Friday, March 30, 2018

Fox News: "Convicted felon shot, killed by homeowner during Tennessee home invasion: cops"

Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney and this is not intended as legal advice. If you want legal advice, you will need to hire your own attorney.

         The article reports that the homeowner, Brent Bishop (44), and his wife were victims of a home invasion by Terry Adams, Jr. (27), and an accomplice. The two perpetrators apparently entered through the back door into the kitchen and struck the wife in the face. When Bishop entered  the room, he was struck in the head with a blunt object, and then forced to turn over 3 long guns and a pistol to the burglars. The two burglars then left the house. Bishop retrieved another handgun and went to look for his wife (who had fled) and encountered the two burglars in his back yard, and fired shots at them, fatally wounding Adams.

       Bishop was hospitalized with a head fracture.

       Interestingly, Adams is believed to have burglarized Bishop's home on February 6 in which a flat screen TV was taken. Undoubtedly it was during this robbery that Adams learned or suspected that Bishop owned some firearms. The article also reports that Adams had prior convictions of auto burglary, attempted burglary, felony theft and aggravated assault, and "had been arrested in July 2017 for felony meth possession for resale and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon and was being sought by authorities for two probation violation warrants."

       Normally, I would advise against chasing a fleeing felon because there is too great a risk of the criminal turning and shooting you (see my post from earlier today in which I mention a mugging that resulted in the victim being shot), and you generally will have no self-defense excuse for shooting a felon fleeing the scene of a crime. However, in this case, I believe it was appropriate because Bishop's wife had fled out the back door and, to his knowledge, may have been in the back yard and in danger from the two burglars.

       The article provides few details about what happened in the back yard, but it was interesting to me that the burglars were still there. Where they loading the weapons or readying them for use? It is possible that Bishop thought they were going to use the weapons they had taken from him; and he certainly knew that the two offered a threat of violence against him--they had already injured him with a weapon. Consequently, I suspect that Bishop will probably not be charged (provided, of course, that he was not prohibited from possessing the handgun he used).

       Another point I would like to make is the ease with which the criminals entered the house. Based on the description in the article, the back door was probably unlocked. I see that often--even people that are very good about locking their front door seem to think that a back door doesn't need to be locked because, after all, their back yard is fenced, or some similar reasoning. My practice is to keep both front and back doors locked, even if I am home, unless there is some reason for them to be unlocked (e.g., the kids playing outside, going back and forth through the door repeatedly, etc.).

March 30, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web



  • Active Response Training has posted this week's Weekend Knowledge Dump. Check it out.
  • Also, I missed it earlier this week, but Grant Cunningham had posted his "Your Hump Day Reading List for March 28, 2018."
  • For all you reloaders: "Cartridge Case Head Separation"--Aussie Hunter. Nothing lasts forever, and that is true of cartridge cases, especially if you have been loading hot loads. I generally see cracking or splitting at the shoulder of rifle cases, but that is probably because I load a lot more .223 than any other rifle caliber. However, case head separations are probably more common, overall because of the combination of metal fatigue and cases being subject to the strain of being pulled loose by extractors. The author of this article warns: "What you need to look out for is the bright, thin line around the case about 5mm (1/4 inch) above the extraction groove on the case head.  That fine, bright line is the tell-tale sign of the case wall thinning at that location." But he has a simple tool, formed from a simple paper clip, to help you discover this problem before the case head cracks or separates: 
        All it requires is a paper clip, preferably one of the larger size variety.  I actually made mine from a short length of nickel wire, after my paper clip tool went rusty.  I also filed a little chisel edge on the point in order to pick up the faintest beginnings of thinning and crack development.  However, that is nit really necessary; the blunt end of a bent paperclip will work fine.
            It takes no more than a second to check a cartridge case.  Having inserted the bent probe into the case I move it in and out three or four times as I rotate the case in my fingers.  This effectively checks the entire inner surface of the shell.  Any cases that have visible and/or probe detected thinning go into the bin.  There is no fixing them.  The last thing you want is a full separation of the case.  When that happens, the front part of the shell remains wedged tightly in the chamber while the extractor yanks out the separated base.
              This is hard enough to fix at home in the workshop, let alone out in the bush on a hunt.  The key lesson here is to always clean and inspect your fired cases before reloading.
      • Some interesting history: "The Concealed Carry Guns Of US Presidents"--Alien Gear Holsters Blog. Quite a few of our presidents have collected firearms or carried a firearm for self-defense. Ronald Reagan, over Secret Service objections, carried a .38 snubbie for the most part, switching it out for a Single Action Army when he was working around his ranch.
      • Paging Colin Flaherty: "On chilling video, gunman in ‘Kill Batman’ sweater kills ATM customer"--Miami Herald. Watch the video that accompanies this story carefully. The victim was at an outside ATM at night, getting cash. So, arguably doing something stupid at a stupid time and a stupid place. Although you can see the victim looking to his left and right to check for danger, he never turned to check behind him ... which is from where our perpetrator approached our victim. (I assume the victim's mother, who was sitting in their car, could have seen the perpetrator, but if she did, it doesn't appear that she honked a horn or otherwise warned him).  Anyway, the perpetrator apparently asked for the guy's money, and when the perpetrator fumbled that and dropped it, the victim attempted to use force to subdue him; and, since the perpetrator already had his gun out, the victim was shot for his efforts. Saturday Night Live used to have a video spoof of life advice called "Deep Thoughts" and one I remember was that if you drop your keys into lava, just let them go because they are gone. I have the same general feeling about a wallet or money that you have given a mugger--once you hand it over, just consider it gone. Sure, the victim may have been shot anyway, but the odds of that relative to the perpetrator just walking away are low. 
      • "Gunmakers Have Sold AR-15s to Civilians for More Than 50 Years"--Motherboard. Colt started marketing a semi-auto only version of the AR-15 to the public in 1963 ... before they had received contracts from the Air Force or the Army.
      • Hypocrite: "16 Interesting Facts About Steven Spielberg You Didn’t Know"--SoPo Blog. Including this one: "He owns one of the largest gun collections on the East Coast."
      • Tell us how you really feel: "Every Word Liberals Say About Guns Is A Lie"--Kurt Schlichter at Townhall. Money quote: "They want us disarmed because they want us disenfranchised, discouraged, and no longer disobedient. They want us broken."
      • "Dear Parkland Activists: You Admit to Bullying the Shooter, But Have the Gall to Blame Guns and the NRA?"--Louder With Crowder. From the article:
        Over the weekend, one of your comrades, Emma Gonzalez, admitted to “ostracizing” the Parkland shooter. As early as middle school. In an event where you, her, and all your other weepy, whining cohorts marched against the Second Amendment rights of Americans who had nothing to do with the events in Parkland. Not only did Emma admit to ostracizing the shooter, she wasn’t sorry for it. An interesting development considering how the young man “turned out.”
                   In August, a petrochemical company with a plant in Saudi Arabia was hit by a new kind of cyberassault. The attack was not designed to simply destroy data or shut down the plant, investigators believe. It was meant to sabotage the firm’s operations and trigger an explosion.
                  The attack was a dangerous escalation in international hacking, as faceless enemies demonstrated both the drive and the ability to inflict serious physical damage. And United States government officials, their allies and cybersecurity researchers worry that the culprits could replicate it in other countries, since thousands of industrial plants all over the world rely on the same American-engineered computer systems that were compromised.
                     Investigators have been tight-lipped about the August attack. They still won’t identify the company or the country where it is based and have not identified the culprits.
                * * * 
                          The assault was the most alarming in a string of hacking attacks on petrochemical plants in Saudi Arabia. In January 2017, computers went dark at the National Industrialization Company, Tasnee for short, which is one of the few privately owned Saudi petrochemical companies. Computers also crashed 15 miles away at Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between the oil and chemical giants Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical.
                            Within minutes of the attack at Tasnee, the hard drives inside the company’s computers were destroyed and their data wiped clean, replaced with an image of Alan Kurdi, the small Syrian child who drowned off the coast of Turkey during his family’s attempt to flee that country’s civil war.
                             The intent of the January attacks, Tasnee officials and researchers at the security company Symantec believe, was to inflict lasting damage on the petrochemical companies and send a political message. Recovery took months.

