Friday, December 29, 2017

Updated--December 29, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Exotac Products and Titan Lighter tips"--David Canterbury (10 min.)
Canterbury reviews some products for fire lighting: a cover for Bic lighters that is water tight, and also has a device for holding the button down to keep the flame lit for an extended time; an improved container for matches that is water tight and includes a striker; and the Titan Lighter, which is also sealed so the lighter fluid won't evaporate (which, as I've mentioned, is one of the biggest weaknesses to the Zippo type lighters).


  • Update: A reader sends: "You don't have to choose between fiber-optic sights and tritium sights. The TRUGLO TFO sights are a hybrid design combining fiber-optic light gathering for lighted environments and tritium for low-light/dark environments. So far, I've installed them on three Glocks in my household."
  • "BIG Freakin’ Cartridge Test 004: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 20″ Barrel"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel continues his testing of .223/5.56 ammunition, this time shooting Golden Tiger out of a 20-inch barrel. The take-away is that the longer barrel resulted in a more efficient powder burn, as there was significantly less variability in velocity than he saw in the shorter barrels. 
  • "Why Black People Own Guns"--Huffington Post. I suspect this article is skewed because there seemed to be a very limited spectrum of why they owned firearms (for instance, a lack of anyone owning firearms for sporting purposes). The summary from the article:
HuffPost spoke to 11 black gun owners about their reasons for owning a firearm. Trump was a non-factor. Instead, they talked about wanting to protect themselves out of fear that no one else would. They talked about their anxieties during interactions with the police and their complex views on gun regulation. Where gun advocates often adduce the imaginary heroics of a hypothetical active-shooter scenario to their arguments, the black gun owners we talked to referred to specific incidents, specific provocations — as if redlined, too, out of the fantasyland of American gun culture. And most of them returned to a sentiment as old as the nation itself: that owning firearms is a rebellion against a system bent on keeping them out of the hands of black folks.
        I was able to catch the booster ascent, stage separation, second stage burn and what looks like the booster spinning with at least one engine firing. The spinning went on for a while so it must have had some fuel left.
            I read SpaceX said they would not land this booster so maybe they had some fun with it for us folks in LA. It spun around for a minute like a pinwheel. A great show.
    A great photo at the link. The author of the article went on to muse: 
     As is typical of SpaceX, they waste no opportunity to test their equipment and find out what it can do, on the extreme. I suspect these maneuvers were designed to push the first stage’s ability to recover from an out-of-control spin. From the call-outs by engineers during the launch, it appears that this test was a success, as it appears from those call outs that the first stage “landed” properly upright in the ocean.
            Religion survives because it is a broader truth that describes things beyond our mere mortal plane. And even though we see its truth rarely on this side of the curtain, every so often trustworthy people get a glimpse behind the curtain, and report what they have observed. And they are believed by trustworthy people, who tell others, and that builds faith. I am convinced that without being truth, and without that truth manifesting in periodic reaffirmations by trustworthy people, Christianity would have failed, and quickly.
              Once in a while, what is behind the curtain intervenes on this side of the curtain, and makes things that seem almost impossible just happen, all to further a greater cause. Those who have caught the spark of belief from a story from trusted friends, can see the linkage. Those who’ve had a glimpse behind the curtain can feel the awe.
        After discussing instances of divine intervention at key times in America's history, AC continues:
          My own suspicion is God enters the world to offer his support most in our worst moments, when everything is at risk of falling down. You don’t see such accounts of God’s interventions in the Roaring Twenties, or the Dot-com boom. He wasn’t seen much on such a grand scale in the fifties, just as the eighties were not filled with such accounts of being rescued from doom by divine providence. But when the smoke is in the air and blood is spraying, or just dark moments are about that seem unable to be resolved any other way, the curtain can be lifted, and people will see behind it.
            He's correct. You can no more communicate your religious faith to someone that has not experienced it, than you can communicate the rich interplay of colors to someone that has never seen. The best you can do is testify of your faith, and hope that the Holy Spirit communicates it for you.

            Thursday, December 28, 2017

            December 28, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web



            • "BIG Freakin’ Cartridge Test 003: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 14.5″ Barrel, and Accuracy"--The Firearms Blog. As would be expected for cheap, steel cased ammo, velocity (and thus, accuracy) was all over the place. The author also experienced cycling issues in a mid-length gas system, with low gas so it was not fully cycling the bolt and, thus, failing to engage the bolt hold open.
            • A crime of opportunity. "Open Carry Firearm Stolen In North Carolina Walmart"--Bearing Arms. The facts are very sketchy--basically, a man grabbed a gun out of the holster of someone open-carrying and ran off with it.
            • "Review: Springfield Armory XD-E"--Shooting Illustrated. The author begins: "The defining feature of the Springfield Armory XD-E is ... the DA/SA hammer-fired system that signals a return to an action often overshadowed by modern striker-fired defensive pistols." A couple advantages of the DA/SA system mentioned by the author are (1) the long double action pull acts as an extra safety when the weapon is deployed (recognizing that while we always say to keep your finger off the trigger, in the real world, it will happen that the finger will be rested on the trigger), and (2) added safety when using appendix carry.
            • "Three 'All-Around' Rifle Cartridges"--All Outdoor. Let me just warn you from the get-go that this is a fluff piece merely setting out a couple of the author's personal anecdotes about deer hunting. Oh, and the author's recommendations as to "all-around" cartridges are (surprise! not) the .30-06, .270, and .30-30. 
                       I have actually put some thought into "all round" cartridges recently--that is, cartridges that are useful for a wide spectrum of purposes or game, and readily available--because my oldest son and I have been discussing what would be a good hunting rifle caliber for him, and I agree that the .30-06 and the .270 would make good all-round rifles. The .30-06 has a long-history of a "do-everything" cartridge, largely because it can be loaded down to shooting low recoil, light weight loads good for plinking or small game, or hand-loaded to nearly magnum power. While its long range accuracy is less than other calibers popular for long-range shooting, it is more than accurate enough within 700 or 800 yards. In addition, .30-06 rifles and ammunition are plentiful. Much of the same applies to the .270. 
                       Notwithstanding all the foregoing, I recommended to my son that he look at the .308. And the reason for this is that while it is less powerful than the .30-06, it is still fairly close in its capabilities; it is slightly better in the accuracy department; it can use most of the same range of bullets as the .30-06; and you can find rifles using it that employ a short-action, which makes it quicker and handier than the .30-06. The advantages of the .308 are not so great that I would replace a .30-06 with a .308, but if I was buying a new all-round rifle, it would be a short-action .308. And I think a lot of people recognize this, as the popularity of the round seems to increase each year. In fact, the article to which I cited notes something critical (although I'm not sure the author recognized the significance):
                  With my curiosity stirred up, I went to the owner of the gun store and asked why there were so many 30-06 and 270 on the shelf. He explained that he gets more 30-06 and 270 used rifles than anything else.  Rarely will he get a 308 Winchester.  When he does get one, it sells quick.
                    The author seems to relate this anecdote as evidence that .30-06 and .270 rifles are more common; I see it as an indication that .308 rifles are more highly valued than .30-06 and .270 rifles. 
                    • "CRIME LAB: Myths & Misconceptions"--Guns & Ammo. The author relates some misconceptions he had concerning bullets, ballistics, and wounding, which were quickly dispelled after he began working in a crime lab. First, that bullets follow a straight trajectory through a target:
                              Hitting any target can upset the artificial stability imparted to a bullet by rifling. If the bullet starts to yaw, it can change direction. ...
                                ... We worked an officer-involved shooting where a policeman made an essentially level shot on an armed assailant with a .357 Magnum hollowpoint. Having expended most of its velocity in the bad guy’s chest, the bullet exited and struck a wall about four feet behind the suspect. The pockmark on the wall was close to seven feet off the floor even though the exit point on the suspect was less than five feet from the floor. If one assumes that bullets always travel in a perfectly straight line, the officer would have been lying under the floorboards shooting up, something that both civilian witnesses and the officers involved said didn’t happen.
                                  I often wish that some pundits making claims about a certain historical shooting in 1963 would take this very common behavior of bullets more seriously.
                                  Second, that doctors generally remove the bullet from a shooting victim:
                              Best medical practice is to fix important bodily bits that the bullet damaged. If the bullet is not going anywhere, leave it and worry about the leaks. Needlessly going after the bullet can increase blood loss and complicate recovery.
                                And there is no issue of lead poisoning: the body secretes a substance around the bullet to stop toxic materials from the bullet.
                                        The third myth had to do with caliber and lethality:
                                  I quickly learned that “what hits you” gets trumped by “where it hits you” as the major factor in lethality. I did a survey in 1972 of about a decade’s worth of recovered autopsy bullets. I found that .22-caliber and .38-caliber revolver bullets were almost equally represented and made up about 80 percent of the sample. Everything else fell in the remaining 20 percent. Granted, some people died of penetrating gunshot wounds where no bullet was recovered, but the study was still an eye-opener in that there were as many .22s as .38s in the sample.
                                  • "More Chicago gangs arming themselves with rifles as alliances spread conflict"--Chicago Sun Times. The two primary gangs mentioned in the article are the Saints and La Razas--both Hispanic gangs (the article specifically states that the Saints gang had grown because of an influx of Mexican immigrants). Although these gangs started the trend toward using rifle-caliber weapons, other gangs are mentioned in the article as turning to rifles: the Two-Sixes and the Satan Disciples. The article also mentions that La Razas and the Satan Disciples may have formed an alliance. Essentially, the article describes some of the specific attacks made using rifle-caliber weapons, the gradual escalation or increase in using such weapons, and the changing tactics in using vehicles to scout out and attack targets:
                                            As the neighborhood became more Mexican, people began referring to them as Latin Saints. They pioneered the use of “rammers,” large and often barely legal SUVs kept hidden from police until they were brought out and used to crash into other gang members.
                                              They were among the first to take up rifles in the current conflict.

