the trigger break was excellent for an out-of-the-box firearm, being pretty crisp and not too heavy. While other reviewers have complained that there is no tactile indication of trigger reset, I've never been someone that was that sensitive to trigger reset; I've never felt the trigger reset with any of my other handguns either. Consequently, this was a non-issue for me.

                  Of course, the meat of the matter is how it performed when shooting. My shooting regime for this was simple. My oldest son and I took turns shooting some 150 to 200 rounds through it, using mostly Winchester white-box ammo, with some odds and ends of various self-defense rounds I had accumulated over the years, some Speer 124 grain Gold-Dot (the self-defense round I use in 9 mm) and some left over hand-loads (90 grain bullets over 6.4 grains of Unique). Since I was using partial boxes of what was lying around, I don't have an exact figure of how many rounds I put through it.

                  A few things became apparent on this firearm. First, when chambering a round, it is critical to pull the slide all of the way to the back and let go. Some guns will let you pull most (but not all) of the way back, and still cock and chamber a round; others will let you ride the slide slightly. Not the R51. Probably because the breach block "floats." However, it always worked fine when chambering a round by releasing the locked-back slide. My recommendation for anyone loading this gun is to first lock the slide back, insert the magazine and then release the slide, just to be sure it is cocked and a round chambered.

                  Second, although I could not satisfy myself completely that this was necessarily the cause, it does appear to be sensitive to limp wristing. My son had sporadic issues with ammunition that worked fine for me, but I noticed that he had bent the wrist of his firing hand and flexed both his arms more than he probably should have. (The problem was always just the first two rounds in the magazine, though, which is why it might have been a magazine issue).

                  Third, my R51 at least, was picky about its ammunition. I had no problem with the Winchester white-box stuff, but, as I mentioned, my son had a few problems where it just didn't feed into the chamber.

                  It did not like Federal Hydro-Shok and consistently failed to feed it. (This is not surprising to me, though--I think I've mentioned before that I have never had as many feeding problems with ammunition as with Hydro-Shok, such that I simply won't use it anymore). It also seemed to not like the few rounds of lighter 115 grain Federal Hi-Shok that I also had.

                  It really liked the Speer Gold-Dot--not a single problem with it, whether at the beginning of our shooting, or toward the end when I decided to run some more through the pistol. In fact, the R51 seems to prefer the hotter loads. Notwithstanding, I happened to have 5 rounds of Winchester 142 grain Black Talon as part of my mixed bag of left over ammo I was using, and the R51 functioned flawlessly with those as well.

                  Finally, although my Glock 26 would not feed my 90 grain hand loads, the R51 did fine.

                  After my test/break-in, I am satisfied that it would work without problem with the Speer Gold-Dot, so I have no qualms of employing it for concealed carry with that particular type of ammunition. Obviously, if you were to purchase an R51, its tastes may vary somewhat, so please test it out using your choice of ammunition before relying upon it for concealed carry.

                  About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I noticed that Midway was closing out Galco holsters for the R51, so I had ordered one for $16, figuring for that price, if I ended up not purchasing the pistol, I wasn't out too much. I'm glad I ordered it. I also will be looking for a pocket holster or appendix holster for it.

                  August 22, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                  Documentary: "The Battle of Long Tan" (h/t SNAFU)

                  This past week was a busy one both at work and at home, some of today's roundup of articles were ones that I came across last week. Enjoy!

                  • Related: "Reputed drug cartel money manager arrested in Mexico"--Fox News Latino. From the report: "The Mexican government announced Friday the arrest of a reputed financial manager with the drug cartel thought to be behind this week's kidnapping of the son of jailed kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman."
                  • Related: "Cartel Behind El Chapo's Son's Kidnapping Has Quickly Risen to Power in Mexico"--Latina. That is the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). This article includes an additional tidbit of news: "There are also rumors that say another one of El Chapo's sons, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán, was also kidnapped at La Leche restaurant with the rest of the crew. If this is true, the kidnappers have the two sons who are rumored to take over El Chapo's empire."
                  The first case ended up testing negative for bath salts, or any other drug. The second has tested negative in preliminary tests, but they are going to try and find something with more detailed testing. I think they fear if there are no drugs in the second case, then it might open the question of whether zombie movies have permeated the consciousness of everyone to the point that a specific type of mentally ill person now regresses to that meme mentally, while in the throes of some sort of violent psychotic storm. That might mean we could see more of these as the Apocalypse unfolds.

