Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Part of the video is a review of a new travel/survival shovel, so you can safely skip ahead to the 3 minute mark if you don't to watch that portion. Also, read the comments, as a few people apparently have some experience with this and offer a few tips to make it more effective.

Don't Make the Black Kids Angry:
"But at least I didn't kill the baby...."
       "How Should Churches Respond To Unwed Mothers?"--The Federalist. You may remember from a week or two back about a Christian school removed a student, Maddi Runkles, for her position in student government and prohibited her from delivering the commencement speech or walking at her graduation because she was pregnant. Basically, she had violated the school's honor code that, among other things, prohibited sex outside the marriage. The author of this piece, Sarah St. Onge, who was also knocked up while in high school, argues that the "punishment" that Runkles suffered was too great relative to the offense. Essentially, her argument is that because it could have been worse--Runkles could have compounded her sin by aborting the baby--the school leaders should have honored Runkles and held her up as a pro-life example. Under the same reasoning, I suppose we ought to exonerate every robber who had the self-control to not murder their victim; after all, it could have been worse. 
        Ironically, St. Onge suggests that Runkles experience (and her own) is an example of a larger "scandal" within the Church which is "holding unwed, pregnant teen girls to a separate set of standards than others who fall from grace." I don't know anything about Runkles church or St. Onge's church, but what I've seen in the congregations I've attended is an up swell of support for the pregnant girl coupled with varying degrees of negative comments about the reprobate that did this to her (as if the girl was an innocent bystander in the whole event). Such young women weren't punished by the community, but, to a certain extent, honored for being so "brave" to carry the baby to term.
       In reading St. Onge's article, I am reminded of the line from the movie As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson's character, a famous romance novelist, is asked how he is able to write women so well, to which he responds: "I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability." That is essentially what St. Onge seeks: that teenage girls who get pregnant be relieved of the consequences of their action.
Can China Fight a Two (or Three) Front War?

"China and India Scuffle Toward War"--China Uncensored (9 min.)
China's military is building a road into Buhtan with the intention of using said road to quickly take the Siliguri Corridor in India. This is a narrow land corridor between Nepal and Bangladesh that allows India access to its easternmost provinces. Seizing the corridor would allow China to physically cut India off from those provinces. Consequently, tensions are flaring between China and India.

       An effective and well-known strategy is to place your enemy in the horns of dilemma. That is, in a position where there is no "best" outcome, but only a bad outcome or a worse outcome. The result is that the enemy must split his forces, making it easier to overcome him at one or both positions; or he must sacrifice one to save the other. Generally it takes a master strategist to maneuver his enemy into such a position. However, due to it not reigning in North Korea and alienating all the nations that surround it, China has managed to put itself into the horns of dilemma all on its own.
       I begin with the presumption that the United States and its allies are currently preparing for a military strike against North Korea. North Korea has passed the point of no return with its ballistic missile developments, and diplomatic efforts--which relied on China playing a role--have sputtered to a stop. Thus, the current interlude is to allow the United States, South Korea, and Japan to collect intelligence on North Korean artillery batteries, command and control, and other key logistical and infrastructure targets. Something that will only be assisted by North Korea conducting some additional tests. When the final strike comes, I don't have any doubt that it will be no different than both times we engaged Iraq. Perhaps even easier, because the U.S. already has large airbases, naval assets, and troops already in the area; and peer allies that can attack from their home bases. I expect that probably every artillery position within 20 miles of the de-militarized zone will quickly be destroyed and all command and control will be destroyed (unless North Korea is planning on using carrier pigeons). What little key infrastructure on which North Korea relies will be destroyed. 
       China will then have to answer the same question as it did in the original Korean War, whether to intervene or not. But here is the major difference between then and now: the U.S. can respond within minutes to Chinese troops attempting to cross into North Korea, including using cruise missiles to take out bridges or roads. The U.S. can easily strike at China from multiple airfields stretching from Guam and up through Japan and South Korea on the East, and airfields in Afghanistan on the West. Any intervention by China also risks cyberattacks, and a ruined economy. And a ruined economy will mean a restive population. Finally, if China has to redeploy forces to deal with an attack against North Korea, India will probably jump at the opportunity to deal with China's incursions in Buhtan or other disputed territory. Tibet might come up for grabs. Heck, even Vietnam might decide it was a good time to retake disputed islands in the South China Sea. 
       My guess, is that China's response will be limited to blocking refugees from North Korea, and, perhaps, perform its own version of "Operation Paperclip," to try and snatch some of the top North Korean scientists. Otherwise, it potentially faces a multi-front war.
The Wages of Sin Socialism:

Gun Buybacks and Corruption:
"If police want our trust, they must prove themselves to be trustworthy"--Bayou Renaissance Man. I think most of my readers will be familiar with the concept of a drop gun--a weapon intended to be planted (i.e., "dropped") at a crime scene to make it appear that a suspect was armed. Peter Grant relates of such an event that was uncovered in Chicago. Where the officer tripped up was that the weapon he dropped was one that a judge had previously turned in at a gun buyback program, which allegedly was destroyed.

Big Brother Is Watching:
"Are Facebook Messenger and Other Apps Listening to You Through Your Phone? Here's How to Turn the Microphone Off"--Core 77. Whether they are listening or not, they have a potential to do so. The article explains how to shut off the microphone for each app:
    • iPhone:
  1. Settings --> Privacy --> Microphone
  2. Toggle off the mic for each app on the list.
    • Android:
  1. Settings --> Privacy
  2. Turn off the relevant Facebook permissions.

 Only Professionals Can Safely Handle Firearms:
Apparently using a 0-level retention holster: "Federal Agent Shoots Himself In Foot At Orlando International Airport"--Fox News (via AT&T). From the article:
       The agent was approaching a checkpoint at 11:20 a.m. when he went to unsling a shoulder bag and it caught on his holstered weapon, the Orlando Police Department said in a statement.
           While the weapon was falling, the agent tried to catch the firearm and inadvertently pulled the trigger.
               A bullet hit the agent in the heel and was recovered a few feet away, police said.
        I wish that they had mentioned what type of holster he was using so I can avoid it in the future. Also, firearm manufacturers have spent considerable time and effort to make their firearms safe if accidentally dropped. If you drop a firearm, don't try and catch it. 

        Chicago Gangs Turn to Human Shields:
        "GO FIGURE: Chicago gangs hit new lows… kids as human shields"--Guns Save Life. As the murder rate in Chicago rises, "[g]angsters know it's open season on them.  So what are they starting to do?  Bringing along their "shorties" – toddlers and young kids – and use them as human shields.  That worked for a while, but now, gangsters just shoot through the kids to hit their intended targets."

        Busting the Bug-Out Myth:
        "Busting the Bugout Myth: Basics of Personnel Recovery for Preppers and Survivalists"--Brushbeater. A good article discussing the shortfalls of a "bug-out" plan. An excerpt:
        This leads me to the point most preppers get hung up on- the focus on going somewhere when things start to come unhinged, without much other thought than, “I’ve got a cousin out in the country”. Ok, so you do. And let’s say y’all got together and agreed that yes, badness will happen and yes, you can come out to the sticks and we’ll live out our days like the Waltons. For the sake of coherency let’s say the trip is feasible (no Cold Mountain-style cross-state or multi-state treks; there’s a reason it makes good stories, because the successful ones are few and far in between). It should be relatively short and in an area you are intimately familiar. If you’re living in the ‘burbs and think you’re gonna link up with cousin Jeff three counties over, with several small towns in between when things go tango-uniform you got another thing coming. But even if that is your plan, you’ll be far better off carrying a lot of stuff to barter for safe passage versus thinking you’ll muscle your way through it. But only having a realistic place to go doesn’t do us much good if there’s no one protecting it and we have no way of signaling our arrival without getting shot by the other folks cousin Jeff invited over.
        Read the whole thing. 

        Savage Fixes the Mk. II FV-SR:
        I had mentioned the other day that one of the persistent complaints about the Savage Mk. II FV-SR is the use of a drop comb stock on a rifle that was intended to only use a telescopic sight. I saw today a review for a fairly new rifle from Savage--the Savage B22 FV-SR--which is pretty much the Mk. II FV-SR except sporting a stock that has a raised comb, and a rotary 10-round magazine instead of the single stack 5- or 10-round magazine that the Mk. II uses. (There are a couple other changes, but those appear to the be the principle ones).

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