                        * * *

                                  Some technical details of the attack in August have been previously reported, but this is the first time the earlier attacks on Tasnee and other Saudi petrochemical companies have been reported.
                                   Security analysts at Mandiant, a division of the security firm FireEye, are still investigating what happened in August, with the help of several companies in the United States that investigate cyberattacks on industrial control systems.
                                      A team at Schneider Electric, which made the industrial systems that were targeted, called Triconex safety controllers, is also looking into the attack, the people who spoke to The Times said. So are the National Security Agency, the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has been supporting research into forensic tools designed to assist hacking investigations.
                                        All of the investigators believe the attack was most likely intended to cause an explosion that would have killed people. In the last few years, explosions at petrochemical plants in China and Mexico — though not triggered by hackers — have killed several employees, injured hundreds and forced evacuations of surrounding communities.
                                          What worries investigators and intelligence analysts the most is that the attackers compromised Schneider’s Triconex controllers, which keep equipment operating safely by performing tasks like regulating voltage, pressure and temperatures. Those controllers are used in about 18,000 plants around the world, including nuclear and water treatment facilities, oil and gas refineries, and chemical plants.
                                           “If attackers developed a technique against Schneider equipment in Saudi Arabia, they could very well deploy the same technique here in the United States,” said James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
                                              The Triconex system was believed to be a “lock and key operation.” In other words, the safety controllers could be tweaked or dismantled only with physical contact.
                                               So how did the hackers get in? Investigators found an odd digital file in a computer at an engineering workstation that looked like a legitimate part of the Schneider controllers but was designed to sabotage the system. Investigators will not say how it got there, but they do not believe it was an inside job. This was the first time these systems were sabotaged remotely.
                                                   The only thing that prevented significant damage was a bug in the attackers’ computer code that inadvertently shut down the plant’s production systems.
                                                   Investigators believe that the hackers have probably fixed their mistake by now, and that it is only a matter of time before they deploy the same technique against another industrial control system. A different group could also use those tools for its own attack.

                                            Thursday, March 29, 2018

                                            March 29, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                            "Five Tool Rule"--David Canterbury (11 min.)
                                            Five basic tools for wilderness living.


                                            Prepping/Self-Defense/Firearms:
                                                      In between the extremes of carefully aimed slow fire with a textbook sight picture and indiscriminate rapid fire point shooting with no sights at all, there is the concept of the flash sight picture. Understanding the flash sight picture is what allows some handgun shooters to use the sights to get effective hits on target, even when they’re shooting very quickly. There are unsighted point shooting or hip shooting techniques that can yield similar results, but the learning curve tends to be incredibly steep, and those techniques were developed at a time when pistol sights were generally tiny little nubs you could barely see. Most handguns today have generously-proportioned sights by comparison, and by taking advantage of that fact, we can use the flash sight picture to get fast and accurate hits.

                                                       The flash sight picture is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a very quick visual impression of the sights, usually not in perfect alignment, but it gives us just enough information to confirm that the gun is pointed at the target before we press the trigger. This can be the first sight picture we see when we present the gun to the target or it can refer to the brief glimpse of the sights that we get in between shots as the gun recovers from recoil.
                                                    In the context of responding to a violent deadly threat, the flash sight picture is most useful between about 3 and 10 yards when we’ve got a wide-open target with no obstructions. Inside of 2 or 3 yards, we probably don’t need to see the sights at all to hit the target. Beyond 10 yards, we need something closer to the ideal “equal height, equal light” clean sight picture if we want to get good hits. Between 3 and 10 yards is where we can use a sight picture that’s just “good enough.” Let’s take a look at an example.
                                              Check it out.
                                              • "When 'Anti-Gun' Equals 'Anti-Police'"--American Cop Magazine. Massad Ayoob takes a look back at the 1973 book, The Saturday Night Special, by Robert Sherrill. The book was an anti-gun book arguing for the banning of small handguns (the so-called "Saturday Night Special"), which was the primary focus of the anti-gun movement at that time (having failed to get a complete handgun ban in the 1968 act). Ayood had previously read the book, but admits that he "had forgotten how much hatred he had espoused there against America’s police; and his opinion of African-Americans and those lower on the totem pole than Sherrill’s own elite status as regular contributor to the uber-liberal magazine The Nation." Ayoob focuses on this anti-police theme, writing:
                                                       But, it’s America’s police for whom Sherrill reserved his most potent vitriol. In an entire chapter titled “Protect Us From Our Protectors,” he wrote: “… it is much more reasonable to suggest that in any gun-control movement, the police should be the first required to lay down their arms. When they were bucking for a pay raise in 1972, Chicago cops suggested they be paid $1 a day just for carrying a gun; better they and police everywhere be paid $10 a day to stop carrying their weapons. At least that’s my suggestion, and I have reasons for it. But before sketching them out, let me admit that I have a Shanty Irish loathing for the men in blue and my reasoning tends to be somewhat warped as a result. My bumpersticker reads: ‘DEPORT YOUR LOCAL POLICE.’ However, that confession made, I still think there are Five Splendid Reasons for disarming the police before we disarm ourselves.”
                                                           Sherrill then goes on to list his “splendid reasons.” The italics, like the caps above, are his and not mine. “1: Cops are morally inferior to the rest of the community… 2: Cops are unnaturally fond of, one might even say queer about, guns… 3: Cops generally range from mentally odd to mentally unbalanced… 4: Cops are too quick on the trigger… 5: Cops don’t deserve to have guns because they usually avoid dangerous situations where guns could be justifiably used.”
                                                  • "Extraction Is Essential: It’s Only 'Self Loading' If The Fired Case Comes Out…"--Guns Magazine. This is in a column on the AR, so it focuses on extraction issues in those weapons specifically, but the information is transferable to most any other firearm that uses a bolt. He also discusses signs (marks on the casing or primer) that can help you diagnose extraction problems. Sometimes, the extractor gets a good hold on the cartridge, but slips off because the cartridge is too firmly stuck in the chamber, and this can happen when there has been too much chamber pressure (part of the issue I was having with my first .44 Magnum reloads with my lever action).
                                                  • I may be a little late with this one: "Seed Starting"--Urban Farm Hub. Instructions on the sprouting seeds indoors for later transplant to an outdoor garden (or larger containers if you do vertical gardening or container gardening). One thing that was interesting to me is that the author does his or her sprouting in two stages. First, he or she plants the seeds in a cake pan (with holes for water drainage) to get them started, and when she can see which ones are going to do well, then picks those out and transfers them to a more standard seedling pan with the individual cells for each plant.
                                                  • "Lever-Actions for Personal Defense"--American Rifleman. I agree with the author that lever action rifles and carbines can be great rifles for self-defense if someone cannot buy or does not want a modern sporting rifle. While the .30-30 can be a great cartridge, there is the issue of limited capacity, which is why I believe that some of the pistol calibers (.44 Magnum or .357 Magnum) offer a bit more to the person looking at a lever-action for self-defense. Carbine versions generally hold at least 6 rounds in the magazine, and the longer rifles will generally hold 10 in the magazine (or 11, if you use .44 Special or .38 Special). 
                                                             One point I disagree with, though, is the author's discussion about quickly reloading the carbine by loading a round through the loading gate on the side of the rifle. First, not all lever actions use side-loading gates: the Henry models, for instance. Second, it takes practice, and perhaps even some gun smithing work, to get fast reloads through the loading gate, and some bullet shapes are harder to load than others (meaning, even if you get fast with one type of ammo, you might not have the same speed with a different type of ammo). Finally, while that is good for topping off a partially used magazine, if you were to actually expend the whole magazine, it is both faster and more reliable to feed a round into the open action (similar to how you would with an empty shotgun) and chamber it, rather than attempting to load a round through the loading gate and then work the action. Then, if you have time, you can fill the magazine by loading through the side-gate.
                                                    • Related: "Handloading The .44-40 Win."--American Rifleman. A detailed article about this venerable cartridge, including loading data.
                                                    • In case someone yells "fire" in a crowded theater: "How to Survive a Human Stampede"--The Art of Manliness. It is not uncommon for people to be trampled in a panicked crowd, resulting in serious injury or death. This article also notes that a crowd can get so packed that people can get squeezed so hard in the press that they literally can't breath and will pass out or die. In the latter instance, the author recommends raising your arms so you can keep your elbows up. I learned this during the period when I lived in Japan. Many of you have probably seen video of people literally be crammed into trains. In such cases, the crowd presses so tight that if your arms are down by your side, you literally won't be able to pull them up if for some reason you need to use your arms or hands--you might as well be tied up. Not only does this make your vulnerable for the reasons cited in the article, but it also leaves you vulnerable to somebody else picking your pocket or groping you (while it is generally women that get groped, men are also victims). By keeping my arms up, I had the freedom to grab a pole or handle (such as if the train suddenly braked), but I could also push people away from me, or respond to someone acting inappropriately. 
                                                    •  "DIY: Kydex Press"--Baugo Blades. If you decide to make a kydex sheath for a knife, this article describes how to shape the sheath to your knife.
                                                    • Question to my readers: Do you prefer my splitting these "Quick Run Around the Web" posts into discreet sections on "Firearms/Prepping" versus "Other Stuff" or does it even matter? Let me know in the comments.

