Friday, December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Some tips, including use a sling. Cleckner uses a hasty sling technique.

            Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. From my brother’s broken window, we could hear the gang members discussing how she must have food and lots of other valuable stuff. Later that evening, we heard them discuss how they were going to break into the lady’s house later that night.
              At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it.
               Five minutes after the break-in, another twenty people from the neighborhood entered the house. The woman screaming is all you could hear. About ten minutes after it all started, everyone in the house exited in a hurry and ran away as flames could be seen in the windows. The nude elderly woman who owned the house stumbled out of the front door and fell to the ground just two feet away from the house. My brother’s wife, my brother and I ran out to try and help the elderly woman. But when we got there, we could see it was hopeless. She was bleeding from every orifice. Blood was running down her pubic area, chest, legs, nose, mouth, and even out of her ears. She struggled to breathe for about two minutes before the breathing stopped. My brother’s wife held her hand until it was clear she was gone and then my brother pulled her away as she cried.
                 The house burned to the ground within an hour. Not a single fire truck came. An armored police truck with a 20MM machine gun on the top showed up for less than five minutes about nine that morning. They spent less than five minutes looking at the smoldering ruins, threw the body in the back of the truck and left.
            Studies by the military in the 1980’s concluded what we all probably already know. Natural colors, earth tones, hide better than non-natural reds and blues. Some of the most visible colors in almost any condition is blue. Even in urban settings blue is not a natural color. Blue denim is such a prevalent shade used in clothing all over the world. This should be avoided. Obviously bright shades of any color are not desired. Subdued colors will camouflage. 
              I want to add a bit to this. Years ago (but not too many) when some of the all-purpose photo realistic camouflage patterns came out that were browns and tans, I was excited because they seemed like they would match the high mountain desert vegetation better than the typical green and brown that you normally saw for sale. What I soon realized, though, is that these types of camo often incorporated white, or at least very pale tans, which might not matter if you stayed still, but caught the eye when moving around. Moreover, testing different camouflage in dim light and moonlight, these same whites and light colors showed up easily in indirect light or moonlight. Just something to think about.
              • "The Orion Road Flare | A Survival Resource"--The Loadout Room. The article links to an embedded video showing how a road flare can be used to start a fire, extinguished to conserve the remaining flare and then re-ignited again. The article also notes that the flare can be used to signal to aircraft.
              • From Rory Miller's blog: "Logic of Violence Steps 1-3 of 6" and "Logic of Violence Steps 4-6." These are three questions from the criminal's point of view on deciding on a victim and three steps to carry out the attack. An excerpt:
                Question 1: Who? Certain people make better targets for certain types of crime than others. If it's about money, out-of-town business men and tourists tend to carry cash and equipment and generally won't fly back to testify. Before direct deposit, the day the social security checks arrived each month was hunting season on the elderly. If the motivation is rape, it varies. For some it's people who remind the perpetrator of someone in the past. Or it could be any target of opportunity. Or a specific type (one of the reasons why dressing down or trying to appear unattractive isn't a successful strategy). If the goal is simple bullying, the threat seeks out emotionally labile victims. Etc.
                  Question 2 is "Where?" and Question 3 is "Ripeness?" which refers to "all the behavioral clues that indicate which of your preferred targets will be easiest to take." Moving on to the steps, Step 4 is the isolation of the target, which may be as simple as waiting for a target to move to (or come into) an isolated area, or may take some work on the part of the criminal; Step 5 is exercising psychological control over the intended target, and Step 6 is "physical destruction," i.e., the actual assault or attack.

                    "How Water Towers Work"--Practical Engineering (11 min.)
                    A brief overview of municipal water distribution systems.
                    The department discovered a five-month gap in which the FBI’s automated collection tool did not sweep up any texts from the phones both of Page and Strzok, coinciding with their time on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
                    How convenient.
                             The 48-page submission, dated Aug. 11, 2017, supports its claims with 95 exhibits, including internal legal reviews that the foundation conducted on itself in 2008 and 2011.
                                Those reviews flagged serious concerns about legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business and “quid pro quo” promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.
                                  The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”
                                     “There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” MDA Analytics alleged in its submission. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case.”
                                       US Navy defense contractors and subcontractors have reportedly suffered "more than a handful" of disconcerting security breaches at the hands of Chinese hackers over the past year and a half.
                                        "Attacks on our networks are not new, but attempts to steal critical information are increasing in both severity and sophistication," Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said in an internal memo in October, The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the memo, reported Friday.
                                          "We must act decisively to fully understand both the nature of these attacks and how to prevent further loss of vital military information," he added.
                                            Although the secretary did not mention China specifically, evidence indicates that Beijing is responsible for what is considered a debilitating cyber campaign against the US.
                                             Earlier this year, Chinese government hackers stole important data on US Navy undersea warfare programs from an unidentified contractor. Among the stolen information were plans for a new supersonic anti-ship missile, The Washington Post, citing US officials, reported in June.
                                               China has been striving to boost its naval warfighting capabilities, and there is evidence that it is relying on stolen technology to do so.
                                                 And it's not just the US Navy. Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that Beijing is "stealing technology in just about every domain and trying to use it to their advantage."
                                                  China is believed to have been behind multiple cybersecurity breaches that facilitated the theft of significant amounts of data on the F-22 and F-35, among other aircraft. That information is suspected to have played a role in the development of China's new fifth-generation stealth fighters.
                                              Fortunately, China is not able to build as high performance jet turbines as the U.S., so their fighters remain less capable.
                                              •  "The complex history of Earth's magnetic reversals"--Archaeology News Network. Data from deep sea cores "indicate that over the last 160 million years, the magnetic pole has reversed its polarity at least several hundred times." The article also indicates that the magnetic poles can undergo "excursions," during which "the earth’s magnetic field weakens and begins to drift but does not reverse itself. The field re-strengthens and the poles finally return to their initial position." Interestingly, and ominously, the research shows that a complete reversal can happen in less than 100 years. The article also notes:
                                                Scientists have also debated whether a reversal can cause major hazards, especially to technology. Some have argued that a reversal would cause the failure of the worldwide electronic and communication systems. The question, however, is controversial and remains unanswered.
                                                  The airburst “in an instant, devastated approximately 500 km2 [about 200 square miles] immediately north of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100 percent of the [cities] and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the event’s frontal shock waves,” the researchers wrote in the abstract for a paper that was presented at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting held in Denver Nov. 14 to 17. Anhydride salts are a mix of salt and sulfates.
                                                  (Underline added).

                                                  Thursday, December 13, 2018

                                                  POTD: Even the oases are dying

                                                  Source: "A LOOK AT 20 YEARS OF DROUGHT RAVAGING SOUTHEAST IRAN"--Wired.

