Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Quick Run Around the Web (12/12/2019)

"Criminals Do Not Think The Same Way You And I Do"--Active Self Protection (7 min.)
Shooting an innocent is just a part of doing business from their perspective.

          Emeryville police said a woman returned to the mall and confronted a group of teenagers she believed knew the person who had allegedly stolen her cellphone earlier in the day.
           The woman asked the teens to give back her phone and the group "became aggressive with the victim and began to assault her," police said in a news release.
             In a surveillance video of the incident, the woman approaches the group of at least five teens and grabs one wearing a white hoodie by the arm. He shoves the woman as several other teens gather around her. The teen in the white hoodie shoves the woman again before someone runs over to intervene.
               Some of the teens leave as the individual in the hoodie appears to get angry and starts fighting the man who came over to help. The man runs from the group of teens as mall security officers try to break up the melee. The man is later seen lying on the ground but eventually gets up.
                 Police said the man who intervened was an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer. After he tried to help, the "group of juveniles became aggressive" and "began to violently assault him," Emeryville police said in the release.
                   "The juveniles struck the Off-Duty CHP Officer multiple times and choked him unconscious," police said.
                     The officer regained consciousness and pepper-sprayed a teen who was still assaulting him.
                      As responsibly armed Americans, we understand that basic safety rules are important and need to be followed, but the words on the “Range Rules” sign sometimes progress from reasonable to borderline laughable. “No alcohol or drugs” is followed by “No human silhouette targets.” “No horseplay” is followed by “No holsters allowed on the firing line.” “Must wear eye and ear protection” is followed by “Must shoot no more than one round per second.” “No food or drink on the firing line” is followed by “Shooters must remain stationary while shooting.”

                     This can make it difficult to practice drawing from an IWB holster while getting off of the X and putting three rounds into the upper torso and head of a target in less than three seconds.
                • "Shooting Drill- The Humbler"--Active Response Training. Ellifritz describes the drill: "It is a 70 shot drill with 700 possible aggregate points.  Allegedly, no one has ever shot a perfect score.  I certainly haven’t ever even come close.  I’m happy if I get a score in the mid 400s on this one." All shots are at 25 yards using a standard B-8 target. Ellifritz recommends using it to develop your longer range pistol shooting.
                • "Arming the Elderly: A Self-Defense Guide for Senior Citizens"--Ammo.com. A good guide directed to elderly people giving guidelines on basic self-defense issues (e.g., situational awareness, avoiding becoming a target) as well as a detailed discussion of factors to consider in selecting a handgun should you so choose, including factors such as chronic pain, muscle and bone strength, etc.
                • "What is the value of training?"--Tactical Professor. He discusses several benefits, then adds:
                The most significant value of training is that it places someone else, the instructor, in control of the flow of events, either physically or mentally. A criminal encounter will not be initiated in the time sequence desired by the would-be victim, which would be NONE. Nor will the skills required to solve the incident be dictated by the defender. However, by definition, self trained individuals control the flow of their actions when they practice, assuming they practice. This is exactly the opposite of criminal encounters. That’s not how it happens in real life. Good instruction will provoke thinking and questions beyond the student’s own expectations and experience. This helps prepare students to make decisions that can and will affect them for the rest of their lives, either positively or negatively.
                We had one of the new Streamlight TL Racker forend lights.  These just came out and I had never seen one in person.  The light is about 1/3 of the price of its SureFire counterpart.  No problems at all with it in class.  The forend functioned well and the light still worked at the end of about 150 rounds fired.  I purchased one and will be installing it on my SBS 870.
                • This looks interesting: "Bufferless BCGs Available for Pre-order from Evolution Weapon Systems"--The Firearm Blog. This is a bolt carrier group designed to be used in standard direct-impingement AR weapons, but incorporates the buffer springs in the BCG eliminating the need for a separate buffer tube, buffer and spring. This would be handy for outfitting an AR rifle or pistol with a folding stock or brace, respectively.
                • "Should Hunters Ever 'Hold Off Hair?'"--NRA Family. The traditional rule is that you should never adjust your aim so that you are aiming above the animal. But, as the author explains the ballistics, it depends on the range. Being a conservative, I hate to call old rules a "myth" without trying to understand why the rule arose in the first place. In this case, it became a rule of thumb because of hunters using weapons with iron sights: as soon as you raise the sights to aim above the shoulder, you lose sight of the animal and can't accurately judge how high you are aiming above the animal. Of course, this isn't an issue with a rifle using optical sights.
                • "Firearms — Tools of rural living"--by Massad Ayoob at Backwoods Home Magazine. A 2005 article looking at the different uses for firearms on a homestead and the different firearms (or types of firearms) that make good tools for the homesteader.
                • Another review of "The Ruger Wrangler .22 LR Single Action Revolver," this one from Vance Outdoors
                • "Musings on the Budget AR15: Or why PSA is Better than Budget Rifles of Old."--New Rifleman. While there are those that sneer or look down their nose on use of a "budget" AR rifle, but the author notes that many of the current "budget" rifles use better components than you might think.'
                • "A Brief Guide To CLP"--Alien Gears Holsters Blog. From the article:
                      It's a viscous fluid, which binds to carbon deposits and other molecules (which is what you're cleaning away) but also shears (spreads) across the surface of parts. How lubrication works is you spread a liquid across a surface, which forms a protective barrier between metal pieces and thus prevents parts from wearing and eventually breaking. 
                * * * 

