Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 11, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

A review of SI's Strike Switch: "Best AR15 Safety Lever! ?"
JnJ Outdoors (9 min.)

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • "Myths, Marketing, and misrepresentation"--The Firearms Blog. The author reviewed the Premier Body Armor Durus 8000 level III steel body armor plate. Short story: the product did not live up to the advertising hype, and was, in fact, inferior to level III plates from competitors. 
  • "Forward Movement"--Primary & Secondary. Some tips (quotes in italics):
  1. The position should mimic that of shooting from a standing (static) position.
  2. Keep the weapon at the ready position. Always maintain awareness of the surroundings, both to your left and right, at all times during movement. This ties back in with having both eyes open while shooting the reflex sight or M150 RCO. Both optics are designed to be fired in that manner, we need to train in that manner.
  3. Maintain an aggressive position; leaning forward at the waist slightly with the shoulders squared to help in recoil management, knees slightly flexed more than normal to help absorb any impact from movement.
  4. The feet should almost fall in line during movement. This straight-line movement will reduce the arc of movement and visible “bouncing” of the sight picture.
  5. The muzzle of the weapon remains facing down range toward the expected or detected threat.
  6. The hips remain as stationary as possible: Use the upper body as a turret, twisting at the waist, maintaining proper platform with the upper body. This is important for recoil management and preventing misaligned sights due to the buttstock slipping.
            • "Atibal 'MROC' Review: A New Prismatic Appears!"--The New Rifleman. Prismatic telescopic sights are compact and, generally, rugged. What they generally lack, however, is decent eye relief or a forgiving "eye box" in which you can see through the scope. The MROC (the author indicates that it is available as low as $326) is a 3x scope, that is built tough enough for most field conditions (the author repeatedly dropped the rifle and scope without damage to the scope or loss of zero). Also, the field of view (FOV) is 37 feet at 100 yards, which is the best among its peers. Eye relief is 2.8 inches according to the specifications, but the author thought it was more forgiving, and also better than most other prismatic scopes. His main complaint about the scope was that he thought the reticle was too small. Illuminated, it seems to work fine, but with the power off, he thought it too easy to lose in background clutter.
                    Part of the problem with a small reticle, however, is also the power of the scope. For instance, Burris offers a 3x and 5x prismatic scope. Because Burris uses a "donut" shaped reticle, it is plenty large even if the illumination is off. However, the bullet drop markings are very close together and hard to see in the 3x model, which is what I have. I had looked at the 5x model, and nearly bought it because the reticle is much larger in appearance. In retrospect, I think the 5x model would have been a better selection.
            • "7×57"--Aussie Hunter. Also known as the 7 mm Mauser and the .275 Rigby. This article discusses the ballistics and history of the cartridge. I would note that it has been used to take game up to Elephant. Nothing to do with the power of the projectile, really, but its flat trajectory, good cross-sectional density, and accuracy.
            • "Interesting Firearm Photos IX"--Tin Can Bandit. Firearms related photographs from the Civil War up to the modern period which you might find interesting. 
            • "The Suarez System - Historical Context 2"--Gabe Suarez. Suarez relates a bit of history on his quest to develop an active shooting style of firearms defense. In this story, which was when he was still a police officer, he was called to a robbery in progress, and arrived just in time to hear one of the three robbers shoot the clerk as they exited the building. He had just rounded a corner when confronted with an armed perpetrator. No standing still, drawing and aiming as he had been instructed in training: he dodged to one side while simultaneously firing at the perp, 
            • "First Use and Review of the Piteba Seed Oil Expeller"--Security and Self-Reliance. Cooking oils will not last forever, although this set-up appears to be intended for lamp oil. This particular press is a hand-cranked model intended for processing small quantities of seed at a time. The author was able to process 2 cups of sunflower seeds into a 1/3 cup of oil. However, he had some complaints with it, or areas in which he thought it could be improved. But as a backup or interim solution, it did the job.