                                                  December 13, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


                                                  Remember that the police don’t know you’re the good guy (or gal). They can’t see the halo over your head. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this negative outcome: first, tell the dispatch operator what you look like, including what you’re wearing. You want responding officers to be able to quickly differentiate between you and the bad guy, and a good description is one way to make that happen. Second, put the gun away as officers arrive. Put it back in its holster, on a table away from you, or simply on the ground (and step away from it). Don’t have it in your hands as the officers approach with their own weapons drawn.
                                                  (1)  Health (Psychological / Physical)
                                                  (2)  Personal Protection (Clothing, Shelter, Fire)
                                                  (3)  Sustenance (Water, Food)
                                                  (4)  Communication (Cell phone, GPS locator, Radio, signaling devices)
                                                  (5)  Travel
                                                          He also provides examples of what preps he has for each of those categories. 
                                                                   Distracted. Awkward in their physicality. Pleasers. People so domesticated to social norms that they will be predictable and nice even when it is time to be profoundly un-nice. People like this are targets, they are easy to victimize. They are often victimized. They are not what I mean by "victim personalities."
                                                                     Humans are incredibly adaptable. At the same time they, like all animals, tend toward homeostasis. They have an idea of "normal" and they move toward or attempt to recreate that idea of normal.
                                                                       Families have a very wide range of behaviors, widely different ideas of normal. Some are abusive, either because it is the pattern the adults were raised with and thus their homeostasis, or because someone is unskilled at raising tiny humans to be humans or because there is evil and one of the parents sees children as victims to be groomed. Other reasons abound, probably.
                                                                         A child who grow to adulthood in that environment learns how to survive in that environment. That may be the only place he or she does know how to survive. The habits implanted under adrenaline, or fear of death are really strong. They rarely change. The child raised in this environment has no reason to believe that other relationships are less dangerous... but he or she doesn't know the rules of other relationships. Doesn't know how to behave. And fears any error will be punished as severely as an error in his or her family of origin.
                                                                           This is the genesis of the victim personality. When you only know how to function or how to even survive by being in the exploited or victim role, you seek it out. You recreate the dynamics you know. This can sound like blaming the victim and maybe it is, but it is an outgrowth of human adaptability. If you only know how to function in a pile of shit, you will either seek out or create piles of shit to function in. It's a survival trait.
                                                                    • "Start prepping! Electric grid ‘prime target’ of terrorists, ‘profound threat,’ says council"--Washington Examiner. The article reports: "In a new report that warns that the electric grid is the 'prime target' of terrorists, Americans are being urged prepare for the up to six months without electricity, transportation, fuel, money, and healthcare." You can download a PDF copy of the report from here. Note, however, that the six months period did not come from an analysis of what could happen to the power grid and how long it would be recover, but that the report assumed a catastrophic failure that would require two to six months recovery time as a starting point. The committee then looked at what the government would need to do to recover from such a catastrophic failure. (See p. 31 of the report). However, the report noted that it took 11 months to restore most power in Puerto Rico. (See p. 70 of the report).
                                                                    • "Top 10 Reasons You Should Own An AR-15"--The Federalist. Reason No. 4: "The AR-15 is one of the most validated rifles in history." That is:
                                                                    Over the last 55 years, the AR-15 has been improved more often and in more ways than the M16 and M4, and today it is the most versatile semi-automatic rifle in history. It is more accurate and, properly maintained, more reliable than the supposedly ultra-reliable AK-47 and the legendary M1 “Garand,” which, during World War II, Gen. George S. Patton called “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” Furthermore, some AR-15s exceed military specifications for the M16 and M4 in terms of accuracy and quality controls related to durability and reliability.
                                                                    • "Where to Find Complete Libraries Online for FREE (and a New Website to Check Out)"--Organic Prepper. One site referenced in the article is the Survivor Library, described as "a library of about 15,000 books in PDF files that are all out of copyright or are otherwise in the public domain," with many thousands of books on mechanical or technological subjects. You can download individual files, or purchase a collection with the whole library. Another source referenced was the CD3WD library which consists of 36 DVDs containing some 651,000 files totaling 151 GB, broken out into eight categories. For these, you have to download a compressed disk image (ISO) file. The author indicates that you will the program 7-zip to uncompress the files. Most of these files are intended for use in teaching children. Finally, the author is beginning a separate web site entitled "Restarting a Failed Civilization." He has collected together his prior articles at Organic Prepper that are on this topic here.
                                                                            His efforts are reminiscent of the book, The Knowledge, which is intended to provide a road map as to how to restart a technological civilization, including areas that you can skip and move to more advanced technologies. I'm currently reading it and hope to have a review up soon.
                                                                    And now?  If Kondratiev was right, Winter.  The last Winter in the United States was the Great Depression, which lasted 253 years if you listened to my Grandma.  But the Winter was difficult – debt collapse, financial panic, bank failures, tariffs, plant closings, unemployment, greater government control of the economy, breadlines, and no bikinis at all.  Oh, and war brought about by the crisis.  If Kondratiev is right, this would last from (roughly) 2005 to 2025.
                                                                    Read the whole thing. It goes nicely with the Classiarius video embedded above.
                                                                    • "Senate Passes 2018 Farm Bill Legalizing Hemp, Ditching SNAP Work Requirements"--Breitbart. The revised bill goes back to the House for approval, and then on to the President for signature. It is expected to be passed and signed into law quickly. So, why is this important for preppers? One of the provisions of the bill is that it legalizes commercial hemp. Hemp, as you may know, is not only a great source of fibers for making rope or clothing (during WWII the federal government encouraged the growing of hemp to supply rope for the Navy), but there are some medicinal uses. One of the products being looked at closely is CBD oil, which doesn't contain THC (the chemical that gives the high), but does appear to provide pain relief, including for people suffering from chronic pain. 
                                                                              Due to the rise of chronic pain in the U.S. (and subsequent opioid addictions), the desire for CBD oil has exploded. CBD – which doesn’t get you high – is an oil made of concentrated hemp oil. The ingestible and/or topical oil has been recently attributed to alleviating issues such as inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia all the way down to seizures and Parkinson’s symptoms.
                                                                                Unfortunately, hemp was inaccurately mixed in with the nonsensical “reefer madness” smear campaigns that were driven by industry interest. The oppressive restriction on CBD oil – due to the deliberately fabricated misconception that it is marijuana and can somehow get people high – means that CBD oil is pretty cost prohibitive in America.


