Monday, January 20, 2020

Initial Reports from Richmond Rally

PJ Media reports that "Massive Crowds, Lots of Guns, and Alex Jones in a Tank Descend on Richmond for 2A Rally." Megan Fox writes:
     Pictures have started coming in of the protesters arriving at the capitol. I especially like the one of fencing that Northam had erected that says: "The wall the Northam built."
* * *
      The crowds are chanting "Northam OUT!"
* * *
     There is a petition to recall Northam. As you can see, it's a popular destination.
* * *
     And it wouldn't be a great protest without Alex Jones in a tank with a megaphone.
As expected, the main stream media is trying to put a different face on events. For instances, the Associated Press (via The Truth About Guns) is reporting:
       Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency days ahead of the rally, banning all weapons, including guns, from the event on Capitol Square. The expected arrival of thousands of gun-rights activists — along with members of militia groups and white supremacists — raised fears the state could again see the type of violence that exploded in Charlottesville in 2017.
          The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police planned a huge police presence with both uniformed and plainclothes officers. Police limited access to Capitol Square to only one entrance and have warned rally-goers they may have to wait hours to get past security screening. Authorities started letting people in at the sole public entrance just before 7:30 a.m.
      Thus we see two false narratives already: that protesters are breaking the law by bringing weapons, and linking the rally to "militia" and "white supremacists."

            The New York Post has put mostly a neutral spin on the story by noting in their lede that the rally is being attended by "[t]housands of gun activists from across the country ... to protest proposed gun control legislation by the Democratic governor and legislature that they contend would violate their Second Amendment rights."

           Other outlets have more fully adopted the Leftist talking points. For instance, the Daily Mail breathlessly proclaims in its headline that "Heavily armed protesters in bullet proof vests descend on Richmond gun rally as Virginia governor declares a state of emergency and hundreds line up with their weapons to stand against Democrats' proposed reform." The article goes on to claim:
               In the last week, six people with alleged links to neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups have been arrested in connection with it and the FBI is fervently sniffing out any threats of violence.  
                There are fears it could descend into a violent event like the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville which claimed the life of a counter-protester. 
          The BBC begins with an innocuous sounding headline--"Virginia gun rally: Authorities gear up for unrest in Richmond"--but then goes on to state:
                  Pro-gun campaigners are gathering in the US city of Richmond for a rally that the Virginia authorities fear could turn violent.
                    State governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of the protest, banning firearms from the area around the Capitol building.
                      The Lobby Day rally is an annual event, but several gun-control bills passed in January by the Democrat-led Virginia legislature - in a state where gun rights have historically been permissive - have angered gun owners and activists.
                       The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group which organised the rally, said it expected as many as 50,000 people. Many of the buses laid on from neighbouring states were sold out before the weekend.
                         Various groups including armed militia, right-wing extremists and local Antifa, or anti-fascist movement, were expected to attend.
                    Later, the article reads:
                           Megan Squires, an expert in online extremism from the University of North Carolina, said the open talk of inciting violence in extremist online chat groups had suddenly quietened down in the wake of the FBI arrests.
                              "In December, when this event was announced, those types of groups were very excited about this event - calling it the boogaloo and saying it was going to kick off the race war," she said.
                                "But about 48 hours ago the tenor in those Telegram groups shifted considerably, and I think that's because of the seven arrests."
                                 The event has been compared to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, where a 32-year-old counter protester was killed by a rally goer and violent clashes broke out around the city.
                            The city of Richmond, Va., is under a state of emergency Monday morning as thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gather at the Virginia State Capitol for a large rally aimed at quashing new gun laws. Gov. Ralph Northam has temporarily banned firearms from Capitol grounds, and some of Richmond's streets are barricaded as officials try to ensure the demonstration takes place peacefully.
                            The Baltimore Sun's article this morning stated:
                                   Thousands of protesters descended on Virginia’s Capitol on Monday to protest proposed changes to state gun laws, many of them heavily armed to show their support for the Second Amendment.

                                  Gov. Ralph Northam had placed Richmond under a state of emergency, saying the annual lobby day and rally has drawn the attention of militia and out-of-state groups who have come to “intimidate” and “cause harm."

                                  The unusually large crowds come after Democrats won majorities in the House and Senate. Gun control measures that have for years been quashed by Republicans — implementing universal background checks, limiting sales to one handgun a month, allowing localities to ban guns in certain places and creating an extreme risk protection order — were passed out of a packed Senate Judiciary Committee meeting last week.

