Friday, August 30, 2019

August 30, 2019 -- A Quick Run Around the Web


"Stun Gun Test with Untrained Female | Sabre vs. Vipertek Stun Gun/Flashlight Review"--Hard2Hurt (11 min.). The basic setup here is that the narrator attacks a woman armed with a stun gun to see how effective it can be in fights. They tried it both with her starting with the stun gun in her purse and in her hand. The takeaway is that the woman was better off just using her fighting skills than trying to bring the stun gun into play.

  • TGIF: "Weekend Knowledge Dump- August 30, 2019"--Active Response Training. Lots of good stuff, so check it out.
  • Nice to know: "More Guns, Less Crime: Concealed-carry Permit Holders More Law-abiding Than Police"--New American
  • For you firearms history buffs: "Remington Model 7188"--Loose Rounds. A full auto version of the Remington 1100 built for SEALs in Vietnam. And the perennial problem with a shotgun in combat: "Like most people, it didn’t take long for the end users to stop being impressed with the amount of lead that could be slung compared to the amount of time it took to reload the shotgun once fired empty." 
  • "Starting From Scratch: A Budget Load Out"--The New Rifleman. As the author notes, we are constantly bombarded with advertising and review articles/videos showing the latest and greatest equipment ... which also happens to also be expensive. So the author is starting a series on more economical load outs for people on actual budgets. And his recommendation, after getting a rifle, as the most basic load out is the MOLLE II Bandoleer 6 magazine ammo pouch or similar which can be found for under $10. I started out with something similar. One thing to keep in mind (and the author notes this as well) is that these older mag pouches will not work with PMag magazines because they are thicker. So if you go this route, you should use metal mags, such as the standard GI, or, as I did, a quality aftermarket version. I decided to go with the C-Products stainless steel magazines. In any event, the author continues:
I chose to outfit this bandoleer with four magazines and a basic first aid kit. With this setup, you will have 150 rounds on tap (assuming loaded rifle) with a TQ for any limb injuries that could occur. The kit is basic, but by simply bringing this to the range with you, you are likely more prepared than 99% of gun owners. That’s kinda sad, but it’s reality.
Dry fire training can help you learn your gun’s operation, understand your trigger pull, learn your sights, and even help eliminate your flinch reaction–a pretty good deal for just a few minutes of training a day and no ammo expenses.
The bulk of the article deals with safety issues, specific exercises or drills, and the best time to dry fire (right after a session of live fire practice). While most firearms can be safely used for dry fire practice, the authors note (as you probably already know) that most rim-fire weapons should not be dry-fired, and:
    Other firearms that may not be safe to dry fire include older guns, such as revolvers without a transfer bar or some older semi-automatics. Without a primer or a transfer bar in place, the firing pin can over travel and strike the sides of the firing pin channel.
      Of course, even with such firearms, you can use snap caps. The author finishes up the article with a look at some dry-fire accessories out there.
      •  Mason Dixon Tactical has a few articles on SHTF firearms:
      • "Firearms For Freedom And Forage-Part 1, Long Guns For Defense." The author seems to prefer the .308 to 5.56, with his favorite being an M1A SOCOM. Just keep in mind that if you are using full metal jacket rounds, the 5.56 will be more effective than the 7.62/.308 within 150 yards because of its greater propensity to yaw or fragment with it strikes a target. But, since you are not military, you are not limited to FMJ....  The author also notes one of the downsides to the AR platform:
               From a maintenance perspective, the AR platform is in “Armorer Speak” a “Depot Whore”. By this I mean it is very high on the preventative maintenance needs/parts replacement scale. As long as you replace certain parts regularly, you should have no issues with it’s reliability. Lacking those extra parts for the regular PMCS needed, will give you a rifle that could fail you at any moment in TEOTWAWKISTAN.
               I definitely will recommend the AR to individuals and groups. That being said, it’s always with the caveat that you better have someone who knows how to work on the weapon (in perspective, it is a pretty easy system to work on) and have a ton of extra parts for the long term. BTW, I will not recommend the AR-10 systems to anyone, considering the number of military Armorers and “End Users” I’ve spoken with, concerning the AR-10/M110’s lack of reliability in the field. Also, given the lack of standardized design across the civilian industry in the AR-10 type rifle designs, it takes away from the reason many want an AR type rifle to begin with, which is “Commonality”.