                                                    Other Stuff:
                                                    The [Congressional] investigators say the information provided to Fox News “strongly” suggests coordination between former President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and CIA Director John Brennan — which they say would “contradict” the Obama administration’s public stance about its hand in the process.
                                                    I find Reid to be particularly odious because he is a member of the LDS Church, and so I expected better of him. Instead, he has and will continue to drag the Church's name through the mud.
                                                    • "Anonymous Conservative, take a victory lap"--Vox Popoli.  Vox notes recently published research that found a direct correlation between the size/development of the amygdala and "conservatism" (or, as the article put it, "support for the existing social order."), which, as long time readers of this blog know, is one of the foundational aspects of Anonymous Conservative's theory applying r/K theory to politics.
                                                    • North Korea chose ... poorly: "China Makes Shocking Announcement About North Korean Denuclearization"--Daily Wire. Basically, Kim Jung Un has pledged to get rid of his nuclear weapons in exchange for the Chinese committing to protect his regime. So Kim will become a Chinese puppet, with all that entails. 
                                                    • The continued collapse of the British Empire: "South Africa may become the next big promoter of terrorism and piracy"--AEI.org. The article starts by reflecting on Nelson Mandela's efforts to maintain peace within South Africa by not driving out whites. But continues:
                                                            Alas, Mandela was unable to make his changes permanent. After his five-year presidential term ended in 1999, and especially after his 2013 death, the leaders who followed Mandela—Thabo Mbeki, and especially Jacob Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa—have spent South Africa’s moral capital shilling for increasingly radical regimes, terrorist groups, and causes.
                                                               In December 2017, for example, the ANC both downgraded its embassy in Israel and invited representatives of Hamas to its party conference. While the Palestinian Authority exist because it in theory foreswore terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist, Hamas opposes the two-state solution and seeks not only the eradication of Israel, but also genocide against Jews. South Africa has also proven itself a central location for the acquisition and smuggling of sensitive technology to Hezbollah, another terror group. Students affiliated with the ANC’s student union at the University of Witwatersrand praised Hitler and waved Hezbollah flags. Bilateral ties between South Africa and Iran are at an all-time high and Iran has recruited Palestinians in South Africa in order to conduct terrorism against Israel.
                                                                South Africa’s new radicalism has now spilled over into piracy. Nearly a year ago, a Marshall Islands’-flagged cargo ship carrying phosphate made an unscheduled stop in Port Elizabeth. At the request of activists from the Polisario Front, an autocratic Marxist group which claims both to lead the self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and refuses to allow an U.N.-mandated referendum to determine what people living under its control really want, the South African government impounded the ship and its cargo. The Polisario claimed that phosphates mined in the Western Sahara should really belong to it. When the Polisario Front tried the same tactic in Panama, a Panamanian court rejected it outright.
                                                                 But South African officials now favor terrorist groups and radical causes over international law. On March 19, it began to auction the cargo and transfer the proceeds to the Polisario Front, the same group which during the Cold War forcibly separated children from their parents in order to train them in Cuba and which continues to embezzle humanitarian aid. In effect, South Africa’s government and courts now signal they are willing to seize ships belonging to nationals of countries they dislike in order to seize cargo.
                                                            Read the whole thing.
                                                                      Neoliberal policies have worked well for those in the upper economic, academic, bureaucratic classes and the cosmopolitan places where they predominate. But what works for Manhattan or Palo Alto, as well as Goldman Sachs or Apple, does not help so much residents of declining industrial cities, small towns and villages which suffered millions of lost jobs due to China or NAFTA.
                                                                        Trump’s support in these locations reflects a broader global phenomenon. Like the Midwestern and southern towns recently denounced by Hillary Clinton as looking “backward,” neoliberal policies have been rejected by similar geographies in the United Kingdom, as seen in the Brexit vote, and powered nationalist parties in such varied places as Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands. Most recently Italians, including in the impoverished south, voted largely for anti-immigrant, nationalist and populist parties.
                                                                          Neoliberal embrace of draconian climate change policies represent one irritant. These tend to hurt natural resource and industrial pursuits that power many smaller city economies. Establishmentarian intellectuals tend to have little regard for the prospects of such places and those who remain in them. Neoliberalism is also associated with uncontrolled mass immigration, which threatens both more conservative cultural norms and the economic prospects of those outside what urbanist Saskia Sassen calls the urban “glamour zone.”
                                                                    He goes on to observe, however, that in combating any backlash or resistance to their vision of the world, neoliberals on both sides of the political aisle are increasingly turning to autocratic means of controlling thought and populations. Thus:
                                                                              Despite initial economic success, President Trump is unlikely to succeed, as much a reflection of his unappealing personality and ideological incoherence than policy failures. Over time, opposing forces like the media, much of Wall Street, the tech oligarchy and academia will likely turn back right-wing nationalism. But neoliberalism as we have known it seems largely finished.
                                                                               So what will replace neoliberalism? Most likely the next iteration will be an increasingly autocratic one, reflecting the increasingly concentrated nature of the world economy, and facilitated by the growing control over information by a handful of tech oligarchs. For many, China may prove not just an alluring market, but a role model for a capitalism that, notes analyst Sami Karam, is ever more dominated by rent-seeking and “cronyism.”
                                                                                 Immigration may turn out to be an even greater challenge for the old neoliberal coalition. To combat what they see as nativism, including any unfashionable attachment to western civilization, the progressives who run Facebook and Google have allied with the politically correct left’s thought police. Kumbaya values will be packaged in schools, the media, the arts and fashion, shaping the views of the next generation while the last America-centric generations die off.
                                                                                   Ultimately the successor to neoliberalism will not be the resurgent nationalism of Steve Bannon’s fantasies but an autocratic one manufactured in Beijing, Manhattan, Silicon Valley and the academy. Largely unappreciated today, we someday may look back at the waning neoliberal era with some nostalgia, lamenting the failure of a noble idea that failed.
                                                                                    In the world today, eight men control as much wealth as the poorest half of the globe–that’s around 3.5 billion people. Those 3.5 billion people live in abject poverty and face horrifying human security issues despite over seven decades of “expert” development advice from the West and trillions of dollars in foreign aid. This profound inequality has existed in the developing world for most of the modern era, but it is increasingly found in the developed world as well. In the United States, the middle class has been in decline for nearly five decades. By 2015, nearly twenty-five percent of all income in the US was earned by the wealthiest one percent of the population–and this elite group controlled forty percent of the nation’s wealth. As recently as 1990, however, these numbers had been twelve percent and thirty-three percent, respectively.
                                                                                       Some might argue that these successes of the ultra-rich have trickled down to the middle and working classes; the data simply does not support such notions. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz finds that from 2005 to 2015 the income of the ultra-rich increased by eighteen percent, while the middle class saw slight declines in income and men with high school degrees experienced precipitous falls in income. This income inequality is similar to the levels seen today in Russia and Iran. The brutal truth is that most citizens in the United States are doing worse economically year after year, and our income disparity is now on par with authoritarian regimes. What should be concerning to all Americans is the likelihood that this situation continues to worsen given recent developments in the republic.
                                                                                          Over the course of Fanti’s work with the shroud, he discovered the man it covered suffered 370 wounds inflicted by flagellation, was approximately 5 ft. 11 in. tall, and sagged downward to his right at the moment of his death due to a severe shoulder dislocation that damaged his nerves, he said. The total number of the man’s flagellation wounds was likely closer to 600, since the shroud only fully enveloped his front and back but not his sides, Fanti added.
                                                                                            The allegedly accurate depiction of Christ showed Jesus was an incredibly handsome man with noble features and above average height, Fanti claimed.
                                                                                              “According to our studies, Jesus was a man of extraordinary beauty. Long-limbed but very robust, he was nearly 5 ft. 11 in. tall, whereas the average height at the time was around 5 ft. 5 in. And he had a regal and majestic expression,” Fanti said, according to Vatican Insider.

