Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Music video: "Father - Son" by Peter Gabriel 


Firearms/Prepping:
  • "Sheriff's Tips: Managing the Pistol-Mounted Light"--American Rifleman. The author discusses the pluses and minuses of using a pistol-mounted light. The downsides include that it makes the weapon heavier and bulkier, which may not be an issue for a "bed-side" handgun intended for home defense, but will be a significant issue for a concealed carry weapon. Also, even if you have a weapon mounted light, you will want a second flashlight so you aren't pointing your loaded weapon at things/persons you simply want to illuminate. The upside is that you can maneuver your weapon and light as one. Not only will this assist with quickly aiming, but (although not mentioned by the author), you may need to keep a perpetrator both covered with a handgun and illuminated by the light while doing something else with your other hand (e.g., calling 911).
  • "Gun Review: Interarms Walther PPK/S"--The Truth About Guns.  A review of the classic Bond gun (although, in the books, Bond actually used a 7.65 caliber PPK after being forced to ditch his .22 Beretta).
  • Over the past week, The Firearm Blog has published some short articles and press releases concerning new offerings from the Kalashnikov Concern. They are:
  • "BREAKING: Kalashnikov Concern Releases New Micro Assault Rifle to Replace AKS-74U – 21st Century Krinkov!" -- Interestingly, per the author, this "micro-assault rifle" is based on a 1970s-era design by Yevgeny Dragunov, rather than merely being an updated version of the AKS-74U. The upper receiver is hinged at the front so it (including the barrel and gas system) all tilt up together similar to the AR system, allowing easier access for cleaning while allowing the scope rails to stay aligned with the barrel. It makes use of polymer and has a folding stock which, to me at least, is reminiscent of the stock on the Bushmaster ACR.
  • "TFB Exclusive: Kalashnikov Group at Army-2016 Expo with Saiga MK 107" -- This rifle is chambered in 5.56 and apparently is an attempt to produce a rifle that would appeal to the practical rifle shooting crowd. It appears to use a top cover/rail system similar to the AK-12, but with a longer handguard preferred by competitive shooters. From the photos, it looks like the handguard is set up to accept M-LOK accessories. Interestingly, however, it uses a mag-well, unlike other Kalashnikov based designs. 
The common notion is that beans,bullets and bandaids will get you through an event but what if SHTF isn’t a sudden huge, game-changing,drastic event? What if the reality is that SHTF starts with a minor event that barely makes the news and eventually develops into something that lingers over a decade or more?
... and offers some ideas. Read the whole thing.

Zika News:
    The Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) said today there are six cases of Zika in the country, and all patients are hospitalized for monitoring. Two of the new cases are in sisters, one of whom is pregnant.
      The MOH said the sisters are infected with two different strains of Zika that are circulating in the country, according to a translated press release posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease blog. Genomic sequencing has identified one strain as a local strain (Micronesia), and another strain (Polynesian) that officials say was likely imported from Singapore and more closely resembles the strain that's behind the current outbreak in the Americas.
      • "Tempers flare as public protests spraying for Zika mosquitoes in South Beach"--Miami Herald. "Hundreds of residents packed City Hall for about three hours of public comment and testimony from medical professionals and government officials that ended with the City Commission passing two resolutions urging Miami-Dade County and Tallahassee to investigate mosquito control methods that don’t include naled — a controversial neurotoxin that has been sprayed over the Beach twice now."

      The Decline of the American Empire:
      • "Beijing's New Silk Road to Europe"--Der Spiegel. A discussion of the obstacles facing China's efforts to build new rail lines across Asia to Europe.
      • "China's High Seas Ambitions"--Der Spiegel.  China also wants to create a maritime "Silk Road" by purchasing or building key ports and freight terminals. However, this means greater involvement in the politics of South East Asia and the Middle-East, and the threat of confrontations with India.
      The significance of China's ambitions is that it is intended to undermine United States' power. In his book, The Next 100 Years, George Friedman explained that the United States has a geographical advantage that will help it retain power--the fact that it lies between Europe and Asia, so that it not only can trade easily with both continents, but that it also sits astride a natural trade route between Eastern Asia and Western Europe. China will never be able to erase that advantage completely, but it can reduce that advantage if it can streamline Eurasian trade routes between China and Europe. It is betting that it can through a new trans-Asiatic railway (and pipelines), and access to ports in Pakistan and South East Asia. It may be worthwhile to consider the chaos caused by the Obama Administration in Iraq and Syria in light of the U.S.'s interest in blocking a Chinese controlled trans-Asiatic trade route.
      Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they're used to seeing. They last longer. They're more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.
        The attacks are also configured in such a way as to see what the company's total defenses are. There are many different ways to launch a DDoS attack. The more attack vectors you employ simultaneously, the more different defenses the defender has to counter with. These companies are seeing more attacks using three or four different vectors. This means that the companies have to use everything they've got to defend themselves. They can't hold anything back. They're forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker.