                                                                        Something for you homeschoolers to do during the winter: 

                                                                        • Let's have lots of broken windows! "Newly-Elected DA Vows To Stop Prosecuting Resisting Arrest And 15 Other Crimes"--Blue Lives Matter. In a bid to see which major U.S. city can most quickly become like Venezuela, the newly elected District Attorney for Suffolk County, Mass. (which is pretty much Boston), Rachel Rollins, has decided that her office will no longer prosecute a long list of crimes, including drug possessions, making threats (unless in the domestic violence context), resisting arrest, shoplifting or larceny under $250, trespass, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, simple breaking and entry (where no one is present in the home), or breaking in entry when someone is present so long as the criminal was "cold or tired, but don’t damage anything." Minor driving offenses are also on the list,  as are receiving stolen property, underage drinking, and the wanton or malicious destruction of property.
                                                                                So, basically, she is offering her constituents a license to riot, go into a business establishment and create havoc, and to vandalize to their hearts' content. And if you move out of Boston because of the resulting increase in crime, you are racist.
                                                                        • "Black South African politician urges followers to 'kill whites', saying: 'We will kill their children and their women'"--Daily Mail. "Andile Mngxitama, president of Black First Land First (BLF), was speaking at a rally on the weekend in Potchefstroom near Johannesburg when he made the violent comments."
                                                                        • Destroy! Destroy! Destroy! "NYC’s school diversity plan could lead to another ‘white flight’"--New York Post. The elite, in the form of  New York Mayor de Blasio, is pulling up the ladder after themselves. In this case, it is by destroying the magnet schools that were set up to nurture the gifted and talented in arts and the sciences. Rather, the City has announced that "[t]he District 15 middle-school diversity plan will remove screens from all middle schools and will prioritize 52 percent of sixth-grade seats for students from low-income families, English-language learners and students in temporary housing." The reporter writes:
                                                                                   One Park Slope dad told me he sees the move as a “prelude to breaking up the specialized high schools.” He added that the plan would “put the academically struggling kids in schools where ‘magic dirt’ makes kids smarter.”
                                                                                   News flash to our elected officials: Removing all education-based entrance criteria for middle schools won’t miraculously lead to great schools for all, though it’s unclear if that’s even the goal.
                                                                            The method of creating infrasound waves in a localized region, which method comprises, transmitting from two spaced points a pair of intersecting beams of acoustical signal waves both being devoid of amplitude modulation at a rate of less than 20 Hz. and both higher in frequency than 20 Hz., and creating in the region of intersection of said beams infrasonic acoustical waves as a result of additive and substractive effects of the intersecting wave fronts of said acoustical signal waves.
                                                                            • The problem with a lie is that as it gets more complex, it is harder to not contradict yourself:
                                                                                     If there can be no dissent from transgender ideology, or even compromise with its adherents, then vast swaths of society are eventually going to be targeted by trans activists. It’s not just college professors and high school teachers who are at risk, but anyone who uses social media and dares express an opinion on whether a man can become a woman, or vice versa.

                                                                                * * *
                                                                                          The trend of aggressive trans activism is of course most pronounced in academia, where social justice mobs are becoming more frequent, while reason and objectivity are in precipitous decline. Recently, the notion that biological sex, like gender, is merely a social construct has gained traction on the editorial boards of magazines like Scientific Americanand prestigious academic journals like Nature, which published an editorial in October arguing against classifying sex “on the basis of anatomy or genetics,” and asserting that, “The idea that science can make definitive conclusions about a person’s sex or gender is fundamentally flawed.”
                                                                                          Thankfully, there are still some academics willing to point out that sex does not exist on a spectrum, that it is in fact so binary in humans as to be among the most statistically verifiable phenomena in nature.
                                                                                             For believing this, and daring to say so in public, academics are increasingly facing harassment and threats of violence. In Britain, a scholar on human rights law at the University of Reading who had the temerity to assert that sex is fixed at birth said she recently received an anonymous 3:30 a.m. phone call from someone who told her she “should be raped and killed.” The professor also reported that after a recent debate about changes to gender law, her office door was covered in urine and she was targeted online.
                                                                                              These kinds of reaction to dissent—harassment, threats, mobs calling for people to be fired—reflect the fundamentally political nature of the transgender project, which is not about science but power. 
                                                                                        • "Perversion is love, and love wins."--Dalrock. Dalrock has lately posted several articles dealing with so-called Complementarians that have been pushing for acceptance of the LGBT lifestyles within Christianity. They are worth the read. In this particular article, he makes an important point that cuts to the meat of the matter: "Instead of framing being freed from sin as something gays should be thankful to God for, they frame gays repenting from sin as something straight Christians should be thankful to gays for.  What complementarians are doing here is framing perversion as something good, something gays deserve compensation for giving up."
                                                                                                He adds: "From a Christian point of view gays are ensnared, trapped, in something awful.  Being freed from that trap is in and of itself a profound gift.  But Butterfield and her colleagues at the ERLC don’t see it that way.  They see being freed from the trap as a loss, at least in our earthly lives."
                                                                                        • Killed by political correctness: "BOY SCOUTS ON VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY"--The Daily Caller. This is what happens when you abandon your core mission in order to pander to the crowd. From the article:
                                                                                                 The Wednesday report comes in the wake of sinking membership and multiple controversies surrounding the 108-year-old organization, including sex abuse allegations and its controversial decision to change its program name from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA and allow girls into that program.
                                                                                                   Chicago law firm Sidley Austin has reportedly been hired to assist in what would be a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
                                                                                                     As the organization has made decisions deemed to be more inclusive, such as allowing openly gay scouts in 2013 and scoutmasters in 2015 as well as the 2018 decision to allow girls, membership has continued to decline sharply, from over 4 million members at its peak to a claimed 2.3 million members at present.
                                                                                              And this is before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leaves the organization at the beginning of 2020 with almost a third of the remaining members.
                                                                                                       The Louisiana shoreline is under a dire environmental siege.
                                                                                                         No, it has nothing to do with offshore drilling, climate change or hurricanes. We’re talking millions of 20-pound swamp rats eating away at wetlands, swamplands and forests, eroding shorelines and making them vulnerable to those other threats.
                                                                                                          It’s become such a problem that the state of Louisiana is paying private citizens to kill these rats, called nutria, in an attempt to win the battle for the shore.

                                                                                                    Wednesday, December 12, 2018

                                                                                                    Caravan Chutzpah

                                                                                                    Two groups of the remaining members of the illegal alien caravan have sent letters to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana making demands. One of the groups demanded that it's members either be let into the United States, or be given $50,000 to go home. They want a response within 72 hours.

