|"On board a ghost ship: Inside the eerie wreckage of the Costa Concordia four years after the luxury cruise liner sank killing 32 people"--Daily Mail.|
- "UTM’s Civilian Target Ammunition"--The Firearms Blog. An underpowered version of Simunitions for the public. The ammunition requires a special bolt carrier group (BCG) or slide. While the ammo is probably not too unreasonably prices ($32.50/50 rounds), the BCG is $329.
- "[SHOT 2016] Colt’s CK901 7.62×39 AR To Come To Civilian Market"--The Firearms Blog. This is an AR style rifle designed to take standard AK magazines. No date when it might be released, though.
- "MasterPiece Arms MPA BA Lite Chassis"--The Firearms Blog. This is a very cool looking skeletonized stock system for those wanting to upgrade a "boring" hunting or varmint rifle into something using a pistol grip (looks like it accepts AR compatible grips) and individualize length of pull and height of the comb. Unlike some other similar systems I've read about recently, this is offered for a larger variety of rifles, including both short and long action Remington 700s and Savages.
- "New From Ralston Arms: Scavenger 6 Survival Rifle"--The Truth About Guns. From what the article says, it sounds like this tool is still at a prototyping stage. Basically, though, it uses a 6 round cylinder approximately 7 inches or so in length. The reason for the length is that each cylinder is for a different caliber, and so the bore on each cylinder is not just the chamber, but also the barrel for that particular round. Presumably, to comply with Federal regulations, it also has a "barrel," which I assume is merely a tube intended to merely add length to the firearm, but serving no other purpose. Different cylinders (with a different selection of calibers) will be available. This is, of course, a weapon intended for a survivalist who literally would like to use whatever ammunition he could find. In my view, it seems wholly impractical: too heavy, too slow to reload, and too specialized in its purpose.
- "What’s NOT At Remington"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel F. poked around the Remington booth(s) at Shot Show, and describes what he found. But, for those of us that have been waiting for the R51, the disappointing news is what was not there: "Not a single R51 was present at the Remington booth in 2016. I asked a representative why, and his answer was disappointing, but – I thought – very sober: 'We don’t want to show it again until it’s ready. It’ll be done when it’s done.' Funnily, there was an original Model 51 represented in the mini-museum (but alas I did not get photos of it)." Remington has not been very good about releasing updates on the R51, so I'm thankful that Nathaniel took the time to find out what was going on.
- "New From Brigand Arms: The Lightest AR Handguard in the World"--The Truth About Guns.
- "This Is My Rifle. There Are Many Like It, But This One Is Mine."--A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver. "I think most serious shooters have a gun like that, one indistinguishable from a hundred thousand others to the casual observer, but nonetheless like Dumbo’s magic feather to the shooter who treasures it."
- "The Birth Of The PetroYuan (In 2 Pictures)"--Zero Hedge. Oil will no longer sold only denominated in dollars. The end of the PetroDollar, and, potentially (and probably our Dear Leader's hope), the end of the dominance of the Dollar for international trade.
- "Have we just invaded Syria."--SNAFU. "US troops have taken control of Rmeilan airfield in Syria's northern province of Hasakah to support Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Al Jazeera."
- "'I decapitate you' Women workers threatened and forced to DRESS DOWN at refugee centre"--Express. Multiculturalism meets reality. From the article:
At first she said was enthusiastic in her role of helping process tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Germany on a weekly basis.
Now, she says she is disillusioned, disheartened and on the verge of quitting due to demands and sexual harrassment.
* * *
"First of all, many of them are extremely demanding. They come to me and ask to get an apartment and a fancy car and, best of all, even a really good job for them.
"If I try to explain to them that's not possible, they are often noisy or even really aggressive.
* * *
She said she has also been horrified by refugees attitudes towards women.
She said: "It is well known that it is mainly single men who come here - about 65 per cent, many less than 25-years-old.
"And some of them do not respect women at all. They accept that we're there but they don't take us seriously at all.
"If I tell them or give them a statement, as a woman they barely listen to me, dismiss it as irrelevant and just contact one of our male colleagues
* * *
She said she has gone from wearing close-fitting clothes to "wide-cut trousers" and tops with high necklines. She also wears little make-up.
She added she has also made mental changes, adding: "I avoid, for example, going to those places at our site where I know single men gather.
"And if I do have some business there I try to get through it very quickly and smile.
"But mostly I spend all day if possible in my little office. And I no longer go by train to work or back - because the other day a colleague of mine was pursued by some of the young men and harassed, even in the railway carriage.
"I spare myself that and come to work in the car.
"I think it's horrible that I do this and I consider it necessary. But what should I do, what would be the alternative?"
The upset worker went on to claim information given by the refugees is often unreliable.
