Thoughts About Syria:
First up, some relevant commentary regarding Trump's attack on Syria. As I noted yesterday, and as the MSM is gleefully reporting, the attack has upset many in Trump's base of supporters who, in part, supported Trump for his pledge to get the U.S. out of the mess in the Middle-East.
- In the video above, Paul Joseph Watson is quite critical of the attack, pointing out certain facts that suggest that the alleged sarin nerve gas attack was a false flag attack, and critical that much of Trump's foreign policy team are members of the Council on Foreign Relations--i.e., globalists.
- In this second video, Black Pigeon Speaks provides some additional details that indicate that the attack was a false flag attack, including that sarin was not used, but offers up the theory that this was an astute political move from the President. Specifically, Black Pigeon first notes that the Syrians had, in fact, had time to remove their personnel and equipment prior to the attack on what he describes as a backwater airbase. Second, by ordering the attack, Trump has distinguished himself from Obama (who repeatedly spoke of "red lines" but did nothing if they were crossed), appeased the warmongers among the RHINOs and Democrats, and impressed Chinese officials that he will respond quickly and decisively. Third, through this attack, Trump has put to rest the accusations that he was a Russian stooge. Finally, he notes that the attack makes no significant changes on the ground in Syria.
- Vox Day recognizes that the attack has disenchanted Trump's most ardent supporters, but also observes that, in the grand scheme of things, this is really a minor event. He writes: "But as long as he builds that big beautiful wall and keeps repatriating immigrants, I don't really care all that much one way or the other. Americans shouldn't worry overmuch about war abroad, they should be worrying more about the coming war at home."
- I've written before that those of you that use glasses should have extra pairs, even if it is keeping your older pair of glasses. That advice literally hit home today. I was readying my utility trailer for a trip to the local garbage dump, and a bungy cord tie down I was adjusting slipped loose, and the hook struck me in the glasses and forehead with enough force that it knocked both lenses from the frame (fortunately, I was able to recover both lenses after hunting around). I reverted to an older pair of glasses until I could get the lenses replaced into the frame (I went to the store where I purchased my frames rather than do it myself).
- "BREAKING: Civilian Marksmanship Program May Receive 86,000 M1 Garand Rifles from the Philippines"--The Firearms Blog. This is great news for collectors and firearms aficionados. I'm not saying that the Garand is an ideal weapon for preppers (in fact, I believe it has some serious shortcomings). But I welcome having these historically important weapons repatriated and sold to the public.
- Product announcement: "Birchwood Casey Barricade Dauber Pen"--The Tactical Wire. "The Barricade Rust Protection Dauber Pen rapidly drives out moisture from the pores of metals and deposits a transparent protective coating, which seals the surface and prevents rust."
- "Skill Set: Empty Reload"--Tactical Wire. The author is discussing the reloading of a semi-automatic pistol after the magazine has been emptied and, in most cases, the slide will be locked back open. The author goes through each step, including tips to get your finger off the trigger and to refrain from lowering the pistol--keep it still pointed in the direction of the threat(s). However, after you've seated the new magazine, the author recommends against using the slide release, writing:
Now it's time to chamber a round. We teach cycling the slide to load, as opposed to using the "slide lock" as a release. There are several reasons for this. First, this is the way the pistols are designed to function. The slide is locked to the rear, but when you pull back it will come rearward another quarter inch or so. This ensures full spring pressure to feed and seat the fresh round. This is also the same technique used with the slide for all other manipulations. Some pistols don't have external slide locks; cycling the slide is the only way they will work. Keep in mind, there's no Golden Rule that says you'll always have your handgun. We want one set of skills that will work for all semi-auto pistols.
This advice is not uncommon in the defensive and competition shooting communities, although I suspect that the origin is more the result of pistol designs (the G.I. 1911 comes to mind) where the slide release lever is out of reach of all but the longest thumbs, than because of the need for full spring pressure to feed a round. If your handgun allows you to manipulate the slide release, then use it--your thumb should be there, or in the general vicinity, if you are holding the handgun correctly. If pulling the slide fully to the rear is the difference between your pistol reliably feeding a round or not, you have serious problems with your pistol that need to be looked at.
The excuse to not use the slide release because you might have to use a pick-up weapon lacking a slide release seems rather contrived and unlikely. Grant Cunningham has written of the value of training for likely, plausible, and possible (i.e., improbable but still allowed by the law of physics), and notes that most of your training should focus on the likely, reserve some time for the plausible, but skip off training for the improbable. Sounds like good advice to me.
I know that there is the occasional story of a victim wrestling a weapon from another person and using it, but I've never seen any statistics indicating how common it is. However, I've never heard of someone, in a self-defense situation, wrestling the other person's weapon away, as well as any extra magazines for reloading. Thus, learning a certain technique simply on the off chance that you will have both another person's weapon and their extra magazines seems to fall into the realm of improbable.
