Friday, May 31, 2019

May 31, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

  • TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. I'm currently reading the book, Contact Weapons: Lethality and Defense by Steve Tarani and Damon Fay, so one of the articles cited by Ellifritz that caught my attention was an article by Hock Hochheim on "Strangulation". The article wasn't so much a "how-to" either to strangle someone, or to get out of strangulating hold, but about recognizing strangulation, particularly in the domestic abuse realm. Thus, it lists the different ways that the squeezing can be done as well as symptoms or signs of strangulation. 
  • "Google Has a Creepy Secret Page That Tracks Your (Online and Offline) Shopping History"--Organic Prepper. For at least 9 years, Google has been collecting information from your Gmail account (if you have one) about your purchases via receipts and order confirmations delivered via Gmail. "It also includes some real-world transactions made using my credit card, thanks to point-of-sale software providers like Square and others that link your credit card number and name to an associated email account to deliver receipts, offer rewards programs, and, in some cases, collect valuable purchase data." I checked my account and there were only a handful of transactions over the last 4 years, so the amount of information may vary. 
  • "Why Having a Carry Gun Rotation Is a Bad Idea"--The Truth About Guns. The author isn't talking about having two or three firearms that use for carry that you switch between based on your concealment needs or ability (e.g., using one firearm for colder weather when you can carry under a jacket, versus something smaller for summer carry), but people that rotate between multiple firearms just for the sake of carrying different firearms. The author adds: "There are many who will argue against this, and at the risk of ruffling feathers I will say this: those who say they can switch platforms on a daily basis without issue are consistently training at only a casual level, while accomplished shooters tend to stick to a single platform." 
  • "SIG Sauer Introduce P365 with Manual Safety"--The Firearm Blog
  • Uh, no: "Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author writes:
So JC, why is a flintlock blackpowder firearm important in your survivalist preps? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, we know that your ammo storage for your cartridge firearms is not limitless, right? Second, if you’re going to be hunting for your food as well as trapping it (you do have your supply of conibear traps and snares acquired, right?), which would you rather use for that hunting firearm?  One that uses ammo that will eventually run out, or one that has the ability to scrounge all the items needed to reload it?
      I've discussed this issue before, but to recap: making black powder requires minerals and compounds that you might not be able to find locally, and actually requires a fair amount of technology and established trade to support its manufacture; even flint stones are not something present everywhere. It is not like the episode of Star Trek where Kirk was fighting the Gorn captain, and found everything conveniently lying about. While you can make charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate (saltpeter) are a different matter; in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, potassium nitrate was "harvested" from the bottom of manure piles. If you have enough livestock to produce your own saltpeter, you probably don't need to hunt. In any event, there is a reason why you never hear about early pioneers or settlers making their own gun powder.
      You will also require a source of materials for making bullets/balls, and the equipment to cast them. In addition, especially with flintlocks which require an open pan to ignite the powder, they are less reliable in inclement weather than modern firearms, or even more modern percussion cap black powder rifles. In other words, while a romantic notion, black powder firearms are not as practicable as most people think. For the price of a good quality flintlock and all the equipment, you could probably put together a basic set of reloading equipment. If you want to shoot muzzle loading black powder firearms, just do it; but don't use prepping as an excuse.
  • Related: "The Lost Art Of Shooting Cap-And-Ball Revolvers"--Gun Digest. The author observes that "[t]here’s a major nostalgia factor to blackpowder shooting in general and the cap-and-ball revolver in particular, and an appreciation for just how far things have come." The article then delves into the mechanics of shooting such weapons.
          Too many new(er) concealed carriers have a grossly inflated sense of invincibility, or stated differently, a dangerous false sense of security. This assumption makes sense on the surface.
            “Hey, I’ve got a gun. If I ever end up in an unavoidable dangerous situation, I’ll just use it and everything will be fine.”
              That seems like a sound plan until you think through details. Consider a few hypothetical situations and with each, be honest with yourself about whether “having a gun” would have helped you.
                You’re standing in line waiting to buy a Monster Energy Drink one Monday morning on the way to work. There’s someone in front of you and someone else behind. You’re checking the news on your phone. Suddenly, the guy behind you has a gun out and is screaming for everyone to get down and demanding money from the cashier. Did simply having a gun help you?
                  You’re sitting in the passenger seat of a car at the gas station. Your spouse went inside to buy something while you wait. You’re replying to a quick email message on your phone. Suddenly, a gun with a gun jumps in the driver’s seat and tells you he’s studying to be a professional carjacker. Did simply having a gun help you?
                    You’re sitting in a movie theater taking in the latest re-make of some movie that’s already been released a dozen times before. You’re absorbed in the film and wondering why they can’t seem come up with new movie storyline ideas. Suddenly, the person sitting directly behind you jumps up and starts shooting. Did simply having a gun help you?
                      You get the idea. While I presented these as hypothetical scenarios, each is very real. What should be obvious is that just “having” a gun may not have helped one single bit in any of these situations. The actions of being observant to your surroundings and keeping your nose out of your cell phone can be far more impactful to your safety than simply “having a gun.”
                  Read the whole thing.
                  • "We are Tribal at our Core"--Modern Survival Blog. The author argues that we were designed/evolved to work together in close-knit groups. It's why soldiers are so loyal to their bothers-in-arms and why people pull together after disasters. And, the author continues, our modern lifestyle is completely antithetical to tribalism.
                  • Related: "Sometimes African tribalism can work in our favor"--Bayou Renaissance Man. The article is primarily about how difficult a time Islamic terrorist groups have had in gaining recruits in Somalia because of the extreme tribalism there. Grant quotes the following:
                    Part of the foreign aid problem is the nature of Somali culture. It is very competitive, entrepreneurial, violent and resourceful. For most Somalis, al Shabaab is not so much a religious movement as it is an opportunity to make some money. Al Shabaab is very much a criminal organization whose main goal is to make more money so it can recruit more members, arm them and use violence, bribes and extortion to obtain still more power and wealth. This Somali outlook put al Shabaab at odds with al Qaeda and other international Islamic terror groups. In the end, the Somalis won that argument in Somalia. 
                      Grant adds his own thoughts:
                              Somalia is, in terms of its clan problem, emblematic of the situation in Africa as a whole.  One's primary loyalty is to the clan, and to the tribe of which it's a part.  Anything less, and the other clans will eat you alive.  That means efforts by Western aid agencies to get into conflict zones, where clan is fighting clan and tribe is fighting tribe, are often fruitless (and pointless to begin with).  They are owed no loyalty.  They are not a clan or tribe;  therefore, they don't even have a reason to exist, as far as the locals are concerned.  They're horning in on a problem that's none of their business.
                               That explains a lot . . . and, along with primitive superstition, it's why efforts to contain the Ebola crisis in Congo are failing.
                                  (By the way, try this exercise.  Compare and contrast US inner-city and prison gangs with African tribes and clans.  The parallels are almost exact, no matter what the race or ethnic origin of the gangs concerned.  In fact, while working as a prison chaplain, I learned to treat prison gangs as just another version of African tribes.  That approach worked very well as far as interacting with them went.  It didn't stop them being almost primitively [and sometimes very violently] focused on their criminal ends;  but it made it easier to understand them, and therefore deal with them.)
                                   In times of extreme stress or sudden violence, the brain triggers the body to produce a flood of hormones meant to prepare the body to fight or to flee. This state of hyperarousal can cause you to act impulsively and without clear direction. While in this state, it’s very difficult to think rationally, and actions taken may in retrospect seem unintelligent, counterproductive, or even negligent.
                                      Parents have abandoned their own children in mass-casualty shootings, struck their own children while attempting to fight attackers, and more. When these stories are reported, it’s common to see visceral and outraged reactions, but the hard truth is that any one of us could potentially act in a similar fashion. While considering it rationally, we would never imagine it possible — but we can’t underestimate what we might do in a state of hyperarousal.
                                        The good news is that you can lessen the ability of your subconscious to hijack your body. Proactively planning for the presence of your children in the event of a violent crime gives your brain a strategy to focus on should a similar event occur. This guideline can help switch your subconscious mind out of hyperarousal and back into rational thought more quickly.
                                          Practicing controlling your body’s response to extreme stress through physical activity and stressful activities or sports can also help you better manage stress when it occurs.
                                            Internally, the new Wrangler is largely a Ruger New Model Single-Six with a couple of changes. One large difference is that the Wrangler has a free-spin pawl. When the loading gate is open, this allows the cylinder to spin both clockwise and counterclockwise. The inside of the loading gate is scalloped, making it easier to open.
                                              With a single-action that does not have a free-spin pawl, if you accidentally go past a chamber while loading or unloading, the cylinder must complete a full rotation. With a free-spin pawl, the cylinder can simply be rotated back to the chamber you need to take action with.
                                                The grip frame, cylinder frame, and ejector rod housing of the Wrangler are made of aluminum, resulting in a lightweight, handy revolver. Cutouts on both sides of the hammer also reduce weight a bit. The cylinder, barrel, and small parts are made of steel.

