Tuesday, May 26, 2020

When Two Karens Collide

If you pay attention to the fluff pieces that pop up on the news feeds, you probably heard of the "Central Park Karen" incident. In that incident, a bird watcher (a black man) confronted someone (a white woman) for walking a dog off-leash in an area where that was not allowed. The confrontation resulted in both throwing down their respective victim cards. The woman lost.

       Now we see headlines like this one from the Daily Mail: "Bill de Blasio brands white investment banker Amy Cooper, 41, racist for calling 911 to report an 'African-American man threatening her life' when he simply asked her to leash her dog - as she whines that her 'life is being destroyed'." Just watching the video that the man--Christian Cooper--took of the incident, it does appear that Amy is overreacting, while Christian maintains that he was acting out of his concern for the birds and vegetation in the area and never threatened her. However, just reading his own (sanitized?) account of the incident, Christian doesn't come off exactly as non-threatening. This Hot Air article recounts Christian's version of the first part of the encounter prior to filming. From the article:
He’s certainly not threatening her in the footage, although the conversation that preceded the video is much more ambiguous. This transcript comes from the man himself, Christian Cooper, per his Facebook post about what happened:
ME: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.
HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
HER: It’s too dangerous.
ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.
HER: What’s that?
ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!
HER: He won’t come to you.
ME: We’ll see about that…
“DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!” he claims she shouted, just before he began recording. What was he planning to do to the dog that she was “not going to like”? Because that *does* sound threatening.

New Defensive Pistol Craft Post

Jon Low has published a new monthly roundup of articles, videos and commentary at Defensive Pistol Craft. Numerous topics, so be sure to check it out.

     Among the topics he covers are some brief quotes from a couple books by author Ralph Mroz, including a book with the title, Safe Force-On-Force Training With Minimal Resources. For instance:
     "Serious gun owners want to attain a high level of responsibility commensurate with the power of the weapon.  Today it’s common knowledge in those circles that not only is a reasonable level of skill with the gun itself necessary, but so is a strong legal knowledge of the laws regarding the use of force."
Martial arts and combatives classes are not really self-defense classes because they typically only train you how to win a fight. Self-defense, on the other hand, covers a whole spectrum of activity from avoiding violence (e.g., John Farnam's general rules of conduct), recognizing threats or types of violence, to knowing how to get out of a violent situation safely, or at least not dead (which may or may not require countervailing violence and knowledge of the proper use of force), and dealing with the consequences, including, but not limited to, legal consequences.

     He has a link to an article by Tom Givens on "Behavioral Cues to Impending Aggression," as well as articles by Sheriff Jim Wilson, Greg Ellifritz, Claude Werner (the Tactical Professor), and many others. He has links to a series of defensive videos by John Holschen. And an article discussing the four types of draw-strokes.

     About some advice on watching an threat's hands, Low writes:
I love watching magicians.  I took some friends to the House of Cards in Nashville, TN recently; several magicians doing close up magic at tables, a fine dinner, and a great magic show.  I love watching Penn and Teller's "Fool Me".  As Ed says, watch his hands, because that's where weapons are held.  The guy uses verbal patter to distract and disarm the targets. The guy uses movement, distraction, and sleight of hand to bring the pistol to bear.  Notice there is no holster.  Criminals generally don't use holsters, because a holster is evidence of possession of a pistol, which convicts are prohibited from possessing.  He pulls the pistol from his waistband while pulling his shirt up to display his waistline to show he is unarmed.  As long as he is doing what he wants to do, as opposed to obeying your commands to do what you want him to do, he is in control and can play such games with you.
Underline added.

      And Low has some advice about kidnappings or attempted kidnappings:
     It is not reasonable to believe that the kidnappers will eventually release you. As we learned in Tom Givens' class, from zero to 24 hours there is a 75% chance the victims are dead.  After 24 hours there is a 100% chance the victims are dead. The errors in these probabilities are not statistically significant.

     If your granddaughter is kidnapped in your presence, you should take the shot.  Yes, you might miss and kill your granddaughter.  But, if you let the bad guy get away with her, she will be raped, tortured, and murdered.  You have to believe that because it is statistically true.  A person's actions are based on that person's beliefs.  So, it is essential you believe the truth, as opposed to denying it. 
And there is a lot more on many other topics. Read the whole thing.

Video: Found Survival Cache

The Realist sent me the link to this video. The author of the video had purchased the contents of a storage unit, in which he found electronic copies of photographs, including one with GPS coordinates. He took a metal detector to the site and uncovered a storage cache with 3 firearms (including what appears to be a Colt Python), $20,000 in $100 bills, and a variety of other survival items.

Solo Cup Measurements

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Quick Run Around the Web (5/22/2020)

The video demonstrates shooting multiple shots through a windshield from the inside. As would be expected, the first round went high. But note that the subsequent rounds shot low.

