Monday, January 7, 2019

January 7, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Penetration was on the low side of the FBI recommended, but disruption to the block was satisfactory.

            The Ruger GP100 first debuted in 1985 as a replacement for the Security Six family of revolvers, which included the parent model as well as the Service Six (a budget-friendlier fixed-sight model) and Speed Six, a round-butt short-barrel for use as a concealed carry revolver or plainclothes duty gun.  
           The Security Six line was well-received, especially by law enforcement, but wasn't without issues as they were showing wear in service roles and with civilian shooters if fed a diet of full-house magnum loads. Ruger didn't believe that you should HAVE to practice with .38 Special if you don't want to and set about creating a new medium-frame double-action revolver that would digest a lifetime of magnum loads. 
            To turn the trick, the frame and cylinder locking mechanism were beefed up in key areas. The grip frame was changed to a peg shape, so the grip fully enclosed the frame and the grip frame was thickened. The trigger and lockwork mechanism was changed to fit in a trigger group that could be dropped out of the frame entirely, making it not only easier to work on but also allowing for the frame to be a single piece of thickened steel. 
         The locking mechanism of the cylinder was also changed so the cylinder crane locked at the front and rear of the cylinder, as well as a locking lug at the bottom of the front of the cylinder crane itself. The ejector rod and plunger, therefore, aren't part of the locking mechanism unlike most revolvers. The frame is triple-locking, much like the (very) old Smith and Wesson Triple Lock N-frame revolver, making it quite strong. 
        The frame alloy was also revised for additional strength.
  • Richard Mann asks: "Is The .327 Federal Magnum The Best All-Purpose Magnum?"--Gun Digest. The operating pressures of 45,000 psi allows for high velocity rounds. "From a 3-inch barreled revolver, you can expect muzzle velocities as high as 1,335 fps for a 115-grain bullet and 1,450 fps for 100-grain bullets. Longer barrels mean even higher velocities. With a 5.5-inch barrel, you’re looking at about 1,550 and 1,725 fps, respectively." The results:
From a 3-inch barrel, Speer’s 100-grain Gold Dot bullet will penetrate 17.5 inches in 10 percent ordnance gelatin, and expand to 0.45-inch, while retaining 85 percent of its weight. Federal’s 100-grain JSP bullet will penetrate 16 inches, expand to 0.51-inch and retain 97 percent of its weight.
You can also shoot .32 H&R Magnum, .32 Long, .32 Short and .32 ACP ammunition through a .327 Magnum revolver. This is a cartridge that has tempted me for a while, but unless I've missed something, Smith & Wesson have ignored it for the J-frame revolvers.
        Strict registration requirements don’t account for—and may exacerbate—a surge in illegal weapons across the continent, experts say.
            Europe’s unregistered weapons outnumbered legal ones in 2017, 44.5 million to 34.2 million, according to the Small Arms Survey. Many illegal weapons come from one-time war zones, such as countries of the former Yugoslavia, and others are purchased online, including from vendors in the U.S.
             “Europe represents the largest market for arms trade on the dark web, generating revenues that are around five times higher than the U.S.,” concluded a recent Rand Corp. report.
               With more weapons comes more gun-related violence. National police statistics in France, Germany and Belgium show an uptick in gun law violations since 2015. Europe doesn’t have current continentwide statistics.
                Armed robbery and similar crimes often entail illicit guns, while legally registered firearms tend to appear in suicide and domestic-violence statistics, said Nils Duquet of the Flemish Peace Institute, a Belgian research center.
                  “It’s clear that illegal guns are used mostly by criminals,” he said.

              * * *
                       In Paris, the suicide bombers also used machine guns to mow down restaurant and nightclub patrons—weapons they acquired on the black market and were tracked to a shop in Slovakia.

