Saturday, June 22, 2019

June 22, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

This video tests certain household appliances and furniture to determine if they can be used as cover (aka hard cover) or are only useful for concealment (aka soft cover). The items tested included a bookcase packed tight with full size books (not your standard paperback novel), a washing machine and dryer, and a sofa. Basically, the only thing that provided cover against bullets, up to and including 5.56 rifle bullets, was the tightly packed bookcase. And the worst for protection from bullets was the sofa which was no better than simply standing in the open.

  • First up, I want to thank Greg Ellifritz, who included my article on "when things go bump in the night" in his latest Weekend Knowledge Dump. He has much more than his normal number of links this weekend, and to lots of really great articles on exercise, ammunition, first-aid and medical care, firearms practice and training, escape and evasion, equipment reviews and more. These include a great article explaining the basics of night vision equipment, how to break into your car using a door wedge and a steel rod, and what police (and the well armed citizen) might want as to a duty knife. A couple points:
        As to the knife article, Ellifritz acknowledges that the advice in the article is mixed: some good, and some bad. For instance, Ellifritz contends that "[a] police defensive knife would ideally be a small. concealed fixed blade carried centerline and accessible to either hand." He provides some example knives that he uses. He also adds:
Don’t rely on a folder for weapon retention.  Although officers have used them in the past (the article lists one instance, I have records on about a dozen), deploying a folder under life-threatening attack is far from a sure thing.  The fixed blade is far more accessible.  If you are forced to carry a folder, make sure it can be opened with either hand.  And unlike the advice in the article, a liner lock is probably the worst choice.  Frame locks, back locks, compression locks, and Axis locks are all less likely to fail than a liner lock.
I personally like the liner lock, but I will admit that its robustness depends on the quality of the materials and manufacture, and how quickly you can deploy the blade. I had excellent service from a Benchmade AFCK knife which employed a liner lock. I had an instance where I needed to dig out a couple feet of soil on the shoulder of a road so I could past an obstruction with my car, and the only tool I had was the AFCK. Although the soil was sandy, it still was a lot of digging, cutting some sagebrush roots, and so on, and the knife remained solidly locked up the whole time. But I've had or handled other liner lock knives where the liner/spring material was so thin that I believe it would probably have buckled under force; and others where the liner/spring barely locked behind the blade--i.e., that the lock was so near the edge of the blade joint that I would have worried about the liner/spring slipping and allowing the blade to shut. Just something to check before you buy or daily carry your knife.
        Ellifritz also links to an article by Grant Cunningham entitled "There are no defensive shooting experts." It addresses a question or comment that I've heard before, namely, shouldn't someone teaching defensive shooting have at least some actual experience in shooting someone. It has come up in this blog when I've referenced advice from Mas Ayoob who, although one of the key figures in developing modern defensive shooting techniques and defensive skills for police officers, has not actually ever been involved in a shoot out. One comment I received likened it to learning to land an aircraft, asking, essentially, "wouldn't you rather learn to land a plane from someone who has done it before?" It is a good point--there is a big difference between actual experience and abstract knowledge.  On the other hand, Mas Ayoob, for instance, has spent a lifetime studying shooting incidents, interviewing both police officers and criminals, the investigative reports, and so on. Thus, he has a deep well of knowledge to draw upon rather than a single incident. And he is (or was) a police officer, so it is not like he has not dealt with violent criminals. 
         Cunningham, however, attacks the basic premise of such a question--that people that have been involved in shootings have sufficient experience directly applicable to civilian self-defense. He writes:
      Here’s the dirty little secret no one in this business will admit to: none of us have enough — in most cases any — shooting experience defending ourselves against a criminal attacker, sufficient to derive lessons worth teaching. 
         No one you’ll find — not on Facebook, not on YouTube, not on Instagram, not writing books or teaching classes — has a significant amount of experience using a gun to defend  themselves from violent criminals.
