Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

I thought I would kick off this weekend with some humor: 

  • TGIF: A new Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training.
  • "Cleaning and Preparing Fish: Tips You Should Know for Survival"--The Prepper Journal (h/t SHTF Preparedness). This article is a good follow up to the fishing article to which I linked yesterday. This article has more tips on fishing, including specific tips for catching catfish and carp. It then discusses gutting, filleting, and cooking fish.
  • "Craig Douglas – Myth of Proportional Armament"--Every Day Carry Solutions. The author notes that most of your training presupposes that our attacker/opponent will be armed with the same type of weapon we have: that is, gun training assumes the other person is armed with a firearms, knife training assumes that the other person will have a knife, and empty-handed techniques generally assume that the other person will be unarmed. The author writes:
        Real bad guys aren’t stupid. Most will not make the decision to attack unless the odds are in their favor. They will usually have weapon and a friend or two. They will not approach someone whom they perceive as a hardened target, for the most part. This is where not looking like food comes into play. Your job is to be alert and be able to see a threat before it gets within your protective sphere. If they do make the decision to attack they have to get close to do so. There may be a ruse involved and some deliberate misdirection. They are certainly not going to let you see a weapon in their hand and give you the time to run. So if it’s probable that the bad guy is not going to let you see his weapon at range, then why do we always see systems and methods that are teaching ranged combatives where the good guy and bad guy are equally armed? Would both allow the other to do so?
           So at this point what can we do to accelerate the curve of advantage?
              If you see a threat and acknowledge it as such, it’s probably a good idea to at least covertly establish the grip on your tool of choice, be that a firearm, a knife, or OC. We want to do this because establishing grip on the tool is the most tenuous part of any drawstroke to bring any tool into play. This is due to the fact that the majority of our tools in this day and age have to be kept concealed on our body, and ripping through various layers of garments is the slowest part of the stroke. When we establish the grip on our tool, an acknowledgment of the bad guy and aggressive body kinesics should be utilized. What do I mean here?
               Picture seeing a guy rapidly approach you. He’s disheveled and his right hand is in his coat pocket. You step back with your strong foot, and sweep your jacket, establishing the grip on your handgun. At the same time, you bring your off-hand up palm out in the universal “Stop” sign, a one-handed fence if you will. Now we ask the guy, in a serious tone, “What do you want?”, and maintain eye contact.
                 What we’ve done at this point, is get through the slowest part of accessing a tool, assumed a protective posture, and challenged the guy non-confrontationally. We’ve also sent him some messages. ...
            Read the whole thing.
            • "5 Preventive Health Measures To Take Before The SHTF"--Urban Survival Site. Teeth, vision care (including glasses and extra contacts), losing weight/fitness, resolving other known outstanding issues (such as surgeries or other procedures that you need to get done), and getting a thorough physical examination to identify unknown conditions.
            • "What Kit to Carry for Game Stalking"--Aussie Hunter. Obviously, the equipment is somewhat area specific and game specific. For instance, predator hunting means that you will want to have the equipment for calling in the game on you, whereas other game obviously does not need calls. Also, if you are packing game out, you will need a bigger pack for larger game than the smaller game. In any event, the author carries on him his binoculars, a camera, some extra ammo, a hiking stick, and his rifle. In a pack, he generally includes equipment for butchering animals, including a knife, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer, as well as a water proof cloth on which to sit. Because of the danger of poisonous snakes, he wears high-top boots or knee high gaiters. And he wears a blaze orange jacket or vest in a camo patter so he can be seen by other hunters (or rescuers) but not catch the eye of his prey. Finally,  
              ... with the risk of sliding down a steep slope and maybe breaking a leg, getting ripped up by an angry boar or being bitten by a deadly snake, I carry two small but essential items in my backpack.  One is a small pouch containing a pressure bandage, whistle, signal mirror, painkillers, pocket knife, cord, an aluminium space blanket.  The other small item is one of the new Emergency Locator Beacons.  I carry a small bottle of water to keep hydrated; which is a serious issue in the tropics, even on a short morning hunt.
              • "Survivalist Superfood: The Mung Bean Sprouts"--Dreaming of Sunsets Over Ochre Dunes. A how-to on growing the sprouts.
