Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Docent's Memo (4/14/2021)

 

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:

  • First up, a new roundup of articles, videos and commentary from Defensive Pistolcraft. Topics include: some thoughts on those suffering from suicidal ideations; recommendations regarding training; mental toughness; what draws the attention of a criminal predator; training with a 9-hole barricade to get comfortable and proficient at awkward, unstable shooting positions; a couple discussions of different problems you can develop if you only do live-fire training; the need for specific terms in the training environment to avoid confusion; the need for pre-paid self-defense insurance, and a lot more. I like to pick a comment and excerpt. On this occasion, I thought this to be helpful:
     If the modern 9mm pistols and ammo are so good (and they are), why would anyone still be using a 45 Auto (with its much lower magazine capacity)?  

     Because those who are observant and objective notice the effectiveness of the 45 Auto against steel plates (pepper poppers), bowling pins, and body armor (from news accounts such as the Garland, TX policeman shooting the Jihadists).  Or, perhaps it's from witnessing ballistic gelatin tests in person, which is quite different from magazine articles about such tests or YouTube.com videos showing such tests.  No, really, I watched Chuck Haggard shoot a lot of different bullets into ballistic gelatin, it's nothing like the videos or magazine articles.  The authors and videographers have an agenda (to sell product?). (Why do you think companies send them all kinds of free stuff?  Do you think they would like to continue receiving that free stuff?)  When you see it in person, it's different.  For instance, (all other things being equal, which I know is impossible) assuming the bullets expand as advertised, the 45 Auto cavity is huge compared to the 9mm.  If the bullets don't expand, the penetration of the 45 Auto is much deeper than the 9mm.  You might have to penetrate a car door or car window or heavy clothing or body parts or . . . to get to a vital organ that will stop the attack.  The predators that you are likely to be shooting are born with excellent armor:  a rib cage and a skull.  
  • "Your Tactical Training Scenario- Road Rage"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz does a breakdown of a road rage incident that resulted in one driver taking a metal pipe to a trained bodyguard that beat the crap out of the pipe-wielding driver. Ellifritz has some advice and questions relevant to this incident, but the primary one is an admonition to not engage: "I don’t know what happened that prompted the two men to get out of their cars, but it likely wasn’t worth it.  If some guy starts screaming at me on the road, then gets out of his car and walks towards me with a lead pipe, why would I want to get out and fight?  Driving away is the easiest option." Frankly, it shouldn't even get so far that you have pulled over. Road rage is a subset of the monkey dance: someone, probably carelessly, cuts someone off on the road or otherwise angers another driver. There is the proverbial chest beating--a honking of horns, yelling, obscene hand gestures--and then pulling over or following a person until they stop. And then something violent. 
    I had someone try and get me to pull over one time, and I was like "sure"; he pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway and I kept driving. I carry every day--I can't get involved in a petty dispute. I had a relative that provoked the ire of another driver, who followed my relative into a parking lot. The result of that encounter was that my relative was shoved to the ground and robbed. In another incident, a friend got into an argument while driving, and the other driver called police and told them that my friend had drawn a handgun and threatened him. Fortunately, nothing came of this incident, but you can see how something like that could have gone badly for my friend. 
    In a brief conversation lasting around three minutes, the officer asks if Cueva had insurance, to which he replies 'yes', and confirms his name, before asking the criminal to come over to his patrol car so he could run checks.

    Cueva opens his door, at which point Jarrott notices his rifle and asked, 'You have a firearm on you, do you mind if I take that off you, for my own safety?'

    The officer then says, 'Let's go to my vehicle OK', at which point Cueva gets out from the driver's seat holding the rifle - which Jarrott is unable to see because his view is blocked by the pick-up.

    As both men slowly walk parallel with each other towards the patrol car, Cueva suddenly draws the rifle, with Jarrott shouting 'oh s***' before being hit.

    The criminal then shoots him several more times off the camera and slowly pulls away, leaving the officer's dead body by the side of the road.
  • "Should You Carry a Handgun in the Small of Your Back?" by Richard Mann, Shooting Illustrated. A look at all of the disadvantages of carrying a handgun in a small-of-your-back holster. This is something that I tried a couple times with a couple of different pistols after I first obtained my CCL, and again, with a third pistol, last year when I reviewed a small-of-the-back holster from Craft Holsters. The downsides that Mann relates are mostly true, although a good holster can make a big difference in comfort even while sitting as I noted in my review. But Mann downplays the positive aspect of this type of carry--and the reason it is still around--which is that it is probably the most comfortable method of carry if you have to stand for long periods of time, such as a store clerk or working on a factory line. It is true that if you bend over, the gun will print, if not be exposed, as your cover garment is pulled up. This can be mitigated if you squat rather than bend over. I'm not recommending it as a general method of carry; only recognizing that there is a niche where it may be better than other carry methods.