           Yes, you can find military vets who have shot at a lot of people, but that’s a lot different than suddenly being accosted in a parking lot while you’re trying to get your child into her car seat. You can also find police officers who have arrested a lot of people at gunpoint, but that’s different than being surprised by a home invasion. Competitive shooters put a lot of bullets downrange, but a lot of self defense is in knowing when not to shoot.
        But even as I write this, I can almost hear in my mind Gabe Suarez counterclaiming that he, at least, has been involved in multiple shootings.
                I think this parlays into the larger issue of determining whether the teacher and the information he presents is applicable to your situation. I've noted before that when I started carrying concealed and researching the subject, the majority of gun magazine articles on the subject were written by current or ex-law enforcement that based their advice on their experience working as a plains clothes officer. But the reality is that their mission was different from mine, and they certainly wouldn't suffer some negative consequence if their boss found that they were carrying a firearm at work--it was part of their job. Instead, I found the few articles written by people working deep cover or in executive security to more useful for my needs.
          • "Gear Review of the P-14 Gen II+ Night Vision Monocular"--Deft Systems. The product is the PRG (Potomac River Group) P-14. The author found that it was comparable to a PVS-14 during high illumination (e.g., using an I.R. illuminator  or in moonlight), but otherwise like a Gen II in darker settings.
          • "SCOTUS: Prosecutors Must Prove Prohibited Persons Knew They Couldn’t Have Guns"--The Truth About Guns. The case is Hamid Mohamed Ahmed Ali Rehaif v. United States. This seems like a straight forward matter to me: the court held that prosecutors must prove all the elements of the crime, and since the statute required that the defendant knowingly violated the elements, and one of the elements was illegal possession of a firearm, the government must show that the defendant knew he was not permitted to possess a firearm. While "ignorance of the law" is generally not a defense in criminal law, the courts have recognized an exception for tax laws, because of the complexity of the tax code. The complexity of immigration and firearms laws may have played a part in the outcome in this case as well.
          • "Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich"--The New Yorker. I don't remember if I've linked to this 2017 article before or not. In any event, it is comprised of snippets of interviews with some wealthy tech oligarchs that are seriously worried about civil unrest, and so have invested in various preps, including bolt-holes in relatively remote locations. Interestingly, though, at least one of the people interviewed didn't want to be too isolated, as he recognized the importance of having people on your side and, in any event, saw himself as a natural leader in a post-collapse world. Must of the article is second hand stories and anecdotes, however, suggesting that this prepper mentality is fairly widespread among the wealthy--at least the wealthy of Silicon Valley.
          • A couple additional resources to consider:
          • First: I fairly often reference the Suspicious Observers Youtube channel, or news that they cover, which primarily looks at solar weather, earth's magnetic field, earthquakes, and space news generally. I watched the channel for about a year before sharing it on these pages because I wanted to get an idea of whether it was reliable. However, the author and host of Suspicious Observers offers additional resources, and one which a reader reminds me of is Suspicious Observers' web-site on our ongoing Magnetic Reversal. It has its own articles on the subject of the strength of our magnetic field, magnetic reversals, why it is important, etc., while also linking to other outside articles. It also has links to related news items (generally new research) and videos.
          • Second: Although probably of more limited usefulness to someone who is not in the military, the army has a web-site for its PS Magazine, where you can read current and past articles on maintenance of equipment, acceptable modifications, tools, etc. It really emphasizes the complexity of the logistics tail for military units. You can also download an app for a smart phone or mobile device.
                   "As of 02-03-2017, there are 1,297,670 suppressors registered with ATF under the National Firearms Act," Justice Department spokesman Dillon McConnell told the Free Beacon.
                    That number is an increase of nearly 400,000 registered silencers since the same time last year, when ATF records indicated there were 902,805 silencers in the country.
