Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Inside the ruins of Beatles' producer George Martin's iconic AIR recording studio that once produced big pop hits for Paul McCartney, Sting and Elton John but is now rotting away in the shadow of a volcano"--Daily Mail. The home/studio is on the island of Montserrat. It was abandoned in 1989 after being severely damaged by hurricane Hugo, and has suffered from ash fall from the Soufrière Hills volcano. Other photographs in the article show interior shots, as well as photographs from before its abandonment.  

Tuesday Afternoon Delight:

  • "CDC Warns Residents in Eight U.S. States of Cut-Fruit Salmonella Outbreak"--U.S. News & World Report (H/t Instapundit). The fruit are watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and mixed fruit containing any of those. "The recalled products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio and sold in clear, plastic containers at stores including Costco Wholesale Corp, Kroger Co, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart Inc, and Whole Foods, a unit of Amazon.com Inc."
  • "The HK MP5 vs. the Walther MPL – Alternative History"--Guns American Blog. The Walther MPL was the last of the WWII generation of submachine guns, made from stamped parts and shooting from an open bolt. The MP5, of course, represented the post-WWII era of weapons, in that while it used stampings for some parts of the weapon, also used quite of bit of machining, incorporated plastic furniture, and was expected to deliver better accuracy by dint of firing from a closed bolt. Both were used in military operations that seemed to presage the fate of the weapon. The Walther was part of the armaments used by Delta Force in the failed 1980 Operation Eagle Claw intended to rescue American hostages held at the American Embassy in Iran. The weapon faded into relative obscurity with production ending a few years later. The MP5 was prominently used by the British SAS in their storming of the Iranian Embassy, which suddenly made the MP5 a "must have" for SWAT type units all over the world.
  • "SALVAGING RECHARGEABLES FOR PROJECTS"--Instructables. Surprisingly, some of the best sources, according to this article, are the battery packs for old laptop computers. The author describes the tools and equipment you will need to recover and test the batteries, sources of batteries, how to remove them from whatever device or packaging they are in, and how to perform the testing.
  • "5 Critical Mistakes Made by Defensive Gun Owners"--Sheriff Jim Wilson at Shooting Illustrated opines on what he thinks are five common mistakes: (1) not learning how to use their firearm effectively through practice and familiarity. (2) (Which is related to #1 in my opinion) rotating your concealed carry gun too often. This isn't the fact of carrying different weapons under different circumstances, but changing them just for the sake of changing them. They aren't underwear where you need a fresh pair every day. (3) Not carrying a round in the chamber. Very bad, especially if you can't use both hands. As I've said before, if you are worried about an accidental discharge, then use a double-action revolver. (4) Not having a light for night time use. This doesn't have to be a gun mounted light (although that can be handy). I keep a flashlight on my nightstand--it is the first thing I grab if I'm awoken by a strange noise. 999 times out of 1,000, it has been one of our cats or the dog, or someone else in the household. And (5), not seeking out qualified firearms training. 
  • "The .303 British"--Shooting Illustrated. A nice history of the cartridge as well as some information for reloaders. This is an example of learning something new everyday for me. I had always thought that the .303 was developed to make use of smokeless powder, but, according to this article, the cartridge started out as a blackpowder round just before the advent of the British using smokeless powder. 
  • "Balanced Recoil Sporting Rifles: A Brief History (SR-1, Saiga 107, AK15, AK 107)"--The Firearms Blog. These are weapons that use a moving counterweight to offset the movement of the bolt carrier. The Russians seem to be the only country trying to develop these weapons, and has certainly come the farthest. 
  • "Freedom: The Constant Infant"--Christian Mercenary. The author offers the following analogy:
Freedom must be maintained, it must be protected and defended. It is an infant, a constant infant. Freedom never grows up and is able to fend for itself. It never moves out and walks its own path. Without active and violent defense, it is a meal for the circling wolves of government, of tyrants. That is a distinction without a difference as there is no government without tyranny.
