Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

  • "Seven Things You Don’t Know About Body Armor"--Active Response Training. Those are: 1) Body armor is heavy and hot; 2) Body armor will make breathing under exertion more difficult; 3) Body armor will alter your shooting stance; 4) You can be choked out on your body armor; 5) Water and Ultraviolet light will cause soft armor to degrade.  Heat, moisture, and UV light are body armor’s worst enemies; 6) Body armor has an expiration date, but it often isn’t all that important; 7) Soft body armor offers adequate protection against most edged weapons threats. Ellifritz discusses each of these points in more detail, including offering tips and advice, so read the whole thing.
  • Related: "Body Armor 101: What You Need to Know"--Recoil Magazine. This explains the basic types of body armor, proper fit (i.e., making sure it covers what it needs to cover), and reviews some brands/models on the market. 
  • "The Best Bulletproof Body Armor When SHTF"--The Prepared. A review of some of the body armors available on the market, and the best in certain categories (cost, weight, etc.)
  • "Can Anything Defeat a Level IV Plate Body Armor?"--The Firearms Blog. The issue isn't really whether anything can penetrate Level IV plate: a .50 BMG will with no problem, and I have even seen a video using a civil war field cannon that turned the plate into a huge piece of half-shredded shrapnel. Rather, it is whether more common rifle calibers could penetrate Level IV, It is safe to say that standard military cartridges will not penetrate Level IV. Russian B32 armor piercing will not penetrate. U.S. M993 will penetrate Level IV. All of this should be taken with one caveat. These are tests of single rounds. Multiple rounds in the same location can damage the armor and create a hole (remember the recent video on shooting through bullet proof glass).
I don't heal as quickly as I used to. What were once minor injuries or illnesses can now side-line me for days or weeks. This requires more attention to preventing injuries and illness as well as larger supplies of whatever I need to treat them. A minor cut that used to heal in three or four days, taking maybe a dozen bandages to keep it clean, now takes a week or more and a lot more bandages.
       When humans carried out ‘shelter-seeking, evacuation, healthcare-seeking, and worry’ they were more likely to survive.
            Researchers found the best course of action was to take shelter first and then take steps to escape afterwards.
              Those who tried to seek out family members and ‘aided and assisted’ other people were more likely to die.
                Previous research has pointed to the problems associated with a lack of regulation of private security firms in Latin America. Employees of such firms have been found to engage in a variety of criminal activities, including drug and arms trafficking as well as extrajudicial killings.
                  These issues are particularly acute in Mexico, where criminal violence has reached historic levels, and private security firms have stepped in to fill a security gap where trust in the police is scarce.
                   Stephanie Leutert, co-author of the Strauss Center report, told InSight Crime that even among properly registered private security companies, there are already a “wide range of crimes being committed” by personnel as a result of lax regulatory enforcement.
                       “When you don’t have audits to make sure that people are following regulation, then you’re more likely to see more instances of assault and robbery,” Leutert said.
                        Figures uncovered using freedom of information requests by the Daily Mail show that police dealt with 928 crimes involving machetes in the last two months of 2017.
                         London saw the bulk, with 425 of the attacks. There were 99 in Greater Manchester, 77 in the West Midlands, and 29 each in Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
                    “[B]y using the justice system as a political weapon to attack the enemies of the country’s elite, Robert Mueller and his supporters in both parties are confirming what many Americans already believe. That in spite of all the fine rhetoric, we are not all equal under one law. There is in fact a privileged class, a ruling class that sees its own interests as identical with the public good, and never pays a price for its failures, its abuses, and its crimes.”
                             ... This is the key point: the battle cry of bloody secession has always been peaceful negotiation. The exact analogy Kelly appeals to, of splitting possessions in a divorce, is the analogy Lincoln uses for his foes: insurgent agents seeking to divide effects by negotiation. This has always been the secessionist gameplan, from Hartford to Montgomery.
                                This peaceful division, however, is likely impossible. The reasons are several, and I will begin with the basic logistical problem.
                                 Modern political coalitions are not actually regional. They are local. The electoral college map makes them look regional, but if you look at a county or precinct map, you’ll see very clearly that local factors drive our politics. We are not divided by north and south, or east and west, or even coasts and heartland. We are not divided by state. Our true divisions are about whether you live in a relatively dense city or not.
