Sunday, March 11, 2018

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

"Sink The Ships"--Voxiversity (3 min.)
In this episode, Vox Day uses the historical example of the Visigoth's as a warning about mass immigration. As you probably remember from high school or college history, the Visigoths were one of the Germanic tribes that were attacked by the Huns and pushed westward. The were granted refuge in the Roman Empire, but returned the favor by overthrowing Rome (enabled by corrupt leaders in Rome). Vox uses this as an example and warning of what could occur in Europe. However, the real lesson should be for the United States and mass immigration from Latin America.

  • "The Ontario SP1-95 Spec Plus Marine Knife: a 21 Year Review"--Security & Self-Reliance. 21 years, heavily used, and still plugging along. 
  • I've started to gather the parts for an AR pistol build in .300 Blackout, so if you see a bunch of articles on the cartridge or AR pistols, you will know why. And to start it off:
  • "Ultimate .300 Blackout Ammo Test"--Shooting Times. The author reviews 17 different commercial offerings in .300 Blackout: ten of them are supersonic loads, and seven are subsonic. The article isn't for the purpose of determining which one is "best" (whatever that would mean), but to compare some of the basic ballistic information about each cartridge. Tests were out of a 10.5-inch barrel.
  • "SBR Caliber Showdown: 5.56/.223 vs. 300 BLK"--The Truth About Guns. The author of this piece discusses the pros and cons of each caliber out of an SBR/pistol length barrel, and did some comparisons of the ballistics of each caliber out of standard length (16 inch barrels) and shorter barrels (10-inch for the 5.56 and 9-inch for the .300 Blk). Basically, however, what is best for you will depend on what you want the weapon to do, and how short of a barrel you want. The 5.56 was intended for a 20-inch barrel, so you really give up a lot of speed and energy by the time you are getting down to the 10 to 11 inch range; whereas the .300 Blk was intended for short barrels (full powder burn is about 9 inches), so while you have better performance out of a 16 inch barrel over a 9 inch barrel, the difference is not so great as 5.56. But, .300 Blackout costs a lot more, and it has greater potential for over penetration.
  • "Gunfight Science: SBRs in 5.56 Suck – Buy a .300 BLK"--Guns America Blog. This article covers much of the same ground as the TTAG article, above, but the author does not even pretend to be neutral. He writes: "My velocity tests show Blackout to be 400 fps slower than 5.56 from a 10-inch barrel. It is also almost triple the bullet weight, and it starts as a .30 caliber. If you just want a gun to plink with, by all means go with the cheaper option. 5.56 is the clear winner there. But if you might ever need your gun to do men’s work, I suggest you cowboy up on caliber." The author isn't caught up in the "bigger is better"--he acknowledges the efficacy of the 5.56 out of a longer barrel, but that the 5.56 relies on velocity for good terminal ballistics. But, to play devil's advocate, .300 Blackout in FMJ isn't going to provide as good of terminal performance as 5.56--you will still need some sort of expanding bullet.
  • "Long Range 22LR Trainers – How do we get the maximum out of it?"--The Firearms Blog. .22 LR rifles have long been used as training rifles because of the lower cost of ammunition, lack of recoil, and the shorter ranges (i.e., the physical size of the shooting or practice range) permitted by the cartridge. However, the author of this article contends that .22 LR can be used for more than just practicing the basics of hold and trigger control, but can be extended to practicing for adjusting a scope to account for bullet drop and wind drift, and to practice range estimation, with properly scaled ranges and targets. He writes:
If perfect fit scale factor turns out to be, say, 25% to match both drop and wind, target is scaled to one quarter too. 22LR shooting is then done 25% of actual distances: Large caliber charts will match to scaled 22LR drops with 25% ratio. Also – angular dimensions to scaled targets are identical trough [sic] scope, drop is same, wind same click amount in same actual/true measured sidewind. AND bullet hits exactly as it would hit in longer actual range with centerfire rifle.
The author includes a link to a scaling tool that is designed to be used with Microsoft Excel.
           The recently launched GOES-S (planned to replace the current GOES-West later this year) and other GOES series satellites carry a payload supported by NASA’s Search and Rescue (SAR) office, which researches and develops technologies to help first responders locate people in distress worldwide, whether from a plane crash, a boating accident or other emergencies.