                                  Northam said intelligence officials had received “credible, serious threats” of violence comparable to those targeted towards Charlottesville, where in 2017 neo-Nazis and white supremacists clashed with counter protesters and a woman was killed.

                                   Northam banned weapons from statehouse grounds, and anyone who wanted to be on Capitol Square had to pass through magnetometers and have their bags searched, causing lengthy lines. Many protesters wore orange stickers saying “Guns save lives.”

                                   Outside a temporary fence erected on Capitol Square, other protesters openly carried assault-style weapons on sidewalks and nearby streets that had been closed to traffic.

                            Sunday, January 19, 2020

                            January Post From Defensive Pistol Craft

                            Every 20 to 30 days, or so, Jon Low at Defensive Pistol Craft posts a round up of articles and videos interspaced with useful commentary, including this month. One comment from Low, for instance:
                                 If you don't have a log book for your training, you're not serious about training.  If you don't plan exactly what you're going to do when you go to the range or during your dry practice session at home, your practice session isn't going to be very productive.  If you are not recording the results of your practice session in your log book, you will have nothing to read to plan your next practice session. So, you won't be starting from where you left off the last time.  Rather, you'll be starting from scratch all over again.  It's the difference between 20 year of experience and one year of experience repeated 20 times. Don't laugh.  I've seen such persons in the software industry.  I was a Lead Member of the Engineering Staff at Lockheed Martin for many years.  

                            Are They Suggesting Ergonomics and Fit Don't Matter?

                            A recent post from Say Uncle indicates that grip angle, natural point of aim or a gun feeling “good in your hand "are unserious considerations." Say Uncle in turn links to a post from the View From The Porch blog that asserts that "[o]ne of the most trite pieces of advice given to prospective first-time handgun buyers is to "go to a gun store and try holding a bunch of different ones to see which one feels good in your hand."

                                 Is there anyone that takes this seriously? For instance, if you were to go into a room full of serious rifle shooters and suggested that the length of the stock, the location and height of the cheek rest, the angle or drop of the comb, or a scope set too far forward or back was irrelevant, "unserious" or "trite," you would be laughed out of the room. Ditto for a group of shotgun shooters if you suggested that the fit of the shotgun wouldn't impact your shooting.

                                 What you get with a pistol that naturally points for you and fits your hand is a weapon that you don't have to fight against to shoot well. Can you train around a poor fit? Probably, but good fit will save you time, repetitions and money in becoming proficient.

                                 I came across the Say Uncle post at The Captain's Journal. Herschel Smith adds his background from engineering when he expresses his doubts about the foregoing posts:
                                  I’ve been a practicing registered professional engineer for a very long time.  But until recently I had not studied ergonomics and biomechanics, and things like pronation and abduction, axis of action, first, second and third class levers, resistance to circulation, kinetic chains, etc.

                                 I would have been more likely to accept these pronouncements before I engaged in my recent study.  Now, not at all.

                            Tomorrow is the Day

                            The anti-tyranny protests are set for tomorrow in Richmond, VA. Authorities have brought in lots of SWAT toys and set up a kill zone barricaded area around the capital.  James G. Robertson, writing at American Thinker, explains:
                                   Capitol police expect to funnel as many as 10,000 people through magnetometers into the outdoor gun-free kill zone that will be contained by fencing around the Capitol grounds.  Thus, any violent extremists motivated by mass murder will be able legally to carry their weapons onto 9th Street and have a free fire zone into the trapped and defenseless crowd. 

                                   Similarly, it will be legal to carry anywhere on the streets surrounding the kill zone.  Trapping people in an enclosure won't make them safe, and the prospect of mixing bad and good actors in the streets is an object lesson in the futility of gun-free zones.

                                  On Lobby Day, should people need to escape the gun-free kill zone, they will be funneled into exit choke points along the fence, where they will be vulnerable to further concentrated violence.  This is the same type of plan used in Charlottesville to trap Unite the Right demonstrators behind metal barricades, and then to funnel them through exits targeted by the Antifa mob. 
                            Consequently, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has requested: "“If you can commit to being one of our needed 10,000 unarmed members inside the fence, please help us by asking several of your family and friends to be your designated armed escort to the gates and to stand outside the fenced area to watch over us."