            Other Stuff:
            A woman claiming to be a witness wrote on Facebook, “While out for ice cream with friends, right in front of us, a guy in that truck drove through a crowd of people, walking, on bikes, and even cops and ended up crashing into a garabage [sic] truck.”
            • "Times Tips To Iran's American Network"--Powerline. The U.S. Justice Department has announced it is charging two men--“New York man” Ali Kourani and “Michigan man” Samar El Debek--as Hezbollah agents. According to the information from the DoJ, the two men "received military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in support of the group’s terrorist mission. At the direction of his Hizballah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City."
            • Diversity is our strength: "'MS-13 is a virus... you have to kill it': Former gang member describes how he was initiated by being beaten up for 13 seconds and saw stabbing people as 'very normal'"--Daily Mail. The "former member" was initiated into the group when he was 16 years old and living in Central Islip, New York. He was a immigrant from Guatemala, although there is nothing to indicate whether he was an illegal alien or legally admitted into the U.S.
            • Related: "El Salvador Fears The Return Of Their Migrants"--Anonymous Conservative. The Trump administration has stepped up efforts to deport violent gang members. Salvadoran officials have held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with the scum being returned to their country. Anonymous Conservative observes: 
            Other countries must be dumbfounded by the US. We send them our cash, we take in their criminals, we enter trade agreements that hogtie our nation and promote their businesses, and then our leftists go around preaching to the world how evil we are to everyone.
            The root cause of almost all Jihadi terrorism these days is Saudi Arabia, with assists by Qatar and Iran. These countries, and particularly Saudi Arabia, have sponsored the construction of mosques and madrassahs, paid for their imams and teachers and provided much of the basic literature within them all over the world. Everywhere they have done so Islamic extremism has increased.
            • "How Elites Protect Their Status: Private School Edition"--American Interest. Elite prep schools are replacing letter grades by verbose commentary and evaluations. "[D]espite its veneer of fairness and the high-minded social justice-y language used to sell it, the effort to downplay old-fashioned measures of academic merit is really about protecting the already-privileged. Objective tools like grades and test scores have long been an important tool for distinguishing the talentless elite from upstart competitors from below; 'soft' assessments, by contrast, often make it easier for the wealthy and well-connected to navigate the system." 
            • Related: "Removing Trump Won’t Solve America’s Crisis"--The American Conservative. Whether you agree with the author's assessment of Trump or not (I don't), he does raise some good points of what is the real political crises: that the elites are detached and disconnected from the citizenry and, largely, indifferent to their concerns. The author notes, for instance:
                     The crisis of the elites could be seen everywhere. Take immigration policy. Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue—whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America’s underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation’s elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. Couldn’t those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?

                          So now we have some 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded, with no reasonable solution—and generating an abundance of political tension. Beyond that, we have fostered an immigration policy that now has foreign-born people in America approaching 14 percent—a proportion unprecedented in American history except for the 1920s, the last time a backlash against mass immigration resulted in curtailment legislation.

                             And yet the elites never considered the importance to the country’s civic health of questions related to assimilation—what’s an appropriate inflow for smooth absorption. Some even equated those who raised such questions to racists and xenophobes. Meanwhile, we have “sanctuary cities” throughout Blue State America that are refusing to cooperate with federal officials seeking to enforce the immigration laws—the closest we have come as a nation to “nullification” since the actual nullification crisis of the 1830s, when South Carolina declared its right to ignore federal legislation it didn’t like. ...
                      • "Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Think Christians Are Fit For Public Office"--The Federalist. In a Senate confirmation hearing last week for Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bernie Sanders indicated that he "doesn’t think Christians are fit to serve in government because they’re bigots. Basic Christian theology, in Sanders’s view, 'is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.'" What prompted this? Vought had objected to a characterization that Islam and Christianity worshiped the same God, pointing out that Muslims had rejected Christ and were, therefore, condemned. It didn't appear to matter to Sanders that Muslims believe that Christians and all other "non-believers" are condemned. 
                      • "What’s Really At Stake"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Dreher again is writing on the current and sad state of Christianity in the West generally, and in American in particular, citing to and discussing an article by Michael Aaron on what Aaron terms the battle for modernity. As an initial matter, Aaron sees three basic groups in the fight: traditionalists (true conservatives, mostly conservative Christians, and groups such as the Alt-Right), modernists, and post-modernists. In Aaron's minds, the traditionalists have long lost the fight, and therefore aren't worthy of further consideration. Turning to the modernists and post-modernists, he writes:
                               Indeed, it is between the modernists and postmodernists where the future of society is being fought. Modernists are those who believe in human progress within a classical Western tradition. They believe that the world can continuously be improved through science, technology, and rationality. Unlike traditionalists, they seek progress rather than reversal, but what they share in common is an interest in preserving the basic structures of Western society. Most modernists could be classified as centrists (either left or right-leaning), classical liberals and libertarians.