  • "Fundamentals of Shooting Through Glass"--Dr. Tindall. This is a good reference that you might want to download or print up for future reference. It looks at shooting through different types of glass, both flat pieces such as on windows, as well as windshield glass from the inside and outside of the vehicle. It also discusses what effect the glass will have on the bullet and bullet energy. For instance:
Some of the consequences of shooting through glass are deformation of the bullet. For example, a soft nose or hollow point bullet, especially from a pistol, will generally result in excessive deformation, which will have a detrimental effect on bullet stability in flight. This effect on stability will affect any and all subsequent penetrations of the bullet after it has passed through the glass. Consequently, jacketed or solid bullets seem best at shooting through most types of glass. Also, loss of energy and momentum of a bullet after passing through glass is greatly affected. As an example, the work expended by the bullet as it punctures the glass results in a direct loss of energy that increases significantly with the thickness of the glass. This loss of energy, combined with bullet deformation, reduces the over-all effectiveness of the bullet. Because of this, a bullet diameter that is equal to or greater than the thickness of the glass you intend to shoot through is recommended.
Also, something I previously did not know, is that changes in glass manufacturing means that modern window glass reacts differently than older plate glass:
A new process that uses molten tin to create the surface of a glass sheet was developed in the late 1950s. The glass, in liquid form, was poured onto the tin causing the lighter glass to float. The resulting product, “float glass,” had an extraordinarily smooth surface. Today, glass for commercial use is almost entirely float glass, and plate glass is used only in rare cases. Depending on the thickness of the float glass, it will shatter apart when shot into larger pieces than tempered glass. However, older plate glass will leave a hole much like laminated glass although, with a much larger disturbed area, i.e., fracture lines, around the hole.
Read the whole thing.
      Consider the glass itself. It can be 1/8-inch, soda-ash glass in an old urban house, so brittle a BB gun would penetrate, or a multilayered, half-inch, laminated door at a supermarket. A car windshield's safety glass is a sandwich of glass holding a layer of Butacite PVB, yet the same car's side windows are thin safety glass that shatter to bits when struck by a bullet. Newer snowbelt homes have double-layer glass windows with the space benveen filled by inert gas as an insulator. Then there's tempered glass, heat-treated to make it stronger, which also gives it a harder surface. And how about so-called, "bulletproof" glass, made from Lexan polymer? All these can have varying thicknesses, too.
         Here's the first rule of thumb in glass penetration: do not plan on using a hollowpoint, match bullet. Many tests have been conducted—including my own tests at Gunsite and shots I've observed with the Minneapolis Police Department—that leave no doubt that this round is not suitable because it's likely to break up or deflect due to its bullet design. The 168-and 175-grain BTHP Match bullets offer superb accuracy, but they were never intended to penetrate glass or barriers.
           I used to advise the same when it came to glass shooting with any .223 bullet, but the fielding of new penetration ammo has persuaded me otherwise. I've personally tested the Federal .223 Tactical Load at the factory, live-firing it through a windshield into a gelatin block at 100 yards. As shown in the accompanying photos, this 55-grain bonded bullet retained 99+ percent of its weight (54.5 grains) and deflected less than 1 MOA when fired 90 degrees into the windshield. My second shot, fired at a more ballistically challenging 45 degrees into that laminated glass, retained 29.5 grains, then penetrated a gelatin block some 10 inches.
              Both Federal's .223 load—also available in a 62-grain version—and its bigger .308 Tactical Load use a special bullet that's molecularly bonded to the jacket so that, even though it mushrooms, the lead corc remains nearly whole after impact.
          There are several things you should think about before you find yourself confined to the inside of your vehicle when an armed confrontation arises. First, if at all possible, you want to drive away – through/over the perpetrator if you can! Two actions to avoid are ducking for cover inside the prison of your vehicle or trying to back away from your assailant. These tactics will in all probability hasten your demise rather than prevent it. The remaining options, which are the topics of this article, are how to return fire while confined to the interior of the vehicle.
            I would note that there is some disagreement whether to back up or not, and it is going to depend on the situation. Obviously, if your "assailant" is unarmed or armed with something like a knife, if you can back up and get away, that is, from a legal perspective, probably a better option than running over the perpetrator. Second, from a book on keeping aid workers safe in third world countries, the author noted that if you come under fire at a road block to back up at high speed for 100 meters or so, before turning around and driving back the way you had come.
              ... The dot must be driven to the target instead of slowing down as we get close to the desired impact point. We must stop violently on the target, which is key. If you are slowing the movement of your carbine as your dot arrives near the target, you will be slower than the shooter who drives the dot aggressively to the target and then abruptly stops. Once the throttle is shut down, we have to use our dot discipline to make the minute dot correction before the shot is fired. The key to success in driving to another target is having your eyes already prepositioned on the intended target. If your eyes are there, the carbine can be abruptly stopped with precision as the dot arrives at the target. If your eyes are on the dot as you drive the carbine, you will more than likely over-­swing the intended point of impact.
              In order for aerobic bacteria to thrive, composting toilets must:
              • Keep waste oxygenated: Typically, the waste chamber will also be rotated so that oxygen can reach all waste. An exhaust fan will also assist in blowing air on the waste.
              • Maintain carbon-nitrogen balance: Urine contains huge amounts of nitrogen. If urine is allowed to get in the compost chamber, anaerobic bacteria will get out of control.  Thus, almost all compost toilets will have urine-diversion devices.  As for the carbon, a bit of peat moss, coconut fiber, or saw dust are added to the chamber.
              • Reduce moisture content: Fecal matter is about 75% to 90% liquid by volume. Aerobic bacteria do not thrive in high-moisture environments. However, they do need some moisture to survive. So, compost toilets will have a fan which helps most (but not all) moisture evaporate from the solid waste.
              • Regulate temperature: In order for aerobic bacteria to thrive, temperatures must be kept at around 60 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Compost toilets will not work in very cold or freezing weather.  Some advanced models of compost toilets have temperature-regulating devices.
                       ... Every small town has some kind of rinky-dink little coffee shop or restaurant where folks gather.  ... I started noticing that every time I drove by there were a couple of LEO vehicles (PD and SO) parked there.  So I took the plunge a few months back and started popping in.  I knew a couple of guys that frequented there so it didn’t take long till I gained the trust of most of the regulars.  That trust is invaluable.  Note during all of this I always maintain one rule for myself – at no time do I ever initiate any talk about SHTF, the .gov, POTUS, etc…  I stay as “gray man” as possible in the place.  John Deere hat, Wal-Mart camo windbreaker, the works.   I always open any kind of conversation with very recent info that has come out in the news (be it TV or the local rag).  I’ve pretty much figured out around here (as with any small town or rural community) the Weather is about as common a topic to open with as anything. EVERYONE has an opinion on the weather.  Agreeing with that opinion opens the door.
                       So big deal, right?  Read on.  Well Monday mornings is when a local ritual takes place.  The majority of the LEOs in the area grab a cup of coffee and rub elbows with the State troopers that run the section of Highway that runs through this little town.  And not only LEOs but also our County Department of Emergency Management guy (a real blabbermouth good ol’ boy).  ...
                    He goes on to discuss how he gets the real scoop on local conditions.
                            Violent encounters don’t happen at random. Attacks follow a cycle. This cycle is broken down into six stages: target selection, observation of the target, attack planning/training, execution, escape, and exploitation. The six stages fall into three phases: Pre-Attack, Attack, and Post-Attack.
                             There is no set time frame for an attacker to complete the cycle, and it is the attacker who chooses when to move forward or backward in stages. The time it takes to complete each stage will greatly depend on a number of factors, such as, type and goals of an attack, experience of the attacker and the victim, to name a few. For example, a snatch and grab robbery may go through Pre-Attack and Attack phases within seconds, but domestic violence may stay in the Attack phase for years.
                        • "Concealed Carry Corner: Top 4 Carry Myths to Avoid"--The Firearm Blog. The first of the myths is carrying on an empty chamber. The concept of carrying on an empty chamber arose in the days of the Single Action Army which required it as a safety precaution because the firing pin would otherwise have ridden on the primer and could have set off a round if the hammer were struck or the gun dropped. Other early revolvers also had this problem. And this is still a concern if you have a modern reproduction of the SAA that is faithful to original. But outside of those exceptions, it has not really been an issue since the invention of rebound hammers and is completely irrelevant to modern designs using transfer bar safety systems or hammer block systems. (I would also note that these older revolvers could still be safely carried fully loaded if the holster employed a strap to fit between the hammer/firing pin and the frame of the revolver--although that also meant that you had to cock or pull back the hammer in order to draw it from the holster since it also acted as a retention system).
                                It also might have had some relevance to early semi-auto designs (e.g., the Model 70 or earlier 1911 pistols) but is largely irrelevant with those designs incorporating firing pin block or safety of some sort. And even with older designs, such as the 1911 pistols, you could carry the weapon chambered but with the hammer half-cocked or fully cocked-and-locked with the safety on.
                          "Archiving Useful Skills Offline"--The Contingency Plan (4 min.)
                          This video looks at the why and how of archiving useful information (with a particular emphasis on YouTube vidoes) off-line in the event of a major disaster, including mentioning a downloading service for the YouTube videos. If you go to YouTube, he has links to the products and the downloading service in the description.