                    It is kind of interesting that zombie number one saw his amygdala triggered with violation of expectation by his car not starting, he wandered off and disappeared, and the next time people saw him, he was ripping a guy’s face off with his teeth. Meanwhile zombie number two saw the service at his restaurant as being less than he expected, his amygdala was triggered, he walked out and disappeared, and the next time he appeared, he was on top of a guy, gnawing off his face.
                    What would be more interesting is if both had been infected by Zika. 

                    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

                    Where Did The Growth Go?

                    West Hunter has published a graph showing declining increases in growth of GDP over the last couple of decades in the U.S., Europe and Japan:

                    This ties in with other similar stories, such as The Atlantic's "Why Are American Workers Getting Less Productive?", and a report from Zero Hedge that "US Productivity Plunges For 3rd Quarter In A Row - Longest Losing Streak Since 1979."  The article from The Atlantic notes that "[t]he worker productivity rate is gauged by the output of goods and services produced for each hour worked." Or, more accurately, the value of the output of goods and services.

                    The short answer to the question where did all the growth go? is China and the Middle-East. Looking at the sudden declines in growth show that it matches up with the increased price of oil and the shift of production to China and other developing nations. Just follow the money--that is where the growth went.

                    August 17, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                    Video: "Remington R51 Gen 2 Full 500+ Round Review (2016)"--The Firearms Blog. This is a review by Alex C., who was not as lucky as the two other reviewers I cited to recently. Alex had some recurring problems while putting his R51 pistol through its paces. Update (8/18/2016): When I posted this, I had only gone through the video quickly over my lunch break, but was able to watch it yesterday evening. Here are my two cents worth on Alex C.'s test: First, the primary problems he noticed occurred with foreign manufactured, steel cased ammunition, and fell into two primary categories: (i) the nose of the round getting pushed down in the magazine instead of feed (or not rising all the way in the first place); and (ii) not igniting the primers. This seems to me to be mostly an ammunition issue (hard or defective primers; out-of-spec ammo) or a magazine issue. He had a similar issue (the ammunition being nose down in the magazine) with some German ammunition (I believe only a single round), which again could be due to out-of-spec ammunition that was binding in the magazine (e.g., the overall length being too great). Another problem that cropped up occasionally was the slide locking back. If you looked at the other reviews to which I cited, this issue was addressed: it was from the thumb on the off-hand riding the slide release and pushing it up to lock the slide. And, if you watch Alex C.'s shooting, he was indeed using a high thumb hold when shooting two handed. Thus, that appears to be an issue of operator error.  

                    Russian forces do not appear to be building up inside the occupied Crimean Peninsula along the border with Ukraine, he said.
                      However, over the past several months large numbers of Russian troops and tanks have been moving into eight bases stretching from Yelnya, near Smolensk and northeast of Ukraine, southward through Rostov—a city located very close to eastern Ukraine.
                        Defense officials said it is not clear whether the massing of forces is saber rattling by Moscow designed to coerce Ukraine into accepting the takeover of Crimea or preparations for further conflict. “Regardless of the reason, the warning time for Russian action has been greatly reduced” by the staging of forces near Ukraine, a second defense official said.
                          Russian military forces were identified by the officials at eight locations near the Ukrainian border: Yelnya, Klintsy, Valuyki, Boguchar, Millerovo, Persianovskiy, and bases called Rostov-1 and Rostov-2.
                            Hitting changes stuff. Not just 'hitting a body feels different than hitting a heavy bag or punching air.' Every time you hit or are hit for real, something changes. Something in the structure of the person receiving the hit is disrupted. If you get hit hard enough in the face to twist you[r] neck, it will change your shoulder alignment and the distribution of balance between your feet. If you take a heavy rising body blow it can break your connection with the ground.

                              Every incoming impact affects you, and every impact you deliver affects the threat.
                                * * *
                                  ... Every attack disrupts. Each contact does damage; disrupts the threat's targeting, timing and distancing; and sets up the next shot. (I tend to fight by touch instead of sight, so indexing and pivoting the attacking limb off the point of impact are big for me.)

