Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Quick Run Around the Web--December 1, 2015

A.M. Willard, The Spirit of '76.

The World In Which We Live:

More than half of Americans, 53 percent, say they “feel like a stranger” in their own country. A minority of Americans feel “comfortable as myself” in the country.
    There are no doubt lots of reasons underlying this feelings. Demographically, Americans holding these views tend to be white, older, live in the South and have less than a college education. Politically, they are cordoned off as the white working class. While they rarely attract much attention from the political class, they still represent an enormous block of voters.
      ... Yet in the era of the elitist faction’s ascendancy over the U.S. government, accountability has been entirely absent.
        ... This lack of accountability greatly aggravates the threat to our liberty. Seeing their dictatorial power increase with each crisis, government officials have an incentive to let problems ripen so as to harvest more power as they do. Given the dictatorial bent Obama’s tenure has more than amply demonstrated in service to their agenda, it’s excusable to suspect that the neglect of accountability intentionally serves the larger agenda of overturning the U.S. Constitution, an agenda now more and more openly avowed.
          It’s never too late for the U.S. Congress to use its Constitutional power to thwart this agenda, but it will be too late if and when the U.S. is hit by a crisis damaging enough to encourage Obama, or the next elitist faction tool, to declare that circumstances have suspended the Constitution’s implementation until further notice. Say if you like that it could never happen here. That was true in the days when Americans still had the confidence to stand on the rights the Constitution guarantees, and the courage to defend their stand. Thanks to the triumph of partisan passivity and subservience, that stalwart character is now in doubt. If it were not, the GOP majorities in both Houses of Congress would have already been moved to do what the Constitution requires.

          Other Stuff:
          • "Culture Shock: Declining Ebola, Rising STDs"--Medpage Today. The article reports that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all broken the chains of transmission leading back to the original 2013 case in Guinea. However, the author also warns:

          In the past, a country that had an Ebola outbreak had a 50% chance of another within 2 years, according to World Health Organization assistant director general Bruce Aylward, MD. That's because of re-introduction from the original animal vector.

          In West Africa, with thousands of human survivors, it appears animal vectors might not be needed, Aylward told reporters. Indeed, he said, the UN knows of about half a dozen "flares" of Ebola, including an 15-year-old boy in the Liberian capital Monrovia just last week, that appear to be a re-introduction of the virus.

          There's "pretty good evidence that we will have to deal with new emergences" of Ebola, he said.

          The Liberian investigation is still underway, but it currently appears that the boy had no direct or indirect contact with a person who got Ebola as part of the original outbreak. And that leaves investigators thinking he got the disease in some way from a survivor.

          In male survivors, the virus can persist for up to 9 months in semen, which Aylward characterized as potentially an "infectious bodily fluid" that can transmit Ebola from a survivor just like blood, sweat, vomit, and diarrhea in acute cases.

          He noted that the transmission does not have to involve sexual contact -- soiled bedclothes might be enough. And the WHO said the boy's brother and father are now diagnosed with Ebola.

          The flares so far have been stamped out pretty quickly, Aylward said: no more than eight associated cases and only two or three generations of cases. But that has required intensive surveillance and efficient responses -- something that costs money.

          • "Dehydrating eggs at home"--Backwoods Home Magazine. The author's hens produced more eggs than she and her family could use, so she decided to try out some methods to preserve the eggs, settling on dehydration. "So is it worthwhile to dehydrate eggs? From a cost standpoint, the answer is unequivocally 'yes,' but only if you keep your own hens to begin with. If you're buying eggs from the store, it's far less cost-efficient and you'd probably be better off purchasing commercially-dehydrated eggs."
          • "Selecting Ammunition for the Defensive Pistol"--Arizona Weaponcraft. Thoughts on the topic directed to the person thinking about purchasing a defensive pistol, or new to using a defensive pistol.
          • "Active shooter, not urban siege: tactics in Paris"--The Strategist. An analysis of the tactics employed by the terrorists in the recent Paris attack. From the article:
            The tactics used by ISIS in the 13/11 Paris attacks can hardly be considered guerrilla warfare. When ISIS tactics in the Paris attacks are contrasted with guerrilla warfare established practitioners such as PIRA their tactical sophistication pales. The attackers don’t appear to have used any form of infantry tactics in the attack phase. In fact, one could argue that the Paris attacks have more in common with active shooter incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in the US. There was most definitely sophistication in the coordination and targeting of the Paris attacks, but the actual tactics employed during the attack phase were by no means sophisticated nor military or guerilla in nature.
              Hostage situations involve threats by persons who have barricaded themselves in a building, or protected area, but aren’t actively harming anyone, despite possibly threatening to do so.
                Police responses to hostage-taking focus on a measured and delayed response. Police best practice in those incidents involve cordoning an area and containing the hostage taker. Police efforts are then focused on negotiating with the offender or offenders to prevent violence to achieve the release of prisoners and a resolution that doesn’t result in deaths.
                  Hostage or siege-type operations are also not a new tactic for terror organisations. There’s little doubt that the Westgate and Mumbai terror attacks both involved extended urban sieges and hostages taken.
                    But there was no hostage-taking incident at the Bataclan concert hall Paris on 13 November 2015. Three men actively engaged in killing people in a confined and populated area—it was an active shooter attack. From an applied policy perspective there’s a real danger in creating a new theoretical framework for this tactic when one is readily available.
                      Active shooter situations occur when police officers on the ground believe that the armed individual is actively inflicting injuries or death. The shooter’s aim in those cases is to inflict mass casualties as quickly as possible, which is what we saw in Paris. And tragedies such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre illustrate that the shooters are also committed to dying just like the jihadis.
                        Looking at the scene in the Parisian concert hall, there was an individual who was shooting innocent individuals while his two counterparts were controlling the crowd. The three men were focused solely on inflicting as much damage as possible as quickly as possible: there was no room to cordon, contain and negotiate responses.
                          From a strategic perspective, we’ve seen a paradigm shift in ISIS operations. They have internationalised their terrorism program enhancing their ‘lone wolf’ strategy with multi-phased synchronised and coordinated attacks. And finally and probably more worrying, the Paris attacks have shown us that they’re using active shooter strategies focused on killing, and not on establishing a siege or hostage scenario.
                            Those types of attacks are difficult to prevent, but we can proactively prepare for them. Fortunately we can draw many lessons from US and Canadian active shooter incidents. We can draw together programs for coordinated lock down procedures for schools, offices, hotels and other such venues. We can also adopt active shooter training for police.


                            1. More than half of Americans, 53 percent, say they “feel like a stranger” in their own country. A minority of Americans feel “comfortable as myself” in the country.

                              I've felt that way for a couple decades. It started after I walked into my local Walmart and only heard Spanish from the other customers for the first several minutes of my visit. Things have only got worse since then.

                              1. I, too, started getting that feeling a couple decades ago. My moment was going to my High School Counselor to look through some catalogs of available university and collage scholarships, and discovering that almost all the of non-business affiliated scholarships (i.e., the ones to children of employees) were specifically for women and minorities.


                            A New Defensive Pistolcraft Post ...

                              ... from Jon Low . There is a lot of good stuff in this post, and Jon seems (at least to me) to have included much more of his own comment...