                                A former Judge of Elections in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been charged and pleaded guilty to illegally adding votes for Democrat candidates in judicial races in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
                                  On Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against former Judge of Elections Domenick DeMuro, 73, for stuffing the ballot box for Democrats in exchange for payment by a paid political consultant.
                                   The charges, and guilty plea, include conspiracy to deprive Philadelphia voters of their civil rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific Democrat candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections and a violation of the Travel Act.
                                      South Carolina election ballots reportedly ended up in Maryland this week, after mail-in voting for the Palmetto State’s June 9 primary has already begun, according to local news reports.
                                       South Carolina election officials may cut ties with the company they used, Minnesota printer SeaChange, over the mix-up after about 20 Charleston County absentee ballots were found outside the state, the reports say.
                                         Election officials say this isn’t the first absentee ballot issue they’ve had with the company, which prints and mails ballots for 13 South Carolina counties.
                                           Some voters in Greenville County received the wrong absentee ballots when the Democratic presidential primary and the special election for sheriff were held just 10 days apart, Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told the Post and Courier. Voters in Charleston received ballots that were folded in a way that made them tough to read by scanning machines.
                                      • "D.C. Circuit Orders Judge Sullivan to Respond to Flynn Mandamus Petition"--National Review. As I've described in earlier posts, in the face of the DoJ wanting to drop charges against Flynn, Judge Sullivan decided that it was his responsibility to ensure proper prosecution. Flynn's attorneys filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Circuit Court to request an order (mandate) that Sullivan dismiss the case and/or appointing another judge. That the Circuit Court has ordered Sullivan to respond to the petition suggests that the Circuit Court is taking the matter seriously, or at least wants to appear that it is taking it seriously.
                                              The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs in Mississippi burned down early Wednesday morning. The congregation had been in a legal battle to continue holding services despite the novel coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown orders.
                                               The building went up in flames between 2-4 a.m. Investigators said the church was spray-painted with graffiti before an explosion blew out the front of the building, according to Fox 13.  Maj. Kelly McMillian of the Marshall Count Sheriff’s Department confirmed the fire to be a criminal act of arson.
                                                  Thomas More Society senior counsel and lawyer for the church, Stephen Crampton, spoke with Fox News about the fire and said the perpetrators spray-painted a message that read, "I Bet you stay home now you hypokrits."
                                            I'm becoming more and more convinced that the reaction to the Kung Flu pandemic--whether growing anger at the shutdowns or continued panic about catching the disease--may be a basic method to distinguish between conservative "wolves" and liberal "rabbits." Case in point: "Doctor Who Threatened to Shoot People Not Wearing Masks Resigns From School Board"--The Truth About Guns. In that instance, Pennsylvania physician and school board member Dr. Jennifer Rager-Kay had posted on social media a threat to shoot anyone not wearing a mask who approached her or her family.
                                                     Coronavirus lockdowns have 'destroyed millions of livelihoods' but failed to alter the course of the pandemic given many US states have seen lower infection rates after easing restrictions, a JP Morgan study has claimed. 
                                                      The statistical analysis has raised questions about the effectiveness of the lockdowns put in place across much of the United States two months ago to stop the spread of COVID-19. 
                                                        It suggests that the lockdown measures have not only resulted in economic devastation but could have also resulted in more COVID-19 deaths. 
                                                          Politically-dictated lockdowns and prohibitions have recently destroyed tens of millions of American jobs. Politicians have effectively claimed a right to inflict unlimited economic damage in pursuit of zero COVID-19 contagion. The perverse incentives driving the policy have multiplied the harm far beyond the original peril.
                                                            Almost 40% of households earning less than $40,000 per year have someone who lost their job in recent months, according to the Federal Reserve. The Disaster Distress Helpline, a federal crisis hotline, received almost 900% more phone calls in March compared to a year ago. A recent JAMA Psychiatry analysis warned that stay-at-home orders and rising unemployment are a “perfect storm” for higher suicide rates. A California health organization recently estimated that up to 75,000 Americans could die from “despair” as a result of the pandemic, unemployment, and government restrictions.
                                                             In the name of saving lives, politicians have entitled themselves to destroy an unlimited number of livelihoods. Politicians in many states responded to COVID-19 by dropping the equivalent of a Reverse Neutron Bomb – something which destroys the economy while supposedly leaving human beings unharmed. But the only way to assume people were uninjured is to believe their existence is totally detached from their jobs, bank accounts, and mortgage and rent payments.
                                                               Politicians have vaccinated themselves against any blame for the economic carnage by touting experts who said it was all necessary. Over the past 90 days, government bureaucrats have become a new priesthood that can sanctify unlimited sacrifices in the name of the public health. 
                                                            And the money quote: 
                                                              Shutting down entire states, including vast uninfected rural swaths, is the economic equivalent of burning witches or sacrificing virgins to appease angry viral gods. Because politicians have no liability for the economic damage they inflict, they have no incentive to minimize the disruptions they decree. 
                                                              • "SO WE’RE ‘DOMESTIC TERRORISTS’, IS THAT IT?"--American Partisan. The author responds to Hillary Clinton's recent comments equating protesters carrying arms as "domestic terrorists." Besides observing her blatant hypocrisy as to the actual use of terror, he observes the general contempt for Americans: 
                                                                To these ‘people’, the folks in fly-over states or not in the halls of power are irrelevant. Relics of the antiquated ideas of property, liberty and the Lord, standing in the way of progress. For them we’re an apostate to the religion of Reason, with its chief prophets Hegel and Marx. I guess antifa storming state capitols and burning the flag doesn’t count, nor does threats for them to burn our once-great cities to the ground. Perhaps its the criminals they’ve deemed ‘non-violent’ only to run wild in the streets, or even better, feed off their propaganda.
                                                                One well-placed source told CIS that Alsahli drove up to the gate wearing an Arab head-wrap garment and blaring Arabic language music from a vehicle stereo. Arabic-language writings were found inside the vehicle. Although these details could not be independently confirmed, the FBI stated at a press conference later Thursday that Alsahli's attack was "terrorism-related". A linkedIn page for Adam Alsahi of Corpus Christ contains only one bit of biographical information, which is that he is a "student at Umm Al-Qura University" in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
                                                                        But as they were about to pedal away, the cougar returned, Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff’s Office said. It jumped on Isaac M. Sederbaum, putting its mouth around his head and shaking him. It released him and chased after the other cyclist, who had started to run. The authorities identified that cyclist as Sonja J. Brooks.
                                                                         As Sederbaum, who had been bloodied but survived, rode away from the scene, he could see the cougar dragging Brooks into the woods, Sergeant Abbott said. ...
                                                                      Reminds me of the joke about the two hunters being charged by a bear, and one telling the other that he doesn't need to outrun the bear, he only needs to outrun his buddy.
                                                                      • So what's going on in other parts of the world?
                                                                               However, what is more puzzling is that is that the anomaly has grown and moved westward at a pace of around 12 mph.
                                                                                In addition, the team found that in just the last five years a center of minimum intensity has formed southwest of Africa, suggesting the South Atlantic Anomaly could split into two separate cells.
                                                                                  The shift doesn't happen just overnight, but slowly occurs over the course of a few hundred or even thousand years.
                                                                                    And when this happens, multiple north and south magnetic poles pop up all around the Earth.
                                                                                      One theory for the weakened field is that the Earth may be heading into a pole reversal, which has happened in the past and the researchers say 'we are long overdue,' as it takes place 'roughly every 250,000 years.'
                                                                                       The last time the poles reversed was some 780,000 years ago and then the event nearly happened 40,000 years back.
                                                                                          A secretive military space plane will soon test the idea of using microwave beams to send solar power to Earth from space. The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane is expected to launch into orbit Saturday (May 16) with an experiment onboard that tests the possibility.
                                                                                            The Photovoltaic Radiofrequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment (PRAM-FX) represents the first orbital test of such a sci-fi technology since the 19th century — solar satellite power. Build a big solar array in orbit, the idea goes, and it could collect enough sunlight (unfiltered by atmospheric effects or clouds,) to generate a powerful beam of microwaves. A collection station on Earth would then convert that beam into useful power. Launch any satellite into a high enough orbit and it will receive a near-constant stream of sunlight, with only brief passes through the Earth's shadow. A whole constellation of solar arrays might offer uninterrupted 24/7 power.