                                        * * *
                                                  Fewer gang members stand outside traditional hangouts, throwing bottles, rocks and gang signs and harassing passing motorists. With fewer obvious targets, gangs have turned to cars and vans, often stolen, to chase down and shoot rivals.

                                            * * *

                                                      Rifles are not easy to conceal, so gangs have used a car, or van or SUV — often stolen — in nearly every rifle shooting. They’ve used SUVs driven by a woman with the shooter lying down in the back seat. They’ve used scout cars to find targets. Police have found stolen cars parked with a gallon of gas stashed in the back seat so it’s easy to torch after being used in a shooting.
                                                My take away is that these Latin gangs are adopting the tactics of the cartels in Mexico, although they are mostly just targeting one another. In any event, it is important to keep in mind that the number of rifle caliber weapons is still very small. The article describes whole gangs as having access to only a couple or few rifle-caliber weapons at a time.
                                                         I want to also address the description of the weapons. Although the author of the article uses terms like "military-style" or "AK-style" to describe the weapons, the actual quotes from law enforcement are "military assault rifles" or "weapons of war." I'm going to take the law enforcement at their word that these are military weapons--i.e., selective fire weapons--rather than that the police may have misspoke or misrepresented the types of weapons being used (they would never do that, right?). There are a couple implications to this. First, that these gangs are somehow obtaining these weapons directly or indirectly from government sources since there would be no civilian source for select fire weapons. Second, the fact that these gangs can obtain NFA weapons in Chicago, with its strict gun laws, means that it is impossible for either national or local laws to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. That is, gun control laws are merely another form of security theater. 
                                                  The definition of racism that this writer finds the most useful is prejudice + power. This is why you hear people say things like Black people can’t be racist⎯ it is not to say people of color cannot have prejudices, but in most cases we lack the institutional privilege or power for those prejudices to negatively affect White people outside of hurt feelings. A Black person’s prejudice cannot impede on a white person’s standing in society, whereas racism is institutional and historical, affecting people’s income job opportunities and overall ability to just exist in society without being discriminated against. People of color are inherently disadvantaged by racism, and though that racism is impacted by people’s personal (racist) opinions it is an overall insidious system that functions without most (white) people’s knowledge or conscious encouragement.
                                                  • "Australians Applaud the 'Erosion of Religious Liberty' as Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Law"--PJ Media. This article discusses the passage by the Australian parliament of a law legalizing same-sex marriage (SSM), and how the parliament had rejected any protections for religious objectors, including proposed amendments that would have exempted churches and pastors from having to perform SSM weddings. (It is not clear from the article whether this applies to pastors or churches that make themselves generally available to the public for a fee, or all pastors and churches). The author makes some excellent points:
                                                          The religious freedom issue is contentious across the English-speaking world. In September, the speaker of the British House of Commons declared that same-sex marriage won't be "proper" until churches are unable to refuse to host same-sex weddings. In February, an LGBT group in Ohio announced plans to invade church spaces and try to force church buildings to host same-sex weddings, against their sincerely-held convictions.