          Most people who’ve read my posts know I’m a .45ACP fan for a Survivalist’s defensive pistols. My reasoning is simple. The .45ACP cartridge is the best auto pistol round made if you are forced to use the least effective bullet design, which is the the round nose lead or jacketed bullet. Without expansion, it is already almost half an inch in diameter.
          He continues by discussing specific handguns that he likes.
          • "Shot in the Back! How does it happen?"--Active Response Training. The author notes certain factors that could lead to a perpetrator being shot in the back: a second officer coming to the assistance of an officer grappling with the perp; or a pursuing officer shooting to stop an armed and dangerous criminal. But there are some physiological and perceptive reasons as well: (i) moving targets (e.g., a criminal turning to shoot at an officer in pursuit); (ii) reaction time; and (iii) suspect movements. 
                 I mentioned the issue of reaction time a bit with Michael Drejka and why he might have fired at his attacker even though his attacker had started to step away from him. Ellifritz explains this important issue:
                   It takes time for the brain to process information and make a decision.  The more complex the situation, the longer it takes to make the decision.  Here are some statistics:
              – On average it takes .25 seconds to react to a threat cue and begin to act.
                – If that reaction to a threat cue involves a decision (i.e. “Is the thing in his hand a gun or a cell phone?”) the reaction time time is increased to an average of .56 seconds.
                  – The average officer takes  .35 seconds to process the fact that a threat no longer exists and to stop shooting.
                    – The average officer fires one bullet every .25 seconds after he begins to fire
                             Do you see the problem?  Let’s say the bad guy is facing the officer and begins shooting.  The officer starts shooting back and hits the bad guy.  Bad guy drops the gun and spins away as the bullets hit him.  It takes the officer .35 seconds to recognize that the bad guy is no longer a threat.  He is firing a bullet every .25 seconds.  That means the officer will generally fire one to two rounds AFTER making the decision to stop shooting.   It’s very easy for those bullets to end up in the criminal’s back.
                             This is the BEST possible case scenario.  Other factors can slow reaction time even more. ...
                          Similar delays can result if the suspect moves. For instance, he might fire and turn to run, before your brain has processed the information and you have already begun to fire. Read the whole thing.
                                   What is the number one thing that comes up in all survival fiction? What are the characters always searching for, working on or struggling with when it comes to SHTF entertainment? 
                                   It’s food. It’s always food. 
                              • Current events: "Florida Residents Stocking Up On Supplies Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian’s Arrival"--CBS Miami. The article links to other resources for hurricane preparedness, including the stations own preparedness guide (PDF) with tips, emergency numbers, and sources of information for southern Florida.
                              • "Vanilla is so Expensive – Make your Own!"--Apartment Prepper. Vanilla extract is expensive, but surprisingly, vanilla beans can be fairly reasonably priced. And making vanilla is easy: essentially you just put the vanilla bean in alcohol and allow it to steep for a period of time (generally the longer, the better, but it probably will take at least a few weeks--you can tell by the color of the tincture). The author if this article recommends using vodka, but "choose a decent brand; not the most expensive, but not the cheap stuff either." My wife and I have made our own vanilla extract for years. Although we started out using vodka, we switched to using Everclear grain alcohol, and specifically the 151 or 190 proof. We found that the higher alcohol content extracted the vanilla more quickly than vodka, and, being a straight grain alcohol, there was better flavor. Note that Everclear is not legal to purchase in several states, and the proof may vary based on state law. For instance, we cannot find it where we live in Idaho, and have discovered that the proof offered in Nevada is different from Oregon.
                              • "OPED: Ham radios as emergency backup communications in Rio Blanco County"--Herald Times. An interesting discussion of one man's work at expanding HAM in the area he lives, including setting up a repeater. As for testing for your first license, he writes:
                                So what does it take to become an amateur radio operator? The licensing process has been established by the FCC however, the testing process is managed by fellow hams who volunteer to be test proctors through an organization called the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL). The multiple-choice test is not difficult and with a little study, pretty much anyone can pass it. Contrary to popular belief, there is no longer a requirement to learn Morse Code for the test. It’s just a written test now. As mentioned above, the technician class license is all that is required to use the 2-meter band. One test and you’re good for 10 years. 
