Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 20, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

While this video shows how to react to these types of attacks, the producers also make it clear that you are still going to be cut up really bad. There is just no way around it if the attacker has the surprise and initiative.

  • "Changing Weather, Changing Wardrobe, and Changing Tactics"--USA Carry. Colder weather means heavier clothes and/or multiple layers. Even if you don't switch to a larger weapon or a different carry method, you still have to deal with different types of clothing. Thus, this article suggests that you remember to practice with whatever is changing. The biggest issue I worry about in colder times of the year is trying to draw from under a jacket or coat that is buttoned or zipped up. This is one of the reasons that I will sometimes just slip a small revolver into an outside pocket either in addition to, or in lieu of something larger on a belt holster.
  • "Range Review: Glock 26 Gen 5"--Shooting Illustrated. The main points that the author raises is that the Gen 5 doesn't have the finger grooves, has a much better trigger, and you have the option of getting decent sights. One thing I thought was interesting is that Glock began using finger grooves with the Glock 26 in order to qualify for the "sporting purpose" exception prohibiting to the prohibition on the import of small handguns. The author explains:
See, the subcompact Glock 26 and 27 were the first Glock handguns to introduce the molded-in finger grooves on the grip frontstrap and the dimpled “thumb rests” on the frames. This was done in order to gain enough “points” under an obscure rule instituted via the Gun Control Act of 1968. A breakdown of the point system can be found here on the NRA-ILA website, but basically due to its loss of points for size and weight, the sub-compact Glock 26 needed to gain them back some other way, and “target grips” were worth five points.
  • "Serious Mistakes – Unjustified Killings"--Tactical Professor. The author points to a story where a neighbor was shot to death over a disagreement about garbage. As the author observes: "Learn to control your emotions and to walk away." 
  • "Ditch the Batteries: Off-Grid Compressed Air Energy Storage"--Low Tech Magazine. Large scale systems, using buried air tanks, have been investigated before. This article, instead, explores a growing trend to develop small scale systems using above ground tanks. The author explains the benefits:
       Compared to chemical batteries, micro-CAES systems have some interesting advantages. Most importantly, a distributed network of compressed air energy storage systems would be much more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Over their lifetimes, chemical batteries store only two to ten times the energy needed to manufacture them. Small-scale CAES systems do much better than that, mainly because of their much longer lifespan.
           Furthermore, they do not require rare or toxic materials, and the hardware is easily recyclable. In addition, decentralised compressed air energy storage doesn’t need high-tech production lines and can be manufactured, installed and maintained by local business, unlike an energy storage system based on chemical batteries. Finally, micro-CAES has no self-discharge, is tolerant of a wider range of environments, and promises to be cheaper than chemical batteries.
      The issue I see is the amount of electricity--particularly amperage--to run a compressor. You can trickle feed electricity to charge a battery from a solar system, but not have the amperage to run a compressor. 
      • "Is It Safe to Store Guns and Ammo in a Hot Car?"--USA Carry. Short answer: yes. Longer answer: "But the fact is, it has to be over 400 degrees inside your car in order for the ammunition to 'explode.'" If it is over 400 degrees inside your car, you have bigger problems than whether the ammunition is going to pop off.

