Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


In order of escalation:
    1).   Avoid the road where any protest is planned.  Some times this will be easier than others.
      2).  If the police are there...its their gig.  Stay out of it.
        3).  Your safety and that of your vehicle surpasses the importance of traffic laws.
        He also warns: "There is a difference between being delayed by the antics of these 'flower children', and being attacked by a mob. It is important to not over react.  but also important to not be stuck on stupid when they flower children turn into a legitimate riot with you as the focus." Read the whole thing.
                 If you’re right-handed and wear a hip holster like most of us do, you’ll notice all the seat belt hardware converges on and blocks access to your holstered pistol, or would if you were wearing it. ...

                   The technique for handling this scenario is fairly simple, if you’ve thought about it in advance. If you can drive away, do so. If you can’t, secure the vehicle.” Then grasp the seat belt with your left hand near your left shoulder and slide the hand the length of the belt down to the latch at your right hip. With your right hand, unlatch the belt. Holding the seat belt tab in your left hand, lift it clear of the latch and guide it around the top and outside of the steering wheel up to the connection point by your left shoulder. As the belt retreats toward the anchor point, your right hand draws the pistol and follows the path of your left hand around the top and outside of the steering wheel. As the gun clears the top of the wheel and comes to bear on the driver’s window, your left hand joins the right hand in a solid, two-hand firing grip. At no time during this sweeping draw stroke from your right hip to left-side chest does the pistol’s muzzle cross any part of your body, nor is the seat belt allowed to get tangled on any part of the car. If the threat hasn’t retreated, you deal with it and move on, because the fight isn’t over.

            Other Stuff:
            • "Agency and Interdependence"--Rory Miller discusses the seeming conflict between our necessary interdependence (not just social, but material: we rely on others for our food, electricity, etc.) and individual agency. He doesn't see the two as contradictory because it is our agency and individualism that drives us to be a better person and, hence, more valuable to society. But others don't see it that way:
            You can look at the collectivist movements (socialism, communism, fascism) as attempts to force a tribal level of interdependence from the top down.  It takes massive control because the tribes are artificial and we have enough radical ideas and different points of view that people can find their own tribes and can easily switch tribes. In order for it to work, people would need a monolithic set of values. Hence force. And failure. But those movements appeal mightily to the people looking for that sense of connection.
            Sweden welcomed more than 160,000 asylum-seekers in 2015, and nearly 40,000 in October of that year alone. For a country of fewer than 10 million, this was almost equal to 2 percent of the population — in one year. 
            According to Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji, the country spends 1.5 percent of its GDP on the asylum-seekers, more than on its defense budget. Sweden is spending twice the entire budget of the United Nations high commissioner responsible for refugees worldwide. Pressed for housing, Sweden spends as much on sheltering 3,000 people in tents as it would cost to care for 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.
            Despite what they called "disagreements on many points of faith," the groups outlined their common opposition to the U.S. Department of Education policy extending Title IX protections to transgender students, warning it would threaten religious liberty.
            This is a battle that was lost in 1964. Once the government could force people to associate with others based on grounds of race, gender or religion, the rest was just additional steps down the same long road.
            ... Dostoevsky wrote that a person “cannot live without worshipping something.” Anyone who denies God must worship an idol—which is not necessarily a wooden or metal figure. In our time we have seen ideologies, groups, and leaders receive divine honors. People proud of their critical and discerning spirit have rejected Christ and bowed down before Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or some other secular savior.
            The consequence is nihilism and belief that everything is permitted.
                     The worst of those outbreaks were known as cocoliztli, from the word "pestilence" in the Aztec language Nahuatl.
                       It's during one of these cocoliztli, between 1545 and 1550, that up to 80 percent of the native population is believed to have perished.
                  Researchers studying DNA extracted from teeth from burials during that period have found traces of a strain of salmonella, Salmonella Paratyphi C., which is spread through fecal matter and causes enteric fever -- a typhus-like illness.
                           The newly discovered solar system resembles a scaled-down version of our own. The star at its center, an ultra-cool dwarf called TRAPPIST-1, is less than a tenth the size of our sun and about a quarter as warm. Its planets circle tightly around it; the closest takes just a day and a half to complete an orbit and the most distant takes about 20 days. If these planets orbited a larger, brighter star they would be fried to a crisp. But TRAPPIST-1 is so cool that all seven of the bodies are bathed in just the right amount of warmth to hold liquid water. And three of them receive the same amount of heat as Venus, Earth and Mars, putting them in “the habitable zone,” that Goldilocks region where it's thought life can thrive.

                             Still, “Earthlike” is a generous term to describe these worlds. Though the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system resemble Earth in terms of size, mass and the energy they receive from their star, there's a lot that makes our planet livable besides being a warm rock. Further observation is required to figure out what the TRAPPIST-1 planets are made of, if they have atmospheres and whether they hold water, methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide — the molecules that scientists consider “biosignatures,” or signs of life.
                      * * *

                             ... Though the star is small, its nearness to the planets means that, from their perspective, it appears about three times as large as our sun. The outermost planets enjoy the daily spectacle of their neighbors passing across the sky and in front of their shared sun, each world a large dark spot silhouetted against the salmon-colored star. Its dim glow, which skews toward the red and infrared end of the light spectrum, bathes the planets in warmth and paints their skies with the crimson hues of a perpetual sunset.

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