              Over its history, the SAR office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has developed emergency beacons for personal, nautical and aeronautical use, along with ground station receivers that detect beacon activation. Space segment SAR instruments fly on many spacecraft in various orbits around the Earth. The GOES SAR transponders are geostationary, meaning that they appear “fixed” relative to a user on the surface due to their location over the equator and orbital period of 24 hours.
                Peterson, who was on the scene while a mass murderer killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, has insisted he did not enter the building because he believed the shots were coming from outside the building.
                 Recordings of his own radio calls tell a completely different story.
                   The Miami Herald reports that “internal radio dispatches released by the sheriff’s office Thursday show Peterson immediately fixated on Building 12 and even radioed that gunfire was happening ‘inside’.”
                     “Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” Peterson warned over the radio.
                       The murders took place in Building 12, so Peterson, an on-site school resource officer, knew exactly where the shots were coming from. Moreover, not only did he refuse to enter the building, for some unknown reason he warned other armed deputies to stay 500 feet away.
                         In what has been described as a dispute between rival Sri Lankan migrants, two men attacked another with a machete, scalping him and cutting off his arm in a Paris restaurant.
                           The attack occurred on Monday evening at a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement of the city not far from the heavily migrant populated area of La Chapelle in northern Paris, broadcaster RTL reports.

                             Two attackers, both wearing hoodies and covering their faces, were said to have stormed into the establishment at around 9:30 pm armed with a machete and a sabre. The pair immediately attacked the victim, cutting at his scalp as well as cutting off one of his hands and his arm.
                      • To dissolve the people: "Next Step: Democrats Want to Move To Eliminate ICE"--Weasel Zippers. It quotes from a Daily Caller article: "Former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon came out for abolishing the agency in January. 'ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,' Fallon argued. 'Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.'"
                      • "The Enoch Powell Question"--by Scott McConnell at The American Conservative. Enoch Powell was a British politician that, 50 years ago, delivered a speech (the "Rivers of Blood" speech) warning of the dangers of mass immigration to the UK and its culture. McConnell opines that, fifty years on, we have not seen Powell's predictions come true ... yet. McConnell writes:
                        Thus in these times, as the polemics, counterarguments, and mutual insults hurled back and forth by commentators and politicians have begun to grow repetitive and predictable, it may be instructive to step back and approach the Powell question less directly, through the lens of contemporary social science. Issues of order and stability have always been central to political theory, and there is of course a substantial political science literature about revolution, state failure, and civil war—the events that actually could bring about “rivers of blood” through internal strife. This essay will explore some of what social scientists have written on these questions over the past generation.
                          Getting to the meat of the article, McConnell relates some of the history of the academic research on the matter, noting some scholars in particular. For instance, he relates the efforts in the 1990s to understand what causes revolution and state collapse, and notes in particular the work of Jack Goldstone, who "sought to discern which structural commonalities in societies from Western Europe to Asia coincided with stability and which correlated with violent disruption." 
                                    Goldstone argues that the deeper structures governing civic strife in the early modern world can be traced to population growth. States break down or revolutions occur when the state seems increasingly unable to perform the expected tasks of government. It is not sufficient that government be unjust or that classes be oppressed; states become vulnerable when a significant portion of a society’s elite perceives the rulers to be ineffective. Loss of legitimacy is the result of intra-elite conflict; revolutions break out when disaffected elites can ally themselves with and mobilize the popular classes.

                                      ...  In a subsequent essay, Goldstone writes that the preconditions for revolution in the contemporary world are three: 1) when states become dysfunctional, no longer able to command resources and obedience; 2) when elites become alienated from the state and engage in battles for resources and status; 3) when large numbers of citizens become receptive to mass protest movements. Although in the early modern world, as we have seen, Goldstone believed population growth fueled instability, in general many circumstances might create such conditions.
                                  McConnell observes, however, in the past, ethnic homogeneity was held to be critical:
                                           In classic writings about representative government, it was considered a serious drawback for a country to have different “nations,” as they were commonly called in the 19th century. Some of the Founding Fathers, conscious of the European wars of religion, celebrated what they perceived as America’s ethnic homogeneity at the time of the Founding (leaving aside, of course, the profoundly moral and intensely political question of slavery). In his massive work on representative government, John Stuart Mill wrote that “free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities.” Until quite recently, political science literature on ethnically divided societies has been generally pessimistic about the prospects for democracy in such societies. But there is no clear delineation between countries where members of different ethnic groups identify primarily with those groups and where they identify with the larger nation.
