Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

A former Soviet-era factory in Tkvarcheli (Source).

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:

A Good Samaritan saved a sheriff deputy's life on Monday, when an enraged man started beating the police officer during a traffic stop. 
    ... The officer, ... Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, was working on the freeway when he tried to pull over a man driving a blue Toyota.  
      Instead, the man took off going more than 100 miles per hour. Bardes, a 12 year veteran of the force, gave chase before the two finally came to a stop on the off-ramp. 
        That's when the driver got out of his car and got into a confrontation with Bardes, beating the officer on the side of the road. Bardes has allegedly told supervisors that the man was armed. 
          Another man was driving past the scene and witnessed the brutal beating. So he got out of the car and told the man repeatedly to get off of the officer.
            ... [T]he suspect 'refused to get off the officer and the officer kept  yelling, "shoot him, shoot him, shoot him,"' to the other man. 
              The other man, who had a concealed weapons license, complied and shot the suspect three times. 
              • "Price of .22 Ammunition to Drop?"--Dean Weingarten at The Truth About Guns. The author notes that although the price of .22 has increased due to structural reasons (the larger number of new shooters combined with the large number of .22 caliber weapons--100 million in the U.S. according to the author), it has also been inflated because of panic buying and stockpiling. The latter should ease with a Trump presidency. Thus, the author predicts "bulk .22 ammunition to be available for four cents a round by October of 2017."
              • "Relief, for your eye-relief"--The Firearms Blog. An article discussing what is eye-relief on a telescopic sight. Basically, if there is a shadow around the edges of the reticle, your eye is too far away from the scope; if you can't see the whole reticle, your eye is too close. However, you can move your scope back and forth to try to get the scope positioned where you will consistently be able to see the whole reticle. Cheek risers will also help with obtaining a correct, consistent cheek weld. The article also links to a video put out by Leupold discussing eye-relief.
              • "Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Remington R51"--Survival Blog. Another favorable review of the pistol. Cascio writes:
              Remington says the grip angle is 20 dgrees [sic], and it feels like it. I don’t recall any gun that points more naturally than the R51 does for me. The gun feels absolutely fantastic in the hand. Everyone who handled it said the same thing. Great job, Remington!
               This was a major selling point for me, as well.
              • "Make Your Own Primers With Prime-All"--Loadout Room. Sharpshooter, the company that brought out kits for reloading .22 rimfire cases, has a new product for those interested in making their own percussion caps or for hand loading rimfire ammunition.
              • "Compact Defensive Rifles For The Survivalist"--Mason Dixon Tactical. Recognizing that the survivalist is not a soldier, and will be involved in many duties or tasks unrelated for combat, the author argues that the survivalist would benefit from having a compact rifle that is more easily carried or stowed than a full size rifle. By compact, the author seems to be envisioning either a bull-pup weapon or a relatively short-barreled rifle (i.e., 16 inches or less) with a folding (not collapsing) stock. He concludes:
              Be realistic in what you think you will be doing during a SHTF situation. If you think you will be running from firefight to firefight, like your Modern Warfare 3 video game, you need to read some of Selco, or FerFal’s stuff. Be realistic in the rifle you select as your “Go to gun”. A compact rifle for a Survivalist beats the Hell out of a typical full size Infantry long gun for all but a few limited uses. Being practical, being realistic, and being ready is what it’s all about. Just like most people won’t carry their handgun if it is too large or uncomfortable for them to conceal, so to, the compact rifle will be carried more in a SHTF situation while doing the chores if it’s not a pain in the ass to transport.
              • "Archery As A Necessary Part Of Prepping: Reviewing Two Inexpensive Bows For The WolfPack"--The Survivalist Blog. The author reviews a couple recurve bows: a take down bow and a horsebow. Generally, a simple bow (a long bow or recurve of some type) are much less expensive than a mechanical compound bow or a crossbow of any type, but the time investment to become reasonably good can be very great--especially if you want to hit a target further than 20 or 30 yards away. Consequently, I see bows as something similar to blackpowder firearms: great if modern firearms are not an option; but otherwise something that a survivalist should avoid unless it is as a hobby because the time and money would be better spent on other pursuits.
              • "Romantic Martial Arts"--Schaffer's Self Defense Corner. By "romantic," the author is talking about a situation where two fighters square off against each other, with both having the opportunity to shift into a fighting stance.
                The point I'm trying to make is that the notion of putting your hands up and getting in a fighting stance is really just romantic B.S. Sure if you're just messing around or in a competition you have the luxury of "getting ready" but when someone really wants to hurt you it’s not a luxury you will have. If someone wants to punch you they won't put their hands up first so you can see it coming, they will walk up to you and sucker punch you. A common tactic that I've seen used time and time again, and is also commonly used to mug people on the street, is for the "bad guy" to pretend to ignore someone and walk up to them like they're going to walk right past them, and then when they get right next to them they suddenly turn and punch, grab, shoot or stab them. Another popular tactic is to maneuver behind them and punch them or jab an object in their kidney which can completely incapacitate them.
                  The threat that people face isn't some big guy in a bar, its violent crime which is aggravated assault, forcible rape, robbery, and murder. It would be great if someone that wanted to rob or rape you would walk up to you and announce their intentions so you both could get into fighting stances and use your best sparring techniques, but statistically the encounter will actually start with you being blindsided and punched, stabbed, bludgeoned, or shot. Statistically, when you actually become aware that its time to start defending yourself its far more likely that you'll be laying on the ground and bleeding with one or more people standing over you, then dancing around in your sparring stance.
                    Luckily there is a silver lining and that lining is that since the person that actually wants to hurt you isn't going to bother with putting their hands up, getting in a sparring stance, dancing around with fancy footwork, worrying about kicking and punching ranges, setting up combinations, and pretty much everything else that is a part of sparring, you don't have to worry about that either. When a real criminal attacks you they won't be in a fancy stance or using fancy footwork, if they attack you they will just walk right up to you and attack leaving themselves wide open and completely vulnerable the entire time. If they throw a right hook, which is how most assaults and fights start, they’ll just walk right up to you and throw it which means that every single target on their body will be exposed and unprotected.
                      Read the whole thing.


