Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August 29, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Hal Turner (3 min.)

  • "In all-hands-on-deck response to Harvey, lessons learned from earlier storms"--Christian Science Monitor. The lesson learned is that neighbors and volunteers are more effective than civil authorities when it comes to rescuing people: in other words, don't do what they did in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina when authorities brought in armed mercenaries, but kept out volunteers. From this article:
       The Cajun Navy – a makeshift brigade of Jon boats, Go-Devils, and airboats – descended quickly on East Texas, joining official vehicles including 10 helicopters and 19 high-water vehicles carrying out rescues from rooftops and car tops.
             “I can't look at somebody knowing that I have a perfect boat in my driveway to be doing this and to just sit at home,” Jordy Bloodsworth, a Baton Rouge member of the Cajun Navy, told The Advocate in Houston. “I have every resource within 100 feet of me to help.”
               During Katrina, some rescuers literally had to sneak into the city to help. In Houston, the Cajun Navy has been part of a massive volunteer response, encouraged by officials. Twelve thousand National Guardsman also are being deployed, the government announced Monday.
                 The Cajun Navy represents both literally and figuratively the importance of neighborhood social networks – what researchers call “social capital” – that has become increasingly part of national response to disaster.
                   In Houston, citizenry also had help from social media, where some residents were able to get around swamped 911 lines and go directly to the top. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales answered help calls personally on Twitter, asking residents to stay strong and hold on until rescue arrived. Some of those who sent out SOS tweets say their pleas were answered.
                     That openness to working around “official" channels suggests a post-Katrina shift within federal emergency management.
              This really should not be such a shock to the media or government officials. Rebecca Solnit documented this type of community assistance and social capital many years ago in her book, A Paradise Built in Hell.
                         A Waffle House jump team consists of a small team of restaurant operators from outside the hurricane zone. These employees swoop in at the first possible moment after a storm to restore service and get things open. Typically after a storm, demand for food is high and functioning restaurants are in low supply, and things get extremely busy.
                           “There’s a jump team outside of Nashville ready to go on Sunday. Jump teams are [also] ready in Louisiana,” said Warner. “Then we can deploy from the main office some teams that may or may not go depending on severity.”
                               One of the reasons why these jump teams are the key to the chain’s success is because employees may not be able to work if they’re dealing with their own hurricane damage.
                                “It does help to bring operators from outside so it relieves [local employees] so they can focus on family,,” said Warner. “They don’t have to worry about their restaurant at the same time.”
                                  During Hurricane Katrina, Warner said Waffle House worked beyond its restaurants to provide temporary lodging for its workers, putting tarps on employees’ roofs and shipping in hard-to-find essentials like diapers and formula.
                          This effort by Waffle House is not to be discounted as to its value to the wider community. The article from Christian Science Monitor that I cited above began with these lines: "As College Avenue in Houston flooded Saturday night, the yellow Waffle House sign at the top of the hill stayed on. Stranded drivers trudged toward the glow through muck and rain and sat down for a sip of coffee and some eggs-and-grits, glad to be shielded, at least for a moment, from a storm named Harvey."
                                     In any event, Herschel Smith, in his post, questions the validity of the tests, and points readers to Lucky Gunner's ballistic tests which covers a wide variety of ammunition and various barrel lengths. In the latter tests, the best loads for .38 Special (at least for expansion) out of a 2-inch barrel were Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P, Winchester 130 gr PDX1 Defender +P, Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded +P, and Winchester 130 gr Train & Defend. However, Speer Gold Dot +P, and any of the Hornady Critical Defense loads also worked well. As for .380, the  Hornady 90 gr FTX Critical Defense, Magtech 85 gr Guardian Gold, Winchester 95 gr PDX1 and Winchester 95 gr Train & Defend seemed to be the best, and Gold Dot and a few others also had decent expansion. 

