"Is China Still a Developing Country?"--China Uncensored (7-1/2 min.)
Although it has the second largest economy in the world, China still claims developing country status under the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to take advantage of all the perks developing countries can claim when it comes to international trade.
- Greg Ellifritz has this week's Weekend Knowledge Dump. Links to lots of good articles and videos. One of the videos to which he links is the recent one showing a guy in a cowboy hat overwhelming an armed robber from behind. Ellifritz remarks: "Most of the people commenting didn’t notice what John points out in his analysis. As soon as the gun fell from the robber’s hand, the robber went for a knife and stabbed the good Samaritan numerous times." I'm embarrassed to admit that I was one of those that did not notice the knife. Anyway, check out his post for more comments on this and other topics.
- "About Those Buffers — An Important Part Of A 'Balanced' AR"--Guns Magazine. A couple take-aways:
When the bolt is in battery, the buffer is holding pressure, via the buffer spring, against the back of the bolt carrier. The buffer is therefore an effectively integral part of the bolt carrier. If it’s holding against the carrier under greater pressure, or if the buffer is heavier, either and both of those create an effectively heavier, and slower-reacting bolt carrier. That, almost always, is a good thing.
David Tubb, umpteen-time NRA High Power Rifle and Long-Range Rifle champion, markets a “flat-wire” buffer spring that works very well. It’s made from 17-7PH stainless steel, a radically better material than music wire. Since the coils are flat, the compressed length or “solid height” of the spring (fully compressed) is much shorter than a round-wire spring can attain. This means, if needed, an effectively stronger spring can fit into a carbine buffer tube without overly compressing into a solid structure and impeding function.
The longer flat-wire spring adds a little extra pressure to aid in keeping the carrier still a tick longer, even though I don’t really see it as an “extra-power” spring. One will increase “in-battery load” about 25 percent. That’s significant.
Enough of an increase, that I could not get mine to work with my AR using either the heavier H2 style buffer, or a standard carbine buffer. The BCG just would not cycle far enough back to pick up a new round. I have thought about trimming the spring down to see if I can get it to work, but since my AR works fine with a standard buffer spring, I haven't done anything.
- Magpul has announced the release of a budget friendly bipod (about $110 MSRP). More info from Jerking The Trigger and The Truth About Guns. According to these articles, the bipod will be available in models that can mount to a Picatinney rail, directly to an M-LOK system, or via an A.R.M.S. 17S attachment. It will be offered in flat dark earth (FDE) or black. Weight is listed as 11 ounces. Here is the link to the Magpul page for the product.
- "Updated version of Boyd’s Aerial Attack Study"--Tactical Professor. The link is to a cleaner version of the study, and I have to admit that it is a very nice PDF version of the report. The author also notes:
The most interesting aspect of Boyd’s AAS is that it is conceptually the exact opposite of how ‘the OODA Loop’ is popularly perceived. Boyd did not posit that we ‘think faster’ than the enemy. Rather, he showed that there were a set of decisions that were made in advance and then a choice of the appropriate decision made in the moment.
- "Kids & Guns"--Empty Cases. The author notes: "Getting kids interested in shooting is really very simple but you have to understand their interest in shooting is driven by different things than yours. A half-inch group will mean little to a seven year old but an exploding tomato will mean the world. Here’s a simple test. If you’re out shooting with your kids and they’re not smiling, you’re doing it wrong." (Emphasis in the original). Also:
Parents employ methods of discipline loosely based on scientific principles of a behavior modification theory called operant conditioning. Any reward, or more specifically a positive reinforcer is defined as any event following a behavior that increases the frequency of that behavior. Therefore, if you are trying to increase the amount of time that your child is shooting, what happens immediately after the trigger is pulled must influence them to do it or want to do it again. The positive reinforcer they experience can come from you, such as a pat on the back, or from the target, such as a dynamic reaction.
Any parent who has given the horsey ride and heard the squeals and the “do it again!” understands this.
Guns unfortunately create a loud noise and sometimes kick. Both can lead to a certain amount of anxiety. This relates to a behavior modification theory called classical conditioning. Many children – and even adults – are afraid of guns for that very reason. Introduction in gradual increments is the best approach, and be smart; start with a .22 LR. Remington’s CB loads are a low noise option. When the child asks if the gun will kick or be loud, be truthful; help them prepare for what’s coming. It only takes a single bad experience to instill fear in child. If the fear is strong enough, one instance can create a lifelong phobia.
If done intelligently, shooting and hunting are excellent activities to share with children. They will learn much more than just how to shoot or how to hunt. They will develop good self-esteem, coping skills, relationships, self-reliance, and independence, while experiencing healthy recreation and an overall philosophy of life and death. This will reduce their risk for delinquent behavior, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and even giving in to peer pressure.
Read the whole thing.
