Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oceans Deep in the Mantle

Last week I linked to a Daily Mail article about evidence of large "oceans" of water several hundred miles deep inside the Earth's mantle (see my Nov. 26, 2016 daily briefing). I saw a couple more articles on the topic today, including an interesting quote from one of the researchers. From The New Scientist (underline mine):
If it wasn’t down there, we would all be submerged,” says Steve Jacobsen at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, whose team made the discovery. “This implies a bigger reservoir of water on the planet than previously thought.”

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

Video: "UK : The POLICE STATE via Snoopers has ARRIVED"--Black Pigeon Speaks. Note: the producer of the video has links to resources for those wishing to anonymize their web or email traffic. 

Firearms and Prepping:
  • "Our Pandemic Preps"--Security & Self-Reliance. The authors discuss what they have done to prepare for the possibility or eventuality that someone in their family or prepping group may be stricken by an infectious disease, including a dedicated isolation/sick room, equipment and other preps. They also provide some discussion concerning masks and links to sources for various masks.
  • "Beachcomber, part 1"--Neo-Survivalist.  In this post, Mr. Otzen travels along the beach, foraging various items that can be used for survival. As would be expected, there are many plastic containers (i.e., water or soda bottles) littering the shore. However, there is also a fair amount of mooring ropes or lines (which can be unwound to provide a great deal of cordage) and pieces of fishing net (which, as Otzen explains, can be worn underneath clothing to improve its insulative properties). 
  • "The Theory and Practical Application of the 'Walking Around Rifle'"--SHTF Blog. The author advocates a light weight rifle suitable for hunting deer or smaller game or for pest control, that is not conspicuous (i.e., not military looking), doesn't have a lot of protruberances to get caught up in brush, with provisions for both an optical sight and iron sights. His suggestion is a light-weight bolt action rifle in a .22 to 6 mm caliber (his choice was a .222 Remington). I would note that in wooded areas where ranges are short, a lever action would also serve this role.
  • "The 22 Reloader Kit – It Works"--Loadout Room. The author reviews the reloading kit from 22 Reloader that contains a bullet mold for .22 rimfire bullets and instructions on reloading spent rimfire rounds. His experience is that the kits work (albeit, with a fairly high rate of dud rounds), but it is slow work casting the bullets and reloading the ammunition. It is not a replacement for buying .22 ammunition.
  • "Watch: Emergency Sand Anchor for Getting Unstuck"--All Outdoor. What to do if your vehicle becomes stuck, and you have a winch, but no tree or other object to which to anchor the cable. Basically, you dig a hole for your spare tire and use it as the anchor.

Other Stuff:
  • "Is this the first written mention of Jesus? 2,000-year-old lead tablets found in a remote cave ARE genuine, claim researchers"--Daily Mail. The tablets are sheets of lead bound together with rings that certain researchers are claiming date back to a period shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. While somewhat unusual for that time period, metal sheets were used for recording messages, or in books (codices) for at least 1,000 years prior to that date (examples have been discovered all around the Mediterranean). Lead was often used because of its low cost and ease of working, but other metals (up to and including gold) were used depending on the wealth of the person creating the document and importance of the documents. Unfortunately, there is no clear method for dating the tablets. However, the lack of a radioactivity from polonium (present in more recently processed lead), consistency between the individual leaves as to the lead and corrosion, and comparison with lead from other sources dating from the same time period have led the researchers to believe that the document is authentic (at least as to its age). The tablets were first discovered in 2008. The article goes on to explain some of what is contained on the tablets, but, unfortunately, without setting out the actual translated text.
  • "Erdogan threatens to let 3m refugees into Europe"--Financial Times. According to the article:
    As tension escalates with Mr Erdogan over his clampdown on opponents after a failed military coup in July, officials in Brussels are examining the allocation of €600m in annual financial aid to Ankara as a result of the purge.
      Money has already been diverted from infrastructure projects towards judicial reform and human rights initiatives but officials warned that Turkey could expect a “pretty tough conversation” in a looming review of the aid scheme for countries in membership talks with the EU.
        The Turkish leader lashed out at Brussels one day after the European Parliament called for a pause in Turkey’s EU accession talks in protest at Ankara’s “repressive” and “disproportionate” response to a violent coup attempt earlier this year.

