Monday, November 19, 2018

VODT: There Are Good Things Happening In This World

The boy, Fore Putnam, made an appeal for assistance for a kidney for his father, Trae. The President responded with a letter, and with Fox & Friends' assistance, the family has raised almost $50,000 on a go fund me account to help defray costs and expenses. Sometimes among all the negative, we forget the positive. 

November 19, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Why They want to REPLACE YOU"--Black Pilled (13-1/2 min.)

  • "Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying While Jogging"--The Firearm Blog. The author notes that in addition to two-legged predators, we are seeing increased numbers of fatal attacks by dogs, coyotes and other animals on people that are out exercising or enjoying the outdoors. In one case, a woman was attacked and killed by "her neighbor’s six standard dachshund and terrier mixes and one border collie mix." The author's own solution is start out with a lightweight firearm--an LCP--and carry it in a pocket holster in a pair of "field shorts," not running shorts. However, he then goes on to list some other options, including options that will work with tight running or biking shorts, or yoga pants. Being older, I go with old-fashioned solutions, which is a small fanny pack with holster. If I'm walking or, God forbid, jogging, I keep the fanny pack to the front. If riding a bike, I just slide it around so the pack is over my "fanny." The pack keeps the weight of the weapon centered, and the additional pockets on the fanny pack can hold my keys, identification, and cell phone. I can then clip a folding knife over the fanny pack's belt.
  • "Press the trigger smoothly"--Tactical Professor. Word: "One of the components of NOT producing buckshot targets with a pistol is pressing the trigger smoothly and straight to the rear." The author provides one exercise (not using a firearm) to help develop your straight pull, and then a target and drill for dry firing. The exercise requires that you have a vertical line to use as reference, such as a picture frame, and then practice moving your finger back while keeping the distal joint in line with the edge of the frame.
  • "Building Barricades for Long Range Rifle Practice"--Guns America Digest. Plans, directions and photographs concerning building your own barricades for shooting practice. Although the title refers to long range rifle practice, these barricades would also be useful for tactical rifle practice and, in two of the cases, tactical pistol shooting.
  • "Tempus Fugit, Med Supplies Edition"--Western Rifle Shooters Association. You have probably already seen this, but if not, it is a short piece reminding us of the need to stock on large quantities and multiple varieties of antibiotics, as well as a list of references so we know how to use those antibiotics: "Tarascon’s Pocket Pharmacopeia to give you dosages and normal course, a good nursing drug reference (Mosby’s, etc.) to lay out do’s and don’ts etc., and a current/recent PDR to understand everything about the drugs in question."
  • "PREPPER MEDICINE: WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW CAN KILL YOU"--American Partisan. Herbal medicine and old wives tales are not sufficient medical knowledge in the event of SHTF, and the latest "healthy" trends such as skipping inoculations can be deadly. You need real medicine and real knowledge.
  • The Lizard Farmer has a new post up: "It’s Not Enough". He warns about getting stuck in a comfort zone, especially when you obtained your gear and gotten your initial training. His suggestion is to spend 30 minutes a day working on prepping, be it dry practice, physical training, or expanding your knowledge. Read the whole thing.
  • Crap! "Waste Management after SHTF"--SHTF Preparedness. This actually isn't much of an article: it reminds you that waste management will be an issue, and links to a couple articles on burn barrels and composting toilets. But it is an important reminder of an important topic. The best discussion I've seen of the issue is in Cody Lundin's book, When All Hell Breaks Loose. If you don't have his book, I really suggest that you get a copy. 
  • "Bugging out Hygiene 101"--The Survivalist Blog. Do you know what is better than antibiotics? Not having to use antibiotics. And day-to-day hygiene plays a big role. This article discusses the basics of hygiene including bathing when water is in short supply, a temporary substitute for washing your hair, taking care of your teeth and gums, and laundry.
  • Projection or an attempt to "other" gun owners? You decide: "Newsweek Reporter: Almost Everyone I’ve Ever Heard Of Who Owns An AR-15 Is A Mass Murderer"--Hot Air
  • This reminds me of something I've heard before ... oh yeah ... when guns are banned only criminals will have guns. "Corrupt UK Border Officer Jailed for Smuggling Guns & Drugs"--The Firearm Blog.

"Massive Crater Discovered Under Greenland Ice"--NASA Goddard (4-1/2 min.)
A bit more on the discovery of that impact crater discovered in Greenland.

