Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Short Barreled AR15's are Stupid"--The Wound Channel (10 min.)
The author suggests that the short barreled ARs, whether an SBR or pistol, have no benefits over a longer barreled AR (say 18- or 20-inch). That may be true if you are only looking at intrinsic factors, but once you consider extrinsic factors, the author's analysis begins to fall apart. First of all, I acknowledge that there is a ballistic disadvantage to using a shorter barrel versus a longer barrel, particularly if you stick to 5.56. However, a short barrel AR can be stowed in a smaller pack than you can fit a longer weapon, and you can turn around in tight spaces (e.g., an interior hallway of house) with a short-barrel weapon shouldered where you would have to lower the longer barrel weapon to execute the same maneuver. 

  • Modern political theory holds that the State has a monopoly on the use of force: "NZ Confiscations Begin: Police Going to Gun Owners’ Homes, Jobs…One Gun Owner Dead"--The Truth About Guns. From the article: "According to members of New Zealand’s largest firearm forum, Kiwi police are starting to go to gun owners’ places of employment, homes, and even visiting gun ranges in an attempt to gather information and get gun owners to relinquish their firearms."  Police are also going through social media posts to locate prohibited firearms. In fact, a photo of a boy holding an airsoft rifle led them to the boy's father, who committed suicide rather than face going to prison--police found the airsoft rifle as well as an SKS.
  • Related: "The Pillars Of Gun Confiscations"--The Captain's Journal. The three are (1) licensing of gun owners, (2) registration of the firearms, and (3) a definitive rejection of the right to bear arms.
           This has "hostile takeover" written all over it. The SPLC is a well honed scam with a huge pile of money in offshore accounts, and a glittering reputation among the incurious and opportunists alike. Their replacements will be from the Clinton-Obama syndicate, in fact, fixer Tina Tchen  is already on site.
             With reliable leadership in place, the Department of Justice—politically corrupt to the point of illegitimacy—will give it cover as an in-house but off-books agency. Look for a recast SPLC more muscular and aggressive than before.
      • Rory Miller has moved his Chiron Training blog to Patreon. His old blog is still up, but who knows for how long. I suspect that this will be the wave of the future as content creators decide to monetize content rather than offering it for free (or for whatever ad revenue they can pick up) on a regular blog. On the other hand, it is $60 per year for the bare bones access to the blog, so Miller will be under a lot more pressure to produce more content. In the meantime, we should appreciate those who still put stuff out there for the general public.
      • Speaking of which, Greg Ellifritz recently posted a thought experiment entitled "The Gas Station Clerk" designed to make you think about the cost of becoming needlessly involved in an incident, and whether you really want to do so. The gist of his article is what would you do if you happened to enter a convenience store when it was being robbed, and had the opportunity to safely back up and leave the scene before the robber noticed you? Would you intervene or look to your own safety? Not intervening doesn't necessarily mean that you completely walk away--you could try to get a description of the perp and his/her vehicle, license plate number, etc. This ties in with my 2017 post concerning the dangers of white knighting.
      • "'One Month' Food Buckets – Good? Bad?"--Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You. The author explores some of the, shall we say, exaggerated claims of these food bucket kits. And one of the main exaggerations has to do with the quantity--i.e., servings--of food. The author explains that many of these companies "want it to sound like there’s a lot of food in the bucket, [so] they just list lots of (really small) servings!" The author continues:
       But how much do the kit producers expect you to eat? I waded into the information on several kits, and came up with values ranging from 1000 to 1,650 calories/day/person. 1000 calories a day isn’t just a ‘weight loss diet’, it’s considered a starvation level diet in the nutrition community; meaning calorie intake is so low the person isn’t just using a lot of body fat, but is probably burning a lot of their own muscle protein just to survive. 1,650 is considered a moderate weight loss diet; and might keep a smallish woman who was sedentary from losing weight at all. I’d call 1,650 calories a reasonable ‘day’, but not 1000/day.
      The author goes on to discuss some example food labels and how to figure out what type of value you may, or may not, be getting from a product.
