Thursday, November 30, 2017

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

"Primitive Technology: Natural Draft Furnace"--Primitive Technology (6 min.)

       This video from Primary & Secondary is spot on! You need to gather your data from different sources – different data points as I like to say and then make a conclusion. Even when you do that perfectly, you still might not like the outcome.
           There is so much bad information now. I am in a few groups in facebook and the info there is so bad. At least on a forum you build up a reputation and watch people that have a reputation. Most of the time you know when people are full of shit. Seems like lately you have to start your research thinking this author / video creator is full of shit.
             Its on you to find good sources of info if you care. ...
      • "Product Review: AeroGarden Ultra"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author reviews a "small automated aeroponic (growing plants without soil or other media) gardens where everything from the lighting to the watering is automated." It doesn't work too well for root vegetables, and it requires a power source, but has otherwise worked nicely for the author.
      • "Composting and Mulching Fall Leaves"--Go Garden Club. The author writes:
                 Turning leaves into compost is really quite simple and involves the following steps:
                 1. Add Leaves to a compost pile. Use a rake to gather the leaves into a central location so that the composting process can begin.
                   2. Stir the compost pile often. The compost pile should be turned even during the cold months of winter to ensure that the compost decomposes properly.
                     3. Keep the compost pile moist because it accelerates decomposition. Watering the compost insures that it will deteriorate in the manner that makes it most beneficial to a lawn.
              • "The Spices of Life"--SHTF Blog. An article on spices and seasonings for cooking. The author, in particular, likes garlic powder (not garlic salt). He also notes: "My own list of spices is not terribly extensive, but they include curry powder, Italian spices, sage, coriander, bay leaves, paprika, basil, celery seed, chives, chili powder, mustard, cinnamon, sesame seeds, poultry seasoning, parsley, poppy seeds, and several others."
              • "Why Salt Is Important To Survival"--Survival Based. The author advises that you should "[a]dd salt to your emergency kit if you haven’t already, as this mineral is an essential to human life. The body does not produce salt, but it needs it for survival. Salt is necessary for correct nerve transmission as well as sweat, blood, and digestive uses." She also briefly discusses its use for preserving foods and wound management.
              • If you could have only one gun: "Shotguns: Do-It-All Workhorse Firearms"--Shooting Illustrated. The secret to having a shotgun work as a "do-it-all" firearm is to have a variety of types of ammunition: small shot for birds and small game; buckshot for self-defense or hunting; slugs for self-defense or hunting; and perhaps some exotic rounds for particular purposes (e.g., signal flares). Unfortunately, by being a do-it-all weapon--especially in configurations that make it usable for self-defense--it doesn't do any one task particularly well. The shorter barrel and generally more open choke of a defensive shotgun makes it a little less handy for bird hunting then a full length, properly choked shotgun; the effective range of buckshot is generally less than that of a defensive pistol; and the slug lacks the accuracy and range of a rifle. And then there is the ammunition costs for an equivalent number of rounds. Most of the buckshot and slug rounds I see run between $1 to $2 dollars per round in 12 ga., depending on brand and whether it is a premium round.
              • More UK crime statistics: "More than 700,000 men were victims of domestic abuse in a year as stats reveal arrests are only made in less than HALF of all cases"--Daily Mail.

              Other Stuff:
                        Typically, analysts assume that changes in reported GDP reflect movements in living standards and productive capacity. In China, however, this is not the case. Local governments are expected to boost spending by whatever amount is needed to meet the country’s targets, whether or not it is productive.
                          GDP growth is not the same as economic growth. Consider two factories that cost the same to build and operate. If the first factory produces useful goods, and the second produces unwanted ones that pile up as inventory, only the first boosts the underlying economy. Both factories, however, will increase GDP in exactly the same way.
                    ... The implications are clear. China’s growth miracle has already run out of steam. It is only by allowing debt to surge that the country is able to meet its GDP targets. ...
                             Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov says he found bacteria clinging to the external surface of the International Space Station that didn't come from the surface of Earth. 
                                Shkaplerov told the Russian news agency Tass that cosmonauts collected the bacteria by swabbing the outside of the space station during space walks years ago.  
                                  "And now it turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module," Shkaplerov told Tass. "That is, they have come from outer space and settled along the external surface. They are being studied so far and it seems that they pose no danger."
                            The most likely explanation is that these are bacteria living high in the atmosphere that are occasionally kicked up high enough to reach the space station. Whether or not that is correct, the discovery definitely has implications for the theory of panspermia
                              [A] group of Chinese investors who are suing both [former Virginia Governor, Terry] McCauliffe and Tony Rodham, brother of Hillary, claiming that they were defrauded in an immigration scam involving a company McAuliffe founded nearly a decade ago. Chinese investors hoping to benefit from the EB-5 visa program dumped more than a half million dollars each into the firm with the expectation that there would be green cards available for them in short order. Now, with the company on the rocks and their immigration status in peril, they feel that they’ve been ripped off.
                              • Deuteronomy 22:5: "Cross dressing snuck up in our blind spot."--Dalrock. The author hypothesizes that the acceptance of women dressing like men, grooming their hair like men, and otherwise acting like men, opened the door to the current cross-dressing, transgenderism movement.
                              • "STUDY: Satellites Show No Acceleration In Global Warming For 23 Years"--The Daily Caller. From the article: "University of Alabama-Huntsville climate scientists John Christy and Richard McNider found that by removing the climate effects of volcanic eruptions early on in the satellite temperature record it showed virtually no change in the rate of warming since the early 1990s." The key to understanding why this is an issue is that the satellites were launched to address concerns that ground weather stations were compromised by being located in urban "heat islands" and of too limited of coverage. But then the data started coming in, and the climatologists didn't like what they saw, because the satellite data has not supported on-going global warming--at least not at the rates which justify the vast economic and lifestyle changes being pushed by climate scientists and governments. Thus, what you will see is that the reports still asserting continued global warming make extensive use of data from the ground weather stations, even though such data is known to be less reliable. This study also further illustrates a primary failure of climate science, which is that none of the climate models have accurately predicted temperature changes, or even been close. In other words, there are no climate "models," just fantasy.

                              Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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

                              "Concealed Carry: Is .32 ACP Enough?"--Paul Harrell (22 min.)
                              Mr. Harrell compares the performance of the .32 ACP versus its "near peer" competitors: .22 LR, .25 ACP, and .380. He also discusses why he believes .32 was a popular cartridge in the early 20th Century and why it has fallen out of disfavor. And, basically, it comes down to improvements in materials and designs that allow much smaller .380 pistols. In its heyday, very small .25 "vest pocket" pistols were available, but .380 pistols were quite large by today's standard; the .32 offered a compromise in size (and thus, power and accuracy) between the small .25 pistols and the larger .380's. 

