Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Source: "Hungry to know what earth would look like if humans left? Inside the abandoned mills hidden in a deep gorge that fed Italy's pasta industry"--Daily Mail.

  • TGIF: A new Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training.
  • "The Riotgun And The Bayonet"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author suggests that this is the best weapon combination for dealing with mobs and rioters. The shotgun is impressive and quite good at close distances. And the bayonet? It is good for when you run out of ammunition, as well as having an effective psychological impact--no one wants to be cut or stabbed. In  his book, Fighting Submachine Gun, Machine Pistol, and Shotgun: A Hands-On Evaluation, author Timothy Mullin related the observation of an acquaintance of his that had served in WWII that a submachine gun with a bayonet was the best weapon for controlling prisoners. Apparently the only shotgun offering a bayonet lug, however, is the Mossberg M590A1.
  • "Gear Review: Crux Ordnance GLOCK Extended Magazine Release"--The Truth About Guns. The author believes it is a much better release than the factory Gen. 4 magazine releases.
  • "USPTO: FN Silencers, QD Pistol System And More"--The Firearms Blog. A look at some recent patent applications pertaining to silencers/sound suppressors.
  • Boots: "Long Term, Hard Use Footware"--Loose Rounds. Recommendations as to specific brands of boots that will last the end of days.
  • Blasphemy! "My Take on Bruce Lee"--Schafer's Self-Defense Corner. He begins:
There is no doubt the impact that Bruce Lee had on the martial arts world and cinema in general.  Even though he died in 1973 he still appears on magazine covers and people are still making movies and videos about him and his teachings.  There is no doubt that the practice of martial arts would not be so widespread and popular today if it wasn’t for him.  For that, we all owe Bruce Lee a debt of thanks.
    That being said, I never cared for Bruce Lee.  Even though being a lifelong martial artist I’m not only expected to revere him but also get a partial erection at the mention of his name I have never been a Bruce Lee fan, in fact I’m more of a Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris guy.
      “When there’s significant seismicity in this area of the fault, we kind of wonder if it is somehow going to go active,” said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson. “So maybe one of those small earthquakes that’s happening in the neighborhood of the fault is going to trigger it, and set off the big event.”
        And that could set the first domino off on the San Andreas fault, unzipping the fault from Imperial County through Los Angeles County, spreading devastating shaking waves throughout the southern half of California in a monster 7.8 earthquake.
          “The southern San Andreas is actually seismically fairly quiet. It doesn’t really make noise. So to have something right next to the main strand making a little noise — you have to pay attention to how it might be transferring stress onto the main strand of the fault,” said USGS research geologist Kate Scharer.
            And the problem with the southern San Andreas fault — the stretch from Monterey County to the Salton Sea — is that when it goes, it’s probably going to go big, such as with a magnitude-7 or higher quake, Scharer said.
              James Duane doesn't think you should ever talk to the police. Not just, "Don't talk to the police if you're accused of a crime," or, "Don't talk to the police in an interrogation setting"—never talk to the cops, period. If you are found doing something suspicious by an officer (say, breaking into your own house because you locked yourself outside), you are legally obligated to tell the cop your name and what you're doing at that very moment.
                Other than that, Duane says, you should fall back on four short words: "I want a lawyer."
                  In 2008, Duane, a professor at Virginia's Regent Law School, gave a lecture about the risks of talking to police that was filmed and posted to YouTube. It's since been viewed millions of times, enjoying a new viral boost after the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer spurred interest in false confessions. His argument, which he's since expanded into a new book called You Have the Right to Remain Innocent, is that even if you haven't committed a crime, it's dangerous to tell the police any information. You might make mistakes when explaining where you were at the time of a crime that the police interpret as lies; the officer talking to you could misremember what you say much later; you may be tricked into saying the wrong things by cops under no obligation to tell you the truth; and your statements to police could, in combination with faulty eyewitness accounts, shoddy "expert" testimony, and sheer bad luck, lead to you being convicted of a serious crime.
                    It is coming. One day rioting blacks will try to loot the wrong store, burn the wrong house, beat the wrong white man, and hell will cut loose. Talking about law-abiding blacks, law-abiding whites, will make no difference at all. There were law-abiding Protestants, law-abiding Catholics in Ireland. Did that stop the violence?
                      Three solutions, or ameliorations, offer themselves: Repression of rioting and enforcement of the law. Segregation. And having it go on forever or blow up hugely. Choose. Refusal to choose selects option three.
                        The problem is not racist police. It is racist blacks. Whites are not burning the businesses of blacks. White people are not sacking the stores of blacks. White people are not calling for the burning of black suburbs. White people do not play the Knockout game.
                          We are blaming the victims. 
                           Unfortunately, Reed sees no peaceful long-term solution, writing:
                          The bedrock problem, which most know but none dare speak, is that blacks cannot, or assuredly do not,  perform at the level of whites. Exceptions, yes, but the exceptions are exceptions. They never have performed, not in Africa, not in Haiti or Jamaica, not in Detroit. It is a frightful truth, but a truth. They know it. We know it. Liberals know it. Conservatives know it. No amount of pretending can change it. No amount of rabid ideological egalitarianism, of holding our breath and turning blue, will produce different results.
                          Read the whole thing.
                          • On the other hand, in "Tribes, by Robert Gore," Gore argues that Blacks have been done in by the devotion to tribal politics (i.e., identity politics) and its attendant call for collectivism. He writes:
                          Unfortunately, the individual rights basis of US law has been eroding since the ink dried on the Constitution, replaced by the only alternative: collectivism. By the 1960s, the legal right of the unproductive to exact goods and services from the productive was well enshrined. However, the war on poverty has actually been a war on the impoverished, including a substantial portion of the black population. Handing people the coerced fruits of other people’s labor makes the recipients parties to theft, and it’s all downhill from there. Incentives for self-improvement are destroyed, dependency takes hold, self-respect vanishes, and social pathologies effloresce.
                            Legal mandates justified by Orwellian newspeak treat black and other minorities as “more equal” that the unfavored. Based on statistical disparities and as a compensatory measure for “historical injustice,” standards have been lowered and preferences instituted: present discrimination as the remedy for past discrimination. Blameless individuals are penalized and beneficiaries compensated for sins committed before they were born. Risibly, proponents of these measures decry resentment harbored by the former towards the latter.
                              Receiving the unearned and undeserved hinders rather than helps the recipients, and renders them beholden and subservient to their patrons. Blacks have been the most doggedly loyal supporters of the Democratic Party and its collectivist tenets since the 1960s. As a group their status relative to other groups has not improved; by many measures it has deteriorated. These trends continued during the tenure of the first black president, which should come as no surprise. President Obama is a committed collectivist. Everything he has done, particularly Obamacare, has been consistent with his core philosophy and has had its characteristically destructive impact.
                              His opinion is that to succeed, Blacks need to abandon collectivism for individual rights (and responsibility).

