Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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

Source: "Dead palm trees, debris and smashed glass: Eerie photos show the inside of an abandoned mall that was once home to 155 thriving shops and restaurants"--Daily Mail.  I haven't posted any photographs of modern ruins for awhile. The mall shown here is the Owings Mills Mall in Maryland. 

  • It is Tuesday, which means that it is time for a new Woodpile Report.
  • Also, I would remind readers of the PDF of the week feature at the Security & Self-Reliance blog. If you are using a browser on a laptop or desktop computer, the PDF downloads are at the top left corner. The two most recent offerings are an article on cleaning and lubricating an AR ("Keep Your Carbine Running" by Patrick Rogers) and a wilderness medicine guide (A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine (3rd ed.) by Eric A. Weiss, M.D.).
  • "5 Things to Know About Slide Stops: A pistol's most misunderstood control is there for a reason, and don't call it a 'release.'"--Range 365. As you can probably guess, the author argues that you should not use the slide stop to release the slide to chamber a new round. Read it and see what you think. While it may be necessary on some handguns, I don't see it being an issue if you can easily reach your slide stop without having to twist the pistol in your hand.
  • There is still Shot Show stories showing up, and this one looked more interesting than many: "Inland Mfg Stakeout Firearm"--The Firearms Blog. Inland mostly makes reproduction firearms, and had teamed up with Ithaca to offer versions of the M37 Trench Gun shotgun. Well, they have now jumped into the offering of the 14-inch barrel "non-shotgun" firearms. Instead of using the Raptor grip like other manufacturers, however, Inland is simply cutting down standard stocks. But one of the models sports a cut down thumb hole stock. The result is that you effectively get a pistol grip ... and the ATF has already signed off on it. (See also "A Non-NFA Shorty Ithaca 37 Shotgun?"--Range 365).
  • Immigrants welcome! "Immigrant Gang Attacks in Sweden Escalate"--Gates of Vienna. This isn't a "gang problem," but an insurrection:
              Criminal gangs controlling the immigrant ghettos surrounding Sweden’s towns and cities have declared war against the police. In response to increased police activity against organised crime centered in the ghettos, the gangs have attacked police stations with hand grenades and have sprayed policemen’s homes with machine gun fire late at night while policemen and their families were asleep inside. The police chief commanding the anti-gang division in Stockholm had his car blown up outside his house and the police chief and his family have had to be moved to a secure accommodation.
                 So far the attacks have resulted in damage to buildings and police cars parked outside police stations, but there have been no casualties, as the attacks are regarded as a warning to the police to back off and leave the ghettos alone. In response the Swedish Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson has said the police will step up their anti-gang activity in the ghettos.
                  This is a serious escalation. Already police patrols who enter the ghettos are routinely met by a hail of stones and bottles, but this may get deadly as the heavily armed gangs react to what they regard as police provocations. In the immigrant-dominated city of Malmö, all police stations have been put under round the clock guard by heavily armed police.
        • "$13 a Shot: US Army’s New 7.62mm XM1158 ADVAP Round Costs HOW MUCH!?"--The Firearm Blog. The article cites budget information showing a per unit cost of $13 for the new tungsten penetrator round for 7.62 NATO. It is unclear, however, if this is just a short term price (i.e., the cost includes the amortization of the start up costs) or the long term price of the cartridge. 
        • "Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao?"--New York Review of Books. And Mao is the winner at an estimated 30 to 45 million killed in his Great Leap Forward. I've heard estimates as high as 80 million all told, however, due to his regime's policies and practices. And that doesn't even consider the abortions performed to enforce his one-child policy. Needless to say, however, the Great Leap Forward was an abject failure, and it was only after China opened its door to foreign investment that it truly moved forward to become a technologically modern state.
        • "Remington Filing for Bankruptcy, Cerberus Surrenders Ownership to Creditors"--The Truth About Guns. This announcement confirms that Remington is headed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring under the control of a group of its major creditors. In fact, those creditors will be injecting even more money into the Remington companies. Purportedly, Remington's day-to-day business operations will not be disrupted. 
        • The ex-CIA officer that gave a presentation to local Church youth recently didn't say much about any actual missions, but he did mention that part of his work was traveling around to test radio reception in various parts of Germany (I assume both East and West), and he mentioned that among some of the equipment he carried was a slinky. So, I did some looking and found a few articles on using a slinky as an antenna:
                 A GAO report has found that electricity suppliers have taken steps to address electromagnetic risks and more research is still ongoing.
                    In the case of a severe solar storm or a high-altitude nuclear blast, the electric grid could be severely damaged, causing extensive outages. Government and industry experts agreed that they needed to know more about nuclear risks. Thirteen electricity suppliers were contacted by GAO, and eleven of them had assessed their systems vulnerability to solar storms and expected the impact to be minimal.
          • "Have you been paying attention to Myanmar? It's about to become an international issue with UN troops, even US troops involved...."--SNAFU! A bit of hyperbole, methinks. Readers of this blog have been paying intermittent attention to the situation in Myanmar. As you may remember, Myanmar has suffered terrorist attacks by Muslim terrorists that are hiding among its Rohingya population--most of latter of which came to Myanmar from Bangladesh. Myanmar decided that the best way to fight this insurgency/terror campaign was to remove the water among which the fish swam, to paraphrase Mao. However, the international community is upset over some of the methods used, and have been looking for atrocities. Solomon (the author of Snafu!) is concerned that the world may declare it all to be a humanitarian crises requiring intervention of some sort.
          • Diversity is strength: "Sources: Corrupt Members of South African Police Force Facilitate Farm Attacks"--Hopkins World. The author notes: "We are less than 40 days into 2018. Forty days, 41 farm attacks, and 5 murders on white farms." 