                                   Military surveillance aircraft have already been deployed to circle over Richmond (see also here). And as we know, one of the primary purposes of these aircraft is to use stingray type devices to intercept cell phone transmissions and collect metadata. This places most people attending the protest into a catch-22: if you show up with a cell phone, you're just handing over your identification and data to the government; but, for most of the attendees, not bringing a cell phone will leave them without an ability to record what goes on, and that may be valuable. On the other hand, facial recognition algorithms are now so good that just showing up will be enough for authorities to identify attendees.

                                 Supposedly some Antifa groups will be attending to protest the anti-gun legislation proposed by Virginia Dems "because they say those types of laws are used primarily to criminalize poor people, minorities, and leftists — and to bolster law enforcement’s power." I would be very suspicious of such groups: the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend, and I would remind you of the parable of the scorpion and the frog. The Left hates conservatives and would like to see you dead.

                                Meanwhile, the Virginia Senate has passed three of the hated gun control bills, reports the Washington Examiner.
                                    Virginia Democrats took an important step toward passing several gun control bills they have prioritized during this year's General Assembly session.

                                   The majority-Democrat state Senate passed legislation that would restrict monthly gun purchases, expand background checks on firearms, and allow localities to ban guns in certain designated areas.

                                   Senate Bill 69 amends Virginia law to restrict citizens' ability to purchase more than one handgun per month, Senate Bill 70 requires mandatory background checks for all private sales of guns, and Senate Bill 35 requires localities to ban guns at public events.

                                   Although Democratic Sen. John Edwards struck the assembly's most controversial legislation, Senate Bill 16, which would have prohibited the sale, possession, or transfer of an assault rifle, many Republicans believe the House of Delegates will pass the similarly worded House Bill 961, which bans the purchase or possession of assault rifles in Virginia.

                                    “Ladies and gentlemen, this is probably the first assault on the Second Amendment, and we’re going to see many after that,” Republican state Sen. Bill Stanley said.
                            If you are planning to attend, you might want to see this video from Matt Bracken (h/t Western Rifle Shooters Association).

                            Friday, January 17, 2020

                            A Quick Run Around the Web (1/17/2020)

                            "The Best Headlamps and Lanterns for Camping, Bushcraft and Survival"--Corporals Corner (10 min.). The primary upgrade between what he had been using and what he switched to was the ability to recharge the battery off a recharging pack or small solar panel.