                                                    * * *

                                                               The Bible clearly speaks against homosexual activity, and many brave Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction have embraced lives of celibacy to stay faithful to God. Some traditional Christians have even criticized Christians who embrace same-sex marriage as endorsing a separate religion.
                                                                  "I completely understand – in an altogether different way – those liberal, progressive Christians who have no interest in protecting their traditional brothers and sisters who hold different convictions than they do," wrote Stephen McAlpine, an Australian essayist and lead pastor of Providence Church Midland.
                                                                     "I completely understand that underneath that Christian exterior, there’s pretty much a secular heart beating in time with whatever the culture decides," McAlpine charged. "None will bat an eyelid or raise a voice for the sake of their brothers and sisters."
                                                                       Then the Australian pastor presented the chasm between Christians on this issue: "I completely understand that orthodox Christianity and its progressive iteration are basically different religions. They hold diametrically opposite viewpoints on human origins and endings, sexual ethics, biblical authority, the centrality of the cross, the means of grace and how one is justified before a holy God, if God even is holy, or even is God. Who even knows?"
                                                                       Sadly, his claims are partially true, especially when it comes to same-sex marriage.
                                                                          Even the nation's attorney general, George Brandis, also a leader in Australia's Senate, suggested the law on same-sex marriage is less about extending marriage benefits to gay couples and more about normalizing homosexuality.
                                                                •  "The Confusing Way Mexicans Tell Time"--BBC. The title of this article is completely wrong, almost like the editor didn't bother reading the article. What the article concerns is the use of the phrase "ahorita" in Mexico versus its use in other countries (especially in standard Spanish usage). The term is generally translated as "right now." But in Mexico, the term has the opposite meaning: that of an indeterminate amount of time, if ever. 
                                                                Ahorita llego, which directly translates to ‘I am arriving right now’, in fact means ‘I will be there in an indeterminate amount of time’, while ahorita regreso (‘I will be right back’) means ‘I will be back at some point but who knows exactly when’. ‘Ahorita’ is even used as a polite way of saying ‘no, thank you’ when refusing an offer. 
                                                                The author continues:
                                                                        Mexicans are famous in the Spanish-speaking world for their extensive use of the diminutive. While in most Spanish-speaking countries the addition of the diminutive ‘ita’ to an adverb like ahora (meaning ‘now’) would strengthen it to indicate immediacy (i.e. ‘right now’), this is not the case in Mexico. Dr Company explained that Mexicans instead use the diminutive form to break down the space between the speaker and the listener and lessen formality. In this case of ‘ahorita’, the addition of the diminutive reduces urgency rather than increasing it – a difference that can be extremely confusing for foreigners.

                                                                        Subtle adjustments to the pronunciation of the word also affect the way ‘ahorita’ is interpreted. “The stretch in the ‘i’ sound in the word ‘ahorita’ is a demonstration of the stretching of time,” Dr Company informed me, implying that the longer the sound, the longer one can expect to wait. Equally, “if you want to imply that you really mean right now, you would say ‘ahorititita’,” she explained, noting the short, sharp sounds represent the idea that something needs to happen at once.

                                                                Wednesday, December 27, 2017

                                                                December 27, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


                                                                • "Women Are Better Off Buying A Small Gun for Concealed Carry: Guns for Beginners"--The Truth About Guns. This is a messy article to read, but essentially it discusses the general truth that the best concealed carry pistol is one that you will actually carry, even if the pistol and/or method of carry may not be ideal. For many people, regardless of sex (contrary to the thesis of this article), that may mean using a small handgun of the "backup" or "deep concealment" variety as your primary concealed weapon. The article focuses primarily on the size of the weapon, but weight is also an important factor--my wife, for instance, simply won't carry around a firearm that weighs a couple of pounds no matter how much I point out that light weight equals greater perceived recoil. For men it generally isn't that they can't tolerate the weight (although that can be an issue for men that suffer from chronic back pain), but that their clothes won't. As an example, even if you can otherwise fit a pistol into the inside pocket of a suit coat, the material simply won't stand up for long to the carrying of an all-steel pistol--it will wear through or tear. Similarly, from an ergonomics perspective, a pistol with a grip that allows you to get all fingers on the grip is better than one with a shorter grip; but the length and size of the grip is one of the most significant factors as to whether a handgun prints, pushing the concealed carrier toward those firearms with shorter grips. 
                                                                • "I Actually Read HR 38 : National Carry Reciprocity & Guess What I Found?"--Ammo Land. Among other things, "Handguns are redefined, so possession of an empty magazine is now possession of a handgun (you read that right)" and "Possession of ammo for a handgun is also possession of a handgun."
                                                                • "Interview with a Mexican hitman"--Al Jazeera. This 2010 article is, fortunately, no where as onerous to read as Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire. There was one section that, in particular, caught my attention:
                                                                       And you torture people, too, right? "Of course," he answers cooly.
                                                                          I ask him if he's not tormented by his victims' pleas for compassion. "If you can believe me, no. I get energetic, I get like adrenaline, and when they start to shout I feel anger," he says.
                                                                            "The more suffering I inflict on them, the stronger the adrenaline. It's like an adventure. Torturing people takes the stress away from me."  Really? I can’t help feeling my own words tripping and I can't help asking him why doesn't he go jogging instead. No joke.
                                                                      I sent the article on to the Anonymous Conservative who responded: "That is the narcissist psychology. He is miserable all the time, and the pain of the person he is hurting is distracting his amygdala, and giving him relief." 
                                                                       The card deck has four different skill sets with 13 drills to reinforce each skill set.  You can follow the drills in a structured progression or you can just randomly select a card from the deck and work on that drill.  The second option is what I prefer.  I finish my planned drills and then I draw a few random cards from Jeff’s deck and finish up my practice session with those drills to add a little variety.
                                                                               One writer stood head and shoulders above the crowd, which admittedly isn’t terribly difficult when everybody else is prostrate. The anonymous editorialist at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review evidently returned from lunch drunk and momentarily forgot himself. Possibly while working as a busboy in Washington in the early Sixties he’d been the victim of some casual slight by Mrs Graham. At any rate, summing up her life he started conventionally enough but then wandered deplorably off-message:

                                                                             Born in New York City, the daughter of multimillionaire Eugene Meyer, she grew up privileged. In keeping with her father’s fortune, she graduated from Vassar College, where she was involved with the leftist trends of the day ...

                                                                              She married Felix Frankfurter’s brilliant law clerk, Philip Graham, who took over running The Post, which her father purchased at a bankruptcy sale. Graham built the paper but became estranged from Kay. She had him committed to a mental hospital, and he was clearly intending divorce when she signed him out and took him for a weekend outing during which he was found shot. His death was ruled a suicide. Within 48 hours, she declared herself the publisher.
                                                                              That’s the stuff! As the Tribune-Review’s chap has it, Mrs G got her philandering spouse banged up in the nuthouse and then arranged a weekend pass with a one-way ticket. “His death was ruled a suicide.” Lovely touch that. Is it really possible Katharine Graham offed her hubby? Who cares? To those who think the worst problem with the American press is its awful stultifying homogeneity, the Tribune-Review’s deranged perverseness is to be cherished. Give that man a Pulitzer!
                                                                                  Amid the global outcry over hellish migrant camps in Libya, many African leaders have accused the country of racism and crimes against their African "brothers".
                                                                                    But for those who have returned from the living hell, it's not only the Libyans who are profiting from the "migrant business". Illegal migrants are also the prey of sub-Saharan mafia groups, especially Nigerians.
                                                                            As Lee himself would later mention in his 1984 book on the Dobe !Kung, his original estimate of 12-19 hours worked per week did not include food processing, tool making, or general housework, and when such activities were included he estimated that the !Kung worked about 40-44 hours per week. Lee noted that this number still compares quite favorably to the average North American wage earner, who spends over 40 hours a week above their wage labor doing housework or shopping. Even with the revised figures, this seems to indeed point to a life of greater leisure among hunter-gatherers (or, at least, among the !Kung) than industrialized populations. However, it is important to note that this does not take into account the difficulty or danger involved in the types of tasks undertaken by hunter-gatherers. It is when you look into the data on mortality rates, and dig through diverse ethnographic accounts, that you realize how badly mistaken claims about an “original affluent society” really are.
                                                                            There is even a bit of interest to the "Red Pill" philosophers (underline added):
                                                                            In the realm of reproductive success, hunter-gatherers are even more unequal than modern industrialized populations, exhibiting what is called “greater reproductive skew,” with males having significantly larger variance in reproductive success than females. Among the Ache of Paraguay, males have over 4 times the variance in reproductive success that females do, which is one of the highest ratios recorded. This means some males end up having lots of children with different women, while a significant number of males end up having none at all. This is reflected in the fact that polygynous marriage is practiced in the majority of hunter-gatherer societies for which there are data. Across these societies, the average age at marriage for females is only 13.8, while the average age at marriage for males is 20.7. Rather than defending what would be considered child marriage in contemporary Western societies, anthropologists often omit mentioning this information entirely.
                                                                            And, as we've discussed before, the homicide rate among primitive cultures is much higher than modern Western nations:
                                                                            From 1920-1955 the !Kung had a homicide rate of 42/100,000 (about 8 times that of the US rate in 2016), however Kelly mentions that, “murders ceased after 1955 due to the presence of an outside police force.”
                                                                            That actually makes them one of the more peaceful hunter-gatherer people.
                                                                                     We are now learning that some of these Amazon peoples were extraordinary earthmovers. Having little stone to work with, they matched the achievements of the Inca in the mountains just to the west with many miles of earthen causeways. Canals just as long were dedicated to fish-farming. Huge mounds rising above the flood plains supported villages. Even the mounds hold mysteries. One of them, named Ibibate, has been described by anthropologist W. Balee as being:

