Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

I've been thinking about getting one of these: "Strike Industries Strike Switch"--MustyYeti. Anyone used one? If so, what did you think?

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping: 
MREs are only intended to be eaten for 21 days! Using the military’s plan of two per person, per day, times 21 days equals 42 MREs.  Twelve are in a case, which is almost four cases of MREs per person. Keep in mind that these MRE stocking levels only account for half of your daily caloric need, and you would still need to augment this diet with at least one hot meal of regular food per day.
I think the author may be incorrect on needing a meal to augment the MREs. An individual MRE is approximately 1,250 calories, or 2,500 for a single day (assuming 2 MREs per day), which should be sufficient for most men (a little high for most women) unless for some reason you are burning through a lot of calories due to intense physical activity. 
  • Related: "Emergency Rations Test #2: ER Bars"--Blue Collar Prepping. This is a review of the ER Bars from Quake Kare, which are high energy food bars vacuum packed in a foil container. The bars can be broken into squares, and boast a shelf-life 5 years, and is Coast Guard improved. The bar is scored to be broken into squares, each of which provides 400 calories. Assuming 2 squares a day, each package would provide 3 days of food. Keep in mind, though, that that is a pretty minimal amount of calories; probably okay if you were just sitting and not doing anything else, but not enough if you are engaged in even minimal physical activity. Read the whole thing to get the author's impressions of the bars.
  • "Vegetable Dehydrating – How to Dry Vegetables for Storage"--Common Sense Homesteading. I'm not going to try to summarize this. The author discusses dehydrating times and temperatures, and special preparations for certain vegetables. This article presumes that you have a food dehydrator; times and preparation may be different if, for instance, you are drying vegetables in the sun. 
  • "Egg Shell Planter"--Urban Green Survival.  This is an interesting idea. The author, when he used an egg, was careful to only break off the top of an egg shell, saving the body of shell. He used the empty shell as a small planter--a bit of earth and a seed--and then, when the plant was ready for planting, he simply crushed the shell in his hands and stuck the whole thing in the ground, thus providing additional nutrients for the soil.
  • "Minimalist Footwear…an Ultralight Essential?"--Survival Life. The author notes (from his personal experience) that:
       What I came to learn from this experience was that we were allowing technology to do the work for us. By adding “high heels” and other technology to our footwear, we were masking the sensations from the activity that we were performing. Instead of strengthening our bodies with each workout, we were, in fact, becoming weaker. We are basically telling our running shoes to do the work while our muscles, tendons and ligaments take a back seat and rest.
           I began training barefoot whenever possible and picked up a pair of minimalist shoes. ... 
      He then goes on to review and discuss some of the different types/brands of minimalist shoes out there and how to use them. I have some of the Vibram shoes that have individual toes and like them for when walking around in the desert because I don't have the problem with foxtails that I have if wearing a shoe or boot with socks.
      • "The Benefits Of A Chest Holster For Firearms Carry Outdoors"--Modern Survival Blog. The main benefits are that it allows for easy access to a firearm when carrying or using a pack or rucksack, and centers the weight of the handgun so it is more comfortable for lots of walking (as opposed to having all the weight on one side of your body).
      • "Are Big Box Retailers Failing Shooters? I Think So | Gun Guy Thoughts"--The Firearms Blog. The author's primary gripes are that the big box stores cater to gun owners with the most common types/calibers of firearms and who don't want to spend a lot, forcing those who want something out of the ordinary, or willing to pay more for better quality, to order online. I guess in defense of the retailers that there are now so many options and products available, it is hard to stock everything someone might possible want; but, on the other hand, I too have had problems finding products, or a variety of products, for what I want. For instance, in my area, if you want steel or aluminum AR mags, or even something not made by Magpul, you are out of luck. Bulk 5.45x39mm? Nada. (In fact, until the last year or so, it was hard to find anything for the AK series of rifles). Want anything other than an HKS Speedloader for your revolver? I could go on. And, of course, anything but the most basic gunsmithing tools have to be ordered online, and parts for anything but an AR or Ruger 10-22 have to be ordered. 
      • "Gear Review: Boyds Rimfire Stocks"--The Truth About Guns. Reasonably priced stocks for rimfire firearms. Something I've been considering for my Savage Mk II. 
      • "Full Circle ... ?"--SHTF School. A thoughtful article on how, absent personal experience with a collapse, our view of what SHTF will be like is heavily influenced by advertisers and companies such that we may have unrealistic beliefs regarding societal collapse and, therefore, may not be prepared for what will really happen. Also some comments about being too tied to our "stuff" and supplies to leave when necessary. Read the whole thing. 

      Other Stuff:
      • The Islamic month long celebration called Ramadan started on the evening of May 26 this year, and will extend through to the evening of June 24. Many Islamic groups have been kicking off the celebration with a bang:
      • May 30: "Suicide bomber wreaks havoc on busy Baghdad ice cream shop"--New York Post. The article reports that "[a] suicide car bomber blew himself up outside a popular ice cream shop in Baghdad — killing at least 13 people and injuring 24 others — after they stopped fasting for Ramadan, officials said."
               Iraqi security sources said Tuesday that at least 35 people were either killed or wounded in a suicide bombing in Anbar province.One of the victims killed in the blast is said to be a high ranking officer in the Iraqi army.
                 Yesterday, two deadly bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad killed 28 people.
                   Less than 24 hours after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a popular Baghdad ice cream shop, killing at least 21 people, a second car bomb attack the Al-Shahada Bridge was reported to have killed at least seven.The overnight attack at the ice cream shop in the Karrada district in central Baghdad also wounded at least 30 people, officials said.
            I'm sure that I've missed some. 
            “During the course of an officer involved shooting investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau was made aware of information regarding a potential threat by criminal street gangs against Southern California on-duty law enforcement officers,” the department said. “This threat was not specific as to the law enforcement agency or agencies that might be targeted, or as to the individual or individuals who may be involved.”
            A senior Zimbabwean war veteran, who is now the interim leader of the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party, has reportedly described as "better" the repression "under under the whites in the then Rhodesia" than under the current government. 
            Colonization brought civilization and rule of law, both of which are lacking in modern Africa.
            When European governments tried to take the lead in 2011 with what would eventually become a NATO military intervention in Libya, they could not provide their own intelligence, reconaissance or surveillance systems and quickly ran out of basic necessities like ammunition, forcing them to rely on the US for support. Witney said at that point, "we should finally have got around to decommissioning hundreds of thousands of dumb bombs and spending a lot of money on smart munitions." But he's "pretty damn sure" that still hasn't happened.
            By the end of this year, the team aims to increase the number of superconducting qubits it builds on integrated circuits to create a 7-by-7 array. With this quantum IC, the Google researchers aim to perform operations at the edge of what’s possible with even the best supercomputers, and so demonstrate “quantum supremacy.”
            However, this is not a threat to public key encryption, yet. The article indicates that to crack the encryption for a typical length encryption key (2,000 bit) in a single day would take a 100-million-qubit system.