                              • "How to Perform the Fireman’s Carry"--The Art of Manliness. Instructions and a diagram.
                              • I guess I don't watch the right YouTube channels, so I missed the war of words from last month (October 2017) between The Gun Collective ("TCG") and certain of its guests, and The Yankee Marshall. The two relevant videos are: "Gun Rights, the NRA, and More - TGC Round Table" (1 hr. 44 min.) which included a mix of producers of YouTube gun videos and some people involved in the firearms industry. The primary topic of discussion was what response, if any, should there be to the Mandalay Bay shooting and, due to the NRA's press releases on the subject, positions vis-a-vis the NRA and how to affect change within the NRA. However, several of the participants struck a conciliatory tone toward gun control (with one industry guy actually praising the fact that gun control had made the industry a lot of money), which upset The Yankee Marshall, who released his aptly named video response, "F#@k Iraqveteran8888, TGC, & the NRA (& F#@K MAC 4 Different Reasons)" (16 min.) (language warning). As the Yankee Marshall notes, Tim of the Military Arms Channel was the most strident in opposing any further "compromise" of our rights, and should be supported for his stance.
                              • "What’s the deal with pistol heel magazine releases?"--The Firearm Blog. This is a video and some notes on a presentation by the Bloke on the Range author. The issue is: why heel magazine releases on pistols? The answer is two-fold. First, and most importantly, the designs of both pistols and holsters at the time meant that a magazine release set on the side of the pistol could be actuated while in the holster or pocket, resulting in the magazine popping out. Second, at that time, magazines were relatively expensive, and self-defense was oriented toward stopping one or two attackers, and so tactics did not involve dropping your very expensive magazine on the ground to obtain a quick reload. Thus, people wanted to catch or have hold of their magazines as they were withdrawn. Anyway, the video shows some interesting pistols and is worth the watch.
                              • "Jeff Gonzales: When it Comes to Pocket Carry, Keep it Simple"--The Truth About Guns. He discusses the pros and cons of pocket carry, including why his preference for carrying in a rear pocket over a front pocket, which basically comes down to ease of access when sitting. I, on the other hand, prefer the control I have over the weapon when it is in a front pocket. Rear pocket carry just seems to be a good way to donate a firearm to a pickpocket. Also, I use front pocket carry when I don't want to wear a cover garment, which you have to do with the rear pocket. If I have to wear a cover garment, I probably would go with a different carry method.
                              • "Inside the secret Cold War bunker hidden deep within a mountain and frozen in time after being abandoned by Swedish spies 25 years ago"--Daily Mail. A group has posted photographs and video of an abandoned bomb shelter it located in a remote area of Sweden. 
                              • Anonymous Conservative has posted a number of articles recently on the different entities that are or could spy on you when you use your computers and other electronic devices. I was torn about whether to include the following articles in this section or below. But given the privacy concerns that most preppers have, I thought it best to leave them here:
                              • "Websites Trigger Keystroke Logger When You Visit." The threat here is that if you have their website open and use another website or other program/application, it will record keystrokes that you used for the other site or program, including confidential messages, credit card information, etc.

                              Other Stuff
                              By combining data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gaia mission, University of Groningen astronomers have been able to measure the proper motion for fifteen stars in the Sculptor galaxy, the first such measurement for stars in a small galaxy outside the Milky Way. The results show an unexpected preference in the direction of the movement, which suggests that the standard theoretical model s used to describe the motion of stars and dark matter halo’s in other galaxies might be invalid. 
                                      You can see elements of r/K all throughout Christianity. What was the temptation that Adam succumbed to? The Apple – a form of food, or resources, which elicited dopamine. What encouraged the fall? The woman’s advice to forego hardship, and partake of pleasure and the man’s acquiescence to the woman’s advice, just like how in r-selection the females become dominant and aggressive, and the males become submissive. What was the solution? Christ came down and lived the example, and then endured the most agonizing punishment he could endure, accepting death, for the good of those he loved. Christianity is basically a master class in being K.

                                * * *
                                          Christianity is an inherently K-environment, filled with inherently K-people. Christians tend to be Christians because they see the errors of the hedonistic rabbitry in society, and they have some desire to lead virtuous lives of personal sacrifice for greater good. Those are really K-lives, since in humans K is the root of most virtues and the willingness to sacrifice. Drop r/K Theory into Christianity, convince them that God created a K-world because he values K, and watch as the majority of Christians embrace the broader concept of K as God’s desire for the universe.

                                             Introduce r/K into the Church, and all of a sudden the women/lesbians/transgenders/feminized-men who are the Churchians begin to look like the serpent offering their congregations the apple of reduced conflict, reduced aggression, reduced adherence to the Lord’s word, reduced reverence for traditional family, increased tolerance for sin, and increased goodfeelz in violation of the Lord’s will.  

                                              If all of that is seen in the light of r/K, and it is made clear God created a K-world, and values K-ideals and K-virtues, because he wants man to be K, the Churchian SJWs will have a rougher time of converging the Churches.

                                      Update: corrected some typos.

                                      I Could See This Happening ...


                                      Tuesday, November 28, 2017

                                      North Korea Has Tested Another Ballistic Missile -- Updated

                                      South Korea has reported that North Korea test fired another ballistic missile, which landed in the Sea of Japan within Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone. Details are still coming in.

                                      Update: Flight time was 50 minutes.

                                      Update (Nov. 29, 2017): The Washington Post is reporting today that the missile was sent on a high trajectory (nearly straight up), reaching a height of 2,796 miles (and noting that, by comparison, the International Space State orbits at only about 250 miles. The article continues:
                                              It reached a height of about 2,800 miles before landing 54 minutes later some 620 miles from the launch site, in waters inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The splashdown site was about 130 miles off the coast of Aomori prefecture. 
                                      * * *
                                                The Pentagon said that the projectile did indeed appear to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. The latest missile “went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. He described the launch as part of an effort to build missiles “that can threaten everywhere in the world.” 
                                               If the missile had flown on a standard trajectory designed to maximize its reach, it would have had a range of more than 8,100 miles, said David Wright, co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.  
                                              “Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C.,” Wright said.

                                      Monday, November 27, 2017

                                      Slave Markets in Libya

                                              A couple weeks ago, I noted an article from The Daily Mail that reported on the slave markets in Libya. I sarcastically stated that Black Lives Matter would be right on it and, more seriously, observed:
                                      That slave markets would be opening again in the Muslim world should not be surprising. Remember that the destruction of the slave trade was accomplished by the British Empire and enforced under the Pax Americana. This is the natural consequence of the roll back and decline of Western power generally, and the collapse of the British Empire in particular.
                                      (See also my January 2017 post on the end of Anglo rule and resurgence of slavery). The news of slave markets in Libya has finally garnered some attention, with multiple articles and op-ed pieces suddenly showing up, including Glenn Reynold's piece, "Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton."

                                            However, this is nothing new. That slavery and slave markets exist in Africa has been known for some time, with some NGO's going so far as to purchase slaves in order to free them (although I suspect that such "freedom" was only temporary). Notwithstanding the shock over the slave markets in Libya, however, the majority of slavery in Africa is in sub-Saharan Africa. And it is not just Africa: India (with an estimated slave population of 18 million) has more than twice the number of people in slavery than in Africa. China is no slouch, itself, with more than 3 million believed to be held in slavery there.