                            • To start things off, check out this week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Articles on the castle doctrine, wound ballistics, a comparison between three .44 Magnum loads, an article that compares velocities from some "obsolete" cartridges, an article on what to do with your concealed carry firearm when you have to use the toilet, and lots more.
                            • "The Basics of the Tactical Flashlight"--Ammoman. The author describes his requirements from a tactical flashlight, then explains how to compare advertised features from different brands, including explaining the FL-1 industry standards that were intended to standardize how companies would report the capabilities of a flashlight. The author also describes the different batteries commonly used in tactical flashlights, and common options for controls and modes (e.g., high or low intensity, strobe, etc.). He recommends basic controls (momentary and hard on/off switch with no alternate modes), especially to someone that hasn't or won't put in the training to learn to manipulate the different modes under stress. He concludes:
                            Every tactical flashlight is different and has its own unique features that can make it more suitable for you than for me. However, through my extensive testing, I have found that Streamlight, SureFire, and Elzetta tend to make reliable lights. These brands will take a beating and survive long term use. Yes, they are more expensive than a no-name light at Walmart, but your life is worth the extra money.
                            • "Do You Fly Often? | Stranded Far Away From Home After SHTF Event"--Modern Survival Blog. He relates what colleagues did following 9/11 (most rented cars to drive back home) and provides a list of some things to take with you when travelling. Cash is probably one of the most important things: but in smaller denominations (nothing larger than a $20 bill).
                            • "First Look: Timney Impact AR-15 Trigger"--Shooting Illustrated.  The article reads like a press release, but, nonetheless, Timney is releasing an AR drop-in trigger pack for $150.
                            • Another from Modern Survival Blog: "How Much Wheat in a 5 Gallon Bucket – Pounds, Calories, #Loaves Bread." Short take is that if you are planning on a 2,000 calorie a day diet with half of your calories from bread, you will need to store (roughly) 230 lbs. of wheat per person (about 7 five-gallon buckets). If you are looking at only getting 1/4 of your calories from bread, then you need 115 lbs. of wheat per person (about 3.5 five-gallon buckets). The author also has links to other articles on how to safely store the wheat.
                            • For you history buffs: "Throwback Thursday: Rise of the Renaissance Gunner"--NRA Family. During the early part of the age of gunpowder, experienced gunners were few and far between, and expensive: they generally acted as mercenaries in order to have and maintain regular employment.
                            • "This year's flu shot doesn't match virus circulating: report"--Fox News. So, in order to have enough vaccine, scientists have to make an educated guess as to which flu strain is going to be the one that spreads from SE Asia to the United States, and sometimes they are wrong. Such was the case this year. Nevertheless, the strains were close enough that the flu shot was not valueless.
                            • "Wheelgun Wednesday: Colt King Cobra Target .357 Magnum Review"--The Firearm Blog. The author reports that fit and finish was excellent, but he wished for more visible sights. Also: "Collectors will love this wheelgun and simultaneously be surprised by the accuracy you can push out of a mid-size revolver. Whether it was .38 Special, .357 Magnum, light loads, heavy loads, target projectiles, or hollow-points, essentially it did not matter the ammo type, this revolver drives tacks!"
                            • "How to Break In a Gun Barrel"--NRA Family. Per the author, "Every barrel, no matter how smoothly the bore has been machined, still has surface imperfections created during the drilling, reaming and rifling process," and the process of "breaking in" is to remove these imperfections through repeated shooting and cleaning over a short period of time. 
                            One popular method is to thoroughly clean the barrel between each of the first 15 to 25 shots, then between every two or three shots for the next 10 shots. Finally, several five- or 10-shot strings are fired with a complete cleaning between each. Barrel break-in is typically completed within 50 or fewer rounds and is usually signaled by a noticeable reduction in fouling during cleaning.
                                     Volcanic ash usually consists of solid crystalline rock and glass particles, only a few millimeters in size, which are formed when magma is broken up. In addition, eruptions  release vast quantities of carbon and sulphur dioxide, which together with the dust condense to form thick black clouds of smoke.
                                      Ash dust can cause a dry cough and irrtitate the throat and sinuses. It is difficult to breathe, the eyes become watery and red, the nose itches, and the dust particles often make you sneeze.
                                       The smaller, the more dangerous
                                         The smaller the particles released, the more harmful the ash is to human health. Larger particles can cause a cough when inhaled, but they do not get further inside the body because they are first absorbed by the mucous membrane.
                                           Smaller particles can get into the bronchi. From there they are transported back up through the small hairs ciliated epithelium and coughed up. However, tiny particles smaller than 4 micrometers could penetrate deep into the aveoli, i.e., the air cells in the lungs, and cause lasting damage to the lungs.
                                             People with lung problems or asthmatics must be particularly careful. However, severe damage is not to be expected in healthy adults. If possible, however, you should stay outdoors as little as possible and wear a protective mask.
                                        • "The Problems With Small Self-Defense Guns"--Shooting Illustrated. The author notes that most new shooters coming to his class are choosing compact or sub-compact handguns for self defense. The problem, he writes, "is the inherit difficulty in shooting them well as a result of their smaller sizes." Part of the issue are generally poor sights and trigger on this size of firearm, while the other is the diminutive size of the grips. He continues:
                                          The smaller size makes them easier to conceal, but hard to hold and shoot well. I find some are better to grip than others. A common occurrence is when the pinky finger is left to dangle in the wind. A lot of people worry about this, but my comments are just the opposite. Don’t worry. If your pinky fits on the bottom of the frame, that is great. If not, don’t sweat it too much. Instead, curl your pinky so the magazine base can rest on the surface. It seems a little odd at first because we are used to wrapping the pinky around something. In this case, there is nothing, so don’t worry. You can still apply pressure with the other two digits and pull a little bit of power from the pinky if you can press it into the heel of your hand. There are, of course, aftermarket extensions for some magazines, but I find this technique works just fine. Under certain circumstances I actually prefer this technique rather than extending the profile of the gun with a grip extension. It kind of defeats the purpose of the subcompact when you increase the footprint, making the pistol more difficult to conceal.
                                          I've been fortunate in that, over the years, I've owned some smaller handguns and I've had the opportunity to test many others. I have a relative who has collected several small handguns, including several pocket pistols, that I've handled and fired. Kel-Tec makes the lightest pocket pistols, and I know people that swear by it for this one reason: particularly when having to carry while in business clothes. The one pocket pistol I've been most impressed with is the Sig P238 in .380. Small, light (although not quite as light as the Kel Tec), and comes with good sight which can be switched out, and a pretty good trigger. It uses a Browning type system, so it is single-action, but with a good manual safety--anyone use to the 1911 will find it easy to switch over to this firearm. One impressive feature is that you can rack the slide with the safety engaged allowing you to more safely load or unload the weapon. And, at least with what I've seen, it is reliable and accurate for the distances you would be using such a a weapon (I haven't tried it over longer distances). The downside is that it is rather more expensive than most comparable sized handguns. But probably worth it. 
                                                   There were 354 murders in Australia in 1996, when the ban began. In 1997, there were 364. Even with the amnesty still going on, as people turned in their firearms, we’d expect a drop in murders if the ban was at all effective. We don’t. Only in PolitiFact’s chosen 1998 do we finally see a drop, to 334.
                                                   Again, if the ban was effective at their claimed goal, 1999 should be around the same or lower, right? Instead, murders rose significantly to 385, well over 1996’s 354.
                                                If firearms are the reason for murders, I would expect a ban to eliminate 90% or more of murders, not some piddly single digit changes. 
                                                • "Reviewed: Federal Force X2 Home-Defense Buckshot"--NRA Family. This is Federal's attempt to come up with 00 buckshot that have reduced penetration against interior walls. Their idea was to cut a slot into the buckshot so that when it impacts an object, the shot will break into two and the reduced mass and increased surface area will slow it down. I'm always leery of frangible ammo because less mass = less momentum = less penetration. If it isn't going to penetrate a wall, my concern is that it will not have sufficient penetration into the target. But the article claims otherwise, citing an 18-inch penetration into bare gel. Cost is steep as well: $22.95 per box of 10 rounds.
                                                • I saw this at Instapundit the other day: "Tech lessons from 72 hours without electricity"--MacWorld. The author was able to keep his devices running using backup batteries, solar chargers and UPS's. He explains:
                                                         If you don’t own any backup batteries to charge your devices, get some. They’re useful when traveling—I always bring at least one with me fully charged when I go on a trip, so I don’t end up in an unfamiliar city without a fully functional iPhone. I have two 10,000 mAh batteries with two USB ports, capable of charging an iPhone several times.
                                                          Just in case of extended blackouts, I also bought a solar charger earlier this year. By keeping it in the sun all day, I could almost completely recharge one of those big batteries, extending the time before all my devices would be completely out of power.
                                                            I also flipped on Low Power Mode across all my iPhones. (Apple, how about a Low Power Mode for the iPad?) In Low Power Mode (accessible from the Battery menu in the Settings app), iPhones are much more aggressive at putting off tasks that can drain a battery—and my goal was to ration power as much as possible. I even turned off always-on mode on the display of my new Apple Watch, to extend its battery life.
                                                             Another smart tech product that you should probably own is a UPS, or Uninterruptable Power Supply. These are fat power strips with heavy integrated batteries that let your devices stay on briefly when the power goes out. Not only can they help you ride out momentary outages during storms, but the give you time to save or transfer files to other devices and then shut down in the case of a longer outage. In the case of a power outage that doesn’t take down your internet connection, you can also use the battery in a UPS to power your cable modem and router to keep the Wi-Fi on.
                                                        • Interesting: "Training vs. Experience"--Active Response Training. Citing an FBI study of  40 cases of serious attacks on police officers where the researchers interviewed both the officers and the attackers involved in each case:
                                                        Nearly 40% of the criminal attackers in this study had received FORMAL firearms training (mostly in the military).  More than 80% of the criminal attackers regularly practiced with their firearms, with an average number of 23 Practice Sessions Per Year.  They conducted these practice sessions in trash dumps, wooded areas, back yards and “street corners in known drug trafficking areas”.  What that means is that the practice sessions were taking place in realistic environments, under conditions similar to those the attackers were likely to face in combat.