                       Liquids of the right composition are shear-thinning, meaning any pressure causes them to spread out, which lubricants must-needs be in order to coat stuff. You add a bit and spread it out, like spreading mayo on bread. This creates a thin film on whatever surface you've applied it to.
                         CLP also acts as a preservative, blocking out oxygen and other compounds to ensure the weapon is preserved in the state it is/was in when CLP was applied.

                    China jacked up the price of rare earths, so other nations went out and developed alternative sources. 

                    • Related: Georgetown University has released a paper examining "SAT-Only Admission: How Would It Change College Campuses?" (PDF). The authors of the paper first determined that " we found that no one with an SAT or SAT-equivalent score below 1250 would have been admitted to the 200 most selective colleges and universities if admissions were based on test scores alone." With that in mind, if these top schools used only test scores to determine admission:
                     ... the racial and ethnic makeup of the entering class would change dramatically. Currently, enrollment at the nation’s selective colleges is 66 percent White, 19 percent Black and  Latino, 11 percent Asian, and 5 percent other races. But if we distribute seats to only students with the highest scores on the SAT and ACT, the White share of enrollment jumps to 75 percent, the Black and Latino share drops to 11 percent, the Asian share falls to 10 percent, and the share of other races and ethnicities remains 5 percent. 
                           Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance [ed: FISA] court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.
                             Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request.
                               But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Page look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.
                          • Related: "The Hidden Hand" by Charles "Sam" Faddis at And Magazine (h/t Vox Popoli). From the article:
                                  The essence of a coup, which some might refer to as covert action, is the hidden hand.  One does not announce that a foreign power is overthrowing the government and installing a new government.  One pulls strings as if from behind a curtain, making events that are all part of a carefully orchestrated plan appear disconnected, spontaneous and serendipitous.
                                   As I read through the recently released IG report for the second time, as someone with a great deal of experience in military and intelligence matters, I see that hand everywhere.
                                    Per the IG report, a single report is delivered to the FBI in the summer of 2016.  It concerns a meeting between a cooperative contact of a foreign intelligence service and a junior level employee of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos.  The report relates what are frankly very amorphous comments by Papadopoulos concerning the Russian government and its alleged possession of information on Hillary Clinton.
                                       On any other day this report would command no attention whatsoever.  ...
                                           Not on this occasion.  This one report from a foreign intelligence service goes directly to the top of the FBI.  The Director himself, James Comey is briefed.  A full investigation is launched.  Multiple confidential human sources are tasked.  Wiretaps are ordered.  A task force is organized. Crossfire Hurricane is born.
                                           There is a problem, though.  ... The information regarding Papadopoulos provided the needed pretext to start an investigation, but most of the people who will now form the investigative team are not in on the plot.  They will have to be led to the pre-ordained conclusion, so that it appears that they did so without outside interference.
                                             And these investigators have a pesky habit of actually doing their jobs.
                                                Almost immediately these investigators demonstrate that Papadopoulos does not have the access within the Trump campaign necessary for the suspected Russian connections.  If there is a conduit, Papadopoulos cannot be it.
                                                 Suddenly, Carter Page is shoved forward as the new focus of the investigation.  His contacts with Russians are long-standing and well-known.  He will serve well as the new target.  Human sources are mobilized.  Wiretaps are ordered.
                                                   But, there is another problem.  Those wielding the clumsy hidden hand have forgotten the first rule of real operational personnel.  Never move against a target until you have run “traces.” until you have run the individual’s name through our databases, checked the records and found out what we already know about him.  ...