      • Related: "WISE FOOD STORAGE: IS IT A WISE PURCHASE?"--American Partisan. The author notes some problems that have been identified with Wise Food products, including too much oxygen (promoting decomposition), and a class-action lawsuit that alleged that "Wise Company fails to disclose that if the consumer in fact eats the number of prescribed servings each day necessary to make the food kits last for the advertised period of time, the consumer will effectively starve or suffer adverse health effects given that the food kits provide drastically fewer calories and nutrients than are needed to adequately sustain adults for the advertised periods of time."
      • "The RATS Tourniquet Debacle"--Blue Collar Prepping. If you've been following my humble blog, you know that I have posted about tourniquets quite a bit over the last few months, including discussing that there are only two rapid deployment tourniquets recommended by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (COTCCC). The RATS tourniquet is not one of them. The author of this article reports that "the inventor of the RATS has been caught engaging in shady practices," and describes some of those. Buyer beware.
      • "THE WINDOW OF JUSTIFICATION"--Gabe Suarez discusses one of the important elements of a claim of self-defense, that being that the perpetrator poses an imminent threat. Not posed an imminent threat, not will (or may sometime in the future) pose a threat, but right now. As Suarez explains it:
      Your claim of justified self defense...or defense of others, must fit inside the justification window. Your actions must be contemporaneous to the the assault, attack, etc. Contemporaneous means "close to" in terms of timing. So using our framework of decision-making, you can't legally justify shooting a prospective and potential attacker because you thought, one day, he might seek to harm you. Similarly, you can't justify seeking a subsequent contact with a past aggressor and claim retro-active self defense.
      Now, I know of an incident where a shop owner chased an armed robber into a back alleyway and shot the guy (and also shot at an innocent bystander), and wasn't charged. But that is an outlier from a different time and what, in reality, should be considered a different country. You can't depend on that happening in your case. Read the whole article.

      "Secret Trap You Have Never Seen Before"--Survival Lilly (11 min.)
      An alternative to the standard triggers you generally see in survival books/videos.

              The Jakobshavn glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 feet annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Geoscience.
               Study authors and outside scientists think this is temporary.
          Of course they do--there is more research money and tenured positions available to those who espouse anthropogenic global warming.
                  It has been increasingly established that low solar activity (fewer sunspots) and increased cloud cover (as modulated by cosmic rays) are highly associated with a cooling climate.

                  In recent years, the Earth has unfortunately left a period of very high solar activity, the Modern Grand Maximum.  Periods of high solar activity correspond to multi-decadal- to centennial-scale warming.

                 Solar scientists are now increasingly forecasting a period of very low activity that will commence in the next few years (by around 2020 to 2025).  This will lead to climate cooling, even Little Ice Age conditions.
          On the subject of cloud cover being modulated by cosmic rays, keep in mind that the Earth's magnetic field acts as a shield against cosmic rays, but the magnetic field has been weakening and continues to weaken. More clouds equals a greater albedo, which means more sunlight reflected back into space.
                              It turns out the group that Ukrainian law enforcement was probing was co-funded by the Obama administration and liberal mega-donor George Soros. And it was collaborating with the FBI agents investigating then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business activities with pro-Russian figures in Ukraine.
                               The implied message to Ukraine’s prosecutors was clear: Don’t target AntAC in the middle of an America presidential election in which Soros was backing Hillary Clinton to succeed another Soros favorite, Barack Obama, Ukrainian officials said.
                                  Convoys of cartel gunmen in armored SUVs from a faction of Los Zetas called Cartel Del Noreste rolled into Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, over the weekend. The cartel gunmen sought to take control of the region from Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. The Gulf Cartel countered with its own army of gunmen that rolled out through the city streets in an attempt to fight off the CDN gunmen.
                                   According to local residents, each time the two cartels clashed, the fighting went on for hours at a time without military forces from a nearby base arriving to stop the violence.
                                    Both cartel factions used numerous grenades and incendiary devices in order to disable the other sides armored SUVs. The clashes left several burned-out vehicles throughout the city and the surrounding areas. Despite the raging violence, officials only found the body of one gunman left outside of a local funeral home in a pool of blood. The deceased gunman wore military-style clothing and carried several pieces of tactical gear but is not a Mexican military member.