                                                        "WHY Do MILITARY GUYS Wear PANTYHOSE?"--Black Scout Survival (2-1/2 min.)
                                                        The two reasons given are: (1) to act as a bug barrier; and (2) if cut down to knee highs, it reduces blisters while hiking.
                                                        • "An Introduction to Q"--Deborah Franklin at American Thinker. If you don't know what WWG1WGA means, this article if for you.
                                                        • Related: "WE NOW KNOW: FISA COURT MUST GO"--Powerline. The FISA court has appointed David Kris to review changes proposed by the FBI to the court’s surveillance application process. Kris is a former Obama DOJ official and media apologist for the FBI's illegal surveillance on Trump associate, Carter Page. As the Wall Street Journal has observed, "Mr. Kris contributed to public confusion by lending his supposed authority as a legal intelligence expert to justify the FBI’s actions." The author concludes:
                                                        I don’t think “fiasco” and stupidity (“obtuseness”) do justice to what is going on with the court’s appointment of David Kris. We now know beyond any reasonable doubt that the FISA court has been compromised. It is going through the motions to mitigate the revelation of its own fault now that we know it too is among the institutions corrupted in the Russia hoax. 
                                                                 About $129 million was spent on economic development and “social development,” nearly as much as the $144 million spent on safe drinking water, according to the state budget tally.
                                                                  Money from a state water grant was used to bring “a youth basketball league back to the city after a fifteen-year absence,” according to the book “The Poisoned City.”
                                                                   State water-crisis money has been providing free daycare for children ages 3 and under in the city, even though none of them were alive or in utero during the primary water crisis, a state spokesman acknowledged. ....
                                                                     Of $66 million that went toward economic development, $20 million went to Uptown Reinvestment Corp., a firm associated with four investors, two of whom are donors to [then-Michigan Gov. Rick] Snyder, according to campaign finance records. Seven million dollars went to renovate an old building into new apartments, and $5.5 million to renovate the Capitol Theatre.
                                                                       Under social development, the government also spent nearly $4 million providing extra money on the food stamp cards of residents, the state data show.
                                                                          Some money under the “clean water” category itself was used to prop up general city activities, such as plowing snow and maintaining traffic lights, with the justification that it “support[ed] water distribution.”
                                                                           The Flint Registry, which a federal grant supports, is paying residents $50 to fill out a form enrolling them, which in turn connects them to further services such as health screenings and education.
                                                                              Despite abolishing the one-child policy, the country posted 10.48 births per thousand people last year, the lowest since 1949, according to China’s national bureau of statistics. That amounted to 580,000 fewer babies in 2019, compared to the previous year.
                                                                               China is battling a shrinking labour force, squeezed on both ends by a fast-aging population and waning births, a trajectory that will impact growth at a time the economy is already suffering. On Friday, China posted annual GDP growth of 6.1 per cent, the lowest rate in three decades.
                                                                                 The country’s working-age population has been on the decline since 2012, and is expected to fall roughly 23 per cent by 2050, according to official data.
                                                                            • As Anonymous Conservative points out, with an upcoming presidential election, we should see an increase in illegal aliens attempting to cross the border, to-wit: "Honduran migrant caravan rumbles on through Guatemala"--API. "More than 1,000 Honduran migrants broke through a police barrier on the border with Guatemala on Thursday in a bid to join hundreds of others heading for the United States."
                                                                                     In 2001, when I was the new Washington correspondent for The Arizona Republic, I attended the annual awards dinner of the National Immigration Forum. The forum is a left-right coalition that lobbies for unauthorized immigrants and expansive immigration policies. Its board has included officials of the National Council of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, as well as the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
                                                                                      After dinner, the group’s executive director, Frank Sharry, made a pitch to business allies who wanted Congress to allow them unfettered access to foreign workers. “You guys in business get all the workers you want, whenever you want them,” he proposed. “No bureaucracy.”
                                                                                       “Sold!” yelled John Gay, a lobbyist for the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Mr. Sharry quickly added that the deal must include advocacy for “three little, tiny pieces of paper: a green card, a union card and a voter registration card” for unauthorized immigrants.
                                                                                          For me, a reporter who had long covered immigration in the Southwest and Mexico, the exchange was a revelation about the politics of immigration in Washington. Business lobbyists like Mr. Gay — conservatives who seek loose labor markets so employers can keep wages down — align themselves with liberal activists like Frank Sharry to pursue policies that serve their groups.
                                                                                            Who, I wondered, was lobbying for the American workers competing with the new arrivals? The answer, I learned, was no one. ...
                                                                                      • More Muslim outreach discovered in England: "The descent into barbarism"--Vox Day. Turns out that the Pakistani rape gang operating in Rotherham had more victims than previously reported: "New figures by the National Crime Agency (NCA) put the number of children believed to have been sexually exploited in the town of Rotherham over 16-year period at an astonishing 1,510 – up from the 1,400 figure identified in a 2014 report." 1,400 of these were females, and included children as young as 11.
                                                                                      • Rabbits: "Revealed: Baltimore has the HIGHEST rate of STIs in the US with TWO cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis for every 100 residents"--Daily Mail.  Or 2,004 STD diagnoses per 100,000 people. If this had been gun wounds the City would have been jumping all over it. Perhaps they need to implement a 3-day waiting period before residents can have sex, and require mandatory health background checks.
                                                                                      • Related: "Natural selection is leading to more transmissible HIV in United States"--AIDS Map. Researchers from UC  San Diego and the CDC have found that "HIV that is being transmitted in large population clusters in the United States is more likely to cause high viral load in people who acquire it, leading US researchers to conclude that natural selection is causing HIV in the United States to become more infectious and virulent." A 2018 study found that "rapidly growing transmission clusters in the United States especially involved young Latino/Hispanic men who have sex with men." 
                                                                                               The U.S. government is fielding dogs at airports and seaports, conducting outbreak-response drills and adding capacity to test pigs. France and Germany are killing hundreds of thousands of wild boar that might carry the disease. France also erected 132 kilometers (82 miles) of fencing to keep out wild boar and is planning stricter sanitary rules for pig farming, including requirements to disinfect trucks that transport swine.
                                                                                                Thailand culled pigs in a province close to Myanmar, where the disease has been found. South Korea ordered soldiers on its border with North Korea to capture wild boar, while Vietnam used troops to ensure infected pigs were culled.
                                                                                                 Australia expelled travelers from Vietnam for smuggling pork and banned imports of pork products. Australia also deployed advisors to Pacific islands in an attempt to protect its closest neighbors from African swine fever. ...
                                                                                                    Geologists have traced the origin of a huge 'raft' of floating rock in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of Sydney Harbour and twice as big as Manhattan. 
                                                                                                     They say the 150-square kilometre mass of pumice was produced by the eruption of an underwater volcano 50 kilometres northwest of the Tongan island of Vava'u.

