- TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. I'm currently reading the book, Contact Weapons: Lethality and Defense by Steve Tarani and Damon Fay, so one of the articles cited by Ellifritz that caught my attention was an article by Hock Hochheim on "Strangulation". The article wasn't so much a "how-to" either to strangle someone, or to get out of strangulating hold, but about recognizing strangulation, particularly in the domestic abuse realm. Thus, it lists the different ways that the squeezing can be done as well as symptoms or signs of strangulation.
- "Google Has a Creepy Secret Page That Tracks Your (Online and Offline) Shopping History"--Organic Prepper. For at least 9 years, Google has been collecting information from your Gmail account (if you have one) about your purchases via receipts and order confirmations delivered via Gmail. "It also includes some real-world transactions made using my credit card, thanks to point-of-sale software providers like Square and others that link your credit card number and name to an associated email account to deliver receipts, offer rewards programs, and, in some cases, collect valuable purchase data." I checked my account and there were only a handful of transactions over the last 4 years, so the amount of information may vary.
- "Why Having a Carry Gun Rotation Is a Bad Idea"--The Truth About Guns. The author isn't talking about having two or three firearms that use for carry that you switch between based on your concealment needs or ability (e.g., using one firearm for colder weather when you can carry under a jacket, versus something smaller for summer carry), but people that rotate between multiple firearms just for the sake of carrying different firearms. The author adds: "There are many who will argue against this, and at the risk of ruffling feathers I will say this: those who say they can switch platforms on a daily basis without issue are consistently training at only a casual level, while accomplished shooters tend to stick to a single platform."
- "SIG Sauer Introduce P365 with Manual Safety"--The Firearm Blog.
- Uh, no: "Blackpowder Flintlocks For The Survivalist"--Mason Dixon Tactical. The author writes:
So JC, why is a flintlock blackpowder firearm important in your survivalist preps? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, we know that your ammo storage for your cartridge firearms is not limitless, right? Second, if you’re going to be hunting for your food as well as trapping it (you do have your supply of conibear traps and snares acquired, right?), which would you rather use for that hunting firearm? One that uses ammo that will eventually run out, or one that has the ability to scrounge all the items needed to reload it?
I've discussed this issue before, but to recap: making black powder requires minerals and compounds that you might not be able to find locally, and actually requires a fair amount of technology and established trade to support its manufacture; even flint stones are not something present everywhere. It is not like the episode of Star Trek where Kirk was fighting the Gorn captain, and found everything conveniently lying about. While you can make charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate (saltpeter) are a different matter; in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, potassium nitrate was "harvested" from the bottom of manure piles. If you have enough livestock to produce your own saltpeter, you probably don't need to hunt. In any event, there is a reason why you never hear about early pioneers or settlers making their own gun powder.
You will also require a source of materials for making bullets/balls, and the equipment to cast them. In addition, especially with flintlocks which require an open pan to ignite the powder, they are less reliable in inclement weather than modern firearms, or even more modern percussion cap black powder rifles. In other words, while a romantic notion, black powder firearms are not as practicable as most people think. For the price of a good quality flintlock and all the equipment, you could probably put together a basic set of reloading equipment. If you want to shoot muzzle loading black powder firearms, just do it; but don't use prepping as an excuse.
- Related: "The Lost Art Of Shooting Cap-And-Ball Revolvers"--Gun Digest. The author observes that "[t]here’s a major nostalgia factor to blackpowder shooting in general and the cap-and-ball revolver in particular, and an appreciation for just how far things have come." The article then delves into the mechanics of shooting such weapons.
- Probably not as much as most people think: "Concealed Carry Lessons: How Much Does Gear Really Matter?"--Outdoor Hub. An excerpt:
Too many new(er) concealed carriers have a grossly inflated sense of invincibility, or stated differently, a dangerous false sense of security. This assumption makes sense on the surface.
“Hey, I’ve got a gun. If I ever end up in an unavoidable dangerous situation, I’ll just use it and everything will be fine.”