                                       The fighting in Miguel Aleman comes just days after cartel gunmen left an unidentified headless body and a burned-out SUV near that city. The fighting also follows several other fierce clashes in and around the region. In one of those clashes earlier this year, more than 30 cartel gunmen died with most of them incinerated in a two-day span. Last month, CDN gunmen left a chest with two human heads and a banner threatening the Gulf Cartel and Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG). The CDN gunmen leaked the identity of Bartolo “El Primito” Rodarte Castillo, the leader of a Gulf Cartel faction called “Los Metros.” This is the faction currently in control of Miguel Aleman.
                                Venezuela was once a leader in vector-borne disease prevention and control. In 1961 the World Health Organization certified the South American nation as the first in the world to eliminate malaria from the majority of its territory; in fact the WHO used the malaria-eradication program Venezuela developed in the 1950s as a public health model. 
                                Now, not so much:
                                         Cases of malaria, dengue fever, Zika and other serious illnesses have reached alarming levels in Venezuela and are spilling over into neighboring countries, according to several recent studies.
                                           These so-called vector-borne diseases—transmitted by mosquitoes or other organisms—have increased by as much as 400 percent in Venezuela in the last decade, according to a review study published in The Lancet in February. Spiraling economic and political turmoil have worsened the situation, as has the government’s apparent hostility toward researchers who publish epidemiological data—with reports of pro-government paramilitary groups smashing labs and even stealing experimental mice. “Last year we had more than 600,000 cases [of malaria] reported by the government,” says study co-author Maria Eugenia Grillet, a tropical disease ecologist at Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. She and her co-authors estimated there were actually around 1.2 million cases, taking into account underreporting and disease relapses, Grillet notes. (Relapses occur when a patient has recovered but still carries the malaria-causing parasite and later suffers a recurrence of symptoms.) She blames the increase on a lack of antimalarial surveillance, treatment and control, partly due to funding cuts. “Research in our universities and laboratories is almost completely paralyzed because there are no financing programs that allow us to cover the basic needs to carry out our experiments or fieldwork,” she says.
                                    • Flashback: "Mueller’s Art of War: He’s playing the long game, just like Sun Tzu"--Ryan Casey at Medium (Oct. 11, 2018). Casey begins by asserting that "[u]sing strategies of warfare, Mueller has likely already conceived an endgame, setting the stage for Trump’s downfall." This is a long read, but essentially Casey contends that Mueller approached his investigation like an organized crime case, and was building the foundation for criminal charges to be brought against Trump for alleged past financial dealings, both at the state and federal levels. Specifically, Casey contends that Trump's recover from bankruptcy in the 1990s was because of his receiving cash infusions from Russian oligarchs seeking to launder money, and that these same Russians still have control over Trump: ergo, the alleged coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia. It's a nice story, but the coordination never occurred. However, that does not mean that Mueller has not left landmines to bedevil the Trump Administration in coming months or years.
                                    • "We're from the Government and we're here to help": I've seen several of the blogs I visit regularly cite to this article from Quillette, "The French Genocide That Has Been Air-Brushed From History." It supports my position that more people have been killed in the cause of atheism than any religion. Some of the background:
                                               On July 12 the NCA passed a law, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, that completely subordinated the Catholic Church to the Revolutionary government, and forbade Catholic allegiance to any foreign authority (for example, the Vatican, or the Pope). There would be no more recognizing the authority of bishops who had been appointed by non-French powers. Clergy were also ordered to swear allegiance to the Revolutionaries. They were now to be made civil servants, completely subject to the new French state.
                                                Most priests and bishops not only condemned the new Civil Constitution of the Clergy, but refused to swear the oath that would subject them to civil officials. Revolutionary authorities were concerned that people were still loyal to the clergy rather than them. In October the Directory of the Lower Loire was compelled to remind the clergy that they were being stubborn and had to do as they were told. But most priests remained disobedient.