I no longer believe that political solutions are possible for us. I am baffled by the way people still speak of the West as if it were at least a cultural unity against Communism though it is divided not only by a political, but by an invisible cleavage. On one side are the voiceless masses with their own subdivisions and fractures. On the other side is the enlightened, articulate elite which, to one degree or other, has rejected the religious roots of the civilization—the roots with-out which it is no longer Western civilization, but a new order of beliefs, attitudes and mandates. 
         NATO, the European Union, the memories of two devastating wars, and the Soviet threat have been variously credited for the decades of peace Europe has enjoyed since the end of the Second World War. The uncomfortable reality is that this enduring peace is also the result of the often violent resettlement of ethnic groups within coherent national borders. The cultural, linguistic, and religious fault lines that exploded into violence during the first half of the 20th century have been largely erased from the map, replaced by a series of uniform national blocs.
            It’s no accident that the one place in Europe that wasn’t completely reorganized along these lines is still a tinder box. The Balkans erupted in the 1990s because Yugoslavia temporarily defied this pan-European trend of state building, thanks largely to Marshall Tito’s charismatic authoritarianism. After Tito died, communism and a unified Yugoslavia followed in quick succession. Slovenia and Croatia were able to detach themselves relatively easily, but Bosnia, home to Muslim Bosniaks plus large minorities of Orthodox Serbs and and Roman Catholic Croatians, was not so lucky.
             Beijing over the last two years has significantly ramped up its swiping of commercial technology and intellectual property, from jet engines to genetically modified rice, as U.S. relations with China have grown more acrimonious under President Trump, according to U.S. officials and security experts.
              “They want technology by hook or by crook. They want it now. The spy game has always been a gentleman’s game, but China has taken the gloves off,” said John Bennett, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco office, which battles economic spies targeting Silicon Valley. “They don’t care if they get caught or if people go to jail. As long as it justifies their ends, they are not going to stop.”
          They could just deport all Chinese nationals working in key industries and freeze the issuance of student or work visas to Chinese nationals. It wouldn't stop the problem completely, but it would put a serious crimp in the Chinese plans.
                  Britain’s education system is failing to tackle the “astonishing” underperformance of boys as feminists have made the topic “taboo”, the former head of the university admissions service has warned.
                    Mary Curnock Cook, who was chief executive of Ucas until last year, said the fact that boys are falling behind in education is a national scandal – yet it is such an “unfashionable” topic to discuss that it has become “normalised”.
              • From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs: "Murder rate soars in Venezuela, forcing population to take extreme precautions to stay alive amid food and medicine shortages"--Daily Mail. "The South American nation registered 26,000 homicides last year, 89 per 100,000 inhabitants and a figure 15 times the global average, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a non-governmental group." Seems a rather optimistically low estimate.
              • Post-Christian America: "Witches now outnumber Presbyterians in America as number of Pagans soar to 1.5 MILLION - and millennials' love of yoga and star signs is to blame"--Daily Mail. The number practicing or taking part in reiki or other forms of "energy healing" is probably much larger. Reiki and similar practices is a growing problem within the LDS membership, particularly among the feminist leaning crowd.
              • MGTOW: "Modern Love. Cohabitation on Rise in U.S.: Demographic Trends"--Bloomberg Quint. 9% of the 25-34 age group is cohabiting with an unmarried partner versus 7% living with a spouse. A total 15% cohabitation rate is really pitiful. 
              • A Catholic tribulation: "The Bishops In Their Labyrinth"--John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist. There is no sugar-coating this: American Catholics are facing a time of great trial, which unfortunately includes enemies of the faith within the Catholic Church. Davidson reports that American bishops attended a conference in Baltimore to deal with the crises of sexual abuse and deviancy, but the conference was undercut by a letter from the Catholic Pope instructing them "to delay consideration of two proposals that would have formed the basis for a substantive response to the sexual abuse crisis: a new code of conduct for bishops and the creation of a lay commission to investigate bishops accused of misconduct." Rather, the Pope wants to wait until a February synod to discuss sexual abuse allegations. However, that is only half of the problem, the other being widespread practicing homosexuals within the priesthood. The author explains:
                      Meeting an American bishop for the first time is like meeting a general for the first time. You think the man is a general because he is the best, perhaps because he has distinguished himself in battle. But you soon realize that in most cases he is a general simply because he has survived the system long enough.
                         Often, it’s the same with bishops. That’s not to say there are no good bishops (or generals), but simply that bishops are products of the system that produced them. In America, that system has been compromised for at least a half-century. Many current American bishops, now in their 60s and 70s, were shaped in their youth by the sexual revolution and a “culture of dissent” in the American church that rejected traditional moral teaching on issues like birth control, marriage, and homosexuality.
                          As a result, some bishops lost sight of moral truth, as well as an understanding of what they are and what their role is in relation to the laity. There’s a reason bishops refer to one another as “brothers” and that parishioners call their priests “father.” For Catholics, those terms reflect the theological reality that priests are living icons of Christ, true spiritual fathers to the faithful. It’s no wonder that McCarrick, in his depravity, referred to his favorite seminarians as “nephews” and told them to call him “Uncle Ted,” rejecting his role as father and shepherd for something vague, confused, and utterly false.
                             It’s also no wonder that so many bishops, including the pope, now want to quarantine the issue of sexual abuse of minors from the larger question of sexual infidelity in the priesthood, specifically, violations of celibacy with consenting adults. During the conference, there was some discussion of whether the proposed lay review board should examine claims of sexual offenses against minors as well as adults. Cupich was quick to urge that they be kept separate, saying that it’s a “different discipline,” and that, “In some of the cases with adults involving clerics, it could be consensual sex, anonymous, but also involve adult pornography. There’s a whole different set of circumstances.”

                      Sunday, November 18, 2018

                      November 18, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                      • "Dem Rep. Eric Swalwell: If We Confiscate Your Guns And You Fight Back, We Will Nuke You"--Hot Air. The headline is a little bit of an exaggeration. Swalwell was talking about putting down a civil war. But it raises two important points: (1) first, and foremost, is that the left has so "othered" gun owners that Swalwell has no compunction against suggesting that nuclear weapons could be used against them (and his probably thinking red America in general); and (2) a reminder that any civil insurrection will have the full weight of government against it. I wouldn't count on the Army or law enforcement doing what is right--they still need a paycheck. 
                              Swalwell proposes that the government should offer up to $1,000 for every weapon covered by a new ban, estimating that it would take $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons — and “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”
                                In the past, Democrats and gun safety groups have carefully resisted proposals that could be interpreted as “gun confiscation,” a concept gun rights groups have often invoked as part of a slippery slope argument against more modest proposals like universal background checks.
                                 Swalwell addressed these arguments directly, saying he and other Democrats had been too deferential to Second Amendment activists and should follow the lead of teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting who have been more strident.
                                    In 1904 Dr. Helmut Klever invented Ballistol which after testing was adopted by the Imperial German Army and stayed the primary CLP (cleaner, lubricant, protector) through 1945. Without intending to the inventor had created a truly amazing product, something that has in my house at least replaced even WD40 for common use.
                                      It is non-carcinogenic, skin safe and biodegradable without harmful byproducts. After testing I found that even when the initial “wet” of it had disappeared it left a safe coating that remained slick and allowed proper function.
                                      More amazingly it can be cut with water, meaning you do not need to locate or have special cleansers to clean it off or cut it for expanded use. (Most other lubricants cannot be cut down from their original mix without losing efficacy)
                                         Ballistol can be applied straight to firearms for best coverage, cut with 10% water for leather, 20% for wood and door hinges as well as preventing screws from rusting and much more. Other applications are knives, kitchen, hunting, and tactical knives all can be easily cleaned and lubricated with Ballistol either straight or cut with 10% water.
                                           If you use it on wooden camp chairs it will help repel insects, without being potentially harmful to you! I have used it on my fishing rods, bicycle chains (and now carry it in all my bike kits as well) and pretty much anything that requires lubrication.
                                               The person who’s used to shooting an autoloading pistol and feeling for that reset often has trouble with the very different revolver trigger. This is because most revolvers have what I’ve come to call “phantom reset points”: points in the trigger return stroke where the shooter feels telltale clicks that serve as a cue to pull the trigger again.
                                                The trouble is that the revolver trigger isn’t yet reset, and pulling the trigger again on cue either does nothing — or, in the worst case, actually locks the trigger’s movement!
                                                  Where these reset points are depends on the make of the revolver and, sometimes, even the specific model. In general, though, Ruger revolvers have the most distinctive false resets; they’re also the ones that consistently lock the trigger when the shooter tries to fire another round after encountering the false reset. (Fixing that lock-up is a simple matter of relaxing the trigger finger and allowing the trigger to fully reset before trying to fire another shot.)
                                                    On any revolver, the only reliable reset point is at the forward-most point of trigger travel. Occasionally you may find an individual gun which resets just short of that, but in general the only real reset is when the trigger has stopped moving — and it’s the only proper way to train your trigger finger.
                                            • "How to Protect Your Survival Homestead"--Survival Sullivan. "The first step in developing a perimeter defense plan is not doing a little math to figure out how much fencing must be purchased. Nope, first you need to clearly outline what you must defend."