That seems like a sound plan until you think through details. Consider a few hypothetical situations and with each, be honest with yourself about whether “having a gun” would have helped you.
You’re standing in line waiting to buy a Monster Energy Drink one Monday morning on the way to work. There’s someone in front of you and someone else behind. You’re checking the news on your phone. Suddenly, the guy behind you has a gun out and is screaming for everyone to get down and demanding money from the cashier. Did simply having a gun help you?
You’re sitting in the passenger seat of a car at the gas station. Your spouse went inside to buy something while you wait. You’re replying to a quick email message on your phone. Suddenly, a gun with a gun jumps in the driver’s seat and tells you he’s studying to be a professional carjacker. Did simply having a gun help you?
You’re sitting in a movie theater taking in the latest re-make of some movie that’s already been released a dozen times before. You’re absorbed in the film and wondering why they can’t seem come up with new movie storyline ideas. Suddenly, the person sitting directly behind you jumps up and starts shooting. Did simply having a gun help you?
You get the idea. While I presented these as hypothetical scenarios, each is very real. What should be obvious is that just “having” a gun may not have helped one single bit in any of these situations. The actions of being observant to your surroundings and keeping your nose out of your cell phone can be far more impactful to your safety than simply “having a gun.”
Read the whole thing.
- "We are Tribal at our Core"--Modern Survival Blog. The author argues that we were designed/evolved to work together in close-knit groups. It's why soldiers are so loyal to their bothers-in-arms and why people pull together after disasters. And, the author continues, our modern lifestyle is completely antithetical to tribalism.
- Related: "Sometimes African tribalism can work in our favor"--Bayou Renaissance Man. The article is primarily about how difficult a time Islamic terrorist groups have had in gaining recruits in Somalia because of the extreme tribalism there. Grant quotes the following:
Part of the foreign aid problem is the nature of Somali culture. It is very competitive, entrepreneurial, violent and resourceful. For most Somalis, al Shabaab is not so much a religious movement as it is an opportunity to make some money. Al Shabaab is very much a criminal organization whose main goal is to make more money so it can recruit more members, arm them and use violence, bribes and extortion to obtain still more power and wealth. This Somali outlook put al Shabaab at odds with al Qaeda and other international Islamic terror groups. In the end, the Somalis won that argument in Somalia.
Grant adds his own thoughts:
Somalia is, in terms of its clan problem, emblematic of the situation in Africa as a whole. One's primary loyalty is to the clan, and to the tribe of which it's a part. Anything less, and the other clans will eat you alive. That means efforts by Western aid agencies to get into conflict zones, where clan is fighting clan and tribe is fighting tribe, are often fruitless (and pointless to begin with). They are owed no loyalty. They are not a clan or tribe; therefore, they don't even have a reason to exist, as far as the locals are concerned. They're horning in on a problem that's none of their business.
That explains a lot . . . and, along with primitive superstition, it's why efforts to contain the Ebola crisis in Congo are failing.
(By the way, try this exercise. Compare and contrast US inner-city and prison gangs with African tribes and clans. The parallels are almost exact, no matter what the race or ethnic origin of the gangs concerned. In fact, while working as a prison chaplain, I learned to treat prison gangs as just another version of African tribes. That approach worked very well as far as interacting with them went. It didn't stop them being almost primitively [and sometimes very violently] focused on their criminal ends; but it made it easier to understand them, and therefore deal with them.)
- "Everything You Will Ever Need To Know About The Fire Piston"--Alpha Survivalist. Well, I don't know about everything, but the author does provide a rather complete overview of the subject. The fire pistol works on the same principle as a Diesel engine: compression of air in the cylinder heats the materials and causes ignition. The author describes the basic principles, a bit of the history, and looks at some commercial models that are available.
- "Considerations for Fighting With a Little One at Your Side"--Recoil Magazine. Some good points, including the following:
In times of extreme stress or sudden violence, the brain triggers the body to produce a flood of hormones meant to prepare the body to fight or to flee. This state of hyperarousal can cause you to act impulsively and without clear direction. While in this state, it’s very difficult to think rationally, and actions taken may in retrospect seem unintelligent, counterproductive, or even negligent.