  • "Why the Hammer Pair?"--Active Response Training. The hammer pair is sometimes called the "double tap." It is part of the failure drill (aka, Mozambique drill): two quick shots to the center of mass followed by a shot to the head. The secret to the hammer pair is to shoot the two shots "with a single sight verification on the first shot and a combination of grip and recoil control ... to fire the second round at maximum speed and at the ranges where it is intended to be utilized." Read the whole thing.
  • "Offset Red Dots on the AR-15 with Steve 'Yeti' Fisher" by James Burton, AR Build Junkie. From the interview in response to a question of whether off-set red-dots are worth it on a self-defense/home-defense rifle:
    There is a “need vs. want” aspect that people should consider before investing in a secondary red dot optic. The thing that most people are missing is the whys behind it. There are several reasons why you might consider one. It could be for competition. It could be that you like to leave your LPVO set to 6x.  

    That said, if you have your LPVO set to 1x, and it is set up correctly, it’s a red dot at that point. I find I can run these optics set at 1x with no loss of speed when compared to a dedicated red dot. In that case, I don’t see a secondary red dot as a benefit for the average homeowner’s house gun. There’s ultimately no need for it.  Again, this is a personal thing.

    Now some will counter with the question of “what if my primary optic goes down because a round impacts it?” To that, I would simply say, “Stop.” (laughs). 

    As far as your primary optic breaking, It’s not something I’d be too anxious about. If you look at the 3-Gun community, they’ve been throwing guns in barrels for years. LPVOs have a very long history of being beaten up. If you buy a good quality optic and a good quality mount, I can tell you that in the past 20 years, I have been using these optics, that a malfunction is very, very rare.  

    Today, we just are seeing such a crossover of people who come from the game community or who are doing “performance” shooting. For them, offset red dots are excellent. Just make sure you are truthfully navigating why you are putting equipment on your gun and why you feel the need to back up your primary optic.

    For a house gun, there is absolutely no need. For a patrol gun, I don’t see a massive need for it in a law enforcement setting. Some people would consider the 45-degree offset red dot a snag hazard. I’ve personally seen them get wedged on door frames, barricades, and the user ends up losing that secondary optic because it’s been jammed into a door frame or car door frame… I’ve seen weird failures happen with them when set at the 45-degree angle…and it’s usually with guys who are not used to maneuvering the gun once they have added more stuff to it.
  • In the future, all rifles will be AR variants: "Iran Minister of Defense Unveils New 7.62×51 Masaf Assault Rifle"--The Firearm Blog.
  • "Can a .38 S&W Revolver Fire .38 Spl. Loads?" by George Harris, Shooting Illustrated. The question here is not just any caliber .38 S&W revolver, but the Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolvers originally designed and manufactured to shoot the .38 Special but modified for the British .38/200 round (a .38 S&W caliber round, but loaded with a heavier, longer bullet that precludes its use in a typical .38 S&W weapon), sometimes termed the Victory Model. My father had one of these .38/200 revolvers, and this is what Smith & Wesson told him about it when he posed the same question to the company decades ago (probably in the 1960s): yes, you could shoot .38 Special in it, but the slightly larger diameter of the .38 S&W over the .38 Special would result in the .38 Special cases splitting. In other words, in theory you can shoot .38 Special in it, but you probably don't want to do so. 
  • "Brenneke Shotgun Slugs For Hunting"--Revivaler. The majority of shotgun slugs manufactured and sold in the United States use a Foster style rifled slug. These are the ones that look like big fat round nosed lead bullets, typically with a dimple at the front, and grooves (the rifling) on the sides. The grooves don't provide any spin to the slug, but are there to allow it to swag down as it passes through a choked tube. An alternative to the Foster slug is the Brenneke slug, which looks like a flat nosed cylinder stuck atop a base of some other material (the wad); sometimes there is a thin stem that connects the slug to the wad. The wad, whatever its material, stays attached to the slug while in flight and provides stability. The primary advantage of the Brenneke slug over the Foster seems to be penetration against large animals, as these are the slugs recommended for protection against bear. 
    The article I've linked to is interesting in that it gives not only some history of the Brenneke slug, but also some of the rifle rounds designed by Wilhelm Brenneke. The article goes on to discuss some specific Brenneke offerings, both "rifled" versions to use in smoothbore barrel, and sabot versions for a rifled barrel, for various gauges of shotguns. Two of the 12-gauge offerings he covers are specifically for use against larger, dangerous game such as bear.

Related: "Ammunition: Shotgun Slugs 101" by Larry Case, Gun Digest

  • "The Stick Fighting Method of Pierre Vigny" by Craig Gemeiner, La Canne Vigny. After I recently posted a video showing some techniques of using a hiking/walking stick for self-defense, a long time reader pointed me to some people that have taught the use of canes in self-defense, including Pierre Vigny. In trying to find more information, I came upon this article. It has some interesting historical information about European cane fighting generally, and Vigny in particular. From the article:
    Towards the end of the nineteenth century a professor named Pierre Vigny became renowned for teaching a lethal form of la canne. It was reported that Vigny would test his skills by making nightly excursions into the roughest areas of Marseilles, Paris and Genoa to many a gambling den and drinking hole where he would scrap with any man who would step up to the line.
 
    Vigny was an accomplished professor of Savate, boxing, fencing, wrestling and Ju-Jitsu. He served as the fencing master for the Second Regiment of the French Artillery and was, for a period of time, a Professor of Arms at the Geneva Academy of Fencing. Vigny also held the position of Chief Instructor at The Bartitsu School and introduced la canne to England .