                                          "The Strange Ambush of Team Rock Mat, Vietnam 1970"--Mark Felton Productions (5-1/2 min.)

                                          The Marine was patrolling the border in the El Centro Sector, Station Zone 2, on May 29 when the vehicle developed a problem with the surveillance display. The scene was roughly 7.5 miles from the U.S.-Mexico Border. A Border Patrol agent working with the two Marines reportedly directed one of the Marines to go with him for assistance. The second Marine waited with the vehicle. The Marine told officials that while he waited, he was approached by a group of three unknown individuals. One of the three reportedly opened the door to the vehicle and attempted to take control of the Marine’s sidearm. During the struggle, the Marine fired his pistol one time, striking the forward-looking infrared display unit mounted on the dash. The attackers fled at that point. 
                                          • Does this mean that activists will be tearing down statutes and paintings of MLK? "MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S, TURN"--Powerline. Reports based on FBI surveillance of the civil rights leader reveal that he was complicit in a forcible rape committed by a fellow minister:
                                          The FBI document adds: “When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcibly raped her” as King watched. At the same hotel the following evening, King and a dozen other individuals “participated in a sex orgy” including what one FBI official described as “acts of degeneracy and depravity . . . When one of the women shied away from engaging in an unnatural act, King and several of the men discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect. King told her that to perform such an act would ‘help your soul’.”
                                                Gang members in London and the wider country are taking part in a deadly game in which they receive varying points for stabbing or shooting victims in different parts of the body.
                                                  The system of point scoring sees 50 points given for an attack on the head or face, 30 points for the chest, 20 for the stomach, and so on. The gang members often brag about the points they have racked up in rap videos posted to YouTube and other social media.
                                            • "The polar ice melt myth"--Watts Up With That. While the media screams "emergency" and "panic" over the shrinking ice coverage, in terms of the area covered by ice, the fact is that it is not the area coverage of sea ice that is critical, but the thickness of ice on Greenland and Antarctica. From the article:
                                            The most important measure of ice is its thickness. The United States Geologic Survey estimates the total ice on Earth weighs 28 million Gigatons(a billion tons). Antarctica and Greenland combined represent 99% of all ice on Earth. The remaining one per cent is in glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice. Antarctica can exceed 3 miles in thickness and Greenland one mile. If they were to melt sea level would indeed rise over 200 feet, but not even the most radical alarmists suggest that possibility arising due to the use of fossil fuels. However the ice that flows off of the Antarctic and Greenland called shelf ice represents only half a percent of all the Earth’s ice and which if melted would raise sea level only 14 inches.
                                            • Of course: "Federally Funded Study: Common Core Sunk U.S. Kids’ Test Scores"--The Federalist. The article reports that "[t]he study found not only lower student achievement since Common Core, but also performed data analysis suggesting students would have done better if Common Core had never existed. The achievement declines also grew worse over time...." I suspect that students would have done better had the Department of Education never existed.
                                            • When Democrats are in control: "Homeless People In Fremont Found Living In Makeshift Tree Houses"--CBS San Francisco. 
                                            • Why student loans shouldn't be subsidized: "Debt-Laden Americans Flee Country To Escape Crushing Student Loans"--Zero Hedge
                                            • Oh no! The peasants are revolting! "Weeks-Old Brexit Party Wins in European Elections"--Town Hall. "Despite its infancy, the Brexit Party won 31.6 percent of the vote on Sunday. The Liberal Democrats came in second and Labour came in third, while the Conservative Party, the current one in government, came in an embarrassing fifth place." Unfortunately, these elections were for representatives in the EU parliament, which lacks any real power, and not UK national elections. However, it probably foreshadows how the national elections will go. 
                                            • Speaking of problems with the peasants, the new push from the elites is to eliminate the electoral college in the United States: "Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College"--USA Today. The author explains why the electoral college was designed to act as restraint on majority rule. Although most people probably don't realize us, we've already seen what would happen if the electoral college as abolished. At one time, most states mimicked the Federal system by having two houses in their legislature, with one house representing the popular vote, and another house composed of representatives of particular counties. Thus, in at least one house of a state legislature, each county would have the same representation regardless of population. In 1964, however, in a case called Reynolds v. Sims, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the practice of representation for individual counties, but instead required all legislative elections be based on districts of equal population. Since then, state politics have become dominated by the large urban centers. And that is exactly what will happen if the electoral college is abandoned.
                                            • "The outbreak of the second Cold War"--Niall Ferguson at The Boston Globe. An excerpt:
                                                   Because the Internet and smartphones have enlarged, accelerated, and empowered social networks in the same way that the printing press did in the 16th and 17th centuries, today’s strategic rivalry is being played out in a near-borderless world, altogether different from the world of early John le Carré.
                                                     The 17th century had it all: climate change (the Little Ice Age that regularly froze the Thames), refugee crises (as Protestant zealots crossed the Atlantic), extreme views (as Catholics and Protestants sought to smear one another), and fake news (as witch-finders condemned hundreds of innocent women to death). But its most familiar feature to our eyes was the erosion of state sovereignty. The war of religion had no respect for borders: Jesuits infiltrated Protestant England just as Russian trolls now meddle in Western democracies.
                                                       The Thirty Years’ War was as much about power as it was about religion, however. Unlike the Cold War, which was waged by two superpowers, the Thirty Years’ War was a multiplayer game. The Holy Roman Emperor sought to reimpose Catholicism on Bohemia. Spain wanted to bring the rebellious Dutch back under Habsburg rule. Despite being Catholic, France sought to challenge the power of both Spain and Austria.
                                                          In the same way, today’s world is not bipolar. The United States may tell others to boycott Huawei, but not all Europeans will comply. China is the biggest economy in Asia, but it does not control India.
                                                           The Cold War created vast tank armies and nuclear arsenals, pointed at each other but never used. The Thirty Years’ War was quite different. It was a time of terrorism and gruesome violence, with no clear distinction between soldiers and civilians. (Think Syria.) Then, as now, the worst-affected areas suffered death and depopulation. There was no deterrence then, just as there is none now in cyberwarfare. Indeed, states tended to underestimate the costs of getting involved in the conflict. Both Britain and France did so — only to slide into civil war themselves.
                                                              The implications of this analogy are not cheering. The sole consolation I can offer is that, thanks to technology, most things nowadays happen roughly 10 times faster than they did 400 years ago. So we may be heading for a Three Years’ War rather than a Thirty Years’ War. Either way, we need to learn how to end such a war.
                                                        The 30-Years War was in no way a "cold war." It was a long bloody conflict the depopulated large portions of Germany. As the author suggests, but doesn't quite say, the only reason the "cold war" stayed "cold" rather than "hot" was because there was little interconnection between the Soviet bloc and the West. That is not the case between China and the United States. 
                                                                Zubrin writes that in the twenty-first century, victory on land, sea, or in the air will go to the power that controls space. Knock out the enemy’s reconnaissance, communications, and navigational satellites and they are effectively blind, deaf, and without the ability to aim their weapons, he writes. For these reasons, Zubrin argues in his book that in any serious future conventional conflict, space power will prove decisive.
                                                                  And although both Russia and China are now capable of taking out our low altitude reconnaissance satellites, they still can’t take out our GPS and communications satellites which fly at much higher altitudes writes Zubrin. But he notes that there’s every reason to believe these two potential adversaries are working to develop that capability.
                                                                   What should the U.S. do to ensure its national security?
                                                                     Zubrin writes that the U.S. needs fighter satellites that can not only knock out an adversary’s space assets but patrol as escorts for our own reconnaissance, GPS, and communication satellites. Ideally, he notes, such fighter Sats would be easily maneuverable and small and cheap to produce. He advocates arming them with weapons systems that allow them to either intercept an ASAT as it is approaching or destroy it at a distance.

                                                                Tuesday, May 28, 2019

                                                                May 28, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                "Advanced Patrolling 2: Multiple Enemy Firing Points"--Max Velocity Tactical (10 min.)
                                                                This is a follow up to the prior video on "satellite patrolling" employing a three element unit.

