- "Women Are Better Off Buying A Small Gun for Concealed Carry: Guns for Beginners"--The Truth About Guns. This is a messy article to read, but essentially it discusses the general truth that the best concealed carry pistol is one that you will actually carry, even if the pistol and/or method of carry may not be ideal. For many people, regardless of sex (contrary to the thesis of this article), that may mean using a small handgun of the "backup" or "deep concealment" variety as your primary concealed weapon. The article focuses primarily on the size of the weapon, but weight is also an important factor--my wife, for instance, simply won't carry around a firearm that weighs a couple of pounds no matter how much I point out that light weight equals greater perceived recoil. For men it generally isn't that they can't tolerate the weight (although that can be an issue for men that suffer from chronic back pain), but that their clothes won't. As an example, even if you can otherwise fit a pistol into the inside pocket of a suit coat, the material simply won't stand up for long to the carrying of an all-steel pistol--it will wear through or tear. Similarly, from an ergonomics perspective, a pistol with a grip that allows you to get all fingers on the grip is better than one with a shorter grip; but the length and size of the grip is one of the most significant factors as to whether a handgun prints, pushing the concealed carrier toward those firearms with shorter grips.
- "I Actually Read HR 38 : National Carry Reciprocity & Guess What I Found?"--Ammo Land. Among other things, "Handguns are redefined, so possession of an empty magazine is now possession of a handgun (you read that right)" and "Possession of ammo for a handgun is also possession of a handgun."
- "Interview with a Mexican hitman"--Al Jazeera. This 2010 article is, fortunately, no where as onerous to read as Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire. There was one section that, in particular, caught my attention:
And you torture people, too, right? "Of course," he answers cooly.
I ask him if he's not tormented by his victims' pleas for compassion. "If you can believe me, no. I get energetic, I get like adrenaline, and when they start to shout I feel anger," he says.
"The more suffering I inflict on them, the stronger the adrenaline. It's like an adventure. Torturing people takes the stress away from me." Really? I can’t help feeling my own words tripping and I can't help asking him why doesn't he go jogging instead. No joke.
I sent the article on to the Anonymous Conservative who responded: "That is the narcissist psychology. He is miserable all the time, and the pain of the person he is hurting is distracting his amygdala, and giving him relief."
- "Useful Training References- Shooting Drills"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz reviews Jeff Gonzales’ card deck of TACOST pistol drills. Greg writes:
The card deck has four different skill sets with 13 drills to reinforce each skill set. You can follow the drills in a structured progression or you can just randomly select a card from the deck and work on that drill. The second option is what I prefer. I finish my planned drills and then I draw a few random cards from Jeff’s deck and finish up my practice session with those drills to add a little variety.
- Nathaniel Fitch tests IMI 77gr Razor Core 5.56x45mm from a 14.5-inch barrel and 16 and 20-inch barrels. The test from the 14.5 inch barrel included accuracy results in addition to the muzzle velocity; whereas the latter tests did not include accuracy--probably because the accuracy was much less than would be expected from a "precision rifle round."
- "CBS News/YouGov poll on guns: Safe or scary, free or dangerous?"--CBS News. Several interesting questions and responses. One, though: "Most gun owners suspect that gun-control groups are trying to give government more control over people and think gun control groups are trying to take away all guns. Non-gun owners think gun rights supporters are trying to arm themselves for a larger conflict."
- A case of turnabout is fair play? "Cartel Hunts Cops Accused of a ‘Massacre’ in Mexico"--Borderland Beat. Per the article, "Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation Cartel put a price on the heads of police officers accused of killing women and children and allegedly attempting to cover up the crime."
- Was it the same, though? "Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham's son shoots himself dead, 54 years after his father did the same and days before Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks movie about his mother is released"--Daily Mail. Instapundit linked to a 2009 op-ed by Mark Steyn reminiscing about Katherine Graham's passing:
One writer stood head and shoulders above the crowd, which admittedly isn’t terribly difficult when everybody else is prostrate. The anonymous editorialist at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review evidently returned from lunch drunk and momentarily forgot himself. Possibly while working as a busboy in Washington in the early Sixties he’d been the victim of some casual slight by Mrs Graham. At any rate, summing up her life he started conventionally enough but then wandered deplorably off-message:
Born in New York City, the daughter of multimillionaire Eugene Meyer, she grew up privileged. In keeping with her father’s fortune, she graduated from Vassar College, where she was involved with the leftist trends of the day ...
She married Felix Frankfurter’s brilliant law clerk, Philip Graham, who took over running The Post, which her father purchased at a bankruptcy sale. Graham built the paper but became estranged from Kay. She had him committed to a mental hospital, and he was clearly intending divorce when she signed him out and took him for a weekend outing during which he was found shot. His death was ruled a suicide. Within 48 hours, she declared herself the publisher.
That’s the stuff! As the Tribune-Review’s chap has it, Mrs G got her philandering spouse banged up in the nuthouse and then arranged a weekend pass with a one-way ticket. “His death was ruled a suicide.” Lovely touch that. Is it really possible Katharine Graham offed her hubby? Who cares? To those who think the worst problem with the American press is its awful stultifying homogeneity, the Tribune-Review’s deranged perverseness is to be cherished. Give that man a Pulitzer!
