"How to Properly Sight in Your Hunting Rifle"--Paul Harrell (27 min.)
- Just as initial matter, we see that things are heating up in the Middle East as Houthi rebels in Yemen successfully launched an attack using drones outfitted with explosives against Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Per the Daily Mail, "Attacks on two plants at the heart of the kingdom's oil industry yesterday knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five per cent of global supply." Actually, from other reports I've seen, the output reduction is also partly due to Saudi Arabia shutting down some facilities that might be at risk of attack. In any event, the consequence is that oil prices will shoot up. News reports indicate that the U.S. may release some of its strategic reserves to help soften the blow. The conflict in Yemen is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with Iran backing the Houthi rebels. Nevertheless, Iran claims it had nothing to do with the attack, while threatening that it (Iran) is ready for war. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia believes it might have its production back up and running Monday. From the latter article:
Saudi Arabia raced Sunday to restore crude production knocked out by a weekend attack, but the blow at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry threatens to boost prices and raise concerns about the security of supplies in the region.
Analysts said they were looking ahead to the opening of futures-market trading Sunday evening to see how much oil prices would react, but that it was hard to assess without more details about the longer-term disruption to Saudi production.
“The oil price could move up $5 to $10 a barrel if it turns out the damage is extensive,” said Andy Lipow, president of Houston-based consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates.
Saudi officials said they could return to normal levels of oil production by Monday, after an attack Saturday disabled a key processing plant and knocked out about five million barrels of production—about half of the country’s output and 5% of global supply.
Western capitals said they were ready to release emergency stocks if necessary, and Saudi officials discussed shipping their own extra inventory to meet short-term supply needs, according to people familiar with the matter.
The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based group representing top energy-consuming nations that coordinates such releases, said it was in contact with Saudi authorities and major producer and consumer nations.
- "Canned Meat"--Blue Collar Prepping. A look at storing corn beef hash as part of your food storage. One of the advantages is the high fat content, since fats are one of the hardest types of food to store.
- Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.... Some articles on water storage and purification:
- "A Million Gallons of Water"--Marcus Wynne. The author relates a personal anecdote about why you can't trust someone else's assurance on whether water is clean. He goes on:
In considering your personal and community resilience in the face of a natural disaster, power outage or extended regional crisis, have you planned for water security? Have you considered the source(s) of the water you drink and utilize each day? If for some reason your municipality could no longer supply water at the turn of the tap or could not assure the purity of that water, what would you do? You can only go maybe three days tops without water, and here in America, we tend to take the massive use of potable water in toilets, irrigation, bathing and so on for granted.
Here are some points to consider if you were to examine your water security:
⁃Where is your closest source of open fresh water? It is a pond, river, stream, lake, reservoir, containment facility of some kind? Do you have a well or spring on your property or nearby?
⁃How far away is it? If you could get there, would you have access to the water?
⁃If you did have access to the water, how would you transport sufficient quantities back to your home or shelter? You need a minimum of one to two gallons of clean water a day, per person, for drinking purposes. That doesn’t include any used for food preparation, washing, irrigation, bathing or other purposes. A gallon of water weighs around 8.3 pounds. Do you have containers sturdy enough to carry enough water out of your source and back to where you needed to take it? A five gallon bucket of water weighs about 41.5 pounds — can you carry that much weight for any distance? Like to your car, a wagon, or up a hill?
⁃Do you have the knowledge and equipment to determine if your water is safe to drink? To determine whether the water is free of bacteria, protozoa, dangerous chemical run off? Is viral infestation an issue and would you know?
⁃Do you know how to purify water? Could you make a fire (and have a container) to boil water, or iodine or chlorine bleach or other chemical purifiers to kill micro-organisms, or a mechanical filter to take the nasty stuff out? Do you have the knowledge to do so and/or the reference materials and a way to read them that will work in the absence of electrical power so you can find out how to do so?
⁃Do you have a way to store purified water and keep it separate from untreated water? Sanitation methods to support and maintain the cleanliness of your water?
Wynne continues by offering tips on how to assess and develop your own water resilience plan, and discusses the equipment that he uses, as well as including links to other resources, so be sure to read the whole thing. One important point is that if you are worried about viral contamination, you can't rely on just the filter, but will also need water purification tablets (iodine).
- "Survival & Backpacking Water Filter Tests"--Wideners. This lengthy article discusses possible contaminants, how water is tested, how filters work, filters versus purifiers, and then goes into the tests. This is a long read, and might be something to print up.
