- TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Greg Ellifritz. Lot's of good articles (and videos) this week, but the first one on his list jumped out at me: a 2010 article by Dave Spaulding entitled "What Really Happens In A Gunfight?" Spaulding discusses a variety of things learned in his (at that time) 25 year study of gunfights.
- I wonder what the shipping and handling charges would be: "Brownells Now Selling 5.56 and 7.62×51 Ammunition By the Barrel"--The Truth About Guns. That is 12,500 rounds of XM855 5.56mm NATO, or 7,500 rounds of XM80 7.62X51 NATO ammunition. The article says it is Lake City manufacture. Price is right around $4,000 each.
- "10 Survival Rules When Society Collapses: Lessons from Venezuela"--Prepper Website. The article raises some good points, and a few things you might not have thought of, such as a shortage of plastic garbage bags. However, what impressed me was the following incident:
Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. From my brother’s broken window, we could hear the gang members discussing how she must have food and lots of other valuable stuff. Later that evening, we heard them discuss how they were going to break into the lady’s house later that night.
At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it.
Five minutes after the break-in, another twenty people from the neighborhood entered the house. The woman screaming is all you could hear. About ten minutes after it all started, everyone in the house exited in a hurry and ran away as flames could be seen in the windows. The nude elderly woman who owned the house stumbled out of the front door and fell to the ground just two feet away from the house. My brother’s wife, my brother and I ran out to try and help the elderly woman. But when we got there, we could see it was hopeless. She was bleeding from every orifice. Blood was running down her pubic area, chest, legs, nose, mouth, and even out of her ears. She struggled to breathe for about two minutes before the breathing stopped. My brother’s wife held her hand until it was clear she was gone and then my brother pulled her away as she cried.
The house burned to the ground within an hour. Not a single fire truck came. An armored police truck with a 20MM machine gun on the top showed up for less than five minutes about nine that morning. They spent less than five minutes looking at the smoldering ruins, threw the body in the back of the truck and left.
- "Hiding From Aircraft and E and E"--LDS Gunsite. An excerpt:
Studies by the military in the 1980’s concluded what we all probably already know. Natural colors, earth tones, hide better than non-natural reds and blues. Some of the most visible colors in almost any condition is blue. Even in urban settings blue is not a natural color. Blue denim is such a prevalent shade used in clothing all over the world. This should be avoided. Obviously bright shades of any color are not desired. Subdued colors will camouflage.
I want to add a bit to this. Years ago (but not too many) when some of the all-purpose photo realistic camouflage patterns came out that were browns and tans, I was excited because they seemed like they would match the high mountain desert vegetation better than the typical green and brown that you normally saw for sale. What I soon realized, though, is that these types of camo often incorporated white, or at least very pale tans, which might not matter if you stayed still, but caught the eye when moving around. Moreover, testing different camouflage in dim light and moonlight, these same whites and light colors showed up easily in indirect light or moonlight. Just something to think about.
- "The Orion Road Flare | A Survival Resource"--The Loadout Room. The article links to an embedded video showing how a road flare can be used to start a fire, extinguished to conserve the remaining flare and then re-ignited again. The article also notes that the flare can be used to signal to aircraft.
- From Rory Miller's blog: "Logic of Violence Steps 1-3 of 6" and "Logic of Violence Steps 4-6." These are three questions from the criminal's point of view on deciding on a victim and three steps to carry out the attack. An excerpt:
Question 1: Who? Certain people make better targets for certain types of crime than others. If it's about money, out-of-town business men and tourists tend to carry cash and equipment and generally won't fly back to testify. Before direct deposit, the day the social security checks arrived each month was hunting season on the elderly. If the motivation is rape, it varies. For some it's people who remind the perpetrator of someone in the past. Or it could be any target of opportunity. Or a specific type (one of the reasons why dressing down or trying to appear unattractive isn't a successful strategy). If the goal is simple bullying, the threat seeks out emotionally labile victims. Etc.
Question 2 is "Where?" and Question 3 is "Ripeness?" which refers to "all the behavioral clues that indicate which of your preferred targets will be easiest to take." Moving on to the steps, Step 4 is the isolation of the target, which may be as simple as waiting for a target to move to (or come into) an isolated area, or may take some work on the part of the criminal; Step 5 is exercising psychological control over the intended target, and Step 6 is "physical destruction," i.e., the actual assault or attack.
- "Strasbourg Christmas market shooting suspect Chérif Chekatt shot dead"--The Evening Standard. The article indicates that "French interior minister Christophe Castaner told reporters three police officers came across a man in the street that they believed was Chekatt and went to arrest him." Translated: they were given his location or possible location and happened across him on the street. Chekatt pulled a weapon and was killed in brief gun fight. Interestingly, police revealed that Chekatt had received a call from a German telephone number just before initiating his attack on the people attending the Christmas Market.
- He dindu nuffin: "Family Defends Teen Accused of Murdering Pregnant Girlfriend"--Breitbart. The article reports that "The family of a teenager accused of stabbing his pregnant girlfriend to death insists the boy is 'not a monster' and suggests that a school football injury is responsible for his actions."
