Friday, November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

"Why The South Atlantic Anomaly Is There"--Suspicious Observers (3 min.)
Because it is opposite of where the magnetic poles are moving.

  • TGIF: Greg Ellifritz's Weekend Knowledge Dump for this week.
  • "ATF Suffers Rare Court Loss in Ohio Unregistered ‘Short Barrel Rifle’ Prosecution"--The Truth About Guns. Some of you may have seen reports earlier this week suggesting that the BATF was reversing its stance on arm braces attached to pistols. TTAG looked into the issue and found that the truth was very different from what was being reported. First, there is no change from the BATF as to arm braces. Second, the BATF and federal prosecutors got slapped down by a jury over claims that a gun owner had exceeded some new requirement of a minimum length of pull for pistols where no such requirement has ever been publicly announced by the BATF (and the length of pull fell within the supposed limit). Third, the reason that the BATF determination letters were sealed was to protect proprietary information referenced in those determination letters.
  • Fake News: "Half as many US children are killed by firearms in states where laws are stricter, study finds"--Daily Mail. The study split the country into different regions--the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the West--and determined that children were more likely to be killed by firearms in the Midwest and South than in the Northeast and West. The Western states which the study authors claim had stricter gun laws include states such as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada--states that are known as having few restrictions on the ownership and possession of firearms. Conversely, Illinois is included among Midwest states with lenient gun laws. Since "children" includes teens, I would suggest that the actual discrepancies are caused not by accidental deaths, as the authors imply, but the high murder rates among blacks and Hispanics.
  • "Desiccants: An Overlooked Prep"--Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You. This is a detailed look at different types of desiccants and how they can be used to protect food and equipment from corrosion or decay caused by moisture.
  • "Military Training Not Always Ideal For Civilians"--Schafer's Self-Defense Corner. The author explains:
        Something that I learned a long time ago was that when you teach the military it is a little different then teaching civilians. With the military you have to look at their rules of engagement and plan your curriculum around that; you also have to look at the group’s specific mission and modify your curriculum to that too. I can teach a civilian anything I want but if I teach a room full of military police officers or infantrymen I have to be kind of choosy.
            It didn’t dawn on my until a few years ago but the same is true in reverse. You could get a notice that “Mr. X” is coming to town to do a seminar and he is a former Navy SEAL with 146 combat missions under his belt and you get really excited since a guy like that must know some great stuff. It’s true that our fictional “Mr. X” probably knows some great stuff but you also have to take into consideration that he was trained by the military for military purposes. His training is molded to his unique rules of engagement and his unit’s unique mission.
             In other words, while he can teach some great stuff it may not be the best information for the average civilian. It could even get the average civilian killed in the right situation.
        Read the whole thing.
        • "The NRA helped this Boy Scout learn to shoot a gun, but it's time for a friendly divorce."--USA Today. Keep in mind that the author is a professor at UC Davis, one of the most liberal colleges in the United States. His complaint is that the Boy Scouts make too much use of the NRA when it comes to teaching firearms safety, and implies that this allows the NRA to teach its political positions to the Scouts. While I agree that the BSA should put more room between it and the NRA, my reasoning is because I don't believe BSA should require that firearms only be used under the auspices of an NRA certified instructor; I know that it has made it more difficult for boys in my area at least to obtain their firearms merit badges. But as far as the NRA having too much influence over the BSA, I think the author is completely wrong. My experience with my boys is that the BSA had become almost hostile to firearms and including firearms as part of activities; e.g., requiring NRA certified instructors and limiting activities involving firearms. Part and parcel of the BSA becoming more effeminate and politically correct. 
        • "13 Things You’ll Wish You had when Your Smart Phone is Useless"--Sensible Prepper. The author discusses a number of forms of entertainment and tools that have been replaced by smart phones.
        • "Best Color Temperature For Security Lights"--Modern Survival Blog. The author explains the different "color temperatures," and then recommends 5000K – 6000K light because it produces higher contrast as seen by our eyes. According to the author, "[a] 5000K bulb is considered to be 'horizon daylight' (Wikipedia’s term) and is pretty much ‘white’", while "6000K is the color temperature of 'vertical daylight' (the sunlight above the atmosphere), similar to a professional camera’s electronic flash."