              • "Hezbollah Drugs, and how much Black Lives Actually Mattered to Barack Obama"--Da Tech Guy Blog. Obama was willing to overlook a stream of drugs and guns which would particularly hit the black community hard, in order to assure him of his Neville Chamberlain moment in history over the Iran nuclear deal.
              • "Fleeing — but not to Europe"--Deutsche Welle. Fortunately for Europe, the majority of refugees in Africa don't have the money to go to Europe, but are internally displaced or seek refuge across the nearest border: e.g., Sudanese pouring into Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. Although not discussed in the article, there are, of course, the reports of refugees making it to Libya and then, unable to proceed further, being sold into slavery. The article also focuses on the people fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh for Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. A good chunk of these are the Muslim Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh after Bangladesh started to crack down on Muslim terrorists (or, more accurately, the "water" in which the terrorist "fish" swim).  And then there is Mexico:
                        It's not clear how many people actually cross the border every year. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are around 11 million migrants living in the US without a residency permit. About half of them are from Mexico.
                          Many people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras use Mexico as a transit country. Until 2010 it was primarily young men migrating northwards, but Amnesty International reports that whole families are now on the move, escaping violence by criminal gangs in their home countries.
                            If they cannot pay traffickers to get them across Mexico, they soon become easy prey for organized criminals. Cartels patrol the riverbanks near the border and attack without mercy, killing refugees to warn off others. It's not known how many have been murdered in this way, but there have been repeated discoveries of mass graves indicating that this was how the victims died.
                              The International Organization for Migration reports that in 2017 more than 340 people died in the vicinity of the border. Many were killed by gangs; others drowned, probably while attempting to cross a river. Others still were bitten by snakes or scorpions, or died of thirst in the scorching heat. In many cases the cause of death remains unclear. Human remains are often found, for example in the barren mountains in the south of the US state of Arizona.
                                In the early phase of the conflict, most of the group's cache had been captured from Iraqi and Syrian forces. But from the end of 2015, CAR started to see another significant source - factories in Eastern Europe.
                                  The weapons and ammunition was being manufactured in Europe, sold to the US and Saudi Arabia, and transported across the Turkish border into Syria.
                                    They said supplies of weapons by Washington and Riyadh to Syrian opposition groups indirectly allowed Isil to obtain a substantial amount of sophisticated anti-armour ammunition and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW), which have then been used against coalition forces they support.
                                      "Time and again, states that seek to accomplish short-term political objectives supply weapons to groups over whom they exert little to no control," said James Bevan, the executive director of CAR. "These weapons often gravitate to the most organised and effective rebel and insurgent forces."
                                I'm not sure that CIA viewed that so much as a bug, but a feature. After all, the purpose was to arm those groups willing to overthrow the Assad regime. In any event, it always interests me to see how our governments are unwilling to allow their own, peaceful citizens to own weapons, but have no compunction about turning over military weapons to anonymous goat herders in some Middle Eastern country, knowing that a significant percentage of the weapons are going to wind up on the black market and used against their own citizens and/or national interests at a later date.
                                •  "The Criminalization of Gentrifying Neighborhoods"--The Atlantic. All spin and PC garbage aside, the article is about minority groups being upset with whites moving (back) into the cities (the gentrification process), and expecting more law and order, because it results in more minorities being arrested. The author notes, for instance:
                                        When low-income neighborhoods see an influx of higher-income residents, social dynamics and expectations change. One of those expectations has to do with the perception of safety and public order, and the role of the state in providing it. The theory goes that as demographics shift, activity that was previously considered normal becomes suspicious, and newcomers—many of whom are white—are more inclined to get law enforcement involved. Loitering, people hanging out in the street, and noise violations often get reported, especially in racially diverse neighborhoods.