                                                                                      Wednesday, March 28, 2018

                                                                                      March 28, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                      "EMPIRE vs Populist ASYMMETRIC WARFARE"--Black Pigeon Speaks (7 min.)
                                                                                      In this video, BPS addresses the argument, often heard from the left, that firearms in private hands could in no way challenge the might of the United States military. This has been repeated so many times among the left that it now informs their current belief that they could simply confiscate firearms without serious consequences. BPS looks to other conflicts in which the U.S. has been involved where there has been assymetric warfare, and U.S. forces have not faired so well. However, there is an important distinguishing factor that BPS does not discuss, and which I rarely hear discussed, which is that modern conventional and special forces have large logistical tails. And, in modern war, the logistical tail very much wags the dog. 

                                                                                      In all the wars the U.S. has fought over the last 200 years, this logistical tails has largely been free from attack; and certainly, the logistical roots (the factories, oil wells and refineries, farms, internal transportation and communications, electrical grid, etc.) have never been seriously threatened. An insurgency in the United States would mean that these logistical roots would be on the front lines, not thousands of miles from a battlefield. Similarly, the political and military leaders would not be safe, thousands of miles away with an ocean between them and the enemy--they, too, would be on the front lines. And an American insurgency would not be against uneducated peasants and herdsman, but against one of the most intelligent and educated peoples in the world. Just as the U.S. military did in World War II, such an insurgency would have access to insurance adjusters and engineers to pin-point the most vulnerable points in a factory or transportation network; it would have access to engineers, scientists and technicians for creating or using weapons. And, keep in mind, that the majority of the large military bases were originally sited where they are to assist in the occupation of the South following the Civil War--that means, today, that they are located deep in what would become enemy territory. 


