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.

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