    E.W Barton-Wright comments on the influence of the Vigny method –

    “After some 15 years of hard work, such a system has been devised by a Swiss professor of arms, M. Vigny .It has recently been assimilated by me into my own system of self –defence called Bartitisu.”

    The Vigny method of stick fighting was not as elegant as the academic and sportive systems but lent itself well to street brawls and riots. The skills were anything but complicated and the most direct and efficient attacks were adopted into this combat system of la canne.

    Gertie Millar ( later to become lady Dudley ) one of the most respected stage performers of the Edwardian era was an avid practitioner of the walking stick and umbrella method of self- defence ” – picture courtesy of Ralph Grasso

    Percy Longhurst author of “Jiu-Jitsu and other Methods of Self-Defence” writes-

    “It is impossible to convey on paper any idea of the marvellous system of strokes and parries this master (Vigny) has evolved. Against one skilled in his system half a dozen assailants would be powerless, so irrepressibly effective is the use he teaches of the ordinary thick Malacca cane”

    The preferred stick that embraced all the qualities necessary to facilitate these efficient skills was constructed from a medium weight Malacca cane with a metal ball attached to one end. The “Vigny Self Defence Stick” was sturdy and heavy enough to allow the metal head to be used as the point of percussion, offering additional weight to the stick. Vigny, who considered its use unrealistic for street defence, shunned the lighter assault cane popular among the academic salles.

The article goes on to discuss some specifics of Vigny's techniques.
  • "Why Having a Lawyer is a [sic] Key to Personal Defense" by Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated. As Wilson points out, not just any attorney will do. You need to have an attorney experienced in criminal defense, preferably one with experience in handling self-defense cases. Your family lawyer that helped with estate planning or your property line dispute is not going to cut it. 
  • "Can’t The Gun Community All Just Get Along?"--Captain's Journal. More fallout from Rob Pincus's coming out in support of universal background checks. Anthony Garcia, president of Save The Second, wrote a piece defending Pincus, preaching that rather than attacking Pincus, gun owners need to show a unified front. Herschel Smith responds:
    But the lack of unity wasn’t created by me, or most of my readers.  It was created by Rob.  One cannot simply defenestrate one of the core doctrines of liberty and then demand agreement with those who love liberty by simply appealing to unity.

    This has been the trick of traitors, quislings and turncoats for millennia.  It has occurred that way in politics (witness the tide of collectivism in America over the past 150 years), the church (witness here the agreement of the mainline Presbyterian church [PCUAS] with the Auburn Affirmation in 1924, and in gun control (witness the push towards UBC, a renewed AWB, permitting schemes, etc.).  Many more thousands of examples could be given.

The flaw I see with Garcia's plea is that the gun community has unified around a simple principle: not one more inch. It was Pincus that broke the unity. Herschel is correct that it is not our duty to abandon our unifying principle in order to stand with Pincus. Rather, if Pincus is so concerned about unity, it his duty to repudiate his concession and again take the position of "not one more inch."
  • "The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) in Review"--The Firearm Blog. A quick and dirty look at the main provisions of the AWB and the research on its effectiveness, or rather, ineffectiveness. A couple quotes from the DOJ report on the AWB's impact on crime:
Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban. LCMs [large capacity magazines--i.e., >10 rounds] are involved in a more substantial share of gun crimes, but it is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than ten shots (the current magazine capacity limit) without reloading.

And:

[A] study of handgun attacks in one city found that 3% of the gunfire incidents resulted in more than 10 shots fired, and those attacks produced almost 5% of the gunshot victims. 

  • "How to Make Moonshine: A Down-and-Dirty Guide to White Lightning"--Skillset Magazine. While the article focuses on producing alcohol for human consumption, there are a lot of other uses for alcohol.
  • "Axes, Shovels, Hoes, And Picks: The Pioneer’s Kit Revisited"--American Partisan.  Per the author, "This post is named after a common tool kit found on most Humvee’s, or any other military vehicles. And you better believe those things get used. So much so, in fact, that there is know [sic: no] reason to attach them to the special mounting bracket underneath the truck that takes too long to retrieve. Usually the primary units just keep them handy in the back of the truck or the bed of the truck." He continues:
    On to what I think you should do. Assuming you don’t have a work truck full of tools, racks full of tools, or a trash can full of the tools you need ready to use. It doesn’t hurt to have these tools handy. Imagine not having a garden hoe when everyone is starving to death and planting those emergency seeds they bought. Or a weeding tool? Do you have a gardener’s pick? That’s the fastest way to remove weeds in my experience.

    I have a ruck sack loaded out like a carpenter tool bag on steroids. It has hammers, nails, screws, spools of straight line(Mason’s Line), measuring tapes(for building a zero range?), machetes, and saws of all shapes and sizes within reason. Some of the products I purchased are lightweight, foldable, or compact. Others are verifiable full size straight from the local hardware store. And there are ways to cheat the system. You can by a wood handle shovel, and wait for it to break or rot, or, you could by a fiberglass shovel and wait for it to get sun baked (Damaged by the UV light) and wait for it to be broken and splintered. There are wraps available that are quite impressive, for use as a quick fix, but if you pre-wrap your tools, they last longer.

