Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Firearms and Self-Defense:

From a standing position 7 yards away, aim at a cardboard target with a quarter-size bullseye in the middle. Shoulder the shotgun naturally as if in a real defensive situation. Be careful not to flinch or slap the trigger. Shoot the shotgun as if it were a rifle. Then shoot several more times at the same target to find your average point-of-impact. Don’t shoot from a benchrest, as doing so can invite unnatural shooting positions and skew results.
    If the pattern’s center is within a couple inches of the bullseye (your POA), you’re good to go. But if it’s off, you have several options. If it’s a name-brand shotgun and it’s off by more than 6 inches, consider calling the manufacturer, as the gun is likely defective. But first, verify by having an experienced friend shoot it, too. If it’s only slightly off zero, measure the POI relative to your POA. 
    He also gives some advice on how to correct if you are using a shotgun that only has a front bead sight.
    • "Get to cover? A requiem for common sense."--Monderno. A review of cover versus concealment. 
    • "Combat Safety: The Importance of ‘Short Bounds’"--Max Velocity. Not just to avoid being shot by an enemy, but also not being shot by the person(s) behind you.
    • "A Year Long Experiment With A Pistol Optic"--Modern Service Weapons. A long term look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a reflex sight on a handgun. The author raises a point that I've seen elsewhere as well: that, unlike a rifle where a consistent cheek weld guarantees that your will be aligned with the optic, it is very easy with a handgun to lose the dot or the alignment between your eye and the optic. Thus, it was still necessary to use the front sight to get the proper alignment. Because of this, the author found the optic to be most useful for shooting at longer ranges but of limited use close up. 
    • "Additional Information on the Shell Shock Cases"--The Firearms Blog. Shell Shock's case, as you may remember, is a two piece shell casing with an aluminum base joined to an extruded steel case that promises weight, cost and longevity advantages. This article answers some questions for readers. It appears that the case will be offered to reloaders (Shell Shock will not be manufacturing ammunition), but does require proprietary reloading dies.
    • The people of Walmart.... "Walmarts Burden Local Police Departments"--Thin Blue Florida. The author (a police officer) links to an article indicating that Walmarts in the Tampa Bay area account for a disproportionate number of calls over any other store or even whole shopping centers. He also looked at his local area, and found that the two Walmarts are the #1 and #2 highest call addresses there as well.


    Other Stuff:
      A 2014 study found that white audiences were less likely to buy tickets for movies with predominantly black casts, and that they reject movies that include the casting of black leads in certain genres, such as romantic comedies.
        That may be true, but the reason that the more minority-heavy films in Kuppuswamy and Younkin’s data set still outperformed whiter ones is that American moviegoers are getting progressively less white. 
        • "Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOU"--Bloomberg. "A projected budget deficit this year is prompting the government to weigh alternatives to limit spending. Contractors would receive bond-like instruments to cover the amount they are owed by the state which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private." Good for banks and speculators, bad for the contractors that have to sell the instruments at a loss to cover current expenses. I'm guessing that the Saudi government would not be doing this unless the contractors were mostly foreign.
        • Free Trade failure: "Why US companies have started fleeing China"--New York Post. Short take: now that the Chinese companies have stolen the technology and intellectual property, they no longer need their American "partners". 
        • The Failure of Socialism:
          Streaming down from hilltop slums in the dead of night, hundreds of Venezuelans join an ever-growing line that circles the vast "Bicentennial" state-run supermarket.
            By sunrise, there are several thousand, closely watched by National Guard soldiers, all waiting for the chance to buy coveted rice, flour or chicken at subsidized prices amid crippling nationwide shortages and inflation.
              Many of them used to be devoted supporters of Hugo Chavez, the late socialist president who brought his quirky brand of left-wing nationalism to the OPEC nation during a 1999-2013 presidency.
                Now, in the grumbling of pre-dawn lines, there is disillusionment with Chavez's "Beautiful Revolution" and undisguised anger at his successor and self-declared "son" Nicolas Maduro.
                  Word that no price-fixed food - only diapers, detergent and deodorant - would be on offer this particular morning spreads quickly, further deflating and frustrating the crowd.
                    The day before, when food ran out, there was a riot.
                      The peasants proletariat are revolting.
                        Venezuela's opposition on Tuesday urged the public to defy a state of emergency President Nicolas Maduro has decreed over a nation sapped by food shortages and a collapsing economy.
                          Opposition leader Henrique Capriles also said the army must decide whether it is "with the constitution or with Maduro," a day before nationwide protests demanding the president's ouster through a referendum.
                            I had a roommate in college that had served as a missionary in Ecuador. He related that coup attempts were sort of like holidays: businesses would close, and people would get picnic lunches and sit around the perimeter of the airport to watch the fighting. I don't think Venezuela's will be quite the same. For one thing, no one has the food for a picnic.

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