                                                                                                    The Elite's Biggest Fear

                                                                                                    "The peasants are revolting" is generally considered a double entendre today, but it has been a real fear of the elites throughout the ages. So, it is interesting that President Trump raised that possibility when asked whether he fears impeachment. From Politico:
                                                                                                    (Source)
                                                                                                           President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that there would be chaos across the country if he were impeached. 
                                                                                                           “I’m not concerned, no,” the president told Reuters reporters about his potential impeachment during an interview in the Oval Office. “I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”
                                                                                                            I'm sure that the Democrats have already thought about that possibility. Thus, The Lid warns: "Get Ready: With Democrats in Power, 2019 Will Be the Year of Gun Confiscation." From that article:
                                                                                                    A court recently upheld New Jersey’s ban on firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but state officials have steadfastly refused to inform the citizens just how they intend to enforce that law. But the fact that it was upheld and coupled with news in a growing list of other states — not to mention the noise from Washington DC proves that the Democrats intend to make 2019 the year of gun confiscation and ending the Second Amendment in every way without saying it openly.
                                                                                                    The article goes on to observe that, although officials have refused to say how that law will be enforced, the only method to ensure compliance would be mass confiscation via home-inspection. Other states have also passed gun and/or magazine restrictions or otherwise seek to increase gun regulations, as well as bills being proposed in Congress that would implement a new "assault weapons" ban and require any transfer of a firearm be made through a licensed firearms dealer.

                                                                                                          I would also point out that even where guns are not being directly regulated, many states are passing "red flag" bills which would make it easier to confiscate firearms. This is, in my opinion, the bigger risk. These laws generally are written to allow a family member (using a very inclusive definition) or police to obtain a court order allowing them to seize firearms from someone that is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. The petitions are generally sealed, so it may be impossible to determine who requested the order, and the hearings are generally conducted ex parte, or without the participation of one of the parties (the gun owner). Although the orders can be challenged, it is only after the fact. The guns are still confiscated and the gun owner, essentially, must then go to court to ask for the return of his firearms.

                                                                                                          And there seems to be bi-partisan support for such laws. The American Conservative reports:
                                                                                                    Since March, Florida and several states have passed red flag bills, bringing the total to 14 including the District of Columbia. Several Republican-majority legislatures have thwarted similar efforts in their states. But it may not matter. Armed with a new majority in the House of Representatives and seeming bipartisan support in the Senate, Democrats are closer than ever to passing new gun control legislation and federal “extreme risk protection orders” are the most likely to succeed in the next session. Why? Because prominent Republicans in the Senate, specifically Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, are already on record with their own bills, adding to popular Democratic proposals in both houses.
                                                                                                    So, what social media comments, or statements to friends or family, have you made that could be construed as advocating violence? Ever suggested that gun confiscations would lead to civil war? Ever wished out loud that your boss die? Or will possession of a MAGA hat be enough?

                                                                                                    Tuesday, December 11, 2018

                                                                                                    Cultural Enrichment in Strasbourg, France (Updated)

                                                                                                    Original post: News reports indicate that 2 to 4 people were killed in an attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France. (DW, BBC, The Irish Times, The Telegraph). Police have begun a manhunt for the lone gunman responsible for the attack. Although the identity has not been released to the public, police have admitted that the attacker was a known terrorist risk, and a terrorist investigation has been opened.

                                                                                                    Update (12/11/2018): The New York Post is reporting that 4 are dead and 10 wounded. Also, the suspect "was due to be arrested earlier in the day for a separate attempted murder, sources told the AP."

                                                                                                    Update (12/12/2018): The Daily Mail reports that the attacker killed "at least 3 people" and injured 13 others. The identity of the shooter has been made public. He is Cherif Chekatt, a French national from an Algerian background, and a known Islamic extremist with a lengthy criminal record including multiple counts of armed robbery. According to reports, he yelled "Allahu Akbar" when he opened fire. Police had been trying to arrest him prior to the attack in connection with an attempted murder. Police didn't find him, but they found a grenade, a rifle, and four knives in his home. He purportedly is armed with a pistol and a knife.

                                                                                                    We Should Be Praising the Judge in the Nagarwala Case

                                                                                                    There has been some discussion criticizing the decision in United States v. Nagarwala, in which the Court dismissed criminal complaints against several defendants who had performed female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures or had aided and abetted those who had done so. People that otherwise are critical of federal overreach are suddenly upset that a court ruled a criminal law--which laws are generally the hallmark of general police powers--to be invalid and beyond the federal government's power.

                                                                                                           Typical of these criticisms, at least in the conservative press, is Richard Kirk's article, "Does the Commerce Clause Protect Female Genital Mutilation?" Most of the article is a criticism of the broad authority that the judicial branch has allowed the federal government to exercise under the Commerce Clause. Kirk's analysis of the Nagarwala decision is actually rather brief. He begins his article by outlining the basic facts:
                                                                                                    Three weeks ago U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman declared that the twenty-two-year-old federal law banning female genital mutilation was unconstitutional.  This ruling took Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and seven others off the legal hook for allegedly “circumcising” the genitals of nine girls from Michigan and two adjacent states, girls who were around seven years old when Dr. Nagarwala, an immigrant from India, performed an operation that most American doctors just won’t do.  Though only nine girls were included in the charges, it is likely that dozens more underwent a genital cutting ritual observed by a Muslim sect based in India and apparently practiced by several worshipers attending a Farmington Hills, Michigan mosque.   
                                                                                                    He, later, explains:
                                                                                                    While I am sympathetic to almost any attempt to limit federal authority, it is strange that one of the few attempts to actually enforce reasonable limits on the national government’s legislative power should take place in a "multicultural" context.  I would feel much better about Judge Bernard’s ruling if limits on federal authority had been a judicial priority when it came to topics like same-sex marriage, federal incursions into collegiate sports under Title 9 to assure "equal" male-female access to athletic programs, and the unjust federal pressure exerted against pliant university administrators to create kangaroo rape courts that are totally prejudiced against accused males.  I say nothing about EPA incursions of power over every patch of puddle-worthy soil that could possibly be designated "wetlands."
                                                                                                    In other words, as I interpret his comments, he would praise the judge's decision in most any other context than this one.

                                                                                                          Like much of the conservative criticism of Judge Friedman's decision, I am left with the impression that Kirk did not actually read the decision itself.

                                                                                                          The first thing to note about the decision is that the government's primary argument for its authority to promulgate the prohibition on FGM is that it was derived from a treaty: the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified in 1992 by the Senate. The specific portions cited by the government were Article 3, which calls on the signatories to “ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant”; and Article 24, which states that “[e]very child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.” Then, via the magical power of the Necessary and Property Clause (also termed the "Elastic Clause" because it can be stretched to encompass most anything undertaken by the government), Congress then had the authority to outlaw FGM and impose criminal punishments for a violation of the law. Or so the argument went.

                                                                                                         The judge was disturbed--rightly, I believe--that such vague language assuring equal rights in an international treaty, could be used as grounds for promulgating a criminal statute. Judge Friedman determined that there was no rational relationship between the treaty provisions and the criminal statute.