                                             ... Even as late as the 1960s and ’70s, the consensus social science view matched John Stuart Mill’s. The late Yale scholar Juan Linz, author of the classic work The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, was haunted by the shadow of democracy’s collapse in Europe in the 1930s. Almost off-handedly he remarks that “it is no accident, therefore, that few multinational states have been stable democracies.”
                                        McConnell moves on to discuss Donald L. Horowitz’s work on the subject of revolution and rebellion in the First and Third World. Telling, "Horowitz notes that ethnic violence in Europe tended to be caused by terrorism, whereas in the developing world it was the ethnic riot, often involving mutilation of opponents, which caused casualties. This was clearly hatred at a different level of intensity." But mere ethnic differences did not explain all the instances of third world violence. McConnell explains:
                                                 Horowitz lays out a key distinction between what he calls “ranked” and “unranked” ethnic systems. Ranked systems involve degrees of legally and culturally enforced inequality between groups—American slavery and segregation are prime examples, though there are multiple variations all over the world. Ranked systems of ethnic conflict are disappearing, as legal equality has become a widely professed norm, not just in the West but around the world, and enforced ethnic subordination is widely regarded as illegitimate, even where it is still practiced.
                                                   Americans, accustomed to viewing ethnic conflict through the lens of white racism and the need to overcome its legacy, may be surprised by one argument running through Horowitz’s pages: ethnic conflict in unranked systems is virtually ubiquitous, and in many ways more corrosive to a peaceful and functional society than ranked systems. In unranked systems, ethnic groups exist in parallel, each internally stratified. There is no settled ethnic hierarchy. But the absence of enforced subordination seldom leads to harmony. In the societies Horowitz studied, from Africa to Malaysia, Sri Lanka to the Caribbean, ethnic affiliation tended to trump class or political interest.
                                                      Political parties thus faced an almost gravitational pull to become more ethnically based, so that elections (invariably with higher turnout) became exercises in competitive mass mobilization and election results became a form of census taking. There were, in the vast realm of political data Horowitz analyzed, exceptions—states that maintained functioning democracies while instituting measures that successfully mitigated ethnic conflict. And there were political parties that retained a pan-ethnic character. But they were not the norm. The core finding of Horowitz’s book is that there is something almost elemental about the force of ethnic identity, that it tends to overcome competing loyalties, despite efforts by moderate and able men to reign it in.
                                                       Perhaps more alarming, in unranked ethnic systems ethnic actors (parties, leaders) often seek power for motives that seem to be largely related to the mere desire to acquire power. “Power is sought as a means to goals so diffuse, so remote, so difficult to specify,” writes Horowitz, “that attainment of power becomes, again, an end in itself. [It resembles] many situations in international politics, where power is sought to prevent the emergence of dire but distant and dimly perceived consequences.”
                                                         Thus, in Horowitz’s view, the fear of ethnic domination and suppression is a motivating force for the acquisition of power, and “broad matters of group status regularly have equal or superior standing to” more mundane matters of resource allocation and other decisions considered the “stuff of everyday politics.” As Horowitz puts it, “Conflicts over needs and interests are subordinate to conflicts over group status.” Horowitz adds that “the desire to extirpate diversity seems greatest in states that are among the most heterogeneous. Few unranked groups view the freedom from uncomfortable entanglement with ethnic strangers without a certain longing.”
                                                  (Readers may wish to remunerate on how South Africa's transition from a ranked ethnic system (apartheid) to an unranked system has given birth to genuine concerns of white genocide. See, e.g., "South Africa Land Theft: Constitution All But Allows It" at Townhall Magazine. Although I can't remember where I came across this, I recently read an article that discussed the irony of the situation in South Africa. The original inhabitants of most of what is South Africa were the San people--an ethnic group distinct from the Bantu which form the majority of sub-Saharan Africa. Their land was conquered almost simultaneously by white settlers and the Zulu. The whites and Zulus had reached a peaceful balance in their relationship. And then the demands for cheap labor in mining and agriculture opened the floodgates to the immigration of blacks from other areas of Africa, leading to the relative demographic decline of the white population. South Africa has also been "done in" by immigration).   
