- It's Tuesday, which means it is time for another Woodpile Report.
- "Skill Set: AR Lubrication"--Tactical Wire. As the author points out, you can run the AR dirty and not clean it for a long time, but you can't run it without keeping it properly lubricated. He explains:
To lube the AR we teach using a combination of oil – Slip 2000 EWL – and grease – TW25B. Oil is a great lube, but over time will wick with gravity and start to dry up. Grease is good, but will start to gum up. When using them together each one offsets the other’s deficiency. First you put down a layer of TW25B, working it into the pores of the metal. Then put a layer of oil over the grease. The grease keeps the oil from migrating due to gravity, and the oil prevents the grease from getting caked up. Lubing with these two products works really well.
The primary points to lube are the bolt carrier, bolt, charging handle and buffer spring. All these parts see a lot of friction, heat and wear. If you look at these parts, for example in the picture above, you’ll actually see the areas that are worn from the contact and friction. The shoulders or rails on the bolt carrier and the gas key and bottom where it resets the hammer need to be well lubed. The bolt has a shoulder in the middle, plus the gas rings and lugs of the bolt, which mate up with the barrel extension. Be sure to put some oil on the extractor and ejector. The charging handle sees a lot of use; lube it with grease and oil on top. The buffer spring is a large friction area - I normally just use oil on it. The trigger group needs very light lubrication, and only at exact point of contact.
- "Understanding AR-15 Iron Sights"--The Truth About Guns. The author presents an argument for having a good set of iron sights on your AR-15, even if only for backup, and discusses some of his favorites. Finally, he discusses zeroing your iron sights.
- "New Study Shows NO Relationship Between CCW, Homicide or Violent Crime"--Ammo Land. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, and concluded: "This study demonstrated no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime. Policy efforts aimed at injury prevention and the reduction of firearm-related violence should likely investigate other targets for potential intervention."
- "HOW GUN OWNERSHIP SAVES LIVES"--Powerline Blog. In the United States, most burglaries occur when homeowners are expected to be away from their home. In the UK, just over half of burglaries occur when someone is home--twice the rate in the United States. The author suggests that this gaping difference may be because of gun ownership--American burglars know that they may face an armed response.
- After a long day of killing zombies, your clothes are probably going to look atrocious. This article claims to have a method of deep cleaning clothes to remove "dirt, as well as bodily fluids like sweat and bacteria from the fabric in just a few short hours." "Why you need to try 'strip washing': The three-ingredient 'miracle' soaking system that works better than bleach at cleaning stained clothes"--Daily Mail. The solution is made using Borax, or sodium borate, and soda crystals (Sodium carbonate) dissolved in water with ordinary washing powder. It explains:
If you want to use your bathtub for a strip wash, you just need to add 1/4 cup of sodium borate, 1/4 cup of soda crystals, plus 1/2 cup of a laundry powder of your choice, before filling the tub up with water and mixing the ingredients until they have all dissolved.
If you would rather use a large bucket, the mixture of ingredients is the same, but you only need to add a small amount, with the instructions advising two teaspoons of soda crystals, two teaspoons of sodium borate, and four teaspoons of your preferred washing powder.
All of this is mixed in hot water until dissolved; then add your clothes, stir them in to make sure they get soaked, and let sit until the water is cold. Then wash as normal. It seems you need to be careful with dyed items as it can strip out dyes that have not been properly set.
- Speaking of washing clothes: "MAKE CAMO WORK BETTER: ELIMINATE LAUNDRY SOAP BRIGHTENERS FOR DEER HUNTING SUCCESS"--Survival Common Sense. The point here is that deer can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, and most brighteners found in laundry detergents increase the reflectivity in the ultraviolet. So, clothes that appear "dull" to your eyes may appear very bright to a deer. You can use detergents without brighteners (some even marketed specifically for hunting), or the author includes a recipe for a laundry detergent that you can use.
- "CVS employee and a pharmacist are both FIRED after they tackled a man who was trying to steal Oxycodone and baby shampoo from the pharmacy"--Daily Mail. Way back in my university days, one of the jobs I had was working in a stocking crew at a big chain music/book/video retail store. Part of our training had to do with dealing with shop lifters, and we were specifically told to never chase after or physically try to stop shop lifters attempting to leave the store, not only because it could expose the store to liability if the shoplifter was injured, but also for our own safety. It could be you that is thrown down striking your head on a concrete floor or sidewalk, or that is suddenly stabbed or shot as the shoplifter accesses a weapon. But there is another, generally unspoken reason, which is demonstrated in this video: your employer (especially when dealing with large corporate entities) will not have your back; your job and your employer are not worth that type of loyalty to risk injury to stop a theft.
