Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Blood and Iron HEMA. Tough enough to stop steel blades, .22 LR, and even birdshot. The boss was able to stop buckshot and 9 mm.

  • "The Weaponry of American's [sic] Most Lethal Sniper"--Soldier of Fortune. In this April 2012, Chris Kyle discusses a bit about his style or "superstitions" involved with sniping, and then goes on to discuss a few of the weapons he used. One of those weapons was the Mk-12, of which he writes:
     Derived from what became known as the .223 cartridge and therefore smaller and lighter than most earlier military rounds, the 5.56 is not a preferred bullet to shoot someone with. It can take a few shots to put someone down, especially the drugged-up crazies we were dealing with in Iraq, unless you hit him in the head. Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, not all sniper shots, certainly not mine, take the bad guys in the head. Usually I went for center mass—a nice, fat target somewhere in the middle of the body, giving me plenty of room to work with.

         The gun was super-easy to handle and was virtually interchangeable with the M-4 which, though not a sniper weapon, is still a valuable combat tool. As a matter of fact, when I got back to my platoon, I took the lower receiver off my M-4 and put it on the upper receiver of my Mk-12. That gave me a collapsible stock and allowed me to go full-auto.

           On patrol, I like to use a shorter stock. It’s quicker to get up to my shoulder and get a bead on somebody. It’s also better for working inside and in tight quarters.

             Another note on my personal configuration: I never used full-auto on the rifle. The only time you really want full-auto is to keep someone’s head down; spewing bullets doesn’t make for an accu¬rate course of fire. But since there might be a circumstance where it would come in handy, I always wanted to have that option in case I needed it.
        Another rifle he used was the Mk. 11/SR 25 (essentially, an AR-10 style rifle). Of this, he comments:
          Officially called the Mk-11 Mod X Special Purpose Rifle and also known as the SR25, this is an extremely versatile weapon. I particularly like the idea of the Mk-11 because I could patrol with it (in place of an M-4) and still use it as a sniper rifle. It didn’t have a collapsible stock, but that was its only drawback. ... It fired 7.62 x 51mm bullets from a 20-round box. Those had more stopping power than the smaller 5.56mm rounds. I could shoot a guy once and put him down. Our rounds were match-grade ammo bought from Black Hills, which makes probably the best sniper ammo around.
          Unfortunately, as he discusses, the Mk-11 had a poor reputation in the field due to jamming. He indicates that part of the problem was a double feed somehow caused by closing the dust cover. Kyle indicates that "[t]here were other issues with the weapon, however, and personally it was never one of my favorites." 
               Another weapon which he used, and really liked, were a couple of .300 Win. Mag. bolt-action rifles. The first was an Army M-24, which is built off of the Remington 700 action. The second was an Accuracy International. Kyle notes that the majority of his kills were with using the .300 Win. Mag. 
               Kyle was not impressed with, and did not like, the .50 caliber rifles. Although it can punch a hole in an engine block, Kyle noted that it did not instantly stop a vehicle; and a .300 or .338 could do the same thing. Instead, "the best way to stop a vehicle is to shoot the driver, and that you can do with a number of weapons." 
               He like the .338 Lapua--thought it could do everything the .50 could--but they were only becoming available toward the end of his deployment.
          • "Access Lost: A Familiar Malady"--Outdoor Life. The author discusses the increasing habit of property owners to close favorite areas to hunting or shooting. In may area, the BLM has shut down some areas to shooting to supposedly protect raptors; while other areas remain open, the BLM seems to be selling or leasing the surrounding property to owners that then block access to the BLM land. The author also notes: "I am not alone. In fact, surveys from the National Shooting Sports Foundation illustrate that lost access is the No. 1 reason hunters are forced to give up their beloved pastime."
          • "Pirating During a SHTF Event: Sometimes you have to consider supplying by alternate means."--All Outdoors. A recent article discussed one of the great moral dilemmas  in prepping: assisting those that have not prepared. This article brings up another of the great moral dilemmas: using other people's property to supplement or replenish your preps. There are really two issues, which the author has, I believe, mistakenly joined. 
               First is the issue of scavenging or foraging, which I define as procuring items that are lost, unclaimed or abandoned. Under the common law, as a general rule, abandoned property belongs to the finder of the property against all others, including a former owner. Lost property (which can include property that was stolen) generally still belongs to the true owner, but most states provide procedures for someone finding lost property to make a claim on the property and to obtain ownership if the true owner does not claim the property within a certain period of time. In any event, as to lost property, the finder generally has a claim to the property greater than anyone other than the true owner. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), as adopted by most states, has its own rules on what happens if you purchase lost or stolen property from someone.  
               Second is stealing or looting (what the author refers to as pirating): taking property that clearly belongs to someone else. While in most cases it will be clear that property is owned by someone, there will be times that it is not clear, and I suspect that the grey area will grow as the duration of an disaster draws out. For instance, if there is a financial collapse, going to your grocery store that day and taking "supplies" will be looting. Six months after the collapse, and the store has not been boarded up or secured, it is arguable that the items inside have been abandoned. But what about one week after the collapse? Or one month?  
               There are some books that advocate against scavenging or foraging, equating it to stealing (see, e.g., the post-SHTF novel, A Distant Eden). Others are supportive of scavenging--in fact, Joe Nobody has a book just on that particular practice: Without Rule of Law. Other books seem to take the position that scavenging is fine, and that looting of certain items (medications) may even be acceptable (see, e.g., The Prepper Pages, which has a section on medications and where to find or scavenge them). And yet other authors seem to believe that when SHTF goes down, the only law is the law of nature, and looting and stealing is perfectly acceptable (see, e.g., Surviving a Global Disaster).
               What was not widely reported is on the other side of the LA  city limit lines, police from different municipalities were geared up and waiting. Mini-riots tried to break out in multiple cities in the LA area, but the local PDs -- literally -- smashed them on the spot. Meanwhile, inside LA city limits, it was the withdrawal of the LAPD that both kept the damage localized to Los Angeles and allowed it to escalate.

