... at Palmetto State Armory for $99.99. Since the ATF has already signaled that these braces will be banned, for all intents and purposes, under the proposed pistol brace regulations, I would expect to see prices continue to fall as retailers attempt to get rid of their stocks. I also noted over the past couple of days that many online sellers are slashing prices on AR pistols outfitted with the SBA3 braces. Again, I would expect to see steeper discounting should the proposed rules be finalized.
Friday, June 11, 2021
The books are in PDF format, but you may find the following programs useful to view them on your computer or to convert to a different format: First is Calibre, which is a free-to-download e-book management program. What makes it useful is that it can read many different formats of e-books and can convert between different formats (e.g. from epub to MOBI) as long as there is no encryption, and allows you to organize files into useful libraries. Second, and more basic, is SumatraPDF which also allows you to view all sorts of e-book formats but without the ability to convert a file from one format to another.
Disclaimer: I'm not the author of any of the documents, applications or things linked above and cannot vouch for their accuracy or completeness--use them at your own risk. I am not responsible for the posting or offering of any of the documents or things in the collections and/or libraries and have no control over whether they are posted or taken down.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
- "The Guns of the Highway Patrol: A Three-Way Six-Incher Showdown"--The Truth About Guns. The author notes that at one time, it was common for state patrol/highway patrol officers to use .357 Magnum revolvers with 6-inch barrels. He compares the three most popular models in the 1970s: the Ruger Security Six, S&W Model 19, and the Colt Trooper MK III.
- "Sig P220 West German Made- Swiss Engineered"--The Mag Life. The author discusses the history of the P220 (as well as the collaboration between Sig (an Austrian company) and J.P. Sauer and Sons (a German company) to develop and manufacture the pistol. Discussing his particular model, manufactured in then-West Germany, the author relates:
An extremely smooth trigger delivers a wonderful double-action and single-action trigger pull. I imagine thousands upon thousands of trigger pulls have honed the trigger to an extremely smooth pull. The long double-action trigger rolls rearward like a finely done revolver trigger.
Staging the trigger during your double-action pull is possible. You can hold the hammer almost entirely cocked and ensure you have a good sight picture before finishing the trigger pull. The single-action offers a little take-up and what barely qualifies as a wall before breaking and firing. A short reset ensures the trigger is ready to rock and roll again quite quickly.
While a fine weapon in the author's opinion, he adds: "Much like the Government size 1911, the P220 wears the badge of being obsolescent. It weighs a ton and doesn’t offer the capacity to justify the weight or size of the gun." I don't know about that. The P220 is known for its accuracy and the weight helps with recoil control. It makes a good defensive pistol for the home if you want something in .45 ACP.
- Related: "4 Reasons The Sig Sauer P220 Is Better Than Your 1911"--Wide Open Spaces. The author observes:
The Sig P220 was the same basic concept as my Colt: a single-stack .45 ACP full sized combat pistol. (Though, oddly enough, 9mm, 10mm, .38 Super and .22LR are other available calibers for both pistols). However, the Sig Sauer P220 benefited from another 65 years of pistol evolution and got almost everything right from the start. The P220 felt superb, was stunningly accurate, and--get THIS--I didn't have to do anything to it. It was perfect, straight out of the box. I immediately relegated the Colt to the safe, and haven't looked back.The P220 is a far superior carry gun to the 1911 platform. There, I said it. I will champion the following statement till the day I die: Anything the 1911 can do, the Sig Sauer P220 can do better.
His reasoning is that the Sig is more reliable because it is less finicky about ammunition, it has simpler operation than the 1911, only one company makes it (leading to less variability), and it doesn't need to be worked on by a gunsmith to make it usable. On the other hand, the Sig P220 is no more (Sig still makes certain models, but the basic P220 is no longer in its catalog), and I believe that the 1911 is superior for concealment.
- Related: "The .45 ACP, Part I" by John Taffin, GUNS Magazine. This is the first in a series on reloading for the .45 ACP. In this installment, Taffin tells of the massive quantities of used brass he has on hand and his plans on reloading it. The article then moves on to case preparation and seating the bullets. Taffin uses an RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press. For sizing and de-priming, he uses the Lee Undersized Carbide Sizing Die. He wants the bullets slightly undersized to better hold the bullet and prevent it from working out under recoil. He also uses the Lee Universal Expanding Die and the Lee Factory Crimp Die. Part 2 discusses loads for cast lead bullets, while Part 3 deals with jacketed bullets.
- "Can’t See The Light? | Keep the Lens Clean" by Patrick A. Rogers, SWAT Magazine. It important, the author explains, to keep the lens of a weapon mounted light clean. The easiest way to facilitate this is to put some transparent barrier between the lens and the cloud of powder residue generated during firing. The author mentions using a WD-40 pen to put a thin coating of oil, Vaseline or a chap stick. When the gunk builds up, wipe off the messy residue and apply a fresh coat and resume shooting. And if you didn't engage in prevention, the author discusses cleaning the dirty lens:
Carbon left on the lens can solidify after a while and make it more difficult to clean. The potential for scratching the lens increases with time as you use more aggressive cleaning methods. Keep this in mind as you clean the lens.There are degrees of obscuration, so let’s start with minor cleaning, the easiest of all, and progress to the grunge.Assuming that you have started with a clean lens, your first choice is warm, soapy water. This works on lights that have had minimal rounds fired from the gun they are mounted on. Apply it with a soft cloth or cotton swab, applying gentle pressure. Rinse with water, review and repeat if necessary. The sooner you do this after shooting, the easier it will be to clean.If the gunk is caked on and solidified, escalate the cleaning regimen. The excellent SLiP 725 cleaner can be used on the lens and does an excellent job of removing carbon from any surface. As stated above, use a soft cloth or Q-Tip and apply gentle pressure.An alternative method is to use lemon juice. Doc Spears has been using this for a long time with excellent results. Apply sparingly and use the soft cloth/Q-Tip as with the other methods. Rub gently and in a circular motion to ensure you get the crud off. Rinse with water when finished.For the really tough stuff, use toothpaste. This is a mild abrasive and certainly useful to polish a great number of items. Some successfully use a pencil eraser, rubbing gently to remove the crud. ...
- "Concealed Carry Corner: Working Around Gun-Free Zones"--The Firearm Blog. It is inevitable that we are going to encounter gun-free zones whether mandated by law (e.g., post offices, schools, court houses, etc.) or posted by a property owner (e.g., most shopping malls and theaters). The author of this piece discusses the options for a concealed carrier for dealing with such places: (i) simply avoiding gun free zones; or (ii) carrying regardless of the gun free status (a possible problem if the violation brings criminal penalties). Other than one sentence--"For legal reasons, I would say to avoid gun-free zones entirely and if you have to go to them to take your gun off and quickly get your task done"--he doesn't add the third option of taking your gun off before entering such location. It's not ideal, but none of the options are.
- Speaking of gun-free zones: "Weapon Malfunctions in an Active Shooter Event" by Greg Ellifritz, Saddle River Range. The article notes that it is not uncommon for there to be a pause in an active shooter event as the shooter has to deal with a malfunction or reload. "It’s a situation we all should be watching for," writes Ellifritz. "It happens in quite a few spree shootings. If you are alert, you can use these moments to escape or attack." He lists shootings where the shooter had to reload or deal with a malfunction, and has advice on taking advantage of those situations.
- "Sexual Assault: Precautions and Prevention"--Kennedy Torch (h/t KA9OFF).
Kennedy High School’s Women’s Self Defense Club teaches students about keeping themselves safe in dangerous situations. They teach self-defense techniques, bring in officers and give advice to women on what to do in case of an emergency.“Some precautions women can take to feel safer are always travelling in groups, keeping pepper spray on them, taking public routes, having their keys splayed in between their knuckles or even something as simple as calling a friend when walking in the dark.” Tawil, a student in the Women’s Defense Club, said.
"... having their keys splayed in between their knuckles" is horrible advice. Instead of the old, tired tripe being bandied about, the Club would do better to teach students to be aware, listen to their gut instincts and avoid risky behavior (e.g., Farnham's rules--Jon Low always includes these in his periodic compilations of articles and advice).
- "'It could happen to anyone": Local organizers discuss ways to combat crime through awareness"--WDSU (h/t KA9OFF).
According to NOPD, car thefts have doubled since last year. Women account for more than half of carjacking victims.
"It is important to have some type of solution to these problems that we are having. A solution that can better help women as they go about their day, " said Justin Brown with Empower You NOLA.
Empower You NOLA is a local organization looking to combat crime in New Orleans. From pumping gas, to making groceries, the group's newest initiative to make sure women are aware of their surroundings at all times.
