Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Quick Run Around the Web -- October 31. 2015

Image of Asteroid 2015 TB145, which is passing by the Earth today. (Source: "Dead comet with skull face to hurtle by Earth on Halloween"--AFP)


A video from Survival Lilly--"Survival Herb: Pot Marigold"

 [W]hen is it right, if ever, to fight an enemy without remorse, without quarter, without adherence to the Marquis of Queensbury Rules, savagely, and totally?
    * * *
      For the life of me I cannot see why such simple principles cause so much debate.
        Sports are as artificial as the usages of war among Christian and civilized nations. In a sporting event, you do not cheat to win, because the whole point of sports is not to teach ruthlessness (that is the point of boot camp) but to teach how to win without vaunting and lose without whining so that next week another team will be willing to play you. It is meant to teach courage and self-command.
          Wars between civilized nations are conducted with certain mutually recognized restrictions because civilized nations recognize that they will be neighbors after the war is over, and may be allies in the next war.
            A mugging is not a sporting event, nor is a war with socialists, barbarians, or Mohammedans, or SJWs. They do not have our worldview, our values, nor our sense of fairfplay.
              Barbarians live in a constant state of war, so the idea of existing in peace after the war is over is not merely inadvisable to them, but unimaginable.
                For socialists and barbarians and jihadists and SJWs, each war is a total war because each enemy is an absolute enemy, with whom peace is neither sought nor thought possible.
                  In their warped and twisted worlds, it is considered a sign of weakness to act with restraint on your behavior, and they offer no reciprocity, no mutual restraint, if you do.
                    I have been astonished that the entire Mohammedan strategy in this century has been nothing but harping on this one folly: the assumption that a gentleman treats a villain like a gentlemen, and fights with civilized restraint when fighting someone who might be a friend or ally in the future.
                      We offer the restraint of the Geneva Conventions against them, but they do not abide by these conventions, and, indeed, the whole point of their military policy is to abrogate them as flagrantly as possible as publicly as possible. Given a choice between attacking a soldier and a child, the mighty Jihadist warrior will [attack] the child, because the headlines are sexier.
                        As for the Morlocks, they will never be friends or allies. They have not the capacity. An SJW is deliberately and totally set against the world of civilization, and hates the niceties and rules of war that protect them. They like riots. They cheer at sabotage, at cop killers, at sneak attacks, at ambushes against women and children. Read their literature, look at their politics, listen to their speeches.
                          They are natural allies with the Mohammedans: both are humans who have repudiated their humanity, thinking subhumanity is stronger.Both praise subhuman barbarism, both hate Christ, both despise civilization.
                            When fighting such creates as these, after making an initial offer to any undecideds (who should not take more than a deep breath’s space of time to decide) one attacks the barbarian without quarter,without mercy,by any means,fair or foul,and fights to extermination, ignoring pleas for mercy, since such pleas are too often false, and cannot be trusted.
                              The barbarian is always at your throat or at your feet.

                               Read the whole thing.

                              Where's Waldo?


                              Happy Halloween!

                              Friday, October 30, 2015

                              ISIS Planning on Invading Central Asia?

                              The U.K.'s Express reports that, according to Russian sources, Taliban that have pledged loyalty to ISIS have amassed on the norther border of Afghanistan. 
                              The jihadi hate group could be trying to open up a new front to the north of its territories after being pegged back in Syria by Russian airstrikes.

                              The invasion would be a swipe at Vladimir Puitin as it would take them into the former Soviet states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which are still beholden to Moscow.

                              They would also secure control of lucrative drug trafficking routes taking raw opium from Afghanistan to be sold as heroin on the streets of Russia and Europe.

                              ISIS has been looking to grow its presence in Asia and has active cells in India, Pakistan and Malaysia.

                              A Quick Run Around the Web--October 30, 2015 (Updated)

                              J.M.W. Turner -- Der Vierwaldst├Ątter See (1802)