          * * *
            Mr Erdogan responded angrily to the European Parliament vote, saying he could open the floodgates to Europe. “We are the ones who feed 3m-3.5m refugees in this country,” he said. “You have betrayed your promises. If you go any further those border gates will be opened.”
            That Erdogan is so confident in his blackmail shows how impotent is the European Union.
            The story of the year is that voters across the Western world are rebelling against the judgment of “experts” of all kinds. People with advanced degrees, whether they work at colleges, newspapers, or government bureaucracies, are facing a crisis of authority as trust in institutions plummets and politics moves away from technocracy and toward the seductive simplicity of populism.
            The author suggests that one of the reasons is that "academic social science tends to fixate on number-crunching minutiae while giving short shrift to more fundamental questions about institutions, legitimacy, and political culture." I would agree that there is a crises of legitimacy, but I suspect it has less to do with a concentration on minutiae and more on the fact that the elite are unworthy of their lofty status. The "elite" or no longer "elite" because of their education or intellectual acumen, but because of their connections and positions; and many of those outside the major urban areas have awoken to a realization that the elites are like the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz--certificated but still lacking in brains.  
            There seems to be a consensus that Trump supporters, for instance, are nothing but ignorant, backward hicks. Well, Trump supporters are not limited to those lacking a college degree; many, like myself, have had as much or more formal education than the supposed "intellectuals" surrounding Hillary. And even when considering those without college degrees, the "hicks" are not ignorant as the elite assume. It is no longer 1890, where a specialist class could legitimately claim they are special because of being more educated. Rather, to paraphrase another American Interest article concerning Brazil, "[b]etter educated and more highly skilled than their parents and grandparents, [Americans] today are unwilling to put up with the corrupt political structures inherited from the past."
            And then there is the shear arrogance--hubris, really--of the elite. Perched atop the social pyramid, they have only disdain for their supposed "inferiors." I quote from a piece at The American Conservative called "Great Chain of Contempt":
              The non-progressives whom Obama described as clinging to their guns and religion, on the other hand—NASCAR nation, country-music fans, people accounted to be dumb as dirt—count for less than dirt in the eyes of the progressive elite.
                If you don’t believe me, look at their policies, in which saving the planet takes precedence over saving ordinary lives. Malaria kills nearly half a million people a year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. This can be addressed by spraying with DDT, which never killed anyone. It does kill birds, however, and the progressive worries more about them than he does people.
                  They’ll tell you it’s because they love the earth. Don’t believe them. One can’t love something that can’t love back. That was the meaning of Cardinal Newman’s motto: cor ad cor loquitur, “heart speaks unto heart.” It’s why you can love your dog but not your goldfish.
                    One reads about people who’ve married trees, about “eco-sexual” students marrying the Ocean (the Pacific, naturally). It’s all nonsense. It’s as silly as people who tell you they worship an impersonal god. You might as well worship Euclid’s geometry. He might be the ground of your being, but if He’s not a personal God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars, he’s not a God with whom one can have a personal relationship.
                      So what’s behind the earth lovers, if it’s not love? Just the opposite. Enmity. Contempt. Derision. The goal is to establish oneself in the pecking order by asserting one’s superiority over conservatives, sincere believers, “white trash,” placing them at a lower level than the plant and animal kingdoms. It’s the ultimate form of passive aggression. It’s the indignation of the social-justice warrior at Yale who asserts her own privilege by asking you to check your privilege. And it’s the product of our factories of hatred, the modern U.S. university.
                        The report’s two major conclusions are quite stark:
                        • The virginal students rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually active peers.
                        • Teens who have sexual contact with the same or both sexes have remarkably lower percentages of healthy behaviors overall than their heterosexually active peers.
                        For those interested in r/K theory, it is interesting to note the overall "rabbity" behavior of the slutty students.
                        • "German Intelligence Official Arrested in Islamic Terror Plot"--PJ Media. "The suspect attempted to pass on 'sensitive information about the BfV (Germany's domestic security agency), which could lead to a threat to the office.'"
                        • "China as the New No. 1? Not Quite"--IEEE Spectrum. The article points out that not everything is rosy with China: average wages/wealth is still quite low, pollution is reaching a catastrophic stage, and the population is rapidly aging. As the author concludes: 
                        We’ve seen it all before. Compare the Japan of 1990, whose rise appeared to challenge the entire Western world, with the Japan of 2016, after 25 years of economic stagnation. This is perhaps the best insight into the contrast between the China of 2016 and that of 2040.

                        Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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

                        Firearms and Prepping:
                        Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

                            The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

                                The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.
                                Keep in mind that the record highs were also exaggerated or even falsified by those scientists whose funding depends on their being man-made global warming. What we are seeing is the lead up to a new Maunder Minimum in another decade or so.

                                Other Stuff:
                                Border Patrol agents in the remote Texas Big Bend Sector are sounding the alarm as Mexican cartels overwhelm them with illegal immigrants ahead of President-elect Trump’s inauguration. The sector has very few agents assigned and has remained one of the most open and unsecured regions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
                                Locals were terrified as African migrants rioted, throwing projectiles and screaming threats at passers-by in a protest against “racist” Italians on Wednesday and Thursday in Turin.
                                  The Bataclan massacre was a “revenge of the excluded”, warned one of the hundreds of migrants, most of them illegal, who took to the streets to protest against not being given a “decent life” by Italian taxpayers.

                                      “We have nothing in this city”, a man from Cameroon said, angry that people in Italy “do not understand that we are also boys and would like a decent life”.

                                          The rioters are among 1,500 Africans illegally squatting in Turin’s abandoned Olympic village. Most of the men are in their twenties and while there are some who work on the black market, many complain about having nothing to do.

                                              “You Italians — tell your children that we are not dogs. Keep them quiet because our patience will end sooner or later,” one warned. Another cheered the Bataclan massacre in which 89 people were murdered, many of whom were reportedly tortured, hailing it as a “revenge of the excluded”. “One dead of ours [Africans], one death of yours,” he cried.

                                                  The trouble started on Wednesday evening when around 300 residents of the former Olympics site took to the streets. They blocked traffic, uprooted signposts, overturned garbage bins, and hurled stones and bottles while screaming “racist” and “bastards” at passers-by. “The Italians are racist and the police control us,” the migrants railed.
                                                  • We are not all alike: "Skin Deep"--West Hunter. The author writes:
                                                    There are a couple of new papers out in Cell about demonstrated immunological differences between Africans and Europeans. We already knew that the course of various infectious diseases can be quite different in people from those two different races, while autoimmune risks are also different (lupus for example is considerably more common in blacks). Researchers found that inflammatory responses were considerably stronger in Africans than Europeans. African macrophages zapped bacteria three times faster than European macrophages.

                                                        I wonder if this increased inflammatory tendency is behind the increased risk for sarcoidosis in blacks (12-fold higher death rate). If so, maybe you could help the clinical course by damping down inflammation.

                                                            The African pattern almost certainly worked better in Africa (chock-full o’ of pathogens, including many adapted to man or close relatives), while the European pattern worked better outside of Africa – on the whole cooler and less of a microbial playpen.
                                                              He adds:
                                                                Some of the milder-inflammation alleles in Europeans originated in Neanderthals. Logical, since they too had adapted to the lower pathogen load in ice-age Europe and Central Asia. This probably meant that Neanderthals couldn’t have returned to Africa.
                                                                • "Blacks And Minorities Go K – And In-group Against Out-groups"--Anonymous Conservative. Noting an article about a black woman buying a handgun in the wake of Trump's election, the Anonymous Conservative theorizes that this is a sign of increasing K strategy among blacks. However, he also goes on to note a recent report (to which I had also cited) about black male teens that harassed a group of white school girls on a city bus. The black teens then called some female accomplices that boarded the bus, beat up the girls, and robbed them. The Anonymous Conservative notes about this incident:
                                                                  This was very rabbity. The boys called in girls to do the fighting, and only jumped in to rob the white girls once their own girls had initiated the beatdown. There was a reason K-strategist parents paired up and were very protective of their offspring. K-selection is dangerous.

                                                                      Many blacks who head toward K will in-group aggressively with blacks against out-groups composed of other races, due to amygdala agitation. I believe racial in-grouping is instinctual in the face of K-stimuli. The black K’s may not be such a problem, but the black r’s will feel emboldened if they think the black K’s have their backs.

