Friday, December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Jaguar Photograph Taken by Fort Huachuca, Arizona Trail Camera"--Ammo Land. Jaguars are returning to their historical range.

Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • TGIF: "Weekend Knowledge Dump"--Active Response Training. Check it out. 
  • "Follow Through: The Key to Standing"--Art of the Rifle. In late 2014, the author did a series of articles concerning rifle shooting from a standing position. In this article, the author discusses the importance of follow through to taking shots from a standing position, including the difference between what worked for dry fire (a passive follow through) and for actual shooting (which he termed an active follow through). The author notes: "I think that the essence of follow through is a continuous attention to sight picture without regard to trigger break (or anything else for that matter).  No part of the shooting process should interrupt the sight picture, even firing."
  • "Crime is a Process"--No Nonsense Self-Defense. Like many other activities, perpetrating a crime involves a certain process: for instance, in a robbery, there will be some sort of reconnaissance, approaching a victim or entering the premises that is the target of the crime, and then the actual show or use of force. In this article, Mark MacYoung briefly addresses the process, including the important fact that, unlike in Hollywood films, the bad guy will not give a warning about what he is going to do, but use deception to get close to his intended victim. He also discusses that because a crime is a process, "[c]ertain component parts must be developed in order for a crime to occur. If one is not achieved, the crime will not occur. These components are not only necessary for the crime to occur, but they work together. Affect one and you affect all ... and the crime itself." (Ellipses in original).
  • "Budget $350 Mile Gun: Ruger American Predator 6.5CM"--The Firearms Blog. A budget rifle that is apparently able to make the 1 mile shot. However, the MSRP is actually $529, and the author only found them as low as $399.
  • "The Dichotomy of Speed"--Gabe Suarez. Key point: "The dichotomy of speed - or taking one's time quickly - is simply boiled down to 'Being Deliberate'." Compare his thoughts on this with the "active follow through" experience of the author of the Art of the Rifle article I linked to above. 
  • "New Vortex Viper PST Gen II Riflescopes"--The Firearms Blog. More of an announcement than any details. However, Vortex is saying that they have completely redesigned the optic.
  • "The Best Coat Pocket Defensive Pistols"--Active Response Training. As Mr. Ellifritz discusses, getting to a concealed weapon while wearing a heavy winter coat can be problematic. Many people resort to carrying a second weapon in a pocket that can be accessed quickly and, if needed, shot from inside the pocket. Of course, one issue is that of reliability: the firearm needs to be able to shoot without malfunction inside the pocket. This not only eliminates semi-auto pistols, but revolvers with exposed hammers. However, using a "hammerless" model, or one with a shrouded hammer, has a second benefit: the hammer will not snag if you have the opportunity to draw the firearm. Ellifritz also notes that there is the additional issue, if you are shooting from inside the pocket, of muzzle flash: you don't want to set your coat on fire. For that reason, he recommends using .38 Special or .22 LR, depending on your ability to handle recoil and the desired capacity of the handgun.
  • "Skipping Buckshot--Forgotten Shotgun Tactic"--Gabe Suarez. A discussion of the use of ricochets to strike a target behind cover.


