Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017--A Quick Run Around the Web

I'm feeling somewhat melancholy today, so today's video pick is "The Turn of a Friendly Card, Pt. 2" by The Alan Parsons Project. This is from their Turn of A Friendly Card album, the first Alan Parsons album I ever heard (one of my older brothers had a copy, which I would sometimes borrow when he wasn't around) and still one of my favorite. 

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • During the past few days I've been citing to various articles and videos concerning the use of a shotgun for home-defense applications. I should add a disclaimer that I am somewhat biased against shotguns since I'm better with the handling and shooting of rifles. But I stand by my comments. Here are some more articles addressing the use of the shotgun:
A motivated attacker isn’t going to be deterred by anything less than using more force against him than he is willing to experience.  Rape whistles, yelling the word “no”, or racking a pump shotgun WILL NOT deter a motivated attacker.  For that job, ruthless violence is the only solution.
  • "Shotgun Tips from John Motil"--Active Response Training. Some various tips on shotguns generally, as well as particularly. One item, different from my comments, is that the author recommends a rear ghost ring sight and front high visibility sight, although I would add that if going that route, make sure the comb of your stock will be such to put your head in the proper position for using those types of sights.
     Rheinmetall and Steyr Mannlicher have partnered to offer the RS556 assault rifle in 5.56 x 45 mm to the Bundeswehr as a potential replacement for the service's G36 standard issue rifle.
         The RS556 (RS stands for Rheinmetall Steyr in 5.56 mm calibre) is a derivative of the AR-15 and a variant of Steyr's STM556 rifle....
           The RS556 uses a short-stroke gas piston system, driving an operating rod to force the bolt carrier to the rear, and is locked by a rotating bolt.
             The upper and lower receivers are made from aluminum, strengthened with steel bolt carrier guides to prevent the bolt tilting. The fire selector, magazine catch, and bolt catch are located on both sides of the weapon to support right and left handed shooters. The RS556 is equipped with a seven-position telescopic polymer butt-stock.
        Photograph at the link.
        Also, the nature of blades - their steel, their shape and their maintenance - is something of a religion in America, whereas in Africa (at least in my experience) it was much more hit-or-miss.  Need to sharpen your blade?  Over there, you picked up a suitable stone from a stream or river bed and went at it.  Fancy operators used proper sharpening stones, but they were heavy to carry through the African bush for any length of time, particularly if you carried everything you needed on your back.  However, outside that continent, if I offered to sharpen a high-quality blade such as a Randall, Fallkniven or Boker using a river stone, I'd probably be excommunicated from the knife fraternity on the spot - and possibly physically assaulted by the knife's owner, too!
        Interestingly, the standard practice in Africa was apparently to buy a cheap Mora knife, use it until dull, then toss it out and buy another.
        • The one that works for you? "What’s the Best Slide Serration Technique?"--Patrick Sweeney at Guns & Ammo. Sweeney discusses the different ways to grab and operate the slide on a semi-automatic pistol: "sling-shot" style; over the top; and (if using forward serrations) the forward hand. For me it depends: if I'm just target shooting or plinking, I use the the "sling-shot" style because it gives me the greatest purchase on the slide and allows me to clearly view the chamber. If I'm firing under speed, however, and have the slide locked back, I use the "over the top" method to unlock the slide.

        Other Stuff:
        • Related: "The Crime Of The Hour"--Liberty's Torch. Another article on the kidnapping/torture of a mentally handicapped white teen by four blacks in Chicago. He also declares that "The peaceful majority [of blacks] are irrelevant. It’s a greater tragedy than anything in history that didn’t result in a world war or a Communist revolution. Yet there it is...and there’s nothing we can do about it but part company."
             The men on the prison roof laughed as they raised a hand-painted flag emblazoned with the initials of two of Brazil’s most dangerous drug gangs. In the yard below, other gang-members hacked the heads off prisoners from a rival mafia faction and lined them up in a row.
               The horrific scenes were filmed on a mobile phone during a jail riot on 1 January in which 56 prisoners were butchered near the Amazon city of Manaus – the first in a string of violent incidents in Brazilian prisons this year.
                 The next day, four more inmates were killed at another prison in Manaus. Five days later, 33 prisoners died at a prison outside Boa Vista, in Roraima state in the far north of Brazil. Then, early on Sunday morning, four more prisoners were killed in another Manaus jail which had been reopened to accommodate prisoners transferred after the 1 January massacre.
                   In a country long used to violent crime, the savagery has appalled Brazilians: local media reports have included footage of of dismembered corpses, and messages scrawled in human blood.
                     Police and prosecutors have warned that a war between rival gangs to control Brazil’s lucrative drug trade has escalated to a new level of brutality – and there are signs that the battle has already moved from the country’s overwhelmed prison system to Rio de Janeiro, where it threatens to destabilise a city already reeling from a rise in violent crime.
                • The swamp fights back: "The Intelligence Community versus Donald Trump"--American Thinker. A discussion of the possibility that the leaders of the American intelligence community are attempting to discredit Trump through their unsupported accusations of the Russian hack of the DNC. 
                     A lot goes on in government that would be unbelievable these days. Clearly Obama is not pulling people aside and asking them to crash Drudge’s servers. But I will bet most of the top domestic intel positions are now manned by Obama’s people – who do not need to talk to Obama to get word of what the party wants them to do. 
                     Additionally, there might be another reason Drudge suspects government involvement. Drudge is probably bumping up against the surveillance state, and he may be bucking against their pressures periodically in ways they don’t like. It wouldn’t surprise me if he saw correlations with things he is doing to piss off his own watchers, and the onset of his DDOS attacks. These attacks could be ways to bring him to heel, by costing him advertising revenue when he pisses them off.
                  • "Obama leaves with the world in flames"--George F. Will at the New York Post. In his polite way, Will calls Obama a simpleton that has left the world worse than when he came to office. He writes:
                  Many progressives believe in humanity’s natural sociability. This disposes them to believe that peace among nations is natural and spontaneous, or it would be if other nations would cleanse their minds of the superstitions that prevent them from recognizing the universal validity and demonstrable utility of American principles.
                  In not so many words, progressives are conflict-averse rabbits that are too stupid to comprehend the real world.
                         ... Employers who utilize labor pay into the FUTA, or the federal unemployment tax, at a rate of 6% and are credited back an offset of 5.4% that they previously paid the state, leaving a small federal liability of only 0.6%.  
                           However, if the state-run U.I. [unemployment insurance] trust gets overdrawn, as it did in California for going on its third year now, it automatically pulls an emergency loan out from the federal government to service the underfunded account.  And if that is not repaid by November 10, and it defaults, then the government forces employers to pay it.
                             They just defaulted.  Our company received a mystery bill in the mail two weeks ago, explaining our new $15,000 owed. ...
                          The author explains: "California's U.I. trust is being kneecapped because of arms-wide-open amnesty that is removing jobs from those born here, and thus sending the U.I. rate ever higher." Read the whole thing.
                          • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Scientists are recreating extinct mega-cows"--The Week. The species they are recreating are aurochs, an elephant sized bovine, the last of which was apparently killed in the 17th Century in Poland.

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