                                • "33 Prepper Uses for Aluminum Foil"--Urban Survival Site. A few of the ideas are a little silly, but most are useful. At the minimum, it is a good exercise for figuring out other uses for items that you might have in your cupboards or drawers.
                                • "The Survival e-Reader"--Blue Collar Prepping. The biggest advantage to using an e-reader is that you can store an incredible number of books in a small volume. The author has some suggestions as to readers and some accessories.
                                • "Prepping Around the World (How and Why Countries Are Prepping)"--The Survivalist Blog. I have frequently come across articles or comments from "preppers" in other countries that really don't like visiting prepper blogs in the United States because, they believe, we place too much emphasis on firearms. Well, that's because (a) we are generally free to purchase firearms, (b) they are a lot of fun, and (c) armed conflict seems more likely when you live in a society as diverse as in America. In any event, this is an interesting article providing a quick look at prepping trends in different countries around the world.
                                • "Are We Rome?" by Lawrence W. Reed. Free PDF download at the link, plus links to various articles and videos.
                                • "American Civil War: Four Fates, From Freedom to Soviet Tyranny"--Wilder Wealthy and Wise. Wilder continues his series on Civil War 2, moving from possible causes of conflict, to possible outcomes. He begins by noting where we are, which is not a very good place: the left has co-opted nearly every organization of importance in the United States.
                                         In almost any context, these organizations reflect the values of the Left, not of the Right.  I specifically don’t use the label conservative here – the conservative movement has utterly failed in the United States (to quote absolutely everyone) to conserve anything.  We live a country where adults telling four year old boys that being a girl is okie-dokie (and vice-versa) aren’t thrown directly in prison for a decade or more (after a trial, of course) for child abuse.  The goals of the above organizations would be cause for mass revolt if they had been publicized in 1990, but now, despite no vote, no public acceptance, each point of the Left has been accepted as the new normal.
                                         And telling a boy that he’s a girl?  Oh, wait, that’s brave.  Sorry.
                                           Despite all of that, this is not a post about giving up.  Screw that.  Each day makes me more independent, not less, more wanting to tell the truth.
                                             And if you’re reading this, no one is done here.  Freedom is always the underdog.  I really wish we’d just stop waiting until 2:00 in the fourth quarter to start playing.
                                          Unfortunately, to restore the United States that true conservatives would like would require "the bloodiest war in the history of the country." Other options might be returning to a true federation of independent states, instead of the centralized government we now have. About as likely as winning the lottery in my opinion. A third option is secession. However, this didn't work out very well the first time it was tried. My own opinion is that this will only come at the cost of a war and/or economic collapse (e.g., the Soviet Union). The final outcome that the author sees is to go the way we are going, and eventually see new populations force old populations into gulags, reservations, or forced labor camps, or whatever you want to call it.

                                            A look at the 1692 earthquake that destroyed Port Royal, Jamaica. A good example of why you don't want to build your house (or bordello for that matter) on sand. And, of course, pirates, because every story is better with pirates.
                                                    Marco Valerio Verni has threatened to display blown-up images of the victim, which left her unrecognizable, “To remind those in power of the catastrophic effects of illegal immigration.”
                                                      The original hearing into Mastropietro’s murder was held behind closed doors because of the extremely gruesome nature of the photos, but now Verni is vowing to go public with the images if Italy’s new government once again approves the arrival of migrant boats arriving at Italian ports.
                                                       “Every day we are bombarded with tearful images of barges loaded with migrants that the Left would like to receive without worrying about the consequences. The same Left that remained silent when Pamela was raped and murdered with unspeakable ferocity,” said Verni.
                                                  DARPA tweeted on Wednesday that within the next 48 hours it must find a “human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks with complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells. Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest.”
                                                         For years, New York City has essentially maintained two parallel public school systems.