                                                                                             First the terms; PALS stands for Pouch Attachment Ladder System that was developed for the military. This is the webbing you are seeing. The military standard for this webbing is horizontal rows of 1″ webbing, spaced 1″ apart, sewn to the item at 1.5″ intervals.
                                                                                               The second term is again a military acronym- MOLLE; Modular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment. This is pronounced Molly like the girl’s name. The acronym says just what it is. The terms PALS and MOLLE are used interchangeably.
                                                                                          The author goes on to briefly discuss attaching items to a MOLLE system, including field expedient methods, and links to a video that goes into more detail.
                                                                                                   Mil-Spec: On the mil-spec buffer tube… the threads at the front are actually a larger diameter than the rest of the tube itself.  In manufacturing, a large tube is used and threads lathed as normal. Next, the rest of the tube must be milled down to the military specified diameter.  I’m guessing this step requires more work / precision… and costs more.
                                                                                                    Commercial-Spec:  In manufacturing, you begin with a tube that matches the final tube diameter.  The threads are cut into the front end with a lathe just like any other threaded pipe.  I imagine this to be just like the copper water pipe used in my house.  Cheap & simple.
                                                                                                The rear of the commercial tube is slightly slanted, as well.
                                                                                                          Remington introduced the .416 Remington Magnum in 1988. It was the first true dangerous-game cartridge developed by a major U.S. company since the .458 Winchester Magnum in 1956. There were big-bore wildcats and proprietary cartridges, but the big U.S. ammo companies seemed to let the British and mainland European ammo purveyors own that segment of the business. The .416 Rem. Mag. changed that.
                                                                                                             The .416 Rem. Mag. is simply the full-length .375 Holland & Holland case necked up to hold 0.416-inch-diameter bullets and with much of the H&H body taper removed. Pushing a 400-grain bullet to 2,400 fps and 5,100 ft-lbs of energy, the .416 Rem. Mag. delivered .416 Rigby performance in a cartridge that fit the abundance of affordable American bolt rifles with H&H boltface dimensions. Dimensionally, the .416 Rem. Mag. is similar to the wildcat .416 Hoffman that was developed in the 1970s.
                                                                                                               Prior to 1988, .416-caliber rifle cartridges existed, but they were little known in the U.S. The British had enjoyed the .416 Rigby, one of the finest dangerous-game cartridges, since 1911. And there were other British cartridges in that .40- to .45-caliber niche that were common in Africa: the .404 Jeffery, the .450/400 Nitro Express, and the .425 Westley Richards, for example. Many of the European cartridges required either a double rifle or a bolt gun built on the very pricey Magnum Mauser action, which limited their consumer appeal.
                                                                                                      • "Boot Review: The LaCrosse Alpha Range"--Wide Open Spaces (H/t Baugo Blades). These boots are designed for ankle-deep wading. The body of the boot appears to be rubber, while the upper portion around your calves appears to be made of some other material--neoprene perhaps. The author rated them highly, and especially praised "an adjustable strap to secure the boot at the top, around your calf, with a neoprene gusset to 'fill the gap' no matter how big or small your calves are."
                                                                                                      • "How can you tell the difference between a SWAT raid and a home invasion?"--Active Response Training. With both people posing as police in home invasions and the occasional rogue cop(s) that moonlight as robbers, this is something you need to know. Greg Ellifritz draws on his experience as a police officers to list certain factors that will distinguish an actual raid from a robbery. There are a multitude of factors, and Greg discusses each of them, so go read the whole thing.
                                                                                                      • "Understanding Barrel Bedding"--Rifle Shooters Magazine. The author explains:
                                                                                                                 Actually, “accuracy” can be looked at from two different perspectives: pure grouping ability and a rifle’s ability to maintain zero. The two are not the same. The former is the measure of how tight the average group measures, regardless of where on the target it is, while the latter is where our point of impact (POI) is relative to where we expect it to be. In a hunting rifle, consistent POI is more important that pure accuracy, and it’s primarily a function of the bedding.
                                                                                                        And, he also adds that not all rifles benefit from a free floated barrel:
                                                                                                                   Generally speaking, the thinner the barrel, the more likely it is to group best with some dampening pressure being exerted by the stock. The easiest way to produce this dynamic on a production scale is to hog out the bottom of the barrel channel about 1/8 inch deeper than necessary to a point about one inch from the fore-end tip where a raised band of material is left remaining. It is this raised portion of the channel that is the only contact between the barrel and stock. When the forward guard screw is cinched up, the stock is actually bowed inward, and that is what produces the tension against the barrel.
                                                                                                                      Dampening barrel pressure can also be exerted the entire length of the barrel channel, but to accomplish that you must have perfect surface contact the entire length of the forearm, and that can only be achieved through glass bedding, something no production rifle-maker does. Some, however, do apply epoxy to the recoil-lug area of some select models.
                                                                                                            Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                            • For the left's elites, it is always "guns for me, but not thee": "Rapper Who Performed at ‘March for Our Lives’ Previously Pled Guilty to Gun Crime"--Washington Free Beacon. His crime was, while in California, carrying an unlicensed concealed weapon in his car for self-defense.
                                                                                                            • The wages of sin socialism: "In Venezuela, hungry child gangs use machetes to fight for ‘quality’ garbage"--Miami Herald. Fighting over the most edible garbage.
                                                                                                            • The retreat of civilization: "Talk about crime and societal breakdown . . ."--Bayou Renaissance Man. The author discusses his shock and dismay upon reading about a recent train derailment in South Africa caused by thieves that stole a section of track. Metal thieves abound in this previously developed nation. I wonder what could have changed in recent decades to cause the decline of South Africa?
                                                                                                            • So the local newspaper, The Idaho Statesman (a liberal rag) ran an op-ed originally published in the Miami Herald entitled "May the Parkland kids forgive us for failing them so miserably" and written by Leonard Pitts Jr. The piece is essentially a series of misrepresentations and obfuscations about the March for Life, characterizing it as something wholly organized by some of the high school survivors. It is an example of propaganda at its finest. Especially galling is the author complaint that when an article came out about a puppy dying in an overhead bin on a United flight, Congress acted quickly to protect puppies, but has yet to address the Florida shooting by passing laws to protect school children; and giving the impression that Congress has never passed laws restricting or regulating firearms, their possession on or near school grounds, or that there are no other laws  prohibiting murder, aggravated battery or aggravated assault. 
                                                                                                            • A friendly reminder that Mexico has strict laws governing the ownership of firearms: "Guanajuato: 8 Dead, 24 Wounded in Palenque Massacre"--Borderland Beat. On March 21, 2018, gunmen broke into a hall where a cock fight was being hosted, killing 8 and wounding 22 (there were 24 wounded, but two later died from their wounds). This is what the left wants to import into the United States even as they disarm Americans.
                                                                                                            When first-generation or immigrant Muslims were growing up in the 1980s and ’90s, the focus was on assimilating as much as possible while trying privately to hold onto culture and faith. Then, in the years immediately following 9/11, kids who were coming of age received a different kind of messaging, a particular mix of pressures: to condemn terrorism, express their patriotism, and sometimes downplay their Muslimness. Today, for my kids, with 9/11 more than 15 years in the past, they are facing something wholly new: an era when it’s encouraged to be unapologetically Muslim while at the same time staking claim to their Americanness.
                                                                                                            So, it was problematic that her kids condemn terrorism; it was problematic that her kids be patriotic. So what does it mean then to "claim their Americanness"? Given that this does not, per the author, include patriotism or assimilation, the logical conclusion is that it means an attitude that "we own this country now."
                                                                                                                    The author continues by pointing out that her children face a, so far nonexistent, backlash for being Muslim. To support her claim, she cites to the murder of Nabra Hassanen in June 2017:
                                                                                                            The police called it road rage. Many Muslims cried hate crime. And, many of us wondered what the journalist Hannah Allam articulated in her Buzzfeed article about Nabra’s funeral: “What kind of America is this … where a teenage girl can be brutalized on her way to the mosque with a group of friends?”
                                                                                                            Let me answer that question: A nation that allows mass immigration. Hassanen was raped and murdered by a "Dreamer": Darwin Martinez Torres, an illegal alien from El Salvador who was 22 at the time, and who is thought to have been a member of MS-13.

                                                                                                            Tuesday, March 27, 2018

                                                                                                            March 27, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                            "How to survive a gunfight in a car"--Tactical Rifleman (8 min.)
                                                                                                            Notwithstanding the title, this video is on how to fight around or in proximity to a vehicle, including when getting out of the vehicle, and discusses some of the issue like ricochet or changes in trajectory velocity, cover, etc.. 

