Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

Source: "When the fun stops: Eerie images show New Orleans theme park that was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina and has stood untouched for 11 years"--Daily Mail.
Self-Defense/Firearms/Prepping:
  • "6 Reasons the AK-47 Is the Most Reliable Rifle in the World: A Guide to Kalashnikov’s Magic for Aspiring Gun Designers" (Part 1 and Part 2)--Nathaniel F. at The Firearms Blog. A discussion of some of the finer points of the AK design that made it reliable, including what was borrowed from the Garand and what was improved upon. This merely underlines the fact that the AK was not a copy of anything, and particularly not a copy of anything that the Germans had done.
  • Dealing with stalkers: "Self-Defense Tip: Dealing with Your Worst Security Nightmare"--The Truth About Guns. Although obtaining a protective order from a Court is pretty much useless, it is helpful for preparing a case of self-defense if it should come to that. But, "[a]t the same time, plan for an attack," cautions the author. He goes on:
    Remember: it’s not random. It’s personal. They’re stalking you. Watching, waiting, planning. So think like they do. How, when and where would you attack you? As I’ve said before, transitions — when you’re entering or exiting a building or vehicle — are your most dangerous time.

        Change your patterns. Keep your head on a swivel. Layer-up your security with an alarm, a dog, a safe room, etc. Home carry. Extend your safety concerns to family members and significant others. If you can, show them a picture of your stalker and tell them to call the police if he or she ever approaches.

            It’s no wonder people upend their entire lives to avoid a stalker. Victims hide. They move. Some even change their name. Yes, but…the gentleman above followed his victim from Georgia. Disrupting your life to deal (or not) with a stalker is difficult, expensive, and traumatic. And there’s no guarantee it’ll work.
            In the news story the author recounts, however, the victim was attacked as part of a home invasion, which was only terminated by use of a defensive weapon. So, if you are being stalked, obtain a concealed carry license and firearm, if possible, and take some classes in self-defense. And remember, men are not immune to stalking: anywhere between 6 and 25% of stalkers are women, and the number of woman stalkers is increasing.
            The Tactical Fantasy Band Camp Choir Section suggestions to combat active shooters have been down right laughable to include home made pistol holsters to the notion that people are going to really carry their NPAP or SBR with them in a bag 24/7. And they will have it with them at exactly the right time, skin it out, and smoke check the guy with 2 well placed shots to the brain box. Or my personal favorite, Hondo Rolling into the nearest riot with a bayonet mounted Pump gun for anti-BLM Protest Ops.
              Let’s just be realistic for one freaking second. It’s great to armchair commando every shooting you see on the news, but the odds of having a long gun on you day to day and stopping an active shooter event is slim to none. I’d submit most of the people offering these suggestions, probably don’t even have the consistency to #carryeverywhere as it is.
                The most relevant thing in the tactical arena to most people’s daily life is a discreetly carried pistol along with the mindset and situational awareness to employ it. The FAL locked in your safe will not help you at the stick up at the local Stop ‘N Rob in the bad neighborhood you found yourself in to ask for directions. We can point to cases across the country every single day of interpersonal violence. But I’m drawing a blank on examples of Red Dawn in CONUS. 
                All I can say is that I was roundly criticized for making the same point a few years back
                  Those migrating to the Redoubt are some of the most motivated members of what is known as the prepper movement, which advocates readiness and self-reliance in man-made or natural disasters that could create instability for years.

                      They are anxious about recent terrorist attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, California; pandemics such as Ebola in West Africa; potential nuclear attacks from countries such as North Korea and Iran; and the growing political, economic, and racial polarization in the U.S. that has deepened during the 2016 presidential race.

                        * * *

                          Many drawn to the Redoubt are former police, firefighters, and military. Most said they would vote for Donald Trump as the "lesser of two evils," and that Hillary Clinton would make an already bloated and ineffective government even bigger.
                          I'm not sure what the point of the article is except to paint preppers as paranoids and then associate them with conservatives (i.e., "look, the conservatives are crazy!"). 
                          One point, I will make (again) is that the American Redoubt concept is being oversold. Two-thirds of the land in Idaho is federal land. The state owns another substantial chunk of the land. The result is that property prices, especially in the larger markets in the state, is priced much higher than the overall population density would suggest. But so too is the population density actually higher than a strict comparison of land area versus population would suggest--again, because the population is squeezed into relatively small islands of private land among the national forest and BLM lands that comprise the majority of the state.

