Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"TrueOS: Linux or Windows Alternative"--Explaining Computers (14 min.)
TrueOS is based on the FreeBSD operating system (itself a derivative of UNIX, I believe), but offers a graphical user interface. The producer of this video gives some background on TrueOS, shows how to install it, discusses some of the features and applications available, and then discusses what I think might be a useful feature for some people: an encrypted drive that you can set up and transport on a USB drive from one computer to another as long as the computers are using the TrueOS system.


  • A new Woodpile Report is up. Lots of good articles, but one that jumped out in particular was "Selco’s SHTF Reality Check: 5 Deadly Mistakes That Preppers Are Making" which discusses how many preppers get so locked into a particular scenario or plan that they are handicapping themselves should a real disaster hit. The 5 mistakes he mentions are: (1) making too specific of a plan and sticking to it, (2) overlooking the basics (e.g., stockpiling your bullets and bandaids, but forgetting about water), (3) underestimating the violence (violence is messier and more intense than you can imagine), (4) refusing to think in terms of "new world, new rules" (i.e., being too hide-bound), and (5) thinking it cannot happen here.
  • "LIGHTS IN A GUNFIGHT - THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER"--Gabe Suarez. He makes some good points about using a flashlight when you hear that bump in the night. A couple items. 
First: "The need for completely illuminated target identification has been vastly overblown by lumen-peddling flashlight manufacturers and liability-centric instructors." He writes:
         The figure in your house that is definitively not a member of your family...silhouetted in the moonlight, moving uninvited through your house is bought, paid for, and gift-wrapped.  There is no need to identify him any further - as a point of fact, he has been identified already has he not?  Yes he has.  "Not invited", and "Not a member of your family" are pretty clear.  You are not doing the cop thing of searching another man;s house for a 'suspect" of a crime and unclear about what or whom you will find.  Your home is pretty clear as is who belongs there after dark.
             When you have enough to identify as not invited and not a member of the household, you really do have enough...except maybe in Maryland or some such place.  Keep the light off and your mouth closed and press the trigger.
      Another point: "Yes, in the real world people get covered with gun muzzles all the time....ALL THE TIME." He writes:
        The idea that you are never going to cover anything with a gun muzzle is a gun range fairy tale.  Get over that sort of thinking because aversion to point your pistol at a perceived threat gives that threat an advantage.  Unless he is a total incompetent fool, he will take that advantage and kill you.  Just because you point...even if you are touching the trigger...doesn't mean you are going to shoot.  But when you illuminate someone that by all accounts is a threat to you life, you better be ready to kill him.
          He discusses other issues, so read the whole thing. But the reason I chose to highlight these two is because increasingly I see articles or books on self-defense that are too safety conscious, to the extent that I think it would seriously impair your ability to defend yourself. I will have more to say about this in a later article, but it is something that has been bubbling around in the back of my mind lately.
          • I know you are going to be shocked (sarc.) but Broward County School District has been lying all along about whether Nicholas Cruz was part of the District's PROMISE program (forced on the District by the Obama Justice Department). The PROMISE program was designed to address the Obama Administration's concern that black and Hispanic students were being disciplined more often (including police involvement) than white or Asian students. The program sought to address this by placing students in a school program rather than referring students to law enforcement. Thus, even though there still existed a disparity in the number of disciplinary violations and crimes committed by black and Hispanic students, it fixed the statistical problem of those students being referred to law enforcement. Cruz was one of those students. Meaning that instead of obtaining a criminal record or involuntary psychiatric commitment that would have prohibited him from purchasing a firearm, his problems were swept under the rug.  Oh, and how much did the District receive in reward for implementing the PROMISE program? $54 million. Yes, that's right. The price of those dead and wounded in Cruz's attack was $54 million.
            A couple articles and a link to a video detailing this in more depth:
                       Laura Janeth Garza, 38, was indicted last week on two counts of illegal voting. Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday that his office planned to prosecute the case.
                        Paxton's office says Garza, who used the alias Angie Yadira Zamora, illegally registered to vote in Harris County after stealing a U.S. citizen's identity. Authorities learned of the case when the victim applied for a passport and discover that one already had been issued in her name to someone else.