                                                                        Gun manufacturers and dealers have been de facto part-time government agents since the latter part of the last century but the means of making high quality arms are getting more "democratic and equal". 3D printed gun parts is news only to the donor class and their marching morons, more evidence gun control has always been a fever dream of the exceptionally ungifted and ignorant by choice.
                                                                         Add to the fascination with 3D printing the cadre of machinists experienced with machine tools, including CNC. It's worth remembering the Sten gun was largely a cottage industry, and the superior Sterling and M3A1 Grease Gun aren't much more difficult to make. Also recall nascent Israel armed itself partly with two and a half million cartridges made in a dingy workshop hidden under a bakery. Drawing and forming cases from coil stock is an exacting process but the technology is widespread and a century and a half old.
                                                                           Our ruling grandees made a serious mistake attempting to herd the "gun culture" into the catacombs. They've succeeded only in creating a Sherwood Forest flavor to it. With the equipment, expertise and motivation in place, cloning Glock parts with 3D printers won't be the end of it. It didn't have to be this way, it shouldn't be this way, but this is the way it is.
                                                                             I don't have any particular criticism of what he says on this issue, but I want to point out that firearms are only part--a perhaps a minor part, at that--of what is needed to resist a tyrant or repel a large, organized group of attackers. When black powder was introduced, it not only found use as a propellant for artillery and firearms, but also as an explosive. While we remember the British march on Lexington to seize weapons, we forget that certain of the weapons that they were after were artillery pieces--cannon. Cannon (and mortars) also played a role in the battles that followed, including their use by U.S. privateers. The 19th Century saw yet another revolution in weapons due to the discovery of nitrogen based explosives and propellants. Not only did this give us the modern firearm cartridge using smokeless powder, but allowed for better explosives, including explosive shells delivered from artillery and mortars, and better methods to deliver those shells. But unlike the prior black powder period, private individuals only benefited from a part of this revolution--the modern firearm. Civilians generally lack access to explosives, and almost completely lack access to the means of delivering those explosives. Watch the Max Velocity videos above and below, and consider how circumstances might have been different if one side or another had access to small mortars, grenade launchers, hand grenades, or explosive mines. And consider that the most recent data I could find indicates that "Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) caused nearly half (45%) of all U.S. deaths in operational war zones." Moreover, "[o]f those that were not killed by IED related incidents, 37% died under nonhostile conditions, primarily from accidents (including loss of aircraft or ground vehicle) or as the result of self-inflicted injury." Or, in other words, 20% of the total deaths. That means that only 35% of the deaths were the result of something other than improvised explosives or accident/suicide. But, of the remaining 35%, how many were due to non-IED explosives (e.g., RPGs)? Unfortunately, the report doesn't say. But the main takeaway is that even in an insurgency, explosives can be more important of a weapon than firearms.
                                                                             Second point: Ol' Remus is aware of the criticism leveled at his prior comments on the wounding effect of 5.56 and 9 mm, as well as the information on the performance of heavier soft-point rounds in 5.56/.223. But, to him, this doesn't matter:
                                                                        But there's a problem. 5.56mm hunting ammo is typically sold by the box of twenty at a premium price. For rounds sold at steep discount in quantity—250, or 500, or 1,000 say—full metal jacket is almost always the only option. For this reason, the typical prepper's doomsday stock is all but certain to be ball ammo.
                                                                        However, the same argument applies to other calibers, including 7.62 NATO (.308); that is, that the prepper will most likely have stocked up on FMJ 7.62 ammunition. 
                                                                             One of the earliest articles I wrote for this blog--"Some Thoughts on a 'Battery' of Survival Arms--Part II--.22 versus .30 Caliber"--addressed this issue by looking at the history of research into the effectiveness of different caliber projectiles for military use. (See also here and here). Basically, however, Army testing from as early as 1928 showed that, when considering FMJ projectiles, smaller calibers were more lethal than the .30 caliber projectile used in the .30-06. Further testing and research after the Korean War concluded that the ideal round would use a 50-grain .22 caliber bullet with a velocity of 3,500 feet per second. So, in short, if you are limited to using FMJ ammunition, you are better off with the 5.56 over the 7.62 as far as lethality is concerned.
                                                                               ... The founders did not want a standing army, and there were no calls for these men to surrender their personal firearms once a military crisis had been addressed.
                                                                                Ultimately, free men must be the ones responsible for defending their liberties and their country if that freedom is to last. The founders believed that, and it’s why they favored a militia-style military composed self-equipped men, which would reduce the risk of a standing army that would take that responsibility away. If free men are not responsible, then they are not really in charge – and thus they are not truly free.
                                                                            • "The Riotgun And The Bayonet"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author addresses what he thinks would be the better weapon for defense against rioters or mobs. Some of the points raised by the author for using a pump-action shotgun "with an extended magazine, rifle sights, and ... designed to mount a bayonet," are: the ability of a shotgun to obtain one-shot stops, and the ability to use other types of ammunition including non-lethal or slugs.  As for the bayonet, the author asks: "If multiple bad guys are coming through your front door, wouldn’t it be nice to not only have a blunt trauma capability (buttstroke), but a lethal force ability beyond just the shotgun shells in the magazine of the riotgun?" Oh, the particular model of shotgun he is discussing is the Mossberg 590.
                                                                                 No criticism is intended against the author of the foregoing piece--his subject was limited to selecting a weapon--but there is a lot more to consider when discussing defense against a mob than what weapon to use. I wrote about this in a lengthy piece back in 2014 (see "Thoughts on Defense Against a Mob"), but I noted that the odds of a small group of people, let alone a lone person, fending off a mob are not very good. Although I found some successful counter-examples, these were few in number, and generally involved disciplined soldiers fighting from a position of advantage. The disciplined part is important: since I wrote that article, I've come across two accounts of American settlers that literally circled their wagons to fend off attacks and, notwithstanding the presence of former soldiers in their ranks, were unsuccessful in their defense--in one case, they were overrun and in the other they surrendered (and were subsequently killed) because they had run out of water. In my article, I mused:
                                                                             I've noted before the importance of psychologically defeating any enemy--destroying their will to fight, as Bevin Alexander describes it in his writings. The foregoing passage from Ms. Avant suggests that a successful defense from a mob would require (a) reversing the deindividuation or loss of self-awareness--essentially, make the person feel isolated from his/her compatriots; and (b) raising the individual member's sense of responsibility or personal consequence. 
                                                                            Most mobs would probably disperse if fire upon, even by only one or two individuals; but for a mob truly driven by desperation or hatred, more will be required. I suggested that massed fire from a number of defenders--perhaps even the volley fire practiced in earlier centuries--might be the best option. I welcome any comments.
                                                                                   The rates of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1, or HTLV-1, infection are exceeding 40% among adults in remote regions of central Australia, with indigenous communities being the hardest hit, especially in the town of Alice Springs.