- "How (and Why) to Ditch Hydration Bladders"--Jerking the Trigger. The author was a big fan of hydration bladders, but now he is not. Some of the reasons is that it is difficult to clean and maintain bladders, they are more easily damaged, and its so easy to take sips that its easy to too quickly use up your water supply. I'm on the fence. I don't like the cleaning part either, and, in hot weather, I don't like having to wear a hydration pack on my back. Thus, I've moved away from hydration packs for short hikes or bicycling. However, in cooler weather, it's fine, and it seems to work well when hunting to wear a large hydration pack (e.g., a 3 liter) and a fanny pack for other items.
- "Burglar Target Selection: A Cross-national Comparison"--The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. Key findings:
Primary findings of these analyses demonstrate that in The Hague, Birmingham, and Brisbane, the likelihood that an area will be selected for burglary is consistently positively influenced by (i) proximity to an offender’s home, (ii) the proportion of easily accessible targets, and (iii) the number of targets in an area. Additional analyses demonstrate that in all study regions, the influence of proximity of target areas to an offender’s home is greater for juvenile offenders under the legal driving age than adults. This difference is statistically significant in both Birmingham and Brisbane.
These findings support both opportunity-based accounts of offending, those that portray offenders as optimal foragers, and the principle of least effort; such that offenders are consistently attracted to those areas that can be reached quickly and easily, and in which there are an abundance of viable targets. Furthermore, results from two of the three regions studied are compatible with hypotheses that assert the importance of access to vehicles in shaping patterns of offender mobility.
Subsequent analyses do, however, demonstrate that the magnitude of impact for two of these three consistently attractive choice criteria varies significantly across environments. Considering these findings, differences in the magnitude of impact that target proximity has on location choices of offenders are of particular interest because it may suggest that the commonly observed distance decay curve is at least in part reflective of the number of potential targets available to offenders within a given distance. To illustrate, in the study regions where the spatial density of targets was relatively high—The Hague (3,652 households per km2) and Birmingham (1,513 households per km2) offenders displayed comparatively limited search spaces; conversely, in Brisbane where target density was relatively low (299 households per km2), offenders were less influenced by the proximity of target areas—perhaps by necessity. This observation is consistent with the notion of intervening opportunities (Stouffer 1940), which posits the likelihood of travel to a given location (in the context of migration) is determined by the opportunities at competing destinations, and less so by the distance involved.
- A reader sent this to me: "Robbery victims targeted for cellphones, beaten in downtown Minneapolis"--KSTP (ABC 5). You may have already seen the video linked in the article, but it shows a youngish white man sitting peaceably and using his smart phone, when he is violently attacked by a feral group of black men. They punch him, kick him, chase him, jump on him, ride a bike over him, and lots more. It is also a perfect advertisement for using what the left terms "high capacity" magazines. The accompanying article states:
The Minneapolis Police Department has arrested more than a dozen suspects involved in crime ring that focused on robbing cellphones from intoxicated people and then beating the victims.
According to a report provided by Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder, a three-day sweep conducted two weeks ago ended with police arresting 16 people between the ages of 13 and 25. The suspects are seen on surveillance video punching, kicking and riding over one man with a bike.
The robberies occurred near Hennepin, First and Second avenues, between Third and Sixth streets, and happened between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.
The suspects were mostly boys and men, with a female sometimes present. They would "finesse" the victim — looking for an easy target, such as someone who was intoxicated and alone, looking at their cellphone at times. Elder said half of the assailants are juveniles.
One of the incidents happened on Aug. 3 near Target Field. According to the criminal complaint, the footage shows approxiamtely 12 males attempting to take a cellphone from a male victim, viciously beating him. The suspects are seen ripping the vicitim's shoes and pants off and then going through his pockets. The victim is noted to be punched and kicked in the head several times throughout the altercation. At one point, the complaint states the victim is thrown to the ground — left motionless — then repeatedly jumped on, hit with planting pots and ridden over with a bicycle. Once police arrive, the victim and all suspects involved are gone.
Then on Sept. 6, after further investigation, officers recognized one of the assailants from the video and arrested him. He is identified as Boris Likuwa Lusumbo, 20. The video shows Lusumbo running toward the victim along with other attackers after the victim was struck by another attacker. He was seen picking up something off the ground that the victim dropped and walked away with it. Lusumbo admitted it was him in the video to police. He has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and faces up to 20 years in prison for the crime, if convicted.
While the police are characterizing this as a robbery assault, it is much more. It is more than an educational beat down. This is just violence for the pure pleasure of it. If you have ever lived on farm, you probably are aware of how predators will sometimes get into a flock of sheep or a chicken coop and just simply kill a bunch of the animals for no reason other than the sure pleasure of the killing. This is the same type of thing.