                                                                                                                    In ballistics tests, Clear Ballistics supplied us with a synthetic 10 percent FBI block which we duly riddled. Of the five shots fired through the 16-inch long block, two penetrated the entire length and exited into the berm.
                                                                                                                      The three bullets retained inside the gel showed controlled expansion between 11.5-15 inches, mushrooming into a six-petaled blossom of distinct lead and copper layers.
                                                                                                              • "Why is the AKM’s Muzzle Brake Canted?"--The Firearm Blog. He explains: "When the recoil impulse travels down the rifle and into the shooter, it causes the gun to pivot up and away from the shooter’s support shoulder. The horizontal direction depends on the shooter’s dominant hand. Since the overwhelming majority of people in the world are right-handed, Soviet engineers implemented a compensator that is most effective for them."
                                                                                                              • "Thriving Big Game Herds Mean Big Harvests for This Season’s Hunters"--Real World Survival. According to the article, the Idaho Fish & Game Department is reporting much higher than normal survival rates for fawns and elk calves this winter: 88% and 97%, respectively. 
                                                                                                              • "Build Your Own Precision Bolt-Action Rifle"--American Rifleman. The author of this particular article still spent $4,463 (which included the optic), but if you were willing to stick with a stock Remington 700 receiver, you could save a considerable amount of money. What makes this possible is the "Remage" barrels mentioned by the author. The common problem with Remington barrels is that they are difficult to install and headspace properly, and it is generally a job for a gun smith. However, the Remage (Remington & Savage) barrels for the Remington 700 employ a barrel nut like that on the Savage rifle, but designed to be used with the Remington 700 receiver and stocks, allowing you to more easily install and headspace a new barrel. 
                                                                                                              • "Don’t Overdo It! -- Over Cleaning Can Be As Bad As Neglect"--Guns Magazine. The author discusses some cleaning products--other than the old Hoppes No. 9 standby--and then gets to what the title is about. He writes:
                                                                                                                        At ranges over the years I’ve seen a lot of shooters cleaning bores. I still see a lot of cheap 3-piece cleaning rods. Or if the shooter buys a quality 1-piece rod he’ll get one to fit 0.22-inch bores and use the same rod for his 0.308-inch barrels, where it bends and rubs the bore. Not 1 in 20 uses a bore guide to keep the rod centered.
                                                                                                                           More than once I’ve winced to see one shooter holding the rifle down on a bench while another pounds on the cleaning rod to dislodge a stuck patch. Another ploy is to use an aggressive copper solvent and leave it in the bore far longer than the manufacturer’s directions, or getting it on exterior surfaces and damaging blued finishes.
                                                                                                                            Frankly without the right tools and technique constant bore cleaning does more harm than good. But I realize I won’t change any minds. I’ve had friends call my character into question for not cleaning my rifle bore until the end of hunting season saying, “I couldn’t sleep without knowing my rifle is clean, lubed, and ready to go.”
                                                                                                                              Well, a freshly cleaned and lubed firearm is ready to go into storage, not into service. I’d never consider taking a rifle out hunting without firing a couple of groups to check point of impact, to foul the bore, and to be certain the rifle feeds, chambers, extracts and ejects cartridges reliably.
                                                                                                                      [Secretary of Commerce] Ross explained that the citizenship question helps provide a more accurate understanding of congressional districts. California, however, is concerned that the citizenship question may discourage illegal immigrants from participating in the census, resulting in an undercount and the possible redrawing of political districts, a loss of political representation on the national level, and increased benefits for the Republican Party as power shifts from the cities to rural America.
                                                                                                                      California has reason to be concerned--it is one of the states with the highest rate of out-migration of citizens. If they can't paper over this loss of population with non-citizens, they could lose seats in Congress.
                                                                                                                                 Mireille Knoll, 85, was killed Friday in Paris. Two men were charged in the murder. They allegedly stabbed Knoll and then set her apartment on fire. One was a Muslim neighbor that she had known since he was a seven-year-old boy, The Times of Israel reported. The assailant, 21, spent time in the elderly woman’s building the day of the attack, The New York Post reported.
                                                                                                                                  Authorities are investigating the attack as an anti-Semitic incident.
                                                                                                                                    Knoll’s family members expressed their shock at the incident. “My mother accepted everyone. Even the neighbor who murdered her, she has known since he was seven years old. When he was a boy, he helped her,” said Daniel Knoll, her son.
                                                                                                                                     She was “always happy to see [the neighbor]. It’s unbelievable that it ended like this,” said Noa Goldfard, her granddaughter.
                                                                                                                                       The assailants also wrecked the woman’s home and set fire to her belongings. The neighbor was found in possession of the woman’s phone. He was previously arrested for sexually assaulting her former caretaker’s 12-year-old daughter, Reuters reported.
                                                                                                                                    At least she had the police to protect her, right?
                                                                                                                                              Knoll previously warned police that her neighbor threatened to kill her. The elderly woman also suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
                                                                                                                                        Too bad she couldn't have bought a firearm to defend herself.
                                                                                                                                                   Women are importing the sperm of American men at unprecedented rates, says a report from The Wall Street Journal, and blue-eyed Caucasian males are the most sought after donors.

                                                                                                                                            * * *
                                                                                                                                                      "The vast majority of what we have and what we sell are the Caucasian blond-haired, blue-eyed donors," Fredrik Andreasson told the Journal. Andreasson is the CFO of Seattle Sperm Bank, a bank that procures about a fourth of the country's sperm imports.

                                                                                                                                                * * *
                                                                                                                                                           But why are Brazilian women yearning for the sperm of blonde, white males in a country where so much of the population is mixed race or black? The reasoning is seemingly economic, but also social, being tightly tied to the country's racial history.
                                                                                                                                                            Race is perceived as an indicator of wealth and prosperity in the country; it is estimated that over 80% of the wealthiest top 1% in Brazil are white.
                                                                                                                                                              "More than 50% of Brazilians are black or mixed-race, a legacy of Brazil having imported more than 10 times as many African slaves than the U.S.; it was the last Western country to ban slavery, in 1888. The descendants of white colonizers and immigrants — many of whom were lured to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the ruling elite explicitly sought to 'whiten' the population — control most of the country’s political power and wealth," explains the Journal. "In such a racially divided society, having fair-skinned offspring is often viewed as a way to provide a child with better prospects, from a higher salary to fairer treatment by the police."
                                                                                                                                                               Brazilian women are reportedly requesting blue-eyed donors specifically to up their probability of having a child with fair skin.
                                                                                                                                                        • Diversity + Proximity = War: "The Collapse of Racial Liberalism" by Nils Gilman at The American Interest. Although the article is a paean to the rise of black power and the denouement of whites, it nevertheless raises some interesting points. From the article (bold added):
                                                                                                                                                                   By racial liberalism, I mean the basic consensus that existed across the mainstream of both political parties since the 1970s, to the effect that, first, bigotry of any overt sort would not be tolerated, but second, that what was intolerable was only overt bigotry—in other words, white people’s definition of racism. Institutional or “structural” racism—that is, race-based exclusions that result from deep social habits such as where people live, who they know socially, what private organizations they belong to, and so on—were not to be addressed. The core ethic of the racial liberal consensus was colorblind individualism.
                                                                                                                                                                    The racial liberal consensus emerged from the post-1960s struggle over racial integration, in particular through the debates over school busing and affirmative action. One of the Civil Rights movement’s most undisputed successes was in establishing the norm that overt expressions of racial animus were no longer politically or even socially acceptable in the United States. Despite grumbles about political correctness, new forms of racial etiquette and sensitivity training proliferated across the American educational and corporate landscape. At the same time, however, resistance to school busing and the eventual roll-back of affirmative action programs resulted in clear limits on redressing system-level structural exclusions based on what was typically referred to as “the legacy” of racism and slavery.
                                                                                                                                                                      Emblematic of this post-Civil Rights Movement racial liberal consensus was the late Reverend Billy Graham, as David Hollinger recently explained in the New York Times. To his credit, Graham made a show of integrating his religious revivals and rallies at a time when such a move was considered “provocative” in much of the South. On the other hand, he offered only weak challenges to ongoing prejudices and injustices, choosing “to represent anti-black racism as a sin of the individual human heart rather than a civic evil to be corrected by collective political authority.” In this estimation, intentions rather than outcomes were the proper basis for measuring racial progress.
                                                                                                                                                                        While there were always dissenters from the racial liberal consensus in the post-Civil Rights era, mainstream politicians from both sides of the political divide respected its norms, if only in the breach.3 While racial animus persisted beneath the surface of U.S. civil society, the consensus was not only that overt expressions of bigotry against people of color and celebrations of white supremacy were no longer acceptable, but also that attempts to name and dismantle the institutional bases of white privilege were a political bridge too far. Mainstream politicians were expected to police defectors from their respective “extreme” flanks.