                                    Constant forward pressure lets your offense handle your defense. It sounds like an armchair strategy, but it is an obvious natural truth when you are hitting and getting hit hard.
                                    This feels kind of like organized crime, which the city is trying to play down by portraying it as a mere “feud” like the Hatfields and the McCoys. It would not be surprising to find out the shooter was MS-13, or a secario for some drug cartel. Which makes you wonder if the Muslims may be forming organized crime gangs that are now fighting over turf with the Latino gangs.
                                    I would not be surprised if the Anonymous Conservative is correct. After all, I've cited reports of Muslim criminal organizations taking over organized crime in Berlin and other parts of Europe, so why not here? But, if that is the case, I would also recommend that you read this article from David P. Goldman explaining that there is no clear demarcation between Muslim criminal gangs and Jihadists
                                    • Secret combinations--A couple from The Daily Caller as it digs into the hacked Soros emails:
                                    People, if you visit a part of the world - not just Africa, but anywhere - where human life is cheap, where torture and rape are everyday occurrences, where tribal and/or religious and/or ethnic divisions are excuses for savagery and bestiality of the worst kind, then the odds are pretty good that you're going to experience those realities for yourself.  The locals don't care that you're there to help them.  They don't care about your high-minded ideals, or your purity of vision of the new Utopia you're trying to build for them.  To them, you're "other".  You're "not one of us".  You're "an outsider".  When what sensibilities the locals have are swamped by drugs, or alcohol, or emotional frenzy . . . that means you're going to be a target, whether you like it or not.  Fulbright scholar and US citizen Amy Biehl found that out in the city of my birth, one of the (purportedly) most civilized places in Africa.  It wasn't . . . and in their frenzy, its people killed her.
                                    Tribalism is trending.  The End of History world is over. All of a sudden it matters again whether you're Yazidi, Kurdish, Sunni, Shi'ite, Druze or Christian. It apparently matters whether you're Russian or non-Russian, at least in Eastern Europe. And as Tolu Ongulesi in Nigeria notes, tribalism is alive and well in Africa, especially now that Ebola is running rampant.
                                    Even in the U.S. and other civilized nations, tribalism rises. He continues:
                                    ... Nobody is just an "American" any more. Anyone who insists on the plain identifier must be a secret bigot. You are a [modifier][-][American]. ... 
                                    The Left for its part, has done its level best to multiply the hyphens while simultaneously trying to increase the size and power of the central state. They little realized or perhaps they realized all too well, that a program of cultural fragmentation combined with growing central power is the high road to dictatorship. You can have cultural diversity and a strong central government but not both -- not unless it's headed by a Sultan or an Emperor.

                                    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

                                    August 16, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                    Source: "World's first pyramid... in KAZAKHSTAN: Scientists discover tomb structure was built 1,000 years BEFORE those in Egypt"--Daily Mail. Most of what we believe we know about pre-history is wrong, or, perhaps more accurately, very incomplete. Archaeological knowledge is grossly malformed because archaeologists have traditionally spent most of their efforts in desert climates where artifacts are better preserved and easier to find. Thus, there is too much weight given to Middle- and Near-Eastern cultures.