- I'm already running a low grade fever at 98.6: "Normal Body Temperature Is Surprisingly Less Than 98.6"--Scientific American. From the article:
Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, right? Not so. There is no baseline for humans, and even if there was, it would be closer to 97.7 °F. Temperature also varies across the day, peaking in late afternoon and bottoming out in early morning. It is slightly higher for women than for men as well. For two decades research has debunked the benchmark, set way back in 1868, yet it persists. One important ramification, says Jonathan S. Hausmann, a rheumatologist at Boston Children's Hospital, who led the latest study, is to redefine fever. Most doctors use 100.4 °F or higher, but if “normal” is lower, then the fever threshold should be, too. It also should vary with the daily pattern and be tailored to each individual, Hausmann says: “A child at 99.0 °F at 4 A.M. may be highly abnormal but at 4 P.M. could be within normal limits.”
- "Gun Review: Smith & Wesson Model 360 .357/.38 S&W J-Frame Revolver"--The Truth About Guns.
- "The Caravan: Warfare by Other Means"--Wilder, Wealthy and Wise. John Wilder describes the migrant caravan in terms of Lind's Fourth Generational Warfare. And he explains:
[Emma] Lozano is a general in a 4th Generation war. She is actively seeking to abolish the United States – by directly replacing its people with people that she likes better. And these activists seek photo opportunities that allow them to establish moral superiority. I watched footage where a Mexican police officer said (more or less, I’m going from memory): “Please, please don’t put your women and children in front like this man,” pointing to an activist, “tells you to do. It’s dangerous. And he doesn’t care about you or your children. I’m begging you, don’t put your children up front.” Pueblo Sin Fronteras is certainly willing to sacrifice your children for a cool photo.
How an organization that encourages and abets breaking the law (Pueblo Sin Fronteras) can operate and not be indicted based on conspiracy charges is beyond me – if this were a right-wing organization I believe the organizers would have been taken to the International Space Station just so they could be shoved out of an airlock as a lesson to others that embarrassing the state is simply not an option. I guess that I’m forced to conclude that Pueblo Sin Fronteras is doing exactly what government wants them to do.
These activists want pictures of children that were bloodied and killed at the hands of the United States government, and will stop at nothing to get them. They want to break down the moral will of the United States so that open borders are allowed. Rather than attempting to take over Dallas at the head of an army, they want to influence the families of the people who live in Dallas to surrender as they never would to what this really is: a leftist invasion based on an ideology of open borders.
Read the whole thing.
- Speaking of Fourth Generation Warfare: "Jihadist Psychopath Unveils the True Threat"--American Greatness. An excerpt:
Following the lead of the mainstream media and most politicians, millions of us still buy the argument that jihadists have misunderstood and hijacked their faith. Millions of us have learned reflexively to view critics of Islam as racists who hate all Muslims. Millions of us are programmed to point out, when necessary, that Muslims, too, are victims of Muslim violence and that other people besides Muslims have done naughty things. Millions of us compliantly parrot the claim that terrorists are acting out of economic despair. And, of course, millions of us dutifully insist that, far from acting on the tenets of their religion, Islamic terrorists are, in fact, reacting to bad things we’ve done to them.
In sum, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, millions of us buy the lie that Islam is thoroughly benign and that the overwhelming majority of its adherents are powerless victims. We embrace this lie, furthermore, even though Islam is an existential threat to us and our infidel loved ones.
- This is why leftists should never have any say in economic matters: "France yellow vest protests: Macron promises wage rise"--BBC. The basic complaints from the yellow vest protests revolve around the lack of wealth creation and distribution of that wealth to French taxpayers. So, any solution to the problem would be to increase wealth production and get more of that wealth into the pockets of those that actually produce that wealth. Macron doesn't understand this, and so his solutions involve neither of those goals. Rather, he seems to think that more pieces of paper in circulation will just, magically, make everyone better off. Thus, his primary proposal is to raise minimum wages, which will increase prices. He could reduce taxes overall, cut regulations and the bureaucracy, and other impediments to wealth creation; and stop immigration (which drives down wages and drains the public fisc through increased draws on welfare).
This is amusing. Even as Macron promises reforms, "Macron's traditional allies in Europe warned they will be 'closely monitoring' his spending plans to check whether they fall within EU limits." Two world wars, and France still fell to the German Empire.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., proclaimed "I have a dream that ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." That dream is largely dead: "'You think you're white because you ride with that white boy': Bullied black Alabama girl, 9, commits suicide after classmates taunted her for having a white friend and told her to 'kill yourself'"--Daily Mail.
- Guess who isn't coming to dinner: "High school football player, 16, who got cheerleader, 17, pregnant 'murdered her and threw her body in a dumpster because she hid that she was expecting for SIX MONTHS and it was too late to get an abortion'"--Daily Mail. Breana Rouhselang was killed by her "bad boy" boyfriend Aaron Trejo.
