- In case you didn't already go and check it out: "Weekend Knowledge Dump- October 21, 2016"--Active Response Training. As always, a selection of self-defense and prepping related articles, plus a few just to make you think.
- "Pistol Malfunction Due To 'Stovepipe' Round"--Captain's Journal. An incident that occurred because a novice shooter was limp wristing the firearm. But, even after improving his grip, the problems cropped up again because the shooter simply lacked the forearm strength to keep a firm grip on the firearm.
- "Shooting Through Glass with Kyle Lamb"--Breach Bang Clear. A link to a video and some questions for Kyle Lamb. One of the questions had to do with three points regarding shooting through glass or automobiles. Lamb's response:
1. One of the greatest myths when shooting around vehicles is that cars are poor cover. Smell the coffee; if it is the only piece of concealment you have near you, use it. 2. The front glass is extremely hard to shoot through effectively unless you use a bonded or solid bullet that doesn’t have a jacket that can be ripped from the bullet. Hornady GMX and Barnes TSX are examples of superb glass shooting projectiles. 3. “P”for plenty, when shooting through glass you must engage until the threat is neutralized.
- "Horrific moment a brave jeweller is shot DEAD as he tries to fight off an armed robber is captured on CCTV"--Daily Mail. Article and security camera footage of a jewelry store robbery in Brazil (which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, yet still manages to have more than 60,000 homicides). Follow the link and watch the video. The fundamental problem, of course, is getting into a gun fight with nothing but your bare hands. But, beyond that, is the inability of the store owner/clerk to gain control of the weapon, even if it was merely to drive the robbers shooting hand and pistol into the ground. It was especially problematic given that there was a counter between the robber and the clerk when the clerk made his attempt.
- "Slow in practice means fast in combat"--Mike Ox. (H/t Defensive Pistolcraft). Some recommendations for improving your skills using techniques used by Olympic athletes. He notes, for instance:
Do fast shooters, throwers and musicians get fast by starting fast? Did they get faster by adding speed to sloppy form?
No. They developed and perfected their form at a much slower pace, and then speed came naturally. Ideally, they practiced at a speed that allowed them to do the same motion with perfect efficiency and form — exactlythe same way, every time — until it became automatic and required no conscious thought to do.
You might be thinking combat skills are different. They're not. In fact, the faster you intend to execute a given skill and the more stress you think you might be under when you execute it, the more critical it is that you practice slowly.
It's because of a principle called the Weber-Fechner law. Basically, as stimulus increases, the brain's ability to pick out details drops.
- "The 'Center Mass' Myth and Ending a Gunfight -Triggernometry"--Guns America. The author writes: " If you expect to win your gunfight, you have to make sure that you have effectively ended the threat of your attacker. One, two or even several well placed “center mass” shots may not do what you think it will, and learning to recognize this before you gunfight may save your life." He goes on to cite some examples of center of mass shots that failed to stop the person hit, and notes that this principle applies even if using a rifle.
- "Does Gun Control Work?" (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)--American Conservative. This three part series examines conclusions reached by three different sets of researchers as the efficacy of gun control, particularly looking at whether the researchers used correct statistical analysis to support each of their conclusions. Although he notes some deficiencies in data (which is not necessarily the researcher's fault), he seems to find John Lott's research to be the most rigorous. The basic takeaway, however, is that most gun control measures don't work (some even increasing gun crimes), but that a thorough background check prior to purchase may actually work. My problem with the series is that the author, when faced with the obvious connection between crime and race just doesn't seem to see the connection. The background is that one of the research papers concluded that a permit-to-purchase program would reduce crime. However, Lott cast this into doubt by examining two states that had such a program: Missouri and Connecticut. Connecticut enacted such a program and saw essentially no changes to its gun related homicides. Missouri, on the other hand, repealed its permit-to-purchase law and saw gun related homicides increase. Hmm, what could be the difference between Connecticut and Missouri?