She said their papers and their story regularly do not match up.
* * *
- "Global Persecution of Christians More Extreme Than Ever"--Archbishop Cranmer. "In Africa and the Middle East well over 100 million Christians are persecuted because of their beliefs. But India too is seeing persecution levels rise dramatically with the religious freedom of over 200 million people severely threatened by a new wave of Hindu nationalist electoral successes that have seen the introduction of drastic anti-conversion laws. Pastors have been beaten and killed, and members of their congregations forced to convert to Hinduism in an increasing number of attacks across the country. On average a church is burned down or a pastor beaten three times a week."
- "The Government Poisoned Flint’s Water—So Stop Blaming Everyone Else"--Reason. The problems apparently stem from a decision to seek a more efficient, cheaper water supply. But, as the author points out, the only reason that the city was seeking cheaper water is because it is heavily indebted, including unbearable public pension costs.
- "Baby fed only almond milk develops SCURVY: Infant's bones were so weak he was unable to stand up"--Daily Mail. "The Spanish infant had been drinking almond milk since he was two-and-a-half months old after developing an allergy to a cow's milk formula." My wife and I had a couple of our kids that had an allergy to cow's milk. The solution was goat's milk. Going vegan is dangerous for children.
- "Nazi Genocide Rooted in Hitler's Belief of a Global Ecological Crisis (One Caused by the Jews)"--No Pasaran. Plausible.
- "More ominous than a strike."--Dalrock. This is a post from January 2014, but more relevant than ever. The author is addressing the thesis of Dr. Helen Smith's book, Men on Strike, which argues that marriage rates are dropping because of the legal and financial obligations of marriage have become too risky for the reward. Dalrock believes that Smith's thesis needs to be slightly tweaked, and explains:
A strike can be negotiated with; offer them a bit more and they’ll get back to work. Better yet, offer a few of them a side deal and break the cohesion. True strikes require moral or legal force to avoid this sort of peeling off. The problem for the modern West is far worse. What we are seeing isn’t men throwing a collective temper tantrum, noble or otherwise. What we are seeing is men responding to incentives. Even worse, inertia has delayed the response to incentives, which means much more adjustment is likely on the way.
There was an old joke in the Soviet Union to the effect of:
We pretend to work. They pretend to pay us.
The problem for the Soviets was this wasn’t a movement. They knew how to handle a movement, and Siberia had plenty of room above ground and below. The Soviets were masters at coercion through fear, but the problem wasn’t a rebellion, it was that they had reached the limits of incentive through fear. ...
He goes on to argue that this is precisely what has happened with family courts and the award of child support and alimony. The court may set a quota (i.e., require the ex-husband to continue earning at least what he currently makes), but there is no incentive for the ex-husband to work harder. The reduced incentive to work harder spills over into younger men that are not yet married.
... When the average woman marries in her late teens or even her early twenties, the average young man will see himself as competing with his peers for the job of husband. Not only is he competing to not be left out of the game entirely, but he is jockeying for a better choice of wife. But move the age of marriage out far enough, and eventually young men don’t see themselves so clearly as competing for the job of husband. Extend the age of marriage far enough and eventually the culture of young men will be less focused on competing to signal provider status, and their priorities will shift (on the margin) toward slacking off. The question isn’t if this will happen, but how long you can push the age of marriage out before this starts to happen, how much this will reduce the motivation of young men, and how long between the change in reality and the change in culture. ...
(Underline added). Slacking off has serious consequences for the whole economy of a nation. Consequences that will eventually require changes to society.
- Update: "Last-Minute Guide to Prepping Your Home for a Snowstorm"--Realtor.com. The tips: (1) Turn off outside faucets; (2) Warm up your indoor pipes, too; (3) Clear your gutters; (4) Keep outside vents for heating systems clear of snow; and (5) Stock up on salt or sand, and put it down on walks and drives a couple hours before an expected snowfall.
- Update: "Tunisia Imposes Nationwhide Curfew Amid Spreading Unrest"--AP. The unrest is due to protests over high unemployment figures. The article indicates that one-third of young people in Tunisia are unemployed.
- Update: "‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks Thriving a Few Years After Financial Crisis"--New York Times.
These days, the “too big to fail” banks have less competition than ever, they get their raw material — cash from depositors — nearly free and they have never had more ways to make vast amounts of money.
In other words, despite the endless complaining about how difficult Washington has made things for bankers, we have entered a new Golden Age of Wall Street, where competition is minimal, profits will continue to be high (as long as the economy continues its rebound) and regulation, while present as never before, can be “managed” as just another cost of doing business.
No wonder the chief executives of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are in no hurry to give up their posts, much to the frustration of their direct reports. It’s another surprising consequence of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression: Wall Street chiefs who stick around.