                          Other Stuff:
                          • "World's population is set to reach eight billion by 2024 and nine billion by 2038 as Africa and the Middle East sees huge increases"--Daily Mail. According to the article, Africa's population is expected to rise from 1.1 billion to 4.4 billion by 2100. I will note that the article is blowing the matter out of proportion. The Middle-East's population is already on the verge of falling due to low birth rates. Turkey and Iran, in particular, will soon be facing the same population dynamic as Western Europe. Africa will lag behind in population control, but it too will see its population begin to level off after the mid-century mark. The problem facing us is what happens until then. The influx of "refugees" to Europe and North America at the present time will be dwarfed by what is coming. Europe, unless it learns to machine gun boats of refugees instead of assisting them, will go the way of South Africa within a generation. North America is somewhat better protected from massive waves of boat people, but they will nevertheless come, whether by plane, ships, or via Central America. 
                          • "James Comey - As seen through the Persuasion Filter"--Scott Adams. Adams presents a different explanation of Comey's actions  vis-à-vis the investigations into Hillary's emails:
                            My movie says Comey had good evidence against Clinton during the initial investigation but made a judgement call to leave the decision to the American public. For reasons of conscience, and acting as a patriot, Comey explained in clear language to the public exactly what evidence the FBI found against Clinton. The evidence looked damning because it was. Under this interpretation, Comey took a bullet to his reputation for the sake of the Republic. He didn’t want the FBI to steal this important decision away from the people, but at the same time he couldn’t let the people decide blind. So he divulged the evidence and stepped away, like the action hero who doesn’t look back at the explosion.
                              In the second act of this movie, Comey learns that the Weiner laptop had emails that were so damning it would be a crime against the public to allow them to vote without first seeing a big red flag. And a flag was the best he could do because it was too early in the investigation to leak out bits and pieces of the evidence. That would violate Clinton’s rights.
                                But Comey couldn’t easily raise a red flag to warn the public because it was against FBI policy to announce a criminal investigation about a candidate so close to election day. So Comey had a choice of either taking another bullet for the Republic or screwing the very country that he has spent his career protecting.
                                  In this movie, Comey did the hero thing. He alerted the public to the fact that the FBI found DISQUALIFYING information on the Weiner laptop. And he took a second bullet to his reputation.
                                    On the day of Montenegro’s Parliamentary elections on October 16, a remarkable story emerged: Montenegrin security services had arrested some 20 Serbian nationals who were alleged to be preparing an attack on various state institutions that very evening, as the results were rolling in. Among those arrested was a retired Serbian general who was also the leader of a right-wing nationalist movement based in Novi Sad, almost 500 kilometers away in Serbia’s Vojvodina region.

                                      * * *

                                        Two days later, Montenegro’s special prosecutor Milivoje Katnic, insisted that he would be happy to share the evidence that his investigators had gathered, and that an “unprecedented massacre” had been prevented by the arrests. More details of the plot were revealed: The plan was for several individuals to enter the parliamentary building in the capital, Podgorica, wearing uniforms of Montenegro’s elite security services, and subdue the guards inside. They would then open fire on unarmed opposition supporters gathering outside the parliament awaiting election results. Finally, they would kidnap the Prime Minister, and either declare the election invalid, or somehow hope to throw it to the opposition.