                                                           Other recent research also supports a conclusion that ethnic diversity is destabilizing. For instance, McConnell points to Tanya Ellingsen, writing in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. who concluded that ethnic diversity did increase the risk of civil war, especially when the largest ethnic group fell below 80 percent of the population and there were several other ethnic groups in the mix. He also points to the research performed by Robert Putnam, the Harvard sociologist, who discovered a strong correlation between ethnic diversity and the decline of  “social capital,” "meaning the network of local associations (churches, sports clubs, PTA, etc.) that formerly had bound Americans to one another." McConnell reports:
                                                  Putnam discovered that “out-group trust,” how much one trusts people different than oneself, is lower in diverse communities. But “in-group trust”—how much you trust people who resemble you—also diminishes. In places with more ethnic diversity, people had fewer friends, watched more TV, were less inclined to vote. As Putnam put it, “People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’—that is, to pull in like a turtle.”
                                                  MoConnell concludes that while we have not yet seen the dire events warned of by Enoch Powell, that does not mean that they won't occur. He writes:
                                                  While the question of U.S. political stability inevitably is one of speculation, some facts are inescapable. American politics are more polarized and full of hatred today than at any time in the postwar era. Demographic diversity is advancing rapidly, a circumstance that social scientists correlate empirically with, at best, a loss of social cohesion and often with civil strife. Average wages have been stagnating. Competition for good positions at elite levels is more intense. True, America’s situation differs from that of Europe, where one leading intelligence official has warned, in the midst of a terror wave two years ago, that his country was on the verge of civil war. But it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that America is entering a new era fraught with greater possibilities for internal tension. And, if we reflect on Enoch Powell’s speech from our present perspective, it hardly seems obvious that even his most dire warnings were overwrought.
                                                  In other word's, not only does it appear that Goldman's three criteria for revolution could be easily met, but the overlying societal stress of ethnic diversity will further exacerbate problems. 
                                                           Also note well the repeated references to governmental legitimacy. William S. Lind's writings on fourth generation warfare refers to the lack of legitimacy being a key motivating factor, as well as strategic goal. And readers may remember my comments on Martin Gurri's work, The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, discussing how preference cascades can very suddenly undermine legitimacy. What we have seen in the last few years in the United States is an express attempt to link government legitimacy to ethnic strife. Black Lives Matter is all about delegitimizing the state's police authority on the grounds that its application is racist. The broader concept of "white privilege" is intended to remove the legitimacy of American institutions and even our history. Among the left, political correctness has become the foundation of perceived legitimacy; any resistance, or even questioning, the latest politically correct fads is considered prima facia proof of a lack of legitimacy. As Robert Stacy McCain writes:
                                                            When white people are constantly lectured about their racism, many of them will respond exactly as the lecturers intend, by internalizing a sense of collective guilt. However, some people will predictably react against these lectures and their response will be, “F–k yeah, racism!”
                                                              That kind of backlash is the real danger of the “social justice” mentality, which celebrates victimhood as a heroic achievement. This is why you see highly privileged young people at elite universities absurdly claiming to be oppressed by “cisheteronormative patriarchy.” Yet there is a sort of Newtonian principle in politics, so that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction, and the opposite reaction — the backlash against “social justice” ideology — is likely to be quite ferocious, when the elite lack any kind of sympathy and understanding toward the people being demonized by this collective racial guilt-trip.
                                                                What does Mika Brzezinski know about the plight of a steelworker in Youngstown or a forklift drive in Kenosha? Nothing at all, and yet she and the rest of her snobby elitist media clique never hesitate to derogate the white working-class voter who rejects their liberal worldview.
                                                        What a mess in which we find ourselves! 
                                                                Naysayers on the issue of a coming civil war generally get too wrapped up in the specifics of the Civil War in the 1860s and dismiss the possibility now because the same factors (including a distinct geographic split between states) do not currently exist (see, e.g., this article by Margaret Ball at Chicago Boyz). I would challenge them to find any other civil war that meet that same criteria. In fact, I would challenge them to find any serious military theorist that use the same criteria when discussing modern counter-insurgency warfare.
                                                                I find that I must echo the conclusion of Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal that you do not have enough ammunition for what is coming. Although we must not "live by the sword," in order to avoid "dying by the sword," the scripture's remonstration against violence does not prohibit defending oneself, one's family, or one's country. 

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