                                                                                      Thursday, May 21, 2020

                                                                                      POTD: Abandoned Power Station in Australia

                                                                                      Source: "These Photos of Some of Australia's Coolest Abandoned Buildings Are Sick as Hell"--Vice.
                                                                                      More photos at the link. And the accompanying article also has some tips for those wanting to get started in urban exploration.

                                                                                      Wednesday, May 20, 2020

                                                                                      A Quick Run Around the Web (5/20/2020)

                                                                                      "Best Compass for You"--David Canterbury (17 min.)
                                                                                      A look at several different styles of compasses and what he believes is the best for newbies or general outdoors/wilderness use.

                                                                                      • The latest Woodpile Report has links to articles discussing the various impacts of the Wuhan virus outbreak and the subsequent lock-downs, including the possibility of food shortages and hyperinflation due to the debt load that has been taken on. 
                                                                                      • Today's Hump Day Reading List from Grant Cunningham has commentary and links to articles on whether you will freeze when faced with a threat, pre-attack indicators, and prepping for a power outage when you live in an apartment. 
                                                                                            Having lived for years in an apartment while in college and first starting into my career, I can address the latter topic reasonably well. Oil lamps/storm lanterns are good (my wife and I used them), but we had a couple of propane Coleman lanterns that gave out much better light. Just be sure with both (or either) that you have gotten them ready and tried them out before you need them. Oil lamps are pretty hard to screw up, but you will want to have filled them plus have extra oil on hand and matches and lighter and tried them so you understand how to adjust them and make sure that the adjustment knob works. The propane lanterns use a mantle that has to be burned to turn it into char before you can use it--something better done before you need the lantern. I would also make sure to have extra mantles on hand. As far as cooking, the couple times we needed it, we used a small two-burner Coleman camp stove which also could use the same propane bottles as the propane lanterns. And, while in college, we lived in an apartment with electric baseboard heating, we also had a kerosene heater on hand to both supplement the baseboard heating (it was cheaper to run the kerosene heater than pay for the extra electricity) and as backup heating.
                                                                                              The most significant power outage we had while living in apartments was while I was still in college. A transformer had blown out and it took a good portion of the day for crews to fix it. But about half-an-hour after they finished, it blew again, so the outage stretched well into the evening. I decided to take a walk after we had eaten dinner. Walking through the apartment complex, there were a handful of other apartments that were lit--the majority were dark. And what was interesting to me is that the lit apartments were where my fellow LDS congregation members lived. I think you can see the OPSEC implications of that.
                                                                                              There are a couple tactical options that tend to be overlooked in the planning stages of a tubular assault. SWAT commanders seem to focus on the entry point of the plane and the close proximity of innocent hostages – which is a legitimate concern. 
                                                                                               However, it’s important to consider a couple of key tactical options:
                                                                                            Sniper-initiated assault
                                                                                                   This is a great option if the hostage takers routinely peer out the window from the aircraft cock pit. Here’s the drawback, your snipers need to have training data on aircraft glass barriers before they initiate the shot. Training your snipers with aircraft glass is mandatory before you deploy that tactic. They must shoot various rounds and angles so that they know their dope with this shot. 
                                                                                                      POLICE: What's the highest number of rounds you've seen shot into a person who's survived?
                                                                                                        Vail: The largest number of bullet wounds has been 22. Some were just entry, some were entry/exits. But 22, I think, was my maximum number. It's not uncommon for me to get 8 or 10 or 12 wounds and people survive.
                                                                                                         I got involved in wound ballistics and what it really took to stop a threat during residency in Philadelphia because I had a friend on the police force who lost his job for use of excessive force by shooting somebody, I think it was, 18 times, and I always thought, maybe he needed to shoot that person 18 times to stop the threat.
                                                                                                           As a surgeon, I saw what bullets don't do to the human body, meaning they don't kill it, they don't just stop it...which is why I wrote that article about stopping power; it's really a myth. I know that the human body can tolerate many gunshots and still function so that the person is still a threat to the police officer. So I make it known that I am willing to help defend a police officer who is accused of excessive force based on the number of shots fired. If it's a clean shoot, I'm happy to review it. If I can agree with them after that review, then I'll be there to testify for them.
                                                                                                              POLICE: Is there really a significant difference in terms of wound ballistics between a 9mm, .40, and .45?
                                                                                                               Vail: Other than the size of the ballistic projectile, nope. Because unless you hit something vital, it doesn't matter what you hit them with. You could hit them with a .45 in the shoulder, they're gonna survive. You hit them with a 9mm in the shoulder, they're gonna survive. You hit them with a .22 in the brain they could die. So, stopping a threat really does not come down to caliber, it is shot placement.
                                                                                                                 Handguns are lousy stoppers; it doesn't matter the caliber, they are just not great at stopping threats. Because of the ballistics profile and the amount of energy that a rifle round carries with it and dumps into the body, a rifle is a much better instrument to stop a threat.
                                                                                                                    The .36 caliber pistol, Colt’s or otherwise, was an almost ideal size handgun for weight, balance, and accuracy. As for the popular .36 caliber round ball, at a weight of 80 grains, backed by a 22- to 25-grain charge of black powder, an 1851 Navy had a muzzle velocity in the neighborhood of 850 fps; delivering sufficient mass and velocity for a fight ending shot at typical gunfight distances, which could have been anything from arms length to 50 feet or more. Further, the “or more” was proven in 1865 by Wild Bill Hickok, who famously and very publicly extended the effective accuracy of the 1851 Navy in a gunfight to a distance of some 225 feet.
                                                                                                                     On July 21, in Springfield, Missouri, he shot and killed gunman Davis Tutt at what is believed to have been 75 yards across the town square in a long distance stand up gunfight. Tutt missed his first and only shot. Wild Bill, who had drawn his 1851 Navy but not fired first, rested the barrel of the Colt on his left arm. He then took aim and shot Davis Tutt dead where he stood. Further, Tutt suffered a single .36 caliber ball to the chest from half a block away.
                                                                                                                       Hickok’s shot is the stuff of legends. Further, the 1851 Navy, among others of similar size and caliber, proved to be ideal belt guns for soldiers, lawmen, outlaws, and most anyone who chose to pack a pistol in the late 1860s.
                                                                                                                  • Type I: Failure to feed
                                                                                                                  • Type II: Failure to eject
                                                                                                                  • Type III: Double feed
                                                                                                                  • Type IV: Failure to extract
                                                                                                                  • Type V: Bolt Override
                                                                                                                    He explains how the malfunctions are caused together with photographs to illustrate them, as well as how to clear them. The first two are generally covered by the standard tap, rack, bang. The third may require you to unload the firearm to clear. The fourth:
                                                                                                                              Type IV is a case stuck in the chamber. You’re pulling the charging handle, but there’s no rearward movement—the case is stuck in the chamber, and the bolt’s extractor is hooked on the case. The AR is telling you to unload.
                                                                                                                               Should your AR stop working in a defensive situation and you’re within handgun distance, the most efficient way to get hits on the threat will be to transition to a pistol. However, at some point, you’re going to want to get the AR running again.
                                                                                                                                  Should your AR stop working in a defensive situation and you’re within handgun distance, the most efficient way to get hits on the threat will be to transition to a pistol. However, at some point, you’re going to want to get the AR running again.