      It works, but doesn't really have any more power than a BB gun. Still, interesting to see what is being developed.
               The laptop was confiscated, and the chief observer told investigators that the janitor 'feverishly started looking through the facility' when he realized it was missing.
                 The janitor began making paranoid comments about 'lax security at the facility' and said it was 'only a matter of time before the facility got hit'.
                   The chief observer became concerned for his personal safety after the janitor stated that he 'believed there was a serial killer in the area' and that the killer might enter the observatory and execute someone. 
                     At that point the agencies that operate the facility decided to shut it down out of an abundance of caution. 
              • "China bets on the blue wave"--The Week. China's reaction to the latest round of tariffs imposed by President Trump has been fairly muted. The reason is that the Chinese believe that Trump will be more open to negotiation after the midterm elections. But the article also notes that China has less options to strike back at the United States because it imports so little from the United States, compared to what we import from China. Although the author suggests that the Chinese could jack tariffs up much higher on the few products it does import. That may be problematic, though. For instance, China was originally going to impose steep tariffs on American grown soybeans, but reversed its decision ... probably because it would have resulted in higher food prices in China. 
              • "Economic Trendline Reversion Does Not Happen Evenly"--The Futurist. Since 2007, world GDP (in dollars) has increased by about 40%, but that increase is not spread evenly. While the United States has seen about a 34% gain, China has seen a gain of 245%, but the European Union has seen a decline of 11%. Part of the reason why China has seen such huge gains is because it started so far behind that it has a lot of room to expand its economy: "The growth of China (and to a lesser extent, India) appears to be a reversion to a status quo that existed from the dawn of civilization all the way until the early 19th century.  If this factor is combined with the exponential trend of world growth, then China's current outperformance seems less like an aberration." But what about future years? The author states: "There is almost no chance that China can outperform the RoW [rest of the world] by the same magnitude from this point onwards, simply due to the RoW no longer being large enough to manage the same intake of Chinese exports relative to China's size as before."
              • "Assets Need Protection"--The Dignified Rant. The author suggests that it would benefit American security concerns for China to focus on that portion of its Belts and Roads Initiative that are based on land transport across Eurasia, because it would necessarily require China to focus its military on protecting those assets.
              • "Project Veritas: Deep State Video II"--Raconteur Report. The first video was of a State Department paper pusher that worked on his socialist political organization's stuff while at work, while this newer video reveals an intern for the DoJ that uses government resources to get the addresses of political opponents so they can be doxxed.  Aesop writes: "As you ponder government officials who know your license plate and what schools your kids go to, tell me how your ammo count and local accountability lists are coming along, particularly in light of today's previous post." As I have stated many times before, you need to start collecting names and figure out the links between them, to understand what is going on.
              • "White existence is a crime, says BLF spokesperson"--The Citizen. The Black First, Land First spokesperson making these comments is Lindsay Maasdorp.
              • "Historical storage cellars in Budapest: The architectural history and functional operation of an industrial building in 19th-century Hungary"--published in the journal, Építés – Építészettudomány. From the abstract:
                The Kőbánya district of Budapest is situated on the eastern margins of the Hungarian capital city. Beneath Kőbánya there is an extensive limestone layer, in which tunnels and passages have been made, some  of which  appear  to  date  from  the 13th  century.  In  the 19th  century,  the  limestone caverns  of Budapest-Kőbánya were used for the refrigeration of  perishable goods in  large quantities. 
                • "Artificial Saviors"--B2O. A lengthy article discussing the current state of AI development and a bit on how we got here, and where we may be going. Specifically, the author looks at whether current AI research could lead to people placing unwarranted faith in AIs. Amusingly, the article came with this trigger warning: "Content Warning: The following text references algorithmic systems acting in racist ways towards people of color." But this actually hints at the crux of the article, which is that current machine learning is opaque--we don't really know how the machine arrived at its decision or determination. To the author, this raises the specter that our belief in the veracity or correctness of such decisions will become matters of faith. And, for the author, this raises the concern that "[w]hen decisions are made automatically without any way for people to understand the reasoning, to check the way power acts and potentially discriminates, there is no longer any political debate apart from whether to fall in line or to abolish the system all together." For example, the author worries, an AI that predicts crime and learns that crime is disproportionately committed by PoC will undermine attempts of PoC to achieve political solutions to change the status quo. Or, as his argument could otherwise be stated, AIs will be red-pilled, which could lead society to become red-pilled by proxy.
                • "Luther's Knocking"--The Social Pathologist. The author discusses why there is such a disconnect between the Vatican and American Catholics over the seriousness of the current sex scandal rocking the church. To the author, the difference comes down to the fact that Italians, for instance, have always dealt with corruption in the church, and so, "[i]n a Darwinian manner, Italians have learned to forge a life in a manner which accommodates and accepts institutional corruption." 
                          Protestantism, on the other hand, gave the believer far more legitimacy in public affairs  and the theology of Protestantism expected the  believer to behave act as one of the elect. There was no reliance on the confessional to wipe away misdeeds and poor behaviour was an outward sign of perdition which rightly disqualified a man from institutional office. The net effect of this "theological bias" in Protestant culture was attitude towards institutions which demanded honesty and efficiency.
                         Which brings us to the phenomenon of American Catholicism. The United States was founded as a Protestant Enlightenment project: the institutional culture is Protestant. While the country was explicitly secular, Protestantism was the de-facto institutional religion of the country and within its theological framework established it's habits, ideas and cultural practices. It was into this culture that the waves of Catholic migrants flooded and eventually became assimilated. However, the assimilation wasn't one way, Catholicism too had to adapt to the culture with the overall result that American Catholicism became Protestantised.
                  The result--and the disconnect--is that "[u]nlike Latin Catholicism, American Catholicism won't put up with institutional corruption." 

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