- This doesn't seem very PC: "Nigerian 'mafia' working with Libyans to smuggle migrants"--News24. An AFP story:
Amid the global outcry over hellish migrant camps in Libya, many African leaders have accused the country of racism and crimes against their African "brothers".
But for those who have returned from the living hell, it's not only the Libyans who are profiting from the "migrant business". Illegal migrants are also the prey of sub-Saharan mafia groups, especially Nigerians.
- Heresy! "2016 Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission Confirms: In 37% White Milwaukee, People of Color Responsible for 90% of Homicides/93% of Nonfatal Shootings"--SBPDL.
- "Romanticizing the Hunter-Gatherer"--Quillette. Part and parcel of the "noble savage" myth is also the myth that primitive peoples are healthier and better off than modern civilized man. One of the most influential of the latter was anthropologist Richard B. Lee, who presented a paper in 1966 claiming that the !Kung of the Dobe area in the Kalahari Desert (also known variously as Bushmen, the San people, or the Ju/’hoansi) only worked 12-19 hours per week and that the proportion of elderly to the whole population was comparable to that of modern societies. However, that wasn't exactly true:
As Lee himself would later mention in his 1984 book on the Dobe !Kung, his original estimate of 12-19 hours worked per week did not include food processing, tool making, or general housework, and when such activities were included he estimated that the !Kung worked about 40-44 hours per week. Lee noted that this number still compares quite favorably to the average North American wage earner, who spends over 40 hours a week above their wage labor doing housework or shopping. Even with the revised figures, this seems to indeed point to a life of greater leisure among hunter-gatherers (or, at least, among the !Kung) than industrialized populations. However, it is important to note that this does not take into account the difficulty or danger involved in the types of tasks undertaken by hunter-gatherers. It is when you look into the data on mortality rates, and dig through diverse ethnographic accounts, that you realize how badly mistaken claims about an “original affluent society” really are.
There is even a bit of interest to the "Red Pill" philosophers (underline added):
In the realm of reproductive success, hunter-gatherers are even more unequal than modern industrialized populations, exhibiting what is called “greater reproductive skew,” with males having significantly larger variance in reproductive success than females. Among the Ache of Paraguay, males have over 4 times the variance in reproductive success that females do, which is one of the highest ratios recorded. This means some males end up having lots of children with different women, while a significant number of males end up having none at all. This is reflected in the fact that polygynous marriage is practiced in the majority of hunter-gatherer societies for which there are data. Across these societies, the average age at marriage for females is only 13.8, while the average age at marriage for males is 20.7. Rather than defending what would be considered child marriage in contemporary Western societies, anthropologists often omit mentioning this information entirely.
And, as we've discussed before, the homicide rate among primitive cultures is much higher than modern Western nations:
From 1920-1955 the !Kung had a homicide rate of 42/100,000 (about 8 times that of the US rate in 2016), however Kelly mentions that, “murders ceased after 1955 due to the presence of an outside police force.”
That actually makes them one of the more peaceful hunter-gatherer people.
- "Earthmovers of the Amazon"--Science Frontiers. From the article:
We are now learning that some of these Amazon peoples were extraordinary earthmovers. Having little stone to work with, they matched the achievements of the Inca in the mountains just to the west with many miles of earthen causeways. Canals just as long were dedicated to fish-farming. Huge mounds rising above the flood plains supported villages. Even the mounds hold mysteries. One of them, named Ibibate, has been described by anthropologist W. Balee as being:
...as close to a Mayan pyramid as you'll see in South America.... Beneath the forest cover is a 60-foot [18-meter] human-made artifact.
Ibibate is only one of many such mounds in the Bolivian Amazon. Called "lomas", they are obviously quite distinct from any Mayan pyramid we know of. Rather, the lomas are enormous islands of pottery sherds mixed with black soil. Hundreds of these mounds prove that a large population once occupied this region of Bolivia called the Llanos de Mojos (Plains of Mojos).
Anthropologist C.L. Erickson and a team from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the Llanos de Mojos once supported a Precolumbian complex of societies linked together by networks of communication, trade, and alliances. Erickson asserts that these cultures erected:
...thousands of linear kilometers of artificial earthen causeways and canals,... large urban settlements, and intensive farming systems.
Indeed, aerial photographs of this immense region show patterns of canals and causeways that stretch from horizon to horizon. This is truly a remarkable, virtually unexplored region of ancient human endeavor.
Even the geology of the region staggers the imagination. The Llanos de Mojos is a shelf of alluvial deposits 3,000 meters (2 miles) deep!
- Global warming alert: "The coldest New Year on RECORD? Bitterly cold temperatures across the Midwest and Northeast and up to FIVE FEET of snow look set to put 2018 celebrations on ice"--Daily Mail.
- Related: Instapundit notes that in 2000, The Independent was predicting that snowfall was a thing of the past and that children wouldn't even know what was snow, whereas today The Times is warning of winter chaos with snow and rain, and temperatures as low as -6 C in some areas of the UK.