Parents have abandoned their own children in mass-casualty shootings, struck their own children while attempting to fight attackers, and more. When these stories are reported, it’s common to see visceral and outraged reactions, but the hard truth is that any one of us could potentially act in a similar fashion. While considering it rationally, we would never imagine it possible — but we can’t underestimate what we might do in a state of hyperarousal.
The good news is that you can lessen the ability of your subconscious to hijack your body. Proactively planning for the presence of your children in the event of a violent crime gives your brain a strategy to focus on should a similar event occur. This guideline can help switch your subconscious mind out of hyperarousal and back into rational thought more quickly.
Practicing controlling your body’s response to extreme stress through physical activity and stressful activities or sports can also help you better manage stress when it occurs.
- "Companion Planting Tips for your Balcony Garden"--Apartment Prepper.
- "SIXGUN STRESS RELIEVER: Ruger’s New Wrangler Revolver"--SWAT Magazine. From the article:
Internally, the new Wrangler is largely a Ruger New Model Single-Six with a couple of changes. One large difference is that the Wrangler has a free-spin pawl. When the loading gate is open, this allows the cylinder to spin both clockwise and counterclockwise. The inside of the loading gate is scalloped, making it easier to open.
With a single-action that does not have a free-spin pawl, if you accidentally go past a chamber while loading or unloading, the cylinder must complete a full rotation. With a free-spin pawl, the cylinder can simply be rotated back to the chamber you need to take action with.
The grip frame, cylinder frame, and ejector rod housing of the Wrangler are made of aluminum, resulting in a lightweight, handy revolver. Cutouts on both sides of the hammer also reduce weight a bit. The cylinder, barrel, and small parts are made of steel.
- "At least twelve dead and six injured in shooting at Virginia Beach municipal center: 'Disgruntled' employee, 40, storms offices and 'indiscriminately' opens fire over THREE floors before being shot by cops after fierce gun battle"--Daily Mail. According to the article, the shooter, DeWayne Craddock, was a 40 year old disgruntled worker; the weapon is reported to have been a .45 caliber pistol. I doubt that this shooting will remain in the news as it doesn't fit the preferred media narrative: Craddock was black, educated, apparently had no criminal record, and probably bought his weapon legally. (See also here). In fact, the lack of any photograph of Craddock is conspicuous on the news reports and articles I've seen.
- That's not okay: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caught flashing white power symbol during Instagram live-stream.
- "Texas Legislature Adds Gun Storage Awareness Program Funding to State Spending Bill"--The Truth About Guns. This is not about educating the public about safe storage practices, but to acclimate the public to assertions that someone is being negligent if they don't keep their firearms in a gun vault, and set the ground for laws restricting someone's ability to keep a firearm accessible for self-defense and/or make it too expensive or impractical for many to keep a firearm.
- "U.S. Marine Reports Being Attacked on Border Surveillance Mission"--Breitbart. From the article:
The Marine was patrolling the border in the El Centro Sector, Station Zone 2, on May 29 when the vehicle developed a problem with the surveillance display. The scene was roughly 7.5 miles from the U.S.-Mexico Border. A Border Patrol agent working with the two Marines reportedly directed one of the Marines to go with him for assistance. The second Marine waited with the vehicle. The Marine told officials that while he waited, he was approached by a group of three unknown individuals. One of the three reportedly opened the door to the vehicle and attempted to take control of the Marine’s sidearm. During the struggle, the Marine fired his pistol one time, striking the forward-looking infrared display unit mounted on the dash. The attackers fled at that point.
- Does this mean that activists will be tearing down statutes and paintings of MLK? "MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S, TURN"--Powerline. Reports based on FBI surveillance of the civil rights leader reveal that he was complicit in a forcible rape committed by a fellow minister:
The FBI document adds: “When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcibly raped her” as King watched. At the same hotel the following evening, King and a dozen other individuals “participated in a sex orgy” including what one FBI official described as “acts of degeneracy and depravity . . . When one of the women shied away from engaging in an unnatural act, King and several of the men discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect. King told her that to perform such an act would ‘help your soul’.”
