Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Quick Run Around the Web--December 2, 2015 (Updated)

Ice age fauna of northern Spain - Mauricio Antón (c. 2004)

The World in Which We Live:
When the outside world burst into Chinese awareness in the 19th century, it came as a horror show. Weakened by isolation and introspection, China struggled for 150 years to adapt and to maintain its independence and dignity. Now, thanks to China’s economic development and the technological progress that allows human beings to travel the world, millions of Chinese people are immersing themselves in other cultures and civilizations.
    This encounter will change China and it will change the world. Understanding how the new awareness of other countries and cultures is affecting the way people in China view their own history and way of life is critical for anybody who wants to see where the 21st century is headed. The great surge of Chinese tourists to sample the wider world’s restaurants, museums, cultural monuments, and natural wonders is one of the forces that is transforming the world as the first global civilization takes shape. ...
    • "See for Yourself for the First Time What User Data the FBI Demanded in a National Security Letter"--Reason--Hit & Run. And, just another reminder to read the Lizard Farmer's "How They Hunt."
    • "What’s Next in the Terrifying, Unraveling Russo-Turkish Crisis"--Observer News. The author observes that "sometimes political and military leaders, smart and educated people, do insanely stupid things, with horrific consequences for millions." The author discusses how Turkey and Russia may be headed in that direction.
    • "Green Energy Investors Look to Cash in on Paris Talks"--Washington Free Beacon. "A group of millionaires and billionaires that includes major investors in green energy are using the international climate talks kicking off this week to push for more government subsidies for the types of companies in which they are investing." And why do they need government subsidies (i.e., money taken from the middle-class by force)? Because without the subsidies, none of their investments would be economically viable. Just more evidence that "global warming" is just another way for the wealthy elite to suck off the public teat. Just follow the money....
      So progressivism has seized on one of the greatest scientific-social-economic-political scams to come down the pike since, oh, I don't know, since Karl Marx took pen to paper, perhaps. It has all the hallmarks of a progressive cause: demands for an end to prosperity; an end to free markets and individual choices; a demand for ever greater resources and power going to governments and the bureaucrats who run them; a demand to shut down opponents as kooks or "deniers." And as we see the "science" behind the whole mishmash of stuff that is supposedly The Theory of Global Warming Climate Change Disruption fall apart almost daily, the advocates of "doing something" about Global Whatever get more and more desperate and turn away from science and turn to the brute power of government. Their "theory" can predict nothing and explain nothing except for how to increase their power over all of us.
        The science is settled: We are ruled by those who hate us.
        • Related: "Climate Talks Show Us Progressivism’s True Hypocrisy"--The Federalist. "What do you call it when elites fly their private jets to an international climate change conference to forge a deal with despots that caps American prosperity without our consent? You call it progressivism." As I said above, to understand the support for the global warming meme, just follow the money....
        The period from 1850 to 1979 is not well documented globally and the records used to construct the global surface temperature average have been significantly edited, thus raising doubts about their accuracy. They show a warming of just under 1°C in a period of 165 years. This is not unusual by historical standards. Over this length of time warming of over 13°C was seen at the end of the Younger Dryas in the Central Greenland ice core. In the same core, the beginning of the Holocene Thermal Optimum saw a warming of 5°C in less than 800 years.
          Correlation is not causation, but many, if not all, of man’s worst times since the last glacial maximum occur during colder and dryer periods.  Often these times were made worse by warfare as in the Greek Dark Ages, the sacking of Rome, the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, etc.   The colder and more arid climate could have been part of the cause of the wars. We go to war when we are starving and thirsty. More importantly, I was unable to find evidence of a crisis that was due to warming.
            Given that man-made Carbon Dioxide is a very recent phenomenon, the radical climatic changes before 200 years ago cannot be attributed to man’s influence. They must be natural. The recent warming of 0.85°C from 1880 to 2012 is pretty small compared to other temperature changes in the Holocene. It is clear from history that natural forces can cause significant climate changes. It is also clear that droughts are usually associated with colder periods, not warmer periods. Some climate changes are probably due to variations in the Earth’s orbit, but some might be due to variations in TSI (total solar irradiance) or other solar influences. How much is due to nature and how much is due to man is unknown.
              Much of the last 18,000 years is characterized by more rapid sea-level rise than we see today. The current rise of sea level is very slow relative to the past and we are arguably more adaptable due to modern technology.
              • Related: "White, male, and proud of it"--The Telegraph. Charles Murray, the author of The Bell-Curve, has a new book out called Human Accomplishment: the Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950. In discussing the book, the article notes:
                ... between 1400 and 1950, Murray's historiometric method has found that 72 per cent of significant figures in the arts and sciences came from Britain, France, Germany and Italy alone. Overall, male Europeans and North Americans are shown to be responsible for 97 per cent of scientific accomplishment from 800 BC to 1950. Statistically, when it comes to curing disease, building bridges, inventing glasses or devising new, better modes of transport, Western man is in a league of his own.
                  "What the human species is today," he says, "it owes in astonishing degree to what was accomplished in just half a dozen centuries by the peoples of one small portion of the northwestern Eurasian land mass."