                                                                                                                                                                  * * *
                                                                                                                                                                             The central tenet of racial liberalism, which Obama articulated and embodied better than anyone ever has—namely that everyone wants the same thing when it comes to racial justice—has been exposed as false. To a very large extent, both Right and Left have now dropped the pretense to racial liberalism, and the nation now faces a stark choice.
                                                                                                                                                                               For its part, the racial Right, where it does not actively embrace white supremacy, now makes no apology for white privilege and demands, as in Northern Virginia with the Cox Farms protestors, that white supremacist views be treated with respect. Conversely, the racial Left is no longer willing to tolerate the structural exclusions and violence that are the ongoing de facto legacies of centuries of de jure white supremacy, first in slavery and then in southern Jim Crow. Bringing down Confederate statues across the South reflects a firm rejection of the idea that racial reconciliation must mean tolerating public symbols of injustice. It is hard to see how two such radically different views of the nation’s racial future can be reconciled.
                                                                                                                                                                               Nor is it at all clear that we should wish for a return to the racial liberal consensus. While a politics of ethno-racial identity have roared into the mainstream of both the Democratic and Republican parties, this parallelism by no means entails moral equivalence. For one side the goal is to complete the march through the institutions in order to end the four-centuries-long legacy of white supremacy. For the other it is about a last-ditch defense of the longstanding privileges associated with that history. What the collapse of racial liberalism means is that Americans of every race no longer can defer the choice between those two visions of the country’s racial future.
                                                                                                                                                                        • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "NASA to Allow Nuclear Power Systems for Next Discovery Mission"--Space.com. Ever since the United States wound down its nuclear weapons programs, the supply of plutonium-238 available for space missions has been dwindling and carefully hoarded. However, this article reports:
                                                                                                                                                                                  Citing progress in producing plutonium-238, NASA will allow scientists proposing missions for an upcoming planetary science competition to use nuclear power sources.
                                                                                                                                                                                     In a statement issued March 17, Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, said the agency was reversing an earlier decision prohibiting the use of radioisotope power systems for spacecraft proposed for the next mission in the agency's Discovery program.
                                                                                                                                                                              The Discovery program are interplanetary missions using more specialized, but smaller and less expensive probes. The missions at issue here are the Mars 2020 rover and, possibly, the Dragonfly (part of the Discovery program) which is a proposed lunar probe.

                                                                                                                                                                              Great Comment by Glenn Reynolds on Gun Control

                                                                                                                                                                              He writes about gun control: "IT’S NOT MEANT TO “SOLVE MASS KILLINGS,” IT’S MEANT TO HUMILIATE THE FLYOVER RUBES AND SHOW THEM WHO’S BOSS."

                                                                                                                                                                              A Quick Look At Idaho's Stand Your Ground Law

                                                                                                                                                                              Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney, and this is not intended as legal advice. If you want legal advice, you will need to hire your own attorney.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Senate Bill 1313 was introduced this year to include some "stand your ground" provisions, which generated a hissy fit from many on the left. I, myself, am generally skeptical of the legislature's attempts to revise gun and self-defense laws because, while they often grant some additional rights, they then turn and impose significant restrictions. However, in this case, I think that the citizens of Idaho may have come out ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                                     First of all, although the Governor refused to sign the Bill, he also didn't veto it. Thus, it became law without his signature on March 22, 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                     Under Idaho common law (that is, judge made law), the general rule was that a person had no duty to retreat; and, in fact, the general jury instruction on the issue states:
                                                                                                                                                                              In the exercise of the right of [self-defense], one need not retreat. One may stand one's ground and defend [oneself] by the use of all force and means which would appear to be necessary to a reasonable person in a similar situation and with similar knowledge. This law applies even though the person being [attacked] might more easily have gained safety by flight or by withdrawing from the scene.
                                                                                                                                                                              (See State v. Iverson, 155 Idaho 766, 316 P.3d 682 (Ct. App. 2014)). The same case also explains that a person defending themselves must still only use reasonable force.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bill 1313 (PDF here) extends justifiable homicide to include defense of  a business/employment or an occupied vehicle from someone intending to commit, by violence or surprise, a felony or physical violence against a person. Previously, it had only applied to defense of a habitation, property or person. Of note, it also creates a presumption (rebuttable, I presume) that anyone attempting to enter a habitation, place of business/employment, or vehicle by use of stealth or force is doing so with the intent to commit a felony. I observe that this presumption does not appear to extend to the mere defense of a person or property other than in the specified locations and circumstances set out in the statute.

                                                                                                                                                                                     The Bill also adds a reasonableness standard to the Castle Doctrine statute, stating:
                                                                                                                                                                              A person acting pursuant to this section may use such degree and extent of force as would appear to be reasonably necessary to prevent the threatened injury. Reasonableness is to be judged from the viewpoint of a reasonable person placed in the same position and seeing and knowing what the person then saw and knew without the benefit of hindsight.
                                                                                                                                                                              This seems pretty standard and in line with the reasonableness standard under the common law.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Finally, the Bill adds some provisions to the relevant statutes on self-defense, including that the person need not retreat (as I noted, this was part of the common law, but this makes it statutory), and that: "The defense of self or of another does not require a person to wait until he or she ascertains whether the danger is apparent or real. A person confronted with such danger has a clear right to act upon appearances such as would influence the action of a reasonable person." Note well, however, that this quoted provision does not appear to include defense of property. The statute also shifts the burden to the prosecutor to show that self-defense was not justified (I don't know if this will impact the defendant's burden to demonstrate to the court that he should be allowed to argue self-defense), and adds a presumption in favor of self-defense under certain circumstances:
                                                                                                                                                                              A person using force or deadly force in defense of a habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle as defined in section 18-4009(3), Idaho Code, is presumed to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the force is used against a person whose entry or attempted entry therein is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.
                                                                                                                                                                              Again, note that the presumption doesn't extend to defense of a person or property outside of the locations and circumstances set out in the statute.

                                                                                                                                                                                     This is just a quick overview to highlight some of the changes. I suggest that you download the PDF and read the law and the changes for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                              Monday, March 26, 2018

                                                                                                                                                                              Not All Is Well In Hogg Heaven (Updated)

                                                                                                                                                                                     Well, the local papers and news departments in Boise are pretty much run by leftist. Perhaps not  Bernie Sander's leftists, but pretty close. Consequently, the local media outlets gushed over the few hundred that turned out for a protest before the State Capital building calling for the trampling of the Second Amendment. The local newspaper--The Idaho Statesman--even ran an oped originally published in the Miami Herald entitled "May the Parkland kids forgive us for failing them so miserably" while making dishonest assertions about the facts and law. One particularly odd selection was to complain that, after a high profile death of a dog on an airline flight, Congress immediately introduced bills to protect our pets, but did nothing about protecting kids. Perhaps the person is too stupid to realize that we have large and complex criminal codes to protect kids and adults from criminal conduct, voluminous laws and regulations regulating firearms, and civil laws that impose money liability on a person that harms another. Perhaps the person is too stupid to realize all of this, but my guess is that the author is hoping his readers are too stupid to realize it.

                                                                                                                                                                                     But I've gotten a bit off topic, which is the revelation that Hogg was not at school when the shooting occurred. Weasel Zippers reports that in an interview Hogg gave to CBS in which he admitted:
                                                                                                                                                                              On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and road as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.
                                                                                                                                                                              This contradicts earlier interviews where he said he was in his AP Environmental class when the shooting started.

                                                                                                                                                                                       This makes me think that there needs to be a more detailed investigation of Hogg. It is not unknown that is possible to manipulate someone into committing suicide; e.g., Michelle Carter was sentenced last year to 2-1/2 years in prison for an manslaughter charge stemming her from using social media to to convince her ex-boyfriend to kill himself. So it is certainly plausible that someone may have manipulated Cruz into committing this shooting. Hogg seemed ready to rumble the date of the shooting, although he was not at the school, so perhaps he knew more about what was going on.

