Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Garand Thumb (15 min.)

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • TGIF (one day late): Active Response Training's "Weekend Knowledge Dump". Greg Ellifritz has another great selection of articles, including a detailed tutorial on how to correctly grip your semi-auto pistol, a collection of firearm drills for rifles for the four standard shooting positions and CQB, and some tips on avoiding a riot (hint: if you see protesters marching, try to move away in a perpendicular direction--a right angle--from the direction they are marching).
  • More information and links on surviving a nuclear or radiological attack from Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness
  • "Small Space Prepping: 25 Ideas for Stashing Your Stockpile"--Apartment Prepper. Some interesting ideas for maximizing your space for storage of equipment and food. One item the author mentions are some ideas for hiding your prepping in plain sight by making some of your preps a part of the home decor: e.g., putting up "country shelves" and storing quart jars on them; displaying manual culinary tools or an old fashioned tub and wash board, rather than trying to hide them in a cupboard; and putting oil lamps in all your rooms. The author also suggests using "cubes" (fabric slide out hampers) in your bookshelves for storing items (we use cubbies specifically designed for these storage cubes), using space bags (which the air is vacuumed out of) to store clothes or blankets, and use bed risers to give you more underbed storage. And a lot more suggestions. Read the whole thing.
  • "Make Sure You’re Securing Your Garage Door"--American Preppers Network. If you have a home with an attached garage, it is easy to overlook the garage and the garage door for purposes of security. I know too many people that will leave their garage doors open for extended periods of time, or who forget to lock a side or back entrance to their garage. The author has specific recommendations for garage doors including making sure that your door has a working manual lock, and that it be made of steel if you have lots of expensive equipment that you store inside (although I have my doubts on whether anything short of a commercial grade door would do much to slow down the determined burglar). He also recommends securing any windows to your garage, installing automatic lights and/or security cameras (even a fake camera), and secure your garage door openers. He cautions against using a simple push button version, but to use one that requires entry of a key code. That may be too much for most people, but you should not leave your garage door opener in your car if you park out on the street because anyone that breaks into your car now has access to your garage and, perhaps thereby, your house. 
  • "Getting Started with Prepping – How Do I Begin?"--Approaching Day Prepper. I've probably linked to this before, but it doesn't hurt to do it again. This article (with links) is to help the person new to prepping. And, for anyone new or experienced to prepping, I would recommend Cody Lundin's book, When All Hell Breaks Loose. Remember to get it in a physical format so you can access it even if the power is out.
  • "Advice for Self-Defense in Europe"--The Modern Survivalist. FerFal answers some questions about getting martial arts and self-defense training in Europe.
  • More bad news for Sig Sauer: News that one police department has pulled all its P320's from use and replaced them with Glocks, and  Apex has suspended sales of its aftermarket triggers for the P320.
  • Gabe Suarez has been a very vocal proponent of mounting red dot sights on self-defense handguns. However, he has been critical in the past of various mounts, recommending using a milled slide (he even sells milled slides). However, The Firearms Blog reports that his company, Suarez International, has a new (or rather, updated) mount that attaches to the Glock via the rear dovetail and an interface that replaces the striker plate. This is, in basic principle, similar to the JT Defense red dot mount that also mounts using the rear sight dovetail and an interface with the slide replacing the striker plate. However, the method of interfacing with the rear of the slide is obviously different between the two products. There are some other important differences: the Suarez mount allows you to install backup iron sights (a rear sight behind the red dot, and a front sight just to the front of the red dot), and, at $70 (sans backup sights), it is considerably less expensive than JT Defense's which retails at $100 (less a nickel).
  • "7.62mm ICSR Replacing the M4? Yes – A Brief Review of What We Know About the Program"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel Fitch updates us on this program. Obviously, at a potential 50,000 units, it won't be replacing all M-4s, but is instead intended for rapid deployment units and those involved in CQB--I presume the 82nd and 101st Airborne and Special Forces--to give them a weapon supposedly better at penetrating body armor. Of course, the standard 7.62 NATO round won't do that, so this rifle will need to be paired with updated ammunition. 
  • "Go Away Green – Disney’s Camouflage Paint"--True Prepper. It's not olive drab, but it is intended to do the same thing: get you to ignore what would otherwise be ugly eyesores. If you want to replicate it, the author also lists the specific shades offered by popular paint brands.
  • "Best Lock Picking Practice Locks For Each Experience Level"--More Than Just Surviving. First off, the author recommends against using any type of transparent practice lock because it encourages you to use your sight to locate and manipulate pins, rather than doing so by feeling. The locks he recommends are various grades of padlocks: the lowest (and easiest) being the Masterlock #3 and the top being the Abus Titalium 80TI/50 padlock. Surprisingly, the higher grade padlocks are only about double the price of the Masterlock #3, in the $15 dollar or so range from Amazon.
  • "Kale Chips: Dehydrate & Make Your Own"--Modern Survival Blog. Mmm Mmm, good ... I think. I'm sure the light use of spices makes the difference. I'm rather indifferent about dehydrated apple chips, but my wife uses a light sprinkling of Jello powder (pick your favorite flavor) on them that makes them much tastier.
  • "Close Shaves Post-SHTF"--Blue Collar Prepping. The power is out, and your rechargable electric razor has run out of juice. What to do? The author discusses some different options for shaving, including disposable razors (think Bic), your standard manual razor, the old-style safety razors (for which blades are extremely cheap and easily stored), and the straight razor. Of the options, I think that a standard razor with disposable heads or a safety razor are the most practicable. Also, shaving soap and a small bowl and brush for mixing and applying it. You can pick up razors and supplies from the Art of Manliness on-line store, or several other sites specializing in men's grooming. And stick to the American or German made products.
  • "Bike Foraging"--Self-Reliance Blog. A bike with baskets can be a useful tool for foraging and hunting small game. The author recommends:
A few tools are very handy for foraging, these include cloth and plastic bags, a knife, some kind of reaching tool (such as a can grabber or an old wooden cane), some light rope and bungee cords, and either a crack barrel pellet pistol or slingshot with a small amount of ammo. The tools should be stored within easy reach; the front basket is ideal. There should also be room for a water bottle, rain jacket, and any other miscellaneous tools that need to be kept at hand.
Other Stuff:
North Korea absolutely refuses to back down;  but the United States absolutely cannot accept that so unstable and xenophobic a regime should be allowed to possess nuclear weapons that can strike US territory.  The irresistible force has run headlong into the immovable object, and the pressure between them is increasing by the day.  Since I see no peaceful way to relieve that pressure, I believe that military hostilities are inevitable in the short to medium term.
He's being optimistic: I believe a conflict will start in the short term--i.e., one year or less.
            Acid will make a good weapon in the Apocalypse, in areas where guns are hard to come by. The right acid can be concealed in chemically resistant wash bottles, it is terrifying, and it takes out a victim’s sight. Given that, it might pay to give some thought to how you would counter the threat. Paintball masks come to mind, though they would likely be one use items. Welding masks might be good, though they will restrict fields of view considerably. On the bright side, if their batteries are good, they can also protect against blinding light. Gloves would be a necessity at all times, meaning warm weather in warm climate regions might be more of an acid risk.
              Where you will not see acid attacks is where firearms are legal, and carried freely. There, the fighting will be much more direct and face to face, with bullets, and acid attackers will be killed on sight.
      I would also mention no ballistic evidence, but you pretty much get that with Glock's polygonal rifling or a shotgun. 
               The firing of James Damore over his “Google's Ideological Echo Chamber” memo will empower the tech alt-right.
                 To understand why, imagine yourself as a Republican working at a big Silicon Valley tech company.
                    You agree with Damore that some average differences between men and women probably explain some of why such a high proportion of computer programmers are male. You, however, in no way consider yourself sexist.
                     What Damore’s termination tells you is that many in your field consider people with your beliefs to be unfit to work with.
                        If you are on the right, you probably find it hard to imagine that any reasonably person could read Damore’s memo and think that it reveals the author to be sexist, punchable, or a danger to women’s careers. It appears to you that Damore was excommunicated for questioning the progressive diversity narrative in a most respectful manner.
                          The right calls the kind of people who went after Damore by the derogative term “Social Justice Warriors” (SJWs). SJWs hold progressive views on diversity and identify politics and, supposedly, find virtue in harming those with heretical beliefs.  
                            Many on the right fear SJWs. The website Breitbart, highly influential among conservatives and the Trump administration, interviewed an anonymous Googler who said in part:


                      “Several managers have openly admitted to keeping blacklists of the employees in question, and preventing them from seeking work at other companies. There have been numerous cases in which social justice activists coordinated attempts to sabotage other employees’ performance reviews for expressing a different opinion. These have been raised to the Senior VP level, with no action taken whatsoever…There have been a number of massive witch hunts where hundreds of SJWs mobilize across the corporate intranet to punish somebody who defied the Narrative…I always fear for my job and operate with the expectation that I will be purged unless something changes…”  

                               Many Business Insider readers won’t trust an anonymous Breitbart interview, but for what’s relevant to this article, please do trust that this Googler’s views accurately reflects how many on the right think about SJWs.
                         * * *
                              It will be poisonous if the tech right feels compelled to not only hide their beliefs but also to actively pretend to believe in progressive diversity values. This pretending will embitter them, probably pushing many to the more radical alt-right.
                               Wax’s piece, entitled “Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture,” condemns “the single-parent, anti-social habits, prevalent among some working-class whites,” “the anti-’acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks” and the “anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants” as “not suited for a First World, 21st-century environment.”
                                 In an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian on Thursday, Wax said Anglo-Protestant cultural norms are superior. 
                                   "I don't shrink from the word, 'superior,'" she said, adding, “Everyone wants to come to the countries that exemplify” these values. “Everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans.”
                              Quod erat demonstrandum.
                                       The biggest critique of the United States’ H-1B visa program is that tech companies use it as a channel for importing cheap labor from overseas. New data released by the federal government affirms that argument. It shows that most of the visas go to a handful of IT outsourcing companies, which pay their guest workers well below average.
                                         The reports on H-1B employers and salaries by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services show that 69 percent of the 350,000-plus visas approved in 2016 were for computer-related occupations, and 74 percent went to people born in India.
                                            The top 20 employers took 37 percent of the approved visas. The top five were all IT outsourcing firms: Cognizant Tech Solutions, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture, and Wipro. All together, these companies took 60,000 visas.
                                    Nestled near the quiet Italian town of Bomarzo, about 92km north of Rome, the Sacro Bosco (Sacred Wood) was built in the 16th Century by Pier Francesco ‘Vicino’ Orsini, a great military leader and patron of the arts. But in designing the Sacro Bosco, he bucked the tradition of the Italian Renaissance garden. Gone is the symmetrical layout meant to please the observer. Instead of the ornate fountains, neat hedgerows and intricately sculpted Roman gods and goddesses, Orsini left the trees and shrubs undisturbed and filled his garden with unusual and grotesque creatures.
                                    The writing is terrible, but go check out the photographs. Those, at least, are interesting.

                                    Update: Corrected typo.  

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