Sunday, January 8, 2017

January 8, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"End of days: A last look at the crumbling trains and eerie rides inside the largest abandoned theme park in the world - now set for demolition"--Daily Mail.
Firearms/Prepping:
  • Let's talk shotguns for self-defense--a couple articles/videos:
  • "7 Accessories You Don't Want on Your Defensive Shotgun"--Shooting Illustrated. The sets out his arguments as to why certain accessories are undesirable on a shotgun intended for home defense. His list is: pistol grip stock, collapsible stock, optics, plastic fiber-optic front sight, ghost ring sights, saw tooth tactical choke tubes, sling. Most of his argument on each is that since you will be maneuvering a rather lengthy weapon in the close confines of a residential building, you want to minimize anything that might get caught up on clothing, furniture, etc. You might disagree: for instance, Robert Farago at The Truth About Guns questions the advice against ghost ring sights
Frankly, I agree with keeping it simple on a defensive shotgun, including avoiding the ghost ring sights. Shotguns, when shooting pellets of any short, are pointed, not aimed. However, given that your defensive shotgun will most likely be used in dim or dark conditions, a reflex sight might have some use, and/or a flashlight with the beam aligned to correspond to where the shot will strike.
I don't have much to say about the use of an over-under shotgun for home-defense, other than it sucks. There is a reason that even the most gun hostile governments allow citizens to own double-barrel shotguns for hunting. That reason is that with a 26 or 28 inch barrel, it is unwieldy, to say the least, inside the confines of a home. The second is that with only two-shots and a slow reload, it may not be the best weapon for engaging multiple attackers. However, if that is all you have, then you make do.
The bird-shot issue, however, is a different matter all-together. Huntington argues in his video that it may be a valid consideration for someone concerned about over-penetration through the walls of a home. He also, incorrectly, contends that because the coverage with bird-shot (i.e., the area of impact on a target) is about the same between buckshot and bird-shot, the bird-shot is just as effective. This is false
If you are shooting pellets that won't defeat a layer or two of sheet-rock, it is not going to have sufficient penetration to stop a human-sized attacker--especially one that may be young, muscular, and/or wearing heavy clothing. (See, e.g., Dick Cheney's hunting accident where he shot a fellow quail hunter in the face, causing minor injuries to the other hunter).
There is a basic issue of physics involved. Assuming the same powder charge and same weight of shot, the sum of the kinetic energy or momentum of all the pellets in a buckshot load and a bird-shot load will be the same, but when looking at the individual pellets, the kinetic-energy and momentum of an individual bird pellet is much less than a single pellet of the buckshot. Since momentum is going to be one of the critical factors for penetration against an animal or human target (remembering that it has to penetrate skin, soft tissue, muscle, and bone--all of varying densities, elasticity, and other mechanical characteristics), a single light weight pellet of bird-shot lacks the momentum to provide the necessary penetration. Huntington's example is even more egregious because he was comparing a light game load (such as you might use for dove, quail or shooting clays) which lacks even the powder charge (and, therefore, combined kinetic energy) of the express loads used for buckshot. 
Now I'll admit that at close ranges even birdshot can blow impressive holes in things. I've shot loads suitable for goose hunting at 1/4 inch plywood at distances of 10 to 15 feet, and I have to admit that it makes a much more impressive hole than buckshot at the same distance. However, we are talking about much heavier shot backed by an express or magnum charge; not the low power loads that Huntington was demonstrating. These heavy bird-shot loads may be effective at short ranges against a human sized target, but it certainly also has the ability of penetrating interior walls, negating the argument for using bird-shot in the first instance. 
  • "Razor Wire Perimeter Security – Are We Going Mad Max? – Prepping 101"--Guns America. The article discusses the different types of razor wire and some factors for determining how much you will need for a given amount of space. There are several points that are ignored or overlooked, however. First is the legal aspects of having razor wire. There may be local ordinances or state law restricting the use of razor wire. For instance, it may be prohibited, or you may need a special permit, or you may only be able to install it a certain number of feet above the ground. Second, there is the operational security issue: razor wire around a residence practically screams "I'm a prepper and have valuable supplies or goods that I'm trying to protect." Third, razor wire is a passive defense: it can be overcome with simple tools and planning, and it does nothing to protect you from gun fire, pyrotechnic devices, and so on. Fourth, where wire plays a better role is on the ground where it can trip up the enemy, wrap around wheels and axles, and so forth. However, this requires space; space which may be lacking on a residential lot.
  • "Gemtech’s GMT-300BLK Suppressor for 300 Blackout Rifles – Full Review"--Guns America. The article has a photograph of the guts of the suppressor, which is clearly based on the Tesla valve.
  • You can't stop the signal: "Chinese ‘Gun Violence’ Revealed"--The Truth About Guns. Rising gun violence in China exacerbated by the black market importation and manufacture of firearms. 
  • "When Boring is Good: A Gun Snob Tests Kel-Tec’s Reliable and Cheap PF-9 9mm—Full Review."--Guns America. According to the review, the pistol may not be pretty, but it works.


