Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

This video has two main lessons: (1) demonstrating how hard it can be to restrain someone if you don't know what you are doing; and (2) you might have to fight someone for several minutes, which requires stamina. 

      A 24-hour drugstore in an urban war zone, I think, taking the prescription. It just keeps getting better. I take the script, go back to my hotel, pick up the cocked-and-locked pistol and stick it in the back of my waistband, Mexican carry, it’s called. Then I throw on a jacket to cover the gun and go to the drugstore. It is still steamy hot, and I am the only car in the lot when I go in. Just as I step out of the drugstore with the drugs in a small white bag and turn the corner to my car, a sleek oil-slick black shark separates itself from flow of traffic and cruises into the lot, blocking my retreat back into the drugstore. The windows of the shark roll down, and the ‘banger on the passenger’s side grins. He has one gold tooth right in the front of his mouth and Snoop Dog corn-rows.
         “Whatcha got in the sack, little white boy?” he asks. 
           There are four of them, laughing, taunting. I feel the wall of the building behind my back, and the big pistol in my belt weighs a ton. Time begins to slow down, the highlights of the oil-slick black shark as sharp and unforgiving as hard, cold diamonds. The pain in my head is gone, and I can feel my breath, calm and measured. Not Snoop, I think absently in that time between seconds, the empty place between the stars. Snoop’s arm is hanging out the open window, and that’ll slow him down…Rear seat; driver side, because he’s leaning forward and I can’t see his hands…move left on the draw, toward the cover of my car…then Snoop and rear seat; passenger side…last rounds at the driver, because he’ll have to shoot around Snoop and he’ll be the slowest…
             I am smiling; maybe I laugh, just a little. My right hand is in a firing grip on the 1911, but I still haven’t drawn. There is all the time in the world and here is where I will stand, all of us fixed in place, a simple urban tableau. Let’s do this, I say, or something like that. Let’s do this and go home. Snoop stares and finally breaks the spell. “You one crazy white boy,” he says, slapping the side of the black shark and laughing. “You have yourself a nice night, you hear?” And the shark pulls back into the flow of traffic.
          Bane's account reflects an attitude of resignation mixed with defiance that spooked "Snoop" enough that Bane failed his "interview." However, that is Bane's viewpoint, and I wondered, reading it, if "Snoop" and his fellow gang bangers thought that Bane was a little crazy. In his book Facing Violence, Rory Miller spoke about how projecting a "crazy" vibe could help you avoid an attack: 
          Acting crazy can work at almost any type of interview. Crazy people don't follow the steps of the Monkey Dance. They may not feel pain or fear so the Status Seeking Show can backfire. They won't understand what is going on and might not accept the beating, so the Educational Beat Down rarely gets used. Predators have plans and crazy can screw with their plans. Even the Group Monkey Dance, pack behavior wherein violence, weapons, surprise, and numbers can all be stacked toward the Threats' favor is riskier with a crazy victim.
          Miller recommended a particular type of crazy, though, characterized by the "Thorazine twitch". He explained that "[t]he vibe you need to send is high-energy, paranoid-level alert, and unpredictable." 
                 An email to my junior rifle team members - 
                   "Why can't I shoot high standing scores?"  
                     Because you don't have balance.  Unlike prone and kneeling,standing is an unsupported position.  So, in prone and kneeling, you relax to be still to shoot well.  In standing, if you relax, you fall down.  So, you have to constantly adjust muscle tension to maintain balance.  In order to do this, you have to practice fine balance.  
                       "I can stand still."  
                         No, you can't.  The SCATT traces show you wobbling all over the place.  You think you are still because you lack the kinesthetic awareness to detect your movement, because you haven't practiced enough to develop the kinesthetic sensitivity.  
                           Practice does not eliminate errors.  Practice increases sensitivity, which allows you to notice the errors that you were always committing, but never noticed.  Once you notice the errors, you will correct them, often automatically (if you are educated enough to recognize them as errors).  So, it appears to the ignorant that practice is eliminating their errors.  But, practice is just making the shooters aware of their errors.  They still have to have the intellect to recognize the error as an error, and know what to do to correct it.  That takes reading of your textbooks and questioning of your coaches.  If you think you can do it without help, you are on a fool's quest.
                             "What can I do to improve my balance?"  
                               You are fortunate to be a biped.  Monopeds, as cranes, cannot do much to improve their balance.  
                                 But, you can stand still on one leg, for long periods of time, until you can do it indefinitely (on either leg).  Standing still means not moving at all.  Balance by adjusting muscle tension, not by movement of mass.
                                   Then, you can do deep knee bends with one leg, until you can do it gracefully.  Watch yourself in a mirror.  Are you wobbling around or are you in complete control?
                                     Then you can stand on one leg while leaning forward, other leg in line with your torso.  Then lean back, keeping your free leg in line with your torso.  (The leaning should be to the limits of your range of motion.  If your range of motion is poor, stretch twice daily.)
