Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"From rusting ships in lush green jungle to tanks in crystal clear ocean: Amazing aerial photos show WWII wrecks in watery graves off remote Pacific Ocean tropical islands"--Daily Mail. The article indicates that the above photograph is of the remains of a United States Naval transport vessel abandoned in the Nggela Islands, Solomon Islands.

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:

The second myth is that dry firing will damage your gun; as the author notes, firing an actual round is more stressful on the firearm. There is a couple caveats I would note, which is that regular dry firing of a rimfire gun can damage the firearm, either by pinging the surface being struck by the firing pin, or the pin itself, which can lead to misfires or poor extraction. It's okay to dry fire the weapon to release the hammer after shooting, but not as a matter of regular practice ... unless you use a snap cap. Also, some older firearms may have firing pins or striker mechanisms that may be damaged because of the firing pin traveling further forward in dry fire than intended (i.e., the design is based on the fact that the pin would be stopped by a primer). 
Third, the author contends that a square range, shooting at a static paper target, is not realistic practice, and that you can obtain great benefits from dry firing, using a laser target system, or shooting something like airsoft in the privacy of your own home.
A rifle who’s zero is true and whose setup is solid need not be overhauled every time a new rail or new product comes out. A constant state of change to a rifle does neither the rifle nor the rifleman favor. The rifle that we value and grab in confidence should receive upgrades and changes only when necessary and even then those upgrades should not change the rifle as to shake your confidence in her.
A single male the team had named Inshuti approached a group of gorillas the researchers had named the Beetsme. After some initial rebuffs, the lone male continued to seek acceptance. Then one of the gorillas screamed—the witnesses could not say if it was Inshuti or a member of the group. That was followed by three adult males chasing Inshuti until they caught him and pinned him to the ground. Soon thereafter, the rest of the Beetsme group arrived and all of them (including females and youngsters) participated in causing harm to Inshuti—from pulling hair to scratching and kicking. The leader of the Beetsme sunk his teeth into the gorilla's flesh and shook it like a fighting dog. The mob attack continued for just a few minutes, but then stopped just as quickly as it had started. The attackers walked away and Inshuti slunk into the underbrush to attend to his wounds.
    You might wonder why I would include this article on the section with self-defense and prepping articles. If you are familiar with the self-defense literature, you probably have come across references to how people, in violent situations, revert to using their "monkey brain." That is, there are basic primate urges that cause many violent situations to almost follow a set script. The one described above is pretty much a classic example of what Rory Miller terms an educational beatdown: an attack intended to teach the victim a lesson, generally after the victim has violated some rule or norm.

    Other Stuff:
    • I've occasionally been linking to some of the Pizza-gate articles that come out, including a recent one from the Anonymous Conservative wondering if Breitbart had some inkling of the Pizza-gate facts in 2011, based on a Tweet he made concerning John Podesta. As to the latter point, Hot Air, in a piece entitled "About that Podesta ‘underage sex-slaves’ Tweet from Andrew Breitbart", the author of the piece suggests that the Tweet was in reference to the O'Keefe/Breitbart undercover videos of ACORN, where O'Keefe approached ACORN for assistance with a prostitution ring involving underage girls. At the time, John Podesta sat on the ACORN's advisory council, and was tasked with overseeing ACORN's investigation into its own conduct. 
    In retrospect, Hot Air may be correct about that particular Tweet. However, the article also goes on to claim that Pizza-gate is an unsupported conspiracy theory--essentially buying into "fake news" narrative. Essentially, the author is suggesting that there is something fantastic about a pedophile ring being run out of the D.C. pizza parlor. Probably as silly as thinking that the ATF would help smuggle arms to Mexican drug cartels in order to "prove" that American gun stores were responsible for the flow of arms to those drug cartels. But I digress. 
    As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. And, in regard to the Pizza-gate story, there is an awful lot of smoke, not the least is how the owner/operator of what has been described as a nondescript, ordinary pizza parlor with only okay food made the list of being one of the most influential people in Washington D.C. Moreover, as I've noted, it is not the first inkling of these issues: the U.K. apparently has covered up pedophiles serving in high offices there; and, as Herschel Smith makes clear at the Captain's Journal,  the U.S. has its share of government officials and officers that have also been tied to similar crimes. I think it is too early to write this off.
           The number of migrants seeking to stay in Mexico pales in comparison to the droves heading to the U.S. — more than 400,000 people were apprehended at the U.S. southern border in the fiscal year that ended in September, most of them from Central America.

