Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

The week-by-week reporting of WWI wraps up in this video (although there will be some additional videos in coming weeks). Germany, facing significant and widespread communist uprisings and possible civil war, its fronts collapsing, is forced to sign an armistice. This was a great series on the war, so if you haven't watched it, I would encourage you to do so. You can watch week-by-week episodes, or specials that discuss particular topics or persons in greater detail. And if you like this stuff, the host and primary researcher, Indy Neidell, has recently started a week-by-week series on World War II.

  • Reports now state that 25 are confirmed dead and 110 mission missing in the California wild fires.
  • "HTs and Cars"--Sparks31. The author discusses some of the problems with using a hand-held transceiver in a vehicle. But some models have a simple solution to making them more useful, which he discusses--connecting them to external antennas mounted on the vehicle.
  • "Secret Life of a Leftist Doomsday Prepper"--Narratively. An article about a lesbian, blue-haired cat-lady, trigglypuff-like leftist activist who is also into prepping. It is a long article, but gives an idea of what you may face if you stay in an urban area. The author indicates that she has had a long interest in prepping for natural disasters, but after becoming involved in the Occupy Oakland "rallies" in 2011, where she started helping as an ad hoc medic, she has since expanded her protest-medic skills and kit, and began to realize that she needed to prepare for civil unrest. This apparently intensified after President Trump's election and a long night of muskrat love. 
      She is not alone: 
While MAGA-hat wearers believe strongly that leftists and liberals are weak and ineffective in a survival scenario, I discovered that many of us already engage in activities that could be useful in an apocalypse. Knowing how to sew and mend clothes, reuse trash in creative ways, and fix machinery were all things I found among my artsy friends, for example. My witchy friends knew a lot about herbs and urban foraging. And a surprising amount of my Burning Man community not only knew a lot about filtering and recycling water or using alternative energy but also seemed to own and use guns, contrary to the belief I heard on conservative Twitter that a lack of weapons would be the left’s downfall.
And she has built a tribe of like-minded leftist preppers. She concludes her article:
While the prepper movement may seem very right wing on the internet, offline I’ve found a vibrant survivalist society that is adaptable and stronger than they get credit for. Being a leftist prepper is less rare than I expected. We just don’t talk about it as much on the internet. Which, if you’re concerned that people are going to raid your compound for supplies, is probably sensible when you think about it! I also realized that the prepping I uncovered in my communities was less about individual survival and more about creating an alternative infrastructure, since the ones in place are already failing our marginalized friends and family, even without a disaster looming. Mutual aid is the core of our organizing, instead of pure self-preservation. Knowing this, I’m confident that we will not only survive, but heal, rebuild and thrive.
        Take Jim Greer, an IT worker from Rockingham, Western Australia, who expects the world to fall apart sometime soon. He is not sure exactly when but he has an eight-tonne truck ready to go at a moment’s notice.
           “If something happens, I think there will be far too many people standing around with their jaws on the ground,” he says.
              As a child, Greer learned to tie clove hitches and reef knots with the Scouts; as an adult he served in the navy. The motto Be Prepared is in his blood and he has been gathering survivalist skills for many years.
                To better understand how to live off the land, he spent time with Aboriginal people who live traditionally. The Anangu Luritja people of central Australia taught him how to make weapons and hunt, and Greer can now make an Indigenous-style traditional spear.
                  And, in his travels, Greer has found the holy grail of prepping: a “bug out” location that can sustain him when TSHTF – prepper lingo for when the shit hits the fan – complete with a 10,000 year-old stream.
                    “Even if there was nuclear radiation, the spring is underground and would still be safe,” he says. “There is also plenty of wildlife that would hang around it and provide food.
                      “I could effectively just walk out to the bush and be OK. I can build a house from the ground up. I can do my own mechanics. I can cook and clean. I have trained myself to be able to cope with almost anything.”
                        Greer has a palpable certainty that some kind of shit is going to hit some kind of fan and he believes his prepping is a commonsense reaction to that. He believes the threats could come from AI (artificial intelligence), economic collapse, an atomic bomb or even an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) – and the resulting chaos will see him hit the road to get out of the city.
                          “The truck holds enough fuel that I could get 1,200km away,” he says. “I have a handful of friends that have also been prepping for a while and they know exactly where I am going.”
                  • "The Myth of the Deadly Groin Attack"--Self Defense Tutorials. The article and embedded video discuss how the effectiveness of groin attacks are largely exaggerated. This is a topic I've written about before. There are various reasons that it is not as effective as often taught, part of which is that boys quickly learn to protect their groin due to numerous schoolyard pranks and scuffles, and it is something that lasts with men throughout their lives. In addition, men do not react equally to the pain, and some will just be able to fight through it. And while the effectiveness of a groin strike against men is often overstated, the effectiveness of a groin strike (particularly a solid kick) against women is understated, overlooked, or ignored.