                                                                                     Many doctors -- including the man who discovered the virus nearly four decades ago -- are raising the alarm about how little has been done to prevent, test for and treat HTLV-1, which can cause leukemia and lymphoma.
                                                                                  * * *
                                                                                        HTLV-1 -- an ancient virus whose DNA can be found in 1,500-year-old Andean mummies -- can spread from mother to child, particularly through breastfeeding; between sexual partners, through unprotected sex; and by blood contact, such as through transfusions. Because it can be transmitted through sex, it's considered a sexually transmitted infection, or STI.
                                                                                           The virus is associated with myriad serious health problems, such as diseases of the nervous system and a lung-damaging condition called bronchiectasis, and it weakens the immune system. HTLV-1 is sometimes called a cousin of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.
                                                                                      • "What’s the best ammunition for small .357 Magnum revolvers?"--Loadout Room. I would think something with reasonable recoil and using a low-flash powder. The author conducted a test using a snubby J-frame and a full-sized revolver. He used four types of ammo: a .38 Special, a .38 +P, and two types of .357 Magnum: Speer GDHP SB 135 .357 and Rem UMC JSP 125 .357. The test involved shooting the Hardwired Tactical “Super Snubby Test” and comparing the scores. Obviously, the highest scores were obtained with the .38 Special rounds. The Speer Gold Dot for short barrels was close behind. But there was a significant difference with the Remington load, especially out of the J-frame revolver, and this came down to the recoil. The author describes:
                                                                                        The 125-grain Remington was a different experience entirely. This load was far more powerful than the others, and is what I imagine most people conjure of when they think of .357 Magnum ammo. The main problem was that the gun physically moved in my hands. After about every other shot I had to adjust my grasp. The recoil had caused the gun to jump “up” in my hand, breaking my firm, two-handed grip. This lack of purchase forced me to reacquire a firing grip before continuing the drill, and slowed my rate of fire. This is NOT the type of thing that you can just ignore, and ignoring the blast and recoil won’t change physics.
                                                                                        • "REPURPOSING GEAR: THE POWER OF DYE"--American Partisan. Some gear that the author wanted was only available in the ACU pattern which, as I've discussed before, only matches lichen growing on granite. The author solved that problem by dying it green. He describes his process and instructions, as well as a few tips. This can also assist in other ways. I've found that too many "multi-purpose" patterns incorporate white or other very light colors that are easy to pick up if there is any movement. A brown dye would help with this problem. And, even though I live in a desert, the colors here are not the light colors prevalent in Iraq. Thus, desert camo deserves to be darkened a bit.
                                                                                        • "Civilian OPSEC: A Different Take"--Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You. The author has posted some lengthy comments from a reader concerning a prior article on OPSEC. This reader notes that there are three basic levels of OPSEC to consider: local, state and federal. This reader offers some thoughts on the threats at each of these levels, but adds:
                                                                                          [C]ivilian OPSEC is keeping untrustworthy folks from getting you in trouble with government folks or robbed, legally (anti-hording or red flag laws) or illegally. First trust is earned not given. If so and so vouches for them so what? YOU have to decide if they are trustworthy not someone outside your group. Almost every episode of FBI informers being discovered inside a group they were Vouched for by someone some distance away but trusted. Sad to say choosing to live a preparedness lifestyle is often looked on as potentially dangerous to others.
                                                                                            Also:
                                                                                              Civilian OPSEC is multi-layered. Even if I think well of you why should I show you my food reserves or whatever? Bragging is not a OPSEC thing. An unhappy family member or unhappy neighbor cannot red flag you for legal weapons removal if they are unaware of them. 
                                                                                                We, as a nation, have previously seen federal laws prohibiting food hoarding (see my post, "An Example of Why OPSEC is Important"). In that article, I discussed a 1918 prosecution of a Navy officer for hoarding food. It appeared from the article that the "offenders" were caught because they were informed on by a friend of the local "Food Administrator." Its not clear whether from the story how the "friend" knew about the stored food, but it is notable that the Navy officer had earlier sold some of the stored food to a grocer.
                                                                                                • "The Berkey Water Filter is Expensive – Is it Worth the Money?"--Modern Survival Blog. The author believes it is, and explains why. Basically, it is a matter of you get what you pay for.
                                                                                                • "Skill Set: Trust but Verify?"--Tiger McKee at Tactical Wire. With so much incorrect or outdated information out there on self-defense issues, the author suggests that rather than trusting sources and, only later, getting around to verifying if what they told you, you should first attempt to verify what they are telling you before you trust them.
                                                                                                • Related: "No one knows anything"--Vox Popoli. Although this is not a self-defense or prepping article, per se, I think it behooves us to keep the point of the article in mind:
                                                                                                  The result [of a study of the ability of experts to forecast the future]: The experts were, by and large, horrific forecasters. Their areas of specialty, years of experience, and (for some) access to classified information made no difference. They were bad at short-term forecasting and bad at long-term forecasting. They were bad at forecasting in every domain. When experts declared that future events were impossible or nearly impossible, 15 percent of them occurred nonetheless. When they declared events to be a sure thing, more than one-quarter of them failed to transpire. As the Danish proverb warns, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”
                                                                                                    When viewed through the lens of 4GW, the illegal immigrant is one of the most powerful warriors on earth though he does not use much overt violence. His primary weapon is weakness, which is the biggest weapon a 4th Generation warrior can have because it gathers him numerous allies from our decadent culture without him having to do any work at all. This is a seeming contradiction: he is weak but powerful. His weakness is socioeconomic. His country is poor and he wants to come to America “for a better life.” He smiles meekly at the American jefes who hire him. He shows up on time and will work dirty and dangerous jobs without complaining. His poor wife is constantly pushing around another nino in the baby carriage. Sure, he commits some crime here and there, but it’s managed by local police. His other weakness is that he is a Person of Color which means he’s a member of The Oppressed in the cultural Marxist worldview. He supposedly doesn’t speak English well enough to understand police and therefore isn’t expected to follow our laws so he is punished lightly. Because these weaknesses, he is not considered a threat by anyone of importance so nothing is done about him. Quite the contrary, he is a great asset to rich, powerful, and upwardly-mobile liberals and pseudoconservatives who need him.
                                                                                                      Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                      • Related: Selco is well known among preppers because of his experience in the Balkan Wars. Balkanization. That is what we call diversity that breaks apart countries (not nations, because they are not one people). The Organic Prepper has an excerpt from Selco's book: "What Combat Is Really Like (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)."
                                                                                                      • "Kindness to Strangers Isn’t Rewarded"--Aprill Risk Consulting. "Kindness to strangers is a powerful 'GO' signal to violent criminal actors (VCAs) making decisions about who they select for victimization. ... For nice, ordinary, normal people kindness is a virtue. For a VCA it’s an engraved invitation to do their worst." 