                                                                                                                                    Remove the magazine. Hook two fingers on the charging handle, supporting the AR with the other hand. To generate the force needed to pull the case from the chamber, bang the rear of the stock against something solid while pulling rearward on the charging handle. Cycle to clear the chamber, then load. This action will either clear the case, or it rips it, which unfortunately means it takes time and tools to correct. This is a good time to transition to the pistol.
                                                                                                                              The next type is also a bit more complicated to clear:
                                                                                                                                A Type V stoppage is a “bolt override.” A round or piece of brass gets stuck above the bolt. The AR lets you know it’s a Type V via the charging handle. It will usually come back part of the way, but there’s no spring pressure on it. Remove the mag. Put a finger or other tool up the mag well and in front of the bolt; the other hand should be on the charging handle. Pull back on the charging handle while pressing the bolt to the rear. Once the bolt is all the way back, hold it there and work the charging handle forward. This frees the obstruction. Quickly remove the finger/multi-tool and let the bolt fly forward.
                                                                                                                                Over the years, many of the most successful gunfighters in the world have quietly shared their philosophies and principles of surviving the fight. From these rare texts we can harvest what can be seen as the cornerstones of gunfighting. First up is decisiveness. The phrase “hesitation will get you killed” is not just a clever cliché. It is a fact. Nestled inside that mindset, though, is the deep-seeded willingness to be violent. While this may seem obvious, it is one of the major factors behind hesitation. Violence of action many times will determine the outcome of a lethal confrontation.
                                                                                                                                        In my time with these two guns, as well as shooting my Bond Arms derringer in a few different calibers, I’ve never had a cartridge fail to extract with either system.
                                                                                                                                         I’ve also never had the pistol fail in any way. There’s just not much to go wrong. It’s an extremely simple design, and the pinnacle of reliability. Cartridge manufacturer and bullet shape are irrelevant to reliability. If the Bond Arms derringer failed to fire, suspect the cartridge, not the gun.
                                                                                                                                    • "Something is Better than Nothing"--The Anatomically Correct Banana. The author is an older gentlemen working as a long-haul trucker. He noticed that he was getting winded doing some of his work and decided he needed to do something to get into better shape. The problem is that being on the road, he is not in a position to cook his own meals, and he doesn't know where or when he might be able to stop so getting out of the cab and go jogging or dropping to do situps or pushups on a urine smelling parking lot was not going to be practicable or safe depending on where he was, and he didn't have the room for any significant amount of exercise equipment. His solution was to get a couple light dumbbells (10 lbs each) and a jump rope. His fitness guru son said it wasn't going to be enough. But after a while at it, he found that he was in better shape.
                                                                                                                                            After about 6 weeks I am up to 30 reps a day and regularly skip 50 or 60 times without missing. I feel better and stronger, and I don’t get winded from cranking up the landing gear. I am trying to think what else I might do in my limited space with my limited equipment. 
                                                                                                                                              The moral of this story is that it is worth doing, even if you’re not going to be a professional bodybuilder. I do what I can within my limitations and that is just a hell of a lot better than doing nothing at all. I have overcome the inertia and now I want to do more. You can, too. 
                                                                                                                                                Step 1) After you’ve done the deed (taking your time—a pandemic is no time for a hernia), grab your bottle.
                                                                                                                                                 Step 2) Reach underneath and spray front to back (especially important for women and girls). Depending on the size of the bottle you selected, you may need to elevate your carriage some off the throne to get the right angle. Be mindful of the back of the toilet; this was designed for outdoor use, after all. Try to keep your hand out of the way of any splashback, but don’t worry too much about it. We’ve all had lots of practice with the proper technique for washing hands these days.
                                                                                                                                                   Step 3) Depending on how much you are trying to conserve toilet paper, you can either grab a square or two of TP to dry off, or let things air out au naturel.
                                                                                                                                                     Programming note: Do NOT get fancy and start thinking that you can conserve your home water supply by using urine in your DIY bidet. The uric acid will give you diaper rash.
                                                                                                                                                • "How to Hide Your Guns during Martial Law"--Primal Survivor. This November 2019 article observes that although the Constitution ostensibly protects your right to keep and bear arms during an emergency, and there is a federal law prohibiting local governments from seizing firearms in times of emergency, "[i]f the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this: it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security." An excerpt:
                                                                                                                                                        The first thing about hiding guns during martial law is knowing where not to hide them.  Remember, we are prepping for the worst – which means armed soldiers with gun-sniffing dogs and ground-penetrating radar coming into your home.
                                                                                                                                                          Hiding your guns in the normal places – like a hidden compartment under your kitchen cabinets – isn’t going to work in these worst-case scenarios.
                                                                                                                                                            Ideally you don’t hide your guns inside your home.
                                                                                                                                                              If you must hide your guns inside, count on the fact that authorities during martial law probably won’t have a lot of time to do a thorough search (again, we don’t know what will happen – we can just weigh the likely possibilities).
                                                                                                                                                               Places like inside a hollow hot water tank or a watertight bag under the gravel in a fish tank could work.  Ammo could go in a hollow curtain rod.
                                                                                                                                                                  An off-site hiding place might also work.  I’m not talking about your Uncle Jim’s house, because the authorities will go there to confiscate firearms too.  By off-site, I mean a storage shed somewhere.
                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, the authorities could also search all storage sheds – it just might take longer for them to get to those so you may have time to grab your stored guns and GO before they are confiscated.
                                                                                                                                                                For those wanting to bury a cache, the offer recommended an article which we've looked at before, "Hiding a gun — The rules of three," at Backwoods Home Magazine.
                                                                                                                                                                • "5 Effective Improvised Weapons That Spies Actually Use"--Ballistic Magazine. The author is purportedly a ex-CIA spook. In any event, as you might expect, the weapons are improvised slung-shots, saps, and shivs. Specifically: (1) purchase a large nut and tie a bit of paracord through it; (2) stuff something heavy (e.g., an unopened can of soda) in a sock; (3) tightly roll up a magazine which you can use to thrust into soft areas of the body, like the neck or abdomen, or strike the side of the head; (4) throw the contents of a thermos of hot coffee, tea, etc. on an attacker; and (5) "Go to Walmart and spend a dollar on some hair barrettes. When you bend off the top, you’re left with some seriously sharp edges" which can be used to slash with, and, as an added bonus, are easy to conceal.
                                                                                                                                                                • "The Ground Where I Stand: Determining the AO"--Lizard Farmer. From the lede:
                                                                                                                                                                The Operational Area (AO) for our purposes is going to be the area we primarily defend PLUS areas of interest connected to it.  An Area defense is a defense that encompasses just that – an area.  A point defense for our purposes is a static location – i.e. your homestead.  We’ll get into point defenses much later on.  For now lets concentrate on Areas.   I’ll tell you right up front – this is not word for word .mil terrain assessment or IPB – that’s not the point here.  The IPB is a complex process and this draws elements from it however to go into the IPB would be a complete waste of time when you could read an FM.  This is presented as an educational tool for the complete novice.
                                                                                                                                                                Read the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                Discussion of social violence, when pepper spray might be appropriate, why backing down to a threat display may be appropriate, but mostly a caution as to involving yourself in a third-party dispute.

