Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Metatron is a YouTube channel that provides commentary and analysis concerning historic European martial arts and related weapons, as well as a look at related historical subjects (e.g., specific battles). Several of his videos are focused on debunking misconceptions. And that is where this video falls. That is, the producer criticizes the growing trend of casting black actors or inserting black characters into what are white European stories. One of the examples he refers to is Achilles who is portrayed by a black actor in Netflix's "Troy," even though The Illiad quite expressly describes Achilles as a Grecian with blond hair. He also notes a BBC cartoon series on Roman era Britain which falsely inserts black Africans into the population. If this is going to be acceptable, then it should be fair game all around -- I look forward to a Netflix series casting a white actor to play the role of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • A new Woodpile Report is up. One of the articles cited is "Five reasons why we’ll have another domestic conflict" from Forward Observer. The five reasons (which are discussed in more detail on the article) are: (1) "When Americans believe the ‘Social Contract’ is failing them, they seek to revise or leave it"; (2) "As America becomes ungovernable, it will split into governable factions"; (3) "As Americans move father apart politically and ideologically, they will likely favor alternatives to the ‘united’ states"; (4) "Societies collapse when decisions beneficial for elites in the short term are bad for the people in the long term"; and (5) "Eventually, government will grow so powerful that one political party is likely to not give up power." The author also notes that due to the influx of immigrants, the United States has steadily been trending left for decades, and any sort of amnesty for illegal aliens will flip the nation permanently to the left. (Just like California, I would add).
  • Related: "Revolution and Worse to Come" by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review. Having Hillary Clinton's "sure win" snatched away from them has driven liberals mad. He discusses their descent into madness (and the various tactics they have tried to stop Trump) and concludes:
         The danger to the country this time around is that the Left has so destroyed the old protocols of the opposition party that it will be hard to resurrect them when progressives return to power.
              We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.
    • From Instapundit: "New York’s Governor Cuomo and the NY Department of Financial services are asking New York based banks and financial institutions to examine the 'reputational risk' posed by business relationships with an 'extremist organization,' the National Rifle Association."
    • For the radical in you: "How to Build an AR-15: A Beginner’s Guide"--Loadout Room. This looks to be the first in a series. This article is set up in a question and answer format to educate the reader on the different options and steps with building an AR, and sources of parts. 
    • "First Aid Kit or Trauma Kit?"--Dark Angel Medical. The author explains why he keeps his first aid kit separate from the trauma kit. He also provides advice on what to have--and what NOT to have--in your trauma kit.
    • "Review: The Henry U.S. Survival Rifle & Pack"--All Outdoors. In addition to the AR7 survival rifle, the kit includes "a carry bag, 100 foot of para-cord, a SWAT tourniquet, a Mylar space blanket, an ESEE fire steel, a Life Straw water filter, vacuum sealed food bars, and a Buck folding knife."
    • "Top 9 Reasons Why You Need a Revolver for Self-Defense"--Prepper Dome. The author's list are: (1) dependability, (2) fits your hand better, (3) shooter friendly, (4) easier to repair, (5) greater durability, (6) safer, (7) easier to clean, (8) law friendly, and (9) concealability. While I think revolvers are great--and, for certain reasons, may be better than a semi-auto for the grid-down, long-term survivalist--this author has made several mistakes that need to be addressed. 
               First, in dependability, the author claims that revolvers can't jam. As someone who has had revolvers jam, I can say with a certainty that the author is wrong. If you are speaking only of misfeeding ammunition, the author is correct because the revolver relies on mechanical force applied by the operator to advance the cylinder rather than the recoil to feed a new round. But, if we are talking more broadly about the mechanism jamming, revolvers can, indeed, jam. There are two commons reasons that a revolver may jam: first, the bullets may slip slightly out of a cartridge and wedge the cylinder and frame as the cylinder turns (which is why magnum ammunition MUST be crimped); second, the ejector rod can loosen and unscrew and again act to wedge the cylinder so it can't be rotated and/or opened. Of course, a defect or breakage of internal parts may also render a revolver inoperable.
                 Second, the author claims that revolvers are easier to repair because "[a] revolver has just a few parts." Revolvers have more parts and are more mechanically complicated than most modern semi-auto pistol designs. They also require more hand fitting of parts.
                  Third, the author claims that a revolver will not wear out as fast as a semi-auto. I don't know about that, however. It is not uncommon for older revolvers to have the timing of the cylinder be off due to the wear of parts, or have the cylinder lock up become slack due to worn parts, and worn or damaged forcing cones are not unknown. 
          • Circling the drain: "Arrested Chevron workers could face treason charge in Venezuela"--CNBC. Their crime? Failing to sign a multi-million dollar contract whereby Chevron would buy parts from the state-owned oil company PDVSA for more than double the market price.
          • "Year Without a Summer"--The Paris Review. I knew the cold weather in Europe resulting from the Tambora explosion had driven the events leading to the writing of Frankenstein, but this article indicates that it was also influential on the invention of the bicycle. 
          • "Been told you have a penicillin allergy? There is chance it's not real"--ABC News. Although 1 in 10 people believe they have a penicillin allergy, the actual number is only about 10% of those that believe they have an allergy, or 1% of the population. The article notes:
                    Like many drugs, penicillin antibiotics have side effects, which are simply symptoms related to the drug’s normal actions on the body. The most common side effects of penicillin are rash, diarrhea and nausea, which can be easily misinterpreted as an allergic reaction.
                     People can also have hypersensitivity reactions or an over-reactive response to a drug. These can look a lot like true allergies, and the best way to differentiate the two is by formal allergy testing. Hypersensitivity reactions can go away over time, so having one in the past does not guarantee the same symptoms the next time someone takes an antibiotic. This is particularly true for children.
                       An even more common scenario is when an illness itself mimics an allergic response. It is very common for children with viral infections to develop a rash several days into their illness, which is often the same time they receive an antibiotic. The antibiotic, rather than the infection, gets blamed for the rash.
                  By comparison, "[a]n anaphylactic reaction happens within one to two hours after a dose and involves hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing and low blood pressure with dizziness or fainting."
                  • "The House IT Scandal"--American Greatness. A nice summary of the Awan scandal. From the article: 
                             Despite making top tier salaries, it is unclear what services the five [Awan family members] actually provided. Interviews with Members of Congress suggest Imran was doing the bulk of the work, while his family members existed as “ghost employees”on the payroll.
                              In the meantime, we do know that the group made unauthorized access to House servers, logging in with the usernames and passwords of Members of Congress, including the servers of members for whom they did not work. Moreover, according to the IG, the access continued after they were banned from the network and, in some cases, fired by the Member offices.
                               The unauthorized access peaked just months before the 2016 elections, when the server of the House Democratic Caucus was accessed by the Awans 5,700 times over a seven-month period. Authorities believe Awan routed data from over a dozen House offices to the server, where he may have then read or removed information. Awan’s purpose for doing so has not been made clear, though the Daily Caller recently reported claims by Awan’s father that his son transferred the data to a USB drive, which was then given to a Pakistani senator and former head of a Pakistani intelligence agency.
                                 In a spy novel twist, the server, containing all the data in question, has gone missing.
                                    In July, 2017, Awan was arrested attempting to board a flight to Pakistan with a wiped cell phone, a resume that listed his address as Queens, New York, and after initiating a wire transfer of $238,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to the Pakistan. His wife had already left the country with $12,000 in cash hidden in her suitcase.

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