                      The ATF confirmed that silencers are rarely used in crimes despite their explosion in popularity. The agency has only recommended prosecutions for 44 silencer-related crimes per year over the past decade. That means roughly .003 percent of silencers are used in crimes each year. Of those 44 crimes per year, only 6 involved defendants with prior felony convictions.
                        I’ve come around on the Remington R51. In my initial review in 2014 I wasn’t a fan, and the gun didn’t seem ready for prime time. Two years later, Remington had worked out the bugs earning the re-reviewed gun a four star rating.
                          I kept the handgun used in that review and have been shooting it ever since and I think I finally found the thing that takes this 9mm pistol from a four star gun to a five star gun, something that should have been a factory option: a threaded barrel.
                            When I spoke to Remington about their new R51 product lo those many years ago, one thing I repeatedly pointed out was that this would be an amazing suppressor host. The Pedersen-designed action means that the barrel is fixed in place. Instead of a Browning-style tilting barrel acting as a short stroke piston during the recoil cycle like pretty much everything else on the market in its class, the breech block itself performs that function. It’s pretty nifty.
                              The net result is that when you want to add a can to the gun you don’t need a Neilsen device (or “recoil booster”). Instead the can threads directly onto the barrel and remains fixed in place.
                                That means less muss and fuss transitioning between handguns and pistol caliber long guns for those who have threads on both. Less cleaning required between range trips. And lower chance of failure due to easier designed mechanisms. It’s a huge win all around.
                            Remington doesn't produce a threaded barrel, but DangerCo takes a standard Remington barrel, and then adds a threaded barrel extension. Although a bit hard to install (but the R51 is not an easy weapon to reassemble anyway), the author found it to be a very good with a silencer. He adds: "Something interesting to note about the Remington R51, and the AAC Ti-Rant 9mm can specifically, is that the sights just barely clear the top of the can."
                            • Why is this even a question? "Is The Revolver Viable for Self Defense?"--Revolver Guy. The author looks at the pros and cons of using a revolver for self-defense. One of the pros he lists is particularly relevant to preppers, though:
                              Revolvers don’t require magazines. A couple of advantages are inherent in that fact. First, it means you don’t have to purchase dozens of magazines. Magazines are expendable items – once they don’t work, they don’t work. Any prudent gun owner with a box-fed repeater should own at least a half a dozen if replacements are readily available, and more if not. This also means that if you don’t have magazines – because of loss, damage, unavailability or whatever other reason – a semi-auto is reduced to being a really fancy single-shot. This is one reason my “hell or high water” handgun is a revolver. There are no magazines to stock, carry, or maintain, and I don’t have to worry about losing them.
                                  As Chris Baker of the Lucky Gunner Lounge points out in this excellent article, a mid-sized revolver is well suited to casual gun owners who are primarily concerned with home defense and don’t train a lot. The logic: it is easy to ascertain whether a wheelgun is loaded or unloaded. The gun will survive years of neglect. There are no safety mechanisms to negotiate, no slide to pull back, no controls, buttons, or levers that seem complicated to the uninitiated.
                                  • "This is what REAL SHTF looks like in a Farm or Homestead"--Modern Survivalist. FerFal has noted in his book and many articles that SHTF can, in many ways, be worse for the person in a rural environment, and one of the reasons is crime. Because you are so isolated, there is little to no recourse to neighbors for assistance. Or, as one of my readers once put it, "in the country, no one can hear you scream." In this post, FerFal cites to an article from South Africa that, in summary, recounts: "South African farmer’s wife, 45, relives the horrific moment a gunman raped her in front of her children after shooting his way into their home, molesting her daughter and forcing her into sex by threatening to kill her son." This farm family has had enough--they are moving to Australia.
                                  • "Canned Bread"--Blue Collar Prepping. A review of the brown bread canned and sold under the brand name B&M (Burnham & Morrill). It is pricey for the amount you get. I tried some years ago, and seriously can't remember much about it other than I thought that the taste was something you would need to get used to. 