                                                                                                           But, Judge Friedman reasoned, even if there was a rational relationship between the treaty and the statute, it was beyond the power of Congress to enact such laws. That is, even if the treaty authorized such a law, the Congress still could not pass the law if it did not otherwise have the constitutional authority to do so. While most Americans tend to assume that Congress can pass laws on any and all subjects--i.e., that the federal government possesses general police powers--this is not true. The Constitution established a federal government with limited and enumerated powers. And this was the case until the Civil War when the federal government began to take upon itself more and more power. Nevertheless, Congress still needed to root its authority in the enumerated powers. Thus, for instance, the National Firearms Act was based on the authority of Congress to impose taxes. But, in support of the various federal projects and programs enacted during the Great Depression, Congress, the President and the federal Courts turned to another Constitutional authority: the Commerce Clause.

                                                                                                           The Commerce Clause was intended to prevent individual states from erecting trade barriers and tariffs as against other states--essentially creating a common market or trade zone. But under FDR, it became an excuse to regulate almost all commercial activity. And, with only a handful of exceptions, Courts have interpreted the clause to allow the federal government to exercise authority over a plethora of issues that historically have been considered general police powers only rightfully exercised by states.

                                                                                                         This case is one of the rare push-backs. The federal government argued that FGM was a commercial activity (health care) for which there was an interstate market. The court rejected that argument because FGM was not health care, but a form of physical assault; and, unlike illegal drugs or pornography, the court said, there was no evidence of an interstate market for FGM. In that regard, the court held that it presented a situation analogous to the illegal possession of a handgun in a school zone which the Supreme Court had previously held was not a commercial activity in U.S. v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 115 S.Ct. 1624, 131 L.Ed.2d 626 (1995). Thus, making FGM a crime was something that fell within the purview of the powers reserved to the states.

                                                                                                         All the legal arguments aside, what the federal government was arguing in this case was that it was authorized to make something illegal by dint of a treaty. And not just any other treaty, which may deal with a narrow topic, but an international convention with the vaguest of wording. The same vague wording that we see in other similar conventions such as on global warming, or the proposed Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

                                                                                                           Do we want the United States government basing criminal laws on vaguely worded treaties? I would say no. So, rather than criticizing Judge Friedman's decision, we should be praising it.

                                                                                                    December 11, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                                                                    "China’s 'Old Friend' George HW Bush"--China Uncensored (11 min.)
                                                                                                    I'm not the only one that distrusted Bush 41's close ties to China.

                                                                                                            To lube the AR we teach using a combination of oil – Slip 2000 EWL – and grease – TW25B. Oil is a great lube, but over time will wick with gravity and start to dry up. Grease is good, but will start to gum up. When using them together each one offsets the other’s deficiency. First you put down a layer of TW25B, working it into the pores of the metal. Then put a layer of oil over the grease. The grease keeps the oil from migrating due to gravity, and the oil prevents the grease from getting caked up. Lubing with these two products works really well.
                                                                                                             The primary points to lube are the bolt carrier, bolt, charging handle and buffer spring. All these parts see a lot of friction, heat and wear. If you look at these parts, for example in the picture above, you’ll actually see the areas that are worn from the contact and friction. The shoulders or rails on the bolt carrier and the gas key and bottom where it resets the hammer need to be well lubed. The bolt has a shoulder in the middle, plus the gas rings and lugs of the bolt, which mate up with the barrel extension. Be sure to put some oil on the extractor and ejector. The charging handle sees a lot of use; lube it with grease and oil on top. The buffer spring is a large friction area - I normally just use oil on it. The trigger group needs very light lubrication, and only at exact point of contact.
                                                                                                      • "Understanding AR-15 Iron Sights"--The Truth About Guns. The author presents an argument for having a good set of iron sights on your AR-15, even if only for backup, and discusses some of his favorites. Finally, he discusses zeroing your iron sights.
                                                                                                      • "New Study Shows NO Relationship Between CCW, Homicide or Violent Crime"--Ammo Land. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, and concluded: "This study demonstrated no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime. Policy efforts aimed at injury prevention and the reduction of firearm-related violence should likely investigate other targets for potential intervention."
                                                                                                      • "HOW GUN OWNERSHIP SAVES LIVES"--Powerline Blog. In the United States, most burglaries occur when homeowners are expected to be away from their home. In the UK, just over half of burglaries occur when someone is home--twice the rate in the United States. The author suggests that this gaping difference may be because of gun ownership--American burglars know that they may face an armed response.
                                                                                                      • After a long day of killing zombies, your clothes are probably going to look atrocious. This article claims to have a method of deep cleaning clothes to remove "dirt, as well as bodily fluids like sweat and bacteria from the fabric in just a few short hours." "Why you need to try 'strip washing': The three-ingredient 'miracle' soaking system that works better than bleach at cleaning stained clothes"--Daily Mail. The solution is made using Borax, or sodium borate, and soda crystals (Sodium carbonate) dissolved in water with ordinary washing powder. It explains:
                                                                                                                If you want to use your bathtub for a strip wash, you just need to add 1/4 cup of sodium borate, 1/4 cup of soda crystals, plus 1/2 cup of a laundry powder of your choice, before filling the tub up with water and mixing the ingredients until they have all dissolved.  
                                                                                                                 If you would rather use a large bucket, the mixture of ingredients is the same, but you only need to add a small amount, with the instructions advising two teaspoons of soda crystals, two teaspoons of sodium borate, and four teaspoons of your preferred washing powder.  
                                                                                                            All of this is mixed in hot water until dissolved; then add your clothes, stir them in to make sure they get soaked, and let sit until the water is cold. Then wash as normal. It seems you need to be careful with dyed items as it can strip out dyes that have not been properly set.
                                                                                                            • Speaking of washing clothes: "MAKE CAMO WORK BETTER: ELIMINATE LAUNDRY SOAP BRIGHTENERS FOR DEER HUNTING SUCCESS"--Survival Common Sense. The point here is that deer can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, and most brighteners found in laundry detergents increase the reflectivity in the ultraviolet. So, clothes that appear "dull" to your eyes may appear very bright to a deer. You can use detergents without brighteners (some even marketed specifically for hunting), or the author includes a recipe for a laundry detergent that you can use.
                                                                                                            • "CVS employee and a pharmacist are both FIRED after they tackled a man who was trying to steal Oxycodone and baby shampoo from the pharmacy"--Daily Mail. Way back in my university days, one of the jobs I had was working in a stocking crew at a big chain music/book/video retail store. Part of our training had to do with dealing with shop lifters, and we were specifically told to never chase after or physically try to stop shop lifters attempting to leave the store, not only because it could expose the store to liability if the shoplifter was injured, but also for our own safety. It could be you that is thrown down striking your head on a concrete floor or sidewalk, or that is suddenly stabbed or shot as the shoplifter accesses a weapon. But there is another, generally unspoken reason, which is demonstrated in this video: your employer (especially when dealing with large corporate entities) will not have your back; your job and your employer are not worth that type of loyalty to risk injury to stop a theft.
                                                                                                            • I'm already running a low grade fever at 98.6: "Normal Body Temperature Is Surprisingly Less Than 98.6"--Scientific American. From the article:
                                                                                                              Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, right? Not so. There is no baseline for humans, and even if there was, it would be closer to 97.7 °F. Temperature also varies across the day, peaking in late afternoon and bottoming out in early morning. It is slightly higher for women than for men as well. For two decades research has debunked the benchmark, set way back in 1868, yet it persists. One important ramification, says Jonathan S. Hausmann, a rheumatologist at Boston Children's Hospital, who led the latest study, is to redefine fever. Most doctors use 100.4 °F or higher, but if “normal” is lower, then the fever threshold should be, too. It also should vary with the daily pattern and be tailored to each individual, Hausmann says: “A child at 99.0 °F at 4 A.M. may be highly abnormal but at 4 P.M. could be within normal limits.”

