Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

The bullets had decent expansion--although the expanded diameter was less than a non-expanded .355 or .357 bullet. While I often discuss the importance of shot placement, it isn't everything, and this video illustrates the problem of lighter and smaller bullets, which is poor penetration. In this case, the penetration was only about 9 inches in the gelatin, whether with bare gelatin or covered with heavy fabric. As noted in the video, with penetration that poor, you probably would be better off going with a heavier, solid tip bullet for self-defense; although this round would probably excel at taking small game. The author also mentions the lower reliability of the rim-fire cartridge over a center-fire cartridge which is, of course, the reason for the .25 ACP.

        The author, in the section on "gun fit," mostly focuses on the issue of whether the firearm fits into your palm. That is, "[y]our handgun’s backstrap must be supported by the center of your palm as much as possible." 
         "Gun fit" is something that I've written about before, although I have generally discussed it in terms of what you get if a handgun fits correctly: "pointability." That is, you should be able to pick up the firearm, firmly grip it while extending it and pointing with your trigger finger, and it should be pretty much on target. If it isn't, you may want to look at a different weapon. Sure, you can probably learn to compensate, but you will be fighting against your natural tendencies. With firearms now offering interchangeable backstraps, be sure to try different backstraps before rejecting a handgun. 
          Different calibers or different magazine configurations can also affect the size of the grip. For instance, you may not be able to manage a double-stack .45, but a single stack .45 may be comfortable; or a 9 mm may be almost right, but a .380 might fit just a bit better. Revolvers are easier to customize the size and shape of the grip, so that may be an option you should consider if you are having trouble finding one that fits well.
Obviously, you also should be able to reach all of the important controls without having to change your grip on the weapon. By important controls, I mean the trigger, manual safety/decocker (if it has one), and magazine release if it is an American style release actuated by the thumb of your shooting hand. 
          The other point that the author brings up that is important is the start close and slow. Having shown numerous people the ropes, including teaching my own children, I can tell you that a large portion of teaching a new shooter is installing confidence. And if that means setting a paper target up at only 6 feet away, then so be it. If they are failing constantly, they will be discouraged and probably never practice. But if the target is up close enough that they can see hits on the target, then they are open to further guidance on stance, grip, aim, trigger squeeze, etc. And, for heavens sake, don't just let them blast away magazine after magazine, because it is just all noise and flash without substance. Perhaps the first magazine or two so they can have the fun of the noise and blast, but then settle into their shooting smaller groups so you can identify problems and work to correct them.  
         On the other hand, a single shot is nearly worthless for identifying problems--you will need 3 or, better yet, 5 round groups, to get any idea where the bullets or hitting (or dispersing) in order to offer constructive criticism and advice. Make sure they are shooting to the same point of aim, however. I was recently assisting one of my sons with acclimating to a new pistol, and was puzzled when his shots were all over the target even at a fairly close distance. I asked if he was aiming at the same spot, or trying to correct after each shot and he admitted that he was trying to correct after each shot. With that out of the way, we were better able to diagnose some of the problems he was having.
  • "Building a Radio Listening Station to Decode Digital Audio & Police Dispatches"--Null Byte. Sparks31, in his book and posts, has always emphasized the importance of using the radio to monitor police and emergency radio bands to get a better idea of what is going on--not just what immediately happening, but also recognizing crime trends. This is especially important as news papers cut back on local reporting, including dropping reporting of "police blotter" reports relating where police responded and for what.
        Unfortunately, much of this traffic is now sent in a digital format, if not outright encrypted. While this article can't help you with encrypted broadcasts, it does provide instructions for putting together a system to allow you to listen in to the digital broadcasts that are unencrypted, and for not very much. (H/t Brushbeater). 
  • "How can we begin preparing for domestic conflict?"--Samuel Culper at Forward Observer. Culper believes that we are already in a low-intensity conflict. We've seen increased physical violence, not just in protests, but the attempted assassination of GOP Congressmen and physical and verbal assaults on Congressmen. But, as Culper notes, what is relevant at a national level may not be relevant at a local level; and what is relevant locally may not be relevant to our particular neighborhood or situation. He continues:
            And, as far as community security goes, part of being pro-active about my security situation is seeking out those who are like-minded. I want to develop relationships with my neighbors because I want their cooperation in helping to maintain security, whether our concern is routine crime, a natural disaster, or something worse, like a protracted violent conflict.
              Our domestic conflict, so far, is not best evidenced by political violence. In fact, relative to other cases of domestic conflicts/civil wars around the world, we’ve seen very little violence at all. And so far, we’ve not seen a lot of organized political violence, which would indicate a coordination of violent action like you’d typically see in a real war.