        "UE - Whole Subdivision of Abandoned McMansions"--Backyard Exploration (13 min.)
        The author explores a high-end real estate development that went bankrupt after the 2008 crash.
               George Soros has been a major funder of much of the institutional infrastructure the Left has built during the past 20 years. David Horowitz’s site Discover the Networks says that “a strong case can be made for the claim that Soros today affects American politics and culture more profoundly that any other living person.” Such organizations as Media Matters for America are beneficiaries of Soros’s vast wealth. While the total of his political expenditures over the years is perhaps beyond calculation, it is known that between 2003 and 2011, for example, Soros spent more than $48 million to fund media properties. Given his enormous influence on the Left, it is understandable that conservatives suspect that Soros is behind every allegedly “grassroots” left-wing activist group. It’s not a paranoid conspiracy, but a documented fact that, for example, the Black Lives Movement received more than $30 million from Soros’s tax-exempt organizations. Likewise, it has been documented that so-called “Antifa” groups, implicated in riots in Berkeley and elsewhere, got money from Soros-funded foundations. And it should surprise no one that Soros has spent many millions in support of an open-borders immigration agenda.
                  “Soros’s agenda is fundamentally about the destruction of national borders,” researchers David Galland and Stephen McBride wrote in a 2016 article titled “How George Soros Singlehandedly Created The European Refugee Crisis — And Why.” Galland and McBride documented the involvement of Soros’s Open Society Foundation in the crisis that flooded Europe with millions of Muslim migrants. When Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban took action to halt the influx of “refugees” into his country and named Soros as the sponsor of this invasion, Soros responded: “[Orban’s] plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle. Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”
                   This was a startling admission, and it is clear that Soros also views America’s borders as an “obstacle” to his plans. In their book The Shadow Party, Horowitz and his co-author Richard Poe explained that a massive 2006 pro-amnesty rally in Los Angeles involved no fewer than eight groups funded by Soros, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Council of La Raza. As for the current migrant caravan from Honduras, it is being supported by the so-called “CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project,” a coalition of four organizations, three of which receive funding from — you guessed, didn’t you? — George Soros.
                      To identity Soros as the sponsor of this open-borders agenda, however, is to be guilty of hate, as explained last week in a Washington Post headline: “Conspiracy theories about Soros aren’t just false. They’re anti-Semitic.” You will not be surprised to learn that the author of that article, Talia Levin, works for Media Matters, which is funded by Soros. Levin previously worked at the New Yorker, but was fired in June after falsely accusing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent of having a Nazi tattoo (the agent, it turned out, is a Marine Corps combat veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan). So here we have a Soros-funded writer declaring in the pages of the Washington Post that it is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory to say that Soros is doing what he’s actually doing.
                       In other words, telling the truth is now “hate speech.”
                • "What billionaires want: the secret influence of America’s 100 richest"--The Guardian. According to the article, once you move past the top billionaires, which are liberal, the majority of billionaires are "[o]bsessed with cutting taxes, especially estate taxes – which apply only to the wealthiest Americans. Opposed to government regulation of the environment or big banks. Unenthusiastic about government programs to help with jobs, incomes, healthcare, or retirement pensions – programs supported by large majorities of Americans. Tempted to cut deficits and shrink government by cutting or privatizing guaranteed social security benefits."
                • "Finnish soldiers find 'secret Russian military bases' after raiding mysterious island"--The Independent. Per the article, "[t]he island, Sakkiluoto, belongs to Pavel Melnikov, a 54-year-old Russian from St Petersburg, who has dotted the property with security cameras, motion detectors and no-trespassing signs emblazoned with the picture of a fearsome looking guard in a black balaclava. The island also has nine piers, a helipad, a swimming pool draped in camouflage netting and enough housing – all of it equipped with satellite dishes – to accommodate a small army." The article theorizes that Melnikov may have developed the island on behalf of the Russian military or GRU.'
                • Chinese innovation in action: "Chinese company charged with stealing trade secrets from Micron"--KTVB. From the article:
                          The Justice Department revealed Thursday that a federal grand jury has charged companies in China and Taiwan with a scheme to steal trade secrets from Micron, the Boise-based firm that controls up to a quarter of the dynamic random access memory industry.
                            Federal prosecutors said one of the defendants served as president of a company acquired by Micron five years ago. The charges said he went to work for the Taiwan company, United Microelectronics Corporation, and orchestrated the theft of trade secrets from Micron worth nearly $9 billion.
                             That company, the charges said, then partnered with a Chinese state-owned business, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, so that China could steal the technology from the United States. The random-access technology involved was not possessed by the Chinese until very recently, the Justice Department said.
                                This week, the Commerce Department took action to block the Chinese company from buying goods and services in the United States, to keep it from profiting from the technology it stole. And the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit, seeking a court order that would block the Chinese and Taiwan companies from transferring the stolen technology or exporting products to the U.S. based on it.
                                  Nationally, reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are at an all-time high, CDC data show. In one year, from 2016 to 2017, nationwide rates of chlamydia rose by 7 percent, gonorrhea by 19 percent and syphilis by 11 percent.
                                  Rates of congenital syphilis, which passes from mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery, increased by 44 percent during that time. Nearly one-third of the congenital syphilis cases are from California. The state also saw a record number of STDs last year: more than 300,000 cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and early syphilis among adults.
                                      Apple’s latest iteration of iOS has reportedly turned the GrayKey hacking device into an expensive doorstop. Law enforcement around the world has taken to using GrayKey to break into locked iPhones but it appears Apple has finally gotten ahead of the device’s crafty manufacturers. For now.
                                      Forbes’ Thomas Brewster has been on top of the GrayKey saga from the beginning. On Wednesday, he cited sources from the forensic community who’ve told him that Apple’s efforts to keep bad actors and law enforcement from cracking into its users’ phones have paid off. According to the report, the $15,000 tool made by a shadowy company called Grayshift is now only capable of performing a “partial extraction” of data. It can pull a few unencrypted files and some metadata that’s virtually worthless.

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