                                              "Fake Science News | Two Recent Stories"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
                                              Comments regarding the news stories suggesting that we might soon be exposed to a dark matter hurricane, and the retraction of a climate science paper that had supposedly found that the oceans were storing far more heat than previously thought--turned out that their math was wrong.
                                                        Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Thursday that caravan migrants arriving by the hundreds are no longer welcome, an increasingly common sentiment among residents of the Mexican border city.
                                                          Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community, in an interview with Milenio Television.
                                                           “Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” the mayor, a member of the conservative National Action Party, said. “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.”
                                                             Gastelum called on the Mexican government to deport the caravan migrants as soon as possible.
                                                               “You’re going to tell me we have to respect human rights,” he said. “But human rights are for law-abiding humans.”
                                                        • "True Colors"--Chicago Boyz. I think the author is absolutely correct about this:
                                                        A comment on another blog, a couple of days ago where the ghastly new fires in Northern California were being discussed – suggested a new thought to me, regarding the rulers and the ruled. The Ruling Class, as the commenter posited, was all about the environment, preserving the forests and the wilderness, and those darling wild creatures … but when all that effort put into maintaining a pristine wildlife environment turns around and kills people actually living on the edge of those areas … well, just too bad. A shocking thought, at first – but after a moment, I had to agree. Not only do the ruling class despise us … but they don’t much care if we live or die. Preferably die, as long as we don’t make too much fuss about it.
                                                        Worse than indifference, though – sour malignant intent is what the commenter suggested. Various instruments of death are being scattered willy-nilly among us, just because. Send hundreds, thousands of illegal immigrants to live among us? Flout the laws regarding identity theft, drunk driving, possession of illegal firearms … come over the border afflicted with exotic diseases that no one in this country has seen in decades? No problem, for the ruling class.  
                                                        Read the whole thing. It ties into what I have noted many times before concerning the elite: that, to them, regular people are fungible. And remember, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
                                                                 The column or caravan of Central Americans slowly moving north through Mexico with the intention of crossing into the U.S. is a classic Fourth Generation war invasion.  An invasion by immigrants is more, not less, dangerous than an invasion by a hostile army because the army eventually goes home while immigrants stay, permanently altering the cultural landscape.  In this case, they would not alter it for the better.
                                                                 If this country is to survive in a 4GW world, we recognize that this invasion threat is just the flea sitting on the top of the penguin sitting on top of the iceberg.  If this invasion is successful, the next caravan will be larger.  The one after that will be larger still.  A combination of state failure, economic ruin, climate change, and population pressures means millions, tens of millions, ultimately hundreds of millions of people around the world will be trying to move from south to north.  If we don’t stop them, our societies, those north of the equator, will be turned into their societies, which is to say the places they are fleeing because they don’t work.  That may not be their intention (in the case of Islamics, it is their intention), but it will be the result because it is all they know.  Their numbers will be such that they cannot be acculturated by their new societies before those societies are engulfed, overwhelmed, and snuffed out.  
                                                        He believes that one method of stopping the horde is to not allow them inside our borders--not even one inch--without a visa. Of course, they might to try and force the border. He recommends against the killing of the invaders by direct action because of the negative optics: "At the moral level, having border guards shoot down women and children is a disaster." Autonomous weapons are better, he believes, because it would appear that it was the invaders' fault that they walked into a known danger zone. I suspect that the military will turn to sonic and microwave weapons developed for crowd control.
                                                        • The left eating itself: "A Cold Winter For White Women"--American Thinker. The author discusses how the left is now turning on white women because they haven't been sufficiently loyal to leftist candidates and causes. An excerpt:
                                                        Not only is this racist rhetoric dangerous for society, it is poison to our youth. Young white people today are exposed almost exclusively to angry black artists and Hollywood stars who encourage them to hate themselves for their whiteness, demoralizing and denigrating them for their skin color and culture. But hating oneself for his race is not a virtue. Telling young white people to “check” their white privilege or to hate themselves for their culture isn't just insanity, it's racist. What began as a feminist progressive movement united exclusively against white males has now openly set its sights on white women.
                                                                In December 2014, Hydro-Quebec, Canada’s largest electric power utility, was hit with a crippling blackout at the start of winter. Traffic lights went dark, and more than 188,000 customers lost power, including Montreal’s McGill University Health Center.
                                                                 The utility was forced to scramble to avoid a systemwide outage. Power exports to the Northeast United States were cut. Industrial users were asked to slash production, and the provincially owned utility was required to buy emergency power from neighboring utilities. Cost to the utility was estimated at $22 million.
                                                                  Unlike most such incidents, however, the blackout was not weather-related or an act of God. As a Quebec court has heard, the power failure resulted from an act of sabotage by Normand Dubé, a 56-year-old pilot and inventor with a grudge against the utility, who used a small aircraft to hobble two massive power lines. Dubé was found guilty of three charges of criminal mischief in September.
                                                              Testimony concerning how he did it was sealed, but "Judge Paul Chevalier quoted an expert witness from Canada’s National Research Council as saying the technique had been used during conflicts in Iraq, Kosovo and Serbia and was 'easily accessible on the Internet.'" This suggests to me that he probably dropped aluminum chaff on the power lines.