                                                                                                Thursday, January 16, 2020

                                                                                                VCDL To Sue Northam (Updated)

                                                                                                Update: TTAG reports that "Circuit Court Judge Joi Taylor has denied the VCDL’s request for an injunction to block Governor Northam’s emergency gun ban declaration." The group is now going to appeal the matter to the Virginia Supreme Court.

                                                                                                Original:
                                                                                                Guns America reports that "in response to Gov. Ralph Northam’s state of emergency declaration banning firearms in downtown Richmond, the Virginia Citizens Defense League announced a plan to take legal action against Northam’s administration." The VCDL is basing its suit on the language of the statute which limits such emergency orders to a place or facility used as an emergency shelter or for the purpose of sheltering persons.

                                                                                                      This same article reports that Virginia Democrats have now introduced a bill raising the sales tax on guns and ammunition to 10%.

                                                                                                      In other news, Florida Republicans, including Republican Florida Senate President Bill Galvano and Senator Tom Lee, are backing bills that would restrict the private transfers of firearms and impost a 3-day waiting period on purchasers. According to the article, "[a] Republican-controlled Senate committee voted unanimously on Monday to pass an omnibus bill that would restrict gun sales, ban private sellers at gun shows, impose safe storage requirements, and mandate a three-day waiting period to obtain firearms." Supposedly for public safety, but we know that isn't a concern of the political class. Their safety, maybe, but it is never for the good of the public.

                                                                                                Chinese Mystery Virus Now Shown Up In Japan

                                                                                                The Daily Mail reports:
                                                                                                      Japan has confirmed its first case of infection from the new China coronavirus, after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned hospitals around the world to prepare for the illness.
                                                                                                        The health ministry in Japan today said that a man in his 30s close to Tokyo has tested positive for the disease.
                                                                                                         It is believed the man, who originates from the Kanagawa prefecture had recently been to the Chinese city of Wuhan.
                                                                                                           In Wuhan there has been an outbreak of pneumonia believed to be caused by the new coronavirus strain.
                                                                                                      Again, this is one person, and he apparently picked it up in Wuhan where most everyone else caught it. So, something to watch, but not a serious emergency.

                                                                                                      West Virginia Decides to Up The Ante

                                                                                                      Hot Air reports that the West Virginia legislature has drawn up a bill that would allow Second Amendment sanctuaries in Virginia to join West Virginia. "[T]he political ramifications would be rather intense. Virginia would immediately turn blue, but they’d lose some congressional seats while West Virginia would become an even darker shade of red and gain some seats."