                                  • "You May Be Surprised What Survival Products Worked and What Didn’t"--Organic Prepper. The author, Daisy Luther, joined several other ladies on a prepping outing, and discusses a few products that worked well ... and other that didn't. Her biggest takeaway was that small, folding camp stoves weren't worth the effort to light and keep going. Rather, she believed that using an oval pot that can be perched on a couple of rocks over a small fire is more practical and useful. She also recommended against high lumen lights and headlamps, noting that "[o]ne of the students discovered her ultra-bright lights were far too visible in the dark and the headlamp was so bright it blinded her partner." She also recommended using cheap butane lighters for starting fires, a pair of lightweight gloves to protect your hands, and a small water filter (such as the Sawyer Mini) and small, lightweight, binoculars. 
                                  • "Hot Water Heater Temperature | What’s Right & Why"--The Modern Survival Blog. Typically, water heaters are set at 120 degrees to prevent injuries to people too stupid or ignorant to learn how to use both the hot and cold water knobs. However, as this article warns, "[t]emperatures maintained below 140°F (60°C ) encourage growth of  Legionella bacteria and other microorganisms!" We keep ours set closer to 160 degrees.
                                  • "NEOSTEAD 2000: THE SOUTH AFRICAN TRENCH SWEEPER SHOTGUN" This bullpup shotgun used two magazine tubes over a single barrel, and apparently was the inspiration for Kel-Tec's KSG. However, because the ATF ruled that it didn't have a sporting purpose, the Neostead was never imported into the USA. It was a pump-action, but you had to push the slide forward, and then pull back, to eject a round and chamber a new round--the opposite of other pump action shotguns. According to the article, "[t]he NeoStead has been in production in South Africa and has enjoyed steady adoption by special operations units around the world," and been exported to Europe and South America. The article also noted:
                                    Security forces quickly found that the most useful combat shotguns were the most compact ones available with as large a magazine as possible. It was with these parameters that a pair of engineers began to design a revolutionary new shotgun.
                                      And from an article I found about the KSG:
                                        Kel-Tec founder and chief engineer George Kellgren originally conceived the KSG to overcome some of the drawbacks of the South African Neostead 2000 pump-action shotgun concept – a firearm conceived for special operations and riot control, very similar in design but also much heavier and complex.
                                          On the other hand, Gabe Suarez hates the KSG, and not just because of the teething issues that Kel-Tec had with it when it first came out. He also doesn't believe shotguns need to compete with rifles as to magazine capacity, or even the ability to use detachable box magazines. From his article, "RELOADING THE SHOTGUN IN A GUNFIGHT":
                                            ... [S]hotguns are faster, and create greater tissue destruction than pistols or rifles.  Doing anything to reduce those advantages is ill-advised.  One of those mistakes is making the weapon overweight by adding excessive ammunition onto the weapon itself.  For reference, the highest round count I ever fired in a gunfight. when armed with a shotgun, was a whopping three rounds.  I am aware of one man who fired six before the event was concluded. So it is not a matter of ammunition capacity, but of deployment speed.
                                                       That is not to say we do not want extra ammunition on hand, but it is a simple matter to select a carry method that keeps the light and fast doctrine in mind.  For the professional proactive use, or even the "grab and go" scenario in the middle of the night, having a small bag slung over the muzzle of the weapon is very easy to set up.  When the shotgun is grabbed, the bag is right there, ready to be slipped over the shoulder.  And while some might laugh at the idea, a bandoleer of buck shot can be slung over the shoulder as well and be quite fast, not to mention voluminous, in the supply of ammo.
                                                        As well, the present system of loading during the fight is time proven, battle proven and serves better than any other system, including the magazine fed concept most recently reintroduced by Remington and Mossberg.  That system is to load single rounds into the tube at every opportunity during the fight.  The old school, "Shoot One Load One".  And that done with the muzzle pointed toward the danger area and the eyes downrange (not on the enlarged loading port).