                                    • A new Woodpile Report.
                                    • "Breaking: Photo Of The New FBI Glock 17M Leaked"--The Firearms Blog. The Glock 17M is the new model being adopted by the FBI and certain other law enforcement agencies. While it appears on the surface to be a modified Gen 4, there are significant differences: the absence of finger grooves on the grip, a flared magazine well, and ambidextrous slide release. The story indicates some changes to improve the trigger, as well. Is this the Gen 5?
                                    • "History of the Gurkha's Famous Kukri Blade"--Stormbringer.  Some nice photos as well.
                                    • Some AK goodness:
                                    • "AK Mods That Have Worked For Me"--Mason Dixon Tactical. They include Tech Sight's replacement iron sight, a side-mount rail system (AKR 1913 Pic. Rail and the AK-301M Front Biased Base) from RS Products for mounting a scope, and Magpul adjustable stock and front grip (allowing the use of rails and accessories). Although he apparently left the original pistol grip on it, I would highly recommend the Magpul grip as well if you are shooting with light gloves or no gloves at all.
                                    • "Tensions remain high in Corsica after burkini beach riot"--France 24. "Witnesses said the fight started after the families objected to tourists taking pictures of women bathing in burkinis, the full-body, head-covering Islamic swimsuits. Some of those involved [i.e., the so-called "migrants"] in the brawl were reportedly armed with hatchets and harpoons." 
                                    • "ISIS Orders Its Franchises to Kill Christians"--Daily Beast. "The so-called Islamic State has different strategies in different parts of the world, but in Africa and in Europe, certainly, its core objective is becoming clear: to kill Christians. Its long-term goal: to provoke a new Crusade, reviving the holy wars of many hundreds of years ago in the belief that this time around Islam will win."
                                    • "When political correctness destroys communities and kills people"--Bayou Renaissance Man. A discussion of how the spread of crime to suburbs is a direct result of federal housing policy that has pushed Section 8 housing into the suburbs. Mr. Grant also discusses the current riot situation in Milwaukee, and the general problems with progressive's ideas to remake the world: "However, utopian progressives don't want to hear that.  They're doing something!  That's all that's important!  Whether it's actually working is neither here nor there - it's the doing that matters!" I've noted before that to progressives, the consequences of their policies don't matter so long as they feel good about themselves.
                                    • "American Murder Mystery"--The Atlantic. This is the 2008 article that Grant references that discusses the connection between the movement of violent crime to the suburbs and the relocation of Section 8 housing to the suburbs.
                                      Each one of these conflicts piled one on top of the others (not to mention the return of those movements in Islam bent on conquest in accordance with the doctrines of their ancestors, this simplistic, violent and primitive civilisation, absolutely incompatible with the other great civilisations) will create in the Twenty-first century a general conflagration of the Earth in what will be globalised war, and no longer a world war.
                                        The kinds of war we can expect will be total and global, in Europe and everywhere else. They will mix and add on to the classic convulsions between nation-states (India-Pakistan, China-USA, etc.), probably including nuclear strikes, religious wars, civil war and two forms of terrorism, micro-terrorism and macro-terrorism.
                                          In a Europe open to the four winds, the increasingly large presence of immigrants from Muslim countries allows us to predict the impossibility of escaping major terrorist attacks in Europe that will be added into the insurrectional climate. The coming economic crisis — provoked by the ageing of the population — will only amplify the gravity of the situation.

                                          Monday, August 15, 2016

                                          August 15, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                          Source: "Meet Sylville Smith, The Man Shot By Police In Milwaukee, Through The Eyes Of His Friends"--Weasel Zippers.

                                          • Riots in Milwaukee:
                                            The clip shows angry rioters chanting “black power!” before asking “is they white?” as cars slowly drive past.
                                              “Yeah they white!” states someone else, prompting the mob to run towards the vehicle.
                                                “Yeah they white, get their ass!” screams another.
                                                  “Hey they beatin’ up every white person!” exclaims another rioter.
                                                    “He white – beat his head – bitch!” he adds.
                                                      The footage appears to show the mob attacking cars and trying to drag out the drivers.
                                                        The footage then cuts to an upper floor window before the person shooting the video states, “I think they just beat some white bitch ass for no reason – they bust open the window.”
                                                          Lots of amygdala things going on here. Anger, envy, surprise, visual stimuli, loud noise, and the excitement of the unknown are all amygdala stimulants. Once in high amygdala, it produces wanton violence and lack of logic, even with food subsidies, free housing, and a culture that will so avoid conflict that nobody will tell them that in every case, their criminal friends deserve to be shot by the police.
                                                            When the real Apocalypse hits, and food shippers won’t deliver to their areas (because not only will trucks be hijacked, all the stores will have been burned down), then you will see real racial violence. Starve these people for a week, let them see rural white America living as if nothing happened, and watch them get word the government doesn’t have the free money which they have become accustomed to.

