Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016--A Quick Run Around the Web

Video: "Crisis in Calais: The Jungle"--Black Pigeon Speaks. "The Jungle" is the name of the immigrant camp located in Calais near the Channel Tunnel, where immigrants who are trying to get into Britain live in what is essentially a shanty-town. These immigrants have gotten more violent in their attempts to sneak into Britain, including throwing rocks or chunks of concrete at vehicles using the motor-way to cause accidents and stop traffic so it is easier to climb onto (or into) cargo vans and trucks headed to Britain. 

Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • Friday was a busy, hectic day and, consequently, I forget to post the link to Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump. And while you are there, check out Greg Ellifritz's article on "The Chapstick Trick" describing a simple trick for cleaning power residue and carbon off the lens of your weapon mounted flashlight.
  • "Stop Worrying About Whether Your Gun Is 'Viable' – Accepting Obsolescence in Your Arsenal"--The Firearms Blog. Short take: you don't need the fanciest, most powerful or newest firearm to get the job done, whether it be hunting or self-defense. The author notes: "Just because a newer weapon is – naturally – improved, doesn’t make the older weapon any less deadly than it was on the day it was invented."
These articles bring to mind some recent discussions between me and my oldest son concerning a first handgun. His desire in a first is a general, all-round handgun. While I noted that the Glock 19 is generally praised as the best "all-round" defensive pistol, being large enough to serve as a duty gun but small enough to be concealed, a true "all-round" gun, whether for hunting, plinking, or self-defense, is a .357 double-action revolver. Using downloaded .38 Special rounds or shot-shell rounds, it can be used for taking small game; on the other extreme, there are .357 Magnum hunting loads that can be used for deer and even black bear. In between is a wide variety of plinking and self-defense loads in .38 Special or .357 Magnum. It can shoot everything from cast lead wad- and semi-wad cutters, to heavy jacketed hollow-points. And if you are willing to step up from the L-frame (or comparable) to an N-frame, Smith & Wesson offers 8-round .357 revolvers that are truly designed for tactical use (see, e.g., this video review by Nutnfancy of the S&W TRR8/R8 revolvers).

Other Stuff:
  • "The Fifteenth September 11"--Richard Fernandez. Fernandez explores some of the reasons this 9/11 remembrance feels different. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Fernandez states, the Western world was ignorant and naive, in the closing days of nationalism and before the war on terror--the "Forever War" as the Council on Foreign Relations has referred to it. "We [now] know more, if nothing else. The failures and success in those 15 years have revealed power arrangements the public never knew existed."
Fernandez goes on:
     Events since September 11 showed that the globalized world is unwilling to resolve conflicts involving major financial and economic factors by responding with conventional military and diplomatic instruments. Even a challenge like September 11 would be ignored if it were bad for business. Any attempts to resort to these methods will be vetoed.

         The end of the Bush era marked the rejection of these former methods and with them signaled the apparent decline of national action, indeed of the nation state.  In its place would stand the transnational institutions. In that sense Bush was the "last president" in the old mold, just as Obama was to be the first of the new, one of a different type; a perfect representative of the successor order, a child of the world with no particular loyalties except to some vague arc of history.

           The Obama era was an attempt to supersede the old methods with a system where only negotiations between the power elites were permissible to resolve problems. That was the theory at least. Unfortunately this method too is failing. It has failed to secure the future of the EU. It has failed to secure the Middle East, even the safety and existence of Saudi Arabia. It threatens to fail catastrophically in Asia. It has failed everywhere.  It did not restore the anticipated stability.  All  it gave us was the Forever War.

             Now, as the Obama era ends, it is apparent that the exhausted system is wholly out of ideas. It is an impotent failure which can prevent neither another future September 11,2001 nor indeed a future September 1, 1939. The press denies this, but the public has learned about the press.  The last 15 years have not been wholly without result.

               The publics of the world are now subconsciously aware that peril is near to them and are reacting by attempting to partially dismantle the globalized world as manifested by the Brexit and Trumpism. They are doing this because the ordinary person realizes far more astutely than the purblind political class that the current arrangements are much more fragile than described and are retreating to older forms in an attempt to survive.  They know, even if their rulers do not, that the storm is not over; far from it.  They are battening down the hatches against the gale which must come.
          As they say, read the whole thing.
          Prince said the Obama administration “missed the mark” when former Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki left his post and “looted the central bank of Iraq, taking with him almost $42 billion.” He called it “probably one of the largest single criminal raids in a day, that the cash in the central bank of Iraq was lifted and shifted to Tehran, as Nouri al-Maliki departed office.” [Underline added].
          I'm sure that the Iranian regime got a large cut of that cash. Either Iran has been playing Obama for a fool, or Obama has been playing us.
          • Related: "Hybrid Warfare"--Richard Fernandez. The reason Hillary's emails matter, writes Fernandez, is because "Putin's 'hybrid war' just is another name for corruption in international politics. 'In this context, war is a political instrument ... of making the other side do what you want it to do.' The main tools of hybrid warfare are bribery, blackmail and disinformation." And the only way to stop this form of warfare is to punish, not exalt, traitors.
          • "The Disturbing Signs Of Global Conflict Continue To Gather Pace"--Zero Hedge. Conflicts in the Middle-East that threaten to drag in the great powers; corruption at the highest levels of government and the financial systems that risk another financial and economic catastrophe. These are the subjects that the author believes could plunge the world into a global conflict.
          • Related: "China, Russia begin joint exercises in South China Sea"--CNN. From the news report: "The eight-day exercises will highlight marine corps units in 'live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations, and island defense and offense exercises,' Chinese navy spokesperson Liang Yang said in a report from China's official Xinhua News Agency." (Underline added).
          • "The World Has a Sex Problem. It's Hurting Growth"--Bloomberg View. Although the author casts this as a problem that the third world has too high of birth rates and too little in the way of rights for women, she inadvertently admits that from the point of view of the West, the real problem is globalism. The author writes:
            ... The work of the male inventors of the Victorian age was key to this growth, but it wasn't the only factor. There was something Malthus didn't bet on: the empowerment of women.