                                       Then you can do the above with your eyes closed.  Because,we wish to develop inner ear balance, not just balance based on visual cuing.  Because when we are aiming, we are mentally focused on sight alignment and sight movie, not on visual cues for balance.  We might pick them up out of our peripheral vision, but if we are wearing a hat and blinders, probably not.
                                         Tell your yogi or yogini what you are trying to accomplish.  They can help you.  (If you let them.)
                                           When I was your age, I practiced the balance exercises twice daily and mastered fine balance in one month.  At which point I was able to shoot 95 out of 100 on the old NRA smallbore targets at 50 feet back in the late 70's.  So, I think you should be able to master fine balance in one month with dedicated practice.  Less dedication, less self discipline will stretch out the time to accomplish your goal.
                                             As with most things in life, it's not hard to do. It's hard to force yourself to do it consistently and long enough to achieve the goal.  Once you achieve the goal, it's fairly easy to practice enough to maintain the fine balance.  Until you get distracted with other things.
                                               That's why you have to strive for your Olympic medal before you get married.  You have to strive for your doctorate before you have children.  Life is full of distractions.  Saying no to the distractions is extremely difficult.  It takes will power, self discipline, that most people don't have.
                                                 Of course, if your legs are weak, you will have to exercise correctly, eat correctly, and sleep correctly to have enough strength to do any of the above.
                                                    If you want to prevail in a gunfight you must go on the offensive. Granted, it's still self-defense because the predator attacked you and the only way for you to end the deadly attack is with reasonable force. You will know when you have gained combat initiative when you are no longer reacting to your opponent but your opponent is now reacting to you. By the very nature of the attack, the playing field will not be level. Conditions will be most advantageous to your attacker and less advantageous to you. Do not expect a hint of compassion from your attacker because there won't be any.
                                                     Remember, every second your attacker maintains the initiative; the closer you come to death. Your primary goal is to thwart the attack by gaining the initiative as quickly as possible. If during the fight you momentarily lose the initiative, you have to rebuild your momentum and go on the offense. It is only in the offense mode that you will prevail in the fight. You must fight back with a faster cadence than your attacker. In other words "Fail fast."
                                                        In a Blitz style attack as happened in Paris your first indication of the attack will be the attack itself. You probably will not see it coming, leaving you little time for planning. The ensuing gunfight will be a scene of intense chaos; you must control that chaos both your own and your attackers. Therefore, you must train your muscle memory reflexes by practicing mental imagery.
                                                         Mental imagery will imprint your correct tactical response, both physically and mentally, so that when confronted by a Blitz attack your mid brain will know exactly what to do. During your mental rehearsals, you want to visualize movement, imagine you are performing the tactic in the first person, also at times in the third person, as if watching yourself on video. Critically view your actions through the eyes of your attacker. Your mental imagery must be in real time taking in the totality of your environment. As an added benefit you will develop your ability to screen out distractors and develop rapid decision-making capabilities.
                                                           For the first few seconds of the gunfight you may be scared. Your attacker may be male or female. Do not differentiate. Get angry. Your attacker has the audacity to try and kill you. Use your anger as a motivator. You cannot brain lock on "Why me?" Courage is the greatest of all virtues for without it there are no other virtues.
                                                      Read the whole thing.
                                                      • Speaking of needing to go on the offensive in a gun fight: "Shootout in Miami"--Amy Bushatz at Recoil Magazine. This article is about the infamous April 11, 1986, gun fight between two bank robbers (Michael Platt and William Matix) and eight FBI agents. At the end of the battle, the two bank robbers were dead, but so where two of the FBI agents. Five other agents were seriously injured. While the article gets a few facts wrong (which are discussed in the comments), the article sets out the important facets of the incident. In light of the articles above, a couple things stand out. First, the agents were completely unprepared for the gun fight: besides lacking adequate training, the agents were unprepared for the level of resistance and the firepower brought to bear, which included one bank robber armed with a Mini-14. Second, as a consequence of the aforementioned deficiencies, the bank robbers had the initiative for most of the gun fight. It was only when the robbers attempted to flee that the initiative changed in favor of the surviving FBI agents:
                                                           Still taking fire, Platt and Matix, who at some point had come to, jumped in Grogan and Dove’s Buick, ready to flee.
