Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December 26, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web (Updated)

"Buckshot for Hunting and Home Defense"--Paul Herrell (36 min.)
Herrell looks at the performance of different types of buckshot at various ranges, including when using a couple different chokes (open cylinder and full). The basic takeaway, as we've seen in other videos on the same topic, is that you shouldn't be using buckshot of less than #1 in size in order to have adequate penetration.

I hope all of you had a good and happy Christmas. On to the round-up of news and topics:
From the time we defeated the Mongol hordes in Hungary in 1241, to our defeat in Afghanistan in 1840, the west was uniformly victorious for six centuries. Since then, since 1841 we have been suffering defeats by ever weaker enemies.. The writing on the wall is that the west is ripe for conquest, like a wealthy elderly widow in a neighborhood that has turned bad. Not so much conquest by a major power like China, but rather a dark age collapse, when ever changing minor actors engage in mobile banditry – closer to the New Year rape festival in Cologne than D Day. Since our current State religion is headed towards suicide and mass murder, we are going to need a replacement, assuming we survive at all.
Note well that the dark age collapse of Rome was the quintessential example of the collapse of a society due to over complexity in Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies
  • Related: Speaking of the decline of empire: "Hawaii Says LEOSA Doesn’t Apply in the State, Bans Carry by Out-of-State Cops"--The Truth About Guns. The Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) is a federal law that allows currently sworn or retired law enforcement officers to carry nationwide even if the a particular state or territory would otherwise not allow it. Apparently, Hawaii is asserting that you are not a LEO unless you are acting in performance of your duties. The point of contention seems to be a portion of the definition of LEO which requires that the officer "is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest or apprehension under section 807(b) of title 10, United States Code (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice)" 18 U.S.C. § 926B(c)(1). 
  • "Gunshot Residue and Personal Carry Ammunition"--Sensible Self Defense. The author discusses a case in which gunshot residue was key evidence in obtaining a conviction, and notes that the defendant was not permitted to present evidence of what residue would be produced (or not produced) from his ammunition because it was hand-loaded rather than factory-loaded. The author explained:
However, ballistics testing on the ammunition Lise Bias’s wounds could not be run because the ammunition in the pistol that killed Lise Bias was ammunition that Daniel Bias had reloaded. As a result, there was no way of knowing if the cartridges were all the same reloads or not and therefore they could not be relied upon for gunshot residue (GSR) testing.
* * *
With reloaded ammunition, the forensic examiner cannot verify distances because there is no un-biased sample to measure it against. The accused has literally manufactured the evidence; therefore, judge is unlikely to admit the reloaded ammunition as an exhibit in the trial.
The author goes on to discuss powder residue at different distances, as well as photographs of exemplars. He then returns to the original subject of his post and recommends:
         What can we learn from this? GSR distance testing is often done with exemplar ammunition or ammunition that is identical to what was in your pistol. This is the primary reason to carry factory ammunition for personal defense. When you purchase this ammunition, try to buy several boxes from the same lot. Write the date you entered the ammunition into service on the box. Load all of your carry magazines with the same ammunition from the same box—do not mix ammunition lots or brands in your carry magazines.
           After you load your magazines for carry, save at least five rounds in the box. If you find yourself in a short range defensive situation, the forensics examiner can use the ammunition sample from the lot that you have saved to verify distances with powder testing. If the prosecution objects to this, your attorney can request an independent sample from the manufacturer. Large ammunition makers keep samples for each lot for exemplar testing for 10 years. This is why keeping the box intact with the lot numbers is important.
             Most periods of food shortage since the year 1900 lasted only 1-2 years while some of them lasted 3-4 years.  Not very many of them lasted five years or more, but there were a few times in the last century when a food shortage crisis lasted a full decade.