- Evolution in action: "Vasectomy Parties Are the New Trend for Couples Going 'Child-Free'"--PJ Media. From the article:
Vasectomy parties can be compared to baby showers, except instead, they celebrate the babies that will never be. Guests are invited to live it up "in a house with sharp furniture and exposed outlets.” They can plan on games such as The Price is Right "where they talk about what they can buy now that they’ve saved money by not having kids.” In lieu of suggesting baby names, party attendees can help name the new (not family) car or boat.
- "What is a Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack and How Did it Break Twitter?"--IEEE Spectrum. This article was inspired by the cyber attacks of this past Friday. The author writes:
On Friday, multiple distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks hit the Internet services company Dyn. The cyberattack prevented many users on the U.S. East Coast from navigating to the most popular websites of Dyn customers, which include Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix.
Dyn detected the first attack at 7:10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, and restored normal service about two hours later. Then at 11:52 a.m. ET, Dyn began investigating a second attack. By 2:00 p.m., the company said it was still working to resolve “several attacks” at once.
The interruptions inconvenienced many Internet users, and the daily operation of Internet giants in entertainment, e-commerce, and social media. There still aren’t many details available about Dyn’s predicament, and the company did not immediately respond to an interview request. But we do know from Dyn’s posts that the first two assaults on its network were DDoS attacts. Its customers’ outages again show that major Internet companies remain vulnerable to this common hacker scheme—one that has plagued networks since 2000.
A denial-of-service attack aims to slow or stop users from accessing content or services by impeding the ability of a network or server to respond to their requests. The word “distributed” means that hackers executed the Dyn attacks by infecting and controlling a large network of computers called a botnet, rather than running it from a single machine that they own.
Hackers can assemble a botnet by spreading malware, which is often done by prompting unsuspecting users to click a link or download a file. That malware can be programmed to periodically check with a host computer owned by hackers for further instructions. To launch an attack, the hackers, or bot-herders, send a message through this “command and control” channel, prompting infected computers to send many requests for a particular website, server, or service all at once. Some of the biggest botnets in history have boasted 2 million computers, capable of sending up to 74 billion spam emails a day.
The sudden onslaught of requests quickly gobbles up all the network's bandwidth, disk space, or processing power. That means real users can’t get their requests through because the system is too busy trying to respond to all the bots. In the worst cases, a DDoS can crash a system, taking it completely offline.
- We didn't start the fire: "Review: The Hell-Fire Clubs: Sex, Satanism and Secret Societies by Evelyn Lord"--Telegraph. The elite have always conducted themselves shamefully in secret:
The hell-fire clubs arose from a convergence of 18th-century trends: curiosity and reason; boisterous mockery and satire; and urban consumption, leisure and sociability. Their members were mostly young, male and moneyed, united by 'an enduring fascination with the forbidden fruit offered by the Devil, and a continuing flirtation with danger and the unknown'. Temptation led naturally to rampant hedonism; no appetite went unsated. Thumbing their noses (or worse) at church, state and civil society, they drank to excess, leered at pornography and egged each other on. The hell-raisers may not have been lovable, but they were certainly clubbable and they knew how to have a good time.
- Related: "How Debauched Was The Hellfire Club?"--The Daily Beast.
- At least it is not UFOs: "Could mysterious hexagonal clouds in Bermuda Triangle caused by 170mph 'air bombs' be behind centuries of bizarre disappearances?"--Mirror. "It is believed these deadly blasts of air that can flip over ships and bring planes crashing into the ocean could be behind the vanishing of at least 75 planes and hundreds of ships."
- "New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through 'Oversamples'"--Zero Hedge. From the article:
Now, for all of you out there who still aren't convinced that the polls are "adjusted", we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to "manufacture" the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on "oversamples for polling" in order to "maximize what we get out of our media polling."
- "The 'impossible' fuel-free engine that may one day take humans to Mars in 10 WEEKS gets an upgrade: Patent reveals improved EmDrive design"--Daily Mail. The article reports that "[i]nventor Roger Shawyer has filed a patent for a new version of the machine, which includes a superconducting plate to make the thrust more powerful." Most of the article, however, discusses the various arguments over whether the drive produces an exhaust, including suggestions that its exhaust are simply photons in the microwave spectrum.