                            Other Stuff:
                                      Activists are set to start a 10-day march from Charlottesville, Va., to Washington, D.C., on Monday to confront white supremacy and demand President Trump's removal from office.
                                        "The March to Confront White Supremacy," is set to start in Charlottesville Monday, Aug. 28 and end in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Organizers say the march will be followed by an occupation of Washington with daily nonviolent demonstrations.
                                The planning is still in its early stages, but the organizers have an idea in mind. On Saturday, November 4—approximately a year after President Donald Trump’s election—members of the Resistance will descend on America’s major cities. They’ll march and demonstrate, as they have in the past, but this time, say organizers, they won’t go home at the end of the day. Instead, the plan is to occupy city centers and parks and not leave until, and only until, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have fallen.
                                • Time for new Church hearings:
                                • "Ruby Ridge lessons for fighting right-wing extremism"--USA Today. A look at past federal investigations that have moved from detecting and apprehending dangerous extremists to creating dangerous extremists, with a special focus on the events surrounding the Ruby Ridge incident. From the article:
                                         The best known case of federal right-wing ideological targeting climaxed 25 years ago at Ruby Ridge. Randy Weaver and his family lived in an isolated cabin in the mountains or northern Idaho. Weaver was a white separatist who believed races should live apart; he had no record of violence against other races — or anyone else. Undercover federal agents targeted him and entrapped him into selling a sawed-off shotgun. The feds sought to pressure Weaver, who often indulged in antigovernment bluster, to become an informant against the Aryan Nation but he refused.
                                           After Weaver was sent the wrong court date and (understandably) failed to show up, the feds used any and all means to take him down. Idaho lawyer David Nevin noted that U.S. “marshals called in military aerial reconnaissance and had photos studied by the Defense Mapping Agency. They prowled the woods around Weaver’s cabin with night-vision equipment. They had psychological profiles performed and installed $130,000 worth of long-range solar-powered spy cameras. They intercepted the Weavers’ mail. They even knew the menstrual cycle of Weaver’s teenage daughter, and planned an arrest scenario around it.”
                                               On August 21, 1992, six U.S. Marshals outfitted in full camouflage and carrying automatic weapons trespassed onto Weavers’ property. Three marshals circled close to the Weaver cabin and threw rocks to provoke the Weavers’ dogs. As Weaver's 14-year old son, Sammy and Kevin Harris, a 25-year old family friend living in the cabin, ran towards the barking, a marshal shot and killed a dog. Sammy Weaver fired in the direction of where those shots came from. As Sammy was leaving the scene, a marshal shot him in the back and killed him. Harris responded by fatally shooting a federal marshal who had fired seven shots.
                                                The FBI decided that Weaver was such a bad person that the Constitution no longer applied. Snipers from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team were sent in the next day and ordered to shoot-to-kill any adult male outside the Weaver cabin. A federal appeals court ruling noted that “a group of FBI agents formulated rules of engagement that permitted their colleagues to hide in the bushes and gun down men who posed no immediate threat. Such wartime rules are patently unconstitutional for a police action.”
                                                   On August 22, 1992, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Randy Weaver under the arm after he stepped out of his cabin. As he struggled to return to his home, Horiuchi shot and killed Vicki Weaver as she stood in the cabin door holding their 10-month old baby. A confidential 1994 Justice Department task force report was appalled that people were gunned down before receiving any warning: "The absence of a (surrender demand) subjected the Government to charges that it was setting Weaver up for attack.”
                                                    Weaver and Harris, who never fired any shots at FBI agents, surrendered after an 11-day siege. At their 1993 trial, federal prosecutors asserted that Weaver long conspired to have an armed confrontation with the government. Bizarrely, the feds claimed that his moving from Iowa to near the Canadian border in 1983 was part of that plot.
                                                       An Idaho jury found Weaver innocent of almost all charges and ruled that the shooting of the U.S. marshal was self-defense. Federal Judge Edward Lodge released a lengthy list detailing the Justice Department’s and FBI’s misconduct and fabrication of evidence in the case. After an elaborate coverup unraveled (a top FBI official was sent to prison for destroying key evidence), the feds in 1995 paid the Weaver family $3.1 million to settle their wrongful death lawsuit. This was not simply a right-wing cause: the American Civil Liberties Union was in the forefront of condemning federal misconduct at Ruby Ridge.

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