Other Stuff:
     “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer…

     “So, even for a practical supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this,” he added.
In the Roman Empire, the military and, in particular, the Preatorian Guard which was posted inside Rome, became so powerful that it could select a new Emperor or depose a sitting Emperor. Thus, those wanting to be (or remain) Emperor spent an increasing amount of resources and effort in appeasing the Preatorian Guardsmen in order to obtain and keep their position. Who's to say we are not like Rome in this respect? 
  • "Riots, Looting in Mexico Over Spiking Gas Prices"--Breitbart. Higher gasoline prices have also spurred cartels to increase their theft of gasoline because they can resell it for half the price on the black market.
  • The religion of peace strikes again: 
Bremerhaven is a central logistic point from where the equipment will be brought to staging areas and headquarters in Poland. In the beginning of February, the units will be distributed from Poland across the region, including the Baltic countries, Romania and Bulgaria.  One armor regiment will also be based in Grafenwöhr, Germany, for training and maintenance.
     At the beginning of the 3rd century civil war raged in Britain as the Roman emperor Septimius Severus sought to quell unrest in the north.
         But unknown to the fighting cohorts and Caledonian tribes, high above their heads two stars were coming together in a huge cataclysmic explosion.
           Now 1800 years later the light from that collision will finally arrive on Earth creating a new star in the night sky - dubbed the ‘Boom Star - in an incredibly rare event which is usually only spotted through telescopes.
             Before their meeting the two stars were too dim to be seen by the naked eye, but in 2022, the newly formed Red Nova will burn so brightly in the constellation Cygnus that everyone will be able to to see it.
               “For the first time in history, parents will be able to point to a dark spot in the sky and say, ‘Watch, kids, there’s a star hiding in there, but soon it’s going to light up,” said Dr Matt Walhout, dean for research and scholarship at Calvin College, Michigan, where the prediction was made.
          See also this article at the International Business Times.
                 ... Multiculturalism long ago began to muscle its way into mainline Protestant churches but is now running amok in conservative churches, too, with many Christians fearful of being called a bigot for criticizing other traditions and beliefs.
                   While those in mainline churches tout diversity in a way that differs little from those outside the church, more devout Christians have adopted multiculturalism as a way to better evangelize. Emotion and sentiment have taken over reason, leaving people without the resources to sufficiently analyze threats to our culture and safety, and in some cases, even a diminished interest in doing so. The more pious shame others for their concerns, saying sacrifice and saving souls should come way before worries about ensuring America’s survival as a strong nation.
                She goes on to describe some of the fallacies held about Muslim immigration, including statements to the effect that "we will not be ruled by fear, but by love," and that immigration is a good thing because it brings Muslims into environments where they can be proselytized. Speaking of this latter point, the author writes:
                  However, this turns previous concepts of missionary work on their heads. Missions used to be primarily about assuming risks for yourself and perhaps your family as you ventured into unsafe terrain. By endorsing growing rates of Muslim immigration into the United States, Christians are insisting that their neighbors here assume the risks too, all for the convenience of their evangelism programs.
                    Read the whole thing.
                    • We don't actually need illegal aliens: "Trump's deportation vow spurs California farmers into action"--Associated Press. Spurred by the threat of losing their cheap, illegal alien workers, California farmers are finally investing in farm equipment for harvesting. One example noted at the top of the article:
                    Days after Donald Trump won the White House vowing to deport millions of people in the country illegally and fortify the Mexican border, California farmer Kevin Herman ordered nearly $600,000 in new equipment, cutting the number of workers he'll need starting with the next harvest.
                           The Danish-based toy maker on Wednesday debuted a new toy called Lego Boost, a hybrid building and coding set that the company says combines the play experience of a traditional Lego set with an app-based coding play experience. Lego Boost, developed for children aged 7 or older, will hit retail shelves in the second half of the year and will be priced at $159.99. Lego debuted the set at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
                             The hope is that Lego Boost can help kids learn to code using a downloadable app and the physical toy set. Lego Boost comes with building instructions and coding commands to create five possible Lego creations, including a robot and a cat. The app also includes more than 60 activities related to building and coding. The bricks also come with built-in sensors that can detect color.

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