Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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

"China’s New Eurasia Rail Project is a FLOP"--China Uncensored (7 min.)
Basic problem is that the volume of cargo traffic it can handle is minuscule to what can be shipped by container ships. Coupled to this is that the costs are higher than by sea; and when subsidies are taken into consideration, the price is about the same as air freight. Finally, it appears that there a lack of climate controlled freight cars: things get too hot in the summer and freeze in the winter. However, even if the project is, overall, an economic flop, it still allows China to exercise its "soft power" through bribes and construction contracts in the affected countries. Unfortunately, for China, it still means that its trade must pass through oceans patrolled by the U.S. Navy.


  • "4 Knives You Could Buy Instead of a Mora"--Security & Self-Reliance. Mora knives has taken the knife world by storm, initially brought to public consciousness by Cody Lundin in the show Dual Survival,  the company is known for producing decent quality knives for a very reasonable price. Of late, they have been increasing both the quality and the cost of their offerings. The author of this article takes a look at four alternatives that offer basically the same features (3-4 inch blade, thermoplastic grips, and reasonable prices). One that I would add to the list is the SOG Field Pup. Although the MSRP is $70, Cabela's generally has them on sale for less than $20. I've picked up several the past few years, with the intention of keeping it for myself, but have always ended up giving them away as gifts. 
  • "The .35 Whelen: A Practical Powerhouse"--Shooting Times. The cartridge uses a .30-06 case necked up to accept a .35 caliber bullet. The author contends that it makes for a much better hunting cartridge for medium to large game, with sufficient power to take down anything in North America including bear and moose, plus many African game animals. Although not as powerful as the .375 H&H Magnum, it is substantially more powerful than the standard .30-06, but, according to the author, without appreciably more recoil.
  • So one of the big product announcements at Shot Show was Brownell's line of 1960's reproductions of the early models of the AR15, and reproductions of early models of the AR10. (See video here). The AR10 rifles (both a heavy barrel and light barrel version) feature a 1:10 twist. The AR15 rifles feature a 1:12 twist. If you want to read up on the twist-rates in the AR platform for various weights of bullets, the Captain's Journal has a good article, as is this article from Shooting Times. The 1:12 twist is the preferred twist rate for the lighter bullets: 55 grain and less.
  • Greg Ellifritz reviews the book, How to Be Your Own Bodyguard by Nick Hughes
  • "Philippines volcano spectacularly erupts spewing lava and ash kilometres into the air as more than 60,000 residents evacuate the area"--Daily Mail. The article reports that "Mount Mayon has sent lava more than 600 metres into the air and massive plumes of ash and smoke nearly 5km above the crater, forcing thousands of locals and tourists to flee to safety," and that "[t]he volcano gushed out lava and molten rock again on Wednesday, its violent explosion at the tail-end of a week of ominous rumbling." Some great photographs and video at the link.
  • "Report: Crime prediction software less accurate than random people"--Deutsche Welle. The software, called COMPAS, supposedly is able to predict recidivism, and is widely used in the criminal justice system in the United States. However, Dartmouth researchers have shown that it is no more accurate than predictions by random people off the street. In that regard, I guess it is like polygraphs, which aren't really any more accurate than flipping a coin.
  • Inadvertent slip of the tongue (or Twitter finger): Rob Reiner essentially admits that the push for immigration is to cause, in his words, "the browning of America." He also compares immigration to the Civil War, and states that "Diversity is our Strength." As I've and many others have been saying: immigration is being used to replace the electorate with one that supports big government and the progressive/socialist goals, and disenfranchise conservative voters. 
  • Related: "New California Law Will Automatically Register Illegal Aliens to Vote"--The New American. California allows illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses. A new law is being implemented that automatically registers to vote a person applying for, or renewing, a driver's license. The only way to not be registered is to affirmatively opt-out. I wonder how many illegal aliens are going to do that?
Peter King, R-N.Y., the committee’s chairman, said his staff recently visited El Salvador and was told by law enforcement there that the gang -- which mostly operates out of prisons in the Central American country -- is "frustrated that MS-13 members in [the U.S.] are not violent enough.”
  • What we are importing: "Mexico posts record-breaking homicide rate in 2017"--Deutsche Welle. The article reports that "[t]he Interior Ministry said authorities across Mexico opened 29,168 murder cases, saying that it put the country's homicide rate at 20.5 per 100,000 inhabitants." However, the article also indicates that "experts have cast doubt on the latest figures, saying the homicide rate is likely much higher," noting that "the [government's] figure is based on the number of murder investigations opened last year, not the number of victims."
  • Related: "Katie Hopkins: 'The Sh*thole Countries Are Here in Western Europe'"--PJ Media. British commentator Katie Hopkins not only agreed with Trump's comments about many third world countries, but also noted that the mass migration of individuals from these countries was making Britain (and Europe more generally) just like those nations. She asked her readers how many of them were planning on fleeing Britain because of the decline of the cultures and received an overwhelming response. They seem to primarily be fleeing to East Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore), Australia, New Zealand, the United States, or to Eastern Europe.
        Abdul Dostmohammadi, 18, was living with his 45-year-old girlfriend in Sölvesborg, southern Sweden, when he sexually molested the 12-year-old. 
             When the girl told her what had happened, the mother refused to report him to police as she feared he would be sent back to Afghanistan, court documents reveal.
              [E]ach day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.
                If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.
        • Related: "Loretta Lynch – Bill Clinton tarmac meeting now makes sense, it was the end not the beginning"--Legal Insurrection. The author summarizes what we now know about the Lynch-Clinton meeting and concludes: "We now know a lot more about the sequence of events, which now strongly suggests that the tarmac meeting was not the start of events that led to the exoneration. Rather, it now appears that the tarmac meeting was the end of that process, the signal to the Clintons that all was taken care of."
                    New research published late last year by scholars at Harvard University and Indiana University Bloomington is just the latest to reveal the myth. This research questioned the “secularization thesis,” which holds that the United States is following most advanced industrial nations in the death of their once vibrant faith culture. Churches becoming mere landmarks, dance halls, boutique hotels, museums, and all that.
                      Not only did their examination find no support for this secularization in terms of actual practice and belief, the researchers proclaim that religion continues to enjoy “persistent and exceptional intensity” in America. These researchers hold our nation “remains an exceptional outlier and potential counter example to the secularization thesis.”

              * * *

                        Mainline churches are tanking as if they have super-sized millstones around their necks. Yes, these churches are hemorrhaging members in startling numbers, but many of those folks are not leaving Christianity. They are simply going elsewhere. Because of this shifting, other very different kinds of churches are holding strong in crowds and have been for as long as such data has been collected. In some ways, they are even growing. This is what this new research has found.
                            The percentage of Americans who attend church more than once a week, pray daily, and accept the Bible as wholly reliable and deeply instructive to their lives has remained absolutely, steel-bar constant for the last 50 years or more, right up to today. These authors describe this continuity as “patently persistent.”
                            The percentage of such people is also not small. One in three Americans prays multiple times a day, while one in 15 do so in other countries on average. Attending services more than once a week continues to be twice as high among Americans compared to the next highest-attending industrial country, and three times higher than the average comparable nation.
                      The problem the mainline churches are facing is that they are trying to compromise their beliefs in order to appease the liberal rabbits.

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