When it comes to self defense, Sensei Jason B. Horne said sadly most of his clients come to him after they have already fallen victim to an attack. But he encourages everyone to learn methods in protecting themselves.
"Take action first. If you enlighten your awareness. Know where you are parking. How you are holding your keys bags, how you are with kids. These can can prevent a lot of the carjacking's and abduction attacks," said Horne.
Horne went on to say, "If a person is car jacking you and they have the gun already pulled. Give them the vehicle. Do not fight them."
- John Wilder's latest Civil War 2.0 update is up, and he is keeping as stage 9 of 10. He explains:
May had (again) increased violence, but not as bad as it could have been as unseasonably cold weather kept other temperatures down. Again, none of the violence that I could see originated from the Right.I’m holding May at 9 out of 10. That’s still two minutes to midnight. Last month I said that “ July or August could take us to a 10” and the reason is becoming clearer, as hot weather and economic woes will be showing up on the street.I currently put the total at (this is my best approximation, since no one tracks the death toll from rebellion-related violence) up to around 800 out of the 1,000 required for the international civil war definition.As close as we are to the precipice of war, be careful. Things could change at any minute. Avoid crowds. Get out of cities. Now. A year too soon is better than one day too late.
- "Zones"--Area Ocho. A list of cities that have been the sites of leftist Antifa and BLM protests and riots, split up into groupings based on the danger and/or how compromised is the local governments.
- "And a FAMINE Is Looming Over the United States"--The Organic Prepper. The author relates that much of the American West is in what he calls a megadrought, with California particularly hit hard (Idaho hasn't been impacted as much as other states). He writes:
In California, some areas are so dry that farmers are not even bothering to plant crops this season. Growers located north of San Francisco pulled out of local farmers’ markets and now produce-box programs. However, County Line Harvest, which farms around 30 acres in Petaluma, does not have enough water to grow the lettuces, peppers, and other produce that go into the subscription boxes. Many other farms nearby are saying the same thing.California grows a third of the US’s vegetables and 2/3 of the nation’s fruits and nuts. Dry weather is now causing a significant hiccup in food prices and inflation that is already taking place across the US.
A big part of the problem with California is that it has refused to build dams over the past 40 or 50 years even as its population has boomed. California's lack of foresight could have an impact on surrounding states as well as California tries to tap into those state's water. For instance, California already uses more than its share of water from the Colorado river, and it will want more to the detriment of Nevada and Arizona. In the past it has even been suggested that a pipeline should be built from Idaho to California to divert some of Idaho's already scarce water to the Sunshine State.
- Something that might come in handy in this drought year: "How to Grow Your Own Urban Vegetable Garden"--The Organic Prepper. The first and foremost concern mentioned in the article is the ever-present army of bureaucrats that may try to cite you for growing your garden in violation of some obscure local ordinance.
- Related: "8 Inexpensive Options for Small Space Gardening"--The Organic Prepper. Some of these ideas will work for an apartment or condo where your only open space may be your patio or deck.
- "Preconceived Notions: 'The Bugout'"--American Partisan. The author distinguishes between a "bug-out" and a "bug-to" as well as explaining why bugging out should be your last resort or choice.
- "Following daughter's death, Eagle family wants to raise awareness about allergies"--KTVB. The girl died after eating a dessert that she thought was safe but contained a food she to which she was allergic. My wife has severe allergies and so when I put together a first aid kit, I was able to include an EpiPen.
- "No point vaccinating those who’ve had COVID-19: Findings of Cleveland Clinic study"--News-Medical. The study found that individuals that have had a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection do not get additional benefits from vaccination, indicating that those without a prior infection should be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
- "A Real-Life Bond Villain? Coronavirus Researcher Peter Daszak Is the Golden Thread Weaving Through Lab Leak Theory Dismissals"--Red State.
- Dr. Peter Daszak funneled tens of millions of dollars in grants from the US government – including the Department of Defense – to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through his non-profit, EcoHealth Alliance.
- Daszak performed gain-of-function research on SARS coronaviruses at WIV with Dr. Shi Zhengli, including on two [s]trains nearly identical to COVID-19.
- Daszak spearheaded the drafting and submission of a 2/19/20 letter in the Lancet from 27 scientists declaring that COVID-19 arose naturally, without declaring his conflict.
- Many of the signatories of that letter had received emails from Daszak soliciting their signature and reminding them of all the research funding they’d received from EcoHealth Alliance.
- Facebook’s COVID-19 fact-checker, Science Feedback, used Daszak as one of their “experts” to shut down lab leak theory discussion.
- Daszak emailed Dr. Fauci in the early days of the pandemic, thanking him for shutting down the lab leak theory.
- Daszak influenced numerous other letters and statements in scientific journals that declared a lab leak was impossible.
- Daszak was selected to be a member of the WHO study team that declared it “highly unlikely” that the pandemic originated in a lab – without doing an actual investigation or seeing original documentation.
- Daszak was recently tapped to head an investigation into COVID-19’s origin by Lancet.
- "The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?" by Nicholas Wade, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. An excerpt:
After the pandemic first broke out in December 2019, Chinese authorities reported that many cases had occurred in the wet market — a place selling wild animals for meat — in Wuhan. This reminded experts of the SARS1 epidemic of 2002 ....... The wet market connection, the major point of similarity with the SARS1 and MERS epidemics, was soon broken: Chinese researchers found earlier cases in Wuhan with no link to the wet market. But that seemed not to matter when so much further evidence in support of natural emergence was expected shortly.Wuhan, however, is home of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading world center for research on coronaviruses. So the possibility that the SARS2 virus had escaped from the lab could not be ruled out. Two reasonable scenarios of origin were on the table.From early on, public and media perceptions were shaped in favor of the natural emergence scenario by strong statements from two scientific groups. These statements were not at first examined as critically as they should have been.“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” a group of virologists and others wrote in the Lancet on February 19, 2020, when it was really far too soon for anyone to be sure what had happened. Scientists “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife,” they said, with a stirring rallying call for readers to stand with Chinese colleagues on the frontline of fighting the disease.Contrary to the letter writers’ assertion, the idea that the virus might have escaped from a lab invoked accident, not conspiracy. It surely needed to be explored, not rejected out of hand. A defining mark of good scientists is that they go to great pains to distinguish between what they know and what they don’t know. By this criterion, the signatories of the Lancet letter were behaving as poor scientists: They were assuring the public of facts they could not know for sure were true.It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”Virologists like Daszak had much at stake in the assigning of blame for the pandemic. For 20 years, mostly beneath the public’s attention, they had been playing a dangerous game. In their laboratories they routinely created viruses more dangerous than those that exist in nature. They argued that they could do so safely, and that by getting ahead of nature they could predict and prevent natural “spillovers,” the cross-over of viruses from an animal host to people. If SARS2 had indeed escaped from such a laboratory experiment, a savage blowback could be expected, and the storm of public indignation would affect virologists everywhere, not just in China. “It would shatter the scientific edifice top to bottom,” an MIT Technology Review editor, Antonio Regalado, said in March 2020.
Science is supposedly a self-correcting community of experts who constantly check each other’s work. So why didn’t other virologists point out that the Andersen group’s argument was full of absurdly large holes? Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.
Read the whole thing.
- "COVID marked the twilight of America’s arrogant ‘expert’ class" by Josh Hammer, New York Post. Hammer writes:
At some point, the US Congress stopped legislating and handed over most “rulemaking” governing Americans’ lives to the administrative state’s sprawling bureaucracy. The brainchild of progressive President Woodrow Wilson, the modern administrative state is rooted in a disdain for the messy give-and-take of politics and a preference for rule by an enlightened clerisy.
“Trust the experts,” in other words. Over the century-plus since Wilson’s presidency, the federal mandarins themselves, as well as many citizens and lawmakers, elevated the slogan to the status of dogma. To question the numerous agencies of the federal government and their armies of “experts” became tantamount to questioning science itself.
Then came COVID-19. The virus dealt an irreparable blow to the credibility of our ruling class and its appeal to its own authority as a coterie of highly credentialed and capable experts.
No single person exemplifies this fall more than Dr. Anthony Fauci, who attained celebrity status during the pandemic as the nation’s leading immunologist and forward-facing spokesman for our public-policy response.
As Steve Deace and Todd Erzen detail in their new book, “Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History,” Fauci has repeatedly contradicted himself throughout the pandemic, waffling on what “the Science” demands at any given moment, while still always seeming to err on the side of draconian overreaction.
I have to disagree with the author. Yes, if you look at the news coverage from conservative outlets, it is full of condemnation of Fauci. But if you look at what the rest of the media coverage has been, the emails from Fauci only underline (they argue) how great Fauci is and how tirelessly he has worked to save America from the dreaded pandemic. For that America, the pandemic has only shown what the mandarin class can do when freed from the restraints of the Constitution and elected officials.