                                                 On November 10 1790, 103 priests from the diocese of Nantes signed a sharply-worded letter of protest to the NCA condemning their authoritarianism. Legislators were shocked and angry at the ingratitude. A few months later the Bishop of Nantes ordered his clergy to reject the Civil Constitution. Nine out of ten did not need to be told. The Revolutionary authorities had no choice but to appoint new bishops from among those few priests who had sworn to subject themselves to the NCA.
                                                    On June 26 1791, the NCA declared its right to deport or exile “refractory” clergy who had refused to swear the oath. Only obedient “constitutional” clergy who had pledged their allegiance to the NCA were allowed to carry out any duties. Soon there was a shortage of priests; most parishes now had nobody legally to carry out baptisms, weddings, or funerals. Churches were locked up by authorities. Yet citizens continued to show up to church on Sundays, even when the doors were sealed and the priest was imprisoned or in hiding. Force was necessary to maintain the NCA’s new regulations on religion.
                                                      The people refused to show up to Masses celebrated by “constitutional” priests. Indeed the “constitutional” clergy were widely ridiculed as cowards, traitors and infidels. Frequently they were subjected to physical assault. But they were public officials now, and could be protected by the armed forces if necessary, particularly when the faithful showered them with dirt, manure and rocks, or kicked them and spat in their faces.
                                                        On September 20 1792, the National Convention (NC) replaced the NLA, which had supplanted the NCA, which had been formed in July 1789 from the original National Assembly (established in June 1789). The Revolutionaries’ position on the clergy remained consistent. They did not want good priests, or intelligent priests, or well-educated priests, or priests who knew their parishes and the needs of their parishioners: they wanted priests who would obey them, follow orders and not talk back. The clergy stood in the way of their plans to conscript three hundred thousand men for the Revolutionary army.
                                                The Revolutionary Government persisted with their demands, that led to the outbreak of riots on spring 1793. Government forces responded with arresting protesters (labeled brigands), burning their houses, and confiscating anything that could be used as a weapon. In June, the government forces began to spread their reign of terror by destroying churches, windmills, and any structure they believed could be used to hide the so-called brigands. 
                                                          The Committee for Public Safety sent Jean-Baptiste Carrier to Nantes: he arrived on October 20 1793 and stayed there until the middle of February. Carrier pioneered the technique of drowning brigands to save money on bullets. During his four months as the Committee’s representative in Nantes, 452 alleged brigands were acquitted and released from prison, 1,971 were executed by normal means, 3,000 or so died of disease, and 4,860 were drowned. Perhaps 3,000 prisoners survived.
                                                        At first, drowning was used to deal with “refractory” clergy. On November 16 1793, 80 priests were drowned together in a boat; on December 5 or 6 a further 58 were disposed of in the same manner; 10 days later drowning was opened up for brigands more generally, and 129 Vendéens were drowned.
                                                         It became customary to drown brigands naked, not merely so that the Revolutionaries could help themselves to the Vendéens’ clothes, but also so that the younger women among them could be raped before death. Drownings spread far beyond Nantes: on 16th December, General Marceau sent a letter to the Revolutionary Minister of War triumphantly announcing, among other victories, that at least 3,000 non-combatant Vendéen women had been drowned at Pont-au-Baux.   
                                                        The Revolutionaries were drunk with blood, and could not slaughter their brigand prisoners fast enough—women, children, old people, priests, the sick, the infirm. If the prisoners could not walk fast enough to the killing grounds, they were bayoneted in the stomach and left on the ground to be trampled by other prisoners as they bled to death.
                                                        General Westermann, one of the Revolution’s most celebrated soldiers, noted with satisfaction that he arrived at Laval on December 14 with his cavalry to see piles of cadavers—thousands of them—heaped up on either side of the road. The bodies were not counted; they were simply dumped after the soldiers had a chance of strip them of any valuables (mainly clothes).
                                                        No brigand would be allowed to return home: Westermann and his men slaughtered every possible brigand they could find, until the roads of the area were littered with corpses. December 29 was a particularly successful day, with a bumper crop of 400 Vendéens who were butchered from behind. But General Westermann’s single finest day of slaughter took place at Savenay, on December 21. As he announced, to an appreciative and grateful Committee for Public Safety:
                                                Citizens of the Republic, there is no more Vendée. She has died beneath our sabre of freedom, with her women and children. I have buried her in the woods and marshes of Savenay. Following your orders, I have crushed her children under the hooves of my horses, and massacred her women … who will give birth to no further brigands now. There is not a single prisoner who could criticise my actions—I have exterminated them all….