                              Thursday, September 29, 2016

                              September 29, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                              Source: "Haunting look inside abandoned prison where The Green Mile was filmed shows how it is falling apart since being closed two decades ago"--Daily Mail.

                              Training in a martial art is not the same thing as training for violence. Not at all, and this for years has been one of my blindspots. I had assumed that in the end everyone was training for the dark day when they may have to use the skills. From that point of view much of the training was counter-productive. Some was senseless. Some things were jettisoned that worked in real life but not in play and some things were incorporated that worked in play but not in real life.
                              The author goes on to list 4 elements that a technique must satisfy to be valid on the street: (1)  anything you teach must have a tactical use; (2)  it must work moving or standing still; (3) it must work whether you can see or not; and (4) the technique must work when you are scared, under an adrenaline dump. Read the whole thing.
                              • "Where is your line in the sand?"--Survival UK. Thought exercises are excellent training devices, and the author of this piece proposes a thought experiment as to situations when you would be willing to use deadly force. He begins by noting:
                              So the question is how far will you go to defend you and your families lives? It isn’t a trick question and you need to be brutally honest as it will make a big difference to your preps.
                                If you are willing to defend your stuff you must know how far you are willing to go. Where will you stop in a fight, will you be prepared to set traps for invaders willing to kill. Will you be able to kill someone that is a clear and present threat to you and yours?
                                  Most of us say ‘Yes’ they would do anything for their families but in my experience many people talk a good fight but in reality they will buckle under the threat and leave themselves and their families exposed.
                                    Thinking you can do something means you plan for that so if you fail to act then your planning is for nought. It is much better to be honest and your thoughts must be used to evaluate your preps. If you are going to just roll over and let invaders take what they want then you need to spread your preps about and hide them well. Hiding yourself and your family as well. If you are a stone killer then you can potentially defend a single cache against all but a mob.
                                      Most of us will fit somewhere in the middle where we will have no issue with defending ourselves against a invader with wild eyes intent on killing and eating us. While most will not want to do anything against a young teenager although that person is still a threat to us. At the very least they can harm us or even worse announce our status to the world and how long do you think you will be able to keep secure then.
                                      He then lays out 19 basic scenarios (mostly focused around the type of home invader) for your consideration. Read them and figure out what you would do.
                                      • The Gods of the Copybook Headings always prevail in the end: 
                                      • Hmm. "Utah man may have contracted Zika from dying father's tears, sweat"--CBS News. You may remember the incident of an older man in Utah that died and was found to have extraordinary levels of the virus in his blood stream. One of his relatives apparently caught the disease, but without signs of transfer via blood. This is the current hypothesis about how it might have spread.
                                      • Words to the wise: "Get To Know Your Neighbors"--Dirt Time. The author writes: "In an emergency, your neighbors are your family. Get to know them, now, not later. Get back to our roots of neighbors helping neighbors, and learn to share and support among yourselves. That is our tradition, and that is what made this country great."
                                      • "India says it has carried out 'surgical strikes' against militants across Kashmir frontier"--Chicago Tribune. The article reports that "India said Thursday it carried out 'surgical strikes' against militants across the highly militarized frontier that divides the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan, in an exchange that escalated tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors." The strikes were in response to a recent attack on an Indian military base.
                                      The article goes on to report:
                                        Indian officials gave few details about the strikes across the disputed border late Wednesday night.
                                          "Significant casualties were caused to the terrorists and those who support them," Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, director general of military operations for the Indian Army, told reporters in New Delhi. Singh said the operations were over and India has no plans for more strikes. He said he shared details of the strikes with his Pakistani counterpart.
                                            Indian soldiers traveling on foot crossed the Line of Control into the Pakistani-controlled portion to attack several targets based on intelligence about imminent attacks, said a high-ranking Indian official who would only brief reporters on condition of anonymity. He said the Indian forces killed at least 10 people before retreating back into Indian-controlled territory. The Indian soldiers suffered no losses, he said.
                                              Interestingly, the Pakistani government denied that there had been any incursion, which I interpret as a face-saving way of saying that they were not going to do anything in response.
                                                The first humans were about as violent as could be expected based on their family tree, researchers report September 28 in the journal Nature. The scientists pored through examples of lethal violence—not animals killing other species, such as predators and prey, but killings within a species, whether by cannibalism, infanticide, or aggression.
                                                  They looked for evidence of this ghastly activity among four million recorded deaths in more than a thousand different mammals, from shrews to primates. On top of that, they compiled a history of human slayings.
                                                    One pattern stood out pretty clearly: Lethal violence increased over the course of mammal evolution. While only about 0.3 percent of all mammals die in conflict with members of their own species, that rate is sixfold higher, or about 2 percent, for primates. Early humans likewise should have about a 2 percent rate—and that lines up with evidence of violence in Paleolithic human remains.
                                                      The medieval period was a particular killer, with human-on-human violence responsible for 12 percent of recorded deaths. But for the last century, we’ve been relatively peaceable, killing one another off at a rate of just 1.33 percent worldwide. And in the least violent parts of the world today, we enjoy homicide rates as low as 0.01 percent.
                                                        The most homicidal mammal? According to an article from The Atlantic concerning this same research, it is the meerkat, with nearly 20% killed by their own species.