                                                             That’s when Mireles, who was seriously wounded in the left arm early on, saw his chance. “I took my arm and tossed it over on the side, and picked up my shotgun and started focusing on survival,” Mireles told RECOIL.
                                                                Advancing on the car, he fired his pump-action shotgun at Platt five times, injuring his feet. And as the pair attempted to start the Buick, Mireles pulled his .357 revolver and fired six rounds, killing Matix by severing his spinal cord, and killing the already fatally wounded Platt with a shot to the chest. The fight was over.
                                                            Now, a hunting knife or utility knife is usually carried in a leather sheath to protect both the knife and the wearer. But one should always remove his/her knife from the leather sheath for storage because the chemicals used in making the leather are pH acidic and will lead to damage of the metals in the knife. After hunting, clean your knife as soon as possible. Blood and body fluids, especially digestive juices, have a corrosive effect on steel. Also remember, if you want to dig a hole, sharpen a stick as a digging tool. A knife was not designed as a shovel.
                                                              Here are the three big TRUTHS the left is lying about.
                                                              • 78% of mass shooting do NOT use an “Assault Rifle”
                                                              • As a Percentage of the population, whites, and Hispanics are the LEAST likely to do a mass shooting.
                                                              • Gun Control laws have NO effect on mass shootings.
                                                                Per the article, black, Asians, and American Indian make up a greater percentage of mass shooters relative to their share of the population. But the group that most disproportionately (compared to their population size) engages in mass shootings in the United States are Middle Easterners. 
                                                                • "There is a great need in the firearms community for a less than lethal…"--Brian's Blog.  This is mostly a review of a class taught by Chuck Haggard on using pepper spray. It raises a point that I've struggled with, which is whether it is practical for the private citizen to attempt to use some intermediate level of force between bare hands and a firearm. The use of intermediate levels of force, such as using pepper spray or a Taser, makes sense in a law enforcement context, where the officers may be attempting to obtain compliance, or restrain a person, without causing severe injury or death. 
                                                                       In the civilian context, however, pepper spray, Tasers, stun guns, and the like, generally serve as a stand in for a firearm when it is not possible to legally possess or carry a firearm, and are, themselves, generally prohibited in non-permissive environments. Such weapons will be deployed only for purposes of repelling an attack. Thus, it is hard to imagine situations where the citizen would (a) have the time to consider and select a level of intermediate force, and (b) would be justified using an intermediate level of force, but not lethal force. I, for instance, had purchased an ASP collapsible baton after I nearly chased after a bicycle thief with a pistol (I didn't have a CCL at the time). I wanted the option of not having to use the firearm or, as it turned out in that case, the deadlier weapon of a large vehicle. But the more I thought on the subject, and the fact that a steel baton could, in fact, be a lethal weapon, the less sensible it appeared. I still could have been in legal hot water if I had used the baton to beat an unarmed thief senseless, but I would also have been at a distinct disadvantage if the thief had been armed with a firearm. 
                                                                      For people that can't trust themselves to responsibly carry or use a firearm, or that can't legally obtain a firearm, I guess it makes sense to consider options like pepper spray, but I struggle to see their practicality for someone that can legally carry a firearm. If you think I'm wrong or missing something obvious, please feel free to chime in.
                                                                  Guns that are used in crime and recovered by the police typically have changed hands often since first retail sale and are quite old. While there is an extensive literature on “time to crime” for guns, defined as the elapsed time from first retail sale to known use in a crime, there is little information available on the duration of the “last link”—the elapsed time from the transaction that actually provided the offender with the gun in question. In this article, we use data from the new Chicago Inmate Survey (CIS) to estimate the duration of the last link. The median is just 2 months. Many of the gun-involved respondents to the CIS (42%) did not have any gun 6 months prior to their arrest for the current crime. The CIS respondents were almost all barred from purchasing a gun from a gun store because of their prior criminal record—as a result, their guns were obtained by illegal transactions with friends, relatives, and the underground market. We conclude that more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.
                                                                         The gun owner then asked, “If I get to keep it–if I pay a fine and register it–then, how dangerous is it in the first place and why do you need to ban it all?”
                                                                           People in attendance applauded the gun owner’s point and once applause died Morrison said, “Well, you just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all, maybe it’ll just be a confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying the fine.”