                                                              Saturday, November 17, 2018

                                                              From the Archives: Some Thoughts on a "Battery" of Survival Arms -- Part IV -- General Considerations

                                                              [This was originally posted on November 3, 2011]

                                                              In prior posts, I've discussed some general issues as to the number of firearms, and some specific issues as to revolvers versus pistols, and medium caliber versus small caliber military rifle rounds. This time, I want to start getting into issues with actually picking weapons. Unlike my other posts, where I tried to back up some of my points by reference to other sources, this discussion is very subjective on my part, and is offered more to provoke thought on your part rather than be a definitive guide.

                                                              Point 1: There is no "one best gun." Whether speaking of firearms generally, or breaking the discussion into smaller categories (e.g., handguns, rifles, and shotguns), no firearm is perfect for all tasks. That's why there are so many different types of firearms and ammunition.

                                                              Point 2: Don't confuse "wants" with "needs." If you want a gun, and can get it (i.e., can afford it, can lawfully purchase it, whatever), then get it. But don't delude yourself into thinking that it fulfills a needs where it clearly does not. For instance, you may want to get a [finely] engraved over-under shotgun, but don't expect it to pull double duty as a defensive shotgun; you may want a 1911 style pistol over a Glock, but recognize that there is a large tradeoff in magazine capacity and there may be other issues that make a Glock a better weapon for your "go-to" weapon.

                                                              Point 3: Identify the purpose, or purposes for the weapon. Basically, this is the answer to the question, "Why are you getting that gun?" There may be more than one reason, and you may need to give different weight to different reasons. For instance, you want a rifle that can serve as both a hunting rifle and defensive rifle. However, you should also decide which is more important to you. If you live in a rural location with abundant game, few neighbors, and lots of open terrain, hunting may be a higher priority than someone in an urban or suburban setting where the "hunting" use is really more wishful thinking than realistic.

                                                              Point 4: Can the weapon actually fulfill the purpose. I have this as a separate category because it deserves a separate emphasis. Sometimes you may not know until after you get the weapon and try it in its intended role. If you want a weapons providing long distance accuracy, can this weapon actually do it? It is too heavy or unwieldy for its intended role? Is it going to be durable or reliable enough for what you need? Are there other features that just won't work?

                                                              Point 5: Weight. I put this into a separate category as well. Never underestimate the importance of the weight of a weapon in selecting one--particularly a concealed handgun or a weapon (such as a hunting rifle) that you will be carrying around for a long period of time when you do use it. In [other] words, don't expect that you will be able or willing to lug a bench-rest rifle up and down hills looking for game, or keep a 6 inch barrel  .44 Magnum on your hip all day long.

                                                               Point 6: Personal limitations. This includes not only whether you can physically operate or carry the weapon, but any other mental, habitual, or emotional issues. The main example I like to use for this category is whether you will frequently clean and check your weapon, switching magazines regularly to not set the springs; or you are the type to throw it in a drawer and forget about it until you need it. If you clean weapons infrequently, you will want to emphasize reliability and durability over other features. In terms of a handgun--particularly one that is carried a lot--this may be the difference between choosing a revolver over a semi-automatic. For defensive rifles, this may be the determining factor between getting an AK over an AR.

                                                              Point 7: Other limitations and factors. This is sort of a catch all, but primarily encompasses the legal and financial considerations for buying a weapon. First, the financial. I figure that, on average, you should plan on spending at least the same amount as the cost of your weapon on needed accessories--scopes, holsters, extra magazines, slings, cleaning supplies, etc. This is not a cut-and-dried rule, and the actual cost may vary, but seems to work as a good guideline for most defensive weapons. Its usefulness is helping to realistically budget for your purchase. Again, this is a time to be honest with yourself. If you can't afford the weapon, don't get it; or reevaluate and see if there is a less expensive alternative. Besides your day-to-day expenses and bills, don't neglect other preparations (particularly food storage) in favor of building an "arsenal." As the Bible teaches, all things in moderation.

                                                              Legal is just simply whether there are legal considerations. Obviously, there are the restrictions due to the National Firearms Act (NFA) on automatic weapons, short-barreled weapons, and so on, which make such weapons cost-prohibitive to most people. Some jurisdictions may require special licenses and permits for some or all types of weapons; others may restrict certain features or types of firearms. For instance, if you live in a jurisdiction that restricts or prohibits handguns, you may need to focus on a long-arm (such as shotgun) as an alternative. If you live in a state that restricts or prohibits semi-automatic rifles, you may need to consider alternatives such as a lever-action rifle or carbine. (For instance, the restrictions in California appear to be leading to some new thinking on the use of lever-action rifles in combat).

                                                              Point 8: Availability of Parts and Accessories. While this may not be as much an issue for the collector or hunter, for someone using firearms for survival or self-defense, how common parts and accessories are for your weapon is extremely important. If nothing else, you need to be able to get spare magazines for your pistol or rifle; and you need a good holster for your handgun.  As a general rule, for survival or prepping, try to select weapons that are common and popular or use commonly available magazines and accessories.

