Friday, February 26, 2016

A Quick Run Around the Web -- February 26, 2016

Source: "45 mile wide frozen canyons and giant two mile deep pits of Pluto's mysterious 'yellow' north pole revealed in stunning new image"--Daily Mail.

  • First off today, Active Response Training's "Weekend Knowledge Dump."  A couple articles cited to therein particularly caught my attention:
  • "Open Carry: There Are No More Excuses For It," from Breach Bang Clear. I've been somewhat ambivalent about the open carry movement for a couple of reasons: first, open carry is legal in Idaho, where I live; and second, I've generally associated it with open carry of a handgun, with which I have no objection (although I think it is tactically unwise). However, that is not what the foregoing article is about--it is discussing the open carry of rifles. The author of the piece writes: "OCing a rifle has never been a normal act in American society. We don’t have a tradition of walking around the neighborhood, mall, supermarket or school with a long gun. We arm up [with rifles] in times of crisis, and in some rural areas people carry rifles for specific reasons, but we don’t walk around with rifles 'just because'." The basic takeaway is that open carry of a rifle is so alarming that it is counter-productive.
  • "Electronic Stun Devices 101: What They Can and Cannot Do" from US Concealed Carry. A few weeks ago or so, I cited an article about a woman that was attacked by a rapist, used a stun gun on him, which apparently had no affect on him, even though she could smell something burning. I sarcastically observed that it was very unlike television where stun guns instantly incapacitate anyone. So, the information from the article is appreciated. Basically, the Contact Stun Devices (CSD--e.g., your standard stun gun) will not paralyze someone because the contacts (and thus the distance the electricity travels through the target's body) is very short, but can cause pain. This makes these devices less useful for police attempting to apprehend someone, but of some use to a victim trying to drive an attacker away. More effective are the Conducted Energy Weapons (CEW--e.g., Tasers) that shoot darts into a target. Because the darts spread in flight, they can actually strike far enough apart that the target will be immobilized by the electrical charge (but only for as long as a charge is being delivered). The downside is that both darts must strike and penetrate into the target's body.
  • "POTD: DIY Sheet Metal Self Loading Pistol"--The Firearms Blog. Someone took TFB up on its challenge to build a small semi-automatic pistol made from sheet metal. It actually looks quite nice.
  • "The Truth About Big Bore Bullets"--The Truth About Guns. Robert Farago argues that better terminal ballistics from a big bore firearm is a myth. After discussing some historical examples, he states: "All this proves that the 'big bore myth' is just that, a myth, because without adequate penetration and bullet placement caliber is meaningless." He also argues that the larger bore diameter means that big bore bullets slow down more when striking a target and, therefore, have less penetration. My own belief is that Farago is being overly simplistic. Farago is correct that the bullet needs to be able to reach the vitals of a target, which is a combination of penetration and accuracy. But, if you have both those, then the volume of tissue disruption comes into play. Otherwise, there would be no need to use anything but full metal jacket ammunition.
... it needs to be emphasized that the third bubble collapse of this century is imminent. That’s because both the global and domestic economy is cooling rapidly, meaning that recession is just around the corner.

Based on the common sense proposition that the nation’s 16 million employers send payroll tax withholding monies to the IRS based on actual labor hours utilized—-and without any regard for phantom jobs embedded in such BLS fantasies as birth/death adjustments and seasonal adjustments——my colleague Lee Adler reports that inflation-adjusted collections have dropped by 7-8% from prior year in the most recent four-week rolling average. [Emphasis in original].
    The panicky Chinese attempt to cover up bad news by suppressing the release of normal economic statistics is the worst possible sign for the future of the economy. It tells us that things are so bad that the authorities (who have all that inside information that they don’t want to share with other people) think that they lose less by hiding bad news than by revealing it.
      If we put that piece of information alongside the trend of rich people in China moving their money offshore by any means possible, an alarming conclusion is hard to resist: The people who know China best are the most bearish about where things are heading.
        And when you in turn add that to the growing evidence that Xi Jinping is cementing his personal authority and promoting a cult of personality, as well as to the news that China continues to put pressure on media and journalism, what you get is a strong sense that the authorities in Beijing are terrified by their country’s future prospects.

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