- TGIF: This week's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training.
- "Small Arms Survey Publish Free Guide to the Identification of Small Arms"--The Firearm Blog. You can download the 352 page guide here. It doesn't appear that there is a way to download it as a single document, but you have to download each chapter separately.
- "Don’t Consent to a Search of Your Vehicle During a Traffic Stop"--The Truth About Guns. The author warns:
Officers who ask to search your car are trained to make the request seem casual and off the cuff. Don’t expect the officer to ask, “Do you surrender your 4th Amendment rights?” in an official tone of voice.
The request is likely to start off low-key and informal. “Do you mind if I have a look in your car?” is a common approach. Intimidation may be used if you make a polite refusal. “If you don’t let me look in your car, I will have to get a warrant, and then you will be in trouble,” may be stated in a more threatening manner.
The answer to all these requests should be the same: “No, I do not consent to a search of my car. I do not surrender any of my constitutional rights. Am I free to go?”
I would add that sometimes the request will come at the end of traffic stop--the officer may even tell you that you are free to go--when you are feeling grateful that nothing happened ... and then, "By the way, do you mind ...?"
- "Jersey Trash: Federal Court Upholds State's Anti-Gun Regulations"--Townhall Magazine. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a New Jersey law law limiting the size of a magazine to 10 rounds. The court found that it didn't violate gunowners' rights to self-defense and did not place an undue burden on gun owners that have to get rid of magazines and/or replace magazines. But does it violate the right to bear arms of the type necessary to overthrow a despotic government? That should be the real test.
- Speaking of despotic governments:
- I came across a post from October at the Savannah Arsenal Project that has compiled quite a collection of YouTube reviews of micro-red dot sights from various manufactures, including Aimpoint, Bushnell, Holosun, Primary Arms, Sig Sauer, and Vortex. You might check it out if you are in the market.
- A common refrain from a prepper might be, "where am I going to put all this stuff?" The Prepper Journal has some thoughts on that in its article, "Storage Facilities: One Good Urban Commuter or Apartment Dweller’s Prep Option." The article explains a bit about self-storage facilities, including a handy guide to standard or common sizes of units. And it suggests how these units can be used as handy way-points for some bugging out (or trying to get home), or to store other prepping items. A couple of topics that I would have liked the author to cover are points to keep others from learning what you have stored there and how to access the location in the event of power being off. The first point is because most of these locations have security cameras mounted everywhere, in addition to the possibility of another tenant seeing you. The second point is because most require you to go through some sort of electronically operated gate to access the facility.
- The title of this post from Preparedness Mama is "In-Depth Guide On Water Barrel Cleaning And Care For Safe Storage," but it is more particularly about the cleaning and care of rain barrels for catching rain water.
- "Little Things Add Up"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author reminds readers that even if you can't afford to purchase a year's supply of food all at once, or get that really cool gun you wanted, little efforts over time can add up and allow you to achieve your goals. An example:
I have a friend who really wanted a top-end 1911A1 pistol, but couldn't afford the $3000 price tag. He started by buying a cheaper, polymer-framed pistol in .45ACP and as his budget allowed, he traded it for a lower-priced 1911A1. After three or four more trades he eventually got the pistol that he wanted, but it took him a couple of years and he probably spent a bit more that the $3000 due to losses in trade value. At no time was he ever without a serviceable pistol, and he didn't have to go into debt to get the one he really wanted, both of which were important to him.
- "Excerpts from the Sarajevo Survival Guide" (h/t Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness).
- "House Democrats Plan Push to Criminalize Private Gun Sales"--Breitbart. From the article:
Mother Jones reports that Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) met with gun control groups that included the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Center for American Progress, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Gabby Giffords’ group. He asked them what they wanted, and a bill to criminalize private gun sales was on their wish list.
So Thompson will sponsor legislation requiring a background check before someone may buy a gun from his neighbor, a co-worker to get a background check before buying a gun from a co-worker, and so forth. The bill will go so far as to require a son to get a background check before a father can give him a gun as a gift.
- Kurt Schlichter asks "How Much Blood Would Leftists Be Willing To Shed To Disarm Patriotic Americans?" He doesn't have an answer, but I'm sure that whatever the answer, the Left will believe that it was appropriate as long as it saved one child.
- "France braces for 'ULTRA-VIOLENT' protests, with 89,000 cops on the streets and shops boarded up as demonstrators vent fury at Macron's reforms despite the President caving in to Yellow Vest demands"--Daily Mail. Delaying implementation of a carbon tax is not caving in, and there is much more at stake here than the carbon tax, but that France is becoming unlivable for most French. The Diplomad explains things in his post, "Is Paris Churning?":
Back to the riots. One thing that struck me was some Rebel Media video in which you can see, through the swirling clouds of tear gas, demonstrators waving the Tricolor and hear them--gasp!-- singing La Marseillaise, arguably the most stirring national anthem in the world. I am not French and don't pretend to be, but that gave me goose-bumps. It, more importantly, also showed that these are not your run-of-the-mill Antifa-type thugs on the street. We might be seeing the rise of militant nationalism in revolt against the elitist globalism that has ruled and ruined the West for the past fifty or so years. De Gaul would have been proud . . .
