Thursday, April 27, 2017

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

"MURDERS IN US VERY CONCENTRATED: 54% OF US COUNTIES IN 2014 HAD ZERO MURDERS, 2% OF COUNTIES HAVE 51% OF THE MURDERS"--Crime Prevention Research Center. The article also notes that when looking at the counties with high murder rates, murders are not evenly distributed throughout any such county. For instance, "[t]ake Los Angeles County, with 526 murders in 2014, the most of any county in the US. The county has virtually no murders in the northwestern part of the county. There was only one murder each in Beverly Hills, Hawthorne, and Van Nuys. Clearly, different parts of the county face very different risks of murder."

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • Not to be outdone by Mossberg: "Remington Introduce Model 870 Tac-14 – Featuring 14in. Barrel No Tax Stamp Required"--Ammo Land. MSRP is stated as being $443.05, which seems an odd number. 
  • "Best .22LR Rifles For The Money – 2017 Rimfire Reviews"--My Hunting Gear. This article is more than just a review of some of the author's favorite .22s, but contains a list of considerations for selecting a .22 rifle. One part of the list was a good breakdown of pros and cons of semi-auto versus bolt-action, looking specifically at price, magazines, speed of shooting, accuracy/ballistics. One thing to consider is the range at which you expect to shoot the rifle. Generally speaking, .22 rifles are intended to be 50 yard guns, but a good one should allow accurate shooting at 100 yards or more (provided that there isn't a lot of wind). Realistic hunting distances on small game may be far less: 25 yards seems to be the range commonly thrown about for things such as rabbits and squirrels. 
  • Related: "Steyr Arms to Unveil the Rimfire Scout RFR at the NRA Annual Meetings"--Ammo Land. It has the forward Picatinny rail for a scout scope (or red dot), but lacks the integral bipod of its larger caliber brother. It will be available in .22 LR, .17 HMR, and .22 WMR. It does use a straight-pull action, which should be fast. It just seems overly heavy at 7.3 lbs. (not including whatever scope you put on it).
  • "Review: Aguila Ammunition 12 Gauge 'MiniShell'- A Game Changing Round for Wilderness Survival Shotguns"--Rocky Mountain Bushcraft.  According to the article, "[t]he MiniShell is a shortened 1 3/4" Shotgun shell with a 5/8 ounce load of #7.5 Birdshot." The advantages is that each shell only weighs the same as a .410 shell, but has a much better pattern of shot for hunting small game. The author only tested it in a single barrel, break action shotgun (the type generally touted for a survival weapon), so it is not clear if it would work through any other type of action. The author had two criticisms: first, that the #7.5 shot is too light for many small animals, including rabbits, and recommends that Aguila offer it in #6 shot; the second is the price--$13 to $16 dollars for a 20-round box, making it more expensive than most high-brass 12 gauge loads. However, it seems to be competitive with the prices I've seen for .410.
  • "Ohio Woman Shoots Intruder After He Tackles Her in Her Elderly Parents’ Home"--Washington Free Beacon. The man was in the garage when the woman called police. While waiting for the police to arrive, she advised the man that police had been called and to not come out as she had a gun and would shoot him. As would expected, the man came out and attempted to wrest the revolver from the woman, who shot him in the lower extremities (the article is not clear where), after which he fled the scene. Ignoring whether or not she should have attempted to hold the man until the police arrived, she should have kept greater distance from him and/or put some object (e.g., a car) between her and him. The story indicates that he lunged and was then face-to-face with her, which suggests that the initial distance was not that great.
  • Don't be this man: "Missing Taiwanese trekker found in Himalayas after 47 days"--BBC News. The man and his girlfriend (who did not survive) decided to go hiking on remote mountain trails despite a heavy snowfall. They apparently slid off a slippery trail and down into a cave-like formation (a grotto?) and were not able to climb out. Apparently they hadn't told anyone where they were going, or when they were expected back. It was only when they hadn't returned from their trip and their parents began to worry that authorities were notified and a search started.