                              U.S. President Barack Obama plans to deploy a small number of special operations forces to Syria to advise rebels Washington deems moderate, U.S. sources said on Friday, a step he has long resisted to avoid getting dragged into another war in the Middle East.
                                Obama was expected to send fewer than 60 special operations troops, said congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. One U.S. official said the number was likely to be in the range of 20 to 30 but could not provide details.
                                  China's naval commander told his U.S. counterpart that a minor incident could spark war in the South China Sea if the United States did not stop its "provocative acts" in the disputed waterway, the Chinese navy said on Friday.
                                    Admiral Wu Shengli made the comments to U.S. chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson during a video teleconference on Thursday, according to a Chinese naval statement.
                                      The two officers held talks after a U.S. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of Beijing's man-made islands in the contested Spratly archipelago on Tuesday.
                                      • "The Islamic State threatens to come to Rome; Italians respond with travel advice"--Washington Post. Responding with sarcasm to ISIS' threats.
                                      • "End of One-Child Policy is unlikely to solve China's looming aging crisis."--New Geography. According to the article, rapid urbanization and the expense of real estate and other costs with raising a child means that few couples will have two children, rendering the policy change moot.
                                      • "If You’re Black, Lead the Pack"--National Review. The article is about Democrats' incredulity that "conservatives" support a black candidate. This shows a lack of understanding of history and what "conservative" means when speaking of America. The values which "conservatives" seek to conserve in the United States are, primarily, those of "classic liberalism": i.e., individual rights, private property and economic freedom, small and limited government. Conservatives don't really care about melanin levels. Democrats, on the other hand, have long been the the stronghold of racists. So, when a "liberal" is amazed that conservatives aren't acting racist, it is because of projection--they are racist, so they believe conservatives must also be racist.
                                      • "Reliability is Over-Rated"--The Truth About Guns. I think the author is confusing reliability with durability, but probably not a significant point. The author's thesis is that, when it comes to self-defense, there are a lot of things we should worry about before we get to our carry gun's reliability, such as the basic rules of avoiding doing stupid things, with stupid people, in stupid places. Oh, and he links to a great video on how a 1911 pistol works.
                                      • Since it is Friday, don't forget the "Weekend Knowledge Dump" at Active Response Training.

                                      Thursday, October 29, 2015

                                      A Quick Run Around the Web--October 29, 2015

                                      Teodoro Matteini - Girl with Letter

                                      Prepping/Survivalism:
                                         8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
                                           9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
                                          Decline of Civilization:
                                          ... The democratic age ends, neither with robust Liberals striving in a forever imperfect world, nor with defiant anti-Liberals striving to perfect the world, but rather with The Great Exhaustion. Striving, uncertainty, risk, labor, suffering, insult—these become too much for our fragile constitutions to bear. Above all, in the time of The Great Exhaustion, no one wants to “feel uncomfortable” and, so, we conspire to organize the world so that it is without duress or hardship. The 1 percent political and commercial classes are happy to oblige.
                                          ... Carle C. Zimmerman, the Harvard historian and sociologist, was not a religious man, but in his book Family and Civilization, which examining the history of the decline and fall of ancient Greece and Rome, and looking at medieval and modern European history, Zimmerman found that the presence of 11 factors preceded the dissolution of those civilizations — factors relating to the atomization and fragmentation of what he calls the “domestic family” (one man + one woman, exclusively). Those factors include widespread divorce, the loss of a sense that the domestic family is normative, and the general acceptance of sexual diversity (called “perversity” by Zimmerman, but he wrote in 1947).  
                                          In Zimmerman’s view, the family is the basis for civilization, and “familism” — an ideology that in general puts the family’s needs above the needs of the individual — is necessary for a healthy, stable society. A society that has lost familism will follow customs and impose public policies that work against the domestic family, thereby eating its seed corn. Fertility declines, and with it, the civilization’s ability to thrive.

                                          Wednesday, October 28, 2015

                                          A Quick Run Around the Web--October 28, 2015

                                          Earth Science Picture of the Day: Ribeira da Janela, Portugal

                                          I've seen this phenomenon in certain countries in Africa.  It's genuinely frightening - it can lead to the disintegration of social order and stability.  You see, employers will always hire the cheapest possible solution to their needs.  That involves not only those willing to work for the lowest wage, but those requiring the least training for a new position.  Very often, younger workers are cheaper than older;  and often, those younger workers have more up-to-date skills that can be adapted to the job than older workers whose exposure to, for example, computers or roboticized manufacturing techniques is much less than the younger generation.  As a result, those without recent work experience get 'shut out' of the job market.
                                            When this happens often enough and for long enough, you get a class of people that's not only permanently unemployed, but is also basically unemployable.  Their skills and education have atrophied.  They no longer regard themselves as having any value to an employer;  therefore, they don't see themselves as having any value to their families, or even to society as a whole.  The result is a vast increase in criminal activity - after all, the new criminals reason, if they're of no value to anyone, why shouldn't they take value from those that have it?
                                            • "Shotguns have 'virtually sold out' in Austria as citizens rush to buy arms amid fears of a massive influx of migrants, dealers claim"--Daily Mail. Apparently shotguns are selling particularly well because no permit is needed for them. However, the article notes that the demand for firearms licenses have increased so much that instead of license classes being offered only once every 5 weeks, they have been increased to once per week. And, as noted in a story I cited yesterday, women are driving the high sales. According to the article; "Broadcasters and local media say the numbers of refugees - coupled with a fear of break-ins as a result - is fuelling the arms race." Too little, too late?
                                            Paleontologists, geologists, and physicists have shown that 66 million years ago, an object at least ten kilometers wide plummeted to Earth from space and destroyed the terrestrial dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. Our proposal is that during the Sun’s passage through the midplane of the Milky Way—the stripe of stars and bright dust that you can observe in a clear night sky—the Solar System encountered a disk of dark matter that dislodged the distant object, thereby precipitating this cataclysmic impact—and possibly others on 30-35 million year intervals. We hypothesize that a less conventional type of dark matter collapsed into a dense disk (denser even than that of the Milky Way) and the disk’s gravitational influence diverts the trajectories of comets when the Solar System passes through.
                                            So if polygamy isn’t the Next Great American Perversion, what is? There have been a few cracks in the firmament and a few rays of light have leaked through, giving us a glimpse into what the Left has in store for society. In the past few months, the Left has been testing the waters, gauging societal response to two new and exciting perversions: cuckolding [i.e., wives cheating on their husbands] and pedophilia.