                                                              Friday, November 16, 2018

                                                              The Dysfunctional States of America

                                                              Not talking about states in the good ol' USA, although there are plenty of those, but certain nation-states in the Americas.

                                                                      Topping the list, of course, is Venezuela, a country that has embraced the halcyon days of Communism and, of course, paid a horrible price. People starving, a dysfunctional economy and endemic corruption, hospitals without power or medicine, large masses of people fleeing the country ... a real Communist utopia. Now we can add to that a guerrilla insurgency. Colombia’s National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN) is reported to be present in half of Venezuela. There is a certain irony to this as the ELN is, itself, a Marxist group. The left eating itself, I suppose.

                                                                      In any event, the article reports that "[b]ased on the information InSight Crime gathered, the ELN could have a presence in the states of Táchira, Zulia, Apure, Trujillo, Anzoátegui, Lara Falcón, Amazonas, Barinas, Portuguesa, Guárico and Bolívar." Also, being good Marxists, the group "allegedly engages in include cattle smuggling, gasoline smuggling, extortion, food distribution, radio stations, recruitment of minors, attacks on security officials, drug trafficking and illegal mining." So, basically your standard leftist government.

                                                                    According to the article, Venezuela (under Maduro) may have actually allowed or encouraged the ELN to enter and operate inside Venezuela in order to give it safe haven from Columbian troops. Maduro may have even acceded to the ELN becoming a de facto government in some regions. Maduro may have let the camel poke to far into the tent. The article also notes that "ELN units have managed to advance nearly 1,500 kilometers from the Colombian border with Venezuela’s Táchira state, where the group has historically entered the country, to states that border Guyana and Brazil, such as Bolívar and Amazonas, and to coastal states like Anzoátegui and Falcón." That is far beyond what the ELN would need as a haven from Columbian forces and suggests that the group may have territorial ambitions within Venezuela.

                                                              QOTD: A Succinct Summary of Leftism

                                                              "The [Khmer Rouge] regime was an ultra-communist autocracy that sought to transform Cambodia into an agrarian utopia. Their plan failed entirely and resulted in the deaths of at least 1.7 million people, who died of starvation and sickness or were murdered."

                                                                        --from "Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia: Did justice take too long?"--Deutsche Welle.

                                                              November 16, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                              This video is a continuation of Lucky Gunner's series on using mouse guns for self-defense. The point of this video has to do with reliability in functioning--loading and discharging--rather than whether it can reliably stop an attacker. I suspect that anyone who has shot a number of different .22 weapons is aware that some weapons can be finicky about what they like, so test your ammo with your particular firearm. .22 LR, as a rimfire, is also more likely to produce duds that simply won't fire. The question is how big of a problem is that. The author abuses some Blaser .22 ammunition, but found no failures when he tested it. And while I would normally agree that modern .22 ammunition has reliable ignition, I also just recently had a box of .22 that was giving me multiple duds per magazine, sometimes two or three in a row (and yes, I tried some of the ammunition in different firearms and it was truly non-functioning). 