               In Russia, there were several factors which caused a prolonged period of food shortages which killed millions of people.  One of those factors was war, both WWI (1914) and the Russian Revolution (1918-1920).  During Russia’s civil war, opposing groups lived off the land while also stealing food from the farmers who grew it.
                That food was distributed among allied friends and denied to enemy neighbors.  A drought in 1921 only made food more scarce for everyone, including farmers who would often consume seed grain rather than plant it.
                   Despite relief efforts, the famine was still widespread in 1923.  Overall, the people were desperate (to various degrees) for food for almost an entire decade.  This famine is considered to be one of the worst in Russian history.
                    The worst period of famine in Cambodia occurred between 1970-1979, also a full decade.  Civil war, brutal policies of the Khmer Rouge regime, and invasion by Vietnam all contributed to prolonging this time of food shortage which killed upwards of two million people.
                      Also in the last century, the world saw a period of food scarcity during the Great Depression which began in 1929.  High unemployment with a poor national economy kept many citizens in a rut of financial depression, especially those who lived in the southern U.S. “Dust Bowl” states.
                        Food of various quantities and qualities was still available, but many couldn’t afford it and millions starved to death.  Some regions recovered more quickly than others, but overall this economic depression lasted a full decade.  So far as American history is concerned, the Great Depression is considered to be one of the darkest moments of the last 100 years.
                    He then discusses the types of food available to you at different points (assuming you had enough food storage to last you) and makes some suggestions. The basic point, however, is that you will probably have gone through all your canned goods within the first year or two, and will have to fall back on long term items such as beans, rice, or wheat. I would note that it is important to supplement your food with fresh items, and so you might want to consider using sprouts.
                    • "Concealed Carry Corner: Pros & Cons of Consistent Open Carry"--The Firearm Blog. The author specifically mentions items such as if you open carry, you automatically become a "firearms ambassador," and people will judge firearms owners based on what they observe or you. The author also notes that you will come across those that object to your carrying and may even contact authorities--be prepared to deal with law enforcement. He raises the point that you need to be aware that there will be people that want to touch your gun, or even see if they can get it from you. Finally, the author suggests that an openly carried gun is not as protected from the elements as a concealed carry gun, so you may need to clean it more often.
                           Herschel Smith, at The Captain's Journal, and others are big proponents of open carry. While I believe that people in all states should have the right to open carry, and be able to exercise the right without harassment from law enforcement, I also believe that it is a poor practice from a defensive point of view. The author of the foregoing piece touched upon a few of those problems: people wanting to touch or even take your firearm, people "freaking out" and calling police, and so on. As I've discussed before, the biggest issue I see with open carry is that you will almost automatically be drawn into any criminal event around you even if you didn't want to become involved.
                    Even if you have fired a weapon many times, you should recognize that guns fired indoors sound different than guns fired outside. Go visit an indoor shooting range. The muffled sounds that you can hear from outside (or from the front room outside the range) are most similar to the sounds of gunfire inside a building. Learn to recognize them. You don’t have to even shoot but listen. You will need hearing protection but remove it for a few shots. Make sure you are not right next to the gun that is firing because you don’t want to damage your hearing. But to hear real shots fired in a building is important to experience.
                    Update (Dec. 27, 2018): I've been informed that the LDS Gunsite author quoted the passage set out above from an article by Greg Ellifritz, but without attribution. Ellifritz's article is "Recognizing the Sound of Gunfire" and I would recommend that readers go to Ellifritz's article to learn more on this topic. Writing is hard work and can take a long time. Even the quick summaries I put together take a not-insignificant amount of time. So I appreciate the effort that Greg must put into the articles he publishes each week.
                    To my LDS readers, the Church has provided directions on the use of copyrighted materials. See, e.g., "Copyright Guidelines" and "A Conversation about Using Copyrighted Materials at Home and Church."