                                            Tuesday, October 27, 2015

                                            A Quick Run Around the Web--October 27, 2015

                                            Water bottle drip irrigation for tomato plants (from "15 Gardening Tips And Clever Ideas"--The 36th Avenue) (h/t DIY,Gear, prepping, & survival).

                                            While conflict, trauma-drama, harassment, vandalism and hatred are not your ideas of entertainment, to the small, petty, mean and venial, it is not only that, but a whole lot more. That's why they do it. A feud is a LOT more fun and exciting than watching TV. More than that, it's a game they can play themselves.

                                              The way you stop it is by making  A) the game no fun anymore and B) it too 'dangerous' for them to act.
                                              • "'Anyone With AK-47' Can Overmatch US Soldier in Fire Fight"--Sputnik News. Another article arising out of the claimed performance issues of the AR during the Battle of Wanat. Frankly, the argument has been so thoroughly discredited, I'm surprised to still see it popping up. The fact that the heavily outnumbered troops at Wanat were able to hold off a surprise attack by some 200 Taliban, itself, discredits the premise of the article. In any event, The Captain's Journal has written several good articles on the issue (see, e.g., "Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses"). He concluded the latter article: "Blaming the men who made the decision to deploy the way they did would be the hard thing to do because it gets personal.  But at least it would be honest."
                                              • "Sweden Opened Its Doors To Muslim Immigration, Today It’s The Rape Capital Of The West. Japan Didn’t."--The Daily Caller. About the rape epidemic (including gang rapes) that has swept Sweden since they began admitting large numbers of Muslims, and contrasting the situation with Japan, which has been careful to limit the number of foreigners settling in the country.
                                              • "Islamic Invasion Pulls Trigger: Europe Now Scrambles for Guns"--WND. Europeans are beginning to wake up to the fact that their politicians sold them down the river. Unfortunately, their firearms laws make it difficult or impossible to procure weapons for self-defense. 
                                              • Related: "K-selection Advancing"--Anonymous Conservative. Noting several trends in Europe suggesting impending fighting between the immigrants and natives. On the issue of increased gun purchases, the author notes that most of the new gun purchases in Austria have been by women. He observes:  
                                                You know what that means. Interesting that in a rabbitized population many women are exhibiting more manly protective qualities, just as the reversal of sexual dimorphism that r/K describes would predict. That will change as the K-selection advances, men realize fighting is unavoidable, and women find they don’t like killing or being killed.
                                                  When the festivities get under way I’d expect considerable selective pressure to actively remove the rabbit-prone genes from the gene pool. The key will be for us to make sure we let nature take its course, and don’t intervene out of some misplaced sense of patriotic loyalty. These rabbits are not our countrymen – they are our traitors.
                                                    They mock the idea of a rainbow nation, scoff at any suggestion they need white friends, and rightly ask why is there more wealth in the hands of the whites now than there was back then.
                                                      Mr Mandela is dead, a new black consciousness is alive and well. And it is angry.

                                                      FBI Warns of Halloween Attacks by Black Militia

                                                      From the New York Post:
                                                      The FBI released an alert Monday warning the NYPD and police departments nationwide of a potentially dangerous anarchist group that says it plans to ambush cops on Halloween.

                                                      The extremist group – known as the National Liberation Militia – has proposed a “Halloween Revolt” that encourages supporters to cause a disturbance to attract police and then viciously attack them, the FBI said.

                                                      The group has recommended that members wear typical Halloween masks and use weapons such as bricks, bottles and firearms, according to the release.

                                                      The NYPD Intelligence Bureau is monitoring the threat, and there is no known link between the threat and New York City law enforcement specifically, the FBI said.
                                                      Unfortunately, the article does not explain who or what is the National Liberation Militia. Neither did other articles on the same story from the Daily Mail or CBS (although the latter article jumps on the word "anarchists"). Given the general association between "militia" and what the DOJ terms "right wing extremists," the story leaves the impression that the group is perhaps related to white supremacists.

                                                      A Google search turns up nothing for the "National Liberation Militia." However, there is an organization called the "National Black Liberation Militia" (aka "New Black Liberation Militia"). The National Black Liberation Militia was started by Najee S. Muhammad, a former field marshal for the New Black Panther Party. Fox News has reported that the "National Liberation Militia" was formed by former members of the New Black Panthers, seemingly confirming that the "National Liberation Militia" is the NBLM (see video posted here). In any event, the NBLM is a black supremacist group, and may have ties with Islamic terrorist groups. According to their web site, they view themselves as the modern incarnation of the BLA (Black Liberation Army). The BLA were proponents of an armed struggle.