            Tuesday, May 30, 2017

            May 30, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

            The Wound Channel reviews the Magpul Hunter 700 stock, and tests accuracy out of a 16-inch barrel rifle.

            Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:


            Other Stuff:
                   The Democratic Party plan since the 1970s has been to eliminate the middle class. The middle class is the bedrock of America, and when you want to fundamentally transform a nation into a fascist state, you attack the middle class.
                     And that starts with their values -- God, family and community. What Democrats have done to the big cities, they now -- finally -- have figured out how to do to suburbia. Thanks to refugees, Democrats can import gang violence into Long Island.
                It now seems apparent that we overestimated the patriotism and professionalism of the people in these agencies, who allowed them to be politically weaponized by the Obama administration. That being true, if we value democracy, can we permit them to exist in their current form?

                Monday, May 29, 2017

                Must See TV: "The Truth About 'Refugees'"--Paul Joseph Watson

                The connection between human traffickers and NGOs that "rescue" these economic migrants; and how the influx is destroying Europe, turning it into a mere extension of Africa.

                May 29, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                "The volcano ghost town that lies abandoned since 10,000 people fled Mount Sinabung eruption in 2014"--Daily Mail
                Firearms/Self-Defense:
                • "Army Chief Milley Says Army Has Developed New Bullet to Defeat Level IV Body Armor"--The Firearms Blog. Although Milley indicates that a new projectile was developed, he is short on details other than that he believed that it was apparently intended for special operations troops and would be compatible with 7.62 mm weapons used by us and our allies. Nathaniel Fitch wonders if it is made of new materials (tungsten or depleted uranium) or of a different type (flechette). Speed is critical, so I wonder if it is some type of saboted round. Anyway, if the military has it, it will probably find its way to law enforcement. Of more concern is that it might be sold to "allies" such as Mexico, and thus find its way to the drug cartels.
                • "Kalashnikov Concern Releases New AK Upgrade Kit"--The Firearms Blog. It is a set of upgrades that allow the use of rails, better selector lever, and so on, to make the rifle capable of using various accessories needed for modern militaries. The article indicates that the upgrade kit is only for military sale, but most of the upgrades are similar to upgrades that have been available in the American civilian market for a long time. 
                • "A Non-NFA 14” Remington 870? The New TAC-14 – Full Review!"--Guns America Blog. The author, and those at the range that he let shoot it, all agreed that it is a fun weapon to shoot. However, the author was concerned about the slide "getting away from you" when conducting rapid fire. The answer to this, however, is what other manufacturers have done: a strap on the foregrip to make sure that your hand doesn't slide over the fore end of the weapon.
                • "Glock 26 vs Glock 43: Which Of The Baby Glocks To Get?"--Alien Gear Holsters Blog. Basically, the G26 has greater capacity (especially because it can also use 15- or 17-round magazines intended for its bigger brothers), but the G43 is thinner and easier to conceal.
                • Remember how I recently noted the availability of low-cost, sub-MOA hunting rifles? "A Sub-MOA Winchester for $550? The XPR Bolt-Action – Full Review"--Guns America Blog


                Other Stuff:
                • "WHO Says 3 Zika Cases Detected in India for 1st Time"--Associated Press. These 3 cases were discovered, according to the article, through routine screening at a hospital in Ahmadabad, Gujarat province. None of the 3 infected patients had traveled overseas. This indicates that the source is local, and Zika is in "the wild," so to speak.
                • "China knife attack: 2 dead, 18 injured in stabbing spree"--Fox News. (H/t The Truth About Guns). The attack occurred along a roadway in Guizhou province. The attacker is described as "mentally ill," which, in Communist controlled news, could mean that the man was actually mentally ill, or that he held beliefs that the government thought were dangerous (e.g., a Muslim terrorist).
                • Third time is a charm: "Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners"--AFP (via Yahoo). (Warning: video starts automatically). Upset over Brexit and Trump deciding to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris plan to distribute Western wealth to the Third World environmental treaty, Merkel is urging other European countries to join in a German led hegemony. We've seen this before, and it has never ended well. Note the Merkel is a socialist at heart, and, therefore, feels an obligation to save the whole world even if it means the betrayal and destruction of her own people.
                • Related: "Trump to Germany: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way"--PJ Media. Michael Walsh is glad that Germany may finally grow up and start taking care of itself. He writes:
                If it took Trump's typical bluntness to finally get the message across that the Europeans are now responsible for the mess of their own making, good. Germany in particular has coasted under the American nuclear umbrella for decades, allowing it to a) concentrate entirely on rebuilding its domestic economy, infrastructure and social welfare state and b) thumb its nose at American warmongering imperialism. 
                He adds:
                What the president understands, and the Europeans pretend not to, is that Russia is no longer the direct menace it was during the days of the Fulda Gap, and that the real menace to Europe and NATO (which, by the way, includes the Islamicizing state of Turkey) is Islam, and its ongoing invasion of the historic lands of Christendom. If you think that's a joke, and that it can't happen in France, Italy or Britain, ask the Anatolians, the north Africans and the Albanians how that worked out for them.
                       ... Liberals have chosen to coarsen our culture. Their validation and encouragement of raw hate, their flouting of laws (Hi leakers! Hi Hillary!) and their utter refusal to accept democratic outcomes they disapprove of have consequences. What is itself so surprising is how liberals and their media rentboyz are so surprised to find that we normals are beginning to feel about them the way they feel about us – and that we’re starting to act on it. If you hate us, guess what?
                         We’re going to start hating you right back.
                           Cue the boring moralizing and sanctimonious whimpering of the femmy, bow-tied, submissive branch of conservatism whose obsolete members were shocked to find themselves left behind by the masses to whom these geeks’ sinecures were not the most important objective of the movement. This is where they sniff, “We’re better than that,” and one has to ask ,“Who’s we?” Because, by nature, people are not better than that. They are not designed to sit back and take it while they are abused, condescended to, and told by a classless ruling class that there are now two sets of rules and – guess what? –the old rules are only going to be enforced against them.
                             One half of the West — the half that lives mostly on the seacoasts of America and Western Europe — loves globalization. The highly educated and cosmopolitan “citizens of the world” have done well through international finance, insurance, investments, technology, education, and trade, as the old Western markets of 1 billion people became world markets of 6 billion consumers.
                               These coastal Westerners often feel more of an affinity with foreigners like themselves than with fellow countrymen who live 100 miles inland. And they are not shy in lecturing their poorer brethren to shape up and get with their globalized program.
                          I want to disagree with Mr. Steyn, but I can't.  I disagree profoundly that Islam as a whole is the source of our terrorism problem;  but the fact that the terrorists are overwhelmingly fundamentalist Muslims undermines my argument, because it's almost impossible to tell them apart from Muslims who are not terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.  If you can't distinguish the dangerous from the harmless, you're left with only one alternative to ensure your safety.  You have to regard all of them as dangerous until proven otherwise.
                                   Vancomycin has been prescribed by doctors for 60 years, but bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to it.
                                      Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in the US modified the drug so it works in three separate ways on bacteria, making it much harder for them to develop resistance.
                                Unfortunately, the article doesn't list the three mechanisms by which it weakens bacteria. However, it notes that it may be effective in treating some of the super-bugs that have arisen in third world countries. Unfortunately, since many in the third-world take antibiotics like candy, I don't have much hope for this drug remaining effective if it is sold overseas.