- Earlier this week, I referenced an article that discussed how "[k]indness to strangers is a powerful 'GO' signal to violent criminal actors." For some reason, this article seems to fit in: "Rep. Ilhan Omar: I Have ‘Perspective Of A Foreigner’ On Foreign Policy"--Weasel Zippers. Rather than being thankful for the country that took in her and her family, she fundamentally wants to change the country.
- Speaking of criminal actors: "Rapid DNA testing reveals a THIRD of migrants faked family relationship with children to claim asylum during ICE pilot of the procedure in Texas"--Daily Mail.
- Life in the gun free utopia that is the UK: "Crime Wave UK: Gang Members Awarded ‘Points’ for Stabbing Different Body Parts"--Breitbart.
Gang members in London and the wider country are taking part in a deadly game in which they receive varying points for stabbing or shooting victims in different parts of the body.
The system of point scoring sees 50 points given for an attack on the head or face, 30 points for the chest, 20 for the stomach, and so on. The gang members often brag about the points they have racked up in rap videos posted to YouTube and other social media.
- "The polar ice melt myth"--Watts Up With That. While the media screams "emergency" and "panic" over the shrinking ice coverage, in terms of the area covered by ice, the fact is that it is not the area coverage of sea ice that is critical, but the thickness of ice on Greenland and Antarctica. From the article:
The most important measure of ice is its thickness. The United States Geologic Survey estimates the total ice on Earth weighs 28 million Gigatons(a billion tons). Antarctica and Greenland combined represent 99% of all ice on Earth. The remaining one per cent is in glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice. Antarctica can exceed 3 miles in thickness and Greenland one mile. If they were to melt sea level would indeed rise over 200 feet, but not even the most radical alarmists suggest that possibility arising due to the use of fossil fuels. However the ice that flows off of the Antarctic and Greenland called shelf ice represents only half a percent of all the Earth’s ice and which if melted would raise sea level only 14 inches.
- Of course: "Federally Funded Study: Common Core Sunk U.S. Kids’ Test Scores"--The Federalist. The article reports that "[t]he study found not only lower student achievement since Common Core, but also performed data analysis suggesting students would have done better if Common Core had never existed. The achievement declines also grew worse over time...." I suspect that students would have done better had the Department of Education never existed.
- When Democrats are in control: "Homeless People In Fremont Found Living In Makeshift Tree Houses"--CBS San Francisco.
- Why student loans shouldn't be subsidized: "Debt-Laden Americans Flee Country To Escape Crushing Student Loans"--Zero Hedge.
- Oh no! The peasants are revolting! "Weeks-Old Brexit Party Wins in European Elections"--Town Hall. "Despite its infancy, the Brexit Party won 31.6 percent of the vote on Sunday. The Liberal Democrats came in second and Labour came in third, while the Conservative Party, the current one in government, came in an embarrassing fifth place." Unfortunately, these elections were for representatives in the EU parliament, which lacks any real power, and not UK national elections. However, it probably foreshadows how the national elections will go.
- Speaking of problems with the peasants, the new push from the elites is to eliminate the electoral college in the United States: "Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College"--USA Today. The author explains why the electoral college was designed to act as restraint on majority rule. Although most people probably don't realize us, we've already seen what would happen if the electoral college as abolished. At one time, most states mimicked the Federal system by having two houses in their legislature, with one house representing the popular vote, and another house composed of representatives of particular counties. Thus, in at least one house of a state legislature, each county would have the same representation regardless of population. In 1964, however, in a case called Reynolds v. Sims, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the practice of representation for individual counties, but instead required all legislative elections be based on districts of equal population. Since then, state politics have become dominated by the large urban centers. And that is exactly what will happen if the electoral college is abandoned.