- Instapundit has a long quote from a piece by Ross Douthat at the New York Times. Douthat is attempting to explain his comments about people missing the old WASP aristocracy to defend himself from claims of racism. His argument is that "meritocracy" doesn't work:
But then the WASPs themselves decided to dissolve their own aristocracy, and transform their once-Protestant universities into a secular mass-opportunity system — a more democratic way of education, in which anyone with enough talent could climb the ladder, and personal achievement and technical expertise would be prized above all else.
This was meritocracy, the system that we now take for granted. And for several reasons it didn’t work as planned.
First, meritocracy segregates talent rather than dispersing it. By plucking the highest achievers from all over the country and encouraging them to cluster together in the same few cities, it robs localities of their potential leaders — so that instead of an Eastern establishment negotiating with overlapping groups of regional elites (or with working-class or ethnic leaders), you have a mass upper class segregated from demoralized peripheries.
Second, the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of “merit” you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve.
But even as it restratifies society, the meritocratic order also insists that everything its high-achievers have is justly earned. “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” Ann Richards famously quipped of George H.W. Bush; well, the typical meritocrat is born on third base, hustles home, and gets praised as if he just hit a grand slam.
This spirit discourages inherited responsibility and cultural stewardship; it brushes away the disciplines of duty; it makes the past seem irrelevant, because everyone is supposed to come from the same nowhere and rule based on technique alone.
As a consequence, meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley.
The fundamental problem with Douthat's thesis, however, is that we don't have a true meritocracy. As he even concedes, "the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of 'merit' you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve."
But it isn't just the children of the self-segregated meritocrats but anyone they choose to share admission to the "elite" institutions. For instance, once Jews were allowed admission to the elite institutions, they converged those institutions to favor fellow Jews. Consequently, as Ron Unz has pointed out, when looking solely at performance on college admission exams, Jews are grossly overrepresented in the Ivy Leagues while whites are grossly underrepresented. (See also my October 28, 2018 post). Minorities that benefit from affirmative action are also disproportionately represented in the Ivy Leagues. Consequently, and contrary to what Douthat claims, our elites are not plucking the highest achievers out from all over the country, but are, instead, excluding the largest body of high achievers. This may be a factor in the overwhelming leftist stances held by those teaching at and attending the elite schools.
As a consequence, this "new elite" is less competent than a meritocracy would have been. And, if Peter Turchin's thesis in Age of Discord is correct, this exclusion of the top white students should exacerbate political tensions because much of the "best and the brightest" are being blocked from entering the power structure, increasing competition among elites and aspiring elites, and politically destabilizing the United States.
- In "Surprise Collapse," Richard Fernandez takes a look at one of my favorite topics, the late Bronze Age Collapse. He writes:
One mystery is why the empires never saw danger coming. What hit them seemed to come so unexpectedly they never even had a chance to take evasive action. The reason for the surprise, according to the BBC article, is "what experts call nonlinearities, or sudden, unexpected changes in the world’s order, such as the 2008 economic crisis, the rise of ISIS, Brexit, or Donald Trump’s election." The components of a crisis may already be in existence unnoticed until some precipitating event connects the pieces together for the first time and makes them manifest.
He applies this to the current protests in France, remarking: "With the aid of hindsight it is abundantly clear that French working-class hardship had risen to levels unable to absorb any more Green taxes. Until the riots it didn't occur to environmental policymakers that they would 'need better timing and a far defter political touch before they introduce similar measures to reduce carbon emissions.'"
- Isn't this basically how Venom started? "NASA 'hits the jackpot' in mission to bring back a sample from an asteroid as instruments show target Bennu contains water"--Daily Mail. The probe will "land" on the asteroid, collect samples, and return those samples to Earth. From the article:
'We know from having studied Bennu through Earth- and space-based telescopes that it is a carbonaceous, or carbon-rich, asteroid. Carbon is the hinge upon which organic molecules hang.
'Bennu is likely rich in organic molecules, which are made of chains of carbon bonded with atoms of oxygen, hydrogen, and other elements in a chemical recipe that makes all known living things.
'Besides carbon, Bennu also might have another component important to life: water, which is trapped in the minerals that make up the asteroid.'
By the way, lots of great close up photographs of the asteroid in the article.
- "NASA's Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space"--Phys.Org. The lede sums it up: "For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars."
- Interesting read: "Incredible story of how Titanic was REALLY found: Oceanographer says US Navy funded his search for 'unsinkable' liner because it provided perfect Cold War cover for his other task - to find two missing US nuclear subs before the Russians"--Daily Mail. According to the article, Robert Ballard's team found the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion before locating the Titanic on the same mission in 1985. It probably helped Ballard, in obtaining funding, that he had been in Naval Intelligence.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "NASA releases first-ever audio recording from Mars"--Fox News.