Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016--A Quick Run Around the Web

"Locked in time: How the once most advanced power station in Europe now lies abandoned and untouched in tribute to its former glory"--Daily Mail.

  • "Pope Francis says world is at ‘war’ but it’s not about religion"--Christian Science Monitor. From the article: "'The world is at war because it has lost the peace,' he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. 'There is war for money. There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples.'" He is incorrect in stating that war is not associated with a particular religion, as Islam preaches that peace can only be obtained through submission to Allah, even if such submission is by force. But he is correct as to our losing the peace--and that loss is because we, as a civilization, have lost our roots and, thereby, our vitality.
  • "Killer Drought Strikes Southern Africa"--American Interest. This year’s El NiƱo is particularly strong, resulting in droughts throughout the Southern Hemisphere, including southern Africa. Although it is clear that mismanagement and corruption has severely reduced agricultural output in the region (Zimbabwe, for instance, in stealing land from the white farmers), the author suggests that the U.S. and other rich countries need to do more in the way of providing "free" aid. However, I've read enough about the corruption involved with providing aid, and how such programs tend to insulate and protect corrupt dictators and governments, that I have serious doubts about doubling down on past policies that have not worked. 
  • Just a reminder that we are living in the 21st Century: "Small modular reactors are nuclear energy’s future"--Financial Times. From the article:
SMRs are designed as shrunken versions of larger plants; they can be made in factories and moved by train, truck or barge to the site. Developers say that if enough are built in the same factory, costs per unit of energy output can be driven down well below those of larger plants.
    Small reactors are already used on nuclear submarines and in some developing countries such as India and Pakistan. But only recently have the industry and politicians begun to take seriously the idea that they could be made economically on a large scale.
      Anurag Gupta, nuclear director at KPMG UK, says: “SMRs promise all the benefits of nuclear — low cost and green power — but without the significant cost and schedule overrun issues that have beset conventional large nuclear projects.”
      • "Peter Thiel Was Wrong"--Rob Dreher at The American Conservative. Dreher has penned a response to Thiel's assertion that the cultural wars are fake or irrelevant. Dreher writes, for instance:
      You hear this kind of thing a lot from social liberals who genuinely believe that nothing serious is at stake in the culture war. If conservatives would just roll over and accept that the liberal view is naturally, obviously correct, we could get back to our “real” problems. Thiel is the sort of person who looks at pro-Brexit voters and cannot imagine why they didn’t understand that their material interests were with the Remain side. What people like Thiel — really intelligent people, let us stipulate! — don’t understand is that not everybody values the things they do. Real, important things are being struggled over.
      He continues:
      Culturally speaking, to be born in many places in the US is to suffer an irreversible lifelong defeat. If you come from a culturally conservative region, or family, you understand that the people who make the decisions in this culture are on the other side. At best they regard you as irrelevant. At worst, they hate you, and want to grind your nose in the dirt. Whatever the case, the things you value, that are important to your identity, and your sense of how the world is supposed to work, are either fading away or being taken from you — and you can’t do anything about it.
      • "By The Numbers: Glock 26 vs Glock 43"--The Firearms Blog. The author argues that although the Glock 43 is somewhat lighter, there are otherwise no appreciable advantages to it over the Glock 26 given that the size is about the same, but the magazine capacity is much less; particularly when you consider that the Glock 26 can use magazines intended for the Glock 17 and 19. It appears that the weight savings is about 4 to 5 ounces, which, in my book, can be fairly significant for concealed carry. 

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