                    "The Tragedy of Cultural Relativism"--Paul Joseph Watson (7 min.)
                    Not all cultures are equal, and, certainly, not all cultures have the same reverence for human life.

                           China’s legislature is considering a law to ban local governments from forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, an issue that helped to spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.

                           Beijing rejects complaints companies are required to trade technology for market access. But officials including Premier Li Keqiang promised this year to crack down as tensions with Washington heated up.

                         A proposed foreign investment law taken up Sunday by the legislature would make clear officials cannot “force the transfer of technology” as a condition of ventures, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
                                Probably too little, too late, but at least this Administration is trying to address the issue of "Chinese innovation" unlike the last several presidents.
                                         Hannan must also be suffering from too much screen time as his hypothesis has holes large enough to accommodate a semi-tractor. The first is that he offers only the loosest correlation between increasing hatred and declining I.Q., and absolutely no evidence of causation. At a minimum, if his hypothesis was true, we should see more antagonism the further back we look in history. For instance, the antagonism between the two political parties should have been greater in the 1940s than in the 1950s, and greater in the 1950s than in the 1960s. But that isn't the case.
                                           And, while he at least mentions various hypotheses as to why average I.Q. would be declining, he makes no such effort as to the political divide. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the Left has moved so far Left that a moderate position from even a decade ago, such as on issues of border security or gay marriage, would now be considered tantamount to being a Nazi, could it?
                                            I also have my doubts about his "screen time" hypothesis because, if true, we should have seen the decline begin with the wide adoption of television. If average IQs are declining, I suspect that Vox Day has correctly identified at least one factor: "given the way in which the most intelligent women are disinclined to reproduce, it should be obvious that intelligence is no more intrinsically advantageous to survival than size." In fact, this trend of intelligent women forgoing family formation is so widespread across the globe that it even has its own term: waithood. In essence, "people, especially women, are pursuing educational opportunities around the world and delaying marriage and parenting in a kind of intentional pattern." If you have seen the beginning of the movie Idiocracy, you will be familiar with the concept. It doesn't help that the modern, liberated woman has more sympathy and attraction for a rapist or murderer than an incel.
                                                The reality, according to the National Pain Report, is “America’s so-called ‘opioid epidemic’ is caused by street drugs (some of them diverted prescription drugs)  rather than by prescriptions made by doctors to chronic pain patients.” More people die from illegal opioids than prescription opioids. Opioid prescriptions were already decreasing before the crackdown started. In Arizona, prescriptions decreasedevery year since 2013, a 10 percent decrease total.  
                                                 And just because a few doctors overprescribed opioids does not mean everyone should be treated like a dangerous addict at risk of overdosing. One size does not fit all. Someone who has been taking a higher dosage of prescription opioids for years without incident should be allowed to continue.  
                                                  Over 11 percent of the population suffersfrom chronic pain. It is cruel and bad medical science to prevent this segment from the population from getting the only relief that works for many of them. The laws need to be changed to allow those legitimately suffering to access adequate amounts of prescription opioids, without risk to their doctor or pharmacist. It makes no sense as we’re relaxing the laws prohibiting marijuana.    
                                                      Everyone knows that prohibition means drugs will often be adulterated, but prohibition also makes drugs stronger. Before alcohol Prohibition, beer and wine were the most popular drinks. After Prohibition, however, the cost of beer increased by more than 700 percent while the cost of high-potency spirits increased by only 270 percent. Smugglers and bootleggers preferred high-potency spirits because they are easier to transport illicitly. Consequently, distilled alcohol and fortified wines became almost 90 percent of alcohol consumption after Prohibition, compared to 40 percent before.
                                                      This is known as the iron law of prohibition. When drug traffickers fear getting caught, they prefer the highest potency version of a drug. During alcohol Prohibition, speakeasies were essentially bars that only served Everclear, but that didn’t mean Everclear was actually the most in demand. And, sure enough, after Prohibition ended, people quickly returned to low-potency beer and wine.
                                                         The introduction of fentanyl to our drug markets demonstrates the iron law of prohibition at its most dangerous. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin, and it’s significantly more dangerous than traditional poisons like arsenic. A lethal dose of fentanyl is between 2 and 3 milligrams, compared to 100-300 milligrams for arsenic. There are 300-500 lethal doses in just one gram of fentanyl.
