- There was a new Woodpile Report put up yesterday, linking to a lot of good articles and news. One article I want to point out in particular, though, is "What If Trump Really Is Draining the Swamp?" from The Burning Platform. A discussion of a mysterious poster to 8-chan who seems to be hinting at some major purges of corrupt officials in Washington.
- As my long term readers know, I frequently cite to articles at The Firearms Blog, and have long been a reader of that site. However, there apparently have been some behind the scenes fireworks of which I was not aware. One of the regular contributers to TFB for many years was Patrick Roberts (going under the name, "Patrick R."). Several months ago, when testing the Honor Guard pistol, discovered that the pistol could discharge if dropped on the rear of the slide or struck on the rear of the slide (i.e., the same problem as SIG had with its P320). However, Roberts' story on it was killed by TFB editors because it reflected poorly on Honor Guard, and Roberts subsequently left TFB. (You can read about it in this article from The Truth About Guns, "Did The Firearm Blog Spike the Honor Guard Drop Safety Story?" Be sure to read the comments, because Roberts posts some comments explaining more of what happened). Roberts has since founded a new web-site, The Firearms Rack, of which I was not aware until this story. I have now added it to my resource list.
- Since we are discussing The Firearms Rack, Patrick R. has there a "XS Sights F8 Night Sights Long Term Review."
- Also, per The Firearms Rack, Customs & Border Protection is making the jump from .40 S&W to 9 mm.
- "The Spetsnaz Ballistic Knife"--WeaponsMan. This is essentially a spring loaded tube that can shoot the knife blade. Apparently it is a weapon in one of my kids' videogames, so I tried to find some information on it. I remember seeing it featured in a the 1980's television series, "The Equalizer," and know that it was banned about that time under Federal law. According to this article, the origin of the weapon is murky (although it does not appear to have ever been used by the Spetznaz), and the quality of knives (or parts) is spotty. However, the article does give some more history on the knife, as well as its weaknesses as a weapon.
- "SPEER GOLD DOT Secures US Department of Homeland Security Contract for 120 Million Rounds"--The Firearms Blog.
- "Getting Unstuck"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author of this piece offers advice on how to free a vehicle stuck in the mud, in a ditch, or in the snow (if you Google for more information, getting unstuck is also termed "recovery"). He also lists some special considerations if you are using another vehicle to pull out the stuck vehicle. One topic not covered is the use of a high lift jack to get unstuck (my father always kept one in his truck for this purpose). Basically, you can use the jack to elevate the vehicle to remove an obstruction underneath or build up the soil under the wheels, or use the jack as a winch if you have rope/chain/cable and an anchor point available.
- "Nation V. Tribe"--Victor Davis Hanson. Discussion of the dangers of tribalism, and how various nations have attempted to deal with it. He notes, for instance:
Tribalism is one of history’s great destroyers. Once racial, religious, ethnic, or clan ties trump all considerations of merit and loyalty to the larger commonwealth, then factionalism leads to violence, violence to chaos, and chaos to the end of the state itself.
* * *
Most of the Middle East and Africa remain plagued by tribalism. In Iraq, a civil servant sees himself first as Shiite or Sunni rather than Iraqi, and acts accordingly. A Kenyan’s first allegiance is to his tribal first cousin rather than to an anonymous fellow Kenyan.
The result is inevitably the violence seen in places like the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Syria, or Iraq. The extreme historic remedy for tribalism is often the brutality of empire. The Ottoman, Austria-Hungary, and Soviet empires were all multiethnic, but they were also ruthless in squashing factional rebellion by seeking to suppress (or even destroy) all minority religions, languages, and identities.
Fear of tribalism and diversity is why much of Asia limits immigration. Certainly, an American, Mexican, or Ugandan who moves to Japan, China, or South Korea cannot easily proclaim himself a full-fledged citizen of his adopted country. In such countries, an immigrant’s appearance or religion would supersede his new national affinity.
Yet most Asians are unapologetic about what Westerners might label chauvinism, if not racism. They have no desire for the melting pot and certainly not the salad bowl. Apparently they believe that the benefits of enriching the culture via different modes of food, entertainment, fashion, and art are more than offset by the costs of factionalism and disunity caused by diversity.
Mexico, to take another example, has enshrined in its constitution stipulations that immigration shall not impair “the equilibrium of the national demographics”—bureaucratese for not wanting too many people entering Mexico who do not look like Mexican citizens. No wonder that the Mexican government treats illegal immigration as a felony offense. Few African Americans or American whites could emigrate to Mexico and realistically expect to ever become full-fledged citizens of Mexico in social, cultural, and political terms.
Hanson argues that the United States' attempts to deal with tribalism was through the Constitution and our "focus on merit and citizenship." According to Hanson, "[t]he result was twofold: the emergence of greater talent unimpeded by racial and religious barriers, and a constant awareness that individual identity should not trump political unity." However, the introduction of identity politics has reintroduced tribal politics. Read the whole thing.
- "Obama Ran Cover For Hezbollah’s Drug Cartel Operations"--Anonymous Conservative. You have probably already seen the Politico article on this topic, or other articles discussing it. Basically, however, in order to protect its Iranian nuclear weapons deal, the Obama Administration quashed an investigation that was preparing to take down Hezbollah's international drug distribution operations, including that portion smuggling drugs into the United States. AC gives his take on it:
It is another sign of the amorphous nature of what is legal, and what is illegal in these times. As amygdalae degrade, the pathways driving adherence to the rules that are normally followed degrade as well. The end result is anarchy, especially when the rabbits with the most degraded amygdalae are in control and deciding what rules are followed and what ones are not.
You can see how, if a drug cartel being run by Hezbollah, of all groups, could be declared above the law by the politicians running our Law Enforcement agencies, everything else, from Hillary’s mishandling of classified documents and her illegal server, to IRS targeting of conservatives, to the Clinton Foundation’s pay for play at State, to using our domestic intel to try and alter a Presidential election outcome, and then overthrow the winner, would all be for all intents and purposes, rendered fully legal.
His concern is that Trump will be so successful at making American great again, that the prosperity will propel us into a temporary period of even greater r-selection; and "[i]f all of these illegal activities could be allowed now, when things are totally r, there is no doubt in my mind the alt-right could be fleeing death squads when the collapse goes down...."
- I've been following, for some time, the YouTube channel The Great War as it provides weekly "news reports" of the First World War, as well as more in-depth videos on particular topics. TFB reports that "Up To 10 YouTube Channels to Collaborate on Making a Week by Week WW2 Documentary," including the people that were behind The Great War. If it is anything like The Great War, it will be a wonderful series.