                 This resulted in looters driving into LA from other cities to 'riot.'
                   Here's some more grist for the mill. The LA riots, contrary to popular perception were not just a "Black thaing." They may have started that way, but at the end, not so much. LA has been described as a 3 piece suit -- Brown, Black and White. You saw Men’s Wearhouse in the rioting and looting. What is of particular interest is how the established Mexican Community very clearly said "It ain't us, it's the Salvadorians, Guatemalans and Nicaraguans” (newcomers).  Which if you watch the raw video feeds and can tell the facial differences of these ethnicities you can see the Chicano claim holds water.  The importance of this is which ‘communities’ had roots and owned homes.
                MacYoung then explains a bit more of how the withdrawal of the LAPD actually caused more violence because then civilians took up arms to protect their property and neighborhood. He concludes:
                       I tell you all of this because there are no simple answers to this. Police cause problems. Police prevent problems. Civilians cause problems. Civilians prevent problems. But what can be clearly stated -- and needs to be understood -- is cops, unlike civilians -- have rules of engagement, limits and use of force restrictions.
                           Civilians don't. That’s the other way bodies start stacking up.
                        Read the whole thing.
                             "We have your mother here, mister known as El Tequilero," says Yadira Guillermo Garcia, whose husband, an engineer, was seized by the gang, addressing the gang leader.
                               "I request an exchange.... I want him safe and sound."

                          Other Stuff:
                          SNAFU also asks the $64,000 question:
                               I don't know what the problem is with our way of war but we've consistently deployed more men, launched more strikes and provided far more support than the Russians could ever dream of yet while they have achieved victory we remain in a stalemate (at best) type of situation in our fights.

                                 Everyone from the Pentagon, to the Administration, to think tanks, to SOCOM and even conventional ground combat units needs to take a serious look at how/why we do what we do and how we can do it better.

                                   The Syrian Army WAS ALL BUT BEATEN and the Russians deploy at most a Marine Brigade along with Paratroopers with some Spetznaz thrown in, mixed in with less than a full air wing and they win the fight?
                              I think the answer is pretty clear: the Russians fought to win and we play it nice. And part of winning a war is doing things that are unpalatable to the West, such as ignoring human shields and bombing hospitals and schools when the rebels had taken refuge in such places. 
                                     Megaphone Strategies, whose stated mission is to “use PR as a tool to diversify progressive movements,” typically works with progressive causes like Black Lives Matter. The firm is representing the handful of “faithless electors” trying to keep President-elect Donald Trump from winning the Electoral College vote.

                                       The firm was co-founded by Van Jones, the former green jobs czar in the Obama White House who later resigned after it was revealed he signed a statement questioning whether the Bush administration had a role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Jones now works as a CNN commentator.

                                         Molly Haigh, Megaphone’s co-founder and president, worked for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Haigh blames the Republican party’s “racist, misogynist, xenophobic fear mongering” for Trump’s rise to power.
                                    • Color me shocked: "Wikipedia 'facts' change depending on where you live: Use this tool to spot the massive bias in articles around the world"--Daily Mail.
                                    • A short time ago, someone commenting on my article about some clues on where the Book of Mormon took place mentioned a British explorer, Sir Richard Burton, who had visited with Brigham Young and, several year later, engaged in some exploration in Brazil. Wanting to find out some more, I scared up a couple articles. The first, "Richard Burton, Victorian explorer" is a short biography of the man published by the Financial Times. Burton was quite a character, according to the article. He was expelled from Oxford in 1842, after which he joined the British East India Company as a soldier. Because of his fluency with languages--he reportedly became fluent in some 40 languages and dialects--he was used as a translator and, apparently, a spy. He later disguised himself in order to participate in the Hajj and view the meteorite worshiped at the Kaaba.  He was part of the expedition sent to discover the source of the Nile River. He explored other areas of Africa, traveled to the United States (including a journey to Salt Lake City and then on to California), after which he received a diplomatic post in South America. And I don't think I listed half of the material covered in the articles. Burton was also a prolific writer, and most of his journeys are well documented in books and pamphlets he published. He also translated various foreign works, including A Thousand and One Nights and the first English translation of the Kama Sutra. After his death, his wife, who was quite the adventuress herself, burned Burton's notes and a manuscript upon which he was working.
                                    Of particular note for LDS readers is this article from The Independent, entitled "When Brigham Young met Richard Burton," which summarizes Burton's trip to Salt Lake City to learn first hand what Mormons were like. From the article:
                                           The "young rival" of the ancient holy cities [a term Burton used to describe Salt Lake City] lay before Burton in gridiron squares, remarkable for its symmetry. All was order. Burton was given an appointment for 11am in the prophet's office. The venerable sage he had expected was instead a heavy-set but youngish man in grey homespun, who spoke with directness and occasional humour. Conversation touched on Burton's African explorations and on Utah and the agricultural, but could not be steered to the matrimonial. Young was firmly in control.

                                             Perhaps unexpectedly, the two men liked each other. Young took his visitor on a tour of the town, and Burton was impressed by the prophet's extensive holdings, especially the private school for his children and the "Lion House" for his plurality of wives. But the captain looked in vain for a veiled face glancing seductively from an upper window. Women were everywhere; what was missing was mystery. Mormon polygamy was, perhaps, simply the monotony of monogamy, multiplied.

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