Friday, December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Remington R 51 Cycle of Operation"--Richard Mann (48 sec.)
Another animation showing how the hesitation lock system works. It is interesting because the breach block works much like a short stroke piston, delivering its energy to the slide which then completes the unlocking and cycling process; the difference being that when the slide retracts, it also takes the breach block with it.

       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 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.
                   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.


              "America: Worth Saving?"--Blonde in the Belly of the Beast (14 min.)
              The host of this video makes an important point: are things just too far gone to save, and should we instead be looking at something to replace it.

              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 . . .
                        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.
                                            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.
                                                    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: "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." 

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                                                New Weekend Knowledge Dump ...

                                                 ... from Greg Ellifritz at  Active Response Training . Plenty of good stuff here, but let me focus on a few.     Greg links to an article f...