                                                                          This would indicate that the racial hostility we are seeing from the r-parts of the black communities in the inner cities will get considerably worse. And many of those hostile individuals may very well be armed up.

                                                                              It will be a huge problem for the white rabbits of the cities, not that I am complaining.
                                                                                However, it is mistake to associate violence, and the willingness to engage in violence, as only a K-select behavior. In fact, it is often the opposite. In The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War by Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford, it notes that:
                                                                                The trade-offs most relevant to understanding individual differences in violence are those between current and future reproduction, and between quantity of off-spring and investment in offspring. When organisms opt to produce a large quantity of offspring with little investment in each, they are also prone to engage in riskier behavior, including violence, in order to successfully compete with intrasexual rivals and secure mating opportunities. Not surprisingly, the males of of most species are more likely to engage in this "r-selected," or fast, life history strategy than females, who generally provide greater obligatory investment in offspring and thus engage in a "K-selected," or slow, life history strategy by default.
                                                                                  (p. 16). 

                                                                                  Black Lives Matter And Revolution

                                                                                            You have probably heard the saying that when they say it isn't about the money, it is definitely about the money. Well, Black Lives Matter has revealed that its revolution is all about the money.

                                                                                            The group released a public statement concerning the death of Fidel Castro, entitled "Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante." Per the statement, Castro is to be praised for his work to assist blacks and other people of color, and his life provides lessons for the budding BLM member. Of course, you might want to ask what has Castro done for blacks?

                                                                                           Well, according to the statement, "We are thankful that he provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish, regardless of his belief system."

                                                                                            Really? According to a 2013 article from The New York Times, Castro hadn't done much for blacks living in Cuba. For instance, the article notes:
                                                                                  Most remittances from abroad — mainly the Miami area, the nerve center of the mostly white exile community — go to white Cubans. They tend to live in more upscale houses, which can easily be converted into restaurants or bed-and-breakfasts — the most common kind of private business in Cuba. Black Cubans have less property and money, and also have to contend with pervasive racism. Not long ago it was common for hotel managers, for example, to hire only white staff members, so as not to offend the supposed sensibilities of their European clientele.
                                                                                  Racism in Cuba has been concealed and reinforced in part because it isn’t talked about. The government hasn’t allowed racial prejudice to be debated or confronted politically or culturally, often pretending instead as though it didn’t exist. Before 1990, black Cubans suffered a paralysis of economic mobility while, paradoxically, the government decreed the end of racism in speeches and publications. To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act. This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.
                                                                                   Apparently, under Castro's revolution, to borrow a phrase from George Orwell, some animals were more equal than others:
                                                                                  If the 1960s, the first decade after the revolution, signified opportunity for all, the decades that followed demonstrated that not everyone was able to have access to and benefit from those opportunities. It’s true that the 1980s produced a generation of black professionals, like doctors and teachers, but these gains were diminished in the 1990s as blacks were excluded from lucrative sectors like hospitality. Now in the 21st century, it has become all too apparent that the black population is underrepresented at universities and in spheres of economic and political power, and overrepresented in the underground economy, in the criminal sphere and in marginal neighborhoods.
                                                                                            So, according to BLM, what else did Castro do that was so wonderful? Well, to quote the statement:
                                                                                  As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for Brother Michael Finney Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill, asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton, and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era.
                                                                                            Who were these wonderful people, you ask? Well, Assata Shakur was a member of the former Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA), and was convicted in 1977 of the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in a shootout. She was also linked to other murders, although not convicted. She escaped from prison in 1979, and, in 1984, fled to Cuba where she was given political asylum. In 2005, the FBI listed her as a domestic terrorist, and, in 2013, she gained notoriety as the first woman added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List. There is currently a $2 million reward on her head.

                                                                                            How about Goodwin, Hill and Finney? Well, they were members of a black militant group called the Republic of New Africa. On November 8, 1971, the three were pulled over by a New Mexico State Police trooper, Robert Rosenbloom. After shooting and killing the officer, the three fled into the desert, leaving their vehicle, weapons, 300 rounds of ammunition, several bombs, and three neatly packed bags. Eighteen days later, the three had made it to Albuquerque, where they hijacked an airliner and were flown to Cuba where they were given shelter. Goodwin reportedly drowned while swimming, but the other two still reside in Cuba.

                                                                                            Huey Newton was a co-founder of the Black Panthers. As would be expected, Newton was associated with the deaths of numerous persons, including Oakland Police Department officer John Frey. However, what got him some prison time was the August 6, 1974, shooting of Kathleen Smith, an 18-year-old Oakland native, who died three months after the shooting. After posting bond, Newton fled to Cuba, where he lived until 1977, until he came back to face trial. However, after a failed assassination attempt of the key prosecution witness by members of the Black Panthers, the witness was sufficiently intimidated and Newton skated on that charge as well. Huey P. Newton was murdered on Aug. 22, 1989.

                                                                                            So, BLM is thankful for Castro providing refuge for murderers. What else? According to the statement:
                                                                                  We are indebted to Fidel for sending resources to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and attempting to support Black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when our government left us to die on rooftops and in floodwaters. 
                                                                                  The Wikipedia page on relief efforts for Haiti mention that Cuba had previously placed doctors in the Haiti, who were among the first responders, but makes no mention of other aid. However, the same article indicates that the U.S. has been the greatest contributor to Haiti after 1973, and provided $712 million in direct aid as a result of the earthquake. As for Katrina, Cuba offered to send doctors and medicine, but the offer was rejected by the State Department. (See also this NBC article). So, Cuba's contributions to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake appear to be minimal, and even its proposed aid following Katrina would have done nothing to assist in the rescue of people trapped on rooftops by the floodwaters.