                                                                                                                                                                              UpdateRed State is saying that the quote was shown out of context by CBS, and that an interview that Hogg gave to Vox clears up the matter. In the Vox interview, Hogg says:
                                                                                                                                                                                      Jen Kirby: The activism of you and your fellow students has created the sense that, in the wake of this mass shooting, there’s a chance things might be different. Why do you think that is? 
                                                                                                                                                                                       David Hogg: Because of timing. At 6 pm after the shooting, I took my camera, got on my bike. I rode in basically twilight. And I ride my bike three miles down winding sidewalks and find my way to the school, as I’ve done in previous years. All the while, I was making sure my camera bag didn’t rip open, because if you zip it a certain way, the camera falls out, and it would be destroyed. 
                                                                                                                                                                                        I start shooting B-roll [alternate footage to be intermixed with the main footage], and I see Fox News over there. I knew I wanted to talk on the news and make sure there was advocacy, especially with so many people from the [National Rifle Association] and different gun-toting Americans who watch Fox News. I went on the day of [the shooting], and said, “There cannot be another mass shooting,” and I think that’s partially why. But also other people started saying that at the same time.
                                                                                                                                                                               But there is this, from the same interview (underline mine):
                                                                                                                                                                                      Jen Kirby:  Seeing something like that, it frames your advocacy very clearly. I’m curious if you and your classmates were always passionate about this issue before last week. 
                                                                                                                                                                                     David Hogg: Oh, absolutely. We’ve always been passionate about this. We’ve always been politically — we haven’t gotten out and campaigned or anything — but we’ve always been like, “Stop the bullshit; we hate living in America because being in school, our lives are put at risk every day, and that’s unacceptable. But what are we going to do about it?” We felt like the rest of the country — there’s nothing to do. 
                                                                                                                                                                                      When this happened, we knew that this was our chance to say, “No more kids are going to die.” We’re going to hold these sick politicians who prefer the murder of children to [losing] their reelection. We’re going to hold them accountable. And that’s what we’re doing. 
                                                                                                                                                                                      Jen Kirby: You also recorded your classmates while hiding out from the shooter. What motivated you to do that? 
                                                                                                                                                                                     David Hogg: I thought if maybe [politicians] heard the voices of some that had died, maybe that would be enough to take action. But to be honest, it probably wouldn’t. It probably wouldn’t.

                                                                                                                                                                              March 26, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                                                              "Plate Shift News | More Detail, Interesting Note"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
                                                                                                                                                                              Researchers released the most recent survey of speed and direction of movement of the tectonic plates, and, interestingly, we see very divergent changes in the velocity vectors from the prior survey, including some 90 degree shifts in certain plates. 

                                                                                                                                                                              • "Remington Files for Bankruptcy"--The Truth About Guns. We've been watching Remington heading this direction for a while, but it is now official. This a Chapter 11 bankruptcy seeking reorganization, so Remington's day-to-day operations will probably be unaffected. 
                                                                                                                                                                              • "Mossberg 590M vs. Remington 870 DM"--Range 365. A side-by-side comparison of the new detachable box magazine shotguns from Remington and Mossberg, including shooting both firearms. Functionally, the author didn't find anything notable about either firearm--they both functioned without issue. So the difference will probably be whether you want lower capacity, low-cost magazines (Remington), or higher capacity, high-cost magazines (Mossberg).
                                                                                                                                                                              • "Head to Head: .22 Nosler vs. .224 Valkyrie"--Shooting Illustrated. Both are cartridges developed to extend the range of the AR15 platform to 1,000 yards or more. The .22 Nosler is a proprietary case with no parent case; it uses a rebated rim so you can use the standard AR15 bolt. The .224 Valkyrie is based off the  6.8 Remington SPC, and uses a larger bolt-face. The author concludes:
                                                                                                                                                                                       So, both are viable for long-range shooting—again, depending upon your ranges—and both run at very similar velocities, so which gets the nod? I have to give the edge to the .224 Valkyrie, for two reasons. One, the twist rate allows for ridiculously heavy bullets to be used, and makes it a viable deer cartridge. The 90-grain Fusion has been used in the field with very good effect, and I’d say that it truly brings the Valkyrie into the 6mm class.  

                                                                                                                                                                                       Two, the sheer availability of good Federal ammunition and the possibility of creating your own brass in a pinch are worthy reasons to lean toward the Valkyrie. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Nosler design—I’ve shot it and it functions very well—but the sheer amount of Federal ammunition, especially the American Eagle load selling at less than $14 per box, is going to make a difference. Some folks have cited the Nosler’s rebated rim as being an issue, though I don’t agree with that.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Saudi missile defences intercepted seven Yemeni missiles on Sunday including over the capital Riyadh, the military has said.
                                                                                                                                                                                        One Egyptian was killed and two of his countrymen injured when shrapnel fell into the streets of the Saudi capital,  according to authorities.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Iran-backed Houthi rebels said they fired three missiles at the airport in Riyadh and four others at the southern cities of Khamis Mushait, Jizan and Najran.
                                                                                                                                                                                             The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
                                                                                                                                                                                                But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vox Popoli has cited to an excellent article by Ugo Bardi entitled "Peak Civilization: The Fall of the Roman Empire." Bardi initially looks at the question of whether people in the midst of a civilizational collapse realize what is happening and whether there is anything that can be done about it. He specifically uses the example of the Roman Empire (which writers knew something had happened, but did not realize the extent of it, and certainly had no ideas on how to make it right). He then applies Joseph Tainter's ideas from The Collapse of Complex Societies and examines it and its application to Rome using a resource depletion model, and then attempts to apply it to modern civilizations (particularly, the United States and the West--which he collectively refers to as the American Empire). This is a long read, but well worth it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 As my long time readers know, I had done an extensive review of Tainter's book previously, but here are the links for anyone that is interested:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. But, in essence, Tainter's theory is that as societies grow and respond to crises, they add additional layers of complexity (e.g., bureaucracy, laws, etc.) and eventually reach a point of diminishing or even negative returns--that is, the added complexity will begin to exceed in cost/energy any value it provides. At some point, the burden will become too much the society will shed complexity--i.e., it collapses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bardi makes the interesting observation that if one were alive in the Third Century and were seeking a way to prevent a traumatic collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the answer would be to eliminate much of the Roman bureaucracy and standing military, which sucked up considerable resources just to maintain the status quo, push power and decision making down to local cities, fortify those cities and raise military forces from locals. Oh, and plant trees to deal with erosion in over-farmed areas. And, he points out, this is how you would describe Medieval Europe. The difference is that a sufficiently motivated Roman Empire could have managed the collapse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Obviously, much of the same could be said about the United States and the West. Reduce the size and reach of the Federal government, reduce the United States' overseas military commitments and the overall size of the military. And, to address resource issues, focus greater efforts on developing fusion power and space based industries or mining.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Although Bardi only touches on it in one or two sentences, the United States is not the only civilization facing collapse. Numerous others countries and civilizations, including Japan, China and the Middle-East, are moribund. One of the proxies of a dynamic society is the birth rate, and right now, birth rates are falling all over the developed world, and even much of the undeveloped world for that matter. The only bright spot among the developed nations is Israel, which has pretty healthy birth rates among its more conservative Jewish population, and above replacement levels overall. Thus, I see Israel as perhaps forming the core of a new civilization. I suspect that portions of the United States and/or Canada could form core(s) of new civilizations as well.