                                                        If You Are Trapped By A Mob, You Are Probably On Your Own

                                                        You need to read an article from Heat Street entitled "Charlotte Horror: How Trapped Drivers Pleaded with 911 to Rescue Them From Seething Mob." The basic take away is that several drivers whose vehicles were targeted by the rioters had called 911 begging for help, and the best that could be done for them was for the 911 operator to tell them to keep driving in order to get out of the affected area. In addition to reporting on specific calls to emergency services, as recorded by the 911 dispatchers, the article also notes:
                                                        Truckers also reported that rioters had started fires on the highway. That made a getaway in the truck impossible, and leaving the truck on foot too dangerous. 
                                                        According to police, the demonstrators held vehicles on I-85 at bay for nearly two hours, shutting down all lanes of traffic and horrifying trapped motorists. Reports indicate the police were able to finally clear the highway a little after 3am, and only by firing tear gas into the rampaging crowd.

                                                        Woman Gets Punched Outside Venice Grocery Store

                                                        Although most of the You-Tube videos on this incident show only the outside security camera footage, the TV news report above also includes some footage inside the grocery store that showed the man and the woman arguing prior to leaving the store. In any event, after their spat inside the store, as they leave, the woman decides to have the last word and gets punched in return. This video illustrates once again that the number one sign you are about to get involved in a fight is that you are being an a**hole.

                                                        Generally, a person that incites violence or escalates a conflict, such as through taunting or insulting another person, bears some responsibility for the attack. Even if the incitement does not go so far as to constitute "fighting words," the jury (whether at a criminal trial or subsequent civil litigation) will likely assign some of the blame on the person that incited or escalated the conflict. Perhaps more significantly, in many jurisdictions, using provocative language may be sufficient for the speaker to lose the right to claim self-defense. (See, for instance, People v. Barnard, 208 Ill.App.3d 342, 350 (1991) ("[M]ere words may be enough to qualify one as an initial aggressor.")). This is why a person that carries a concealed weapon must be careful not to provoke or escalate a dispute to violence. 

                                                        Unfortunately, current society has a double standard when it comes to women, and women are generally absolved of responsibility for inciting violence. If you don't believe me, imagine that the situation had been reversed: that is, the man had been haranguing the woman; the man then walks out of the store and waits for the woman in order to hurl once last jibe or insult, and the woman, in turn, slaps or punches the man. She would be considered brave; comments would be various forms of "go girl," or "he deserved it." This double standard is what remains of prior social rules governing the conduct of gentlemen and ladies that placed responsibilities on both parties to control and restrain their conduct. In today's society, though, women are not held accountable to act as ladies, although men are still expected to act as gentlemen when it comes to their treatment of women. 

                                                        Wednesday, September 28, 2016

                                                        September 28, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                        • "Carrying a Pocket Pistol"--Handguns. Although this article addresses carrying a pistol small enough to fit in your pocket, including caliber choices and the pro's and con's to such small handguns, it also discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages to actually carrying a firearm in a pocket. The author writes, in that regard:
                                                        For those who may be considering carrying a pocket pistol, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of this carry method. First, let’s consider some of the advantages to carrying a pocket pistol.
                                                        Pocket-carried pistols are lightweight, easy to conceal and convenient to bear. Pocket pistol carry doesn’t require the use of an over-garment, nor will you have to endure the discomfort sometimes associated with waistline carry, particularly with extended periods of sitting.

                                                          A small pocket pistol can be easily slipped into a pocket regardless of weather conditions and takes virtually no time to don. The convenience of pocket carry means you’ll probably carry your gun more often.

                                                            Even when carrying a pocket pistol, however, there are a few clothing-related issues to consider. First, you’ll want to wear pants substantial enough both to accommodate the weight of your gun and to mask the outline of your holstered gun to some degree. Jeans are ideal, dress pants might work, and fortunately, yoga pants don’t have pockets.

                                                              Wear pants with a pocket opening wide enough to allow you to access your pocket pistol easily. Even though you won’t need a belt to attach your holster to, wearing a belt with pocket carry is still a good idea because it helps prevent the weight of your holstered pocket pistol from causing your pants to sag, which could garner unwanted attention.

                                                                You can also tote a small pistol in a cargo pocket of your pants or shorts. Cargo pockets are larger, and therefore it is easier to get to your gun. But it’s also more likely your holster will move in your pocket in such a way that your pocket pistol is not properly oriented.

                                                                  Also, since cargo pockets tend to be so much bigger than a front pants pocket, having the holster adhere to the pocket during your draw stroke is more problematic.

                                                                    In cold weather, coat pocket carry may be a viable option. This is certainly a specialized carry method, often incorporating a double-action snubnose revolver.

