"Magnetic reconnection and cosmic plasma"--Suspicious Observers (5 min.)
- "Outside the Americas, Knives Are Often the Weapon of Choice in Homicide"--Smithsonian. This is an article from March 2014, but still of interest and value. From the article:
China is not unique in its problem with knives, however. In Japan, in 2001 a janitor wielding a kitchen knife killed eight children at an Osaka school where he worked, while a man in Tokyo went on a random stabbing spree with a dagger in 2008, killing four people. In South Korea, a disgruntled man killed eight people in a stabbing spree at his apartment complex in 2008. In Germany, a drunk 16-year-old stabbed 41 people at the opening ceremony of a Berlin train station. And last year, anti-knife campaigns ramped up in the U.K after a 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death.
All of these countries have tight gun control laws, and rates of violent crime involving knives reflect that. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, firearms account for 76 percent of homicide weapons in the Americas (30 countries), while knives make up just 10 percent of those crimes. In Europe (32 countries), on the other hand, guns are involved in 36 percent of murders and knives are involved in 43 percent.
(H/t Maajik World).
- "Good Morning! 81,000 New York Gun Owners Are Now Felons"--The Truth About Guns. That is the number that didn't register or re-register handguns for a new handgun database. The deadline for registration was yesterday, January 31.
- "Army Responds to DoD Report Criticizing New Sidearm Reliability"--Kit Up! More problems with the Sig 320, including that while it seems to cycle the new "special purpose" 147 g jacketed hollowpoint, it his having significant problems with the Army's standard 115 g full metal jacket ball. In the past, there have been many semi-autos that have had issues with hollowpoint, but fed ball ammo without a hitch. This is the first in my memory where the opposite was the problem. (See also "SIG SAUER P320 9mm Pistol Problems with U.S. Army"--The Truth About Guns).
- "When are Old Cartridges Really Dead?"--Ammo Land. A nice piece discussing when and how cartridges become obsolete and why some cartridges, which seemingly should have been abandoned long ago, are still used. The quintessential example of this is the .30-30 which hangs on and is still one of the most popular deer hunting cartridges.
- I thought Mexico had tough gun control laws: "30 minute shootout in La Paz , 6 sicarios arrested"--Borderland Beat. The article reports:
For more than half an hour, Federal and State forces had a shoot out this afternoon in the locality of Fraccionamiento Juarez in La Paz, Baja California Sur. It is reported that no less than six alleged criminals were detained, among them two women.
The shoot out culminated in the inside of a house that appeared to be a safe house of the arrested, located in Calles Insurgentes, between Margaritas and Constructores.
- Related: "A bloody weekend, with 25 assassinations"--Mexican News Daily. This is about the weekend just past.
- Mexico blaming the United States for its violence: "Tyranny of the Majority: U.S.-fueled Instability in Mexico and the Case for a North American Economic and Security Community"--Borderland Beat. The author argues:
Sadly, this, “continual fear and danger of violent death,” is fueled by demand for narcotics in the United States. This is because drug sales in America create “illicit external income”[v] that Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) use to corrupt government officials, and to purchase weapons. Yet, the U.S. government has failed, and continues to fail, to adopt policies that could effectively reduce this demand. This is tragic. Mexico is a new democracy, and it is still mired in the exceptionally difficult and vulnerable process that is democratic consolidation.[vi]-[vii] In this essay I argue that the United States’ failure to effectively reduce domestic narcotics demand has, in Mexico, facilitated the breakdown of the rule of law, and reversion to the state of nature that Rousseau and Hobbes mentioned. This severely undermines democratic governance in Mexico. Because U.S. and Mexican societies have become deeply interconnected,[viii] I contend that the U.S. is thus guilty of exercising the tyranny of the majority over her weaker southern neighbor.
Let me whip out the world's smallest violin. "Mexico is a new democracy, and it is still mired in the exceptionally difficult and vulnerable process that is democratic consolidation." Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, and became a republic in 1823. Thus, it is an older democracy than Germany, Italy, or most any other European country, older than Japan's democracy, or that of South Korea, and almost as old as the United States. That makes it one of the oldest democracies in the world. If it is still having problems with "democratic consolidation," it probably needs to look in the mirror.
"In this essay I argue that the United States’ failure to effectively reduce domestic narcotics demand has, in Mexico, facilitated the breakdown of the rule of law, and reversion to the state of nature that Rousseau and Hobbes mentioned." Mexico has been in violent upheaval since its independence in 1821, well before any drug trade existed or the United States was of any power or influence. And the United States has had to deal with crossborder thieving, raids, and small scale wars since the Mexican-American war. So there is no temporal nexus between Mexico's lack of the rule of law and influence from the United States; and armed conflict between the two nations has been almost entirely one sided--from Mexico and against the United States. Mexico's problems are endemic and would exist whether or not there was a United States of America to its north.
- Churches that compromise with the left are just prostituting themselves, and will see continued decline: "German far-right figure embraces Islam over church's 'moral decline'"--AFP (via Yahoo News). From the article:
A member of Germany's far-right and anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany party (AfD) who recently converted to Islam has said he did so in protest at what he sees as the "moral decline" of the Protestant church.
Arthur Wagner, 48, until recently a leading party member in the state of Brandenburg, told the Bild newspaper on Wednesday that his decision was in part sparked by the church's acceptance of same-sex marriage and the presence of priests at gay pride marches.
Believe it or not, I was actually thinking about this general topic a few days ago. My thoughts, and concerns, was that as the mainline Christian churches increasingly embrace a liberal world view, they would drive people of conservative morals away, and fail to attract those seeking a religion with conservative principles. And I specifically thought about Europe. Here in the United States, there are still conservative Christian options. But in Europe, this is less so. So where would those people seek religion? And the answer hit me--Islam. Islam holds itself out as a moral rock among a sea of shifting moral currents within the West. Even if Europe gets its immigration under control, I see Islam spreading and appealing to those seeking the moral guidance and rules that the old Christianity has abandoned in favor of progressivism.
- Related: "Indonesia looks set to make sex outside marriage illegal, punishable by up to five years in jail, in victory for country's hardline Islamic politicians"--Daily Mail. The law also outlaws same sex marriage and homosexual sex.
- "Selco: What an 'Average Day' Is REALLY Like When the SHTF"--SHTF Plan. A lot of discussion of OPSEC.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Smartphones that you can ROLL UP like paper could be a step closer after scientists create a bendable battery that holds 85% of the charge of a normal power cell"--Daily Mail.