    You should build a pioneers kit for your vehicle, get some quality home garden tools, and you should build a pioneers pack. All told, the total price would be $500-1000 if you own nothing mentioned. depending on how many and what you buy.
One thing that most people who have ever lived in a mobile home can agree on is that their roofs just don’t work. Trailer roofs are made out of long sheets of steel that are grooved to keep water out. While this building method works on the showroom floor, it doesn’t work very well when the trailors start their trips to wherever they are being delivered. While traveling, these sheets of steel shift and move with the uneven roadways. This shifting creates leaks in what was once a well-sealed roof.

I would expect that someone with an RV or camping trailer may also find this information useful. 

    A ‘great fire’ appeared in the sky over dozens of cities across Europe and Asia in 1582 and eye-witness accounts of this solar storm have recently  been uncovered.
 
    Scientists at Cornell University found eye-witness observations who report a ‘fiery red display in the sky’ that lasted three days, while another said ‘fire rays arose above the castle which were dreadful and fearful.’

According to the scientists studying this event, it was comparable in strength to solar storms in 1909 and 1989. The 1989 storm knocked out power in large areas of eastern Canada. These two storms were far less powerful than the Carrington Event of 1859. But, with a weakening magnetic field around the Earth to shield us from these hazards, it doesn't take as strong of an event to cause comparable damage.

    It was 430,000 years ago, in the middle of the Pleistocene epoch. Elsewhere, some of the earliest Neanderthals were spreading across Europe, mammoths roamed the Northern Hemisphere, and Earth’s ice sheets were growing thicker. 

    The space rock slammed into the planet’s thick atmosphere. Friction tore it apart, and as the disintegrating meteor plummeted toward the Antarctic plateau, it left a flaming, incandescent trail in its wake. As it neared the ice, the meteor exploded in the sky, launching a superheated jet of gas and vaporized cosmic debris straight at the ground.

Ben Davidson of Suspicious Observers believes that this could have alternatively been a plasma discharge from the sun due to some of the unusual evidence. For instance, as the article reports:

When he and his team probed the spherules’ oxygen composition, the grains proved even stranger, containing ratios of oxygen isotopes that are inconsistent with known asteroids. Those ratios suggested that the spherules formed in direct contact with the Antarctic ice, which is unusual for an airburst.

The article continues:
          ... Normally, spherules that form from melted meteorite during a mid-air explosion don’t interact with a planet’s surface before re-solidifying and falling to Earth. So Natalia Artemieva, from the Planetary Science Institute, used computer simulations to test whether a more complex type of airburst might have occurred.

          “We already knew that such events happen, we just need a bit larger body to allow the plume to reach the surface (but not too big to make a crater—just ’kissing’ ice would be perfect),” Artemieva wrote in an email. “After a few attempts, we found one possible scenario.”

          In the model of the Antarctic impact, vaporized debris from an exploding asteroid is launched toward the ground in a plume of extremely hot gas, which pummels the planet’s surface like an interplanetary tsunami. It’s somewhat of a hybrid between a Chelyabinsk-like airburst, which doesn’t produce a downward plume, and a normal crater-creating collision.
          There’s a handful of companies around the world that build bunkers for the super-rich. According to them, demand has shot up anywhere from 300 to 700 percent over the last few years. They attribute the spike to climate change and social unrest, sometimes just straight-up paranoia. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has said more than half the billionaires he knows own post-apocalyptic hideouts in places like New Zealand.
       
          It sends a bleak message.
       
          The world’s elite might claim to see a bright future for humanity. In reality, they’re hedging their bets.
       
          After all, they’re not stupid. Just like us, they see a world marked by increasing competition for resources. They see mass shootings on the news practically every week. They see fires and floods engulfing entire cities, turning skies blood red, and transforming parts of the world into dead zones. They’re having casual conversations about it with their families, over dinner. They ask each other, “Who wants to live in all this?”
       
          The simple answer — nobody.
       
          The difference between us and the super rich is that they have an escape plan, and they’re not even trying that hard to keep it a secret. Some of them even brag about it. They like showing off their bunkers.
       
          The irony is that the ones building bunkers are also the ones creating the need for those bunkers in the first place. They’re not just making money through benevolent entrepreneurship. They’ve spent decades draining resources from public schools in order to build a private education network. They’re committing fraud to grab seats at prestigious universities. They’re lobbying our politicians to disenfranchise us.
       
          They’re leveraging every advantage to ensure they don’t have to live in the world they’re ruining. They’re not doing this haphazardly, even if they’re not always that coordinated. They have a vision for civilization.
       
          It just doesn’t include us.


      VIDEO: "Who Is Running the Country Right Now?!"--Dinesh D'Souza (10 min)

      Secret Combinations:
          As I have been repeatedly noting over the last two months, the Biden administration, along with leading Democrats such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), have been stating explicitly that one of their top priorities is the adoption of new laws designed to import the Bush/Cheney/Obama War on Terror onto U.S. soil for domestic purposes. As recently as February 14, The Washington Post — under the headline: “The agency founded because of 9/11 is shifting to face the threat of domestic terrorism” — noted that Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is now demanding that homeland security resources be re-directed toward domestic extremists, and “lawmakers of both parties spoke favorably of new legislation to specifically address domestic terrorism.”