                                            While Reynolds focuses on Libya being an example of Hillary's incompetence, I believe the more interesting topic is similar to that voiced by Sherlock Holmes about the dog that did nothing during the night:
                                      Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
                                      Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
                                      Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
                                      Holmes: "That was the curious incident."
                                      I obliquely referenced this topic with my jibe at BLM. I made the comment because I knew that BLM and other civil rights organizations would take no interest in renewed slavery in Africa. It doesn't concern them, anymore than the fact that the bulk of the Atlantic slave trade was to Brazil rather than the United States, or that the Islamic slave trade dwarfed the Atlantic slave trade. Stefan Molyneux has a short (14 min.) video on the topic, and I think he hits the nail on the head: BLM and the like have no interest in the current African slave trade because there is no money in it. They can beat whites over the head with "racism" and "white privilege", bandy about the idea of reparations, and guilt us into coughing up more money. But that isn't going to work with Muslims and Africans that are currently engaging in slavery, who feel no guilt over it and, therefore, would never pay any sort of reparations.

                                      Video: Stefan Molyneux -- "Why Leftists Always Win"

                                      The reason, as he explains, is that the Left take their "faith" seriously, including relentless in-group preferences and destroying those in the "out-group." Molyneux says the only way to beat back the Leftists is to do the same: base your relationships (friends, employment, etc.) on whether they are Conservative. He warns that if the Left get sufficient power, they will engage in mass murder to destroy their enemies (e.g., Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, etc.).

                                      November 27, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                      "Paiute Deadfall Trap Verses the Figure 4 Deadfall Trap"--Fowler's Makery and Mischief (22 min.). The author demonstrates how to make an improved Figure 4 trigger/trap.

                                              Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, there are no realistic scenarios that would require a sudden, mass evacuation of an entire city.
                                                Nuclear attack? I hate to break it to you, but nuclear-tipped ICBMs travel far too quickly to give anyone time to flee before all are incinerated in hellfire. Dirty bomb? Conventional explosives combined with radioactive material would not release enough radiation to kill anyone or cause severe illness.
                                                  Even most natural disasters wouldn't require a sudden evacuation. Hurricanes are slow-moving and their paths can be predicted while earthquakes happen without warning.
                                                    "A lot of what drives big evacuations is often mass hysteria," said John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.
                                                     So while you may not need to head for the hills when disaster strikes, you still need to be prepared. The key is to think more realistically about disasters, evacuation plans, and what you actually need to stock up on (fewer nail-studded bats, more bottled water).
                                                     ... During some types of disasters — a chemical attack, for instance — it's safer to shelter inside rather than evacuate. Even during the largest terrorist attack in history — Sept. 11 — only a small section of New York City needed to be evacuated.
                                                      The author goes on to suggest that those of you in major cities should plan on bugging in (but still have a bug out bag in case you do need to evacuate, such as in face of a fire, or in the wake of an earthquake), stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food (the article says 3 days, but I think 1 week is probably a bare minimum for those bugging in), and learn your surroundings so that if you do need to evacuate, you will have a clear idea of what routes (or back-up routes) to take.
                                                      I've seen some criticism of this article, but these mostly deal what to do in the event of riots. In my mind, the Jakarta riots where Indonesians specifically targeted ethnic Chinese for violence particularly stands out because of how the violence was targeted. An analysis of the rioting showed that riots tended to break out in areas with concentrations of ethnic Chinese and commercial business areas with businesses operated by ethnic Chinese.  The riots lasted 3 days, with most of the riots beginning on the second day. One article described as follows:
                                                        Eight-year-old Hindra Martono was watching an afternoon news segment on the riots erupting in Jakarta when the mob came. Amid the din of fists banging on the door, Martono’s father rushed his family into the attic to hide. What if the crowd decided to burn down the house? Martono’s mother told him to pray to God, so he fingered the maid’s Islamic prayer beads. His sister broke down in tears.
                                                          Then the looters scaled his house and shattered the window. They swarmed inside, grabbing food, money, electronics, furniture — everything. Martono recognized his father’s employees, who had often played with him. “I really hated them at that time,” he said. “I felt like I was betrayed.”
                                                             Eventually they found the Martonos in the attic. Luckily, they escaped to a relative’s house, but Martono doesn’t remember how — only the sound of his mother screaming over and over, “You can take it all!” When they finally returned home, they found their house and grocery store — the one Martono’s father had built 20 years ago from the ground up — completely destroyed.
                                                      This suggests that evacuation may be the best response to large ethnic riots. On the other hand, the Rodney King riots, where South Korean businessmen organized to fight off rioters and looters, and similar behavior in the London riots by the Sikh community indicate that evacuation is not required in every case. That is, evacuation is probably the better option unless you and your neighbors have the time to organize a violent defense.
                                                      “Here’s the point: There are some times when fully automatic fire is appropriate and effective — up close, personal, very extremely violent engagements,” Wade explains. “But at some point when you gain fire superiority, you might want to transition back over to an aggressive, semiautomatic.”
                                                      I think I've noted before that full auto from an individual weapon has two purposes: suppressive fire or, at short range, to emulating a shotgun (multiple hits on the same target).
                                                                Conversely, Idaho has no restrictions (beyond those in federal law) on the purchase of firearms, and allows any citizen 21 years of age or over, and who is otherwise permitted to possess a firearm, to carry one concealed without a license. It must be a hot-bed of violent crime ... or maybe not: "Boise named one of the top 10 safest cities in the world by MSN"--KBOI News.
                                                      • "Cold Weather Boot Socks Are Not Enough"--Modern Survival Blog. Fit is just or more important: if circulation is restricted, your feet will be cold. The article has tips on determining whether your boots are too tight.
                                                      • "After The SHTF, What Will Be Your Role?"--Survival Blog. In the event of a major civilizational or economic collapse, how will you make a living--particularly if you are, due to age or health, unable to do heavy labor. The author, an older woman, is looking at operating a mobile shower. Traditionally, older women often made money by taking in tenants and/or washing laundry. Although I can't find the article now, I had read about an entrepreneur in an African country that had set up a business using bicycle powered clothes washers that people could hire to launder their clothes.