                                                                      "Breaking Down “Civil War 2" - Part Two"--Forward Observer (24 min.)

                                                                           Forward Observer Magazine has published three videos analyzing the possibility of a civil war in the United States, of which the foregoing is the second in the series. In this video, the host points out all the downsides to a civil war and why it isn't likely. He contends, instead, is that we will see efforts of certain states or regions to secede from the Union. He focuses on secession by states or regions that lean to the Right, but believes that financial issues will largely prevent such efforts.

                                                                           Frankly, I believe that we are already in a civil war, and have been since the 1960s. Sometimes its been hotter, and sometimes cooler, but the conflict has been ongoing. The difference is that the student protesters of the 1960s are now in charge. They have conquered and, like conquerers, have already begun the process of erasing our heritage and history, whether it is pulling down statues or covering up murals, or the more general demonization of key historical figures. When Christianity overtook Europe, many of the pagan gods were recast as demons. This is now happening to our pantheon of past leaders.

                                                                           Turning to Oswald Spengler for an explanation, it appears that we are in the end-time of age of money, and about to embark (if we have not already done so) into the age of Caeserasm.
                                                                             Since 1789 the banks, and with them the bourses, have developed themselves on the credit-needs of an industry growing ever more enormous, as a power on their own account, and they will (as money wills in every Civilization) to be the only power. The ancient wrestle between the productive and the acquisitive economies intensifies now into a silent gigantomachy of intellects, fought out in the lists of the world-cities. This battle is the despairing struggle of technical thought to maintain its liberty against money-thought. The dictature of money marches on, tending to its material peak, in the Faustian Civilization as in every other. 
                                                                      But for the money-powers to dominate the nation-state, they must dominate both politics and the law.
                                                                      ...  The private powers of the economy want free paths for their acquisition of great resources. No legislation must stand in their way. They want to make the laws themselves, in their interests, and to that end they make use of the tool they have made for themselves, democracy, the subsidized party. ...
                                                                      According to Spengler, the money-interests uses Democracy to stay in power through the ability to purchase and finance politicians and capture the bureaucracy. For instance, as he explains:
                                                                      But it was in England too that money was most unhesitatingly used in politics not the bribery of individual high personages which had been customary in the Spanish or Venetian style, but the "nursing" of the democratic forces themselves. In eighteenth-century England, first the Parliamentary elections and then the decisions of the elected Commons were systematically managed by money; England, too, discovered the ideal of a Free Press, and discovered along with it that the press serves him who owns it. It does not spread "free" opinion it generates it. Both together constitute liberalism (in the broad sense); that is, freedom from the restrictions of the soil-bound life, be these privileges, forms, or feelings freedom of the intellect for every kind of criticism, freedom of money for every kind of business. But both, too, unhesitatingly aim at the domination of a class, a domination which recognizes no overriding supremacy of the State. Mind and money, being both inorganic, want the State, not as a matured form of high symbolism to be venerated, but as an engine to serve a purpose. 
                                                                            There is no disputing the successes of the money-powers:
                                                                      The Faustian money-thinking "opens up" whole continents, the water-power of gigantic river-basins, the muscular power of the peoples of broad regions, the coal measures, the virgin forests , the laws of Nature, and transforms them all into financial energy, which is laid out in one way or in another in the shape of press, or elections, or budgets, or armies for the realization of masters' plans. 
                                                                      But the very success of money-thought brings its own doom, for "Democracy despises the boor and hates the countryside."
                                                                           And now something happens that is intelligible only to one who has penetrated to the essence of money. If it were anything tangible, then its existence would be forever but, as it is a form of thought, it fades out as soon as it has thought its economic world to finality, and has no more material upon which to feed. ... 
                                                                      That is:
                                                                      Through money, democracy becomes its own destroyer, after money has destroyed intellect. [...] there wakes at last a deep yearning for all old and worthy tradition that still lingers alive. Men are tired to disgust of money-economy. They hope for salvation from somewhere or other, for some real thing of honour and chivalry, of inward nobility, of unselfishness and duty. And now dawns the time when the form-filled powers of the blood, which the rationalism of the Megalopolis has suppressed, reawaken in the depths. Everything in the order of dynastic tradition and old nobility that has saved itself up for the future, everything that there is of high money-disdaining ethic, everything that is intrinsically sound enough to be, in Frederick the Great's words, the servant the hard-working, self-sacrificing, caring servant of the State, all that I have described elsewhere in one word as Socialism in contrast to Capitalism all this becomes suddenly the focus of immense life-forces. Caesarism grows on the soil of Democracy, but its roots thread deeply into the underground of blood tradition. 
                                                                      Thus, "there now sets in the final battle between Democracy and Caesarism, between the leading forces of dictatorial money-economics and the purely political will-to-order of the Caesars." 
                                                                      In the form of democracy, money has won. There has been a period in which politics were almost its preserve. But as soon as it has destroyed the old orders of the Culture, the chaos gives forth a new and overpowering factor that penetrates to the very elementals of Becoming the Caesar-men. Before them the money collapses. The Imperial Age, in every Culture alike, signifies the end of the politics of mind and money. The powers of the blood, unbroken bodily forces, resume their ancient lordship. 
                                                                      Spengler also explains:
                                                                      The coming of Caesarism breaks the dictature of money and its political weapon democracy. After a long triumph of world-city economy and its interests over political creative force, the political side of life manifests itself after all as the stronger of the two. The sword is victorious over the money, the masterwill subdues again the plunderer-will. If we call these money-powers "Capitalism," then we may designate as Socialism the will to call into life a mighty politico-economic order that transcends all class interests, a system of lofty thoughtfulness and duty-sense that keeps the whole in fine condition for the decisive battle of its history, and this battle is also the battle of money and law. 
                                                                      (Note that the term Caesarism has a specific meaning to Spengler. "By the term 'Caesarism' I mean that kind of government which, irrespective of any constitutional formulation that it may have, is in its inward self a return to thorough formlessness.").

                                                                             Spengler derived his ideas from a comparative study of history. Thus, while he could apply specific facts from his time period or earlier, he obviously could not foresee specifics in the future. In fact, it is clear when reading his books that he believed that dominance over Western Civilization would be determined by a conflict between England and Germany directly, rather than between respective English and German philosophies (Classical Liberalism and Cultural Marxism) within the United States.

