"The Bronze Age Collapse - IV: Systems Collapse"--Extra Credits (10 min.)
In this final part of the series, the author sets out his hypothesis of what caused the collapse, relying mostly on Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies (although they do not identify the book by name).
- If you have not done so already, look over this past weekend's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. Lot's of good articles and comments, including an article on the danger of backing up too quickly, situational awareness and detection of threats, and a public service announcement--so to speak--warning against developing different habits on how you handle and treat firearms you think are unloaded versus loaded (including a couple pictures of through-and-through injuries in the palm of the hand). While you are there, you might also want to take a peak at Greg Ellifritz's article on "One of the Problems with Ankle Holsters," where he shows what his backup revolver in an ankle holster looked like after a shift where he was wading through flood waters, and then let it sit out overnight before cleaning and lubing it.
- One of the articles that Ellifritz linked to in his Weekend Knowledge Dump was "Rifles for Defense," an interview with John and Vicki Farnam at Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. The article contains, as its title suggests, tips and thoughts on using a rifle for self-defense. But, just because I've made the same point before, I liked this initial caveat:
As you’ve heard me say before, when you’re called upon to save your life, the first thing your hand gets to will probably be a pistol. I encourage all my students to start their training with pistols, because that is probably the most important gun you have. When students come to a rifle course, I like them to have come to a pistol course first. But then, you’ve also heard me say, there are limitations to pistols. We carry pistols because they’re convenient, not because they are effective.
- "Optimising Your Air Rifle"--Aussiehunter. The article primarily focuses on improving the accuracy of your air rifle. For instance, you not only should mount a good scope, but one intended for air rifles, which have parallax set for 30 to 40 meters, instead of the longer distances for firearms. He also discussed the impact of barrel droop--"the barrel actually points down and away from the scope centreline, not up and through it as on a centrefire rifle"--and suggests getting an adjustable mount to use with your scope, specifically recommending the Sportsmatch AOP55 adjustable scope mount. The author then addresses pellet selection. Anyway, read the whole thing.
- "Headed for a Fall: Why Overmatch Is Bad for the Army, Bad for the Soldier"--Nathaniel Fitch at The Firearms Blog. If you have been following military small arms news, you may have seen an article or two noting that DoD has issued a request for information (RFI) for 7.62 NATO weapons or something similar. This stems from a perception that troops using the 5.56 mm are being outranged by Afghan insurgents using 7.62x54R weapons, and the fruitless search for the perfect rifle. As Fitch describes, this is just a part of a larger idea being pushed by some in defense circles that individual soldiers or fire teams need weapons that allow them to "overmatch" any opposing force they might encounter. Fitch discusses not only why the 5.56 is not outgunned by enemy forces using rifles employing 7.62x39mm (most third world countries), 5.45x39 mm (Russians), or 5.8x42mm (Chinese), but the whole concept of "overmatch" in relation to small arms. Worth the read.
- "Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse'"--Daily Mail. The refugees have become a "hot potato" that no one wants to deal with.
- Forewarned is forearmed: "When the Gods Call for Violence"--Gods & Radicals. The author looks to the Haitian Revolution as inspiration and guidance for the future of the modern Left, and argues that no successful revolution has been obtained without violence. A taste:
In the end the opinions of the shopkeepers and the continental theorists mattered little in Haiti. If you asked the scarred and beaten who were present during that ceremony in Bois Caiman, human beings whose existence depended on the fickle whims of slavemasters, if a bloodbath of bullets and blades was worth it they’d tell you yes.
They thought enough to kill and die for it.
What’s the moral of this story? Perhaps we should reflect on the idea that similar conditions exist on shores far closer than the Caribbean and, gods or not, people are beginning to agree with their Haitian forebears. Perhaps the petit-bourgeois should take a moment to stop catching virtual Pokemon and look at the thousands in neglected neighborhoods saying enough is enough. Morality and personal opinion are leaves blowing in the wind, usually carried by events rather than shaping them.
In places like Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights the same cries of rage and grief that awakened the gods on that August night so long ago are beginning to be heard again. The people have had enough. The bourgeois mask of non-violence has slipped it’s bonds, revealing the cold certainty of armed combat on our shores and it’s effectiveness.
Polite society was shocked by the events in Dallas, even more so when millions didn’t cry for the cops and lauded Micah Johnson as a hero. Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant. The chickens are coming home to roost. As tensions increase and the oppressed march against the plantations those who count gods of war and keepers of justice as allies must dwell deeply upon where the gods might call them to act.
The countryside is coming alive. And just as it was at Bois Caiman this is only the beginning.