                                                                                           Primarily, though, the BLM statement is about the example provided by Castro in pursuing his revolution. For instance, the statement indicates that "there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel." Among these:
                                                                                  Revolution is rooted in the recognition that there are certain fundamentals to which every being has a right, just by virtue of one’s birth: healthy food, clean water, decent housing, safe communities, quality healthcare, mental health services, free and quality education, community spaces, art, democratic engagement, regular vacations, sports, and places for spiritual expression are not questions of resources, but questions of political will and they are requirements of any humane society.
                                                                                           Of course, we must always remember that what others consider "peace" or "justice" may be very different from our conceptions of those same words. We are well aware that under Islam, "peace" is the state where Islam is dominant and controlling. All else is war. So, too, we must be careful of what BLM seeks. This include restitution for slavery and past discrimination (even though that is the purpose of affirmative action in its various forms). and seeks to open up voting to anyone and everyone, including illegal aliens. It seeks to obtain political power over predominately black areas, including direct control over all law enforcement. It wants to prohibit the use of criminal background checks for employment. It wants the tax code to be revised to redistribute money to blacks; and wants a guaranteed minimum income for all black people. It wants free education, through college, for blacks and minorities (including illegal aliens), as well as a blanket forgiveness of past student loans; a cut in military expenditures (with the money shifted to programs benefiting blacks); and it wants the U.S. to stop the use of fossil fuels. It also wants the "decriminalization" of black youth, including "an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services." They also demand the end of prisons and jails. BLM also states it is "committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure."

                                                                                           Or, as Rod Deher noted about the militant left, "it is often racist against whites, and has no intention of allowing any opinions other than its own to be voiced in the public square. And whether in the streets or in a university lecture hall, it will use violence to impose its will." The BLM seeks a revolution, and it believes that Castro showed the path forward. And the end goal is the massive appropriation of wealth from white European Americans. In the end, its all about the money.

                                                                                  Monday, November 28, 2016

                                                                                  Video: "Fish Antibiotics Are Getting Banned...RIGHT?!"

                                                                                  In this video, the Patriot Nurse notes that the coming restrictions on animal antibiotics only apply to those sold for use with food producing animals (i.e., livestock).

                                                                                  Your Self-Defense Options When Trapped In A Demonstration


                                                                                  U.S. Law Shield has an article discussing your self-defense options when trapped in a demonstration. This is not so much a discussion of what to do (although there is a bit of that), but more a discussion of your options under most state laws concerning self-defense. The primary issue, which I've noted before, is that unless your use of force is justified, using your car to strike a protester may be considered aggravated battery or battery with a lethal weapon; and even attempting to do so may result in your being charged with aggravated assault battery/assault with a deadly weapon. 

                                                                                  The article describes certain key factual issues that must be resolved prior to deciding to using potentially lethal force, like forcing your way through a crowd with your car:
                                                                                  To begin the analysis, ... we treat this situation just as we would any other use of deadly force in self-defense. Let’s start with some general concepts, and then analyze how the specifics of the law will apply in these scenarios. The concepts to focus on are imminence, reasonableness, and not being the aggressor. 
                                                                                  Imminence. Prosecutors love to attack the imminence prong. Does a group of people blocking a roadway pose an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to you inside of the vehicle? Blocking a roadway, normally, cannot cause death or serious bodily injury to those inside the vehicle, much less pose an imminent or immediate threat.  As a result, using a vehicle to “run them down,” or even to physically push them aside, is unlikely to be justified. However, if there is additional threatening conduct such as the protestors attempting to enter the vehicle, or say, charging toward you with a baseball bat, that is a completely different scenario. If you are placed in reasonable fear of imminent deadly force, you would be legally entitled to use deadly force in self-defense, including the use of your vehicle to neutralize the unlawful deadly force threat. 
                                                                                  Reasonableness. What would be required to generate a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury? The key here is that it doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs are if a jury would not believe that your fear was reasonable under the circumstances. There are extremes where your conduct will almost always be viewed as reasonable, such as attempts to set your car on fire or flip it over. On the other hand, under many circumstances, it will be extremely difficult to convince a jury that you acted reasonably if you use deadly force against protestors. One example would be injuring or attempting to injure a group of peaceful protestors who are merely blocking a roadway. If the protestors attempt, or reasonably appear to attempt, to forcibly enter blockaded vehicles, you will gain a presumption of reasonableness under the laws of many, but not all, states. You will also have a much better argument that you had reasonable grounds to fear an imminent attack with deadly force. Such conduct could include the smashing of windows or attempts to open doors. Also, you do not necessarily need to wait until the protestors have turned violent against your vehicle if you see it happening to someone else. Remember, you must have a reasonable belief from what you are seeing and hearing around you and not merely speculating about what might occur.”
                                                                                   * * *
                                                                                  Not the Aggressor. Is the person seeking justification for the use of deadly force in self-defense a victim, or is he the aggressor? State laws may vary, but generally, the defense of justification is not available to the individual who starts the fight and does not stop to convey to the other person their intention to stop the aggression. 

                                                                                  So, how might this apply in a protest or riot situation? Byington noted, “Say you are stuck for an hour in the middle of a protest and decide to ‘nudge’ one of these folks with your vehicle so that you can get out of the traffic snarl. If the otherwise peaceful protestor then becomes violent, and you use deadly force to protect yourself, a prosecutor, judge, or jury could easily argue that you were the initial aggressor. You may lose a number of legal protections, and on top of that, appear like the aggressor during the investigation or trial.
                                                                                  The article goes on to make some practical situations if you are faced with a group of protesters, reiterating that you cannot use your vehicle to force or "nudge" your way through the crowd. Your primary course of action, of course, is avoidance: listen to traffic reports or other services that might alert you to protests, or if you spot the crowd in time, try to turn around.
                                                                                  However, once the rioters attack you or attempt to enter the vehicle, the game changes, and your legal justification kicks in. With your vehicle surrounded so that you can’t escape and attackers trying to burn your car, flip it over, or attempt to drag you out of it, it is reasonable to assume that you will suffer imminent serious bodily injury or death. It is at this point you may use deadly force. In this moment of adrenaline and pure fear, you must keep your common sense. Do not get out and try to shoot your way out of the mob! You will quickly be overtaken and perhaps have your gun stripped from you. Instead, use your vehicle to get out of that situation by driving away from the surrounding rioters. 
                                                                                  An additional point to remember is, should your vehicle come under attack, roll your windows down about half an inch. Experts say it is harder to break a window that is partly down than one that is fully closed. Turn off your ventilation system so you do not draw in any outside air in the event there is tear gas or smoke present. Further, if surrounded and moving slowly, you may want to take off your seat belt to allow a quick exit from the vehicle should it be overturned or set on fire.
                                                                                  I have previously quoted some survival tips from Mas Ayoob on this particular circumstance which you may also want to read.