                                                    To play devil's advocate for a moment, many of the same arguments could be used in favor of the lever-action rifle over a more modern rifle. It, too, can be used in a "shoot one, load one" fashion, or, if it runs dry, loaded singly by dumping a new round directly into the chamber and closing the bolt. Yet we don't have anyone saying that a lever-action rifle is better for fighting than a rifle using higher capacity, detachable magazines. 
                                                           In a close quarters situation, you can’t always be as accurate as you’d like.
                                                             Especially with adrenaline coarsing though your veings.
                                                               With a shotgun, you don’t have to be.
                                                                 Anywhere in the general vicinity is enough to deter and debilitate an intruder. So a shotgun should probably be the first addition to that gun safe.
                                                              "Anywhere in the general vicinity" only applies to horseshoes and hand grenades. You still need to aim, or at least accurately point, a shotgun.
                                                                The idea behind the approach shooting is that if you move your weapon and reticle, the wobble will disappear. When in motion, the weapon is steadier at any particular moment than when you try to hold it still. So by approaching with your reticle to the target from bottom or sides and breaking the shot when your crosshairs intersect with the target, you may get better results. 
                                                                  There is a video produced by Savage Arms at the link that explains and demonstrates this technique.
                                                                  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith: "Why You Should Take Tactical Team Training With Your Spouse"--NRA Family. The idea is that you and your armed spouse can be more effective working as a team to counter a threat. On one level, this makes a lot of sense. But it also runs against the grain of the natural instinct of a man to protect his wife. 
                                                                  • "COMBATIVES IN THE ERA OF THE CHUCK NORRIS RULE"--American Partisan. The article begins by noting the increased boldness of criminals, including attacks on police, concurrent with harsher penalties and treatment being meted out to both those civilians and police officers that use deadly force to protect themselves. We live in an era where there are many "that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20). Or as this author describes it:
                                                                    We are entering an agonistic age where the old rules are being thrown-out in favor of none.  We must be smarter about how we handle situations and not expect fair treatment by the government and media when we defend ourselves.  Become a harder, smarter target and criminals will pass you in favor of the liberal down the street, which is what the liberal voted for after all.
                                                                      The author raises two primary points in regard to becoming a harder, smarter target. First is to be situationally aware as well as cognizant of pre-attack behaviors.
                                                                        Second, use combatives to deal with close-quarters situations you can’t avoid such an ambush.  Criminals attack you in places where you’re distracted: in your doorway or at your car door or at an ATM or when dealing with kids in the supermarket parking lot.  In these situations, it often doesn’t matter what you’re armed with because they have the drop on you and you have to grapple.  Using the wrong techniques in these situations can get you killed, even if you have a gun.  There are many bullshido artists out there selling expensive techniques and systems that don’t work in the real world, even among the ‘reality-based self-defense’ community.  Buyer beware.  The sources of good advice are few.  James LaFond has written several books on the topic of learning combatives cheaply, but start by getting instruction in grappling or boxing – whichever is available nearby – before moving onto knives and extension weapons.  Finally, gain strength and muscle which are of enormous value in any physical encounter.

                                                                        • "PAIN!"--Straight Forward In A Crooked World. The lede to this article is an account from a car thief who made the mistake of assuming his large handgun would be enough to get people to hand over their cars. He pulled his gun on a guy that, from the robber's perspective, unexpectedly pulled a .22 Derringer and shot the criminal through the throat. The criminal then recounted:
                                                                        So I hear this 'pop' and, next thing I know I feel like I'm gonna throw up or something. I can't talk right and I spat blood all over the place. I didn't know what happened. I'm looking around, but I see blood all over me, and I can't breathe. I'm trying to get out the passenger side of the car, but it's not my car and it was like being in a nightmare. I couldn't find the door handle, and all I know is everything is going bad. I'm thinking 'I don't want to go to jail! I don't want to die!' I get the car door open and fall out on the ground and stumble all over. I'm spitting blood. I'm scared out of my mind. I can't see anything. 