                But we’re seeing an increase in economic and political warfare, information operations/propaganda, and cultural/class warfare, which makes obvious that political violence is not going to disappear from our country.
                  And my key assumption going forward is that the bulk of political violence — organized or otherwise — is going to occur in high population density areas, followed by areas that are very highly contested in politics.
          He has some questions that you need to answer about your local situation, so be sure to read the whole thing.
          • "Civil War, Neat Graphs, and Carrie Fisher’s Leg"--Wilder, Wealthy and Wise. The author has written a series of articles on the possibility of a second civil war in the United States, of which this is the most recent. His other articles are linked to in the cited article. In this particular article, he looks at survey and polling data that addresses the increased political polarization of the country. What the data shows is that even as late as 2004, the "average" Democrat and Republican held political stances that were not too different from one another--the spread between the averages was small, meaning that there was significant overlap. That is all history. There is now a gaping gulf between the "average" Democrat and Republican, and the overlap has shrunk considerably. The center has collapsed. 
                 The author writes on this:
                   97% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican.  95% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat.  Yes, there’s still overlap, but rapidly we’re nearing the point where we don’t even recognize the same facts.  Imagine how little regard there is for the opinions of the other side.
                      And it’s worse with the media.  As a whole, they’ve been leftists since . . . forever.  But now?  Not only do Republicans represent less than 7% of journalists, the places where journalists work and live are in big cities where people wearing Make America Great Again hats are shot on site.  Or they would be if the leftists currently believed in individual, rather than state gun ownership.
                        The media are ideologically leftists, and live in cities where they might not even see a Republican in a day.  They work in a bubble (leftist journalists) and live in a bubble (leftist cities and often states) and have no conception that people on the right exist.  This explains why, on election night, the media was stunned that Trump won.  They didn’t even try to hide their bias and dismay.  Rachel Maddow alone cried enough tears to create minor flooding in the basement of the broadcast building.
                          There is simply very little the median Democrat has to say to the median Republican beyond “give me your stuff”, and little the median Republican has to say to the median Democrat other than “no, there aren’t 621 genders and 627 on Saturday night.”  They don’t even speak the same language and in some cases this is literally true.
                    The author notes that, to a certain extent, this can be blamed on massive immigration since immigrants are generally from leftist counties and vote leftist. The result is that the split will continue to grow. And the consequences?
                             What happens when/if the next leftist gains the White House?
                                Whiplash on every conceivable policy, but with a side order of vengeance.  And a system like that will produce, rather inevitably, an economic dislocation, a government crackdown.  A step too far.
                                 This will be the spark.
                                    And there will be war.  If the United States weren’t so divided, the war could be external as politicians looked to focus people against the outside to reunify the country.  But for now, we couldn’t even agree on a common enemy.  So our enemy will be . . . us.
                              Read the whole thing and check out his other articles on the topic.
                                        This really shouldn't be a great shock to students of scripture. The Bible is replete with instances noting how people tend to self-segregate in times of gross wickedness. This is a wheat and the tares moment. Or, if your prefer r/K theory, the natural result when a significant portion of the population goes hard-r.
                                          I have read several articles, in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation, in which the authors express belief that the Democratic leaders will have been shamed or disheartened enough to moderate their positions. I don't believe it. The Kavanaugh confirmation will not create the introspection required for change, but, from the perspective of the left, merely confirms their biases. The left has substituted emotion for reason, and the result of the Kavanough confirmation will merely harden their hearts as to what they think must be done. At a minimum, I believe that we will see a return to the political violence of the 1960s and 70s. 
                                  • "Ways To Preserve Meat"--Modern Survival Blog. Meat is most commonly preserved today by freezing, which is not a good idea if the electricity goes out. Yes, during the 19th and early 20th Centuries, they were able to freeze (or at least refrigerate items) using ice boxes and cold storage, but this depended on a developed industry for cutting, shipping and storing ice, which no longer exists. The article describes some other methods that were historically used, including canning, curing, smoking, jerking/drying, biltong (a combination of curing and drying), covering with lard, or pemmican (a combination of drying and covering with lard). 
                                  • "Case Club: Turn your 50 cal ammo can into a 2 pistol case"--Loose Rounds. The author discovered a company called Case Club that offers stiff foam inserts for .50 caliber ammo cans that have cut outs for up to two handguns and four magazines.