Also note what the story does not say: that half of the attackers are adults; and, given the name of one of the perpetrators, that at least some of the attackers were refugees.
So, what are some lessons to learn from this. First is a issue of situational awareness. The white guy was sitting playing on his phone and probably not aware or dismissive of the sudden aggregation of black thugs around him. One has to wonder if maybe he became aware, but didn't want to be "racist" by leaving. Second, is to not be in stupid places doing stupid things. Playing with a smart phone in a high crime area seems to fit into both of these. Third, develop means of intelligence. For instance, if there were news reports of these types of crimes in that area, and the victim had paid attention to these reports, he maybe would have chosen a different place and/or time to hang out.
- "Anatomy of an Assault: The 5-Step Attack Cycle"--Shooting Illustrated. The author notes that attacks will often follow a script. The script in this case involves a predatory attack (e.g., robbery) with the following outline: (1) look, (2) choose, (3) stalk, (4) close, and (5) strike. The article further explains:
All predators must first seek their prey. They can’t do anything to you if they first don’t go looking for you. In the process of looking, they at one time or another must choose their victim. These two steps—look and choose—must occur in that order. You can’t choose someone if you don’t first go looking for them.
Next, after look and choose, is to stalk their prey. They may observe you for a while to figure out if you’re really worth the effort; maybe you are, maybe you’re not. Once they make their decision, they then need to figure out how to get close to you. Again, these are mandatory steps—look, choose and stalk—that must be executed in order. If he decides you’re not worth the effort, he’s not going to move to the next step in his plan: close.
After looking, choosing and stalking, the bad guy is then tasked with closing the gap from his physical position to your physical position. Lastly, and only after these first four steps, will he be in the right place and at the right time to execute his attack.
In the intelligence community, we refer to this as the Attack Cycle: Look, Choose, Stalk, Close, Strike. It is this cycle, the execution of these five steps in order—which any predator must follow to present you with a physical threat—that is the Bad Guy’s Blueprint. He must follow all five steps. He cannot omit even one, and he cannot execute them out of order. They must be followed one at a time and in this exact sequence, or he fails.
The author discusses different ways to disrupt the cycle, but the easiest is at the "look step" by "not put[ting] yourself there in the first place. There’s no need for you to drive to a 24-hour convenience store in the seediest part of town at 2 a.m., leave your engine running, windows down, door open and run in with cash falling out of your hands or pockets." In short:
Three easy ways to break the cycle:
1: Don’t put yourself in harm’s way (no need to go to the ATM at 2 a.m. in a bad neighborhood)
2: Don’t be an attractive victim (cash hanging out of your purse, belligerent or drunk in public, etc.)
3: Make the bad guy ask the question “Are there softer targets around?” and answer “Yes.”
- "What Criminologists Don’t Say, and Why"--City Journal. The article is about how the criminology field, at the university level, is so dominated by the left, that it cannot consider anything but how society has created the criminal, who is the "real victim" in their view. The actual victim and safety of society doesn't matter. From the lede:
The history of academic criminology is one of grand pronouncements that don’t often prove out in the real world. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, criminologists demanded that public policy attack the “root causes” of crime, such as poverty and racism. Without solving these problems, they argued, we could not expect to fight crime effectively. On this thinking, billions of taxpayer dollars poured into ambitious social programs—yet crime went up, not down. In the 1970s and 1980s and into the 1990s, as crime rates continued to spike, criminologists proceeded to tell us that the police could do little to cut crime, and that locking up the felons, drug dealers, and gang leaders who committed much of the nation’s criminal violence wouldn’t work, either.
To understand why many criminologists refuse to acknowledge criminal behavior as a potent predictor of life outcomes—including premature mortality, health disparities, arrest and incarceration, and even being shot by the police—one must understand that most liberal criminologists feel strangely protective about criminals. Criminologists who work collaboratively with the police have done important work in understanding how best to respond to crime and how to prevent it. Their research, which often includes complex spatial analyses of crime patterns and which targets specific, high-rate offenders for arrest and prosecution, has been rigorously evaluated and confirmed. Yet liberal-minded criminologists dismiss these scholars as “administrative criminologists”—meaning that they help the state impose unfair social and economic arrangements.