- "Chinese military scientist 'filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine BEFORE the virus was declared a global pandemic and worked closely with 'bat woman' at Wuhan institute'"--Daily Mail. The article notes that "[n]ews that Zhou filed a patent for a vaccine so quickly suggests Chinese officials may have known about the virus much earlier than they admitted." Unfortunately, we can't ask the scientist, Zhou, because he died in May 2020.
- "Gangs Raid Police Stations for Weapons in Haiti as Deadly Violence Surges"--U.S. News & World Report. From the article:
Gangs raided multiple police stations for weapons in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, in deadly attacks over the weekend as violence between armed groups flared, with intense conflict in one southern neighborhood forcing thousands to flee.
The gangs have proliferated in the poorest country in the Americas over the past few years during a period of political unrest and growing economic misery. Armed groups increasingly outgun Haiti's security forces and fight with one another over territory.
Fun fact (per Wikipedia): "Haiti is the world's oldest black republic and one of the oldest republics in the Western Hemisphere."
- Equity in action: "Watch: Amazon Driver Brutally Beats Elderly Woman After Alleged 'White Privilege' Remark"--Red State. The elderly woman apparently had complained to the driver about a late package delivery. The driver made a comment to the elderly woman about her white privilege, to which the woman responded by telling the driver she needn't be such a bitch. The driver then proceeded to beat the crap out of the elderly woman.
- Only cops should have guns: "Alabama cop shot and killed his estranged wife just days after getting his gun back - nine months after it was seized for shooting her in the arm"--Daily Mail.
- Gun control in action: "Nursing student, 27, 'stabbed to death in her apartment by ex-boyfriend' had been visited by NYPD cops just ONE HOUR earlier because she reported that he was trying to break in"--Daily Mail.
- How one's fortunes change. In 2015, NPR ran an article refuting that Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood, was racist based on accusations from conservatives that Sanger had been racist (see here and here, for example). In 2016, Time Magazine fielded a similar article. Last year, however, Planned Parenthood decided to scrub Sanger's name because of her racist past and support of eugenics (see here). Interestingly, while definitely a supporter of eugenics--essentially breading humans to produce superior offspring--she seemed to support it for the betterment of all races (see here and here). I find it interesting that the founders of Planned Parenthood--Margaret Sanger and Fania Mindell--were both Jewish (Sanger married a Jewish man while Mindell was Jewish by birth) because it is yet another data point linking socialism and Judaism. The Jewish Virtual Library has an article discussing socialism and Judaism that is worth reading to get an overview, although I believe it lacks detail in explaining why Jews were so attracted to socialism and Marxism.
- "Why have Americans stopped wearing seatbelts? Deaths involving unbelted people being ejected from cars rocket by 20% in a year even though roads were quieter during COVID lockdowns"--Daily Mail. The whole reason we have airbags is because, at the time the regulations were passed mandating them, a minority of people bothered to wear seatbelts. That is, the airbags were designed to protect people that were not wearing seatbelts. This makes me question the efficacy of airbags.
- An example of media dishonesty: "Facing GOP Pressure, the ATF Cancelled Review of Devices Now Implicated in Two Mass Shootings"--The Trace. This March 2021 article claims to explore why the ATF withdrew its proposed rule about arm braces in December 2020, discusses the use of an arm brace equipped AR pistol in the March 22 mass shooting of 10 people at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, before arguing for a ban on such braces. In their discussion, the authors meander into the history of the National Firearms Act (NFA), including the following statement:
Congress passed the NFA in 1934 seeking to clamp down on Thompson submachine guns and other weapons frequently involved in organized crime and bank robberies. It applies to fully automatic weapons, suppressors, and sawed-off shotguns. The NFA is widely considered one of the most effective gun-control measures in history because the use of those weapons in crime dropped precipitously after its passage and remains rare today.
While technically true, the NFA did nothing to reduce crime which was supposedly the purpose of the Act. Moreover, it didn't stop the leftist terrorists of the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s from getting their hands on fully automatic or select fire weapons.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "A catalyst that destroys perchlorate in water could clean Martian soil"--Phys.org. The article explains:
Because of its ubiquity in both soil and industrial goods, perchlorate is a common water contaminant that causes certain thyroid disorders. Perchlorate bioaccumulates in plant tissues and a large amount of perchlorate found in Martian soil could make food grown there unsafe to eat, limiting the potential for human settlements on Mars. Perchlorate in Martian dust could also be hazardous to explorers. Current methods of removing perchlorate from water require either harsh conditions or a multistep enzymatic process to lower the oxidation state of the chlorine element into the harmless chloride ion.
However, researchers discovered a way of doing so simply and in one step:
They found by simply mixing a common fertilizer called sodium molybdate, a common organic ligand called bipyridine to bind the molybdenum, and a common hydrogen-activating catalyst called palladium on carbon, they produced a powerful catalyst that quickly and efficiently broke down the perchlorate in water using hydrogen gas at room temperature with no combustion involved.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Greg Ellifritz has a new post with the title "Your Tactical Training Scenario- Attacked on a Bicycle". It's not the first time he has addressed this topic, as this article is an updated version of an article published in 2014, and in 2013 he posted at his blog an article he had written for Concealed Carry Magazine on the topic of 10 self-defense tips for using a firearm when bicycling together with photographs that had not made it into the print edition.
While not as extensive of advice as Greg's, other authors have at least attempted to address the issue of concealed carry while biking, such as "Concealed Carry For Bicycle Commuters And Recreational Cyclists," a 2015 article from the Alien Gear Holster Blog, and this 2011 article from The Truth About Guns, "The Truth About Bicycle Carry." However, I used to be quite the avid biker and based on my experience with biking and concealed carry, I find the articles by Ellifritz to be more complete and accurate.
For instance, my experience with concealed carry showed that certain carry methods were just not going to work well because of printing. If you have a loose, flowing shirt (e.g., the quintessential Hawaiian shirt), you can get away with strong side carry at a 3 or 4 o'clock position, but not at 5 o'clock. Small of the back is right out not only because of printing but because more than likely the shirt will ride up and get caught above the handgun clearly exposing it to view. I don't have experience with appendix carry while biking, but Ellifritz states that this method won't work very well because the bent over posture while riding will mean that you are constantly jamming the firearm into your body while peddling.
Greg recommends using a fanny pack, which is what I also found to be a good method of carrying, so long as the pack is rotated behind so it is hanging over your fanny (thus the name). Otherwise it just gets in your way. Another advantage to the fanny pack is that you can wear a tight shirt or wear a shirt tucked in. In fact, if you go to my article on concealed carry and scroll down to the first photograph, you can see the fanny pack I use when biking. I've never had an issue with the fanny pack or losing my firearm, even after a couple violent accidents that had me flying over my handlebars. My particular pack was intended for a very small auto, but, with some judicious modifications, I was able get it to work with my snub-nosed revolver. It is so small that even people who themselves carry firearms don't identify it as a fanny pack for a handgun.
In the last couple of years, however, I have actually switched over to using a Kit Bag made by Hill People Gear. The advantage I found to these is that they keep the gun in front of you (over the chest) and so are more accessible than the fanny pack with the pack twisted around to your back. The particular kit bag I have is the standard recon kit bag which features Molle attachments; but for lower profile, I think I would go with either the original kit bag or a snubby kit bag without Molle attachments.
I had tried carrying a pistol in a pannier for a while, but it wasn't easy to access, I didn't always want or need to have a pannier, and I was uncomfortable with not having the firearm on my person.
Anyway, Ellifritz's article goes beyond just methods of carry to address potential ambush sites (although a person could simply push you over). He especially warns riders to exercise caution when riding on a roadway as a driver could easily strike you with the vehicle, push you, or force you off the road (see also this news article).
I guess to illustrate this point, I will relate a story told me by an avid bicyclist: He lived in Hawaii at the time and was riding on the edge of a highway when a truck coming toward him started to cross the lane and he could see the driver holding an arm out the window with something in the arm. He pulled loose his pump from under the bar and struck at the man's arm as the two passed. He heard something crack, but just kept peddling.
Ellifritz also observes that speed is your friend, so keep going, don't slow down if someone attempts to stop or attack you.
If you are attacked and can't get away, Ellifritz advises using the bike as a barrier, weapon, or distraction. That means, putting the bike between you and a potential attacker. Even if the bike gets knocked down, the attacker will have to go around the bike or risk tripping and stumbling over the bike if he tries to cross it. Or, as Greg advises, push or throw the bike at them and use the distraction to draw your weapon or run away.