                                                                                ...as close to a Mayan pyramid as you'll see in South America.... Beneath the forest cover is a 60-foot [18-meter] human-made artifact.
                                                                                         Ibibate is only one of many such mounds in the Bolivian Amazon. Called "lomas", they are obviously quite distinct from any Mayan pyramid we know of. Rather, the lomas are enormous islands of pottery sherds mixed with black soil. Hundreds of these mounds prove that a large population once occupied this region of Bolivia called the Llanos de Mojos (Plains of Mojos).
                                                                                            Anthropologist C.L. Erickson and a team from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the Llanos de Mojos once supported a Precolumbian complex of societies linked together by networks of communication, trade, and alliances. Erickson asserts that these cultures erected:

                                                                                      ...thousands of linear kilometers of artificial earthen causeways and canals,... large urban settlements, and intensive farming systems.
                                                                                        Indeed, aerial photographs of this immense region show patterns of canals and causeways that stretch from horizon to horizon. This is truly a remarkable, virtually unexplored region of ancient human endeavor.
                                                                                                  Even the geology of the region staggers the imagination. The Llanos de Mojos is a shelf of alluvial deposits 3,000 meters (2 miles) deep! 
                                                                                          • Related: Instapundit notes that in 2000, The Independent was predicting that snowfall was a thing of the past and that children wouldn't even know what was snow, whereas today The Times is warning of winter chaos with snow and rain, and temperatures as low as -6 C in some areas of the UK. 

                                                                                          Tuesday, December 26, 2017

                                                                                          December 26, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                          "What To Do After a Shooting: The First Five Minutes"--Personal Defense Network (16 min.)
                                                                                          We are familiar with the advice to refrain from talking to police concerning a defensive shooting without consulting an attorney. I've cited to several articles and videos that discuss this point, and I've warned of some of the deceptive questioning to which you may be subjected if you decide to talk to the police. However, in this video, the interviewer and interviewee take a slightly different position: that you need to talk to police at least to the extent to claim that you were the victim of a crime, and to direct the officers' attention to evidence or potential witnesses.


                                                                                                  The greatest strength of the shotgun is that it fires multiple projectiles with a single press of the trigger. Generally, most 00 buck loads are 8 or 9 pellets that are .33″ in diameter. Being shot by a full load of 00 buck is, at least on a conceptual level, similar to being shot with 8 or 9 rounds of 9mm from something like an MP-5, except it all happens at once.
                                                                                                    The shotguns ability to end fights so quickly, and in essence hit the target 8 or 9 times with a single trigger press negates the capacity issue. A shotgun that holds 4 or 5 rounds is not that big of a deal because most fights don’t require 4 or 5 rounds to be fired from a 12ga shotgun. In addition, the shotgun is one of the few types of firearms that can be reloaded without being unloaded. So even though the gun only holds 4 or 5 rounds at a time, I can put more rounds in it as I go if needed.
                                                                                                      So what is the greatest weakness of the shotgun? In my opinion (which is worth what it cost you to read this), it is the limited range of buckshot.
                                                                                              • Keeping with the shotgun testing: "Pattern Testing #4 Buck Loads"--Priority: Performance. Buckshot loads of less than 00 buck shot have been suggested at times because of the larger number of pellets (and thus, wounds) that can be created by a single round. Of these smaller loadings, #1 is the preferred option. But many people will try the #4 buckshot, which the author of this piece believes lack the terminal performance (specifically, penetration) necessary to be effective. The author brings up some other points, including that a lot more effort has been invested in creating effective 00 loadings than the #4. Part of this is the wadding and/or buffer material to keep a tight group. Consequently, after pattern testing, the author concluded that 10 yards was about as far as he would be comfortable using #4 buckshot, which makes it less than ideal for a defensive load. 
                                                                                              • Word is that Vickers has introduced a +2 magazine extension for the Glock 42.
                                                                                              • "Practice smarter: Information is key to improving shooting"--Multi-Brief. This article addresses a topic that has been raised by numerous firearms and self-defense trainers, including Greg Ellifritz: that practice that doesn't yield information against which you can measure any improvement is not useful. That is, rather than going through mindless practice--i.e., high repetition without being mindful of what we are doing--we should engage in deliberate practice. For instance:
                                                                                                        Where should you place your thumbs on the pistol as you solidify your grip during the draw stroke? How do you reduce excessive dwell time and break the shot as you come to full extension? Where should you stop as you move into a new firing position?
                                                                                                          We discover the answers to these questions through the process of deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is often slow and involves careful, correct repetition of small and specific elements of a skill instead of just pushing through.
                                                                                                            Deliberate (or mindful) practice is a systematic and highly structured activity that consists of an active and thoughtful process of hypothesis testing where we constantly seek solutions to clearly defined problems.

