"Something is Rotten in the State Denmark"--Black Pigeon Speaks (9 min.)
One of the great lies propagated in our time is that immigration, legal or otherwise, is an economic boon to a nation. However, as I've cited on different occasions, studies by various NGOs and think tanks have observed that immigrants (especially illegal aliens) place a much greater burden on American taxpayers than they contribute to the economy to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. Black Pigeon notes similar results from studies in Canada, the UK, and Germany. But the one that is primary focus of his video is one conducted by the government of Denmark which quite blatantly shows that non-Western immigrants, illegal or otherwise, where ever they are from, are a net drain to the Danish economy of tens of billions.
- "The Red Rifleman #1: Practical AK Accuracy"--The New Rifleman. Some thoughts on the accuracy of the AK, including these tid-bits:
- Much of the reputation for poor accuracy is due to cheap ammo and the lack of any drive on the part of manufacturers to create accurate ammunition for the 7.62x39. The author pulled bullets from standard steel ammo and found a fair amount of variance with powder loads. Remeasuring the powder and using a better bullet (what he termed a "Mexican reload") substantially increased his accuracy.
- He installed an Ultimak rail (which replaces the gas tube and upper hand guard), which he found to have actually negatively impacted his accuracy. The author believes this may be because the Ultimak clamps to the barrel and may affect the harmonics (which I find reasonable--if you have seen slow motion video of an AK firing, there is quite a bit of barrel flex).
- "Who Knew? A Guide to 7.62 Ammo"--Recoil (h/t Active Response Training). Using a bolt action rifle chambered in 7.62x39, the authors tested a multitude of different loads from the various manufacturers to give you an idea of velocity (high, low, mean) and accuracy. A very useful resource for any of you that use 7.62x39.
- "Barrel Race 2017"--Victory Gun Blog. Using a new Gen 3 Glock 17, the authors tested 10 of the most popular aftermarket barrels against the standard Glock barrel to determine which was the most accurate. Testing was done using a ransom rest, and three types of ammunition. The results might be surprising to some: the Glock barrel was right in the middle as far as accuracy with an average group size of 2.50 inches. This opened up a bit with a Glock threaded barrel, which was two places behind. KKM was the only manufacturer to give an average group size less than 2 inches.
- "Product Review: the Glock 'Gadget'"--Lurking Rhythmically. The author used it at a MAG-40 class without any problems, and it worked great with the method of reholstering (thumb over the hammer) taught for revolvers and DA semiautos.
- "OPINION: Why I Am Selling My Guns And Why You Should Too"--The Firearms Blog. Over the last 8+ years, Americans have lived in fear of government restrictions on firearms and, accordingly, been buying record numbers of firearms. Now that the threat is more distant in most states, the author suggests that it is now time to take stock of what you have, figure out a handful of firearms to concentrate on, and sell any extra firearms. The money, at least in his case, will be earmarked for better optics, ammunition, and a class or two.
- "Home Security 101: Last Ditch Plans Are Not Enough – What To Do Instead"--More Than Just Surviving. The author explains that a self-defense plan is more than just "shoot the bad guy," or even what type of weapon to have. Instead, you need to consider how a burglar might target your house and how he might get in, and then take steps to thwart him (e.g., better locks or doors, an alarm system, or even making your schedule less predictable). The author notes that he added a second door to his home to make it harder for someone to break in. Several years ago, there were a series of burglaries in my neighborhood where entrance was made to the homes through unlocked back doors (people presumed that since their back yard was fenced, it didn't matter if they locked their doors). Read the whole thing.
- A couple of articles from Blue Collar Prepping which might be considered loosely connected:
- The first, "Got Gas?", discusses the standard underground storage tank (UST) used for storage of gasoline in the United States, and points that would allow you to introduce a hose or pump to siphon gas from said tank. Obviously, this would only for situations where there was a massive population die-off, leaving you to scrounging and scavenging for supplies, or other situations where you were having to pump gas without the benefit of electricity to the gas station's pumps.
- The second article, "Pump It Up", discusses a couple of common pumps and how they work: the centrifugal pump and the positive displacement pump.
- "The Concrete Hobo Stove"--Dreaming Of Sunsets Over Ochre Dunes. The author describes how he made a "hobo stove" (similar to a rocket stove) out of concrete, and tests it out. Obviously too heavy to move around, but definitely durable.
- "8 Levee Failure Survival Tips"--Survival Life. With a wet winter and spring in many areas of the country, it is possible that levees may fail, resulting in floods. The author has tips and suggestions, but as he notes, the first step to find out if you are in a danger area (for instance, do you live in a flood plain) and keep an eye or ear on the news in the event of problems.