- "The outbreak of the second Cold War"--Niall Ferguson at The Boston Globe. An excerpt:
Because the Internet and smartphones have enlarged, accelerated, and empowered social networks in the same way that the printing press did in the 16th and 17th centuries, today’s strategic rivalry is being played out in a near-borderless world, altogether different from the world of early John le Carré.
The 17th century had it all: climate change (the Little Ice Age that regularly froze the Thames), refugee crises (as Protestant zealots crossed the Atlantic), extreme views (as Catholics and Protestants sought to smear one another), and fake news (as witch-finders condemned hundreds of innocent women to death). But its most familiar feature to our eyes was the erosion of state sovereignty. The war of religion had no respect for borders: Jesuits infiltrated Protestant England just as Russian trolls now meddle in Western democracies.
The Thirty Years’ War was as much about power as it was about religion, however. Unlike the Cold War, which was waged by two superpowers, the Thirty Years’ War was a multiplayer game. The Holy Roman Emperor sought to reimpose Catholicism on Bohemia. Spain wanted to bring the rebellious Dutch back under Habsburg rule. Despite being Catholic, France sought to challenge the power of both Spain and Austria.
In the same way, today’s world is not bipolar. The United States may tell others to boycott Huawei, but not all Europeans will comply. China is the biggest economy in Asia, but it does not control India.
The Cold War created vast tank armies and nuclear arsenals, pointed at each other but never used. The Thirty Years’ War was quite different. It was a time of terrorism and gruesome violence, with no clear distinction between soldiers and civilians. (Think Syria.) Then, as now, the worst-affected areas suffered death and depopulation. There was no deterrence then, just as there is none now in cyberwarfare. Indeed, states tended to underestimate the costs of getting involved in the conflict. Both Britain and France did so — only to slide into civil war themselves.
The implications of this analogy are not cheering. The sole consolation I can offer is that, thanks to technology, most things nowadays happen roughly 10 times faster than they did 400 years ago. So we may be heading for a Three Years’ War rather than a Thirty Years’ War. Either way, we need to learn how to end such a war.
The 30-Years War was in no way a "cold war." It was a long bloody conflict the depopulated large portions of Germany. As the author suggests, but doesn't quite say, the only reason the "cold war" stayed "cold" rather than "hot" was because there was little interconnection between the Soviet bloc and the West. That is not the case between China and the United States.
- "U.S. Needs 'Fighter' Satellites And Supremacy In Space, Zubrin Argues"--Forbes. From the article:
Zubrin writes that in the twenty-first century, victory on land, sea, or in the air will go to the power that controls space. Knock out the enemy’s reconnaissance, communications, and navigational satellites and they are effectively blind, deaf, and without the ability to aim their weapons, he writes. For these reasons, Zubrin argues in his book that in any serious future conventional conflict, space power will prove decisive.
And although both Russia and China are now capable of taking out our low altitude reconnaissance satellites, they still can’t take out our GPS and communications satellites which fly at much higher altitudes writes Zubrin. But he notes that there’s every reason to believe these two potential adversaries are working to develop that capability.
What should the U.S. do to ensure its national security?
Zubrin writes that the U.S. needs fighter satellites that can not only knock out an adversary’s space assets but patrol as escorts for our own reconnaissance, GPS, and communication satellites. Ideally, he notes, such fighter Sats would be easily maneuverable and small and cheap to produce. He advocates arming them with weapons systems that allow them to either intercept an ASAT as it is approaching or destroy it at a distance.
- "We May Not Be Alone, Former Pentagon UFO Investigator Says"--Space.com. Luis Elizondo, formerly managed the Pentagon Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. While not conclusively saying that there is extra-terrestrial life, he related that the program had found "a lot" of strange aircraft "displaying characteristics that are not currently within the U.S. inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of." My suspicions are that all of this is coming out now as a warning to the Chinese.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "NASA selects three companies to send equipment to the moon starting in 2020 as it ramps up efforts for a crewed mission"--Daily Mail. The companies ar: Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines and Orbit Beyond.