Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"What are cosmic rays?"--Suspicious Observers (4 min.)
A brief overview of cosmic rays and how they interact with the atmosphere.
Since we are currently receiving elevated levels of cosmic rays, you might find this interesting.


        Here’s the truth…
            You need both kit and skill.
               The pesky part of this truth is you must have a deep desire to learn how to use your kit to improve your skills through your experiences. This truth is the hardest for most of us to wrap our heart and hands around.
      • "Gear Review: High Sierra Cirque 30 Back Pack"--Baugo Blades. The author was looking for a pack to replace his Alice pack, with the intent to be used for on-the-road, luggage, or weekend backpacking. He borrowed a friend's Sleeka Snugpak 35 Liter pack, which was the right size, but he wanted a pack that didn't have a "tactical" or "military" look. He settled on the High Sierra pack and has good experience with it over several years. In any event, the review goes into more details about the back, including photographs of many of the features. Check it out.
      • "Carrying Essential Weapons Parts (and other items) For Your Firearm"--Mason Dixon Tactical. This isn't so much an article on what to carry, but figuring out creative ways to carry it. For instance, the author uses a para-FAL sporting an M4 style stock ... which means that he has an otherwise empty tube attached to the butt of his rifle. So he carries extra parts in that. Ditto for some pistol grips which are hollow and can accommodate small parts.
      • "The FDA has approved the use of this potential life saver for troops on the battlefield"--Military Times. Freeze dried blood plasma has a proven track record going back decades, but the FDA has refused to approve its use. The DoD finally had reached the point that it was simply going to ignore the FDA and, miracle of miracles, the FDA approved the product for evaluation by the military.
      • Words of warning: "Negative Outcome – Again"--Tactical Professor. The author writes:
                 People labor under the illusion that a two year old can’t pull a trigger. What a toddler does is put the gun on the floor, where the kid spends most of its time. Eventually, the gun ends up with the butt down, the muzzle up, both of the kid’s thumbs on the trigger, with the kid pushing down on the trigger as hard as it can. Any toddler weighs more than the trigger pull so it has the mechanical advantage to press the trigger all the way through, even on a double action revolver.
                  A head shot is almost the inevitable result. That’s why so many of these are fatalities and not just wounded casualties.
            To the naive, the simple answer is to always keep your firearms locked up. However, a defensive firearm is useless if you can't get to it and use it in a timely fashion. (Grant Cunningham addresses this issue and suggests some of the quick access lock boxes, but I know that even if they are aware of them, most people won't use such devices). Thus, many people keep a firearm in a nighstand while sleeping, or some other easily accessible place. And to safeguard against a child coming into your room at some ungodly hour and finding the handgun and having an accident, you may consider using a semi-auto pistol with nothing chambered. I have taught and gone shooting with not only my children but countless nephews and nieces, and one thing that is clear is that most children, including many younger teens, can't cycle the slide on a semi-auto pistol--particularly hammer fired models such as the Beretta 92, Sig 226, Browning Hi-Power, etc.
            There are at least 4.5 million anchor babies in the U.S. under the age of 18, Breitbart News noted. This estimate does not include the potential millions of anchor babies who are older than 18-years-old, nor does it include the anchor babies who are living overseas with their deported foreign parents.
            And:
            The 4.5 million anchor babies estimate exceeds the four million American children born every year. In the next decade, the CBO estimates that there will be at least another 600,000 anchor babies born in the U.S., which would put the anchor baby population on track to exceed annual American births—should the U.S. birth rate not increase—by more than one million anchor babies.
            • The new colonialism: "World View: China’s Railway Contractor in Kenya Accused of ‘Neo-Colonialism, Racism and Blatant Discrimination’"--Breitbart. The article reports that "[r]acism is rampant, to the point where the Chinese have apparently set up an apartheid system." Meaning that the Chinese workers can't eat with or socialize with Chinese workers. The article also indicates that the Chinese company running the railroad will not teach Kenyan's the technical skills necessary to operate and maintain the railroad, and the locals that were hired for technical positions are instead forced to do menial jobs or risk being beaten. Needless to say, the Kenyan government is taking the side of the Chinese over that of the native workers. 
                   The article also goes on to report:
                    China is building infrastructure projects in many countries as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China does not build a project in a country for free. It loans the money at harsh terms with high interest rates. Furthermore, it demands that almost all of the work be done by Chinese workers, who get paid out of the money that has been loaned, so most of the money that China loans to the country is returned to China in the form of remittances and payments for services, but the country still has that debt, and has to repay the same money to China again, with interest.
                      Theoretically, the Chinese workers are supposed to train the local workers, and responsibility for the project is supposed to be turned over to the country within a few years. But as we are seeing in the case of Kenya’s SGR, the Chinese masters are forcing the Kenyans into menial jobs, are segregating themselves from the Kenyans, and maintaining all signs in Chinese so that the Kenyans are not being trained.
                        This is being called “Debt Book Diplomacy” (as opposed to “checkbook diplomacy,” which the U.S. used to be accused of). The poster child for how it works is the Port of Hambantota, a Chinese infrastructure project in Sri Lanka, funded with a loan from China, with almost all the labor performed by Chinese workers. Sri Lanka was unable to repay the loan, and the government was forced to give the Port to China. So now Sri Lanka has a large seaport owned by China, and a large Chinese enclave with hundreds of Chinese families, with no benefit to itself and to its own people.
                  The author warns that Kenya is about to suffer the same fate: the railroad and the port which it services may soon fall into Chinese hands as Kenya heads toward default.
                          It's not just African nations that are at risk. The foregoing article mentions what has already occurred in Sri Lanka, and it appears that China may soon be in a position to seize Venezuela's oil industry. It shouldn't be too many years hence, and China will find itself embroiled in some brush wars.
                      "If you look at the science fiction movies, all of the space military folks, they're all admirals, which is, of course, a Navy rank," Bridenstine said.
                        On a more serious note, George Friedman argued for a space force in the 1990s because the United States needed to keep control of the metaphorical high ground, being Earth's orbit, the Moon, and key orbital positions such as some of the Lagrange points. To our knowledge, it does not appear that the Air Force has shown much enthusiasm for the project. But that should not be surprising as the Air Force still views strategic bombing as its key mission (which is closely tied to air superiority to protect said bombers), and to hell with close air support or other tasks. Moreover, it is apparent that jurisdiction and authority for space-borne projects are spread across many different agencies. Certainly, it would behoove the government to consolidate these tasks into a few agencies, such as a military agency (the future space force), a civilian agency (NASA), and perhaps an intelligence agency (probably the NRO).
                                  A couple points. First, this is a climate regulation mechanism. The climate gets too warm, and the melting of ice caps will release fresh water, which will, in turn, cause the earth to cool. Second, I don't see that this research contradicts the comet impact theory, because that theory predicted rapid melting of glacial ice, which would then contribute to the cooling of the Younger Dryas.

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