Friday, June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Ultimate Survival Tips (5 min.). Just a quick interview with Dave Canterbury.

  • TGIF: Greg Ellifritz's Weekend Knowledge Dump. Check it out.
  • "Cheap Level IV Plates – And No, They’re Not Made of Steel"--The Firearms Blog. The company is RMA Armament, and the plates are $115 each. Per the article, "[t]hese plates are NIJ 0101.06 certified and they are ... made of monolithic ceramic and polyethylene. This reduces the concerns about spalling that metal plate manufacturers try to control with the application of coatings." The article indicates that the plates use an older technology and so weigh more than newer ceramic plates (8.3 pounds versus 4.4 for the newer technology).
  • Self-Defense Tip: Don't use your car to run down a purse snatcher: "'I wasn't going to let him get away with it': Dramatic moment pregnant woman runs down a fleeing man 'who stole purse from her car' in Walmart parking lot"--Daily Mail. She actually struck him with her car in order to stop him. Needless to say, although he was charged with various crimes, the woman was charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.
  • "What Do You Do If You're Confronted By An Aggressive Dog?"--Alien Gear Holsters. This "article" uses a quiz and answer format to explain some aggressive behavior you might see from dogs and how to respond. The main points, however, is that if a dog (off-leash) approaches or is acting aggressive, give it room and try to proceed around it (don't run away); it may charge at you and stop suddenly short, in which case you need to remain calm, speak assertively, but don't make any moves toward it; and if a dog attacks your dog, grab the attacking dog by its hind legs and pull it away, rather than attempting to grab it around the neck or by the collar (if any).
  • A word from Rory Miller:
Naively, I also used to believe that there was always a non-violent solution, but even then I realized there wasn't always time to find that solution. I was wrong. There are people who enjoy hurting others, and only force or the threat of force will stop them. Predators who can't feel closure without pain. Really bad guys who need to see someone break. People who honestly believe that acceding to a verbal solution is an act of cowardice.
  • "The answer!"--Defense Training International. On June 18, in Mali, a group of terrorists decided to attack a resort with the intent to gun down as many people as they could. A French soldier, on leave and carrying a concealed pistol, completely disrupted the terrorists' plan. As the author notes, this is another example of concealed carriers, on scene, achieving positive outcomes.
  • "What To Say To The Man You Are Ready To Kill"--Gabe Suarez. According to the situations he presents, generally nothing, just pull the trigger. However, if the perpetrator does not pose an imminent threat, it is something like this: "Don't move ... turn around (so his back is to you) ... drop the gun ... get on the ground face down ... hands out to the side ... cross your feet." Read the whole thing so you can get all the nuances and instruction. I would also add that in most circumstances you should not approach him to search him or anything--let the police do that when they arrive.
  • "The Problem With Wonder Woman"--Schafer's Self-Defense Corner. He addresses an issue which I've raised before, which is that woman are generally no physical match for a man, but they can suffer from overconfidence due to childhood experiences where they bested a boy their own age and/or from the overall "girl power" themes of television and movies. The author writes:
       While a female who is properly trained can disable a man through injury the fact is that a lot of women simply can’t, at least no intentionally.  Men are generally bigger, stronger, and more aggressive which can mean quite a bit when it actually comes to a real violent encounter.  ...
            When it comes to self-defense a woman is just not on equal footing when it comes to a man and all the Hollywood movies and “girl power” can’t change that.  There is no way of getting around the fact that if a woman has to fight off a man she will more than likely be fighting someone who is bigger, stronger, and more aggressive than she is.  If a woman thinks she can punch a guy in the face or kick him in the stomach and drop him she is most likely mistaken; even a kick to the testicles is not always guaranteed to put someone down.  ...
            Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these movies or even with the concept of “girl power” itself.  I think boys and girls should be empowered to follow their dreams and blah, blah, blah.  My only issue is that I’ve seen firsthand that a lot of these movies give women a false sense of security that they can take down a guy if they have to and this is dangerous.  A woman shouldn’t try to fight a guy empty handed unless she has to because she is at a size and strength disadvantage.
               ... Woman have to rely on intelligence, weapons, anatomy, and leverage a bit more than guys do if they want to disable a man and that is life but it is also perfectly doable.  ...  [But because] a right cross to a man’s face is probably going to just piss him off then throwing a jab is nothing more than wasted time ....
                 Woman need to realize that while, yes, they’re equal and just a “good” as a man they are not the same.  Men’s and women’s bodies are quite different and if a woman doesn’t plan for that then she is going to suffer the consequences when a violent act occurs.
          Read the whole thing.
                Keep in mind that in many cases, good people do justifiably shoot attackers in the back after they've stopped attacking and started to run away. How can this be? Because of the fact that there's a half- to three-quarter-second delay between what our eyes see and what the conscious mind is able to process.
                   During that delay, the attacker has plenty of time to drop his weapon, turn and — depending on the situation — start moving away. All the while, the shooter is seeing what happened earlier — which was the attacker facing him and posing a threat.
                     If you're firing off shots with quarter-second splits, that means that you could feasibly shoot your attacker once in the side and a time or two in the back without even realizing he was no longer a threat.
              • "Man Dragged From Car, Beaten"--New Haven Independent. In this case, the reporter is giving a first hand account as he was there when the incident occurred. He reports:
                     A woman, then three young men and several dogs, crossed in front of the BMW, though the driver had the light.
                       The driver pressed hard on his brakes and put his car in park. (He would later tell police that he hadn’t seen anyone at first, then hit the brakes to avoid hitting the female.)
                         At that point the group passing by started speaking with each other; one of the men told the woman to go across the street with the dogs.
                          When she did, he made his way around to the driver’s side of the SUV.
                            He said something to the driver of the SUV. Then he suddenly punched the man in the face.
                               As the man tried to recover from the unexpected punch, the attacker grabbed his car door and opened it. The driver tried to close his door, but by then another young man had joined the man who had punched him.
                                 They dragged the man from his vehicle to the ground behind his parked car and proceeded to punch and kick him. A third young man proceeded to damage the passenger side rear-view mirror and hurl a Huffy Trail Runner bicycle at the passenger side door and the front passenger side of the car.
                                    The two other men didn’t stop beating the man until a woman stepped in between them. They ran from the scene, headed in the direction of downtown, leaving the man in the street bloodied.
                                   The victim and suspects were black, so this was not a case of black on white violence, although it may have been motivated by some tribal animosity as the victim was Caribbean, which would have been apparent as soon as he spoke to the suspect that approached his window (although, more likely than not, the suspect speaking to the driver was probably only to distract the driver while the suspect made his attack).
                                   In any event, note that this is not an attack that came out of the blue: the suspects were visibly upset and had stopped to talk to one another. While it makes sense to keep your doors locked and windows rolled up when going through certain areas, even if this location was nominally safe, that was a sign to lock the doors and roll up the windows. If the driver wanted to speak to the suspect that approached the vehicle, he could lower the window an inch or so to speak, but no so far that the person could have reached in. 
                                   I also question his sticking around. If the light was still green when the group cleared the lane in front of his vehicle, the driver should have just continued on his way. Certainly, if he had windows up and doors locked, he could probably have left as soon as the suspects became belligerent.