Other Stuff:
  • Related: Just how effective will that air defense system be? "Damascus airport rocked by 'Israeli strikes' on arms depot"--France 24. The article states that "Syrian rebel and intelligence sources said Israel struck an arms supply hub on Thursday operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport where weapons from Tehran are regularly sent by commercial and military cargo planes."
  • "Liberals Begin Strategy Of Flash Anarchy"--Anonymous Conservative. Commentary on the "protesters" that forced their way into the Heritage Foundation. AC predicts that these flash "protests" will become increasingly violent and then, "[w]atch how fast the cucks line up behind the alt-right once they realize they need Based Stickman and his armored phalanx to survive."
  • Related: "A Chilling Threat of Political Violence in Portland"--The Atlantic. Portland is cancelling its yearly 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade because of threats made by leftist fascists after it was learned that Republicans, of all people, would be participating in the parade. Fascists threatened:
"You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group's registration or else face action from protesters.
The article also reports:
The email went on to speculate that right-wing extremists would march among the Republicans, and warned, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out as we will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward lgbt, immigrants, people of color or others.”
  • Related: "UC Berkeley Gears Up For Violent Protests Over Coulter Speech Cancellation"--CBS  SFBay Area. From the article: "Following the cancellation of the Ann Coulter speech at University of California, Berkeley, far-right supporters plan to hold a rally Thursday to denounce what they claim is the attempted silencing of their conservative views, stoking fears of another violent encounter with far-left groups."
As China shifted to a hybrid capitalist system and globalized in the late 20th century, so did its criminal economy. Indeed, an overlooked but important trend has been the rise in Chinese organized crime in Latin America. While their presence is not entirely new to the region, Chinese organized crime is also a natural by-product of the increased legitimate human and commercial interactions between the two regions. Narcotics and commodities smuggling, human trafficking, racketeering and extortion, and other illicit activities are all facilitated by this increased trade. Since China plans to continue deepening commercial ties with Latin America, it is possible that the increased flow of goods and people could present more opportunities for Chinese triads to expand their operations. It is abundantly clear that one country where they have such a past, present, and future in this enterprise is Mexico, and the implications are worrisome for both Mexico and her northern neighbor.
  • Cultural enrichment in Germany: "German Govt: Crime by Immigrants Skyrocketed 50% Last Year"--Heat Street. "Figures published this week confirm that police hunted 174,000 suspects classed as immigrants during 2016 – up 52.7 per cent on the previous year." The article also reports that crimes motivated by Islamism increased by 13.7%. I presume the latter only applies to terrorist attacks, and not crimes committed by Muslims because they thought it was appropriate to take from the Kaffir
  • "More Culture-Enriching Hospital Rapes, This Time in Hamburg"--Gates of Vienna. This time, a 25-year old Afghani man sexually molested a 15-year old female patient. Get this, though: after police initially detained the man, "[a]fter taking his personal data, he was released for lack of reasons for arrest." Also:
The same St. Georg Hospital, and the Altona Hospital, now offer an escort service for their nurses after shift, because within the past few weeks two nurses have been raped on hospital premises or in a nearby park, when they heard someone yelling for help —hey rushed to where the shouts coming from, and instead found themselves attacked, beaten up and brutally raped by several men.
  • K selection must be rising in Germany. Two reports:
  • First, German police have arrested an officer in the German Army who they believe was going to carry out an attack on immigrants (or a false flag attack against Germans). It is not clear from the article whether the arrest arises from an earlier attempt to hide a weapon in Vienna in January and retrieve it in February (he was arrested by Austrian police, but then released), but indicates that authorities believe he was planning an attack (whether on immigrants or a false flag). The same article indicates that another man living in the same town was arrested for possibly the same reason, although there is no explicit connection between the two. 
           Serious and fatal bouts of malaria in the United States are a greater problem than has been previously reported, according to a new study. Most appear to be in immigrants who have made summer or Christmas visits to their home countries without taking precautions against infection.
             The typical victim appears to be a man ranging in age from 20 to 50 who is from Africa or the Caribbean, said the lead author, Diana Khuu, an epidemiologist at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.
      The article notes that India is another major source of for these infections. 
      • Diversity is our strength: "Muslim Open Carrier Ehab Jaber"--The Captain's Journal. Jaber, you may remember from news stories, had shown up at Christian conference on the dangers of Islam, wanting to convince the attendees that Muslims weren't dangerous--while in a car loaded down with weapons and ammunition. After being ejected from the premises, and displaying true Jihadist logic:
               Jaber went to his car, and still sitting in the parking lot, once more took to Facebook Live where he began complaining about how many people were in attendance. It was then that Jaber asked “ya know, if you want to be really scared?”
                 Jaber then reached behind him and began displaying various handguns and an AK-47, each time saying “be scared.” Pulling out an extended magazine and an AR-15 he added “be f***ing terrified.”