                                                                        The author notes our obsession in the defensive shooting world over matters such as penetration or expansion, and adds:
                                                                              Yet, in my opinion, one largely overlooked category amongst the Defensive Firearm culture is pain.
                                                                                 Specifically pain that is inflicted on the Bad-Guy-in-Question when shot by the armed citizen in a defensive circumstance. We talk at length about "shooting to eliminate the threat," whether that means that the wounds themselves lead to a fatal injury, or if the realization that the assault initiated by the B-G-I-Q is now lost, seems to be ethereal in discussion. Or at least prohibited as a topic in polite company. 
                                                                                  Though I suspect that a large reason pain is ignored from the discussion of fight stoppage largely has to do with a lack of experience on part of the average defensive shooter. Paper and people of course not being equals, with paper being utilized as a measurement tool regarding accuracy potentials without providing any inclination towards perceived slights, let alone felt pain.
                                                                                   We simply cannot dismiss pain nor the problems it creates for an attacker. Pain affects the mind’s ability to function in a clear and efficient manner. Pain causes fight, flight, or freeze to be re-assessed. Pain means a decision has to be either re-affirmed or abandoned. All of this, while there is the separate dilemma of what to do about the sudden difficulty in breathing, the increasing loss of motor function from one (or more) appendages, the sense of confusion, and the already present tunnel vision that is seemingly increasing. The deer, the elk, the bear, the man, they all feel pain. But the man understands the pain and the causation of it. There is also a severe effect on the human attacker's psychology of “I’ve been shot.” Compound this with the dilemma of the attacker now has to "flee" in order to avoid suffering any further damage.
                                                                                       We should never underestimate an attacker. Ever. A fight for your life is that. A-fight-for-your-life. 
                                                                                       However, it should be that. 
                                                                                         A fight. 
                                                                                           Your attacker should have no misgivings once the dance has started. His life is in just as much jeopardy as yours and, if applied with enough intent from you, his being more so.There are no damage proof super-villains in the world. The PCP laden attacker that soaks up cylinder after cylinder of 357 Magnum is the stuff myths are made of.
                                                                                               Unfortunately, statistics and theories have come to over-ride the discussions to the point of becoming gospel instead of what happens in the reality. Disregarding the physical and mental impact of how one or, if properly applied, multiple gunshot wounds affect the outcome of a gunfight is a mistake. There is only one guarantee in a gunfight and, that is violence of action will occur, but continual application of a proper mind set, training and practice will do much to win the day.

                                                                                             A source with knowledge of the events has made it clear to The War Zone that presence of the mysterious objects in the restricted training airspace off America's east coast was so pervasive that it was largely common knowledge among local flying units. They noted that the majority of the Super Hornet squadrons equipped with AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars—you can read all about this technology and how it was key in detecting these objects in our exclusive piece on the subject—at the time were having the same experiences, as well as the crews flying the new E-2D Hawkeye with its incredibly powerful AN/APY-9 radar suite. It literally became such a common and near everyday occurrence that Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers from the base would talk about it informally with regularity. 
                                                                                                But that doesn't mean formal action wasn't taken. Beyond filing an official safety report after one of the jets almost hit one of the unidentified objects—described eerily as a translucent sphere with a cube structure suspended inside of it—Notices To Airman (NOTAMs) were posted regarding the dangers potentially posed by unknown aerial vehicles flying in the same military operating areas that aircraft from NAS Oceana frequented for training. This action was taken by the base's command leadership as they couldn't figure out how else to address the bizarre issue and its perceived threat to their aircrews' safety.
                                                                                            My theory is that this is all coming to a head now as a warning to China.
                                                                                                    After years of drought, no one in Rio Grande County, Colorado, can remember the last time their namesake river was closed to the public because it was running too high.