                                                                             We can see the outlines of the decline of the money-interests and the rise of Caesarism already. As Spengler predicted, "Men [will be] tired to disgust of money-economy." And well they should. As Peter Turchin has observed:
                                                                      The fundamental social process that drives both immiseration and intra-elite conflict is the massive oversupply of labor that developed in the United States over the past 30–40 years. It’s driven by a combination of factors, demographic growth, immigration, massive entry of women into the work force, and shipping of manufacturing jobs off shore. 
                                                                      Trump, Bernie, and such, are the putative Caesars. Obama was one, I suppose, as well. But as we see with the constant lawfare and court injunctions over purely political questions (such as funding of the border wall or what questions to include on the census), the law has become so obstructive that there is no path forward. There are two ways that this could resolve itself. Joseph Tainter's work on the collapse of complex societies suggests one path: the de-evolution of the State. But Spengler's outlines a second: the rise of a popular ruler who will simply cut through the chaff.

                                                                         
                                                                      Some background on supervolcanos and super-eruptions, and an explanation of why the Yellowstone supervolcano does not present an imminent threat. I found it somewhat comical that the host spent the majority of the video describing why the Yellowstone supervolcano did not present a threat, but then used the last portion of the segment to describe what would happen if it did have a super-eruption.

                                                                      • If you haven't already, check out this week's Woodpile Report is up with lots of links and commentary. 
                                                                      • "H1B horror"--Vox Day comments on news that Boeing had outsourced its 737 Max software development to the Indian software developer HCL Technologies Ltd. He warns of the general incompetence of Indian programmers and adds: "Think about how poorly Skype and the average application works today in comparison with five years ago. Now apply that level of technological degradation to literally everything that involves putting people in the air and transporting them from one place to another."
                                                                      Until recently, the Asian longhorned tick’s home range was understood to be eastern China and Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and a few Pacific islands. In those countries, it harbors an array of bacterial and viral diseases that infect humans, including a potentially deadly hemorrhagic fever. It’s even more feared for the way it attacks livestock. This tick reproduces asexually, laying thousands of eggs at a time and producing waves of offspring that extract so much blood that grown cattle grow weak and calves die.
                                                                              Patients infected with a deadly, drug-resistant fungus are dripping with the dangerous germ, which pours into their surroundings where it lies in wait for weeks to find a new victim. That’s according to fresh data reported from the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology recently in San Francisco.
                                                                                The data fills in critical unknowns about how the fungus, Candida auris, actually spreads. The germ is a relatively new threat, considered an emerging pathogen by experts—and it's emerging quickly with an unusual ability to lurk and kill in healthcare settings.
                                                                                  It was first identified in 2009 in Japan. Studies since have tracked the globetrotting fungus backward and forward in time, from South Korea in 1996 to an outbreak in New York health facilities that began in 2013 and lasted until 2017. In all, C. auris has made an appearance in more than 30 countries, usually leaving a body count wherever it goes.
                                                                                    The fungus mostly sticks to healthcare settings, stealing into the blood of vulnerable patients where it causes invasive infections marked by nondescript fever and chills. It’s commonly resistant to multiple drugs, and some isolates have been found to resist all three classes of antifungal drugs, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to cure. Experts estimate that C. auris infections have a fatality rate somewhere between 30% and 60%. It’s hard to say for sure because many of its victims are seriously ill before they get infected, making it tricky to determine an individual cause afterward.
                                                                                      While the threat is clear, much about C. auris infections has been murky—including how it spreads from one victim to another. Researchers have found it loitering on hospital mattresses, furniture, sinks, and medical equipment, but they haven't determined how it got there. Once it is present, however, it’s a tough bug to annihilate. The fungal cells can form tight, hardy clumps that can live on plastics for at least two weeks and can go into a metabolically dormant phase for a month.
                                                                                        Crypto is usually spread by people — particularly children — who swim too soon after having suffered from diarrhea.
                                                                                          Leading causes include swallowing contaminated water in hot tubs, pools or water playgrounds, as well as contact with infected cattle people in child-care settings, according to the CDC.
                                                                                           Unlike most germs, which are killed within minutes by disinfectants like chlorine or bromine, crypto has a high tolerance for chlorine and can survive in chlorinated water for up to a week, the agency says.
                                                                                             In addition to watery diarrhea, symptoms of the contamination include stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.
                                                                                                For some whose immune systems are compromised, crypto may lead to life-threatening malnutrition and wasting.
                                                                                          This article is misleading. It isn't returning to swimming too soon after having diarrhea that spreads it; it is kids crapping in the pool that spreads it, or just generally poor hygiene. 