                                                                                                      * * *

                                                                                                                Decades of research into human performance indicate that obtaining information to identify error is critical to learning and improving motor skills. Feedback information regarding performance errors is critical to learning and improving your skills.
                                                                                                                  The process of observing and obtaining feedback on your performance is a critical component of deliberate practice.
                                                                                                                   We incorporate feedback into our deliberate practice through monitoring our performance — observing our performance in real-time and via video recordings — continually looking for new ways to improve. This means being keenly aware of exactly what you are doing so that you can determine precisely what went right or wrong.
                                                                                                              Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                There’s a lot of confusion even among longtime shooters between what a rifle is capable of doing off the bench on a nice controlled square range and what’s actually practical for a serviceable combat weapon. The two really aren’t the same. While tight groups are definitely a plus and a goal to be attained, having a precision weapon in the general purpose role is not always completely necessary to make one combat effective. There’s a happy medium to be found, and getting there is not always hard or expensive. Above all else, it’s the fundamentals of the shooter that make a weapon deadly, no matter what.
                                                                                                                  He goes on to discuss some specific considerations, including the mean distance you expect to engage a target (for instance, dense woodland doesn't require anywhere near the range that open country may necessitate); how heavy a rifle can you realistically carry on foot (and the distance or type of terrain that you think you will need to cover); practice under conditions similar to that in which you will use the rifle (i.e., square range practice is not enough); and "if you can't do it with irons, don't bother with optics." 
                                                                                                                    ... in the late nineteenth through mid twentieth centuries, this place was among the most poverty-ridden slums in the nation; these same brownstones were occupied almost exclusively by penniless immigrants fresh off the boat, many of whom had come through Ellis Island with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Here they toiled in backbreaking and often terribly hazardous conditions. Some (including more than one of my own ancestors) dug the subway tunnels under the city with shovels or moved rock with their bare hands, others labored in sweatshops where fourteen to sixteen hour days, six or even seven days a week, were the norm. Many were crippled, maimed, or killed in accidents like the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of 1911, in which 146 workers, mostly women, burned alive or were crushed in a panicked stampede after a fire broke out at a garment factory and those inside found that the owners had locked the exits in an effort to keep them from taking unauthorized breaks. After their long days of work, the immigrant laborers came home to these tenements, which in those days were kept in a horribly dilapidated condition. The very poorest among them were consigned to the basement apartments, where they lived and slept in an inch or two of water that perennially covered the hard stone floors.
                                                                                                                    • "We All Live in Bangladesh Now"--Sultan Knish. Daniel Greenfield discusses the case of Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi Muslim living in Brooklyn who attempted to detonate a pipe bomb in a subway station. Ullah was in the United States due to the chain migration rule--one of his family got into the United States, and so he was, in turn, allowed to immigrate. Greenfield notes: "Bangladeshi immigration means that we all live in Bangladesh now. Pakistani migration means we all live in Pakistan. Iraqi migration means that to a certain degree we all live in Iraq."
                                                                                                                    • "Betrayed by time"--Richard Fernandez writes at PJ Media Obama's deal with the devil, to provide Hezbollah with operational capacity in exchange for Iran delaying its nuclear weapons program:
                                                                                                                            By canceling the Cassandra operation, Iran was allowed to form a Western Hemisphere criminal network unimpeded (in addition to all the other financial incentives offered to Tehran) in exchange for time. As the Brookings Institute noted, Obama wasn't preventing judgment day, simply paying to defer it. "The deal will only delay and not prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Key restrictions on enriched uranium- and plutonium-production expire after 10 and 15 years, permitting Iran to expand its nuclear capacities and greatly reduce the time it would need to produce nuclear weapons, if it chose to do so in the future."

                                                                                                                             Time without nuclear war is precious, worth perhaps all Obama paid for it. Unfortunately, all the benefits of his deal are ultimately in the future. By contrast, the actual costs have already been incurred. The United States knows to the penny what it paid for the historic UN agreement. The mystery is what it will get in exchange. Possibly nothing. The greatest fear of former Obama administration officials is that Donald Trump will somehow mindlessly ruin the deal by provoking the ayatollahs, thus preventing the delivery of the peace which the former administration paid Tehran to deliver.

                                                                                                                             What went wrong with the Obama deal?

                                                                                                                             In hindsight, the success of the Iran nuclear deal implicitly hinged upon the hidden assumption of a third and possibly a fourth Obama term through Hillary Clinton. Her defeat not only exposed the huge costs of the deal but undermined the future payoffs themselves. The eagerness of the Resistance to bring down Donald Trump stems from one single fact. He threatens to ruin their meticulously crafted multi-year plans.
                                                                                                                            Ali Kourani was an alleged sleeper agent recruited by Hezbollah’s external terror arm, the Islamic Jihad Organization, or IJO.
                                                                                                                               It is claimed that his Hezbollah handler ordered him to surveil facilities belonging to the FBI and Army National Guard in New York City. He took detailed notes on security protocols at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
                                                                                                                                 In interviews with the FBI after being “deactivated” from the terrorist group’s external operations wing, Kourani allegedly told the feds he was recruited because of Hezbollah’s interest in obtaining dual-citizen sleeper agents who could be activated in case of an emergency.
                                                                                                                                  FAST EAGLES (110/100) COULD NOT FIND UNID AIRBORNE CONTACT AT LOCATION GIVEN BY PRINCETON. WHILE SEARCHING FOR UNID AIR CONTACT, FAST EAGLES SPOTTED LARGE UNID OBJECT IN WATER AT 1430L. PILOTS SAW STEAM/ SMOKE/CHURNING AROUND OBJECT. PILOT DESCRIBES OBJECT INITIALLY AS RESEMBLING A DOWNED AIRLINER, ALSO STATED THAT IT WAS MUCH LARGER THAN A SUBMARINE.
                                                                                                                                     WHILE DESCENDING FROM 24K FT TO GAIN A BETTER VIEW OF THE UNID CONTACT IN THE WATER, FAST EAGLE 110 SIGHTED AN AIRBORNE CONTACT WHICH APPEARED TO BE CAPSULE SHAPED (WINGLESS, MOBILE, WHITE, OBLONG PILL SHAPED, 25-30 FEET IN LENGTH, NO VISIBLE MARKINGS AND NO GLASS) 5NM WEST FROM POSITION OF UNID OBJECT IN WATER.
                                                                                                                                      CAPSULE (ALT 4K FT AT COURSE 300) PASSED UNDER FAST EAGLE 110 (ALT 16KFT). FAST EAGLE 110 BEGAN TURN TO ACQUIRE CAPSULE. WHILE 110 WAS DESCENDING AND TURNING, CAPSULE BEGAN CLIMBING AND TURNED INSIDE OF FAST EAGLE’S TURN RADIUS. PILOT ESTIMATED THAT CAPSULE ACHIEVED 600-700 KTS. FAST EAGLE 110 COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH THE RATE OF TURN AND THE GAIN OF ALTITUDE BY THE CAPSULE. 110 LOST VISUAL ID OF CAPSULE IN HAZE. LAST VISUAL CONTACT HAD CAPSULE AT 14KFT HEADING DUE EAST.
                                                                                                                                         NEITHER FAST EAGLES 110 OR 100 COULD ACHIEVE RADAR LOCK OR ANY OTHER MEANS OF POSITIVE ID. FAST EAGLE 100 WAS FLYING HIGH COVER AND SAW THE ENGAGEMENT BY FAST EAGLE 110. FAST EAGLE 100 CONFIRMS 110 VISUAL ID; 100 LOST CONTACT IN HAZE AS WELL.
                                                                                                                                  The article also notes that the object ("capsule") that was recorded by the gun cameras "was not only more maneuverable than the Hornets but also much faster —for it to have reached the CAP point ahead of the Navy fighters it would have had to have flown in excess of 2,400 miles an hour." 
                                                                                                                                         If the Rian Johnson-directed picture had parlayed that $220 million into the typical 2.36x multiple that the median previous Star Wars picture enjoyed by the end of its second weekend, The Last Jedi would now be sitting on a cumulative domestic haul of $520 million.
                                                                                                                                            If it had matched the average multiple of the 2nd film in each previous trilogy—The Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones—it would have multiplied that $220 million start by 2.72x and would now be luxuriating in $598 million in domestic box office riches.
                                                                                                                                               And if all it had done was to match the average 2.12x multiple of the last three movies—Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and Revenge of the Sith—it would be looking at a cumulative gross of $468 million.
                                                                                                                                                But The Last Jedi isn’t coming close to approaching those kinds of returns. As of Friday it had huffed and puffed its way to $321 million, and by the end of this weekend it will land somewhere in the $365 million to $370 million range.
                                                                                                                                        • "That We May Be Homosexualists"--Standard of Liberty. The LDS Church has tried to split the baby when it comes to homosexuality: loving the sinner (and allowing them full fellowship if they refrain from engaging in homosexual conduct) while condemning the sin. However, the author of this article argues that the Church's strategy is not working:
                                                                                                                                                 Apart from what everybody heard from the pulpit, how is this happy-gay-celibate-Mormon tactic working? It's not. What it's doing is encouraging homosexualism, making those who are all-the-way-pro-gay mad, and confusing and/or dismissing the deeply-held beliefs of everybody else. 
                                                                                                                                                   In an effort to placate or stall off both sides of a very controversial issue, the Mormon Church is disaffecting people on both sides of the homosexual juggernaut. It has previously bought into, big time, the false idea that LGBTQI+ is natural and permanent. See mormonandgay.org. But in a stunningly intellectually dishonest leap, it insists on, at least in some obscure handbook, prohibiting homosexual behaviors. Yes, it's perfectly delightful for gays to desire same-sex sex, but a huge no-no to actually do that perfectly delightful stuff they fantasize about. And yet any disciplining is left up to local leaders (who are untrained lay people and may well be leftists) on a case-by-case basis. The way things are going, this amounts to homosexuality in all its outward forms being welcomed and highlighted and celebrated in wards and stakes, and orthodox, traditional family values members having to shut up and endure all this nonsense. And watch it proliferate. 
                                                                                                                                            Part of the problem is that the Church is relying on science when it reaches the conclusion that homosexuality is a matter of "nature" over "nurture"--that homosexuals are born that way. However, the author of a recent article from the BBC discussing the history of "heterosexuality" notes:
                                                                                                                                              Researchers aren’t sure what “causes” homosexuality, and they certainly reject any theories that posit a simple origin, such as a “gay gene.” It’s my opinion that sexual desires, like all our desires, shift and re-orient throughout our lives, and that as they do, they often suggest to us new identities. If this is true, then Ward’s suggestion that we can cultivate sexual preferences seems fitting. 
                                                                                                                                                (The article is terrible at its reading and interpretation of the Bible, so it may be just as bad at interpreting the latest research on homosexuality). But the problem with putting faith on science to find "truth" (as opposed to facts) is that the conclusions and consensus of science is always changing, like the shifting sands. If the BBC article is correct, however, and sexual preferences can be cultivated, then that suggests that homosexuality can be treated as a sin--i.e., missing the mark, but something of which the sinner can repent and correct.

