Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Hayley Westenra - "Prayer"

Firearms/Prepping:
  • "A Short Discussion on AR-15 and AK Safety Levers"--Nathaniel F. at The Firearms Blog. The history of safety and selector levers isn't as straightforward and logical as you might think. Nathaniel links to a video from Forgotten Weapons entitled "Why is the AR Safety Lever Designed That Way?" which you should also watch. Interestingly, the AR safety was original "auto-safe-semiauto" in its configuration, but during field tests, while low-crawling with the weapon on the ground, they discovered that not only could dragging the weapon on the ground shift the selection lever, but would shift it to the "auto" setting. Of course, after that, it only took something to catch on the trigger ....
  • "Pest Control For The Chicken House - Keeping pests out of the chicken house"--All Outdoor. A short discussion of the author's experience with three different designs of coops, and some discussion of a few of the predators you will face. Although I don't raise chickens myself, in talking to others that live close by and do, the primary predators in this area (south-west Idaho) are, first and foremost, raccoons, followed by foxes. I've never heard anyone of them complain about snakes. I suppose that in more rural areas, that the primary threat would be from coyotes.
  • "Hunting With Airguns: A New Frontier"--Outdoor Life. This article notes that some states have changed their regulations to allow hunting larger game (e.g., deer) with larger caliber airguns. Using pre-charged, high-pressure tanks, some of the modern airguns can shoot slugs of up to .50 caliber. I've seen some other articles recently on this topic, and the downside seems to be pumping the tanks to the required pressure. The author of one of the articles purchased a SCUBA tank that he has filled up at a dive shop to use to fill his air rifle's air reservoir. It isn't a new frontier, however, but a revival of old one: the Lewis and Clark expedition took an air rifle with them, and the same rifle was used by the Austrian army.
  • Sounds like a good idea to me: "Indian Army wants 36,000 Thermal Optics for GPMGs"--The Firearms Blog.
  • "The Legendary Rifle That Fought World War II"--Popular Mechanics. A fairly lengthy article covering the history of the development and use of the M-1 Garand.
  • "Review: Armagon G12, an AR-Pattern Shotgun"--Oleg Volk at All Outdoor. Based on a Turkish shotgun, this shotgun looks like an AR weapon on the outside, although the author indicates that internally it is like a Remington 1100 designed to shoot from magazines. It uses 5- and 10-round magazines. The rifle is priced at $700, while the magazines are $35 and $40, respectively. It doesn't come with sights, however, so you would want to add a reflex or red dot.
  • "DI Optical RV1 Review"--The New Rifleman. This is a civilian version of the optic used by the South Korean armed forces. The author thinks it is pretty much the equal of the Aimpoint, but at $230, substantially lower in price.


Other Stuff:
SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.
The law is supposed to take affect on January 1. Ostensibly, the purpose of the law is to protect child sex workers from being exploited, but it seems that its actual result will be to encourage the practice.
     She said 2016 had been a year of "severe tests".
         But she also said she was confident Germany could overcome them.
            "As we go about our lives and our work, we are saying to the terrorists: 'You are hate-filled murderers, but you do not determine how we live and want to live. We are free, considerate and open'," Mrs Merkel said.
      According to the article, Merkel also pointed to the destruction in Allepo as justification for accepting refugees. (More on her speech from The Daily Mail). I'm sure that the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks will rest more easy knowing that their lives were sacrificed so that Merkel could feel better about herself.
        For many years, the world’s most populous Muslim nation has resisted the siren call of fanaticism. That increasingly appears to be changing, with the rising influence of hardcore forms of Islam. Apart from its effect on Indonesia’s domestic politics, this changing climate could have significant effects on the Asian power balance. Indonesia is a key link in the group of coastal Asian countries, from India to Japan, that have tried to balance China’s rising power. Even shifts in the political balance in relatively small countries like the Philippines can ripple across the region; a shift in Indonesia would be a much bigger deal.
          The ongoing radicalization in Indonesia also suggests that the intellectual foundations behind Obama Asia’s policy were weak. Obama’s pivot was grounded in the belief that non-Chinese Asia could be rallied around Western ideas of international law and democratic development. This is conspicuously not happening.
            Asia appeared to be becoming more “Western” as it modernized in the 1990s, but that is much less clear today. Military rule in Thailand, Buddhist and nationalist resentment against the Rohingya in Burma, ethnic polarization in Malaysia, populism in the Philippines and the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia: in each country the specifics vary based on local history and culture, but the larger trend is clearly away from European and North American ideas about post-historical cosmopolitan modernity.
            The trapping of civilization is not the same as civilization. Many countries wear the trappings of Western civilization, which have led the simpletons to erroneously conclude that these countries must be Westernizing. Unfortunately, this attitude has infected our foreign policy for decades.

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