                                                                                  Saturday, November 26, 2016

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

                                                                                  Video: "AR-15 Barrel Length & Twist Rate (Part II)"--Captain Berz. I linked to the first part yesterday, which discussed barrel length. Part 2 discusses barrel materials and twist rate.

                                                                                  If this were a just world, 13 facts would be etched on Castro’s tombstone and highlighted in every obituary, as bullet points — a fitting metaphor for someone who used firing squads to murder thousands of his own people.

                                                                                    ●He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.

                                                                                      ●He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.

                                                                                        ●He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.

                                                                                          ●He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.

                                                                                            ●He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.

                                                                                              ●He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.

                                                                                                ●He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.

                                                                                                  ●He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.

                                                                                                    ●He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.
                                                                                                        ●He censored all means of expression and communication.

                                                                                                          ●He established a fraudulent school system that provided indoctrination rather than education, and created a two-tier health-care system, with inferior medical care for the majority of Cubans and superior care for himself and his oligarchy, and then claimed that all his repressive measures were absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of these two ostensibly “free” social welfare projects.

                                                                                                            ●He turned Cuba into a labyrinth of ruins and established an apartheid society in which millions of foreign visitors enjoyed rights and privileges forbidden to his people.

                                                                                                              ●He never apologized for any of his crimes and never stood trial for them.

                                                                                                                In sum, Fidel Castro was the spitting image of Big Brother in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” So, adiós, Big Brother, king of all Cuban nightmares. And may your successor, Little Brother, soon slide off the bloody throne bequeathed to him.
                                                                                                                •  "What Would a Long Range Sharpshooter Infantry Paradigm Look Like? Part 1: The Weapons"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel F. "explore[s] one of the most heavily promoted future infantry small arms system concepts: A shift from close range 5.56mm assault rifles and automatic rifles backed up by longer-ranged 7.62mm weapons in the weapons squad and used by designated marksmen in the rifle squads, to a new, longer ranged marksmanship-oriented force designed to achieve 'overmatch' (i.e., to outrange) against enemy 7.62mm small arms, and to defeat them with superior precision and lethality of fire." In this part, he discusses the weapons and ammunition, looking at the trade-offs of a hypothetical "ideal" round capable of dominating at the 600 - 1000 meter range. The round would also dictate barrel length; to get optimal performance, the barrel would likely need to be between 16 inches and 20 inches, depending on the ammunition. 
                                                                                                                • "The danger of retention and contact shooting"--Max Ox at Multibriefs: Exclusive (h/t Defensive Pistolcraft). The point of this article is that the standard training on contact shooting--generally having your non-dominant hand or elbow extended toward the perpetrator to keep him from being able to grab you or your gun--doesn't always work in the real world. Ox writes:
                                                                                                                In force-on-force work I've done, the time to get the gun into play varies from 1-4 seconds, depending on the type of concealment (if any), how compliant your training partner is, and if Mr. Murphy and his law make a visit during the process.
                                                                                                                  As soon as the attacker acts, the [contact shooting] technique doesn't work anymore.
                                                                                                                    An untrained fighter can deliver 3-5 strikes per second or 1-3 "haymaker" or "lights-out" strikes per second. Those strikes could be with his hands, a knife, golf club, tire iron, baseball bat, etc. In a perfect world, you're looking at 1-1.5 seconds to deliver the first shot from your gun — and it's probably going to be a gut shot. In a perfect world, that gut shot will instantly stop your attacker.
                                                                                                                      But that's not the way it usually works.
                                                                                                                        Noncompliant attackers who are taking actions that justify you shooting them are probably going to be hitting, cutting or shooting you during the time it takes you to get your gun into the fight.
                                                                                                                          There's a good chance he'll try to go for your gun or hurt you to keep you from shooting him. And there's a good chance that 1-2 pistol shots to the gut aren't going to stop the fight before he does more damage to you — regardless of how lethal those shots may end up being.
                                                                                                                            Contact shooting just doesn't work well in that context. Ask anyone who's tried it with force-on-force training, and they'll tell you the same thing: It only works with a compliant training partner.
                                                                                                                              So, what should you do? There are a couple of approaches.
                                                                                                                                The first is to strike your attacker in the throat or eyes instead of going for your gun. Either strike will happen much sooner than going for your gun, will get your attacker on the defensive faster than going for your gun, and have a better chance of minimizing the damage you'll take.
                                                                                                                                  Depending on the attacker and his level of druggedness, drunkenness or derangement, the eye/throat strike may even stop the attack faster than a gut shot.
                                                                                                                                    The second approach is to do rapid-fire, palm-heel strikes to the head/face until you shift your attacker's center of mass backward. As soon as this shift happens, you can take a step back, draw your pistol with the use of both hands before he starts advancing again, and engage that attacker or other attackers as needed.
                                                                                                                                      Both are effective. Both have strengths. And both are way more likely to work in a real-life situation than an all-gun-all-the-time approach.
                                                                                                                                        Read the whole thing.
                                                                                                                                        • Related: "Ruger Mini-14/30 Barrel Twist Rates"--Sunflower Ammo. The data is set out by year of manufacture and serial number. But, basically, until sometime in 1986, the Mini-14 used a 1:10 twist, then was changed to a 1:7 until 1997 when it went to 1:9. So, if you have a Mini-14 made between 1986 and 1997, you might get better accuracy by moving up to a heavier bullet: 62 grains or heavier.
                                                                                                                                          Antarctic sea ice had barely changed from where it was 100 years ago, scientists have discovered, after poring over the logbooks of great polar explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

                                                                                                                                            Experts were concerned that ice at the South Pole had declined significantly since the 1950s, which they feared was driven by man-made climate change.

                                                                                                                                              But new analysis suggests that conditions are now virtually identical to when the Terra Nova and Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 1900s, indicating that declines are part of a natural cycle and not the result of global warming.
                                                                                                                                              In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
                                                                                                                                              Genesis 7:11. Oh, and Ezekiel's account of water arising from a spring underneath the millennial temple that would heal the Dead Sea.

                                                                                                                                              Friday, November 25, 2016

                                                                                                                                              Anonymous Conservative's Holiday Special

                                                                                                                                              I just noticed that the Anonymous Conservative is offering a holiday deal (through Nov. 28) on the print editions of his books--$10 off the cover price.