                                Busy Weekend


                                (Source)
                                       A lot on my plate this weekend. As we approached the end of summer last year, we started having problems with the pump that we use for our sprinkler system (we pump water from an irrigation canal--really a large ditch--that runs along the back of our property). I attempted repairs last fall, but the diffuser had cracked, and there was a lot of corrosion on other parts, so we decided on purchasing a new pump. Because of the early onset of fall weather, and then a cool and wet spring, I didn't get around to replacing it until today. The biggest problem I had was that when I installed the prior pump, I really hadn't thought about taking things apart to replace the pump, so portions of the PVC piping that should have been left so they could be disconnected (e.g., screwing together), instead had slip joints/connectors that were glued. A hacksaw and soft rubber connectors has solved the problem, but a good lesson for the future.


                                       While at the hardware store, I picked up an extra section of plastic pipe for my DIY Target Stand. I had originally built my target stand with a 16-inch cross piece that would, combined with the T-connectors, allow me to use targets or backings that were 18-inches wide. However, I have some larger targets that I've been wanting to use. The local Home Depot sells 2-foot long pieces of PVC, but not in the 1-1/2 inch size I needed. But they do sell 1-1/2 inch ABS pipe in 2-foot sections, and the black color will make it easy to tell the difference between the cross pieces.


                                       Even though its not my every-day-carry knife, I've been using my Lansky "World Legal Slip Joint Knife" a lot more over the last couple of months and have grown to really like it. The blade shape--a combination of a convex shape on the rear of the blade, transitioning to a concave shape on the front, and the shape of the spine to allow for different finger positions--is very ingenious. I've found that the shape allows enough of the blade to slip under the flaps of boxes or to start a cut in a shrink wrap package, or similar; something that I've had problems with when using a Tanto shaped blade. The convex portion of the blade edge is good for fine trimming jobs, while the concave section works well for shaving off larger bits of wood or plastic. In short, it serves very well as a general utility knife.

                                     
                                RCBS Bullet Puller (Source)
                                       I think I mentioned how in some recent reloading of 9 mm, I had finally used up the last of an older stock of Unique powder, and switched to a much newer container without altering the number of grains of powder I was using. The result were rounds that showed evidence of too high of pressure. I have a kinetic bullet puller, but, to be honest, those are not really all that great--especially if you have to pull the bullets from any more than a handful of rounds. I had an old bullet puller I inherited from my father, but the collet that came with it was only for .30 caliber bullets, and I couldn't find any new ones to fit it. Consequently, I purchased the RCBS Bullet Puller and a collet for 9 mm/.38 caliber. It is pretty easy to use and actually much faster than the kinetic bullet puller. Basically, using the appropriate shell holder, you place the cartridge in the reloading press, and lift the cartridge until it stops against the collet. Then you tighten down the collet, and push up the lever on the press to retract the cartridge. If you tightened the collet sufficiently, the bullet will remain in the collet. Remove the shell casing, dump the powder into your container, set the casing aside, and loosen the collet and work the bullet loose (even loosened, the collet has enough tension that the bullet will not drop free). Repeat as necessary.

                                Always Remember....

                                View of the Omaha Beach Cemetery, aka the World War II Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial near Colleville-sur-mer in Normandy, France.

                                Friday, May 26, 2017

                                The .40 S&W Debate Just Got Ridiculous

                                Just saw an article at AmmoLand entitled ". 40 S&W : Is It Still A Good Ammunition Round?" The article is not as bad as the title suggests, but it also does not address the point which is: nobody has said that the .40 S&W is a poor defensive round. No one (at least that I've seen) is even saying that it doesn't deliver (slightly) better ballistics than the 9 mm. Rather, the issue is--especially with modern hollow-point bullets--that the difference in performance between 9 mm and .40 S&W is so negligible that the advantages of .40 S&W don't outweigh its disadvantages, which are more recoil, generally a slightly larger and/or heavier weapon, more expensive ammunition, and, generally, lower magazine capacity.

                                If you have a .40 S&W and like it, then keep it. If you want a .40 S&W--for whatever reason, whether that they are currently very cheap on the used market, you feel that whatever caliber you use should start with a "4" or you want the (slight) edge on penetration that it provides--then get it. But if you are looking to purchase a handgun and are on the fence between .40 S&W or 9 mm, my recommendation is to go for the lower recoil and lower ammunition cost of the 9 mm.

                                May 26, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                James Reeves tests a Ruger Precision Rifle in 5.56 mm versus what he termed a budget built AR (approximately $700 build with a heavy barrel that was free-floated) using identical ammunition. Shots were at 100 yards, using a variety of ammunition with a variety of bullet weights. Although Reeves tries very hard to play it down, the fact of the matter is that--at least at 100 yards--the AR did just as well or better than the Ruger Precision rifle. Three possibilities: (1) Reeves just wasn't capable of shooting any better with the two rifles; (2) that the Ruger rifle he received for testing was not up to par; or (and I believe the more likely) (3) manufacturing processes have improved so much that the differences between barrels from reputable manufacturers, notwithstanding the price, are insignificant. I believe the latter is the case since we see an increasing number of budget (sub-$500) hunting rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy. The overall finish may suck, the stock may be cheap (and look it), but the machining processes for the barrel are the same as the expensive rifle.


                                Firearms/Prepping/Self-Defense:
                                • TGIF: A new Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Lots of good articles on self-defense topics. One thing I want to mention is, in a comment about an article on a night-stand firearms, Greg Ellifritz comments:
                                ... the gun closest to me when I sleep is not my Glock.  My bedside gun is a revolver.  If I am attacked in my sleep, it’s likely to be a very close range physical confrontation instead of fighting a home invader who is on the opposite side of my house.  Revolvers are much more reliable in an extreme close quarters gunfight when considering weapon retention, out of battery issues, and getting tangled up in bedclothes.
                                        Layers, layers, layers……. Starting with our property’s perimeter, we made our existing fencelines and hedgerows less penetrable by adding thorny plants, mostly raspberry. ... Our raspberry lined perimeter now serves as a food source and a DNA collector. The raspberry plants were collected from the neighbor’s yards and vacant lots. ...
                                          A secluded back entrance to our property is now chained and blocked with a large tree stump. Foot traffic onto our property either has to endure thorns and fences or come directly into our line of sight and motion sensors.
                                           Layer 2: Wireless motion detectors were placed on vehicle entry points and a few other key spots on the property. ...