- "7 Amazing Ways to Make Room in Your Budget for Food Storage"--Store This Not That. The most important item is to plan menus to prevent unnecessary shopping trips or having to eat out.
- "How To Use The Moon To Plan Your Gardening Season"--The Survival Mom. Apparently different moons (e.g., the "harvest moon") were reminders of farming/agricultural steps: preparing soil or planting, harvest, etc.
- "6 Essentials for Prepping with a Special Needs Child"--Prepper Journal. Not a list of things you should have, but a list of planning steps: (1) inventory your needs; (2) communicating with your child about preparations and explaining plans (including what NOT to do); (3) prepare in advance; (4) prepare for the more likely disasters (e.g., if you live in an earthquake prone area, prepping for an earthquake); (5) storing the right things (including medications); and (6) learn about non-medicinal alternatives in case you should run out of medicines.
- "US 'sends two more aircraft carriers to Korean Peninsula' after Trump warns that Kim Jong-un has 'got to behave'"--Daily Mail.
- "Russia: Embarrassing Cold War Reminders"--Strategy Page. The successful cruise missile strike on an airbase deep inside Syria is a reminder to the world that much of Russia's weapons technology is not up to countering weapons fielded by the United States and its closest allies.
- "RIP Turkey, 1921 – 2017: Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t just win his constitutional referendum — he permanently closed a chapter of his country’s modern history" by Steven A. Cook at Foreign Policy. The vote was a referendum not only on Erdogan's powers, but on the secular state. The majority of "no" votes were from the more secularized cities and coastal regions of Western Turkey, while it was the more populous, and conservative (that is, Islamic) interior that gave Erdogan his victory. Cook remarks on this point:
Turkey’s Islamists have long venerated the Ottoman period. In doing so, they implicitly expressed thinly veiled contempt for the Turkish Republic. For Necmettin Erbakan, who led the movement from the late 1960s to the emergence of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in August 2001, the republic represented cultural abnegation and repressive secularism in service of what he believed was Ataturk’s misbegotten ideas that the country could be made Western and the West would accept it. Rather, he saw Turkey’s natural place not at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels but as a leader of the Muslim world, whose partners should be Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Iran, and Indonesia.
Erdogan’s ambition helped propel Turkey to this point. But unlike the caricature of a man who seeks power for the sake of power, the Turkish leader actually has a vision for the transformation of Turkey in which the country is more prosperous, more powerful, and more Muslim, meaning conservative and religious values would shape the behavior and expectations of Turks as they make their way in life.
- "What Erdogan’s Win Means"--American Interest. From the piece:
Within Turkey, the vote is an affirmation of the steps Erdogan has taken following the coup attempt, including a re-assertion of control of the military, political repression of the opposition, and massive purges across Turkish society.
But more importantly it’s also a symbolic end to the century-old Kemalist secular project in Turkey. Much as Ataturk wielded similar powers to end the Ottoman Caliphate and bring the Turkish Republic into being, Erdogan will now have the unfettered power to remake Turkey into a great power in the Ottomanist tradition. Whether an Islamist Turkey can remain a partner of the EU, a NATO ally, and a pillar of regional stability, however, is unknown.
- "Who Lost Turkey? (Revisited)" by Mark Steyn. Discussing the demographics of the vote, Steyn observes:
The fundamental problem is not Turkish democracy, but Turkish demography. Whether or not demography is always destiny, it certainly is in a democratic age. You can have a functioning democracy in a relatively homogeneous society in which parties compete over tax policy and health care. But, when a nation is divided into two groups with fundamentally opposing views of what that society is or should be, then democracy becomes tribal, and the size of the tribe determines the outcome.
And that, he argues, doomed the secular portions of Turkey, which simply haven't been reproducing at the rate of the Islamic interior.
- "Maduro orders Venezuela army into streets"--AFP (via Yahoo). To control anticipated protests on Wednesday.
- Heh. Ed Driscoll, commenting on this past weekend's fighting at demonstrations in Berkeley writes:
The Tea Party was a peaceful protest made up of plenty of middle-aged men and women who saw themselves called Nazis and racists by the Cathedral for their efforts at reforming Big Government. Trump’s core supporters are made of tougher stock – and they know the DNC-MSM’s narrative is pre-written, no matter what happens. No one can say they’re surprised at this past weekend’s news. (OK, maybe the wedgies, though.)
- "Revealed: 14,000-year-old village ‘older than Egyptian pyramids’ sheds light on how civilisation began in North America"--Daily Mail. The village was found on the coast of British Columbia, and therefore supports the theory that early Americans moved from Asia to North America by traveling along the coast, instead of the more widely taught theory that they came via an ice-free inland route.