                                                                                                              "Smith & Wesson J-frame Vs Ruger LCR"--Lucky Gunner (13 min.)
                                                                                                              Lucky Gunner continues its series on pocket pistols, comparing and contrasting the S&W J-Frame versus the Ruger LCR. 
                                                                                                                      [Emma] Lozano is a general in a 4th Generation war.  She is actively seeking to abolish the United States – by directly replacing its people with people that she likes better.  And these activists seek photo opportunities that allow them to establish moral superiority.  I watched footage where a Mexican police officer said (more or less, I’m going from memory):  “Please, please don’t put your women and children in front like this man,” pointing to an activist, “tells you to do.  It’s dangerous.  And he doesn’t care about you or your children.  I’m begging you, don’t put your children up front.”  Pueblo Sin Fronteras is certainly willing to sacrifice your children for a cool photo.
                                                                                                                         How an organization that encourages and abets breaking the law (Pueblo Sin Fronteras) can operate and not be indicted based on conspiracy charges is beyond me – if this were a right-wing organization I believe the organizers would have been taken to the International Space Station just so they could be shoved out of an airlock as a lesson to others that embarrassing the state is simply not an option.  I guess that I’m forced to conclude that Pueblo Sin Fronteras is doing exactly what government wants them to do.
                                                                                                                          These activists want pictures of children that were bloodied and killed at the hands of the United States government, and will stop at nothing to get them.  They want to break down the moral will of the United States so that open borders are allowed.  Rather than attempting to take over Dallas at the head of an army, they want to influence the families of the people who live in Dallas to surrender as they never would to what this really is:  a leftist invasion based on an ideology of open borders.
                                                                                                                    Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                              Following the lead of the mainstream media and most politicians, millions of us still buy the argument that jihadists have misunderstood and hijacked their faith. Millions of us have learned reflexively to view critics of Islam as racists who hate all Muslims. Millions of us are programmed to point out, when necessary, that Muslims, too, are victims of Muslim violence and that other people besides Muslims have done naughty things. Millions of us compliantly parrot the claim that terrorists are acting out of economic despair. And, of course, millions of us dutifully insist that, far from acting on the tenets of their religion, Islamic terrorists are, in fact, reacting to bad things we’ve done to them.
                                                                                                                               In sum, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, millions of us buy the lie that Islam is thoroughly benign and that the overwhelming majority of its adherents are powerless victims. We embrace this lie, furthermore, even though Islam is an existential threat to us and our infidel loved ones.
                                                                                                                        • This is why leftists should never have any say in economic matters: "France yellow vest protests: Macron promises wage rise"--BBC. The basic complaints from the yellow vest protests revolve around the lack of wealth creation and distribution of that wealth to French taxpayers. So, any solution to the problem would be to increase wealth production and get more of that wealth into the pockets of those that actually produce that wealth. Macron doesn't understand this, and so his solutions involve neither of those goals. Rather, he seems to think that more pieces of paper in circulation will just, magically, make everyone better off. Thus, his primary proposal is to raise minimum wages, which will increase prices. He could reduce taxes overall, cut regulations and the bureaucracy,  and other impediments to wealth creation; and stop immigration (which drives down wages and drains the public fisc through increased draws on welfare).
                                                                                                                              This is amusing. Even as Macron promises reforms, "Macron's traditional allies in Europe warned they will be 'closely monitoring' his spending plans to check whether they fall within EU limits." Two world wars, and France still fell to the German Empire.
                                                                                                                                  But then the WASPs themselves decided to dissolve their own aristocracy, and transform their once-Protestant universities into a secular mass-opportunity system — a more democratic way of education, in which anyone with enough talent could climb the ladder, and personal achievement and technical expertise would be prized above all else.
                                                                                                                                  This was meritocracy, the system that we now take for granted. And for several reasons it didn’t work as planned.
                                                                                                                                    First, meritocracy segregates talent rather than dispersing it. By plucking the highest achievers from all over the country and encouraging them to cluster together in the same few cities, it robs localities of their potential leaders — so that instead of an Eastern establishment negotiating with overlapping groups of regional elites (or with working-class or ethnic leaders), you have a mass upper class segregated from demoralized peripheries.
                                                                                                                                     Second, the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of “merit” you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve.
                                                                                                                                       But even as it restratifies society, the meritocratic order also insists that everything its high-achievers have is justly earned. “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” Ann Richards famously quipped of George H.W. Bush; well, the typical meritocrat is born on third base, hustles home, and gets praised as if he just hit a grand slam.
                                                                                                                                         This spirit discourages inherited responsibility and cultural stewardship; it brushes away the disciplines of duty; it makes the past seem irrelevant, because everyone is supposed to come from the same nowhere and rule based on technique alone.
                                                                                                                                           As a consequence, meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley.
                                                                                                                                           The fundamental problem with Douthat's thesis, however, is that we don't have a true meritocracy. As he even concedes, "the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of 'merit' you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve." 
                                                                                                                                              But it isn't just the children of the self-segregated meritocrats but anyone they choose to share admission to the "elite" institutions. For instance, once Jews were allowed admission to the elite institutions, they converged those institutions to favor fellow Jews. Consequently, as Ron Unz has pointed out, when looking solely at performance on college admission exams, Jews are grossly overrepresented in the Ivy Leagues while whites are grossly underrepresented. (See also my October 28, 2018 post). Minorities that benefit from affirmative action are also disproportionately represented in the Ivy Leagues. Consequently, and contrary to what Douthat claims, our elites are not plucking the highest achievers out from all over the country, but are, instead, excluding the largest body of high achievers. This may be a factor in the overwhelming leftist stances held by those teaching at and attending the elite schools.
                                                                                                                                             As a consequence, this "new elite" is less competent than a meritocracy would have been. And, if Peter Turchin's thesis in Age of Discord is correct, this exclusion of the top white students should exacerbate political tensions because much of the "best and the brightest" are being blocked from entering the power structure, increasing competition among elites and aspiring elites, and politically destabilizing the United States.
                                                                                                                                      One mystery is why the empires never saw danger coming. What hit them seemed to come so unexpectedly they never even had a chance to take evasive action. The reason for the surprise, according to the BBC article, is "what experts call nonlinearities, or sudden, unexpected changes in the world’s order, such as the 2008 economic crisis, the rise of ISIS, Brexit, or Donald Trump’s election." The components of a crisis may already be in existence unnoticed until some precipitating event connects the pieces together for the first time and makes them manifest.
                                                                                                                                      He applies this to the current protests in France, remarking: "With the aid of hindsight it is abundantly clear that French working-class hardship had risen to levels unable to absorb any more Green taxes. Until the riots it didn't occur to environmental policymakers that they would 'need better timing and a far defter political touch before they introduce similar measures to reduce carbon emissions.'"
                                                                                                                                               'We know from having studied Bennu through Earth- and space-based telescopes that it is a carbonaceous, or carbon-rich, asteroid. Carbon is the hinge upon which organic molecules hang. 
                                                                                                                                                 'Bennu is likely rich in organic molecules, which are made of chains of carbon bonded with atoms of oxygen, hydrogen, and other elements in a chemical recipe that makes all known living things. 
                                                                                                                                                   'Besides carbon, Bennu also might have another component important to life: water, which is trapped in the minerals that make up the asteroid.'
                                                                                                                                            By the way, lots of great close up photographs of the asteroid in the article.