- A sign of the End Times: "Saudi Arabia Inks Deal with Vatican to Build Christian Churches"--Breitbart. The article reports that Saudi Arabia's recent glasnost has resulted in an agreement to allow greater freedom for Christian worshipers living in the Kingdom. From the article:
[T]he joint agreement ... provides for the building of churches to care for the needs of Christians in Saudi Arabia as well as underscoring the key role of religions in renouncing violence, extremism, terrorism and achieving security and stability in the world.
The new accord also calls for the establishment of a coordinating committee with two representatives from each side to organize future meetings. The committee is expected to meet every two years, alternating between Rome and a city chosen by the Islamic World League.
Saudi Arabia is currently the only country in the region without a single Christian church, after Qatar opened a church in March. Saudi Arabia embraces Islamic Wahhabism, which bans all forms of non-Muslim religious activities.
Hopefully, this will open the door to other Christian denominations being allowed an official presence. Expect blowback from many Muslims. In any event, this represents another step toward the precondition for the Second Coming that the gospel be taught to all peoples.
UPDATE (5/6/2018): "Vatican Denies Signing Accord with Saudi Arabia to Build Churches"--Breitbart. Apparently there were talks, but no agreement.
- "U.S. judge approves gun maker Remington's bankruptcy plan"--Reuters (h/t The Truth About Guns). Basically the plan allows Remington to shed debt and boost its cash position. Under the deal, major creditors of the company will be given stock in the company; while Cerberus Capital Management (the current owner) will give up its equity in the Company (although the article isn't clear if Cerberus will be giving up all of its equity or only a portion).
- "Springfield Armory Cuts Off Dick’s Sporting Goods"--The Truth About Guns. In response to Dick's hiring lobbyists to specifically push for gun control, Springfield has decided to refuse to sell any products to Dick's or its subsidiary, Field & Stream.
- "Illegal immigration surges 230 percent in April on southwest border"--The Washington Times. The article explains:
Illegal immigration along U.S.-Mexico border surged 230 percent in April compared to last year, according to new numbers released Thursday that experts said expose major loopholes in American immigration law.
Chief among the loopholes is the de facto “catch-and-release” policy that sees most illegal immigrants caught at the border quickly put back out on the streets, with the hope that they’ll return to be deported later.
Perhaps 75 percent of all migrants caught by Border Patrol agents are given catch and release, said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents line agents. Knowing they’ll be released rather than quickly deported has served as an enticement for more illegal immigrants to make the journey, he said.
- Related: "Border-Crossers Not Just from South of the Border Anymore"--LifeZette. Well over 50% of illegal aliens that have been apprehended are from countries other than Mexico. Most of these aliens are from other Central American countries, but the article also notes an uptick in the number from Asian countries that go to Mexico, and then sneak across the border into the U.S.
- Any pretense of popular support is now gone: "Venezuela's Maduro threatens 'armed revolution' ahead of May 20 election"--Miami Herald. From the article:
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is warning that he’ll take up arms and lead a revolution if a government comes into power that wants to hand the country’s "riches" to “imperialist” forces.
In a campaign speech Wednesday, Maduro — who is hoping to win a new six-year term in a highly questioned May 20 election — accused his nearest opposition rival, Henri Falcón, of wanting to sell the country out to “the gringos.”
- My wife will be pleased: "Tim Allen's 'Last Man Standing' set for reboot"--The Hill. The television series was popular when on ABC (it's second most popular sit-com) when it was abruptly canceled, likely because Tim Allen presented a friendly face for some moderately conservative positions. According to the article, Fox has penned a deal to bring the show to their network.
- This is the result of government by so-called experts: "How Big Government Backed Bad Science and Made Americans Fat"--Reason. An excerpt:
Consumption of meat, butter, eggs, and cheese were once encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Then in the 1950s, a Minnesota doctor named Ancel Keys put forth his diet-heart hypothesis, claiming that saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and cause heart attacks.
Keys produced landmark studies of the relationship between diet and heart disease that transformed nutrition science. He became a powerful figure in the science community. Contemporaries who publicly questioned the validity of his findings risked losing their research funding or becoming pariahs. When the U.S. adopted dietary guidelines in 1980, Keys' recommendations became enshrined in national food policy.
"We have made our policy based upon this weak kind of science called epidemiology which shows association, but not causation," Teicholz explains. "We have the situation where we just cannot reverse out of these policies that were originally based on really weak science."
Keys' flawed research is one reason Americans have been getting fatter and unhealthier for decades. Despite major advances in treatment, heart disease is still the leading cause of death for men and women.
"The really dominant view is that the dietary guidelines are good...and the reason America is fat and sick is that America has failed to follow them," Teicholz says. "That's when you start looking at the data...By every food category you can find, we have faithfully, dutifully followed the guidelines."