                  • For those looking for ideas on defending/securing a rural retreat, I would direct you to some articles at the Lizard Farmer's site. Just a selection:
                  1. Defense – Obstacles Part I: Introduction;
                  2. Defense – Obstacles Part II: Understanding Natural Obstacles;
                  3. Defense – Obstacles Part III: Placement And Man-Improved Obstacles;
                  4. Defense – Obstacles Part IV: More On Roads And Bridges
                  5. Defense – Obstacles Part V: More On Slowing The Threat Down on Roads and Trails;
                  6. Defense – Obstacles Part VI: Using Water To Our Advantage;
                  7. Defense: Obstacles Part VII: Dealing With Sikorsky’s Toys;
                  8. Defense: Obstacles Part VIII: An Quick Look At Common Wire Types;
                  9. Defense: Obstacles Part IX: Reinforcing Existing Fences;
                  10. Defense: Obstacles Part X: Closing Some Gaps;
                  11. Defense: Obstacles Part XI: Breaking Contact And Evading; and,
                  12. Defense: Obstacles Part XII: Starting to Set It All Up.  
                  • "Benchrest Kneeling"--Art of the Rifle. Discussing two ways of using improvised support in the kneeling position. 
                  • "Rods and Cones: Your Keys to Better Night Vision"--Bearing Arms. "Though our eyes aren’t as efficient during low light as a cat or raccoon, there are things you can do to maximize the capabilities that exist. First, we need to understand the physiological facts of your eyes."
                  • "Serial SWATting — Preparing For The Worst As A Concealed Carrier"--Concealed Nation. "'SWATting' is a relatively new and nefarious phenomena where anonymous internet trolls gain access to sensitive records of 'prey' and then forge up an excuse for a SWAT team to raid that person’s home.  When SWAT arrives, they absolutely believe whatever they’ve been told prior to arriving on your doorstep or place of work.  They have to because their lives are on the line.  Unfortunately for the home owner and especially a concealed carrier — there’s no good way to stop that SWAT train once it’s arrived into station." 
                  • "Short-Term Preparedness – Possible vs. Probable"--Every Day Carry Solutions. Preparedness plans for over the short-term: a blackout or winter storm, or the first few days of something worse.
                  • "Six considerations to maintain perishable self-defense skills..."--God, Gals, Guns, Grub. The author writes: "Many of us are life-long learners, continuing to build our knowledge, skills, and abilities through various endeavors... but how do we maintain the previous knowledge, skills, and abilities we've acquired? This is really were balance, planning, and time management in life can really make or break us, especially in regard to our self-defense skills... both mentally and kinesthetically." He goes on to discuss some techniques for maintaining and developing skills learned in classes or our own practice.
                  • "Bullet Trajectory: Shooting Downhill and Uphill"--Rifle Shooter. "When a bullet’s path is angled high or low, gravity exerts more effect on velocity (which doesn’t change a projectile’s path appreciably) and less effect on its path. As a result, trajectory suffers less earthward “bend” and the bullet flies on a straighter path. The takeaway? Bullets hit high when shooting down and up." Read the whole thing.
                  • "Become An Instant Super-Spy With These Three Top Secret Techniques!"--Schafer's Self-Defense Corner. It won't make you a super-spy, but the author offers three "life-hacks" for (i) seeing a distant object or writing if you don't have your glasses, (ii) getting in-touch with your subconscious decision making process, and (iii) spot when someone is lying to you.
                  Update: Just added the cite to the story about Charles Murray's new book.

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