                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                      • Lenin was correct when he said that “[t]he Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” The Mercury News reports that "California business leaders call on Congress to pass Dreamer legislation." Although this has little or nothing to do with DACA, the article notes that "57 out of every 100 jobs in Silicon Valley requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher are filled by someone who wasn’t born in the U.S."
                                                      • Missing the point: Fred Reed generally writes some pretty good stuff, but lately he is obsessed with attempting to prove that Mexico and its inhabitants are the intellectual equals of white Americans, notwithstanding differences in reported I.Q. scores. One of his latest pieces is "Mexico, as It Is and Wasn’t: Some Stuff Wroth [sic] Knowing." His basic argument is that Mexico graduates and employees lots of STEM majors and has really taken off economically, and Americans should, therefore, welcome them with open arms. But that argument misses the point. First, it is not the STEM graduates that are sneaking across the border; and, second, irregardless of how valuable of employees they may represent, Mexico is home to a very different culture from that of the United States (especially, pre-1964). He notes in his article the endemic crime and corruption in Mexico as though it is some fact that floats in the air, without an attachment or grounding in Mexico's history, culture or world-view, and which will be left behind if and when Mexicans move across the border. 
                                                      • They really do hate you: "Nurse Loses Job Over Post Saying Sons Of White Women Should Be ‘Sacrificed’"--Weasel Zippers. And by "sacrificed," she meant killed.
                                                      • More false flag attacks: "Cancel Those Hate Crimes: Black Man Arrested for Vandalizing Five Black NJ Churches"--Jamie Wearing Fool
                                                      • "Researchers Publish Bombshell Report That Suggests Sugar Industry Conspiracy"--The Daily Beast. "In 1965, research funded by the Sugar Research Foundation found sucrose was linked to heart disease. That research was never published."
                                                      • An inconvenient truth for those who like to paint Christians as uneducated hicks: "Why Educated Christians Are Sticking With Church"--The Atlantic. The article begins by noting the commonly held belief that the more educated a person is, the less religious he or she will be. However, that is not really the case:
                                                      While Americans with college experience are overall less likely to attend services, pray on a regular basis, and say religion is very important to them, that’s not true within many faith groups. In fact, Catholic, Mormon, and Protestant college grads are all more likely to attend church on a weekly basis than their less educated peers. This was not the trend among religious minorities like Muslims and Jews, or among people who don’t affiliate with any religion at all, suggesting that education has a distinctive effect on religiosity within the world of Christianity.  
                                                      • "The big layoff in China"--Axios. Per the article, "[b]y the end of the year, some 1.8 million Chinese coal and steel workers will lose their jobs, victims of the government's shift to cleaner industries and a shutdown of small enterprises." This is not a surprise: I saw articles several months ago discussing this subject. Now the layoffs are nigh. China is attempting to manage this, however, by offering social-welfare programs--including early retirement packages.
                                                      • It will be interesting to see how this goes: "Report: Israel Vows To Destroy Iranian Positions Within 40 Km Of Syrian Border"--Weasel Zippers.

                                                      Friday, November 24, 2017

                                                      November 24, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                      "The Dark Matter Fail | From Someone Who Predicted It"--Suspicious Observers (11 min.). For those of you that don't follow the news on such things, the dark matter and dark energy theories have had a run of bad luck the past several weeks. Basically, every experiment or other attempt to detect dark matter has failed, and there have started to trickle out a string of papers suggesting that dark energy is not needed to explain cosmic expansion. This video specifically addresses the failures to detect dark matter, that some of the missing matter is probably in normal matter we can't easily detect, such as rogue planets and red dwarf stars. The author also touches on the "electric universe" theories that ascribe more importance to electricity and magnetism on a macroscopic level than have traditionally been ascribed to such phenomena.  

                                                              I hope that all of you had a good Thanksgiving! As our thoughts turn toward Christmas, and the Christmas shopping, I thought I would highlight a couple of vendors with which I've recently dealt and had a good experience:
                                                      Properly used, the shooting sling binds the rifle to the upper body in such a way that, if the supporting elbow is rested on something solid (like the ground or the knee), the piece is held firmly in the horizontal plane by bone and leather rather than by muscle. In any firing position in which the elbow is supported, the shooter can "go dead"—relaxing all muscles—and the sights will not sag off target. This is accomplished by tying the rifle to the supporting hand and to the upper arm simultaneously, so that the angle of the elbow is positively locked by the strap between the two. The higher the loop is on the arm, the more positive is the lock.
                                                              The best known of such shooting slings is the U.S. 1907 sling. It has a loop that is tightened down around the bicep. Unfortunately, it can be slow to get into position with it: one article on the subject noted that it took Jeff Cooper about 5 seconds to get into the loop and tighten it down. A couple alternate designs were eventually developed to speed the process by eliminating the need to tighten the loop around the bicep by using two straps to create a large loop through which the arm is thrust, and then wrapped around the front hand to create the same effect as tightening down the loop on a 1907 sling. 
                                                               The first of these was the CW sling, which was based on a British big game hunting sling system, and an updated version called the Ching Sling (go here for a good photograph of someone using a Ching sling). The Ching sling was developed by Eric Ching and quickly adopted by Jeff Cooper for his Scout Rifle.  The problem with the CW and Ching slings, however, is that they requires three sling attachment points to work.
                                                               The Rhodesian sling addresses this issue. Instead of running separate straps to the middle and forward sling attachment points to create a permanent "loop" for the bicep, the Rhodesian sling uses a large loop that connects to the front sling position through which the shooter must thrust his arm. (Andy's Leather has a good set of photographs showing someone getting into the Rhodesian sling--scroll to the bottom of the page; see also this article at The Outdoor Channel).  
                                                               The slings produced by Riflecraft are a version or style of the Rhodesian sling. However, the Riflecraft sling is made out of I.R. treated webbing, available in different colors and patterns, and much less than the similar item from Andy's Leather. You can also get high quality sling swivels of various types from Riflecraft, and he will even allow you to mix and match if necessary for your rifle. I put mine on my Savage Mark II .22 rifle while testing it and getting use to it, but intend on moving it over to a .243 eventually (or, more likely, buying another). 
                                                      • Second is a new knife store that has opened in this area, but also has internet sales: Northwest Knives.  If you live in the Boise, Idaho, area, I really recommend stopping by the store because not only do they have a good selection of kitchen, outdoor, and tactical knives, but they also offer sharpening services--and do a very good job doing so. Their prices are very competitive (in fact, most often, less) to what I've found elsewhere.