          • This won't end well: "How decolonization could reshape South African science"--Nature. By "decolonization," they mean promoting more blacks into positions where they oversee science and research, and eliminate or reduce white influence on science and rely more on native customs and beliefs. (And, based on the "scientists" they interviewed for the article, by "oversee" they mean the literal bureaucratic management that hires, fires, or promotes researchers, as well as deciding the distribution of research funds). From the article:
                     In the natural sciences it gets more complicated, because the meaning of decolonization is not well defined and its relevance is contested. Does decolonizing science mean throwing out Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel, and starting afresh with indigenous knowledge? Such demands have been made, most famously by a University of Cape Town student in an online video of a campus discussion titled ‘Science must fall?’. Metz says he’s encountered the argument. “Some of my colleagues think that if something hasn’t come from Africa, it’s somehow disqualified.”
                        But only a small minority of scientists hold such radical views. For most, decolonization of science calls for something more complex and subtle. “Decolonization is going to happen in the mind,” says Siyanda Makaula, a former cardiology lecturer who now works in university governance. Such shifts in thinking could mean, for example, that pharmacology students hear how drugs are being developed from plants their grandmothers used to treat stomach ache. This would show the relevance of traditional culture in modern science and anchor the curriculum in local experience. In other subjects, it could be about highlighting the contribution of non-Europeans, or facing the unsavoury history of a discipline: for example, exploring how medical research had a role in fuelling racist ideas and how these were challenged and overturned. Across the board, it means ensuring that research addresses local problems and challenges.
              So a new generation of pharmacology students, instead of being taught about the scientific method, or medications and their interactions, will instead be taught superstition and quack remedies and that whites are evil.
              • It's complicated: "Turkey and the US are now foes"--Hurriyet Daily News. The focus on the article is that the U.S. and Turkey find themselves at cross-purposes vis-a-vis Syria, and there is a real risk that U.S. troops may find themselves in a fight with Turkish troops. 
                         The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10. 
                            “The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans," Erdoğan said in remarks he made during a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II at the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul.
                              "Of course, the borders have changed. Forms of government have changed... But the essence is the same, soul is the same, even many institutions are the same." 
                    • A look back at how we got to the point where the MSM believes it has a divine right to power over the people: "Ruling Class Journalists"--Richard Harwood of the Washington Post. Harwood was an editor for the Post. In this 1993 op-ed, he discusses the connection between the top journalists and the Council on Foreign Relations:
                                 In its 70-year history, the quarterly journal Foreign Affairs has had but five editors. The fifth, recently appointed, is James Hoge, former publisher of the New York Daily News and before that editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. The quarterly is published by the Council on Foreign Relations, whose members are the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States.
                                     The president is a member. So is his secretary of state, the deputy secretary of state, all five of the undersecretaries, several of the assistant secretaries and the department's legal adviser. The president's national security adviser and his deputy are members. The director of Central Intelligence (like all previous directors) and the chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board are members. The secretary of defense, three undersecretaries and at least four assistant secretaries are members. The secretaries of the departments of housing and urban development, interior, health and human services and the chief White House public relations man, David Gergen, are members, along with the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate.
                                     This is not a retinue of people who "look like America," as the president once put it, but they very definitely look like the people who, for more than half a century, have managed our international affairs and our military-industrial complex. John W. Davis, a Wall Street lawyer, was chosen as the council's first president in 1921 and three years later was the Democratic candidate for president against Calvin Coolidge. His successors at the council were from the same mold -- financiers, corporate lawyers and industrialists. John J. McCloy, described by Richard Rovere years ago as the patriarch of the American establishment, served as council chairman from 1953 until 1970. Allen Dulles, first head of the CIA, was a council director for 42 years and was its president from 1946 until 1950. David Rockefeller succeeded McCloy, serving as chairman from 1970 until 1985. His successor is Peter Peterson.
                                       Today, two-thirds of the council's more than 2,000 members live in either New York or Washington and, as you would expect, include many of the leading figures of American political life: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Cyrus Vance, McGeorge Bundy, Gov. Mario Cuomo and so on. Captains of industry and finance, the big universities, the big law firms and the big foundations are heavily represented. That is the way it has always been.
                                        What is distinctively modern about the council these days is the considerable involvement of journalists and other media figures, who account for more than 10 percent of the membership. ...
                              * * *
                                      The membership of these journalists in the council, however they may think of themselves, is an acknowledgment of their active and important role in public affairs and of their ascension into the American ruling class. They do not merely analyze and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it. Their influence, Jon Vanden Heuvel speculates in an article in the Media Studies Journal, is likely to increase now that the Cold War has ended: "By focusing on particular crises around the world {the media are in a better position} to pressure government to act. ... Humanitarianism has taken on new dimensions as a component of American foreign policy, and the media are largely responsible."
                              Read the whole thing.

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