                                                                                                      "Advanced Patrolling 3: Multiple Enemy Firing Points - Break Contact"--Max Velocity Tactical (7 min.). This is the 3rd part of the "satellite patrolling".

                                                                                                      Nancy Pelosi said she wished someone would stage an intervention with Trump. Anons on Q’s board noted when John McCain talked about JFK’s assassination, he referred to it as an “Intervention.” Was she calling for another intervention for Trump? Is intervention a word they use to describe assassinations? Meanwhile CNN, on a story about Trump’s Air Force One, chooses not to run a picture of Trump and Melania on the steps fo [sic] Air Force One, but rather to run an image of JFK and Jackie arriving in Dallas. That is not coincidence. And then you had John Brennan tweet out a paraphrase of James 3:13. The frame of the Zapruder film which showed JFK’s head burst open was frame 3:13 – something which featured in the name of a movie about the assassination. 
                                                                                                      • Related: "Trump Prioritizes Prosecutions"--Political Speculation (h/t Anonymous Conservative).  The author of this piece explains that the President's de-classification order won't result in documents being made public, but, rather, that they will be made available to the Attorney General to aid his investigations into the shenanigans at the FBI and CIA.
                                                                                                            “The world is developing into one not of nation-states, but of empires. China is an empire. India is an empire. The U.S. is an empire. We need to create a European Union that is capable of defending our interests,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the cantankerous leader of the liberal group of the EU Parliament. He supports further centralization.
                                                                                                               The same sentiment is prevalent in Germany, the EU’s driving power. “Europe must reposition itself to stand up to the challenges posed by its three big global rivals, China, Russia and the U.S.,” The Guardian reported Angela Merkel saying before the elections.
                                                                                                                 So why do even otherwise sensible international relations theorists like Stephen Walt lament for the EU? It defies logic, as well as history. Under no circumstances can two hegemons coexist in one hemisphere, and the EU is slowly morphing into an imperial entity, with one parliament and one foreign policy. It might not have the same military power as the United States has, but does have enough trade power to throw its support behind China or Russia, unless divided.
                                                                                                                   I asked Hazony about that. According to Hazony, a future conflict between the EU and United States is almost inevitable. The EU is already a German-dominated empire, he said, but one that has cleverly managed to toss the continent’s entire security burden to American taxpayers, even when it has spent a record amount of 23 billion Euros on welfare for refugees.
                                                                                                                    Because American policymakers and taxpayers, either due to misguided optimism, delusion, or naivete, do not see what the EU is slowly morphing into, Germany can carry on the coercive imperium, but without the burden of paying for it and providing all the manpower. Hazony noted this is unsustainable. As the EU consolidates, and U.S. power and control over the EU declines, the EU will inevitably chart its own path, and side with U.S. adversaries.
                                                                                                                       At the end of the day, the United States is, like the United Kingdom, a maritime, free-trading great power and nation-state, and will inevitably come into conflict with an imperial entity trying to set rules. 
                                                                                                                  • "Of Nearly 1,000 Rape Kits Tested in DA Project, 60% Have No Male DNA"--Times of San Diego. The article attempts to explain this away as a consequence of the rapist not leaving DNA because he used a condom, didn't ejaculate, used a foreign object, evidence was lost because of too long of time before the rape kit was used, the woman had washed away DNA traces, etc. That perhaps some percentage of this was because the rape report was false is reported as being "very rare," which seems unlikely. Of the positive results, and no surprise, the vast majority were people known by the woman.
                                                                                                                  • Weapons of any type are strictly controlled in Japan: "Two killed, including schoolgirl, in Japan stabbing spree"--CNN. 17 others were injured in the attack on a group of children waiting for a bus. The other killed was an adult male that apparently was standing at the bus stop. The attacker, a 55 year old male, also died after cutting or stabbing his own throat. 
                                                                                                                  • "Americans Are in Desperate Need of a Lesson on the History of Slavery"--William Sullivan at American Thinker. He quotes Thomas Sowell for the following: "Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century[.]"
                                                                                                                  • Sounds like Brazil has a serious prison gang problem: "More than 40 inmates across three Brazilian prisons are found strangled to death inside their cells - just one day after a mass brawl at another jail left 15 prisoners dead"--Daily Mail
                                                                                                                  • Some European leaders are rejecting the mass importation of foreign peoples: "Salvini Says No to ‘Eurabia’ in Italy After Report on Swedish Migrant Areas"--Breitbart. Sweden's response was to deny that it had "no go zones" of hostile Muslim immigrants, but that they were "socially vulnerable areas" instead. Well, that changes everything!
                                                                                                                  • Diversity + Proximity = War: "Germany tells Jews to pretend they're gentiles"--Brain Flushings. Specifically, "Felix Klein, Germany's government commissioner on anti-Semitism, recommends that Jews in his country would be wise to avoid wearing yarmulkes [aka kippahs or skullcaps] in public to avoid being attacked by anti-Semites." (brackets in original). The author goes on to note that Klein, however, did not recommend that Muslim women cease wearing Hijabs to avoid anti-Muslim attacks. The explanation for the discrepancy is simple, though: Klein knows that the anti-Semitic attacks are mostly by Muslims.
                                                                                                                  • Diversity is a strength: "Biker gang raid: What do we know about Al-Salam-313?"--DW. The article indicates German police raided 49 properties in 11 cities across the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Per the article:
                                                                                                                          The objective of Wednesday's major raid on the Al-Salam-313 biker gang was to collect and prepare evidence, and its preparation took several months, said Herbert Reul, interior minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The gang is suspected of having committed a variety of crimes ranging from illegal weapons trading, people smuggling, passport forgery, and drug distribution. Police have identified 34 suspects, who are mainly of Iraqi and Syrian descent. The minister said the raid dealt a "blow to organized crime."
                                                                                                                           Prior to the raid, DW had independently researched the group in connection to claims of its criminal dealings and threats on fellow Iraqi emigres. DW spoke, under conditions of anonymity, to one Iraqi national living in Germany,  who said that the group had sent her death threats for leading a Western lifestyle. The person said she knew of other exiled Iraqis in Europe who also report having been intimidated by Al-Salam-313.
                                                                                                                        There’s media silence in Minneapolis over an attack executed by a group of Somali teens that reportedly attacked bystanders East Bank Light Rail station last Friday. It looks like it was racially motivated. According to reports, anyone who was white or looked like they had money was targeted. The teens used hammers and bars [ed.: actually just pipes] as weapons. Our friends at RedState noted something interesting as well. Elizabeth Vaughn added that there’s been literally no media coverage of this attack. The only outlet to even mention or ask about it was the crime watch site “2ndPrecinct  Minneapolis Crime Watch and Information. They posted on their Facebook page to note that this attack did happen and that “We were told that we were the ONLY media to inquire to MPD about it. Further proof of our "incurious" local lamestream media”
                                                                                                                        • More: "Audio: Mob with Hammers Descends on Minneapolis East Bank LRT Patrons"--Alpha News. The Somali youths are reported to have been between 12 and 15 years old. In my non-expert opinion, I think you would be justified in using lethal force to defend yourself against a group of 12 to 15 year olds wielding pipes, but it would not play well in the media and the prosecutor would try his or her best to convict you of something.
                                                                                                                        • More diversity news: "University offers ‘Problematizing Whiteness’ course"--The College Fix. The article reports that "[t]he trend of anti-white 'wokeness' at CU Denver continued this semester. This spring, its ethnic studies department offered a course called 'Problematizing Whiteness: Educating for Racial Justice.'" Also:
                                                                                                                          According to the syllabus, during “Problematizing Whiteness,” one of the essential objectives is for students to understand “whiteness” is not restricted to actually being a white-skinned person, and instead it is a set of beliefs, characteristics, values and norms that determine somebody’s “whiteness.”
                                                                                                                            You might be asking yourself, what are these beliefs, characteristics, values and norms of which they speak? According to Richard Carranza, the Chancellor of New York City’s Department of Education (the same person that has been accused of demoting administrators simply because they are white), it includes traits such as individualism, objectivity, perfectionism, being results oriented, and prioritizing documentation and writing skills. And it includes things like mathematics, good grammar, and even time
                                                                                                                            • Related: "DOE-sponsored group said Asians benefit from white privilege: parent"--New York Post. From the article: "The panel was helmed by the Center for Racial Justice in Education, a group being paid about $400,000 by the DOE, led by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, to conduct near-weekly training sessions throughout the city to address what it believes is rampant racism infecting schools."
                                                                                                                            • "China's Information Warfare Force Gets a New Commander"--The Diplomat. Lieutenant General Li Fengbiao has replaced General Gao Jin as the new People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) commander. According to the article, Li has spent most of his 40-year long military career in the PLA Air Force Airborne Corps.
                                                                                                                            • "Huawei "Spent All Their Resources Stealing", Stunning New Exposé Shows"--Zero Hedge. The exposé in question was published by the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt: "In 2003, Cisco accused Huawei of stealing its software and its manuals. 'They have made verbatim copies of whole portions of Cisco’s user manuals,' Cisco said in its lawsuit. The plagiarism was so flagrant that Huawei even copied bugs in Cisco's software and typos that appeared in Cisco's manuals also appeared in Huawei's."
                                                                                                                                   The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.
                                                                                                                                     “These things would be out there all day,” said Lieutenant Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”
                                                                                                                                       In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were captured on video, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.
                                                                                                                                  Reminds me of the "foo fighters" reported in World War II. Many years ago, I went through back-issues of a news magazine, I believe it was Newsweek, published during World War II, and noted more than a few articles about foo fighters and other similar phenomena. It was a major concern to the War Department, and there were reports from both the European and Asian theaters.
                                                                                                                                         According to the researchers, a series of stars in our corner of the Milky Way exploded in a cosmic riot that began about 7m years ago and continued for millions of years more. The supernovae blasted powerful cosmic rays in all directions. On Earth, the radiation arriving from the cataclysmic explosions peaked about 2.6m years ago.
                                                                                                                                          The surge of radiation triggered a chain of events, the scientists argue. As cosmic rays battered the planet, they ionised the atmosphere and made it more conductive. This could have ramped up the frequency of lightning strikes, sending wildfires raging through African forests, and making way for grasslands, they write in the Journal of Geology. With fewer trees at hand in the aftermath, our ancient ancestors adapted, and those who walked upright thrived.

                                                                                                                                        * * *
                                                                                                                                               One of the study’s authors, Adrian Melott of the University of Kansas, said ancient human relatives were already dabbling with standing upright before the effects of any supernovae took hold. But he believes the violent explosions still played a role. “Bipedalism had already gotten started, but we think this may have given it a strong shot in the arm,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                “Lightning has long been thought to be the primary cause of fires before humans had a role, and with a lot of fires you get the destruction of a lot of habitat,” Melott said. “When the forests are replaced with grasslands, it then becomes an advantage to stand upright, so you can walk from tree to tree, and see over the tall grass for predators.”
                                                                                                                                                  The cosmic rays from one star known to have exploded about 164 light years from Earth would have increased the ionisation of the atmosphere 50-fold, the scientists calculate. Cosmic rays ionise the atmosphere when they knock electrons out of the atoms and molecules they slam into in the air. Cosmic rays normally only ionise the upper reaches of the atmosphere, but powerful ones from nearby supernovae can penetrate the entire depth of the atmosphere, ionising it all the way to the ground. “We are sure this would have increased lightning strikes, but lightning initiation is not well understood, so we cannot put a number on it,” Melott said.
                                                                                                                                                    If the scientists are right, future supernovae could potentially trigger more wildfires on Earth. But the planet appears safe for the moment. The nearest star on course to explode in the next billion years is Betelgeuse, one of the brightest in the constellation of Orion, which lies a safe 642 light years away.
                                                                                                                                                  Or Betelgeuse might have exploded 643 years ago.
                                                                                                                                                         “I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. “Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space.”
                                                                                                                                                           Trump added, “We'll be going to the moon. We'll be going to Mars very soon. It's very exciting. And from a military standpoint, there is nothing more important right now than space.”
                                                                                                                                                            Trump did not provide additional details. But earlier this year, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said of the U.S.’s space ambitions: “The moon is the proving ground; Mars is the horizon goal.”

                                                                                                                                                        Monday, May 27, 2019

                                                                                                                                                        A Monday Medley of Videos

                                                                                                                                                        The History Guy (10 min.)


                                                                                                                                                        Some advice for those carrying with a concealed carry license if stopped by the police. The primary point is that you should hand over your CCL with the driver's license instead of saying something like "I have a gun" which might elicit an undesirable response. 



                                                                                                                                                        Some advice on what to say to police in the aftermath of a self-defense shooting. Basically, you need to make sure that the responding police know you were the "victim" and to point out potential witnesses and evidence. Good advice from one of the premier experts on the lawful use of lethal force in the United States. 


