Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Eimear Quinn - "The Voice"

Prepping/Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • "Applying History to Modern Prepping: History has a lot to teach about survival"--All Outdoor. This short article pulls a handful of lessons from past climate change (the end of the Ice Age--or, more correctly, the beginning of the current interglacial), the Black Plague, and World War I. This is one of the reasons why I bring up the occasional history book. One that I particularly recommend is Savage Continent which describes the social upheaval and hardships in Europe as World War II slowly wound down.
  • "Considerations In Selecting AR-15 Ammunition"--Captain's Journal. A discussion of the trade off between muzzle velocity and bullet weight, particularly for penetrating body armor. The author notes, for instance:
Consider that AR500.com sells hard plates it calls Level III, and those plates are rated to stop M855 (steel core) but cannot stop M193.  They have to move up to what they call Level III+ to perform effectively against the M193 due to its higher muzzle velocity compared to the M855.  There’s nothing wrong with having a safe full of M193.
  •  "Weston Grain Mill Set-Up and Trial Run"--Security and Self-Reliance. The author tested the mill on three grains: rolled oats, rice, and red beans. All grains were run through multiple times, increasing the fineness each pass: that is, he did a course grind first, then progressively finer grinds. 
Although we did not have this particular model, my wife and I started out with a small hand-cranked grain mill, but later obtained a larger electric model. The primary issue with the small mills is that they do not process very much flour at a time. Our opinion was that the small mills work well for grinding the amount of flour you need for making a loaf or two of bread (i.e., what you might use for a single day), but not for making large quantities of flour to have on hand. Basically, the small grinders are good for grinding flour as you need it. The advantage, however, is that they are small, relatively quiet and do not need electricity. After we got the larger electric mill, our smaller hand-cranked model was relegated to a "back-up" role. But the smaller mill definitely has a place in your preparations, especially for where space and/or access to electric power is at a premium.
  • "Wound Ballistics Workshop"--Active Response Training. Some results of testing several different .223 and a couple of different handgun rounds shooting through clothing and windshield glass into ballistic gelatin.
  • "Prepper Use and Care of Batteries"--All Outdoors. The author relates that as hunting season ends, he goes through his equipment and removes batteries, keeping the good batteries for use next season and discarding the spent batteries. From his experience, he has discovered that sometime the partially used batteries will corrode or leak; particularly when stored in an air-tight container and/or using cheap batteries (think of the bulk batteries sold by Costco). He now uses paper bags or plastic containers with small holes punched in the lid.