                  "The Mini-14: A Cost-Effective Scaled-Down M14"--Forgotten Weapons (15 min.)
                  Ian takes a break from rare or obscure firearms to focus on something more common--the classic Mini-14. More specifically, he discusses and demonstrates the design and manufacturing differences used by Ruger to simplify the M-14 design and make it more economical to manufacture, including simplifying the gas system (he describes the gas system as a hybrid direct impingement), bolt hold-open, sights, and so on, as well as using cast parts to reduce machining costs.
                          Most Western leaders are in France today to celebrate the end of World War I--"the Great War" or "War to End All Wars". French President Macron "used the occasion, as its host, to sound a powerful and sobering warning about the fragility of peace and the dangers of nationalism and of nations that put themselves first, above the collective good." He went on to assert that "[p]atriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism."
                          I suppose Macron could be an idiot, and save myself the trouble of typing this, but I am assured that he is both intelligent and well educated. Thus, it is interesting that Macron would try to link "nationalism" to a war between transnational states--Great Britain (an empire and colonial empire), France (a colonial empire), Russia (an empire), Germany (a very young "nation" at that time, and a colonial empire), Austria-Hungary (an empire), the Ottoman Empire (an empire) and Italy (a weak colonial empire). The war spread as quickly as it did because of a complex series of international alliances and treaties obligating mutual defense and aid. Many of the troops involved in the war, particularly Britain, France, and Germany, may have been motivated by patriotism inspired by nationalism, but the purpose of the war was not to advance nationalism, nor was the war the result of nationalism. The Central Powers were forced to surrender, in large part, because their subject peoples began to assert their nationalism.
                         Macron may have been hearkening back to World War II, but even that was not a war solely, or even mostly, motivated by nationalism. Yes, Germany wanted to regain territory lost to it after World War I, but Britain and France declared war on Germany as a consequence of a treaty with Poland. Would Germany have engaged in hostilities against Britain and France absent their declaration of war? Perhaps, but unlikely since the Soviet Union was Hitler's ultimate target. Similarly, the Soviet Union's invasion and occupation of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland were part of its goal to spread international communism and, some have argued, to prepare for an invasion of Germany. Nationalism might have been used to motivate troops and the populace, but it was not a cause of World War II.
                         Macron's statements, however, are typical of our elites as they face an increasing number of constituents that like their respective countries as they are--thank you very much--and don't understand why they must give up their cultures and be replaced by masses of people from countries that don't understand the terms "democracy," "rule of law," or "hygiene," let alone practice any of them. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned observes that "[w]e’re pretty clearly in the middle of a global nationalist populist backlash against transnationalism," and it has the elites pretty pissed off. They believe that "[p]opulists are on the dark side of history". Sebastian goes on:
                            All this nationalist populism is extremely threatening to the people who are arranging transnational institutions to benefit themselves. Everything you’ve been seeing in the gun issue lately fits that. Google censoring pro-gun views? Facebook doing the same? Big transnational companies like Levi’s donating large amounts to gun control? Financial institutions refusing to do business with gun makers, the NRA, etc? NRA not being able to obtain basic business insurance? That’s all been the people who control these transnational institutions attempting to put the brakes on populist sentiment using the institutional power they maintain control over. ...
                             Very little is more threatening to an established order than the idea that they might be the targets of an armed revolt. Despite what many people think, it’s not because transnational elites want to kill you. Few of them are potential mass murderers, and most of them really do believe the order they are establishing is kind, civilized, and will benefit humanity. In fact, mass murderers have more often been from populist movements. Nazism and Bolshevism were not movements of elites. What transnational elites want to maintain first and foremost is the acceptance and respect of other transnational elites who are like themselves.
                               In most countries, the established order can keep their thumb on the peasantry to maintain an order to their liking and still maintain respectability. In the democratic countries of Europe, ordinary people can still complain, and still participate in their democratic institutions, but they can’t complain that much. In authoritarian states like China and Russia, ordinary people can’t complain in any meaningful way at all. While China might be fairly concerned with respectability, Russia is not really at all.
                                  It’s a different story here. Our peasantry can complain: with guns and bullets. It’s almost happened a few times recently in the US, so this isn’t some abstract possibility, only applicable in theory. We’ve seen it. And the people who did it are, for the most part, still alive and not in prison [e.g., Clive Bundy]. Some people will argue this is a bug. I think it’s a feature. It’s a feature because while I believe in democratic institutions, I don’t worship at the altar of majority rule. We’ve seen that democratic institutions can be coopted. We’ve seen it’s possible for an indifferent and entitlted majority to ignore minority interests completely.
                                    Whether some want to admit it or not, having an armed population is a significant check for minorities against the depredations of the majority. I’m not speaking only of racial or religious minorities necessarily here, though it’s true for them too. It goes back to the old quote from Al Capone: “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” To the kind of people arranging the transnational order, this is the Worst Thing Ever. Not necessarily because it threatens their power in the immediate, but because it threatens their respectability with other people like them.
                              This is what I don’t understand: Arizona’s solidly conservative governor, Doug Ducey, was re-elected with a 323,000-vote margin, 57%-43%. This means that hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who voted for Ducey must have crossed over to vote for the hippy-dippy leftist who hates Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema. How is this possible?

                              No comments:

                              Post a Comment