          Nobody from the Biden administration or Congressional members demanding enactment of Schiff’s proposed new “domestic terrorism” law can identify any activities that are not now criminal that they believe ought to be. Unless it is to permit intelligence agencies to start policing constitutionally protected speech and associational activities among U.S. citizens, why are any new laws needed? Unless it is to empower them to escalate their already-aggressive use of War on Terror tactics against U.S. citizens, what do they want security state agencies to be able to do on U.S. soil that they cannot now do?
          Today, the oligarchy that controls American society’s commanding heights leaves those who are neither its members nor its clients little choice but to marshal their forces for their own exodus. The federal government, the governments of states and localities run by the Democratic Party, along with the major corporations, the educational establishment, and the news media set strict but movable boundaries about what they may or may not say—on pain of being cast out, isolated from society’s mainstream. Using an ever-shifting variety of urgent excuses, which range from the coronavirus, to the threat of domestic terrorism, to catastrophic climate change, to the evils of racism, they issue edicts that they enforce through anti-democratic means—from social pressure and threats, to corporate censorship of digital platforms, to bureaucratic fiat. Nobody voted for this.

          What forces can and can’t this oligarchy bring to bear? We have a hint from Time magazine’s Feb. 4, 2021, valedictory of “a vast, cross-partisan campaign” by leaders of business, labor, and the media, in cooperation with the Democratic Party, that “got states to change voting systems and laws” for the 2020 presidential election in contravention of black-letter constitutional law. Rulings by judges in Michigan and Virginia that changes to those states’ absentee ballot laws were blatantly illegal matters not one whit.

          Why not? Because the coalition of masters controls the levers of the state and the press. As Time reveals, they “helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.” Because these elites realized that “engaging with toxic content only made it worse,” they decided on “removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place.” Instead of answering facts and arguments with which they disagreed, they would ignore their substance and smear whoever voiced them.

          The boldness and novelty of these as well as of unmentioned tactics delivered the desired electoral result, and power heretofore unimaginable: Americans in 2021 are being fired or “canceled” from society for whatever anyone connected with the oligarchy finds objectionable—even for asking for evidence of the oligarchy’s assertions. Yet Time tells us that because the process of defeating Donald Trump’s voters angered them further, these oligarchs worry that they gained only “a respite.” Hence the united oligarchy must seek, as The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie put it, permanent “national political dominance.”

          Though that dominance seems at hand, the general population’s compliance with it is not. That is because isolating and alienating anybody, let alone half the country, is the proverbial two-edged sword. Anytime you isolate and alienate someone else, you do the same to yourself. The boundaries that the oligarchs have drawn, are drawing, separate them from the American people’s vast majority, whose consciousness of powerlessness and defenselessness clarifies their choice between utter subjection and doing whatever it might take to exit a system that no longer seems to allow for the prospect of republican self-government.
      Dear God,

      Please help me to hate White people. Or at least to want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them, individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.

          When five unelected super-legislators on the Supreme Court unilaterally amended the Constitution to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015, Chief Justice John Roberts warned that the ruling would pose “hard questions” about the freedom of religious colleges to operate according to their convictions. Former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said, “It will be an issue.” This week, Roberts’ warning has come to pass, and the time in which Verrilli’s “issue” comes to the fore is now.

          On Monday, 33 current and former students at federally-funded Christian colleges and universities launched a historic attack on religious freedom by filing a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Education (DoE). The lawsuit, Hunter et al. v. Department of Education, claims that the DoE violated the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution by granting religious exemptions to Christian institutions that allegedly “discriminate” against “sexual and gender minorities.”

          “The religious exemption to Title IX impermissibly burdens the fundamental marriage rights of same-sex couples seeking to attend taxpayer funded religious educational institutions that prohibit their marriages,” the lawsuit, filed by the Religious Exemption Accountability Project, alleges. “When sincerely held religious beliefs become enacted as school policies that harm LGBTQ+ students at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities, the necessary consequence is that the U.S. Department of Education has put its imprimatur on an exclusion that demeans and stigmatizes sexual and gender minorities.”

          “The federal government cannot claim a legitimate governmental interest in furthering discrimination that harms sexual and gender minority students,” the lawsuit adds.
      From 1965 through 1974, due to the strategy and efforts of Cloward and Piven and their followers, the total recipients on welfare rocketed from 4.3 million to 10.8 million. In 1975, there were nearly 1 million welfare recipients in New York City alone. That year, New York City declared bankruptcy. The whole state nearly went down with them.