                                                                                                                                              November 25, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                              Let me say, up front, I am not suggesting you need to shoot any wild animal that might wander into your neighborhood. Animals may come to town because they are hungry, thirsty or because they are just young and/or lost. Their mere presence does not automatically constitute a threat. In most cases, a person can merely make a lot of noise and wave their arms in order to scare the animal into leaving. If the animal is not presenting an immediate danger, the local game warden can be called in to capture and relocate the critter.
                                                                                                                                              On the other hand, when a wild animal, especially a predator, loses its natural sense of aloofness and/or its natural fear of people, it is time to get a little worried. This is especially true if the animal, once aware of your presence, begins advancing toward you. Another indication of possible trouble would be encountering animals that are usually nocturnal wandering around in the daylight. All of these may be an indication of impending trouble.
                                                                                                                                              • "Long Barrel, or Short? The Effectiveness Trade-Off Between 14.5″ and 20″ Barrels"--Nathaniel F. at The Firearms Blog. Assuming a fragmentation threshold of 2500 fps, Nathaniel notes that M855 from a 14.5 inch M4 will fall below this threshold at 125 meters because it starts with a muzzle velocity under 3,000 fps; however, with a 20 inch barrel, the distance it falls below the threshold is pushed out to 190 meters. (This video from Captain Berz also covers this issue). Nathaniel goes on to point out, however, that as a barrel gets shot out, or due to cold weather or even variance in the ammunition, it is very possible for muzzle velocity to be 200 fps less than cited above. That reduces the distance of the fragmentation threshold to only 66 meters from an M4 and 133 meters from a 20 inch barrel. However, the proper response is to design a bullet that will fragment at a lower velocity; e.g., the M855A1, which which has a fragmentation threshold that Nathaniel estimates to be around 1,900 fps. Under normal conditions, then, Nathaniel calculates that the fragmentation threshold for M855A1 is 391 meters and 326 meters, respectively, from 20 inch and 14.5 inch barrels. 
                                                                                                                                              M855A1 is not available to the public, currently. On the other hand, civilians also aren't required to use a full metal jacket type of ammunition. Hunting rounds will generally have an expansion threshold well below that of even the M855A1. Another issue to consider is that the comparison above is between a 20 inch and a 14.5 inch. However, when considering what is available to civilians (absent getting an SBR stamp), there is less difference between a rifle length barrel and a 16 inch barrel than between a 16 inch and a 14 inch barrel. My decision to go with an 18 inch barrel was based more on my desire for a rifle length gas system than an improvement in velocity.
                                                                                                                                              • "A BMG For The Masses: The Serbu RN-50"--The Firearms Blog. This is a break-action type single shot rifle, with a suggested retail price of $1199. Although the barrel tips up for reloading, it doesn't actually open the action. Rather, the breach block must be unscrewed to load or unload the weapon.
                                                                                                                                              • The wages of sin socialism: "Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse"--The New York Times. A story of  refugees fleeing Venezuela’s economic disaster to the Caribbean island of Curaçao. However, the article illustrates a more general problem:
                                                                                                                                                Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s richest countries, flush with oil wealth that attracted immigrants from places as varied as Europe and the Middle East.

                                                                                                                                                    But after President Hugo Chávez vowed to break the country’s economic elite and redistribute wealth to the poor, the rich and middle class fled to more welcoming countries in droves, creating what demographers describe as Venezuela’s first diaspora.

                                                                                                                                                        Now a second diaspora is underway — much less wealthy and not nearly as welcome.

                                                                                                                                                            Well over 150,000 Venezuelans have fled the country in the last year alone, the highest in more than a decade, according to scholars studying the exodus.
                                                                                                                                                            The article notes that the majority of those fleeing the country have gone across the borders to Brazil or Columbia; fleeing by sea is merely the most visually dramatic efforts to escape the country. The article also describes what awaits these refugees:
                                                                                                                                                              The exodus is unfolding so quickly that since 2015 about 30,000 Venezuelans have moved to the border region that includes the Brazilian state of Roraima, officials say. Now the Brazilian Army is bolstering patrols along highways and rivers, bracing for even more arrivals.

                                                                                                                                                                  “We’re at the start of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in this part of the Amazon,” said Col. Edvaldo Amaral, the state’s civil defense chief. “We’re already seeing Venezuelan lawyers working as supermarket cashiers, Venezuelan women resorting to prostitution, indigenous Venezuelans begging at traffic intersections.”

                                                                                                                                                                      Some are paying smugglers more than $1,000 a person to reach cities like Manaus and São Paulo, officials say, while others just manage to cross the border into Brazil. In Pacaraima, a small Brazilian border town, hundreds of Venezuelan children are now enrolled in local schools and entire families are sleeping on the streets of town.
                                                                                                                                                                      According to the article, the Caribbean islands are less welcoming: if they catch illegal aliens they detain them and then ship them back to Venezuela. They simply lack the resources to absorb the influx of refugees. 
                                                                                                                                                                      Remember that Venezuelans wanted socialism, and even though they have seen the results first hand, they will be bringing this same political outlook with them where ever they flee.
                                                                                                                                                                        “Oh, white girl got money!” a young black man sitting with a friend commented as the girls travelled on the BX8 bus around 3 p.m. Tuesday after dismissal from St. Catharine’s Academy in the Pelham Gardens section of The Bronx.

                                                                                                                                                                            Before they knew it, the boys called up some female friends, who boarded a few stops away — and the girls said the group punched and kicked them while grabbing clumps of their hair.
                                                                                                                                                                            Conventional wisdom tells us that the electoral college requires that the person who lost the popular vote this year must nonetheless become our president. That view is an insult to our framers. It is compelled by nothing in our Constitution. It should be rejected by anyone with any understanding of our democratic traditions  — most important, the electors themselves.
                                                                                                                                                                            Lessig is either an incompetent or a liar. He knows--or should know--that the Electoral College reflects "the Great Compromise" that resulted in a House of Representatives, to give force to the popular will of the people, and a Senate, to protect less populous states from a tyranny of the more populous state. That is why the number of electoral votes possessed by a state is equal to its representation in Congress, i.e., the sum of the number of its representatives and senators. That a presidential candidate might win the popular vote, yet nevertheless not win the election, merely shows that the Electoral College is working as it was intended. 