           Herschel Smith reports on further developments in the story, including that Jaber has since been arrested for possession of meth. However, to those wanting to know why the police didn't do anything earlier, Smith has a word of advice:
          ... Hard times are coming, sir.  Hard, hard times.  Law enforcement will implement and effect the wishes of the rulers, and the rulers do not have your interests at heart.  You’d better gun up now and try to keep that blood from running cold.  You’d better steel yourself, calm your nerves and prepare for battle.  It’s interested in you even if you aren’t interested in it.
          • The science is never settled: "Incredible discovery places humans in California 130,000 years ago"--Ars Technica. See also these articles from USA Today, BBC News, and the The Guardian, Basic story is that in 1992, a trove of mastodon bones and what appeared to be stone tools and a camp sight were discovered in California. The bones appear to have been shattered using the stone tools. The soil in which the items were discovered was undisturbed. The problem was dating the remains. However, newer methods of dating show that the bones and tools were buried roughly 130,000 years ago. The implication is that early hominids (possibly Neanderthal) had settled in North America much longer than prior previously believed time of 15,000 years ago. Of course, there are anthropologists and archaeologists that question whether the stone tools are really tools at all. 
                 The issue of when and how the Americas were originally settled has been contentious for decades. Not only is there evidence suggesting that settlers may have leap-frogged down the Pacific Coast rather than using a theorized internal ice-free passage across the Bering Strait and down through Canada, but that there were multiple waves of settlements.
                 Problems with the accepted theory really began to show up with additional evidence from South America. For instance, a site in Chile called Monte Verde is now believed to date back to over 18,000 years ago (even its original dating put it at over 14,000 years old, which by itself challenged the view that humans entered North America 15,000 years ago). In addition, findings of early human settlements in Northeast Brazil have been dated to as much as 22,000 years old, which in itself caused consternation among scientists and still is not fully accepted because, if correct, the first trans-Bering Strait migrations took place between 20 and 40 thousand years ago. And some researchers believe that some of the sites in Brazil were settled as much as 32,000 years ago
          • A heads up to us all: "Goodbye, Evangelicalism"--American Conservative. Rod Deher has published a letter from a long-time reader on why he (the reader) is leaving his Evangelical congregation for another church. (Deher also has updates from other people commenting on the original letter). The problem that the reader had noticed in the congregation he attended, as well as the Evangelical movement in general (although, I daresay that this is not limited to the reader's church or Evangelicalism) is how shallow are the foundations of faith among church goers and, in particular, the youth. He writes, for instance:
                   ... And what dawned on me was that a great many of these people who had been raised on Scripture, prayer, and Sunday School lacked any kind of cohesive Christian worldview. They knew dozens, maybe hundreds, of Bible verses but could not connect them to larger themes or ideas. The problem is that when ideas about sex or greed or whatever are not grounded in a larger framework, it’s easy to simply discard them. “We don’t practice animal sacrifice as Leviticus tells us, so why should I take what it has to say about sex seriously?” So the minute that a younger Christian faces cultural pressure because of their beliefs, the inclination is to ask “How important is this particular belief?” rather than “Is my entire framework for living going to collapse if I change?” And what I saw was that despite all the Bible study and whatnot, the culture won almost every time.
                     Even in youth groups, certain kids were held up as role models of what good Christian kids look like, even though the entire county knew those same kids were hammering down beers illegally on Friday night, bragging about stealing, and even discussing sexual adventures on social media. Yet come Sunday they are “walking right with the Lord”. And there seemed to be an invisible but very real pressure among families to present as the Mr. & Mrs. Perfect Christian Family, as if problems don’t exist in truly Christian households.
                As I said, this is not something limited to just one congregation or sect. I suspect that the reader is going to eventually be disappointed wherever he goes because this seems endemic throughout Christendom.
                       The basic problem is that religion is no longer the center of our social and family lives, and, in an attempt to make Christianity more amenable and inclusive to everyone, many churches and/or members have become unmoored from basic Christian principles. We are at a time of a great schism, the separation of the wheat from the tares, and the chaff from the grain, but we are too afraid to lose members. How long can you keep the rebellious and unrepentant, even the saboteur, within the flock?
                       We have also lost sight of the grand goal. We have the potential to be co-heirs with Christ in his Father's Kingdom. The Christian heaven is not the heaven of other religions, where the reward is satiation of our earthly lusts, but is one of great joy and great responsibility. It requires that we develop moral principles, love and self-control, even if it conflicts with our mortal wants and desires. Christ is our example. He could have smitten those who tried, tortured, and killed him, but he exercised his self-control for the greater good.   

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