                                    Postmodernists, on the other hand, eschew any notion of objectivity, perceiving knowledge as a construct of power differentials rather than anything that could possibly be mutually agreed upon. Informed by such thinkers as Foucault and Derrida, science therefore becomes an instrument of Western oppression; indeed, all discourse is a power struggle between oppressors and oppressed. In this scheme, there is no Western civilization to preserve—as the more powerful force in the world, it automatically takes on the role of oppressor and therefore any form of equity must consequently then involve the overthrow of Western “hegemony.” These folks form the current Far Left, including those who would be described as communists, socialists, anarchists, Antifa, as well as social justice warriors (SJWs). These are all very different groups, but they all share a postmodernist ethos.
                              In other words, to Aaron the fight is between Progressives and radical Progressives (Cultural Marxists). He continues:
                                In the end, the Weinstein/Evergreen State affair poses a significant crossroads to modern society, extending well beyond the conflict occurring on campus. Evergreen State represents the natural culmination of postmodern thought—roving mobs attempting to silence dissenting thought merely based on race, informed by far left theories that weaponize a victim status drawn solely from immutable, innate traits. Unfortunately, I cannot place full blame on the students either, as they have been indoctrinated with these ideas on the very campus that is now serving as the petri dish for applied postmodernism.
                                       The reason that the college's administration has been so ineffectual is because they are the one's responsible for teaching the modern Brownshirts (BLM, Antifa, etc.) their ideology, and to oppose it would require administrators and professors to acknowledge that their professional careers have been spent chasing a lie. It reminds of the character played by Jimmy Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope. There, Stewart plays the role of a college professor, whose star pupils have murdered a classmate acting on the particularly nihilistic philosophies he has taught. When Stewart finds out what has been done, he is left trying to explain to them that all he taught were words, and that he didn't expect them to act upon them.
                                       Commenting on Aaron's article, Dreher writes:
                                Aaron is correct that the real fight right now is between Modernists and Post-Modernists, but it’s not simply because Trads have been pushed to the margins of the public square. It is because within the ranks of the Trads, we have absorbed Modernist ideas so thoroughly that our own people don’t understand how weak our position is, and how little sense it makes to ordinary Christians who have been catechized by post-Christian culture. 
                                       Those familiar with writings from the Alt-Right recognize this as what the Alt-Right calls "convergence": the sabotage and take over of an organization from within by the slow adoption of anti-Conservative principles. The ideas espoused by the Progressives are not new. The "free-love" movement among intellectuals in the late 19th Century and into the 20th Century just took a century of "the march through the institutions" to be accepted and adopted by the body politic. Those conversant in the r/K political theory will also recognize that this broad adoption has only been made possible by the shear material abundance that creates the conditions for wide-spread r-psychology. Spengler predicted this, because all major civilizations have gone through a similar stage of declining morals as they entered their end-stage, but the magnitude of it would have been incomprehensible to Spengler because of the abundant resources we enjoy, and populations greater than he would have ever imagined. 
                                       In any event, Dreher concludes:
                                We really are talking about the abolition of man, the abolition of rationality, and the abolition of truth. It is worse than you think, and later than you think. As Michael Aaron says, you don’t have to have taken any classes in postmodern theory to be formed by it and driven by it. It is built into the structures of society under liquid modernity. If we don’t build Benedict Option arks, we are going to drown. Simple as that. Our arks may not be seaworthy, but the alternative is oblivion.
                                • Related: A couple articles from Vox Day (here and here) on the Southern Baptist Convention adopting a resolution condemning "nationalism" generally, and the Alt-Right in particular. 
                                • "One Independence Movement Falls And Another Rises"--American Interest. The Scottish independence referendum failed, as you know, but the fact that it was held has inspired independence supporters in the Spanish region of Catalonia to press forward with a referendum this coming October.
                                         His one date with [Judy] Garland, the star of The Wizard of Oz, left him disturbed.
                                           He writes: As a child actress, she would suffer abuse at the hands of studio executives, who passed her around like chattel…she and the other actors were frequently drugged up.'

                                    2 comments:

                                    1. I know the Strike Switch is getting some hype, but I don't understand what all the fuss is about. The original AR style safety is incredibly ergonomic, especially if used in an ambidextrous configuration.

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                                      Replies
                                      1. Part of the interest is the coolness or uniqueness factor. Part of the interest is because the standard AR safety is not as good as it could be, as witnessed by the various ambidextrous options, enlarged safety switches, and set ups offering 45 or 60 degree throws. And--at least what is piquing my interest--is that it appears to mimic a handgun safety in operation.

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