Liberal criminologists avoid discussing the lifestyles that criminal offenders typically lead. Almost all serious offenders are men, and they usually come from families with long histories of criminal involvement, often spanning generations. They show temperamental differences early in life, begin offending in childhood or early adolescence, and rack up dozens of arrests. Their lives are chaotic and hedonistic, including the constant pursuit of drugs and sex. They produce many children with different women and rarely have the means—or inclination—to support them. Active offenders exploit others for their own benefit, including women, children, churches, and the social-welfare system. They commit many crimes before getting arrested, and they move in and out of the criminal-justice system for decades. Many also report enjoying acts of violence; the social-media accounts of martyred gangsters shot by police often illuminate this subculture. Perhaps not surprisingly, they see the police as another competing tribe that has to be manipulated, controlled, and sometimes confronted. In sum, the lives of persistent criminal offenders are often shockingly pathological. The nature of this world is hard to grasp without witnessing it firsthand.
Unfortunately, criminology has had a long history of suppressing evidence for expressly political reasons. For most of its history, the discipline has overtly censored research, for instance, on biological, genetic, and neurological factors that scientists have shown to be associated with antisocial traits and behavioral problems. Even today, despite lots of hard scientific evidence—such as that 50 percent of the variance in antisocial behavior is attributable to genetic factors, or neuroimaging studies that show systemic structural and functional brain differences between offenders and non-offenders—those who pursue this line of research get branded as racists or even eugenicists. We have personally experienced hostile receptions when presenting our work in these areas at professional conferences and have been excoriated in the anonymous-review process when attempting to publish our papers. The disciplinary animus toward the study of biological factors extends to other individual factors, including intelligence and personality, and to a range of traits, such as callous and unemotional behavior, psychopathy, and self-control.
When it comes to disciplinary biases, however, none is so strong or as corrupting as liberal views on race. Disproportionate black involvement in violent crime represents the elephant in the room amid the current controversy over policing in the United States. Homicide numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Supplementary Homicide Reports, 1976–2005 indicate that young African-American males account for homicide victims at levels that are ten to 20 times greater than their proportion of the population and account for homicide offenders at levels that are 15 to 35 times greater than their proportion of the population. The black-white gap in armed-robbery offending has historically ranged between ten to one and 15 to one. Even in forms of crime that are allegedly the province of white males—such as serial murder—blacks are overrepresented as offenders by a factor of two. For all racial groups, violent crime is strongly intraracial, and the intraracial dynamic is most pronounced among blacks. In more than 90 percent of cases, the killer of a black victim is a black perpetrator.
Criminologists talk about the race-crime connection behind closed doors, and often in highly guarded language; the topic is a lightning rod for accusations of racial hostility that can be professionally damaging. They avoid discussing even explicitly racist examples of black-on-white crime such as flash-mob assaults, “polar bear hunting,” and the “knockout game.” What criminologists won’t say in public is that black offending differences have existed since data have been collected and that these differences are behind the racial disparities in arrest, prosecution, and incarceration. They also won’t tell you that, despite claims of widespread racial discrimination in the justice system, legal variables—namely, the number of prior arrests and the seriousness of the crime for which the offender has currently been arrested—account for all but a small fraction of the variance in system outcomes. Nor will they tell you the truth about politically correct remedies, such as diversifying police forces, hiring black police chiefs, or training officers in the alleged effects of implicit bias: that these measures won’t reduce racial disparities in crime.
- "Parkland dad uncovers how district enabled deranged student-turned-shooter"--New York Post.
- "The Trayvon Hoax That Divided America Is About to Be Exposed"--American Thinker.
On Monday. September 16, Joel Gilbert will preview his new documentary, “The Trayvon Hoax,” in the 500-seat Ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The screening begins at 1 p.m. Admission is free, and Gilbert is encouraging all interested parties to come see for themselves what could be a game-changer in the way the media report racially-charged news. Gilbert’s findings are that significant.
- "Thinking About Buying A Concealed Carry Revolver? Here’s What You Need to Consider"--The Truth About Guns. A discussion of different considerations including caliber, issues concerning sights, trigger pull, and how you intend to reload it.
- "DRY PRACTICE WITH REVOLVERS"--Tactical Professor. Good tips and advice for dry fire with a revolver, including some timer applications.
- "EXPLORING THE LIMITATIONS OF EDC CHOICES…"--Civilian Gunfighter. From the author:
... If you carry a gun for defense of yourself or others, you need to know what you can do with it, on demand. You may discover that making compromises in your choice of a carry gun compromises your ability to respond to life-threatening events. Dedicated practice and having a well-rounded skill set can somewhat mitigate that compromise, but often the reality is that smaller guns are harder to shoot well. My reality is that I am measurably slower and less accurate with the J-frame revolver. Sometimes that’s a choice I make. To paraphrase some of Mike Pannone’s wisdom, know what your are doing, know why you are doing it, know how to do it well, identify the potential failure points, and train to mitigate those failure points. That’s what it’s all about.
