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.

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