                                                      • I don't want to be late this week, so here we have it: TGIF--another Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training.  Links to articles on situational awareness, AR magazines, children and gun safety, and every-day-carry medical kits, plus a lot more.
                                                      • "Red Dot Revolution"--Guns & Ammo. The author discusses using a red-dot on an carry pistol, recommending that you have a slide especially milled for a red dot as this offers the possibility of a back up sight and co-witnessing. The author raises a good point, however, for the younger shooters that also play single-person shooter video games:
                                                      Before I finish, I want to address something I’ve discovered as a parent. I have an 11-year-old boy who likes to play video games when he’s not in trouble. Because some of the first-person shooter games involve characters using firearms equipped with an RDS, I’ve found that the psychomotor skill of placing a reticle on the target and pressing the trigger has carryover from video games to the range. My son has shot different guns all his life, but I recently took him out and had him work steel on the move from 15 to 100 yards with an RDS-equipped Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22. After about 20 minutes of instruction on movement and shooting, he was downright deadly. Sure, it was only a .22, but this carryover from the video games can’t be discounted when it comes to training the next generation of military and police personnel. I think the military is a bit ahead of LE, mostly because it deals with a younger recruit and faster training turnaround, but this is something that modern LE needs to embrace. 
                                                      These radios have the capability of receiving everything that a shortwave radio AND a scanner can receive. They normally cover .1 MHz to 1300MHz, some go up to 3000 MHz (with the usual FCC required gaps in coverage). This includes the Shortwave bands, both AM and FM broadcast radio bands, CB, GMRS, MURS, Ham, Aviation, Analog Police, Fire, EMS and analog business radio.  There are wideband receivers that can pick up Amateur Sideband and Morse Code as well.
                                                      The downside, the author notes, is that they are generally more expensive than buying the radio and scanner separately. Read the whole thing.
                                                              Fine tuning this machine took me some time. For those of you that imagine that you will be able to just slap this thing together in a half hour, you’re in for some disappointment. It took me, an accomplished gun builder and former gunsmith, several days of trial and error to get the tolerances correct using this set of parts. The devil is in the details on this project. Taking a little off at a time is what makes all the difference.
                                                                The gun that I ended up with at the end is a far cry from a true Glock. Because I started with more material, I was able to selectively take down certain areas around the guide rod, slide rails, and trigger housing. I was able to play around to make certain that the gun had solid slide-to-barrel fit and tighter tolerances. The reward was in the accuracy department. The reliability came second and I came to realize that Glock-pattern guns don’t like to be tight. Forcing it to work was a chore, but once it got running it was both reliable and accurate.

                                                          * * *

                                                                   To break it in further, I loaded some high-pressure handloads in and smeared the internals with jeweler’s abrasive polish. The high-pressure loads ensured movement and the polish allowed the gun to work itself in ways that I couldn’t with a file. It is important to note that you must not allow this polish in the trigger assembly. I cleaned up the weapon and removed the abrasive. The gun ran smoothly and had no further issues. At the time this was written there are around 1,500 rounds safely fired.
                                                            • "Business Is Booming for America’s Survival Food King"--Bloomberg. Wise Company--a major producer of freeze dried foods--is doing very good business. Besides booming business from preppers, the article notes that the company has been called upon FEMA to provide emergency food to Puerto Rico, as well as from other organizations. The article notes, however, that the company doesn't really want or seek these emergency orders, but prefers the steady sales to regular consumers:
                                                            The company’s first customers a decade ago were anxious about inflation, economic collapse, and terrorist attacks; today, the major concern is environmental instability. “It’s not just the freak events. We get calls from people saying, ‘I live in Miami, and flooding is now routine. I’m worried Florida is going to be under water in two years,’ ” he says. “Or from people in upstate New York who experienced a 1-in-a-1,000-year blizzard and couldn’t get out of their driveway for two weeks. People who lived through the California drought, the forest fires of Texas and the Northwest, and who think maybe the government won’t come to their rescue when a disaster hits.”

                                                            Other Stuff:
                                                            In response, Baltimore Police reacted with ‘fire and fury’ turning the neighborhood where Suiter was shot into an “open-air prison”, shutting down city streets and enabling checkpoints for citizens while officers in tactical gear went door to door, according to Baltimore Brew. Residents were prohibited from entering their own neighborhood unless they showed proper identification, these extreme measures have been in place for 4-5 days.
                                                            Herschel compares the operation to the Marines taking Fallujah in Iraq:
                                                                    They didn’t drive the foreign fighters out of Fallujah.  They found and killed them all.  This kind of tactical approach is highly effective, and the Marines were masters of it.  The Baltimore police want control over the city.  By control, I mean complete control, with knowledge of everyone, information on their comings and goings and their whereabouts at all times, updates on their intentions and predilections, and full freedom to maneuver or respond as necessary to meet the perceived threat.
                                                                     They learned this from the U.S. military.  Expect to see additional elements of this COIN / stability operations in Baltimore, like UAVs or drones to help them “see” the terrain.  Expect JTTF and robust Fusion center activity, and expect to see the U.S. justice system to go right along with everything that happens.
                                                                        It’s where we are.  It’s the state to which we’ve been driven.  America has created third world countries in large cities like Baltimore, Chicago, L.A., Atlanta, Houston, and St. Louis, by means of handouts and fatherless families.  Opening the borders hasn’t helped.  The result is third world hell holes that scare even the police, but given that the police are the largest gang in America, they will respond in kind.
                                                                         DEA agents say recent arrests reflect an emerging pattern, as Mexican trafficking groups ­attempt to turn New York City into their Northeast distribution hub. They operate with ­quasi-corporate sophistication and an inconspicuous, transient presence, sending sales teams to deliver staggering quantities of drugs and then quietly disappear.
                                                                            This year, narcotics agents have seized more than 350 pounds of pure fentanyl in New York City, 10 times as much as they did in 2016. A calculated business decision appears to be behind the boom. 
                                                                              “The cartels realize that fentanyl is much more profitable than heroin,” said James Hunt, head of the DEA’s New York Division.
                                                                                 Unlike heroin, whose raw opium base must be collected from poppy growers in remote mountain valleys, fentanyl can be made in clandestine labs using relatively inexpensive chemicals. And because it is so much more potent, it can be diluted with cutting agents to make exponentially more street-level doses, whether in powder form or ersatz pills pressed to resemble brands such as OxyContin and Percocet.

                                                                                 “These guys are evil businessmen, but they are still businessmen,” Hunt said. “I don’t know of any other product where you could invest $3,000 and make millions.”

                                                                            * * *
                                                                                   They smuggle it across the border in fake vehicle panels or commercial loads of produce, furniture, auto parts and other cargo, driving it across the country from California and Arizona.
                                                                                   The loads arrive at industrial parks in New Jersey, where cartel emissaries are sent to meet the shipments and oversee wholesale transactions. Then they must figure out what to do with bricks of cash that are even bulkier than the drugs.
                                                                                    The Bronx and northern Manhattan are choice locations for the traffickers, agents say, because their proximity to major bridges and highways offers the same logistical advantages sought by any commercial distributor.
                                                                                  Most recently, Campbell has confided to close friends that he’s afraid that he won’t be able to testify today. The informant explained that during a routine hike in the hills behind his home, he met an armed man. The two gentlemen held each other’s gaze with weapons drawn. 
                                                                                   After an intense moment the man walked away. Campbell believes this was an attempt on his life, caused by the Department of Justice’s release concerning his testimony.
                                                                                Anonymous Conservative writes:
                                                                                  Mark my words, the most chaotic, violent, dangerous times in politics are coming back again, and we will live through them. Think another Holocaust can’t happen? Think a politician can’t be assassinated by a government conspiracy? Think a small group of elites would never maneuver a nation into a global war for personal profit? Think that despite your posting on 4Chan that you are too small to be taken out by an elite government agency at the behest of some shadowy political player whose name you have never even heard of?
                                                                                           A wealthy Democratic mega-donor who co-founded the Ready for Hillary PAC, which helped launch Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for the White House, has died of a gunshot wound to the head after “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue,” his family says.
                                                                                             Steve Mostyn, a 46-year-old Texas trial lawyer who reportedly contributed millions to pro-Clinton super PACs, was found dead in his Houston home on Nov. 15. Mostyn was a member of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance.

