Monday, December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Although the author bases his numbers on some studies on the average use of toilet paper, I would recommend that you track your usage over a period of time (at least a couple weeks) and base your calculation on that amount. I suspect that toilet paper usage fluctuates widely between individuals and families, and so the "average" is probably not going to be very accurate. Also keep in mind that you in a disaster, the amounts you use may increase not only because you might be stuck at home (or your retreat) rather than going to school or work, but you need to consider issues such as diarrhea. So, error on the side of having too much over too little.

  • "The versatile, mighty 357 Magnum"--The Modern Survivalist. If you have followed FerFal or read his book on surviving an economic collapse, you know that he is a big fan of Glock and other high capacity handguns. And he isn't shy about why--attacks by home invaders and street gangs. But in this article he considers the .357 Magnum revolver based on several reported incidents of bears attacking. Just a reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to self-protection.
  • "This Is The Video Police Didn’t Want You to See, Showing Cop Shoot at Dog, Kill Innocent Mom Instead"--The Burning Platform. The basic story here is that an officer responded to a domestic dispute incident, was attacked by a family dog, and when he shot at the dog, happened to also strike the mother of the family, killing her. The officer was exonerated of any criminal misconduct because it was determined that he had acted reasonably in shooting at the dog, notwithstanding that one of the shots was errant and killed the woman. The officer and his department were sued and settled the matter.
         I don't want to get into the issues of whether the officer was justified in shooting at the dog--the subject of the article--but use this to illustrate the concept of transferred intent. That is, if you use force against someone but injure or kill a bystander by mistake, the intent you had in using that force will be transferred to your injury or killing of the bystander. For a criminal illegally attacking someone who accidentally kills a bystander, this could mean the intent to commit murder being transfered to the killing of bystander although the criminal had no intention to kill the bystander. Similarly, and as this case illustrates, for someone defending themselves, their intent (justifiable self-defense) can also be transfered to their shooting of the innocent bystander. Of course, and as also illustrated by this story, avoiding a criminal charge does not mean that you won't be sued in a civil action.
  • It's winter (almost) and that means "Practicing under adverse conditions." The Tactical Professor notes that adverse or cold weather is a good time to practice using our defensive firearms, including running drills in order to see how your performance is effected. He explains:
I’m not that big a believer in the “If it’s not raining, it’s not training” philosophy. However, your EDC gear is not limited to just your pistol and whatever other Partridge in a pear tree equipment you carry on you. Your clothing is just as much a part of it. Testing your personal performance with all your gear and clothing on under actual conditions can be very informative.
Winter clothing tends to exacerbate any difficulties with drawing from under clothing because, well, there is so much more clothing, and your draw method may have to be adjusted. And sometimes you may decide on a different gun. For instance, earlier this year, I decided to practice some drills using a Glock 34 (which has an extra long slide and is not my EDC weapon), and drawing from under a T-shirt. My time was not too bad, I don't believe, but I was not used to drawing such a long pistol from under a shirt and it showed, including a couple instances where I got it tangled a bit with the shirt. Something similar can happen with zippered coats, sweaters, and so on, even if you are using a pistol suitable for concealed carry.
       It is also good to practice with gloves, because problems can crop up that you may not have anticipated. For instance, S&W revolvers have a cut out that can catch on gloves after you pulled the trigger for your first shot (Ruger revolvers are designed differently and don't have that issue--I've never had a Colt revolver, so I can't speak as to them). Also, if you wear thicker gloves, I would be leery of using them with a striker fired handgun without first testing whether the shear bulk of the glove could cause the weapon to fire simply by inserted the gloved finger into the trigger guard.
  • "How to Prep Your Vehicle for Survival"--The Loadout Room. The author recommends that, if going on a trip, you be cognizant of the type of terrain you might encounter, as well as road and weather conditions. Of course, make sure that you have kept up on your vehicle maintenance. Also, make sure that you have food and water for everyone, a well-stocked first aid kit, and know how to change a tire and jump start your car, and have some tools, jumper cables, spare fuses, tire patch kits, extra antifreeze, etc. One item not mentioned in the article, but worthwhile, is the self-fusing silicone tape that can be used to patch a broken radiator hose. Also, if you are in area with lots of snow, you probably want to keep a set of tire chains/cables with your vehicle ... and learn how to attach them now rather than having to figure it out when you are on the side of the road in a blizzard. 
  • "Concealed Carry Corner: Carrying A Pistol While Cycling"--The Firearm Blog. The author describes some dangers you may face as a bicyclist of both the two-legged and four-legged types before getting into some carry methods. The author has come to the same conclusion I reached, which is that carrying in a fanny pack is probably the best all around choice for concealed carry while biking.
  • "The Breakdown of Society in Venezuela Is 'something desperate and dangerous'"--Organic Prepper. Some discussion on how the financial crises in Venezuela is breaking down the society on some very basic and fundamental levels that will be hard to fix down the road. An excerpt:
        A large part of the migrant population has left their kids with their elders, with the grandmothers in their golden years mostly, in order to increase their mobility and chances to find some productive work faster. This means that the labor force in the country has decreased.
           A lot of young teachers and professors of all levels of education have left. Not to mention that the number of kids in the schools is less and less. Of course, this is perfect for the current status quo. They intend to re-educate whoever is left, from the shreds of the former society. Those who left are the most reluctant, those who understood the value of freedom, mostly. Those who feel the need to earn a decent life working instead of waiting for some government food card, and that were smart enough to see what was coming.
    • "OODA Double Reversal"--Rory Miller. This article not only discusses the OODA loop, but reversals of the rules to use against an opponent. For instance:
              O is for observe. On your end— see and sense as much as you can. When static, try to be in places that maximize your vision—elevation, looking from small apertures through big apertures, position to take advantage of reflections and shadows. And use all of your senses. Practice consciously listening, smelling, feeling the wind and temperature changes. Vibrations through the floor. Learn to sense not only things, but significant negatives. Like when the crickets stop chirping or the target stops snoring or the steam is not rising from the coffee cup.
                The reversal: These are the same things you want to deny others. Minimize your visibility. Watch from camouflaged places. Looking from small through big apertures puts the threat in the position of doing the opposite. Remember that stalking in the wild is about not being seen (heard, smelled) but stalking in an urban setting is about not being noticed. Blend. You want to observe the world, but to maximize your freedom of action, you want to be unobserved.
          Read the whole thing.