Other Stuff:
... while temperatures in the Arctic are relatively high, high temperatures, while not the norm, are also not unusual. That’s because the kind of weather patterns that have caused the past two years of warmth have happened once or twice each decade at least since the 1950s, according to a recent paper that will appear in the influential journal Nature.
  • "Proof that a new ice age has already started is stronger than ever, and we couldn’t be less prepared"--Financial Post. Citing to a study published by the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg, the article indicates that “[t]he average temperature around the globe will fall by about 1.5 C when we enter the deep cooling phase of the Little Ice Age, expected in the year 2060.” Moreover, “[t]he cooling phase will last for about 45-65 years, for four to six 11-year cycles of the Sun, after which on the Earth, at the beginning of the 22nd century, will begin the new, next quasi-bicentennial cycle of warming.”
  • "Harsh Mongolian winter threatens disaster"--DW. The article warns that "[e]xtremely low temperatures and deep snow are putting at risk Mongolia's livestock. It's a disaster for the national economy, and it's also a huge problem for thousands of herders across the Asian nation."
  • The religion of peace:
         ... Nothing could be more obvious to a child than that mass immigration to Europe from war-torn regions convulsed by serial waves of radical Islamist ideology would create a massive threat.
           Yet the EU essentially went about its business of bureaucratic infighting, process-worshipping, and complex institutional ballets without any real sense of urgency. Even today the EU has not developed an effective method of securing its frontiers. And control over your frontiers is the essence of sovereignty and the first element of any kind of internal security. This isn’t some arcane secret of statecraft; anybody who doesn’t understand this is massively unqualified to participate in governance.
             The radical populists across Europe are wrong about many things, but they are right about this: governments that can’t protect their frontiers aren’t worthy of the name. Effective border control is what states are all about. Ask the Romans or the Chinese.
        Part of the problem with the elites--both the progressives and the neocons--is that they believe that Western "values" of free-trade and democracy have overtaken the whole world. Under such a viewpoint, people have become fungible and borders have no meaning. These are the ones that immigration is good based on economic or market reasons, such as the need for workers. They, of course, never explain how the influx of millions of illegal aliens and migrants that are unqualified for anything other than menial labor will make up for shortages of skilled and educated workers.  
        More malevolent, however, are those among the Western elite that understand that we involved in a war of civilizations and want to sabotage the West. Their reasoning may differ, but the end conclusion is that the West deserves to be severely weakened, if not destroyed. I believe that Merkel and Obama fall into the latter category. 
        • Compare and contrast:
        • "The upper Han"--The Economist. This article discusses how Chinese views of nationality are intertwined or concurrent with their views of race. To be Chinese (i.e., a citizen of China) is to be Han, and to be Han is to be Chinese. The author writes:
        Ethnicity is central to China’s national identity. It is the Han, 1.2bn of them in mainland China alone, that most people refer to as “Chinese”, rather than the country’s minorities, numbering 110m people. Ethnicity and nationality have become almost interchangeable for China’s Han, says James Leibold of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. That conflation is of fundamental importance. It defines the relations between the Han and other ethnic groups. By narrowing its legal labour market almost entirely to people of Han descent, ethnicity is shaping the country’s economy and development. And it strains foreign relations, too. Even ethnic Han whose families left for other countries generations ago are often regarded as part of a coherent national group, both by China’s government and people.
        He goes on:
        China today is extraordinarily homogenous. It sustains that by remaining almost entirely closed to new entrants except by birth. Unless someone is the child of a Chinese national, no matter how long they live there, how much money they make or tax they pay, it is virtually impossible to become a citizen. Someone who marries a Chinese person can theoretically gain citizenship; in practice few do. As a result, the most populous nation on Earth has only 1,448 naturalised Chinese in total, according to the 2010 census. Even Japan, better known for hostility to immigration, naturalises around 10,000 new citizens each year; in America the figure is some 700,000 (see chart).
        * * *
               This attitude has helped the Chinese economy. Over the past decade much of the inward investment has come from overseas Chinese. Many second-generation Chinese-Americans have started up firms in China. Yet being a member of the “Chinese family”, as Mr Xi puts it, carries expectations too. At a reception in San Francisco last December for American families who had adopted Chinese children, China’s consul reminded them that “you are Chinese”, citing their “black eyes, black hair and dark skin”; he encouraged them to develop a “Chinese spirit”.
                 In the eyes of the Chinese government, these responsibilities extend beyond cultural ties to a demand for loyalty, not just to China but to the Communist Party. Many foreign Han say they are made to feel it is their duty to speak up on China’s behalf. ...
                   Regardless of what President-elect Donald Trump’s plans are for immigration, President Barack Obama says there will be “inevitable” changes to the demographics of the United States.

                     "If you stopped all immigration today, just by virtue of birth rates, this is going to be a browner country,” Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview that aired Monday. “And if we’re not thinking right now about how we make sure that next generation is getting a good education and are instilled with a common creed and the values that make America so special and are cared for and nurtured and loved the way every American child is treated, then we’re not going to be as successful.”
                       But Utah’s ascendency in 2016 was only partially fueled by migration, the typical driver of population growth for the rest of the country. The lion’s share of growth came from something Utahans have always been good at, and the rest of America, rather bad: They’re making more babies.
                         In 2016, more than three children were born in Utah for every resident who died, an astoundingly fertile ratio. Only Alaska and Texas come close, at around 2-2.5 births ....
                      Evidence, I think, of David P. Goldman's thesis in Why Civilizations Die that birthrates fall in established civilizations due to a lack of religious or cultural faith.
                      • I've often heard idiots and morons proclaim that more people have been killed in the name of religion (and by this, they mean Christianity) than any other cause. This, of course, is nonsense, as anyone who has added up the deaths under various Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot), the French Revolution, and World Wars I and II (which were definitely not conflicts based on religion). I like to include the Nazis together with the "godless" Communists to prove that those that are anti-Christ are, in fact, the deadlier part of humanity. Occasionally, I will have some push back concerning the Nazis, based on the erroneous belief that since the Nazis were German, they must have been Christian. However, as a recent article cited by Instapundit notes, "The Nazis Fought the Original War on Christmas." As the article notes, the Nazis wanted to redefinition Christmas "as a neo-pagan, Nordic celebration."
                      • I've noticed several articles recently discussing Chinese ties to the drug trade in the Philippines. Here is another: "Filipino police seize over half a ton of meth"--DW. Authorities arrested 6 people in the bust, including 2 Chinese.
                      • A couple reminders that we live in the 21st Century:

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