                                             Layer 3: Dogs….. The more the better…I’d have a dozen of them if it we could. It doesn’t matter to me how big they are as long as they are attentive. ... Their hearing and night-vision is much better than mine. [Note: If you can stand them and keep them around, geese can be one of the best animals at alerting you to intruders].
                                               Layer 4: Lighting and obstacles…..
                                                 We’ve placed several physical deterrents outside our home. Lights, fences, bushes and noise making devices are in every path that could be used to gain access.
                                            Of course, there is a lot I didn't include because of length, as well as a discussing of active defense (i.e., self-defense), so read the whole thing.
                                            • "Secure This House"--SHTF Blog. The author suggests taking a look at your home from the perspective of a home-invader and see what you can do to protect the house. Of course, he discusses the standard advice of hardening the house through better locks (although, the real key to hardening your house is strong doors and lag screws for the plates and hinges that do deep into the frame) and discusses the possibility of shutters. 
                                                  One thing I want to point out, however, is that modern houses are not designed to be fortresses. Absent heavy stone work (for instance, I know a man who built his house using 3-foot blocks of sandstone) or concrete, modern houses are not going to stop bullets, battering rams, or sledge hammers and axes. The best you can hope for, in most cases, to delay the attackers with passive defenses until you have time to respond and resort to your active defenses. 
                                                     “They are throwing rocks at the house and are coming through the walls – please hurry,” the panicked voice of a woman, speaking Afrikaans, shouts into a two way radio.
                                                       Minutes later her home was in flames after being hit by petrol bombs.
                                                         The attack on the Rietvlei maize farm, on the outskirts of the remote South African town of Coligny, came just half an hour after two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of a 16-year-old black teenager.
                                                            Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutte, 34, are accused of throwing Mathlomola Mosweu off a speeding pick up truck on April 20 after catching him picking sunflowers.
                                                             An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Mathlomola’s death, but the facts of the case have mattered little in Coligny, where the case has inflamed long simmering racial tensions.
                                                      • "7 Mistakes That Burglars Love You To Make…"--Modern Survival Blog. (1) Leave the burglar alarm off; (2) leave back doors unlocked; (3) hiding valuables in the bedroom; (4) windows blocked from site due to shrubbery, allowing them to work at opening windows unseen; (5) leaving lights on all of the time when away; (6) having mail delivery stopped (in the fear that someone at the post office may leak the information); and (7) advertising your plans on social media.
                                                      • "How To get Started With Fishing"--Apartment Prepper. A nice article on getting started into sport fishing. However, the problem with fishing with a rod and reel is that it is inefficient. Yes, I know there are people out there that can pull a fish out with every cast of the line (I have a friend who can do it), and there are times and places where the fish are biting onto anything near them. But for the majority of us, it is too inefficient. Rather, survival fishing--especially if you are trying to catch enough fish to feed a family or group--requires a different method of fishing: net fishing. Here is an article from Secrets of Survival that discusses different fishing methods post-SHTF, including drift net fishing. This article from the Wild Salmon Center discusses the use of one-man cast nets (PDF). And if you don't have materials for a net, you probably have the materials to build several cage fish traps. Even spear fishing might be more productive than the old rod and reel. 
                                                      • Yes. "Do You Need a Headlamp?"--Everyday Commentary. A look at the current status of headlamp technology and the differences from flashlights. Interestingly, the top flashlight manufacturers are not the top headlamp manufacturers, and vice-versa. For survival purposes, I think a good headlamp is more important than a flashlight because it allows you to shine a light where you need it, while leaving your hands free for other tasks. I use a headlamp not just for moving around in the dark, but when I'm working up close on things where I need light, or if I'm working under a cabinet or car hood. 
                                                      • "Food Storage: Rotation"--Dreaming Of Sunsets Over Ochre Dunes. The author acknowledges that he is not a devoted storer of foods, but nevertheless points out some common mistakes made by people with food storage: stocking up on foods you don't or won't eat; and cheap (likely because it is being sold just before the "best use by" date). And that is where the second part of his article (and title) come into play. You need to rotate your food stock as you use it, so you don't end up with a bulging can of hideous death in the back corners of your pantry.
                                                      • Glock Perfection: "Top 3 GLOCK Modifications – Making Perfection Even Better"--The Truth About Guns. You've seen these recommendations before: a new trigger connector (or even full trigger replacement), better sights, and (at least for pre-Gen 4 weapons) better texturing of the hand grip.
                                                      • "Video: Azithromycin as Survival Antibiotic"--Survival Medicine.  Using Bird-Zithro.
                                                      • And for those of you with penicillin allergies: "Sulfa as a Survival Antibiotic"--Survival Medicine

                                                      Thanks Obama! 
                                                               For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.
                                                                 The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.
                                                            Note that former FBI-director Comey had lied under oath to Congress, stating that no activities or violations like this was going on.
                                                                     During the Obama years, the National Security Agency intentionally and routinely intercepted and reviewed communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution and of court-ordered guidelines implemented pursuant to federal law. 
                                                                       The unlawful surveillance appears to have been a massive abuse of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection authority, carried out for the purpose of monitoring the communications of Americans in the United States. While aware that it was going on for an extensive period of time, the administration failed to disclose its unlawful surveillance of Americans until late October 2016, when the administration was winding down and the NSA needed to meet a court deadline in order to renew various surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
                                                                • "Iranian President: ‘We Need Missiles’ to Confront Trump Admin, Enemies"--Washington Free Beacon. According to the article, "[t]he remarks came as Iran announced the construction of a third underground ballistic missile production factory, helmed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC."
                                                                • And a flashback at the delusion that existed concerning Obama when he was elected. From "History and Hope" published in November 2008 at the Archdruid Report with the author's thoughts on the election of Barack Hussein Obama.
                                                                         That is an achievement of immense scope. It may just turn out that this nation has at long last begun to heal the old wound of racial hatred that has riven America right down to its core since the first days of European settlement. So deep a wound will not close at once; as Wendell Berry pointed out some years ago in a book too rarely read, the scar tissue of the racial divide reaches all through our national psyche, on all sides of the various color lines that still wall us away from each other – and from ourselves. Still, it’s no little thing that a majority of voters in Virginia, the heart of the old Confederacy; in Indiana, where a quarter of all adult males belonged to the Ku Klux Klan a mere seventy years ago; and in this nation as a whole, voted for the first time in history to send a black man to the White House.
                                                                             We have no way of knowing in advance what kind of president Barack Obama will turn out to be, or how history will regard his tenure. He’s proven himself in a difficult campaign to be resourceful, energetic, thoughtful, and almost superhumanly cool under pressure, but many people have arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with abilities like these, and some of them have crashed and burned. Many of the cards in the hand he’ll have to play will be dealt him by decisions made months and years beforehand, or by circumstances nobody can control.
                                                                                Still, a door has been opened, and I can’t help but think that America will be better off from the simple fact that the highest levels of its political system are no longer exclusively reserved to the fraction of its population that happens to be white. Nor is yesterday’s impact limited to issues of race; I think it almost certain that America’s first woman president will be inaugurated within a decade, and it’s even odds which of the two major parties will nominate her.

