- "Kalashnikov USA’s New AK-Alfa Rifle"--The Firearms Blog. And another article from AmmoLand. The rifle is available in 7.62x39mm, and uses standard AK style magazines. According to the AmmoLand article, it was developed by Kalashnikov with the assistance of an Israeli design team, which suggests to me that the rifle should be viewed more as an update to the Galil than a direct descendant of the AK. The final product is supposed to sport Key-mod slots on the fore stock. The reflex sight shown is also new, and supposed to automatically turn on if the rifle is picked up or brought to the shoulder.
- "The HMG Sturmgewehr Has Arrived"--The Firearms Blog. Since there are some design differences between this and the original STG44 (beyond the semi-auto only trigger group), this falls more within the category of a replica rather than a reproduction. The nice part, though, is that, besides 7.92x33 Kurz, it will also be available in 5.56×45, 7.62×39, and .300 Blackout. The bad part is the price: $1800.
- "The Safariland Group Unveils Groundbreaking Armor at SHOT Show." This is a news release of new line of ballistic panels and carriers designed to be more comfortable. More (including a photo) here.
- "Savage Arms Launches Its Model 42 Takedown at the 2016 SHOT Show"--AmmoLand. A takedown version of the Model 42 (an over-under .410 shotgun/.22 rifle).
- "AREX Rex Zero1 Pistol"--The Firearms Blog. This is a Slovakian made handgun that, at first blush, appears to be a copy of the Sig 226. However, the decocker lever also acts as the slide release lever, it has a separate manual safety, and it is supposed to be ambidextrous.
- "Browning A5 Sweet 16 Revival"--Outdoor Channel. Browning has released a 16 gauge version of the A5 (it hasn't been offered commercially for decades). The article goes to pains to note that this is not just a 16 gauge barrel stuck on a 12 gauge receiver, but that it has all been scaled down to the 16 gauge.
- "TASER Debuts New Self-Defense Weapon, TASER Pulse, at SHOT Show 2016." For concealed carry.
- "Heizer Defense PKO-45 Pistol"--The Firearms Blog. This is touted as the slimmest .45 auto on the market at 0.8 inches. Heavy and expensive, though.
- "Introducing the Morakniv Garberg Full-Tang Bushcraft Knife"--The Truth About Knives. Pricey, but Mora has finally released a full tang knife. Video and more information at the link.
- "It's Still the Demography, Stupid"--Mark Steyn.
... The western world is going out of business because it's given up having babies. The 20th century welfare state, with its hitherto unknown concepts such as spending a third of your adult lifetime in "retirement", is premised on the basis that there will be enough new citizens to support the old. But there won't be. ...
Enter Islam, which sportingly volunteered to be the children we couldn't be bothered having ourselves, and which kind offer was somewhat carelessly taken up by the post-Christian west. ...
Last year, Angela Merkel decided to attempt it. The German Chancellor cut to the chase and imported in twelve months 1.1 million Muslim "refugees". That doesn't sound an awful lot out of 80 million Germans, but, in fact, the 1.1 million Muslim are overwhelmingly (80 per cent plus) fit, virile, young men. Germany has fewer than ten million people in the same population cohort, among whom Muslims are already over-represented: the median age of Germans as a whole is 46, the median age of German Muslims is 34. But let's keep the numbers simple, and assume that of those ten million young Germans half of them are ethnic German males. Frau Merkel is still planning to bring in another million "refugees" this year. So by the end of 2016 she will have imported a population equivalent to 40 per cent of Germany's existing young male cohort. The future is here now: It's not about "predictions".
- "Researchers find evidence of ninth planet in solar system"--USA Today. The research predicts a planet based on orbital anomalies of Pluto and other bodies at the far edge of the solar system. The article quotes one astronomer: "'This is the first serious claim for the existence of an additional planet in the solar system,' said planetary scientist Alessandro Morbidelli of France’s Observatory of the Cote d’Azur, who was not involved with the new study. If true, 'it would change the portrait of the solar system for everyone.'" Except that isn't really true because Neptune and Pluto were both discovered by astronomers attempting to explain orbital anomalies. And various people (scientists and laymen alike) have been suggesting yet an additional planet for decades. In any event, it is too early to get excited. Other astronomers explain that there is, as of yet, no observations of such a large body, and there may be other mundane explanations.