                                  "Earth-Sun Plasma Exchange | IMF Basics"--Suspicious Observers (2 min.)
                                  A short video illustrating how magnetic field linkages between the Earth and the Sun become pathways for the exchange of plasma.

                                  •  As my LDS readers are probably aware, the Church announced a major change yesterday by switching from a 3-hour block of meetings to only 2-hours. Now, instead of having both Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society each week, it will be alternated. This is something that the membership has quietly wanted for many years because the three-hour block was too long and took up too much of the day, and was hard for both young children and older adults to sit through. Part of the change was a greater emphasis on home study, including home study manuals. Interestingly to me was the recommendation that single adults meet together during the week to conduct some of this home study, which seems to mirror a larger movement within Christianity toward "home churches." In the United States, home churches or study groups arose as simply a better way to connect within a larger church, but in China, these churches were formed in an attempt to circumvent government persecution of Christians. Thus, I have to ask myself whether this is yet another reform that, unconsciously perhaps on the part of leaders, is preparing for the increased persecution that we will see against Christians in the post-Christian West.
                                  • Of course: "FiveThirtyEight: The CDC’s Non-Fatal Gun Injury Numbers Are Wrong"--The Truth About Guns. The CDC claims that between 2015 and 2016, non-fatal gun injuries increased by 37%. While it is possible that our trauma surgeons are getting better at saving gun-shot victims, the trend is not supported by other methods of tracking gun shot injuries. And the CDC even acknowledges, in a foot note, that its figures are unreliable. 
                                  • Open immigration has consequences: "Hamptons millionaires build luxe panic rooms to hide from MS-13"--New York Post. From the article:
                                            The billionaire and his family, like others in the Hamptons, are shaken up over concerns that the vicious Salvadorian gang MS-13 is too close for comfort. In April, members of the gang massacred four young men behind a soccer field in Central Islip. Three months later, a Hampton Bays brothel raided by police was found to be tagged with an MS-13 sign. And in 2016, a man with MS-13 connections broke into a Southampton home and sexually assaulted a woman.
                                             Last year, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki publicly expressed concern that the gang might spread further east. When he deployed police equipped with antiterrorism gear, including automatic weapons, along the perimeters of summer 2017 charity galas, locals took note.
                                        Yet, as they attend their tony cocktail parties, they probably tell each other how terrible it is that Trump wants to build a wall. 
                                               In late August, Archishop ViganĂ² accused Pope Francis of ignoring reports that then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been sexually active with seminarians. The archbishop claimed that Pope Benedict XVI had privately disciplined the cardinal, who had openly flouted the papal sanctions. Pope Francis knew of the cardinal’s record yet restored him to a position of high influence in the U.S. church, the archbishop alleged. Pope Francis has declined to respond to the allegation.

                                                 On Sunday, Cardinal Ouellet acknowledged that Cardinal McCarrick had been “forcefully exhorted not to travel and not to appear in public” and to lead a “discreet style of life of prayer and penitence” on account of “rumors regarding his behavior in the past.” But the restrictions on Cardinal McCarrick didn’t amount to formal “‘sanctions’ decreed by Pope Benedict XVI and annulled by Pope Francis,” Cardinal Ouellet stated, noting that a search of the archives hadn’t revealed documents on the matter signed by either pope.

                                                    However, Cardinal Ouellet wrote that he and another Vatican official had written letters to Archbishop ViganĂ² and the preceding envoy to the U.S. reaffirming the “conditions and restrictions” on Cardinal McCarrick.
                                              The standard assumption is that #MeToo is purely a feminist phenomenon.  But while its most visible and vocal proponents are feminst, the bedrock of #MeToo is not feminist, but chivalrous.  It is chivalry that teaches us that women are more virtuous than men, and that it is noble and ennobling for a man to suffer due to the capriciousness of a woman.  Despite ostensibly being on opposing sides, neither feminists nor chivalrists care much whether Dr. Blasey Ford is telling the truth in her accusations against Judge Kavanaugh.  Both are primed to believe her as a matter of course, but even if she is lying it is still better if we take her at her word.  Whether they call it victim blaming or unchivalrous, both agree that it would be monstrous to presume a man accused by a woman is innocent until proven guilty.
                                                Also this: "our assumptions about the innate goodness of girls is not only unfounded, it is evil."
                                                • I disagree: "‘VENOM’ BRINGS SUPERHERO HOT STREAK TO A HALT"--Hollywood In Toto. A negative review of the movie, Venom. However, if anything kills the golden egg presented by the current crop of Marvel super-hero movies, it will be political correctness. 
                                                        I took my boys to see it yesterday, and while it is not my favorite super-hero movie, I think it is a solid movie within the constraints of that genre and the fact that it is an origin story. It was certainly better than Black Panther or most anything released by D.C. I also appreciated that the villain was an Indian tech oligarch who has no regard for human life in his quest to save the planet from global warming. And while the reviewer disliked the humor offered up in the movie, I thought that the humor was a welcome break from what otherwise could have been a very dark movie. I also wasn't off put by the symbiont having its own personality instead of merely bringing out the evil in its host. If you do go see the move, be advised that there is a mid-credits clip that sets the stage for a possible sequel involving Carnage. Although there is a post-credits clip, it is merely an extended trailer for a new animated Spider-Man series that features a spunky black kid as a new Spider-Man and has nothing to do with the Venom movie. So, you can safely leave after the mid-credits clip.
                                                           One of the previews shown was for the new season of the Amazon series, The Man In The High Castle. I haven't watched the series, but I understand it is supposed to be set in an alternate history where Nazi Germany somehow had won WWII and occupied the United States. In a not so subtle political message, this new season is all about a violent resistance to the Nazis that have taken over America, energized by evidence that the Nazi victory was not inevitable, but things could have been different. A not so subtle dig at Trump's victory and what could have been if only pantsuit Hillary had become president. And a call to arms.


                                                  1. I think Kavanaugh is a big deal in energizing the right. The Mrs. hasn't voted in over a decade, and the last time was a presidential election (I think she voted for Grover Cleveland). She's going to the mid-term ballot box.

                                                    I don't think she's alone. The polarization is getting worse . . .

                                                    1. From the anecdotes I read, it seems a lot of people have been motivated by the Democrats' latest show trial. I'm currently reading Peter Turchin's "Ages of Discord" which, if correct, suggests that we should be seeing increased political violence going into 2020.