                        Other Stuff:
                          An epidemic of young females being butchered in Cuidad Ju├írez, which lies just across the border in Mexico, has seen a body count of what authorities estimate is up to 400 girls. Border patrol knows that after the killers dump the bodies, they make their way into the U.S. After all, it wouldn’t make sense for them to bring the girls with them across the border before killing them, because it would mean having to deal with them on their hike, while also leaving a corpse for U.S. authorities to find.
                            However, this does not mean these murderers are shedding their violent tendencies at the border. They’re just as likely to commit atrocities within America as they are in the places they come from.
                            "Our data indicate that 25 percent of Ebola virus infections may have been minimally symptomatic," an international team of researchers writes in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
                            • "Trump's Truthful Heresy On Globalization And Free Trade"--Forbes. I've pointed out that the concept of "free trade" is flawed because under the current application and use of the term, the very factors that provide a comparative advantage to one country are being sold off and exported abroad. The author of this piece attacks the theory on another ground: that one type of capital investment can be changed into another type of capital. The author writes:
                              Ricardo’s model assumed that you could produce wine or cloth with only labour, but of course you can’t. You need machines as well, and machinery is specific to each industry. The essential machinery for making wine can’t be used to make anything else, if its use becomes unprofitable. It is either scrapped, sold at a large loss, or shipped overseas. Ditto a spinning jenny, or a steel mill: if making steel becomes unprofitable, the capital involved in its production is effectively destroyed.
                                Ricardo ignored this little detail in his example, pretending that goods could be produced using labour alone. Later economists have made Ricardo’s example more complicated, and included the need to have machines as well as labour to make output. But they have been even worse than Ricardo, because they pretend that you can shift a machine (they call it “capital”) from one industry to another without loss.
                                  That is simply nonsense.
                                    The theory ignores the reality that, when foreign competition undercuts the profitability of a domestic industry, the capital in it can’t be “transformed” into an equal amount of capital in another industry. Sometimes it’s sold at a fire-sale price, often to overseas buyers. Most of the time, as ex-steel-mill workers throughout the Midwest know, it simply turns to rust.
                                      Ricardo’s little shell and pea trick is therefore like most conventional economic theory: it’s neat, plausible, and wrong. It’s the product of armchair thinking by people who never put foot in the factories that their economic theories turned into rust buckets.
                                        So the gains from trade for everyone and for every country that could supposedly be shared more fairly simply aren’t there in the first place. Specialization is a con job—but one that the Washington elite fell for (to its benefit, of course). Rather than making a country better off, specialization makes it worse off, with scrapped machinery that’s no longer useful for anything, and with less ways to invent new industries from which growth actually comes.
                                          Excellent real-world research by Harvard University’s “Atlas of Economic Complexity” has found diversity, not specialization, is the “magic ingredient” that actually generates growth. Successful countries have a diversified set of industries, and they grow more rapidly than more specialized economies because they can invent new industries by melding existing ones.
                                            The author also explains why the theory of free trade remains popular among the elite:
                                              Of course, specialization, and the trade it necessitates, generates plenty of financial services and insurance fees, and plenty of international junkets to negotiate trade deals. The wealthy elite that hangs out in the Washington party benefits, but the country as a whole loses, especially its working class.
                                                Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence.
                                                  International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software. But the scope is unclear. The Chinese company that wrote the software, Shanghai Adups Technology Company, says its code runs on more than 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices. One American phone manufacturer, BLU Products, said that 120,000 of its phones had been affected and that it had updated the software to eliminate the feature.
                                                    Kryptowire, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability, said the Adups software transmitted the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server. The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users, said Tom Karygiannis, a vice president of Kryptowire, which is based in Fairfax, Va. “Even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t have known about it,” he said.
                                                      Security experts frequently discover vulnerabilities in consumer electronics, but this case is exceptional. It was not a bug. Rather, Adups intentionally designed the software to help a Chinese phone manufacturer monitor user behavior, according to a document that Adups provided to explain the problem to BLU executives. That version of the software was not intended for American phones, the company said.

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