                                                                      If you’re using a snubnose revolver, you can get away without using a holster because of the heavy, long double-action trigger and because there’s no slide to get bound up inside the pocket. The idea here is you could actually shoot through your coat pocket without drawing because you can orient the gun parallel to the ground while in the coat pocket.
                                                                        If you’re carrying a semiauto pocket pistol in that coat pocket, you’re going to have to use a holster, and of course, you won’t be shooting without first drawing the pistol out of the holster and out of the pocket.
                                                                        • "‘In The Air’ With The CCI 9mm BIG 4 Shotshells"--The Firearms Blog. The author tries, and fails, to shoot a pigeon using these new shotshells with larger shot. The problem, of course, is that the rifling in the barrel destroys any tight patterning needed for killing a bird, and there just isn't enough pellets or propellant for the distances involved. In short, these types of rounds are only effective at a few feet or less. I know that, at least in the past, that there were those that believed that these rounds might be good for self-defense. If you are one of those, put the thought out of your mind. These shotshell rounds lack the power to kill small, thin-skinned animals beyond even a few feet: they will not work against a human. 
                                                                        • "Reloading Techniques for Your Handgun"--Handguns. A primmer for reloading both a revolver and semi-auto pistol.
                                                                        • "NEW Authentic Molot Factory AKs From K-VAR"--The Firearms Blog. Somehow they have figured out how to get parts in notwithstanding the current sanctions against Russia. Perhaps the sanctions don't extend to Molot? Small consolation for those of us that would like to see some of the new products from Kalashnikov be imported.
                                                                        • R-selection at its worst: "Aid Workers Accused of Rampant Sex With Migrants in Calais ‘Jungle Camp’"--Heat Street. Interestingly, it appears that most of the aid workers involved in the scandal are women.
                                                                        • "Don’t Look Now, but the Global Oil Surplus Just Tripled"--American Interest. The author of the piece notes:
                                                                        ... it’s worth taking a step back to look at the bigger energy picture here: the world is awash in oil (and natural gas too, for that matter), and those cheap hydrocarbon inputs will be welcomed by all sectors of the global economy besides, of course, the oil and gas industry. Moreover, it bodes well for future global energy security that after all the peak oil hand wringing, suppliers around the world keep finding and extracting more and more of one of civilization’s most important commodities.
                                                                        • Related: "How Cheap Crude Is Hurting Saudi Arabia"--American Interest. According to the article, not only is the sharp drop in oil revenue resulting in job losses in the construction sector of the Saudi market (which is not that significant since most of the workers are foreigners), but also hitting the Saudi middle-class. How so? According to an article from Reuters on the same topic, two-thirds (2/3) of working Saudis are employed by the government, and the government is cutting their wages and benefits.
                                                                        Researchers analyzed temperature observations from satellites, weather balloons, weather stations and buoys and found the so-called “tropical hotspot” relied upon by the EPA to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant “simply does not exist in the real world.”
                                                                          They found that once El Ninos are taken into account, “there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about.”
                                                                           Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company that specializes in underground bunkers and services scores of Los Angeles residences, says that sales at the most upscale end of the market — mainly to actors, pro athletes and politicians (who require signed NDAs) — have increased 700 percent this year compared with 2015, and overall sales have risen 150 percent. 
                                                                          The article has some photographs of various features of some of the bunkers, including secret doors to access the bunker, living and recreation quarters, garages, etc. 
                                                                          There is no possible solution for African-American angst in America. No matter what we do — trillions in welfare, lawsuits, benefits, affirmative action and draconian civil rights laws — they will always know that this society was founded by people other than them, designed for people other than them, and that African-Americans are only here because they were sold in Africa to slave traders for use as farm labor here.
                                                                            Even with a black President, and former black Secretaries of Defense and State, with black Supreme Court justices and Martin Luther King Jr. as our official American Gandhi, black discontent roils. It does so not because of poverty, but because of the denial of pride.
                                                                              For African-Americans, or any other population, to have pride in their nation they need to know it was founded by them, designed for them, and ruled by them since its creation. They need to have a sense of belonging that comes only from being the group that is the nation, and not one group of many, especially not one whose original utility was as chattel labor.
                                                                                No matter what we do in response to this latest shooting and the resulting riots, nothing can ever be done that will make African-Americans happy, because the condition of their unhappiness is created by diversity.

                                                                                Tuesday, September 27, 2016

                                                                                September 27, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                Source: "It's the wild, wild EAST: Beijing's abandoned Western film sets created when Communist Party bosses banned Hollywood cowboy flicks and told Chinese directors to make their own"--Daily Mail.

                                                                                • Related: "Contact Medicine"--Brushbeater. The author notes that "If you’re planning on taking up arms, plan on getting hurt." The article discusses training and equipment for an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK).
                                                                                (H/t for both articles: Western Rifle Shooting Assoc.)
                                                                                • "Violent crime and murders both went up in 2015, FBI says"-- from today's Washington Post. From the article: "Homicides in the United States went up by more than 10 percent in 2015 over the year before, while violent crime increased by nearly 4 percent in the same period, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI."
                                                                                Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Developmental Company Limited (DHID), as well as its chairwoman Ma Xiaohong and three top executives, were charged with conspiring to evade sanctions against North Korea, including by facilitating money laundering through U.S. financial institutions.