                                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                                               There are growing concerns about the arrest of two brothers with ties to the Middle East who authorities say had an arsenal with bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition in their car.
                                                                                  Twenty-seven-year-old Abdullah Alrifahe and 26-year-old Majid Alrifahe were arrested on May 11 in north Minneapolis.
                                                                                     Abdullah is being held in the Hennepin County Jail. His brother, Majid, has been released and is facing minor charges.
                                                                            • Diversity is our strength: "Denver Decriminalizes DOMESTIC VIOLENCE To Protect Criminal Immigrants"--True Pundit. Denver has reduced sentences for domestic violence or decriminalized several other formally criminal acts so that convictions for said activities cannot be used as grounds to deport illegal aliens.
                                                                            • "Means And Ends"--Anti-Dem. The author discusses how many political and economic theories and -isms describe a means rather than an end; and are remarkably silent on what the end will be. Probably because the ends that it produces are unpalatable. For instance:
                                                                                     Let us start by considering a test case: the issue of ethnic diversity. Is it a means, or is it an end? If it is a means, what are the ends, and do our observations of the world around us indicate that it is actually producing those ends? If it is an end, then what are its inherent benefits, and do our observations of the world around us indicate that those benefits are actually accruing? Does what we observe in reality around us square with what we were promised by those who supported increased diversity, without any appreciable amount of unintended bad consequences?
                                                                                         My own observation of reality tells me this: I see no end to which increased diversity is acting as an effective means except for increasing the power of leftist political parties who want the guaranteed votes provided by the importation of millions of dirt-poor immigrants, and the profits of businessmen who want the cheap labor of illegal scabs. Since I do not support these ends, I must reject diversity as a means to anything beneficial. As for diversity as an end with inherent benefits, I say this: If diversity was working as advertised, with no serious bad side effects, then I would have no objection to it. But it visibly is not: the loss of social cohesion, the erosion of freedoms (such as freedom of association and even freedom of speech), the increased risk of crime and terrorism, the slide into socialism based on untenable debt brought about by the increased power of these leftist parties, the “slipping and sliding into Third Worldism” that the great Bob Grant so presciently warned us against – all of these and more present themselves to me in reality as disastrous effects of diversity that those who supported it did not describe as part of the bargain. Weighed against this are benefits – “enrichment” and “vibrancy” – the very unquantifiable vagueness of which testifies to their effective meaninglessness.
                                                                                • "China’s imperial overreach"--The Strategist. Remember what I've said about China's new Silk Road program, and how it would drag China into conflicts it doesn't want. Well, this article articulates some additional concerns:
                                                                                         ... Xi has set his sights much higher: he aspires to become modern China’s most transformative leader. Just as Mao helped to create a reunified and independent China, and Deng Xiaoping launched China’s ‘reform and opening up,’ Xi wants to make China the central player in the global economy and the international order.
                                                                                           So, repeating a mantra of connectivity, China dangles low-interest loans in front of countries in urgent need of infrastructure, thereby pulling those countries into its economic and security sphere. China stunned the world by buying the Greek port of Piraeus for $420 million. From there to the Seychelles, Djibouti, and Pakistan, port projects that China insisted were purely commercial have acquired military dimensions.
                                                                                               But Xi’s ambition may be blinding him to the dangers of his approach. Given China’s insistence on government-to-government deals on projects and loans, the risks to lenders and borrowers have continued to grow. Concessionary financing may help China’s state-owned companies bag huge overseas contracts; but, by spawning new asset-quality risks, it also exacerbates the challenges faced by the Chinese banking system.
                                                                                                    The risk of non-performing loans at state-owned banks is already clouding China’s future economic prospects. Since reaching a peak of $4 trillion in 2014, the country’s foreign-exchange reserves have fallen by about a quarter. The ratings agency Fitch has warned that many OBOR projects—most of which are being pursued in vulnerable countries with speculative-grade credit ratings—face high execution risks, and could prove unprofitable.
                                                                                                   Xi’s approach is not helping China’s international reputation, either. OBOR projects lack transparency and entail no commitment to social or environmental sustainability. They are increasingly viewed as advancing China’s interests—including access to key commodities or strategic maritime and overland passages—at the expense of others.
                                                                                                     In a sense, OBOR seems to represent the dawn of a new colonial era—the twenty-first-century equivalent of the East India Company, which paved the way for British imperialism in the East. But, if China is building an empire, it seems already to have succumbed to what the historian Paul Kennedy famously called ‘imperial overstretch.’
                                                                                                       And, indeed, countries are already pushing back. Sri Lanka, despite having slipped into debt servitude to China, recently turned away a Chinese submarine attempting to dock at the Chinese-owned Colombo container terminal. And popular opposition to a 15,000-acre industrial zone in the country has held up China’s move to purchase an 80% stake in the loss-making Hambantota port that it built nearby.
                                                                                                           Shi Yinhong, an academic who serves as a counselor to China’s government, the State Council, has warned of the growing risk of Chinese strategic overreach. And he is already being proved right. Xi has gotten so caught up in his aggressive foreign policy that he has undermined his own diplomatic aspirations, failing to recognize that brute force is no substitute for leadership. In the process, he has stretched China’s resources at a time when the economy is already struggling and a shrinking working-age population presages long-term stagnation.

                                                                                                Thursday, May 25, 2017

                                                                                                May 25, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                "LEO Recap: 3 shootings"--Donut Operator (8 min.). This video includes body-cam footage from three different shootings, each with their own lessons. The first incident shows how quickly a situation can devolve from something benign to a gunfight. In that case, the officer has stopped a vehicle and gone to the passenger side. After the driver indicated he couldn't roll down the window, the officer proceeded around the vehicle, where he encountered the driver standing at the back corner with a rifle in his (the driver's hand). The second incident shows that some attackers are not going to be stopped by one or two gunshots. In that case, the officer came across the perpetrator (who was high on PCP) trying to cut the head off his victim. The officer shot the perpetrator three times with no effect, but finally stopped him with a shot to the head. The third incident involved some officers entering an apartment to apprehend a suspect, when the suspect opened fire on the officers before quickly retreating behind an interior wall. The officers used suppressive fire through the interior wall before retreating to a safe location.