If you can lift the bike up a bit (about chest height) and angle the wheels so they are about knee high to the attacker, and rush toward the attacker you probably will force them to bend awkwardly at the hips to try and reach you or to back up. If they grab at the bike, it will probably be the wheels--just shove toward them and then let go once they grasp the wheels and make a break for it or draw your weapon.
Finally, Ellifritz advises you to learn how to access your weapon if you have crashed--another reason not to keep your weapon in a pannier, basket or other type of bag attached to your bicycle--not to try and draw and stop at the same time, suggests attaching a less than lethal weapon (a baton or pepper spray) to your bike (even a bike lock can be an effective weapon), and recommends you unbuckle your helmet as soon as you stop so your attacker can't grab the helmet and use it to leverage you. Be sure to read the whole thing.
"Bicycle Maintenance"--Blue Collar Prepping.
"Bicycle Trailers and Cargo"--Blue Collar Prepping.
"BRACKEN: THE PATROL BIKE"--American Partisan.
"This Is How to Survive an Animal Attack on Your Bike"--Bicycling.
"3 Smart Ways Cyclists Can Handle Drivers With Road Rage"--Bicycling.
"Bicycle Safety"--National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Monday, June 7, 2021
As you know, a short barreled rifle (i.e., one with a barrel under 16-inches in length) is a regulated item under the National Firearms Act requiring one to obtain a tax stamp from the ATF to own. Back in December 2020, the ATF released a proposed rule then withdrew it. But we knew that it would be back.
And today, The Truth About Guns reported that the "DOJ Announces Proposed Rule to Regulate Braced Pistols as SBRs Under the NFA".
The proposed rule would "[a]mend the definition of 'rifle' in 27 CFR 478.11 and 479.11, respectively, by adding a sentence at the end of each definition to clarify that the term “rifle” includes any weapon with a rifled barrel and equipped with an attached 'stabilizing brace' that has objective design features and characteristics that indicate that the firearm is designed to be fired from the shoulder." You can download a PDF of the proposed rule here.
The rule does not ban pistol braces, per se, but it does address concerns that too many of the braces are being bought and used for the purpose of evading the NFA regulations on SBRs. Accordingly, the rules make use of a worksheet with various criteria to determine whether a firearm outfitted with a particular type of brace is a pistol or a firearm.
Section 1 of the worksheet is a simple size and weight sheet to determine if your pistol is large enough to reasonably require a brace.
If so, you move on to the second section which evaluates features of just the brace to determine if the brace is, per the regulation, is functionally useful as a brace or is really a stock masquerading as a brace. These include features such as whether the brace is modeled on or derived from rifle stock designs; whether it is adjustable for length of pull; whether it is molded to fit fully around the forearm or if a strap is used to secure the device to the forearm; whether it includes a sling mount; etc. Each feature (or lack thereof) is assigned a point value. Four points or more indicate that the brace is functionally a stock.
If the brace in and of itself is not a "stock", then you move to section 3 to determine if there are features of the weapon that would indicate that the weapon is intended to be shot from the shoulder, e.g.: the presence of hand stops or forward grip; using iron sights or optical sights intended for a rifle; how the brace is attached to the weapon (i.e., pistol buffer tube or rifle/carbine buffer tube); length of pull; etc. Each of these is also given a point value.
Under the example for the SB-Mini, which had it attached to an AR pistol with flip up sights and a hand stop on the handguard, the SB-Mini did not qualify as a stock under worksheet 2 nor as configured under worksheet 3.
Example SBA3 configuration used in the proposed rule.
The SBA3, on the other hand, was determined to be a stock just based on the features of the SBA3 without reference to how the rifle was configured. However, they still went through worksheet 3 just to show how that would work. The pistol with the SBA3 attached still qualified as an SBR under that section of the worksheet. Short take: the SBA3 converts your pistol to an SBR per the proposed rule.
The KAK Shockwave Blade, which uses a proprietary adjustable buffer tube, also qualified as a stock turning the weapon into an SBR without reference to how the rifle was configured. However, if it was not adjustable, that would drop the score to 3, below the threshold to be considered a stock (although you would still need to evaluate the configuration of the pistol to determine if it was, in fact, an SBR).
Obviously, this is just a proposed rule and so it could be withdrawn or modified before final adoption. And, as always, I am not your lawyer and this is not legal advice.
Ammo Land has an article that provides a brief biography of Pat Buchanan and praises him for holding "the line on conservative issues and defended the interests of the American worker and family." Be sure to check it out. I like reading Buchanan's articles and op-eds when I come across them because they are insightful and thoughtful.
Last Friday I linked to a Red State article about the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) having a high level Chinese defector, but keeping the fact hidden from other intelligent agencies and the State Department because the DIA believed that there were Chinese moles in those organizations. I would have thought that suspicions by one intelligent agency that others had been penetrated by the Chinese would have garnered more attention, but it carefully watching the news all weekend, I didn't see anything more. It is, perhaps, a testament to how fully converged are the news organizations and media.
Some of you may have noticed that my "Links" page is no longer accessible. That is because Google decided to unpublish it because it violated their so-called community standards.
I received no notice from Google, and only found out because I tried going to the page myself to find a certain link. The only explanation I was given was that it violated the "community standards," but like true authoritarians, there was no explanation of which standard was violated let alone in what way it was violated. Since it was just a list of links, I'm not even sure it was anything I did other than linking to a site Google has determined is verboten.
It is the internet equivalent of being hauled off to jail because you violated the criminal code, but without being told what code provision you violated and not even allowed to participate in the trial or offer a defense.
I am debating how I should respond: try and fix the page, leave it down, move to another platform, etc.
Friday, June 4, 2021
- New "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training. Some of the articles that caught my attention: one from Massad Ayood on certain carry gun mods that could get you in trouble (the main one being too light of a trigger); another called "Repetitions" that warns women that when they have someone persistent about "chasing" them, those women need to get a backbone and clearly and plainly tell the guy to leave them alone; an article on handheld and weapon mounted lights and some techniques to make using them more effective; the 4-round speed strip reload for the snubby revolver; advice from Marcus Wynne on how to avoid attacks when driving or entering or egressing your car; and the five worst guns for self-defense.
- "Skill Set: Sudden Violence"--Tiger McKee, Tactical Wire. The author observes that if and when we are attacked by a violent criminal the attack will be sudden and the violence (and pain and maybe blood) will probably be much more than we have experienced before.
Once the attack starts, you’ll only have a few seconds to defeat the threat(s). Remember, they already have a plan; you have to respond without delay. When forced to fight, the amount of violence you use must be enough to stop the attack. There’s no time to apply plan A, then wait to see if that works before going to plan B, C or D. Using violence against another person is a hard concept for people to think about, much less actually performing it on someone.Surprises come in two formats, good and bad. To avoid the shock of an actual attack you’ve got to become familiar with reality. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. At the first hint of trouble – don’t second guess your initial “warning” – you avoid, escape or prepare to defend. When forced to fight, expect to get hit, cut or maybe shot. Yet, regardless of what happens, you must remain focused on defeating the threat(s), and in a timely fashion. Your training and practice must reflect reality, focusing on the skills needed to defeat a sudden, aggressive attack.
- "Places to Avoid this Summer"--Active Response Training. Ellifritz had found that urban teen violence is increasing around the nation, and the violence increasingly is leading to shootings. He describes several events, including this one in his home state of Ohio:
The second event was a large fight at King’s Island, one of our state’s biggest amusement parks. The fight between violent teens bused to the park resulted in numerous injuries, responding cops being attacked, and the park being closed early. Five people (aged 14-18) were arrested.
This event worries me a bit more. I can easily avoid an impromptu gathering of teens for a rowdy rap concert in a public park. If for some reason avoidance wasn’t an option, I’d be armed and able to defend myself if attacked by one or more of the participants.At an amusement park with “security,” I’m unlikely to be armed unless I employ some devious tactics to circumvent metal detectors and pat downs. I may be able to smuggle in a ceramic or polymer blade, but that’s not the best weapon against a group of 20 rampaging teen boys.It’s a problematic scenario. A uniformed cop was swarmed and attacked here. The crowd pepper sprayed him, knocked him to the ground, and stole equipment off his belt.If a fully equipped on-duty cop can’t stop these rampaging gangs of teens, why do you think you’ll be safe because you smuggled a small knife or pepper spray through the security checkpoint?
Ellifritz notes that all the incidents he found took place in crowded public places in urban areas. Most of them were parties or concerts involving suspects and victims in the teens and twenties. All started with a verbal altercation, culminating with multiple shooters.