                                                                                                                                                                • Related: "Thousands of lives could be lost to delays in cancer surgery during COVID-19 pandemic"--EurekAlert. The study, which was out of England, found "that a delay of three months across all 94,912 patients who would have had surgery to remove their cancer over the course of a year would lead to an additional 4,755 deaths. Taking into account the length of time that patients are expected to live after their surgery, the delay would amount to 92,214 years of life lost." Just imagine what the lives and lost years of life will be here in the United States. I know a woman whose cancer surgery to remove a tumor was cancelled because it was deemed "elective" and had to go to another state to get the surgery.
                                                                                                                                                                New York City is the center of the Wuhan epidemic in the United States, and in response to the virus, governors across the country have imposed shutdowns that might possibly be appropriate in New York, but are bonkers as applied to local conditions. Initially, most of us tried to be good sports. But as shutdowns lingered from weeks into months, and small businesses were destroyed by the hundreds of thousands for no apparent reason, the spirit of rebellion began to grow.
                                                                                                                                                                • "Monopoly On Violence"--Captain's Journal. Herschel cites an op-ed by Charles Lane at the Washington Post in which Lane states: "On the whole, though, no state worthy of the name can permit exceptions to its monopoly on legitimate deployment of armed force like those in Michigan or North Carolina. Surely no sensible interpretation of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms would say a state must tolerate them." Herschel observes: "You will never see a clearer admission than this from a collectivist.  They believe that the only legitimate use of force is when it is employed by the state." I know, I know--one shouldn't quote from Wikipedia, but it does relate that "The monopoly on violence or the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force is a core concept of modern public law, which goes back to Jean Bodin's 1576 work Les Six livres de la République and Thomas Hobbes' 1651 book Leviathan." The founders likely were aware of Bodin's work, and certainly were aware of Hobbes' writings, but deliberately chose to reject it. Not only does the concept derive from the theory of the rule by an absolute monarch--and, hence, anathema to a Republic that derives its power from the citizens--but it leaves the citizen no recourse should the state be unable or unwilling to act to protect the citizen. 
                                                                                                                                                                • Related: "EXPLOSIVE RICE MEMO DECLASSIFIED"--Powerline. We already knew that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice had created a memo in January 2017 documenting that she had been directed to not inform incoming National Security Advisor Flynn about the Russian collusion investigation into him. Now a key paragraph has been declassified that indicates that former FBI director Comey provided the excuse or justification for that action.
                                                                                                                                                                • And what skeletons does the judge have in his closet? "J’Accuse: Judge Sullivan marches on and invents his own judicial procedures"--The New Neo. The judge presiding over the Flynn case has completely lost it in the face of dismissal of the charges against Flynn. Although there is no provision in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allowing for the appointment of what is essentially a special prosecutor (John Gleeson, an ex-Brooklyn judge) to argue against the dismissal of Flynn's case. Similarly, and again not provided for in the rules, the Jude Sullivan is permitting third parties to file amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs to argue against dismissal. 
                                                                                                                                                                • Related: "Our plea bargain system can make the innocent admit guilt. Enter Michael Flynn."--George Will at The Washington Post. I've heard plea bargaining, as it is currently carried out in the United States, described as the equivalent of Medieval torture, its purpose being to extract a confession even where no wrong was committed. Will essentially describes the same. For instance, he writes:
                                                                                                                                                                      ... We shall return to Flynn below, but first consider Habeeb Audu, who is resisting extradition from Britain to the United States, where he is charged with various financial crimes.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Cato Institute’s Clark Neily was asked by Audu’s lawyers to write, in accordance with British extradition practices, a Declaration — an “expert report” — about the risk that Audu would not have a meaningful right to a fair U.S. trial. Neily, a member of the American Bar Association’s Plea Bargaining Task Force and head of its subcommittee on impermissibly coercive plea bargains and plea practices, concludes that extradition would “guarantee” Audu’s subjection to a process that “routinely” coerces through plea bargaining. So Audu probably would experience “intolerable pressure designed to induce a waiver of his fundamental right to a fair trial.”