                                                                                          More interesting is the use of pronouns. Those with symptoms of depression use significantly more first person singular pronouns – such as “me”, “myself” and “I” – and significantly fewer second and third person pronouns – such as “they”, “them” or “she”. This pattern of pronoun use suggests people with depression are more focused on themselves, and less connected with others. Researchers have reported that pronouns are actually more reliable in identifying depression than negative emotion words.
                                                                                               The protesters in Ciudad Ju├írez were chanting "vamos a cruzar" — "we are going to cross" — before Customs and Border Protection officials closed the bridge about 2 a.m., reported CNN.
                                                                                                 The decision to close the bridge came as "a large and unruly group formed on the Mexican side," according to CBP spokesman Roger Maier.
                                                                                                   Local TV station KTSM reported the group was comprised of about 250 Cuban and Salvadoran migrants; Ciudad Juarez newspaper El Diario reported the group was comprised of Cubans and Hondurans.
                                                                                                    The Mexican National Guard deployed troops to the area, but they did not engage the protesters, according to El Diario.
                                                                                                  There is a popular refrain among modern Christians that asks, "what would Jesus do?" Well, we don't have to guess, because the scriptures tell us. In Revelation 20, at the end of the Millennium,  the devil is loosed for a season, and his followers attempt to storm the New Jerusalem. "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." (Rev. 20:9). Why would God do this? Well, as explained in the next chapter, "And there shall in no wise enter into it [the City of God] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life." (Rev. 21:27). Doesn't sound very inclusive to me, but who am I to question?
                                                                                                    [W]hether Democrats or Republicans have controlled the White House or Congress has made little difference in who reaps the gains from economic growth. Since Nixon, income, wealth, and privilege have continued to shift toward the elite no matter which party has been in power. The magnitude of this shift has few parallels in American history. Since 1980, net worth for the bottom 60 percent of households has fallen by nearly $10 trillion, while the richest 10 percent have seen their wealth increase by almost $30 trillion.
                                                                                                      Also:
                                                                                                        The truth is that both parties have been captured by an economic elite. For example, in the 2014 elections about 32,000 individuals—0.01 percent of the population—accounted for 30 percent of all political contributions. With few exceptions, contributions from individual firms are given equally to Republicans and Democrats. The rich hedge their bets, investing in politicians of all stripes to ensure that, no matter who is elected, they will be well represented. Politicians almost always respond to the will of their contributors, not constituents, making campaigns little more than showy circuses, drawing away attention from the purchasing of political power.
                                                                                                          But, being the Huffington Post, the article has to at least make it seem like both parties are treated equally by rich donors, and cites to a list of top contributions maintained by the site, Open Secrets. The thing that is interesting is that as you get closer to today, however, you will see a major shift in contributions, such that they increasingly become lopsided in favor of the Democrats. 
                                                                                                                 Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles, usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week.
                                                                                                                   The four Javelin anti-tank missiles, which cost more than $170,000 each, had ended up bolstering the arsenal of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, whose forces are waging a military campaign to take over Libya and overthrow a government the United States supports.
                                                                                                                      Markings on the missiles’ shipping containers indicate that they were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American partner, in 2008.
                                                                                                                        In the clip, the man is seen getting out of his vehicle and walking toward the flag as Allison Brown comes outside with her husband, Zeke.
                                                                                                                         'Hi, you know what I do apologize. I know you've come from a very long way but we're going to use someone else,' Brown is heard saying in the video. 
                                                                                                                           Zeke who was seen standing beside her then says: 'She's upset with the flag.'
                                                                                                                              'No, I'm beyond upset with the flag,' Brown quips. 
                                                                                                                               The contractor is then heard telling Brown that he 'can take it down'.
                                                                                                                                'No, you don't need to take it down. You continue to believe what you need to believe sir, but no, I cannot pay you for your service,' she said. 
                                                                                                                                 The man is then seen getting into his truck and pulling off as the large flag flies from the back.
                                                                                                                                   Ryan Spann shared the video on Facebook and gave a little background information about what occurred. 

