- CNBC reports: "Some 14,000 residents have been evacuated from homes in San Jose because of rising floodwaters. Crews worked to rescue people and pets trapped in their cars and homes overnight. A stretch of Highway 101 [the main route between San Francisco and San Jose] is closed in both directions south of San Francisco." (Warning: video plays automatically). The local ABC affiliate also reports that 50,000 San Jose residents are under flood evacuation orders.
- "Counter Protest Driving"--Gabe Suarez. He discusses some tips regarding your vehicle and other preparations, the importance of good intelligence (e.g., news reports on planned protests), and mindset. In the latter most regard, he notes:
In order of escalation:
1). Avoid the road where any protest is planned. Some times this will be easier than others.
2). If the police are there...its their gig. Stay out of it.
3). Your safety and that of your vehicle surpasses the importance of traffic laws.
He also warns: "There is a difference between being delayed by the antics of these 'flower children', and being attacked by a mob. It is important to not over react. but also important to not be stuck on stupid when they flower children turn into a legitimate riot with you as the focus." Read the whole thing.
- "How to Defend Yourself Inside of a Vehicle"--Shooting Illustrated. This would have been better titled how to defend yourself in or around a vehicle. One tip:
If you’re right-handed and wear a hip holster like most of us do, you’ll notice all the seat belt hardware converges on and blocks access to your holstered pistol, or would if you were wearing it. ...
The technique for handling this scenario is fairly simple, if you’ve thought about it in advance. If you can drive away, do so. If you can’t, secure the vehicle.” Then grasp the seat belt with your left hand near your left shoulder and slide the hand the length of the belt down to the latch at your right hip. With your right hand, unlatch the belt. Holding the seat belt tab in your left hand, lift it clear of the latch and guide it around the top and outside of the steering wheel up to the connection point by your left shoulder. As the belt retreats toward the anchor point, your right hand draws the pistol and follows the path of your left hand around the top and outside of the steering wheel. As the gun clears the top of the wheel and comes to bear on the driver’s window, your left hand joins the right hand in a solid, two-hand firing grip. At no time during this sweeping draw stroke from your right hip to left-side chest does the pistol’s muzzle cross any part of your body, nor is the seat belt allowed to get tangled on any part of the car. If the threat hasn’t retreated, you deal with it and move on, because the fight isn’t over.
- "Loop Sling vs Tactical Sling as a Shooting Aid"--Art of the Rifle. The author reports on his tests of using a loop sling versus a tactical sling to steady his rifle: the loop sling did much better.
- "I'm a pretty good shot... and hand, finger, and grip strength have a lot to do with it."--God, Gals, Guns, Grub. The author discusses why "trigger jobs" and other improvements are still pretty useless without a good grip and trigger control; why finger, hand and grip strength is important; and discusses some exercises to improve hand strength.
- When you have to pee: "Dealing with Liquid Waste While Bugging Out"--Apartment Prepper.
- "Agency and Interdependence"--Rory Miller discusses the seeming conflict between our necessary interdependence (not just social, but material: we rely on others for our food, electricity, etc.) and individual agency. He doesn't see the two as contradictory because it is our agency and individualism that drives us to be a better person and, hence, more valuable to society. But others don't see it that way:
You can look at the collectivist movements (socialism, communism, fascism) as attempts to force a tribal level of interdependence from the top down. It takes massive control because the tribes are artificial and we have enough radical ideas and different points of view that people can find their own tribes and can easily switch tribes. In order for it to work, people would need a monolithic set of values. Hence force. And failure. But those movements appeal mightily to the people looking for that sense of connection.
- The religion of peace: "'Don't go to Cary [North Carolina] tomorrow': Man charged with making online threat"--WRAL. As part of his threat, the arrestee wrote: “For too long the kuffar [non-Muslims] have spit in our faces and trampled our rights. This cannot continue. I cannot speak of anything. Say your dua [prayers], sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning . . .” The news report goes on to indicate that "[a] search warrant executed at Grimsley's apartment resulted in the recovery of an AK-47 rifle, four 30-round magazines and about 340 rounds of ammunition, authorities said." Only 4 magazines? Not planning on doing much, I'd say.
- Cultural outreach: "Family of nine Iraqi asylum seekers 'gang-raped drunk woman in Austria for two hours as she pleaded "No, I don't want this" after luring her from her friends on New Year's Eve'"--Daily Mail. Another violation of the 3 rules of self-defense: she was at a bar at 3 a.m., completely drunk, and went off with 4 of the men.