                                                                                  DHID also is under investigation by Chinese authorities for its connection with Kwangson Banking Corporation, a North Korean bank suspected of financing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Ma Xiaohong was detained by Chinese authorities last month.
                                                                                  But there is more to the story than just money laundering. According to a recent YouTube episode of China Uncensored, DHID is also implicated in transferring materials to North Korea that are necessary for enriching uranium. 
                                                                                  I think China has been very foolish to trust North Korea with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. After all, based on the close ties between the two countries, it is more likely that North Korea will attack China than it will attack the United States.
                                                                                    The tide of economic migrants from the Third World to the First World is ever-increasing, because the populations of Third World countries have increased so drastically that they have no expectation of anything worthwhile if they stay there.  There will never be enough jobs, enough social support structures, enough housing, enough health care, to meet their needs:  so they're trying to move to a place that can offer them those things.  Unfortunately, by seeking to leech off the American or European taxpayer, they're imposing an impossible burden on us - one that's completely unsustainable.
                                                                                      That's what this election is all about.  If we allow Hillary Clinton's policies to prevail, the Third World will be all around us within a few years (it already is, in some parts of this country).  America will be dragged down - economically, socially, and in due course politically - to the level of most of South America.  If Donald Trump's policies prevail, the tide may yet be stemmed, and even, perhaps, reversed.  I'm not at all sure that Mr. Trump will make a good President;  but I am sure that in this area at least, the policies he's expressed are light years ahead of his opponent's.
                                                                                      • "When Resources Are Free – Bribing Turkey To Not Send Migrants"--Anonymous Conservative. AC writes about the EU's plan to send cash grants to Syrian refugees in Turkey, in exchange for which Turkey will (supposedly) restrict the flow of refugees into Europe. Besides noting that the funds will be siphoned off due to corruption, many of the refugees receiving the benefits won't actually be Syrian, and that Turkey will still not curb the migration to Europe, AC also notes that this is an r-strategy that will end as resources dry up:
                                                                                        But the idea – buying what you should really be killing for – is the thing of interest. In times of K, migrants would be sunk in their boats, Erdogan would be assassinated if he didn’t stop it, and nobody would think twice about it. The number of times in history that Turks or Persians headed toward Europe proper, and were killed with nary a thought is beyond comprehension.
                                                                                          But not today. Today, Erdogan threatens to let migrants leave, and Europe will send all sorts of earned European taxpayer money to him, for a solution that will only make the problem worse later. That can only happen in times or r-selection, when the brain adapts to avoid conflict at all costs, and assume resources will always be free.
                                                                                          • "Darwin Unhinged: The Bugs in Evolution"--Fred On Everything. Fred Reed has a somewhat lengthy, but interesting--humorous at times--post regarding some of the intractable problems with evolution and why he believes it is a religious belief rather than science. He notes:
                                                                                          First, plausibility was accepted as being equivalent to evidence. And of course the less you know, the greater the number of things that are plausible, because there are fewer facts to get in the way. Again and again evolutionists assumed that suggesting how something might have happened was equivalent to establishing how it had happened. Asking them for evidence usually aroused annoyance and sometimes, if persisted in, hostility.
                                                                                          Second, evolution seemed more a metaphysics or ideology than a science. The sciences, as I knew them, gave clear answers. Evolution involved intense faith in fuzzy principles. You demonstrated chemistry, but believed evolution.
                                                                                          But mostly Reed discusses the statistical impossibility for life to form let alone overcome the intractable problem of "irreducible complexity": i.e., "the frequently observed existence in living organisms of systems that depend for their functioning on the simultaneous presence of things that would be either useless or detrimental by themselves, and thus make no evolutionary sense." In addition, it is clear that evolutionary pressures (e.g., "survival of the fittest") does not adequately explain why certain characteristics are present (or absent) from many creatures.
                                                                                          Reed does not seek to completely refute evolution nor does he accept standard "creationism" (obviously, the fossil record shows that some changes have occurred); rather, he argues that evolution is not science because it cannot demonstrably explain what it purports to explain. 
                                                                                          • "I'm spiking the guns here on Sipsey Street Irregulars"--Sipsey Street Irregulars. Matthew writes: "A couple of days ago, I received some news that ended up shaking me to my very core.  After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to close the doors of the Sipsey Street Irregulars.  ..." Sounds like it might be a health issue. Best of luck to him.

                                                                                          Using the Flex-Hone on a Winchester 92 Clone

                                                                                          Some of you may remember that earlier this year, I had tried handloading the the Hornady FTX Bullet in .44 Magnum for use in a Rossi "Puma" Model 92 lever action (a Winchester 92 clone). When I shot some of the handloads, I discovered evidence of too high of pressures. I planned on reducing the loads and trying again, which required me to pull the bullets from the remaining cartridges (at least from the rounds wherein I had used 2400 powder).

                                                                                          I haven't returned to the project yet, however, because of something else I found when examining the shell casings of the rounds I had fired. I had noticed that extraction was sometimes difficult with this firearm, and was extremely difficult with a few of the high pressure rounds. In examining the cases, which had fire-formed to reflect the walls of the chamber, I discovered some ridges indicating that the chamber was not as smooth and polished as it should be. So, before testing any other loads, I decided to see about polishing the chamber.

                                                                                          Although there are instructions on the internet for making your own polishing tool using emery cloth and a spent casing, in looking around I found a product specifically for polishing chambers: the Flex-Hone.

                                                                                          The Flex Hone (unused).
                                                                                          I purchased my Flex-Hone through Midway, but I'm sure that other sellers carry it. Basically, it is a brush of the appropriate diameter with abrasive beads on the ends of each wire tip. The brushes are available in 400 or 800 grit, depending on the application. I would note that Flex-Hones are available not only for polishing chambers, but also for smoothing and polishing shotgun barrels. Obviously, they are available for different calibers and gauges, as well as different lengths. This particular brush was supposed to be the rifle-length brush for the .44 Magnum, but it is still fairly short.

                                                                                          The Flex-Hone is intended to insert into a drill, with oil applied to the brush, and the brush run at speed in the chamber. The brush needs to already be rotating as you insert it into the chamber, and moved back and forth during the polishing process. The depth that it needs to be inserted depends on the firearm, but you want to make sure you do not contact the rifling in the barrel. I used a spent shell casing to gauge how far I could insert the brush.

                                                                                          The Flex-Hone manufacturer recommended using its proprietary oil, but since I hadn't ordered any with it, I turned to just standard cutting oil. Not knowing how much time I should take, I tried to err on the side of caution and only ran the drill for about a minute, figuring I would test it out and do more polishing if necessary.

                                                                                          Flex Hone in Drill with cutting oil.

                                                                                          In any event, to use the Flex-Hone, I had to disassemble the firearm in order to remove the bolt to allow easier access to the chamber. I won't go into details on disassembling the Model 92, but I relied on a video from Gun & Shot TV entitled "Rossi R92 50 Cent Action Job (Winchester 92 Clone)" that describes the disassembly and assembly process. (I have also embedded the video below). However, I do have a couple comments regarding reassembly of the firearm that are not covered in the video.

                                                                                          The problem with reassembling the firearm is getting the hammer assembly to fit together correctly with a cutout on the bottom of the bolt and the arms of the trigger assembly. The trigger spring on the 92 is also used as the catch on the sear, so it is easy to bind up the trigger if it is not inserted correctly. To make it more interesting, on my particular rifle at least, the fit of the grooves that guide the trigger assembly into place were tight enough that I needed a light mallet to tap it back into place.

                                                                                          In any event, after several failed attempts, I figured out that the correct method of reassembly required that the hammer be in a full upright position (i.e., resting against the back of the firing pin), and the trigger needs to be kept depressed (i.e., pulled to the rear) so the trigger spring/sear catch did not get caught up behind the hammer assembly or in one of the sear cuts. Also, the hammer spring needs to be on its guide rod and compressed so that the tip of the guide rod can be seated into its catch on the trigger assembly/bottom stock tang.