                                                                                      Wednesday, November 22, 2017

                                                                                      Apparently YouTube Allows A Channel to Select Who Sees Which Reviews

                                                                                      "A Good Samaritan"--The Mormon Channel (6 min.)

                                                                                            The video shown above was published on November 16, 2017. It purports to be a modern rendition of "The Good Samaritan" parable, but instead appears to be claiming that whites are uncaring or uncharitable while Muslims and/or blacks are the opposite. Specifically, "a certain man" going down to Jericho is replaced by a workman leaving his apartment who is accosted and beat by two white men; he later crawls to a busy sidewalk where his pleas for help are ignored by not just a white businessman and white female volunteer (apparently standing in for the priest and Levite in the original), but by a whole crowd of white people. Just then, the black woman (presumably Muslim because of her dress) intercedes and helps the injured man to an emergency clinic.

                                                                                             Of course, in the original parable, the priest and the Levite could be interpreted as not helping the injured man because they were hypocrites; but it is possible that it was because they did not want to ritually defile themselves (although there are arguments that even this was not an excuse, because they were leaving Jerusalem, presumably having concluded any necessary rituals, not heading toward it). Thus, they arguably were following the letter of the Law, but not the spirit of the Law--a theme that Christ went back to time and time again. This video shallowly ignores all of that. In fact, I would suggest that the purpose of the video was not to teach us to live our religion, but to shame us into accepting Muslim migrants.

                                                                                             In any event, I left a comment noting that I thought the video was unrealistic (why wouldn't anyone call emergency services?) and racist. Interestingly, after several days, my comments are visible to me only when I go to YouTube while using my account, but are not visible when I go and check publicly. Also, I experimented by casting some down votes for a few of the comments, and noticed that all of those are gone as well.

                                                                                             Has anyone else noticed this with YouTube?

                                                                                      Monday, November 20, 2017

                                                                                      November 20, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                      "The Truth About Soy Boys"--Paul Joseph Watson (8 min.)
                                                                                      Watson notes a link between effeminate liberal "men" and consumption of soy products. There is a scientific reason for this--soy products contain estrogen.

                                                                                      • Better late than never: This past weekend's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Rory Miller gives his thoughts on the "sheepdog" analogy (similar to what I and others have said, it is a deeply flawed analogy); an analysis of hit location and fatality rate of all criminal gunshot wounds in Chicago in 2017 (not surprisingly, head shots do particularly well); "Better Rude Than Dead"; and a lot more.
                                                                                      • An interesting new product--the Glock E-Trainer--a simple product that easily installs on your Glock pistol to allow trigger manipulation (without having to constantly rack the slide) and practice dry fire, drawing and holstering, etc. Reviews from Ammo Land and The Firearms Blog. $25.
                                                                                      • Guns save money as well as lives: "NBC: 'Gun Violence' Costs $2.8 Billion Per Year (As Opposed to $1 Trillion Saved by DGUs)"--The Truth About Guns
                                                                                      • Very zen: "Bicycle Maintenance"--Blue Collar Prepping. Recommended tools and tips as to common maintenance issues. The suggested tools are: bike pump; pressure gauge; tire patch kit; tire slime; tire tool; pliers; Allen wrench set; chalk or grease pen; Crescent (adjustable) wrench; teflon lube; screwdriver; and quality duct tape. One thing to do is to test your equipment to make sure it works on your bike. I remember an incident where I starting out on a ride, and about a mile into my trip, noticed that my rear tire was soft. I had a small pump in a tool kit and stopped to use it. The problem I had is that the with the small size of the pump, I could not get the leverage to pump the tire up to the 80+ pounds required. 
                                                                                      • Related: "Bicycle Trailers and Cargo"--Blue Collar Prepping. Different ways to carry and secure cargo to your bike: panniers, cargo racks, baskets, and different types of trailers. 
                                                                                      • "Speed Strips vs. Speedloaders – Keeping Your Revolver In The Fight"--Ammo Land. "The benefit of Speed Strips is their profile, which is flat much like a semi-auto’s magazine. Easy and discreet to carry your spare ammunition in your pocket or a pouch on the belt."  Speedloaders are faster, but as the author points out, "[t]he one downside to speedloaders ... is that the body sometimes becomes wedged against the grip, preventing a precise release of the rounds." The author also notes some (a very few types) use moon-clips.
                                                                                      • "Primary Arms’ Newest Micro Dot: 50K Hours, Only $150!"--Guns America. The MD-RB-AD may not be as tough as an Aim Point, it is a lot less expensive and provides (or is advertised as providing) comparable battery life--meaning that you could leave it on all the time for instant use. 
                                                                                      • Gun control in action: "Elderly British Man Jailed for Collection of over 100 Illegal Firearms"--The Firearms Blog. Per the article, "[t]he impressive cache of weapons included everything from 19th century pocket revolvers to an Ingram M10 submachine gun, a Sten gun, various patterns of AK and even an Armalite AR-10." So much for Britain's vaunted gun control laws: even a 74 year old was able to get around them. 
                                                                                      • "Best Handheld Two-Way Radios of 2017 – Buying Guide and Reviews"--Two Way Radio Talk. The author has a detailed article on modern two-way radios ("walkie talkies") generally (including describing features) as well as a review of what he considers the top picks. A couple of notable points: "The Motorola MR350R radios have a 35-mile range" and "Retevis two-way radios have a reputation for quality. Among the company’s most highly rated walkie talkies is the H-777 set. These radios each come with their own earpiece."
                                                                                      • "Vista Outdoor on .22 Ammo: Supply up, Demand Down, Price Down"--Ammo Land. The new .22 rimfire plant in Lewiston, Idaho, is on line. Vista Outdoors owns the CCI and Federal rimfire brands, and its new .22 rimfire manufacturing plant has come online in Lewiston, Idaho, allowing an increase in production of 20% for each brand. However, the higher supply combined with flattening demand means that prices are falling. I've started to notice that prices are beginning to drop toward pre-.22-drought prices: I picked up a box of Federal's .22 Auto Match for $14 at Walmart, which is about $10 less per box than I have been paying even a couple of months ago, and about what it was before the drought. 

                                                                                      Other Stuff:
                                                                                      A survey by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention showed that 15.6 percent of people suffered one or more offences against the person (defined in the survey as assault, threats, sexual offences, robbery, fraud or harassment) last year. That’s up from 13.3 percent in 2015 and the highest number recorded since the annual Swedish Crime Survey started in 2006.
                                                                                                “The Swedish flag is a constant reminder of our dark and oppressive past,” the petition reads. “Refugees and migrants are forced to live under its Christian Cross; a symbol of the Crusades and the slaughter of millions of innocent Islamic lives in Sweden’s past that makes them feel unwelcome and unsafe.”