                                                                                                                                            Monday, December 10, 2018

                                                                                                                                            December 10, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                            The producers of this video explain why some commercial .30-06 ammunition could damage your M1 Garand rifle, and explains how an aftermarket gas plug could help with that issue.

                                                                                                                                            • "One dead and 385,000 without power as Winter Storm Diego pummels the south, causing travel chaos from Texas to North Carolina"--Daily Mail. The article goes on to state that the "National Weather Service said a 'prolonged period of snow is expected' until Monday, with the heaviest snow expected in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia." While the article focuses on the snow falls from the storm, I would be remiss if I didn't also note that there was heavy flooding in Texas.
                                                                                                                                            • "A Cautionary Tale for CCW Permit Carriers"--Active Response Training. Basic story is this: a woman stole some expensive handbags from a store and was chased by a security guard who also happened to be an off-duty cop--so the officer is in plain clothes. The off-duty officer tackles the woman, who immediately starts screaming "rape." A CCW carrier hears the woman crying rape and comes up and points a revolver at the off-duty cop and threatens to shoot him. The off-duty cop announces he is a police officer, although he can't immediately get to his badge. He is not too worried, however, because he can see that the revolver is empty and the guy is so close that the officer could slap the firearm away. Other police arrive and the situation is brought under control. 
                                                                                                                                            There are three takeaways from this: (1) Be careful of intervening into a situation where you don't have the basic facts. In this case, everything worked out. Mas Ayoob, however, has related a story of a similar incident where a trucker intervened and shot an undercover police officer attempting to arrest a prostitute who was screaming "rape." This takes especial effort when confronted with what appears to be a woman being assaulted by a man because our hind brain kicks in and we attempt to be the "white knight" saving the woman. (2)  If you are going to use your weapon, make sure it is loaded. And (3) don't stand too close to someone you are covering with a weapon.
                                                                                                                                                    Nuclear reactors are designed specifically to handle a power loss, and their backup generators aren’t much EMP-affected anyway. Since the last major Coronal Mass Ejection caused 12 hours of fluctuations in Quebec in 1989, most substations have built-in faraday cages.

                                                                                                                                                   USG tests of vehicles show modern electronic ignitions can usually withstand 100K eV of induced voltage with no major effects. Only about 5% of cars failed to operate after being shut down and restarted. Large diesel trucks were more affected, which would be a significant effect (about 15% of trucks failed to restart), but rail is unaffected due to the grounding effect of the rails.

                                                                                                                                                   There’s a study by Oak Ridge that’s fascinating reading. Written with a non-technical audience in mind, and it lays out the details and exaggerations of an EMP pretty well. The appendix section on Myths is particularly good.
                                                                                                                                            As a military force, the Scythians were very much like terrorists. Here are some points of comparison:
                                                                                                                                            • They were nomads, with no fixed location or base.
                                                                                                                                            • They had no set organizational structure (hierarchy) that could be leveraged through a decapitation attack (as Alexander used against the Persians by attacking Darius).
                                                                                                                                            • Their force was self-contained and therefore didn't present any vulnerable lines of communication or material.
                                                                                                                                            • The Scythians were very mobile horse archers that could could attack from a distance, swarm on vulnerabilities when exposed, and flee to safety when engaged.
                                                                                                                                            The article also notes that Alexander was able to defeat them by taking away their mobility: he lured them in with a small military force and, while the Scythians were swarming around that force, Alexander brought up a larger force that was able to box in the Scythians between the smaller force and the larger force, resulting in the Scythians' defeat.
                                                                                                                                            • John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla has decided to give up on processing and shipping orders for his books. He has announced that sales will now be processed through Lulu. He explains that he never expected his book sales to be as robust as they are, and, as a one-man shop, can't keep up with the volume. The new sales links are in his announcement.


                                                                                                                                            "South Africa 2019: Beginning of the END"--Black Pigeon Speaks (11 min.)
                                                                                                                                            South African politicians hope to have a law in effect early next year that would allow the government to expropriate lands owned by white farmers, without compensation, and redistribute it to blacks. Besides the possible threat of civil war and/or South Africa's abrupt economic implosion (as happened in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe), there are Boer groups that want to secede. There are many cautionary tales to take from this, but the greatest, in my mind, has to do with immigration. When the white Boers and English settled South Africa, there were very few Bantu blacks living in the area (the native population was mostly San, who are racially distinct from the Bantu, and the Bantu blacks were mostly concentrated in the east). However, in order to gain cheap farm and mining labor, the government allowed massive immigration of Bantu into the country. Now that population claims that the land was always theirs and seeks to impoverish the white population, at best, or kill them off, at the most extreme. 