                                                                                                Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                                                                                • Reality has a way of doing that: "Quote of the Day: A Home Invasion Changed My Attitude About Guns"--The Truth About Guns. The quote: "I was always anti-gun. … I wasn’t really scared of them, I just decided I wanted to be anti-gun, and what a difference 24 hours makes."
                                                                                                • "When to Replace Your Self-Defense Ammo"--Lucky Gunner. The author notes that it depends on several factors, including the type of weapon and how you carry or use it. For instance, he points out that ammunition in a revolver is not exposed to possible damage and probably will last almost indefinitely. Nevertheless, he suggests replacing it least once per year. Similarly, ammunition in an auto-loader that is only used as a side-table gun, and only loaded or unloaded infrequently will also rarely need to be replaced. (Although I recommend that even in that case, you should change magazines at least monthly to prevent spring set). On the other hand, a weapon carried on your person, exposed to sweat and grime, that is being chambered and unchambered, loaded and unloaded, will need to be replaced more often. The author carries a revolver and replaces the ammunition with new ammunition every 90 days (or four times per year).
                                                                                                       My own two cents. Ammunition can generally handle more extreme conditions than your body can. Unless you are leaving it in a hot car on sunny days over a long period of time, the odds of the powder or primer breaking down or decomposing or otherwise becoming ineffective is rather minuscule. Rather, the two primary problems to look for are (1) damage to the case, such as corrosion or adhesion of other materials (e.g., lint or dust), or dents or dings from loading it into the magazine or cycling of the slide, or (2) damage to the bullet which is almost always from repeated unchambering and chambering of a round. Generally this damage will either be the round being chambered, or the round at the top at the magazine which will have the slide or breach block passing over it. Dings to the bullet can prevent the bullet from chambering because of burs or the bullet becoming misshapen. Another problem, especially with repeated chambering of the same round, is the bullet being pressed deeper into the cartridge, which can result in dangerously high pressures. 
                                                                                                        If you unchamber and chamber a round into your carry weapon daily (which likely means that you will be constantly cycling between the first two rounds as to which one is chambered and which is the top round in the magazine), you should probably check the ammunition at least weekly for damage, including unloading the magazine completely and either make sure that the former top two rounds are put at the bottom of the magazine, or, if your budget allows, even replace those two rounds and save them for later practice. If you are unloading your weapon less frequently (for instance, when you take it off your belt, it goes still chambered into a safe, until the next day you put it back on your belt), then you are probably okay with checking it once per month for corrosion or some similar issue--at the same time you are switching out the magazines. Remember, you can cut back on the risk of corrosion by using the nickel plated casings, which is pretty much standard for the good quality defensive ammunition anyway.

                                                                                                Other Stuff:
                                                                                                       The most humane response to terrorist attacks in the West is to kill a bunch of them for revenge, and then concentrate on our own problems. Instead of sending ground troops to Syria, we should be sending them to San Diego.
                                                                                                          Our policy following every Islamic terrorist attack anyplace in the West should be the following:
                                                                                                           1) We drop a nuke on some majority-Muslim city involved in terrorism.
                                                                                                             2) We add six months to the immigration moratorium (which Trump promised us in his Aug. 16, 2015, immigration policy paper, the greatest political document since the Magna Carta).
                                                                                                               3) We deport one Ninth Circuit judge.
                                                                                                        • Good! "Principal Bars Pregnant Teen from Graduation: ‘Best Way to Love Her Is to Hold Her Accountable for Her Immorality’"--Breitbart. The young woman was attending a Christian school which requires its students to adhere to basic Christian standards of morality. The young woman nevertheless proceeded to get pregnant and is now butt-hurt because the school won't let her attend graduation. Yes, its nice that she didn't compound her sin by getting an abortion, but that doesn't make her hero.
                                                                                                        • "Be warned: $25 oil is coming, and along with it, a new world order"--CNBC. (Warning: video starts automatically). This is the new peak oil crises: not that we will run out of oil, but that oil consumption will decline so fast and so far that it will destroy industries and economies based on oil production. The analyst cited in the article predicts that "[a]t $25 a barrel, that means deep-water, sands, shell oil, fields, most are going to be stranded, and also all the refineries and pipelines associated with these expensive oils are also going to be stranded. And that is going to reshape worldwide oil, geopolitics and so on." However, this prediction is premised on automobiles going 100% electric in the next decade, which seems unlikely. Even if all new cars produced at that time were 100% electric, the number of legacy gasoline and diesel vehicles will still be substantial. In any event, where is all that electricity for those vehicles going to come from?
                                                                                                        • "Researchers Provide New Data on the Stagnation of Middle Class Wages"--Silicon Graybeard. Quoting a Washington Post article analyzing the study: 
                                                                                                          First, from the cohort that entered the labor market in 1967 to the cohort that entered in 1983, median lifetime income of men declined by 10%–19%. We find little-to-no rise in the lower three-quarters of the percentiles of the male lifetime income distribution during this period. Accounting for rising employer-provided health and pension benefits partly mitigates these findings but does not alter the substantive conclusions. For women, median lifetime income increased by 22%–33% from the 1957 to the 1983 cohort, but these gains were relative to very low lifetime income for the earliest cohort.
                                                                                                            The basic takeaway is that "[o]n average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers as workers born in any year since, according to this research — and workers on the job today shouldn’t expect to catch up with their predecessors in their remaining years of employment." Yet, the author notes, during the same time as American wages have stagnated, workers in Germany and France have seen their real wages increase.
                                                                                                              Former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile is the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and demanded to know why a private investigator was “snooping” into Rich’s death, the private eye revealed to WND Monday.
                                                                                                                And the question posed by the Anonymous Conservative: why would an such an important and busy DNC official bother with whether someone was investigating the death of a low level staffer, unless there was something to hide.
                                                                                                                • "California Decides to Become Uninhabitable Within 10 Years"--Silicon Graybeard. The author observes that "California's state assembly and senate have passed laws that require the state to reduce carbon emissions to 40% of the state's 1990 levels by the year 2030." He goes through the numbers and determines that the impact on global CO2 levels will be so small, it won't be able to be measured, meaning that the purpose of the legislation is not to to control CO2, but simply to control ... every aspect of everyone's life.
                                                                                                                • "Standing Athwart American Hegemony"--American Conservative. The author maintains that "[t]he foreign policy of National Review’s David French may be many things—idealistic, costly, dangerous, to name a few—but it is not conservative." Simply put, we cannot afford to create or maintain a world hegemony policed by the United States either fiscally or politically: a large military requires a large, intrusive federal government. But as I've noted before, such a hegemony is what the political classes of both the right and the left desire, notwithstanding the wishes of the populace otherwise. But it is lust for Empire that requires outsourcing of jobs and importing of alien populations: such are necessary for Empire, notwithstanding that it has always resulted in the collapse of past empires. 

                                                                                                                Wednesday, May 24, 2017

                                                                                                                May 24, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                "Rotting walls and toxic bottles on the floor: Haunting images offer a glimpse into decaying remains of abandoned 1960s chemical research facility once sued for dumping hazardous substances"--Daily Mail.