                                                                                                 “Sweden should be a safe space for everyone.”
                                                                                          "... slaughter of millions of innocent Islamic lives in Sweden's past..."? I gather that the drafters of the petition don't know much about history ... and don't care.
                                                                                                    Zimbabwe still has the world's third largest reserves of platinum and was once a huge agricultural exporter sending wheat, tobacco, and corn to the rest of the continent and beyond from its fertile farmland. 
                                                                                                      But under Mugabe's leadership, the country's mining and tourism-driven economy has been laid to waste. Hyperinflation has wiped out savings, unemployment is sky-high and economic output has halved since 2000 while seven in ten in the landlocked country of 16 million are stuck in poverty.
                                                                                                Something quite out of the ordinary occurred in the skies over Oregon on October 25th, 2017. A mystery aircraft was flying in daylight hours among the steady stream of airliners that traverse from south to north, between locales in California and Nevada and cities like Portland and Seattle and beyond. The incident began, at least as best we can tell, around 4:30pm near the California-Oregon border and resulted in multiple pilot eyewitnesses, recorded air traffic control audio, and eventual confirmations from both the FAA and North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) that it did indeed occur.
                                                                                                  F-15's scrambled to locate the aircraft were not able to spot it or track it. Unfortunately, the commercial pilots that had visually tracked the aircraft for air traffic control never were close enough to identify the aircraft. So, it appears to have been some sort of stealth aircraft; the question remaining, was it one or ours or somebody else's?
                                                                                                    The Mach-Effect thruster is a propellantless propulsion concept that has been in development by J.F. Woodward for more than two decades. It consists of a piezo stack that produces mass fluctuations, which in turn can lead to net time-averaged thrusts. So far, thrusts predictions had to use an efficiency factor to explain some two orders of magnitude discrepancy between model and observations. Here (M Tajmar) presents a detailed 1D analytical model that takes piezo material parameters and geometry dimensions into account leading to correct thrust predictions in line with experimental measurements. Scaling laws can now be derived to improve thrust range and efficiency. An important difference in this study is that only the mechanical power developed by the piezo stack is considered to be responsible for the mass fluctuations, whereas prior works focused on the electrical energy into the system. This may explain why some previous designs did not work as expected. The good match between this new mathematical formulation and experiments should boost confidence in the Mach effect thruster concept to stimulate further developments.
                                                                                                      Expectations are that devices delivering 1 Newton of thrust may be possible in a decade.

                                                                                                      Update: Correction of typos.

                                                                                                      Sunday, November 19, 2017

                                                                                                      Book Review: Down-Grid Communications by Sparks31

                                                                                                      Book: Down-Grid Communications by Sparks31 (2016); soft-cover; 80 pages (ISBN 978-1-365-06318-3).

                                                                                                      Publisher: TAC Enterprises LLC
                                                                                                                        P.O. Box 1351
                                                                                                                        Riverton, WY 82501
                                                                                                                        Tel: 720-778-1744

                                                                                                            I purchased this book through an Amazon affiliate, and am not sure of its overall availability, which is why I have included the ISBN number and publisher's information. I don't have my receipt handy, but paid just under $30 for the book. Normally I would not have paid that much for such a short book, but Sparks31's reputation proceeds him, and so I figured that it would be well worth the money. I would also note that, although I don't which edition it is, from comments that the author makes, this is at least a second or third edition of this book.

                                                                                                             I will point out right now that I don't have the technical knowledge to judge the technical details in the book. For instance, the author makes recommendations as to certain equipment, details the performance and capabilities of certain equipment and radio frequencies, and provides what appears to be significant information about different radio frequencies and for what they are used. I lack the knowledge to offer an opinion as to any of this. However, I will try and describe the book and my thoughts approaching it as a complete novice.

                                                                                                             One of things I watch for in a book is the intended audience and intended purpose of the book. The author covers two basic topics in the book: basic electronic or signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications for preppers and 3%'rs. In particular, the book is aimed at those that are novices or have limited experience at these topics. And by that, I don't mean that the book won't have value for experienced HAMs or radio operators, because I suspect it covers information that even experienced HAMs may not have fully explored (at least in the context of a prepper or 3%'r). Also, this book is intended as a guide: that is, the book is not intended to impart all or most of the information you will need, but to point you to sources where you can learn the information, including recommending specific books and how you might best acquire them at bargain prices.


                                                                                                              That covered, let me address the contents. As noted, the two basic topics covered in the book are SIGINT and communications. Referencing the table of contents, the primary sections of the book are as follows:

                                                                                                      • Beginning considerations.
                                                                                                      • Education and building your skill set.
                                                                                                      • Information versus intelligence.
                                                                                                      • Area/Hazard analysis.
                                                                                                      • Communications monitoring equipment.
                                                                                                      • Basic communications monitoring techniques.
                                                                                                      • Signal analysis.
                                                                                                      • Common portable radio frequencies.
                                                                                                      • Communications monitoring notes.
                                                                                                      • Radio services available or use and introductory thoughts on radio communications.
                                                                                                      • Citizens' Band (CB)
                                                                                                      • Family Radio Service (FRS)
                                                                                                      • Multi-use Radio Service (MURS).
                                                                                                      • 33-cm (902 - 928 MHz).
                                                                                                      • Amateur (Ham) radio.
                                                                                                      • Recommendations as to equipment.
                                                                                                      • Telephone techniques.
                                                                                                      • One-time pad generation.

                                                                                                               The author opines in this book (as well as his website) that monitoring other's communications will be more valuable for the prepper or 3%'r than having elaborate radio communication abilities of your own. In fact, he spends a little over half of his book on this topic. The reason for this is intelligence: by monitoring police bands and those used by other first responders, utility companies, and so on, you can get a better idea of what is going on around you. Not only can this provide immediately actionable intelligence (i.e., dispatch calls as to particular incidents, such as a disaster, emergency, or utility problems), but over time you can gather information as to patterns. For instance, if police are routinely dispatched to certain neighborhoods responding to burglaries, robberies, or other crimes, you can get an idea where the high crime areas are located, and possibly whether there is a shift in the location of crimes.

                                                                                                             Although police are increasingly moving to encrypted systems, this does not render monitoring their communications meaningless: the volume or location of communications can be valuable. The same applies to unknown actors who may be using encrypted communications or codes. For instance, if there is a sudden uptick in radio communications in your neighborhood or locale, it may be useful to investigate why. And, as the author notes, even if you cannot understand the police communications, communications from ancillary agencies or entities (e.g., fire, ambulance, and utilities) may provide information as to a particular incident. For instance, a chemical spill or fire will probably at least result in a fire department responding, whose communications will probably be "in the clear."

                                                                                                             The author provides guidance in this area not only as to describing basics such as the difference between information and intelligence, but sets out a list of questions you can use to interpret information; and, very helpfully, lists and describes equipment (including recommendations) for monitoring radio communications, and discusses and lists common frequencies.