                                                      Monday, October 26, 2015

                                                      India and China Fume Over Climate Negotiations While Some Environmentalists Consider The Use Of Force

                                                      From an article at The Week about the upcoming climate negotiations in November:
                                                      Western countries, especially America, have been arguing that China and India with their billion-plus people and dirty energy sources are a major part of the problem. Therefore, unless they do their "fair share" to cut — not just slow the rate of — their emissions, no amount of mitigation by the West will make a dent in global temperatures.

                                                      However, India and China counter by dragging out the West's historic emissions. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has determined that the planet can handle 2,900 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide before the Earth begins to warm catastrophically. Third World countries insist that justice demands that every country get a quota based on its population. By that arithmetic, America's total quota would add up to 128 Gt (and the entire developed world's 406 Gt). But America used up over twice that amount between 1850-2011. As these countries see it, America (as the rest of the Western world) is in their ecological debt. It needs to put itself on a drastic energy diet — and effectively undo the industrial revolution that has generated untold wealth for it. Especially since India has used only 7 percent of its share. "For the sake of the world's future, American lifestyle can no longer remain non-negotiable," froths India's leading environmentalist, Sunita Narain.
                                                      Amazingly, the article suggests that countries may resort to military action to enforce provisions of the treaty.
                                                      ... if climate change will unleash an eco-catastrophe as claimed, then the harsh reality is that it might be more cost-effective for America and the West to impose their will by military force. Trade sanctions against non-complying countries that are being considered in Paris won't cut it for the simple reason that developing countries can band together and impose countervailing sanctions of their own. The upshot will be a full-scale trade war that won't reduce emissions (although the economic attrition that'll result will help).

                                                      Global warming warriors warn that inaction will produce political instability and civil war in Africa and elsewhere. But it is also conceivable that a really determined West could use the aegis of some UN-like global agency to create a standing military strike force to bomb or drone countries into compliance. Humanity’s very existence would be at stake, after all.
                                                      As a reminder, the Global Warming "hiatus" is now over 18 years and 9 months. Predictions and claims of the warmists have not come true. None of the models have worked. The data on which global warming theories are based is unreliable, at best, and, more likely, fraudulent. Yet we have people seriously suggesting that the U.N. could authorize the killing people and destroying infrastructure for this "absurd,costly and pointless crusade" (PDF). Amazing.

                                                      We Are Not All The Same Shape--Concealed Carry for the Fat and the Skinny

                                                       Govt. of Western Aust. Dept. of Health

                                                      Govt. of Western Aust. Dept. of Health
                                                      Even when we are fit, people come in different shapes (see above). Unfortunately, not everyone is thin or athletic. So it should be no surprise that not all concealed carry techniques or methods work equally well for all body shapes and sizes. Alien Gear Holsters' blog has a couple recent posts on special considerations for those who are a hefty, and those that are not:

                                                      Obviously, things are easier for those who are thin versus those that are not. The main thing is to experiment and see what works for you.

                                                      A Quick Run Around the Web -- October 26, 2015

                                                      Dusk at Hauaneeme bay in Lahemaa National Park (Source

                                                      Immigration:
                                                      • "The Death of Europe"--Sultan Knish. Daniel Greenfield explains that the European assimilation of large numbers of peoples from Muslim countries is doomed to fail because of different world-views and values. Essentially, the Euro elites expect the immigrants to work to support their generous pension systems, while the Muslim immigrants don't want to work, viewing the generous welfare payments they receive as a form of jizya. Greenfield writes:
                                                      Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.
                                                        * * *
                                                          Why should 23-year-old Mohammed work for four decades so that Hans or Fritz across the way can retire at 61 and lie on a beach in Mallorca? The idea that Mohammed would ever want to do such a thing out of love for Europe was a silly fantasy that European governments fed their worried citizens.
                                                            * * *
                                                              Mohammed is Fritz’s retirement plan. But Mohammed has a very different type of plan. Fritz is counting on Mohammed to work while he relaxes. Mohammed relaxes and expects Fritz to work.  Fritz is not related to him and therefore Mohammed sees no reason why he should work to support him.
                                                                * * *
                                                                  Mohammed isn’t staking his future on the shaky pensions of European socialism. He invests in what social scientists call social capital. He plans his retirement by having a dozen kids. If this lifestyle is subsidized by infidel social services, so much the better. And when social services collapse, those of his kids who aren’t in prison or in ISIS will be there to look after him in his golden years.
                                                                    As retirement plans go, it’s older and better than the European model.

                                                                    I've read several authors, recently, commenting that the real issue underlying the immigration debate--especially in Europe--is that the elite only regard citizens and immigrants/aliens as economic units. They do not empathize with their citizens, nor do they care about their citizens' culture or beliefs. Daniel Greenfield noted this issue in a prior article entitled "The Two Empires We Must Defeat":
                                                                      To empires, people are interchangeable. If the natives have a low birth rate and a long lifespan, then workers with high birth rates and lower lifespans are brought in to replace them. If the natives are reluctant to pay higher taxes, immigrants from countries that are fine with voting for high taxation are imported. That is how empires, not nations, do business.
                                                                        This is what the political establishment in most countries believes. This is what [is] tearing them apart.