                                          * * *

                                            But the story was far from over.
                                              This past Monday, the Serbian PM held another presser. Looking shaken, Vucic confirmed that there had in fact been a plot to assassinate Djukanovic. Another set of special forces uniforms and €120,000 in cash had been found in Serbia, Vucic said, and several other Serbian nationals had been arrested. He added that no politicians, in either Serbia or Montenegro, were involved in the planning, but rather he vaguely gestured at “foreign services, both from the West and from the East”, and said that those that have been arrested would be dealt with.
                                                On Thursday, another bombshell landed: the daily newspaper Danas, citing highly-placed sources in the government, reported that Serbia had secretly expelled several Russian citizens in connection with the Montenegro plot. Furthermore, the paper reported that the Serbs arrested earlier had in their possession several devices allowing for encrypted communication, as well as some unspecified sophisticated technology used to continuously track the location of Djukanovic. Some of the arrested Serbs had reportedly fought on the Russian side in Donbas, in Ukraine.
                                                  It just so happened that Nikolai Patrushev, the former head of the FSB and the current head of Russia’s Security Council, had just arrived in Belgrade. Could his visit be linked to the expulsions of what appeared to be Russian agents? An almost-forgotten story about electoral intrigue in a small Balkan country of 600,000 all of a sudden involved its larger neighbor, and even implicated Russia in a plot with potentially global ramifications.
                                                    One-sixth of all men of prime working age in America – men aged between 25 and 54 – are not just unemployed, but have stopped looking for jobs altogether. This is a time bomb with far-reaching economic, social, and political consequences.

                                                      Millions of men are becoming dependent, infantilized and sick.

                                                        ... Never before in American history have so many men done absolutely nothing. Millions are becoming dependent, infantilized and sick. According to a recent paper by Princeton economist Alan Krueger nearly half of the men who are not looking for work are on painkillers and many are disabled. They "experience notably low levels of emotional well-being throughout their days and ... they derive relatively little meaning from their daily activities," Krueger found. And there are 7 million of them. 

                                                          Consider these staggering statistics. Prime-age American men in employment spend 2,200 hours a year in work and work-related activity; employed women spend 1,850 hours; unemployed men spend 400 hours, mostly looking for jobs. But 7 million American men between 25 and 54 spent 43 hours a year working. That averages out to about 7 minutes a day.

                                                            And what did they do with their time? Learn French? Paint watercolors? Help at a local nursing home? Vacuuming? None of the above. They spent less time in volunteer and religious activities than the other three groups. They don’t read newspapers much. They don’t vote much. A third of them have used illegal drugs in the past year.

                                                              Basically, they did nothing much. ...

                                                               ... How do they support themselves? Eberstadt is scathing: “The short answer is, apparently they don’t.” They are supported by parents, wives, girlfriends and government handouts. “Whatever the reasons or the motivations,” he says, “they are essentially living off the rest of us. Social cohesion is a direct casualty of this development, and social trust could scarcely help but be degraded by it as well.”
                                                              Known as the Great Hurricane of 1780, the storm is the deadliest Atlantic cyclone on record. Although sources vary, it is believed that between 20,000 and 22,000 people were killed as the Caribbean was battered for almost a week.
                                                                Modern estimates claim that at its worst the hurricane’s winds may have exceeded 321.9 km/h (200 mph). ...
                                                                  The Antilles Islands of Barbados, Martinique, and Sint Eustatius felt the brunt of the ferocious hurricane. Barbados, the western most Antilles island, was struck on 9th October 1780. The storm obliterated almost all of the houses on the island as well as uprooting trees and hurling them across the sky.
                                                                    From Barbados, the storm moved northwesterly through the Antilles, continuing its path of destruction. In some places whole towns were wiped off the map, while accounts describe even the sturdiest stone buildings and forts being flattened in the hurricane’s wake. On Martinique, 9,000 lives were lost; on Sint Eustatius, an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people were killed.
                                                                      At the time the Caribbean was dominated by the presence of European colonists and this was particularly the case in 1780, as the American War of Independence raged to the north. Both Britain and France had warships stationed in the region, ready for deployment in the conflict. The hurricane wrought heavy losses on both navies, over forty French ships were sunk, taking around 4,000 lives with them. Meanwhile, a British fleet off St. Lucia was also devastated, permanently reducing the British naval presence in the region. Several days later, as the hurricane continued its journey northward, it crossed into major shipping lanes, damaging or sinking vessels that were making the journey back to Europe.
                                                                      Combined with two other devastating storms the same year, 1780 marked the end of an era of prosperity in the Caribbean.  

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