                                                                                          To compress the hammer spring (which is a coil spring), you should note that there is a tiny hole near the end of the guide rod. Insert a wire or pin (a regular size paper clip works perfect) all the way through so it extends past both edges of the spring, then twist the spring so it screws down along the wire. You want to compress it so about 1/8 inch or so of guide rod is exposed. To hold the trigger back, I recommend just wrapping a rubber band around the front of the trigger and run behind the projection into which the hammer spring seats, tightening it until the trigger is fully depressed. I'm sure a piece of string would also work.

                                                                                          If the bolt, the lever and the hammer assembly is positioned correctly, the trigger assembly/lower tang should slide into place without difficulty. Once it is in place and the screw/pin for the hammer and trigger assembly replaced, just remove the paper clip and the rubber band and everything should operate correctly. Then you can replace the butt stock and be done.

                                                                                          Monday, September 26, 2016

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

                                                                                          Source: "The ghosts of Asia's financial collapse: Mansions destined to belong to the super-rich lie abandoned in Bangkok following 1997 banking disaster"--Daily Mail. Not entirely abandoned--the article notes that squatters live in some of the mansions.

                                                                                          • "Oregon Can’t Postpone Judgment Day Forever"--American Interest. According to the article, Oregon has $22 billion in unfunded pension debt, and is facing an $855 million budget hit after the Oregon Supreme Court struck down proposed pension reforms. 
                                                                                          GOP nominee Donald Trump and Republicans might be counting on an "October surprise" of embarrassing material about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton obtained through Russian espionage against the Democratic Party, but what if the real October surprise is public disclosure of, or intelligence leaks about, the true extent of Russian espionage and, very possibly, possible Russian or pro-Russian Ukrainian financial relationships that could be a game-ending disaster for the Trump campaign?
                                                                                          Glenn Reynolds goes further, after noting an article about an investigation into ties between a Trump adviser and the Kremlin, and wonders if the Democrats (via the FBI) end October by indicting Trump and a bunch of his staff. I think I could safely predict that such an action would cause some social unrest. Would the Democrats (and Republican) establishment go this far? Maybe. As the Anonymous Conservative so ably states: "I have to think if this continues as it could, it would almost require some sort of countermeasure deployed by the elites, be it election hacking, or something more serious. I cannot imagine that they will surrender their power on some quaint principle like respect for the American electoral system."
                                                                                          Nick Cohen warns in the Guardian that the "new elite" for so long unchallenged is now facing its self-generated Nemesis: "the often demagogic and always deceitful nationalism ... of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin." He explains that while part of the blame must lie with orthodox leftists "who respond to the challenge of argument by screaming for the police to arrest the politically incorrect or for universities to ban speakers," things have gone altogether too far in the other direction to ignore. "Only true liberalism can thwart the demagogues" now he writes. Otherwise the upstarts might gain power and treat the globalist elites exactly the way they treated others. 
                                                                                          The strategy of "by any means necessary" appeals to the militants confident they possess the truth and are on the "right side of history." For them the rules are made to be broken. They could cheat because history gave them license to. "By any means necessary is a translation of a phrase used by the French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre in his play Dirty Hands. It entered the popular civil rights culture through a speech given by Malcolm X at the Organization of Afro-American Unity Founding Rally on June 28, 1964. It is generally considered to leave open all available tactics for the desired ends, including violence."
                                                                                          The problem is that the strategy works when only one side employs it. When both sides employ it equally, they become locked in a race to the bottom. ...

                                                                                          TFB--"Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis"

                                                                                          The Firearms Blog has posted a review of the Matador Arms SKS Sabertooth Chassis. (There are photos in the TFB review, or more photos at Matador Arms' website). Basically, this is an aluminum "chassis" designed to hold the guts of an SKS, and provides a fore-grip that sports Picatinny rails. The system is designed to accept AR pistol grips (none are provided with the system) and take an AR butt stock (I assume you will have to also purchase the buffer tube). As you can see, it is designed to take the "duck-bill" detachable magazines designed for the SKS (I presume, but don't know, that it can be used with the fixed 10-round magazine) (Update: after reviewing the information on the distributors website, the chassis will NOT work with the original fixed 10-round magazine)**. (Matador Arms has a Mark II model that works with the original 10 round magazine).*** Other accessories are available, including a top sight rail to fit over the bolt assembly for mounting a scope or moving a red-dot back closer to your eyes, and an extended magazine release. The chassis is available in black, flat-dark earth, and woodland digital camo according to Matador's website. Weight is 2.2 lbs., and the price is about $250 from the company's U.S. dealer.

                                                                                          Based on appearances, this appears to be the best after-market stock system I've seen for the SKS, offering a solid platform for mounting optics or other items on the front end of the weapon, and opening up a large field of different options as to the rear stock and pistol grip. The magazine well is probably a nice feature, as I imagine it assists in correctly aligning the magazine for seating.

                                                                                          However, as I noted in my earlier review of the SKS, from the perspective of survival preparations, I question the value of spending substantial amounts of money upgrading the SKS in order to turn it into something that it is not--a modern sporting rifle. The exception I see would be if you had a substantial amount already invested in the weapon system (ammunition, extra magazines, and so forth). In that case, the potential for increasing accuracy due to the rigid chassis* and the added options that this chassis offers might be worth the investment. Otherwise, I would stand by my original assessment in my review of the SKS that you would be better to save your pennies and upgrade from the SKS to another weapon system.

                                                                                          On the other hand, if you like tinkering with rifles (and the SKS has quite a bit of unexplored potential in that area), and don't mind the cost, this may be just the thing.

                                                                                          *Unfortunately, the TFB review does not discuss whether the chassis would increase accuracy, instead focusing on ergonomics.

                                                                                          **Updated 1/23/2017

                                                                                          ***Update 11/25/2018

                                                                                          Wednesday, September 21, 2016

                                                                                          September 21, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                          Source: "The buildings reclaimed by nature: Abandoned locations around the world which have now been completely overgrown"--Daily Mail.