- "An Ancient, Brutal Massacre May Be the Earliest Evidence of War"--Smithsonian Magazine.
Skulls smashed by blunt force, bodies pin-cushioned by projectile points and hapless victims—including a pregnant woman—abused with their hands bound before receiving the fatal coup de grâce.
This violent tableau resembles something from the darker side of modern warfare. But it instead describes the grizzly demise of a group of African hunter-gatherers some 10,000 years ago. They are the victims of the earliest scientifically dated evidence for human group conflict—a precursor to what we now know as war.
The battered skeletons at Nataruk, west of Kenya's Lake Turkana, serve as sobering evidence that such brutal behavior occurred among nomadic peoples, long before more settled human societies arose. They also provide poignant clues that could help answer questions that have long plagued humanity: Why do we go to war, and where did our all too common practice of group violence originate?
While interesting, the find should in no way be surprising. Instead, I'm disappointed at the perpetuation of the myth that warfare is, somehow, modern. As for where our practice of group violence originate, simply observe primates--or any animal, for that matter--in the wild.
- "The Myth of Wanton Police Shootings Collapses under the Weight of Facts"--National Review.
In a project titled “The Counted,” the Guardian is tracking killings by police in the United States and has compiled a comprehensive list for the year 2015. The tracker was motivated by much-discussed but poorly founded concern about excessive use of police force particularly against blacks. In December, police killed 92 people — 21 blacks, 40 whites, 17 Hispanics/Latinos, five Asians/Pacific Islanders, and nine of unknown race. Fourteen were unarmed, including five blacks. Those who were unarmed reportedly still posed other types of threats to officers. These threats included physical violence and ramming officers with a vehicle.
Most of these reports are based largely on the accounts of eyewitnesses and the officers involved and so might not include all relevant details, such as results from ongoing police investigations. But the available facts fail to support the claim, made most prominently by the movement Black Lives Matter, that police systematically target unarmed black men. Of note among those who were killed is, however, the prevalence of mental illness.
- "F-35 lost out to Su-35 in combat simulations..."--SNAFU. "The purchase of additional SU-35's now indicates something. I've speculated earlier that it means that [the Russians] feel that its more than capable of taking on the F-35. This article confirms my suspicions. Which leaves the question...if the F-35 can easily handle the F-35 then why proceed with the PAK-FA? My thinking is that they're seeking overmatch." Why is the Pentagon hanging this albatross around our neck? As William S. Lind as noted, the primary purpose of the Department of Defense is acquisition, not defense; and the F-35 is expensive....
- "World faces wave of epic debt defaults, fears central bank veteran"--The Telegraph. (H/t Bayou Renaissance Man).
The next task awaiting the global authorities is how to manage debt write-offs - and therefore a massive reordering of winners and losers in society - without setting off a political storm.
Mr White said Europe's creditors are likely to face some of the biggest haircuts. European banks have already admitted to $1 trillion of non-performing loans: they are heavily exposed to emerging markets and are almost certainly rolling over further bad debts that have never been disclosed.
The European banking system may have to be recapitalized on a scale yet unimagined, and new "bail-in" rules mean that any deposit holder above the guarantee of €100,000 will have to help pay for it.
Read the whole thing.
- Related: "'My Career Basically Ended Today': What Is Really Happening In China"--Zero Hedge. Massive job layoffs in China.
- Related: "The Terminal Decline Of The Middle Class & Money Velocity"--Zero Hedge. In a nutshell, the zero interest offered by central banks have depressed the rate of return on retirements savings that current and future retirees will not be able to live off the interest on such savings; because they will need to live off the principle, they must save more, which reduces their spending now; and you can see where this vicious circle leads.
- "The Story You Aren't Being Told About Iran Capturing Two American Vessels"--Zero Hedge. The author suggests that this incident (on top of the crash of a spy drone in 2011) is another case where Iran was able to spoof our military's GPS systems.
- "2015 clinches record for warmest year: why climate scientists are celebrating"--Christian Science Monitor. The article indicates that climate scientists are celebrating because they feel vindicated. The real reason they are celebrating is that it makes it appear that the warming hiatus is over (and their gravy train continues)--if, in fact, the earth did warm. Watts Up With That has pointed out problems with the temperature measurements before the end of 2015, and has promised a further analysis soon. Besides, as we are constantly reminded, one year does not a trend make.