                                                                     Here in the Midwest, a “ranch rifle” can be something like the Ruger® Mini-14™, the M1 Carbine, a quality AK, an AR-15 or a manual repeater.  Most of these guns will do the job at 200 yards or more.  We don’t have the same vast, wide open flat spaces that one finds in the West or in the Southwest where the intermediate rounds run out of gas.  Midwest farmers and ranchers don’t encounter heavily armed members of drug cartels crossing through their fields to ply their trade.  For those living in the Southwest Border States, a ranch rifle with a bit more power and range might be in order. One rifle up to the task is the M1 Garand.
                                                                       For those of you not familiar with this amazing rifle, it was our primary battle rifle during the Second World War and the Korean War.  General George S. Patton called the M1 rifle the “greatest battle implement ever devised.”  The M1 held eight rounds of potent .30-06 ammunition in the “En-bloc” loading system vs. the five round capacity of the bolt action rifles used by Germany and Japan.  The M1 could dominate threats out to 400 yards or more in skilled hands.  The M1 Garand dominated the battlefield until our forces started facing mass suicide charges during the Korean War.  The eight round capacity just wasn’t enough, which is why the U.S. military adopted the twenty round capacity M14 in the 7.62x51mm cartridge in 1957.
                                                                        So, why I am suggesting that the M1 is still good to ride the range with?  There are several reasons. First, it is available and affordable. The Civilian Marksmanship program has M1’s available and used M1’s can regularly be found on gun dealer shelves.
                                                                          Second, the M1 will stand up to abuse (and dirt and dust) that might stop an AR from working. The design simply makes the gun more reliable, even if neglected.
                                                                            Third, the Garand is quick to reload. It can be kept in “Condition Three” – empty chamber, seven rounds in the magazine and the safety off.  To bring a Condition Three M1 into action, pull back the charging handle to chamber a round and let go.  It’s immediately ready to fire.
                                                                               Fourth, the .30-06 cartridge blows away the intermediate cartridge competition. At 400 yards, the .30-06 has more kinetic energy than the 5.56mm round has at the muzzle.  Plain ball will fulfill most Southwestern ranch rifle missions, (there are good expanding rounds available too) and the M1’s semi-automatic action and ten pound weight tames the recoil of the mighty .30-06, making it a pleasure to shoot.
                                                                          I would add that because of the numbers made and its continued popularity, there are still plenty of parts available, whether surplus or newly manufactured, including barrels and stocks.
                                                                          • Joseph Tainter's book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, is probably one of the most important books you can read and study about how and why nation-states can and do collapse. While it is not a complete answer, in my opinion, it definitely fills a huge gap that is not covered by other well known researchers on this issue. I posted a lengthy 6-part review of Tainter's book ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6). But if you don't want that long of an explanation, Anatoly Karlin has posted a shorter, but still excellent review over at the Unz Review. Or, if you want to read the whole book, this link has links to free downloadable versions of the book.
                                                                          Using powdered milk to produce your own  sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and buttermilk (with other ingredients).
                                                                          History gives us few examples of successful peaceful secessions. In the ones we do have, national identity rather than ideological differences seem to be at the root of the fissure. (The Confederate States of America would have been a notable anomaly.) When states split in the 20th century, the Australia-based scholars Peter Radan and Aleksandar Pavkovic have pointed out, there were always deep underlying fault lines of language, religion, or ethnicity. None of the three multinational states created between the two world wars — the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, or Czechoslovakia — survived until the end of the 20th century.
                                                                          I can guarantee that, ultimately, at the root of fissure in the United States will be issues of national identity: MAGA vs. Refugees Welcome.
                                                                          • "We Were Made for Civil War"--Michael Vlahos at The American Conservative. A look back at past civil disturbances and insurrection, and what may be coming. An excerpt:
                                                                                     Ruling elites famously overthrown by history—like the Ancien Régime in France, Czarist Russia, and even the Antebellum South—were fated by their insatiable selfishness, their impenetrable arrogance, and their sneering aloofness from the despised people—“the deplorables”—upon whom their own economic status feasted.
                                                                                        Today’s Blue elite represents the greatest concentration of wealth and power in the United States. Moreover, such wealth is scattered across a mosaic of pristine, manicured, gated communities physically and socially divorced from the realities of normal American life—glittering bubbles of sovereign privilege. This is the very oligarchy Founders like John Adams so feared. While both Red and Blue elites represent themselves as the people’s champion, Blue’s protests ring the most false.
                                                                                        America is divided today not by customary tussles in party politics, but rather by passionate, existential, and irreconcilable opposition. Furthermore, the onset of battle is driven yet more urgently by the “intersection” of a culturally embedded kinship divide moving—however haphazardly—to join up with an elite-people divide.
                                                                                          Tragically, our divide may no longer be an outcome that people of goodwill work to overcome. Schism—with our nation in an ideological Iron Maiden—will soon force us all to submit, and choose.  
                                                                                            Members of a migrant caravan currently in Mexico clashed with residents in Tijuana on Thursday night after residents demanded that the migrants leave public spaces and report to shelters.
                                                                                              USA Today reports that Tijuana police were forced to separate groups of migrants and local residents, who were marching through city streets demanding police action, according to the newspaper.
                                                                                               At least 750 migrants from a thousands-strong caravan of Central American migrants bound for a U.S. port of entry are currently in Tijuana as groups of families from the caravan break off over issues of security and qualms about the caravan's slow pace through Mexico.
                                                                                                Local officials called on migrants to obey local laws and regulations, adding that they could only provide assistance to the caravan if members followed guidelines.
                                                                                                  “The message to the migrant population is very clear,” Francisco Rueda Gómez, secretary of government of Baja California, said in a statement according to USA Today. “We are providing them with humanitarian support, health care and food, however the need to take into consideration the rules of the shelters so they can coexist in harmony with the local population.”
                                                                                                     At least three journalists were injured in fistfights and other violence after midnight, according to the newspaper, which occurred after residents gathered to demand the migrants vacate a public beach.
                                                                                                        Some members of the caravan likened local shelters to prisons, explaining that it was more comfortable for them to avoid the shelters entirely.
                                                                                                          “For this reason — because this is oppression — we prefer to be in the streets, in the cold, rather than in a jail,” immigrant activist Irineo Mujica, who is working with the caravan, told the newspaper.
                                                                                                  • More election recount news:
                                                                                                             A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. "For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year," wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539." Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.
                                                                                                              Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a puzzle. Now, an ultraprecise analysis of ice from a Swiss glacier by a team led by McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine (UM) in Orono has fingered a culprit. At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining, as the team reports in Antiquity this week.

                                                                                                      Thursday, November 15, 2018

                                                                                                      November 15, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                                                                      "Vietnam M16A1 vs Modern AR-15"--Garand Thumb (28 min.)
                                                                                                      Short story: there was little difference in times for different drills between the weapons. The M16 did slightly better at longer range shots than the AR with a red dot; the AR with a shorter barrel was faster for working around a barrier than the 20-inch M16.

                                                                                                      • John Wilder is writing a series of story vignettes and articles on survival after a significant EMP attack on the United States. The stories follow (so far) the protagonist's attempts to get back to his home after an EMP attack, and what he finds when he gets to his home town. Each story illustrates certain concepts or problems which are then further touched upon in the discussion section. His latest post (part 10) is here, while the first post is here. Check it out.
                                                                                                      • One of the most popular articles I've posted was one on upgrading an old Marlin 60 .22 rifle. I had an old rifle that had problems with feeding due to a flaw in the design of the two-piece design of the old feed throat that allowed a gap to open up in the feed ramp, but a newer design of the feed throat eliminated those flaws. There were some design changes that didn't allow for an easy swap of a new feed throat for the old design, but I figured out a method and posted it. When I did some research on the history of the Marlin 60, I learned that even though there is little written or said about this gun, it was actually the best selling .22 rifle in history. I think that the rifle has a lot to offer the prepper and may be a better choice than the Ruger 10/22 in many cases. While older rifles lacked a last shot bolt hold open, newer rifles have this feature. And it uses a tube magazine under the barrel. This not only makes it handy and less likely to snag than other rifles using a protruding box magazine, it also means that you do not have to worry about getting other magazines or losing the ones you have. While this would be a disadvantage to a fighting rifle, a .22 is not a fighting rifle. In any event, I was pleased to learn that Tin Can Bandit has produced a series of articles on the Model 60's history and some different ways to upgrade or customize the rifle:
                                                                                                      He is also documenting his modifications to his own rifle by adding a pistol grip and making some other improvements to the stock:
                                                                                                      For the vast majority of non-uniformed personnel, off duty or CCW personnel, it is a silly statement that should be forgotten.  Not only will the fight be over (perhaps with you dead) by the time you go and get a rifle, but the mind set places you in defensive retreating mode from the outset.  Not only this, but if you are a CCW, non-uniformed shooter, the visual impact of a rifle may well get you misidentified by responding police officers.
                                                                                                      • "Pictures: 300 Blackout in a 5,56 Barrel 16″"--The Firearm Blog. Amazingly, the bullet had almost escaped the end of the barrel before the weapon blew up. Great photograph showing a cut-away of the barrel showing where the bullet stopped, as well as other photos of the catastrophic failure of this particular weapon. Although I use distinctive magazines between my 5.56 and .300 Blackout, I also make it a point to never take both on the same shooting trip.
                                                                                                      • "Gabe White…KING of the kydex SLAP!"--Civilian Defender. This article is mostly a review of White's class, but the author includes some tips that he picked up, including the following:
                                                                                                      Gabe ... told me that if I could speed up my draw, and get to the gun quicker, I would knock a good chunk of time off of my presentation.  The exercise he showed me to get up to speed was to start from the ready position of my choice, and then swat my hand to the gun, quickly, like a karate chop (remember the audible SLAP when Gabe gets his hand to the gun?) and then acquire the firing grip.  He had my try this several times, without drawing, and just quickly slapping my hand to the holstered pistol.  After about the fifth time, he said, “NOW GET TO THE GUN THAT FAST.”  I did, and HOLY SMOKES, it worked!  I immediately saw an appreciable increase in my presentation/time to first shot.