- "Now New Zealand Wants to Establish a Registry of all Civilian-Owned Guns"--The Truth About Guns. New Zealand's "buy-back" of evil assault weapons is not going to well, and part of the reason is that the government does not know who owns the weapons. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (who left her church because she thought gay rights were more important than God's commandments) has a solution: a mandatory registration of firearms. Which will probably be about as successful as the buy back. But watch out for those that will narc you out.
There is actually a silver lining to these various prohibitions. If you have studied successful underground movements and revolutions, you will note that they are heavily dependent on people that are not only fine with breaking the law, but have experience and established networks for that express purpose. Gun prohibitions will actually make it easier for gun owners to resist down the road because they will already have the willingness to break the law ... and perhaps even have developed grey markets or black markets.
- "New Jersey to Penalize Banks, Retailers That Do Business With Gun Industry Companies"--The Truth About Guns.
- "With Gun Control Talk Rife, NICS Background Checks Jump 15% in August"--The Truth About Guns. Might also be a good time to pick up some extra magazines.
- Wait! This Wasn't How It Was Supposed To Work: "Conservatives: We’ll Spill Blood to Keep Our Guns"--The New Republic. Liberals finally realize that there may be a problem with their dreams of confiscating firearms. As Glenn Reynolds observes, "THEY’RE UPSET BECAUSE ONLY LEFTISTS ARE SUPPOSED TO THREATEN VIOLENCE IF THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY."
- Related: "Beto O’Rourke on his gun confiscation plan: 'No, it’s not voluntary'"--The Washington Examiner.
- A day that will live in infamy: "25 Years Ago Today: President Clinton Signs the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Into Law"--The Truth About Guns.
- Meanwhile, across the pond: "German citizens are arming themselves with firearms"--Voice of Europe. As of today, close to 640,00 German citizens are legally permitted to carry a deterrent gun or similar self-defense weapon. To put things in perspective, in 2014, there were just 260,000. That’s nearly a 250 percent increase in just five years."
- "We can stop mass shootings without restricting Second Amendment liberties"--Dallas Morning News. The author of this op-ed suggests that the solution is for businesses to employ more armed guards. I disagree. The solution is to encourage more people to concealed carry.
- Thank goodness that they have given up on the idea of caseless ammunition: "True Velocity Shows the 6.8mm Composite-Cased Cartridge of General Dynamics NGSW Submissions"--The Firearm Blog. General Dynamics is going with a polymer case with a twist:
This ammunition has a metal base that is integrated with the polymer body. All the True Velocity cartridges that were shown before were replicating the external dimensions of their brass counterparts. However, the NGSW submission has a different design of shoulder and neck areas. As you can see, instead of a traditional shoulder and neck, the case has a rather small step from the case body to the bullet. I assume that step is designed to provide a headspacing point. I think the bullet should be supported inside the case. This design should be more reliable due to the elimination of a conventional case shoulder and neck which arguably has been the weakest point of polymer cased cartridges.
"This Is Why Your Backpack Hurts"--Dan Becker (13 min.)
Some tips on adjusting your backpack, and packing it correctly.
- "Armed conflict between Venezuela and Colombia is now a real, and terrifying, possibility"--Washington Post. From the article:
... Venezuela’s increasingly tight alliance with the drug-running guerrilla armies waging war on the Colombian state, which has rattled Bogota so hard it’s now seeking a hemispheric response.
On Wednesday, Colombia, the United States and nine other countries invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, which commits the countries of the Western Hemisphere to respond to military aggression against any one of them. The move came after Nicolás Maduro said he would deploy 150,000 troops to the border with Colombia. Invoking TIAR is an extreme measure in the region and an unmistakable sign that armed conflict is now a real possibility.
- Of course. It would defeat the purpose of Red Flag laws if aimed at the Democrats' allies: "Democrats frown on targeting gang databases with 'red flag' laws"--The Washington Examiner. From the article:
House Democrats this week advanced a new measure to encourage states to pass “red flag” laws, known as extreme risk protection orders, that authorize removing guns and ammunition from dangerous individuals.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee amended the measure during a Wednesday mark-up to authorize the federal government to issue extreme risk protection orders in some instances, but they rejected an amendment that would have red-flagged anyone who law enforcement lists as a gang member.
