- A new Woodpile Report is up. A couple articles in particular caught my attention, both having to do with global cooling. First was an article entitled "Anyone who says we’re enduring 'unprecedented global warming' is lying or woefully misinformed" which notes that current global temperatures are well below normal, and only two periods in the last 600,000 years have had lower temperatures. The second, "Signs Show Planet Entering A New Dalton Minimum…Solar Cycle 24 Continues To Be Weakest In 200 Years!" which notes that "[l]ooking at the entire solar cycle, the current cycle is only 56% as active as the mean solar cycle (shown in blue below), which is calculated from the previous 23 solar cycles." This is on top of some solar models indicating that the Sun will be much less energetic during the 2030s than even now.
- "More than 1,000 firefighters battle California inferno"--Reuters. The fire, near Ventura, California, is being fanned by the famed Santa Ana winds. So far it has consumed over 50,000 acres, and there are 12,000 homes being threatened by the fire. More than 250,000 homes are without power. The blaze had started on Monday, which gives you an idea how rapidly a range fire can spread under the right conditions.
- Coincidence? "Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station are evacuated after two fires fill busy transport hubs with thick smoke"--Daily Mail.
- Remington has announced the release of their 870 DM line of shotguns (and TAC-14 firearm), which feed from a detachable 6-round box magazine rather than a magazine tube. A list (and photos) of the various models, including MSRP pricing, can be found here. And both The Firearms Blog and The Truth About Guns have initial reviews of the Remington 870 DM Magpul Tactical version, which features Magpul furniture, ghost-ring sights, and a compensator. Mechanically, these are 870s, so none of the reviews found much to complain about as to actually working and firing the weapons. The firearms have a paddle release on the front of the magazine well, which means that magazine changes are performed by gripping the magazine (including the paddle) and pulling the magazine free. The magazines insert straight up into the magazine well. Presumably, these are NOT compatible with Saiga magazines. And no price on the magazines. I would expect that Mossberg will probably be releasing their own box magazine models soon enough.
- "Bad Survival Math: Fail to Recognize Assaultive Behavior + Denial =Throat Cut"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz deconstructs a knife attack reported in the news, including key points where the victim should have been aware of the impending attack, but chose to ignore the warning signs (walking on a clear trajectory toward her) and, then after the attack started, expecting a passerby to assist her. As Ellifritz notes, assistance from a passerby or witness is somewhat iffy--this is known as the bystander effect: "a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present."
The classic example of the bystander effect is the murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City in 1964, where numerous witnesses allegedly failed to render assistance and ignored screams for help from Genovese who stabbed and severely wounded by her attacker, who then left because he thought her cries for help would draw attention, then later returned and killed Genovese. The story was sensationalized by The New York Times, and, true to form, was later revealed to have grossly misreported and misrepresented the facts. In fact, when The New York Times came clean in 2016, it reported:
While there was no question that the attack occurred, and that some neighbors ignored cries for help, the portrayal of 38 witnesses as fully aware and unresponsive was erroneous. The article grossly exaggerated the number of witnesses and what they had perceived. None saw the attack in its entirety. Only a few had glimpsed parts of it, or recognized the cries for help. Many thought they had heard lovers or drunks quarreling. There were two attacks, not three. And afterward, two people did call the police. A 70-year-old woman ventured out and cradled the dying victim in her arms until they arrived. Ms. Genovese died on the way to a hospital.
Thus, it is, in fact, a very poor example as to the bystander effect because people had indeed heard her initial cries for help and called the police. But Genovese had made her way into the vestibule at the back entrance of the apartment building, and so was no longer visible. (The police did not initially respond, thinking that it was a domestic dispute). When her attacker returned and found her, she was no longer in view or hearing of bystanders. Nevertheless, her final cries were heard by a neighbor who found her and tried to help her, and police were called. Unfortunately, as noted earlier, Genovese died en route to the hospital.
Of course, not everyone stands by. Some choose to be heroes. One conspicuous example of this is Arland D. Williams, Jr., a passenger aboard Air Florida Flight 90, which crashed on take-off into the Potomac River on January 13, 1982. 78 people died in the crash. Williams was one of the few survivors. What is notable is that he refused to be rescued, instead repeatedly passing the rescue loop dangling from a helicopter to other survivors, until he was finally overcome by the cold water. He posthumously received the Carnegie Medal. The latter article observes:
Because only pure, spontaneous do-gooders are eligible for the Carnegie Medal (not professional lifesavers or protective parents), the Carnegie archives are now a historical record of people who really shouldn't be heroes.
And so, after sifting through more than a century's worth of Carnegie case studies, three intriguing factors snap into focus.