                              Other Stuff:
                                     Fedrick and Gordon are accused of then sexually battering the woman, according to the report. The woman said she “attempted to fight them, but they were too strong.”
                                       According to the report, the men told her, “We’re going to teach you a lesson about dating a black man and white [women] don’t mean [expletive] in this town.”
                                         When they were finished, the men told the victim they would “make it ten times worse next time” if she went to the police, according to the report.
                                  A Daily Mail article on the same event indicates that the men raped the woman; per the media's unspoken rules of censorship, however, it omits any mention that the victim was white. However, it does have photographs of the suspects. No mention of it being a "hate crime" either.
                                           ... the modern German mentality is in many ways a mutation or an update of the same mentality that has guided Germany since the eighteenth century, and especially since the unification of the country in 1870.
                                             Let us begin with the more obvious parallel: German support for further European integration. Despite all the German talk about subordinating narrow national interests to the European project, careful observers must have noticed the coincidence that the Germans always see themselves as the leaders of this disinterested project, and that the measures deemed to be necessary for further European cooperation always seem to be German-made.
                                               Are the Germans really such idealistic supporters of the European project? It is more probable that in reality they see the European Union as an ideal instrument to control the rest of Europe. Indeed, in 1997 the British author John Laughland wrote a book about this subject, The Tainted Source: the Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, which is still worth reading for anyone who wants understand what kind of organization the EU actually is. According to Laughland, the Germans are such big supporters of the European ideal because they know that all important decisions in a confederation of states can ultimately only be taken by or with the approval of the most important state -- in this case, Germany.
                                                 Thus, on closer scrutiny, there is a strong continuity between the foreign policy of Wilhelm II, Hitler, and Merkel. And this continuity can easily be explained by looking at Germany’s position within Europe. On the one hand, Germany is the strongest and largest country in Europe, but on the other hand it is not strong or large enough to dominate the rest of Europe automatically. In consequence, ever since German unification in 1870, the country has been presented with the choice either to subordinate its wishes to those of the rest of Europe -- which has always appeared rather humiliating -- or to attempt the conquest of Europe, in order to ensure that Germany’s wishes would always prevail. Unsurprisingly, the Germans have consistently chosen the second course, and both World Wars were attempts to permanently bring the rest of Europe under German control.
                                                    The most prominent foreign policy decisions of Merkel can also be interpreted as attempts to expand German dominance in Europe. For instance, during the refugee crisis Germany tried to force Eastern European countries to take in refugees, not only because Merkel wanted to ease the burden upon her own country, but also because it was an ideal way to find out to what extent Germany could impose its will upon the new and independent-minded Eastern European members of the EU. Another example of the new German attempt to dictate policies to the rest of Europe is the Greek banking crisis. Whatever the considerable economic blunders successive Greek governments have committed over the years, it is undeniable that the ultimate goal behind Germany’s harsh demands towards the Greeks was the extension of German economic influence over other EU members.
                                            There is a lot more. Read the whole thing.
                                                     ... contemporary criminal cartels have become more sophisticated, both technologically and operationally. They run money-laundering and financing operations. The Sinaloa and Los Zetas cartels employ gunmen with combat skills comparable to military commandos. Mexican cartel operations are no longer confined to the Americas. Several have significant operations in Asia and Europe.
                                                      Their sophistication and global reach create a complex law enforcement problem. Their contacts and potential cooperation with terrorists goes beyond crime and threatens national security.
                                                         TCOs and terror networks have "converging interests," particularly in the areas of financing, movement of personnel and corrupting law enforcement. They may also have common interests in cyber espionage.