                                                                        South African Riots:
                                                                          The biggest protests by South African university students in the post-apartheid era were fueled by mounting anger over the widespread poverty and inequality that persists since the country's first multiracial elections in 1994.
                                                                            A week of demonstrations at universities against plans to raise tuition peaked on Wednesday, when several thousand students stormed into the parliamentary precinct in Cape Town as Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene presented a gloomy picture of the economy in his mid-term budget speech. Riot police used batons and stun grenades to disperse them and arrested six people.
                                                                              "The fees must fall campaign is not about fees," Aubrey Matshiqi, a research fellow at the Johannesburg-based Helen Suzman Foundation said at a conference in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town on Thursday. "I do believe South Africa is sliding inexorably toward a perfect storm of discontent, the discontent of the poor, the working class and the middle class."
                                                                                While South Africa's economy has more than doubled in size since the African National Congress took power in 1994, the benefits haven't been shared equitably. A quarter of the workforce is unemployed, income inequality levels are among the highest in the world and white households on average earn six times more than their black counterparts, government data shows.
                                                                                  The police documented 2,289 violent demonstrations by communities demanding better housing, education and other services in the year through March, up from 1,907 the year before.
                                                                                    First-year tuition at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where the protests started, ranges from about 32,000 rand ($2,400) to more than 58,000 rand.
                                                                                      "I am here to demand free education that was promised to us," Khanyiso Nkolwana, 22, a fashion-design student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said at the Wednesday protest. "It was promised to us in 1994."
                                                                                      Interestingly, many of the riots earlier this year were aimed at recent immigrants who were undercutting the wages of poor blacks--something not mentioned in the story. 
                                                                                      • "The tip of the iceberg"--News 24. An op-ed on the South African student riots. "It is fair to say that the protests and upheavals at university campuses this year have been precisely about making higher education not just “available and accessible”, but also affordable. The protests have addressed the questions of racism on campuses, of Africanisation, of an alienating institutional culture for the majority of students, of the appointment and advancement of a black professoriate, of the language of tuition, and now, more stridently, the question of fees." As I said: they want "free stuff." Oh, and they want their chance to oppress whites.

                                                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                                                        ... If you are a Christian and there is an area of your life that you have not submitted to the tradition, then you are not who you think you are. All of life is a struggle to surrender to God; those who do it [most] successfully we call saints.
                                                                                          If you are a husband or a wife, then you must be so as a Christian — that is, not as a husband or a wife who happens also to be a Christian, but as a Christian husband, a Christian wife, in a Christian marriage. If you are a writer, you must be a Christian writer, even if you never write a thing about religion; the experience of living with the mind of Christ must inform everything you write. If you are an electrician, you must be a Christian electrician. No, there is not a Christian way to wire a building, but you must do the work you are called to do in the awareness that you are doing it in sight of God, and as His servant, and as part of a Christian community to which you must be accountable.
                                                                                            That community extends both backward and forward in time. This is what we call the Great Tradition. You are responsible for receiving it, and for handing it on. ...

                                                                                            Sunday, October 25, 2015

                                                                                            A Quick Run Around the Web -- October 25, 2015 (Updated)


                                                                                            One of the things I like about this painting is that the door lacks an outside handle or knob, indicating that only we can open the door to Christ; he will not force his way in. Although this is generally thought to apply to us individually, I have also wondered if it applies to us as a world--that the Second Coming won't be until we invite Christ back. (Source

                                                                                            The Revolution Underway:
                                                                                            • "IRS' Lois Lerner Skates; An Ugly Precedent Is Set"--Investors Business Daily. "The Justice Department declined to file charges against IRS enforcer Lois Lerner, who singled out Tea Party groups for scrutiny on political grounds. With no accountability, it's now open season on dissidents." This is why Hillary was able to smirk through the Benghazi hearings--she knows that the DOJ won't pursue charges.
                                                                                            • "The DOJ Is Wrong: Cops and Criminals Are Not Morally Equivalent"--The Heritage Foundation. Concerning a speech given by the acting head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Principal Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta:
                                                                                            Given the most charitable interpretation, the speech presumes a moral equivalence between the police and those arrested by them. On a less charitable reading, it displays hostility to law enforcement and makes a wrongheaded assumption that Americans and American culture are racist and discriminatory. More broadly, it accepts the progressive line that institutional racism is to blame for the ills in America’s inner cities and ignores entirely the possibility of a culture that encourages individuals to act irresponsibly.
                                                                                            I'm thinking the DOJ should be labeled a terrorist organization, with all that entails, including the prohibitions on Congress providing it funds and it doing business with American businesses.
                                                                                              Except for the first one which took out the door and the fifth one, which spread a bit further, they were all set at the front door, not to cause any real damage, but it seems, set to go out, to be limited. The arsonist always set it in the early morning hours. The police have said the person behind it clearly wants to ‘send a message’.
                                                                                                So the question is who would want to make it appear like black churches were being targeted, while not really wanting to hurt them with real damage? In St. Louis, near Ferguson?
                                                                                                  Well, we’ll leave the investigation to the professionals, but we certainly could have a few thoughts as to who would fit that scenario.
                                                                                                    In perhaps a coincidental incident, on Easter, the Black Lives Matter folks protested outside a couple of churches in the area. Their point was to ‘wake up’ the people in the churches, to come out and join them to ‘fight against racism’.
                                                                                                    [Black Lives Matter organizer Patrisse] Cullors detailed that the Black Lives Matter movement was no accident, but conscientiously crafted. “We built not just a hashtag. It’s important people know that Black Lives Matter wasn’t just this hashtag that circulated around the internet, but we actually built an organization, a platform and a project out of the hashtag so here we are a couple of years later and the hashtag movement has gone global.”
                                                                                                    The BLM panel members at Politcon also described contacts with Palestinians in Israel and other unspecified groups in Europe. 
                                                                                                    "Cullors also asserted, “Black-on-black crime is a myth.” She called comments on the phenomenon a “distraction” and “an unnecessary debate,” then encouraged the audience that when a conversation goes in that direction to “shut it down.”