                                                                                                                                                LA Times: "Archaeology as blood sport"

                                                                                                                                                        The Los Angeles Times' article, "Archaeology as blood sport: How the discovery of an ancient mastodon ignited debate over humans’ arrival in North America," is interesting in two respects. First, it reports on contentions by Richard Cerutti that bone fragments and artifacts found in 1992 show that tool using hominids had been present in North America some 120,000 to 130,000 years ago. Specifically, Cerutti and his team excavated bones from a mastodon that were broken apart, including two femurs that show evidence of spiral fractures (meaning that the fractures occurred before the bone dried out) and fractures consistent with being struck by stone tools. They also found a tusk that appeared to have been jammed straight down into the soil. 
                                                                                                                                                The conclusion seemed clear: Hominids, wandering through Southern California, had found a mastodon carcass and gone to work. They hauled cobblestones to the site and pounded the bones, cut out the marrow for food and broke off splinters for tools.
                                                                                                                                                Based on the stratigraphy, they estimated that bones had been broken apart at least 120,000 years earlier. This finding could not only upend theories on when North America was first settled, but also has implications for the "Out of Africa" theory, in that it shows relatively sophisticated tool users far beyond Africa before the supposed human out-migration from Africa occurred.

                                                                                                                                                       Second, the story is interesting because it is yet another window into how established scientists attempt to squelch new discoveries that threaten the status quo. As the article notes:
                                                                                                                                                        For nearly half a century, schoolchildren have been taught that the first human visitors to the New World belonged to the Clovis culture, known for chipped-stone spear points first discovered in New Mexico. 
                                                                                                                                                         Archaeologists say these people crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia about 12,000 years ago. 
                                                                                                                                                         To dispute Clovis-first by a few thousand years was controversial. Some archaeologists had won begrudging acceptance with a few scattered excavations. 
                                                                                                                                                        But to propose a site more than 100,000 years older was professional suicide. It would undermine the research and reputations of most archaeologists now studying the New World. 
                                                                                                                                                        “If you claim something is that old, you get blasted,” Cerutti said, “which is why some archaeologists stopped working on sites like this. They didn’t want to get blasted.”
                                                                                                                                                * * *
                                                                                                                                                       The lack of consensus frustrated Cerutti. He knew that the San Diego museum supported the work, but he had also heard that some of his colleagues were saying he had been “out in the sun too long.”
                                                                                                                                                There wasn't enough Carbon 14 in the bones to allow testing, but even that suggested that the bones dated from pre-Clovis times.  A technique that measured changes in the uranium and thorium content of organic materials as they aged has twice been used, the more recent (and probably more accurate results) indicating that the bones were about 130,000 years old. But Cerutti couldn't get other researchers interested in his finds.
                                                                                                                                                       Robson Bonnichsen, an anthropologist at Oregon State University and the founder of the Center for the Study of Early Man, said, “Your site may well be a candidate for one of the oldest archaeological sites ever found in the New World.”
                                                                                                                                                        But he added: “From my own bitter experience, I know that research that contributes to First American Studies is a game of hardball.”
                                                                                                                                                       George Jefferson, former associate curator of the Page Museum in Los Angeles and district paleontologist for the California State Parks, was blunt: The archaeological community was not ready for such an unsettling claim of antiquity. 
                                                                                                                                                        “Keep it under wraps,” he said. “No one will believe you.”
                                                                                                                                                However, after additional research, the findings and conclusions from the site were published in Nature in April 2017. And gained immediate criticism from the archaeological community.
                                                                                                                                                         McNabb [one of the scientists that peer-reviewed the research for Nature] understands why archaeologists are eager to dismiss the claims of the Cerutti Mastodon Site. But attributing their objections entirely to ego is too easy and only perpetuates the personal rivalries that have dogged this topic for decades. 
                                                                                                                                                         “Entrenched views are hard to shift for researchers who have built a reputation on them,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                         As I've noted before, this is not the first instance of this type of outright hostility to challenge to the accepted paradigm that North America may have been settled by pre-Clovis peoples. Scientists took many years before they conceded that the Monte Verde site in southern Chile dated back to 12,500 years before the present; and dating from other sites in South America showing occupation 30,000 to 50,000 years ago are still not accepted. And pre-Clovis sites in North America are still disputed.