                                                                                                             Turning to communications, the author describes the different communication frequencies available to the public, for what purposes and the basic advantages or limitations of each. Obviously, you need to be licensed for certain frequencies (such as HAM) or for broadcasting at certain levels of power. Certain systems don't require licensing for basic broadcasting: Citizens' Band (CB) and Family Radio Service (FRS). The MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) bands--often included in walkie talkies--technically require a license, but is probably ignored in most cases. And then there are the HAM radio amateur frequencies which will require different licenses depending primarily on the power and range of broadcasting. Sparks31 discusses each of these bands/frequencies, including pros and cons, as well as reviews or recommendations as to the transceivers used as to each and additional equipment that might be useful.  If you are going to try for a HAM license, the author recommends learning Morse code (even though it apparently is no longer required for a HAM license) and getting a key for sending Morse code.

                                                                                                             The author then briefly discusses telephones: specifically, different field telephones, the advantages and disadvantages to field telephones versus radio, and where to locate phones or wire to run between the phones.

                                                                                                              Finally, the author discusses the creation and use of one-time key pads. These are codes that are randomly generated and, as the name implies, only used one time in order to foil decoding.


                                                                                                             Robert Heinlein is often quoted for his statement that "specialization is for insects." He wrote:
                                                                                                       A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
                                                                                                      Perhaps so, but reading this book leaves with a similar feeling as when I read books on disaster medicine: we are well past the time of the Renaissance Man, able to have some useful knowledge in all topics. Although most of us can learn first aid, it would be unreasonable to presume that we could  accumulate the knowledge and skill of a nurse, let alone a doctor. This applies to other fields, including communications. Even in this short volume there is a significant amount of information about radio communications that would require a significant investment in time, money and resources to gain the necessary knowledge and experience to effectively use. Yes, everyone can learn to operate a simple radio, or monitor a scanner, but it will take increasing effort and specialization the further you go, especially if in addition to using the equipment, you also want to be able to service or repair the equipment. Fortunately, the author recognizes this, and has recommendations based not only on what he thinks is good equipment, but recommendations based on your commitment to learning what you need to know, as well as your available budget. Thus, this is a good book for evaluating how far you want to go down the rabbit-hole, so to speak, of communications. If you only want or need basic capabilities, the author tells you what you need to know (and more). If you want to go all the way, get your HAM license, and build a comprehensive radio set up, the author tells you how to do that (or where to go to get the additional information you will need).

                                                                                                              The author's information also is useful in determining what others can and can't do in regards to your communications. For instance, he warns that the "privacy" codes available on certain mobile radios are there only to block you from hearing unwanted communications, but does nothing to secure your communications from being intercepted or understood by anyone else. Similarly, field telephones are susceptible to being tapped (not just a physical tap, but induction: whether by overlaying the wire with another wire, or, if the wire is buried, using more remote methods).

                                                                                                              While I understand the author's stance on monitoring radio communications and engaging in basic SIGINT, I do question the "average" prepper's ability to devote sufficient time to obtain useful information within a reasonable period of time. Even if you are passively monitoring a scanner, it takes time to not only listen to what comes in over the scanner but to also compile and analyze the data. But you are not going to be able to do it 24/7. Even when you are awake, work and other activities may severely limit your ability to monitor communications in your area. That is, I question how much intelligence you can develop if you can only devote a few hours a week to monitoring your scanner. I raise this as a question, though, because I don't know. Perhaps even a limited time at the scanner will give you enough information.

                                                                                                             Of course, the effort you put into SIGINT (or communications security) will also depend on the perceived threat. For instance, Anonymous Conservative recently commented on a Sean Hannity segment where Hannity indicated that he and all his show's guests (Circa News’ Sara Carter, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow and John Solomon of The Hill) were being illegally surveilled. Anonymous Conservative adds:
                                                                                                              Also, the most prominent investigative reporter today, Sharyl Attkisson, had classified documents installed on her computer in a hidden file so she could be summarily imprisoned (and had she not discovered them she would have been, and none of us would have thought twice about her getting classified docs illegally from some source in the course of her work). 
                                                                                                              And the most prominent member of the Democratic National Committee [Donna Brazille] believed that if she didn’t outfit her house with cameras and uninterruptible power supplies her food could be spiked and she might be killed – and she never went to the FBI or any Law Enforcement entity for assistance, because she believed they could not or would not help her.
                                                                                                      (There is a lot more in that article, and I recommend that you read the whole thing). If you think you are under surveillance, you will want to put more time and effort into SIGINT and communications security.

                                                                                                              On the latter topic, two of the most important items from the book are the instructions for creating and using a one-time pad, and the discussion of the 33-cm transceivers. Specifically, as to the 33-cm transceivers, Sparks31 notes:
                                                                                                      Motorola makes the "DTR" series of handheld radios that operate in the 902 Band using Frequency Hopping Spread-Spectrum (FHSS) communications. Instead of a radio channel being a single frequency as it is on FRS, GMRS, MURS, or CB a spread-spectrum channel is actually a group of frequencies that the radio hops through in a predetermined algorithm. This means that police scanners, including the near-field Signal Stalker type units, will not be able to intercept the signal from these units. There are three models available. ... The two you should look for are the DTR-550 and DTR-650. You should also look for the optional keypads that connect to the radios for extended text messaging capability. There are a solid, mil-spec, easy to use radio that requires no license.
                                                                                                      This won't, by itself, protect you from serious attempts to intercept your device (I know someone whose only job with one defense contractor was working out the algorithms used by the Russians for frequency hopping so that the U.S. military could simply listen in by making the exact same hops). But it should be effective, as noted, against casual interception.

                                                                                                             As a final note, there are programs available that allow computers to generate one-time key pads. There are couple concerns with using these programs. First, the effectiveness of one-time key pads is that the numbers used be random. Those of you in the computer science field will be aware that computers cannot truly generate random numbers, although there are some very good algorithms that do a pretty good job. Sparks31 recommends using dice for this purpose--particularly, unopened, unused casino dice. (He provides a system for translating the 1-6 results into a base-10 number). Second, using a program leaves a record on your computer; and let's face it, if you have a genuine need to resort to one-time pads, your computer may very well have surveillance software on it. Sparks31 recommends buying an old typewriter (not word processor), typing out a bunch of sheets of codes, and then selling or getting rid of the typewriter and destroying (burning) the ribbon. I would also caution about photocopying the sheets: not only is there the possibility of modern digital photocopiers storing a record of what is copied, or introducing a code or serial number, but the scratches on the glass of a photocopier are as unique as fingerprints, and used the same way.


                                                                                                             Great introduction to communications for the 3%'r and prepper, even if you only will invest in a basic communication system for your family or friends.

                                                                                                      Update: Corrected typo.

                                                                                                      Wokeness is War

                                                                                                           I post a lot about the decline of our civilization, including topics about declining morality, the war on fathers and the traditional f...