                                         “There’s some evidence that 311 and 911 calls are increasing in gentrifying areas,” Harvard sociology professor Robert Sampson told me. And “that makes for a potentially explosive atmosphere with regard to the police,” he added.

                                        By degrees, long-term residents begin to find themselves tangled up in the criminal-justice system for so-called “quality of life” crimes as 311 and 911 calls draw police to neighborhoods where they didn’t necessarily enforce nuisance laws before. As Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., describes it, misdemeanor arrests are more reflective of police presence than the total number of infractions committed in an area. “It’s not a question of how many people are committing the crime—it’s a question of where the police are directing their law-enforcement resources,” Butler said. “Because wherever they direct the resources, they can find the crime.”
                                           To begin with, it would not look like the first American Civil War, which was essentially a war between two regions of the country with different economic interests. The divide created two separate countries, both initially contiguous, intact, and relatively homogeneous. The lines of demarcation now are only somewhat regional, and tend to correspond to differences between urban and rural populations, as well as differences of race and class. A second American Civil War would be much more similar to the Spanish Civil War, with the leftists dominating the cities and conservatives controlling the countryside. Conflicts of this nature, with enemies mixed geographically, are a formula for spontaneous mass bloodletting. India-Pakistan during the 1947 partition comes to mind as another modern example. Given an absence of legitimate government and the friction of proximity, ordinary people can be moved to settle grievances by killing one another without the need for governments to egg them on.
                                    He further explains:
                                      Some dimensions of a future civil war would be, I think, largely unprecedented. When lesser countries have imploded in violence in recent times, they have done so with most of the world around them still intact. There were other nations to offer aid, assistance and intervention, welcome or unwelcome. There were places for refugees to go. The collapse of the world’s remaining superpower would take much of the world down with it. A global economic crisis would be inevitable. The withdrawal of American forces from bases across the world to fight at home would also create a power vacuum that others, even under economic strain, would be tempted to exploit. Whichever side gained control of our nuclear arsenal, our status as a nuclear power would probably persuade other nations not to interfere in our conflict militarily, but the collapse of trade alone would produce crippling effects that would be hard to overestimate. Many components for products our manufacturing sector makes are globally sourced. Add to this the breakdown of our transportation system, dependent on oil and transecting one new front line after another. The internet would fail. It is a frail enough now. Financial systems would fail. What happens if the banks find half their assets suddenly in hostile territory? All Federal government functions, including Social Security, would fail, many of them losing their very legitimacy to one side or the other. Food production, heavily dependent on diesel fuel, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, not to mention a steady supply of genetically engineered seeds, would slump alarmingly. In short, most things we depend on are now held together by a network of delicate and complex connections. Without those connections, would you have a job? If so, in what medium of exchange could your employers manage to pay you? What would there be for you to buy? Does your town, your county, or even your state have the ability to marshal its resources into a viable economy? How many people in those entities could deal with anything worse than a weather disaster, in which they count on the fact that help is coming soon?
                                      Another one worth the read. Also check out Black Pigeon Speak's comments to the article, and Matt Bracken's response. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, et al., predicted this type of a civil war--conflict on a very granular level rather than the large regions of the 1860's Civil War--so I don't doubt but that it will happen.
                                               In his book, Prophecy--Key to the Future, Duane S. Crowther cites various early LDS Church leaders concerning a second civil war. For instance, Orson Pratt, speaking in 1879, described this second civil war:
                                      [I]t will be very different from the war between the North and the South. Do you wish me to describe it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth, destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture, there will be too much bloodshed, too much mobocracy, too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety. What will become of millions of the farmers upon that land? They will leave their farms and they will remain uncultivated, and they will flee before the ravaging armies from place to place; and thus will they go forth burning and pillaging the whole country; and that great and powerful nation, now consisting of some forty millions of people, will be wasted away, unless they repent.
                                      (Crowther p. 50). Brigham Young reported Joseph Smith as describing:
                                      I heard Joseph Smith say, nearly thirty years ago, "They shall have mobbing to hearts content, if they do not redress the wrongs of the Latter-day Saints. Mobs will not decrease, but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neigborhood against neighborhood." ... it will be Christian against Christian, and man against man, and those who will not take up the sword against their neighbors, must flee to Zion.
                                      (Crowther 51). Joseph Smith is also quoted as saying:
                                      A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant. Father will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of murder and bloodshed and rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place.
                                      (Crowther 53).

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