                                                                                                      But after the deepest snowpack in over two decades, topped off by a “bomb cyclone” spring storm in the Rockies, the raging, snowmelt-fed river has been shut to recreation in two Colorado counties.
                                                                                                • Liberals upset that people exercise their Second Amendment rights: "Gabby Giffords Calls On Senate To Pass Universal Gun Background Checks"--by Sanjana Karanth at the Huffington Post. The article reports: "The Arizona Democrat is set to send a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling on him to bring gun legislation to a vote and detailing the consequences of persistent gun violence in the U.S., particularly since the House passed a universal background checks bill earlier this year." And, if you don't believe that Leftists lie when it comes to gun control issues, take a look at this excerpt from the article:
                                                                                                  Currently, only licensed firearm dealers are required to perform background checks, while unlicensed dealers, like those at gun shows or online, can sell firearms without going through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
                                                                                                    Dealing in firearms without a license is illegal; and the dealers at gun shows have to do background checks just like everyone else. As for online dealers, they can only ship to licensed FFLs, who then perform the check. 
                                                                                                      The WAPO documentary opens by indicating their have been over 150 mass shootings in America since 1966 and “all but three were committed by men.” They add, “And more broadly, the majority of gun violence in America is perpetrated by men.”
                                                                                                        You have to be careful here, because "gun violence" means something different to a liberal than a normal person. To a liberal, the term includes suicides and accidents. But suicides and accidents excluded, the majority of gun violence is committed by black and Hispanics. Why doesn't the WaPo want to discuss that?
                                                                                                        • "What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane"--The Atlantic. Probably one of the most detailed accounts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, its disappearance, and the search for it. It is a lengthy read, but very interesting. While there is a lot of facts that are unknown, it is clear from the data we do have, that diversion of the aircraft and its ultimate crash into the Indian Ocean were intentional. Most likely the senior pilot locked the co-pilot out of the cockpit, depressurized the plane and took it to 40,000 feet in order to kill everyone, then returned to normal cruising altitude as he flew the plane out over the Indian Ocean, before diving into the Ocean at the end. The real mystery and scandal is why the Malaysian military refused to release its radar tracking information of the aircraft, allowing searching vessels and aircraft to waste time searching the South China Sea in the first days after the crash, instead of searching to the southwest in the Indian Ocean.
                                                                                                                 Interestingly, the article relates that the emergency air masks would have been of little use:
                                                                                                            In the cabin, the effect would have gone unnoticed but for the sudden appearance of the drop-down oxygen masks and perhaps the cabin crew’s use of the few portable units of similar design. None of those cabin masks was intended for more than about 15 minutes of use during emergency descents to altitudes below 13,000 feet; they would have been of no value at all cruising at 40,000 feet. The cabin occupants would have become incapacitated within a couple of minutes, lost consciousness, and gently died without any choking or gasping for air. 
                                                                                                              Apparently only the pilots have access to more reliable oxygen supplies.
                                                                                                                      “[A] major concern is that many states, including New York, use their DMVs to enroll voters. Since New York does not have voter-identification laws like the majority of other states do, this bill increases the potential for voter fraud,” state Sen. Republican ­Minority Leader John Flanagan (R–Suffolk) said Tuesday.
                                                                                                                       “This means that New York will soon have the most radical, open-ended law in the entire nation.”
                                                                                                                         The Green Light Bill, which passed the Senate 33-29 Monday and was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, allows illegal immigrants to obtain “standard” state driver’s licenses that can be used for identification and to board domestic flights.
                                                                                                                           But it is also the sole document required to register to vote, according to officials.
                                                                                                                        There ought to be a way to attack this under Constitutional grounds or federal voting rights laws as state action that could lead to the disenfranchisement of legitimate voters.