                                                                                                                                                Saturday, December 23, 2017

                                                                                                                                                Video: 2017 Climate Update

                                                                                                                                                "2017 Climate Update"--Suspicious Observers (8 min.)

                                                                                                                                                       In this video, Suspicious Observer takes a look at some of the climate news from this past year, reminds us that current temperatures are consistent with those seen during the Medieval and Roman warming periods, and briefly discusses some of the fundamental dishonesty engaged in by some climate researchers before discussing why we are looking at falling temperatures in coming years. My favorite line: "If some had their way, they would have you believe that the Earth was created in 1880." He also notes that it took the full might of one of the largest El Nino events to force us out of the "pause" we've seen for about 15 years, and all signs point to lower temperatures in the coming decades. (In fact, an El Nina should result in 2018 being cooler than 2017). Good information. Keep in mind that if global temperatures decline, we will see disruption in food production with all that that entails, including civil unrest in those countries most affected; and famine almost inevitably results in spread of disease.

                                                                                                                                                Friday, December 22, 2017

                                                                                                                                                December 22, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                                I thought I would kick off this weekend with some humor: 

                                                                                                                                                • TGIF: A new Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training.
                                                                                                                                                • "Cleaning and Preparing Fish: Tips You Should Know for Survival"--The Prepper Journal (h/t SHTF Preparedness). This article is a good follow up to the fishing article to which I linked yesterday. This article has more tips on fishing, including specific tips for catching catfish and carp. It then discusses gutting, filleting, and cooking fish.
                                                                                                                                                • "Craig Douglas – Myth of Proportional Armament"--Every Day Carry Solutions. The author notes that most of your training presupposes that our attacker/opponent will be armed with the same type of weapon we have: that is, gun training assumes the other person is armed with a firearms, knife training assumes that the other person will have a knife, and empty-handed techniques generally assume that the other person will be unarmed. The author writes:
                                                                                                                                                        Real bad guys aren’t stupid. Most will not make the decision to attack unless the odds are in their favor. They will usually have weapon and a friend or two. They will not approach someone whom they perceive as a hardened target, for the most part. This is where not looking like food comes into play. Your job is to be alert and be able to see a threat before it gets within your protective sphere. If they do make the decision to attack they have to get close to do so. There may be a ruse involved and some deliberate misdirection. They are certainly not going to let you see a weapon in their hand and give you the time to run. So if it’s probable that the bad guy is not going to let you see his weapon at range, then why do we always see systems and methods that are teaching ranged combatives where the good guy and bad guy are equally armed? Would both allow the other to do so?
                                                                                                                                                         So at this point what can we do to accelerate the curve of advantage?
                                                                                                                                                            If you see a threat and acknowledge it as such, it’s probably a good idea to at least covertly establish the grip on your tool of choice, be that a firearm, a knife, or OC. We want to do this because establishing grip on the tool is the most tenuous part of any drawstroke to bring any tool into play. This is due to the fact that the majority of our tools in this day and age have to be kept concealed on our body, and ripping through various layers of garments is the slowest part of the stroke. When we establish the grip on our tool, an acknowledgment of the bad guy and aggressive body kinesics should be utilized. What do I mean here?
                                                                                                                                                             Picture seeing a guy rapidly approach you. He’s disheveled and his right hand is in his coat pocket. You step back with your strong foot, and sweep your jacket, establishing the grip on your handgun. At the same time, you bring your off-hand up palm out in the universal “Stop” sign, a one-handed fence if you will. Now we ask the guy, in a serious tone, “What do you want?”, and maintain eye contact.
                                                                                                                                                               What we’ve done at this point, is get through the slowest part of accessing a tool, assumed a protective posture, and challenged the guy non-confrontationally. We’ve also sent him some messages. ...
                                                                                                                                                          Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                                                          • "5 Preventive Health Measures To Take Before The SHTF"--Urban Survival Site. Teeth, vision care (including glasses and extra contacts), losing weight/fitness, resolving other known outstanding issues (such as surgeries or other procedures that you need to get done), and getting a thorough physical examination to identify unknown conditions.
                                                                                                                                                          • "What Kit to Carry for Game Stalking"--Aussie Hunter. Obviously, the equipment is somewhat area specific and game specific. For instance, predator hunting means that you will want to have the equipment for calling in the game on you, whereas other game obviously does not need calls. Also, if you are packing game out, you will need a bigger pack for larger game than the smaller game. In any event, the author carries on him his binoculars, a camera, some extra ammo, a hiking stick, and his rifle. In a pack, he generally includes equipment for butchering animals, including a knife, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer, as well as a water proof cloth on which to sit. Because of the danger of poisonous snakes, he wears high-top boots or knee high gaiters. And he wears a blaze orange jacket or vest in a camo patter so he can be seen by other hunters (or rescuers) but not catch the eye of his prey. Finally,  
                                                                                                                                                            ... with the risk of sliding down a steep slope and maybe breaking a leg, getting ripped up by an angry boar or being bitten by a deadly snake, I carry two small but essential items in my backpack.  One is a small pouch containing a pressure bandage, whistle, signal mirror, painkillers, pocket knife, cord, an aluminium space blanket.  The other small item is one of the new Emergency Locator Beacons.  I carry a small bottle of water to keep hydrated; which is a serious issue in the tropics, even on a short morning hunt.
                                                                                                                                                            • "Survivalist Superfood: The Mung Bean Sprouts"--Dreaming of Sunsets Over Ochre Dunes. A how-to on growing the sprouts.
                                                                                                                                                            • "Hezbollah Drugs, and how much Black Lives Actually Mattered to Barack Obama"--Da Tech Guy Blog. Obama was willing to overlook a stream of drugs and guns which would particularly hit the black community hard, in order to assure him of his Neville Chamberlain moment in history over the Iran nuclear deal.
                                                                                                                                                            • "Fleeing — but not to Europe"--Deutsche Welle. Fortunately for Europe, the majority of refugees in Africa don't have the money to go to Europe, but are internally displaced or seek refuge across the nearest border: e.g., Sudanese pouring into Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. Although not discussed in the article, there are, of course, the reports of refugees making it to Libya and then, unable to proceed further, being sold into slavery. The article also focuses on the people fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh for Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. A good chunk of these are the Muslim Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh after Bangladesh started to crack down on Muslim terrorists (or, more accurately, the "water" in which the terrorist "fish" swim).  And then there is Mexico:
                                                                                                                                                                      It's not clear how many people actually cross the border every year. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are around 11 million migrants living in the US without a residency permit. About half of them are from Mexico.
                                                                                                                                                                        Many people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras use Mexico as a transit country. Until 2010 it was primarily young men migrating northwards, but Amnesty International reports that whole families are now on the move, escaping violence by criminal gangs in their home countries.
                                                                                                                                                                          If they cannot pay traffickers to get them across Mexico, they soon become easy prey for organized criminals. Cartels patrol the riverbanks near the border and attack without mercy, killing refugees to warn off others. It's not known how many have been murdered in this way, but there have been repeated discoveries of mass graves indicating that this was how the victims died.
                                                                                                                                                                            The International Organization for Migration reports that in 2017 more than 340 people died in the vicinity of the border. Many were killed by gangs; others drowned, probably while attempting to cross a river. Others still were bitten by snakes or scorpions, or died of thirst in the scorching heat. In many cases the cause of death remains unclear. Human remains are often found, for example in the barren mountains in the south of the US state of Arizona.
                                                                                                                                                                              In the early phase of the conflict, most of the group's cache had been captured from Iraqi and Syrian forces. But from the end of 2015, CAR started to see another significant source - factories in Eastern Europe.
                                                                                                                                                                                The weapons and ammunition was being manufactured in Europe, sold to the US and Saudi Arabia, and transported across the Turkish border into Syria.
                                                                                                                                                                                  They said supplies of weapons by Washington and Riyadh to Syrian opposition groups indirectly allowed Isil to obtain a substantial amount of sophisticated anti-armour ammunition and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW), which have then been used against coalition forces they support.
                                                                                                                                                                                    "Time and again, states that seek to accomplish short-term political objectives supply weapons to groups over whom they exert little to no control," said James Bevan, the executive director of CAR. "These weapons often gravitate to the most organised and effective rebel and insurgent forces."
                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure that CIA viewed that so much as a bug, but a feature. After all, the purpose was to arm those groups willing to overthrow the Assad regime. In any event, it always interests me to see how our governments are unwilling to allow their own, peaceful citizens to own weapons, but have no compunction about turning over military weapons to anonymous goat herders in some Middle Eastern country, knowing that a significant percentage of the weapons are going to wind up on the black market and used against their own citizens and/or national interests at a later date.
                                                                                                                                                                              •  "The Criminalization of Gentrifying Neighborhoods"--The Atlantic. All spin and PC garbage aside, the article is about minority groups being upset with whites moving (back) into the cities (the gentrification process), and expecting more law and order, because it results in more minorities being arrested. The author notes, for instance:
                                                                                                                                                                                      When low-income neighborhoods see an influx of higher-income residents, social dynamics and expectations change. One of those expectations has to do with the perception of safety and public order, and the role of the state in providing it. The theory goes that as demographics shift, activity that was previously considered normal becomes suspicious, and newcomers—many of whom are white—are more inclined to get law enforcement involved. Loitering, people hanging out in the street, and noise violations often get reported, especially in racially diverse neighborhoods.