- When governments fail at essential functions: "In Latin America, Awash in Crime, Citizens Impose Their Own Brutal Justice"--Wall Street Journal. An excerpt:
In Brazil, mobs now kill—or try to kill—more than one suspected lawbreaker a day, according to University of São Paulo sociologist José de Souza Martins, Brazil’s leading expert on lynchings. That figure is both the highest in the world, and more than at any point in Brazil’s history, he said.
While Latin America is known for its hardened drug cartels and street gangs, the region’s lynch mobs are made up of ordinary, otherwise law-abiding citizens, from school students to old ladies. They kill with the same grisly cruelty, sometimes mutilating victims’ sexual organs in cases of suspected rape, or burning them alive in broad daylight.
After an angry mob killed a young suspected thief in Rio de Janeiro recently, his decomposing corpse remained on the street for days, said Mr. Martins, who compiled a database of Brazil’s lynchings by combing through decades of newspaper archives. “Then one day a sweet elderly woman appeared with a spoon,” he said. She was there to remove the victim’s eyes—an attempt to destroy his soul as well as his body. “Someone finally called the police and it took various officers to remove her.”
The article goes on to discuss motivations for the mob violence and links it to the fact that police in the region can't (or won't) solve most crimes, and so this is a fall back position for the victimized; but it also notes that there is a thirst for revenge and a lack of humanity in these attacks. LDS readers may recognize in this the same spirit of revenge that motivated the remaining Nephites in the final wars with the Lamanites. In an r/K context, this could be interpreted as the people shifting to K, but I think it is better to think of it as hard-r, like the rats in an overcrowded environment that turn to killing one another and engaging in cannibalism, rather than wolves reasserting their dominance.
- Ross Douthat has published an op-ed at The New York Times entitled, "Why We Miss the WASPs." In it, he tries to explain the grief and nostalgia for a time when George H.W. Bush was president, writing:
But two of the more critical takes on Bush nostalgia got closer to the heart of what was being mourned, in distant hindsight, with his death. Writing in The Atlantic, Peter Beinart described the elder Bush as the last president deemed “legitimate” by both of our country’s warring tribes — before the age of presidential sex scandals, plurality-winning and popular-vote-losing chief executives, and white resentment of the first black president. Also in The Atlantic, Franklin Foer described “the subtext” of Bush nostalgia as a “fondness for a bygone institution known as the Establishment, hardened in the cold of New England boarding schools, acculturated by the late-night rituals of Skull and Bones, sent off to the world with a sense of noblesse oblige. For more than a century, this Establishment resided at the top of the American caste system. Now it is gone, and apparently people wish it weren’t.”
I think you can usefully combine these takes, and describe Bush nostalgia as a longing for something America used to have and doesn’t really any more — a ruling class that was widely (not universally, but more widely than today) deemed legitimate, and that inspired various kinds of trust (intergenerational, institutional) conspicuously absent in our society today.
Excuse my while I cough (b***sh** ... ack, hack). Now I feel better.
In any event, Douthat rambles on for quite a bit and then actually suggests that what the United States might need is a de facto aristocracy:
But nostalgia for what was best about the old establishment might point to a more radical theory of the case, one proposed by Helen Andrews in a 2016 Hedgehog Review essay on meritocracy and its discontents:
The meritocracy is hardening into an aristocracy — so let it. Every society in history has had an elite, and what is an aristocracy but an elite that has put some care into making itself presentable? Allow the social forces that created this aristocracy to continue their work, and embrace the label. By all means this caste should admit as many worthy newcomers as is compatible with their sense of continuity. New brains, like new money, have been necessary to every ruling class, meritocratic or not. If ethnic balance is important to meritocrats, they should engineer it into the system. If geographic diversity strikes them as important, they should ensure that it exists, ideally while keeping an eye on the danger of hoovering up all of the native talent from regional America. But they must give up any illusion that such tinkering will make them representative of the country over which they preside. They are separate, parochial in their values, unique in their responsibilities. That is what makes them aristocratic.
This idea is heresy to our current ruling class; it would have been simple wisdom to the WASPs. If we would learn from their lost successes in our own era of misrule, reconsidering this idea — that a ruling class should acknowledge itself for what it really is, and act accordingly — might be a fruitful place to start.