                                                                                                                                                        German success in invading France was largely a result of the failure of the allied military leadership.


                                                                                                                                                        "Pluto Might Have a Liquid Water Ocean?!"--SciShow News (7-1/2 min.)
                                                                                                                                                        A discussion not only about the evidence of a water ocean, but a hypothesis as to why it hasn't frozen.


                                                                                                                                                        A round-up of news on private launch ventures, as well as a look at NASA's plans to return to the Moon.


                                                                                                                                                        "Revealed Photos Show Something Huge May be Hidden in Ancient Egypt – Lost Civilizations & Egyptians"--Bright Insight (19 min.). To make a long story short, one of the host's viewers sent him photographs taken at the Temple of Hathor in Egypt purporting to show what appear to be the top of columns buried beneath the floor of the temple, and only recently discovered during a renovation. While the host does his best to stretch the video out and make this seem mysterious, the fact is that it is common for religious structures to be erected over the remains of older structures: the Aztecs largest pyramids were built over older pyramids; Muslims have transformed churches into Mosques or built over the foundations of churches; churches in Europe were sometimes erected over older pagan sites; etc.


                                                                                                                                                        Sunday, May 26, 2019

                                                                                                                                                        Book Review: "Wylde: Books 1-3" by Marcus Wynne


                                                                                                                                                             When I was younger, my casual reading was probably about 75 to 80 percent fiction, with the remainder being non-fiction. Now, I find that the ratios are reversed. Part of the reason is that I try to continue to educate myself in new topics, or expand my knowledge in topics with which I am already familiar. But, to be honest, part of the reason is that I have found it difficult to find new fiction authors that I enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                             The issue really struck me about 10 or 15 years ago. I realized that I needed to broaden my fiction reading. My favorite genres just weren't producing new authors that I enjoyed and I couldn't find new books that were engaging even from some of my well-liked authors. Consequently, all I was doing was rereading novels I'd already read two or three times. So, I literally started walking down the library aisles and selected books based on perceived popularity: generally, the number of books by that author on the shelf. I also started "purchasing" a lot of free books for the Kindle. I came across some good books--some real gems in a few cases--read some that are classics in their genre that I had never gotten around to reading, found many books to which I was indifferent, as well as some truly terrible books. I also found some authors that had one good book, but subsequent books were bad, or authors that could write engaging novels about one particular character, but novels about other characters that just did not work for me.

                                                                                                                                                             So, as you might guess, it is exciting to find a new-to-me author that can keep my attention over several novels about different characters. And this group now includes Marcus Wynne, who came to my attention last year. I read a couple of his novels, and enjoyed them, so I was very pleased to receive the Wylde collection as a gift this past December. Unfortunately, I had a large backlog of readings, so I wasn't able to finish these until about a month ago.

                                                                                                                                                             This is a compilation of essentially two stories: Johnny Wylde and Two's Wylde, the latter of which was expanded by some 60,000 words for this edition--this is the length of another novel in and of itself. Anyway, that's how you get the three volumes.

                                                                                                                                                            The main character in both novels is Johnny Wylde, an ex-special forces soldier, who is content to make his way through life working as a bouncer at a bar, with a few extra side jobs for his friend, a South African named Deon Oosthuizen. Deon runs a gun store as well as some training, but also engages in a bit of gun running. Other major characters are Johnny's girlfriend, Lizzy Caprica, an exotic dancer and Buddhist philosopher, police detective Nina Capushek, a couple Russian mobsters (that are also a couple), and the femme fatale assassin Dee Dee Kozak.

                                                                                                                                                            The first novel introduces Johnny Wylde and the other main characters, and involves Deon's decision to steal some weapons from the Russian mobsters, leading to a lot of shooting as the Russians attempt to find out who stole their weapons and exact revenge.

                                                                                                                                                           The second story picks up shortly after the end of the first story. A voice from Johnny's past suddenly contacts him, and he learns that he has become targeted for assassination. In the meanwhile, a rogue CIA group is working on grabbing a huge shipment of gold from Vietnamese mobsters and cover their tracks. Meanwhile, Dee Dee and the remaining Russian mobster are working on exacting revenge on Deon when they stumble across the money transfers from the Vietnamese mobster and his gold supplier. Their plan for revenge morphs into a heist ... requiring help from their former enemies. And, meanwhile, the police, ATF, and FBI are trying to figure out who is trying to kill who.

                                                                                                                                                            As I've noted in my reviews of other books by Wynne, I appreciate the little details that are included based on his knowledge of military combat and law enforcement. This extends beyond weapons and gear (although there is a lot of good ideas there). For instance, when we are introduced to Deon's character:
                                                                                                                                                        To the trained eye, there's more to Deon than a thin South African huddled in the back corner of a rough bar. On his right hand there was a pad of callus and series of long scars on the web of his hand, between his thumb and index finger. Someone who knew about such things might recognize the scarring of a very serious hand gunner, someone who shot a lot with automatic pistols in a high hand grip that would on occasion catch the flesh on the recoiling slide.
                                                                                                                                                        And this:
                                                                                                                                                             Here'a a little secret about killing the virgins will never know. 
                                                                                                                                                             There is a Mark of Cain. It's invisible to the civilians, all the polite sheep who wander preacefully through their day, concerned only with punching the clock and getting home to mama and the kids, shutting the door, and putting out of their minds any concerns about the wolves among us. 
                                                                                                                                                             I'm a wolf. Me and my brother wolves, we can see the sign, the Mark of Cain. We smell the blood on one another. 
                                                                                                                                                             The scent of a killer. The look in the eye only the initiated will ever know. 
                                                                                                                                                             Killing a human takes you into another country. 
                                                                                                                                                             Killing dangerous humans for work, as a warrior, a soldier, a cop, a hired killer--that the ticket into a special fraternity. 
                                                                                                                                                            Your life is different once you cross that line and step through that dark door. 
                                                                                                                                                            You lose an essential innocence when you've snuffed out a life. No matter how not-innocent you might have thought you were before you pulled the trigger or inserted the knife or tripped the switch or swung the blow. 
                                                                                                                                                             You'll never look at anyone in the same way. 
                                                                                                                                                             And all the rest of us who've done the same will know you. 
                                                                                                                                                             We'll smell it on you. 
                                                                                                                                                             And you'll know the secret we all know. 
                                                                                                                                                             It wasn't really all that hard to do. And the next time, not only was it easier, but it might have even have been a little ... fun. 
                                                                                                                                                             I found that to be true. 
                                                                                                                                                             After the first two or three times.
                                                                                                                                                        These stories were fast paced and highly entertaining, and get two thumbs up from me. FYI: If these were movies, I think they would get an "R" rating, for sex, language and violence, just so you are forewarned. At the time I write this, the volume is free to read with Kindle Unlimited, or $5.98 to purchase. For $6 bucks, you are getting big chunk of good story telling.

                                                                                                                                                        Friday, May 24, 2019

                                                                                                                                                        May 24, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                                        "Advanced Patrol Tactics: Satellite Patrolling"--Max Velocity Tactical (16 min.)