                                                                                          • Blacks riot in Charlotte, N.C., after a police shooting of a black man. Some of the headlines:
                                                                                          • "US cities are becoming much more dangerous places"--Bayou Renaissance Man.  The author indicates that this is so because of (1) increased risks of terrorism, (2) the Ferguson effect (i.e., the de facto ceding of control of certain areas to urban gangs), and (3) "growing criminal violence, in terms of both inter-gang conflict and attempts to make certain areas 'no-go zones' to both rival gangs and the authorities." As to the latter point, Grant writes that the philosophy behind it is being imported from Latin America. He explains:
                                                                                          The great danger, one that too many Americans don't yet recognize, is that people who've grown up with such gang violence and criminal terror are now present in this country in large numbers. The activities of the MS-13 gang are relatively well-known, but it's only one gang. There are many others, some of them even more violent. Criminals from almost every country in South America have crossed our borders with impunity, and set up operations here. Cartel hit-men have been active in Phoenix, Arizona and elsewhere. Hispanic gangs - both home-grown, and infused by 'talent' from south of the border - are trying to drive out black residents from areas in Los Angeles they consider 'theirs'. Conflict between hispanic and black communities in general, and criminal gangs in particular, has been growing for a long time.

                                                                                          I'm waiting for the 'example' of BLM (which has almost certainly been inspired by the success of gangs in South America at making certain areas of cities 'ungovernable' by the authorities) to motivate such gangs to do likewise in their areas. It's a common progression all around the world. I saw it in South Africa during the years of the struggle against apartheid, where gangs of one political persuasion or another would seek to make a particular township 'theirs' and exclude all other shades of opinion. With certain suburbs now seemingly being downgraded by police, thanks to the 'Ferguson Effect', how long can it be before the same thing happens in some US cities?
                                                                                          Grant also recommends that readers also consider a 2007 Vanity Fair article entitled "City of Fear" describing how gangs were nearly successful in obtaining complete control over São Paulo, Brazil, through a concerted attack on police and other government installations. As I've noted before, I foresee a convergence between terrorism and organized criminal gangs that will overshadow anything that has come before.
                                                                                          • "An Ode to… GUNS: Russian marksmen plays Beethoven classics (and even Old McDonald Had a Farm) on a pair of pistols"--Daily Mail. The marksman is Vitaly Kryuchin, who is the head of the Russian Practical Shooting Federation. Video at the link.
                                                                                          • "Ruger DISCONTINUING 77-Series of Bolt-Action Rifles"--The Firearms Blog. The 77-series of rifles are predominantly offered in rim-fired calibers, as well as .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. The article makes it sound as though the end of production could be temporary, but I doubt it. The rifles are priced at right around $1,000 to $1,100, which is pretty steep price for a bolt-action (but not target grade) rim-fire rifle, especially when other manufacturers and, even, Ruger itself (in its American Rifle line) offer bolt-action rim-fires for much less.
                                                                                          • "Fate or Fashion: Why Some Calibers Live Forever"--The Truth About Guns. The author muses about what makes a caliber popular and widely adopted, versus others that may pop-up, experience a short term interest or popularity, and then fade into obscurity or oblivion. 
                                                                                          Of course, one the factors seems to be whether a cartridge was a military cartridge since this leads to not only many men becoming familiar with the weapon through their military service, but also the availability of abundant, cheap surplus rifles and ammunition. (Of course, this factor cannot be all to it: rifles from Axis powers were inexpensive and widely available in the United States following WWII, yet, with the possible exception of the German 8 mm which has a small following, the military calibers from Japan and Italy are difficult to find and never achieved any lasting popularity. So this cannot be all there is to it. 
                                                                                          The author suggests the other factor is more of culture and fashion. As an example, the author points to the .300 AAC Blackout as a cartridge that is popular because of it possessing both the attributes of being .30 caliber (an American favorite) and designed to be used in the AR-15 platform (currently America's favorite rifle), even though the round is ballistically substandard. The author also, for this reason, predicts that the current interest in 6.5 cartridges, including the Grendel, will fade. 
                                                                                          I suspect a lot of the popularity of the .300 AAC is due to its ability to be used with a silencer, rather than the fact that it is .30 caliber. From my observations and reading, it seems that more Americans are participating and more interested in practical long range and precision shooting sports than previously, and, for that reason, I believe that the 6.5 calibers are here to stay.
                                                                                          • "Review: Remington R-51 Gen 2 1000 Round Test"--The Firearms Blog. It passed with flying colors (other than not liking the Tula steel cased ammunition). However, the comments are still filled with those who apparently will never be willing to forgive Remington for the problems with the R51 when it was first released (although I doubt that these commentators would have bought one in any event). Glock has had its share of recalls; and I've never owned a pistol (and I've at one time or another owned copies of most of the popular police and military pistols used during the past few decades) that would reliably feed and shoot anything and everything I gave it. That is why you should test all new (or new to you) handguns out with your defensive ammunition before trusting you life to it.
                                                                                          • Venezuela is having quite the run of "bad luck": "Oil Workers Starve as Venezuela’s Crude Output Collapses"--American Interest. Things are so bad that Venezuela is having to buy oil from the United States. The article also mentions:
                                                                                          Two years ago it was reported that Venezuela needed oil prices to reach $120 per barrel in order to balance its budget. At ~$45 per barrel, oil prices a far cry from that so-called breakeven level, and bargain crude is sending the petrostate’s economy into a death spiral. Power shortages are forcing producers to cut output and oil services companies are refusing to cooperate with country’s state-owned oil company because they aren’t being paid for their work. Crises beget crises, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.
                                                                                          The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has acknowledged the horror. A 2014 report from that office says that inside of North Korea "crimes against humanity" have been committed as a result of the state's policy. These include "extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."