- "A Look at the JetLoader Speedloader"--Revolver Guy. The Jet Loader is a variety of spring assisted speed loader for revolvers. In this case, it uses a single spring to force the bullets into the cylinder, rather than relying on gravity. I understand that they are popular in revolver competitions (where not using moon clips), but I've never used them--mostly because I haven't seen any made for my particular revolvers. What sets this product apart, however, is that it is available in a model designed for use in 5-shot J-frame revolvers as well as the larger service revolvers.
- "Throwsticks"--Functional Self-Defense. The author has a friend who manufactures and sells throwsticks--e.g., the hunting (non-return) boomerang. The author writes: "The throwsticks or kylie that Ben is making are awesome survival tools. They’re designed to fly straight and level, and you can throw them a solid 85 meters if not farther. The Australian Aborigines used them primarily for hunting, but they also doubled as close range striking weapons, and you could use them as a close range throwing weapon too." I've played around a bit with the Cold Steel boomerang, and I have to say that they are impressive weapons. (Cold Steel also makes a club--the Gun Stock Warclub--which the Combat Knife Thrower has used as a throwing weapon to good effect). Obviously, they take practice, but I could see them as an option in a country or province that restricts more modern weapons.
In any event, the author segues into a more general discussion of throwing things in a self-defense scenario:
In addition to the throwsticks being a great deal of fun, I think learning to throw objects in self defense is seriously undervalued. It’s unlikely that you’re going to take someone out completely by throwing something at them, although if you nailed someone in the face or knee with one of Ben’s throwsticks that would certainly do the job! But throwing things at an opponent is an excellent idea, and the more accurate and harder you can do it, the better. In most natural environments there will be something you can throw at your opponent, and if you accurately hum something at your opponent’s face you will always get some kind of reaction, putting your opponent on defense. Either your opponent will get hit in the face, or he will be forced to move and/or block. Any of these options will create openings for you to exploit.
In my book on weapon use and defense I demonstrate at least a couple of examples of throwing objects at an opponent in self defense – using a backpack and a book. One of my favorite combinations is to throw something at an opponent’s face and follow with an immediate kick to the groin, etc.. You can do this with almost anything. As I sit here typing this post, my laptop, a vase in front of me, and a magazine next to me could all be used for such a purpose. If someone knocked down my front door my first move would be to grab whatever is next to me and throw it at them, putting them on defense and buying me a bit more time to get an advantage. In order to be as effective as possible with such a tactic, actually practicing throwing objects at targets makes sense. This is another reason I really love Ben’s throwsticks. They’re fun, useful for self defense training, and for anyone into outdoor survival they’re an excellent tool for a variety of purposes.
- "YouTube Ad Policy Killing Gun Channels?"--The Truth About Guns. It seems that YouTube's latest tactic to persecute gun aficionados is to label gun related videos as age inappropriate for children, and thus not open to ad revenues through the site. Of course, users could complain, but perhaps it is time for the firearms community to publicly and in a coordinated fashion move to another video upload service.
- "A Closer Look at the SogFari 10″ Machete from SOG"--Security and Self-Reliance. A review of the named machete. It apparently is a full tang blade and, while short, the author's testing showed it to be a good chopper. It also has a saw blade on the spine, which the author found to be serviceable. Check it out.
- "Should I be worried about keeping my mags loaded?"--The Loadout Room. The article reports on a study using a number of magazines--one unloaded, one with one round, a second with two rounds, etc., up to a fully loaded magazine--and let them sit for 6 months and then tested the spring strength. As a control, they also tested a magazine that was used regularly for shooting during the same time period. The results? "[E]mpty to 12 rounds had negligible spring tension loss, 13 and 14 round mags had approx 5% loss, and the fully loaded mag lost about 10%. The mag which was used routinely lost almost 15% of spring tension."
- The EMP Commission issued reports describing the potential impact of an attack from a nuclear weapon generating an electromagnetic pulse. Among other things, they tested EMP pulses on different equipment, including automobiles. One of the interesting conclusions was that an EMP would temporarily disable a vehicle (cause it to stall), but could be subsequently restarted. However, I saw a letter published on Survival Blog that indicates that these findings were misleading. From the letter:
Dr. Pry is the head of The Commission to Assess EMP. He stated that when it came to testing motor vehicles, they were mandated to “hold back” on the strength of the pulse the vehicles were subjected to, for budgetary reasons. They were further told to do this so the test vehicles would suffer minimal damage, thus making them easy to repair and sell. Therefore, according the Dr. Pry , we really don’t know the consequences/damage a strong pulse will do to modern motor vehicles. ...
- "Warning: Do You Recognize these Five Common Piles of Prepper BS"--The Survivalist Blog. The theories or beliefs that he identifies are: (1) the Golden Horde; (2) without rule of law; (3) shoot first; (4) bugging out to the woods; and (5) relying on the isolation of a retreat for safety.