- Overworked and with abusive supervisors: "Nearly 18 years after 9/11, the federal air marshals program is in 'crisis'"--ABC News. The lede:
The U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service program has reached what critics describe as an acute crisis point marked by a recent rash of suicides, psychotic episodes, a murder-suicide, a bomb plot, devastating health problems and a pervasive sense of dread and depression among the ranks of the most elite cadre of marksmen and women in the nation, according to a month-long ABC News investigation into the secretive federal agency.
On top of this, the constant flying and stress has resulted in increased deaths due to blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. According to the article, "air marshals fly about twice as many international trips as U.S. airline pilots each month, and that unlike pilots, there's no maximum on the shift hours an air marshal can fly on any given day."
- "The Founder of America’s Earliest Lesbian Bar Was Deported for Obscenity"--Atlas Obscura. She later died in Auschwitz. It is disturbing how a certain religious/ethnic group was tied to so many liberal/progressive trends that undermined Western society.
- "Spying for Israel Is Consequence Free"--The Unz Report.
Back in the spring I wrote about coming across the name Arnon Milchan by chance on a movie credit while flying from Venice to Washington. Milchan, some might recall, is a Hollywood billionaire movie producer born in Israel, well known for such films as Pretty Woman and Bohemian Rhapsody. He is less well known for his role in arranging for the procurement and illegal transfer of U.S. technology that enabled the Jewish state to develop its own nuclear arsenal. Far from being ashamed of his betrayal of the adopted country that helped make him rich and famous, in 2011 he authorized and contributed to a ghost-written biography, which he boastfully entitled “Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon.” Parts of the book were in the first person with Milchan telling his story in his own words.
I had been aware of Milchan’s crimes for a number of years, just as I had also speculated on how a leading Israeli spy working actively and successfully against vital U.S. anti-nuclear proliferation interests had managed to continue to maintain a home and business in Los Angeles while also appearing regularly at the Oscar presentation ceremonies. I asked “Why is this scumbag still making movies in Hollywood? Why isn’t he in jail?” before concluding that the federal government clearly regards spying for Israel as a victimless crime, rarely arresting anyone and almost never prosecuting any of the numerous easily identifiable Israeli intelligence agents roaming the country.
- The real world is much different from what we are raised to think: "American Pravda: the Power of Organized Crime: How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived Happily Ever After as America's Most Respected Civil Libertarian Federal Appellate Court Judge"--The Unz Report. The article discusses the close connections between organized crime and politicians, focusing especially on Chicago and California. I found this interesting:
But although the top [Chicago] Syndicate leadership remained almost entirely Italian—with a Welsh immigrant being the sole exception—roughly half of all the key figures found in Russo’s detailed narrative turned out to be Jewish. From the 1930s onward, organized crime in Chicago was essentially an Italian-Jewish partnership, with the Italians concentrating on the violent muscle side of the business and the Jews more likely to be involved in money-laundering, political corruption, and legal manipulation.
* * *
... I was surprised to realize that a milieu I’d always regarded as overwhelmingly Italian was actually mostly Jewish, suggesting that I had accepted the misleading headlines of a historical narrative without focusing upon its actual contents. Indeed, Brooklyn’s notorious Murder Inc. was originally established by Lansky and Siegel and seems to have been overwhelmingly Jewish, while living up to its name by its many hundreds of killings, with one of its leading members supposedly having a personal body-count of over 100 or even far higher. But since I’d never heard of a single Jewish gangster in Chicago, I was still very surprised that such individuals comprised nearly half of the leading figures in Russo’s comprehensive history.
- There is a certain poetic justice to this: "Mexican gang CASTRATE an alleged rapist by letting a pit bull maul his genitals"--Daily Mail.
- And in a blow to forensic science: "No rest in peace! Human corpses MOVE around 'significantly' for a year after death, stunned scientists discover"--Daily Mail. For instance, "'What we found was that the arms were significantly moving, so that arms that started off down beside the body ended up out to the side of the body,' Ms Wilson told ABC News." The study also found that under certain conditions, in the Sydney area (i.e., high humidity), bodies could mummify.
- "ICE IS BUILDING A 'STATE-OF-THE-ART' 'URBAN WARFARE' TRAINING FACILITY THAT WILL INCLUDE 'HYPER-REALISTIC' SIMULATIONS OF HOMES IN CHICAGO AND ARIZONA"--Newsweek. Well, they won't be the only one's using it: "... Newsweek was able to establish that the facility will be built at the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs' (OFTP) Tactical Operations Complex (TOC) at Fort Benning, Georgia." The article continues:
Among the training devices expected to be included at the new training site are "hyper-realistic props/design" that simulate "residential houses, apartments, hotels, government facilities and commercial buildings," along with other training configurations.