                                                                                                                                                                So, the first lesson in teaching kids to shoot is to accommodate them. Don’t try to play out through them what you want them to be or do. That’s a good life lesson on raising kids for any situation.
                                                                                                                                                                 When it comes to shooting, you want them to really enjoy what they are doing, whatever they’re shooting.
                                                                                                                                                                   For those of us who are avid adult shooters, we know a range session can be anywhere from a few hours to infinity.  When teaching kids to shoot, don’t overdo it.
                                                                                                                                                                     When you take them out to the range, consider their attention span, interest level and especially comfort. If it’s too hot or cold, that factor alone can make your time with your kid at the range a one time only affair.
                                                                                                                                                                       NOTE: They will associate the activity with the worst common denominator of the trip, not the best.
                                                                                                                                                                         And the next time you ask them if they want to go shooting, they will make their decision on that basis.
                                                                                                                                                                           When you take them, go for them, not you. Go with their needs in mind, not yours. If it’s cold outside, have a portable heater for their hands. If it’s hot, go someplace with shade and bring plenty of cold water and snacks.
                                                                                                                                                                            This is counter intuitive, but stop shooting before they are ready to go. Why? Because you don’t want to stop when they are completely worn out. You want them to anticipate a future trip.
                                                                                                                                                                             My experience with my kids (and my own memory from growing up) is that if you make each trip (particularly early on) a lecture on proper stance, etc., it will suck the joy out of shooting and they won't want to return. Similarly, shooting a firearm with too much recoil. But nothing builds confidence (and brings smiles) more than seeing positive results, which, as I've mentioned before, may mean using paper targets and bringing up the targets close enough that the novice shooter can actually make some good hits. 
                                                                                                                                                                             Also, with kids, just keep in mind that sometimes it may just be something that doesn't interest your child ... at least right now. I have a son who is extremely sensitive to loud, sharp, noises. No matter what I do, he probably will never enjoy shooting firearms, and so I don't force him to go. Looking at my own childhood, I always enjoyed going out to shoot, but I didn't truly fall in love with shooting until my early 20s.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Related: "When should you start teaching kids to shoot?"--Aegis Academy. The author, in my opinion, is a bit too paranoid about safety. I mean, locking up toy guns separate from other toys...? Anyway, the author of this article explores introducing or teaching kids within different age brackets, so discussing young children, older children, and teens separately. Wrapping up, the author advises: "Teaching kids to shoot is as much about the gun as it is about the responsibility that goes along with it. Firearms are a great way to spend time with the family and you can start demystifying guns very early. Take the fear & curiosity out of the equation as soon as possible." 
                                                                                                                                                                        • With summer weather, more of us will be out and about for recreation. A couple good articles on carrying while bicycling:
                                                                                                                                                                        • In his "New Article Published In Concealed Carry Magazine!" (scroll down a bit when you go to the link), Greg Ellifritz sets out some excellent points on self-defense while biking, not just how to carry concealed, but pointers for not getting "ambushed" while riding, and how to use your bike in a self-defense situation. One point that I can personally attest to is his recommendation to use a fanny pack to carry a concealed weapon while riding. In fact, if you go to my article on concealed carry and scroll down to the first photograph, you can see the fanny pack I use when biking. I've never had an issue with the fanny pack or losing my firearm, even after a couple violent accidents that had me flying over my handlebars. It is intended for a very small auto, but, with some judicious modifications, I was able get it to work with my revolver. But the point is that it is small enough that even people who themselves carry firearms don't identify it as a fanny pack for a handgun.
                                                                                                                                                                        • "Concealed Carry For Bicycle Commuters And Recreational Cyclists"--Alien Gear Holsters. This article focuses on just the methods for concealed carry. While I disagree, as noted above, the author suggests going "with an inside the waistband gun holster that you can position to a 5 o'clock position. That's just above your left or right buttocks depending upon which hand you carry with." I just think that it is too easy to print or expose a firearm worn on the waist when biking, but inside the waistband might not be too bad.
                                                                                                                                                                        • "The Truth About Bicycle Carry"--The Truth About Guns. Another perspective on this issue, with some other thoughts and a recommendation for a different belt pack designed for motocross that straps around your waist and your leg. 
                                                                                                                                                                        • Since we are on the subject of bicycles: "BRACKEN: THE PATROL BIKE"--American Partisan. The author notes that some of the advantages of the bicycle: its faster than walking, it can go places a motor vehicle can't, it is actually pretty stealthy (the author notes situations where he was even able to surprise wild-life, and I have had similar experiences). As for self-defense, he indicates:
                                                                                                                                                                                  A pistol can be carried and fired one-handed while riding, but in my opinion it will almost always make more tactical sense to use the bike to rapidly move to cover or to egress a danger area. During a time of collapsing civility a slung carbine can be carried on your back, but again, a rider will be better off using his bike to escape a danger area or get to cover. And of course a bike can rapidly squirt through a pedestrian gate or between bushes and trees where a car or truck cannot follow. Once the rider reaches cover or concealment the bike can be laid down, so both bike and rider will be invisible to observation. These “bikes-only” escape routes will be discovered during routine patrols and while running errands.While we’re on the topic of escape routes, consider bringing a compact set of wire cutters (“dykes”) along on your outings. They can be used to trim small branches or even clip out sections of old fencing to create new secret gates. Old chain link or wire fencing concealed behind brush is particularly good for making covert escape gates. Wire cutters make this an easy job.
                                                                                                                                                                                 For stealth carbine carry, wrap your long gun in a towel, (big rubber bands will work for this), and tie it just below the top frame bar with the barrel on one side of the handlebar fork, and the stock on the opposite side of your saddle post. This will keep it out of the way of your knees while you pedal. I carry a carbine to my local range this way, and nobody looks twice. (In fact, a boomer on an old bike is just about last on anybody’s list for looking twice. This includes the local sheriff’s deputies in their patrol cars.)
                                                                                                                                                                            The Fort Wayne Police Department reports that it responded to the incident around 5:30 p.m. After arriving, officers found one man at the location with serious injuries. The officers called medical personnel, which transported the man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police believe that the wounded man pulled his own gun and fired at the robber, but the robber fired back. In fact, the pair exchanged several shots before the robber fled, either on foot or possibly a bicycle. It is also possible that the robber was wounded in the gunfight.
                                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately, there isn't a lot more detail, but the author surmises that the customer may have tried to draw when the gunman was either pointing a firearm at him (the victim) or at least in plain view of the gunman. This is probably one of those situations where the victim tried to "white knight" by stepping in to be the hero. As the author notes: "Robber are typically more interested in getting the money than keeping an eye on multiple victims. So, it is better to wait until his or her attention is elsewhere before trying to draw."
                                                                                                                                                                            • "Q Releases The SUGAR WEASEL Pistol – The Affordable Honey Badger"--The Firearm Blog. Q's "Honey Badger" AR pistol rightly gained a lot of attention because of its, what I believe is proprietary, short buffer tube and collapsible stock that allowed you to have a very compact package for stowing away in pack, although you might question the $2,400 MSRP. Now Q has released a "budget" version for $1,600. The issue I see is that the "Sugar Weasel" is that it looks pretty standard for its components, including a standard forged upper and lower receiver and standard carbine length tube. There is no mention about the trigger, so I presume that it is a standard AR trigger. The front hand guard looks pretty standard, and it uses an SBA3 arm brace.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Wah, ha, ha!!! "Why You Should Consider Buying a Tactical Sword"--Ballistic Magazine. Not only does the author ignore the fact that effective use of a sword takes more training than a firearm, he picks a sword that would in fact require a higher degree of training to use effectively: the U.S. Model 1913 Cavalry Saber. This weapon is not a saber in any sense of the word. It is straight bladed sword intended for combat using a modern fencing style of thrust and parry. While there are occasions where someone has effectively used a sword to drive off an attacker, I can't recall any instances where the swordsman has beat someone with a firearm--at least, not any of the encounters I've read or watched between police and a sword wielding miscreant. I think the only time a sword might be of any consideration for self-defense is where you cannot obtain firearms. Skallagrim, an experienced swordsman, actually produced a video discussing this scenario, and I agree with him that the best might be a short, thrusting sword like the gladius, paired with a shield that could be used to block a household hallway or doorway. For goodness sake, don't pick a katana: not only does it require a lot of training to use to any real effectiveness, but most that are sold are cheap, ornamental swords unsuited for actual use. And don't ever get a sword that has a stainless steel blade, as stainless steel is too brittle and lacks the flexibility needed of a sword blade. Stainless is great for knives, but not long bladed weapons.
                                                                                                                                                                            • "7 Critical Bugging Out Mistakes"--The Survivalist Blog. The authors seven are: (1) not keeping a low profile; (2) thinking that their loved ones will know what to do; (3) not considering that their bug out location might be compromised; (4) being out of shape; (5) having a BOB that is too heavy; (6) being too locked into a certain plan; and (7) bugging out when it is inappropriate. Obviously, the author is considering a TEOTWAWKI situation, but realistically, the most common bug out will be vacating before or immediately following a disaster that might be regional (such as a hurricane, extended loss of power) or more personal (a house fire) or economic in question. I think in such situations, the mistakes are more prosaic. Just a few examples: not having cash on hand; not keeping vehicles adequately fueled (i.e., at least half-full); not having a "tribe" to turn to for assistance; and not having adequate travel documents. On the latter point, I would note that FerFal has repeatedly advised having up to date passports, but we are now at a point in the U.S. where will have to shift to the Real ID in order to board a commercial aircraft or enter any federal buildings or facilities that have secured or limited access (e.g., a court house). So, even if you don't think you will have to travel to another country, you need to get an updated driver's license or state identification card that complies with the Real ID requirements.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Speaking of FerFal, he suggests carrying an IMCO lighter over a Zippo. He lists 8 advantages it has over the Zippo, but the most important in mind is that he claims that while "[a] Zippo dries up in about a week or two ... an IMCO with its smaller wick lid can keep running for about a month." I've never had a Zippo last even a week or two.


