- "What You Need to Know About Yellowstone Volcano"--All Outdoor. On June 16, 2017, there was a cluster of 60 earthquakes in Yellowstone Park, which has raised concerns that the Yellowstone caldera is acting up, and may be signs of an impending eruption. The number has climbed to 878 over the past 2 weeks, although this includes quakes so small that they can only be detected using specialized instruments. Earthquake swarms are not unusual at Yellowstone, and scientists say "we would need to see considerably more and larger earthquakes, combined with contemporaneous ground deformation, steam explosions, and changes in gas and heat discharge prior to moving the alert level. None of that has occurred.” I've discussed before that one of the key signs that the magma chamber was filling would be uplift, which is not happening.
In any event, the All Outdoor article discusses what could happen if the volcano were to erupt, including a map showing ashbeds from past eruptions. These ashbeds provide evidence of how far from the volcano that ash fall could be expected, and how thick. Notably, the ashbeds tend to fall to the south and east of the volcano due to the direction of prevailing winds. Thus, while the Pacific Northwest is largely spared, there have been ashfalls that covered Southern California, and then east until nearly the Mississippi River, and north east into Canada.
- "Don’t Back Up (Unless You Have To): Self-Defense Tip"--The Truth About Guns. It's good to get off the X and all that, but backing up exposes you to the risk of tripping or falling over something, while not moving you out of an assailant's aim.
- "TFB REVIEW: Strike Industries G4 SlideComp"--The Firearms Blog. This is a muzzle compensator designed for certain of the Gen 4 Glocks, which does not require a threaded barrel or permanent modifications to the firearm. The reviewer believed that it did its job.
- "The Truth About Manual Handgun Safeties"--The Truth About Guns. The author delves into the contentious argument of passive versus manual safeties. From the article:
If you carry a gun with an engaged manual safety, part of that training and practice must therefore be deactivating the manual safety. That isn’t hard to do in the least. It fits into the draw very well, as a matter of fact.
What of real-world incidents where a concealed carrier or officer got themselves killed by not deactivating a manual safety? Back in 2009, Massad Ayoob wrote (in Tactical Life) that he was only able to find one example of a manual safety failure, injury (not death) resulting. A private citizen was wounded after failing to disengage the safety of his Walther .380.
Said citizen also admitted that he’d never practiced with his pistol.
Ayoob recounted several incidents in which officers were killed when a suspect got their gun away from them and shot them due to their duty pistol lacking a manual safety. He also found several instances in which suspects grabbed guns but weren’t able to shoot the disarmed officer because the safety was engaged.
He tested the speed of drawing a gun and firing with the safety on and the safety off, finding only a 1/100th of a second difference. Granted, Mas is far better trained than most shooters and indeed most police officers. But the point remains: with regular practice, there’s little speed advantage to be gained by going sans safety.
Ultimately, the fundamentals of concealed carry are largely the same for everyone, regardless of the platform involved. You need a decent holster with good trigger guard coverage. You have to follow the four rules, especially keeping that booger hook off the bang switch. And you should train enough to become proficient.
I would rather have a manual safety than not.
- "What Bullets Do (And Don’t Do) to Bodies"--John Wayne Taylor at The Truth About Guns. The article is mostly a criticism of an article by Dr. Leana Wen published in The New York Times about bullets and their effects. Needless to say, Taylor finds much wrong with Wen's article. However, Taylor provides some examples of how greatly wounds can vary:
The reality: whether the bullet is expanding or solid, whether it’s fired from a rifle or pistol, bullets can do incredible damage to a human body. But sometimes they don’t.
I’ve seen plenty of tiny icepick wounds from M855 rounds fired from an M4 (see: photo at the top of the post). And I’ve seen an FMJ from an AK-74 turn a femur into what looked like Jell-o.
I’ve seen a patient shoot himself point blank in the hip with a .45ACP fired from a pistol, creating an injury so minor that he was able to hide it from his wife. For weeks. And I’ve seen a bullet from a .357 Magnum revolver make a heart look like half a heart.
- A new Woodpile Report is out.
- "Chores Lead to Happy Children. So Why Do So Few Parents Require Them?"--Intellectual Takeout. The author also notes that "kids need chores in order to form the habits and strong work ethic which has been lost as people have moved away from the family farm and into a post-industrial society."
- The Anonymous Conservative will be making his 3rd Edition of his book, The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics, at no cost to you on Amazon starting today and extending through Thursday. Details at the link.