- Stockholm syndrome: "Actually, Sweden is having big trouble with Mideast refugees"--New York Post. From the article:
Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, and nearly 40,000 in October of that year alone. For a country of fewer than 10 million, this was almost equal to 2 percent of the population — in one year.
According to Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji, the country spends 1.5 percent of its GDP on the asylum-seekers, more than on its defense budget. Sweden is spending twice the entire budget of the United Nations high commissioner responsible for refugees worldwide. Pressed for housing, Sweden spends as much on sheltering 3,000 people in tents as it would cost to care for 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- Related: "Trump Is Completely Right About the Crisis in Sweden"--Robert Spencer.
- Related: "Facing death chants and hate crimes, Sweden’s Jews live in a climate of fear"--Times of Israel. The article begins: "On a chilly fall day, passersby on a central street in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, were greeted with chants in Arabic urging the killing of Jews."
- "Mormon church joins fight against feds’ transgender restroom directive"--Salt Lake Tribune. The Church has jointly filed an amicus curiae brief with six other churches opposing federal transgender guidelines in a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Despite what they called "disagreements on many points of faith," the groups outlined their common opposition to the U.S. Department of Education policy extending Title IX protections to transgender students, warning it would threaten religious liberty.
This is a battle that was lost in 1964. Once the government could force people to associate with others based on grounds of race, gender or religion, the rest was just additional steps down the same long road.
- To dissolve the people and elect another: "Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote"--Washington Times. Based on a survey, so it undoubtedly under reports the actual magnitude of the problem.
- "Saith The Man-God: ‘Everything Is Permitted’"--Rod Dreher, writing at the American Conservative, cites from a 1989 article by Glenn Tinder at The Atlantic. Tinder was writing about what it means to be Christian, but in the process, discusses a form of idolatry: worshiping the philosophies of men. The key point:
... Dostoevsky wrote that a person “cannot live without worshipping something.” Anyone who denies God must worship an idol—which is not necessarily a wooden or metal figure. In our time we have seen ideologies, groups, and leaders receive divine honors. People proud of their critical and discerning spirit have rejected Christ and bowed down before Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or some other secular savior.
The consequence is nihilism and belief that everything is permitted.
- "New Evidence Links the Collapse of Aztec Society to a Deadly Salmonella Outbreak"--Science Alert. From the article:
The worst of those outbreaks were known as cocoliztli, from the word "pestilence" in the Aztec language Nahuatl.
It's during one of these cocoliztli, between 1545 and 1550, that up to 80 percent of the native population is believed to have perished.
Researchers studying DNA extracted from teeth from burials during that period have found traces of a strain of salmonella, Salmonella Paratyphi C., which is spread through fecal matter and causes enteric fever -- a typhus-like illness.
- "Scientists discover 7 Earthlike planets orbiting a nearby star"--Washington Post. By "earthlike," astronomers mean small, rocky worlds. In any event, from the article:
The newly discovered solar system resembles a scaled-down version of our own. The star at its center, an ultra-cool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is less than a tenth the size of our sun and about a quarter as warm. Its planets circle tightly around it; the closest takes just a day and a half to complete an orbit and the most distant takes about 20 days. If these planets orbited a larger, brighter star they would be fried to a crisp. But TRAPPIST-1 is so cool that all seven of the bodies are bathed in just the right amount of warmth to hold liquid water. And three of them receive the same amount of heat as Venus, Earth and Mars, putting them in “the habitable zone,” that Goldilocks region where it's thought life can thrive.
Still, “Earthlike” is a generous term to describe these worlds. Though the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system resemble Earth in terms of size, mass and the energy they receive from their star, there's a lot that makes our planet livable besides being a warm rock. Further observation is required to figure out what the TRAPPIST-1 planets are made of, if they have atmospheres and whether they hold water, methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide — the molecules that scientists consider “biosignatures,” or signs of life.
* * *
... Though the star is small, its nearness to the planets means that, from their perspective, it appears about three times as large as our sun. The outermost planets enjoy the daily spectacle of their neighbors passing across the sky and in front of their shared sun, each world a large dark spot silhouetted against the salmon-colored star. Its dim glow, which skews toward the red and infrared end of the light spectrum, bathes the planets in warmth and paints their skies with the crimson hues of a perpetual sunset.