          "NAUGHTY NISSE" (Original Story and Music) Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly (5 min.)
          A cute little Christmas story and some nice harp music. Something to bring a bit of holiday cheer. By the way, a Nisse, in Norwegian folklore, is a house sprite typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season.

          • "We need a bigger world"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media explains how progressives "killed" God and tried to replace Him with the Cult of Man. The first attempt, by force of arms in 1939, failed. And so progressives focused on the institutions.
          The traditional faiths would be allowed to wither away, driven back year by year by advancing secularism, until they were impotent.  Then the press would replace the pulpit; the academy the monastery; the State substitute for God till the institutions collectively had all the attributes of divinity and decide who would live or die, be born or not born, who was man or woman, even determine who belonged to what race.  It would rule on the very meaning of life itself until there was nothing beyond the competence of the world of man.
          And thus we have the modern catechism of progressive rule--political correctness.
          Everybody knows what PC is because we are all members of its church, born into it at birth.  It has sacraments like abortion, blasphemous words one cannot utter, heretical doctrines you cannot hold, individuals canonized by the media you cannot impugn and a roster of the damned with whom you cannot associate. Few say their prayers any more but multitudes spend each day sorting their trash in their backyard altars to the goddess Gaia.  Nonbelievers in Global Warming are anathemized as Deniers; virtue signaling has become the new piety.  And we are familiar with all of it because our conversion until recently seemed all but complete.
          It nevertheless has left a spiritual vacuum--one that progressives are trying to fill by various political cults. But the Cult of Man can never fill the shoes of a true religion.
          The boards of two massive evangelical Christian organizations — the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) — have backed a call for compromise on protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT) without yielding on religious freedom protections. Many Christian leaders have condemned this effort, termed "Fairness for All" (FFA).
                  The gist of the FFA laws are to elevate sexual orientation to a protected class under civil rights statutes, while leaving some exemptions for religious organizations. History shows us that anti-discrimination laws are not to protect against discrimination, but to grant special rights and privileges to certain classes unavailable to the population as a whole. Just ask any HR director or property manager. Or as this article from The Heritage Foundation notes:
                     SOGI [Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity] laws threaten the freedom of citizens, individually and in associations, to affirm their religious or moral convictions—convictions such as that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that maleness and femaleness are objective biological realities to be valued and affirmed, not rejected or altered. Under SOGI laws, acting on these beliefs in a charitable, educational, or commercial context could be actionable discrimination.
                     SOGI laws are the ones that have been used to penalize bakers, florists, photographers, schools, and adoption agencies when they declined to act against their convictions concerning marriage and sexuality. Such laws do not adequately protect religious liberty or freedom of speech.
                       In short, SOGI laws seek to regulate decisions that are best handled by private actors without government interference. SOGI laws disregard the conscience and liberty of people of good will who happen not to share the government’s opinions about issues of marriage and sexuality based on a reasonable worldview, moral code, or religious faith. Accordingly, these laws risk becoming sources of social tension rather than unity.
                •  "Progressives are engaged in a 'de-civilizing process' that will end badly"--Bookworm Room. The author reviews Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, which explores the decline of violence in Western countries over the last several centuries. (I also reviewed Pinker's book, here). As I note in my review, Pinker describes 6 processes which he believes has lead to the decline in violence within Western societies: (1) the rise of states and state control which he terms the Pacification Process; (2) the spread of social mores and etiquette forcing people to control and curb their behavior, which Pinker terms the Civilizing Process; (3) the Humanitarian Revolution; (4) the Long Peace; (5) what Pinker calls the New Peace; and (6) what Pinker terms the Rights Revolution. The Bookworm Room's review primarily focuses on the first two trends: the rise of states and the law and order imposed by those states; and the Civilizing Process. He also notes two other processes--the reduced consumption of alcohol and rising median age of the population and, hence, leadership. However, the author makes a critical linkage:
                Today’s Leftists seek to destroy every single one of those civilizing influences:
                • Leftists want to destroy borders, which ends the nation-state. Their optimistic ideal is one-world government under the U.N.’s aegis. The reality will be a retreat into the tribalism that was normative for most of human history and that is defined by almost unholy levels of violence and torture against perceived enemies.
                • Leftists are breaking down all normative behavior (once called “manners”). Whether it’s screaming at conservatives in restaurants, attacking politicians in their homes, being obsessed with poop, destroying sexual norms (including have a lesbian smooch at the Thanksgiving Day parade, a venue in which no one previously smooched), chronic public nudity, or anything else that once held together civilized Western society, the Left is against it. ...
                • Leftists are irredeemably hostile to commerce. ... Place Alexandria Occasional-Cortex and her ilk in charge of the American economy, and we will go backwards to a medieval time in which profit is evil, innovation is discouraged, lending money is impossible, and the empathy and cooperation that trade brought are gone. ...
                • Leftists are hostile to the rule of law. ... Leftists don’t believe in the equal application of the rule of law. To them, law is an instrument of power to be used, not to create reliability in both civil and criminal matters in order to guide people’s actions, but as a cudgel to enforce their power. In other words, their “law” is the law of tyranny, not of freedom. ...
                • And finally, the Left has long been in the vanguard of two other trends: (1) Urging the middle class to use drugs that interfere with civilized behavior and functionality. ... Leftists encourage behavior that decreases mankind’s connection to its human nature and brings it closer to its animal nature. (2) Turning political power over to young people, whether by decreasing the voting age or by championing practically prepubescent people in politics. ...
                • Speaking of the Left's contempt for rule of law: "Pittsburgh Mayor Trying To Pass Illegal And Unconstitutional Gun Ban"--The Lid. This, although Pennsylvania law prevents local governments from passing any laws concerning the regulation of firearms.
                • I just came across this story from November 5, 2018: "20,000 armed migrants attack Croatia’s border to move into the EU, official warns"--Voice of Europe. According to the article, 95% of the migrants at these camps are military aged men, and they are all armed with at least knives. There has already been one stabbing of a border policemen. Officials believe that the ultimate goal of the migrants is to get to Germany or the Scandinavian countries. Interestingly, "[m]ost of the young men have prepaid credit cards supplied by the United Nations’ High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)."
                • "Bye-Bye Boy Scouts"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Dreher gives his take on the decline of the BSA. I have written about the decline of the Scouts quite a bit, including the following:
                • Bayou Renaissance Man, Peter Grant, observes that "Some crime certainly seems to pay." He comments on a couple articles noting that revenue from the illegal drug trade is being used to buy up property, further driving up housing prices in certain markets. I thought it was in this article, but I apparently came across the discussion elsewhere, that even at the low end crime may pay dividends by bestowing "bad boy" status on a young male and, thereby, granting him greater access to women.
                • "The 'urban forests' of New York revealed: New study finds the city has five MILLION trees in 'forested natural areas'"--Daily Mail. That doesn't include the approximately 666,000 "street" trees planted in the metropolis. The trees can be found in backyards, cemeteries, parks (there are a lot more parks in NYC than you might think) and wooded "natural lands." The natural lands alone are more than 10,000 acres.
                • "A Look Inside One of the Most Important Advances in Space Exploration"--The Silicon Graybeard. The author is discussing the mathematics behind the gravity assist trajectories (aka "a gravitational slingshot") whereby a space probe takes a trajectory that allows it steal some energy from a planetary body in order to increase its velocity, and reducing the amount of fuel that would otherwise be needed to send these probes to the outer solar system, for instance.

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                A New Defensive Pistolcraft Post ...

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