                                                                                                    Firearms/Self-Defense:
                                                                                                    • "Venezuela: How's That Gun Control Working Out for You?"--Gun Free Zone. "Almost three years after the imposition of the most complete and draconian Gun Control laws on this side of the Atlantic (including no sales of new guns to the civilian population), Venezuela now is the second country in the world in murders, with a rate of 82 per 100,000 people or 24,980 murders (Venezuela’s population is 33.2 million, 10% of the US.)" Also, so far, 112 police and military have been killed in Caracas in 2015.
                                                                                                    • "Gun deaths down 30%"--Washington Examiner. "In a new report, Pew said that between 1993 and 2000, the firearm murder rate dropped by almost half, from seven homicides to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 people. It also said that all gun deaths -- murder, suicide, police and accidental -- have dropped 30 percent since 1993."
                                                                                                    • "Not All Penetration Data Is Created Equal"--Nathaniel Fitch at The Firearms Blog.
                                                                                                    • Some articles on the rifle as a home-defense weapon, offering different takes on the issue:
                                                                                                    The AR is very easy to shoot. Head out to the range and test my theory. Ask anyone who wants to join in on the fun to try shooting a scored event, under pressure, with a pistol at home-defense ranges. After you see their performance, try the same with an AR, I will bet money you see much better control of the system. Men and women alike just shoot better with a carbine than with a pistol. As long as the carbine is light enough for the shooter to handle properly, the learning curve will be straight-up. 
                                                                                                     Rifle bullets are going a whole lot faster and do a lot more damage than a pistol, (and keep in mind I’m keeping this simple, and not going into ten pages of argument about AP and SS109 and other esoteric information that will make a newbie’s head explode). When you shoot something with most rifles, you aren’t just poking a hole, but you are actually causing trauma in the tissue surrounding the hole, and most defensive bullets are designed to fragment or tumble and make even bigger, nastier holes in people.
                                                                                                    Except when they don't, which was the finding of the recent article I posted about results of a terminal ballistics study of the Stockton, California, shooting where the shooter used an AK-47 style rifle with FMJ 7.62 rounds.
                                                                                                     Although bolt-action hunting rifles may be ideal for taking large game, they make a poor choice for home-defense. These rifles are slow to load, slow to fire, and the high-power cartridges they shoot produce excessive muzzle flash, noise, recoil and are very likely to overpenetrate the target. If you want a rifle for home-defense, then consider a tactical semi-auto or pistol-caliber carbine.
                                                                                                    The only situation where this ranking (pistols best, then shotguns, then rifles) is reversed is if you have large swaths of land and expect the bad guys to be firing at you from dozens of yards away. In that situation, a rifle would come in handy. But considering where most people in the world live (namely cities and suburbs) it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
                                                                                                    While it may seem counter-intuitive, a 5.56mm carbine like the Beretta ARX-100 we used, is a great home defense option. A standard FMJ 5.56mm round tends to tumble and fragment when it hits things like walls inside a home. So contrary to popular assumption, over penetration is less of a concern than with pistols.
                                                                                                      Also on the benefits side is the fact that a carbine is far easier to aim accurately under stress. Also, addition of a light and laser is easy with most AR-type rifles available today. In most states (sorry NJ your not one), capacity can be at least 30 rounds, so the idea for a quick end to aggression is a series of rapid-fire shots. With a compact rifle like an AR-15, it’s relatively easy to make accurate hits with speed, much more so than with a handgun.
                                                                                                      Any long gun (rifle or shotgun) is fairly easy for an intruder to grab at close range and the long barrel gives a bad guy plenty of leverage to take the gun away from the homeowner. An experienced and violent criminal may turn a long gun on the homeowner. These facts mitigate against choosing a rifle or shotgun as the primary home defense weapon. 