                                                           That potency is useful for drug smugglers but dangerous to users. Fentanyl’s potency means hundreds of doses can be smuggled in the tiniest crevices of envelopes, packages, and shipping containers, and neither sufficient manpower nor adequate technology exists to stop it. As can be seen in the NVSS report, fentanyl began flooding the drug market in about 2014. In 2011, oxycodone was the No. 1 killer with 5,587 deaths. Fentanyl was 10th with 1,662. Then the government started cracking down on prescription opioids, and people started dying of fentanyl overdoses in shockingly large numbers. By 2014, fentanyl killed 4,223, which moved it into fifth place, but just two years later it was No. 1, with an astounding 18,335 deaths in 2016. In 2017, there were 28,466 deaths from fentanyl or similar synthetic opioids.
                                                    The "iron law" applies today. When colleges began to crack down on drinking and prohibiting alcohol on campus, students switched from drinking beer during the week, to bing drinking hard liquor on the weekends.
                                                      When I spoke with Eleanor Owen, one of the original cofounders of DESC [the Downtown Emergency Service Center], she explained that the organization’s mission has shifted over the years from helping the homeless to securing government contracts, maintaining a $112 million real-estate portfolio, and paying a staff of nearly 900. “It’s disgraceful,” she said. “When we started, we kept our costs low and helped people get back on their feet. Now the question is: How can I collect another city contract? How can I collect more Medicaid dollars? How can I collect more federal matching funds? It’s more important to keep the staff paid than to actually help the poor become self-sufficient.”
                                                        The author refers to DESC and other homelessness organizations as "the city’s homeless-industrial complex."
                                                        • "The Long March of Socialism – Do Not Keep Faith"--The Declination. The author discusses Leftists and socialism in the context of game theory. First, he explains, "In the first round, you ought to Keep Faith, in the hopes that your opponent will do likewise, and you may both benefit. If this fails, you should Betray in the next round, to teach the other a lesson, and to avoid being a sucker." But:
                                                                  Socialists reset the game with each transaction, however. The moral trick of the political Left is to consider every action in a moral vacuum. Keep Faith this time, the Leftist says. And when the betrayal happens, ignore it and reset the game. Keep Faith again, and again, and again… until they march into your headquarters and finally tell it to you straight: “There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.”
                                                                   By doing this, Socialists will win any moral argument. If, for instance, they provide a picture of a poor Syrian child, and say “how could you possibly turn away this poor innocent child,” hordes of people will lose their resolve and agree to allowing millions of migrants to go wherever they please without resistance. The Syrian child doesn’t exist in a moral vacuum. You’ve been betrayed, and the Left reset the game again. Same with illegal immigration in the United States. In debates with Leftists, I have seen them refer to the conditions illegals in our custody live in as worse than Nazi concentration camps. Who believes this? And yet they will defend the point with a thousand rationalizations, and then demand we Keep Faith again because clearly we’re horrible, and the poor innocent kids need us to keep the faith.
                                                                    If we do, another few million will cross the border. They hit Betray, just as they did to Reagan after amnesty. Again and again.
                                                                Betrayal is the natural default for the Left, in any event, because they are r-selected.
                                                                         Longenecker has even advanced a theory as to the identity of the visitors known as the “wise men.”
                                                                           “I believe they were diplomats from the court of Herod the Great’s neighbor, the Nabatean King Aretas IV,” he told Breitbart. “As stargazing counselors to the king they ascertained that a new King of the Jews was born and they concluded that it must be a grandson or great grandson of Herod the Great.”
                                                                             Aretas “had every motivation to send a retinue to travel to Jerusalem to honor the new heir to the aging Herod’s throne,” he said, and “it makes perfect sense for these magi to have completed their journey in such a way that Matthew’s account is simple, factual and historical.”


                                                                      1. The paragraph you highlighted from the LDS Gunsite article seemed familiar to me. That's because I wrote it. It's a word for word copy from an article I wrote in 2015.


                                                                        What does the LDS organization think about intellectual property theft, plagiarism, and copyright violations?

                                                                        1. The Church enforces its copyrights and is careful to warn members about not violating copyrights by illegally copying material, for instance, music sheets for choirs. For instance, in one guidance, it states: "Church members should strictly observe all copyright laws. Generally, only copyright owners may authorize duplication (copying), distribution, public performance, public display, or derivatives of their work. Using a work in any of these ways without authorization from the copyright owner is contrary to Church policy and may also subject the Church or the user to legal liability." ( I know of at least one instance where a senior Church officer was forced to step down when it was discovered that he was widely plagiarizing from others in talks and even books he wrote.


                                                                      Docent's Memo (May 16, 2022)

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