- "I’d pick slugs every time" by Officer Lindsey Bertomen, Officer.com. Key point:
Most of us will train shooters in using buckshot within 25 yards, where the nominal spread of shot will land most pellets within 18 to 22 inches, which is around the width of the human torso. Theoretically, a defensive shotgun user—striking center mass—will keep all of the pellets from going beyond the intended target. There are two problems with this. First, if the shooter does not have a completely concentric, centered mass shot, the likelihood of pellets going beyond the target is very high. Second, most shot pattern tests can easily demonstrate that an 18-inch barrel shotgun will usually have patterns past 20 inches around at 15, not 25 yards. This will preclude buckshot use in most high-risk traffic stops. In fact, most uses beyond employment as an entry gun could be questionable, as long as there are non-targets in the periphery. For the record, buckshot is one of the best uses for the officer performing or covering the breaching.Shotgun slugs are a completely different story. They usually send an ounce of lead payload at about the same velocities. What most forget is that a shotgun using stabilized slugs is usually as accurate or more accurate than a handgun at 25 yards. Most assume that it takes a rifled slug barrel to make a slug accurate enough for duty use. In fact, almost all law enforcement slugs are designed for smoothbore short barrels. There are slugs for rifled barrels, but the propensity toward leading with some products suggest smoothbore slugs are a better application.
That author notes that while slugs nominally have a range of 50 to 60 yards, he regularly practices at 100 to 150 yards.
- "How To Breach A Door Using A Shotgun"--SOFREP. From the article:
Orienting the shotguns muzzle correctly is a big factor to a successful breach. In this scenario we are speaking about a door that opens inwards (hinges are internal) and the door operates via a single door knob/locking mechanism. The muzzle of the shotgun should be pressed into the gap between the door knob and hinge. From there the gun should be tilted up at a 45-degree angle while simultaneously angled 45 degrees outward, this will ensure that the risk of collateral damage will be minimized should round over penetration (it most likely will) occur. This directional placement of the shot will also cause the back side of the door frame to blow out in that location giving the door an even better chance of swinging free. If the hinges are visible (the door swings outward) it way be better to directly attack the hinges; if not a hooligan tool may be desired in conjunction to the shotgun or preferred to be used exclusively to pry the door open.
- Related: "Ballistic Breaching With A Shotgun" by Eugene Nielsen, American Cop.
... Although law enforcement teams often make the initial breach with a ram, there are advantages to ballistic breaching with a shotgun.When it is properly employed, a shotgun can provide teams with safer and faster door breaching than other methods of breaching. It is not limited to just doors. Shotgun breach can also be employed to breach iron-barred windows, and take out sliding glass doors and defeat padlocks.Utilizing a shotgun for breaching offers tactical teams several advantages. It is quicker than manual breaching, jamb spreading or ramming and is safer and requires less training than thermal and explosive entry.
The author recommends the use of a shotgun with just a pistol grip or something similar to the Mossberg Shockwave or Remington Tac-14 firearms because of the tight spaces that such a shotgun will generally be employed. He also warns that the shotgun cannot be directly place against the door, and recommends the use of a standoff device. "The standoff provides increased speed and placement by allowing the shotgun to be fired with the standoff in direct contact with the jamb or door. They permit safe contact by venting muzzle gasses. The better standoffs also reduce recoil and eliminate muzzle jump and deflect debris."
He also goes on to discuss the different type of frangible breaching rounds and discusses how to properly breach a door. There are different types of rounds depending on what material you will be breaching. However, if you don't have the budget for a whole bunch of different types of rounds, he recommends TESCR#3 made by Royal Arms. Read the whole thing.
- Related: "The Box O’ Truth #25 – Breaching Rounds." The author tested military breaching rounds. His conclusion:
- Breaching rounds work great against locks or door locks. Just as expected.
- These rounds tend to act like a “solid” until they hit something. That means that they penetrate a lot of drywall before coming apart. They are certainly not “safe” to shoot indoors if wall penetration is a concern.
- They penetrated about 12 inches of water, which would mean approximately 6 inches of flesh, at 15 feet. They are not designed as an anti-personnel round, but I sure wouldn’t want to get shot with one. As Tman noted, “That looks like 400 grains of death.”
- Related: "ROYAL ARMS DOOR BREACHING STAND OFF DEVICE BREACHER." This is the breaching device most often recommended.
- "KE Arms Introduces the Civil Defense Rifle – A More Budget Friendly WWSD"--The Firearm Blog. Ian at Forgotten Weapons has been working on a project called "what would Stoner do", which was an attempt to make use of our experience over the past 60 years, modern manufacturing techniques and modern materials to make an updated and lighter weight AR-15 style rifle. The rifle made use of the KP-15 Polymer Lower Receiver for AR-15 rifles from KE Arms as well as match grade triggers, a carbon fiber hand guard, and other items to produce a lightweight, ergonomic rifle--the WWSD 2020. However, the parts have been hard to source and the price is a bit steep, so they developed a slightly heavier, but lower cost version they are calling the Civil Defense Rifle.
- "In Praise of the Glock 26"--Reflex Handgun. The author muses about the new slew of micro-9 handguns with 10+ round capacities and whether it is the end of the Glock 26. He says no because the Glock 26 offers an advantage over the micro-9s in that the Glock 26 is shrunken full size fighting pistol and can accept the magazines of its larger brethren, the Glocks 17 and 19.
... which would you rather go into a fight against multiple assailants with right now, a Sig P365 with 11 rounds in the gun and a spare 14 round magazine (admittedly, awesome for such a small gun) or a G26 with 12 rounds in it and a spare 21 round magazine? Which gun can you reach out farther with? Which provides more controllable recoil and faster follow-up shots? And reliability? I realize that some of the new micro 9s are proving very reliable, but the G26 is the same gun as the most proven service handguns on earth, just reduced in height and length.
- On the heals of revelations that the U.S. has a high-ranking Chinese defector with information about China and the Coronavirus, infra, "Chinese State Media Urges Preparing for Nuclear War With US"--NewsMax.
- "An Emergency Dental Kit – You Will Be Glad You’ve Got One If You Need It!"--Modern Survival Blog. The author recommends getting a copy of Where There Is No Dentist, as well as stocking up on toothache relief kits and a dental kit for emergency use. He goes over the contents of those kits as well as recommendations for a couple kits.
Another resource I've heard about but never used is the Dentist In A Box originally designed for soldiers on long deployments. The company, located in Australia, sells both a basic kit with temporary filling materials, as well as a tooth trauma kit that comes with what is in the basic kit, plus tooth splinting materials, and tooth storage solution and container for storing a tooth that has been knocked out.
For the more ambitious, Doom and Bloom sells a Survival Deluxe DENTAL Kit "Grab N Go" for $200 which comes with a basic set of dental instruments as well as other supplies and a copy of Where There Is No Dentist.
- "New Nuclear Power?"--Blue Collar Prepping. The authors compares the traditional pressurized water reactors and the liquid sodium reactor being planned for Wyoming which promises to be less expensive and safer.
Having grown up in the shadow of a nuclear power plant, we dealt with a lot of emergency planning and notification information coming from the operator of the plant, FEMA, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). A network of warning sirens was placed about 15 miles in every direction around the plant. Testing every month became just another part of life, kind of like the Emergency Alert System tests on the radio. Our house was far enough away that we were not in any of the emergency zones, but we still got an annual map of evacuation routes. Growing up during the Cold War, a lot of what we now call prepping was just everyday life back then.
- "How to Pack a Backpack for Camping" by Logan Scott, All Outdoors. Good article and bonus video demonstrating the concepts.
- "How To Enjoy Hiking In The Rain"--Survival Common Sense. Some of the author's tips:
- No cotton, because it soaks up water.
- Go with synthetic insulation because down loses its insulative properties when it gets wet.
- Invest in quality rainwear, not some cheap product that will fail on you.
- Pack a rain cap. The author recommends a broad-rimmed hat to keep water going down your neck or collecting on glasses. I've found that a baseball cap with a hood pulled over it works well, though.
- Appropriate footwear. He actually recommends against waterproof boots and shoes unless in colder environments because they don't breath very well. "Mesh footwear works well in warmer environments, as mesh drains and dries more quickly if you land in a puddle or have to wade a creek. Any wet weather boots need deep lug soles to provide traction and help you deal with mud and slippery rocks and logs."
- Take gaiters to keep rain from running into your shoes or boots.
- Pack dry clothes.
- Protect your gear by packing them in plastic trash bags or zip lock bags.
There is a lot more, so be sure to check it out if this topic interests you.