                                                                                                                        • Blood is thicker than water: "The Globalist Clannishness of Indian Diamond Merchants"--The Unz Review. Jewish families have long dominated the diamond markets because of their clannishness, refusing to hire outsiders and discouraging marriage with outsiders. But, because of falling birthrates, there aren't simply enough relatives to go around. Thus, the diamond markets, especially in Antwerp, Belgium, are increasingly dominated by certain Indian families for the same reasons. Key takeaway, from a question about whether the Indian merchants tried to assimilate to Belgium culture:
                                                                                                                          “Most of us still live like expats,” he’d said. “We have one foot here, but another foot in India. Belgium is for business only. It’s not our home.” 
                                                                                                                          Rhode Island Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo


                                                                                                                          1. Great set of links!

                                                                                                                            I'll just note: "Dry West Is Now Permanent Due to Global Warming" was replaced in one year by "Wet West Is Due to Global Warming."


                                                                                                                            1. Global warming can do anything if you believe hard enough.

                                                                                                                          2. Regarding the article by Grant Cunningham titled "There are no defensive shooting experts"...this has long been my position on the topic. IIRC it was I who posted the comment about Mas Ayoob having never been in a gunfight. That said, I take an even more radical or extreme position regarding those qualified to train. Save for grant Cunningham himself, or maybe Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch...I cannot think of anyone today who is truly qualified to teach ordinary Citizens defensive firearms tactics. Certainly NOT Gabe Suarez...who I have heard has been involved in multiple criminal incidents..including one conviction...and certainly not self-professed "experts" like James Yeager. IMHO simply being in the military or having worked in law enforcement does not qualify one to teach deadly use of force to a Citizen. IMHO, except for firearms proficiency and shooting skills...there is simply no way to train a person for a violent, sudden and unexpected attack. Like snowflakes, every single defensive incident is time and the individuals involved...and a number of other conditions and circumstances. There is no fixed way to train for any of these, and in fact, excessive training and programmed behavior can work against a person. The famous martial artist Bruce Lee was among the first to recognize this and to promote non-fixed, non-patterned tactics. Looking at videos of these so-called trainers conducting classes, one can see rigid robotic movements all conducted in the shadow of a shot timer. This, folks, is why I am content to rely on my instinct and why I will never stoop so low as to take a course from someone who may be less skilled than myself.

                                                                                                                            1. First, I apologize if I misinterpreted your earlier analogy between teaching self-defense with firearms, and learning to land an airplane, and appreciate you embellishing on your thoughts here.

                                                                                                                              Your comment about "excessive training and programmed behavior can work against a person," and "Looking at videos of these so-called trainers conducting classes, one can see rigid robotic movements all conducted in the shadow of a shot timer," really strikes a note. After watching too many videos, I've seen a lot of people training that seem to only practice drawing and shooting, as default. It was my impression, for instance, on the video of the older Florida gentleman that was shoved to the ground, and who drew and shot his attacker as the attacker started to back away, that the victim was acting through a program. (See, for the news article on the incident). It also pops up with the people that shoot, holster, and then look around. They do the actions oftentimes without actually seeing, but that is a slightly different subject.

                                                                                                                              The time I was the closest to using a firearm in a self-defense situation, I never even drew the weapon. I had my hand on it, and the guy I was worried about saw that I had my hand on it. He became very friendly and apologetic and left in a hurry. But I had also surprised the guy in my car (well, actually a mini-van), and jerked the door open with one hand, surprising him, with the other hand on the butt of my revolver. As you noted, each situation is unique, and I'll probably never have another situation like that. It seems that one of the advantages that a police officers, or soldiers/marines, have is that they probably will face many experiences that are similar enough that you can train them in a template that is easily applied; e.g., approaching a car that has been pulled over. It seems to me that the real benefit that the police and/or military receive is being trained to be aggressive (although it can also lead to cockiness); to act, rather than be acted upon.


                                                                                                                          What Will The World Look Like In 2040? Part 1--Demographics

                                                                                                                          A recent Bombs & Bants Podcast revolved around the subject of what the world would look like in 2040 . And while John Wilder, his wife a...