                                                                                                                                                                      Plea bargaining is, Neily argues “pervasive and coercive” partly because of today’s “trial penalty” — the difference between the sentences offered to those who plead guilty and the much more severe sentences typically imposed after a trial. This penalty discourages exercising a constitutional right. A defendant in a computer hacking case, Neily says, committed suicide during plea bargaining in which prosecutors said he could avoid a trial conviction and sentence of up to 35 years by pleading guilty and accepting a six-month sentence.
                                                                                                                                                                        The pressure prosecutors can exert — piling on (“stacking”) criminal charges to expose defendants to extreme sentences; pretrial detention, nearly always in squalid confines; threatening to indict family members — can cause innocent people to plead guilty in order to avoid risking protracted incarceration for themselves and loved ones. Such pressures effectively transfer sentencing power from judges to prosecutors. How exactly are these pressures morally preferable to those that used to be administered by truncheons in the back of police stations?
                                                                                                                                                                         These are reasons why of the nearly 80,000 defendants in federal criminal cases in fiscal 2018, just 2 percent went to trial and 90 percent pleaded guilty. In 2018, 94.7 percent of criminal convictions were obtained through plea bargains in the Southern District of New York, which is seeking Audu’s extradition.
                                                                                                                                                                           Prosecutors have discovered that almost any defendant can be persuaded to plead guilty, given sufficient inducements. This discovery has been partly a response to the fact that the over-criminalization of life, and particularly Congress’s indefensible multiplication of federal crimes, means that otherwise the court system would, in Justice Antonin Scalia’s words, “grind to a halt.”
                                                                                                                                                                              To understand our politics, we need to understand the cultural values that drive it. The integral cultural map developed by philosopher Ken Wilber identifies nine global cultural value systems including the archaic (survival), tribal (shaman), warrior (warlords and gangs), traditional (fundamentalist faith in God), modern (democracy and capitalism), and postmodern (world-centric pluralism). When combined with Pew’s voter typologies, Wilber’s cultural levels offer a new map of America’s political landscape.
                                                                                                                                                                                Of Wilber’s nine global value systems, the Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern categories are most useful to understanding our moment. Traditional culture values disciplined adherence to assigned gender and social roles: men are providers and heads of households, marriage is between one man and one woman, and the institutions of the military, law enforcement, and the clergy are all highly respected. Historically, traditional cultures were monarchies or states ruled by “strongmen.” Modern culture superseded traditional systems in the West during the Enlightenment, and values rationality, democracy, meritocracy, capitalism, and science. Individual rights, free speech, and free markets harness an entrepreneurial spirit to solve problems.
                                                                                                                                                                                 Postmodern culture offers a borderless, geocentric political view that values pluralism. It challenges a pro-American narrative by focusing on the horrors of American history, including the exploitation of Native Americans, slavery, and persistent inequality disproportionately affecting historically disadvantaged groups. Those left behind by modernity and progress now seek recognition, restoration, and retribution via a politics of protest, and show little interest in building political organizations or institutions. We are currently living in a postmodern political moment of disruption, best described by author Helen Pluckrose in her Areo essay “How French Intellectuals Ruined the West: Postmodernism and its Impact, Explained”:

                                                                                                                                                                              If we see modernity as the tearing down of structures of power including feudalism, the Church, patriarchy, and Empire, postmodernists are attempting to continue it, but their targets are now science, reason, humanism and liberalism. Consequently, the roots of postmodernism are inherently political and revolutionary, albeit in a destructive or, as they would term it, deconstructive way.
                                                                                                                                                                                When we overlay Pew’s data with Wilber’s Value levels, six cultural political categories emerge: Traditional Left and Right, Modern Left and Right, and Postmodern Left and Right.
                                                                                                                                                                                Contrary to the foregoing, I see "modernity" as wanting to pursue an imperial path that most Americans never wanted. In any event, I found interesting this description of one of the groups comprising the post-modern liberals, who are strongly insular:
                                                                                                                                                                                Solid Liberals is a bit of a misnomer as they tend to reject liberalism in its classical form. They are progressives who hold strongly negative views of businesses, question or reject the concept of the American Dream, and see the world through the lens of identity politics. They are mostly white, well-off, and well-educated, and they are the most secular voters found across voting groups. Ninety-seven percent strongly disapprove of Trump’s job performance. They are unlikely to have friends outside their political circle, and over half of this group would say “that a friendship would be strained if someone voted for Trump,” much higher than any other Democratic group. It isn’t just Trump they dislike. They are highly partisan in general and the least tolerant of Republicans among all Democrat groups. They are the largest engaged Democratic voting group and the largest of all voting groups in Pews voter typologies. They make up 25 percent of engaged voters.
                                                                                                                                                                                        To be clear: We do need to think about the past, especially to learn from it, which we can do in a number of ways. Also, we need to contemplate the future in order, most importantly, to create it; for without anticipation of it, we would merely react and be a victim of circumstances, much as animals are.
                                                                                                                                                                                          But the trouble with idealizing the past is that we can so easily get stuck there. For the past tends toward a sort of myopic nostalgia for us all. Even if our childhood or our youth was not ideal, at least we were young then, and so more energized, more attractive, and, critically, so much further statistically from that endpoint we call death. So the vice of the past is its nostalgia-inducing torpor.
                                                                                                                                                                                           The future is quite different, though. When we contemplate the future (assuming we are not a hypochondriac, or chronophobic, or some such), we find there is the only virtue left in Pandora’s box when all the others have fled: hope. I used the word “contemplate” rather than “think” about the future since I wanted to suggest a deeper level of involvement with the future. Implicit in “contemplate” is the idea of our imaginations engaging with it, and so shaping and creating it.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps I am being pedantic, but I took some exception to the author's comment concerning the story of Lot and his family, that "[t]he story may be pure myth, or it may be literally true; it is difficult to know." There is a growing body of evidence showing that the Cities of the Plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah, were destroyed by a large meteor blast, similar to the 1908 Tunguska blast or a more powerful version of the bolide that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, creating a shockwave that blew out thousands of windows. According to a Times of Israel article on the subject:
                                                                                                                                                                                               According to the paper’s abstract, the scientists discovered evidence of a “high-heat” explosive event north of the Dead Sea that instantaneously “devastated approximately 500 km2.” The explosion would have wiped out all civilization in the affected area, including Middle Bronze Age cities and towns. Silvia told Science News that the blast would have instantly killed the estimated 40,000 to 65,000 people who inhabited Middle Ghor, a 25-kilometer-wide circular plain in Jordan.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Likewise, the fertile soil would have been stripped of nutrients by the high heat, and waves of the Dead Sea’s briny anhydride salts would have — tsunami-like — washed over the surrounding area. ...
                                                                                                                                                                                          See also articles at Forbes and Phys.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tuesday, May 19, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                          Doing Our Best

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Epoch Times had an article today by Tatiana Denning on the topic of "The Benefits of Doing Our Best, Even in Adversity." The article begins with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.:
                                                                                                                                                                                          “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”
                                                                                                                                                                                          Denning explains that being the best and doing the best are two different things. She contends that being the best involves competition and comparing ourselves against others; "[i]t requires focusing more on the outside world, and less on the inside one." Conversely, "[d]oing our best means giving our all, and going about whatever we endeavor with our whole heart. No matter how hard the task may be, it’s important to strive forward with focus and determination." Denning continues:
                                                                                                                                                                                                 David Erichsen, on his website Lifehack. says, “Doing your best is synonymous with living out each and every moment to its fullest potential. And this potential exists in every situation you encounter in your life. All that is required of you is not to fight whatever life throws your way.”

                                                                                                                                                                                               Doing our best is a virtue. It not only fills us with a sense of accomplishment but serves to strengthen the good things in us. It takes resolve and determination, focus, and perseverance, as well as a great deal of self-discipline. Things such as patience, honesty, ingenuity, and being thoughtful and considerate of others are also required. And sometimes, it even involves blood, sweat, and tears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Some of the most successful and well-respected coaches in sports, in whom many of these qualities can be found, understand this. They know that even in competition, core values are vitally important, things like hard work, self-sacrifice, and thinking of others.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not going to say that we should abandon competition or trying to be the best as it is a necessary part of the masculine to compete. But when it comes to life, God isn't going to be judging us on whether we were the best, but whether we did our best as the article describes. Paul spoke of this in Colossians 3, writing:
                                                                                                                                                                                          22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

                                                                                                                                                                                          23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

                                                                                                                                                                                          24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
                                                                                                                                                                                          (Underline added).