                                                                                                                                                                                   People are getting dumber. That's not a judgment; it's a global fact. In a host of leading nations, IQ scores have started to decline.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Though there are legitimate questions about the relationship between IQ and intelligence, and broad recognition that success depends as much on other virtues like grit, IQ tests in use throughout the world today really do seem to capture something meaningful and durable. Decades of research have shown that individual IQ scores predict things such as educational achievement and longevity. More broadly, the average IQ score of a country is linked to economic growth and scientific innovation.
                                                                                                                                                                                       Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder.
                                                                                                                                                                                         So if IQ scores are really dropping, that could not only mean 15 more seasons of the Kardashians, but also the potential end of progress on all these other fronts, ultimately leading to fewer scientific breakthroughs, stagnant economies and a general dimming of our collective future.
                                                                                                                                                                                      According to the article, this effect has not yet been seen in the U.S. In any event:
                                                                                                                                                                                             One potential explanation was quasi-eugenic. As in the movie “Idiocracy,” it was suggested that average intelligence is being pulled down because lower-IQ families are having more children ("dysgenic fertility" is the technical term). Alternatively, widening immigration might be bringing less-intelligent newcomers to societies with otherwise higher IQs.
                                                                                                                                                                                               However, a 2018 study of Norway has punctured these theories by showing that IQs are dropping not just across societies but within families. In other words, the issue is not that educated Norwegians are increasingly outnumbered by lower-IQ immigrants or the children of less-educated citizens. Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder.
                                                                                                                                                                                            According to the article, many of the cognitive abilities tested in an IQ test "can actually be sharpened by environmental factors such as higher-quality schools and more demanding workplaces." Things which are anathema to the left. I suspect that there are a lot of factors in play, from immigration from low I.Q. to high I.Q. countries, environments that favor low I.Q. (or, at least, don't encourage intellectual development), to a "brain drain" from some countries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system.  The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation; and we are not the only one to think that’s what this system is being used for.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also:
                                                                                                                                                                                                         There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition.  Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           When we reconcile what was taking place and who was involved, then the actions of the exact same principle participants take on a jaw-dropping amount of clarity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             All of the action taken by CIA Director Brennan, FBI Director Comey, ODNI Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter make sense.  Including their effort to get NSA Director Mike Rogers fired.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. [Explained Here]  Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying.  Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The beginning decision to use FISA(702) as a domestic surveillance and political spy mechanism appears to have started in/around 2012. Perhaps sometime shortly before the 2012 presidential election and before John Brennan left the White House and moved to CIA.  However, there was an earlier version of data assembly that preceded this effort.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS.  This is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team.  It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Read the whole thing. There is a lot more in the article, including information about the NSA's reaction when it learned of the unauthorized use of its database and what it did to secure the database from being accessed directly by the FBI and CIA. In my mind, this tends to lend credence to the theory that what we are seeing is part of a larger conflict between the NSA/DOD and other intelligence agencies, including that "Q" is the NSA's internal affairs-type investigative group. And as for dealing with the people that were involved in this soft coup against the American people, this tutorial may be helpful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Inventor and software designer Dennis Montgomery, a CIA/DOD/DHS/NSA/FBI  contractor-turned-whistleblower, alerted FBI Director James Comey’s office in 2015 that President Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had turned the super-surveillance system that Montgomery designed for foreign surveillance, known as THE HAMMER, into a domestic surveillance system.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The U.S. attorney from Connecticut assigned by Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the Obama-era “Spygate” probe is reportedly examining documents generated by a “fusion cell” of officials established by former CIA Director John Brennan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           John Durham, who specializes in official corruption cases, has been looking into the origins of the Spygate probe for several weeks now. In a tweet Wednesday, investigative reporter Paul Sperry noted, “According to Main DOJ sources, Durham’s portfolio for looking into the provenance of CH includes examining docs generated by an interagency ‘fusion cell’ Brennan set up in mid-2016 on Russian election interference + pre-election briefings Steele gave to UK intelligence”…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Research published online Monday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people in higher social classes tend to think they are more adept at certain tasks — even when they are not — than their lower-class peers. And that overconfidence is often seen by others as competence, which can help them in situations like job interviews, the research reveals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Students who attend wealthy high schools appear more likely than those who attend low-income high schools to get extra time on the SAT and other exams, according to a new analysis by The Wall Street Journal. At some wealthy high schools identified by the Journal, one in four students is permitted to have extra time on tests by virtue of having claimed a disability. At low-income high schools, the total is 1.4 percent on average, the Journal found.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Secret Combinations: "The cult behind the coup?"--Eyes on the Ties (h/t Anonymous Conservative). This is an interesting article from June 2009, discussing how and why some Democrat defections in the New York State Senate delivered power to the Republic wing. From the article:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The cast of key players was also extraordinary: a turncoat who has been charged with felony assault; another under investigation by the AG; an Erie County Democratic operative turned party-less power broker; a tax-dodging fat cat with an axe to grind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   On top of all that, Tom Golisano actually watched the takeover from a backroom. Unelected and unaccountable, he and political operative Steve Pigeon apparently bankrolled and guided the coup. Pigeon is now in line for the top staff position in the Senate, according to the Buffalo News.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Upon hearing of Golisano’s role in the coup, we (Aaron & I) were reminded of a recent article in Artvoice, Buffalo’s alt-weekly, which linked the Rochester billionaire to a cult-like organization called NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”). NXIVM classifies itself as an “executive success” program, and has managed to develop a long list of wealthy and powerful clients since its founding ten years ago.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       New York Magazine once painted a colorful picture of NXIVM:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It’s basically like Scientology masquerading as a self-help seminar, run by a man named Keith Raniere…NXIVM’s “executive success” program is designed to reel in alpha types who need someone to tell them that greed is good. Its big philosophy is that “human beings are born parasitic” (saying “I’m hungry” or complaining about pain, for instance, is parasitic behavior; the enlightened just take what they need). It also redefines “good” as “pro-survival” and “bad” as “destructive.” Students wear colored sashes and bow in the presence of the leader. You can see where this is headed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This appears to be a pro-coup philosophy, for what it’s worth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The political clout NXIVM has developed over the years makes it both sinister and potentially a relevant player in this political drama.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “Why should we pay attention to this psycho factory?” NY Magazine asked in that same article, back in 2007. “Because it has well-placed, well-heeled members and appears to be actively pursuing an entrée into political fund-raising.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Clare and Sara Bronfman, heirs to the Seagram’s fortune, have been major backers of NXIVM. (Their father, Edgar Bronfman Sr, was once a client of NXIVM, but has since distanced himself from the group and described it as a “cult.”) Over the past several years they have retained high-priced political consultants to help them navigate the state’s political terrain and direct fundraising dollars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • "China Has Already Lost the Trade War"--American Conservative. The author notes that tariffs are hardly a blip on America's economic map, and we export so little to China that even a full ban by the Chinese won't have any significant impact on the U.S. economy. The author dismisses fears that China would try to sell off U.S. treasury bonds. The conclusion:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The truth is that China really has very few options to retaliate against the trade sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Outside of the traditional approach of a currency devaluation, there does not seem to be any way for it to make up for lost exports to the United States. Yet a devaluation of the yuan would also bring with it the danger of a debt crisis affecting heavily indebted public and private borrowers in China.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “China needs the U.S. surplus more than the U.S. needs China’s trade and finances,” notes Spanish author and economist Daniel Lacalle. “And that is why the trade war will not happen. Because China has already lost it. China cannot win a trade war with high debt, capital controls and U.S. exports’ dependence. A massive Yuan devaluation and domino defaults would cripple the economy.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the greater concern is a shooting war, possibly a proxy war between China and the U.S., or an outright, direct conflict. As I've noted before, the more closely countries are economically tied, the greater the chance of armed conflict ... at least for near peers. E.g., Germany and Britain prior to World War I.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Long term, Trump believes that if present trends are not reversed, China could in theory catch and surpass the US. And as an authoritarian, anti-democratic superpower, China's global dominance would not be analogous to the American-led postwar order, but would be one in which China follows one set of rules and imposes a quite different set on everyone else—perhaps one day similar to the system imposed on its own people within China.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zakir Musa, a top militant commander linked to al Qaida, was killed on Thursday evening by government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir during a counter-insurgency operation.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The shoot-out took place in the southern Tral area of Kashmir after Musa refused to surrender and fired grenades at the troops after they zeroed in on his hideout in a civilian home, said police.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Residents said troops destroyed the home using explosives, a common tactic by Indian forces in Kashmir. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Musa's killing triggered violent anti-India protests in many places with authorities imposing a curfew and cutting internet access to make organising anti-India protests difficult and discourage dissemination of protest videos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The curfew remains in place across much of the Kashmir Valley, including in the main city of Srinagar, in anticipation of more protests and clashes as schools and colleges remain closed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Op-Ed | Time to go back to the moon, to truly stay"--Space News. The author argues that several missions used to establish a permanent moon base would be less expensive and safer than trying to do multiple Apollo style missions requiring the astronauts to immediately return to Earth at the end of each journey.