       Rivers and watering holes are drying up, popular mountain recreation spots are closing and water restrictions are in full swing as a persistent drought intensifies its grip on pockets of the American Southwest.
           Climatologists and other experts on Wednesday provided an update on the situation in the Four Corners region — where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. They say the area is among the hardest hit and there's little relief expected, and even robust summer rains might not be enough to replenish the soil and ease the fire danger.
             The region is dealing with exceptional drought — the worst category. That has left farmers, ranchers and water planners bracing for a much different situation than just a year ago when only a fraction of the region was experiencing low levels of dryness.
        Something to consider is that California already uses more than its share of water from the Colorado based on prior interstate agreements on divvying up the water. Yet California also receives much greater precipitation than the other Southwest states. But it hasn't (refuses!) to develop the infrastructure, including new dams and reservoirs, to collect and manage the water it receives. At this point, the other Southwest states are essentially subsidizing California's refusal to take responsibility to properly conserve and manage its own state water resources.

        Other Stuff:
                  An idea in psychology known as affect-as-information theory holds that your mood can temporarily shape how you see the world. In this way, when you’re hungry, you may view things in a more negative light than when you’re not hungry. But here’s the twist.
                    People are most likely to be guided by their feelings when they’re not paying attention to them. This suggests that people may become hangry when they aren’t actively focused on their internal feelings, but instead wrapped up in the world around them, such as that terrible driver or that customer’s rude comment.
            • "The Great Mexican Train Robberies"--War Is Boring. The article starts off describing a particular train derailment which is believed to have been the result of sabotage. From there, the article reports:
                     There has been a 476-percent increase of the number of robberies similar to the one that occurred in Orizaba, according to Confederation of the Industrial Chambers, when the first quarter of this year was compared to the first quarter of last year. There were also six previous derailments of trains in April and May 2018.
                       In the first quarter of 2018, there was a robbery of a train every 2.5 hours, according to the Regulatory Agency for Rail Transport. The main products that have been robbed from the thefts of cargo trains have been grain and flour, finished consumer products, auto parts and construction materials.
                          Though it’s not clear if any goods were stolen from the trains that crashed around Orizaba, it is likely this was the motive because of the previous theft of cargo trains in the area and the tactic of sabotage being used prior. There has also been suspicion that the sabotage was in retaliation for the company not paying a “floor payment” that the criminal organization had demanded.
                            The supposed person behind the sabotaging and robberies of the trains in the area is Roberto De Los Santos De Jesus, known as El Bukanans. After the derailment in Orizaba on May 19, 2018, the reward for information that leads to his arrest was increased from one million pesos to five million pesos.
                             His experience is indicative of the criminal organizations and their involvement in criminal enterprises other than drug trafficking. Originally a police officer, he defected in 2012 to join the Zetas. After that organization splintered, he went to join the Zeta Nueva Sangre and then subsequently head the organization. Under his rule, authorities believe, the group began to rob trains.
                      • Related: "Criminals lurk by rail tracks for robbery like the old west"--Borderland Beat. The author of this piece notes: "The theft and derailing of trains is not only an issue of concern about the losses of the companies involved; it is a matter of national security, if there is a chemical spill or collisions among the communities alongside the railway routes."
                      • Related: "The Rocket Man and the Dotard"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Money quote: "Speaking from his hotel suite by Lake Zurich, billionaire patron of liberal causes George Soros lamented the fate of the globalized world. 'Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong,' he said." And, as Fernandez discusses in the rest of the article, it appears that globalization has been set back, and some of the intelligentsia are wondering if it was a big mistake, or even a scam.
                        "Over the past two years, I’ve made significant efforts to change the direction of the channel, change the videos, and to change my own beliefs and views around firearms and firearm ownership," the YouTuber said (emphasis added). "Unfortunately, I’ve failed to bring the channel and the videos to the standard that the police feel is adequate and I only have myself to blame for this."