- "The Army Just Test-Fired A Frickin’ Laser Beam From An Apache Attack Helicopter"--Task and Purpose. Unfortunately, the article doesn't state the power of the laser (number of kilowatts). However, it apparently is being developed to be used by SOCOM to do some of the same tasks as cannon and missiles, but more stealthy.
- The long game: "Gun Controllers Know Their Policies Won’t Stop Murder. They’re Playing A Different Game"--The Federalist. The author explains that gun restrictions favored by the Left would not have stopped the terrorist that shot the Republican Congressmen in Alexandria from obtaining his firearms, nor the terrorists in San Bernadino, nor Sandy Hook, or any other mass shooting. Moreover, they would not address gang related shootings, which is America's actual homicide problem.
So we are left with this question: if their proposed remedies would be so obviously and demonstrably unlikely to solve the very problems they claim to intend to solve, then why do gun controllers keep advocating these ridiculous and counterintuitive laws?
The answer is not hard to see. Gun control advocates, like most political actors, are pragmatic and practical. They understand that certain legislative goals and ambitions must play out over a period of time rather than in a political instant. You can see this type of long-game strategy in, say, the American health-care debate: after seven years of Obamacare, Democrats are increasingly pursuing single-payer, something that was much less feasible before the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, Sen. Harry Reid has explicitly stated that Obamacare is intended solely to be “a step in the right direction” towards single-payer, nothing more.
So it is with gun control: liberals propose these useless laws and regulations not in an attempt to honestly curb gun violence but rather in a long-form attempt to pass other laws down the road. It will be much easier to ban large classes of semiautomatic rifles, after all, after five or ten years of banning scary-looking AR-style “assault weapons.” It will be far easier, too, to sharply restrict firearm purchases after a decade of regulating ammunition sales, the latter of which will soon begin in California.
This doesn’t have to be some grand conspiracy theory or dark, shadowy intrigue. Gun controllers are not stupid. They understand long-form political action as well as anyone. They do not like guns and they are more than patient enough to play the drawn-out politics necessary to curtail American gun rights.
- Related: "FBI Report on Alexandria Quietly Debunks the Gun-Controllers’ Talking Points"--National Review.
- "The Left Has One More Argument: Kill Them!"--Ann Coulter. A roundup of the terrorism and political violence committed by the Left over the past couple of decades. (The prior decades would take a book).
- Related: "Anger Privilege"--Sultan Knish. Discussing the Left's hypocrisy concerning politically motivated violence or vandalism:
Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded. Left-wing anger is good because its ideological foundations are good. Right-wing anger is bad because its ideology is bad.
It’s not the level of anger, its intensity or its threatening nature that makes it good or bad.
And that is why the left so easily slips into violence. All its ideological ends are good. Therefore its means, from mass starvation to gulags to riots and tyranny, must be good. If I slash your tires because of your Obama bumper sticker”, I’m a monster. But if you key my car because of my Trump bumper sticker, you’re fighting racism and fascism. Your tactics might be in error, but your viewpoint isn’t.
- "Mexico: Murderous Trends"--Strategy Page. From the article:
Argentine police believe a Mexican drug cartel is shipping cocaine through Argentina and shipping a lot of it. Police seized two metric tons of cocaine in the port of Bahia Blanca on June 19. The cocaine was hidden in steel coils in an effort to deceive customs and police electronic scanners. The big cache had a street value of at least $60 million. In the same anti-smuggling operation, Argentine security forces seized another half-ton of cocaine in in Mendoza province, near the border with Chile. And that indicates the new shipping route. Police say the usual route for drug smuggling in Argentina is Bolivia or Paraguay, not Chile, but Argentina’s borders with Bolivia and Paraguay are heavily patrolled. Since the major territorial disputes between Argentina and Chile have been resolved their mutual border is more open. The cocaine route begins in Peru. The drugs may still transit Bolivia on the way to Chile. From Chile smugglers enter Argentina’s Mendoza province and move the cocaine to an Argentine seaport for shipment. Police believe cocaine from the two metric tons discovered in Bahia Blanca had two destinations: Canada and Spain.
- "2 more plague cases reported in New Mexico's Santa Fe County"--KOB 4. The article warns that the bubonic plague can be transmitted via flee bites (brought indoors from pets, for instance), or from direct contact with an infected animal, but can easily be treated with antibiotics if caught early. The low probability of infection, as well as the infection vector, show that this is far less virulent than the Black Plague.