                                                          A group of selective schools and programs geared to students labeled gifted and talented is filled mostly with white and Asian children. The rest of the system is open to all students and is predominantly black and Hispanic.
                                                           Now, a high-level panel appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio is recommending that the city do away with most of these selective programs in an effort to desegregate the system, which has 1.1 million students and is by far the largest in the country.
                                                      Actually, there are three levels: the gifted and talented programs (which are optional for the school district), regular classes, and the special education programs (which are mandatory). 
                                                            A Cameroonian migrant, Esteban Azu, 37, said he paid human smugglers $8,000 to get him into the U.S. He said his journey took him from his home country to Turkey, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and finally to Mexico, Animal Politico reported.
                                                              “I arrived in Tapachula a month ago. I left Cameroon and went directly to Ecuador. From there to Colombia. I climbed mountains, walked through the jungle, to find this shit,” Azu expressed. “This shit! They don’t feed me. They don’t give me anything. I am very angry with the government of Mexico. This is not normal. This is bullshit. We need a solution. We just want to get out of here.”
                                                          Just imagine if he had taken that money and used it to start his own business in Cameroon.
                                                          • Related: Building the wall: "CBP Unveils 60 More Miles of Trump's Border Wall"--Neon Nettle. And more is or will soon be under construction: "The agency says it's aiming to complete at least 450 miles of the new border wall by the end of 2020 and has projects underway in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico."
                                                            Armed smugglers allegedly associated with the Gulf Cartel were responsible for the onslaught of automatic fire that endangered the lives a Border Patrol Marine Unit in early August, as it policed the banks for drug smugglers and human traffickers along the Rio Grande Valley River, in Texas.
                                                            • And more war by other means: "China’s Spies Are on the Offensive"--The Atlantic. The article begins by noting three recent cases of CIA and DIA officers (or former officers) that were successfully recruited by Chinese intelligence. It continues:
                                                              These recent cases provide just a small glimpse of the growing intelligence war that is playing out in the shadows of the U.S.-China struggle for global dominance, and of the aggressiveness and skillfulness with which China is waging it. As China advances economically and technologically, its spy services are keeping pace: Their intelligence officers are more sophisticated, the tools at their disposal are more powerful, and they are engaged in what appears to be an intensifying array of espionage operations that have their American counterparts on the defensive. China’s efforts aimed at former U.S. intelligence officers are just one part of a Chinese campaign that U.S. officials say also includes cyberattacks against U.S. government databases and companies, stealing trade secrets from the private sector, using venture-capital investment to acquire sensitive technology, and targeting universities and research institutions.
                                                                Some more:
                                                                        U.S. political and business leaders for decades pushed the idea that embracing trade with China would help to normalize its behavior, but Beijing’s aggressive espionage efforts have fueled an emerging bipartisan consensus in Washington that the hope was misplaced. Since 2017, the DOJ has brought at least a dozen cases against alleged agents and spies for conducting cyber- and economic espionage on behalf of China. “The hope was, as they develop, as they become more wealthy, as they start being a part of the club of developed nations, they’re going to change their behavior—once they get closer to the top, they’re going to operate by our rules,” John Demers told me. “What we’ve seen instead is [China] becoming better resourced and more methodical about the theft of information.”
                                                                          For the past 20 years, America’s intelligence community’s top priority has been counterterrorism. A generation of operations officers and analysts has been geared more toward finding and killing America’s enemies and preventing extremist attacks than toward the more patient and strategic work that comes with peer competition and counterintelligence. If America is indeed entering an era of “great power” conflict with China, then the crux of the struggle will likely take place not on a battlefield, but in the race for information, at least for now. And here China is using an age-old human frailty to gain advantage in the competition with its more powerful adversary: greed. U.S. officials have been warning companies and research institutions not just of the strings that might be attached to Chinese money, but of the danger of corrupted employees turned spies. They are also worried about current and former U.S. officials who have been entrusted with protecting the nation’s secrets.
                                                                      It's worth reading the whole thing. My opinion is that government and business leaders knew the risk and either didn't care, because China offered such a huge potential market, or were paid for their cooperation. We know that the Bush family has had close ties with China, as have the Clintons. And former Vice-President Biden's family members had very lucrative business deals with Chinese entities. It's one of the reasons the media wants to focus on Russia. Distract with one hand, while the other hides the ball.