                                                                                                      • Believe all women: "How a selfie saved a Texas man from 99 years in prison"--4WWL. Short story: crazy ex-girlfriend cut an X in her skin and then claimed that the accused had done it ... but, fortunately, he had taken a selfie of himself and his mother at the time he supposedly attacked the crazy ex-girlfriend. Nevertheless, he was arrested simply on the ex's say so.
                                                                                                      • You have been disenfranchised: "HOW MANY NON-CITIZENS VOTE IN U.S. ELECTIONS?"--Powerline. The author takes a look back at a 2014 study, that determined that "this participation [by non-citizens] has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congressional elections. Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress." The study's author also concluded that voter ID laws would do little to change this type of voter fraud.
                                                                                                      • Related: "Will Trump be the Last Republican President?"--American Thinker. The author believes "yes," because there are no prominent Republicans with the appeal to voters that Trump has, and the fact that demographics will flip Florida and Texas blue, and probably other states, too. Not just foreign immigration, but emigration from California to other states. Trump may be able to pull off a second term, but there is little hope of a conservative winning the presidential election after that.
                                                                                                               More than a dozen members of the migrant caravan were arrested Wednesday night along U.S.-Tijuana border, a border patrol source in the San Diego sector told Fox News.
                                                                                                                A small group was arrested near the beach in an area called Playas de Tijuana. A large group was arrested in the mountains east of Otay Mesa, a San Diego community that straddles the Mexican border, the source said. All were arrested for trying to cross the border illegally, the source said.
                                                                                                                  Separately, a fight broke out Wednesday night in Tijuana between local Mexicans and Hondurans arriving in the caravan. The migrants complained that the locals were yelling: “Go home. We don’t want you here!” Members of the caravan complained to reporters that local police made no attempt to break up the fight.
                                                                                                            Two more caravans are on their way: another from Honduras and the third from El Salvador.
                                                                                                            In total, Facebook managed to string together 67 unchallenged acquisitions, which seems impressive, unless you consider that Amazon undertook 91 and Google got away with 214 (a few of which were conditioned). In this way, the tech industry became essentially composed of just a few giant trusts: Google for search and related industries, Facebook for social media, Amazon for online commerce. While competitors remained in the wings, their positions became marginalized with every passing day.
                                                                                                            (H/t Anonymous Conservative).
                                                                                                                    Fed up families left furious by police have set up a 400-strong vigilante group as they vow to keep their community safe following a spate of violent attacks.
                                                                                                                     Formed on social media just three weeks ago, community watchdog group 'We Stand Determined' are working together to report danger to residents across Birmingham.
                                                                                                                      At first, the group attempted to get more police officers in the area through petitioning local authorities.
                                                                                                                       But when that failed, the group decided to take action themselves, becoming another of a rising trend of community action groups hoping to fight back against criminals.   
                                                                                                                            Organisers Wayne, Tracy and Michael founded the group after discovering a friend had been attacked in his home in Birmingham by thieves armed with hammers. They now organise twice-weekly patrols across the city.
                                                                                                                      One might have thought that the British could have arrested the collapse when it left nothing but the original British people, but I think that they are so mired in the trees that they can't see the forest. They are being invaded by hostile peoples and the government is no longer able to protect the natives from the predations from these invaders.
                                                                                                                                 Just 29% of the French are willing to fight for their country, according to a 2017 WIN/Gallup poll, a bit above Germany's 18%. Contrast that to 84% of Israel's Jewish population. That's "patriotism" or "nationalism," as you prefer. All Europeans want is an untroubled journey to extinction. As it happens, there is a reasonably tight statistical relationship between the total fertility rate and readiness to defend one's country. In the case of France, I used the estimated fertility rate for women born in France (migrants push up the total).
                                                                                                                                Why should any European lay down his life for the welfare of future generations, when there aren't going to be any future generations? Europe's nationalism, as I argued in my 2011 book How Civilizations Die and in the appended essay on the First World War, was a form of national idolatry. Each of the major European nations worshipped at its own altar, and held itself to be a superior culture, a superior civilization, a new Roman Empire, or a new "chosen people," entitled to dominate its neighbors. French grandeur, German Kultur, and Russian messianism fought each other to the death twice in the 20th Century. If you worship yourself, you become the God that failed. Europe wallows in its own pessimism and self-disgust.