                                                            Sunday, August 14, 2016

                                                            August 14, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                            The old Assayer's Office in Boise, Idaho
                                                              Could it be that he [Trump] touched on the one option -- the one that must never be named -- that actually works against tyrants, including the domineering leftist crybullies currently entrenched in positions of authority: armed revolution?
                                                                You see, the one thing every American is indoctrinated in from cradle to grave is that “violence is never the answer.” And why should it be? If we want change, we have the right to vote, speak freely, and even protest peacefully.    

                                                                  But what happens when these rights slowly erode, losing form and meaning? When elections become a circus and the presidency something of an oligarchy; when the voting public has been incrementally dumbed down generation after generation and programmed to vote in certain ways (emotionalism, sensationalism) catered to by the media? 

                                                                    * * *

                                                                      After all, the true movers and shakers -- not the recyclable political puppets set before the public’s eye, but the social engineers, the special interests groups, those who know that disarming a nation is easy if you first disarm it of its reason -- have never been and are not now going to be “talked” or “demonstrated” out of power.
                                                                        This is an historical, proven fact, and why liberal media and elite are, if only subconsciously, going crazy against Trump: he dared mention -- and thus legitimize -- the one thing that must never be mentioned, not even as a remote consideration, because it is the one thing guaranteed to overthrow them: rebellion. 

                                                                          Hence the media circus of shock, awe, and outrage: it’s all meant to quickly rebury this briefly exhumed and dangerous idea from the public’s eye.
                                                                          • A theme I've often harped upon: "How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen"--Peggy Noonan at The Wall Street Journal. Noonan begins her op-ed discussing a conversation with a fellow German elitist about why Merkel can be so obtuse to allow--nay, encourage--the invasion of Muslim "immigrants" over the objections of the German citizenry. Noonan writes:
                                                                          But, the acquaintance said, he believed the chancellor was operating in pursuit of ideals. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance.
                                                                            It was as good an explanation as I’d heard. But there was a fundamental problem with the decision that you can see rippling now throughout the West. Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet an government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be.
                                                                              She continues:
                                                                                The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.
                                                                                  On Wall Street, where they used to make statesmen, they now barely make citizens. CEOs are consumed with short-term thinking, stock prices, quarterly profits. They don’t really believe that they have to be involved with “America” now; they see their job as thinking globally and meeting shareholder expectations.
                                                                                    In Silicon Valley the idea of “the national interest” is not much discussed. They adhere to higher, more abstract, more global values. They’re not about America, they’re about . . . well, I suppose they’d say the future.
                                                                                      In Hollywood the wealthy protect their own children from cultural decay, from the sick images they create for all the screens, but they don’t mind if poor, unparented children from broken-up families get those messages and, in the way of things, act on them down the road.
                                                                                        From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.
                                                                                          One of the operators noticed a pirate slowly open one eye to see what was going on. Knowing they could not put a round in the pirate for fear of the round going through the floor and hitting the team assaulting from the bottom up he decided to dispatch the pirate with his blade.

                                                                                            The one SEAL had his CRKT M-16 folder in the center of his plate carrier. He pulled the folder off and immediately ran into issues getting the blade deployed. After a few seconds of fumbling around with the blade he was passed a fixed blade by the other SEAL in the room. At this point this pirate and the other that were playing dead were now dead for real. I cannot go into detail on how exactly it was done, but this was considered one of the first CQB kills with a live blade. From that point forward the Navy SEAL who had the CRKT folding knife never carried a folder again.
                                                                                            The problem with the CRKT, and many other folders, is that the knob used to deploy the blade is small. Although this account does not describe the specific problem, I would not be surprised if the SEAL was wearing Nomex gloves, or something similar, which simply were slipping off the small knob. This is one of the reasons that I prefer the large opening hole used by Spyderco. However, there is another point, which is that a folding knife is the knife equivalent of a concealed-carry/back-up pistol. If you are going into combat, and you know it, use a fixed blade. A fixed blade knife is going to be quicker to deploy (if you have the right sheath), stronger, and gives greater reach and penetration.
                                                                                            Earlier this year a top ranking Homeland Security official acknowledged that Mexican drug cartels were helping ISIS sneak across the southern border to scope out targets for terrorist attacks.