                                                                                                                                                                                       “There’s some evidence that 311 and 911 calls are increasing in gentrifying areas,” Harvard sociology professor Robert Sampson told me. And “that makes for a potentially explosive atmosphere with regard to the police,” he added.

                                                                                                                                                                                      By degrees, long-term residents begin to find themselves tangled up in the criminal-justice system for so-called “quality of life” crimes as 311 and 911 calls draw police to neighborhoods where they didn’t necessarily enforce nuisance laws before. As Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., describes it, misdemeanor arrests are more reflective of police presence than the total number of infractions committed in an area. “It’s not a question of how many people are committing the crime—it’s a question of where the police are directing their law-enforcement resources,” Butler said. “Because wherever they direct the resources, they can find the crime.”
                                                                                                                                                                                         To begin with, it would not look like the first American Civil War, which was essentially a war between two regions of the country with different economic interests. The divide created two separate countries, both initially contiguous, intact, and relatively homogeneous. The lines of demarcation now are only somewhat regional, and tend to correspond to differences between urban and rural populations, as well as differences of race and class. A second American Civil War would be much more similar to the Spanish Civil War, with the leftists dominating the cities and conservatives controlling the countryside. Conflicts of this nature, with enemies mixed geographically, are a formula for spontaneous mass bloodletting. India-Pakistan during the 1947 partition comes to mind as another modern example. Given an absence of legitimate government and the friction of proximity, ordinary people can be moved to settle grievances by killing one another without the need for governments to egg them on.
                                                                                                                                                                                  He further explains:
                                                                                                                                                                                    Some dimensions of a future civil war would be, I think, largely unprecedented. When lesser countries have imploded in violence in recent times, they have done so with most of the world around them still intact. There were other nations to offer aid, assistance and intervention, welcome or unwelcome. There were places for refugees to go. The collapse of the world’s remaining superpower would take much of the world down with it. A global economic crisis would be inevitable. The withdrawal of American forces from bases across the world to fight at home would also create a power vacuum that others, even under economic strain, would be tempted to exploit. Whichever side gained control of our nuclear arsenal, our status as a nuclear power would probably persuade other nations not to interfere in our conflict militarily, but the collapse of trade alone would produce crippling effects that would be hard to overestimate. Many components for products our manufacturing sector makes are globally sourced. Add to this the breakdown of our transportation system, dependent on oil and transecting one new front line after another. The internet would fail. It is a frail enough now. Financial systems would fail. What happens if the banks find half their assets suddenly in hostile territory? All Federal government functions, including Social Security, would fail, many of them losing their very legitimacy to one side or the other. Food production, heavily dependent on diesel fuel, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, not to mention a steady supply of genetically engineered seeds, would slump alarmingly. In short, most things we depend on are now held together by a network of delicate and complex connections. Without those connections, would you have a job? If so, in what medium of exchange could your employers manage to pay you? What would there be for you to buy? Does your town, your county, or even your state have the ability to marshal its resources into a viable economy? How many people in those entities could deal with anything worse than a weather disaster, in which they count on the fact that help is coming soon?
                                                                                                                                                                                    Another one worth the read. Also check out Black Pigeon Speak's comments to the article, and Matt Bracken's response. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, et al., predicted this type of a civil war--conflict on a very granular level rather than the large regions of the 1860's Civil War--so I don't doubt but that it will happen.
                                                                                                                                                                                             In his book, Prophecy--Key to the Future, Duane S. Crowther cites various early LDS Church leaders concerning a second civil war. For instance, Orson Pratt, speaking in 1879, described this second civil war:
                                                                                                                                                                                    [I]t will be very different from the war between the North and the South. Do you wish me to describe it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth, destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture, there will be too much bloodshed, too much mobocracy, too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety. What will become of millions of the farmers upon that land? They will leave their farms and they will remain uncultivated, and they will flee before the ravaging armies from place to place; and thus will they go forth burning and pillaging the whole country; and that great and powerful nation, now consisting of some forty millions of people, will be wasted away, unless they repent.
                                                                                                                                                                                    (Crowther p. 50). Brigham Young reported Joseph Smith as describing:
                                                                                                                                                                                    I heard Joseph Smith say, nearly thirty years ago, "They shall have mobbing to hearts content, if they do not redress the wrongs of the Latter-day Saints. Mobs will not decrease, but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neigborhood against neighborhood." ... it will be Christian against Christian, and man against man, and those who will not take up the sword against their neighbors, must flee to Zion.
                                                                                                                                                                                    (Crowther 51). Joseph Smith is also quoted as saying:
                                                                                                                                                                                    A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant. Father will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of murder and bloodshed and rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place.
                                                                                                                                                                                    (Crowther 53).