                                                                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                                                                      • "DEA agents tied to sex parties, prostitutes rewarded $95,000 in bonuses"--Washington Examiner. "Drug Enforcement Agency officials linked to sex parties and prostitutes paid by drug cartels weren't fired but rewarded with $95,000 in performance bonuses, ...." And we know there had to be some quid-pro-quo for the cartels feting the agents. They should be in prison, not receiving bonuses. 
                                                                                                      • "Before you complain about 'patriarchy'"--Glenn Reynolds at USA Today. Noting that Western society is more matriarchal than patriarchal, but that will change as more Muslims immigrate to the West.
                                                                                                      • "New York governor inserts gender identity in anti-bias rules"--New York governor Cuomo bypassed the legislature to enact new laws granting special rights to transgendered persons. The citizens' input no longer needed or wanted.
                                                                                                      • "Orbanism Ascendant?"--American Interest. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban drew applause at a recent European People's Conference in Madrid. 
                                                                                                      “We are in deep trouble”, Orban intoned. “This is an uncontrolled and unregulated process. We did not get authorisation from [our citizens] for millions to walk into our continent.” He accused left-leaning parties of “importing future leftist voters to Europe” while trying to “hide it behind humanism.” “The German, Hungarian or Austrian way of life is not a basic right of all people on earth,” he continued. “It is only a right for those people who have contributed to it.”
                                                                                                      The United States has become a nation of weak, pampered, easily frightened, helpless milquetoasts who have never caught a fish, fired a gun, chopped a log, hitchhiked across the country, or been in a schoolyard fight. If their cat dies, they call a grief therapist. Everything frightens Americans.
                                                                                                      * * * 
                                                                                                       Individualism? America is among the least individualistic countries on the planet. The United States discourages everything reflecting difference, whether architectural, political, or cultural, often under heavy penalty. It is the land of indistinguishable shopping malls, of burger chains and tract suburbs of a hundred identical houses. Urban architecture means the office block. Casper looks like Des Moines looks like everywhere else. When a region like the South stubbornly tries to maintain its identity, the hive forces it to conform. I am reminded of what I believe to be a Japanese proverb: “The nail that stands up is beaten down.” We are more a nation less of nails than of thumbtacks, though.

                                                                                                      Friday, October 23, 2015

                                                                                                      Regime Change in Saudi Arabia?

                                                                                                      The Independent reports:
                                                                                                      Eight of the 12 surviving sons of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch are supporting a move to oust King Salman, 79, the country’s ailing ruler, and replace him with his 73-year-old brother, according to a dissident prince.

                                                                                                      The prince also claims that a clear majority of the country’s powerful Islamic clerics, known as the Ulama, would back a palace coup to oust the current King and install Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a former Interior Minister, in his place. “The Ulama and religious people prefer Prince Ahmed – not all of them, but 75 per cent,” said the prince, himself a grandson of King Ibn Saud, who founded the ruling dynasty in 1932.

                                                                                                      Support from the clerics would be vital for any change of monarch, since in the Saudi system only they have the power to confer religious and therefore political legitimacy on the leadership.
                                                                                                      * * *
                                                                                                      Unhappiness at King Salman’s own diminishing faculties – he is reported to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – has been compounded by his controversial appointments, the continuing and costly war in Yemen and the recent Hajj disaster. Earlier this week the International Monetary Fund warned that Saudi Arabia may run out of financial assets within five years unless the government sharply curbs its spending, because of a combination of low oil prices and the economic impact of regional wars. 
                                                                                                      There have been rumblings about this for several weeks, with the SNAFU blog noting it towards the end of September. (See this Guardian article).

                                                                                                      The issue of declining oil revenue is paramount: currently, 30% of Saudis under the age 30 are unemployed, according to The Daily Times, and dependent on Saudi welfare programs. But the Saudi strategy to lower oil prices may have backfired. The Middle East Eye explains:
                                                                                                      ... Saudi Arabia’s primary source of revenues, of course, is oil exports. For the last few years, the kingdom has pumped at record levels to sustain production, keeping oil prices low, undermining competing oil producers around the world who cannot afford to stay in business at such tiny profit margins, and paving the way for Saudi petro-dominance.

                                                                                                      But Saudi Arabia’s spare capacity to pump like crazy can only last so long. A new peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering anticipates that Saudi Arabia will experience a peak in its oil production, followed by inexorable decline, in 2028 – that’s just 13 years away.

                                                                                                      This could well underestimate the extent of the problem. According to the Export Land Model (ELM) created by Texas petroleum geologist Jeffrey J Brown and Dr Sam Foucher, the key issue is not oil production alone, but the capacity to translate production into exports against rising rates of domestic consumption.

                                                                                                      Brown and Foucher showed that the inflection point to watch out for is when an oil producer can no longer increase the quantity of oil sales abroad because of the need to meet rising domestic energy demand.

                                                                                                      In 2008, they found that Saudi net oil exports had already begun declining as of 2006. They forecast that this trend would continue.