                          As Glenn Reynolds has remarked about similar behavior in the United States, gun control isn't about crime, but to make sure the peasants know their place.
                                   In any event, turning to the article at question, Dreher is aghast at the latest trends among the left to sexualize children: 
                              Now, normalizing drag queens for children is the big woke thing. We’ve had Drag Queen Story Hours in libraries nationwide. Now Netflix is turning drag queens into animated superheroes, and RuPaul’s streaming service is turning drag queens into child superheroes.
                                Dreher is upset not only with Christians that seem to be unaware of what is happening, but also with himself:
                                  And what bothers me is … my own increasingly threadbare stance of trying to figure out how to be tolerant in a culture where the people pushing this stuff are crushing people like us and brainwash our children.
                                    However, rather than pursue that thought that perhaps it is the tolerance that is the problem, he falls back onto his standby of what he calls the Benedict option--Christians essentially giving up the battlefield and falling back to form their own insular communities (much like Hasidic Jews, I suppose). I've read Dreher's book on The Benedict Option, and while I agree with much of his diagnosis, I don't think he offers a cure. As I've noted before, historically religious communities could follow a "Benedict option" because they could actually retreat to an area where they were "out of sight and out of mind" to the anti-Christians. That is no longer possible, and the near eradication of Christians in the Middle-East over the last century or so should be ample proof of this. The left is not going to let us live in peace, and the whole wedding cake maker incident and similar are proof of that. 
                                             There was also some other disquiet I felt with Dreher's "Benedict option" that I couldn't put a finger on until just recently, as I was rereading Matthew. Dreher is, in essence, telling us that we need to put our candle under a bush to hide it from the world--exactly the opposite of what the Lord teaches. And Christ, while he did not generally seek out conflict with his enemies, certainly didn't shirk from pointing out their flaws and rocking them back on their heels when they confronted him. I feel that the cultural war is intensifying as the left senses victory, and that our withdrawal will assist rather than hurt the left. 
                                               Vox Day has suggested, in response to Dreher's article, that perhaps the correct answer is violence, since peaceful protest has not done anything for the cause. This is a dangerous area, because we are specifically warned in Revelation that those that live by the sword shall die by the sword, and the Lord has reserved vengeance to himself. (I had a professor that joked that the reason for this is that revenge is so sweet, God doesn't want to share it). We can act in self-defense, but going beyond that of our own accord appears to me, at least at this time, as going against the word of the Lord. But we must choose sides, lest we become the tepid water that Christ will spit out. (Rev. 3:16).
                                               However, there are other types of violence--the voting booth for one. Christians, if they united, could form a strong voting bloc that could reverse our fortunes. But we would need a vitality shown by Second Amendment supporters. We also need to engage in tactics of 4th Generation Warfare, including alternate media so that we know that many others agree with us. Contrary to recent Supreme Court decisions, there is no preference cascade in favor of the sexual depravities that are dumped on us day by day, but we need to communicate this to ourselves and the public. And it needs to be proclaimed from the pulpit as well. Our children should not be afraid to say that homosexuality, transgenderism, and similar are wrong.
                                                 It is unfortunate that most churches are so caught up with tolerance that they are blinded to their duty to rid themselves of those that will merely mislead others. For instance, we read in Revelation:
                                                   And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
                                                    I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
                                                      Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
                                                         And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
                                                           Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
                                                             And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
                                                        (Revelation 2:18-23). This does not speak of tolerance of those that lead members into pathways of sin. We have to understand that many of those that preach tolerance today claim to be speaking for God (i.e., a prophet or prophetess) and want us to partake of fornication and the modern equivalent of "eat[ing] things sacrificed unto idols." This must be forcefully rejected. And, yes, people will become offended and stumble because of this. That fact didn't bother Christ, and we shouldn't let it bother us. Of course we want to reach out to the sinner, but we don't want his or her sins. If they want to be part of the Church, they need to cast their sins aside. The Church may be a hospital for sinners, but it isn't intended as a source of infection.

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