                                                                                                                Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
                                                                                                                • "Escape and Evasion | The Spider Hole Shelter"--The Loadout Room. For an unexplained reason, the author had to live in a "spider-hole" for 30-days. He constructed the hole over a 2-day period near an abandoned housing complex project, which provided both concealment (since no one lived there) and materials from the partially built houses. The author goes on to write: 
                                                                                                                       I found a few wooden doors discarded there which made for perfect roofing. I used the door knob holes for ventilation by covering it with some window screening I found.
                                                                                                                         I cut out large pieces of earth and grass to cover the top if it and random pieces of trash to blend it in to the space it was in.
                                                                                                                           I covered the wall with garbage bags, making wooden stakes to keep it in place covering the walls. I only left one part of the walls inside with the earth exposed to place candles. I learned quickly to never eat inside it, it attracts bugs. I had to spray the entrance and ventilation holes with bug spray every now and then to keep them out (didn’t really have any problems with them) and I placed a mosquito net over my head at night just in case. Sleep was never peaceful, I was always waking up just to look around and listen for movement or the perimeter alarms I set up ( more on this later ).
                                                                                                                    • "The EDC Tool Roll: Adjustable Wrench Comparison – Knipex Pliers Wrench, Channellock 804, Lobster Shorty"--Jerking the Trigger. As is typical, quality and adaptability comes at a cost. 
                                                                                                                    • "The Problem with Gun World"--Empty Cases. The author muses about how firearm enthusiasts, gun companies, and gun magazines/writers could be happier and, in the latter instances, better serve their customers. As to the firearm enthusiast, the author writes that rather than trying to play catch up to his neighbor or acquaintance with a large collection or the latest or greatest, he sell off the firearms he doesn't shoot, and use the proceeds to take a firearms class and stock up on ammunition. As for the gun companies, the author notes that the companies that seem to stay in the business the longest and ride out the ups and downs are those family owned business that listen to their customers and provide quality products that meet their customer's needs. To the gun magazines and writers, his recommendation is to get away from trying to sell the gun enthusiast the greatest and latest, and instead focus on stories of how the gun writers used their firearms for different tasks. He writes: "The solution is simple; educate and entertain your readers and the subscriptions will come. Good content comes from people who use guns, and who convey the fun they have while doing so."
                                                                                                                            I would note, however, that the gun manufacturers and sellers have learned that their greatest business is not selling to new shooters, or servicing the "man with one gun," but those shooters who "churn" their firearms: always seeking some new firearm, cartridge, or accoutrement that will give them an edge in shooting or hunting.

                                                                                                                    Manchester Bombing:
                                                                                                                      The holy month of Ramadan starts this weekend. “I was really shocked when I saw the news, I still don’t believe it,” he [the father] said in Tripoli.
                                                                                                                        "My son was as religious as any child who opens his eyes in a religious family," said Ramadan Abedi, who arrived in the U.K. from his native Libya in the 1990s.
                                                                                                                          A people that are accustomed to being culled every so often are already a dead people...a people only a fool would want to belong to.  And being powerless, if they are not afraid, they are either suicidal or stupid.   Because if you cannot fight, cannot accuse the wolf (lest you be seen as an anti-wolf social pariah), and are required to accept that at any point in your day you might be targeted by the jihadist for execution as "normal", you should be afraid.

                                                                                                                          The Coming Civil War:
                                                                                                                          • "Regime Change by Any Other Name?"--Victor Davis Hanson at National Review. Reflecting on the attacks by the media--the outright lies--and the obstruction of the bureaucracy, Hanson writes: "We are now watching insidious regime change, aimed at removing the president of the United States not because of what he has done so far, but because of his personality and what he might do to the Obama agenda — and because for a variety of cultural reasons, our elite simply despises his very being."
                                                                                                                          • But will unintended consequences follow? "We Are Watching A Slow-Motion Coup D’etat"--The Federalist. The author observes that we are seeing the end-stages of the accession of the administrative state to complete control of the nation:
                                                                                                                                    This fear of the administrative state was a key feature among at least two individuals writing at the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus and professor Angelo Codevilla. Decius’s “The Flight 93 Election” essay acted as a sort of rallying cry for some conservatives and small-“r” republican intellectuals against the very real fear that a Hillary Clinton victory would cement the totalizing power of the administrative state — that is career bureaucrats and administrators who view the virtues of the republic as something to be washed away and remade in their own “progressive” image. Decius writes:
                                                                                                                              If conservatives are right about the importance of virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual; if they are right about sexual morality or what came to be termed “family values”; if they are right about the importance of education to inculcate good character and to teach the fundamentals that have defined knowledge in the West for millennia; if they are right about societal norms and public order; if they are right about the centrality of initiative, enterprise, industry, and thrift to a sound economy and a healthy society; if they are right about the soul-sapping effects of paternalistic Big Government and its cannibalization of civil society and religious institutions; if they are right about the necessity of a strong defense and prudent statesmanship in the international sphere—if they are right about the importance of all this to national health and even survival, then they must believe—mustn’t they?—that we are headed off a cliff.
                                                                                                                                For Decius, Trump represents the final option to head off the transformation of the American republic into an administrative state where bureaucrats would wield an immutable regulatory dictatorship over the American citizenry.
                                                                                                                                         Codevilla, prescient, went a step further and surmised that the republic was already dead; the Caesarism of an imperial presidency had already usurped it:
                                                                                                                                    Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory. Because each candidate represents constituencies hostile to republicanism, each in its own way, these individuals are not what this election is about. This election is about whether the Democratic Party, the ruling class’s enforcer, will impose its tastes more strongly and arbitrarily than ever, or whether constituencies opposed to that rule will get some ill-defined chance to strike back. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone. But since the Democratic Party’s constituencies differ radically from their opponents’, and since the character of imperial governance depends inherently on the emperor, the election’s result will make a big difference in our lives.
                                                                                                                                              If asked at the time of authorship, one doubts either man could have predicted the swiftness in which the administrative state would be able to consolidate power and isolate the presidency. Yet that is what has exactly occurred. With the aid of the media and the Democratic Party, the institutions of the republic are crippled, the levers of power having been seized not by the elected but by the unelected bureaucratic state — from ideologues at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the partisans and paranoid who inhabit our intelligence community.
                                                                                                                                      He concludes: 
                                                                                                                                      We may already be past the point of no return. Some in the White House made it a point to seek dismantling the administrative state, but it appears the administrative state is more than capable of fighting back and seizing additional power through leaks, obstinacy, and partisan rancor — ensuring its survival and propelling what can only be described as a coup d’etat.
                                                                                                                                      • "The New Class War"--Michael Lind at American Affairs Journal. Both the political left and right believe that they eliminated "classes" by creation of a meritocracy. However, as someone once observed, meritocracies only last one generations--perhaps, at best, two. Lind argues that the we now live in a country split between the "managerial class"--enjoying the access to, and control of, the administration of the nation--and the rest of us. He states:
                                                                                                                                      Following World War II, the democracies of the United States and Europe, along with Japan—determined to avoid a return to depression and committed to undercutting communist anti-capitalist propaganda—adopted variants of cross-class settlements, brokered by national governments between national managerial elites and national labor. Following the Cold War, the global business revolution shattered these social compacts. Through the empowerment of multinational corporations and the creation of transnational supply chains, managerial elites disempowered national labor and national governments and transferred political power from national legislatures to executive agencies, transnational bureaucracies, and treaty organizations. Freed from older constraints, the managerial minorities of Western nations have predictably run amok, using their near-monopoly of power and influence in all sectors—private, public, and nonprofit—to enact policies that advantage their members to the detriment of their fellow citizens. Derided and disempowered, large elements of the native working classes in Western democracies have turned to charismatic tribunes of anti-system populism in electoral rebellions against the selfishness and arrogance of managerial elites.
                                                                                                                                      Of course, immigration and globalization has played its part:
                                                                                                                                      As we have seen, in the late twentieth century, Western managerial elites, by means of transnational corporations, were able to escape from their mid-twentieth-century social contract with national workers by offshoring production, or threatening to do so. Purely domestic companies, like hotels, restaurants, and construction companies, did not have this option. But they could benefit from immigration, because loose labor markets weaken the bargaining power of workers, just as tight labor markets weaken the bargaining power of employers. That is why, throughout most of history in the United States and other countries, organized labor has usually opposed large-scale immigration of any kind, while capitalists and corporate managers have often welcomed it.
                                                                                                                                      So how does this play out? Lind predicts:
                                                                                                                                               If I am correct, the post–Cold War period has come to a close, and the industrial democracies of North America and Europe have entered a new and turbulent era. The managerial class has destroyed the social settlements that constrained it temporarily in the second half of the twentieth century and created a new kind of politics, largely insulated from popular participation and electoral democracy, based on large donors and shifting coalitions within a highly homogeneous coalition of allied Western elites. Following two decades of increasing consolidation of the power of the managerial class, the populist and nationalist wave on both sides of the Atlantic is a predictable rebellion by working-class outsiders against managerial-class insiders and their domestic allies, who are often recruited from native minorities or immigrant diasporas.
                                                                                                                                                 Will the result of the contemporary class war among managers and workers on both sides of the Atlantic be a revival of fascism? In some countries in Europe, populist nationalist parties have emerged from tiny fringe fascist parties, or have attracted their supporters. But talk about Weimar America or Weimar Europe is based on a misunderstanding of history, which blames fascism on populism. In reality, despite their populist trappings, most interwar fascist movements were favored by military and economic elites as a way to block social democracy and communism.
                                                                                                                                                    It is not the Weimar republic but the banana republic that provides the most likely negative model. In many Latin American countries, politics has traditionally pitted oligarchs versus populists. A similar pattern existed in many Southern states in the United States between the Civil War and the civil rights revolution.
                                                                                                                                                      When populist outsiders challenge oligarchic insiders, the oligarchs almost always win. How could they lose? They may not have numbers, but they control most of the wealth, expertise, and political influence and dominate the media, universities, and nonprofit sectors. Most populist waves break and disperse on the concrete seawalls of elite privilege.
                                                                                                                                                         In the American South, most populist politicians gave up or sold out. ... As billionaires who could finance their own campaigns, Ross Perot and Donald Trump could claim, with some justification, to be free to run against the national establishment.
                                                                                                                                                           Those who believe in liberal democracy can look on this kind of political order only with dismay. Most of the time, coteries within a nepotistic elite run things for the benefit of their class. Now and then, a charismatic populist arises, only to fail, sell out to the establishment, or establish a personal or dynastic political-economic racket. Formal democracy may survive, but its spirit has fled. No matter who wins, the insiders or outsiders, the majority will lose.
                                                                                                                                                    The author explores some responses to reach a new social contract and political equilibrium, including increased welfare and retrenchment to a mercantile relationships with other nations, but none of these strategies appear to likely to succeed. Instead:
                                                                                                                                                      Managerial elites are bound to dominate the economy and society of every modern nation. But if they are not checked, they will overreach and produce a populist backlash in proportion to their excess. By a misguided policy of suppressing wages and thus throttling mass consumption, unchecked managerial elites may inadvertently cripple the technology-driven productivity growth responsible for their rise and accidentally cause the replacement of managerial society itself by a kind of high-tech rentier feudalism.
                                                                                                                                                      • "Ruminations On The Way Down The Mountain"--Z Man. Along the same theme, he notes that the managerial classes' "isolation is shrinking their understanding of the world outside. The lack of interaction is resulting in a narrowness of the caste, to the point where we are as alien to them as they are to us. The latter is normal, while the former is dangerous. Similarly, their isolation is allowing their confidence to grow out of all proportion."