1. Lots of guys are risking their lives: Since 1904 the Carnegie Commission has seen over 80,000 cases of extreme heroism.
2. "Guys" is exactly the right word; nine out of every 10 Carnegie heroes have been men. That means about 800 men are hurtling themselves into danger every year. And there's no telling how many other men are risking their lives with no recognition at all.
3. If you want a Carnegie Medal, prepare to die trying. Heroism is a lethal business; during a typical 5-year stretch, nearly one in four Carnegie Medals was bestowed upon a corpse. ...
Although I can't find the article now, I remember reading that there was another factor at play: a disproportionate number of the people that receive the medal were raised in small towns. In any event, when there is violence, it helps if the bystander is armed.
- "Exercise changes gut bacteria in just six weeks and could prevent bowel cancer, according to the first study of its kind - but there is a catch"--Daily Mail. The gut bacteria at issue is one that produces butyrate: "an anti-inflammatory acid that has been linked to protection against bowel cancer, as well as weight loss and stronger immunity." The catch is that if you become sedentary again, your gut bacteria will revert to what it was before you started exercising.
- "How to Buy a 1911 From the Civilian Marksmanship Program"--The Truth About Guns. Although some of the details are up in the air, this at least provides you with the paperwork hurdles you will face.
- A scientific paper explaining why mass immigration spells the suicide of the West: "The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation"--Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. Key line from the abstract: "Here we show that ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates."
- "Rifle Ammunition and Soft Body Armor"--The Firearms Blog. Most everyone knows that soft body armor, as it is sold to law enforcement and the public, is incapable of stopping modern rifle rounds. But what about a lot of it--just piling it on deep?
The panels we had available were a Gall’s Lite level IIA, CATI level IIIA, and two groin protectors from IBA armor, which are approximately equivalent to level IIIA. This is, of course, a great deal more than any person is likely to be wearing at one time so if it can’t stop the threat, it seems safe to conclude that soft armor is ineffective against rifles under any reasonable conditions.
For the ammunition, the author indicates that he chose the ".300 AAC Sellier & Bellot 147 gr FMJ because it is significantly slower than many other rifle rounds." And the results?
The results are pretty conclusive. As you can see in the high speed, the bullet slammed through all four armor panels, six inches of ballistic gel, and five gallon jugs of water. That means that it didn’t just barely get through; it had a great deal of hate left inside it, even after slicing through all that armor.
- "Why are Colt 14.5 Socom Barrels So Accurate?"--The New Rifleman. Because they are thicker in all the right places for reducing barrel whip, i.e., improved "harmonics."
- Here we go again .... "DOJ, ATF To Reconsider Whether to Ban Bump Fire Stocks"--The Truth About Guns.
- A hidden bomb in the National Reciprocity bill? Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, has stated that the bill would encourage states to add more names to the NICS list of prohibited persons, and that warns that the Reciprocity portion might be stripped from the bill. However, the NRA has hit back, saying that the text of the bill doesn't expand NICS beyond what is already required.
- Diversity is our strength: "In FY2017, ICE ERO conducted 143,470 overall administrative arrests, which is the highest number of administrative arrests over the past three fiscal years. Of these arrests, 92 percent had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or were processed with a reinstated final order."
- Wallet Hub has released its list of the top 10 safest cities in the U.S., as well as the 10 least safe cities. See if you can find any distinguishing factors:
Here’s a look at WalletHub’s Top 10 safest cities for 2017:
1. Nashua, NH
2, South Burlington, VT
3. Warwick, RI
4. Columbia, MD
5. Gilbert, AZ
6. Fargo, ND
7. Lewiston, ME
8. Plano, TX
9. Portland, ME
10. Brownsville, TX
Here’s a look at WalletHub’s LEAST safest cities for 2017:
173. Jackson, MS
174. Baton Rouge, LA
175. Chattanooga, TN
176. Orlando, FL
177. Little Rock, AR
178. Detroit MI
179. Oklahoma City, OK
180. San Bernardino, CA
181. St. Louis, MO
182. Fort Lauderdale, FL
- "America faces one of the worst flu seasons ever as doctors warn the vaccine is only 10% effective this year - and infections are already on the rise"--Daily Mail.
- Don't know much about history .... "'It's long overdue': Trump stands by his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite international fury on all sides as he's accused of 'declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims'"--Daily Mail. West Jerusalem has alloted to Israel under the U.N. mandate, and has been Israel's capital since the nation's inception. Israel came into possession of East Jerusalem after a failed invasion by neighboring countries, including Jordan (which previously had controlled East Jerusalem). So, it is wholly appropriate to locate the embassy in Jerusalem. Moreover, so what if it offends Muslims? Our very existence offends Muslims.