Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Black Pigeon Speaks (8 min.)
Seth Rich:
       This might be a big deal. First, some background. Rich was a Democratic National Committee staffer who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. at about 4:20 a.m. on July 10, 2016. He was shot twice in the back, and, although his death was described as a botched robbery by police, none of his possessions--watch, wallet, etc.--were taken. He apparently left a bar that he frequented shortly before the shooting, appearing more drunk than what was normal. After Rich's killing, Julian Assange, of Wikileaks fame, hinted that Rich may have been the source of the emails leaked to Wikileaks showing collusion between Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC. Wikileaks later offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer(s).
       A few days ago, Fox News reported that Rod Wheeler, a retired Washington homicide detective investigating the case on behalf of the Rich family, claimed that there had been email correspondence between Rich and Wikileaks. However, an unnamed federal source seemed to back up Wheeler's claim, telling Fox that:
       An FBI forensic report of Rich's computer -- generated within 96 hours after Rich's murder -- showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time, the federal source told Fox News.
           “I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.
      Rich's family, however, has denied that Wheeler's claims are true. Wheeler also has walked back on his statements, claiming that he was merely summarizing what the Fox News reported had told him--presumably, referring to the information from the unnamed federal official. 
               In any event, it is what the unnamed federal investigator said which is important, if true. Robert Gore at Straight Line Logic sums it up in his article, "Let’s Connect the Dots." His basic conclusion, however, is that: 
          If Seth Rich was the source of the WikiLeaks’ DNC email disclosures and the FBI knew it, then the Russian hacking story was a fabrication, and James Comey was probably involved in an attempt to drive President Trump from office.

            • "TFB REVIEW: Comrade Arms TAK-47"--The Firearms Blog. The TAK-47 is a Chinese manufactured semi-automatic shotgun based on the AK platform. Although the weapon only ships with 5-round magazines, it will accept magazines designed for the Saiga shotguns. It has an adjustable gas regulator to allow use of both express rounds or field/practice loads. The author indicates that the street price is between $500 and $600.
            • "Executive Protection Gear: Tools Of The Trade"--Loadout Room. Handgun in an IWB holster (so he can ditch his jacket if necessary), programmable field radio, and he carries a trauma kit and a Swisstech ‘Bodygard’ which has a window breaker and seat belt cutter. Anyway, he lists specific brands and models of holster, belt, phone apps, and other gear, so check it out if it interests you.
            • "8 Things That Can Go Wrong in the Next Disaster"--Modern Survival Online. (1) panic; (2) hypothermia; (3) dehydration; (4) physical injury; (5) bad food or water leading to food poisoning, dysentery, or other maladies; (6) allergic reactions; (7) getting lost; and (8) threats or dangers poised by other people.
            • "History & Physical: Full Version"--Grid Down Medicine. What questions to ask, and what vitals to take, when treating a patient. Of course, knowing what to do from that point is what separates a doctor from the rest of us.
            • "Decoding Cast Iron Numbers and Lettering"--Mental Scoop (H/t SHTF Preparedness). The author explains:
                    Back when wood-burning stoves were first becoming prevalent, pans were made to fit the variously sized openings in the top called stove eyes.  Essentially a stove eye is the equivalent of a modern burner.  It was a heavy cover piece made to fit eyes not being used directly.  For maximum direct heat, the stove eyes could be removed with a special lifter handle as well.
                       In early cast iron pans, there was typically a rim or heat ring on the bottom surface of the pan.  The heat ring provided stability for the pan and helped to maintain consistent temperature by essentially sealing the pan over the stove eye.  So depending on the brand of a particular stove and the sizes of its eyes, pans of various and corresponding sizes would need to be purchased.
                         Though wood-burning stoves gave way to gas, and eventually electric stovetops, this system of numbering continued as the standard for sizing cast iron cookware.
                  Other Stuff:
                  South African farmers were being exterminated at the annual rate of 313 per 100,000 inhabitants, 3,000 since the election of the sainted Nelson Mandela (1994), two a week, seven in March of 2010, “four times as high as is for the rest of the [South African] population,” in the words of Genocide Watch’s Dr. Gregory H. Stanton.
                  That makes being a South African farmer the most dangerous job in the world; and, the most dangerous population demographic outside of a war zone. 
                  • Related: "South Africa: New wealth distribution measures just empty rhetoric?"--Deutsche Welle. The article relates that South African President Zuma is coming under increasing pressure to redistribute land and wealth from whites to blacks. Accordingly, he has stepped up his rhetoric, claiming that his attempts at economic reform have been stymied by a "Western forces" conspiring to remove him from office because he is fighting "white monopoly capital." The probable outcome is that South Africans will butcher the goose that lays the golden eggs, and wind up with no goose or eggs.
                  • So, sort of like Africa: "The secret in paradise: Violence mars Caribbean life"--Miami Herald. According to the article, "the region has some of the lowest victimization by property crime in the world but one of the world’s highest violent crime rates. Nearly 1 in 3 citizens has lost someone to violence, and individuals are more likely to be a victim of assault or a threat than anywhere else in the hemisphere." The crime is largely kept away from the glitzy tourist traps, but rather "the region’s crime victims are often concentrated in poorer communities where graffiti, trash and abandoned buildings are the norm, trust among neighbors is low and gangs are aplenty."
                  • Ibid. "Chicago district’s violence escalates with assault-style rifles"--Gun Writer. The media has complained of "assault rifles" in the hands of gangs for so long that the gangs have finally taken notice. Or, it is the result of growing influence of gangs migrating north from Mexico and Central America. As I've noted before, Chicago is the primary distribution hub for drugs in the United States, and valuable territory for the cartels. 
                           Over a five-day stretch this month, in a single police district on this city’s South Side, 13 people were shot with assault-style rifles. The victims included two police officers wounded while sitting in a van. And 10 others were shot last Sunday during an impromptu memorial service for a man who had been killed a few hours earlier near the same spot along a neighborhood street.
                             The use of high-powered weaponry is an unsettling subplot in Chicago’s long-running struggle with gun and gang violence. Most of the city’s shootings involve handguns, but the use of an AK-47 or AR-15 rifle can wound far more victims in far less time, leaving police overwhelmed and residents ever more wary of venturing outdoors.
                      From the late 1970s until 2010 China averaged more than nine percent real growth, but growth has fallen considerably since, coming in at 6.7 percent for all of 2016. More troubling than the country’s dive in growth is its collapse in productivity. All of China’s growth now is achieved through mobilizing more money and labor, not improvements in human capital or technology. It now takes three times as much capital to generate a single unit of economic growth as it did in 2008. The result is an explosion of debt that now accounts for at least 280 percent of GDP, and could break through the 300 percent mark by year’s end.
                      On top of everything else, China is starting to chase away foreign investors who are getting tired of the corruption and onerous restrictions on foreign businesses.
                      • "Migrants Are r-strategists – Is Enslaving Them Wrong?"--Anonymous Conservative. No, this isn't a call to resume the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Rather, it is a look at the slave markets that have emerged in Libya after Hillary's and Obama's "successful" intervention there, and an observation that liberals are predisposed to be either tyrants or slaves. In particular, AC notes an article describing the encounter between a migrant and his former slaver. AC points out: 
                      Notice, he essentially says, “You killed my best friend, made me into a slave, and ruined my life!… Hey, do you have something to give me to eat?” That is an r-strategist. His friend was killed right in front of him. He was totally screwed by someone with no morals. And just like a ... rabbit next to another rabbit’s dead body, he doesn’t care. All he can think about is grazing. To a K-strategist, that is the makings of a blood oath of vengeance. But not to a rabbit.

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