                                                                               China seems to be playing hardball, trying to wait out the Trump administration in the hopes that a new administration will return to complacency toward China’s rampant trade abuses.  But that’s a long time to endure the pain that Trump’s tariffs are already inflicting on the Chinese economy.
                                                                                For example, the president’s recent delay gives American companies that are in the process of transitioning their manufacturing out of China more time to complete that transition. Big tech companies are already taking their manufacturing out of China.  Retailers are pulling out as well. 
                                                                                  According to the Nikkei Asian Review and The Wall Street Journal, Apple is considering moving 15% to 30% of its  production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as part of “a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain.”  When announcing the recent tariff delay, the president noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook made a “very compelling argument” for delaying the tariffs as they would aid Apple competitors such as Samsung, which manufactures its products in South Korea.  
                                                                                    Once supply chains move out of China, it will be difficult to get them back.  Moving production out of a country can be expensive and time consuming -- as can moving it back. 
                                                                                      This flight out of China presents a severe long-term challenge for its totalitarian government, which relies on rapid economic growth and rising living standards to provide some legitimacy for its dictatorial rule.  But, as the Chinese Communist Party has increasingly scaled back the free market reforms that got its economy going in the first place, it has been forced to prop up its economy with its escalating “techno-nationalism” and outright theft of technology from American companies.
                                                                                        Now, the party is scrambling just to keep the economy from further contracting in the face of tariffs in their largest export market, the United States -- and the longer-term impact of companies moving their supply chains outside of China. Beijing has already been forced to unleash a new round of subsidies in hopes of propping up their deteriorating economy until after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
                                                                                          Unfortunately for China, that plan is not working. Our decision to finally get tough on trade with China is having far less of a negative impact on the U.S. economy than establishment American commentators and politicians predicted. The American economy remains strong, despite stagnating growth elsewhere in the world.
                                                                                            The yuan also slipped to 7.1487 to the dollar, weeks after the Treasury Department formally designated China a currency manipulator. The Treasury Department said it will work with the International Monetary Fund to try to rectify the “unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.”
                                                                                              "The gloves are coming off on both sides and as such yuan depreciation is an obvious cushion against US tariffs," Mitul Kotecha, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, told Bloomberg News.
                                                                                               There are several reasons why China's central bank would want to allow the yuan to drop, including to help struggling local exporters who want their products to be less expensive for international purchasers. People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang, however, has insisted China does not "engage in competitive devaluation."
                                                                                                    A cohort of hawks, many from China's powerful military-industrial complex, is rising to the fore on the issue. They argue a trade deal is unnecessary, in stark contrast to China's diplomatic and commercial ministries that publicly welcome an agreement.
                                                                                                     "Today, China is fighting two wars on one battlefield with the U.S. — a composite of economic and military conflicts," Dai Xu, a senior colonel in China's air force and an outspoken current affairs commentator, wrote in an online article in May. "Trump will first take China's money and then take our lives," Dai wrote in a commentary in January.
                                                                                                       Dai says Beijing's trade frictions with Washington mark the beginning of a "protracted war," a concept popularized by Chairman Mao Zedong during China's war against Japan and now increasingly used in state media commentaries to describe China's trade negotiation strategy. "Much as in the original 'protracted war,' in this case we can also send the seemingly invincible invaders to a hell for failures," Dai wrote in May.
                                                                                                        Dai and his supporters are calling for a war of attrition, in which China outlasts its rivals, even at the cost of global trade. The idea is attractive among those who believe the country's one-party system and control over its most significant monetary and financial levers would allow it to beat the U.S. in a game of chicken.
                                                                                                           "The result of the trade war between China and the United States is not determined by calculating how many chips the two countries have to play, but by their ability to bear the damage. You may have more chips but your damage tolerance is lower than mine," Shen Yi, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, wrote on a state-run news site in June.

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                                                                                                    Ukraine War Update (May 13, 2022)

                                                                                                     You may have already read this since the Institute for the Study of War seems to be one of the major go-to sites for information on the war...