                                                    * * * 

                                                             Criminalized states are a major part of the problem. The report says "A "criminalized state" is reached when "senior leadership is aware of and involved -- either actively or through passive acquiescence -- on behalf of the state, in transnational criminal enterprises..." The criminal gang may be used as an instrument of "state power."
                                                               The Venezuela created by Hugo Chavez is a criminalized state. According to the report, the current Venezuelan government has a "sprawling network of transnational criminal enterprises..." When he was alive, Chavez used it to "sustain terrorist groups" inside neighboring Colombia.
                                                          The article goes on to describe how Iran has been active on infiltrating Hezbollah into Middle-Eastern communities in Central and South America, even using its networks to commit terror attacks in Argentina in the 1990s.  He also leaves with this warning: "Because the gray zone where crime becomes war is no longer very large, some security analysts are convinced American special operations forces and perhaps conventional forces as well will play a larger role in future counter-cartel operations."
                                                          • "House panel votes to split Air Force, create new U.S. Space Corps"--Federal News Radio. The new Corps would be subordinate to the Air Force in the same way that the Marines are subordinate to the Navy. I think the better idea would be to create a separate branch for space operations, and fold the Air Force back into the Army.  
                                                          • "Hints of Skull Cult Found at World's Oldest Temple"--National Geographic. The temple complex in question is Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey, which dates back as far as 10,000 years ago (8,000 B.C.). Scientists have found skull fragments at the site that show modifications--grooves cut into the bones and, in one case, a hole drilled in order to hang the skull--that suggest that skulls were hung for ritual or ceremonial purposes. Moreover:
                                                            “Skull cults are not uncommon in Anatolia,” says Gresky. She explains that archaeological remains from other sites in the region indicate people would commonly bury their dead, then exhume them, remove the skulls, and display them creatively. Other archaeologists have even found that Neolithic people would remodel the faces of the dead with plaster.
                                                              Some former state functions -- telecommunications and postal services most notably -- are no longer the province of the State. The cellphone revolution was the first blow. In time, more traditional public sector roles may migrate in the same way. Perhaps the only residual State function will be the provision of physical security. This will lead to a new political architecture consisting of full countries, part countries and very powerful affinity groups. Countries which ensure peace within their borders will have local sovereignty. States which guarantee the order of the Global Commons, notably the oceans and the information highways, will remain the only true great powers. Countries which cannot provide internal security will effectively cease to be sovereign, though they may fly a flag.

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