                   As women went to work, became economically independent and escaped early marriage, families got smaller. These smaller families boosted economic growth in numerous ways, including by preventing downward pressure on the average wage. Not only did a higher wage help raise the standard of living of the average family, it also provided firms with an incentive to mechanize, pushing forward industrialization. Plus, smaller families could better afford to educate their children and to save. Malthus became history. That is, until now.

                     With the onset of globalization, the West's comfortable high-growth, high-wage economic model – one based upon relative freedom for women – has come face-to-face with a very different kind of equilibrium in other parts of the world. As trade barriers have fallen, Western workers have had to compete with an army of low-wage unskilled workers from elsewhere, an outcome of the high fertility rates and low standards of living that tend to exist in countries where women are second-class citizens. [Underline added]
                • Remember how I (and others) have written about Progressives backing immigration in order to replace the voting population with one more of their liking? Well: "Being white, and a minority, in Georgia"--Boston Globe. The article is about the sudden and dramatic shift of Norcross, Ga., from a mostly white suburb of Atlanta to one whose population is dominated by Hispanics, where the remaining white residents feel isolated and uncertain. The author of the piece observes: 
                This kind of population change, if sustained throughout the Atlanta area, will vastly improve the odds of Democrats running for office in Georgia. Already it’s the reason why Hillary Clinton is roughly even with Trump in the polls here, a phenomenon that prompted her campaign to spend valuable resources running TV ads in a deep red state that has gone Democrat in a presidential election just once in the last 3½ decades.
                • "Hezbollah’s horror weapon and its remedy"--David P. Goldman. The premise to this piece is that "radical Islam intend[s] to horrify the West—not only by committing atrocities against Western civilians, but by causing massive civilian casualties among Muslims." Part and parcel of this is the frequent use of human shields by Muslim armies intended to create an inordinate number of collateral casualties. War is hell, as they say, and so this should not be an issue, but in the secure, peaceful West, people have forgotten this, so the Muslim terrorists and tyrants know they can manipulate us by showing pictures of wounded or dead children, even if the photos are staged or faked. Goldman notes that the next Israeli/Hezbollah conflict should soon be upon us, and suggests that one way to "inoculate" the West against the Muslim tactic is for Israel to publicly announce before hand the expected civilian casualty figures (perhaps doubling them for better effect). Thus, the Lebanese have fair warning of what their support of Hezbollah will be, and, if Israel can win the campaign with fewer collateral casualties, it would make Israel look better to the Western public. 
                While an interesting idea, it will fail. The U.S. has often used leaflets and radio to warn civilian populations about impending bombardments, including the atomic bomb attacks on Japan, to no avail. And the Progressive movement is so strongly in the anti-Israel camp that nothing can be done to influence it otherwise. Finally, providing the numbers before hand will only encourage the terrorists and tyrants to create a greater carnage in order to prove Israel's estimates wrong.
                • The F35 Is Not Intended To Provide Close-Air Support: "What’s Wrong With This Picture: F-35 vs. F-15 20mm Capacity"--The Truth About Guns. The F-15 can carry nearly 1,000 rounds of 20 mm ammunition. The F-35 will only hold 220 rounds. While commentators believe that cannon are obsolete in air-to-air combat (this attitude existed prior to Vietnam, and was one of the reasons the F-4 was unarmed; it is also suspect given Russia's advancements in electronic warfare), they certainly aren't obsolete in other roles. To me, this merely underscores the fact that the F35 was never intended to serve in the close air support role.
                • "Study: Full moon can trigger big earthquakes"--USA Today. From the article:
                  High tides, which typically occur twice a day, are caused when ocean water is moved by the gravitational pull of the moon. But twice a month, during a full or new moon, tides are especially high because the moon, earth and sun all line up together. (These twice-monthly tides are known as "spring" tides.)
                    Big quakes can occur then this additional weight of tidal water strains geological faults, according to the study. Though this theory is not new, this is the first study to display a firm, statistical link.
                      “The probability of a tiny rock failure expanding to a gigantic rupture increases with increasing tidal stress levels,” the study said.

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