      And, in fact, the federal government ultimately helped bail out New York City after President Ford was warned by international financiers that the U.S. would face a dollar crises if NYC were to go bankrupt. "The federal government gave the city $2.3 billion of seasonal financing and three years to balance the budget. By 1981, the city could again sell bonds to the public." But it was not enough to crash the system nationally. Probably because the socialists of that era, just as now, were focused on black poverty without any concern about poor whites. But reparations may well open the door to a form of universal basic income while keeping the money from going to those with white privilege.
      Thanks to the Floyd incident, diversity departments of corporations, universities and governments now have permission, indeed a mandate, to embrace open discrimination against whites and, when convenient, Asians as well. Companies like Coca-Cola now impose expensive racial ‘diversity training’ on their employees. Other businesses, like Uber Eats, have gifted free delivery for African-American-owned firms only, while Oakland has initiated a $500-a-month basic-income programme for poor people, funded by rich non-profits, but with the proviso that whites need not apply.
          Why is this significant? Because white perpetrators of violence are always identified as such. When a white man engages in a mass killing, the first thing we learn, and are told over and over, is that he is white. If a white policeman kills a black man, no matter how justified (as in Ferguson, Missouri) or morally ambiguous (as in most other cases), we are reminded in every news story that the officer was white. In the very first New York Times report on the Atlanta massage parlor killings, the Times reported, “The suspect in custody is white.”

          The mainstream media have a mission that has nothing to do with reporting truth. Along with the Democratic Party and the rest of the left, their mission is to portray America — that is, its white population — as racist. Reporting that nonwhites have perpetrated violence — particularly against nonwhites — undermines that narrative, and these inconvenient facts are therefore consciously omitted. Or worse: The implication placed in people’s minds is that whites are the perpetrators.

          This was my point in a previous column when I wrote: “Another New York Times article (about anti-Asian-American violence), under the headline ‘A Tense Lunar New Year for the Bay Area After Attacks on Asian-Americans,’ opens with this: ‘The videos are graphic and shocking. In January, a local television station showed footage of a young man sprinting toward, then violently shoving to the ground, a man identified as Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, who had been out for a morning walk in the Anza Vista neighborhood of San Francisco. He later died.’ The Times piece never reveals the name or race of the perpetrator: Antoine Watson, a 19-year-old black man.”

          Why? Because the Times wanted its readers to believe that Ratanapakdee, the elderly Asian American, was murdered by a white.

          Truth, it is necessary to say again and again, is a liberal value and a conservative value, but it has never been a left-wing value.
          To test this hypothesis, we developed a new survey measure based on what the human rights activist and former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky identifies as a defining feature of anti-Semitism: the double standard. We drafted two versions of the same question, one asking respondents to apply a principle to a Jewish example, and another to apply the same principle to a non-Jewish example. Subjects were randomly assigned to see one version or another so that no respondent would see both versions of the question. Since no one would see both versions of the question, sophisticated respondents would have no way of knowing that we were measuring their sentiment toward Jews, and no cue to game their answers.

          When we administered these double-standard measures in a nationally representative survey of over 1,800 people, our results differed widely from the conventional view about the relationship between education and anti-Semitism. In fact, we found that more highly educated people were more likely to apply principles more harshly to Jewish examples. By preventing subjects from knowing that they were being asked about their feelings toward Jews, we discovered that more-highly educated people in the United States tend to have greater antipathy toward Jews than less-educated people do.

        Not only that, but the more educated the person was--for instance, holding a doctorate level degree--the more antisemitic the survey showed them to be.

        • "TAL BACHMAN: We have met the enemy."--Instapundit.  "Whether they realize it or not, Wokists themselves combine the lunatic loyalty of the Manson family with the hollow pseudo-joy of Jonestown residents, the racism of National Socialists, the inhumanity of Mao Tse-Tung, the bratty tantrums of Veruca Salt, the nihilism of Bakunin-style anarchists, the totalitarianism of Stalin’s Soviet Union, the child torture and sacrifice of the Mayans, the derangement of Heaven’s Gate followers, the sadistic violence of the Jacobins, and the ruthless control-freakism of the current Chinese Communist Party.”
          • Related: "The Commonalities Between the Rise of the Nazis and the Tactics of the American Left Cannot be Ignored" by Steve McCann, American Thinker. He notes, for instance, that "racial division was a central component of Nazi political strategy and philosophy.  The Nazi Party was, without doubt, the most racially obsessed political party in human history.  Today’s Democrat party is second only to the Nazi Party in their racial obsession.   Every piece of legislation, every accusation against their opponents, every aspect of American society, even weather and climate is framed in racism."

        VIDEO: "Who were the Denisovans? New DNA Study"--Robert Sepehr (17 min.)
        Through the study of genetics we now know that nearly every major racial group existing today is a mixture between humans and other hominids with which early humans interbred: Sub-Saharan Africans with Homo Habilis, Europeans with Neanderthal, and Asians with Neanderthal and/or Denisovans. The latter is the subject of this video.

         Miscellany:

            The big issue is China’s trajectory. Official media is cagey about a critical figure, the country’s total fertility rate, generally the number of children per female reaching child-bearing age. The official China Daily reports that Lu Jiehua of Peking University believes the country’s TFR, as the rate is known, “has fallen below 1.7.”

            Lu is certainly right about that. The University of Wisconsin’s Yi told TNI that China’s TFR last year was 0.90  and could not have exceeded 1.1. Yi’s estimate is on the low end but is consistent with China Daily’s reporting of 1.05 in 2015.