- "A White Laser? New Odin Turbo LEP Weapon Light from Olight Full Review"--Guns America Digest. Well, sort of a laser. LEP stands for Laser Excited Phosphor and the flashlight uses a blue laser to excite the phosphor to emit a very tight beam of light that because of how tight it is actually extends much farther than you would expect based on the light output. The author states that he was easily able to illuminate a tree at 300 yards, and was able to illuminate objects out to 600 yards. From the review:
Turning on the Odin Turbo for the first time had me giddy. I immediately noticed the lack of spill and was amazed at how concentrated the beam pattern was. At 30 feet, the beam diameter is no more than just a couple feet and that is all you see. It does not illuminate the room like a traditional LED flashlight. The color also appears to be more of a yellowish white than a true white. If you prefer a true white or neutral white, this might be disappointing.
For only being 330 lumens, the LEP produces such a bright hotspot that the reflecting light can be blinding. Olight claims this LEP light is considered “eye-safe.” When the laser passes through the fluorescent phosphor, the wavelength is reduced to a safe level that’s not supposed to damage the eyes like a traditional laser. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the Odin Turbo.
Covid News And The Coming Civil War:
- "A Dangerous State of Affairs" by Kevin D. Williamson, National Review. Commentary on the current firearm and ammo panic:
- Secret Combinations: "It is an ‘accursed sect’: Archbishop Viganò strongly denounces the promoters of the ‘Great Reset’"--The BL (h/t Vox Popoli). An excerpt:
We sometimes talk about “American gun culture,” but another way of saying “American gun culture” is “American culture.”As a matter of civil liberty, the Second Amendment is every bit as important as the First or the Fourth or the Sixth, and it is no accident that the semiautomatic rifle has taken the place of the cannon on the Texas revolutionary flag, emblazoned over the slogan that has over the centuries made its way from Thermopylae to Fort Morris to Gonzalez to the bumper of a whole lot of F-150s: “Come and Take It.” At least one of the shoppers looking for ammo over the weekend had the version Plutarch attributed to Leonidas — μολὼν λαβέ — tattooed on his forearm. It’s a popular bumper-sticker, too.And that “Don’t Tread on Me” spirit matters to a people whose two great formative episodes were the Revolution and the frontier experience. That attitude is an important part of what has kept America free. But it also is bound up in some of the worst aspects of our national character: paranoia, our unarticulated antinomianism, our taste for political and religious extremism, and our horrifying addiction to violence. Americans are a murder-happy people — not only with firearms but with knives and clubs and hammers, with bombs, automobiles, and standing water. There are lots of countries where people have guns. Switzerland is a gunned-up country, and there are millions of privately owned firearms in France, Austria, and Italy — walk around Tuscany at the right time of year and you can hear the shotguns of the pheasant hunters, a blast in the distance every few minutes.I hear shotgun blasts where I live, too — but this is an American city, and they aren’t shooting at pheasants.But this isn’t really about the guns. It’s about a society that is, palpably, wobbling on the brink of something awful, with failing institutions, incompetent government, reciprocal distrust among rival social groups, and widespread simmering rage.On Memorial Day, we remember those who took up arms because they thought their civilization represented something good and worth preserving. But we increasingly take up arms for the opposite reason: because we believe this society to be corrupt, failing, doomed. We half dread the possibility of breakdown and bloodshed — and are made half-giddy by it, too.And that is a dangerous state of affairs. Americans don’t have a well-regulated militia — we don’t have a well-regulated anything.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., unmasked once again, at the Venice Summit, the plan of a group of billionaires to impose a world tyranny, in his speech “Great Reset: the last great lie.”
Viganò relates the Great Reset to the so-called New World Order and explains its action: “to spread the infernal chaos, in which everything that civilization has laboriously built over the millennia, under the inspiration of [Divine] Grace, will be overturned and perverted, corrupted and erased,” he said on May 30.
He further explains that this is the continuation of ancient combat led by “a few tyrants,” and the Great Reset is the last stage.
He adds, “And to achieve this end, the last step is the establishment of a synarchy in which a few faceless tyrants, thirsty for power, dedicated to the cult of death and sin, to the hatred of life, of virtue and of beauty, rule.”
He also specifies the names of some powerful family members who for centuries have secretly hatched the destructive plan, now also availing themselves of the controversial worldwide vaccination plan.
“The members of this cursed sect are not only Bill Gates, George Soros or Klaus Schwab, but those who have been plotting in the shadows for centuries to overthrow the Kingdom of Christ: the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Warburgs …”.
“… and those who have come to ally today with the leaders of the Church, using the moral authority of the Pope and the Bishops to convince the faithful to get vaccinated.”
The Great Reset is promoted by the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, collaborating with many of the most powerful corporations worldwide. Its long-term plan is to manipulate human beings under the slogan. “You will own nothing, but you will be happy.”
- A contrary view by Martin Gurri writing at City Journal: "The Establishment Strikes Back—For Now."
The people in charge of our great institutions fear and loathe the public. The election of Trump convinced them that ordinary citizens couldn’t be trusted with the vote. The rise of social media has persuaded them that limits must be imposed on what can be said. Aware that they lack personal and institutional authority, they will gladly settle for political power. They aim to tame the beast.Let’s be clear: there’s no elite conspiracy, no secret gatherings in smoke-filled rooms, only a herd-like huddling of conformist minds. There’s no elite ideology in any coherent sense, only a blind impulse to control that gravitates instinctively to certain positions on certain issues. The script is always the restoration of order in a broken world.
- There is something coming which they believe will cause the public to revolt: "The New Domestic War on Terror Has Already Begun -- Even Without the New Laws Biden Wants"--Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald looks back on the increased surveillance and security state apparatus enacted after 9/11, and notes that the same thing is happening right now as to so-called "domestic terrorist" threats posed, not by AntiFa or BLM, by theoretical "white supremacists." That characterization if preferred in order to quash debate on whether such expanded powers against citizens should be allowed. Greenwald observes:
Fear is crucial for state authority. When the population is filled with it, they will acquiesce to virtually any power the government seeks to acquire in the name of keeping them safe. But when fear is lacking, citizens will crave liberty more than control, and that is when they question official claims and actions. When that starts to happen, when the public feels too secure, institutions of authority will reflexively find new ways to ensure they stay engulfed by fear and thus quiescent.
And this time, the bogeyman will be conservative white Americans:
The search for a new enemy around which the Biden administration could coalesce and in whose name they could keep fear levels high was quickly settled. Cast in that role would be right-wing domestic extremists. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that “Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.”
Pending Domestic War on Terror legislation favored by the White House — sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — would simply amend the old War on Terror laws, which permitted a wide range of powers to fight foreign terrorist organizations, so as to now allow the U.S. government to also use those powers against groups designated as domestic terror organizations. Just as was true of the first War on Terror, this second one would thus vest the government with new, wide-ranging powers of surveillance, detention, prosecution and imprisonment, though this time for use against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.
Even while that legislation is pending, the U.S. government is already waging an aggressive new domestic war on terror that has largely flown under the radar. Grave warnings from DHS are now just as common, vague and unreliable — but also fear-inducing — as they were in the days of Tom Ridge. Domestic surveillance is also on the rise. Last month, CNN reported that “the Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government's ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens."
Read the whole thing.
- Instapundit dredged up this July 2020 article by Angelo Codevilla, "How a fraudulent ruling class plundered our most precious inheritance." He begins by observing that over the past 50 years, "[s]ocial inequality, even more than economic, has increased as personal safety and freedom have plummeted. People are subject to arbitrary power as never before." Our constitutional republic is now a thing of the past, he argues, because the elites have transformed our society into an oligarchy of grifters.
Our ruling class transformed America’s regime by instituting a succession of scams, each of which transferred power and wealth to themselves. These scams’ blending into one another compel us to recognize them, individually and jointly, as the kind of governance that Augustine called “magnum latrocinium,” thievery writ large. Thievery of power even more than of money—colloquially, scamocracy.Neither Aristotle nor anybody else ever counted scamocracy in their category of regimes because rule by fraud exists naturally only as regimes reach the terminal stages of their corruption.
What do all these preoccupations that have dominated American life the last half century have in common? All—the long-running race and poverty scam, the education scam, the environmentalist scam, the sex scam, the security scam, and now the pandemic scam—have been ginned up by the same people, America’s bipartisan ruling class. All have been based on propositions touted as scientific truth by the most highly credentialed persons in America—experts certified by the U.S government, enshrined by academia as science’s spokesmen, and fawned upon by the media working in concert to forbid any disagreement on the matter whatsoever. Yet virtually all their propositions have turned out to be false, and indeed have produced effects opposite to those claimed.
Not incidentally, somehow, all these scams ended up putting more power and money into the very same hands—their hands—while diminishing the rest of Americans’ freedoms and prospects. Accident, comrade? No. Taking valuable things under false pretenses for the falsifiers’ benefit is the very definition of fraud, of scam. The scams that have flowed from society’s commanding heights are products of our ruling class’s ever-growing internal solidarity, of confidence in its own superiority and entitlement to rule. They are the other side of its intellectual/moral isolation, and of its co-option of ever-less competent members—hence of its corruption. Whenever you hear someone claiming to speak on behalf of the scamocracy, you may be sure that person is a fraud.
