I've been thinking about getting one of these: "Strike Industries Strike Switch"--MustyYeti. Anyone used one? If so, what did you think?
- "'You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism!' Portland white supremacist goes on vile rant as he is arraigned for the murders of two train passengers who tried to save Muslim girl from him - as his only surviving victim watches"--Daily Mail. Ignoring the fact that the killer was a Bernie Sanders supporter, so we are dealing with another deranged leftist, this story has a lesson for all would be sheep-dogs: trying to be the white knight can get you killed. In this case, the killer was verbally harassing a couple of women (one wearing a hajib), when three men (at least two of which were ex-military) decided to be white knights. The killer killed two of the men with knife and severely injured the third man. All three suffered deep cuts to the throat. Contrary to the headline, I've not seen or read any news stories indicating that the man was assaulting or attacking the women. Thus, this appears to be a case where the men interjected themselves into a situation without knowing and assessing the relevant facts (i.e., that the man was armed).
- "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About MREs, And Then Some"--Survival Mom. A couple points:
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.
- 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."
- May 30: "At least 35 casualties reported in suicide bombing in western Iraq"--I24 News. From the article:
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.
- May 30: "Suicide bomber killed, five IDPs murdered in Borno"--Premium Times Nigeria. Boko Haram at work.
- May 26: "Afghanistan attack: At least 18 dead in suicide bombing on first day of Ramadan"--The Independent. According to the article, "[a]t least 18 people, mostly civilians, were killed when a suicide car bomber targeted a convoy of provincial security forces in eastern Afghanistan, an Interior Ministry official said."
I'm sure that I've missed some.
- "US begins arming Kurdish forces fighting to retake Raqqa"--France 24. Turkey is unhappy with this because they fear that the weapons will find their way to PKK guerrillas fighting against Turkish rule. I don't doubt but that they are correct.
- Diversity is our strength: "L.A. law enforcement on high alert after street gangs threaten officers"--Los Angeles Times. From the article:
“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.”
- Be careful what you wish for: "Rhodesia 'was better than Mugabe's govt', says senior Zim war vet"--News 24. It reports:
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.
- "What would Europe's 'fate' be without the US?"--Deutsche Welle. A discussion on whether Europe could protect itself. Key part:
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.
- "US successfully tests anti-ballistic missile system for first time"--France 24. This is a system designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles, not the short range or intermediate range missiles that North Korea or Iran can currently field and for which the Patriot and THAAD systems are intended.
- Everything old is new again: "Calabar: slave trade to people trafficking in SE Nigeria"--News 24. Britain expended a great deal of blood and treasure in the 19th and 20th centuries to eliminate slavery, but it apparently was for naught. The article indicates that Calabar "was a major trading port for slaves to the New World between the 17th and 19th centuries": "[t]he local Efik people captured men from tribes in the interior and sold them to Europeans." Now it is a hub for human traffickers smuggling people into west African nations such as Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, where many are held and used as slaves.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Google Plans to Demonstrate the Supremacy of Quantum Computing: By the end of 2017, Google hopes to make a 49-qubit chip that will prove quantum computers can beat classical machines"--IEEE Spectrum. From the article:
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.