                                                                                            Crimes against humanity generally cost a regime its legitimacy, if not its sovereignty. And yet most national security professionals would regard the collapse of the North Korean slave state as a calamity. The reason for this is simple: all the nuclear weapons and material. A 2015 study from the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies estimated North Korea possessed 10 to 16 nuclear weapons, and will possess 20 to 100 such weapons by 2020. This says nothing of the highly enriched nuclear fuel the state has produced or the mobile rockets and longer-range missiles to launch the warheads.

                                                                                              Trying to secure all this after a chaotic collapse or overthrow of the Kim regime would be a nightmare. General Raymond Thomas, who heads U.S. Special Operations Command, called a regime collapse in North Korea a "worst case scenario," at a conference hosted last week by the Institute for the Study of War. "In the event of the implosion of the region, we'd have the loose nuke dilemma on an industrial scale," the general said, describing it as a "vertical track meet between the Chinese and the South Koreans in terms of securing the nukes."
                                                                                              I'm sure that South Korea, the U.S., and China all have plans about what to do--at least I hope they do. The problem, as I see it, is that as the North Korean regime becomes increasingly unstable, the risk of launching a preemptive strike increases. Unfortunately, the nation in the best position to step in and prevent this is China. This is unfortunate because I don't see China wanting to take a proactive role in this growing mess.
                                                                                              • "Weaponizing Smallpox"--West Hunter. The author relates that small pox is one of the most potentially effective biological weapons to develop because it is very contagious, yet the country using it can easily immunize its own population against it. However, as vaccinations became widespread in the industrialized world, it value as a weapon declined. The author suggest that now, however, since small pox has long been eradicated and hardly anyone has been vaccinated for it in the past several decades, it is once again a viable biological weapon.

                                                                                              Tuesday, September 20, 2016

                                                                                              September 20, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                              Photographs of the S.S. United States, one of the fastest ocean liners every built, It was operated from 1952 to 1969 (Source: "Abandoned America: Photographer captures the past glories of the US which have now been left to crumble"--Daily Mail).

                                                                                              A sweeping new survey by researchers at Harvard University and Northeastern University finds that roughly half of the nearly 300 million firearms in the United States are concentrated in the hands of a tiny sliver of the U.S. population: Just 3 percent [7.7 million] of American adults own some 130 million guns, according to The Trace and Guardian US, two news organizations that first reported on the survey. (The full survey has not yet been released; Guardian US and The Trace reported plans to publish a series of stories about the findings throughout the week.)
                                                                                              This 3% of "super-owners," according to the study's authors, own on average 17 firearms apiece.  (Of course, that is assuming that there are only 300 million firearms in the United States, and that there are only 75 million gun owners). 
                                                                                              I am deeply suspicious about surveys about gun ownership because most everyone I know follows a practice of not disclosing that the fact they own firearms to strangers for any reason, let alone disclosing how many they own. Consequently, I have a hard time believing that pollsters could find a meaningful sampling of gun owners that would answer their questions truthfully.
                                                                                              On the other hand, many of the people I know that do a lot of shooting or hunting also own multiple firearms. Just like you can't golf effectively with but a single club, you can't have a single firearm to fulfill all your shooting needs. So perhaps there is some truth to the researchers' findings. 
                                                                                                When the Apocalypse hits, and this becomes more common, the rabbits will realize why nations traditionally had borders, and only allowed individuals of like disposition to reside within them. This is why the third world remains the third world when technology and foreign aid is so ubiquitous. Statistically, there are just too many imbecilic savages which crop up within their populations.
                                                                                                  The only question will be, after the cleansing, will the populace realize why the punishment for treason by countrymen was traditionally death.
                                                                                                  • You've been warned: "Hillary Hates You"--by Kurt Schlichter at Townhall. Schlichter writes:
                                                                                                  There is one key fact to understand about Hillary Clinton, one unarguable truth that explains all of her terrible policy positions and her dishonest, self-defeating behavior. Everything she believes leads to this conclusion. Everything she does, even the stupid things that have hamstrung her, stem from it.
                                                                                                    Hillary Clinton hates you.
                                                                                                      She doesn’t dislike you. She is not irritated with you. She does not merely prefer the company of others, though she certainly does prefer the company of those who will either pay her or suck up to her.
                                                                                                        She hates you.
                                                                                                          You’re deplorable. You’re irredeemable. With a wave of her limp, clammy hand, this sick old woman dismisses you from the company of those whose opinions have value, whose interests matter, who have any moral claim to participation in self-governance. You are less than nothing. You are vermin to be, at best, driven from society.
                                                                                                          Schlichter also warns what this will mean to "the Deplorables" if Hillary should be elected:
                                                                                                            ... But if she wins, just imagine it. Imagine her hatred backed up by an energized federal government packed with her partisans.
                                                                                                              Will the Justice Department check her? No, it will be a club to bludgeon her enemies into submission – and we know who her enemies are, don’t we?
                                                                                                                Will the IRS check her? No, the IRS uproar will be not a cautionary example of government gone rogue but a template for the future.
                                                                                                                  Will the FBI check her? Get real. Comey is too busy counting his 30 pieces of silver while wearing a loincloth made from the pelt of his legendary integrity.
                                                                                                                    She hates us. We are deplorable. We are irredeemable. And so neither she nor her loyal minions have any self-imposed moral limits on what they may do to us to ensure that we are utterly crushed. Take away our rights? Strip away our livelihoods? Prevent our participation in our own governance? It’s open season on us, all because she hates us.
                                                                                                                    • "The proof a vitamin pill really CAN help you see better: TV's Dr Michael Mosley tried it himself"--Daily Mail. Mosley was trying to replicate findings from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, at the Waterford Institute of Technology. It had performed research indicating that taking a supplement containing a mixture of the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin can improve your vision by protecting and even boosting the health of the macula, repairing damage from blue light, allowing you to see color better and increasing night vision.

                                                                                                                    Docent's Memo (May 16, 2022)

                                                                                                                    VIDEO: " S&W J Frame Trigger Spring Kit Install " (10 min.) If you want to lighten the trigger pull on a J-frame, this video s...