- "Caracal Opens US Offices"--Recoil Magazine. "Earlier this year, UAE-based Caracal announced a partnership with Wilcox Industries. Today they further committed to a North American presence by officially opening offices in Boise [Idaho]."
- "The 5 x 5 Shooting Drill and Some Thoughts on Training"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz discusses some thoughts from teaching a basic shooting skills course, including a shooting drill to test the fundamental marksmanship of a new or inexperienced shooter: "Five rounds shot in five seconds from five yards at a five inch circle."
- "How to Build an AR-15: A Beginner’s Guide"--The Arms Guide. A nice guide to the parts and nomenclature needed for putting together an AR.
- "Why We Carry At Home: Homeowner Attacked While Doing Yard Work, Luckily He Was Carrying His Gun"--Concealed Nation.
- "New York Times On The NFA For All Firearms"--Captain's Journal. Anti-gunners are arguing that all firearms should fall within the purview of the National Firearms Act--background check, paperwork, $200 dollar fee, everything.
- "J. Putnam Evans Thinks the AR-10 Is the World’s Best Battle Rifle"--War is Boring. A review of the book, The Armalite AR-10 — The World’s Finest Battle Rifle, providing some history of the development, marketing and use of the AR-10.
- "The FBI picks 9mm: Here comes the Science"--The Arms Guide. A nice roundup of the data and experience underlying the FBI's decision to ditch the .40 S&W. From the introduction:
Below is a statement was prepared the FBI Training Division to answer those questions and was intended for dissemination to law enforcement agencies. It was not classified Law Enforcement Sensitive and has spread to civilians. I have confirmed its origin and feel that its release poses no threat to law enforcement while providing enlightening science, paid for by taxpayer dollars, to the public.
- "The Fascinating Story Of How The Petrodollar Was Born And Lived In Secrecy For Over 40 Years"--Zero Hedge. From the article:
For decades, the story of Saudi Arabia recycling petrodollars, i.e., funding the US deficit by buying US Treasuries with proceeds of its crude oil sales (mostly to the US), while the US sweetened the deal by providing the Saudis with military equipment and supplies, remained entirely in the conspiracy realm, with no confirmation or official statement from the US Treasury department.
Now, that particular "theory" becomes the latest fact, thanks to a fascinating story by Bloomberg which gives the background and details of secret meeting between then-US Treasury secretary William Simon and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, and members of the Saudi ruling elite, and lays out the history of how the petrodollar was born.
- "OPEC states that wanted production cuts buckle under the new oil order"--CNBC. Saudi Arabia pushed a policy of high production in an attempt to bankrupt producers using fracking technology. The result is many of the nations that rely on oil sales are without the necessary cash to pay their bills; nations such as Angola, Nigeria and Venezuela.
- "Venezuela’s Uneasy Generals"--American Interest. "If and when Maduro does exit, the people who replace him in power aren’t likely to be friendly toward the military. Which means the military doesn’t have much of a choice except to stand next to Maduro and watch what’s left of Chavismo collapse in slow motion."
- "'We can't go on like this': Shortages, economic crisis make Venezuela a nation of lines"--Los Angeles Times. From the article:
Many Venezuelans trapped in lines these days come from poor, crime-ridden districts and travel vast distances to better-stocked markets in safer areas, a sensible precaution in a nation with a homicide rate among the highest in the world.
One of the planet’s great oil producers is now unable to pay for basic commodities, like milk, flour and rice, which are mostly imported, triggering the severe shortages. Inflation next year is projected to hit 1,200%.
With the country’s largest-denomination note, the 100-bolivar bill, now worth about 10 U.S. cents on the free market, many Venezuelans must make daily trips to the bank just to have some carrying cash. The predictable result: prolonged lines at ATMs.
- "Mexican Military: The Most Efficient Killers in Modern Warfare History?"--The Truth About Guns. The Mexican Army kills 8 persons for each one wounded; the Mexican Marines kill 30 persons for each one wounded.
- "Not Just Trump: Immigrants Coming To The US Are Banking On A Catch & Release Program"--Zero Hedge. "... it's not just a looming Trump presidency that is driving the surge in immigrants to the US, it's an expectation of the immigrants that when they are arrested, they'll be processed and released, free to go in the United States."
- "Appeals Court Delivers Devastating Blow to Cellphone-Privacy Advocates"--The Intercept. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the 5th, 6th, and 11th circuits in holding that a warrant is not needed to obtain location data on a cell phone from a cell phone provider.
- "World War Zero brought down mystery civilisation of ‘sea people’"--New Scientist. The author writes about a new theory which attempts to explain the collapse of Bronze Age Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern civilizations:
By the second millennium BC, civilisation had taken hold throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Egyptian New Kingdom coexisted with the Hittites of central Anatolia and the Mycenaeans of mainland Greece, among others.
In little more than a single generation, they had all collapsed. Was the culprit climate change? Some sort of earthquake storm? Social unrest? Archaeologists can’t seem to agree.
Eberhard Zangger, head of international non-profit, Luwian Studies, based in Zurich, Switzerland, says that’s because one crucial piece of the puzzle is missing. Another powerful civilisation in western Anatolia played a crucial role in the downfall.
That civilization was called the Luwians, who lived in western Anatolia. The article continues:
We know from Hittite texts that the Luwian kingdoms sometimes formed coalitions powerful enough to attack the Hittite empire. Zangger thinks that 3200 years ago the Luwians did just that and destroyed the Hittite Empire (see map, above).
Shortly after the demise of the Hittites, Egyptian texts document an attack force they termed the “Sea People”. Zangger says it makes sense to view these Sea People as the Luwians, continuing their campaign for wealth and power and, in the process, weakening and destabilising the Egyptian New Kingdom.
The Mycenaeans, perhaps anticipating an attack on their territory, formed a grand coalition of their own, says Zangger. They sailed across the Aegean and attacked the Luwians, bringing down their civilisation and destroying its key cities like Troy – events immortalised in Homer’s Iliad.
On returning to Greece, however, and in the sudden absence of any other threat, Zangger believes the Mycenaeans squabbled and fell into civil war – events hinted at in Homer’s Odyssey. Their civilisation was the last in the area to collapse.
My reading on the subject indicates a more complicated story than just a single warlike race. The Minoan civilization had struggled after the eruption at Thera, with competing religions arising, suggesting internal dissent and social upheaval. Records from Egypt suggest that invasion by the "sea peoples" were prior to the general collapse of civilizations. (It should be noted that Egypt didn't collapse, per se, but was permanently weakened). There is also evidence that there were internal revolts in other of the Bronze Age civilizations. I've noted that the onset of the collapse may have been about the same time as the Exodus, which suggests that the sudden loss of hundreds of thousands of slaves may have contributed to the overall collapse.(Update: 6/2/2016: corrected typographical error)