Other Stuff:
  • "A society in decline"--Vox Popoli. Vox discusses a recent study that shows that the life expectancy of the average American has actually declined. He observes:
One can't say it is surprising. The same thing happened in Russia under Yeltsin, when the country was being strip-mined by the oligarchs in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia has found its confidence again in its return to Christianity and nationalism, and both its birth rates and life expectancies are on the rise again.
         I have always suspected that being a conquering and occupying society, heavily into tribalism and clan warfare, middle easterners were molded by that environment into tyrant/groveler psychologies, heavy on misogyny.
           When we invaded Iraq the second time, Iraqis were all too happy to curry favor with us ....
             After a year of seeing American troops treat them decently, the Iraqis quickly assumed our kindness was weakness, and then they began a concerted campaign to kill our troops.
               In a clannish society of tribal warfare, one would fight brutally to conquer on encountering weakness/kindness, and one would grovel prodigiously on encountering brutality in a conqueror. Likewise, where one would encounter weakness and conquer, one’s genes would be best served by impregnating every conquered woman encountered, whether they wanted it or not.
                 That is what we are seeing in the European Muslim invasion.
            In a recent paper in the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, John McCoy and W. Andy Knight posit that between 89-125 Trinidadians—or Trinis, to use the standard T&T idiom—have joined ISIS. Roodal Moonilal, an opposition Member of Parliament in T&T, insists that the total number is considerably higher, claiming that, according to a leaked security document passed on to him, over 400 have left since 2013. Even the figure of 125 would easily place Trinidad, with a population of 1.3 million, including 104,000 Muslims, top of the list of Western countries with the highest rates of foreign-fighter radicalization; it’s by far the largest recruitment hub in the Western Hemisphere, about a four and a half hour flight from the U.S. capital.
            As the El Nino has faded global temperatures are dropping, not just in lower tropospheric land data (where it has been seen the strongest so far) but in the other data sets as well. Without the El Nino (probably the strongest on record) and the Pacific Warm Blob there will be no new record next year, or probably the year after if the la Nina sets in. Temperatures are more likely to return to pre-El Nino levels. If so, the 2015/16 El Nino would be shown to be a temporary blip in a continuous “hiatus” period which, nethertheless remains the warmest period of the instrumental temperature era. For all we know, at the end of next year we could see the global warming “hiatus” approach its third decade.
            • "Suppose It is a Black Swan?"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Fernandez takes a stab at trying to explain why the left is so taken aback by the election of Donald Trump. He writes:
                   Though the evidence is anecdotal, many similar stories depict a world gradually breaking up into groups some might call "echo chambers" or affinity groups which are at odds with each other.  It is as if a kind of internal secession were taking place that could be part of a larger trend.  Tony Blair for one has stopped regarding the "populist revolt" as an aberration and come to see it as ominous challenge to the world order.  Gradually the Left is starting to think recent events are not a freak confluence of rogue trends but a deliberate counterattack against it of the sort it has not seen in a long time.

                     It is that self-awareness which is so frightening to the Left. ...
                They are frightened, he goes on to explain, because they fear that the newly ascendant right will be and act like the left, only with a reverse ideology. But Fernandez suggest that while the left may be prepared to fight its double, it may not be prepared for what is actually emerging: an ideology that recognizes that aping the left is a recipe for disaster. He goes on:
                       What they do not expect is an ideology of non-ideology to emerge; something which far from regarding history as the fulfillment of some human plan wants to set people free to explore the next valley that leaves us ever alone with wonder and reminds us we are small things trying to make sense of a big universe.  In other words, what if the sentience the Left fears in its new rivals is emergent rather than prescribed?  Suppose it is asking itself questions rather than supplying answers?
                         The great wellspring of liberty was  the frontier, both in its inward and outward aspects. In the last century both the inner and outer frontiers closed and that set the stage for man to imprison man.  But perhaps the frontier is opening again and that fact will have consequences which we are now beginning to feel.  The two great enterprises of the 21st century will be the exploration of the planets and the liberation  of human potential.  The first will be made possible by technological development and the second will emerge from the transformation of communication from instruments of bondage to highways of inquiry.  Those will necessarily have devastating disruptive effects but also potentially huge benefits.
                           The ideology of news makes two moral claims:  that it is complete, and that it is objective.  News, in other words, provides consumers with just the right amount of information necessary to function as citizens, and it does so from an Olympian perspective, devoid of political bias or special pleading.  Neither claim is empirically grounded.  Both rest on the special place given to “the press” in a democratic system.

                             In the 2016 presidential campaign that culminated with the election of Donald Trump, that special place was surrendered and the two claims were falsified, beyond doubt and possibly beyond repair.
                        He adds: 
                        The public has inherited the rhetoric of distrust and disdain from the news – but with a difference.  It’s now aimed at every center of authority, very much including the news business itself.
                        He then goes on to discuss the MSM's new front: the attacks on so-called "fake news." Read the whole thing.
                        ... Professor Erik Verlinde, an expert in string theory from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute of Theoretical Physics, thinks that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature because it's not always there. Instead it’s “emergent” - coming into existence from changes in microscopic bits of information in the structure of spacetime.

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