        Other Stuff:
        • Some words of wisdom: "Why drinking just ONE glass of wine a day could now be bad for you"--Daily Mail. According to the boffins cited in the article, consumption of alcohol can enlarge the left atrium leading to atrial fibrillation and increasing the chances of suffering a stroke. According to the researchers, even consumption of a single glass of wine per day is enough to enlarge the atrium. 
        • Big Brother loves you. "Long-Secret Stingray Manuals Detail How Police Can Spy On Phones"--The Intercept. The reporter claims: "The Intercept has obtained several Harris instruction manuals spanning roughly 200 pages and meticulously detailing how to create a cellular surveillance dragnet." According to the article, "the documents show the 'Stingray II' device can impersonate four cellular communications towers at once, monitoring up to four cellular provider networks simultaneously, and with an add-on can operate on so-called 2G, 3G, and 4G networks simultaneously." Links to the manuals are in the article.
        • The price of multiculturalism in Israel: "Israel Begins Constructing $530 Million Underground Barrier to Block Hamas Terror Tunnels"--The Tower.
        • "Venezuela Hits Full K-selection"--Anonymous Conservative. AC notes an article about a child having starved to death in Venezuela, but with no charges being leveled against the mother who had run out of food, and simply held and rocked the infant until it stopped crying (because it had died). AC goes on to observe:
        Notice, this was a single mom. Single moms will rapidly see their genes culled from the environment in K-selection, not only due to physical inability to protect themselves and their children, but because one parent cannot get as much food as two. Notice also, her rearing drive was so weak she didn’t go out and look for something, anything for her child to eat, like a bird, or a fish, or something else. She just covered her baby up until it stopped making noise. Would Sarah Palin have done that? Here is actual K-selection in the year 2016, and here is the culling of the genes of men and women who follow low-investment single parent rearing. Here it is happening right before our eyes.
          Now imagine a world that imbues every woman with an uncontrollable desire to tie down a man, because only women programmed like that see their children survive. Imagine men holding the keys to reproduction, because women want them. Imagine women wanting the men who are the most successful. Imagine that a rejection by men being profoundly frustrating for the woman. That is what you see in K, and it is the polar opposite of what you see in r-selection, where women are programmed to joke about the uselessness of men.
            Ideology is reproductive strategy. Liberalism is the r-strategy, and conservatism is the K-strategy, and it is all conjured by the presence or absence of resource availability.
            • Related: "A Sexual Market Oddity"--Chateau Heartiste. Parental investment not only influences behavior under extreme hardship, but the everyday behavior and dress of men and women. From the article:
              Sexual markets are vulnerable to changes in the incentives for paternal investment. (Paternal investment itself is a crucial aspect of the sexual market.) As women become more economically self-sufficient and sexually liberated their mate acquisition algorithm begins to emphasize the targeting of men for sexual and romantic validation and to undervalue men who would make dependable resource providers.
                Likewise, men who are less interested in commitment and family formation would seek out women primarily for sexual thrills rather than their maternal instinct or faithfulness.
                  If this is the operative sexual market, then tattoos and single mommery would not only have little effect on women’s SMVs [sexual market value--short hand for their attractiveness to a potential mate], they may very well raise their SMVs by advertising a greater willingness to go all the way right away, (and to not make much of a fuss when she’s dumped post-chaste).
                    Now ask yourself, where do you see women with lots of garish tattoos and bastard spawn? The lower classes. And where do you see less dependable fly-by-night men? The lower classes. In the upper classes single mommery is still rare and tattoos, though more common than they once were, are tastefully inconspicuous. Obesity, too, is rarer among upper class women.
                      So it’s in the lower classes (now gradually expanding into the working and middle classes) where the sexual market has responded to the changing incentives and women have resorted to more “slut signaling” accoutrements like tattoos, skimpy trashy clothes, and yes even bastard spawn (a single mom is a slutty mom).
                        In the upper classes, paternal investment is still important, so we see less of this among the women who have kept to the traditional SMV norms of their sex: slenderness, clear skin, and childlessness.

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