            Replacement TFR for most societies is generally 2.1 although some think China’s replacement rate is actually 2.2 because of higher child mortality.

            In any event, China’s population will shrink fast. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences projects China’s population will halve by 2100 if the TFR drops from 1.6 to 1.3.

            China’s TFR, however, is far lower than 1.3. If its TFR stabilizes at 1.2—1.2 would represent a big increase—China will have a population of only 480 million by the end of the century.

            If the TFR does not increase from where it is now, the country by then could end up around the 400 million mark. To put this in context, the United States, according to the U.N.’s latest projections, will have a population of 433.9 million in 2100, up from 331.0 million as of last year.

            China now has a crisis. “Once it slips below 1.5, a country falls into the trap of low fertility and is unlikely to recover,” said He Yafu to the Communist Party’s Global Times. China is already well below that figure.

            Beijing does not believe China’s population will begin to decline until 2028. Some believe it in fact began contracting in 2018, something evident by falling births.

            In any event, as the official China Daily stated in December, “the trends are irreversible.”

        The problem of a declining population is multifaceted. But two of the biggest concerns are that a country experiencing the decline will have a disproportionate number of retirees compared to the number working, resulting in a severe drag on finances and a drain on the public fisc.  The other, and this may even be more critical for purposes of geo-politics, is that the country with a declining population will, obviously, have fewer military age men limiting what it can do militarily. David P. Goldman discusses this at great length in his book, How Civilizations Die, and that it can push a country with territorial ambitions into taking action before it becomes too weak to do so. Goldman focuses on Iran, but the same applies to China.

            You may remember from last week my discussion of China having an opportunity mid-decade to take Taiwan where the U.S. military will be at a marked low between phasing out old weapon systems, organization and tactics, but before it is able to fully implement new training, organization, and weapon systems. (For instance, the roll out of laser weapons on American ships and aircraft will greatly impact China's ability to successfully employ its ship killing missiles--even the hypersonic missiles). If China is facing a declining population, it will make it more attractive to act now while it has an advantage rather than later when its advantage will have declined or been erased. 

            I may as well say this now. While I don't know if China will lose a conflict with the United States, I don't believe it will win. In other words, even if China "wins" by capturing and retaining Taiwan, the damage to China will be so great that the CCP will collapse or otherwise lose the control it has (perhaps something like what happened in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Empire). My reasoning for this is not any comparison of military power or capabilities--although I doubt that the Five Gorges Dam will survive any such conflict and I believe that the analysts have overstated the advantages offered by China's island building--but that in Matt. 24:14, Christ stated: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Over the last 150 years, many countries have opened their doors to the preaching of the gospel due to losing conflicts--World War II (Japan and much of Europe), the Korean War (South Korea), the end of the Cold War (much of the East Bloc and Russia). China has so far refused to open its doors--in fact, it has clamped down on Christians in the last several years--so China's turn is probably next. 

            The long-term effects of COVID-19 are still being discovered, but 'there's no question that, if you had pre-existing disease and you got infected, it just makes things worse,' said Dr Califf. 

            'But in addition to that, we know there are a lot of people who just haven't been getting check-ups and getting preventive care.' 

            And he notes that the average American is estimated to have gained some 10 pound during the pandemic. 

            The South Africa variant of the coronavirus affects vaccinated individuals more than those who are unvaccinated, according to a new study from Tel Aviv University and Israel's largest healthcare provider.

            The study, which was published Saturday and still requires peer review, looked at 400 individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus despite receiving at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and compared the prevalence of the South African variant, B.1.351, with the same number of people who have not yet received a vaccination.

            "We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group," said Adi Stern of Tel Aviv University. "This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine's protection."

        No, that is not just the virus "breaking through the vaccine's protection," but that the vaccination somehow makes a person more susceptible to infection. Big difference.

            Even were the Wuhan flu ... a real global emergency instead of a jumped-up, panicked, and likely malevolent overreaction to an illness whose death toll has been largely confined to the elderly, the sick, and the obese, the way we have responded has been nothing less than a civilizational humiliation.

            We have taught our people to fear one another, to move aside on a public street as if someone coming their way were radioactive, to shout at strangers for refusing to muzzle themselves as they go about their business. ...

            And yet, out of “an abundance of caution” (what an execrable, cowardly phrase) and outright fear, we have abrogated our civil liberties without a second thought, including crucial protections of speech, faith, and assembly that we once fought and died to protect. We heedlessly demolished whole industries, including travel, restaurants, hotels, sporting events, cinemas, concerts, and other public entertainments and accommodations.

            Most disgracefully of all, at a time when people could have used spiritual solace, we closed our churches—and the clergy obeyed without objection. For this, every single prelate, priest, rabbi, bishop, or cardinal who meekly obeyed secular “authority” ought to be publicly shamed, stripped of his clerical garb, and never be allowed to attend to souls again.

            A reckoning is coming for the clergy and it isn’t going to be pretty.

            Like the doctors and nurses who suddenly discovered and complained that their work was dangerous—as if medicine were to be practiced simply as “wellness” and not when the Grim Reaper comes calling on the fields of battle or in the charnel houses of an epidemic—the clergy has all but admitted that what they do, or what they pretended to do, was a frivolity only to be practiced at the sufferance of the local commissars.