                                                                                                      They were right. From 2005 to 2015, Saudi net exports have experienced an annual decline rate of 1.4 percent, within the range predicted by Brown and Foucher. A report by Citigroup recently predicted that net exports would plummet to zero in the next 15 years.

                                                                                                      This means that Saudi state revenues, 80 percent of which come from oil sales, are heading downwards, terminally.
                                                                                                      The lower oil prices have required Saudi Arabia to dip into its financial reserves at the tune of $12 billion per month, which the King has attempted to make up through borrowing. However, the long term prospects indicate that unless something happens in the next few years, Saudi Arabia may be required to cut its lavish domestic subsidies, which will likely spark a great deal of social unrest.

                                                                                                      (I would note the article at Foreign Policy, "The Reports of Saudi Arabia’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," which argues that Saudi Arabia is in great financial shape: "Saudi Arabia will not incur a fiscal or currency crisis of any sorts for the next few years. Its balance sheet has recently made tremendous improvements.... During the years of plenty, Saudi Arabia amassed a significant war chest that will help it survive the current low oil prices." Ironically, the story mentions something that may also underlie the unrest among the other royals: the Saudi king instituted government reforms to streamline the government and make it more efficient--i.e., reforms that would reduce the opportunities for graft).

                                                                                                      Besides the drain of its welfare and subsidies programs, Saudi Arabia is involved in what is an increasingly unpopular war in Yemen, and threatening to double-down on the conflict in Syria, indicating that nothing less than the removal of Assad will be acceptable. Zero Hedge notes that the Gulf states have a strong incentive to do so:
                                                                                                      ... Assad's ouster would have removed a key Iranian ally and cut off Tehran from Hezbollah. Not only would that outcome pave the way for deals like the Qatar-Turkey natural gas line, it would also cement Sunni control over the region on the way to dissuading Tehran at a time when the lifting of crippling economic sanctions is set to allow the Iranians to shed the pariah state label and return to the international stage not only in terms of energy exports, but in terms of diplomacy as well. Just about the last thing Riyadh wants to see ahead of Iran's resurgence, is a powergrab on the doorstep of the Arabian Peninsula.
                                                                                                      If Saudi Arabia can't get the U.S. to foot the bill, it will have to spend its own money on the conflict, which will further draw down its reserves. So, I don't think things are as "peachy keen" in Riyadh as the Foreign Policy article suggests.

                                                                                                      Photo of Hurricane Patricia

                                                                                                      I thought this was a pretty fascinating photograph of the storm:

                                                                                                      Source

                                                                                                      "Gun 'Experts' and their Idiotic CCW Choices"--Greg Ellifritz

                                                                                                      Greg Ellifritz has a great article with his thoughts (based on experience) on selecting a concealed carry gun and brand of ammunition. I would normally have put this in my "Quick Run Around the Web," but I wanted to especially emphasize it.

                                                                                                      A Quick Run Around the Web--October 23, 2015

                                                                                                      Good Friends by Richard Ansdell
                                                                                                      Prepping/Firearms:


                                                                                                      Other Stuff:

                                                                                                      The next time you buy a new pair (and before you wear them), run them under water until they’re damp. Then place them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. Take them out and give them a day to defrost and thaw out.
                                                                                                        You only need to do this once--after that, you’re good to go. The chilly temps firm and strengthen the individual fibers of your tights, making them less susceptible to runs later on.
                                                                                                        • "Obama Got Punked"--Weekly Standard. Discussing "Clock boy" and why Obama is such an easy mark:
                                                                                                        ... Ahmed’s father is above all a con man. Who knows exactly what he intended, but any hustler worthy of the name knows that if you want to win you have to play. Set things in motion and see how it turns out. As Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op put it: “Plans are all right sometimes … And sometimes just stirring things up is all right—if you’re tough enough to survive, and keep your eyes open so you’ll see what you want when it comes to the top.” 
                                                                                                          American folklore as well as our classic literature—from Herman Melville through Hammett and down to David Mamet—makes plain a simple fact: No one is ever conned against their will. Rather, the victim’s vanity is the central ingredient in the confidence scheme. And that’s why it was so easy to play the president. Did he really have to tweet an invitation to Ahmed to come to the White House before he knew the whole story? As Ricky Roma says in Glengarry Glen Ross, “you never open your mouth till you know what the shot is.” And why after Ahmed and his family met with Bashir didn’t Obama rescind the invitation? What’s this kid doing meeting with a mass murderer? Tell Ahmed he’s not at this time welcome to visit the White House.
                                                                                                            Obama didn’t walk away because he never does, not from Ahmed and his father and not from the Iranians over the nuclear deal. He says he’s got as much to worry about as anyone with the nuclear deal since his name is on it. And that’s precisely the issue—he doesn’t understand the cards and the chips he holds, and the chair he sits in, are not his. Rather, he is risking the interests and the prestige of the country he was elected to lead for the sake of his own vanity. Yes the president is very vain, which is what makes him such an easy mark, every time.