Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Uzkon Announces UNG-12 Semi-Auto Shotgun Bullpup"--The Firearms Blog. The article notes that the picture is a computer rendering, but includes a video showing someone shooting an actual working prototype. 

  • TGIF: Another Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. A few articles that caught my eye in particular:
  • Greg had also linked to an article on why small calibers were acceptable 100 years ago (part of the reason being that people were smaller), and an article from Marc McYoung talking about civil unrest and the LA riots.
Life in Venezuela is now built around waiting in lines. As much as the lines have become the key to survival, they are also hotbeds for violence. Crimes are often committed in broad daylight, with assailants meeting little resistance. For other people in line, the risk of leaving their spot to intervene is just too high. Their dependence on government has literally robbed them of their ability to help others in need.
    “These days, you have to put the line above everything,” said pharmacist Haide Mendoza, who witnessed a murder in the line at her store, CBS News reported.
      The hyperinflation currently affecting the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, is undermining every function of the government and economy. The inflation rate is now the highest in the world and is expected to hit 1,600% by next year. Despite the government raising the minimum wage three times to appease workers, the move has only fueled a rise in prices. In a highly controversial move, the government imposed forced labor policies to keep food production going. Maduro’s emergency decree promises severe punishments for those who refuse to work in the fields without pay. The social contract appears to have no end when it comes to the ‘greater good.’
        There are hundreds of similar stories of persecution against early Mormons in America, many far more brutal and heinous than this one. This unique history of oppression has imbued modern-day Mormons with a deep conviction that individuals should be free to worship how, where, and what they may. This commitment to religious liberty is not feigned or imagined; it is ingrained in our DNA.
          So it should come as little surprise that most Mormons were deeply troubled when Donald Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States. We know what it is like to be singled out by the government for “special treatment.” Once you give the government power to treat people differently based on their religion, it’s only a matter of time until that power is turned around and used on you. This is one of the many reasons Trump has had such difficulty attracting Mormon support, an issue The Donald himself acknowledges.
          I think it rather presumptuous of Garner to speak for a group of people as diverse as found in the Mormon church, and I suspect that it is the author projecting his own thoughts onto the members. Certainly other prominent members, such as Ronald W. Mortensen with The Center for Immigration Research, has taken a stance quite opposed to illegal immigration and critical of some of the Church's leadership. Since I have as at least as great of knowledge of Mormons as does the author of the foregoing piece, let me give my thoughts on the matter. I suspect four factors working here: First, Utah's economy has not been hit as hard as other parts of the nation, so the populism that is driving the Trump campaign is not as strong in Utah as other parts of the country. Second, prominent Mormon politicians, such as Mitt Romney, have been negative toward Trump. Third, because of the history of excluding African-Americans (but not other races) from holding the priesthood, Mormons are still very sensitive to being labeled or thought of as racist or bigoted. Finally, as I've mentioned before, the poison of political correctness has sunk deep into the membership and leadership in various forms. 
          That's my opinion. But here is what we know: 
          A Pew Research Poll published in January 2012, about Mormons and their viewpoints on political and social issues found that "Mormons are divided as to whether immigrants strengthen the U.S. because of their hard work and talents (45%) or burden the U.S. by taking American jobs, housing and health care (41%). On this question, Mormons’ views closely resemble those of the public as a whole." 

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