        * * * 

            ... For a country such as the United States—founded on the very notion of freedom of religious worship—to meekly surrender to a leftist, atheist mob of functionaries and penny-ante governors in the name of “health” is something that will live in infamy.
            We often see portrayals of women of the past as timid victims who were bound to the kitchen and banished to the background.

            One group of women completely destroy this narrative that has been built, and challenge the way we see gang culture of the past.

            For many years in London, one all-female, working-class group of women terrorised the West End, conducting an elaborate shoplifting scheme that gave the men a run for their money.

            The crime syndicate known as the Forty Elephants, was a criminal group that have been referred to as the “biggest and most feared” all-female gang in the London underworld.

            The group were based around Elephant and Castle, hence the name, but at their peak they were operating all over the country.

            The gang were notorious for their thieving ways, and installed fear into the expensive stores of London’s West End when they were spotted in the area.

            They were first mentioned in the news in 1873, but police records suggest they had existed since the late 1700s. The group are thought to have operated all the way up until the 1950s.

        And:

             The group were known to conduct elaborate shoplifting scams, where they took advantage of their femininity and role in society to steal from unsuspecting targets.

            The group were known to raid London’s West End shops, dressed in specially tailored coats, skirts and hats, sewn with hidden pockets to hide their loot.

            The same conservative outfits designed to conceal women’s bodies in public, were the tools by which these women were able to plunder goods worth thousands of pounds.

            They were known to use a combination of clever distraction techniques as well as their expert seductive techniques to their advantage.

            One popular technique was crowding around the counter in the upmarket stores, passing round the expensive objects under the guise of excitable inspection, before they were then dropped to others to conceal.

        • "Kardashian team working hard to remove unwanted Khlo√© photo"--New York Post (Page Six). I doubt most of you have heard this, but someone released a photograph recently of Khloe Kardashian in bikini that was untouched and showed her without makeup and it has caused all sorts of fits within the Kardashian media organization. I find it interesting because Khloe Kardashian is generally held out to be an extremely beautiful woman on par with a super-model--a 9 or 10 on the scale of attractiveness, if you will. But if you look at the no-makeup, no touch up photograph, you see a young woman that is rather plain looking for her age and weight--not unattractive, but certainly not a 9 or 10. (Compare with this photograph of her). It is a reminder of the power of makeup in altering a woman's appearance and thereby artificially increasing her sexual marketplace value (SMV) in Red Pill parlance. 
        • There are monsters; the problem is that they look like normal people: "'The dead won't bother you. It's the living you've got to worry about': Serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy's creepy warning in new footage of jailhouse interview where he suggests he may have had accomplices"--Daily Mail.  John Wayne Gacy is one of the most prolific serial killers in the United States having murdered 33 boys and young men during the 1970s. He was convicted in 1980 and executed by lethal injection in 1994. His last words were "Kiss my ass." The story is primarily about some video recordings of interviews with him that suggest not only that he had more young victims, but that he may have had an accomplice. Or it may have been a load of B.S. intended to keep him feeling he was still in charge. 
            In July of 2019, a truly bizarre series of events unfolded around California’s Channel Islands. Over a number of days, groups of unidentified aircraft, which the U.S. Navy simply refers to as ‘drones’ or 'UAVs,' pursued that service's vessels, prompting a high-level investigation. 

            During the evening encounters, as many as six aircraft were reported swarming around the ships at once. The drones were described as flying for prolonged periods in low-visibility conditions, and performing brazen maneuvers over the Navy warships near a sensitive military training range less than 100 miles off Los Angeles. The ensuing investigation included elements of the Navy, Coast Guard, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The incidents received major attention, including from the Chief of Naval Operations—the apex of the Navy's chain of command.

        These are not your standard long distance drones, but were capable of hovering (or maintaining their position over a relatively slow moving ship), yet obviously able to operate for long periods of time and be steered at night. 

            The swarm of drones that hovered around U.S. destroyers off the California coast remain unidentified, but there are "no indications at all" they are "extraterrestrial," according to a top Navy official.

            "No, we have not" made any conclusions on the identity of the drones, Adm. Michael Gilday told a Defense Writers Group event Monday in Washington, NBC News reported.

            "I am aware of those sightings, and as it's been reported, there have been other sightings by aviators in the air and by other ships not only of the United States, but other nations — and of course other elements within the U.S. joint force.

            "Those findings have been collected and they still are being analyzed."

        • "Ex-CIA director believes UFOs could exist after pal’s plane ‘paused’"--New York Post. "Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey said he believes UFOs could exist after his friend’s plane was 'paused at 40,000' feet – and hopes humans would be friendly to extraterrestrials if they ever make contact, according to a report." He doesn't give enough details of the encounter to determine what happened or whether a UFO was spotted, but I would note that if an aircraft encountered a head wind of the same speed as the plane's speed through the air, the velocity of the plane would be zero relative to the ground.
        • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "New Warp Drive Model Requires No ‘Exotic Matter,’ Scientists Say We Can Build It" by Christopher Plain, The Debrief. Unfortunately, this particular theoretical drive would not be superluminal.