The "devices" are defined as "scalable, portable, modular" training structures that would be "made from portable shipping containers or other appropriate modular materials that can be relocated to alternate sites as needed."
"Hyper-realistic is defined as 'such a high degree of fidelity in the replication of battlefield conditions in the training environment that participants so willingly suspend disbelief that they become totally immersed and eventually stress inoculated'," ICE says.
Hyper-realism, the agency states, is "a critical component to this acquisition as the details provide essential information that must be acknowledged, processed and acted upon to minimize risk to our Special Agents, Deportation Officers and SRT operators during high-risk search and arrest warrants, fugitive operations, undercover operations, hostage rescue, gang operations, etc."
"For example, details like the number of dishes left on the table, toys in the yard, lighting, furniture, etc. all provide clues that allow our agents and officers to infer vital information that directly affects their safety and the potential resolution or outcome in the scenario," it continues. "Learning to process this information quickly to identify whether there are children present, or how many people are currently in the structure is a necessary skill developed in training."
- "Supreme Court rules Donald Trump CAN deny asylum to almost ALL migrants who cross the Southern Border: President celebrates a win in his immigration crackdown and slams the Democrats for 'not doing anything'"--Daily Mail. This ruling only terminates temporary injunctions against enforcing the rule, but the litigation challenging the rule will still continue.
- "Biological age of humans reversed by years in groundbreaking study, scientists suggest"--The Independent. From the article:
Volunteers who were given a cocktail of drugs for a year actually “aged backwards”, losing an average of 2.5 years from their biological ages, according to the new study. The research showed that the marks on their genomes that represent their “epigenetic clock”, as well as their immune systems, actually improved despite the passing of time.
The scientists expected the biological clock to slow down, but were surprise that it was reversed. Participants were given a growth hormone and two diabetes medications. However, before getting too excited, this was a preliminary study with only 9 participants and no control group.
- Heh. "Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming"--BBC. The article reports:
Where once large coal-fired power stations brought energy to millions, the drive to combat climate change means they are now being replaced by mixed sources of power including wind, solar and gas.
This has resulted in many more connections to the electricity grid, and a rise in the number of electrical switches and circuit breakers that are needed to prevent serious accidents.
Collectively, these safety devices are called switchgear. The vast majority use SF6 gas to quench arcs and stop short circuits.
Ironically, however, sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the article. Because of the increased leaks from electrical equipment in the UK and EU, alone, it was the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the roads. Good job, climate warriors!
- Welcome to the new feudalism: "TRUSTAFARIANS WANT TO TELL YOU HOW TO LIVE"--New Geography. Keep in mind that this article was written in 2014.
And the boomers—at least those in the more affluent classes—are about to get yet another windfall. As the members of World War II’s “Greatest Generation” die off, they are set to pass on between $8.4 trillion and $11.6 trillion to their Baby Boomer descendants, according to a study by MetLife.
In the coming decades this tsunami of inherited money will likely accelerate class divisions, as those in the current top decile (in terms of income) gather in more than a million in parental bequests, while those in the lower class will at best count their inheritances in the thousands. Among boomers who will receive an inheritance, the top 10 percent will receive more than every other decile combined.
This is just the beginning of the process. The well-born members of the millennial generation are set for an even greater inheritance, which will distort the economy even more. The Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston College estimated that a minimum of $41 trillion would pass between generations from 1998 to 2052. This huge transfer, the researchers believe, will usher in what they call “a golden age of philanthropy.” Even as most younger Americans struggle to obtain decent jobs and secure property, the Welfare Institute concluded, America is moving toward an “inheritance-based economy” where access to the last generation’s wealth could prove a critical determinant of both influence and power.
The article continues:
Historically, education was one way the middle and working classes, and even the poor, ascended the class ladder. But we may be seeing the end of this trend, given what some see as the “death of meritocracy,” particularly if you also count the enormous advantage in education that comes from going to an elite private school or a well-placed suburban public school. Over the past two generations, notes former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, the gap in educational achievement between the children of the rich and the children of the poor has doubled. While the college enrollment rate for children from the lowest quarter of income distribution has increased from 6 percent to 8 percent, the enrollment rate for children from the highest quarter has risen from 40 percent to 73 percent.