Read the whole thing.
- Speaking of scammers: "From masks to the origins of COVID, Anthony Fauci is a liar and a fraud" by Robert Zimmerman, Behind The Black. An excerpt:
In the past few days a slew of 2020 emails by Dr. Anthony Fauci have revealed his dishonest, incompetent, corrupt, and political agenda during the entire COVID-19 epidemic.The emails have revealed he lied about his connections with the Chinese Wuhan lab. They reveal that he knew all along that the virus was almost certainly leaked from that lab. They also reveal that he immediately worked to prevent these facts from being revealed publicly, lying if necessary to do it and successfully forcing publications to withdraw news stories based on his lies.Of all these revelations, however, the one email that best illustrates Fauci’s dishonesty and venality was the one in February 2020 — before the epidemic had taken hold and before any shutdowns had been imposed — where he bluntly admitted what has been known for more than a century, that the general widespread use of masks by people who are not sick is pointless and will accomplish nothing.
- More: "#FauciEmails Reveal A Career Bureaucrat Who Followed Political, Not Medical, Science"--Legal Insurrection.
This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for the propagandists in the leftstream activist media and the truth-deniers in Big Tech. First, we learn that, yes, the coronavirus did likely emerge, bio-engineered, from a Chinese lab. Now we are learning what Anthony Fauci knew and when he knew it.The Washington Post and BuzzFeed obtained via FOIA thousands of emails to and from Fauci regarding the WuFlu pandemic.While the propagandist media is busy fawning over Fauci as some sort of superhuman godlet who was single-handedly battling WuFlu in some kind of one-man cage match against President Trump and the Wuhan coronavirus, these emails reveal a startling truth. They tell the story not just of Fauci’s blatant, politically-motivated lies to the public but also the great lengths the legacy media and Big Tech went to shut down any discussion of the virus’s origins or mask use efficacy. It was not about stopping the spread of “misinformation” but was a calculated political ploy to shut down the truth. But we knew that. And now we have proof.
- More: "REVEALED: Dr. Fauci Plotted with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Push COVID-19 Fear Porn Before 2020 Election"--Big League Politics (h/t Anonymous Conservative).
- More: Citizen Free Press reports that on Feb. 25, 2020, Dr. Ezekial Emanuel told Fauci that Covid seemed ‘less harmful’ than the Flu.
- More: "COVID “Looks Engineered,” Govt-Funded Immunologist Told Fauci In January 2020."--The National Pulse (h/t Anonymous Conservative). Per the article, which examined the cache of emails referred to above, Kristian Andersen – the head of the Andersen Lab at Scripps Research Institute in California – told Dr. Fauci in late January 2020 that "[o]n a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir. The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered."
- More: "'Looks Engineered,' Govt-Funded Immunologist Told Fauci In January 2020"--The National Pulse.
- More: "Fauci Sent Panicked Gain-Of-Function E-Mails To Staff In Early COVID Days"--The National Pulse. "E-mails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request have revealed some critical moments in the early days of the pandemic when Dr. Anthony Fauci began demanding information related to gain of function experiments from underlings."
- More: "Fauci’s Gain-of-Function Smoking Gun Email Proves He Lied to Senator Paul and America"--The Liberty Daily. Last month Fauci testified: "Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan institute." But in February 2020, Fauci sent an urgent email to Hugh Auchincloss, the NIAID Principal Deputy Director, referencing a paper by a researcher funded by the NIH and a Chinese researcher about gain-in-function work that had been done at the Wuhan institute.
This is the smoking gun that demonstrates at the very least Fauci was aware of the NIH and NIAID involvement with gain-of-function research in China and the potential that it was connected to Covid-19. At worst, this could indicate they’ve known all along the coronavirus was developed by the Chinese Communist Party and are busy trying to cover up their complicity in its creation and spread.
- More: "Fauci emails all the more reason for US to get to bottom of COVID origins"--New York Post Editorial Board.
For a year, we’ve been told to “trust the science” — but Fauci, our leading scientist, made declarations that certain theories were “debunked” when they weren’t. Why did he back up Daszak’s self-serving dismissal of the lab theory with no real evidence — when, in fact, he was getting e-mail evidence to the contrary?These revelations don’t ease the growing concern that US taxpayer cash might have helped unleash this plague.
- Breitbart reports that "White House Actively Looking to Dump Anthony Fauci Amid Revealed Emails and Flip-Flopping."
- Secret combinations at work: "How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media"--Newsweek (h/t Vox Popoli). From the article:
Chief among these scientists [claiming that the virus was natural] was a biologist named Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group that ran a large international program to survey natural pathogens with the potential to cause a pandemic. Daszak had been collaborating for years with Shi Zhengli, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and a renowned bat virologist. Daszak co-authored nearly a dozen papers with Shi and funneled at least $600,000 of U.S. government grants her way.When the pandemic happened to break out on the doorstep of the lab with the largest collection of coronaviruses in the world, fueling speculation that the WIV might be involved, Daszak and 26 other scientists signed a letter that appeared in The Lancet on February 19, 2020. "We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin," it stated.We now know, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, that Daszak orchestrated the letter to squelch talk of a lab leak. He drafted it, reached out to fellow scientists to sign it, and worked behind the scenes to make it seem that the letter represented the views of a broad range of scientists. "This statement will not have the EcoHealth Alliance logo on it and will not be identifiable as coming from any one organization or person," he wrote in his pitch to the co-signatories. Scientists whose work had overlapped with the WIV agreed not to sign it so they could "put it out in a way that doesn't link it back to our collaboration."At the time, however, there was no hint of Daszak's organizing role. The letter helped make Daszak a ubiquitous presence in the media, where he called a lab-leak "preposterous," "baseless," and "pure baloney." He also attacked scientists who published evidence pointing to the lab. Part of the reason the lab theory made no sense, he argued, was because the Wuhan lab wasn't culturing any viruses remotely similar to SARS-CoV-2. (Daszak has not responded to Newsweek's request for comment.)For a long time, Daszak was astonishingly influential. Few in the media questioned him or pointed out that his career and organization would be deeply damaged if it turned out his work had indirectly played a role in the pandemic. ...
- Long read but well worth it: "The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins"--Vanity Fair. An excerpt:
On February 19, 2020, The Lancet, among the most respected and influential medical journals in the world, published a statement [ed: the letter authored by Daszak] that roundly rejected the lab-leak hypothesis, effectively casting it as a xenophobic cousin to climate change denialism and anti-vaxxism. Signed by 27 scientists, the statement expressed “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China” and asserted: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”
The Lancet statement effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began. To Gilles Demaneuf, following along from the sidelines, it was as if it had been “nailed to the church doors,” establishing the natural origin theory as orthodoxy. “Everyone had to follow it. Everyone was intimidated. That set the tone.”
The statement struck Demaneuf as “totally nonscientific.” To him, it seemed to contain no evidence or information. And so he decided to begin his own inquiry in a “proper” way, with no idea of what he would find.
Demaneuf would go on to document numerous escapes of pathogens from Chinese laboratories. Meanwhile, investigators within our own government were warned off from investigating the lab leak hypothesis.
A months long Vanity Fair investigation, interviews with more than 40 people, and a review of hundreds of pages of U.S. government documents, including internal memos, meeting minutes, and email correspondence, found that conflicts of interest, stemming in part from large government grants supporting controversial virology research, hampered the U.S. investigation into COVID-19’s origin at every step. In one State Department meeting, officials seeking to demand transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s gain-of-function research, because it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of it.
Dr. Richard Ebright, board of governors professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University, said that from the very first reports of a novel bat-related coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, it took him “a nanosecond or a picosecond” to consider a link to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Only two other labs in the world, in Galveston, Texas, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, were doing similar research. “It’s not a dozen cities,” he said. “It’s three places.”Then came the revelation that the Lancet statement was not only signed but organized by a zoologist named Peter Daszak, who has repackaged U.S. government grants and allocated them to facilities conducting gain-of-function research—among them the WIV itself. David Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, ran the State Department’s day-to-day COVID-19 origins inquiry. He said it soon became clear that “there is a huge gain-of-function bureaucracy” inside the federal government.