- A dose of reality: "If You Haven't Got Problems I Feel Bad For You Son, I've Got 99 Problems And A Gun Ain't One..."--Revolver Science. The author argues that too often, people interested in self-defense worry too much about the weapon we carry. In responding to a reader of his blog that is concerned about not having the best weapon and holster, he notes that self-defense relies less on the weapon than the man (or woman) employing it. He begins by noting the relative effectiveness of the .22 LR versus other handgun calibers based on pure statistics of shooting outcomes, because shot placement is more important than caliber. He also points out:
If you are on a tight budget, I’d work on finding open source ways to increase your MENTAL AWARENESS AND PREPAREDNESS, like I describe HERE. I know that the industry tends to make the folks that don’t have the latest and greatest guns and gear feel marginalized, and inadequate, but that’s how companies sell products. It’s not just the firearms industry…it’s just marketing that works on humans. So, bottom line, worry about something else, keep your head on a swivel, maintain your physical health and fitness, identify, know and understand the criminal threats in your area of operations, be a skillful driver, learn some emergency medical skills to include CPR, the Heimlich and AED use, and get in a good dry-practice program with your revolver. Carry a tube of pepper spray on your keychain and a med kit in your vehicle, and get on with your life!
- Another "known wolf" attack: "Police arrest SIX more suspects over the Stockholm truck attack as three are bundled out of a car linked to the atrocity and special forces raid a property 20km from the scene where four were killed"--Daily Mail. The article indicates that the suspect was 39 years old, from Uzbekistan, and was known to security services.
- Diversity is our strength: "Swedish anti-terror police - including a Muslim officer praised by colleagues - are pelted with STONES while arresting Stockholm attack suspects near migrant district Trump called a 'no-go zone'"--Daily Mail.
- And the inevitable hate crimes against Muslims: "Soldiers of Odin target Muslim school in Stockholm"--The Local. The article reports:
Far-right group Soldiers of Odin targeted a Muslim school in a Stockholm suburb following reports the school had segregated its children by gender on the bus.
The Al Azhar school in Vällingby told newspaper Stockholm Direkt that members of the anti-immigrant vigilante group had put up propaganda stickers in the schoolyard and filmed some of their pupils.
Stickers! The horror!
- Update: This is not the first time the Al Azhar school has come under criticism for segregating students by gender. Last August, the school provoked "outrage" in Sweden when it was discovered to have been segregating its students. (See, e.g., this article from The Express). And, as early as 2015, a Swedish blogger warned that the school was promoting the Islamization of Sweden. The filming of students was merely an attempt to document that the segregation of the students by gender was still continuing.
- Because climate scientists are false priests? "Why Climate Change Models Are So Horrendous"--PJ Media. Per the article, the problems with climate change models is that they neglect to take into account the affect of the sun and clouds, and they can't predict anything--in fact, their error rate is so bad that they might just as well be random. If climate scientists wore loin cloths, necklaces of bones, pierced their noses, and jumped around fires while trying to predict the future by reading animal entrails, they would be more honest and, apparently, just as accurate.
- "Obama Was Spying On Trump Supporters"--Anonymous Conservative. Now it looks like the CIA had targeted General Mike Flynn, billionaire Erik Prince, and Fox News host Sean Hannity for surveillance. AC notes:
Notice how it is expanding. As people look into it, the number of people under coverage increases. It has the feel of a planet coalescing. The more revelations that emerge, the greater the force attracting other revelations. What remains to be seen is if we will reach black-hole level gravitation. Given enough time…
Luke 12:3 in action: "Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
- "How Ancient Literature Could Help Predict the Next Massive Solar Storm"--Science Alert. There is little or no physical evidence from most solar events, but ancient writers wrote about them. According to the article, scientists are now looking through these accounts to fill out their data about past events. The article reports:
Wondering if writers hundreds of years ago had noted events now beyond the reach of our scientific instruments, Japanese researchers studied two historical volumes – Meigetsuki ("The Record of the Clear Moon") and Song Shi ("History of Song") – covering the period from the 10th to the 14th centuries.
"Combining literature, tree ring dating, and space observation, we have uncovered clear patterns in solar activity and astronomical events," says one of the team, space scientist Hiroaki Isobe from Kyoto University in Japan.
- "And worlds without number have I created...": "Discovery! Atmosphere Spotted on Nearly Earth-Size Exoplanet in First"--Space.com. From the article:
For the first time, scientists have detected an atmosphere around a planet beyond our solar system that's just a little bit larger than Earth.
The exoplanet GJ 1132b, which orbits the dwarf star GJ 1132, is located about 39 light-years away from Earth. It has a radius about 1.4 times that of Earth and is 1.6 times Earth's mass, according to the new study. When the planet was first discovered, researchers called it a potential Venus twin because it's a rocky world with a very high surface temperature — and now, they've found that the planet and Venus might have a thick atmosphere in common, too (although it would have a different composition).
- Probably no more accurate than past attempts to predict society and technology: "Adult theme parks where you can get drunk and shoot robots, digital drugs and spray on clothes: Tech firm reveals its vision of life in 2050"--Daily Mail. The Earth 2050 website is here. I suspect that Neuromancer will prove more accurate (except for the size of computer memory).
- "Scientists discover the 'beautiful' secret of how memories are made"--The Telegraph. Research on mice seems to show that the current theory--that short term memories are first created, and then transferred to long term memory--is incorrect. Instead, both short term memory and long term memories may be created as the same time.