                                                ... [A]s a consequence they clearly do not know that, yes, Mr. Page has extensive Russian contacts and, yes, he has been reporting to “another government agency” for many years on those contacts.  Page is a source.  Our source.
                                                      This is problem.  It is a huge, never fully resolved problem for the conspirators.  The “other government agency” sends a formal memo documenting the fact that Page is a source.  The hidden hand tries hiding that.  Any mention of it is removed from applications for FISA warrants, and it is never mentioned in renewal applications either.
                                                         But, again, as new FBI personnel, unwitting of the plot are assigned to the investigation they keep doing their jobs.  Already they have determined that the only evidence they can develop is exculpatory.  Already they have established that there is no basis to believe any of the allegations against Donald Trump and his campaign.  Now, they circle back to the issue of Page.
                                                           ...  Inquiries are made.  A second memorandum is sent by the “other government agency.”  This one spells out in excruciating detail Page’s relationship with that agency.
                                                             The conspirators, behind their curtain, are now desperate.  What was supposed to be an elegant plot is now in danger of collapsing.  The hand directs crude measures.  An attorney assigned to the investigation materially alters the memorandum inserting words not found in the original and making it appear to say exactly the opposite of what it said, in plain English, originally.  The trail is covered, temporarily, but there is now hard, physical evidence of the conspirators intervention.  The “other government agency” retains the memorandum in its original form, waiting to be discovered by investigators scrutinizing the record at a later date.
                                                               This pattern of often clumsy manipulation of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation is everywhere in the record.  It is at the heart, for instance, of the entire Christopher Steele narrative.
                                                          Read the whole thing.
                                                          Last year, in the best performing public high school in Kansas, 45 percent of the school's tenth-graders tested not proficient in English Language Arts.  In the worst performing school, an incredible 97 percent of the tenth graders tested not proficient.  In the average suburban high school, inevitably considered "excellent" by town boosters, 60 to 80 percent of the students failed to reach the low bar of proficiency in language arts.
                                                          The author suggests that the scores were probably pulled down by boys, who generally do worse with reading than girls. And, he argues, this is directly a result of the effeminate, politically correct reading material foisted on boys and which turn them off reading for life.
                                                                  The raw (unadjusted) data from three Indian Ocean gauges – Aden, Karachi and Mumbai – showed that local sea level trends in the last 140 years had been very gently rising, neutral or negative (ie sea levels had fallen).
                                                                   But after the evidence had been adjusted by tidal records gatekeepers at the global databank Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) it suddenly showed a sharp and dramatic rise.
                                                                     The whistle was blown by two Australian scientists Dr. Albert Parker and Dr. Clifford Ollier in a paper for Earth Systems and Environment.
                                                                        Sociology professor Masahiro Yamada from Tokyo's Chuo University told AFP that the norm of single people living with their parents until marriage means there is less immediate pressure to find a partner.
                                                                         "They think it's a waste of time to have a relationship with someone who does not meet their conditions" and can afford to wait for a better catch, he said, dubbing these people "parasite singles."
                                                                           Although long-term financial security with a husband or wife is seen as important, the difficulty of finding affordable housing adds to the incentive to stay with mum and dad, he said.
                                                                           The Wall Street bombing, as the event is now known, occured just after noon on Thursday, September 16, 1920. A wagon loaded with a bomb containing dynamite and 500 pounds of small iron weights parked in front of 23 Wall Street. The corner building was then the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co., the nation's most powerful bank. At 12:01 pm, the timer on the bomb reached zero and a terrific explosion rocked the street.
                                                                             Thirty people—and one horse—died instantly from the blast. Another eight died later from the injuries they sustained. Hundreds were injured, some by shrapnel on the street, others by the glass that rained down from the broken windows of the J.P. Morgan building. The blast was so forceful that, according to a bystander quoted in the New York Times the next day, a trolley carrying passengers two blocks away was "thrown from the tracks by the shock."   
                                                                               No-one claimed responsibility in the aftermath of the attack, leading many on the scene to conclude that the perpetrators were communist agitators fresh from the Bolshevik Revolution. On September 17, 1920, the Times reported that "both the police and the government investigators were inclined to the theory that Reds had placed a time bomb in the wagon." Russians were the prime suspect in the eyes of John Markle, a wealthy anthracite coal field operator who happened to be at the J.P. Morgan building when the blast occurred. "[T]here is no question in my mind," he told the Times, "that the explosion was caused by Bolsheviki."

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