As months go by without a host animal that proves the natural theory, the questions from credible doubters have gained in urgency. To one former federal health official, the situation boiled down to this: An institute “funded by American dollars is trying to teach a bat virus to infect human cells, then there is a virus” in the same city as that lab. It is “not being intellectually honest not to consider the hypothesis” of a lab escape.And given how aggressively China blocked efforts at a transparent investigation, and in light of its government’s own history of lying, obfuscating, and crushing dissent, it’s fair to ask if Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute’s lead coronavirus researcher, would be at liberty to report a leak from her lab even if she’d wanted to.
It is also interesting to note in both this and the Newsweek article, above, the accusations that Trump's support of the lab origin theory held back investigation. The articles' authors try to paint this as a failing of Trump, but what it really shows is that the media and government bureaucrats so hated Trump that they would undermine anything Trump supported. I will add this: Trump is not a scientist or medical expert, but he is expert in judging people, and he probably could detect the B.S. leaking from Fauci and others a mile away.
- Strange how Covid-19 and/or its vaccine seem to target reproductive organs: "Can Covid-19 Coronavirus Cause Long-Term Erectile Dysfunction? Here Are 2 More Studies"--Forbes.
A new publication in The World Journal of Men's Health described what happened to two men following bouts with Covid-19 coronavirus infections. Six to eight months afterwards, they still had virus particles in their penises. Not only that. They had developed severe erectile dysfunction (ED) even though they hadn’t had ED prior to having Covid-19.In fact, the two men had ED so severe that they underwent penile implant surgery.
- Probably the real reason all this has come to the fore and China may be preparing for war: "High-Ranking Chinese Defector Has 'Direct Knowledge' of Several Chinese Special Weapons Programs"--Red State. Per the article, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has had a high-level Chinese defector for 3 months who has provided information concerning Chinese weapon programs including their bio-weapons program. "Sources say the level of confidence in the defector’s information is what has led to a sudden crisis of confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci," states the article, "adding that U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) personnel detailed to DIA have corroborated very technical details of information provided by the defector."
But also explosive news on how converged and compromised our intelligence services have become (underline added):
FBI Director Christopher Wray was “ambushed” with the information, [Red State's sources] say, and Langley was also unaware. Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies.
... the defector has information on the origins of the Wuhan virus: “China is trying to produce variants that suggest it came from bats to cover up that coronavirus originally came from a lab.” [Adam Housley] later clarified: “US intelligence has a Chinese defector with Wuhan info. AND China is trying to produce variants that suggest it came from bats to cover up that coronavirus originally came from a lab.”
- Trump brought us low gas prices and energy independence. Biden is bringing us a repeat of the 1970s: "Biden To Cancel Oil And Gas Leases In Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge"--The Federalist.
- "Is there a 'massive pattern of fraud in the USA'?"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Quoting from a post at the Free Republic:
This is my personal observation of a pattern of suspicious activities and behaviors going on in the government of a certain West Coast Democrat-operated state that will remain nameless (but it's just south of Oregon).Approximately ten years ago I observed a massive increase in turnover in the accounting departments and HR departments of state agencies responsible for making grants of state and Federal money to the public. This phenomenon did not seem to impact any agencies that do not issue payments to the public.In prior years the pattern within state government was that accounting staff would frequently spend an entire 30-40 year career with one agency. This meant they had significant experience and understanding of the financial operations of the agency and this led to efficiency. The same applied to Personnel/HR staff.Then starting around ten years ago the pattern abruptly flipped. New managers were hired into most accounting and HR offices and they ruthlessly purged or isolated older, experienced staff. These people were replaced with younger, less experienced people who were typically recent college graduates.The typical tenure of more than half of these new accounting and HR staff at a particular agency is less than one year. For whatever reason they frequently fail probation and are then removed from their jobs. Some of them face inexplicable acts of retaliation by their managers and numerous lawsuits have resulted as affected individuals have fought back.This phenomenon impacting accounting and HR staff did not exist prior to 2010.The advent of this staffing issue coincides with the rise in a specific indicator of fraud: Multiple recipients of fraudulent payments listed at the same real or fictional addresses.. . .Because of the persistent instances of high turnover and retaliatory acts by a broad spectrum of managers after 2010 it is not a small logical leap to assume that this phenomenon is tacitly sanctioned by the people who own and operate state government.Based on my own informal observations I've concluded that the fraudulent acts of likely embezzlement includes a database of approximately 600,000 to as many as 900,000 fictional persons. The purpose of the fraud is quite possibly to move Federal funds from certain accounts transferring them to non-Federal accounts. This amounts to likely tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars being siphoned off from Federal programs over an eleven year period.Some of these funds are likely being redirected to state government accounts.A recent case in point: the over $31 billion dollars in fraudulent unemployment claims issued by California's Employment Development Department (EDD). A relative handful of criminals have been arrested for this fraud and that accounts for less than .5% of the total amount of the estimated fraud. Note that some estimates of the fraud are as high as $80 billion.No one at EDD has been arrested, demoted, prosecuted, reprimanded, or kicked out of the office coffee club over this fraud. Why? Because I don't think any of the front line staff for EDD were involved. These hard working folks are backlogged trying to clear a massive number of legitimate unemployment claims.I believe the fraud was automated and that a very few individuals were directly involved in the actual crime. I believe the fraud was automated for the very simple reason that legitimate claims are still backlogged. The fraud was quickly processed because there was no actual review of the claim involved.Okay, now this goes to the next step.Someone created a database of up to 900,000 fictional persons. Some of those fictional persons are listed as living at the same real or sometimes fictional addresses.And starting in 2016 someone got the bright idea to use this list of fictional persons to commit vote fraud. I believe this fraud recurred in 2020.
- "Pentagon may allow LGBTQ pride flags to be flown on military bases, reversing Trump-era ‘no non-gov’t flags’ rule: Report"--American Military News. You wouldn't be allowed to fly the flag of any other religion on a military base, so why this? (h/t Anonymous Conservative).
- Related: "Gay Reparations Are Past Due" by Omar G. Encarnación, Foreign Policy. The author argues that we, as a society, need to beg for forgiveness from homosexuals, put up monuments to commemorate them, and, in some cases, pay them money.
- Speaking of state sanctioned religions: "PHOTOS: U.S. Embassies, Consulates Worldwide Fly ‘Black Lives Matter’ Flag"--Breitbart.
- Covid is supposed to be a distraction: "The Racially Charged Bogeyman of Critical Race Theory" by Jabari Simama, Governing (h/t KA9OFF). The author, who supports CRT, explains that we and our elected representatives are just too dumb to understand CRT in all its glory. Besides, he reasons:
Beyond its complexities and formative history, focusing on CRT at this time creates a huge distraction that diverts attention of public officials away from tackling what the public really needs: a return to some semblance of normalcy after a devastating pandemic.
In other words, don't pay attention to what we are doing behind the curtain. But here is the scary part:
I live in a household of teachers, and they tell me that many students today accept the reality that racism is both implicit and explicit, personal and structural. They say further that students are coming around to accepting and understanding the meaning of privilege — the unearned advantages some families pass down to their children.
- "New Poll Finds All Those People Moving To Texas Aren’t Going To Be Voting For Democrats"--The Federalist.
- "Meteor Falls From Sky And Crashes Into Indonesian Volcano, Watch Spectacular Video"--RepublicWorld.com. The photograph makes it appear that the meteor went into the open mouth of the volcano, but a video from a different direction makes it clear that the meteor struck the upper portion of the mountain.
- The future of sunglasses: "Smart sunglasses change tint with the click of a button and can even take phone calls"--Daily Mail. "The sunglasses from Ampere are made with electrochromic lenses, which darkens in response to an electronic signal," which can be controlled by a button on the glasses or a phone app.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Portable microwave weapons capable of causing Havana Syndrome in US diplomats and spies have been developed by several countries, expert says - as officials probe whether Russia or China are behind over 130 'sonic attacks'"--Daily Mail.
Movers from other states were about 1 percent more likely to have voted for Trump than were natives, while movers from overseas favored Biden by 9 percent over natives.Among domestic migrants to Texas, Trump was most heavily favored by arrivals from the Mountain West, where Trump enjoyed a plus 13-point margin over the support of native Texans followed by the four-state region of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee with a plus-8 advantage. Counterintuitively — at least among Texans with an opinion — the area with the third-highest support for Trump among movers was California, where movers were 5 percent more likely to have supported Trump than were natives.The region that sent the greatest share of Biden supporters was the South Atlantic Seaboard region, where movers favored Biden over Trump by 9 points more than did natives — the same margin as Biden was favored among voters who were born in another country.While naturalized Texans preferred Biden in 2020 compared to domestic movers, they were almost as conservative (42 percent to 44 percent), less liberal (14 percent to 18 percent), and far more moderate (45 percent to 37 percent), signaling that overseas immigrants to Texas are up for grabs politically and are likely taking a dim view of the modern left’s full-embrace of all things woke.