             But the burden on Mexico and other countries is likely to increase if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on his promises to beef up border security and deport up to 3 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
               In September 1864, Sherman captured the stronghold of Atlanta, and in September he embarked on his notorious “March to the Sea,” leading two large armies through the heart of the supine Confederacy. He severed communications with Washington and ordered his men to “forage liberally” off the land. In his Memoirs, Sherman almost seems to believe his own euphemism, and whole phalanxes of historians since have taken him at his word, as flatly absurd as that word is. In reality, as Bruce Catton put it, “The army went down to the sea like a prairie fire forty miles wide, living on the supplies it took from plantation barns and smokehouses and pantries, looting where it did not burn, making war with the lid off as if the whole business had come down to a wild Halloween brawl.”

                 That “war with the lid off” was brutal, yes; Sherman intended it to be so, in order to send a message to the Southern population that their government couldn’t protect them and so didn’t deserve their support. But the brutality was also its own end, ordered and countenanced by Sherman to an extent that would land him in a courtroom at the Hague today. McDonough is content to soft-pedal the whole business, writing that however we categorize things, “Sherman’s intentions were clear: destroy anything of military value to the Confederacy, while subjecting Southern civilians to the inevitable depredations inflicted by a large army tramping through their country and living off the land.”

                   But those depredations weren’t inevitable until Sherman made them that way, and the definition of “military value” was from the onset stretched so far as to lose any meaning. Whole towns were put to the torch, despite pleas not to dispossess their women, children, elderly, and infirm. Whole populations were uprooted and put on forced marches. Assaults, rapes, and murders, absent from the general’s recollections, were liberally reported by Southerners; reading accounts less accommodating than McDonough’s leads to the inescapable conclusion that war was “all hell” largely because William Tecumseh Sherman made it that way. In Sherman’s March was born No Gun Ri, My Lai, and a dozen other massacres perpetrated on a helpless and innocent civilian population by U.S. forces allowed to conduct “war with the lid off.”

                     Sherman succeeded—naturally, since he had no opposition—in scorching Georgia, despoiling the Carolinas, and presenting the captured city of Savannah to President Lincoln as a Christmas present in 1864. By that point, the war was in the mopping-up stages, ...
                Sherman's strategy was no secret to great generals. Genghis Khan is reputed to have said: "The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters." I'm reminded of Pershing's prediction, following the end of World War I, that there would be another war with Germany because the German people had largely been untouched by the First World War. They had quit fighting (for the time being, at least), but they were not beaten ... down.
                It is because we are no longer capable of fighting war as Sherman did that we cannot bring wars to successful conclusions.

                2 comments:

                1. RE: Glow sticks vs. chemical lights: How to use Chem Lights.

                  Based on my personal experience, take the contents of the article with a grain of salt. I have done side-by-side comparison of Cyalume SnapLights and dollar store glow sticks. Yes, Cyalume SnapLights are better - initially brighter and produce usable light longer - than the cheap dollar store glow sticks. But, in most practical applications, the performance differences are not significant.

                  As to storage life, I have some dollar store grade (actually after-Halloween clearance from Walmart) light sticks that are now five or six years old, and appear to work as well as they did when new. The claimed four year storage life of Cyalume SnapLights compared to the shorter storage life of dollar store light sticks is probably based solely on the expiry date printed on the packages.

                  In my experience, yellow and green are the brightest and produce light the longest, with red/pink and blue producing less light and not lasting as long.

                  Keep in mind that both Cyalume SnapLights and dollar store glow sticks are brightest the first few minutes, and quickly dim to a night-light level of light output within a hour, and will still produce enough light to be used as a marker for eight to twelve hours. Both will still produce perceptible but not useful light after 24 hours.

                  It is also important to shake both Cyalume SnapLights and dollar store glow sticks vigorously to mix the chemicals to produce the most light.

                  I have a hard time envisioning where long-range signaling with a SnapLight or glow stick would be beneficial, or needing to signaling a helicopter for extraction. In contrast, I can envision many instances where being able to provide some light in a room or tent, or mark a trail would be beneficial.

                  Yes, get Cyalume SnapLights for critical applications, but don't turn up your nose at the dollar store snap lights.

                  Finally, get some of each type and try them out.

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                  1. Thank you for the added information and insights. My use of chemical sticks is limited: I've used the SnapLights only once or twice, which give an adequate amount of light, but my experience with the cheaper glow sticks have been only with the child sized ones intended as party favors, which, obviously, are much smaller and give off much less light.

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