Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"The lavish $2m Florida mansion built by a wealthy citrus farmer in the roaring twenties that can't find a buyer and now lies in ruin"--Daily Mail. More photos, including interior shots, and some history about the mansion at the link.

Self-Defense/Prepping/Firearms:
  • "Armed Robber Provides Several Opportunities to Stop Him"--Active Self Protection. Video with commentary at the link. The video is from the security camera in a jewelry store robbed by someone that could have been Obama's son. The robber makes several mistakes during the robbery, including setting his gun down on the counter in front of the clerk while stuffing loot into his pockets, that could have been used to the advantage of someone wanting to defend him or herself. In this case, however, the robber didn't expect any resistance, didn't have any resistance, and left without harming anyone.
  • "Turkish Military Ditching H&K G3 and AK-47 for Home Grown MPT-76"--The Truth About Guns. Because of Erdogan's crackdown after the failed coup, Austria cut off the sale of G-3s or parts. As a consequence, Turkey is switching over to a domestically produced AR-10 style rifle, using a piston rather direct impingement system--the MPT-76. Turkey was probably planning on transitioning at some point, anyway, and this merely hurried the process along. I can't tell from the photographs whether the MPT-76 can use the G-3 magazine; the photographs all show it using a polymer magazine.
  • "India Looking to Adopt a New 8,6mm Sniper Rifle"--The Firearms Blog. Although the request is not that specific, it is clear it is seeking a rifle in .338 (8.6) Lapua. It will be replacing their Russian SVD rifles (and, perhaps, some of those SVDs will find their way to the United States). In any event, the initial contract is for 5,000 rifles, and rights for India to manufacture further weapons. As the article notes, if India is looking to replace all its sniper and marksmen rifles, it will need a lot more than 5,000 rifles.
  • "Managing the Defensive Shotgun"--Sheriff Jim Wilson at Shooting Illustrated. Some tips and tricks on configuring and reloading a defensive shotgun. Wilson recommends against the pistol grip only shotguns, and even prefers a standard stock over a pistol grip gun with a collapsible stock (something I agree with as well, since the pistol grip is used for aiming, but shotguns are pointed). He also suggests having extra shells available in a shell holder of some sort on the receiver or stock, rather than on a bandolier-style sling.
  • "Busted: 10 Myths About Blood Trailing Deer"--Outdoor Life. The article is aimed specifically at bowhunters, but most of the points are applicable to those using a rifle for hunting. Contrary to lore, the author recommends that you immediately go to inspect the sight where you shot the deer to look at the type of blood trail (which will help you determine where you struck the deer). If the sign indicates a gut shot, the author recommends waiting several hours before tracking so you don't chase it out where it will bed down. Otherwise, the author recommends pursuing the deer immediately so that the deer's heart rate remains high and it bleeds out faster.  The author also has noticed that with increased numbers of predators (coyotes and bear), it is important to recover a carcass fairly quickly, or predators may take you kill. He indicates that wounded deer do not always head for water or only go downhill--they instead look for a place where they feel safe; generally where they have bedded down before. He also warns that a deer that drops immediately to the ground may be only stunned or suffering from nervous shock, and could jump up when you approach; in such cases, be prepared to make a second shot as you approach the animal.
  • "My day was going great until I was shot twice"--Da Tech Guy. The author recounts his experience and lessons learned from an active shooting drill in which he participated. He writes:
The first thing that jumped out at me was the difficulty realizing you were in an active shooter situation before it was too late. The shooter has ALL the advantages. Even though we used a cap gun that simulated the sound and smell of a 9mm pistol, the sound doesn’t always carry down a hallway. Plenty of people heard popping, but only a few realized it was a shooter.  By the time they realized it, the shooter was pointing a gun at them at close range.
He also notes that an unarmed attack on a shooter during the initial moments of an incident is unlikely to succeed, unless you can catch the active shooter reloading, because he can kill you in a fraction of a second. Anyway, read the whole thing.


Other Stuff:
     Yes, the country has been critically divided for two decades, I don’t know how we find treaty and consensus, while truth is so dishonored and mocked. 
         To Trump voters: You allowed your bigotry and anger at the system to be cynically exploited yet again, by regressive, wealthy demagogues. I have little sympathy for you. I for one will not be contorting myself to "give Trump a chance" or seek common ground with you.
    • Meanwhile, a disappointed liberal at The New Yorker consoles himself with the fact that "Trump May Have America, But the City Is Still Ours." Cities have long been the drivers of civilization (although most ancient metropolises would hardly merit being designated a town under current standards). And they certainly still have much going for them, such as museums and live art performances (yes, some art still exists). However, the background smell of urine throughout Manhattan is a sign or omen. The vitality and energy of the City is gone. The diversity that they extol is a myth. (Sure, blacks and whites intermingle in New York City, but if you watch, you will see that they do not interact). The City (and to the elite, there is really only one city in America) is so divorced from the culture that gave birth to it, it reminds one of a tree with a broken or rotting tap root, just waiting for that first violent windstorm to blow it over.
    • Trump has reportedly selected Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to head up the U.S. State Department. Glenn Reynolds, taking Scott Adams' position that the Secretary of State position will be symbolic of America's "brand" is left wondering whether this selection says that "the business of America is business." The Christian Science Monitor indicates that the Russians see Tillerson's pick as a sign of rapprochement. Some on the right don't see Tillerson as being a staunch conservative, particularly in the cultural war. However, there are reasons to think that Tillerson will be effective as Secretary of State. First, with Exxon having offices and operations all over the world, Tillerson will not only be knowledgeable about many different nations (especially the Middle East and Russia) and what is going on (I suspect that Exxon, in many ways, has better intelligence than the CIA or State Department). He is probably experienced in negotiating with foreign governments, and should have practical experience with international law. And it may very well be a branding to give the message that the U.S. will be a top player in international business and trade.  
    • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "John Grunsfeld has a plan that uses Red Dragon to return Mars rocks to Earth"--Ars Technica. And would leave what in effect would be a high-power communication satellite in orbit around Mars.

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