                                                                                                                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                                                      • "House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data"--The Daily Caller. Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were information technology specialists that handled IT for multiple Congress-critters, including members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Awans, it was discovered, were stealing equipment and inappropriately accessing computers and networks. The Awans also were defrauding the government for services never provided and seeking reimbursement for work done employees that did not exist. They are currently under criminal investigation:
                                                                                                                                                      The investigation goes far beyond the theft of millions of dollars. The employees could read all emails dozens of members of Congress sent and received, as well as access any files members and their staff stored. Court records show the brothers ran a side business that owed $100,000 to an Iranian fugitive who has been tied to Hezbollah, and their stepmother says they often send money to Pakistan.
                                                                                                                                                      But, as the article reports, the affected Congress-critters are reluctant to hire replacement IT specialists.
                                                                                                                                                      Five Capitol Hill technology aides told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group that members of Congress have displayed an inexplicable and intense loyalty towards the suspects who police say victimized them. The baffled aides wonder if the suspects are blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, to which they had full access.
                                                                                                                                                      Moreover, it is now reported that the Imran Awan and his family have fled the country, and are in Pakistan.
                                                                                                                                                             During his trial, Ledell Lee’s lawyer asked who were we to decide when someone dies. 
                                                                                                                                                               “I will tell you who we are," the prosecutor replied. "We are the hunted." 
                                                                                                                                                                 We are the hunted. The monsters that the left shields, protects and promotes are hunting us on the streets and in our homes. When they are caught, the left frees them. When they are sentenced, the left fights for them. It builds sanctuary cities to protect them and ties the hands of the police who fight them. 
                                                                                                                                                          • Sounds about right. "Journalists Are Measurably Mentally Deficient?"--Anonymous Conservative. "Journalists’ brains show a lower-than-average level of executive functioning, according to a new study, which means they have a below-average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking."
                                                                                                                                                          • Another blow to the out-of-Africa hypothesis: "First Human Ancestor Came From Europe Not Africa, 7.2 Million-Year-Old Fossils Indicate"--Newsweek. The article reports: "An international team of scientists has presented two studies that suggest the divergence point between chimpanzees and humans took place in the Eastern Mediterranean rather than East Africa."
                                                                                                                                                          • "Star that spurred alien megastructure theories dims again"--Science. Tabby's star, which has been dimming at seemingly random intervals recently for reasons unknown, has started dimming again. From the article:
                                                                                                                                                          The first sign of the star’s recent dimming came on 24 April from Tennessee State University’s Fairborn Observatory in southern Arizona. But it wasn’t until late last week that astronomers were sure it had entered a new dip. It was 3% dimmer than its normal brightness on 19 and 20 May and is now moving back toward normal. “It looks like the dip has mostly ended,” Kipping says. “But … in the Kepler data we saw an episode of multiple dips clustered together over the span of a few weeks.” The progress of the dimming over the past few days also bears a passing resemblance to some detected by Kepler, supporting the idea that the same object is repeatedly passing in front of the star.