- "America’s Civilizational Paralysis"--Victor Davis Hanson at the Hoover Institute. He writes:
Mid-fifteenth-century Byzantium was facing endemic corruption, a radically declining birthrate and shrinking population, and the end of civic militarism—all the last-gasp symptoms of an irreversible decline. Its affluent ruling and religious orders and expansive government services could no longer be supported by disappearing agrarians and the overtaxed mercantile middle class. Returning to the values of the Emperor Justinian’s sixth-century empire that had once ensured a vibrant Byzantine culture of stability and prosperity throughout the old Roman east remained a nostalgic daydream. Given the hardship and sacrifice that would have been required to change the late Byzantine mindset, most residents of Constantinople plodded on to their rendezvous with oblivion in 1453.
We seem to be reaching that point of stasis in postmodern America. Once simple and logical solutions to our fiscal and social problems are now seen as too radical even to discuss. Consider the $20-trillion national debt. Most Americans accept that current annual $500 billion budget deficits are not sustainable—but they also see them as less extreme than the recently more normal $1 trillion in annual red ink. Americans also accept that the Obama administration doubled the national debt on the expectation of permanent near-zero interest rates, which cannot continue. When interest rates return to more normal historical levels of 4-5% per annum, the costs of servicing the debt—along with unsustainable Social Security and Medicare entitlement costs—will begin to undermine the entire budget.
Count up current local, state and federal income taxes, payroll taxes, property and sales taxes, and new health care taxes, and it will be hard to find the necessary additional revenue from a strapped and overtaxed middle class, much less from the forty-seven percent of Americans who currently pay no federal income taxes. The Obama administration has tried to reduce the budget by issuing defense cuts and tax hikes—but it has refused to touch entitlement spending, where the real gains could be made. The result is more debt, even as, paradoxically, our military was weakened, taxes rose, revenue increased, and economic growth remained anemic at well below 2% per annum.
Illegal immigration poses a similar dilemma. No nation can remain stable when 10-20 million foreign nationals have crashed through what has become an open border and reside unlawfully in the United States—any more than a homeowner can have neighbors traipsing through and camping in his unfenced yard.
Likewise, there are few multiracial societies of the past that have avoided descending into destructive ethnic chauvinism and tribalism once assimilation and integration were replaced by salad-bowl identity politics. Common words and phrases such as “illegal alien” or “deportation” are now considered taboo, while “sanctuary city” is a euphemism for a neo-Confederate nullification of federal immigration laws by renegade states and municipalities.
Illegal immigration, like the deficits, must cease, but stopping it would be too politically incorrect and painful even to ponder. The mess in Europe—millions of indigent and illegal immigrants who have fled their own failed states to become dependent on the largess of their generous adopted countries, but without any desire to embrace their hosts’ culture—is apparently America’s future.
Race relations pose comparable paradoxes. Inner-city Chicago has turned into a war zone with over 500 murders so far this year alone. As tragic as occasional police shootings are of African-American suspects, they do not occur at an incidence higher than the percentage of African-Americans who come into contact with law enforcement or who commit violent crimes. Yet when an African-American officer, in a department overseen by an African-American police chief, shoots an uncompliant but armed African-American suspect, a full-scale urban riot ensues, well beyond the ability of police to control.
- "The Past and Future of War"--William Lind at American Conservative. Lind explains the problem facing the United States:
A demilitarized military simply won’t fight. It will collapse at a touch, as so many militaries throughout history have. We may not have reached that point in the U.S., but we will do so soon if ideologically driven decisions such as putting women in combat arms are allowed to stand. Unless a military has an aggressively male culture, which is “uncomfortable for women,” it will not fight.
However, keeping women out of combat won't matter, he goes on to discuss, if the "men" are coddled, feminized weaklings lacking all necessary aggression.