                                                                                                                                                   White South Africans could be forced to give up their own homes from next year as the nation's government steamrolls through plans for land expropriation over claims 'Africa's original sin' must be reversed.
                                                                                                                                                    Land is a huge issue in South Africa where racial inequality remains entrenched more than two decades after the end of apartheid when millions of the black majority were dispossessed of their land by a white minority. 
                                                                                                                                                      The National Assembly agreed to the establishment of a committee that will draft an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution – a law which will allow the government to take homes from the people – and refuse to pay them compensation.
                                                                                                                                                         As many in the nation see the move as retribution for the 'original sin' when decades ago black people were driven off their land, it is believed white farmers will be driven from their homes immediately.
                                                                                                                                                  Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told reporters that Belgrade is concerned that a regular army in Kosovo, which has a predominantly ethnic Albanian population, could be used to drive out the remaining Serbs from the country's north. That could, he added, provoke a Serb military intervention.
                                                                                                                                                  The article indicates that relations between Serbia and Kosovo have been tense since Kosovo put a 100% tariff on Serbian goods. In other news, the Serbian Mission to the United States was destroyed by a fire.
                                                                                                                                                  • "Ammon Bundy Quits Militia Movement in Solidarity With Migrant Caravan"--Intelligencer. According to the article, Bundy had posted a video in which he claims to have cut ties with the patriot movement, and then criticizes the President for not welcoming the Honduran caravan. I suspect that, for Bundy, this was never about the aims of limiting government, but only about not losing the grazing lease for his ranch. Now that all the lawsuits have petered out, he doesn't have any need for the patriots that were supporting him financially or otherwise.
                                                                                                                                                  • No one cares about the Palestinians anymore: "Let’s Mobilize an Army of Stone Throwers on the Border"--American Greatness. Something peculiar has happened visa-vis liberal media coverage of the Palestinians:
                                                                                                                                                            In May of this year, The Economist reported, “Tens of thousands of Palestinians massed near Gaza’s border fence, threatening to ‘return’ to the lands their forefathers lost when Israel was created in 1948.” They wanted in.
                                                                                                                                                              Israeli soldiers responded not with tear gas, but with bullets. They killed over 60 protesters who threatened to breach the border. The number has since risen to 120.
                                                                                                                                                              Most of us, this writer included, would condemn such excessive force.
                                                                                                                                                                Yet surprisingly, The Economist—a liberal, pro-Palestinian, most excellent weekly—pondered but briefly and nonchalantly about Israel’s army having used excessive force, concluding almost callously: “Every state has a right to defend its borders.”
                                                                                                                                                                  Come again?!
                                                                                                                                                                     This from the very same editorialists who never tire of protesting any disruption in the holy quest of weary columns of Christ-like caravanners, planning to defy the U.S. government, by illegally entering the United States of America.
                                                                                                                                                              • "Are Ships in the Med Ignoring Refugees in Distress?"--Der Speigel. This article not only rehashes the fake news that the USS Trenton failed to respond to migrants who wanted to be picked up and carried to Europe, but also asserts that other, private vessels, have also failed to respond to migrants. The blame is being put on Italy for closing its ports to migrants. From the article:
                                                                                                                                                                       The Dublin Regulation requires people seeking asylum from a European Union member state to file their application in the EU country where they first set foot. That is why Italy was long responsible for the vast majority of migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to Europe. Between 2014 and 2017, an average of 156,936 made the crossing each year and civilian rescue ships frequently unloaded the hapless migrants they had saved at Italian ports -- until June 9, 2018. On that day, the Aquarius set course for Italy with 629 survivors on board, but Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing radical party Lega, refused to grant the ship permission to land.

                                                                                                                                                                          The Trenton crew was likewise aware that it wouldn't be allowed to dock at an Italian port and it ultimately took five days before the ship could transfer the survivors to the Italian Coast Guard. At roughly the same time, the crew of the Danish container ship Alexander Maersk saved more than 100 people from the Mediterranean and had to wait several days as well. Ruben Neugebauer from the organization Sea-Watch says that since then, freighters have regularly been sailing right on past boats in distress without stopping to help.
                                                                                                                                                                  Let's be honest: most of these boats aren't really "in distress." As the article notes, these boats aren't, by definition, in distress if they can still move under their own power.
                                                                                                                                                                    In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is...in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
                                                                                                                                                                      In the months after the TSA was notified, five of the Investigators Association’s seven-member governing body were either terminated or reprimanded. In all, according to the suit, “nearly half of the district attorney’s investigative department — or about 14 staff members — “were either terminated or forced to resign under intense pressure within a five-month span,” the suit said.
                                                                                                                                                                      • "France: More than 1,200 in custody after 'yellow vest' riots"--DW. The article reports that "[t]he government's decision last week to abandon the fuel tax rise seems to have done little to dampen the ire of protesters, who continue to call for Macron's resignation along with a motley assortment of other demands." Macron is supposed to be addressing the French people later today.
                                                                                                                                                                                 What started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs, Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and antitrust investigator in Connecticut who has been a leading force in the probe, said in an interview. His comments in an interview with The Washington Post represent the first public disclosure of the dramatically expanded scale of the investigation.
                                                                                                                                                                                 The unfolding case is rattling an industry that is portrayed in Washington as the white knight of American health care.
                                                                                                                                                                                  "This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States," Nielsen said. He cited the volume of drugs in the schemes, that they took place on American soil and the "total number of companies involved, and individuals."
                                                                                                                                                                                    The victims were American health-care consumers and taxpayers, who foot the bills for overcharges on common antibiotics, blood-pressure medications, arthritis treatments, anxiety pills and more, authorities say. The costs flowed throughout the system, hitting hospitals, pharmacists and health insurance companies. They hit consumers who lack prescription drug coverage and even those with insurance, because many plans have high deductibles and gaps on prescription drug benefits.
                                                                                                                                                                              • "Trump is not capable"--Die Weltwoche. An interview with Tucker Carlson who expresses his disappointment that Pres. Trump has not been able to fulfill many of his campaign promises, but also notes that Trump's role has been to shift the Overton Window. From the interview, Carlson says:
                                                                                                                                                                                         ... His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund planned parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn't done any of those things. There are a lot of reasons for that, but since I finished writing the book, I've come to believe that Trump's role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does. I don't think he's capable. I don't think he's capable of sustained focus. I don't think he understands the system. I don't think the Congress is on his side. I don't think his own agencies support him. He's not going to do that.
                                                                                                                                                                                           I think Trump's role is to begin the conversation about what actually matters. We were not having any conversation about immigration before Trump arrived in Washington. People were bothered about it in different places in the country. It's a huge country, but that was not a staple of political debate at all. Trump asked basic questions like' "Why don't our borders work?" “Why should we sign a trade agreement and let the other side cheat?” Or my favorite of all, "What's the point of NATO?" The point of NATO was to keep the Soviets from invading western Europe but they haven't existed in 27 years, so what is the point? These are obvious questions that no one could answer.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • "How to Build an Infrasound Generator Circuit – Creating a Synthetic Paranormal Environment"--Bright Hub Engineering. The article relates that "frequencies below 50 Hz especially around 15 Hz are found to be quite unique and intriguing with their features. The sound falling in this range is termed as infrasound. Amazingly humans subjected to these frequencies often complain of unexplainable uneasiness and a chilling experience. Areas infested with ghosts and paranormal activities have been also seen to be carrying these infrasound vibrations."