                                                                                                                          Wednesday, November 14, 2018

                                                                                                                          November 14, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

                                                                                                                          • Be sure to check out this week's Woodpile Report and Grant Cunningham's Hump Day Reading List.
                                                                                                                          • A reminder that police generally don't distinguish between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy: "Police Fatally Shoot Black Security Guard Who Detained Shooting Suspect"--NPR. Police claim that the security guard was in nondescript clothing. Witnesses say that he had a vest and hat both clearly marked "security," and that people on the scene were attempting to tell the police that he was a security guard. 
                                                                                                                          • "Basics Of Buying A Tourniquet"--LDS Gunsite. Tips on selecting and using a tourniquet.
                                                                                                                          • "After NRA Mocks Doctors, Physicians Reply: 'This Is Our Lane'"--NPR. Doctors are some of the most privileged people in America, and it shows. In this case, when the NRA questioned the Annals of Internal Medicine for apparently devoting a special issue to gun control, a bunch of doctors published pictures of themselves covered with blood, supposedly from shooting victims, essentially stating that because they treated shooting victims they had the necessary knowledge to advocate for gun control. How about the janitor that mops up the blood? Surely he, too, is as much an expert under this logic as the doctors.
                                                                                                                                   Strangely, none of the pictures revealed the race of the victims which they were treating, which is also relevant to the gun control issue--after all, most of the nation's gun violence involves inner-city gangs. But the most scathing critique I've seen is from Victory Girls Blog, which describes the doctors' actions as the "Gun Grabber Blood Dance," and wonders why these doctors are taking photographs of themselves drenched in blood rather than doing something to save their patients.
                                                                                                                          • The Firearms Dealer and Manufacturer Protection Act: "Goodbye AR Builds, Hello H.R. 7115: Nationwide Proposed Ban in the Works"--The Truth About Guns. Democrats have introduced a bill (full text here) which express aim is "[t]o prohibit the sale, acquisition, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes." This bill is aimed at the 80% receivers (AR, Glock, and receiver flats for various firearms), and the parts kits that have been the primary driver of the AK builds. Under the proposed bill, someone making a firearm must first obtain a unique serial number from a licensed firearms dealer. It reminds me of the 1968 firearms act, which won the support of manufacturers because it closed off the importation of surplus military rifles and handguns (which was undercutting sales of domestic firearms) and the support of dealers because it eliminated sales via mail.
                                                                                                                                   Amusingly the proposed bill defines an assault weapons parts kit as "any part or combination of parts designed and intended to enable a consumer who possesses all such necessary parts to assemble a semiautomatic assault weapon." Since parts kits do not include the receiver, generally do not include the barrel, and often do not include other necessary parts, I have to wonder if this definition would extend to what are commonly termed "parts kits."

                                                                                                                          Debt, shoddy workmanship, and lack of tenants.

                                                                                                                          Traditional models claim that the force of gravity may be solely responsible for the formation of stars and star clusters. More recent observations suggest that magnetic fields, turbulence, or both are also involved and may even dominate the creation process.
                                                                                                                          Let that sink in. The article is asserting that stellar accretion is partly, and possibly mostly, due to electromagnetic forces rather than gravity. Magnetism and attraction between charged particles is far more powerful than gravity, so the speed that accretion occurs may need to be re-evaluated. 
                                                                                                                                  Rocket Lab's Electron rocket launched six small satellites -- or smallsats -- into a low-Earth orbit Sunday from New Zealand. It's the second time company's rocket, which is less than 60 feet tall, has done that.
                                                                                                                                    Rocket Lab's rivals have not yet pulled off an orbital launch, which means it is at the front of an increasingly crowded pack of rocket startups that want to launch smallsats for businesses and researchers.
                                                                                                                                     It is also worth recalling that Germany’s imperial ambitions were not limited to Europe; Germany was interested, too, in fomenting war in North America—against the U.S.A. The so-called Zimmermann Telegram was sent by the German foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann, in January 1917 to the German ambassador to Mexico; the goal was to entice Mexico into declaring war on the United States.  
                                                                                                                                      Of course, the idea of Mexico militarily attacking the U.S. might have been a crazy fantasy, and yet it speaks volumes about the mindset of the Kaiser’s regime. ...
                                                                                                                                Yet as I've noted before, "[t]he Zimmerman Telegram was so decisive in pushing the United States into World War I because it followed on the heels of armed attacks from Mexico and [a] plot to encourage an insurrection among Latinos in Texas and the American South West. It wasn't viewed [by Americans] as delusional or wishful thinking on the part of Germany, but a real and possible threat." (See also here).
                                                                                                                                • "The Guns of November"--PJ Media. Michael Walsh looks at World War I and terms it "the greatest calamity in the history of Western civilization, a fratricidal conflict that made the American Civil War look like a mere warm-up for the Armageddon to come." Of course, the armistice in 1918 did not end the conflict. Sure, hostilities ended on the Western and Italian fronts, but there still was the bloody Russian civil war playing out, which when done, would then see Soviet forces invade Ukraine and Poland, whilst other conflicts played out between different ethnic groups seeking self-determination. But, perhaps, more importantly, it left unresolved the great power conflict between Germany, France and the UK, yet introduced a cultural nihilism that underpins the powerful leftist forces that have swept through the West.  Walsh concludes:
                                                                                                                                         In sum, the war to end all war itself has not yet ended, and perhaps never will. That it was the wrong war to fight, and fought at the wrong time, is in retrospect clear. A strong Europe consisting of loosely allied but independent nation-states -- the original, professed ideal of the European Union, but since drastically perverted -- would have been vastly preferable to the destruction and chaos that followed. Instead, it fell to America to tilt the balance of power in 1918, then refight the war in 1941, and finally administer the nearest thing to a global peace the Western world had seen since the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
                                                                                                                                          How long that peace will last is anybody's guess. For the sad truth of human history is that peace is the aberration and war the natural state of mankind. Earlier cultures found glory in it, but as the boys from the English Midlands and the American Midwest discovered in the trenches, modern war brings only horror. And yet we drift, refusing to learn from the past while imagining a feminized future in which conflict can be talked out and territorial matters can be postponed, if not actually settled, by endless negotiation. Striped pants and diplomatic briefs can keep the world in balance, or so we -- like our forbears in 1914 -- believe.
                                                                                                                                            And then Gavrilo Princip steps toward the Archduke's open car and, in the name of something of other, opens fire.