                                                                                                                                                                            First Impressions: CruxOrd Extended Magazine Release for the Glock Gen 4

                                                                                                                                                                            CruxOrd Extended Magazine Release installed and the factory magazine release below.

                                                                                                                                                                            Back in September, I saw a review of the CruxOrd Extended Magazine Release at The Truth About Guns. The CruxOrd product intrigued me because it was curved, whereas the factory release button is flat. Because of the curve, the CruxOrd release extends out further toward the back of button, where the factory button is pretty much flush; but doesn't extend any further on the front of the button. The problem with the factor release, at least for me, is that absent shifting my grip on the weapon, I did not always have a positive release of the magazine. Just playing around it with it in preparation for this article, I had about a third of the time that I didn't get the magazine release pressed in far enough on my first try to drop the magazine.

                                                                                                                                                                            The CruxOrd magazine retails for $24.99. Ordering from CruxOrd, shipping was another $6.99. Shipping was prompt, and I received the package in less than a week.

                                                                                                                                                                            Close Up -- Front

                                                                                                                                                                            Close Up -- Back
                                                                                                                                                                             Vickers Tactical makes a model that is very similar for only $16 or $17 dollars depending on the retailer. However, the Vickers model is polymer, while the CruxOrd is machined from aluminum. To me it was worth the extra $8 or $9.

                                                                                                                                                                            In any event, looking over the CruxOrd, the machining and finish looked pretty good. Installation was pretty easy. Although CruxOrd does not include any instructions, the Glock manual describes how to switch out the magazine release so you can reverse it. I took a photograph of the instructions, just in case you don't have a copy of the manual handy.

                                                                                                                                                                            Instruction from the Glock manual.
                                                                                                                                                                            Comparing the two releases, you can see how the CruxOrd compares to the factory release.

                                                                                                                                                                            Side by side comparison, with the factory release on the bottom.
                                                                                                                                                                            Although the dimensions are only slightly different from the factory model, small dimensional differences can be significant for ergonomics. And such is the case here. The CruxOrd is really no more intrusive than the factory original, but because the rear of the CruxOrd release extends above the surface of the grip, it is much easier to get a positive magazine drop without having to shift your grip on the weapon.

                                                                                                                                                                            Is this a life-or-death, must-have modification? Probably not. For most people, unless you are competing or regularly clearing buildings full of bad guys, where rapid magazine changes are necessary, the improvement in speed will probably be small enough to be insignificant. But if you have smaller hands and/or a shorter thumb, I believe this release can make a significant difference. And even if that is not an issue, the CruxOrd simply feels better.

                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't had the opportunity to take it to the range, but just playing around with it at home, inserting and dropping empty magazines, it was a definite improvement. I give it two thumbs up.

                                                                                                                                                                            Wednesday, November 23, 2016

                                                                                                                                                                            November 23, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                                                            In a series of experiments this year, units from 2nd Marine Division will be silencing every element of an infantry battalion -- from M4 rifles to .50 caliber machine guns.

                                                                                                                                                                                The commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, Maj. Gen. John Love, described these plans during a speech to Marines at the Marine Corps Association Ground Dinner this month near Washington, D.C.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The proof-of-concept tests, he said, included Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, which began an Integrated Training Exercise pre-deployment last month at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

                                                                                                                                                                                        "What we've found so far is it revolutionizes the way we fight," Love told "It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires."
                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Black Friday 2016 Gun Deal Roundup (+ Poll)"--The Firearms Blog. This is just a list of what the author thought were pretty good deals on certain items. A couple things jumped out at me, however. (1) First, was an advertisement from Dick's for two boxes of the Federal Auto .22 for $35, which lends some credence to rumors circulating on the internet that some of the big retailers have been sitting on large quantities of .22 ammunition. (2) Second was an AR style .308 being offered by Brownells for $750. It makes me wonder if the price of the AR-10 style rifles may finally be coming down into the sub-$1,000 range.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Nils Ferber's Micro Wind Turbine Charges Your Portable Devices In Remote Locations"--Design Boom. Charging is via a USB port using wind power. According to the article, "the device which weighs less than one kilogram, operates day and night, and can be folded down to the size of a trekking pole." Unfortunately, this appears to be a prototype, not something available for sale.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Major Advertising Technology Company Bars Breitbart News for Hate Speech"--Bloomberg. The company in question is AppNexus. Another company where the pet peeves of its officers is getting in the way of the officers' duty to the Company's shareholders. 
                                                                                                                                                                                        • I blame Black Lives Matter: "Cops fear copycat attacks across the U.S. after a FIFTH officer is shot in three days"--Daily Mail.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • "Storm Clouds Gather Over America’s Cities"--American Interest. This is yet another article form the American Interest concerning the looming pension crises facing cities and states. This particular article focuses primarily on Dallas, which has experienced a run on its funds by retirees taking out large blocks of money, and Los Angeles which now spends 20% of its annual budget just to service its pension fund. The author predicts that "[s]ome of the bloodiest fights over the next few years will be between blue cities and red state legislatures as pension liabilities force municipalities to ask for assistance." He also notes that "[w]ith Republicans dominant at the state level (and now at the federal level), cities aren’t going to have an easy time getting help."
                                                                                                                                                                                        • They want a civil war: "Yes, in the U.S., the people can reject a president — if they’re sure he’s a tyrant"--Washington Post. The author, who probably has never before given much thought to the founding fathers or the writings of John Locke, is suddenly inspired to realize that "[e]lections do not magically transfer the sovereignty of the American people to their leaders. The People retain their sovereignty. They therefore retain the authority to reject a leader’s legitimacy — even after that leader is freely and fairly elected." Of course, she qualifies this by stating that such opposition must be justified by a long train of abuses (citing the Declaration of Independence). Not to worry, though, she is able to still twist this into an argument for rejecting a Trump presidency before it has even begun. She writes:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Trump has said, among other things, that he would lock up his political opponent, deport immigrants and register Muslims. He has endorsed torture and expressed a willingness to kill the families of terrorists, which would be a war crime. We know that undivided government is imminent; therefore, such designs are imminently realizable.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Apparently, we are instead supposed to accept Hillary, notwithstanding her well documented abuses of authority and power, and her decisions in regard to Libya and Syria that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • "An Open Letter To My White Family, Friends, Neighbors And Colleagues"--Huffington Post. The author, Susan Naimark, is a perfect illustration of an r-select individual groveling at the feet of what she perceives to be the growing power in the United States--minority nationalist movements. However, to help out her fellow Caucasian "rabbits," she has written a list of suggestions of how they too can grovel for favor without getting in the way of the minorities that would otherwise turn upon them.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • A prescient article from 1991: "Melting-pot Meltdown In The U.S."--Yuji Aida at the Chicago Tribune (h/t Vox Day). He wrote:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Americans are proud of their melting-pot heritage. But as blacks, Hispanics and Asians gradually come to outnumber whites, that ideal will fade. Like the Soviet Union today, the United States will have to deal with contentious ethnic groups demanding greater autonomy and even political independence. That could prove to be industrial America`s undoing. 