- Peter Brimelow writes a bit about why George H.W. Bush was a catastrophe as a President, including his secret agreement to accept more illegal immigrants in exchange for Mexico ending its corn subsidy as part of NAFTA. He concludes:
But I instinctively prefer Steve Sailer's theory: the Bushes' dynasty has long been attracted to the life-style of the Mexican oligarchs with whom it has surprisingly intimate relationships (except when members of the latter are in jail or exile) and simply wanted to reproduce it in the U.S. A hemispheric common maket [sic], with free movement of labor, good and capital, would mean an America of slums and gated communities. But the Bushes were fine with that. They already live in gated communities.
There's some sentimentality now about the WASP elite, now that their power appears broken. But (speaking as an immigrant WASP myself) the coldness, selfishness and snobbery that went along with their superfical politesse should not be forgotten.
Nor should the fact that they, George H.W. Bush prominent among them, presided over—or at least made no effort to resist—the post-1965 immigration disaster, which is on the verge of making the U.S. a Third World society.
- "An Ancient Case of the Plague Could Rewrite History"--The Atlantic. DNA analysis of the tooth of a young woman who died in Sweden some 4,900 years ago revealed genetic sequences from Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. The article goes on to discuss how this finding could up-end previous theories about the origin of the plague. Frankly, it should be of no surprise. Accounts of plague like incidents appear in the Old Testament and other ancient documents, so all this does is confirm that the plague has been floating around for a long time ... just as many researchers have argued. But it is ridiculous to suggest that just because some girl in Sweden was infected by plague 4,900 years ago, the Black Death of the 14th Century didn't originate in Asia.
- "5 Things We’ve Learned About The Parkland Shooting You Won’t Hear From Most Media"--The Federalist. To summarize, the 5 things are: (1) the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and its deputies (including resource officer, Scot Peterson) were incompetent and cowards, (2) the Broward County Sheriff's Department is still attempting to obfuscate and cover up its failures, (3) Obama era, liberal policies such as PROMISE (a program that gives students a second chance after disciplinary problems) repeatedly kept Cruz from being arrested, (4) the Broward County school district is also still attempting to obfuscate and cover up its gross incompetence, and (5) the schools Cruz attended ignored warnings about him.
- "Judicial Nightmare: Jeff Flake Has Pretty Much Destroyed His Party's Agenda On Judges This Year"--Townhall Magazine.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is leaving, but not quietly. The immensely unpopular Republicanhas decided to totally trashhis party’s judicial agenda. Flake is the key 11thvote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he’s not budging until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a binding vote on a billprotecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation. ... In all, he’s holding up the advancement of 21 judicial nominations, along with the confirmation of an additional 32 nominees whose votes are now stalled on the floor.
- The war on Christmas. Paul Craig Roberts, writing at the Unz Report, catalogs all the myriad ways we are prohibited from publicly expressing our support or recognition of Christmas--even the secularized Christmas that long ago divested itself of recognizing the birth of our Lord. A short excerpt:
Schools across the country now avoid anything that alludes to the true meaning of Christmas such as angels, the baby Jesus, stables and shepherds.
In many of the nation’s schools, Christmas carols, Christmas trees, wreaths and candy canes have also been banned as part of the effort to avoid any reference to Christmas, Christ or God. One school even outlawed the colors red and green, saying they were Christmas colors and, thus, illegal.
Students asked to send seasonal cards to military troops have been told to make them “holiday cards” and instructed not to use the words “Merry Christmas” on their cards.
Many schools have redubbed their Christmas concerts as “winter holiday programs” and refer to Christmas as a “winter festival.” Some schools have cancelled holiday celebrations altogether to avoid offending those who do not celebrate the various holidays.
- Related: "Principal is placed on leave after issuing a memo to teachers banning Christmas decorations in classrooms - including candy canes because they are shaped like a 'J' for Jesus"--Daily Mail. And I always thought they were shaped like canes and, hence, the name.
- Related: "Psychology professor accuses GOD of being a sexual predator for impregnating the Virgin Mary 'without her consent'"--Daily Mail. When it was pointed out to him that Mary had consented, he then argued that her consent was negated by the power differential between Deity and Mary. The professor, Eric Sprankle, is--and I kid you not--"an apparent Satanist, whose Twitter bio includes the phrase 'Hail Satan' in Latin," and who "has also posted pictures of the Satanic Christmas decorations in his home, and complained about the abundance of Christian student groups and lack of Satanic groups on his university's campus."
- Related: Italy fights back: "In blow to political correctness, Italy wants crucifixes and nativity scenes in all classrooms"--Life Site.
- Peak oil: "US Geological Survey Discovers Largest Continuous Oil and Gas Resources EVER in Texas-New Mexico Delaware Basin"--The Gateway Pundit. "The new report indicates the basin contains an estimated 46.3 billion barrels of oil plus 281 trillion cubic feet of gas and 20 billion barrels of NGL [ed: Natural gas liquids]."