                • "The Advantages (Real and Imagined) of Carbon-Fiber Barrels"--Field & Stream. Part of the problem with evaluating them is that there is a lot of hype about capabilities, but, according to the author, no definitive answers on some questions. The author also notes that whether carbon fiber radiates heat (cooling faster) depends on how it was wrapped and the type of adhesive used to bond the whole thing together. I've said it before and I will say it again: I think that carbon fiber barrels will be the future of barrels, including in the military, because of the weight savings that can be achieved without sacrificing accuracy.
                • "When you break your optic, you’ll appreciate those iron sights…"--Mountain Guerrilla. This article is from a few years ago. He describes how he finally broke his optic--a Burris MTAC. He also broke the rail on his rifle. His conclusion was that backup iron sights are largely extraneous: 
                  As I pointed out in The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One, the chances of breaking a QUALITY combat optic, without irreparably breaking your gun in the process, are so slim as to be remarkable. Does this mean you shouldn’t run iron back-up sights? Not at all. If that tickles your taint, or gives you warm fuzzies, by all means, mount them. It’s not going to hurt anything, and the weight is negligible. When some knucklehead troglodyte at the gun store counter starts harping on how fragile optics are though, don’t get buffaloed by his baffling bullshit. You’re not going to break your optic, unless it’s a) a complete piece of shit, designed for Airsoft, b) you do it intentionally, or c) you do something really stupid, like fall off a mountain, drop your rifle off a mountain, or throw your rifle across a range to prove a point. (Bold added).
                  • "Trust But Verify"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author recently discovered that topomaps he was using for a class had some serious errors--a "pipeline marked 550 meters North of where it actually was, and it didn’t even follow the correct azimuth, East to West." 
                  • "The incredible contempt of the political class for ordinary people"--Bayou Renaissance Man. As you probably know, Illinois is in a world of hurt when it comes to unfunded or underfunded pensions. Many local governments simply won't have the money to pay these pensions, and will probably have to seek bankruptcy protection or otherwise cut pension benefits. But the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has a plan to save the pensions: an special "state-wide" property tax. The reason I put "state wide" in quotes is because the proposal would include a break for areas that already have high property taxes (i.e., Chicago), and only impose the burden on those with current, lower property taxes (the rest of the state). By imposing such a tax, the Chicago Fed believes that it will prevent taxpayers from easily leaving the state (and, thus, reducing the tax base) because the high property tax will make it harder to sell homes. Of course (of course!) the tax would be rescinded once the pensions were fully funded (i.e., never).
                  • Refugees welcome: "Is This The Worst Scandal In Minnesota History?"--American Experiment. More than $100 million in cash left left through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last year in carry-on luggage, destined for various Muslim nations that  have no official banking system, including portions of Somalia controlled by terrorists. Most of the money represents remittances from Muslims sending it back to family in the "old country." But where did they get the money? 
                            “We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,’” said Kerns.

                      ***
                                Five years ago the Fox 9 Investigators were first to report that daycare fraud was on the rise in Minnesota, exposing how some businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government subsidies meant to help low-income families with their childcare expenses.
                                  “It’s a great way to make some money,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
                                      In order for the scheme to work, the daycare centers need to sign up low income families that qualify for child care assistance funding.
                                        Surveillance videos from a case prosecuted by Hennepin County show parents checking their kids into a center, only to leave with them a few minutes later. Sometimes, no children would show up.
                                          Either way, the center would bill the state for a full day of childcare.
                                            Video from that same case shows a man handing out envelopes of what are believed to be kickback payments to parents who are in on the fraud.
                                    The article goes on to discuss that welfare fraud is widespread amongst the Somali community.
                                              "A nutritious breakfast being necessary to the development of a healthy child, the right of the people to keep and eat food shall not be infringed."
                                                 Who has the right to keep and eat food? The people or the nutritious breakfast?

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