- Evolution in action: "At least 148 killed in Pakistan oil tanker explosion after rushing to collect spilled fuel"--The Independent. After the tanker truck overturned, a large crowd gathered to collect the fuel that had spilled, or was spilling, out of the tank. Based on initial reports, one of the crowd decided to enjoy a cigarette while doing so. An exothermic reaction resulted.
- "Microphone Cut After Mormon Girl Reveals She's Gay At Church"--Associated Press (via AT&T). Per the article: "A video of a young [13 year old] Mormon girl revealing to her congregation that she is lesbian and still loved by God — before her microphone is turned off by local church leaders — is sparking a new round of discussions about how the religion handles LGBT issues." The announcement was during a "Fast and Testimony" meeting: one Sunday a month that the congregation fasts, and have an opportunity to individually stand before other members of the congregation to express their testimony of Christ, the Gospel, or the Church. These meetings (or any Sunday services, for that matter) are not recorded. Deeper in the article, it reveals that the recording was made by a friend of the girl, and that there was a group of adults that were not members of the congregation that disrupted the meeting. Also, the girl was reading from prepared notes (which is also irregular--testimonies are impromptu, not speeches). Recording + supporters that were not members = set up.
Moreover, even deeper in the article, it states: "Her microphone was muted after about two minutes — shortly after she said she's not a 'horrible sinner' and that she someday hopes to have a partner, get married and have a family." So, her feed was not cut until after 2 minutes and after she evidenced her desire to breach the law of chastity and mock marriage between a man and a woman.
So, is she a "horrible" sinner? For sake of argument, I'll presume she is not engaged in any prohibited behavior, but is only preaching that others accept the prohibited behavior. The Bible is pretty clear that, under Mosaic Law, homosexuals should be stoned, which ranks pretty high on the types of punishments to be meted out for particular sins, which gives an indication of how serious it was considered. Thus, it is not some minor sin or ritual uncleanliness for which she is advocating. I am reading Isaiah currently, and it has chapter after chapter stating that those that make and worship idols, or encourage others to do so, are not only morons, but abominations to the Lord. If carving an idol out of wood makes one an idiot and abomination in the sight of God, what does the desire to mock God's commandments about chastity and marriage make one?
- "Posterity: TK vs VD"--Vox Popoli. Vox Day presents his argument why he believes that the word "posterity" as used in the Constitution refers to direct descendants, and not merely succeeding generations.
- "Something big is warping the outer solar system"--Futurity. The article indicates that "[t]he plane of our solar system is warped in the outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt, suggesting the presence of an unknown Mars-to-Earth-mass planetary object far beyond Pluto—but much closer than [the proposed] Planet Nine." The article continues:
In a new paper, scientists present compelling evidence of a yet-to-be- discovered planetary body with a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth. The mysterious mass, has given away its presence—for now—only by controlling the orbital planes of a population of space rocks known as Kuiper Belt objects, or KBOs, in the icy outskirts of the solar system.
While most KBOs—debris left over from the formation of the solar system—orbit the sun with orbital tilts (inclinations) that average out to what planetary scientists call the invariable plane of the solar system, the most distant of the Kuiper Belt’s objects don’t.
Their average plane is tilted away from the invariable plane by about eight degrees. In other words, something unknown is warping the average orbital plane of the outer solar system.
* * *
If one were to think of the average orbital plane of objects in the outer solar system as a sheet, it should be quite flat past 50 AU, Volk says.
“But going further out from 50 to 80 AU, we found that the average plane actually warps away from the invariable plane. There is a range of uncertainties for the measured warp, but there is not more than 1 or 2 percent chance that this warp is merely a statistical fluke of the limited observational sample of KBOs.”
In other words, the effect is most likely a real signal rather than a statistical fluke. According to the calculations, an object with the mass of Mars orbiting roughly 60 AU from the sun on an orbit tilted by about eight degrees (to the average plane of the known planets) has sufficient gravitational influence to warp the orbital plane of the distant KBOs within about 10 AU to either side.
“The observed distant KBOs are concentrated in a ring about 30 AU wide and would feel the gravity of such a planetary mass object over time,” Volk says, “so hypothesizing one planetary mass to cause the observed warp is not unreasonable across that distance.”
This rules out the possibility that the postulated object in this case could be the hypothetical Planet Nine, whose existence has been suggested based on other observations. That planet is predicted to be much more massive (about 10 Earth masses) and much farther out at 500 to 700 AU.
On a side note, the most recent research suggests that there is no Planet 9: "the survey found no evidence of clustering [among trans-Neptunian Objects or NTOs] whatsoever, and scientists now say ‘detection biases' could be to blame for earlier data that favor Planet 9."