                                                                                              ISIS operative Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir has reportedly been training militants near the US border near Ciudad Juarez for the past year.
                                                                                              The article goes on to explain that this has been confirmed by statements made by an ISIS terrorist arrested in Ohio.
                                                                                              • "How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture"--Minding the Campus. The author, an Ivy League professor, laments the impending collapse of Western Civilization based on his observations of his students--representing the best and the brightest. He writes:
                                                                                              My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.
                                                                                              He adds:
                                                                                              Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West.
                                                                                              Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                For about the last 30 million years, a small tectonic plate named Juan de Fuca has been sliding under the far vaster North American plate into the Earth’s mantle. Today, this mostly happens without anyone’s notice—even though it causes minor, near-undetectable earthquakes about every 300 days—but sometimes the pressure pent up is released suddenly and catastrophically.
                                                                                                  This is what happened on January 26, 1700. The plate slipped, and a magnitude-9.0 earthquake resulted, devastating the coast of modern-day Oregon and Washington. According to one story, an entire First Nation on Vancouver Island, the Pachena Bay people, died in flooding overnight. And the quake triggered a tsunami that rode across the Pacific Ocean for 10 hours before slamming the east coast of Japan, where merchants and samurai recorded flooding and damage.

                                                                                                    As hundreds of thousands of Americans now know, this could happen again—except now, millions more people inhabit the Pacific Northwest. ...
                                                                                                    • "LGBTs vs. First Amendment: The Fight for Religious Freedom Ratchets"--The Blaze. LGBT groups have signed a petition calling on the Big 12 college football conference to refuse the admission of Brigham Young University into the conference, not because BYU discriminates against LGBTs, but because it's honor code forbids any of its students (including LGBTs) from fornicating. In other words, because LGBTs are not given a free-pass on morality, they are protesting. To me this is an example of the camel in the tent problem: once you let the camel push its nose into the tent, it will eventually force itself fully within.
                                                                                                    • Related: "They’re Coming For Christian Lawyers"--The American Conservative. The American Bar Association has proposed changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct (the ethics rules that lawyers must follow) that would make "bad-think" grounds for disciplining a lawyer. Why does this matter? If you are familiar with Shakespear, you probably remember the ''Henry VI,'' Part II, act IV, Scene II, where Dick the Butcher proposes to disrupt the law and order of the kingdom by a plan to "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." They want to make it so lawyers will not even be able to defend Christians.
                                                                                                    • "Of Course Clinton Will Be Very Hawkish As President"--The American Conservative. The author contends that Clinton will be Hawkish because the issues she will face internationally will call for force, and that the powers of the President make it easy for her to attempt to solve problems with military force. I say that she will be Hawkish because her history demonstrates it: her support of the war against Iraq, her taking the lead to attack and destabilize Libya, her support for assisting rebels in Syria, her support for extending our involvement in Afghanistan. She reeks of war. I don't see Trump as someone that would push for war with Russia over the Ukraine--he would probably come to some accommodation in which the Russians obtain a recognized right to the Crimea. But I can easily see Hillary sparking a war with Russia is she is elected.
                                                                                                    • Related: "Trump lacks experience but his detractors lack common sense: Spengler"--David P. Goldman writing at The Asia Times. " Americans are willing to fight and die for their country, but revolt against sacrifices on behalf of social experiments devised by a self-appointed elite. That is why the only two candidates in the Republican primaries who made it past the starting gate repudiated the Bush administration’s foreign policy."
                                                                                                    • Sometimes you come across answers in the most unusual places. For example, in "The U.S. Air Force Wants to Detonate Plasma Bombs In The Sky," at Digital Trends, the author describes the importance of ions in the ionosphere to radio communications (certain frequencies--such as short wave--reflect off the ionosphere, allowing beyond the horizon transmission). The article discusses a method by which the Air Force hopes to temporarily produce higher levels of ions in the ionosphere. However, the article happens to mention the purpose for the HAARP facility:
                                                                                                    The idea of artificially ionizing the atmosphere to improve radio communications is nothing new and is already being used in Alaska. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program uses ground-based antennas to bombard the ionosphere with radiation. This radiation produces radio-reflecting plasma that, in turn, improves radio communication. The plasma bomb idea builds upon the HFAARP program by modifying the ionosphere directly instead of relying on ground-based technology.