                                                                                                                                                                                        * * *
                                                                                                                                                                                          Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time before U.S. minority groups espouse self-determination in some form. When that happens, the country may become ungovernable.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Today, non-white groups are challenging the traditional order. Within the next 100 years, and probably much sooner, most Americans will be people of color. For the first time since the United States came into being, Caucasians will be a minority. Illiteracy may become widespread, and many Americans will not speak standard English.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ... Do blacks and Hispanics, for instance, have the skills and knowledge to run an advanced industrial economy? If the answer is yes, America will maintain its vitality through the next century and beyond. But I`m skeptical. Consider black Africa, for example. Struggling against outside pressures to forge independent nation-states from different tribal cultures, the region is plagued by poverty, political instability and other serious problems. Former Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America have also failed to create viable high-tech societies. Iberian and African cultural traits seem to impede industrialization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am not suggesting that these groups are racially inferior. Each ethnic community has historically conditioned abilities that give it an adaptive edge. In the modern age, however, these features are often obstacles to progress.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Days after the John F. Kennedy assassination, top White House aides read an eyes-only report that Cuba was behind the shocking Dallas murder.  Castro had warned he'd retaliate if the Kennedy administration kept trying to kill him, and they continued.  New president Lyndon Johnson ordered the secret report buried.  If made public, the U.S. would have to attack Soviet-backed Cuba and thus start World War III. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's been 53 years since that terrible day in Dallas, and the "Cuban Connection" has resurfaced in newly revealed secret diaries of a deceased Cold War spy and assassin.  Douglas Bazata was a decorated OSS special forces "Jedburgh" in World War II and a celebrated freelance spy who, after the war, worked for the CIA, among other intelligence agencies.  His now decoded secret diaries tell for the first time the extraordinary story of his close friend, Rene A. Dussaq, a fellow "Jed" and larger-than-life clandestine, who, he says hatched the assassination plan and led it as a shooter in Dallas. ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • "The Benedict Option After The Election"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. If you have been following my daily briefs for any length of time, you will be aware that Dreher is a Christian writer and thinker who has been attempting to create a strategy for Christians to survive the increased anti-Christian culture of the West. He envisions a future much bleaker than now, where all public expression of Christianity and Christian beliefs will be verboten and punished, forcing Christians to essentially live underground or on the fringes of society. In this article, he addresses the issue of whether Trump's win will make any difference to the current trajectory of the country. He writes:
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The good news from the Trump victory is that the progressive assault on religious liberty has probably been halted for a period, or at least slowed down. ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                * * *

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But this surprise Trump win in no way obviates the need for the Benedict Option. All it does is buys us a little more time, and maybe a little more space within which to build it. My great concern is that conservative Christians who were beginning to perceive the danger to our faith coming from an aggressively secularist government will now allow themselves to believe that everything is fine, because we are going to have a GOP president and a GOP Congress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, one of the reasons the church is in the perilous place it’s in is because far too many conservative Christians were complacent about the culture, thinking that all we had to do was to vote Republican and get “good” judges in place, and everything would be fine. Wrong, wrong, wrong. A change of administration in Washington is not going to change historical currents that have been desacralizing the Western mind for at least 200 years. To the extent that conservative Christians believe this lie, they leave themselves wide open.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you are under the impression that the chief threat to Christianity is the power of the state as embodied in the person of Hillary Clinton, you are seriously misreading the times. ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dreher then cites to certain liberal "Christians" attacking Christian leaders who do not welcome homosexual values into their churches. Dreher continues with a discussion of why Christian churches cannot follow the culture into the abyss:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But Scripture is very clear about this, and the belief that Christianity forbids homosexual conduct was unquestioned for nearly 2,000 years. So if a Presbyterian pastor in Deepest Jesusland hasn’t worked out a sophisticated theological answer to the challenge posed by homosexuality, that does not mean that he is wrong. It only means that he accepts the authority of Scripture and the weight of nearly every generation since apostolic times believing without question that Scripture is true on this point. If you are going to say that Scripture is wrong, and the church’s interpretation of Scripture for nearly two millennia was wrong, you’re going to have to do a lot better than this.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He explains that instead it is the tide of the culture that is the threat. "We are living in a 'post-truth' era," Dreher writes, "one in which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the term (it’s Word of the Year 2016), 'objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.'" It is the spirit of compromise that is particularly dangerous. Quoting Jonathan Haidt, he notes that "when your opponent is the devil, bargaining and compromise are themselves forms of sacrilege."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To compound the matter further, Dreher argues that we, as a nation, are formed of different tribes, and the beliefs of the different tribes are not a result of selfishness, per se, but represent what to that tribe are sacred values: "beliefs that he holds to be non-negotiably true, beliefs that cannot be proven objectively (often about the way reality is constructed), but that he considers to be self-evident." To the left, one of these "sacred values" is that that religious people have no right to impose their religious beliefs on everybody else, including expressing or exercising those beliefs in public. And it is because of these "sacred values" that the left will never understand the right or Christians:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The fact that so many liberals fail to understand that they are not operating from a position of neutrality, but are taking sides on subjective grounds, accounts for their inability to understand why so many people oppose them. That so many conservatives fail to understand that liberals, despite what they like to tell themselves, are generally no less driven by their own ideas of the sacred accounts for why conservatives remain confused about what liberals want and why they want it — though, as Haidt’s research has shown, conservatives are far more likely to understand the liberal mind than liberals are to understand the conservative one.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Read the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wokeness is War

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I post a lot about the decline of our civilization, including topics about declining morality, the war on fathers and the traditional f...