                                                                                                           While we are on the issue of Virginia's attempts to disarm their populace, consider this: In the 1920's when Congress wanted to ban the sale of a previously lawful product--alcohol--they believed they needed to formally amend the Constitution. In the 1930's, when Congress wanted to ban certain types of previously legal firearms, they believed that they had to backdoor it through the taxing clause of the Constitution in order to get around the Second Amendment. What has changed since then? The Constitution hasn't (at least, not any of the relevant parts).

                                                                                                      More Muslim Rape Gangs in England

                                                                                                      Fox News reports that "Britain hit by another Asian grooming gang scandal as report exposes child sex abuse in Manchester." From the article:
                                                                                                             British authorities knew that a network of predominantly South Asian men was grooming vulnerable children in Manchester, but failed to act to stop dozens of girls from being abused -- according to a damning new report released this week that details yet another Asian grooming scandal in the U.K.

                                                                                                             The report is a harrowing look at how Greater Manchester Police and other local authorities failed to take appropriate action more than 15 years ago, despite getting details of nearly 100 “persons of interest” who were using takeout restaurants as a base to rape and abuse children in care between the ages of 11 and 17. It describes offenders as operating “in plain sight” and hanging around care homes and foster homes in cars as they preyed upon vulnerable children.

                                                                                                            “There was clear evidence that professionals at the time were aware these young people were being sexually exploited, and that this was generally perpetrated by a group of older Asian men,” the report says. “There was significant information known at the time about their names, their locations and telephone numbers but the available evidence was not used to pursue offenders.”
                                                                                                      By "Asian men," they mean Pakistani. Hot Air, reporting on the same news story, explains:
                                                                                                             In 2017 Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham commissioned a report on the police response to the abuse of young girls in the early 2000s. Mayor Burnham was inspired by a BBC special called The Betrayed Girls (see below) which focused, in part, on the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia. Victoria had died of a drug overdose in 2003 after complaining that she was being abused and drugged by a group of Pakistani men. The report, which was released today, found that Manchester police launched an investigation into the situation. The investigation identified dozens of other victims and nearly 100 suspects but funding for the effort was pulled and almost no one involved was ever punished.
                                                                                                      The article goes on to explain that officials and prominent journalists didn't want to pursue the investigation because they didn't want to be seen as racist:
                                                                                                             So why didn’t the police and social workers do more to stop this? Because the crimes were considered racially sensitive. Local Labour MP Ann Cryer did try to do something after a group of mothers came to beg her help. She went first to a local Pakistani community leader but her concerns were brushed off. She then tried to bring attention to the story by going directly to the media.
                                                                                                             Andrew Malcolm, a reporter for the London Times, saw the press release written by Cryer but ultimately decided not to write about the story because he didn’t want to provide fodder for the British National Party, which was gaining support at the time. “To my shame I allowed my liberal fear about giving succor and credence to the British National Party to act as a break on actually doing my job,” Malcolm told the BBC.

                                                                                                             Cryer, the Labour MP, said that some members of her party offered support but others began whispering that perhaps she was a racist.
                                                                                                      The Hot Air article also links to a copy of the BBC documentary if you want to watch it.

                                                                                                           In a more civilized society, the government officials that failed to act would be tarred and feathered and/or whipped out of town, and the Pakistani perpetrators would be strung up from light posts. But the English live in a society where it is pretty much illegal to even defend your life because the State has reserved all use of force to itself.

                                                                                                      VA Dems Lie About Banning Firearms At Statehouse

                                                                                                      VPM/NPR report "PolitiFact Virginia: House Democratic Leaders Incorrect on Gun Restriction Claim." At issue here is that "[i]n imposing a gun ban at the State Capitol, newly-empowered House Democrats repeatedly said they were acting on the recommendation of the Capitol Police." Per the article, Democrats said four times during the meeting of the Rules Committee that the Capitol Police recommended the new rule, and the author goes on to quote each of the politicians. But this was denied by the head of the Capital Police:
                                                                                                            After the meeting, [Capitol Police Col. Anthony] Pike told reporters neither he nor his agency recommended the gun ban. They simply complied with a Democratic request to figure how such a plan would be put in effect.

                                                                                                              “When (Democrats) approached me and indicated they were going to put in a firearms prohibition, that’s when they asked me for my input on how we would process, how we would handle these facilities with that prohibition,” he said.