- Trump is keeping another campaign promise. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports that "Walls Work." According to the press release, "By the end of FY 2019, DHS expects to have construction completed or underway for more than 120 miles in the areas it’s most needed by the U.S. Border Patrol. The pace of construction has picked up as initial limiting factors like land acquisition and funding have been addressed." So far, 31 miles of wall have been constructed. DHS also states that the new sections of wall (or old sections upgraded to better standards) work very well: "For example, when we have installed wall in Yuma Sector, we have seen border apprehensions decrease by 90 percent." If Trump can get his $5 billion from Congress, DHS could build another 330 miles in 2019.
- "Mexico Is Closing Their Border… With Guatemala"--Hot Air. Response from progressives and liberals? Crickets.
- Another reminder that the FBI can't be trusted. In the article, "DOJ investigation turns up thousands of missing texts from Peter Strzok and Lisa Page," a reporter for Politico notes:
The department discovered a five-month gap in which the FBI’s automated collection tool did not sweep up any texts from the phones both of Page and Strzok, coinciding with their time on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- Related: "Feds received whistleblower evidence in 2017 alleging Clinton Foundation wrongdoing"--The Hill. From the article:
The 48-page submission, dated Aug. 11, 2017, supports its claims with 95 exhibits, including internal legal reviews that the foundation conducted on itself in 2008 and 2011.
Those reviews flagged serious concerns about legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business and “quid pro quo” promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.
The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”
“There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” MDA Analytics alleged in its submission. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case.”
- "Holland Heats Up, Belgium Burns As French Yellow Vest Protests Spread Across Europe"--Zero Hedge. Same basic issues: stagnating wages and ever rising taxes.
- Scot Peterson never expected that he would be held accountable: "Judge rules deputy Scot Peterson had duty to protect Parkland students, refuses to toss lawsuit"--Washington Times. Courts have previously held that police have no duty to protect specific persons--it is a generalized duty to the public and not to any particular person. The court appears to have rejected this argument as to Peterson, but, unfortunately, the article doesn't set out the judge's reasoning.
- California circles the drain: "California State Board Votes to Approve Bay-Delta Plan, Restrict Water to Farmers"--Breitbart. As a result of the plan, billions of gallons of less water "will be available to the farming communities of the Central Valley, as well as to San Francisco and its suburbs, which rely on water from the area."
- Chinese innovation at work: "Chinese hackers are reportedly stealing loads of US Navy secrets, and the Navy is scrambling to stop it"--Business Insider. From the article:
US Navy defense contractors and subcontractors have reportedly suffered "more than a handful" of disconcerting security breaches at the hands of Chinese hackers over the past year and a half.
"Attacks on our networks are not new, but attempts to steal critical information are increasing in both severity and sophistication," Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said in an internal memo in October, The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the memo, reported Friday.
"We must act decisively to fully understand both the nature of these attacks and how to prevent further loss of vital military information," he added.
Although the secretary did not mention China specifically, evidence indicates that Beijing is responsible for what is considered a debilitating cyber campaign against the US.
Earlier this year, Chinese government hackers stole important data on US Navy undersea warfare programs from an unidentified contractor. Among the stolen information were plans for a new supersonic anti-ship missile, The Washington Post, citing US officials, reported in June.
China has been striving to boost its naval warfighting capabilities, and there is evidence that it is relying on stolen technology to do so.
And it's not just the US Navy. Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that Beijing is "stealing technology in just about every domain and trying to use it to their advantage."
China is believed to have been behind multiple cybersecurity breaches that facilitated the theft of significant amounts of data on the F-22 and F-35, among other aircraft. That information is suspected to have played a role in the development of China's new fifth-generation stealth fighters.
Fortunately, China is not able to build as high performance jet turbines as the U.S., so their fighters remain less capable.
- "The complex history of Earth's magnetic reversals"--Archaeology News Network. Data from deep sea cores "indicate that over the last 160 million years, the magnetic pole has reversed its polarity at least several hundred times." The article also indicates that the magnetic poles can undergo "excursions," during which "the earth’s magnetic field weakens and begins to drift but does not reverse itself. The field re-strengthens and the poles finally return to their initial position." Interestingly, and ominously, the research shows that a complete reversal can happen in less than 100 years. The article also notes:
Scientists have also debated whether a reversal can cause major hazards, especially to technology. Some have argued that a reversal would cause the failure of the worldwide electronic and communication systems. The question, however, is controversial and remains unanswered.
- "The broad, ragged cut: Aptitude and IQ tests are used to distinguish those young people who deserve a chance from those who do not. Do they work?"--Aeon Magazine. The article meanders back and forth on the issue but concludes that, whatever their failures, IQ and aptitude tests are indeed effective at distinguishing smarter or more capable students or workers.
- "Cosmic Airburst May have Wiped Out Part of the Middle East, 3700 Years Ago"--Watts Up With That. I'd linked to another article about this recently, and threw out the possibility that this event might be connected to the destruction of the cities of the plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah. But this article threw out some additional information I found interesting in light of Lot's wife being described as having turned into a pillar of salt:
The airburst “in an instant, devastated approximately 500 km2 [about 200 square miles] immediately north of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100 percent of the [cities] and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the event’s frontal shock waves,” the researchers wrote in the abstract for a paper that was presented at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting held in Denver Nov. 14 to 17. Anhydride salts are a mix of salt and sulfates.