                                    Go look at a county map of presidential elections! Every state has Blue America holding some of its territory, and virtually every state has Red America holding some of its territory! How exactly is this territory supposed to be peacefully divided up? Any division would leave huge stranded enclaves of dissidents, dissidents who would suddenly find themselves vastly politically outnumbered, unable to effectively preserve their way of life at all. Many would flee to whichever country best represented their views, creating a refugee crisis that might agitate for revanche. But many would remain in place, forming an enraged and restive local populations. Blue Team’s countrysides would become the hills of Vietnam to them; Red Team’s cities would threaten the carnage of Mosul on every block.
                                      Elections would be contested, legal frameworks uncertain, military allegiances shifting: it would be a calamitous disaster of monumental proportions. No authority would exist with the ability to peacefully manage the transition and be respected by both sides. Local political factions would take measures to guarantee persistence and self-defense, such as training militias. In such an environment, it would be easy for a spark to set the whole thing ablaze. The ensuing war would be mind-blowingly violent. The entire war would be continental-scale streetfighting.
                                         You might think you’d stay above the fray. You’d be wrong. Maybe you aren’t passionate about holding the union together! But the war won’t be on the Texas border. It will be on the border between suburbia and the urban core, as disaffected Blue Teamers refuse to recognize Red Team laws they abhor, and they eject officials and set up rebel governments. The battlefield won’t be the Mississippi River, it will the I-66 corridor heading out to West Virginia, which becomes impassible as Red Team militias close off the interstate and begin purging dissidents from the region, creating a safe zone around West Virginia.
                                          Modern civil wars are not mysterious events. We have plenty of examples to look at, like Syria. And we Americans have so many guns (proud gun owner here!) that you’d have practically universal potential for combatancy, that is, everybody could be a soldier. The geography of political disagreement suggests that practically the entire national population would be within 100 miles of an active warzone at any given time; every household would face immediate existential risk if the other side made a breakthrough. Any sane and loving parent would join the militia and bring the fight to the other side.
                                             Anyone imagining that this inevitable conflict might occur along some rational territorial border defined by large regions is hopelessly naïve. We would be spilling each other’s blood in every school district, parish, neighborhood meeting, and sports stadium in the country inside of 12 months. Not because we’re awful people, but because once the cat is out of the bag on disorganized tribal violence, it’s awfully hard to put it back.
                                      My personal belief is that Civil War 2.0 is inevitable because compromise is no longer palatable. As Angelo Codevilla explains in a recent article entitled "Living With Politics as War":
                                                ... Over the past half-century, a ruling class formed by our uniformly leftist educational system and occupying the commanding heights of corporate life, governmental bureaucracies, the media, etc. accuses its targets of everything from murder and terrorism to culpable psycho-social disorders (racism, sexism, and so forth).
                                                   Leaders, marchers, and rioters speak from identical scripts. They do not try to persuade. They strengthen their own side’s vehemence. They restrict opponents from speaking on their own behalf, and use state and corporate power to push them to society’s margins. While demanding deference to themselves, they mention right-leaning Americans and their causes only to insult and de-legitimize them.
                                            He continues:
                                                      For them, the rest of America is and will remain irredeemable. They well nigh removed Christianity and Judaism from the public square. Their schools have dumbed down a generation. They reduced raising children within marriage to a vanishing majority in the country at large and to a rarity among blacks. They have filled our streets with criminals. Their corporations try dictating what people may say and even think. They have stigmatized the verbal currency of two centuries, and bid to outlaw it as hate speech. And they continue to tighten their vise. In the process, however, these rulers are convincing the rest of Americans that they are irredeemable as well.  
                                                        When one side rejects persuasion in favor of war, what are the other’s options? To convince our opponents to accept us as equals? The culture, the institutions, bureaucracies, corporations, they have made their own will never again admit us as equals. To reform them? Fat chance! To punish them? To push them to the margins before they push us? What is the good of that?  
                                                         Decency for ourselves is our objective. Hence, the words and deeds by which we deal with those who make war on us must aim at affirming ourselves, despite them. 
                                                    Codevilla expects that the next stage in the political war will be disobedience and nullification. The right will begin ignoring the judicial and legislative decrees of the left, just as California has chosen to thumb its nose at the Federal government. We begin to see this already as to the gun registration and restrictions imposed by several states, where compliance is increasingly rare, and the growing backlash against corporations that wish to crush "the deplorables."
                                                              Richard Fernandez also tackles this question, coming at it from the issue of civilizational complexity a la Joseph Tainter (although he does not mention Tainter by name). He suggests that the path forward is to reduce the complexity resulting from the Federal government by devolving power and authority to state and local governments--i.e., a return to Federalism as established in our Constitution. 

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