                                                                                                                              * * *

                                                                                                                                   His video has more than 33,000 views and several comments that agree with Spann's aunt refusing to allow the man to work on her home. 
                                                                                                                              My bad! It was a black homeowner, white contractor, and Confederate flag.

                                                                                                                                      Lecturers at the University of New South Wales “have been warned off making the familiar statement in class that ‘Aboriginal people have been in Australia for 40,000 years’,” The Australian reports.
                                                                                                                                        Instead, they should state that “Aborigines have been here ‘since the beginning of the Dreaming/s’ because this ‘reflects the beliefs of many Indigenous Australians that they have always been in Australia, from the beginning of time, and came from the land’.”
                                                                                                                                  • From the world of science: "'Puppy dog eyes' developed to manipulate humans"--DW. According to the article, "domestic dogs have evolved to use their eyebrow muscles more flexibly than their wild counterparts." For instance, "[r]esearchers compared dogs to their close relatives, wolves. They found that dogs can raise their eyebrows to make a baby-like expression, while wolves can barely move that muscle." The researchers believe that this allows dogs to make the "puppy eyes" expression which prompts a nurturing response in people, but also might have been to allow better communication with humans. "The scientists believe that these muscles were developed almost entirely because it gave them an advantage with humans. People have been documented to focus almost entirely on the upper areas of the face while communicating, and the dogs could be responding to that."
                                                                                                                                  • American Radio History is a site that has compiled collections of old historic trade, entertainment, and technical magazines related to radio broadcasting.
                                                                                                                                  • "The demonization of African spirituality in the church is antithetical to the history of Black Christianity"--Ronald Allen at Race Baitr.  Essentially, the author argues that Blacks need to embrace a history and practice of hoodoo and conjuring that was incorporated in hidden ways into Black Christianity. 
                                                                                                                                  • Gold may not be a good long-term investment: "The golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire"--RT. The asteroid Psyche 16, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, is believed to contain $700 quintillion in precious heavy metals, at today's prices. Of course, if it could be mined, the price of these metals would fall drastically. Maybe we could literally pave streets with gold.
                                                                                                                                  • You don't break up with her; she breaks up with you! "Miss Hooters Tennessee finalist, 21, is arrested for smashing up her boyfriend's house just hours after he broke up with her"--Daily Mail
                                                                                                                                  • Combining two of my favorite things: "HO fhtagn! Detailed model railroad layout recreates HP Lovecraft's Arkham"--Boing Boing. I don't currently have room to indulge in model railroading, but I've already warned my wife that when our children move out, I'm taking over one of the bedrooms as a workshop.

                                                                                                                                  2 comments:

                                                                                                                                  1. I've been reading Spengler, too. He's more fun (I think) when I just pick up the book and start reading at random. That man can use 10,000 words when 10 will do.

                                                                                                                                    But he's right - the era of money will fall to the era of power. That's coming soon, and is the subject of a post (or maybe part of a Weather Report.

                                                                                                                                    On knives: The Boy has a Mora that I bought. Stainless. While on vacation I was using it to clean some trout. It was like using a butter knife.

                                                                                                                                    "Ever sharpen this?"

                                                                                                                                    The Boy, sheepishly: "Umm, I need to."

                                                                                                                                    Trout still tasted great.

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                                                                                                                                    1. I agree with you about Spengler. It was like he was being paid by the word!

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