                The producer of this video notes that "The toughest challenge facing China isn't a trade conflict or any other kind of outside enemy, it is a moral crisis from within."
                The movement made up largely of working and lower middle-class citizens has won widespread public approval as it is seen by many as a means of making the voices of ordinary men and women heard. But after months of unrest in Paris and other French cities, Benjamin Griveaux said the gilets jaunes are not interested in the three-month debate on the reforms promised by Mr Macron, but instead want to overthrow the young president. Speaking at a press conference on Friday after the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Griveaux said members of the movement “seek insurrection and basically want to overthrow the government”.
                The article continues with information underscoring the populist source of the movement:
                           Some chanted "La Marseillaise" national anthem while others waved banners reading "Macron, resign!" and "Abolish the privileges of the elite" and a boat in the Seine was set alight.
                           Protester Francois Cordier said: "They have no right to leave us in the sh** like this. We're fed up with having to pay out the whole time, we've had enough of this slavery, we should be able to live on our salaries."
                            Another yellow vest protester outside the old stockmarket building said: "We have to give power back to the people and not a minority that serves its own interests.”
                                Reuters reported that in the Paris protests, "[t]he anti-government protesters on Saturday used a forklift truck to force their way into a government ministry compound, torched cars near the Champs Elysees and in one violent skirmish on a bridge over the Seine punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground." Macron initially attempted to stop the protests by throwing some crumbs to the crowd, but is now taking a more hard line stance:
                                 The government would not relent in its pursuit of reforms to reshape the economy, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on Friday, branding the remaining protesters agitators seeking to overthrow the government.
                                  Twenty-four hours later, he was fleeing his office out of a back door as protesters invaded the courtyard and smashed up several cars. “It wasn’t me who was attacked,” he later said. “It was the Republic.”
                              Protesters had used a forklift to smash down the door to Griveaux's office building.
                                Meanwhile the "Yellow-Vest" movement has been spreading:
                                         He’s been a staunch supporter of gun control measures for decades, but in a surprising twist, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday that nearly two dozen firearms were discovered in Ald. Ed Burke’s offices during their raids in November.
                                           It’s still not known if the guns that were found in November were discovered at Burke’s ward office or at City Hall, but it’s hard to miss the irony of a staunch gun control advocate having to turn over 23 guns as a condition of his bond.
                                              Akkadia was the world’s first empire. It was established in Mesopotamia around 4,300 years ago after its ruler, Sargon of Akkad, united a series of independent city states. Akkadian influence spanned along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from what is now southern Iraq, through to Syria and Turkey. The north-south extent of the empire meant that it covered regions with different climates, ranging from fertile lands in the north which were highly dependent on rainfall (one of Asia’s “bread baskets”), to the irrigation-fed alluvial plains to the south.
                                               It appears that the empire became increasingly dependent on the productivity of the northern lands and used the grains sourced from this region to feed the army and redistribute the food supplies to key supporters. Then, about a century after its formation, the Akkadian Empire suddenly collapsed, followed by mass migration and conflicts. The anguish of the era is perfectly captured in the ancient Curse of Akkad text, which describes a period of turmoil with water and food shortages:
                                          … the large arable tracts yielded no grain, the inundated fields yielded no fish, the irrigated orchards yielded no syrup or wine, the thick clouds did not rain.
                                                   The reason for this collapse is still debated by historians, archaeologists and scientists. One of the most prominent views, championed by Yale archaeologist Harvey Weiss (who built on earlier ideas by Ellsworth Huntington), is that it was caused by an abrupt onset of drought conditions which severely affected the productive northern regions of the empire.
                                                    But when people encounter too much cuteness, the result can be something scientists call "cute aggression."
                                                    People "just have this flash of thinking: 'I want to crush it' or 'I want to squeeze it until pops' or 'I want to punch it,' " says Katherine Stavropoulos, a psychologist in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside.
                                                         The 2016 election and refutation of the ruling class did not signal that those without such educations and qualifications were de facto better suited to direct the country. Instead, the lesson was that the past record of governance and the current stature of our assumed best and brightest certainly did not justify their reputations or authority, much less their outsized self-regard. In short, instead of being a meritocracy, they amount to a mediocracy, neither great nor awful, but mostly mediocre.
                                                         This mediocracy is akin to late 4th-century B.C. Athenian politicians, the last generation of the Roman Republic, the late 18th-century French aristocracy, or the British bipartisan elite of the mid-1930s—their reputations relying on the greater wisdom and accomplishment of an earlier generation, while they remain convinced that their own credentials and titles are synonymous with achievement, and clueless about radical political, economic, military, and social upheavals right under their noses.