So we have a graduate of Choate or Beverly Hills High who attends Wharton, and goes to work for, say, Goldman Sachs. And yes, this individual may work hard. But whether he or she works hard or not, the chances of success are much greater than those of an equally talented, equally diligent person who has to pay off college loans and whose choices about where to live—outside of places like New York or San Francisco—are driven as much by cost as they are by opportunity.
Read the whole thing.
- Related: "American Renewal: The Real Conflict Is Not Racial Or Sexual, It’s Between The Ascendant Rich Elites And The Rest Of Us"--The Daily Caller.
Today’s neo-feudalism recalls the social order that existed before the democratic revolutions of the 17th and 18th Century, with our two ascendant estates filling the roles of the former dominant classes. The First Estate, once the province of the Catholic Church, has morphed into what Samuel Coleridge in the 1830s called "the Clerisy," a group that extends beyond organized religion to the universities, media, cultural tastemakers and upper echelons of the bureaucracy. The role of the Second Estate is now being played by a rising Oligarchy, notably in tech but also Wall Street, that is consolidating control of most of the economy."
Together these two classes have waxed while the Third Estate has declined. This essentially reversed the enormous gains made by the middle and even the working class over the past 50 years. The top 1% in America captured just 4.9 percent of total U.S. income growth in 1945-1973, but since then the country’s richest classes has gobbled up an astonishing 58.7% of all new wealth in the U.S., and 41.8 percent of total income growth during 2009-2015 alone.
- Related: "US household income finally matches 1999 peak, while poverty rate hits lowest point since 2001"--AP. Wow, household income finally has reached where it was 20 years ago.
- Related: "Good intentions without wisdom leads to evil."
- Refugees as a weapon of mass destruction: "Turkish president threatens to allow Syria refugees to leave unless ‘safe zone’ created with US"--Military Times. The issue is that Turkey wants to create a buffer zone--the so called "safe zones"--inside Syrian territory under the pretense of resettling refugees. If Turkey doesn't get its way, it is threatening to release a tsunami of refugees on Europe.
- "The 48 Laws of Power List & Summary." I recommend reading the book, but this is a nice summary.
- "They care about white bears"--Vox Popoli. Apparently brown bears are immigrating to areas historically populated by polar bears, and the brown bears are interbreeding with the polar bears, and raising fears that polar bears might go extinct.
- Related: "Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state"--The Hill.
- Related: "Make No Mistake: The GOP is Losing Texas"--American Thinker.
... Republican share of the vote is steadily shrinking despite the lack of spending by Democrats and massive spending by Republicans.
As noted, the reason for this is simple: demographics. For decades, the Republicans have told their voters that they were going to clamp down on illegal immigration and address the legal immigration policies that have facilitated this takeover. They have made excuse after excuse for not fulfilling those promises and now that lack of action is turning Texas blue one district at a time.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Iran's F-14 Tomcats vs. Mach 10 Spaceship UFOs (Who Wins?)"--The National Interest.
The Americans retired their F-14s in 2006, but around 40 of Iran’s Tomcats remain active. Their main role is defending Iran’s nuclear sites. It’s a mission that has brought the interceptors in close contact with some very mysterious aircraft, according to a bizarre and fascinating 2013 story in Combat Aircraft magazine by reporter Babak Taghvaee.
The Iranians believed the objects were spy drones belonging to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, sent to sniff out Tehran’s suspected atomic weapons program. But they attribute to these alleged unmanned aerial vehicles flight characteristics and capabilities far beyond what any known drone can achieve.
And in 2012 one of the alleged flying robots reportedly also shot down an F-14 attempting to intercept it. Or at least some Iranians seem genuinely to believe so.
* * *
To protect the nuke facilities, in 2004 Iran deployed a task force composed of eight F-4E fighters and eight F-14s plus a former 707 airliner and a C-130 cargo plane outfitted with sensors and radios for command and control. The task force encountered what it believed were CIA drones with “astonishing flight characteristics.”
The UAVs could jam radars and disrupt interceptors’ navigation systems. They flew “outside the atmosphere” at speeds of up to Mach 10. They could hover. Flying at night, they emitted a telltale blue light that led to their nickname: “luminous objects.”
“In several cases … F-14s faced them but were unable to operate their armament systems properly,” Taghvaee wrote. One Tomcat taking off to intercept a luminous object on Jan. 26, 2012 mysteriously exploded, killing both crewmen. Taghvaee implies the alleged UAV was somehow responsible, as the F-14 in question was “one of the fittest” of the 40 or so Tomcats then in service.
I guess Trump wasn't kidding when he said that UFO's weren't alien craft.