                                                         At Savenay, 3,000 brigands were killed, with another 4,000 taken prisoner to be shot later on.
                                                        The Revolutionary generals also decided to end the lives of Vendéens who had stayed home during the rebellion or had somehow managed to return home. As early as December 20 soldiers were combing the countryside in search of candidates for extra-judicial executions. Some compared the process to hunting rabbits: none of the prey was armed. They were never guillotined, because these were mere peasants and artisans; there were few onlookers who would be particularly interested in watching them die.
                                                In 1794, the government sent more troops:
                                                           On January 17 1794, General Turreau set out with two armies of six divisions each on a ‘Crusade of Liberty’ to deal with what remained of the brigands. He ordered his lieutenants to spare nobody: women and children were also to be bayoneted in the stomach if there was the slightest hint of suspicion. Houses, farms, villages and thickets were all to be set on fire. Anything that could burn would have to burn. Soldiers in the ‘Infernal Columns’ of the Crusade had explicit instructions to wipe out every last possible trace of resistance or rebellion.
                                                           Crusaders for Liberty were relatively sparing in their use of the bayonet. Men, women and children were more often shot, or burned alive in their houses. Some of the Crusading soldiers had the idea of lighting ovens, stoking them and baking Vendéen families in them. Babies were not spared; nor were toddlers or small children. The usual practice was to kill babies in front of their mothers, then kill the mothers. Young girls were often drowned, after first being raped. Widows were usually beaten, insulted and drowned. Though there was no established standard procedure.
                                                             Not all brigand corpses were dumped, or left in the ruins of their homes. Many bodies were skinned for their leather. On April 5 1794 at Clisson, General Crouzat’s soldiers burned 150 women alive to extract their fat to use as grease. Though on the whole the soldiers of the Crusade for Liberty were rarely so enterprising: they were well paid, and any profits they made were incidental. ...
                                                        The article notes that out of a population of 815,000 people, 117,000 "disappeared." This is probably what would have happened to the Mormons in Missouri if they had not fled to Illinois after the Missouri governor issued his extermination order. 
                                                                ACT scores released earlier this month show that students’ math achievement is at a 20-year low. The latest English ACT scores are slightly down since 2007, and students’ readiness for college-level English was at its lowest level since ACT’s creators began measuring that item, in 2002. Students’ preparedness for college-level math is at its lowest point since 2004.
                                                                 SAT scores also dropped post-Common Core until it fully implemented a new version tailored for Common Core. How convenient. Even after the test was overhauled to match Common Core, average test scores increased by 0.7 percent in the most recent results. It represents almost no difference to pre-Common Core results, and the public can’t know exactly how the scores were recentered and altered, either.
                                                                   In all the previous SAT overhauls, average scores technically went up but statistical analyses show they’ve actually been steadily losing ground over the past 60 years. In other words, the SAT has a history of score inflation, and Common Core is doing nothing to reverse that.
                                                            • This is why you shouldn't allow SJW's to remain in your church: "Five Days after the Christchurch Shootings: Subversive Compassion"--Gina Colvin at Patheos. Colvin writes about how churches in New Zealand have responded to the Christchurch shooting, including this: "At our local LDS meeting the Stake President talked about the Five Pillars of Islam." I don't care how much you want to reach out to the victims, it is completely improper for a Church leader to be preaching another religion's tenets as part of a worship service.
                                                            • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Pence calls for NASA to land astronauts on the moon within five years"--Spaceflight Now. I know, I know. Its been over 50 years since the original moon landing, and we should have seen regular travel to the moon by the 1980's or 1990's. But, at least we were able to win Johnson's war on poverty, right? And I'm sure that the trillions of unaccounted dollars to the DoD went to something useful. Nevertheless, it is nice to see some real commitment to move ahead with a manned space program. And I love this statement by Pence: "If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we'll find ones that will."

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