                                                           Remember the “new normal”? Our economic czars had simply decided anemic economic growth was the best Americans could expect and that 3 percent annualized GDP growth was out of the realm of possibility. Big government incompetence combined with Wall Street buccaneerism had almost melted down the economy in 2008. Recent presidents had doubled the debt—twice.
                                                            Few could explain how recent agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord or Iran deal could ever have achieved their stated aims, much less were in America’s interest. War planners had not translated interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya into strategic advantage—much less lasting victory—and never offered reasons to be in such places that appealed to half the country.
                                                              Most elites had assumed the deindustrialized red-state interior was doomed to a sort of preordained and irreversible decline, much of it supposedly self-induced. In more candid moments, elites jested that red-state losers might be better replaced by new immigrants, both legal and illegal.
                                                                 Our ruling classes either could not or would not defend American traditions and civilization in our colleges, in our government, and in our popular culture—and they were increasingly accepting of the globalist consensus that America had a flawed past requiring some sort of reparatory future.
                                                                   Our leadership accepted a world in which America’s misdemeanors were the source of global outrage, while China’s felonies were largely exempt from criticism. China’s global hegemony was seen as assumed and fated. Efforts to derail it were near inane or retrograde.
                                                            • "When the state is unjust, citizens may use justifiable violence"--Aeon Magazine. The author poses the following questions: "do we have the right to defend ourselves and others from government injustice when government agents are following an unjust law? I think the answer is yes. But that view needs defending. Under what circumstances might active self-defence, including possible violence, be justified, as opposed to the passive resistance of civil disobedience that Americans generally applaud?" A further excerpt:
                                                                      Here’s a philosophical exercise. Imagine a situation in which a civilian commits an injustice, the kind against which you believe it is permissible to use deception, subterfuge or violence to defend yourself or others. For instance, imagine your friend makes an improper stop at a red light, and his dad, in anger, yanks him out of the car, beats the hell out of him, and continues to strike the back of his skull even after your friend lies subdued and prostrate. May you use violence, if it’s necessary to stop the father? Now imagine the same scene, except this time the attacker is a police officer in Ohio, and the victim is Richard Hubbard III, who in 2017 experienced just such an attack as described. Does that change things? Must you let the police officer possibly kill Hubbard rather than intervene?
                                                                      Most people answer yes, believing that we are forbidden from stopping government agents who violate our rights. I find this puzzling. On this view, my neighbours can eliminate our right of self-defence and our rights to defend others by granting someone an office or passing a bad law. On this view, our rights to life, liberty, due process and security of person can disappear by political fiat – or even when a cop has a bad day. 
                                                                  Federal courts have taken the position that your only recourse is a civil-rights lawsuit after the fact.
                                                                            What we know is that it almost certainly wasn't carbon dioxide or any other trace gas in the atmosphere that was responsible. It appears that levels of CO2 have fluctuated modestly over that period of time and would have little or nothing to do with creating a "snowball earth" or any other radical alteration of the climate.
                                                                             The question then becomes, why would greenhouse gases have much to do with climate change today? There is no doubt that there is a correlation between greenhouse gases and temperature, but no supercomputer in the world could predict any kind of radical alteration of the climate because X amount of CO2 was spewed into the atmosphere. There are many other factors at work in climate change - none of them man made - that to assign CO2 as a culprit for global warming is absurd.
                                                                              A lack of CO2 in the atmosphere did not lead to "snowball earth." Why should an overabundance of CO2 lead to catastrophic global warming?
                                                                                  The Chinese research team managed to turn cheap copper metal into a new material almost identical in composition to gold using jets of hot, electronically charged argon gas.
                                                                                   The fast-moving ionized particles blasted copper atoms off a target metal sheet.
                                                                                     As the atoms cooled down and condensed, a thin layer of “sand” began to form on the surface of a collecting device.
                                                                                      Scientists noted that each grain of sand was only a few nanometers in diameter — around 1/1000th the size of a bacterium.
                                                                                        The article describes that the material was used successfully as a catalyst in a reaction that normally requires gold. Nano-particles of gold are also used in some cutting edge medical treatments, so if this could substitute for gold in other applications it would be a great boon. It might even make it possible to replace street lights with glowing trees.

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